Friday, February 23, 2007

A few thoughts on "The Croat Terror" (or "The Defense of Strudelberg")

Some little while go I posted on what is evolving into a demonstration game - "The defense of Strudelberg".

To refresh your memories: It is about 1742. Austro-Hungarian forces are ravaging Bavaria. A small Bavarian force of Infantry and Cavalry are trying to hold up a strong force of enemy line and light infantry supported by a strong force of hussars and some light artillery. My initial idea was to fight down the length of a table with towns representing victory points scattered on either side of the river. TheBavarians would be forced to choose what to defend and this choice would be complicated by a river running down the centre of the table. The Austro-Hungarian player would be able to choose where to strike, and would have a small but significant advantage in numbers.

To all this, Murdock said:
The only concern I would have for your planned 'long running' battle along the banks of the river is the speed of most infantry cannot match that of the cavalry. Wheras the artillery is what is generally needed to 'batter-down' hardened town locales.Your overall concept I think would be better organized as a 'campaign' to be faught over a number of 'imaginary' weeks. With each defensive stand, chosen by the Bavarians (probably based on the 'value' of the locations) becoming the basis for a tabletop engagement.This way the Croat forces would be able to either 'blitz' trying to rush past with their superior cavalry...or surge forwards in a unified formation.

Me: Murdock, I take your point and am revising the scale of the game down to an "evacuate the civilians" game. Further, I am taking on board your recommendation on artillery and will be equipping the Austro-Hungarian side with a pair of battalion guns. Play-testing may also result in the Bavarians obtaining one also.

I would still like to play out the campaign at a later date, though!

And then Grimsby Mariner said:
We ran a very similar idea for a demo game some years back at Triples & Partizan. the game was based on a large Indian raid down the Ohio valley in the French indian Wars. Twelve warbands of indians (some 120 figures) racing down the valley against 30 regulars and 40 civilians (including women and children) with a relief force sailing up the river in boats. The terrain had two steep wooded valley sides with a fort close to the river and homesteads scattered across the valley floor. we found the whole thing great fun and added twists with each play adding in some French regulars to support the Indian or local militia for the English - we even had Indians in canoes!).the trick we found was play testing it several times before the demo to make sure it worked and was not too unblanced.I imagine your Croat terror game being similar.

Me: It's interesting that you should say that. I'm fairly sure that Jim Purky's "Croat Terror" rules (the title of which I'm pinching to head this series of posts) had it's own genesis in a set of FIW rules called "Iroquois Terror" that had a premise not unlike the series of games you describe.

In light of Murdock's comments above, I'm inclining toward this sort of a scenario at the moment. Hungarian regulars replace the French, Croats replace the Indians, a walled or fortress town replaces the fort - hm, at last! a use for my Vauban fortress - as eye candy at least.

Now i just need a number of 18th Century civilians to look out for. I have some from RAFM's old "Flint and Feather" range. Can anyone suggest some more?


Grimsby Mariner said...

Don't Front Rank do some?
Eureka and their Musketeers range?
Redoubt and their Musketeers?

Anonymous said...

Dixon do some female civilians, but the best are by old glory - sadly they are hidden within their provincials/frontiersmen FIW bag. Don't forget RSM's barefoot militia/sailor - he's open handed and wears shirt and breeches/slops, so has many uses.

Snickering Corpses said...

That sounds like an interesting scenario. I've been toying around with an idea for a scenario in my Warboard WW2 involving either an evacuation of civilians/wounded, or perhaps a rescue of prisoners game.

Partly, I've been pondering it because I bought this batch of Caesar resistance fighters that I'd love to play with in a game. And if I did the rescuing the wounded (or prisoners) game, I'd be able to use some of the wounded figures from various sets at least once.

Alte Fritz said...

The name of the rules, "Croat Terror", was indeed inspired by Tod Kershner's "Iroquois Terror" game, played using a skirmish variant of his Age of Reason rules. I thought that the name was rather catchy. don't you?

My rules are based on the "Woodland Wars" rules by Tom Kelly of Lexington, Kentucky. I generally substituted Croats for Indians, Austrians for French and Prussians for British.

Bloggerator said...

I think the name is very catchy, but it'll probably wind up being called "The Defense of Strudelberg". The whole project is rather inspired by your writing on light infantry warfare in the Seven Years War Association Journal from a few years ago.

MiniWargamer said...

When you get a moment, drive on by my web site at and tell me what you think of my ideas for smaller scale gaming similar to what you have here. Thanks!

Mike Cannon