Saturday, November 27, 2021

Ulster Wargames Club - Field Of Battle - Zorndorf

Put on another Field Of Battle 3 game today at UWS Club using my trusty old Zorndorf scenario (simply as I had scenario stuff easily to hand).

I umpired and had 5 players participating as Prussians (David T and Phil) against Russians (Jeremy N, David S and Leslie) on a 6' x 4' table with my smaller 3 base units, but we used standard 25mm measurements which fairly made the game crack along (I would usually use 1/2 or 2/3rds on a 6x4).

Zorndorf is essentially a straight forward slugging match (as it was historically) and so it transpired in this outing.

Prussians held back on their right with Schorlemers Cuirassier Brigade as it faced the inferior more numerous cavalry wing under Demiku and managed to engage this wing effectively throughout game despite Schorlemer being shot from saddle at one point 

On Prussian left their cavalry under Seydlitz and Bieberstein faced their counterparts under Gaugraben and this was a bit of and to and fro with Prussians gaining upper hand but just too slowly.

But the story of the game was with the Prussian infantry of Manteuffel, Kanitz and Dohna in the centre advancing against the Russian foot under Saltykov, Gallitzen and Browne.

The Prussians suffered horrendously from the Russian guns (so many 1s rolled vs high Russian rolls) early on and failed to rally on most opportunities.

Some Prussian Grenadiers did manage to assault and almost breakthrough the Russian center but were then repelled and finally destroyed and their supporting formations of Musketeers also suffered high losses and Dohna was also shot down.

This failure by Prussian foot saw their Army Morale dwindle to nothing and Frederick failed to muster their resolve (failed roll on Army Morale card) and they quit the field.

Another excellent game with FOB and it was very interesting to watch the battle develop from afar. FOB is easy to umpire as mechanics are basically simple and the card sequencing makes it easy to explain what players can do each time. The multiple dice types can be a bit confusing for new players but they certainly generate decisive results and aid fast play. The opposed rolls also keeps players engaged in game which is a real benefit in multiplayer games.

Winner and losers both expressed their enjoyment of the game and ultimately that is what its all about no matter the dice results. 

David B and John were engaged in a couple of FOGR games but I only managed to take pics of their second game which was an interesting match up of Monrose Scots against an Later Northern Parliamentarian force. Some lovely flags on display again.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

L'Art De La Guerre- two games with Punic Romans

Two fun and interesting games of LADG today at Stephens with my Republican Romans taking the field.

First opponent was Gallic with lots of mounted troops.

The terrain worked out pretty well for the Romans with cover on both flanks despite my failing to place a river on a flank.

Whilst I choose to attack the numbers of Celt mounted meant that I knew that advancing too aggressively would see me outflanked on both ends of my line as Celt foot hung back from legionaries.

And so it turned out as I ended up vainly chasing the Chariots with Legionaries on my right whilst my left bore brunt of charges by the Gauls elite heavy cavalry as warbands held back until near the end to defeat the Romans. 

The Gaul Soldurii with an embedded General proved very effective.

Romans just cant field enough mounted of their own to support flanks effectively. 

Roman Legion faces the Gauls

Romans have good terrain on flanks at set up but Gaul mounted dominate the more open areas

Gaul elite cavalry bear down on my left

And Chariots invest my right with no real counter to their 'skirmishing' ability

Second game was a much different affair as Stephen fielded Later Macedonian.

This was much more of a slugfest and really came down to my Elite legion failing abjectly against the pike whilst their average compatriots dealt with Macedonian right.

A couple of key combats decided the matter for Macedonians but this was a bloody battle !

Getting two games in is certainly very feasible with LADG even with our discussions of all sorts unrelated stuff including 'could the Germans have actually won WW2 ??' and other waffle :-)

Romans deployed to met the Macedonians

Clashes all along the line with my Elite Legion beginning to suffer already in center

Right wing supports chasing off some cavalry

Macedonian General survives a flank attack on my extreme right.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Field of Battle 3 - Ramillies scenario with 10mm chaps

Played a scenario based on Battle of Ramillies May 1706 using FOB3 today with Stephen.

Stephen chose the French defenders and I therefore took the Allied force.

We used a free set up for units rather than historical deployments with units equating to roughly Brigade/Regimental level units.

Great game once again with FOB3 that played really quickly (3 hours in total with 2 1/2 decks run through).

French cannons in center were deadly early on causing Dutch cavalry a lot of hits as their foot compatriots attacked Ramillies directly.

I did manage to contest the town (before getting thrown out later in game) but a single unit of French cavalry ran roughshod over my mounted units despite being outnumbered in several melee combats.

My Dutch Foot Guards at least lived up to their elite status but were eventually overwhelmed.

Game really turned on my left where I had deployed the elite English foot and cavalry around Taviers.

The French did occupy the village so easily taken but my elite units completely failed to make any headway against French opposite numbers and the English were all to quickly decimated.

This left the overall Allied effort essentially stymied and morale losses were mounting and in reality we should have called game at this point, but I fought on to then see the Dutch in center repulsed from Ramillies and pulverized in turn.

The Allied German/Danish/Prussian foot survived mostly unscathed as the just demonstrated against the French lines across the Pitite Gheet.

FOB3 is certainly a very decisive game especially with my rolls (so many many ones.....) but I just love its unpredictability and narrative style. 

The battlefield view from Allied lines

French right wing behind Taviers

French center and left wing (around Ramillies and Petite Gheet)

Allied foot on right support Dutch foot in center

Dutch foot advance on Ramillies as their cavalry get pounded by French cannon

The ill fated English advance begins on left wing

The English are suddenly absent from the field.................

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Field of Glory: Renaissance - 16th Century match up Spanish vs Dutch

Game of FOGR today at Stephens as he wanted to try out a couple of 16th Century armies. 

I dont have anything from this period so he fielded both protagonists, these being Spanish and Dutch (some later period figures done stand in duties).

I took the Spanish with their large Tercios and first was time using troops that were use Kiel formation.

Kiels comprised two units of Walloons with 6 Pike, 2 Halberdiers and 4 Arquebusers but I redeployed these as a unit of 8 shooters and 16 Pike/Halberd.

I also had 2 Spanish Early Tercios (durable 16 base units), 1 Artillery Battery and 4 mounted units with 1 unit of mounted Arquebus and 3 armed with Lances (new to me in this period as well) for 11 unit equivalents 

Dutch had several Pike and Shot type units with 2 Artillery behind gabbions with a unit of lancers and 3 very potent units of Dutch Curassier with Pistols generating 13 units. 

Stephen also redeployed 2 Pike and Shot units as a unit of pike and an 8 base unit of Muskets (only ones on field).

Dutch won initiative and flung their mounted units across the field on my right for a brawl with my lancers and reiters.

Dutch refused on their right and I knew that that meant it would take at least 5 turns for my Tercios and Kiels to come to engagement range even with double moves with Generals (no sweeping advances ala FOB or BP) so the mounted battle was obviously key.

Thankfully my mostly outclassed cavalry managed to destroy one Dutch unit and manfully hold up the Cuirassier as my foot trundled forward.

As it turned out it took me 7 turns to get into contact with Dutch right wing and then a virtual stalemate ensued as Dutch veterans proved hard to grind down (with an average unit standing despite being fragmented). 

I lost a unit of 6 light lancers on this wing to another Cuirassier unit.

My right had by this time imploded despite my chasing a Dutch lancer unit off the table and my army break point was reached, but the Dutch were fairly bloodied as well.

Another enjoyable game once again with FOGR and for once my dice rolling was pretty good at times ! not often I get to say that.

Mounted clash on my right

Musketeers face my Arquebus unit across a field

Tercios and Kiel trundling forward

But is a long way to Dutch lines

Thursday, November 04, 2021

O Group - Cristot scenario completed

Finished Cristot scenario started last week with Stephen. 

We got a much tighter handle on the various orders available and found play speeded up we learnt the basics of rules and were able to play through turns quickly. 

We did make a couple of errors of omission forgetting some of the national characteristic rules such as British ability to use Smoke and re-rolls for Germans if firing on Spotted units, and I completely forgot to use my Sniper !

Game was won by British on 11th turn (of 16) as they managed to inflict 3 Fubars on Germans (ie 12 losses) whilst on 2 Fubars themselves.

Overall I like O Group with its dicing for Orders system and straightforward combat systems. 

Its is very much limited to its single Battalion vs Battalion match up but within that framework it works very well falling into a niche between lower level sets like Panzer Grenadier or IABSM and higher level stuff like Spearhead or Rapid Fire.

The points system included is fairly nominal and I feel that scenarios will be how the game will be best,  which is true of most WW2 sets I prefer unless going with more ‘gamey’ style like Bolt Action or Battlegroup which are further down my preference list.