Flats 30mm Battle for the Mountain Fort

Brave Alpinieri raid the Mountain Fort and Railway – Bruschia Attacked!

My latest quick 30mm flat skirmish was played out on a rocky terrain of Heroscape hexes and a ‘paint and make’ your own push out wooden 3D castle set. A railway line was quickly added and train in a tin locomotive and wagons.

Solo game played using 30mm flats and simple skirmish rules (details from previous posts).

Early morning light … The Bruschian forces in the Mountain Fort are attacked by their rival neighbours the Alpinieri, crack Mountain troops.

The Alpinieri, headed by Capitano Alberto Bertorelli, aim to disrupt the train line, destroy supplies and possibly take and hold the Fort.

2d6 were thrown to work out when the Mountain Train will arrive with the fur-hatted Bruschian reinforcements to change the guard – it will arrive in turn 12.

Birds eye view of the portable game board and gathered Forces
The blue white and red Bruschian flag flies over the Mountain Fort

Bruschian sentries patrol the station halt and battlements of the Fort – another quiet early morning?

Turn 1 – d6 thrown for deciding which compass point the Alpinieri raiding party would enters by – they emerge NW at the back of the Bruschian Fort.
Spotted quickly by sentries, the alarm is raised just before that Bruschian infantryman is shot and plunges from the battlements.
The first Alpinieri casualty shot down by Bruschians in the Fort

Some Alpinieri carrying boarding ladders sneaking round the back to attack the gun emplacement.

Explosive satchel charge swung into place to blow the drawbridge down.

A Bruschian artillery shell hit the gathered Alpinieri troops around the drawbridge, knocking out three troops including Capitano Alberto Bertorelli.

More Alpinieri rush into the castle in a final attempt to capture it. There is fighting in the courtyard, as Bruschians fire down from the battlements at Alpinieri troops inside the courtyard.

They hear the morning train in the distance.

A blockade of boxes, ladders, barrels and carts has been made across the railway track by several Alpinieri. One of the Alpinieri takes aim at the train from the station halt windows.

Turn 12 – the train arrives!

D6 Dice thrown to see if the train will brake in time or be derailed. It smashes into the barricade and derails into the station building, flattening the Alpinieri rifleman inside.

Dice thrown for each of the Bruschian reinforcements inside the train carriage and caboose. Only two are killed, the other eight and their officer survive unharmed.

Bruschian reinforcements stagger from the train wreck and head for the Fort.

The Bruschian officer calls to the Bruschian reinforcements down below – they head towards the Fort.

The last Alpinieri before his leap down the rocks to escape, only to be swiftly shot down.

The Alpinieri may have perished to a man but they achieved their mission – they damaged the railway system and the took out most of the Fort garrison.

The Figures

WW1 troops 30mm Flats bought at random on EBay about 5 to 10 years ago. They were already painted but needed a little paintwork touching up in places.

Neglected 30mm Flats FMS Frontier Skirmish


Another squabble between two FMS or Forgotten Minor States of old Mittel-Mittel Europe in the late 19th century.


The lone KruzoKampo (KK) sentry leans against the barrier post in the first light at a minor border crossing on the edge of the small town of KruzoKampo (KK), in this rural region of the state of NigraKruzo. The area was once called Kreuzfeld during past Teutonic occupation.

The KK sentry fails to spot an advance party of Grizan infantry hedinf south towards him along the road. Beside him on the wall, primed and ready, sits a signal cannon to alert the other guards and the Town Reserve / Militia in the town.

The border post is manned by the blue-coated volunteer militia of the Hejma Gvardio (or LandSturm as their Teutonic neighbours would have it).  

A reconnaissance sketch map is shown below, carried by Grizan forces who attack from Grizan territory south towards the bridge and this largely forgotten foot crossing on the  rural NigraKruzo border. 

The Grizan troops have one objective, to seize this neglected border crossing and hold it until further Grizan reinforcements arrive down the road to the North. 



Turn 2 – The KK sentry rolls 5 (4,5,6 to spot movement, 1,2,3 did not notice) and so spots suspicious movement on the Grizan side in the dimsy early morning light. He rushes to bang on the border post / toll house door to rouse his fellow Hejma Gvardio militia. He then [completes his move to] fire the small signal cannon on the wall to alert the Reserve in the nearby town – it fails to fire first time!

[Signal Cannon – Fires 1,3,5, Fails 2,4,6]

Turn 3 – As the rest of the sleepy guards turn out of the Border hut, strapping on their equipment and readying their muskets and bayonets, they hear a small boom and echo. Success! The signal cannon fired.

The KK militia reserve troops from the town will take 5 turns to reach the border post (turn number decided by d6 throw)


The first Grizan troops take one move to dismantle the barrier. They are out of firing range. More Grizan troops follow from the Northwest field to the gap in the field wall, aiming for the bridge. 

A wider view of the border post and  the footbridge, which spans a fast and impassable river tributary of the Rivero Nigra that divides the  FMS state of Griza from its southern neighbour.

An ancient artillery piece sits facing the Grizan side of the river and bridge. The usual traffic is foot travellers and livestock to the market of the town, the bridge being too narrow for most waggons. 

IMG_1885The small and still sleepy group of border guards stumble out of the warmth of their border post to man the barricade. Their officer and artilleryman head behind the post to ready the ancient artillery piece. 

The sleepy militiamen are soon overcome by the bullets and bayonets of the Grizan advanced guard. 


It takes one turn to ready and prime the ancient cannon, and in their flustered state, they fire only one round which misses the Grizan troops on the road. 

The surviving KK Officer and artilleryman are surrounded and quickly surrender.

IMG_1887Disarmed the two prisoners are marched north over the border into Griza by two Grizan riflemen.  

The Grizan infantry now have two turns left to quickly fortify their position before the KK Town Militia will reach them on the outskirts of KruzoKampo. They hear the drum and calls of the KK militia in the distance. 

The Grizan officer quickly directs his men to line the field walls and barricade, whilst one crackshot occupies the window position in the border post. 


The sixteen surviving Grizan reserves and advanced guard, flag fluttering,  line  the KK border walls, ready to clash with the KK town reserve or militia as they arrive. 


On the other southeast side of the bridge, bayonets clash in melee over the low field border walls.  Eight of the KK Militia and five of the Grizan infantry are quickly  killed in the clash along the walls. 

In the next ragged volley from the Grizan troops, the KK militia officer and ensign are fatally wounded.

IMG_1894The two surviving KK troops, the drummer boy and a disarmed infantry man are rounded up and herded into the stores building out of the way.

The black cross of the NigraKruzo flag on the flagpole is symbolically toppled by the jubilant Grizan troops. 

The surviving thin grey line of Grizan troops inside the hut and along the walls settle down to hold the border crossing until their reinforcements arrive from the North.  


This game was inspired by the recent flats games by Alan ‘Duchy of Tradgardland’ Gruber.

Troops are 30mm ‘Nuremberg scale’ flats from a random painted and bashed selection of troops that I bought online in the last ten years. They were freshly based on MDF penny bases. 


Notes on Terrain 

Building:  Modern Chinese ‘Little Farm’ set copy of old Herald / Britain’s 54mm animal house and trough. The stores hut is an OO/HO railway building.  

Barricade – tile spacers and matchstick barrier or old Airfix / Dapol OO/HO windmill sail spar.  Flagpost cocktail stick and MDF tuppeny piece Warbases

Grass and roads / river – roll out coated A4 flocked paper – model railway shop, strips of felt (fabric shop) 

Bridge – 1960s plastic by “F G  T & Sons London England” – F.G. Taylor & Sons, Ltd. England Farm Series No. 539 Rustic Bridge, 

Wooden ‘stone’ walls from German toy village. Plastic rock and various stone chippings.   

Trees – old Britain’s / plastic dead tree and mini Christmas card wooden clip fir trees on Warbases MDF tuppeny bases.  

Back of Postcard Rules for this game 

Loosely based on Donald Featherstone 

Needs 6″ ruler and handful of d6 dice, some coloured.

Movement rates on Foot – 3 inches, 6 inches on road 

River impassable except by bridge – tree areas impassable. 


(Effective) Firing range – 6 inches, of which: 

Long Range LR – 5 to 6 inches – requires 6 to hit (d6 dice)

Medium Range MR – 3 to 4 inches – requires 5,6 to hit (d6 dice) 

Close Range CR – 1 to 2 inches – requires 4,5,6 to hit (d6 dice)

Savings Throws as you wish – roll one d6 for each casualty. 6 saves life, 5 or 6 if behind wall / barrier. 


IGO YUGO rules – Role 2 dice at start of each turn, one for each side. Highest score wins, those troops move first.  

  1. Winner moves  first [Melee?]
  2. Other side moves second [Melee?]
  • Remove casualties as you go 
  1. Winner fires first
  2. Other side fires second.

Turn ends. No morale checks etc. 


Melee system as you see fit 

Melee happens when two troops touch base, cross rifles bayonets, swords etc. 

Version A – 1d6 each for each  man and his opponent, highest wins.

Version B –  3 life points each, Parry and Lunge rules 

Version C – Kaptain Kobold reduction of B (Parry and Lunge) to single d6 dice rules  

3 life points each man, decide who is attacker, who defender 

1,2 – Hit on attacker, attacker loses one point 

3 – Both Hit (lose one point each) 

4 – Both Miss 

5,6 – Hit on Defender (defender loses one point)


Artillery Range – two crew minimum – nominate target / area

Close Range CR:  1″ up to 6″ – hit on 5,6 – roll 1 d6 for casualty numbers 

Medium Range MR: 6″ up to 12″ – hit on 6 – roll 1 d6 for casualty numbers 

Long Range LR: 6″ – 12″ up to 18″ – hit on 6 – roll 1 d6 for casualty numbers

  • Adjust number of casualty dice as you wish for different ranges

Write d6 rule for any decision you need e.g. if low numbers / isolated, roll d6:

  • 1,2 – retreat / head for safety or cover
  • 3,4 – surrender (or 3 – freeze, 4 – surrender)
  • 5,6 – attack, advance 
  • N.B. Surrendering troops are disarmed and escorted to rear by one guard to two prisoners

Write d6 or movement rules as needed e.g. 2 men to remove barricade one move. Crossing wall, half a move. 

Write fire rules as needed e.g. for signal gun – Fire: Yes 1,3,5 or Misfire 2,4,6 


Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 4/5 April 2021 




Classic Close Wars and Comic Book Soldiers – back to the forest

Work in progress … Minutemen from the 1960s 1970s Lucky Products USA

My thoughts recently have been about redcoats and simple Featherstone rules like Close Wars, about painting what I own that I have bought in the past and put away for future occasions (though who would have envisaged our Lockdown situations?)

My scratch / scrap Napoleonics and Tricorne figures in 15mm had no Forest Indian opponents and I had no great wish to buy even more 15mm figures during the Lockdown. Instead I looked through my hoard for some odd-looking plastic flat Indian and Redcoat figures that I had bought for Close Wars and put away unpainted for a rainy day.

US comic book artist Russ Heath’s illustration c. 1961 https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russ_Heath

On the painting table this week but not finished are a box of Revolutionary War Lucky Products Comic Book Soldiers from the USA in the 1960s/70s. I was intrigued by these crude 30mm plastic flat figures in their rare appearance on U.K. eBay, so bought them quite cheaply. I have not seen any ‘this side of the Pond’ recently.

Eventually I tracked down what they were, thanks to Doug Shand’s website.


Doug sets out pictures and comments on each of the flat figures, as well as the later smaller rounded figures, along with some superb old adverts which tell you how many figures there should be and what the poses are meant to be.

Lucky Toys comic book ad from Doug Shand’s website

This Boy and Girl are very happy with their $1.98 toys! 99 cents each?


Many children were apparently disappointed with what 2D flat figures they eventually received. https://web.archive.org/web/20061225135945/http://home.att.net/~1.elliott/comicbooktoysoldiersintro.html

This website interview with comic book artist the late Russ Heath claimed “Surprisingly, Russ never actually saw any of the Toy Soldiers themselves! However, he knew they were Flats and he certainly heard about them. He says “No, I never saw them [the Toy Soldiers.] You know it’s funny, I got letters too that they forwarded to me from the company and everybody was bitching, they said ‘they’re not three dimensional, they’re only in relief [2D Flats] and it was really a rotten thing to do to the kids’. (laughs) Perhaps in his own humorous defense, Russ says “I tried to make, especially with the Revolutionary Soldiers Ad, I tried to make them look somewhat stiff and like the soldiers [Flats] would look.”

What I liked about these plastic flat figures was their curious cartoon or 18th Century print appearance, rather like these Revolutionary War ones in 1775. To both Doug and myself, the look as if these were satirical prints designed by Rowlandson or Gillray. The figures also really do look curiously like these American prints by Amos Doolittle.

Prints on Wikipedia or you can buy your own copy at https://fineartamerica.com/shop/prints/amos+doolittle

These plastic flats capture these figures well – was this intentional?

So this Pinterest haul and web search, along with several Ladybird classics such as Soldiers and The Last of The Mohicans, gave me an idea a little of how I want these figures to look.

These Redcoats, unfinished in red and white, have a curious football Subbuteo team look.

Minutemen in their everyday hunting clothes – an early form of mufti camouflage?

Ladybird Children’s Classics Last of the Mohicans, 1983 – illustrations by Frank Humphris

Mohawks – brown with a touch of copper or bronze paint mixed in as fairly generic forest Indians

These redcoats are not specific but generic redcoats like my 15mm Coastguard Excisemen of previous posts. The rigorous uniform research I have done these include Ladybird book of Soldiers here:

Two interesting pages showing the bling of Redcoat recruiting and the homespun American troops

Grenadiers and white coated French – Ladybird book of Soldiers 1975, illustrations by Frank Humphris

I did look in Preben Kannik’s Military Unicorns of The World (sorry, Uniforms) and other Blandford books but wanted to keep these Redcoat / Tricorne era figures loose and generic.

I don’t expect to find any Lucky ‘Flat’ Revolutionary War figures easily and cheaply anytime soon in the UK. So I will make use of what I have and in time paint a small detachment of these figures as white coated French Infantry, along with some gun crews and the few Hesseans or redcoat Grenadiers. The cavalry are a little bit on the small side.

There are too many of some poses. Spare officers could make some gun crew. There are probably enough spare drummers and fifers to make up a small military band for some fun.

This gives me a range of small skirmish units for Close Wars in the forest.

I also liked these generic Redcoat / tricorne soldiers endpapers by Peter Spier in his Crash Bang Boom! Picture book (c.1973)

Not sure how much detail of lace or buttons etc I will manage with these 30mm flat figures or how to get that 18th Century Print look. They certainly won’t be the exquisitely painted flats I see online as these plastic flats will be roughing and tumbling on the games table and hopefully out in the garden. They arrived playworn, with engrained mud on some bases so I am glad they have already had a previous play life.

Close Wars usually requires a cluttered forest terrain. Throw in some stylised or stylish trees like the interesting card ones from Bold Frontiers of Australia or the ones on the painting table which are simple paint your own Made of Wood ones, a present bought for me from a local craft shop at Christmas.

Undercoated wooden craft shop forest trees WIP


Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 9 / 10 May 2020