Thursday, September 30, 2021

A tiny bit of Shako II

Tried a 'pick up' game of Shako II today at Stephens with his Russians against my French circa 1812. We last played these rules in Feburary 2020 (Quatre Bras scenario) but both kind of struggled to deploy our Divisions today. I think this partly down to the 'pick up' style game orders of battle, its generic terrain generation and rather odd table size (64" x 40" in 15mm).

We both placed a Cavalry division in reserve and I had a light cavalry division on a Flank March.

My Flank March arrived on turn 3 but really had no place to go on arrival (likely needed a much better plan). We were also unsure what happens if the flanking units are 'blocked' by enemy units up close to arriving table edge as not really defined other than one can charge into contact from off-table, but what if units have to fall back or recall ? are the destroyed ? do they rally off-table ? we have not encountered this before.

Stephen brought on an off-table reserve of 4 Cavalry with a horse gun which was literally crammed up behind a defending Infantry Division and I had my heavy Cavalry as an on table Reserve from start. 

We realised that the interpenetration (or actually lack of interpenetration) rules meant these mounted units were very unlikely to get used as essentially badly blocked (especially the Russian Division) and requiring a lot of 'work' to move elsewhere. 

The rules allow Mixed Divisions (something not usually seen in the scenarios we have played) which would be a much more flexible use of cavalry (ie in direct support of Infantry Division) but neither of had considered this historically justifiable. However I think the use of the term Division in Shako is a tad more flexible in what it represents.

We sort of gave up on the game (and plunged into waffling session) once we realised we had less than optimal deployments but plan is to re-try next week with Utitsa scenario.

French left with Cavalry in Reserve position. Note clogged deployment of Russians at top left as Cavalry 'stuck' in behind stationary Infantry division. French outflank due to arrive following turn into flank of own Infantry !

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Lasalle 2 - French vs British 1811

Game of Lasalle 2 today with Stephen playing the third scenario with larger 300pt forces.

Stephen wanted to try out British circa 1811 so I used French.

We both had 18 units (5 Brigades each) in an encounter type match up with a fair amount of woods and a town area (we both forgot we could have added one terrain piece each)

We both thought Lasalle might struggle to reflect British 'style' but this proved to be unfounded.

Being a Linear Army the British General has an additional Linear Volley intervention by default which coupled with slightly better Skirmishing ability (we both put a unit into Sharpshooter mode so 39 Brit vs 36 French dice) and their unique Superior Shooting ability (8 dice in Line) made the British foot very potent especially their three Elite units.

This combo meant that against French foot in columns the British could deliver 2-3 devastating volleys and vs mounted two such volleys and still be able to change into square.

Since British won every skirmish phase they had optimal tactical flexibility in this regard (including on one turn generating six Voltigeur markers).

A French infantry Brigade of 4 veteran units in attack columns was shot to bits in this fashion, and then when I brought up Cavalry they too suffered hits and watched as British then formed square which of course can still shoot often with two dice.

My artillery (3 Batteries) was fairly decent with some lucky rolling destroying a British battery in short order.

But the tough British Infantry with their 'machine gun fire' was just too hard to deal with and I conceded despite having slight edge in Skirmishing with 4 British units adopting square as I had 1 foot Brigade done for and my 4 Cavalry (2 Dragoons and 2 Chasseurs) effectively blown as well.

British much better on table than they seemed at first blush.

Another quick playing game with Lasalle, what it lacks in period chrome it makes up for in playability in spades.

Armies at start (French on left)

British deployment (Portugese Brigade on right of image)

French centre with Cavalry supporting Infantry columns

Central clash after my Foot Brigade had been decimated (2 units disengaged to rear) and Cavalry advancing to fill gap.

French left in stand off with British right but with British Light Cavalry threatening

On French right a Brigade of Conscripts opposite the Portugese (neither Brigade used)

Remnants of central foot Brigade rallies behind guns (but with several permanent losses)

French guns continue to bombard as British infantry forms squares

French Cavalry taking some knocks after a couple of do or die charges and British shooting

Lots of damage inflicted on French center


Chasseur Brigade battered as French General intervened (Valiant trait) to no avail

Dragoons to their left also battered

British Cavalry readying for a charge, note the British 'Voltigeur' stands hampering French foot

Thursday, September 16, 2021

L'Art De La Guerre - 2 games played

LADG played today at Stephens and we managed two games.

First up I used my Minoans against Hittites.

A fairly close game until my central Chariot command (the Dendra armour boys) came undone in center and then some heavy Spearmen and Bowmen were lost leaving gaps the Hittities could exploit.

The second game I used Stephens Ghaznavid figures against his Hindu Indian and this was an extremely close game indeed !

In fact it ended up with both armies breaking in same turn (Indians had lost a few more points worth) which I do not think we have ever had happen before ?

I won a Elephant clash and a Cavalry clash on my left and center but my right suffered from Indian Bowmen shooting and not helped by my having 6 Rally attempts (over 2 turns) for my elite Ghulams and failing every single roll (4+ needed). 

We both had a lot of 6:1 rolls in this game seeing units killed off pretty quickly. 

Found this which tickled my funny bone 

Thursday, September 02, 2021

Maurice - Seven Years War action - Prussia vs Austria

Game with Stephen today and we had a go with Maurice (a set we last used in 2015 !!) using my Prussians against his Austrians with a standard 100pt matchup.

I used Oblique Order and Cavaliers and Stephen used the two Artillery enhancements.

We both had 16 units and decided to deal one Notable card each, Stephen drew a notable that allowed units to interpenetrate without disorder and mine was the Spy event giving me a boost to Scouting.

I won the initiative and decided to attack and we fought in forest area with 9 pieces of terrain (although these are fairly small with our 30mm base widths).

Stephen placed two woods on his left which I knew would house Grenzers and duly did, he also placed a village on his right which became the designated Objective.

A couple more woods, a hill and a piece of rocky ground completed the terrain.

A very interesting game we had with the excellent card and 'momentum' system coming to the fore (I can see a lot of Maurice in the new Lasalle) meaning you have to concentrate your effort as never enough to do everything you want and great flavour with the various card effects and events. Always a key decision to use the cards effects or use their span value to activate forces.

We soon realised that our deployments were less than optimal with too many separated forces.

I attacked on my left towards the objective with Cavalry and Infantry and this saw the bulk of the action throughout game.

My Cavalry traded blows with Austrian counterparts eventually overwhelming them but my Infantry suffered from the Austrian artillery and it cost a lot of cards to try to redeploy and try to mass them. 

Once at volley range my Infantry got decimated pretty quickly and I was lucky to lose mostly minimum morale for each destroyed unit. 

Austrian foot advanced in center as my losses mounted threatening my three gun batteries which had fired only occasionally and mostly ineffectually, and with a card play the Austrians got to shoot first in volley phase and killed a gun for which loss my morale evaporated.

Considering we had not played the rules for so long it all went pretty smoothly our only stumble was with the Engagement rules for combat which we were too generous with initially for attackers as regards outnumbering. 

And a well written and complete rule set as we found answers easily to our few queries.

A more broadly abstract set for SYW than we have been using of late but overall a great game (Sam Mustafa's rules all generate fun encounters) with plenty of decisions to make and action from the get go with some nice period flavour. 

Only a few pics from early stages as got engrossed in events 

Prussian cavalry wing begins its assault

Prussian guns bombard in center (essentially a waste of a phase and cards) and Grenadiers realise they should be with main Infantry force on left

Grenzers in woods facing my right wing which as already lost a unit of Fusileers to artillery

These Grenadiers eventually obliqued across to their left but too late  costly in momentum

Too much separation of units and note Prussian Cavalry in column left behind (as are two Austrian foot units)