Thursday, September 21, 2023

Nikephorian Byzantines versus Middle Imperial Romans

Club Basic Impetus League competition game against Brad's Romans.

An unexpected cavalry heavy Roman army.
My Byzantines were out scouted,
but I got the pick of the terrain, securing my flanks with woods.

Nothing happened.

The initiative only once went my way,
but regardless, we advanced.

And advanced some more.

And started to shoot.

The Romans didn't like that,
and having again won the initiative,
The Byzantines lost two units,
but their position held.

The fighting was all in the centre
and was desperate.

But the Byzantines started to prevail.


In that last turn the poor Varangians were shot up by the Roman artillery and charged by their cavalry.  But they held on.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Barbarossa Turn 31

In this session Richard and I set up and transferred forces to the Leningrad insert map.  I am not convinced that this is useful expansion to the game, but we shall see. 

Combats over 21/22 August were:  

AGN mounted one attack on Leningrad using the new insert map.
Best to say "it's complicated."

There was the big AGC offensive to break the Soviet last line of defence before Moscow.

This was AGS mopping up in the mud.

The Soviets made a raid on a lone unit of AGN.

At the end of 22 August the situation is as follows:

All quiet at Tallin.

AGN without Leningrad.
Note: A Soviet army has just been railed in, threatening the Axis flank.
This was from the special reserve pool and cost VPs, but came with their on rail transport.


AGC in one montage

AGS in another attempted montage.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Huns versus New Kingdom Egyptians

For their fourth outing my Huns faced Dave's Egyptians.  Not an historical match, but it would be interesting to see how the Huns weathered the Egyptian firepower.  Turned out with ease as Dave rarely could get his dice to roll higher than a four.

Out scouting the opponent with light cavalry 
means you can decide best placement after seeing where the enemy are.

Distract their centre and sweep round their left flank was the plan.

That lone unit in front of the chariots is at risk of being shot up.
Meanwhile the flanking force has got into position.

Things are developing quickly,
Some more Huns have moved to the centre,
light cavalry has twice the speed of chariots.

Huns now have the lone chariot at their mercy.
The Egyptian left flank is now fully engaged.

Egyptian losses have quickly mounted.
The Hun Nobles are getting ready to join the combat.

Things are not going at all well for the Egyptians

All over.

What a wild ride!

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Barbarossa Turn 30 - Conclusion and Part Turn 31

It's getting complicated and requires both a high degree of mental and physical dexterity.

This is the situation at the end of Turn 30 or 20 August 1940.

Tallin is still holding out.

Leningrad's back door has been breached and this creates a challenge
we need to move to the insert map
which means we need to read
the insert map

AGC at the last set of defensive lines before Moscow.

The gap between AGC and AGS.

AGS before Kiev.

And the situation further south.

Turn 31

Mud in the south (it was going to be compulsory the next turn) but clear everywhere else.

AGC makes a messy set of attacks.
This line won't hold for long.

AGS sloshes around in the mud.

Monday, September 11, 2023

Swedish Command Stands for Napoleon's Battles

I think I started work on these early 2021.  They represent the command stands needed for the Swedish Corps in the Army of the North commanded by Bernadotte at Leipzig.

Finished - they will not be varnished!

Bernadotte with Prussian and Russian advisors/minders.
I like the Prussian figure who is busy using his language guide
so he can tell Bernadotte to get on with it.

Russian pointing to the enemy while Bernadotte looks the other way.

Divisional generals.
I ended up using British command figures as I had plenty of them
and my limited research indicated rather ordinary campaign wear.

You can tell they are Swedish by the colour of the plumes on their hats,
but just in case every base has some yellow flowers,
which I hope will avoid confusion.

Corps commander receiving a message

I am not sure he wants it.

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Not So Tiny Tanks

Having committed to a continuation of the Arnhem game in 6mm I found myself contributing some armour and taking command in an early war battle somewhere in France in 15mm.

La Ville d'Objectif peut etre

Panzer rue

My panzers have arrived.

French armour proving impervious to German shells

Hub cap to hub cap...

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Ici, je suis assis - Conclusion

 What can I say, so close...  If only my Conquistador had not become someone's lunch. 

As France I made a determined effort to recover Florence.
This might well have distracted the Pope from countering the Reformation
as the Protestants now have a commanding lead
with the Ottomans hot on their heels
(after capturing Vienna)
at the end of Turn 5.

Game Over.
While the Pope had allied Venice and Genoa.
he couldn't dislodge the French.
Massive naval battles saw the Hapsburgs dominate the Mediterranean,
while the Ottomans hold large swathes of Central Europe.
Henry VIII is still with us, but yet to produce a healthy male heir.
The Reformation has taken hold in England as well as Germany and even Ottoman domains and is spreading into France giving the Protestant a clear win.

And now for an AAR provided by Pope Richard:

"A late start to a later start culminates in an early finish...."

Turn 5 

Starts with Spring Deployment.

The Ottomans move up to deal the coup de grace to Vienna which has been left hopelessly exposed along with the rest of Hungary with Charles electing to winter in Besancon and Ferdinand in Bruxelles following their very costly campaign to recover Antwerp from the English.

The Hapsburgs are stuck in their current positions as they aren't in their capitals.

Francis channels Bill Wyman and moves to the border with Italy. Pourquoi?

Is it to visit all the Chateaux Francis has been building? But of course (not)....

"Je suis un roi star, Je avais un residence, Je habiter la A la south of France....."

The Ottomans demolish Vienna's pitifully small garrison through play of Roxellana allowing them to launch an immediate assault on Vienna, then lay siege to Buda. The Hapsburgs are MIA as they set up for a naval move and invasion in Algiers, yeah cause that's going to stop the Ottomans marching through Europe.

The English play Henry VIII and he marries Jane Seymour. Despite her +1 birthing modifier she comes up childless and is swiftly moved on.

The French play Patron of the Arts, gaining a VP and drawing a card.

The Papacy plays Diplomatic Marriage and activates Venice as an ally.

The Protestants play City States Rebels against Metz, but cause minor damage and the Hapsburgs hold the key.

Back to the Ottomans who quickly subjugate Buda and move on to Prague. At this point there is nothing much between them and France and/or Italy.

The Hapsburgs move out their fleets.

The French play Ransom and recover Montmorency from the Papal Apartments and spirit him to Paris.

The Papacy burns books in France for no effect.

The reformation grinds on as the Protestant finishes the French translation of the New Testament and continues converting spaces and with all six electorates under their political control they race up in the VP ratings.

The Ottomans move their fleet to challenge the Hapsburgs, a slew of interception attempts and evasions follow and culminate in an inconclusive naval battle inflicting a light loss on the Ottomans.

The Hapsburgs move to Algiers with Charles and start the siege, but withdraw by turns end, unable to force the key.

England takes a publish treatise action and begins converting spaces in England.

France moves on Florence and besieges the key with a large army led by Francis.

The Papacy plays Leipzig Debate to take advantage of the commitment of Cranmer by the English player to reformation attempts earlier in the turn, exposing Tyndale and Latimer with their low debate values. Choosing Eck, Tyndale is drawn out and the debate ends in a draw so another round ensues with the Papal debater now chosen at random. Pole is chosen and the debate ends in another stalemate. A lot of scarce Papal resources invested for no return.

With the best Papal debater now out of the way, Calvin and Luther are both committed and the Protestants play Marburg Colloquy and make 7 reformation attempts across all language zones, converting 5 out of 7. The protestants are on a roll.

The Ottomans stroll to Prague and capture it shortly thereafter. Their fleets withdraw to the Eastern Mediterranean.

The Hapsburgs withdraw from Algiers, not wishing to risk losing the battle and exposing Charles V to capture.

The Hapsburgs launch Cabot on a voyage of discovery, who makes the final New World discovery finding the Great Lakes.

Turn 6

The Hapsburgs and the French renew their alliance. France asks the Papacy for a white peace. The French Legate is received in the Papal latrines and is reminded that his master is a heretic, after which he is dismissed.

France considers a declaration of war against Genoa, but decides against it.

The Ottomans move their fleets to challenge the Hapsburgs outside Algiers. They lose again and retreat, but the Hapsburgs are now broken and retreat away from Algiers as the garrison is too strong. Having burned up their cards on a series of naval actions, the Ottomans and Hapsburgs have little influence on the rest of the game.

Henry VIII tries Anne of Cleves, but comes up short again. He will have one more go later in the turn, with Elizabeth being born. The rest of the English turn was devoted to more reformation attempts, pushing the Protestant player's total further and further along.

France plays Copernicus for 1 VP and a card draw.

The Papacy plays Andrea Doria and activates Genoa as an ally.

The Protestant plays Printing Press and the tide of the reformation continues to sweep France.

The Society of Jesus is played and a Jesuit University is founded in York and Paris. It is too little too late for these to have a significant impact in stemming the reformation.

With French forces bearing down from the West and an Ottoman horde to the East, the Papacy builds 2 Galleys in Rome to make it impossible for the French to assault Rome. The Venetian galleys sail into the Adriatic to similarly protect Venice and Ravenna.

France plays Mercenaries demand pay, but the Papal coffers are bare so, they have to let go half their forces.

The Papacy decides to have one more go at recovering Florence. It moves a small force to lay siege, however, France immediately plays Swiss Mercenaries and elects to fight a field battle with a force of now 8 vs 4. The French lose the battle and must withdraw a portion of their force. The remaining garrison is too big for the remaining Papal force which must also retreat.

The Papacy plays "Peasant Revolt" in Germany and 5 protestant spaces go into unrest desperately trying to reduce the protestant spaces. The Protestants quickly remove the unrest and convert more spaces ticking them over to the magic number of 13 VPs, which added to their 12 from Electorate control places them in a game winning position at 25VPs.

A wave of passing ensues and with the Protestants on 25 VPs, it is theoretically possible for the game to continue another turn. The equation is unlikely. The Papacy must choose a random debater and roll 6 hits to nil. Another debate is called, this time its Pole vs Olivetan, the weakest French debater. This one goes as all all the others did and ends in loss by Pole. The French have an unresolved Conquest, which, if successful, would also give them 25 VPs at the end of the turn, tied with the Protestants.

However,even if the French are successful in their conquest attempt as the Protestants were ahead last turn the Protestants will win on a count back. The French fail to conquer anyone and the game wraps up very early with a first time win in our group to the Protestants.


The key event in the game was the Hapsburgs investing a huge amount of resources in recovering Antwerp from the English. This left their forces depleted and their leaders out of position and unable to rebuild in time to stop the Ottomans. Further, it allowed the Protestants to easily hold the 6 electorates which underpinned their VP total with 12VPs from this alone.

The Hapsburgs were easily swept aside in their traditional stronghold of Vienna and they never recovered from this. The Ottomans held a dominant position in Eastern Europe, but ran out of time to exploit into Germany or Italy.

With the Protestants holding on to the 6 electorates, giving them 12 VP, the rest came from spaces converted, which were aided by the English player also converting spaces in England. The Protestants were able to continue converting spaces, largely unmolested as despite calling a record 7 debates, the Papacy was, other than a successful burning at the stake in turn 2, unable to gain any counter reformation traction. France was mired in a continuous war for mastery of Italy, finally being in a position to exploit this at games end, but they too ran out of time.