Monday, February 25, 2008

Wargames Weekend 08 Part 1: Friday Night

This was the start of my first (hopefully annual) Wargames Weekend. Over the last couple years I’ve had a Wargaming Birthday Bash around my birthday. Pizza, cake, good friends and little toy soldiers – what more could a guy ask for!? This year I extended the festivities into an entire weekend of gaming – a sort of invitational “mini-con”. As per tradition we started off Friday night with Tim’s Amazing Homemade Pizza! Yum!

After eating and setting up we kicked off the game playing with a little 18th century-ish scenario run by John Bertolini. John had put together some very clever rules of his own, borrowing ideas from about four other sets we’ve tried out and they turned out not half bad! Simple and quick playing…

The Battle of Gasen au Damlau


Word has reached Duke Johann Karl of Lutelande of activity on his southern border. Thei coupled with news of “Bonnie” Prince Timmy’s return from exile spurs the duke to action.

Leaving his capitol of Nordlo with the 1st Regiment of Lutelande Horse, he rendezvoused with four regiments of French Foot conveniently posted at his disposal by Louis XIVat Ostholm. Hurrying southeast, Johann Karl gathered what forces he could to observe and perhaps contend with the forces of Neukirch massing near the fortified town of Gasen am Damlau.

Meanwhile the Supreme Council of Neukirch (the most powerful member of the Baltic League) has sensed that with the return of “Bonnie” Prince Timmy the time was fast approaching to challenge Lutelande, and perhaps make a grad for Lutelande’s southern province of Amalhall.

A combined force of Neukirchers and mercenaries under the Swiss General Louis Christian von Knellwolf have moved to the fortified town of Gasem au Damlau with instructions to establish a presence on the Lutelande side of the Damlau River, provoking a conflict that would galvanize the Baltic League.


Forces at the disposal of Johann Karl of Luteland

Combined Grenadiers
1st Regt. Luteland Provincial Foot
2nd Regt. Luteland Provincial Foot
Amalhall Regt. of Foot
2nd Bn, Regt. de Royal Rousillon
2nd Bn, Regt. de La Rienne
2nd Bn, Regt. de Bearn
2nd Bn, Regt. de Langeudoc

1st Lutelande Horse
2nd Lutelande Horse

1st Battery Lutelande Artillery

Forces under General von Knellwolf

Neukirch Livgarde til Fot
2 Battalions Neukirch Grenadier Korps
2 Battalions Swiss Regt. Apenzel
1st Regt. Neukirch Foot
British 35th Regt. of Foot
British 48th Regt. of Foot

1st Regt. Neukirch Cuirassier
1st Regt. Neukirch Horse

1st Battery Neukirch Artillery


John Burt and I took the forces of Neukirch. I played the foreigners (the British and Swiss) While John took the Neukirch Livgarde, Grenadier Korps and 1st Regt. of Foot. We each took a gun and a regiment of cavalry (I got the Cuirassiers! HUZZAH!). We set up as much of our force as we could on the Luteland side of the river. I was on the left wing, and John on the right. Our cavalry were on the extreme flanks.

We were surprised to find the Damlau River wasn’t fordable…!?

Cory and Gary played the forces of Luteland and their allies. Gary had the four French battalions and set them up more or less opposite my own. As Cory showed up a bit late John Bertolini had set up his forces opposite John Burt’s.

As the forces were more or less evenly matched and there were no clear objectives for us defined by the scenario – other than “provoke a conflict” I figured “let then come to us! We are on their soil, let them try and shift us!” So come they did!

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Gary, left, discusses the rules with John Bertolini, center. Cory, behind them with his back turned is just taking off his jacket, having just arrived from Calgary….

Gary, John, and Cory standing behind the forces of Luteland. Opposite them are the forces of Neukirch which John Burt and I would command!

View from the ramparts of the fortified city of Gasen au Damlau. On the Neukirch side of the river are the Neukirch Livgarde til Fot

The Lutelanders!

Their French supporters!

The Swiss, in the foreground, and the British, beyond.

The Forces of Luteland advance into the mouth of our cannons!

It was at about this time that we began to pour musketry on them and the whining from Cory began.

John Burt and Gary checking distances as the exchanges of musketry began in earnest!

At the very bottom of this pic you can see Johann Karl galloping about with a couple of his aides reassuring his subordinates and troops who were now whining in earnest!

The ferocious cavalry battle on the left flank – My Neukirch Cuirassiers destroying the Lutelande horse (well… at least during THIS turn it looked like I might destroy them)

The French start to give ground as the casualties mount from the relentless and accurate musketry of the British and Swiss.

The forces of Luteland being decimated on the right by the withering fire from the Neukirch Grenadiers and Foot. I think it was at this point that Cory said there was no contest here and we should pick all the toys up and start over again with a better scenario… We decided to ignore his pleas for mercy and fight it out!

The Neukirch Livgarde til Fot cross into Luteland to administer the coup do grace to the forces of Luteland – as clearly all was lost, the whining of the opposing commander could be heard from across the field above the roar of the muskets and cannon! It would have almost been funny if it weren’t so annoying…

The steady French reform at their starting positions.

The Lutes roll up the decimated Neukirch flank after wiping out a battalion of the Neukirch Grenadier Korps, a battalion of regular foot, and throwing back the remains of the second battalion of Grenadiers – threatening the escape route of the Swiss and British should things have “gone south”…. Yes, you read that right… At least at this point the whining was reduced to a dull whimper intermixed with mutterings about the scenario and rules….

Luckily the Neukirch Grenadiers rallied and the Guns were turned on these lutes rolling up the flank and their offensive was halted. The Neukirch Lifegarde retired back across the bridge to take up positions in the fort just incase the Lutes tried to make their way across the river.

On my flank the Swiss and the British were unable to pursue the retreating French as their own flank was threatened by the Luteland Horse galloping around the very edge of the table after somehow driving off the Neukirch Cuirassiers. The survivors claimed their defeat was on account of faulty armour and an inquiry will be held into the procurement of said faulty armour to punish those responsible!


While the Neukirchers and their foreign mercenaries were able to hold on to their position there weren’t really in any position to exploit it and retired back across the border after nightfall.

Good times were had by all (well... MOST)! Huge thanks to John Bertolini for orchestrating the game and bringing over his pretty toys for us all to play with. Nearly all the figures pictures here were modeled and cast by John the exception being one of my French regiments (which are from Rafm) and my British and French commanders (which are from Old Glory). The British and French Regiments were painted by myself, the rest by John.

Hopefully I will have further actions of this campaign in Luteland to report in the near future!

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Wargames Weekend 08 Part 2: Saturday Morning


  1. Greetings from British Columbia. We have a small group of gamers here in the Comox Valley (about a third of the way up the east side of Vancouver Island).

    Nice pictures . . . and your units look to be of similar size to those we use.

    I hope to read of more 18th century action.

    Furthermore, if you would like Lutelande to become a member of the "Emperor vs Elector" group blog, email me at and I'll see that you get an invitation.

    -- Jeff of Saxe-Bearstein

  2. A very pleasant report of an obviously enjoyable battle - thanks for sharing.
    Good to see Lutelanders and their rivals in action: hopefully they'll have their own blog allowing them to appear more regularly than only as "guest".
    Compliments and regards to everybody implied in the battle.

  3. Hello Tim,

    A wonderful description of your game, and the various pictures are a glorious inspiration to us all. Most impressive! Was the earthen redoubt, seen in a few photos, scratch-built? Anyway, I'm looking forward to additional 18th century battle reports and more photos of your group's miniatures.

    Best Regards,

    Stokes Schwartz
    (The Grand Duchy of Stollen)

  4. Thanks guys!

    Jeff - When John and I get a little more organized I'll probably take you up on joining the Emperor-Elector blog.

    Abdul - Luteland is John's baby. I'll let him start a blog for our campaigns. Until then they'll remain as a feature here on mine - maybe they'll get their own "label" though....

    Stokes - Yes, John scratch built the redoubt/bastion. He says it's "not finished". Looks pretty darn good to me though, eh?



  5. ...what a brilliant game - and a very nice way to start off the weekend!

  6. I liked this game and considering the brevity of John's new rules, I thought they were a very good beginning. It pointed out the weakness of attacking at 1:1 quite well. It would be interesting to add in some kind of command control and penalties for retreat of heavy casualties, like disrupted or something that takes a turn or 2 to rally unless speeded up by a commander etc. And enforce some reserves by having them come on at turn 1 instead of being available to throw into the initial deployment. Tim, would these rules be worth considering for some of your Quebec 1759 games next year? Thanks John for making a good scenario and introducing your new rules. Good fun! - Gary

  7. Gary, John and I had a brief conversation about disruption as well, you can see a picture of the two of us talking about it Sunday.

    The part that I felt that did not work was that cavalry was slower then infantry (in a column) and that there was no real penalty for bouncing other then the inability to attack that round.

  8. It was a fun game and the rules were clever and simple and could be made a bit better with a few tweaks such as you have mentioned.

    To tell you the truth, however, I am not overly fond of keeping track of individual figure casualties on multi-figure bases, whether through casualty caps or tokens or whatever. I like being ablt to look at the either the number of figures or stands present and having instantly an idea of the stat of the unit. If one is keeping track of individual figure casualties one should have individually mounted figures – or at least a couple of “change stands” (i.e. if you have figures mounted three to a base have, within each regiment, two proportionally smaller stands, one with two figures on it and one with a single figure on it.

    Also I am kind of hung up on the Warmaster variants at the moment - (of course there we use dice to keep track of casualties – so I guess I am full of shit…. They are only temporary and go away at the end of the turn however….).

    We have a whole year to play-test options, so I may yet be convinced otherwise…. But right now I'm thinking Two for Tea (or some other Warmaster-ish variant) for the big battles and Savage Worlds for the skirmsihes.