Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Mortem Et Gloriam - Avar versus Carolingian

Another outing for MEG this time at Stephens and trying a 'Maximus' game.
Stephen picked Carolingian and I fielded Avar and I struggled to field the 10,000 points for Maximus game.
Some Hun figures had to substitute for 'true' Avars (not much of a stretch).
Even Stephen with his copious amounts of figures had a couple of substitute stands.
Units of Light Infantry in groups of 8 or 9 stands is bit different to other sets we have armies for.

Another fun game as we tried out different troop types.
I tried charging with Avars and also Skirmishing with them.

These 'shooty-horse' type armies need a bit of practice (and dare I say a plan).
Certainly compared to the 'line-em-up and charge' Franks they need more subtle and varied tactics.
The lack of suitable cards in any given turn can be a real bind.
Was unsure if Shooting and Skirmishing was best tactic as always a risk of being caught and in Impact and Melee the Avars are quite decent.
Carolingians did have a nasty unit of Exceptional Cavalry and several Superior Cavalry (I had but two Superior noble units) and had an advantage at Impact with possible Shatters.

Biggest problem I faced was Stephen rolling Skulls against files I had 2 General fighting in and then killing them both !

Games are certainly bloody as whilst I lost the requisite 6 Tugs Stephen had lost 3 in victory and we both had ton of dead stands.

Fire In The Lake - solo play of short scenario

Had a quick solo play of Fire In The Lake trying out the short (3 deck) scenario for first time.
Great game even solo as so many choices and events although again I did not use the 'Bots' as too time consuming.
Scenario covers 1965-1967 with only 24 cards (+3 Coup cards) from the 1965 portion (48 cards) of deck.
NVA have a larger initial presence than in other scenarios and indeed finished a close second to the US.
VC third with ARVN in last place as I continue to struggle to play them effectively.
COIN system is very addictive.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Mortem Et Gloriam first try with new edition

Game with Stephen using new edition of Mortem Et Gloriam.
We last played MEG back at start of 2018 so pretty much starting afresh with rules.
I fielded trusty Punic Romans and Stephen had Hannibals chaps.
We tried the new Magna sized game (essentially 2/3rds scale) which uses a 4' x 3' table.
This was mainly due to my Romans not having enough Triarii or Legionaries for full sized game (now termed Maximus).
My Romans having been re-based as 'doubles' for L'Art De La Guerre not optimal for MEG which allows for unit expansion and suchlike (like Field of Glory) but doable with a few pipe cleaner markers.
Thankfully the cards and dice from first edition are still perfectly usable with new set.

Game was great fun despite our having to re-learn even the basics.
The card 'activation/orders' system is great linked into its colour coded system and similar dice system.
Moves are large (base widths) and armies get into action in at most 2-3 turns.
Shooting (we had few shooting types) and Combat all very easy to relearn.
The QRS is comprehensive and clear but maybe a bit small in it print for aging eyes on either side of the table.

Game saw a clash of Infantry type all along the table with Cavalry on flanks.
To and fro with dice rolls although for some reason rolling a 'blank' seems less traumatic than rolling a 1 :-)

Carthaginians were in ascendancy when we finished (game not completed) but no bloodless victories in MEG as both sides taking a lot of casualties.

Fun stuff and we will be trying these again.

Stephens comment of game being Ancients "how Barker intended" seemed apt but we are novices with intricacies of tactics.

Interested to try the Pacto version (single file units) as a direct comparison to LADG scale.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Field Of Glory: Renaissance - Thirty Years War - Swedish versus Early Catholic

Another game at Stephens and he selected FOGR again having just read a book 'Lion Of The North' and wishing to field his Early Swedes.

I fielded my Early Catholic again this time with 3 Average Early Tercios.

I took a huge risk putting two units of Cuirassier a Reiter and a Field Commander on a Flank March as I know that my army is outclassed in a straight on stand up fight.

The Swedish Brigades are simply awesome especially when Superior (Stephen had 4 Brigades with 3 Superior) and with Regimental Guns and they usually (ie always) steamroller my Tercios with their Impact and Salvo traits.

I also selected Woodland terrain in attempt to disrupt Swedish advance but Stephen managed to remove two of four Forests with rolls of 6.
Although with the way heavy Infantry set up in the center in FOGR avoiding these Brigades is a tough proposition.

With fully one third of my force off-table at start it was always down to if or when the Flank march appeared.

With a Field Commander I needed to roll a 9 on 2d6 but consistently (ie every bloody turn) rolled an annoying 8 so........................

This meant I was fighting with only 9 units but thankfully I had decent dice rolls today and did manage to hold up the Swedish mounted on both flanks.

I had a 3 gun Battery that fired 7 times rolling 2 Hits every time which I could not complain about but of course Stephen 'demoned' his way to passing all but one death roll and  Cohesion Test caused.

The crunch of game came in center as my 3 Tercios were engaged by the 4 Swedish Brigades.
I did remove a couple of bases from firing but lost a couple myself with neither side suffering any Cohesion tests so all fighting 'Fresh' at Impact
Two Brigades hitting one was a hiding to nothing as at Impact the Swedes rolled 6 dice needing 3 and 1 dice (Regt gun) coupled with Superior status generating re-rolls this is awesome stuff.

Two of my Tercios (those facing Superior Swedes) went Disrupted then Fragmented and soon Broke in short order.
My other Tercio with a General in fronk rank managed to withstand the Average Swedish Brigade and eventually Disrupted then Fragmented it but failed to Break it.

By this time my wings had collapsed and game ended in another abject defeat.

++ Note to self - if trying an outflank send the tatty Reiters not your Cuirassier and maybe just 1 unit not 3 !! ++

A tale of too much risk for no reward, but it was a fun game all the same trying to remove 'nuts from the fire'

Board Wargame catch up

Couple of board wargames played this week including one with my Dad (so glad to get back to playing with him)

First up I had Breakthrough Cambrai on table as being a Area-Impulse type it is fairly solo friendly.
Only played a couple of turns but great system and interesting subject.

Then it was Great War Commander playing first couple of scenarios to refresh rules in my head.
Such a superb system (Chad Jensen such a loss) and very nice graphics in this one, a bit less functional than WWII version but the Gallic flair shines.

Then a couple of games with Dad of Battle For Stalingrad an abstract but fun card game.
Does seem very tough for Germans at first blush but certain there is a strategy to make them viable just not found it yet.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

The Dark Valley - PBEM situation shot

Ongoing PBEM of The Dark Valley where we have now reached May 1944.
Screenshot shows overall situation and note these lines have been pretty much static since late 1942, and more akin to World War 1 on Western Front.
Just cannot seem to generate enough combat power (my game play likely not greatest) any place to pierce German lines and they are happy to simply hold onto gains.
Despite a good chunk of Russia staying under Nazi yoke, Kiev is only major city objective to have fallen by high tide of German offensives.
Have been playing this via Vassal (with Mike) since July 2014, so in fact longer than the actual campaign !
We have had a few extended interruptions along the way but being Vassal game we have been able to keep it going, no way that would happen with physical game.