Sunday, October 4, 2009

Battlefield Set Up

I have some nifty pictures of the battlefield that we set up for the Big OSW Game today, but Blogger will not allow me to upload any of the pictures. I have tried to do this with several different web browsers (Safari, IE and Firefox), but none of them work today. So I can only assume that it is a problem with Blogger.

At any rate, Bill and Randy joined me in Keith's Basement to set up the three 6ft by 28ft tables. I pretty much had the terrain all nailed down before the other two lads arrived, so all they had to do was to place all of the French forces on the table. We have 17 players signed up as of this evening, but if anyone wants to join in on the fun next week, it is not too late to participate. Just let me know if you are interested and we will find a spot for you.

For now, it looks like we will have 9 French/Allied commands and 8 Prussian commands in the game. I borrowed a few ideas from Keith's In The Grand Manner games for the built up areas. We placed some brown felt squares on the table (18 inches to 24 inches square) and then placed the buildings on top of the felt. So any figure that is within the perimeter of the brown felt is considered to be in the town, regardless of whether or not they are hiding behind a building or a fence or what have you. Thus, the players do not have to concern themselves with who is in cover and who is not; nor do they have to put individual figures inside the building themselves. If you are in the brown, then you are in the cover provided by the village. What a nifty idea!

Keith had some other good ideas too. I initially had the villages with the square side facing the enemy approach from either direction. He suggested that a slight rotation of the village by 45 degrees so that the corner of the village was facing each side's baseline (sort of in a diamond pattern). Thus the village can be attacked from two directions, rather than just one direction and it becomes less of a fortification. Again, what a nifty idea!

If I could upload the pictures, you would see the neatly ordered ranks of cavalry and infantry prepared to fight the battle. All of the Prussian brigades have an index card (4 x 6 inches) layed out on the table next to the brigade. The card lists the name of each battalion or cavalry regiment in the brigade, their status (Trained, Veteran, Elite, etc.) and any identifying ques such as IR20 (light blue flag) to help the player identify the elements in his command. The name of the gamer is also on the card, as well as his "general's name". So John Smith's name is on the card and he knows that he is the Duke of Bevern, and so on.

Once saturday morning rolls around, I anticipate all of the players showing up around 8:30 AM and all they have to do is find the brigade that has their name on it. Each brigade will also have an envelope, sealed with a wax seal, containing their orders for the battle. We are assuming that each brigadier general has already been given his orders (as written on the document) by the army commander. This will minimize the obligatory half hour spent prior to the start of the game wherein each side huddles together and strategizes about what they will do in the game. There might be some of this anyway, but Bill and Randy, as French commanders, have already seen the table and have a fairly good idea of what their objectives will be and they have the ability to come back during the week and inspect the field as much as they care to.

So things are pretty much set up and we are ready to move figures and roll dice. The only things that I have to do are to write up the orders for each player and put them on paper. There will be a few more little things to tweak here and there. I have to print out some labels for each town and glue them onto a nice looking wood plaque which will be posted next to the town; bring some camp tent vignettes with me on saturday and set up French and Prussian headquarters camps, just for eye candy's sake, and that 's about it.

I will attempt to post my pictures tomorrow, hoping that Blogger decides to work again. This seems to happen a couple of times each month and eventually the problem gets fixed. I hate technology, better to live during the Age of Reason when things were less complicated.


  1. *sigh* . . . I wish that I could be there but I'm not even in the US.

    By the way, I really like the idea of "wax seals" on the order envelopes.

    While I haven't tried posting anything I have seen various bloggers mentioning this as an intermittent problem over the past week or so.

    You might try "editing" this post and seeing if you can upload the photos that way.

    Good luck with the game.

    -- Jeff

  2. The set-up for the game sounds excellent, and I love the period flavor of the sealed orders. I wish I could attend but family commitments dictate otherwise. =(