Thursday, September 23, 2021

The Rockies Ablaze, Part Three

 This post picks up where Part Two of The Rockies Ablaze left off. Part One can be found here.

Near Camrose, Alberta, February, 1937.

The morning after Frenchy Lamoreux’s visit, Sgt. Bill Craighurst set off for the mountains.  It was a calm, bright winter day, and he figured he could make it to Indian River and back before dark.   From Frenchy’s account, he wanted to have a word with Ratko Gligic, the person of interest in the disappearance of Scotty Grainger.   Craighurst relished the chance to get away from the post and breathe the mountain air, and Laurier, his massive Husky, was clearly delighted to be trotting along.

 The Mountie stopped first at Grainger’s cabin, which as he expected was cold and empty.  There was no sign that it had been ransacked.  Everything was tidy and orderly, like the man himself.  He reached Gligic’s ramshackle place shortly before noon, and saw faint smoke rising from the chimney.  Craighurst dismounted, tethered his horse, and approached cautiously, studying the cabin.   Other than the trace of smoke, there was no sign of life.

 Craighurst didn’t see the trap until he was on top of it, but his natural dexterity allowed him to throw himself aside before his foot descended on the touch plate.

 He was still lying in the snow when he heard a snarl, a shout, and a fusilade of shots as Gligic stormed out of his shack.   Craighust felt a bullet pass through his Stetson as he crawled behind the shelter of Gligic’s woodpile, dragging his rifle by the sling.   “Ratko, calm down!  I’m just here to talk!"

“Go away!  Leave me alone!  I kill you!”   From the thick Slavic accent, it was clearly Gligic.

A bullet slammed into the woodpile.   Craighurst chambered a round as a precaution, but thought talking was still better than shooting.  “I just want to talk about Scotty Grainger.  Where’s Scotty?"

“Wasn’t me!  It was him, the wolf!  The wolf gets him!"

“What wolf, Ratko?”  

“Wolf with red eyes!  He get you too!"

This conversation was clearly going no where.   Craighurst gave a hand signal to Laurier, who trotted off behind the cabin.  Another shot, and a volley of Balkan curses.  “You go now, bastard!  I kill you!  Wolf kill you!”   

A snarl and a shout told the Mountie that eighty pounds of Husky had pulled down the trapper.   Craighust raced over, rifle at the ready, putting his boot firmly on Gligic’s pistol.   “Good boy, Laurier.   Now, talk sense, Ratko.   Tell me about Grainger.   What’s all this about a wolf?"

Spittle flecked Gligic’s beard and his eyes were rolling in his head.  He spoke in a kind of keening moan now.  “The wolf!   The wolf!   He coming.   He coming now.  He eat you up!”  As the prospector’s voice tailed off, a snarling growl came from deep within Laurier as the big dog bristled and bared his teeth.    Craighurst’s rifle came up, following the direction of the dog’s muzzle.

Craighurst’s gaze locked with a pair of deep-set, coal red eyes as his brain tried to make sense of the upright figure crouched in the trees, a hundred yards from him across a small clearing.

 Time seemed to freeze.  The figure in the trees was as motionless as Craighurst’s rifle.  Sensing his moment, Gligic scrambled to his feet and ran towards the woods.   The Mountie wasn’t going to shoot a man in the back, and he wasn’t going to take his sights off the strange creature across from him.   By the time his eyes flicked back from the fleeing suspect, the apparition in the trees was gone.

Craighurst slowly exhaled, and lowered his rifle slightly as one thought kept going through his brain.  Wolves dont walk on their hind legs!

 Moving slowly, his senses on full alert, the Mountie crossed the clearing, searching for the tracks of the creature he had seen.  Gligic wouldn’t go far, he could be easily be picked up later, or killed, if that was how he wanted to go out  A skilled naturalist and woodsman, Craighurst had no difficulty finding and identifying the tracks in the snow.   They were the hind feet of a wolf, as deep set in the snow as any man’s, and only the rear feet.  After several hundred feet, they tracks went to four feet as if the creature wanted to make more speed.  So damned big, he thought.

Craighurst noted the sun’s position, and calculated the remaining hours of daylight.  Just enough to get back to town, he thought.  He’d be back tomorrow, and he wouldn’t be coming alone.

(Figures by Bob Murch from his Pulp Figures range. Werewolf by Reaper.  Cabin by 4Ground).




Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Two Film Noir Types from Gorgon Studios

“Midnight, in a city that knows how to keep its secrets …”.  Fans of  the old Prairie Home Companion radio show (I’m outing myself as an old here) will remember the well-trod opening line of each Guy Noir skit.    Certainly these two hard-boiled types seem to have stepped out of an old film noir movie.

These two 28mm sculpts are marketed by Gorgon Studios as a pair of OSS agents, though in truth they’re suitable for pulp and gangster games.  I grabbed them for my on again, mostly off again Weird War Two project when I purchased their British infantry in Norway 1940 figures to serve as interwar Canadians.    I don’t have an immediate plan for them, but but found them a pleasant diversion when painting a small legion of SYW Prussians.  The man is painted in Citadel blue contrast paint, and as I’m partial to blue suits, it looked ok with a nice striped tie.  My wife Joy advised me on the colours for the lady - a white hat with red jacket seems perfect.

 “Say, Biggsy, that’s one big city."

“Sure is, doll face.  Let’s start at this little gin joint I know over in Harlem.”  

Once again, I used a printed image inside my light box, and it worked a treat.

Cheers and blessings to your brushes.  


Saturday, September 18, 2021

SYW Prussians Finished: Foundry Musketer Regiment 2

It’s ben a while since I finished a complete unit, but today I commissioned this unit into service, Frederick the Great’s Muskteer Regiment 2 (Kanitz), 31 28mm castings from Foundry.   I’ve given them a level of attention that I don’t usually pour into my large batch painting, and I’m reasonably pleased with the result.

These first two photos tuned out quite well, thanks to a trick I learned while listening to Ken Reilly of the Yarkshire Gamer podcast interview Australian painter and game Stephen Wold (@oldwargamer on Twitter).  Stephen mentioned that one of his secrets was using a laser printer to create a background, some photo of a sky cloudscape found on the web, and put it at the back of a lightbox alone with some basic terrain like a fence or hedge.  I stole this idea totally, using a backdrop of hills and clouds, and then scattering tons of my basic flocking mix around the figures.  A bit of styrofoam created an elevation for some contrast in the heights of the figures.   Stephen said that this is a simple trick to make ordinary figures jump out at the viewer, and my goodness, it worked a treat!

 Of course, the old saying is faces, bases, and flags.  Not sure about the bases and the faces, but for the flags I like to pay for the best, and the best I know of are done by Adolfo Ramos in Spain.  For the SYW period, I like to put six figures on a base, to capture the sense of close-packed ranks that you see in period paintings and woodcuts.

For uniform guides, I used the excellent Kronoskaf website and its entry on this regiment as well as Haythornthwaite and Fosten’s Osprey book, Frederick the Great’s Army (2), Infantry.  The regiment was first raised in 1655 and had significant battle honours during the SYW, including Gross-Jagersdorf and Kundesdorf.

This was my first unit to be done consistently using the Foundry paint system.  Honestly, there are times when I wondered if i was wasting my time trying to achieve their desired effect on the wood stock of the muskets, the gun metal of the musket barrels, or the black leather of the cartridge boxes.   I am happier with the three tone red on the cuffs and turn backs, and the Foundry flesh tones are enjoyable to work with, though next time I’ll work harder on the eyes, which I think as done here detract from the overall look of these figures.


 I had quite a lot of fun painting this senior NCM and basing him singly as the RSM, in case I want to use these figures in a Sharp Practice game.

The Seven Year War was one of the first periods that I started wargaming in, and still appeals.  While I’ve decided to do Napoleonics in 6mm, 28mm seems like the scale I want to work in for this period.    I have some Foundry Russian cuirassier on my workbench, and then a battery of Front Rank Prussian guns to do next.

Cheers and thanks for looking.   Blessings to your brushes!


Monday, September 13, 2021

The Canadian Wargamer Episode 5 is Out

The fifth episode of the Canadian Wargamer Podcast is out and can be downloaded here or, if Apple is your source for podcasts, here.  Here are the podcast notes.


Canadian Wargame Podcast Episode 5 With Guest Rene Charbonneau of the Trumpeter Tabletop Gaming Society

September 13, 2021

In our fifth episode, we talk to Rene Charbonneau, president of what may be Canada's oldest wargaming club in Vancouver, BC, the Trumpeter Tabletop Gaming Society.     We talk about what makes a club a success: planning, a code of conduct, outreach to the community and hospitality to young people.   Trumpeter's big convention, Salute, sounds like a fine excuse for a trip to gorgeous Vancouver in the spring.

In our second segment, the Canadian Content Corner, we talk about the Dieppe Raid, what we think it was about, and what it was actually about.  Mike reports on what he learned watching WW2TV on YouTube and listening to Canadian historian  David O'Keefe.

Next, Mike and James ask the question, what makes for a good set of wargames rules and that leads to a good old natter.

Finally we take about what's on the paint bench, and James talks about how his Bavarian sharpshooters, Scharf's Schutzen, are a thinly veiled homage to a well-known series of books and films about some fellows in green.

Links to this Episode:

1) Our bit with Rene Charbonneau:

Trumpeter Tabletop Gaming Society:

Rene's Book Choices:

Vic Hartley, Arrows Against Steel: The History of the Bow and How it Forever Changed Warfare.

Niall Ferguson, The War of the World: Twentieth Century Conflict and the Descent of the West.

2) Canadian Content Corner

Historian David O'Keefe's interviews with Paul Wooladge on WW2 TV:

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three: August 19 Dieppe Livestream:

David O'Keefe, One Day in August: Ian Fleming, Enigma, and the Deadly Raid  On Dieppe.

Dai's Wargames Blog and Dieppe Project:

3) What Makes A Good Set of Wargamer Rules?

Ken Reilly's Yorkshire Gamer chat with Stephen Wold:


Anything But a One! Adventures in Historical Wargaming Podcast.Episode 30, Old School vs New School Games.

Zac's blog post on Dragon Rampant:

James' blog post on Scharf's Schutzen:


Final Music:  Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Regimental March

Contact Us:






Saturday, September 11, 2021

My Thoughts on Absolute Emperor, New Napoleonic Rules from Osprey

(Note: I had meant to post this on my self-imposed timeline of Napoleonic Thursday, but will have to settle for Saturday evening.)

I had mentioned in a previous blog post that I had taken a flyer on Absolute Emperor (AE), Boyd Bruce’s new Napoleonic rules, published this year in Osprey’s “blue book” rules series.   Thanks to my son John, who came out from the west coast to spend the last week of August with his old man, I’ve had a chance to put down some figures and take these rules out on the road.   What follows is not a comprehensive review, but some first impressions.

AE does what is says on the tin: it’s a basic, highly playable set of rules for a reasonably sized Napoleonic battle in 2-4 hours, so, a club game.   Individual units (called divisions in the rules) are operate within corps, each commanded by a corps commander, which suggests that these are rules written for army level engagements.   However, the fact that these individual units can assume a variety of tactical formations (line, march column, attack column, square, un/ limbered, columns of squadrons) makes the game feel like an engagement of brigades, with the maneuver elements being regiments/battalions/batteries.  Judging from the examples of actions given by in the designer notes, Boyd Bruce also thinks of this as a regimental/brigade set of rules.

Therefore, the first thing that I would suggest is that the prospective player abandons any thought that these are rules for big battles.   I think it would be fair to say that AE attempts to provide a fast and playable war-game that conveys some sense of the Napoleonic battlefield and the tactics involved at the regimental level.  How does it succeed in that goal?  I would say, moderately well.

My son John put it very well when he helped me try out AE after playing several games of Sharp Practice.   “After all the tactics of Sharp Practice, these rules seem very chess-like to me”, he said, which I think is a fair comment about how these rules capture what is often called the Rock Paper Scissors quality of the Napoleonic battlefield.

Here are the quick outlines.  Units are rated as Veteran, Seasoned, and Conscript with “Activation” rolls respectively of 3+, 4+, and 5+ on 1d6.  Early on p.9, when these Activation ratings are given, the rules explain that these are also the rolls that these troop type need to hit when Shooting and in Combat (Melee).  If you miss that explanation, you will roam the rest of the rules in vain to understand how to shoot and fight.  Activation rolls are necessary for most units to charge, or for foot to form square when charged by cavalry.

Cavalry are of two types, Light and Line.   The only difference I can tell is that Light Cavalry don't get a charge bonus in Combat vs. Line cavalry.

Units in shooting and combat get different numbers of dice depending on their formation, thus a line veteran infantry unit rolls 4d6 in fire combat and hits on a 3+.   Infantry in Combat gets 2d6 in Attack Column with a +1d6 Charge Bonus (+2d6 for non-Conscript French if between 1805-1809) so a Seasoned French unit in Attack Column Charging in 1805 gets 4d6 in the first round, hitting on 4+.

Artillery isn’t rated by quality; it generally gets 2d6 when shooting and hits on a 5+ with one dice if at effective range and 5+ hitting with two dice if in close (canister) range.  

Units lose a step in quality when they take 5 hits and they are eliminated when they take 8 hits.  In Close Combat, after a round of Shooting, whole units can disappear quickly, so the rules feel quick and bloody.

Commanders get varying numbers of Elan points, more Elan points = the better commander.  The total number of all friendly commanders' Elan points means that the player with the lower total moves first, then the player with more Elan moves second, this giving the player with the better generals the opportunity to react to the other guys' moves.  Shooting and Combat results are simultaneous.  Generals can spend one Elan point each turn to either re-roll one die, allow a unit to rally, re-roll an activation, or change their Corps’ orders (more on that later).

That’s a quick overview of the rules, and most of what you need to know to play.   

In this photo, John and I are trying out the third of the teaching scenarios included in the rule book using my 6mm figures.  My French are on the right, John’s Austrians are on the left.   Using the 6/10mm distances for AE, we began with the French just within artillery range (12”) with three batteries forming a Grand Battery (allowed for in the advanced rules), two units of high quality infantry, and a light cavalry unit facing one Austrian battery, one low quality (Conscript) infantry unit, two medium (Seasoned) quality infantry units, and one line cavalry unit.  The Austrians have the advantage of defending a Built Up Area, and the French only have 12 turns to win, so it’s an interesting match up.  

We had a decision before 12 turns.  John deployed his better infantry parallel to the BUA, exposing it to the devastating fire of the Grand Battery, while my infantry and cavalry approached, forcing his infantry into square to hasten they destruction from th French cannon.  My other infantry checked John’s cavalry by forming square, thus allowing the rest of my force to drive the Austrians out of the town.   We had the rules figured out reasonably quickly and there were some interesting choices to be made, so a tidy game experience.

 You’ll notice in this first photo that each unit has two bases, one in front of the other.  This represented our initial attempt to follow the rules for tactical formation, so that doubled the frontage of foot units when they went from column to line, and then put the two foot bases back to back when forming square.    The next time I played the rules in a solo game, I just used single bases to represent each unit, and mentally kept track of the formations (march/attack column, line) without any trouble.  The extra stands on the table didn’t really add anything to my experience of the game so I binned it.

In the second game, I used AE's point system to create a smaller Austrian force (two divisions of infantry, one division of light cavalry and one of line cavalry) versus two larger French infantry divisions and one of French light cavalry.   The points system uses some national characteristics - French generals are generally better than Austrian generals, which mean that they can command larger divisions.     When building my divisions, I immediately noticed that there are no requirements for a player to select poor quality units, no ratios limiting the number of veteran/elite vs seasoned/conscript.  Thus, two players could just fight with small numbers of crack units if they wanted to. 

Here is the setup for the second game.   At first I wanted to make the stream impassable except at the bridges, but that would make for a dull game fought over two chokepoints, so I just made the stream difficult terrain (takes a full turn to cross).  The central hill has impassable terrain on the right (shown by the rock markers) but the centre/left can be climbed.   The Austrians set up first, holding the stream with their two infantry divisions and the cavalry in reserve to address any breakthroughs.

I gave the French on the right two batteries to hasten the chances of a breakthrough and tie up the Austrian cavalry, while the main French effort is on the left wing where the cavalry will support the infantry attack on the hill.

By turn three the game is well underway.   In the photo below, the black dice behind the French unit crossing the stream shows hits from the Austrian battery at the top.  Two hits in one turn will cause a unit to Halt, preventing it from charging and closing to combat in that turn, unless its commander wants to use a point of Elan to rally it so it can charge in the Combat phase.

You’ll also notice a numbered chit beside the French battery at bottom centre.  I like the optional rule in AE giving batteries ammunition limits (4 shots at full strength, 4 shots at half strength and then the battery is removed from play).  Otherwise, there is no incentive for the stronger player to not just smash the enemy into submission before going in for the kill, which is essentially how I used my Grand Battery in my first game with my son John.

Also notice the French infantry which has crossed the stream and will then CHARGE the Austrian line cavalry which failed its Activation roll to charge the French foot.   Say what?  Yes, the rules make no prohibitions against infantry charging cavalry, the deterrent being that if infantry not in square loses a combat with cavalry, then the infantry is destroyed.  Well, this is a test game, so I tried it, and the French foot won!  True grognards might shake their heads at that.

Having won the Combat,  the French infantry sidesteps into the wood on its next move, and allows the lancers behind to move up and finish off the Austrian horse in the next turn.  Lancers are Light Cavalry, so don't get a Charge Bonus vs Line Cavalry, but the rules didn't say anything about them getting their Lance bonus in the first round.  Therein is seen again one of the contradictions in AE, that a game for Big Battles still gives certain cavalry a weapon type bonus, but I guess the counter argument is why paint lancers if you can't have some fun with them?

With the centre shattered, the Austrians concede the game and begin their withdrawal.  Thus, a decisive result within an hour of play (plus another hour of reading and head scratching), which is in keeping with AE’s ethos of a fast game, a laugh, and a pint afterwards.

As you can see from these two battles, it doesn’t take long to figure out the basics, and AE delivers a fast result with a minimum of complexity.  I could certainly see it working for a quick game on club night.   

What didn’t I like about AE?   First, the rules feel hastily written.  I’ve already mentioned how the centrality of the Activation numbers is very quickly explained.  There are likewise some situations where I could find absolutely no guidance from the rules, particularly in Combat (Melee).  What happens when both sides score the same number of hits in Combat?  The rules say that if three hits are scored on a unit in Combat, it Recoils from Combat 1” and becomes Disorderd, so if both sides score 3 hits each I guess they both bounce back, but what if both sides only score 1 or 2 hits each in Combat? I scratched my head in vain.

Some people on Twitter defend the author and blame Osprey for a bad job of editing.  That may be, but the author does spend a lot of ink on design notes, often beating a straw man of overly complex rules that have burdened Napoleonics in past, and touting his simpler is better philosophy.  I would rather he have spent the ink making his rules clearer.

The Orders system likewise is interesting but ultimately seems unnecessary to me.   Corps can be ordered to Attack or Defend (fairly obvious), Hold (sit tight a set number of turns until they Attack something), Flank March (one order per side per game), or Retreat.    First, in a game system that boasts of being easy to play, an Orders system that hearkens back to the Naps rules of the 1980s and 1990s feels like a wrong turn.  Most of these Orders are obvious, and if one wanted to write overly specific orders (eg, attack the woods to the north of the village), that would be more detail than the spirit of the rules would seem to tolerate. Again, there are also some ambiguities.  Does a Flank March automatically succeed once the specified number of elapsed turns is reached?  Do the units in a Flank March appear anywhere on the specified flank of the table?  The rules suggest yes, the flankers appear where you want, when you want, as long as the turn number is written down ahead of time.  That would have made Grouchy’s life easier at Waterloo!

Finally, I wanted to like the Elan rules, and while it can be useful to take a re-roll or allow a unit to ignore a Halt result before a critical charge, I sometimes found myself forgetting the commanders altogether.  One could make them more vital with a house rule saying that units can only move if within command range of their Corps Cdr or their CinC.

I don’t want this review to seem harshly critical.   I commend Boyd Bruce, and anyone for that matter, for writing a set of rules and then for getting someone like Osprey to publish them.  AE would be a quick way to get a player new to Napoleonics into their first game and have some fun doing it.  It’s thus a useful entry into Naps wargaming, and could b adopted for fast pickup games when players can’t decide on more complicated rules systems.

For me, I found AE to be less than fully compelling.  If I wanted a crunchier rule system with some tactical considerations, with more experienced players, I’d consider Sam Mustafa’s LsSalle or Dave Brown’s General d’Armee.  If I wanted a set of rules for big battles where the units truly were Corps and Divisions, I would probably choose Mustafa’s Blucher.

All that being said, Absolute Emperor gets half a Mad Padre blessing.

There are lots of blog posts on AE out there:  here’s another perspective.




Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Games With John and James: Or, What I Did Over My Summer Holidays

Hello friends:

In my last post, I mentioned that I’d been fortunate enough to spend the month of August off, and besides some overnight trips with the lovely Joy, including taking her to Paris and too many wineries.  Besides Brantford County’s city of light on the Grand River, we headed east to Prince Edward County, near Kingston.   On the way we stopped in the river town of Belleville with its stone buildings along the river, hoping against hope that the Museum of the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment was open, but alas it has been shuttered since Covid.

The “Hasty Ps” as they are still fondly known are an active regiment in the Canadian Army Reserve.  They were the subject of Canadian author Farley Mowat’s memoir The Regiment, describing his service with the regiment in Italy.  I hope to get back here to see the museum post-Covid.


After a pleasant lunch in Belleville, onwards to nearby Picton, our base camp while we visited several excellent wineries.   The Niagara Peninsula is best known as Ontario’s wine country, but there are some stellar vintage to be found in PEC.  Our favourite was Karlo Estates, where we found some delicious reds in their charming barn/store.



Also found some delicious whites and serenity at Closson Chase.

Our hotel in Kingston offered a stunning view of Royal Military College, our equivalent to Sandhurst, West Point, and ADFA, as well as Fort Henry in the background.

Early morning walk allowed me to visit one of the Martello Tower fortifications surrounding Kingston’s harbour.  This is the Murney Redoubt, built in 1846.

Quite a solid piece of masonry!

During the last week of August I was delighted to spend a week with my son John, who I hadn’t seen since before Covid.  Despite a forest fire that had temporarily closed his local airport on Vancouver Island, and a long night camping in the terminal in Vancouver, John’s flight arrived.

One of the highlights of our visit was a weekend at my friend and podcast partner James Manto, keeper of the Rabbits in My Basement blog.  We got in two days of gaming, starting with Bag the Hun on James’ nifty custom-designed mat.  John and I flew some snazzy Spitfires, but our lack of coordination had us flying all over SW England.

 John did manage to knock down an ME 110, saving his dad from it hail of cannon fire.  I think we decided that the match was a draw.

Then a game of Sharp Practice using James’ stunningly good new Napoleonic figures.  James and John teamed up as a Bavarian (James) and French (John) force, while our friend Scott supplied the Austrians and French figures from his innumerable collection.  Here James shows John the fine art of stacking the deck.

 Scott’s Kaiserlicks advance steadily towards John, who doesn’t appear the slightest bit alarmed.  My Russian jaegers loiter calmly on the hill, keeping an eye on James’ lights in the building top right.

Russian light cavalry pile into James’ newly painted Bavarian cheveux legeres, who sadly suffer the fate of most newly painted units in their debut battle.

Things are heating up between Scott and John.  Both sides’ line infantry battered their oppos into a pulp, without much of a clear result until the end, when John’s French began to fold after their Level 3 leader caught one in the head.

Meanwhile, after trading away our light cavalry for little gain in return, James and I were content to spar at long range.  Russian gun trades shots with the Bavarians, spreading some shock but not adding much except smoke and decibels. 

, an

James was content to skulk in his nice stone buildings, and my Russians weren’t eager to die trying to evict the sausage munchers. 

In the last moments of the battle, Scott elected to throw his light cavalry into the fight.  As I’ve witnessed with a lot of new players of Sharp Practice, he quite overestimated their chances of success.  SP is a relentlessly tactical game.  When the numbers are mostly equal, foot with loaded muskets/rifles charged by cavalry to their front, can usually see the horse off.   Save your cavalry for picking off the groups with lots of shock, or work your horse around to the flanks or rear. 

 So a grand weekend of games and kind hospitality offered by James, thanks mate.  We also got in our usual Lord of the Rings themed game using the Dragon Rampant rules, which I’ll save for my Friday Fantasy feature.

Otherwise John and I had an all too brief time in which we did a few days of paddling and another day of cycling.   John pushed the old man hard and I didn’t admit my weakness, secretly chugging handfuls of Advil at night.



John’s home now and he is about to be the proud owner of a Warlord Games French and British Penninsular War starter sets and some nice fresh TFL Sharp Practice rules as a birthday present.  I’m excited that this young chap was impressed enough by his gaming holiday that he wants to make the jump from the GW world.  A few days after our weekend with James, I took John to my FLGS for another game of Sharp Practice, and he had totally mastered the rules.  In another Napeolonic game, with us as the French, we handily defeated an Anglican-Spanish force of better quality.  John skillfully used his two groups of voltiguers to harass and paralyze a cautious British player, and then brought up his formation of conscript infantry to deliver a Crashing Volley that broke the redcoats and earned us a handy win of 4-0 in Force Morale.  I hope it’s not another two years before I see him again.

I hope your summer holidays were as pleasant.


Tuesday, September 7, 2021

#TerrainTuesday: Repainting the Garrison Gazebo

Hello Friends:

Picking up the blog again after taking August off for some home projects, family visits, and a most enjoyable time with my son John who came out all the way from British Columbia on the West Coast to hang out with his dad.   I’ll have a report on What I Did On My Summer Holidays here shortly.

For now, to satisfy the entirely self-imposed demands of #TerrainTuesday, here’s a project that I dragooned my son into helping me with, the Mad Padre garrison garden gazebo that was sadly in need of cleaning, repainting and re-staining since it was built some twenty years ago.  Between the two of us we blasted it with a pressure washer, scraped and cleaned it, power-sanded it, painted and stained it, and generally refurbished it.  John was mostly cheerful about doing the work in the midst of late summer heatwave and was paid handsomely in beer.  The roof tiles show their age but the structure isn’t robust enough for the ladder work required.  Still, it looks rather good, I think, and the lovely Joy is grateful.

Since 1to1 terrain scale is a bit of a cheat, here’s a 6mm battlefield that I threw together just now to give Osprey’s Absolute Emperor fast-play big-battle Napoleonics rules another go before passing judgement.  Bit of a mix of stuff in this photo:  Paper Terrain roads, rubber river sections from Baccus, mostly Timecast bridges and buildings all on a Geek Villain grasslands mat.

Three Austrian corps will defend against a somewhat larger number of French who will have to cross the river and advance from bottom to top of the photo.

John and I have tried these rules a few times with smaller forces while he was here, so another go tonight solo and I’ll try to give my impressions on the rules on #NapoleonicsThursday.

Blessings to your tiny landscapes.


Blog Archive