Monday, January 27, 2014

Piquet: Pulse Of Battle solo test

Having recently received new Pulse Of Battle from Brent Omans Piquet stable I decided to give them a whirl today in solo manner.
These are an Ancient period (1500BC - 500AD) set derived from the excellent Horse & Musket period Field Of Battle set. I had forgotten what a super system this is !
I selected a Galatian force of 16 units against a Late Republican Roman 12 unit force.
Romans had some veteran legionnaries and elite Triarii with the Principes and Hastati being a mix of heavy and medium Infantry. They included couple of Velites and heavy cavalry and two units of Peltast types (a form of Light Inf in POB).
The Celts had 12 warband units 5 of which I made veteran (as Gaestati-like types) with 2 Cavalry units (one heavy one medium) and two light Psiloi.
I used the terrain from my last Dbmm game as it was still in situ.
The rules do include points for units but I just went with gut feeling for balance.
Both Commanders turned out to be Poor types (D8 for leadership) with sub commanders a mix (1 x D12+1 per side).
I made all units of same type grade the same for Combat and Defence dice as easier to manage solo.
The Triarii were best with D12+1/D8 the Roman HI D12/D6 and the MI D10/D6.
Velites and Peltats I gave D8/D6 and Psiloi D8/D4.
The Celts were D12/D6 and D10/D6 all MI but their Cavalry was D12/D6 compared to Romes D10/D6.
Army deck quality (I got the very nice printed cards sets in addition to the usual stock cards) was Poor for Celts and Average for Romans.
I added a Warband Charge card to Celts deck and an Advance card to Romes.
Army morale totals worked out at 18 for Celts and 14 for the Romans.
I used my 15mm figs in 3 base units with POB ranges halved which seemed to work fine.
Being FOB based initiative is difference between opposed dice (ie D8s in this instance) with winner going first in solo trial.
I really love this card system and especially the chance to 'steal' 1 initiative on turn of a Lull card and the card system makes for a decent solo game.
In POB units can only wheel on a winning Even roll or a Maneuver card (only 1 per deck) so initial deployment can be important as no guarantee you can shift much.
Although a straight ahead move that is not into contact can shift one or two bases laterally.
Initial clashes seemed to go Celts way with Roman Cavalry getting worst of fight with Average Warband unit.
Romans in this period have a special rule that allows their HI and MI to interpenetrate on a normal move card and this came in handy a couple of times with Triarii moving through some damaged and disrupted Legionaries to inflict woe on warbands.
As with FOB Melee can occur on Even roll on move card that makes contact or on Melee card.
Things get tense with move rolls and card turning when units are engaged or nearby.
Melees can last several rounds (or can cease if opposing rolls are both odd) and the Odd vs Even rolls whether winning are losing are key.
Losing with an Odd roll results in Disruption and every 3 hits cause a Unit UI loss and corresponding Army Morale loss.
One interesting twist (which I do not recall from FOB ?) is that Warband and Cavalry who force back an enemy unit must pursue on an Odd roll and suffer 1 UI loss (but dos not count as Army Morale Loss) although the unit does not physically pursue it being assumed cohesion is lost to a degree but sub-units.
As I did not manage to rally any UI hits of all game this is a different way of simulating blown cavalry.  
After a lot of Melee actions the Romans gained the upper hand in nick of time as they were down to 4 Army Morale but caused Galatians to lose all theirs in same turn (in fact several Morale were transferred to boost Romans total to 7 at game end).
Last card turned in Celt initiative turned out to be an Army Morale check which the promptly failed (rolling a D8 against a D12) and it was Roma Victor !!
With 7 of their original 14 point Morale Total left this worked out as a Minor Victory.
Overall a very enjoyable game with a great set of rules that are nice change from more legalistic competition style of Dbmm and FOG.
Hope to get mate to give these a try.

~~ Note to Norman hope you are happy now !? :-)  ~~

Galatians deployed


Free for all in center (dice are UI losses 1 per dice)

Army Morale failure for Celts

The rule book and 'fancy' cards

Vassal Pbem two different games but similar outlook pour moi

Couple of screenshots from Vassal games I have ongoing at present

First up Barbarossa To Berlin (I love this game even though I truly suck at it) in an Online tournament I joined at last minute to make up numbers (never a truer word typed !). Playing against a US bloke called Marc and getting fairly drubbed by his Nazi onslaught.
Just about to start Fall (ie Autumn) 41 turn and already Stalin is dead and Moscow under Swastika. Ivans holding on grimly with Axis only 4 Victory Points from auto win.

Next up a game of Paths Of Glory against frequent opponent Mike, and things looking rather grim for Allies here to (I just managed to avoid a Central Powers auto win 2 turns ago) on the Western Front with Hun right up to Paris. 
At least this one is going the course as we into Winter 1917/18.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

DBMM - Maurikian Byzantine vs Western Hunnic

Played game of Dbmm with Stephen as practice for his going to Munster at weekend (which I sadly cannot make again this year due to working grrrrrrrr).
Stephen is using Huns (I wont reveal army OOB) and I used Maurikian Byzantine.
Turned out to be quite a bloody game this one as we both got to grips quickly.
My left flank was wiped out to a man but this allowed my other two commands to deal heavily with opposing Hun commands.
We did not get game finished and outcome was still in balance as Huns on edge of defeat with two commands about to break but my whole left wing gone and so lots of Hun light horse about to wheel onto my center.
Quite a lot of rules discussions as we tried to work out several awkward situations regarding Flees in a feigned flight, bursting through and such like.
But then that was part of point of playing a practice game.
Still good fun game overall.

Really wish I could have made trip south.....................

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Hunters what an excellent and addictive game

Played new arrived 'The Hunters U-Boats At War 1939-1943' at my Dads tonight.
Whilst essentially a solo game it can be played with two by having one player roll for the enemy encounters and such like.
Decided to try it this way to learn the system but boy oh boy did we get so engrossed in the Missions and Careers that it felt like co-operative play anyhow.
Very slick system (ala B17 or Patton's Best) with super narrative style play (my favourite) and high excitement levels, there is a lot of dice rolling but just about every roll has tension or meaning within the game and the variety means no two missions and encounters feel the same.
My Dad ended up running three U-Boats a type VIIC and a type IXB twice.
First Commander in U907 a type VIIC managed to win Knights across for sinking a capital ship in the Atlantic and had sent 10 merchants to the bottom but died when Sunk with all hands by Convoy escorts in the Arctic in early 1942.
Second attempt saw a rather poor showing by U941 a type IXB who seemed to spend the 'Happy Time' of the early war laying endless Mines around British Isles and was KIA during a Aircraft attack after only 5 missions.
Third chap in U1140 another type IXB is still alive and has just earned Knights Cross for sinking over 120000 tonnage.
He has survived 12 missions thus far but has been very lucky to remain undetected by all but one escort and only suffered minor damage from several aircraft attacks (managing to shoot 2 down) however as we had to leave it (after 5 solid hours that seemed like 1 !!) he is well into 1942 and at much more risk.
A fairly simple game in its mechanics but very very addictive....."just one more mission......ok just one more..........ok another final mission"..............

Couple pics taken as after thought as caught up in the game so much

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

New Year new arrivals

Missed out (again ! its been weeks) on RPG/Games night with mates due to circumstances beyond my control but cheered up no end by package that awaited from the most excellent Hexasim (

Two more items to add to growing list of unplayed board wargames, wargame rules and unpainted lead !

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Twilight Struggle against my offspring (and of course a purchase)

Played Twilight Struggle against my son today (he is due back to University next week) and a great game that went to last turn.
But my poor ole US of A lost again (son beat me in last outing by turn 4 !!).
Enjoyable stuff all the same.

We actually managed to play a few games over the holiday period including his Magic The Gathering game (which I won handsomely), Twilight Struggle (am 3 to zero against son), a scenario from Commands & Colors Ancients (sod won that one too !) and old Battletech CCG (in which I emerged victorious) which I prefer to Magic.

New year old habits as yet another game is purchased and just what I need another Eastern Front game !!!!! too hard to resist..................................................................

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Battlegroup Overlord game (pic heavy)

Another game on my 'Normandy' table this time against Stephen and using Battlegroup Overlord rules.
I had 650pts of Germans against Stephens Americans.
We used the generic Flanking Attack scenario (setting up in opposite table corners).
We really like these rules as a nice mix of slick systems with a good feel of WW2 combat although more game than simulation.
Some debate over the stats for US 76mm which a bit under rated compared to German 75L48 but otherwise all seemed fine and a lot less generic than Bolt Action (at cost of playing a bit slower).
The orders system is good and the Morale/Events chits are easy to use with lots of decision points.
Whilst we did not finish the game (too much waffling as ever) we did see Tank vs Tank action, both on board and off board Artillery, Infantry firefights and and a good old Close Assault so plenty of rules action.
I really like the choice between Aimed Fire (potential to hit and kill) versus Area Fire (Pinning/Suppressing only) Pinning is a biggie in system as a Pinned unit cannot take any order or perform any action and Rallying requires drawing a Morale Counter and rally of 1d6 units (one can pick more than one counter for extra D6).
Overall a good set of rules backed up by decent if somewhat contrived Army lists (what no Veteran Panzer options !!). 

Several pics from the game