Wednesday, March 22, 2023

L'Art De La Guerre two games played (and a wee tiny bit of painting)

Two games of LADG played at Stephens today using my Punic Romans (glutton for punishment) against Gauls and then Late Macedonian (Phillip V).

As ever my Romans failed to achieve very much in combat although today I had only half of the Legionaries armoured to allow use of 2 Brilliant Generals.

Big plus for LADG is being able to complete a decent game in a couple of hours and usually 2 games in our sessions.

Romans facing Gallic hordes

And lined up against Macedonians (and the sun)

Also managed to paint up some more 6mm WW2 stuff for Spearhead (really has been neglected too long) with 3 x 12cm German mortars teams 2 x PzGr companies and 3 x British infantry companies. 

The painting takes very little time really but basing (with Basetex) chews up clock a bit more as some care needed with such small chaps.  

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Regimental Fire & Fury - 1864 group game

Game with the chaps at Mr Ps today using the ever reliable and enjoyable Regimental Fire & Fury with their excellent 15mm kit and terrain.

Scenario was adapted by Mr B from a Johnny Reb scenario and is set in 1864 during Shermans campaign although I believe it is a fictional encounter.

Mr P and I took Union with Mr B taking command of our reserve (nice to see him actually get to play for once) whilst John and Le Duc led the Rebs.

Situation is Rebs in defense along a stream/river with Feds attacking with superior numbers and quality (Feds all Veteran or Crack whereas Rebs had several Green units).

Union march on in columns along roads from their table edge under long range fire of Reb guns and muskets. 

Opening salvoes from Reb guns started a trend that was to continue for both sides to an incredible unabated amount ie the rolling of 10 and going low on ammo !

I swear easily 90% of engaged units ended up low on ammo (blue chits in pics) and indeed this is first time I saw use of ammo wagons in a F&F game (Union were able to replenish a couple of batteries)

I was in command of a large veteran Union Brigade under General who was of able status who died very early on (as did one of Mr Ps) being replaced by a less able chap (ie poor status) but thankfully this did not stymie my advance much due to good Manoeuvre rolls. 

My veteran Brigade of 6 units with 3 guns (just off shot) on Union left

Mr Ps Brigade on right (Mr B had another Brigade arriving after a couple of turns)

Still it took me a full six turns to get into attacking posture ie behind a extended line 'screen' with supported units.

Once I launched my charges it was a mixed bag with my units on left forcing Rebs back then carrying a defended wall on a hill but my units on right failing against a gun battery, then forcing it to retreat before being pushed back across the river by Reb counterattack.

Overall this right wing of Reb army was pretty well mauled but still able to resist

Mr P and Mr B took longer to get into engagement range and only managed to conduct one or two charges but the Reb commanders yielded as they thought their goose was cooked (I was not so sure) with losses in stands at 35 Reb and 37 Union. 

Another great game with F&F. We played I think 8-9 turns out a scheduled 12-13.

Rebs deployed along river bank guarding three bridges/fords

My Brigade begins to deploys from march

My guns are deployed to support advancing Brigade

Brigade has assumed attack formations, Rebs on my left have been forced back from river bank to wall on hill

My assault on hill and along road goes in and is successful

But am about to be repulsed on right side of road after forcing a gun battery to retreat by a Reb counter attack

View from Reb lines just prior to my crossing river

In center and right the Brigades of Mr P and Mr B approach river line

And later assault the river line

Rebs of Le Duc defending the Confederate left wing 

General overview of battle as my initial assaults begin and rest of Union army moves up.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

'Keeping the hand in' - solo with Lasalle II and A Distant Plain

No game with Stephen this week (but Regimental Fire and Fury group game planned for weekend) so had a quick solo game of Lasalle II and A Distant Plain board wargame.

With Lasalle I played the sixth scenario from book with Prussians and French dukeing it out in 1813/14. French had 3 Young Guard infantry Brigades with Old Guard cavalry in support (17 units) whilst Prussians had three 'standard' foot brigades, a light cavalry brigade and a small brigade of Grenadiers (18 units). I do like the new Lasalle even with the very abstract Skirmisher rules (I used advanced Voltiguer rules) as it is very playable with lots of command and tactical decisions to make based around the Momentum system. Combats are pretty brutal (YG suffered horribly) but that works in the fast play realm.

Initial deployments opposite the town objective

French reserves of the OG cavalry and a YG infantry brigade

Prussian reserves, light cavalry and infantry brigades

Prussians at start

Young Guard opposite

Also got A Distant Plain to table for enjoyable go with the full scenario. Another game I really enjoy playing even solo but I just cannot seem to fathom how to best play the Afghan Government forces who always seem to 'bring up the rear'.  

Thursday, March 09, 2023

Spearhead - Bloody Bocage scenario played with 6mm

Game with Stephen with Spearhead, which is one of favourite WW2 sets and my 6mm kit both of which are neglected seldom seeing any table action (2019 last game !) although I did use them quite a lot in pre-Blog times.

As I had actually painted up (first brush work since early 2020 !) some nice Adler British Infantry I have had for years it seemed proper order to blood them.

I decided to use one of the published scenarios from the western front book entitled 'Bloody Bocage' which pits British 3rd Infantry Division with support from 27th Armoured Brigade against 21st Panzer in June 1944 in Normandy.

Essentially this is two Infantry and one Tank Battalion a side with some support Platoons. Germans getting some Engineers, and 88mm Flak and a Pak40 whilst Brits get 3 'Jabos' (these done no real damage with their bomb loads) and 60lb Artillery battery. One German PzGr Battalion was also classed as Veteran.

This was an excellent game of which we managed to play the full 12 turns and........wait for it........drum roll........ a game I actually managed to win !! not often I get to type that.

Stephen did not realise until too late that the victory conditions were such that I could win just by having a presence at game end on his half of table, even though in last turn I had 2 Battalions break (1 Infantry and the Tank Battalion) due to failed morale tests but I had 2 infantry companies on my left firmly ensconced in a field system to carry the day. 

Game played really well and we only had a couple of small queries re terrain and support shooting and considering we have not used rules for awhile this was unsurprising and we resolved them fairly quickly.

The Germans were tough especially when in cover as British usually needed a 6 just to surpress whilst Germans were able to kill Brit infantry rather easily.

The Shermans suffered from PzFaust and longer ranged PzIV fire with only the Firefly Platoons able to inflict damage on enemy PzIVs.

Spearhead is a grand tactical, broad brush approach to WW2 but it just simply works with low rules overhead and yet plausible outcomes. Lacking tactical detail of similarly scaled (1 stand = 1 Platoon) rules such as Test Of Battle but it plays much quicker.

Hopefully we will use these again in near future especially the excellent Scenario Generation system from the NZ chaps. My 6mm terrain and kit needs a bit of a re-fresh in many cases.

Hard to believe I have been using these rules since 1995 publication when they were a quite a revolutionary set, crikey I feel old..........................

The battlefield from Allied entry edge (quite stylised rendition of Normandy)

Brits advance with 2 Inf Bttns on left. German veterans defending those bloody woods

Brit infantry starting to suffer (yellow = Suppression)

British Armoured Brigade initially in Reserve on right

Brits pushing forward.

British armour 'unleashed' as Panzer IV Bttn appears (from off-table reserve)

Things getting heavy for my infantry in centre but I have occupied key fields on my left

British gaming winning high water mark on left (This Bttn was my only one to survive)

Panzer Battalion advances

Their 75mm L48 able to outreach puny Brit 75mm (18" range to 12")

Brit armour swarming around wood

Their lack of infantry support meant the PzGrs were dangerous opponents in field system

Some of the jolly nice little Adler chaps I painted up and based.

Thursday, March 02, 2023

The Devil To Pay rules tried (and some Battle Command)

Game at Stephens today and he decided to try another set of ACW rules entitled 'The Devil To Pay' which are a free (always a bonus) Pdf set (

Stephen set up a game based on a Johnny Reb scenario from Antietam battle which 3 Reb Brigades defending against 4 Union Brigades both with supporting artillery.

Rules use a chit pull system (we used a deck of custom cards) to generate Actions with 2 of each of fire, move, rally, charge (with each side getting to act on each card) and 4 'Carpe Diem' cards which are wild cards that players dice off to select one of proceeding types. Actions are limited by each unit having 2 available order chits each turn to convert to actions (independent units get 3 Orders). Additionally units can be given group actions by their Brigadiers (1-3 such Brigade order depending on commander grade) and this is pretty key aspect of command.

Additionally prior to each card turned there is a 'Skedaddle' phase which allows units to retire/withdraw up to 2D6 but with a hit being inflicted and disorder caused. 

This is all further limited by deck containing 2 'Whiskey' cards which causes a re-shuffle on turn of 2nd such card (very like Tea Break cards of Too Fat Lardies systems).

Dice are of D6 variety and all actions are based on a simple 4+ = success with numbers of dice rolled varied for situations/circumstances/terrain etc so as an example a standard 5 base unit would fire with 5 dice (assuming all in arc) with maybe +1 dice for close range then maybe -1 Dice for cover and/or -1 dice for target formation (such as Loose Order). 

Units take 1 hit per stand with additional hits removing stands once entire unit has hits, this can be pretty brutal with the 50/50 dice system. Hits can be Rallied off although only once any disorder has been removed by expending an Order chit so this can be a slow process.

Several formations are available (such as Line, Loose Order, Assault Column, etc) and units can go Prone but can only stand up on a Rally card although Skedaddling makes this moot. 

All the proceeding is pretty quick playing along with fairly generous movement and decent shooting ranges.

However we did find the need to record unit actions/orders requires a lot of markers on table and units on Loose Order seemed pretty desirable as they move faster than line, cause -1 Dice to enemy shooting but shoot unimpaired themselves although vulnerable if contacted in melee (not something we seen much off). A unit in loose order that goes prone has -3 Dice when shot at which is pretty tough (ie same as entrenchments).

We looked at reducing the Prone bonus to -1 and other minor tweaks but by far biggest issue was copious use of units in Loose Order as stands are all 1" apart (in our 15mm scaling) so a 5 stand unit covers 11" and this is very unwieldy to use on table without masses of 'spacer' stands. 

So a fast play set with some very interesting systems (I really liked the chit/card deck) but bit fiddly with the chits and formations and not sure they gain much in playability however over FOB or Black Powder, and whilst quicker than Fire & Fury not as suitable for big games maybe.

I also had a solo bash with Battle Command using 2 base units and the Shako 'Uititsa 1812' scenario which was again a very enjoyable experience. 

Artillery definitely has more opportunities to shot in Bat Cmd than FOB certainly in early stages but of course dice rolls do not always assist in making this count.

French were narrow winners and managed to take the 'Mound' but were getting chased from the woods just as Russian morale collpased.