“Napoleon, don’t be jealous ’cause I’ve been chatting online with babes all day. Besides, we both know that I’m training to become a cage fighter.”
~ Kip Wellington
In this thrilling episode of the KublaCon 2014 battle report, we jauntily rake our shakos, stuff our backpacks with marshal’s batons, and keep a weather eye for bouncing balls!
|British view from the village. Note the woods.|
|The British commanders check their watches...|
Wooden Wars Napoleonic- The Crossing of the Hypzig
The sun came up across the battlefield on Saturday to find the British army well dug-in and ready to defend the bridge over the Grand River Hypzig. Officers, still sleepy from last night’s ball, came traipsing in, taking command of their units. Parents of younger officers stood by or grabbed a chair and lay into their coffee. They knew it was going to be an epic event! I sent my own ADC off to get another tea for me, and at 9:07am, the battle commenced!
|The French cavalry advances.|
In this scenario, the British are defending against the French and their allies whose orders are to cross the river, secure the bridge and take the village. Any area of the river where it was thin (read one card wide) was fordable by infantry and cavalry, but took a full turn to do so.
As the British had the youngest player, they started the affair with some grand cannon fire, taking out a few troops in line. The French, whose guns were positioned near the windmill, countered and took out a British gun, with a ball landing in one of the player’s shoes! All sorts of firing then ensued.
|The faces of battle.|
|View from the Windmill.|
|Never turn your flank to a battery of guns!|
|Balls fly about, just missing two other units.|
Midday Arrives - As Does More Coffee!
The French cavalry, sensing a lull in the firing, raced forward looking for a place to ford the river, but were shadowed on the right bank by enemy cavalry who continued taking pot shots at them. It was then that young Lieutenant Phoenix twirled his mustachio and ordered the dashing 5th Hussars across the bridge!
At the apex of the bridge, the young officer was hit by a volley of fire from a unit of British dragoons, knocking him over and into the water... but, he made his dodge ball save and remounted, a bit soggy - yet dashing nonetheless!
During the next activation, the British got the upper hand and formed square at the base of the bridge. Just as the Hussars were about to charge, a volley from the units in the village took down the officer and one trooper, alas - never to rise again!
|The officer is hit but recovers...|
|...only to succumb again.|
Shouting "Revenge!" (or the French equivalent of it) the Hussars charged the square causing horrific carnage and splinters! After three hard fought rounds of combat the Hussars finally fell, but not before reducing the square to just the officer and the wee drummer lad.
The Final Push!
The final push for the French took place in two locations. The first being on the left flank where a fresh battalion of Swedes, in alliance with the French for this battle, had forded the river Hypzig and, using the woods for cover, managed to get within striking distance of the village.
The British however were ready and, after a few ineffective volleys (the trees took a beating), were charged by a battalion of “Dutch” infantry. The outcome was a slaughter on both sides with only one officer surviving. He was not French.
|French officers react as cannonballs knock down trees, but not troops!|
|Hard hand-to-hand fighting in the woods.|
Near the center, seeing the gap that the Hussars made with their splinters, the young officer/player that was commanding the Hussars took command of the grenadiers and column marched them quickly up the bridge… only to realize the British gun battery had just laid their guns at the very position. The officer, who must have bought an enchanted commission, remained unscathed while his entire Grenadier battalion was laid low.
This pretty much put a stopper on the French, who decided that maybe invading Belgium would be easier - or at least tastier.
Even though the battle was lost, I presented a medal to Lieutenant Phoenix, who behaved as a true officer - whilst under immense fire, continued to follow orders and kept pushing units over the bridge. It was a fun and successful game, with fantastic players (and parents) and lots of great comments, and the occasional ball fetching, from the crowd.
Soap Boxing Shadows
I’ll be the first to admit it is always a challenge to run a convention game of such scale, and to run it with children as the participants. I’m still striving to keep the game pace moving because kids and adults get antsy. Usually, when one of my club mates comes by, I’ll call the players to attention, getting them to jump up and salute (Iie: stretch) then get them back into the game. I recommend you do this in your big kid games, too!
I am truly humbled that the parents trust me with their younguns, not to mention, they are always supportive when I inevitably have to explain to a player that not everyone gets a medal - it has to be earned. So, parents, "Thank you!"
Next update- Queen Victoria’s Robot Wars!