Friday, April 8, 2011

Campaign Plans

It's been quite a while since I was wargaming anything SYW-related, to be honest, but the itch has not gone away. I have resolved on a new project for my nations of Aschenbach and Luftberg, in order to re-launch the enthusiasm. I was campaigning over the small province of Muckenmire, but things have degenerated and slowed so much it seems pointless to become bogged down in it. Time to man up, accept it's halted, and park it for a while. Maybe in the future I can pick it up again (the advantages of detailed record-keeping!)

So, what now? I had toyed with the idea of a large campaign which took on board some of the lessons I had learned from the Muckenmire campaign. I liked the hexes & movement, but felt I had allowed too small an area and clogged it with fortresses - possibly realistic, but something of a struggle to campaign in for a game. I also had higher ambitions, as a flip through the old rulebook 'Warfare in the age of Reason' by Tod Kershner saw the campaign system catch my eye. For those who don't have this, it's basically a full SYW campaign map, with the whole of Europe shown, plus the American Colonies & Indian Subcontinent included.

I liked the notion of something big-scale, but there was one problem: I had Prussian and Austrian armies, but no others - and I had sworn a solemn oath to myself that after long months painting the pair of them, I was never again painting a large 18th-Century army! I abandoned the idea, but the potential still remained and I turned it over and over in my mind.

Finally, another two sources of information/inspiration arrived! On a whim, I got the 'Campaign Cartographer' software for myself to let me draw good-quality maps (after just one too many uninspiring hand-drawn black & white effort) plus I ordered a copy of the old-style classic 'Setting up a Wargames Campaign' by Tony Bath.

I am currently reading through this and sketching out ideas, but I think that I am generally clear on the plan I have: Aschenbach and Luftberg fighting each other through a large map littered with minor principalities and duchies (who, through the influence of their powerful neighbours, just happen to have extremely similar uniforms) plus some colonial footholds that the two superpowers can scrap over through land and sea! I'm still reading onwards, but I shall keep you updated on my progress so you can see how things develop.


Bluebear Jeff said...

Actually a great many of the smaller HRE (Holy Roman Empire) states did use Prussian style and color uniforms . . . and a few used Austrian model uniforms . . . so your idea has much merit.

-- Jeff

abdul666 said...

Tony Bath's book is indeed highly inspirational at several levels, from 'Grand Strategical' moves to RPG-like (inter)actions of characters.
C. Grant's campaign suggestions as outlined in 'The War Game' fit between, at #'Tactical' scale.

"I had sworn a solemn oath to myself that after long months painting the pair of them, I was never again painting a large 18th-Century army!"
Not a large one, but what about one or three imaginary units, to unleash your creativity as a military fashion designer?
There were so many contingents in the Reich Armee that nobody would notice. Hard-boiled 'historical' SYW players usually succumb to the 'Dark Side' firstly with a mixed Legion / Free Corps, though I also saw (and enjoyed) 'River Marines'.

Prince Lupus said...

sounds like an excellent compromise

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