Sunday, May 27, 2007

Another "Game Plan 2007" Update...

I finished up a few more things I had planned to get done this month..

(Remember: click on picture to get a bigger version)

#1 Mounted Russian Staff Officer #1

This figure is from West Wind Productions Cowboys Wars line (ZCW-048 Russian Hunting party) He will be the staff officer of my White Russian force. The other mounted figure in the pack will be my C-in-C…. when I get him finished…

#2 Russian Snipers

Also from the same West Wind Productions pack (ZCW-048 Russian Hunting party). Technically, the list only allows for one… the other, I guess could be a russian “big game hunter” character…?


Odd angle for this shot…? I took this shot a couple days ago as soon as the finish was dry enough to touch them…I think I was trying to adjust the camera and take the picture with my left hand while holding a squirmy wee girl in the other…. Anyway, 16 of them done. The riders are my own sculpts/castings, the horses are hinchliffe from the Colonial Connection. Before I make anymore cavalrymen I’m going to sculpt and mould my own dang horse!

Here are some of those Cossacks again I was trying out a couple of different paint schemes for Semirechensk Cossacks.

Here is my complete (for now…) White Russian force holding a review for the Tsar and his family.

There are 6 units of 18 infantry (which could alternatively be fielded as 8 units of 13..), a unit of 16 Cossack cavalry, 3 machine-gun detachments, 2 snipers, 1 aircraft, and the staff officer (currently standing in as a C-ic-C).

At some point I would like to add a bit more infantry and cavalry to this force, as well as some armour, artillery, and a unit or two of tsarist officers and/or partisans. But for now it's on to others! Next: finish the Chinese! (... then bolsheviks... then British/Indian...)

Still to do in the next week:

1. Finish painting the Chinese SPAD - Well under way. I painted the recognition stars on the wings last night. I had this crazy idea that I’d paint a Chinese Dragon on the fuselage as a personal symbol for the pilot…. So it might not get finished until next month.

2. Prep and prime remaining Chinese (cast any that are still needed – six, I think..) and paint one battalion.

3. Finish the Bolshevik masters I am currently sculpting – did a bit of work on these today. Mostly just need a bit of finishing touches… and the officer need arms!

4. Poster for Hero’s Gambit – I actually have until the first Tuesday of June to finish this. I have an idea, I just got to sit down and start drawing!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Flight From Tashacklabad

I ran this scenario for Savage Sunday (my bi-weekly Savage Worlds game). I wanted to try out integrating Savage Worlds wildcards into a Contemptible Little Armies game so that I could, in the future, possibly use CLA as an even faster, more furious, and just as fun method for working out MASS COMBAT on the tabletop. I also wanted to try it out to potentially add characters to CLA Back of Beyond games that are a bit more interesting (and personally effective on the table top…) than the ones presented in the Back of Beyond book.

There are some notes on changes I made to the CLA rules as well as notes and special rules for the scenario following the report.

Flight From Tashacklabad

Darrin Morris as Oscar Carson, Mercenary Adventurer.
Lloyd Sisk as Derek Braun, ex-Foreign Legion Mercenary and Big Game Hunter

… and, as always, myself, Tim Brown, as General Wu Fang and the Chinese Horde.

Tashacklabad, August 1920.

Oscar Carson and Derek Braun hired on as “specialists” with some White Russians in the summer of 1920. They were escorting a prominent White Russian VIP, Baron Yuri Borrisov, and his family, along with a small force of two infantry companies, east along the Trans-Siberian Railway. In mid-August they found themselves stopped at Tashacklabad for a spell. Here they replenished supplies, tried and find some word of what is going on elsewhere, and perhaps do a bit of recruiting for the anti-Bolshevik cause.

Wu Fang, the notorious Chinese Warlord, had been informed of the presence of White Russian VIP and escort. Tashacklabad is very near the Chinese border and Wu Fang’s domain. Where there were soldiers, General Wu figured, there are supplies and the VIP could probably be sold to the Reds for a considerable ransom. They marched for Tashaklabad immediately.

Early in the morning the Russians received news of a large force of Chinese soldiers that had crossed the border and are approaching Tashacklabad. If the rumors were true the Chinese force vastly outnumbered the small force of Russians. Orders were issued to begin loading the train for a move further east. The two companies of infantry were dispatched to the nearby passes to see if they could find the Chinese and delay them as long as possible before retiring to the train and escaping with the rest of the Russians.

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

Local labourers loading up the train.

The train and the village of Tashaklabad.

Baron Borrisov and his family prepare to board the train.

Carson joined the first company, in the dunes south of town, watching the passes out of the mountains that led to the Chinese border. The second company was behind them and a machine-gun detachment, concealed by a hill lurked off to their left.

Braun decided to set up a firing position in the highest building in the town to snipe and cover the infantry’s retreat.

They waited.

…and waited…

Finally just before noon, when they were starting to wonder if there really was any Chinese coming this way, Columns of infantry were spotted coming down from the pass.

The Chinese advance out of the pass and form lines.

The Chinese advance towards the Russian positions.

As they came within range the Russians opened fire with rifle and machine-gun cutting swathes out of the dense formations of Chinese. One company of specialist assault troops was cut to pieces before they even got to the Russian lines.

Here you can clearly make out the three companies of Chinese regular infantry in close order formation. Advancing slightly ahead of and between the two companies on the left is the company of specialist assault troops. Facing them are two companies of Russian infantry, one in front of the other. Out of the picture off to the right is a detachment of Russian Maxim machine-guns secreted behind, and protected from immediate threat from the Chinese advance by a rocky spur of the mountains to the south and east. In the distance is Tashaklabad.

A second company of Chinese, the one on the extreme right, was shredded by fire as they charged into the left flank of the forward Russian company. The survivors that made it into the contact with the Russian positions were quickly swept away in a short sharp melee. The action at this point even got close enough that Carson drew his pistol and fired off a few rounds at the scattered Chinese.

The Chinese on the far left that charged the Russian company’s other flank faired a little better, not having the maxims to contend with.

The Russian company’s left wing didn’t have long to rest as a second company of Chinese charged in hard on the first company’s heels. It was also savaged by the Russian Machine-gunners but enough made it through the hail of fire to make and impression on the Russian infantry and cause more than a few casualties.

The second wave of Chinese attacks the forward Russian company’s right flank. Oscar Carson is there to witness the events and shoot a few Chinese.

The Russian maxims firing upon the advancing chinese

It was about this time that some supporting troops for the Chinese were spotted coming down out of the pass. A Rolls-Royce armoured car was slowly picking it’s way through the rocks and rubble. Machine-gun and Artillery detachments were also spotted.

The Chinese MGs and Armoured Car.

Though assaulted by three times it’s number the forward Russian company seemed to be holding it’s own. Runners were sent back and forth between the two company’s headquarters and there was some question as to whether the second company should retire to the town to load up into the train or move forward to drive off the Chinese infantry and deal with the Chinese artillery. If those howitzers got into a good firing position the train would be in grave danger.

The debate would soon become a moot point when a squadron of Chinese cavalry that traveled through an alternative pass further to the west and swept far around the flank swooped in out of the dunes and rolled up the right flank of the second Russian infantry company.

Carson, taking in the events around him, decided the situation was hopeless and hightailed it back towards the town to get on the train before they left leaving the soldiers to their fates. Though he had taken a number of horsemen down from his position in the town, Braun could not himself alone stem the tide of the Chinese onslaught and save the Russians from their doom. He too abandoned all hope and made for the train.

The Chinese cavalry arrive!

Chinese cavalry rolling up the Russian line.

Though the Cavalry had some initial success the Russians sold themselves dearly. Despite their stubbourn resistance the Russians were quickly swept from the field along with their commander in chief. Less than half of the Chinese cavalry squadron remained, however, when they wheeled around toward the town.

The drone of an airplane was heard overhead. It swept by the Russian machine-gunners strafing them briefly but causing no casualties. The plane then carried on towards Tashaklabad.

The Chinese SPAD (so recently purchased from a French surplus arms dealer that they hadn’t even had time to paint over the roundels….) heads toward Tashaklabad.

The epic battle between the forward Russian company and the Chinese broke down into a number of small pockets of confused melees. The Russian machine-guns, having little else to shoot at, exchanged some fire with the advancing armoured car then decided to retire towards the town. Unfortunately the armoured car swept past the crumbling Russian lines and cut down the Russian machine-gunners as they ran across the barren ground.

The Chinese Rolls-Royce chasing down the Russian machine-guns, the Chinese cavalry mopping up the last of the second Russian infantry company, and the grand melee between the Chinese infantry and the Russians of the forward company.

The Chinese SPAD made it to the village and made it’s first pass. It dropped a bomb barely missing the locomotive.

Word was sent down the line to get the train moving!

Braun had just leapt aboard the moving train and the plane made its second pass. It scored a direct hit on the second coach. Though it tore away a large chunk of the roof and blew out all the windows it caused no fatalities or serious harm to the train. Braun, however, being the sole occupant of the carriage, would for some days have difficulty hearing above the ringing in his ears.

The SPAD, being low on fuel now, made a third and pass, missing again.

The Chinese SPAD drops bombs on the train, the first one barely missing the locomotive.

By that time the Chinese cavalry and armoured car had arrived. The cavalry were riding along side the train trying to engage the engineers and stop the locomotive. The armoured car simply drove along side trying to shoot it up. Carson and Braun fired from the moving train taking down a few of the Chinese cavalry.

The Chinese howitzer finally got into position, however, and with it’s first shot scored a direct hit on the coal car blowing it to smithereens and derailing the train!

The passengers were thrown about in the carriage as it careened off the tracks. Though they were bumped and bruised no one was seriously injured.

The train is derailed by a direct hit on the coal car.

In the chaos and confusion following the train derailing Carson quickly bundled Borrisov and his family out of their turned-over coach hoping to disappear through the town and evade capture. Unfortunately when he followed them out he found they were completely surrounded by some fierce and angry looking Chinese cavalrymen…

What will happen to our dashing hero and his Russian patrons? What happened to Derrek Braun? Find out in two weeks in the next episode of my Savage Worlds Pulp Adventure Serial….!

Some notes on the scenario and adaptations/changes to the rules…

Forces used:

The White Russians

2 units of 18 Russian Infantrymen
1 C-in-C on horse
2 “wildcard” heroes
4 non-combatants (Borrisov and his family – to be loaded on the train)
9 crates of supplies ( also to be loaded on the train)

The Chinese

I unit of 11 Special Assult troops armed with “trench brooms”
3 units of 18 Regular Infantry
1 unit of 13 Regular Chinese Cavlary
1 Rolls-Royce Armoured Car
1 Field Gun
1 mounted C-in-C (the only shinese “wildcard” – I made him thus just to keep Braun from sniping him too easily…)
1 mounted Staff Officer
(I had also meant to bring on the executioner but forgot to…)

Changes to the CLA rules.

Ranges for weapons are doubled. The printed ranges in the book become “short range” and double this distance is “long range” – long range (i.e. over half the maximum range) incurs a -1 to hit penalty as per normal.

Savage Worlds wild cards will use their appropriate shooting or fighting die (and wild die!) when shooting or engaging in close combat. Wildcard’s dice can ace, but there is generally no bonus for raises – unless they are attacking another wildcard. Hits against non-wildcards are worked out as per the normal CLA rules using the CLA modifiers to score hits. If wild cards are hit the damage should be worked out for them as per the SW rules. Any penalties due to wounds should then also be used as modifiers when shooting or fighting in close combat.

Scenario Rules

This will be a regular Fighting Retreat scenario – with a few changes…

There are passengers (including a White Russian VIP) and baggage by the train. One can be loaded per turn. If any baggage are left behind or otherwise captured each one captured counts towards victory conditions as if they were individual soldiers. If any of the Russian VIPs family are captured or killed, they count double. If the Russian VIP is captured or killed the game is lost.

Any infantry starting the turn in contact with the train (as long as it remains still for the turn) may board it as their movement for the turn. Once the train starts no one can get on.

The train can travel at a max speed of 12” per turn but only accelerates at a rate of 2” per turn. The train moves before any regular movement takes place.

The train (as well as anyone else not on the train…!) must make it off the northeast corner of the table to be considered “escaped” for victory conditions. To win the Russians must exit at least half their force off the table (including the VIP, his family and baggage as noted before). The Chinese win when they make it impossible for the Russians to succeed in their victory conditions (i.e. kill or capture over half of the Russian force, or the VIP himself).

For Russian soldiers to board the train they must start their turn in contact with the train. They then board it as their movement. They can not board the train if it is moving.

Wild cards may attempt to jump aboard the moving train. To do this they must pass an agility roll with a -1 per inch of speed the train is currently moving at.

Hits on the train from fire
Small arms can fire on the train, targets within are counted as in hard cover (-2 to hit)
Artillery and aircraft may fire at the train. If the train is stationary firers may choose which car or shoot at the locomotive. Otherwise roll:
1-2 locomotive
3 coal car
4- 5 passenger car
6 baggage car

After determining which section of the train is hit roll on the appropriate table

1-2 Engine blows up/ train derailed if moving
3-5 Engine damaged half acceleration and max speed. If moving when hit dice again; engine derails on a 1-3
6 No appreciable damage.

Coal car.
1-2 Car destroyed, train can’t move, derails if moving.
3-4 Car damaged half acceleration and max speed.
5-6 No appreciable damage

Passenger coach/baggage car
1-2 Car destroyed, train can’t move, derails if moving.
3-5 Damaged dice for each occupant or piece of baggage; on 5+ it is destroyed.
6 No appreciable damage

Infantry can move into contact with the train if it is not moving. They are considered to have entered CC with the passengers on the train.

Cavalry can move into CC with the locomotive while it is moving until it gets off the table. They are assumed to be in CC with the engineers. The Cavalry get none of their regular bonuses for being cavalry. The train engineers (of which there are two) are considered to be defending an obstacle and are stubborn. If both are killed the cavalry may board the train with a skill test (dice less than their tactical rating).

This game was, according to the victory conditions, over around the seventh or eighth turn when the Chinese cavalry wiped out the rear Russian Infantry Company. WE played it out to the twelfth turn to see if the train, along with the “heroes”, could get away.

It is definitely is a TOUGH scenario. I think they could have made it if they started running from the get-go, perhaps sacrificing the MG – leaving it to cover their retreat. If they needed to buy time to load up more stuff on the train they could have started alternating moving and firing the two infantry units. When one ultimately got caught it could have stayed and held off the Chinese while the other unit bolted for the train… I don’t know… I think the indecision about when to leave, and even considering trying to stay and fight it out, was what did them in. To be fair they had no idea as to what was in my force or that they COULD potentially arrive from somewhere other than the far base edge…. I DID warn them that they were severely outnumbered (their thought, however, was that I was just going to bring on more infantry, from the same pass, as the initial ones got wiped out… ).

I will be running this scenario again, without the wildcard characters, at my next Friday Night Wargame. Then again maybe I will use a couple wild cards. I do think I’ll drop the ranges for firing back to normal…. Maybe not give the Chinese the howitzer and allow the Russians to load up one VIP passenger AND one crate each turn…. We shall see…

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Game Plan '07 Progress Report

Well part way through the week 1 of the new plan and here are some pictures already.

Of the things to be done this week....

1. Finish off the Russian infantry battalion I have sitting on my painting table. DONE! Here they are:

(Remember, click on pics for a bigger version)

The new battalion

The new battalion joined by the rest of the brigade for review.

I have one more battalion of Infantry to finish off the two regiments of the brigade

4. Paint three Chinese infantrymen to finish off third battalion. DONE!

Here are the three Chinese Soldiers I needed to finish off the first three battalions of Chinese.... Didn't take a picture of them of parade... maybe next time...

2. Finish painting the Chinese SPAD
3. Prep, assemble and prime the remaining Russian infantry battalion and Cossack Regiment

Still in progress. Here is a picture of the work station:

The Cossacks and their horses are in the foreground and being worked on. the final battalion of Russian Infantrymen are off to the right. In the distance you can see my Chinese SPAD and beyond them are chinese figures being marshaled for preping, basing and priming (next weeks project)

In addition the the scehduled projects I have put the finishing touches on a couple of other things that were still sitting on my workbench needing a finishind touch or two:

the new Aviatirx figure from Artizan Designs. I picked this up to use as Amanda's Savage Worlds Pulp Adventure character; Josephine Pink! (Should she ever get to play with us again....).

A Nieuport 17 in Imperial Russian service. Maybe Miss Pink will fly this someday...

I also painted a spare Russian infantryman as a White Russian mercenary in Chinese service. "The difference being...?" You might be asking yourself, well I painted the lower legs to look like putees rather than boots, painted on a armband like all my Chinese Warlord's troops have and painted the Chinese five coloured star on his hat instead of the imerial cocade.

Monday, May 14, 2007

It’s Good To Have a Plan

Game Plan 2007 Part Two: A Schedule!

Well, with that rambling out of the way I can try and break it all down into some sort of schedule. So here's what I'd like to do:

This Week

1. Finish off the Russian infantry battalion I have sitting on my painting table.
2. Finish painting the Chinese SPAD
3. Prep, assemble and prime the remaining Russian infantry battalion and Cossack Regiment
4. Paint three Chinese infantrymen to finish off third battalion

This Month (May 2007)
1. Finish painting Russian infantry and Cossack Cavalry
2. Prep and prime remaining Chinese (cast any that are still needed – six, I think..) and paint one battalion
3. Finish the Bolshevik masters I am currently sculpting
4. Finish painting Russian snipers and staff officers
5. Poster for Hero’s Gambit

Next Month (June 2007)
1. Finish off any Chinese or Russians
2. Make moulds and start casting Bolsheviks
3. Start sculpting Indians inc. a new British officer figure, two Indian riflemen, one Indian Lewis-gunner, and a generic Indian crewman kneeling.

July 2007
1. Finish Indians, make moulds and cast
2. Paint Bolsheviks inc. SPAD (buy some MGs, Mtd officers for C-in-C/Staff officers, Commissars, etc.)

August 2007
1. Paint British/Indians and Sopwith

September 2007

Other things to work on if I get ahead of myself…
Paint – pirates and sailors, remaining French Foreign Legionnaires, WW2 Germans and British Commandos, Assorted Pulp characters, 1/72 airplanes.
Build – city walls, big pirate ships, little pirate ships, flight stands, and a train station…?

Watch fo regular updates and pictures of the work I manage to get done..

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Game Plan 2007


Well, Mayday and the Vimy game are over (for now)…. so what am I going to do for the rest of the year…

I’m going to break this down into three sections:
Regular Gaming


I had a great time at Mayday. I’ll definitely be going back next year.

It saddens me somewhat that I have to spend a couple hundred dollars and travel 600km to get in a couple good games over a weekend. But I guess that’s the way it is. Conventions also give me a very tangible deadline for the completion of projects. So I’m going to keep going to them. I’d like to go to more, maybe some bigger ones out east down in the states – anybody out there got any recommendations?

Fallcon, Calgary, AB

I had a pretty good time at Fallcon last year too so I think I’ll be going back to that again this year. This year I think I’d like to run a couple games:

One would be a Contemptible Little Armies game set in the Back of Beyond. The scenario I have in mind would be set in China in the early 1920's and involve a walled city that four separate armies (White Russian, Bolshevik, British/Indian, and Chinese Warlord - plus the defenders of the city makes five, I guess) are trying to take or loot, or prevent others from taking or looting, for their own personal reasons, perhaps with some sub-plots/alternate victory conditions for each.

The other would be a Savage Worlds skirmish game. This would probably be a Pulp Adventure game of some sort like I’ve been running a lot of lately. I’d like to say I’d do a Pirates game but, while I AM a highly productive hobbyist, I wouldn’t want to saddle myself with completing two big projects by then…

Hero’s Gambit, Saskatoon, SK

Last year was a LOT of work getting all the games ready and brow-beating people into showing up to play them and/or run a couple…and for what? I got in a couple of games over a weekend, mostly with guys that I could game with anytime (with the exception of John and Chris – who both made out for a game or two). They were all great games, but I was EXHAUSTED by the end of the weekend!

I’m thinking maybe I’ll just do stuff Friday night and Saturday only… Four games, I could run two and I’ll get someone else to run two. For myself I’ll, again, probably run a Savage Worlds skirmish game of some sort and a Contemptible Little Armies game. The Contemptible Little Armies game would probably be based on one of the Canadians attacks at Passchendale. The Savage Worlds… well we’ll see where I’m at when the event submission deadline comes up at the end of July. It could be a Pulp Adventure or maybe It’ll be a Pirates of the Spanish Main tabeltop adventure!

Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Campaign Weekend

I’d also like to start an annual (or semi-annual?!) wargaming campaign weekend. This would be like a mini-convention were we get together and play games all weekend long, except all the games would be part of a single campaign. Ideally it could potentially involve a number of people and have some aspect of strategic and/or political maneuvering with the enemy and even friction between commanders on the same side. For the tabletop aspect I imagine I would provide all the armies, terrain, etc. needed and use rules that are familiar to all or quite simple and easy to pick up. Hopefully this would all be cool enough to draw friends new and old, local or out-of-towners to my place for a weekend of miniature wargaming madness.

I have a couple ideas for potential campaigns so far; a Contemptible Little Armies/Back of Beyond Campaign and a DBA 1066 campaign. Both are detailed a bit more below. Of course I’m open to other suggestions….

"Race for Kashgar" CLA/Back of Beyond weekend –

Well as I mentioned I should have four armies by Fallcon and could potentially accommodate up to six armies (requiring three tables; one in the war room, two in the garage - which will be heated by next fall!). So two others could bring their own armies.

So far I’m thinking this would probably be something very similar to the campaign in the book. All the armies (and characters…?) would start at a set number of abstract “steps” from Kashgar; their ultimate goal (maybe four steps, rather than the TEN or so suggested in the book for an ongoing campaign). I’d probably have to spice it up with some sub-plots and what not…

I could also allow players to play “characters” and thus accommodate a few more players – though I’d have to come up with some more interesting characters than those in the book so they’d have a bit more to DO! Some more important way of affecting the tabletop battles and a ways to actively participate in them.

I imagine there’d be 6 games: Friday Night, Saturday Morning, Saturday Afternoon, Saturday Night, Sunday Morning, Sunday Afternoon. There is a mechanism in the Campaign system whereby you can send your army on a forced march and not participate in one game if anyone wanted to give one of the slots a miss.

Closest army/character to Kashgar at the end of Sunday afternoon is the winnah! Perhaps if two armies were equidistant from the city (or AT the city) they could fight each other to see who gets into Kashgar first – which would be a walled city defended by a small force of Chinese… Maybe if somebody rocked their first couple of games and got to Kashgar well before the final games they could have to try and hold it against other armies that arrive later…?

I’m not sure when I would run it just yet though. Would long weekends be best or not long weekends (because people do things with family on long-weekends)? Thanksgiving weekend? labour day? If it’s not on a long weekend anyone coming from out of town would have to take one or more days off… well It would be like a vacation – well it would be for me! – and that’s what vacation days are for, right?!

Ideally late August/early September would be grand. That would be about half a year from my birthday – which is when I would hold another one (if I wanted to do this semi-annually – turn my annual Wargaming Birthday Bash into a Wargaming Birthday Bash WEEEKEND!). Later in September is Fallcon. The weekend after thanksgiving is Hero’s Gambit.

I’m thinking I might charge an entry fee. Not to make money or anything, mostly to buy some fun prizes for something or other. It would also be a sneaky way of forcing people to make some sort of tangible commitment to coming. I find that things one has to sign up for but are free are much easier to simply not show up to than things that you’ve actually paid something for, even if it is just five or ten dollars…

DBA 1066 Campaign

This is one I’ve been wanting to do for years. I have all the armies in 15mm (Anglo-Danish, Normans, Welsh, Irish, Scotts and Vikings – I also think I have enough for a second West Frankish and maybe a second Viking…). I’d just have to finish painting a few of them. The campaign would be very simple and more or less based on the one presented in the book – with a few tweaks.


Savage Sundays
I’d like to have some regular Savage Worlds games run on Sunday afternoons. This will probably end up being every second Sunday or the first and third, etc. The alternate Sundays would be “hobby days” were I can get some painting and sculpting and terrain building in.

As long as I’m still running 20s/30s pulp adventure games I might work some CLA into the Sunday games. I’ve been thinking of using it as a even faster, more furious, and still fun way of resolving mass combats for Savage Worlds set in the early twentieth century.

Pirates of the Spanish Main
has shipped to distributors, however, and should be here within a week or two. I may just have to run some Savaged Pirate games… I’ve also recently watched the Deadwood series and that’s given me a hankerin to murder some little metal c@ck-s*ckers… maybe Deadlands: Reloaded

Friday Night Wargames
I’d like to revive the Friday Night Wargames. Part of me wants to just run a game every Friday night. If you run it, they will come, right….? The sensible part of me thinks I should just run a game once a month – others can run games on the other Fridays…? Or maybe the Friday’s would be “hobby nights”.


I do like to try and stay focused on one (maybe two..) projects at a time as I am way more productive that way. I don’t find it easy all the time, as I am so interested in so many things. For the balance of this year I’d like to stick with the early twentieth century and the Contemptible Little Armies rules but shift my focus a bit to the east and into the years following the Great War – The Back of Beyond.

I have three armies well on their way, and a couple others started. The four I will be focusing on for the next couple months to try and finish up – or at least finish up enough for some big convention/campaign games. These armies are: White Russian, Bolsheviks, Chinese Warlord, and British/Indian.

Here’s what I’m thinking my initial CLA/BoB Armies will consist of:

White Russians

6 Units of Regular Infantry (with bombs) 18 men each (I have 4 units complete, one in progress on the painting table and a sixth cast waiting on deck – in a small box very near the painting table - the rank and file are cast by myself using a mould made by my friend John Bertolini, the officers, so far, are from Coppelstone Castings others will be made by converting some of my own officer figures)

1 Units of Cossak Cavalry 16 men (I have the cavalrymen cast and the horses – from Hinchliffe)

2 HMGs (DONE!! one Coppelstone and two Old Glory – I have extras!)

1 Sniper (primed and on the painting desk – Westwind)

Mtd Staff Officer (again…primed and on the painting desk – Westwind)

1 Aircraft: a Nieuport 17 (just finished painting needs spray finish and a flight stand!)

Other options I’d like to add in the future include.... Armoured Cars or Tanks, British Allies(!? Well I have british – I could include them at any time…), unit of Officer Volunteers (might get some pretty Coppelstone figures for this – just to make them stand out from the rest of the rabble), Field Gun(s)(either Battle Honours or just buy another Reviresco british 4.5 inch QF howitzer and use my own generic gunners), Off table artillery

Chinese Warlord

1 Assault unit: 10 with Bergman SMG ("trench broom") + 1 officer with "carbine" (DONE! - all Coppelstone Castings)

6 Regular Chinese infantry units (a brigade or two regiments, each containing 3 battalions): 18 each (17 of my infantrymen + one officer either Coppelstone or my own converted from … something else.. my German officer perhaps?) ( I have half of these units complete and enough cast for the rest… I think…)

1 Cavalry unit: 13 Regular Chinese Cavalry (DONE! - 12 of my own cavalrymen with horses from Hinchliffe and a Coppelstone officer)

1 HMG 56pts – (DONE! -Coppelstone)

1 Trench Mortar 28 points - DONE! (Coppelstone)

1 Mounted Staff officer 60pts - DONE! (Coppelstone)

1 Airplane: 1/48 French Spad (assembled and in the process of being painted – need to make a flight stand.. he kit is from Testors)

1 Executioner (DONE! - Coppelstone)

So all I really need to do is finish that plane and paint up three more units of infantrymen.

Other options I’d like to add in the future include.... an FT-17 tank, Dare-to-Die fanatics (they look fun) and/or White Russian Mercenaries (I could always use the whites I own if someone else actually showed up with their own damn army), an Armoured car.... MORE CAVALRY(when I get around to modeling a horse of my own)!!!


2 Units of British Infantry: 16 men, 15 marksmen + 1 LMG (I have two units of British infantrymen completed – they’re of an older homemade figure and only 13 per unit – I have since remastered my British infantry in tropical dress and so I’ll just cast and paint up two fresh units at some point…)

2 Units of Indian Infantry: 16 men, 15 regulars + 1 LMG (These I still need to model – a project for this summer!)

1 HMG (DONE! Battle Honours – I have a second crew on the move primed…)

1 Rolls-Royce Armoured Car (DONE! Coppelstone)

1 Aircraft: Sopwith Camel (needs to be assembled and painted – 1:48 Testors kit)

Other options I’d like to add in the future include.... a higher ratio of Indian Infantry, CAVALRY!!!! Sniper, Aritllery….


I haven’t quite figured out what I’m going to do for these just yet. To start with it will be a pretty infantry heavy army. Like maybe 9 units! I am just about finished four Bolshevik masters (officer, 2 riflemen, lewis-gunner – all in budonovka and great coats) I’d like to add some HMGs (probably Old Glory WW1 Russian HMG teams in winter dress), commisars (Coppelstone), a sniper(?), and a field gun (again either Battle Honours or Reviresco gun with my own crew). I also have an extra 1:48 SPAD that I thought I’d paint up with Bolshevik markings. I’ll add cavalry at some point in the future (when I get around to sculpting my own horse!)

Other projects to work on…


As mentioned before, with the Pirates of the Spanish Main book coming out I’m sure I will be picking it up and at some point running some pirate games on Savage Sunday’s
I actually have quite a few pirates already; some are painted, most are not.

Most of the painted ones are my old Mordhiem Pirate warband: the all-woman crew of the Red Snapper. I have quite a few old RAFM jack Tar sailor and marines and a few Wargames Foundry cutthroats. I’d have a bit of painting to finish them all up.

The bigger part of the project would be making a few ships! I’d like to make a number of small scale vessels for strategic ship battles and a couple of bigger scale ships to use with my 28mm figures for boarding actions and the like.

The small ships would be simple and stylized and carved or cut out of wood or MDF with round toothpicks for masts. I just can’t bring myself to buy into a collectable card game or play with cardboard ships….

The bigger ship would also be scratch build jobbies of scrap wood and/or MDF, with doweling for masts, string for rigging and old fabric from worn out shirts and the like for sails.

Wild West (or deadlands weird wild west…?)
All I’d have to do for this is make a couple of simple buildings and finish up a few figures. I have a fair number of old west figures from waaaaaaaay back. I recently rebased them for a game I ran last fall.

Pulp Adventure/WW2

I’m pretty happy with what I’ve got right now. I have a load of figures to paint up – I know there’s some zeppelin crew, and other odd assorted figures purchased over the last year of so. Mostly I’d like to build some more props and sets – furniture for my buildings, some more buildings (a mansion, a hangar, maybe some modern – as in 1920s modern – urban buildings…?) a zeppelin, maybe some other Airships,

East (Central?) Africa

Got kind of stoked about this… well I still am… but it’s probably going to have to wait. I have modeled a King’s African Rifles figure and a German East African Shutztruppe Askari figure and cast and painted up a unit of each. I’d need to do loads more though. It might be a next year project in the end.

Canvas Eagles

I bought a pile of 1/72 Great War airplanes last December. I was totally stoked about setting up for running some Canvas Eagles games. I still am but other things seem to have taken priority.

So far I have painted up an old SPAD I have picked up, assembled and primed years ago. I’ve also made a flight stand or two and printed of the rules. I have a dozen planes to build and paint. I also have to make some more flight stands and a hex map sheet to play on.

DBsA(Damn Battleships Again)

I’ve had a hankering to do some naval wargaming – something slightly more modern than age of sail – but not so modern that turns take hours to play out seconds due to the complexity of what’s going on. Since I’m interested in the Great War on land (CLA) and in the air (Canvas Eagles) – playing the Great War era at sea seems an obvious choice. I had looked at Phill Barker’s set of simple Pre-dreadnaught naval rules DBsA. Not knowing anything about naval warfare, period, let alone anything specific about Great War ships I felt a little daunted by not having a clue which of the RNs “cruisers” in the Public Library’s copy of Jane’s fell into Phil’s neat little categorys of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd class cruisers…. I have since returned to the rules with the thought; “who cares?!” I’m just going to make my own little, very generic looking, ships. One for each class in the game. All 1st class ships from all nations will look identical – to tell them apart I will make wee flags and maybe mark a name on the base – not necessarily an historical name either…!

This project really is in it’s infancy as I have not even read all the way through the rules or begun to design, let alone BUILD, any ships. But it’d be nice to do someday… maybe it should have been in the next category or projects…


Then there are the “Someday Projects” – stuff that I have figures for but don’t really have a desire to play much right now and therefore they are not priorities… but I’d still like to get to them someday…


Having read Patrick Smyrl’s Solo Zombie Mini-Campaign and seeing 28 Days Later shorly thereafter I got really stoked about doing some zombie gaming… that’s been moved to the back burner for now though I’m sure it will resurface someday…


I have most of the armies for a 1066 campaign. The Vikings and Anglo-Danish are painted, the rest are not.

I also have a pile of old 25mm RAFM “Successor” figures that one day I’d like to paint up and use for DBA

I also have a few 15mm fantasy armies for Hordes of the Things that I could finish painting up…. And I also just bought a pile of 28mm elves I thought I’d paint and base up for Hordes – because having them in one scale just isn’t enough…. Hey they were a killer deal! 75% off!? I couldn’t even cast them for that cheap!

Warhammer Ancient Battles

Because having it in one scale isn’t enough… I have piles of Vikings, Saxons, Scotts and Irish…. Some painted, many not. I have plenty enough of the first two for WAB armies. If I did a generic Dark Age spear men I could finish out the other two with those… I have this silly idea that I’d base enough of them on 60mm wide bases so I cold also potentially use them for DBA…

Flames of War

I still have loads of stuff to paint for FoW and no desire to play let alone paint them… I have enough desert rat infantry for a second company, a full Fallschirmjager Company, piles of early war german tanks and trucks and horse carts and limbers to finish up, the Trucks for my LRDG patrol , and a dozen tanks for my DAK (6 Pzr III, 6 Pzr II)

AK-47 (20mm)

I have two armies painted and ready to go. I also have enough metal figures for two or three more armies…. Wish I had the time… but I don’t…

20mm WW2

Loads of them kicking around, no desire to paint. Not sure what I’m going to use them for either. Originally they were singly based, most have been rebased for Crossfire. But as that’s fallen out of favor… maybe I should jsut try to sell it...

20mm Vietnam

I have an entire battalion of US infantry (three stands = one platoon) and about half as many VC. I have a pile more VC/NVA to paint. I’ve used them for a crossfire-ish game, but haven’t played since Hero’s Gambit 2005.

28mm Vietnam

I have all of my Americans and most of the VC painted (a full-strength platoon+ of each). I have enough terrain for a good game. What I have yet to do is a platoon of NVA/PAVN and some VC or NVA support weapons… I also have an American tank and APC in varying stages of being painted…


I have Dirtside II. Haven’t played it in YEARS. Don’t remember much about it but I have some hazy memories of it being a fun game that I’d like to try again someday. Hopefully absence hasn’t made the heart grow fonder – I just bought a bunch of old battletech stuff from a 75% off bargain bin hoping that I might get around to painting and using them someday…

28mm Sci-fi and Super-heroes

I did pick up the Savage Worlds Sci-fi toolkits. Then I bought an odd assortment of Void from the aforementioned 75% off bargain bin… so I really ought to paint those up someday and roll some Savage Sci-fi into the mix on Savage Sundays.. I’m sure there’s also some Superfigs still kicking around needing to be painted…

Seven Year War 25mm

Playing Bob’s Germantown game last weekend has got me kind of interested in trying his Two for Tea rules with some of these old 25mm SYW figures I have. I might want to rebase some, and I have a couple regiments of both British and French that need finishing…

All right that’s enough for now… dang if anyone actually reads through all of this I’ll be amazed… You deserve a medal… I don’t have any medals to give out so post a comment below and I’ll give you two extra bennies next time we play Savage Worlds or something… Cheers!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Quatre Bras 1815

Again with the 6mm Horse and musket (see Mayday: Part Three for a report of another game played within the last week using 6mm horse and musket figures)…. Don’t go thinking I’m a convert or anything.

This time I was playing Curt Campbell’s pretty, wee Napoleonic figures which he kindly brought up from Regina for us to play with. I wish I had gotten a picture of the Highland Brigade; they were amazing! He painted the bloody dicing on their bonnets!?

John Bertolini, Gary Chappel and Tim Miller also joined us for the evening. Gary and I played the Allied forces (which gave me an excuse to wear my Glengarry), and John and Mr. Miller played the foppish French. The battle Curt had prepared for us was Quatre Bras 1815. I looked at the wikipedia entry for it long enough to ascertain that it was a battle for a crossroads, and the French were trying to drive a wedge between two armies (The Prussians and the British and other allies, I think…). I didn’t bother reading far enough to find out who won…

I should point out here I’m not a big fan of the Napoleonic era and am completely ignorant of pretty much everything to do with it. My knowledge of the warfare of the period can be summed up in a few sentences; there was a short little fellow named Napoleon. He was French ( I think…). He took the French army and tried to invade Russia, which everyone knows is a mistake (as is messing with a Sicilian when death is on the line – but that’s another story). Then there was this other fellow named Wellington. He beat Napoleon at a place called Waterloo. That about sums up my knowledge of the Napoleonic era.

I am, however, a big fan of playing games with pretty toys and fun people. As both prerequisites were present for me to have a good time I had a go at it.

The rules we used were Fast Play Grande Armee. It seemed easy enough to pick up… well when there was a very experienced referee present. If I had to choose, however, I’d go with bob’s Two for Tea AWI rules. Maybe that’s because I played Bob’s game during the afternoon and I was actually awake.

Most of the gaming took place well past my bedtime so my memory seems a bit foggy. Gary and I started with William of Orange on the table along with a couple brigades of infantry and a battery of light guns. The French started with a couple dozen brigades of infantry and cavalry and almost as many batteries of guns. “Wild Willy”, as we came to call him by the end of the evening, gave them all a sound thrashing and sent them all whimpering home to their mothers in Paris (who would all be very busy for some time changing their nappies). But the French apparently wanted the crossroads so they sent more.

Then the Highland Brigade came on and when they heard the skirl of the pipes the rest of the French army crumbled and ran.

I swear that’s how I remember it all happening.

Here’s a couple of pictures of the action.

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

The windmill at the crossroads is Quatre Bras. The Highlanders have occupied it and are getting right sloshed. In the immediate fore-ground are some Brunswickers all dressed in black (they are the original Goth-vampire-LARPers). Beyond them and their dapper-looking commanders is a command stand with a fellow in a top hat and and umbrella. I believe his name was Picton and he pretended to tell the Highlanders what to do.

These picture just don’t do Curt stands justice. Every last one of them is a beautiful little diorama. If you take a close look at those Brunswick Cavalry men you’ll see some Frenchmen being run down and hacked with sabers.

These are the French armies lining up to surrender before Quatre Bras.

Hmmmm… they look like Englishmen… but these might have been proxies for more dutchemen under Orange.

Like I said I swear that’s how I remember it all going down, but if I’m wrong maybe the lads will set me straight by posting some coments of their own below…

Thanks for the game Curt! Always a pleasure!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Mayday: Part Four

Saturday Late Afternoon/Evening: Vimy Ridge

The big event…. Well… MY big event…

(if you start getting bored, just scroll down and read “the Highlights” section or just look at the pictures!)

First a few very important thank-yous… thanks to Bob (again) for organizing this excellent convention, the fantastic players; Don, Dave, John, and Chris, Will for helping me run the game, Gary and John Bertolini for helping with the play-testing, Darrin for helping me make the wire and finally my intensely patient and understanding (not to mention ravishingly beautiful)wife Amanda who has put up with 6 months of me staying up way too late reading and modeling and moulding and casting and painting and building, etc, etc, etc. for this event (It’s all over now, I’ll start coming to bed a bit earlier… well… until I start on my game for Fallcon…)

This was part one in a five-part, ten-year project to play the Canadian Corps assault on Vimy Ridge on the 7 April 1917. The plan is for the 100th anniversary to play the entire Canadian Corps assault. To break this down into nice manageable chunks the plan is to make the terrain and figures for each division’s part of the attack every couple years. This year (for the 90th anniversary) I did the Fourth Division’s.

The journey of the last six month’s or so had been chronicled elsewhere on this blog; form the initial ramblings , to a series of updates (One and Two), to posts on making the terrain and barbed wire (parts one and two), to the final play-tests (first play-test and second play-test). Along the way I dropped a number of ideas in favour of streamlining and making the game play a bit quicker (the random event cards based on actual events).

What follows are some notes I made on the scenario before the game and then a report on the actual game.



The playing area/terrain is made up of four 2’x2’ terrain boards.


All forces, German and Canadian, are rated as Tactical 4, Morale 4.

4th Canadian Division:

11th Canadian Infantry Brigade:
54th Battalion - Kootenays
75th Battalion - Toronto
87th Battalion – Canadian Grenadier Guards, Montreal
102nd Battalion – North British Columbia

12th Canadian Infantry Brigade:
38th Battalion - Ottawa
72nd Battalion – Seaforth Highlanders of Canada
73rd Battalion – Royal Highland Regiment of Canada
78th Battalion – Winnipeg Grenadiers

85th Battalion, Nova Scotia Highlanders

Each of the regular Canadian infantry battalions will have 13 figures, the 85th will have only 12.

Groupe Vimy (southern half of the table)
261st Reserve Infantry Regiment,

Groupe Souchez (northern half of the table)
11th Bavarian Infantry Regiment, 16th Bavarian Reserve Infantry Division

The first battalion of each regiment will occupy the front German trench line and consist of 8-10 figures, The second battalion of each regiment will occupy the second trench line and have 12 figures, the third battalion of each will be in reserve and have 13 figures.


The Canadians are attacking with two brigades; the 11th and 12th. Each is attacking on a 2’ frontage, which is conveniently defined by the break in the terrain boards.

The Brigade’s front is further divided in two battalion frontages of 12” each. On each of these Battalion frontages there will be a lead/assault/first-wave battalion. This battalion has orders to ADVANCE as per the rules in the main rulebook for a set-piece attack scenario. Their objective is the Black Line (the German second trench line). So they will (attempt to) advance as a battalion, without stopping, until they reach said trench line. Obviously they might be slowed by close combats. They may, as per the rules, HALT when they receive their first morale failure marker. Once they have taken their objective they will consolidate and HOLD the black line.

Following each assault battalion is a second-wave battalion. They will take their place in the front line at the beginning of turn two and may leave the trench on the following turn. Their orders are to FOLLOW (at least 1” behind!) the assault battalions and PASS THROUGH once the assault battalions have either taken their black line objective or have been halted due to morale. Once they pass through they will ADVANCE to their Red Line objective (off the far end of the table!)

An additional battalion (the 85th- Nova Scotia Highlanders- a pioneer battalion) will be available in reserve. Once a battalion has received two morale failure markers or has been wiped out due to casualties the 85th may be requested to reinforce that battalion frontage. Ultimately it will be the Divisional Commander’s decision where the 85th will be committed however. Once the Divisional Commander has committed it, it must be rolled for as regular reserves before the movement step of each turn (under the tactical value, so 1-3). On the turn that it arrives it will be placed in the Canadian front line that turn and may move out of the trenches on the following turn. Their orders will be as per the second-wave battalions.

The Germans have two regiments defending this area. The regiments, however, are not only from different divisions but different Gruppe/Corps. As mentioned above the first battalion of each regiment will occupy the front German trench line and consist of 8-10 figures ( I used 8 in this game, next time I’ll try 10), the second battalion of each regiment will occupy the second trench line and have 12 figures, the third battalion of each will be in reserve and have 13 figures.
The first and second battalion’s orders are to HOLD. They will not attempt to fall back unless they receive two morale failure markers.

The third battalion will be in reserve. The Germans may dice for the arrival of their reserve battalions starting on turn three. They will arrive on a 1-3 (less than their tactical rating). They will move on from the table edge. Their orders are to counter-attack. They will ADVANCE to the German’s second line. Once this line has been retaken they have the option to hold there or to continue to the front line or even into the Canadian’s front line.

These are some notes on changes I made to the Contemptible Little Armies rule and Game Turn Sequence:


Until it is actually important who goes first (ie when units get within range to engage in close combat) all movement can be carried out simultaneously to speed things up.

Any units wishing (or forced by morale failure markers) to disengage from close combat will move before all other units go.

Everyone moves at a rate of d6” per turn – everything is bad going! (Oh, except HMGs… they go d6-2)


Units that moved may not fire (this is usually and individual figure thing doing it by units is quicker and easier to keep track of).

The area covered by the creeping barrage will be marked by explosion markers.
No one may shoot into, out of, or through the barrage area.
The Barrage moves at the beginning of the shooting step. Roll for each battalions frontage: d6; 1-5 it moves 3” on a 6 it moves d6” (On the first turn the barrage in front of the 87th would lift so as not to destroy the front line trench as historically directed by the commander of the 87th. On turn two it would return in line with the barrage next to it.)
The Barrage then takes effect. Anything within the barrage zone dices;
Trenches and bunkers are destroyed on a 6 (though bunkers get a 4+ saving roll). Anyone in a trench that is destroyed is simply placed on top of the collapsed trench marker and will be diced for as if they were in the open,
Infantry, guns, etc. in trenches are destroyed on a 6.
Infantry, guns, etc. in the open are destroyed on a 5 or 6.

The rest of the shooting phase carries on as per normal.

Close Combat

As per normal rules (with the exception noted under movement about disengaging).


As per normal rules.



As soon as I was finished Bob’s game I hung around the table where I was going to set up (despite the fact that it was done a bit before the end of the time-slot and I had nearly an hour and a half before the game was to start. Jonathan was still tearing down his John Carter of Mars game. As soon as he we finished I started to set up the terrain and marshal the troops (and chat with and answer questions of all the people wandering by…).

Next I set up the Germans in their start positions along with the MG-bunkers.

Then I set up the explosion markers that marked out the area affected by the creeping barrage.

Once everyone showed up the first thing we had to do was determine which players were playing which Canadian Battalions and briefly explain rules.
Don Wagner played the 102nd and 54th and was designated the 11th Brigade’s commander – incase it ever mattered..), Dave Coltman played the 87thand 75th, John Burt played the 38th and 78th and was designated the Divisional Commander and Chris van Tighem played the two highland battalions; the 72nd and 73rd, and was designated the 12th Brigade’s commander. Mr. Will Bailie helped out as an assistant umpire and ran the Germans from the 11th Bavarian Infantry Regiment opposite the 12th Brigade, which allowed me to concentrate on the 11th Brigades front and the 261st Reserve Infantry Regiment opposing them.


The Canadians could use up to 5 of them. Mines could only be detonated in the German forward trench line. Obviously none could be blown in the line opposite the 87th – for the same reasons the barrage would lift over the front line trench mentioned earlier. The mines created a 4” wide crater that was impassible for the rest of the game – any Germans that were in the trench where the mine went off were removed as a casualties. Any wire stand contacted by the mine was also destroyed. After this was explained they determined locations and blew them up – Ka-BOOM! One on each brigades front.

The pre-game barrage took effect in it’s initial location, morale checks for casualties caused by mines and/or pre-game barrage were taken and then regular play began with the Canadians moving out of their trenches!

As expected, on the first turn, the MG bunker and German infantry in the trench opposite the 87th cut a swathe out of the battalion (just as they did historically). By the second turn the 87th was under half strength.

I can’t really give you much of a play-by-play because it’s really mostly a blur. So the rest of this is mostly some highlights and pictures.

(this is were the report of things going on during the game really begins…)

The Canadians won. We played the game in a little over two hours and it was clearly all over. It wasn’t a cakewalk or anything, but they had a much better time of it than in either of the play-tests (well, except for Dave on the 87th‘s front, but we knew they were doomed from the get-go).

According to the Victory Conditions Don, John and Chris all chalked up four points each; “Stunning Victories”, three trenches taken, no losses and units exited off the table. VCs all around for those guys. I gave all three the bonus point for having marched troops off the table, as there was NOTHING standing in their way when we called it. There wasn’t a single German figure on the 12th Brigades half of the table! Only six figures (below half strength) of the German reserve battalion, on the 10th brigades front, remained in the German third line trench and they were about to be over-run by the full strength 85th battalion that had just crested the hill.

Dave eked out a draw. He took two trench-lines but then the 75th broke before the Germans in the third trench-line. Both of his initial battalions were essentially wiped out only a single figure remained from the 87th – he had made it back to the Canadian front lines (with his two morale failure markers in tow). Dave had been given the 85th as well. They had followed up behind the 75th, however, rather than on Dave’s initial frontage to avoid the MG bunker that had menaced the 87th and 75th. Had we played a few more turns they surely would have shifted the remaining Germans from the hill, which would have upgraded him to a major victory; surely worth a MC (or MM, whichever one they gave to officers…)

The Division as a whole also scared a “Stunning Victory” with around 18 Victory Points (with only 13 being required for “stunning”)!

Like I said, however, it wasn’t a cakewalk. There was a significant cost to this victory however. As I also mentioned the 75th was wiped out and the 87th suffered 92% casualties (12 out of 13 figures lost!). I can’t remember how many were left in the 102nd or 54th (actually I couldn’t remember any of them but John and Chris did and supplied me with the relevant statistics).

John’s 38th battalion kept up close to the creeping barrage and made their black line objective with the loss of only two figures. The Winnipeg Grenadiers that followed them and pressed on into the counter attack by the 3rd battalion of the 11th Bavarians suffered 6 (46%losses). Most of those were from one of the MG bunkers that started firing on them as they left the trenches. It was the same bunker that had wiped out the 87th. By the time they were through and the barrage had cleared away so the gunners in the bunker could fire on the 12th brigade the 38th had already passed by.

Chris’ highlanders did a bit worse. The 72nd (R.H.R.) made their black line objective with only half their initial fighting strength, but still in good spirits. The Seaforths bore the runt of the German reserve battalions counter attack and were down to 4 or 5 figures (about 70% casualties) and teetering on the brink of collapse (two morale failure markers). The brigadier would have gotten up there eventually and sorted them out… maybe I shouldn’t have given Chris the bonus point for exiting the table as they would have had to wait for him to get up there and really had barely the strength to hold on to the third line trench against any further counter-attacks that might come their way.

Of the three German MG-bunkers; the one atop Hill 145 was destroyed by the creeping barrage –which helped out the 11th Brigades advance significantly. The other two were bypassed and “bombed” by infantrymen. A daring lad from the 38th took out the bunker that had given Dave such a hard time. Chris’ Seaforths took out the last one.

One thing that certainly helped the 12th Brigades advance was that the creeping barrage had caused enough casualties that by the time it had passed the battalion holding the second line had two morale failure markers. Once they were contacted in close combat the whole she-bang (or … what was left of them surrendered en masse).

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

All of the terrain, wire, ruined buildings, bunkers, etc were made for scratch by myself. All of the figures (with the exception of the two Canadian Staff officers and two Canadian MG teams, which are from Renegade Miniatures but painted by me) were modeled, moulded, cast and painted by myself! How’s that for DIY!?

That’s me in the SD cap setting up stuff and probably nattering to Wil about all the changes I’d mad to the core rules. He took them all in stride and did a fantastic job of keeping things on track and running his half of the table.

The Canadians at zero-hour as the first shells of the barrage came whizzing in.

I think we’re working out the effects of said initial barrage here. From the left that’s Wil’s shoulder and face, me, Don, Dave (seated and looking away) and John.

A Billy Bishop’s-eye-view of the whole division’s front on the hill at zero hour.

Dave; starting to move his guys up.

The Canadians, beginning their advance, can just be made out through the barrage!

All the players moving their assault battalions up on the first turn (from the left); Don, Dave, John, Chris, and Will (looking to see what Brent is up to at the Aeronef table…)

The Canadians surge forward. It looks like the jocks on the right (of the picture) are already in contact with Germans in the trenches.

Seaforths, on the left, start moving up with a machine-gun battery

This view is from the north west corner up toward the top of hill 145. There’s the machine-gun battery again in the bottom left of the picture. The bulk of the troops in foreground are going to be the Winnipeg Grenadiers. The bunker is the one that shot up the 87th, and others. Further on are the 75th rying to bypass the bunker and the shattered remains of the 87th – the fellow throwing the grenade is one of two left at this point. He would also become a casualty as he retired towards the Canadian lines, before the bunker was taken out by the 38th.

This is the third battalion of the 261st Reserve Infantry Regiment. They made it into the reserve trenches just before the Canadians came over the top of the hill to their right are the 75th and to the left are the 54th. From a mix of fire, on their way in, and close combat casualties the 261st would break the 75th but at a severe cost. The 54th also caused the 261st on their way by and captured the regiments staff officer!

I think this is the 85th moving up on the 11th Brigades front. The thing that looks like a cookie in the center of the picture is a mine crater marker…

In the center of this picture is the Black Line – the German’s second trench line. Men from the 73rd and 38th can be seen occupying it, and the Seaforths are bypassing them and making for their Red Line objective – the far end of the table. Up on the hill beyond the 75th can just be made out as they move in to assault the III/261st.

The confrontation between the counter-attacking III/11th Bavarians and the leap-frogging battalions of the 12th Brigade. The Seaforths ended up with about 5 guys left and two morale failure markers and so were forced to retire. The 78th then moved in and scattered the remaining Germans

The 75th, again, preparing to attack the men of the 261st regiment that had taken position in the German reserve trench.

The 12th Brigade’s area cleared of Germans. Hmmmm… I count about 10 jocks there in the background…. Maybe they were casualties that hadn’t yet been removed…?

The shattered remains of the III/261st in their reserve trench. On the left is the 54th bypassing them and cresting the hill is the fresh 85th battalion. The German staff officer at this point has been captured.

Men from the Kootenays, the 54th battalion, press forward through a communication trench heading for the base of the ridge, their Red Line objective.

There’s the highlanders without kilts, the 85th battalion (Nova Scotia Highlanders) about to cross the top of Hill 145.

The captured German staff officer. The six remaining members of III/261st Reserve infantry battalion. It looks like one of the Kootenays has been left behind to make sure they don’t try moving up the trench. In the background is the 12th brigade consolidating their gains.

WOOF! I’m TIRED! It was a long weekend; 12+ hours of driving and as many hours of gaming and a couple of late nights getting these reports ready…. I hope you enjoy them; I had fun writing them.

If you made it this far please feel free to leave a comment below. This project isn’t over so I would appreciate any ideas, feedback or other constructive criticism – especially from any of those who actually played in the event. Thanks, tim.