Kriegsspiel News 58 December 2002

KRIEGSSPIEL NEWS 58
December 2002
Editorial
A merry Xmas and a happy new year to all our readers from Bill, Sid, Binky and me. Quite a good likeness of Binky, I think.
10 players gathered for the November game, which was an army level encounter between Red and Blue. This was perhaps the largest battle we have ever fought, although Arthur did run a disguised 1813 Bautzen game several years ago. It was a hard fight, with the issue doubt for much of the day.
We tried a number of new approaches to running this game, and the next issue will focus on several of these, together with a replay. My thanks to the players, and my fellow umpires for their enthusiasm and flexibility.
If you change your email address, can you please not forget to let me know. I do always send missing issues when you finally remember, but it’s more convenient for all of us if you let me know at the time. With an editorial staff of just 17, it is sometimes difficult to meet such administrative challenges. Yes, Denise, you can do my cuticles now……………..
A reminder that I got the wrong dates for future games in the first version of the last KN. Think I used a 2001 calendar instead of 2003 (that’s staff shortages again). Also, although we have only just moved the January game to Saturday 1st February, we are now moving it yet again to Sunday 2nd February. This will be a traditional detachments Kriegsspiel from Arthur Harman. See more details under 1. Forthcoming games below.

Contents
1. Forthcoming games
2. A voice from the past – General Helmut von Reichmuth
3. ACW game – The Battle of Die Selz Creek by Dave Stanforth
4. My experiences at the Battle of Die Selz Creek by General Sullivan
5. Bill & Francesco’s Reisswitz rap
6. Letters
7. Contacts

1. Forthcoming games
The next game on Sunday 2nd February will be a Detachments game, using the 1824 Reisswitz Rules, with an historically based, but fictionalised, scenario. Ruritanian [Red] government forces will be attempting to crush a dangerous rebellion by Bosrovian [Blue] separatists. Both sides will be played.
Please contact Arthur as soon as possible if you are interested, and can definitely commit to turning up, stating whether your preference for Red or Blue forces, so that briefings can be sent out well before the game. There may be some pre-game manoeuvres by email.
Arthur can be reached at arthur1815@lineone.net
Sunday 2nd Feb 2003 Hemel 2.30 pm Detachments Kriegsspiel from Arthur Harman
(please note changed date)
Sunday 23rd March 2003 Hemel 2.30 pm Frederick the Great v Russians from Richard Madder
Saturday 18th May 2003 Hemel 2.30 pm To be advised
If you fancy running a scenario, let us know, as we are happy to re-jig the list to fit it in. We will also provide assistance with the design and umpiring if you need this.
Games are usually held at Bill’s house. Pick up from Hemel Hempstead railway station (and drop off) can normally be arranged. Games finish around 7 pm. If you are interested in playing, give Bill a ring or email as early as possible before the game so we can plan the numbers. If we know you are coming we can also let you know if there are any last minute changes to arrangements. For some games we send briefings out prior to the game, so early contact means you are more likely to get a key command.
We usually start at 2.30 pm and finish between 7 and 7.30 pm, with a break for tea/coffee, cakes and a chat half way through. If you’d like to know more, drop me a line.

3. A voice from the past – General Helmut von Reichmuth
At a recent game at Bill’s, the following elegantly written message turned up from an earlier game. This caused us all some amusement, so I thought I would share it with you.
From Reichmuth at 6.15pm.
Received at 6.45.
Am engaging Blue cavalry north of Sabre.
Wuerttemberg’s Division heading north.
Your request for extra cavalry is noted and ignored.
Stop whingeing and start fighting.
As it happened, the recipient was attending the current game, and pointed out that his superior had disappeared with the army’s cavalry several hours earlier and this was the only communication received since!

3. ACW game – The Battle of Die Selz Creek by Dave Stanforth

Briefing for BLUE General Washington – Dawn, June 18th 1777
General Howe and a combined British and Hessian force landed at Elk River (off map to the west) 14 days ago. His landing was unopposed, the local militia fleeing without firing a shot. As soon as possible you placed your army (approx. 11,000 men) between Howe and Philadelphia – your capital city (which lies off map to the east). Information gathered from your cavalry patrols is that Howe has over 8,000 British Regulars and 5,000 Hessian troops. His cavalry is limited to those troopers of the 16th and 17th Light Dragoons who have found local remounts – all their horses apparently died on board ship.
It is now clear that Howe’s objective is Philadelphia so you have just withdrawn from Nennweiler to a line of defence at Die Selz Creek. Die Selz is deep enough to prevent easy crossing but there are several fords, as indicated on the map.
Howe’s force is at present at Kennet’s Square, approx 5 miles west (off map) of Klein Hagen.

Forces at your disposal:
• Sullivan’s Division – General Sullivan (second in command):
1st Maryland Continental Infantry Brigade (800)
2nd Canadian Continental Infantry Brigade (400)
Delaware Continental Infantry Brigade (440)
2nd Maryland Continental Infantry Brigade (800)
• Stirling’s Division:
New Jersey Continental Infantry Brigade (800)
3rd Pennsylvania Continental Infantry Brigade (850)
• Stephen’s Division:
3rd Virginia Continental Infantry Brigade (900)
4th Virginia Continental Infantry Brigade (800)
• Greene’s Division:
1st Virginia Continental Infantry Brigade (800)
2nd Virginia Continental Infantry Brigade (800) • Maxwell’s Division:
Maxwell’s Light Infantry Brigade (800)
1st Pennsylvania Continental Infantry Brigade (800)
2nd Pennsylvania Continental Infantry Brigade (800)
• Armstrong’s Pennsylvania Militia (900)
• 3 Batteries of Continental Artillery (each 4 x 6pdrs)
• 1st Continental Light Dragoons (Bland) – (squadron of two troops – 80 men)
• 2nd Continental Light Dragoons (squadron of two troops– 80 men
• 4th Continental Light Dragoons (troop of 40 men)
Briefing for RED General Sir William Howe – 8pm, June 17th 1777
You have repeatedly tried to draw George Washington into battle, without success. After much discussion with your generals (Cornwallis and Knyphausen), you decided to attack and capture Philadelphia, the rebel capital (and the second largest city in the English speaking world) – off map to the east.
Your army of 12,500 men was moved by sea and landed at Elk Creek (off map to the west) on the 4th of June. The landing was unopposed, the local militia fleeing without firing a shot! The advance east was slow, as you reconnoitred the country. The weather was hot and the troops were still weak from confinement on the ships – your troopers from the Light Dragoons also needed to find local remounts as most horses had died on the ships. Many citizens of the area are Tory and sympathetic to the British, and from their reports and information from patrols you have ascertained the following:
Washington, at the head of an army of about 11,000, arrived in Nennweiler on the 15th, but yesterday started to withdraw to form a line of defence on Die Selz Creek. Die Selz is deep enough to prevent easy crossing but there are several fords, as indicated on the map.
You are presently at Kennet’s Square – approx 5 miles west (off map) of Klein Hagen. (illustration gratefully pinched from Bob Bergman’s webpage)
Knyphausen’s forces reached Kennet’s Square during the afternoon and the last of Cornwallis command is bivouacking as the light fades. You are hoping to receive more information from the locals and your patrols regarding Washington’s positions at Die Selz Creek in the next few hours.

Forces at your disposal:
• General Baron von Knyphausen:
Advance Guard – Ferguson’s Riflemen (200), Queen’s Rangers (400)
Hessian Infantry Brigade von Stim (900)
Hessian Infantry Brigade von Adler (900)
Hessian Infantry Brigade von Leib (900)
10th & 27th Foot Regiments (Brigade of 800)
Hessian & Anspach Jager Battalion (450)
Hessian Battery (3x 6pdrs)

Squadron 16th Light Dragoons (80 – most mounted)
Squadron 17th Light Dragoons (80 – most mounted) • General Cornwallis:
1st Battalion Light Infantry Brigade (800)
2nd Battalion Light Infantry Brigade (800)
33rd & 37th Foot Regiments (Brigade of 800)
46th & 64th Foot Regiments (Brigade of800)
1st and 2nd Grenadier Battalions (Brigade of 900)
Hessian Grenadier Brigade (900)
Brigade of Guards (800)
15th & 17th Foot Regiments (Brigade of 800)
42nd & 44th Foot Regiments (Brigade of 800)
Battery, British Artillery (4x 12pdr Howitzers)
Battery, British Artillery (4x 6pdrs)
Battery, British Artillery (4x 6pdrs)

The Battle of Die Selz Creek
Apologies to the players if they feel this write up does them any disservice, this is purely down the Umpire writing this too long after the event! The way to counteract this is to get in first with your own version of events and send it in to Martin, as General Sullivan has done.
Washington (Bill) decided to defend the western side of Die Selz. Himself taking position on the western bank opposite Kippringen with Stirling’s and Stephen’s Divisions, the Pennsylvania Militia, 2nd and 4th Continental Light Dragoons and a battery of 6-pounders.
General Sullivan (Richard) was to move to the Karsdorf Ford with his Division, the Delaware Continentals, the 1st Continental Light Dragoons and a battery of 6-pounders.
Here he took up a defensive position on Zwillings Berg covering any line of approach from Klein Hagen, sending forward the 1st Dragoons to Klein Hagen.
A reserve force comprising Green’s and Maxwell’s Divisions was to take position on the SE slopes of Der Rothe Berg.
Bill felt that Howe was most likely to split his forces towards the two fords at Karsdorf and Kippringen.
The forces of his Britannic Majesty were led by Steve (Howe), Vince (Cornwallis) and Paul (Von Knyphausen). They were allowed a conference of war at the start of the game – as the evening of June 17th. After much deliberation they decided upon a single line of advance along the Klein Hagen/Nennweiler road, resulting in a very long column of march. As the British Light Dragoons entered Klein Hagen they were jumped by the Continental Dragoons and driven back, this caused the British column to grind to a halt. They eventually got under way again only to halt in Klein Hagen having sighted Sullivan’s position to the east (See photo 1). Somewhere around this time Steve (Howe) did request to speak to Paul (von Knyphausen) whose Hessians formed the rear of the British column, only to be told by the umpires that the Hessian were no longer there! Paul, becoming frustrated at the delay at getting on the master map, had decided to turn off northwards and then turn eastwards to approach Nennweiler via Altstedten.
Eventually the British got moving with Cornwallis tasked with seeing off Sullivan from Zwillings Berg. After a lengthy artillery bombardment Cornwallis did attack, but Sullivan’s troops held out for some considerable time. Meanwhile Howe concentrated his forces at Nennweiler, with the bulk of the Hessians eventually joining from Altstedten (see photo 2). Washington squared off to the British, taking position on Der Weisse Berg and Der Rothe Berg, behind Nennweiler. After some successes for both sides, a stalemate ensued along this front. However, Sullivan was eventually forced from his position and was forced to pull back the bulk of his forces over Die Selz, leaving Washington in a vulnerable position. At this point real time defeated us all!
Howe had managed to force an engagement, but had not inflicted a crushing defeat on the Rebels. Washington had failed to halt the British advance, but would probably be able to extricate the bulk of his forces to fight again another day!

The real battle
The inspiration for this scenario was the Battle of Brandywine, 11th September 1777, where Howe encountered Washington’s Army in a strong defensive position running along Brandywine Creek. Howe left a strong force of Hessians to distract the Americans while he and Cornwallis took the main British force on a 17-mile forced march around Washington’s right flank.

As the Hessians made no real move to attack, Washington began to suspect that their attack on Chad’s Ford was a diversion. Reports began to reach Washington that Howe was attempting to outflank him, but he refused to believe that Howe would split his forces and would not accept the information until it could be confirmed. Washington received further conflicting intelligence, some leading him to believe that any British move north was merely a feint to draw off troops from the forces facing the Hessians, whom the British would be returning to reinforce. Once the truth was confirmed that he had been outflanked and the British had crossed the Brandywine to the north, he then hastily refused his unengaged right wing to face the threat.
Sullivan’s disorganised brigades collapsed early under British pressure, but Stirling’s and Stephen’s Divisions resisted strongly. As twilight approached several Rebel units were in flight. Washington arrived just after 5.30pm, but could do little more than guide the fugitives’ retreat. Greene’s reinforcements reached the front about 6pm and their stubborn rearguard action and Howe’s lack of cavalry and the weariness of his infantry, prevented the British from pursuing effectively. Washington lost about 1,250 of his 11,000 men. Of his 7,000 strong Left Wing, Howe lost about 540. The British entered Philadelphia on the 26th of September.

A site that tells the story of the battle and the Philadelphia Campaign and also allows you to study the conflicting reports that Washington received:
http://www.ushistory.org/march/phila/brandywine_1.htm

A Guide to the Brandywine Valley:
http://www.thebrandywine.com/attractions/battle.html
4. My experiences at the Battle of Die Selz Creek by General Sullivan

Time
Prior to Battle My force consisting of Sullivan’s Division (1,200 men), the Delaware Continental infantry brigade (800 men) 1st Continental Light Dragoons (80 men) and a battery of six 6-pounder guns were detached by General Washington to deploy on the Zwillings Berg and cover the ford across Die Selz on the Nennweiler Karsdorf Road.
I deployed the Light Dragoons in a forward position at Klein Hagen. The rest of my force took up defensive positions facing east on the Zwillings Berg. My left flank rested on a small copse on the south side of the hill (occupied by the Delaware infantry) and the right was angled back along a piece of cut up ground on the north side of the hill (held by the Canadians of my Division).
7:45am The Light Dragoons reported an enemy column approaching Gross Hagen from the South, the lead troops of which assaulted them and were repulsed.
8:00am The Light Dragoons reported 2 brigades of enemy were deploying against their position. A small force of enemy cavalry were also seen trying to get round their left flank.
8:30am The Light Dragoons were forced out of Klein Hagen by enemy infantry.
8:45am The Light Dragoons rejoined the main position at the Zwillings Berg.
9:00am The enemy deployed in force at Klein Hagen.
9:30am 2 Brigades of enemy marched in line of battle from Klein Hagen in the direction of Nennweiler. My artillery took some shots at them.
9:45am A further 3 Brigades of enemy marched from Klein Hagen in the direction of Nennweiler. There were now 5 brigades of enemy marching this way.
Seeing that my right flank was under threat and having no support to my rear, I ordered the Delaware Brigade to occupy and fortify a small farmhouse in rear of my position on the Nennweiler to Karsdorf road. General Green with 4,000 men was earlier deployed on the rear of Der Rothe Berg, but was now out of sight, I knew not where.
3 brigades of enemy marched directly towards my position. They were accompanied by 12 artillery pieces of superior poundage to those I had.
10:00am The enemy opened a heavy bombardment of my position. Some enemy were seen attempting to out flank my left, I directed the Light Dragoons to deal with this threat as best they could.
The 5 brigades of enemy about Nennweiler deployed in 2 lines. Though they faced north, it was apparent that they were free to fall on my right.
Where was Washington? I had passed all intelligence of the enemy to him and urged him to inform me of his intentions but as yet I had received no communication from him that eased my troubled soul…. (very touching this, I thought. Martin)
10:45am My front line was wavering despite all exhortations to my men to stand firm. To this time I had received no indication from General Washington that support was forthcoming. It was obvious that my position was perilous, since I was pinned frontally and under heavy bombardment from that direction and there were unengaged enemy on my right flank.
The action on my left developed, and enemy musketry fire was coming from the copse on my left flank. I detached skirmishers from the left of my position to deal with the situation.
11:00am I received a communication from General Washington authorising my withdrawal if necessary. Fearing a rout I ordered a withdrawal of my main body towards Karsdorf.
11:15am I now espied friendly forces advancing in line over Der Rothe Berg, to the north of my position.
11:30am The enemy, noticing my withdrawal, attacked the Zwillings Berg with infantry. Unfortunately some of my men were routed by their action, but by this time the artillery and most of my men had withdrawn. I am pleased to report that the Delaware Infantry stood firm and courageous.
11:45am Green and Washington launched some attacks on the British between Nennweiler and my position.
12:00am I reorganised my line to link up with Green to my right, but alas my men were no longer capable of offensive action. I ensured my artillery were safe by redeploying them with infantry support on the Karsdorf side of the ford across Die Selz.
At this point the diary finishes as the game concluded. It was the opinion of the umpires that the Continental forces would lose the battle and be forced into an ignominious retreat with their backs to a river. In any case a detachment of the enemy had captured the ford at Neu Goldberg compromising our position, so we would be forced to retire towards Philadelphia that evening even if we could hold the field.
I felt that our initial plan was flawed because our army was split into 3 divisions with no connecting roads, the enemy only had to attack one wing at a time, which is what they did. The plan further assumed the enemy would move in 2 bodies directly towards the 2 southern fords over Die Selz, they actually did this but they could easily have taken other options and had very nearly sent a substantial force round our right flank towards Neu Goldberg.
It was however an interesting game for me and I quite enjoyed tackling the problem of withdrawing against superior force.
An interesting game to umpire as well. As will be seen from the contrasting views of the outcome, it was not clear what the result would have been had we played on.
In my view the British team had essentially won the battle by breaking the Sullivan’s flank and unhinging the defence of the southern ford. This was well understood by the Rebel generals, who were in close contact by this time, and nervously calculating the odds of getting the rest of the army back across die Selz and away safely.
On the other hand, the British generals did not realise this, being temporarily out of contact with one-another. Their immediate intentions were not particularly aggressive, envisaging some attacks on the northern flank, which were less threatening to Blue. We tend to instinctively think of Kriegsspiel as simulating lack of knowledge of the enemy, but it is equally good at bringing out the importance of communication.
We used 15 minute turns for this game, and the fact that we ran out of time was one of the reasons that Dave and I decided to opt for 30 minute turns in the November game (see next issue KN 59).

5. Bill & Francesco’s Reisswitz rap

Dear Bill, could you please help me in resolving the following doubts?? Francesco

(i) I think that the rule that statues that an Inf. Battalion, an Arty. Battery, and a Cav. Regiment are equivalent, is just a game convention, even though necessary. Nevertheless it is purely indicative. I was wondering if such approach doesn’t risk being too formal or mechanistic (hence giving mechanistic or standardized results). For instance, the sudden and unexpected appearance of a cavalry formation on the flank of an Inf. Battalion. (and its eventual discomfort) is more a matter of psychological reaction than a merely matter of losses. How could we simulate this while playing?
Question (i) Yes you are right. One battalion= 1 squadron = 1 battery – as far as the dice are concerned. If the numbers are different i.e. one battalion v 2 batteries, the odds are different. And of course they will be different in the case of a surprise attack. In fact the first thing to decide in the case of a surprise attack is whether the troops manage to overcome their surprise or not. I think Reisswitz makes a comment on this somewhere.

(ii) In the Odds table below an X appears (in red). Could you please tell me its meaning?
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
1 I IV X
2 I III IV V X
3 I III III IV V V X
4 I II III III IV IV V V X
5 I II III III IV IV IV V V X
6 I II III III III IV IV IV V V V
7 I I II III III III IV IV IV V
8 I I II II III III III IV IV
9 I I II III III III IV IV
10 I I II II III III III
11 I I II II III III
12 I I II II II

Question (ii) The numbers down the side are the number of units in question and the numbers along the top are the numbers of units they are up against. The Roman numerals in the table are the die numbers – so for 2 squadrons versus 3 squadrons the III means Die III, which means odds of 2:1. DIE IV being 3:1 and Die V being 4:1.
For 2 squadrons versus 6 squadrons the X means that it is considered a foregone conclusion in favour of the larger side. Bill

6. Letters

From Binky Rees-Mogg
One takes it that you mean Sunday the 23rd of March 2003 for the Frederick the Great game old chap. And there was one thinking that the backwards time warp applied to God’s own county – and not you men in sharp suits and forward facing haircuts in ‘the smoke’.
Binky subsequently discovered that the January game date was also wrong! Ah well, I suppose that’s my chance of a monocle gone……….

From Richard Madder
Is Binky a 7ft tall white rabbit?
Dash it Binky, I think he’s on to us! Actually, all will be revealed in a future issue, as KN has commissioned a portrait of Binky to accompany an article that he is preparing.

From Francesco Francini
I’ve read your interesting review on Piquet game and I’m considering to purchase a copy. Do you think it is a valid simulation or it is just a well-marketed game?
While some of the detail can appear strange, I think the system gives a pretty realistic portrayal of the confusion of battle, and of the ‘friction’ which can prevent commanders from implementing their plans. It does avoid the chess-like nature of many miniatures rules, and also permits the occasional grand coup.
Is it as good a simulation as a Kriegsspiel (or certain rare computer games)? No, because the realistic results are produced by the artificial means, as initiative swings according to a die roll, and the ability to make use of it depends on which cards you turn over. The occasional distortions of time I mentioned in the review also detract somewhat from the perception of realism.
Overall though, I think it’s as good as you’ll get for 2 players with an open view of the tabletop battlefield. It also has good solitaire possibilities.
It did seem quite expensive to me, particularly if you are buying several modules for different periods. Of course, Count Anthony Hawkins does not have this problem, as he simply extorts the money from his tenants! Sid

From Richard Madder again
I wanted to create a new map for my proposed Kriegsspiel in March. After messing around unsuccessfully half the day with some map making software trying to make up a map of a certain area in the Czech republic which I had visited a few years ago to study a seven years war campaign I gave up my attempt as being too time consuming.
Not completely defeated I tried to find a map to lay under my new map & I happened to stumble upon a Czech site called T-mapy (http://www.tmapserver.com/).
They have a map server for the Czech republic, (rather like the UK’s multi-map.com) that shows segments of maps, but down to —– 1:15000 scale!!!!!, the same scale as the Metz map A4 booklet. What a brilliant find, I am now plodding my way through the server copying 2km x 2km squares and putting them all together as one large map. Provided I can organise printing the collected squares into approx A4 size pages it should be possible to create a usable map for Kriegsspiels.
The Czech republic is a great area for Kriegsspiel, firstly many campaigns have been fought on its soil, Napoleonic, SYW & 1866 certainly), secondly although it is reasonably well developed, there aren’t that many motorways & railways, plus the towns haven’t expanded as much as in Western Europe (except perhaps Prague & Brno). Mind you I can see that the pesky Czechs have built at least one motorway and planned a load more that wasn’t there when I went, can’t they leave their beautiful country alone! I will be forced to rub out these signs of progress!
What an amazing find! This should indeed provide a rich source maps for Kriegsspiel. It would be nice to add some hatching to the hill contours, but other than that the maps look ready to go.
You are hereby awarded the oak leaves to your Reisswitz monocle.

Francesco Francini has since sent what appears to be the US version at http://www.topozone.com/default.asp . This may indicate a proliferation of such sites. As time goes on, they will hopefully be accompanied by utilities to fully adjust the scale, and add useful graphics such as hatching for slopes etc.
For this and his many other contributions to KN, a monocle also goes to Francesco.
A further Francesco find is this site on the Franco Prussian War. It includes articles on some of the war’s ephemera, such as the fall of some minor French fortresses, French POWs in Germany, Prussian artillery. There are also some decent situation maps for once.
http://uk.geocities.com/fpw1870/index.html

From new reader Harald Heller
I try to organize an army-level kriegsspiel with my friends. We are going to play it on 1:25000 maps of the Rhineland. These maps were made by Tranchot and von Müffling from 1801 to 1828 and are still available today.
It’s good to know that another group is actually playing Kriegsspiel somewhere. Do let us know how you get on with the game Harald. If there is any help we can give please ask.
The scale we used for our November large scale Napoleonic game was about 1:15000, or about half as detailed as those used by von Reisswitz for detachments Kriegsspiel.
I was very interested to hear about the maps you are using. Where could we obtain them?

This homepage gives you an overview: http://www.genealogienetz.de/misc/maps-lva.html There is a link to http://www.lverma.nrw.de (in German only). Look for “historische Karten”, click “Kartenaufnahme der Rheinlande 1:25000”.
This looks very good. I see that there are several other maps series listed as well. The Preußische Kartenaufnahme 1 : 25 000 (1836-1850) looks particularly interesting.

These are 1:25 000 reduced replicas of the original 1:20 000 first exact topographical maps of the Rhineland, together with original 1:25 000 supplementary sheets of the northern Berg region. Interestingly the work commenced by Tranchot under direction of the French colonel Jean Joseph, 1801 – 1814, and was continued after the fall of Napoleon, by the Prussian major-general Friedrich Karl Ferdinand V. Müffling in 1816 – 1828.
There are over 200 sheets, most 50 x 50 cms. They cost €10 each, so if you need several sets, it could be expensive. You can find several examples of complete sheets at:
http://www.menden-augustin.de/Menden/fotos-altekartographie.html

From Francesco Francini
When we met for the first time via e-mail you asked me if I had some sources for the battle of Tolentino. I have not forgotten it since then! The main source on the battle and on the whole campaign of the Austrian Feld Marschall Bianchi is probably the book of F. Schirmer “Feldzug der Ostereicher gegen Koenig J. Murat in Jahre 1815″ Prague 1898” kept in the National Public Library of Prague (CZ).
Nevertheless, I’ve recently found an Italian magazine “Alea iacta est!” (www.aleaiactaest.it click on “giochi” (games) then on “Tolentino 1815”) that publishes a rather well worked out board game on the battle. I know it’s the typical board game with an hex map, cardboard die cut counters etc. but I think that with few changes this commercial board game could be easily “translated” into KRGSPL terms! Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll send you a photocopy of all the stuff (map, counters, rules etc.) I’ll be glad if you would share the game with Mr. Leeson and with all the guys of the group. I should order the game by the next two weeks!
P.S. thanks for passing my message to Sid for my queries on piquet. Could you thank him for me ’cause I don’t have his e-address!
Yes I do remember us corresponding about Tolentino. A very interesting battle, and I would like to see the map & counters. The site has an English rules translation thankfully, so I don’t need the rules.
I’ve always felt the battle would make a good scenario, and I see what you mean about the game translating well to Kriegsspiel. Horse & musket boardgames normally seem to be designed at the regiment or brigade level. Unusually, this one uses battalion and squadron sized units. Too detailed for a large battle, but with forces of Tolentino size, this would work well, I think.
I see they also have a game on Adua (Adowa) in 1896.
PS Sid is gratified that his humble efforts find favour……….

From new reader David Fitzgerald
Please forgive me for not getting back to you sooner to thank you for the material that you sent me. I would love to take you up on the game but unfortunately living here in the States kind of precludes that, maybe when get over to UK for vacation in the future.
I’ve always been fascinated by wargames etc.. that have a ref component. One of the first games we played like that was Panzer Leader using three sets of the game with only the ref having all of the pieces on his board. It actually worked out really well and it showed us what all those scout cars were for (rather than using them as cheap armor). Currently I play a lot of Columbia Games “Block Games”. Are you familiar with them? Very good on giving you the fog or war and variable troop strengths.
Currently in my D&D game I have had some miniatures battles, because I’m a frustrated miniatures gamer my players have to content with the yearly “Oh god David’s bringing out the miniatures, were in for a battle” routine. You can see some pictures of the last one at
http://www.avalyn.org/about/About.htm Look under Village of GOL. One of the things that drew me to your page was that scale of the units matching the scale of the map. If you ever have a small role in one of your PBM’s let me know.
We have a number of American and Canadian readers in the same boat. Maybe we should charter an aircraft to fly you all over for games!
I can remember playing Panzer Blitz (the precursor to Panzer Leader). Both old Avalon Hill boardgames. I can imagine that using an umpire and separate maps would improve them no end. We have occasionally based Kriegsspiels on commercial boardgames. The most recent example was Ben Hutchings’ WW2 Tunisia email game, although I think he modified it a fair bit. We should
do it more as you get scenarios, map, OOB and rules.
I’ve seen some of the Columbia games but never played them. Instead of cardboard counters they use wooden blocks, with the unit designation and strengths etc only on the side facing the owning player. They are certainly an advance on most boardgames where you can see everything.
Some of our group are into fantasy games, although we have never done a fantasy Kriegsspiel. No reason why not though. Something out of Lord of the Rings perhaps.

From David F. again
Where do you get your troop blocks from? I went to the address from your site but couldn’t find where they sold the blocks…Could you give me more directions?
Let me know if you have a pbm coming up. Although I run D&D on a regular basis I’m more interested in pre WWII wargames. Let me know if there’s anything I can do
Bill no longer sells the troop blocks, but Irregular Miniatures do. Their website is at:
http://www.irregularminiatures.co.uk/
I’ll check with one of our other US readers to see if there is a supplier in the USA. The same guy (Jeff McCulloch) is also working on a pbem game on the US 1846-7 war with Mexico, which may appeal to you.

From Jeff McCulloch (our US Texas correspondent)
The only shops in the US that sell Irregular minis special order them. Cheaper just to order direct.
The Mexico game is moving along, though slower than I like. I’m waiting on a reprint map from 1850 to arrive so I can provide a period map for players to use. I’m currently working on the political aspect of the game (and never was a war more political). I’ll keep you updated.

From David Fitzgerald again again
I don’t know if you’ve seen this guys site: http://www.fortunecity.com/meltingpot/east/1201/index.htm
Very cool stuff, he has about 3,000 miniatures 1/35th scale I think and plays out in the woods for months. The slightly sad thing is that he plays alone….
Wow! This is incredible. In one part of the site he claims to have 56,000 miniatures! The armies are WW2 vintage and slightly later. Masses of detail on his life, the game and the models. Lots of photos too. I agree that it’s a real shame that he does not involve others.

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