Sunday, 7 February 2016

Horses, Feet and Guns

Over the last couple of days I've been playing in Peter Colbeck's Marlburian campaign weekend. A hypothetical setting pitting Marlborough and his allies against a Franco-Bavarian force (I was driving the Bavarians), the aim being to secure as many strategically important crossings over a large river - there were five bridges to fight over.

Bavarians vs, Dutch

The campaign map

All well and good, and we were using "Horse, Foot and Guns", Phil Barker's (just recently published) set of DBA-based army level rules. We gave these a spin in one of Peter's earlier campaign weekends with mixed success (set in the Crimea, flippin' stoic Russians hardly ever able to move, my Sardinian light cavalry and horse artillery nipping about like AirCav causing all sorts of mayhem, it was a really weird wargaming experience!)/ So I approached the campaign with some trepidation.

A welcome distraction from the strain of war

I won't go into a blow by blow account of the campaign, suffice to say that Marlborough defeated one of the French armies on day 1, my Bavarians won a very unexpected victory against Peter's Dutch this morning to hold the southern bridge that I captured the day before, and in the final battle Prince Eugene's army held off the second French army to secure their bridge. However, early on day 1 the first French army had sent detachments to the three bridges in the North and they were under our control, so by the end of the game the Franco-Bavarians held four of the bridges to Marlborough's one.  strategic victory aided by us reading the brief, unlike Marlborough and co. who seemed to miss that element and were aiming more for defeating armies in the field.

Marlborough (on the right) about to give the French a bit of a kicking. An unusual deployment for the English army though and the English right flank got a pasting

Attack of the aged Brian Mays :)

It was a fun couple of days, and made all the better by Priti's most excellent cooking (aided by Laura on the first day) and the usual excellent company and bonhomie. But those rules, HFG really isn't on my list of favourites by a long way, not least because of its overcomplexity. Compared with the elegant simplicity of DBA this feels far more like the "Challenger 2000" of DBx games (and anyone familiar with Challenger 2000 will know this is in no way a compliment!)

Still, a fun weekend a a good excuse to get some games in - accompanied by amusing hairpieces from our gallant enemies :)

Lunch, day 1

Laura finding the wigs quite attractive

1 comment:

  1. Dave,

    Glad you enjoyed the weekend, even if you can't tell the Dutch from the HRE in the account above.
    AND, I'd just like to point out that Brian May is a decade more aged than those dapper gentlemen in your photo.