Sunday, December 23, 2007

History of "WAG" Battles --

Before I started this blog, we had some early playtests of my "Tricorne Wars" rules. The photo at left is from one of these with me overlooking some of my GNW Swedes.

Nevertheless, the main reason for my writing these rules is for our local gaming in what we are calling the "Wars for Arcadian Glory" (or WAG for short).

WAG is named for the local gaming club here on our area of Vancouver Island (off of the coast of western Canada).

In the ensuing months, our blogs have recorded some nine battles as we've been building up our forces for an ongoing campaign. So far these have been "one-off" battles . . . most of them using some of Charles Grant's "Table Top Teasers" so thoughtfully provided by Steve-the-Wargamer.

Listed here (starting with the most recent) are the various playtests which Murdock and I have recorded in our blogs:

Battle of Grozhof

Fought on December 12, 2007 (at my Game Room) between the forces of Mieczyslaw and Burtzenia, it was another Table Top Teaser #3 fight. Murdock played Mieczyslaw (of course) and Deryck handled the Burtzenians. The primary account of this battle can be seen here.

Grozhof ended in a victory for Mieczyslaw.

Battle of Fraudorf

Fought on December 11, 2007 between the forces of the Duchy of the North and Principality of Saxe-Bearstein, again it was Table Top Teaser #3 (which we were playing for the second time -- Pete having his choice of sides). This too was fought at my Game Room.

Pete commanded his Norden troops and I played my Saxe-Bearsteiners. An accounts of the battle can be seen here.

This battle ended in a cease-fire and draw when Brigadier Prniz Gunther von Ursa, second in line to the throne, received a mortal wound leading his troops in battle.

Battle of Ubergang

Fought on November 27, 2007 this battle marked the opening of my Game Room. Combatants were the Duchy of the North and that of Mieczyslaw. As usual, Pete handled his Norden troops while Murdock directed his Mieczyslaw boys.

This was our first attempt at Table Top Teaser #3 (the Advance Guard Action). Pete's forces came from the North (appropriate, what?) near the town; while Murdock's troops entered near the bridge.

Ubergang was marked by a significant amount of "fog of war" with one of Pete's brigadiers consistently re-interpreting his orders to the consternation of Pete's C-in-C.

Eventually the battle ended up as a draw . . . but it was a close thing at times. For accounts of this game, go to here and here.

Battle of Offenbach

Fought at Murdock's on October 21, 2007 this one was a bit different. It was a "proxy battle" involving the troops of Frankzonia, the Soweiter League and my own Stagonia. Murdock (and friends) ran the battle for players in other areas.

Again one of the main features of the day was problems with "command and control". Stagonian forces had three "Political" commanders . . . and their left flank pretty much never moved as my "Tricorne Wars" rules "fog of war" aspects kept resulting in misinterpretations of orders stalling troops in their tracks.

Nevertheless, the vile Stagonians carried the day (and sneeringly gloated about it).

It also featured some interesting "battlefield diplomacy" that resulted in a significant re-alignment during the battle. Murdock's account of the battle is here, with his pre-battle commentary here.

Battle of Barva

Fought at Murdock's on September 4, 2007 between the Duchy of the North and the Duchy of Mieczyslaw. This was our third playing of Charles Grant's Table Top Teaser #2 (The Wagon Train) -- obviously we liked this one.

As usual, Pete ran his Norden troops and Murdock had his Mieczyslaw men.

For an account of this battle, go to here.

Battle of Stinz

Fought on September 2, 2007 at Murdock's Shed. My Principality of Saxe-Bearstein boys faced Pete' Duchy of the North forces.

For the second time we were playing the Charles Grant "Wagon Train" scenario from his Table Top Teasers (as provided by Steve-the-Wargamer).

This was the battle in which Brigadier Prinz Gunther von Ursa earned his father's ire for leading so many cavalry charges. (Note: this same Prinz Gunther was to fall mortally wounded in an infantry firefight during the Battle of Fraudorf.)

Accounts of the battle may be read here and here.

Battle of Polkfurt

Fought on August, 2007 at Murdock's, this was the first time my Saxe-Bearstein troops were to make it to the table top. I was to face Pete's Duchy of the North . . . and come away with a victory!

Murdock did his usual thing and had a wonderful setup prepared for us. We were playing "The Wagon Train" Table Top Teaser . . . and he had a great setup ready. He also umpired for us and ran the battle quite smoothly.

His account of the fight can be found here. In addition, he has a "preview" of the action here.

My account of the battle can be seen here.

Battle of Debnica

Fought on July 15, 2007 between the Duchy of the North and the Duchy of Mieczyslaw.

Pete (Norden) and Murdock (Mieczyslaw) ran their usual troops.

The two biggest lessons learned in this game were by me (to seriously reduce the light forces available) and Pete's discovery regarding the difficulties in planning deployment . . . linear warfare is seriously different from the Napoleonics he was used to.

Murdock's account can be read here; and my post-battle thoughts here.

Battle of St. Argard

Fought on July 1, 2007 this was the first time we had "Wars for Arcadian Glory" troops on the table top.

Pete ran his Duchy of the North troops for the first time (although he had to borrow a number of my Great Northern War boys to do so).

Murdock gave his Duchy of Mieczyslaw troops their baptism of fire as well.

This was a simple scenario. A meeting engagement with relatively similar terrain from both sides of the table. It was primarily a chance to see how my re-worked "Tricorne Wars" rules would work.

Murdock managed to end on top, but we all had a good time. His account of the battle can be found here; while my reactions can be read here.

-- Jeff

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Prince is Slain --

Well, Pete and I played another of Charles Grant's Table Top Teasers this past Tuesday night (#3 -- The Advance Guard Action). The action was fast and furious but ended in a negotiated draw when one of Saxe-Bearstein's princes was slain.

The action centered around the town of Fraudorf and the bridge over the Blauwasser river. Both the Duchy of the North and my own Principality of Saxe-Bearstein had dispatched forces to secure the town and bridge for the full field army.

The Norden forces entered nearest the bridge; while I entered near Fraudorf. In the early maneuvering, Pete nearly occupied the town but my Wildschwein Dragoons managed to overcome and destroy his two mounted units before its remnants fell to infantry fire.

Indeed this was a very fluid and bloody engagement. A battalion of my own Infantry Regiment von Urquell reached the bridge but was eventually had to withdraw. They were under the command of Brigadier Prinz Gunther von Ursa.

The prince had attached himself to an IR von Schlitz battalion when they were fired on from the rear by the late-arriving Norden Musk Oxen regiment who had just recently reached the battlefield. Unfortunately the prince (second in line for the throne) toppled from his mount having suffered a mortal wound.

Even though the Saxe-Bearstein forces seemed to have the upper hand, Major General Otto von Lager immediately suggested a cease-fire when he saw the prince fall (which Maj. Gen. Olle Fasjovik, the Norden commander was quick to accept).

Sadly the cease-fire came too late to aid Prinze Gunther, who had already passed away.

To the left are a series of battlefield sketches as seen from various points.

The first is early in the fight as the Wildschwein Dragoons (in red coats) close with some Norden Cossacks.

While that was happening, the second sketch shows Prinz Gunther leading his infantry brigade in a race to reach the bridge. Unfortunately the Norden skirmishing foot was able to delay them just a bit too much. Notice how eagerly the Prinz looks back at the cavalry action.

A natural cavalry commander, the Prinz had been forbidden by his father, Furst Bruno von Ursa, because of the many cavalry charges he had led during the Battle of Stinz. Perhaps if he, rather than Brigadier Karl von Blatz, had commanded the horse, he would not have fallen.

The third sketch shows a view from the bridge with the Prinz moving his von Schlitz troops around the copse of trees in a grand double envelopment of the Norden infantry forces.

The fourth sketch details the closing of this double envelopment with the Prinz in the upper right corner. Behind him the Norden Musk Oxen regiment may be seen arriving on the battlefield.

Our final sketch shows the fallen Prinz Gunther (at top of sketch) just moments before the cease-fire was arranged.

-- Jeff of Saxe-Bearstein

Sunday, December 09, 2007

A note re: BloodAxe Miniatures --

The "stand-in" GNW pictured in my last post (and some future ones) are from BloodAxe Miniatures. I bought them years ago from Lance Runolfsson. Thanks to some legwork by Steve-the-Wargamer, I was able to track Lance down. Here is part of his email to me about these WSS/GNW figures . . . .

"Nice to hear from you. [snip] I am no longer selling any figures. However I have an arrangement with Mike Taber who owns the old Jack Scrubby Line and a number of others to produce my figures for retail.

"The GNW WSS are not lines that he currently produces. I don't know what kind of order he would need to make it worth while for him to make new molds and run some stuff for you but you could give him a try. I'm guessing the lead time would be pretty long if for no other reason It takes me Quite a while to get anything done and I would have to run enough figures for him to make molds for the figures you want then send them to Mike. Mike does all his casting in pewter so the price point would by higher than mine was I am sure. You can get ahold of him from the Historifigs link bellow.

You have a very nice site of your own mine does not compare by content or frequency of update. We are mostly playing WWII here lately with a kind of Hybrid Miniatures Board Game. My site link Bellow

Anyway nice to hear from you.

C-Ya Lance"

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Temporary Infantry in S-B Service --

I am continually amazed by how much of my time has been taken up by the act of moving into our new home . . . and, as a result, I've not been able to get my RSM figures painted.

So, what I've done is to take my Great Northern War figures and use those as temporary substitutes for my Saxe-Bearstein units. Here then are some photos of some of these "temporary units" . . . okay, some of the line infantry units.

I've had to combine numerous smaller units generally by repainting facing colors and sometimes leggings as well.

The first photo (note -- click on them to see a larger image) is of the troops I'm using for IR-2 von Becks.

The sharp-eyed amongst you might note that not all of the hat lace and pompoms are the same. That is because it was formed from two GNW Saxon units and correcting this would have been too fiddly.

Next we have a stand-in for IR-3 von Grolsch. If you note the red, green and white flag, it is quite similar to IR-8 von Urquell (aside from a different shade of green and yellow-gold instead of von Grolsch's white.

It is with the third photo, that of the substitute for IR-6 von Coors that we begin to really see the GNW flavor of these BLOODAXE MINIATURES (a supplier that I believe is no longer in business).

Note the hats. These were originally designed as Polish infantry (or as an alternate Russian figure). I've combined a number of them to create some more stand-ins.

I must say, however, that I miss the tricornes.

Photo four shows similar figures standing in for IR-5 von Schlitz.

Their violet facing color is quite striking on the tabletop.

All of the previously mentioned units are regular "line infantry". The final photo is of something different.

I use a semi-diamond pattern when I base irregular troops. And these fellows are standing-in for IR-10, my Kokanee Grenzers.

The actual figures were taken from a number of Russian units (and, again, are BLOODAXE figures).

If you look closely, you can see the "diamond pattern" of basing. This looks particular good when they are on the tabletop as, under my rules, each stand rolls for its own movement.

This results in a very irregular mob look to them.

These aren't the RSMs I'll eventually paint, but they will serve in the interim.

-- Jeff

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Battle of Ubergang --

Well we opened my new game room last night with the Battle of Ubergang between Pete's Duchy of the North's forces and those of Murdock's secondary imagi-Nation of Burtzenia.

This battle was based directly on one of Grant's "Table Top Teasers" . . . specifically #3 -- "The Advance Guard Action."

As with all "Wars of Arcadian Glory" games using my "Tricorne Wars" rules, commanders and units were randomly selected. As usual, this resulted in a mix of morale grades and command personalities.

Both sides then diced to see what "showed up" to the battle . . . and Murdock got the worst of this. Only two of his four elite squadrons of Dragoons showed up . . . a loss that hardly compared with the three companies of raw skirmishers that Pete lost.

Both players surprised me a bit with their deployments after they marched on . . . but that's hardly surprising . . . they had different plans than I would have made.

The first photo (top of page) shows the start of their continuing struggle for the road into town.

The second photo shows things a turn or two later from behind the town looking toward the bridge in the distance.

If you look closely, you will note some Burtzenia infantry and a gun peeling off to take and hold the bridge in the distance . . . as some Norden cavalry comes out of the town to counter Murdock's heavy horse.

The third photo shows things a few minutes later . . . and, if you are wondering why the infantry is there, there is a story behind that.

Pete's C-in-C was Maj. Gen. Olle Fastovik . . . who is noted as a very "careful" personality. The infantry was under Brig. Sir Elof Amundsen Krook, well known for his aggressiveness on the battlefield.

Under my "Tricorne Wars" rules, when a "Careful" commander issues an order, commanders under him "add one" to their die rolls for interpretation.

Well, to make a long story short, Krook re-interpreted his Advance orders into an all-out Assault! (Later in the game, when he received new Advance orders, he again interpreted them upwards to Attack orders . . . well we can hardly fault his aggressiveness, now can we?)

The final photo is well into the game (which lasted 20 turns in about 6 hours of play) shows many of the dead bodies that indicate the heavy fighting that took place before the competitors settled for a draw.

It was a good battle and the rules seemed to flow pretty well. I noted a few points that I might decide to tweak, but all-in-all I was pleased . . . and my game room has been initiated.

-- Jeff

PS, Murdock has more pictures on his blog . . . as well as his "take" on the battle.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Battle of Ubergang About to Start

Well Murdock is on his way and Pete will be here as soon as he finishes work . . . so the game should start about 11 pm tonight (we all have tomorrow off but Murdock needs to be home for stuff) . . . thus we play tonight.

Well they do. I watch and see how my "Tricorne Wars" work with this scenario. They don't know it, but they will be playing "Table Top Teaser #3".

Actually, Murdock just arrived.

At left you see a picture of the key portion of the table.

-- Jeff

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Another HOTT Battle Fought --

Well Brant and his brother Blair came over to play some "Hordes of the Things" in my new game room.

Brant had played that one game last week and Blair was an absolute newbie . . . so I gave him the choice of armies between my "red orcs" and "green orcs".

He chose the greenskins while Brant fielded the red orcs. I also made Brant the defender (since he had a game under his belt.

The fight was a good one, see-sawing back and forth. The photo to the left was rather early in the game. The scrum in the middle eventually ended up with eight stands involved in the one combat. Eventually this match-up was won by Blair, but Brant came back to win the game 13 to 11.

I suspect that they will get some forces together and play more games in the future. Meanwhile the first 18th century battle in my game room will take place next Monday night. Murdock's Burtzenia troops will face those of Pete's Duchy of the North in the Battle of Ubergang.

-- Jeff

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Breaking-in My Game Room --

Okay, I guess that technically I broke it in the other night when I showed Brant how to play "Hordes of the Things". We played a learning game with his "Green Orks" eventually falling to my "Red Orks". He really liked HOTT and he wants me to teach his brother Blair the game this Monday.

But, you know, I don't really think of that as "breaking-in" my Game Room. It wasn't Eighteenth Century. So the "real first game" will be the Battle of Ubergang currently scheduled for Monday night the 26th of this month.

Ubergang will be between Pete's Duchy of the North and Murdock's Hertzogh of Burtzenia. I don't want to say too much about what I have planned. For now they will know what troops they have to start with (and what they may possibly have as reinforcements) so that they can bring the right figures . . . but the rest will hopefully be a bit of a surprise.

-- Jeff

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Units at Tippelbruder --

As loyal readers know, the Principality of Saxe-Bearstein (my imagi-Nation) has dispatched some forces to aid in the defense of the Town of Tippelbruder.

The town of Tippelbruder is the home of that wonderful tailor, David Linienblatt, who creates those wonderful uniform templates which are so much in use by many imagi-Nations.

The vile Stagonian king, Koenig Maurice, has for some petty reason decided to burn down the town. We are among a number of imagi-Nations to send aid.

In additon to Brigadier Ernst von Bruin and some artillery, we have sent some grenadiers and two full battalions of line infantry, regiments von Lowenbrau and von Urquell.

Regiment von Lowenbrau's facing color is a light blue; while that of Regiment von Urquell is green. Both, of course, wear the red coats of Saxe-Bearstein.

Furthermore, as can be noted from their flags, both battalions have brass buttons on their coats and yellow hat tape on their proud tricorne headgear.

In addition to these two battalions, the grenadier companies of von Carling (black facing color) and von Coors (light yellow facing color) have been dispatched as well.

Both of these companies, as well as the grenadier companies of von Lowenbrau and von Urquell have been combined into a "converged" grenadier battalion.

As is typical in the period, such a converged unit (not being permanent) does not have its own Colours. So, in this instance, they will fight under the national Saxe-Bearstein banner of the red bear.

-- Jeff

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Some RSM "Other Horse" --

(note: click on photos for larger images)

Here are photos of some of my RSM95 "other horse". Pictured in all three photos are a Hussar (from the Prussian list); and a Dragoon (either Austrian or Prussian -- I'm not sure which).

The Hussar is holding his sabre; but the Dragoon comes open-handed. As with the heavier cavalry, the Dragoon pack comes with a variety of weapons -- carbines, pistols and swords.

If you want a particular mix of weapons, specify it in your order. The people at DPC (who sell RSM) seem to be very helpful. (note -- I have no connection with them other than as a customer).

Riders and Horses are cast separately. The Hussar in on a "Galloping Stretched Out" horse pose (there is also one with legs bunched).

The Dragoon is on one of the Trotting Horse poses. There are some other poses as well. Be sure to specify what pose you want your troops to have.

Incidentally, they also have a Hussar with Busby (on the Austrian list).

Unit bags usually come with an officer figure . . . but I don't believe that there is one for the hussars. Contact the people at DPC to make sure.

-- Jeff
RSM Heavy Horse --

(note: click on photos for larger versions)

These are photos of some of my RSM95 Hanoverian "heavy" mounted troops. The figures are right out of the packaging -- just bare lead, with no special treatments of any sort.

There are three views of the same figures. On the left is the Hanoverian Horse Grenadier; on the right is their Hanoverian Heavy Cavalry.

Both are cast with open hands and come with a mix of carbines, pistols and swords. If you have a preferred mix, I suggest that you specify it in your order.

The riders and horses are cast separately and there are a variety of different horse poses. I've put the Grenadier on a standing horse and the Heavy Cavalryman on one of their trotting poses.

They have two "galloping" poses -- one with legs bunched and one with legs stretched out. And they have a "rearing" horse pose as well.

Be sure to let them know what horse pose you want.

-- Jeff

Friday, October 19, 2007

RSM95 Marching Musketeers --

Recently there was a request on the "Old School Wargamers" group for a photo of some of the RSM marching Musketeer pose.

In the photo to the left (from left to right) are RSM95 Musketeers from Austria, France, Hanover and Prussia.

Hopefully this will help distinguish a few of the differences from nation to nation.

These elegant figures can be obtained from the Dayton Painting Consortium at truly excellent prices.

The second photo shows the same figures from the back. They are in the same order -- Austria on the left, then France, Hanover and Prussia on the right side as you view it.

-- Jeff

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Display Case Arrives --

Well, we got the carpet cleaned since it was in a "distressed state" from the previous owner's young children. The floor certainly looks a lot better now -- no more huge stains.

However, in order to do that I had to take down the banquet tables and move them and a lot of other things out of the room.

Guess what? I'm not twenty-something anymore (and haven't been for a long, long time . . . *sigh*) so my back is very much complaining to me . . . telling me it is stiff and sore.

Anyway, with the carpet cleaned we could take delivery on my new Display Case. So here is a picture of it. It is on the wall opposite the bookcases . . . and when my back stops complaining, I'll see about getting the tables back between the two . . .

. . . And, no, I still haven't decided quite what I'm going to do for a table . . . but your comments are certainly helping me. Thank you all, I do appreciate your comments and observations.

The final picture is one of the "bar 'fridge" that I have full of nice cold drinks for thirsty gamers.

Of course I know that gamers are never thirsty . . . well not too much . . . *grin*.

-- Jeff

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Thoughts on a Game Table --

I'll have a wonderful space for gaming . . . so the question becomes "what size gaming tabledo I want?"

Sure, I'd like a nice BIG table . . . but there is a problem. I'm stout (okay, fat) and my arms are rather short as well. I couldn't even reach the middle of a 6' wide table . . . so it is out.

I can barely reach past center on a 5' wide table . . . but my belly then has a tendency to drag figures and terrain on the table edge off onto the floor (which is NOT a good thing). I also have a troublesome back so I wanted a taller table.

I do have (as the pictures in the last post attest) two 8' long banquet tables; each of which is 30" wide. This presents me with a 5'x8' table with some rounded corners.

One thought that I've had is, since I was planning on having some side tables for troops, that a pair of 5' long banquet tables would give me the option of having a 5' wide table either 8', 10 1/2' or 13' long . . . and sometimes a big table like that would be nice.

But what about "smaller" games?

One thought that I've had is to use the two long banquet tables as a "base" for a 4'x8' sheet of plywood table raised about 7" above the banquet tables. I'd have supports at the four corners and then interior supports running lengthwise (and across) about 8" in from the plywood edge.

Why this inset? So that, along with one 6" on either side, players would have a "ledge" below table height where they could have their rulebooks, drinks (safely under cover) and containers for dice so that none of these would need to be on the gaming surface.

I would also have some brackets on the edges of the plywood so that a protective raised edge would help keep figures and terrain safely on the table. These edges could also be lifted out so that thin boards with a painted background could be used for photographs.

So I have two thoughts . . . and really, they could be combined. I have some 2'x2' terrain boards -- which would be great for the 4'x8' plywood top, but which wouldn't fit on the banquet tables. But the local fabric store that my wife frequents sells lots of material that's 60" (five feet) wide . . . thus a good cover for the banquet tables.

I like the idea of the flexibility of both, but what do I do with the plywood top and frame when I want to use the banquet tables . . . we are on what is known as the "Wet Coast" of Canada . . . which means that we do get a lot of rain -- taking it outside isn't really an option.

Please share your thoughts.

-- Jeff

Thursday, September 27, 2007

[off topic] Game Room Cleared --

As you can see from the photo, I've got the "Game Room" end of my Game Room space cleared of boxes.

Now, of course, we have to get the carpet cleaned (it really needs it). Then I can get my Display Case delivered. As you can probably guess, it goes against the blank wall opposite the bookshelving.

The tables in the center of the room for a 5' x 8' surface. And the item in the upper left corner is a "bar refrigerator" for drinks.

To the left, this side of the telephone table, there's an alcove that leads to a bathroom (as well as the guest room and our library).

The second photo looks the other way, back over the tables to the "Social" end of the room. That's where (among other things) the role-playing games will be held. And between the two is where I can set up my poker table.

In total, the room is about 38' long and 15' wide . . . plenty of room. As soon as my dear wife saw it, she wanted the house.

So I am making some progress towards actually having a game room for miniatures (and other gaming).

-- Jeff

Monday, September 24, 2007

[off-topic] New Display Case --

Well, what can I say, my wife insisted that I buy it. Anyway, this weekend I put a deposit down on a lovely mahogany display case for my figures. It is about 83" tall by 65" long and 16" deep. There are three sliding glass "levels", each with two shelves. It is gorgeous!

Once I can get my "basement" game room cleared out, we will get a carpet cleaner in to steam clean the carpets (they could really use it) and then I'll get the cabinet paid off and delivered. Then I'll have the "big problem".

"What big problem?" you ask . . .

The problem of deciding which armies get the better "eye candy" placement on the shelves . . . but you can rest assured that there will be tricornes placed on the best shelves. I'm excited!

-- Jeff

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Niggling Computer Woes --

Sorry for the lack of posts the past two weeks. As you may know, I recently changed my computer's operating system from Windows XP to PCLinuxOS.

Well, while the two "main programs" that we use (browser and email) are the same, EVERYTHING ELSE is a different program. Two in particular are causing me headaches.

The first is the built-in FTP program -- which would allow me to update my website -- it doesn't have anything in its "Help" files . . . and I haven't figured out how to configure it yet.

The other program is the built-in graphics program. I had been using Paint Shop Pro 6 (quite an old program version); but this new program "thinks" differently. Yes, I know that the program doesn't really think . . . but the logic behind it is quite different. It is obviously much more sophisticated, but I have not yet figured out how to make it do what I want it to do.

Finally, of course, our friend Stu, who helped us install this new operating system, is on vacation in the U.K. through the end of the month . . . *sigh*.

-- Jeff

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Furst is Furious! --

Furst Bruno von Ursa, Prince of Saxe-Bearstein is furious.

His joy at the report of the successful relief of the city of Stinz (villainously occupied by the Duchy of the North) turned to fury as he learned the details of the battle.

His son, Brigadier Prinz Gunther von Ursa led four different cavalry charges into close combat! He narrowly escaped death on one charge (and will bear the scars to prove it), yet then took control of yet another unit (the totally untested Hopfenperle Hussars) and led the final decisive charge that prevented necessary Nordic supplies from reaching Stinz -- thus saving the city.

While this did force the Nordic forces to sue for terms (thus regaining the city for Saxe-Bearstein), the risk to the Prinz distressed Bruno greatly.

General Baron Helmut von Pilsner will find himself very much in the royal doghouse for allowing the Prinz to lead any charges -- let alone so many.

But, truth be told, he tried to stop him -- the first two times the Prinz (who had joined the Edelbrau Dragoons) ordered a charge, the Baron was able to counter it (i.e., I twice rolled a 6, failing the charge tests).

However, for the Prinz, the third time was the charm. And that charge not only routed a dragoon unit, but also pushed back a counter-charging unit of Kuirassiers! His follow-up charge routed them, clearing the way for other troops to attack the supply lines.

His continuing pursuit destroyed the remaining heavy cavalry and then converted into an infantry unit. Later, the Prinz, although wounded, took command of the Hofenperle Hussars and led them on yet another key charge into wagons and the flank of yet another infantry battalion, routing it and saving the city.

Both the Edelbrau Dragoons and Hopfenperle Hussars were awarded battle honors for their outstanding service in this engagement.

An artist on a hill overlooking the valley where the battle was fought painted that final charge (as can be seen above).

==== comments ====

This was another very interesting battle. Not knowing what would show up (or where) caused me a considerable uncertainty. Fortunately I got a number of units to arrive at some very opportune times. And, once again, Pete had difficulty controlling his troops.

My biggest problem (at the time) was twice failing to succeed on my charge test . . . but actually that worked out well, since two other units arrived to support me, just as my charge finally went through. I'm sure that Murdock will have a good account (plus lots of better pictures) on his blog within the next day or two.

If things work out properly, he and Pete will play this scenario yet again tomorrow -- with Murdock running the supply column and Pete trying to stop it. I've randomly determined their forces and emailed those to them -- so there may soon be yet another battle report.

-- Jeff

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Back "On-line" with PCLinuxOS --

Well, that wasn't too bad. I've still got six CD and two "thumbs" worth of files to reload into my computer . . . but I am now up-and-running and MicroSoft-free!

Thanks to my friend Stuart, we were able to get my computer up-and-running on the PCLinux Operating System. I now have eMail again (although I lost all of my old emails) and can use my browser. There is still a lot to do, but those are, after all, the basics.

Also, I am completely unready for Sunday's game . . . I'll need to get busy.

-- Jeff

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Computer Problems in Transition --

Well I've taken a plunge and I may be having computer problems for a few days . . . .

More correctly, I'm hoping to solve problems we have been having. I've been running Windows XP and it had gotten to the point where it was crashing several times a day.

With the help of a friend, we have wiped my hard drive completely and have installed a Linux operating system.

Right now there are several things that aren't working yet . . . and I've lost ALL of my saved emails . . . ah, in fact Stu had to leave before we could get my email working again. If you email me, it may get bounced back for a few days.

Murdock, I lost the information that you sent to me about what I'll need for the Battle of Stinz . . . . but you probably shouldn't try to resend unit late tomorrow or even sometime on Saturday. There was only one unit that I think that I still needed to base up . . . actually, thinking about it, you can leave a comment here and I'll get it.

I'm actually looking forward to becoming familiar with PCLinuxOS, since I was thoroughly sick of a lot of the Microsplat error messages. Besides, I've long wanted to move to Linux, but didn't know anyone who was using it . . . until now.

Wish me luck, please.

-- Jeff

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Battle of Polkfurt --

I knew going in that this battle could be a disaster. After all, it wasn't to be the "normal" sort where two armies face each other across a stretch of terrain.

This was to be one of Charles Grant's "Table Top Teasers". More specifically, it was the "Wagon Train" teaser.

Steve-the-Wargamer has a number of these "teasers" (including "Wagon Train") on his website.

I wouldn't know when or where my forces would arrive. I'd previously diced for my troops and had been a bit unlucky. I had one Elite, three Veteran and two Raw units (Pete had two Elites and three Veteran units plus another Veteran and his only Raw unit in the Town).

When I arrived at Murdock's, I diced for my units (in my "Tricorne Wars" rules, you have to dice to find out how much of each unit's "paper strength" actually showed up that day). Infantry units have a potential of having six companies each . . . I ended up with 5 and 3 companies for my Veterans and 5 for my Raw troops (the Grenzers).

In terms of mounted troops, I had one each Elite (von Kodiak Kuirassiers), Veteran (Edelbrau Dragoons) and Raw (Heineken Hussars). Each could have four squadrons . . . I ended up with 3, 3 and 2 squadrons respectively.

I also had two Light Guns . . . unless I rolled a "1" on one of my two d6s . . . you guessed it, one of my guns was gone as usual. Fortunately Pete also rolled a "1" for one of his artillery pieces (although certainly better than I did with his other troops).

I also knew (as Murdock indicates on his excellent battle report) that some of my troops would not be coming in early (having rolled a pair of sixes when dicing for my half of the entry turns).

So I started the game thinking I had a hard row to hoe. But as turn after turn progressed, Pete's troops became more-and-more separated. Then, on turn six, I got three units arriving in almost perfect spots.

The von Kodiak Kuirassier (with the Cavalry Commander, Brigadier Ernst von Bruin) came in from the north of the column and the Edelbrau Dragoons arrived from the south. With the latter was my Army Commander, Major General Otto von Lager and three small companies of Karlsberg Jagers (skirmishing foot).

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Pete, the Rheinfelden Grenzers and Infantry Commander Brigadier Wolfgang von Weiser entered under cover of the southern woods. It would take a number of turns for them to arrive . . . but they could be very dangerous coming out of the woods.

So, I'm feeling pretty good. Murdock's son, Alex is running von Bruin and the Kuirassiers. Our plan is to avoid the infantry guarding the flanks and to hit the supply column (our primary target).

But my "Tricorne Wars" rules are deliberately written to include lots of "fog of war" aspects.

We had entered with "Attack" orders . . . but when within 12" of enemy, a Brigadier or General needs to test to INTERPRET those orders knowing the actual situation on the field. von Bruin diced for his interpretation . . . and they went up to "Assault" . . . meaning his troops within his command radius had to charge at fires opportunity.

Alas, the Kuirassiers looked to be right near the limit of their maximum charge distance . . . and dicing for it, they fell short. In addition, my rules call for a variable morale. Elites (and the Kuirass were my only Elite unit) roll two "Averaging Dice" (numbered 2,3,3,4,4,5) and take the higher number as their morale number for that day . . . the Kuirassiers only ended up with a "3" morale (while the unit they charged got a "5").

Net result, Pete's unit opened fire and wiped out over a third of the unit.

Meanwhile, my Dragoons were close enough to charge . . . but I blew my "to charge" test . . . so they just stood there in Disorder. Emotionally, I crashed . . . bad luck, but what could I do?

Then the Kuirassier got mauled again d0wn to a single squadron now; but I was successful in out-maneuvering the infantry and my Dragoons charged into the supply column as the Jagers sucked up fire. My charge had over-run one wagon and routed a pack of mules -- effectively destroying two of the four wagons I needed to stop the Nordenites from re-supplying their troops. I'm really feeling "up" now.

And, while the matter remained in doubt for some turns, with several "ups" and "downs", it eventually became obvious that the Grenzers were going to loot enough wagons (now effectively "dead in their tracks" with a massive Cavalry "ball" preventing them from proceeding any further, and so Pete conceded.

Stepping back a bit now, as the rule designer, this was a very interesting test. It is not at all the sort of situation that I envisioned as I've been writing "Tricorne Wars" . . . yet I think that they worked well on this day. We plan on trying it again next Sunday and we'll see if it works as well (although I'm hoping that Murdock will "tweak" the terrain a bit, since it will be a different city -- Stinz -- that he's trying to resupply).

Oh, I nearly forgot. The photo above shows the penultimate turn played, with the Grenzers and Dragoons about to close in on the rear wagons while the Hussars and remnants of the Kuirassiers tie up the front of the column. (click on it for a better look)

-- Jeff

Monday, August 27, 2007

Victory at Polkfurt --

Early reports indicate that the noble forces of the Principality of Saxe-Bearstein, although outnumbered by the troops of the Duchy of the North, managed to defeat the Duchy's attempt to bring desperately needed supplies to their forces in Polkfurt.

Terms of the surrender are being negotiated even as we speak.

Details of the battle will undoubtedly soon become available through the auspices of the Duchy of Mieczyslaw, who had both reporters and some artists overlooking the conflict.

(I'm too tired to write much tonight . . . but the most noted unit of the conflict is the Edelbrau Dragoons. They not only received Battle Honors (as did the Karlsberg Jagers), but they are now lauded as Elite troops instead of just being Veterans.)

-- Jeff

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Polkfurt Playtest Today --

Well, in a touch over 10 hours from now (as I'm writing this) Pete (Duchy of the North) and I will meet on the tabletop at Murdock's.

I still haven't had a chance to paint my RSM figures, so I'm using some of my Great Northern War figures as "stand-ins" (all are Blood Axe Miniatures -- sadly no longer available).

The infantry units will be red-coated GNW Saxons (the tricorne units) and one multi-coloured Russian unit re-based for and standing in for Grenzers.

The Cavalry isn't quite as close, uniform-wise. My Heavy Horse is in gray rather than white; the Dragoons are red-coated rather than Buff; and I'm using Cossacks in place of Hussars.

Still, they should provide an interesting contrast to Pete's blue-coated Swedish-inspired troops. You can see the terrain if you take a look at Murdock's website. And the basic scenario is one of Charles Grant's "Table Top Teasers". You can find it (and many others) on Steve-the-Wargamer's Table Top Teasers page.

Wish me luck!

-- Jeff

Friday, August 17, 2007

Another Playtest Scheduled --

While not completely over my recent medical woes, I am feeling much better. So much so that I've decided upon the next "Tricorne Wars" playtest.

Rather than the straight-up meeting engagements that we've been playing so far, I think that we will try one of Charles Grant's "Table Top Teasers". More specifically, the "Wagon Train" scenario.

Current plans are for Pete to run the Supply Column while my own Saxe-Bearstein troops will take on the role of the forces attempting to prevent the re-supply of the Northern troops trapped in the walled city of Polkfurt. With luck, we will play this out on the 26th of this month.

To get an idea of the scenario, go to Steve-the-Wargamer's website and check out the April '78 and May '78 downloads. You may also see a couple of Steve's games using this scenario on his Marlburian pages.

I urge you to check out some of the other Table Top Teasers that he's posted since they make good game seeds.

-- Jeff

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Ouch! Cortisone and Kidney Stones --

I apologize for not posting or commenting much lately. A few days ago I got a cortisone shot in the inside base of my thumb . . . and now I know why my wife has refused to ever get any more cortisone shots (she had about ten while she was a professional figure skater).

They hurt like Hell!

It was a good thing that the doctor insisted that I lie down before he gave it to me. First, it is going into an extremely inflamed area and then flooding the overstressed tissues with something they don't like.

Anyway, the stress on my body played havoc with my blood sugar (I have Type II Diabetes -- normally well under control) and has kicked my kidneys into dumping more "gravel" as well. So I have been on pain medications the last few days. But don't worry, I should be back relatively soon.

-- Jeff

Monday, August 06, 2007

Tippelbruder Defenders Get Ready --

After due consideration, Furst Bruno V has decided to augment his troop commitment to the defense of Tippelbruder.

Regiment von Lowenbrau (of 750 men in red coats with light blue facings, brass buttons and yellow hat tape), while trained, is untested in battle (i.e., it has a "Raw" rating).

Therefor the Furst has decided to send two experienced Grenadier companies, those of von Carling (123 men rated "Elite") and von Coors (122 men rated "Veteran") to stiffen our other troops.

Regiment von Carling's grenadiers are in red coats with black facings; while the von Coors troops have pale yellow facings. Both have silver buttons and silver grenadier hat plates.

In addition, our second most senior brigade commander, Brigadier Ernst von Bruin (rated "Steady"), has been dispatched to command our troops and whatever other forces you choose to place under his command.

Accompanying him will be a short company (62 men) of Karlsberg Jagers (sadly rated "Raw") and one 9-pound gun. The former troops may be used for scouting and harassing the Stagonians should they attack.

The Jagers wear green coats trimmed with gray and have no hat lace.

The Artillerymen will be in gray uniforms with red trim and white hat lace (usually rather gray due to the black powder residue.

Unfortunately, the Furst is unable to furnish any mounted troops at this time.

And, while the Stagonian field army is fairly substantial with 8 regiments of line infantry, 3 regiments of "Colonial infantry" (sort of like Grenzers), a battalion of standing Grenadiers. as well as 4 regiments each of Heavy Horse and of Other Horse, plus considerable Artillery, the Furst does not believe that they would commit it all against Tippelbruder.

Regiment von Urquell (red coats with green facings, rated "Veteran") will remain ready to march if needed.

-- Jeff of Saxe-Bearstein
for Furst Bruno von Ursa

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

My Saxe-Bearstein Infantry --

Click on photo for a larger image.

This is an image of the various line infantry battalions of Saxe-Bearstein. And, while I am responsible for the color choices, the blank Uniform Templates were drawn by David of "Not by Appointment":

-- Jeff