Sunday, April 19, 2009

Horse Musket and Gun - Game this Fall

It's been suggested that we try and run a larger game of Horse Musket and Gun this fall.

I believe a reality check is in order before getting too excited about the prospect.

1) Is there enough interest among potential players to cover the cost?
2) Do we have enough figures to provide a playable force to each player?

Right now I figure there are about a dozen players interested in game of 25mm Napoleonics at the scale we are playing. That would be about a three or four short of the number we would need. Could we get the additional players by this fall, probably, but I am not going to hold my breath. Twelve players would require a $17 fee per player, either in food and beverage or payment. Twenty players drops cost per player down to $10.

Assuming 15 players, that would be 15 divisions worth of troops needed.
Austrian Light Division – 2 Regiments of Grenzers, 2 Cavalry Regiments, 1 Battery
Austrian Division – 4 Regiments of Infantry, 1 Regiment of Landwehr, 2 Batteries
French – 12 Battalions of Legere/Ligne Infantry, 2 Batteries
French Cavalry Brigade – 3 Regiments of Light Cavalry
Prussian Brigade – 5 Regiments of Infantry of Some sort.
Russian Infantry – 6 Regiments of Infantry/Jagers

Austrian Light Division – 60 Foot Figures and 60 Cavalry Figures
Austrian Division – 325 Foot Figures
French Division – 180 Foot Figures
French Cavalry Brigade – 40 Mounted Figures
Prussian Brigade – 120 Foot and 12 Cavalry
Russian Infantry Division – 136 Foot Figures

So with those numbers in mind
6 French Infantry Divisions, 2 French Cavalry Brigades = 1080 foot figures and 80 mounted figures
2 Austrian Divisions and 1 Austrian Light Division = 710 foot figures and 60 mounted figures
2 Russian Divisions = 300 foot figures
2 Prussian Brigades = 240 foot and 24 mounted figures.

Between Jim and me we have the following figures:
French Foot = 500 foot + 176 Guard foot
Austrian Foot = 192 foot, 28 Grenzer + 28 Jagers, 192 Grenadiers + 72 Landwehr
Russian Foot = 96 Foot
Prussian = el zippo

At this time we just don’t have enough figures.

I’ll look though my pile of unpainted lead but most of that is not plain jane basic infantry, which is what we need at this time.

I realize the Joel Gregory has probably as many figures as I do, probably more but that still leaves us too many short for the big game and Hastings is probably outside of his range to drive to.. We would have to get the Tom Zwirn, Kevin MacDonald, and Jack Ladd Painting services very very busy for the next six months. I am afraid I just don’t see it happening right now.

However that won’t stop me from drawing up a potential order of battle :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Horse Musket and Gun - Game April 18th

Today I rolled out the latest version of the “Horse Musket and Gun” Rules for public trials to see how they played and how the game flowed beyond conceptional discussions and lots of dice rolling. I am again amazed at how well the game flows and how fast everyone seems to pick up the basic concepts.

Of course with all trials the one issue that I have been so concerned with reared its ugly head again.

For the 200th Anniversary of the Battles along the Danube during the Austrian invasion of Bavaria the game today featured what else, an Austrian and French battle.

The Austrian IV Armeekorps faced off against the French 2e Corps. This battle put several differeing twists into the game that the players needed to account for.
The 2e Corps was a newly reformed formation in the spring of 1809, every battalion was a 4th Battalion from either Ligne or Legere regiment, mostly filled with new recruits of the class of 1809. The French units were smaller than many players were expecting and rated as 2nd Rank Line.
The Austrian IV Armeekorps was a veteran formation in the spring 1809 and was probably as close to paper strength as you ever see Army going into the field. The large Infantry Units were supplemented with a number of Archduke Karl’s Legions and two light brigades.

Austrian IV Armeekorps – FML Rosenberg
Division Dedovich
Brigade Grill
IR Ludwig - 3 Battalions 24 Figures
IR Koburg – 3 Battalions 24 Figures
6Pdr Battery – 2 Stands Medium Artillery
Brigade Neustadter
IR Czartoryski – 3 Battalions 24 Figures
IR Ruess-Greitz – 3 Battalions 24 Figures
6Pdr Battery – 2 Stands Medium Artillery
6Pdr Battery – 2 Stands Medium Artillery
Division Bartenstein
Brigade Riese
Mittrowsky IR – 3 Battalions 24 Figures
Bellegarde IR – 3 Battalions 24 Figures
6Pdr Battery – 2 Stands Medium Artillery
Brigade Waldegg
Chasteler IR – 3 Battalions 24 Figures
Archduke Karl Legion – 2 Battalions 20 Figures
6Pdr Battery – 2 Stands Medium Artillery
Division Somariva
Brigade Stutterheim
Grenz Regiment 12 – 1 Battalion 24 Figures
Vincent Chevaulegers – 2 Divisions 12 Figures
3Pdr Grenz Battery – 2 Stands Light Artillery
Brigade Radivojevich
Grenz Regiment 13 – 1 Battalion 24 Figures
Stipsicz Hussars – 2 Divisions 12 Figures
6Pdr Cavalry Battery – 2 Stands Medium Artillery
IV Armeekorps Reserve Assets
12Pdr Battery – 2 Stands Heavy Artillery

French 2e Corps D’Armee – Oudinot
Division Seras
Brigade Conroux
6th Legere – 1 Battalion
24th Legere – 1 Battalion
25th Legere – 1 Battalion
9th Legere – 1 Battalion
16th Legere – 1 Battalion
27th Legere – 1 Battalion
Brigade Albert
18th Ligne – 1 Battalion
24th Ligne – 1 Battalion
45th Ligne – 1 Battalion
94th Ligne – 1 Battalion
95th Ligne – 1 Battalion
96th Ligne – 1 Battalion
Brigade Jarry
4th Ligne – 1 Battalion
18th Ligne – 1 Battalion
54th Ligne – 1 Battalion
63rd Ligne – 1 Battalion
Division Asset
6Pdr Battery – 2 Stands of Medium Artillery
Division Claparede
Brigade Coehorn
17th Legere – 1 Battalion
21st Legere – 1 Battalion
28th Legere – 1 Battalion
26th Legere – 1 Battalion
Tirailleurs du Po – 1 Battalion 32 Figures
Triailleurs corses – 1 Battalion 24 Figures
Brigade Lesuire
27th Ligne – 1 Battalion
39th Ligne – 1 Battalion
59th Ligne – 1 Battalion
69th Ligne – 1 Battalion
76th Ligne – 1 Battalion
Brigade Ficatier
40th Ligne – 1 Battalion
88th Ligne – 1 Battalion
64th Ligne – 1 Battalion
100th Ligne – 1 Battalion
103rd Ligne – 1 Battalion
Divisional Asset
6Pdr Artillery Battery – 2 stands Medium Artillery
Light Cavalry Brigade Colbert
9th Hussars - 12 Figures
7th Chasseurs a Chevel – 20 Figures
20th Chasseurs a Chevl – 12 Figures
Heavy Cavalry Division d’Espagne
Brigade Raynaud
4th Cuirassiers – 20 Figures
6th Cuirassiers – 16 Figures
Brigade Fouler
7th Cuirassier – 20 Figures
9th Cuirassier – 10 Figures
Corps Assets
12Pdr Positional Battery – 2 Stands Heavy Artillery
12Pdr Positional Battery – 2 Stands Heavy Artillery

I instructed or highly suggested that both sides take to the offense on turn one.

The battle didn’t take shape as I had intended, no plan ever survives first contact with the enemy or turn 1 of a wargame. In almost every other previous public games we have played the players have been ultra aggressive. The overall game was just a few too many figures for our table space, but I figured it was okay because both sides have lost brigades early on. In this game all but two players were content to site just out of long range and take pot-shots at one another. This is not something that the rules simulate very well as if no other actions occur it add a fatigue remove a fatigue. It would take several luck rolls to force things to break. The other extremely ultra conservative in-action was one of usual more aggressive players went total turtle defense on turn 1.

On the opposite end of the table top from the Turtle Defense jack Anderson went over the top with his assaults against the French positions. The problem from a game stand point was that he did it with the worst rated troops on the Tabletop, the Two Austrian Light Brigades.

It’s hard to sit back and discuss the flow of a game when such “unusual” anomalies of game play are occurring. However the players understood the system and for the most part the game went smoothly. There were a couple exceptions, twice the kibitzing on the table-end of the game away from me caused some slow-downs.

From a game play standpoint we still have an issue of interaction between cavalry and infantry during the close to combat. I tried again to make the rules as streamline as possible and less gamey, but we end up with too many dice rolls. I think I will reorganize the flow and ordering of the actions.

Another minor concern/problem is that Jim and I weren’t on the same page as were the all the rules were. I suppose we will have a sitdown before the next game so we are playing the same version.

The other noticible issue is terminology. I will have to “clean-up” some of the terminology so that it has less specific connotations in several cases. Light Fortifications will become “Light Cover” as an example.

I think the number of figures probably would be okay for 12" wide table but t 10" wide it is just a touch short in depth. I will have to adjust scenarions accordingly. We will have some more discussions on Frenc Divisional Assets.

I have a number of figures sitting on the painting table that just need basing and flock, that we could have used for this game. No excuse I was just lazy. Eight Austrian Guns, 1 Battalion if Hungarian Infantry, 20 some Austrian Commanders, and gosh knows what else. All needed. Time to get off my ass and finish them up.

In the end I have to thank the players, Fitz, Joel G., Joe K., Tom, Noel, Jim, and Elliot for putting up with my concepts and providing some feedback. While I know a couple players went what the hell did I just play, everyone else seemed excited byt the rules. All and all I have been asked to run another game and will do so, probably in May some time, maybe May 9th.