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Rebels and Patriots- Time changes everything, and nothing!

Saturday mornings forty years ago, off to the cinema with the boys from the flats. More fun was to be had throwing coins at the safety curtain that preceded the film, and hearing all the new swear words that the commissioner directed toward the missile throwers. Before heading off to the park in order to look for dead budgies in the open air aviaries , there was the newsagent. And in the front window of the newsagent were row upon row of toy soldiers, thousands of them……

Pocket money ran to one or two figures a week but if only you could clamber into that window space. And what a calamity if my grandparents bought one that I already had. Looking back now, the figures still have the capacity to catch my imagination. The colours may not be as accurate as purists may now demand but the excitement of these early battles was palpable….

The nco was my favourite from the above line up. The paper flag always had a short life expectancy and this resulted in a whole parade of pistol firing flagless standard bearers after a few weeks active service in my Nan’s flowerbeds. She never left a man behind in those beds too. Many was the evening that one of my soldiers was awol and we would go on a torch lit search. I didn’t know much about history then. I’m not too sure the manufacturers did either- I vaguely remember having some Timpo Confederates with arrows in their sides? A rare death for confederates, even in the West, I would have thought. What all these figures have, is of course, character…..

I’ve finally got my first force ready for the much admired Rebels and Patriots wargames rules. Circles may not be everyone’s first choice for horse and musket wargames figures but I am hooked. The rules are great fun and the “armies” are cheap and easy to collect. I liked the circle basing so much, I made them another centimetre wider in diameter than was actually stipulated in the rules.

Two units of Federal cavalry are now ready to crush the rebellion. They are supported by twenty four elite infantrymen. The Easter holidays should see the whole transformation of my American Civil War collection.

And what about the supporters of the Second War of Independence I hear you yee-haw?! Fighting Big Government, protectionism and standing up for States’ Rights are the first of my Confederate forces. 

Thanks very much for reading- the plan is to get a ACW game together before the end of May. But this holiday it’s time to get the Total War/ Kings of War/ Impetvs hybrid back on the table. Have a great Easter break!


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