Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Campaign Ideas.

Some time ago I made some mention about making a series of postings about campaign ideas. Campaigns can vary from operations lasting a few days, to entire wars.  I like entire wars.  The whole thing places the battles into a broader context, a bigger story, in which the fate of nations hangs in the balance.  The map of Poictesme above suggests a Mediaeval time from 1200 to 1500, say.  But this one I haven't really thought much about.  It is included because I found it printed on the back of another map I shall be including in a future posting on this topic.

In this part of the world, the most successful campaign game was played about 16 years ago, and involved several battles using the DBM rule set.  Called Condotta, it had two strata of players: the rulers who ran the city states, and the generals - condottiere - whom the states hired, and who conducted the battles. The details of the campaign are still extant on line:

Condotta Introduction and Campaign Map

Movement was from province to province in attempts to conquer or to defend them.  Armies comprised homegrown militia and mercenaries, which, of course, had to be paid for from the States' treasuries. As the City Council of Florence, I was none too chuffed about our early military disasters and, after the defection or death - don't remember which - of our field commander, sent a representative (myself) to conduct the battles.   We managed partially to restore our fortunes, but only partially.  Being a largely infantry army, our defeats tended to be disastrous - expensive in men and the treasure required to find replacements.  Lacking a sufficient cavalry, we could not profit much from our victories to visit wholesale destruction upon the enemy.  Our treasury was looking pretty sorry after that last battle, too.  I didn't think we could continue employing the Swiss pikemen for much longer.  I did regret bidding too little for the Illyrian light horse (I think it was) too.

The Florentine City Council sure had plenty to worry about!

For an earlier period, using any rules at all, I bethought myself of this ambitious idea.  Consider a map comprising 216 cities, all identified by a 3-digit number, the digits all being 1 to 6.  Then a number of players roll for their capital cities.  This capital and the cities one road stage from the capital form the player's realm.  In the following map the 'players' (imaginary) have rolled Red-White-Green dice as follows:

Terra Cognita - 216 numbered cities.
(I think there is a 217th with no number...)
RED - 235 - Capital Zorn
LIGHT ORANGE - 621 - Capital Marsala
GREEN - 441.  As that left two cities in dispute, the capital was moved one road stage away, 442 - Capital Gilgo
LIGHT BLUE - 361 - Capital Rushan 
DARK BLUE - 146 already claimed; reroll 122 - Capital Farah
PURPLE - 364 - Capital Bachadok
PINK - 654 - Capital Muxima

That left GREEN with the most powerful kingdom - 8 cities; RED has 7 and all the rest 6.

Terra Cognita and its Seven Realms.  The cities one road stage from the
capitals rolled for constitute the core realms.  The realms expand
from there.

With just 45 of the 216 cities occupied, there is plenty of room for expansion, but at the same time, all except DARK BLUE has a proximate neighbour to worry about.  

Depending on what rule set you're using, each city state points up an army from which are assigned garrisons, city fortifications (I suggest the Capital only, always fortified, is not 'paid' for out of the Army Points allocation you're using), and field armies.  If using,say DBM or DBA big battles, a initial 800 Army Points might go:

200 army points - garrisons.  All towns must have a garrison of at least one non-skirmishing foot element. The Capital has a standing garrison of at least 100 of those AP
200 army points - fortifications (supposing they are to be included in this campaign).
400 army points - field army.  These may be split into smaller field armies of no less than 100 AP, including baggage trains or camps.

Field army maintenance, battle losses and other 'wastage'  might be replenished from a 'treasury' based upon what cities you hold. Gilgo would have an edge, there, with a slightly bigger income than the rest.  But that realm is surrounded in the centre of the Terra Cognita by four none-too-distant neighbours.  'Wastage' really means allocating a garrison for newly acquired cities.  The size of the income might have to be determined by trial and error, but a starting point might be 200 Army Points from the capital, and 100 from each of the other cities.

My first idea, when developing this map, was for an 'Ancients' and/or 'Mediaeval' campaign, using the DBM or, at a pinch WRG 7th Edition rule sets.  But it seems to me that it could equally well go with DBA, HotT (Hordes of the Things), Fantasy... or even the 'Renaissance' - pike and shot - period, so called.  Horse and Musket - why not?  

More on this in another posting.

Friday, October 14, 2016


War of the Spanish Succession, work in progress:
 Two  Imperialist36-figure infantry regiments 
Yep: once more my sadly neglected blog-spot has been left idle while I do other things.  As ever, I have also allowed myself to drift from one topic to another.  About three weeks ago I bethought myself to do something about all those War of the Spanish Succession figures I started buying about 5 years back.  All the figures are hard plastic, Wargames Factory.
Five of my infantry units, all undercoated, and 3 of my
four cannon. Some further progress on the Alt Heisier (white)
 and de Wendt (grey) Infantry.
 Nearly all of them had been assembled by this time; just one infantry regiment remained.  What I have now are
4 General Officer/Staff figures;
4 Cannon each with 4 crew figures;
6 x 36-figure line infantry regiments;
1 x 36-figure grenadier 'regiment';
2 x 24-figure cavalry regiments;
1 x 24-figure dragoon regiment.
Same box: different view.
 The infantry regiments I designed such that they can be split easily into 18-figure battalions.
I Battalion: Officer with sword, flag, drummer, 15 soldiers
II Battalion:  Officer with spontoon or half-pike, other flag, other drummer, 15 more soldiers.

The Grenadier 'Regiment' is a decision I somewhat regret, but it is too late now.  Better might have been to make 4 figures in each of the 7 regiments grenadiers, which could have been 'syphoned' off to form a 28-figure over-strength battalion; leaving 32-figure regiments each of 16-figure battalions.

I had originally intended to base the infantry on 15mm frontage per figure, in pairs, with some individuals.  However, I was persuaded to place them on 20mm frontages instead.  That did mean redoing one unit.  Fortunately it was just the one unit!
Close up of de Wendt Infantry.  Quite a bit of work
yet to be done, but they are starting to look like something.
The Army is based, more or less, on the Imperialists of Prince Eugene of Savoy.  I have had to make some uniform guesses, and the grenadier unit will have to be 'generic' - they'll probably receive grey or maybe white uniform coats.  The Military Commission is as yet undecided about that.  The units depicted are those for which I could provide a flag from downloadable sources.  Rather regrettably, the units with which I could associate  three pairs of flags all had grey coats, and two had pink differencing: Regiment de Wendt and Regiment Holstein-Ploen. The other was the Kreichbaum Infantry.

A page of the uniform information I
managed to pick up on line.
Downloaded flags after I have played around with them using
Microsoft 'Paint' feature - a very useful tool.  The quartered flag at
bottom left I created for the Brandenburg-Bayreuth Infantry
based on other information.

Alt Heisier Infantry.  Almost finished...
The fourth pair of flags - the top left and middle in the above picture - I could not associate with a line infantry unit, but rather than waste them, the Grenadiers will receive them.  I call it historic licence. Another source seemed to indicate that one of the flags carried by the blue-coated Brandenburg-Bayreuth Infantry was quartered azure and gules.  It seemed to me a fairly simple task to copy one of the plain flags, quarter it and fill colours.  The fill is by no means homogeneous except for a band along the upper edge, but I don't reckon on doing anything about that.  More annoying is that the pale lemon colour of the 'plain' flags printed out white.  I'll probably leave them that way...
Holstein Ploen Infantry.  Last night I did some outlining of |
details.  Some of these fellows are wanting their swords, too.
In a recent visit, Jacko (Paul Jackson of the Painting Little Soldiers blog) had something to say about the bright green coats of the Osnabruck Infantry.  I admit that this outfit has a certain ... erm ... chromatic 'presence'.  But on a war games table, a green-coated unit needs to stand out!  Jacko was generous enough to provide me with the spray paint with which to undercoat the units that missed out when my own ran out.
Osnabruck Infantry.  The 'reversed' uniforms of the drummers is
entirely conjectural.  
The red coats of the drummers was entirely conjectural, and a convention I have generally ignored in my other 'Horse and Musket' armies.  I've not been consistent, neither.  In contemplating the musicians of Holstein in pink coats, I could scarce repress a shudder.  The grey guys stay grey.

Next time, I'll talk about the Cavalry.