Splattaque Splattack Splattergy Paint Wars chess board grid game

Close Little Paint Wars for some useless poses of toy soldiers.

Crossposted by Mark Man of TIN from my Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog:

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/07/01/spl-attack-spl-attaque-and-spl-attergy-games-close-little-paint-wars-rules-1-0/

Gold in them there forested hills of Gondal?

Northwest Gondal, 1870s

Rumours have reached the Redcoats at Fort MacGuffin that a gang of illegal loggers and miners are back in the hills to the NW edge of the Northern Forests. From time to time, rumours of past gold finds and limitless timber have lured landless settlers and gangs to try their luck.

Usually a Hunting Party of Forest Indians deal with any threats to their Hunting Grounds and Sacred Forests.

Redcoat patrols in the forest are warned to watch out for trouble. What will happen?

Turn 1

A small gang of armed miners is glimpsed at the entrance to the old mine, pulling down the boards that close it off.

D6 thrown to see at which turn or when next two parties of miners (Turn 4 and 9) and the next two Forest Indian Hunting Parties of five each arrive at Turn 6 and 7.

The Redcoat patrol of nine will emerge on the board and road to the south of the mine at Turn 11. Two d6 were thrown to determine how many redcoats are on patrol.

A Forest Indian Hunting Party emerges from the Northwest following a scrub turkeyfowl. They spot the Miners and some felled trees. This must be stopped! Where there are a few Miners, more follow.

The Forest Indians decide to scare the Miners off with some up close rifle fire.

Do the Miners post a lookout? D6 yes 1,2,3 – no 4,5,6.

Do the Miners see the Indians moving in the forest before the Indians fire? D6 Yes 1,2 No 3,4,5,6 – at this point Turn 1 and 2 the Indians are not seen approaching.

By Turn 3, the Miners do notice the Indians approaching. They are all out of range.

The first Hunting Party of Forest Indians uses cover to get closer to the miners.

By Turn Four and Five, firing has begun.

By Turn Six, the Melee between the Miner with the Pike and the Indian Braves sees the Miner and one Brave killed.

Photo: Turn Four, To the North a second Party of miners appears, weapons drawn.

Turn 8 – One of the first Hunting Party is in melee with the Miners’ Lookout, who is killed.
A higher bird’s eye view of the second Forest Indian Hunting Party advancing using cover of trees

Turn 9 – the final small group of miners appear on the track, south of the mine. Several Forest Indians and Miners are in melee.

Turn 10 – more Close Range firing does not lead to a mass of casualties due to some poor dice throws when firing and lucky Casualty Savings Throws.

Turn 11 A patrol of Redcoats appears on the path, south of the mine.

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At this stage with three groups on the table, I chose what would happen next from six options for a d6 dice throw.

1 – Miners fire on Redcoats

2 – Miners try to ally with Redcoats against Forest Indians

3 – Redcoats ally with Indians against Miners

4 – Redcoats fire in Forest Indians

5 – Forest Indians retreat away into the trees

6 – Indians fire on Redcoats

The outcome this time is Number Four, that the Forest Indians retreat whilst firing and being fired upon by the Miners.

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Turn 12 – time to leave?

The Indians departing and Redcoats arriving, the Miners throw a d6 to see if they stay to fight (1-3) and be caught or retreat (4-6). They wisely throw a retreat dice number, leaving their equipment behind.

Turn 12 As the Redcoat patrol advances, Miners hurriedly exit north and the Forest Indians disappear into the trees.

The Valhalla Queue – seven miners and a Hunting Party of five Forest Indians.

The fortunate Turkey watches the Redcoats load up and wheel away the Miners’ cart. It lives to gobble another day!

Before they departed, the Redcoats hastily used the gunpowder and explosives they found at the site to blow up the entrance to this troublesome mine good and proper, once and for all. If they can’t carry back all the Miners’ supplies on the cart, they will be buried for later or blown up in the mine entrance. No sense leaving it all for more Miners or the Forest Indians to find.

BOOM!

The fleeing Miners and Forest Indian Hunting Parties far away hear the sound and saw the plume of dust, smoke and rock spouting high above the trees as the Old Mine was sealed shut under a rockfall tumbling onto the Forest Path.

In their colonial policing role, the Redcoat Patrol gather up any dropped weapons and loaded them onto the Miners’ handcart. Removing any identification papers or personal effects that they find, the Redcoats quickly bury the Miners in one area.

That done, they bury the fallen Indians in shallow graves and cairns in another area, to keep them safe from wild beasts, knowing that the Forest Indians would return by nightfall to retrieve their fallen warriors and bury them according to the Forest Indian tradition.

By nightfall, even with the Miners’ Cart, the Redcoat Patrol should be back towards the safety of Fort MacGuffin by dusk.

Photo: The surviving two Hunting Parties of Forest Indians lurk to see what they can scavenge, including this small mystery barrel. Firewater? Explosives? Food?

Who knows what will happen next in the forests of North Gondal?

Conclusion:

An enjoyable short solo skirmish game in cluttered terrain, handling three different groups of characters for once. Hope you enjoyed it too!

I am enjoying the rough continuity of tensions between skirmish episodes amongst the various character groups and their background motivations.

The 54mm figures and terrain used are the following:

  • The Forest Indians are my repaired and repainted mostly Britain’s Hollowcast metal Indians
  • The Redcoats are my paint conversions of Pound Store Plastic copies of WW2 German Infantry
  • The Miners are Replicants plastics ‘Confederate Raiders’ sets, sourced through Steve Weston Toy Soldiers or on his eBay site
  • Trees are Bold Frontiers Australia tree packs.
  • The large dead tree and rocky mine entrance (a plastic pond edge or rockery) from Britain’s farm and garden sets in my childhood collection.
  • Charbens metal cart, repaired
  • Terrain is old fashioned felt pieces over big book hills with ‘logs’ and ‘rocks’ from the garden.

Rules are Close Little Wars scaled down adaptations of a Donald Featherstone ‘Close Wars’ appendix to his War Games (1962), book reprint or ebook copy available from John Curry’s History of Wargaming website.

Movement distances are again generally halved from the Close Wars appendix to reflect the smaller playing space available.

By chance, the Amazon.co.uk page for this book currently features in the sample pages / ‘see inside’ section a view of these Close Wars rules appendix – good choice, as you can see proof that it is a (reprint) book worth buying and reading!

Blog posted by Mark ManofTIN, 11 June 2020.

Patch the Dog patched up and a Fort MacGuffin Update

Concerned readers will be pleased to know that Patch the dog, heroic hound and defender of his mistress Kate MacGuffin in the recent skirmish with the Forest Indians, is making a steady recovery.

Patch the Dog (Tradition of London Street scenes model) alongside Wendal aluminium ponies

Here Patch is pictured inside the Fort with his relieved mistress, the daughter of the Commanding office of the Forest Fort, receiving a treat from Captain Snortt.

Herbal remedies from the Fort’s new garden are part of his recovery plan.

Captain Snortt has been torn off a strip (thankfully not literally) by her father, Major MacGuffin, for getting them both lost whilst collecting herbs for the Fort’s herb garden and medicine chest.

There will be no such jaunts unaccompanied without a full patrol of Redcoats for the foreseeable future!

Patch has been awarded a fine engraved metal dog tag in lieu of the Gondal Star medal for his brave defence of Kate MacGuffin. Bravo, brave dog!

A Tour of the Forest Fort, North Gondal, Northern Pacific, 1870s

Let us take you on a tour of the small confines of the Forest Fort and Trading Post. Fort MacGuffin is the hub of several smaller defensive outposts in the area, developed and fortified by Major MacGuffin from an old Trading Post.

The timber for the Fort was all cut locally, much to the chagrin of the normally peaceful Forest Indians in what they regard as their sacred forests.

An Eagle’s Eye view of the Fort layout.

Inside the Fort, Kate MacGuffin has replanted the herb patch and added some floral colour. No doubt these are flowering medicinal plants of the area.

A small well of spring wate, separate from the moat, is topped with an attractive well.

The Fort’s small stock of timber and firewood is running low. Redcoats will have to set off into the surrounding forests to collect wood and even occasionally fell more trees.

On the other side of the small Fort and trading post, Captain Snortt checks recent Fort supplies.

A planked drawbridge in two removable sections crosses the small moat.

A small artillery piece protects the gate. (Toy soldier collectors might wish to know it began life as a novelty seaside pencil sharpener)

Rounding up the Fort livestock and patrolling the walls keeps the Redcoats busy.

Several goats, chickens and geese are kept for fresh eggs and milk (not mentioning meat in siege situations). These are now the charge of Kate MacGuffin, along with the Herb Patch inside the Fort and small veg gardens in the surrounds of the forest.

Redcoats are deputed to exercise the Regimental goats and protect them from the Forest Indians. They sometimes slip their halters and wander off into the Forest.

Freshwater fish are stocked in the moat in case of encirclement. Bored redcoats can fish from the ramparts as needed. Dynamite fishing also secures a ready catch in times of trouble, ready to be salted down or eaten fresh.

They await a travelling signwriter to spruce up their temporary sign by the Fort’s ‘Jack of all trades’ ASC Private Fuller.

In addition to the recent difficulties between the Forest Indians and the Redcoats of the Fort, worrying news has reached MacGuffin that some illegal loggers and miners have been seen neat the old boarded up mines.

Rumours of gold and limitless forest timber from time to time tempt roving bands of Outlanders and failed Settlers into the Forest, stirring up ill feeling and conflict with the native Forest Indians on their hunting grounds. MacGuffin is there as part of a Redcoat force to keep the peace and watch the borders and coasts of Gondal with the other surrounding kingdoms.

From childhood onwards, setting up Forts like these, they have had to have some logic to their structure, contents, exploitable weaknesses and other possible story lines.

A Small Fort Apache from Tiger Toys

The Fort was a gift from within the family, a find in a charity shop near where the Fort was made by Tiger Toys of Petersfield, Hampshire. The accompanying Timpo Swoppet figures or copies were sold through eBay but when I heard about the Fort, I expressed an interest and it arrived last Christmas.

For Fort enthusiasts, it is a Tiger Toys Fort Apache No. T550.

Tiger Toys, made in England, “Part of Growing Up” in the 1960s apparently.

An attractive flag and 7 Swoppet type (copies) of Cowboys and Indians (included?) can be seen.

Fort Apache – 45 shillings, so bought predecimal (pre 1971) for Graham, the original owner …

“Dear Graham, your Birthday Fort is in good hands, albeit with new defenders.”

I would quite happily collect Toy Forts and Castles, if I had the space to store or display them, which sadly I haven’t.

This isn’t the cowboy fort I grew up with, which was slightly different with a watch tower in the corner but hopefully Graham loved his Fort as much as I did ours. It too had internal preprinted buildings. Our 1950s / 1960s family wooden Cowboy Fort did not survive several generations of children and damp, reportedly its rather simple inexpensive wooden pieces went ‘beyond repair’. Sadly no photos of this Fort survive. Luckily the family Toy Castle of the same vintage is still in good condition at home.

The base folded in half, hinged like the doors with thick gummed taper or paper

What I liked about this is its fold-away flatpack construction, including a fold in half base. Our childhood Cowboy Fort base and walls were permanently fixed, so more awkwardly big to store.

The walls slot easily together. Only the tape holding the doors and the horse hitching rail post needs some repair. The flag had also vanished.

Woodworkers and makers of model Forts might find these construction shots of interest:

For those who care about such things, the wall sections are 16 inches long and 5 inches high. The building is 15 inches long and 3.5 inches high. The board unfolded is 18 inches wide by 18 inches (9 inches when folded).

Who were Tiger Toys?

Without the original box, I would have no clue to manufacturer. Other Tiger Toy Forts that I have seen have small round Tiger Toys stickers or labels.

A brief history of Tiger Toys 1959 to 1971/78 is given on this Hilary Page Toys website

The Hilary Page Toys website about Kiddicraft designs of the 1930s – 1950s has a page on Tiger Toys but does not mention Forts.

Researching on the web, I found several past sales pictured on Worthpoint and PicClick post auction value sites showing Tiger Toys forts, including the larger or more complex Fort Sioux and my simpler Fort Apache.

The more complex Fort Sioux T55? has two (fixed or removable?) watch towers, ladder, loopholes walls and doors and what looks like a grander flag.

What looks like a Tiger Toys sticker on the roof. The building print seems to vary over years between models.

Past sales page shows Fort Sioux in detail including different building print detail with sentry

After Robert Hirst’s death in 1971, W. Graeme Lines of the famous Lines Bros (Brothers) family toy firm mentioned in a long Victoria and Albert Museum / Museum of Childhood interview talked about his short relationship with the Tiger Toys team of Petersfield until its closure in 1978.

Other interesting British toy companies including Airfix are mentioned in the interview listings https://www.vam.ac.uk/moc/british-toy-making-oral-histories/

Tiger Toys also appear to have made more Kiddicraft style bright colourful preschool toys.
An attractive Tiger Toys village in a box, a toy also made by Kiddicraft
https://catalogue.millsarchive.org/durford-abbas-mill-rogate?sort=alphabetic&listLimit=20

I must have driven past the turn-off to the old Tiger Toys home factory, several times en route to somewhere else, little knowing that this Durford Mill in Rogate (Petersfield, Hampshire) was the 60s birthplace of my new vintage Fort.

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

B.P.S. Blog Post Script

We end with an interesting video about the early designer of many of these preschool toys, Hilary Page of Kiddicraft from the Hilary Page Toys website, arguably the designer of the Lego brick (only patented in the UK). https://youtu.be/ClzySyzwi3k

A Romantic Walk in the Forest, Interrupted – The Skirmish.

North Gondal 1870s – A trip to the forest to gather herbs accidentally interrupted by a Forest Indian Hunting Party.

Lost in the forest, Captain Snortt and Miss MacGuffin square up to four startled Forest Indians.

First card of the Duelling draw … disaster!

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/26/a-romantic-forest-walk-interrupted-part-two/

Snortt is knocked out first turn, alongside Red Jacket.

Snortt now knocked out, Kate MacGuffin the Major’s daughter is now faced with three Forest Indians intent on taking her hostage.

All she has to defend herself is her hiking staff, concealed pistol and brave dog Patch.

Turn Two

Should she open fire? Kate has a hidden pistol but she is out of pistol range and outgunned two or three to one by the three Forest Indians who are carrying hunting rifles and muskets. These muskets or rifles fire twice pistol range, much longer ranges than her.

She climbs the nearby hillock and backs towards a tree guarded by her dog Patch.

D6 thrown for how quickly Snortt and Redjacket will recover from being knocked out. Snortt will recover after two more turns (Active again in Turn Four) whilst Redjacket recover in three turns (Active again from Turn Five).

One of the Forest Indians named Redbonnet recognises Miss MacGuffin from the attack on the supply column and tells the other two not to open fire. They realise that this woman is a valuable hostage to bargain with the Redcoats, as is Captain Snortt. She is best captured alive.

Redbonnet is not carrying any ropes otherwise he would stop and quickly tie Snortt up.

Turn Four

Snortt is now active. Where is his sword though?

The d6 dice throw for which side moves first this turn is won by the Forest Indians who move in on three sides of Kate MacGuffin.

RedBonnet heads around the back of the tree to prevent her escaping. They are wary of her and of her dog Patch who has positioned himself in front of her. He is growling fiercely at them.

Snort staggers to his feet, sizes up the situation and groggily rushes towards Kate on the hill and the nearest Forest Indian Greenbreeches. He is too faraway for melee this turn.

Turn Five

The Forest Indians move first and continue to try and encircle her on the hill. Active again, RedJacket staggers to his feet and heads towards Snortt and Greenbreeches.

Greenbreeches heads into Melee with Snortt.

Stop Thrust matches / cancels Stop Thrust.

Next card is drawn by Greenbreeches (Attacker) who draws the ‘Killed’ card!

Big problem. With Snortt now active and one of the Forest Indians dead, rifles may be used, at least on Snortt.

The Forest Indians both fire at Snortt. Yellowfeather misses at Close Range. RedJacket scores a hit but Snortt is saved by a lucky Casualty Savings Throw.

Snortt has no rifle to return fire. Kate uses her concealed pistol at Close Range on Yellowfeather but fails the shot.

Turn 6

d6 throw – Snortt and Kate move first .

Kate backs round the tree into shadow and cover to keep watch for the out of sight Forest Indian Redbonnet.

Snortt moves into a melee attack on Yellowfeather.

Snortt closes with Yellowfeather, after two successful hits reducing Yellowfeather’s life points or melee points, Snortt finishes the knock out with a Parry and Lunge countering Yellowfeather’s Stop Thrust. Yellowfeather is knocked out and topples back down the slope.

Snortt still has no rifle, so it is Kate who fires her pistol close range at Redbonnet but again misses. Redbonnet knows she would be more valuable as a prisoner, so a d6 is thrown to see if he fires back. He does not, hoping to take her alive as a hostage.

Kate MacGuffin lurks in the shadows.

Turn 7 Movement and Melee

D6 thrown, Snortt and Kate move first. I threw a d6 to see if Kate would attack Redbonnet directly or retreat round the tree, closer to Snortt. She retreated out of Red Bonnet’s way.

Snortt headed for RedJacket as he arrived at the brim of the slope. He swung his staff but after a slip (hit on Snortt), Snortt next drew a “Run away” card! Rather than running downhill, he headed back into the cover of the trees only to meet Redbonnet coming round the corner of the large trees on the hill.

Snortt draws the ‘Run Away’ card and heads off into the trees!

On the Forest Indian’s turn to move around the trees, Redbonnet closes as the attacker on Snortt for melee.

Snortt is attacked in melee by Redbonnet as they grapple and fight, staff to musket – two stop thrusts cancel each other out.

Redbonnet’s parry and lunge is deflected by Snortt’s cut to the head – first blow on Redbonnet. Two more stop thrusts cancel each other out.

Redbonnet’s stop thrust is countered by Snortt’s parry and lunge, another blow on Redbonnet.

Weakening, Redbonnet again parries and lunges at Snortt, only for this move to be countered by a cut to the head with his hiking staff – a third blow – and Redbonnet staggers back and topples down the slope towards the stream.

Snortt has knocked him clean out! Can he grab the rifle before Redbonnet staggers away? D6 throw – no luck, Redbonnet keeps his grasp on his rifle as he rolls down hill.

Meanwhile a few yards away Kate faces up in melee to RedJacket.

Redjacket aimed to grab or fight Kate MacGuffin but would he first have to fight off Patch the Dog? Patch had bravely put himself between them, growling fiercely. A d6 was thrown – Kate or the dog? It was her brave dog Patch who needed dealing with first, giving Kate time to prime her pistol, ready her staff and prepare her next move.

RedJacket swung at the growling dog, knife in one hand, musket in the other.

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Kaptain Kobold rules using dice were used here for the Dog vs Man melee. Each has three melee or life points.

First move – 4 rolled – both Miss.

Second move – 3 – both Hit, both lose a point.

Third move – 4 – both Miss.

Fourth move – 5 – Hit on Patch the dog, defender – loses another point.

Fifth move – 6 – disaster, another hit on Patch the dog, defending his mistress, his final life point lost. He slumps sideways with a whimper.

Turn 7 – Firing phase.

Distraught at the loss of her dog, dead or knocked out, it was Kate’s firing move. She coolly raised her pistol at Close Range and fired. Redjacket staggered backwards. A hit at Close Range and failing his saving throw, he staggered and rolled down the hill, dead. Patch was avenged.

Relief! Snortt and Kate were safe for the moment – two Forest Indians were dead, two more dead or knocked out – but for how long? They were also still lost in the forest. Patch the dog was dead or unconscious, it was hard to tell. The pistol and rifle shots might draw attention from the Redcoats at the Fort. Equally it might attract more Hunting Parties of Forest Indians.

At that moment, they heard the signal cannon from the Fort fired, the sound echoing around the trees. It was hard to pinpoint exactly where it came from. Moments later, a signal flare streaked into the air to the Northwest, from the direction of the Fort. This would give Snortt a rough idea which direction to aim for. It also told him that a foot patrol of Redcoats had been despatched by Major MacGuffin, the Fort commander, anxious for news of his daughter. They should have been back at the Fort by now.

Tired and lost as they were, Snortt said they should not hang around for the Forest Indians to wake up or more to turn up. As they made ready to head northwest towards the direction of the signal rocket, Kate MacGuffin pleaded with Snortt not to leave Patch’s body behind.

It would be quicker without him, Snortt argued. That dog saved my life, Kate said.

They agreed that they would try to carry Patch between them using their hiking staffs, the spear and an Indian jacket as an improvised stretcher. It would slow them down but hopefully they would soon stumble across a Redcoat patrol.

Snortt quickly removed Redjacket’s Indian tunic, which looked much like one stolen and cut down from a Redcoat jacket long ago as a hunting trophy. He tucked Redjacket’s hunting knife into his belt and gathered up Redjacket’s musket.

Snortt and Kate lifted Patch gently onto the stretcher and gathered up the herb basket.

Grabbing an Indian rifle or musket each, ammunition and powder, they laid these in the stretcher alongside the faithful but unmoving hound. Worryingly, struck several heavy blows by Redjacket, Patch still showed no obvious signs of life.

They set off as quickly as they could, carrying the stretcher, heading northwest through the forest towards the Fort, keeping watch for any further Forest Indians.

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The Forest Indians would not be pleased when they found the bodies of several of their warriors. There was more trouble ahead for the Redcoat defenders of Fort MacGuffin.

Sometime later that day, dodging Redcoat patrols in the forest, a Hunting Party of the Forest Indians comes across the dead bodies of two warriors of their tribe, Redjacket and Greenbreeches.

Nearby they find two unconscious warriors, Yellowfeather and Redbonnet. When they wake, no doubt they will have brave tales of fierce fighting with an overwhelming number of Redcoats. The four warriors are gathered up and the Hunting Party slowly makes its way back towards their hidden encampment deep in the Forest. They carry with them an officer’s sword of the Redcoats.

The story continues …

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 27 May 2020

A Romantic Walk in The Forest Interrupted

A Romantic Walk in the Forest, Interrupted …

May 25th – it is Memorial Day Weekend in America (thanks VSF for the reminder),

it’s also Geek Pride Day (anniversary of Star Wars, various Sci-fi Discworld and Hitchhiker’s Guide links etc), which we have celebrated here over the last few years:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/05/25/happy-geek-pride-day-and-its-my-3rd-blogaversary-25th-may-2019/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/25/happy-2nd-blogaversary-from-the-man-of-tin/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/25/may-25th-2017-my-1st-blogaversary/

… which means it’s my Fourth Blogaversary of Man of TIN blog.

Happy Blogaversary to Me! Thanks for reading and all your comments, ideas, interest and support.

What next?

“A Romantic Forest Walk, Interrupted” is the follow up duelling skirmish suggested by Tony Adams after reading my recent Forest Indians vs Redcoats skirmish posted yesterday:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/24/close-little-wars-wheel-meet-again-forest-ambush-part-two/

The Waggon repaired, and no further need for that pistol, Miss MacGuffin?

North Gondal Forests, 1870s somewhere near Fort MacGuffin

Fed up with the security lockdown at the Fort MacGuffin, our feisty frontier heroine Miss Kate MacGuffin persuades the Fort’s founder and commanding officer, her father Major MacGuffin to reluctantly let her out of its confines for an afternoon’s plant and herb collecting in the Forest to restock the Fort’s medicine chest.

Unaccompanied botanising would be too risky with aggrieved Forest Indians Hunting in the forest, and “The Major’s Daughter” would be a fine hostage and bargaining chip. So young Captain Snortt, hero of the hour and commander of the Besieged Wagon Skirmish, is entrusted with accompanying Kate and keeping watch over her as her guide, guard and chaperone. A very different Wheel Meet Again scenario indeed!

Well met again, Miss MacGuffin and Captain Snortt set off hiking through forest glades with their collecting basket, stout walking poles and her faithful dog Patch. They intend to stay near the Fort but enjoying each other’s company a little too much, they lose track of time and the blazed forest trails.

Lost? Not to worry, says the Captain.

Suddenly from out of the forest behind them burst a small deer, pursued by a Forest Indian Hunting Party.

Both parties stared at each other for a split second.

The deer fled but a fine hunting prize this hostage would make.

All that Miss MacGuffin and Captain Snortt have to defend themselves is his sword, their two hiking staffs, her revolver and whatever else they can find around them.

All set for a duelling skirmish where a valuable live hostage is at stake!

The Brontes maybe, but the redcoat Militia and heroines in Jane Austen all dressed up for balls were never like this, except maybe with zombies, and the books are all the poorer for it in my opinion.

Previously on duelling skirmishes, some fine blogposts, borrowed rules and entertaining Bartitsu Youtube videos – Suffrajitzu anyone?

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/duelling-in-the-sandpit-lunge-cut-and-stop-thrust

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/28/more-duelling-inspiration-bartitsu/

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/05/09/more-duelling-inspiration-mexicans/

Duelling meets Geek Pride Day – image from the former Bartitsu.org website

And Happy Geek Pride Day

“I didn’t choose the Geek Life … the Geek Life chose me.”

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, fourth Blogaversary, 25 May 2020

Close Little Wars Wheel Meet Again Forest Ambush part two

A broken axle fixing, Captain Snortt of the Yestershires and Miss MacGuffin …
Scenario Map – Gridded into four by four

The Forests of North Gondal, 1870. A stranded wagon, its wheel off and axle broken. Awaiting rescue and surrounded, the small group of defenders listen to their Captain.

Captain Snortt of the Yestershires is busy briefing his Redcoats, drawing lines in the surface of the Forest Road with his swordpoint.

The Forest Road is a glorified name for a track to the Forest Fort and old Trading Post Fort MacGuffin to the North. Its edges were cleared of timber to make the Fort itself and also make it easier to spot an ambush.

Invading and clearing their sacred forests and hunting grounds had caused tension with the usually peaceful Forest Indians who over the years had traded and stolen many Redcoat muskets and rifles.

Snortt: “We can expect reinforcements to march from the Fort to the North here, unless Ambushed en route. Forest Indians may well appear from here and here to the East, as well as travelling in from the West. We will keep a sentry posted in cover at each point of the compass.”

Snortt: “On first sight of the enemy, fire when you sight them. Whilst it will reveal your location, we need to keep them at a distance and away from accurately counting our numbers. We need to keep them at long range and stop them from closing in too quickly. They will be sounding us out. We need to give them an idea that we have troops all around the perimeter.”

“Only when they are too close and you are likely to be surrounded, may you fall back towards the wagon using what cover you can.”

Snortt: “Meanwhile, Private Fuller and you Miss MacGuffin will remain with the wagon and try to fix the axle and wheel whilst we wait for the repair team and reinforcements from the fort. Miss MacGuffin has also volunteered along with myself to make sure you have enough ammunition.”

“We also have taken off the Wagon two small barrels of gunpowder supplied for the Fort’s cannons that we can explode if we need.”

“Good luck, Men. To your posts. You too, Miss MacGuffin.”

Snortt saluted Major MacGuffin’s daughter and hurried off to post his few men at compass points around the Wagon.

Thus began the desperate situation of the Yestershire Regiment’s daily supply column to Fort MacGuffin, broken down with a damaged wheel and axle, stranded at the plank bridge. The Forest Indian Drums have been heard and glimpses of movement amongst the trees.

Read Post 1 The Set Up and Scenario in full:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/17/close-little-wars-wheel-meet-again-forest-ambush/

Addressing his Braves and Hunting Parties – Forest Indian Chief Old Wooden Legs

A big 54mm game in a small space.

Post 2: The Skirmish

Forest Indian Chief Old Wooden Legs spoke to his assembled braves, now arriving in the grove, from hunting parties across their forest.

Translation of Old Wooden Legs’ words: “I will split you into three groups, one to travel north and circle round to delay any reinforcements and appear to the North and the West side.

“The other two hunting parties will split up and approach through the trees and stream valley to their East.”

“We will raid their supplies, take civilian hostages to barter with the Redcoats and make the Forest Fort Warriors fearful of their supply wagons being attacked again.”

“They rely too much on their slow beast of two wheels, rather than hunting the swift beasts on four legs. The Redcoats are foolish and have not learned to live off the land as we can without destroying it.”

“When they see we can strike without warning and melt away again into the trees like spirits of the mist, maybe then they will become fearful and wise enough to leave our Forests in peace and return to their own places.”

“To your places and may the hunting go well with you!”

The Forest Indians disappeared back into the forest.

Pre-dice roll depositions

2xD6 thrown to decide when the Forest Fort reinforcements will arrive from the North forest road. On Turn 6, Snortt’s reinforcements will arrive on foot at the northern baseline at 4A.

The Forest Indians do not know how many soldiers there are with the wagon or how many will be sent to rescue them.

Snortt did not send the Major’s daughter back to the safety of the Fort on horseback as he did not know if his rider will got through with the message until he hears two of the Forest Fort guns fired in recognition. The Forest Indians will also have heard this sound echoing down the valley.

The Relief Party is setting out on foot. There is a shortage of horses and pack animals in general in Gondal in 1870 due to the ‘Tropical Yorkshire’ North Pacific climate and the horse sickness, horses not being native to the island or the four kingdoms of Gondal. The Forest Indians have become adept at stealing and hiding those horses that are imported and bred.

D6 are thrown for letter and number coordinates on the map

Forest Indian Hunting Party 1 starts out from map point D1 on Turn 1.

Hunting Party 2 from map point D4, starting out on Turn 6.

Hunting Party 3 from map point 4C starting out on Turn 10.

Wheel takes 1xd6 turns to repair once the Engineer arrives, in this case six turns.

D6 to decide if the Redcoat Relief Party appearing at Turn 6 is in one or two groups and how many turns apart. D6 1,3, 5 Apart or d6 2,4,6 Together. Dice roll says – They will arrive together.

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Close Little Wars Rules tweak 1

Playing on a small corner table 2 foot by 4 foot meant that the generous Wells and Featherstone movement rates of 9 to 12 inches were too big and the game would come to blows too fast. This is stealthy forest movement in cluttered terrain of logs and hills, marsh and swamp. I simply cut movement rates and terrain modifiers in half but kept all weapons ranges the same. The effect is of halving each turn into two turns to reflect short skirmish times.

Going up hills, across streams and marshes really does cut into rapid movement.

Firing from cover or sometimes blindly at cover in confined spaces and cluttered terrain of Bold Frontiers trees, hills and streams requires the dice modifiers of casualty savings throws and extras for cover or no cover. Bullets and arrows get blocked by trees and rocks.

If firer is undercover and target in open, 5 or 6 scores a hit.

Casualty Savings Throws if hit

4, 5,6 – slightly / not wounded, carries on

3, 4, 5, 6 – If target undercover, slightly / not wounded, carries on.

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Turn 1 and Turn 2

Close Wars rules. IGOYUGO. Dice thrown for A who moves first, sort out melee, B who moves second, sort out melee, A shoots first, B shoots second. End of Turn.

Redcoats assume their compass positions in cover around the wagon as centre. Sentries at N, NW, E, SE, S, SW and W.

Forest Indian Hunting Party move off from D1 towards wooded hill at B1 /C1.

No shooting – none within range.

Edited and coloured maps to show Redcoat sentry and Hunting Party movements

Turn 3

First firing by Redcoat sentries to East of wagon – several hits on Forest Indians along the stream bed B3/C3. One killed, others saved by casualty savings throws.

Turn 4

Further exchanges of fire between both sides sees another Forest Indian killed by the stream.

Turn 4 and two Forest Indians from Hunting Party 1 have fallen

Turn 4

Position of Indians on Wooded Hill revealed when firing at the Redcoat sentries SE.

Turn 5

Both parts of Hunting Party 1 are now moving in from the stream bed and downhill from the wooded hill, firing on the Redcoat sentries at E and SE positions. The Redcoat sentry at East by the stream is killed. Third Indian in the stream bed area is killed by Redcoat fire.

However three Forest Indians are closing in on the wagon, close to sentry posts around the E and SE positions.

Aware of the risk, Captain Snortt and Miss MacGuffin draw rifles from the wagon and stand behind it, ready to see off any marauding Forest Indians from raiding the supplies and taking Miss MacGuffin hostage.

Turn 6

Relief party of the Yestershires sighted in the distance on the road coming up the hill.

However the immediate threat remains the three Forest Indians getting close to the wagon. Two Indians engage the Redcoat sentry at SE (the Redcoat with the turban) in Melee.

Point markers for duelling from the old Heroscape Game.

The Hunting Party moves in on the wagon – Miss MacGuffin and Captain Snortt unpack rifles.

Redcoat sentries to the southeast engage in hand to hand duelling with rifles and bayonets. Three life points given to each, attacker is the Indian. Card each detailing at random which blows and blocking blows are dealt are hit points removed. The Redcoat Sentry at SE sees off first one Indian, then the second Indian closes in.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/duelling-in-the-sandpit-lunge-cut-and-stop-thrust

Melee Duel 2 – cards reset, melee begins and one of the random cards sees the second Forest Indian retreat, his weapon broken.

A lucky escape for the Indian – retreat with a damaged weapon. Chief Old Wooden Legs keeps watch.

Over the next few turns, the retreating Indian heads back up the wooded hill for safety to join Chief Old Wooden Legs, where he looks to pick up a spare musket or rifle from one of his fallen comrades.

The sentry due south on the road rushes over to cover the fallen E. sentry and is brought down by the Indian archer.

However Captain Snortt and Miss MacGuffin steady their rifles from behind the wagon and aim at the archer. He is brought down by Captain Snortt’s first shot, removing the nearest threat to the wagon and its defenders.

Turn 7

The Redcoat Relief Party of the Yestershires passes the Fallen Tree across the road. The black helmeted section spread out into the trees, whilst the white helmeted section head up the road to surround the wagon. Amongst them you can glimpse the Fort Engineer in his bush hat, ready to fix the wagon axle and wheel over the next six turns.

The Forest Indian Hunting Party 2, who set off at Turn 6, continue up the stream valley closer into range. They are now outnumbered by the Relief Party.

Redcoat reinforcements fan out into the perimeter tree cover

Turn 8

The Forest Indian Hunting Party 2 in the stream bed fire at the Redcoat sentries at long range but fail to kill one. Fire is returned and two further Indians are brought down.

The chief Old Wooden Legs notices that his forces are now down close to half strength, even with the third Hunting Party due to appear at Turn 10. Should he call them and recall them to fight another day?

Turn 9

A further exchange of fire between the remaining Indians on the Stream valley, including a Redcoat grenade being thrown. There was one further Indian dead, with no further Redcoat casualties, once casualty savings throws and being undercover taken into consideration.

The Redcoat Relief Party and Fort Engineer cross the bridge and begin work on repairing the wheel.

Unwisely the second Native Hunting Party moves forward as the Relief Redcoats spread into cover.

Turn 10

The Indian Chief calls to the Hunting Party 2 and 3 to retreat as they are now past 50% casualties and outnumbered.

The Redcoats fire upon these retreating Indians in the stream valley and bring down these three Indian. The battle is over – for now.

Valhalla – the lost warriors from both sides, two Redcoats and eleven Forest Indians from two Hunting Parties.

The shadowy stream valley of death …

Whilst the wagon is repaired, the Redcoat reinforcements keep watch on the trees, quickly bury the native dead and recover the native rifles.

Eagle’s Eye View of the stream valley
Turn 10 – the skirmish is over.

Turn 11 onwards.

The Forest Indians regroup further in the woods. Snortt keeps his sentries posted watching for further attacks.

Will there be another attack from different directions?

Snortt keeps his troops quiet and watchful. It’s not over yet until they reach the Fort.

He thinks – There are no signal drums.

The forest sounds of trees and birdsong return amongst the sound of the wheel and axle being fixed.

They know we are still stranded. The Forest Indians will be watching and listening. The Forest is always full of eyes and ears.

Will they face further ambush and sniping on the road ahead?

By Turn 15 the wagon axle and wheel is fixed by the Fort Engineer. The horseman has returned. The wagon is restacked with its barrels, hitched up and sets off for the Fort, screened by its Relief Party.
The wagon finally leaves carrying supplies and the two fallen Redcoats for burial back at Fort MacGuffin.
A lone brave keeps watch on the Redcoats and repaired supply wagon as they leave.

The Chief recalls his remaining Warriors. They will return to retrieve their dead warriors after dark.

Later that evening

Back at Fort MacGuffin as he writes his report by oil lamp for Headquarters, Snortt reflects on the day and how things went.

From this – the stranded wagon and brave cool Miss MacGuffin …

Captain Snortt and the Major’s daughter Miss MacGuffin as ASC Private Fuller helps the Fort Engineer mend the wheel

To this – Relief or Rescue – and the wagon fixed, his young passenger safe with only two privates dead. Things could have been very different.

Miss Macguffin’s secret weapon … whilst her Guard dog Patch hopes Snortt has biscuits or a ball.

A Captain may dream of promotion – and other things …

The End?

I have a feeling we have not heard the end of Captain Snortt of the Yestershires, Miss MacGuffin and the aggrieved Forest Indians of Gondal led by Chief Old Wooden Legs.

The Forest returns to quietness and wild animals – for now.

Eagle-eyed readers may have spotted that I have painted in the top of the shorter flat tree markers with green and white Acrylic paint, as they show when photographed from above.

Close Little Wars Scenario Post-mortem – initial thoughts

War Games 1962 – Donald Featherstone – Close Wars appendix

Playing solo, I had to work hard not to have favourites. I wanted both sides to succeed in their aims. If in doubt, a dice decided.

The opening turns for the Redcoats were those of stand and wait in cover until first contact and melee, but playing as solo player and umpire, I had to assume for the storyline that the Redcoats could be attacked from any angle and Snortt could not weaken any one side.

The presence of the delayed third Hunting Party who could loop in at the top North and attack from the NW or NE or engage the Relief column had to be borne in mind by Snortt.

Had the outcome of the dice throw for the arrival of the Relief Party been different, say for example Turn 6 plus 1d6, the game could have had a very different outcome.

Blending in Featherstone’s Ancient weapons and ACW weapons rules

Firing through cover and related savings throws had a big influence on the events. Strength of numbers and some lucky dice throws (or excellent shooting) made things easier for the Redcoats.

Melee reference page in my notes

Melee – Duelling by cards – made it feel in places like a skirmish game.

I wish I had taken time to name the initial Redcoats and Forest Indian Hunting Parties, instead of talking about the SE or NW Sentry.

The lumps and bumps of the cluttered terrain of Bold Frontiers trees, book hills and felt streams (with attendant movement modifiers) works well for me. It slows down movement as it would in real life and provides a longer lasting target for concealed riflemen.

Judging Line of Sight (LOS) from the character’s eyeline in cluttered forest was tricky. I used a small mirror from a Christmas cracker to help me see what they could see.

Using a 12 inch ruler in cluttered forest terrain was tricky at times. A ruler half that size would help.

50% loss of strength as part of the Victory Conditions governed the retreat by Forest Indians.

Two useful Featherstone quotes from War Games 1962 in my scrapbook

An enjoyable and fulfilling solo skirmish game ImagiNations scenario of which I feel we have not heard the end.

I hope you have enjoyed the game, the terrain and the build up. I look forward to hearing reader’s thoughts and reflections.

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN, 24 May 2020.

Close Little Wars Forest Game completed

Captain Snortt and The Major’s Daughter Miss Kate MacGuffin behind the broken wagon

The set up

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/17/close-little-wars-wheel-meet-again-forest-ambush/

Redcoats of the Yestershire Regiment versus the aggrieved Forest Indians – Forests of North Gondal, North Pacific Coasts, 1870s.

A supply wagon to the Forest Fort has broken down. The Redcoat escort also protecting a civilian passenger, the Major’s Daughter Kate MacGuffin …

Forest Indian sentry keeps watch on the Redcoats

The game is now played – I am writing up the Skirmish / Battle Report this weekend.

Who won? Who lost? Who survived?

What happened to Captain Snortt and the Major’s Daughter?

Pistol Packing Major’s Daughter

Did the Rescue Party from the Fort arrive in time?

Watch this blog space!

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 23 May 2020

1955 British Army Infantry Training booklet no. 4 Rifle and Bayonet

No longer belonging to Corporal Riley …

I found this a few years back when there were still junk shops. I bought this because it was the Manual WO 8903 that would have been current when my late father did his National Service c. 1958.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/18/national-service-days-1/

He often talked about how rigorous the weapons training was but coming from a mechanical and engineering background, he would have found this far easier than me.

The figure poses remind me greatly of the Herald modern British Army figures that we all grew up with (featured in Tradgardland’s blog) and curiously of Airfix Multipose British Infantry.

Herald figures late 1950s to 1970s: These uniforms must’ve been very familiar to my National Serviceman Dad when he played toy soldiers with us kids.

The Bayonet Training chapters are interesting – not too dissimilar to the Cut Parry Lunge system of duelling that Donald Featherstone featured in Solo Wargaming.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/duelling-in-the-sandpit-lunge-cut-and-stop-thrust/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/28/more-duelling-inspiration-bartitsu/

This Manual certainly explains the many odd bayoneting poses by manufacturers.

Bayonet Drill or used in action – That would be a very niche toy soldier collection!

Update: As mentioned in my reply to comments, there is a range of military training manuals from a range of countries on the late Thor Shiel’s Milihistriot website (whilst this remains online). Check out his Sandpit rules and OMOG variants too

http://www.thortrains.com/getright/

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN 20 April 2020

Celebrating International Women’s Day 2020 but sadly I’m not taking the Girl Scouts to Woking Games Day next weekend

Heading off a few weeks ago from the West Country to Woking, trek cart and all, to take part in the 54mm Games Day …

Recalled to Base: Heading back to the West Country without reaching Woking, due to the changing national situation

Daisy Patrol and the other tiny patrols of early Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts were travelling across and down from Tradgardland, Scotland and up from the West Country to meet at a tiny “lead Jamboree” in Woking and demonstrate Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop. They have now turned homewards.

Sadly our tiny #MARCHing band of scouts who set off in #FEMbruary didn’t quite get to Woking. Maybe next year!

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Unfortunately after long preparation I won’t now be going to the Little Wars Revisited Forum 54mm Woking Games Day on the 14th March 2020.

Neither will Alan Tradgardland Gruber, my co-creator of the Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop games be attending, for much the same reasons.

I hope that Mike Lewis the organiser and the other players have a great day. I look forward to seeing the photos on the blogs.

This is purely a personal decision, due to the changing national situation of Coronavirus, being part of that at-risk group with existing medical conditions of past lung problems and diabetes.

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Today it is International Women’s Day, IWD March 8th 2020, a good day to celebrate the past and present achievements of over half the world’s population.

IWD March 8th is also the end of #FEMbruary, the gaming, modelling and painting challenge by Alex at Lead Balloony to include more believable female miniatures in gaming and encourage more female gamers and modellers. My completed Girl Scout Patrol above is my contribution:

https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com/2020/02/29/fembruary-leap-day-2020-girl-scouts-patrol-finished/

So today is a good chance to celebrate the achievements of remarkable women like Agnes Baden-Powell and Juliette ‘Daisy’ Gordon Low, founders of the Girl Guides and the Girl Scouts of America.

Agnes Baden-Powell set up Guides before Olave Baden-Powell, BP’s wife, became Chief Guide

An excellent biography of Juliette Daisy Gordon Low by Stacy A. Cordery .

Archery was one of the skills Daisy Gordon Low encouraged her Girl Scouts to practice.

Boy Scouting or Scouting for Boys offered so much to Edwardian girls that many embraced the opportunities offered to boys. Baden Powell did not discourage this but aware of public opinion on boys and girls mixing unchaperoned, eventually asked his sister Agnes to create a specific movement for the thousands of Girl Scouts – and that is how Girl Guides was born.

Alan Gruber and I have been tracking down more about early scouting, both boys and girls, to add strong period flavour to our future Wide Games. Very few Girl Scout or Girl Guide gaming figures exist.

Recently as part of our #FEMbruary contribution we posted an old 1893 article from Girls Own Paper about Women Soldiers: https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/02/27/women-soldiers-girls-own-paper-article-1893/

However you choose to celebrate International Women’s Day, have a good weekend.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, IWD 8 March 2020