Saturday, April 29, 2017

"One Hour Wargames" - Scenario 11 - "Surprise Attack" - Game


..and the stars were in alignment, and the broadband behaved, and so it was that on the seventh day (the game was on Sunday ), DG and I got together over Skype to play the "Surprise Attack" scenario...

A brilliant game, most enjoyable - and also my first table top game of the year - but very bloody..

Following on from the last post where I described the setup, both DG and I first threw for our random forces:


Infantry
Musket
Infantry
Rifle
Zouaves Artillery Cavalry
1
4
-
1
1
-
2
4
-
-
1
1
3
4
1*
1
-
-
4
4
1*
-
1
-
5
4
1*
-
-
1
6
3
-
1
1
1

*Roll again 1/2/3 = Inf Musket, 4/5/6 = Zouave

I threw a 3, and on the re-roll I came up with Zouave; DG threw a 6 for a balanced all arms force.

We then decided who would attack, and conversely who was defender and I was nominated the (Confederate) attacker, and DG was nominated as the (Union) defender and also decided his advance force would be the artillery and his cavalry (mounted).

The game:

I'll be the first to admit here that we (or rather I) made a fundamental error with my first move with allowing my troops to come on anywhere on the south table edge, when the scenario actually requires me to enter via the road...  doh! I have a feeling that this fundamentally alters the possible outcome of the game in favour of the attacker, so a replay may be on the cards but this time playing it as per the scenario..

On to the game, and in the picture following, which is end of move 3, you'll see the fundamentals of my plan - two average units in centre to pin the Union advance guard of cavalry and artillery, with one of them back as a reserve, and on the left two other average regiments on a flanking march through the wood, and on the right another flanking force comprising my two elite Zouave units going round the river...  by this stage DG's artillery has limbered up and withdrawn (with the cavalry). after having inflicted losses on the advance regiment before they went. In the far distance DG's first reserves have arrived - the New York Zouaves and the first of three average infantry regiments...

End Turn 3 - Wagons for colour... deployments as per text....
Three of four turns later (I think this is the end of turn 7) and the next picture shows things are going well for the Confederates...  the battle on the left has been hard with my two Zouave regiments taking on DG's Zouaves and the cavalry - the cavalry in particular charged again and again, inflicting heavy losses...  DG's luck however came to an end when my "reserves" managed to catch the cavalry in a pincer and charge their rear - destroyed. The other regiment from the centre was destroyed in an all out attack on the artillery (which was also destroyed)...

On the right, the other flanking force has debouched from the woods with one of them guarding the edge of the wood and waiting for arrivals on the road (due end turn 9), and the other regiments is engaged in a firefight with DG's other infantry.....

End Turn 7
A crashing charge by my zouave's (go the Tigers!) soon put paid to DG's zouave regiment, and then subsequent charges also removed the remaining Union regiment from play..  this was end turn eight but DG's final reinforcements were due move 9..

They entered the table in line straight into the flank of that regiment waiting on the edge of the wood for them to arrive (seemed fair given the fact that I had I had literally stolen a march on my arrival! ) - massed Confederate regiments however, were too much for them (four to two) and in the end the game was adjudged a Confederate win...

I thought the game was very good, I hope DG thinks the same, a shame about my initial move as I think it meant I probably saved at least two turns on my advance - I never gave DG the chance to consolidate that I think the scenario is designed to do...  like I said a replay may well be on the cards!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

"One Hour Wargames" - Scenario 11 - "Surprise Attack" - Setup

Woke up this morning (now I'm sounding like Muddy Waters) and realised that, despite having a ticket, I really didn't fancy Salute, so decided to give it a miss and do some other stuff...  one of which was getting a game together for DG and I to play via Skype, hopefully tomorrow, but possibly Tuesday

As the game is going to be via Skype it makes most sense to use one of the One Hour Wargames scenario's, and as I'm working through them one by one, scenario #11* was it..

As it's been a while, this scenario will be set in the American Civil War, so my collection will get a march out for the first time in a year!

Forces were random - 6 units again (as per the previous scenario's to date) - I'm using the same modified the random table we used in the refight of scenario #5 [clicky] and #7 [clicky]:

Infantry
Musket
Infantry
Rifle
Zouaves Artillery Cavalry
1
4
-
1
1
-
2
4
-
-
1
1
3
4
1*
1
-
-
4
4
1*
-
1
-
5
4
1*
-
-
1
6
3
-
1
1
1

*Roll again 1/2/3 = Inf Musket, 4/5/6 = Zouave

The scenario is loosely based on Quatre Bras, with one player acting as defender, and deploying with just two elements on the table, and the other attacking and hopefully taking a cross roads before the full defending force arrives on the table..all units start off table except for two in a deployment area roughly a third of the way from the end of the table - buy the book if you want more detail than that (it's worth it! ).

Table as follows:

Looking north - defenders early deployment area marked

Looking east - wood in the foreground

Looking south..

* ...and in case the eagle eyed and observant among you are wondering where scenario # 10 is, DG and I played it (twice) via Battle Chronicler, and with all the will in the world a succession of screenshots of what is in effect a computer game is not really going to cut it so you'll have to be a with me when I say we enjoyed the game immensely, and from memory it ended one all with both of us winning a game..  a good scenario...

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

"Turn Left for Gibraltar" - a review...


My first "10 out of 10" of the year so I thought this warranted a post in it's own right....

For anyone with an interest in the submarine service in WWII these book are an absolute delight...  this is the third in a series that goes from strength to strength (in my view), and this is without a doubt his best to date..

The bulk of the action is set against the siege of Malta, but it takes up from end of the previous book where Harry had been serving in a Free French submarine in the Indian Ocean

He starts the book as a "prisoner" in a Spanish POW camp on Majorca (more accurately an internment camp as the occupants were free to move around) and how he gets there makes interesting reading....  following his escape to Malta he is assigned as navigating officer to one of the 10th Flotilla submarines, and following a successful mission is promoted to first lieutenant in another...

There's lots of gritty and dramatic description of submarine actions in the relatively shallow Mediterranean, and the increasingly difficult operational environment on Malta... the book is also very good on the mental/psychological costs of serving in such an environment where your friends disappear (dead) regularly, and the war seems never ending....

Absolutely superb - can't wait for the next one to come out....

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

I know, I know...

..almost two weeks since the last post (Freudian slip?) ...  so sue me....   Time for a catch up on all things wargaming, then...

Why two weeks??  Too busy [clicky] with other stuff on a larger scale...  always the same this time of year as I head towards launch date - and always a stretch, and something has to give...

However, I do have my Salute tickets which I'm looking forward to very much, but with the downside that my good wargaming buddy DG has decided is enough is enough for Salute and him, and has decided not to attend, too big, too difficult to get to, not enjoyable...  not done a wargame show flying solo for some time...  his decision has also forced a number of other changes in plan, that to be fair I was already thinking about...  I shall be going by train (no one to share petrol/parking costs with) which will be an adventure...  when I priced up tickets I was offered an amazing £10 return (I live on the south coast west of Chichester) but the bargain means I have to go on four specific trains, and they've routed me via Brighton - given Southern's recent performance I'll be amazed if I even arrive, never mind arrive on the day...    Having said that even with the scenic detour the train should still take less time than driving, I get to put my feet up, I'll have a flask of coffee, my Kindle, and no numb-nuts cutting me up on the London orbital..  bliss

I have a shopping list already - paint is required - my trusty old bottle of Games Workshop "Flesh Wash" is nearing it's end, I dislike the replacements, and my research would indicate that Cote d'Arms sell it now (Ink Wash - Flesh (133) apparently) ...  I have also pre-ordered a copy of Blitzkrieg Commander III - I've owned all the previous versions and it's still my preferred rules of choice for WWII big battles...  I also fancy having a mooch for any 20mm ECW I can find....  and I'll take the camera....  my home train should also allow me just enough time for a couple of pints in the Dean Swift [clicky] so all in all I expect it to be a lovely day...

On the paint table - nothing is happening until I get to grips with the horrible horrible task that is gluing figures together for the next English Civil War regiment - I only have to do "pikes and heads", one can only imagine the fourth circle of hell that would be putting together a box of plastics with all those little bits, on multiple sprue's, yee god's, no thanks....

Fourth circle of hell personified....

Elsewhere, and slightly contentiously - no, not Brexit, but Facebook.... is it me or do the number of active Blogs seem to be shrinking, and is it because of a drift towards Facebook??  I've always resisted, but as a result of the huge clunkiness of what is now the Yahoo Group structure, I recently moved a sailing based group from Yahoo to Facebook, and it has totally revived the group - more posts, more interaction, a lot of them were already on it, etcetc.  It was then just a small step from there to start adding my fellow Bloggers as "friends" (and there are a fair amount of them on Facebook!) and before you know it there is a veritable stream of wargaming (and sailing in my case) content being loaded on a daily basis....  I can see the attraction - writing a blog post, uploading the pictures, etcetc is a fairly time consuming activity, whereas with Facebook the act of posting is almost instantaneous, upload direct from your phone, like buttons to easily give feedback, etcetc. On the whole I would recommend it...  and for those that worry about the amount of information Facebook want when you register? Just lie*....give false information and make your Blogger id your nick name..  done....

Also contentiously, I have identified another personal dislike (hate is too strong a word) to add to my existing list that comprises
  • hexed based games (that's not wargaming, that's board gaming even if you do use miniature figures ), 
  • plastic figures (just trust me .. it's an aspirational thing), 
  • miniatures with painted eyeballs (just why??)...  
I'll now add to the list those tufts of flowers for putting on bases....  talk about how to turn a battle hardened band of veteran soldiers into something from the Sylvanian families in one step - why would you do it???! Flock, sand, gravel, clump foliage, fine...  but bunches of flowers??  "I say general - please don't order us to march ahead, we may damage the tulips"....

Battle hardened band of veteran soldiers getting ready to unleash hell

Enough moaning....  time to get the next regiment ready....

*Facebook thinks I'm a 116.. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Charles Gerard's Regiment of Foote

My apologies for the delay - as these have been ready for some time.. been a mite busy painting bigger things [clicky]

First of the units for the English Civil War project - these are Charles Gerard's Regiment of Foote


According to my research they were originally raised - probably in early 1642 - as part of the Earl of Derby’s forces in Lancashire, where they were present at the siege of Manchester in September, and at Edgehill (which is the the basis for this project) in October.

Deployed for receiving horse - hedgehog...

At Edgehill (where they numbered approximately 740) they were part of Charles Gerard's Brigade (along with Sir Lewis Dyve's and Sir Ralph Dutton's regiments) which were positioned on the front right of the Royalist deployment...

Picture courtesy Google Books


By all accounts they did sterling service anchoring the Royalist line at a time of most need


In November they were present at Turnham Green, before going into winter quarters as part of the Oxford garrison at the end of the year.


Tumbling Dice figures - 18 of them... 

On to Parliament next - one of Charles Essex's Brigade, I think (so Sir Charles Essex's regiment/Sir Henry Cholmley's regiment/Lord Mandeville's regiment or Lord Wharton's regiment)

More details here:

http://www.battleofedgehill.org/edgehill-battlefield-map/index.html
http://bcw-project.org/biography/charles-gerard
http://wiki.bcw-project.org/royalist/foot-regiments/col.-charles-gerard-oxford