Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Minnow Deploys Her Cavalry

 


To be continued.....

Monday, April 8, 2024

CUT!!!!!!

I'm a big believer in play testing scenarios that I'm going to run at a "Con". Having a group of friends to play test is ideal but even a solo game can expose issues and omissions that hadn't occurred to me or which had occurred and then were forgotten or dismissed. 

On the weekend I started playing my first scenario only to realise that I had arranged things in a way that gave players too few decisions to make, too few options to choose from, and too little room to manoeuvre and that meant that the game was liable to be fairly boring as well as over in about 1/3 of the time available. So I rethought, rearranged, etc., and came up with a better approach....so far.

Ambushed!

The game will resume tomorrow.

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Almost There....

 The table is set, the rules are scribbled, now in the morning, comes the first test.

Ambushed!

Watch for your friendly neighbourhood minstrel...... 


........or this blog!



Saturday, April 6, 2024

Climbing Out Of A Rut

I've got sufficient troops, based, painted etc to have a test game BUT, I was still stuck on the rules,game mechanics, etc. units on a grid, units off a grid, neither of these had the right feel. They might work for historical armies in a pitched battle, but this game is supposed to have the feel of an illustrated heroic story of skirmishes and assaults etc,  in the Saturday paper or in a movie.  

Artist's (sic) impression of the Saxon assault.

Keeping that in mind I turned the job over to the back of my brain to work on while I just got on with converting figures. Today, I got a mental memorandum suggesting I drop the idea of "units" and just move individual figures and resolve melees considering whatever figures are in a square as a temporary unit.

I've just about got the even quicker one page rules ready for a Sunday test game.


Monday, April 1, 2024

Beware of Ambushes of the Mind!

Things were starting to firm up, scenario, rules, figure requirements, etc., etc., then, I came to the ground cloth.  I double checked the table size I'd be using and realised that the only base cloth I had that would fit, was the old, now gridded, cloth that I have often used at Huzzah since 2009 and many times at home. 

That wasn't a problem in itself BUT, once laid out, I couldn't help myself. I started thinking about how easy a grid is to use, no fuss about having enough rulers and tapes and fiddling about, "Is it in?" etc,etc. My existing units actually fit the grid nicely, but I'd have to diddle with the rules, and..........well, by the end of the week I had a simple gridded game put together, followed shortly by the realization that it was particularly bland, unHollywood-ish, and not at all like what I had wanted. 

Luckily, the grid is faint enough that I often use the cloth but ignoring the grid. Conversions, painting and so on, have resumed, the rules have been made less convoluted and the scenario shortened since once I allow for set up, rules explanations, and cleanup at the end, I've learned to shoot for a game that can be finished to a clear resolution in 3 hours or a bit more, rather than having to stop the game and make a judgement call on who was the winner. 

We have work to do!

Now I can get back to converting, painting, touching up, shading, basing, etc. etc the 2nd hand and never painted kits, and so on. Then, I'll be ready for the first solo run of the first scenario.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

A Round Tuit

How is it that every year I seem to forget how much work goes into preparing even a simple convention game if it's about to make its public debut.

 

"Get a move on it! Dress rehearsal for Friday's game on, well, Friday!"

But then, my home games get improved once those gotta get "around to it" things get done.
(Don't worry, its a Newfoundland t'ing,)

Monday, March 18, 2024

Bridgehead!

Even Prince Micheal can't be everywhere at once but the skirmishes and battles go on with or without him.

Scouts had reported that a party of Saxons had seized the ponte caeruleo and the beacon fires had been lit to call for reinforcements. The local auxilia had been first on the scene and sacrificed themselves to prevent the Saxons from breaking out before the legionary cohorts arrived. They put up a desperate fight and held until reinforcements arrived, but if these had been any later, they would have been too late.
(see previous post)

With only 1/2 their army on hand, it was the Saxons who were in a tight spot now, but it was Helgin and his Hearthguard who led the defence, and reinforcements were not far off.


The Saxons held the first Roman attack but took heavy losses and were forced to fall back towards the bridge and their reinforcements.  


A third attack was held as the sun sank in the sky, but with one flank exposed, and his huscarles slain, Helgin ordered one last retreat, back to the bridge for a last stand before night ended the fighting.



The Romans took a moment to order their line then the trumpets sounded!



As the Roman cavalry made their 4th charge of the day, the Saxon line broke, leaving the wounded Helgin and his standard bearer to greet the Roman commander.

Notes: This was of course the 3rd run on this OHW scenario using the latest tweak of my simple rules for my Prince Valiant figures, the ones I intend to use at Huzzah! 2024 in May.  One or two more games and I'll be ready to share them.



Sunday, March 17, 2024

At Last!

 Its been one of those weeks but at last the game has begun!

"Hurry lads! The battle has begun without us!!"


"Come on men, there's only 2 of them to 1 of us, we can take them!"
(What were they thinking?)

To be continued! 

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

At Last!

 Its been 'that sort' of week(s) but at last there is a game on the table. 

Many years before the battle for the bridge, there was another battle for the same bridge....

Battle report should be up by Saturday.


Thursday, March 7, 2024

Hurry Up and Wait

It's just been one of those weeks, again. Click on the link below the picture to read the first Prince Valiant game report on this blog.

https://gameofmonth.blogspot.com/2010/07/adventures-of-prince-michael-episode-11.html

Blogging should resume regular posting soon.

Friday, March 1, 2024

Huzzah! For Prince Micheal and the Days of King Arthur

Plans come and they go. Its always good to have back up plans. For various reasons, I was looking at skipping the Huzzah! convention in Maine this spring, in favour of a fall convention in Vermont which some of my old Montreal friends attend, with a stop at my old alma mata, Le Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean. However, the Vermont con is now on the last weekend of November, at a ski resort in the mountains. I was already questioning wanting to drive that far earlier in the fall, but having grown up not far from there, the risk of snow in the mountains in November was enough to tip the balance in favour of closer and thus cheaper and less tiring. So...I've just registered two Prince Valiant games for Huzzah! in Maine in May   Maine is lovely in May (if you don't mind a bit of snow in the mountains in some years), why not check it out? 

One scenario is an old reliable chestnut:  CS Grant's Wagon Train scenario: Plans come and they go. Its always good to have back up plans. For various reasons, I was looking at skipping the Huzzah! convention in Maine this spring, in favour of a fall convention in Vermont which some of my old Montreal friends attend, with a stop at my old alma mata,  Le Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean. However, the Vermont con is now on the last weekend of November, at a ski resort in the mountains. I was already questioning wanting to drive that far earlier in the fall, but having grown up not far from there, the risk of snow in the mountains in November was enough to tip the balance in favour of closer and thus cheaper and less tiring. So...I've just registered two Prince Valiant games. 

One scenario is an old reliable chestnut:  CS Grant's Wagon Train scenario:

  

The other will be my attack on the wall scenario: 

Best get the lads buffed up and ready to go public!   

(hmmm, might need to add a few more figures too..... sighh a miniature wargamer's work is never done.)

Saturday, February 24, 2024

The Battle of Little Blue River Bridge

Three months had passed since General Ross's attempt to seize the bridge at Tea Room Junction (See report here) and both Faraway and Origawn had made use of the time to get their armies into shape while patrols watched the borderline.  At last the word came: "The Blues are on the march, looks like they're heading towards the stone bridge over the Little Bluetaip River."  General Turner ordered all units within a day's march to rendezvous there and then led the Brooklyn Regiment  forward himself.

As they came in view of the bridge, they could see the dust columns across the river. It was going to be a close thing. 

A small wood near the bridge became the centre of fighting. The Brooklyn Regiment waited until news arrived that the two other columns were at hand, then they fixed bayonets and proceeded to drive back the enemy riflemen bur not without heavy losses.


By noon, both armies were on the field and air was filled with the "crack crack" of the riflemen, the roar of cannon and the blaring trumpets as the opposing dragoons charged and countercharged, each seeking to dominate the field while the infantry deployed.


By midday, the armies were all on the field and the fighting began in earnest.


On the Northern flank, the Origawn dragoons had finally been forced back over the river and with no room to manoeuvre in the bridgehead, were essentially out of the battle. The Brooklyn Fusiliers took heavy casualties but with both bullet and steel being used, they drove the enemy riflemen from the small wood by the bridge. It was beginning to look like the opposing infantry would have to settle the thing. 


An attempt by the Grey's to retake the central wood was repulsed with heavy losses, but if they could just hang on to the bridge till dusk, reinforcements should be at hand.

The duel between the opposing dragoons suddenly grabbed everyone's attention. After charge and countercharge, the Red Dragoons suddenly broke, the survivors pouring back over the bridge left a gap and the Queen's Dragoons poured into the gap and hit the Blues in the flank and they crumbled.
(
Howdya like that roll? 5x 5/6 on 6 dice!)


The artillery soon forced the Dragoons back, but the sun was sinking rapidly. There was nothing for Gen. Wavely to do but place himself at the head of the remaining Grey's, order "BAYONETS!!" and then lead the remaining companies of the greys to secure the north side of the bridge. 


But, it was a forlorn hope after all. The Fusiliers unleashed a heavy volley and the battalion broke and ran.

Balloon's eye view of the field as the battle ended.

The figures are mostly 40mm homecasts, some from commercial moulds, others from moulds of my original sculpts, backed by some conversions of Historifigs figures.  The rules are another tweak of  "A Whiff of Dice".

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Back at the Front

 "Drummer! Sound assembly!  Men, the enemy is on his way, we must block him!"

Look sir! We have arrived before the enemy.


"Alright boys, the enemy is upon us. Find a good spot and check your priming.
 We need to hold this bridge until the rest of the column gets here.
"

To be continued....


Sunday, February 18, 2024

Ready For Inspection

After 15 years in coatees and Havelocks, the Belmont Fusiliers are ready to take the field again in shell jackets and 'Porkpie' forage caps. 

"Well men, a good turn out. War looms and you'll be needed some but today I'm ordering an extra ration of rum to celebrate your arrival."

A few more units to touch up and rebase and I should be able to put a small game on the table before the weekend. 


Ps: This regiment and the General can be seen as they were in 2008/9 on the near left side of the header picture at the top of the blog homepage. The rabj and file started life as Historifigs Scruby 40mm ACW figures. The officers were original sculpts.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

From The Archives: The Battle of Wentworth Pass, August 2012

Its been a busy week, but not on the hobby front. I've made some progress on refurbishing the Belmont Fusiliers but they aren't ready for inspection yet, let alone a battle. However, nearing 2,500 posts over the last 14 years, I figured there must be an old battle report or two worthy of a rerun. 

The following game report was of a 2012  solo game using homecast Prince August figures and Lawford & Young's Charge! rules. The armies were raised for participation in "Not Quite The Seven Years Wars" convention games with the H.A.W.K.S from Maryland who adopted me as their Canadian mascot around the turn of the century. Since I don't have the time and money to make the 3,000 km round trip for an evening game, I decided to build enough units for solo games at home, and postulate periodic civil wars in my "Kingdom" of Rosmark. 

(Note: I'm not up to those long drives these days so last year at Huzzah!, I handed over a number of my NQSW units for the club to use and most of the remaining figures have been absorbed into my British and French armies for my Acadia and Quebec campaigns.

__________________________

The game begins.

Note: The game was Scenario 1 from Wargames for All Ages by Stuart Asquith and Charles Grant. The armies were Prince August semi-flat 40mm homecast figures. The scenario calls for the attacker to control the ridge and be able to advance past it with at least 2 units by the time limit which they suggest might be equal to the amount of time it would take to cross the table + 50%. In Charge!, infantry in column of 4's can move 15" per turn, I calculated 6 turns to march on, cross the 5 ft table and exit. Not liking a definite limit or a diced ending and being notoriously forgetful at ticking off turns, I made a deck of cards the first 8 in order, the next 5 shuffled with 1 being a joker which would indicate last turn. With hindsight, this may have been generous by a turn or 2, perhaps 7 + 4 would have been fairer but at any rate the game ended with turn 11.    


BATTLE OF WENTWORTH PASS.

When push came to shove, despite rumors, the old King's & Royal Companies remained loyal so the Queen's army consists of: The Queen's Germans, Capt. Picard's Company of Pensioners, The St. Lambert Militia, the St. Lambert Volunteers Light Infantry and a gun of the Foot Artillery.  Having noticed once again that Army Commanders are allowed a cavalry escort, half a squadron of Carabiniers has been assigned to General Bothwell until a permanent escort is raised.
It was in the fall of the 2nd year of King Michael's reign that Civil War once again awoke in Rosmark. The Council of Free Cities of the Maritime Provinces declared Independence from the Kingdom of Rosmark and invited the Dowager Queen to rule them as constitutional monarch. King Michael dispatched his army to bring them to heel. Needing time to muster the milita,  the Queen dispatched what troops she had to Wentworth Pass to hold back the Rosmark forces until dark.  

The entrance to the pass is fairly open a few scattered woods amongst open moorland and then a ridge of steep hills with a narrow gap. Movement up or across the hills would slow troops by 1/2 but convey no other benefit. General Darnly commanded the Queen's forces. He sent the Volunteers out to find a suitable ambush position (Diced for once Rosish forces arrived, 1,2 wood on the left, 3,4 wood in the center, 5,6 somewhere on or behind the hills to be diced for later.)  Darnly placed a gun on the forward slope in the center, firing straight down the road. Behind the gun he posted the Queen's Regiment 40 strong all ranks, to the left in defile behind the hill, the Pensioners, 20 strong  and  on the right, also in defile, the St. Lambert Militia 32 all ranks. He took post in the center with 4 Carabiniers as an escort.



It was past noon when the Rosish forces arrived.  The light company of MacDuff's Regiment, 15 strong, led the way supported by a 9 man squadron of the Yellow Hussars. Behind them in column came MacDuff's Grenadiers, 19 strong, then the Irish and MacDuff's Fusiliers each 41 strong. The 2 guns of the Staarbord Battery followed, then the Pandours, Irregular infantry (militia) 32 strong and finally the King's Brigade, 41 strong. The veteran General MacDuff, honorary Colonel of the Fusiliers, was in command.



 The destruction of the Light Company. The red coated Irish form attack column in the rear.

MacDuff''s light company had spent the last 8 years as line infantry and it seemed their skirmishing skills could use some polishing. Pushing straight up the road, they came under artillery fire and responding by rushing forward. A duel at point blank range with a field gun and 3 times their number of infantry led to their swift annihilation. The Queen's Volunteers on the other hand, ambushed the Yellow Hussars and then threatened the flank of the main column, requiring the Grenadiers to be detached to deal with them.

The normal Rosish tactics call for a deployment into line to engage in a firefight with a reserve live to exploit success. Here, there was no time and the regiments were hurled forward at the ridge in column of companies. The Irish led the way, straight up the road. It was expected that the light infantry would protect them during their advance but in their absence, cut up first by grape and skirmish fire and then by musket volleys, it was clear that a column assault would fail. Hastily the Irish deployed into line while under a heavy fire.

To relieve the pressure and hopefully open a way for MacDuff's Fusiliers, the Yellow Hussars were sent against the militia on the flank.
 The militia fight surprisingly well. MacDuff's can be seen beginning their ascent in the background.

The Hussars, confident of victory, forced  their horses up the slope. The militia, determined to fight for their independence, wheeled one company in line to face them while the other waited for the Fusiliers to climb the hill. A disciplined volley brought down 1 Hussar (they rolled to fire at close range) and in the combat that followed, despite the Hussars doubling of their dice, they tied two of the combats. They would be driven from their position but would be intact. The Hussars pressed on for a second round. Again the militia fought well and when finally forced to surrender a prisoner and retreat, they had held the flank long enough and would be ready to fight again before the day was over.


 The fight in the center. In the back ground the Grenadiers may be seen slowly driving the Volunteers back, whittling their numbers. 

While the cavalry struggled on the flank, the Irish struggled to deploy under fire but were broken and forced to retire in disorder. MacDuff's Fusiliers with 40 veteran regulars against 15 militia pressed up the hill firing as they went but the aim of the militia was deadly while the Fusliers, winded by the climb shot wildly. .
On the left the Pensioners crest the hill and open fire on the Pandours while in the distance the Fusiliers crest the hill and prepare to charge down into the militia. 

With the repulse of the Irish there was a lull in the battle. Faced with deployment of the Rosish artillery, the Queen's troops fell back behind the hill and dressed their ranks while MacDuff brought up fresh regiments to hurl against the ridge. As the Fusiliers crested the ridge they were met by a fierce blast of musketry (boxcars on 1.5 dice giving 9 hits).  They were near the breaking point (50%+1)  but they were close enough that the enemy would not be able to fire again before they crossed bayonets (no firing  against a charge that started within 3", an important rule for columns to remember since defensive fire counts for winning or losing a melee)

The sun was low on the horizon, if this attack failed, was there time for another?  

In the old Rosmark army, there were two crack infantry units, MacDuff's Fusiliers, especially the Grenadier Company and the St. Lambert Volunteer Light Infantry. At Not Quite Lobositz, where Rosmark units first found themselves on opposite sides of the table, it was MacDuff 's that was given the task of driving the Volunteers from the Lobasch Hill and drive they did, inch by stubborn inch. It is perhaps interesting that  while even the Queen's Regiment rallied to the defence of the realm against the Raid on St. Michel, the Volunteers took no part in that campaign or in the retaliatory strike against Adelheim. Now MacDuff's and the Volunteers were pitted against each other again. 
MacDuff's Grenadier Company on the left, St. Lambert Volunteer Light Infantry on the right.

The Grenadiers were eager to go at the foe with the bayonet but their officers knew that the veteran light infantry was unlikely to be caught and so they relied on the iron discipline of the Grenadiers. Step by step they drove back the light infantry while platoon volleys rippled up and down the line. Fire and advance, reload, fire and advance, reload. The sergeants pushed the rear ranks forwards and closed the files as the 'pop pop' of aimed fire from the skirmishers took its toll. At last, the Volunteers couldn't take anymore  and their short dashes to the rear became a race for safety.   Wheeling left, the Grenadiers marched in support of the Pandours attack upon the Pensioners, the last barrier on this flank.

The green coated Staarborde Battery opens fire at last 

After the brief lull, the battle was renewed with vigour. On the plain, the Rosish artillery had been shifting position constantly, occasionally getting off a quick round before the enemy  pulled back behind the crest or friendly troops blocked the line of fire. At last they manhandled forward to get clear of the King's Brigade, just as a clear line of fire opened to the Queen's Regiment. Was the gap wide enough? It was, by the narrowest margin though some suspect that the gunners didn't really care if they bowled over a few white coats on the way. Could they get the guns into action quickly enough? Evens to move and fire, no problem for these well trained crews (the Queen's gunners failed to manage a fire and move all game), long canister range, 2's to hit, no problem, roll for effect, 2 dice, 8 hits. The Queen's Regiment, already pounded by the light infantry, the Irish and some earlier roundshot, had had enough. The pass was close at hand and they fell back through it (below 1/2 strength).

MacDuff's, now recovered from the tremendous volley that had hit them as they crested the hill, rushed down hill with the bayonet. Beyond them, the Yellow Hussars spurred forward in support but were met by General Darnly at the head of his 1/2 squadron of Carabiniers. A sure sign of desperate times when  a General draws sword in this age. The Hussars knew they were outmatched  by the weight of the Carabiniers but with the sharp sabres they cut down the General and his Kettle drummer and held the heavy cavalry. An audible sigh of relief went through the ranks of the militia, whether it was because the Hussars were held or that they were now free of the General's meddling has been a matter of debate in the taverns of St. Lambert.

(Aside: During my Middle School Period of wargaming, I was put off by the lack of any role for Generals in Charge! despite the presence of these being laid out. An interesting omission considering that the rules were written by senior officers with combat experience who were also historians and teachers at Military College.  Much later, after much learning, I can extrapolate that the authors intended for the player to BE the general and that, like with morale, he should not hide behind the failings of the little plastic or metal figures on the table. Also, that while individual subordinate officers are important, modern armies, and I include the 18thC here, had structure and that no one man is irreplaceable. If a Brigadier falls, the Brigade may be momentarily affected but it does not stop functioning, the machine carries on. Given that turns average out to about 1/2 hour, it is below the grain and swept with many other things into dice that help decide whether an attack succeeds and fails, It is design for effect.)

"The Brown Stone Brigade", the St. Lambert Militia earns a new nickname.

All that remained was for the Fusiliers to sweep away this one company of militia and the road would be open with time to make it through the pass by night fall. The Fusiliers had stormed breaches and batteries, and had captured cannons and colours from the veteran soldiers of the Pragmatic Coalition. It was a sure thing, a done deal, despite the heavy losses and steep climb, or was it? As the Fusiliers slipped and slid down the hill, all order lost, the Brown coat militia stood and fired like madmen, the flashes of their muskets close enough to burn the coats of the Fusiliers who could make no effective reply. Suddenly, like the turn of the tide, the flood of Blue clad soldiers, slowed, stopped and then suddenly retreated. Silence descended, such a thing was unknown! MacDuff's Fusiliers  were repulsed! Later Colonel Brown was heard describing the sturdy burghers, merchants and tradesmen of his militia as being "as sturdy as their Brownstone Houses" and so the proud militia adopted a new name, "The Brownstone Brigade".     

The Pandours storm the heights while the King's Brigade creeps onto the ridge.

All hope was lost of capturing the South Ridge before dark but the center appeared open and to the North, the Pandours were pressing the Pensioners. Keeping the new tactics in mind, the Pandours pressed forward at full speed, not stopping to fire. The old veterans stood steady in the ranks but they must have been aware of the gap on their right and the stream of wounded and stragglers heading toward the pass. As the Pandours approached to 3" they unleashed a ragged volley. Moments later the wild Pandours charged with savage cries. For a moment the Pensioners held, then those who could, broke and ran for the pass. The Ridge was captured and the way was open. While the Pandours reformed and looted their prisoners and the bodies of the slain, the Grenadiers rushed past them to seal the victory.

By now certainly the King's Brigade would have swept away the handful of infantry and gunners struggling to keep a gun in action, blocking the road. Surely? But where were they? Still parked in the pass, feebly file firing at long range with little effect. Colonel Arnold, their commander, later claimed  that the single contour hill had slowed him down too much and that in the gathering dusk, he had thought he was in close range but unable to reach the guns with a charge. Less kind voices muttered that the White coats who had served Queen at Not Quite Lobositz, alongside the St. Lambert Volunteers, the Queen's Brigade and the Pensioners who had been part of their Brigade then but now stood on the hill above them, had been unwilling to face the canister and reluctant to inflict damage on their former friends.  Moreover, it is noticed that despite several turns in cannister range, the Brigade emerged from the battle almost unscathed  and it is being suggested that Colonel Arnold intends to join the Queen and take the Brigade with him.

Night falls on the pass.

So as the sun set behind the mountains and darkness rapidly descended. The King's army made a camp on the hills they had stormed. The King ordered the bells rung to celebrate the victory in which his men had stormed and captured the ridge but it did not go unnoticed that while there was a somber mood in the King's camp, there was a jubilant  mood in the Queen's camp as new recruits flooded in. Patriots and loyal subjects had met the best of professional soldiers in battle and had held them all day.

(The victory conditions are just a bit vague if not contradictory. By the strictest of reading the Queen's troops had to still be holding the ridge on the last turn so technically the game was a marginal Pyrrhic victory for the King due primarily to getting 11 turns instead of 9 but on the other hand, the Queen's troops still blocked the road and none of the King's troops had actually exited despite the extra turns and they had suffered staggering losses and disorganization. I leave it to the historians to judge).



Here are the 4 original blogposts on this game:
Battle-of-wentworth-pass-teaser.
Comments on playing Charge! solo
1st Half
Conclusion


Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Looking Behind and Ahead.

The armies that I am now refurbishing were a direct result of my falling in 'love' with shiny Scruby 40mm figures nearly 20 years ago, crossed with a long standing interest in the uniforms and history of mid 19thC "small wars" (from India and Mexico, to suppressing rebellions in my own country, to the Crimea). 

A 2013 battle report: The Brooklyn Fusiliers storm a Pirate base (click to see). 

When I started to develop my 1830-40's "Imagi-Nation" setting, my table was roughly twice the size it is now, I was in my 50's, could paint for hours, had a few bucks in my pocket, and thought I knew what I wanted. Of course I eventually I realized that part of me still wanted to do everything! I still wanted to paint and play with armies from some 2,500 years of history across 1/2 the globe, and contribute troops to various co-hosted convention games and games with local friends. So I tried to do it all and while I almost never "finished" any of the "projects" I was working on before starting the next two, I still enjoyed the journey. 

However, over the last decade I eventually found myself mired in incomplete projects, and realized that much of what I had started, was never going to be "finished", even if used once or twice with stand ins. It was also clear that even if I did do everything that caught my attention, there was not enough room to display or even store that many figures, nor time enough to play with them all. 

I've also figured out that apart from storage and display space issues, painting is less enjoyable than before. Neither hand nor eye are as steady and focused as they were, so my attraction towards the simpler glossy toy soldier look is a bonus, but even so I can't sit and paint for hours any more. So, as "70" looms, the time has come for yet another phase of downsizing and reducing the number of collections/projects. 

So what stays and what gets dropped?

Despite all the enjoyable experiments and detours, for me, a setting resembling 19thC eastern North America is still right for my main, all purpose, generic (semi-fictional) horse & musket collection. The terrain will be based on familiar terrain in my own country, including period battlefields that I've visited 150 years later. The uniforms, historical or fictional, call to mind "Tin Soldiers" (such as the Anderson's Steadfast Tin Soldier)  as well as "The Alamo", and the tactics were at the height of development until the arrival of the minie ball changed things. The secondary collections that are still alive can be seen on the "My Collections" tab on the right hand side of the home page.

So, that's the plan, and while I'm refurbishing the Brooklyn Fusiliers, here's a  2012 Oberhilse and Faraway Battle Report from the archives:

__________________________________________________

Jan 7, 1842

THE BLUE REPUBLIC CROSSES THE LINE

Yesterday morning, an unprovoked attack was made on the new battery established at Torn Point near Belmont on the Blugene River.  The Queen's forces in the area were composed of 1/2 a company of the Royal Fusiliers guarding the bridge near Brown Rock, the gunners with their 12 pounder and a company of local militia. These troops were on the Qui Vive however,  and at the first sign of enemy preparations alerted neighboring garrisons who rushed to their aid with unprecedented haste.

Three companies of Blue's 1st infantry under General Scott landed  upstream of the bridge. One was dispatched to hold off reinforcements while another company approached the redoubt at the bridge and opened fire. Despite taking 25% casualties, the Elite soldiers of the Fusiliers stood their ground and with a withering return fire, drove off the attack. The 3rd company soon renewed the attack and forced the remaining Fusiliers to retreat. While some Blue soldiers set to work tearing up the bridge, the rest followed up the Fusiliers who were attempting to make their way across the fields to rejoin their regiment and drove them off.   A fresh company of Fusiliers supported by a company of Victoria Rifles was at hand already. Several point blank volleys routed the first company of Bluecoats then a bayonet charge cleared the bridge before the destruction could be completed.


The Stone House near the point was attacked by Brigadier Zinn with a company of Rifles and 2 companies of the 2nd Infantry. Brigadier Zinn, led the 2nd Infantry forward in person but a bullet from one of the defenders threw him from his saddle and the attack stalled. The Rifles began to work their way around the House and casualties began to mount amongst the defenders but help was at hand. Rushing up the road from Brooklyn came the Green Tigers led by Colonel Stoneforte. The Grenadiers rushed to reinforce the defenders of the house while the rest deployed and opened a heavy fire.

Moments later a loud whistle followed by an explosion announced the arrival of the Rocket Battery. Fresh from the exercise grounds, these opened an unusually accurate barrage. Behind them, Princess Louise's Dragoons  trotted up the road, helmets gleaming in the sun

jj.  

Crossing rapidly over into the adjacent fields, they charged the company of Blue infantry which had been pursuing the Fusiliers. Blinded by their own smoke, the Blue Infantry failed to form square and were ridden down.

The invasion seemed well repulsed but Blue was not yet done, The second wave was at hand! Despite the lack of any senior commanders, two companies of the 3rd Infantry and a Mountain Howitzer landed and pushed inland while the Rifles pushed up the road and opened a heavy and accurate fire on the Rocket Battery, forcing them to limber up and retreat. Behind them, another wave of boats landed. The Blue Guards were at hand!



Pushing up the road towards the bridge a company of the 3rd opened fire on the Dragoons from behind the fence line. The cavalry wheeled around but as they attempted to jump the fence to get at their foe, a tremendous point blank fire cut them down in droves and the remaining dragoons scattered back to safety.

The day hung in the balance as the Blue Guards formed with precision, their Colonel at their head. With a ring cheer they charged the house where the Tigers had replaced the garrison.

A volley the likes of which has rarely been known cut down the Colonel and nearly 1/2 the Guardsmen. The remaining Blue troops quickly re-embarked and abandoned their enterprise.