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

Monday, October 8, 2018

Where the Train Derailed.

While I'm waiting to see what photos of last week's games become available to me, I'll get back to the matter at hand.

I was very clear in my head when I resurrected my Britain's toy soldiers: I wanted to play the sort of raids, ambushes and frontier warfare that MacDuff had been designed for. MacDuff called for more toy soldiers and a bigger table though so I turned to The Square Brigadier and it was working just fine. So how did I end up suddenly try to write rules for  multi-brigade pitched battles?

A 2005 MacDuff game when my table was bigger.
Its interesting how even small, casual ideas can unintentionally derail a plan. In this case I can track it back to the notion of painting up armies that looked like they could have been built in the 1950's by selecting boxed sets of painted toy soldiers from what was available at a fictional local department store.

The idea was that I could paint what I felt like and have a variety of uniforms without having to do a dozen or more of each and running out of room on my table.  It would then be up to my imagination  to explain how such a disparate group of units fit together.

Battle of Brioche from last year: an expedition to secure supplies. There was a slight mismatch between grid size and base width hence 1 stand units.

What has happened is that the logical part of my brain (its small and often defective but its there somewhere) translated "a group of units in different uniforms" into "a group of battalions" rather than "an early ACW composite volunteer regiment with individual company uniforms". From there it was a small step to promote "The Brigadier" into the "Major General" and away we went charging off up the wrong valley and starting to think about pitched battles using 54's instead of 20's.

The Opening Engagement of the Origawn Rebellion, when units were still companies and the whole "army" was one big, happy, Brigade.

Luckily this is easily rectified by recalling the Square Brigadier and getting the narrative back on track.

4 comments:

  1. Your original notion has (had) something of the 'Stevenson at Play' sense about it, though perhaps not quite so far as any and every figure with a martial bearing being pressed into he ranks. I've occasionally looked at my stuff, ranging across a millennium, and tried to imagine a vast war between them. 11th Century Byzantines, 17th-19th Century Imperialists and allies, and WW2 Germans on one side, just about everything else in opposition. Who will the Northern and Southern States declare for?

    It won't happen, of course... Even getting my ACW troops (1700+) all on one table is a dream long faded...

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    1. Also a bit of Morschauser whose chapter on collecting an army is basically where the idea came from.

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  2. "It would then be up to my imagination to explain how such a disparate group of units fit together." - something we never worried much about as children. :)

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