Friday, August 20, 2021

#Fantasy Friday: Reaper Centaur Archer




I haven’t had many fantasy figures in the painting queue of late, but I recently finished a one-ff, a Reaper miniature of a centaur which will go to reinforce my army of the Elven Woodland Realm.  This army has a large number of female figures (including a dryad) so this figure is highly suitable.   

I will be doing some F2F Dragon Rampant gaming this weekend, so may get the itch to paint a few more of the centaurs in my lead pile and perhaps build this into a small unit.

I used Citadel contrast Green for her bodice, and tried a few attempts to develop the shading on the horse part, perhaps only partially successfully.


An interesting figure to paint.

Blessings to your brushes!  


Thursday, August 19, 2021

#ThursdayNapoleonics: SPI's Wellington's Victory at 14:00hrs

My ongoing Naps project is my boardgame: SPI’s Wellington’s Victory, their Waterloo monster game from the late 1970s. It’s going very slowly.  Here’s the overall map at the conclusion of the 13:45 turn.


Close up of the centre position.  

The ridge anchoring the Allied line to the left of La Haye Sainte is starting to look at little porous as the Belgian/Dutch units give way under the bombardment of I Corps’ cannons.   LHS itself is holding out as the defenders exchange ineffectual musketry with the French skirmishers.   If Napoleon wants to take the position, he will have to send in men to take it with the bayonet, and that will be bloody.  However, with the Imperial Guard drawing close now, LHS will need to be taken.  Between LHS and Hougomont, elements of Reille’s II Corps are moving forward to give the Imperial Guard some space to deploy if Napoleon decides to send it in that direction.

Most worrisome for Wellington now has to be his left flank, which is slowly but inexorably being turned by I Corps, supported by Milhaud’s heavy cavalry, which so far have proved the French stars of the game.  

The British cavalry has had very poor luck stopping them.   In the last 15 minutes, Ponsonby was killed leading his troopers in a desperate charge to slow the French advance, but was countercharged and routed by Vial’s cuirassiers.  Hanoverian landwehr are streaming to the rear, and over 1500 of them have already exited the map, a terrible and permanent loss to Allied morale.   Wellington has ordered Lambert’s British infantry brigade and the entire Brunswick division to shore up his left wing, hopefully they will be enough to hold the wing.  It’s an hour before the first Prussian units enter the map.

Cheers,  MP+


Wednesday, August 18, 2021

The Canadian Wargamer Podcast Episode 4: Interview with Gaming Wizard and Grognard Don Perrin

Very happy that the fourth(!) podcast is out.   The link is here and the show notes are below.   Please give us a listen, subscribe and rate us on Apple Podcasts.  Please.   Or the beaver and goose will be mad at us.

In our August Podcast, we talk with a true grognard, Don Perrin, a Canuck who now calls Las Vegas his home.  Since Don and James met as cadets and barrack mates many years ago, Don went on to graduate from Royal Military College and serve in the Canadian Army in the RCEME Corps. Don's done practically everything there is to do in the hobby.  He's worked with giants like Frank Chadwick, run a games store, published (and killed!) wargames magazines, manufactured lead figures and now is doing cutting edge work in 3D printing as you'd expect from his extensive technical background. He's also a published fiction author, and the only guy we know personally to have a Wikpedia entry! In our discussion, Don shares his thoughts on what happened to North American wargames magazines, the pros and cons of 3D printing, and the future of our gaming hobby.

Don Perrin on Twitter:  @dbsperrin

Don’s Websites:

Don’s Stuff on War-game Vault (The Courier, MWAN, etc):

Don’s 3D Printing Website:

Don’s Virtual Bookshelf Contributions:

Operation Warboard’ By Gavin & Bernard Lyall. Adam and Charles Black, 1976 ISBN 0 7136 1646 6

Operation Husky: The Canadian Invasion of Sicily, July 10–August 7, 1943 By Mark Zuehlke. Douglas and McIntyre (2013) Ltd., 2009 ISBN: 1553653246

Stuff We Mentioned In Our Conversation:

First Clash: Combat Close Up in World War Three, by Kenneth Macksey, 1998.

Sound Officers' Call Blog:

The Sentry Box (Calgary, Alberta games store):

Canadian Content Corner:

Brad St. Croix and Alex Fitzgerald-Black on Operation Husky:

Alex Fitzgerald Black on The Air Support Rollercoaster: Air Power and its Contribution to the Morale of the Canadian Army in Normandy:

Alex Fitzgerald-Black, Eagles Over Husky: The Allied Air Forces in the Sicilian Campaign, 14 May to 17 August, 1943.


Arthur Gullachsen, An Army of Never-Ending Strength: Reinforcing the Canadians in NW Europe, 1944-45.  UBC Press, 2021.

Closing Music:  

The Corps of Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers March Past:

Our Contact Info:

Mike's email:

Mike's Twitter: @MarshalLuigi

Mike's blog:

James' email:

James' Twitter: @JamesManto4

James' blog:

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

#TerrainTuesday: How Do You Like Them Apples?

Since I don’t have a piece of wargaming terrain finished or in production at the moment, I thought I’d cheat and tell you about a piece of 1 to 1 scale terrain that has been keeping me busy of late.

This gorgeous crab apple tree sits in front of my house.  In May, when I took this photo, it is a glorious, fragrant mass of blossoms.    

The blossoms put on a show for about a week, and then they start to fall, like a gentle snow.  They fall and fall, so that our driveway and walkway are on some mornings white as if it was winter.

By the end of May the blossoms are replaced by green leaves, at least until the gypsy moths (sorry, not allowed to call them that anymore - they are now LDD for Lymantia Dispar Dispar, or just furry hungry buggers that grow into the size of small snakes) invaded trees in the area.  The crabapple tree was a particularly tasty buffet.  All through June and July I waged war against them, picking them off, gingerly at first, and then by the fistful, and dropping them in a soapy bucket of water.  I did my best to keep the lower branches free of the caterpillars, but I couldn’t reach the upper bows, and every morning the ground was littered with fragments of leaves and tiny almost embryonic green apples.   I assumed the tree was doomed.

July came, and the caterpillars became sluggish and then disappeared.  The local paper said some sort of virus had killed them.   I found and destroyed a few cocoons, and then for a week small white moths fluttered about aimlessly, as if filled with wonder that they could fiy, albeit badly.  Then they disappeared.

August came with apples.  The tree roared back, green leaves appeared in the bare sections, and SO MANY APPLES.

Now its the apples that fall, buckets of them every day.  I have a nifty roller tool that gathers them in a wire ball-shaped cage, and usually spend thirty minutes a day collecting them, so as not to attract wasps and alarm my neighbours, a nice young couple newly moved in who regard the tree with some alarm.  I’ve noticed they are deathly fearful of insects.   Some of the apples go into my compost bin, the rest into the city green waste bin.  My wife, who has lived with the tree longer than I have, tells me that the apples are sour and hard to cook with, so I’m content to let them return to nature and to give me free biomass for next year’s garden..

Respect for a tree that doggedly does what it wants to, bugs be damned.



Wednesday, August 11, 2021

#Terrain Tuesday: Adventures In My Back Yard

Hello friends:

Not much to report here of late - this is my first blog post since I started a month’s vacation lasting all of August, which has been very pleasant thus far, with a fair number of miniatures on the painting bench and some out of town overnight trips with the lovely Joy (our first since Covid), and some significant outdoor landscaping projects under way, which I am going to call eligible for this week’s Terrain Tuesday feature.

To start the project, I needed a new wheelbarrow, which of course meant that I got a chance to put my scale modelling skills to use in a 1 to 1 scale project. We hone our model making skills for real-world moments such as this.  Everything was going swimmingly until I discovered that I had confused front and back in the somewhat minimal instructions, and so had to disassemble and reassemble the whole shebang.

One side of our house was landscaped with flagstones and pea gravel some twenty years ago.   It’s become quite overgrown and we would like to replace it all with a smooth interlocked brick or stone surface, which will look neater and be easier to keep clean.   We have some builders coming in the early fall to do that project, but for now there is some wasted space between two garden beds that I’d like to reclaim, joining the two garden beds and renewing the soil so I can plant hostas or some other shade-friendly plants together.    The area is about eight feet long by four feet wide, and I quickly discovered that the pea gravel is about two inches deep.   I wanted to be able to separate the gravel and the earth, so I knocked together this quick screening device to go over said wheelbarrow.

There is a LOT of pea gravel.  So much pea gravel. Here you can see the mix of gravel and flag stones that our contractors are going to take up.   It’s far too much work for me to do with a pick and shovel.

Underneath the pea gravel is, of course, a myriad of stones, brick fragments from the original construction that were apparently easier to bury than cart away, and of course, thick tangles of roots from the nearby maple trees.   But, I’m too far in to stop, and the garden bed is almost finished and ready for some compost, some bags of fresh clean black earth, and of course, plants.

The pea gravel is proving useful, as we have a garden bordered by large stones which had pretty much sunk into the ground.   Joy asked if I could dig out the stones and raise them slightly so they could be a more visible border.   So, several projects in one going on simultaneously.


Anyway, it’s all very satisfying and for now it makes up for not having gone to the gym since Covid.  

I hope you are enjoying some time off this August and thank you for taking the time to read this.   Blessings to your DIY projects.

Cheers,  MP+

Trouble On The Border: A Sharpe Practice Skirmish

Having laid out this table to see what my Barrage Miniatures Kickstarter modular terrain looked like, it seemed a shame not to use it, and the obvious candidates were the Perry Brothers figures I’ve just finished for my alt-ACW project.  So, inspired by the battles of Ross McFarlane’s Red on Blue battles (Oberhilse … boo!), I decided to lay out a generic solo fight as a force of Republican troops crossed the border to test the Dominion’s defences and try to seize a key crossroads.

I don’t have photos to illustrate the entire action, but hopefully can convey a sense of what happened.  Here’s the table.  I allowed the Red forces to set up first.  The Blue forces enter from a deployment point on their table edge.


First Republican skirmishers appear on the table, led by Sergeant Quigley.   I thought it would be a nice aesthetic to use my ACW Iron Brigade figures in their Hardee hats for this skirmish.  The Republican jump off point is in the background.

Overview of the table showing the Dominion’s positions.  The Republican infantry, in slightly larger numbers, are now all deployed on the table.   The Dominion forces, all militia infantry, are supported by a Royal Artillery gun with a Regular crew.

The largest group of militia squander their first volley on the skirmishers facing them, to little effect.

Republican gun and limber enter the table.

A group of Dominion militia cavalry, led by Sergeant Boscombe, probes the right flank.   Since the Republican cavalry is otherwise engaged and not at this fight, these eight riders will tie up the largest group of enemy foot for most of the game.


The Royal Artillery opens up on the advancing enemy limber team.

As the Sharpe Practice rules are vague on hits to limbered artillery, I rule that the two kills apply to the lead horses.  I add 2 extra actions per casualty to clear the dead horses from the traces and unlimber the gun - it will thus take four extra actions to bring the Republican gun into action.

“Well done, lads!”  says Bombardier Boyle.  “Now load up and ‘it ‘em again!”  Capt. Travers, commanding the militia colour party, holds in reserve on the right of the artillery.


A large group of Republican infantry now unleash a devastating volley on the militia group holding a small copse on a hill above them.   They kill Cpl. Hodges and four of his redcoats, leaving the remaining four to retreat with excess shock.  

The victorious Republican troops advance, only to be blasted with canister by Bdr. Boyle’s gun crew.  They fall back to rally, their lieutenant temporarily knocked unconscious.

Sgt. Boscombe decides that a short and glorious life is a soldier’s destiny. He uses a pile of command tokens to spur his group in a charge with extra movement, but the Republican troops are regulars and form line, with time to present and fire a first volley, which is taken into account in their extra melee dice.  The result is that the Canadian riders are all killed save for one and the wounded Sgt. Boscombe, but the bluecoats are badly hit with casualties and shock and fall back to lick their wounds.  

The Republican cannon now makes its presence felt.   With the Queen’s gunners have chosen to shoot canister at the closest enemy foot rather than the opposing gun, and thus take a bad hit, killing two of the crew.  Boyle and the surviving gunner now take part in an unequal artillery duel, but the next hit kills the remaining gunner and Bdr. Boyle retreats off the table with shock, one arm hanging uselessly at his side.  With his Militia slowly being picked off by skirmishers and no way to reply to the enemy cannon, Capt. Travers orders four of his men to haul the gun off the table, and concedes the fight.  

Here’s a funny thing about how characters can sometimes come to life.  To give the Dominion defenders a bit of an offset from their militia status, I gave them a Level Four Big Man officer, one of my newly painted bossy Victorians.   Incredibly, his chit only came up once, allowing him to rally the four surviving men of Cpl.Hodge’s group as they fled down their side of the hill.  After that, he did nothing, except once, when I incredibly rolled two “1”s for his movement to go somewhere and be useful.  I thus concluded that he was hopelessly drunk, and was staggering around the battlefield, being a positive nuisance and drawling nonsense in an upper class English accent.  Thus, Maj. Clive Whicker-Basquet, an incompetent but well-connected sot, is born, and will doubtless feature again in other battles.

“Have a care and hold your fire, lads, that … gentleman is in front of you!"

A pleasant bit of solitaire gaming and lovely to get some newly painted troops on the table with my new terrain.  The Republican side won on points, and while the defender’s force morale had not collapsed, clearly it was in their best interest to disengage and fight another day.   In a campaign game, I wouldn’t have thrown the cavalry group away, but I was curious to see how they fared against infantry.   It would have been smarter to keep them as a force in being, checking or at least slowing an advance by three times their number.

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