Tuesday, 17 April 2012

"Wigs and Wine" updated

I introduced readers to my Mid-18th Century wargame rules back in November.
As with most rules they are a work in progress and the battle-of-futonville threw up quite a few suggestions for changes, which i have now worked on and incorporated. Apart from changing the figure scale from 1:10 to 1:15 there are no other scale changes. I've standardised on no infantry battalion being bigger than 48 figures, and many are smaller, which makes the units more manageable but they still feel satisfyingly  "big". A lot of the changes involve cavalry which I've found difficult to get feeling right, yet still simple. There is some trade off between firepower and melee effect so that cavalry in certain circumstances have the choice to fire or counter- charge. Many troop types have slightly less melee points now and the melee saving throws are slightly easier - so hopefully less wholesale slaughter.  My test game showed cavalry are still very effective against infantry though with their swords! I've also  introduced/redesignated Heavy and Field artillery and battalion guns; these light guns are not very effective due to only one die per shot and fewer crew so one can afford to have plenty without ruining the game. There are some restrictions on double move distance and I've introduced a small "charge distance" - very old school. Also no individual prisoners from melee saving throws now but more drastic surrendering from units with very poor morale who are still in melee. You can download a copy (Version 4) from the Downloads side bar under Imagi-Nations, or here is a quick link.
Wigs and Wine Version 4

CB reviews his opening dispositions,
still with about a third of his army just off table
I was lucky to be able to test many of the new features last week by enticing my very oldest friend, Chris Beaumont, back to the 18th Century gaming table. Although I hadn't played him since about 1975 it was like we'd never been apart and it wasn't long before Chris was arguing the toss with me and inventing rules amendments like he used to as one of England's youngest wargamers back in the mid 1960s.  Now recently retired he's thinking of doing what I did and turning his various artistic and cultural pursuits into a way of making a living, but hopes to fit in  the occasional game with me from time to time.

I kept this game pretty small, about 500 figures total, with my "Allied" army strung out to defend a road stretching most of the way down the table. For CB's benefit, and as we had no umpire, I revealed all my units first, including those in cover and let him deploy his French force. He sent light troops on his right flank and a strong brigade of infantry to attack a little hamlet at his left centre. Artillery topped his central hill and , off table, reserves of infantry and cavalry were kept to either side, biding their time. It's not my intention to give a blow by blow account but I hope you will find a few key photographs of interest.
French Infantry followed by cavalry approach the Allied held hamlet
On the other flank Hussars square up for a clash........
....and then the French charge
But they eventually come off worse, partially due to flanking fire from the
Liccaner Grenzers and some unlucky saving rolls
Meanwhile the Le Noble Fusiliers have been forced out of the chapel
and defend the remaining houses against French pressure
In the centre the 4th Regiment of Foot receives a full blooded charge by French dragoons;
but this photo is before we removed the casualties from their volley!
And this is after a couple of rounds of melee.
The infantry are shattered but the red dragoons will retreat  from a poor morale die roll
 while the blue dragoons, weak though they are,  remain in possession of the position.
Hessian grenadiers have come up to protect the flank.
The incongruous looking general officer is CB's contribution to the game.
 A nice looking figure from probably 30 years ago painted up specially in "old school" Humbrol gloss
and plain bright green base..........I'm trying to persuade him to go to water-based matt paints in the 21st Century.
Next Chris brought on his reserve infantry columns and the sustained fire of the
Hainaut Grenadiers forced the Grenzers from their wall and back through the woods
A general view near the end.
My Grenzers have decided to leave the field at half strength while in the centre
my depleted but brave hussars charge the French Royal dragoons, who being at quarter strength,
 have no choice but to surrender. The 4th Foot head off in disorder and the Le Noble fusiliers have finally been destroyed in the hamlet. On my right flank a practically intact French battalion executes a pivotal move across the vital road.
I leave you with a close up of my untouched dragoons, which, with the Grenadiers,
will soon make an honourable retreat. My cavalry commander has gone forward to assist the
Hussars take prisoner the enemy dragoons, guidon,  and their commander  as a final act. So I couldn't
hold onto the road but the defeat was not without prizes and some credit....
and what  a fine day it was to relive some memories with CB and welcome him back to wargaming with a victory.
This game was very much a warm up for a big game I'm holding this weekend with over 1200 figures and about  6 or 8 players. It will be a follow up to the Battle of Futonville using half the previous battlefield and more surrounding it. This will be the showdown by which Savoy's Duke of Deuxchevaux will have to prove his worth to King Louis by a make or break contest with the Imperial General Urff.  I expect to be reporting on that within the next couple of weeks.


  1. What a nice layout and game report! Looking very forward to the next installment.

    Best Regards,


  2. enjoyed the right up and pics .... what i really like is the table!