Tuesday, June 20, 2023

No Saturday Afternoon Wargames for a while!

Those of you who are familiar with Stately Counterpane Manor will be surprised to see the current state of our usual Saturday Afternoon Wargames venue:

The kitchen floor has shown signs of movement (tiles cracking) for a while. We're having the previous arrangement, half suspended floor and half solid, replaced with a solid floor throughout and with underfloor heating. In the meantime it's sandwiches and instant noodles I guess.

Monday, June 12, 2023

Harpers Ferry Characters

My game for Steel Lard this year will be a What a Cowboy exploration of the events at Harpers Ferry in 1859, when John Brown and his men seized the Federal armoury in an attempt to trigger a slave uprising throughout Virginia.

I've started photographing the figures so I can produce illustrated character sheets and a dedicated game deck. This will make it easy to see which figure needs to be activated next. Here are a few of the characters who'll be represented in the game, starting with the more prominent abolitionists:

John Brown

John Brown was a long-term leader of abolitionists who had previously been involved in bloody violence in Bleeding Kansas. At Harpers Ferry he seems to have had no clear plan to recruit large numbers of revolting slaves. It seemed as though he had set out to become a martyr for his cause, and so he proved.

Aaron Stephens

Stephens was Brown's military deputy at Harpers Ferry. 

Stevens is in the same cell with Brown. I have frequent talks with him. He's in a most pitiable condition physically, his wounds being of the most painful and dangerous character. He has now four balls in his body, two of these being about the head and neck. He bears his sufferings with grim and silent fortitude, never complaining and absolutely without hope. He is a splendid looking young fellow. Such black and penetrating eyes! Such an expansive brow! Such a grand chest and limbs! He was the best, and in fact the only man Brown had who was a good soldier besides being reliable otherwise.

"Emperor" Shields Green

Shields Green was an escaped former slave from Charleston, South Carolina. He had been a follower of Frederick Douglass. When Douglass refused to join Brown's expedition (believing it suicidal), Green declared, "I believe I'll go wid de ole man".

Dangerfield Newby

Newby was another former slave. His wife was still in slavery and Newby aspired to either free her by force or to gain enough money to buy the freedom of her and their children.

Edwin Coppoc

Edwin Coppoc was born to Quaker parents in Ohio. At Harpers Ferry he shot and killed former mayor Fontaine Beckham.

In addition we have some Harpers Ferry locals, some of whom will be available as player characters:

Thomas Boerley

Thomas Boerly was an Irish immigrant who had lived in Harpers Ferry for many years. Armed with a shotgun, he approached the gates of the armoury and was shot by one of the insurgents (probably Shields Green).

Fontaine Beckham

Fontaine Beckham was 71 years old at the time of Brown's insurrection. He was the local agent of the Baltimore and Ohio Rail Road company and a former mayor of the town. He was shot dead whilst trying too peer round the side of the watertower to catch a glimpse of the insurrectionists holed up in the armoury's engine house.

Colonel Lewis Washington

Lewis was the great grandnephew of Revolutionary War general and first President George Washington. Brown's men roused him from his bed and took him as a hostage, also taking a pair of pistols allegedly present to the president by the Marquis de Lafayette and a sword gifted by Frederick the Great.

John Allstadt

Allstadt was another local land-owner and slave-holder taken as a hostage. He was eventually freed when U S Marines stormed the engine house.

Lt Col R E Lee

Robert E Lee was in Washington when news of the Harpers Ferry insurrection arrived. President Buchanan order him to proceed there and take charge of the situation, empowered to declare martial law if necessary. Lee didn't even have time to change into uniform. He would go on to become the pre-eminent Confederate general of the Civil War.

That'll do for now. More characters to follow as I get them painted and photographed.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Latest 3D printing

As I continue to get the hang of the 3D printer I'm trying a variety of different subjects.  Just finished this morning are these 1/300th scale vehicles, some of which might find a use in the Prague Summer 1948 game.

They are all by New Zealand-based Thingiverse user M_Bergman. They were originally uploaded in 1/200th scale but they've worked OK printed at 1/300th with a 0.15mm layer height.

First up are some JS-IIs:

Half a dozen M3 scout cars should be useful for WW2 US and Soviet forces and perhaps in 1948 as well.

Finally, you can never have too many trucks. These are GMCs ...