Monday, September 20, 2021

Ollie: Progress Report

Managed to do some assembly this morning and painting this afternoon.

Tomorrow I'll add the shields and cases of feathered javelins and 2 crew. 

Not bad so far I think and it distracted me from the pains in my knee and calf! 

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Dealing With A White Elephant

 Its time has come!

Nearly 20 years ago, while looking for affordable Elastolin Landsknechts on ebay, I  came across this Germania resin kit of a Carthaginian war elephant.  Well,  I had no need of one but I mean it was a 40mm WAR ELEPHANT! and at a price I shouldn't but could afford. 

Since then it has snoozed in storage, occasionally coming out to look at me or hang out on a shelf while I tried to decide whether to send it to 19thC India or ..... hmm. Building 40mm ancient armies was a no go but enough Sassinids for a Roman/Prince Valiant style encounter soon became an option as that collection just kept adding to itself despite orders to the contrary. A raid of some sort? A shipwreck and rescue maybe?

I'm ready to resume painting  and all of my remaining collections are table ready for at least a small game so it seems like a good time to start doing some of the different and interesting, if only occasionally useful, bits that I've long wanted to do.

My handful of small slim Elastolin Turks look like bearded children next to my tall stockier French Rev troops so I've decided to use my homecast Turks for my Egyptian campaign. Given Foster's drawings of Easterners in the Prince Valiant strips, I think I can allow myself to use them to make some turbanned Persians along with a handful more armoured cavalry, some archers and some Hun mercenaries. 

The time has come for the White Elephant to come to life!

(Hmm I  wonder where I've tucked the little bag with tassels and mahout?)

Friday, September 17, 2021

Patience Is A Virtue

For a long list of boring reasons, this week I've not done any painting or playing or rules tinkering or....well OK I have rearranged my games room and replaced the crappy little painting desk I've been using  for an old kitchen table (my 1st piece of furniture from my first apartment back in '77 awwwww). Its not ideal but its higher so my back is not crouched over and its bigger and its in a spot with better light for my old eyes.....   but that's not the important thing for today. 

After disappearing off the international tracking system for a month, my Birthday present from Prince August (Is it still a present if you ordered and paid for it...) has finally reappeared on the screen and is in now finally in Canada! It is currently being paddled and portaged  across country and should be delivered next Wednesday. 


See that little spare head with the false front? It may not be perfect but does anyone think I won't get away with fudging it as a 1793 Austrian infantry cap? I'll need different bodies to easily fudge a closed coat without lapels but the firing pose with open lapelled coat will come in handy for some French, German and Emigre units with bicorne, roundhat, helmet or bearskin as appropriate. 




Saturday, September 11, 2021

Once More Unto the Bridge

Well, the terrain was all set up and the last game left me craving a battle with toy soldiers rather than fancy 3d counters, so I swapped out the buildings and bridge then summoned MacDuff and my French Revolution forces for a do over.

1795: Somewhere in Brittany

Teaser: Bitter street fighting as the French take the bridge and move into the town.


General de Brigade St. Michel had been ordered to be in Belmont by nightfall but as his column approached the bridge at Ste Croix, the village was full of Redcoats. A few inquiries led to him detaching a battalion of infantry and his squadron of Hussards de la Morte to outflank the enemy's position. That was going to take time so he decided to probe the enemy's defences to draw their attention. Suddenly the woods exploded in smoke and fire. Les Chouans had linked up with les m-----s Anglais!


It took time but eventually the cavalry was approaching the English flank, possibly a little rashly since they left their infantry escort far behind in their rush. Still, with a little luck they might catch the flank of the Scots.


Alas for the republicans, the Breton royalists moved fast and shot accurately. The Hussards quickly fell back and rallied. A few emigres were still holding on to one house in the village but the Highlanders, now alerted to the threat, retired a little and wheeled back to face both threats with the wood protecting their right.


The Hussars had rallied and chased the Chouans into the woods but couldn't follow and they couldn't face both ways, a scatter of deadly shots send them racing back to the ford. Meanwhile, the Veteran Whitecoats charged forward into the Highlanders only to be driven back when General Stewart threw himself into the fight, steadying his men.


Les Blancs were no children to be so easily scared though and a second charge saw General Stewart shot from the saddle and the highlanders wavered then fell back. The road was almost open!


The Highlanders were not children to be so easily scared either. With the Colours flying, the piper piping, and the gruff old sergeant pushing even some of the wounded back into line they prepared for a last stand. But the rest of the field had not been quiet, the 3rd battalion had finally caught up, only to be shattered by fire from the Royalist guerrillas in the wood.   St. Michel rushed to steady them but the Royalist bullets found him as well and the conscripts broke and ran. The affair was over as the sunset. 

At first I thought the French had no hope but by turn 10 of 15, I was beginning to doubt that they could be stopped. As it was the decision came late in turn 14 of 15 when it became clear that the French did not have the necessary 3 units capable of exiting the board before dark even if the English gave  up and retreated. 

A couple of hours well spent from set up to pack away, in fact, a great way to spend part of a convalescent day home alone. I'll leave the rest of my reflections for another day.

Friday, September 10, 2021

The War of 1812 in One Hour

 Well, OK, not the whole war, just One Hour Wargame Scenario #22 set up as a minor affair in the War of 1812. The scenario has  force defending a river line against a larger attacking force. His roll is to prevent the enemy from crossing the river and exiting the battlefield with at least 1/2 of his units. As usual, I doubled the number of small units on my larger table to keep the army footprint closer to the original. Apparently I also forgot to put the hill on the British right. Oh well. 

The British commander, under the mistaken impression that the Americans had to exit by the road, deployed all of his line infantry and artillery to defend the bridge. A unit each of Voltigeurs and Mohawks were sent across a hidden ford into some woods while some militia skirmishers, supported by a Squadron of Light Dragoons, held a ford on the far side of the woods.

The US player, deploying second, reread the scenario and seeing that he could exit from anywhere on the British table edge, split his force in half. 

The Americans began the ball by assaulting the bridge but the British fire was too hot and the attack was easily repulsed. 

The ford was taken as easily as the bridge had been held. A long delaying action followed while the skirmishers across the river, having mauled the US riflemen, were called back to help hold the line.

There were some worrisome moments for the British commander but the second, forlorn, assault on the bridge by tired units was easily repulsed. It was also late in the day, too late to send units from the bridge force around by the ford before dark. Reluctantly the US commander ordered his units to fall back to camp. There he cursed himself for not having held a reserve in the middle until he judged the difficulties of each crossing.    

As usual,  I revisited the rules before playing, taking advantage of some of my other recent games with variants of the rules, and streamlined some of the clunky rules. They are too simple to be comprehensive and accurate in detail, but the game flowed well and produced what felt like like a reasonable recreation of the war if not of the low level details. I may have to do another Chrysler Farm game again!  

** Update: While rereading the scenario, I realized that the victory conditions just specify that the attacker has to exit 1/2 his force. Its in the special rules section that says the attacker may only exit by road.... OK so solid win for the Brits then.


Thursday, September 9, 2021

Somewhere in Lower Canada in 1813

Having sorted and put away my remaining ACW recruits for later, I  decided to set up a game, but what period to play?

Looking through the options,  I  remembered that I had two updated and refurbished 1812 units that had yet seen action in their new role. That was good enough for me.

A One Hour scenario on a 4x5 ft table with 2 Square Brigadier stands for each OHW unit to keep the proportions in line. Turn 1 has been played to get the Americans on the on the table.

Might get a chance to play Friday but Saturday is more likely.

Monday, September 6, 2021

The Generosity of Wargamers.

After my Battle of Iuka post earlier this year, my mention of needing more trees resulted in several generous offers which helped tremendously. One of the tree reinforcements though, was accompanied by a trainload or two of ACW volunteers. (Thanks Chris)

I guess my armies aren't quite big enough yet.

This Airfix ACW thing started so simple and small. In '83, out of the navy for 2 years and finally employed but without regular gaming opponents,  I reread the chapter on Solo gaming in Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers and decided to give it a go. Not quite 30 at the time and having never played solo, I had only ever painted one side for each period. MPC had re-released the old Airfix ACW, so I ordered a few boxes and started painting. I managed 48 figures and a gun per side and 1 small test solo game before normal (sic)  life and wargaming resumed and they moved from shelf to shelf and then eventually got dumped into a big box of 1/72nd plastic and put in a cupboard until 2011. 

The Belmont Bugle from November 2011

Years passed, I had my little heart incident, and being prematurely retired, money was again an issue as were periodic new physical limitations.  In 2011, I was looking for a sit down game and the 1/72nd plastic ACW came to mind, so I dug back through the big jumbled box of mostly unpainted 1/72 and lo and behold, my guys had survived with barely a flake, even the muskets and the conversions!!  That wash, acrylic undercoat and final acrylic brush on varnish combo had worked. So out they came, I retouched them, based them, and started playing with them. 

Then one of my regular opponents expressed an interest and painted a few. 

2012: Jerry and I face off on my home turf. That is to say, not just my table but the terrain its based on a government topographic map of the area around my house. (The white house and barn on the left, it was built in the 1850's so deserved to be on the table I thought) . Turned out to be the last game in our fictional narrative campaign based on this part  of Nova Scotia.  

Then a friend passed on a couple of boxes full of painted ACW figures, most Airfix, that had been passed to him from Rob of the Captain's Blog who had them from.......well, anyway, it seems it was the armies painted by several unidentified Halifax gamers from the 70's? or 80's? All of a sudden I was in a position to play some decently sized ACW games. Nothing like that to encourage one to paint even more!   

When the first big reinforcement came, I was a bit dubious but just cobbled together as many units as I could and threw everyone onto the table at Cobb's Farm to see how it felt. Must have felt good since the armies didn't shrink afterwards.

Anyway, I'm not finished painting but my table can't handle too many more figures and once I touch up and base a brigade a side, some much needed guns and some cavalry from the latest of several contributions from several generous readers over the years (at least 4 off the top of my head) and buy some Scrubies from Historifigs and some of the new Jacklex, I'm going to have to think about how to see that what's left over gets painted and played with by someone.

 Drop me a comment or email rmacfa@gmail.com if you're interested in sharing in some of the excess of 1/72nd recruits in my cupboard.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

How Went the Day? (6 Sep: rules just proof read and edited)

 ****Spoiler Alert***

Really well actually. 

As more Rebels deployed and began their grand attack on either flank, the Federal General recalled what was left of the Regulars to the hill and prepared to hold the line. 

Firstly, I did a rethink last night and came up with a new minor tweak to the rules I was trying to write that looked like it would solve my issues.  The game played easily and quickly with about 2/3 of my existing armies on table, gave the feel I wanted, and had enough moments of drama to get the juices flowing.

Along the ridge, the Confederate left had suffered too much in the early fighting to break through the final Yankee line even though its last supports had been detached to meet an emergency on the other flank. 

Secondly,  it was a white knuckle finish.  

On the other flank, the tardy Rebel brigade finally showed up at the ford and then struggled to fight their way across despite facing a single Yankee cavalry unit. A push across the front from bridge to ford, buckled the Union line and forced it back until only a remnant of a few shattered regiments stood between the Confederate left and the vital roads leading to the Union camps and beyond. Only the hasty redeployment of a few regiments from the ridge allowed the Federals to form a thin line to hold the Confederates away from the crucial road. In the end, it was the brave intervention by a Brigadier to rally the last remnant of one regiment that stopped a break through.   

There is only a both sides of a page draft summary of the rules as yet if someone is interested (<click> here). I'll play a few more games before I think about writing a complete set with engineering, supply trains, amphibious ops and so on. Its also time to get around to naming and labelling all of my commanders and units and making the unit id's more easily legible.

In the meantime, there are some other collections lobbying to use the table on Monday.

  

Friday, September 3, 2021

The Weekend Is Here!

 And the weather is forecast to be cold and damp, good indoor wargaming weather!  

Having had time and opportunity this week to test each of the variations that I have been considering, I now understand why they worked for some purposes previously and why they aren't working for what I want to do now.  Essentially, giving each of the 3 stands in a unit the same fighting power and endurance as a single unit in the Square Brigadier, increases the average longevity of the units while still leaving a small possibility of a quick collapse or a heroic stand, all of which seems to mesh well with the history I read. Unfortunately, with some 40 or 50 units in play, it also tends to make the game both longer and less exciting for a solo player.

The first attack is struggling and the last Confederate brigade is late to arrive but the game is playing more quickly and feels a bit edgier.

So I turned back to the solution that I have been deliberately avoiding for the sake of variety, an ACW variant of the  Square Brigadier. It is basically the same game, but with each multi-stand unit being treated like a one stand unit. The result is more uncertainty and a quicker pace. 

I played through 2 more turns today and will finish the game on Saturday then set up something for Sunday. (Yup, dog shows are making a comeback!! Yay!)



Thursday, September 2, 2021

Patience is a virtue

 Well, what a surprise, this week isn't going as expected.

None the less, along with the slow creep of an occasional turn being played, I'm having second thoughts about the proposed  organization and level of game. In essence, it is neither this nor that, which could be forgiven if the game was playing smoothly and was enjoyable but 'dangerously close to tedious ' is closer to the mark. There is too much time spent rolling dice to achieve incremental results and too few meaningful decisions to be made.

The game after today's turns, about 1/2 way through the game.

The debate now to be resolved, is whether to give the brigade units another try, looking at using a Fire&Fury/ On To Richmond/Volley & Bayonet sort of approach to fight size-able historical battles, or step back and have another go at my customary approach with more regiments per brigade and thus fewer divisions, if any, to fight small battles like Iuka and to play my usual generic scenarios. 

Needs thought but at least the weekend looks promising for gaming as well as thinking.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Saved by a K.I.S.S.?

One of my problems with the American Civil War is that there is so much information readily available!  From modern historians' interpretations and reinterpretations, the experience of reenactors trying things, to official reports, memoirs and so on, not to mention a plethora of wargame rules, the wargamer has a lot of  grist for his mental mill. 

The trick is to find the right balance between detail, game decisions, chaos, simplicity, available resources of time, space and mental energy,  and fluctuating personal preference for the target audience. When there is a committee of 3 making the final decisions (yes that would be the old 'me, myself and I') it can take a lot of time to settle things, especially when test games are a few every couple of years rather than one or two a week!

Anyway, I have a set of rules that I've been reasonably satisfied with but the player is having to deal with too many layers of command with results that don't really reflect the historic failures, never mind the occasional blunders!  The larger games also take too much time and energy, due in part to too many repetitive die rolls and fiddly bits, so that larger games often start to drag. So far, every effort to fix these issues have ended with a game that was too simple, too dice driven then "general" driven, wasn't quick after all, or just lacked flavour. But..."Nil desperandum", that's our motto!

The new rules at play.

This time I managed to convince myself to make a few compromises of an Old School fashion to try to keep the general flow that I like while dropping or simplifying some of the game processes, especially some of the command control ones. 

I have several times gone the most common route these days of using the brigade as the basic unit but its no good. I like my regiments! Many of mine are still generic but more and more have built a history for themselves over the years and I like the feel of that. So, this time I am dropping the Brigadiers and having the regiments controlled by the Division commanders with the Brigadiers doing their work without being noticed. The regiments are all the same size and the numbers won't match historical orbats but it OS style, its about the over all feel while still aiming for a reasonable 'feel' to the game even if 6 units of set strength turn out to be representing 14 of varying strengths in 3 brigades. 

The Corps Commander (or Army commander in some of the smaller Western campaigns) represents the player so I place him on table to represent me, look pretty, and to theoretically decide what he wants his Division commanders to do. From the late '80's on I was a strong proponent of command control rules to limit or affect what a player could do but eventually, comparing the sorts of outcomes and mistakes etc provided by pretty much  every command control system I have seen or tried, it seems to me that the extreme errors and omissions that they inflict, usually based more on a die roll than the situation, not only happen far too frequently compared to history,  but are almost never as bad as many decisions that the average player inflicts upon himself in a game without command rules!  What I am limiting myself to then is a simple "out of command" roll for regiments the player wants to move when they are not within 4 hexes and line of sight of a Commander.  

I did think about adding more friction by reviving my old favourite, dicing for move distances, that I've so often used over the last 30 years but in a full ACW game, its not unusual to find 45 to 60 "units" on my table. That's a lot of time spent rolling dice for little impact, so I'm leaving it lie dormant. The hexes make it almost impossible to do fiddly, tricksy stuff anyway.

So, now the troops can move and shoot quickly and efficiently, the player is in charge and able to make his own mistakes and the combat system is old and well worn. Let the game resume!


Saturday, August 28, 2021

You Know Those Games When The Dice Just Won't Cooperate?

Well.......the heat has abated but a few days ago I somehow managed to sprain a wrist. Every time it starts to feel better, I manage to offend it again.....twice while sleeping!!  Still, it is just "a flesh wound" so I played a turn or two one handed but it got me thinking about whether or not I really need to roll so many dice, so often, with so little effect, or to litter the table with little dice to mark cumulative "hits". Not really, not if the nostalgia isn't satisfying any more, there are plenty of other options. 


  Maybe with some adjustments to the rules.......or a whole new set less fiddly and aiming at a slightly higher level......maybe borrowing from my one off Gettsyburg rules from 2014......

Hmm...... one turn played as the rules were scribbled down..... so far seems promising for a practical game in an afternoon. There might even be room to paint up a few more of the reserves in the cupboard. Maybe I will get everyone out tomorrow........ 

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Hot Fight Interrupted

When the temperature in my games room hit 30°C yesterday, I  called a truce.

We all knew this bit was coming right?

I 'm still waiting, but the forecast is encouraging.

Monday, August 23, 2021

All Quiet On The Blutomac

It was a lazy August day after a few quiet months, but things were about to change. The Union army was on the march!


Already the entire Second Division was concentrated at the White Bridge over the Blutomac River, with the First Division marching hard to join them while only one Rebel Brigade had been identified as defending the bridge.

What could go wrong? 


Battle looms.

Friday, August 20, 2021

The Canadian Wargamer Podcast

It's a cool August day with rain pouring down, a perfect morning to listen to the latest  Canadian Wargamer podcast. 


I'm not a podcast person by nature or habit but I will confess to enjoy enjoying this fairly new podcast: The Canadian Wargamer  by  Mike (of The Madre Padre's Wargames blog ) and James (of the Rabbits in my Basement blog) and their guests such as Bob Murch, well known sculptor behind various ranges like Pulp, Flint and Feather and more and Curt  of the Analogue Painting Challenge which has inspired many a beautifully painted figure around the world, not to mention coaxing some to expand their possibilities and options.  

Hopefully listening to this podcast this won't start a trend for me, quite apart from the embarrassing urge to interrupt my computer to join the conversation, I have enough trouble finding hobby time or paying attention to two things at once.

Anyway, have a listen to hear a bit on the hobby in the wilds of "Great White North" : The Canadian Wargamer podcast



Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Every bit counts

Another week with too many calls on my time but, bit by bit, I finished the new additions to Helgin's bodyguard. 

What's next?

4cm Elastolin figures, 4 of them being conversions or repairs.

Well, I  just ordered the new Prince August SYW light troops moulds. I don't need SYW light troops but the kasket heads will allow me to convert the old Wild Geese into 1789 Austrians, the Grenz figures will make great freikorps, and the firing Jaeger bodies will be useful for both emigres and Rev War French once provided with bicornes, roundhats or helmets.

But they won't be here soon.

On the other hand, I am finally reading Fox's The Commotion Time: Tudor Rebellion in the West, 1549 which I bought myself for my birthday last year. I  think I'm going to need more Bills and Bows and guns.



Sunday, August 15, 2021

Fortunes of War

Its been "one of those" weeks. Apart from the heat wave and an unexpected family get-together, there was the plugged kitchen sink,.... correction, there STILL IS the plugged kitchen sink.. and then there was....well, anyway, I managed to play the game, 12 of 15 possible turns played over 4 days in about 7 separate quick sessions of maybe 10 minutes on average.  

The French have moved aggressively to control both ends of the bridge but it has cost them. The first cavalry clashes went slightly in the Imperial's favour but they aren't any closer to attacking the bridge. 

The rules were again an experimentally tweaked Rough Wooing. Apart from being stripped down a bit with some unsupportable chrome plucked out, I decided to give armour saves another chance. Well, the rules were better for being stripped down a bit more but the armour saves were a bloody nuisance and more or less inappropriate given that most stands represented a few score men wearing different amounts of armour. and using various weapons.  I like the old concept well enough with single figures in a skirmish or semi-skirmish game but less so in this sort of game. Any saving throw in this situation has to be pretty generic and might as well be a die modifier instead to save time and avoid contradictory dice.

The French pike block has managed to hold their more numerous opponents but they are being surrounded. French casualties continue to mount and it looks like it will soon be over. 

Beyond that, this game, designed to be quick and easy was a bit too quick. It is hard to estimate the total playing since it was a but here, a bit there and none of it recorded but I think the total playing time may have been about an hour or a little more and the game nearly ended on about turn 7 due to unbalanced dice. Setting the scenario up took almost as long. One issue is that the casualty rates were too high leading to stands dying too quickly. 
However, with the French commander down, Minou took command and by staring hard at the saving throw dice,  swung the battle. The French suddenly made armour save after armour save while the Imperial troops dropped like naked flies. All of a sudden, it was over. The Imperials had to fall back.  

So will there be a rematch once the tweaks are made? Ask me after I've dealt with the plumbing!


Friday, August 13, 2021

Just a roll, just a roll, Just a roll on your drum

"Just a roll, just a roll
 And the war has begun"

- Sloth: Fairport Convention

Turn 3: The French have advanced aggressively with their infantry split to cover both ends of the bridge and all of his cavalry on the near bank. The Imperial commander has launched his cavalry over the river apart from a few mounted arquebusiers on his right flank and these have fired the first shots.

But...... it hasn't gotten far. 

Charge and counter-charge saw the French cavalry thrown back but losses were heavy on both sides.

Soon........

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

We Interupt This Battle For A Battle

This morning was damp and grey so I decided on a scenario, selected the troops and set the table. But by then, it was warm and sunny and yard and garden duties called.

By the time I knocked off, it was hot and everyone else was outside so......

Yup  I broke out one of my small, gridded cloths, and my 1/72nd fantasy figures, then headed out.

I decided to just go with my Gathering of Hosts rules, no special magical or fantasy bits, and no scenario, just 6 units aside on random terrain. 

The Sea People had their King with his armoured bodyguard, 4 other warbands and a unit of archers while the Woodsfolk had 1 Chieftain in a chariot with runners, 2 light infantry, 2 cavalry and 1 archer. They didn't have a hope.

Luckily they didn't need hope. After a short but brutal fight, they outflanked the Sea People and managed to break them just before they reached their own breakpoint.

If there is rain tomorrow,  then this one will get its turn.

Yes it is. A timeless classic.








Tuesday, August 10, 2021

What!?

Apparently the four stands of cavalry that I added to my 16thC armies last year, have not yet been exposed to the rattle of dice, the confusion and the joy or pain of battlegaming.


Orders have been issued to  correct this oversight at the first opportunity.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

One Done

 Here we see the newly promoted Lieutenant Leadbrane at the head of his old company. Only took him 90 years of service and the loss of an arm and a head but he got there.

He still has a hollow body but with his new promotion, his head is solid through and through. I'm not sure why Britain's put a pale green over stripe on the Argyle & Sutherland kilts, surely the facings, the white hackle, and the grey sporran would have distinguished them from the Black Watch but it does jazz them up a little.  I've given up try to match the shade of scarlet used by W Britain back then though.


I should probably repaint the poor privates, but not this week. At least they are ready to appear on table if called.


Saturday, August 7, 2021

On The Workbench

It was a good day for working outside but after an hour my knee was complaining  loudly though silently so l gave in and retired inside to my painting desk. 

This 40mm Elastolin Saxon was a conversion done last year. I had taken a broken Roman Centurion and added a head, arm, and shield from one of the remaining gold plastic vikings that I bought nearly 20 years, ($10 for 100 of them). However, I screwed up that conversion: the head was too small for the body and was cut at the top of the neck while I had previously taken the Centurion's head at the base of the helmet neck guard (in other words right down to the shoulders). The result looked like the converted figure had a shrunken head and no neck. It bugged me every time I looked at it so I finally decided to bite the bullet and replace the head. This time, I took a head from a slightly bigger broken figure and cut the neck close to the body. I think the result looks more like a bodyguard or minor noble and less like a freak and so was well worth the minor effort.  


Next up was to add another Huscarl to Helgin's household, one that fit in better with the others. I started with a broken Viking chief (see a spare one of these on the conversion's shield side.and added some fur texture to his tunic.  This time I took the helmet and spear arm from a spare running viking (like the one on the new figure's spear side) and yet another gold shield (like the one in the background), then added a wire spear. Now he needs some paint.  


Lastly, when I bought a deceased gentleman's collection from his widow a number of years ago, one of the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders had lost his head, rifle and most of his chest. (That is actually a green stripe on the kilt, not a yellow one.) I started to convert him into an officer but only started. He's been glaring at me for close to two decades and since I am satisfied that I've finished experimenting, it seemed like a good time to refresh the Argyle's which meant finishing him. The head came off one of my Black Watch who rebadged to the Gordon's and now wears a pith helmet, the arm is homecast from one of the Casting's moulds. The repair work isn't my best ever and I need to tidy the neck before painting at the very least, but once he's painted up he'll do.


Thursday, August 5, 2021

Stay Away From My Cows!

 No sooner had Prince Micheal recovered the wounds he had suffered during the last convoy escort fight, than he was called to action again. The enemy was on his way to sack another village.

The arrows began to fly as the Saxons approached the abatis on the bridge and Helgin led his Hearthguard in a fierce charge 


An overview: the fight at the bridge was long and bloody  as the Saxons strove to cross the abatis and force the British back. On the upper right Dearg Mor has just arrived with a troop of his mounted raiders supported by archers and slingers. 


"Stay away from my cows"
Note the Widow Augusta 
at the road junction. She had inherited the village when her husband had been slain, and she was determined that no "filthy Heathen" would take her farm's cattle. She would play her part before the day was over, even though she'd been forced to give up her late husband's sword.


At last! Many of the Hearthguard were dead or wounded but Helgin and those warriors who could still fight were across the abatis. One more push! 

Across the river though, it was all over. Dearg Mohr had ridden over the young squire in charge of getting the herd and wagons to safety and headed directly for the Widow. Deftly dodging him, she clocked him with a cudgel, leaving his stunned body to be dragged away by his men. At almost the same moment, one of Micheal's warriors brought down his standard bearer. The remaining Picts grabbed their Chieftain's stunned body and headed back to their hills. 


Seizing the moment, Prince Micheal called for his remaining men to follow and led a fierce charge which swept the Saxons back over the bridge. Lightly wounded, with his Pictish allies fleeing the field. Helgin waved his men back. Time to save those wounded that could be saved and live to reive another day.   

Notes; Figures are mostly repainted and/or converted Elastolin 4cm plastic figures. The rules are the latest version of my house rules for them "Stout Hearts and Willing Swords".