Sunday, October 27, 2013

Field Of Glory Ancients 1000 point game Abbassid Arab versus T'Ang Chinese

Played a doubles game of FOG at Mr Pollock's house, on his very nice table,  using 1000pts per side (which seems to be standard doubles sized 'tourney' type game).
Mr P is new to rules and so we thought this might be best way to show him the ropes. Sadly for him he was paired with the dice rolling underacheiver of this or any other Century ie me !
Mr P has a T'Ang Chinese army so thats funnily enough what was fielded (with a Sogdian ally supplied by moi) whilst the brothers Grim (ie Brittain) used an Abbasid Arab army for a fairly historical matchup.
A good game as always which flowed pretty well considering Mr P was new to system.
He sent my two Heavy Cavalry Lance armed units on an out flank move on enemy left and we tried to refuse our own left flank (quite a lot of terrain over there).
He deployed a solid Infantry center (Chinese Spear and bow mixed units) with his 'shooty' Cavalry (he had one unit of Cataphrats Lancer types) and Light horse supporting flanks.
However the Arab foot whilst mostly average Defensive Spearmen did have a couple of units of Dailami Superior Impact foot types and all the Arab cavalry (including their Light Horse) had Lance.
The 'shooty' type cavalry are flexible and versatile but maybe a bit hard to use for a first timer and terrain was unkind to him leaving nowhere for his Medium Foot to deploy in (the -1 for MF being beaten by is often crucial in failed Morale checks).
When the Arab foot hit home the T'Ang began to suffer but the main tipping point towards disaster was on right where Mr P managed to roll low enough for a foot unit to go instantly Fragmented and then a Cavalry unit saw its General die in combat caused my consternation on this flank !
At this point my outflank arrived to be faced by two identically armed Arab lance units.
The inevitable dice fest saw one unit each lose but John managed to kill my counter charging Sogdian General whilst I missed his narrowly by rolling a 10 (on 2d6) when 11+ required...............damn.
At this juncture the Arabs had destroyed or routed most of the T'Ang foot and had units about to flank those remaining and ready to loot T'Ang camp.
So time was called with Arabs triumphant.
Mr P seemed to enjoy the game and grasp the basics of the FOG system.
He obviously needs more practice with the various troop types and match-ups in his T'Ang force.
FOG certainly a lot easier to teach than Dbmm.

Arabs on left T'Ang on right

T'Ang footcenter with mounted supports

Arab foot

Lines clash

Sogdians arrive on far left

Monday, October 21, 2013

Retro with Squad Leader

Briefly tried out Retro rules with Squad Leader (although Retro looks to based around ASL) with old scenario 7 'Bucholz Station'.
Retro certainly quick playing as it drops several phases and Morale testing.
Seems to have quite a bloody CRT (I think I will use the optional 'softer' CRT version).
Quite solo friendly with Hestitation and Defensive fire systems.
Not sure it improves greatly on such a basic SL scenario but suspect it will make my ASL stuff see the light of day once more. 
Strangely I found the counters and hexes small and somewhat fiddly after being used with larger version in Combat Commander.
A sure sign of old age !!??

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Field Of Glory: Italo Norman vs Early Medieval German

Another run out with Field Of Glory as Stephen wanted to try his Norman figures. I chose Early Medieval Germans (with lots of Lance Cavalry but no true Knights unlike the Normans) Another fun game that showcased the power of Knights over cavalry (their 2 dice per base including overlaps very powerful in melee). We have really taken to FOG V2 (although conversely the FOG forums seem to indicate disillusionment with newer version !?)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Combat Commander, two more scenarios played and one foopah

Played more Combat Commander at my Dads last night.
Two excellent scenarios played one from Mediterranean  set and other from Fall Of The West. Honours even this time as my Brits failed miserably with Hun defences at Gooch in 1945 but French made short work of Huns at Entage Farm (taking out a PzIII).
Once more lots of narrative and events in these games that make gaming time fly and be so exciting and fun.
We then played a decider which had Frogs again this time with Armoured support taking on Huns.
The game seemed extremely one-sided as the French tanks just ran riot and exited for double VP points willy nilly.
But we discovered at last gasp why this was so.
We had forgotten that the tanks cannot cross Gully hexes which should have restricted them to two roads through wooded areas !! this meant the tanks had far too easy a time avoiding the Huns without risk.
We will replay this once next time although I do still think its a toughie for the Germans.

My Brits help up on the wire

French stem German advance

Foopah apparent with two French tanks in area they shoul not have reached (top left)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Combat Commander: Fall Of The West scenarios played

Played three more scenarios from the 'Fall Of The West' Battle Pack for Combat Commander against my Dad this weekend.
As usual three fun and exciting games with usual gasps of exsasparation and joy intermixed.
First game actually ended as a Draw (our first) with Victory Points at a firm Zero when Sudden Death time kicked in.
The other two ended in Victories for me as Allies after Germans suffered from terrible shooting and combat rolls in both games especially the last against French.
I had three MGs breakdown one in each scenario.
Great stuff with this endlessly entertaining game system yet again.

First scenario set outside Dunkirk

Second scenario set in Norway

Third scenario back to France

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Field Of Glory Rennaisance again

Another game of FOGR today at Stephens. As ever I used my Early Catholic Imperialists this time with Later Tercio infantry.
Stephen used Later ECW Royalist (Prince Ruperts lot).
Not strictly historical but fairly close to contemporary.
A really excellent and close game with us both losing 3 units apiece as we had to call time (although I had 2 more Fragmented).
I had 3 Currassiers units (one of which was Elite) that died to a man yet again this time being overwhelmed by superior numbers of Determined Horse.
Stephen advised that there is an ongoing debate on FOG forums regarding over relative merits and points costs of these Mounted types - Determined Horse maybe a bit costly vis Currasier, driven it seems by competition circuit (yawn).
As I think the rules work best between historical counterparts I dont find it much of an issue especially as in the system the minor points changes being discussed make little or no difference.
Interesting to see if this changes points or rules in some fashion ? 
However couple of my Tercios managed to overwhelm oppossing foot  and my Dragoons and Light Croats done sterling service on my right taking out enemy Dragoons and a Horse unit.
My Tratischer (Sword and buckler type) were well engaged for once. T
hey were broken without loss by shooting by I mamaged to Rally them back and then had to launch them into enemy Horse unit to delay him (end up Fragmented and in real danger though).
Super stuff yet again with a good set of rules.

Early deployments and moves

Much later as both left wings (and several units) are in process of disintergrating

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Onslaught first try and a most excellent game

Decided to play Onslaught at my Dads as it has very low rules overhead.
It turned out to be a really fun and exciting game to play. Simple rules means it is easy to get started and get into game. Despite simplicity of the design it actually simulates the campaign very well.
Allies have massive resources but need to capture Supply ports (especially Antwerp) to be able to move their masses effectively. Germans have potent Panzer and SS Panzers Divisions and decent Whermacht Infantry but lots of low powered Volksgrenadiers (standard term for all '2nd' line types).
Whilst all unit types are generic ie no named Divisions and all same statistics per type I surprisingly found no detriment to enjoying the game.
The sequence of play is very exciting as the Allies always get 1st Action in a turn (Action are Move -including Strategic Movement- Combat and Breakthrough Combat -Armour only-) then players dice to achieve next action with a tied roll ending the turn !!
So if you get an action you can conduct Movement (only) trying to set up attacks but no guarantee you will get next or indeed any action in the turn.
This makes for exciting dice rolling.
The CRT can be pretty brutal as well especially for attackers at anything under 3:1 odds.
At 2:1 its 50/50 as to whether the Attacker or Defender is damaged and with and minus factor for Terrain or being Out Of Supply a roll of 1 becomes 0 which at 2:1 odds is AE ie Attacker Eliminated (not just one division or stack but every attacker involved !!).
So risky attacks are exactly that and of course we both took said risks and suffered accordingly a couple of times.
As per most Western Front games the game sort of settles into distinct phases with Germans trying (and possible if they get lucky with actions and combat rolls) to crush initial landings (Allied units have already landed at game start no D-Day invasion phase as such) and if not to try to contain Allies in Normandy (no other options to invade elsewhere).
If and when Allies breakout then its a race (down to Action gaining rolls) across France to Westwall with Germans bottling up several units in Channel Ports (to deny supply options to Allies) and trying to form a defence along the Westwall.
Reserves and replacements are simply and effectively handled.
 'Bulge' type attack is an allowed option for 1 turn (between turns 12-18) with Germans getting a Supply boost and their only chance to seize Initiative (ie getting 1st phase in turn).
Op Anvil is abstracted by placing of some German and several Allied (mostly French) Divisions along a southern entrance area.
This keeps Germans honest in that they must be aware of an open back door.
Our game was decided in on the last two turns as I just about managed to cross the Rhine in the extreme north with 24 Divisions giving Allies a Decisive win.
Overall a really good nights gaming with this simple yet fun and exciting game.
Pretty surprised that this has not been re-done/issued as its an old (1987) SPI/TSR title. Although to be fair its graphics and mounted gameboard are both of good standard even by todays comparisons.

Turn 2 and Allies pressing for breakout from Normandy


Germans trying to thwart Allied thrusts have gotten caught in mini-'Falaise' type disaster


At same time they are trying getting some reserve Panzers in far off Germany


Westwall looking vulnerable as Allies have raced across French interior


But Antwerp is still not captured (damn thing didnt fall until December !)


Nearing the end the Germans are being pushed out of Westwall and back across Rhine


Lower Rhine regions of Holland are weak spot that Allies managed to exploit flooding into Ruhr (lucky run of Action phases helped greatly)