Thursday, September 29, 2022

Coming soon:

New resin figures from Day of Battle to review and the Scots resume recruiting:

Stay tuned!

Monday, September 26, 2022

After The Storm

The Storm called Fiona has been and gone, leaving a trail of damage as is the wont with these storms. We were lucky. After threatening to move inland, she veered back to sea, wreaking record damage along the coasts of all 5 of the Canadian provinces on our Atlantic coast. Clean up operations have commenced.

I want to thank the Major for his expertise, and you men for...'volunteering'... to work together during this truce. Your first task is going to be to remove this tree from the shed roof and convert it to firewood. Any questions?

As I said, we got lucky and had minimal damage, most of which has now been taken care of, apart from bits of missing roofing on the garden/tool shed, .......  and this, which will be dealt with when my new, slightly bigger,  chainsaw gets here. My old one is too cranky, and too addicted to throwing the chain, to be safe and efficient for this task:

We were sooooooooooo lucky! There are bigger trees, closer to the actual house that could have done serious damage. (They've been on the 'should do something about' list for some 17 years now....

In the meantime, I have another, more important crisis: My table has been cleaned off, ready for the next game but....I don't know what sort of game I want to play!  What period? What sort of scenario? 

Suggestions welcome!

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Battle of Plum Run Hill (Conclusion)

Continued from the previous post.

<Note: Click on the pictures to see the larger version of them.>

Without further ado, the Dominion forces deployed and advanced as the Rebels opened fire.

The attack gets underway.

The 1st Brigade, composed of the two companies of veteran Highlanders and one of the Rifles, steadily advanced straight up the hill under an accurate fire from rifles and artillery. On the left, the Mounted Rifles moved forward towards the redoubt, dismounted, and began trading fire with it's garrison, while 'A' Battery came forward, unlimbered and added to the din with an effective fire on the redoubt. Col. Ross's Brigade deployed in support of the Highlanders and began to follow them up the hill.

The terrain breaks up the attack but it continues.

From the top of the hill, General Grey surveyed the enemy's attack and ordered his cavalry to the far right to support that redoubt, sent the Zouaves in to make sure of the wooded hill top and pulled the supporting infantry out of the artillery redoubt into a reserve position where they could quickly return to the redoubt or reinforce the hill top. 
The first attack was easily repulsed and General Grey relaxed and lit a cigar, thinking: "This is gonna to be easy".

MacDuff was not that easily scared though, he'd known this was going to be a tough fight.  'A' Battery was now in action on his right, the first line was rallying in the rear and his second line was at hand. He ordered them to renew the assault. Colonel Ross drew his sword, set himself at the head of the Pioneer company and led the way. He was swiftly shot off his horse but his men roared out for vengeance and, led by their Sergeant, swinging his axe like a hero of old, they drove the Greycoats off the top of the hill.

The battle now ranged across the entire front.

The hilltop was taken but behind it, the woods were held by the veteran Zouaves. Both redoubts were still in Rebel hands, and the sun was sinking fast. It was time for the center to hunker down and keep the Zouaves in place while the flanks mustered what strength they could. Gray wasn't willing to wait though, pulling the Zouaves back, he hoped to reinforce the roadblock before the Redcoats could charge. 

The Dominion was slowly achieving the unlikely but the sun was sinking low. Did they have time to finish the job?

While the regulars poured in fire, the Mounted Rifles remounted and charged with wild cries, jumping their horses over the hasty work and scattering the remaining rebels. Not stopping there, they pursued into the Rebel cavalry which was moving up in support, and drove them back as well. On the far right, it was obvious that 'A' Battery, despite having hurt the enemy battery, would not silence it before nightfall. It would be down to the remnants of the Highland company which already suffered terribly from enemy fire, supported by the remnants of 'A' company of the regulars.
Putting himself at their head, Macduff ordered them forward. Leaping his horse over the logwall as his men rushed with cold steel into the expected hail of cannister.

Daunted, by this spectacle with the setting sun glinting on the cold steel, the gunners broke and ran.

Reduced to one combat ready infantry company and a few horsemen, there was no hope of victory now for General Grey. Reluctantly he gave orders for a retreat as the sun set. 

Overview of the battlefield as the Grey army broke 1/2 way through turn 15, the final turn.

So ends the Garden Wargaming season for 2022, and a great way to end the season. The game ended in the first have of Turn 15/15. If the initiative deck had produced a Black card, the odds were that the battery could have broken the highlanders while the veteran Zouaves might have either flanked the already shaken regulars or just occupied the redoubt and held it. Still, despite the dice and cards, it was the Commander's decisions that drove the conclusion.

If all goes well, we'll be back in the great outdoors by June if not May of 2023. In the meantime, indoor gaming will continue!

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Battle of Plum Run Hill. Pt1

The long Summer is drawing to a close and the first Hurricane of the season is drawing nigh. I decided that there was time for one last 'Garden Game' before Fall settled in to be followed by Winter. Casting my eyes about, I realized that it was 40's that had done all the outside fighting so far this year. It seemed only right to give the 54's an outing. I had left things with great uncertainty about rules and organization but ended up using an off grid version of the Square Brigadier.

I got the trimmer out, cleared the battlefield and starting thinking about scenarios. My first decision was to not use the knoll that had been central in the two 1790's games played earlier this year.  Sighhh.  Oh well.

"Enemy in sight Sir! Looks like they've blocked the roads and may have some troops in those woods on the hill."
I ended up deciding that Red was tasked with moving up the South-East road, leaving the hillock on their left. They had 1 troop of Mounted Rifles,  1 section of artillery and 6 companies of infantry, two of which were rated as elite shock troops. (The Highlanders of course!)  

Blue's orders were to stop the Dominion forces from moving down the road into Plum Run.  They had 1 troop of Mounted Rifles, 1 section of guns and 4 companies of infantry, one of which was rated as shock troops. (The Zouaves)

Brigadier MacDuff: "Hmm.Yes I see them. Looks like a hard nut." 

Having weighed the possibilities, I decided to entrench the gun and a company of infantry in a reboubt across the road. I then posted a company on top of the steep wooded hill, assuming that Red wouldn't be crazy enough to assault up that rugged terrain against an enemy in cover, while being subject to a flanking fire from the gun. I then posted 1 company on a trail that goes up the hill to the south of the knoll and winds up the back of the hill to a farm on the crest. That left me with 1 company of infantry, the Zouaves, and 1 of mounted rifles in reserve around the farm. 

An overhead view of the rebel positions.

As Brigadier MacDuff, I looked at the options and came up with three options. The first option was "Hey didle diddle" right up the road to storm the battery while screening the enemy on the hill, a potentially bloody option. The second was to threaten the battery, screen the hill, and focus on taking the small redoubt on the back road, sweeping over the hill, through the farm and taking the battery in reverse. Since it was a solo game, I assigned odds and rolled to see what plan to go with. I decided that the backroad seemed like the best route so assigned 4,5,6 to that option. The straight up the road approach had risks but was direct and left many of his troops out of the action unless their general reacted early,so I assigned 2,3 to that option. Lastly, to assault up that steep hill vs an enemy in cover against the center of his line where reserves could easily reach him. That seemed to risk disaster,  even if some units were assigned to keep the flanking forces busy but, if successful, it might more or less destroy the defending force and lead to a decisive result in campaign terms, so I assigned that option to "1".  Then I threw the die.

The orders have been issued and the first attack goes in, up the hill......

Up Next: The Battle for Plum Run Hill.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Coming Soon To A Blog Near You

Assault On Plum Run Hill, 1872

Stay tuned........

Sunday, September 18, 2022


It was mid September when Helgin set foot in the new land that they had reached while trying to escape from Prince Micheal. He led a handful of hs most trusted followers to explore the land, seek fresh water and look for game.  As they landed,  they were surprised by a welcoming committee.

But that committee did not seem overly friendly!
(Prince August homecast skraelings, Elastolin vikings with Day of Battle hornblower, toy ship)
(and yes, its floating in the little stream that runs through our property)

Coming soon to a blog near you!

(Pjila'si means "Welcome" in mi'kmaq, the original owners of the land I live on.)

Friday, September 16, 2022

For My Next Act

 (Nuthin' up my sleeve...)

I've been dragging my feet on painting up some PA Skraelings to fight some Vikings, or  someone. but I've got a few cast and primed. I even added bows to 2 warriors (4 actually except I ran out of wire to finish the second 2.) 

There was a lengthy delay while I looked for informatiom and pondered whether to correct the skraeling castings or leave them be. (things like there being no evidence for the famous "Mohawk" scalplock being worn in the east coast tribes and bows and stone clubs being the most common weapons etc), but I decided to let it slide apart from adding a few bows. (I need more wire!)

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Ready For Service

Well, they're a little rough around the edges and a fair bit of detail is either rather shaky, simplified, just plain missing, or quietly painted over without cutting and filing, but as glossy toys, they're fine for my purposes and I'm happy to have these figures back in service.

11th Light Dragoons c1794
(Scruby 40mm ACW with headswap using original homecast head.)

Of course, this gives the Coalition forces 3 cavalry regiments to the Repulic's single one. I should probably respond by adding some French Cavalry in Bicornes.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Life Goes On

But no hobby time today! Instead, it was a glorious summer day down at the waterfront,  helping run a fundraising  BBQ for the museum. Still, painting has progressed by fits and starts........

11th Light Dragoons. (W.I.P.)

Luckily, before I'd gotten too far, I thought to double check that the regiment I'd picked had been one of those which had served under the Duke of York in Flanders. Ummm nope! So, now we see the 11th Hussars, in their Buff facings, getting closer to taking to the table of battle.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

The End Of An Era

 "The Queen is dead."


Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Recycle, Reuse, Again!

This is just one of those weeks when I can't seem to get charged up to work or to game so, I decided to paint. I love these Scuby ACW cavalry, and especially so when they formed my 2 Dragoon units for the Aroostock War Whatif game which appeared at Huzzah 2012.  

A shot from my blog battle report of a test game of my 2012 Huzzah! convention scenario.
In the foreground are the stars of this post in their 1840's glory days.

And a shot of the redesigned game as played from my Huzzah 2012 blog post.
 (Blue Dragoons being off camera somewhere)

Another view of the Huzzah game, stolen from Normans's Junkyard Planet blog which also has some pics of our joint Ango-French 16thC game.
(and yes that hermit with the involuntary tonsure is me.)

However, all things must end and the what-if Arroostock and Oregon Wars faded away and the Dragoons kept trying to keep up with the times as the games slipped into the 1870's and then to 1914. I was contemplating reviving their 1840's look but while they mulled around the back of my desk, it suddenly occured to me that with a headswap to a Tarleton helmet, and a repaint, they were perfect for the French Revolution. Out came razor saw, drill, glue and paints......

Scruby ACW cavalry in their 3rd role (apart from the trumpeter who is a new Merten plastic recruit). 

A squadron of the 11th Light Dragoons should be ready for Flanders in 1793-5  by the weekend. 

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Pass In Review: #2 Day of Battle 3d Printed French & Indian War (**updated)

At last, the three sample F&IW figures are done. 

A Sergeant and private of the 47th Foot confront a  private of the Compagnies franches de la marine.
I suspect that grey or brown gaitors would have been more accurate but I like the look of the black and some regiments did wear them.)  

I had a hard time deciding on a rating for these ones but balancing what I liked with what I didn't, I ended up rating them 4/5.

First the Pro's: The figures are a good match in size and style to various popular 40mm ranges. The bodies and heads look too thick to me but so do 90% of other ranges and many gamers prefer it so I'll accept it. The resin takes paint well, is easy to trim or modify and seems to hold well with super glues. Having some separate parts, heads, some arms and weapons etc., helps those who like to customize figures.  

Perhaps near Fort Beausejour, or Louisburg, or Quebec...
Now the negative, while the French soldier in summer, woods fighting kit looks fairly accurate to someone like me isn't a reenactor aware of every detail, the British have some questionable detail which will bother some of us. In particular, the lace on these figures,  which is over scale is problematic. (If the figure was blown up to real size, the lace would be an inch thick or more! I didn't mark them down for that since it is a trend across manufacturers and is welcomed by many people as a painting aid though I see it as a hindrance!) .  The big issue for me is that the cuffs and lace patterns on the British were wrong. They resembled 1770's uniforms rather than the 1750's.  The larger cuffs should have a big vee with lace running up the yard. I see that the pictures of the boat crews in the catalogue show something a lot closer to the proper lace and cuffs, although some of the lace is even thicker. At least the resin makes it easy to scrape or sand it into something more realistic. (Mind you, it should be done before painting, he said ruefully...)  The sergeant's halbard was also problematic but it was easy to trim it to make it look like some sort of halbard. I couldn't find any historical reference to the gloves on the sergeant but didn't think it worth worrying about.  
** Note: When I was writing the post near midnight last night, it slipped my mind that I had looked at the pompoms on the hat and the cufflace and sergeant's gloves etc and then looked at the Day of Battle website to see if they had a SYW Prussian range. They do and these two figures in red were there, however, they were easy to convert so it was all worth the effort. 

Its been such a busy week and a tired one, tht they didn't get my best effort and techniques but they still came out as 'acceptable' to me.

So, will I buy any of these for myself? Yes, especially the boat crews and some indians and.........


Thursday, September 1, 2022

Mid-Week Update

Its been a hot, busy, week and now its September! Still a little bit gets done here and there and soon the last 3 sample 3d figures from Day of Battle will be finished.

Today I finally tackled one issue that I've been avoiding, what the bleep is this chap supposed to be carrying? Looks more like a fantasy weapon that any halbard that I've ever seen!

Today I finally made a decision. Whatever it was meant to be, its only resin and with a few snips and some sanding......its close enough for my work.

Should get these guys finished Friday, or Sunday....