Sunday, March 30, 2008

Fantastic Central European Map!

Rpardo of Project Leipzig (1813) has found the most amazing map of south central europe, centerted around Austria-Hungary.

First published around 1910, so it includes the railways, however the detail is excellent and all place names have their proper Germanic spellings!

If you are looking to have more 'actual' window dressings in your campaign games and your game takes place in the region covered then this site has all that you need!

3rd Military Mapping Survey of Austria-Hungary

Saturday, March 29, 2008

More Girl Gamer thoughts:

I had another opportunity recently to interview a 13 year old about her interest in the tabletop games, she has played a few and even outright beat me on occasion.

She liked the imaginary challenge and the colors on the tabletop. It took some time to get a few details as her favourite response was,

"Its fun!"

Still at something of a loss to really nail down what it is that the young lads and ladies find attractive (so that I can do it better or more) in the tabletop games; I shall press on reagardless (thanks Grimsby Mariner!).

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Girls and miniatures games.

An interesting question was posed and today I had opportunity to ask it of the young (eight) girl that played in last week's game (and a few others over last summer).

According to her:

"I like to play them because you get to kill [knock over] the men as you play.
I like it that you get to choose your own [coloured] troops.
I like the fun of play where you can imagine the things that are happening."

Some of her thoughts may be coming from the games that she plays with my eldest son (also 8, soon to be 9 [or is that 19?]) and they tend to play using my fantasy miniatures, which is more of a kreigspeil where stories about their 'imaginary' contests are told as they play...

It was an interesting question and one worthy of exploring.

What have been your experiences?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Young Brigadiers take to the field:

The boys chose to all fight together from the same side.

So I gave them two Russian Infantry and one Allied (Russiand and Austrian) Cavalry Division(s) to work with. Total 6 units with three batteries; two horse and one foot. My son cajoled the other two boys into letting him 'command', collectively they worked on the map doodle and deployed troops.

This left me in command of the French forces, one Division of 2 units Infantry, one with 'light' infantry and a cavalry division which I shorted two stands in the Chasseurs.

Once plans were set the action began, our girl player arrived just as the units were all deployed and so she 'joined' my side, I showed her the plans and set her to command the forward 'heavy' infantry which had a foot battery deployed and was not to move forward until turn 3.

The cavalry young commander with the mixed Russian dragoons and Austrian Hussars (chosen because of thier bright colors) ended up doing excellent execution.

His first charge was into a square, but he only lost 1 casting and had to fall back (no surprise and I prepared him for the worst along with explaining why the horses would not 'press home' such an attack into a steady square!), the follow up was with a horse battery, which scored a hit, this after a terrible rally attempt - that killed a man! The Russian Dragoons then broke the square and took the French Eagle!

Meanwhile the French foot gun had been pounding away at some exposed Russian infantry, then at the advancing troops until it was time for the advance...then the French Infantry formed up and charged into the rear and flanks of the mass of Russians trying to reach the crest of the central hillock.

The Russian moves were seen by the French high command who launched the Chasseurs and Dragoons into a rapid flank move to the extreme left of the French position. This resulted in a mass of combined arms, both Infantry and Cavalry arriving at the same time at the top of the central hillock, a vicious hand to hand resulted in half of the Russian Division being shattered and their flag taken, the other half retreated and their commander chose to call for a withdrawl (at least it was not a rout!).

We declared the engagement a draw and parted.

Of the young commanders the Cavalry one had the most action and seemed to grasp the game the best, indeed my son withdrew and left the field to his command as soon as the French Cavalry reached the base of the central hillock.

The most colourful uniforms and quickest action is what will draw in the young players, though a good set of descriptions at the start of the game can also 'set the stage' for a good game also.

I think that some new young men may have discovered a different pastime than the 'computer'?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Young Brigadiers

Tomorrow I shall host a few young boys (and perhaps a girl) 6-8 years old at the game table.

Following Grimsby's advice I shall go for colour and action in the plan, with a simple 'combat' system, mostly borrowed from SHAKO.

Look in here on Tuesday night for the after action report.

Coming next week should be the follow-up from the game at Dak-Kon and some thoughts regarding running games for the 'young' crowd.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

St Valentines Seige Train on parade.

At long last I have found the time to do a short display of the recently completed 10 batteries of Austrian Artillery - along with six extra 'siege guns' for use in 25mm games.

The 'red' gun is still not quite where I want it to be, having become much brighter in photographs than it looks 'in the flesh'.

Other than this the whole addition is a great new group and it appears that the guns and gunners may see action in a Tricorne Wars game at Jeff's table in April.

While laying out the batteries for display I also recalled that my very first painted Austrian unit, of Hussars, was still not adequately presented here on the blog, so I chose to feature my newest and oldest Austrian units in a single shot.

It also brought to mind the question for other gamers,

"Which do you prefer to organize/play: games based on the action(s) of the great empires or smaller bits taken on by lesser powers?"

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Unter-Schweingau "revisited"

At the same time I also did one series during the Unter-Schweingau proxy battle.

Likewise the 'postcard' is available upon request.
Battle of Offenbach "revisited"

I have now gotten off my butt and managed to activate an older computer system that has a very neat 'panoramic' program on it.

I took these pictures during the game with the intention of offering up the images.

Sadly it has taken until now to get them processed.

Hopefully in the future it will not take so long.

If you liked them you might also like a cool little 'postcard' feature I have that alows me to send you the image in a self-executing 'moving' picture viewer that permits you to 'zoom in' and 'pan' the viewing camera.

If you want one, send me an email (check the profile for the address) thanks.

Now that I have this little application running again I think I might re-do some group shots of my available forces!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Gary Gygax, RIP

The original Role-Playing Game creator, Gary Gygax passed away today.

I played the original D&D and some AD&D from 1978 to about 1988 then moved on when 2nd edition became all the rage, still though we have to 'tip the hat' to Gary Gygax for his 'inventing' the modern role-playing game.

My favorite quotes from him are:

Understand the role of the game master and assist its fulfillment.


Winners are those who give the most.

Read more about this moment:
here and