Heretical Gaming is my blog about my gaming life, featuring small skirmishes and big battles from many historical periods (and some in the mythic past or the far future too). The focus is on battle reports using a wide variety of rules, with the occasional rules review, book review and odd musing about the gaming and history. Most of the battles use 6mm-sized figures and vehicles, but occasionally 15mm and 28mm figures appear too.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

End of the Battlegames Campaign

I started my go at the Battlegames Martinstaadt Land Grab campaign back in August 2017.  It has come to a conclusion after a decisive French defeat made it look impossible for them to retrieve the situation, since there are no reinforcements in the campaign and their Austrian adversaries already hold the key towns.  This meant it felt like the right moment for the French General to ask for an armistice to withdraw the remainder of his forces from the theatre of operations.

It is an excellent campaign scenario and I thoroughly recommend it.  It is evenly balanced, which is fairly key for a head-to-head campaign.  It did become harder and harder to see how the French could win after their series of defeats.  I did not mind that, but it might bother someone else, so possibly an optional reinforcement rule might help, or have a proportion of casualties replaced or return to units.

The Polemos campaign rules from the Polemos Napoleonic Companion worked tolerably well, although there are a couple of changes I will make in future.  I used a slightly (and I do mean slightly) more complicated movement and logistic system, which I felt made the game more logical although the basic mechanics actually held up very well and again would recommend it: the tempo system does seem to produce believable results (and problems from systemic inertia).  The changes were:

The logistic chain can only extend 10 hexes on roads; off-road in the open counts double.
Maximum stacking in a hex is 51 bases/17 brigades; roll a die for every unit in an over-stacked hex, 1 = eliminated; on reflection, this would have been more interesting if I had halved the limits.  I think this is right in principle, but needs more thought on the calibration.
Maximum 2 hexes of movement in open (no roads)
Maximum 1 hex of movement in hills (no roads)
After a victory, uncommitted light cavalry and dragoons can roll 1d6; 5-6 eliminates a random enemy base.

I don't particularly rate the siege rules in the Polemos Companion but since they didn't actually come up, I won't comment further here.

The main problem in my playing of it was its disjointed nature, purely as a result of when I could best fit it into my gaming schedule. Spreading half-a-dozen battles over 18 months isn't ideal to get the proper emotional engagement; but actually it only took 2-3 months of playing time, which is perfect really - and half-a-dozen division or corps-sized engagements is a pretty reasonable amount.  Given a more even spread of results, I think it might end up lasting 10 battles or so.  When I next refight this campaign, which I fully intend to do, I am going to try and devote a specific chunk of my gaming time to playing it out in a single period of a few months.

First Battle of Martinstadt
Second Battle of Martinstadt
Battle of Iferbrucke
Battle of the Steinwasserbrucke
Battle of the Steinwasserberg

Many thanks to the scenario writer, Henry Hyde, for producing such a useful and adaptable campaign.


  1. That's fantastic. So glad you have enjoyed yourself and that the scenario has survived its trial by fire! ☺️

    1. Thanks Henry, it is a very good campaign scenario; as I said above, highly recommended.