Viewer's Choice Celebration MiniCampaign

It has now been over 20 years since I launched "With MacDuff On the Web" and nearly 10 years since I launched my 2 blogs: Gathering of Hosts and Battle game of the Month.

To celebrate the years and the friends and the million hits I've decided to run a 3 game mini-campaign in late October. By popular vot e it will be set in the mid 18th Century.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

The Battle of Four Square Junction

Well, I wanted a good game and I got one!

Not having a definite idea I decided to roll dice to pick and layout terrain items such as hills, woods, buildings and road entry points and to deploy all my ready Origawn Rebellion forces.
Somewhere in the Origawn Territory, Advance Guards clash.
I had been having some fun experimenting with using a 3" grid for measuring only and with playing around with 2 grid units but in the end, based on the current size of the incomplete armies, I decided to just go with the 6" grid with a unit per grid square except in cases of massed battalions where 2 units could be in a square and artillery which takes two adjacent squares, one for the gun and one for the limbers, caissons and so forth.
The armies deploy directly from the march.
Both armies were composed of one cavalry and three infantry brigades supported by two batteries. The cavalry brigades were only two squadrons while the infantry brigades were composed of four 'companies' of infantry drawn from 2,3 or 4 regiments. (Please note that the organization is not meant to be taken literally but allows me to identify units by name based on uniforms and to mix and match them within the next highest organizational level. Gamewise, a unit is a unit and any group of units with a Commander is a Brigade under the rules.)
Several turns later the photographer returns to active duty. The Dominion army has deployed all its troops and has thrown two infantry brigades supported by cavalry against one battered Rebel brigade and the remains of their cavalry. Their horse artillery has suffered heavily from accurate artillery fire and been forced to deploy. The cramped rebel forces under pressure from two sides are having a hard time redeploying.
The first half of the game saw both sides being cautious as the armies slowly marched on to the field using randomly assigned roads, 1 brigade per turn if there was room on the assigned road. Red ended up with everything except one infantry brigade arriving on the main road which slowed them a bit early on but also put the bulk of their army in the centre until the last arrival who was perfectly placed for a turning move.

The Rebel Third Brigade tries to find room to deploy.
Blue ended up with cavalry, guns and one infantry brigade in the centre and two infantry on the right. Because of delays and bottlenecks with terrain,  Blue was faced with a choice of a 1:1 attack across open terrain without artillery support or a lengthy wait.  An early attempt to push forward and at least trade fire showed some promise early on, forcing back the Royal Horse Artillery but a prolonged fight turned against them and evened the odds, driving them back to cover.
Balloon's eye view of the battle as the Dominion assault on the hill begins.
The altitude seems to have affected the colour and sharpness.

An early Rebel cavalry attack had been repulsed handily as had a Dominion counter attack so the battle degenerated into a long range carbine duel until the infantry came up. When the last Dominion troops were up and forming for an attack the Dominion cavalry was launched  in an assault driving one Rebel Squadron back through the infantry and sending the remnant of the other scurrying for the woods leading to another exchange of dismounted carbine fire which settled the matter.

With the Dominion's redcoats in possession of the hill astride the main road and 3 of their 4 brigades down to 1/2 strength, The Rebels are forced to retreat, 
With the third Rebel infantry brigade finally up and deployed, the Rebel infantry was sent forward hoping to take some of the pressure off the Grey brigade which had  taken heavy losses in the centre. The assault was stopped cold by rifle and artillery fire. In the centre,  the Highland and Regular brigades pressed forward from front and flank and within three turns crushed the Rebel left and seized the hill overlooking their main line of communication.

A quick assessment of the Rebel army showed that three of the four brigades had lost over half their strength. It was time to retreat while there was still a fresh brigade and a handful of guns to act as a rearguard.

Time to retreat while there is still a rearguard.
So, after three or more hours of play in three or so sessions over two days, (It is sooooo hard to find a solid afternoon off in summer when the weather is good!) I finally had a game with a decisive win for one side and felt like what was in my head. I will confess that I had started off by trying a slightly updated version of the Square Brigadier but ended up with a mix of my off grid ideas and my old on grid ones with a morale check for heavy casualties and no rally rolls or saving throws. It was hard to drop the rally/saving rolls but with my planned OB's only a little over half done, something had to be done to reach a conclusion faster!

The result should be a collection of figures, background and rules that will let me fight a small one hour game with a handful of units, a game like this or an occasional all day pitched battle with every unit on board.

 Now to make the rules make sense in writing.


  1. Ross Mac,

    A very impressive wargame by anyone's standards, with lots of beautiful large toy soldiers fighting over a simple but very effective terrain. What's not to like!

    All I he best,


  2. Hi Ross- a top Battle with splendid troops- do like the Guards in Red...good to see them with a win in the end. Great photos by the way. Cheers. KEV.

  3. Great BIG battle feel to this one Ross.

    1. Medium sized....gotta have something to look forward too!

  4. So . . . how long until the pitched battle then? ;)

  5. I've said it before, I'll say it again; I do like the way your battles look. Looks as though the Rebs might have a long journey ahead of them to achieve the overthrow of the tyrannical Dominion. But is the Dominion's crushing of this wicked insurrection really in sight?

  6. Wonderful looking game as always! I really like the elevated smoke clouds. The stands really seem to blend into the background and give just the right impression of guns firing, instead of the usual slow rising fog or smoke grenade effect.

  7. I'm glad I made the effort despite my misgivings.