Wednesday, 5 January 2022

Against Spain - Update

The draft of "Against Spain - Wargaming the Sieges of Havana and Manila" is with the printer for review. 

Contents - 


Background to the campaigns

Leaders and Forces Involved

The Invasion of Cuba

The Invasion of the Philippines

The End of the War with Spain

Wargaming the Invasions

Notes and Bibliography 

75 pages of full colour pictures and periods maps and 6 wargames scenarios for 18thC games - 3 set on Cuba covering the landing, encounter with the Spanish and a Spanish counterattack and 3 in the Philippines covering the defence of the landing beach, the storming of Manila and a battle in the jungle between sepoys, Spanish and Filipino tribesmen. Each scenario has a full colour map and breakdown of troops involved and can be used with any game system. Perfect for Rebels and Patriots, Sharp Practice and Muskets and Tomahawks or your preferred skirmish rules.

Want to know more - drop me a line and ask!

Wednesday, 29 December 2021

Almost done - Against Spain

 What do you do when you are relaxed and have plenty headspace? 

Catch up on the project you've been working away on for ages and finish it! 

The text is done, the pictures are in place and sources referenced, the scenarios and maps are in place. Lossiemouth has been a place I can relax and unwind since we started coming here when my wife was doing her training in Elgin. So I took my laptop up and finished off the bits I have been meaning to for so so long. 

When I get home I will put in the last reference books and papers I used and get a spell check and then get in touch with the printers. All going well this should be ready very very soon. 

Keep your eyes peeled. 

Wednesday, 22 December 2021

Some new reading material - The Canadian Rebellions

 I've been reading up on the 1st Afghan War recently and like any other wargamer wondered where else I could use figures in those in those uniforms. I stumbled across the Rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada as being suitable for bell shako wearing Brits and decided to find out more. 

Wikipedia has a few articles about the rebellion and the battles which ensured, but working out who, when and where with what wasn't always easy so a little more digging threw these two books up. So I ordered them thinking it would be January before I saw either of them.

But this week the both popped thru the letter box and so I have some 

Rebellion - The  Rising in French Canada by Joseph Schull cover the lower Canada rebellion. It's an older book, written 1971 but it has an easy style to it which is making it a good read. There is plenty background  on the history, politics and personalities and some excellent illustrations and maps. It will probably provide the deeper background and context that I'm looking for and hopefully won't skimp on some military info that isn't in the Wikipedia pages. 

Guns along the River - the Battle of the Windmill 1838 by Donald Graves is a very detailed and very well illustrated book about an attack lunched across the St Lawrence river from the US to Canada by a clandestine militia seeking to establish a republic. The occupied a stone windmill and fortified the position and were attacked by British regulars and Canadian Militia over 5 days. This has just arrive but it is packed with info and maps of what is in effect a mini campaign.

Sooo....what figures and how?

For the British - easy. I have a couple of units of Foundry Afghan war troops in bell shakos. Iron Duke do excellent figures in greatcoats or there is the taller Studio range also in greatcoats. Several actions were fought late in the year in very low temperatures amongst the snow and ice, so greatcoats are important. Perry also have their Carlist War British who may have some useful bits. 

For the Patriot Hunters and other "rebel" groups there are two possibilities. War of 1812 frontier militia seem to be a good match, especially Knuckleduster. Since these skirmishes took place a couple of years before the Alamo, figures for that campaign will be useful too - Old Glory and Artizan spring to mind. Possibly some blanketcoat clad FIW French Coureur de bois might suit for skirmishers too.

Rules? Rebels and Patriots obviously! 

Terrain and scenery? A white cloth and snowy trees seem essential and I have some plundered from Xmas villages which look nice. AWI buildings seem to fit the illustrations I've seen well too and I have a few of those around as well as split rail fences. I also have plenty redoubt sand fieldworks. Might have to think about a large stone windmill though! There are also some boats and paddle steamers featured in the latter book which might give an interesting dimension. I have the rowing boats but a steamer sounds good! 

Flutter fluttter.....uhoh!😂 Let's see where this leads!

Sunday, 19 December 2021

Colonial Campaign - simple rules and mods.

Folks, for those interested you can download these simple campaign rules which we used for our colonial campaign at the club. 

They are set in the 1830's and 40's with lists for HEIC, Afghans and Sikhs. But you could use the basic flowchart for later campaigns too. 

Hope you enjoy!

Friday, 17 December 2021

Two Games - The Crimea and Corrichie

 I had the chance to catch up with some mates this week. Two games played - the first, a brief Crimean war game with Graham H whose British Guard saw off my Russians.

Over lockdown last year I built up my Crimean war armies. These comprise of  plastic Warlord Russians supplemented by a few Great War Miniatures metal figures picked up on eBay and Great War British Guards and some accompanying Rifles, Artillery and Hussars. Just enough for a game. I have some modifications using Rebels and Patriots so we played through with those. The double 1's and 6's seemed somehow apt for the mismanaged campaign and as you can imagine popped up a couple of times during the game. We played with everything I had, rather than it being points balanced, (the British came in around 66 points while the Russians were in the 40's had we been counting), it was a fun game after all. 

My Russians chewed up Grahams flank, but then his hussars swept in and drove off my Cossacks and captured a gun. Grahams artillery cleared my skirmishers off the hill, but my chaps got their revenge and whittled down the guards as they advanced. However even with Russian reinforcements coming up the battle was lost. It was good fun though. 

The second game was a trial refight of the battle of Corrichie - a local encounter between supporters of Mary Queen of Scots under her half brother Moray and the forces of the rebellious Duke of Gordon and his followers. This is a battle which I have been researching for some time and this was my first opportunity to trial my order of battle and classifications using Pikemans Lament. 

To say that it went well and followed history to a great extent is an understatement. True to form Gordon's men beat up the raw Aberdeen militia and drove them back, but when they tried to take on the veteran Lothian men they came up short and on the very last turn of the game, I rolled a double 1 and Gordon was slain.....

...However here's the twist...Moray's pike also took casualties....and Bill also rolled a double both leaders were killed!! 

Quite what affect the death of Moray would have on Scottish renaissance politics is anyones guess, but it would have been considerable. The Gordon's fate may have been largely the same or they may have suffered all the more in retaliation. It's certainly set me to readying the other battles to try using the rules. 

I don't have pictures of the actual game...being a trial we didn't bother too much with scenery and the battle took place on a bare hilltop...but here is a shot of  the mix of Foundry, Graven Images/Timeline and D'Arlo/Vendel figures which I've used for this period. I'm quite happy to mix them all!