Sunday, December 11, 2022

SYW Battle and WSS Siege

 Hi folks,

A two-for-one deal here today!!!

I have recently officially established the Cape Fear Wargamers group here in Southport\Wilmington, NC.

I have now over 15 new wargaming buddies to introduce to my rules and miniature collections. Collectively this group has over 100,000 painted figures (armies, navies, aircraft). Truly impressive.

Both games were played with 15mm figures and Cigar Box terrain mat. The games are described below.

Game 1 - Seven Years War

I decided to introduce several folks to Piquet's Cartouche supplement with a Seven Years War battle featuring my 15mm Old Glory French and Hanoverian/Hesse-Kassel troops. 

Bill K. and Rob (Hanoverians\Hesse-Kassel) vs Michael and Bill P. (Franco-Imperial). I made this a very small engagement to keep the learning curve to a minimum. They all seemed to enjoy themselves and the French were defeated due to morale loss. 

Here are some photos from the engagement. Since I was running the game with four new players I didn't take as many game notes or photos as normal, so this will be more of just photo eye-candy!

Below: the setup photos.

Below: French infantry wing composed of Swiss and Germans. 

Below: Center of the French line

Below: long view from behind the left wing of the French army.

Below: right wing of the French Army. Custom Piquet Cartouche sequence decks

Below: French right wing cavalry including one Reichsarmee cuirassier regiment.

Below: The beautiful troops of the Hesse-Kassel brigade.

Below, Hanovarian 12# battery!

Below: Swish regiments in French service

Below: the armies collide!

Below: red coated Swiss (left) clash with the red coated Hanovarians!

Below: Franco-Imperial forces fight the Hesse-Kassel brigade

Below: Point blank fire!

Below: vicious musketry dual!

Below: the clash on the cavalry wings which the Hanoverians eventually got the better of their French counterparts. This put a fresh cavalry regiment in the French rear ranks!

Below: Rob (l), Me (grinning like an idiot), and Michael (right). Bill K. not pictured.

Such a great time with new friends! May we have hundreds more games together!

Game 2 - War of the Spanish Success Siege with Vauban's Wars

We used Michael's 15mm WSS figures, which was a nice change for me from my normal SYW figures.

This is another "small" siege, 3 bastion fortress, so that we can get everybody onboard. They are all new players of VW. Michael is the Austrians in the garrison, while Bill K. and Daryl are the two French commanders trying to break into the fortress. 

Michael wrote me afterwards, "Thanks again for a great game.  I'd never conceived that a game based upon a siege could be quite so energetic and interesting."  

The siege is set in the Austrian Netherlands around the 1708 timeframe. The Austrians had 18 purchase points to choose their defenders, while the French had 36 Purchase points. 

Because I wanted to get everybody up and running faster, I purchased both forces ahead of time and the French have "elite" sappers. All leaders are average just to keep it simple too.

The overhead of the fortress, with its dry ditch.

Now with the Austrian Defenders manning the walls.

Forces for the Siege

Austrian Garrison (18 purchase points)

1 Military Governor (free)
1 General (free)
1 Spy (free - Reliable D6) - higher die size is better
3 Fortress guns (free) - one in each bastion
5 Line infantry (5 pp)
2 Militia infantry (1 pp)
2 Heavy Guns (6 pp)
2 Light Guns (2 pp)
2 Sappers (4 pp)

French Besieger (36 purchase points)

1 CnC (free)
1 General (free)
1 Spy (free - D8)
8 Infantry (8 pp)
1 Grenadier (2 pp)
5 Siege Guns (8 pp - 3 free, 2 purchases)
2 Heavy Guns (6 pp)
4 Heavy Mortars (4 pp)
4 Sappers (8 pp) - in hindsight the players would have bought more. Since they were French in the WSS they were ELITE sappers.

Starting Factors

  • The current season was Spring, with Summer coming on turn 4.
  • The French get to select 2 out of their 3 bonus cards for their Siege Deck (Sapping & Mining, and Siege Move)
  • Austria only gets to pick 1 out of 3 bonus cards (they picked Trench Raid!). The other two cards are Siege Drags On.
  • French had 25 Siege Morale Points (SMPs), while Austrians had 19 SMPs.
  • French and Austrian Security Die was D8.
  • French Powder Supply was 11, while Austria's was 8.
  • Austrian Popular Support Die = D8 (lower is better)
  • Austrian Food Supply was 14 (in theory that should mean they could hold out for seven weeks)

The Siege

Since I had three new players, the first two turns there were a LOT of questions and clarifications that each player had. This did slow the game down a bit, but post lunch break they really started to make decisions much faster.

Below: French elite sappers dig their way towards the Austrian fortress. Since they were unprotected by extra infantry the Austrian defender sent trench raiders at them and caused havoc among the sappers. One sapper company was so damaged it had to leave the trenches and go back to the Rally Point.

Below: French sappers have now pressed forward and are ready to start creating the 2nd Parallel along with new gun emplacements.

Below: the French now add supporting infantry help protect their sappers. This did help stave off several Trench Raid attacks. You can see one Austrian infantry attempting to attack the French sappers.

Below: you can see the start of the second parallel.

Below: nice overhead shot of the French sapping progress.

Below: My view of the siege! I love the looks of a siege progressing.

Below: both sides have started firing more now that the French have been steadily working on the 2nd Parallel. The besiegers trying to knock out the big fortress guns in the bastions, while the Austrians fired solely at the French sappers (a very difficult target). Below tis the Powder Expenditure sheet. The more you fire the greater chance you have a losing one of your powder supply.

Below: a good overview of the situation. The 2nd parallel is nearly completed, but the French artillerists are clamoring for gun emplacements! Meanwhile, the French continue to shell the town (to lower enemy morale and maybe start a fire!) with their heavy mortars! By the end of the game they had inflicted over forty hits against the town and managed to start one fire (which was still raging at the end of the game)

Below: Sappers here the pleas of the artillery commander and build another gun emplacement (tan square)! Now let's get those siege guns up here to blast this place to bits!

Below: On the Austrian right, another gun emplacement is dug. That fortress gun in the bastion was eventually destroyed, freeing up the entire side for future assault.

Below: the siege guns have arrived and the French player finally started to see how combining fire from multiple batteries could really make a difference to reduce the garrison effectiveness.

Below: French infantry and guns flow into the 2nd parallel, while two elite sappers push ahead to start on the 3rd parallel where the French guns can start blasting the fortress walls to create a breach. Spies were used effectively throughout the game with the French spies causing damage to the Austrian food supplies, while the Austrian spies sowed seeds of discontent in the ranks of the French infantry, even causing some desertion. Eventually the Austrian spy was captured and hung! No French Spies were harmed during the making of this film!

Below: three great views of the 3 saps going forward and the 3rd parallel will be created next.

Below: were are at the end of the last turn (called due to time). The last card the Austrians pulled was Trench Raids! They rolled a 4 and sent four stands into the 3rd parallel to try to dispatch the sappers.

Below: the sappers were well protected and both trench raids failed! One was repulsed with casualties (unit integrity loss).

Below: Final three shots of the siege at the end of the game. Great progress by the French, and now they understood massing fire and how to effectively play the game they moved much faster.

Bottom left is the French Rally Point, which was filled with demoralized sappers the entire game.

The game "started" at 10am, but we didn't push lead until about 10:30. We also broke for about a 45 minute lunch break. We called the siege around 2pm. We were able to get through 4 game turns during the playing time of 2.5 hours. That is pretty good considering I had three new players.

We seriously had a ton of fun and now I have to get working on fleshing out some of the artillery crew, etc. Lots of work ahead, but pushing lead really fires up the boilers!

More information on Vauban's Wars here.




  1. Two great looking games. Always good to see original Piquet in action

    1. Thank you! It was great to knock the rust off both rulesets as I have moved and didn't have players to game with for nearly 10 months.

  2. Some seriously good eye candy on show there, both games looked fantastic, very inspirational.

  3. Great looking games, thanks for putting them up. Nice to see a new group doing so well.

    1. One of the most troubling aspects of moving was will I find new wargamers? I can now rest easy knowing that I have found a gamer's paradise!

  4. Does the glacis prevent cannon attacks versus the fort? Until the attacker crests it?

    1. Hi Dave, in a way it does. There is something called "Breaching Fire" in the rules and it can only be done at very close range (basically on top of the glacis).

  5. Both games are very nice looking. The siege looks great in 15mm. Nice to see a game of Cartouche and a game with a lot of pretty flags as well. Glad you found some gamers nearby.

    1. Thanks! I'm sooooo excited to have a group of gamers again. Heading to Siege of Augusta in January with four others from the group.

  6. Nice looking games Eric! Wish I could have made it to either one or both. Hopefully after the new year we can get together for a few games.

    1. Thanks Chuck! I'm sure we will get together to push lead in the new year!

  7. Hi Eric! Do you make your cards yourself? If so, how many "Dress Lines" cards do you prepare? We always seem to go through a lot of those. Kind regards

    1. These Lace War Piquet cards are from Arts Cow (old Piquet gamer made them). I got three packs of these cards as the distributions of cards was not ideal for me. I also, stop adding Dress Lines cards at around 6 cards. It is just too punitive to add 10 dress lines cards to a deck!

    2. Makes sense, thank you!

  8. Just checked your blog and two great entries! Happy for you that you found some other wargamers, solo gaming just doesn't do it for me.

    1. Thanks you Joseph! I'm with you on solo gaming. I just don't find it interesting to match wits vs myself! Hahaha!