Sunday, May 30, 2021

The Canadian Wargamer Podcast is Live!


Exciting news to pass on to you, gentle readers.   For some time now, my dear friend James and I have been kicking about the idea of a podcast focusing on the Canadian wargaming scene.   Friends and wargaming twitter encouraged us to proceed, and so we committed to the project and the debut podcast is now available for download from Podbean.  The technical aspects of podcasting are a bit of a learning curve that we have not fully mastered, but we are getting there.   It was great fun to partner with my oldest friend in the hobby, and we have some exciting guests lined up for future episodes.    

We’d be be grateful if you would give us a listen, give us some feedback, follow the podcast and spread the word.    

Here are the show notes that we posted on Podbean:

In this inaugural episode of the Canadian Wargamer Podcast, hosts and BFFs Mike (@MarshalLuigi) and James (@JamesManto4) introduce one another and address the crucial question: does the world need another miniature wargames podcast in which two (youngish) granddads natter on?  Spoiler alert - yes, it does.

We explain our Concept of Operations for the podcast:

1. Tell stories about the Canadian wargaming scene, a small scene in a BIG country. 

2. Introduce Canadian hobby leaders - figure sculptors and producers, bloggers, local linchpins - and hear their stories;


3. Explore connections between Canadian military history and wargaming.  Of course, we may also talk about our goblin wolf riders and Prussian grenadiers, but we are particularly interested in representing Canadian battles and soldiers on the tabletop.

We talk about what's keeping us busy for the next month:  

James - lots of decidedly non-Canadian Napoleonics.

Mike - might get to those 15mm Canadians in Sicily this month.

We also shamelessly steal Andy Clarke's virtual library schtick from his Joy of Six podcast.  We intend to ask each guest to "donate" one or two books with a Canadian military connection. In this issue, we each put two books on the digital shelves.

James' choices:

Mark Zuehlke, Brave Battalion: the Remarkable Story of the 16th Battalion (Canadian Scottish) in the First World War (2008).

Chris Wattie, Contact Charlie: the Canadian Army, the Taliban, and the Battle that Saved Afghanistan (2008).

Mike's choices:

Frederick George Scott, The Great War as I Saw It (1922).

Farley Mowat, The Regiment (1974).


Let us know what you thought of the podcast and tell your friends!   Also, check out our blogs:




Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Terrain Tuesday: In Praise of Backdrops

Hello friends and welcome to another Terrain Tuesday feature, which today looks at how model railroad backdrops can enhance your gaming table.

If you’ve followed some of my recent AARs since I moved the painting table into a strategic corner of the basement, you will have noticed that the walls are painted a bright orangey-red of the hue beloved of interior decorators in the 1990s.   Sometimes that gave the photos from my games a bit of an SF vibe, as if they were being fought on some planet with a reddish atmosphere, like the sets in the original Star Trek.  This effect may not matter to those of a philosophical frame of mind, who think, “So what, they’re just toy soldiers, right, who really cares?” but I think you’ll agree that we do this hobby for its aesthetics; otherwise, why not just play paper and counter wargames?

For my self-selected Christmas present last year, I decided to try some model railroad backdrops (back scenes as they seem to be known in the UK), and I ordered them from an English company called New Modeller’s Shop, which gave quite good service.  I wasn’t exactly sure what I was looking for, but settled on to OO (1/76 scale) rural/village back scenes, here and here - which I felt would do for generic rural settings in the Eastern US (ACW), as well as western Europe (WW2, SYW).  The two codes I ordered each gave me two rolls printed on touch heavyweight paper - each backdrop set consists of two 5 foot long rolls, each 15” high - the rolls in each code are designed to be put together.  Here’s what I got.

To mount them I bought four large sheets of white foamcore board and used duct tape to glue the two halves together to get the requisite ten feet length.    The first one I mounted (second from bottom above) taught me that glue is a terrible way to proceed, as despite my best efforts I got wrinkles and bubbles.  They aren’t visible from a distance, as the camera generally focuses on the figures, but they annoyed me, so I went to an artists’ supply sore and purchased a roll of white mounting tape, which proved surprisingly tough and strong.  Working very carefully, I applied the bottom of the tape to cover the white border printed on the backdrops, and had enough width of tape remaining to secure the backdrops to the foam core board.   The end result was much neater and didn’t buckle the foam core exceedingly.

@MarshalLuigi highly approves, as you can see.  The camera focuses on the figures, so the backdrop is just a pleasant visual effect, but not distractingly so.   The OO scale seems to work with 20mm and 28mm figures.   I haven’t tried it yet with smaller scales.

The next problem was how to effectively keep the backdrops in place.   Butting the long table edge against a wall and propping the backdrop leaning slightly against the wall mostly worked, except that the white bottom edge of the backdrop was distracting in the photos, though I could cover it if I scrunched the table mat up against it like so:

The other problem I faced was the weight of the backing board causing the backdrop to slip down behind the table, which happened with annoying frequency.   I wracked my brains, and ended up using small metal angle brackets drilled and screwed into the side of table, about one foot in from either long end, at a height sufficient to hide the white edging on the bottom of the backdrop.

Then another angle bracket, to be bolted and taped (because extra duct tape never hurts) to securely hold the backdrop in place.

I’ll finish securing the angle brackets tonight, and I think that will solve the problem neatly.  Of course, if I want to use the backdrops, one long table edge has to be against the wall, making it somewhat problematic for reach if I want to use a second table, but I think that’s a small price to pay for the visual enhancement in the edited and cropped photos, and really, isn’t that what’s terrain is for in our hobby?

Cheers and thanks for looking,


Saturday, May 22, 2021

Nasty Nazgul, or, Mordor's Mounted Minions

Missed the Fantasy Friday deadline, but here are two dangerous Nazgul types for my LOTR collection to terrify both the legions of Mordor and their foes.   Both are Games Workshop figures.  The one on the left is the King of the Nazgul when GW used to make metal figures.    On the right is a plastic alternative rider for the Fell Beast that came in the Pelennor Fields boxed set I mentioned here recently.   I decided to keep him, and found a caparisoned medieval horse in the lead mountain that promised to work well when painted black.


\Painting black is an art form that greatly intimidates me.  I started with a Citadel Chaos Black spray undercoat, then highlighted in Vallejo German Gray, then added Folkart craft store indigo highlights, and finally some dry brushing as I finished the bases to suggest dust and dirt on the fabric.   I think they’re reasonably spooky and unpleasant and should add some biting power to the hordes of Mordor.

I really think I should start work on that mounted Gandalf figure i have tucked away - I think he’ll be needed!

Cheers and blessings to your brushes!


Thursday, May 20, 2021

Napoleonic Thursday: WIP 6mm Baccus Austrian Uhlans

Good day friends:

Napoleonic Thursday has rolled around once again and this week I have som 6mm Baccus Austrian Uhlans that I am calling finished, ready to be taken off the painting sticks, cut and bunged (a technical term I’ve learned from the (slightly) mad author of the Service Ration Distribution blog) onto bases.   I followed my usual recipe of a black undercoat and batch painting all 45ish figures (!), which gives me enough for three different regiments (1st, 2nd and 3rd) in their distinctive cloth czapka colours.  My source is Haythornthwaite and Fosten’s Osprey book, Austrian Army of the Napoleonic Wars (2).


 Once I get these done, I can finally tackle my Battle of Wertingen project, as the Austrians had at least one regiment of Uhlans there, I believe.    Not sure about you, but lancers give me the willies, and if I had to face any type of Napoleonic cavalry in battle, I think I would fear lancers the most.   I am sure that there are drawbacks in combat once your lance gets broken or caught and some brute with a dragoon sabre gets inside your reach, but it would be terribly intimidating to be charged by lancers, I would think.


In other Napoleonic news, I’m currently dipping into the Memoirs of Marshal MacDonald (trans. Simeon, Leonaur 2011), the Marshal of whom Napoleon once said that it would be dangerous to let him hear bagpipes on the battlefield.   MacDonald’s memoir is at times self-serving, as one would expect, but the accounts of how he survived his service in the Revolutionary army during the Terror, of being chased and chasing up and down Italy, and keeping his small corps intact during the Russian campaign are all entertaining.  

I had a look at the Front Rank website, once I learned that the owner is retiring and has the company up for sale.  My dear friend James has a huge head of steam up with his 28mm Napoleonics project, and I am sometimes tempted into joining him, but to my credit I closed my browser without buying an Front Rank figures.  James and I have agreed that after Covid restrictions ease, he can visit me to game with my 6mm Naps kit, and I can visit him and play with his big 28mm figures.   Thus my willpower and my wallet live to fight another day.

Finally, in the books received department, two very interesting books arrived in the post from David Ensteness’ The Wargaming Company, the new edition of his Et Sans Resultat rules and his guidebook to 1808 Peninsular campaign.  If I’m to be tempted to buy more Napoleonic figures, it will be for Spain, I think.  Comments on these books in the weeks ahead, I hope.

Cheers and thanks for reading.  What Napoleonics stuff are you working on?


"Herbie": The Canadian Wargamer Podcast Mascot Figure

On his blog recently, Dai, a good friend of this blog and a good mate, was lamenting the tedium of batch painting.   Having almost finished 42(!) 6mm Napoleonic cavalry, I can well relate.  Sometimes it’s a welcome break to focus on one figure and lavish it with attention and with all one’s meagre talent (speaking purely for myself).  Hence, I present “Herbie”, a WW2 Canadian infantryman, named for the wartime cartoon drawn by Bing Coughlin and published in the Canadian Army newspaper The Maple Leaf.  I don’t think there was ever a widely adopted nickname for the Canuck soldier in that war, comparable to “Tommy” or “GI Joe”, but “Herbie”, Coughlin’s bewildered and misfit hero, seems to fit.


This figure is perhaps too martial and competent looking to be a “Herbie”, but I think that’s the name that stuck when my mate James got Canadian sculptor Bob Murch to design him as a registration gift for the 25th anniversary of the SW Ontario miniature gaming event, Hot Lead.  Here he is enjoying a brew (tea, hot, sweet, with a dollop of evaporated milk), his foot propped on a German helmet, in the ruins of some unfortunate city.  He wears the light blue shoulder patch of 3 Division and the “turtle” helmet issued before the Normandy campaign.

 Herbie will not be a gaming piece, but he’ll grace a bookshelf and perhaps be the image of the Canadian Wargamer Podcast, which James and I are dreaming up and which may see it’s inaugural episode recorded tonight.   Stay tuned for more.


Cheers and blessings to your brushes,



Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Terrain Tuesday: WIP Timecast 6mm Napoleonic Buildings


I’m ridiculously happy that this is the SIXTH!!!! consecutive week I’ve done a Terrain Tuesday post here.    HOORAY! <waves hands in the air like Kermit the Frog on the Muppet Show>.   Making this a blogging goal and a painting goal has been good for my productivity, and I’m also happy that it’s lead to a few other semi-regular features (Fantasy Friday, Napoleonics Thursday) starting to appear on this blog.  So hurrah for me and thanks to YOU for reading.   Have a drink.

What have I to show you today?  Not much in the shop window, a semi-gestated terrain project for my 15mm Sicily 1943 project that needs more work before I can show it off, but <looks around wildly>  yes, these two things on the painting bench will do!

Timecast (I think!) resin 6mm Napoleonic style buildings, almost finished the painting.  Still have to do the timbering on one and think of some imaginative colour to paint the doors (other than wood - were people in the early 1800s whimsical about door painting?   Green?  Blue?  Well, they're my buildings, and if the Home Owners’ Association complains, I’ll give them a whiff of grapeshot.

Will probably base these together to suggest a Built Up Area.   I have some more trees and scenic things on order from Timecast, so the finished stand will have to wait until they arrive.

What terrain are you working on?

Cheers and blessings to your brushes!


Thursday, May 13, 2021

Napoleonics Thursday: Books Recently Arrived

Napoleonic wargaming seems to require vast quantities of books, which is probably not different from any gaming any other period, but even when it comes to uniform guides, it seems to help to be a bit of a bibliophile.

I found Hayornthwaite’s Osprey book on Napoleon’s Line Infantry (1983) on a used book site and was happy to buy it because it several years ago when I started in 6mm Naps I found the colour plates online, downloaded them, and happily used them as a painting guide.   I have always felt guilty about that little digital theft (mea maxima culpa!) and so jumped at the chance to atone for my sins.

Re-reading it, I was struck by how dark the blue of these uniforms appears in the plates, as dark as the Indigo worn by Union troops in the American Civil War.   Painting 6mm, I usually go a share brighter, just for visual effect.


Another OOP Osprey title arrived all the way from a used bookstore in France!  A quick rant on Osprey - I’m puzzled why all of their OOP titles are not available digitally, and why of those that are, some can be found in Kindle format via Amazon, while those digital versions sold directly from the Osprey website are not Kindle-compatible and have to be read with another application (in my case, the Books app on my Mac Book).   Very perplexing.

At any rate, I have several bags of lovely 6mm Bavarians from Baccus awaiting my brush, and wanted something more reliable than just my vague memory of cornflower blue uniforms and black hats.  Bavarians are a great force because they make useful allies for the French up to 1813 (the Austrians hated them) and then switch sides, so a useful force.

This Osprey book is quite good, and the plates by Richard Hook are full of animation and humour - a soldier cuddling a liberated piglet, a dragoon on horseback having an animated conversation with a young woman in a window, and a cheerful Colonel with a glass of schnapps.    All very different from the stark realism and mannequin postures of Bryan Fosten’s please in the above book.

Speaking of Bavarians, the painted 28mm army on the VonPeter Himself website are simply luscious, and really, the entire site is worth regular visits for Napoleonics done well in the big scale.



Finally in the book roundup, this arrived in the post from the UK recently in a remarkable display of generosity, a good illustration of what young Conrad Kinch likes to call “the Freemasonry of the hobby”.   Someone in the UK, one of my Twitter mutual follows, knew that I was looking for a copy of this book, Hayornthwaite’s one-stop shop for all things Napoleonic, which has been sadly missing for my library.   The owner was quite happy to mail it to me free of charge as long as I gave it a good home, so I am happy to pay the favour forward and am also painting two figures for this person’s collection.   Such a grand hobby that it inspires so many friendships, most of which are between people who have not yet met in the flesh!

As proof of this book’s usefulness, in the entry on Bavaria, we learn that the American-born Benjamin Thompson, the Graf von Mumford, after  serving the Elector of Bavaria as War Minister, “retired to pursue a brief marriage with the wife of the guillotined chemist Lavoisier and two live in seclusion in Paris, where his lasting achievement was the invention of the coffee percolator!”  Feel free to drop this tidbit when you return to the post-Covid cocktail party circuit, and don’t thank me, thank Hayornthwaite.

My next Napoleonic projects are to finish some 6mm Baccus Austrian Uhlans, draw up the unit labels for the Battle of Wertingen, and get that fight on the table as a way of visiting the Dave Brown General d’Armee rules.  What in the way of Napoleonics are you working on?

Cheers and blessings,


Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Battle of Seven Pines (ACW): Gaming the Battle, Piece by Piece (2)

 Towards the end of April I described here my intention to try and game the American Civil War battle of Seven Pines (1862), the battle fought within earshot of Richmond and which marked the high water mark of US General George McClellan’s advance up the Peninsula.    I’ve now fought the first phase of the battle, the initial attack by D.H. Hill’s division, and will offer a brief play by play for those interested in battle narratives, and will end with some thoughts on how this scenario could be better tweaked as the first in a series of linked engagements.

The rules used are Dave Brown’s Pickett’s Charge (Reisswitz Press/Too Fat Lardies).  Having just finished a fight using Dave’s General d’Armee Napoleonic rules, I found it relatively easy to try his ACW rules for the second time, as the mechanics are quite similar.

The scenario assumes that the Union picket line has already been driven in, as happened historically.  The fight begins with Garland’s brigade running into the furthest formed unit, the 103rd Pennsylvania of Wessel’s brigade of Casey’s Division.    Why the green 103rd had been pushed so far forward, on the far side of the Union’s abatis defences, is a bit of a mystery, but they do their job, stopping the initial charge of two rebel regiments. 

1st NY Light Battery, stationed between Palmer’s and Naglee’s brigade, has a line of sight on one of Garland’s regiments and draws first blood for the Union.  There were two other batteries stationed further back in Casey’s main line, and the accounts say that they also fired on the advancing rebels, but given the rules and the lack of any discernible elevation on this part of the battlefield, I didn’t see how that could be simulated.

 Sheer numbers make themselves felt.  On Turn 2 the rebels win the initiative and Garland’s 23rd NC flank charges the green Pennsylvanians.

The 103rd are Whipped and fall back 18”, crossing the abatis like white tailed deer.   I couldn’t resist giving them a mounted commander, as the regimental history reports that their OC, a Major Gazzam, found his horse a problem in the dense woods:  “In retiring under the heavy fire of the enemy in the woods, Maj Gazzam was swept from his horse by a limb of a tree, and in the fall his head striking a log, was momentarily stunned.  He remounted almost instantly and succeeded in reaching the Williamsburg Road, to find the Regiment scattered into fragments and the batteries of Casey’s artillery shelling the woods from which it had fled (16-17)"

Once the rebels emerge from the woods, the tactical problem for the Union seems to be:  How best to employ the four green infantry regiments and one battery stationed in advance of the redoubt and fortified positions?   One solution would simply be to concede this part of the battle altogether and fall back behind the redoubt.   However, Casey had no idea how many rebels he was facing or how much time he had to buy.   It’s also quite possible that the sight of their peers falling back with rebels on their heels might have panicked his green division.    So it seems like the best thing for the Union to do here is to use the troops on the table to try and blunt the rebel advance, inflict as many casualties as possible, and buy time for the rest of the army to organizes and reinforce (see the comments on victory conditions below).

The 104th PA of Naglee’s brigade are advanced on the right to cover the withdrawal of the 103rd PA.  The rest of the line braces as Garland’s brigade emerges from the woods.

Casey direct’s Hazzam’s 104th PA to fall back behind the redoubt and reorganize.  They exit the table.

 Garland’s brigade is slowly crossing the abatis, most of its regiments having to reform themselves afterwards, while Rodes’ men begin to emerge from the swampy woods.

 Disaster threatens as the Union artillery throws snake eyes and runs low on ammunition.   They also incur a fatigue casualty for working their guns so hard (and mostly ineffectively.


 With Garland’s men pressing ever closer, Casey makes a bold move.  He uses his two available staff officers to send for ammo to resupply the guns.   This move has risks, because if Naglee’s brigade fails is roll to obey orders this turn, then the staff officers are wasted, but the Union is fortunate, Naglee’s brigade obeys orders and the ammo is rushed up in the nick of time.

 Furious firing between Naglee’s and Garland’s brigade as the 104th PA slowly retire to tie in with their comrades.


 Shockingly good shooting by the resupplied New York gunners unleashes a blast of canister into the 23rd North Carolina! 

 The tar heels take 5(!) casualties, fail their Elephant Test, and fall back Whipped, bursting though and un-forming the 2nd FL behind them.

 Union now has the initiative.  With Rodes’ brigade hesitating and still emerging from the woods, General Casey sees an opportunity.  If he doesn’t take it, it’s just a matter of time before the Confederates tee up multiple supported charges and then his green boys are done.  “Charge them, by God!” is his order to BGen Naglee.

 On the right, the 104th PA takes only light casualties from the 34th VA, so the charge goes home, but the Virginians hold steady and after a brief tussle the Keystone State boys grimly retire.

 Unfortunately the 11th Maine take hits from the 2nd MS and flunk their Elephant Test.  Even with their Brigadier attached, they are Whipped and fall back like geese.  Their flank supports, the 100th NY, have no choice to retire and Garland can breathe easier. The New York gunners are grateful that the mayhem is enough to cover their limbering and falling back to new firing positions.  It was a bold move by the Union and could have caused significant confusion and delay to Garland, so no regrets in ordering the charges.

On the Union left, Palmer’s two New York regiments watch nervously as Rodes’ brigade slowly sorts itself out.

 Both Confederate brigades are now in motion with volleys being exchanged as they come.   Casey buys the time to steady the 11th ME while the New York Light Btty moves behind the reforming 100th NY to support Palmer.

 Palmer’s green boys are smelling the powder now.   Mild casualties on both sides.   Rodes is itching to charge.  He knows Hill is somewhere behind him, bringing up the rest of the division, and that he will expect results.

 Rodes throws three regiments forward.   The 12th MS (unsupported) charges the 92nd NY while the 4th VA, supported by an Alabama regiment, charge the 98th NY.  The results were interesting.   The 92nd unleashed a blistering volley which staggered the 12th MS, and then easily bested them in the charge rolls, thus sending the Missippians Whipped backwards, while the 98th NY’s defensive fire was risibly ineffective, and they fled the field as the Virginians howled in with the rebel yell.    Moral of the story in these rules:  NEVER CHARGE UNSUPPORTED IF YOU CAN HELP IT.  TAKE THE TIME TO TEE UP YOU SUPPORTS BEFORE COMMITTING.

 An awkward silence as the 4th VA looks left and the 92nd NY looks right.

 Meanwhile on the rebel left, Garland personally joins the 38th VA, who, supported by the 24th VA (ignore the Texas flag in the photo) hurl themselves on the 104th PA, with BGen Naglee himself directing them.  Who will win?

 Even Luigi the Cat appears and watches this fight.   The result is shocking.   The green Pennsylvanians stand and force both regiments of Garland’s Virginians to retire!   Shockingly bad dice rolls by the rebels that the one dice Support re-roll could not substantially improve.

 On the Union left, another astonishing coup for the New York Light Artillery.  Having unlimbered, they do they bit to support the heroic 92nd NY, unleashing a round of canister and rolling a 12(!) on 2d6!  That’s five casualties for one of Rodes’ best regiments, the Elite 12th MS, and that’s a Serendipity roll, meaning that the regiment’s colonel is killed and the unit automatically Retires 18”.   

 Sadly though, the superior numbers of Hill’s Division make themselves felt.  Because a unit involved in a charge which fires defensively can neither move nor shoot during the rest of the turn, the uncommitted 2nd MS wheels and fires a deadly volley into the flank of the gallant 104th PA, sending them Whipped from the table, busting through the 11th ME behind them and disordering them.

 In the following turn, the 12th MS, supported by the 2nd FL,  charge the un-formed 11th ME and send them Whipped off the table as well.  Casey sees that enough is enough, and voluntarily withdraws the 100th NY and the NY Light Artillery.     The poor 92nd NY catches a heavy volley as they try to withdraw and are also sent Whipped off the table.

 Final Confederate positions.



1) I continue to enjoy these rules.   As mentioned above, I was reminded that unsupported charges should be avoided, even if the differences in troop quality is stark.   A green unit can do significant damage with its defensive fire, generating a high hurdle in negative modifiers that one roll of the Charge Dice might not clear, which is when you you need a supporting unit, or preferably two, for those re-rolls.    Is a regimental-scale set of rules right for a battle like this, which could be fought at smaller scales at brigade (15mm) or even divisional (6mm) scale?  Depends on how much you like the actions of individual units.   I enjoy a regimental level battle narrative, and it allows me to become attached to a unit like the star of this game, the 1st NY Light Arty, which redeemed itself with new ammo and HAMMERED the rebs thereafter.

2) Staff Officers.   I only gave both sides two SOs, the rationale being that the Confederate army at Seven Pines was woefully bad at coordinating, and Hill’s division was separated by the terrible terrain, so Garland and Rodes are basically fighting their own battle.   Maybe when Hill arrives on the table in the second scenario, he might add a third SO.   The Union only get two because only two of Casey’s brigades are present (Wessell, apart from the 103rd PA, was off in the woods to the right) and in any case it was one of the weakest divisions in the Union Army, all green, and probably not an effective staff at this point in the war.   Two SOs for both sides seems about right.

3) Victory Conditions.   I should have been tracking the number of turns this battle took.  I suspect it was at least ten.   I think you want to give the Union an incentive to stand and fight, and so I would suggest giving the Union 1 VP a turn for every turn after the sixth (or perhaps 8th?) turn where there are still at least two formed Union regiments on the table.   That also gives the Confederate player an incentive to be aggressive and drive hard on the Union.  Casualties are also a factor, as in this game the Union lost 41 casualties while the Confederates lost 31.  However, all the Union units are Green whereas most of the Confederate units are Veteran and a few are Elite.  Thus, perhaps award the Union 1 VP for every 5 CSA casualties are the CSA 1 VP for every 10 CSA casualties?  Something like that.   Also maybe give the CSA .5 VP for every Union unit that is Dispersed (dissolves because of excess casualties) and the Union 1 VP for every CSA Veteran unit dispersed and 2 VP for every CSA Elite unit dispersed.

Based on these VP totals, I would say that based on the casualty totals and the time it took for the rebs to clear the table, the Union won this round of the battle.

4) Where Do We Go From Here?

The battle accounts agree that a significant number of Union troops piled up behind the redoubt and the twin houses as skulkers, and had to be rounded up and reorganized.  I would therefore think that any Union unit that exits the table Whipped in this scenario is not immediately available in the second scenario.   Perhaps a die roll every turn to see if it can be rallied, with whatever casualty levels it had when leaving the table, or even a bit worse.

The table for Scenario Two should have the Union fortifications (above) in the centre of the the table, with the twin houses just behind them.   The Confederates will enter from their table edge, with each CSA unit at the casualty levels it incurred in the first scenario.   From the very first turn, the Union artillery will be able to fire, as it is finally unmasked as the Union first line is pushed back.

Rodes and Garland’s brigades will need to assault and clear the Union positions, with the hope at some point (perhaps after six turns) that Rains’ brigade will complete is movement and flank the Yanks out of their positions (perhaps this would entail Hill sending his staff officers in search of Rains).   Also the CSA will have the benefit of two batteries of artillery (Bondourant’s and Carter’s).    

Eventually the third phase of the battle will be the action at Seven Pines, with elements of Couch’s (Keyes Corps) and Kearney’s (Heintzelman’s corps) divisions arriving to counterattack and throw back the rebs.

Unit Standing at the End of Scenario One showing casualties in brackets and W for Whipped Union unit:

Rodes:  6th AL (1), 12th AL (0), 5th NC (0), 4th VA (7), 12th MS (7)

Garland:  23rd NC (7), 2nd MS (3), 2nd FL (0), 38th VA (6), 24h VA (0)

Palmer: 98th NY (4), 92nd NY (7W)

Naglee: 104th PA (7W), 11th ME (7W), 100th NY (3)

Wessels: 103rd PA (10W)

1st NY Buy A (3)

Thanks very kindly if you read this far and if you have any thoughts on how this scenario might be improved, please do let me know.  I have some printed fortifications on order, and once they are received and painted, I will try the second scenario.    In the meantime, thanks for reading and blessings to your battles.   MP+

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Terrain Tuesday: Winter Terrain for My Canadian Pulp Project 3 and Done

Quick post to make it under the wire for Terrain Tuesday, and calling it a wrap on my Lemax Christmas village trees and 4Ground rustic cabin. 

The cabin has a wonderful little porch with removable roof, which is handy as there isn’t quite room to fit a 28mm figure on the porch otherwise, let alone to see it.  I haven’t painted the cabin and not sure if I will.   There are other more important projects queuing on the bench. 

A dangerous standoff!

I’m hoping to tell the next instalment in The Rockies Ablaze soon, and this cabin will feature prominently, in which case I will dress the set with some Christmas village glitter snow.

Next on the Terrain Bench are some 6mm TImecast buildings for my Napoleonics project, and hope to have them done soon.

Cheers and blessings to your world building!


Sunday, May 9, 2021

Books On The Go: The Fighting Padre

I made the mistake of browsing the excellent Pen and Sword website recently and in due course three books arrived in the post (trans-Atlantic mail has improved remarkably since the start of Covid) including this collection of letters from a British infantry chaplain of the Great War, Pat Leonard.


Leonard was a young Anglican clergyman whose youth and vigorous physique (he was an accomplished boxer, hence his nickname “The Fighting Padre”) allowed him to thrive in the trenches when older clergymen quickly broke down under the physical demands of frontline service.    He was attached to a British Army infantry brigade, and later in the war transferred to the Royal Flying Corps, supporting a number of different squadrons and aerodromes and earning a respectable amount of flying time in the observer’s seat.

Chaplain memoirs and letters are a fairly niche subject.   For the clerical reader, it’s always interesting to see how frontline padres tried to support the men under their care, often travelling long distances between units to bury the dead, offer the sacraments, counsel and encourage.  For the general reader, they offer a fascinating look at daily life in a war zone, in and behind the front lines, and glimpses of the culture of the men they served.  Chaplains were almost all civilians before the war and thus lacked much military knowledge, but they were observant, intelligent and articulate, and so they offer a great “fish out of water” look at the war around them.

I wanted to read this especially because Leonard was friends with a chaplain hero of mine, Philip (Tubby) Clayton, who ran “TocH” or Talbot House, a soldier’s rest centre in Poperinghe, a town within the Ypres Salient.  Tubby’s picture is on the left of this blog’s header - his own memoir, “Tales of Talbot House”, is a brilliant book in is own right.  

I’ve just started and haven’t met Tubby or any aircraft, but have found Leonard an engaging and friendly guide to life in the trenches.

Cheers and blessings,



Blog Archive