Wednesday, 7 September 2022

Somewhere south of Battleford....


The ‘birth’ of my new unit of NWMP newly painted last night.

 The North-West Mounted Police, were the Canadian Constabulary of the later 19th Century used in modern-day Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba “the Prairie Provinces”.  This is a vast area, some 1,780,000 km2.  For comparison, the UK is 243,000 km2.  The southern area of Saskatchewan, the primary theatre of operations during the North-West Rebellion is approximately the size of modern Germany.  For all this area of patrol, only some 500 officers were employed and so thus the very small contingent for my force made from conversations of the Perry American Civil War plastic cavalrymen.  The dismounted trooper happens to be a Brigade Games Boer with a new plastic Home Service head to represent the mounted infantrymen status of the contingent. 


While the historical relationship of the NWMP and the native aboriginal population was generally good, some of the Cree joined the Metis of Louis Riel in conflict with the Canadian government.  Under this guise, I created a very small scenario to use my newly painted NWMP contingent for that campaign and that of the native teepees built during the summer.


Not sure about the accuracy of this work but certainly presents an interesting portrait of the NWMP 


NWMP on parade at Fort Calgary. Note helmet and white gloves from which I took my inspiration. Actually doubtful that the patrolling troopers would continue to wear such gear but this IS wargaming and we all do the full-dress appearance of our miniatures, don't we?


The scenario has the NWMP to determine the belligerent status of the native encampment.  The camp was large with a woods to the south and unknown to the policemen, a slight escarpment in front of the camp.

 Cree tipi/teepee.  My tipis are from old conical drinking paper cups held in storage for many years!

The Canadians trotted toward the camp with careful view to the small copse of trees to their right. A high-pitched voice was followed by firing, wounding one of the troopers. In the commotion the NWMP were unaware of the firing from the escarpment (no hits from this direction at all, so presumably no effect or reaction from the otherwise involved troopers).  

The log marker represents a 'pinned' status, the blackened cotton ball (those often stuffed in oversized pill bottles are wonderful for this purpose) represents a shot from the Cree hidden in the trees. The troopers are converted from Perry plastic American Civil War cavalrymen. While the mounted fellows have retained their heavy gloves (which I have given them from 'green stuff') their dismounted companion has placed his under his belt on the back - also green stuff.

Recovering their motivation (making the pinning test) they moved away from the fire and toward the camp.  More firing came from the woods but to no effect. However the troopers were now startled from the close range fire from the hidden position in front of them, and the same trooper was again hit ( I diced to see which of the three would be hit)  Pinned once again, they waited the Cree reaction but none was forthcoming.  Unbeknown, the Cree were short of ammunition and arrows thus equally unable to continue the fight. (I rolled very low for the amount of shots the Cree could deliver)

But the policemen had their answer about the Cree attitude and decided to quickly retire to report. ( I rolled maximum on the dice for their morale/activation!)


8 comments:

  1. Nice figures, good selection for a litt,e known conflict.

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    1. Small affair and not well known, but certainly interesting and fun to do.
      Cheers.

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  2. Snowcone cups! Nice use of materials, I don't think I would have recognized it until you drew attention to it.

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    1. The cups were folded to produce the 'pole dents' into the tent, and wire glued into each and onto the area of the crossover of the poles near the top to give rigidity. Rather simple in execution but turned out to be quite effective I think.

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  3. A nice bit of scene setting with this mini scenario, Doug.

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    1. While not a Hemingway or Tolstoy, I sometimes enjoy creating a fictional story narrated by the miniatures and the dice.

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  4. Love the snow cone cup teepees. This is a great project.

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    1. Certainly not up to your quality nor quite accurate, they do serve the purpose and look the part. I am having fun with the whole project.
      Thanks for the continuing interest.

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