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.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Oh! Is that the time?

5 days since the last post? What on earth have I been doing all week?

Little of interest really with not much hobby time, just a bit of tine for sporadic bursts thinking and rethinking or typing and retyping while doing other things like sitting with bored, snowed in hounds.  A friend made a comment on an online forum which has finally jolted me out of my "its not Kreigsiel BUT.." mode, for a while at least so I've been poking about with older versions of The Sq Brig and Tin army as well as trying to line up what I should paint next when I found time.

Naturally, everything that is needed fairly urgently to complete anything needs either casting or conversion or both but I had made a small start when the prospect arose of an imminent opportunity to get my musket era lads on table.  The ones I was going to leave till  spring. So that's what I've been doing all weekend. Finishing the transformation of the Musket era lads from 4 different Red and Blue armies originally designed around units of 24 infantry, 2 guns or 10 cavalry to units that will fit a 9cm grid.

The guns were easy, each gun and crew is a unit but a few crews needed some uniform updates to conform. The infantry easily fit 12 figures to a square, 2 45mm bases each holding 6 figures (having serenditpitously bought just such bases several years ago). The cavalry are turning out to be a pain because the biggest unit of galloping cavalry that I can squeeze into a square is a single rank of 4 tightly packed figures on 45x60mm bases so cavalry will be in 4 man squadrons again, once I make more bases. For some reason I have only found a handful of these particular bases, just to enough to prove that I did by a bag once.

I won't bother with blurry, dimly lit pictures for now but pass on to an issue that I've been struggling with,  a direct outcome of my decision to cut down the table size. Its a decision to return to Konigkrieg/WRG style 12 man units after years of larger units. The small units don't have the look of larger units but it works from a gaming POV since I can shrink the ground scale and field more units on the same table as opposed to being confined to skirmishes between opposing brigades or going the Grant route of fielding a battalion per brigade without changing ranges.

Its a choice and it needs more testing to reassure me but it will allow me to fight battles the size of Lundy's Lane or Palo Alto or even midnight Moodkee reasonably to scale with the right nuber of units.


  1. Ross Mac,

    When I re-fought the 'Attack on Morobad' I used 12-figure infantry units ... and afterwards I realised how much better 1 x 12-figure unit of 4 bases looked than 4 x 3-figure units looked on the table.

    Until recently I have been wedded to the 1 base = 1 unit concept for most of my wargame designs ... but I am beginning to re-think matters, especially with regard to my 15mm-scale Colonial collection.

    All the best,


    1. It is a poser Bob. It comes down to the choice of table size, figure size, game size and level of action.

      I'm quite happy with 3 or 4 figure "company" tactical units for the late 19th/early 20thC but apart from skirmishes the earlier 19thC seems to call for battalion units.

      I was quite happy with 5" squares holding a 16 figure battalion of 40mm soldiers but there just weren't enough squares to satisfy me. As my old Prof. would say "You pays your money and takes your pick".

  2. Hi Ross,

    Have you given any thought to doing 20 mm figures as a compromise? The fact is that you could double the number of figures on a base easily and your bases would look more like platoons or companies.

    One thing which is interesting is that in the first part of the nineteenth century up to about 1860 many of your battles could be fought with small numbers of units/figures. You mentioned Palo Alto. But that would also be true of just about every battle in that unfortunate misunderstanding called the War of 1812, the Mexican American War, the war against the Tripoli Pirates, and many American battles against the Native Americans.

    But whatever you do, you seem to be having a lot of fun. And that's enough for me to say "Good on you!"


    1. Thanks Jerry. There are days when the thought occurs to me that a smarter, less stubborn person might have been better off keeping is 20mm AWI and his various 15mm armies but to be honest that is really about a reason to keep casting and painting shiny toy soldiers. (And a mental challenge) I do still have my 20mm ACW as a active interest though so that option remains.

      There are also lots of good small actions in India in the 40's & 50's so lots to draw on for inspiration.

  3. Robert PiepenbrinkJanuary 20, 2016 at 7:11 PM

    I admire the resolution--and the activity. But I missed something. How many 9cm squares make up the table? Here in English Measure land, I just finished my 4' square indoor (read: "too cold to play in the garage") table--T-49 green on one side, tan craft shop felt on the other, and fits in a closet in event of company.
    As regards scales and basing, I seem to be moving in two directions--toward individually-mounted 28mm on one end and 15mm multiple-figure stands on the other. The 28mm are right for hostage rescue, liberating supplies and such, while the hordes of 15mm make a more credible formal battle. Means two sets of trees and buildings, though.

    1. 50 years after metric was made the law, I still don't manage it all easily. Thats 12 squares by 15 or about the same area as a 4x4 if you squished it a bit to make 2 sides longer.

      I've never been able to get into real skirmish stuff, esp solo but do have my Prince Valiant Elastolins to provide that role. Multiple terrain is an issue.