Viewer's Choice Celebration MiniCampaign

It has now been over 20 years since I launched "With MacDuff On the Web" and nearly 10 years since I launched my 2 blogs: Gathering of Hosts and Battle game of the Month.

To celebrate the years and the friends and the million hits I've decided to run a 3 game mini-campaign in late October. By popular vot e it will be set in the mid 18th Century.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Work in Progress

While I was preparing for Huzzah a call went out for volunteers to run a "pirate game" at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in late June. Having read too many GA Henty novels when I was a kid, I volunteered first then began to find out what the occasion was and what was needed. After various discussions it seemed that an historical game with a nautical connection that members of the public could try was what was called for. Not having a naval game in my pocket i turned to what I did have, 40mm AWI. So here I am preparing a portable sort of game of an American Privateer raid on a small Nova Scotia town during the American Rebellion.

Lots of work left to do this week.

After reading up on several privateer raids I decided to take a suitable piece of canvas and paint up a generic small Nova Scotian port. I was still short of ships so I turned to my shelves. Some time spent sprucing up an old toy Pirate ship (seen in last post) was promising but it doesn't look quite right on the map. So, I turned to two souvenir fishing dories that have served off and on for a decade. They are a little long for my usual table now and even more so on the small mat so with heart in throat I have begun a long delayed project to shorten them and add mast and bowsprit to produce some small sloops. One at a time.

That left the town. The original idea was to use my usual ceramic clapboard houses but I don't have enough to make a town without resorting to inappropriate brick and stone houses and in any case only 3 or 4 would be able to fit on the small mat.

The big house alternative.

Ever since I staged my first HG Wells Hook's Farm game (see ) I have been intrigued by the idea of a town of wooden houses and am getting ever more attached to increasingly under scale buildings. A slide towards elements vs single figures again has only reinforced this choice so I started scrounging for some blocks of wood and some of the triangular bits of orange crate that I used in the mockup siege game. A little while later I had the makings of a nice little town with the right sort of flavour. It soon became obvious that more prep work would have helped improve the finish (Wells recommended painting the details on paper and gluing this to the wood.)

None the less, with 2 buildings now done,  I like the way the town is shaping up and look forward to seeing it in action in an Atlantica game this summer.

One done, a bunch to go.

So I've got 5 days to finish the houses and other terrain before a test game. Oh, and I need to add the grid which will be irregularly shaped areas, and then write a set of rules suitable for walk up, never played a wargame before, kids of all ages that someone else can teach because it looks like I won't be able to be there at least not all day. What could go wrong?



  1. "What could go wrong?" . . . well remember Murphy and that old military axiom . . . "No plan survives contact with the enemy."

    Nevertheless I predict that a fun time will be had by all. . . . And if you will have handouts (which I recommend) I suggest that you may well want to include the URL of the Junior General website . . . it has lots of information and simple rules that kids (of any age) can try out on their own.

    -- Jeff

    PS, Have a lot of FUN, my friend; HAVE FUN!

  2. I will blame it on the fact that my gout has flared and I'm zonked on pain meds, but I think that I forgot the URL . . . it is:

    -- Jeff

  3. Saying "yes' does lead to some interesting situations! I like the looks of the town.

  4. Houses look good ,you are onto something there indeed.I look forward to seeing how you resolve the grid and rules issues.

  5. Hi Ross,
    Looks like a majorly fun exercise in gaming. A suggestion - try putting something out on paper for the people who pass by. It doesn't have to be long - just expressed in simple language. It would also give any assistant something to which to refer. Another alternative is a piece of poster board or presentation board (tri-fold) placed on the table or on a chair. Everyone can see the rules - it's easy peasy.
    Have loads of fun with this and don't forget a few well-timed "Aargh, Matey(s)" along the way.

  6. Ross, I like those buildings. Don' take this the wrong way (I am sure that you will not) but there is a great appeal in that "naive" style. Lovely.


    1. A good match for Spencer Smith's or hopefully my Scubies and homemade figures. They could have used a little more prep work before painting, next time.

  7. Replies
    1. Good to break out of one's comfort zone now and again.

  8. What a terrific idea for a game. I missed that museum when I lived in NS, I'd like to get back there and see it.
    The buildings look terrific and brightly coloured, has a kind of Lunenburg vibe about it - I am sure it will be a terrific and fun game for the kids. Best of luck with it.

    1. Oddly enough I spent some time looking at pictures of the Lunenburg waterfront.......

      Its a great museum, or was the last time I was inside. Sadly despite often passing it on lunch time walks for decade, the last time I was inside was probably 20 years ago.