Sunday, 2 July 2017

19th Century Imagi-Nations - 6x6 Challenge Game 4

Game 4 of the 19th century campaign about the disputed Scailand province, which stands between Ustoria and Greater Novia, has so for gone the way of the Novian forces. Public opinion in the home press of each country is the determining factor for both sides in this Scailand War.

So far public opinion has for the most part held strong in Greater Novia (at 45%) as their press has recorded a number of victories and overlooked the casualties. While in the Ustorian cities the press reporting has for the most part covered valiant defence, but with increasing casualty lists. Ustorian public opinion has sunk to 25% for support of the war.

The next pitched battle occurs as Greater Novian forces pushed into some of the lowland areas of Scailand. (A dice roll was used to determined the type of game: small engagement or pitched battle.)

Greater Novian forces prepare to engage under threat of a flank attack

The game is being played on a gridded war-game table. Over the last couple of weeks I have been testing out some rule modifications to movement and combat which have resulted in an opportunity to use them on a grid. The rule changes were not originally intended for a gridded game, but it just turned out that way.

Game setup...

The setup used concepts from 19th Century European Wargaming (Neil Thomas)

Ustorian Forces:

  • 5 infantry units
  • 1 skirmish unit
  • 3 artillery units
  • 1 cavalry unit

Of these 2 infantry and 1 cavalry unit would appear on game turn 4 on a designated flank.

Greater Novia Forces:

  • 5 infantry units
  • 1 dragoon unit
  • 1 skirmish unit
  • 1 artillery unit

Novian forces lost a cavalry unit and artillery unit due to them getting bogged down (quite appropriate given the area being fought over was the Scailan lowlands). However, due to the Ustorians having a flank attack, the Novians are allowed to have an advance force of 3 units.

A Novian advance force occupies a town and prepares to push ahead with a skirmish unit to contest the woods.
The table top set up (based on a dice roll) was for marshlands. Placed on the tabletop were: 3 woods, 2 towns and 2 impassable areas of marshland.

And on to the game...

Initial moves saw both sides push up with clashes quickly developing around the woods overlooking  the towns. The centre advance towards the towns by Ustorian forces, quickly retired in the face of larger Novian forces. Falling back and contented themselves with using their artillery to bombard the towns.

Both side advance and combat starts in the far wooded area.
Ustorian units hold their own in the woods, but retreat from superior number in the centre.
On turn 4 the flank march appears to threaten the Novian left flank. This prompted the Novian's to launch a counter attack in the centre against the weaker Ustorian forces. This attack came close to eliminating the infantry units, and would have left the artillery exposed. However, the Ustorian units fell back under the attack to survive.

(This is one of the rule modifications. Units can retire from an attack and reduce the number of hits by one. They are disorganised and can only reform during their movement phase. In this game Ustorian units gave up ground to avoid being eliminated.)

The Ustorian flanking units arrive - 2 infantry and 1 cavalry units
The Greater Novian army launches an attack in the centre which came close to success, but not quite.
With their centre attack failing the Novian forces retired to prepare as the Ustorian flank attack started. The impact of the flank attack was soon nullified as reserves were fed into the engagement.

Novian forces fall back after their centre attack fails 
Ustorian flank attack does little against well prepared Novian positions
The final game moves saw Ustorian units make a decisive move on their left flank after having won the battle of the woods. This time they were able to launch a flank attack on an unprepared Novian right flank. All Novian reserve units had been moved to fend off the attack on the opposite flank.

The strong artillery present of the Ustorian army started to take effect as they targeted weakened units as the flank attack from the woods made ground. Within two game turns Greater Novian losses reached 5, more than half their original force of 8 units and game's end.

Ustorian units having cleared the woods launch a flank attack
End of the game and an Ustorian victory
So how did this game play out in the campaign public opinion?


  • 2 units eliminated, but was able to save 1 and lose only 5%
  • The cavalry unit successfully attacked and destroyed an artillery unit. So plus 5% as dramatic lithographs in the newspapers depict the cavalry charge rekindling memories of past victories.
  • A glorious action with the capture of the woods adds 5%. The press write about the bravery of the troops in capturing an enemy position. Plus 5%.

An overall increase of 5% taking Ustorian public opinion to 30%.

Greater Novia:
  • 5 units eliminated, but were able to save 2 and lose 15%.
  • 2 valiant defence actions which denied both towns to the enemy. Plus 10%.
Public opinion reduced by 5% to 40%.

The rule changes seemed to work well in this game. No more modifications required before the next game. And most pleasingly, they worked well on a square grid. Assuming the next coupe of games go well, I will update the rules with all my scribbled notes.


  1. Peter,
    An epic game - well documented and photographed- well done! You have inspired me to do a similar Imagi-Nations project. I will be using Baccus 6mm figures from the War of the Spanish Succession...I will build two fictional armies- both balanced forces. Cheers. KEV.

    1. Thanks KEV - It was a fun game to play. I look forward to seeing your new 6mm project.

  2. I note (in Photo 8 in particular) that although units are in a square grid, some formations are clearly angled towards the grid corners rather than the edges. Is this just for aesthetics, or have your grid rules evolved to have facing at 8 (rather than 4) locations?

    1. Partly aesthetic, except when units are adjacent and must line up with the first unit to move any adjacent square. Then this the only unit they may attack.

  3. Very interesting how public opinion is being modeled and influenced by the outcomes on the battlefield. I like this facet of your campaign very much.

    1. The idea came from re-reading One Hour Wargames - where the lead in to Rifle and Sabre rules talks about the social change and nationalist sentiments.