Monday, January 12, 2009

The Press of Battle

The Batrachian Army of Observation finally pressed so far into Soweiter League territory the League was forced to react. The invasion is on!

The League sent out a force under General von Bluster to block the advance of the Batrachian forces commanded by General D'Zastre.

Order of Battle

The Soweiter League

  • The Mayeux Musketeers

  • The Saxe-Urquhart 86th Highlanders

  • The Jingleheimer-Schwartz Musketeers

  • The Heisenberg-Hasenpfeffer Hussars

  • The Waldorf Waldjaegers

  • The Ballyfoole Light Artillery

The Batrachian Observation Army

  • The King's Musketeers

  • The Queen's Musketeers

  • The Musketeers de Limbourg

  • The Wild Geese Chasseurs

  • The Poupon Dragoons de la Moutarde

  • A unit of Pandours du Pinque acting as light infantry

  • Medium artillery from the province of Bombardy

Both commanders sent cavalry (the Wild Geese Chasseurs, in the case of Batrachia) towards the pass to the southwest (I'll post a map when I get a chance). The rest of the Soweiter League's army headed for a hill dominating the western edge of the battle to block the advance of the rest of the Batrachians. Meanwhile the Batrachians sent a small force, comprised of the King's Musketeers and the Pandour light infantry along the road northwest to try to catch the League's forces before they had deployed (but failed to get there quite in time). The rest of the Batrachian forces headed west, to attempt to break past the League's forces, or, failing that, to attack the League's forces and force a passage.

The situation after a a few hours. The League's forces are on the left (west), while the Batrachian forces are a bit more scattered to the right (east). The cavalry battle just south of the western hill has just about played out. The League's forces have just finished arraying their lines for battle. The Batrachians are still getting their forces in place.


On the mechanics and such - I used (or rather, mis-used!) Jeff "Bluebear" Hudelson's Tricorne rules, and Scenario 18 "A Hasty Blocking Position" from C.S. Grant's Programmed Wargames Scenarios (with forces reduced due to space limitations and lack of enough units). The table is 2 card tables butted together, with a cheap flat sheet draped over them. This gives me a rather small table and restricts the width especially (could be critical in this scenario, but then again I'm using fewer forces). So far I've played 11 turns (but I messed up and have only done one round of movement, fire, and melee each turn rather than one for each side). I also forgot to roll average dice for movement, but I think it still worked ok. I'm sure I mangled many more rules. The cavalry melee has gone back and forth for several turns and mounting casualties, but I figure the casualties could just repersent loss of fighting power, not neccesarily dead and wounded. No matter - it's been fun so far. We'll see how it goes before I have to take it all down.

I would like to come up with a little bigger table (4'x6' probably; couldn't fit much more in my back room) for future battles. Maybe a couple of pieces of 3'x4'plywood to start, maybe braced with wood around the edges, maybe hinged with a piano hinge. Or I could try playing on the floor... anyway, dreams for the future.


Today I received an order from On Military Matters (fast service!) - going old school, I bought:

  • Charge! (which I've never read!)

  • The War Game Companion

  • Scenarios for All Ages

  • Battles with Model Soldiers (Featherstone)

  • Battlegames issues 14 and 15


abdul666 said...

Exciting! Looking forward for the full AAR.

Snickering Corpses said...

An inspiring start, and a very nice selection of items from On Military Matters. I'm quite the fan of their service.

Martin said...

Hiya Fitz,

Nothing like a tabletop full of good looking miniature troopies to get the ol' creative juices flowing! Those were some excellent reading choices from OMM, by the way. Resist the urge to devour them in one sitting, and savor each page. I envy your opportunity to read "Charge" for the first time. Enjoy!



Stokes Schwartz said...

Your game looks like a lot of fun, and the recently arrived book order does too. Enjoy reading Charge especially, It's a gem.

Best Regards,


Capt Bill said...

The only thing more enjoyable than watching another gamer's battle is being personally involved. Can't wait to see the next installment of this campaign. By the way, nice looking troops! You have found a great selection of reading material. Glad to see you have displayed the Ancient and Honorable Order of the Tankards on your site. It was well deserved for your valuable contributions to the Reich Duchy of Beerstein...Bill

A J Matthews said...

I'm looking forward to the AAR too. You have quite a reading list, and all quality. Enjoy!

Bluebear Jeff said...


I will be interested in how you felt the rules worked when you've finished the battle.

Also you are correct. "Casualties" are not necessarily dead or wounded. They represent a lot of factors.

Normally after a campaign battle, the casualties are diced for to see if they return.

I normally throw 1d6 for each stand lost. For the "winner" of the battle (i.e., whoever holds the ground at battle's end -- even if they otherwise 'lost'), they regain lost elements on a roll of 1-4 and lose them on a 5 or 6 (remember, roll low on 'saves').

"Losers" (those who leave the battlefield) get troops back on 1-3; lose them on 4-6. Thus they have a 50% chance of recovering losses while the winners have a 67% chance . . . but sometimes the dice do funny things.

And I'll concur about the reading material.

-- Jeff

CWT said...

AAR hotly anticipated! All the best,


Fitz-Badger said...

I guess I'll have to do an AAR, huh? lol
I haven't played any more turns yet, but should be able to finish the game with the long weekend coming up.

Jeff, I will let you know how the rules worked out for me.

Fitz-Badger said...

Jeff, some quick thoughts so far:
I think it will take me a few games to get the hang of the rules (I'm not one who can sit down and learn rules by reading - I need to use them a few times)
I printed out some of the summary sheets as well as the rules, but I think I also need to make up a page or 2 about the units and tack them up for reference while playing
I'm not following some aspects of the rules on purpose (as opposed to all the things I missed or did wrong accidentally!); for example, I'm counting all of the figures in a unit for fire and melee purposes, commanders, musicians, standardbearers, the lot, because I'm using pretty small units (as few as 6 minis for cavalry and light infantry and no more than 16 for infantry). I also rolled lower dice for how many minis to leave out of units at the start (1d3 minus 1, if I remember correctly). Some units have fewer than 16 to start with (just didn't have enough minis). I also have not been very strict on the command rules. I'm playing the scenario with both sides "programmed" for the most part. I'm sure I'll use more "house" rules as I go. One of the advantages of solo play - you can play it by ear and have fun.

tidders said...

Nice to see your units in action

- Allan

MurdocK said...

YAyy! Table action!

Excellent work!