Thursday, August 17, 2017


After watching the Spitfire that landed here at Worcester airport the other day I wanted to learn more about it.  What I found out was truly amazing.

Supermarine Spitfire MK.IX tail number BR601 first flew in June 16, 1942.  It was the sixth conversion from a model M.V into a MK.IX.  During its history it flew 116 combat missions and was piloted by two aces.  These were Australian ace Tony Gaze who had 12.5 victories and also Colin Grey from New Zealand who had 27.5 victories.
So what I saw landing the other day was a true piece of history in front of me.

For more on BR601 and it's long distinguished history please see the Collin's foundation website.  Here is a link with much more details:

And if you are in the area please come to the Worcester airport on September 22 - 24, 2017 to see many of these restored aircraft fly once again.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Always something interesting at Worcester airport!

At work the other day, while waiting for flight 2020 to land a customer ask what kind of aircraft that was that just landed.  Distracted by printing off the flight dispatch and other items for the arriving flight I mentioned that there are a number of small private planes which use the airfield.  Turning to look out the window I was shocked to see a Spitfire!  It had just landed and was taxiing past us and up to the hanger.

  The  spitfire is owned by the Collins Foundation.  It is part of a fleet of aircraft and other vehicles from WW2.  Turns out they rotated smaller aircraft around the country for air shows. There are a few others coming in soon.  If you are interested there will be a show here at the Worcester Massachusetts airport the weekend of September 22 to 24.  More information to follow.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Mr Madison's War rules for War of 1812

These rules for gaming the War of 1812 originally started out as a set of rules for The American Revolution by Jim Purkey at Fife and Drum miniatures.  These are offered free on his miniature site.  I liked them, and made a few changes to better reflect the new time period.  In addition i have posted a few clarifications and additions here to how we play the game.

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 sides pass then attacked is considered to have failed to push back defender from their position.  The attacker retired one column move back towards their line facing the enemy.   

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

Here is a link to Jim's blog where he explains how to play his rules.  Very well done explanation with clear examples of play.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Loose Files & American Scramble Quick Reference Sheet


I found this quick reference sheet on the internet. My favorite Rev War set of rules which have given me great games for a very long time. As I will be posting a couple of my Rev War battles soon readers may like to try these out. I have added a few house house rules we used over the years.  Hope you enjoy!

 I believe these were done by Vincent Tsao and can be found here:

Order of Play in a Turn (all movement is simultaneous)

  1. Compulsory Retreats/Routs following combat in previous turns.
  2. Calculate Morale effects provoked by 1 above.
  3. Firing
  4. Allocate Command Points. Move commanders and couriers.
  5. Move units. Announce attempted advances to contact/charges before moving.
  6. Combat.
  7. Re-dress ranks (according to training) of units that did not move this turn.

Command Points CP
Move own commander up to 1 die (choice of average or D6) inches = 1CP
Inspire troops in combat (give +1) = 3 CPs *
Rally (remove) one DP = 2 CPs *      * must be in contact with unit

Disorder/demoralization points DP
1st class (elite, veteran) may remove up to 2 DPs per turn if stationary and not in combat
2nd class (line) may remove 1 DP per turn as above
3rd class (green, partisans) may remove 1 DP per turn if stationary, not in combat/shot at
4th class (militia, Indians) may only remove DPs with aid of an officer
5th class (unmotivated Indians) may only remove DPs with the aid of the Army CO

Artillery Fire range under 10 inches close, 10-30 long (light) 10-36 long (medium)
Roll one D6 for each stand firing modified by below:
+1 heavy gun, target column or limbered artillery, same target/range as last turn
- 1 new target, each DP of firing stand, light gun
- 2 target in fieldwork or stone building or target in skirmish order/unlimbered
Long range inflict 1 DP for 4 or higher.
Short range inflict 1 DP for 2 or 3, 2 DPs for 4 or 5, 1 DP and 1 casualty for 6 or higher.

Infantry fire Only skirmishing infantry can fire and move in the same turn.
Musket range 8 inches, rifles 10 inches. Roll 1 D6 for each stand firing, minus DPs of firing unit. Halve result shooting at skirmishers/unlimbered artillery, halve if target in fieldwork or building. Round up.
1 DP for each 6 rolled. Skirmishers roll again on 5, with subsequent 4,5,6 = 1 DP.

Movement is the number of dice score X inches
1st/2nd/3rd class units may move one or two average dice
4th/5th class units may move one average dice or one average plus one D6
Skirmishers may move an extra D6, Cavalry may move one or two extra D6
Formed troops get 1 DP for each 1 or 2 rolled, 1, 2 or 3 in woods.
Hessian infantry (except Jaegers and von Bose in South) move one average die or one average die + 2 inches.
Cavalry who charge must roll at least 3 dice. Can change speed 1 dice up or down per turn.
Moving in woods or uphill -1 inch from each die rolled.
Wheeling, as uphill get 1 DP.
Change formation of facing takes 1 turn, get 1 DP (2 if under fire).
Cross fence/wall,; stop at obstacle, continue nice next turn.
Retire facing enemy: ½ move get 1 DP if cavalry or under fire.

Morale: seeing friends retreat/rout within 6 inches
Troops ignore retreat of lower grade friends but get 1 DP if such rout within 6 inches.
If equal/higher grade friend retreats within 6 inches get 2 DPs.
If equal grade friend routs within 6 inches get 2 DPs and one stand deserts.
If higher grade friend routs within 6 inches get 3 DPs and one stand deserts.

 Combat occurs when a unit advances within 4 inches of enemy. Each side throws an average die modified by below:

+3 each training grade better than enemy
      defending fort or stone building
+2 defending fieldwork or wood building
      making bayonet attack
+1 terrain advantage
      officer spends 3 CPs inspiring troops
- 3 in skirmish order
     attacked in flank/rear
- 2 each DP, each casualty
- 1 outnumbered
- 2 outnumbered 3-2
- 3 outnumbered 2-1
- 5 outnumbered 3-1 or worse   1 cavalry figure = three infantry, one gun = six infantry

Result is difference in scores:
+4 or more: Easy victory get 1 DP. 1st/2nd/3rd class obey orders. 4th/5th class pursue.

+2/3: Successful get 1 DP and (vs. infantry or artillery, not in fort, building or fieldwork) one casualty. Halt one turn.

+1/even/-1: Stand off both sides halt fight continues next turn. Each get 1 DP and (unless infantry facing cavalry or bayonet attack, or in a fort, building or fieldwork) one casualty

-2/-3/-4: Driven back get 2 DPs and one casualty. Retreat one move at maximum speed.

-5/-6/-7/-8: Defeated get 2 DPs and 2 casualties. Retreat at maximum speed behind next line of friendly troops, or next terrain obstacle if no support.

-9 or worse: Routed run away at maximum speed to beyond enemy artillery range or next terrain obstacle, whichever is further. Get 4 DPs and 2 casualties.

House rules:
Must move full distance rolled unless point out stopping point (i.e. stop at fence line or top of hill, etc).

Can roll movement for entire brigade if moving together.

Corlears Hook Fencibles House rules: after 2nd stand off in a row both sides retreat 1 average die unless defending an obstacle, fieldwork, building or fort.

Militia units with 50% losses or more flee the field  remove from table. Other units with 75% or more losses flee. No further DP losses by friends who see this.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Eutaw Springs: The Final Battle of the American Revolution's Southern Campaign

Eutaw Springs: The Final Battle of the American Revolution's Southern Campaign
by Robert M. Dunkerly

  This hard fought battle has been over shadowed by the victory at Yorktown.  When written about it had usually been dismissed as a near victory by Nathaniel Greene who lost only when his troops dissolved into a mob after looting the British camp.  The battlefield itself has long thought to be submerged under flooded lake Marion.  But no more. Robert Dunkerly  in this new book has rescued the Battle from obscurity and given us a excellent account of one of the  hardest fought actions of the war.

Fought between American General Nathaniel Greene's Southern Army of Continental and local militia and State forces and British General Alexander Stewart's mix regular and loyalist force on 8 September 1781 outside Charleston South Carolina.  The Americans had an slight advantage in numbers (about 2,000 to 1300) and especially cavalry ((200 to 60).  The battle started with the Americans capturing a unarmed  foraging party of about three hundred men.  Greene used his militia and State regiments to engage the British line first, and  then his continental went in and broke the British.  As the British fell back, the New York Volunteers created a Chew house type defense in a barricaded building, while the flank companies under Major Marjabanks held the flank giving the British a chance to rally.  Greene's exhausted veterans fell back and the Battle was over.  Stewart later said if he had had more cavalry he could have routed the Americans.

   Controversy plagued its history and myth making  distorted the fighting.  Friends and enemies attacked and defended Henry "Light Horse" Lee's actions that day.  Did Greene's army dissolve into a mob while over running the British camp? Or was that an excuse?  And what of the battlefield ?  Was it really submerged under lake Marion?

  The author has researched the battle and located numerous primary accounts.  He reconstructed the Battle based on topography, first person accounts and archeological finds.  There are very good maps and excellent order of battles.  In short a great find for miniature gamers wanting to re fight this battle.  I enjoyed this book very much and highly recommend it.