Quick making and PVA gluing of polystyrene Snow Forts
The Snow Forts game in progress …
This was a ‘jolly good fun’ short game, featuring a small force of Gladys and four other Girl Scouts of Daisy Patrol, defending their snow fort with snowballs against an attacking force of eight Boy Scouts of Red scarved ‘Bull’ Patrol.
I will post a full game write up in the next few days, my first playtesting of some simple Scouting Wide Games rules.
It takes three Snowball hits on a defender in the Snow Fort for them to lose their ‘life’ (restored once journeyed back to HQ tent camp), but only one hit to take the ‘life’ of an attacker.
Snowball ammunition is unlimited. One scout equals one figure.
Ranges were set out or measured using lolly sticks, for close range (one lollystick – 4,5,6 is a hit on a d6), medium range (two lollystick distance, 5 or 6 to hit) and long range (three lollysticks – 6 only to hit).
Movement on snow and ice was half normal pace, (so using half a lollystick marker to measure) and no fast Scouts Pace (a strange mix of periods of running and walking) was allowed due to weather and terrain
Alan Gruber, Tradgardmastre of the Duchy of Tradgardland blog is also going to be working on the Scouting Wide Games rules and borrowed RPG elements like individual character cards.
I added some simple RPG style elements like names, age or scout ranking from Tenderfoot to First Class Scout or Patrol Leader, and badge or character achievements.
For example, Gladys the Patrol Leader of Daisy Patrol of the Girl Scouts and young Ernest, Second Class scout of Bull Patrol (Red Scarves) both have Marksman scout badges, adding +1 to their chance of hitting a scout of the other patrol with a range weapon like a snowball.
Jolly Good Fun! The game ended sportingly with three cheers for the winners and three cheers for the losers. Afterwards Agnes and Ginger of the Daisy Patrol of Girl Scouts built a “Snow Scout”.
I never made the link between scout trek carts and the Wild West type pioneer trek carts featured in this episode of Mormon and American West history.
This is a pioneer story as gripping and tragic as that of the Oregon Trail.
“To cut down on expensive wagons and oxen, some 3,000 of the [Mormon] pioneers subsequently used low-cost wooden handcarts that were light enough to be pulled across the Great Plains. One family or five individuals were assigned to a handcart, with 18 to 20 people sharing a tent. A cart hauled no more than 200 pounds — about 17 pounds of baggage per person. Each highly organized company was led by an experienced guide and was accompanied by at least four oxen-drawn supply wagons.
The first party of handcarts set out from Iowa City, Iowa, on 9 June 1856 with a company of 266 people from England, followed two days later by a second company of just over 200. These early handcart brigades successfully arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, but the trips were not easy. Pioneer journals recorded harsh weather, the threat of hostile Indians, the death of fellow travelers and the ongoing hardships of hunger and fatigue.”
Once Alan’s two patrols were cast and complete, I knocked out a spare patrol for future use of these strange crude blocky 60mm home cast figures. It’s taken a while to get them painted in my usual gloss toy soldier style. They now need varnishing for garden or tabletop use.
Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 1970s Cub Scout (Bronze Arrow, Retired) June 2019.
but a chance to get some more Scout painting done in between scribbling down more character card and Wide Games rules ideas. I have found a treasure trove of vintage scout manuals free here http://www.thedump.scoutscan.com/games.html
Alan as Chief Scout of the Duchy of Tradgardland Scouts has kindly sent my Boy Scouts the gift of a spare bicycle that he had in his Scout Troop stores.
I was hoping there was also a fun Pound Store Plastic alternative to buying or casting metal scout figures and the Wargaming Pastor had a good suggestion.
The Wargaming Pastor on Death Zap suggested that my floppy bush hatted Boer type figure conversions from Pound store tubs might convert well enough: “I’m tempted to collect a few scouts now, I’m wondering how easy it would be to modify some Airfix WW1 Americans or some of those Poundland chaps? Your Boer conversions would go a long way, then all I have to do is chop off the gun.”
I have quickly paint-bashed these two 32mm examples up to see how this might go. The Wargaming Pastor’s clever suggestion does work!
From pound store figures to more expensive pewter figures.
Looking for a Scout Trek or Treck Cart, before I started converting home cast gun carriages for their wheels, I came across the Phoenix 43 series by S&D / Phoenix which featured a trek cart, two separate scouts pushing and a Scoutmaster and Patrol Leader.
Designed for model railways, I bought a sample of each, not quite sure of size at the time. They are not cheap at around £3 each figure but they are beautifully and crisply cast. They also have very speedy delivery.
Fortunately they do match with my Little Britons 42mm boys and will form a few character pieces such as a Patrol Leader and a Scoutmaster. The Treck Cart should form an interesting scenario focus for Wide Games.
So there we are … my Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts now have wheels in the form of bicycles and a trek cart.
The 20 scouts are closer to completed painting, mainly just touch ups and faces before a gloss varnish to match the toy soldier style.
I have also spent £3 on a single metal scout and made one from a penny plastic figure.
Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN (1970s Cub Scout, Bronze Arrow, retired) on 19 May 2019.
I am slowly trying to work out how to reproduce Boy Scout and Girl Scout Wide Games with miniature figures on the gaming table or in the garden.
Boy Scouts? Girl Scouts? Girl Guides? What’s in a name?
In Britain since 1910, we have not had mainstream Girl Scouts, after Guiding was set up to manage the enthusiastic adoption of Scouting for Boys by many Edwardian girls, sometimes originally in mixed troops.
However in some parts of the UK, across America and the world, Girl Scouts have survived in both name and spirit.
The Girl Scouts of America kept their distinctive Scout name since their formation in 1912, led by Juliette Gordon Low. In this Very good history guide to the early Girl Scouts of Britain before they became Girl Guides, it mentions Cuckoo Patrol Girl Scout troops, the fears about mixed groups, suffragette activities and WW1 and the fact when Guides was set up in Britain not all Girl Scouts apparently transferred …
Following the publication of Scouting for Boys in January 1908 girls were actively engaging in Scouting, they had been just as inspired by the ideas in the book as their male counterparts. Troops and patrols of Girl Scouts were encouraged by Robert Baden-Powell;
“I think girls can get just as much healthy fun and as much value out of scouting as boys can. Some who have taken it up have proved themselves good souls in a very short time. As to pluck, women and girls can be just as brave as men and have over and over again proved it in times of danger. But for some reason it is not expected of them and consequentially it is seldom made part of their education, although it ought to be; for courage is not always born in people, but can generally be made by instruction.”
Robert Baden-Powell, The Scout, May 1908
One group of Girl Scouts, sadly only known to us as “Kangaroo Patrol” were so inspired by this quote that they copied it out at the beginning of their patrol magazine in May 1909. Their magazine was full of adventure stories with Scouts preventing robberies and kidnappings, it also showed girls and boys Scouting together.
Wonderfully the BBS and BGS troops still exist in small numbers in Britain and elsewhere proudly wearing the old fashioned uniform, open to boys and girls and linked to the worldwide scouting movement.
Baden Powell was surprised but not antagonistic towards the enthusiatic uptake of Scouting for Boys by the kind of vigorous “intelligent sort of girl who likes boys’ games and books” as H.G. Wells observed in his preface to LittleWars a few years later in 1913.
“As records show, at this time Baden-Powell was clearly supportive of Girl Scouts. In May 1908 he wrote to one Girl who enquired that she would be welcome to set up a Patrol of Girl Scouts, and in his regular column in ‘The Scout’ in January 1909 he stated of the girls that “some of them are really capable Scouts” …”
“ …In the 1909 edition of Scouting for Boys the uniform suggestions included recommending blue skirts for Girl Scouts. Large Scout Rallies were held, including one at Scotstoun near Glasgow, where Girl Scouts were both specifically invited, and warmly welcomed.” Source: Leslie’s guiding history website.
Useful painting or colour scheme tip : blue skirts rather than the Boy Scout blue shorts mentioned in the 1909 Scouting for Boys. Dark Blue went on to become the colour of early Guide uniforms.
“So clearly, throughout 1908 and much of 1909, Girl Scouts were welcomed, both unofficially and officially” including the Crystal Place rally in 1909 where early Girl Scouts were photographed amongst the boys. It is reported that more than 1000 Girl Scouts were present.
“By late 1909 amongst the official Scout membership of 55,000 there were already over 6000 Girl Scouts officially registered, and more registering daily.” Leslie’s Guiding History.
By 1910, Guiding had been established to protect the reputation of these Edwardian girls and of the fledgeling Scout Movement. Scouting for Boys was adapted by Baden Powell and his sister Agnes into a Guiding Manual, “How Girls Can Help Build The Empire”, designed to equip girls with camping skills, homecraft and child care skills for adult life in Britain or upcountry in the Empire.
It would be almost 70 years before mixed older (Venture) Scout groups were established again in Britain.
Leslie’s Guiding Ideas Website also has some contemporary Guiding / Girl Scouts Wide Games Scenarios, worth coming back to:
Guiding and scouting being world movements, it is of course possible that fictional Imagi-Nations like the Bronte family’s Gondal and Gaaldine, or the many great Tintin-esque Imagi-Nations and Grand Duchys created by gamers could have their own Boy Scout and Girl Scout movements.
Girl Scouts of Gaaldine or Gondal?
Boy Scouts of Angria or Generica, anyone?
Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN (1970s Cub Scout, Bronze Arrow, Retired) 17 May 2019
Further thoughts from Alan Gruber, the Duchy of Tradgardland as we individually read our way through the 1933 booklet Wide Games by Gilcraft of the Scout Association, looking for useful tips for game scenarios.
1. “You could use other figures to represent the scouts as they perceive themselves.
So in a pirate wide game use pirate figures or medieval, use Robin Hood ones.
It is a conceit also to allow to use any figures for those who don’t have model scouts.”
2. Encounter tables for bulls, angry policemen etc
3. Weather tables too, effects on morale, more dangerous to run etc.
Weather like snow and rain would also affect how easy it was to read tracks, leave tracks etc.
Lots of other ideas here to affect character card number ratings or add chance and event cards.
4. Morale, how the scouts are feeling and can they be bothered to continue in terms of fed up, bad weather, skint knees, losing game etc.
5. First aid for minor injuries. Chance of minor injuries when jumping,cycling, going through nettles,brambles etc. affects desire to continue.
6. Small possibility of twisted ankles, broken legs. Obviously affects movement and distracts fellow scouts from the wide games by needing to go and get help.
I think this is an interesting idea for random chance cards or Umpire intervention. Most Boy Scouts and Scoutmasters would have some First Aid training; some Wide Games introduced instructions during the game with ‘casualties’ that would need treating and taking to collection points (where points would be given for their dressings).
The HQ base or Red Cross / Ambulance Base was where Scouts also have to return if they lose a ‘wool life’ and temporarily have left the game.
Alan Gruber goes on to mention even more ‘fantastic’ ideas:
“Years ago I helped occasionally with a friend’s Brownie pack by doing things like being a guest at their hostess badge tea party and with Thinking Day. The leader and girls often sent me a thank you card. They often featured Margaret Tarrant paintings of Brownies with wee folklore figures such as faeries etc. They were charming.”
World Thinking Day, formerly Thinking Day, is celebrated annually on 22 February by all Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. This was Baden Powell’s birthday, along with that of his wife Olave, one of the early Chief Guides. It is also celebrated by Scout and Guide organizations and some boy-oriented associations around the world.
“In the Wide Games book there is mention of Puck of Pook’s Hill as a background for games.”
Puck of Pook’s Hill is a fantasy book by Rudyard Kipling, published in 1906, containing a series of short historical fantasy stories set in different periods of English history.
Alan suggests: “What about taking things a step further and having real mythological creatures interacting with the scouts? All foreign scouts could have their own creatures like Tomten for Danish scouts etc.”
There are excellent illustrated Tomten and Gnome picture books available translated into English.
With both our initial thoughts both being that each Scout could have a Role Playing Game Style ratings card for his or her abilities, experiences, success or failures, then introducing suitably national Fantastic Beasts makes sense. Hogwarts territory, this. Girl Scoutes or Boy Scoutes versus Zombies, anyone?
Alan also wrote: “I like the comment on page 40 of the Wide games book
“In playing these games it should be remembered that they improve very much on the second and third trial, as minor rules have often to be introduced to suit local circumstances.” Same applies to us who write Wargame rules…”
This is much my style of gaming: If in doubt, invent a dice roll!
Lots of interesting ideas from Alan.
I have been busy painting and casting today, as I continue to read through Wide Games, along with a reprint of the 1908 Scouting for Boys and the colour reprint of the Ogden Scouting series 5 sets of Cigarette Cards.
Wide Games or Weird Wyde Games rules – very much still Work in Progress.
20 Boy scout figures on the painting table, 2 patrols of 8, leaving four who will become Girl Scout figures with full skirts.
More on British Girl Scouts in a forthcoming blog post.
Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN (with comments from Alan Gruber, Duchy of Tradgardland) 5 May 2019.