Having decided that it was time for a larger game I turned to an old favourite that I have not played in several years: Bridgehead Breakout, Scenario 21 from CS Grant's Scenarios for Wargamers.
Rivers and roads have again been added by applying painter's masking tape and then painting it with cheap craft paints. The hills are left over bits of pine shelving (my previous room had nearly 3 times the length of shelves, mostly full of 54mm soldiers). At this point I am 90% conviced that the 6" squares are the right choice so if the snow ever melts and I can get my workshop together I will be trimming the random bits to multiples of 6" with straight edges as much as possible to aid stacking and building complex hill shapes. The off cuts and odd bits will be used to make more inside corner bits to round out the shapes and rounded one piece top contours. Been wanting to do this for a couple of years now but had to decide on the grid size first. Takes a while to be sure.
Red army (Faraway and Hougal Rebel Alliance) with a General, 3 subordinates, 2 artillery units, 3 cavalry units and 7 infantry units is tasking with eliminating the Blue bridgehead. Blue (Oberhilse) with a General, 3 subordinate commanders, 2 artillery, 3 cavalry and 8 infantry is tasked with breaking out of the bridgehead. One of the artillery units and an infantry unit have been broken up trading a gatling and 2 crew for 2 infantry supports.
The previous artillery units with 1 gun and 4 crew looked rather lost on the 6" squares, something that would have been ok with 2 units per area but that caused so many rules complications that I decided it wasn't worth it. Doubling the scenario units was still an option but a little calculation showed that it would leave no room for maneuver. Finally it occurred to me that now that I have a source of affordable guns, I could just add 2 guns per battery as called for in the scenarios and allow them to be split when needed, a common practice in Colonial warfare anyway.
Two gunners per gun just didn't satisfy visually though which set me back for a bit since I had based my unit structure on Morschauser's 4 infantry or 2 cavalry or gunners per "company" (base). These were doubled now to 8 and 4 but the principle remained as it had since 2003 when I did the first draft of Morschauser Meets MacDuff (later Hearts of Tin). Doubling everything again was just too crowded for the infantry. A 1:5 modifier showed promise but the infantry were still a bit crowded. Eventually I remembered that at one point I had been experimenting with Battlecry and using 4 infantry and 3 cavalry or gunners to a unit. Doubling that fit the grid and looks ok so that's what I'm trying here, 8 infantry, 6 cavalry, 2 field or 1 heavy gun with 6 crew. The 4 figure cavalry had been a bit weak anyway.
Not sure when I'll actually play the game, possible tomorrow although an assault on a fortified ridgeline would be more appropriate for an Easter Monday game (Vimy?) or more likely the day after to give me time to paint a few more figures and just look at the table. In any case I anticipate needing 2-3 hours to myself to play to a conclusion.
EXERT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)
"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."
-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013
Sunday, April 5, 2015
Labels: square brigadier
Born and raised in the suburbs of Montreal, 5 years in the Black Watch of Canada Cadets, 5 years at the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean followed by 4 in the navy. 25 years with CPC in IT simultaneous with 23 years running a boarding kennel. Inherited my love of toy soldiers from my mother's father. Married with a Whippet, 10 Italian Greyhounds and 3 cats. Prematurely retired and enjoying leisure to game, maintaining our 160 yr old farmhouse and just living.