Monday 18 April 2011

A short break from wargaming

It’s been longer than normal between blogs, because Jan and I had a short break last week.

We spent a few days with friends, who moved to Spain last year. They bought a house outside Murcia, which is about two hours drive south.

Paul was a regular visitor to our wargame group in UK, which we ran for almost 20 years until 2003. We met each week for a wargame in our garage, which was converted into a permanent wargames room. We lost contact when he left the group, and soon after we moved to Spain.

About a year after we came out here he contacted us again with the welcome news that he was also planning to move here. He visited us a couple of times, and we had the occasional wargame. Then last year he and his wife made the move.

He has a permanent wargames room in his new house, but has been too busy since he moved to do any wargaming. He made a lot of improvements to his house during the first year, and has not had time for wargaming. But hopefully now that he has settled in he will find time over the coming months.

We finished our first campaign battle before our visit to Murcia, and the campaign was put on hold while we were away. But since my return we have got back into the routine, and we have the second battle ready to play.

We have done seven moves in the campaign, and it is getting to the interesting part. The first battle has broken the predictable flow of the campaign, and opened the French northern flank. The second battle will either add to the French difficulties, or create some confusion for the Prussians.

Playing the role of both French and Prussian commander in chief has allowed me to control the campaign enough to prevent a major concentration too soon. It is likely that there will be another two single corps battles, but I have no idea what will happen then. Everything will depend on who wins which battle.

The campaign is producing interesting wargames, both in this and the previous campaign. None have been simple battles. By following the campaign orders the corps tend to be in unlikely positions and unusual orders of march at the start of the wargame. They also often start with orders which we would not have given them, so the first few moves are spent trying to change them before they get into too much trouble.

I am now looking at ways to allow infantry brigades to skirmish prior to a tabletop battle. This would allow corps to start the wargame with minor casualties, which would in turn make for more interesting wargames.

All in all a good start to the latest campaign. And much more satisfying than I had dared hope it might be.

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