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"Bathtubbed France 1914" Topic

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Ponder Supporting Member of TMP26 Aug 2016 1:46 p.m. PST


Pondering a project for Cold Wars next March. A bathtubbed France 1914 game using Command Decision with roughly a battalion representing an Army (so a company for a Corps, and a stand for a Division).

Map: To be painted onto felt 5x8 ft.

One of the issues to be resolved is the presentation of Artillery. Right now, a simplistic provide a battery per battalion seems to have some appeal.

Another issue is ranges: Thinking to simply halve normal ranges. So infantry would have a maximum range of 6", artillery perhaps 18."

Finally Fog of War Cards: You need to address logistics and replacements in some manner.

I've bought the felt, and aim to start painting this weekend. I know from past experience this mat painting will be a big time suck.

Let me know what you think.

Ponder on,


MajorB26 Aug 2016 1:57 p.m. PST

with roughly a battalion representing an Army (so a company for a Corps, and a stand for a Division)

Unless the ranges are drastically reduced to reflect the orders of mangitude changes in unit size you will still have artillery being able to bombard Paris from Rheims – about 144km. Artillery ranges of greater than 100 km – really?

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian26 Aug 2016 2:59 p.m. PST

MajorB, try not to get too hung up on scale. Maybe limit Artillery to the closest target to the observer?

Sound like a cool Idea. Will be PACKED with troops too

Rich Bliss26 Aug 2016 3:21 p.m. PST

Are you actually trying to refight the campaign? Or just going to generate interesting battles?

If the first, give it up. Bathtubbing won't work well. If the second, go for it. Just change the place names to avoid giving people heartburn.

Ponder Supporting Member of TMP26 Aug 2016 3:39 p.m. PST


It will be a big battle, with a superficial resemblence to the campaign. It should look cool, and thus draw attention as a convention game, and as referee, I will endeavor for it to be a fun game.

I recognize the range issue from a prior effort bathtubbing Kohima-Imphal-Tiddam from WW2. That was a nifty game, as I recall. That was my first effort in painting felt for game terrain. More recently Glenn Kidd inspired me with the mat he did for Gumbinnen, a couple of years ago.

Another issue to be resolved is river crossings.

I suspect use of Fog of War cards will be the universal solution for dealing with most of these pesky issues.

Ponder on,


Dave Gamer26 Aug 2016 6:53 p.m. PST

Actually, you've got the wheels turning in my head now. Say, use something more abstract like HOTT (or HITT, which is a WWI version of HOTT) – or maybe Chipco's Fantasy Rules! (since they allow for attaching artillery to a unit). Just off the top of my head, France has what, 5 Armies, each of 3-5 Corps? Each Corps was, what, 4-6 Divisions? For a multi-player game, maybe 1 stand = 2 divisions, each player controls an Army of 6-15 stands? No ranged combat except for artillery. Hmmm….

Ponder Supporting Member of TMP28 Aug 2016 8:56 a.m. PST

Howdy Dave,

They whole reason I posted this, was to inspire conversation on this game concept. I have not got the game worked out yet, but I will. I'll post some pictures as I paint the base mat for the game. I got the base color, a spring green, on the mat. Next step, to add mottling, darker greens and browns, for character. Then, I'll bring it into the game room and work adding the details.

Ponder on,


vtsaogames30 Aug 2016 7:52 a.m. PST

Glenn's Gumbinnen mat inspired to start my own. I have since found white duck canvas to be easier for me to work on. Here's my Shiloh mat for Bloody Big Battles. It is primed with white gesso, drawn on with fine tip sharpie markers and then painted with diluted acrylic.


Ponder Supporting Member of TMP30 Aug 2016 8:09 a.m. PST


I'm also trying an experiment in having the map image printed as a vinyl banner. Then just add trees, buildings, and troops.

We'll see.

Ponder on,


Russ Lockwood03 Sep 2016 7:13 p.m. PST

Snappy Nappy's been used for large 15-20 player 'campaign in a day' Napoleonic games on a large scale (one unit = brigade or one stand of artillery = 24 guns).

The key is proportions, not worrying about each individual man or inch. Since each player has the same proportional OOB, you can generate proportional results. When I scale out the tabletop, I use 1" = 1 mile and put all the cities and towns that gamers love to reference. The more tables you have, the better. Obviously, a musket shooting 1 inch does not mean it shoots one mile, but when you look back at the end of the day and game, it will give you a reasonable approximation of a campaign.

Give it a whirl on a 1 foot by 1 foot section of table, then try it on a 2 foot by 2 foot section. If it can scale there, it can scale on a dozen tables.

The project sounds great, but then again, I enjoy large multi-table multi-player games.

monk2002uk04 Sep 2016 2:26 a.m. PST

You need to mark Mauberge on the map. It had a significant effect on German movements.


Ponder Supporting Member of TMP06 Sep 2016 1:56 p.m. PST


Started to paint the mat, but wanted to try the printed vinyl banner. The banner came out so well, I think I'll skip the painted mat.

Photo 1 – Starting to paint the mat.

Photos 2, 3, & 4 The vinyl banner

Ponder on,


Ponder Supporting Member of TMP07 Sep 2016 7:26 a.m. PST


I was working on the Fog of War cards last night. Currently, cards divided into about 5 categories.

(1) Artillery – Field, Heavy, or Siege
(2) Aerial Reconnaissance
(3) Bridging
(4) Supply
(5) Replacements / Reinforcements

Currently, not planning to have gun models on the table for artillery. The card will specify type of artillery available.

Supply tokens will be generated on friendly board edge, they must be moved up to the front. Cards will drive consumption, failing to be in supply will cause morale penalty, until supply restored.

More work needed, but progress is being made.

Ponder on,


Ponder Supporting Member of TMP29 Nov 2016 10:13 a.m. PST


The game is submitted for Cold Wars '17. Planned for Saturday, 4pm to 10 pm.

Let me know if you are interested in playing (jescarbo AT yahoo DOT com).

Ponder on,


Ponder Supporting Member of TMP06 Jan 2017 12:45 p.m. PST


A deck of 32 Fog of War (FoW) cards for each side; it will be divided into 5 categories:

(1) Artillery – Field, Heavy, or Siege

French: 16 artillery cards (13 Field, 3 Heavy, 1 Siege)
German: 14 artillery cards (6 Field, 5 Heavy, 3 Siege)

(2) Aerial Reconnaissance

French: 1 card
German: 2 cards

(3) Bridging

French: 3 cards
German: 6 cards

(4) Supply

French: 8 cards
German: 6 cards

(5) Replacements / Reinforcements

French: 4 cards
German: 4 cards (limited to replacements)

Small arms ranges will be cut in half, so rifle range will be 6". Spotting ranges limited to 12 or 18 inches (still working that out).

Currently, not planning to have gun models on the table for artillery. Will use FoW cards as above. The card will specify type of artillery available (Field, Heavy, or Siege). Effect numbers, 3, 5, 7 respectively. Artillery targets must be spotted and within 6 inches of command stand.

Have done away with supply tokens, simply using the FoW cards.

I am making town blocks and village blocks using 2mm buildings, will also use some 5 mm buildings, and have an Eiffel Tower miniature for Paris.

Making progress.

Ponder on,


11th ACR07 Jan 2017 11:36 a.m. PST

I have thought of a similar concept.

I still have all of my maps from my time in the 11th ACR on the East-West German boarder.

Just lay the maps out and go from there.

Ponder Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2017 12:52 p.m. PST


Well, if you are coming to Cold Wars, you can play and see how it works out.

Ponder on,


Ponder Supporting Member of TMP21 Jan 2017 11:16 a.m. PST


There seems to be a screw up in the PEL, as the game is listed twice.

The Friday 10am listing – F124 – IS INCORRECT

The Saturday 4pm listing – S375 – is correct.

Drop me a message if you plan to play. I'd like to give each side the opportunity to plan their battle.

Ponder on,

JAS (Jessee Scarborough)
jescarbo AT yahoo DOT com

Ben Lacy Sponsoring Member of TMP02 Mar 2017 7:24 a.m. PST

This looks like great fun… good luck, Ben

Ponder Supporting Member of TMP02 Mar 2017 9:31 a.m. PST


An update: Movement rates normal (BMA = 6-inches), Firing will be limited to 6-inch range (close range 3-inches).

Artillery, Supply, Bridging, Aerial spotting, and Replacements/Reinforcements will be handled via Fog of War Cards. Artillery cards include field, heavy, and seige guns, with a greater card frequency for lesser weights.

Line of Sight will be limited to 6-inches and Command Range is also limited to 6-inches from command stands.

Supply: Out of supply units never receive +1 ROF in Opportunity Fire Phase, may not call artillery, & have
-1 for Morale Checks.

May not play out of supply card until Turn 4 or later.

Artillery cards may only be played on spotted stands within 6" of any command stand (exception – artillery may be called on aerially spotted stands within 12" of any command stand). Out of supply units may not call artillery.

Ponder on,


KTravlos05 Mar 2017 9:29 a.m. PST

sounds interesting

Ponder Supporting Member of TMP06 Mar 2017 8:17 a.m. PST


My intention is for a fun game. We'll have to see how it goes. I'm hoping some folks will show up and play.

With limited attendance, I will scale the game back to marching through Belgium: German 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Armies vs. Belgians, BEF, and French 5th Army (about 3:2 in numbers). Would be basically a regimental level game at that point (battalion representing an army).

Ponder on,


Ponder Supporting Member of TMP16 Mar 2017 5:03 a.m. PST


Off to Cold Wars today, my game Saturday afternoon 4pm.

Ponder on,


Ponder Supporting Member of TMP19 Mar 2017 1:56 p.m. PST


From my game at Cold Wars:

Photo 1 – Looking south, Liege at front right

Photo 2 – Looking NW, Alsace-Lorraine in foreground

Photo 3 – Paris

Photo 4 – French 3rd, 4th, & 5th Armies in foreground

Photo 5 – Looking SW

Photo 6 – In play, French 1st & 2nd Armies advance into Alsace-Lorraine

The French attack was repulsed by the Bavarians. Of 32 infantry stands, the French lost 12, for the Germans lost 7 of 16. However Fog of War cards allowed the Germans to get 4 of the 7 stands back as replacements.

Enjoy! I'm considering a reprise for Historicon.

Ponder on,


KTravlos22 Mar 2017 11:12 a.m. PST

JAS this look like it went great! Bravo! Good show! I am envious!

crazycaptain30 Jan 2018 10:43 p.m. PST

I really like HITT, but I also enjoy Command Decision TOB myself. I think all have posted really good arguments regarding scaling issues. I think that is always the first priority. It might not hurt looking at some war board game rules (which you can download for free) to see how they handle scaling and terrain work.

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