First, some Heroics and Ros 1/300 WW2 Infantry figures
This fridge magnet of Whitby Abbey becomes a useful church ruin for my 1/300 WW2 figures.
I’m not sure why I have such a random selection of British, German and possibly French Infantry and heavy weapons. I think they were part of a schoolboy swap.
A strange few extras of the Red Barons triple decker WW1 triplane, an old ship’s cannon (from a naval board game?) and a recent space droid and a Dalek.
I sorted the tiny 1/300 figures as best I could into German and Allied (British and French) based on helmet shape and backpacks. The kneeling figures need a further sort out with a good magnifying glass. There are not many photos to ID these figures on the 1/300 Heroics and Ros website:
There are less German Infantry but they have heavier weapons.
French Infantry, possibly the Allied ones with pointy Adrian helmets?
Enough figures here for a tiny Infantry skirmish.
I also found my lovely little Dinky Supermarine Swift jet aircraft 734 that is a little too big and modern for the 1/300 figures: it could be a “large experimental bomber” at this scale.
If this was my Desert Island Discs box, my ‘fire box’, if this Blue Box from my 1980s gaming were all that survived, I think there is enough interesting variety to scratch together some skirmish games.
If these were the only figures you had in the world, what fantastical ImagiNations games these would be.
There would be enough for some Ancients and WW2 1/300 games, some 15mm ECW and Marlburian era games and OO/HO or 1/72 Plastic and metal figure games from various manufacturers and several 19th and 20th Century periods.
Plastic OO/HO or 1/72 and 1/76 figures from the Nineteenth Century – American Civil War period, Colonials and Napoleonic period. A complete painted box of Esci French and British Napoleonic Artillery was a pleasant surprise!
The WW2 period figures mostly from Airfix and Railway Civilians with some improvised artillery pieces and useful wheels and horse transport.
Colonials, mostly mid 1980s sets from Esci and some Airfix oddments and animals
American Civil War figures and Waggon Train with the usual awkward Airfix horses.
Interesting 1981 RSA South African centenary stamp from the First Boer War Battle of Amajuba
Finally the kit figures, some of these Eighth Army and Afrika Korps are clearly Airfix copies, a little larger than the normal Airfix version two figures.
Esci hard plastic Eighth Army kit figures with gun crew and spare radio from Red Devils Paratroop set
Some pirate OO/HO copies of Herald 54mm British Infantry are interesting oddments.
The key is to my long vanished LP Storage case for wargames figures made or crafted for my birthday by my family to store my Peter Laing ECW figures after reading an article in a modelling magazine. The LP case of plastic and card eventually fell apart but the inner wooden storage trays still survive in use with Peter Laing 15mm figures.
A small desert skirmish or WW2 action could be improvised from the various OO/HO figures in this Blue Box.
Finally to go from 1/300 to the other end of the scale, two random 54mm figures.
Two different 54mm Airfix US Infantry captains to repair together, a Timpo drum and Timpo 7th cavalryman
The two large shells are all that I have left of my much missed lovely Britains breech loading heavy siege howitzer, a powerful cannon for playing Little Wars with 1/32 or 54mm figures.
In the final forthcoming part of the Unboxing the Blue Box post, part 3 focuses on 15mm metal figures including some lovely Peter Laing figures.
Hostilities are in active progress between the Earl of HARBOROUGH and the Midland Railway Company.
As we read about the valorous exploits of the champions on either side, the imagination is carried back to the times when feudal barons levied war against incorporated boroughs, and stout burgesses laid siege to the castles of feudal nobles.
Since the days of Warwick the King-maker there have been no such stirring deeds as have of late been doing in the land of foxhunting, and now merit to be recorded in prose or numerous verse. As to such warlike operations as those of the French in Algeria, or our own gallant Engineer-officers at the siege of Chatham, they are far outshone by the untaught military geniuses of the Midland Counties.
The siege of Stapleford Park was raised on Saturday last, (the Commander of the Midland Railway Company’s forces, General COPE, having proved as unlucky as his namesake of the year ’45), by the retainers of Lord HARBOROUGH, commanded by General FABLING; whose victory, notwithstanding his suspicious name, is as authentic as any recorded in the bulletins of NAPOLEON. Till the civil commotions in Guernsey leave General NAPIER at leisure to write the history of this remarkable campaign, we shall attempt a sketch of it. [Ed. see my footnote about Napier and Guernsey].
Stapleford Park is situate near the Confines of Leicestershire and Rutlandshire, between Melton Mowbray and Oakham. The Oakham Canal, or, more correctly speaking, its towing-path, passes close under the park-wall. The Midland Railway Company, proud of its joint-stock force, had sent word to Lord Harborough that its engineers would survey his park, somewhat in the same spirit that the Percy out of Northumberland sent word to the Douglas, “That he would hunt in the mountains Of Cheviot within days three.”
And with the spirit of the old Douglas did HARBOROUGH and FABLING reply, “We will let that surveying an if we may”
‘General’ Cope was the Chief Surveyor for this project for the Midland Railway.
On Wednesday the 13th of November 1844, the Railway forces, a mustering seven strong, attempted to penetrate into the park by the Oakham Canal towing-path. The Harborough retainers, in number nine, overpowered and took them prisoners. The captives were carried to Cold Overton Hall ; but the keeper of that castle being from home, the leader who captured them said, “It would be better for all parties to separate for the night.” This was accordingly done; the Harborough troops retaining the spirit- level of the surveyor as the gauge of victory. It does not appear that the commanding officers on either side were present at this affair.
The attack was renewed more earnestly on Thursday [the 13th of November 1844].
At the early hour of nine, the defenders of the park were observed collecting, under General FABLING, to the number of forty, in the vicinity of Saxby Bridge.
The clerk and treasurer of the Oakham Canal Company, which adheres in this war to the Harborough cause, were at their posts. This alliance, and the issue of the siege, may appear to some to corroborate the opinion so often emphatically expressed by Mr. COBDEN, that the aristocracy never triumphed over the towns but by sowing dispensions among them.
Preparations for a most determined resistance were made by the allied forces, by barricading the towing path on both sides of the bridge with ” trays.”
The assailants were soon after seen advancing in two columns, one from Melton and the other from Oakham; each conducted by its leaders in chaises and waving proudly the flag-staffs of the surveyors.
A lengthened parley ensued, in the true Homeric fashion. A demonstration was made against the barrier on the Oakham side of the bridge, but soon relinquished. Reinforcements of his Lordship’s vassals kept pouring in; and strong detachments from Oakham and Stamford were added to the assailants.
A neutral body — consisting of four or five County Police — declared, a la Randolph, “The man who strikes makes us his foe.” Hereupon each party, unwilling to draw upon it another enemy, wisely resolved to eschew striking.
The Harborough forces wedged themselves together on the Melton side, presenting a formidable living barrier.
The Engineer-officers of the other party drew up their front-rank men with their backs close to the forces of the Earl’s party, and instructed the rear-ranks and reserve to rush upon their own friends and drive them like wedges through the hostile array.
“Dire was the din of conflict “; men’s bodies were seen from the pressure to spring as high into the air over the heads of the contending parties as ever lance-heads did at a tournament. Mud bedaubed the clothes of all.
A breach was made in the line of the defenders, and the chain carried through in triumph; but immediately seized hold of, and broken. After this exploit, the defendants scampered for about a quarter of a mile down the towing-path; then halted, and formed their barrier de novo. The Railway troops did not venture to renew the assault; the defendants retired within their intrenchments, and the assailants returned to their quarters.
Friday [the 15th of November 1844] passed without any movement on the part of the besiegers. But late in the evening, news came to FABLING that an assault was to be made before daybreak next morning.
Immediately all was bustle within the intrenchments.
Every assailable point was strengthened with hurdles and waggons, and a fire-engine placed in readiness to pump upon the enemy at the place where the first attack was expected.
The uncertainty, however, of the defenders as to the point selected for the assault, weakened their arrangements: the park contains 800 acres, and the garrison was too small to man every part of the wall.
FABLING in this emergency had, like other great commanders, resource to a fable: he despatched a letter to the hostile chief, assuring him that he had in readiness “a few cannon from Lord Harborough’s yacht,” and concluding “Dear Sir, yours faithfully.” But his adversary had too much experience to be thus deceived: he knew that the cannon spoken of were only meant to throw cold water on his enterprise.
At seven o’clock a.m. on Saturday [the 16th of November 1844], Cope with 100 stout men – fresh recruits from Stamford, and the Peterborough and Midland Railways – swarmed over the park-paling on the side next Oakham; and immediately four chains were in active operation.
Captain LATHAM’S troop had been advanced, it is true, at an early hour in the direction of Oakham to reconnoitre; but he took the route by Whissendine and Langham, and thus missed the enemy, who came on by Ashwell and Teigh.
The successful assailants pushed right on in the direction of Lord HARBOROUGH’S cottage; and already the foremost chain might be descried from the Earl’s bedroom-window, when the gallant FABLING, followed by a handful of men whom he had collected, cantered up on a pony to the scene of action.
COPE, relying on his superior force, scornfully declared he had no wish to hurt FABLING, and ordered the Railway men to carry him off.
The reply deigned by that gallant leader was a command to his followers to carry off the measuring-chains. Brown, the Herculean lock-keeper of the Oakham Canal, threw himself before his chief; and every blow he dealt sent an enemy rolling heels-over-head. But the Railway party galled him sore with their spikes.
The noise of fray was heard in every village for two miles round. Lord Harborough, though enfeebled with illness, was seen to approach the scene of action, accompanied by his lady; and the sight nerved anew the arms of his faithful troops.
Parties of the tenantry kept pouring in from Freeby and Saxby, from Wymondham, Whissendine, and Teigh.
At last, “Cope could not cope,” and the assailants evacuated the park, leaving their staves and chains, and other munitions of war, behind them.
Thus did the merry men of Leicestershire send “bootless home and weather-beaten back a host of invaders, gathered from Stamford and from Hertfordshire, from Birmingham, and from Gracechurch Street and Churchill Street, London.
We have said that this siege reminded one of the old times when barons and burghers used to levy war against each other. The resemblance holds good to the close. It used to be customary in those days to invoke the authority of the Church to allay intestine broils; and we learn from the Times that ” warrants for the apprehension of some of the rioters have been granted by the Reverend G. E. Gillett.”
So the Railway war is in a fair train to get into the hands of the lawyers ; and in that case, both parties will learn, what all have learned who have ever been foolish enough to go to war, that the after-costs are worse than the fighting.
William Francis Patrick Napier (1785–1860), Napoleonic Officer and Military Historian
On 29 May 1841 Napier was given a special grant of 150l. per annum for his distinguished services. On 23 Nov. he was promoted major-general, and in February 1842 was appointed lieutenant-governor of Guernsey and major-general commanding the troops in Guernsey and Alderney.
He landed at Guernsey on 6 April, and threw himself into his new duties heart and soul; but he found much to discourage him. The defences were wretched, the militia wanted complete reorganisation, and the administration of justice was scandalous. In the five years of his government, despite local obstruction, he devised a scheme of defence which was generally accepted by a special committee from London of artillery and engineer officers, and was partially executed.
He reorganised and rearmed the militia. He powerfully influenced the states of the island to adopt a new constitution …
At Guernsey he devoted his spare time to writing a history of the ‘Conquest of Scinde,’ the achievement in which his brother Charles had recently been engaged. On the return of Lord Ellenborough from India he wrote, offering to publish the political part of the history first, and after some correspondence which established a lifelong friendship between him and Ellenborough, this was done.
In November 1844 the first part was published, and was read by the public with avidity; but, as with the ‘History of the Peninsular War,’ it involved Napier in endless controversy. There was this difference, however: the ‘History of the Conquest of Scinde’ was written with a purpose. It was not only the history of Sind, but the defence of a brother who had been cruelly misrepresented. The descriptions of the battles are not surpassed by any in the Peninsular war, but the calmness and impartiality of the historian are too often wanting. The publication of the second part of the ‘Conquest of Scinde’ in 1846 drew upon him further attacks, and the strength of his language in reply often exceeded conventional usage.
At the end of 1847 Napier resigned his appointment as lieutenant-governor of Guernsey. In February 1848 he was given the colonelcy of the 27th regiment of foot, and in May he was made a K.C.B. In the same year Napier wrote some ‘Notes on the State of Europe.’ Towards the end of 1848 the Liverpool Financial Reform Association published some tracts attacking the system by which the soldiers of the army were clothed through the medium of the colonels of regiments. The association sent its tracts to Napier, himself a clothing colonel, upon which he wrote a series of six vindicatory letters to the ‘Times’ newspaper, dating 29 Dec. 1848 to 1 Feb. 1849. They form Appendix VII. to Bruce’s ‘Life of General Sir William Napier.’ … (Source: Wikipedia)
I wonder if Napier’s controversial memoirs might have inspired the style of the ‘battle’ report of Saxby in The Spectator.
Classic vintage Airfix figures like these Russian WW2 infantry have lots of potential for paint conversion.
I painted these original 1960s Airfix figures, a gift from Tony Adams of the Miniature Woodscrew Army, as generic 20th Century rifle troops that could as needed be used as WW2 Russians if needed.
A mix of greys and greens from the matt ‘khaki grunge’ end of my Revell Acrylic Aquacolor paints should prove suitable camouflage.
This generic colouring of Modern troops can be seen here in this seventies Ladybird Leader book on Soldiers
Reading the Unwomanly Face of War about Soviet women on the Eastern Front has discouraged me from gaming the enormity of The Eastern Front.
Instead these soldiers belong to My Tintinesque ImagiNations on the Eastern Eurasian border. The Kingdom of IgoYugoslavia split over a disagreement about turntaking into smaller republics including the Republic of Igoslavia with its silver and red banner.
Here they are pictured alongside some of their Tank support, which some readers might remember as the ready to play polythene Airfix T34 (price 35p Model Sports, 1970s)
Igoslavia staff officer looking much like an American Civilian War artillery officer.
Blog post created using the clunky new block editor on WordPress, not a pleasant experience, for the Mark Man of TIN 28 September 2091.
Have a look at this attractively improvised game and games table (I’m sure Little Wars / Floor Games author HG Wells would approve) with Featherstone rules, scrambled together by the Death Zap! blogger The Wargaming Pastor:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Having dissected the ‘owl pellet’ of Tony Adams’ 1960s Airfix gaming figures in my recent blog posts, I thought I would share with you some of the Airfix reference materials that I have used alongside online websites like Plastic Soldier Review to date these version 1 figures.
This is not my only vintage hoard or kind gift from older colleagues and acquaintances. 2017 was a lucky year for vintage Airfix:
Before I start chasing older packaging – one attractive and useful book that I mentioned in a previous post was Jean-Christophe Carbonel’s 2010 book Airfix’s Little Soldiers (translated from French, 2010).
This book alone has saved me a small fortune collecting early Airfix packaging and playsets that I don’t have the storage space or money for.
Arthur Ward, ex Tailgunner columnist of Airfix magazine, has produced several Airfix and kit company history books. These are a good rainy day, loose end sort of book to read with attractive figures pictures to inspire you!
Best of all, I have the odd scrappy Airfix catalogue from my youth like this 1982 one to remind me. Too many of my teenage years, high on paint and kit glue in small unventilated rooms, were spent happily looking at these pages.
These pages recall many happy hours planning how many boxes of figures I would need and how to convert them, then working out if I could afford them. These pages also remind me that being shown in a catalogue didn’t necessarily mean these figures were available in the shop. The usual Airfix feast or famine, boom and bust.
No wonder, almost forty years on from this catalogue, I still have to restrain myself from impulse buying and hoarding Airfix figures whenever I see certain boxes. There should be an AA, an Airfix Anonymous for men of a certain age for such occasions : “My name is Mark Man of TIN and I am a vintage Airfix addict. I am resisting the need for my next Air-Fix (although I did buy the new version WW2 British Infantry a few weeks ago and it felt good.)”
Still a uniform reference guide for me years later, this catalogue is what the different troops of history should look like. As the BBC say for balance, other figure manufacturers are available. (Admit it though, they’re just not the same.)
There, a quick bit of weekend Airfix nostalgia, decades in the making!
I was intrigued by some of the colour schemes and set about repairing some of the American Civil War figures first. Hats of reddy brown, yellow and blue as painted by Tony many years ago were kept, refreshed or patched where needed. On a ragtag Confederate Unit, who would notice a bit of patching?
So there we have some new life breathed into some old figures, along with a few repaired rifles. I bet they thought in their tiny increasingly fragile plastic heads that their fighting days were over forever.
although in my mind they might be needed as ‘Japanese’ as I have ideas for an updated Gondal or Gaaldine type Bronte ImagiNations Pacific based island which is invaded by Japanese style troops 100 years after the Bronte’s 1830s / 1840s ImagiNation settings. A chance to use my spare Airfix first version Eighth Army figures as defenders (they are wearing shorts – perfect for the tropics) or use the ACW figures above as the Island militia.