Friday, January 22, 2010

Gaming with John’s Toy Soldiers

This past Tuesday me, Gary, Rick and Jackson all wandered over to John’,s for a change, to play with his pretty toy soldiers. All the figures are 40mm home-cast toy soldiers that John modeled, moulded, cast and painted himself.

I have to admit I’d been having a long tiring week and was half asleep for most of the game so I’m a little hazy on a lot of the details…


I know the battle took place in the mid-1800s and that Jackson and I played the Russians and Gary and Rick played the Austrians. The Russians wanted to blow up the bridge and the Austrians wanted to capture it intact.


The Russians objective was to take and hold the bridge for five turns (how long it would take the engineers to prepare it for demolition. The Austirans simply had to be in possession of the bridge at the end of the game. Either side could win by eliminating half of the opposing force.

Given that we had identical forces, and John assured us that his home-cooked riles were “fast and bloody” I figured the battle would simply be determined by whole killed the mostest the fastest.


Both sides had identical forces
1 battalion of Light infantry
4 Battalions of line infantry
2 squadrons of Cavalry
2 Artillery batteries
1 General
1 Colonel


(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

John (right) explaining the scenario.

The Austrian Forces

The Russians initial deployment. WE were to mark down which units were to start on the table and where (could be 6” in from any point 18” from the corner of the table, only 6 of 9 units could start on).

Conveniently the Austirans “didn’t hear” the bit about keeping 3 units off at the start and so deployed all their stuff on the table… then had to remove a few units (after they say what we had on…)

Our plan was to rush forward the light infantry in open order to sieze and push beyond the bridge, followed closely by a line infantry unit in a march column. The two cavalry squadrons also began on the table and went to opposite flanks to ford the river and threaten the enemies flanks. The guns were to get up on the hill and deploy as quick and possible and fire in support of the advance.

Rick and Gary moving up the Austrians.

Everything going smoothly and according to plan.

The Russian Light Infantry storm the bridge.

Russian guns setting up on the hill.

Another shot of the Russian Light Infantry rushing across the bridge.

A Squadron of Russian cavalry prepare to ford the river.

Russian reinforcements arrive.

Austrian reinforcements arrive right in the thick of it!

A big mess! I'm not even going to bother trying to explain what was going on here...

Big Mess from a different angle.

In the end I think the Russians coup-de-main gambit paid off and we won…?

When John said “fast and bloody” I was expecting something faster and bloodier than other games we have played (like Ever Victorious Armies – which is VERY fast and bloody). There were a LOT of halving modifiers which very quickly reduced a units firing effectiveness to essentially zero… "for your units attack roll a single die, if you roll a 6 one guy in the enemy unit dies…" HUH!? Seriously!?

If only I could convince him to base them all on 60mm frontages and have a go with the DBA extension…

Anyway, it was super fun getting to go to Johns and play with his marvelous toys!

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

More painting… maybe some rules for the upcoming HOTT Camapgin weekend (only SIX WEEKS AWAY!!)


  1. Debase glossy toy soldiers by basing them? Fie sir! You would steal their souls! But thanks for posting this report. Always a pleasure to see John's troops.


  2. Hey, he did try to make them look as poorly... er... I mean... "Old School" as possible by only painting the bases green and not doing any texturing or flocking with static grass or anything fancy-schmansy like that...

    Wow, if we'd had to move each of those little guys around individually we'd still be standing around the table making the moves for turn three a week later!

    Also without the bases all sorts of gamey schenanigans would have ensued and totally broken John's home-cooked "old school" rules. The bases enforced maintaining something resembling "historical" formations... well.. most of the time...