Thursday, 13 December 2018

Murdoch: Last Of The Summer Wine (A ripping yarn of sharp practice in Upper Canada) Episode 3 [Back after the now customary annoying "mid season" break]

James Pendrick peered out from the hedge line where he had posted his small band of local woodsmen, just as Major Brackenreid had ordered. He thought he saw movement amongst a small clump of trees but could not be sure until there was the distinct glint of sunlight on metal at the edge of the tree line. "There they are lads," he shouted. "Take them down!" His men obliged, and the American riflemen who had been making their way through the wood  (as sneakily as only Americans can) suddenly found themselves on the wrong end of some extremely accurate musket fire. 

But the riflemen in the woods were only part of a larger problem for Pendrick's men. Further to the right, some militia were trying to make their way around the flank. They were crossing the creek covered by two parties of flank company men from Major Magnum's regiment.

As the sound of musketry broke out to his right, Major Brackenreid was still considering what to do about the force of regulars to his front. They moved across the lake road in open column and just kept going, much to the Major's consternation: "Bloody hell, Higgins," he shouted to an equally perplexed sergeant. "Where are they going?"

In truth, Major Thomas Magnum was embarking upon an attempt to outflank the British left, but he had been temporarily overcome by a recurring reverie which had plagued him since his youth. His mind drifted off into a dream of high waves, crashing surf and natives garlanded in flowers and playing small stringed instruments. The column kept marching dutifully behind him.


As the first of Pendrick's men fell to the rifles an exhausted George Crabtree finally arrived with his voltigeurs . "Take position here lads, and don't move any further forward or we'll go out of shot." he called to his men as they reached the right of Pendrick's position. "Let's make those bluecoats think again"

Meanwhile, Captain Rockford was of the opinion that this was going to be easy. Leaving the small body of militia behind him, he led his flankers towards what he thought was the open flank of the Canadian position. 

George Crabtree had other ideas! An exchange of musketry saw Captain Jim and his fellow Americans advancing back to the woods just as the amazingly similar-looking Brett Maverick caught up with his militiamen.

"Good grief," thought sergeant Crabtree." From a distance, those two American officers could almost be the same person duplicated. Sometime in the future, I bet we'll be able to do that, sort of copy people like cuttings from a twig". He could imagine Captain Murdoch slowly shaking his head, smiling kindly and giving his usual unsupportive response: "Really George, I don't think that will ever be possible. By the way, did you know the Greek word for twig is κλών, so if it were ever done it should probably be called clonify rather than copy, but honestly George.......". Sergeant Crabtree thought as brilliant as Captain Murdoch was, he could be somewhat lacking in imagination as far as the future of mankind was concerned.

Back at the hedge line James Pendrick was pleased with his men's performance. It was as if some omnipotent being had thrown some amazing dice, possibly coupled with an inability to read it's own rules properly - the American rifles had been silenced, reduced to two men skulking in the pine clump. "I am pleased with your performance men," he said.

But there is no ying without a yang, as sergeant Crabtree was about to find out. Just as he was starting to compliment his men on driving back the Americans, a stray bullet from the retreating flankers glanced off the side of his head. As he fell into unconsciousness, all he could think was "This is becoming a a bit of a habit!" 

At the lake road Major Magnum snapped out of his reverie and ordered his column to form line to the left and advanced towards the junction................

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Murdoch: Last Of The Summer Wine (A ripping yarn of sharp practice in Upper Canada) - Episode 2

As the sun rose higher over the green fleece-like landscape, the brave garrison of Blockhouse Number Four marched out to defend the warehouse of Don Jose's winery.

 "Murdoch, keep your lads in front of the warehouse and don't budge a bloody inch," ordered Major Brackenreid. "Pendrick, you line the hedge to the right and keep your eye on that wooded hill. When Crabtree finally gets his lazy buggers here I'll get the voltigeurs out on the right flank to see if they can spot any movement in the woods by the creek. I'm heading forward with the regulars to block the lake road."

"Yes, sir" replied Murdoch and Pendrick almost, but not quite, in unison. Sergeant Crabtree and the Voltigeurs Canadiens were nowhere to be seen.

Meanwhile, Major Thomas Magnum (for it actually was he who was in charge of the American force) had not bee idle. Deploying near the lake road he saw Brackenreid's regulars to his front. Sending his flank companies and militia to the left, he ordered them to try and outflank Brackenreid's men by crossing the creek. He then threw his own force of regulars into open column and headed off towards the lake road,  and further into a dark, mysterious land where the healthcare system actually worked.  

Sergeant George Crabtree was now regretting last night's "one for the road" in Murphy's pub. Belatedly, he rounded up his small band of voltigeurs and, adjusting the strap of his bearskin cap, he ordered "Forward!" To the rhythm of the pulse throbbing in his temples, he marched his men out to catch up with Brackenreid.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Murdoch: Last Of The Summer Wine (A ripping yarn of sharp practice in Upper Canada) - Episode 1

Major Brackenreid gazed out of one of the upper windows of Blockhouse Number Four. "Bloody  hell Murdoch, the world is looking very green this morning!" he quipped. "Indeed it is sir." replied Captain Murdoch. "It's almost as if some all powerful being has thrown a bright green fleece blanket over the entire landscape."

Their contemplation was interrupted by a very flustered sergeant Crabtree running up the stairs accompanied by one of the locals. "Begging you pardon sirs," he said, "but Mr Pendrick here has some some important news."

"Spit it out then lad." said the Major to Pendrick, "What's it all about?". 

"There are Americans in the area," Pendrick replied, "and they seem to be heading directly to Don Jose de Battista's winery. If they manage to get there they will be able to run off with all of the last of this year's vintage!"

"Bloody hell Pendrick!" exclaimed Brackenreid, "Has the Don turned out his militia lads?"

 "No," replied Pendrick, "He's had the call to hunt beaver again and has been nowhere to be found for months. He may be in Miami or New York - who can say? He's a bit of a free agent these days."

"Well this is no damned good!" exclaimed Brackenreid in his gruff Yorkshire voice. "Murdoch, get the militia. Crabtree, get Higgins out of bed and move the rest of the lads and the Voltigeurs out. Pendrick, get your local lads ready."

"But sir," interjected Murdoch, "that will leave the Blockhouse ungarrisoned.  The Americans could march straight in."

"I've thought of that," replied Brackenreid, "we'll just declare it to be impassable terrain."

"Brilliant!" replied Captain Murdoch.

"Now then Pendrick before you all go." said Brackenreid, "Do your lads have any idea who's in charge of these Americans? Do you think they know about the wine?"

"We believe it's a certain Major Thomas Magnum." replied Pendrick. "There hasn't been any overt American reconnaissance, but he may have investigated privately."

"True,"replied Brackenreid, "we can't take any chances. Okay lads, we'll meet up at a randomly generated deployment point as soon as possible - let's go!"

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Block House Number 4 - Finished, but....

There's something about the flock that's annoying me, but it can wait for a while.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Block House Number 4 - WIP (4) (Sort of)

I've just put the first layer of flock on the base so I might have some pictures tonight, but in the mean time I am trying to think of wording for a flag that the gallant garrison might fly.

I want something suitably Canadian so my first thoughts are along the lines of

"Sorry to our American neighbours for our stubborn defence against your blatant aggression"

but that seems a bit long so I'll try and precis it.

So perhaps just:

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Blockhouse Number 4 - WIP (3) and a (rather good) new War of 1812 18mm figure range

The palisade is now more or less finished - just the  earthy/banky thing at the bottom to paint.  I was going to paint it to look grassy, but decided to leave it as earth instead.

I've painted the areas to be flocked green, and the entrance and area round the blockhouse that is going to be muddy / earthy  brown.

New 18mm War of 1812 Range

Today I received some packs of of the new War of 1812 American range by Capitan Games from Stonewall Figures. If the rest of the range is like these they will be my new go to figures for 1812. Apparently when Stonewall took on production they found moulds for a load of figures that had never been produced before and these are some of them so the moulds are brand new.

The  figures are crisp with no flash which immediately puts them ahead of the equivalent Blue Moon  figures (see previous posts for flash report!!). In addition they actually have firing / loading line infantry figures, and a broader range of infantry and artillery figures for the yanks in general. Their British / Canadian range has Highlanders in trousers and marines of all nations can be found in their 18mm naval crew ranges.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Small Rant

I am getting really, really, really fed up with the wargames myth that Thebans had white shields!!!!!!
The latest version of this fantasy is Warlord Games "Sacred Band" advert. I really dont know where this idea comes from.