Wargame Rules, Ratios, etc


I am very keen to keep my wargame rules as simple as possible, yet capture the character of the 1790s. Morale dominates the games as the opposing sides are very different. Most of the French troops are 'levee' battalions, which I have chosen to base in column as their ability to change formation on a battlefield must have been limited, nor do I believe their volley fire had any great value. Of better quality, able to change formation, will be white-coated regular and blue-coated volunteer battalions, aided by a fair number of skirmishers. The British, Austrian, Dutch and German armies are often outnumbered, but they maintain the discipline and order of typical 18th century armed forces. Interestingly, French revolutionary cavalry have little in common with their later Napoleonic counterparts, the former are few in number, often poorly mounted, and no match for those in the service of the Allies. All figures are 28mm in scale, using a 1=25 ratio.


Saturday 19 March 2022


Apologies for the few posts, I'm really into my 54mm Toy Soldier collecting at the moment (see my other blog) capturing my childhood once more, combined with the magic of old-time toy shops. But here is something which will work perfectly with my 28mm French Revolutionary armies.

Several years ago I purchased a music box biscuit tin for Christmas. It cost £5 and included a pack of shortbread biscuits. The Swiss mechanism plays, rather quaintly, DECK THE HALLS with Holly. With hindsight, it wasn't that great looking, and recently decided to get rid of it. Change of plan, decided to see if it could be converted into something more attractive. 

Completed yesterday, here it is. I'm a lot happier with it, and the tin container can also store some walls, railings, and street lamps. And the music only adds to my old style 'Toyshop Atmosphere'.


Monday 26 July 2021


Just heard from a friend of mine that John Tuckey recently passed away, aged 88. I think its appropriate for me to remember him here. I started wargaming with John in the late 1980s, and continued to do so during the following twenty years. Among a certain generation, particularly those organising shows, he was a well known character. As a wing-commander, retired, he was every bit a no-nonsense, forthright sort of bloke, and he wasn't acting the part. I liked him, and others have said that when he mentioned my name, it was positive. I will take that as a strong compliment. I suspect many visitors to shows all over England from 1980 to 2010 will have seen his historical refights, always involving thousands of 28mm figures, and in all periods of history. Recently spotted a photo in a Featherstone book with a Tuckey game featured.  He later staged his own wargames show at Marston-Magna, Somerset, and I was pleased to put on a game at most if not all his shows. In his last few years he sold his collections and re-embraced model railways, but on occasions we did still speak. He was a powerful character, a British patriot, and I'm sad to know he is no longer with us. RIP John.

Michael G. Butterfield

Friday 30 October 2020


I'm rather pleased with this latest find in a charity shop. Its an earthenware model of an early industrial building. At a loss to understand why it was made, perhaps to hold an internal light? Its well crafted, and looks perfect with 28mm figures. Originally buff-coloured, I gave it a prime, and painted it in more realistic colours. I've also covered the original foliage with more authentic tree scatter material. Not bad for £4. 


Monday 5 October 2020

Royal Navy Ship ready to Set Sail

This model had been laying dormant for about two years. The fragile plastic masts had broken off, the ship's wheel was out of scale, the guns were missing, the paintwork was poor. I was seriously thinking about converting it into a prison vessel, as it certainly wasn't seaworthy. Pleased I decided otherwise, the strong wooden masts, rigging and sails, and new paintwork has made this something I'm keen to use The RN Ensign was added today.


Friday 2 October 2020


Have recently set up my third wargaming blog, devoted to larger scale figures. I must admit its been an enjoyable and nostalgic journey working with toy soldiers I remember from my childhood. Here are a few photos from recent posts.


(VISIT https://wargamingwith54mmtoysoldiers.blogspot.com)

Sunday 20 September 2020


I have cross-posted this from my other blog SCIMITAR & CRESCENT WARGAMES, as it is also an 18th century subject, something which I do occasionally post on this page. Some time last year I picked up a small treen pot for 50p in a charity shop. Thought I might be able to make something interesting out of it. Today I have de facto completed my Efim Nikonov submarine, originally designed in 1721. I point out it was only designed that year as it failed all its testing, and the Russian government scrapped its funding for this project. Hope you agree, however, if it had worked, it would have been a useful weapon against the Ottoman fleet operating in the Black Sea....... and I hope to find out soon! MGB

Wednesday 16 September 2020


A few nights ago I watched this movie once more, and it really is a superb production. Set around the issues that caused the Spithead Mutiny in 1797, it lacks for nothing in its portrayal of a naval action against a French vessel. Starring Alec Guinness, Dirk Bogarde, Anthony Quayle, and many more fine British actors, nothing more needs to be said on that matter. I can confirm that the uniforms are not to be mocked, and particularly nice to see the Corps of Marines with 1796-7 coats, as it would have been far easier to supply them with just Napoleonic outfits from a theatre store. Do make an effort to find and view this film. MGB