Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Another Country Discovered --

Well, not really . . . but I got to thinking. My Saxe-Bearstein forces are based on those of Hanover. Their major adversary during the mid-18th century was France.

No one in our group is currently thinking of France . . . but I'd like to have a French-type force available. The solution, of course, is to build it myself after I've got my Saxe-Bearstein troops painted.

Okay, so what shall I call this new nation? Currently I'm thinking of Stagonia. I know, it doesn't sound French . . . but I've got a nice leaping stag graphic that will fit well with the flags I've been designing.

One of the advantages of modeling an imaginary country after France is that (with all of their allies) there is a tremendous variety of uniforms in the French army.

For the basic infantry pattern, I intend to use the French "quartering" system . . . sort of. The quarters will be in the "facing color" while the cross will be in the coat color . . . and the central device will be the "white deer" on gold.

As an example, the two infantry flags I've posted would be for a white uniform with purple facings and a red uniform with black facings.

For the cavalry flags, I will use the "white deer" on a field of the "facing color", with a fringe in the button color.

The examples would be one with a blue facing and one with a yellow facing. Both are shown here with gold fringes; but it would be easy enough to change them to silver -- thus doubling the number of cavalry units.

Finally, I've redesigned the dragoon flag to be more in the shape of the French Dragoon flags. I'll have the coat color on the lower half and the facing color above, with a fringe in the button color.

Sure, I know that I'll probably change some (or perhaps all) of this before I actually get around to it -- but what fun it is to plan it (even if I never do get to it).

-- Jeff

Monday, February 26, 2007

Going to a Convention --

Over the weekend I attended our area's small local gaming convention -- Dak-Kon XII. This was held in Courtenay, BC, Canada.

Now there are several options one can choose while attending gaming conventions. You can play in tournaments; you can play in games that you are familiar with; or you can play in games that you are unfamiliar with.

Even though Murdock was running a "Shako and Baton" game with over 1000 painted 25mm figures, I didn't play in it. I must say, however, that I did drop by many times to observe the game. He had very nice looking terrain, tons of figues and a number of special effects.

I don't want to give too much away, since he has his own blog, but historically there was periodic heavy snowfall during the battle. There were many cameras taking photos and I'm sure that a number will be appearing on Murdock's blog over the next few days. I will only say that what you will see was not caused by camera tricks or post-photo editing. His blog address is . . .


As I say, while I was iterested in Murdock's game, I'd played his variation of Shako before (and I might comment, I like his additions and refinements); and when I attend a convention, I like to play games that are new to me.

Like many of us, I got my gaming start with role-playing. In my case it was with Dungeons & Dragons back in the mid-70s. Please note that this was prior to the release of "Advanced D&D". I'm one of the minority who preferred the former game to the latter.

"Why?" you ask. Because with "Advanced D&D" and its successors more and more rules were added to enhance the detail and reality of the game.

RIGHT . . . reality . . . I'm talking about "fantasy role-playing". Get it? FANTASY . . . not "reality". One of the things that was so much fun with the original game is that you weren't bogged down with rules for everything. It was full of imagination, mystery and lots of fun.

Anyway one of the role-playing games being played was an Earthdawn game. I'd never even read it, but I recognized some of the players in the game (and they were all adults), so I thought that I'd give it a try.

Good choice. The game master (Paul Robertson) had put together simple little two-page booklets for each of about ten different character types. (Okay, the spellcasters had an extra page with their spells). From some comments from experienced Earthdawn players, he apparently simplified a few things . . . which is a good idea in a convention setting.

Anyway, I played a Dwarf and had a lot of fun. Sure, we had some dice rolling in the game; but an awful lot of it was actual role-playing. There was good character interaction and we had a lot of laughs. It was a lot of fun (and good fellowship) so I kept playing in the game for three sessions (until it ended).

Later I sat down at a game of what is now called "Dungeons & Dragons" . . . *sigh* . . . this version 3.5 is way overly-detailed. I was given two characters . . . one of which I was to start with and one I was to switch over to later.

"What?" I examined the multi-page character sheets . . . and didn't recognize much . . . most of what was there was very disheartening. Then the Game Mistress started the action. At least she thought so. Two by two characters were attacked by something. I don't know what (her voice was too soft to be heard). After 20 minutes of watching two players at a time roll dice (with no character dialog or interaction), I took my character sheets back to the GM.

I quietly told her that I played role-playing games in order to role-play -- not to roll dice. I was quiet about it so that I wouldn't disturb those still in her game (note: I was not the first to get bored and leave, but the third).

By then I was pretty tired. I watched Murdock's Shako game a little longer and then headed to the store to pick up some things that my wife wanted and made it to the ferry in time to make it home before being stuck on Vancouver Island for the night.

That was on Saturday. Sunday I slept in and didn't go back for the convention's second day. It was going to mainly feature some card tourneys and I was tired (okay, I'm getting old). Besides it costs about $20 everytime I go into town (ferry rates keep going up) and I have to leave the cabin between an hour and a half and two hours before time in order to get somewhere on time.

Anyway, I enjoyed watching Murdock's game and had a lot of fun with the Earthdawn session. By next year we should be on the Big Island and I won't have as much difficulty getting to Dak-Kon XIII.

Maybe I'll even run something.

-- Jeff

Sunday, February 18, 2007

WAG Starting Forces --

I have been mulling over what the "starting amy" should be for those of us involved in the "Wars for Arcadian Glory" (WAG for short). I don't want to set it too high; but I also want to encourage us to paint more figures.

My thought is that some units can "stand in" for (as yet) unpainted units . . . but they will play with the morale of the unit they are standing in for. I envision early battles only needing a few units . . . but as time goes on, battles should get bigger and bigger.

Also please note that all troops raised after those below will start with a morale rating of "Raw".

The Foot

Since the heart of virtually all 18th century armies was their foot . . . and since, in period, it was by far the most numerous troop type . . . each army will be authorized (and presumed) to have started with the following:

Battalions of Infantry -- Each army starts with six (6) battalions of "line" infantry (each up to six stands of four figures). Four of these will be rated "Veteran"; one will be rated "Elite"; and one will be rated "Raw".

Note that each of these battalions may have one company of Grenadiers as part of its unit. Such grenadiers may be used to form temporary "converged grenadier" units, which will have a morale rating one level higher than the worst unit contributing to it. Such "converged grenadier" units do not maintain any "history" since they are not permanent.

Also, up to two of the initial "line battalions" may be irregular troops (which also have 4 figures per company base in a diamond pattern -- but which never have any grenadier companies).

Standing Grenadiers -- Each army will start with one battalion of "standing grenadiers". This unit will begin the campaign rated "Elite". They never contribute to the temporary "converged grenadier" units.

Light Foot -- Each army starts with two "Skirmishing Foot" units (each has up to six stands of two figures each). While these are generally rifle-armed jagers, they might be something else. One of these units will have a morale of "Veteran" and one of "Raw".

Mounted Troops

Remember that "Tricorne Wars" has two broad classifications of mounted troops -- "Heavy Horse" and "Other Horse". The former is the "true cavalry" of the period; while "Other Horse" is generally Dragoons and/or Hussars.

Each army starts with a total of four mounted regiments (each, regardless of type, will have up to four stands of three figures each). One of these will be rated "Elite"; two of which will be rated "Veteran"; and one will start with a morale rating of "Raw". It will be the Player's choice as to how he wishes to distribute these ratings.

Heavy Horse -- Each army starts with two regiments of "Heavy Horse". These may be curassiers but don't have to be.

Other Horse -- Each army starts with two regiments of "Other Horse". Usually these are either Dragoons and/or Hussars but might include some other lighter forms of mounted troops.


I'm a little "up in the air" about artillery at the moment. Certainly it should not dominate the battlefield, so I don't want to have too much of it. I'm currently thinking that we should each start with four guns -- but remember that artillery will be diced for (and furthermore, it may not arrive on the battlefield in time for the battle -- another die roll). For early battles at least an army will usually have two guns at the most . . . and sometimes only one . . . and (if unlucky) sometimes none!

Light Artillery -- Each army starts with two of these 3-to-4 lb guns. They have a crew of two artillerymen each (plus a separate gun captain in lieu of a "colour stand"). They will start with a rating of "Veteran".

Medium Artillery -- Each army starts with only one of these 6-9 lb guns. It has a crew of three artillerymen (plus a separate gun captain in lieu of a "colour stand"). They will start with a rating of "Veteran".

Heavy Artillery -- Each army starts with only one of these 12 lb (or larger) guns. It has a crew of four artillerymen (plus a separate gun captain in lieu of a "colour stand"). They will start with a rating of "Veteran".

Limbers -- Each army may have limbers for the above artillery although they don't have to have them to move into their initial positions. However, once they are "halted", Medium and Heavy Guns may not move during a battle unless they have limbers (but then they generally did not move once positioned). Light Guns may be moved by their crews without limbers.

Generals & ADCs

While each army starts with a "stable" of four Generals and six Brigadiers (plus a bunch of aides-de-camp), they do not need to have figures for all of them.

Initially figures for one General and two Brigadiers should be sufficient. In addition, it would be wise to start with a pair of ADCs (aides-de-camp) to deliver messages. Doubling these numbers should provide all that a player would might eventually need.


Colour Stands -- Please remember that each unit requires a "Colour stand". While Artillery uses a separate "gun captain" figure on his own base, all other units use flags. Remember also that "colour stands" do not indicate any troops, they are cohesion markers only.

Line Battalions -- This includes every foot unit except for converged grenadiers and skirmishing foot. These units have a "colour stand" consisting of either one or two standard-bearers. If one, he should carry the unit's standard. If two, besides the unit standare, the other should either carry the national standard or the colonel's colour.

Converged Grenadiers -- Since these are only temporary units, they do not have any unit standards, therefore they use a single standard-bearer with the national standard.

Skirmishing Foot -- These are permanent units (who like converged grenadiers did not normally carry standards -- but our standards are used to mark cohesion, so we use them anyway). They have unit standards but do not use the national standard. Thus they have only one standard bearer.

All Mounted Units -- Each mounted unit (whether Heavy or Other) will have a single standard-bearer carrying the unit colour.

Okay, this gives me a good "starting point" for the campaign . . . and will provide a "painting goal" . . . of course not everything will be needed at the start.

-- Jeff

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Thoughts on Frei Korps --

What to do with new players who just have a unit or two?

Thanks to an idea suggested by Murdock, my thought is to allow them to use their troops as a sort of allied Frei Korps. All such units will initially be given the grade of "Veteran" (see September 27, 2006 post for description of morale grades). This means that they will roll one "averaging die" (numbered 2,3,3,4,4,5) each for their morale number for the day.

The player may then command his troops as he likes. Most of the time his unit or units will maintain the "Veteran" rating. The only times it won't are in three circumstances -- but if it does change, the change is permanent.

First, if the unit rolls a "5" for their morale rating for the day and the side it is fighting for wins, the unit will improve to an "Elite" unit. Note that if it rolled a 2, 3 or 4 and his side won, there is no change.

Second, if the unit rolls a "2" for their morale rating for the day and the side it is fighting for loses, the unit will lose morale and become a "Poor unit. Note that if it rolled a 3, 4 or 5 and his side lost, there is no change.

Both of the above come into play only if the player had only one or two units. If he has three or more units, then morale gains or losses are handled in the ordinary way.

It should be noted that while the General commanding the side he's allied to may give the Player orders, he is free to interpret them as he chooses . . . after all, he is responsible to his own monarch, not the other country's General.

-- Jeff

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

2nd Blank Uniform Template --

(Note as of 2/15/2007 -- While I did not know of the original source of these drawings, I now believe that the original image was from Peter Berry's Baccus6mm.com website. I have contacted him and he asked that they be removed . . . and I have, of course honored his request)

-- Jeff

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Blank Uniform Template --

(Note as of 2/15/2007 -- While I did not know of the original source of these drawings, I now believe that the original image was from Peter Berry's Baccus6mm.com website. I have contacted him and he asked that they be removed . . . and I have, of course honored his request)

-- Jeff

Friday, February 09, 2007

Some New Links --

Well, the doctor said that I needed to "stay quiet" for the next several days so that my bronchial infection doesn't turn into pneumonia (again). But he didn't say that I couldn't blog.

Doing a quick browse through some of my links, I have discovered some new 18th century states taking form. I have therefore added them to my links (see the side of this blog). In addition, I've added a link to Allan Tidmarsh's "Kingdom of Wittemberg". His website Diary is sort of like a blog (but not quite).




As a glance through my links will indicate, we now have a fairly substantial number of 18th century states building tabletop armies. Does this mean an interruption in the somewhat peaceful state of Europe?

We shall see?

-- Jeff

PS, If you know of any other relevent blogs, please let me know.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

How Many Units ??? --

One of the questions which I have has to do with how many units I should plan on painting for the Army of Saxe-Bearstein.

Since one of the purposes of having imaginary countries is the creation (over time) of unit histories. I don't want to have so many units that they lose their individuality among the masses of other units.

On the other hand, I don't want to have so few that every battle taps the same units. I'd like to find a happy medium.

So, let me hear from you out there . . . how many units would be enough without being too many?

-- Jeff

Friday, February 02, 2007

Some Very Good News --

Although our trip to Vancouver stressed us quite a bit (and both of our healths are suffering because of it), the result was very favorable.

Our condo in California has finally sold!

This means that we can now seriously look for our new home. Indeed, I was out looking at properties today. I didn't find what we want; but the more houses we see, then better we refine what we're looking for.

And if we find it, we can at least make an offer on it now.

We've been waiting for our condo to sell for over a year . . . so this takes a great weight from off of our shoulders.


-- Jeff