dinsdag 10 januari 2017

Campaign rules – test game 1674 - 1675

While the armies of Louis XIV in 1674 were pressing their advantage in the Netherlands, the Imperial effort was now aided by the Elector of Brandenburg and a number of minor princes such that a second front to threaten France became a real option. This offensive would be directed at the Alsace and Louis XIV placed Maréchal Turenne with the responsibility to defend the eastern frontier along the Rhine.

At the start of the campaign, Turenne has 12,000 men under his command with Zabern (Saverne) serving as his magazine. Across the Rhine, the Duke of Lorraine and Marshal Caprara have 10,000 men near Heidelberg and were awaiting the arrival of reinforcements from Franconia. While waiting they would also gather their supplies and establish magazines to serve the combined armies.

Playing the game
The campaign begins in January 1674 with both players attempting to gain “activity points”; this represents the allotted funding from each government’s treasury. This process continues each month until the game ends with the winter of 1675.

Armies will move no earlier than May 1674 and the reinforcements from Franconia should arrive during the summer.

Start positions
Turenne begins in the province with Zabern as his magazine. Although he has orders from the war ministry not to cross the Rhine his chance of success lay with the two Imperial forces not meeting one another. As the French player you can reorganise your command to create detachments, make use of a pontoon train and use any means to impede the joining of the two armies.

Duke Lorraine and Marshal Caprara start in the Palatine province and must wait for the reinforcements under the command of General Bournonville. The 25 to 30,000 troops have enough provisions to reach the Rhine.  Therefore, your primary task is to defend the right bank of the Rhine and establish magazines in the provinces to hold the fall harvest. Strasbourg has the only bridge crossing the Rhine and as a Free City and neutral party to the events will eventually join the Imperial side. The arrival of reinforcements and the Strasbourg declaration are card activated. 


This rough outline will serve both players begin the game and as the campaign progresses this will no doubt experience changes along its way. Each of the Imperial commands should be handled as “allied” so their commands will remain independent of one another. All stratagems may be used.

Historically, Bournonville arrived in late summer and in September crossed the Rhine with 40,000 men. He was also expecting a further 20,000 men under the command of the Elector of Brandenburg. 

maandag 9 januari 2017

Campaign rules

We created a campaign rule set for the ancient period which allowed us to add a historical texture to our DBA 3.0 battles. Simulating a campaign season players were confronted with supply and reinforcement problems in addition to bringing an opponent to fight on favourable ground. Examples of these campaigns have been posted to the “Storm Within the Empire” blog.

Those readers not acquainted with the ancient campaign system a quick summary here would be useful.

The map is an A4 size with and drawn with essential details such as river and mountain areas with areas marked off as provinces and the geographical description of each province was noted in DBA terms as arable, hilly, forest, etc. The months of the year bordered the left and right hand sides of the map.

Each month players would attempt to accumulate “activity points” through which a simple card system was devised. With activity points players could move, supply and reinforce armies and if needed, call up allies or employ stratagems.  

To expedite the revision of the ancient set for gunpowder use, I will begin tests with one of my favourite campaigns set during the period of Turenne.

The rule set we use for this era are the DBA-HX upgraded to 3.0 and can be downloaded from the DBA Fanaticus Wiki. These, total six pages and include period specific amendments for the Seven Years War, the Napoleonic conflicts and the early Victorian era.


Lithograph by Emile Lemaitre, Battle of Turckheim, XIX Century. 

dinsdag 20 december 2016

18th c. Sojourn – 2017

During the year 2016, the DBA ancient and medieval periods were given a high priority and the gunpowder era the unfortunate backseat. The effort however, brought new ancient armies to the collection and terrain projects added new pieces and older ones were refurbished and made uniform. Our frequency of ancient battles during an evening lead to the development of a rule set which brought together our individual games into the context of a campaign. Averaging three games in an evening our historical match-ups took on the form a preliminary engagement, the primary battle to finish with the resolution or pursuit.

As the new year 2017 approaches I am listing a number of projects I would like to do for the gunpowder era and naturally this will breathe new life into this blog. As the 18th and 19th century miniatures collection is rather extensive, I doubt I shall be adding any new armies, but “never, say never”.

The campaign rules developed for the ancient period will be adapted to the gunpowder era. Its progression will be documented here so readers can follow the various stages of change.  This will be done in a chronological fashion starting with the campaign of 1674, between Turenne and Montecuccoli, and ending somewhere in India or China of the mid-19th century.

Beginning the new year with a major war set during the reign of Louis XIV, I shall add siege rules that can be used from the period of Vauban to the Napoleonic wars. These will follow a similar direction as the current medieval set but will be greatly expanded to touch on various aspects of siege warfare of the gunpowder era.

Generally speaking, as the campaigns and battles are fought, I will invariably find a particular terrain piece is lacking to make the battle visually complete. As most of the battles of Western Europe were fought over arable land I most likely will add period farm houses, villages and bridges with other features needing to evolve from a moment of inspiration.

Illustration: By Unknown - http://translate.google.es/translate?hl=es&sl=fr&u=http://assifarnoldinfos.canalblog.com/archives/2007/08/19/5932161.html&ei=_ssFTfzhDsOUswbH0IWGCg&sa=X&oi=translate&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CC4Q7gEwAw&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dassifarnoldinfos%2Bturckheim%2B2007%26hl%3Des%26biw%3D1276%26bih%3D579%26prmd%3Div, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12305256