Sunday, March 31, 2024

Ulster Wargames Society - Sharps Practice game

Monthly club meeting this Easter weekend and partook in a Sharps Practice 2 game run by Jeremy D with his lovely 28mm Revolution period kit and terrain.

I was playing as 'Romeo Reggio' an Italian bloke on French side along with Mike and David S. Opposing us was a Austrian force with Bryn, Simon and Billy in command.

A highlight was Bryn, acting as Austrian CinC, denying Simon opportunity to charge with couple of cavalry units using Command Cards (Flags) only for Simons leader card to appear next and a cry of "you can't stop me now !" very Hussar like.

Mike commanding our cavalry suffered early under deluge of fire (so many dice) including a potent Austrian artillery piece but was able to save one unit and support with some Light Infantry.

Simons failed attempts at fisticuffs (charges and melees) in the centre saw the Austrian gun blocked for good portion of game as cavalry withdrew in front of them.

David and I had our close order foot types on a ridge (Austrian objective) in entrenchments with David having a 8pdr gun but whose crew were initially asleep in a local hostelry so took a while to man their positions thankfully they were roused and vacated the building just before it caught fire !

I had couple of skirmishing units with a 'secondary' mission of locating (and 'dealing' with) an agent sent by command to investigate some dodgy dealings by Romeo. 

Billy opposing me also had cause to locate same gent but we failed to find him at games end.

A lot of work setting up the scenario as Jeremy was catering for six players but it all flowed well with plenty of incident with a draw (?) being end result

I only managed a couple of pics

Simons Light Cavalry gearing up for charges

Village where Billy and I searched for Agent

Also at club the two Daves played a couple of FOGR games with Ottomans facing Ethiopians

Now this is dedication to your craft !

Andy and Richard had a nice 28mm Hail Caesar game going with Romans versus some Celtic types.

Also Paddy and co were running an Afghanistan game with Brits in Helmand but don't know what rules used ? 

As an aside the caretaker was unaware we were meeting so had forgotten to put on heating in hall so whilst it was sunny and mildly warm outside (the first such day in what seems eons in NI) we were all 'foundered' (colloquial term for suffering from hypothermia) but we soldiered manfully on of course. 

Thursday, March 28, 2024

General d'Armee 2 - French vs Russians 1812 (Pick Up Game)

Stephen and I tried GDA2 again today using the Pick N' Mix lists to see how Russians fare under rules.

Stephen defended with Russians and I attacked with French.

Russians rolled a Commissariat (most likely result) and French had usual Campaigner.

French ended up with a Bold Brigadier whilst Ivans had no Bold nor Poor types.

The Commissariat meant only 1 CinC command available and reduced list of available orders and additionally the French gained an Adjutant (first we seen one of these), so Russians a bit less flexible overall but their actual troops are pretty much the equal of anyone else.

We are starting to fairly whizz through the basic phases of the game and the actions.

Only query we had this time around was use of Reserves which come on on central sector in that can they just move where they want or must they use a Redeploy order to enter the battle line (this concept we find a bit wholly as we did in original GDA).

I had less than stellar Initiative rolls (even when Stephen was rolling 3 or 4 dice) and lost initiative on 4 out of 6 turns we played although my adjutant did gain me some additional ADCs (he can re-roll one failed roll of 1)

I conducted a charge with my Veteran Battle Dragoons with support into lowly Campaign Hussars also with support but bounced at contact (ie went unformed) after Stephen rolled a 11 to my 7 and the Russian Hussars counter charged with Elan.

In the ensuing combat I had 5 dice vs Stephens 6 but lost 4 hits to 2 being Retreated.

On other flank I charged (just to see how this would unfold) a small Artillery Battery with my own supported Campaign Chasseurs but suffered 4 causalities and a failed DT test making my lot Unformed and then was forced to Withdraw in the charge resolution (another 11 by Stephen) narrowly avoiding becoming Broken.

Not unexpected and small Artillery are pretty good as they shoot just well as Standard or Large batteries, we sort of expected them to be diluted somewhat but no (although they do die if suffering 6+ casualties whereas others would just be worn).

We are both liking the style of game in GDA2 as it has a nice level of 'detail/chrome' within a playable system set at Division sized game.


Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Just a few Seven Years War pics

Have table set up for a GDA2 game with Stephen this coming Thursday so just used portion of it to fiddle about with some SYW Russians and Prussians.

Dabbled with aspects of Warfare In Age Of Reason, Honours Of War and Lace Wars and was for trying couple of other neglected sets but got distracted (so easily done) and got no further

Thursday, March 21, 2024

General d'Armee 2 hits table again - Osma scenario

Another run out with GDA2 at Stephens today and we chose to try a scenario from the Vittoria scenario supplement (designed for original GDA but easily adapted) namely Osma.

Stephen of course used his British and Portuguese and I fielded the French defenders. 

I suffered from low ADC activations twice rolling only a single success but did therefore get to use the Chief Of Staff CinC command (ended up with 6 ADCs afterwards when used).   

We both had terrible dice roll for our Artillery batteries with both suffering Fatigue Casualties, with mine also going low on ammo requiring expenditure of a Caisson.

I launched to counterattacks (using Redeploy order to move out of deployment zone) I did manage to chase of a couple of British Infantry Battalions (one in full retreat the other forced to withdraw) but despite rolling 6 CDs for retreat casualties I only inflicted one !

My left wing Brigade had failed however in a spoiling Infantry Assault and I had several units damaged. 

We only had a minor debate over how Withdrawls work (not sure of some of the wording) but otherwise game turns fairly whizzing by now in the main, slowed only by our discussions over merits of army and unit traits (I feel British are pretty good as they get an extra CD every time they fire being drilled and have a nice counterattack ability but French not far behind)

Another fun outing with this well improved rule set.

French left wing anchored on Osma village (note Artillery Assault ordered for my battery which saw them take 1 Fatigue go low on ammo and cause no hits !)

French right (they start with only 2 Brigades but 4 ADCs

Skirmish screens open festivities (Stephen used a ton of Skirmisher taskings as he had 5-6 ADC every turn)

Osma garrisoned, with rest of Firions Brigade arrayed to right 

General Reille with his 2 CinC order markers, 2 Caissons and his pool of 4 ADCs 

British moving forwards

My left wing ready to counterattack (Redeploy order in place) although it failed despite having 2 re-rolls for 2 supports and being led by my single Veteran unit

Lots of British skirmishers to fore

The two British units on right fell foul of French unit on right utilising a Charge and Follow On 

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

General d'Armee 2 - another test play

Another try out of GDA2 with Stephen using my Prussians versus his French in a 'pick n mix' type game again (we have not tried converting any of our old GDB/GDA scenarios as yet) to make sure we understand and are happy with rules systems.

Again we enjoyed the overall vibe of the new version and tried out various iterations of the new Taskings and those new CinC Commands (these need careful thought and timing) for instance I had a Brigade Falter so used the 'Stand With Me! to rectify the situation at cost of 2 ADCs plus 1 of these CinC Commands so useful but costly and a one time only (no repeat of same Command). 

Stephen also tried the 'Chief of Staff' which saw him increase his ADCs from 3 to 7 for that turn, again an impactful Command if used wisely.

We think we mostly (?) have the basics of system absorbed with only a couple of queries today over supports in charges and what thwarts/impacts them.

We are very much in that 'oh shiny new rules' mode at present

++++ My iPad went on blink (too expensive to repair) a couple of days ago so ended up replacing it with newer version - an early 60th (!!!!!!!!!) birthday pressie and so messing about trying out its camera and movie functions and seeing how they interact with Blogger +++++ 

Sunday, March 10, 2024

General d'Armee 2 - solo to further absorb rule changes and new systems

Set up a solo game with GDA2 to try to further comprehend the changes from GDA and familiarise myself further with new systems.

Table set up using GDB random terrain generator and the new 'Lists' from GDA2 with a French versus Prussian bash circa 1814.

Tried a different Prussian support option with a 5 unit Brigade of Landwehr who are classed as Enthusiastic (a temporary upgrade of sorts) but Recruits thus making the Prussians a large force. 

Prussians were in defence and French in attack both with 1 Bold Brigadier and both with Campaigner Generals.

Both held their Cavalry Brigades of-table as Reserve.

Play in GDA2 just seems to flow quicker than previous version with the movement being very liberal (essentially full going forward and half for sideways, backwards or in rough terrain) and the use of ADCs (still pretty random as to numbers available for use per turn) is slick with Orders seeming bit easier to use. 

Bold commanders are very good as unlikely to fail a command roll, unless you overload them with several taskings and you do get only one in 'pick up' games. 

Initiative seems more important than in GDA (maybe I misunderstood before ?) as going first is a potent advantage.

Charges are much easier to understand in terms of who can lead (max 1 unit per Brigade) and who can support and the charging process seems easier overall.

Shooting is pretty intuitive as to quality of volleys and adjustments and whilst Skirmishing has changed somewhat it still can be damaging as screens always seem to have decent numbers of dice to roll.

Artillery also easy to implement and Canister as deadly as ever.

Did manage a couple of melee combats and again easy to understand and process and the outcomes can be decisive if opposing scores diverge enough and supports get involved in a defeat.

Only things I needed multiple readings of to grasp were Retreats, Withdrawals and the differences pertaining to when and how these occur (ie from shooting or combat) and option to voluntarily withdraw to behind your supporting second line, which unlike a 'normal' withdrawal is marked as a Retreat (guess friends do not know it voluntary move) instead of usual Unformed.

Of course the new CinC Commands still need some absorption, I tried 'Now's Your Time!' but soon realised I had somewhat misunderstood its 'shoot and charge' concept especially when enemy pre-empted any charges with their own. 

These new Commands need to be carefully timed in the main and are a powerful but precious one-time resource.

Another game planned with Stephen this week which will doubtless highlight any mistakes in my understanding. 

Overview of initial deployments with Prussians on left occupying Village objective

French launch an Infantry Assault on town which threw out the lowly Landwehr defenders

Action all down the line.

The lead French column managed to get into combat without suffering casualties (a bonus indeed) and their re-rolls for support worked whilst Prussian re-roll failed

Clash of skirmishers with Prussians being out shot by larger French screen (they later dispersed voluntarily to avoid a Falter as not enough ADCs to assist)

French 2nd Line units (Reservists) push forward beyond the village but one Battalion suffered from a small Prussian battery (just visible beyond tree)

French stalled in center due to couple of Hesitant results but Prussians stuck due to Defend 'stance', you can use a Redeploy order to allow attacks beyond deployment zone but as ever ADCs needed

The effective small 6pdr battery visible

Central French Brigade is mainly Light Infantry so able to field units in Skirmish in open terrain in addition to Brigade screen

On Prussian left a Young Guard Brigade has pummeled them (and disrupted the 'Now's The Time!' Command order)

Prussians have two 6pdr Batteries side by side (from 2 different Brigades) but they have been ineffective as French not closed to canister range.

Prussian Light Infantry withdrew voluntarily from wood (where they could operate as skirmishers) but in Retreat mode but was unsure if they instantly drop out of skirmish as now in open (such skirmishing not allowed to their lights) but maybe sort of moot as will become unformed column once reforming from Retreat.