Thursday, September 27, 2007

Traveller Returns!

Most of my family trip, was about family - of course!

However, we did make a one day excursion to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.

While there I sourced out a number of new costume items and ideas (there is an immense market area).

While strolling I also saw a number of games booths and a fun looking "giant chess" board.

I added two new shirts to my wardrobe (Jeff should get a look at them in person eventually), from the period, so that my Hussar 'look' will get a bit more authentic.

My son also got to 'fence' with the sherrif, whom was a good sport and even allowed his diminutive opponent to win (something that the other watchers had said did not happen earlier)!

Upon return to Canada, we had a day in Vancouver, where I made a trip to Imperial Hobbies. Along with a chat with folks there (I get to do this 2 times a year at most right now) and a calm walk thru the store and library sections I came away with:

Osprey Campaign series 97: Bussasco 1810 (in the continuing 'advance study' in preparation for games in 2010)

Osprey Campaign series 157: Trafalgar 1805 (my son has always had an interest in things naval, I am planning to do some naval games in 1/900 scale and what is bigger than Trafalgar in fighting sail?)

Osprey Fortress 12: Fortresses of the Peninsular War (the sheer number of the fortresses involved in this conflict has piqued my interest in getting more details - especially as I am working on a way to 'integrate' siegecraft into a tabletop presentation)

Old Glory 25mm : Village Mob (expanding my collection of guerilla fighters and 'paris mobs')

Old Glory 25mm : Napoleonic Russian Personalities (Finally found the Tsar model, got 5 of other notables at the same time) and

Quebec 1759 by Columbia Games (for a great campaign setting in the battle for a continent)

So back to the brushes, I have 15mm Italiot Romans to finish in time for the LATIVM CVP at the end of October, some more eBay comissions to put the final touches to then a shelf of Fantasy figs to finally finish off along with a dozen or so repairs to the minis my son Alex has been 'sharing' with some neighborhood friends.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

One Year Today

Welp, the Murdock'S MarauderS weblog is one year old today.

I have begun to review the comments and suggestions for posts, and it seems that there is some interest in the moulding/casting process and in the 'special effects' used in February for the Eylau game.

I have some video and stills for both and shall look through them in the coming month.

I will be away from 15 Sept to 25 Sept and will do some postings about these topics and others upon my return.

Of note, regarding the processes I plan to post about, there is a move afoot here to have a day of workshop about a whole bunch of games related topics. It may not be done until January next year, but the discussions have started, perhaps I will be able to make a whole bunch of entries related to the presentations at the workshop day.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Battle of Stinz

A second play-thru of the Wagon Train Table-Top Teaser from 1978.

This time the players were the same but the troops and commanders different.

I also 'mixed in' a small brook along the south hill and side of the road to the south (coming from my watermill, a building I like to use) the brook was only a little delay where it was 'straight', it was a nasty boggy mess at the 's' curve near the bottom of the hill. Other map changes included making the central woods nasty with a dAv" delay and changing the north hill slope to merely 'separating' with a d3" delay.

Once again the Duchy of the North forces were arrayed in tight formations for the start, however Maj. Gen. Olle Fasjovik (brother? of the previous commander) chose to 'delay' the lead waggon in favor of having one of the artillery starting at the head of the wagon train...this would put the lead wagon one turn back from where it would otherwise be! Curious?

Again the envelopes were prepared for Jeff and his Saxe-Bearsteiners, this time though Jeff would have to wait and see where and when his commands would arrive!

He would not have to wait long. For on turn 3 the Wildschwein Dragoons arrived to the north of the column (#2), with the Cavalry Brigadier Prinz Gunther von Ursa (2nd in line for the throne!) and the attacking commander Helmut von Pilsner. At first they were too far off to make any immediate effect.

However the Prinz decided to attach to this command and upon 'testing' his orders he came to the conclusion that he must assault immediately! The troopers of the Wildschwein Dragoons thought otherwise and balked at charging, however this action did not go unnoticed by the Norden cavalry facing them, a raw force of untested dragoons that also became rattled at the sight of so many veteran enemies!

The Prinz was undaunted and after rallying the men again called for a charge, that was again NOT DONE! This continued to keep the Norden raw dragoons in a rattled state though...

Finally on turn 6, with Hussars coming behind them, and a column of infantry arriving to the north west (#1) the Prinz was rewarded with a cavalry charge! This time the poor raw Norden Dragoons totally failed to keep their wits about them and fled from the advancing Wildschwein Dragoons, whom after sending these raw dragoon off the field continued their charge into an elite force of Norden Trotters, whom were caught totally flat-footed!

By this point the battle was virtually won by the Bearsteiners, though narry a waggon had been hit. The Norden forces had stretched out along the road leaving the flanks of the convoy totally unprotected (especially once the Dragoons and Trotters were sent fleeing!). Seen here the overview, you can see the convoy has not yet reached the Y in the road and not all of it is even out from the watermill! Moreover, an entire column of the only Veteran Troops the Duchy of the North had available are running (yes running at max road move rate) into the fortifications so as to 'man' them...once they got there they blocked the movement of the medium gun until they were clear of the south gate.

Look to the sides of this slow-moving train, there are NO TROOPS AT ALL to protect them!

These raw troops pass Maj. Gen. Olle Fasjovik, with Brig. Hasse Sturri Bergstrom overlooking the carnage of the cavalry melee, sadly Bergstrom would not really get a fair shake at doing the task of covering the precious convoy...

After seeing off the Trotters, though it cost him the entire force of Wildschwein Dragoons (and taking a wound in the process!) Brigadier Prinz Gunther von Ursa was not done yet! He immediately took command of the approaching Hussars and led them into another assault --> this time into the waggon train directly!

Meanwhile, coming from the south, the Edelbrau Dragoons, were on the verge of crossing the stream and laying waste to the rear of the wagon train.

And the infantry column continued apace with their battery now in readiness to blast the column of waggons from the north!

Baron Helmut von Pilsner was aghast when it became clear that the Prinz was going to charge personally into yet another hand-to-hand battle!

And the Baron was relieved to see that none of the drovers chose to stand against the Hussars, then went into another fit when he realized that the Hussars were going to continue their charge into the flank and rear of the last covering column of Norden infantry. His dismay was turned to pride in the young man and the raw Hopfenperle Hussars whom scattered the Norden troops and followed them into the marshlands.

Desperately hoping to get the three wagons into the city, Maj. Gen. Olle Fasjovik commanded angrilly from his post at the Y intersection that the artillery (which he had commanded to 'lead' the wagon train, now be turned around so as to at least halt these marauding horsemen!

It was to no avail, for there were no troops to slow them down left! The raw infantry along the north road was not ready to take the onslaught of any fresh Bearsteiners and there was no way that any of the waggons were going to make it to the Y in the road, let alone into the fortifications.

Like his brother(?) Maj. Gen. Olle Fasjovik was last seen legging his way north, followed closely by his staff, some infantry and a few guns...