Close Little Wars Game 8 of 2016

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Turn  2 of Counterpayne / Close Little Wars game No. 8

The Duke of Wellington dismissively observed to William Siborne, “You can as well write the history of a ball as of a battle.” Here is an old overlooked battle or skirmish report.

This scratch game is an oldie from 2016, stuck in the drafts folder, that didn’t as far as I remember get published on this blog at the time. It uses my first version of a portable wooden hex game board using Heroscape tiles.

Close Little Wars game 8 involves Natives v Redcoats.

Based on my hex version of Donald Featherstone’s Close Wars rules appendix to his 1962 War Games. https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/close-little-wars-featherstones-simplest-rules/

Figures – The Natives are vintage Airfix Indians  versus Redcoats who are vintage Airfix Guards Colour Party.

Weapons – The Natives (Airfix Indians) are equipped with distance weapons mainly bows, spears and a few rifles. 18  Redcoat Infantry, NCO and the Bugler have Rifles,  the Officer and Standard Bearer  have pistols and swords / cutlasses.

Range reminders – Rifles and native bows fire 4 hexes, pistol and spears 2 hexes.

Movement reminders – Natives move 3 hex squares, Redcoat troops in groups of 3 or less move 3 hex squares, Redcoat troops in groups of 4 or more move 2 hexes. There are no roads on this terrain. Uphill movements take half a move (1 hex height equals half a move). Heights above two hexes stacked are unclimbable unless a different route of 1 hex steps are available.

Size of Force – Usually we have about 25 figures on each side but throw a d6 for each side to remove that number of figures from each side, giving slight disadvantage of only 21 Redcoat Guardsmen (Redcoats rolled 4 on their d6) to 24 natives.

Only 4 figures can occupy a hex square. 1 figure = 1 man.

Scenario Aims – The Aim of the Redcoats is  firstly to recover the old crossing fort, capture the crossing and possibly the native campsite. Capturing the Native Chief and his Squaw is also a secondary aim.

The Aim of the Natives is firstly to defend the crossing and defeat the Redcoats. Secondary aim is for their Chief and Squaw to escape intact, inflicting as many Redcoat casualties as needed.

Arranging the Terrain – The Hex  Scape board was arranged before the game with suitable high ground and restricted height areas. The  Natives are encamped around their tent near the Old Crossing Fort.

Staggered start – By setting out d6 alternatives, it is possible to delay for a move how many figures are in place on the first move. Roll 2d6 to see how many of the group are involved on the board on the first move and 2d6 how many move onto the board on the second move.

Alternatively  roll a d6. Roll 1-3 – all on board first move, roll 4-6 half the group (natives or redcoats) on board first move.

By allocating numbers to the grid squares A to F and 1 to 8, it was possible to slightly randomise where different groups first moved onto the board.

Future note: Blank hex map page to help with quick mapping / recording.

A second point to speed up precious game play time is to prewrite and set up scenarios, entry points well ahead of the game.

As it worked out all Redcoats / guards enter from one point on the river edge, whilst all the Natives are encamped around their tent hex with their Chief and Squaw (who is a non-combatant). The Chief has a suitable weapon for Melee as required.

At turn start – Red Dice used for the Redcoats, White dice for the Natives.

Escape / End Scenario – a log canoe is hidden in the undergrowth at A/B2 on  the riverbank which will allow the Native Chief and Squaw to escape. A minimum of two figures are needed to operate canoe to escape to the SW, as there is no access past the low plank bridge crossing or to the North because of rapids, rocks, weir etc.

Unbeknown to the natives, Redcoats will not knowingly fire on women or children but may capture them, hold them in the fort etc. They also wish to rebuild the old crossing fort.

Bridge Crossing Rule applies – bridge crossing dice throw  (roll 1 – fall in and drown). River is deemed impassable or unfordable. Redcoats have no engineers, pontoons or river crossing equipment.

First Turn of Game 8

Turn 1 begins with Natives moving first, having won highest dice throw..

Are the Natives aware of the Redcoats? Do the Natives have scouts or lookouts posted? Roll d6 to find out.

Roll 1-3, yes natives aware of enemy forces, scouts or returning hunting parties have bought word.

Roll 4-6, scouts need to be posted. Natives unaware of Redcoats.

Result of d6 dice throw is that No, the  Natives are not aware of Redcoat activity.

Redcoat move – Redcoat group splits up and heads fast for the bridge.

Turn 1 Summary – End of Turn 1, no firing as no one in range. No casualties so far.

Turn 2 of Game 8

Natives win highest throw so they  move first.

Are Natives aware of Redcoat troops yet? Roll d6 as above, Yes! Native sentries or scouts glimpse Redcoat movement and pass word to hunting party.

Natives move – they spread out and  disperse to river edge, covering the crossing and edge of the camp. Four native bowmen cross the bridge to the Redcoat side (losing no men over the bridge on their river crossing dice throw), whilst a mixed Native group of riflemen and bowmen remain on the Native end of the bridge. The Chief moves up into a good viewing position in the old Crossing Fort. Squaw packs up and prepares to break camp.

Redcoats move second –   they have seen the advance party of four native bowmen come into sight over the bridge and along the river edge. Movement is quite restricted and bottle necked at this stage with only a maximum of four figures per hex square.

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Advanced party of Native Bowmen cross the bridge and engage the Redcoats. Turn 2 of  Counterpayne / Close Little Wars Game 8.
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Wider view of Turn 2 of Counterpayne / Close Little Wars Game 8

Natives fire first in Turn 2 – Their advanced party over the bridge fire arrows at the nearest Redcoat troops but fail to score any fatal hits (2 dice score hits on Redcoats but they are saved by successful casualty savings throw). The Native spearmen on furthest bank are more successful, killing 1 Redcoat infantry man. First Redcoat casualty of  Game 8!

Redcoats fire second – The Redcoat group who have taken the first casualty return fire and score a successful fatal hit on one of the Native spearmen over the river. First Native Casualty of Game 8!

The Redcoats closest to the Bridge fire at the advanced party of Native Bowmen with no success.

Turn 2 Summary – End of Turn 2, Game 8 – one Redcoat Infantryman, one Native spearman.

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Even wider view of the Native’s side of the river terrain,  Turn 2

Turn 3, Game 8 –

Natives win throw to move first. The advanced party of Native bowmen  over the bridge engage the nearest Redcoats in melee. Two of the native bowmen are killed in the melee (after failing casualty savings throws) and the Natives lose the melee morale dice throw and retreat one hex backwards in good order, rather than rout.

Whoops! I realised afterwards that I had not given the Natives a +1 impetus throw.

Elsewhere the Natives move into a clearer firing line along the river edge within range of the Redcoats.

Redcoats move second , the final Redcoat figures moving onto the board / off the start line but still a bottleneck in places where rocks are too high to climb or pass over. Moving back into Melee, one Redcoat is killed by natives  and the remaining 3 Redcoats in this group retreat one hex backwards in good order.

Natives fire first but achieve no successful hits. Redcoats fire second and  kill one of the Native Bowmen near the Bridge. A further native is killed by Redcoat fire on the riverbank.

Turn 3 Summary During Turn 3, four Natives and a Redcoat infantryman are killed.

Turn 4, Game 8

Turn 4 sees the Redcoats move first, 3 Redcoats by the bridge move into further melee   with the last surviving native of the advanced guard of Native Bowmen over the bridge on their side – who fights them all off and kills one Redcoat casualty! Melee morale throw a draw, so no retreat on either side.

When Natives move second, I wanted to see if this Lone Indian would retreat over the bridge. A 6 dice throw of 1 to 3 means retreat to the safety of the Native side of the river, 4-6 means the Lone Indian will remain on the Redcoat side of the River. A six is thrown and the Lone Indian remains on the Redcoat side, unfortunately  blocking the fire path of the other Indians.

In the Firing phase, Redcoats fire first with no hits. Natives elsewhere along the riverbank fire second and kill three Redcoat infantry.

Turn 4 Summary – During Turn 4, things have gone badly for the Redcoats with 4 casualties. Overall 6 Redcoats have been lost in the first four moves at a cost of 5 natives.

Both groups have now lost a fifth to a quarter of their starting numbers.  There is no retreat position, it will be a fight to the finish and / or an escape for the Native Chief and Squaw.

Turn 5 of Game 8

Redcoats roll highest dice, so move first. Four Redcoats move into Melee against the brave Lone Indian by the Bridge who kills one Redcoat but is finally killed fighting off the other 3. His base is inscribed for bravery in perpetuity!

When the natives move second, groups of warriors reinforce the riverbank and their side of the bridge. Some remain behind with the Chief and Squaw as a rearguard.

When should the Chief and Squaw make a move to evacuate themselves from the Old Crossing Fort ruins and head for the canoe? Playing solo, throw a dice to decide of course.

A d6 throw of 1-3 means an immediate retreat or evacuation by Native Chief and Squaw towards the canoe and possible safety down river

A d6 throw of 4-6 means stay put for this move.

In this move, they throw and have to stay put.

Turn 5 Summary –  In the firing phase there are no losses so Turn 5 ends with One Redcoat lost and of course the brave Lone Native / Indian.

Turn 6 of Game 8

Redcoats throw highest so move first. Playing solo, I needed to decide whether the four Redcoats nearest the bridge would cross the bridge and attack the Natives or remain and fire at whoever was in sight or range.

Again a d6 throw was set up, 1-3 ordered across by Officer via the bugler, 4-6 remain on their side of the river.

The dice throw saw them ordered to cross the river and  the river / bridge crossing throw saw one of them fall in (on a dice roll of 1) but saved by the others (on account of a successful casualty saving throw).

The Redcoats moved immediately into Melee with the nearest Natives who lose two of their men and the melee morale throw, retreating in rout one hex move backwards.

The Redcoat colour party moves down from the heights. Redcoat reinforcements move forward to cover the bridge crossing.

Natives move second – again the Chief throws his evacuation dice but rolls to remain put. He orders reinforcements of 2 Native spearmen to reinforce the routed bowmen retreating from the bridge.

Redcoats fire first, members of the Colour Party also joining in using abandoned rifles now that they have moved closer into range. 1 Native is killed. Natives fire second, no hits.

Turn 6 Summary At the end of turn 6, the Redcoats are successfully across the river but are quite low in number. 3 Natives have been killed during the turn, 2 at the bridgehead, one on the riverbank.

Turn 7 of Game 8

Whoops! Turn 7 never happened – miscounted in the fog of war. No casualties.

Turn 8 of Game 8

A photograph was taken of this turn when 4 Redcoats crossed the bridge.

Redcoats move first into melee at bridgehead; 1 Native killed and 1 Redcoat. Natives lose melee morale throw and retreat 1 move in good order. Extra Redcoats ordered over bridge to reinforce bridgehead party. The colour party stays put on Redcoat side of river.

Natives move second, again into melee of 3 Natives versus 4 Redcoats, resulating in the loss of 1 Native and their retreat 1 hex in good order after  melee morale throw. The Chief rolls d6 re evacuation but stays put.

Firing phase, Redcoats fire first but inflict no casulaties. The Natives fire second and on a long shot from the Native warrior guarding the Native Chief, kill one Redcoat (who rolls d6 but loses casualty saving throw).

Turn 8 Summary – Turn 8 of Game 8 – 2 Redcoats lost, 2 Natives lost.

Turn 9 of Game 8 –

Redcoats move first, 4 of them into melee with Natives. 2 Natives killed. Another Redcoat on the Riverbank moves to the Bridgehead.

Natives move second, again into melee. Chief rolls re evacuation and again stays put.

Four Natives into melee at Bridgehead with four Redcoats; 1 Redcoat and a Native killed. Redcoats lose melee morale throw and retreat 1 hex back onto bridge in good order.

Redcoats fire first, inflicting a casualty on a Native rifleman on the riverbank below the bridgehead. Natives return fire but inflict no casualties.

Turn 9  Summary – Turn 9 of Game 8 – 4 Natives killed, 1 Redcoat killed. The battle still centres on the bottleneck of the bridge crossing, the river being unfordable and uncrossable elsewhere.

Turn 10 of Game 8 –

Three Redcoats at the Bridgehead move first again into Melee with the further loss of a Native casualty, yet the three Redcoats gain lose the Melee Morale Throw. They  retreat back to the bridge in rout (no further firing from these 2 Redcoats).

The Natives move second and the two remaining Native Bowmen at the bridge move into melee against the rear of the three routed retreating Redcoats (adding 1+ impetus to their dice scores). One Redcoat is lost, again the Redcoats retreat in rout a one hex move taking them over / onto the bridge.

The Chief orders two further Natives from the Canoe river bank party to reinforce the bridge  and two Native Bowmen from the riverbank to protect him by moving to the front of the old Crossing Fort.

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Turn 10, Counterpayne / Close Little Wars Game 8 – the escape dugout Native canoe can be glimpsed near the edge of the board by the three Native spearmen.

The Chief passes on his orders in his native language and by arm movements so that his commands are not understood by the Redcoats , who have no translator with them. likewise, the Natives do not understand the Redcoats shouted orders or bugle calls.

The Redcoats fire first but score no successful hits, their field of fire being interfered with by the two routed Redcoats retreating across the bridge, who are themselves unable to fire being in rout and retreat.

When the Natives fire second, there are no casualties.

Turn 10  Summary – Turn 10 of Game 8 – one Redcot lost, 1 Native, both in Bridgehead melee.

By this stage of the game, the Redcoats have lost 11 men, almost 50% of their 21 men at the start of the game. No officers, colours or NCOs have yet been lost. The Natives have lost 16 Native warriors out of 24 (not including the non-combatant Squaw), being two-thirds of their available men. The Native Squaw, Chief and canoe are still safe on their side of the river and they still control the river crossing.

Turn 11 of Game 8

The Natives move first and the Chief again rolls an evacuation d6 dice but stays put.

Whether the Natives risk a melee on the bridge itself (roll 1-3,  d6 dice) or stay put on their side of the river (roll 4 – 6, d6 dice) is decided by a dice throw: they stay put and make no further movement during this turn.

Again with the bridge becoming a battle bottleneck, the Redcoats when they move second have to  throw a d6 to decide movements. The problem is the 2 Redcoats in rout stuck on the bridge, they throw a d6 and remain in rout on the bridge unable to move further.

A bridge crossing throw is brought in, having crossed or crossing the river. One of the two Redcoats falls in and is lost in the river, failing his casualty savings throw.

This still leaves three Redcoats including the NCO unable to cross the bridge unless a another d6 dice decision rule is brought in.

Can the Redcoat NCO and his men cross the bridge past their routed Redcoat colleague?

Roll 1 – 3, yes they can. Roll 4 – 6 no they can’t, being blocked by the routed and unmoving Redcoat.

They throw a 4 so remain blocked on their side of the bridge. 2 more Redcoats move to the rocky ridge breside the bridge to improve their field of fire.

Both Redcoats and Natives fail to hit anything on their firing round.

Turn 11 Summary – Turn 11 of Game 8 – one retreating routed Redcoat lost in the river and drowned whilst crossing bridge.

Turn 12 of Game 8

Redcoats move first. Thankfully the Redcoat blocking the bridge finally passes his morale throe so can move and fire. The NCO can then cross the bridge with his two men, gather up the Redcoat on the bridge (no Redcoats lost in Bridge crossing throw) and move into Melee with the two native bowmen holding the Bridgehead.

One Redcoat is lost in the Melee (dice thrown to see if it was the NCO – not) but the Natives lose the Melee Morale throw and retreat 1 move in good order backwards. Seeing this, the Redcoat Officer orders his Bugler to recall the two Redcoats watching the three  Native spearmen guarding the canoe end of the river.

When the Natives move second, the Native Chief throws a d6 evacuation dice and on the resulting 6 begins to move himself and Squaw towards the Canoe and escape.

A minimum of two Natives is required to operate the canoe.

As the Chief and Squaw move 4 hexes towards the canoe with one Native rifleman as cover, 2 Native bowmen moving to  higher ground.

The Chief orders 4 of his Native warriors into Melee against the three Redcoats at the Bridgehead as further cover for his escape.

During this Melee of four Natives versus three Redcoats, 2 Native spearmen are lost. The Redcoats lose the Melee Morale Throw and retreat in rout or disorder 1 hex back onto the bridge. (Dice for River crossing throw on next move.)

The Chief’s retreat with Squaw and Native warrior bodyguard is still bodily covered or shielded by the presence of two Native bowmen at the bridgehead and two bowmen  on the ridge.

The Redcoats are unable to fire as  their view is blocked by the three retreating routed Redcoats on the bridge.

The Natives fire next and two of the Redcoats on the Bridge are wounded (passed their casualty savings throw). Most Natives at this Turn have no clear field of fire.

Turn 12 summary – Turn 12 of Game 8 – 2 Native spearmen are lost and 1 Redcoat.

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Counterpayne / Close Little Wars Game 8 Turn 13

Turn 13

Redcoats win dice throw and  move first. Turn 13  opens with the Redcoat NCO Sergeant and 2 Redcoats retreating over the bridge but luckily they morale throw a 6, steadying their retreat. They are now able to fire, move and respond to orders. Thankfully all of them survive the bridge crossing dice throw  (If they rolled a 1, they fall in and drown).

The Redcoat Sergeant rallies the group  back into a melee to defend the bridge and the Sergeant defeats one native bowman in hand to hand combat. The natives lose the melee morale throw and retreat one move backwards but in good order rather then rout.

The Redcoat NCO reminds his party that they are ordered not to fire on the squaw and native chief but to capture them alive if possible.

The Redcoat officer orders another Redcoat guardsman over the bridge, leaving one Redcoat on the Redcoat side of the Bridge to cover the Colour party. The Redcoat guardsman moves into the lee or cover  of the large rock near the bridge to get a better view of the final actions.

The Natives move second having thrown the lower dice at the start of this turn.

The Native Chief with Squaw retreats to the log canoe with their warrior guard rejoining the native spearmen. They have range to fire on the bridge from their position. It will take one clear move to launch the canoe.

The remaining three Native bowmen move into melee to deal with the 4 Redcoats including the NCO / Sergeant. During the melee one Native bowman is killed and they lose the morale throw, retreating in good order and providing further cover for the Native Chief and Squaw.

Firing phase of Turn 13

Redcoats fire first but no losses are inflicted or are unable to fire without hitting the Native Chief or Squaw.

The Natives fail to hit anything in their firing round.

Turn 13  Summary – Turn 13 of Game 8 – two Native bowmen have been lost.

Turn 14 of Game 8

Natives move first. The Native Chief, Squaw and two Native warriors push canoe into the water. Roll a d6 to see how many can fit into the Canoe – the dice roll of a six means up to 6 Natives can squeeze in.

The Native Chief orders his two remaining bowmen to stay put and cover his escape then to melt away and meet him off the board further upstream.

The two Native bowmen roll a d6 to see if they move into Melee (roll 1 -3) or stay put and block the Redcoat  movements (roll 4-6). They roll 3 so move into Melee where one Redcoat is killed. The Natives lose Melee Morale Throw but retreat in good order back one hex, still covering the escape route / attempt of their Chief.

Redcoats move second, back into Melee with the two Native bowmen. there are no casualties.  The Redcoats lose melee Morale Throw and retreat one hex backwards to bridgehead  in rout or disorder, being unable to move or fire further this turn.

Native bowmen fire first being the only Natives in range of the Redcoats but fail to hit any Redcoats. Redcoats unable to return fire.

Summary of Turn 14 – Turn 14 of game 8 – 1 Redcoat killed.

Turn 15

Redcoats move first, a successful morale throw allowing the Redcoat NCO and two Redcoat riflemen to move back into Melee with 2 Native bowmen. One Redcoat and one Native are lost. Again the Redcoats lose the Melee Morale Throw and retreat again in disorder back towards the bridge.

Further Redcoat movements require a d6 decision dice throw

Should the Redcoat Officer and Colour party move into position to see what is going on? Roll 1-3 yes, 4-6 no, too risky. As a 4 was thrown, they  rely still on the limited view of the lone sentry on the bridge.

Natives move second. The canoe moves off downstream and off the games board to safety, taking the Native Chief, Squaw, one Native spearman and a bowman.

What should the lone Native bowman do? A D6 decision dice to be thrown.

1-2 retreat to the canoe safely. 3-4 Retreats off board to safety

5 Stays put and blocks Redcoats.   6 – Melees into the Redcoats.

Bowman rolls a 3,  so he retreats safely off the board down river to rendezvous with the escaped canoe party further downstream.

The Canoe is now out of the Redcoats firing range. All natives are now out of firing range.

Summary  of Turn 15 – Turn 15 of Game 8 – 1 Redcoat and one Native lost in Melee.

The Native Chief, Squaw and three Native warriors have escaped the Game board, leaving the Redcoats in possession of the Bridge crossing fort and their old campsite.

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Redcoat Colour Party retake the Old Crossing Fort – Turn 16 of Close Little Wars Game 8.

Final Turn – Turn 16 0f Game 8

The 2 Redcoats on the bridge throw a morale throw dice of 4 so are able again to move towards and secure the ridge camp and old Crossing Fort. The Colour party successfully cross the bridge and join them. One Redcoat sentry is posted to watch the direction of the Native retreat.

The Colours are hoisted again on the old Crossing Fort and a second tent posted next to the abandoned Native tent. The bridge crossing is also watched from the Crossing Fort again. Bugle calls are ordered to contact any Redcoat reinforcements in earshot, the number of troops at present being too few to send any messenger to gain any reinforcements.

The surviving Redcoat group are small in number – what would happen if a further Native force returned? Interesting future scenario.

Is Game 8 a Native or Redcoat Victory?

I think this is a Draw.

The Redcoats reoccupied the Crossing Fort and Bridge, awaiting reinforcements to strengthen their position.  The Colours are safe.

They failed to capture the Native Chief and his Squaw or wipe out the other three Natives (a bowman, spearman and rifleman) who escaped in the Canoe with some provisions.

Both groups live to fight another day!

At the end of Turn 16, there are six Redcoat survivors: Two Riflemen and their NCO Sergeant, an Officer, Colour Bearer and Bugler.

15 Redcoat casualties are lost on both sides of the river or in the river and need recovery and burial where possible by the surviving six Redcoats, as soon as the Crossing Fort is made as safe as possible.

In addition 21 Natives need mass burial by the Redcoats.

All these  brave and surviving Native warriors and Redcoats have the number 8 written underneath their cardboard base, in addition to the brave  Lone Indian (though departed to the happy hunting grounds has 8 and the Lone Indian inscribed.

Draft from 2016, finally blog posted by Mark Man of TIN on 22 September 2019.

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Close Little Wars Raging Across The Duchy of Tradgardland

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Screenshot. Image copyright: Alan Gruber / Duchy of Tradgardaland

Huzzah! Good looking Wellsian game by Alan the Tradgardmastre on a small gridded games board using Replica 54mm figures and accessories of old style hollow-cast Soldiers.

Because of some setting thing I can’t comment on Alan’s Tradgardland blog at the moment. Worth visiting as its good fun stuff.

Replica Model Soldiers can be found at  https://www.replicametalsoldiers.co.uk

Close Little Wars Rules https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/close-little-wars-featherstones-simplest-rules/

Huzzah for the Duchy of Tradgardland, Huzzah for H.G. Wells’ Little Wars and Huzzah for Donald Featherstone, writer of the Close Wars rules!

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, Close Wars enthusiast, 16 June 2019

Stealth’s Take on Close Little Wars

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Following up my post about Jen B’s version of Featherstone’s Close Wars Rules, fellow games blogger Stealth contacted me to say that he had been playing around with his own variant of Donald Featherstone’s simple Close Wars rules.

These were first published in Don’s appendix to War Games (1962) and Stealth had been looking at my variants Close Little Wars.

Here is Stealth’s variant are in detail for you to peruse: https://stealthswargaming.blogspot.com/2019/05/stealths-close-little-wars-variant-rules.html

and his classic first wargames minis are first version 1960s tiny Airfix figure conversions, always a charming joy to see

https://stealthswargaming.blogspot.com/2019/06/i-emerge-from-painting-cave-to-give-you.html

Stealth’s rules have a slight D & D influence or feel (see his other blogs) in that carrying or capturing crates forms part of the victory conditions, scoring and scenarios. Interesting idea for ambushing a supply column etc.

I hope you find something of rules variants interest here. I enjoy seeing how people adapt and tinker, go back to basics and then elaborate a bit more.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN on 16 June 2019.

A Skirmish in Angria: Close Little Wars rules

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It has been a few weeks since I ran a solo game bigger than sword fighting and Bartitsu duelling. I feel that I have neglected my Peter Laing figures of late.  To be fair  I’ve been busy making the fortified Signal Tower as well.

I wanted to get a quick evening game in, based on the Bronte family’s  Imagi-Nation of Angria, having read more of Charlotte Bronte’s Tales of Angria and the Oxford Companion to the Brontes. Both these books are slowly helping me work out maps and scenarios based on more of Bronte’s fictional realms or paracosms.

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Turn 2 – Angrian 5th Infantry supported by Dragoons cross the river to rescue the waggon from MacTerrorGlen’s Scottish troops. Ashantee bowmen line the rock opposite.

Small Angrian Skirmish Scenario:

By March 1836 – half of Angria is “in possession of our foes”.  

During 1835-37 The Second Angrian War, Civil War  between Angria and the Verdopolitan Union is happening at the same time as the Ashantee threat.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/30/charlotte-bronte-as-gamer-1/

Early 1836, Angria, Western Central Africa: A group of invading Ashantee bowmen, part of Quashia Qamina’s forces, have discovered an  abandoned Angrian supply waggon and remain in ambush on the rocks overlooking the crossing.

They are backed by a small sword and musket group of Sir Jehu MacTerrorGlen’s rampaging Scotsmen and Highland Warriors, led by one Captain Scotte,  who are aiming to capture the river crossing and loot the abandoned  Angrian supply waggon.

Location: The river crossing eventually feeds into one of the many tributaries of the River Olympia or Calabar, running down to the sea.

This waggon was part of a supply column along one of the many roads to the regional or provincial capital of  Adrianoplous, all aid and supplies to The Duke of Zamorna. Zamorna is fighting to protect the Angrian province (that he is named after) against this invasion of Ashantees and MacTerrorGlen’s unruly Scots.

A rebellious and unruly kilted Highland Regiment in Africa? Many of the original settlers of the Bronte’s fictional realm of GlassTown and Angrian area of West Africa were of Scots, Irish  and Yorkshire origin.

Coming to recover the waggon of supplies are Angrian forces under the Blood Red banner of the Rising Sun. These include a dismounted group of smart red-coated Angrian “Dragons” or Dragoons, along with some men of the “Fighting Fifth” (or “Filthy Fifth”),  the  5th Angrian  Infantry Regiment in homespun and motley campaign dress, led  by a young Lieutenant called Prunty.

The scruffy nature of the Angrian Regiments on campaign in the ‘East’ in the Angrian Civil War is reminiscent of Confederate Butternut Infantry towards the end of the American Civil War. Their scruffy dress is commented on by one of Charlotte Bronte’s cynical narrators in the smart Regency Colonial society of the  cities.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/30/charlotte-bronte-as-gamer-1/

The Angrian dragoons had dismounted, leaving their horses up the valley and with the 5th Angrians in two groups were scouting the river, half their number in reinforcements a mile or two behind.

D6 dice rolls saw these troops delayed arriving, until the 5th and 6th turn in area 5 and 6 on the Angrian baseline.

The turns were short and brutal, mostly involving fast melee, using the Kaptain Kobold modification or  d6 dice version of Gerard De Gre’s Lunge Cut and Stop Thrust melee or duelling rules.

1-2   Attacker Hit

3    Both Hit

4   Neither Hit

5-6   Defender Hit

Melees occurred from group stage in adjacent hexes or who have charged into their opponents.  The Pell-Mell, Hell for Leather pace of the game meant that there were few casualties from rifle or musket fire, many more from Highland claymore, bayonet, short sword and rifle butt (and no doubt boot and fist).

Turn 1 and 2 saw rapid movement through the cluttered terrain towards the first shots and melees of Turn  3.

Turn 3 saw 9 Angrian troops and 12 of MacTerror Glen’s Scots killed, mostly when the Highland  claymore warriors  charged the Angrian troops.

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At the start of turn 4 (as shown in photo by a d6 Turn Dice)  the few Angrian infantry over the bridge are outnumbered by Scots.

By Turn 4, some of the outnumbered Angrian forces on the board retreated to await their reinforcements (D6 dice roll 1-3 Retreat, 4 Stay, 5-6 Advance).

This didn’t stop one party of three Angrian 5th Infantry being surrounded and outnumbered on two sides by Scots around the bridge. Luckily supporting fire from the Angrian command party and standard bearer picked off two further Scots musketeers.

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Engaged on both sides by Scots, this small cohort of Angrian 5th Infantry are wiped out.

In Turn 5 the advancing Scots moved into Melee with the Angrian Command and Colours party, leading to a doubly fatal duel between Highland claymore against Angrian officer’s broadsword.

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Angrian Officer Lieutenant Prunty charges down the hill to engage with his  Highlander enemy in a fatal duel.

Thankfully the rest of the Angrian Dragoons and Fifth Regiment arrived in Turn 5 and 6. Just in the nick of the time …

These Angrian reinforcements pushed back and  pursued the last of MacTerrorGlen’s troops and the Scots command party and colours back over the bridge. They made their last stand outside the crossing hut.  The  Scots colours were lost when the command and colours party decided to fight to the finish  (dice roll d6 roll 1-3 surrender, 4 – 6 fight on).

Throughout the early part of the battle, the Ashantee Bowmen on the high ground rocks were out of range and sight of many of the Angrian troops. Overall they played very  little part in the whole battle, not even firing many volleys of arrows before they were engulfed in melee. Their officer or chief Khla managed to escape to carry on the invasion  with the other invading Ashantees under Quashia  Qamina.

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Ashantee bowmen move into range of Angrian troops.

At the end, the Angrian Armed Transport Corps hitched the abandoned supply waggon to their horses and slowly dragged this back up the valley to where the dismounted dragoon horses and horse holders would provide further armed escort back to Adrianopolis, Zamorna or Edwardston as needed.

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Detail of map of Angria by Christine Alexander (Oxford Campanion to the Brontes)

Discarded weapons and the captured colours of MacTerrorGlen’s Scots are sent back onboard the supply waggon as victory trophies to inspire the flagging Angrian forces.

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The remaining two Angrian  Dragoons, Angrian standard bearer and drummer remain behind in the bridge crossing hut. Suitably armed with discarded carbines, muskets and ammunition, they make themselves  busy fortifying this outpost and guarding the crossing  until further Angrian reinforcements arrive. Burying the dead will have to briefly wait, but not too long in these African “Yorkshire Tropic” climes.

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The Rising Sun banner of Angria flies victorious over the captured river crossing hut as the surviving Ashantee officer flees on the opposite bank.

Arise Angria! Raise the Blood-Red Banner of the Rising Sun! Huzzah!

Figures and Terrain 

All the figures are from  the sadly now discontinued Peter Laing range of 15mm figures.

The Ashantee bowmen are from the Ancient Egyptian range  (Nubian Archers F452 and their officer F453 Nubian Spearman).

MacTerrorGlen’s rogue Scots troops are from the Peter Laing ECW and ’15-’45 ranges. I especially like his kilted Highlander charging with Claymore (F1006) and small shield but his Highland musketeers ( F1008) are fine figures too.  https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/04/more-peter-laing-scots/

 

The “Angrian Dragons” are ECW dismounted dragoons firing, F515, one of my favourite Peter Laing figures.

The homespun 5th Angrian Regiment in campaign dress are the ACW butternut infantry advancing F3012, along with the Boer Rifleman advancing at trail F622.

I quickly made and  coloured an Angrian flag and added this to one of the Boer figures to make a standard bearer.

The Heroscape hex terrain terrain on my two portable gaming boards tries to create  that curious mix of European and African or Yorkshire Tropical that exists  in the Bronte’s limited but imaginative view of the world outside their native Haworth and Yorkshire. This was backed by PECO Scene Backgrounds Medium SK 44 Country with River with its great view of mountains and stone bridges over streams and slightly incongruous European stone farm houses, obviously in the Yorkshire / European influenced Angrian settler style.

Pine trees, impassable rocks, a raging stream or river form all part of a rugged and Romantic, almost Gothic landscape of hills, fields and  craggy mountainous peaks of how the Bronte children  saw Angria (West Africa). This fits well the restricted routes and impassable labyrinths of trees, logs and rocks that suit Donald Featherstone’s original Close Wars rules for forest skirmish that I have tweaked for hex board or garden games. https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/close-little-wars-featherstones-simplest-rules/

The waggon was an underscale diorama piece from the 54mm Safari figures Wild West Settlers Toob. Its  eventual escorts were Peter Laing Boer War cavalry M603 or M605 Imperial Yeomanry figure.

Post-mortem:

This was a great fun game for an evening. Using the Gerald De Gre duelling rules in Kaptain Kobold’s simplified dice version for the first time as the Melee section with the rest of the Little Close Wars rules led to quick fast and murderous melees.

The look of the board / game?

I like the portable hex game boards but I would like to flock or sand more of the Heroscape hex pieces, and glue and flock some of the pine tree bases permanently to hex bases.

Part of the early evening was spent tidying up the portable game boards, removing the temporary masking tape letters and grid numbers and sanding the edges before rewriting them in a neater fashion. Eventually I think I will wood stain the outer edges and possibly acrylic paint (sap green) the inner sections  of game board that show up as bare wood in the middle and edge. Hopefully they will look less intrusive but still allow each board to be used separately.

Outcome:

A swift outcome of a minor skirmish in the Angrian Civil War, a minor victory in a disastrous campaign.

This campaign led to Angria’s defeat at the Battle of Edwardston 26 June 1836, which saw Zamorna exiled and Angria savagely occupied by Ashantee and MacTerrorGlen’s forces throughout the rest of 1836. Angrian troops fight on in the hills.

Victory does not come until Zamorna returns and leads his forces to victory at the Battles of Leyden,  Westwood and Evesham throughout 1837.

Hopefully Charlotte and Branwell Bronte would approve, their imaginary worlds having been sparked by a gift from their father of a box of toy soldiers.

Read more at the other Bronte 200 inspired blogposts at: https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/30/charlotte-bronte-as-gamer-1

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, 20th May 2017

Peter Laing 15mm WW2 Skirmish

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I wanted in this skirmish games to get a motley collection of Peter Laing 15mm British and German infantry into action, WW2 figures bolstered by late war WW1 British and German Infantry in steel helmets.

I wanted to fight another skirmish over the hex terrain portable game board that  I had laid out for the American Civil War skirmish a few weeks previously.

I also wanted to test out a platoon level infantry scrap with few heavy weapons and almost no vehicles using a mash up of Donald Featherstone’s ‘Close Wars’ appendix rules to his 1962 War Games with a few additions from his simple WW2 rules in that book.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/02/ww2-platoon-level-close-little-world-wars-rules/

A lucky find of some Peter Laing WW1 / WW2 figures (lots of Sapper figures) amongst a job lot of 15mm WW2 figures of various manufactures gave me just enough for a small platoon level skirmish. Sappers and others  had rifles added by me from finely carved slivers of wooden coffee stirrers.

This gave me a scratch force of British infantry:

Three 5 man sections of pioneers or sappers with rifles and shovels (handy in a scrap!)

1 light mortar team (2 men)

1 Light Machine Gun (Bren Gun) team

1 motorcycle despatch rider

A  light 2pounder anti tank gun team with three men emerge in Turn 5. A spare Bren gunner was also found to join the British several turns in.

Versus a much larger but slightly lightly equipped German infantry group:

A larger infantry force of German infantry consisted of:

Three cycle reconnaissance troops

1 German despatch rider

Five x 5 men rifle squads directed by  1 officer with pistol

1 light machine gun (MG34) team of two men

1 light mortar team of 2 men

Officer and two rifle men

The game was played solo over two evenings with a skirmish figure scale of 1 figure = 1 man.

Arrival of different sections and weapons at a different times and locations was staggered by dice throws d6. The two board(s) being roughly marked with 6 by 6 squares A  to L  and 1-6, arrival of different sections was diced for using 1 d6.

Indirect artillery fire could be plotted in using this grid system and dicing to see which turn this lands but none was used in this game.

The Germans started with their reconnaissance troops (3 rifle equipped bicycle troops) in place at the river crossing and to the North a British 5 man pioneer unit of sappers and officer and the Bren Gun team on the board.

Dice thrown at start of each move to see who moves first, other side second, first side also fire first, other side second – highest score wins first move.

To speed things up, no casualty savings throws were used after Melee.

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Aerial reconnaissance view recording troop positions, end of Turn 2 (see dice)

In Turn 1, Germans moved first and shots were exchanged without casualty between the British motorcyclist and the German cycle troops who were behind the cover of the stone farm walls.

In Turn 2, the British despatch rider was not so lucky!  In turn the first British  rifle volley brings down one German infantryman.

Playing solo, deciding which of the two possible British infantry targets the German troops fire at is decided by dice throw: roll 1 to 3 aim at Bren gun team on left, 4 to 6 at British infantry on right.

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Dismount, aim, fire. Peter Laing 15mm British despatch rider spotted by German bicycle troops (unknown manufacturer, but good fit). Walls from N gauge model railway suppliers.

The terrain is the same portable hex wooden box lid territory as used for the American Civil War skirmish, but with the house location moved and a small wooden hut used instead.

The high rocks and the forest either side of the river are deemed impassable, the river unfordable. This concentrates the efforts into dominating the crossings and the ground between them with all available firepower.

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Peter Laing British WW2 (and a non Peter Laing British officer) fire at the German officer and infantry at the other bridgehead leafing to 1 German infantry  casualty in Turn 2.

 

The Peter Laing WW2 German officer and infantry  with rifles are really WW1 Germans with steel helmets.

Turn 3 sees more infantry on each side appear on the game board. Line of fire is checked with a reversed Lionel Tarr style periscope (from another appendix in Featherstone’s 1962 War Games).

Turn 4 sees the British  move first and a further British  rifle squad appear near where their despatch rider was killed. They close in melee with the German cyclists and two are killed for the loss of one British infantryman.

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Turn 5 sees more German troops emerge onto the board. The German motorcyclist emerges onto the board only to be blocked and killed in melee with three British Infantry.

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One of the British Bren Gun team is hit – I diced quickly to see if another nearby British soldier could help man the gun and it to remain operational. It did and brought down a German infantryman, as did the light field gun. Fortunately for the Germans the British light mortar team is just out of range.

In Turn 6 the German Light Machine Gun MG34 and light mortar teams (each of two men) make it onto the Board at G and J on the German / South side of the river.

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This mortar team in Turn 7 take out one British infantry, whilst melee and rifle fire take out 3 German infantry and 2 further British.

The forest, impassable scrub, rocky ridge and river crossings continue to create safe spaces or bunchings but once the mortars come into action, lobbing their shells over trees and obstacles etc, these safe spaces are no more.

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British 2 man mortar team in the foreground. Turn 9

The British field gun is a board game piece from childhood.

In Turn 8, this gun begins to damage the hut and the Germans inside it. Melee, mortar and rifle fire  brought down 8 German infantry including their officer and 3 British including their officer.

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Turn 9 – stalemate.

By Turn 9 , a stalemate has set in – the British mortar team from behind cover takes out the German Light Machine Gun team. Positions are consolidated. Both sides have lost their officers.

If the German infantry remain in the cover of the hut, they will eventually be killed by the 2 pounder which is just out of rifle range.

The British bridge position is now covered by one British mortar team and two Bren gun teams.

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Sketch map round about Turn 10. British left /west , Germans to the right / east

In Turn 10, the German mortar team move closer towards the British position whilst four German infantry take cover behind the stone wall to give themselves a better field of fire onto the British dominated bridge, should anyone try to cross it. Many of the German and British troops  are now out of sight of each other and out of rifle range.

A lucky ‘counter battery’ hit by the British mortar team on their German rival reduces the last opportunity of the Germans to dislodge their opponents without a fatal rifle charge.

Turn 12 – the German infantry dice to advance or stay put. They stay put but a further German infantryman in the hut is then killed by 2 pounder fire.

By Turn 14, one of the British mortar team is hit crossing the British sector bridge. The last German in the hut retreats over the German bridge behind the stone wall.

Turn 15 – no movement, just British gun and mortar fire.

Turn 16 – The 5 Germans behind the stone wall must decide what to do as they are now within British mortar range. 1-2 Advance, 3-4 Retreat, 5-6 Stay Put. They roll d6 – advance.

3 Germans killed are crossing the bridge under rifle and gun fire; the bridge is destroyed (d6 1-3 destroyed, 4-6 intact). In the return fire, a further British infantryman is hit.

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A view from the German position back down the valley to the British field gun, annoyingly just out of rifle range. The bridge destroyed by field gun fire and the hut damaged by gun fire. Time for those last two German soldiers to slip away out of range and await reinforcements?

Turn 17 – German infantry retreat behind wall out of rifle range, their bridge blown.

The game is at an end, nominally a British victory but  all depends on whose reinforcements turn up first.

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Sheltering behind the rocks: the British position, tucked out of rifle fire range.
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The British final position looking up the valley towards the abandoned German line. Mixed Peter Laing and other 15mm WW2 figures.

Play testing these Close Little World Wars rules

The increasingly dominant force in this game were the heavier weapons – mortars, light machine guns and the light field gun. It would be interesting to play / replay this game at rifle squad level without (some of) these other weapons.

This and the restricted terrain created the shape and the pressures of this solo game.

Posted by Man of TIN blog, October 2016.

 

WW2 Platoon Level Close Little World Wars rules

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Peter Laing WW1 and WW2 infantry figures.,

 

Close Little (World ) Wars

Recently I have been improvising a WW2 platoon level version of Donald Featherstone’s ‘Close Wars’ rules. These were originally written as an appendix in his book War Games (1962), as suitable rules for 18th Century redcoat versus tribal natives in a cluttered forest or wooded terrain.

I have been looking for very simple platoon level WW2 game rules, suitable for Peter Laing’s limited 15mm WW2 range, which were designed to give “a most satisfactory infantry action game”

Bolt Action they may not be, but it is interesting to look at the background logic, assumptions, simplifications, mechanisms and whys or wherefores involved to make suitable rules and weapons ranges for your style of game.

These simple rules could be used with WW2 infantry action in wooded or cluttered terrain, where vehicles cannot easily  follow such as Normandy ’44 bocage hedged terrain (but without armoured vehicles) or early 1939-40 infantry action, the Bicycle Blitzkreig, the withdrawal to Dunkirk etc.

An Operation Sealion invasion of Britain scenario (1939 /1940/ 1941) is also possible with the few WW2 types that Peter Laing made. (I’m source some of them could double up as The Warmington Home Guard as required.)

Once artillery, heavy machine guns, vehicles and other long range weapons are introduced, the distances and ranges  become too big for the smaller game boards and tabletops I work with.

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Reference to weapons ranges and other scenario rules (buildings, street fighting etc) as situations emerge can be made to the ‘Simple WW2 rules’ that Donald Featherstone includes  in his 1962 book War Games; the Close Wars rules are an appendix to this book (shown at end of blogpost).

Using 20mm plastic figures with a wider range of troop types available gives the possibility of an interesting jungle action of cluttered terrain which could be played with a box of Airfix OO/HO Australian / Gurkha infantry or  US Marines and a box of Japanese infantry. Get those palm trees out to replace the fir trees.

1 figure = 1 man in skirmish rules.

Small numbers, small tables, short actions or games time = my style of usually solo game. 

Aims or Victory Conditions

The aim of each force (as set out in Featherstone’s Close Wars rules) unless otherwise described is:
1. to seek out and destroy their enemy.
2. Alternatively, to get at least 50% of your troops to the opposite enemy baseline

However for each game, you can set your own scenario end or Victory Conditions.

This usually involves fighting to the last man, but occasionally involves rescuing or escorting to safety civilians, stretcher bearers or  secret plans.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/close-little-wars-featherstones-simplest-rules/

WW2 Peter Laing figures

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/22/peter-laing-ww2-figures/

WW2 Infantry Movement Rates

Infantry on foot move 6 inches per move or 2 hex / squares.

Uphill  – moves up (opposed or unopposed) hills count as 1 hex / squares or half  rate move e.g. 3 inches.

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Peter Laing 15mm WW1 despatch rider.

Motorised vehicle e.g. motorcycle despatch rider moves 12 inches per move or 4 hex squares off-road (Plus 3 inches / 1 hex on road).  Bicycle moves 12 inches on road / 4 hexes, 9 inches / 3 hexes  offroad.

Stretcher bearers move 1 hex per move. They are not armed.

Difficult Terrain
If deemed passable, fording streams take 3 inches or 1 hex to cross. Fording places or bridges can be marked out.

Bogs and marshes (if deemed passable) at half speed eg 1 hex square per move. Other impassable features you can introduce include marked minefields.

Moves on clear paths or roads (if they exist) have 3 inch extra or 1 hex extra BONUS per move.

Crossing walls, fences etc or other barriers – as required, throw dice 1-3 yes, 4-6 no; takes 1 hex of a move.

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Firing (if range of fire clear)
Range of  LMG  light machine guns (Bren Gun, MG34) – 12 inches or 4 hexes; throw 1 dice for LMG, full score counts as hits.

Rifles have a  range of 12 inches or 4 hexes. Throw one d6 dice per firing man: 6 scores a hit.
If firer is under cover or in buildings, 5 or 6 scores a hit on enemy.
SMG or Submachine Guns (Sten, Tommy, etc)  – 6 inches or 2 hexes; SMG – half dice counts as hits.

Pistols  have under 6 inches or  1 hex range. Throw one d6 dice per firing man: 6 scores a hit. If firer is under cover or in buildings, 5 or 6 scores a hit on enemy

HMG (e.g. Maxim gun) – 18 inches or 6 hexes; Featherstone has a Mitrailleuse rule for ACW throw dice 1 to 3 entitles one dice for hits. 4 to 6 entitles 2 dice for hits.

WW1 / WW2 Maxim / heavy machine guns had an effective firing range of up to 2000 metres (effectively 48 inches or 16 hexes) which is too much for our space.

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Peter Laing 15mm British and German light mortar carriers.

Mortars (2 inch or 50 mm / 60mm)  require 2 man crew – target range from 1  hex to 3 hexes. Burst pattern for 50mm mortar is 3 inches or one hex. Roll d6 – if 3,4,5,6 hit  target hex; all in nominated hex counted as hit.

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Peter Laing German infantry WW1 rifleman, officer, grenade thrower and WW2 machine gunner and light mortar man. (Figures: Man of TIN collection)

Grenades – treat as mortars but with one hex throwing range /burst pattern; all in that square /hex counted as hits. Roll d6 – if 3,4,5,6 – all in nominated hex counted as hit.

Casualty Savings Throws

For each man hit, throw a casualty saving throw.
If fired on, each casualty has a d6 thrown for him. 4,5,6 wounded and carry on. If 123, casualty is  dead.
If casualty under cover, 3,4,5,6 wounded and carry on 1,2,3 dead (except for mortar fire where use above as if not under cover)

You can choose to dispense with casualty savings throws if you wish, after firing and /or Melee. This gives a faster game.

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This handy light gun with Peter Laing crew was an old board game piece from my childhood.

Light Field Artillery

To check line of sight / range of fire, the Lionel Tarr reversed periscope can be used for fun to get you down to table top toy soldier eye level.

2 pounder anti tank gun with crew of 3 (British QF) using Featherstone rules counts as LMG throw 1 dice, full score counts as hits.

2 pdr gun if hit by mortar: 10-12 knocked out, 9 knocked out for 2 moves, 8 knocked out for 3 moves.  Crew? Casualty savings throws.

Taking Turns

Turns consist of four sections:
a) First side moves (possible melee)
b) Other side moves (possible melee)
c) First side fires
d) Other side fires

Throw dice at start of each game turn for each side to see who moves first.

Variations on this include: 1st  side Move, 2nd side Fire , 1st side  Fire, 2nd side  move.

Melee 

This is the ‘Bish Bash Am-Bush’ bit! Assume each man has something to fight at close hand with (pistols, clubs, rifles, bayonets, entrenching tools, fists or boots, etc)

Remember – We are playing 1:1 scale, each figure represents one man.

Melee is joined when one group of figures invades or faces the other square / hex.

You can add +1 to d6 throw for attacking side  (if you choose / remember / can be bothered.) This is what Featherstone calls impetus bonus.

Choose pairs (of attacker vs. defender) and throw 1 d6 for each man involved.
Attacker can have  the + 1 added to their d6 dice throw (if you choose / remember / can be bothered).
Highest score wins, loser can throw casualty saving throw* to see if killed 1-3 or only wounded / unharmed 4-6
Continue until each man has been involved in melee.

“Usual dice saving throws for melee Casualties”  – Donald Featherstone.

* Or not if you want to speed things up. 

Melee Morale Test (if desired / wanted / can be bothered)
At end of melee session, throw d6 for each side to see who wins melee morale test and who loses and retires 1 hex backwards. Some Featherstone versions times the dice by number of each side to come up with a post Melee Morale score.
Then d6 again for losers to see if routed:

Throw 1-3 in rout, unable to fire or move further that round, effectively in modern games terms “pinned”. Roll again next move to see if still routed and retreating. A suitable coloured marker can be added to remember this.
or throw 4-6 in good order, retreat only one pace / hex.

Movement and ranges

The original ‘Close Wars’ appendix rules by Featherstone has a Redcoat Infantry man in the French and Indian Wars travelling at 9 inches in loose formation (under 3 figures) or in formation (over 3 figures) 6 inches in cluttered terrain. Natives carrying less and living off the land etc moved 9 inches.

In cluttered terrain, I assume that a heavily encumbered infantryman in WW2 is still carrying about the same amount of stuff and moving at the same speed as his ancestor in the 18th Century. Hopefully his boots and field rations would have improved though!

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I take each 3 inches to be a Heroscape hex square.

Featherstone has  a ‘Rifle’ range  in his simplified WW2 rules and in Close Wars appendix rules both as 12 inches (which I take to be about 4 hexes) so assuming 500 metres to be 12 inches or 30 centimetres / 300mm, this gives us a rough working scale of a 3 inch hex equals 125 metres.

1 inch equals 42 (41.6) metres

1 centimetre equals 17 metres (or 16.666 metres)

More in our blogpost  Researching WW2 equipment  ranges, matching the limited weapons ranges shown in the Peter Laing range to the rules.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/02/researching-ww2-equipment-for-rules-and-ranges/

It is possible to scale this set of rules and ranges up to 54mm skirmish games by simply doubling the ranges etc set out above. This would allow the use of 54mm  Airfix, Britain’s Deetail or Pound Store plastic figures; I intend in better weather in future to try these Close Little (World) Wars  rules outside as a garden game fought “on the  beaches and on the landing grounds …” Sorry, on the flower beds and garden terrain. Could be fun!

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The original and best …

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(Mostly) Peter Laing WW2 and WW1 figures in my recent  WW2 skirmish game.

Posted by Mr MIN, Man of TIN, October 2016.

 

 

Close Little Space Wars

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They may be Airfix but …Space laser swords and space blaster pistols?  What would Donald Featherstone think?

As a further insult to Donald Featherstone’s Close Wars appendix rules to his 1962 book War Games, I have scaled these up to 54mm and taken them outside to a bigger outer space and another planet, the far off galaxies or planets of Yarden. How will they work out?

Previously on Man of Tin blog we have featured my hexed up version of these Close Wars  rules:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/close-little-wars-featherstones-simplest-rules/

Rainy day?  Crowded alien planets work quite well on your tabletop (if forced inside by British wet weather) using different borrowed pieces of your Yarden (Yard / Garden). Fake plastic or real plants, rocks, stones etc create a sense of a cluttered planet / terrain etc.

As a child growing up in the 1970s, life changed around about 1977/78 when Star Wars came out as a rival to Airfix, Weebles, Cowboys, toy cars, Knights, Busybodies Etc.

This is primarily a ground troops / infantry based space game without much in the way of space vehicles or larger laser cannons, otherwise the ranges become toooooo big!

Create your own big laser cannon range and dice hit rules as needed.

Imperial (Earth) measurements and Earth GMT time will be used throughout (with Metric for those as likes)

Weapon Ranges

Space Laser blaster pistol – 12″ or 30cms

Space Laser blaster rifle – 24″ or  60 cms

Space laser bow – 12″ or 30 cms

Space Laser swords – melee weapons only. 

Space Laser spears – 6″ or 15 cms

 

Movement ranges

Natives / Aliens / Savages  – 18″ or 45cms

Space Infantry (<4) – 18″ or 45 cms

Space Infantry (groups of 4+) – 12″ or 30cms

Astromech droids 6″ or 15 cms.

Humanoid Robots – 9″ to 12″ 22 to 30cms

Hover Infantry on Space Bikes – 36″ or  90cms

Star Crawler vehicles, lunar buggies – 24″ or 60cms

Usual Melee Rules. Usual hit d6 Dice throws. Featherstone savings throws if you like them.

Add other rules, weapons and characters as you see fit.

Mark up a garden cane with 6″ intervals or use a metal retractable ruler as needed.

Find some knee pads or a garden kneeler if playing outside.

Before you play, some essential research for your Close Little Star Wars:

a) watch movies and TV, from Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica to Flash Gordon (Black and white 1930s) or the colour movie 1980, choose your favourite. Flash, ah-ah! 

b) find some suitable plastic figures, raid the pound store for suitable plastic figures. Read our previous blog posts  and Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog for conversion possibilities.

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Space Marine / Police with laser blaster rifle?

Track down the very scarce 1981  Airfix Space Warriors, they’re now in the V&A museum of childhood collection as toys of their time http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O41122/space-warriors-space-crews-airfix/

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There’s the very odd Britain’s 1980s metal based Star Guards range with vehicles and aliens. There are more recent 54mm Star Wars Command plastic figures that were cheaply available c. £4 a box   in branches of Wilko (2016). Some good deals on the eBay / Amazon / internet too!

Pound store fire fighters and their equipment make good space stuff.

Alternatively you could upscale the rules to use old or new 10″ Star Wars play figures (buy bundles of the more battered ones on EBay) but the fiddly weapons tend to get lost in gardens. The Playskool Heroes Star Wars series for younger children have weapons moulded on.

Hopefully H.G. Wells, father of modern science fiction, would approve of this futuristic version of Little Wars.

Let play commence in a galaxy / planet / garden “far far away …”  in my next blog post.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/25/in-a-garden-far-far-away/

Posted by Man of TIN blog, September 2016.