Saturday, June 30, 2018

The Origawn Rebellion: Origins

I've started digging back into this period in Faraway's History.
Part of the garrison of Fort Henry falls in for inspection before heading out on patrol.

With the end of the Faraway and Oberhilse Origawn War in 1848, the territory was split as marked by the eastern most red hash lines on the following map. The area to the east belongs to the small Republic of Hougal while that to the south belongs to Oberhilse. 

During the twenty years that followed the wars, settlers pushed across into thinly populated area from all sides. Settlers from Faraway tended to push up the west coast into the native lands or up the Grand River towards Port Arthur on Grand Lake from whence an active trade in furs and the like with the natives on the plains and on the farside of the mountains as well as being the easiest way to move goods from Origawn to Faraway's seaports. 
A map of the northern frontier of Faraway.
By 1865, settlers in the eastern and central portion of the Origawn were beginning to agitate for self rule. In the North West, discontent was increasing caused by increased pressure on the native tribes in the remaining "tribal lands" (as Faraway referred to them) and challenges to the land rights of the mixed race population along the Dhearg River which were traditional by occupation rather than deeded. Fort Henry was established along the frontier to keep an eye on things but it was left to the Governor and a small constulary to keep the Origawn in order. 

In June a self proclaimed Origawn Congress was called and after a week of tumulteous meetings, a new Republic was proclaimed, the Origawn Free State. An immediate call was put out for volunteers  and hundreds responded, many of them having seen service under the red and white banner of Oberhilse or during the Blue River Rebellion. 

Her Majesty's Government had no choice but to call out the Militia and Volunteers and send the Household troops to the frontier.    

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

From the Archives: Rebel Island 2001, The First Faraway Wargame.

It was around 1995/96 that my friend Tom and I started wargaming with plastic 54mm figures. We started with the War of 1812, ACW and AWI then hooked my friends Ron and Jerry into 54mm WW2 and Punic Wars. By the end of the century I had started work on some Turks to fight my British in Egypt in 1809 and had indulged myself by buying some Britains recasts. I had intended them for the Indian Mutiny and Crimea but they ended up fighting Turks and NkuKhu warriors  in an imaginary Colonial setting, or else ACW armies which led me to the Fenian raids.

It did not take long to want a wider scope of action and under the influence of the Colonial Wars group (including a certain Bob Cordery), I decided to embark on a wider Imagi-nation adventure. For some reason Oberhilse and Faraway came to mind. I must have been watching my Sharpe VHS tapes too often!

Anyway, below is a report of the very first Faraway battle to hit my  tabletop. This was in 2001 on the occasion of a visit by my Virginian friends, the Daniels. This was in my old games room on my 6'x10' table and based on a CS Grant scenario from Scenarios for Wargames.

The report was first published on my old website: With MacDuff on the Web. I manged to rescue the text and some of the photos but have had to reformat and edit it for the blog so it looks a little different and is missing some pictures and some obsolete stats and so on, but the story and most of the pictures were saved to be shared again. The rules in use were With MacDuff to the Frontier which had variable length moves based on a die roll plus modifiers as well for Control Checks for units not within the command radius of a Commander.

These were early days, long before I discovered that the land was actually called Atlantica and this was just a reporter's story but it is the best reference of those times that I have and will be taken into account as I again search out and relive in 54mm the turbulent years starting in 1868 in Atlantica.


August 19 1861

Dundee Highlanders marching past Governor General and Lady Beaverbrook on their way to embark for Rebel Island.


OC: Brigadier Daniel Johns (John Daniels Jnr.)
2ic: Colonel H MacDuff (Ross Macfarlane)
British Units
11th Hussars
17th lancers
Scots Fusilier Guards
Grenadier Guards

Faraway Forces
New Dundee Highlanders
A and B co. Ft Henry Guards
Lawfordton University College Rifles
Naval brigade with field gun and rocket

Pandora leading her Volunteers into action on Bighil Heights.

The Fenians

OC:  General Jack Daniels (John Daniels )
McAlpine's Fusiliers
O'Reilly's Regiment
O'Carroll's Chasseurs
Harper's Battery
Farrel's Fenian Dragoons

Local Forces
Colonel "Annie" Pandora (Pandora Daniels )
New Waterford Volunteers
Tipperary Tigers

Rebel island as seen from a hot air balloon as the action begins.
The general layout of the island can be gathered from the accompanying photos.  The Redcoats had a choice of  3 beaches, one to the East, one to the Southwest, 1 right under the guns of Ft. Daniels. There were sufficient boats to land the troops in 5 waves,  the waves appearing every 4th turn.

Gen Jack Daniel's men were encamped in an earthwork on the Western end of the island, Pandora and her Volunteers in billets in New Waterford and the Tipperary Tigers billeted in Farmton in the south.

The game began with the Dragoons departing for their daily patrol of the island heading east from Fort Daniels through New Waterford, while the 1st wave came ashore at Souwest beach, hidden by a screen of trees and the lower slopes of  Bigill Heights.
The fight begins.
By the time the Dragoons stopped to chat with local inhabitants, frolicked on East Beach and finally topped the crest looking down onto Souwest beach, the first 3 waves of Red troops were ashore and running out of dead ground to hide in. At the same time as a courier was sent galloping back through Farmton and
over the saddle, sounding the alarm "The British are coming, The British are coming" (sad but true),  an alert sentry in Ft Daniel spotted the first company of Fort Henry Guards emerging from the woods and sounded the alarm.

Bluecoats spilled  from the fort forming a skirmish line along the creek and up into the hills while the gunners quickly (two 6's in a row for movement) wheeled the gun from its position overlooking North Beach to face the attackers.

Brigadier Littlejohn ordered the cavalry to sweep away the enemy skirmishers as the rattle of musketry disturbed the morning's peace. Hearing the bugles ring out from behind the musket smoke, the Fenian skirmish line fired one last hasty volley and scrambled back towards the fort or up the grassy slopes of Bighil Heights. Incredibly one of those bullets, flying high, reached back and plucked the unfortunate Brigadier Littlejohn from the saddle. As his aides gathered round the stricken general,  the 11th Hussars emerged through  the lingering smoke and seeing only the sharpshooters climbing the slopes, spurred
after them.

Despite the uneven, rabbit hole strewn hillside, the Hussars caught up with the fleeing Fenians and laid nearly 1/2 of them low in a running fight . Seeing Pandora and her Volunteers emerge from behind the crest to cover the sharpshooters, the Hussars spurred forward yet again but a burst of musketry from the volunteers and cannon fire from the fort tore into them  and sent the dazed remnants staggering back to the beach where they spent the rest of the day tending to wounded men and blown horses.

Desperate stand of local Fenian Volunteers.

As the hussars retreated, the 17th lancers spurred forward, but, falling foul of the rabbit holes, they too were gunned down , only Col. Flashinpan and 1 trooper making it back down the slopes to the beach where they hastily re-embarked.

As the cavalry charged to glory, MacDuff took  command as best  he could. The Naval Brigade was now up and he ordered them to bombard the fort  while a company of Scots Fusilier Guards moved up into line. After a sharp exchange of fire, the Fenian gunners were driven away from their guns and  the British infantry which had been standing under a peppering long range fire from the fort and from the slopes of Bighil Heights, prepared to advance.

On the right, a company of Fort Henry Guards reinforced by another of Grenadiers, was trading fire with the Tigers and dismounted Dragoons. Despite the steady conduct of both companies it was soon seen that standing in close order  trading fire with an equal number of  skirmishers was not going to win the day. (esp when rolling fistfuls of ones ) Beating up their men's muskets, the British officers ordered bayonets fixed and led them forward into a withering blast of musket fire which laid low the colour party and 1/2 of both companies. The red coated soldiers fell back, rallied and advanced into another furious hail of fire then broke and ran covered by a handful of Grenadiers.

The last wave of troops was not quite up yet and  the command was badly scattered with only 2 companies in the main battleline but with the enemy artillery silenced, it was now or never if an assault was going to go in.  Slowly the Red line moved forward under a hail of  rifle fire from the fort.

Then, suddenly,  a blaze of fire came from the flank where Pandora and her crack shot volunteers had crept forward along the slopes into close range. In an instant the British line was a bloody shambles  and reluctantly MacDuff ordered a retreat to the boats covered by the Dundee Highlanders and the boys of the College Rifles who had just arrived.

HMS Invisible  covers the retreat.

For a moment it looked like the Fenians would press their advantage but then like a deux-ex-machina, HMS Invisible appeared bristling with guns, and the Fenians crept back to cover. (Actually, it was deux-ex-machina, it was bad enough the British got drubbed in the opening battle (very traditional wot?) I wasn't about
to allow them to be annhilated !)

Billy Russell covers the retreat in a different manner.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

We've Got Too Many Men!

There's a cry you don't often hear from a General, especially not a Tabletop one. The more old toy soldiers I paint, the more I want to but I'm running low on space on table to deploy them!

Now, all the first hand accounts that I've read, as well as the training manuals, lead me to want to see a battle field that looks something like this:
“Battle of Limestone Ridge,” Fort Erie Local History,
But, if I could convince myself to use massed ranks of toy soldiers as in the following, better known but less realistic, illustration of Ridgeway, I could field at least double the numbers.
The Sage, Sons & Co. Lithographer - Library and Archives Canada

That was the plan first time around as we see here:

Ft Henry Guard in 1997/98, based for a low level ACW Volley & Bayonet variant.
It would make soooo much sense for a fictional game, twice the soldiers in the same space, massed battalions marching up and down the table......but its just not the right look and feel for this campaign and anyway, I have my 20mm ACW for that.

So, I turned my thoughts to With MacDuff to the Frontier, and to Featherstone and even to Howard Whitehouse's nearly published Gentleman's War but I like my grid and I like painting small units. So, I went back to the Square Brigadier which was originally aimed at the mid-19thC. Once I turned away from the War of 1812 and early 20thC variants I realized that I really only needed a few tweaks. The main one is that there shouldn't be any prolonged close range firefights, charges need to be resolved immediately.

The Square Brigadier: The Defended Frontier.

Once I fill the order of battle for both sides, I'm sure I'll find inspiration to start a new collection. While I was cutting away the kilt on a charging Highlander to make a Zouave, I couldn't help but notice that it looked a lot like I was starting to make a soldier wearing  a dhoti. Now THERE was a dangerous thought!

However, as long as I am willing to indulge in some fanciful proposals it is possible if not plausible to come up with an 1850's/60's scenario where the as yet unresolved "Pig War" over the San Juan Islands explodes as Russia decides that the time is ripe to reassert her claim that Vancouver Island is part of Alaska.

That could at least give Ivan a job and excuse a few Cossacks and sailors.
Ivan. My 1st original sculpt and still
without brothers nearly 20 years later.
To be honest though, I'm starting to remember why I originally 'discovered' the fictional land now called Atlantica for my 54mm British and Fenian armies to inhabit back at the start of the century. It was certainly easier than being at constant risk of being mistaken for some fool with a poor grasp of history or having to wrestle with my conscience about how far to twist the truth and bears some thinking about.
2001 Rebel Island game with Faraway (historical British and Canadians) vs the Fenians backed by Oberhilse (historical USA, CSA and Fenians).
Ft. Henry Guard with regimental colour in centre field.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Papal Zouaves are Recruiting

Some 500 Canadians joined the Papal Zouaves, largely French Canadians but also some Catholic Irish of whom there were significant numbers in Montreal.
This one appears to be Scottish in origin.......
now to make him some baggy pants.

Once done he'll look a bit like the fellow below, all natty in grey trimmed red, but in the charging pose used by Britains for their Zouaves. Its a bit late for the Montreal contingent to go save Rome but it seems that there are plenty of Heathens right here at home.

Pontifical Zouave c 1865
Lombardi Historical Collection
Author Photographer, Fratelli D'Alessandri, Roma

Friday, June 22, 2018

Interim Report: The Work Continues

Thursday  I made it back to Ron's for another game. Again I was a bit late and there was much discussion before we got stuck into Sawmill Village. (A familiar, dependable, Meeting Engagement scenario by CS Grant if anyone hasn't yet met it.)
My lead platoons approach the Village and the Sawmill.
Our plan was to try using our modified version of Memoir without either sectors or cards but using an OSW  initiative die roll at the start of each turn. Each side gets 6 units from an available list. After some discussion of how to equate the available forces  to the scenario list crossed with our amended rules we finally settled with the following:

Canadians (me) 3 infantry, a 3" mortar (arty), a Sherman and a Firefly and an HQ.

Germans (Ron) 2 Elite infantry, 2 1/2 tracks acting as MG armed Light Armour and 2 PzrIV and an HQ.

(We do actually randomly choose sides but the power of positive thinking seems to come through for me.)

His original thought was to use the 1/2 tracks to transport his Pzr Grenadiers then support them in battle but we could not find a transport rule nor remember back the several years to our last games with this system and the clock was ticking.

The view from the other side. The 1/2 tracks have sped ahead to seize the town while I concentrated on deploying my slower force for a concentrated counter attack with fire support from my 3" mortars. 
The game was fine despite our being extremely rusty and getting rules from various supplements, not to mention other sets, mixed up but it was fast with lots of tactical decisions to make. Really fast. We probably should have called it after an hour, discussed things and played another game but we had the bit between our teeth and no turn or force morale rule so fought it out to the last man standing.

Last Call. The German  HQ surveys the wreck of his force and watches as my last infantry platoon prepares to advance covered by the mortar and last remaining Firefly.
(Note: we have doubled the ranges)
Overall, the most enjoyable WWII game since our last modified Memoir game a few years ago but there was room for improvement. After more discussion about various aspects, Ron hauled out a card deck to check something and we remembered what lovely cards they are and what fun and we felt the urge to make some use of them again.

The problem had always been that the Grant scenarios we enjoy just don't squeeze well into the 3 zone. Especially the ones where opposing sides are moving on from multiple corners towards an objective in the centre. The 18 hex by 18 hex table size is a factor as well. So, the current plan is to try a scenario using the cards but ignoring the sector aspect, just using it to activate units and for the various special rules.

We'll see how that goes but not until mid-July.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Rebels with a Cause

Another unit for the Fantasians, Bright and shiny and ready to rumble!

The  'Old Toy Soldier' look is certainly fast! My version is not terribly authentic if compared to the real thing but I like 'em like they are.

This puts me back on track for the planned mix of Union, Confederate and ..."special" units which I abandoned in 2016 to make a plausible Western US army for a fictional clash on the Prairies.

The uniforms and mix of poses were inspired by the following Britains set.

The Fort Henry Guard  officer has now been cast and work will start on them and then, finally, maybe, a game!

Monday, June 18, 2018

More Cowbells

I've had trouble trying to figure out what it is about my Square Brigadier rules that feels like its missing for this Fantasian adventure.

The Morschauser base that the Square Brigadier was originally built on is fast and emphasizes the over all plan and general military  principles (concentration, maintenance of the aim etc) which is great for even small battles. It "kinda" lacks flavour though for low level scenarios though an active imagination can still invent such things to explain what is going on "below the grain".

I've been playing about with various alternate mechanisms and even found myself tempted to break my taboo on stealing recent, copyrighted published, original, mechanisms from anyone  that hasn't urged readers to borrow and modify their ideas to make one's own rules. However, after much thought, what's lacking for the sort of game I'm thinking about for the Fantasian campaign, is more colour than substance. The sort of colour and faux detail that I used to get from MacDuff.

That's given me some ideas for rewriting the rules with minor technical changes and bigger language changes to help deliver a different feel  for this Border campaign.

New Fantasian Recruits.  I want these lads assembled and cleaned up before their officer appears.

In the meantime, I have been casting! Tomorrow I will finish the Officer mould and then get serious but I not only have the rank and file cast for my Fort Henry Guard but also for my next Fantasian unit. This one will be inspired by Britain's Confederate Infantry set with riflemen firing or 'ready' plus command, all in grey with kepis except for one pose in Butternut and slouch hat.

I didn't have the metal version but I did have the Eyes Right version which followed the same pattern so have been looking forward to doing this unit.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Volunteers are Pouring in.

Literally being poured in, from molten recruit to uni-formed soldier in no time at all.

Homecast copy of restored Britain's figure.
I chopped down a spare Ft Henry Guard shako to make a kepi.

Tomorrow, the officer hits the rubber.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

We interrupt this restoration

to report on today's WWII rules exploration at Ron's.

Modified Battle. The Soviets look to be in trouble.
It wasn't my fault really that we didn't play the proposed Colonial PW game, or even Ron's fault, no I lay the blame at the foot of Bob Kett of the (bobthepainterblog) and his initial fiddlings with a hex based WWII version of the tank side of Grant's Battle . Ever since I read that post I've had an itch to try a more old school WWII game again. The various mechanism heavy, rules heavy, planning and manoeuvre light, sudden death, WWII games we've been playing the last couple of years have not been satisfying. 

Ron laid out a table based on the Recce in Force scenario in Battle then we pitched four T34/85 against five PzrIVH. It was a fun little game that was over in 3 or 4 turns so we hauled out various Grant and Featherstone books and bent our minds to hex based infantry and artillery rules to match.

But they win in the end.
Before we were also looking at Bolt Action and Airfix Battles infantry rules (which appear to be derivative) and I was beginning to despair. This was not looking like it would get us back to the sort of enjoyable WWII games we used to have.

I started to reminisce about those fun, modified Memoir games from 3 and 4 years ago. It didn't take long for us to remember the issues we had meshing the card deck and 3 zone  system with Grant scenarios nor did it take long to speculate about using our modified armour rules without the cards and sectors. (In this case the 85mm gun on the T34/85 would hit the PzrIV on an emblem as well as on the armour symbol.)

Essentially a Featherstonian type game  where the players develop the plan and try to execute it in the face of the enemy while the dice help determine the success or failure of their plans. 
Modified Memoir: Everyone wins but technically the Soviets are about to win another close battle with a lucky shot at the critical point.
A sharp little refight was soon under way with the advantage swaying back and forth until a lucky die roll rescued the 'superior Soviet plan' from imminent disaster!  The whole thing lasted about the same time as the modified Grant game BUT we played twice as many turns and there was more manoeuvring, more tension and more swings of fortune. In other words, more fun.

Hopefully next week we can get a full all arms scenario in.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Resurrecting my Ft. Henry Guard

The Work has begun.
Overnight in Natura Safe Strip to remove both original Britain's enamel and '70's hobby paint then onto the work table for repairs. (in progress)
Somewhere there is a B&W snap of these lads converted to War of 1812 models but it is hiding. Anyway, the plan is to cast one unit of 6 as originally issued and another wearing gaiters since one figure has them carved in. I also want to do a unit in combat poses wearing shakos and maybe, just maybe, a Fantasian unit in shako.

My 2nd FHG c 1999. All from Soldierpac, except the goat who is an old goat, nearly as old as me but "not dead yet". He'll be back, still in original coat.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Finding the Fantasians

Meriam Webster: Fantasia: (2) a work (such as a poem or play) in which the author's fancy roves unrestricted.


Les Chasseurs de St. Jean.
Well, my imagination is not totally unrestricted, though the restrictions are self imposed, so there will be Fantasians but no Fantasia, as there were Fenians but no country called Fenia bordering on Canada. In effect I am going to embark on a whimsical bit of alternate history, using the name Fantasians rather than Fenians to avoid confusion with the actual history.

This Fantasian unit was partly inspired by the uniforms of the Canadian Voltigeurs in 1812 and partly by various US, CSA, and British, Volunteer units.

This alternate history is based on the following proposals or assumptions:

1) The Fantasian movement was better led and organized than the historical Fenians and operated with a still angry US administration exercising a blind eye thus allowing them to mount larger, more effective raids and incursions into Canada.

2) Her Majesty's government was fully preoccupied with other matters and was unwilling to risk hostility with the US over anything less than an outright US invasion and therefore left the new Dominion to largely defend itself.

3) The Fantasians were in league with a renewed but very minor Patriote movement in Quebec, as the Hunter Lodges worked with the original  Patriotes in 1837/38's, and with Riel and the Red River Metis. However, the rest of Canada is still celebrating Confederation and eager to prove itself.

4) The original idea remains of armies that look like they were cobbled together from a range of boxed sets of toy soldiers in department stores in the '50s and early 60's though not necessarily sets that really existed.

The Papal Zouaves are still waiting in the wings but the next onto my painting table will be the remnants of my original Ft Henry Guard set which were converted to War of 1812 figures when I was 16. They were replaced via Soldierpac in the late 90's when I first started a 54mm Fenian Raid collection but were sold to a friend when I had to downsize. So, it's reconstruct time to be followed by some mould making.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Truth and Fantasy and Toy Soldiers

As long as I was reorganizing my old toy soldier armies back into 6 figure units now that I have figured out how to manage a table with sufficient 5" grid squares, and working on expanding my opposing conventional mid-19thC armies, I decided to revisit the "enemy" for my Canadian army.  I don't want to refight the actual Fenian raids since this is about playing a wide variety of scenarios as the mood takes me but the "Fenians" are starting to look a bit too much like the US army and I don't want to go there either.

Archive photo from April.

While I was pondering an alternative look for the "Fenian" invaders, I remembered another option, the one that provided my first wargame enemy back in the days of Black Watch Cadets, Airfix and Featherstone. I'll let this extract from an old, archived, Department of National Defence document about exercise-royal-flush explain:

In Exercise Royal Flush, there was a general reference to the enemy force mobilizing in the Montreal area. It must be made clear that this is a Cold War era exercise where the enemy force was referred to as FANTASIANS, a force based on Warsaw Pact structure and equipment. This scenario was created for realism in a Cold War environment and has nothing to do with the political situation in Canada......The reference to a Fantasian army in the Montreal area was for scenario purposes only. In other words, an artificial scenario is superimposed on actual maps."

"An artificial scenario superimposed on actual maps"... Yeah! That's what I wanted! Now I can start designing uniforms for the Fantasian Republican Guard as well as continuing to add to the Canadian Toy Army.

Not only are Governor-General's Footguards finally up to full strength but, they have a bugler!

which made me think of this bit from the irreverent  Perth Conspiracy's 1970 album, amazing what will stick in your mind over the decades (click on image below : 
"and then I heard it...the BUGLE cry......"

Friday, June 8, 2018

Zulu's? No mostly I won.

Every time I get the old Britains' out, I seem to get the urge to paint more of them and to play another game. It occurred to me that by expanding the One Hour game to full table size and using double the number of units to maintain the ratio of unit foot print to battlefield, I was robbing myself of the opportunity to have a simple, clear, distinction between really quick, simple  OHW scenarios with  a handful of units  in a corner of the table and longer, more complex Grant Teasers with larger forces on the full table, all while drawing from the same armies with the same campaign background. By adopting a scale of 1 square per 4" on the OHW table instead of 3" as in the previous game, I could use a 1:1 ratio of units equating to the smaller 4" frontage suggested by Thomas for his scenarios.

I reset the table using 81 squares instead of the previous 144.
"Zulus sir! Dozens of them!"
 Since only my Zulu War units are set up for my planned 6 figure infantry units, and haven't been out in over a year, I decided to go to South Africa.
The shrunken layout with hippo instead of a cat.
 Once I got the troops out I remembered that I hadn't gotten around to adding spearmen and the like to the Tin Army and decided that I was over due for a Portable Wargame anyway.
One unit of Lancers tried to deal with 3 Zulu units but they zoomed past them and bounced them and, well, I think they did manage to stick one Zulu in 5 rounds of melee before they were surrounded and cut down.

The line gets pushed back but thank heavens there was a Taboo preventing the Zulus going into the woods. The British are also grateful that for 4 turns the Colonel single handily held off 2 units of Zulus in hand to hand combat after the Naval Brigade was cut down. 

Turn 15 of 15.  A desperate, last half of the last turn  British counter attack got the Rutlandshires to with 6" of the road thus earning a technical but cheesy win.

As usual,  the Portable Wargame  served well and the game came out at roughly an hour so the whole thing can be considered a success.

Now I want to play a full Grant game but I need to get back to bringing the armies up to scratch since a few of the existing units are short a few figures  or are temporarily mounted on slightly wider bases which won't allow 6 figures in a 5" square and I need to add a few more units to both Canadian and American armies.

We have work to do!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

They've Still Got It!

Excerpt from "The Defended Border" by H. MacDuff. 

"When Major Saur  offered to raise and equip a squadron of cavalry recruited exclusively from retired British veteran cavalrymen, there was some skepticism about the value of old parade soldiers on the modern battlefield but the action at Round Lake Narrow put an end to that!"
General Byrd being taken during the pursuit by an officer who turned out to be a distant cousin.
"Early on the morning of the 7th of June a dense fog hung over Round Lake blocking the view but scouts reported that while the enemy had erected a formidable abatis along the edge of the woods to the East, rendering it effectively impenetrable to the Canadians, there was a clear path to the West of the Lake leading to the open enemy flank."
Some fanciful participants claim that the fog on the lake looked like the silhouette of a giant cat.
" General Douglas' plan was to pound the invaders with his artillery, use his Highanders to mask the woods and form a reserve, flank him with his cavalry and then push up the center with the Hochelaga Fusiliers and the Foot Guards."

"As happens all too often with volunteers, the men and their officers were too eager to get to grips with the enemy despite the General's plan. Soon the Highlanders were stung by accurate rifle fire to throw themselves upon the abatis and attempt to drive off the enemy. It earned them a short reprieve but at a heavy cost in casualties.

In the centre the Guards, impatient with the apparent lack of effect from the artillery barrage pushed forward with out orders and ran into a hail of cannister and rifle fire. The Douglas was forced to order his cavalry to charge in hopes of relieving the pressure on the infantry."

"The first charge, by the Governor General's Bodyguard, was repulsed  but the Queen's Pensioners, breastplates shining, smashed the enemy line scattering one unit and driving the other back."

"Elated by the sight of this success,the infantry pushed forward in the centre.The Highlanders, having learned their lesson edged away from the woods and pressed forward to support the remnants of the Fusiliers."

"The invaders stood their ground and continued to pour a murderous fire into their assailants  but were unable to resist the impetuous onslaught of the cavalry from the flank and before the sunset the pass had been secured."

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

A Little Trade Dispute

It occurred to me that this is June 6th, DDay that was and that I have no WWII armies for a commemorative invasion game and that what amphibious forces I may have for other "periods" are in refit. Still  I've been itching to get some kind of game set up.

Softwood lumber tariffs are always a good excuse for a spat.

"There is your enemy!"
Apparently there are still some One Hour Wagame scenarios that I haven't played yet. This one is #24 Bottleneck.

Overview of the table. Each sq=3 inches on the OHW map so there are 2 "companies" for each OHW  6 inch wide "unit". The artillery is still one gun for one gun.
I am pleased to announce the arrival in Canada of a squadron of her Majesty's Life Guards. (The Scarlet coated, armoured, cavalry in the bottom right corner of the picture.) These are part of a generous donation by a friend and I am doubly pleased to get them. Some of the Lifeguards are old figures, pre-1952 at least but some are from one of the Coronation  sets (according to Rose's guide). More importantly, I had the small set of these Lifeguards in the 60's and converted them during my "Military Miniature" phase. He was reconverted a few years ago and now leads the US cavalry so I am MOST pleased to have one of this figure in his original uniform again.

The Lifeguard Officer on the left  is how US General Byrd started life. 
My intent was just to play the Square Brigadier with bigger figures but in light of my re-dedication  to having each collection provide a different gaming experience beyond different figures, I'm hastily adjusting the Tin Army using similar principles but at a different scale and some slightly different mechanisms for a mid-19thC Small Wars  feel.

Of course there isn't actually time to play today but a battle report is only a day or two away.

Friday, June 1, 2018

1813: Spring Training Underway

I find to hard to believe but its been five years (!!) since my last liquid rtv mould  of an original figure. ( see getting-mold-y) 

First sample casting of an early War of 1812 US Infantry man.
Well, this lad has been a while in the making. The head was originally done in 2005  to convert Sash & Saber British into Americans, the naked dolly was done around the same time, the musket just 5 years ago. One of the dollies was dressed and given head and uniform just a year or so again and now, at last, they are ready.

I was just going to paint him straight up in regulation blue faced with red but I've painted enough of that uniform in 54mm and in chunky 40mm and wanted something different. Since I like the grey or drab uniforms I went for that.

The 1813 period of the war saw some of my favourite engagements but the new tombstone shako was being introduced during 1813 and troops along the  Niagara front and at Sackets Harbour  seemed to have gotten it first so I'm pegging this lot as one of those who were stationed on Lake Champlain and fought at Chateauguay.

Of course, his regiment  will have to fight when and where they are told regardless of their hats.
Mould with figure.