Saturday, December 31, 2022

Battle of Quebec 1775


  Tonight marks the incredibly brave but foolish assault to capture Quebec by the American forces under Montgomery and Arnold.   Going into the attack under cover of a heavy snow storm.  

  At one point American rifle men under Daniel Morgan were using ladder to climb down from buildings to get into the city.  An amazing story.  I have always felt bad that the troops from New England had their terms of enlistment expire the next day, but still went in.  As I said an amazing story!

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Medical Update

  After my accident in March I have been dealing with the after effects of my skull fracture and concussion.  The fracture is healing very slowly but it is healing.  The effects of the concussion are still with me but I am making some improvements.  I can paint again and my memory has greatly improved. Driving is still a no go.  I tend to be a couple steps behind on conversations or such. Janine is very patient with me, even when I ask the same question three times in a day.  I still get confused and fuzzy and dizzy in large groups of people and loud noises hurt.  Oh!  I have had a number of CT and MRI.

  One "benefit" of having CT scans and MRI's are you get what the doctors call "incidental findings."  I unfortunately got one of those in June.  They discovered a  tumor in my skull in the clival area.  This impacts my vision and  hearing.  Headaches are one of its trade marks and a daily reminder of my "incidental finding."   The tumor itself is wrapped three quarters around the main artery that  brings blood to the brain. So it has effected my energy levels and stamina.  It looks like it has been there for a very long time based on bone decay and its been growing slowly over the years.  How long they are not sure.

   I am told these are very rare, a million to one odds of getting them.  So the  doctors are most interested in me right now; possibly as a future journal of medicine article. I have jokingly told them if they do a article I would like a copy.  Until we get into my head they are not sure if its a Chondrosarcomas or a Chordomas.  The last is usually on the spine but this one is off center.  The first is the more likely.  Booth as I have been told are rare.   I wish I had the sane luck when buying lottery tickets.

 Surgery is going to be very tricky.  They need both a Ear, Nose and Throat specialist and a Neurosurgeon so its difficult scheduling wise. There is a boat load of risks involved because of its location and possible damage to important areas.  In addition they are honest in saying there is no way they can get all of it out because of its impact on my systems and location.  And there will be risks and possible damage as a result.    After surgery I will be getting radiation for five days a week for seven weeks.    Then we wait an see.  The possibility of it returning is great.  The possibility of some damage during  the operation is also not in my favor.  One good thing is we can measure it from March through October and it has not grown during that period.  Hence why the doctors agreed, but were not happy with it to reschedule for April 2023.

  I was scheduled for surgery in mid November but have asked the doctors to please put it off  till in 2023.  Because of covid and then work and finally my accident I have not been out much.  I really want to get out and do things with Janine.  Create some positive memories and have a few small but fun adventures.  And play a few more games!  In April we will revisit it and schedule the operation.  

  One of the few bright spots during this time has been my hobby of miniature wargames, the Fife and Drum miniature forum and the blog world.  John from the club had constantly set up Monday gamesand encouraged me to attend.   These have been great fun.  Warren has been outstanding in driving me them.  Playing in Adam's naval game I reported on here is one of my highlights of the year.   Table top battles, or just enjoying the sight of a well set up table never fails to put a smile on my face and whisks away the blues.  The blogging world, or at least may small part of it has always been encouraging and positive.  Its strange that I enjoy so much hearing from and corresponding with individuals who I fear I might never meet.  But please know that all of you have helped me through this difficult time and truly brightened my days.  Thank you all very much.


Sunday, December 25, 2022

Battle of Trenton 25 December 1776


Captain Alexander Hamilton's New York Artillery Company in action at Trenton.  Today the 1st battalion 5th Field Artillery

December 18, 1776

Washington to his cousin,

"I think the game is nearly up...."

December 23, 1776

"These are the times that try men's souls.  The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country, but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and women."

Thomas Paine, The Crisis.

  "On the way to the boats, Greenwood (American fifer 15th Continental Regiment) continued, "seeing some of our men were much pleased with the brass caps which they had taken from the dead Hessians, our prisoners, who were besides exceedingly frightened, pulled off those they were wearing and, giving them away, put on the hats which they carried tied behind their packs. With these brass caps on, it was laughable to see how our soldiers would strut-fellows with their elbows out and some without a collar to their half-a-shirt, no shoes, etc." 

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Merry Christmas


  A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.  Thank you all who have followed my blog.   I have enjoyed writing the blog, and I enjoy hearing from all of you so much more.  And thank you to those who drop by.  I hope you enjoy it or find it fun.  You have all helped to make my life brighter and happier during the past year.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Lauzun's Legion Lancers


  It took me long enough but I have finally finished the Lance armed Hussars of Lauzun's Legion.  The fancy hussar type uniform is most different from my usual figures and coupled with my hand eye coordination issues I am just very happy to have completed them.  Not my best work I admit but still colourful and they will stand out on the table top.


  Each legion was supposed to be made up of a company each of hussars, gunners and workmen as well as a small infantry battalion of one Grenadier company, one  Chasseur company and two Fusilier companies. There was also a "Compagnie Generale" (a sort of HQ formation),  of one company of hussars. This unit was thought to be the one armed with lances.

  The 2eme Legion became "Lauzun's Legion" around 1779/80.  The new Legion was composed of the 2nd Legion Volontaires Étrangers de la Marine and new recruits, was named Volontaires Étrangers de Lauzun (Foreign Volunteers of Lauzun).  This new Legion was made up of 800 infantry and 400 cavalry divided into 5 companies of infantry.  These included 2 companies of Fusiliers, one Grenadier, one Artillery and one Chasseur company.  Each squadrons of hussars were to be made up of two companies; one of French hussars and the other of Polish lancers.  The uniform of the Legion would be the same as the previous 2nd Legion except  that all  hussars were supposed to be dressed as the Compagnie Generale company.  As with all things in Lauzun's Legion its doubtful that happened and a mix of the two Hussar uniforms probably occurred.

  I have not added the colorful flags on the end if the lances.  Thus us because I have not yet been able to find out if they had any.  modern artists have painted them both ways. If I find documentation they had them I will add the flags.

Monday, December 12, 2022

Fighting Quatre Bras: The Conclusion


  Warren and I returned to John's house to finish fighting the game on Monday.  Unfortunately Don and Phil couldn't make it and last minute issues and weather kept Peter and Paul at home.  So Warren took the French and I the Allies and we continued the battle.

The Allied cavalry on the left flank routed the French cavalry and then captured the battery near it. They then moved to threaten the French exposed flank.

In the center Warren advanced with three brigades to take the cross roads.  The Allies held the center.  I brought up enough infantry to stall his attacks and keep him pinned down.  While my die rolling for infantry fire was great, but I could only roll 1's and 2's for artillery!  Very frustrating!

On the Allies right the Dutch Belgium troops held fast and drove off the French.

So in the end the Allies held the cross roads and drive the French back for a victory.

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Fighting Quatre Bras


  Last  Monday were spent fighting out the Battle of Quarter Bras.  John hosted the game which was in 15mm and used the rules Age of Eagles.  Warren was able to give me a ride up so I joined him along with Paul, Peter, Phil to fight out this battle.

  The game set up.  The French 2nd Corps under Ney approaches the cross roads.  A small contingent of Dutch and Hanovarians set up in the woods.  In the photo the French are at the top advancing on the cross road.

  Fortunately the British 5th Division and the Brunswick Corp arrive.

  In the center the French try to ride down the infantry but are sent packing back.  Terrain helps here.

While the British march to secure our left flank the gallant Brunswickers deploy to hold off Jerome's division.

The French try to outrank the cross roads but run up against the solid British and are turned back.

Massing their infantry the French try again another the Allied right but again are thrown back.

At this point the game was held and kept in place for next monday.  John is able to  keep the game set up so we can continue next monday.  So to be continued!

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Multi Period Game: Crimean 1854



Set in 1854 outside the Savastapol siege lines  French and Russian forces are attempting to capture a major bridge crossing.  Because of its importance the bridge cannot be destroyed but must be captured intact.  Both sides have similar sized forces which reflects the armies of their time period.  Victory conditions are to capture and hold both sides of the bridge by game end.  If either force is reduced to under 50% that side must retreat off the board and has lost.  In addition both sides may select one unit to out flank the enemy and appear on a random turn on the enemies flank across the river.  I rolled to see which side of the table to set up on.  I also came up with two battle plans for each side for what they wanted to do. Rules used are "Charge of the Light Brigade" by David Raybin.

Order of Battle:

Russian Army:

16th Division (Lt. Gen. Kvetinski)

1st brigade:

Vladimirski Regt. (4 bns) (24 ea.) 

Susdalski Regt. (2 bns) (24 ea.) 

16th Artillery Battery

Uhlan regiment  (12)

French Army 

1st Brigade (Espinasse) Reinforced

3rd Zouaves (2 battalions)

7th Ligne. (2 battalions) 

20th de Ligne (2 battalions) 

1st Chasseurs d'Afrique 

Artillery Battery

  The Russian army set up within the river bend.  The four battalions of the  Vladimirski Regiment were sent in column up the road to cross the bridge.  The two battalions of the Susdalski Regiment were to their left to guard against a flank attack and then support the bridge crossing.  The artillery quickly took up position and the Cavalry were sent to flank the enemy.

  The French sent their artillery to the high ground with a good field of fire.  The 3rd Zouaves Regiment guarded the center while the 7th Ligne took the left flank.  The 20th de Ligne prepared to defend the  right flank and the 1st Chasseurs d'Afrique  were sent to out flank the Russians.

  The French quickly moved up to the front.  The  3rd Zouaves deployed into line by the bridge to maximize their firepower.  The 20th moved up to support them while the 7th moved to deploy along the river bend.  Taking their time the gunners opened fire on a target rich environment.

  The Russian forces bullied their way across the bridge.  The 1/ Vladimirski  crossed quickly and charged the French in front while 2/ & 3/Vladimirski moved across and took position.  (In these rules battalions can do additional things by paying a command point (CO).  Slower moving troops (like Russians) have fewer CP's while better troops and quicker have more.  Once your CP's are gone they are gone.  You pay for thus by the other side can pivot/change formation or fire at you!)

  The 2/3rd Zouaves easily defeated the 1/Vladimirski and sent them flying.  But this gave time for 2/ & 3rd battalions to cross over. One battalion slammed into the  2/20th de Ligne  and routed them.  They 2/3rd Zouaves were not as lucky and they were broken by a fresh column of the 3/Vladimirski.

  At the point (turn 4) the French Center was broken but the Russian infantry was in bad shape.  Two battalions were reforming and could not help the ones across the river.  Another battalion was slowly being shot apart by the French battery and the 1/7th Ligne .  But the French had two battalions ((1/3rd Zouaves and 2/20th) of their own reforming!  A close run fight so far.

 On the 5th turn the Russian cavalry made it's appearance!  They charged the  1/7th Line. ( I did a morale check for the French, they passed so I let them change facing).  They managed to get a very good volley in which sent the Cavalry back the way they came.  On the opposite flank the 1/Susdalski crossed the bridge to add their numbers to the attack.  The Russian commanders rallied the broken battalion and hustled them back across the Bridge.  But the French were holding fast and they also had battalions returning.

   The decisive moment came in the 7th  turn.  Both sided were weakened and slowing down.  But the 1st Chasseurs d'Afrique made their appearance on the Russian flank.  They charged forward against the 2/Susdalski who tried to turn to face the cavalry but failed (in the morale roll the two morale markers made the difference.  For each marker you have on a battalion you subtract 1 from each roll).  In the melee the Chasseurs rode down the infantry from the flank and routed them and pursed the fleeing soldiers.

  In the center the fresh French battalions were too much for the weakened Russian infantry.  Attacked in all sides first one battalion then another broke.  Too much had been asked of the Russians who fought valiantly.  There were no more reinforcements to be called up.  General Kvetinski threw in the towel and ended the slaughter.

    Another very hard fought battle that went to the final turn.  The Russian battalions in column get a +2 per die in melee which makes them very dangerous.  But the French have much better firepower and with more CP's can do more extra per turn.  Because of the shorter range of the Russians muskets they could not stand off and trade shots.  The French with rifled muskets could and we're glad to do so all day.  So the only way the Russians could force the issue was closing to melee.  The French cavalry charge at the end did not decide the battle but it did take out the final fresh infantry the Russians had.

  And this concludes our third and final game.  A great successful series and a very good scenario.  Looking over the suggestions from Norm a hidden ford or two might be intetesting.  At least the bridge would not be the center of all fights.  When I try this again I will add that.  Also, I have added the house rule for the unit out flanking the enemy.  In the first game cavalry ran right into infantry.  Now, I test the defenders morale and if they pass they can turn to face the attackers.  I think this balances it out nicely.





Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Enjoying the Moment


  This is a visual hobby.  We play our games on a table top with terrain that represents the world around us and toy soldiers who represent the soldiers of years past.  This is why we play with toy soldiers and not cardboard counters.  Board games can recreate a historical battle at times better then our table top encounters.  So there are times when after setting up the table I like to sit back and just admire.

  I was just getting started with my next battle.  Terrain and soldiers in place and the first move done.  But instead of continuing I decided to take a moment to sit back and admire.   My Crimean war armies our my oldest figures in my collection.  I built the army during a difficult period in my life and they have always brought me great joy and happiness.  So I thought I would just savor and enjoy the moment before dice are rolled and casualty markers come out. It is a wonderful hobby we have is it not?