Sunday, 9 February 2014

Maurice Doubles for Blenheim

Last Thursday evening the Wollongong Wargamers played our first game of Maurice doubles. Nothing too ambitious you understand, only Blenheim!

Now don't worry, there's nothing wrong with your eyesight, it is true, Sparker, that incorrigible 28mm addict, was playing with 10mm figures! And, it has to be said, albeit with gritted teeth, that they looked gorgeous - the Pendraken figures painted by Caesar, that is... The unpainted Risk figures, not so much, although they are now regarded with affection by the gang!

Yes, these really are 10mm high - how does he do it! Pendraken 10mm Marlburian Inf painted as French line.
It was not just micro scales and doubles games I was experimenting with that evening, I was also trying out new techniques with my camera, a Canon EOS 1100D. I was trying to go with low shutter speeds and high ISO settings to achieve a greater depth of field. Net result of my evening's snapping? Three useable photos!

So this will be the last of the engravings enlivening this post - it shows the one Elite French Regiment I had in my force, immediately placed into garrison in the eponymous village. Well, I distinctly remember someone saying it was the objective, but, as we all know the victors write the history and apparently by the end of the game the objective of the Battle of Blenheim was not Blenheim, nor even Blickheim, but something completely different and boring - so boring I can't even remember what it was - the complete destruction of the French army or something...

Normally when my photographic talent fails me, I really on Alan, who is a (semi) professional photographer, and simply pinch some of the excellent photos he normally takes with his cellphone. However he'd lost or forgotten this article so our table top adventures will have to go unrecorded for posterity. Which is a shame, as we had a bloody good and exciting game!

However, although his blog is as pictorially challenged as mine, do pay a visit to his Batrep, as it does capture the action very well: - oh, and do ignore the whingeing comments by a disgruntled French commander by the name of Le Marquis de Sparkeur...

Alan's Blenheim batrep

So leaving the recounting of our derring do to Alan, and realising that, sans pictures it would be rude to expect your attention for too much longer, may I just share some thoughts on both playing in micro scales, and playing Maurice doubles?

Firstly, as anyone who has lingered more than a few minutes on my blog will quickly realise, for me, horse and musket wargaming is about playing in the grand manner - 1:20 figure scale, 28mm figures, and an 18 or 24 foot table to do the thing properly.

Or so I thought - this game was a bit of a revelation - tiny figures, 24 of them representing a Brigade, each of the villages represented by a single model building, all played out on an 8 x 4 foot table. And you know what - we were there! It really felt like a grand game, an epic battle. Whether its a trick of scale, or the fact that it was a Battle I'd heard of but didn't know much about, I don't know. But it appears you don't have to go large to go grand manner!

Part of the sense of occasion, the big battle feel, also came from the way Maurice doubles rule work. Whilst they run seamlessly, they somehow allow you to play as a team, but also get that feeling that you are so engrossed in your own corner of the battlefield all the other events are perceived dimly - over there, and hopefully not headed your way.

This game was not only exciting and enjoyable - only the wrath of the Long Haired Brigadier was able to tear me away - but it was a revelation, and has given me much to ponder on!

More photos next time, I promise!


  1. Useless Fact: The building that represented Blenheim came free with a box of Typhoo tea-bags :)

    Loved your thoughts on the grand scale of the game. It did look impressive. As you know I don't have the Grad Manner obsession; I can get the feel of an epic battle on a small chessboard with a handful of figures*. But our Blenhrim really looked good, and was great fu to play.

    The much-loved garish Risk figures are now in the process of being painted. Really.

    *Although you have sold me on the fun of pushing big blocks of Duplo figures around :)

  2. Not the most flattering picture of me there, though :)

    1. Well as you know, normally I spend a good deal of time selecting photos that only show your best profile, and in a good light....however with only the 3 pictures to use they were all going up come what may...

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Phil! Normally as wargamers we go to great lengths to get away from the billiard table look - but this battlefield really was as flat as a - billiard table!

  4. Wow, the close ups of the 10mm are incredible and worth the experimentation. I'll have to pay more attention to my painting if you can pick up every little defect! Admittedly, painting 10mm has become an obsession of mine.

    It wasn't one of your gorgeous 28mm Napoleonic games but it did feel somewhat grand and even my little arms can cope on a big battlefield such as Blenheim. I think you're spot on with your comments on Maurice doubles. It does give a big game feel in a very engrossing way.


  5. Thanks for the kind comments! It just goes to prove that people do actually read blogs and don't just look at the pics!

  6. What a pity there are not more pictures, though I too have wasted a lot of time faffing around with a camera that wasn't cooperating. I'm glad to hear Maurice is working well with other people, my gang likes it too. Nice set of rules.

  7. Very nice indeed

    Take care