These rules suggest many different two or three figure bouts, contests or wallopings.
The figures used are Steve Weston’s Mexican Peasants – I got mine through a good deal on his website or EBay site for some sets with water damaged packaging. This got me two packets for the price of one. Not quite Pound store prices but still cheap.
For a quick and lazy paint job on these white plastic figures, I used the “Pewtering” technique. I learnt this from the Prince August website, giving them a quick brush over with black acrylic paint, them wiping the paint off a minute or two later before it dries. Details are revealed as highlights and shadows, whilst you can always repaint in more detail at a later time.
Some of the peasants are armed with rifles, very useful for irregular forces, guerillas and settlers. Not so useful for the duelling games.
Here the Mexican lady is the attacker – I threw a coin to choose. The man is the defender.
Playing as the attacking angry Mexican lady I have a limited choice of three duelling moves – cut or swipe to head, parry and lunge and stop- thrust.
Playing solo I will be drawing the man’s cards from the top of his deck each time, replacing them to the bottom.
Mexico Gold Rush: A renewed duel between angry Mexican machete guy and man with shovel over the golden nuggets in the basket.
Pound Land U.K. currently has stocks of 75 to 80mm plastic figures perfect for garden games.
The equivalent Papo or Schleich figure range are better paint finished, slightly more detailed and about one of these would cost the same as five to eight or more of these £1 figures.
As all they had left of this range on the shelves in Poundland were mostly the Roman Testudo Tortoise figures, a little cutting and reglueing of the arm may be needed. Pilum or Spear very fragile but they do have separate sword in a scabbard.
Obviously a little painting may be required but this is a much cheaper way of building up some big troops for garden gaming.
The challenge is who they are to fight against! I will have to keep an eye out for some suitably tribal figures in the sameness price range. Even the gladiator has no opposition but there are plenty more poses of Schleich gladiators at greater cost.
I could weather it and distress it, but I quite like the clean lines and simple appearance. I could have cut the two roofs sections off to make rooms inside but wanted to keep it simple and strong. It could equally make a kind of lighthouse or a 1930s aircraft control tower.
Whilst it wasn’t cheap at £10, it was a good buy to end a working week, perfect for a wet bank holiday.
I resisted buying the ship and house because I am midway through turning a supermarket finest Christmas clementine box from last year into another fort or walled compound …
This box is an MDF sort of ‘wood’ and has an adobe or Alamo look to it (where the top lid should slot in), especially in the corner sections. It also has a look of my much loved Airfix Foreign Legion Fort.
First a layer of white acrylic paint over peeled label and sanded outside walls. Several coats of acrylic paint will be needed.
You can see mocked up internal firing step or walls, but not sure which height yet to suit which scale of toy figure.
I’m still roughing out the internal layout – possibly a wooden coffee-stirrer barn door at one end below or incorporating the handle, and another coffee-stirrer barn door midway along one wall.
But that is for another blogpost …
Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN / Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog, 2 May 2017.
One of my favourite simple ideas chapters in Solo Wargaming by Don Featherstone is called “Wargaming In Bed”.
Transposed to the garden wargame, maybe this should be called “Wargaming in the Flower Bed”?
Here in this chapter, there are simple, mostly skirmish ideas, mostly for a few 54mm figures. There is an interesting short section on the “Lunge, Cut and Stop Thrust” duelling game invented by Gerard Du Gre of the MGC (Model General’s Club) in America.
(Lunge, Cut and Stop Thrust does sound like an odd bunch of solicitors or estate agents.)
What I like about this card system is that it can be played solo or two handed.
It is almost a card version of “scissors paper stone”, a gaming system used for thousands of years and harnessed for a great caveman / tribal game many years ago in Miniature Wargames. Must look this one out for my Homecast Prince August cavemen!
A set of cards is prepared with one of the following actions on each.
Cut to Head
Parry and Lunge
I prepare a set of three cards for my hand, then a set of about thirty cards for my ‘opponent’ solo games.
Once you gave decided if you are attacker or defender (toss a coin for this), you can turn up the top card for your non-existent opponent’s choice of action at random. Return card to bottom of pile.
Alternatively, you can split the pack in half and play each figure as ‘random’, taking the top card blind from each pack for each figure.
Lunge, Cut and Stop Thrust – Combat Points
For each successful hit, remove 1 point / counter from the number given.
Featherstone / Du Gre gives 2 Combat Power points to light foot.
I usually give 5 points to each of these unarmoured swordsman to prolong the game.
Featherstone / Du Gre gives 2 Combat Power points to light foot. You can choose your own points table.
Light Foot – 2 points
Heavy Foot – 3 points
Mounted Knights 3 points plus 1 point for horse
Light Mounted (unarmoured) 2 points plus 1 point for horse.
In the case of Mounted men, the first hit is against their horse. When their horse is killed, the rider continues to fight on foot.
When all points have gone, this opponent is dead.
The winner can be given an additional point / counter.
If you both choose or draw the same card, consult the separate hit deck. The cards either say Both Hit or Both Missed.
To further randomise the opponents cards, I added in a couple of ducks and slips (either being hit or missed) as chance cards.
This is the closest I think I will get to card activation.
Points are kept by scoring pointers – pebbles on the beach, sweets, coins or in the sandpit example, some spare Tiger store flamingo cocktail sticks in homage to the other Don Featherstone.
Duelling in Angria and the Bronte books?
There are lots of examples of the pistols or swords and six paces sort of thing in the Bronte juvenilia Imagi-Nations I have been following up on my Man of TIN blog. Most officer figures with many toy soldier sets had suitable swords.
This duelling card system an also be used to sort out Melee in an interesting way in Solo games and otherwise. Once troops are engaged, time stops whilst an individual skirmish is played out. Morale, Retreat or disengage cards could be added for variety.
Fantasy Gladiator type skirmishes are possible.
The addition of life or hit points means that you can give a combat / defence / life points value to anything from a dinosaur to a mounted knight. Or even in the Heroscape box, a Mounted knight on a dinosaur …
Quick Samurai version?
I am slightly jealous of the attractive cherry blossom in the new Samurai Game Test of Honour featured in Tony’s Tin Soldiering On blog,
although i think its mainly the cherry blossom and not the rules system. I remembered I had some ‘free’ Samurai swordsmen in the couple of Heroscape starter sets which I bought for the hex tiles.
This works equally well in the garden with appropriate Japanese plants like this lovely Acer (Japanese Maple).
And the equivalent of Featherstone’s swoppet knights that as a convalescing invalid he hopes to “Bribe a nurse or browbeat your wife into bringing to your bedside a couple of those plastic 54mm Swoppet armoured knights and position them at either end of the Bed table.”
Maybe suitable figures can be found in their modern equivalent Lego mini figures or Wilko bootleggo mini figures, or pound store bags of knights or pirates.
Interchangeable weapons, heads , legs – Lego type minifigures are the modern version of Britain’s / Herald or Timpo type Swoppets.
I even found Lego minifigure fencing figures and do by chance or blind bag luck own two fencers, but could only find one for the photograph.
Somewhere I have Lego Star Wars and also metal figures of duelling Jedi figures with their lightsaber laser swords – these rules would also work well for this!
Featherstone mentions that “Minor actions can be fought: half a dozen Airfix men can try to capture a Bellona pillbox manned by a German machine gun team”. Well, having seen handmade trench raid weapons in museums and visited trenches like Dixmuide the Trench of Death on the Yser in Belgium, I can see that a World War trench raid is about as close to medieval foot combat as you can get, especially in the dark.
Not sure, having researched my village war memorial, if a trench raid is a bit too close historically to have the gloss or romance of history and fiction that makes pirate sword fighting or duelling an enjoyable card activated game though …
Airfix OO/HO sets like Robin Hodd / Sheriff also feature lots of swordsmen or men with quarterstaffs suitable for the Lunge Cut and Stop Thrust card game.
Pound store or seaside store pirates have useful duelling 54mm pirate swords men. These proved good fun to try out these rules in a recent family visit to the beach, though the cards get as soggy at the edges as you can see in the sandpit. Sandcastles have to be built and defended!
More elaborate and attractive laminated /sticky back plastic game cards could be made that would last longer in the garden or on the beach.
Jousting rules are also included in this chapter “Wargaming In Bed” in Solo Wargaming by Donald Featherstone but that’s one for another blogpost.
And finally … who was Gerard De Gre of the Model Generals Club who invented these Lunge Cut and Stop Thrust rules?
I tested these out today in the sunshine on a duel game in my ground level sand table (also known as the sandpit) using Gerard Du Gre’s Duelling rules Lunge, Cut and Stop Thrust reproduced in ‘Wargaming in Bed’ – my favourite simple ideas chapter of Donald Featherstone’s Solo Wargaming (recently reprinted by John Curry). More about these duelling games in another post.
I was delighted to see an article on Garden Wargaming by Conrad Kinch in the most recent edition of Miniature Wargames 408, April 2017 Issue. It was enough to persuade me to buy the magazine.
The lack of coverage of Garden Wargaming is one thing I have been thinking about over the past year, especially as it turns again towards warmer weather.
I really enjoyed the garden wargames in the last post (14 September 2016)
Many a plastic fellow was lost in the trenches of my garden in the 1960s,many of whom had come free in Kellogg’s packets.
We had two tiers to our back garden separated by steep steps flanked on each side by a rockery. The bottom tier was where the trenches lay. The plastic soldiers would sometimes ascend the rockery and get lost amongst the summer snow ( white cascading plant) covering much of the rockery.
Comment from Alan, Tradgardmastre blog
Alan wins my “Best Garden Wargames Pun 2017” award for registering a blog page name for future posts about Garden Wargames called “By the Sward Divided“.
In keeping with the pound store plastic theme, this award medal for Alan should be shiny gold plastic and inscribed “Made in China”.
If you don’t instantly get the pun, there was a colourful but clunky BBC TV drama produced in Britain in the 1980s called “By The Sword Divided” about the English Civil War. This was around the time (and possibly the reason why) I started collecting Peter Laing’s 15mm English Civil War figures.
We must all have those early memories of ‘Lost Legions’ in the garden rockery and sandpit.
You must also be of a certain age to remember the free plastic figures in cereal packets that Alan mentions. Most of my cereal box figures handed down by family members were red guards and bandsmen, still in use in my 54mm games.
Alan’s comments about trenches and lost figures also remind me of an interesting poem in The Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson, author of the Yallobelly Times (described in Stevenson At Play) and other gaming inspired bits of writing.
54mm-ish WW2 or post war lead hollow cast, discovered in Bristol by Dave Hough, now in my collection.
I am quite puzzled why there are so few “garden wargames” blogs or blogposts out there and posted a thread about this on Mike Lewis’ Little Wars Revisited 54mm figure gaming forum http://littlewarsrevisited.boards.net
Tell your neighbours, if you must, that it’s a disabled accessible model village. That covers the “shame or chutzpah?” issue of being overlooked or literally looked down on by the neighbours, raised in the garden wargames questions and answers on the 54mm forum Little Wars Revisited.
Lovely charity shop find, this one was found on its own amongst lots of other no doubt highly desirable collectibles (to someone else). One slightly battered, slightly wonky of wheel Matchbox Ford Model T 1912 lorry, only 99p and some careless previous owners.
The price label below the 99p reveals it has sat there for a while at £2.99 attracting no interest. I checked it out later on EBay, they are common enough and battered ones are worth about £1 to £2.
Sold to the gentle-Man of TIN for transporting tiny footsore Pound Land pound store plastic warriors of just the right size (£1 for 100 figures).
Unfortunately the back doors don’t open, but there is space to put some suitably converted or Fimo-made figures in the driving compartment.
These Pound Land 100 figures for £1 are about 32-34 mm high, and I’m sure this Ford Model T would stretch or shrink to working with 30mm or 28mm figures. A little too big for HO/OO First World War Airfix figures.
Alongside the Poundland figures is one of my c. 28 to 30mm silicone toy soldier mould creations, described below:
Maybe a paint scheme for early 20th century “Imagi – nations” would turn this into an Army supply lorry? Ambulance?
I might change its paint work to something more ‘War Department’ requisitioned, reflecting the fact that the British Army had on Available to requisition a number of subsidised motor lorries of civilian origin at the start of WW1, glimpsed in a recent book gift 0f C.F. Klapper’s British Lorries 1900 to 1945 (published by Ian Allen, 1977).
I was given this book as I am finding out a little more about steam wagons and steam lorries; one of my great uncles was a ‘steam waggon stoker’ in civilian life before his conscription and death in WW1.
I am also considering the Matchbox ford Model T lorry’s possibilities for Home Guard WW2.
The Poundland £1 for 100 plastic figures look at first a little too modern / American for this WW1/2 role. I thought I had no suitable WW1 / WW2 figures around the 30mm size, until I remembered some curious pound store partybag figures that might just do the job.
To match a Matchbox lorry for £1, what could be better or more fitting than a very cheap pound store type 30mm-ish set of Matchbox WW2 copies?
The first set of these c. 30mm figures came as free bonus pack of soldiers with a cheap set of 8 mini friction bizarre tank plastic kits bought for a few pounds at a garage / convenience store. These strange snap together tanks deserve a separate blogpost in themselves at a later date.
Searching the Internet, I found a supplier of these 30mm-ish WW2 figures via a party bag supplier for about 16p a pack of 6 soldiers. I bought all the last 16 packs they had and haven’t seen them around much since.
Some of the figures suffer heavily from plastic flash so you will need to spend time with your scalpel.
An unfortunate lack of enemy troops means the ‘British’ might have to fight ‘American’ troops unless you have some suitable enemies from other 28/ 30 / 34mm figures like the Poundland £1 for 100 figure buckets / bags.
…maybe these ones could look like suitable enemy infantry or paratroops with a suitable paint scheme.
Some of the Pound Land figures which have modern / American helmets might make passable German or Euro Imagi- Nation troops for the WW2 British / Americans to fight against with suitable paint conversion.
The American figures have their own pound store transport cribbed from past packs of mixed scale pound figures (you know the type, range of scales, 54mm figures, smaller vehicles and aircraft, strange accessories).