20 July 2016

The Armies of Stollen and Zichenau Are Once Again on the March!

Look closely, and you'll find that these are not Prussian soldiers on the march but rather Stollenian.  The drums of war are beating here in Zum Stollenkeller Mk II!

Still plugging away with my six Austrian limbers and teams during the evenings although I took a night off last night and watched a couple of episodes of George Gently via Netflix with the Grand Duchess.  Not quite in the same league as Midsomer Murders, Inspector Morse, Lewis, or Endeavor, but good entertainment just the same.  The Durham accents are fun to hear and, in a few instances, a challenge to decipher especially for the Grand Duchess, who often will pause the program to ask me what was just said.  Apparently, I am 'Enry 'Iggins.

In other news, the three 50" x 100" Woodland Scenics Ready Grass Mats have arrived and should do well for the time being.  These will be placed over books, er, um. . .  terrain contours, to provide a more realistic scene with trees, buildings, and eventual water features placed on top.  I wish the vinyl backed mats were a tiny bit more pliable, but I had trouble finding others of a similar size, not wishing to fool around with half a dozen smaller mats to cover my 6' x 10' playing surface.  However, the mats do not shed (as advertised), will coordinate well with other Woodland Scenics items placed on them, will look more realistic than my bright green table surface, and I managed to find them for somewhat less than the full retail price by digging around online.  You can't argue with that last point.  I am eager to see how everything looks once the first game is laid out.  

By the way, the Young Master, bless him, asked last week when we set up his castle and knights if and when we could make the table even bigger.  Glad to see his heart and head are in the right place.  6' x 12' or even 6' x 14' is tempting, but probably not really necessary until my forces have increased by several units each.  Maybe in a few years?

And speaking of the table. . .  I spent part of yesterday evening, before the Grand Duchess arrived and we began watching TV, perusing C.S. Grants Scenarios or Wargamers.  I have picked out a dozen scenarios plus one for a protracted campaign between The Grand Duchy of Stollen and The Electorate of Zichenau, which should take at least the next year if I manage one game a month.  These range from raids and skirmishes, to full set-piece affairs, rearguard actions, and river crossings along with a few surprises.  I'll employ a D12 to introduce a bit of randomness into everything along with a few Donald Featherstone-inspired chance cards to keep things interesting.

The forces suggested for each scenario in Scenarios or Wargamers will be divided in half, so I can use the painted figures currently at my disposal.  Infantry units will be battalions or half-battalions, the cavalry units squadrons (fittingly for the mid-18th century), and the suggested number of guns halved.  It should all work fairly well, and yield more manageable games that can be fought to a conclusion in a reasonable amount of time.  Something there never seems to be enough of these days.  Time that is.

With any luck at all, the first shots of a solo battle should be fired by month's end.  I am excited since I have not played a game with my own figures -- though there were a few e-mail games in December and January, kindly hosted by like-minded wargaming friends in Australia and Canada -- in two, or perhaps even three years!  High time to do something about that then.

-- Stokes

Later. . . 

It occurs to me that some of you might like to preview the various scenarios I have selected from Scenarios for Wargamers by C.S. Grant for my upcoming campaign.  I picked the following because they looked interesing and also seem possible in terms of terrain features and available figures:

1) Positional Defence #2 (p. 12)

2) Swampland Action (p. 85) -- A good scenario for jaegers, grenzers, and croats.  Plus a nice reason to create some marsh areas, streams, and small lakes or ponds using some of those terrific Litko terrain bases.

3) Holding Action #1 (p. 14)

4) Convoy #1 (p. 80) -- A nice excuse to drag out half a dozen wagons and carts from the transport train I painted up during 2014.

5) Defile (p. 91)

6) River Crossing (p. 46)

7) Rearguard #1 (p. 18)

8) Horse and Foot (p. 120)

9) Flank Attack (p. 34)

10) Attack on a Camp (p. 27) -- I'll use my wagon train to make a wagon lager, but if there is time, I might also try to whip up six to eight small tents with a larger one or two for officers to represent the actual camp.  My various camp follower vignettes will, naturally, fit nicely into this particular scenario as atmospheric window dressing.

11) Pontoon (p. 55) -- More complex, so this particular scenario will come later in the campaign since I need to think about creating suitable wide river sections, but it is the perfect excuse to trot out the pontoon train I assembled and painted in 2014. 

12) Skirmish -- Based on Charles Grant Sr.'s Battle of Langensalza, featured in Wargame Tactics 1979, specifically the wooded eastern end of his tabletop battlefield.

13) Raid -- Based on Steve Hezzlewood's The Bouchard Raid scenario from the 1983 Wargames Manual.  I've meant to have a crack at this small action for over 30 years!


A.W. KITCHEN said...

Looking forward to the conflict , Tony

Peter Douglas said...

Looks like a great plan Stokes. Looking forward to the game AARs.

Stryker said...

I'm looking forward to seeing another of your spectacular games!

Ross Mac rmacfa@gmail.com said...

Huzzah! Cry havoc! etc. Scenaio 1 or not quite Fontenoy has never failed me yet nor the wagon train.

Conrad Kinch said...

Now Stokes - there is an ambitious programme. I'm looking forward to this.

I hope the reports will be illustrated with all the excellent vignettes you've been putting together these last few years.

Wellington Man said...

What they said, but with added emphasis!!!!

joppy said...

Looking forward to reading it. Always a delight.


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