Total Pageviews

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Blucher goes international as a multiplayer on line event..

        Last night I had the pleasure of watching an on line game of Blucher involving six players and a GM from various parts of the world. The event was well organised, went very smoothly despite the death of one of the on line cameras and played in the spirit of "toy soldiers" that I myself support.

          They had played a Scharnhorst campaign previously and the battle produced was nicely unbalanced with the French being outnumbered but the chance of reinforcements later in  the game. Enough of the details.

If you are interested, you can watch the campaign section of the game on Youtube at The scharnhorst video.

The game itself can be seen at The Blucher game video

The event was organised by Kurtus Brown who is working hard to promote online wargaming and had also organised the face book pages dedicated to it the tabletop commanders. 

The FB address is Tabletop Commander FB

So respect to him and the guys involved. The genre has a great future specially with isolated players.

                        Now on to the meat of this post that I took from previous playing of Blucher and watching last nights play and that is the question " Is Blucher really a multiplayer game."

         Before watching the game I had a nagging feeling, accumulated during my own groups games, that Blucher as a multi player really doesn't work. Because of the linear style of spending an unknown quantity of momentum points the game changes from multi player to a committee of guys running the side and discussing how to spend the points and in which order or one guy deciding while the others watch. Either way I don't see enough involvement of each individual to maintain the intensity of play that a multicorps,fast play system provides normally. What effectively happens in my group and indeed in last nights game is individuals get involved in "other stuff" or lose concentration which effectively slows down the game.. I'm sure folks will have a different view on this and I would love to hear from them in comments.

      In recent months I have become convinced that Blucher is not a great multiplayer game on one table. Now I have no intention of abandoning the game because it is almost perfect for fast play multicorps so what is the alternative..

       First thought was to use a larger table split into two halves with players having command of the halves each with their own momentum points rather than specific corps. This works but corps get split and they play at different rates, which on a single table breaks up play.
        My current thoughts which we have tried once so far is to play on separate tables which are connected by roads at known march rates. 6 turns 10 turns etc etc. each table is a seperate command . We ignore different rates of play which introduces time variants that also adds interest. You can see a report on this event at Each table has it's momentum based on points on table and the seniority of the commanders who have corps abilities and army commander abilities. The job of the CiC is to be on the table where he is most needed and to make strategic decisions as to which corps are needed on each table and order transfers where necassary.

The multi-table method of course requires a lot of space but the results are extremely rewarding. It feels like my idea of a Napoleonic campaign, there is a high level of involvement  for all of the players. It does however require major objectives on each table to discourage massing of corps on one table. the CiC provides the GM with a march route and order for each corps some tables taking longer to reach than others.  All in all very satisfying. We have another experimental 14 corps game  over 3 tables in  Montmelo on 12th June to take the ideas further. I will of course post results here, hopefully with more detail than our first effort.

On a different note I used the time I spent watching the game to paint some reinforcements for my Austrian corps . All infantry elements some of which contain mounted officers :-

   These white coats look so much better since I began to use a paint pen to outline the strapping.

All in all a most productive night. Remember folks this is meant as a discussion post so feel free to join in.                         

Monday, 23 May 2016

A fistfull of French...... (6mm MDF again)

                         After so many varied and colourful allied units I thought it best to return to some very basic and mundane French units. I also came to the conclusion that I should empty some bags of MDF figures and reduce the woodpile. I managed to scrape together  five Blucher elements of mixed line and light infantry plus a number of attached artillery batteries and skirmish markers. I think they have turned out just fine. I also decided to use the last of the Grenadier a cheval figures I found in the box to make an base of !809 French carabiniers. I really like these. They are some of the newer figures Walt from Commission figurines sent me.

                        Here they are in full and in detail...

 Carabiniers. Nice figures a couple of conversions here but not many.

Line and light infantry in greatcoats . I am rather pleased with a mounted officer I converted to be wearing a rain cape.

normal boring line and light infantry.

Below is a clear shot of the mounted officer in rain cape.. Very fiddly

        I am not really sure what to do next.The allied army is huge now and I guess I am short about a 12 bases for Wagram. I have two complete French corps, the guard, the Bavarians, the Wurtembergers  and all of the Italians. I may just hammer out a few Austrian line infantry now.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Returned under full sail...(The Wurttembergers)

                         Well my moment of inactivity lasted a good few days but accompanied by some nagging from my wife, by now tired of my moping around, I settled down to complete the Wurttembergers. I have modelled the entire VIII corps under Vandamme in 1809 (April). It consisted of 10,000 infantry, 2250 cavalry and 1 foot battery and 2 horse batteries. Some of my sources also mention a couple of 12 pounder French foot batteries and although I have some doubts, I modelled these as well. The French are modelled as a grouped, while the national guns are attached at brigade level. Here's the force in all it's 6mm MDF glory..

There were some interesting but not difficult conversions but basically I used the figures from the commision figurines catalogue I will describe each in turn.

The boss himself Vandamme. The generals are from the Adler personality set. Lovely figures and easy to paint. The escort is the elite troop from the chevaulegers for which I used the cavalry in bearskin.

The grouped 12 pounders are straight from the packet . Walt produces both medium and heavy guns.

The light division. By 1809 these were wearing shakos, however they were still using haversacks instead of backpacks. At first I was prepared to turn a blind eye but in the end I went for the change. I carved off the backpacks and added haversacks from cartridge paper.

Line Infantry. In 1809 these wore helmets and haversacks. So I used the helmetted infantry , carved off the backpacks and added haversacks from cartridge paper. I think it was worth doing .

Chevaulegers. Simple one here. I used the French dragoons with an added carbine in cartridge paper. I like these.

Jaegers zu pferde. I love these. I used the new model Austrian helmeted cavalry. Very nice. All I added was the muskets.  

                            So there we have it. A nice little corps, ideal in size for Blucher. The standards are a little bit fantasy based as most units either didn't carry them on campaign or even lacked standards . This particularly applies to the cavalry. I however like a bit of colour in 6mm and so I used my "artistic interpretation". I now need to complete the Poles and the Westphalians to include the major components of  Napoleon's German alliance. I think however I need to concentrate on standard French and Austrian units for a while. Less pressure to finish etc.