Monday, May 27, 2024

Project Waterloo: Genesis

     Shortly after Historicon 2024 games registration opened, John Spiess approached me on behalf of HMGS Next Gen, asking me if I'd be interested in running a series of games for HMGS Next Gen in Lancaster this year. The games would be held in the Foyer outside the Dealer hall, so very prime space for visibility. The theme for Historicon this year is "Historicon goes to the Movies". I knew that I would want top do a Napoleonic game, but the rules needed to be simple, with a conclusion rendered in 2 hours. Rifleman Harris would also be appearing at the convention, so the battle of Waterloo was the obvious choice. Oddly enough, in 55+ years of Wargaming, the bulk of it Napoleonic, I've never run played in a game based upon Waterloo. Well, OK we did the entire 100 Days as a Campaign in a Day back circa 2025, and Ligny that years well, but that's not really the same thing at all.



    The game woukld be run three times, with a 1 hour break in between each game. In addition, it would be a walk up game; no preregistration. The target audience would be youth and Novice gamers, although by no means limited to same. Given that, a gridded board was a must, and I figured some variation of Neil Thomas's "One Hour Wargames" might be the most suitable rules. 


    The next issue would be terrain. The buildings at Waterloo, particularly Hougoumont and La Haye Sainte, and couldn't easily be substituted for with other pieces. We were  also limited to a 6 x 10 foot long table (I am hoping we may be able to modify that to  5 x12 feet at the show, but no guarantees). Any model of Hougoumont, in particular, that was in anything near 25 mm scale would be huge, and occupy 1/3 to 1/2 of the Battlefield!  OK, so how about 15 mm?  It turns out hey would also be enormous (There was one forced perspective 15 version that might have worked, but unfortunately the owner has been indisposed and was not taking orders.  That lead to finding a 10 mm version that would fit the bill (more about that in a future post)


    Next, how about a scenario? Although crucial to the outcome of the battle, form a game standpoint, I knew I could not include the Prussians. If Napoleon doesn't defeat Wellington by a certain point, the default is an Allied victory with Blucher's arrival. At the excellent Hexes and Miniatures site I found a scenario for just this situation for a hexed version of Sam Mustafa's Blucher rules at: https://storage.googleapis.com/wzukusers/user-19028574/documents/1d47dce8e2d841c89274f9eb11582147/Waterloo.pdf

    The scenario requires less than 30 units a side - enough to still be quite a spectacle, but still doable and leaving the players 10 or less units each to command. Finally, I plan to use quotes form the movie for "chance cards" to be played during the game. Thus the game was registered through HMGS Next Gen as "Waterloo in Two". There is still a lot to do for the game, but I am making excellent progress on all aspects. 

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Knights of the Roses #2


Some more "Wars of the Roses" Knights for potential use in the Historicon Crecy game. 


The "Vert and Or" banding on the lances makes them look vaguely Reptilian!

During the WotR itself, heavily armored men like this usually fought dismounted instead. 


They make an impressive show regardless!

Monday, May 20, 2024

Historicon is looking to be Crecy this year!

Historicon  2024 game planning has been going on for a while.

The PEL (Preliminary Events Listing) is due to be released tomorrow.

Here's what my friends and I have been planning:


Wednesday July 17


Time

Tim/David

Peter

Jim

Mark T

5 PM





6 PM





7 PM


Test Of Resolve - WotR



8 PM


Tewkesbury 1471



9 PM





10 PM





11 PM







Thursday July 18


Time

Tim/David

Peter

Jim

Mark T

9 AM

TOR HYW  French

To the Strongest!


WW1 early War

10 AM

TOR HYW  French

Ctesiphon 263 AD


Hill 325

11 AM


Palmyra vs Sassanids


To the Last Man

12 Noon





1 PM

TORHYW AngScot




2 PM

TORHYW AngScot

TTS!


WW1 Early War

3 PM


Ctesiphon 263 AD


Mussey la Ville

4 PM




To the Last Man

5 PM





6 PM





7 PM





8 PM





9 PM





10 PM





11 PM







Friday July 19


Time

Tim/David

Peter

Jim

Mark T

9 AM

TORHYW AngScot



Crecy

10 AM

TORHYW AngScot

Eagles Cheaper ?

To the Strongest!

Lion Rampant

11 AM


Waterloo in Two

Kosovo 1389


12 Noon





1 PM


Eagles Cheaper ?



2 PM


Waterloo in Two



3PM





4 PM


Eagles Cheaper ?



5 PM


Waterloo in Two



6 PM





7 PM

TOR HYW




8 PM

Crecy




9 PM





10 PM





11 PM







Saturday July 20


Time

Tim/David

Peter

Jim

Mark T

9 AM




20th Maine at Gettysburg 

10 AM

TOR HYW


TTS!

40 mm Rebels and Patriots

11 AM

Crecy


Nicopolis 1396


12 Noon


Field of Battle 3ed ed.



1 PM


Rapp 'n Raupenhelms



2 PM


1809



3PM


Rheinbund vs Austria

4 PM





5 PM





6 PM


Battle Command



7 PM


Rapp 'n Raupenhelms



8 PM


1809



9 PM





10 PM





11 PM







Sunday July 21


Time

Tim/David

Peter

Jim

Mark T

9 AM


Test of Resolve WotR



10 AM


Tewkesbury 1471



11 AM





12 Noon






From Left to Right:

Tim Couper and David Knight

 will be running a series of games with their newly released Test of Resolve: Hundred Years War rules. The "French" and "Anglo Scots events are short, 1 hour training scenarios, leading up to the two Crecy events. Most of the troops for these games will be supplied by yours truly (hence the many units of Knight that have been charging off the paint and refurb table!

The new Hundred Years War rules, and the first Scenario book for same. 

David assisting with running a WotR game at a recent British show: Kingsthorpe from  Additional Scenarios 1455-1497.

Here's David again running Twithill from the same scenario book.


Peter

I will be running Tewkesberry with Test of Resolve; WotR rules on Wednesday evening and Sunday AM; see the prior write ups of my solo test game and the HAVOC game earlier this year. 

Thursday will see me run the Battle of Ctesiphon with To the Strongest!  Fought under the walls of the Persian Capitol, this pits the Sassanid Persians against the Palmyran army lead by Odenathus. Lots of heavily armored ancient horsemen in this one.

Friday I will be running "Waterloo in Two" with HMGS NextGen. This is a very simplified version of Waterloo(ignoring the Prussians; if Napoleon hasn't won by a certain time, it's an automatic Allied victory. It is designed especially for younger and/or Novice players on a walk up (no pre registration) basis, and will use very simple rules (A One Hour Wargames variant).  Three such games are planned for that day. Chance cards with movie quotes and perhaps a visit by Rifleman Harris are part of the plans for this one, in keeping with the "Historicon goes to Hollywood" theme. 

Saturday will see Napoleonics take the field again, with Hiller's Austrians against General Rapp and his ad hoc Confederation of the Rhine force, contesting for the control of Bad Bierstein. One  version with use Field of Battle, 3rd edition, and the other the closely related Battle Command rules. The games will feature the wonderful Piano Wargames figures by Lucas Luber and Piano Wargames of Germany. 

By my count that's 9 games... a new level of insanity, even for me, even if every one gets at least 2 plays!

Jim Mauro

Jim is running two games in 15mm with To the Strongest!; one each on Friday and Saturday mornings. 

Battle of Kosovo Polje 1389:  Serbia fights for its independence as the Serbian Prince Lazar leads an allied army of heavy mounted knights against a mobile, more flexible Ottoman army led by Sultan Murad. A Serbian victory will halt the Ottoman advance into the heart of Central Europe. Failure will all but ensure the fall of Serbia and further Ottoman encroachment into the European heartland.

Battle of Nicopolis 1396:  The defeat of the Serbs at Kosovo seven years earlier at the hands of the Ottomans has put all of Europe on high alert. Now, a crusade is declared and King Sigismund of Hungary oversees a large, yet undisciplined and rebellious, multi ethnic army to defeat the well-organized, disciplined Ottoman army now led by sultan Bayezid. A crusader defeat will all but ensure Ottoman hegemony in the Balkans and an even greater threat to all of Europe.


Mark T.

My friend Mark will be running two early World War I games on Thursday, both of which I believe highlight the early engagements of one Lt. Erwin Rommel.  Friday sees Mark tackle Crecy with a different set of rules, Lion Rampant.  Saturday will see Mark run a 40 mm scale Amercian Civil War game focusing on the 20th Maine at Gettysburg. 


Mark sent along some shots of the construction of some custom terrain for his Crecy game:


This shows white glue, not thinned, after it was spread on to the top of two 2 inch blue foam insulation boards that were cut with a box cutter, and then a foam cutter to get the contouring.

Next is a medium brown spray paint used across the entire playing surface.

The brown is followed by bursts and short swings of an army green spray paint.

Then a desert yellow spray paint is used with bursts and swings across the brown and green.

The Last photo shows what is the 6' x 4' area of terrain including positions of roads and trees, as well as the tentative positioning of some planted fields for use as rough ground with additional play testing using Lion Rampant 2nd edition slightly modified to finalize their locations.

Mark adds that he is considering using a summer flock mix for the top of the slope, and perhaps even the flatter area between the two slopes. However, with more to do for other games  before Historicon 2024, he hasn't finalized his decision about this yet. 



I certainly still have quite a lot to do myself to be ready for Historicon, but should have adequate time to get it all done. Hope to see some of you there. It will be Crecy/Crazy!  :-)