Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Back To Base Lads

When I bought my first Prince August moulds, in the 1990's, it was to bring a regiment to play in the Hartford Area Weekly Kriegspiel's (H.A.W.Ks) club's multiplayer Charge! games at H.M.G.S. conventions. To fit in, I mounted each figure on a 1" wide metal washer. Since then, as the armies grew and I started experimenting at home and at conventions with different rules and levels of game, my poor armies went through a variety of basing ideas from single figures, to fixed stands with markers, to magnetised bases and so on.  

Well, life goes on and making a 3,200 km round trip drive is less attractive now than it was 20-25 years ago. This year, I donated a large contingent of my "Rosmark" troops to the H.A.W.K's to do their bit in club and convention games, and kept the units that would be useful in my planned not-quite-historical Acadian and Quebec campaigns.

My process: The single figures were mounted on steel washers using ordinary White (aka Carpenter's) glue and an hour of standing in water up to their shoes, makes it easy to pop them off. Being thrifty by upbringing as well as necessity after my choice of very early retirement, I cut my own bases from scraps, mostly from the boxes of Clementines etc.. Once the glue is dry, I flock with sawdust I've saved when doing repairs or projects and finally paint to match my table as well as I can.   

I confess that it hadn't taken long pushing scores and at times, hundreds, of individual figures to become a bit tiresome and, over the years, I have experimented with various alternate solutions from magnetic multi-figure stands and steel washers as bases on the figures, to a mix of multifigure and single figures and so on. Well, these days, the less fiddling with individual soldiers, the better, and since this is a solo project, open to a club or convention game now and then, all my armies, except Prince Valiant and friends, are going back on multi-figure stands.

Since I want to do both battles and large skirmishers, and want to play a game of toy soldiers, not conduct an accurate recreation, I have opted for an Old School approach where a Battalion of 300-500 men in a battle will be represented by 3 stands or "companies" of around 6 figures on a base.  In small actions or certain scenarios, an individual stand might be used to represent a detachment of 100 or so men or even less, depending on the situation, but with no change is ground scale, ranges etc.. Remember, its a game of toy soldiers. 

For my own convenience, the same rules will be used for my 1840's games at the other end of the smoothbore musket era but with different hats.

More to follow.   

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Meanwhile on the Eastern Front

Yesterday I made the long trip. (OK,OK, it's only 45 min on a good day, not as far as I used to commute to work but I don't often go so far from home these days.) to visit old long time friend Les for a game of Command Decision, Test of Battle. 12mm Eastern Front. (See Advancing on a Broad Front blog) First CD game in.....decades?  Anyway, we were starting to get the hang of the rules again when it was time to go home, so no decision made except that it was a very enjoyable afternoon.  

Opening Battle of Acadian campaign

Monday, November 20, 2023

Battle of Saint Croix: 1746

Popular history has little time for what is known in the US as King George's War, or the contemporary Duc d'Anville's unfortunate 1746 expedition to reclaim Acadia for King Louis. However, for someone who grew up on the banks of the St. Lawrence and now lives in what was Acadia, and has a friend who worked hard and finally bought back his Acadian ancestor's farm, some 250 years after their expulsion, that expedition seems like a good inspiration for a Not-Quite-Historical narrative-campaign. (i.e. a series of games linked by a narrative.) 

That campaign begins here.


As General St. Lambert crossed the Petite Riviere, he could see clearly the approaching column of redcoats with General Ross at their head. The French advance guard had done well to be first to cross over and occupy the little village on the far side of the bridge and be in position to cut the road to the next bridge. All he had to do now was to hold his ground. 

The British force seemed to be a bit hesitant if not confused in the face of the constant trickle of casualties from the Mi'kmaq and Acadian skirmishers and the approach of French reinforcements.

Once the British managed to deploy, the affair no longer looked one sided. Their attack seemed to be aimed evenly across the whole line (or not aimed at all according to some of his subordinates), so St.Lambert decided to put his faith in La Reine to hold the bridge and sent his last reserve to cross the ford and cut the road to the east.

When the Massachusetts regiment joined the battle line, the fighting raged from end to end. A company of La Reine was forced to take over the defence of the Inn and soon their 3 companies were the only defenders of the town against 8 British companies including Grenadiers and Rangers. 

At last, the Rangers managed to push the last Frenchmen from the Inn but it was too late. Moments later the Grenadiers and 26th broke after heavy casualties, followed shortly by the Massachusetts regiment. General Ross had no option but to order a retreat.  

Note: The armies were recruited from Prince August moulds with the exception of a few Irregular figures amongst the French skirmishers.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Now The Hurley Burley's Done

 I need to write a blog post but its late so here's a quick preview:

Coming soon.......

Saturday, November 18, 2023

That last game reminds me of....

 ...an incident (fictional) in Nova Scotia/Acadie back in 1746....  

The French rush to deny the bridge and ford to the British invaders.

OK,  an incident which didn't exactly happen in real life, but which will allow me to play the same scenario using a different style of rules (a descendant of my old Hearts of Tin rules).

Monday, November 13, 2023

The Battle of Tea Room Junction (The 3rd Origawn War begins.)

Now that hostilities had resumed, General Ross received orders to secure a crossing over the Little Border River where it empties into Big Blue Lake, and deny the same to the enemy. Scouts had confirmed that Faraway had not yet posted any guard detachments at the bridge by the Tea Room Inn so he wasted no time. The order went out for his troops to form up at dawn and march over the frontier.  

As the column approached the bridge, a cloud of dust on the far side indicated that General Turner had not been as lax as he had hoped. There was going to be a battle! 

(Click on the pictures to enlarge.)

The armies deploy.

Led by the ol' "Up & at'em", (aka Brigadier Wavey), the Rifles, Wentworth Volunteers and Jane's Greys crossed the bridge and secured the little village, while the Red Dragoons splashed across the shallow river, drew sabres and charged their counterparts. Across the battlefield, the Queen's artillery opened a heavy, if inaccurate fire, while he redcoats deployed in echelon of battalions and advanced to prevent the enemy from seizing the fords farther upstream which would give them a way to outflank General Turner's force.

Brigadier St. John rushes his brigade to cross the ford and drive the enemy riflemen from the hamlet.

The Red Dragoons have driven off their counterparts but the fighting has taken a heavy toll and they are within musket range of the enemy infantry. The day is soon over them as well but they have also delayed the redcoat infantry, with St. John's brigade is at the ford and with luck, will seize the hamlet before the redcoats get there.

All afternoon the fighting raged at close quarters with neither side willing to give way to the old enemy.

But men can only take so much and as the sun sank, the shattered Oberhilse battalions had had enough and fell back while they could still defend their side of the river. The weary Queen's troops let them go and began to look to the many wounded.
After all, the war had just begun.

The figures are (smallish by today's standards) 40mm, some Historifig/Scruby backed by mostly converted Zinnbrigade home cast figures, with a score or so of my own sculpts.

Next post will go behind the scenes and hopefully talk about the (wait for it....) new, new rules and what's ahead.)

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Finnigan Begin Again

Quite apart from non-wargaming duties and distractions over this last week, I ran into some issues with using the grid. After banging my head against that wall for long enough, I started to do a rethink.

It took a while to figure out what the 'inner me' actually wanted and then to put together something 'completely different'.  Four turns in, it feels aggravatingly promising. I'll explain that after the game which should be finished Sunday morning.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 9, 2023

While We Are Waiting For Me

Its just been one of those weeks. If all goes well, I'll finally get to finish the interrupted game tomorrow (Friday).

In the meantime, here's one from the archives:

In 2012, (or 1837, depending on whose calandar you are using) the Blue River Rebellion was in full swing. (Please note that the reports are shown last post first, first post last. They may make more sense if you scroll down to the last post and read the posts in chronological order.)

The rebel assault on Brooklyn.

Hmm, seems things were a bit more Old School in those days.

Sunday, November 5, 2023

This Is More Like It!.

At last! 

Another game is afoot (or 'a table to be more precise). 

The Queen's troops rush to meet yet another incursion.

Coming soon to a blog near you!