Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Carry On Up The St Lawrence - Chapter 4 - A Lot Of Shock And A Little Bit Of Awe

Amid a hail of ill-aimed lead, the men of the Canadian Fencibles stood resolute, waiting for the words of command, following the book.......

"Present, fire", and a volley not seen since in North America since the Heights of Abraham, shattered the US infantry and sent it into precipitous retreat.

Brackenreid had no time to gloat. The US rifles were now causing havoc in Pendrick's ranks and a large force of skirmishers were heading down the road toward him. "Bonzo, beat retreat!" he ordered.

Pendrick was wounded, and it was only with great difficulty that what remained of the scouts got off the field. Finally, as Magnum left the routing infantry to lead the Pennsylvania militia forward, the Fencibles turned to their left and marched towards Montreal.

American infantry rout and the militia move towards the road 

American skirmishers swarm along the Montreal road

The Pennsylvania militia exploit the Second Amendment

 The final morale levels, US at the bottom

That was the first Sharp Practice campaign game that Dave and I had fought, and I think we both thoroughly enjoyed it. It brought out all the subtleties of the rules including cards coming out at the right time that enabled  the Fencibles to deliver that final crashing volley, and  having the drummer on hand that extended Brackenreid's command range allowing him to order the scouts off the table.

At the end of the game both sides have a few of men convalescing, with the Americans having 3 men lost and the Canadians two. The volley that devastated the American ranks opened up the morale difference so much that all of the Voltigeurs Canadiens who had been hit were able to be got off the field and immediately "patched up".

Stay tuned for the next instalment..............

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Carry On Up The St Lawrence - Chapter 3 - What Goes Around Comes Around

A furious exchange of musketry opened up between the Fencibles and the approaching American infantry, with the former getting much the better of it.

But from along the road came shouts as the Voltigeurs Canadiens were driven back from their position with heavy losses caused by the American skirmishers in the woods. 

Further along the line, the pressure on Pendrick's local scouts eased as the enemy concentrated his attention on the voltigeurs. They took the opportunity to pour fire into the trees and then, full of bravado because no shots were coming in their direction and heartened by the assumed effectiveness of their own musketry, leapt over the fence and headed for the copse.

Thomas Brackenreid was as pragmatic as he was Yorkshire. He had come to terms with the fact that life had its ups and downs, and life had now decided to play silly buggers. He turned to sergeant Higgins. "Bollocks", he said resignedly.

"Murdoch, it's time to go. Get the militia  and the voltigeurs off towards Montreal. We'll hang about here for a bit and cover the road. I think Mr James-bloody-Pendrick will have to get out of his own damn mess", Brackenreid shouted up the road.

"Right away sir!", replied Murdoch and immediately sent the militia off at the double eastwards.

Meanwhile Major Thomas Magnum thought he had spotted an opportunity and, with all the impetuosity of an impetuous American  person, shouted to his men "Forget the drill book men, fire at will and fire fast!"

Sergeant T.J. Hooker wasn't too sure about this, but Magnum was in charge so there was No Ruddy Alternative. "Yeehaw" he whispered quietly to himself.



The Montreal Militia Head East. The American Rifles And Pennsylvania Militia Move Up

 Shock accumulating on the American line

The Americans disappear behind a cloud of smoke as they "go uncontrolled". The rifles have moved up to their left and can just be seen at the right of the picture. The Pennsylvania militia are behind them, desperate to make best use of their second amendment rights.

Sunday, 31 May 2020

Carry On Up The St Lawrence - Chapter 2 - If You Go Down To The Woods Today.........

Major Thomas Magnum considered his options. He decide to forge ahead towards the road with the main body, but to send Captain Rockford and the skirmishers into the copse to the left.........

..........just as James Pendrick arrived with his local scouts on the road opposite, together with Captian Murdoch with the Voltiguers Canadiens. They proceded to pour some withering fire into Maverick's formation. Men were lost, but Magnum took some satisfaction in the fact that his numbers had grown too with the arrival of Captain Maverick with the Rifles and Pennsylvania Militia to his rear.

Rockford's men under fire from the scouts and voltigeurs.

The Montreal S.E.M. take up position west of the road, Captain Murdoch and Pendrick direct the skirmish line.Brackenreid and Higgins steady the Fencibles.

Magnum's men advance out of dead ground to the edge of the hill.

The Americans advance.

Thomas Brackenreid took a swig of whiskey from his flask and looked around. He was as happy as a Yorkshireman could ever be. The Fencibles were steady, the skirmishers seemed to be getting the better of the Americans in the copse, and the Milita were deployed to the rear. He turned to look at his sergeant: "Now Higgins, now's your time!" he cried.

[camera pans out for dramatic wide shot of the field]

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Carry On Up The St Lawrence - Chapter 1 - Opening Moves

As dawn broke over the green, fleece like landscape of eastern Upper Canada, Major Thomas Brackenreid came to the sudden realisation that Cousin Johnathon had managed to outflank his little force of Fencibles and Militia.

"Bloody hell,  Murdoch." he exclaimed in his inimitable Yorkshire fashion, "We've been outflanked."
"I do believe we have sir." replied Captain Murdoch, "I fear we need to act quickly, or we shall be cut off from Montreal."
"You're damn right there." said Brackenreid as he quickly formulated a plan. "Bonzo, beat to arms, and Higgins, take as many lads as are ready down to the road right now! Hold on until the rest of us get there", he shouted in the general direction of his men. "Yes sir." replied Higgins as Bonzo Bonham beat out the heaviest call to arms yet heard along the banks of the St. Lawrence.

On the other side of the Montreal Road, Major Magnum was unusually alert. Unencumbered by his recurring visions of high waves and canoe-paddling natives, he quickly ordered his regulars and skirmishers to deploy towards the road. Maybe the President had been right after all two years ago, when he said that this would be a mere matter of marching..........

But it was too late, the little band of redcoats that had been lining the road had grown in numbers and it now looked like there was some serious shooting to be done.

Major Thomas Magnum  leads his men forward from the rear, accompanied by Sergeant T.J Hooker and drummer Bernard "Buddy" Rich. Captain Jim Rockford (or is it Captain Brett Maverick, it's hard to tell sometimes?) directs the skirmishers from the 23rd US infantry

Major Brackenreid covers his ears as Bonzo beats the advance. Sergeant Henry Higgins steadies the Canadian Fencibles in the face of the American advance.
(The Americans appear to have brought a large drive-in movie screen with them)

"Book them Danno"

View of the Fencibles between the fences of the Montreal Road

This was Dave and I's first go at playing a game via Zoom. We will continue next week.

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Terrain For First 1814 Campaign Game

So I've been sorting out the terrain for the frst game

More fences made to surround the two orchards

And more fencing to line the road across the table
Concession road allowances were 66 feet wide, althought some were only 40 feet.
This is scaled to 40 feet wide at 1:100 

I already had the farmhouse and barn done, but they are standing on some textured "fuzzy felt" from Hobbycraft

The river is made from OHP acetate sheets painted blue on the rough side and placed glossy side up. The banks are just Woodland Scenics blended turf.

 I'm in the process of painting up this 10mm wooden bridge from It is a superb littele model, delivery was really quick, and it is a perfect size. This will replace the stone bridge in the photo. The type of bridge could be important in a different scenario.

I made a couple of deployment points while I was at it.

I've also got a couple of wells, some troughs/pumps and pigs from Peter Pig to add a bit of flavour to the farmyard, and I am waiting for two large hills from SandA scenics to replace the chipboard square things on the table that I have not photographed.

And in case anyone was wondering, no the river is NOT meant to be the St Lawrence, it's a tributary brook or steam.

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

One Of The Great Unanswered Questions Of Modern Music Is About to Be Answered..............

Buddy was really fast, Bonzo was really powerful:

but who will drum their comrades on to victory?