Date: 6 December 1756/2014
Location: Gildershaven, Germania
Situation: Welcome to Prosperous Germania!
Was? (What?) Our Annual Lt. Troop BAR Game
Rules: Batailles de l'Ancien Régime 1740-1763 BAR
To obtain a copy for Christmas, see oldregimerules.com
BAR is for BIG Battalion and small sized units too.
Our annual BAR Light Troop Game is held the first Saturday in December. On this occasion each player had mission orders specific to the soldiers under his command. Some were hungry. Others desired to increase the 100 Marks each actually held in small USA coinage; pennies $.01, nickels $.05, dimes $.10 and quarters $.25. One penny equalled one mark. You'll see why in a moment.
The following pre-game photos show picturesque environs around the Port of Gildershaven especially for our ten participants and all viewers too.
Guards in the previous photo are off image to the left. Additional guards are posted in the tower.
The port of Gildershaven.
Far to the east of the harbor enclosed fields, animals and homes are at peace. Idyllic isn't it?
THE GAME BEGINS IN THE WEST
Late in the forenoon, the toll gate guard was being relieved when...
Cossacks began crossing the bridge into Germania from the west.
(Cossacks commanded by and from the collection of Michael M.)
The commanding officer, (Dan W.) was delighted by the 19 Marks collected ($.19 if I recall correctly) not only for The Duke of Germania but also for himself. He felt minimal relief that an incident did not occur.
After paying the toll, the Cossacks rode quietly eastwards. Some appeared to be very hungry as they cast eyes left and right.
Michael had orders to feed all his starving men before 2:00 p.m. real time or lose men that would run off foraging on their own. Fortunately none did.
Others thought it odd a band of Cossacks were promenading within Germania so far from home. These included a body of Gallian Bercheney Hussars guarding the flank of Lanciers de Saxe. The latter were escorting important female members of the Gallian court.
Eventually the Lanciers de Saxe turned to the flank to protect their V.I.P.s. The toll gate guard formed up to assist the party as well.
Even the tower and toll gate guards were worried as they followed in the wake of the Cossacks. The Gallians (Curt B.) successfully got the ladies across the bridge with the Lanciers de Saxe galloping behind them. Not shown: the Cossacks turned about to attack the Bercheney Hussars who died almost to a man protecting the Gallian courtiers escape.
In so doing the Cossacks looted each Bercheney casualty. Michael and Curt threw D6s versus each other. If Michael won, he looted one mark ($.01) from the casualty.
Sometime later the Cossacks reversed course and galloped over the bridge to escape a vortex of trouble that began swirling about them.
CONCURRENTLY IN THE EAST
As they approached the Gildershaven Inn they heard....
However, things went wrong. These Cossacks were starving similarly to their brothers miles away to the west. Once the Duke was out of sight, the Cossacks plundered the Inn. Three D6s were thrown for marks. Another three D6s were thrown for food.
THE VORTEX IN THE CENTER
The dock and supporting buildings at the Port of Gildershaven.
Their troop of Hussars wait a little distance away.
Dispersed to the winds near the harbor and....
To the eastern bridge far away. These were all from the collection of Der Alte Fritz, Jim P. who with Earl K. commanded them all.
(1) Everyone was present for duty by 10:00 a.m. Chris K. brought a bottle of wine to share. I took the occasion to toast ourselves as a very companionable group and stated how much I appreciated all of them and for all they've contributed over the years. A second toast was offered for the celebrated miniatures designer and entrepreneur, the late Peter Gilder, for his classic miniatures, personal style and indeed his teaching about the marketing of selling toy soldiers to one member present.
(2) Written orders and various other important details were distributed to each player. No one knew anything other than what was then on the table and within their orders. Fog of War was essential.
(3) Movement was by card draw. Five sets of four cards each were assembled and shuffled multiple times. Each set had one Heart, Diamond, Club and Spade. Cossacks and the mysterious black uniformed brigade moved on a Club or Spade. Germanians moved only on a Diamond. Lady Pettygree and the Umpire activated on either a Heart or Diamond. This is not routine for BAR but it worked to give flexibility to those who most needed it.
(4) Cards were not used for Fire. Instead, players threw a D6 versus each other. The winner fired first; the loser second. A tie caused simultaneous fire. This is also not routine for BAR. I instituted it to make turns go faster.
(5) Also to help turns move faster, a kitchen timer was used. If someone was not finished at the end of five minutes, unmoved miniatures were frozen. It happened only once.
(6) The game started at 10:40 a.m. and concluded around 3:00 p.m. including a break for lunch. My wife brought down a sandwich tray, cole slaw and to this was added other scrumptious items brought by participants. Thank you everyone!
(7) Miniatures to real men ratio: 1:1.
(8) Who won? Everyone! How? Every participant achieved individual mission goals. Those who profited the most were The Duke and Toll Gate Commander.
(9) After the game we feasted on a delicious birthday cake to celebrate Michael's imminent birthday.
(10) Chuck and Todd unfortunately could not be present. However, they received compliments through me about vegetation placed around the harbor. It all came from aquarium departments in pet stores. Hedges were from Chuck's collection of scratch-built Normandy bocage.
(11) The harbor was made as follows. The top of 1/2" thick Homasote fiber boards was painted with a very thick house white primer paint. Really thick. After drying, Liquitex Professional Acrylic Artist Color, Soft Body, Phthalocyanine Blue (Green Shade) was spread on top. I worked at it to so it appeared shallow and deep in various places. White showing through gives the illusion of a sandy bottom. The whiter it is the shallower it appears.
(12) Not very many shots or hand to hand combats occurred. Players were busy trying to avoid conflict while adding to their wealth, avoiding starvation or trying to get away. There was constant negotiation. Afterwards someone said it was more like a role playing game.
(13) OUR COMPANIONABLE GANG OF TEN
Seated left to right: Harbormaster John B., Gallian Troupe Curt B., Germanian Light Cavalry Keith L. and Black Legion Earl K.
Standing left to right: The Duke of Germania Chris K., Eastern Area Cossacks John M., Black Legion Jim P., Tower & Toll Gate Commander Dan W., Western Area Cossacks Michael M. and yours truly the Umpire Bill P.
Thanks a million pards!
* * * * * * * * * *(14) Participants and readers are very welcome to post remarks below at Comments. Same will appear after review due to an unwelcome spammer. However, I check the site daily so the wait won't be long.
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