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Refighting the Battle of Vitoria (1813)

Introduction

We used Rob’s impressive wargames shed over three days (Friday 10th – Sunday 12th March 2017) to refight one of the decisive and more intricate battles of the Peninsular War, using several thousand well-painted 15mm figures mainly from Phil’s extensive collection. Noel also provided some Portuguese figures. Not wanting what promised to be quite a spectacle to be forgotten, I volunteered to be scribe and war reporter.

Background

ECW - Club Night

I hosted one of the Friday club games and put on an ECW game. This was purely an infantry affair with the Royalist defending the outskirts of small town and the Parliamentarian forces were to take the town. We used our house rules. It was also an excuse to use my Grand manner Church which is a great model! The Royalist managed to hold the town as a result of a large collective morale failure on the side of Parliament after watching one of their first regiments rout.

Wargame Weekend – Napoleonic Peninsular war

The Other two-day wargame weekend was he had was a large Peninsular game which had a large French army out to destroy a Spanish Army before being rescued by its British allies. We used Phil’s great collection of 15mm figures.

As I played the Spanish on day one and the French on day two I saw the battle from both perspectives. It was a great game although I was somewhat poor in my photographic coverage over the two day!. Despite playing for 2 days we did not have a conclusion although the British were making strong headway against a tired and battered French army at the end of Day 2

Wargame weekend - Samurai Shogun

For one of our summer wargame weekends we played over two days a big samurai game using Phil’s fantastic 15mm figures.

The object of the game was to become Shogun. This was achieved by the player who controlled the entrances to the imperial Place (set in the centre of the table) and having the most money at the end of the game. Phil was umpiring, decreed there were two sides in this conflict one headed by myself and one headed by Brian as the richest clan heads. Each player was given money to bid for a clan and then once he had a clan they could bid for more clans and Monk armies. There were over 9 samurai clans to acquire and 5 monk armies to acquire. Brian and I had the job who persuading other players to join our faction and they were able to swap sides at any point! This provided many humorous episodes during the game as Brian and I tried to lure players to each of our factions. Players were also allowed to steal from each with added to the tension!

Brian and I were one of the first to get a calm (thanks to our greater wealth) and enter the table. At once we engaged in combat. I was lucky to persuade Mark to join my faction early who had secured a huge Monk army. Together on the first day we attached Brian’s samurai army. Brian was unable to persuade many other players to join him apart from Dave to help him out. Noel in particular did a great job of collecting bribes and stayed firmly on the fence. He did not lift a Katana in anger for the whole weekend! At the end of day one Brian was in not a position to continue the fight (not surprising as we fighting two of the biggest armies single-handedly) and Phil allowed him to join me and he made a new player head of the opposite Faction head – Piotr.

On day two Piotr tried to split my samurai army from my allies and nearly succeeded but was beaten by the combined armies of own, Mark’s monk’s army and Brian’s samurai clan. The other players had declared their allegiances to me at the end of Day 1 and despite Piotr’s valiant attempts with offers of lots of money he was not able to persuade any other players to join him. The fact that the other player’s armies were shadowed by my forces did not help him at all. On the last turn Piotr, knowing he was going to lose gave all his money to one of my allies Jonathan which made him Shogun! A good game which brought out our paranoia and our distrustful personalities to the full.

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