Sunday, 29 July 2012

"If I built a fortress... around my heart..."

I hope Sting will forgive me the horrible quoting.
My son asked if we could try a War of 1812 game where one side held a fortification and the other had to take it. I agreed and Martin joined in. We used a variation on the Iron Ivan This Very Ground rules, as we had before. (We planned to play a Dieppe game, but that will wait.) Out came the Styrofoam castle and the 1812 figures. Martin added some First Nations warriors and some French cannon and howitzers, which made the difference in the game. Robby and Martin led the US troops in an attempt to take my British-Canadian fort. We had to declare that the walls of the fort were sloped earthen embankments, a la Fort Erie or Fort MacHenry. Since we inadvertently left our Natives and Glengarries at home, my newly painted 1860's Canadian militia were impressed as uniformed Canadian militia of an earlier generation. Martin's 30-Year's War civilian mob was added as citizen's militia, including a preacher to harangue the folks.
The howitzers did nasty execution once they got the range, knocking out my single cannon. Once the US Rifles disposed of the Native warriors, the mounted rifles ran around the fort and held the attention of the civic militia while I shifted some regulars to better hold the back wall. The killing blow was the ascent of the slope by the US Rifles and another unit of US Regulars. My light infantry and regulars outside the walls were overwhelmed by weight of numbers, although they did some serious damage to the advancing US forces. By the end, I had to surrender the fortification.

The US line-up including 4 field pieces and 2 howitzers

The Crown's fortress.
The red thread denotes a road into the castle/fortress.
The wall were declared to be sloped rather up-and-down walls.

A close up of the US forces lining up in the forest. (the blue thread.)

The Canadian lights and the British line outside the fort.
Since we forgot the Glengarries, the green uniforms are either 1860's troops
or British Indian Department/US militia sharpshooters.

The lone Crown cannon... soon to be taken out by the howitzers.

The Select Embodied Militia garrison one of the towers.

A US howitzer, borrowed from the French army.
Nasty, deadly, and inaccurate.

The civic militia watches the back door. The preacher preaches from the floor.
(Martin! Don't make fun of preachers! You may need one for your funeral some day!)

The summer jacketed US infantry (the 17th?) advance down the road.

More of the US advance. The gun in the right foreground had taken damage
and failed morale for the turn. (the red bingo chip)
The Crown gun, after the damage. The green chip means the unit has been "activated."
US rifles vs. Native warband in the woods. The warband didn't last all that long.
The blue bingo chip indicates smoke and reloading status for the unit.
Uniformed State militia! Note the formation and the fact that
they ARE in formation.

Not much formation left just a few moves later.

The Kentucky Mounted Rifles begin to dismount and assault the back of
the fort. It was a feint as it turned out, allowing the Rifles to scale the side slope.
The white jackets shake into line.
The civic militia receives regulars as seasoning. The preacher is now silent.

Well, I lost but I had a good time.

What's upcoming for miniatures at the Hamilton Road Games Group? Our Dieppe game is postponed until the Fall. More ACW. Another Tiger hunt. Thirty Years War for DBR. After that, who knows? (My family and I will be out of the loop due to reenacting commitments and such until September.) 'Til then, enjoy your games!

Following a tour of Europe and the Sub-continent...

Yeah, I wish!
     I've had little time to blog lately. Things got busy and as usual... life gets in the way of living.
In any event, some of my friends and I have been considering the grand questions in life, i.e. why are peanut butter and honey so good together? How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? (Depends on whether you are Thomistic or Boneventurian... and those aren't factions in some stellar empire game.) Why is there air? What would happen if the British Empire intervened in the American Civil War?

      That last one made me think: "What figures would I use if we wanted to game that?" For our This Very Ground ACW variant, we use 25-28mm figs. Neither Crimean War or Zulu War figs would be appropriate. Need British troops in tunic and "quilted shako." Hmmmm. Old Glory makes troops for the Maori War in New Zealand! In Tunic and some sort of pork-pie, Kilmarnock bonnet! Could it be?

Since I was hoping to do some British regular troops as well as Canadian militia, I got some of the figures and painted a few up.
I think they'll do fine.

Line infantry command - staff sergeant, ensign, drummer, and officer.
Canadians or British regulars? Yes.

A better view of the ensign who started life as a bugler.
I added the sword to his left hand.

Rank and file. The blue facings denote Canadian militia.
I may get to Imperial regulars later.
Rifle regiment troops of the Canadian militia - bugler, officer, & sergeant
When I opened the bag, I thought the officer was an artilleryman! His sword
and scabbard look to me like a trail lever.

Up the Rifles! Ready to defend Windsor or Montreal or to march on Albany!
I'm rather pleased. The figures are in the right uniform and equipment. The Old Glory castings are somewhat funky and angular, the forage cap isn't exactly exact, and some are missing things like cartridge boxes. (If I were a better man, I'd add them from scrap pieces.) However, they are the right period and uniform and if such stuff bothers you, you need not play at my table... or you could just bear up under the stress.
I don't intend to raise an entire army, just some units to use in a "What If..." game at times.

What if... you come by and join in a game someday?
Forage Cap, 19th Regt Foot, Green Howards Museum