Verda versus Griza pound store plastic soldiers 20mm Interbellum FMS skirmish, now with added Esperanto!

Grizan Militia forces (milicoj) and light tank (malpleza tanko) approach the bridge (ponto).

Following on from last week’s Pound Store Plastic Warriors post about these tiny 2cm Airfix clone figures, I have been busy painting some of them

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/06/23/the-joy-of-pound-store-play-sets/

so here is now a small test skirmish using adapted Donald Featherstone simple WW2 rules from War Games (1962). Movement and firing ranges were generally halved to fit a small gridded picture frame battlefield with squares on the back of wrapping paper instead of inches.

Photo: Working out the rough dispositions of the Verdan (south) and Grizan troops (north) before allocating arrival turns.

In keeping with the adopted common or international language of Verda and Griza, some Esperanto words appear throughout including on this military map.

Border section (landlima infanterio sectio) Verda military sketch map (milita mapa skizo) – secreto!
From the Verdan side of the border or bridge post – how they expect the Grizan Militia to arrive

The scenario the Verdan Militia forces trained for – light tank / infantry attack on the border.

Scenario

Rumours of a small lightly armoured reconnaissance column of Grizan militia heading towards their small river or canal wharf border post have reached the Verdan troops and light tank stationed there.

They quickly arrange some of the sacks and freight boxes stored on the canal wharf into a roadblock barricade and elsewhere on the wharf as cover.

Their green MT1 light tank (malpeza tanko) waits in the cover of trees.

A small portable Boom-KA or kontrautankan armilon (antitank rifle or rocket) is readied in place behind the sack and sandbag barricade on the border bridge.

Message is sent back by despatch rider to call up the rocket car (skolto auto raketo or scout car) stationed further up the road. It will arrive hopefully on Turn 6.

Turns 1 to 4

Elements of both Verdan forces defending the borderpost and attacking Grizan forces appear on the board at staggered turns and locations chosen by d6 throws.

The Grizan forces attack head on from left, centre and right.

By Turn 5, the first few Verdan defenders are hit by fusilo or rifle fire, defending the low stone border or boundary walls.

Turn 5 – the Grizan light tank, knocked out for 1 move has a marker placed to remind me.
Turn 5 – the scene / seen from the Verdan Militia side.

Turn 7 – the Grizan tank is back in action with its 2 pounder gun.

The front line of the Verdan forces behind the stone walls are now all dead.

The unreliable shoulder-held Verdan Infantry antitank rocket (the Boom-KA) used by the Verdan Militia on the bridge is close enough to score a close range hit. It fires but again lands a glancing blow which failed to penetrate the light tank armour.

Thankfully neither of the Grizan or Verdan light tanks is the machine gun mounted type, it instead has rather light armour for speed and a not so powerful 2 pounder gun.

Turn 8 – the Grizan light tank is destroyed by the Verdan light tank.

On the footbridge to the side of the crossing, Grizan Militia troops have suffered badly trying to outflank the main action. Several Grizan and Verdan Militia men have been brought down by rifle fire from behind cover and melee.

Turn 9 sees the Grizan scout car destroyed by a rocket salvo from the Verdan rocket car (Verda raketo auto)

Turn 10 – Retirigi

The Grizan Officer decides (d6 1-3 yes, 4-6 no) that with the loss of over half his Infantry force and his two vehicles, it is time to retreat. The Retirigi signal is given. Retreat! Retreat!

The battered Verdan border troops cheer – “Venko!” (Victory) “Venko al Verda!”

Casualties

Verda infanterio – 10

Griza infanterio – 14

Malplaza tanko (Light tank) – 1

Skolto auto (Scout car) – 1

Solo Game Feedback

I haven’t used these simpler WW2 Featherstone rules from War Games (1962) for a while, although I have used them on and off for forty years. I noticed some omissions due to their conciseness. Where needed, I had add or approximate range / hit dice rate rule for “Tank firing on troops” or “Bazooka versus troops”.

I also kept confusing inches with squares.

I now understand much more now about the long discussions online about movement and firing on a square grid, orthogonal and diagonal movement etc. that are explored more fully in Bob Cordery’s The Portable Wargame book series.

I may go back to simple Heroscape hexes on my portable playing board.

ImagiNations Back Story – Verda and Griza

Forgotten Minor States FMS in the early Twentieth Century and Interwar period

Over a hundred years earlier, Verda and Griza were part of Verdigris, one of the many Forgotten Minor Eurasian States (FMS).

In the early twentieth century Verdigris adopted Esperanto as its official language with its international neighbours. This was partly because it liked the bright greenness of the Esperanto flag, for which it hoped to supply much of the copper green pigment.

The inventor of Esperanto, Ludwig Lazar Zamenhof (1859-1917) or one of his followers is said to have visited Verdigris early in the 1890s on a speaking tour to promote his new Lingvo internacia [citation needed].

Seen here in the mid to late Nineteenth Century, the Light Artillery of the Verdigris Volunteer Militia on a suitably grey misty day for their grey green and red uniforms.

Dapper dandyish Verdigris Militia force officers and Verdigris flag of grey, green and red, mid to late 19th Century

“The misty mountain regions of Verdigris is allied with Upper or Higher Plumea (another Forgotten Minor State). Its principal industry is copper mining, copper working for a range of industrial and artistic craft purposes, allied to the use of green pigment by artists. This has slowly declined since more stable green pigments were discovered and became available. As in Bleudelys, its pigment rival, the women of Verdigris play an important role in the processing of the pigment.”

“The original Verdigris flag reflects the mountain grey mist and the copper green of the Verdigris pigment industry.”

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/04/19/scrap-napoleonics-ready-to-scrap-forgotten-minor-states/

.

Green, grey and red were the original Verdigris colours. By the late 1920s and 1930s, Verda and Griza had uneasily split in the aftermath of WW1 in the 1920s during the worldwide depression.

In the now forgotten FMS Minor Principality and Duchy (Duklando) of Verdigris, the last Duko and Dukino had died in the early Twentieth century, childless, of extreme old age. The Verdigris line of succession of this tiny royal or aristocratic house had finally dwindled.

It had faded out through low royal birth rates, copper poisoning, no heirs (or disputed heirs of dubious legitimacy) and abdication down to a few disputed, disinterested and financially distressed distant foreign cousins, many times removed, most of whom didn’t even want to live there anymore.

These minor royals and relations were quite happy to live quietly on the capital built up on the profit inherited from the labours of many generations of Verdigris working class copper miners, pigment makers and dyers, men and women alike. Many of the workers died younger than the Verdigris gentry from the toxic effects of copper and arsenic production.

Grizan Militia and MT1 Light Tank approach the Verdan border post

Royalist and Nationalist forces of Verda Armeo (the Verdan or Green Militia army) wore grey-green uniforms and a bright copper green flag or markings on vehicles.

The self-styled “socialist Republic” of Griza Armeo (the Grizan or Grey Militia army) wore grey uniforms with red flag and markings on vehicles.

They wanted the dwindling copper industry nationalised and the profits shared with the people. The lingvo internacia of Esperanto with its Russo-Polish middle European origins was adopted or promoted by the socialist Grizan people as a forward thinking international language of trade and socialist harmony. Many of the copper miners had already joined unions and socialist militias (milicos). It was partly that they liked the copper green flag of Esperanto, as it was good for business. If only the red flag of socialism could be replaced with a greener one …

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN (Viro de STANO) 28 June 2020

Blog Post Script B.P.S. – Esperanto and the US Army

The International Language of Peace – Esperanto Military Training Manual

Several decades later, The Ewessae (USA) Army used Esperanto as the language for the ImagiNations enemy “Aggressor Troops” in their troop training from the 1950s to 1970s.

I discovered this through the late Thor Shiel’s Milihistriot website and featured a screenshot in my 2016 blog post here; and two US Army 1960s Training Manuals :

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/18/tintin-and-imagi-nations-games/

https://ia600302.us.archive.org/4/items/FM30-101/FM30-101.pdf

https://archive.org/details/FM30-101AAggressortheManeuverEnemyEsperantoLanguage/page/n29/mode/2up

https://blogs.transparent.com/esperanto/the-us-army-used-esperanto/

This Aggressor fictional enemy using adapted recoloured US Equipment is one good future way of using Pound Store figures where both sides use the same moulds, albeit in different colours. Lots of ideas here for future gaming .

Here is another link to the US Army Aggressor Training Manual 1962 on archive.org

https://ia600302.us.archive.org/4/items/FM30-101/FM30-101.pdf

and that short video of US Army Esperanto speaking Aggressor training on YouTube

https://youtu.be/kZ2ei7e6aAs

Author: 26soldiersoftin

Hello I'm Mark Mr MIN, Man of TIN. Based in S.W. Britain, I'm a lifelong collector of "tiny men" and old toy soldiers, whether tin, lead or childhood vintage 1960s and 1970s plastic figures. I randomly collect all scales and periods and "imagi-nations" as well as lead civilians, farm and zoo animals. I enjoy the paint possibilities of cheap poundstore plastic figures as much as the patina of vintage metal figures. Befuddled by the maths of complex boardgames and wargames, I prefer the small scale skirmish simplicity of very early Donald Featherstone rules. To relax, I usually play solo games, often using hex boards. Gaming takes second place to making or convert my own gaming figures from polymer clay (Fimo), home-cast metal figures of many scales or plastic paint conversions. I also collect and game with vintage Peter Laing 15mm metal figures, wishing like many others that I had bought more in the 1980s ...

7 thoughts on “Verda versus Griza pound store plastic soldiers 20mm Interbellum FMS skirmish, now with added Esperanto!”

  1. Excellent post! Outstanding! Thank you!

    On Sun, 28 Jun 2020, 16:01 Pound Store Plastic Warriors, wrote:

    > 26soldiersoftin posted: “Grizan Militia forces (milicoj) and light tank > (malpleza tanko) approach the bridge (ponto). Following on from last week’s > Pound Store Plastic Warriors post about these tiny 2cm Airfix clone > figures, I have been busy painting some of them https://pound” >

    Like

    1. Thank you (Dankon). Verda vs Griza may prove a source of future conflict, so I thought it worth building up the backstory.
      The Esperanto US army training enemy of Aggressor is another fascinating (state sponsored) ImagiNation worth a few games following up too.

      Like

  2. I am curious, Mark – given that Featherstone’s ruleset uses a three-man “section” as the game element, did you use that, or count each figure on its own as an individual? I see four- and five-man units on your table. I’ve been considering running my 54mm plastics this way. (Also doubling the ranges, perhaps.)

    Currently building some ancient Greeks from Peter Dennis to experiment with De Bellis Antiquitatis.

    Like

    1. Using Featherstone’s WW2 rules but, having forces on each side of only c. 20 figures, I used individual figures including firing, rather than Featherstone’s Volley method. It works for 54mm figures too.

      Hope the Greek forces building goes well.

      Like

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