Monday, 7 January 2008

Here we go again

Foxes Marines 1704: later 32nd foot

The great thing about being middle aged is not that you have done everything before,(far from it) but that you can reasonably claim that you have. If you are able to cap that claim with an unfavourable comparison to the efforts of the young chaps today, then ones cup runneth over.
This will be my fourth Marlburian army. The first did not last very long, that was with the 'new' WRG horse and musket rules. 12 man battalions and an extremely odd set of reaction tests and responses. The figures that were painted quickly became companies in 40 and 48 man units. This would have been about 1983.
We played with amended 'Charge' rules by Brigadier Peter Young. Indeed when I think back on it we played almost every period except WW2 with amended Charge rules. Therein lay the problem we really wanted to be playing Charge SYW with 30mm figures, but we couldn't get them. Nevertheless this incarnation rumbled along very happily to the tune of five years and some thousands of figures.
I painted two armies, Bavarian and Austrians, the figures were Dixon and Essex 25mm from the nine years war ranges. One couldn't actually get any marlburian figures back then apart from Minifig, which to be honest I was not keen on. Well if you were a figure manufacturer obviously you would figure Steenkirke as a big seller compared to Blenheim. Eventually
Wargames Foundry brought out some nice figures and I added some units of Danish bought I think at the very first Partizan show. And about that time I think we went on to Napoleonics, (as you do).
The third army was in the mid nineties, and to my eternal shame was 15mm. I used Minifigs, this time a very nice range of figures, but only painted a few units to join in. The project was run by Barry Warner of the Bedford Gladiators Club. He brought back the ideas and the rules from the Wargames Holiday centre.
Now either he changed them quite a bit and lied through his teeth or a visit to the Wargames Holiday Centre must have been akin to the 7 th circle of Hell. 15mm figures on a 24x6' table, but only 4" moves! Artillery seemed to have 28 factors to take into consideration after which one could work out whether the effect was .3 or .4 of a single casualty. Meeting at 9am we would be struggling to bring the cavalry into contact before mid afternoon.
Maybe it was a result of the numbing atmosphere but the games always seemed to produce some surreal moments; Eugene coming around the table to deck Marlborough I dismiss as commonplace, who amongst us has not seen similar. But at Oudenarde the main army's advance was routed through the town which incurred such draconian movement penalties that the army commander attempted resolve the impasse by having whole regiments throw themselves lemming like from town walls. Truly a game stopping moment, try and find that in the rules. Nevertheless the spectacle and beauty of the armies with every unit correctly modelled and neatly painted was a visual treat.
And so Now a Fourth, and probably the the last attempt to get this period just as I want it. This time let the watchword be No Compromises.

3 comments:

Snickering Corpses said...

> Maybe it was a result of the numbing atmosphere but the games always seemed to produce some surreal moments; Eugene coming around the table to deck Marlborough I dismiss as commonplace, who amongst us has not seen similar. But at Oudenarde the main army's advance was routed through the town which incurred such draconian movement penalties that the army commander attempted resolve the impasse by having whole regiments throw themselves lemming like from town walls. Truly a game stopping moment, try and find that in the rules.

I can just picture the lemming leaps, thanks for the chuckle. Good luck with your fourth army!

Steve said...

Hah! Reminds me of the set of rules where the opponents would almost volunteer to have their units rout because that mean they got a longer move...! I'm looking forward to the genesis of the fourth army.... no need to ask I guess that the rules will be "Charge"?

Stokes Schwartz said...

Hello John,

This is a fascinating post. Please do update us as your latest try at Marlburians takes shape. . . hopefully with plenty of photos! ;-)

Best Regards,

Stokes