Saturday, October 29, 2011

ACW with They Couldn't Hit An Elephant rules

Played another American Civil War game today at Stephens against his brother John. We used the 'They Couldn't Hit An Elephant' rules from Too Fat Lardies which I only read through once prior to game. Quite an interesting set with some novel concepts. As with all TFL rules the use of Blinds and Cards is great generating the chaos/inertia we like in our games. But the rules are rather ambiguous in several areas and we found ourselves head scratching quite often as to what rules meant or how they are meant to be played. That said once we decided how to resolve things they flowed quite well and seemed to give a plausible game. Key concept is the 'Decisive Combat' section which subsumes a lot of 'regular' game phases into one table and set of outcomes. Aggressive Veteran troops can be very potent as lots of pluses if charging with attack orders against lesser quality troops. There was only one such unit in todays game.
Game was based around a Guns Of Gettysburg scenario (Pine Oaks 1862 I think ?) with yours truly set up in defence with a single Brigade of Union regulars on table and John as Rebs attacking. Rebs were slowed by lots of woods but the aforementioned aggressive Veteran unit charged a Union Regt in Adams Farm (soft cover from surrounding fence) and managed to Rout it which caused supporting unit to rear to be routed in burst through and flank support to fall back (both routers were later rallied but took no further part in game as such). Union reinforcements (a further 3 Brigades arriving on successive turns) arrived quickly as we only had a single 'Coffee Break' card in deck initially (we later added a second to extend turns). Union Brigadier Crouch was rated as Inspirational and upon turn of an Inspired Cmdr card he was able inflict revenge upon the Rebs by adding +2 to a charge by one of his Regiments (equivalent for one turn to aggressive charge) which routed a Reb Regt and its rear support. On Union left a Brigade deployed to fend off an arriving Reb brigade and the Union artillery unit with this brigade used aimed fire (2 command Pips to direct fire) to decimate Rebs forcing them to withdraw. Union center was shored up by a Veteran Brigade which deployed behind the Farm then went onto attack orders to try to re-occupy the dwelling. They dealt heavily with the aggressive Reb unit (Texans I think ?) which had become isolated due to their forging ahead alone in Union positions (aggressive troops are forced to charge when within 8" of enemy if under attack orders). On Union right a struggle in the heavy wooded area was taking place with several close combats and fall backs with units on both sides bloodied and with shaky morale (Fightin' and Defeated modes in rules). We had to call time at this point with things very much in balance. Next game with rules (although Le Feu Sacre by TFL as real possibility for next outing) will be smoother and quicker as we now know the quirks of the system and will likely spend much less time discussing rules and indeed what we intend to purchase at Warfare next month !!!

iPhone pics as yet again forgot camera !  

Rebel Brigades deploy

Rebel blind advances

Initial Union Brigade deploys at Adams Farm (arriving Brigade blinds behind)

Union reserves arriving as Blinds

Union left flank secured

The Rebs deploy in woodland

Reb skirmishers screen their Brigade

The aggressive Reb unit routs 2 Union Regts (seen skedaddling in lower pic) at Adams Farm 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Oh no more rules........................

Received a Pdf flyer from Sam Mustafa today regarding his latest up coming rule set in the Honour Series (ie follow on to Lasalle) and most intriguing they are too. Flyer is currently available at and  has brief outline of scope of rules including samples of the interesting card deck system. Not due until early 2012 but definitely on my must have list as Sam's rules are always excellent (the cover image alone has me sold !!). Covers a favourite period of warfare of mine to boot.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

WWII Game played...........................

Played game today, after watching All Blacks narrowly !! beat Les Bleus, using our 15mm kit and house rule set (based on Overlord/Grey Storm Red Steel) we have not used in several years. I had Whermacht in defence against advancing British Paratroops. Setup based on advance from Landing Zones towards Oosterbeek in Holland September 1944. Scenario generated 200pts of Experienced Germans against 240pts of Elite Paras. I picked 2 Platoons of Grenadiers backed up by 2 MMG and a Section of Assault Engineers. A lone Stug42 completed the force. The Grenadiers set up up to half way all hidden in woods and in foxholes. The Paras had a full Elite Company backed by a 6pdr a 3" mortar section, a HMG section  and some off-table artillery (Stephen picked 25pdrs but really 75mm would be more accurate, but made no difference in end as they never shot). Brits advance generally (we played along length or 'up the table' as we term it) across the battlefield in good old '2 up 1 back' fashion . Once units began to spot each other (only when with 50m ie 5" in woods) it was soon apparent that the Elite Paras were simply unstoppable as they did not suffer any stalling effects (Hesitate or Halt in rules) except possibly with massive Hun fire and extreme high rolls !! Conversely the Huns tended to become Hesitant and suffer Morale Tests. Especially true when Paras decided to charge into close combat as Germans simply could not stop them and usually fell back before fisticuffs occurred (quite realistic we thought). The Stug trundled into action trying to use its 105mm as only it had power to blunt Para progress but succumbed to a lucky Piat shot (was hit bit not brewed but crew abandoned ship !!). One German section was wiped out to a man in a close combat. My Pioneers with their flamethrowers managed to catch a Para section in the open and with best combined firepower on German side I had high hope but of course they then threw a paltry 1 (on a D10) to yield no effect on Paras who then forced them from foxholes. As 4 out of 6 German sections were falling back or destroyed we called it a day. Lesson was Elite troops just too good against Experienced. In future we will only allow a single quality level difference between sides (ie Veteran vs Elite or Experienced). to make a more 'balanced' game. But we both thoroughly enjoyed the game especially rediscovering a great set of rules we had neglected. The terrain crammed table made for a great Infantry game as all very up close and personal.

Paras advance

First opposition encountered 

Struggle in center with Paras taking a line of foxholes and the Stug in action

Paras clearing woods

The Para HQ

Saturday, October 22, 2011

WWII Game planned

WWII game planned for tomorrow so just set up table. Based on a Rapid Fire Arnhem scenario from the Market Garden booklet. Whilst this is actually for a Brigade sized game we are going use our 'house rules' Western Front version of the excellent Grey Storm Red Steel rules (itself a follow on to the excellent Overlord set both by Barry Lovell of Timecast Buildings fame) which is a Platoon/Section Level game. Area is on approaches to Oosterbeek and has elements of 4th Parachute Brigade advancing from drop zones with elements of KG Schiller attempting to stop them in wooded area. Been literally years since we used the rules but even a brief skim through QRS seems to bring most of it back from memory banks (wish I could recall things I did last week as readily !!) and should play fine as forces employed will be mainly Infantry.

The road to Oosterbeek

German rear zone

British approach zone

The central zone

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Field Of Battle Napoleonic Action

Played another Field Of Battle 2 game today at Stephens using Prussians versus French circa 1814. I fielded some 32 units (small 2 base units) against 26 French. We used the new points system to 'balance' (not really true of FOB) forces then randomized everything else (bar table set-up which Stephen undertook). So I ended up with a D12+1 CiC an Exceptional Sequence Deck but lowish Army Morale at 29 points. French had D10 CiC an Average deck but a decent 30 Army Morale. We also rolled for each unit (mainly so as I could use some newly printed Counters I made during weak for Units and Leaders. We also tried out the Fate & Command Decisions scenario tables for first time with only advantage gained by Prussians in Tactical Advantage aspect allowing 1 Command Group to re-deploy within its zone after set-up and French getting to set-up second. Once play commenced the game once again flowed really well as we whizzed through cards and actions. French shooting was simply awesome with even long range Artillery causing Unit Integrity hits with associated loss of Army Morale, and two Young Guard units delivering two crushing opening volleys (even without use of First Fire bonus which we dont use) on Prussians generating 6 UI hits (destroying outright and already damaged unit). Prussian Cuirassier Brigade had a very useful 3 move segments to get into position to threaten French left but then failed to achieve even a single move (Command rolls of 1 !!) on next two move opportunities allowing French to form Square and occupy a wood sealing their flank. My Reserve Infantry Brigade advanced into a wood near French center but the Young Guard volleys blunted their thrust. As Prussian Army morale dwindled to a mere 4 I called it a day as only viable option was now to retire and try to draw the undamaged French forward. Great game again and a really playable and slick set of rules that allow large amounts of units to be used on table in reasonable time and fashion. Our next try with FOB2 will be with Seven Years War troops.

Prussian Reserve Infantry Brigade

French Left flank

Prussian Cuirassier advance with Line Infantry

Reserve Infantry fight for wood (note Routing unit -red tag- after devastating French volley)

French center

French view of the battle for wood

Landwehr Brigade and Light Cavalry

French right wing

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Oh dear succumbed again.................

Despite trying to curb spending on run up to Warfare show trip late November (which I just booked for three mates et moi) I have just succumbed to a pre-order of the latest edition of Too Fat Lardies "I Ain't Been Shot Mum" rules. Just simply could not resist ! In my defense I did manage to avoid purchasing the mega bundle offer which includes a Pdf copy, Card Set and Token Set in addition to the hard copy set. I do after all need something to buy at Warfare !!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

DBMM Maurikian Byzantine vs Early T'Ang Chinese

Played quick game tonight at my gaff using Dbmm. I used my Byzantine and Stephen used T'Ang. No time to pontificate suffice to say T'Ang wiped floor Byzantines with awesome shooting from their single Artillery piece backed up by massed BowX.

 I really ought to give Hail Caesar a run out sometime soon.

Couple of pics

Byzantines deployed

Byzantine mounted array

Skutatoi (looking rather old as done 20+ years in enamels)

Stephens rather lovely T'Ang deploy (really nice Outpost figures)

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Field Of Battle 2 ACW Action

Tried out Field Of Battle 2nd Edition today at Stephens using his 15mm ACW forces (as I dont have any but am being sorely tempted !) Stephen set up a scenario 'Gaines Mill 1862' adapted from a Guns Of Gettysburg scenario booklet. I took the Rebels who had a very tough attacking mission across a wooded and boggy stretch of ground into teeth of equal sized Federal force. Both had 15 units but Rebs had a mere 12 Army Morale points to Union 18. However they did roll a Skilled CinC with an Exceptional Sequence deck opposed by an Average Union leader and Average Deck.
Rebs advanced generally and initially had better of fire fights and their off-table reserve Brigade came on rather quickly (after their 3rd Move card) trying to turn Union left. But several devastating Union volleys and artillery barrages saw the brittle Reb army morale plummet to zero tout bloody suite ! A smallish game but a nice run out for rules which are essentially unchanged but just slicker/better especially the more dynamic Melees. We both love the sense of 'narrative' that a Field Of Battle game engenders and the lack of predictability of the card and impetous combinations. Great fun.

Central Confederate position 

Confederate right

Confederate left

Union deploy into the boggy area

Center on Union line

Penders reserve Brigade arrive on Rebel right

A New York Union Regiment caught in the open

Union line the hedgerows

Union right on the hill

Greggs Veteran Brigade enter the boggy area