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Sunday 29 April 2018

Theres founsands of them hobbitses sir founsands of them!

Well only 12 really but that is a lot for a group of 5  to break through even if they are much better fighters!

Leigh wants to take part in the Battle Companies campaign but had not managed any games as yet and with the next round coming up on the 30th I said I would field a new warband to help him catch up.  I used the same core Rivendell force as I started the campaign with so the warband straight from the book.

The first scenario was hold the line .  I charged straight up the road and lost 3 men as I got mobbed as I burst through.  The other 2 almost made it but just as I was about to get them off and win the scenario an arrow in the back was enough to give Leigh a victory.

The second scenario was stand your ground with my warband defending.  I did much better and dispatched quite a few of my furry footed opponents but once again he just hung on for the win

The final scenario was Rory's special.  I did much better once again causing multiple casualties but as the game ended with the Hobbits broken we both still had two objectives so it was a draw.

I will keep this warband available in case anyone needs some catch up games after the next round

Games 33
 Rules played 18 New 7
Places played 6 New 0

Saturday 28 April 2018

Crossbowmen dakka dakka dakka

Following on from my visit to Wor Lard I was able to take the opportunity for an evening game with my old friend Brian.  Lion Rampant has become a popular set at Washington Wargames Club and as the game was arranged at rather short notice it was a good option in that I just grabbed a couple of boxes of Medieval figures and knew thatI would be able to fashion a force from them.  Fellow WWC members Gary and Peter have generated  army lists from the original Field of Glory books.  Brian was using Early Plantagenet English so I decided to field Feudal French.

Brian has made up 20 maps to use so we rolled off and map 14 had a lot of marsh, a bit of scrub and a wood which ended up being on my right flank nearest his base line. Oh and a stream which crossed the table (long edge to long edge) left of centre.  Its a shame that I forgot to take a photo.

Brian spread his force across his side of the table with from my left to right 3unit of spearmen a unit of archers a unit of bidowers then knights and finally mounted javelinmen.  His Leader was rash so the knights were likely to hare off at the first opportunity!

I ignored my left flank as it was covered to my front by terrain.  Again from left to right but starting in the centre were a unit of crossbowmen, then spear serfs and mounted sergeants.  Two units of knights were kept back as far to the right as I could get them whilst conforming to the 3 inch rule.
I advanced all but the knights with the serfs moving up to and through the scrub in front of the wood to keep the bidowers  busy.  The initial action was concentrated on the right flank with the serfs doing their job before being forced to retreat and eventually break.  Th cavalry canceled eachther out and went to half strength which made them largely irrelevant for the rest of the battle. The spearmen managed to get into the wood and force the bidowers to retreat.

In the centre the crossbowmen and archers advanced to trade missiles and the English spearmen attempted to move towards the action but made slow progress being the last in line to move.  Back on the right my cunning plan had been to get the spearmen in the wood close enough to force the knights to charge them and then fight on equal terms.  The plan worked in intent but the dice rolls went against me with only one English knight being killed and the spearmen being thrown back.

The crossbowmen then started on a battle winning series of shooting.  Hitting on a 4 with their opponents armour 2 the archers and each successive unit of spearmen were decimated and forced to rout.  One unit of spearmen did make contact but was thrown back in melee.

On the right the two generals knights units engaged each other over a couple of turns with counter charges generally being successful.  My second unit of knights delivered the coup de gras by which time the battle was more or less over.

An entertaining game but we were both surprised by the effectiveness of the crossbowmen and their machine gun like efficiency.

Hopefully I can get down again before too long and give Brian a chance for revenge!

Games 30
 Rules played 18 New 7
Places played 6 New 0

Wednesday 25 April 2018

Wor Lard goes Fourth

Last Sunday I set my alarm for 4 am to enable me to get out in good time to drive down to the Vane Tempest Hall for the Fourth incarnation of Wor Lard run by Durham Wargames Group.  As with other such Lardy days the idea is to run two sessions in the day covering a variety of Too Fat Lardies rules.  It featured the man himself who ran sessions of the new What a Tanker rules which proved very popular.

My first game was a spectacular Sharp Practice affair on a large board with 40mm figures depicting an Ottoman attack on a Ukrainian Cossack village.  Myself and Conrad, the provider of the figures,  ran the Ottomans and Jim (another Falkirk club member)the Cossacks.  Another Jim, the organiser of the event, acted as umpire.

My only slight criticism of the game was that it was never going to be a half day affair and after 3 hours although fire had been exchanged and casualties caused they had been very little movement on either sides force morale (each side had three commands each with their own force morale table).

The solution to the problem was for the game to continue into the afternoon.  Myself and Falkirk Jim left for our second games.  Jim had a date with Kiss me Hardy run by the third Falkirk club attendee John.  I played Chain of Command as the German defender of an airfield under attack from the LRDG.

It was probably the shortest game of CoC that I have played as I fear the scenario was a bit unbalanced in favour of the Hun.  Although the British had a lot of firepower in two jeeps and a Chevrolet truck, alongside 3 sections on foot and support the vehicles proved vulnerable to the weight of fire the Germans could deliver and once blown up generated enough Bad Things to quickly  erode their force morale.  I didn't even get to deploy my armoured car.  Perhaps a bit unrealistic but even though the watchword of the Lardies rules is 'Play the Period not the Rules' I am too much of a wargamer not to maximise any legitimate advantage that comes my way.  In one superficial sense this is where the game is a realistic simulation of war in that in both it is key that when the momentum of the battle swings your way you need to do your utmost to keep it that way as it can so  easily turn against you.
The first Jeep goes up

With the CoC game finishing early it gave me the opportunity to rejoin the Sharp Practice game.  My Ottomans had reached the village and were able to force their way in.  Conrad did a great job engaging the rest of the Cossacks keeping a lot of units away from the settlement and when time came to pack up it was declared an Ottoman victory.

The Ottomans advance on the Village

A fantastic event, thanks to Jim for organising, the Durham lads for hosting and my opponents for making it all a very enjoyable experience.
Games 29
 Rules played 17 New 7
Places played 5 New 0

Friday 13 April 2018

Sextuple DBA fun with two Marks

Two games on Monday at the Falkirk club against Mark Learmouth and four on Tuesday at the Glasgow Phoenix club against Mark Grindlay.

The picture above shows Mark L in what is the new traditional pose for a wargamer - taking a picture with his phone!

Mark brought along his Early Imperial Romans which I pitched my Ancient Spanish against and for the second game it was his Ancient Britons against my Later Carthaginians.  Neither of us had played for a while so we took a while to get back into.  I kept my tactics very simple and came out with two wins and an agreement that we would not leave it so long before playing again

On to Glasgow on Tuesday.  Our first two games were Spanish v Carthaginians.  The Carthaginians seemed to have the advantage in terms of the make up of their army which I used to good advantage in the first of the games picking off the opposing psiloi.  Mark was about to return the favour in the second game when a series of poor rolls thwarted him and I snatched a lucky victory. In fact at one stage Mark rolled 5 combat rolls of 1 in succession!

The third and fourth games were a first outing for Mark's new Wars of the Roses figures (see above).  We set up a Richard III v Henry Tudor match up.  Henry is an unusual general type, a CP. Basically blades but with a restriction on initiating combat.   Mark lined up with Henry at his centre and I opposed with Richard but the disadvantage of this inability to charge soon became apparent.  I concentrated my shooting and killed a couple of units and then took advantage of the gap in the Tudor line to roll up his Pike for a quick win.  Having swopped sides I kept Henry back as did Mark with Richard initially.  We got into a bit of a confused melee in the centre and this time it was Richard with a cavalry charge who made the decisive breakthrough.  One win each and we counted these two games towards the Society of Ancients championship.  A really good night of gaming.

As for the title - well they say that you can sell anything with sex so lets see if I can attract a new clientele to the blog!
Games 27
 Rules played 16 New 7
Places played 4 New 0

Sunday 8 April 2018

Full Thrust

No photo I am afraid.  A Falkirk club game with 2 a side (although essentially 2 1 x 1 games as there was very little interaction)

I signed up for this as I had bought a fleet after my last game of about a year ago and wanted to get them on the table.  However they proved rather elusive and are still hiding in one of my boxes somewhere.  Fortunately Andy was able to split his fleet.  I ended up taking him on so Eurasian Solar Union  v Eurasian Solar Union and at rhe other side of the star system it was Doug, also with Eurasian Solar Union against Leigh with Neu Swabian League
Andy and I closed rapidly and basically just slugged it out. He got an early advantage by hitting my two largest ships with a devastating missile attack- my defensive dice were rubbish.  Although I responded with some good shots of my own I never really recovered.  Easy win to Andy.
It was good to play the rules again and when my fleet finally surfaces I will see if I can have another go and do better next time.

Games 21
 Rules played 15 New 7
Places played 3 New 0

Rezonville 16 8 1870

This was a game using Neil Thomas's rules Wargaming Nineteenth Century Europe 1815 - 1878.

The rule book has a number of historic scenarios in it of which this is one under it's alternative name of Mars-La Tour.  The design philosophy is to keep the rules pretty simple but design the battles in such a way as to give a real flavour of the action

The actual battle went in favour of the Prussians as, although substantially outnumbered, they forced the French to fall back and lose the strategic advantage.

To win the battle the French basically have to clear the Prussians from the field.  They are given the numbers to do that but there is a catch.  On each turn only 1, 2 or 3 units are considered to be in control and move fire fight at full effect.  All the other units are restricted to half.  Myself and Tim ran the French and seemed to roll a lot of 1s!  Although Doug's Prussians were eventually forced back we called the game in his favour after 10 turns (out of a possible 15) as it was obvious that the French victory conditions could not be met.

Van Bredow's death ride was a feature of this battle.  The heavily outnumbered Prussians sought to relive pressure by a cavalry charge of his brigade which he brilliantly pulled off using cover and battlefield smoke to protect his men until they were almost on the enemy.  It had the desired effect albeit at the cost of over 50% casualties.  Typically the rules only model the effect of the charge rather than model the way in which it was delivered.  Presuming the charge goes in the target unit has to take punitive morale checks and if the Prussians then win the melee all nearby French units again test morale.  This worked well in the game with the taget unit breaking and had the effect of further delaying the French advance
A feature of the scenarios is the inclusion of 'military possibilities' to change the balance.  I would be quite interested in trying this again with those in play as they give the French a better chance of pulling off a victory.
I hope to play more games using the rules as give a different rather old school experience.  Indeed Tim expressed the opionion that they shared many characteristics of Donald Featherstone rules and you can't get more old school than that!


Games 20
 Rules played 14 New 7
Places played 3 New 0