Friday, May 4, 2018

Burgundian Ordonnance 1471-1477 versus French 1494-1516

In the NWS Impetus League semi-finals, my Burgundians faced Richard's French.  Given the preponderance of Swiss Class A Fast Pike on the French side it was almost an historical encounter.  The pressure was on!

 My army deployed.  I went defender as I wanted to clutter up the front with some terrain.  
It didn't quite work out as I wanted it.  The disadvantage was then having to deploy first.

 Oh dear.  First activation role and the enemy commander gets to lock in his genius status.
Richard was the winner of last year's competition.

 End of first turn.  
It was going to be a slow and careful game...

 Second turn.  
The Swiss start to move (lower right hand corner).

 Turn Three.  
I discover that my artillery and crossbowmen will be unable to fire effectively on the enemy artillery.

 Turn Four.  
There is still much distance to go.

 Turn five.
I start to pull my crossbowmen back, putting my faith in the longbow.

 Turn six.
Normally something would have happened by now...

 Turn seven.
 We are exchanging long range shots to little effect.

 Turn eight.  
I have pushed my hand gun armed skirmishers out on both flanks.

 Turn nine.  
Action on my right.  
A Swiss pike block has peeled off and roughly handled my mounted crossbowmen.

 Bad omen.  My right flank commander is downgraded (to fair).

 Turn ten.
The Swiss pike shatter my longbow.
Will my knights be able to get round the flank?

 Turn eleven.
Progress on my left has been disappointing.
Meanwhile on my right the Swiss are carrying all before them,

Turn twelve.
Well, we fought well, but my right flank has broken before I could get the knights in.

It was getting late and as my prospects were not looking good, I was happy to conceed.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Songs of Drums and Pith Helmets

Regardless of how this game played I knew it was going to be a success as it meant that I finally got to use my new terrain mat, plus the some of the Mahdists that I had recently finished as well as some British opponents for them that had come into my possession.

I thought Songs of Drums and Shakos would be easy to adapt and it was except I couldn't find a point system.

There were two squads of British each of one officer and five infantrymen.  The officer was Q3 C2 Leader armed with pistol and sword.  The infantrymen were Q4 C2 armed with rifles.  The leader gave a plus one to Q if they were with one long.  The infantry didn't have to reload.

There were four mobs of Mahdists, each with a flag bearer, drummer and three to four swordsmen.  The flag bearer was Q3 C2 with the ability fervor (which allows a warrior to reroll one fail if they are in range).  The drummer was Q3 C1 and acted to extend the range to one long.  The swordsmen were Q3 C2 and armed with a sword which gave them a bonus in combat (+1 for better weapon).  All the Madists move fast (one long).

 The Madhists were positioned randomly based on a dice rolls (using the benefit of the 12x8 grid).
The British squads entered from each end and had the objective of meeting up in the middle.

 The Mahdists were quickly able to attack Mark B's squad.

 As controller of the Mahdists I kept them hidden as best I could by the terrain.

 Mark B's squad is being overwhelmed.
The red dots represent deaths.

 Simon's squad also came under fierce attack.

 After a gruesome death, the remnants of Mark B's squad flee.

Simon's squad fight valiantly on, but the Mahdists are relentless.

I had only given the force composition limited thought, but was basically happy with it.  Perhaps I had too much terrain that limited the British superiority in long range fire.  Often they were attacked before they could get a shot in, so maybe an overwatch action is required.

Regardless, it was great to get the figures and terrain into action.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Russian Generals

In researching the uniform details for the Russian generals I came across this site: THE VINKHUIJZEN COLLECTION OF MILITARY UNIFORMS at the https://digitalcollections.nypl.org.

Anyway, these guys are destined for Austerlitz, but are probably in late war uniforms.  So it goes.  The biggest challenge, 1st world wargamer angst, was the colour of Czar Alexander's hair.

Regardless, and even if I do say so myself, the faces on these guys have come out magnificently with what was just a flesh base coat and a wash.

Painting eyebrows on 15mm figures...

 I attempted to go for trousers rather than the boots this figure came with.

 Army command base, with hat waver in chief.

 Look over there, Sir...

 My hats off to you.


 And for this guy, to provide variety, I modelled a bearskin saddle cover.


All together in a frenzy of waving chapeaux.
Or perhaps more correctly: Ысогпе
(Don't ask me, that is what Google translate suggested).

Saturday, April 14, 2018

France 40 - Turns 5 to completion

Yesterday Richard and I finished playing the Sickle Cut scenario.

 The Germans get close to a breakthrough in the centre.

 While in the north I failed to notice that the fortress units don't have a zone of control.
The Germans have broken through.

 But all is not lost, de Gaulle counterattacks.
It achieves little but has lots of promise.

 End of Turn 5, May 17.
The holes in the line have been plugged.

 The Hitler Halt!
A reasonable panic response due to the French counterattack perhaps?

 Rommel keeps attacking however.

 And the Dyle line has collapsed.

 De Gaulle has more success, but at a cost.

 End of Turn 6, May 18.
Again the allies have been able to stabilize the front.
They did have some luck with the timely arrival of reinforcements 
(that come on randomly, north, south etc)

 End of the German Turn 7.
Namur is isolated.

End of Turn 7, May 18.
Again the Allied line has been repaired.

At this stage I suggested we stop playing.  We had worked out that we wouldn't be able to meet up again in a reasonable timeframe to complete the game and both agreed that it was worth playing again, paying attention to the things we had got wrong (major river crossing, allied HQs and a few other things that had probably affected the German's chances of success).

Later I heard from Richard:

I played the game out to the end of the regular game (Turn 10).

The French line collapsed in the centre the very next turn. First there 
was a small but exploitable breach and then the next turn there was a 
huge breakthough, such that by turn 10, the Germans were as far forward 
as Arras. De Gaulle was surrounded in the forest and there was a major 
breakthrough in Belgium. The victory points worked out at 12 to 3 so an 
Allied Victory. (The allies get 10 points if the north south rail line 
is uncut).

I then played through the extended game and after another 2 turns, so 
turn 12 the Germans had reached the coast in strength and there was no 
hope for any kind of counter attack from the allies at that stage. So 
that made the game a draw.

What was interesting was when the breach finally opened, it was just 
impossible to stop. All the allied stuff was just too far behind the 
breach to be able to withdraw fast enough. Food for thought for next games.

Looking forward to playing this again one day.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Battle of Porto Praya 1781

Darren, who also provided the ships and terrain, devised this scenario.  He went British and Stephen N and myself went the French.  Information on the actual battle can be found here.

The It's Warm Work rules are simple, but elegant.

 Set up.
The British fleet is at harbour reprovisioning.
The French fleet were heading there with the same idea,
but now see an opportunity to attack.

 The British get in some lucky shots.
Stephen has started his French ships (on the left) at full sail.

 By the end of the second turn the French have started to get some shots in as well.
Note the dice are just for the photos to show which ships have been hit.
The British are still trying to get their crews back and are still at anchor.

 After turn three (representing an hour in game time)
both sides have lost a ship.

 The next turn sees a general engagement and two more ships lost.
The battle is still even.

 Most British ships have recovered their crews and are heading into action.
Darren needs to make some more shipwrecks.
Note the wind direction movement wheels.
Also, the harbour defences are just for show (it is a neutral harbour).

 Stephen's French ships are in trouble, but losses continue to be balanced.
However the British ships have mistakenly turned into the wind
 and we didn't immediately pick this up.

The nefarious British are getting the upper hand, but as it is getting late, we decided a rain squall blew up and ended the game.

The rules worked well as did the scenario.  Action developed quickly and was constant.  I'm certainly looking forward to more play.