Friday, December 26, 2008

Books for the Holidays! --

Well the "gift giving" has passed and my wife gave me the books I've ordered recently . . . which means that I'm suddenly inundated with good reading material.

I admit that I am basically rather impossible to buy for . . . at least for someone who knows nothing about historical gaming . . . so my dear wife snags these with my knowledge.

Anyway, I finally am getting a chance to read my copy of "The War Game Companion"; and also my copy of BATTLEGAMES Magazine #15; as well as Grant & Asquith's "Scenarios For All Ages".

In addition I have a copy of "The Campaigns in India During the Severn Years War 1756-1764" by Mike Kirby; and the Osprey Men-at-Arms book "Louis XV's Army (1) Cavalry & Dragoons".

Well, so much for the mid-18th century . . . but for the WSS I got a copy of Sapherson's "The French Cavalry 1688-1715".

And, since I'm trying to build-up my ECW background, I got copies of "English Civil War Gaming Scenarios (Volumen 1)" by Steven Maggs and "E.C.W. Flags and Colours 1: ENGLISH FOOT" by Peachey & Prince.

Finally (and most delightfully), Steve Carroll of the UK was kind enough to send me his extra copy of the "Forlorn Hope" ECW rules by Berry & Wilkins. I am continually delighted by the kindness of fellow gamers.

Yes, I've given things to other gamers and even sent them overseas asking nothing in return but that they "pay it forward" . . . that is to help someone else out down the line . . . but it was a complete surprise when Mr. Carroll kindly offered me his spare copy of these rules.

I've wanted to see these since I've read so many people saying that they give the best "period feel" for the English Civil War . . . and yes (even though he didn't ask) I will "pay it forward" by continuing to help others in our hobby. And isn't that what the spirit of this season is all about?

-- Jeff

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

May Your Holidays Be Blessed With Smiles --

Our internet connections help us to inspire each other in our hobby pursuits. But we also develop friendships through our posts.

I would like to take this opportunity to let you know how much I appreciate our blogland contact and how impressed I am with the creativity and ingenuity of our hobby community.

May your holidays be blessed with many smiles as we enjoy the closeness of family and friends.

The photo is of the snowman that young Michaela made this afternoon before she and her mother flew back to Alberta. Please note that the smile on Mr. Snowman's face echoes my own as I think of how much my hobby experience has been enriched by my contact with all of you.

Be ye blessed with smiles.

-- Jeff

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I Hate Stokes! --

No, not really, Stokes of the "Grand Duchy of Stollen" is actually a very nice fellow (we've had some nice phone conversations).

So why do I say that?

He and Jonathan of the "Principality of Hesse-Engelburg" and the "Landgraviate of Ober-Schweinsberg" are playing out one of Charles Grant's "Table Top Teasers" as a 'play by email' game.

To make matters worse, they are using the venerable "Charge!" rules.

I mean that this is the essence of 'old school' 18th century table top gaming . . . and it is extremely appealing (click on photo to left for larger image).

Yes, I confess it. I want to play games like this on my table. I do. But I don't have the 'big battalions' that are needed.

And I want them.

Of course it takes time to paint them . . . lots of time. And I have lots of "honey do" items on my list . . . including finishing the library (currently full of hundreds of boxes of books and no shelving) before I can do any painting.

So it will be some time before I can play some Charge! games . . . therefor I'm spending my time re-reading "Charge!" and hating Stokes.


To watch the progress of the game Stokes and Jonathan are playing, go to the "Grand Duchy of Stollen" blog and use the archives to go back to November, 2008. Find the first move and then work your way forward.

-- Jeff
(OT) Snowtime on Vancouver Island East --

According to the weather statistics, our area of Vancouver Island (the mid East side) gets snowfall on Christmas about once ever 17 years . . . and has snow on the ground for Christmas about once every 11 years.

Well, while it is predicted that we will get snow on Christmas Day, it is certain that we will have snow on the ground then . . . in fact enough to make up for those other ten years of no snow.

We currently have my wife's baby sister and her three-year-old daughter, Michaela (pictured at left) as house guests.

They flew in a couple of days ago, planning on driving down-island to visit other relatives and then back up to see us before flying out on Christmas Eve.

However the roads south were (and still are) snow-ways . . . and more snow is forecast virtually every day . . . so we get to enjoy their company for the week.

And in case you don't know it, three-year-olds have a seemingly infinite supply of both energy and curiosity . . . but it is also nice to have her bubbling laughter brightening our home.

-- Jeff

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Wargaming Interests and (OT) Outside Tree --

Before I get to my wargaming interests, I've posted a photo of our "outside tree".

As you can see, we've had our first showfall of the season . . . and everything is nice and white.

Well "nice" until we had to go out and shovel off our driveway and the sidewalk. While doing that I kept thinking of what a friend calls snow . . . "damned celestial dandruff".

Anyway, our "outside tree" is an artificial one we got in California about a decade back . . . and the ornaments are plastic . . . but with its red and white lights it looks good fromt he street.


I was thinking today about how my wargaming interests have changed over the decades.

My introduction to tabletop gaming was with WRG's 7th Edition Ancients. For years, even with changes of rule systems, all that I played was Ancients. Even when our club briefly diverted to periods, we always came back to Ancients.

But I tired of them and my many Ancient armies (in both 15mm and 25mm) have languished in boxes for many years. The truth is that I really tired of the constant search by others for the "killer army".

Have you noticed that most of the "armies" that win tournaments nowadays are ones that never made much of a mark historically? Far too many Ancients players play the rules and not the history.

So, I'm sure that you're thinking, "Am I playing the history when I use an Imagi-Nation?"

Well I feel that I am. I'm not re-creating the exact 18th century history. No, I'm playing at being a minor monarch in the spirit of the period. Furthermore there isn't a search for a "killer army" since we all have access to the same troop types . . . so the spirit of our battles is different.

So, yes, the Eighteenth Century is my primary period for gaming . . . but it isn't my only one. I'm also interested in the "Colonial" conflicts of the last third of the 19th Century.

The Northwest Frontier (okay, I'll admit to reading a lot of Kipling in my youth), the Sudan and to a lesser extent, South Africa. And the Americal "Wild West".

The major difference that all of the above share is a focus on smaller conflicts. Essentially these are primarily "skirmish" periods. The style of the games are different -- and more cinematic. In addition, they're lots of fun.

Are there other periods that interest me? Of course. Among them is the English Civil War for which I've been collecting books and rules. It is a period which I really don't know all that much about . . . so research is the first and most important step. It may be a few years before I feel that I'm ready to start painting troops.

And getting back to the 18th century for a moment. I plan on building a number of "historic" (as opposed to imaginary) units in 15mm . . . but again more research is needed first.

Finally, damnit, I am increasingly drawn to those 28mm "Big Battalion" battles. And I have copies of "Charge", "The War Game" and "BAR" on my shelf . . . and I know that "The War Game Companion" is under the tree . . . so THAT is another temptation.

I think that all of those Ancients armies will just have to wait a lot longer before they regain the table top.

-- Jeff

Sunday, December 07, 2008

(OT) A Better Tree --

Well today both my bride and I went out looking for a replacement tree.

As I mentioned in my previous post, my lady didn't like the one I had found . . . and I'll admit it, we did find a much nicer tree.

We haven't finished trimming it yet and the tree lights are unplugged for the sake of the photo . . . but here it is. (note: click on photo for larger version).

Note that the sharp-eyed amongst you might find a few nutcracker 'toy soldiers' on the tree.

May your holidays be joyful . . . and your dice roll well.

-- Jeff

Saturday, December 06, 2008

(OT) Bad Day at Tree Shopping --

My dear wife and I have been "under the weather" lately. We both have sore backs.

Hers is because her sciatic nerve is really kicking up . . . and I have some more kidney gravel (i.e., very small kidney stones -- like sand) moving through my system.

But today I got sent out to find a tree for the holidays.

Well I really really don't like those thick pre-shaped trees. I'm sorry but to me they are too much like topiary (which I'm quite unfond of) . . . I want a natural tree.

So there I was aching back and all driving around through the rain trying to find a decent tree . . . I found some nice ones of course . . . but they were not only quite pricey, but their trunks were too thick for our tree base.

Then there were those 'jack pine' trees. I understand that they are quite fashionable . . . but they don't look right to me.

Anyway, hurting as I was, I finally found the tree pictured at the top of the column . . . and my darling bride tried to like it. She put lights on it and ornaments . . . and then came to me looking downcast saying, "I'm sorry, I know you like an open tree . . . but we can't even put a quarter of our ornaments on it."

So tomorrow we get to go tree shopping again. Anyone want a nice 'barely used' tree?

-- Jeff

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Bad Day in the Old West --

Due to some 'real life' stuff I've not been able to game for a while -- hence the lack of recent posts.

I still haven't played anything (gotta finish some 'honey dos' first) . . . but after my last post about converting 'Christmas houses' to gaming terrain, I realized that I haven't given you a good look at my scratch-built 'Old West' buildings.

Remember to 'click' on the photos to see larger versions of them.

Now I'm the first to admit that I've seen far fancier and more detailed buildings on other blogs . . . but these were actually very easy to build and I think that they look very much like I suspect a lot of the actual buildings did . . . that is to say, a bit rough.

Incidentally, I think most of the figures are from the Old Glory 'Warpaint' line (although it is possible that a Dixon or two crept in).

What you see are four buildings. A hotel (with the balcony), a fancy saloon (wrap-around walk) and a couple of miscellaneous buildings.

All are foamcore shells covered with thin sheets of balsa. If you look closely you will see that the 'planking' on these buildings were simply scribed into the soft balsa with a dull pencil. And don't forget to scribe some board ends.

Okay, I cheated with the windows. They are just squares of craft sticks glued on (I was in a hurry). The sidewalks are made of craft skewers that I've trimmed the pointed and rounded ends from.

By the way those 'fancy' posts (the ones with the 'lathe work' are the fancy bamboo toothpicks that you can often find in supermarkets. (Note that they also make nice flag staffs and for the chunkier figures they're not bad lances).

The shingles were particularly easy to make, by the way.

They are simply strips of card cut from cereal boxes, then made into 'combs' (i.e., irregularly spaced vertical cuts not quite through to the 'spine'). Then cut alternate 'teeth' short and at slight angles.

Overlap the strips and you've got a nice irregularly looking set of shingles.

What else?

Oh yes, the doors are simply defined by some balsa strips to 'frame' them. And I've capped the 'false fronts' with another strip of balsa.

By the way, if you are scratch building your own Western town, I heartily suggest that you do not make 'square' buildings.

Rectangular ones give you more options. Also try to vary the heights of the 'second storey' of the buildings . . . remember that these were not designed and built by professionals. They are NOT built to any sort of architectural standards . . . people just made do as best they could.

-- Jeff

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Ceramic Houses for 25mm Gaming --

Today I purchased another bunch of "Christmas Houses" for gaming. Our local Zellers (a department store) had a bunch of these ceramic houses on sale for $2.24 Canadian (approximately $1.88 US or 1.47 Euros).

I bought eight . . . two of one pattern and one each of six others. Each has a "footprint" around the size of an index card . . . and they are great for 25mm table top terrain.

Well good once you've painted over all of the 'snow' and obvious "Christmas" decorations.

Take a close look at the photo to the left (i.e., click on it to see the larger version). You can see where I've just painted over the 'snow' on the roofs of the buildings at the bottom of the photo.

These buildings were from a previous year (the photo is from the Wollmitz game earlier this year).

The second photo shows another shot from the same game . . . but this time is one one of the ones that Murdock took during the same game.

Clicking on the above link will take you to his account of the battle . . . and he takes much better photos than I do.

Careful readers will note that I purchased two of one of the buildings. By painting the roofs different colors (and turning them a different angles) they really look like two different buildings. The Wollmitz game actually had three such 'pairs' on the table top . . . although I placed them in different locations.

However do be careful . . . some of the buildings you'll find have automobiles or other modernisms that preclude them if you're going to use them for earlier periods . . . but remember that you can paint over signs, etc..

So take a look as you're out doing your Holiday shopping . . . many stores carry this type of building . . . and some are pricey . . . but a lot of them are very inexpensive and quite useful for the table top . . . and each year seems to bring new patterns of them so it is easy to build a very nice collection rather quickly.

-- Jeff

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Meeting a Fellow Gamer --

Today Jerry, a gamer new to our area, stopped by for a visit. He has three blogs. His main one is Hlynrian, where he discusses not only his gaming, but his attempts at sculpting 25mm Tricorn troops as well.

He is also in the formative process of founding two 18th century 'imagi-nations' -- the valiant Duchy of Frisland and its mortal enemy the scemingly nasty Duchy of Loathar.

Of course my characterization of these two duchies is perhaps slightly colored by the fact that Frisland is aligning itself with my own Saxe-Bearstein; while the loathsome rulers of Loathar even sent the heir of the Duchy to be fostered in vile Stagonia.

Anyway Jerry and I discussed a number of things. One of these was the fact that I'm 95% convinced that I should alter the movement rates for my "Tricorne Wars" rule set.

This is a change that has been some time in the making. On Murdock's 4' x 8' table the current rates were okay . . . but sometimes a bit ponderous. On my own 5' x 10' table I noticed particularly in our Wollmitz battle that they are just too slow.

So, as I discussed with Jerry, I've virtually decided to increase the movement in version 0.2 of my rules. More details in a future post.

-- Jeff

Monday, October 20, 2008

Flags, Flags and More Flags --

I am recycling some old posts as an update on flags for units. These posts were originally posted here in the Spring and Summer of 2007.

As a clue to my Saxe-Bearstein 'theory' of flags, please examine the flag to the left.

It is a flag for Artillery (and, no, I don't actually use it in practice although I might add it to a limber some time).

The gray color of the 'rays' indicates that the uniform coat of the unit is gray. The red 'cross' indicates that the 'facing color' is red. The white leaves and central oval, etc. let me know that the button and hat tape color is white. And, of course, the red bear is the symbol of Saxe-Bearstein.

Careful readers will also note that the white 'ray borders' are wider than on the older flags shown below . . . that is because practice made them more visible with the wider pattern.

Now, without further ado, those 'old posts':

My Use of Flags --
(originally posted on April 2, 2007)

Regular readers of this blog know that I am working on a set of mid-eighteenth century rules ("Tricorne Wars") for use by our local club in its "Wars for Arcadian Glory" fictional campaign.

In "Tricorne Wars", flags are not placed on the "command stand"; but on their own "colour stand", which is used to indicate the unit's current condition.

For mounted troops, I will simply use a single mounted figure with the unit's standard . . . but for infantry, the situation is more complex.

Beside the regular "line infantry", I will also (potentially) have converged grenadiers, irregular troops and skirmish troops.

Regular troops will have two flags. The unit flag (such as the one with the light blue cross) and the national standard (the red bear on gold).

Converged grenadiers (who historically did not carry a flag) will only have a "national standard". Contrasting with this, irregular units (such as Grenzers) and skirmishing foot (jagers) will only carry a "unit flag" (such as the one pictured in green and gold).

By the way, for those interested in my flags, the background color of the oval (as well as the leaves and ray borders) are in the unit's hat tape color; the diagonal "rays" are in the coat color; and the "cross" is in the unit's cuff color.

Thus only the "line infantry" will have two flags. . . . . at least, that's the current plan.

Basic Infantry Flag Templates --
(originally posted on June 16, 2007)

You are all free to use these templates if you would like. Certainly change the colors to whatever you want . . . after all, I'm sure that your country won't want to use these without a few changes.

All of these (as well as the cavalry flag templates I'll upload in a few days) are in 16-color ".gif" format. You are certainly encouraged to change these colors (easy to do in most graphics programs) .

The two "German" patterns (as well as one of the "French" ones) have a central oval.

What I would suggest is that you find an image that represents your fictional nation (Saxe-Bearstein, for instance, uses a red bear). Some countries used animals such as lions, horses, eagles, etc., while others used the monarch's cipher. Use what you want and 'paste' it in.

Often, with the "German" style flags, there was something in the corners . . . often a crown or cipher (Saxe-Bearstein uses grape leaves). Sometimes there was something on the ends of the "cross", such as grenades. Use or not, it is your choice.

For Saxe-Bearstein (which uses a slight variation of the German-style with upright oval), I use the 'corner-rays' in the infantry coat color (red for line; green for jagers), while the cross is in the unit's facing color (various). The color of the central oval is the same as the 'hat tape" color (usually white or yellow . . . and black if there's no hat tape).

The "French" style (simple central cross) was actually used by others besides the French. France used a white central cross; England a red cross. Use whatever color you want.

The final template is sort of a hybrid. It uses the French-style cross, but I've added a central oval to take your national symbol.

Of course, once you've got your flags designed the way you want, you will have to "mirror" them so that you can print them and fold them around your flagstaffs. And don't forget to leave a bit of 'blank area' between the two halves for the 'wrap-around'.

And, of course, these templates are too big. You will need to reduce the size . . . and will probably want to copy them to a more easily scalable format . . . but these should do fine for your design work . . . and, of course, they post to the net very easily.

So I encourage you to have fun and again, feel free to play around with these templates.

If you like, post the results on your blogs . . . indeed, I encourage you . . . once you've got something you are happy with . . . to use them as your "photograph" (aka "avatar") if you don't already have something. Flags look great when you leave a comment on someone else's blog.

Have fun!

Dragoon and Cavalry Flag Templates
(originally posted on July 19, 2007)

While I'm still rather zonked on pain meds, I won't try to discuss some of the changes in "Tricorne Wars" that this last playtest has prompted, I think that I can post a few flag templates for mounted troops.

As with the Infantry flag templates which I posted on June 16th, I urge you to come up with something to grace the central ovals and Heavy Cavalry blanks.

This could be an heraldic animal such as lion, eagle, unicorn, dragon, wolf, etc. . . . or it could be the ruler's stylized initials . . . or whatever as long as it has significance for your imaginary nation.

Dragoon standards were almost always "swallow-tailed". I offer you three variations. The first (at the top of this post) is a quasi-French style. The next two are more Germanic and allow for either a tall or wide oval theme.

Note that Dragoon standards frequently had two different colors in the field . . . one of which was typically the unit's "facing color". The other color might be white or a "national color" or something that just went well with the facing color.

Both Dragoon and Cavalry standards were both quite often "fringed". This fringe was very typically in the same metal as the unit's "button color".

Finally, while fairly boring, the final flag was typical for true cavalry. A small fringed flag that typically had only one color on its field, the central device might or might not be contained within an oval.

You are free to use (and abuse) these very basic templates as much as you like.

You might also wish to visit "" to get more ideas. Here's a link:

-- Jeff

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A Review of the Play --

For those of you who might be wondering how the play I'm in has gone, I've re-posted the review that came out today in one of our local papers, the Comox Valley Record (British Columbia, Canada).

-- Jeff

Comox Valley Record

Reviewer says actor slips into his role like a hand into a glove

Night of Shooting Stars possesses a near perfect blend of hard-boiled detective angst, gritty film noir scenes and surprising moments of humour.

Courtenay Little Theatre’s fall production opened at the Sid Williams Theatre last Thursday for a six-show run, and continues with shows this Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Written and directed by Michael Armstrong, Night of Shooting Stars is told through the eyes of aging private detective Nat Williams.

Back in the 1950s, at the height of the Cold War, he offered his hanky to a crying woman in a restaurant and his life was forever changed. The story is one of secrets, spies and intrigue. The plot is fraught with numerous twists and turns. Scenes shift between the present, with Old Nat (Jeff Hudelson) telling his story to the crying woman’s daughter (Vickie Weiss), and the past, acted out by a younger Nat (Robert Conway) and Valerie (Shannon Phoenix), the damsel in distress.

The link between memory and present is forged by the haunting sounds of a saxophone played by Nick McGowan. As Old Nat, Hudelson is on the skuzzy side of disheveled. He, and his room, are unkempt, lonely remnants of days gone by. This actor slips into his role like a hand into a glove. His body language and tone of voice create images as well as the words.

Although only on stage in a supporting role, Selina Duncan’s over-the-top portrayal of Chinese restaurant owner Mary is excellent. On opening night, the scene where Mary chases a Mountie out of her restaurant caused the audience to break into spontaneous applause.

Conway does a first-class job of portraying the classic gumshoe. He’s cynical on the outside and soft as butter inside. Conway has got the whole act, including droll comments and cigarette sticking out of the side of the mouth, down pat.  

The Mob, seven teens outfitted in dark trench coats and fedoras, deftly shift props between scenes, allowing transitions to take place in a nearly seamless fashion.

What I liked in this play: the rhythm and cadence of Armstrong’s poem-like words spoken by Hudelson; the dark set and effective use of few props; the short train/street vignettes that aptly capture time and place and that wonderful saxophone.

What didn’t work in this play: the synchronized movements of the Mob and a noticeable blankout by one of the actors, followed by a remarkably strong recovery. A few scenes need some tightening and some lighting cues were slightly off the mark. But quirks like these are part and parcel of live theatre and are often overcome once opening night jitters have passed.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

"Over the Hills and Far Away..." --

A song for all of you. This is taken from George Farquar's "The Recruiting Officer" (circa 1706). It obviously refers to the War of Spanish Succession . . . or at least getting the troops for it.

Our 'prentice Tom may now refuse
To wipe his scoundrel Master's Shoes,
For now he's free to sing and play
Over the Hills and far away.
Over the Hills and O'er the Main,
To Flanders, Portugal and Spain,
The queen commands and we'll obey
Over the Hills and far away.
We all shall lead more happy lives
By getting rid of brats and wives
That scold and bawl both night and day -
Over the Hills and far away.
Over the Hills and O'er the Main,
To Flanders, Portugal and Spain,
The queen commands and we'll obey
Over the Hills and far away.
Courage, boys, 'tis one to ten,
But we return all gentlemen
All gentlemen as well as they,
Over the hills and far away.
Over the Hills and O'er the Main,
To Flanders, Portugal and Spain,
The queen commands and we'll obey
Over the Hills and far away.

-- Jeff

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Locally Good News --

Up until now Pete (Duchy of the North), Murdock (Duchy of Mieczyslaw) and I have been the only 18th century gamers that we know of in our area. However we now have a fourth . . . which will make a big difference. Two on two battles will now be an option.

This newcomer to our area is Jerry. He is just starting out with his 18th century Imagi-Nations . . . and, like many of us, has decided upon two. His primary nation is the Duchy of Frisland, which borders on the Baltic.

(Note that this could make for interesting relations with Pete, whose Duchy of the North more-or-less claims much of the same area).

His other nation is, like the vile Kingdom of Stagonia, allied with the French. This nasty nation is the Duchy of Loathar. Rumors are already circulating that these two will be working together to spread evil throughout the more civilized imagi-nations of Uropa.

Jerry does not yet have any figures . . . but if you read his HRYNLIAN blog you will see that he's planning on sculpting his own figures.

In any event, the Principality of Saxe-Bearstein welcomes Jerry and his new Imagi-Nations to the "Wars for Arcadian Glory" (i.e., our local 18th century gaming group).

-- Jeff

Monday, September 22, 2008

Command & Control in "Tricorne Wars"

Recently on the "Old School Wargaming" (OSW) group there has been a discussion about "command and control" in various miniature rules. So I decided that it was time to review how I've treated it in my "Tricorne Wars" rules.

First let's take a look at the 'philosophy' behind the rules. My personal preference is for a substantial degree of "fog of war" in table top gaming. To my mind one of the great challenges of command is in the handling of your subordinates.

All too often we gamers expect everyone on the table top to follow the orders of the C-in-C. But historically that was often not the case. The officer "on the scene" needs to react to the situation as he perceives it . . . and often their decisions don't coincide with those in charge.

In "Tricorne Wars" every General and Brigadier has a 'personality' (which also determines his 'inertia' rating), an 'initiative' rating and a 'command radius'. For our "Wars for Arcadian Glory" campaign, we each have four 'Generals' and six 'Brigadiers' -- and the dice determine who the monarch has decided to send us (we don't get to pick either the C-in-C or subordinates).

There are four different 'personality' types (and we each have one General and at least one Brigadier of each type):
  • Aggressive -- with an inertia rating of 3
  • Steady -- with an inertia rating of 2
  • Political -- with an inertia rating of 2
  • Careful -- with an inertia rating of 1
The Initiative rating for each officer is determined by rolling 2d3 at officer creation and recording the lower die result as his 'initiative' -- on average 56% will have a "1"; 33% a "2"; and 11% will have the best initiative rating of "3".

Command radius is determined by rolling 3dAv (averaging dice are numbered 2,3,3,4,4,5). The total is the "mounted" radius for all officers . . . but Brigadiers also have a rating for foot command . . . the two lower dAvs. So if the roll gave you a 5,3,3 the brigadier would have a command radius of 11" if commanding mounted troops; but only a 6" radius if commanding an infantry brigade.

So, how do these things work in practice?

First of all, we have a series of available "Orders" which the C-in-C can issue to his various underlings:
  • Assault -- receives a +2 on charge tests; must charge or countercharge as soon as possible; must advance as quickly as possible.
  • Attack -- receives a +1 on charge tests; may charge when desired; must continue to advance until within small arms range.
  • Advance -- no bonus on charge tests; may attempt charges when desired; at least half of command needs to move along pre-determined path.
  • Defend -- mounted are -1 on charge tests & infantry may not charge; must remain in (or rally back to) pre-determined area to be defended.
  • Hold -- stand and wait. No unit may charge. May shoot or change facing but that's it. Default order if none else given or if 'out of command radius' and fail a 'test'. Given a +1 to 'inertia' rolls to receive new orders.
  • Delay -- may not charge. May shoot. Should evade all charges (except foot may choose to stand vs a mounted charge).
  • Withdraw -- no charges allowed. Bulk of command must attempt to withdraw off table (not to return). May 'back up' so that they can shoot at advancing troops.
  • Retreat -- may not charge. Bulk of command must turn and head for table edge at top speed. If leave, will not return.
Now all 'on table' commands are presumed to be under "Hold" orders to start the battle. Each officer must first overcome his "Inertia" in order to act on his orders (and he tests with a +1 to the target number) in order to 'get started'.

For example, a Steady Brigadier would normally have an Inertia of '2', but with his +1 he needs to roll 3 or less to begin acting upon his new orders. Let's say he rolls a '5' so his command remains with "Hold" orders. On turns after the initial "inertia test" officers get to add their Initiative rating to the target number as well.

Let's say he's one of that 11% who have a '3' initiative. This means that he now needs a 2+1+3=6 to get going . . . but a '6' always fails . . . so he must roll a '5' or lower. We'll say that he rolls a '4' and can now act upon his orders. For the sake of this example, let's say his orders are to ADVANCE to a particular hill; then to DEFEND it.

For the time being, this Brigadier will act upon these orders . . . although if any unit in his command was outside of his "command radius", it would remain under HOLD orders unless or until he moved to include them.

However . . . once his command gets within 12" of known (non-skirmish) enemy, the Brigadier must test to "Interpret" his orders (by rolling 1d6). And in order to interpret his orders, both the C-in-C's and his Personalities come into play.

If the C-in-C is "Careful", the Brigadier knows that and presumes his orders are overly cautious, so he'll add a +1 to his Interpretive die roll. On the other hand, with an Aggressive commander, the Brigadier will subtract one.

Think about the above for a moment. As a Careful C-in-C, you know that your underlings are going to look to interpret your commands more aggressively -- so your tendency will be to give more cautious orders so that it won't be so bad if they interpret them "up". The reverse is true of an Aggressive commander. Knowing they'll be looking to temper your commands, you'll tend to write more aggressive orders.

Okay, what about Steady and Political?

Well, the Steady commander is what everyone wants . . . but a high or low roll by a subordinate may still cause interpretive problems. The "Political" commander is more fun. This basically represents a favorite of the monarch (or maybe the monarch). His orders may not make a lot of sense. A high or low roll may cause you to revert to "Hold" as you need more clarification.

And, of course, each of the four Personality types has a different "reaction" column depending upon what type of officer they are. Simply put, high and low rolls may get a different Interpretation of the orders given. Here is a link to the table of reactions.

Let's get back to our Brigadier from before. His command has been Advancing toward the hill he's supposed to Defend. They get within 12" of enemy who are also advancing on the hill. At this point the Brigadier must test to 'Interpret' his orders. Let us say that he rolls high enough to interpret them as Attack orders. He will now head for that enemy with alacrity. (It should be noted that, in all likelihood the enemy will also be having to Interpret his orders at this point).

Okay, things aren't too out of control at this point, are they? But the brigade now reaches the hill. And that means that they Orders have changed to Defend . . . or does it? In order for the Orders to change, the Brigadier must overcome his Inertia (and this time he doesn't have that +1 for being on Hold), so he needs to roll a '2' or less to 'get' his new orders. Luckily he rolls that '2'.

However, since he now has a new Order, he must Interpret it. What will he roll? And what will the result be?

I think you can see that this system means that a C-in-C needs not only to have a plan of battle, but to think about what roles to give to which subordinates. Some officers are more likely to respond to changes of orders than others. Some are difficult to deal with; some are loose cannons. Again, here is the link to the table of reactions . . . because who to give what roles to becomes something to think about.

And even with planning there are enough times when officers need to interpret orders that some part of your plan is likely to go amiss . . . but that's what I'm aiming for. That is more "fog of war".

-- Jeff

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Polyhedral Chess War --

Weird the way some things happen, isn't it? I sat down to re-read "CHARGE!" this evening . . . and on the first page the thought of a new wargame popped into my head.

Well not really 'new' because it is Chess . . . but with a wargaming twist. Instead of automatically capturing a piece, you each roll a polyhedral (many-sided) die:
  • Pawns roll 1d6
  • Bishops roll 1d10
  • Knights roll 1d10
  • Rooks roll 1d12
  • Queens roll 1d20
  • Kings roll 1d8
  • "attacking" piece gets a +1 to roll
The loser is eliminated. The winner captures (or retains) the square. In the case of a tie, the defending piece retains the square and the attacker retreats back to where he attacked from.

The King is never 'checkmated', he must be defeated in combat . . . so if he's in 'checkmate', he must still move (even though he'd still be in check) and he must then be attacked (remember your +1).

Now if only I knew where my chessboard is . . . well I sort of know where it is . . . it is in one of the many many boxes we still haven't unpacked. *sigh*.

-- Jeff

Friday, September 12, 2008

Back Online . . . and Rehearsing --

Okay, we are back online now. And here is a link to an article in a local paper (Comox Valley Record) about what I'm doing with our local theatre company:

-- Jeff

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Offline for a While --

I may not be able to respond to comments and emails for a while. My wife wants me to turn our wireless router off for a bit . . . so I'm going to do that. However this will mean that we won't have any internet access for a bit.

Do not worry. I am alive and well . . . just offline for a while.

-- Jeff

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Exciting New WSS Information --

Today marks the release of some exciting new information about the Spanish Theatre of the War of Spanish Succession.

There is a great deal of information in the English language about the northern (Marlburian) theatre of the war . . . but a great deal less about the two southern theatres (Italy and Spain).

Today that has changed as a group called "The Catalan Wargames Resource" has released its first publication, "Catalonia Stands Alone: 1713-1714: The Catalans' War" in .pdf format. Best of all it is Free!

Click on the above title to get to the download page of this 44-page .pdf file. It not only has maps and information about battles, but also has information and illustrations of uniforms and flags for quite a number of units.

I haven't had a chance to read it yet (it is in English by the way), but I've done a quick scan and I can already see that there is a lot of information that I will use.

The image at the top of the article is of the "cover" of the booklet; and the second (to the left) is of the three pages of flags to print and use that are also included in the download.

Click on the link above to go to the download page for this wonderful information . . . OR . . . go to the group's homepage:

While I believe it is in the Catalan language, they do have links to translations into a number of other languages (click on your appropriate flag).

Let us all salute this group of gamer/historians who have added a wonderful resource for our hobby.

-- Jeff

Friday, August 29, 2008

My Apologies (I'm in a play) --

I know that I haven't posted much lately . . . but my time has been taken up with play rehearsals. Yes, I will be making my Canadian debut on October 1st in an original play by Vancouver Island playwright Michael Armstrong.

The play is titled "Night of Shooting Stars" and is in the film noir tradition. I play an old retired detective who is recalling a case from the 1950s.

To the left you can see one of the publicity stills taken (and copyrighted) by Terry Penney. I'm the one with the beard . . . and sadly that is its real color.

Anyway I probably won't get to do any gaming until after the show closes . . . but I can still dream a bit, can't I?

-- Jeff

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Thoughts on 15mm WSS Project --

As I believe I mentioned some time ago, I have been thinking off-and-on about doing a "War of Spanish Succession" or "Nine Years War" project in 15mm.

Now this is not something that I'll be tackling immediately . . . it is a future project . . . but I've been reading and looking at various rule sets. So far I've not found a set of rules that I'm sure I like.

Too many rule sets are either too complex or use a basing system that I dislike or don't operate at the level I want.

I want battalions and squadrons to be the basic units (not brigades and regiments). I want enough figures in a battalion that it looks to me like something other than skirmishers -- which means two ranks of figures. And most of all I don't want to spend all of my time looking up tables and figuring out a laundry list of modifiers. I want something simple and fun.

So I've been thinking of adapting my "Tricorne Wars" rules to 15mm. I happen to have a lot of Editions Brokaw figures (which are smallish 15s). Four of these (at least for certain poses) will fit on a 20mm square stand.

If I use that for the "volley fire" armies and 25mm square troops for the "platoon fire" armies, the rough frontage differences will not be far off. At a rough 1:30 scale, this would mean most battalions would fall in the 5 to 6 stand (20-24 figure) range . . . some smaller and some larger, but a lot would be about that size.

Now at the same scale, typical squadrons would be 4, 5 or 6 figures in size (representing squadrons of 120, 150 and 180 respectively). Of course this difference will require a few changes in my mechanics, but these sizes should fit historical units.

As the above suggests, my thought for the WSS is to use historical armies as opposed to Imagi-Nations.

Of course, I'm still reading and this project is for some time in the future . . . but at least I've made a mental start on it.

-- Jeff

Friday, August 08, 2008

(off topic) Olympic Opening Ceremony --

Wow! These were spectacular! I certainly don't agree with a lot of China's policies, but the artistic portion of the Olympic opening ceremonies was easily the finest I have ever seen. The visual charm of it was riveting.

If you haven't seen them yet (we got them live here in Canada), I urge you to watch them.

-- Jeff

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

To Play or the Play -- (an update)

We all have lives beyond our "toy soldiers" and some of that is now taking time away from my gaming.

I am an actor. No, no one you've ever heard of. I act in local productions (sometimes called "community theatre") . . . and I am currently in rehearsal for an original play by a playwright here on Vancouver Island.

Now, while I'm enjoying this very much, one of the drawbacks is that we rehearse on Sundays . . . which is our usual gaming day. So until the play is over I'm not likely to be fighting on the table top.

Hopefully though I will be able to do a fair amount of reading and painting.

-- Jeff

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Campaign Terrain Idea --

(About a week and a half ago I re-posted "A Simple Campaign Format" from a couple of years ago. Today I'm re-posting a "companion post" about terrain selection. This is intended to work in conjunction with the Campaign Format if you don't have your own terrain ideas. I hope that you find it useful.)


Friday, November 03, 2006

Terrain Selection Concept --

One of the great challenges of tabletop gaming is to fight on interesting terrain. However, most "terrain selection rules" tend to either be completely random or allow far too much "gamesmanship".

Today I'm going to suggest a system that should allow for both interesting and varied terrains AND provide a way for players to have a choice in selecting where they'll fight.

Okay, some of you will recognize the germ of this idea coming from a science fiction novel by Piers Anthony. I admit it. You're right. I'm borrowing the concept . . . from "Split Infinity" (if memory serves) . . . of course he wasn't using it to select tabletop terrain, but the concept comes from his novel.

Let's take the simplest situation . . . there are only two of you. First, collect the various terrain pieces that you have available between you. You probably have various sizes of hills and woods. Generally you've got some buildings and strips of material that you use for roads and rivers. You might even have some bridges and some fencing.

The above step is so that you both know what you have available.

Discus between yourselves as to what you feel the minimum and maximum number of terrain selections you'd like for your battles. This will, of course, depend in part upon the size of your table and the size of terrain pieces which you have access to.

Where I am on Vancouver Island, we're gaming in 25mm on 4' x 8' tables. For the examples I'm presenting here, I've decided to use from three to eight pieces of terrain per table.

Okay, to start, get some blank index cards. Larger is better, so look for the 4" x 6" or 5" x 8" cards (which can usually be found for a very reasonable price at discount or office supply stores).

Now, since our tables are 4x8, I will cut down a couple dozen index cards so that they are the proper relationship (in this case, twice as wide as high). Each player will get a dozen cards. Each is to then diagram two different tabletops for each of the six "numbers" (i.e., three pieces, four pieces, . . . eight pieces). Note that roads (and there always must be at least one present) do NOT count for the number of terrain pieces (nor does "open space").

Now for any number of terrain pieces, one should be fairly even (not symetrical -- it just should give a relatively fair shot for each side) and one should definitely favor one side of the table but you should remember that you might end up playing the weaker tableside -- so keep that in mind.

Here is an example of a terrain diagram. It has six terrain pieces (remember, the road network doesn't count) -- 2 hills, 1 knoll, 2 light woods and a town. (Note -- my rules differentiate between light and heavy woods -- yours might not).

Anyway, each of the two gamers would create his dozen diagrams. These would then be shuffled together (be sure to "twist" some of them around so that there's no consisant "north" and "south" to the diagrams).

Now you should have 24 potential tabletop terrain diagrams (four each with three through eight pieces of terrain exclusive of roads). Note, if you have three players, you'll have 36 index cards; if four gamers, 48 cards.

After shuffling, deal four cards to the two opposing C-in-Cs. They will each get to discard one of them to the bottom of the deck. Then, the other three should be placed down in a 3x3 grid as you see from the diagram. (Note -- it doesn't matter who designed the card . . . it might be one of yours or it might be one of your opponent's designs).

Place them face down, remembering that the defender will be playing the "north" side; and the invader (attacker), the "south" side (which doesn't mean that that is the role they will play on the tabletop -- this is for selecting terrain).

The two C-in-Cs should carefully place their three cards face down . . . making sure that they have the "orientation" they want correctly set. Also be sure that cards are turned over from side to side so as not to change the "north" orientation.

Now, thee cards from the "master deck" should be placed in the other three places. At this point, all of the cards are turned over. This will result in something like the third diagram -- with nine potential tabletops.

(Remember, if you "click" on the diagram, you will get a better look at it).

The "invader" selects which of the three terrain columns (A, B or C) he chooses as his path. The 'defender" selects which terrain line (X, Y or Z) he'll choose to meet his opponent on. Where the two paths intersect is the tabletop which will be used. These will be recorded secretly.

Each column and each line includes one setup which YOU selected and one which your opponent selected and one randomly selected.

This is the fun part. Since line and column selections are "hidden" until both are selected, you have a chance to "outsmart" your opponent. Which path do you think your opponent will select? Does he like lots of terrain? or little terrain? Which path is most dangerous to you? Will your opponent figure out what you're going to avoid? Taking all of this into consideration, which path should you choose to get the best terrain possible?

Use whatever tabletop is cross-referenced. After the battle, the winner of the fight gets to name the battlefield . . . and that index card is removed from the pool of potential tabletlops. Once you get too low, just draw up more tabletops and mix them in with the remaining cards in the pool.

Sure, this is a "rock / paper / scissors" type of thing . . . but it's fun and just as in the child's game, a clever general might be able to outwit his opponent.

-- Jeff

Monday, July 14, 2008

Ouch! A Rough Weekend --

Late friday night . . . well actually about 3 am saturday morning we heard the sounds of a vehicle revving its engine, what sounded like a collision and the squeal of tires. My wife looked out of our bedroom window and saw a vehicle exiting the cul-de-sac behind us.

I went to our front door to see if they were headed down the street. When I opened our front door I saw that the 12' flowering pear tree on our front lawn had been knocked over and branches were everywhere.

I told my bride to phone the police . . . and as I stepped out onto our driveway I could see something lying there besides a lot of leaves . . . turned out that it was the license plate of the truck that did the damage . . . (yes, occassionally there is some justice).

As more of our neighbors came out, we realized that the truck had gone down the block driving over peoples' lawns and smashing down all of the trees and street signs that they could find.

One neighbor had seen them drive down a road that had no other way out . . . so when the police showed up (four cars of them), they had a good idea of where to look.

Bottom line was that they ended up in jail and we saw the truck get towed away . . . and so much for getting sleep that night.


As I write this, I've just returned from three hours in the Emergency Room of our local Hospital. My wife has not been feeling well since the above incident and her symptoms (including chest pains) said that she needed to be seen by a doctor.

Well it isn't her heart . . . that's the good news . . . but they'll need to run some more tests this week to determine what it is. At least she's back at home now and feeling a bit better.

All-in-all this has not been our best weekend stresswise.

-- Jeff

Sunday, July 06, 2008

A Simple Campaign Format --

(This is a re-post of my October 26, 2006 post. I have re-posted unchanged it as part of the discussion begun on Stokes' Grand Duchy of Stollen blog about campaigns.)

-- Jeff

Here is a simple format for a two-person campaign that requires little bookkeeping. It is particularly designed to encourage the building of new units.

Featured above is the "campaign map". The two armies (blue and red here) first meet in the white circular area.

This should be an even battle with similar forces . . . for the 18th century, this might be something like four battalions of Infantry, one regiment of Cuirassiers, one regiment of Dragoons and one Medium Artillery Piece each, with comparable (mainly mid-range) morale.

All troops "lost" in each battle are diced for at battle's end. Dice by "stands" (or even individual figures, if that's how they're based) rather than by whole units.

The winner has a 2/3rds chance of recovering each lost stand (anything but a 1 or 2 on each d6); while the loser of the battle only has a 50% chance of recovering each lost stand (he needs a 4, 5 or 6 on each d6). These losses need to be retained for the next battle.

Note that, even if a unit is completely destoryed, it still gets to dice for each stand to recover. If such a unit fails ALL of its rolls and is completely "wiped out", it is considered to be lost for the remainder of this campaign.

In addition, each winner of any battle selects one unit to improve a morale grade and the loser selects one unit to drop a morale grade. This allows you to "reward" good units and "punish" those that disappointed.

For subsequent battles, the loser will get reinforced by one new unit (although losses will remain from previous battle or battles). The exception to this is if you are forced back to your own "Area B", where you have your choice of either a new unit OR bringing all of your current units up to full strength instead.

Any winner of two consecutive battles may also be re-inforced with a new unit OR may choose instead to bring his current units up to full strength.

If you are pushed back to your "Area C", you get to both get a new unit AND to bring your current surviving units up to full strength.

If pushed back to your Capitol, you get to add one guard-class unit and a heavy gun -- however, you've exhausted your reserves so you don't get to bring any "wounded units" back to full strength.

So, there you have it . . . a simple campaign format that encourages unit building. (By the way, there should be a prior agreement as to the morale grade of new units -- I would suggest either veterans or green units depending upon your preferences).

-- Jeff (as posted on 26 October, 2006)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ouch! It is the Big Six Oh --

That's right, today (June 19) makes me 60 years old. Boy, how time flies. It barely seems like yesterday that I was a child . . . now I'm only childish (well, at least sometimes).

I've got a present or two to open later . . . clothes, I suspect, since my dear bride doesn't really know what sort of toy soldiers I need (well, okay, want rather than need). So I'll have to order those on my own. I should have done it earlier, but I've been busy.

Maybe today I'll order something . . . hmmm . . . what to get?

-- Jeff

Monday, June 16, 2008

Wollmitz Action --

The above photo is from the middle action of this past Sunday (June 15) quasi-refight of the 1741 Battle of Mollwitz as detailed in Charles Grant's "The War Game".

I say "quasi-refight" because we used smaller units (24-man battalions, 12-horse regiments) than Grant; and my "Tricorne Wars" rules instead of his . . . but we used a similar Order of Battle.

It should also be noted that one of the aspects of my "Tricorne Wars" rules is that each side dices to see which troops actually made it to the battlefield.

In the case of our "Battle of Wollmitz", each side suffered the loss of one light gun and a few stands of troops from various units.

We also used some of our own imagi-Nations -- the Principality of Saxe-Bearstein (in the Prussian position) and the Kingdom of Stagonia (as Austrians). The photo to the left shows a view from the Stagonian center looking out over the buildings of Wollmitz.

Furthermore, direct from Halifax on the eastern edge of Canada, Ross Macfarlane was kind enough to bring a battalion of his own troops, Sir Alexander Keith's Regiment, from Loch Sloy to aid Saxe-Bearstein in its campaign against Stagonia here on Vancouver Island (off the west coast of continental Canada).

Faced with such kindness, I gave Ross and his friend Tom (from Victoria) command of the Saxe-Bearstein/Loch Sloy troops.

Meanwhile Murdock had the bad luck to be handed control of the Stagonian C-in-C, General du Vile. He, perhaps suspecting that my sympathies lay with the opposing side, gave me command of Oppenkopf's brigade, guarding the far left flank of the army . . . with instructions to "Hold" and (later) to "Defend". Pete of Duchy of the North fame was given command of a Hussar brigade on the far right flank (see photo below).

Ross had overall command of the Saxe-Bearstein forces, including an infantry brigade on the far right (facing off against my troops) and a cavalry brigade in the middle of their position with his field artillery. On his left, Tom had two infantry brigades off-table . . . one of which entered in "brigade line" and the other in a number of columns behind them.

Perhaps it was this second brigade's strange manuevers (see the second photo above) that caused du Vile to order a massive cavalry attack (six of his seven regiments) with the hope of catching these troops in column.

Alas there were inevitable delays in overcoming the various brigades' inertia and by the time the assault reached the Saxe-Bearstein lines, they were trapped in a "killing zone" and were slaughtered almost to the last figure (note photo to the left showing them entering the trap).

General du Vile blamed the loss on an insufficient artillery train . . . but there is some doubt as to whether Koenig Maurice (the Vile) will accept this explanation.

Still, du Vile is a major noble in the Kingdom so the Koenig will find it hard to dismiss him . . . still he is unlikely to be given a major field command again anytime soon.

Anyway, except for Oppenkopft's brigade and one unit of cuirassier, virtually the entire Stagonian force was destroyed. While my forces were not ever committed to action, we tied up the entire Saxe-Bearstein right and denied them any part in their victory.

Nevertheless, as can be seen in this final photo, Ross and Tom seem to be pleased with the performance of the Saxe-Bearstein troops . . . as (secretly, of course) was I.

Finally, Murdock took lots of photos (which are generally better than mine) and will undoubtedly soon provide a fine account of the battle from his perspective. Keep an eye on his blog.

-- Jeff

Friday, June 13, 2008

Wollmitz -- Changes and an Ally --

It appears that Ross is bringing a battalion of troops with him. Sir Alexander Keith's Regiment (whose standard is pictured at left) will represent Loch Sloy, an ally of Saxe-Bearstein . . . at least when facing the vileness that is Stagonia.

Fortunately this will free one of the Furst's battalions to remain with the camp (Stagonians are well-known for their thieving ways).

In addition, I looked at the table (pictured in my last post) and decided that I could use more room. I therefor added a 30-inch extension to the table.

This didn't alter the terrain . . . just stretched it out a bit. Anyway the table is still 5' wide, but is now 10 1/2' long . . . and even my wife thinks that it looks pretty good (she's feeling much better by the way).

So now all we need is some players and the Battle of Wollmitz will be on (this coming Sunday, June 15th).

-- Jeff

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wollmitz -- Some Quick Photos --

Well, I've snapped a few quick photos of the terrain for our Battle of Wollmitz this coming Sunday.

They are certainly not the greatest . . . one of the problems being that I can't get far enough away from the table on the "long sides" to get a good photo with my (quite old) digital camera.

If we use my sketch from the previous post as a guide, the first photo is from the "left side" looking right.

The vile Stagonians will be defending the left side as you look at that first photo (the top side of the sketch). Saxe-Bearstein will be attacking from the right side as you look at it (bottom side of the sketch).

The next pair of photos are from the opposite end, looking back toward the direction of the initial photo.

They are virtually the same, except that they come from slightly different angles to try and show the terrain better.

My final two photos are from the Stagonian side (the ones from the Saxe-Bearstein side didn't turn out).

But they should give Murdock (who will be the Stagonian C-in-C) an idea of the terrain.

I'm afraid that Ross, the C-in-C of the "good guys" (i.e., Saxe Bearstein) will have to extrapolate from the other photos (sorry, Ross).

Anyway, Gentlemen, I hope that this helps a bit.

-- Jeff

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ouch! A "Lost Day" --

Monday afternoon my dear wife started feeling poorly and as she got worse I had to take her to the Hospital Emergency Room.

Well, without going into details, they were able to deal with her problems and we got home about 2 am. And due to the stress of it all, we were both still "wiped out" today (Tuesday) . . . but at least she is on the mend and does feel a lot better (although she's having to take it VERY easy).

About all that I accomplished today (as far as prepping for the game is concerned) was to get some foam cut to create the hills for the Battle of Wollmitz.

I've drawn a very rough approximation of the map (those who have access to THE WAR GAME will see a better rendition). It is, of course, based on the battle of Mollwitz.

Saxe-Bearstein will have the "Prussian" position (entering from the bottom of the map); while those vile Stagonians will be defending the upper portion ("Austrian" position).

Since the Grants did not follow the historical deployment, I'll certainly not limit either side's choices.

By the way, we deploy by taking turns placing Brigadiers down on the table. Once these are down, then troops are deployed anywhere (presumably within the brigadier's command radius -- but if not, they'll have to wait until he gets to them). After troops are deployed, the Generals are positioned.

One of the things that has been delayed is the completion of my "ground cloth". I couldn't find any more of the cloth that I originally purchased (I had purchased all that they had before) . . . but I was able to find something fairly close that we've cut and my goodwife has been piecing it together for me. Hopefully she will be able to finish sewing the added pieces so that it will actually be big enough to cover the table.

Still, there is a great deal of other preparation to do before Sunday . . . and I'm currently so worn down by the stress of Lani's illness that I didn't have the energy today . . . but at least my dear bride is feeling better (which is a great relief).

It will get done, of course. I might not have all of the "bells and whistles" that I wanted to have, but we'll have troops and terrain.

-- Jeff

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Punitive Expedition is Planned

Saxe-Bearstein's ruler, Furst Bruno von Ursa, has determined that the vile Stagonian menace needs to be reminded that their nefarious actions incur repercussions.

In other words, he has decided to send an army into the very lair of their viciously cruel country. He has therefor detailed the following officers and units to effect this punitive expedition (note: with their "Tricorne Wars" information in italics):

General Baron Helmut von Pilsner -- (Aggressive, inertia 3, initiative 3 -- 10" command radius -- 2 AdC)
Lt. General Hertz von Stout -- (Steady, inertia 2, initiative 1 -- 14" command radius -- 1 AdC)

Brig. Ernst von Bruin -- (Steady, inertia 2, initiative 1 -- 11" mounted command; 6" if foot)
Brig. Dieter von Maltz -- (Careful, inertia 1, initiative 2 -- 10" mounted command; 5" if foot)
Brig. Wolfgang "Bud" von Weiser
-- (Aggressive, inertia 3, initiative 1 -- 13" if mounted command; 8" if foot)
Brig. Baron Viktor von Zendabrau -- (Political, inertia 2, initiative 1 -- 11" if mounted command; 7" if foot)

The following troops have been assigned to fill out the various commands as Gen. von Pilsner sees fit (along with their rating in italics):

"The Bears" Foot Guards (guard)
IR-1 von Becks (veteran)
IR-2 von Grolsch (veteran)
IR-3 von Urquell (veteran)
IR-4 von Schlitz (veteran)
IR-6 von Carling (veteran)
IR-7 von Molson (elite)
IR-8 von Doppelbock (raw)
IR-9 von Veltins (raw)
IR-10 von Lowenbrau (raw)

von Comocks Kuirassiers (veteran Trotters)
von Eigerbrau Ritters (raw Gallopers)
Wildschwein Dragoons (elite Dragoons)

Furst Bruno has also assigned considerable artillery to the army. (Note that all are crewed by "veteran" class gunners):

3 x Medium Gun batteries of 6 pounders
3 x Light Gun batteries of 3 pounders


The above are the forces for our upcoming (June 15) quasi-refight of the Battle of Mollwitz from Charles Grant's book "The War Game". Stagonia will be taking on the "Austrian" positions and Saxe-Bearstein will be serving as the "Prussian" attacker.

As currently envisioned, Murdock will be in command of Stagonia and Ross Macfarlane, visiting from eastern Canada, will be the Saxe-Bearstein commander.

-- Jeff