Sunday, November 19, 2023

Fort Devens Museum Game Day

  I Attended the annual Miniature Gaming Day at the First Devens Museum near where I live.  Its a great day out and a chance to meet up with local gamers for a nice afternoon of gaming.  In addition the museum itself is open and I great fun and interesting to go through.  The museum chronicles the history if the base from its time as Camo Devens in 1917 up until its closure in 1996.  The museum reminds me of the British regimental museums I visited on my trio to Great British in 1983 filled with interesting items. I highly recommend attending this event  if you live in the New England area.

What games were put on?  Here the are!


Rules: Musket and Tomahawks

"Beausolie and his band of Acadian rebels are out for a night on the town in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The sailors from HMS Slaughter are in town as well. The Acadians and their first people’s allies are bringing their torches and the settlers are praying the garrison on hill are watchful this evening. Come to the party."

Rules : Naval Theater

"HMS Ajax, HMS Achilles and HMS Exeter take Graf Spee in the battle of the River Plate in the early months of World War II"

Rules: Damned Human Race (Victorian Science Fiction)

 "Death on the Martian Plains! The plains of Mars are slowly but surely becoming inhabited, but as homesteaders rush to occupy the “free” land they run the risk of being set upon by hostiles and bandits!"

Rules: The “Carriere Variant” of Black Seas

The Leeward Line: The Battle of Trafalgar Admiral Collingwood’s van attempts to break the French and Spanish line and Make England safe from invasion.

Rules: Bolt Action

" Kasserine. Can the untested Americans defeat the veteran Afrika Korps? This desperate battle between the untested US army and the battle-hardened Afrika Korps is one of the climactic moments of the Desert War. US players must mitigate the effects of poor morale and make the best use of their extensive support options, while German and Italian players must use their aggression and experience to outmaneuver the allies."

Rules: Based on Command & Colors Napoleonics

 Command & Colors: Seven Years War. Extended time play will be used; units will be doubled in casualties taken.

 Since I do not usually play in naval games I signed up for both the Black Seas Trafalgar and the Graf Spee games and had a wonderful day.  Both game masters explained the rules and helped guide us through them which is great help in a naval game.  Of course mire details on both in my next post.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Battle of Flat Bottom Sound


 At game night I played in George's pre dreadnaught game set during the Spanish American war.  It was a great looking game with beautiful ships and good friends.  The rules were very fun and simple and we played the game twice that evening.  In the past were have used these rules for American Civil war so they are very flexible.

  We used the rules for naval games by Bob Cordery.  These are a fun and very fast set of rules.  They are played on a hex type mat and simplify a lot of the aspects of naval warfare.  Ships move two or three hexes.  First move you have to go forward Into tbe next hex then you can turn or go forward again.   

  Guns are divided into either primary (can fire forward or to each side)  or secondary (fire to each side) types.  You get a certain number of dice per gun type.  When you fire you subtract the number of hexes to the target from your dice and throw the remainder looking for 6's which cause two hits on the target or 4's or 5's which cause one hit on the target.  So a modern first class battleship has nine dice for its primary guns and five dice for its secondary guns. Other ships with smaller guns get less dice.   In the picture above the Spanish ship can fire its primary gun at the American ship.  Since its six hexes away you subtract suffice from the nine and you get three dice to see if you hit anything.  Each ship gets so many hit points then it sinks.  Easy and simple and it works.

   The game had two Spanish ships attempting to escape Santiago harbour.  One ship had a shipment of gold which had to make it back to Spain.  Off shore was a new Spanish battleship waiting to help.  Once the treasure ship made it off the table both remaining Spanish ships had to return to Santiago Harbour.   The American navy had two older battleships and a protected cruiser.  They had to sink the enemy.

  In the first game we were learning the rules.  The Spanish ships raced towards the edge of the table and the American ships chased them.  unfortunately the Spanish got a serious head start so they could not get caught.  The Americans put their weakest but fastest ship in the lead and it got itself pummeled.  

  In the second game we set up the Americans closer.  As the two Spanish ships left the harbour one ship turned to engage the Americans While the other tried to make its escape.   The Americans turned in the first ship and after a gallant fight sent it to the bottom.  The treasure ship made its way towards to the edge of the table as quickly as it could.  It took a number if hits from long range fire.

  At this point the Spanish battleship arrived.  In a gunnery duel it sent the USS Texas to the bottom.  The remaining American ships which had been damaged earlier sailed away to fight another day.

All in all a very happy evening with a fun game and very good friends.



Sunday, November 12, 2023

November Club Game Night

  Another club game night has arrived.  There were three games available;  two WW2 and a Pre-dreadnought game.  Each game looked fun and the tables were excellent with magnificent figures and terrain.   I played in the naval game so cannot comment too much about the WW2 games as they were still going on about the time I left.  

What games are a valuable for those interested?  Here is our line up.

Charlie Galemmo - Somewhere in Alsace, September 1944

Rules: Modified Blitzkrieg Commander III  in 15mm.

  "Elements of an American Infantry Regiment has liberated the French town of Hertoule. This town sits at an important junction needed for the further rapid advance of armored divisions. Two American Task Forces are headed to push beyond the crossroads and continue the rapid advance. The significance of this town is not lost on the Germans. Looking to blunt the spearhead, the Germans muster three kampfgruppe to retake the town and serve up a bloody nose to the American advance."

Rob Zwiercan – July 1944, Pas De Calais - Assault on a V1 Launch Site 

Rules: Iron Cross 28mm Skirmish.

  "June 13, 1944 - Germany begins its V-Weapon campaign against England with the first V1 being launched into London. Over the course of the campaign, as many as 200 buzz bombs are launched towards England in a single day. Nearly 10,000 V1 rockets total are launched by the end of the campaign five months later. While only about one third of V1 rockets reach their target, the damage is significant and General Eisenhower orders priority attacks on the launch sites. Allied forces clear out the final French based V1 launch sites by the end of August 1944. In this scenario American armor and infantry will assault a V1 launch site."

Rob's game looked excellent, especially the terrain which he made.  I was very impressed with the roads which looked very realistic.  The factory was outstanding with the V1 rocket hidden inside.  Really very well done Rob!

George Zanni - Big Guns and Fat Bottom Ships

Rules: Gridded Naval Wargames by Bob Cordery, 1:600 Pre-dreadnoughts.

  "The Spanish Navy has decided to slip back to Spain from Cuba. Can they get through the American blockade? This game should play out fast. We may be able to switch sides and try it a second time if we have enough time."

  I will have addition pictures and a write up as this was the game I played in.  George did an outstanding job.  These are very fast play simple rules.  perfect t for a club game night!  We played the action out twice before it was time to go home for the night.

  Lastly Aviv thank you to our friend Warren Smith.  He picked both Dave and myself up and drive to game night and back home.  Neither Dave or myself are able to drive at thus time so its a wonderful thing Warren does.  Thank you very much!

Saturday, November 11, 2023

November 11, Armistice Day


  My grandfather, Edward McNamara from Lexington Massachusetts served with the 101st Regiment (Medical company), 26th Yankee Division in the first world war.  He seldom talked about it, and when he did it was a terrible memory which haunted him.  But  I will always remember his smile when he told me how at 11:00 A.M. on 11th November the guns stopped and he and his friends knew they would live, knew they had survived.  

  And as this date is now called Veterans Day I say thank you to my father in law, Aldrich Stevens  who served in the  3rd Ranger Battalion (Darby's Rangers) in the Second World War.  He joined the Rangers in North Africa, and took part in the invasion of both Sicily and Italy.  He could not take part in the Anzio  landing because of his wounds so missed the Battle of Cisterna.  Like my grandfather he too was haunted by the memories of what he saw, experienced and especialy those he lost.   

  This past year Janine and I had a memorial stone made for each of them to honour their sacrifices.  We have volunteered at the Clear Path for Veterans center on Fort Devens.  This organization helps returning veterans with readjustment back to civilian life.  They provide a helping hand and resources for those who need it.    For more on the incredible work they do please visit their site at:

Monday, November 6, 2023

Command Stands


  Just finished up my mounted officer command stands.  Nothing special but I wanted something for my officers rather then the traditional rectangle bases.  So AJ from the club came through with these really excellent oval type bases.  I like them a lot!

  Brigade officers are mounted as single figures on a stand.  Higher command division or wing commanders get two figures.  Army commanders get a diorama type base.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

One mans trash is another mans treasure


  At club game day one of the members was getting rid of some old terrain pieces.   These were hills that were old and showing their age and he was getting rid of them.  Free to who ever wanted them.  Since I was getting tired of the books under the ground cloth I snatched them up.  At home a little white glue and my static grass (which matches my ground cloth) and they were ready to go.  A very nice addition to my table.  Perhaps I will have to make some more......

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Battle of Fundy's Lane


    As I have mentioned in the previous post my game at game day was a last minute addition.  Dave, who had been working incredibly hard on his Seminole war game came down with Covid.  Fortunately he and his wife Pam are doing much better.  I quickly volunteered to put on a game in his place.  

  Having a short period of time to put something together I decided to do a War of 1812 game.  Since I had been working on the Battle of Lundy's Lane that was what I would go with.  I had the order of battle and troops ready, I had the terrain ready.  But since I was still struggling with the night fighting I decided to ignore that part of the battle.  I would play it out as a daylight action.  Scott's Brigade would be exposed for one turn only in my game rather then the almost two hours in real life.  Reinforcements would arrive by d6 roll;  1-3 = turn 2, 4-6 = turn 3 for Americans and 1-2 = turn 2, 3-4 = turn 3 and 5-6 = turn 4 for British.  A medium size group of Native Warriors were historically near the field but did not take part in the fighting.  I decided to let the British play roll for their possible arrival each turn; a 1 on a 10D let them join the fight. All of which was to make the game more playable and translate into a fun afternoon game.  One member of the club, Allen Wright (AJ) said "So we are fighting the battle of Fundy's Lane;" and the name stuck!  Rules used were "Mr Madison's War" from Fife and Drum miniatures and figures are 25mm from Knuckleduster miniatures.  George and Warren took the Americans while AJ and I were the British/Canadians.  Let the game begin!


British/Canadian forces on the right and American forces on the left.

   Our game starts with Pearson's and Morrison's British/Canadian brigades placed on the high ground along Fundy's lane.  Winfield Scott's American Brigade is deployed along a narrow country road outside musket range but with artillery range of the British.  Woods cover the British/Canadian left flank.  Otherwise its open ground.  In the upper right of the picture Captain John Norton is concerning with his Native Warriors to see if he can convince them to join the white mans fight.

Scott's Brigade deployed behind worm fence.


Scott's Brigade, deployed behind a worm fence consists of the 9th, 11th and 22nd US Infantry regiments in their famous gray jackets and Captain Towson's artillery.    Unknown to the other side he has sent Major Jesup with his 25th US infantry regiment and Captain Ketchum's light infantry company to out flank the enemy line.  They will emerge out of the woods on turn two.  Each regiment is made up of six stands of four figures, and the light company is two stands of four figures on split stands so they can skirmish.  

British/Canadian position at start of game.

 On Fundy's lane the Crown forces are made up of (from left to right); 19th Light Dragoons,   Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada (IMUC) , 8th and 41st light companies, 1st Regiment of Foot, the Glengarry Light Infantry (GLI), and just off the ridge the Canadian  1st Militia Brigade.  The 89th Regiment of Foot is in reserve. In the center is a battery of a heavy gun, a medium gun and a rocket battery.  Reinforcements are expected to arrive on the road at the top of the picture.  

 The game started with a surprisingly aggressive move on the part of the Americans.  In the rules you roll to see who gets to either move first and fire second or move second and fire first.  There are advantages and disadvantage to both and it makes each turn interesting.  Warren, choosing to move first advanced the Americans towards the British/Canadian line!  Obviously he was challenging the spirit of Scott!  For the next couple moves he advanced boldly towards the guns.  Which of course returned fire....

On turn two not only did American reinforcements start to arrive along their side if the table but the 25th US Infantry and Ketchum's light company arrived on the flank of the British position.   The UMUC and 19th LD turned to face the enemy.

And the American infantry continued their advance as the Royal Artillery continued hitting them with long range fire.  The British cheered when AJ rolled seven dice for possible hits and all seven dice scored a hit each!

  Due to casualties the 9th and 22nd US Infantry fell back shaken, and later routed off the table.  The 11th continued and charged the 89th Regiment.

  The 25th US and IMUC engaged in a close range musket duel;  the 19th LD charged the light infantry who calmly stood their ground and shot the cavalry to pieces.  The poor 41st/8th light companies tried to charge Towson's gun but misjudged the distance and failed to connect.  The gunners blasted them with canister and sent the survivor running for cover.

  In the close combat on the hill the 22nd US was driven back by the 89th.  At this same time Captain Norton convinced his braves to enter the fight.  They raced forward  and fired at the 22nd US as they were attempting to rally.  This sent them routing off the board.

  But on the flank the 25th US charged forward and routed the IMUC.  The GLI attempted to plug the gap but they too were driven back.  Things looked grim on the flank.  Now, if the Americans could just feed in additional troops perhaps they could break the British line.

  In the race to feed reinforcements it was the British who won.  They additional British regiments finely arrived.  Colonel Hercules Scott (isn't that a great name for an officer!) Arrived with the 1st, 8th and 103rd regiments, the flank companies of the 104th, the 2nd Militia Brigade and an additional battery. One Regiment was hurried along the ridge to support the 89th and artillery while the rest marched to flank the Americans.

 Although the 2nd Brigade (1st, 21st and 23rd US infantry and two batteries) and 3rd Brigade (Pennsylvania volunteers, New York volunteers and Canadian volunteers) had marched into the table they were experiencing traffic control problems.   Attempting to sort out the infantry became a problem as Norton's warriors harassed them and caused all types of mischief!

Because of this, the American side threw in the towel and conceded the game.  It was felt they could not rally and reorganize the regiments before being hit by the advancing red coats.

   I feel this was a fun scenario and one that will be played again.  The  various reinforcements helped swing the game first one way then the other.  The early advance by Scott's brigade was bold and threw the brutish side off there game first a couple turns.  That and the out flanking by Jesup's regiment.   Unfortunately due to traffic issues they could not feed more troops forward.  I think I will look into that to see what I can do to fix it.

  On the British/Canadian side they played a conservative game and did well.  All agreed the  not knowing if the warriors would join the fight and the rolling for when reinforcements could arrive added suspence.  All agreed the rules worked well and provided a easy to learn and fun game.  

 Thank you to AJ, George and especially Warren for playing g in the game and making it such a fun experience.