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Miniatures Adventure => Colonial Adventures => Topic started by: FlyXwire on April 06, 2020, 09:42:31 PM

Title: March or Die! Solo game WIP
Post by: FlyXwire on April 06, 2020, 09:42:31 PM
I thought now might be the perfect time to start preparing my kit for trying out Phil Dutre of Belgium's Marche ou Creve French Foreign Legion game system that appeared in the Aug. 2016 issue of Miniature Wargames. 

It's a neat single player, card-driven encounter generator where a player tries to get his contingent of FFL who are escorting a vital supply wagon along an arab infested track to some forlorn fort deep in the Sahara.

Check out the game, article text, and cards that can still be downloaded for Marche ou Creve here (it might be something others could be interested in trying during our current gaming downtime) -

http://snv-ttm.blogspot.com/2015/11/marche-ou-creve.html

http://snv-ttm.blogspot.com/p/marche-ou-creve-crisis-2015.html

A year ago, I had the opportunity to pick up some old mounted Camel warriors from a friend (they're probably 25s) that I thought I could repaint as Tuaregs, and ordered some Blaze Away foot warriors from Lancashire Games shortly thereafter.  Instead of FFL troopers, I've been painting up some Perry plastic Zouaves to use as the French escort.

It'll be awhile till I get the project on the table, but thought I'd show the Tuareg camel warriors - does anyone recognize these castings? - they'll probably ancient figures (in more ways than one), but I'll be using them anyway.   

I have a question for those of you versed in this time period and conflict area - would a mule train be more appropriate for the travelling supply unit for my version of this March or Die! scenario? 

(https://i.postimg.cc/7Lq5zW2K/Tuareg-Camel-Warriors-1.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/fR4PcJNR/Tuareg-Camel-Warriors-2.jpg)

Title: Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
Post by: Marine0846 on April 06, 2020, 10:57:49 PM
Excellent painting on the camel and riders.
Sorry don't know who makes them.
Look forward to following along.
Title: Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
Post by: ragbones on April 07, 2020, 12:27:08 AM
I think mules would be more appropriate than wagons.  Just my 2 cents.  On the other hand...just use what you have on hand.  Wagons? Mules? Just have fun.  :)
Title: Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
Post by: FifteensAway on April 07, 2020, 04:15:39 AM
Wagons or mules?  In a moment. 

The game linked to, absolutely love the mountains in the middle - have something very similar in the works made out of plywood.  But without the steps for miniatures inside - though I will reconsider that.  I'm guessing inspired my the old Major General Tremorden Reddering website (mine were/are).

Now, wagons are just fine for a slow moving column with some expectation of getting slaughtered unless quite large.  The mule companies - which were not pack trains per se - were created to provide greater mobility.  And almost certainly would have been supplemented with pack mules, certainly the infantry columns would have pack mules.  The mobile columns were meant to move out from those large, wagon ladened columns.

So both can work but if the goal is a small column, I'd go with mules.

Nice Tuaregs.  Who cares if they were 'ancient' they work.
Title: Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
Post by: FlyXwire on April 07, 2020, 01:31:39 PM
Thank you Guys!

Mules it is then, and I was hoping that would be the case, as I've got those left over from my WWI East Africa figs.

15saway, looking forward to seeing your game setup in the works!

Btw, the cards for Marche ou Creve here can be PDF edited, and they could be reworded appropriately to the forces involved - so was thinking similar column vs. ambush scenarios could be used back in history for generating encounters from the Romans vs. Germanic tribesmen, and forward to the FIW and the American Rev. (and beyond to other Colonial periods and theaters). 

Mules-are-us -

(https://i.postimg.cc/ncsc8Q91/Useable-Mule-Train.jpg)
Title: Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
Post by: JBaumal on April 07, 2020, 02:21:19 PM
Definitely mule train rather than wagons. However, use what you have and get a game on! Enjoy...
Title: Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
Post by: italwars on April 07, 2020, 11:03:02 PM
Thanks FlyXwire for the ideas and scenario rules/cards....i would certainly try to adapt it , including event cards, for my favourite TSATF rule set..
France in Morocco and FFL has been one of the period that i studied more deeply for wargame projects..so maybe i can offer you my advice as concern your question about the use of mules in alternative to wagons...well a mule , even if far less delicate than a horse or a camel, is a beast to care with some knowledge...in every army that was send to operate in difficult milieus  (mountains or semi arid rough terrain ones like North Africa) mules were certainly employed but they had to be cared only by specialised troops..muleteers..possibly  men with past experience with those beasts not  only able  to care about the animal basic needs but above all capable to rightly deal with packsaddle..which was, in every army,  a kind of codified military skill   ...and ,as for example in Morocco, certainly not something that the  arab followers assigned to Légion troops column  wanted to or were able to do..(honestly from what i read from Italian war diaries for Lybia, Abbyssinia and WW1 not even the average European infantryman was capable of dealing with mules and pack-saddles..at Adwa for example the victorious  Abyssinian tribesmen spared the life of some Alpini prisoners cause they obliged them to be teached on how to load or unload the Artillery mules they had also captured)...also the mule is something useful just for self-suplying  of a mobile light tactical column (both foot or mounted) not for carrying average needed supplies for a garrison...so, in that case, even if Morocco, carts and light wagons were used..by the way your scenario , very realistically, oblige the supply wagon to do not leave the road..so creating interesting situations with the Légionaires forced to defend their supply column...so i'll definitivly go for wheeled transport ..of course pulled by mules not by horses...in the case of French troops in Morocco (but also Italians in Lybia and Spanish in Morocco) that was the so called "araba" of local design or, in some cases, the most heavy two wheeled  regular "voitures" of the French Army ..see some picts including one with mules led by trained turcos...
PS: you can find ready made 28mm 2 wheels carts from a pair of manufactures or scratcbuild by yourself as this guy very nicely did:
yourselhttp://iagsmgm.blogspot.com/2019/03/2-scatter-terrain-carts-and-wagons.html
Title: Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
Post by: FlyXwire on April 08, 2020, 12:05:35 AM
Italwars, thank you for taking your time to include your detailed posting here, and to attach such great supporting photographs too, for both the convoy carts and pack mules!

Please add anything else that comes to your mind for related advise, and really looking forward to seeing what you develop using the Marche ou Creve template.

I must express my appreciation for all the responses and support I've received here this thread - TY Gentlemen!





Title: Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
Post by: JBaumal on April 08, 2020, 02:36:38 AM
Italwars, good to hear from you my friend. I hope you and yours are staying safe and healthy! Thank you for posting that very valuable information and great photos. You’ve opened Pandora’s box of scenarios for me. I too will adapt the cards and scenarios for TSATF, as you know is my favorite set as well.
Title: Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
Post by: italwars on April 08, 2020, 03:39:58 PM
Italwars, good to hear from you my friend. I hope you and yours are staying safe and healthy! Thank you for posting that very valuable information and great photos. You’ve opened Pandora’s box of scenarios for me. I too will adapt the cards and scenarios for TSATF, as you know is my favorite set as well.
Thank for your kind message Jeff..me too i wish you and your great country a return to normality, relax and enojoyment trough the simple things of life....well in colonial warfare above all when European forces were countered by very asymetrical foes , in many case not enjoying  any coordination among tribes and even among same harka/band like it was the case of Moroccan war bands , a  card driven game governing the appearance and tactical behaviour of the rebels is very appropriate ..i was convinced to choose that way, in particular for Morocco, by the good analysis of Moroccan tribesmen way of fighting as it has been explained in the book "Our Friends Beneath the Sands" by M. Windrow...normally i do not like to study secondary sources and in a language which is'nt the one of the country's  primary sources (French unit's war diaries for example)...but M. Windrow had a good bibliography plus is the only author that described in detail how the Moroccan really fought Vs Foreign Legion...practically masses of individuals that followed only their personal instincts and ancestral skills  without caring about any tactical indications from their kaids...so a perfect way to simulate that is to use dice and cards instead of written plans and orders elaborated by a player...for a TSATF approach i think i'll begun to work on numbers involved concerning both Légionaires and card driven arabs...the original game seem to have been conceived for a micro-skirmish...while TSTAF should field , at least, one or two 20 casting's basic units of Légionaires (or Algerian Turcos, or European Zouaves, or Penal European Battaillons d'Afrique 's Chasseurs or even Tirailleurs Sénégalais) , probably no less than 2 supply two wheeled wagons/carts and, accordingly, higher number of warriors/units/half units appearing trough  cards/dices...
Title: Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
Post by: italwars on April 08, 2020, 07:34:59 PM
Please add anything else that comes to your mind for related advise, and really looking forward to seeing what you develop using the Marche ou Creve template.
the classic historical example, sufficiently similar to the proposed Marche ou Crève scenario, is the ambush on a convoy that took place at El Mounghar in 1903..it's, together with Camerone, among the most celebrated symbols, up today,  of the Légion's Legacy....i even found some picts and a useful post, in English, based on an Italian magazine article with adetailed description of the battle...i'm studying the scant sources about this battles from years...and i think that it could be easily adapted to a tabletop game...sorry in this case you have camels and mules instead of wagons for your supply  lol.....in case somebody want to stage it as a game i 'll be pleased to share with him my sources but for what i can dig from my French books you'll have to wait  the end of the lock-down as i will  have to scan appropriate texts and maps with my office's scan/photocopy machine ;)

https://weaponsandwarfare.com/2018/06/21/el-moungar/

http://saharayro.free.fr/bordjs/fortso04c.htm
Title: Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
Post by: FlyXwire on April 08, 2020, 08:29:12 PM
Ital, no reason to make fun of my Ass.  ;)  lol

Thank you for your book recommendation above, that's exactly what I was hoping for!

Also, great links and love the attached maps.

(this is the type of interesting sourcing many of us crave)
Title: Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
Post by: italwars on April 08, 2020, 08:53:05 PM
Ital, no reason to make fun of my Ass.  ;)  lol


not exaclty sorry ;) :) :)..in fact i was laughing about myslef because after having pested everybody with my culturalistic ,boring, almost academic pedantic disquisition in favor of wagons as opposite to pack animals for your FFL scenario..i ended by proposing an historical scenario with only camels and mules and no mention of wagons/Carts  :'( ;)
Title: Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
Post by: JBaumal on April 10, 2020, 02:32:19 AM
Italwars, great resources my friend. Thanks for sharing! I’d be very interested in your card driven ideas, please post.
Title: Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
Post by: FlyXwire on April 10, 2020, 10:56:27 AM
With a thematic edit of the cards, this system could be used for 'Congo or Die!' encounters, and the wagon or mule train replaced by porters (if you play with ammo replenishment rules - the supply train would become even more tactically important to the scenario).

Here's a what-if Force Publique vs. Anzande encounter teaser -

(https://i.postimg.cc/vTGfG5mx/Congo-or-Die-1.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/R0L4ttRT/Congo-or-Die-2.jpg)
Title: Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
Post by: FlyXwire on April 12, 2020, 07:02:16 PM
Happy to get the core of my French Zouaves done for the project now, circa 1830s-70s (in their summer 'campaign' pants).  Next to paint will be the company officers in kepis, which will place them around the 1840s-50s and beyond, and a single standard bearer.  This will provide three marching units for protection of the scenario's supply echelon.

Making progress!

(https://i.postimg.cc/7YJ7w7g8/Flys-French-Zouaves.jpg)
Title: Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
Post by: Marine0846 on April 12, 2020, 07:37:52 PM
Love your Zouaves.
May I ask who makes them?
Title: Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
Post by: FlyXwire on April 12, 2020, 07:55:19 PM
TY much!  :)

They're Perry plastics.
Title: Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
Post by: Rick W. on April 12, 2020, 08:21:55 PM
Good looking Zouaves!
Title: Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
Post by: FlyXwire on April 17, 2020, 08:15:31 PM
Thank you Rick!

I've got the Zouave flag and officers done, so the 3rd Reg. (flag of the Third Republic) is ready to hit the dusty trail.

(https://i.postimg.cc/R0SsGNpC/The-Zouaves.jpg)

Next the foot Tuaregs, and then onto the cards.
Title: Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
Post by: Marine0846 on April 19, 2020, 05:14:32 PM
Thanks FlyXwire for the reply about the Zouaves.
Also some great photos and other information,
thanks all who have posted, very cool stuff.
Title: Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
Post by: FlyXwire on April 19, 2020, 08:51:49 PM
Marine0846, I thank you for your consistent interest in the thread here (that's been appreciated)!

I've decided to go back and finish up my own Colonial-era rules in the meantime now, that I call Colonial Actions.  What's needed is to get the QRS updated to the last rule revisions, and then I'll be 'done' with them.  Since there's no real imperative with my restricted gaming existence now, and I'm not needing to get games onto the table in a timely manner, I've decided to start back at the rules foundation point again, to get those done while I'm painting figures up too.  Then when the rules are final, I can start on my own scenario generation cards for a few chosen periods I think will work well with this "March or Die!" format, that is  - for the Congo w/the Force Publique vs. native opposition, and the Maghreb w/these French Zouaves vs. Tuareg warriors.

These CA rules are very flexible now, so the forces list are the only charts that need to be changed to move across most geographic locales.  Here's the last game I put on with them, a frontier raid into Northern Zululand, and an example of the possible force list to draw from -

(https://i.postimg.cc/g2KSsZxd/Kwa-Zulu-1.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/26TCf69f/Kwa-Zulu-2.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/C1n9cKyN/Kwa-Zulu-3.jpg)

(https://i.postimg.cc/C5PDdw13/Kwa-Zulu-4.jpg)

 
Title: Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
Post by: Marine0846 on April 21, 2020, 08:19:06 PM
Very cool terrain. love it.
Zulus were the first colonial figures I painted up.
That was back in 1978.
I am showing my age. lol
Like your charts.
May I ask, what size of game are you looking to play?
Or number of figures in play for the game. (Example TSATF)
Title: Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
Post by: FlyXwire on April 22, 2020, 02:23:05 AM
Units could be considered platoons, companies, or even regiments, and it would be the scenario mission and the tabletop's terrain density that would most often dictate [inform] the game scale.

As an example, if the rules were used for the Sudan, with the miniature tabletop displaying open vistas, and clear landscape between intervening ridges or wadis, then the unit scale could be considered "regimental", with weapon effectiveness occurring at longer ranges, and a game turn reflecting a longer time interval too. 

If the game instead was being played out on a jungle tabletop dominated by a clearing with a fortified tembe, then the units might be platoons, and weapon effectiveness constricted by a denser terrain situation and with limiting exposure to fire opportunities - this a more tactical scaling interpretation (but the game ranges in measurement [as a mechanic] would remain unchanged) .   

There are unit size "thresholds" and characteristics though, that will allow a particular game unit an ability to absorb punishment over time - and with an expectation that these units might be able to accomplish some mission tasks.  Also, the number of maneuver elements and their amount of figures contained in each (or individual number of stands) must ultimately be informed by the game collection available too.  Tied in with the size of the units, are specialist game figures/stands that can be included into them, to impart one-time action abilities (and interrupts) - this is an additional design tool that can be used to reflect trained troops, with organized command structures, and having organic communications (as opposed to ad-hoc, irregular, or ill-disciplined units).

Having said all this  ;)  I usually organize 'European-trained' units at around 8-12 figures (and amongst these include an officer, musician, and standard/guidon bearer).  Whereas irregular or tribal contingents might number from 6 - 16 figures, the smaller units just having a leader included, but larger contingents also having their own standard bearer and musician figure each.  In essence, the sizing of the units and the inclusion or not of the specialist figures can denote a 'scale' to the formations too - with small units reflecting skirmishing elements, and the larger units reflecting organized units with greater battle intent.

Units in various conditions here - and some having used their special action figures (if they had them to start with) -

(https://i.postimg.cc/8zXjqsYZ/Colonial-Actions-Congo-Units.jpg)

By allowing a variance in unit sizes, and the inclusion of special action figures within some units, there's an ability for a scenario designer (or this could be organized thru each player) an ability to impart intended combat roles to each unit - some can be small 'skirmishing/scouting' units, some support/reserve units, some the larger, primary 'teeth' formations.

Again, having this flexibility for a scenario designer (or given to each player) to organize enough maneuver elements from within their collections, while also offering units to be 'weighted' to their intended combat roles within the context of the game (and with an eye towards historical relevance of course, or within the knowledge base of the organizing participants), is to encourage how a game force might be specifically organized to accomplish a tabletop mission.....and with hopes to provide for  balanced Colonial Actions, or in the least, an entertaining game experience.   

OK Marine, that would be my short answer.    ;) lol 
Title: Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
Post by: Marine0846 on April 22, 2020, 04:13:00 PM
Thanks, FlyXwire for the short answer. :)
I like your ideas and how you are going about the rules to make it happen.
Excellent photo you have posted with the Arabs and Belgians.
Title: Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
Post by: FlyXwire on May 04, 2020, 02:36:21 PM
I was wondering if anyone makes separate 28mm camel gear (with the hanging camel cloth, gear, packs sold separately), that could be glued onto existing castings - I'm thinking of converting a few of these  camels without their riders into pack animals for the NWF?

Any thoughts, possible manufacturers?

(https://i.postimg.cc/7Lq5zW2K/Tuareg-Camel-Warriors-1.jpg)