EXCERPT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Off on a new tack

The plan was to finish the boats and to that end I cast up a Zinnbrigade seated limber rider and grabbed a spare sailor to promote to cox'n. However, the bit where I stitch him up is going to have to wait.
With their bases cut down, 8 infantry can squeeze into the bosr.

The deadline to submit my game for Huzzah is rapidly approaching and I have been getting increasingly aware that I've been dragging my feet on registering my game. I just haven't been sure why. Eventually I decided the problem wasn't really the scenario, it was me. It just didn't feel "different" enough to please me. Despite my efforts to dress it up, hidden defenders, delayed deployment for the flanking columns, personal objectives,  guiding victoty conditions etc, its just a dressed up version of line 'em up and go get 'em.

I decided to go back to a variation on an old favorite,  the CS Grant Wagon Train scenario which always provides a fun game, especially in a convention setting since players are essentially   on their own in a confused situation but with clear objectives to be taken or protected. Since I had an overwhelming urge to call the game "Drums Along the Mohawk" I am adapting the scenario to involve several groups of settlers fleeing to the safety of Fort MacDuff while parties of Loyalists and Indians emerge from the woods to try to cut them off.

Now, I just need to put together a presentable wagon train out of the bits and bobs I cobble together for home use. I'll slip a game of something in there somewhere this weekend but fixing up the wagon train is now top priority. I would particularly like more 2 wheeled carts. Prince August limbers are my starting point there.
How long to whip this lot into shape?


  1. You certainly having the makings of a superb wagon train there- go for it...

    1. Its work thats long over due. The plastic wagons were originally painted up, teamed and crewed for 54mm games.

  2. If only you had more time, Nurnberger Meisierzinn has molds to make wagons that are 40mm. They are more 18th century style but surely with a little work would look like 19th century wagons.

  3. I am familiar with the Meistetzinn wagons, kasdive hunks of metal though atteactice once assembled and painted. But I hate working with metal molds and quite like the dollar store plastic ones though they need new teams.

    At the moment though I need more 2 wheeled carts that will fit on my grid when the need arises.

    Good suggestion though.

  4. CelticCurmudgeon has left a new comment on your post "Off on a new tack":

    Ross,Why not "Drums Along the Slohawk" just to be a bit perverse.

    Well, for one thing, I didn't think of it! Could have gone with Drums along the Mohair as well, a convoy of sweaters for the fort.

  5. For a 'different' wagon train scenario, check out the Olmutz convoy - Seven Years' War, 1758. The only problem: even if you scaled the vehicles down to 1 per 100, you would need something like 37 carts and wagons. About 20 years ago I tried this as a game, the Prussians trying to escort the wagons as they left their laager (at one end of the table), and the Austrians, slightly outnumbered, attempting to capture or destroy the same. Even on an 8-foot long table and using only 30 wagons at the time, the head of the column of wagons reached the village at the far end from the laager, with a good deal of the tail yet to leave the camp site.

    You can see that even with superior numbers, the 'Prussians' found it hard to defend the whole line. In the end the 'Austrians' captured well over half the transports, and nearly a quarter (7 wagons) had to abort the mission and escaped off the table whence they came. The 'Prussians' got maybe a half dozen wagons through out of the 30. At that they did better than historically: Zieten got a scant 100 out of 3700 through to Frederick's Army besieging Olmutz.

    1. Yes another good army level one is Wynandale (or Wijandale) during the war of Spanish Succession the French outnumbered the British covering force by 3 to 1 but had to force a defile between woods to reach the siege train and convoy which was moving at right angles to their attack. They weren't able to break through.

      Thus is a different sort of affair though, small parties of settlers fleeing to safety.

  6. Ross,

    While this is probably simpler than you want, it has worked for me . . . and you might find some inspiration in it.

    I built a bunch of carts quickly many years back by simply cutting up some block balsa into the sizes I wanted and used toothpicks for the tongue the oxen pulled and I used thumbtacks for wheels. I then painted the whole things dark brown. Simple but it worked.

    Now you can cast real wheels and if you add some beans (for sacks) atop them, they will work. It might sound silly but it works.

    -- Jeff