Sunday, 31 July 2016

Blucher Battle of Frischbach

The Battle of Frischbach, Southern Germany 1809, a Battle between France and her Allies vs. Austria. A fictional battle using the Blucher rules.

July 24th I ran a game for my local gaming group, when i designed it I was expecting 4 players, I decided to use the coalition rules and each player would run an army (so of course 6 players showed up). Which required I do a bit of off the cuff adjustments, which mostly worked out well. This game saw the first official use of my DIY battle mat.

Rather than spend a lot of time thinking of army lists, I used my force cards and drew two 200 points Austrian armies and two 250 point French armies. I ended up actually having more than enough painted units to do it (I had to proxy some French ally units though with actual French units) for a total of 37 French & Allied units and 33 Austrian units. Each army was 2 corps. Due to the cards I used to create the armies both sides were very short on cavalry 6 a side and while the Austrians had more guns than the French, they opted to attach most of them to infantry units (as they were defending), they only had 1 massed horse battery, whereas the French had 4 massed foot batteries.

I used the Scharnhorst maps to choose a battle area, a couple of die rolls saw me using the South Germany maps with the battle centred around D3/E3. I added a road and village in D4.

The scenario was the Austrians were defending and if the French didn't break their army morale or capture both objectives the Austrians would win.

This was only the second game in which I used my Concealing boxes to show units in reserve, see Blind box Tutorial for additional info on them.
Setup locations French on the Right, under the Blue boxes, consider that one red box a blue box.

The Austrians deployed 3 of their 4 corps behind the stream, not realising they couldn't use their reserve move and cross over the stream. (I guess I didn't explain it well enough)

Opening moves, the French send forward almost 2 entire corps against the lone Austrian corps.

The IV French corps, (which is mostly made of the allied units) moves to the stream and threatens to cross. The last French corps (the III) stays in reserve .

The Austrians realising how exposed they are on their Left try to race their III Armee Korps to help.

a bit of skirmishing across the stream.

French reserves waiting for an opening.

Austrian I Armee Korps grimly holding on, the French II Corps prepares to assault the area around the village of Frischbach.

With the Austrians having little or no reserves uncommitted the French reserve launches it attack on the the Austrian center.

The fighting around Frischbach is very bloody

Fierce fighting on both sides of the stream near Frischbach.

The fighting around Frischbach dies down. The Austrians army on this side has broken and these French are beat up somewhat.

French reserves rupture the Austrian line in multiple places

The Austrian players concede the game after one wing is broken, the second Austrian wing was still in pretty good shape, but both French armies were still combat effective, albeit the I and II corps were brittle, and the French III corps had just punched 2 holes in the Austrian line

A great game and a good time had by all players. 8 Corps hammered away at each other for 5 hours and we reached an actual conclusion, as opposed to X would have probably lost.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Tutorial Blind Boxes

There have been a few people asking how I made my concealing boxes so rather than type a long post to each person individually I'll put all the information here and refer them likewise.

Materials needed:
Bristol board (card stock)
Hobby knife
PVA Glue (aka White glue or Elmer's Glue)
Clothespins (4-6 per box) or Paperclips

I got some coloured Bristol board from a convenience store, each sheet is 18"x 22"  and cost about 1.50 each (2 for $1 from a dollar store). Bristol board is a kind of crappy card stock.

The sides of the box are 1" high (enough for my tallest figure to sit beneath safely), and the box top covers an area 1.5" x 2.75".

After marking out your lines, LIGHTLY score all your lines then cut the lines where your front and side overlap. Scoring the lines helps in making sure the fold is nice and sharp.
Then fold all your score lines in the same direction.
Apply glue to outsides of Tabs A and affix them to the back of Tabs B
Apply clothespin to hold Tabs A & B together while the glue dries.
Fold tabs A & B inwards along the score lines, then glue Tabs A to the inside of Tabs B

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

DIY Blucher unit Labels

I already have figures therefore I didn't buy the units cards, instead I made unit labels to go with my sabots. I started with a piece of paper with Corps affiliation, a box with Elan (for a die to sit on) and special abilities. It worked fine until I started moving units with dice on the labels, and got worse if the unit was on terrain.
First draft, I placed a die on the Elan Box.

For my second attempt I immediately decided on an Elan Track, which I would use wet or dry erase markers on, and coloured differently for each nationality.

2nd draft I went to Elan track on different coloured card stock for each Nationality.
Here are the latest (and Probably last) labels I make for my Blucher sabots. I replaced the symbols for Steady, Shock and Firepower (replaced the musket with a gun shot/explosion) because I didn't like the look of the originals. I got rid of the different colours for different nationalities, I didn't like the way the table looked with them attached. Print them on card stock, cover the front in Packing tape, so I can use wet or dry erase markers on them, also cover the back of the label in more tape, so I can re-use the labels longer, When adding the label to the sabot I just use masking tape to adhere it.

Latest draft. I fill in Corps Id and black out the attached artillery with wet erase marker and use dry erase for damage, the wet erase is difficult to erase with dry erase erasers.

For those interested and don't want to go through all the trouble I did, here is the JPG I use when I make new ones.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Concealing units

When I used concealed units in Blucher I made blank bases with a coloured middle which contained a number. The unit it represents is on a separate table with a numbered chit next to it. The system worked, but required that I have an additional table or a place to set the concealed units on, and you had to walk back and forth to check what base was what unit.

In the top right corner you can see my reserves precariously perched on a chair.
I had an idea, not a brilliant one, but one I could bring to fruition easily and relatively quickly.  Here is what I thought up.
What are those units?

Its a corps of Austrians!
No more needing 2 extra tables/chairs (1 for each side) and no more having to walk back and forth to see what is what, the owner can just tilt the box up to peer beneath, you can even tuck the label under the base if you want to hide it from peeking opponents. It also has 2 additional benefits, one it holds the figures into my carrying cases better and allows me to put double layer of figures in said cases.

To see how to make them go here.

6mm Rivers for Blucher

Another small post.

I have needed to make some rivers for my 6mm troops, specifically for Blucher. They will work as streams in larger scales as well.

They are made the same way as my streams, just 3" wide instead of 1".

Made this bunch out of 2 signs. 7 feet 8 inches of water obstacle,

An Austrian Corps near a ford