Wednesday 7 May 2008

I feel a post coming on!

Well here we are once again, its rather like an old house, rather cold and empty with a couple of unanswered posts waiting on the mat. Still not to worry a couple of logs on the wargaming fire and we will be up and running in no time.

I recently had a visit from Mr Steve Gill who came to play a napoleonic game. I wanted to have a thoroughly old fashioned set to. No points or scenarios, just set about beating he hell out of the opposing army. We were playing on the first and second of May so a Dos Mayo commemoration was in order.

I went to Charles Grant's last work, the posthumously published 'Wargames Tactics'. For some reason this has never grabbed the Old School imagination in the same way as some of his earlier books, nevertheless I have always enjoyed its diversity and sure enough I found a Napoleonic battle which fitted the bill perfectly.

Now I am sure that there are those who, when they want a game have no more to do than don the smoking jacket and stroll through to their games room perhaps pausing to pick up a glass of suitably smoky single malt'

In truth this is what I expect in my minds eye, but in reality the garage where the table is sited had become a little cluttered over winter.

Even the table itself needed a bit of work to clear it for action.

Finally the figures had to be taken from the immaculately organised storage system.

Still it was no more than a days work to set up the table and clear a path through the junk that enabled us to edge around it.

Finally I was able to start setting up using the Map of the battle of Edelweiss from the book. The main features were laid out on 13' x 5'8" table. The centre was dominated by a strong natural defensive position of a hill fronted by a marsh. One edge of the table was forested and accessible to light troops only.

The Spanish drew up on the side with the hill. they had 15 x 30 man infantry battalions. The French had 12 x 36 units. Both sides had 3 x 24 Heavy cav and 2 x 24 Lights. Additionally each side had 4 batteries of two guns each. The Spanish had one regt of light infantry while the French had the ability to deploy 6 skirmishers per battalion.

The rules used were the full set from Charge. However we have been incorporating some small amendments to allow us to use them with figures on six figure bases. Generally speaking I disapprove of mucking about with other peoples rules and to alter the great Charge is pure sacrilege, but.. Peter Young eventually gave up wargaming because he couldn't face moving all the singly based figures any more. Using bases makes it possible for two people to play a game of this size in a day.

So with the table set up and ready to go, it is an opportune point to halt and await the arrival of Steve.


Gallia said...

I should prefer to sit in the first row to enjoy the game. No one to look over or through - that way - if they wear funny hats. May I?

A club sandwich, if you please and later some Napoleon brandy if not too much trouble. No I'm not taking sides. Just a vicarious observer, you see.

Come back tomorrow? Oh. Everyone involved is asleep?

Alright, yes I will. Naturally.

Der Alte Fritz said...

I have that same book on my bedside table. It has some very nice scenarios in it. I look forward to finding out what happens.

marinergrim said...

I have the same book on my shelves in the study. As you say - underrated it is.

Stryker said...

I have always enjoyed that book as well. By coincidence Edelweiss is my favourite scenario in it. I look forward to observing the battle (from the comfort of my arm chair with malt in hand!).

Steve-the-Wargamer said...'s a funny thing, I have that book as well, but it seems to have stayed eternally on my "must read it soon" pile... thanks for the heads up though, I think I'll bump it up the list a little...

PS. Any cheese to go with the onions in the garage "before" picture? :o))

Anonymous said...

When I have an attack of nostalgia I get the old Charles Grant and Donald Featherstone books out