Thursday, August 28, 2008

"Drums of War on the Mohawk" and "Batailles de l'Ancien Régime"

In an effort to keep the subject line and the subject the same…..

There are about two or three local players who are very interested in both "Drums of war on the Mohawk" and "Batailles de l'Ancien Régime" rules. "Drums on the Mohawk" is the French and Indian War rule set while the "Batailles de l'Ancien Régime" [aka BAR] are the Seven Years War variant of the “Drums”..

Those players locally interested in the rules (including Brent Olson who is currently the primary catalyst) are interested in playing the game at 1:10 figure scale using 25mm figures. Brent has picked up several battalions for both sides (of both wars) and is looking for more players and of course people interested in painting more figures. Personally I am slowly working on a Prussian Brigade for BAR, emphasis on the word slowly since it is not really one of my top ten periods.

With the scale of the figures and figure the big issue of playing either Drums and BAR will be the space requirements of the gaming surface, it is going to need a BIG table, roughly five to six feet per player a side plus a few feet on the side to allow wiggle and maneuver room. Thus a six player game (three per side) would require a table between 15 and 20 feet long. This space requirement limits the game (at those scales) to conventions or other larger gathers. Brent Olson is totally cool with that.

Bill Protz, the rules author, has an idea for his version of gaming utopia, when he wrote the rules he envisioned that players would paint up a brigade (or two) of their favorite nationality and when he showed up at a convention to run a game players would bring their own figures along and push them. I think Brent is hoping the same is true for players in the locally. I unfortunately gave this a try several years ago and was grandly chastised for such a proposal so I am my usual cynical self now that Brent is pushing the idea. Brent however has attracted some interest both locally and in the Greater Minnesota region, including the Fargo and the Red River Area Wargamers group.

Being that several SPI members have French and Indian War figures painted up and already singly mounted it would not be that much more effort to fill out a few units and give the game a decent three tries. It would be a totally different feel than the Brother Against Brother games you have played.

As for moving “Drums on the Mohawk” to the Napoleonic period, I think the game loses some appeal when you start decreasing the number of figures in a unit which is “semi” required as the number of units involved in the battles begin increasing. IE I can’t convince myself that painting for 1:20 isn’t a bad thing how am I going to move down to 1:10, tripling the number of figures need? Honestly I thought about it this morning but I can’t think of another Napoleonic Game that plays at 1:10.
Once you drop figure scale down from 1:10 to 1:20 there are already a number of interesting games at that level, In the Grand Manner and General de’Brigade come to mind, so I would wonder why recreate the wheel. Now as an aside I know of several reasons some people might, but that is another discussion all together.

For the Napoleonic period I personally am interested in gaming at roughly 1:30 figure to men ratio. There are several sets of rules at 1:20 and a couple at 1:40, as well as many more at 1:50 and 1:60, I could never understand why there were so few rules available at what to me appears to be a nice ratio, as such I spent a lot of time writing a set and writing a variant for another.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New Old Glory Miniatures - Letter to CS

Here is the letter I Sent to Old Glory Customer Service.

Now that Joel Gregory has shown me the new (redone) 25mm Figures I have a simple question:

As I own at least 3000 figures in the AWI line and 3000 figures in the ACW line and several hundred in the French and Indian war Line how long will I be able to buy figures from those lines. The new figures don’t mix and I am not interested in mix and matching figures so I guess I’ll need to get off horse and buy the last figures I need in those lines. But as I already blew my gaming wad on other figures this could get tricky…

Jeff Johnson

I'm I being Useful

A little back ground first: For 10 years I have been quietly working away at a 25mm Napoleonic Project in 25mm. Over the years I have gotten only about 750 figures a side painted the issue of course is rules. While the 25mm Figures are beautiful, most games in 25mm takes way too much space. Well we tried a variant of “Wilderness Wars” a year back and there was enough interest to try again. Slowly over the past year we have gotten enough traction to get other people interested in painting figures. So below is series of emails I exchanged with a player over the weekend, only the name of the guilty has been changed as well his final choice, because I’m not sure if they were serious or not:

Joe Blow: “I am really interested in painting some figures up for the Napoleonic [period you guys are working on] but I want to make sure what I paint up is useful. What do you suggest?”
Me: “The most useful units to paint up are French Infantry Battalions. You are almost always assured to be able to push your figures that way.”
Joe Blow: “So the French are the most useful. But I thought you guys had enough French Painted.”
Me: “While I have Six Battalions of French Line and half-a-dozen battalions of French Allied, Jim has six battalions and then Tom and Joel have a larger number.”
Joe Blow: “ Well isn’t that enough?”
Me: “French are the one group of figures that are almost always useful. It is hard to have too many.”
Joe Blow: “I am not sure I really want to paint French.”
Me: “Than paint what you want to push. Not a big deal.”
Joe Blow: “So I can paint anything?”
Me: “Within reason you can paint anything you want.”
Joe Blow: “Cool I have always wanted to paint Bolivians. Now my only question will it be useful?”

While I could almost make a Bolivian Army useful or atleast interesting in the period (Wars of Independence in Latin America) their choice was far less useful..

Will it be useful? Some how this will become my gaming mantra, heck it is almost a stand up comedy routine already. But I am left wondering if they are being serious or as my friend Jim says "setting themselves up to fail from the get go." or what?

A History of Napoleonic Commander

Years ago, after determining there were no published rules accomplishing what we were looking for in a Napoleonics game while sitting in the Ciatti's bar area Jim Fitzgerald, Bart Kersteter, and myself hashed out the basics to what were between six and ten rules sets. These weren’t the final details or final forms or the finite details but the “this is how one possible rule set would look from 30,000 feet” and this is another.

The rules all were, what I would call, very different from one another, but they all had the look. Over the course of discussion we in a silly attempt to keep the ideas straight gave names to each of the rule sets. “1792”, “Napoleonic Commander”, “Horse Musket and Gun”, “The Battles of Napoleon”, “Warfare in the Age of Napoleon”, and several others I can’t remember.

When we tried out the rules most barely lasted a turn, but two ideas were worth pursuing, “Napoleonic Commander” and “Horse Musket and Gun”. I personally wasn’t a big fan of “Napoleonic Commander” it was too beer and pretzel like for my tastes at the time and too often we were reaching for large hand full’s of dice. Little did I know than what I know know.

“Napoleonic Commander” languished for years, we did create a web-page and stick up the rules, but I focused on “Horse Musket and Gun” and worked to make that game more interesting.

About a year ago we were looking for a game that was more user friendly when in discussions with Kelly he brought up the system we talked about in 2000. “Have you done anymore with that game”?

The game shared many similarities to a game that gained favor around here for the French and Indian War as well as the American War of Independence call “Wilderness Wars”. So after some looking and a couple of quick tweeks the game has a new combat system and off we were to try it out.
Surprizingly the game was well received, just needs some work.

Jim (because I am forcing him by the way) and I are now working on completing the rules and getting them into a much more organized format.

More to come on this project.

November 22

Without MGCON to keep me busy on November 22nd, I have rented space at my brother's restaurant, The Levee Café, in Hastings MN to run a larger game. Actually I rented it for Friday night and all Day Saturday.

The plan is to set up the game Friday night and run a largish game all day Saturday.

We haven’t decided exactly what game to play, the leading contenders are 25mm Napoleonics (using our Wilderness Wars Variant) , 15mm Napoleonics (Napoleon’s Battles III or Horse Musket and Gun), and 25mm American War of Independence (Wilderness Wars). As we get closer I suppose a decision will be easier to make.

I would like to do more 25mm Napoleonics, but Joel Gregory will be unable to attend (Hastings is just too far for him to travel) and Tom Zwirn is well Tom Zwirn and mostly AFK these days. That leaves us with Jim Fitzgerald’s and my 25mm Napoleonic figures, roughly 20 Battalions of French, 4 Battalions of French Allied which isn’t enough to run a big game.

As a default game we have 15mm Napoleonics in the background, I am pretty sure that we could make a pretty good size game in that, considering how many figures we have for that period. But it isn’t 25mm.

The other game we talked about is a 25mm AWI game, here I got a few figures for the period (about 1700 painted figures) but in this case it is not the in-period for our groups currently.
So with all that Jim and I will figure something out.

Lippe Battalion

A new addition to my Confederation of the Rhine "Army" the Lippe battalion.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Next ReCon

George Hord put out the following note on the Minnesota Miniature Gamers list:

Don't dispair about missing MGCON we will have a ReCon in November instead!!!
The last recon of the year will be 11/15/08. let me know very soon if you want to ref a game I plan on getting the newsletter out around 9/15/08

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Napoleonic Figure Order - Foundry

I have ordered a few Napoleonic figures from foundry over the weekend.

1 Pack French Young Guard Command Pack
3 Prussian 12lbs Artillery Guns (to be used as Austrian Guns)
4 Packs (12 Figures) French Hussars Center Company.
2 French 8lbs Artillery Guns
1 Pack Line Artillery in Campaign Dress
2 Packs Line Fusilers in Campaign Dress
2 Packs Line Grenadiers or Fusilers in Campaign Dress

These additional figures will provide:
2 French Line Battalions in Campaign Dress (Already own Command and one pack Fusilers)
2 French Artillery Stands
1/2 Regiment of French Hussars
and complete 3 Austrian Heavy Artillery Stands.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

25mm ACW Basing

Several of us discussed basing for 25mm American Civil War figures on
Saturday. After discussion on Saturday I will be mounting 25mm ACW
figures using what has become the de facto standard for the
Centurions. While not a primary project for me, I do seem to have a
few figures painted up for the period.

Infantry - mounted 2 x 2 on a 40mm wide by 40mm deep base. I would
like to add that if needed to you can use a 50mm deep base as well.

Cavalry - mounted 2 wide on a 40mm wide by 50 mm deep base.

Artillery - Singly mounted Artillerist (25mm square) with guns,
caissons, limbers mounted separately.

This basing, I think, will allow the figures to be used with most
rules for the period, inculding Fire and Fury, Guns at Gettysburg,
Fields of Honor and others. It goes without saying of course that
basing cannot be used with the Skirmish or pseudo Skirmish rules ;)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Great Time was had by All

I would like to thank everyone who showed up for today’s game, a great time was had by all. Look for the pictures posted to the Yahoo Group by Jeff Knudson in the near future.

As you all know these rules are a work in progress and Jim and I will be working on some modifications/streamlining so if you have any suggestions please let us know.
· Interaction of Cavalry vs. Infantry in Combat
· Square Modifiers
· Discussion on effectiveness of Artillery
· A couple of missing modifiers
Anything else?

We are already planning our next game, does September 20th work for everyone?

I have been asked what would be good to paint for the period, that answer is pretty simple. Paint what you want to play.

Additionally on Saturday November 22 I have rented some space in Hastings, at the Levee Café, and will be running a game, we are not exactly sure what game yet, either 25mm AWI, 25mm Napoleonics, or 15mm Napoleonics. If you are interested in attending let me know, there will be no cost to attend.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

MGCON - Hiatus

For reasons I can only speculate at Minnesota Gamers' has been unable
to sign a contract with the Holiday Inn – St. Paul East for space for
this year's MGCON. Discussions with the Holiday Inn have been
ongoing since last fall and from my point of view been extremely
frustrating and to be quite frank bizarre to say the least.

Without a signed contract or agreement in place we have looked for
other locations in and around the Twin Cities, including discussions
with organizations in Rochester and St. Cloud but we haven't been
able to find other locations that are large enough, in close
proximity to hotel, and provide enough parking at a price we could

Internally we discussed the possibility of moving to a much smaller
venue (with or without hotel space) but it due to time constraints
and location requirements we determined that it is too much effort
and cost for very little gain.

Around "Con of the North" the Minnesota Gamers' leadership will meet
to discuss the possibilities for next year and to determine if this
hiatus is a permanent vacation for MGCON.

We look forward to talking with everyone at other gaming events
around the area in the next few months in hopes of determining our
future plans.

Jeff Johnson
Minnesota Gamers'

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Package sent to Fernando

I have sent another package to Fernando Enterprises for painting. Included in the package were the following figures:

Napoleonic Austrian Grenadiers – Grass Green Facings - 8 Figures
Napoleonic Austrian Grenadiers – Apple Green Facings - 8 Figures
Napoleonic Austrian Grenadiers – Parrot Green Facings - 8 Figures
Napoleonic Austrian Grenadiers – Dark Brown Facings - 8 Figures
Napoleonic Austrian Grenadiers – Light Blue Facings - 16 Figures
Napoleonic Austrian Grenadiers – Poppy Red Facings - 8 Figures
Napoleonic Austrian Grenadiers – Pink Facings - 8 Figures
Napoleonic Austrian Hungarian Grenadiers – Light Blue Facings - 12 Figures
Napoleonic Austrian Hungarian Grenadiers – Emperor Yellow Facings - 8 Figures
Napoleonic Austrian Mounted Generals – Arch Duke Charles and staff - 4 Figures
Napoleonic Austrian Mounted Generals – Bellegarde and Staff - 3 Figures
Napoleonic Austrian Mounted Generals – Liechtenstein and Staff - 3 Figures
Napoleonic Austrian Mounted Generals – Hiller and Staff - 3 Figures
Napoleonic Austrian Mounted Generals - 4 Figures
Napoleonic Austrian Mounted Infantry Officers - 3 Figures
Napoleonic French Mounted Infantry Officeres - 5 Figures

Saturday, August 2, 2008

August 16th

For Jim's (AKA Fitz) birthday he wants to do a 25mm Napoleonic game. As we haven't really chosen a set of rules for the period we are using a "Wilderness Wars" variant for the game.

I think this will be by default the selected set of rules for the period.

No Posts Lately

Sorry I haven't posted much lately. With work, family commitments (and the need to commit some members of my family), boating, and other activites I haven't done much with my figures.

In the next two weeks I will be preparing for Fitz's Birthday Game on August 16th so hopefully I will post some more information.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Fitz's Reminder for August 3rd.

Hey guys,

Sorry about the late reminder, but due to a special Source event we will not be meeting tomorrow, August 2nd. Instead, we will be meeting at the Source on Sunday, Aug. 3rd, at noon for a 15mm Koenig Krieg game. This game is for all levels of players and figures will be provided. Hope to see you there.

James Fitzgerald