Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Afterthoughts On BlastHof

Its great to see I'm not alone in enjoying picking over these old battles.

Anyone familiar with Charge! will realise that my refight was not an exact reconstruction. Although this (in the original authors' minds at least) was a small battle, it could not be properly contained within the confines of a family dining table. This problem will be far worse for the next battle I am hoping to refight (Action! from 'The Wargame').

Marburgers Close Up - Taken before we chose sides, the wrong general is still on the table.

There were some slight changes to the OOB. These worked very well, the original OOB favouring (in my humble opinion) the infantry-heavy side. It is ironic that the outcome of the battle was decided by artillery. I had reduced the number of guns from two to one on each side. I had originally intended to go further and use a revised artillery effect table, but in the end chose to stick to the original rules in their entirety. The single Rheinfeller gun, once it woke up, blew away an entire infantry company in two turns: one quarter of the Marburger Army.

Fortified by beer and chocolate (no ladies were in attendance to forbid such excesses), both sides pursued extremely aggreassive tactics. This goes entirely against my childhood memories of games fought with Charge! rules, where the tendency was to hang back and bombard the enemy. I don't think we have grown old and foolish just yet, so this change in tactics probably reflected our desire to have a fun game rather than worrying about who won.

We found one major problem (there were many minor ones too) with trying to record the battle. When we came to the critical moment of the battle we were both engrossed in the fight and entirely forgot about taking photos. So the photos of the cavalry charge and melee are of the second and not the first charge. I also didn't take any notes: I'd assumed that with such a simple battle my memory would be sufficient, something that turned out to be an error.


MurdocK said...

yes the habit of taking pictures is one that takes some time to build up...quite often it comes to mind after the critical moment has come and gone.

If one can afford the luxury of a referee or moderator, such a person is the right one to call temporary halts and allow for the cameras to roll.

I have also found that (for really busy big battles) having a video camera running off away from the table to capture the whole of the action can be a really great help in re-constructing the AAR.

Stokes Schwartz said...

Hello there Andy,

Thank you for another photo of your figures and the after action report. I can't get enough of looking at Stadden/Tradition SYW figures, and the style of painting you have used on yours really compliments the castings very well. Isn't it strange, and yet wonderful, how so many of us are still captivated by the various Youngian and Grantian battles all these years later? Anyway, I am looking very forward to more of your painting and discussion as you prepare for the next table top refight. Will you bring these same regiments up to strength, or simply begin work on new ones?

Best Regards,


Andy Mitchell said...

The two infantry battalions used both have their full complement of 48 rankers, 4 officers, 4 drummers, ensign and mounted CO painted. I do have some basing left to do on the odd company. I'm starting work on the next units, of which more anon.

Bluebear Jeff said...

As far as not recalling all of the details, do you think ANY of the historic accounts of fights has EVER done that?

We always "edit" events for our audience. To do otherwise would take as long (or longer) than the battle.

Don't sweat it. Your account was sufficient and enlightening. No need to try and "edit" it now.

Thank you, however, for your post-match analysis . . . I've always enjoyed reading players' thoughts after battles.

-- Jeff

Der Alte Fritz said...

For my game of Prestonpans over the weekend, I had a couple of notecards on which I scribbled notes for each game turn. This helped me reconstruct the battle afterwords. Yet, I still found that i left out some important details or got some facts wrong, something of which I wasn't aware of until I view the "game film" (pictures). I also found that I was so engrossed in my sector of the battle that I wasn't paying enough attention to what was going on at the otherflank, where the battle was won. Typical, don't you think?