Saturday, November 26, 2022

Ulster Wargames Society- Dresden 1813 scenario with Field of Battle

UWS meeting today and I put on and umpired a Field of Battle game.

I utilised a GDA scenario based on second day of Dresden 1813 with Ney atacking Allied left wing.

Scenario run pretty much as written with units adjusted to FOB stats.

I also used the deployment option from GDA 1813 supplement with defender using markers (and 2 dummies) for his Brigade deployments, the attacker then scouting 2-3 of these prior to deployment of units with any unveiled Brigades being placed on table, then attacker deploys, then balance of defenders deploy. I like this option for a bit of variety and its very easy to use. 

French (5 Brigades with a Guard Lancer brigade as reinforcements) were commanded by Dave T and Dave B with Allies (5 Brigades) under command of Andy and Dave S (so many Daves !).

Andy new to rules but seemed to pick them up pretty easily (not hard with FOB).

Twas a great game to umpire and watch unfold as so many key moments and some to and fro action.

French seemed to have things in the bag early on after some excellent Move options and combats taking Sieditz village very easily and advancing onto high ground on their left, an initial mistake by Allies not occupying this but to be fair Andy not fully aware of how far and fast the French could advance in FOB (they got 3 moves so 24" on first Move card).

But later a Russian 12pdr battery managed to deploy and devastate a French unit and French expended a lot of effort to get rid of these guns, 

Then a Veteran (ie Crack in FOB terms) Hussar unit engaged advancing French Young Guard brigade catching them out of square and routed one unit and heavily damaged another in quick succession.

Another standard Russian Hussar unit tussled with French Light Cavalry and this went back and forth with both sides damaged (the Hussars later dispersed after evading a Young Guard unit) and French lights pulled back.

By this time the vaunted French Guard Lancers (both C10 D10 but only 3 UI as small) had arrived on this flank but only one managed to get into combat against the Veteran Hussars and was ignominiously repulsed !

On Allied left a Brigade of Prussians held the rise falling back once French massed with a 12pdr foot battery surprisingly/heroically/annoyingly (adjust to taste) holding out against multiple charges for several turns.

However despite these local Allied successes overall things were going downhill fast for them as casualties mounted (ie Army Morale dwindled) and their right flank was almost annihilated with the sterling Hussars only saving grace.

Allies soon down to zero Morale but passed first Army Morale test but started 'gifting' morale chips to French and could not survive second Army Morale test so yielded field to French (who had at least half their Army Morale intact).

Another fun game with FOB and as ever always nice to fight a game to completion.

View from Allied left (Prussian Brigade nearest) about mid-way through action with French pushing into Allied right and centre.

The Allied right under pressure from Young Guard just before Hussars ride to rescue/glory

Lots of casualties and disorders

Tussle atop the high ground

Siednitz in centre firmly in French hands as they push beyond into Allied centre

Prussians hold the Allied left on a rise 

Allied line wobbling under pressure

Also at club were several other games, I was too busy to see much of these or know outcomes.

Jeremy M and co had an interesting MTB type naval game (US rules but do not recall name but card based it seemed) with 1/6000th (?) kit.

Leslie, Phil and Billy played a 28mm Wild West gunslinger game (with Leslie's home brew rules) with lots of nice buildings.

Mike, Bryn and Simon had a 28mm game of Chain of Command with British vs Fallschirmjager.

Club also had a 'Bring and Buy' selection on a couple of tables but I managed to resist as last thing I need is more lead to paint although some books were enticing.


Thursday, November 24, 2022

Le Art De La Guerre two games played

At Stephens today and played 2 games of LADG.

He (and brother John) is for competition in Cork in January so some practice games for him although he has not decided on army to use as yet.

First game Stephen used Early Achamenid Persian and I used Galatians.

Pretty bloody affair and whilst I had poor PIP dice (Ally went unreliable at start) my combat dice were average for once. However I did manage to lose all 3 (!!) of my included Generals which helped topple my army first but did inflict some damage on way down.

Next up Stephen used Hunnic bunch and I morphed my lot into Gallic to let him face a large 30 element force. My dice were diabolical on one turn of being shot at and melee, mainly against Franks, (this can be very frustrating) and I never recovered despite better spread of results later. The large Gallic army did take awhile to defeat though (quantity proving a quality of its own) but never felt the Gauls posed much threat especially the medium swordsmen contingents and Huns of course tough to pin down.

Getting 2 games in amidst our waffle is always a bonus.

The Persians and Galatians tussle

Gauls go 'wall to wall' against Huns


Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Storm Over Normandy - a solo play

As mate unavailable again this week for usual game, I set up a quick solo board wargame as its been awhile since I have 'fondled' any cardboard warriors.

On a whim I decided to give an outing to Storm Over Normandy a low complexity quick playing 'magazine' game that I always remember I enjoyed playing.

And so it transpired again as with its short rules and low unit count this is an easy game to set up and play.

The 'action' cards included in game are a tad difficult to solo but nonetheless this was an excellent game to revisit.

Tough old task for the Allies as they must better their historical progress in the 8 turns allowed (first 8 days of campaign).

My D-Day landings were ok with only Utah being less than stellar, but US airborne suffered in the Cotentin and overall US performance was sluggish (maybe my card play favoured the Brits a tad)

British were slow getting to Caen but had some good dice rolls and card combos allowing them to invest the 2 city VP locations by turn 6 after surviving a scare around Sword beach from SS units.

But they failed to get to the German reinforcement zones by end of game which hurt their VP tally and so a German win.

Great wee game this no idea if balanced but it sure is fun.


Friday, November 11, 2022

For The Fallen..................



by Robert Laurence Binyon

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,

Britain mourns for her dead across the sea.

Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,

Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal

Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,

There is music in the midst of desolation

And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,

Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.

They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;

They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;

They sit no more at familiar tables of home;

They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;

They sleep beyond Britain's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,

Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,

To the innermost heart of their own land they are known

As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,

Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;

As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,

To the end, to the end, they remain.

And a recently discovered newspaper photo of my great Grandfather Fred Campbell of 36th Ulster Division wounded on first day of Somme (along with his brother) but who thankfully survived the war when so many of their comrades sadly did not.


Friday, November 04, 2022

Field of Battle 3 - solo scenario - Gross Jagersdorf

Stephen unable to attend this week (family illness) so I decided to solo play the SYW scenario I had set up for use with FOB3 (we will play it in due course).

Scenario from Eagles in the East supplement for BP converted to FOB3 covering Prussian assault on Russians at Gross Jagersdorf 1757.

A nice sized scenario with 21 units vs 23 units, and I gave Russians a Poor Deck and the Prussians a Superior Deck but for ease of play I rated all commanders on both sides as D10.

Scenario rates several Russian units as Valiant (a BP trait) which I equated to a small (4 card) boost to Russian Army Morale level, they also do not get any First Fire bonus which is easily matched in FOB. 

What a breath of fresh air this game was (even solo) after the head scratching and angst and slowness of GDA, slick playing exciting and with no more inherent luck or abstraction present, just different and played to completion.

Of course I am much more offay/at ease with FOB and despite having not played for months it was an easy slide back into system and of course less detailed/process driven than GDA in many ways (I really only 'missed' the Charge Table).

Prussians had best of early exchanges but later suffered badly in wooded area and saw their Army Morale plummet and they quit the field first.

I had used our standardized ratings for units (easiest) but think will try using the dice roll procedure for units and commanders for added variety.

Looking forward to new 'upgrade/expansion/redo/enhancement' (??) of FOB that Battlefield Command promises to be (if I can afford it from USA !!). 

Prussians assault on wood begins

Units could only be seen if at edge of wood or at 4" once both sides within wood

Prussians make inroads but were later repulsed.

Just visible at top the superior Prussian cavalry and Grenadiers are having a torrid time