Tuesday 21 September 2021

Autumn Campaigning

For me, September always marks the re-start of the wargames season, as the children have returned to school, the holidays are over and the weather begins to turn and the 'local' shows of Colours and the Cotswold Wargaming Day are on. But as with all things over the past 18 months or so, things have changed somewhat from the norm.

Colours has been cancelled once again which is understandable and the CWD has been moved back to October. After a very funny year on the weather front here in Bristol (the North and Scotland have had much better weather than us for once), we are having a rather lovely Indian Summer, just as the kids have returned to their lessons! Whilst on their hols the weather was distinctly iffy. So I've been spending more time in the garden than I would normally expect in late September, but I'm not complaining as it's been fantastic. Also with everyone back to work more or less, the local walks and bike rides have been less of a traffic jam and rather more peaceful, which is lovely.

The Battle of Eggmuhl
But all has not been quiet on the wargames front. In August I planned to fight a part of the battle of Eggmuhl with my mdf figures, only to realise that I didn't have enough painted up or even in the house. So I turned to my wooden blocks instead, which have stood me in good stead for my Linear Warfare games over the years. After plenty of planning, researching and tweaking of OOB etc I was good to go. But the best laid plans of mice and men and all that...

An overview of the table, with the French in blue, the Austrians in red. The BUA is Ober Sanding, so we are on the Northern edge of the action.

I made labels for the units to help me try and keep track of things. 

Early on in the game and the French have made good progress, especially in along the wooded ridge on the right.

Mid-game and the French centre and left wing are struggling to make progress, but the right wing are likely to turn the Austrian flank. At least Austrian reinforcements have arrived in the form of Grenadiers and cavalry to provide a good defensive position in Ober Sanding.

The end of the game and the French have forced the Austrians to retreat, which they are able to do in relatively good order, with the French struggling to maintain the pressure as they withdraw.

So the game played out historically, which was good, but frankly the blocks and labels didn't make for a good game. With skirmish screens being used, it just didn't feel right using the labels in their stead. Not something you have to worry about in the SYW! Also I think the game was too big considering I was still learning the Shadow of the Eagles rules. Post game I realised I had made some small errors in interpretations of the rules, but then that's what these games are for.

Cotswold Wargaming Day & Partizan
After two years since I last attended a show, rather like waiting for a bus, two come along at once! So I'm going to be a busy bee in early October. First off Dave and I will be putting on a game at the CWD. We had planned on using SotE but not being able to meet up to get to grips with the rules and a scenario, we have gone for something similar with ImagiNations mid 19thC and using the excellent Rebels & Patriots rules. 

Then the following week Keith Flint is putting on a demo game of SotE at Partizan and I am going along to help out on the day, along with a couple of other gamers. I've never been to Partizan, given that it's a good 3 hours or more away, which is a bit too far in normal times for me. But like many I need to get my gaming fix at a show and also to meet up with Keith and have a chat on the way up, as long as I don't fall asleep as it will be a 5.00am start for me, but what the heck I'm retired and can spend the rest of the week recuperating!

Spanish Civil War Campaign
Since Covid and the various lockdowns, I've enjoyed playing some simple solo narrative campaigns, especially using BKCII, my go to WWII ruleset. With the prospect of things not changing much for us due to having a son who is classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, I reached out the Jonathan Freitag and Norm Smith to see if they fancied taking part in a campaign. Fortunately for me they were more than happy to, so I've been busy organising things and painting up some extra AFV's and HQ stands as required. With luck I will be able to kick tings off by the end of the week, so watch this space. Updates may not be too forthcoming as I want to maintain a fog of war for both players until such time as the campaign finishes.

Sword & Spear Medieval
I had dismissed these rules after a few games, where for some reason they just didn't seem to click with me. In hindsight I think this was down to the scenarios I played with friends, which were too complicated and too terrain heavy. Norm with his recent games using them has forced me to reassess my initial view. I have some figures painted, enough for some simple game, so this is another thing I want to try this Autumn.

Alongside all of this, there is the small matter of DIY on the house, which needs to be done as is something is generally enjoy. However with my current ongoing back issues, I'm not sure if this will be the case. Really I should be doing some prep today, but the weather's gorgeous, my back was bad this morning, so I think I'll take a nice walk instead!

So until next time, stay healthy.