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'A gaping silken dragon,/Puffed by the wind, suffices us for God./We, not the City, are the Empire's soul:/A rotten tree lives only in its rind.'

Friday, 6 April 2012

The butterfly mind...

...of a wargamer/toy soldier type. Having posted yesterday about  my small collection of paper soldiers, the US medic in 1898/9 pattern uniform drew me back to a project that I (more or less) completed in terms of figures, but of which I have never played a game. Here are some of the fellows:

28mm figures by Copplestone, but now in the hands of Tiger Miniatures, with a scratch built Spanish blockhouse (I have still to add a roof to the cupola), for Cuba, 1898. Another view below:

The ahistorical unit flags, and the very high number of command figures reflect the fact that I intend to try out the rule set by the Virtual Armchair General:

These look as if they will be very interesting to play, with historically weighted numbers of figures reflecting the overwhelming strength of US forces at El Caney and San Juan Heights. The trick is that the rules attempt to replicate the extremely poor command and control that characterised US forces, so that disorganisation is a constant threat to any sort of co-ordinate assault on Spanish defensive works. It will be interesting to see if it works, or whether the small number of Spaniards will simply be steam rollered. Both sides wait, the main forces still in barracks:


  1. Ah memories...
    I put on a 15mm game using Freikorps 15mm - brittle figures- legs kept snapping with the Edinburgh University wargames club of the battle of El Caney using rule adaptions for "Johnny Reb" which gave a fun game. Jan contributed by designing and typing the leaflet( something she has done for quite a number of dispay games I have been involved with diverse folk over the years) we gave to the visitors.It had that lovely quote on it-"Remember the Maine and to hell with spain"Two painted armies lurk in the shed sadly rebased a few times but not gamed for years...
    There was a photo history of the war in the library called "A Splendid little War" which I really liked at the time filled with evocative sepia piccies.
    Spookily I was thinking when painting the sitting room the other day I really ought to dust the chaps off and get them out for a whirl...
    I have fun things like the Dynamite Gun and command figures of Teddy himself. BTW wasn't it during this war one of the American commanders shouted something about having the rebs/Confederates on the run - a throw back to his acw days?
    Can you say a little more of the rules and their potentiality for 15mm gaming?

  2. Ahaa! Great ex-Edinburgh University types think alike! I won't start the 'small world' rif, but by the sound of it your wife, like mine, is also Edinburgh Uni from the early 1980s.
    As for the rules in question, they are primarily aimed at 15mm (in fact, using the brittle legged ones), but can be adapted to 28mm. I very much hope to have a game in the near future, so will report more on how 'Rough Riders!' work in practice.