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

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Veterans in Action

Earlier this week I made the trip due south to the Atlantic coast at St. Margaret's Bay  for two days of jawing and gaming (etc...) with Rob (Captain's Bog) and Paul, two friends I first met and gamed with on my 3 month posting to HMCS Ottawa in 1977.

It seemed only right that I bring along my 20mm ACW since Rob was the friend who had passed me the accumulated hoard of ACW figures by several anonymous Halifax gamers which had been passed around in search of a home for who knows how long.

The rules were a quickly drawn up non-gridded version of the last gridded ACW game I played. There were a few oopsies where I had missed something but over all I think it worked. A nice hexmat would have been good though.

The scenario was  .....'inspired by'.. or perhaps "a rough translation of" the Bridgehead Breakout from CS Grant's Scenarios for Wargames, using what I had to hand in my travel kit.  By a non-coincidence, I have vague recollections of a multi-player 15mm original F&F  version of the game at a Game Day at Dalhousie back in the early 90's which featured my and Rob's Confederates against Ron's Yankees (I think Doug Burrell and possibly others contributed troops as well, it was over 25 years ago!).

The game begins with Rob launching a quick and unreasonably  successful attack on a stone wall which had marked the Yankee front line.
With Rob in command of the Rebs, Paul was conscripted as Yankee commander while I, as playing GM, took one of 4 Yankee brigades (That's me with the Zouaves comin' o'er the bridge )

With all that settled the fighting began.

Paul getting to grips with the measuring baton. 

Paul and I had a rough plan, Rob it would appear had a better one. In addition, the old Maxim held true that fortune favoured the bold. His weak left flank quickly attacked and hemmed in the right hand Yankee bridgehead. It took us the whole game to recover our start line.

Charge after charge was thrown back by the Rebs but at last we managed to get enough troops over the bridge to drive off his cavalry wing, flank the infantry at the wall and slowly force them back.
On the other flank Paul put up a stubborn fight but a grand battery on a hill managed to blow huge holes in the Blue line as a grey tide surged forward once and again, and again, until, after a desperate struggle, that bridgehead was crushed.

Even Cesar's Zouaves were unable to take the wall after two bloody charges. At this point, my own personal figured had been lying wounded at the foot of the wall for some hours!

By the very strictest letter of the victory condition we could have argued for a draw since we still held a portion of the bridgehead but since we had failed to take any of the high ground, had lost 1/2 of the bridgehead and one of the bridges and had suffered heavier losses, we readily awarded a victory to Rob.

It was time for supper and a switch from wargaming as Paul's wife joined us so I will end here and leave the Portable Russian Civil Wargame for the next post.


  1. This are some veteran warriors. Table looks great!

    1. That sheet'll be 20 years old in 6 months. How does that happen?

  2. Really a great looking game Ross!
    As you know this terrain cloth is my favorite. Thank you for giving my little men the chance to play on it. Somehow (very strange, I admit) I feel that I am with them every time you put them on the table. It's a nice feeling, even when, as in this case, things do not go well.

    1. Cesar, not strange, to me also, you are there with them.

  3. Great that you have kept in contact!

    1. I have to be poked to get me out of my hole now and then but yes its good to have friends who have known you for years and are still friends!

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Jeff, if we'd had a plan or schedule, I'd have extended an invite. Paul's going to try to get to more games now that he's figured out that he can come across on the 12.

  5. Excellent stuff! I especially like the terrain mat.

    1. I made it for Cold Wars 1998, last public outing was Huzzah 2013! Fabric and and paint. Been touched up once or twice but its like a comfortable old shoe.

  6. A nice looking game but how annoying of the Rebs to interfere with your battle plan!

  7. "Two days of jawing and gaming" with old friends and classic figures. A vicarious pleasure to follow along (and an encouragement to make more time to do the same).

  8. Ross Mac,

    The old Airfix ACW figures were amongst my favourites. A good selection of poses, easy to paint, and useable for both side ... and for many other nations as well.

    All the best,