Wednesday, February 27, 2008


There was a field of 8 entries in three categories for the painting contest.

My entry of Napoleon and escourt at Eylau, in the vehicle, construct, or unit up to 8" in size was the winner in that category, though I was not the overall painting contest winner.

JEFF (of Bluebear Jeff and Stagonian Jeff fame) was the Best Overall Player winner!
Once again 3 Arcadians won in the 4 categories at the event, I am very proud to be part of the group that has connection to so many good game players and game masters.

This will be an early return only as I have more notes to pour over from the tabletop teaser and some thoughts to add to that game.

The event was, quiet, to use a simple word.

With only about 25 or so gamers through most of the day and the vast majority interested in RPG's I was happy to have one active player for one of the time sessions for my SHAKO game.

There were three other major games, all role-playing focussed at the same time, one other tabletop game ... Zombies! That game was actually won by my eldest son, whom later came to 'help out' dad by taking active command of the French to finish the Shako game.

I finished up the Saturday with a fun game of Bamboo Dragon, aka "Tall" from the 'Firefly' TV series.

Then watched a Railroad Tycoon game get started, including my own little 'prize' to sweeten the pot for their game. I had managed to get a small .1 karat, cut and polished piece of Andalusite. It was for presentation to the winner of the Shako game, but my player had to go to take care of work and none others came in until my son filled in the last 'charge'. Leaving me with the prize I chose to extend it out to a newer game group in the Comox Valley and I hope that they can connect with us all more.

I ended the night with a game of Eagles, with an avid card player and someone whom found the whole game very enjoyable...we did Lingy and while I won it was not without great losses.

Sunday saw a game of A&A Europe, I was happy that my son came out again. The day was really for him as he had loads of fun in the afternoon once the Magic players started to get bored.

The entire event had a "first con" feeling to it, with a lot of familiar faces having a chance to just chat. My son got to win a game and then spent plenty of time simply looking about and asking loads of questions about the games in progress around him.

On the grand scale of conventions this one rates a 2 out of 10 for me, for game only events it rates a 5 out of 10.

I still miss Kelly.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Missing information.

I was going to respond to the gent that commented about some 'shows' or 'conventions' that I might attend.

Sadly the comment was lost in the shuffle recently.

I do regularly attend the Dak-Kon gaming event in Courtenay, BC (there will be many pics from this coming here soon). Sometimes I manage to get away to Burnaby (near Vancouver) for the Salute event of Trumpeters. I have also attended many gaming, sci-fi fantasy and multi-media conventions from Halifax to Victoria in Canada and from New York to Seattle in the US.

So far my time and $$ budget has not allowed me to include much from other places.
Thank you.

Thank you to the gents whom commented about the 'phishy' FOX.

Comments moderation is now active and I will be 'publishing' all relevant comments from now on.

I had no way to fix the older problem so rather than leave the dangerous links sitting here at MurdocK's MarauderS, I chose to delete the whole postings.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Battle of Unter-Schweingau = Perspective of GeneralMajor Wlodzimierz Borowczyk

A proxy battle from the Emperor vs. Elector blog for the Landgraviate of Ober-Schweinsberg .

The map looked like this setup on the table:

There was a 'neutral' witness to all the goings-on, one Princess.

The Orbats can be found at Landgraviate of Ober-Schweinsberg .

GeneralMajor Wlodzimierz Borowczyk ended up being my command and I chose to take the most 'open' section of ground to attack from and set up my column as: Infantry Brigade under Fabarbock, Command following with medium battery (12-pounder gun = it could be rated either way but we chose to make it medium rather than heavy). Next was the light cavalry under Andress, then Kinski's Infantry brigade and finally the Horse. A 'flank force' of the "French Brigade" was sent with a light gun to secure the western mountain pass and then press-on advancing towards the town.

Then Borowczyk got his 'final orders' :
Secure the mountain pass (west side of map) and envelop town, allow none to escape, secure town until sunset (game end?).

Meanwhile the defenders had deployed, mostly facing west (as expected) with a curious cavalry deployment to the north.

(we later learned that the 'secret orders' for the defenders were:
Secure the river crossing (east side of map) and escape any units possible to the west beyond the mountain pass before sunset (game end?).
This is mentioned so that the reader can better understand (?) the decisions of Peter my erstwhile opponent.)

My columns began to arrive, no cause for alarm on the part of Faberbock, for he quickly determined that "LO it was the 3rd Infantry Brigade!" the one that his Black Brigade had defeated once before.
As an added bonus they were facing the wrong way!

The first to face testing from the black flagged Schwarze Eber Fusiliers were the militia brigade. Poor old Storch! He 'misinterpreted' his hold orders as 'delay'...the day was going from bad to worse as the militia were going to face the main attack first and they were not told this!

Borowczyk, the skirmishers and guns arrive. Skirmish forces sent off to the west to 'screen' the arriving other infantry brigades, the guns being sent to the east to 'have-at' any fleeing troops. Then came the light cavalry, forced to ride wide around the guns.

Meanwhile the defenders had been busy sending off a single messenger to the bridge crossing to call forwards the foraging infantry and re-deploying their "Horse" so as to cover the south side of the road.

At the point of firing, the black brigade was called to hold fire and resume a slow advance towards the town. The defenders had taken a single volley at them (and missed!) then came the incredible order to withdraw into the town! The Irish Guard could be heard cursing loudly even from the distance of Borowczyk's lines! Again poor old Storch could not understand the withdraw orders - especially in light of the close presence of large numbers of enemy musket companies! Moments later another messenger came from Peter...this time Storch was to advance towards that formation of musketeers. At least this made some sense, even poor old Storch managed to 'get it'!

Now Schwarze Eber Fusiliers came into musket range of the militia, now they started to take casualties. While rallying they noticed that ALL of Asgar's council was fleeing the town, with some dozen of them bailing out of windows and side doors of a block of of them not fully dressed with his shirt tails hanging out and suspenders flying free as he jumped over a fence and landed in a muddy field. (seen in the above image with the "yellow" backs on their stands)

The rest of the black brigade now began to fire at the retreating 3rd Brigade [they had gone into the homes in the town - buildings were removed as each was determined to be able to 'hold' three companies each]. While the casualties were not high they did continue to discomfit the troops separated from their officers. The whole time they withdrew and even into the buildings the Irish curses contintued to was almost an hour of this before the Irish calmed down [they had found the wine cellar!].

At long last the skirmishers had reached effective range on the fleeing 3rd Brigade and began to take down sergeants (as the officers had all already fled). This added to the confusion for the 7th line whom had lost some men to the volley fire from the Black Brigade.

The militia and Dieterlestadt Grenadiers were nearly in position, but along the way the militia had lost 300+ men and after watching the Asgar "council" flee were in a foul mood (the Grenadiers had even been prepared to 'set bayonettes').


The light cavalry under Andress had been permitted to take a small knoll on the west side of the river far to the left flank of the now re-deployed Horse. Unfortunately for the troopers of Murnau they were in clear range of the medium Artillery of Borowczyk. The guns began a merciless pounding of first the Horse Grenadiers (whom began to try and get out of range), they lost nearly half their strength before falling back far enough to be 'out of view' to the gunners. The battery then switched to fire ENFILADE into the packed ranks of the Franka Dragoons whom also lost half their strength, all in one series of shell-packed explosions! [the penalty for ENFILADE fire into formed units from artillery is to re-roll misses - I rolled 2 sixes in the first three dice and the re-roll five was enough to utterly shatter the morale of the Dragoons]

These same artillery shocked Dragoons were then charged by the Bandauer Hussars.

The very same moment this charge was sweeping home the lone messenger that had tried to slip between the two formations of cavalry commanded by Brigadier Hans Andress had been caught by the Puchalski Lancers. Andress quickly determined what the mission the ADC was on and thinking fast he 'rewrote' the orders to the Asgar light cavalry so as to keep them 'guarding' the south road. Andress then moved the dispatch case and its new 'contents' along with the coat of the messenger to the body of one of the troopers of the Puchalski Lancers, this man being istructed to simply approach the light cavalry force and hand over his 'dispatch'.

In the town the Irish Guard was now taking casualties, though managing to fire back at the skirmishers, however they could clearly see that the "French Brigade" had arrived and was even now rushing headlong in columns into the town. Brigadier Jean-Louis d'Civeyrac had interpreted his orders from advance to attack, and was even now pressing forward leading the Leterrier Musketeers personally! The 7th Line had already broken due to taking some 120 casualties and were sent into flight to the east of the town.

Kinski's brigade had arrived during the intervening period and found that there were no enemy to fight! Borowczyk was present (literally standing right behind Kinski) and simply gave new advance orders to pass south of the town and re-form lines to the south of the cross-roads on the east side and then assault the bridge and any defenders!

At those cross-roads the battle was ending.

The Bandauer Hussars had completely destroyed the Franka Dragoons whom had not the ability to face them after the pounding inflicted by the artillery. The Hussars then pressed on into the head of the fleeing 7th Line and into the flanks of the Von Trotta Horse Grenadiers and the one 6-pound medium battery. Though separated the Hussars managed to butcher the Horse Grenadiers (still not fully recovered from thier own artillery poundings) and smashed three companies of the 7th Line; sending the remains fleeing back into the town. The only good fight managed to be put up by the medium battery, while they lost some 1/3 of their men doing it, the Hussars were just too spent to manage to succeed in three directions at once!

Meanwhile the Lancer 'messenger in disguise' continued to head towards the Asgar light horse now visible in the distance to the south. In the altogether the Horse of Arnold had also arrived and was now pressing on to the east, in an effort to cut off any survivors from the town.

Now the rest of the Puchalski Lancers joined in the cavalry melee, putting the remains of the Von Trotta Horse Grenadiers to flight and pressing on into the exposed flank of the Margarethe Dragoons.
The Dragoons were caught totally ENFILADE and standing still. Though their commander, Brigadier Klaus Murnau, would eventually join the fray personally they were unable to stem the tide of red-clad horsemen and their lances! This was the end of the Murnau Heavy Cavalry Brigade as not one of them would leave the battlefield in any organized force. The remains of the Bandauer Hussars pursued the battle colours and scattered remnants of the 7th Line into the town. Thinking themselves safe from the spent horsemen, they emerged into the town square to find Brigadier Jean-Louis d'Civeyrac and the Leterrier Musketeers charging in the other way! All of them surrendered without further contest.

Scrambling from the town to the north was the 8th Line and grumbling out hurling curses was the Irish Guard (whom had only lost some 50 men, but much was their pride wounded at having to flee in the face of the enemy).

With the light fading in the west Borowczyk dispatched an ADC to entreat with the Irishmen to stop supporting the cause of Asgar and be returned to a 'real' fighting capacity. Upon reaching their re-forming ranks (which had been left behind to cover the re-forming 8th Line), the ADC delivered this message which was met with respect, understanding and after looking at the general chaos both at the bridge and beyond it, the Shannon's Irish Guard commander chose to remain and celebrate this night with their old comrades in the service of the true Landgrave, Arnold.

Along the south flank Andress rolled the die one more time and tried his own coup with his opposite number, Brigadier Sebastian Boll, he pointed out that all of the Heavies were now dead and that the only way back to Asgar was to make a difficult mountain trek. Boll would not be swayed and withdrew from this conversation, at last light was seen making his way south.

The Unter-Schweingau Militia had started the day with some 360 men, now reduced to 75 effectives they all swore that they would serve only Arnold, as Generalmajor Wlodzimierz Borowczyk offered them a choice of service remaining here in their homes, or facing a 're-patriation' to Asgar.

Overall Borowczyk achieved 3 of his 4 conditions. Additionally he convinced the Irish Guard and town Militia to change sides in this civil war.

Peter did achieve both parts of his orders, so tactically he was the winner. However in the context of the wider war this was a pell-mell retreat with greivous losses (the entire Horse was lost) and some embarrasing turn-coating (the Irish Guard).

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Battle of Unter-Schweingau

The troops of Arnold and Asgar are ready to take to the field of MARS at Jeff's on 17 Feb {1758}.

Here we see Generalmajor Peter Schweiger (of Asgar's forces) inspecting his artillery park.

The attackers have been on the march for a while and from their last parade we have thier commander: Generalmajor Wlodzimierz Borowczyk illuminated by the fireworks {I have to remember to shut off the flash more often!}.

Among the attackers are one "French" Brigade, led by Brigadier Jean-Louis d'Civeyrac. Here we see him at the same parade as Generalmajor Wlodzimierz Borowczyk (though earlier in the day as there are no fireworks to illuminate him).

Within this "French" Brigade are a Veteran unit the Grenadiers d'Civeyrac, here they are on parade for a review along with a battery of artillery that has become part of Arnold's forces.
Only a bit done...

The Valentines Seige Train was not ready for parade on the assigned day...but at least they will be finished on the original target date of 21 Feb.

I only got some inking done before life's pressures dragged me away from the painting table.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Music to paint by:

Something inspirational by Gustav Holst
St Valentine's Seige Train has major progress!

Starting with an hour right after breakfast (during which the daddy daycare did not have to 'kick-in') I managed a major advance on the gunners and escourts.

All blocking colours and flesh tones got done.

This action then prompted me to look into the calendar and see whether I could press on today and still manage all my other needed actions.

I found that I had better attack this project today, if I wanted any hope of having them done before my target date of Feb 13!

This brought on a new vitality to my painting, along with some good classical music playing in the background.

I managed to get the second layer of colours onto all units, including the guns and escourts.

Then came the 'daddy-daycare' break...thankfully it was short!

I put on the film "Heat" in the background and pressed on into the details works on the gunners and the guns.

Now the possibility of having all done today was presenting itself clearly and I wanted to get all of the gunners and guns done to the 'metallics' stage today if at all possible!

After dinner (where I was the cook) I managed another 45 minutes of detail works and voila! I have 30 gunners and 16 guns waiting for metallics (which I may or may not get to tonight).

(remember that you can clik on a pic to see it bigger)

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Gone blue (and brown):

The brushes were busy today after a long day of work (two actually which has been great for the pocketbook but really a drain on the painting time!).

This time the guns all have a darkening shade, the gunners their basic tunic and inking along with the troops having their undershade (ice blue for my white uniformed Austrians) and inks also applied.

All done in a 3 hour block complete with getting three active boys off to bed; which is where I am headed now.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Back in Black

The St Valentines Seige Train has begun progress.

Not only are all 16 gun models and 30 gunners but an escourt formation of 48 Austrian line troops and 21 more 'insurrectio' forces (in top hats!) will hopefully also be ready to parade with the guns by this time NEXT WEEK!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Fighting or Marching?

When playing in a tabletop miniatures game I like to do at least a little of both, preferably getting into the 'fighting' part with artillery at least on the first or second turn.

Any game that is all marching/maneuver/arrivals/etc for more than 3 turns will rapidly become a bore-fest that quickly looses my interest.

Should the game start with no room to move at all, with the troops standing shoulder to shoulder with no breaks in the line and no point to want to break that line also will be a bit of a bore-fest, doubly so if there is no incentive for either side to move towards one another. All you get there is either a long series of artillery shots back and forth, or one player gets bold (or bored) and decides to charge the other (whether an intelligent choice or not sometimes).

Therein lies the difficulty in designing a game where a balance between action (movement of troops and shooting) and inaction (the same-old same-old again and again).

This is where we are with the engagement coming up at Unter-Schweingau, trying to make a 'game' of the encounter, with some entertainment beyond the usual.

With an 'arrivals' game, I see a long line defending the river bank (in depth) and no hope for the attackers to get much past the town before 20 or more turns have passed.

With too many troops standing in defence of the town then the attackers cannot 'get into action' without running off the tabletop again and again as the 'artificial' space limitations keep getting in the way of the needed flanking actions.

Have other players come into these sort of thoughts when planning a game?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Council Meeting in Unter-Schweingau: Battle appraoches!

Asgar, Landgraviate of Ober-Schweinsberg has called for a Council meeting in Unter-Schweingau.

His brother Prince Arnold, Landgraviate of Ober-Schweinsberg has learned of this meeting and assembled an assault force.

Battle approaches....


A battle by proxy comes to you from the postings of the Emperor vs. Elector.

Jeff and I are working on details and hope to have a date scheduled soon!

In the meantime, check out the EvE Blog, Landgraviate of Ober-Schweinsberg Blog, and Saxe-Bearstein Blog for the developing details...