Sunday, January 17, 2016

Multiplayer Borodino in 6mm

At the start of each year, the Berwick Wargames Association holds an annual event to remember their mate, Mick Evans, who passed a number of years ago.

The Mick Evans Memorial Game is always a large all-day multi-player event, with barbeque and drinks also part of the deal. This year was no different, with a huge re-fight of the Battle of Borodino in 6mm using the very good Blucher rules by Sam Mustafa.

I made the trek down from Canberra to Melbourne and stayed the weekend with my mate Ray and we headed out to Berwick on the Saturday for the game.

We had 15 players attend, with 5 playing sub commanders on each side (with several Corps each), as well as a C-in-C on each side calling the shots and controlling the Reserves. Additionally, we had three umpires familiar with the rules; Ray as the chief umpire, Peter as the French umpire and myself as the Russian umpire.

Some Photos follow - enjoy.

Chief umpire Ray (centre bottom) gives the pre-game brief.
The day was held at the BWA club house at Peter's house.
Peter is 'living the dream', with a fantastic purpose-built war-games haven.
His facility has plenty of space for storage, plus four large permanent tables that can be moved around. 

A closer shot of the table we were using for the day.
Photo is taken from the Mezzanine level, which provides not only plenty of storage
but also a perfect vantage point for aerial photos!

Troops are laid out by Corps in their general starting areas.
The commanders were allowed to adjust their formations and layout
within these locations before the battle commenced.
All the miniatures for this huge game were provided from Ray's (immense!) 6mm collection.
French are on the right, Russians on the Left. The town of Borodino can be seen at the bottom left of the picture.

Men cooking meat!
An essential part of the day was bonding around the BBQ for lunch.
Many beers and wines were consumed, as well as a glass of Port to toast Mick's memory.

Battle commences.
A view from the Russian Lines (right flank).

....and the Russian left flank.

A few turns on.
The French have advanced in the centre, and are also attacking on their left.
The Russians have re-deployed the Reserve Artillery and Guard Cavalry to their centre right,
to reinforce against the main French threat. 

On the Russian far right flank, the battle raged all day for the town of Borodino.

There were some moves and counter-moves on the Russian left flank, where the French were initially content to capture the town of Utitsa and the Russians were content to hold their fortifications (the Fleches) and threaten the French right. 

Casualties on both sides started to mount by the afternoon turns.
Artillery on both sides inflicted some impressive attrition.

Late in the day, the French make a push on their right flank as well.

Close-up of some advancing French Brigades.
Ray's miniatures are beautifully painted and based.

Another gratuitous photo of advancing Frenchies!

The Russian sub-commanders in action,
overseen by yours truly (resplendent in pink!) as the Russian umpire.

A nice view down the length of the table.

Battle for Borodino town.

and another view down the table.

Due to the extended lunch, the number of newcomers to the rules, and the fact that some players had to leave earlier than others, we got through 22 of the allotted 30 turns (not bad!). The French had inflicted more casualties, however the Russians were still in a strong position, with a large number of French units fairly heavily fatigued. I think the French would have been hard pressed to break the Russian army by nightfall, and a second day of battle would have been required.

All up, it was a great day. For the umpires, a multi-player game on this scale seemed a bit like 'herding cats', but it was well worthwhile.

Many of the chaps will be heading up my way to Canberra next weekend for CANCON 2016, Australia's largest games convention (held each January over the Australia Day long-weekend), so it will be good to catch up again within just a week.


  1. Wow thats one very crowded table. Blucher is a delight at this scale of command. How did you handle momentum' did each subcommander have his own dice or use a central momentum role and the CO's allocate them?

    1. As per the multi-player rules on p85 of the Blucher Rulebook. In summary, all of the players on the active side got to make one move, then the highest MO for any of the commanders on that side was compared against the MO pool to determine if another move could be taken. It's fairly well described on p85 and works pretty well.

  2. What a great looking game!
    Looking forward to catching up at CanCon mate

  3. Bummed that I missed this- looked like a great day.... really should have been there to stuff up Wal's plans .... ah well next time.

    1. Yep, it was a good one. Will we be seeing you at CANCON, JP?

  4. Good looking game, well done gentlemen!
    I'm guessing the basing is 60mm x 60mm?
    I have these rules but have yet to give them a try...

    1. Apologies, somehow I missed your question.
      Yes, the bases are 60x60mm. Each one is a Brigade.

  5. That looks like an epic set to.
    And the result - French slightly ahead, but neither side broken reflects the actual result rather well.