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.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Bautzen conclusion - an apology & an update & two new batreps!

Sometimes things just don't go your way! This post is not late because of any other reason than my own laziness though! What has not gone my way is that I have lost all the pictures of the end game at Bautzen so there are none to show you. What also didn't go my way was the outcome of the battle. In short the French attacks were not only repulsed but thrown back & successfully countered. Had Napoleon suffered such a reverse as we did the 1813 campaign would have concluded right then & there. Nevermind.

My game design was flawed & our gameplay left much to be desired. This is not to take anything away from Chris & Russian Tony who played a blinder. Chris held out against some serious pressure from Ney with his Prussians whilst Russian Tony took the hilly wooded sector, held in the centre then counter attacked clearing the French from the field entirely. The Old Guard had to be moved up to prevent a total rout here whilst the Young & Middle Guard were diverted to help out just when they were required to exploit the break through against Blucher. The french heavies never even fought. To describe it as a disaster is an understatement.

None of this detracted at all from my enjoyment of the game - it really was like being in a piece of unfolding theatre & the boys were excellent company as usual, many thanks to my fellow Marauders.

In other news.

We are experimenting with a new work in progress rule-set. General d'Armee is essentially a Big battle version of General de Brigade also by Dave Brown. Initial games have been very interesting & seem to rattle through in about half the time the same game would previously. I'll knock up a report for you at some point but obviously can't divulge too much detail as these are very much in development. Needless to say we're chuffed to be asked to help out with these as they coalesce. It looks & feels just right which is a damned good start if you ask me. Below are some pics from a test game of General d'Armee, enjoy.

French cavalry on the right wing.

French cavalry  brigade comprising Dragoons, lancers & accompanying horse battery.

French light cavalry brigade comprising Hussars, these are the 3rd, 5th & 9th.

French horse battery. Elite Miniature painted by proprietor Pete Morbey. He has just supplied some more Peninsular batteries for me too, but that's another post.  

An Italian brigade with artillery deployed up front softening up the enemy prior to advancing.

French allied heavy cavalry brigade. Westphalian & Saxon cuirassiers with accompanying horse battery. 

Bavarian brigade with attached Italian & Wurtemburg battalions & deployed battery. 

Two Russian infantry brigades with half hussar regiments screening. 

Russian command vignette & good detail shot of the great coated lads.
These are Foundry painted by Russian Tony, I don't suppose that chap's just napping... poor sod.

French allied infantry about the get a face full of Russian canister.
From left to right; Neuchatel Battalion, Chasseurs de Corse, Neopolitan Guards. 

A new unit joins Russian Tony's army. These are Mounted Chasseurs, I forget which regiment, soz!
As usual these are Foundry models painted by Tony. Note the converted officer - brilliant.  

Zooming in on the last shot.

The maniac Seivers, a great model.

Russian infantry brigade huddling behind their battery as the French cavalry approach.

The lines close.

The Polish brigade moves forward.

The Bavarian infantry brigade drives back the Russians as the German heavies turn their flank.
On the left the lead squadrons of Russian supporting cavalry enter the field. 

An unseemly grasp for factors.

It's curtains for the Russian right as they are overwhelmed.

Our shiny new Dragoons are out classed by Russian hussars - oh dear!
This always happens with new units doesn't it.

The Novgorod Cuirassiers liquidate the fellas from Neuchatel.
Berthier will be disappointed. 
Duka leads the Starodub Cuirassiers on a hunting mission.

Cavalry melee.
Duka finds a rather juicy target but fails to close - T.F.F.T.

The Russian right ceases to exist & the attack rolls onto exploit the Russian rear areas.

General advance in the French centre as the gallant Russians concede.
So what do we make of these rules? Excellent start to be honest. This game featured approx 50 units per side split into 10 brigades per side. Usually our games with  c. 100 units in play takes weeks & about 25 to 40 turns of General de Brigade for four of us to conclude, we polished this off in two sittings playing either 9 or 11 turns, I forget. Sure we have stretched GdeB beyond what was designed for but they give a superb game in my view. This new, derivative, version is designed for Corps to Army level play & has a totally different feel. The decision making process is based at a higher level with an emphasis on "having a plan"! The command & control structure is made at a higher level where one orders brigades via ADCs and watch them do as they're told or otherwise. This is a simple elegant & engaging process - it is not just allocating pips or action points which is dry & somewhat hackneyed. 

There is room for individual battalions to act on some initiative but the whole brigade based feel promotes cohesive brigade based deployment & internal mutual support. This looks & feels as if using historical tactics works best, so it gets my vote.

The outcomes of decision points are usually decisive so brigades are successful sweeping forward, repulsed & thrown back or similar. The feel is of dramatic actions ebbing & flowing across the battlefield. Precisely what I love about big Napoleonic affairs.

We'll stick with these for big games but revert to GdeB for Peninsular & smaller continental actions such as the following...               

Danube 1809                    

French Tony's campaign has produced its first battle. The attempted relief of the Fortress of Passau was a game you could never invent as a scenario, it was simply too unlikely and the scenery too crazed for a "normal" wargame. French Tony promises me a write up, until then here are some pictures.

The Bavarian garrison is besieged in Passau by an Austrian Advance Guard.
Nobody noticed there are no doors to the fortress though

Much of the area is forested restricting movement for both sides.
Here Austrians march to intercept the Bavarian relief column.

The Bavarian relief column arrives.

Austrian artillery takes pot shots at defenders although 6lb won't do much harm. 

The besieged. 

Bavarian  looters in Passau.

Austrian cavalry seal off the approach road to the fortress.  

We need more trees.

These vignette thingies need some work really. We're getting there but they're not a priority when there are regiments, battalions & batteries to paint.

Austrians on the move. 

The Bavarians top centre have a mountain to climb!

Can't see the wood for the trees. 

Tony making campaign notes for the article he'll never write ;)

Austrians emerge on the flank of the Bavarian who deploy a battery & Wurtemburg battalion to cover them. 

Bavarians & attached Poles take pot shots at the blocking Austrian cavalry astride the road. 

Front Rank Bavarian top brass painted by Nigel Cox - should he replace Herr Grumpy - is a poll in order! 

Front Rank Austro brass this time painted by Tony Laughton for Chris collection.

Foundry Austrian top brass also painted by Tony Laughton for Chris.

Polish battery by Murawski Minis painted by Barry Hill - hi mate! 

This can't end well...

The relief column deployed to attack.

Hammer versus nut?

Then another Austrian formation appears behind the Bavarian/Polish relief column - balls! 
This was a decisive defeat. Although the Bavarians won almost every firefight & melee the situation was hopeless - they surrendered leaving the fortress still under siege.

This is exactly what the campaign was designed to do, create one-off interesting battles within a narrative and consequences beyond the tabletop action - this game delivered all in buckets.    

"Attack!" The Devizes show 2016

This is our local show so we trot along every year. To be honest much is the same at Attack year on year, same traders, same products, a few stand out games & a smell of unwashed middle aged men, I don't miss those Sunday morning competition games in ventilated halls - uurgh! It's a great day out and we always catch up with various reprobates from our pasts - Rob Broom for instance.

Fine ales 
We did some club shopping blowing over £450 with ease.

Someone criticised our scenery on a forum which made me think a bit so we will upgrade a few bits.

Last Valley were there so we spanked £100 on more trees & some better marshes.  
We bought a top notch printed gaming mat over 14ft x 6ft so no more seams in pics & a visible texture underfoot. That was £200 post free though.

Playing these massive Napoleonic set pieces requires moving stacks of models, even based on elements this is time consuming. To speed up play we now have movement trays for well over 100 battalions, these are in three sizes to accommodate 32, 36 & 48 man strong battalions.

These are all worthwhile club investments in our view. Keep an eye out for them in future posts.  

We usually pop into the Barge at Seend, a Wadworths pub. The local beer is best drunk near the brewery so being on the canal near Devizes  you get a fine pint.
This golden number was called Swordfish I think, a change from the ubiquitous & equally fine 6X.      
That's it from me, off to walk the dog in the summer rain by the sea.
Catch up soon,



  1. Excellent pics and commentary. Big battle GdB sounds interesting too! Cheers.

  2. Epic and beautiful games as per usual. Also interesting om the General d'Armee. /Mattias

  3. JJ as always a fine post with some lovely twists and turns. We are having a play with GdA as well thanks to the wonderful Mr Brown and a couple of aspects on the structure have us a little confused so expect an email. The idea and use of ADC models is superb. Love the campaign battle as well.

  4. You guys put on a spectacular show!!! Great to see the collections grow and grow. Nice to hear your thoughts on GdA,will be interesting to see it for ourselves.

  5. Can't believe someone criticised your terrain!? I think it looks awesome :-) me and my mate Adam have pretty much given up on general de brigade we were finding it clunky and not much fun will await with interest your further thoughts on these new rules.... As ever great eye candy looking forward to more as ever! :-)

  6. Sad news about the lost pics and battle. It was developing as a ripper conclusion. (Probably just as well they went awol if it did not turn out well, haha!!)
    Great to see that there is a higher level set that is working for you. It's great to do big battles, but you do need rules to make it easier to focus on... the large scale! Its a testament to you all that you have taken General de Brigade as far as you have.
    Campaign looking great, but you've had the post from Tony (for ages) by the time I have got to commenting on this one!