Thursday, April 27, 2017

Fife and Drum meets Mr. Madison

  Fife and Drum Mets Mr. Madison's War




The following are my interpretation and rules clarification of the Fife and Drum rules set as used by me for War of 1812. For a copy of the Fife and Drum rules please follow the link http://fifeanddrum-minis.com/rules--articles.html


Move first, fire second, move second, fire first:  when it is your turn to fire remove all casualties from hits.  No, casualties removed do not get to return fire that was the advantage of firing first.

Retire facing or not facing enemy:  deduct 2" from move to retire with back towards enemy.  Half move to retire facing enemy or move sideways.

Charges or moving into melee:  during your move declare charge.  Defender tests morale, if pass they stand and can fire at charger if not retire column distance back shaken.  There is no charge move bonus.  Fight two rounds of melee then loser (most casualties) tests morale.  If pass then winner tests.  If both pass then both retire column move back.

Routing units effect on other units:  ignore friendly units routing past if router is lower morale.  Take morale test if equal or better morale.  

Multiple units in melee:  If two units vs one distribute casualties evenly to both units.

Wheeling regiments:   Wheels are made from the left, right, or center of the unit only.

Fences, small streams:  Units move up to them and stop move.  Next move you cross obstacles and continue your move. If both units are touching the same fence line and facing each other across it neither gets the benefit of the fence.

Artillery:  one operation costs 1/2 move, this included fire.  So you can limber and move half movement;  move full move if limbered; unlimber and fire Artillery cannot enter woods, need infantry to knock hole in fences to cross.  Any friendly unit within a friendly artillery arc of fire, if the arc of fire goes through two opposite sides of that friendly unit the artillery can not fire.  Arch of fire is measured  from cannon barrell, with of stand forward like a bowling alley

Difficult terrain (fields, Rocky ground): cost 2" for every 1" of movement in it

Woods; units stop movement at edge of woods.  They enter next turn (similar to fences).  Once in woods skirmishers troops (skirmishes or Indians)  move their full movement, while formed troops move half their movement.  Small arm range is half.  Only skirmishes get cover modifiers. Yes, it sucks for regulars in the woods (please ask General Braddock).

Indians:  always unformed, in mass formation (I.e. in a bunch).  No penalty to change direction.  In woods move full movement.  Units fired at by Indians for first time check morale.  In open clear terrain go one step down chart for firing and morale (if on line "C" use line "D").  Indians are not shock troops. They race about being obnoxious and scaring volunteers and militia who are not used to them.


Rockets:  roll  d10.
   10 = hit, one casualty and test morale.
6 - 9 = test morale
3 - 5 = miss
     2 =  hit nearest friendly unit test morale
     1 = rocket doubles back,  destroyed battery






Tuesday, April 25, 2017

American Brigadiers



  My American Army for Niagara 1814 is nearing completion.  Not that I will not be adding regiments, but close to what I had originally planned.  While most of my regiments have been spotlighted here one part I have neglected is the command.

  Knuckleduster Miniatures makes very nice mounted command figures of the American top commanders for this campaign.  Brown, Scott, Ripley and Porter are all done.  And very well at that.

Brigade Winfield Scott
1st Brigade

Brigade Porter
3rd Brigade


Brigade Ripley
2nd Brigade

Sunday, April 23, 2017

British Brigadiers



 Knuckleduster miniatures make a nice variety of mounted and dismounted command figures.  On the American side there are figures of Brown, Scott, Ripley, Porter and Johnson.  I have already posted pictures of these esteemed individuals (but not Johnson, yet)  with their brigades elsewhere on the blog.  There are also a very nicely done dismounted command group which would create a neat little vignette.

  On the British/Canadian side they make two versions of a mounted British Brigadier.  The first is wearing the old uniform with epaulette.   This looks to be a war worn individual who has seen it all and has a serious look about him. .  I plan on using him to portray Brigadier Joseph Morrison of the 89th Regiment who led a  brigade at Lundy s Lane where he was wounded.



  The second figure is wearing the more up to date uniform including aguellettes instead of epalettes.  He is waving his hat and looks like he could be encouraging his troops or directing a attack.   I plan on using him for acting brigadier Thomas Pearson of the 23rd RWF who commanded the 2nd or Light Brigade in 1814.  And if you have not yet read it do yourself a favorite and read Donald E. Graves excellent biography of this man, "Fix Bayonets."


Niagara Light Dragoons




  More cavalry gallop from my painting table this month!  For a war not known for gallant cavalry actions I have painted my share, this month of horses and riders!   To oppose my American Light Dragoons here are  Captain William Merritt and the first  troop of the Niagara Light Dragoons.


   The regiment was raised in 1813 and saw much active service.  Captain William Merritt, who was born in upstate New York a son of a Queens Ranger loyalist. From 1813 he led his troop in defense of their homesteads  including at the action of Stoney Creek.  They were especially active in the skirmishes wars in 1813 against the renegade Colonel Wilcox and his Canadian volunteers.  Captain Merritt was captured at Lundy's  Lane in 1814, by "six skulking fellows" during the fighting in the darkness.  He was interned at Pittsfield Massachusetts for the rest of the war.


   Little is know of the uniform of this regiment.  Locally raised from militiamen in the Niagara area.  Most were long service militiamen.  the regiment was equipped from British cavalry  stores. These issued items included light dragons swords and carbines, blue jackets with red collars and cuffs and tarleton style helmets.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

1st American Rifle regiment






Rifle armed regiments were a tradition in the American Army during the time of the Revolution.  The actions at Saratoga, Kings Mountain and The Cowpens were legendary in the American mind.  So it was that in the tiny United States Army one of the first regiments created were the 1st Rifle Regiment.


The regiment was armed with the Harper's Ferry rifle.  Volunteers were selected for there marksmanship.  Although there was a regulation uniform the regiment appeared more often in the field a green hunting shirt with buff trim.  Trousers were white or green.  Head gear was a bell shaped shako with yellow cords.  Equipment was black leather and the standard haversack and wooden water bottle.


Friday, April 21, 2017

1st American Light Dragoon regiment




The War of 1812 was not known for decisive cavalry actions.  Aside from the Battle of the Thames there were few if any massed cavalry charges that influenced battle outcome.  But being war games that will not stop players from hurling what cavalry there is into battle.  To assist them here is a small squad of the 1st American Light Dragoons.  I have mounted them individually to use as messengers and couriers which was there true role on the battlefield.  But until have no doubt they will part of many a glorious charge in the future.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Battle at The Mackenzie Brother's Farm



  I was invited to game night with my old club, the northern conspiracy.  They are a great bunch of people and they put on magnificent games.  Sad to say back about twelve years ago I had to drop out of the club due to a career change and new work hours.  So my return was very exciting and enjoyable for me.  I hope this will mark my return to the club.



 My game was set in the War of 1812 during the Niagara campaign.  A larger American force was advancing and needed to clear a road junction and two small farms owned by the brothers McKenzie (Bob and Doug).  The smaller British/Canadian forces needed to hold them up to buy time.  The rules used were Fife and Drum rules for the American Revolution.  Terrain was plentiful (perhaps too plentiful!) With a nice old school look to everything.

The British/Canadians commanders (Greg and Ralph) placed their  line troops (1st, 8th, 100th, 2nd Lincoln militia and Volunteers incorporated militia) defending a stone wall and a  long ridge line.
 Artillery was place along the road with clear fields of fire to the front.  The Light troops (Glengarry Light Infantry and Native American Indians) pushed forward in the woods.
 The plan was to use the woods and light troops to delay the American advance while the line troops held a good solid defensive position.

 The American forces (George, Kevin and Phil) divided their forces into three commands.  Kevin took Ripleys
brigade (1st, 21st and 23rd) and advanced along the right flank.  Phil took two battalions of Scott's brigade (9th and 11th)  and both guns and advanced on the left flank.
 George with two battalions of line 25th and 22nd)  and two battalions of volunteers (New York and Pennsylvania) would clear the woods and attack the enemy line.

  While the American right and left advanced quickly the center became bogged down against the pesky lights.  The Indians especially were obnoxious, advancing and retreating and causing
numerous moral checks. A house rule we added was frest time Indians fire at you you check morale.  
 Phil's advance on the left and his artillery placement finally caused the Glengarry's to fall back to the main British line.  The Indians followed and the American center finally came face to face with the British behind the stone wall.  On

the right flank the Lincoln militia bravely held the ridge while the American 1st brigade advanced on them.

 Kevin attacked the militia and drove them off the ridge.  But Greg caused numerous casualties and caused two American battalions to go shaken.  In the center
George charged the main British line, over running one of the guns.  But the splendid 100th Regiment of Foot behind the stone wall won the melee against the volunteers and regulars.  By this time it was time to pack up.  Both sides felt the britidh/canadians had held up the Americans and could now withdraw with honour.

  After the game all agreed it was a good time.  The rules played well, but local additions and interpretation will be added for the next time.  I put too much terrain out which slowed the game down.  A lesson for next time.    I am most happy with the "look" of the project.  Big battalions of six stands of four figures each with a nice old school style terrain and rules.  Terrain is practical but visually attractive.  The rules play well and capture the feel of the period.  All in all a good effort and I hope to put on another game soon.  It was grand being back and I look forward to playing with my old friends soon.  Thank you for inviting me.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Rebased Artillery Stands



  The problems with any forums or blogs are you get inspired my other people's work.  In my case, always looking for how things "look" I can get carried away.  This is one case in point.

  On a site I was very taken by how one person based their artillery.  They were on round bases.  In all my war game experience I have always based my artillery on rectangular bases.  My friends have always based their on rectangular bases.  But here was something very different.  For some reason this really took my fancy.  And I was off!

  So at Cold wars I got new bases.  And, since
I just had to of course I had to get more gunners to do it right (and paint more gunners).  Four gunners look so much better then two gunners per stand.

Here are the new artillery.  Again I think they look neat.  They were thrown into the fight last night but that is a topic for my next post.




Monday, April 3, 2017

THE UNFORTUNATE DEATH OF MAJOR ANDRE - Official Trailer



  A bit silly, but great fun.  Besides I missed April fools day.

  What if you had a bunch of friends with Rev War uniforms and decided to make a movie.  That appears to be the background of this trailer.  My guess is the film never actually got made.  Too bad, it looked interesting.  Also it has great lines!  How many can you use in your next game?



https://vimeo.com/79040464

Friday, March 31, 2017

Von Germann and Stephen Strach



Captain Friedrich von Germann served in the  Hesse-Hanau regiment during the Saratoga campaign of 1777.  One of the many German auxiliary troops hired to fight during  the American Revolution by the British he arrived in Canada in 1776 and was present at the surrender at Saratoga 1777.

During the war, he painted a series of watercolors of American, British, and German soldiers. Most students of uniforms or the Saratoga campaign are familiar with his watercolors usually through the copies which are in the New York Public Library.  But these  are most likely 19th-century copies of von Germann’s watercolors, possibly by the artists E. Sack and Kail (whose names appear on the drawings). They were commissioned by the New York historian William Leete Stone to illustrate a personal copy of his translation of “Memoirs, and letters and journals, of Major General Riedesel during his residence in America.”

The late historian Stephen G. Strach located and had copies made of many of the original watercolors.  Stephen was a amazing researcher and historian with the National Park Service.  I was honoured to work with him on the American Battlefield  Protection Program and on various details to Saratoga National Historical Park.  I learned more from him and his wealth of knowledge then any other historian I worked with.  An battlefield walk of the Freeman Farm area helped to better understand the action there and will live on in my memoires.

 The original water colors are located in the archives of the city of Brunswick in Germany.  There were more water colors done then previously though and additional views of other British regiments were available.  Stephen had been working on a history of von Germann and his water colors as well as the uniforms of the Saratoga campaign.  He was kind enough to share with me many of these water colors, and I promised to not share these until his publication.  Unfortunately his untimely death in 2005 ended the project and our friendship.

I recently found the copies of the von Germann water colors Stephen gave me.  As he will not be publishing his work I feel I can now share these wonderful and informative water colors.  I hope that they can be of use to students of the Saratoga campaign.  My only request is please give credit to Stephen G. Strach for finding and placing these in the public view.  I hope it is one small way I can help my late friend and perpetuate his memory.  Thank you.