Getting it ready- an intriguing battle!

 Gaming has been a bit thin on the ground recently, and I haven't had the chance to put anything on the blog- life getting in the way of all the important stuff! That was until very recently when I managed to get a few in (Reports to follow!). Additionally, with a few spare days and an itch that needed to be scratched, I had always wanted to have a crack at what I always felt was Marlborough's most unusual battle: Oudenarde July 11 1708.

It was unusual in that it was not a planned battle and involved a river crossing ( in two places!) as the French Commander, Vendome, scrambled to deal with Marlborough and Eugene's crossing and the battle that unfolded was a fascinating tactical situation.

How to do it on the table?

With both armies consisting of over 90 battalions each and 130 squadrons, I had nowhere near that- and most of my OOB was for other battles. Undaunted I decided to give it a go. I figured that I could do a 3:1 ration for the infantry and 4:1 for the cavalry- about 25-30 battalions a side and 30+ squadrons a side. The proportion wasn't quite correct but I was using everything suitable that I had. So it was a 'bathtubbing' exercise which reflected some of the tactical nuances of the battle but not really a recreation of it. 

Terrain was essential so I decided to scratch build it. I needed to represent the Scheldt river and the town of Oudenarde where the Allied army crossed over and the heights above the town that were fought over by the armies on the day. 

My go to book for this one!

The various boards 6 of them: 4'x3' , two of which were then nailed to a 6'x4' .

The roads were made using caulking. The slopes with modelling compound

Painting in the river Scheldt...a dark green ( it's the only gloss colour I had)

Out with the paint- covering the area except the roads.

Applying the 'no more gaps' in the right colour.

Painting done, roads done.....I think it looks okay!

Finalising the River- wheat fields added.

The cards for the French. Each card has the details of the Brigade Commander and the units in their Brigade. It also shows which turn they will arrive on the battlefield

The Allied cards- the first brigades' placements.

French Brigade cards

Placing the figures

Nearly done....


French commanders view.

Well, it's taken me nearly four days to get it ready.....the Brothers will be here this Saturday to fight it out.
I'm looking forward to this one.


  1. Looking forward to seeing the outcome. One of Marlborough's battles I haven't re-fought.

    1. Thanks Neil- I am hoping it provides a close fought game!

  2. I am always impressed to see a wargamer build a custom terrain board. Good job and welcome back!

    1. Thanks Jonathan- nice to be back in the blogosphere!

  3. John that is looking wonderful.
    I wish I could be there to play - very dissapointed. But I will raise a glass of something special late in the afternoon after we finish eating.

    1. Thanks Rich- make it early 18th Century to be in theme!

  4. Superb terrain. Thank you for taking me through this walkthrough. Looking forward to reading about the actual game.

    1. Thanks Richard! I hope that the game goes well!

  5. Oh, cool. I too can't wait to see your game's AAR. I always thought Oudenarde was the most interesting of the Marlburlian battles.

    1. Thanks Joseph. I hope it works out regardless of the result!