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.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

And we're back

Here we are back in 1890somethingish ready to open up with the 4.7" on a slightly different enemy..

Felt too crappy again today to do anything physical but I did review the successful  July 1812 mini-game, reread my spring thoughts on game design and think back on  the August 54mm games and reread my current rules intro about many things assumed to be controlled by subordinates and thus not presented for the player to make decisions on.  Then I sat down and worked on consistent Square Brigadier variants for the 2 periods: an early, close order, musket period game and a later breechloader/magazine rifle, open order variant.

Here are links to the refurbished rules.

The Defended Border (aka The Square Brigadier in the War of 1812.) This will be quite a small collection designed as a portable game suitable to be hauled out to the yard to play on the picnic table or as fodder for a One Hour Wargame. To that end each side will have a choice of a maximum of 12 units. For now I will leave a few of the British 1837 figures but the goal is to replace them with proper 1812 ones.

The Tin Army in the Great Little War. (aka The Square Brigadier in the Age of Rifles).  I will use these for the Atlantican Little Wars Red vs Blue games, the Oerberg Colonial games, the early Great War and the 54mm Northwest games. I will rely on different force and weapons composition and different terrain and scenarios  to give each of the sub collections a reason to exist since they already do. ( The real reason just being that I wanted to paint them at the time) Not all the needed unit and weapon types are dealt with yet.

The 1860's in 40mm have been cancelled once again and existing units for the period brought forward to the 1890's or pushed back to the 1830's/40's.. I'm somewhat annoyed that, from my habit of studying the Fenian Raids, I did my new Canadian figures in Fenian Raid style forage caps instead of Riel Rebellion Glengarries or Boer War slouch hats as originally envisaged but they'll wear almost anything in Atlantica in the 1890's   and who knows, I might do a mini Fenian Raid game-in-a-box yet.

The game reset with 4 figure companies of infantry in open order. 3 to 4  companies + a Commander to a Battalion.

The biggest change is that I am going to give up my combined initiative/chance/turn counter card deck and go back to rolling for orders.  It does seem to make for a more engaging, challenging "game" and gives at least as "realistic" game without the need to fall back on chance cards and artificial mechanisms to freeze some units.

I have also decided to ditch the various rules for reducing or recovering hits for an increased capacity for taking them. This is partly because they don't often have the sort of tactical effect I was hoping for, partly because I'm less sure what I was trying for is as right as I thought and partly because they would have been one of those subordinates' concerns anyway.

Game report to follow once the game has been played.


  1. Hope you are feeling better soon and I look forward to the game report.

  2. Ross Mac,

    It sounds as if you are at the stage of getting things right for you, and I must admit that your arguments for doing what you are going to do make a lot of sense. I hope that you are feeling better soon, and can test out your new rules ASAP.

    All the best,


    1. Thanks Bob, not so much new rules but a reversion to an earlier version but it feels like things are coming together.

  3. I "third" the above sentiments for your return to good health. Many thanks for sharing the thoughts behind the development of your various gaming styles and periods. While it is annoying to have uniforms or weapons slightly out of period, just remember that these are simply play tokens and - if you hadn't told us - probably none of us would know the difference.

    1. It seems the just toy soldiers approach hasn't taken as deep a root as intended.

  4. Ross,
    Hope your feeling better and on top of your health and can soon get back to normality of enjoying household chores and playing with Soldiers at Battle games. Regards. KEV.

  5. Do shake your bug soon. I rather like the idea that in Atlantica anything goes, including, one hopes, bearskins.

    1. The odds of bearskins and kilts reappearing in Atlantica took a nose dive when I revived my 54's and realized that there is very little wiggle room for new 40mm units. The OB's are nearly full for everything.