Sunday, October 13, 2013

Preparing for Little Wars

A picture from an earlier game at Dominicon
(you can see more pictures here)

I've stepped up planning for Little Wars as Gaelcon closes in. The figures are ready, but I have some trees to make and I'm still waiting for my cannon and mortars to arrive.  I could get them from the States, but only after paying an arm and a leg for shipping. I found an ebay seller who had them on offer, but there was a problem. The seller would not ship to Ireland. 

John Cunningham, dependable as always, for all his protestations of being an evil influence has stepped forward and offered his address a transhipment point for the guns from Germany.  A seller who will ship to Great Britain, but not Ireland, is a baffling specimen in this day and age.  The artillery will be arriving with John, when he arrives for his annual trip to Gaelcon. Du Gourmand is digging out his special drinking trousers already. 

I had been meaning to write a short series of scenarios for Little Wars, but work over the last few days has been relentless and there has been precious little time. Fortunately, Du Gourmand arrived to lend a hand and together we hashed out a short three game series.  I had given that real food, eaten hot at a table had been something of a rarity for the last few days decided to try something differant. 

I dug out my trusty "French Cooking in Ten Minutes" by Edouarde De Pomaine and kept flicking until I found something I liked. "Chicken Marengo", I thought. Perfect. 

The offending article. 
Du Gourmand sat down and had dinner placed before him.  I asked with a knowing smile, if he recognised it. He managed to correctly identify the ingredients, but failed to identify it as Chicken Marengo. I was a bit dissappointed, but told him anyway - to which he responded. 

"Where are the prawns and fried egg?" 

It emerged that the recipe I had followed was a later adaptation of the classic recipe and lacked certain key ingredients. This was apparently a problem that vexed General Bonaparte himself. 

As always on this blog, the result was a triumph of style over substance and lacked proper Napoleonic research.  It was however, if I say so myself, very tasty. 

A much more rigorously researched production

Dinner taken care of, we settled down to the business of the evening knocking a Little Wars campaign together. 

We came up with the following. 

1780: The Bishopric of Gormanstein and the Grand Duchy of Little Siskington are at peace. However, the Baron of the small, but minerally rich, border province of Targentium has died and there is some question over the succession.  The late Baron was a vassal of the Grand Duke as has been the case since the 1640s. However, the Archbishop of Gormanstein, being the shifty, French funded dastard that is, intends to present the Siskingtonian forces with a fait accompli by moving troops into the Barony in support for his candidate. 

Game One: The Gormansteiners advance across the border into Targentium. The badly outnumber Siskingtonians must fight a delaying action to buy as much time as possible for reinforcements to be rushed to the Barony. 

Game Two: The Siskingtonian reinforcements arrive under Baron Von Taffswald and fight a pitched battle with the Gormansteiners led by the notorious Irish soldier of fortune, Marshall Savage O'Lunacy. 

Game Three: The Gormansteiners rush to take the fortress which controls the Taffwalds Pass. With it in their control, they will be able to cut off the flow of reinforcements to the Siskingtonian Field Army and force it to capitulate. 

With each of these games taking about an hour, I think getting the campaign finished in a day is a possibility. We've settled on a very simple system for determining victory. Whichever side wins two out of three wins the campaign.  If either side wins both of the first two games, the players can opt to disregard the third game. We'll see - to be honest it's something that will only become clear with playtesting. It will also depend on how much floor space we'll have available. 


  1. The triumphant prawn is an artistic achievement of note.


    1. Not mine I'm afraid - thieved from the Internet.

  2. In defence of my reputation as "The Evil Influence" must remind you that when I came over for that great C&C w/e earlier this year, that within 30 minutes of my arrival I had sold you 50 plus figures in front of your dear wife and her mother (I did note signs of your sweaty panic when they watched you hand over the cash), you have been warned!!
    Looking forward to a great w/e, praying guns arrive in time to bring over
    Wonder what Napoleon ate after Waterloo ?? 'umble pie??

  3. Conrad,
    Delicious food aside, are the troops you are playing with at the con unpainted like those in the picture?