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

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Garden Encounter 1814

The plan for today did not actually including cutting two dozen bases, re-basing 150 or so figures and playing an outside One Hour Wargame scenario using The Square Brigadier.  That's what happened though.
The New York Dragoons get cocky and are repulsed but the 104th Foot are doomed anyway.
It was such a perfect summer's day that I decided to take the day off house and garden chores. Somehow that ended up with me, an offcut of 1/4" board from a previous reduction in my wargame table and my bandsaw. In no time at all I had a stack of bases already painted green. Since the 1812 figures had only been lightly tacked on temporary bases it took no time at all to pop them off and re glue them in their original 8 man companies. I touched up the edges and decided that flocking could wait.

So there I was with the 20 odd stands needed for Crysler's farm and beautiful sunshine streaming in through the window. I didn't really feel like another refight of Crysler's so decided to grab One Hour Wargames and move the Square Brigadier outside. I intended to still use the 10x12 as close to Thomas's 3ftx3ft  table if considering each square equivalent to 3" allowimng me to field 2 stands per scenario unit but saw my 9x9 travelling mat and decided to grab it and use 1 base per unit just to see if that would work.
The setting: my shady corner between the woodpile and the Lilacs (and other assorted bushes).
Not terribly good lighting for photos at 6 in the evening.
Th scenario was an advance guard clash over a hill in the middle of the table. One unit per side on table and the rest dicing for arrival. Since it was supposed to be Canada in 1814 I added a strip of woods along one edge and assumed an off table river on the other. Rolling for the armies gave me:
Americans: 4 infantry, 1 riflemen, 1 cavalry. British: 4 infantry, 1 light infantry, 1 artillery.

The game started off with the advantage swinging back and forth but slowly started to swing towards the British and then suddenly the American line collapsed.

To my surprise the game went 12 out of 15 turns and lasted 1/2 hour excluding set up and take down. Using the larger board with 12 stands instead of 6 would probably have given a full hour of play but for a quickie it was just fine as it was.
As dusk sets in (OK I'm shading the table with my body) the American forces rout leaving the British in possession of the hill.
In summary: Bases: Check, Rules: Check, Grid: Check, Ability to handle scenarios: Check.
All systems go!

The rules as played are available here (click)

For those with an interest in history, this game is a direct descendent of this 2011 portable 1812 wargame (click) using my adaptation (click) of Bob Cordery's portable wagame.


  1. Garden, sun...and beautiful troops, what can we ask more?

  2. Ross Mac,

    What a great way to spend a summer's day! We are currently experiencing somewhat hotter than normal weather in the UK, and as our house's garden and patio face west, it is too hot out there to sit and read, let alone wargame!

    All the best,


    1. Its been quite hot here too. Several days over 30C with high humidity giving a 39C equivalent. But Tuesday was comfortable.

  3. That looks frightfully outdoorsy - I think I might have to reach for the medicinal gin and tonic under such circumstances.

    Though, suitably fortified, it looks like an idyllic way to spend an afternoon.

    1. The outside is never far away here. Even the inside is quite outdoorsey at times.

  4. Who knows Ross? You might just get those troops on the grass yet!

    1. Only if someone comes and makes a level grassy spot bigger than my picnic table!

      Mind you there are a few areas which have made me think of a Colonial setup with broken ground with steep hills surrounded by patches of jungle and desert. Don't have enough suitable troops at the moment though.