Thursday, July 28, 2022

Battle of Wild Cherry Pass

 It was mid afternoon on the 27th of July when the French finally appeared.

General Michel de St. Lambert stared up at the English, ensconced on top of a steep slope, then calmly began to issue orders.

General Ross took one more look at his dispositions. gun supported by infantry and some of his German riflemen entrenched overlooking the road, more riflemen in an orchard on his left flank, support by some marines, more infantry entrenched across the road as it curved around the hill, and hussars and highlanders in reserve. He nodded his head with a slight smile and thought: "We'll slaughter these Frogs if they dare attack my position".

 "Did they think I would send my soldiers scrambling up that escarpement to their death?" thought General Michel St. Lambert as he surveyed the British position from below. Well, they can't do me too much damage here, especially with that deadground at the foot of the slope. Still, it might be best to amuse them. He issued orders for a company of skirmishers to work around the enemy's left and draw their attention. Everyone else was ordered to advance quickly down the road and attack any enemy positions. His orders were to drive off the British and secure this road leading down towards Newport Landing, and he intended to carry them out! 

The French skirmishers climbed swiftly up the gentler slope to the east of the cliff. A small party of riflemen opened fire on them. Rushing forward, pausing only briefly to fire they pressed in but those rifles were deadly! Hardly a shot missed while the enemy was hard to see in those woods. The fight at close range was desperate, but at last the surviving attackers were compelled to giveway and fall back out of range.

The sound of the battery on the hill opening fire and the crackle of small arms fire on the far side of the ridge was warning enough for the 1st company of the DeBrouiller Regiment. They manned their redoubt beside the gate and braced themselves for the comming storm.

Soon, the French skirmishere swarmed around the corner of the bluff and began to work around the defenders flank. As soon as their front was open, the first column pushed forward, stopped for one volley and then charged. The defenders fled! General Ross had seen the movement though and ordered up his reserves, stripping the hilltop of troops. Already the Highlanders and Marines were formed across the enemy's path. In reserve, the troop of York Hussars waited for a chance to charge. 

As the British line solidified, a prolonged firefight broke out. The French columns had no room to deploy and the smaller number of British met them musket to musket. They had no reserve though and their line was growing thin while the French seemed inexhaustable. To make matters worse, the French skirmishers were working their way around the flank of the marines, keeping to the rough ground with an eye to the Hussars in reserve. Lastly, the French artillery finally made it to the frontline, deployed, and added their fire.

Finally, the French cheered and came forward with the bayonet. They were held briefly by the emigres, but General Ross was wounded in the fight and after a bloody close range fight, the remnants broke. A charge by the Hussars stalled one column, but not without loss. The Highlanders stubbornly held their ground, and a party of Riflemen who had crept around the French flank managed to hit General St. Lambert.

For a moment the battle seemed to be stalled but it was an illusion. The 
remnant of the Highlanders were the only British infantry left on the field. Even supported by the remnants of the Hussars, a gun and a few riflemen, it was not going to be enough to stop three French battalions. The retreat began.


This game was played outside (in case that wasn't obvious) with various 40mm homecast figures, (mostly converted 7 Years War ones.). It lasted about 2 hours, ignoring breaks for refreshment etc. (With Humidex, it was about 35C.)  The rules were a stripped down version of my "With MacDuff To the Frontier" rules adapted to the French Revolution and crossed with some my underdevelopment "A Whiff of Dice" rules. Once I get my page of free rules fixed up, I'll post them there, probably under the Whiff of Dice title. 

Plum Run: Trailer

 It was another hot sunny day but duty called!

And so it began!

My phone was having trouble with the bright sunshine (and so was I)  so I set up a beach umbrella thingie to provide some relief. Worked for me but my phone became even more confused when it was pointed at both at the same time so the exposure, colours and autofocusing are not quite up to par but none the less, a battle report shall follow tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Patrol Returning SIr!

After that fiasco 2 weeks ago, the British had had to fallback and regroup. The French victory, backed by promises from the Directory that all former slaves would be legally freed if they came in, swore an oath to the Republic, and took up arms, had set back the British cause.  

 Looks like they're in a hurry Sir!

While awaiting reinforcements, and trying to convince London that the failure was largely due to the failure of the Royal Navy to provide adequate support, General Ross (well, looking back, it seems I hadn't yet named him so....) decided to fortify Plum Run Bluff, over looking the road to Newport.

"Well, Gentlemen, best turn out your men."

to be continued........

Monday, July 25, 2022

From the Archives: Crysler's Farm, July 2012

We're having a bit of what we consider a heatwave. (Temps into the 30's, humidex peeking at 40C, thats hotter than usual for Nova Scotia)  Since the heat in my little room under the eaves has followed suit,  I haven't been doing much hobby-wise. So, here's a look back at a Wat of 1812 40mm solo game from 10 years ago, played on my old 6'x8' table. 

Crysler's Farm  17 July 2012  (link to original post)


The troops were deployed in roughly their historical positions, everything was set, the starter's gun went off and the first card flipped. The game was on!

As the American columns struggled through the woods, I suddenly remembered that a while back I had reinstated the  ability of a Brigadier to join a unit and add a d6 of movement to his troops. That helped! At least it did until Brigadier Covington led a column out of the woods and into a hail of fire from the gunboats.
(That's him in the middle, on the horse, lying down amidst a pile of bodies)

In the woods, the American columns pushed the skirmishers back relentlessly, but slowly. The problem is that the Canadians and Indians kept ambushing the American columns, trading shots then fading back into the woods. Since a unit has to be able to see the enemy before charging, the Americans were forced to repeat the process, turn after turn, slowly wearing their enemy down and slowly but relentlessly pressing them back while looking for a mistake or a bit of luck to give them an opportunity to get to grips. Eventually it came and they activated while the lights were in view, a crashing volley followed by a charge drove the light troops back shaken. The right hand regiment pressed on to make sure the enemy didn't come back while the left hand regiment wheeled towards the open British flank.

Despite having penalties, the flanking fire from the gunboats was a serious thorn in the side of the American advance. Numbers told however and before long the British detachments on their right were forced to fall back in a hurry to avoid destruction. Morrison himself galloped over to rally them. Alas he stayed a little too long and eventually a long range shot from the US field gun laid  him low.

In the absence of Morrison, the acting commander of the British infantry (I'm not using his name, I'm too embarrassed, didn't even use a die to choose an action and shift the blame) made several bad decisions. The first, no doubt  a reaction to the firing in the woods which was level with the flank of the British line, was to wheel back 1/2 the 49th Foot to face the woods just as was done in the historical action. So far so good but the Americans in the woods were at least 2 turns away, the Americans advancing across the field were only the next card away. Oops! No problem, I still had a couple of dice of reaction fire, no hits. OK well the 89th can fire at long range, 1 hit, ok, brace your self, ouch! 3 hits!  Oh look, the American flank is open, what were they thinking?  I'll just wheel the 89th forward and Damn! they wasted their fire at long range. Oh well, maybe they'll get first fire next turn? Not a chance. Black card, the Lafayette Volunteers unleash a volley into the 49th and then start wheeling their flank back. 4 dice, 4 hits!OUCH! The British unleash their fire, 7 dice, 1 hit? Eh? The powder must have gotten wet! Oh well, wet bayonets still work, I sent the 89th forward and they chased the Americans off with cold steel. All's well again, sort of.

Even better,  a chance card  brings an unexpected unit of Canadian local defence militia onto the field!

Left on their own, the 49th fall back to rally but resolutely refused to recover any hits. No shirkers here, the hits must be all dead and wounded! Behind them, the artillery commander is wondering why the 49th didn't fall back far enough and a bit to the side so as to clear the line of fire of his gun? Sighhh. Luckily the light troops have rallied and are doubling over to support the 49th.

Out of the woods comes the next regiment of US Regulars and the British powder is still wet.  The Americans fire and then on the next turn lower bayonets and charge. If the British lose they will be broken. Incredibly, neither side scores any hits and the Americans fall back an inch and resume the firefight.

Its down to the wire. Several American units are shaken and one of the guns has been destroyed by the gunboats but the British have suffered heavy casualties as well. There is only 1 red card left in the deck for this turn, I decide to use it to order the newly arrived militia to support the 49th but oh damn! a joker,  a chance card its. ... A Blunder! The ordered unit does something other than what was ordered. Ok 5,6 they storm down the road toward the American Dragoons, 3,4 stand still, 1,2 back the way they came. Not surprisingly, up came a 1 and off they go. Thanks for showing up lads, however briefly, no wonder  there is only passing mention of the militia in the history books.

Next card, a volley sends the 49th Foot reeling back shaken but the gunners have been waiting for this and release a boxcar full of grape on the Americans. The light infantry close in on the flank, fire and the Bluecoats are running.  The Layfette lads are rallying deep in the woods, and the last almost fresh regiment is floundering through the woods farther ahead, looking for the way out. Like so often, including the historical action, there is only one unit left to stop the  advance of the 89th. The Dragoons. They have crossed the gully and wheeled. With rallying enemies to one side and the cavalry to the other, the 89th wheels back as they did on the day and wait. The trumpet blows, the Dragoons ride forward, the muskets crash and 1 sole Dragoons flees across the field. The battle is over. 

I really need to dragoon a live opponent into playing this battle with me again. This makes at least 6 times I've played this battle over the last 8 years, once with MacDuff, 5 times with HofT/Morschauser Meets MacDuff, once with Portable Wargame. Five times solo. Every one a squeaker but every one a British victory. Maybe I need someone else to take the British?

Anyway, the limited number of cards didn't have a huge impact on the game but I liked it. A chance card was pulled every turn but one, but because of the dummies only 3 or maybe 4 actual events happened. None of the events had a crucial impact but the arrival and subsequent departure of the militia was cruel in a fun sort of way.  Technically there was no connection between the 2 events but one can't help but picture the fates chortling in a  corner. The British were just glad that they pulled the card. The arrival of a regiment of US regulars representing the boat guard arriving slightly earlier than their historical counterparts might have tipped the balance.

I'm going to carry on editing over the next few weeks,  looking for poor language, mistakes, typos, missed edits and especially, areas where the rules don't accurately reflect actual practice. (yes I catch myself now and then doing things "wrong" and then have to decide whether the rules are right or I am. Usually its me. :)  I am also starting to think about the design notes and trying to think which aspects of the rules haven't been properly tested. I think it may be time to plan that house to house city fight that Jeff asked about.


So much for 10 years ago. Hopefully, by the weekend, things will be back to normal. 

Friday, July 22, 2022

Summer Slow Down

It has been a hot and humid week with all the usual side effects but the Mamlukes have crept along to completion.  Like the rest of the squadron, its a super basic job with some pretty shaky edges but they'll look just fine on the table top.

Yes, the smoke puff on the pistol is just a photo prop. Without it, you'd have to look verrry closely, and have a good imagination, to identify the stick in his hand as a pistol. Well, I say stick, it was originally a miscast sabre, now with a bit of cutting and filing, some  epoxy putty, and an application of forgiving imagination, its a pistol.

Now, having said that I wasn't going to talk about how I decided on the unit organization, a reader (Who will be anonymous unless you go back and read his comment on the previous post.)  has asked me to share my thoughts on it, so here we are, as short as I can make it. 

At Huzzah 2019, Rob Dean (Sharp End of the Brush blog) and I ran some 40mm homecast Not Quite the Seven Years War games using a new quick play version of With MacDuff To the Frontier but we also found some table space to play a couple of games of A Gentleman's War and decided that we should run some sort of AGW event at Huzzah 2020. 

With MacDuff at Sittangbad during the Not Quite The Seven Years War

After giving the details some thought after getting home, I managed to talk him into breaking out his 40mm Scarlet Pimpernal figures, promising to add enough figures to allow us to run a multiplayer AGW scenario using the AGW special characters, Spy, Mistress, Spycatcher etc. I set to work casting, converting and painting figures but then, alomg came COVID and Huzzah 2020 was cancelled. As a consolation, we did a 1 videochat AGW French Rev   to see how it might work.     

First outing for my nascent 40mm French Revolution 'armies'. 
40mm with A Gentleman's Wargame rules over the internet.
(Note the mistress who kept distracting my commander!) 

At this point, I was using the recommended basic units of 12 infantry or 6 cavalry or skirmishers. (Yes, finally, I am getting to the point.)  Now, I enjoy AGW as a 1 on 1 game, or even a 2 person team vs the same, but I find that the card activation and combat bonus mechanism which is in many ways the heart and soul of the system (my opinion only) pales or worse in solo games where there is no question of trying to figure out what cards your opponent might hold and when he might plan to use them, so that whole battle of minds and nerves aspect is lost and it become a bit like solo poker compelte with betting. In multi player games its even worse if trying to play a scenario because the options are basically to follow the suggestion of the game being designed for pairs of opponents fighting each other at their own pace with occasional overlap or having one player on each side being commander in charge of the activation while the rest handled their assigned units when the general activated them. So I fell back on old habits and started looking at options. 

The first option I considered was to use the current quick version of With MacDuff which we had used for the Sittingbad game but that brought me back to "same thing with different hats" .  It was hard to justify to myself building another set of 40mm horse and musket armies,just because I like the uniforms better! (I was hoping different rules and a different level of scenarios would give  me a viable excuse for the duplication.

After a few test games, I decided to expand the infantry to 16 figures. The plan was to eventually match this by increasing the cavalry to 8 figures to maintain the traditional scenario setup of cavalry being 1/2 the strength of infantry. 

The latest game with 8 man "companies" but allowing these to break in half for special missions or to occupy a small redoubt or building. The cavalry units, (not used here) are 6 strong for no reason other than that's what I have cast and painted up, and I'm lazy.

This worked fine for pitched battles but for small actions, raids and so on, it wasn't quite right. So I decided to organize the infantry into 8 figure "companies", leaving the cavalry at 6 figures because thats how they were painted and I didn't feel like doing more right away!  This looked promising but deploying outposts or occupying buildings was still problematic, so I started thinking about adding 2 more figures to each battalion so as to increase them from 2x8 figure companies to 3x6 figure companies. (6 figures fitting even my smaller buildings.)  

Then I slapped myself in the head and decided that there was no reason to make work for myself, just to conform to an artificial organization structure.  Allowing units to detach 4 figures for special jobs, like I did in the recent West Indies game, was easier and didn't require an over haul of all my units, and, I didn't really need my cavalry units to be exactly half the strength of a full infantry unit. Whatever the theory, what I had was working just fine in practice and I have better ways to waste time.


Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Coming Up To Strength

Its a convoluted, boring, and largely irrelevent  tale as to why my 1790's cavalry are all in 6 man units at the moment, but they are, well......except for my one unit of Mamlukes.

Conversion done and figures primed.

I had already started the conversion of the last two when I decided that I need to get the Turks on the table...NOW!  Well, before I could get too distarcted by evil thoughts of changing the organization of all my 1790's troops, I decided that I should get the Mamlukes up to the standard 6 figures and then play a game.  

Monday, July 18, 2022


Quick and easy painting with a borrowed canon....but ready for service.

The sculpting on these Drabant figures really deserved a 'proper' paint job, carefully shaded and so on but.......... neither hand nor eye nor back are up for it these days, so they're done in my current style. I want to give them one of the new heavy guns from Prince August but I need to cast one up first.   

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Recruits in Training

Today was that odd thing, a summer day with no obligations or urgent tasks to be done. So I managed the conversion to the gunners' headgear and got a start on painting.  

To be continued.....

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Recruiting Resumes

 Looking through the bits and pieces that will be used to form my Turkish garrisons, I decided to tackle a gun crew. The figures are a mix of 17thC Russian and Polish/Lithuanian artillerymen. These are part of the discounted Drabant kits that I snapped up at the last HMGS Con I attended (Fall In! 2016). They aren't quite right for anything I'm doing but they looked close enough for my purposes to be converted from historical models to Toy Soldiers representing 1799 Turkish artillerymen.   

That blue orb isn't actually a fortune teller's crystal ball, just a cannon ball in the making.

As far as I can tell from my current research by book and web, not all Turks wore turbans, esp gunners, and some wore long coats. Close enough, but fur trimmed hats in Palestine seems a stretch so I will probably turn the fur into turbans to make them fit in better. I only have 2 poses, 3 Russian gunners with rammer and 1 possibly Polish figure with linstock, but it didn't take me long to turn them into 4 unique individuals. I'm letting the glue dry over night and then I'm going to add turbans to enhance their "turkishness".  

Friday, July 15, 2022

Planning and Preparation

The quick change of period between games has been good in many ways but I'm ready to focus a bit more for a short while and despite past resolutions that I would never rebuild past 15mm collections with a 40mm version of the same thing......I appear to be doing that happily and looking forward to more. Well, after all, its a hobby meant for enjoyment, not a business endeavour or Sacred Quest so,...why not eh? 

So, having put that work into my Turks, why not bring them back out? 

When I decided to allow myself to revisit the 1790's in a larger figure size, I decided that I would NOT recreate armies for fighting pitched battles, but would instead aim towards more "petit guerre" forces and scenarios: raids, ambushes and so on. By default, this means the rules have to be aimed at this level which was the sort of thing the original "With MacDuff" rules were aimed at and my first instinct was to haul them out and adjust them to the new setting, but I soon realized that what worked for 4 hour multi-player games on a 6'x8' table in my 40's wasn't going work as well for solo games on a table roughly 1/2 that size as my 70's creep closer and closer.

From the archives: an early 20thC reprise of a 1980's 15mm French Revolution Guadaloupe game run at Cangames in the mid 80's. My 40's are now playing on a table about 1/4rd the size of Gary's table!

During the first outing of my Turks, I ended up scribbling down some 'back of a postcard' rules, basically a stripped down version of my old Morschauser inspired rules which developed into the more complex Hearts of Tin. These had each stand of figures being a "unit", if on its own, or part of a formation if grouped with others. I liked the way that worked but decided to push on and continue to try to develop a workable game for 8 figure companies on a small table. They were working fine till the terrain intervened and I had to improvise rules for splitting companies in two to occupy buildings, send out skirmishers, place guards on key terrain features like bridges or a battery for scenario purposes, then it got messy! 

It seems to me that the Morschauer inspired path is the best solution for big figures on a small table. Experience tells me that its also easy to teach new players that each "stand" or tray or figures is a game unit which may be grouped together and give them a short list of stats: movement, range number of dice to roll, score to hit, etc, and let 'em at it.  

For my Boxing Day game, I also had to improvise rules for detachments detailed to garrison buildings or protect a flank.

So, its time to dust off, re-simplify and tidy up "Hearts of Tin", paint a few more Turks and maybe add a few buildings, or a fort.......

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Liberté, égalité, fraternité

Happy Bastille Day!

unless you're an Aristo.....

Sunday, July 10, 2022

A Desperate Affair

"Excerpt from Lt. Tootler's correspondence

"What a damnable place these islands are! It seemed like a simple enough thing. There was this ramshackle little fishing port on Belmont Island, insignificant really, but a base for smugglers and privateers, ringed with rocky shoals and guarded by a cliff top battery of 32 pdrs. Our job was to drop off a party of Lobsters to clean the place out and pick them up again afterwards."

"Well, it appears that our spies had underestimated the French garrison and overrated the usefulness of the local free Blacks who, we were told, would link up with our lads and garrison the place when we left."

"We dropped off our lot at first light and the Froggie guards had barely time to form up and fire a volley before de Brouiller's rabble were ashore. At least I was able to help clear the wharf with a few rounds of grape from our bow chaser as the boats closed.  After that it was up to the infantry. The Hessian Jaegers landed West of a little creek while the Marines and Emigre's landed in the little town."

"It was the most damnable thing though, those Froggies didn't scatter like we expected, they took cover in the town and poured a damned hot fire on our lads. Up in the hills we could see our supposed allies, enjoying the spectacle and waiting to see how we did before coming down to help out. By the time the Lobsters cleared the town, more French troops had appeared advancing boldly on the Hessian riflemen. We were looking forward to seeing them run back but the Germans' powder must have gotten wet during the choppy ride in and they were cut to pieces by the French. I had to send a boat in to pick up the remnants and then gave the Frogies a taste of grape in turn. That soon encouraged them to fall back."

"The sight of Redcoats crossing the bridge seems to have encouraged our "allies" and a few of them came forward to take a potshot or two. It was a rude surprise though when a deep "BOOM" alerted us that the French gunners had managed to manhandled one of their 32 pounders to an embrasure overlooking the town. I sent word ashore to start bringing the wounded down to the boats, just in case."

"Our Redcoats made a valiant charge and there was prolonged fighting at pointblank range before the Frogs pulled back. Our early losses were beginning to tell though, and it didn't look to me like we had enough men left to storm that battery, even if we reached it. So, I sent a note ashore suggesting that it might be prudent for the survivors to retire to the boats before the tide turned." 

Footnote: The "Whiff of Dice" rules that I'm using for these French Revolution era games are still in development but they are getting closer with each game.  I had originally intended for the battery to not play a role in the scenario, the battery being designed to fire at ships at sea but I had put those sides on the redoubt, with embrasures, and after having just rewatched the tv Hornblower movie where they take the Spanish fort and drag a heavy gun up the cliff side to fire into the harbour, well.....

The forces were as follows:

French: 1 heavy gun in the battery. 4 companies of infantry, 1 in the battery, 1 in the port, 2 billeted in the inland houses. (Needing to roll to activate: 1 on  the 1st turn after firing was heard and so on. They were all formed up by turn 3!!)  

British: 1 company of riflemen (apparently with wet ammo based on their dice), 3 companies of infantry, 1 gun in one of the boats.

Free Blacks: 2 companies of skirmishers. (Allies but whose dice indicated a distinct lack of enthusiasm for advancing for the first 1/2 the game.)

The game went for 14 out of a possible 15 turns before I called it in favour of the French.

Saturday, July 9, 2022

It Was A Quiet Saturday Morning.....

 and Ross was home alone and playing around instead of finishing those Marines.....

Aux Armes!

One of the several reasons I've been making an effort to downsize my collection of figures, is so that I have more time to spend on the look of the games and of the photos, and have enough room to be able to store everything properly whether that is scenery and raw castings filed away so that I can find what I want quickly, take pictutes without a great effort to hide the slums and have room to put a cup of coffe down without making a special effort!! :) 

"Hearts of Oak are our Ships, wrinkly is our sky
We always are messy, tidy, boys tidy" .

It took me a while to jury rig an extension to the harbour so that my frigate could appear on table to duel with the battery, and to jury rig a backdrop for photos, but only minutes after that to remember that many if not most RN frigates were already heavily into short range carronades which would be pretty much useless for fighting a battery on top of a cliff. Phew!  No need to work out some rules for that bit.  Actually, no need for the ship model either (once again....), or the backdrop.  Oh well, it was fun to do anyway. Definitely need the better permenant backdrops that have been slowly working their way up the Toodoo list for a while now.

(and yes, my wife was on her way to a dogshow when I borrowed the light blue table cloth which is screening the heaping piles of junk which often cover the side cabinet instead of being properly stored inside it or somewhere else. 

OK, more coffee then back to the painting desk. My back is still complaining after the drive to Fredericton and back last weekend so its short stints of painting. They'll be done in time to play tomorrow though.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Behind The Scenes

The bones of a scenario are starting to take shape......

...but there's alot of flesh that needs to be added to those bones yet.

Assembled and primed.

I had intended to do this company of marines as volley firing but the only suitable officer I had was advamcing so I decided to go with them skirmishing instead. 

Game on Saturday or Sunday if all goes well.

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Hearts Of Recycled Metals Are Our Men

 I dunno, that may be true, but I'm not sure it'll catch on as a song lyric........

Work is underway on a company of "Not Yet Royal" Marines and a naval landing party.

Given the amount of good work done by the 'not-yet-royal' marines during the French Revolution, I'm surprised at how hard it is to find uniform details. That they had white facings and wore standard infantry uniforms with bicornes at home is clear, but given the variety of modifications made for the line infantry and guards on campaign during the 1790's, I can't help thinking that the marines might also have adapted.

Since I don't want to make a master and a mould, even if I had the info, I turned to what moulds I had on hand that could be used for something that fit the images in my mind. The head gear was easy since round hats of one sort or another were fairly common on campaign, especially in hot climates, and are also very suggestive of the period. Trousers of some sort were also common on campaign in the period but the image of later marines in breeches and gaiters is familiar and after looking at possible existing moulds I decide to go with breeches. I have no idea whether they were wearing full coats or shorter coatees on board so I went with the new Prince August Austrian firing figures which have long but tighter and shorter than usual coats, and which I haven't used yet, except as samples! The waist coats are slightly long for the 1790's, but close enough for me to call "toy soldier!" rather than fixing them. I will file the tops of the gaitors off though. 

I'm also looking at a naval landing party, both a non-pirate gun crew and armed sailors but I'm not sure the latter will be done before the urge to play gets too strong.


So much for the future. Thank you to all who commented on the last few posts, they were appreciated even when I didn't reply due partly to intermittent internet access and partly to my focus of making the most of the rare family time with my elder sibs.

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Year 13

Here we are again on a 4th of July. It is the 12th anniversary of my little heart attack and I'm still here. By default, it is also the start of Year 13 of the rest of my post heart attack life, and so I am continuing my practice of using this day to look at where I am and where I'm planning to go this year. It'll be a short one though since its "Steady as she goes!"

My current collections page has been recently updated so I'll save my fingers and just point to that page: "My current collections and plans"  and confirm that the series of games based on the requests/suggestions that I received in June, will continue with the French Revolution. 

I having been away visiting family, but its time to go home and start preparing for the next game.

My latest great-nephew, a Highland bull.

The 3rd runner up in the suggestion pool was the French Revolution and my plan is to assembly a company of marines and a naval landing party and stage a small amphibious raid on a coastal battery.

A mock up photo from 2016. Its for the wrong war, but there's a shore battery, a small cutter and one of two longboats  for the landing party, all still in the cupboard. Its a start. 

Since the game will be set in the 1790's, the marines will be wearing the white facings worn before they became 'Royal". Offically their headgear at the time was a Bicorne but since line infantry and even the guards were often to be found in round hats, I think I'll  go that route.  

Assault On North Village

Finally, here is a short report on last week's battle.

Having repelled The Oerbergers' raid on the the Dominion's supply depot, orders were issued to clear a road block at North Village so the planned offensive could begin.

After an extended barrage by a full field battery and a half battery of naval 4.7's, the order was given for the attack to proceed. Ross's Rifles were ordered to sieze the western end of Long Hill in order to drive the rebels away from the road. The  Royal Regiment was ordered to clear the village.   

Apparently the barrage had had little effect on the defenders on the hill and deadly MG, rifle and artillery fire cut the Rifles to piece. Those stout veterans did not falter though, and while unable to storm the hill,  the firefight was prolonged.

The assault on the left did not meet the same deadly hail of machine gun bullets and shrapnel and quickly closed on the village which was defended by a handful of rebel villagers, and by the newly raised Kapelle Rifles, their first taste of battle. It didn't take long for the dominion forces to realize that closing with the enemy wasn't the same as driving them from their positions. The brutal, hand to hand fight in the village was prolonged and deadly.  

"A" Company of the Royals, on the left, eventually took 1/2 the village, but were unable to push on any farther. "B" Company, supported by the MG company,  took the perimeter wall after a prolonged fight in which the new Kapelle Rifles defended their post to the last man (turn after turn of drawn melee). As the sun set, the cavalry, supported by the Armoured Car were unleashed in hopes of over running the dismounted Oerburgers who had finally come forward from the reserves but the Oerbergers' rifle and MG fire was too deadly.

The Dominion forces were exhausted and there was nothing to do but retreat under the protection of a renewed artillery barrage on the rebel positions. 

Friday, July 1, 2022

One Hundred and Fifty Five Years On!

Happy Canada Day!

It was on this day in 1867 that the Dominion of Canada came into existence (legally/politically speaking) by the union of the 4 colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Upper and Lower Canada. No doubt Britain sighed with relief at the thought of no longer having to listen to the complaints of those squabbling colonies, nor be pressed to spend money on defending them from the US and the Irish, and on developing infrastructure for the colonies' interests.       

A MARI USQUE AD MARE is the motto on our coat of arms, "From Sea to Sea" is the usual english rendition but there should really be another sea thrown in.  So, rather than a jingoistic picture, here's a shot of HMCS Ottawa in early July 1977, in Hudson's Bay which is technically a part of the Arctic Ocean. 

It was taken by a young, (oh so VERY young it seems now) newly commisioned, Sublieutenant, fresh out of military college 45 years ago. We didn't do the whole NorthWest Passage but at least I can claim to have sailed on three of the traditional Seven Seas.