Advisory Note

Please Note: This blog contains poorly painted toy soldiers that may offend those of an aesthetically sensitive disposition.

Saturday 4 November 2023

Horse & Musket Action on the St. Jakob's Road

 Following his success at Pflattburg, Army Blue's General pushed on towards the strategically important town of St. Jakob, a major hub in Army Red's supply chain. His advance was blocked, however, by an approaching Red force that held some high ground controlling the St. Jakob Road. 

Blue's game objective was to have at least 4 units on the Western third of the board by the end of the game; Red had to make sure this didn't happen. The game is, of course, inspired by Tank and Infantry Action on the St James Road, from Donald Featherstone's War Games (1962).

The battlefield rises gently towards the West. The stream in the East can be crossed by all units; Infantry and cavalry lose one grid movement, artillery require a full turn to cross. Only Light Infantry may enter the dense wooded areas. Rott's Farm (the building) counts as a built-up area.

End of turn 1 - Red's cavalry trot down to head off Blue's approaching horse

Cavalry melee begins

Army Blue steadily advances 

As the afternoon wears on Blue's advance stalls as attrition takes its toll

Close to getting troops on the high ground, Blue reaches Exhaustion Point

The end of the battle with Army Red holding the objective

Red's Artillery earned the unit a special commendation for destroying a Blue Infantry battalion that was approaching fast along the St Jakob's Road. Blue, on the other hand, suffered the ignominy of some classic MJT dice rolling. 

Sunday 29 October 2023

Operation Aurora

 Today's game was based on Bob Cordery's Battle of Arora Junction a Colonial action that was fought in 2013.

My version of the scenario is set on my fictional continent of Uqbal in the 1950s. A large chunk of Uqbal was a former colony of Albiona, however control has recently been handed over to the Democratic Party of Free Uqbal (DPFU) who represent the ethnic group that dominate North Uqbal. Other ethnic groups are aggrieved and want independence; fighting has broken out across the former colony. 

Under pressure near the Capital, the DPFU is pulling troops back from the verdant South. At Aurora Junction, one such detachment has broken camp and is about to depart by rail.

The plan - light green represents impassable jungle plants

A force from the People's Democratic Front (PDF), green figures, have been instructed to delay the departure of the DPFU, tan figures, while saboteurs destroy a rail bridge further up the line. To do this in game they must keep the enemy engaged until turn 12. Green get the benefit of surprise, appearing from behind two low ridges: Unfortunately they must attack across open ground.

Any excuse to get the toy trains out of storage

The DPFU commander coordinates his troops withdrawal from the ruined building 

Army Green arrives and advances towards the two ridges

Departing DPFU troops turn and take up positions

Green troops on the Right Flank rush towards the enemy firing from cover

On the Left, Green keeps the enemy busy whilst the machine gun strafes the building

Despite being in cover the unit in the building is decimated

By Turn 8 the DPFU are at EP - the PDF need to hold on for 4 more turns to delay the enemy

The Game ends at Turn 10!

The PDF were not able to stop the departure of the enemy force, however they inflicted a large number of casualties.

Friday 6 October 2023

The Action at Pflattburg

 A rare day off work (with a list of chores as long as your arm) has presented the opportunity to squeeze in a quick game. To save time I grabbed the RISK figures and set up a small battlefield. This was based (roughly) on Donald Featherstone's classic Action in the Plattville Valley.

The objectives for Armies Red and Blue are to capture the River Crossing at Stier Brucke and the Town of Pflattburg. Holding one of them at the end of the battle would require using more forces in the area which neither side wants to commit. The game was to be played with Portable Wargame rules until both sides had reached Exhaustion Point (standard 30% SP).

Blue started nearer to the town while Red got to dominate the crossing point.

Blue quickly took charge of the town. Cavalry on both flanks engaged the enemy's foot.

Red attempted to reduce the Blue force in the town with cannon fire but this proved futile. 

To the West of the town Red's infantry attempted to clear Blue's troops before assaulting the church. To the East Blue crept closer to the river crossing.

By mid-afternoon Red's numbers were reduced to Exhaustion Point. Blue still held the town and it was now a case for Red of holding the crossing in order to slow Army Blue's advance.

A fierce artillery duel saw both sides Eastern guns put out of action - at this point I allowed Red's General to move position to join the infantry holding the crossing.

Army Red stubbornly held the bridge as Blue inched towards EP, which would end the battle.

At the end of the day Red's General finally admitted defeat. Blue had taken both objectives and was able to advance.

Sunday 3 September 2023

Red/Blue Mini Campaign Pt 3: Going Off Piste

 For the final Act of the Mini Campaign we diverge, for reasons of narrative, from the prescribed route; the Director's playing fast and loose with the script.

After the defeat at Blueville, the remainder of Army Red's invasion force is retreating towards their pontoon bridge. For purposes of the game, Red must get three of four units across the bridge to succeed. They have two units on the other side of the river who can give supporting fire but cannot cross the bridge. Blue will arrive two units at a time on turns 2, 3 and 4 at predetermined points on the board.

Redinan troops heading for the bridge

Fresh troops offering covering fire

Bluvian forces arriving

All of Blue's units are on the board

Red's Hussars look ready to exit, however they're taking hits from their flank

Red's Hussars act as cover for the Line Infantry who are retreating returning fire.
The Red Guards are embroiled in a fight to the rear. 

The Line Infantry make it but the Hussars are destroyed

As the day wears on Red's second infantry unit makes it to the bridge -
they just need to get the remaining Guards across to win.

Blue's Cavalry have other ideas and Red's Guards are harried as they hurry towards the bridge

Defeat for Redina! 

Despite the withering fire being given from the Redinan side of the Boundary River, the Guards were defeated before they could escape providing a victory for Bluvia. Admitting defeat, Red's engineers blew up the Pontoon Bridge leaving their General a captive of the Bluvians. A highly entertaining Mini Campaign, courtesy of Martin Smith, with a minor trip off piste at the end.

Sunday 27 August 2023

Red/Blue Mini Campaign Pt.2: OHW Sc 14

 Having defeated the Bluvian brigade that threatened their bridgehead, the victorious Redinan Army dispatched a force to Blueville to root out the Radicals that were thought to be based there.

The Red General left half of his men on a nearby hill to cover his retreat and led the remaining force to the town. He found the town undefended but his search for the treacherous activists proved to be fruitless. To make matters worse, before he could withdraw a strong Bluvian force arrived...


The Blue General led most of his force against the town, and his attack began to cause casualties despite the exposed nature of the countryside around Blueville.

On the left, a fierce artillery duel saw the destruction of Red's guns, allowing Blue to concentrate on the town almost unmolested. 

 By midday the town was almost surrounded. Red's force on the hill had been ordered to hold position and could only offer some ineffective fire at Blue's units moving to the rear of the town.

As casualties mounted, the Redinan's fought on, hoping to flee under cover of night. 

 By the end of the day, however, Blueville was recaptured along with the defeated Reds.

The Red troops left on the Bluvian side of the river now needed to make their escape...

Monday 21 August 2023

Red/Blue Mini Campaign Pt 1: OHW Sc 8

 The series of games to be played in this latest Mini Campaign are once again scenarios from Neil Thomas's One Hour Wargames that have been linked by Martin Smith (Mini Campaign number 2 - see HERE ).

The starting game is Scenario 8, Melee. The games will be fought using a variation of Bob Cordery's Portable War Game, with EP being set at 50% to reflect the OHW rules' lack of morale testing.


Red's scouts have identified a hill overlooking the Redinan bridgehead that could offer Blue a position to bombard the ingress/egress point. Field Marshall Plann, overseeing Red's invasion, orders the hill to be taken and held. A small force is at once positioned on the hill with more troops to follow.

Bluvian forces, under General Moteures, are also aware of the strategic importance of the hill. Blue's troops begin to arrive.

Red's artillery are in position on the hill so Blue attempts to quickly outflank Red by rushing up the road. Blue's Light Infantry head across country aiming to establish themselves in a small wooded area on the edge of the hill.

Red's additional troops begin to arrive and there is a clash of cavalry on the road. The subsequent cavalry melee resulted in the decimation of both units who played no other part in the battle.

Red's artillery is moved to counter the flank attack and comes under attack from Blue's Light Infantry. Meanwhile, more of Blue's forces arrive and approach the objective.

A desperate uphill dash by Blue's cavalry attempts to buy some time for the Infantry. Note: both sides had a battalion of Guards who start on 5SP in my "Toy Soldier" PW rules to reflect their toughness.

With time getting short, Blue resorts to charging in with fixed bayonets. Red's artillery have finally been removed by the skirmishing Blue Light Infantry.

Red's Line Infantry waver however the Guards and Highlanders hold position.

 By days end it was clear that Red were not going to be removed from the hill (apologies for the blurry picture). Blue withdrew his remaining troops leaving the hill firmly in Red's hands. In the meantime the bulk of the Red force marched on to their main objective, the town of Blueville.