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Thursday, August 29, 2019

Brigadier General Daniel Morgan

Brigadier General Daniel Morgan

Regular readers of my blog know that I am a big fan of Daniel Mersey and the series of wargame rules that he has had published by Osprey games based on his Lion Rampant series. I have primarily gamed Dragon Rampant and The Men Who Would be Kings and I am so looking forward to some games of the latest Rebels and Patriots. Rebels and Patriots is written to simulate warfare in North America from the French and Indian War up to the American Civil War. I have decided to build forces for the Southern Theater of The American Revolution based on the Battle of the Cowpens and what better officer to lead the rebellious colonists than Daniel Morgan? To represent Morgan I choose the figure with the hunting shirt (who has a crooked mouth which for me, perfectly represents Morgan's wound when a bullet hit his jaw and exited his cheek) from Perry Miniatures AW 37 American Mounted Infantry Officers (one in hunting shirt).

Daniel Morgan grew up with a rebellious streak. As a young man, he settled in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley outside Winchester. Morgan worked as a teamster, hauling freight to the eastern part of the colony and eventually received the nickname “The Old Wagoner”.  His teamster career drew him into the French and Indian War, during which he helped to supply the British Army. At one point, Morgan annoyed a superior officer who struck him with the flat of his sword. Morgan knocked the man out. For his impertinence, Morgan was punished with 500 lashes—typically acfatal number. He survived the ordeal, carrying his scars and his disdain the rest of his life. Afterward, when Morgan retold the story, he commonly boasted that the British had miscounted, only giving him 499.

Morgan eventually joined a company of rangers in the Shenandoah Valley. Outside Fort Ashby, Morgan and his companion were ambushed by Indians allied with the French. Morgan took a bullet through the back of his neck that crushed his left jaw and exited his cheek, leaving him with new permanent scars. (This man was tough) Fortunately, Morgan survived the encounter.

 After the outbreak of the American Revolution, Morgan led a force of riflemen to reinforce the patriots laying siege to Boston. Later in 1775, Morgan joined the American expedition to invade Canada organized by General Benedict Arnold. During the Battle of Quebec, Arnold suffered a wound to the leg, forcing command of the American forces on Morgan. The combat, however, resulted in his capture along with 400 other Americans. His release several months later was followed by his promotion to colonel.

One of Morgan’s most valuable qualities as a commander was his ability to think beyond the confines of the accepted standards of warfare. Not long after becoming colonel of a corps of light infantry, commonly called “Morgan’s riflemen,” he began to employ tactics designed to disturb the disciplined Royal troops. He and his men wore Indian disguises and used hit-and-run maneuvers against the British in New York and New Jersey throughout 1777.

Morgan was indispensable to the Continental Army during the New York Campaign, but he grew irritated when he repeatedly failed to receive promotion while political appointees and foreign adventurers would. The commander-in-chief appointed Morgan colonel of a Virginia infantry regiment, but he was continually passed over for promotion to a more elevated rank. Because of this, rather than resign, Morgan accepted an “honorable furlough.”

By 1780, Patriot forces in the South were desperate for Morgan’s services; Horatio Gates plied him with a brigadier generalship in exchange for resuming his military endeavors in the Carolinas. Once Nathanael Greene assumed command of southern American troops, he granted Morgan command over one arm of the southern forces and tasked him with harassing Tories in the South Carolina back country.

Morgan’s main adversary was British Col. Banastre Tarleton and his Legion of dragoons. The two men faced off at Cowpens in South Carolina on January 17, 1781. Morgan emerged victorious and secured his reputation as a skilled military tactician. Utilizing knowledge of his enemy’s aggressive and impulsive behavior, Morgan lured Tarleton into a trap with a fake retreat. Tarleton charged, only to be surprised when Morgan’s infantry turned to fire and a hidden cavalry force joined the conflict.
In 1790, Congress granted Morgan a gold medal for his victory at Cowpens. Morgan continued to serve in the militia, leading a force against the Whiskey Rebellion agitators. He also went on to serve one term in the House of Representatives as a Federalist near the end of his life.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Pulp Figures D-Day Commemorative Figure

Imagine my surprise when I finally discovered Pulp Figures, and then with my first order I received a free Pulp Figures D-Day Commemorative Figure. Since the owner and sculpter for Pulp Figures is a Canadian, I almost painted the figure as a member of the Canadian Army. But . . . blood is thicker than water so I painted the figures as a Private of the 15th (Scottish) Division, 227th Infantry Brigade, 2nd Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

I'm not great a painting small patches, but I did my best to paint the unit designations of the 15th (Scottish) Division.

15th (Scottish) Infantry Division Patch

 In the Second World War, it was reformed as the 15th (Scottish) Infantry Division on 2 September 1939, the day before war was declared, as part of the Territorial Army (TA) and served in the United Kingdom and later North-West Europe from June 1944 to May 1945. 

 Note the amazing detail of Bob's work.

 After spending many years training in the United Kingdom, the 15th (Scottish) Division landed in Normandy as part of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy, soon after the initial D-Day landings, in mid June 1944 and almost immediately took part in Operation Epsom. Epsom was an attack by most of Lieutenant General Miles Dempsey's British Second Army that was intended to outflank and seize the city of Caen, which was to be taken on D-Day and had, over the last few weeks, bore witness to much bitter fighting in what is known as the Battle for Caen. Epsom did not achieve its overall objective but forced the Wehrmacht to abandon their offensive plans and tied most of their armored units to a defensive role.

The Division continued to fight in North-West theater of Europe for the remainder of the war and The 15th (Scottish) was the only division of the British Army during the Second World War to be involved in three of the six major European river assault crossings; the Seine, the Rhine and the Elbe. The end of World War II in Europe arrived soon afterwards, followed by the surrender of Japan in September, bringing an end to just under six years of war. 

On 10 April 1946 the 15th (Scottish) Infantry Division was finally disbanded. Its battle casualties– killed, wounded and missing – in nearly eleven months of fighting were 11,772 with well over 1,500 men killed. According to military historian Carlo D'Este, the "15th (Scottish) Division was considered to be the most effective and best led infantry division in 21st Army Group."

Thursday, August 22, 2019

The Mechanical Arachnids of Fu Manchu (Episode 5.16.1)

 Look at my beautiful creations.

Name: Mechanical Arachnid
Pluck: 5+
Leadership: 0
Speed: Moving: 9"; Running +4"
Fighting Value: +3
Shooting Value: 0
Talents: Lightning Draw (Fighting), Fearless (it's a machine!), Poisonous, Stealthy
Basic Equipment: Mechanical Leg (Weapon Bonus +1, Pluck Penalty 0), Green Mist dynamo
Armor: 11
Cost: 33

The diabolical invention is powered by the Green Mist serum.

The legs are poisonous due to the Green Mist serum and are deadly in an attack.

The Mechanical Arachnids make excellent guards.

"I understand that you have a particular problem Professor. Maybe I can be of assistance?  For a price . . ."

The Shadow and Lady Blue fight off the Mechanical Arachnids of Fu Manchu.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Adventure of the Secret Lair (Episode 5.16)

From the Secret diaries of Dr. John Watson, MD: "Of course! That's the solution," exclaimed Mr. Sherlock Holmes.
"What's the solution?" I inquired.
"Who is behind it all! When Lord Ridgewell Hawkes Bickford-Smith was strangled in Berkshire (pp. 30, Sleeping Tiger, Rising Sun), he was strangled with a silk yellow rumal. This silk comes from China - but this was not just ordinary silk! It was silk produced by the larva of a silkmoth fed exclusively Osage orange. It is highly dependent on humans for reproduction, as a result of millennia of selective breeding conducting by the Chinese tong known as the Si-Fan. ONLY one man controls the Si-Fan, and based on the clay soil fragment found at Bickford-Smith manor it only matches the clay of the original Underground Station built in 1868 that is no longer in use and partially caved in.

 Bickford-Smith Manor

The murderer must have gotten the silk rumal at this location, and this location is the Secret Lair of Fu Manchu!!!
"Hunh?" I said.
"Come Watson! The games afoot!

 Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Watson and the brave men of Scotland Yard.
 The Nefarious (BWAH HAH HAH) Fu Manchu.

Honorable Son #1 (The Librarian), who actually came up with the Miskatonic University Adventuring Company was visiting from New England with his beautiful bride (The Future Doctor) and of course it was an opportunity to skip back to 1895. Honorable Son #1 (The Librarian) played Scotland Yard, while I played the sinister Fu Manchu (BWAH HAH HAH!). The scenario was quite simple but challenging: Scotland Yard had to find the canister of Green Mist (the marker is see next to the Alabama cup) which could be in one of three locations in the Secret Lair as marked by treasure chests. If the Green Mist is removed to prevent it from being used on London, it is 20 Victory Points.

Oh yeah, what would a secret lair be without a damsel in distress. If Lady Fionnula Tambling-Goggin is rescued that is 5 Victory Points. Also the usual points for taking out of the game Leaders and opposing figures.

 The Thunder Warrior bravely charges ahead on his own!
Holmes enters the Secret Lair . . . 

 . . . and foolishly runs ahead of the constables only to be blocked in a narrow corridor by two Thunder Warriors.
Han Xin, the loyal man mountain of a bodyguard, blocks an opening so no one can get to his master Fu Manchu.
Meanwhile . . . the good doctor and other constables conduct a flanking maneuver in an adjacent room.

Holmes fires his trusty pistol - and misses.

Te Gong Shu swings his mighty hammer, striking The Gong which causes sound waves to eminate in an 8 inch radius and only affects the opposing team. Oh, and Fu Manchu is on the left smiling.

Holmes takes the brunt of the dastardly, and lets face it, ungentlemanly sonic attack, and is knocked down.

A volley of pistol shots ring out and the mighty Han Xin does his imitation of Swiss Cheese.

Holmes leaps to his feet, only to be engaged by both Thunder Warriors.

My name is Fu Manchu, you killed my bodyguard, prepare to die.

Run Forrest, I mean Watson!

Holmes is whacked multiple times on the side of the head and is out of the game. 

Fu Manchu uses his martial arts skills and his Dragon Talons to remove a bobby from the game.

Let me introduce you to my little friend.

A furious melee erupts as one doctor comes face to face with another doctor as he attempts to use his Medic talent to save one of London's finest.

Hmmm, what's around this corner?

Not looking good for the boys in blue.

Another sonic Gong attack!!!

Where do you think you are going?

Yikes! Two of them.
No . . . make that one.

Yep . . . it's two.

Dang, those last pistol shots were mighty close.

Te Gong Shu is about to strike the Gong again when he goes down in a blaze of pistol shots - I just forgot to take of picture of his melodramatic death.

Scotland Yard almost gets the Green Mist but is foiled by the bravery of the two Thunder Warriors - and the hideous death of the officer carrying the Green Mist away by Fu Manchu. It was too gruesome to take a picture but poison was involved.

At that point Honorable Son #1 (The Librarian) conceded the game - but the beauty of In Her Majesty's Name is the quick play and we had time for another game. In the second game Scotland Yard was triumphant! The boys in blue did not allow themselves to be trapped in corridors and spread out and advanced through multiple rooms. In addition, both Thunder Warriors broke their swords though the bare chested Thunder Warrior managed to be a wrath of destruction with his martial arts. The Green Mist was captured but they forgot about the damsel (oh well). Any way . . . for the War of the Witches we are going to pretend that the second game never happened (it's my blog). BWAH HAH HAH!!!

Mid Credit Scene:

 "Don't worry Holmes", shouts Dr. Watson, "We will rescue you!"

End of Credit Scene:

"Do you like my new friends, Mr. Holmes?"