Saturday, October 22, 2016

1866 and All That

No, not the Austro-Prussian War, but the Fenian Raid of 1866 that resulted in the Battle of Ridgeway!

Fenian soldier
For years (and I do mean years) I have wanted to game the Battle of Ridgeway.  The issue has been locating suitable figures in 15mm and how to make the game suitable for four players or so.  For rules I have always wanted to use Fire and Fury (or the more recent Regimental Fire and Fury) with some sort of scale reduction, but figures were always the issue.  The Fenians are fairly easy, a mix of Federal infantry and dismounted cavalry would do nicely, painted in various blues and greens, but the Canadian forces have been an conundrum.  One could use Crimean War British but the shako isn't quite right.  One could use early Maori War British, but again the headgear, unless one wants to use the pork-pie hat, didn't work for me either.  So while I have collected books, started a Yahoo discussion group*, and thought about doing something many times, I have never gone forward with buying figures as I simply could not find what "felt right" in 15mm.

I had at one time even had a Eureka 300 Club offering that did meet the required 600 figures ordered by ten or more interested parties, but for some reason the figures were never put into production.

Over the years of discussing this very topic on the Yahoo group, Bill Braham was working an angle with Pendraken to do a range of 10mm figures ideal for 1866.  I never really wanted to drop down to 10mm as I have plenty of Federal 15mm figures I was going to use for the Fenians, but without true choices in 15mm, I have decided that 10mm is my path.

Pendraken did release a fairly complete line for 1866 about four years ago.  This includes infantry in various poses (marching, firing, running, kneeling),  foot command, rifle command, cavalry, guns with crew, along with field officers and generals.  The infantry is in the shako while the cavalry is in the pork pie cap.  For the Battle of Ridgeway one really only needs infantry and command, as the Canadians did not have guns nor mounted forces present, but these do come in handy if doing a mini-campaign as there were other forces nearby that did included a mounted and artillery arm.

Going with 10mm will mean that I will need to buy Federal troops to use as Fenians, but as the cost of a 10mm figure is rather low (at the time of this posting .17 cents per figure), the investment is minimal.

Next post will be about figure scale and basing figures to use with Regimental Fire and Fury.

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