Saturday, December 4, 2021

Wilderness Ambush 1757

Although my tiny group deals mostly in 1\72 plastic figures, we do have a few collections in 25 or 28mm metal. The French and Indian War is one such collection.

The game below is the result of a seven year effort of painting, organizing and then finally planning a game using the Rebels and Patriots ruleset by Osprey.

Some of the figures were painted 20 years ago or more but sat in a box in my friends house or mine. We had a break in our relationship for a number of years and unbeknown to the other had developed an interest in the period. When we got back together about 7 years ago we began to discuss what we might do with our small metal collection of figures we had produced in the years we were not in contact.

In any event, we finally had enough to do a game. It was truly a treat to finally get these figures on a table and simply enjoy the spectacle of finally painted miniatures in a historical setting.

The inspiration for the game from a scenario I got off the Rebels and Patriots FaceBook page. It was titled Braddock and the author is Gerry Upton. The scenario is obviously based on the ambush the Braddock's column suffered at the hands of the French and their Indian allies.

Mr. Upton did a fine job with the scenario. I especially liked how he assembled the unit profiles. 

I modified the scenario to reflect our collection, but also to reflect how I might do the scenario solo, because I didn't find Mr. Upton's mechanisms practical for a solo game. I came up with my own that involved a random placement for the ambushers except for the company of the Franches de la Marine who would block the ford.

Except for one unit in the second column all other units on the British side were made up of Provincials.

They included three units of the "Jersey Blues", one of which were Grenadiers.

Of the four skirmish units, two were rated as Rangers and the other two as Militia (all small 6 fig units).

The second column consisted of a British Foot unit and another unit of Rangers (Gorehams)

The initial French force consisted of the company of Franches de la Marine, two small units of Cour de Bois, three native (Huron, Fox, Sauk and Algonquin). French reinforcements would be three more units of Algonquins with two never arriving in time.

I came up with an initial "free turn" that involved both sides at the moment the ambush was sprung.

As I comment on the pictures, I'll say more as the action developed.

The figures used in the game included Dixon, Irregular, Warlord, quite a few RAFM from their Flint and Feather line as well as some Minifigs and one lonely Garrison figure.

An overview of the Provincial column making it way through the woods. The Rangers and Militia units are deployed on the flanks and front of the column to spot any potential ambush. The three units of the Jersey Blues are in the center with the light company designed as Rangers.

One of the Ranger units in frontier "uniform." This unit did very well, exposing an Algonquin ambusher and getting the better of them. It would be the only Provincial unit to survive.

This is the light company of the Jersey Blues. It was rated as Rangers for the game. They would trade volleys with the Franches de la Marine who are directly in front on them. Fortunately, the French became disordered losing only figure, thus giving my light company a bit more time. That would not last as we will soon see.

The Jersey Blues consisting of Grenadiers and a Line unit rated as Lt. Infantry for the game. The Jersey Blues officer is British and he only affects the Blues. He was rated as a "Peacock." The militia and other Ranger unit apparently didn't think he was worth listening to. A precursor to the coming Revolutionary War I think!

One of the militia units. I believe they got one shot off before heading out!

This unit is painted as a Connecticut ranging company but rated as Select Militia for the game. They become disordered early in the ambush and routed early as well.

The company of Franches de la Marine led by their officer who was rated Non de Guerre. In our game this valiant fellow would give plus 2 to discipline for any unit with 12". The unit itself, performed well enough to hold the ford but that had more to do with the ferocity of some of Indians and the fact that early on, I gave up on trying to get to the ford!

The Jersey Blues turn to face their ambushers. The unit would perform well but in the end be shot to pieces. The Indians facing them are Sauk and Fox.

The Grenadiers also turn to face the major threat emerging on their left flank. They are covered on their right by an elite Ranger unit.

The vast majority of the ambushers appeared on the Provincial left flanks. At this point in the game things are relatively stable but that would soon change.

This large unit of Huron's was rated aggressive. They would destroy the Jersey Blues Ranger unit and cut off the column from the ford. They lost heavily and finally routed themselves but more than any other unit on the French side were responsible for the eventual Provincial collapse.

The Huron's close with the Jersey Blues Ranger company. They would succeed and then outflank the Jersey Blues line unit who were dealing with the Sauk and Fox.

Uh oh-there is a unit of Cour de Bois now supporting the Huron as the Provincial head the column is destroyed.

Nice overview of how things are collaping. At his point, only one Ranger unit remains. The Grenadiers in the upper left would never fire a shot. They suffered one disorder after the other as militia routed and they needed to check. Eventually, they picked up three disorders and went to auto-rout!

Too little, too late...Goreham's Rangers would take a loss, roll terrible and become broken. At this stage of the game all hope of rescuing the remaining Provincials had vanished and I conceded. The Provincials lost 5 of the 6 units originally engaged. Th French lost two units of Indian allies and one of Cour de Bois.

A French victory! The paining depicts Montcalm and his regulars celebrating their victory at Fort Carillon.

Friday, October 15, 2021

The Battle of Bushy Run-1763


The Battle of Bushy Run (1763) took place in western Pennsylvania during Pontiac's War. A British expedition that consisted primarily of Scots Highlanders was ambushed by a coalition of numerous native American tribes. The Highlanders prevailed after a spirited bayonet charge.

My interest in modeling the period dates back twenty years. The idea at the time was to create a diorama of the battle with 28mm wargame figures. I did not make much progress. Many years later with the help of a friend we built two French and Indian War armies in 25-28mm. It revived by interest in Pontiac's War and the Battle of Bushy Run.

The occasion for the pictures below was me finishing my fourth war band of Indian warriors. I added one of the units of my Highlanders to create a scene from the battle.

The figures in the pictures are from Dixon Miniatures in the UK and Warlord Miniatures (UK and US).

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Plains Wars Sampler

 Although the vast majority of my collection is 1\72 plastic and\or 20mm metal figures, I do have some 25mm and 28mm collections.

The old 25mm figures are of particular interest to me for nostalgia reasons. One period I had always wanted to dabble in, but never did, was the Plains Wars (1860-1890). Over the summer I decided to scratch that itch and started to paint the figures I had obtained from eBay.

The vast majority are from the small Plains Wars line that RAFM (Canada) still produces. The exception to the RAFM figures are Minifigs from their defunct Plains Wars line. I managed to obtain about a dozen from an eBay vendor. They have a character of their own and I would like to find more.

I have quite a few RAFM figures from their old Flint and Feather line (French and Indian War). RAFM produces a "chunky" (sturdy) 25mm with good detail. They work well with my Dixon figures which are large 25mm (closer to 28mm) especially when I mount the RAFM on thicker bases (like those below). 

At times, I glue RAFM infantry figures to a penny and then to a thicker base to make up the height between RAFM figures and the Dixons.

The pics are labeled as to what they are.

At this point I am not sure they will ever see a game. I am not ever sure what rules I would use. 

I intend to supplement this collection from the Dixon line and\or from the Foundry. I am aware that Old Glory makes figures in the period but you always have to order a large set unless you can find smaller amounts on eBay.

For now, it has just been a joy to paint these excellent figures.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Provincials in the French and and Indian War

As usual, I got carried away when my friend suggested we do the French and Indian War with the Rebels and Patriots rules. We both had independently painted some miniatures in the past, he with the French and me with the English, so expanding what we had already done seemed logical.

This is one of the few periods where we are using old style 25mm metal figures-the scale which seems to have morphed into 28mm.

I decided to produce at least three different field forces at a minimum of 24 point each for the English\colonials. They would be interchangeable according to the scenario, but each could be fielded independently if I felt like it. They are as follows....

1. A field field force made up nearly exclusively as Highlanders. My original idea was to re-produce the Battle of Bushy Run. I'm still working on this field force, but when finished, it will have 5 units of Highlanders and one unit from the 60th Foot or Royal Americans since they contributed to the battle. The total exceeds 24 points since Highlanders almost always merit upgrades.

2. A field force of mostly British Regulars for the Braddock debacle or other battles that had more regulars than provincials. I currently have 4 units toward the goal and more than enough if I sub Highlanders for standard foot companies.

3. The third choice is featured below. The nucleus are the Jersey Blues, a provincial regiment organized on regular lines that included a light company and grenadier company. They are supplemented by various companies of provincials and frontier guards.

A fun set of rules!

Light Company Jersey Blues (RAFM figs)

Grenadier Company Jersey Blues (RAFM figs)

Frontier style militia in buckskins (RAFM and Minifigs)

Provincial Militia (Dixon and Irregular Miniatures)

Provincial Militia (Minifigs)

Dunn's Company of Frontier Guards

Rogers Rangers (Dixon)

The print I worked from for the Jersey Blues. Note the "buckskin" militia in the background.

Battalion Company Jersey Blues

The Jersey Blues for Rebels and Patriots