The Land of Counterpane Invaded – Part 2 The Battle

April 2021 – the 2016 design finally realised on the kitchen table at last.


Previously on The Land Of Counterpane Invaded Part 1: Making The Bed 

Now in  part 2 , The Battle. 

The Opening Scenario:

The main aim is to rescue the men and women of the Thyer Brigadia (FMS) troops, whose supply waggon cannot cross the  missing or destroyed river bridge.

Has the bridge been deliberately destroyed?

The only remaining crossing is a small foot bridge to the south, too small for the waggon to safely cross. This crossing is below an old ruined trading post, burnt out long ago, along  with the ruined windmill and distant village in the hills, all in ruins like much of this troubled and desolate frontier valley. 

Fearing an ambush in this lawless and disputed border region, the stranded waggon party  have sent back a rider to bring help. As evening approaches they have unloaded the waggon and  taken refuge with their stores  in this burnt out hilltop ruin of an old crossing post.

The old lady in their party is sick. The two feisty young Kontraupan sisters ‘Hetty’ and ‘Harriet’ have stayed with the troops in order to nurse her.

The Thyer Brigadia sentry on the opposite ridge sounds the alarm as a small patrol of red enemy Rugasian troops comes storming over the hillside.  


Back of Postcard Rules (similar to the 30mm Flats game, loosely based on Featherstone rules) – see link end of this 30mm Flats post here . Adapted to work on a square grid. 1 inch from the Flats rules becomes one square (which is just over 2 inches). 

Four figures or two horses can occupy one blanket square. 


Sketch Map of The Land of  Counterpane 

Compass points have been drawn across it to help determine point of entry and exit of various troops. 


Bird’s eye view of the opening scenario before the  first Rugasian Redcoats arrive from the SW. 

April 2021 – the 2016 design finally realised on the kitchen table at last.


This game was played solo in one evening, over 16 turns as darkness fell outside.  

D6 dice were thrown to determine the game turn (2d6) and compass entry points (2d6) of diffrent Rugasian (Red or RM) and Bluan (Blue – B ) and Thyer Brigadian (TB) troops. 

Compass points – 2d6 – 1  North, 2 Northeast, 3 Northwest, 4 South, 5 SE, 6 SW, E 7, W 8+

Chronology of the arrival of different units

This was written out for clarity before Turn 1 started. 

Turn 1 – first Rugasian infantry patrol appear on board at SW

Turn 5 – first Rugasian  cavalry / horse artillery unit at S. – Single cannon. 

Turn 6 – first Bluan infantry patrol arrives N (on NE side of river)

Turn 7 – Second Rugasian infantry patrol appear W.

Turn 8 – Blue cavalry rider returns from raising the alarm – NW

Turn 11 – Second Bluan infantry patrol arrives – N


2 coloured D6 dice thrown to see which side has highest score and moves first – IGO YUGO – see rules at end of post. Winner moves first (any melee?), loser moves second (any melee?), winner fires first, loser fires second.  

Rugasian Redcoats storm the slippy steep slopes of the ridge


Turn 1 – The first Rugasian (RM or Red)  troops move first, fast up the valley slopes from the West towards the lone Thyer Brigadia (TB or Blue) sentry Kverko who is keeping watch beside the dead tree on Wounded Tree- Knee ridge. Can they surprise and overpower him before he raises the alarm? 

D6 thrown to see if the Thyer Brigadia (TB or Blue) sentry notices the RM troops – 1,2, 3 Yes, 4,5,6 N0. 

The sentry Kverko fails to spot them on the first turn. No firing takes place as they are both / all out of range. 

He spots them on the first move of second turn and sounds the alarm, letting off a warning shot at the Rugasian infantry, only to be shot down, easily silhouetted against the sky  by the Reds. 

In Turns 3 and 4 as the Rugasian infantry line the brow of the ridge opposite the trading post, the remaining Thyer Brigadian sentries start heading back towards the cover of  the hilltop ruin. They are few in number, so were spread out on watch. They are all still out of firing range of the enemy. 

By Turn 5, the jingling rumble of the Rugasian horse artillery is heard and they arrive in the river valley to the South along the Rugasian troop side of the valley. 

By Turn 6 the first Rugasian infantry have  crossing the foot bridge and are heading up the steep slopes of the hilltop ruin, within rifle range of the Thyer Brigadian troops. The first TB shots miss, although Hetty Kontraupan gets a pistol hit through a loophole in the wall on the first Rugasian trooper to reach the boardwalk outside the ruin, this is then deflected in a savings throw. Nice shot all the same, Hetty!

Her sister Harriet has drawn a wicked looking sabre and whirls this around menacingly over the rough old gate used to block the doorway. 

Tricky hill slopes – Bluan pound store troops of the rescue party led by old lead veteran Capitano Harry Counterpayne.


By Turn 7, the first glimpse of Bluan infantry border patrol from the North’s  distant Counterpane hills. A spirited “huzzah!” from the besieged blue coated Thyer Brigadians is heartily echoed by the Bluan troops racing to the rescue. The Rugasians turn their eyes  briefly to the North, then push on.  

The Thyer Brigadian troops and sentries, mostly safe behind the walls of the ruin, fire on the Rugasian infantry appearing in front of the ruin. One Rugasian Redcoat is hit outside the ruin window.

The last Thyer Brigadian sentry Vagono, still to return to the ruin, is using the abandoned waggon as cover; he fires on the Rugasian Cavalry and horse artillery riders opposite as they pass up the valley to deploy in flat ground by the destroyed Bedford river bridge. Vagono misses, and curses, knowing that once the gun is unhitched and deployed in Turn 9, it will be ready to fire  at the hilltop ruin in Turn Ten.

If the sentry Vagano could only pick off some of the 3 horse artillery crew needed to man the gun, even if they replace them with willing volunteers from the Rugasian infantry, this will force the gun crew to delay firing and dice for readiness. 

When it is the Rugasian turn to fire, they hit two of the Thyer Brigadian infantry in the ruined house window. Despite being behind cover, they fail their savings throw and both are killed. This leaves few defenders in the ruin. 

Meanwhile, whatever alarm the arrival of the distant Bluan patrol might cause, off to the west shielded from view behind the Wounded Tree-Knee ridge, the second Rugasian infantry patrol enters the board. 


Turn 8 –  Tarantara! The Thyer Brigadian / Bluan cavalry rider sent for help appears to the Northwest. he heads towards the waggon in the hop to hitch it up and be able to evacuate the women and other defenders from the ruin. 

Things are looking bad for the thinning number of defenders in the hilltop ruin as more of the Rugasian infantry patrol head down hill from the cover of an old stone wall. Before, they were in cover but just a bit too far away to get a good shot at the ruined house. 

The Rugasian infantry outside the ruin now fire at Hetty, Harriet and the Thyer Brigadian soldiers. One Rugasian  scores a hit – but who is the casualty? 

A quick d6 throw resolves the issue –  red, blue and white dice are thrown , 1 for each character. Both women are safe as the third Thyer Brigadian infantry man collapses to the ground, dead. As the defenders return fire, Hetty aims another pistol shot but misses. 

The lone Thyer Brigadian sentry Vagono sheltering by the waggon is more successful – he fires at the Rugasian Horse artillery riders and scores a hit.

Which is killed though, rider or horse?    d6 – 1,2,3 rider killed or 4,5,6 horse killed, rider dismounts. 

Not only does the lone sentry Vagono manage to kill one rider, the Bluan Infantry patrol from the North are now close in  range enough to bring down two more horses. Their  Rugasian riders dismount from their fatlly wounded horses and begin unhitching the single gun.

At this point, whilst most casualties have been left where they fell,  I removed the mounted figures and replaced them with some handy dismounted Herald plastic lifeguard figures. 

Turn 9 

With several defenders of the ruin fallen, three Rugasian infantrymen on the board walk outside the ruin try to climb inside through the barricaded door and ruined window.

Are they successful? Quick d6 throw 1,2, 3,4 – remain outside, 5, 6 climb inside. 

Only one Rugasian makes it into through the barricaded doorway. He is then close enough to instantly melee with the sabre wielding Harriet Kontraupan.



Sadly despite inflicting two wounds on the Rugasian attacker with her sabre, Harriet is fatally wounded three times and collapses to the ground, only  yards from her sister Hetty. 


The 3 wound or life points tally system used in Melee can be seen here in my gaming notebook alongside Kaptain Kobold’s very tidy dice version of the Gerald De Gre origin /   Donald Featherstone’s  Solo Wargaming ‘Parry and Lunge’ duelling or melee rules. 

In the Bluan / Thyer Brigadian turn to fire, Hetty aims her pistol at point blank range at the Rugasian infantryman who slew her sister. However, tears in her eyes,  she again misses her target. Bad luck, Hetty! 

More successfully the flag-carrying Thyer Brigadian Ensign Flago puts down his sword and flag to pick  up an abandoned rifle. He shoots the Rugasian attacker – Harriet is swiftly avenged! 

Ensign Flago dodges another bullet (savings throw) from two Rugasian infantry at the window. 

Turn Ten

The Rugasian cannon is now deployed ready to fire.  

Rugasian infantry move first, crossing the bridge , they turn to meet the first Bluan patrol closing in on them. Above them up the slope at the ruin, two more Rugasian infantry try to scramble in through the window frame. As one succeeds (d6 throw), he confronts  the Ensign Flago in Melee – and the Rugasian loses!  


The Bluan infantry patrol led by Capitano ‘Harry’ Counterpane / Kontraupan split as he heads towards the red troops at the  bridge, whilst others aim for the Rugasian cannon.  

As the Bluan / TB  cavalryman hitches up the waggon, the lone Thyer Brigadian sentry Vagano heads up the hill to the ruin to join the remaining defenders. 

Boom! The Rugasian Horse artillery cannon fires  – at Close Range up to 6 squares needing a 5 or 6 to hit,  then roll d6 for number of casualties. Up to 5 characters in and around the ruin are hit. 5 d6 savings throws are thrown including for those under cover.   Two characters under cover roll successful savings throws – that means the casualties   are one Rugasian infantryman hit by his own side, the lone sentry Vagono and one  defender under cover.

But which defender? 

Three coloured d6 are thrown – the old sick lady (red), Hetty Kontraupan (blue) and Ensign Flago (white). Sadly Ensign Flago takes their hit for the team, the last of the Thyer Brigadian escort troops. 

With just the old sick lady and Hetty left in the ruin, they both consider what to do? 

d6 1,2 – retreat via window towards the hitched waggon, 3-4 freeze, 5,6 stay put. They roll 5 and  so stay put. 

The Bluan patrol fire at the cannon and second unit of Rugasian infantry arriving from the west, knocking out more of the cannon crew. 

Turn 11  – Huzzah! Waving their flag, the second Bluan infantry border patrol appears to the North. 

Meanwhile back in the ‘valley of death’, as red and blue bodies pile up, Capitano ‘Harry’ Kontraupan of the Bluan infantry loses his second  Melee with a Rugasian redcoat at the footbridge, becoming one of several more Bluan and Rugasian melee casualties.

Thankfully the Rugasian cannon remains unable to fire. 


By Turn 12, the second Redcoat infantry group which has arrived from the West now fires on the second  Bluan infantry platoon. 


By Turn 13, several Bluan infantry reach the hilltop ruin to join Hetty and the sick old lady who are sheltering there. The Bluan waggon is hitched and now heads for shelter behind the ruin but Hetty stays put.  

During Turn 14, the Rugasian horse artillery cannon is hitched up and led off. (d6 Saddle up cannon? 1-4 yes, 5-6 no).  In exchanges of rifle fire across the river, the Rugasian redcoats fire poorly and the Bluan forces fire well. More redcoats fall. 


A repaired Britain’s household cavalryman takes away the sole Rugasian horse artillery gun. 

By Turn 15, after desultory firing by the last remaining Rugasian soldiers, they throw a d6 deciding roll (1,3,5 retreat or 2,4,6 attack)  and retreat. 


By Turn 16, the Bluan flag flies over the hilltop ruin. Huzzah! 



In the aftermath, Hetty and the Blue Cavalaryman escort the sick old lady home in the waggon, returning with the stores and bodies of Harriet and Harry Kontraupan back to the safety of Thyer Brigadia. 

The Bluan troops quickly bury the dead.  Keeping some spare stores from the waggon, they leave a three man patrol in the ruins to watch for further enemy activity.

Verdict: An exciting solo game, worthy of the finest pound store figures and vintage hollowcasts alike. Only 5 slow years since the sketch of the terrain and the playing. 

Playing using the blanket squares as movement and firing range did lead to some oddities of measuring that hexes normally don’t present for me. I think that Bob Cordery in the Portable Wargame book / blog and Phil Dutre in his blog have explored the grid square reasons for this. 


The red and blue infantry were mostly cheap pound store plastic warrior ‘shiny toy soldier style’ paint conversions  of cloned WW2 figures, roughly about 42mm.

Thyer Brigadia hollowcast repairs

A few old hollowcasts and other plastic figures were mixed in for good measure, along with some suitable wooden scenery blocks, building and gun to match that older Land of Counterpane vintage feeling.  

The main hilltop ruin is built out of terracotta self drying clay and parts of an old digital radio wooden case

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 6 April 2021 


radio conversion to 



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

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.


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!”


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.”


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 :

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

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

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