Saturday, May 7, 2016

Setting The Table for the Huge SYW Game

We are bringing back an old tradition, the annual huge giant humongous Big Battalion SYW game done in the grand manner. The game will be played next Saturday May 14th at Kieth L.'s home (he of the three 6ft by 28ft tables in his basement).

A differnt game from 2010, same venue, but different era (Napoleonics) and rules (In The Grand Manner).
Here are a couple pictures of our last truly huge Big BAR game at Kieth's house from several years ago. This gives you an idea of what we are trying to accomplish. This is one of my favorite buildings in my collection, made by Herb Gundt.

Lots of figures are used in our BAR games. The French Army is on the move.

I have come up with an idea for the scenario, borrowing a battle from a different historical era and adapting it to the SYW, and so Bill P. and I met at Kieth's home at the crack of dawn to start laying out the table and terrain. Here is a picture of the game tables before we start setting up  terrain:

The game room prior to the setting up of the terrain.

With so much table area to play with, we first did a preliminary set up of some representative buildings in order to check on the spacing of villages and natural terrain objects. This starts by setting a sheet of writing paper on a spot of the table where there will be a village. We set up a couple of buildings on each sheet of paper to get a general feel for the distances involved. Then out comes a tape measure and we measure the distance between several villages to get a sense of how many battalions can fit into that area. Our Batailes de l'Ancien Regime ("BAR") rules use 60 figure infantry battalions (three ranks with each figure having a one-inch frontage), so the battalion has a 20 inch frontage (rounding up to 24 inches to allow for space between two side by side battalions).

Once we are satisfied with the spacing, then a length of rope is used to indicate where streams, rivers or roads might be placed. After that, we are ready to begin setting up the terrain.

Actually, we will come back on Wednesday of this week and set up the terrain because Kieth recently made some new board sections that still require a coating of green paint. However, we now have a general idea of how the layout will look.

It looks like we will have ten players in the game and each player will command a brigade of 5 or 6 battalions or cavalry regiments, plus some artillery.

There are several clues as to what the scenario is (ignore the model of the Hougoumont in the background, it is just resting there and will not be used in the game), but I doubt that anyone has enough information to make a correct guess. I will post more pictures Wednesday evening as we set up the terrain and forces.

Until then, may the dice be with you.


  1. That sounds like a great game to be involved in. Good luck.

  2. Wow, that basement is vast!!! I look forward to seeing pics frmo the games as I'm sure it will be impressive.

  3. So something like 3000+ figures on the table(s)? The setting on this amplifier goes to "epic"! I look forward to reading about it and seeing some photos. And bravo for all the work put in (going back years obviously) to be able to put on such an event.

    1. I think that we will have over 4,000 figures on the table in this epic struggle.

    2. I struggle to respond with anything better than a Homer Simpson-esque "4000? gaarghh, drool".

      But seriously, what a spectacle such a game should be, and what a challenge as well, maneuvering so many large units in a limited space. A space as wide as a house admittedly (!) but nevertheless, 50-some units in play. Lordy! : )

  4. That sounds like an eminently practical way of going about things. I might steal that idea.