Thursday, December 27, 2007

The First Teddy Bear Battle

Lord Paddington Bear's Pink army (Eureka Miniatures painted by Der Alte Fritz).

Lady Emma Cuddleston-Smythe watches as her Blue Bear army marches onto the field of battle. (Bears by Eureka Miniatures, trees by K&M, buildings by Herb Gundt - the builder, not the owner of the Gundt Bear Company).

We held our first Teddy Bear Wargame today and I'm happy to say that my daughter holds great promise as a future general, because she thoroughly defeated her Daddy 25 points to 10 points. The field of Mars was our kitchen table (3ft by 6ft) with two armies (blue and pink) of 24 bears facing one another for the very first time. The prize: Almond M & Ms strewn about the table top in various buildings and wooded areas. Whoever inflicted the most "hits" and collected the most M&Ms would be the winner of the game.

The picture above depicts the advance of Lady Emma Cuddleston-Smythe's army of blue bears, from the left. Note the perfectly aligned battle lines of the blue bears. It makes a father feel right proud, it does. In contrast, Lord Paddington Bear's army of pink bears, advancing from the right, was having problems keeping the lads together in a common frontage. You can see some of the "honey pots", represented by the M&Ms, in the Hundred Acre Wood in the background. Lady Emma's army has already captured the little hamlet of Stiefsburg, although she is unaware that each house contains a veritable treasure of honey pots.

The rules that we used were made up on the spur of the moment. A D6 was thrown each turn to see who would have the first movement initiative. A player could then opt to walk (three D6 movement) or run (four D6 movement rate). Firing ranges were Close Range (0-6" and a 1 or 2 on a D6 per figure firing for a hit) and Long Range (7-12" and a 1 on a D6). All casualties could be saved on a saving roll of 6 on a D6. Casualties were then placed "in the hospital" for the remainder of the game.

The next picture, above, shows the state of the respective armies at the end of Turn 2 (which was the first turn of musketry, or should I say corkage - the Bears have cork gun/pop guns instead of muskets, and getting bonked on the head by a cork sent a bear to the hospital). Lady Emma Cuddleston-Smythe won the first firing initiative and mowed down 8 of my Pink Bears in the opening salvo. I think that I was only able to save one of my bears with a saving throw. Lord Paddington Bear's lads only knocked down three of their counterparts on the first turn. In the picture above, you can see that the two units at the top are in close range, while the two units at the bottom of the picture are in long range.

Lady Emma Cuddleston-Smythe looking very pleased with the performance of her Blue Bear army. Note all of the Pink Bear casualties laying on the ground.

The second firing turn was a little more promising for Lord Paddington Bear's Pink Bear army. They sent 6 Blue bears to the hospital while losing only one of their number. Thus the score was 9 to 8 in favor of the Blue team at the end of turn 2. This was to be the high-water mark of the Pink team, as they were unable to inflict any more trips to the hospital on their adversaries. At this point, both sides decided to start collecting honey pots in the nearby Hundred Acre Wood.

The Pink army casualties are starting to mount up in the Hundred Acre Wood, on the right. The Blue bears can be seen running into the woods to collect honey pots (M&Ms) while a forlorn hope of Pink bears, under the personal guidance of Lord Paddington Bear, conduct a rear-guard defense.

The third turn of firing resulted in a complete whiff by the Pink team, while the Blue team inflicted two more casualties. Thus the score was now 11 to 8 in favor of the Blue team. The Blue team was also running away with most of the honey pots, having collected 4 in the village of Stiefburg, 2 more in the Hundred Acre Wood, and most embarrassingly, 2 more honeypots in Gundtdorf, far in the rear of the Pink army's lines. The Pink army had 2 honey pots collected from within the smaller of the two buildings shown in the picture above, as well as control of 2 more honey pots in the Wood beyond the village of Stiefburg.

Blue Bears collecting honey pots (M&Ms) from Gundtdorf, behind the enemy's lines.

The fourth turn was a complete disaster for Lord Paddington Bear's army. He lost 4 more bears while inflicting no damage on the Blue army. At this point, Lord Paddington Bear was the last bear standing in front of a firing line of Blue bears. Thus, he decided that it was time to skedaddle, and he did so without informing the garrison of 4 Pink bears, holding out in the little tiny house. Lady Emma decided that it was time to storm the tiny house and capture the honey pots and the Pink bears therein, the storming of which is shown below.

The storming of the Tiny House by the Blue Bears.

I made up some quick melee rules on the fly, as it were. Each side would get one D6 for each bear participating in the melee. The side with the highest score would win the melee. Lady Emma threw seven dice to four for the defenders, outscoring them 32 to 20, so she won the melee and captured two more honey pots. The four Pink bears inside the building had nowhere to run, so the surrendered (and counted as hit points). After the melee, there were only four members of the Pink army still standing on the kitchen, erm wargame table and so it was obvious that Lady Emma's army was victorious over Lord Paddington Bear's army. Thus to the victor goeth the spoils, which in this case, were Almond M&Ms. Her Highness consented to sharing her large pot of loot with her Daddy, which was greatly appreciated.

This will undoubtedly be the first of many battles in the Seven Bears Wars and I look forward to future encounters on the kitchen table.


  1. I don't believe that I've ever seen a more charming Commander, and one who is obviously very adept at the Art of War. Her father should indeed be very proud and pleased, and its obvious that his Christmas gift will "keep on giving" in the best possible way. Congratulations my friend, I believe you have done well this day (especially since the fair Lady shared her spoils with you!).

    Sir William the Envious

  2. I agree with Sir William. And I suspect that Lord Paddington Bear was perhaps deceived by the lovely blue eyes of Lady Emma.

    It looks like it was a delightful little battle . . . and I really like those taken out of action "going to hospital" as opposed to being slain.

    Bravo, sir.

    -- Jeff

  3. What a wonderful and charming way to spend some time together, Fritz! I hope you'll get to play again soon (and maybe she'll let you win. ;-))


  4. What a super game , report and photgraphs!

  5. Hi Jim,

    I must echo all of the previous comments. A charming game description and an equally charming (and skilled) enemy commander. Well done! I hope that someday down the road I might be able to enjoy something similar with my own tactical prodigy.

    Best Regards,


    Nice paint job on the teddybears. Your daughter's face must have been priceless when she saw them on Christmas Morning.

  6. Bravo and Well Done! That is how I ensnared my daughters! They are still, at 14 and 17, my favorite opponents.

  7. Wonderful! Working out the un-bloodthirsty rules, rewards and so on is a triumph. It's so refreshing to see that wargamers, who can get so serious about our hobby, do have a sense of humour and of fun.

    My very best wishes for the new year and I am sure you will continue to inspire us in many directions.


  8. An excellent and inspiring account. Sounds like you achieved all that you hoped for, and my compliments. How could the Blue Bears have failed to perform well with so sweet a commander to inspire them? She looks like a darling, and she's clearly having a great time.

  9. What a charming little game! Well done to Lady Emma, and well done to you for the non-violent set of rules.

    Children are supposed to beat their dads? Someone should've told my father that when he played against me way back when - he whupped me every time! ;)

  10. It is a running theme in our household that Her Ladyship defeats her Daddy in nearly every form of competition. Once in awhile I pull off a win just so that she does not always expect it, but she wins enough to build up her self-confidence.

  11. A really lovely idea and realization!


  12. What a lovely way to spend some quality time with a loved one! I'd say that win or lose both opponents had an excellent time that will be long remembered. Say....we might have to use the "M&M" rule in any future conflicts involving the Markgraaf around here!


    Martin a.k.a. the Markgraaf of Raubenstadt

  13. Wonderful! This account brought a smile to my face.
    The rules sound like just the ticket for the circumstances and I like the idea of the M & M's as treasure/vp's.
    Mayhap an egg hunt for Easter?

  14. Lovely report, very cute game indeed.

    Had me smiling big time.