Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, with a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Sunday, 27 December 2020

WSS Flags - looking for clues

 Very quick post today - I'm looking for a bit of information, if anyone can help. I don't think this is at all complicated, but I've read different opinions on this topic, and am uncertain about what to do.

 
Photo of flags of a French regiment from someone else's army, someone else's blog. Two flags is a nice look - colonel's colour on the left here - is this applicable to all battalions in a French regiment?

My emerging WSS armies use a vanilla, one-size-fits-all-nations establishment scheme. I know that this is probably not awfully clever, but the convenience suits me nicely.

In particular, my infantry battalions consist of 3 bases; two of these have 5 other ranks and 1 officer/NCO (and one of these two bases may contain grenadiers, depending on national practice), and the third one contains 3 other ranks, a standard, a drummer and a mounted colonel.

I'm now starting to plan for the French and British contingents. For each of these nations, I am tempted to be swayed by "the look of the thing" and go for 2 standards per battalion. Now that I've started to read about the French, it is suggested that a regiment's first battalion should carry the colonel's (white) colour and the ordnance (patterned) colour, but the other battalions did not carry the colonel's colour, so that my planned two-battalion French regiments would have 2 flags for the first battalion, but only 1 for the second.

Of course, I've also read sources which say two for each. I'm happy to do two for each anyway, but wondered if there are any strong views? All ideas welcome!


Thursday, 24 December 2020

WSS: The Missing Flag Appears

 Quick footnote to yesterday's game - I've now fitted a 75cm (in scale!) flag to the Imperial C-in-C stand, and photos are necessary. I've also added the requisite magnetic sheet, and the chaps are now safely stored away with their army in the Really Useful Boxes.

I'm pleased because getting this group painted and based has been another hanging-around task, but am also interested because it gave me a chance try out some combinations of figure makers.

Here they are - the gentleman in the brown (civilian) coat is the boss - he could be Prince Eugene himself if it weren't for the moustache. Mind you, old PE wore some pretty outrageous wigs, so a false muzzer can't be completely out of the question? - maybe it was Mo-vember?


The commander is a Les Higgins casting on a Higgins horse, which is an obvious and standard arrangement hereabouts; the adjutant in the blue coat is an Irregular casting on an SHQ (ECW period) horse, and the standard bearer is Irregular on a Hinton Hunt ECW horse, and I'm delighted to see that these all work nicely, and are happily compatible with each other.

 


The flag - if you have exceptional eyesight - is the correct edition of the arms of the Holy Roman Empire for the time of Leopold I. It would be a terrible thing, I'm sure you'll agree, if I had got that wrong.


Wednesday, 23 December 2020

WSS: Playtest at Mönchröden - the Game

 Yesterday's playtest by Zoom went ahead - Goya very kindly commanded the Austrians. The game went quite nicely - I'm a little disappointed by how some bits of the rules played out, but that was the whole point of the exercise, and the labs are tooling up to engineer some fixes! The photos of the initial set-up can be found in my previous post.

General photo, quite early in the action, showing the legendary General Graf Von Fugger lining up the Cuirassiers of Jung-Darmstadt and Gronsfeld, next to the small village of Hopf, which was manned by the 2nd battalion of the I.R Scharfenstein. A minor spoiler: the cavalry pictured here eventually won the day for the Emperor Leopold.


Playtest for Prinz Eugen - Mönchröden 1703

 

Imperial Forces

 

GL Graf von Limburg-Styrum

 

Cavalry Bde (Fugger): Cuirassier Regts Gronsfeld and Jung Darmstadt and Aufseß Dragoons (3 sqns each)

 

Brigade Mercy : Infantry regts of Lothringen and Thürheim (2 bns each)

 

Brigade Bibra: Infantry Regts of Scharfenstein and Baden-Baden (2 bns each)

 

Company of field artillery plus 3 light battalion guns

 

 

Bavarian Forces

 

Elector Maximilien of Bavaria

 

Cavalry Bde (Arco): Cuirassier Regt Arco and Monasterol Dragoons (3 sqns each)

 

Cavalry Bde (Wolframsdorf): Leibgarde Regt and Santini Dragoons (3 sqns each)

 

Brigade Lützelburg: Infantry regts: Leibregiment and Bettendorf  (2 bns each), Lützelburg and Boismorel Grenadiers (1 bn each)

 

Brigade Maffei: Infantry regts: Haxthausen, Spilberg, Octfort, Tattenbach, Leib Grenadieren, Maffei (1 bn each)

 

2 Companies of field artillery

 

Status: All field artillery units 2; Bavarian Leib Grenadieren and Leibgarde zu Pferd 4; all else 3


The Bavarian infantry got themselves all sorted out into line, safely out of range, and started to advance on the Imperial position. The Boismorel "Red Grenadiers" in evidence - first time out - surely things were bound to go well for them?....

Over to their right, near the village of Sankt Johann am Röden, more infantry are busy countermarching, under the watchful eye of the Elector and his staff. The leading column has just come under fire from the Austrian battery opposite, of which more later.

View along the Austrian line, from their left. Fugger's cavalry getting organised on this flank.

 
And here comes the Bavarian infantry attack - the bad news is that it was directed at some earthworks which the Austrians had dug the night before, but it was a playtest, after all, and everyone was keen to see what happened.
 

General Maffei (yellow coat) is devastated to watch the I.R D'Octfort rapidly accumulating hits from the artillery opposite, especially with the Elector looking on.

Back to the left flank - here goes! - in goes the charge - head first into the earthworks...

 
Oo-yah! That didn't go awfully well - both units repulsed and shaken.
 
Meanwhile, on the other flank, not much is happening, but attention must be drawn to the Austrian battery on the ridge, marked with an ivory counter. This unit performed absolute miracles with the firing dice - all at long range, they quickly eliminated one infantry unit and an enemy battery. It was quite late in the game before this battery missed a shot. If this sounds like a severe glitch in the rules, let me reassure you that the Bavarian artillery, on the other hand, never hit anything all day. Chance does even out a bit over time, but sometimes the balance is not shared fairly by the two sides!

Things pretty quiet still at St Johann - the troops there not keen to venture out to face the artillery fire?

1/Bettendorf still not happy at all following their experience at the earthworks - they refused to rally, and eventually were swept away by the Imperial horse at  the end of the day.

 
The Elector and his staff admire his troops at St Johann - note the grenadiers in the background, performing warm-up exercises for throwing grenades.

 
On the other side of the village, GM Wolframsdorf has his cavalry brigade all ready, waiting for orders. Household cavalry [Status 4!] in blue, Santini Dragoons in red.

  

Somewhere across the valley, the Imperial C-in-C stand is present, smelling of fresh varnish. FM Styrum definitely displeased that the expected Imperial flag did not arrive in time - I've promised that I'll post a photo when the flag is done. It's only a small flag, for goodness sake.

 

Back at the earthworks, the Bavarian horse has sneaked around the end - General Arco with his own regiment of cuirassiers about to eliminate some of the Emperor's boys from Lorraine. Yes - they should have designed the earthwork with end-bits, shouldn't they? [note technical terminology - I've been reading Chris Duffy again] 

And Arco's brigade subsequently continued their attack on the Austrian right flank - the cuirassiers are on the right, Monasterol's Dragoons on the left - the cuirassiers did rather better in their melee. This is significant since it gives further evidence that dragoons are probably best when not used in this role, and also serves notice that these cuirassiers did very well, with a string of successes, taking the VP count from a 4-1 deficit to 5-5 [very nearly winning the day all on their own] and will be the chief argument for a major revision of the melee rules subsequently, so it is to be hoped that they enjoyed the experience.

Still at it - the Arco boys continue on their merry way - here they are at this end of the picture, about to take out a battalion of the Thürheim regiment from the flank.

 
But Fugger, with the Jung-Darmstadt cuirassiers, mopped up enough damaged infantry units to win the day for the Emperor. His late bid for man-of-the match failed because he was overshadowed by the Holy Roman Artillery mentioned earlier.

 
Some of the Elector's reserve troops, disappointed not to have figured more prominently, are left with nothing to do. The Empire has won 6-5...

 
...as you see.

General view from behind the Austrian left, at the end of the game. Not much happened on this flank, but the Sacred Battery is still in position (practising misses at this stage), and Fugger's horse have cleared the area in front of the ridge, at the far end of the table.

Goya has promised (no - too strong - has offered) to send his thoughts on the rules. There were definite clunkinesses in a couple of areas. The game was still OK, in fact, but there were times when I was distracted, thinking what a nice, smooth, logical game Commands & Colors is. I'm sure it will be fine - I'm not really discouraged, but  there is a fair amount of sorting out to do. I'll put a rules discussion in a subsequent post.

If I don't get that published before Christmas, I hope everyone has a relaxing time. All good wishes!







Monday, 21 December 2020

WSS: Playtest Set-Up

 Tomorrow, technology and health permitting, I hope to try another playtest with my homebrewed WSS rules. These have been modified since the last playtest session, so we'll see what's what. I'm working to try to get a C-in-C stand completed in time for the Imperialist force - they may have to take the field without a flag. They won't mind - reduces the risk of getting it captured.

 
Initial position - Austrians (on the left) in a prepared position near Mönchröden.
 
 
Neither they nor the opposition will get the advantage of platoon firing, but the Austrians do have some battalion guns - just saying.
 
 
View from the other end of the table - the Elector of Bavaria's troops (on our left) emerge from the woods to find the Imperial forces waiting for them. Hmmm.
 
 
 


Friday, 18 December 2020

WSS: Quick, Snappy Parade

You want it good, or you want it Thursday?

[Nelson Riddle]

 

I was sorting out some flags and putting the finished boys in a better order in the boxes. Since I am now about a year into this project, I thought some commemorative photos would be appropriate. Time is a bit short this morning, since I have to go to get my car fixed, so there will some grumbling in the ranks about order of precedence and all that, but here are my Austrian and Bavarian armies for circa 1703, in their current state.

The Austrians - they are due to get a proper command stand for the C-in-C, and there are two battalions in mid-refurb, otherwise we are just about there.

The Bavarians - nothing in the to-do list for these chaps, so I guess they are done for Phase 1

Next up? - well I'm keen to get some siege and fortress artillery done, so they can join in with Vauban's Wars, and (to be strictly honest) the Austrians and Bavarians could each use an extra regiment of horse, and after that I have a lot of French and British troops to sort out. Team photos are reassuring - it reminds me that a lot has been done! Many thanks to Goya for help with infantry painting.

No social distancing in 1703.

Saturday, 12 December 2020

A Little WSS Painting, and Some Light Reading Matter on Peninsular Sieges...

 Even by my standards, this is probably going to be a fairly shambolic post as far as structure goes. If you're up for it, here goes.


First off, I have finally painted up the dismounted contingent of my first unit of Imperial dragoons for the WSS - nothing remarkable, in any sense, but they have been hanging around, unpainted, getting on my nerves, for some months. The figures are 20mm Irregular castings. The unit is the Aufseß Dragoons, who were not Austrian, but from the Frankischer Kreis. The mounted chaps came from the Eric Knowles hoard, so my task was merely to paint the dismounted element to look fairly similar to Eric's brushwork. OK - good - all based and magnetised and in the official Very Useful Boxes.

Otherwise, I have mostly been continuing my work on preparing for some serious testing and rehearsing of some siege games. The big recent change, of course, has been the eventual publication of Eric Burgess's Vauban's Wars. All very good - I am on my third read-through and I have copious notes, getting ready to go. At this point it gets just a little complicated...

The obvious starting point would be some actual Vauban-style warfare, for which my new WSS armies would be ideal, except that, as yet, I do not have any proper siege artillery for them (though, of course, I soon shall). They could borrow some ECW units to help out, I guess, but that would be a disappointingly shabby compromise for a first effort. Therefore, by default, I shall start off with some Peninsular War actions, for which I have more than enough troops - even the specialists.

In preparation for this magnificent stage in my wargaming development, I have been collecting bits of fortresses, and mortars, and engineers, and all sorts, for ages, and have spent years reading about the sieges in the Peninsular War. The immediate issue arising here is that most of what I have read has been a collection of heavily British narratives about Ciudad Rodrigo (though only the successful Anglo-Portuguese siege, of course), and Badajoz (same qualifier), and Burgos, and San Sebastian - plus snippets about the Salamanca forts and so on.

Nothing wrong with any of this, of course, but two points come straight out of the woodwork:

(1) There were a great many sieges in the Guerra de la Independencia, of which only a few involved the British army. Having read more widely, and given a free choice, I would dearly love to follow the adventures of Marshal Suchet, conquering all those exotic Spanish-held towns in the North East - Tarragona, Tortosa, all that. There were the French assaults on Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz, as well, not to mention Sarragossa and some real biggies. OK - that's all excellent - plenty of variety.

(2) Spain and Portugal were relatively poor countries, and never had the resources (or priority) to carry out major programmes of modernisation of their fortresses. If you are looking for something like a modern, Vauban-approved style of fort, then there were very few - Almeida is one passable example. The range of defensive architecture involved was remarkable - which, again, is good for the student and the gamer because of the variety and because of the exotic places involved. Astorga was basically a Roman fortress in 1809, and there were medieval and Moorish-style castles all over the place, with greater or lesser degrees of improvement. 

Here you go - Vauban himself might have recognised Almeida as a viable fortress, though not when the magazines blew up...

Ciudad Rodrigo, as an example, had been modernised (a bit) in 1776 - the old, high, masonry walls were masked by the placement of fausse-braies in front of them - which served to give some protection from siege guns in the plains surrounding the town, but did not achieve the same amount of security from guns placed up on the Teson heights. Gradual patching-up of old fortresses to cope with the increasing power and potential of modern cannon was always going to be difficult, and these botched-together forts were not wonderful - that is why the style of the sieges tended to be "quick and dirty" - Vauban would have been surprised at the rushed timescales and the relative lack of science.

One other thing to think about is that the fausse-braie add-ons were usually made of earth. That's pretty crude, on the face of it, but the great thing about earthworks is that you can fire cannonballs at them all day without knocking them down, so additional tricks of the trade were developed - if you really wanted a hole in the enemy's earth banks, explosive howitzer shells were a necessary part of the assault. If you wanted to dig parallels in the dead of night, you had to use big parties of infantry to get the work done.


That's enough of this sketchy walk-through, I think. I've been doing a lot of reading (I seem to have acquired quite a lot of books over the years), and have enjoyed it thoroughly. One thing for sure is that it would be a bad idea for me to put a huge effort into tweaking Eric Burgess's excellent game right at the outset to cope with the local weirdnesses of the Peninsula, and thus I plan to move onto some proper Vauban-type gaming as early as possible. On the other hand, I have been very interested in the Peninsular War's sieges for a long time, and I am delighted to gain a little more understanding of how they worked.

Many of my English-language books consist extensively of quotes from each other. The most valuable original source (if you are happy to read French) is JV Belmas' Journaux des Siéges Faits ou Soutenus par les Français dans la Péninsule, de 1807 à 1814, published in 4 volumes in 1836. This is (or recently was) available as a set of pdf files from Google Books; if you are really interested and can't find a downloadable copy, get in touch and I may be able to provide some extra information. There are copious tables of equipment, ammunition consumed, losses, materials captured, OOBs and so on. Sadly there are no maps, though Lipscombe's atlas can provide some useful back-up.


Sunday, 6 December 2020

Hooptedoodle #381 - Granny Farr & the Strangers

 This tale is based upon a single - and unexplained - entry in the Accounts and Proceedings of the Council of the Town and Parish of Lancaster, in the County of Lancashire, dated 17th November 1621. The entry is signed by the Clerk of the Council, one Jeremiah Archibald. 


The Accounts contain no subsequent reference to the matter. Neither the strangers referred to nor Mr Joseph Smallbone were ever found, as far as we know.

 


The room was hot, and very noisy - a fire burned in the hearth, and everyone seemed to be speaking at once. The Clerk of the Council rose to his feet and shouted for order. 

 

"If it please the Council - my Lords, gentlemen, they are bringing in Mistress Farr now..." 


And Jean Farr duly appeared - she was rather frail, and her shoulders trembled slightly as she was led to a chair opposite Sir Thomas. 


"Mistress Farr," said the Clerk, "this is Sir Thomas Fanshawe, who is Member of the Parliament for this town, and who chairs today's Council meeting. Gentlemen, my Lords, Mistress Farr is cook and housekeeper for the Reverend Musgrave." 


Old Jean said something, but it was inaudible in the general din. Sir Thomas, removing his hat, rose to his feet and bowed slightly, and raised his hand for quiet. 


"Granny Farr," he said, "I know you well - you and your late husband worked at the home of my father, and I know you to be of good character. I trust and hope that the Good God has granted you health and strength? I need you to help us resolve this odd business about these strangers - it has certainly become the currency of every market stall and alehouse in the town, and the tale becomes more unholy by the minute. Since you are the only person who seems to have met and spoken to them, I shall be very pleased if you will tell me what happened - we need to know who these people are, how they got here, without any knowledge of the Town Guard, and where they have gone. Firstly, if you will, do you know why they chose the Reverend Musgrave's house to call upon?" 


The noise had now diminished to the point where Jean's voice was audible - it wavered a little, but was quite strong and clear. 


"My Lord, if it please you, they said they knew the Minister's home, being a large building, must be the dwelling of an important person. I told them that Mr Musgrave was gone on business to West Derby, but they gave me a gift for him and made a short address - their accents were strange, but I could understand most of what they said." 


"And what did they say, Granny? - what do you remember about them?" 


"They arrived in some sort of carriage - I did not see them approaching, until they knocked at the kitchen door." 


"Pray tell us of this carriage - how many wheels? - how many horses?" 


"Neither horses nor wheels, My Lord, it was black, and square, and it shone like glass - about the size of a small coach, but without windows or fastenings - I did not see it closely, but I knew it was strange. Unfamiliar." 


"Please go on, Granny - what about the visitors themselves?" 


"They looked very peculiar, My Lord - I told the Constable all this..." 


"Yes, yes, Granny, I have the Constable's account here - I need you to tell me what you saw, so that I may better understand this mystery." 


"There were two of them, My Lord - they were tall, they were men, I believe, though their clothes were peculiar - they had pantaloons which reached to their feet, they wore no coats or cloaks, they were without beards, their heads were bald - shaved, I think - and they had pictures and patterns painted on their skin."

 

"Pictures? Religious images?" 


"Nay, My Lord, they seemed to be some form of decoration - flowers and artistic forms." 


"Hmm - and why did they say they had come?" 


"They seemed to be upset, they were arguing with each other all the time - they asked me twice what was the date, and they said the year was wrong, though I am certain I told them the truth. They said they had come from not far away, but from a long way in a different age - from the future, they said, though I know not what they meant." 


The background chatter sprang up once more, but Sir Thomas silenced it with a glare. 


"Please go on, Granny..." 


"They gave me a box, which they said was a gift from our descendants - it would help us rid ourselves of the plague, they said." 


"The box is before you on the table, My Lord," interjected the Clerk. 


The box was about the size of a man's head - without any markings. Sir Thomas lifted a flap and put his hand inside, and removed a number of shiny, cylindrical beads with rounded ends - all identical, each about the length of his thumbnail, with one end coloured yellow and the other crimson. He looked at a few of them, in the palm of his hand, and rolled them onto the tabletop. 


"There must be many thousands of these in here," he said. "Do we know what they are?" 


The Constable, Simon Chaffell, rose to his feet. 


"If it please your Lordship, as yet we do not know. They do not seem to be any kind of explosive device." 


"Thank you, Master Chaffell," said Sir Thomas, "I shall come to you in a moment, if you will - in the meantime, let me resume my questions of Mistress Farr. Granny, please tell us what happened next?" 


"Well, My Lord, I was going to prepare for them some bread and meat, and a little ale, after their journey, but they began to shout loudly, and they ran out into the kitchen garden, and up the hill towards the Mercat - they were very upset because their coach had gone without them..." 


Sir Thomas gestured towards the Constable. 


"Chaffell, can you tell us what happened?" 


"Well, Sir Thomas, the Widow Lalsworth was watching from her window opposite, and she saw two youths playing around the coach - Young Joseph Smallbone and his friend, the Fool Michael." 


"The Fool Michael?" 


"Yes, Sire, a simpleton who lives down at the Barnlands near the Nether Gate - he spends much of his time with Smallbone, who is a thief and a prankster, who does not work and never attends the church..." 


"I understand - please go on - what did Mistress Lalsworth see?" 


"She said that she saw Smallbone interfering with the coach - he climbed upon it, and went inside it. Then there was a strange sound - like music, the Widow says - and the coach disappeared. Then the strangers came out of Mr Musgrave's garden, shouting, and chased the Fool up the hill towards the Mercat Cross. We have searched for them since two days now, and alerted all the watch, but no sign has been found. We have examined the place where the coach stopped - there are no tracks of wheels or animals - there are only three round depressions in the earth where it rested. Otherwise the ground is undisturbed." 


"Thank you, Chaffell - I am concerned that these strangers, in such an unusual vehicle, could have entered though the gates of the town without being seen - I trust that they will be apprehended if they attempt to leave. I understand that there has been no sign of Smallbone, either? We must keep this "gift" in a secure place, in case they return, and perhaps we might examine some of these beads more closely. I would really like to know what these things are. Do you have any ideas, Constable?" 


"None, My Lord - perhaps they are some kind of religious offering, or gems of some kind? I know that Mistress Farr has some thoughts about this." 


At an enquiring glance from Sir Thomas, Old Jean spoke up. 


"I know this is without sense, My Lord, but I think they may be some kind of money." 


"Money? - they do not look like any kind of money I have seen, Granny." 


"Yes, My Lord, but the strangers told me that these beads are called Penny-Shillings in their country, and are highly prized."  



 

 

 

Monday, 30 November 2020

Creeping Elegance: Everyone Switch Units (Musical Sabots)

Creeping Elegance is a general classification here - any odd sorting-out or reorganising jobs which are not obviously a high priority, but which still irritate me when they don't get done.

It's easier to get on with it when there are several reasons all pushing in the same direction - i.e. the planets align (which doesn't happen very often).

For a while I've had the following in mind:

(A) There are a few units in my French army which acquired a 3rd battalion at some point. My improvised house standard for these French 3rd battalions seems to have stipulated that they have no mounted officer and no eagle - I can't remember why, maybe I was short of command figures at the time. Yes, quite. Subsequently I changed my mind - I decided I already had a real, serious house standard, which is that the infantry of my French army in the Peninsula will consist of divisions, each of which has 2 brigades and a battery; each of these brigades will comprise 2 regiments, plus a converged mini-battalion of voltigeurs from these regiments; each of the regiments will have 2 battalions. Not 3, 2. 

(B) Some of my battalions do not please me, because their appearance does not match up to the rest of the army. A case in point is provided by 2 battalions of old 20mm Garrison fellows, some of them recasts, which I've had since 1971 or so and which I've always thought I should upgrade sometime.

(C) Fairly new idea - I need to raise some more little 12-man battalions for my developing siege games.

So I've decided that I can rationalise much of this in one go - thus:

(i) The 1/50e Ligne (apart from their command figures) are of these old Garrisons - if I combine the Les Higgins rank and file from the unwanted 3/50e with the command from the 1/50e then they can become a new, rather smarter 1/50e, and the Garrison troops thus released can be reallocated (very appropriately, in fact) to siege duties. Good. They'll be happy there. The idea of making the 3rd battalion into the new 1st battalion works for me, but I suspect that the 2nd battalion will be furious when they find out.

(ii) Similarly for the 59e Ligne, except that they previously did not have a 3rd battalion, so the replacement Higgins troops for the 1/59e will come from the (unwanted) 3e/15e. The Garrison boys will go for siege basing, as for the 50e.

(iii) The 3rd battalions of the 6e and 25e Léger can also be released, to be allocated to forthcoming Divisions which are in the Refurb Queue.

This is the revamped 1st battalion for the 59e Ligne - the command figures were previously surrounded by Garrison men for many years, and the replacement Higgins rank and file have arrived from the (now defunct) 3/15e.


Here are the troops released to be rebased for siege games - mostly Garrisons - some old friends here!


So I've done the necessary basing adjustments and unit labelling, I've taken new photos for the Napoleonic Catalogue, and I've adjusted the sabot numbering slightly so that the battalions may still be placed consecutively in The Cupboard. So far, I seem to have done everything correctly, though I am half expecting to find two units with the same catalogue number in The Cupboard.

Time to have a cup of tea and read for a while. Nice sunny day here - freezing cold, mind you. 


***** Late Edit *****

Pensioners: some grenadiers from the old Garrison battalions, now re-based and ready for siege duties.

***************

Thursday, 26 November 2020

FoB Giveaway - The Denouement

Since interest in my offer of my copy of Piquet's Field of Battle (2nd Edition) was limited to start with, and has fizzled out a couple of days ago, I've decided to default on the stated Terms & Conditions, and close now.


This was pretty much what I had expected - Piquet devotees will mostly have invested in the 3rd Edition already, so the enquiries I received were from people who were interested to have a look and see what it's all about.

Apart from a couple of comments which come under the general heading of "banter", I received four serious requests. As always, I had asked for some far-fetched or otherwise entertaining reason why each applicant deserved to receive the giveaway, which, as always, no doubt delighted me more than the contributors. I have to say, everyone did themselves proud; specially mentioned is Neil, who eloquently expressed the hopes and trepidations which a possible acquaintance with Piquet generated; however, the winner is the famous Chris Grice, author, celebrity, eco-warrior and all-round good egg, who produced a detailed and impassioned explanation of how he is having his house altered to allow greater scope for domestic wargaming, which would be helped enormously by the arrival of some rules which lend themselves to solo gaming.

A postal package will be arranged forthwith, if not fifthwith - thanks to everyone who took part or thought about doing so.

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Featherstonia: Donald Featherstone's "Rules for Wargames in the 1880 Period Including Colonial Warfare"

Once again I must offer my most sincere thanks to the mighty Albannach for supplying another instalment of vintage rules, originally available through Wargamer's Newsletter.

These are quite substantial - Old School but detailed. I was particularly interested in the last section, on "Natives versus Disciplined Troops".



















I hope you enjoy these - please bear in mind that they are a product of their time, and should be read as such.

Once again, Iain, many thanks for helping keep the blog afloat!