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, June 3, 2017

Imagineering is hard work

A rainy Saturday? Perfect. Time to let MacDuff out for some exercise, just have to pick a scenario and grab some units. Now, no more Acadia, this will be using my Rosmark troops against...ahh.....hmmmm..uhhh...oh. The planning hasn't got that far yet. Hmmm.

After rejecting various scenarios and since I was tired and fuzzy headed, I decided to nip out to the shed to cast up some of the new PA French and then do some painting instead of playing a game. Once I had enough figures for two MacDuff companies, I started thinking about uniform colours, choice of hat styles and campaign factions. Which side are these going to be on now? Will they be regulars or militia?

Bright Harbour on a June Afternoon.
(What is up with this f@$#@Samsung? I may have to try to teach myself how to use the manual camera settings on it.

Wargaming in a known setting is so easy. You've got a selection of units from known opponents,  just plunk 'em down and this little skirmish won't affect known history. But with a not yet defined campaign where you're not even sure who is fighting who let alone what their uniforms are, well that's a different matter. Every skirmish and battle to date has affected and shaped how the backstory has developed and its all on record and so will all future battles.

Some days it does seem as if I like to make life difficult for myself. Keeps it interesting though.

After a considerable period of pondering uniform colours and hat and coat styles as well as my stock of moulds and planned, possible future purchases, I decided this all needed more thought and planning.

So far, all the Rosmark Wars of Succession games have been fought using my normal Rosmark units on both sides. Going ahead I would like to develop a distinct style for each opposing faction without negating any of the reported facts to date if possible.

There are three possibilities that I am considering:

a) Have all native troops on both sides continue to use French styles with mercenaries and allies in foreign styles and with a mix of coat colours on both sides.

b) Reconcile the Maritime Duchies with Rosmark and invent a new enemy in distinct uniforms.

c) Return all the original Rosmark (French) units to the King leaving only the 2 units of brown coated militia which used the old PA Rossbach generic musketeer figures with open coat and some cavalry and gunners, then add new Maritime Provinces units from new Austrian and Prussian moulds reinforced by British should they appear.

So I turned back to the table and started pushing terrain and ideas around until....

Pandours! Sound the alarm!

Somewhere East of the great Hye Mountains, a detachment of the mercenary Irish Regiment, still in the pay of the Maritime Provinces, form the garrison of a fort guarding a Maritime Province trading post.

All is quiet until a column of the King's Pandours appears from the road running West through the mountain passes to Rosmark. Rosmark is at peace, what does this mean?

The long roll sounds and the garrison turns to.  


  1. Dear Ross, you have an ability to generate wargame scenarios, truly admirable. Also, from what I can see in the photos, a large and impressive collection. Greetings from the far south, Carlos

    1. Gracias Carlos, but the game has not yet been played so it remains to be seen if it is a good scenario or not.

    2. Yes, I understand that, what amazes me is your ability to conceive and constantly plan new games and of course, also to perform them. Carlos

  2. Anyone who comes up with the geographical feature 'the great Hye Mountains' will never be at a loss for imagineering. I wish I'd come up with that one! For the rest, your games -the very appearance of your war games table and its woods, hills and towns, are strongly evocative of place - wherever that place is.

    1. I thought it might be a bit weak but its going on the map.

      Possibly the place my table evokes is my wargames table, it seems to have acquired its own character and several attempts on my part to change that have failed miserably.

  3. Ross,
    Yes- you are right- it takes considerable more effort, time and thought and imagination to generate fictional regiments and armies than to do plain out Historicals which is altogether an easier affair. Long live Imagination! Cheers. KEV.

  4. What a splendid table Ross, looks awesome!

  5. I agree Ross, that in some ways Imagi-Nations are hard(er) work in some ways.
    No painting guides, no Bolt Action convenience / made easy books to guarantee gaming opponents.
    However it is also liberating to play around with colours, troop types etc, geographies and scenarios and rules. I am finding it hard to work out the troop types, maps and uniforms that were involved in the Bronte juvenile Imagi-Nations of Angria and Gondal but also an interesting challenge - and in a way you cannot be too far wrong either as there is almost no right answer. No body can tell you that uniform facings or number of buttons etc are wrong ...
    Imagi-Nations gaming opens up the What If? Alternative history ... what if an invasion of a Britain like country in the style if Operation Sealion had happened in 1940 or in Napoleonic times in 1805 etc?
    Ethically it also seems easier as well, having read so much about what really happened at the sharp end of battle, a fictional Imagi-Nation suits the Game nature of our hobby.
    Your tabletop looks as inspiring as ever!

    1. I so agree re the table,unique and great fun. Re imagineering I enjoy thinking about ideas on the way to work and sometimes in the garden.lt can be pleasantly diverting when there is little time or inclination for a game.

  6. Are my countrymen making trouble again?

  7. I always enjoy seeing photos your table set-ups, Ross! Especially with those glorious troop-filled shelves in the background! A Wargames Heaven!

    1. Well a heaven might include an on-call live opponent and a cleaning staff!

  8. That does look inspiring. I need to clear the space to leave a solo game set up for a while, but it's likely to be 3x3 rather than something larger, so a smaller scale skirmish...

    1. I am having trouble adjusting. I may have to go down to a 4x4 and I could have fit this scenario on that by trimming the ends but with anything bigger than 1/72nd on a 15mm frontage, the ground scales are whacked with the more efficacious unit sizes. I'm doing my best to tie my "don't worry, play with toy soldiers" hat firmly to my head.

  9. OOoooh! Just look at those shelves of figures in the background! Could we get a closer look? Oh, as for choice - go for militia, they have a certain something about them.