Showing posts with label War. Show all posts
Showing posts with label War. Show all posts

Sunday, 22 March 2020

The Battle of Mollwitz Silesia; 10th April 1741.

On the death of her father, Maria Theresa became Empress of Austria.Prior to his death, Charles the 6th had tried to get the heads of Europe to sign up to the Pragmatic Sanction. This was an agreement whereby they would honour his eldest daughter as heir to the throne of Austria.

Of course no sooner had Maria Theresa been crowned than the storm clouds gathered. Chief amongst the potential protagonists was Frederick 2nd of Prussia.

His father had also recently passed away and in ascending the throne decided he wanted to transform Prussia into a major Political power.

First he made political overtures to the new Empress expressing his desire to became protector of her domain. Having spent time on assurances, he then sent his army into Silesia itself, all the time reasurring the young Empress of his best intentions, and to protect her interests.

However, the young Empress was not to be fooled and understood the Prussian troop movements for what they were. An invasion by stealth.

To Maria Theresa and the members of the Hofkreigsrath  ( the military council ) there was no alternative but to declare war thus starting the War of the Austrian Succession. Silesia was the " Jewell in the Crown " of the Hapsberg family inheritance, and could not be lost.

April 1741 found the Prussian army scattered in cantonments across Silesia. The snow was still on the ground and Frederick and his Generals were not expecting any movement from the Austrian forces.

Therefore the abnormally fast advance by 18,000 Austrians under General Neipperg caught the Prussians by surprise. However having moved so rapidly Neipperg then encamped his army near Mollwitz giving Frederick chance to react.

On the 10th of April 1741, having successfully united 20,000 of his troops. Frederick marched his Army toward the Austrian positions. The King caught the Austrians napping and could have attacked while the Austrian army was unprepared.

However, this was the Kings first battle and gave orders for his army to be arraigned  into a formal battle line. This gave Neipperg time to hastily assemble his forces into position.

The Prussian Army.

General Kurt Christoph Graf von Schwerin = 2 points.
General Count Adolph Friedrich von Der Schulenberg. = 1 point.
Colonel von Posadowsky = 1 point.

16,000 Infantry ( 16 points x 3 = 48 points ).

4,000 Cavalry ( 4 points x 3 = 12 points ).

30 guns = 3 gun models

2 stands of Grenadier Infantry @ 4 points =8 points.
11 stands of Line Infantry @ 3 points = 33 points.

6 stands of Line Cavalry @ 2 points = 12 points.

3 stands of Light Artillery @ 1 point = 3 points.

Austrian Army;

Field Marshall  Neipperg =1 point.
General Carl Romer = 2 points.
General Berlichingen = 1 point.

10,000 Infantry ( 10 points x 3 = 30 points.)

8,000 Cavalry ( 8 points x 3 = 24 points )

20 guns = 2 gun models.

Infantry ;
2 stands of Grenadier Infantry @ 4 points = 8 points.
9 stands of Line Infantry @ 2 points = 18 points.

Cavalry ;
1 stand of Heavy Cavalry = 4 points.
6 stands of Line Cavalry @ 3 points = 18 points.

2 stands of Light Artillery @ 1 point = 2 points.

This is the map ;

The Austrian General Neipperg had spent time in a military prison. He was held responsible for losing a previous battle against the Turks. Therefore, having been given the chance to redeem himself he wanted to attack.

Fredericks army was a new force and the King felt ready to test his troops and himself under fire. The Infantry were drilled to perfection. However, the Cavalry has always played second fiddle to the Infantry. Neither Frederick nor his father had any indepth knowledge of cavalry manoeuvres and used  the Cavalry for decoration rather than any practical use. Some of his troopers were so untrained that they were frightened of their horses.

General Carl Romer knew the Prussian Horse were sub standard so launched a cavalry advance. This was how the battle started.

This is how the table looks before the battle commences;


● The Austrians move first on the first Game-turn, after which all subsequent Game-turns are diced for as normal.

● The Kleiner Bach can be crossed in normal movement as it had no effect on the movement of troops.

At one stage of this battle the Prussian infantry were struggling and thinking defeat was imminent, General von Schwerin urged the young King to quit the field. Frederick rode away thinking the worst. However Schwerin managed to rally the Prussian Infantry who eventually overcame the Austrian cavalry then the Infantry.

This is why Frederick is not represented on the table as it was Schwerin who controlled the infantry and instructed the young King.

Frederick never forgave Schwerin for sending him away, and vowed never to leave the battleground again.

In fact it was observed that the Austrian infantry seemed to wilt under the disciplined fire of the Prussian troops.

Also,one of the best Generals of his time, General Romer of the Austrian Army lost his life leading the Cavalry in the attack.

Well, the rest is history. The figures in the photos are mainly Miniature Figurines with some Peter Pig figures. All 15mm.

I used to have a massive collection for this era. I now have small groups of stands assigned to various states. Thus the Prussian army is composed of Prussian, Brunswick and Wuttemberg troops.

The Austrians are helped by Saxon, Reichsarmee and Bavarian troops.

This is a set-piece battle and when played out could go either way. As always the table is 3 feet by 2 feet. The buildings representing the village's are scratch built with cardboard.

As always, this is my interpretation of the actual battle.

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

The points system

Just thought I'd put out some words on the points system that I use as a basis for organising the battles that I am putting on the blog.

In the book Table Top Battles there is a points chart. This evaluates troop types of every era. For example;

Heavy Cavalry 4 points per stand, light cavalry 2 points per stand.

Assessing the size of an army to recreate we would at first look at the actual total say, 40,000. You can use this total in two ways.

1) 40,000 is converted to 40 points. This total is then divided by the individual points value of the stands making up the army

2) 40,000 can be converted to 40 points. This total can be doubled up to 80 points. This helps if you want to include more diverse troop types.
Each stand in this size of army would be representing roughly Brigade size units.

3) At another level, should you wish to recreate a small force of maybe 1000 men,
then start with 10 points and keep multiplying by 10 until you reach a level that recreates the force you want. This would consist of a number of platoons or companies.

Now, this works fine for an evening game playing a one off battle. The system also works for a pre-planned solo game but I had to change things around a bit when doing these historical battles. For example;

I want to recreate the battle of Waterloo in the near future ( we are painting the figures ). The cavalry of the French Army was 14,000. That's 14 points. I think there were 6000 Cuirassiers. Now, under the normal points system, a stand of heavy cavalry are 4 points so that would be one stand.

There has to be more than one stand of cuirassiers so how to get round the problem?
In the actual battle the cuirassiers, much as they were terrifying were not very effective so I downgraded them to 2 points each which gives me three stands.

Therefore I have the numbers, I still have the cavalry but ,as in real life they will not achieve a lot.

Another section of an army to take into account is the Artillery. This is always a bit difficult to assess. Very often the numbers of guns, their position and use in battle is blurred or completely ignored. This makes it hard to give a points value and to allocate models.

From my own perspective, if the total of guns is known I divide the actual number of guns by either 10, 20 or 50 depending on the size of the battle. The designation of Heavy or Light I assign depending on their function i.e. whether they were static or constantly moving.

The points total for the artillery are taken from the Infantry total. This is because;

Artillery personnel are lumped together with the infantry.
Infantry were sometimes assigned to the artillery to provide extra muscle to haul the guns about.

I have a generic sci-fi section which can be adapted for any era of mechanized warfare. Tanks have an attack and defense value which is added together to give a points value to the model.

Using the points system you can field a "Heavy " army against a "light" one. Within the Table Top Battle system neither side has an overwhelming advantage. Although die driven ( 12 sided) tactics and terrain do have some influence.

Above all, I am fitting this onto a 3 foot by 2 foot ( 90cm x 60cm ) board. The size of the playing area also has an influence on the size of the armies.

The battle of Manassas is a similar situation. Sigel,s Corp were all normal line infantry which would be three points.and would only be two or three stands.

However his Corps were deployed in a long line and despite hard fighting struggled at the railway embankment. So, I downgraded the stands to 2points each to give me enough stands to cover the position.

As you can see, the system is pretty flexible and adaptable to any situation. Having written that, I hope those battles I have presented and those I hope to do will give you ideas for your own interpretations of these events.

This photo is of Roman Heavy Cavalry. I made this group of four stands from Ceaser Miniatures Sarmatian horses and Hat horses. The figures are Hat with different heads. The lances are North Star Javelins ( 50mm ). As you can see the bases are four points each which means they are Heavy Cavalry. Each stand is used individually in a big battle, but could equally be a Regiment of cavalry in a smaller action.

Monday, 24 February 2020

Plastic n' Metal The Late Roman Era.

Well, I have an interest in the Late Roman Era.
I am not an expert painter of figures, and often I have been up against the clock.

Therefore my style is very basic. I use 20mm plastic, mainly Hat and some Miliart. I also mix in some metal Newline Designs as being 20mm these seem to fit  with the plastic figures.
I think a company called Tumbling Dice also make 20mm metal figures for this era.

To prep the plastic;

1) I wash them In warm soapy water scrubbing
them lightly with a nail brush.

2) I then assemble the figures with shields and spears, and attach any cavalry figures to their horses.

3) The figures are then glued to cardboard strips.

4) Next, I undercoat the figures with PVA glue. This can be watered down a bit. This stops the paint flaking off. I then leave the figures to dry.

5) Once dry, I completely coat the figure brown paint.

6) When the paint drys I go through the figures
putting on various colours.
Having wrote that, I use a minimum number of
colours and rotate them.

7) Once the paint is dry, I brush on some gloss acrylic varnish. Again I water it down a bit if needed.

8) I don't worry about flocking the base. I just paint a basic colour on.

9) Having done that, I base the figures.
It's basically (for me ) about getting the figures on the table.

Here are some illustrations;

These are a mix of Hat Goths and Miliart German Tribesmen.

Hat Industries Cataphracts. The Spears are from North Star Miniatures Javelins.

Hat Sassanids. The flags are scratchbuilt. North Star javelins.
The standard on the light cavalry archers is a dressmakers pin.
The round bases are 40mm mdf from Minibits.

These figures are Newline Designs Late Roman Infantry ( metal) painted in conventional fashion with North Star javelin.

These are Hat Industries Huns.

These are part of my Pict army. The cavalry are from the Hat Goth cavalry.
The chariot is from the Hat Celtic chariot box, using some twine for the reins.
The hooded crossbow are from Hats Enemies of Rome box.
The Pictish infantry are from Redbox and the archers are from Hat Saxons, part of the Enemies of Rome box.
Apparently it was not unusual to find Saxons amongst the Picts.

This was my attempt to recreate the Del Riata ( the people of the chariot). They had a thriving society on the West coast of Ireland and the East coast of Scotland.
The chariots are from Hat Celtic Chariots with converted occupants.
The infantry are from Hats Gothic Infantry. Over time the Del Riata merged with the Picts.

I found myself with too many Sassanids. This is because I had bought Hats Parthian cavalry before they released their Sassanid range! So the Palmyran army came into being!.
All from the Hat Sassanid and Parthian range. The standards are made from masking tape. 

This is Zenobia!. Made from the bottom half of a camel rider from a hat box of Arab camels and the top of a figure from a Hat Celtic Chariots.

Supply wagons and civilians. The middle waggon and mules are from Ceaser miniatures Roman Waggon train set ( I think there are 4 different ones).
The civilians come from the same sets as are the oxen. These look large but apparently this breed were large in real life. The spearmen are from Hats Gothic range. The wagon with the big wheels is scratch built. I used cardboard for the body.

The wheels are made from pre-cut sponges that you put on the bottom of chair legs.
They come in sets and sold in D-I-Y stores. Once I stuck them on, I painted them black
and painted on the rims and spokes. The Goths used waggon lagers and nobody make any. I'm hoping Hat will do some one day.

Sassanid War Elephants. These are from the Hat range. Hat were going to produce actual models but these went on the back burner. Those shown are from the Carthaginian set. The mahout is the body with a Sassanid head. The archer is Sassanid but I had to pack out the Howdah with a piece of eraser.
The heavy cavalry are Sassanids.

These were known as the Savaran. During sieges they fought dismounted.
In the field a Sassanid army was nearly all cavalry and elephants.

These are Newline Designs Goth Cavalry. The spears are North Star Javelins.
The standard is my own paint job on masking tape.

 Lastly, these are Hat Auxilliary Infantry. They could easily be used for later Goths or Saxons. As the Roman empire started to break apart foreign Auxiliaries struck out on
their own as they were not being paid.

That is the best part of this Era. You can mix and match western armies. In the 400,s and 500,s there were very few pitched battles. If there were more they went undocumented, so there is an opportunity for a few " what if " scenarios, especially
concerning the Arthurian legends.

Also, there is recent evidence to suggest that although the Federated troops broke away from the Roman Army some of the men had basic engineering or surveying skills. As people are finding out the Dark Ages were not so Dark after all.

Friday, 20 September 2019

The Battle of Ceder Mountain 9th August 1862

The letters and numbers are references on the map below.

Union Forces;

2nd Corps; 8,800 = 8.8points x 3 = 27 points rounded up.

E) C-C Nathaniel P Banks @ 1 point

Williams Division;

D) Alpheus Williams @ 1 point.

A) Crawford, 1 x 2nd class Line Infantry @ 2 points.
1 x 1st class Line Infantry @ 3 points.

B) Gordon, 1 x 1st class Line Infantry @ 3points.

C) 1 Heavy Rifled Battery @ 2 points.

Augers Division;

F) Christopher Auger @ 1 point.
G) Geary 1 x 2nd class Line Infantry @ 2 points.
H) Prince 1 x 2nd class Line Infantry @ 2 points.
J) Green 1 x 1st class Line Infantry @ 3 points.

L) 2 x Light Rifled Artillery Batteries  @ 1 point = 2 points.

K) Bayards Cavalry Brigade ( 1 stand) @ 3 points. This brigade can dismount if required. This stand would be represented by 1 stand of horses ( 0 points) and 1 stand of dismounted cavalrymen at 2 points.

Confederate Forces

Jackson= 15000 = 15pts x 3 = 45pts.
A. P. Hill = 10,000 = 10pts x 3 = 30pts.

( 8 ) :  C-in-C :  Stonewall Jackson = 2pts.

Ewell,s Division.

( 1 ) : Richard Ewell = 1pt.

( 2 ) : Trimble :  2 x 2nd class Line Infantry ( 2pts ) = 4pts.

( 3 ) : Forno :  2 x 2nd class Line Infantry ( 2pts ) = 4pts.

( 5 ) : Early  : 1 x 1st class Line Infantry = 3pts. 1 x 2nd class Line Infantry = 2pts. = 5pts.

( 4 ) : 3 x Heavy Smoothbore Batteries (2pts) =6pts.

Winder,s Division.

( 6 ) : Charles Winder ( 1pt ).

( 7 ) : Ronald ( stonewall ) 2 x 1st class Line Infantry ( 3pts ) = 6pts.

( 9 ) : 3 Heavy Smoothbore Batteries ( 2pts) = 6pts.

( 10 ) : Taliaferro: 2 x 2nd class Line Infantry ( 2pts ) = 4pts.

( 11 ) : Garnet : 3 x 2nd class Line Infantry ( 2pts ) = 6 pts.

Hill,s Division.

( 17 ) Ambrose Powell Hill ( 1pt ).

( 12 ) Thomas : 2 x 2nd class Line Infantry ( 2pts ) = 4pts. 1 x 1st class Line Infantry 3pts. = 7pts.

( 13 ) Branch : 2 x 1st class Infantry ( 3pts ) = 6pts.

( 14 ) Pender : 2 x 1st class Infantry ( 3pts )= 6 pts.

( 15 ) Archer : 1 x 2nd class Line Infantry ( 2pts ).  2 x 1st class Line Infantry ( 3pts ) = 8pts.

( 16 ) 2 x Light Smoothbore Batteries ( 1pt ) = 2pts.


■ Only the Divisional Commanders are represented in the battle, but
I have listed the Brigade Commanders should you want to do your
own recreation.

■  The Union Army moves first on every Game-Turn.

■ The Union Army gets the initiative point on every Game -Turn.

■ Ceder Creek can be forded.

■ General Winder.
If a field gun in an adjacent square to General Winder is removed as a casualty, General Winder himself is also removed.

After a one Game-Turn gap, the General himself is restored asGeneral Taliaferro ( pronounced Toliver ).
General Winder was mortally wounded sighting the guns.

A.P. Hill,s Division.

No stand of A.P. Hill,s Division can be moved until a stand of Union troops
enters the wood on the South side of the Wheatfield ( marked with an " x " ).

Special movement.

The 2pt infantry are Line infantry. They can move in any direction but
cannot be diced for " avoidance".

Light Field Guns of 1pt can move as Horse Artillery.

Army Equipment.

All muskets are rifled = 3 squares range.

Rifled Cannon = 6 squares range.

Confederate Cannon are minus 1 when firing. ( poor ammiunition.)

Victory Conditions.

《1》The Confederates must remove 5 stands of Union troops by
the end of Game-Turn 8.

《2》The Union must get 2 infantry stands into the woods ( even if they get removed ) and must not loose more than 4 stands by the end of the 8th  Game-Turn. ( not including Generals ).

《3》The Confederates win if the Union army leaves the field
before the end of the 8th Game-Turn.

Well, as before this is my take on the battle based on my own perceptions. Myself and my Wife Joyce have played this twice and I have solo gamed it once. The Confederates can win but they do suffer!

On the day of battle it was extremely hot and the Cofederates suffered from the heat.

 There was also great confusion with the orders as General Jackson didn't let his Divisional Commanders know what he intended.

 General Hill got very angry with Jackson. His Division was further back to the left of the road, but I've represented his Division on table with conditions, as his Division came into the battle piecemeal.

On the Union side, Banks was still smarting from previous defeats. He was ordered to take up a defensive position.

However he was itching to redeem himself and ordered an attack not realising he was outnumbered 3-to-1!!.

I used dismounted cavalry markers for the 2pt infantry stands.

I used 15mm figures and those shown are from Miniature Figurines, Peter Pig and Essex.
The flags are by Peter Pig as are the buildings.

The hills were made by Brian at Essex.
The trees are by various manufacturers.
The outline bases for the wooded areas are by S and A Scenics.

The rivers, road and fields were made from thin cardboard.

The snake fencing is ready painted in 10mm and from
Northumbria Painting Service and MBM Scenery.

This is how the battle was set up on a 3 feet x 2 feet ( 90cm x 60cm ) table with 2 inch ( 50mm ) squares.

A map of the battlefield;

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.

Monday, 8 October 2018

The Beginning of my Blogging Adventure

Well, here we are. My first venture into the 21st century art of on-line war gaming.

I'm Michael and i've been a wargamer for around 48 years. I have tried numerous systems of play. I have to say that for me personally, using a grid of squares works every time. I also have a slight disability which also reflects on my choice of gaming.

There is also another aspect to this euphemistically known as "Gamesmanship". Have you been in a situation whereby you are watching your opponent measure to move and you just know that they have moved that extra distance to either gain the advantage or to get themselves out of trouble. When questioned about this manoeuvre they either;

A: mumble into their beer mug that there was no difference,

B: point to some obscure rule in the small print that its allowed on any day with an "A" in it.

C: More often ,stomp up and down waving their arms about and shouting a lot whilst the face has turned such a colour as to prompt your Memory on CPR procedure!!

 Well, all these moments have happened, including an episode where I had to stop members of our gathering engaging in activities covered by the Marquis of Queensbury!

My starting point in the hobby was Don Featherstones Battles with Model Soldiers and everything moved on from there. However for all the reasons  stated above, war gaming on a grid is where I'm at.

Hopefully in time, I  will be able to bring you more news of the methods I  use and how I employ them and also some decent pics once I have a firmer grasp on the tech!!