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

Saturday, July 2, 2016

More MacDuff

There hasn't been much time for gaming but its past time for my Canada Day post to be replaced so here's a quick post.

Somewhere in Atlantica c1859.
I decided to try out the muzzleloading rifle era but just trying to arrange the armies was enough to make me lost and confused. Eventually I got it, I'm so used to thinking about battles with battalion sized units for this period that I couldn't quite get my head around what the game represented. Had to break out "The Last Invasion of Canada" and think about a few Indian Mutiny memoirs to get straightened out. Luckily it seems like  my existing 12 man battalions will work fine for game "companies" (1/4 of a battalion really at 1:10 ish  ). Back to where this all started 20 years ago, but better.

Skirmishers in front, formed companies in support.

At some point earlier this century I lost the thread and started thinking about battalions and battles and smaller tables and armies and that's where I took a wrong turn and put MacDuff and HofT on the same track making a small battle like Crysler’s Farm into a small quick affair and making even smaller affairs, like those that made up 90% of War of 1812 actions, too small to be worth gaming. That conundrum led me to park it all till I figured which way I wanted to go with the motley 1812 to 1859 collection. Got it figured out now and while I have enough to play with already, there is  room to grow larger armies for 4x7 battles. Probably in one period only and most likely the long delayed fictional hot weather Colonial campaign as a change.

OK I won't need that big a home table again but the expansion will bring me up to 1/2 that which will be plenty.  
I also finally found where the Huzzah 2014 pictures were stashed and finally grabbed a photo editing app for my chromebook. Things are rolling!

Oh yeah! The game was good. Same test scenario. It looked like Faraway was going to walk a way with it but in the end it was a hard won victory.


  1. 12 man companies seems like a good base on which to scale up or down your actions. With the War of 1812 actions, though a battle like Lundy's Lane reads like a big battle, it was at best a large brigade on each side, or at least, that's my sense of it.

    1. Exactly. 3 small brigades aside organisationally but numerically 2 very large European Brigades. Not Gettysburg or Waterloo by any means. My original idea was to have small raids and actions as a standard small game with the larger "battles" being played at the same scale and thus feeling big in comparison.

  2. Judging from the photograph, it looks like all ages took an interest. Maybe worries about the so called 'graying of the hobby' and 'bringing in new blood' are premature?

    Best Regards,


    1. I think the greying concerns are partly because so many of the newer generations are having "fun the wrong way" and partly that 40 years ago there were very few wargaming veterans so 90% of the hobby was young.

  3. Like the photos Ross- certainly feel that in reference to younger gamers- I think that a good deal of 'would-be' gamers are fully engrossed with Computer Games and possibly will never pick up the modellers brush...it is altogether a much different world today than it was 40 to 50 years ago...I can recall visiting our local bicycle- hobby shop in the 1960s- Mr Barnes was the owner- for a packet of plastic AIRFIX OO/HO- ACW- Union Infantry...what a Buzz! It was all a simple pleasure - and apart from enjoying the figures- I appreciated the fact that someone could make such fine miniature soldiers- with such detail...this is where I started with my 30cents. Regards. KEV.

  4. Kev, there's lots of younguns painting and modelling, there's just more fantasy and sci-fi than there was.