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Sunday, 20 January 2013

Hammerin Iron

Last Monday I was able to join a game organised by John (who is good at these things) at short notice.  Ships provided by Allan.

The gallant Confederate navy was attempting to steam past a heavily defended Union fort and attack a depot and 4 merchantmen at anchor.  It was anticipated that enemy naval forces would attempt to intervene.

At set up the Union fort was near the Confederate starting point.  This was to have a significant impact on the game as we decided to steam away from that side of the river and concentrate on the merchantmen.

As the game unfolded we ended up in very restricted part of the river near the port and took a frightful battering.  Despite sinking one Yankee almost all our fleet was either sunk or struck  and we only managed to damage one merchantman.

In the terms of the rules the result was a Confederate Slaughter!

In retrospect we should have sampling steamed past the fort and taken whatever damage it might have inflicted.  One ship was very severely damaged by it anyway.  This would have enabled us to threaten the depot and attack union ships from both sides.

Good learning for the next game


Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Vapnartak 2013

I have signed up for the Falkirk club's trip to York this year.  There will be about 20 of us heading down so I am looking forward to a great day.

I don't have very much of a shopping list so have decided to do something different (for me) and try as many of the participation games as I can.  Hopefully I should be able to get a good few in.  Watch this space for a report!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Dux Bellorum with Double points on Impetus bases doesn’t work

Particularly when using 2 shieldwall based armies.  I took Romano British against Kev’s Late Romans and after a couple of hours of play we had each lost a skirmishing cavalry unit and I don’t think that any of the other units had lost more than 1 or at the most 2 cohesion points.
The issue remains the use of leadership points to negate hits, particularly against units that already have a high cohesion value.  Hitting on fives or fives and sixes when up to three hits can be taken off is vicious amusement.  The problem is that given the choice of an additional attacking dice roll (hitting on a 4, 5 or 6 depending on troop type) or a 100% chance of negating a hit the maths will always favour negative use

Earlier games, using 32 points and normal base sizes, had been too short for a good evening’s play, which is why we increased the numbers so substantially.   One other change to the rules is that instead of using base widths for moving and shooting we used half base widths giving most cavalry a 24cm which did not seem too excessive.
My plan was to use superior numbers of cavalry on the flanks to win there and then sweep round whilst my centre of shieldwall and the better cavalry held back to suck the Late Roman centre in.

What actually happened was inconclusive sparring on the flanks and then once the two lines closed more inconclusive sparring in the middle.  In short one of the most boring wargames I have ever played.
We have not given up on Dux Bellorum though.  Our intention is to try again with some restriction (yet to be decided) on the negative use of leadership points. 

The one substantial improvement on the other games we have played was the look of the battle.  Much more impressive.  I think we will be keeping the Impetus bases.
I had some photos but it seems blogger no longer allows one to copy a photo in from your PC so I will have to see what other options there are.  Something about Picassa albums???

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Wargaming – Neutral or Partisan?

I have recently bought the Force on Force supplement Day of the Rangers.  I like the rules although I don’t get to play that often and am slowly collecting the books.

Reading the introduction I was struck by the obvious implication that the reader would empathise with the US forces involved in the conflict.  It talks about ‘the valour and sacrifice of America’s soldiers and airmen’ for instance.  The language made me feel a bit uncomfortable, which rather surprised me.

I consider myself a patriotic Brit and when thinking about our military past I identify with the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have fought and died for their country.  My interest in conflicts involving British forces does, to a degree, direct my wargaming interests. However when I get on a wargaming table I put all thoughts of nationality aside.

A wargames force to me is just that, a wargames force.  Usually a lot of planning and work has gone into getting it on to the table. I want to enjoy the games I have with them and I certainly prefer winning to losing. What I am not doing is identifying with the ideology of the real life men the figures are designed to represent, be they British, American, Somali, Mongol or whatever.  I suppose that is why the tone of Day of the Rangers made me uncomfortable.  I would not have a problem with that sort of language in a history of the conflict. 

In a wargames book such language suggests that one side is morally better than the other.  Whilst that is very often the case in real life (and indeed in the case in point in my opinion) it is certainly not the case on the table.

Others may differ of course