Sunday, 25 June 2017

Muskets and Bayonets

It has been a while since my last post but I have been thinking about what to write on a regular basis. There is nothing like a big game to send me to the keyboard. Yesterday, we had 6 players for a 1st Bull Run scenario,American Civil War. The first major engagement of this conflict. We used the hex based Battle Cry rules and my 15mm ACW. The venue was the Kentville Recreation Centre run by the Kentville board game club. They meet quarterly and we have been putting miniature games on for the past 5 meetings or so. It is a good way to recruit and meet new players.

I chose this game because it was easy to put on The group was hoping for a big Napoleonic affair but I did not have time to put that together. The Confederates lost the race to the central ridge but were able to put in a punishing counter attack for the win. Stuart's cavalry were able to outmaneuver their Federal opposites. I have the first edition of these rules and we played the rules as written. It worked well but I think there have been some subtle changes in later editions that improve the random flavor of the game. For example, the All Out Attack card lets one order every unit on the board. There is only one of these in the deck and if  your side gets it, you will likely win. I think this is removed or toned down in later editions.

Thanks to all the players for a fun game!

Tick of a 6x6 game, Next, Chain of Command WWII solo game and July 9th Commit the Garde Nappy's.

Rebs on the left of the deployment and my attempt to edit a period like pic

Union left

Same deployment but without my attempt at period photography

This table looks way better but requires lots of time and does not travel well

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Edgehill Redux

Having only played two turns of the scenario on a small table, I decided to reset and play on my larger table. I played the game solo. Baroque set manages solo play well. I rolled randomly for which command got ordered first unless it was an obvious choice. If there was any doubt about whether to react or not, or which reaction to make, random dice solved the decision making. The scenario gives Parliament a strong center but weak flanks and the opposite was true for the Royalists.

Turn one saw the Parliament center advance and the Royalist wings advanced. The Dragoons faced off in the hedgerows and battled for supremacy. 

Royalist Gallopers charge early and drive off a unit of Reiters

Desultory fire in the center on turn 1

Turn 2 - Rupert rolls boxcars on his command roll and upgrades to Charismatic. This happened to all the Royalist commanders and one of the Parliament generals. No snake eyes were rolled. The Royalists advanced on their left with the horse but lost the duel in the hedgerows. The Parliament Dragoons would be a thorn in the side of this flank for the King. 

On the other flank. The Parliament troops were faring better. They advanced and fired with their Reiters and then charged the weakened Gallopers with thier Cuirassier unit and drove them back. The slow Cuirassier failed to followup. The Royalist Dragoons kept their opposites at bay amongst the hedge rows, preventing a serious collapse on the Royalist left.

The Parliament infantry advanced in the center hoping to come to grips with the less experienced Royalist foot. Long range shots were exchanged and a few units were disordered. The Royalist foot advanced on the right to support their victorious horse.

View from Parliament center

View from Parliament left - Rupert's Gallopers on the verge of breaking through

Turn 3 - The Parliament foot are forced to turn their flank to prevent being rolled up by the Royalist horse. The same is true on the other flank for the Royalists as the send reinforcements to prevent the Cuirassier from exploiting their success. Both flanks are showing wear with units routing and withdrawing on both sides. The Parliament foot's hopes of engaging the center are stalled as they start to take damage and roll crap to rally.
Cuirassier press ahead

Another charge for the Cuirassier
 Cuirassier rout another horse unit

Parliament foot stalled in the centre
 Elite horse flank a pike and shot unit
 Highwater mark for Parliament on the right
Turn 4 - Things were looking dicey for the Parliamentarians. They elite Royalist Gallopers were able to press ahead and take out a second infantry unit with the help of a supporting foot unit. The Cuirassier were devastated by a volley from the Dragoons and had to fall back. The Reiters avenged them by blasting a pike and shot unit, routing them. With the retreat now cut off by Royalist horse and mounting casualties, Parliament troops withdrew from the field.
Gallopers rout an battered pike and shot unit
 Press of pike in the center

 Cuirassier fall back
 The battered flank of Parliament

It was a good game with a quick result. The game can be very decisive if you flub your morale rolls. Even one hit can cause a rout. I still find myself flipping through the rules a lot but should do better next time. 

Baroque outing

We had a learning game of Baroque this weekend. I managed to find 2 willing generals and I played the role of rulebook page flipper. I borrowed the scenario for the Battle of Edgehill which I found on the Baroque Facebook page. In hindsight, this might have been a little ambitious as it required large armies. Not the best for a learning game. On the other hand, the generals wanted to play a historical battle. An additional challenge was setting up on a 6'x3.5' table when I had planned for an 8x4. The set up call for a flat battlefield with hedges along the flanks and a road down the middle. Historically, the Dragoons battled amongst the hedges for supremacy while the cavalry used the open ground next to the farms to fight it out.

 Deployment - Royalists on the right

In our battle, the large infantry units forced the cavalry to deploy mostly in the hedges in support of the Dragoons. This made for a slow and disordered approach for the cavalry and made it difficult for them to come to grips. The Royalist Dragoons succeeded in getting the defended terrain by occupying the cross hedge on both flanks. The players learned quickly that the hedges nullified their cavalry's combat abilities.
Trouble in the Hedge Rows

The Royalist elite horse unit managed to charge the Parliamentary cuirassier in a opportunity charge. The Cuirassier failed to cause any damage with their pistols and were driven back, pursued and driven back again one hit from routing. The next turn the Parliament general elected to withdraw the Cuirassier and the Gallopers gleefully prepared to play in the flank of the enemy infantry.

Battle lines approach

The gallopers performed an about face. Which triggered an opportunity charge from a lowly unit of Reiter cavalry amongst the hedges. They were able to contact the Gallopers on the flank but had to battle across a hedge. The Reiters had the minimum one dice in combat but rolled a six causing a hit. The Gallopers swung back with 5 dice but failed to score a hit. They then failed their cohesion check and took a wound. In my rule flipping I learned that losing a flank or rear combat results in an automatic rout. That was it for the Kings Horse Guard unit!

The Royalist general tried his luck with another unit of horse, charging a disordered unit of pike and shot. The muskets succeeded in getting off a volley of defensive fire but to no effect. The horsemen learned that they were at no advantage due to the loss of impetus from pike armed foot. They rolled well and drove the infantry back. They pursued but were driven back in turn.

As the infantry lines approached each other, the generals were constantly considering whether to risk closing range and triggering an opportunity charge, or to save their first volley for a closer shot rather than a long range Hail Mary shot. We only managed to play two turns but both players said they enjoyed the rules and would play again.

I reset this battle on my 8x5 table to give it another try. Unfortunately, one box of figures got dropped on the return trip and much gluing will be required before this can happen. Good thing it is only Monday and the game will not happen until the weekend!

Back on home turf - 8x5 table

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Banging the War Drums

I have had a busy couple of weeks since Huzzah. I have assembled a primered my 3 “Things From the Basement” buildings. I built myself a “Lazy Susan” to help with the job of spray painting the big buildings. I thought of cracking out my air brush for the job but went with my trusty can of white spray paint. I may use the airbrush to paint the building interiors.

I have been banging the war drum to summon players form my gaming group. I want to teach them Baroque. I have painted more units for the armies and only played one game so far of my commitment of 6 this year (6x6 project). I found a scenario for Edgehill 1642 on the Baroque rules Facebook page and will put that game on.
Troops mustered for battle

I was able to bulk up my hedge collection. My old hedges were a little too big for my liking so I did up another 13 feet of them and scaled them back a little. They will also work for WWII France. I used foamcore base and added green scrubbies to form the hedges. I bought some Spanish Moss from the fake flower shop and ground it up in my blender. I used this mixture to flock the hedges and regular flock for the bases.
Hedges with a Tommy for scale

Painting on my fantasy figures continues. I finished a Devilish looking fellow and a scantily clad lady to be a Djinn in my fantasy “Men of the East” army. Some of the figures look to be pre primered but I have learned are not. My Dark Elf queen and Beholder are not holding paint. They must be white resin of some sort. I will have to strip them and primer. I have a half a dozen figures left on my shelf but am not in a hurry to get to them.

Tonight, I will organize the troops and terrain for Edgehill and hope I get some players. Otherwise it will be a solo game…

Monday, 5 June 2017

Things from the basement...

Things From the Basement is a new lasercut terrain maker that had a popular kiosk at HuzzahCon. They had lots of 28mm bits and bobs as well as WWII buildings and a Fantasy range of buildings. The prices were good so I bought a stable, stable manor and a town house. I hope to add them to my growing 28mm building collection for Bolt Action and Chain of Command. They will also work for Fantasy skirmish and English Civil War. The buildings want together easily and look great. So far I have only built the smaller 2 of the trio. My only complaint is that the roofs are plain. I remedied this by adding shingles made from a cereal box. They have a lovely set of rail fences but were sold out at the show. I had plans to make my own but this product looks great and is reasonably prices so it has made my wish list.

Here is a link to their website so you can judge for yourself:

Here are my work in progress pic. Paint is next. This is the Stable Manor with and the removable second story.

This is the stable and a shot without the roof.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Undead vs Dwarves

Last week I was able to get  1000 pt game of Sword and Spear Fantasy set up and played. As usual, the game was played a little bit at  time due to a house full of kids and other commitments. The armies were a smattering of everything from the list. I added an entry for my Gyrocopter. This was classed as light cavalry, armored, flight and magical attack for the cannon. In the game it did not move and spent the battle guarding the camp.

My boy Eric ran the Undead. They had level 1,2 and 3 Necromancers. This proved to be a powerful batch of characters for the shambling hordes. The Undead do not need to be in command and do not benefit from normal characters. Necromancers can help get them moving by improving their activation dice. This is in addition to their usual spells. This proved to be the undoing of the Dwarven host, as a common spell cast added dice to a unit in combat. The Dwarves could not seem to set up any advantages in combat as this as the Undead could add dice to combat up to 3 times every phase. The Dwarves had a level 3 Wizard as well and he did great but was outmatched by his more numerous opponents. The game played quickly and was decisive. It was all over by turn 4 with the Dwarves retreating to their mountain stronghold and leaving their dead as fodder to be raised by the marauding Undead. As it was a learning game, I did not invest much in scenario building and just set up some terrain, lined the two sides up and went at it.

Here is m Undead camp. Unfortunately I learned that the rules do not allow the Undead to have a camp. Well screw the rules, I love this piece and will be including it in my army!

Below a Necromancer commands his troops forward. In the distance is the Dwarven camp. 

This is a shot of the cavalry battle on the flank. The Dwarves were outnumbered and were quickly over run by the more numerous and better supported Undead horse.