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, 23 November 2013

Setting up the Battles around the Ratzinger Crossings 1809

We've been playing lots of General de Brigade games recently, many of these have been intensely "picky" as we explore the rules and try to get them right. This isn't actually important to the enjoyment of the game in my view but we may as well try to understand how author Dave Brown sees things! That said this game is about trialing a house rule and playing with greater depth than before.

This whole "depth" issue has also been trialed in recent games, frankly without a satisfactory outcome. We played down the length of the board and across it with imaginary rear areas but without really adding anything of great value and only ensuring we struggled to finish and failed to maneuver in any meaningful manner.

The question of depth has vexed us - in short we like 28mm games so we have to compromise on table surface space versus unit foot print. Basically our board is too shallow to adequately allow for deployment in depth, on table reserves and lateral movement behind the lines which we want to see in our games. Clearly it's a big table but we want more (like spoiled brats aren't we?).

Having finished one set of games we decided to set up a back board running in parallel to the main table - see below. There was only space for a 12' x 3' but it's a start! We may try to do 12' x 2' on both sides if this works out. This allows some rear echelon action; movement of reserves, late arrivers, artillery parks and lateral marching to redeploy behind the front lines. It also means more space to fight over as we fully envisage charging and shooting over the gap as if it didn't exist.

The Battlefield around the Ratzinger crossings set up for our next game. You're looking south east.
The main table is 16' x 6' with the back board at the French rear measuring 12' x 3'.

Now looking north east.
The white stones outline the four  Austrian entry points, one per road and one at the pontoons in the north west.  

Looking from behind the French centre south west.  

Looking almost due west over the high ground from behind the French centre.

Middle sector of the French rear areas.

Looking north west.
The blue stones mark out the furthest forward extent of French deployment. 

Initial deployments. The objective is to control the river crossings, i.e. the three bridges. Austrian reserve formations are still off table. Some French reserves are on the rear board.

Three Austrian brigade columns head toward the bridges. The light cavalry cross the pontoons way off to the north.
The French will get to the bridges first I think. Opposed river crossings - piss easy!

Rapid Fire - Trialing an amendment long range artillery fire

As already state we are using this game to trial a small amendment to the General de Brigade artillery rules. Basically we have moaned a bit about the ineffectiveness of long range fire. I expect the rules are entirely accurate and the correct course would be to spend more turns shooting up a target rather than dashing off to attack the nearest thing at top speed - but we are wargamers and that means moving and fighting not hours of bombardment!

In the General de Brigade rules the number of casualties inflicted is halved for long range fire. Fine. Any unmodified roll of a double 1 for artillery fire indicates the battery has run low on ammo. Excellent rule.

My idea is to allow a battery which is not itself under fire in the current turn, nor within charge reach of enemy nor within 12" of friendly routers to Rapid Fire. This simply means that the gunners work overtime (in relative safety) and put more rounds on the ground than normal. The effect is to negate the halving of casualties at long range.

For every up side there must be a down side, in this case the battery runs low on ammo on the unmodified roll of any double not just a double one. This represents the unusually high expenditure of ammo. The decision to Rapid Fire therefore involves a risk against the pay-off of higher casualties.

We have always allowed a house rule where batteries low on ammo can be resupplied by caissons travelling to the rear and back to the battery. With the groovy back board we can have an artillery park complete with ammo supplies - hurray!

We played a few turns of the game with comical artillery results. Chris's first two rolls were double ones - out of ammo, and my foot battery was driven off the table by enemy musket fire. Hopeless. We are no closer to seeing how this amendment might work out.

As the game gets fully under way I'll post a report and more piccies as usual.

And finally some new toys to look at...

A debut shot of some new Austrian staff - finally. These are front Rank painted by Tony Laughton. Fuzzy shot, oops!

Elite Miniatures heavy cavalry officers watching the foot sloggers head for certain death...

Saxon horse battery on the move. Perry minis painted by Perry Pender. 

Gloriously glossy Austrian Kurassiers!
Elite Miniatures painted by Tony Laughton for my collection - based by me!

Very very pretty Austrian Dragoons - details as above.

Call back to see how the Battle at the Ratzinger Crossings unfolds.
Be good, Jeremy


  1. Sounds very interesting with the artillery, will watch with interest. Lovely new toys!

    1. Thanks Paul, I hope the amends work out, either way it'll be fun trying. My thoughts are with you and you family in the Philippines. Friends of mine in the Philippines are safe and sound - lucky as they paint our toys!

  2. Interesting looking game. Your table is already a lot bigger than the table I'll be trying to play 28mm GdB on next year. A 6x4 should make for a bloody game. Love the old school shiny Austrian Cavalry.
    The artillery house rule sounds good as I've also found long range artillery is a bit weak.

    1. Cheers for dropping in and commenting Redtroop. Re the table size - we are totally spoilt and are total brats - more more more!
      Time will tell how the artillery amend works out, cheers,

  3. The problems that you are musing with are common to many of us, so we'll be extra interested in the outcome; and we'll enjoy your fantastic looking table, great figures and witty report too!!

  4. Looking sensational JJ - rapidly becoming one of my favourite sites. We also love GdB and play in 28mm and the depth issue is certainly a challenge. We have tried limited maps and movement on graph paper but want to take that to a new level this year. Artillery rule is interesting as we also allow resupply from caissons. Will watch with interest.

  5. Thanks for your kind words Carlo - happy New Year! The depth thing will be a feature of a lot our games this year I suspect. Glad you like what we do, best wishes, JJ