09 August 2008

A few questions, and a few answers. . .

A quiet stretch of the Greater Zwischen River, separating the Grand Duchy of Stollen on the left from the Electorate of Zichenau on the right. The town of Zollamtstadt, site of the December 1767 Zichenauer victory, is about one German mile away, just beyond the bend in the river.

Good afternoon gentlemen! There were a couple of questions posted in the comments here yesterday, which I thought I’d address in turn.

As far as roads go, Martin asked what I was going to do about modeling them. Well, get ready. I’m not having any. What? Shock! Horror! Gasp! Let me explain. I remember reading somewhere in one of my books on Napoleonic history that many of the so-called roads of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century Europe were really little more than dirt tracks. Unlike modern paved roads, these did not always provide terribly much advantage to the movement of troops, especially in wet weather or in the winter.

So, that was one argument against modeling roads on my table surface. I think Charles Grant makes this point in one of his books too. Neither his table, nor that of Brigadier Young seemed to feature roads either. And since the Grand Duchy of Stollen is an old school project, that seemed good enough for me.

Jeff suggested that I should paint a 90 degree river turn section. Yep, one is coming. I just haven’t gotten to it yet. Hopefully, I’ll get to it in the next few days. There are so many neat river crossing and bridge scenarios in the various C.S. Grant books, which I hope to try, that it seemed a shame to ignore rivers in my setup, hence the attention to the matter.

Last, Adolfo asked how many two foot squares will make up my table. Well, I have 16 squares altogether. 12 of these will provide a 6’x8’ playing surface, suitable for most games. The extra four squares, featured yesterday, are the river sections.

Now, keep in mind that I’ve painted both sides of these 16 squares green, which opens up all kinds of additional possibilities. On the bottom side of one square, I’ll paint the 90 degree river piece. And on another a stylized swamp/marsh for use in some games, i.e. Sittangbad. If anything else occurs to me, well, there’s plenty of room. For hills, I plan to use some of the considerable amount of one and two inch thick Styrofoam sheeting that several new bookshelves we purchased in May came packaged in. You wouldn’t believe how much of the stuff I saved.

Needless to say, the Grand Duchess appreciated the recent article in Battlegames, written by a “wargame widow” no less, on all of the stuff WE tend to packrat away. ;-) Anyway, I’ll paint my hill sections in the same green as the table surface. So, that’s the plan. Ok, I’ve gotta run. Sonja is actually suggesting we go to a used bookstore in town, and I can’t pass up that!


Martin said...

Hey Stokes,

All that great wargaming stuff AND an officially spouse approved bookstore trip?! I am now officially jealous!

Yeah I remember reading about how the roads were an "ill-defined area" that the armies would overflow as they marched to and fro. I would imagine that the passage of even a small number of troops would cut up the surface pretty bad.

The gaming table looks awesome, and I'm looking forward to seeing some troops put through their paces on the Field of Mars.



Bluebear Jeff said...

I suspect that in many cases a road was more of a directional guide than a passageway.

They look good, Stokes.

-- Jeff

Snickering Corpses said...

That was an excellent article indeed in Battlegames. I passed it on to my mom, who's suffered through me packrating odd objects from childhood.

Fitz-Badger said...

Yeah, a book called The Pursuit of Glory, by Tim Blanning talks about porr travel over roads (and variations in different parts of Europe, as well as improvements over time during the course of the 18th century).
Any good buys at the used bookstore?


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