Saturday, December 30, 2023

Rude Awakening

The Adventures of Prince Micheal: Episode 26: 

Following their guide who moved quickly but as quietly as a shadow through the woods, Micheal and his companions did their best to keep up. The sun was sinking when they caught the sound of drums and wild chanting and cries. At last they reached a clearing........ 

Micheal ordered his men to ready their weapons, but to hang back and not strike a blow. Quietly they watch their guide walk forward to join her people. The dancers at once moved towards the newcomers with screeching cries and threatening gestures, but their guide cried out and spoke to their leader who in turn called to his warriors and gestured to them to stand back while he listened to the woman's tale. 

Finally he laid down his weapons and advanced, holding up his hand. Micheal laid down his weapons and stepped forward to meet him. With no words in common, the conversation was carried out by gestures but it was soon clear that they were about to move to attack these evil intruders who were camped nearby, and that  the white men were welcome to join with them. After a hasty meal, and a rest for the foreigners, the alliance of Britons, Saxon and Mq'ma warriors moved out in silence.

After a two hour march, the scouts reported that the enemy was gathered around a large fire, preparing their meal, and had had a few sentinels, but had none at all now. With a few gestures, the two parties agreed on a plan. The local warriors surrounded the enemy camp while the foreigners in their shiny coats hid until the signal was given and were then to charge into the middle of the enemy, kill their leaders and rescue the Lady Alison who was present, dressed only in a simple native dress.

Micheal and Alfred crouched just within the forest edge and waited. Suddenly a shower of arrows flew from the forest followed by a screeching horde of nearly naked warriors. Michael gave the word and Saxon and Briton, weighed down by armour and shields, broke cover and rushed at the enemy leaders. A long and bloody fight ensued. The evil Wizard and two burly guards seized their captive and drove her back towards the fire while fending off the rescuers.

The fighting was fierce and prolonged with heavy losses on both sides but eventually numbers began to tell and the raiders circle steadily shrank. Alfred approached the wizard and with one swipe of his blade, separated his head from his body. 

Micheal pulled his sword back to finish off the Brigand chieftain then suddenly froze, his vision blurred, his mind swirled and a sound like a laughing man filled his ears. Slowly he focused and realized that he was lying down, soaking wet and surrounded by laughing comrades! 

Had all those months been just a dream?

"Good morning sleepy head" said Sir Gawain with a chuckle "I don't know what strange dreams you had but you have spent half the night thrashing about, calling out, and generally disturbing our sleep, so I had the lads return the favour! 

But, its time we were a horse and on our way, or we'll be late for the New Year's Eve feast! So hurry up or you'll get another bucketful!

Happy New Year to you all!

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

We Now Return You To.....

 The Adventures of Prince Michael

In moments, the crew was armed and ready as the ship rode the waves in toward the beach. Soon arrows were flying back and forth.

The fight did not last long. Soon the enemy broke and ran into the trees, presumably to carry a warning to their chieftain. Well, their trail looked easy enough to follow.  After a quick conference, a boat guard was detailed  with orders to find sweet water, fill the ship's barrels and to hunt for meat and smoke for the return journey, or for the coming winter! 

The rescue party started to prepare to follow the enemy into the woods when a young, dark skinned woman approached cautiously. She had been spotted by the fire as the ship had run in and obviously she was neither British nor some sort of beast-man, had been a captive herself, and was grateful for her rescue. They had no words in common but by drawing pictures in the dirt and using gestures, while repeating "Awli-son", they soon understood that she had met the Princess Alison and knew which direction she had been taken. Armed with the news that the Princess had survived the voyage, and with a guide, the rescue party could make better time than anticipated, and with more hope of success rather than mere vengence.

There was no time to lose. The rescue party, cleaned the blood off their weapons, and prepared to follow their guide.

Monday, December 25, 2023

Merry Yuletide 2023

I wish a joyful day to all my readers and your families and friends!

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

There They Are!

After a long and difficult passage, the pursuers have sighted land, an endless land full of trees and rocks and rivers, but little else it seemed, until the lookout shouted: "I see Smoke rising beyond the next headland!"  Down came the sail and out went the oars. Eagerly, those on deck scanned the coast as they rounded the cape and entered the small bay. GOT THEM!    

"Rach gu sgiobalta!"

Only a boat guard, and now the enemy will be alerted, but at least there will be a trail to follow.

To be continued....

Thursday, December 14, 2023


Months had passed since the Sorceress had ambushed Prince Michael (see If you go down to the woods) without any sign of her or her strange minions, and slowly it faded to a bad dream. 

As Christmas drew near, Princess Alison, with her maid and a small escort, rode out to take the air. All was well, until......

None but the horses returned to tell the tale.

"The Saxons have broken the truce! To arms men! We march to rescue our women folk and revenge our dead!" But halfway to the Saxon camp, they met an armed mob marching towards them with angry cries.

However, before blood was spilt, the Green Lady appeared out of nowhere and stood between the two angry mobs.

"STOP! .......You have been deceived by the Purple Witch!"
"It is she and her foul creatures who have done this evil deed and she has taken them aboard a ship and sailed to the West, to where, even I do not know. If you wish to rescue your  loved ones and redeem your honour, make common cause, launch a ship, and go West!"
"It may be a long quest but it will be an heroic one, worthy of the bards songs. are you heroes who will swear oaths to each other to follow this quest to its end? or merely squabbling boys, afraid to take on a hero's duties?"

And so the warriors swore to undertake the quest. Swiftly a ship was made ready and a crew of bold British and Saxon warriors sworn to the cause. 

And so it was that these heroes sailed into the setting sun,
ready to face whatever adventures should await them.

To be continued
(It'll take these lads a while to cross the Atlantic but they should get there by the end of the year.......)

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Clear The Pass

After the defeat at St. Croix, Brigadier Cameron was assigned the task of clearing the road between the British camp and the Minas Basin where the Royal Navy was at anchor near Grand-Pré. He was given a detachment of Rangers, a battalion of the 60th Foot, a 4 pounder and three battalions of Provincials under a Colonial officer, Colonel Turner. 

Near noon, scouts reported spotting the enemy barring the road ahead where it passes through a narrow gap in a ridge stretching across the road. 

While the battalions began to cross the ford and deploy, Gen. Cameron studied the enemy position and pondered his options. He would need to open the road and demolish the barricade if wagons were going to get through, but he thought he might be able to pin the defenders while storming the ridge on the enemy's right flank.

"Forward men! We must clear the way!"

The French fire was heavier and more accurate than anticipated so General Turner was ordered to bring up the rest of the New Englanders to replace the 60th and to take the left hand ridge and flank the defenders of the redoubt.

The point blank fire was deadly to both sides but the Massachusetts were beginning to waver and Gen. Cameron felt obliged to join them and urge them on. 

Forward men! The French are wavering!
(They were one or two hits from breaking.)

Alas for General Cameron, just when the French militia were starting to waver, the New Yorkers began to waver. Cameron pushed his way to the front urging these farmers and merchants on. It seemed to be working until one of the milice saw the mounted officer in scarlet, towering over the crowd of brown coats, and fired carefully. As he started to reel in the saddle, his soldiers steadied him,  grabbed the reins and led him to the rear, accompanied by what was left of the battalion. 

It had been a fierce and bloody fight for both sides but there was nothing for Major Turner to do but order his battalion and the rangers to fallback in good order to the far side of the river and start getting the force, now under his temporary command, into order and send a messenger to report the situation to headquarters. 

NOTES: The miniatures are 40mm, mostly homecast from Prince August molds, some of them, especially the Canadian militia, being converted to suit their role. (and yes, Gorham's Rangers are currently dressed for the 1840's but that will eventually be fixed.)

The scenario was "designed" to suit the forces, the result of the last battle, what might follow in the campaign, and the actual terrain that such a column would have had to pass  through. (Not that either this or the preceding scenario were precisely accurate for the actual local places that inspired them.

The rules are a new, short (currently one side of a page), set of rules which I intend to use for 'horse&musket' games in a North American type setting, though  they could be used in any setting with the addition of troops and situations that I don't currently plan on using, I need to make them clearer (even for myself for future reference) and add a few things that might be used in another scenario (like destroying a bridge, digging entrenchments, storming walls, making amphibious landings etc, etc), but this weekend, I'll post the proofread version of them as they are.

Saturday, December 9, 2023

The Fighting Intensifies

 The rules have been stripped down and revised, and stripped down and revised......

Battle is well and truly joined.  I'm afraid the unsupported attack by the 60th Foot did not go as well as hoped.

but I'm liking this one side of a page, quick play, version. If all goes well, the game will be finished ere the sun goes down on Sunday.

Friday, December 8, 2023


 Looks pretty simple, even simpler if the gunners can haul the gun out of the narrow ford....

To be continued...

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Enemy in Sight!


"Forward men! We must clear the road to reach the sea!"

Comrades, we have marched from Montreal to Acadie, now is our moment. If we can hold these damned Englishmen until the King's soldiers arrive, this campaign will be over!

Note: Historically, Captain de Ramezay, a Canadian officer of the regular colonial troops (Compagnies Franches de la Marine) in New France, led an expedition of soldiers, militia and First Nations warriors to Acadia to rendezvous with Rochefoucauld. I've just made up a subordinate for my games, named lieutenant de St. Lambert after my old home town across the river from Montreal. 

To be continued......

Monday, December 4, 2023

Meet Me At The Pass

While the previous battle was being fought, Capt. St. Lambert with a small force of Compagnies franches, Milice and allies from New France landed at Grand Pres. When word arrived of the repulse of the English, Capt. St. Lambert marched to cut off the British line of retreat towards Fort Anne.

The newcomers.

The Vanguard of the retreating army.

To be continued....