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Author Topic: March or Die! Solo game WIP  (Read 1314 times)

Offline FlyXwire

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March or Die! Solo game WIP
« 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? 






Offline Marine0846

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Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
« Reply #1 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.
Semper Fi, Mac

Offline ragbones

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Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
« Reply #2 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.  :)
Hail to the King, baby.

Offline FifteensAway

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Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
« Reply #3 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.

Offline FlyXwire

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Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
« Reply #4 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 -


Offline JBaumal

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Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
« Reply #5 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...

Offline italwars

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Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
« Reply #6 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
« Last Edit: April 07, 2020, 11:27:18 PM by italwars »

Offline FlyXwire

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Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
« Reply #7 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!






Offline JBaumal

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Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
« Reply #8 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.

Offline italwars

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Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
« Reply #9 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...

Offline italwars

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Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
« Reply #10 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
« Last Edit: April 08, 2020, 07:40:27 PM by italwars »

Offline FlyXwire

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Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
« Reply #11 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)

Offline italwars

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Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
« Reply #12 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  :'( ;)

Offline JBaumal

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Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
« Reply #13 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.

Offline FlyXwire

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Re: March or Die! Solo game WIP
« Reply #14 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 -