Bavaria, 1809: SDS Napoleonic Skirmish

Just the other day, I posted how I’m not really that enthused about writing about wargaming. But I figured that I should at least give it a try after taking some photos at last night’s game.

Veterans of Austrian IR#4 Hoch und Deutschmeister advance, supported by Jägers in the distance

It was our monthly “Napoleonic Night”, and my assignment is to provide our “Second Table” game of Song of Drums and Shakos, a fun set of Napoleonic-period skirmish rules (aka SDS). The games are quick, played with maybe a maximum of a dozen figures on a 3-foot-square table area. It has become one of the favorites at The Bengal Club, so there are plenty of guys learning the rules.

We had two players and ran two games in a couple of hours. The first game is mostly what I’ll be writing about (because it’s the one I took the most pictures of), which was a quick matchup of Austrians vs. Bavarians during Napoleon’s 1809 campaign that culminated with the battle of Wagram. John D. commanded the Austrians, Paul P. the Bavarians.

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Wargaming and why I seldom write about it

I haven’t written much lately about my other big hobby, Miniature Wargaming. I still attend our weekly Friday night games at The Bengal Club pretty regularly and a few weeks ago I actually got especially enthused and spent quite a bit of time painting figures (almost an entire corps of Austrian Napoleonics in 15mm).

I guess I’m just not as interested in blogging about it. I think the biggest reason is that it would entail actual work on my part to craft up something interesting and provide all the required photos for it. Another might be that I have a lot of other interests and things on my mind and wargaming has started taking a backseat to them.

So I suppose more than any other topic I write about here, wargaming will be the most “hot and cold”–you may see a spurt of new stuff if I’m particularly gung-ho at the moment, but you’re more likely to hear the wind whistling through this category as it gets no love.

HMGS/PSW Spring Campaign 2010

Once again, the Boxer Legation siege game was quite a hit at the convention. Unfortunately, Kaiser Bill was unable to attend this year so we couldn’t use his lovely terrain nor did we have enough stuff for a “double-game”, so I used all my own setup and we ran a regular, single game. In some ways, that was better—it made for quicker games (around an hour each) so we did more of them (3 on Saturday night, 2 on Sunday morning).

As was typical of our games, the Western powers had the upper hand, winning 4 out of 5 games. The final game on Sunday morning, however, was a glorious Chinese victory and an absolute bloodbath for the legation. It was rather spectacular with the lone Japanese officer, Lieutenant Kuroda (photo at right), making his final stand on the steps of the legation, Katana in hand facing a horde of beautifully painted Tigermen. And the relief column had already been spotted (indicated by the Japanese mounted standard bearer), but alas it was too late. You couldn’t hope for a more picturesque scene—very Gordon at Khartoum…

This game always makes for a great convention event. It’s extremely easy to put together and run, the rules can be explained in five minutes, and the players have a grasp of what to do after 15 minutes. It is, however, a lot of work for the game master! Plenty of card flipping and taking figures on and off the table.

The thing I’m most proud of, however, is that this is one of the very few gaming projects I’ve ever done where I actually have completed everything I need to play the game: all the figures, scenery, buildings and accessories. I’m trying to do that with other games I’ve got and that’s part of what my gaming website will chronicle.

But if you’re going to be at the HMGS/PSW Fall Campaign 2010 convention in Glendale, California (in either October or November), be sure to stop in, say hello and play a game!

Click the photo to see a small gallery of photos from the final Sunday morning game (the only one I remembered to actually take pictures of!):

HMGS/PSW Fall Campaign 2009

Here’s a link to Kaiser Bill’s own website containing a bunch of photos of our Boxer Legation siege game. It was the first time we put it on at a convention using Bill’s superb, purpose-built terrain. You can even see us in costume!

It’s also just about time for the Spring Campaign convention (next weekend—April 23-25), so stand by for more photos (although, sadly, we won’t be able to use the full setup this time).

The photos are about halfway down the page: Fall Campaign at Historical Hobbies

A Slaving We Will Go

Here’s another scenario from a game we played, though I can’t seem to find anything about when and how it turned out—though I know we played it! It was sort of a follow-up to the Bomagayo Expedition, where Abu al Oshiri got a chance to go replenish his stock, as it were, after his slaves were freed by the Germans.

Download the Scenario in PDF format!

03-Slaving Scenario