1815-1819 War in the North – Steven’s Wargaming Project

Battle of Boyacá - Martin Tovar y Tovar - Banner

Once again I’ve been chatting to John Fletcher of Grenadier Productions about the South American Wars of Liberation. These chats are always informative, but often a risky experience. In this case, I’ve decided to stop procrastinating and do a “War in the North” Project. The independence of the Viceroyalty of New Granda started in Gran Colombia and Venezuela and then drifted through Ecuador to Peru. Like my previous 1817-18 Chilean Project for the South American Wars of Liberation (with the follow on the the 1815 campaign in Upper Peru), my War in the North Project will have several phases to spread the expense and painting efforts. Each phase will focus on one or two key battles. This is, of course, a ridiculously large and overly ambitious project. Some would say megalomaniac.

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Deep Battle Design Notes 7 – Ground Scale

I do a lot of my game design in my head. Wrestling with how things will work / play / look. But with some things it helps to write down the challenges I’m facing. Here is my latest design quandary. With my Musing on Free Form and Area Movement and my subsequent thinking about big base sabots, I’m back to thinking about ground scale in Deep Battle, my draft rules for Operational level wargaming. Should I go for a tight fit, regular or loose? WARNING: This is a very abstract discussion; do not read if ground scales either terrify or bore you.

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Leshnov 1941 – A Battle Report for OHW 6 Hit

Leshnov-106 Soviet 12th Tank Division advances up road - Banner

Chris and Adam played my version of Leshnov 1941 Scenario for Martin Rapier’s One Hour WW2 (6 hit) (a variant of One Hour Wargames). This was our first outing with these rules.

Summary: Good game. Rules were simple but played well. The scenario needs tweaking as favours the defenders too much. And that contributed to Chris’s victory as the Germans.

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Musing on Units and their attributes in Tillys Very Bad Day

Musing on Units and their Attributes in Tillys Very Bad Day - Banner

Although Tilly’s Very Bad Day is for the Thirty Years War, I’m thinking of expanding the system into other periods. The Ancients, Medieval, and Gunpowder settings all look suitable. I’ve already experimented in the South American Wars of Independence with Bolivar’s Very Bad Day. I’m looking for inspiration so in this post I explore the attributes assigned to units in Tilly’s Very Bad Day.

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1643 Game 5 – Upper Thames Valley – English Civil War Campaign

ECW-508 Bombardment - Parliamentary General becomes casualty - Banner

Adam and Chris played the fifth game of Populous, Rich and Rebellious, our four player Campaign using Tilly’s Very Bad Day, and set in the English Civil War.

Summary: After losing a general in the preliminary bombardment, Parliament fought well but could not break the Royalists within the game limit. Royalist victory at the “Battle of Chalgrove Field”.

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Twilight of the Britons – A Battle Report 1

Britons-103 Army A - Warlord's Shieldwall - Banner

Vincent Tsao and I have been playing around with a version of Twilight of the Sun King for the early medieval period in Britain. I started with a rewrite of my original 2001 version of Twilight of the Sun King and incorporated ideas from Vincent’s Battle of Hastings variant. The result is called “Twilight of the Britons: Fast play rules for the English invasion of Britain”. I got Adam and Chris to give an early draft a go. So early I’d only written the rules that day, so isn’t wasn’t so good.

Summary: Too much dark age shield wall stodge. Not enough heroics. But a glimmer of hope for the rules.

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Alternative Chacabuco – A Live Free or Die Battle Report

Chacabuco-603 Maroto's Division waiting at Chacabuco Farm - Banner

Chris, Adam and I had a go at Live Free or Die. The scenario was Alternative Chacabuco so a Liberators game using my Live Free or Die house rules for Big Base Liberators. Chris was the Patriots, Adam the Royalists and I was rules interpreter.

Summary: The game system defeated us. After hours of play we were no where near a conclusion so we gave up.

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Live Free or Die House Rules for Big Base Liberators

Andrés Ferrari suggested I have a look at Live Free or Die: Tabletop Battles of the American Revolution. Not because I play the American Revolution, but because he thought these could be adapted to the South American Wars of Liberation. So I got the rules and now I have to figure out how to play them with my kit. The big question are my Big Bases but there are a few other points worth touching on so, where appropriate, I compare Live Free or Die to Liberators QPR because this is what the scenarios refer to. Using the concepts discussed here I have I’ve also written a Alternative Chacabuco Scenario for Live Free or Die.

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Alternative Chacabuco – A Liberators HoTT Mass Battle Battle Report

Adam, Chris and I had a go at my Alternative Chacabuco Scenario for Liberators HOTT. The South American Wars of Liberation are becoming a bit of a theme in late 2021.

Summary: Good game. Infantry slog felt like an Napoleonic style infantry fight. Columns pushing through lines in a bloody and extended battle Cavalry fight was brutal and heroic, more Lord of the Rings than South America, and took too long.

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Small Kircholm – A Tillys Very Bad Day Battle Report 2

Kircholm-2662 Polish Left and Centre - Banner

Following our first play test I thought I’d make some tweaks to my Small Kircholm scenario and try it again. In this play test the Hussars are just Superior Horse and there are five Hussar units, not six. Chris bravely took the Swedes for a second time, hoping to benefit from his experience in the first game. Adam took the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In Tilly’s Very Bad Day terms this is a small game on a small table with small armies.

Summary: A really good game. A better game balance than the first version. Both players played well with particular credit to Chris for quickly compensating for the crippling Swedish deployment. But the Poles took the day, again.

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