Welcome to Marauder Moments - a chronicle of the Mortimer Street Marauders; the games we play, the rules we use, the figures we play with and the scenery they fight over. Hope you enjoy these pages and maybe call back to catch up with our escapades.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

The Fords of Missen - 1813. A simple campaign idea.

The first week in January saw us all creep into Marauder HQ with little or no direction other than feeling cold and overindulged after the massive Christmas & New Year feasting & binge drinking. Incredibly we decided to tidy up and reorganize our scenery collection, have a good sort out and throw out some broken old crap - very therapeutic. We did this in pretty short order so decided to set up a massive table - 18 x 8 with a narrower middle bit 6 feet across. Then Chris had a brain wave.

Our theatre of operations.

Black board with annotations and crazed scribbling.

We should set up a 15mm Napoleonic game with Divisions approaching from all directions, play it out in 15mm to the point of contact using Black Powder, sit back and sort out which bits were worth fighting in detail and scale up each engagement to 28mm using General de Brigade. Basically the 15mm game became our theater of operations - a campaign board if you like. The hope was to create unusual battles of a manageable size to resolve in one evening - genius.

Having achieved this we still had time to deploy about 80 battalions with supporting cavalry and artillery at various entry points around the board. Basically opposing French and Russian Divisions are converging on the area around the town of Missen. The surrounding countryside is a river valley with various fords and bridges creating an important communications network for the two armies as they seek control of Germany in 1813. We decided on the order in which to fight the battles and how they might link up.

Missen on the right held by Russians with French attacking down the road, in turn flanked by a Russian Brigade of Dragoons. To the left is Obermissen; here the French hold the village and the heights above it. Russians are massing astride the road and threatening to outflank the position with Uhlans.   
The position at Obermissen looks strong for the French - BUT the decision on the ground is very awkward. The best thing to do is hold Obermissen and pull the rear Brigade on the hill out and march to assault Missen which is really where the action is, but will they. This is just the kind of contextual decision making we wanted. The side show at Obermissen will be our first game.  

Missen again pictured centre left. The situation is perilous here for the French and Russians. In the dead centre of the piccy is a French Light Cavalry brigade, 2 regiments plus horse guns, which has found its way around behind Missen. In turn there is a Division of Russian Grenadiers stamping down off the heights and over the bridge to reinforce the Russian garrison at Missen.     
The road to the left will see the arrival of any French troops which can be extricated from Obermissen. This  almost feels like a serious battle situation. When scaled up this will be a mental game with troops arriving from 5 sides of a 4 sided table!!!

So, left of centre is Herr Rheinscmidts Mill & Works, a walled brick works on the banks of the River Misser. Next across is the stone bridge to Zumstadt which is just on the other side at the junction. 
Approaching the Mill & Works and lining the riverbank are French columes. Opposite are Russian heavy cavalry with lots of infantry massing on the heights above, (Including a brigade which marched off the table, hence the empty part of the ridge - Black Powder does that to you!) To the far right is a Russian Brigade which has dispatched two battalions to guard the ford and is waiting to see what happens. Top right is another Russian Brigade streching from Zumstadt to the slopes of the hill, on top of that is a Russian Light cavalry Brigade. Those dark huddled masses coming off the road on the far horizon are more French, a full Division with artillery and light cavalry plus a Cavalry Division numbering four cavalry regiments. 
The same scene as above but from the other side - Zumstadt centre stage.
Some of our 15mm collection, French deploy off the road with Russians on the heights behind.
Falcon infantry, chasseurs & lancers, Minifigs artillery and Essex Cuirassiers and command. 

Russian garrison at Missen under attack. Russian Dragoons arrive to counterattack in the background. Various other formations are marching to join this engagement which we will play on 28mm on a full size table.
Obermissen from the south east - can, or will, the French commander order one brigade to hold and march another to attack Missen just up the road.
This is a bloody big table!

Russian jaeger hold the bridge at Zumstadt. A French brigade deploys opposite Russian heavies while more trade shots across the River Misser near Herr Rhienschmidt's Mill and Works. The attack on Missen can just be seen top right. 

The situation in the southern sector laid out before you. Troops piling in from all directions. Our first game will be to decide the engagement at Obermissen in the distance.
So, that sets the scene for our next few club games. We had a real laugh setting this up, since then it has all been taken down and the first game arranged. We took copious amounts of piccies, drew maps, recorded positions of troops and will try to replicate the "feel" of each engagement as best we can on 28mm over the coming weeks.

Black Powder was perfect for running this preliminary game which sets the scene for us and gives each game a purpose. BP combines massively variable moves with an easy going command structure and movement in a happy go lucky framework. For the main events we'll use General de Brigade as usual.

That's it! Thanks for reading this. Hopefully see you soon to watch the actions around the Fords of Missen unfold before your very eyes. We may even video some of it...    


  1. Wow! Well organized game. Terrain, figurines ... Me with my friends in our club has something to navigate in our games. Thank you very much for the wonderful report!

  2. Hi Vasiliy, I am glad you like this idea. Hopefully we will have some interestng battles to show you soon,

  3. LOL, you use your 15mm figures for the apettisers!!!

    That is some gaming room, does 1 of your group own an old school?

  4. Hi Paul,
    the room does look like a school - we should paint it really, it just takes time which we could be spending on games.

  5. We've definately got to repaint those walls. It looks so different in pictures, you forget just how much is going on. Scaling up from 15mm (where we use centimetres) to 28mm (where inches are the rule) is gonna be a bit difficult we must get bigger tables.
    Good work on the blog JJ, who could have known you'd remember all this, maybe the "drunken fool" is just an act to put us off guard.