Wednesday, October 11, 2017


This is just a quick post to keep things alive in these parts. My time has been taken up with preparation for our club's Game Day, which will be happening this weekend! Above is the situation (the map is from the Columbia Games Napoleon block game). The Penguin (in case you were wondering) is the mascot of our club. Here is the situation:

The Game Day battle is premised on an alternate version of the 1815 Campaign.

15 June, 1815. Napoleon has crossed the frontier and concentrated at Charleroi, pushing back the Prussian pickets. He orders Ney to take command of the left wing of the Army of the North and press north up the Charleroi–Brussels road towards the Anglo-allied army to "drive back the enemy" while Napoleon drives up the Fleurus road to do the same to the Prussians.

The Prussians are concentrating in the vicinity of Fleurus (Ligny), while Wellington, who has been “Humbugged,” gives orders for the Anglo Allied army to concentrate at Nivelles (these were the actual orders). The Prince of Orange and Bernhard of Saxe Weimar, as they did historically, move to Quatre Bras on their own initiative to block the French.

16 June, 1815. Wellington, not recognizing in time that the French are not flank marching towards Hal, fails to reinforce Quatre Bras. Ney follows his orders more effectively than in history and breaks the unsupported Anglo Allied Force at Quatre Bras. French pursuit disrupts the Anlgo Allied attempt to concentrate at Nivelles. Napoleon decisively smashes Blucher at Ligny.

17 June, 1815. Isolated from the wrong-footed Anglo Allied army, the shattered Prussians are forced to retire towards Liege. Blucher, who was overidden in a cavalry action, is wounded and out of action. Von Gneisenau assumes control of the Prussians. Napoleon shifts the main effort towards eliminating the Anglo Allied Army. He turns to Grouchy and detaches a wing of the Army of the North to pursue and complete the destruction of the Prussian Army of the Lower Rhine.

18 June, 1815. Wellington, gathering together his forces Hal, is obliged to retire, with Napoleon in pursuit. Meanwhile, the pursuing Grouchy collides with lead elements of a Prussian force advancing from Hannut. Apparently, Gneisenau has rolled the dice and brought the only remaining Prussian forces in theater forward. A meeting engagement is developing in the Ramillies Gap between the Mehaigne and Geete rivers....on to Game Day, October 14, 2017!

Today, I will concentrate on putting together the "game box" to run the game (the dice, rulers, markers, terrain markings, etc, etc).  Here's what it looks like after two weeks of preparation....
The terrain all stacked and ready to be inventoried one last time and then stuffed into tubs and boxes for the trip to set up on Friday night. With two 18'x5' tables and one 20'x6' table, the multiple game mats are a major item (there are two more rolled up in the cardboard box, on loan from a fellow club member for the occasion: thanks, Bob!)...
The Prussians and French sorted and placed in boxes organized by command, and stacked ready to go. Last step will be to add some identifying information to the boxes that don't have them.
Above left, the "game box" stuff still spread out and waiting be inventoried and packaged. It sounds quite anal, but having 20+ people show up on a Saturday and then not having something like enough dice  to run the game would be no joke. Above right, all the documents sorted and ready to go.
Above, one last minute project that worked out beautifully. I needed more town blocks than I had, I realized, and was at something of a loss--no matter how hard I stared at the 4 that I had, they didn't expand to 13. I wanted a uniform look, so didn't want to gather the extras from among the group (who would have been happy to contribute). I hadn't realized how short I was on this particular terrain item until it was too late to order something through the mail.  Then it came to me: the Interwebs! Of course! A Google Search for "Cobblestones" brought up many options. Here is just one search result for printed cobblestone patterns. In short order, I had downloaded a likely pattern, printed it out, mounted it on mat board, cut it out (x13), and "poof"--end of problem. Furthermore, these will be a nice addition to my collection for future use! But...
...there was one project (above), longer in the planning, that didn't work out. I had an idea for the army commanders to be able to designate a "main effort." I had these spare figures about, so thought that I could facilitate the idea with special stands (which would be really easy to use in practice: plunk the thing down and there ya' go: "Main Effort Here"). Of course the definition of "main effort" in game terms remained vague...
...and never got fully developed in time for the Game Day. As you can see from the above, the concept revolves around assigning a number of bonus dice (up to 6 fit on the stands) to the main effort. Exactly what these dice would do, however, remains undefined (lots of ideas, none of them workable). I also could use chits or some other kinds of markers (other than dice), but once again, not in time for this Game Day. So, I have some neat special stands that will have to wait for another day to see the table.

In the meantime, the practice games have been done. The key players have been briefed. Their battle plans have been prepared. And now I must finish up the last bits of prep and packing.

Then, on to Game Day!


  1. Wow, a real mission to get all of that organised! Hope it goes well and that you all have a great day. Interesting alt-hist situation to game, too.


  2. A lot of planning and thought have gone into this venture, Ed. I am sure your game stewardship will be well received!

  3. Tremendous amount of organization and "work" (labour of love) and I'm sure it will be appreciated.

    Did you discard an idea to use the Main Effort dice to allow rerolls? (once each).

    1. As far as the "Main Effort" dice, I did think of rerolls, also of them being an extra dice--the system is a 2xD6 roll. Another idea was to use the bonus dice as adding a 3rd D6 (and then taking the best 2 out of 3). Given the dynamics of the rules system and the scenario, I was uncomfortable with the potential for these to skew results (in reality or perception) too much, so I just decided that I would table the idea for now.

  4. That's a lot of effort and organising, best of luck with it all!
    Best Iain

  5. Thanks, gents. Tomorrow is setup and then the game will be afoot on Saturday. Based on past experince with running other games, I expect that there will be long stretches where my camera will be idle or forgotten. A fellow blogger in the group, AJ, will be sharing images with me, though. So I hope to have a decent set of images to post afterwards (and with luck, will also be able to report that the game went well).


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