Friday, September 30, 2022

General D'Armee - Dresden scenario played solo and a picture deluge

Set up the Dresden scenario (from new 1813 scenario supplement) for game next week but decided to give it a solo run through to further embed rules into old grey(ing) matter and to try to resolve couple of outstanding rules queries.

Think I now understand how Demoralisation works re Faltering but still unsure on some terrain issues (easy to decide prior to a game of course) and the shooting Priority rules are still a tad confusing when Skirmisher targets added to mix but otherwise think I have a handle on most things.

Will not do a report here as 'proper' game in the offing but I took a large amount of pics (trying out couple of phones/apps) so will just let some of those do the talking. 

This is another nice scenario I would like to try with other rule sets in particular FOB

Thursday, September 29, 2022

For King And Parliament - Battle of Montgomery 1644 scenario

As a change from GDA we tried the FK&P rules today using our 15mm (with 6" grid squares) using the introductory scenario 'Battle of Mongomery 1644' with my TYW Imperialist standing in for the Roundhead force (only the flags look out of place).

We decided to skip the use of 'face' cards (which generate events and commander traits) to make learning easier but still found this to be a fun fast game.

I have always felt use of a grid was not ideal for minis game but it certainly made moves and ranges very easy to play (millimeters/angles and suchlike do not matter in this system) and was less obtrusive/annoying than I feared, Stephen simply used small stones to delineate grid which looked odd at first but was soon forgotten during game play.

Rules are fairly broad brush with not a vast variation in troop type or quality but with enough to generate a decent ECW period feel with some nice decisions to make and quick playing movement and shooting/combat.

We used the card system which I must confess I liked (as dice hate me) as it seemed to even out results for us both, but game could be played with D10 or combo of cards and dice. 

Cards work well for the Command/Orders Activation with units potentially able to do multiple activations (although we both drew lots of Aces which are fails) and the increased 'costs' to do fancy moves (most anything other than straight ahead) and is largely intuitive and easy to pick up.

Hits from shooting or in melee are fairly hard to achieve (8+ or 9+ if disordered ie carrying hits) but can be hard to save (generally a 7+) and with units only able to sustain 1-3 hits things can get ugly quickly. Some variation in shooting/melee with things such as 'double fire', 'salvee', 'cavalry dash' garnering extra hit card draws in certain circumstances. We found cavalry got worn out quickly with initial charges generating maybe 5 cards (combo of shooting charging and bonuses) then maybe 2-3 at most thereafter.

Interesting game with plenty of incident, I lost Lt GenFairfax (worth 3 VP !) and several mounted units early on and was looking rather one sided but then I destroyed a unit of dismounted Dragoons whose Rout saw 2 Royalist foot also Disperse due to failed saves (morale) and earlier hits. I also had a couple of off-table units of cavalry (off foraging) which of course failed to arrive as reinforcements. 

Roundheads hit their 13 loss level (basically 1 loss per unit strength point) first but Cavaliers were on 10 of 14 so fairly bloody stuff.

FK&P does pretty much what it says it does ie generates a low complexity fast playing game which was fun and played to completion in a few hours (always a bonus).

Certainly lacking the depth of LadgR or especially FogR but makes up for it in many other aspects.

Only a couple of pics as got engrossed in game which is always a good sign.

Roundhead infantry defend a hill as Cavaliers push forward

My left wing cavalry has mostly been dispersed

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Gen D'Armee - Dennewitz at Ulster Wargames Society


 Club meeting today and a nice multi-player (3 per side) game using a converted (from GDB) Dennewitz scenario set up by Dave S and utilising his figure and terrain collections.

Prussians in 4 Brigades (2 further arrive as reinforcements) were attacking a mix of Saxons and French in 6 brigades (possibly 1 more off table ?) just outside Dennewitz.

Prussians had tough task initially as only 4 ADCs versus 6 for defenders (with therefore unsurprisingly lots of Artillery Assault orders) but aided slightly by table only being 4ft deep (think GDA is designed primarily for 5ft deep games).

I was on Prussian side with Simon (CiC) and Billy against Saxons under Dave S, Jeremy D and Mr Brittain with temporary help from Dave P.

Rather a fun game with Prussians actually managing to capture a ridge and half of village objective but seeing their right wing cavalry outclassed and decimated by Saxon mounted brigade and an Infantry brigade become close to being Demoralised.

Rules flowed well (glad we had the practice games last few weeks) but they are a tad slow overall not so much due to complexity but rather more due to a lot of process/moving parts especially when using lots of brigades/units. So despite playing for a solid 5 1/2hrs we had only completed 9 turns with Prussians on back foot (although fresh reserve brigades had not gotten to grips) and deciding to yield the field.

Strangest sight of the day was Simon trying to get his 2 large gun batteries into effective range of Saxon lines whilst advancing ahead of infantry columns and getting pummeled to bits by repeated Saxon Artillery Assaults but in effect acting as a 'skirmish screen' to the following infantry, a novel if unintended use indeed ! 

Pretty hard to use artillery in attack as they set up outside effective range (or indeed long if 6pdrs) and so must move are then a magnet for ball shot.

Another highlight was a Saxon cavalry Brigadier succumbing to a howitzer shell to his mid riff after a Destiny Roll by Billy.

Game enjoyed by all and another planned for next meeting, an action at Borodino I believe.

Saxon defenders line road and ridges

Prussians mass for assaults on village and adjacent ridge (note the line of guns to fore)

Small Landwehr brigade and large reinforcing infantry brigade (which arrived on 4th turn) on Prussian left (under my control) but which failed to get to grips with enemy.

Prussian assault almost at high water mark (one part of village and ridge were to fall next turn) but note the gun line has evaporated and Saxon cavalry massing on their left wing


Also at club was another super looking 20mm WW2 game from Phil and co, was assured it was not Arnhem despite the presence of Red Devils and their gliders, and no idea how this went ?

The 'Two Daves' had a FOGR English Civil War match up which again I know not how it turned out.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Gen D'Armee - Osma scenario played

Another go with GDA trying the scenario Osma from the Vittoria supplement.

An interesting compact all infantry scenario with good quality British (including KGL) and Portugese against standard French defenders.

Annoyingly the terrain depicted on map is not fully explained in scenario namely a large wooded area (is it open or dense or cover ?) and some field type areas around Osma (are they rough ground and are they cover ?) so we decided (dice roll) that all wood type areas were open and no cover benefit and fields merely decoration, but I do wish such basic stuff was defined. 

We managed to play through 8 turns again (seems to be our staple) with things going along at a fair lick this time as previous rule queries resolved in our heads. 

Bar the terrain issue we really only had one new query this time relating to a Brigade becoming Demoralised as bit unclear what dice roll results mean. 

Demoralised Brigades roll with a 5-6 meaning Obey Orders and 1-4 meaning Brigade is Hesitant but does the Hesitant result count as a Failed Command Roll and therefore Brigade disperses ? We decided this was so but not completely clear in rules as the Hesitant status result (repeated 3 times in rules) is therefore completely superfluous if it actually results in Dispersal ?

One tactical lesson from today was that loss of a Skirmishing screen will Falter its parent Brigade, something I had missed, so comes a point when one must withdraw a weakened screen or reinforce it ADCs permitting (French ADCs at a premium today as only 3 Brigades in force).

Another GDA game planned for Saturday at UWS club with an action at Dresden so good to get more practice with rules, and will be interesting to see how other play/interpret the rules. 

French right wing Brigade deployed, I set up my units prior to game start dispensing with Fog Of War issues to speed things up and as French must have 1 Brigade in reserve (not released until one of other two brigades is broken) and must start with 4 units hugging table centre line this was not really a problem.

French deployed to the left as not enough strength to cover table (note reserve brigade on rear edge). All terrain bar the BUA and Rises essentially only decoration as no effect on speed or combat. Again scenario has the usual 'stick a few bits on as you see fit'.......grrrrr

Game in full swing with British ganging up on my right wing. They had 4 brigades on table with a 5th arriving on 5th turn. A good portion of their units were veterans. 

French trying to refuse on right.

Skirmish battle on my left (I was lucky to out shoot the British skirmishers here) as more lights annoy my centre.

Note the French skirmish screen on right is reduced to 2 bases and loss of another caused dispersal which Faltered Brigade (should have withdrawn or reinforced this screen). This same Brigade later went Demoralised and although it passed initial morale test it was teetering on auto destruction due to further dispersed units (at least this would have released reserve)

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Gen D'Armee - Weissenfels scenario

Another try with GDA with Stephen trying a scenario from new 1813 scenario collection.

We tried the opening scenario Weissenfels with Stephen as attacking French and I as defending Russians.

Another well crafted scenario (reminiscent of Gilly scenario).

Couple of new 'Campaign' rules apply for these 1813 scenarios eg Columns/Squares now only fire with only 1 Casualty Dice to simulate poorer musketry of most troops in period.

A nice simple 'fog of war' system at deployment using dice in lieu of standard use of FOW Cards worked well.

Game saw French forced to pile across 2 bridges and a ford to attack the Russians who are however spread pretty thinly and lacking infantry numbers.

One Russian Brigade suffered a disaster after Faltering (due to a single Routing unit) which rolled a 1 had a re-roll and rolled (oh yes folks) another 1 seeing Brigade Retreat with 2 hits per unit and losing their ADC, such outcomes can be pretty brutal.

Rather difficult to recover such a Brigade fully as despite following orders on next turn all units had hits and reduction of Russian ADCs means use of the single use Command order has slim chance as 3 ADCs needed.

Game played well overall as we managed 8 out of 14 scheduled turns despite much waffling ! But once again we struggled with what should be essentially fundamental rules ie shooting zones/target selection/hit allocation which we find somewhat opaque at times ! such issues lacking full clarity is tad annoying as having to devote time trying to discern intent and sort out how we think things should be played or maybe we are just getting too anal/confused in older age !?