Thursday, September 16, 2021

L'Art De La Guerre - 2 games played

LADG played today at Stephens and we managed two games.

First up I used my Minoans against Hittites.

A fairly close game until my central Chariot command (the Dendra armour boys) came undone in center and then some heavy Spearmen and Bowmen were lost leaving gaps the Hittities could exploit.

The second game I used Stephens Ghaznavid figures against his Hindu Indian and this was an extremely close game indeed !

In fact it ended up with both armies breaking in same turn (Indians had lost a few more points worth) which I do not think we have ever had happen before ?

I won a Elephant clash and a Cavalry clash on my left and center but my right suffered from Indian Bowmen shooting and not helped by my having 6 Rally attempts (over 2 turns) for my elite Ghulams and failing every single roll (4+ needed). 

We both had a lot of 6:1 rolls in this game seeing units killed off pretty quickly. 

Found this which tickled my funny bone 

Thursday, September 02, 2021

Maurice - Seven Years War action - Prussia vs Austria

Game with Stephen today and we had a go with Maurice (a set we last used in 2015 !!) using my Prussians against his Austrians with a standard 100pt matchup.

I used Oblique Order and Cavaliers and Stephen used the two Artillery enhancements.

We both had 16 units and decided to deal one Notable card each, Stephen drew a notable that allowed units to interpenetrate without disorder and mine was the Spy event giving me a boost to Scouting.

I won the initiative and decided to attack and we fought in forest area with 9 pieces of terrain (although these are fairly small with our 30mm base widths).

Stephen placed two woods on his left which I knew would house Grenzers and duly did, he also placed a village on his right which became the designated Objective.

A couple more woods, a hill and a piece of rocky ground completed the terrain.

A very interesting game we had with the excellent card and 'momentum' system coming to the fore (I can see a lot of Maurice in the new Lasalle) meaning you have to concentrate your effort as never enough to do everything you want and great flavour with the various card effects and events. Always a key decision to use the cards effects or use their span value to activate forces.

We soon realised that our deployments were less than optimal with too many separated forces.

I attacked on my left towards the objective with Cavalry and Infantry and this saw the bulk of the action throughout game.

My Cavalry traded blows with Austrian counterparts eventually overwhelming them but my Infantry suffered from the Austrian artillery and it cost a lot of cards to try to redeploy and try to mass them. 

Once at volley range my Infantry got decimated pretty quickly and I was lucky to lose mostly minimum morale for each destroyed unit. 

Austrian foot advanced in center as my losses mounted threatening my three gun batteries which had fired only occasionally and mostly ineffectually, and with a card play the Austrians got to shoot first in volley phase and killed a gun for which loss my morale evaporated.

Considering we had not played the rules for so long it all went pretty smoothly our only stumble was with the Engagement rules for combat which we were too generous with initially for attackers as regards outnumbering. 

And a well written and complete rule set as we found answers easily to our few queries.

A more broadly abstract set for SYW than we have been using of late but overall a great game (Sam Mustafa's rules all generate fun encounters) with plenty of decisions to make and action from the get go with some nice period flavour. 

Only a few pics from early stages as got engrossed in events 

Prussian cavalry wing begins its assault

Prussian guns bombard in center (essentially a waste of a phase and cards) and Grenadiers realise they should be with main Infantry force on left

Grenzers in woods facing my right wing which as already lost a unit of Fusileers to artillery

These Grenadiers eventually obliqued across to their left but too late  costly in momentum

Too much separation of units and note Prussian Cavalry in column left behind (as are two Austrian foot units) 

Saturday, August 28, 2021

L'Art De La Guerre - Galatians versus Alexandrian Macedonian

Another game of LADG at Stephens today (he does like this set !) against his Alexandrian force as he wanted to give them an outing.

I used Galatian as nearest I could manage to contemporary opponent.

Great game this one with my Galatian foot getting to grips with the Macedonian pikes and elephants early on.

For once things were mostly even at impact giving my lot the chance to inflict some damage with furious charge.

I did manage it in 2 impact combats but failed with 5 others (additionally two drawn combats) which put me on back foot once again for ensuing melee combats with disordered units.

On my left I was trying to hold the Companion cavalry with warriors and chariots which worked initially whilst my Greek allies tried to turn Macedonian flank on my right which was fairly filled with terrain.

We exchanged hits for a couple of turns but I suffered more destroyed units and my left was being overwhelmed despite killing the elite Macedonian Hypasists unit.

On right I had pushed towards the enemy camp, which had I managed to sack would have given me the win, but too many losses in middle saw me defeated just prior to making contact.

My Greek allies on right flank

A narrow battlefield suited my Galatians

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Zorndorf with Field of Battle 3

Game with Stephen today with a refight of Zorndorf using FOB3.

We have refought this action (based of the Might & Reason scenario so with units equating to Brigade formations) several times with various rule sets and it is one of my favourite battles to recreate.

We used FOB3 mainly as it was still fresh in our minds and being such an enjoyable game system.

For a change I took the Prussians and Stephen the Russians with no real rule changes other than Prussians having first initiative and a Move card in hand (sort of standard for attackers in our games).

We stuck with the historical deployment areas for the commands of both sides which probably favours the Russians a tad.

So Freddies lot duly opened hostilities with some ineffectual long range bombardments by his guns and equally paltry Russian artillery response.

And in a change to historical action as Kanitz command first occupied the Stein Busch prior to Dohna's command attacking the Observation Corps with Schlormers Cuirassiers supporting his right.

What a disaster this proved to be as Dohna's infantry were completely pummeled by the Obs Corps in particular their 2 Grenadier Brigades !

I know one ought not to complain about dice rolls but Stephen (in full 'dice demon' mode) simply rolled stellar dice, he rolled a D12 5 times achieving 3 rolls of 12 and 2 of 10 and then 2 D10 rolling 10 twice, simply staggering degree of luck !! 

Of course I consistently rolled low in response as per normal. 

And as in last game he then had fortuitous card sequence getting a melee card just when required to charge into my battered units which had been Forced Back with hits and no chance to react.

I had by this time pushed Mantteufel's 2 Grenadier Brigades forward on my left and these too suffered this time from Russian cannister shot.

To add insult to injury the single unit of decent Russian cavalry the Horse Grenadiers charged and routed 2 units of Dragoons under Bieberstein.

With all this carnage I had 5 units Routing and 3 destroyed and was in serious trouble.

The Prussians did manage to pull 3 Leadership cards out of 5 cards (after a reshuffle) giving them lots of opportunities to Rally but they could only rally 3 units and recover a couple of hits.

On an Army Morale card things just turned to a complete shambles for Prussians as I had to roll for risk to 4 of my Commanders and managed to kill 3 of them with rolls of 1 on D12s, what are the chances !?

Thankfully they soon returned on one of the Leadership cards but damage was done.

Soon after this further losses saw the Prussian morale sink inevitably to zero and I conceded as three quarters of my foot units gone and Russians pretty undamaged (only 1 unit Routed)

Seydlitz who was historically very much the saviour of Prussians at Zorndorf did not manage to get involved today at all, in fact bar the Horse Grenadiers and my 2 Dragoon units the cavalry of both sides took no part beyond some maneuvering about the place.

But again what a fun game with FOB with so many decisive outcomes and a strong narrative (albeit of solely of Prussian calamity and disaster) that very few other game systems generate in such an exciting fashion, definitely not a rules set for 'control freaks' but damn it feels like a proper battle action.

Initial action as artillery bombards

Kanitz command occupies the Stein Busch

Russian left wing cavalry moves forward 

Up close with Kanitz and his lads

On Prussian left not much happening early on with just some disorder from artillery

Disaster is befalling Dohnas command as Russian Grenadiers batter them to pulp

A stand off (for whole game) on Prussian right 

Manteuffels Grenadiers have gone forward into trouble (one unit routed and other damaged and disordered)

Kanitz troops deploy in Stein Busch but pinned by Russians

Prussian right wing in dire straits as infantry have melted away and Kanitz now suffering and indeed nearing the end of hostilities.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

L'Art De La Guerre - Gauls vs Romans

Another LADG game at Stephens today using a Gallic force against Stephens Caesar period Romans. 

Gauls were close to contemporary except that I used 3 Chariots as lacking sufficient Cavalry elements.

Gauls had mix of heavy and medium warband types which generated a large 30 element army (Romans were I think 22 elements)

However it turned out to be a complete slaughter of the Gauls by the tough Roman Legionaries especially 5 Elite types backed by an Elephant which are hard for my 'Irregular' types to avoid (Romans won initiative and attacked).

Gauls need to beat Elite by 3 to do any damage and Average types by 2 which is tough when starting on a factor of 1 vs 2.

In initial clash of lines we fought with 9 elements each and I won one (Chariot General) drew one (Chariot on a 5 vs 2 roll) and lost the remaining 7 warriors vs Legion combats and had indeed taken some double hits, truly awful.

Within 2 more combat rounds my central mass of HI warriors had all but gone.

Only on my left had I any chance of success having several mounted elements to wrap around enemy flank but a initial low Pip roll (ie 1) and taking 3 rounds of combat to take out a single enemy medium cavalry unit, including using a flank charge, stultified my attempt to turn this flank in time.

Even worse I managed to get 3 MI warriors onto a single unit of average Legionaries giving me 2 overlaps and a 3 vs 2 initial advantage but.............of course..............I managed to lose taking a hit and then in Roman round suffered a 6 vs 1 and saw a warrior unit destroyed outright.

I only managed to destroy 3 or 4 Roman units in total and inflicted only a few other hits whilst my lot quickly fell apart.

This was first time we had used so many Impetuous types and we had several new situations involving uncontrolled charges and suchlike, which we did manage to sort out with bit of rule reading.

Pictures only from pre-contact turn of game as too engrossed (always a good sign) once we got to grips.


Thursday, August 05, 2021

Hochkirk 1758 - Field of Battle 3 game played

Played the Hochkirk scenario today with Stephen using the ever excellent FOB system.

One additional change I made was to restrict visibility to 16" on first turn to account for early morning historical assault.

Game played out as expected with sheer weight of Austrian numbers a telling factor (34 units vs 20) as they appeared from the wooded ridge lines. 

Prussian lost their Garde Grenadiers very early on after some appalling dice rolls and half of Hochkirk fell soon after.

But the decisive area of battle was on Prussian right were the attacking Austrian columns of McDonnell and Loudon crushed the Prussians in short order.

This was due to an initiative of 8 cards (by far the largest we saw all day as mostly 2-3) with Austrians getting into position on a Move card with multiple moves then getting a run of 3 Melee cards (interspersed with Leadership and re-loads) that saw them munch through the opposing Prussian Infantry before Prussians could react with anything but desultory volleys.

Also on this wing the Austrian artillery was deadly taking out an infantry and a hussar unit.

This collapse used up  over half the Prussian morale of itself and further losses saw them dwindle to zero morale (from starting 30). 

The Austrians did suffer several losses (about 20 in total from 42 at start) but gained several (5) from enemy.

When Army Morale card appeared I conceded as line contracting and defeat inevitable.

One other notable event was my losing Frederick to dreaded 1 on a D12 after he Rallied a Routing unit of Musketeers !

Scenario not very balanced I suspect (not many historical scenarios are) but was still a fun game with FOB3 whose changes we both agreed are simply making a great game just that bit slicker.

The ill-fated Prussian right wing under Anhalt-Dessau

Hochkirk defended by Keiths command

Central cavalry reserve under Zieten which saw no action

Command of Forcade support Hochkirk (the soon to be destroyed Garde Grenadiers just visible over the rooftops

Austrians of McDonnell and Loudon attack Prussian right

As those of Forgach and Sincere approach the center

Command of Weise support across river

Prussian right wing has disintegrated with cavalry under Seydlitz shoring up gap

Austrian commands of Colleredo and Arenberg have appeared on Prussian left

Hochkirk has fallen and Austrians pushing forward in numbers

Prussian perimeter contracting

At the end with Austrians pushing beyond Hochkirk and pressuring Prussian left