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

Friday, March 2, 2018


Its March! Barely 10 weeks to get the Great Shiny Wargame ready for Huzzah. To get my mind back on track I decided to play a 1914 game.

German Ulans and Hussars scout the British Positions. 
Since I didn't want to either reset the table or replay Sawmill Village I tweaked the terrain slightly and played an attack from the march scenario.

The Allies began with 6 companies of Ango-Indian infantry (1 mg) supported by an 18 pounder battery. On their way were 3 squadrons of cavalry, a cavalry MG and an armoured car.

The Germans marched on with 3 cavalry squadrons and a Jaeger battalion of 4 companies (1 mg). They were followed by 2 similar infantry battalions and 2 batteries, one field gun, one howitzer.

Victory  would go to who ever controlled the village at the end of 15 turns.
The streets are barricaded, the enemy have been spotted. Where are the reinforcements??
Its been another busy week so the game was played in fits and starts.

Alas for the poor Germans, their Commander was very slow to come up with a plan and was caught off guard by an aggressive use of the armoured car to blunt and slow a flank attack on the town.

By the time the artillery had put an end to it, time was running out.
Around Turn 10. The British are near breaking but the town has yet to be seriously attacked and the French cavalry is at hand. 
A rush seemed suicidal so the Germans moved up their artillery and MG's and tried to blast the Indians out or at least weaken them so that a final rush might take the ground. It requires lucky dice to do serious damage to troops in cover but the Indians and 18pdr were in a lucky mood and out shot superior numbers of Germans firing from the shelter of hedges and ditches and lucked into a joker who sped the clock forward. By turn 14 it was obvious that  the Germans needed just a little more time and a few more men! 
Too little, too late. Many casualties later, the Indians are still clinging to the town while the German attack is spent.
Despite the disrupted nature of the game and several fine tunings of the support and morale rules, it was a very enjoyable game and it did what it was intended to do. Now I'm ready to get back to working on figures and then work on terrain.

I'd like to have an overall commander on each side with control of all of the artillery as well as a reserve although that sort of thing can be problematic with a group of random strangers. At any rate I want to provide a force equivalent to 2 battalions (8 "units" )to each player.

Time to get painting!


  1. That is the second report of a stalled German attack. Are you considering adding a German reinforcements or slowing the arrival of Allied reinforcements?

    1. It was actually a different, impromptu scenario. The Germans made a couple of bad decisions and were slow to react as well as unlucky at dice.

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  3. Very visually pleasing game. I particularly like the cavalry.

    1. Its their 3rd uniform in 10 years but I like the look.

  4. I think the fact that the game produced an engaging and coherent narrative bodes well—fine tuning from here: it certainly delivers on HG Wellesian charm appeal to the eye. Unless it’s a big game with lots if players on each side, it’s tough to come up with a convention game structure where one player takes the more indirect role of higher command running higher level assetts—I like the idea, but often find that in the end I wind up parsing that stuff out organic to the player commands.

    1. I agree. It can be a bit of a problem at a con.

      There are enough troops and space for 3 commands aside but of course I hate the idea of turning people away so went with my usual 8. Not that I fill all 8 spots most years. It has occurred to me though that the artillery should not be under direct control of the infantry battalions. Still considering the other options there.

  5. A good looking game as ever, Ross. As you say, sometimes it's just unlucky dice for one side. C'est la Guerre!

    1. Well luck played a small role, The commander (ie me) screwed up with not one but 3 bad decisions.

  6. Ross,
    This looks a neat game with plenty happening- an ideal candidate to take to Huzza.
    Cheers. KEV. ( It is 34deg C here...I imagine your 'Snow Bound'.).

    1. Not this yea. You might find the +7C cold but we are pretty much snow free, more than a month early!