Sunday, July 12, 2020

New acquisition Great War Commander: The British Expeditionary Force

Expansion to base game Great War Commander arrived.

Some great looking scenarios including several 1914 period in Mons area.

Thursday, July 09, 2020

Field of Battle 3 - Battle of Paltzig

Game with Stephen today with our first try with FOB3.
I set up a game covering Battle of Paltzig (or Kay) taken from a Might & Reason scenario which I had last played back in the good old days of yore back in March at the Belfast Club with FOB2.
It had worked well so decided to give it another outing as OOBs and notes still to hand.
Couple of scenario specific rules only with the marshy/stream area (the Eichrnuhlen Fliess) counting as Class II terrain for foot and Class III for mounted, with artillery unable to cross.
Also Prussians win first Initiative and have a Move Card included with Russians unable to advance until at least one Prussian unit crosses the 'Fliess' obstacle.
Units represent Brigades but used standard ranges (as it speeds up game) and standard unit stats.
Prussians had a Poor deck under Wedel (D10) with Russians having an Average deck under Saltykov (also D10).
However Prussians had 6 Brigades (5 x D12 & 1 x D10) with Russians having 5 Brigades (3 x D10 2 x D8), but larger number of units overall.
Prussians had 25 Morale and Russians 35.
Russians deployed first and then Prussians behind the 'Fliess'.

We got into gameplay very quickly (as it is still FOB despite changes) and had a real hum dinger of a game.

Stephens Prussians managed to get 2 additional Move cards in first initiative (which was a hefty 7 cards) so got across the 'Fliess' pretty quickly with only his central Foot Command straggling due to couple of failed Moves.

Russians guns inflicted some licks but not enough to Rout any units.

Prussians then concentrated on both Russian flanks where the respective Mounted Brigades clashed.
On Russian right things where initially even despite Prussian Cuirassier being superior to Russian namesakes (C12 D8 vs C12 D6) and a unit of Horse Grenadiers (C10 D8).
On my left however the Prussian Dragoons and Hussars made mincemeat of my lowly Cossacks and Hussars as Stephen rolled 12 on a D12 five times here !!
He had a good combo of Move and Melee cards which left my wing unable to recover.
I did manage to get an Infantry unit into a position to the rear of a Hussar unit but they failed to inflict any damage (beyond a couple of 1" Fall Backs) !!

Later a heroic Russian gun battery managed to recoil a Prussian Musketeer unit that had charged it in flank (I rolled 4 on a D4 whilst Prussians rolled 1 on a D12 !!)

On my right I managed to get two Infantry units shooting a a Cuirassier and a good roll saw it Routed (eventually off-table)

As we later discovered we were both teetering on the edge of defeat at this juncture with both sides at under 6 Morale Points but.........................

I had a horrendous Leadership Card phase wherein I used the new 'Daring Deeds' rules to enhance Rallying with 3 Leaders and each of them failed by Rolling a 1 so 3 out my 5 Brigades were leaderless and Disordered.
This was the real turning point of the battle.

Prussians then managed on a Leadership card to Rally several units including restoring several hits.

I did win the next Initiative with a full 9 cards, but did not get another Leadership Card until the 8th card.
I managed to replace all 3 'fallen' leaders (2 improved from D8 to D10) but failed to Rally more than half my Disordered units and not much UI.
This led to Prussians using their 9 card Initiative and manage to put a lot of hurt on the Russians, so much so that my Morale dropped to zero and I started 'gifting' Morale to enemy.

The Prussians then got the next Initiative of 7 cards and it was curtains for Russian cause.
I surrendered on the inevitable Army Morale card that appeared in my turn.

As ever FOB gives such a fun game that plays fast and generates a great narrative, such a nice balance of playability, excitement, drama, intuitive systems and plain old fun.

FOB3 played just as well as FOB2 and we both liked the new UI system and the various changes that all add up to even slicker game play.

We found that whilst Rallying Routers is easier there are far less Routing units as UI changes mean that units are Destroyed on table more often leading to a more decisive game and a good deal less Rallying rolls.
The 'Daring Deeds' is an exciting addition which I used quite a lot as I had poorer Leaders overall but it can be a very risky proposition especially with my luck !!

About the only rule change we both voiced dislike for is the new Optional Cavalry Pursuit rules (not used in our game) although occurrence of Pursuit is lessened overall as less Routing units in FOB3
We both felt that it could lead to high value units being targeted by tat (eg Guard by Cossacks) in the hope that they pursue to their doom.
Jury kind of out on this but likely we will stick with FOB2 version,

So all in all a great game with new version and great to get another 'live' game in.

Russian centre

Initial Prussian moves across the Fliess

Prussian Cuirassier on their left wing

Action begins. Note the Prussian mounted on their right very far advanced with Russian Lights already in trouble (Yellow Disorder markers)

Mixed fortunes on Russian right.

Russian Infantry advances to engage the enemy whose Infantry was 'standing off'

Russian left wing tried to redeploy on several Move and Leadership cards but failed.

Stalemate continues in centre

On my right the Prussian Cuirassier are Routing but my whole Cavalry Command soon done the same.

Disaster strikes the Russian Army as Leaders fall and units go into Disorder (I preferred to use the old 'Out of Command' nomenclature for this)

Fully two thirds of the army suffered !!

Despite getting onto flank and rear of this Prussian Hussar unit it survived my pathetic musket volleys.

The Prussians seen here in Disorder managed to reform readily and restore several UI hits unlike the wavering Russians

Thursday, July 02, 2020

A day of fiddling about..............

Spent the day doing something and nothing !

Completed set up for FOB3 game next Thursday with Stephen, terrain now complete and Russians deployed at Paltzig awaiting the Prussians.

Fleece I am using is green as per second pic (first over exposed ?)

That at least was the something...............

Then set up Storm Over Arnhem and immediately binned it to set up A Distant Plain yet again (kind of addicted to this one even solo).

I have found over 'lockdown' period I have been doing this quite frequently, investing time in setting up a game (board or miniatures) then 'struggling' to read rules or play the game and  flitting to something else !!

Monday, June 29, 2020

First game out of 'lockdown' - Field Of Glory Renaissance

First face to face game since Covid Lockdown back at start of March (that seems sooo long ago !) today........yee hah......

At Stephens and he chose to use FOGR with a Selujik Turk force against which I used my Thirty Years War German Catholic 1618-1632 (being as it is only Renaissance army I have) with Later Tercios.

After a lengthy catch up/waffling session and bitch about the world we finally got down to playing and very enjoyable it was too.

Solo play is great for rules learning but nothing beats 'competitive' play.

With late start we failed to finish but Turk firepower was coming to the fore as my Horse units struggled to contact the evading Turk Cavalry.
I did catch one unit of Saphis with my Cuirassier and gave it short shrift but the Janissary Infantry are potent shooters and had decimated a unit of Reiters and my Dragoons and I had lost a Tercio to Turkish guns.

FOGR is a decent set of rules which has nice interaction of troops types and period specific formations and is very playable.
The FOG family of rules lack any real form of inertia/chaos (mainly due to being competition biased I suspect) compared to newer systems (ie no orders, no Pips, no activations or cards), but they do what they say on the tin and the lists are always fun to play around with within the points system.

We were playing with the last batch of updates and all played pretty easily as nothing truly radical in terms of changes for the armies we used.

Game booked for next week at mine and likely to be a try out of FOB3.

All pics from early stages as my phone died mid-game

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Combat Commander - solo play

Short solo session of Combat Commander (just to keep my hand in with rules) with initial scenario 'Fat Lipki'.
And damn it was fun even solo with a lot of Events and fluctuations of fortune before Russians emerged as Victors.
Such a great game system.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

A Distant Plain - another solo play through

Managed a game of A Distant Plain solo today with the Medium scenario.

Whizzed through to completion on 5th Propaganda card with a victory for the Coalition who scored a -1 (mainly due to a timely use of Surge to get stuff out of the country) narrowly beating the Warlords on a -2.

Both Taliban and Government some ways back.

Another fun outing with the COIN system which is enjoyable even in solo (non-Bot) mode.

I really ought to get Pendragon and Falling Skies to the table as neither more than fiddled with thus far.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Colonial Twilight solo play (or chasing off the 'Black Dog')

Managed a full solo game of Colonial Twilight yesterday and what a cathartic time it was.

I played the Medium (4 deck) scenario which I have not tried before.
Game went along at a cracking rate and I just did not notice the whole (wet and dreary) afternoon disappear.

Game was narrowly won by the French Government (score -10) over the FLN (score -14) on 4th Propaganda card with some 9 Event cards unplayed (out of 48 in scenario).

I do so enjoy the COIN system even solo

++ Here in N.Ireland our Covid-19 restrictions are be eased and from now we are allowed to gather indoors with friends (groups of up to 6 with distancing) so 'proper' live wargaming back on the menu.
Game planned for next Monday with Stephen after a hiatus with our last game being on 12th March, which seems an absolute age ago !!
Not so sure when club meetings will return ?
Also hope to get back to face to face board wargaming with my Dad, but with he and my Mum both being in more vulnerable group (over 70 but no major medical conditions) we will need to discuss and maybe delay.
But certainly looking forward to getting back to some form of normality to counteract the depressing deluge of crap ongoing at present. ++