Tuesday, July 27, 2021

#Terrain Tuesday: Barrage Miniatures Kickstarter Goodies Have Arrived!

 I'm not a big Kickstarter guy, but th offer from Madrid-based Barrage Miniatures seemed too good to pass up - modular resin/rubber terrain for the miniatures tabletop.   

In backing the KS, I chose a green river, almost enough to cover the width of two of my tables, plus enough shore sections to line both banks.   

That river was just crying out for some boats, so I dug out my 1/600 Thoroughbred Miniatures ironclads and my instincts were correct, it all looks great together!

Hammerin' iron!  The nice thing about this system is that I could only line one side of the river mat with shore sections, creating a bay or shoreline, or I could use the modular bits to decrease the width of the river as needed by the scenario or scale - perhaps a 6mm version of Aspern Essling!

Here are some of the other pieces that came with the KS.  Cropped and plowed field, multicoloured sections to mark out woods and to depict fallen leaves, a desert mat for the farmyard, and stone wall sections.  Lots of round green grass sections that blend in nicely with my GeekVillain mat.

The elevations here are old T-shirts rolled up and placed under the Geek Villain mat.  Again, the green resin pieces are useful for hiding the creases in the mat where it falls over the t-shirt hills.

Of course, now that I've laid out this table, I need to get some troops on it.  It all looks Civil War-y, so ...

Cheers and blessings,


Monday, July 26, 2021

Perry Brothers Command and Artillery Figures for Upper Canada/Alt-ACW

I’m happy to have finished another batch of figures for my alt-ACW project, all from the Perry 1860s British Intervention Force range.   

Command figures from set BIF 44, which are modelled on figures of the period such as Garnet Wolseley.  They’re painted using the Foundry tri-tone paint system, which I may slowly become a fan of.  The blue of the uniforms came out quite glossy, but the dullcote finish toned it down nicely.


“I say, chaps, it says here that we lost the Euro Cup to Italy!  Damn bad news, what?"

Bossy foot types.  Chap sitting on the stump is writing “Dearest mother, Canada is full of swamps and mosquitos.  Any chance Uncle Bertie can get me back to Horse Guards?"


Command stand for a second unit of Canadian militia.   The flags are from Adolfo Ramos from his Crimean War range.  The battle honours might seem a bit spurious for a Canadian unit, but I can always say that this is a militia battalion affiliated with a famous British regiment and therefore entitled to carry its colours.  Or something to that effect.  At any rate, Adolfo’s flags are brilliant.


Finally, the Royal Artillery expand their presence in Upper Canada with a second Armstrong Whitworth gun and crew.   I think this uniform is incredibly smart, though the pillbox cap doesn’t look very useful for keeping the sun or rain off one’s hand, or for staying in place while operating a cannon.  Fun fact, Royal Military College of Canada cadets still wear this type of headdress as part of their ceremonial uniform.

The barrel looks a bit odd elevated off the carriage but I can’t figure out any other way to assemble it.


Hopefully I’ll get these chaps into action soon.   Thanks for looking and blessings to your brushes!

Thursday, July 22, 2021

#ThursdayNapoleonics, SPI's Wellington's Victory at 1:00pm

Wanting to finish the latest batch of minis has taken my eyes off the game lately, but the monster awaits, in the cat-proof gaming room, and so we have started the 1pm turn.  Here’s the overall view:

D’Erlon’s I Corps took a bit of a beating in the last half hour.  Three of his four divisions are battered and intermixed, but are continuing to put heavy pressure on Wellington’s left wing.   Currently the British cavalry of Vivian, Vandaleur and Ponsonby are buying time.  Two of Ponsonby’s three regiments charged successfully, routing 1600 French troops and dispatching the crew of D’Erlon’s 3d Div artillery, which was rashly pushed forward.  However, the French have managed to capture Papelotte, and have just cued up three cavalry charges in a bid to turn Wellington’s flank.   About to do the morale checks for the Allied units within the triangles of the blue charge markers.

In the centre, bands of French skirmishers are starting to lap around La Haye Sainte and have evicted the King’s German Legion from part of the orchard.   French cannon have started to bombard the Sandpit.  At 1pm, Napoleon commits the Old and Middle Guard and orders them to move forward.


Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Episode Three of The Canadian Wargamer Podcast is Published!


Click here for Episode Three of The Canadian Wargamer Podcast

Here are the notes for this episode of the podcast:

The Canadian Wargamer Podcast With Our Guest, Curt Campbell of the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge

July 21, 2021

In the interview, we speak to Curt Campbell, the Sidney Roundwood of the Canadian wargaming scene, the Snowlord himself.  Of course, we talk about the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge which has become an international community of over 90 gamers and painters.  We also talk about running a games store in the heroic early days of Games Workshop, the gaming scene on the prairies, and why quirky, eclectic games like Moonstone are so much fun.  Finally, Curt doesn't disappoint us by making 5(!) deposits into our Virtual Library.

After the interview, during our patented Canadian Content Corner, Mike and James discuss the Canadians in Italy and Normandy.  We then ask the burning question: just why are Bavarians are so sexy right now?  James reports on his experience of VirtualLard6, and a new set of rules, Packing Heat, that will have all the gun mooks and their molls all jazzed up.  It then gets rather Napoleonic.

Show notes for Episode 3 of The Canadian Wargaming Podcast, July 2021.

Part One:   Our Guest, Curt (“The Snowlord”) Campbell

Curt’s blog:  http://analogue-hobbies.blogspot.com

The Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge:  https://thepaintingchallenge.blogspot.com

Curt on Twitter: @analoguehobbies

Prairie Con Gaming Convention:  http://www.prairiecon.comhttps://www.facebook.com/PrairieCon

Fawcett Avenue Conscripts Winnipeg Gaming Club:  http://wpggamegeeks.blogspot.com

Moonstone: https://moonstonethegame.com

Curt’s five book pics for The Canadian Wargamer Podcast virtual library:

     Fredrik Logevall, ‘Embers of War: The Fall of an empire and the Making of     America’s Vietnam’

   Craig Symonds, ‘World War II at Se: A Global History’

  Tim Willcocks, ‘The Religion’

  Christopher Buckley, ‘The Relic Master’

 Joseph Boyden, ‘Three Day Road’


Part Two: Canadian Content Corner

Alex Fizgerald Black and Brad St. Croix discuss Operation Husky: The Invasion of Sicily: https://youtu.be/xkiWFlDpD9w

Dr. Lee Windsor, The View From Point 67: Canada's Killing Zone in the Second Half of the Battle for Normandy: https://youtu.be/vWf2pUT8dLE


Part Three: Hobby Natter

James’ report on Virtual Lard 6: http://rabbitsinmybasement.blogspot.com/2021/07/packing-heat-at-virtual-lard-6.html

Osprey Publishing, Absolute Emperor  https://ospreypublishing.com/absolute-emperor 

 Boyd Bruce, author of Absolute Emperor, talks about his rules: https://youtu.be/lkT-OoH5_LY

A Soldier for Napoleon: The Campaigns of Lieutenant Franz Joseph Hausmann: 7th Bavarian Infantry, by Franz Joseph Hausmann, ed. John H. Gill.

Fighting For Napoleon: French Soldiers’ Letters 1799-1815, ed. Bernard and Rene Wilkin.

The Iron Marshall: A Biography of Louis Davout, by John G. Gallaher.

Contact Info:

James' blog: http://rabbitsinmybasement.blogspot.com

James' email: jamesmanto@gmail.com

James on Twitter: @jamesmanto4

Mike's blog: madpadrewargames@blogspot.com

Mike's email: madpadre@gmail.com

Mike on Twitter: @MarshalLuigi


Friday, July 16, 2021

#FantasyFriday: Oathmark / North Star Goblin Wolf Riders

Ready to storm out of the mountains and pillage the vales of Men, here is a unit of fifteen horrible 28mm goblin wolf-riders to add to my Middle Earth collection.   I’m not rally sure how a bunch of nasty ferocious wolves would consent to being hidden around by an even more horrible pack of smelly loutish goblins, nor for that matter do I understand how the goblins can ride them without saddles, harness, reigns, etc.  Maybe that’s the tradeoff.

Shooty types.   I like how the North Star Oathmark kits come with a wide variety of weapons and gear, and assemble easily.  Likewise the wolves are simple two part models and go together without too obvious joining lines.   They painted up well enough with some simple drybrushing.

Stabby types with their Sacred Skull of Whatsit Standard.  

Chopper types.

Quite pleased with them overall - generic enough for simple fantasy points battle, but atmospheric enough to be in the empty of either the White Hand or the Lidless Eye.   Maybe there’s an Osprey book, “Mordor’s Minor Allies”, to be written.   They should give the Rohirim cause for concern.

Thanks for looking.  Blessings to your brushes!



Tuesday, July 13, 2021

#TerrainTuesday: 6mm Timecast Napoleonic Buildings

For this week’s Terrain Tuesday feature, I am happy to show off these two completed terrain tiles for 6mm Napoleonics gaming.

The large timber frame building on the right is by Timecast, and is a lovely model, full of detail.    To flesh out the terrain piece and give it the sense of being a village or part of a town, I found two antique metal GHQ building castings in my hoard and painted them up quickly.

Trees are also by Timecast.  The terrain tile also functions as a four way road crossing, making it a potentially significant objective for hard marching marshals, foragers, and other ne’er-do-wells.

This gray building is also a Timecast model.  I based it individually to suggest an inn or estate house out in the country.

I find a huge satisfaction in working on the scenic aspect of 6mm gaming.  Buildings are relatively inexpensive, a little busywork effort goes a long way, and the finished result adds immeasurably, not dominating the table as a 28mm terrain piece might but adding just enough flavour to evoke a real world location.

This morning I threw a few other pieces on the table besides these newly created models and was entranced by how quickly a scenic view came together.  This visual aspect of small scale gaming is a huge reward in itself for me.

Cheers and blessings to your brushes!


Monday, July 12, 2021

More Perry Brothers Victorian Canadian Militia

Recently I finished five more bases of Canadian militia from the Perry Brothers Intervention range for my Alt-ACW project.   They are based in the usual groups of four, and the two NCOs are based singly for skirmish games like Sharpe Practice.

These fellows represent some experiments with painting.   For their red tunics, two are done in simple Army Painter Red with no wash; two are done in GW Contrast paint, and the rest are done using the tri-tone Foundry paint system.  I had recently ordered the Foundry ACW paint set as an experiment, and since it includes red (presumably for Zouaves) as well as blue, browns and metals for muskets and black for equipment, I thought I would try them out with these lads.

Asking around on wargames Twitter (pretty much the only part of Twitter that I enjoy these days),  learned that the preferred wisdom was to apply the Foundry paints to a black undercoat.  Unfortunately, my rubbish eyesight has troubles picking fine details out of the black, whereas if I prime the figures with  with Citadel white bone spray (or whatever they call it) and then give it a bit of a go with a darker Citadel wash (flesh or brown, whatever’s handy), then I can see the details and the white undercoat is muted and is easier to cover.   The finished result is pleasing enough to me.  I'

l’ll still use black primer for smaller figures (15mm and 6mm) but for 28mm I think this works best for me.

These militia figures with their tall shakos are quite attractive, and since I have no plans to do Napoleonics in 28mm, they are probably the closest I’ll ever get to painting Naps in the big scale.

I’m quite pleased by the final result.   I have a militia colour party as well as another British gun and crew and some senior officers, so we should soon see some alt-ACW gaming on the table.

Thanks for looking.  Cheers and blessings to your brushes!


Thursday, July 8, 2021

#ThursdayNapoleonics: SPI'S Wellington's Victory, the Battle of Waterloo at 12:45pm.

Hello friends:

It’s Thursday and time for the weekly Napoleonic update.   

I took a chance on these new Osprey rules, hoping they’d be to Naps gaming what Dragon Rampant has proved for quick and easy (an earlier generation of grognards would have said beer and pretzels) gaming.

Boyd Bruce, the author, promises in his forward that these rules will indeed be simple and fast playing.   It is agnostic to scales and bases, and while the game’s smallest unit is called a division, grouped as corps, the rules still allow for tactical formations (square, column, line) which seems odd to me.   I’ve had to wade through with a highlighter to understand the mechanics, as there is no index or any QR charts, but I think I grasp the mechanics and hope to try it with some 6mm units soon.  More to follow.

Currently in my bedside reading is this book, obtained from a recent Hellion Press sale.

The authors have done a brilliant job of combing the archives and pulling together letters from a wide variety of soldiers - rankers and the odd junior officer - and  they are generally grim reading.    A typical letter might read:  “Dear Mother and Father, I am tired of war.  Please send me money as I lost my equipment and need to buy more.  I am hungry, cold, have no shoes.  I send my love.”   Many of the letters focus on conscription, trying to obtain release from the army or exemption for younger brothers, and most are very simple, as the letter writers were not all that literate.  Sometimes men from the same village or town would pull together and have someone write a letter  for them, in all their voices.   There are notes for each letter explaining what is known of the soldier writing it, and sadly, many never came home.   Grim reading that inspires respect for the hardships these men endured.

Now, down to the basement and the gaming room, which thus far has remained cat proof.   Here is the Battle of Waterloo having just finished the 12:30pm turn.


On the right, a token force of French light infantry has forced their way into the orchard of Hougoumont, but show no signs of going any further.  Foy’s and Bachelu’s divisions of II Corps are now committed and appear to be moving towards La Haye Sainte??

Pressure building on La Haye Sainte and on the Allied centre.  Galling fire from French skirmishers has caused some 300 casualties to the KGL and Rifles holding the farm this last turn.  Allied musketry in response was unlucky.  French I Corps artillery is now unlimbered and ready to fire at long range.

Fighting has been fiercest on the French right.  D’Erlon’s I Corps has been pushing hard, but a company of Dutch/Belgian skirmishers amazingly still hold Papelotte and have already seen off an attack by ten times their number.    Some of the Dutch battalions have broken but the Hanoverians are holding steady and Pack’s redcoats are in line behind the ridge waiting for their moment.   There have been charges and countercharges - Vivian and Vandaleur’s brigades have pushed back Jacqunot’s chasseurs, with losses on both sides.  Of the commanders, Perponcher and Vivian on the Allied side are hors de combat, and Bruno likewise.  Shock combat has proven deadly to chaps in lace coats.

French infantry attacks are proving fragile, as seems right, but the pressure on Wellington’s left is growing and it is a long time before the first Prussian columns appear on the map.

Any advice for Wellington or Napoleon?

Blessings to your die rolls!


Tuesday, July 6, 2021

#Terrain Tuesday: 28mm Field Fortifications From Paul's Models

Hello friends!

Took me just over a month to get these resin field fortifications from UK based Paul’s Models finished, which is pretty speedy for me.  I now have a massive redoubt and several feet of fortifications. 

 More than enough to cover almost the length of a 6’ table!

 Painting strategy was simply: black undercoat, craft store Folkart umbre brown on everything, then a drybrush of the same brown mixed with Yellow Ochre.  The boards were a mix of yellow ochre and white lightly dry brushed over the black undercoat, and them treated with Army Painter Soft Tone.  I didn’t want the boards to be grey, as they are supposed to be newly cut for the battle I have in mind, Seve Pines.

 Temporarily occupied by a Royal Artillery Whitworth and a mix of Canadian and British troops, who must have read the last blog post here!  These fortifications work well with 28mm figures and could represent any field defences or siege works from the Thirty Years and English Civil Wars up to the early rifle age.

 Good luck to whoever has to take these defences!

Thanks for looking.  Cheers and blessings to your brushes!


Monday, July 5, 2021

A Yankee Spy In Upper Canada

“Say, boys, those look like new rifles.  English made?”  

It was an exciting day in Thorold, a small town in Welland County near the Niagara border.  The County militia were holding their Camp of Instruction, and farm boys and clerks in their smart red uniforms were all too happy to show off to the local ladies.  No one gave much thought to a charming and dapper American, a commercial traveller on his way to York.  

“That’s right.  These are Enfields, just issued last month, straight out of the packing crates.   They take these new percussion caps.   Never misfire."

The Corporal’s comrade laughed.   “The other companies are green with envy, they still have old German smoothbores.  We’re a shoe-in to win the musketry competition this afternoon."

Alfonso Wade joined in the laughter.  “My money’s on you boys and your fine rifles to win today, that’s for sure.”  He made a mental note of their armaments, while wondering if his own regiment had been this green before First Bull Run.   He’d seen more than his share of fighting since then, which is why he’d been tasked to trade his cavalry uniform for a gaudy suit and rail tickets to a dozen Upper Canada towns.  It was a pleasant way to finish the summer, and if the US had to fight England, as was looking more and more likely, the generals would want all the information they could get.

“Look, Mr. Wade, here come the Yeomanry!  Aren’t they handsome?”  Isabella Green took the American’s arm, eliciting a look of envy from her sister as she took the man’s other arm.   Wade was happy to play the object of their competition.  These Canadian girls were friendly enough!  As the troopers rode by, Wade looked them over with a discerning eye, noting their lack of carbines and cartridge boxes on their belts.  It’d be a shame to just shoot them out of their saddles, he thought, but if they put their faith in their sabres, well ….

As the events sparked by the Trent Affair continue to spiral out of control, there are a dozen young army officers like Capt. Wade active from Halifax to the Niagara gathering information in the late summer of 1862.   

More to follow.

(Note - figures are Perrys except for the civilians, which are by Architects of War/Noble Knight Games).


Thursday, July 1, 2021

Thursday Napoleonics: SPI's BIG Waterloo Game, Wellington's Victory, to 12:15pm

For my June project, I am revisiting a game I first played in high school, against a much older and patient opponent, who methodically dismembered me, though if you’re reading this, Dave, you got some key rules wrong!

This is Wellington’s Victory, one of SPI’s monster games of the 1970s, and in my opinion there is no lovelier paper, hex and counter game, though the colour choices for the elevations seem quite arid for the rain-soaked spring landscape of Belgium.   Certainly the national colours for the various units are lovely.   Here is the complete setup for the complete Battle of Waterloo, which commences at 11:45 on the turn track.

Any Waterloo game has to assume that Napoleon knows that Grouchy will not come, otherwise it doesn’t make much sense.   So, in this solo game, my object as the French is to throw as much of my weight as possible against the Anglo-Dutch, though the drain of committed brigades on the Army Morale total (let it drop to zero and bad things happen) mean that I have to decide carefully how much of my force to commit at the outset.

Opening Moves:  French commit Bauduin’s brigade of Jerome Bonaparte’s 6/II Div.  These light infantry battalions will deploy as skirmishers and move against the Hougoumont orchard to keep the British honest.

On the right, me/Napoleon commits all 8 brigades of D’Erlon’s I Corps, as well as the Corps light cavalry division of Jacquinot.  The French plan is to threaten Wellington’s left without getting sucked into the Hougoumont trap while punching hard  against the Anglo-Dutch left.


British throw the 1/95th Rifles and a battalion of KGL lights as skirmishers into La Haye Sainte to reinforce the position.  Meanwhile a regiment of British Guards deploys as skirmishers and moves to reinforce Hougoumont, but no more reinforcements there for now.


D’Erlon’s Corps begins its advance.

French light infantry skirmishers begin to press into Hougoumont’s orchard at bayonet point, both sides taking some casualties.  I begin to feel the magnetic pull of  chateau.  Must Resist!

Close up of the action as the French press against the Belgians and Dutch holding Papelotte.  

Just after this photo was taken in the Allied fire phase, the French columns started coming under cannon fire and three battalions were disordered with casualties.  Meanwhile, Milhaud’s 3rd HvyCav Div is committed and moving up.  Allies responded by committing Vivian and Vanderleur’s two cavalry brigades on the A-D left flank.

More to follow as I play it!   Who knows if I’ll finish the game this calendar year!

Blessings to your die rolls, 


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