Sunday, 31 May 2015

Some scenary and more casualty markers

These trees have been kicking around in my spares box for quite a few years - I decided to buy some ERM terrain templates and stick them in groups of 4,5 and 6. I bought the trees years ago when I got back into wargaming, I cant recall the make but they were a big mixed bag of deciduous and conifers, they were a bit tall for 15mm so I cut them in half and doubled the number of trees! The deciduous are already based singly on poker chips obtained from Asda. Which reminds me, I really need to get some felt to mark the outline of woods.

I'm not a fan of 'look at me I'm just been shot' poses, so I cut the bases of some of the French and British and with a bit of work with the pliers got them to lie down.

Saturday, 30 May 2015

15mm SYW Battle of Kolin

Tuesday saw another game at the club, this time the army of old Fritz was pitted against the Austrians. This game was hosted by Ian and there was eventually four of us playing. Ian and John (Prussians), myself and Neil (Austrians). The battle of Kolin was fought on the 18th June 1757, historically the Prussians narrowly lost this one after a series of blunders. I dont know enough about this period of history to comment further, except to say that Ian and John did a bit better! We recreated only a part of the battle, the main bit was off-table to our right. In both cases, the Austrians were supposed to capture a road to prevent the Prussians sending in further reinforcements to the main battle and the Prussians were suposed to capture a hill preventing the Austrians from doing the same.

Apart from Ian who was rolling some good dice we had some laughably miserable die rolls, we tried to blame young Alex who came to see what all the noise was about. The rules were developed by the Tyneside wargames club and are free to download from their website.Anyway, here are a few pictures when I remembered to take any. Again, not much of a battle report.

The rules had command pips (1D4) for each general, my general on the left flank was "average-incompetent" which for those who know me is probably a good estimate. However, these were chosen by chance for each commander with the Prussians having better odds for obtaining good commanders. It meant that poor commanders  were -1 for command roles, average  meant no modifier and good commanders had +1. There were markers for orders for each unit, and to change an order meant using up a command pip. 

 Yours truly ponders a difficult move.

They all look so beautiful at the beginning.

The Prussians debate strategy.

 Austrian right flank holding onto objective(Neil)

 Austrian Cuirassiers and Dragoons charge.

Prussian cavalry more or less wipe out their Austrian counterparts and then proceed onto the infantry.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

casualty bases

Rather than just place the dice next to the damaged unit I thought I paint up some special bases instead. A few people seem to be using them and I quite like the effect. I went for rectangular bases rather than circles so they can join up flush against the unit they are attached to. as you can see I made space for two 7mm dice, just in case. The frames & dice were bought from minibits.

So I bought some French, Prussian and British OG casualty packs, and will probably get Russian and Austrian as well. Debating whether or not to use dead horses for the cavalry. Examining the packs, most of the French are lying down as expected with only a few standing up like this guy who looks as though he's just realized he forgot something. The Prussians have a couple of poses that dont look like wounded, probably same again with the Brits.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

AWI game - rule testing

Last night at the club Neil and myself went through a playtest of his horse and musket rule system. The rules are called "Battle Factor: the age of cannon 1704-1865".

Neil brought his AWI figures and I played the patriots (or rebels depending on your viewpoint of history), I had two regiments of Continental infantry, two of Buckskins, two ranger units and some militia. In addition to four generals, a cannon and a unit of cavalry.

The rules I think played well, they were well written which is a good quality in any rule set, they are evolving but most of mechanisms will probably stay the same with some minor retuning as he has worked on these for a while.Neil was very patient while I blundered through the game.

Each side must secretly determine two objectives (sensible military ones!) and at the end it may be possible for both sides to 'win', mine were to capture the crossroads and the church. Neils were more sensible, he also wanted the crossroads but also the high ground overlooking the crossroads!

Command and control is based on a 1D6 roll for each general and the C&C, low rolls mean you cant move, change formation or fire as mush as you would like.

All hits are determined by rolling sixes, easy to remember that. Maybe use fives as well for close range rather than adding extra dice?

The number of musketry and melee die are decided by the frontage in mm, I think it was 1D6 for every 40mm.

Artillery and musketry are not deadly, although at close range they can be. The important factor for deciding results is in melee, again causlties can be light it is the morale acsendence that determines if a unit is pushed back or not.

At about 50% causalities a unit will begin to start suffering the effects of these losses, as these go beyond 50% they cannot attack or advance and will finally rout. The information is kept on rosters and is not onerous.

When movement and firing occur the defender can react either by firing back, or a formation change. Reacting troops are noted by markers, as well as those that reacted by firing.

I think the recoil rule may need to be rethought as I kept wining a melee repeatedly and the losing unit sort of got stuck in front of a friendly unit and could not retreat further. Usually, based on my limited experience I would expect to see these pass through the friendly unit causing disruption or not depending on the rule set.

If you lose a melee, (die rolls are compared and the loser is pushed back), you can follow up but the winners use five dice to the losers three. So having lost once expect to lose again.

Joining the Whitley Bay war-games club has been one of my better decisions, I'm actually playing!

In terms of game play, I concentrated on the crossroads my continental infantry won several melees pushing the British back, one of them routed off the board. The church was just about in my setup zone so that was objective down already. The woods north east of the church were filled with indians and British light infantry, I failed to take the woods and my militia and rangers were pushed back. The British centre was overrun with 3-4 of my battalions and more or less won the game. On my left flank Neils dragoons routed my cavalry and caused panic with the remaining infantry battalion posted there.

I must apologise for the fuzzy quality of the photos, my hands shake and the lighting isn't too good in the hall.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

DBN Ligny

Last night at the club we played with the DBN rules for the first time. Fortunately, Ian had access to another copy and spent the night before reading up. He used to play DBA many years ago and so understood the systems. The scenario was kindly supplied by Alex one of the designers of DBN, my only modification was to use double bases to plump up the units. We felt time was against us, so decided on using the basic rules without attrition.

The battle of Ligny was possibly Napoleons last victory, 60,000 french faced off against 80,000 Prussians. I played the part of old Blucher and used the historical setup with III Korps with its preponderance of Landwehr units taking up post on the Prussian left flank. I Korps was guarding the Ligny stream and occupied Ligny itself, while II Korps stood just behind it in reserve.

My opponent of course decided on a slightly less historical setup and came at my left flank with Vandammes corp and the imperial guard! Gerard was used to attack Ligny and the stream either side. While Grouchy used his cavalry against my right flank.

We started at 7:00 and packed up at about 9:50, Ian (Napoleon) had almost reached his first objective, the crossroad near Sombreffe which was the supply line back into Prussia. The second objective Sombreffe was at risk but the third, the crossroad near Wagnele (and a route to Quatre-bras) was quite safe as I had depolyed in depth there. However, my left flank guarded by Theilelemans III Korps was too weak and got rolled up - losing five units to recoil - whereby they retreated into places they couldn't! I managed to blow away a unit of French hussars with a lucky musketry role but that was about as much harm I inflicted.

Impressions: I like the command point system, for each C&C and subcommanders you role a D6 and the numbers pips indicates the number of units you can move. While I thought the artillery was not particularly bloody it did give a sense of pushing back attacks as happened in real battles. However, I recall that my experience of artillery is rather sanguine after the Ayton games! So in reality the artillery rules seemed to work well.

Here are some pictures, the first two or so are from the French side before troop deployments, the rest are all based from the Prussian viewpoint (when I remembered to take photos that is!). All in all I really enjoyed the game, it was really a pleasure to get the little chaps out on the table and throw some dice.