Verda versus Griza FMS 20mm Pound Store Plastic Warriors skirmish now with added Esperanto!

Scene / seen from the Verdan border post, the attacking Grizan troops in grey

Cross posted from my sister blog Pound Store Plastic Warriors,

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/06/28/verda-versus-griza-pound-store-plastic-soldiers-20mm-interbellum-fms-skirmish-now-with-added-esperanto/

Now with added Esperanto and a Blog Post Script on US army 1960s training using Esperanto as the enemy language

The late Donald Featherstone’s 102nd Birthday

Today would have been the late Donald Featherstone’s birthday, born 20 March 1918.

Happy Birthday Don! You changed lots of lives (of mostly men of a certain age).

To celebrate this year, I bought reprints through the History of Wargaming Project of two of Donald’s classic books that I had not read for years:

http://www.wargaming.co/recreation/details/dfcampaigns.htm

http://www.wargaming.co/recreation/details/dfadvanced.htm

Previously on Donald Featherstone’s birthday last year 2019:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/03/20/donald-featherstones-birthday/

And how to celebrate his centenary or his birthday in 2018:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/03/featherstone100-donald-featherstone-centenary-20-march-2018/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/20/donald-featherstones-centenary/

This is how it all started for me as a boy with Don’s book from the branch library, the very copy that I bought when it was sold off.

Boyhood Airfix, boyhood copy of War Games … still have them. Picture from:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/25/acw-battle-of-pine-ridge-vintage-airfix-full-game-write-up/

War Games being the source of my favourite rules, Featherstone’s simplest rules in its Appendix ‘Close Wars’:

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

Happy Birthday, Donald Featherstone.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 20 March 2020.

Desert Commando Raid on Wadi Yu Min 1941

Setting up the game board ready for Turn 1 …

Insertion points for different units of the raiding forces were chosen by dice throw from 5 possible routes (see map below) before the game started.

The desert commando forces and two desert jeep trucks Ragtag and Bobtail enter the area from the old airstrip (insertion point 4). The Yestershire Infantry to appear along the rail bridge in foreground (insertion point 5).

Briefing Map, Raid Aims and named personnel set out here:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/01/18/lrdg-demolition-briefing-map-and-games-scenario/

Defending NordAfrika Korps are stationed in unknown areas and in unknown strength around the area as per the scant reconnaissance briefing and aerial photographs

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/01/05/desert-raid-on-wadi-yu-min-briefing-map-1941/

What the Allied raiding forces do not know is how many NAK forces are stationed in the Station Halt building or that on Turn 7 (decided by 2d6) these troops are on standby, ready to be replaced by fresh incoming troops by train. They also do not know that Meyer, an ADC or adjutant to General Von Rimmel is visiting the Special Operations Section (tented area) for a status report.

What the NAK forces do not know is that they are about to be rudely awakened early one morning by a Commando raid. Only a few sentries and gun teams are posted, a few Aircrew busy at work …

First contact Turn 1

Allied elements appear on the board as darkness fades and dawn breaks in the North African desert.

Turn 1

“As the sun rose beyond on the desert hills, Schutzen Wache on sentry duty spotted a flurry of faded khaki rushing across the railway tracks along the bridge … he raised his rifle and fired some warning shots into the air. Achtung! Alarm! Alarm!”

Whilst the Commandos rapidly and silently capture two Aircrew / Groundcrew without alarm being raised, the sentry Sch. Wache by the Railway bridge does raise the alarm on seeing the Yestershire rifles crossing (d6 thrown to decide if alarm raised) with several rapid shots in the air.

The railway bridge proved a narrow pinchpoint for deploying Yestershire troops – a bunched target.

Private Hunt lobbed a grenade at the sentry but missed, as did the rifle fire of Mulvaney, Mahoney and Sgt Brittle.

Clumped together by the bridge, Privates Mahoney, Hunt and Sgt Brittle were all quickly caught in the LMG fire of the Halftrack (which is part trackless and under repair). Some of the first unlucky casualties of this desert raid.

The Allied View from the Bridge – a fleeing Sch. Wache the NAK sentry and deadly half track

The Desert Commandos rush the airfield to silence the air crew and armoured car.

Very quickly the Commando rifle fire and the LMGs on Ragtag and Bobtail, the two desert “jeep trucks” silences the two crew of the Armoured Car.

The PAK gun crew on cemetery ridge managed to knock out Ragtag killing its two crew Ptes. Marrion and Foster. Fortunately the demolition charges and explosives did not explode close to Bobtail, the other Jeep Truck.

First major disaster – Ragtag the Jeep Truck is hit by the Antitank Gun and its crew killed.

Turn 2

The NordAfrika Korps garrison was inside the station halt, awaiting relief by train (2d6 thrown to check: train will arrive with replacement troops on Turn 7). They rapidly deployed to the roof, their fire brings down Commando Private Hemingway who is heading down the flank of the station building.

Meyer, the visiting ADC / Adjutant to General Von Rimmel and air crew sheltered inside the barricaded station halt. A small group of NAK troops led by Haupt. (Captain) Fuchs set out to defend the airstrip.

The PAK gun engaged Bobtail the second Jeep Truck and knocked it out for two moves.

Private Grant of the Yestershires guns down the Half Track crewman, although sinister grey uniformed Klang takes over the LMG on the Half-track.

The view from the other Antitank gun dug in on the Hills above the railway halt

From this hill, the Antitank gun engages a group of Commandos at maximum range and kills Private Young and Scruby.

Gefreiter Weigmann was shot by Commando raid leader “Popsy”

Allied and NAK Casualties from melee and rifle fire from the station building roof.

Turn 3

The PAK gun engages the Yestershire HMG crew and wipes it out, killing the crew (Curry, Stonefeather, Blease).

In return, 2/Lt Hyde shoots with his pistol at Sch. Richter on the roof.

Turn 4

Lt. Bath, Cpl Ridley and RE Appleby recrew the Yestershire HMG.

LCpl Mitton is hit by fire from the rooftop NAK troops.

Turn 4 – The fight around the Half track – mysterious Feldwebel Klang in grey
Turn 4: Private Maitland the demolition expert lays the first timed charge – kaboom in Turn Ten!
The fight for the Half Track – its machine guns finally silenced.
Turn 4: After being knocked out for two moves, Bobtail finally roars into action, LMG rattling.

The fight around the oil tanks. Success for the NordAfrika Korps? Maitland may be gone but his time fuse remains!

Turn 5

Three Commandos (Ptes. Steinbeck, Gammage, Dickinson) felled by grenade from above as they try to break in to the Station Halt.

Turn 6

Demolition expert Pte Maitland is shot before he can lay any further charges.

In a deadly melee phase Pte Grant, Pte Faulkner and Capt Young and NAK Sch. Junge and Schroeder are killed.

Jeep Truck Bobtail is back in action, heading down the railway track towards the station. Its LMG hit Sch. Vogel on the station roof.

The Yestershire HMG crew brought down the troublesome PAK crew Sch. Beck and Roth at last.

Turn 6 – fierce and deadly melee as more Desert Commandos pitch into melee against NAK troops.

Turn 7

Train arrives with NAK reinforcements

Turn 8 – the view from the NAK gun emplacement on the hill, attacked by Pte Ortheris

Turn 8

Bobtail the Jeep Truck turns sharply and retreats down the track away from the train and all its reinforcements.

NordAfrika Korps – Reinforcements detrain in Turn 8

Meanwhile Sch. (Pte) Huber in melee and with rifle fire brings down Commando after Commando including the raid leader “Popsy” before Huber himself is brought down.

“Popsy” the Commando Raid leader is down – time to retreat?

The planned escape route with Bobtail the LRDG Jeep Truck just before … Bobtail disaster!

Turn 9

With Raid leader “Popsy” dead and Allied numbers dwindling in the face of fresh NAK reinforcements, it is clearly time to leave. Hopefully soon explosive charges will wreck the area.

Abandoning the heavy HMG, RE Pte Appleby, Corporal Ridley and 2/Lt Bath head to the bridge to hitch a ride out of the area on the Jeep Truck Bobtail, along with Ptes. Wallingford and Mulvaney.

Before they climb on board Bobtail the Jeep Truck, it is hit at long range by the NAK Antitank gun on the hill. Bobtail is destroyed, its gunner and driver Ptes. Gough and Smith are killed. Disaster – but at least their remaining mines and explosives do not explode, injuring the remaining Allied troops.

Elsewhere across the airfield, Commando radioman ‘Sparky’ Sissons calls for the far off retrieval teams to meet him at the pre-arranged desert rendezvous point. He quickly leaves with Ptes. Shepperd and Learoyd. Their two captured enemy Aircrew held for interrogation are tied up and gagged but left behind, alive.

As the last of the Yestershires and the Commandos disappear off on foot the way they came …

Turn 10

Boom! The first of the oil tanks goes up in flames.

Private Maitland is avenged.

At this point the Allied survivors melt away into the desert on foot. The explosion of the first tank sends the surviving NordAfrika Korps troops diving to the ground to avoid the flames and showers of stones and metal debris as one after another oil tanks explodes, damaging the track and the engine of the train.

The old biplane is toppled over, made further unserviceable. Warehouses and stores are damaged.

Despite the heavy losses, this first desert Commando raid achieved suitable disruption.

Boom! The retreating Allies see more smoke and hear several more explosions as they head quickly off into the desert heat as the sun gets higher in the sky. Time to find their rendezvous points.

Boom! The Yestershires have their packs of supplies, water and ammunition handy. The small commando group are not personally so well supplied until they reach prearranged supply dumps.

They will hopefully regroup and head home to base to be debriefed. However the Commandos failed to bring any prisoners back for interrogation or to discover the activities of the NAK Special Duties Unit. What was going on in the tent for example? What was Meyer, the ADC to General Rimmel, inspecting?

(Above) Allied Survivors of the Raid on Wadi Yu Min – a few Commandos and some Yestershire Regiment escape into the desert. Yestershire Regiment 2/Sub Lieutenant ‘Tubby’ Bath RNVR , Corporal Ridley, Privates Mulvaney, Wallingford and Shepperd. Commando Radioman Signaller ‘Sparky’ Sissons, Pte Learoyd and Mine detecting RE Private Appleby

Thanks to our Featherstone Personalised Wargaming approach the names of tiny combatants have been used throughout.

NordAfrika Korps survivors with Meyer, ADC to General Rimmel and a wrecked Bobtail LRDG jeep truck
NordAfrika Korps survivors named.
Casualties on both sides Raid of Wadi Yu Min
The Allied Casualties named

The NordAfrika Korps casualties named.

Reflection back on the game and rules

Playing solo, this game / scenario worked well enough.

The cluttered terrain amongst the oil tanks and aeroplane made shooting difficult for both sides.

The Commandos and Yestershire Regiment suffered consistently from a series of poor dice rolls throughout on Melee and Firing. No Featherstone Savings Throws in this game. They were given no extra modifiers in Melee or Firing for being Commando troops, opposing tough NordAfrika Korps troops.

Despite the first NAK Armoured Car crew being quickly knocked out, the two anti tank guns on the hill and the half-track LMG quickly did damage to the commando transport and troop numbers. Lots of lucky dice throws. Dealing with these high up entrenched gun positions created many problems for the raiders.

Naming characters does positively change the way you view this game and would be even more effective with a smaller number of troops. Playing both sides with a larger number of characters, it is harder to become attached or show favouritism to any one particular figure.

The element of silent surprise at the beginning needs to be worked on and developed.

In future raids I would include more explosives trained troops, as well as assign rifles and SMGs to those typical ‘useless’ Airfix non-combatant figures without firepower such as the grenade throwers, knife men, observers with only binoculars and gun crew etc.

I used Featherstone based simple WW2 rules from War Games and its Close Wars appendix but with scaled down firing ranges to suit my hexes:

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

Some rules ideas to tinker and think through after rereading Featherstone’s Wargaming Airborne Operations and Wargaming Commando Operations.

There are some interesting commando raid games and rules on the Grid Based Wargaming website: https://gridbasedwargaming.blogspot.com/2020/01/st-nazaire-raid-deciding-rules.html

Overall a joyful outing for some classic Vintage Airfix from my childhood collection and from Tony Adams’ gift of figures earlier in the year. Figures who never thought they would fight (again).

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 18 January 2020.

LRDG Demolition Briefing Map and Games Scenario

Available forces for the reconnaissance and demolition mission: see below

LRDG – Briefing: Raid or Mission Aims

a) investigate increased enemy activity at the railway halt and old desert airstrip at the old oil prospecting camp, Wadi-Yu-Min.

b) put out of use any military or transport equipment, railway, bridges as appropriate

c) destroy stores

D) remove any interesting weaponry and documents of interest to Intelligence Officers, including captured service personnel for internment and interrogation.

‘Ragtag’ and ‘Bobtail’, two LRDG (D) modified desert extended jeep type trucks with additional external  fuel tanks, stowage and demolition equipment   – 2 LRDG (D) man crews with  LMG Bren Guns, pistols and rifle plus spotter / spare armed with pistol.

Being more small truck than jeep, several commandos can be carried by each ‘jeep truck’.

Note: Numbers with names are not their ages!

Ragtag’s crew of 2 – driver and LMG gunner Desert Commando Privates Foster (35) and Marrion (34) and Spotter Pte Sheppard (32)

Bobtail’s crew of 2 – driver and LMG gunner Desert Commando Privates Gough (36) and Smith (37)

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Desert Commando Section 1 LRDG – D

Officer Commanding Captain Younger (14) with pistol and commando knife

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Photo caption: Three plucky Desert Commandos pictured with HMG Section gunner Privates Curry (38) and Stonefeather (39) and spotter Lance Cpl. Blease (7) and LRDG-D Truck LMG teams.

20 Desert Commandos under two Officers (Hyde and Younger),  commanding 9 rifles and 4 SMGs from various regiments and the Royal Angrian Defence Force (West Africa) and technical teams.

2/Lieut. Hyde (40) with pistol,

Riflemen – Lance Cpl Kaufman (6), ‘Fluffy’ Mitton (9) Privates Fremantle (5), Hemingway (10), Faulkner (12), Learoyd (14), Chandler (18), Dangerfield (24), Clayton (33)

SMGs – Lance Corporal Maclean (8), Privates Young (17), Weller (20), Scruby (27)

Commando Technical teams include:

  1. Royal Signals Regiment operator with radio, Private Sissons (25)
  2. Small antitank weapon (Bazooka type) Private Chamberlin (26) and second crew member Private Dickinson (31)
  3. Royal Engineers Demolition expert Private Maitland (30) with detonator
  4. Two ‘grenadiers’ equipped with Mills Bombs and knives Privates Steinbeck (11) and Gammage (29)

Each of these ‘Technicals’ carries Commando knives and pistol.

Donald Featherstone’s Wargaming Commando Operations gives a good idea of weaponry that early raiding teams carried.

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Desert Forces: Yestershire Regiment Regulars with two officers with pistols, 10 riflemen under Sergeants Brittle (40) and Bland (2)

Officers Lieutenant ‘Paddy’ Camberley (1), and 2nd / Sub-Lieutenant ‘Tubby’ Bath (41), attached from RNVR

Riflemen – Sergeants Brittle (40) and Bland (2), Corporals Stone (3) and ‘Daisy’ Ridley (4) and Privates Pollock (13), Mulvaney (15) Ortheris (16), Grant (19), Mahoney (21), Wallingford (22),

Bombers / Grenadiers – Private Hunt (28).

1 HMG team of two gun crew Privates Curry (38) and Stonefeather (39) and spotter Lance Cpl Blease (7)

Royal Engineer Private Appleby (23) with mine detecting equipment and pistol.

Briefing Map

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/01/05/desert-raid-on-wadi-yu-min-briefing-map-1941/

Insertion points 1-5 for each team to be advised (chosen by d6).

Recon and Demolition Mission Reminders

Yestershire Regiment to be inserted close by truck and carrier, (off table) arriving into the area on foot. They will be carrying water, rations and ammunition in their packs.

Commando teams will be carrying no packs. Ragtag, Bobtail and the truck logistics teams carry extra explosives and detonators. They have also established several caches of survival supplies nearby with map refs to ensure that commando teams can escape on foot as needed.

A radioman signaller is present to keep links back to base teams for rescue and retrieval at prearranged points in the surrounding desert.

Reminders: Civilian casualties are to be avoided or minimised.

Local people may be present along with unarmed railway staff.

No blame for the raid should attributable to the local population by the enemy. Where possible, ‘Dummy’ maps and equipment to be deliberately left behind.

Enemy prisoners and technicians are to be disarmed, taken captive where possible and escorted back to base for interrogation.

The raid game is now played and the account of it can be found here: https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/01/18/desert-commando-raid-on-wadi-yu-min-1941/

Personalised Wargaming: What’s in a name?

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/01/09/featherstones-personalised-wargaming-in-the-desert/

John Curry noted in the reprint edition of Donald Featherstone’s Advanced Wargames that the list of names in the ‘Personalised Wargaming’ chapter included the names of various 1960s wargame opponents, illustrators and figure manufacturers – Russell Gammage of Rose Miniatures, Neville (Minifigs) Dickinson, Illustrator R.J. Marrion, Jack Scruby, Brigadier Peter Young, Roy Belmont-Maitland (Tradition) etc.

You also get a possible glimpse of Featherstone’s bookshelf of rugged literary tastes. Several others appear to be novelists or writers – Chandler, Faulkner, Hemingway. Others include ‘The Soldiers Three’ or ‘Three Musketeers’ characters in Rudyard Kipling’s tales of army life in India during the Raj, one of Featherstone’s colonial gamingn interests, Kipling’s alter ego Ortheris, Learoyd and Mulvaney.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learoyd,_Mulvaney_and_Ortheris

After introducing Learoyd and Mulvaney, when asked who the third musketeer was, Kipling reputedly said Ortheris (‘the Author is’).

Other bloggers who commented on my Personalised Wargaming blog post created their character names lists using the names of actors, politicians and war leaders (“See here, Private Johnson!” – insert name of …), film characters and ingeniously, villains from acquaintances (with names scrambled).

Airfix 54mm ‘Saints’ https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/20/donald-featherstones-centenary/

The ‘Saints’ Southampton FC teams of the mid to late 1950s to early 60s would be another such useful or appropriate Donald Featherstone inspired list of names to collate and choose from, as he was their team physiotherapist and wrote several books on sports, work and dance injuries.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Southampton_F.C._players

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, 18 January 2020

Featherstone’s Personalised Wargaming in the Desert

Vintage Airfix Privates named, Privates for Desert Army and Privates / Schutz in NordAfrika Korps

One idea I wanted to develop in my skirmish gaming is a more ‘personal’ or ‘personalised’ feel to small troop action.

Giving names to your ‘characters’ adds a different dimension to the nameless hordes of figures.

I use the names suggested in the chapter ‘Personalised Wargaming‘ of Donald Featherstone’s 1969 Advanced Wargames book, recently reprinted and available from John Curry’s History of Wargaming project.

Naming characters has worked really well for me with the snowballers and the Boy and Girl Scout Wide Games.

However it has meant fairly regular picking figures up to check who they are!

See more at: https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com

The Blue Hills Boys … all named in the game, reports and write ups.

Personalised “Ripping Yarns” write up of the game report.

“You, Vot ist your Name?” “Don’t tell him, Pike!”

When I ran out of names from the Featherstone list in Advanced Wargaming and Skirmish Wargaming, especially for the many Schutzen (Riflemen) privates commanded by General Von Rimmel in the NordAfrika Korps, I turned to Wikipedia’s common German surname list and the WW2 / modern rank lists for translations

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_most_common_surnames_in_Germany

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranks_and_insignia_of_the_German_Army_(1935–1945)

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranks_of_the_German_Bundeswehr

Vintage Airfix Afrika Korps – General Von Rimmel can be seen top left

Sch. Schwartz? / Pte Black?

I have marked all the bases with the English ranks. For Schutzen (Sch) read Private etc. If needed, many of the Germanic names have an English equivalent, if you were using the NordAfrika Korps for other non German / non WW2 ImagiNations games.

Private Scruby? Private Young? Private Marrion?

John Curry noticed that Featherstone’s names in his “Personalised Wargaming” chapter were friends, wargamers, illustrators, and figure manufacturers from the 1950s and 1960s.

I wonder if Sergeant Featherstone was putting Brigadier Peter Young in his place a little jokily by only having a Private Young amongst the named characters in his ‘Personalised Wargaming’ chapter?

“Her Privates We” – some of Featherstone’s named figures in Advanced Wargaming.

And Don Featherstone himself? Not on his own list but I do have of course on my extended names list and now on an Airfix figure the name of one Sergeant Stonefeather!

I wonder what experience any of you have had of ‘personalised‘ wargaming? Did it add to your gaming or detract from it?

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

Stealth’s Take on Close Little Wars

.

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.

Featherstone and Co. Naval War Games

IMG_4132
That magical number again 793.9 and the end of its (much borrowed?) library career.  

As mentioned in my recent blog posts on my Flying Tiger Pound Store Navy of eraser ships, I have sent off for two books on Naval  Wargames.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/19/my-pound-store-naval-convoy/

One is old, one new, one much borrowed, both are hopefully blue, as blue as the cruel sea …

I await my Lulu order of  Bob Cordery’s recent Gridded Naval Wargames, highly recommended by several people, no doubt being printed and despatched at this very moment.

The distinctive 60s Book jacket design surrounded by my Pound Store ships

However first to arrive, full speed ahead, at the end of its hopefully much borrowed forty year library career, was Donald F. Featherstone’s Naval War Games.

It has its fans, others condemned on my blog comments it as dry as dust. A reprint is available thanks to John Curry’s History of Wargaming Project:

http://www.wargaming.co/recreation/naval.htm

This used copy (in better condition than I expected) cost only a few pounds from Better World Books, an Abe Books Internet supplier of ex-library stock whose profits go to literacy and library projects worldwide. What’s not to like?

I never borrowed this Featherstone title from my local library, it was always out on loan.

IMG_4129
Stirring stuff? Do you always read the book jacket blurb? Would you be inspired and buy or borrow this book? 
The Tabletop Islands chapter by Joseph Morschauser is unusual!

A wide range of Naval rules by Featherstone “and company”

Some supposedly simple ‘back of postcard rules’ by different gamers that Featherstone starts with.

Slightly hieroglyphic for beginners like many “back of postcard rules”?

Jack Alexander (Jacklex figures) design: how to make a WW1 era battleship
Three completed ‘simple’ ship models shown
An innovative Fred Jane no dice approach to calculate firing and damage!
That eternal boy Donald Featherstone dreams of Pacific War Airfix Combined Ops games
Another inspiring Featherstone image from Naval War Games …

First impressions?

No obvious simple (solo) convoy game rules but should be some interesting ideas. Add Bob Cordery’s book and ideas as well, it should promise to be an interesting few months puzzling out some rules for protecting my eraser ship convoy from the Wolf Pack.

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, 23 August 2018.

A Small Salute on Donald Featherstone’s Centenary

IMG_3223
My homecast Salute to Donald Featherstone’s Centenary (54mm Prince August).
IMG_3221
My toy soldier style tribute to Donald Featherstone, Don being the physiotherapist to Southampton FC for many years  (Airfix Footballers). He probably wore a suit and tie,  not a tracksuit.

MARCH is my excuse to photograph my MARCHing figures and MARCHing bands in my collection  so these are a small tribute to Don, the sort of Britain’s figures that he would have seen in his inspiration – H.G. Wells’ Little Wars.

IMG_3224.JPG
A tiny parade of some of my vintage Britain’s Guards,  MARCHing  to celebrate Donald Featherstone’s Centenary.
IMG_2647
Some Donald Featherstone inspiration – his 30mm Spencer Smith figures in the Plattville Valley, an ACW game from his first book (and my favourite) War Games 1962 

 

Donald Featherstone (1918 – 2013) would have been 100 years old today.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/03/featherstone100-donald-featherstone-centenary-20-march-2018/

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Happy Birthday Donald Featherstone! An inspiration to us all.

A little suitable light reading for the day …

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Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, 20 March 2018

Featherstone100 – Donald Featherstone Centenary 20 March 2018

 

IMG_2973
March 1918 Late War German Infantry in 15mm by Peter Laing from my collection.

20th March 1918 is an important date in WW1 anniversary terms as the shock troops of German storm troopers stood trained, in position and poised ready to roll through Allied lines on the dawn of 21 March 2018 – Operation Michael, The Kaiserschlact or the Kaiser’s Day.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring_Offensive

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Michael

Thousands of British and Allied troops were surrounded, killed or taken prisoner. My eighteen year old Maternal Great Uncle  serving with the British Fifth Army was killed several days later in this confused fighting. Only stubborn Allied resistance by scratch regiments like his and logistics – the Royal Naval Blockade of Germany starving it of war materials – saw this German knockout blow rapidly  run out of fuel and men.

Events of the Russian Revolution in 1917  through to the 3rd March 1918 – the Treaty of Brest Litovsk between Bolshevik Russia and Germany – released thousands of German troops from the Eastern Front back to the Western Front.

A more joyous event – Donald Frederick Featherstone was born on 20th March 1918.

** Some newspaper obituaries have him listed as born on 12 March 1918 but other newspaper obituaries and his death certificate listing says he was born on 20th March 1918.

That makes Tuesday 20th March 2018 the late Donald Featherstone’s Centenary anniversary or #Featherstone100.

As he came into the world, Allied victory in the Great War stood in doubt. He often said in interviews, that he chose the Tank Regiment on enlistment in 1939 because of all his family stories about the slaughter of Poor Bloody Infantry  in the trenches.

How can we best celebrate in our own small gaming ways the Centenary and life of  a man who changed my hobby life – man and boy – for the better, as he did for many gamers of a certain age?

Like many others, I owe a lot to Donald Featherstone.  Many were the warm and richly deserved tributes and obituaries on Don’s death aged 95 in 3 September 2013.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Featherstone_(wargamer)

I’m  glad a Featherstone gaming weekend happens each year with Don’s lucky dice as the annual prize. http://www.wargameshc.co.uk/event/donald-featherstone-tribute-weekend-chancellorsville-march-23-25th-inc-2018/

#bestFeatherstonemoment

My best Featherstone moment this year  was tracking down at the BBC archives and receiving a PDF of the almost illegible typed and hand annotated talk scripts of two Donald Featherstone radio talks.  As John remarked, I may have been the first person to read these since Don Featherstone in 1962/63. I have passed the copyrighted transcripts to John Curry for future use and publication through the History of Wargaming Project.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/01/donald-featherstones-bbc-radio-talks-1962-1963/

I have also been tracking Don Featherstone through the newspaper archives

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/01/donald-featherstone-tabletop-generals-daily-herald-article-march-21-1961/

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Daily Herald March 21 1961 – almost a nice 43rd birthday present!

How should we best celebrate the Centenary of Donald F. Featherstone? 

1. Read one of Don’s many books?

Plenty of military history titles as well as his wargaming books to choose from. Reprints are available through the  History of Wargaming Project set up by John Curry. http://wargaming.co

2. Play a Featherstone inspired game?

Plenty of scenarios in his books across all periods. Plenty of his simple “Back of postcard” rules on  my blog or in his books.

3. Watch the great little short video with Don and John Curry on YouTube

 

4 Listen to a podcast by Don about his WW2 experiences  from Bovington Tank Museum

http://tankmuseum.org/download?id=41236

How amazing that the author of the handtyped 1960s Wargamers Newsletter and BBC Radio talks  should be recording a podcast and only missed the games blogging age by a few years.

5. Do a Featherstone themed conversion such as finishing my Airfix footballer to saloon girl conversion?

IMG_2379

Don was famous for his homecasting or his conversion of one available figure into many others.

This inspired many others and does still today including Rod MacArthur who had the privilege of gaming and figure making with Donald Featherstone and Tony Bath  from 1960 onwards  https://rodwargaming.wordpress.com/about/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/11/donald-featherstones-unusual-take-on-casualties-and-campaigns

 

 

 

 

#MARCH-ing bands aside, my Featherstone footballer turned wildwest showgirl is my current unfinished work in progress. #MARCH

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/21/fembruary-post-no-4-a-womans-right-to-vote-and-serve-march/

Arguably every gaming day is a Featherstone day for many gamers, every day that we use a version of his rules, read his books or do our hobby thing, especially if you were inspired by Donald Featherstone’s books out of the library as a child, we celebrate his life, his hobby and his work.

What might you do to celebrate Donald Featherstone’s Centenary or #Featherstone100?

I’d love to hear your #Featherstone100 plans or your #bestFeatherstonemoment through your blogs or my comments page.

“The pleasure does not begin and end with the actual playing of the war-game. There are many pleasant hours to be spent in making model soldiers, painting them, constructing terrain, carrying out research into battles, tactics and uniforms …” Donald Featherstone, War Games 1962. Wise words indeed!

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The very library book that started it all for me – used in my Airfix ACW game last year.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN blog, 3 March 2018 (Centenary of the Treaty of Brest Litovsk)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEMBruary 2018 progress so far

FEMbruary progress so far

Two or more weeks already into February, how am I doing on the three or four targets that I have set for myself to celebrate the female figures in my toy soldier and gaming collection?

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/09/fembruary-hobby-challenge-conversions/

#FEMbruary Challenges 2018

#FEMbruary 1: look through my toy soldier collection and pick out some of my favourite female figures for this blog

#FEMbruary 2: do a tissue paper and PVA Featherstone conversion on one of my childhood 1:32 Airfix Footballers into a high stepping saloon girl (with or without rifle?) for 54mm Wild West games

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/11/donald-featherstones-unusual-take-on-casualties-and-campaigns/#comments

#FEMbruary 3: convert one of my Steve Weston Mexican Civilian women into a handy Votes for Women Suffragette?

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Then we had slight “challenge creep” into Challenge 4: choose a figure from Annie Norman’s range at Bad Squiddo Games

and one more challenge over on my Pound Store Plastic Warrior sister blog.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/colonial-amazons-women-soldiers-of-dahomey-and-siam/

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My Fourth FEMBruary challenge: The lovely Land Army women from Annie Norman at Bad Squiddo Games have been on the painting table this weekend.

Some quick “pewtering” (a quick coat of paint and then wiped off before dry) brought out how much detail these figures have. It also usefully fills in some dark and shadowy places before the colour coat.

Rather then try and fail to emulate the superb matt realist painting on the packaging by Andrew Taylor, I thought I would use Gloss Acrylic (as I don’t have or normally use Matt paint anyway). I wanted a more gloss Toy Soldier style look which is a bit more difficult at 28mm, rather than at 54mm toy soldier size. Still some tidying up to do on the Land Girl figures including smoothing out the gloss / flesh Acrylic mix, which is a bit lumpy still.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/fembruary-3-annie-normans-bad-squiddo-land-girl-picnic-and-a-cuppa/

I was trying to second guess what figures from Bad Squiddo Games that Marvin at Suburban Militarism would choose, having incidentally introduced me to FEMbruary. I chose Land Girls, he chose Catherine The Great

https://suburbanmilitarism.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/the-fembruary-challenge/

Aim high and aspire for the top jobs, why not? Empress of Russia, or the Queens shown as my first part of the FEMbruary challenge, photographing some of the female figures in my collection.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/11/fembruary-challenge-1-two-queens-and-one-vc/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/fembruary-post-2-a-few-more-female-figures-and-a-florence/

More photograph blog posts in preparation.

High kicking! Work has begun on FEMbruary No. 2 the Donald Featherstone suggested Airfix footballer to Wild West saloon girl conversion. First out comes the PVA and tissue paper to add some feminine attributes, hair and then flowing big flouncy showgirl dress.

At this early stage, the big hair still looks like a 70s footballer Kevin Keegan, albeit in a dress. Some more work required here! Once the frills, chokers, flounces and real tiny feathers are added, hopefully ‘she’ will look more like a 1880s saloon girl.

Pound Store Plastic Warriors FEMbruary challenge.

The Pound Store Plastic Warriors challenge to convert these Poundland 32-36mm plastic soldier figures into tribal African style Amazon female warriors is underway. These should be colourful, more red and yellow and bling, than the white robed male desert warriors that I have worked on recently.

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/colonial-amazons-women-soldiers-of-dahomey-and-siam/

To be fair, we started late, not on FEMbruary the First. There are still nine days left of the FEMbruary challenge 2018 and there are plenty of topics and figures left for FEMbruary 2019. There is always MOREFEMber too!

What might you do you for FEMbruary this year or 2019?

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, FEMBruary 18th 2018.