“Ney- I want to you to take La Haye- ah wait- Ney come back here!.. sigh. Murat, I …”
~ Attributed to Napoleon, battle of Blockerloo
|British defend the Farm|
I was lucky to attend Kublacon game convention this weekend and run a couple of games. This is by far my favorite con as it is super family friendly, fairly laid back (almost always a space to do a pickup game) good location and a fantastic and helpful staff. The Hotel is pretty cool, and the con food is- well- it’s con food. I highly recommend this convention to anyone.
As I was way too busy either running games or painting stuff to run the next game (yeah, I know) my pictures that I took of other folk’s games were a bit sparse. I will instead add a links of better overall Kubla review and pics
I ran two games this year (down 2 from last year), one a wooden wars homage to the Bicentenary of Waterloo, the other a first time in the public running of my Galley’s Guns and Glory! Renaissance rules. Today’s blog is focusing on the wooden wars game, as so many cool things happened during the battle.
Wooden Wars: Lay Haye Block
La Haye Block is an homage to that pivotal farm house and Orchard on the battlefield of Waterloo. At the start of my scenario, the British/ KGL forces had the farmhouse and orchard in their command, with the French pounding away with two batteries of guns as the Leger and grenadiers advanced. The British had lots of infantry but no cavalry, and only one battery of two (heroic as we shall see) guns. The French had a decent amount of infantry but not enough to squander, backed by afore mentioned batteries of 3 guns each and two regiments of Hussars- the 7th and the 5th. French forces were commanded by Murat himself, as My Ney was not finished and, well, Murat is such a sharp dresser!
|Murat and his entourage. Note flag has battle honors from the Kickstarter.|
This year saw the return of a few veteran Wooden Wars officers, some that have played in my games since the first time I brought it to the con a few years ago. One in particular is now aged 8! I had an entire family join in, as well as two other parents. The boy to girl ratio was pretty close to 50/50. I feel pretty lucky that my games are viewed as equal opportunity (when in reality the girls usually have better eye hand coordination and are deadly with cavalry!).
|5th Hussars. One of my favorites|
|Grizzled veteran officers.|
The battle Commences
As the French had the youngest officer they went first, and peppered the farm and British lines with cannonade, although it was not as effectual as they would have liked. The British held their ground for a few turns, firing away at French troops as they advanced. Again, casualties were lighter than expected, as “high bounding” seemed to be the favorite method of firing.
|A whiff of grape as they charged in!|
|Even elite hussars should not charge a square!|
Hussars in Action!
Murat ordered his Hussars forward- no difficult thing that- and off they went on the flanks, flashing their blades and smiles all the way. On the right flank the 7th charged the British guns, sustaining very light casualties from the canister, but were clobbered by the gun crews and their peaky blinders.
The 5th elite hussars on the right flank raced past the farm in hopes of catching the reserves unawares. Unfortunately the British had the initiative and were able to form square in time. Despite this the Hussars charged in, doing grievous damage before being laid low.
|Grenadiers, supported by leger attack the orchard|
|Taking the orchard|
|Grenadiers form column to speed their way to the back- but are hit hard|
French assault the Farm
While the cavalry dashed off, the French Leger skirmished up to the walls of the farm taking some hits along the way. This took the focus away from the Westphalian (hey, it’s what I have painted) Grenadiers to march in and carry the orchards, then move all way around to the back of the farm and take down the door- only to find a unit of grenadiers behind it. Woody melee ensued, hard fought- with the British holding the farm at the end.
|Knocking on the back door|
|Mother and daughter in woody melee|
|And a Victory dance.|
Designer Note: The coolest part of this particular dust up was that the French were commanded by the mother of the British grenadier commander, her daughter. Watching them go at it, then the exuberance of the girl’s victory- followed by a dance and mauling of a smiling mom was the best!
|Murat takes the guns|
|And has his horse knocked over from under him!|
Murat does what Murat does
Seeing the situation as tenuous and losing troops right and left (literally) Murat rides forward and takes command of the Leger- swinging around and catching the French gun unawares and capturing it. Unfortunately right after he did this, his horse was shot out from under him causing a morale check across the battlefield. The French had to go to lunch ( kids gotta be fed) and with the British holding the farm as well as having two units of mostly untouched infantry, it was declared a British Victory!
The Face of Battle
One of my pleasures as a game designer is seeing the look of focus and concentration on player's faces. Here's a few shots of the "face of battle" wooden wars style.
The other Game- Galleys Guns and Glory
I want to dedicate a whole blog post to my GGG! game, but here’s a shot as a teaser.
Thanks for dropping by, and as always I love to hear back from you!