Saturday 3 February 2024

Mayhem At McDanalds

I planned to try and get a game in last week as part of my attempt at regular 'Wargames Wednesdays'. Needless to say the best laid plans of men and all that put pay to this, but this week I was more successful, sort of. The game took place today as on Wednesday I went into town for some much needed 'me time', met up with friends, browsed a book shop etc and then promptly went down with Covid, which is really doing the rounds in this part of Bristol.

Still feeling rough but up for a game, I kept things simple as I knew my brain would not be up to anything too taxing, so plumped for good old 'Honours of War' and my 18thC India forces. Scenario wise nothing too fancy, which initially was going to be a simple meeting engagement, but once I'd set the terrain up, I went for one loosely based upon 'Scenario 25: Chance Encounters' from 'Scenarios For All Ages' by Grant and Asquith.

Both sides had similar forces and all the commanders were rated as 'Dependable', again to keep things simple for me. I did use the tweaks we had made for 18thC India, but only a few, again to make life easy for me. So with the table set up, troops deployed, it was onto the action. 

An overview of the table, with both sides either side of a stream, with morning mist obscuring the enemy.

The nominal objective of the caravanserai on one Ranald McDanald.

The Anglo-British troops South of the stream.

The Anglo-French troops to the North.

An oasis.

Both sides and their lines of march.

The end of Turn 1. The mist still lingered and neither side was yet aware of each other.

"Do you want to super-size your haggis burgers?".

The end of Turn 2. The mist lifts and both sides quickly deploy into line and the action begins.

The British cavalry moves towards the stream and comes under very accurate fire from the French elephants.

The British light infantry push forward towards McDanalds.

On the other side the French cavalry do likewise.

A gratuitous shot of an elephant!

Turn 3 and the British cavalry charge in and come off second best against the elephants and their supporting troops. At least they force the elephant back to reform.

The end of Turn 3. Both sides advance to close the distance between them.

The British are forced to refuse their right flank as the French cavalry hove into view.

Both sides light infantry enter the oasis.

The end of Turn 4. The British left flank comes under effective fire from the French, but elsewhere little happens.

The British left flank suddenly comes under pressure due to accurate French fire.

The end of Turn 5. Disaster on the British left flank as two infantry units are routed. On the right the British hold position as the French advance.

The British right flank holds as the cavalry manouevre to try and provide support on the open flank.

The British line breaks...

... but at least they force two french units back to reform, which is small consolation.

The end of Turn 6. With both sides unable to prosecute attacks on the British left, the French advance against the British right flank and comes under murderous fire from artillery and musketry.

A French unit is routed as it tries to cross the stream.

The French cavalry in front of McDanald's. Maybe they are ordering food on the go?

The end of Turn 7. The French push against the British right is devasatingly repulsed, but elsewhere there is no action.

The remains of the British left flank await as the reformed French troops once more move forward.

The French left flank is destroyed as it crosses the stream.

The French light infantry as marginally worse off than the British.

A Mexican standoff.

End of the Game
With only one more Turn to play, it was obvious that neither side would be able to reach McDanald's and the oasis, so I called the game a draw, with both sides having suffered similar losses. If anything the British were in a slightly better position, but did have the French cavalry lurking on their flank.

Post Game Thoughts
It was nice to finally get the game in that had sat on the table all set up for a couple of days or more. Luckily for me SWMBO doesn't mind if it's not too often (which its not) and that is doesn't get in the way of its use as a dining table (which it doesn't). So a few quick thoughts on the game etc.

  • Sticking to games that you know and enjoy really paid dividends here, as it so often has these past few years. I only had recourse to look at the rules a few times, as otherwise the QRS and my understanding of the rules more than sufficed. This allowed me to concentrate on the game which made things flow and all the more enoyable for it, rather than having my head stuck in a rulebook for half the game!
  • The 8-12 units per side once again delivered a good game and was perfect for this situation. If I was slightly more with it, I might have upped to say 15, to allow for a reserve, but this would have really extended the playing time. Short and sweet ticked all the boxes and didn't tax my brain nor my body too much.
  • The British certainly had the advantage on the movement and the firing initiative rolls, whilst the French had the better shooting dice at the start. Making a game of it the French pushed forward to try and win quickly and suffered as a result, as the dice turned in favour of the British, who couldn't hit a barn door early on!
  • The mat looked really good to my eyes with my 'jungle terrain' on it, which pleased me as I wanted to see how it looked for use with my long term plan for some Burma and Pacific theatre WWII games. I need quite a bit more 'jungle' type terrain, but this is pretty easy to sort out and will be a long term project too.

What Next?
Playing this game made me realise the value of my ImagiNations forces just for the 18thC, as I knew at a glance what was what etc. Having lots of armies, whilst nice, would to my mind complicate things, whereas this simple approach a la Nigel Stillman, just works for me. I did realise however that I still have lots of units still to paint!

Work on my WWII Normandy campaign has paused due to real life and rather than rush it, I've been focusing on some simple other projects that I can fit in in the meantime, but more on that in another post.



  1. Steve the new mat is looking the part, both for distance and close-up, the texture is very believable. Familiarity with the rules worked a treat and a ‘draw’ is a good result, especially in a solo game, in which balance is everything.

    Glad the covid is behind you now.

    1. The mat has grown on me and certainly looks better in daylight, as it looks less garish. The mix of colours means I feel less need to dress lots of the table, to minimise that billiard table look. Knowing the rules does make it so easy to just set up a small game like this and have fun too! Sadly the covid is not fully gone, but feeling a bit better than a few days ago and maybe this means I will get another game in soon...

  2. Get well soon Steve. An original and refreshing game! Interested in your future WW2 activities of course, and I look forward to seeing how those progress.

    1. Thanks Keith! Victoria was off work for 5 days with it so I think I've got off lightly, but then I did qualify for the latest booster jab. I'm glad you liked the game:). WWII updates this month, all being well...

  3. That was a great little game Steve, although you confused me early on by referring to the Anglo French! It did seem like the Brits were gaining the upper hand in the second half, but they ran out of time, so it ended fairly in a score draw!

    1. Thanks Keith and sorry for the Anglo-French confusion, which I'll blame on Covid rather than me being a Muppet;)! I think a score draw was a fair result and both sides might have ordered some takeways from McDanald's caravanserai restaurant...

  4. Steve, sorry to read of your bout of COVID. I feel your pain...

    This is another neat game in a period not often seen. I am somewhat surprised that the British clawed back to a draw after losing a flank. Oh, and I don't think I want to super-size a haggis burger.

    1. Thanks Jon! After your recent travails, my ills are minor in comparison, although I do feel absolutely awful this morning. Thinking I was over the worst was somewhat misplaced.

      I'm enjoying the visual difference of the India games and of course the tweaks we made, to try and get that period feel. If the Franco-Indian troops had had more time, then they could have waited a bit for their right flank to recover and therefore overwhelm the remaining Anglo-Indian troops. Alternatively I could have used the broken Brigade rule too, which would have achieved a similar outcome, but probably not any quicker.

      As for the haggis burger, I'm in complete agreement with you there!

  5. Looked a good game Steve. And I agree with Norm on the mat. Seeing your 18thC Indian games gets me very tempted to see what useful figures Messrs Heroics & Ros and Mr IR Regular has. D*** you sir!
    Hope you don't get the long-lingering aftermath of the Covid.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Chris. With my somewhat laissez faire attitude to figure choice, my nominal 18thC Indians can quite easily move across to the Balkans in the 19thC or much earlier, some to Central Asia for the Great Game etc. So if you're not too picky, which I'm not (life is too short) then you can get a lot of bang for your buck. Just remember one can resist everything but temptation;)!

  6. Very nice Steve. You might call the outcome a draw, but some of us are just glad to see we stopped the Frenchies achieving victory ⚔️⚔️
    Your figures are, of course, lovely - especially the elephants. It might be “modern sensibilities” kicking in, but I don’t really like to think of anyone hurting those huge, impressive beasts. Nor the horses either.
    I agree with your conclusions - more/bigger isn’t always better (and can be a chore as you have to plough through all the mechanics of the game).

    1. Thanks Geoff and I couldn't possibly comment on the les Francais failing to gain a victory;)! Seeing the figures after some time and you completely forget all the little 'errors' that bugged you when painting them and just think they look pretty good once on the table.

      Like many others, I've found the 12 - 15 units a side a good number for a game, with enough to make it interesting but not too many to make it a chore.

  7. OMG I love the golden arches! fun set up.
    but why fight over a McDonalds? if this one is taken there's ALWA😁YS another one just further down the road. with the exact same food.

    1. Glad you loved my Mughal arch Stew! It does tend to get commented upon when people see it at games shows:). A fair point about another one just down the road, so maybe a campaign through 18thC fast food outlets could be fun and rather entertaining? Time to put my thinking hat on...