"Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset." Saint Francis De Sales

Friday, March 25, 2011

My Hobby

Historical miniatures is one of my favorite hobbies. Two weekends ago I traveled to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to take part in the HMGS East spring convention, Cold Wars. The convention was at the Lancaster Host. My best friend Phil, from Buffalo, New York, also attended so we were able to spend time talking, reminiscing about past conventions and enjoying the weekend.

I have been going there for over 20 years and have been involved in the hobby since I was a child. Marx play sets were my Santa requests which allowed me to mass quite a collection. Later I got involved in history which led to painting metal figures and gaming. It is a hobby that is challenging and interesting. The people who play are great and add to the excitement and fun of the game.

On Friday I played in the game, "Battle of Fort Anne, New York" which was based on the actual battle that occurred July 8, 1777. Historically Colonel Hill and his 9th Regiment of Foot were pursuing the retreating American forces that had withdrawn from Fort Ticonderoga. Colonel Long of the New Hampshire Continentals realized that with his troops and Van Rensselaer’s New York Militia he actually outnumbered the British. His plan was to attack before the arrival British 20th and 21st Regiments which were being sent by General Burgoyne. The battle lasted about two hours with neither side in a position to claim a “real” victory.

In our game it was the object of the American side to take the British position and prevent them from retreating from the board. The British objective was to inflict as much damage as possible and keep their lines of communication open. Both sides came very close and at best the Americans won a marginal victory. I took the character of Van Rensselaer and managed, with the assistance of another player, to push in the right side of the British left flank.

The game was played with “homebrew” rules, which were quick moving and easy to understand. A great game put on by Van and Joshua of the Reading Area Wargamers.

My second game was Saturday where I shifted periods and played “Drawing Blood on the Frontier – the French and Indian War." This was not an historical engagement but just a fun game laid out by Nate Gerstner of the Refuse the Flank Wargamers. The rules were “Brother Against Brother” which is one of my favorite set of rules for this period.

In this game I took the side of the French commanding the Canadian militia and French Light troops. Facing me were Roger’s Rangers and British Light troops. I managed to push back the light troops and was confident that Roger’s Rangers would soon be joining them. However my die rolls were not holding as well as expected and my French Canadians were forced from the field. C’est la vie …..

In addition to playing games I have also put on games within the American Revolution time period. I have not done anything in the past few years but now plan to run the Battle of Camden at the next Cold Wars in 2012. (That was the unfortunate defeat of Major General Gates which occurred August 16, 1780.) One of the interesting and enjoyable things about doing these games is that one never knows what the results will be.

The photo, taken by Phil, shows me and my French troops advancing forward. Nate is getting ready for the next move.

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