Wooden Wars: Wooden Soldier Project Part 10: Remarks on cavalry, and melee

"Follow me"!

Before we start maneuvers, I want to show off the latest black and white rev of the rules' cover. The art was done by the amazing Colin Upton , a  fantastic comic book artist and illustrator - and super nice guy - who did the lion's share of art for us at Flagship Games!.  As the rules are currently getting laid out, I should have a color version to show off soon! 
Based on the French 5th Hussars.

Beau Hussars!
We begin our review showing off a unit of light cavalry, based upon the French 5th Hussars.  I’ve given these brash fellows the Fur busby, as they will be the one Elite cav' unit for the blue army.  The horses are various shades of brown, and amazingly, paint up super quickly.
Etched side of the horses
The muskatoon glued to the saddle conforms to the rider.  

I use a larger brush, a #3 or #5 , and add a bit of future floor wax and water solution to the paint to wet it down some.  Leaving the paint a bit thinner than normal allows the woodgrain to show through. It adds to the “fur” look.
That's a lot of mustachio!

Remarks on Cavalry:
Cavalry in Wooden Wars is very flexible, enduring, and like in historic battles, can be the game winner. During the activation phase, cavalry can either move one baton AND fire, or move two batons. This can get them into Melee’ quite quickly.  
As Coroporal Trim rather astutely asked on the TMP messge boards, ...since the cavalry horses are end on to the ball fusilade (rather like a duellist turning sideways to present a smaller target), aren't they more stable and harder to knock over?”…

The answer of course, is yes - yes they are - But that’s perfect!

Have you ever plaed any Games Workshop or related miniatures game where they give the mounted troops that +1 save onna-counta? Well, with Wooden Wars- it’s built right into the system!

That being sais, as riders are not glued to the mounts, when hit they go tumbling, and horses go down- especially if caught in the flank!. I’ve also seen that when a mounted officer goes down he’ll take a couple of troops down with him.

Other than being a dead eye with a rubber ball, the best counter to your opponent’s cavalry is your own cavalry. Secure your flanks with your horse troops ready to charge, or counter charge once the enemy has ridden down your infantry or guns. This is not only the best way to catch and take down your opponent’s cavalry, but you get some awesome bragging rights. Let’s face it- cavalry charges are fun!

This  Mounted officer will have to make his dodgeball check!

Horse Sense and sensibility:

Because of its survivability, speed- and probability of charging into melee, cavalry units in Wooden Wars are smaller than infantry units. Play tests have shown that the ideal cavalry unit size is between 4 and 10 troops plus an officer. Any bigger and the scale to cav vs. infantry (10-24 men units) gets askew. I’m not inventing anything new here- many rules designers have figured this out before me. Busby’s off to them, says I!
Hoping Lady Elizabeth Butler would approve...

These were made with the Officer model and the infantry bearskin.

The “Greys”
I was keen on having the red army to have the largest elite cavalry unit on the battlefield. I chose the Scott’s grey’s as my inspiration. These were made using the mounted commander sprue with the infantry grenadier bearskin.   As an Elite/ guard unit, this cavalry does two attacks per model on the charge! This can be very devastating, as we shall see. 

Elite cavalry in the charge knock over 2 per model charging, instead of 1!

With a foot officer and one soldier left, Melee ensues

Aftermath of melee round: Infantry wiped out at the loss of two cavalry

Oh- the Greys are flanked! This picture is specifically in to chide my mate
Simon, who always manages to over extend his elite cav, letting me run
them down with my hussars!

Bayonets and Sabers - Charging into Melee’!
When a unit makes contact with an enemy unit in its movement phase it is considered as though it has charged it. At that point, both units are fighting in hand to hand combat, known as melee.  Melee is fast and brutal, with the first round of combat seeing the charging unit defeating (knocking over) the enemy on a one for one basis.

After this, if there is anyone left  in the unit that was charged, each side counts up all soldiers in their respective units and roll that many D6’s to attack, hitting on a 4+.  Rinse and repeat until one unit is fully knocked over.  Cav can charge anyone; Infantry can charge other infantry and guns. Guns don’t charge. 
The advanced rules cover Elite units, column charges and squares.

The review was interrupted when I was informed by the princess
that there was to be a ball.

That’s all for now. If it seems quite on my end for a while, it’s because I am up in Montreal training up on how to use a laser cutting machine, creating pieces for GenCon  and my upcoming Kickstarter. 
Cheers, and until next time, keep those sabers dragging and spurs a jangling!



  1. Wow! Don't get in front of elite cavalry! I think I'd rather face the artillery.

    I've always enjoyed Colin's art in your games, so am glad to see it back again.

    Is the Princess your daughter? Wow, how she's grown. Of course the last time I've seen her, she was a baby. So are you currently working on a ladies in a ballgown sprue? Sounds like another Kickstarter stretch goal reward.

  2. Sorry for the double comment, but I realize I made a previous one to an old post...

    Tom, this is Ken Cliffe at All the King's Men Toy Soldiers. I recently discovered Wooden Wars and am blown away by the ingenuity of your figures and rules. This is what young and young-at-heart wargaming should be. I'd like to share further thoughts and possibilities via email if you're interested. Feel free to contact me at: