Sunday, 23 May 2021

Favourite fictional fight?

  I was thinking about all those fictional fights in the Classic literature of Wargaming. Wells, Grant, Young and all. What is your favourite and why? I think for me it is “Action at Twin Farms” from Battle! Practical Wargames. I really like the drama of the story, the maps and the fact it is an accessible size not to mention that the cast to be assembled is small. Over the years I have played it in different scales, periods and with differing results. Do tell what is your favourite and why...



24 comments:

  1. I have to plump for The Battle of Apocryphal Well, by Grant. A small scale affair but unfolds with drama and surprises.
    There have been many others which I like, the battle of Fiddlers Bottom etc. And the originals from Charge! or How to play Wargames, the book that started it all for me

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    1. Great choice, so much gaming richness there.

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  2. Action in the Platteville Valley by the Immortal Don. Shaped my wargaming for years.

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    1. Excellent ACW choice. I have seen people doing it with Spencer Smith in Blogdom.

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  3. Hook's Farm, Blasthof Bridge and Sittangbad are the first that immediately spring to mind.

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  4. I'll second Arthur's selections, especially Sittangbad. There is just the right balance of humor and fun in Young and Lawford's description that almost grabs one by the lapels and says "Play me!" I've played the game three or four times over the years, always set in the mid-18th century, but there is no reason why the scenario could not fit into almost any other semi-historical context too.

    Best Regards,

    Stokes

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    1. Humour and fun indeed, they do indeed grab us still after all these years...

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  5. Blasthof Bridge for me Alan, a nicely balanced scenario with a manageable amount of little men.
    Regards,
    Paul.

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    1. Young did come up trumps with that one, lends itself to so many periods.

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  6. The Fracas at Bray from Charles Grant's War-game Tactics.

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  7. I also want to nominate The Battle of Platteville Valley, the second land wargame account I ever read (the first being The Battle of Trimsos from earlier in Don’s book). I’ve refought this several times and it makes for a really good solo game.
    Then there is The Battle of the Hellespont, 1881 from Paul Hague’s Sea Battles in Miniature. This introduced me to the delights – and oddities - of pre pre-dreadnought naval wargames.

    ps. I hope I'm not going to end up with duplicate comments, but when I clicked on "preview" my comment just vanished so I don't know whether or not it was put forward for publication.

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    Replies
    1. Great choice and I do like the mention of naval, especially in such an interesting period.

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  8. I read a series of books called The Lost Regiment which featured a Union ACW regiment transported through a portal into a parallel universe and Earth. There they encountered a European land where the top dogs are not our species but large orc-like creatures that have a Mongol lifestyle and ride very large horses. The Union regiment defeat the local human feudal levies and set themselves up as the rulers.
    Then they face up to the beastly overlords who regularly appear to take up their tribute of human flesh for the cooking larder.
    The outnumbered human soldiers include the newcomers with superior weaponry and the newly trained locals.
    The Americans set up factories and steam power to resist the creatures.
    There are many battle descriptions that involve outnumbered humans with fire power against mounted archers.
    The series follows an arms race between the creatures and the humans and they get to the level of having air balloons and biplanes.

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    1. Fascinating and inspiring for your games l can well imagine!

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  9. As I am currently reading Two Towers, the battle of Helm’s Deep is wonderful. The battles in War of the Worlds are also really cool! The Queen’s artillery blasting away at Martian tripods has always made me want to round up toy soldiers and get crafty with metal and wire. Imagine Little Wars of the Worlds!

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  10. Great choice of reading ( do you know the Prancing Pony Podcasts btw, well worth a listen to. I would really like to see the metal and wire craft...

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  11. I think I'd have to agree with you about 'Action at Twin Farms'. I think I inevitably copied Grant's use of Airfix Russians, including the cut-down mortar conversion. I didn't have the German half-tracks, though - interesting that he mixed German and Russian kit, a proper imagi-nation, though not really emphasised in the book.
    I'd also put in a word for George Gush's convoy escort encounter, in his 'Airfix Guide to the ECW' book. Must get some waggons and re-fight that!

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  12. Your request struck a chord - my wargames entry point was via a small village library and a helpful librarian who allowed me to take out an adult book as a child. It was the only wargames book she had. Donald Featherstones Advanced Wargames! Which probably explains a lot of my subsequent quirky approach to wargames! The battle which has stuck with me is in chapter 14 on games with more than two players! Straight after a good ACW idea came a great Franco Prussian War one. Both were about advanced guards. The Franco Prussian one just connected with me although the period was one I knew nothing about. But I did have airfix napoleonics and ACW figures. So I fought lots of advance guard battles with the promise of a main force arriving. So that would be my vote. And it made me a campaigner rather than a battler wargamer.

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