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  #13  
Old April 15th, 2015, 06:48 PM
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Re: 54MM: The One True Scale

30,000?

I'm now for the first time putting all my lists together to see how many 54mm figures I own. I'm up to 27,151 with more to go.

Of course, that doesn't count all the scale horsed and motorized vehicles and other equipment that go with them, terrain, etc.!

Edit: I have now passed the above figure, with more to go!

Last edited by chas; April 19th, 2015 at 10:12 PM.
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  #14  
Old June 29th, 2015, 01:14 PM
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Re: 54MM: The One True Scale

THE WAR OF THE TRIPLE ALLIANCE IN SOUTH AMERICA
FIRST BATTLE OF TUYUTI
May 24, 1866

By Chas



In May of 1866, forces of the Allied nations of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, having consolidated Uruguay in its civil war, and then repelled the Paraguayan invasion of the Brazilian province of Rio Grande del Sul and the Argentine provinces of Corrientes and Misiones, crossed into southern Paraguay with an army of 57,000. Almost a logistical miracle for that period, the amphibious advance was made by the Barzilian ironclad and riverboat navy, which had previously won the key river battle of Rio Rachuelo. Advancing north after a preliminary engagement as Estrello Blanco, the Allied force set up a partially entrenched camp. There their army of 35,000 (22,000 Brazilians, 11,800 Argentinians, and 1,200 Uruguayans) was attacked by four Paraguayan columns totaling 24,000 troops.

This “South American Waterloo” was the largest battle fought on that continent, and the two sides took casualties proportionally greater than the American Civil War armies at the Battle of Antietam. This decisive battle, which could have gone either way, turned the attacking Paraguayan Army into a defensive force--although often on the tactical offensive--for the rest of conflict also known as The Paraguayan War..

On the important Allied Left Flank, about a third of the battle, we shall be scaling down the units involved. A greater number of red clad Paraguayan units under General Barrios, supported by both artillery and rockets which their opponents will not have, and armed with the smoothbore musket, will advance on an inferior force of Brazilians armed with the rifled musket. This will be an open field battle where the Brazilians, clad in blue uniforms, will be holding on, hoping for reinforcements to appear. The initial tactical dispositions will be set, and all the players will have to do is duel for supremacy in their sectors, or advance against the open flank of the defenders! As the elite Paraguayan cavalry charges the Brazilians who are partially in square, the supporting units will advance, and dust clouds on the horizon will indicate the presence of more defenders. What will happen?

Three or four players will be maneuvering the troops in our very first action of this new entry in our continuing “Obscure Wars Series.” Our battles will be based on the new Osprey book Armies of the War of the Triple Alliance 1864-1870 (Men At Arms 499), the first detailed source for this conflict ever published in English!
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Old June 29th, 2015, 01:17 PM
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Re: 54MM: The One True Scale

“The Waterloo of South America,” May 24, 1866
Played June 27, 2015 In 54mm
By Chas


The largest battle in South America, with 60,000 men engaged on both sides, was the decisive land engagement of the War of the Triple Alliance, which saw Paraguay fighting Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay 1864-1870. For this scenario, I gamed the action on the Allied Left Flank (Brazil), where the attacking Paraguayan army had come closest to breaking through the defenders’ lines. The advantages the Allies had with their superior rifled muskets over the Paraguayans converted smoothbores was balanced by giving the Paraguayan attackers superior numbers, better initial placement and support from a horse artillery gun and a rocket battery. Since the cavalry was historically used in shock charges rather than dismounted action, it also gave me a chance to revise some of my cavalry vesrus infantry square rules--another reason the action is known as a “Waterloo” style battle—besides the fact that a dictator was defeated by an alliance of other nations.

In only 3 1 /2 hours over the course of five game turns, we entertained ourselves in an exciting tabletop action, where the advantage switched several times between the two sides. In this small and quite manageable game, with only one player on each side, I acted as Game Master. Both players this time were very aggressive gamers, but who had not met each other previously, which made for interesting times indeed! I used about 250 infantry and 40 cavalry figures, each representing about 20 real men.

The action started off with the defensive Brazilian infantry brigade set up on their own right flank, one blue coated 25 figure regiment in lines against the advancing enemy. The tan clad Volunteers were deployed in a three quarter square to their left, to stand against two the red cavalry regiments, who had taken the first turn to close within range to charge them from both the front (lancers) and extreme left flank. Two other infantry brigades (of two regiments each) of Paraguayans, in red coats and shakos, stretching almost all the way across the table, were slowly entering as well! Their rocket battery could hit anywhere from off board, and the horse gun was limbered up in the center between two brigades, to move as directed.

So while the basic nature of the action was set, the execution was up to each player. The attackers would have two turns to dominate the defenders before more Brazilians came onto the table: another infantry brigade in the center, and their own blue cavalry on the wide open Brazilian left flank. The Paraguayan attacking player was warned that enemy reinforcements could appear on the flank, but did not send out any skirmishers there, as he was busy advancing everyone to the farthest possible distance, in order to dominate the entire field before the enemy could respond with his second wave of troops.

The Paraguayans took fairly heavy casualties with his attacking infantry in order to put pressure on the Brazilian regulars in their kepis,, holding out in line before his own left flank brigade (Brazilian Right), so these units could not come to the aid of the Volunteers. Then the attacking cavalry took casualties but charged home, sending the Volunteers defenders routing off into a small formation of regulars backing them up, which fell back as well. Although the cavalry did not get its regular charge bonus against infantry in square, the lancer regiment in their wide crowned flat hats still got its own bonus against them! As the Paraguayans advanced on this open field, all of the defenders fell back, heavily damaged, some of the Brazilians regulars being forced off table sideways into the oblivion of the marshes on their own right. Other defenders rallied off the rear and would reenter. A desperate Volunteer formation held off remnants of cavalry hitting them close to their rear edge of the board from two directions at once, and was awarded a unit citation! Although taking casualties, the Paraguayans had almost blown the starting Brazilians right off the table, and now dominated two thirds of it! Things looked grim for the defenders as their own reinforcements entered on Turn 3.

One of the Brazilian Second Brigade regiments, the National Guard with their broad brimmed hats and blue coats, entered in the center to form a new defensive line. The Brazilian second regiment of ‘Zuavos de Bahia’ (Zouaves) never did make it on the board, although it maneuvered off table to cover the original Brazilian right flank that had been lost earlier. The Paraguayan infantry fell before the superior rifle fire of the National Guard in droves, before they could close to their own effective range, which was only one third that of their opponents.

Then it was the chance of the Brazilian cavalry, who entered far in the rear on the open Brazilian left flank, and turned in behind the advancing Paraguayan third brigade. With the artillery gun and last rocket salvoes proving ineffective, they charged home with great advantage against the enemy in the rear--who were in line rather than square formation! With full on charge bonus and attacking in the rear bonus as well, the enemy infantry routed back onto ranks which had been advancing before it as well, and much of the brigade was disorganized.

With the Paraguayans having now lost their own cavalry and with their artillery having very bad luck, they had no way to clear the enemy out of their rear, and form up for further advance against the enemy, even though they now held almost all of the field. With the second Brazilian reinforcement regiment maneuvering to come onto the field, the Paraguayan commander, who had seen victory in his grasp, was forced to declare that he could no longer hope to win.

Therefore the historical results of the battle were once again reenacted. It was the Brazilian cavalry which really sealed the victory, as in the historical accounts of the action. They were the only riders on a par with the Paraguayan horsemen. Although I had added a new game rule for cavalry throwing Bolas in defense against other cavalry, this was not attempted, as no horse vs horse action occurred.

This new battle in my ‘Obscure Wars’ series was lots of fun. Like the previously played Crimean War actions, it showed clearly the change in the nature of a battle where one side has superior long arms. (I expect this will be the case in the Franco-Prussian War as well, another conflict rarely gamed in our Big Scale (54mm or 2 ˝ “ toy soldiers). Like unequal Colonial wars of Europeans against indigenous peoples, such as my recently gamed out New Zealand Maori wars game, other advantages must be given to the side with inferior weapons technology, if that side is to have a chance for victory.

Tuyuti Casualties

Paraguay:
Cavalry 20
Infantry 54
Total: 74

Brazil

Cavalry 10
Infantry 38
Total: 48

The Paraguayans had fired off all of their rockets, and half of their artillery ammunition.

One player had asked me how good the South American troops were, say compared to European regulars. I don’t know. I rated them all as Crack, and the cavalry as Elite. They seemed to have fought bravely and well in this war, and all classes of units performed heroically. For comparison, in the earlier Mexican-American War, the large cavalry arm of the Mexicans, who were also good riders, never attempted a charged on the invading American infantry. But the cavalry from South America did charge, and often, even against rifled muskets.

I had planned to offer the Brazilian player the superior repeating cavalry carbines for dismounted action, as shown in my source book, which would have given them great firepower dismounted.. But closer examination revealed that these were not issued until the next year, 1867, so I did not. The action showed the effectiveness of good cavalry properly handled on both sides, and they had a major impact on the results in both cases, although taking large casualties.

The best source in English on the military aspects of this war I have found is the recently published Armies of the War of the Triple Alliance 1864-1870 (Osprey, Men At Arms 499).

Last edited by chas; July 15th, 2015 at 09:53 AM.
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  #16  
Old July 15th, 2015, 09:29 AM
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Re: 54MM: The One True Scale

This is a very interesting blog, @chas . Did you ever finish counting all of these "beans" and how/where do you store all of this "crap?"

Member: Mid-Atlantic Region 'Scapers

"Strategy without tactics is the most circuitous route to victory, but great tactics without a strategy is just the cacophony before defeat." ~Sun Tzu 500 BCE
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  #17  
Old July 15th, 2015, 09:57 AM
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Re: 54MM: The One True Scale

JohnGee,

Come and see! (I'm always inviting him over). Sleep over. Play games. I live in one bedroom, and my toys live in the other!

No, I still have a couple of categories to count, but I'm busy with lots of other large gaming projects, like chronologically indexing all of the unoffical China Scenarios for Memoir 44 on the Days of Wonder site (!?!) So I can spend years playing them. I just did a toy soldier game on the 1937 Shanghai battle, which actually started WWII (many people think it started in Poland).

Etc., etc., etc.

Last edited by chas; July 15th, 2015 at 06:36 PM.
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  #18  
Old September 17th, 2015, 07:50 AM
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Re: 54MM: The One True Scale

Just a note that we're now playing 54mm toy soldier games here monthly. Right now we're getting ready for our sixth Crimean War game. Anyone interested near NYC can PM me. We start at noon and play until dinner.

Hey John, its only a blog when no one else joins in!

I'm now taking my first digital photos, although I don't know how to post them here yet. These will add to a dozen or more photo albums I've been filling since the 1960s!
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  #19  
Old September 17th, 2015, 08:57 AM
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Re: 54MM: The One True Scale

Figure it out, chas! I was just hunting through this entire (short) thread, looking for pictures. Please, could we have some pictures?

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  #20  
Old September 17th, 2015, 12:17 PM
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Re: 54MM: The One True Scale

Hey @chas - I thoroughly enjoy your blog and description of obscure battle reenactments, but I have absolutely *NO* substantive knowledge about the realm of the 54mm toy soldier arena. However, I've recently (this year) made some new friends from the South Jersey Confederation of Wargamers (SJCW) down here that meet on the second Saturday of the month at the Cape May Court House Senior Citizen Center (CMCH-SCC), where they "play" historical battles with highly detailed and exquisitely painted (NMCOT) 15mm, 28mm, and 54mm models; and sometimes aircraft or naval ships.

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"Strategy without tactics is the most circuitous route to victory, but great tactics without a strategy is just the cacophony before defeat." ~Sun Tzu 500 BCE
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  #21  
Old September 17th, 2015, 01:40 PM
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Re: 54MM: The One True Scale

Yes, and I understand that they occasionally play 54mm with RECON AND RUSHES, which is my favorite WWII rules system. Its been played at Historical Miniatures Gaming Society Conventions for years, since it was published long ago by The Toy Soldier Company (Shameless Plug, although I don't know if they have any copies left any more). I also have about eight other rules systems yet unpublished for various periods, which I use here at the Chas Game Palace with a different set of players, except for Taeblewalker, who'll try anything.

(Edit) PS: If you're truly desperate to see the photos, join littlewars@yahoogroups.com and see their photo section, where a pal has just started to post them for me--over 120 of them which I've taken over the last six months!

Last edited by chas; September 17th, 2015 at 02:04 PM.
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  #22  
Old September 17th, 2015, 01:57 PM
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Re: 54MM: The One True Scale

MINIATURES SCENARIOS PLAYED 1968-2015

BY CHAS

Fifty Years of 54mm Wargaming From Medieval To The Korean War


Key: (C) = Convention Game (CL) = Club Game
(H) = Hypothetical Historical I = (Imaginary)

This list represents over 100 games in over 30 different conflicts that I have run with 54mm toy soldiers using my own wargame rules. Most were based on historical battles, those that could have happened but did not (‘Hypothetical’) and a few were imaginary. Thanks to all who have gone before for their inspiration, especially H. G. Wells and Donald Featherstone. Let us hope that the great Age of Wars is now ending. It has been left to the traumatized humans, even those like me who have not served, to act them out.


MEDIEVAL AND FANTASY

Swords Against the Skraelings: The Vikings In North America (C, I)
Storybook Medieval: The Sherrif of Nottingham Assaults Greystoke Castle (I)
With many diverse characters both Good and Evil such as William Tell, Robin Hood, Vikings, And Etc.
Small Skirmish: Two Nobles and a Boundary (H)
Kullikovo: Mongols Against Russians 1380 CE
Fantasy: Tolkienish Forest Encounter (I)
Men, Elves, Dwarves, Amazons vs Orcks, Skeletons, and an Ogre (with Magicians)
Hansando 1592 The Japanese Invade Korea


THE ENGLISH CIVIL WAR 1642-1651

Twittington Manor (Early War) (C, H)
Edgehill I: Rupert vs Ramsey On The Royalist Right
Edgehill II: Parliament Counter Attacks
Windsor (H)
Cheriton


THE SEVEN YEARS WAR IN EUROPE

Rossback
Leuthen I: The Kirchberg
Leuthen II: The Churchyard


THE FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR

Turtle Creek (Braddock’s Defeat) (CL)
Ticonderoga (Fort Carillon)
Landing At Louisborg
Quebec


THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

The Battle of Brooklyn
Oriskany
Saratoga
Yorktown Breakout (H)


THE NAPOLEONIC WARS

Assaye (Wellington In India I)
Argaum (Wellington In India II)
The Peninsula (H)
Vimero
Liepzig I: The First battle of Wachau
Leipzig II: Mockern
The British Navy vs Pirates (I)
Kaiser vs Czar: Norther Russia, 1812
Hougoumont (Waterloo)


THE WAR OF 1812

Murray’s landing (C, H)
Bladensberg (near Washington, D.C.; polayed twice) (CL)
New Orleans: Chalmette


POSTNAPOLEONIC EUROPE

The First Carlist War In Spain Algeria, 1834
The First Carlist War In Spain Oriamendi, 1837


THE TEXAS WAR OF INDEPENDENCE

Fannin At the Alamo (H)
San Antonio de Behar (H)


THE MEXICAN AMERICAN WAR

Molino Del Rey


MERCENARY ADVENTURE

Fillibuster Expedition: William Walker In Nicaragua


THE CRIMEAN WAR

Sebastopol: The Light Brigade (H) All cavalry; The British vs The Russians
Inkerman The British and French vs The Russians
Tchernaya River The French and Sardinians vs The Russians
Eupatoria The Turks vs The Russians
Kurudere: Caucasian Front, The Turks vs The Russians


THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR

The East
The Attack of the Confederate Second Brigade (H, 196
Artillery Road (H, played twice)
Benjamin, NC (H)
For Facuppee, Florida (H, with British Intervention in the Florida Keys)
Bull Run: Blackburn’s Ford
Bull Run: Matthew’s Hill
Bull Run: Henry House Hill
Maryland Heights: The Garibaldi Guard
Antietam: The Cornfield and The Sunken Road
Antietam: Crack In The Cornfield
The 14th Brooklyn and The Pennsylvania Bucktails vs The Confederate Texas Brigade
The Streets of Fredericksburg
Brandy Station All cavalry
Gettysburg Lookout Tower, The First Day (H)
Olustee, FL
Secessionville, Charelston SC 1862
Ft. Sumter, 1863

The West
Shiloh
Pea Ridge
Valverde
Glorietta Pass
The Great Galveston Raid


THE VICTORIAN IMPERIAL/COLONIAL ERA

The British
The Indian Mutiny: Treachery At Chinhut
The Northwest Frontier, India (H)
Gunga Din (I)
The Egyptian Campaign: The Camp (H)
The Sudan: The Train (H)
Khartouom: Rescuing Gordon 1885
New Zealand Maori Wars, Battle of Ohaeawai, 1845
Zulu War: Fort Durban, Natal (H)
Zulu War: The Kraal (H)

The French
The French Adventure In Mexico: Puebla, 18623 (Cinco de Mayo)
The French Adventure In Mexico: Santa Poco (H)
The French Foreign Legion: North Africa—Hold the Fort (H)
The French Foreign Legion: North Africa—The Advance Column (H)
The French Foreign Legion: Syria—Fort Zindertrois (H)
The French Foreign Legion and the Gunboat Navy In Indochina: Up The River!
Vs the Black Flag Pirates

The Spanish American War
Cuba; Kettle and San Juan Hills
Puerto Rico: Coamo
The Philippines: Second Manilla

The Italians
Abyssinia: Adowa I 1896:The Center Brigades
Abyssinia: Adowa II: Dubormida’s Brigade

The Taiping Rebellion In China
The Ever Victorious Army (H)
“Freddy and The Pirates” (H) Amphibious
“Saving Princess Aya” (H)
Gordon In China: “The Guns of Shanhai (H)
Saving Gordon’t Honor (H): Suchow, 1863

The Boxer Rebellion In China
Hsiku Arsenal

South America
The War of the Triple Alliance: Tuyuti, 1866 (Paraguay vs Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay)

Steampunk Science Fiction
Victoria and Alexander On Mars (I)
The British and Russians Rescue Their Colonists from John Carter of Mars

THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR
The Defense of Chingchou

THE MEXICAN REVOLUTION OF 1916

“Brisco County and Pancho Villa” (I)
(Also with Tom Mix, Ambrose Bierce, Lt. George S. Patton, Jr, and baby Anthony Quinn)


WORLD WAR I 1914-1918

Tannenberg 1914
Fort Marcel: The German Assault At Verdun 1916 (H)
Capture The Command Post 1918 Trench Raiding-US vs Germans; played twice
The Big Push: 1918 (H)


INTERWAR

China: the Warlords, 1924 (H) Multifactionj Nationalists try to get gold to the railroad
Russian Civil War: A Treasure Hunt (H, I)
Multifaction; With Young Indiana Jones, Baba Yaga, and many others
The Spanish Civil War: University City, Madrid 1936


WORLD WAR II 1937-1945

WESTERN EUROPE
Operation Fjord: The British In Norway (H)
Operation Sword of Victory: The Germans Invade Britain (H)
Operation Monte Olympus: The Italians Invade Greece (H)
Operation Drop On Rome: The US Doesn’t Turn Back! (H)
Operation Allies Three: The US, British, and French In France (H)
Clash of Armor: Germans vs Americans (C, H)
Battle of the Bulge: Defense of Charleville (H)
Operation Dutch Canal: the British Attack The Germans (H)
A Canal Too Far: The Allies In Holland (H) Five plays, including (C)
The Weismar Escape 1945: Save The Scientists (H) British, Russians, and Germans try to capture/escape with German scientists

NORTH AFRICA
Operation Desert Pirates: The Germans Attack The British in Libya (H)
Operation Algerian Maginot (Operation Torch) (H) The US vs France.
Thala, Tunesia The British at The Kasserine Pass (H)
Operation Patton’s Punch (H)

THE EASTERN FRONT
Operation Luftwaffe Sector (H) Russian Paradrop on reinforcing German armored column
Operation Karlsgrad Bridge (Stalingrad) (H) Played twice
Operation Prussian Crossroads German attack and Russian counterattack. (H)
Kursk Skirmish July 1943 (H)

THE PACIFIC AND THE CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER
The Singapore Campaign Game Series (H) The Japanese attack the British in successive defensive positions
Operation River Slim (H) The Japanese attack the British at Singapore
Operation Burma Road (H) Japanese vs British
Operation Dundee (H) The Japanese invade Australia
Operation Island (H) The US attacks Japan
(CHINA)
Commando Mission To Hua Qing Hot Springs (I, CL)
Adventure in the world of Terry and the Pirates, with Saburo Sakai, Japanese Frogmen, Chiang Kai Shek, and many others including The Dragon Lady. Played at The Toy Soldier Company.
The Temple Out of Time (I) played twice; 3 players
Nationalists, Japanese, Communists, archaeologists, temple ogres, and The Dragon!
Shanghai 1937: The Villa of Lucky Plants

THE KOREAN WAR
Chosin Resevoir, 1950 The Chinese Communists attack the US Marines

Last edited by chas; September 20th, 2015 at 01:30 PM.
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  #23  
Old September 17th, 2015, 04:07 PM
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Re: 54MM: The One True Scale

I have acquired more rare Engineer Basevich sets made in Russia:

The Red Army
the Red Army (2)
The White Guard
The Counter Revolution (more whites)
Heroes of the Revolution
WWII Partisans

Now I'm on the trail of their elusive Crimean War set, the only one I know about that I don't have. It sure would be great if I could find some while I'm still playing that war!
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  #24  
Old September 17th, 2015, 06:11 PM
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Re: 54MM: The One True Scale

Impressive list of games ran. Simply wow.

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Tornado is Valguard...
in THE SPARKLY CAVE
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