Tuesday, 15 March 2011

A Weekend of Play Testing

I've just spent the weekend at the new wargames holiday centre play testing rules for the upcoming Marlburian games and I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised.

Bavarian Infantry defending Obersdorf

To be honest I'd played a couple of games at the original WHC over the years and had never been overly impressed.  I think this was mainly due the fact that I was there to get my annual Napoleonic fix and viewed anything else as a necessary evil to keep the other punters happy. 

British heavy cavalry, these lads turned out to be very tough indeed.

I still don't pretend to understand much about the period.  I couldn't say when the Seven Years War, The War of the Spanish Succession or the Great Northern War took place and more importantly have no idea of the differences between them.  Though I would assume its the varying levels of technology and strategy.  To further complicate things I believe one or more of them is referred to as the Lace Wars though I could be wrong and probably am.

The Elector (not sure of what) with more Bavarians

To be fair I shouldn't be surprised that I enjoyed the games so much, look at the number of blogs and articles on TMP which enthuse about the period and it's clear that it has a great appeal for many gamers.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to melt down the Napoleonics and start buying hundreds of 18th century figures but I definitely found myself warming to the period and developing a historical interest.

British and Allied troops cross the nebel stream using fascines (bundles of sticks apparently).

It was decided to refight the battle of Blenheim, though as it was a playtest we only used a small portion of the orbats for the first day as though all of us had used the rules before it was quite some time ago.  In addition The rules we had were basically fast play sheets with a few paragraphs of definitions and explanatory notes.  Not surprisingly we found ourselves applying some Napoleonic mechanisms to fill in the gaps with varying levels of success.

French Line Battalions manning the defences of Blenheim.  Infantry proved to be remarkably resilient.

On the second day we laid out the whole battlefield with complete orbats and made our deployments in order to generate specific situations.  Cavalry against infantry, infantry against infantry defending earthworks, that sort of thing. This allowed us to test as many of the game mechanics as we could think of and threw up lots of questions to which we hopefully found suitable solutions.

British cavalry line out to cover the advance of the infantry.

The final day was spent in the same way as the previous one with lots of time spent discussing rule interpretations and trying to get an idea of how warfare was carried at this time, both tactically and strategically.  The only book on the period I own is Chandlers "Marlborough as a Military Commander" which while in itself seems to be a good reference only scratches the surface of the wars which were fought at this time.  So if anyone knows which are the must have books or know of any good online sources I'd be grateful to hear from you.

1 comment:

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

If anything those tables sure look impressive!