Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Meanwhile, in the Origawn

 Recruiting parties are busy.

In the meantime, check out this blog with some most attractive, up to date, gridded,  54mm toy soldier games inc this recent game.   

The blog is , for some reason, I can't seem to add it to my blog list or publish an active link to it, so you'll have to get there manually.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

A Reward for Bravery in Battle .

 At last the flag is done. It seemed only right to reward the 40th for their brave charge on the highlanders followed by their repulse of the flank charge by the Scots Greys.

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate painting flags? Especially intricate ones? I did consider downloading some from the excellent and most useful but our printer is struggling to maintain a minimum essential service until its replacement arrives. So, I opted for the old handdrawn and painted option. 

I can't help but suspect that the 15mm ones I did in the 80's were better drawn and painted but its probably the effect of those rose coloured glasses often worn when looking back. Anyway, THIS one is a toy soldier flag, not a model soldier one.

The design is based on the relevant example in Arco's Military Flags of the World 1618-1900. First I drew both sides on paper, changing the regimental number, painted it, cut it out, folded it around the pole, then varnished it. 

I really don't get the whole white cross on a white background. Seen in real life, there are no black lines around the cross but the difference is visible, up close anyway. In the end I ended up painting over the lines when applying a base colour of  a light Cream and added the cross in a whiter shade of pale. (Sorry... )

Saturday, September 26, 2020

The Battle of Bagatelle

A minor but memorable fight.

Mid game, the French skirmishers have been having a hard time but the 3rd Battalion is moving forward with plans to demonstrate the effectiveness of a column charge against a unit that has already taken 50% casualties.

Unfortunately for the 3rd, the Erbprinz Regiment instead demonstrated the effectiveness of artillery close support, a tight formation that allows a player to complete a cycle quickly (and thus getting in more shots), lucky card draws, and steady troops (ie ones that roll high for morale tests and in melee). 

On the far flank, the combined operations plan appeared to work better. Skirmishers and artillery fire had worn down the Highlanders and British artillery. The French Hussars sacrificed themselves to distract and tie up the British Dragoons while the French Infantry columns struck hard (ie had decent movement and combat rolls.) The colour party was all that was left of the Black Watch and it was forced to retreat to safety.  

The newly formed, white coated 40th Infantry was hit in flank by the Greys but calmly formed square, saw them off and resumed their advance.   A handful of the Hessians were all that barred their way but these soldiers fought to the last man in a fierce fight that saw both commanders fall in the melee. (They both rolled a 1!

It was enough, as the day drew to a close, the Emigres, Jaegers and Greys were all still disputing the crossing while the French had run out of men and daylight, not to mention card cycles.  A victory for the Duke of York. (Not that he was anywhere near the battlefield).

The game was played using A Gentleman's War and homecast 40mm French Revolution figures. (all conversions from SYW castings) using a scenario from One Hour Wargames. The scenario calls for certain units to become active on a particular turn and also has a time limit. Since AGW doesn't have set turns, I have struggled with meshing the two approaches but this time I counted cycles for each side and that worked like a charm. I'll try the same approach with a CS Grant or Stuart Asquith scenario next time.


Friday, September 25, 2020

Rushing to the Front

 These patriotes were so keen to fight the enemies of the Republic that they rushed into battle without waiting to be issued washer bases or uncase their colours.

The fighting has ceased at nightfall, before they saw action, but will resume in the morning.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Stand To!

Time to exercise the troops. The 1794 Battle of Boxtel is similar enough in a vague, generalized way, to the "Blow from the Rear" scenario in One Hour Wargames.  In any case, river crossings, widely spread  "columns" (adhoc divisions), and sudden flank attacks were all common features of the fighting in Flanders.

Of course, once I started deploying the French I realized that the 2 skirmisher units I had counted were actually a single unit deployed as detachments. So, the 4th French infantry unit has now been assembled and primed. Battle will begin once they are painted and varnished.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

What Storm?

 Is that it?? I think we've been passed by, no refill of the well, only a few gallons in the rainbarrels, no trees knocking down power lines...OK that part was fine by me. The rain was enough to discourage outside chores so my 1st Coalition column now has six table ready units. 

The Hessians (blue coated infantry) started life as a NQSYW Charge! Company but with a possible future home as Brunswickers in a revived AWI Northern campaign setting which didn't and won't happen. (1758/59 Louisburg and Quebec are back on the menu instead, now that the 30's are gone).  

Hesse-Hantz Erbprince Regiment screened by Jaegers. 

I couldn't turn up anything about Brunswick troops with the Duke of York in Flanders but there are frequent mention of Hessians so I figured if I'm changing their heads I may as well rebrand them. I don't have many sources for uniform but it didn't take long to find a picture of a Hesse Darmstadt Erbprinz Regiment with yellow facings and bicorne. Now, for those who are not Charge! afficienados, an Erbprinz regiment featured prominently. Done! More digging came up with a Confederation of the Rhine era flag for the Erbprinz so I did a rather crude rendition of that and the  revised regiment is on parade, shiny and ready for action.

Monday, September 21, 2020

An Apology and a Heads Up.

I was killing time yesterday, checking my blog reading list and so on, when it occurred to me that it had been ages since I had last been notified of a blog comment that needed approval. These are comments that have either been tagged as potential Spam by the system or were made more than three days after a post was published.

 It took a minute to sort out the new version comment approval tab and figure out why I hadn't received, or at least seen, any notices. To my dismay, in addition to several dozen Spam comments, there were about two dozen actual comments, some as old as July. Ooops! So, I went through, approving and replying. All caught up now. 

I have now made a note to myself to check the list daily and I apologise to all those who left a comment on a page or an older post and did not get answered or at least published.

Facing the camera are two members of the von Riedesel regiment.
When the new Prince August SYW moulds came out, I wanted to support them but had absolutely no place for Prussians and the like. My compatible armies were for Fontenoy or North America or else fictional. I decided it would be easier to do some Quebec/Saratoga campaigns American Revolution units than to start on Prussians. That didn't get far but now that I am recruiting for the 1st Coalition, it seemed to me that they would be close enough to fit, except for the hat which looks VERY old fashioned. The chap with the silver head is testing to see if he looks suitable in a bicorne, an easy way to add a unit with a minimum of work. Looks to me  like an easy way to make it 6 vs 6 units and avoid a surplus unit hanging around eating rations and grumbling. 

Over the last few days, preparations for the approach of another Hurricane have taken precedence over other activities so there is not much to post about. These days, power outages seem to be the inevitable result of having a Hurricane or even a Post Tropical storm  blow through so if I disappear for a few days, fear not, all the hatches are battened and we will be hunkered down, snacking and reading, maybe even playing a game, until the power is restored.

Frost warning for the morning, tropical storm warning for the afternoon. Ohhhkay. See you on the other side.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Ready for Duty

 and they're done, glossy toy soldier style.

Hesse Darmstadt Jaegers, 1793

This brings my First Coalition force up to 5 units vs 6 Republican units so the next unit will also be Coalition. I'm tempted to replace the small tricorne heads on my SYW Brunswickers  by Bicornes but might leave that for later and go for a newly cast unit of British line infantry. 

Eventually, my goal is to have a choice of 12 "A Gentleman's War" units per side: 2 cavalry, 2 skirmisher/light infantry, 2 guns and 6 infantry. Then I can branch out to Turks vs French, or go for some amphibious action involving Vendeans or Irish Rebels or the West Indies.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Counter Revolutionary Propaganda

 The next unit for my 'A Gentleman's War'  French Revolution 'armies' is underway.

Test fitting of heads to bodies.

I was going to do an emigre/foreign rifle unit in British pay but they all had weird hats of one sort or another that would be difficult conversions that I would have to do one at a time. I was also going to use Prince August cowboys as a start since they have brimmed hats and there is one actually aiming his rifle but it was going to be a lot of work and I'm lazy. So, when I found out that some Hessian Jaegers were still wearing bicornes and long tailed  coats ..... out came the Prince August SYW Prussian moulds and my own French Rev heads mould.

Conversions now done and primed. Painting begins in the morning.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The Battle of Little Bluephoam River.

Since this was essentially a  test  of the revised board and the revived rules, I decided to just go with a straight encounter battle. Two forces vying  for control of a bridge seemed as good a scenario as any, classic really.

The Rebel cavalry got to the bridge first and dismounted to hold it rather than rushing across in hope of winning a piecemeal battle with the Dominion cavalry.  An indecisive firefight between the opposing cavalry lasted until the infantry on both sides took their place.

As the infantry came up, Gen Douglas sent the Dominion cavalry to the right to cross the river. Gen Lannigan reacted quickly to send his cavalry to block them and ordered two "brigades" of infantry to cross over on his right.

It took a while for the armies to march on and deploy, (about 1/2 the game) but once they did, things quickly heated up.

A charge by the Gentlemen Pensioners in their shiny breastplates broke two squadrons of Rebel cavalry but not without losses and the Reb battery soon scattered the remnants of them. The Rebel infantry assault was broken up by terrain and ended  up going in piecemeal.

Each side rushed reinforcements into action and the fighting became heavy across the board.

Encouraged by the appearance of their Spirit Cat, the Rebel infantry poured across the river and closed with the enemy.

An attack by the Grenadiers on the farm was easily repulsed and things were looking dark for the Dominion forces.

The battle was not yet lost or won though and the Hochelaga Fusiliers renewed the assault.

The Dominion right flank had taken horrendous casualties but the men rallied and held their ground.  Finally the Blue wave halted and one flank began to give way.

As the sun sank towards the horizon, the Fusiliers drove their enemy from the farm and repulsed all counter attacks while the Grenadiers poured back over the river to reinforce the bridgehead. On the far flank, Rebel losses mounted and soon the whole army was on the edge of giving way. General Lannigan signalled a retreat. Best to save the army to fight again. The Dominion  forces had a crossing but they were not going to get far tonight.

(In other words, at the end of 15 turns, Red had a secure foot hold on the other side of the river while Blue had a very insecure one and had also suffered more units lost and most of his units were only 1 hit away from breaking. The GM declared it a marginal win for Red.)


Monday, September 14, 2020

When the Hurley Burley's Done

 But the battle report isn't more interim pic will have to do.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Oh for some Stormy Weather!

 Quite apart from our well's needs, a nice rainy day for guilt free gaming would be nice. 

The advancing armies clashed at the bridge over the Little Bluephoam River. The rebel cavalry rapidly seized the bridge and dismounted but were forced back by heavy Dominion fire. They held long enough for their infantry to come up though.

However, things are what they are. The rules have been rolled back to simpler, happier times (games wise)  and a couple of turns played. 

As the cavalry redeploys to the open ground on the Eastern flank, the infantry and guns take up the fight.

The updated rules can be viewed here: The Square Brigadier


Right, now, where's my whipper snipper, clippers and chain saw.....

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Trial Run

 There is more detailing to do and I want to adjust a few of the fields and so forth, not to mention a lot of work on the hills, but the board is ready for a trial game.

Something simple, a good old meeting engagement at a river crossing.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Not done yet

 An hour here, an hour there....

A little back tracking and experimenting with colours, shapes etc., but its starting to come together. 

Hopefully it'll be sufficiently ready for a quick test game this weekend.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

While We Are Waiting: A brief look at the origins of my NorthWest Rebellion.

 Well, Domestic Handyman, Household Menial and Grooming Shop Flunky chores managed for the moment I should have some time this afternoon to work on refurbishing my battlegamefield. 

In the meantime here's a look back at the development of the connection between my collection of 54's, 4" squares, and the Square Brigadier over the last 9 years.  

March 14, 2011: My old toy soldiers come out of storage to refight Hook's Farm using an early version of the Portable Wargame and an improvised 6" grid:

See Morchauser Attacks Hook's Farm post.

Jun 2012: My first consideration of using old  Toy Soldiers  in units of 4 inf/3 cav on a 4" grid and the Colonial Battle Cry variant that Ron and I were using with his 25's.

Battle Cree? Boer Cry? blog post 
It just happened to be on my wonky 4" hex grid which disappeared shortly after, mostly because the terrain was too hard to make but also because the hexes were too small for the 54's which were quietly lobbying for a return to active service. The cavalry and artillery in particular tended to stick out through the angled sides.

Apr 2014. Then two years later, out of the blue came, an impromptu sort of refight of Cut Knife Creek using not yet refurbished toy soldiers and the Square Brigadier on a 4" square grid.

"And it cuts like a knife" blog post  

and the follow up Zulu version: 
(Well, why waste a good setup?)

Zulu noon or a playtester's work is never done.

Dec 31 2015. Those games stuck in my mind and finally, nearly 2 years later came clincher. 

There's Something Fishy About This Creek post.

Aug 10 2016. Eight months later, the first shots were fired in what became the current NorthWest Rebellion. 
Action at Rocky Top Hill

Yes, I know, I've now spent four years trying other ways which might be better but which I don't like as well. I'm finally ready to settle down for the next decade and "Do It"! (Do I hear eyes rolling and choruses of "uh-hunh"?) 

There is a small danger that without the constant exploration of options variations and rules, I'll start wandering off into exploring campaigns including background maps, storylines and character personalities as  well as tabletop battles but the future can never really be known until its the past.  

Friday, September 4, 2020

A Little R&R

 Renovation and Reconstruction

I finally ran out of patience with the clutter and excess furniture etc in my room which have been making it awkward to navigate around and to tidy up. 

Amongst other things, such as storing my 43yr old kitchen table (surplus now that we have my grandmother's 100 year old one), I decided to turn my table sideways so the longer edge is against the wall giving a little more room between the gaming table and my painting desk and to make it smaller. So,  my 54" deep by 48" wide table is now 48" deep x 60" wide.  Yeah, I know. What can I say? These things happen. 

Test fit of the pieces. Sawing and nailing to follow. (The old piece on the end has 4" black dotted line squares superimposed on the 6" coloured squares.)

Anyway, the central grid of 12x12 4" squares will nicely reproduce a Thomas OHW battle (each 4" square equating to 3"x3" on a scenario map)  with a 2 grid wide "offtable" buffer zone behind each sides' start line for approaching reinforcements. 

For other scenarios it will give me either a slightly wider frontage for pitched battles or else greater depth for meeting engagements, rearguards, convoys and so on.  

I was tempted to leave the pieces as last used for a 4'x6' playing area but its too awkward to reach the middle with my modest stature and short arms. Besides, the extra room just invites larger, longer games and bigger armies and I don't want to go back there. Especially now that it seems that my painting hand is showing signs of the arrival of the hereditary family tradition of arthritic fingers. Good thing I already liked glossy toy soldiers.

Anyway, I also had the local hardware store mix a quart of paint matched to the colour I am using for my bases so ere long table, hills and bases will match. (For my 54's anyway.) More new terrain to follow.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Recruitment resumes

 I'm pretty sure the Sharpshooters of the Governor General's Foot Guards didn't wear their bearskins at Cut Knife Creek but my homecast ones wear theirs always.

Having finally decided the long hanging questions of rules, organization and basing, I have decided to finally finish and base the sharpshooter detachment of the Foot Guards that I started several years ago, and rebased some of my Victoria Rifles as sharpshooters/skirmishers rather than infantry.

Next up is supposed to be some 40mm French Rev types.