Sunday, January 2, 2011


    Here it is, the beginning of a new year, and I had already decided that starting blog for my wargaming hobby was among the projects to done for 2011. Being under the weather this weekend with a nasty virus, I decided there was no time like the present, as they say! The title of the blog refers in part to a scenario book I'm finishing work on for use with Brent Oman's great rules set, Field of Battle (review by yours truly here) by Piquet. The great picture on the Masthead is of the Battle of Sacile, which I ran at Historicon, 2010, courtesy of Gabriel, whose photography is far superior to my own meager efforts. Thanks, Gabriel!

    My interest in both Miniature Wargames and the Napoleonic wars began nearly simultaneously over 40 years ago, when trips to the public library resulted in taking out copies of Joe Morschauser's "How to Play Wargames in Miniature" and David Chandler's "The Campaigns of Napoleon" in close succession. From early on, the 1809 Campaign, featuring "The Hapsburgs Resurgent" as Professor Chandler titled his chapter, has been a particular favorite of mine. The Austrians under Erzherzog Karl (Archduke Charles) give the French all they can handle and then some... this time out there would be no Austerlitz or Jena that ends the campaign in a single brilliant victory. Rather, it was the entire French war effort, ranging from Bavaria to Austria, Italy, Croatia, Hungary, Poland and the savage actions of the revolt in the Tyrol, that ultimately lead to the defeat of the House of Hapsburg. With both Napoleon himself and the bulk of the veteran Grand Armee initially embroiled in the conflict in Spain, the Germans states of the Confederation of the Rhine played a colorful and vital role in the campaign. The campaign also present numerous opportunities to explore history through wargaming, with conflicts ranging form the small and relatively obscure, such as Klagenfurt, up to the Battle of Wagram, the largest battle in the history of Europe to that point.

    In observation of the 200th anniversary of the campaign, a group of us (self named the Hofkriegsrat, after the famously interfering Austrian War Council) planned and ran six battles from the 1809 campaign at Historicon 2009:  Barry Frandsen (lead "rat" for Raszyn), Thomas Kinstler (Teugen-Hausen), Roger Downie (Eggmuhl), Dan Beattie (Aspern-Essling), Joe Fish (Raid on Hof), and myself (Wagram), with Eggmuhl winning the award for Best Theme Game of Show. In so doing, we had invaluable assistance with playtesting from members of the Hartford (CT) Area Historical Gaming Society or HAHGS, especially including the loan of troops by Greg Hansen and Peter Celella. From all the hard work and fun of painting troops, making scenery, and preparing and running those games came the genesis for the scenario book. The release of John Gill's 3 volume masterwork, Thunder on the Danube, provided much the necessary material for the development of many additional scenarios, especially those involving lesser known but still very interesting battles. I trust that I may be forgiven for the tongue in cheek misappropriation of the title!

    While this blog certainly won't be limited to the troops and battles of 1809, it will initially be the main focus for it. I hope that you, the reader, will enjoy the journey as much as I shall!


  1. SaWEET!!!!!! I'm going to have fun reading through all of this!

  2. Thanks, Larry! Hope you enjoy my ramblings!