Bartitsu and Bayonet Duelling

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Inspired by Bartitsu Duelling,  I have been looking out for  suitable period figures to use in my quick solo card duelling game. This game is based  on Gerard De Gre’s “Lunge, Cut and Stop Thrust” rules, reprinted in Donald Featherstone, Solo Wargaming.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/28/more-duelling-inspiration-bartitsu/

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/duelling-in-the-sandpit-lunge-cut-and-stop-thrust/

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I found some interesting civilian figures on the Lemax site available in UK (through Swallow Aquatics and Mill Race Garden Centre UK)

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A trusty cane or (sword)stick  – weapons of choice for the Bartitsu duellist.

These Lemax  (badly) prepainted Christmas or Model village type  figures are not cheap at around £5 a pair but period civilian figures are fairly rare beasts  compared to toy soldiers. They get a little closer to the Bartitsu style stick fighting figures shown in the  montage below.

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I like the cyclist figure that comes with one of the stick or cane wielding men. The Bartitsu website also features articles and comical video for gents and ladies on how to use your new fangled bicycle invention as a defence or attack weapon against Edwardian ruffians.

These figures sort of capture the Edwardian or VSF top hat street fighting feel of  Bartitsu.

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E.W. Barton Wright Bartitsu montage (Wikipedia source)

Spelunkers! 

One other pair of Lemax figures, staves in hand,  looked online like they would be a good pair to split up to make a duelling pair. These Lemax  Spelunkers or mountain climbers are such a fun set and so thickly based that I think I will keep them together and repaint them. There is always the garden rockery to explore!

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With a rifle added they would make great mountain troops or guide with their water bottles and haversacks. Separating the resin figures from their bases or cutting the resin base in half would be a tricky and probably doomed option. They will stay together and sometimes explore the rockery in garden games.

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They remind me a bit of the more interestingly posed Airfix German Mountain Troops.

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Sadly the Lemax figures are big 1:32 figures, more 64mm than 54mm, and on chunky resin bases as can be seen in comparison with this 54mm Britain’s lead farmer.

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Comparing Britain’s 54mm with Lemax 1:32 / 64mm

The farmer you might recognise from his other job as Edwardian Ruffian and a quick bout of Country Stick Fighting in a lane somewhere …

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Git off my land …. Britain’s lead farm figures with recast Dorset Soldiers arms.

If you recognise this Ruffian on the left, he unfortunately took on a street sweeper and lost. A broom being good as a two handed duelling stick …

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But isn’t this the Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog?

Bashed hollowcast lead figures and Resin Christmas figures are all very well. They belong more to my Man of TIN blog projects.  But what about duelling with cheap plastic / pirated figures?

If this post seems to have drifted from pound store plastic warriors for the moment, there are always some uses for of the “useless” pose figures that can be adapted for duelling such as these clubbing and bayoneting troops.

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Bayonet duelling – pound store pirated Matchbox Eighth Army figures.

Bayonet drill through the ages is well illustrated on these Thor Trains sites (with the reminder not too try this at home)

http://www.thortrains.com/getright/drillbay1943.html

http://www.thortrains.com/getright/drillbay1.html

and several sites on bayonet fencing and stick drills

https://www.scribd.com/mobile/document/157560243/Union-Manual-of-Bayonet-Exercise-George-B-McClellan-1852-1861

This interesting civil war history and re-enactor site has an interesting section on bayonet drill, full of the language of  sword fighting and duelling / fencing thrust parry and lunge but with a coarser edge (using the rifle butt etc).

http://www.64thill.org/drillmanuals/mcclellans_bayonetexercise/part03.htm

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/bayonet-drill.116880/

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Bayonet drill American Civil War style from the http://www.64thill.org website.

It was not unknown from an early period for heavy pistols and muskets to be reversed and used as clubs, after the enemy got too close for you to reload.o

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Herald Plastic cowboy extravagantly wallops Matchbox Eighth Army …

Add a bayonet as well as a pistol butt  or rifle butt and an infantryman or dragoon had an impressive close quarters duelling weapon that they were trained to use. I’m not sure how coordinated or choreographed this bayonet duelling would be in real life, but in the toy war / duelling card game it fits the balletic lunge and parry style of the  game.

Bayonet drill is possibly one reason for the large number of dramatic but odd stabbing, clubbing etc figures that especially plastic soldier manufacturers seemed to turn out in figure sets, in place of useful marching and firing soldiers.

And at last, an active use for those drum majors off duty … in a quiet London street near a barracks somewhere …

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One of my Prince August drum major clobbers an old Lone Star /Harvey type Cake Dec  whilst a Tradition Indian army and Britain’s Gurkha.

Until the local constabulary turns up and breaks it all up. A Truncheon will be drawn if needed. Move along there …

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The local constabulary appears … junkshop policeman and one of my Prince August Home Cast  police.

All these quick figure duels using Gerard De Gre’s Lunge, Cut and Stop Thrust rules have been great fun solo games in between other gaming projects.

Next step is to add more moves into the pack of card moves  and “combat resolution table”.

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How best to expand the simple table of limited moves by Gerard De Gre?

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN.

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More Duelling Inspiration – Mexicans!

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Duelling hombres with the trusty old length of 2 by 4 …

I have been trying out some more “Lunge Cut and Stop Thrust” duelling skirmishes using the Gerard De Gre rules set out in Donald Featherstone’s Solo War-gaming:

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/duelling-in-the-sandpit-lunge-cut-and-stop-thrust/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/28/more-duelling-inspiration-bartitsu/

These rules suggest many different two or three figure bouts, contests or wallopings.

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Duelling Mexican ladies – besoms at dawn.

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.

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Useful generic peasant   figures

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This wounded or winded peasant looks like he has got on the wrong side of the “bald headed end of the broom”. Defeated duellist.
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This wounded or sleeping peasant has the look of an old woodcut with this pewtering paint technique.

Some of the peasants are armed with rifles, very useful for irregular forces, guerillas and settlers. Not so useful for the duelling games.

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Mexican Peasants with rifles or whatever troops your Imagi-Nation requires
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Dice are being used as counters, each figure starting with 5 combat or life points.

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.

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Gerard  De Gre’s duelling table (reprinted in Donald Featherstone’s Solo Wargaming)
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The defending Mexican hombre loses a point.
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Eventually he is defeated by the attacking Senorita and loses his last combat point with his drawn card.

Mexico Gold Rush: A renewed duel between angry Mexican machete guy and man with shovel  over the golden nuggets in the basket.

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Shovel Man down to two combat or life points.
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Shovel Guy draws one of the random cards, wiping out his last combat or life point. Adios amigo!

Dice simplification

In his comments on Alan the Tradgardmastre’s use of this limited fast game in a school masterclass club, Kaptain Kobold came up with a very useful dice simplification of the Gerard De Gre duelling rules http://tradgardland.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/master-classes.html

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Using the cleverly simple dice version (keeping the other dice as points counters)
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Last life point gone … Machete guy still has the gold. But for how long?

Flint, Feather, Scissors, Paper, Stone

Dan Foley in the same comment section pointed out an extension of these limited scissors paper stones type rules in the melee section of some beta play test Native American conflict rules : “For a similar idea taken a bit further check out the beta version of Flint & Feather
https://www.cruciblecrush.com/files/Flint%20and%20Feather%20Basic%20Rules(1).pdf

These look an attractive  set of miniatures and some interesting rules or games mechanicisms which give me a few new ideas for expanding the limited choices of these fast  duelling games.

Postscript

Steve Weston’s Mexican Peasants are very versatile figures that could stand in for many eras and nations such as Boxers or Chinese figures from Asia, peasants from Europe as well as the Wild West.

Lots of interesting conversions on the web.

http://ilikethethingsilike.blogspot.co.uk/2010/09/steve-westons-mexican-rifleman.html

http://ilikethethingsilike.blogspot.co.uk/2010/09/steve-westons-mexican-peasants.html

http://ilikethethingsilike.blogspot.co.uk/2010/09/steve-westons-mexican-shovel-guy.html

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Duelling in the Sandpit – Lunge, Cut and Stop Thrust.

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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.)

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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!

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Playmobil  Nun defeats a glow in the dark Dracula in this unusual duel. 

A set of cards is prepared with one of the following actions on each.

  • Cut to Head
  • Parry and Lunge
  • Stop Thrust

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.

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Lunge Cut and Stop Thrust:  Hit table from Gerard De Gre’s rules in John Curry’s reprint of Donald Featherstone’s Solo Wargaming. 

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.

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If you both choose or draw the same card, consult the separate hit deck. The cards either say Both Hit or Both Missed.

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To further randomise the opponents cards, I added in a couple of ducks and slips  (either being hit or missed) as chance cards.

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Captain Hook reached his last Combat Point and then draws this card – one dead Pirate captain. 

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.

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Playmobil Navy sailor versus the Kings Guard duelling in the sandpit over the cannon. 

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.

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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 …

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Pound Store plastics knights suitable for duelling and gladiator games. 

 

Quick Samurai version? 

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Heroscape Samurai figures against Heroscape hex tiles on my portable play board that can be taken out into the garden. 

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,

http://tonystoysoldiers.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/first-painted-samurai.html

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.

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This works equally well in the garden with appropriate Japanese plants like this lovely Acer (Japanese Maple).

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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.”

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Lego Ninjago duelling Ninja Samurai type figures with suitable Lego shrine. 

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.

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A wide range of periods and genres amongst these duelling Lego mini figures – musketeers, clansmen, gladiators, pirates and knights. 

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.

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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?

http://vintagewargaming.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/wargamer-of-month-professor-gerard-de.html

Bob Cordery in Wargaming Miscellany tracked down more information about him:

http://wargamingmiscellany.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/gerard-de-gre-lost-pioneer.html

http://wargamingmiscellany.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/table-top-battles-early-edition_17.html

http://wargamingmiscellany.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/table-top-battles-early-edition.html

http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=159835

It appears that he was born in 1915 and he died in 1987.

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Crossing the millienia – when the Royal Navy fought Romans! 
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Duelling lady pirates 
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Early stages of setting up the garden sand pit (sand Table!) with seaside castle above the harbour. Coins as combat  point counters were quickly replaced by pink flamingo cocktail sticks, easier to find in the sand! 

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN blog, April 2017.