Monday, February 27, 2012

No Peace Without Spain initial play

Managed to get some time to put this game up on table and have a quick play. Really impressed with this as a game, whilst reasonably simple and abstract (without being simplistic) it seems to convey the period quite well. Always a tough decision whether to stand and fight a land battle against a larger or on parity army (as battle is a simple you roll your number of dice vs mine to hit  - with a few variations) or to slide off and force the enemy to lay siege to newly entered fortress area (of which there are many). The consequences of losing a battle (Demoralization) or woe betide giving enemy a Famous Victory are not desirable. This seems rather in keeping with events of the time. Action cards are simply that a method to generate actions and the Event cards have a nice historical flavour without being dominant  (certainly not to same degree as in Age of Napoleon). Lots of other stuff goes on with Fortified Lines and attempts to Bypass same, transfers of troops, replacements and so on but all limited by amount of Action rounds per turn (mainly 5 as in the usual number of action cards drawn per side) and number of rounds per  Action (max of 3 with 2 or 1 being other options on cards). Only played first two years but found it very engrossing and already thinking about how to do things better as both sides next time. Whilst I found the physical components (thin counter, unmounted map) rather underwhelming, compared to my other recent board wargame purchases, they are nice enough and perfectly functional within the game. Tis the gameplay which is the main thing in the end and this game seems to have it in spades.

Just found this informative but a tad lengthy Vassal  tutorial (I really must try this programme) for the game which shows most of the basics of the game at )

Couple of iPhone pics as I was too engrossed (ie lazy) to go downstairs to get proper camera

The full game on display

Some of the very nice card art (looks better in reality)

French army holding boxes

Their Alliance counter-parts

Reinforcements on Turn Track

In Flanders fields 18th Century version

Thursday, February 23, 2012

DBMM Minoan versus Hittite

Played another DBMM game (we seem to be a on a roll with this again) today at Stephens. Used a nice historical match-up with my 'have not seen the light of day in ages' Minoans against Stephens'  'aarrgghh bright light ! bright light!' Hittites.  Have not used these armies since version 1 of Dbmm and they both need a bit of a re-jig but twas a fine game once more. My Spearmen (with a few bow in support) took up central position on a hill nicely flanked by difficult terrain with my Chariots on their right. My third small Chariot command was delayed off-table (with a maximum 3 commands in this army not a optimum idea maybe). Hittites had 3 Commands with a Gascon ally command. Hittites had usual mix of Warband and Pike Fast foot but were reticent to take my Spearmen on uphill, I of course failed to stay on said hill !! 
Game was decided when my faster Chariots (KnF) failed in massed charge against slower Hittite versions (KnO) and then broke when their General fell to a 6:1 !! The delayed Command arrived just as this happened but too late to save the day. I then in all or nothing charged my huge line of Spearmen off the hill into the Hittite foot and Gascon mounted causing some damage but not enough to turn things around. Great game once more with again two rather handsome armies. Sort of unique feel to these 'Biblical' type armies.

Only a couple of pics as batteries went in camera



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

No Peace Without Spain

No Peace Without Spain board wargame arrived today (ended up ordering from US supplier as unable to source in UK and for cheaper overall price than my previous failed order). Looks rather interesting even if box contents bit spartan. The Conflict of Heroes, No Retreat and Age Of Napoleon games have such nice component quality. Hope to give this a whirl soon.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

DBMM Polybian Roman versus Han Chinese

DBMM game today at mine against Stephen. Couple of contemporary (if not strictly historical) armies used with my Romans against his Han Chinese. Great game with nice ebb and flow and usual up and downs in dice rolls for us both. Roman Cavalry command on my left wing however broke before Legionaries could bring things to a conclusion in center and on my right mainly due to some judicious (or as I termed it "downright cowardly") retirements by the Han auxilia types and usual annoyance by artillery and bows.
Two nice armies these.

Initial moves

Han left wing

Roman battlelines
Han arrayed
Centers square up

Roman right wing

Roman Cavalry deploy against oncoming Light Horse

Legionaries move to support Cavalry

 Han redeploying (ie running away like cowardly girly girls)

Romans taunting girly girls as they run off

Things getting hectic (note more girly girl running away at top right near the dice)

Cavalry up against it with Light Horse and encroaching Bowmen

Toe to toe in center

Monday, February 13, 2012

Kampfgruppe Normandy solo play through.

Had a solo playtest game today with these rather nice rules using my 15mm kit (worked fine with the standard 20mm ranges in book). Played the basic/intro scenario with amended terrain which pits a German Panzer Grenadier Platoon supported by a Panther, a PzIVH and a Pak40 against a British Platoon supported by 2 Cromwells, a Firefly and an Achilles. Germans also get a single 81mm Mortar. Quite a nice game to be honest and I quite like the actions and activation system (your basic command level plus 1D6 to generate number of units that can activate). Combat is straight forward enough and I like the chit draw system for morale (each force has a morale level and chits are drawn for various reasons with numbers 1-4 thereon and once level exceeded force beaten but couple of other chits can appear such as Mechanical Failure, Aircraft, Heroic Actions). Lots of dice rolling as one has to spot for every shot (even if previously spotted) but works overall. Suppressive fire nicely implemented and since removal of suppression requires drawing a Morale chit (each allows 1D6 of suppression removal) it can be a bind as it should be to get troops moving again. Some strange stuff to get used to such as there being no hidden units (all subsumed into spotting/cover rules/rolls). Couple of rather vague concepts as well (none to clear on firing at multiple/adjacent targets as such). Tanks and guns fire and act as individuals whilst Infantry act as MG/AT teams or squads of 5-10 figures. The book itself is very impressive (and weighs a ton) with lots of information some decent OOBs and points lists and a very nice inclusion of multiple scenarios, fictional and historical with a terrain generating system for 'pick -up' type games. As title suggests covers Normandy only (no bad thing) with German, British and US forces covered. I would put it as about same complexity as Rapid Fire but set a lower tactical level and with a bit more 'flavour' but without the endless chrome and very odd scaling of Flames Of War (a set I just cant take to).
Might not become my WWII game of choice (bit too generic) but the scenarios are almost worth the cover price (especially if like me one obtained it at 1/2 price) and some minor house rules would sort the minor quibbles I had with system.

Must give IABSM2 a go next...........................

The battlefield Germans on left

A quality book to be sure

The QRS sheet

British armour suffering

The main culprit the Panther

His running mate (soon to brew up)

Picked of by 'Mable' the Firefly

Infantry contest a house

Germans advance

The Last Crusade: Beach Head To Berlin (Card Wargame)

Played this nice little collectible card wargame at my Dads tonight after a hiatus of several years (we used to play it regularly even completing a full Campaign). I used the US decks and Dad the Germans (just for a change). A very enjoyable time with this very playable game despite it developing into a stalemate. I have the Russian Front version which I must dig out as never used in anger !
Scary when I look at number of decks I had collected..........

Usual crap iPhone pics

Overview of game with successful US assault in middle (soon reversed though)

Dug-in US 57mm AT Gun

US Paras about to get fried..............

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Prussia's Defiant Stand board game arrives.......and new Maurice preview version available.....

Prussia's Defiant Stand board wargame arrived (via the as ever excellent service from Boardgame Guru) and very nice it looks too. A block type game with cards as well. Had to spend a wee while placing the unit stickers on the little wooden blocks. Now to read the rules and give it a run through does not look to involved or difficult at first blush.

Had ordered 'No Peace Without Spain' but source let me down and I cannot find it in stock elsewhere in UK but on look out for it as a further acquisition. Mate Stephen also on a boardgame kick having bought 'Price Of Freedom' an American Civil War game from same company which we hope to try in due course.

Also new preview edition of Maurice rules from Sam Mustafa available ( ) which I have downloaded but not read through yet to see what changes there are. Basic card set has changed I note and I believe this version has more from the full set. Publication due in Spring and I look forward to it.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

DBMM Sassanid vs Alan

Played game at Stephens yesterday evening using yet another iteration (has to be a viable army) from that list against Stephen using the Alan list. Great game with terrain falling quite well for me. In fact as always we discussed that if I had simply sat still there would likely be no game as no flanks for his predominately Light Horse army to attack and not really in Persian best interests to go forward to the more open side of the table. But as its a game we want to play when we get together then none of that nonsense occurred.
As always the Irregular Inept status of the bulk of Sassanid army is major crimp on their ability to manoeuvre.
Weather conditions turned out to be Mud which gave any Knights on table a problem (I had 4 KnX the Alans a command of KnF). Game ended with Alan victory as both my flanks went.

More crappy iPhone pics

Alans engaging Dailami

Elephants wheel (really slowly)

Left flank

Opening moves