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

Saturday 23 January 2021

Hooptedoodle #383 - License to Kill

 I'm still coming to terms with the changes in US politics. I feel that I have spent enough time, words and worry on the former President, so I offer this farewell thought. Maria Muldaur sings Bob Dylan's song. 

Right now, to me this feels kind of holy. I'll say no more on the topic.

Tuesday 19 January 2021


 Moving swiftly on (before I get a glimpse of Mr Trump's pardons and have an aneurism), here's a workmanlike wargaming picture. My original reasoning for my WSS basing scheme was that, since the units only have 3 bases and they'll be doing some Old School tactical manoeuvring, I wouldn't bother with sabots, though I've become very used to using them of recent years.

After just a few test games, I confess I have changed my mind. Sabots there will be. They will not be magnetised, and - since my cunning WSS base sizes give a standard footprint (approximately) - I have adopted a one-size-fits-all plain sabot. Current thinking is that sabots will be a resource for the battlefield, and will be issued when needed. My Napoleonic units each have their own magnetised sabot, and they spend their lives on them, so this is a conscious departure from my standard system.

Because the sabots are a bit long and narrow, I was worried that 2mm MDF might warp if painted on one side only. I ordered in some samples from Uncle Tony Barr at East Riding Minis, and am pleased to find that they give no problems, so a bigger order will be on its way.

 Here's a quick photo, to give the idea. These should save time and broken bayonets.

Infantry and cavalry in line or column of march - even one of my strange limbered batteries 


Oh yes - dondaine. One of the many French nursery rhymes my mother taught me when I was an infant was En Passant par la Lorraine, a lengthy tale of a peasant girl who may or may not have captured the heart of the King's son (the song has a quirky, uncertain ending) through her fetching appearance, complete with clogs. This song contains the chorus hook-line:

avec mes sabots, dondaine,
oh! oh! oh! avec mes sabots

I have never been able to find out what dondaine means - and still haven't really got to the bottom of it. I am assured by one of my French relatives that in fact it means nothing - it is just a song-filler expression (equivalent to "tra-la-la" or, I suppose, "hey-nonny-no"). That's kind of an anticlimax after all those years of wondering, but I guess life is a bit like that.

If anyone knows different, please shout.

Here's a noble rendition of the song - just to prove it exists. I am confident you will not last to the end of the clip, but - take my word for it - this version only uses about half the verses my mother taught me. Obviously French kids had a good attention span in the days before Instagram.