SPECIAL THANKS. I would like to thank Paul Watson for his sponsorship of several lead figure collections on this blog. Having decided to clear his spare/surplus figures, he generously forwarded them on with no other requirement than they deserved to be restored.

Sunday, 25 April 2021

Battle of Vankleek Hill part 2 (Dominion Wargame)

The battle commenced with a rapid advance by both sides. As soon as the medium guns were in range they opened up. The first hit was made by the Roving Cannon, taking out an Irish guardsman. In response to this three of the four RA guns directed all their fire power on this strange contraption, which was leading the American advance. A hit, one of the crew down, In subsequent moves another crew member. But it was the third strike that shocked everyone, throwing two sixes, the magazine blue up. While this event dominated the game the Americans had formulated a good defensive line using the terrain for maximum advantage. And when their gatling gun opened up on the advancing British infantry it stopped them in their tracts. 

By now casualties were mounting up, mainly on the British side, the Lancashire regiment having 50% casualties still held fast but unable to now take offensive action it was thought best to retire the battalion. For the Empire troops there was now a serious problem. If the American line held, it would be  a victory. The British had to break through their lines if they were to liberate Ottawa. 

Both sides now attempted to reorganise their forces while still under artillery fire. On the Empire right, the artillery had been silenced by American guns, while on the left the guns were doing their work but not at a rate which would make an assault viable. 
Now something occurred which dashed all plans to take the offensive. The KRRC were under stress trying to compete with the American riflemen. The latter had fortified the watermill and with hard cover they were more than holding their own. The KRRC broke. With the neighbouring Durham Light Infantry unable to help due to mounting losses from the American artillery. When the two battalions of skirmishers advanced there was little to stop them, and the RA battery was also now under threat from small-arms fire. 

The Empire troops are ordered to retire back to Montreal.

Command 3
Cavalry 4
Cavalry 4
Cavalry 4
Cavalry 4
Cavalry command 1
Royal Artillery 13 (5 casualties)
Irish Guards 12 (1 cas)
RM Artillery 5
KRRC 8 (3 cas)
Durham LI  12 (9 cas)
Lancashire Regt. 12 (6 cas)
Essex Regt. 12
Royal Highlanders 12
Gordon Highlanders 12
Canadian Grenadiers 8
TOTAL 126 plus 7 medical staff (24 casualties)

Command 3
Cavalry command 1
Cavalry 4
Cavalry 4
NG Cavalry 4
NG Cavalry 4
Infantry 12 (7 cas)
Infantry 12 (5 cas)
Infantry 12 (2 cas)
Artillery 8 (4 cas)
NG Gatling 3
Marx's Roving Cannon 3 (3 cas)
West Point Battn. 12
NG Infantry 12 (4 cas)
NG Skirmishers 12 
NG Skirmishers 8 (1 cas)
NG Skirmishers 6
NG Skirmishers 8
TOTAL 128 (26 cas)

The Battle of Vankleek Hill, part one (Dominion Wargame)

SCENARIO A British Empire army has set off from Montreal for Ottawa. In response, an American army has moved out of Ottawa with the intension of engaging this northern threat. Somewhere near Vankleek Hill the opposing armies come face to face. 

FIGURES We can now disclose the Americans intend to use a new weapon in this action, some kind of roving cannon? Reliable returns give the Empire 114 soldiers to 114 Americans. Dice were thrown with both sides scoring eleven i.e. large and similar sized armies, I'm not really a fan of equal point based games but these armies are very similar (with the exception of that roving cannon). The terrain was laid out according to dice throws.

Saturday, 24 April 2021

The Attack on Fort William and Port Arthur, Ontario (Dominion Wargame)

All Decisions are determined by Dice

The Twin Ports of Duluth (Minnesota) and Superior (Wisconsin) decided to launch their own combined expedition to take the settlements of Fort William and Port Arthur in Western Ontario. Having larger populations the Americans were allowed a six-sided dice x12 figures. With a score of three they were able to muster thirty-six figures for this expedition. The Canadian settlements were less developed so were granted a D6x3 figures for Fort William's garrison, another D6x3 for Port Arthur, a D6x1 for Neebing, and D6x1 for McIntyre. Unfortunately, a rivalry between the two main Canadian settlements resulted in neither community willing to subject their command to the other. This allowed the Americans to concentrate their resources, while the Canadians halved their potential strength attempting to defend two locations.


As the American force approached Fort William the two medium guns in the fort opened up. In these initial exchanges the Canadians fired down the main causeway with good effect. Taking down three American gunners, and one infantryman, for only two gunners on their side. The Americans now assaulted the fort with National Guard skirmishers and a band of volunteers. Having to now divide their fire, the tide turned against the defenders. When the Canadian company in the block house went silent, and the local commander's wife was injured, the garrison surrendered. 


Commander and his wife (1 injured, 1 captured)

Militia-Volunteer Artillery 6 (4 injured, 2 more captured)

Militia Volunteer Riflemen 3 (1 injured, 2 more captured)


Commander 1

National Guard Artillery 7 (3 injured)

National Guard Infantry Battalion 12 (2 injured)

National Guard Skirmishers 8 (1 injured)

National Guard Hussars 4

Armed Volunteers 5


Leaving the Armed Volunteers to secure Fort William and the prisoners, the American force moved over to Port Arthur. This time the American commander took steps to approach the settlement from three directions. And, he decided to use his superiority in artillery to weaken the garrison. In the exchange of artillery fire the garrison could not compete and when their own gun was taken out, they chose to withdraw. They were not followed.


Commander 1

Militia Volunteer Artillery 3 (3 casualties)

Militia Volunteer Riflemen 6 (1 casualty)

Armed civilians 5 (1 casualty)

Note. The Americans did suffer the loss of another artilleryman.


Friday, 23 April 2021

Raid on Owen Sound (Dominion skirmish game)

Having just completed the Pepperrell Light Infantry (aka Prescott's Light Guards), a Massachusetts militia unit, I decided it was time to clear the table and have a skirmish game.

SCENARIO (All determined by Dice)

With Toronto under siege, American Command ordered a small force to take and secure the nearby settlement of Owen Sound. The Americans were allowed two dice x 3. The settlement was allowed one dice x 3. (Three is important in my house rules as it is a potential firing unit.)

The American force comprised the commander, a troop of light cavalry (4), a national guard company (4), and a band of volunteers (aka plunderers, 4). They arrived on the outskirts of the settlement at about 10pm, they then rested with the intension of a surprise dawn attack.

The settlement had fortified a building to serve as an armoury. They numbered a company of volunteer-militia (4), others manning a gatling gun (2), some armed residents in local houses (6), all commanded by the town mayor/captain. Only the gatling gun was kept operational at all times.


With the rising of the sun the Americans silently approached the settlement at double time. They successfully reached the stockade (three moves) before being spotted. The gatling opened up and took down a raider, but in the exchange both crew members were casualties. At this point the barracks were to arms, and some civilians were taking shots at the cavalry troop which had secured a key junction in the town. 

In the stockade both sides had the advantage of hard cover but it was the Americans that inflicted a casualty. With half their number down, the Canadians took a morale check, they held. In the following exchanges another Canadian was hit, and no longer able to return fire the garrison surrendered. The firing from nearby houses had inflicted no casualties and when word reached them that the garrison had surrendered, the armed civilians did likewise.

At this point we must record that the 'band of volunteers' now proceeded to plunder the town, with the American commander unable to stop them. The commander decided to parole the garrison and ordered his national guard to vacate the town, which also put a stop to the plundering by the 'band of volunteers'. 

CASUALTIES, one US National Guardsman, four Canadian Volunteer-Militia. Game lasted about 15 minutes, and a bit of fun. 


Thursday, 22 April 2021

EBAY ACQUISITIONS, quite a variety!

Have recently picked up a real assortment of items on Ebay. The first is a box of broken artillery pieces. There is a Britains Garrison Howitzer made between 1924-39. This will need a lot of work to restore. And there was an Astra Pharos field gun, it too will take some effort to complete. Total cost £5. Noteworthy, the box arrived with the following note. 'Much loved toys of my father Colonel J.G. Mileham, 16th Foot, born 1912, much played with.' Wonderful, when these are repaired I will label them underneath with this information.

I put a bid in on three Belgium WW1 soldiers, also by Britains. Have already attached these restored figures to my Franco-Spanish army. Total cost £8.95. (They are now serving with some French marines in khaki uniforms.)

OK, just purchased this for the wheels, but now I'm thinking of converting the vehicle into an armoured car, using plasticard. This will be a fun project. Total cost £5.20.

This caught my eye because of the bold colour. Size-wise, its about 2cms longer than the Britains naval gun, and about the same height. My plan is to just give it a clean and then attach it to my Franco-Spanish army. It will be a nice contrast to the British army counterpart. Total cost £8.20.

Picked up a batch of six broken cavalry for £10.35. A bit on the high side but the seller kindly added another two castings. Yesterday, using these figures, I completed my Ruritanian Horseguards, based on the 1952 Prisoner of Zenda movie. 


Sunday, 18 April 2021


As a change from painting figures decided to construct some wargaming furniture. Using some wheels taken off a Chinese toy tractor, costing 50p, I've put together a German ammo trailer. Not really appropriate for PAK 40 guns it will still add something to the table. Its based on the Sd.Ah.31 design. The camouflage is an early form which appeared in 1936!

Would have liked a better photo of the original but it might have had a copyright issue.

Have completed the command figures for my two battalions of West Indian troops. I've based the officers on some of the originals that Britains supplied in their box sets, converting a fifer and lifeguard.

SET 19 first version came with a foot officer
SET 19 second version with a mounted officer