Friday, July 31, 2015

Twas on the Old Calcutta in 1853

Actually for me it was the MacKenzie in 1973 but 1853 was when the Recycle and Reuse led a rag tag fleet up the Newerwaussie River to deal with yet another nest of Pirates.

Two if by sea, three if by air.
 Time for something different. Game in a day or 3.
(some RAFM ancients up on ebay now under rmacfa, some 54mm stuff to follow later today)

For those not familiar with the reference:

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Importance of Accuracy in Imaginary Map Making

Well I have many of the questions about the early days of  the Hougal Rebellion just about sorted now. It seems an error in copying a map was the cause of the confusion.

Actually Hougal was not even on my original map but there was a report of a 16th Century battle in Atlantica involving Scots and French vs English. (It was on my old website and I had a copy on cd till a month or so ago.) The English won handily and the French seem to have given up any colonial aspirations in Atlantica soon after. They did not, however, remove all the settlers or stop Huguenots from continuing to emigrate there in small numbers.  The traces of French ancestory remained in the territories just south of the central mountain barrier although there was much mixing with native Atlantican and other immigrants, especially Scots.

At that time I assumed, wrongly, that Atlantica was in the North Atlantic though why it wasn't better known escaped me.  When I discovered that beyond the mountains there were native kingdoms with adobe cities and a warmer, drier climate, I assumed the map was upside down. Fixing that put a major wrench in things including making a mirror image to keep Faraway in the West. Eventually I realized that the confusion was due to Atlantica being in the South Atlantic, well off the shipping routes. This resulted in yet another flip and renaming. It was then that the name Hougal appeared on the southernmost tip. Since it wasn't directly involved in anything, I didn't check out the accuracy of this until I discovered the Hougal wars of Separation in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries when Faraway and Hougal rebels allied against Oberhilse. Looking at the map, Hougal was tucked in close to the heartland of Oberhilse and separated by forests, swamps and mountains from Faraway. It also seemed odd that the land that copied French uniforms was so far from the only other area  that had French influence, Origawn and the Blue River Valley.

Now the location of San Carlos has never been mapped properly but their volunteers have fought as volunteers for Oberhilse and have appeared as allies of the Brethren far to the north of the mountains. Somehow during the remapping it appeared up north where an old abandoned Baltic colony had been.  This is a riddle but there is also a mystery as to why the Atlantican Kingdom in the north has not yet featured in Faraway's history, not any evidence of Faraway being active in the western 1/2 of northern Atlantica, just across the mountains, being confined to the far northeast instead. The war that changed that during the 1840's has not yet been documented and perhaps San Carlos plays a role.      

The corrected map.

To draw this closer to an end, it turns out that Hougal actually lies to the North-East of the disputed Origawn Territory and has cultural and historic ties to the Blue River settlements which are part of greater Faraway. After the Origawn War, Hougal was acknowledged as a Protectorate of Oberhilse but after the otherthrow of the Oligarchy and the declaration of a Republic, Oberhilse resisted pressure to become a province of the republic.  It is the proximity and cultural ties as well as the potential political and economic advantage that explains how it was that Faraway became involved so quickly in a war that was to drag on so long.

Unlike the petty skirmishes in Kapelle, this was war, war on the fringes of the settled lands but war that would stretch the resources of all three participants over a decade.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Nil Desperandum

I've been busy taking care of business  (BTW 4 lots of  my old 15mm ACW on ebay (seller rmacfa) but have found bits of spare time to ponder rules, occasionally putter with dice on a corner of the table, review old posts and to watch youtube videos while sitting with the dogs.   

The result can be summed up as follows:

1. Despite the practical issues on the big grid I like the 1 stand units with only 2 hits. If I can't solve the multiple units in a 6" grid issue, I may even fall from the ranks and try a measuring stick but I'm not there yet. (A 3" grid is out because terrain and accessories won't fit.)

2. The "hit/rally hit" thing is still good in theory and bad in practice, too indecisive leading to long games where little happens. The June game worked better although  "give ground" needs to be adjusted to stop the unit from just retaking the position.  I did try a "pin/auto-remove pin" rule last fall and it worked ok but it didn't stop units from gaining ground, just slowed 'em down. Using the give ground and miss your next turn feels like "they tried to advance and were stopped".  

A shot from the Nine Years War.

3. Shortly after looking at the Nine Years War games from 2014 again with their mix of 1/72nd Boers and various uniformed troops on a greener, more settled, tabletop, I happened to watch a video, Foggy Dew played by the Chieftains and Sinead over scenes from the movie The Wind That Shakes the Barley. Its a sad, disturbing movie and I don't want to go there or to a VBCW, SCW etc type setting but the look of soldiers and armed civilians in early 20thC garb amidst villages, hedges and green fields had me suddenly slapping my head. I don't actually need a veldt/prairie or an 1812-1837 setting to get that sort of mix and so don't necessarily need separate theatres of war and dedicated armies.  I can just add some non-uniformed militia/volunteer units to any of the Atlantican campaigns with  a bit of thought. Less duplication and work and I can leave the Indians, Pirates and Metis for earlier wars as already depicted. I need  to study the map and recorded history of Atlantica but the Hougal Secession,  a 2nd Blue River Rebellion or another Origawn crisis all have promise.

Anyway,  some revised rules ideas to try this weekend.

Revised Post It Version of the New Tin Army

May be played on grid or measure using base width or agreed upon "lengths". I will be using 3" lengths on my 6" grid. Quadrants essentially
Units are destroyed by 2 hits, 3 if Elite just 1 if very Poor.

Sequence of play: IGUO

Chance Cards. (Optional) Make up custom deck or use playing cards. Assign red to 1 side, black to the other. Cards apply to that player. Only face cards and Aces are effective, others are no effect. Decide maximum number of turns to play and pull that many cards for a game deck. When the deck has been played the game is over. If joker appears roll d6 and discard that number of cards from the deck. At the start of each turn pull 1 card before rolling for initiative.
Sample chance effects:
King. Roll d6/2 and that many units may add 1 to move this turn even if attacking.
Queen. Roll d6/2 and your enemy may choose that many units that must remain halted this turn.
Jack. Roll d6/2  and your enemy may choose that many units not occupying cover that must immediately retreat 1 move.
Ace. A unit of unexpected reinforcements arrive or 1 destroyed unit is rallied and may be returned to service.

Infantry Move 2 OR shoot
Cavalry. Starting mounted move 4, starting dismounted move 1 OR shoot (inc dismount).
Artillery Move 2. Horse artillery move 3 Heavy moves 1.
Terrain  Stop on entry. (1 length) unless native infantry. Some may be impassible to some troop types.
Road +1 to move but no shoot or attack.

Isolated A unit not within 6 of a leader must roll 4,5,6 to move. +1 Elite, -1 Levy

Shooting. 1 unit at a time.
Ranges: Rifles 4, MG 6, Arty Light 8, Field 12, Hvy 16
2 dice per unit.  5,6 hits.
    +1 per d if an MG or other rated superior firepower.
    -1 per die if inferior firepower (carbine, untrained etc)
A unit may cancel 1 hit if it is in cover or it gives ground.

Melee. May not move adjacent (within 1 length) unless attacking or ambushed. Must resolve melee if adjacent during melee phase. The active player is the Attacker regardless of tactical situation. Attacker chooses order of melees to be fought. Each unit must pick 1 enemy to fight.
Defender Round. The defender rolls or gives ground.
Attacker Round. The attacker then rolls or gives ground. The defender may cancel 1 hit if in cover.
Resolution. The melee will continue in rounds until either 1 side is destroyed or gives ground.
If the defender is destroyed or gives ground a unit that attacked this turn must occupy the defender's position. Cavalry that attacked this turn and won may choose to resolve another melee after occupying the enemy's position.

3 dice per unit 5,6 hits     +1 per die if shock troops

If a commander with unit in melee roll 1 extra die 4,5,6 = hit, 1=cdr killed

Giving Ground.  A unit that gives ground retreats 1 move. It may not move or shoot on its next turn. It may not retreat adjacent to an enemy or through friendly troops or across impassible terrain.

Reform. Two adjacent units of the same type that are not with range and LofS of an enemy and have their Commander within 2 may move together. 1 unit is removed, the other is restored to full strength.

Brigade Morale. A Brigade  consists of a Commander  and 3 to 6 units. when over 1/2 of the units are lost the Brigade is exhausted and may not shoot or attack and must give ground if attacked.
Army Morale. When all of the Brigades in an army are exhausted or over 1/2 the Brigades are destroyed or forced off table.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Oh Me of Little Faith or Remixing the Square Brigadier

I actually had the solution to this pinning problem last year and forgot it somewhere along the way. In my "Wisdom of the Young" post last August, about the Brigadier Peter Young, I included the following quote:

"elaborate Morale rules are a waste of time. Morale is in the mind of the wargamer himself, for ultimately a war game is a duel between the two opposing generals themselves. Do not let them hide their deficiencies behind the alleged failings of their metal or plastic followers!"

At the time I was also listening to Colonel Sykes as reported by HG Wells in his Appendix to Little Wars where the Colonel suggested that infantry should be allowed to fire or move but not to do both. Taken together with my standard Square Brigadier system of taking hits but being allowed to try to rally them if you didn't move or shoot, no pin rule was needed. If a unit under fire took a hit, it risked defeat and destruction if it charged into melee, much better to lay down and rally, hoping to rally faster than the hits came in so as to be in a better position to rush the enemy while taking a few pot shots of your own from time to time while waiting for a flanking force or the artillery to break the deadlock. In practice it is possible but rare for a unit lying there to accumulate enough unrallied hits to destroy them unless they are the subject of machine gun and artillery fire but it is possible. At any event the system is quick and includes enough risk to add tension. (Oh F! 3 hits! If I don;t make at least 1 of these rally rolls.....)

At any event when I started playing with fire and movement and started backing away from rallying hits I found I needed something else. I'm not sure if it was Helpful Kinch's comment on the last post, my digging out a copy of Tin Hats in preparation for a possible WW2 game in August, or both, but partway through some test fiddling with command rolls it all came back. So initiative gone, orders dice gone, pins gone, no where to hide.  If you take losses from firing as you close then either push your men to their limit and risk destruction or lay down and rally. Your choice.

Of course, like in Charge!, this leaves my little metal commanders with nothing to do. So, taking a page from Morschauser, which is where these rules started, I just made the HQ mandatory but a liability if you lose it while letting each side have a couple of colourful "Leaders" to capture just the  heroic side of officers of the time leaving the drudgery, discipline  and brain work to the unseen heroes.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Repetative Strain Issues

Its been about a year now since I embarked on the Great War in 40mm. One of my early concerns was the issue of representing stalled attacks. This was an issue from the 1870's on. An attacking unit comes under fire, lays down and for several hours both sides trade fire with minimum casualties for hours until a new force intervenes or one side pulls back, with or without orders or occasionally some small party finds a way to creep forward under some minor terrain feature, a stream bed or gully perhaps and get close enough to charge.

One of the most common ways of dealing with this in wargames, at least since the 1970's  is a system where a combat  result or morale check gives a pin or no move result, which can be removed and reapplied and removed..... realistic? Possibly. Tedious? Often. I said I didn't want to do that but there I am at the moment.

The end of Sunday's game including the field hospital I forgot to use. In the background the pennons of the lancers can be seen as they ride over the Oberhilse artillery and machineguns from behind the flank.

Another option which I wanted to avoid was the one where rifle fire is allowed to destroy units to easily so the attacker might even be able to shoot the defender out of his trenches or a defended town. I can find no evidence supporting this approach but have accidentally come perilously close to this a couple of times.

There is another option which I don't recall seeing used although Memoir might be considered as sort of doing it without saying so when it has units on both sides within range and not moving or shooting turn after turn. This is to just assume that opposing units are shooting at each other with little result without showing it on the table. This could feel odd but in theory it could work if there was an option to fire with deadly effect on the unit in the open if it rose to attack. (You could also have an option to fire on retreating units but usually the battle was over at that point anyway.) I've considered it a couple of times but just haven't figured out just the right wording and rules to make it easy and clear. It would be something about ""Units in a beaten zone..." or at least how one balances ranges, dice and movement rates. However, using the orders dice option and requiring an order to be used to shoot along with a small chance of a hit might be enough to do it. Most combat then would be artillery preparation and assaults with the odds favouring the defender if the assault is frontal rather than flanking, unless the arty has done its job better than usually managed.

More planning and manouver leading to critical moments,  less endless die rolling with little to show for it.


Monday, July 20, 2015

Or was that Left Turn Junction?

I did play today, and I took more pictures but.......... while everything worked as envisaged, by the end of the game I remembered why I had dropped this approach. It takes too long with too many repetitive die rolls with little result while slowly working to a conclusion. Which is of course more how the real world works but I wanted  a quicker, more "exciting" game. I also have to admit that while the 1 -4 units per area held up initially, once the armies got really entangled with flanking and breakthroughs, it got really messy as to which units in which areas were in melee with which enemy units in which areas. More trouble than it was worth. (Yes yes, "you were right" to all those who advocated the 1 unit per grid area approach.)

After reviewing options, I reluctantly once again abandoned my renewed attempt to use 4 units + a commander as a battalion. Last fall I had gone from planning those 16 figure units to painting each 8 figure group as a separate unit so that I could paint a wider variety of uniforms. Since the lads are still grouped in 8's, I bowed to the inevitable and went back to the simpler, cleaner method of  1 unit per area. Since I don't need to track more than 2 hits on a unit (3rd & 4th are marked by removing stands) I have enough casualty caps to use them to mark hits while the bingo chits mark pinned units. Eventually I may add some more graphic markers. When I play a skirmish game I'll call them companies and probably call them battalion or wings or 1/2 battalions for everything else.

2nd time around. The last isolated garrison is surrounded and forced to surrender. Same battle plans both times and Oberhilse  lost both times. I think they needed a reserve and more active defence.
This meant falling back on a slightly different group of tried and tested methods including fixed dice  and 4 hits per unit. I reset the game. Same number of stands, 1/2 the units, 1/2 the time, twice the excitement. I kinda forgot to take pictures till the end so this one will have to do.

I'm just translating the jotted notes into rules again then its back to painting figures, writing up the background a little and starting to look at some work on terrain. I want to be into a campaign by September, both North and South of the mountains.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Defence of Suits Me To A Tee-Junction

Oberhilse cavalry awaiting the enemy's arrival. 40mm Zinnbrigade homecast.
At last I have my late 19th/early 20thC rules back pretty much to where they were when I played the Important Bridge scenario in late November but this time I have a written copy! 

Its interesting how much easier it was, after gluing the figures to a base, to treat them as a "unit" with fixed combat ability until removed rather  than as a group of figures each of whom counted and could be lost.  
The Allied  cavalry screen arrives. Hougal troops to the left, Faraway to the right.
The scenario was made up on the fly based on what troops were based and on not wanting to bother making too many changes to last week's terrain which hadn't been cleared away. The result was a hasty defense of a crossroad by Oberhilse with A General, 3 Colonels, 10 inf companies, 2 mg, 2 cavalry squadrons and 2 batteries against an Allied force with a General, 5 Colonels, 14 inf companies, 2 mg, 4 squadrons and 3 batteries. Overhilse started in the town and along the road and was allowed to fortify the houses and assumed to have scraped hasty trenches where needed along the roadside hedges. The Allies started off table and each Colonel had to roll 4,5,6 to arrive.
Faraway's Khaki Battalion attacks up the right supported by Lancers. Off camera to the left the Hougal Zouaves are moving directly on the crossroads which is the main objective while their cavalry go wide.

The Blogger html formatting of the draft is a little awkward, I'll probably move the good copy to Drive, but it is available from the Pages tab or click here

Somewhere around turn 8. Both sides have taken some losses but the Zouaves have taken the first town block.
Animal lovers please note that the Mule is no longer over-burdened. 
It turned out I only had an hour or so to play today but the game will resume tomorrow (Monday).

Friday, July 17, 2015

Forming for battle

I felt lazy today and I remembered that I was planning to use orange crates not hardboard for the 1900 bases, don't need the table saw for that. Almost have enough infantry and guns ready for Sunday now.
There were some niggley things rules wise but once I remembered to think in groups even though each stand is a game unit, it all cleared up. Just look at the red coat road column, who cares if the lead company can fight? The other three are blocked. No special rule needed.

Similarly, while I am convinced that a 1:1 relationship between units and grid areas is best, it would require that I make my terrain, boats, vehicles, etc conform to a 3" grid or that I use 2 stand units which I don't want to do and it would make it difficult to handle different troop densities  So I've decided to go back to multiple units per square now that there is no risk of getting confused over which unit a given figure belongs to.

Tomorrow I will paint the last few bases and reset the table for a different scenario for Sunday. Hurrah! Its been too long for these lads.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Still Coming!

Having spent the last week on Gathering of Hosts stuff including a 1540's Anglo French clash (not yet blogged) following hard on the fantasy game, I have now returned to the early 20th Century.

Since it'll take a while to get the Oerberg campaign forces ready, no molds being available yet, I am falling back on the 1914 stuff for the contemporary Great Atlantican War. Indeed I'm sure a little research will show that Oberhilse's support for Oerhilse was the spark that set off  the Great War.

Before I get a game in, possibly on Sunday,  I have been fine tuning the rules and confirming that the look and feel is what I want. All small stuff, for example my original Great War units were 2 x 4 infantry or 1x3, later 2x2 cavalry. When I put the figures onto trial bases I only put 3 because 4 looked a little crowded for open order troops. The idea was to increase all the units from 2x4  to 3 or 4x3. Its not going to happen. Luckily having done a few  the 4 looks ok to me now. I just need to cut a big stack of bases, once I buy a finer tooth, sharp, blade for my table saw.

So, its coming! or something is coming!
Speaking of which at least the winter firewood is almost all stacked! More free time and energy coming soon.

Meanwhile, who's for a cold beer to go with all these sunny 30 degree days? (celsius)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Aux Armes!

Happy Bastille Day!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Good Weather Can Be Such a Nuisance

Not that I'm complaining really, I've been getting a lot of necessary work done but it sure plays havoc with hobby time. Doesn't stop it altogether but nothing is ready to post about!
Luckily its cloudy with high hopes of some showers so time for an interim post at least.

The Gathering of Hosts has seen a bit of progress as a hangout game approaches. Four new stands of troops have been added and an initial coat of paint has begun the harmonification of bases to mottled table green.

Apart from the fantasy/medieval stuff I have been making progress on a stand of Oberberg Constabulary but after 15 minutes of cleaning flash from 1/2 a homecast horse last night, the legs broke so they remain dismounted police until I can recover enough ground in the woodshed to set up a worktable and find time for a casting session. There have been idle moments though such as when the back half of my brain has been able to wander while the front half supervises  my body as it carts firewood into the woodshed and stacks it. This has at least allowed me to clarify or rather reconfirm what the Oerberg campaign will look like.

An archive picture of an Oerberg ambush of a motor convoy c 1903 played out last January.

I am getting alot of enjoyment from my imaginings but also finding it difficult not to swerve into old, easy, habits of copying historical campaigns too closely. In many ways it would be easier to just do an historical Boer War, Riel Rebellion and East African campaign except experience suggests that none would ever get 'finished' and that I would miss the creative aspects and the not knowing what happens or how it will end.

However, its been 2 years since I laid out the key elements of the campaign I wanted to play with horses, machine guns, trains and motorcars, regulars and irregulars, sprawling territories thin on troops,  and so on.

My "history" seems to have mixed a bit of the 1880's in with the Big War of 1903 but these things tend to happen and at least we know those early clashes were indecisive. They were but the overture, the main event beckons.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Year 6

Yes, today is 5 years since my heart attack. It seems longer somehow and with health better than it has been in years I thought about giving up my commemoration of the event but sometimes its good to be mindful and thankful, especially after a 12 month where there have been so many deaths in my life, mother, mother in law, my sister in law's brother, a friend, one of my wife's friends, Hector, Xena the Warrior Bunny, Fat cat (ok there was great rejoicing at that one), have I forgotten anyone? Anyway, its good to be alive for a while yet.  What's the saying? Vallar Morghulis?

Anyway this is also 1/2 way through my 6th year of blogging which is almost harder to grasp. Good thing the data storage is free thus far.

Five years ago and already experimenting with a grid as I convalesced.

But what's ahead in the nearer future?

More of this for starters! 

After all this searching things are feeling more settled than they have so far at  any point in this century. So, more late 19C colonial-ish figures, terrain and games, more 40mm medieval fantasy on Gathering of Hosts, and probably less variety in the short term.

Gathering of Hosts starts taking itself even less seriously.

But don't fret, experience suggests it won't last. Today I got confident enough to finally haul a pile of my hills out to the "workshop" corner of the woodshed so I could run them through the tablesaw to square up corners and bring them to multiples of 3" as much as possible as well as testing the process of cutting some scraps of 1/4" masonite into bases. I think I need a sharper blade with smaller teeth for that chore.  While I was there I looked at the the stacks of molds from several different periods, makes, and ranges and thought "This money is already spent, I need to make more use of more of these".  Not sure yet what that means, time will tell!


Friday, July 3, 2015

Mounting the Rifles

One of the painful pleasures of wargaming the middle to late 19thC in South Africa and the Americas is the phenomena of mounted rifleman who at their best can make long marches in the blink of an eye, think on their feet, charge like cavalry and shoot like infantry. OK maybe that fits my schoolboy image of Strathcona Horse or the RCD in SouthAfrica and that of contemporary proponents of the mounted universal soldier but probably needs to be tempered a bit  on the wargames table as does the beau ideal of a mounted and dismounted version of every figure in a Boer or Metis wargame army.

While the mounted Oerberg units did not get a cavalry bonus in the last game, neither did they suffer any penalties and given the decision to remove unit formations and tactics from the player's control, the Faraway cavalry became the sort of all purpose heroes described above. I've decided that, since this is going to be my main focus for a while, I need to add a bit more depth to the unit types and their strengths and weaknesses, hopefully without adding real complexity.

I started by laying out four broad types of mounted soldier.

Traditional cavalry who are really only effective mounted even if they are equipped to fight dismounted.

Modern cavalry whose main tactic in theory may be the mounted charge but who can and do operate effectively dismounted. They typically use horseholders which allows them to mount and dismount quickly but which reduces the number of men in the firing line.

Improvised mounted infantry mounted on nags, ponies, mules etc for operational and strategic moves, a little  slower than cavalry and not capable of effective mounted combat. Horses are picketed in the rear. I'm struggling to think of cases of such troops remounting in the middle of a battle.

Mounted Rifles who are well mounted and as fast as cavalry but not equipped or trained for mounted combat although known to make the occasional mounted charge when the situation called for it.  Irregulars normally tethered their horses to the rear before dismounting and thus had their full strength in the fighting line but took longer to dismount and come into action. I'm not sure if any regular mounted infantry used cavalry style horseholders or if they also relied on tethering and guards.

 Steele's Scouts and North West Mounted Police in dismounted action against the Cree at Loon Lake in 1885. Its a Litho from a newspaper so obviously very accurate but where are the horses? Tethered or with horseholders? I'll have to reread Sam Steele's account.

A wargame of the sort I have been developing is about history but it is also about the game and a bit of theater. I need my unit types to look and feel different for color but also I need players to have a reason to use one vs another.

Its no surprise that I don't  want to duplicate every Oerberg and Faraway cavalry and mounted infantry unit including riderless horses for all. I did briefly consider the mixed unit idea for mounted infantry with 1 mounted and 2 dismounted figures but not only would they look odd manning trenches, it would encourage an approach in which they could always make a mounted move.

Here's what I'm thinking at the moment.

For the sort of mounted infantry that don't usually remount until  its time to go home, I will assume that they have dismounted off table and tethered the horses there under guard. To reflect their vulnerability to a threat to their mounts I might put a marker on the table edge for each brigade, a group of riderless horses or similar. If captured by the enemy it will count as as unit  loss for brigade morale. Any additional movement will be for campaign games and off table map moves.

For regular cavalry which can fight effectively on foot, they may only mount or dismount at the beginning of a move and always use the cavalry terrain penalties since the horse holders go everywhere with them. They will also suffer some sort of combat penalty when dismounted to reflect that 1/3 their numbers are horse holders. Only one of my units has dismounted stands including horseholders and I doubt I will do more, sticking with a dismounted marker figure instead. Regular mounted infantry using horseholders will be treated the same way but generally with rifles instead of carbines and no charge bonus.

Lastly there are the mounted rifles who may also pop off and on their horses during the game but without horseholders. The best option appears to be a stationary horse marker and duplicate mounted and dismounted stands but there shouldn't be too many of these. There will be a movement penalty  for dismounting or mounting and the horses will be immobile but once dismounted the unit becomes ordinary infantry. In order to remount, they must return to the area containing their horses. If these are capured it will count against brigade morale.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Long Li takes the field.

Today was Canada Day, 148 years since Confederation.
 So did I do something patriotic? or did I paint toy soldiers representing a fictional army? 


 An Oerberg Garrison Gunner aims Long Li (Lee)
 Not everyone is aware that shortly before Faraway began to take an interest in Oerberg a prospector struck the richest vein of gold in Atlantican history. Initial evidence suggested that it was even bigger than the Featherstone Mountain find  that sparked the 1st Origawn War (see header photo and Blastoff Ridge page).

The gold is what has allowed Oerberg to arm and organize to resist foreign intervention but gold isn't diamonds so instead of buying the latest artillery from France and Germany they've had to rely on old equipment and cheap copies from Hong Kong. Long Li is one of these,  a somewhat smaller heavy gun inspired by the famed Creusot Long Tom but assembled in Hong Kong largely using parts obtained from famed international arms dealer, Louis Marx.

The only regular, trained and uniformed troops in Oerberg are the Mounted Police and Fortress Garrisons. After various trials of grey, tan and brown uniforms the latter was selected. The tender called for a warm yellowish brown colour obtained from local vegetable dyes but despite periodic inspections during manufacture, once delivered, the uniforms turned out to be the slightly darker, drab shade seen in the photo. There was talk of replacing the uniforms but it was decided that it would be wasteful and that the colour was sufficiently pleasing to the eye and certainly less conspicuous in the field than the red coats worn by the Queen's troops. The collar and trouser stripes indicate the arm of service. Yellow for mounted police,  red for artillery, light blue for infantry.