Sunday, March 16, 2008

BAR Game At Chimaeracon In Texas

Opening shot of Ed Youngstrom's BAR game in Texas

I wanted to give a "shout out" or special mention to a worthy Man On Horseback, Ed Youngstrom who ran a visually exciting SYW game at Chimaeracon down in San Antonio, Texas this weekend. I would encourage everyone to follow the link to the Hesse-Fedora blog site and read more about this battle. The rules used in the game were Batailles de l'Ancien Regime (or "BAR" for short), naturally.
Ed reports that he is using 48-figure infantry battalions and 24-figure cavalry regiments. If you look at the pictures (and be sure to click them on to enlarge the view) you will see that these slightly smaller units look every bit as good as the 60-man battalions and 36 to 60 man cavalry regiments that Bill Protz and I use in our games. And that is really the point that I am trying to make here: i.e. that one need not have huge armies in order to play an enjoyable wargame with the BAR rules. I have played games using "half units" of 24 to 30 figures per battalion etc. and find that the rules work very well with different unit sizes.

Ed's game was played on a table measuring 6.5 feet wide by 10 feet long. Each side had 5 battalions of infantry and 4 regiments of cavalry (at least I think that is what the sides were, based on my visual inspection of the pictures). That is another point to make about BAR, when you have larger units and a smaller table, then it is a necessity to reduce the number of units on the table. Bill and I have played a number of games on my smaller 6 by 10 table in my basement and play with about 4 battalions and 2 cavalry regiments per side. This allows us to experiment with smaller scenarios, especially some of the enticing Table Top Teasers penned by Charles Stewart Grant, Jr in Battlegames magazine.

As for the outcome of the game, the blue-coated Hesse Fedoran army (similar to Prussians) seemed to have taken it on the chin at the expense of their enemies from The Empire (similar to Austrians). Regardless of the outcome, it looks like everyone had a fun time playing the game and again, I would like to extend a tip of the tricorn to Ed Youngstrom for putting on such a fine looking game. Bill and I are looking forward to travelling to Austin, Texas in November in order to participate in Ed's "Texas Big Battalion Game."

I will post the final installment of the Battle of Ritterbrucke within the next couple of days. I have been busy painting Austrian cavalry this past week and completed another squadron of the dragoon regiment "De Ligne" that brings this unit up to 36 figures. These were the lads without moustaches that gave Frederick's army such a hard time at Kolin in June 1757. Since they wear green coats, perhaps I will post a picture of them tomorrow, on Saint Patrick's Day.


  1. [Blush]

    Thanks Jim! I think your write up sounds better than mine!


  2. Ed's game is all the more remarkable in that the day before the convention, he had a nasty fall on some steps.

    How nasty? The doctor told him "three broken ribs" . . . and broken ribs are very painful.

    Another tip of the tricorn to Ed for soldiering on through his pain.

    -- Jeff

  3. Ed is going to be named the first winner of the Der Alte Fritz Man on Horseback award (really, he is) for his outstanding contribution to the hobby. I am working on the trophy later in the week. This soon to be coveted award is a painted Foundry Frederick the Great model and I will award these to various game masters when they have done something out of the ordinary. A formal announcement will be made probably on Thursday of this week.

    Perhaps the award will become known as "the Fritzie" or something like that.

  4. Good show Ed! Sorry I was unable to make it down this weekend, finances interrupted the plans. And congratulations on "The Fritzie", well-deserved. I think things are looking very good for us in November in Austin.

    Sir William

  5. Ed
    thanks for reminding me of how much fun I can have with BAR on a smaller table with smaller units!
    I trust this finds you moving forward well after you fall!
    Super game and figures!

  6. Wow! First I get all kinds of ego-expanding reviews, now a reward, and people are even saying "Thanks" on a blog other than my own!

    Thanks everyone!

    But a HUGE "Thankyouverymuch" goes to Bill Protz and Herr Alte Fritz. I got started on this whole SYW thing with big battalions due to the Journal of the SYW Association, at the time edited by Herr AF, plus he sent me some very timely and useful emails at the same time.

    And, of course, Bill wrote the rules that made the game and the spectacle both so enjoyable.

    Thanks guys!