Featured Game for JOS16: Megalomania on the Elbe

The Joy of Six 2016 will take place on Sunday 17th July at Sheffield Hallam University.  The show will present all that is best about this brilliant wargaming scale.  Here’s another preview of a game that will be staged at the Joy of Six 2016.  This time it's an epic Napoleonic presentation.  Over to Trev Crook of MADgamers to put you in the picture...
Seems to me that all good ideas happens on the way back from somewhere. The rush and adrenaline of what ever you went there for has gone, you can relax on the way home, and tomorrow's problems aren't real until tomorrow. That gives the mind time to wander in a careless 'what if' world.

So there we are, in the car on the long journey back from Sheffield's Joy of Six, driving home to Maidenhead, when some idiot says "what shall we do next year?" The minds whirl and start looking at what armies we have in 6mm, what periods, what small battles could we do which  'only require a few more figures to paint'? A few figures becomes a few battalions, becomes only a few brigades, becomes only a few divisions.....

That's when the megalomania sets in. What would justify all our beautifully painted works of art? Napoleonics then. It would have to be big obviously, involve lots of our different armies, yet could consume every single figure we could ever paint. Waterloo? A year too late and others have already done spectacular versions. Besides, no one in the club has a single British figure!

So which battles have French (obviously), Russians, Prussians and Austrians, plus a few Bavarian, Poles....? Leipzig? Big enough! Everyone was there. From a practical point of view though, 3 different battles on 3 different tables? Have to be something we can do on one table. Dresden then!

Right, off to look through the OOB's. Russians - check. Austrians - check. Prussians - check. French - check. How many battalions of Young Guard?!?!?!

One thing we have learnt in running big games is try to simplify the OOB's, rules etc. Trying to remember the number of battalions in each brigade, and the characteristics of every general is something that goes out of the door when you have 100+ units a side. Therefore we standardise of 4 battalions/bases per infantry brigade and 3 to a cavalry brigade. This does mean not every single unit is represented but even in 6mm there has to be some small nod to playability. Depending which OOB you look at means there could be over 100 individual battalions and squadrons on the table for the Austrians alone.

We use Black Powder rules, with one or two small modifications for 6mm figures. All distances are halved. We have also experimented with shooting BEFORE movement. This gets away from marching up to an enemy unit and blasting it before it can get any closing fire off. We also test formations when they go over 50%, rather than at 50%. We found this enabled us to have more formations on the board, albeit each is slightly smaller.

Brigade generals are all rated at 8. Their Black Powder C-in-C is at Corps level. ie once a Corps commander fails an order, only that Corps is affected. Other Corps are effectively counted as a separate army, and may continue to issue orders to their own Corps only.

We ran this game at MADGamers with 6 of us, as an all day game. Unfortunately we won't have that many with us at JoS. Therefore on the day, we will probably concentrate the dice rolling around the French left wing.

This leaves plenty of other troops looking for generals. If you have never played Black Powder, we will be pleased to run you through a few plays to get the taste. Just ask and someone will walk you through and explain the mechanisms. Roll a few dice, we could do with some better luck! If you are familiar with Black Powder, and have a little time on your hands, we can give you a command to play for a while. This is not to commit you to the whole day, but to allow you to drop in, play a little and then wander off the spend more of your hard earned cash with Peter. Anyone that does want to play the whole day is also very welcome!

We’ll be showcasing some more of the games that will be on show at the Joy of Six over the next few days.  If you haven’t booked your weekend in Sunny Sheffield than you really need to get moving!