Wednesday 20 November 2019

Warfare 2019: Solferino! (And Wagram. And Marengo.)

The Warfare show laid on by the Wargames Association of Reading is always a highlight. This year was possibly the best yet. On Saturday I was free to do a lap of the traders' hall and admire all the display and participation games.

Solferino! French advancing from the left against masses of yellow-labelled Austrians on the right.
Photo by Alan Millicheap (more on the BBB group at Those are my hands.
My image rights manager will be contacting Al.

Then on Sunday we ran Solferino 1859 as a BBB participation game. Crispin had lovingly carved custom terrain so all the hills were the right shape, and decorated his town bases with cypress trees for a proper Italianate aspect. 6mm Baccus armies gave the right mass battle visual effect. It got loads of interested passers-by, not to mention some keen joiners-in. The terrain was admired, rules and scenario explained, game philosophy discussed, and I'm happy to report a couple of Italian wargamers seemed delighted to see this battle on the tabletop. I met a ton of good people (so forgive me if you see me again next year and I don't necessarily remember your names) and felt like I spent most of the day chatting - I never left the table for 8 hours - and despite that we got through the battle one and a half times. It was a brilliant day.

As if that wasn't enough, then on Monday Mark ran the latest of his growing set of epic Napoleonic scenarios: Wagram 1809. With 300,000 men on the pitch, this little scuffle was even bigger than Solferino. You'd think it might leave no room for maneuver and just be a dull slugfest, but it was a fantastic game. No shortage of slugging it out, to be sure, but plenty of movement, and a real feel of punch/counter-punch, like two heavyweights trading blows, reeling back and then surging forward again. Awesome.

It would be remiss of me not to mention another fine game we had a couple of weeks ago, involving a younger Napoleon: Marengo. We used the scenario written by Vincent Tsao of the Corlears Hook Fencibles, fought each other to a bloody standstill, and went home happy.

Now is a good time to note that the former BBB Yahoo group has migrated to at:
and all the accumulated scenarios and other resources are there, includding Vincent's Marengo game.