Posted by Martin on February 15, 2011
Wargames Soldiers and Strategy is set to return.
Something I just picked up from the WD3 Forums: Wargames Soldiers and Strategy (AKA “The Spanish Magazine” is about the have its English language editon ressurected by a Dutch publisher. Now if that isn’t a fine example of the European Community in action, I don’t know what is!
You can read a full press release on the new publisher’s website. That’s one thing that’ll go on the list for Salute 2011 then.
Good luck to all involved!
Posted in Forward Patrol | Tagged: Magazines, Wargames Soldiers and Strategy | 1 Comment »
Posted by Martin on May 25, 2010
One of the spin-offs of the recent series of posts about organizing Prussian forces for Republic to Empire was a spate of comments speculating about the correct terminology for ad hoc formations placed under a sub-commander by Prussian brigade commanders for specific tasks. There was no definitive conclusion so I’ve been asking around about this and had feedback from Peter F., George Nafziger and Peter Bunde as well as some of the regular BfK readers.
The upshot is that nobody is aware of a specific formal term that was used by the Prussian army. However, consensus is that the German word Abteilung would have been understood and recognised at the time. While this is a helpful conclusion, it does leave one final difficulty because Abteilung is used in many different senses by Germans and therefore has a range of possible translations into English depending on the context. General opinion is that the most appropriate translation under the circumstances I’m thinking of is detachment. So now all I’ve got to do is decide if I prefer to use the English or the German…
Elsewhere, my attention has been drawn to an article in the current issue of Miniature Wargames that compares four horse and musket rulesets: Sam Mustapha’s Lasalle, Black Powder, Foundry’s Napoleon and, the much admired in these parts, Republic to Empire. I scanned through the article at the shelves of W H Smith yesterday and came away feeling a bit disgruntled at what I view as some shoddy handling of Republic to Empire.
Of course, it’s fair to say that I only skimmed the piece and that reviewers are entitled to their own opinions – even ones that differ to mine 🙂 However, I did get the impression that the reviewer went into the venture with pre-conceived notions and looked only for things that confirmed his initial position. The main criticisms are ones that I’ve seen voiced on TMP by people who, by their own admission, have never even played the rules. Namely, a mistaken belief that Republic to Empire is overly complicated, hard to learn and too time consuming to play. As somebody who’s had the privilege to participate in a game at Salute I can tell you categorically that such criticisms are bunkum.
Back to the Miniatures Wargames piece – at least they did attempt some playtesting of each ruleset, so credit is due there. However, I think that the nature of the playtest (for example, it only being on a 4ft x 4ft table) was almost doomed to show Republic to Empire in a poor light. I think that to give any ruleset a fair crack of the whip you need to be sensitive to the conditions under which its authors intended it to be used.
Finally some sad news this week. Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy AKA The Spanish Magazine has announced suspension of publication of its English language edition. It’s a magazine for which I have a high regard and affection. I think it shook up the complacent competition and I’m fortunate to count some of those involved with it among my regular correspondents. As far as I understand, the magazine will continue to be published in Spanish but the current financial climate has made it uneconomic to continue in English at present. I sincerely hope this is a case of adieu and not goodbye.
Posted in Reading List, Rulesets | Tagged: Magazines, Miniature Wargames, Prussia, Republic to Empire, Wargames Soldiers and Strategy | 2 Comments »
Posted by Martin on May 1, 2010
I’m delighted to announce that my article about building a late-Naoploeonic Prussian army that originally appeared in Wargames Illustrated 268 is now available for you to download for free from BfK. My thanks to Dan and his colleagues at the magazine for granting permission for this to happen.
As with any article you write, things happen to it during the production process so that the final, edited version is different to the one originally submitted. I’m not complaining because such changes are usually to do with professional quality control and add polish to the finished item. However, on re-reading the published version of the article, I think it’ll be helpful for me to add a few explanatory notes.
The main clarification I’d like to make concerns the example Orders of Battle in the article. The guys at Wargames Illustrated did some lovely pictorial representations of these rather than print my rather prosaic text. These are great but did lead to some questions about the details of the brigade structures, so here’s some more specific detail to accompany them.
Firstly, von Zieten’s Upper Silesian Brigade serving with Blucher’s Second Corps during the Spring 1813 campaign. The OOB is as follows:
- Silesian grenadier battalion.
- First Silesian infantry regiment (three battalions).
- Second Silesian infantry regiment (two battalions).
- One battalion from the Lieb regiment.
- Two companies from the Silesian Schutzen battalion.
- Neumark dragoon regiment (four squadrons).
- First Silesian hussar regiment (two squadrons).
- Second Silesian hussar regiment (two squadrons).
- Foot artillery battery No. 11.
- Foot artillery battery No. 13.
- Horse artillery battery No. 9.
Secondly, von Kraft’s 6th Brigade serving with Bulow’s Third Corps during the Autumn 1813 campaign:
- Colberg Infantry Regiment (three battalions).
- 9th Reserve Infantry Regiment (three battalions).
- 1st Neumark Landwehr Infantry Regiment (four battalions).
- 1st Pommeranian Landwehr Cavalry Regiment (four squadrons).
- Foot artillery battery No. 16.
Next, von Kraft’s 6th infantry brigade serving with Borstel’s second corps in 1815:
- 9th (Colberg) Infantry Regiment (three battalions).
- 26th (Elbe) Infantry Regiment (three battalions).
- 1st Elbe Landwehr Regiment (three battalions).
And finally, the 3rd cavalry brigade serving with Borstel’s second corps in 1815:
- 4th Kurmark Landwehr Cavalry Regiment (six squadrons).
- 5th Kurmark Landwehr Cavalry Regiment (four squadrons).
- 4th Elbe Landwehr Cavalry Regiment (six squadrons).
Secondly, a few people have asked me about the “Painting Your Prussians” panel. I’d like to clarify that I didn’t write that section or paint the 15mm figures featured in it. So I can’t really provide helpful answers about the paints and techniques used. If you want to know how I paint 28mm Prussians, the answer is simple: watch this space! I (fairly) regularly write posts about what I’m painting, my techniques and the paint, brushes and other equipment I use. And, perhaps foolishly, I aim to include work-in-progress photos where possible.
Thirdly, I devoted a section of the article to the discussion of how many wargames rulesets don’t do justice to the Prussian army – especially in terms of command and control. In general, I stand by that argument but now that I’m becoming increasingly familiar with the Republic to Empire rules, I feel the need to say some more about how these particular rules treat Prussian forces. I won’t do that in this posting simply because of time constraints at the time of writing but I promise to devote a post to this topic in the near future.
Posted in Announcements, Commissions, Reading List | Tagged: Magazines, Prussia, Wargames Illustrated | 7 Comments »
Posted by Martin on July 1, 2009
I might always miss the painting deadlines I set myself but today I hit the deadline for delivering my Wargames Illustrated article about building a late Napoleonic Prussian wargames army. Dan will be pleased (I hope).
It’s been a bit of an up-and-down experience. Some parts just flowed really easily while others were smelly socks that I kept putting off until the end. I’m glad I made a solid outline plan at the start though otherwise the thing had potential to take on a life of its own. The thing I found hardest was to remember that it’s supposed to be an introductory article which brought two challenges. Firstly, I couldn’t assume the reader has familiarity with terms and facts that I take for granted. Secondly, and almost an opposite consideration, I had to resist the temptation of going off into too much detail in any specific area.
So I hope I’ve struck a balance – I’m sure Dan will tell me if he wants any changes plus I’ve asked Peter F. to cast an eye over it so I know I’ll get some useful expert feedback from that direction. All being well, the article is still scheduled to appear in the September 2009 issue.
If that works out, I’m going to try to tempt Dan with an analogous article about the Saxon army.
Posted in Commissions | Tagged: Magazines, Prussia, Wargames Illustrated, writing | 1 Comment »