28 September 2008

Not quite a classic kriegspiel. . .

My wargaming buddy in North Carolina, Jonathan Broadus, and I are beginning to plan our play-by-e-mail table top encounter. The battle will be based on the Table Top Teaser presented by Charles Grant in Battlegames #14. Now, I haven't yet heard back from Jonathan about his ideas, but my early thoughts run something like this.

We'll be using my figures and set-up here in Zum Stollenkeller. Since the Stollenian- Zichenauer collection is still fairly small, I've suggested to Jonathan that we use infantry companies and cavalry squadrons as the basic units instead of Charles Grant's battalions and regiments That way, we can actually manage the game with what I have available right now. I think this will enable us to pick and choose the precise make-up of our forces along the same lines as the teaser article.

Obviously, we'll use the dragoons and horse grenadiers in place of Charles' light cavalry, though there is a slight outside chance that I might have two squadrons of the 11th (Prinz Albrecht Hussars) finished if we delay starting the game until November. We'll have to see given how much real life (re: translating and teaching) has interfered with painting in recent weeks.

Terrain and table here are no problem. I have more than enough buildings and trees, though I'll need to create and paint a few more hills, which shouldn't be hard to do in an afternoon. I have a veritable mountain of 1" styrofoam sheets carefully horded for just this purpose, much to the chagrin of the lovely and patient Grand Duchess!

I'd like to place Charles' teaser scenario into the larger the Grand Duchy of Stollen campaign. With that in mind, Jonathan and I will play the parts of lesser officers who have been sent on ahead of the main Stollenian and Zichenauer armies with scratch forces to secure the village of "Pickelhauben", located somewhere along the postal highway between Pelznikkel (scene of the Zichenauer victory in August) and the Stollenian capital of Krankenstadt.

I've also suggested the basic rules as outlined in Charge!. Since we are doing all of this via e-mail (text and photo updates) I'm not quite sure how our game turns will proceed exactly . But I've suggested to Jonathan that we might try something like this: 1) We each write our orders once per turn; 2) Exchange them via e-mail; 3) I move our respective troops accordingly; 4) We resolve any combats; 5) I forward the results back to Jonathan in text and photos via e-mail. These will also be added to the Grand Duchy of Stollen blog and, perhaps, the Emperor vs. Elector blog too.

I've proposed to Jonathan that we try one turn per day with two or perhaps more on the weekend(s), but we'll have to see how this works out. I figure we can try to complete the game in about a week or so. Again, we'll see how this works in practice.

So, not exactly a classic kriegspiel, a face-to-face encounter, or a play-by-mail game, but an interesting hybrid of the three. The next thing to do is wait until I hear from Jonathan, and then we can begin nailing down precisely what we want do and how we'll do it. I think this will be a great deal of fun once we have the logistics of everything decided. Stay tuned right here for further developments!


Bluebear Jeff said...


This sounds like fun. I'm looking forward not only to the battle, but perhaps even more to the comments that you and Jonathan have regarding the format of this engagement.

-- Jeff

A J Matthews said...

A modern take on the old PBM games? It sounds like an interesting and fun exercise. I'm looking forward to your reports on it.

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Certainly sounds good! Have you considered using Berthier to manage the table top moves... it's a campaign assistant, but you could adjust the scale to match the table top, and that would address any discussion about where units are?? The battle would still be fought on the table top, you can then update units in Berthier to reflect the outcome of any engagements.... just a thought... :o))


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