Sunday, 2 February 2014

Seduced by Morschauser

I spent most of the morning finishing off cutting up and shredding the remaining laurel branches that had broken off and fallen down during the recent storms. I then raked up all the dead leaves that had also come down ... and now I have a large green wheelie bin full of leaves and shredded laurel branches and a largish pile of laurel logs.

By the time I had finished I was feeling rather tired and did little else before lunch. After lunch I helped my wife to try to sort out the information she had acquired concerning her father's army career. We used a variety of different documents provided by the Army Records Department as well his Pay Book and Soldiers Book. None of the documents showed a complete breakdown of where he was, what unit/formation he served with, and the places he served in throughout his service. In the end I used a spreadsheet to enter and sort the information, and we finally have a slightly less confused idea about his army career, although there still appear to be some anomalies and quite a few gaps.

Towards the latter part of the afternoon I decided to try to do some more work on my combined OP14 and ITCHY AND SCRATCHY wargame rules ... but despite my best intentions I was ‘dragged’ away by a recent addition to my collection of articles written by or about Joseph Morschauser. This happened because the VINTAGE WARGAMING blog had published a copy of Joseph Morschauser's contribution to the 1966/67 edition of Donald Featherstone's WARGAMERS YEARBOOK and I had printed off a copy of what he had written.

Over the years I have been transcribing and saving all the relevant articles that I can find. As a result I have a small but gradually expanding archive of Morschauser's work ... and this afternoon – as a consequence of reading the latest addition to my collection – I made the mistake of sitting back and reading through everything in the archive, with the result that I did very little work on anything else.

One thing in the latest article did make me sit up and think. It was the following paragraph:
I have been playing around with grids and small war game boards for some time now and have finally developed a workable and interesting method of conducting full-scale battles on a 3 by 3 foot board lined with a 3 inch grid. To push things to the limit so to speak I have designed this one for use with 54mm troops figuring that if it were possible to fight a full battle with these on such a small board any other scale would work.
Visions of some of my Britains 54mm figures being used on my small tabletop suddenly came to mind ... as did the idea for a 'Very Little Wars' game! I even went into my toy/wargames room to see if I had a large enough piece of green felt on which to mark out a 12 x 12 grid of 3-inch squares before sanity returned and I decided that I needed to try to get one project finished first before I started another.

Yet again I had almost been seduced away from what I should have been doing by Morschauser!

10 comments:

  1. That short article had an eerily similar effect on me. I was about to fight a large-ish Peninsular War battle when all of a sudden I was dragged back by Morschauser into thinking "but what I *really* need to be doing is designing a series of Napoleonic rules all playable on a small gridded board to cover everything from a 'Sharpe'-type skirmish to huge Leipzig/Dresden type games..."

    Regards

    John

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  2. Almost a couple of years back now, I had major house repairs done to earthquake damage, and scored a couple of sizable sheets of 5-ply. The larger was left rather irregularly shaped, but trimmed down to the shape of a house's gable end and painted green on one face, looked to be just the deal for small games. The gable bit adds a little extra ground in the centre, or might be used to stand dice, drinks and other wargaming detritus.

    It has been sitting in my shed ever since. The smaller piece is standing yet against the side of the house, and probably ought to get itself rescued!

    I mention this because your 'Itchy and Scratchy' and OP14 rule sets, and the Joe Morshauser epistle I have just read inspires me to revisit these serendipitous acquisitions, perhaps pretty them up a bit and lay out a 3"x3" grid.

    Something to think about at any rate! t'would be a pity to waste them.

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  3. JHW (John),

    I keep returning to Morschauser every few months or so ... and every time I read or re-read what he wrote the more I am convinced that his style of wargaming suits my outlook and needs. I like fighting large wargames ... but they are only something that I can do infrequently, whereas a Morschauser-style game can be staged, fought, and packed away in no time at all.

    Good luck with your Napoleonic project.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  4. Archduke Piccolo,

    It would be waste NOT to use those bits of wood .

    I think that you have a new project on your hands ... and I will follow its development with great interest!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  5. 54mm gridded games with your chaps is something I hope we will see in the not too distant future...

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  6. Tradgardmastare,

    The idea does appeal ... but first I need to sort out my current OP14/ITCHY AND SCRATCHY project.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. Bob

    It's OK to be crazily disorganised. I live my life like that, nothing ever gets finished.

    Come over to the darkside...

    Regards
    PS Some may call it Attention Deficicit Something or other but who cares?

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  8. Arthur,

    I am by nature a rather sloppy individual, but discipline (both self and imposed) trained me not to be ... and turned me into a bit of an obsessive.

    Now that I am retired I am trying to 'unlearn' my training ... but it is taking quite some time to do so.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. There is a vety familiar ring to this post, I had similar thoughts this weekend.

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  10. Ross Mac,

    I am almost at the point of agreeing with Oscar Wilde's assertion that 'I can resist everything except temptation.

    I am being seduced ... I am being seduced ...

    All the best,

    Bob

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