Travels with a Rogue

A small piece of the web dedicated to Gen. Mikhail Skobolev (the White General), toy soldiers (any period), history, politics and books circa. 1850-1900.

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Location: Frederick, Maryland, United States

There was an earlier day in my life when I had plenty of time and no money for my hobby, now I have money for my hobby and not so much time. I never stopped playing with toy soldiers "much to my mothers chagrin" exchanging the sandbox, green armymen and rocks for Donald Featherstone's book Wargames, AWI soldiers from the back of a comic book, dice and rulers. Those early games were great fun and very exciting. Eventually I graduated to more complicated systems, better miniatures, headaches, rule arguments and basically not a lot of fun. I thought about ditching the hobby altogether. I realized recently that I like a good game of toy soldiers. I like the look of toy soldiers and I like the way a simple game plays. I like the trusty d6.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Castle Deal

I'll add more info to this photo later but it's a great deal.

The castle is going to be 15" x 15", with 4" tall walls and 6.5" tall towers. The rampart behind in the wall is just under 3" tall and 1.5" wide.

I quickly built one of the wall pieces and put some figures around it. I'll post to my blog in the next few minutes; however it looks fine. I used an OG 28mm Ren Swiss officer, 2 30mm Redoubt Trojan War figures, 1 unpainted 28mm Crusader Norman and 3 GW 28mm Uruk Hai mini's for scale. Anyway it looks ok.

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Battle of Lovcha CW07

This was the second game I had signed up to run. It started Saturday at noon and would have well over 400 42mm figures on the table. As it turns out only one person had signed up to play in advance; however, a few more folks walked by and were more then happy for a place at the table. Again setup took about an hour, many thanks to my wife and friends for their help and support; I couldn't have done this without them.

Lovcha was another pesky fortified position that was supplying Plevna from Sophia. The town is known for the covered bridge that crosses the river Osam. The bridge was built in 1872 and is so lovely the Turks couldn’t bring themselves to destroy it. They didn’t occupy the town either, instead fortifying the heights around the area. For pictures of Lovech, Lovitch or Lovcha and the bridge check here:

The Russians were under the command of Prince Imrtinski and Gen M Skobolev. The Russian commanders used artillery to suppress the entrenched positions and to cover the assault columns in what would be a successful precursor to the trench warfare of WWI. The Russians cleared the trenches on the eastern side of the river and then stormed the Osam at a well known ford and through the town. The remaining Turks retreated and were hunted down by the regiments of Cossacks.

It took a little under 3 hours to play the game which is impressive considering the number of figures and that 5 of the 7 players had never played the rules before. In fact by the end of the game the players were running the game themselves and stopping occasionally to ask me clarification questions only. If you are interested in gaming the period 1850 to 1912 I highly recommend Chris Peers Ever Victorious Armies. They might require some small tweaking depending upon the war and scale you wish to use, but they are a solid system. They also give very historical results, I will review them shortly.

Here’s the link to the slide show, enjoy!

The Battle for Lovcha

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Battle of Gorni Dubnik at ColdWars07

So my first game at the convention was Friday at 4PM in the main gaming room. We drove up in the middle of an ice storm passing easily 2 dozen cars stuck in the median, flipped upside down and crashed after sliding across the highway into oncoming traffic. A ride that normally takes 2 hours took over 5 hours; we simply didn’t drive faster then 40mph (miles per hour for my friends outside of the US).

We setup the game between 3 and 4 and we were ready to begin playing just a few minutes before 4. You can follow the setup in the slide show attached to this posting.

Basically; Gen Gourko, the hero of Shipka Pass was given command of the Russian Guard Corps. He was told to eradicate the Turkish position at Gorni Dubnik. This was one of the fortified positions that were being used to keep Plevna supplied. The Guards assaulted from the East, South and West and took horrendous casualties. They did finally take the position as the sun was setting; however, the loss of so many of the Tsars beloved Guardsmen almost cost Gourko his command.

Anyway the game was to kick off at 4 although at 4:45 no one had showed. That’s right, nobody. So I went to registration and they said you can tear the game down if you want. I asked if my friends and I could play and at registration they said do what you want. During the game lots of folks stopped by to look and to chat. It seemed as though the game was well received. I invited lots of folks to come by Saturday at noon when we would be playing the battle of Lovitch. But nobody stayed to play, oh well, we had a great time. More importantly the changes I’ve made to the rules worked perfectly. The game was fun, gave realistic results, easy to play and we fought the game to a conclusion in 3 hours. We moved approximately 300 figures over a 5x10 table and had a great game with silly hats!

If you’d like to view the fight click on the picture below and view the slide show or individual pictures.

The Battle of Gorni Dubhik

Preparing for ColdWars 07

I was told once never sign up for a game at a convention if you don't already have all of the soldiers painted and scenery ready. I now know why. I signed up to run 2 games at CW07 this year and had only about 30% of what was needed done and on the shelf. I'm very lucky though as I have a very supportive family that actually enjoys this hobby. So everybody pitched in and we did make it happen. I will be posting albums of the games next; for now here are some photos of preparing.

Prepping for the Con.