Tuesday, 17 October 2017


Rather a lot going on elsewhere at the moment so only time for club games for a few weeks.

However behind the scenes I did managed to get the layout checked for the Sugar Islands campaign book.

I sent off my PDF to Book Printing UK who gave me a decent quote for an A5 paperback with colour glossy page printing, and a decent thickness colour cover. They also review the layout etc of your file to see if there would be any issues before accepting it. So I sent in what is effectively a half finished mock up - titles, pages, pictures etc in place, but some text missing from the areas I have to work on.

The good news as that apart from the margins and lower dpi count for some illustrations everything is fine.

I'm pleased with that, it's like getting your worked checked halfway through and getting the nod to continue. I shouldn't have any issues getting it printed - I just need to finish it!

Work on that starts over the next few weeks as my wife starts her course and I will have quite a few evenings free, so I might as well use them constructively!

So below is a rough mock up of the front cover.....it will change,  let's call it a teaser!😄

I've also been painting up some of Madame Ducharmey's men. This spirited woman defender her plantation from the British by arming her slaves and estate workers and was seen amongst them in the thick of the fight. She was not amongst the captured or casualties when the plantation was finally taken, so must have made good her escape. 

At the moment I plan on using one of the female gunners from Warlord's AWI artillery, I may give her a head swap - that will test my sculpting skills! - as she needs a more genteel straw bonnet rather than a utilitarian linen cap.

It's good to be back in the swing of things!

Friday, 22 September 2017

Happy Birthday Bilbo!

Not quite the usual sort of post from me but this has to be acknowledged.

On the 21st of September 1937 "The Hobbit" was published.

This book is an undying favourite of mine and is probably the most important non fiction book I have ever read. Had I not, I don't think my love of fantasy and history would have combined or developed to what it is now and my wargaming hobby would be considerably poorer for it.

I first stumbled upon a copy in one of the bedrooms of the house of the grandparents of some friends. The house was itself a magical place in its own right - a large Victorian home at the end of our street, stuffed full of books, basement rooms and a garden to roam in. A place which itself have been the setting for all sort of kids fantasy novels by CS Lewis or such like. I asked if I could borrow it and never looked back. I fell in love with it and a few years later The Lord of the Rings and then the Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales, getting the Silmarillion as a prize when I left primary school.

So thanks to JRRT for such a wonderful book and a whole lot more besides.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Sugar Islands Test Scenario 2 - The Advance on Port Royal

The arrival of my final batches of British for this project have meant that I can crack on and try out my ideas for scenarios. In this one the British have to March from one side of the table to another, representing their march from the beaches to what they hoped would be a position overlooking Port Royal.

I wanted to try a grid type system of the table with it divided up into 12in squares, each of which would contain a random terrain type and a possible event. Obviously an ambush by French forces, militia or slaves but potentially a water halt, damaged axle or similar just imposing a delay. 

Having made up the tables in my draft version of the book I was keen to give them a go and ran a couple of games this week at Oldmeldrum Wargames Group.  In the first game the British managed to sweep across the table with a mild diversion and a halt for water and it wasn't til they got to the last    square that they ran into trouble. A detachment of Swiss from Rgt Hallwyl managed to hold them up for three turns before they were forced aside and the advance continued.

In the second game things went badly wrong. The redcoats were hit early on by French marines and despite trying to drive them off a volley and bayonet charge the advance was compromised and the. British forced to halt and form if not quite a square, then something pretty close.

Matters worsened when the Grenadiers rou....I mean retired back to the ships and the poor 38th got pretty shot up. The French militia and more men from Hallwyl put a stop to any advance and the Brits got completely stuck. Only steady volley fire and a quick charge kept them safe until nightfall and the game ended.

Some Piccies!

The latter game, despite heavier casualties is a decent representation of the trouble Hopson's men faced. He thought casualties had been heavier than they really were and in the face of a water shortage, difficult terrain and a French foe who just wouldn't play ball, decided to call off the attack and march back to the ships and depart.

Overall I'm pleased with the result, the look of the terrain and figures. One more scenario to test and then on to Guadeloupe!!

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Sugar Islands Test Scenario - The Plantation

Tonight at Oldmeldrum Wargames Group we gave The Minden AWI rules another bash and tried out a simple scenario based on action from the attacks on Martinique and Guadeloupe.

Three British battalions advanced to take a plantation which had been entrenched and was defended by milita and men from the Compagnie Franches de la Marine, together with a large cannon which had been hauled into place. 

The British Commander decided on the direct approach and swiftly marched the Grenadiers, 63rd and 64th in column up the table to engage the enemy. The French hoped that they could relay on the strength of their position and the damage caused by their gun. 

The heavy piece fired and swept a file of men of the 63rd away, but the columns were not stayed. The redcoats pulled their tricorns down tighter, helmets their muskets and moved on forward. Again the gun blazed as the columns came into canister range, this time the damage was telling and the 63rd were halted, but the Grenadiers and 64th came on.

In range of the militia now their fire began to pick men off, but both units attacked the breastworks around the plantation. The cannon crew swiftly fell to their bayonets and, breaking into the position they split left and right. The Grenadiers on the left taking on the militia whist the 64th set about the French colonial troops. 

The British fought hard and with superior skill drove the French from their positions, they broke and ran and the plantation fell to King George's men. The price had been high however. The 63rd were badly mauled and the Grenadiers lost a quarter of their number. With victories like these would there be enough men to be able to secure the islands?

Sunday, 6 August 2017

French Gun crew painted.....and a new building.

Finished the gun crew. I've painted them as some Cannonier-Bombardiers in their red waistcoats and a couple of civilian supports. The Bombardiers were the colonial artillery deployed alongside the Compagnie Franches. On Guadeloupe they were assisted by numbers of Corsairs, so the figure in the baggy breeches could be one of these chaps.

The building is a new purchase from EBay. Perfect for the islands and for the AWI.

The single figure is from the same pack of labourers, but I have armed him with a musket from the WF/Warlord WSS cavalry. He looks quite a young chap, but everyone turned out to see off the enemy,