Showing posts with label Grid. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Grid. Show all posts

Sunday, 1 September 2019

The Great Northern War Part 3 : Narva 20th November 1700

The forces I used were scaled down as follows;

Swedish Army : 11,000 = 11 points.
(11 points x 3= 33 points).

General Rehnskiold ( C-in-C )

2 stands of  line Cavalry @ 3points = 6 points.

 3 stands of Line Infantry @ 2 points =6 points.
1 stand of Grenadier Inf @ 3 points.

 1 General=2 points.

General Vellingk:

2 stands of Line Cavalry @ 3 points= 6 points.

3 stands of Line Infantry @ 2 points = 6 points.

1 stand of Grenadier Infantry @3 pts= 3 points.
1 General @ 1 point.

The Russian Army : 20,000 = 20 points.
( 20 points x 3= 60pts ).

General Duke Charles Eugene De Croy  C-in-C.
General Sjeremetiev.

 3  stands of Cavalry @ 3 points = 9 points ( dismounted ).

 3 stands of Grenadier Infantry @ 3 points= 9 points.
14 stands of Line Infantry @ 2 points = 28 points.

  6 stands of Militia Infantry Skirmishers @ 1 point = 6 points.

 3 stands of Cossack Light Cavalry @ 2 points = 6 points.
 2 Generals @ 1pt= 2pts.

NOTE:  The Swedes get the initiative on every Game-turn.

●  The Swedish garrison did not play any part in the battle.

●  The artillery of both sides did not play any part in the actual battle.

●  The Russian army totalled 45,000 men, but only 20,000 faced the Swedish army.

●  The Russian defenseworks were given as 2 metres ( 6 feet 6 inches ) in height.

●  The  Swedes managed to break through in two places, hence the gaps. Therefore stands of both sides cannot move over the defense works or engage in close combat.

●  Opposed stands cannot fire across the defenseworks at each other if positioned in squares either side of the defenseworks. However Russian stands can fire out at the Swedish stands if the Russian stands are positioned against the defenseworks on their side and the Swedes are two squares away on the outside.

●  Stands cannot add points for " support " if there is a defense work section between friendly stands.

●  If any Russian stands suffer a " move-back" as a result of Firing or Combat, those stands are  moved toward either the camp or the bridge depending on their position and facing. Any stands that cannot be " moved back" are removed as casualties.

●  At the end of any Ģame-turn should the Russians have two stands on the bridge, a 6 sided die is thrown.   If a " 1" is thrown, the bridge collapses and any stands on it are lost.

Map of the Battle of Narva based on a 2" ( 50mm ) grid.

The " Snowstorm" at Narva.

The Swedes attacked as the storm blew toward the Russian position. Thìs is a procedure devised in an attempt to simulate the event.

GAME-TURN 1:     The Snowstorm is moved forward to the next square as shown in the  photo below. The Swedish stands are moved first.

 If the Swedish stands are moved beyond the " Storm" they  can  be shot at by the Russians.
If any Russian stands are moved there are only two options.

     A:  Turned on the spot.
     B:  They are moved toward the bridge WITH BACKS TO THE ENEMY. 

GAME-TURN 2:    The Snowstorm is moved forward to the 2nd position. The Swedish stands are moved forward.

If any Swedish stands are moved beyond the storm they can be shot at by the Russians.

The Russian movement is either on the spot or toward the bridge.


The Swedish player throws a 6 sided die. If a 1or 2 is  scored the storm lifts. The Swedes become visible to the Russians.
GAME-TURN 3:  The Storm is moved forward to the 3rd position shown on the map. The Swedish player moves their stands. The Russian stands can be turned on the spot or toward the bridge.

AT THE END OF GAME-TURN 3:   The Storm is lifted!.

GAME-TURNS 4 TO 8 :  These are now played as normal, however even in Solo play the Swedish army moves first on every turn.


At the end of the 8th Game-Turn : This will be the player who has lost the lower number of stands.

This photo shows the starting position of the respective armies;

In the actual battle the Swedes charged into the Russian positions under cover of the storm even managing to move some cheveu-de-frise out of the way.

The Swedes needed to win. The small Swedish garrison in Narva was close to exhaustion. The Swedes in the attacking force had left their greatcoats and packs at their camp. The cannon were not used by the Swedes so as not to slow the attack.

The Russians didn't fire their cannon because they could not see the Swedes advancing.

The Russian high command did not expect the outnumbered Swedes to attack!.

Toward the end of the battle a large number of Russians ran for the bridge. There were so many Russian soldiers on the bridge, it collapsed and many drowned in the
icey waters. 

Well, this is my take on the battle. Because this is a 3 foot x 2 foot table ( 90cm x 60cm) I only put in stuff that actually affected the situation.

Credits:   As explained in the previous blog the figures are a mix of Peter Pig and Miniature Figurines. The scenery is from the following souces:

The defense works are homemade using cardboard and cold-cure clay.

I  painted them white then painted over with Tamiya snow-effect paste.

The trees, I got from Amazon. I glued them to to 40mm square cardboard. I mixed up some white acrylic paint and some PVA glue with water so it's nice and runny. I then brushed the mixture onto the tree.

While the mixture was wet my Wife Joyce helped me in sprinkling on the snow dust. I got a " snow kit " from:

The " snowstorm" is white card. The bases I got from:

The tents of the Russian camp are resin and from the Peter Pig scenic range which I painted white and with snow scenic material added.

Finally, the field is overlapping  thin white card sheets with grey squares painted on.  The river is thin blue card. It doesn't look as picturesque as custom made river sections but it makes it easier forming sections for different battles.

I have played this game solo and with my Wife Joyce. In both instances the Swedes won. However if the storm of snow clears early, the Swedes could face a storm of lead instead!!.

Sunday, 25 November 2018

The 2" (50mm) Grid.

As mentioned in my previous Blog I have opted for the 2 inch ( 50mm ) square.
My 40mm square bases or "Stands"are cut to fit within that space. There are a few reasons for this. In the first instance,it was about formations.

A Stand is a unit in its own right. It can represent an individual Company, Battalion or
Brigade. By not having bigger formations of Stands, there is no reason for loads of rules on formation changes.

Not having a specific ratio scale i.e., one Stand equals 100 men allows you to fit the Army to the board rather than building an Army and  finding that the figure collection you have worked hard in building cannot operate in the the space that you have to battle in.

I have a system whereby each base has a number. This is an indicator of training,  armament and function. It is also very helpful in assessing the size of an army.
For  example, say I  wanted to represent a Roman Republican army of 20,000 men.

This army had specific troop types which should be represented. If we use 1 point for every 1000 men, we would need 20 points. Two thirds of the heavy  infantry had swords, javelins, large shields and helmets so these would be 3points for each Stand. The remaining heavy  infantry would be the Veterans. These men could afford the best armour and their main weapon was the spear. They were held in reserve and had an elite status , therefore these would be 4 points for one Stand.
 The army would also have light infantry maybe with just javelins and a shield. There would two Stands of these at 1 point each. Next ,the cavalry. Now, the Roman cavalry were well equipped but not exceptional and only present in small numbers so we have two Stands at 2 points each. Finally the man himself. The General. Again, not being anything special his Stand is 1 point.

Altogether we have nine Stands  representing 20,000 men. If you decide that hey, I can get more Stands on one side of the board , then use a scale of 1 point equals 500 men. This would give you a 40pt Army.

The number of figures on each Stand is immaterial. The figures are there as a visual reminder of what each Stand represents. It is the number assigned to the Stand that is important as this number is added to the Firing and Combat die rolls.

The same criteria applies to ground scales. By trying to scale the ground movement to that of real army manouvres, two opposing sides would clash almost immediately  with no chance of flanking moves etc.

The word here is; compromise.
I started out by deciding that hand thrown weapons would be as far as the adjacent square. Next, smoothbore muskets would be two squares. Smoothbore artillery would at least be able to fire twice as far so the range for these weapons would be four squares. That would be easy to remember.

The movement rules were a a bit of a fudge.  I spent considerable  time working  out movement rates and then scaled them down. This was again a compromise between marching across a parade ground in good weather on the one hand as opposed to slogging across a muddy field in damp clothes trying to maintain formation while being deafened by gunfire,blinded by smoke, trying to hear orders and I suspect in a number of cases poohing and peeing at the same time. 

Frederick the 2nd knew when his men were getting ready for a battle. When he halted a Marching column he turned around to see 50,000 men relieving themselves at the sides of the road!!.

Again, I came up with 2 squares movement for all Infantry and 4 squares for cavalry. The cavalry had its own set of problems. Again, theoretical movement on the Parade ground is fine. Once on campaign things can go wrong pretty quickly. Horses can go lame. If not fed enough they loose condition. Saddle sores, loss of strength to carry weight. Exhaustion, battle wounds, badly shod ,mud and pot holes. These are just some of the problems besetting a Cavalry General.

In the 18th century the Spanish General Count Gages reckoned each Battalion of Infantry at 350 effectives out of a paper strength of 750 men. The same attritional numbers applied to the cavalry. Very often, on campaign ( and virtually any era ) at least half a cavalry regiment found themselves as dismounted  infantry because of the lack of remounts.
So, when doing your research or when focusing on your favourite army always round down on numbers. Also, see if the main army used any Allies. Inclusion of these makes an Army more interesting.

For my own armies I have found that 40 points worth of Stands ( 1point = 500 actual combatants) will give you about an hour,s  worth of gaming, on a 3 foot by 2 foot table. Also creating such a force won't stretch your patience and your pocket in creating your forces. More about that next time.

At the top of this page is an 18th century army of 40 points. ( MINIATURE FIGURINES)
Below, a 40 point Late Roman Imperial Army ( HAT INDUSTRIES WITH SOME NEWLINE DESIGNS ARCHERS)

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

What's my Grid

 What size of grid to use?. At the heart of this question are two other considerations. The size of the figures and the formations you wish to create or have already created.

Let's take a 24 figure formation in 28mm. They would be on 4 bases each of 6 figures. Each base would be 60mm wide by 40mm deep. To accomodate this fomation in Line means your grid square would have to be 240mm (9 and a half inches) wide. Six of these formations will just about fit onto a table 144cm long (57 inches).

If you put each group of four bases into a 2x2 formation you can get 4 formations into one gridsquare. This also allows room within each gridsquare for formation changes,Generals, artillery and small pieces of scenery.

The board would also need depth to allow for longer Cavalry moves. Using a square of 240mm the board would need to be 5 squares deep. 120 cm (4 feet). In total you can comfortably fit 24 formations on one long side of a 144cm(57inches) board.

Using the same formations in 15mm,you can comfortably fit 6 infantry two lines of three figures on a 40mm Frontage by 30mm deep base. Using six formations in line, each square would need to be 16cm (6 and a half inches).The board would need to be 96cm (approximately 38 inches long). 5 squares deep would be 80cm (approximately 32 inches deep.

Bases for 6mm, 10mm and 12mm, would also be 40mm width by 30mm depth, ( possibly shallower), so the same size board would be used as for the 15mm figures. If you use bases with a 30mm width, four of these in line would need a square 12cm (approximately 5 and a half inches). The board would be 72cm (approximately 29 inches long) by 60cm deep ( 24inches)

The point of all this waffle is;  How much space do you have available for a war game?.
My own board is 3feet x 2feet ( approximately 92cm x 61cm) which sits on a fold-up T.v table in one corner of a room and can be packed away when not in use. The board is marked out in two inch (50mm) squares.

My 15mm metal and plastic figures are on "stands" of thick cardboard 40mm x 40mm square. Each base is a unit in its own right.


15mm figures;  my 18th century Line Infantry are 8 figures in two lines of 4. My light  Infantry are four to a Stand. The Cavalry are 4 to a Stand ( I have to zig-zag em' a bit!). The light cavalry are three to a Stand. The guns are singly mounted with two or three gunners.

I still wanted to keep the 40mm Stands for the 20mm plastic I  started collecting. So, it was three Infantry or two Cavalry. I've  made them up into Units of four Stands but I still use them as individual Stands on the table. My Generals are on individual Stands.

I have recently changed my command Stands to 40mm mdf round Stands to make them stand out more. I'll  talk more about the actual mechanics I  use next time.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

The Grid in the Wargame

I went back to using a grid when my Wife said that she would like to try a game. A wise man once told me that if your partner is onside with your hobby then you are truly blessed.

The rules that I  wrote were pretty basic so that myself and my Wife did not have to many mechanics to remember. Our first game went really well.

After that first game, I  convinced a few non-wargamers to try out a game. This also went very well. Another time a couple of Fantasy gamers well used to tape measures and encyclopedic rule books. They enjoyed the game and commented that it was a nice chance to play something easy.

I realised that using a Grid is a basic Game mechanic that everyone mentally equates to. Using a Grid greatly reduces the number of rules required for movement, Firing and Combat. This in turn means that a game ceases to be a mental strain on people, not only in trying to explain the mechanics,but also not confusing the hell out of them!!

At the time I  myself didn't know that other Wargamers had also used squares  prior to the rules that I  eventually published.

In America in the1960,s Joe Morshauser came up with a set that never saw the light of day until a few years ago. Charles Sweet is another American Gamer who has recently been more widely known about.

There is also a Gent in Austria  who has been using squares  in his war gaming activities for many years. Prior to my scribblings there was only one commercial company that I was aware of that did ,( and still does) use a Grid in their rule sets.

After I  published, more rule sets have appeared which uses a square as the basic mechanic. Despite this the majority of Wargamers in the hobby do not like the Grid. For those who expend a great deal of time and effort on creating well painted  historically correct figures vehicles and scenery, they say it ruins the aesthetics. For the "win at all cost"Brigade they hate it because it makes it harder to bend the rules.

Myself, I  think maybe the hobby missed a trick here. By introducing the square, the hobby might become more generally acceptable to the public. It would put the emphasis on war GAMING, not WAR gaming.

In my next blog I'll  be writing about the size of Grid I  use.