Monday, March 3, 2014

Toy Soldier Battle of Nords Crossing

 General Humphreys hunch had been correct. Across the plain was a brigade of the Shiak Army deploying for battle.  All the information from the past days pointed that an invasion was imminent. First,was the mobilization of a regiment of militia infantry and two artillery batteries to augment the existing infantry brigade across the border. Then the arrival of General Von Piffle, the aggressive general who was idolized throughout the Shiak Army, made it obvious that something was in the offing. Nords Crossing was a vital crossroad village in the middle of the disputed frontier.  For Shiak to control the frontier, Nords Crossing would have to be held.

Now General Humphreys made a grave mistake. Instead of advancing and fortifying the village, he called up the local volunteer regiment and ordered up two batteries of artillery.  By the time he marched, Von Piffle was making for Nords Crossing. It now became a race to occupy the crossroads.
Shiak Army on the top of the picture (which is north), Nords Crossing in the center, and the Brookshire Army on the bottom of the picture (which is south).  Victory goes to who  captures 4 enemy units first.

A view from behind the Brookshire Army, looking north.

Looking down the Brookshire line. The Rifle Regiment is in the foreground.

Looking down the Shiak Army line.

A Shiak battery takes aim at a fast approaching Brookshire regiment.

One Brookshire regiment seizes the crossroads.

The Shiak battery fires on the regiment.....

.....and 2/3 of the regiment falls.

The fire is too much and the regiment breaks and runs.

Meanwhile, on the Brookshire left,  the Rifles brings the Shiak militia regiment (In the woods) under fire  causing causalities. The artillery also hits it's target.

On the right, the Shiak forces suffers sever losses....

.....causing  two regiments to retreat. Meanwhile, General Humphreys has rallied the remains of  one regiment and retakes the crossroads.

The Shiak artillery hits the Rifle Regiment. Notice the retreating Shiak regiment at the bottom left of the picture.

The Shiak battery fires on the crossroads, causing more losses; but the regiment holds fast. One Shiak regiment mores across the road on the right of the picture.

Another Brookshire regiment comes out of hiding and hits the Shiak regiment on the flank, while the Brookshire artillery adds their weight to the attack.

The Brookshire Army seems to have the Shiak Army just about in full retreat.

General Von Piffle rallies one of the broken regiments.

The Rifle regiment had driven the militia from the woods and was about to seize the woods. However, they came under fire by the Shiak artillery with disastrous results; the regiment was wiped out! ( a 5 or 6 was a hit; the photo shows the result of the dice throw.)

While the Rifles met their end, General Humphreys was commanding the battle from the crossroads, still under artillery fire.

The artillery scores a direct hit, eliminating the last of the regiment and killing General Humphreys.

All the Shiak regiments rally and start to advance again.

The Shiak artillery takes out 2/3 of the Brookshire battery, while an infantry regiment  charges the battery. Meanwhile, another regiment hits the Brookshire regiment marching out of the village.

On the Shiak left, the infantry moves into the village.

The Brookshire battery hits the Shiak regiment, while the infantry forces the remainder of the regiment to retreat.

The Brookshire Volunteers hits the regiment to their front hard, forcing them back.

Between the Brookshire Volunteers,  infantry and artillery, they manage to clear the right flank of all Shiak infantry.

The Shiak forces on the right flank quickly move to form a line facing east towards the village. Another Brookshire regiment enters the crossroads to assault the battery.

The Shiak artillery continue to inflect heavy losses on the Brookshire army destroying  one battery and devastating the regiment in the crossroads.

The remainder of the regiment starts retreating.

The artillery tries to hit the retreating force; without success.

The Shiak army is now facing east and start their advance to take the village.

Both sides is down 3 units; the next unit taken will end the battle. In desperation the Brookshire infantry try to take the weakened battery in the village. Another regiment enters the crossroads and the Volunteers come up around the church to assault the battery. Incredibly they all miss!

The Shiak infantry clear off the road, giving the right battery a clear shot down the street into the village.

The artillery, with the infantry adding their fire, destroys the regiment in the crossroads.

The Brookshire Army have suffered too many losses and retreat.

 The rules used in this game were based on games found on the Junior General website. These rules were used by a teacher to teach history to middle school students. They were some of the first rules I used when I first got back into wargaming. lots of great ideas and paper soldiers to use with the games.

Just a note on the two armies. The Shiak Army is the army from my childhood. My three brothers and I each had our own "country", mine being the nation of Shiak. As for the Brookshire Army, Brookshire was the name of the street I grew up on and is just a great name to use with toy British soldiers.

Another thing about this battle, besides the 4 cannon and the figure of General Von Piffle, all the other figures were my home casts, the first battle where the majority of figures are home made.


  1. Great looking game with a feel of a miniature version of Little Wars. Do any of your brothers still game?I like the idea of names with connections - thanks for sharing them with us.

  2. Unfortunately, none of my brothers war-game, although in the past I managed to get two of them to play some war-games. The war-games we fought as children involved throwing popcorn at the enemy or using dart guns. As for the names, I was originally was going to steal names from R.L.Stevenson's war-game ( I did use Piffle) but as the soldiers were homemade, I wanted the game to be a little more original Thank you for your kind comments..

  3. A great little game. Honours to the Shiak artillery I think, tremendoud accuracy and steadiness under fire. Feels good to field one's own figures doesn't it?

    I suddenly found myself wondering if it would be possible to find some old airfix guards to add to my 1/72 acw troops. Apparently they are collector items now and the price had gone up somewhat. Oh well.

    1. Usually in my games the artillery performs poorly although it's probably the General misusing them and not the gunners themselves! I didn't even realize how deadly the Shiak artillery was until pointed out to me! As a kid I dreamed of making my own toy soldiers and using them; it is indeed a great feeling to use homemade soldiers.

      If you are looking for some Airfix Guards I might have some to spare. I would have to see how many are left of what I have.

  4. Oh, the horror ! Fighting to the last pip of the dice! And damn'd deadly gunners too.

  5. It certainly was a close run thing! If only the Brookshire infantry could shoot as well as the Shiak artillery did.

  6. A splendid toy soldier battle in the tradition of RLS and HGW! Your troops and buildings look very appealing and inspire me to create something similar.
    May I enquire which of the many Junior General rules you adapted, and how?
    I hope there will be more engagements between the armies of Brookshire and Shiak!

  7. Thank you for the kind comments, to have the game mentioned along the lines of RLS and HGW is high praise indeed! Besides the buildings, I thought the trees added a good toy soldier field to the game.

    I used the rules for Gettysburg. The movements was changed from inches to squares. As for modifiers for the village, I used the "saving throws" for the Devil's Den. That's about the main changes to the rules.

    As for more engagements between Brookshire and Shiak, I'm sure there will be other battles.