Monday, January 16, 2017

Imagi-Nation Action

In the wake of the successful TundraCon III Game Day we hosted an invitational game of BAR or "Batailles de l'Ancien Regime" by Bill Protz.  The battle, fought over an 18x12' table with a runway between the 6' main table, featured over 1750 painted 28mm infantry, 450 cavalry and 15 guns.  The armies were primarily composed of our "Imagi-Nation" forces.  One side was composed of Litharus (Russia) and Rondovia (Germanic city states) vs. Latveria, Prochistan, Gallia (France) and some confused Austrians wondering how they got there.  Infantry units ranged from 30-60 figures each, while cavalry squadrons were mostly 12 figures.

The Lith/Rond army had an advantage in infantry, the Allies under French Marechal Soubise had more cavalry and an edge on deployment.  Having the option to occupy the small village on their right, which they had the sense to do.  General Ouromov of Litharus has a challenge ahead.  Click to enlarge the pictures.  Our hosts and provider of food and drink was the American Legion Hall in Appleton.

The lull before the storm.

After the first move by each side.

"Soubise" surveys the battlefield.
The basic plan for Ouromov was to lead with the left, pressure the middle and win the cavalry melee on the right.  To that end all eight squadrons of cuirsassiers were posted there.  Facing lighter cavalry we felt cause for optimism.  BAR gives you many options for regulating movement and firing.  For our purposes that day we had a player's command move on the turn of a favorable card.  With five players on each side it worked well.  After all movement was complete we would start turning firing cards.

Looks daunting, but remember the back table is in play.

Hussars swarm about.

Major cavalry clash on the left of the Allies.

Close up of the Litharusian and Latverian combat.

Looking down the table, infantry in the foreground awaits the
outcome of the cavalry melee.

Bill Protz and Eric Saterdalen react to something.

Aggression ran high and action was fierce on the left.

The Dainava Jagers screen the advance of Cossacks.

Who boldly charge home against steady infantry.

Failing to break them, they continue the melee rather than break off.

Action is general across the front.  Here and there reserves trickle in but both commanders are playing the nerves game to see who will have the last reserve.  Slowly but steadily the massed cavalry melee goes against us.  General Orlov urges his men to new heroics but good tactics and better dice will prevail.

The smaller Rondovian units (48 figures) use their maneuverability
to try and force a break through.  But every victory is quickly countered.

On the left the players are very prone to charges and melee.  It
typically didn't go the way of the attacker.

For a  time it looks hopeful in the center.

Cossacks have run, now dragoons move to take their turn.

With even less prospect of success.
As we reached a bit beyond the half-way point of game time, things were clarifying.  On our left we had pressured the defenders and run off some units but the attack was a spent force.  In the center Ouromov kept getting messages saying "I haven't lost the center yet!" to which he replied to his Rondovian ally "How about, I haven't taken the center yet!".  The right center seemed cursed with bad cards and dice.  Add to that the irritating fire from the Latverian Border Foxes in the woods and things were looking poor.  Ouromov sent in a grenadier and guard unit from the deep reserve to help.  And on the right the Litharusian cavalry was all but eliminated.  While the remaining Allied cavalry was largely a spent force our hopes of a break-through there were gone.

Getting thin in the middle.

Looking from our left flank the white-coated French are advancing.

More French and Prochistan troops advance.

General Soubise commits the heavy reserve cav to end all doubts.

The Latverian Duke of Alten regiment moves to the center.

Amazingly quick pick-up.  Game over at 4:30, ready to leave at 5:10.

And so the first invitational came to an end with defeat for Litharus and Rondovia.  I believe that I can safely say all players were pleased with the game (if not the result) and we look to make it a new deep-winter tradition.


  1. Thank you for posting so many photos and explanations. I had a ton of fun and everyone was a good "Joe." I'm looking forward to a next time and more pleasant memories.