Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Musings and a story in pictures;

One of my current aims is to have each of my collections provide a different sort of gaming experience. This is a relatively new aim for me and sometimes I have to remind myself.
The left hand Canadian column consisting of 4 companies of Highlanders supported by a gun were soon over the ford and hot on the tails of the Fenians but on the right, The Victoria Rifles, GG Foot Guards and 2 companies of elite Scots Guards supported by a troop of Hussars and the GG Bodyguard were stalled as the 19th Ohio (Irish Republican Volunteers) threw back attack after attack.

In younger days I dreamt of having a relatively constant ground and figure scale across periods and sizes of battles so one could see the difference in army size and deployment and weapon ranges. Not really practical for most of us but I still like the idea of small battles making smaller games with ground scale being constant-ish across periods though not necessarily figure scales.

On the left, the Buffalo Regiment, ensconced in a wood, are now holding up the advance of the Highlanders but at last, at great cost, the Scots Guards have cleared the way for the right hand column. 
My original plan was to use the same square grid rules I've been using for my 40mm late 19th/20thC Atlantica games but not only did it not feel different but they didn't 'feel' quite right.  Something about the figures and the background called out for something different.

I started by looking at more detail as befitting a lower level of action but that wasn't it. Eventually I realized that the big shiny toys, while happy on the grid, just wanted something with a more traditional wargaming 'feel' (what ever that is). After various mid-game changes and experiments (and a narrow, unrecorded Fenian victory) I decided to do a new set of rules from scratch and replay the scenario.

So, this game was played with a hasty hash of some old ideas experimented with last year and the year before and some of my usual things. 
As the sun sinks the battered Anglo-Canadian force closes in on the Fenian position. If the Fenians can hold the mouth of the pass till nightfall, they will be able to slip through and regroup and the campaign will go on.
I also decided that since I was planning to have all units on a hex grid face the angles thus having 2 front hexes, 2 rear and 2 flank, that I should stick with that and have units face the junction of 2 adjacent squares. (When ever I remembered!)

Since incomplete re-basing led to many single figures, the temptation  to remove figures and reduce unit's combat effectiveness with each hit was VERY strong but the historical casualty levels were so low that I forced myself to resist. Once I get the basing finished it'll be easier.

It all worked well but given the low level of the action and the visual impact I think I'm going to lengthen the ranges and give it all another good going over now that I think I understand the sort of thing I'm looking for, and maybe test some of the alternative proposals a bit more. 

On turn 14 Red pondered whether to pour in one more turn of artillery or rifle fire or go for it with the bayonet. The bayonet it was and the move was rewarded by handfuls of 5.6's. A pursuit by the Hussars routed the last remnant and the hill was secured. Out of curiosity I flipped the last card: Joker! - there was no turn 15, hesitation would have meant defeat! (phew!)
It also occured to me that I should play some more full table games or I might end up reducing my table to 4' x 4' and using the extra floor space for something else!


  1. Looks like it was an exciting game that when down to the wire. So the hasty rules survived their first outing with some modifications.

    1. That was my first impression but apparently the 'discussion' is still ongoing.

  2. I like that amid the musings a splendid wargame is being fought.

  3. Replies
    1. I started teaching myself to Solo game in 2009 and these days they constitute about 80% of my games.

      When I saw your blogpost on trying solo I was going to make a comment offering to share my experience.views but while pondering how to not come across as a smug know-it-all old git, I forgot all about it.

      If you want to discuss solo gaming or otherstuff drop me an "old-fashioned" email at or look up Ross Macfarlane on facebook.

  4. Replies
    1. Too bloody but the Illustrated News would have loved it.

  5. A very 'Wellsian' looking combat above, Ross. Just the thing this morning. The concept of period 'feel' is an interesting one and worthy of further exploration and discussion in the hobby press I think.

    Best Regards,