Bolt Action has been our choice of pick up game except for Rich who isn't keen so we only play this when he's away on foreign business - sadly for him this has been often. We managed a Christmas game, in fact two or three. These were Big Battle DBA set in the late medieval period. The day and following evening were characterised by intense drinking and subsequent drunkenness on an impressive scale. I did not lock myself in the loo - thank you Al for "talking me down".
This year we have played a three week 15mm Napoleonic game. This was a scenario arranged by Rich based on the relief Saguntum. It promised to be a nail biter and was. HMS Minstrel, a Royal Navy frigate, even made an appearance. In the background there has been painting and basing, (lots of basing), of our 28mm collections; my first wargaming love.
I am very pleased to announce the arrival of the Army of Bohemia.
|Elements of the The Army of Bohemia deploy at Marauder HQ for the first time.|
This is a joint project between Chris and I to create a large 28mm Austrian Napoleonic army. The first 15 battalions (each 48 strong) are painted along with three regiments of cavalry and some batteries. This is about 50% of what we have purchased. We arranged to base this massive pile at my place over four evenings and did so, even managing to get the excellent GMB flags on as well. They look absolutely splendid - no doubt you want pictures and you shall have them soon enough!
|First contact! Austrian line run into Bavarians. A clash of crested helmets and pretty flags.|
This week Rich has been away wine tasting in South Africa, various other events have meant that only two of us could play but that we could play twice! Chris and I decided to give these Austrians a run out against my French and the next night my French would take on Tony's Russians. To speed things along I set up the table well before the game, both will appear as battle reports here this week.
|"Messing about on the River". French and Austrian light cavalry lay into each other near Pendoza.|
We have been grappling with how to use our large 28mm Napoleonic collections more often and how to set up, start and finish in on evening. I have come up with the following which I call the "20/20 game".
This works as follows;- each player chooses a force of twenty units for his army and creates a General de Brigade roster for it. We don't use points, just create a sensible force with 20 units. Of course someone might pick the entire Old Guard and that's fine - it won't happen twice. This naturally creates imbalanced forces and interesting mixes to face off. The table should be pre-set, in this case we did so at the end of our previous weeks game and left it set up, I realise this is a luxury not everyone enjoys but maps can be circulated. We also set objectives for the game at this point so people have a few days to dwell on plans etc. We need to start early so a little effort is required to get out of home/work on time; for those of us with kids - not always possible. We have very successfully done a series of 10/10 games on 6x4 tables too. For the 20/20 games we used a 12x6 foot to get some space.
|Bavarians advance from Facile to test the Austrian newcomers.|
One element which really kick-starts these 20/20 games is this;- roll 1d6 minus 3 for each unit and inflict the result as casualties at deployment, for example the 48th Ligne rolls a 5 minus 3 = 2 so begins with 34 of the original 36 remaining. This has an affect on morale rolls from turn one and just gets things moving. It is also an easy way of making sure that not all units have full strength rosters which is just unrealistic. This makes the game very much quicker. One could get brutal and say 1d6 minus 1 for example, so almost everyone has some casualties from the start. The point is to create imbalance and challenges for players which is very hard for one-off pick-up games. The randomization of general's ability is also crucial in this aspect.
For your delectation & approbation I shall present both of these games as battle reports with orbats and plenty piccies! The Battle of Facile 1809 set in the Tyrol and secondly The Battle of Wankow 1813 set on the modern Polish German border. This week we play a another 20/20 game Brits versus Frenchies.
|Bavarian infantry spill out of Facile to capture the bridge and hold it against the expected fierce Austrian assaults. Swiss brigade offers support.|
2013 looks to be a good year for The Mortimer Street Marauders. Our merry band has some cash in the club account and some good ideas for spending it. We shall decide exactly how after curry and brandy at our AGM. For my part I want get stuff finished, sell a few surplus bits and NOT start anything new! 2013 might even see me finish the Borodino report by literally summoning the courage to go back there!!! I also want go to more live music events, luckily all four Marauders like a good run around or foot tap to a lively band so that might just happen.
Keep tuned in as this week should see the two 20/20 games appear right here.
|Campans brigade deployed to hold the bridge near Pendoza. A lot of Austrian strength was concentrated here.|
Foot battery and elite legere in front, 2nd class and line behind.
Best wishes for a great years gaming,