Travel Battle – The figures, the first battle and overall impressions

The figures (updated 02/01/2019)

My eyesight is so bad these days, that looking at the 8mm figures is better through the camera than with the naked eye. They have enough detail that, if painted, they should be enough for table effect. You will see here that the infantry only has one rank in place. This is because I haven’t decided yet if I am painting these. The units being on the diagonal signifies being formed in square.

The artillery is just two pieces, the wheels and axle flanked by two soldiers being the first, and the gun, trail and third soldier being the second piece.

Overall I wish they did more. I can buy extra sprues, though it might be better value to buy an extra set. As you can see above, the figures occupy enough space on the table on this initial set up.

It is obvious that the figure scale bears no relationship to the ground scale, otherwise the figs would be 2 mm. Only artillery have a range greater than the next square (6 squares), but if you look at the size of the farm, accepting the distance of one square to the next as being within musket range seems reasonable.

Infantry, by the way, over-spill the stand, so no lining up these infantry nicely. If you see the blue infantry in the middle, you notice squares with two ranks of infantry. Those are two stands (because only half the ranks are on each infantry stand) and in open squares you can have two units of infantry, as long as neither is in square.

Here are a Red Guard infantry (with colours) in front of 10mm GW “Battle of Five Armies” Goblins and beside Baccus 6mm Macedonian pike. The Baccus figures are not on a unit base, just the sort of tab base they are moulded onto. From this it looks like, if you wanted to add additional figures from other manufacturers, 6mm might be the better compromise. At time of writing, you could get 22 line infantry and 2 Guard infantry from Baccus for £7.50. That gets you 48 strips of infantry, two with colours and two strips per base would be like the supplied figures. I also photographed the Red light cavalry by some 6mm Baccus Cavalry. Sorry, didn’t dig out 10mm cavalry.

The Battle

Travel Battle is a IGOUGO game. The boards are oriented randomly, you each have three brigades, led by a brigadier on the round base, who need to trace a line for a unit to be able to move. Players place brigades down in turn until each has placed their three.

In the turn photos, Red will have moved and fired, Blue will have moved but not yet fired.

Turn one

Red starts. They moved forward. Initially the Blues were mostly hidden behind hills and buildings, limiting the targets for the Red artillery. What Red fire there was was ineffective.

The Blues move forward and start spreading out, you don’t see it yet, but the Blue artillery strike lucky, causing one unit of Red artillery to retreat, fail to rally, and disappear, and the other is just plain destroyed. This put a gap in the brigade on the hill, leaving one unit of infantry isolated and out of the brigadier’s command.

Turn two

Red Heavy Cavalry attacked the Blue infantry and initially did badly, losing one unit and causing one to retreat, but Heavy Cavalry (and Guard Infantry) get a re-roll, if they want, and on re-roll the Red Heavy Cavalry pushed the Blue infantry back.

The Blue’s advance on the right and centre, on the left the infantry on the road form square. The Blue artillery fire is ineffective.

Turn three

Red cavalry attacks the Blue infantry in square and comes off the worst. The Blue are closing down their right with thir other infantry and cavalry brigades.

The Blue artillery causes another unit to be destroyed. The problem with going into square, you make a much more inviting target, in this case artillery gets a second dice to roll to affect you.

The blue infantry flanking the artillery attack but are pushed back, also pushing back the brigadier.

Turn four (last turn)

The Red Heavy cavalry tries to force the infantry out of the woods, but are driven back in retreat, but rally on the board edge. The Reds have more success with their infantry in the middle, managing to destroy unit of Blue infantry.

The blues advance and close in across the front. The Blue artillery destroys a Red Guard infantry unit and causes another to retreat to the board edge where it rallies, the blue infantry repeat the feat.

At this point I call the game, as I have to do something else. However it does not look good for the Reds so that seems fair enough.

Conclusions and comments on the rules (update on 01/01/2019)

This was a nice fast game that, if you are going to be brutal, are more boardgame than wargame. However the rules, while simple, have adjustments for troop types and situations. Eg Cavalry that charging infantry which have not formed in square get two dice to roll, and choose the best.

You can put two infantry units in one square, giving them two dice for attack/defence.

Pushbacks can cascade, pushing other units out of position. In the FAQ it suggests units unable to retreat should lead to auto-destruction

Any unit that isn’t a brigadier itself, can push a brigadier aside, possibly leading to loss of control of a brigade.A nice wargaming point that, that there is a command and control feature.

Infantry in square get two dice Vs cavalry (attacking or defending), but artillery gets two dice when attacking them.

Corner to corner attacks are a thing, so units can support others. (Or just attack corner to corner, but it looks better as part of a line)

Roads increase travel along them, infantry can defend buildings, etc, etc.

All this in a few sides of A5. The system means that both sides can affect the other in their turn and their enemy’s, giving agency and helping lead to the speed of the game, even looking over the rules for my first battle and taking off the time photographing, these four turns only took just over half an hour.

Simple or not, I got a couple of things wrong, you need a whole turn to go into or out of square, but they did not affect the game much. Having diagonal movement/range may offend some folk, but it simplifies things.

There is a faq and some additional rules. I would like to try and find some figures I could use for skirmishers and horse artillery for the additional rules.

I am very much glad I bought this. I think I will end up painting this, perhaps as Russians versus French. This is my first Napoloenonic large scale battle rules, but the results seemed reasonable this first time.

I can see that the retreat and rally rules might cause a lot of back and forwarding, as brigades may have to retreat to be able to recover rallied units, as they cannot move without contact to a brigaadier. If that occurs then that is going to be unrealistic.

I do not think the Perrys have totally closed the door on doing more with it, but it is what it is, a wargame, with all you need, in a very portable box, a bit of fun to be had in a small space.

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