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NORTH AMERICA'S FOREMOST MINIATURE GAMING MAGAZINE
THE SEIGE OF OXLEAF AL KARASA presents Part II of the Marnon Campaign - complete with seige rules .. . . . ......... . . .. ......... . ........ ..... ..... .. .. ..... ... . 3
ARTILLERY AT WATERLOO GEN. B.P. HUGHES details the use of artillery at the battle . ... . . . .. . .. ... .. . ... . .. . ........... . ... .. ...... . . ... . .. . .... .. .. .. . . ..... .. 11
A GUIDE TO MAHDIST WARGAME ARMIES DOUG JOHNSON reviews Uniforms, Weapons & Organization ...... . . .... . . . .. . . .. ...... . . . . . . .. .... ... ....... ... .. .. ... ... .... ... ..... . 17
WARGAMES TERRAIN - A POOR SIMULATION STEVE PAINE compares real terrain to Wargame Simulations . .. .. . . ...... . ............. . . .. .... .................. . . .. . . . .. .. . ... . .... . ... 21
WARGAMES TERRAIN - A BETTER WAY GEORGE JEFFREY describes a more accurate simulation . . . .. . .. .. . . ... ... .......... . .. . . . .. ... ... .. ... ... ......... .. .. ... .... . . ... ..... 23
A MEDIEVAL MILITARY TIME LINE GEORGE SCHNEIDER outlines the principle activities of 476-1494 ... ........... . . ....... ... .. ... . . . . . ... ........ . ...... ...... .......... 33
BOARDGAMES AS A CAMPAIGN TOOL STEVEN NEWBERG offers an interesting campaign approach .. ... . . ..... ... . . ......... . .. . . .... .... ... .. . ......... ... . . .. ... ........ .. .. . 41
ENGLISH WARGAMER AT LARGE PHIL BARKER'S view of gaming in the US and elsewhere . ... ....... . . . . . ............ .. .......................... . ..... .. . ... ............... 48
INDEX TO VOLUME III TOM DESMOND . ... . ............. .. ............ .... ... . . ...... . ... . . . ... . . .... . . .. .... ..................... . . . .... ... ............ 51
THE REVIEWING STAND with JAY HADLEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 28
THE MARTIAL ART OF PAINTING a new column with Mike Gilbert .. . .. . . .. ... . . .. . .... ...... ....... . .. ... ..... ... . .. . . . .. ...... .. ... 32
DISPATCHES FROM THE FIELD letters to (or at) the Editor ........... .... ......... . .. ... .... ..... ... .. .. ...... .. ... . . . .. . .. . .. .. . . .. .. . 45
THE COURIER DISPATCH new of the hobby with Rob Mclean . .... ..... . ... ......... . ..... .. .. . .... . . . ...... . ... . ...... . ......... .. ..... 47
VOLLEY FIRE what do you like/ what do you hate? .. ...... .......... . ............. . .... .. ...... . ............... . ............ ... ... .. ..... 56
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THE RECESSION HITS THE HOBBY
This hobby is not by any means immune to the disruptions of the current recess ion . Heritage Miniatures is going out of business - several of its figure lines up for sale (interested parties contact Howard Barash). Lamming in England has dec ided to close its doors (see THE COURIER DISPATCH - this issue). Martian Metals, who were preparing a line of 1 Omm ACW figures for use with Adventure Games' Complete Brigadier rules, lost their factory to fire - the effect of the economy here is that (rumor has it) that they are con-templating staying out of business . So, those manufacturers hardest hit by the economy go to the wall or consolidate with other suppliers. The result can only be a disadvantage to the hobbyist - less variety in figures, fewer historical lines and fewer manufacturers in competition . These companies will be reluctant to initiate new designs in these hard times and will , at best, present more of the main line popular periods - Napoleonics, Romans, British Colonial , etc. This is fine for those of us who want to expand their present arm ies or get into one of the main I ine periods we had not done before. But from whence will come the Franco - Pruss ian War figures, The Crimean War figures, the French & German Colonials etc .?
The avid historical miniature gamer will support his suppliers and eschew the priates and xerox freaks or he will be the looser in the long run .
PRICE CHANGES IN THE SUPPLY DEPOT
Please note that the list price of Complete Brigadier rules by Adventure Gamers has increased from $14.95 to $19.95 . We must therefore increase the cost to subscribers from $13 to $16.95. There is no time to change the THE SUPPLY DEPOT listing before going to press. So orders received at the lower amount will be returned for the additional funds.
Sorry, but w e must at least break even on the special prices to subscribers. Remember - all postage on supply depot orders are absorbed by The Courier.
We are sold out of several issues from Vol I and Vol II so can no longer offer the all back issue spec ials on these two volumes . Watch for a special offer in the next issue for the individual back issues.
MARNON CAMPAIGN THE SEIGE OF OXLEAF
BY AL KARASA
!>. A"lCI ~T"
o 5 10 ~d I ' I I I I I I , I I L~AfiUES I
(1 L-a.sue ,. -~ Milas) _L __ .=M=~':;"==;:,:=:R===N~;:;:::O==N=~ ___ -11 TS,~~;e-Q.t-T:~l MAY,1231
AUTHOR 'S NOTE: This is the second article in a series recounting the hypothetica l medieval campaign using A va lon Hill's mapboard of Marnon (Wiza rd 's Ques t) for strategic moves and 40mm Hausser -Elas tol in m iniature figures with many scra tch-built accessories for resolving tactica l battles on the tabletop . Rules are home-grown from previously l is ted references and based on TSR's " Chainmail " . Siege and campaign rules are original . A lthough Marnon is a fictitious land, historica l basis for the campaign is the time of the Balt ic Crusades in Lithuania, Pruss ia and Poland during the 13th century Mongol incursion into Eastern Europe.
Our hypothetical Tatar campai~n against the Duchy of Marnia reached an impasse when Toghrul Khan , com-mander of the invading army, suffered a severe set-back resulting in the siege of Gaudy Castle. He fled with most of his elite units , leaving Kushala' s tribal troops and Timur' s horse archers to defend the castle he took without a fight early in the campaign . His other occupied castle (Oxleaf) was in Jesugai ' s hands-his second in command.
A chronology of the 1231 campaign will help bring us up to date :
1 April A mnon Waterday (a M arnon Holiday) 4 April Tatar Invas ion beg ins 8 April Toghrul K han takes Gaudy Castl e
17 April Toghrul Khan takes Oxleaf Castle 18 April A mnon River skirm ish 30 April BATTLE OF PORTSTON M OOR
2 M ay Marnon mobi lizat ion completed 9 M ay Siege of Gaudy Castle beg ins
14 M ay Si r George Radner & Lord Ox leaf join the siege
The accompanying map (an approximation of Avalon Hill's island of Marnon , used for all strategic moves) shows the development of these troop dispositions begun shortly after the Battle of Portston Moor . Nearly half the Marnian Army was engaged in the siege, not including the Teutonic Knights keeping watch over Jesugai and deMarl ' s Men-at-Arms holding the Turkish ships at Island Harbour . Toghrul Khan was on everyone ' s mind in the Frankish camp . His contingent disappeared after Portston Moor and since a sizeable force of cavalry elite was with him, his whereabouts were understandably of some concern .
Although strength of forces were not known to the op-ponents at the beginning of the siege, it is given here
TROOP DISPOSITIONS AS OF MID-MAY, 1231
Location Unit Description Commanders size type class
Gaudy Castle 320 LC R Horse archers Timur (under siege) 80 LC R Tribal spear Kushala Oxleaf Castle 320 LC R Tribal archers Jesugal Unknown 300 MC E Horse archers Toghrul Khan
(NW Marnon?) 100 LC E Tribal Spear (c. in C) Total tartars 1120
260 HI V Pikemen Sir Gear~e Radner Surrounding 260 HI V Pikemen Lord Ox eaf
Gaudr. 108# HC E Knights Montreil Cast e 22St MI E Crossbowmen deGascon
80 HC E Knights Templar Falcon deB lac Island Harbour 80 HC R Sergeants-at-Arms Sir John deMari Marls Gate 60 HC E Teutonic Knights Independent Flintcastle 360 MI R Mercenary spear Prince Henry Bentwood Castle 160 LI M Fernham Castle 160 LI M Feudal archers Castle garrison Castle of Dunes 320 LI M Total Franks 2073
-Morale class: Elite, Veteran, Regular, Militia 20 lost at Amnon Ri ver, 18 April , 1231 60 lost at Portston Moor, 30 April, 1231 #12105t at Portston Moor t75 lost at Portston Moor.
to help put the strategic situation in perspective (each figure = 20 troops listed under unit size) :
The Khan was aware of preparations at Gaudy; and he dispatched a relieving force, before the siege could be fully developed . His besieged commanders would surely have a bad time of it considering Tatar in-experience with siege tactics . Be that as it may, no one but the Tatar C. in C. knew Toghrul's plan, and he wasn ' t talking.
All participants prepared feverishly in anticipation of action sure to come . Alas, it was not to be! The Frank-ish army had brought only one medium size catapult from Flintcastle . This engine was an unusual example; instead of working on the torsion principle, it was powered like a crossbow (see illustration) . It combined the principles of espringale and mangonel types and was very powerful. The Duke of Bentwood, however, was not overly anxious to give it a test . He was more inclined to try to talk the Tatar chieftains into sur-render rather than conduct a lengthy siege . When flatly refused, he tried to bargain by offering Timur' s cavalry safe conduct upon surrender of the castle . This was ignored! Parleys throughout the campaign were re-solved by verbal offer using two 6-sided dice to enter the table shown in the Appendix .
Faced with the only alternative, Marnon ' s army set to work building siege engines. First a small siege tower was undertaken for it would take the longest time to build . Additional catapults were considered, but it was hoped these would not be needed .
During this time, the Khan ' s messenger reached Jesugai atOxleaf Castle (see " MARNON CAMPAIGN, A Map To Tabletop System", in Vol. IV, No.2, for description of strategic map moves) . The message became clear to the 60 Teutonic Knights at Marls Gate. On the 19th of May, when they were completely overwhelmed by Jesugai's mass of tribal horse archers attacking in waves. Weight of numbers and Jesugai's mobile tactics proved absolutely devastating to the knights who, without infantry or missile support, could
not close with the archers to force a melee and were compelled to flee into the surrounding forest to save themselves . Less than half of them survived that encounter .
The Tatar tribesmen then sortied to harass the Marnian Army besieging Gaudy Castle . This tactic was highly effective in achieving their intent to enable Timur's and Kushala's units to vacate the castle. Jesugai's attack directed at the besiegers ' rear, precipitated the breakout immediately followed by a feigned charge from the castle by Kushala's spear cavalry. Lord Ox-leaf's and Sir George Radner' s pikemen with the Templar Knights formed up back to back to receive the simultaneous attack (see diagram) . Although they had no room to fall back, the pikemen retired into the forest at Moss Glen. The Tatar attack was never completed . As soon as Timur ' s cavalry streamed out the gate and made away at lightning speed, the rest of the Tatars followed suit at an equally impressive pace . A Frankish crossbow unit tried to intercept from the flank, but they were too late and only 40 of Timur's regulars were lost.
Gaudy Castle was liberated, but the Tatar Army of Invasion was on the move again . Its first strike came at Island Harbour where Toghrul Khan reappeared with his combined arms cavalry to reclaim the Turkish ships used in the original invasion. DeMarl's Sergeants-at-Arms escaped, but Sir John himself was unable to make it across the desert of Red Dune, being overtaken by enemy light horse and brought back a prisoner . In the meantime, the remaining Tatar troops returned to Ox-leaf Castle after Timur' s breakout and were soon joined there by Toghrul Khan. The Khan's remain-ing units were seen proceeding eastward along the Coast Road . The ships sai led out of Island Harbour before the Khan ' s departure, and it was feared they might return with additional troops to strengthen his position in Southwest Marnon .
Oxleaf Castle possessed every strategic advantage for establishing an invasion fulcrum . It commanded a harbor exposed only to mild weather from the South and a road (of which there are very few in Marnon)
1 Jesugai attacks besiegers' rear while Kushala sa llies forth from the cast le fo r simu ltaneous frontal attack.
2 With no room to fa ll back, the Pikemen retreat into the forest at M oss Glen. Ti mur breaks out across Gaudy Greene. Crossbowmen move to inte rcept.
3 Remainder of Tatar forces follow Timur.
20 MAY 12.31
connecting it to another nearby harbor . In addition, a second road provided access to the very heart of Mar-non . The central region was of prime importance to later expans ion and Whispery Meadow region ' s open country was well suited for cavalry operations . The only potential threat lay to the East, in Misty Forest, with the two castles on its other side. Considering these facts , was all the focus on Gaudy Castle a mere diver-s ion to detract attention from Oxleaf? Toghrul Khan's reappearance was obviously well-timed and by early June the Tatar Army was firmly entrenched in Oxleaf Castle .
Although Marnian siege preparations at Gaudy Castle were for naught, the forces now assembled were poised for any eventuality . The Duke resolved to take ad-vantage of his army' s readiness for a siege, and in the second week of June he began his move against the Tatars in Oxleaf Castle . This move was contrary to advice from the Earl of Windfor (Falcon deBlac), who was fearful of the enemy' s combined strength and wanted to wait for reinforcements . The Duke, however, decided to begin the march and initiate the siege as soon as possible . Additional troops would join them later; the Duke knew that the siege would be a long and laborious task requiring weeks of preparation . He decided to bring the siege tower constructed at Gaudy . The road connecting Oxleaf Castle with Gaudy would facilitate this operation provided that it was secure . Montreil deGascon's crossbowmen were dispatched to scout and secure the route . DeGascon and his kn i ghts followed two days later .
After the surviving Teutonic Knights returned to their castle at Gaudy and the Marnon Army departed , 2 ungarrisoned castles remained : the Templar's Hempen Rook and the Hospitallers ' Kilgarren . Marnon was now able to supply an army of 2500, with reinforcement rates of 20 cavalry and 60 infantry per week plus an
additional 40 cavalry every 4th week, compared with the ideal maximum military resource of 4000 . Perhaps deBlac' s fears were unfounded after all.
Toghrul Khan expected a siege and prepared to hold out until his reinforcements arrived by sea. It was imperative for Ox Harbour to be protected , for that is where his ships were instructed to return . As an extra precaution , he dispatched horse archers to reconnoiter Island Harbour and to frustrate Marnian supply opera-tions after the siege began . Sir John de Marl was now a prisoner in his own castle and was doubtlessly used by the Khan to prepare to resist the siege .
THE PROTRACTED SIEGE
On June 21 st , the besieging army arrived and en-camped surrounding Oxleaf Castle . Their reinforce-ments were on the way to Flintcastle where Sir Henry, the Prince of Dunes , prepared and organized them into self-sufficient units before joining the siege, as re-quired later.
The Duke of Bentwood' s now familiar offer to the
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