Sunday, September 27, 2015



Jurgen Olk's SYW Tricorne games set in INDIA at the annual Seven Years' War Weekend have been inspiring. Each game has been full of camaraderie, fun, smiles, entertaining chance cards, unique military units, colorful garments/gear, a venerable set of rules - Tricorne - by Ken Bunger, striking terrain and healthy laughs.

Here's one photo from Jurgen's 2013 game. 

And another!

In July 2015 we played our first SYW INDIA game locally. I'll get to it in a moment. After that game I was inspired to acquire Golconda and Indus miniatures Hindu Archers to raise our first Indian unit. Jim P. ordered a British Sepoy battalion too. Osprey's #263, Moghul India 1505-1761's uniform section shows a Hindu Archer militiaman on page D. Here are....

Golconda castings none of which are painted alike. Only at first did I color coordinate them. A good variety of poses are offered to make this group appear they are not using a SYW drill manual.

They look regimented because of temporary storage on the big underlying movement tray. However, several 10-12 man trays will be built. Bowmen will be dispersed in open order two to three ranks deep. I'm still pondering what to do.

These Indus Miniatures are all painted differently and come in a pleasing variety of poses too.

One reason for Hindu Archers was a hope they would paint quickly compared to more complex miniatures. This has surely been true. I thought about stringing the bows. However, time and intensive work needed caused abandonment of this idea. Getting them game ready fast was my prime directive. The plan is to have two groups of thirty or one group of sixty mixing castings from each manufacturer.

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Date: July 18, 2015
Location: Basmatipur, India (fictional)
Situation: An excuse to have a SYW game in India.
Rules: Batailles de l' Ancien Régime 1745-1763 (BAR)
Each Army: Almost evenly matched; very close anyhow.

Raison d'Être: To Game With Friends More! 
"People who need people are the luckiest people in the world." Lyrics from Barbara Streisand's song, People.
So get out and game more with people.

Players seated left to right: Earl K., Keith L. and John M. Standing left to right are John B., Chuck L, Jim P. (Der Alte Fritz) and yours truly Bill P. Four drove just less than 1.5 hours to attend. I'm glad we have fast super highways with minimal impediments so we can broaden attendance with friends farther away. So where was I? I was posted....


Dragoons I commanded somehow resembling those from the celebrated Fischer Legion were posted on the French extreme Right Flank whilst....

Opposite them John M. led horsemen allied with the British on their extreme Left Flank.

Who were supported by sixty open order musket armed militia!

Though outnumbered, I reasoned my dragoons would overcome the foe. As you can see one sixth was lost on the way forward to random enemy musket fire. I simply ignored the fact that British dragoons emerged in a reserve in a proper SYWish second line. Holding my ground would not do. Retreating was a better option but my orders were to hold the flank so....what was I supposed to do?


So did they!

By now you are wondering what madness overcame my better judgement. I had to hold or delay. So what inscrutable tactic could I employ? Plus, you don't know the whole picture yet. You'll see.

I charged by squadron hoping to win one of two separate fights. The native mass in the center overcame my left-hand squadron; the one which had been shot up on the way in.

One of my cavaliers got away - somehow.
Notice something else? See the white clad horsemen on the road.
These were thoughtfully sent by our CinC to help me. Meanwhile....

My right-hand squadron in the top center in two previous photos won and pushed these baddies back! Now if the defeated foe would rout, I would pursue and cause confusion in the enemy red-coat reserve, win the battle and my new reserves would ---  but --- that did not happen. Enemy morale held and....

The British cavalry joined their native allies to crush my French.

However, my new horsemen dashed up the road bypassing the the French defeat not shown to the left and....   

Rounded the corner to flee home. Well, that's what I audibly pretended to do as part of my inscrutable plan to throw disorder into the enemy flank. Run away? No....

I turned them about to make as much mischief as I could behind the enemy flank. That sixty man musket unit turned to face me. Feeling just swell, I charged. They fired poorly. GREAT! Then the melee was fought.

My melee dice were abominable. Low dice scores in BAR consistently mean trouble. I lost. 

Meanwhile, John's native horsemen sorted themselves out, left the Main Table, got onto the French Back Table and turned inward toward our Center. And that is how I lost the French Right Flank to John M.

I offer a sincere tip of the hat to John for his skill. The two of us had a ton of fun! Somewhere is the Spartan King Leonidas smiling understandably for me?


The truth is I was very busy fending off and trying to delay John M. as you just saw. So I will only briefly describe events elsewhere. Jim P. has an excellent report. See Closing Remarks below for his link.

Native forces allied with the French held a large wooded area in the center of the battlefield.

Red sashed natives allied with the British soon came forward en-mass to....  

Quickly overwhelm their foes in a charge.


The red sashes were disordered in the charge, somehow lost the melee, routed and disappeared through the top of the photo. Totally unexpected given the odds. That's why we use dice. This is why games are fun. That's why we should get out of our homes and play wargames with friends.

 However, the red sashes rallied and later returned to crush their opponents.

The melee just explained is beyond the top of the photo. Meanwhile....

Ponderous native artillery never got into the battle. The binky-nabod was too slow of course but these are gorgeous Indus Miniatures castings. Green chits record canister and round shot available for each gun. The nearby ammunition wagon had more. (Binky-nabob: native artillery commander.)


The melee previously described is beyond the top of this photo. Here come Jim P.'s resplendent British on their Right Flank bisected by lovely jungle terrain from Chuck L. and Todd B.

Don't you just hear the drums from that iconic scene in the motion picture Barry Lyndon about now? Natives instead of French await the onslaught.

Guess who won!

In spite of French native allies trying to work around the British extreme Right Flank to cause mischief.

This is a good tactic for SYW light cavalry in your games. They should mostly operate on the flanks; extreme flanks. Remember? I tried this on the French Right Flank.

The end of the story between my cavalry battle and the surprising melee in The Center where....

Battalion Albanie (did not serve in India) awaited....

A native open order line of firearms.

Supported by Keith L's gorgeous and detailed Jumbos. (Acquired as is at a craft store) 

The foe gradually outflanked Albanie. Albanie pulled back a French light battery to protect its flank but the onslaught was too much. Albanie fled The Main Table....

Onto the French Back Table and took up defensive positions in an enclosure. A good thing because John M's victorious horsemen were coming. Remember how they beat my cavalry, went onto the French Back Table and turned toward the French Center? The above is the new French Center.

British Commander in Chief The Earl of Glenlivet
From the collection of Jim P.
Shabash and prodigious congratulations to the British and their Native Allies for their  decisive victory.

And a loud round of applause for French players too.

We have a great group of player friends.
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1) See Jim P's excellent game report:

2) Buildings are from Miniature building Authority. Large trees were built by Herb Gundt's H.G. Walls. Roads and hedges were scratch-built by Chuck L.

3) Native forces were from my Northwest Frontier collection which typically vexes only General Pettygree. Now they will help and vex Clive of India too. Why not?

4) I don't remember what happened to this French Battalion from my Fischer Legion. These did not serve in India but as with everything in this game, it was pulled from other collections so we could have a SYW game in India. And why not?

It was posted in the area of the central woods and attacked by the redcoat battalions. The Chasseur Company are Jack Scruby 25mms. The rest are Front Rank 28mms.

5) Albanie features well-designed 25mm Crusader Miniatures.

6) Chance Cards: Here is how Jurgen's chance cards work. Each side draws a card, every turn, some blank, some not, employ immediately because it can mess up a turn . Use each sides card in the turn they pull it. This way plans and orders can charge with snakes or bees or whatever. In India nothing is certain but it is written. Here are a couple of them for your pleasure and smiles!

7) Have FUN in INDIA or where ever you choose. Get out and game more with your friends. It's a pukka (first rate) thing to do, my dear Husoor. It's good for your health too.

8) Your remarks are prodigiously welcome below at COMMENTS.
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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Bill's Annual Birthday Game Day of 2015

Bill's Annual Birthday Game Day: Saturday May 2, 2015
Speaking of late! If this report was any more late, my name would be Methuselah.

Games: Wild West and French and Indian War (Kind of thematic)
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Greetings Everyone!
My name is Rocket. I'm a three year old Dalmatian. There's not a black spot, dot, freckle or patch on me anyplace. Just dark chocolate brown ones. Pretty good, eh! My dad, Bill P., asked me to narrate this blog entry for you. So here we go.

For more years than I've been taking care of dad, he's hosted a prodigious game day closest to his May 1st birthday. About a dozen friends typically play in two or three games. Seated from left to right are: Brent O., John B. John M., Jim H. and Keith L. Standing left to right are: Jim P. (Der Alte Fritz), Kurt D., Earl K., Chuck L., Michael M. and dad, Bill P. Not pictured: Lew S. You will see him later.

One game always played is dad's absolute favorite, the Seven Years' War. He's been gaming that era forever; since 1965. This year everyone repaired to North America for the SYW there known as The French and Indian War. I know you know that! The photo above shows the end of that game. Additionally, Chuck L. hosted a mighty fine 1890s Western gunfight game.

Here's dad's birthday cake singularly made by a store with a curious name, Piggly Wiggly. Dad and I go there from time to time. Well....

It's time to shed light on the games. So let's go West pardner and play!

See'n as how we didn't have a name for the settlement, I'll call it Cow Town cuz that's the name on the hotel. Con sarn it, nobody is out. A great fear had gripped the citizens an' they was expect'n trouble.

Well these men are out; Keith who's look'n at yah. What's he say'n? Chuck is stand'n up all peaceable like meybe while Earl is contemplat'n 'is next move. A storm is com'n --- in more ways than you ken shake a stick at.

There's Lew closest to you. John B. is throwing dice for the rules Fistful of Lead. FOL seems to be the favorite in these parts. Still cain't see nobody though. Hid'n.

By the way, there were two men in the hotel kitchen. Both claimed to be cowboys. Only one was an actual cowboy though. How can you identify the real one? I'll tell you later.

Well now here's two fellers. Sorry we don't have more people to show you but the seven professional gunfighters who came to protect the town from numerous banditos are being careful to not leave cover. The banditos were clever too. Hid'n. Dodg'n. All that sort of thing. The game lasted about two and a half hours and was huge fun. Dad even played the gunfight scene from The Magnificent Seven in the background. Plus, Chuck had about four music CDs from Western motion pictures and television shows going back fifty years.

Some of the buildings are from ERTL. The ranch house in the last photo is from Miniature Building Authority. Some structures are from Old Glory. Most constructions came from the collections of Chuck L. and John B. Thanks pards!

Did you figure out which of the two men in the hotel kitchen was the real cowboy? Answer: The one on the range.
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That was fun. Everyone next put toys away, reset the table some, had lunch and then started the What If French Raid On Albany. Dad says in 1758 the Chevalier de Lévis was ordered to take Canadian milice, Woodland Indian Allies and a body of French converged grenadiers to raid Albany. While underway, they were recalled to Fort Carillon (Ticonderoga) because it had just been learned British General Abercromby was en-route up Lake George to attack the French fort. They only arrived the day before the great battle there on July 8, 1758. Anyhow....

Somehow militia and soldiers in and near Albany were alerted to the pending raid.

Great numbers of Woodland Indians shockingly advanced in numerous places.

Roger's Rangers soon began to oppose them.

The conflict became more and more belligerent....

As British reserves began to arrive. (Stadden 30mms)

Elsewhere the defenses were stiffened by a battalion of Royal Americans (28mm Front Rank) and by the Prussian von Bungle Musketeers pretending to be the New Jersey Blues.

More reserves march forward for King George II, the 42nd Highlanders.

A settler's cabin goes up in flames! Where are the French?!

En avant mes amis! Royal Rousillon foreground and Berry grenadiers advance. Both are Suren 30mms. Dad wants me to mention we played this game at 1:1. Each miniature was one historical soldier. The rules were Batailles de l'Ancien Régime 1740-1763 (BAR).

La Sarre 30mm Surens left and Languedoc 28mm Front Rank to the right.

Redoubt Miniatures 28mm La Reine.

As dad thinks he recalls, the French extreme left flank at the top of the image held while the British were in a bad way. Elsewhere the French were pushing back the British. When 4:30pm came, terms were offered to the British to withdraw. They accepted.

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That's my report and it's time to go. Before I do however, let me say....

1) Chuck, Michael and Brent were very kind to bring miniatures from their collections for the Albany game. Chuck and John B. provided a lot of terrain for the Western game.

2) Dad is very grateful for the friends who attended the day. Some came a long way especially Brent from Minnesota. Other players came from Illinois: Jim P., Jim H., Earl K., John M. and Keith L. Midwesterners don't mind driving long distances to be with companionable friends.

3) Michael M. has a lot more photos which tell the story of the Albany raid much better. Please go to his blog Campaigns In Miniature and find:  

4) What's next? Dad is starting a report about our July 18, 2015 first ever Seven Years' War game in India. Here's a photo from The Battle of Basmatipur! Shabash S'hab!

5) Thank you for looking in. Remarks are welcome below at Comments just below here.
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