Saturday, July 30, 2022

Ulster Wargames Society monthly meeting and a busy wee one at that.

Ulster Wargames Society meet up today which saw four large games in action and about 20 attendees which is very good for club.

The brothers Brittain put on a Regimental Fire and Fury bash 'Battle of Iuka 1862' in 15mm which was umpired by Stephen and played by John and the 3 Daves (B, S and T) which sounds like a singing group but definitely isn't ! Game ended as a bloody draw as night fell although Rebs had heavier casualties overall. Mat and trees supplied by moi everything else the brothers stuff.

At start 

John and Dave T plan Reb moves

Initial clash in center

Union Reserves arriving along road

Rebs defending around a ravine

Union trying to outflank Reb right

Dismounted Reb cavalry shore up their right

Daves B and S the Union commanders

Action intensifies in center

Jeremy and Andy (aided by the other Jeremy) played a General D'Armee game in 28mm French versus British, think this finished as French win ? Lots of Perry metals and Warlord plastics in use and a rather nice mat.

Mike and Simon had a 6mm game using Blucher to refight Battle of Freidland which saw Russians bloody French but yield the field just before  French Old Guard appeared. Adler on French side, not sure about Russians maybe Heroics and Ros (?), on Mikes very nice plush style mats.

Phil and son who put on a 25mm Sudan big skirmish game with a home brew set (?) played along with Billy and Leslie. Not sure how this turned out but looked as if Fuzzy Wuzzies had hard time advancing against British/Egyptian force ? Some very nice old Ral Partha figures on display in this one.

Not quite sure but I think Dave B showing Dave S how he shot down an Me109 before it could intervene in the battle ??

Monday, July 25, 2022

WWII: Barbarossa To Berlin game on table and some interesting Piquet news..............

Got WW2BTB on to table for a solo play.

Been awhile and struggled a bit remembering some of the special (chrome) rules but still a very fun game to play even solo.

Barbarossa was a bit of a damp squib for Germans but now threatening Moscow (with Taifun card in hands) but only just as winter draws in, Allies got both Soviet Reinforcement cards early so looking pretty strong on Ost front.

In other news Brent Oman has a new rule set in progress (due out late August early September) from the Piquet stable entitled 'Battle Command' (not being touted as replacement for Field of Battle just an alternative covering same period ie 1700-1900AD).

Details somewhat sparse but seems it will retain the combat and move systems of Field of Battle but with new reduced card deck but with each card offering possible multiple actions and no 'dud' cards as such. Apparently the CinC quality has more effect on proceedings.

I have thoroughly enjoyed all of Brent designs over the years so looking forward to this one.


Sample card (interesting)

Friday, July 22, 2022

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

Couple of games of LADG with Stephen using my Punic Roman against Carthaginians and Pyrrhic forces.

First game against Hannibal's lot saw one of my traditional horror dice rolling 'events' across a couple of turns with my many ones all at once...........

Against Pyrrhus dice much more forgiving except at set up which despite my choosing Mountain terrain left me bereft of all but one central steep hill.

I always find it a struggle with Romans to protect army flanks (especially if terrain placement unkind) as enemy usually has just sufficient superiority in mounted types to cause major problems.

One of these days....................

On the plains against Carthage

And against Pyrrhic at the 'Lonely Mountain' (steep hill)

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Battle of Salems Church - Regimental Fire and Fury game

Group game at Johns today using RFF and one of the excellent official scenarios 'Battle of Salems Church' set in May 1863 during Chancellorsville campaign.

Mr P and I commanded the Union forces tasked with attacking the Reb positions around Salem under John and Le Duc (with Stephen yet again taking on umpire role).

Scenario seems tough to win for both sides over course of its 13 turns with Union lacking numbers and punch to take the entire defence line around the church and the veteran Rebs lacking time to beat the arriving Union reserves to the point to threaten (ie get within 12") the Tollgate House position in Union rear.

Union pretty much committed to attack (whilst initially more numerous Reb are fixed in place for 4 turns) and so it transpired with 2 Regiments being sent against central church area which they eventually took (forced out of later). 

Mr P advanced on our left engaging the Reb line in a fairly to and fro battle that fell into a sort of stalemate for rest of battle.

On the right I did manage to pierce the Reb position but with only 1 unit (7th New Jersey IIRC) which had to withdraw as soon isolated.

My extreme right was lucky to survive a couple of charges by more numerous Reb units which helped slow their progress.

We played 10 full turns and called it a draw as both sides had several Spent units and whilst Union nearing heavy casualties level and centre close to collapse, the (possibly too cautious ?) Rebs were too far away from the Tollgate objective to advance and then deal with fresh deploying Union Brigade in remaining turns.

Much discussion of the 'Charge with Cold Steel' rule which our ACW experts (Stephen and John) dislike on a purely historical basis if taken literally, but which is I fear part of the dynamic of system and hard to tinker with without potentially upsetting scenario balance and playing time.

I think I performed maybe 16+ charges in the game and at early stage used the 'Charge and Shoot' option with a couple of units but after seeing them repulsed disordered all others were 'Cold Steel' with all subsequently charging home, this seems a more effective tactic to inflict damage on enemy than by shooting with or without a charge (?).

Mr P and the Rebs performed dozens of exclusively 'Cold Steel' charges and only 1 failed to make contact underlining how this tactic is pretty much the default in our games.

As with any rule set there is always some 'problem' (I know others dislike the D10 system) but with RFF I personally find that overall it generates a fun game with plausible outcomes that plays reasonably fast and models the see saw and attritional nature of ACW warfare (at least as I understand it) and is a rule book that is comprehensive, fairly well written and period specific.

It also works well for multiplayer games especially with use of the excellent and numerous published scenarios.

Usual excellent hosting by John and all figures and kit on show from John and Stephens extensive collections.

Initial advance on Union left with Brigade on right about to enter broken ground  'wilderness' area with Union batteries on Tollgate Knoll firing in support

Initial Reb position (fixed in place for 4 turns or Union come to 4") with one Brigade in march column ready to deploy 

The two streams/ravines delineated the area Union reserves would appear between.

Quite an extensive area of broken ground on Union right 

Salem Church has been 'removed' in centre after capture by Union force with NJ Regt pushing across Reb defence line. Union force to left and right deploy to engage

Closer shot of high point of Union advance before Rebs counterattacked in force

Salem about to be retaken by Rebs as initial Union attack on left is repulsed.

First Union reserve Regt pushes ahead in column. Note several sections of Union batteries low on ammo after throwing excellent number of 10s (a double edged sword effect)

Reb counterattack in full swing across the field.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

More boardgame goodness - Crusader Rex and 1st and Goal

Couple of boardgames played at Stephens at his behest.

First up was 'Crusader Rex' one of the block games from Columbia Games.

This is a rather nice game and fun to play despite our struggling with a couple of rules whilst learning system (maybe not the most well explained on occasions).

Initially it feels like a medieval Operation Barbarossa with Saracens seeming to be rather potent (faster and able to concentrate better with more A class units) but needing to try to win (take all 7 VP cities) before Crusaders grow in power (albeit slowly).

We did not finish game but Crusaders (moi) had taken substantial losses (several of which are permanent for Crusaders) with only French arriving on a fresh Crusade to bolster their cause.

After that it was a quick session of an American Football game '1st and Goal' which is a dice and card based quick playing little game.

Plenty of 'NFL' style action with deep bombs, turnovers (I won several of these) broken plays (I suffered several of these) long runs, short grinding runs, deep passes, blitzes and all the variety inherent in this sport.

Players pick from a offence or defence deck and an 8 card hand and secretly choose plays which are cross referenced on each card to generate a roll of several dice to generate yards gained or lost and a play dice than can see plays ruined or large gains (via additional rolls).

Referee and penalty dice can sometimes produce penalty yards gained/lost.

No player or team stats (at least not in basic set) to worry about its all pure game play and very fun it is too.