Back in December 2011 before Sam Mustafa’s full version of ”Maurice” was released Cam and I had been play testing it. As I previously posted we had done a re-fight of Blenheim, but weren’t completely happy with how we modelled the terrain and the armies – so with suitable adjustments to both we had given it another bash. I never finished writing up the battle report but did take a reasonable selection of photos – this is a photo gallery of our Blenheim Re-fight, Take 2, using Maurice. As with the previous game we did not have the suitable 28mm figures, so we instead had our Lasalle Napoleonic Armies standing in for the War of the Spanish Succession period troops. The play test is now rather redundant, and Maurice has now been available for 9 months or so, but I thought a few gamers out there might enjoy seeing the photos and our ‘bathtubbed’ order of battle.
I recently caught up with my gaming buddy Kieran (6mm Wargaming), and he brought round his completed 1/72 scale Italeri European Building kitsets he has done for his 1944 Normandy terrain. Kieran’s been taking a break from Crossfire and playing a lot of Kampfgruppe Normandy and has been steadily working on his terrain and new 20mm (German & U.S.) armies for that theatre. The Italeri buildings are the Country House, House With Porch, and the Stone House; and Kieran has gone to reasonable efforts to detail them with window shutters, walls & gates (some scratch built, some commercial), and other features – I think you’ll agree they’ve come out looking very good! I’ll be looking to achieve similar with my kits when I get around to them, and may have to talk Kieran into doing them for me since he’s done such a good job of his own! Continue reading
Following on from our two previous outings with Maurice (see Maurice: First Game Impressions and Maurice: Second Game & More Thoughts), Cam and I decided to have a go at a historical refight – deciding on Blenheim, so last weekend we set to it It would be heavily “Bathtubbed” to fit it down to the size of a typical Maurice game, and we’d be playing with all the full rules (rather than just the free Maurice Lite version). This meant we’d have troop quality, enhanced morale, and other factors involved. We both calculated out separately what size we thought the armies would be in Maurice – I based mine on the battlefield size & frontage and came to about 32 units of Infantry & Cavalry for the French (the larger force), however this was clearly too big so halving that came to 16, about the right size, and co-incidentally the same amount Cam had calculated starting with the troop numbers and working from that direction.
So a week after our first game Cam and I set about a second – the plan this time to start to try and be a bit more savvy and also Cam decided on a gimmicky “All Infantry” army to see how it’d do! Note that as I did with the previous game I’ll generally talk in terms of Maurice Lite (as that is what is currently published) but we were using aspects of the full game as referenced throughout the Maurice Lite rules (and I’ll note in the narrative where they occur). The game commenced with us determining a battle in the Tropics (this is a full game feature that determines type of terrain and how much can be selected, what type of troops aid scouting to gain the initiative, etc), Cam won the scouting (with the help of a special ‘Notable’ espionage card) and chose to Defend (another full game feature). Normally the players would then now determine and place the terrain but I had pre-determined it’s type and location randomly to save time prior to Cam’s arrival – so instead Cam chose which side he wanted. As Invader I then deployed first…
A few weeks ago Sam Mustafa announced his latest rule set he would be publishing, “Maurice”, which would cover the rump of the 18th Century and include Campaign and Imagi-Nations aspects… This was especially interesting to me as I have really enjoyed Lasalle since its release (it’s the first time I’ve been totally excited and passionate about Napoleonics in 35 or so years of wargaming) and if Maurice was going to be anything along a similar vein I expected something worth getting excited about. Furthermore I’ve really wanted to get into 18th Century in some form, and the WSS (War of the Spanish Succession) has always interested me (because of my childhood memories of reading about John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, and Prince Eugène of Savoy, defeating the dastardly French at Blenheim & Ramillies, etc). What’s more for me the WSS has always held that ‘Old School’ feel about it that brings back memories of pouring over Charles Grant’s “The Wargame” as a teenager and dreaming of one day having those large 18th Century Armies like in the book…
Sam Mustafa has just announced today that Maurice Lite is available to download at his Honour Games Website. Maurice Lite is basically a stripped down version of Maurice, sans the advanced rules and the more detailed parts of the standard rules, and with a basic starter set of DIY cards to get you going. It will certainly be sufficient to get an initial feel of how the game works and for people to gauge the mechanics. I was lucky enough to have just had my first taste of Maurice too, and I liked several aspects of the rules – but it’s certainly a bit different to what many people may be used to. Incidentally Sam has also updated the status of the full version of Maurice in the last few days.
As mentioned previously the announcement of the release of Maurice by Sam Mustafa (due about March 2012) has got me inspired to finally get started on my WSS Armies, of which I have purchased several packs of Wargames Factory plastics (in fact I now have 15 Infantry & 7 Cavalry boxes, and am waiting for the hinted at Artillery box that is apparently being considered and will hopefully appear in 2012). Further inspiration is coming from several gamers blogs and such working on these same plastic figures, such as Platoon Fire, an Imagi-Nation WSS project. The photo above is from the Platoon Fire blog’s first Wargames Factory units, the author (Aidan) is constrained for space so is doing small 12 fig Infantry Battalions and 5 fig Cavalry Squadrons/Regiments. And there is more inspiration around too with a nice WF WSS Infantry Battalion at Castles of Tin.
Recently I finally got my Brunswick Corps close to completion (well barring the grass for the bases, and the 3 Brigade Commander figures) and Cam and I were overdue for another larger game akin to The Crossroads (that we had played several months ago) – so it seemed a good excuse to give them their baptism as an entire corps. This time we went a fraction smaller than that game, but a little larger than a standard Lasalle AB List Game, with the forces selected using an updated version of Cam’s Lasalle Points System originally posted on the AWC Website. The purpose was to try a game with about a reinforced Division (e.g. an Infantry Division with Cavalry Brigade in support) a side, test out the points amendments (especially regarding on-table cavalry), and play a scenario from Charles Stewart Grant’s Table Top Teasers or Scenario Books. This is what happened about three weeks ago…
Sam Mustafa has made an initial announcement of his much awaited new rules scheduled for release early in 2012. These are focussed on the linear warfare of the 18th Century (specifically 1690 to 1790) and named after the famous French Marshal Maurice de Saxe. The rules look to include some new innovative thoughts utilising action cards and feature a “Succession Wars” campaign. And they have been built with Imagi-Nations in mind as well, featuring flexibility of unit ratings and even troop scale! Finally a reason to dust off my boxes of Wargames Factory plastic figure boxes and get on with building my War of the Spanish Succession (WSS) armies – Marlborough here I come! You can download a copy of Sam’s flyer in PDF, about Maurice: War in the Age of Gentlemen and ‘Philosophes’ 1690-1790 here from Wargaming.info. Or you can read more from Sam at the Honour Games website and/or download the flyer from the Honour Games Download Page.
I’ve recently been talking to Tony Won (a wargamer & historian in Belgium) about various things Dutch-Belgian and Hundred Days related – Tony is a bit of a Hundred Days expert with 30 years effort on the subject, but is also a wargamer who obviously has some very nice models in his collection. Tony (with the help of a friend) has constructed a full 28mm model of Hougoumont and it’s surrounds (using the relatively newly released 3-4 years ago range of buildings from Hovels Ltd) and it can be seen in all its glory in a 27-image slide show at the Hovels’ website – it’s truly a magnificent sight and a must see if you haven’t seen it previously!
The Siborne “Small” Model shows the area around the Brussels-Wavre crossroads including the farm of La Haye Sainte where, during the second phase of the battle of Waterloo at 1.30pm to 2.30pm (Sunday 18 June 1815), Picton’s Division engaged the Divisions of Donzelot, Alix and Marcognet, while the farm itself was still held by the Kings German Legion. This is not to be confused with Siborne’s “Large” model which depicted the entire Waterloo battlefield. On his blog Michael Davis (Michael’s Cabinet) provides a brief summary of the model provided by the Royal Armoury Museum at Leeds in the UK, and a nice selection of photos. This model is interesting in that the figures are approximately 25mm scale (the “Large” model used 6mm scale figures I believe) – and there are over 6,500 figures (Infantry, Cavalry, and Guns & Carriages)! If you have not seen this make sure you check out the details on Michael’s Blog, and his gallery of photos.
While I was unable to attend NapCon several other New Zealand Lasalle players did – and one of them (Lintman) has provided some great photos of the event on his blog – Two large multi-player games were staged, Day 1 saw a loose recreation of Waterloo, and Day 2 a refight of Vitoria. Check out more great Lasalle stuff at Lintman’s Blog, especially his magnificent Calpe Miniatures Prussians…
I’ve been giving some thought to skirmish gaming over the last year or so – it started with Fantasy, as I was looking for something to do with my collection of classic D&D (Dungeon’s & Dragons) RPG figures that I’ve collected over the years (some dating from the early 1980′s, others being more recent 2000 acquisitions after the release of 3rd Edition D&D tempted a (very) brief revisit to the P&P (Pen & Paper) RPG world), however the idea rapidly spread to Napoleonics (to use my assorted surplus figures from my Lasalle/SHAKO armies) and then it’s spread to thoughts of doing the F&IW (French & Indian War); and with the new releases by Empress Miniatures this year, the 19th Century New Zealand Wars!
Stumbled across these excellent efforts by Alanus, Dux Homunculorum on his blog. Check out HMS Orion (74), HMS Phoebe (36), and the French vessels Scipion (74) & Hortense (40). Wonderful stuff and another gamer going through the Langton SCAFP or Too Fat Lardies KMH or similar “which rules play best” process, as mentioned in my earlier Trafalgar vs. Signal Close Action Fast Play post.
Check out this fantastic looking Pirate Convention Game Sixteen Miniatures on a Lead Man’s Chest… which features some lovely terrain, ships, and figures at Fist Full of Seamen. This game was run at the Recruits Convention in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, USA, the weekend of 9-11 September 2011 by Cody Dillon, Steve Hobbs, and C.S.Christian – See Sixteen Miniatures on a Lead Man’s Chest… for more details.