Saturday, 28 January 2012

Ears are ringing

... after seeing Thin Lizzy last night (or what's left of them).

Surely "Whiskey in the Jar" must be the rock anthem for E.V.E.?

"As I was goin' over the Cork and Kerry mountains.
I saw Captain Farrell and his money he was counting.
I first produced my pistol and then produced my rapier.
I said: "Stand or deliver or the devil he may take ya".

Surely a scenario for "Gloire lies within" the lyrics.

I believe it was a late C17th song. It inspired "The Beggars Opera" (1728) and became popular with Irish-American soldiers during the American Revolution for it's anti British officer sentiments.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Charge meets Blackpowder

Being of a sad disposition I tend to find myself reading wargames rules for fun. I seem to have aquired dozens over the years.

A month ago I had a couple of thoughts about introducing morale tests to my Charge games. So when I was perusing Blackpowder last night it became apparent that that the 50% rule in Charge might be considered the same point as Shaken occurs in Black Powder ie the moment of crisis when the unit must be tested to see whether is breaks.

Not a 100% sure where this is going but my initial thoughts are that a) a unit takes no more casualties beyond 50% or rather they are not removed but count towards a morale test, b) a "break" test at this point would give a little more unpredictability to Charge.

Time for a snifter and more thought.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

" war sir"

Couriers were swiftly dispatched to the barracks around Weinpfalz and when Count Olaf and General Bojollay reached the river Wein four battalions of foot, four regiments of dragoons and a battery of field guns had mustered on the river bank. Across the river the enemy could be seen. And in superior numbers.

"An attack is out of the question at the moment," said Bojollay. "Until reinforcements arrive at least."

"And if they attack?" asked Olaf.

"We might hold them."

The next morning however it seemed that the problem had gone away for while the fires across the river had been maintained all night the Dukes army was not to be seen when the morning mist rose.

Breakfast was soon spoiled however when a couple of bedraggled dragoons raced into camp, their steeds a lather.

"They've crossed downstream my Lord, and are marching this way."

In the distance the sound of beating drums could be heard. "Sly old fox," muttered Olaf. Then: "Fetch my horse, we'll make a stand here. Sound the drums - to arms"

Fromagere horse and foot advance (very fast hence slightly out of focus)

Ranks of infantry in perfect step - the yellow cross of Fromagere fluttering in the morning breeze

Awaiting nervously the white coats of first battalion Muscat Regiment form up behind the Blue Dragoons.

On the right the Rielsling Fusiliers are supported by two more dragoon regiments

The Duke of Fromagere does not hesitate and the Camembert Cuirassiers charge home sending the Green dragoons off in disarray.

In the centre the Fromagere infantry roll on inexorably although the fine shooting of the Weinpfalz battery takes it's toll.

The long white line of Weinpfalz infantry await the advance and fire.

Which rapidly depletes les Musketeers Morbier, but the Fusiliers de Brie and Roquefort Regiment press on...

... with the bayonet. Two rounds of cannister do not prevent the clash.

and the Muscats are routed.

The long white line crumbles but Olaf and Bojollay manage a relatively ordered withdrawal although the Violet dragoons are sacrificed.

A nice game with slightly amended Charge rules although the 6' by 4' table mean little manoeuvring was possible hence the Duke's head on attack. (Played by son Jack who never fails to beat me).

I noted the rule amendments previously in a previous posting (18/12/11). The adoption of quicker (relatively) melee rules for cavalry worked fine although I am unsure whether the whole of the front line should be taken into account or just the troopers in contact. I took the latter although Grand Manner and (I think) Holiday Centre rules take the whole line whether in contact with the enemy or not.

Saving on 4,5,6 for cavalry and artillery shooting casualties seemed an ideal solution to halving casualties that were already half a dice ( and ending up with quarters and eighths). For the record we always rounded down eg three and a half is three.

As for the adoption of the morale tests - the jury is still out. I am not sure they added much to the game but didn't get in the way either. One to ponder for next time.

Will the Duke of Fromagere press on and claim his bride?

Monday, 9 January 2012

Guard of Honour

The hunting party went ahead as planned. It took more than imminent war to stop Count Olaf from a good shoot. The English rifle proving well worth the money. He had heard there were such guns with two barrels but Bojollay maintained that the balance would be compromised.

Lunch was taken late but was worth the wait and the ladies joined them to make a delightful little party in a sunlit dell. Conversation naturally gravitated aound the Fromagere army on the border.

"Apparently Mother, it's a guard of honour," said Olaf. "To escort you to your wedding."

"What is that old fox up to?" wondered Wilhelmina. "He can't be serious about marriage."

"You're still a very beautiful woman, mama."

"How sweet, but also the wrong side of forty and twice as old as his mistresses."

"No doubt he has plans for me after the marriage," suggested Olaf. "That would give him effective control over Weinpfalz."

"Over my dead body!"

"Possibly the plan too."

"An interesting plan," mused Wilhelmina. "I presume the 'guard of honour' becomes the vanguard when we send the refusal to his proposal.".


"So what to do?"

"Quite simple," said the Count with a grim smile. "Bojallay!" he called. "We ride."

"To where, sir?"

"Why to war, sir."

Monday, 2 January 2012

Rifles & Diplomatic Bags

Count Olaf's hunting Lodge

Count Olaf sat at the rough oak table in what served as dining room to his hunting lodge. Before him lay a number of oily rags and half a dozen pieces of what made up his favourite fowling rifle.

It was a very expensive English piece and he made a number of mental calculations as to the cost of equipping a squadron of dragoons with such weapons. Expensive, but a hundred mobile men with rifles accurate to three hundred yards would be a formidable and mobile force. He must mention the idea to General Bojollay.

The sound of hoofs in the cobbled yard made Olaf sigh. Undoubtedly the diplomatic bags for him to plough through: how tedious. He had hoped to be shooting duck at the side of the lake before the courier arrived. Within a minute a footman in shabby green livery entered the dining room with the red velvet bag. At least there was only one bag today.

Olaf emptied the contents around the lock, stock and barrel and immediately picked out the pale yellow parchment with the blue wax seal not much smaller than a saucer. Only the Emperor and the Duke of Fromagere were so ostentatious and Olaf guessed it was not from the Emperor.

He tore open the seal and read the long letter from his hated neighbour. The damned cheek of the man…

The door opened again, this time General Bojollay waddled in. Olaf turned and said: “You will never guess, old fellow, what that damnable Fromagere has suggested.”

“It cannot be good news, Olaf,” replied the general. “For a small army of Fromagere's is massing along the river as we speak.”