Thursday, July 11, 2024

A change of pace - Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game tried

At Stephens today and he was keen to show me the Middle Earth Battle Game system (trying to tempt me I fear) with his lovely figures which are a mix of 'official' WH stuff and various 3D printed stuff.

One does need to know the army you are using and the myriad of various abilities,traits, spells and attributes applicable to its units and more importantly its heroes.

Its a point based system with a lovely book of 'army' lists (pick 'n mix points style a favourite of Mr B) covering just about every type of force from the LOTR world and with a very nice hardback rules/battle manual.

Stephen has a couple of armies and so I chose to use a Mordor Orc force he had compiled.

Lots of Warrior Orcs (armoured and unarmoured) some (crap) Orc archers and 'heroes/leaders' with an armoured Troll in tow.

The leaders included Gothmog on a Warg, Goroth, a Shaman and an Orc Commander all with differing abilities.

First game (a standard fight o the death scenario) saw these Orcs face the men of Rohan with loads of bow armed cavalry and several with throwing spears, backed by some foot archers and swordsmen along with Theoden, Eomer and other Horse Lords.

Not knowing the system I deployed incorrectly to my rear (trying to utilize terrain) and was deluged by a ton of arrows which saw me lose 11 figures (out of 36) before I even got close to enemy !

I did manage to assault 2 isolated Riders with the Troll killing 1 but would have failed to close anywhere else had not the Rohan moved into contact on my right where I was soon overwhelmed by the charging horsemen

But I did get to learn gist of system, although hard to remember all the stats and especially when best to use certain powers and abilities which is of course key to such fantasy type games.

Riders of Rohan pummel Orcs on my right

Central Orc force decimated by bow fire and unable to close with swift mounted

Rohan foot line hedge as some Orcs cower in a pig sty

Orc archers lined wood but their shooting is pretty dire (no hits or kills all game)

Second game was played on same table set up but this time the Orcs faced a Rivendale Eleven force with less bows (but better shots) and lots of decent foot and no mounted units but several heroes all with nice abilities.

Having learnt from first game I deployed as far forward as possible (ie up to half way) and simply went straight ahead. 

Elves held back to use their bows (poor shooting rolls thankfully) but soon we were both involved in dozens of melees all across the board.

Eleven ability to win drawn combats aided them several times and 2 heroes double teaming my Troll saw it die horribly although Gothmog managed to kill 3 Elves after knocking them down with his Warg (gives double kill dice if you win initial 'Duel').

Elves devastated the Orcs over course of a couple of turns although they did suffer losses (unlike the Rohan chaps)

Whilst WH not a system I have neither enjoyed or played much (ie twice) but this LOTR version is a fun and playable played on a 4' x 4' table with nice flavour of the Tolkien world. The generous movement and therefore very easy ways to surround or outnumber figures is different to what I am used to but easy to play and pick up.

Orcs getting to grips with Elves (hugging their table edge)

Orc archers ended up charging into contact where they were much more effective


Thursday, July 04, 2024

Field Of Battle 3 - Zorndorf: The Afternoon Attack again

Minis game with Stephen today and I decided to replay the Zorndorf scenario I had soloed last week this time on slightly larger table with larger units (4 bases vis 3 bases), with he commanding the Prussians and I the Russkies.

Pretty much a repeat of my solo game (its a fairly straight forward scenario) with Russian Cavalry wing being rolled over by superior quality Prussians.

However this time the Russians did at least get the first charge in but failed to win the combats.

Stephen pushed his infantry through the woods on his left led by his Grenadiers and my right wing was pushed back.

Centrally the opposing foot brigades exchanged musketry with the Russians taking lots of hits and fall backs (my D8 defence rolls were continually poor) for very little hurt on Fredericks lot.

One critical turn saw Russians fail to rally hits or disorders despite having 2 Leadership cards and this was then followed by the Prussians absolutely devastating Russian lines with crippling fire and potent charges, resulting in my Army Morale being expended and passing a ton to Prussians.

Inevitably an Army Morale Card appeared and Russians quit the field.

Again FOB produced a fast playing and fun game and so nice to complete a decent sized game in under 4 hours playing time even allowing us extra time our usual waffle (this time including football, wargame stuff, and the dreaded politics !!) with no rules headaches.       

Russian brigade of six battalions arrayed near swamp.

Prussians press against my left through woods supported by artillery

Prussians begin to advance

Russian cavalry on left awaits Prussian mounted wing

Central brigades face off

Russian right begins to fold

As does their left with Russian Cuirassier either dead or routing with Hussars left to hold line

Only a lack of melee opportunities and some disorder slowed the Prussians (although one Hussar did sterling work repulsing a Cuirassier but only bright spot in a darkening deluge) 

Russian foot suffering losses from Prussian volleys

This happened all across the front whilst Russian return fire was ineffective

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Zorndorf : The Afternoon Attack - Seven Years War Field Of Battle 3 solo

As a wee change from boardgaming or the machinations involved in learning GDA2, I decided to play a quick solo game with my perennial favourite Field Of Battle 3 (always fun solo) and a scenario 'Zorndof: The Afternoon Attack' (designed for Black Powder but easily adapted) especially as been a while since my SYW stuff has been in action.

Scenario is a straight forward situation simulating the Prussian attacks on afternoon of Zorndorf after failed morning assault, strangely the Russians have no artillery Prussians only a single battery. 

There are rules in BP version for several Russians units being Valiant and several units on both sides being small or worn and similar. 

I did not replicate much of this other than Prussians losing First Fire ability and having two small (3UI) foot units.

Not a lot of terrain either with only a large swampy area to Russian rear and a light wood (the Stein Busch) and Zorndorf itself.

Large cavalry engagement on Prussian right led by their Cuirassier units (3 move charge on second card !) soon saw the lesser Russian mounted implode almost completely !

Russian foot had several decent volleys pushing back leading lines of Prussians but their follow up units hit Russians hard especially in center and things quickly looked bleak for them.

With several units destroyed or routing the Russian army morale plummeted (start at 30) and they were 'gifting' morale to Prussians and pain ended on an Army Morale card as they yielded (Prussians started with 35 morale lost 13 but gained 12 for a major victory).

I played this for couple of hours late Saturday after watching football (Euros have been entertaining overall so far) and completed game today in another couple of hours with 50 units in action on table (23 Russian and 27 Prussian).

Super stuff as always with FOB and this was a fast and exciting game even with me running from one side of table to other (keeps me fit...................not).

Initial set up (almost at 'whites of their eyes' range) Prussian on right

Prussian foot brigade in front of Zorndorf supported by the lonely gun battery and more foot

Russians foot awaits

Prussian Kuirassier and Dragoon regiments arrayed with Hussars extending flank

The Kuirassier were able to launch straight in melee destroying one Russian Cuirassier and repelling others and their Hussars

In center Russians fared better forcing back several oncoming Prussian foot battalions

Russian right anchored on wood stay unengaged

Prussians reorganize pushing fresh units into fray

Entire Russian left wing under real pressure

Casualties (and therefore lost Army Morale) mounted and another Cuirassier is routed

In FOB units sitting disordered (yellow) and with hits (dice) are very vulnerable.

Russian Hussars having to take on front line duties for which they are ill equipped

Russian lines look solid

Until suddenly they are being forced back (a couple of units had routed but recovered)

Disaster unfolds on Russian left 

Russian center now under assault as well

Morale dropping fast as hits mount

Only the right wing remains strong

Prussian reserve formations push forward 

At end even the right has had to retire under pressure

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Clare Gaming & Hobbies - Waterloo anniversary game

Took a quick jaunt earlier to Clare Gaming & Hobbies venue to see a large Black Powder game being played in honour of Waterloo with Andy, Ivan, John (proprietor) and several others - as strange to me as I was to them :-) 

Game loosely based around famous battle with tons of lovely figures on nice mats on a 15ft x 6ft table.

Black Powder II used without any supplemental rules (and basic formations - no skirmish screens) for simplicity which is sort of required for game of this size. 

Certainly a great deal of fun being had with, blunders, charges and tons of dice being rolled accompanied by moans, groans and exclamations of joy.

Sadly I could not stay but French pushing very hard in center, expect to see result on Bakebook in due course.

Thursday, June 20, 2024

General D'Armee 2 - 'Franquemonts Attack' scenario

Game at Stephens today and it was back to GDA2 playing a GDB scenario 'Franquemonts Attack' 1813 with my Prussians defending.

We managed 7 turns but not close to finishing the scenario (16 turn limit) so very much in balance

We did see some strange rolls on first two turns with Stephen generating no ADC on turn 1 then my entire army going Hesitant on turn 2 !! thankfully too early for these odd occurrences to effect things.

And sad to hear of passing of Donald Sutherland one of my favourite film actors, so many entertaining performances over the years..........