So the big game is over and the ten players, five travelling guests and five members of the Grimsby Wargames Society, had a great day. Or so they told me. Certainly it is a relief that the day went well and the players found the rules easy to pick up and were thus able to concentrate on playing the game rather than looking at the rules.
I'm not going to provide a step by step action report, which needs a better write up than a blog post and, a more productive format. Instead I have posted a number of photographs from the day that hopefully give some insight in to the time we spent on the figures and the fun that the players had.
The second smaller table (only 10x5) depicted the field between Oberglau and Lutzingen. This was table was a continuation from the larger one and proved equally as challenging to the players. Troops were able to move from one to another and it came as quite a shock to some when they did.
The Bavarians defending Lutzingen on the extreme left of the French lines.
The defenders of Oberglau in the middle of the French lines.
Blindheim on the French right. We decided to use the Danube as the table edge and moved the town slightly to give more table space in the centre where the action was going to be.
"Salamander" Cutts sent wave after wave of infantry against Blindheim. The charge being led by the English.
The Danes were unable to breach the defences of Lutzingen despite several valiant attempts. The initial attack was spearheaded by the Danish guard in their straw coloured coats. Supported by Germans in Imperial service in blue.
A perplexed Anhault-Dessau ponders the situation around Lutzingen as a rather more relaxed Elector of Bavaria looks over to the action around Oberglau.
Oberglau was never threatened by the Allies who preferred to try and pin the defenders in place. Contemptuous of this the French sallied forth and saw off repeated cavalry charges from the Allies.
Marlborough crossed the Nebel using several fascine bridges and it was the same in the game. Five fascine crossing points were provided to the Allies to be placed where they desired in order to allow the horse and artillery to cross. Infantry were allowed to wade through the stream.
This allowed the Allies to push their superior numbers of horse across but only in small groups. These in turn were countered by the French. For me it was one of the better aspects of the day in that we had a continual see-saw action across the battlefield as the Allied army struggled to get a unified effort together.
One of the other great things about a multiplayer game is that, whilst you give the players all the tools you are unable to predict how they are going to be used. Robbie was to be seen frequently holding his head in his hands as Marlborough was unable to roll more than 5 on two dice a number of times. Marlborough may have been the victor on the day but he had earned the sobriquet "not enough".
The Allies won but it was a close run thing and in the end only determined by the fact that the French were running out of time to draw troops across from Marsins (ably portrayed by Julian who whilst not able to get troops to go forward was able to stop troops retiring) command to fill the gaps.
Other players not named - Tony as Eugen, Mike as Anhault-Dessau, Chris playing the Elector of Bavaria and, James with a split personality as St. Pierre in the centre and also assisting Marsin on the left. Andy H was the sideline judge.
The troops were provided from the collections of Mark, Andy H, Chris, Ashley (unable to attend but provided some magnificent Spanish troops for the French side) and myself. Thank you all.
Thanks also to Andy H & Malcolm (was prevented from playing due to a double booking with a holiday in Florida) for building the fascine bridges specially for the game.
I must also thank Tony for helping with the ancillary equipment of dice, rulers and signage.
I can have no better reward for the day than to read that one of the players left with renewed vigour and enjoyment of the hobby. Wargaming should be a fun hobby and for me the most important part of the whole thing is that all involved had a great day.
So coming in 2015 - Ramillies.