Friends of the Featherstone Library/Operations

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The Friends of the Featherstone Library

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Group Operations

None, currently.


The following reports reconstruct some of the many tabletop wargames that are played out at the Featherstone Library between members of the FotFL. These wargame scenarios have been recorded not only for reasons of personal pride, but also to possibly provide insight for potential tactical uses later. Not that that's too likely, but you never know.

Battle of Wagram

If we get enough decent chaps together, with leave passes duly stamped by the old Sergeant Major, we should be able to have a regular club night. And just in case anyone wants some further background reading on the battle please refer to this historical account. Anyway, on with the battle.

[ The sounds of a survivor approaching, their footsteps sounding off clearing on the library's hardwood floorboards, and then stopping abruptly. ]

Simon Shakewell: "Fancy meeting you here Brigadier. Well actually it is the only decent place around, now that those rotten chaps have started cluttering up the place."

Brigadier Peter Young: "You look a bit tired, Simon. Not the best of times. What is that you are reading... oh that old book by Charles Vasey. I was quite taken with those rules, though I could never encourage young Donald to take them seriously."

Simon Shakewell: "I had just got to my favourite campaign, when Archduke Charles, has to defend the Danube crossing after his abortive assault a few days before."

Brigadier Peter Young: "Quite an interesting campaign. You know Simon, I happen to have rescued some models and a few odd bits of terrain... I am sure we could get a game going. I'll just set up my soldiers here...and here.... why don't you play the Austrians?

Simon Shakewell: "Okay."

[ The noise of tables being shifted around, chair legs scrapping over the library's hardwood floor, and then that glorious old smell of rubberized lichen being fetched from their zip-locked bags. ]

Brigadier Peter Young: "Right then, I have deployed my forces. The grand battery will be there covering the advance of the Old Guard, with some cavalry looking menacing on their flank. I do hope that old bridge will last. Pity it is only about 2 and half bases wide."

Simon Shakewell: "Okay. So I place my blue trousered Croatian light infantry into the woods. Behind the river line and the tree line are my beautiful white fronted regular Austrian infantry. A good solid single line. And massing behind them are the cream of the Austrian cavalry."

Brigadier Peter Young: "Okay, my battery fires... I get a 3, which should be a hit I believe...."

[ The sounds of rulebook pages can be heard turning rapidly followed by a few muttered calculations. ]

Brigadier Peter Young: "Yes, you've lost a couple of figures off that unit there."

Simon Shakewell: "True, but they do not need to take a morale test just yet, since no advancing enemy infantry is within 18 inches and they are behind a natural obstacle, the river."

Brigadier Peter Young: "The main trouble here is getting the figures to fit on the bridge, I should really have a bridge that is 4 figures wide - they look terribly jumbled like that..."

Rotten Guacamole: "Uhmm... terribly sorry to interrupt you gentlemen, but is there any chance I could stay here for a while to get some rest? I'll gladly assist you if you need any help with the uhmm...smelly, limping fellas that seem to be everywhere in the streets. One of them tried to bite me! Can you believe it?! Oh and, perhaps... if the attacking force were to attempt a charge to the other side of the river, engage, and then feign a retreat to get the defenders to cross the river you might have a nice ambush, yes?"

Rotten Guacamole: "I remember something about a bit of woods, it would be splendind ground for an ambush. Sorry If I'm not making any sense, I'm not well versed in gunpowder era tactics. It's all medieval warfare for me."

CCGlazier: "Imperial Guard?! Did someone say Imperial Guard? Just great- Now all the middle school kids will be crowding in here dumping unpainted plastic figures on the nice tables, arguing, rolling buckets of dice, and shouting WAAAAAAGH all the time."

Simon Shakewell: "Well, I for one was hoping we could avoid all that sort of thing - next they will be talking about Bruce Quarrie and that unspeakable Phil Barker. I was hoping that a nice game of CHARGE, by that gent Charles Vasey, would not attract the wrong sort of chaps to our library."

Simon Shakewell: "Anyway, Peter, I think now that I have had a chance to look at the rules a bit more closely, you do indeed get a half-move of fire from your grand battery."

George De Lacy Evans: "I just wanted to report that there were several zombies over at Groser PD. One of them suggested that the Prussians should send a forlorn hope against the French guns so the cavalry could sneak over the bridge. Typical zombie tactics. Had to kill the lot of them otherwise..."

Simon Shakewell: "Damn cheek. Just shows that those rotten chaps just don't know their history. The Prussians did not assist the Austrians in this campaign, which was why Napoleon could send his entire army against the brave, honourable, but doomed Austrians."

MikeDeth: "Empire III = easy and simple: discuss"

Doom MD: "Sorry, I've always referred to Napoleonic's as the Black Hole of war gaming"

  • A zombie killed Carlos Plynkes.
  • George De Lacy Evans killed a zombie.

George De Lacy Evans: "That zombie said the buff coloured facings of the 2nd Brunswick Light Infantry reminded him of brains. Had to kill him for that."

John Rawls: "Right. Because if these facings are buff, then they're clearly the First Light Infantry."

George De Lacy Evans: "No, no. My point exactly. Egregious error, can't have that sort of thing in here. Carry on, now what about that bridge?"

Brigadier Peter Young: "Well, we certainly seem to be attracting interest with our game Simon, perhaps some of the people in here might be war gamers after all."

Brigadier Peter Young: "Now, let me see - I'll push the Guard over the bridge towards your centre, Simon - what do you think about that, old chap?"

Simon Shakewell: "My Croatian light infantry will retire, in the face of your overwhelming skirmishers. Ah... I have to make a roll here [Shaking dice]. A one! Damn, [the sound of rulebook pages turning] they retire in disorder. I never trusted those Croats."

Simon Shakewell: "Oh no, now I have to test the Austrian gunners. Come on chaps, ignore those excitable Balkan types. [Shakes a dice, very well, blowing into his fist, and muttering a prayer] A three. That means... yes, they are unsettled and have reduced fire."

Simon Shakewell: "So at that range they can't miss a bunched target like that. I can never understand why these Austrians never formed grand batteries. So the two, only two, batteries near the bridge roll a 4. That will cause a couple of casualties to the guard."

Simon Shakewell: "You need to check the Guard's morale. I wonder, will they crack?"

Brigadier Peter Young: "I see, well Simon, let's see just how sturdy those Guard are, oh dear I've rolled a 1....but it bounced off that flare gun - do you think I could roll it again?"

Brigadier Peter Young: "I'll just re-roll that die - oh that's handy, a 6! Meanwhile I'll just move up the cavalry on the right."

Simon Shakewell: "That's okay, Brigadier [cough] we must have some sort of rule about munitions and handling of guns at this club. I'll make a note of it."

Simon Shakewell: "And that reminds me, that chap who died here earlier, he left an awful blood stain on the terrain cloth - I do hope it comes out in the wash."

Simon Shakewell: "Sorry, pardon me. Yes the guard advance, with flags flying, drums beating and bugles sounding. What a sight. Oh sorry, they only have drummers and standard bearers in the Old Guard, in 1809. Silly me."

Simon Shakewell: "But that figure there has a bugle. I say! Shall we remove him? I hate to spoil the effect, say what?"

Brigadier Peter Young: "Oh, sorry Simon, I was distracted by this book I'm reading. It must be my age, but every time I read a book from here I find I'm learning nothing new."

Brigadier Peter Young: "Now, where were we - ah yes - I do hope the Guard get on better. It reminds me of the Dieppe Raid you know....."

Brigadier Peter Young: " fact perhaps our next game should be WW2 - I have a copy of Lionel Tarr's excellent rules here somewhere..." ¨-- Ed: For anyone interested here are the rules...

Simon Shakewell: "Lionel Tarr, one of my heroes. I do believe that the Don was a little cavalier in using him as his example of the Prince of Solo war gamers - I heard some tittering about that."

[ Sounds of groaning and moaning, and several library bookshelves begin to shake. ]

Brigadier Peter Young: "We have should have rules and regulations about that sort of behavior."

[ Sounds unsteady footsteps, of chairs being knocked over, get closer and closer. ]

Simon Shakewell: "What drunks are here at this time of the day? The place has certainly gone to the dogs."

  • A zombie killed Brigadier P Young.

[ The sound of terrain and model soldiers being scattered across the table and floor can be heard as the Brig slumps across the tabletop. Simon whimpers, and tries hiding under the table and pulling the terrain cloth over him as the zombie attacks. ]

Simon Shakewell: "I do say, that's bloody poor sportsmanship. He was winning. Oh bother, this is going to hurt."

[ The sound of gunfire is heard and then another body slumps to the floor. ]

  • George De Lacy Evans kills a zombie.

George De Lacy Evans: "We keep being hit by zombie raids like that. I'm guessing infected people are intentionally dying after getting past the barricades. Sort of a zombie forlorn hope. Any plans?"

Simon Shakewell: "Thanks you chaps for the medical assistance. I was in a right spot of trouble there. Pity about old Brig. At least he died happy, what with the Old Guard surging over the bridge like that, but I don't think I'll be able to set up the game again after the mess the last rotter made. And will that blood ever wash out? Ah well."

[ The sound of people cleaning up and then departing for other parts of the library. ]