Sunday, September 22, 2013

Wargaming Nineteenth Century Europe at Toon Con

Saturday afternoon I helped my friend John run a game of Wargaming Nineteenth Century Europe 1815-1878 at  ToonCon.

There were actually four players for this so John and I kind of jointly ran the game. Gary and Rick played the Russians, and Keith and Bob (who drove up from Regina in the morning just to play this and my Force on Force game).


1850 – the War rages in Galicia! Finally the two armies have located each other and come to a place where they have no choice but to face each other in open battle!


We finally decided to play a Pitched Battle scenario – where all the forces start on the table (so far we seem to have only played the Meeting Engagement scenario where only three units on the table and the rest are diced for at the beginning of each turn).

All forces were to be deployed on the table at the beginning of the game. To win two of the three objective had to be occupied by the end of turn fifteen.


The forces were diced for. Here’s what they ended up with:

5x Infantry
2x Cavalry
3x Artillery

4x Infantry
2x Skirmishers
2x Cavalry


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

Gary and Rick deploying the Russians

Gary and Rick in the back still deploying their Russians while Keith (on the left) and Bob on the right, whose Austrians are already deployed and ready for battle, listen to John explaining some of the rules.

The Austrians

The Russians

Austirans again. There were allowed to deploy three of their units a little ahead of the rest which effectively put them in control of two of the objectives from the get-go!

Austrian Skirmishers advancing towards the Russians guns.

I guess thos skirmishers didn’t realize how quickly those guns could get unlimbered and what a devastating volley they can throw out at such close range. This was the last we saw of that unit…

The Russians occupying one of the towns and one of their cavalry units reeling from their first contact with the (freshly painted) Austrian cavalry.

And there is said (freshly painted) Austrian cavalry…. Hmmmm… maybe the Russian cavalry had taken some fire from the Austiran Guns…?  This doesn’t seem to be the position the Austrian cavalry would have been in after a engagement with those Russians? Perhaps part of the Russian unit just fled when they saw the approaching Austrian cavalry knowing that they were DOOMED.

Actually now that I think about it, it was probably the combined fire of the Russian guns and the Austrian Skirmishers. (But we’ll just say it was them fleeing before the might and shininess of the (freshly painted) Austrian cavalry.

Rick and Gary making plans.

(freshly painted) Austrian cavalry again holding the right of the Austrian line… frightening away Russians of all manner… Seriously, look at them – the entire force is heading away down the other edge of the table – trying to get to the FURTHEST objective – which is held by two battalions of Austiran infantry – rather than face down the (freshly painted) Austrian cavalry.

Russians infantry fleeing the (freshly painted) Austrian cavalry. (I’m having too much fun… is anyone even reading this or are you all just looking at the pretty pictures… I’d just be looking at the pictures!)

Oh and there’s another cavalry battle going on here. Russians have just recoiled from the other Austrian cavalry unit. This went back and forth for a few turns. I think ultimately the Austrian cavalry was forced back into their guns and destroyed. Then the Russian cavalry thought they’d be able to ride down those guns that were unlimbered and facing towards them and not even half a league away!?

Rick and Gary making more plans…

The Austrians have a nice line diagonally across the table securely holding two objectives. The Russians are still trying to figure out what they are doing and maneuver around the town – away from the (freshly painted) Austrian cavalry.

Ah here we go – the remnants of the Russian cavalry about to make their valiant charge into the mouth of the Austiran guns. So valiant. Poems will be written about them… well… maybe a limerick..

Now they’re getting somewhere. Russians trying to deploy in something resembling a line while the Guns hammer away at each others troops.

There they are, the finally figured it out – The Russian all deployed in a nice straight line like they were taught on the parade square.

Facing the solid well-drilled Austrians (who were taught more than one formation).

Then one of the (freshly painted) Austrian cavalry horses whineied and all the Russiand fell out of line and made a dash for the safety of the village, which, unfortunately for the Russians, was already occupied by Austrians… but they weren’t thinking of that – they only wanted to put as much distance and buildings between themselves and those (freshly painted) Austrian cavalry.

Things looking a little sparse on the Russian side. In short order the Austrian infantry in and around the village (supported by their artillery when possible) cut down the forward fleeing Russians – as you can see there are only two of the four battalions remaining.

Steeled up by drinking all the vodka they could find in the village the Russian cavalry rode out to meet the (freshly painted) Austrian cavalry.

Anotherr picture of the (freshly painted) Austrian cavalry. They’re just so shiny and new… The Russians were probably blinded by them.

The Remnants of the Russian cavalry fleeing from (freshly painted) Austrian cavalry… Those Russian cavalrymen… they are mighty belligerent, and somewhat lacking in common sense, when drunk! That single remaining stand of Russian cavalry charged back into the fray on the following turn. So appalled by the smell of the drunken louts the Austrian cavalry had to ride off and get some fresh air before riding the last of them down in the following turn.

Meanwhile the last of the Russian infantry – that had been hiding out in the village looting and raping the locals and drinking all the vodka that they Cavalry hadn’t ridden off with – sallied out and made a last ditch effort to take the hill (in the previous couple pictures you can see them doing so in the back ground). At this point they’ve been reduced to a single stand and had two Austiran units firing on them from the front and Austrian Cavalry about to ride them down from the rear…

Here’s how things looked with the Russians packed it in at the end of Turn Fourteen.

Finally a decisive victory for the Austrians! It’s handy to have your army on the table BEFORE… oh… Turn Seven!?

I like this game. It's simple enough for a big dummy like me to understand.

I think the game went over really well. Everyone seemed like they were having fun and remained civil throughout the game. No items were thrown across the table in anger! Thanks to John for bringing his beautiful toys out and thanks to Gary, Rick, Keith and Bob for making this a thoroughly enjoyable game. 

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Back to painting – but hopefully I’ll get some more games in in the coming weeks. The Force on Force game really got me stoked to play more of that – as I haven’t played it in a while. Maybe it’s time to try some of the OTHER scenarios in that book! I’m also keen to have a go at Tomorrow’s War - using some of the Sci-fi figures I’ve been painting up lately. 


  1. What a splendid looking game with beautiful figures- well done to all involved!

  2. Beautiful toy soldiers and a very entertaining report, however in my experience the new, freshly painted unit always gets annihilated.

    1. That is generally the case with most of my figures as well. They just don't have the real combat experience of the older miniatures with paint ships and dulled finish.

      But these were John's Toy Soldiers and they had the snazziest uniforms on the field - they just couldn't take it if anyone called them a bunch of neophyte pretty boys - they had something to prove!

  3. The gallant Russian cavallery,
    Made a sudden sallery,
    Assailed by shell and cannonballs,
    Wolf whistles and rude cat calls,
    Were blasted into hellery.

    (All that shot and shellery
    pounded 'em into jellery.)

  4. Those freshly painted Austrian Cavalry have, I believe, established themselves permanently as a crack outfit not to be trifled with. Dudes with uniforms as elegant and figure-flattering as their colonel has provided are apt to take a dim view of anyone who would spoil their martial appearance. ...

  5. Thomas' 19th Century rules are easy to learn and are a perfect match for your Old School figures. I think the game looks great!

  6. Looks like a very disciplined game under gentlemen - great pictures. Thanks for this report!

  7. Yes I was reading it. ;) If painted troops perform better I'm sure that freshly painted (tm) must be even better. Here's to the next game.

  8. Hey, it is Bob from Regina! We missed him at MayDay this year!