Friday, March 4, 2016

Brave York Volunteers!

The apocryphal last words of General Brock at Queenston Heights would have been referring to militia from what is now Toronto and may not seem relevent but please bear with me.

As I set about the next company of Volunteers I was lamenting that the only way of distinguishing them was by using the 1861 pattern pointed cuffs vs the less common earlier 1856 pattern used by the Fort Henry Guard and my 1st two companies. Unfortunately, it seems that any Canadian infantry not dressed as Rifles were assigned blue facings. Luckily, in those pre-confederation days, the three Maritime colonies had their own governemnts and militia and the New Brunswick county regiments used different facings for each battalion as well as having volunteer rifles in light grey, as did Nova Scotia.

#1 company of the York Light infantry.
 According to David Facey-Crowther's book on the subject, the 3rd battalion, York County Militia, aka York Light Infantry,  wore yellow facings. Yellow is good. They also had an African Canadian company for a while, these were probably pioneers. I already have a company of black pioneers from Canada but I'd be happy to issue rifles to them and send them in with the rest. Lastly, as far as I can figure, the area near Fredericton where my brother built his house in '79, across the river from King's Landing  (the recreated history site not the GofT place, looks a lot like Faraway) and where my neice now has an old farm, would have been in its recruiting area. Close enough for me. Faraway now has York Volunteers of its own.

Steps along the way, L to R, nekked master dolly (2005)  used for various other figures, Canadian militia master (2013) modification of one of the 1840's figures based on the dolly, new casting (2016).
The wheels grind slowly.

  I was going to write something about the rules but find that I have nothing much to say!  I might again note that transforming notes from a successful test game into a coherent, intelligible quick reference is one of the areas where I am all too liable to go astray. At the end of the day, the last game was played with something so close to the pre-Great War Diversion version of the Square Brigadier as used in 2014 for the Nine Years War and 54mm Cut Knife Creek games, that there is no need for a new name or explanation of new features, just a replacement of the accidently purged rules. I am making the draft quick reference available for the curious but it is not yet complete or thoroughly proofread. The 5 page version that explains things is no where near ready and probably won't be until after 5 or 6 more games have been played.

Coming up next

Already in progress are the last 6 York Volunteers and an 1860's General.  He's in full dress Toy Soldier style inc cocked hat rather than the more realistic campaign dress but at least I'm not going with the jackbooted Field Marshall with foot wide handlebar caricature that commanded in the page of Little Wars.  I was tempted. 

After that, its time for a change. I might go with NQSYW for which I have 2 1/2 finished units and  more molds en route. At least playing Charge! would avoid rules fiddling.  or the 16thC which doesn't get out much or the Elastolins. 

And I'm just beginning to plan for the 2nd PBEM game.  1/72nd ACW? 40mm Atlantica? .....hmmm 


  1. Those chaps look excellent - getting the right yeomanry uniform is an art of itself. I lookforward to the next game.

    1. Now that I'm settling back in I may get to some of the more esoteric ones. Some of those volunteers had Wonderful imaginations, both sides of the water and both sides of the borders.