22 June 2008

The Eventual Table and a Scenario. . .

The basic set-up with a few Zichenauer officers and Magister Militum tent pavilions, to provide a sense of table dimensions.

Well, I just couldn’t resist setting up the three folding tables late last night, to gain an idea of how much area they occupy, before I went to bed. So, in the first photo this is what you see – an area 72” x 90”, which, when covered by the planned two foot square sections of MDF board (painted light green), will become 72” x 96”. A lovely 6’ x 8’ of gaming space. More than I’ve ever enjoyed before. I’ll space the tables out a little bit before placing the MDF boards, so there are no unsupported edges that might catapult soldiers and scenery into the air if I carelessly lean on them.

My good friend on Vancouver Island, Jeff Huddelson, mentioned in a comment yesterday that I might be able to have even more space if I purchased a fourth table. It’s an idea I really like, but I want to leave enough room to move around all four sides of the planned table comfortably. The set-up you see above will be in the central room of Zum Stollenkeller, where the Grand Duchess will also have her long awaited bicycle repair shop, so I’ll be (deliriously) happy with 6’ x 8’.

Gosh, when I was in my late teens, during the early 1980s, I had no gaming space whatsoever and had to use my bed. Granted, it was a double-sized mattress and the figures were 15mm Napoleonics, but it just never quite looked right to me, especially after ogling all of the photos of Peter Gilder’s tables at The Wargames Holiday Centre pictured in Miniature Wargames, Military Modelling, and the catalog Peter sent when I wrote him a letter. A real, hand-written letter. My, how times have changed!

Jeff also asked me some days ago about whether or not I had a specific scenario in mind for the inaugural battle here in Zum Stollenkeller . Well, after paging through C.S. Grant’s Scenarios for Wargamers the other night, I think I have the answer. The next meeting between Stollenian and Zichenauer forces will be a version of the “Bridge Assault” with, perhaps, a detonation task for that as yet unpainted battalion of pioneers.

So, to set the scene, picture something like this:

Following their defeat at the frontier town of Zollamtstadt last December, the remnants of Stollen’s understrength army withdrew into the Stollenian interior to regroup and await reinforcements. Since then, the Stollenians have been spread out around the small town of Pelznikkel, which lies astride a tributary of the Lesser Zwischen River, along the main north-south road into the Grand Duchy of Stollen. For its part, the Army of Zichenauers occupied Zollamtstadt, augmented its invasion force, and made friends with the local barmaids and serving wenches during the winter and throughout much of the spring.

With the arrival of the traditional campaigning season, Zichenau’s ruler, the conniving Princess Antonia III, is urging her generals to pull up their stockings, push farther into Stollen, seize the capital Krankenstadt, and bring her the head of, “That lobster-suited idiot Irwin-Amadeus II on a silver platter!” Meanwhile, Irwin-Amadeus, his ministers, and generals have been hard at work since the winter, formulating a plan to halt the white-coated Zichenauer hoards before they can reach the heart of Stollen.

Will their painstaking work succeed? Will Stollenian forces be able to rebound and drive Zichenau back across the Lesser Zwischen River? Is Irwin-Amadeus really the fool that he seems to be? Well, you’ll have to wait and see until the late summer.

Grant’s bridge assault scenario requires a total of 11 units of infantry, 3 of cavalry, and 7 guns. So, what I hope to do is ask a few area gamers, of some renown, along with a few of their units to Zum Stollenkeller where we’ll slug it out across the table. Barring that, I’ll use my own troops and substitute an infantry company or cavalry squadron for each of Grant’s units and halve the number of guns. In any case, there is a fair amount of painting, table assembly, and scenery creation (a few more hills) remaining before any battles can be fought here in Zum Stollenkeller. With that in mind, I’d better get going on that unit of Revell Prussians waiting patiently on the painting/radio table behind me!

Once again, General von Kallweitschen is telling Colonel O'Malley how to go about the "proper" deployemt of light troops, a business that the Colonel knows very well already. Some guys just never learn!


tradgardmastare said...

Great plans - I look forward to seeing them unfold...

Bluebear Jeff said...

Thank you, Stokes, for this update and a glimpse at your plans.

I'm not familiar with that particular scenario . . . but that does sound like an awful lot of artillery for the number of troops.

-- Jeff

A J Matthews said...

A permanent table set-up! The wargamers' dream! I'm looking forward to reading the battle account.

Der Alte Fritz said...

A little bit of green felt is inexpensive and will cover that blinding white surface. I keep my tables draped all the time, even when I'm not gaming on them. The extra table would be nice too. You could always keep it folded up and stored away until you actually game. Then set up the extra table just for the game.

Oh, and you will probably discover that "stuff" has a way of finding its way to the tabletop. My table seems to have turned into a storage area lately.

Andy Mitchell said...

My brain keeps coming up with ideas - many of them silly - so excuse me if this seems too daft for words, but how about this for an inaugural battle?

Fight using Charge! elementary rules so we have non-simultaneous rules. Generals will be any volunteers from the OSW yahoo group (a squadron or company per player). Orders are given in the comments section of your blog, each side gets 24 hours to give their orders. Once all orders are in you fight that turn on the new table.

(You can reject this comment and keep the entire idea secret for the moment while you think about it).

Frankfurter said...

Another inexpensive option is outdoor upholstery fabric or very tiny turf outdoor carpet ....
Then again, I once had a huge roll of "grass" from a railroad hobby shop ...

how does Irwin-Amadaeus feel about seafood sausages?


Steve said...

...an excellent scenario - and one I've played myself a couple of times...


...a flavour of it is also on the Teasers page:


MurdocK said...


Time for table games!

Next you will be looking for an opponent (or two or three...)

tidders said...

Nice good sized table. I covered my gaming table by using a cut down large 'grass green' curtain.

Looking forward to seeing the battle pics.

-- Allan


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