Tuesday, June 20, 2017

"One Hour Wargames" - Scenario 12 - "An Unfortunate Oversight" - Game

At last a few moments to put finger to keyboard and document what has to be one of the closest games that DG have yet had with the scenario's from the One Hour Wargames book - it really did go all the way to the very wire....


So as per the last post, setup was entirely random using the Force composition will be random using the table which was based originally on the one in the book ie. with the period specific proviso's/addendum's
Die RollInfantryArtilleryLight 
Infantry
CavalryIndians
140101
240110
341010
450001
550100
650010

DG threw a 5 and opted to be the American attacker - I threw a 1 and was the British/Hessian defender..  for the first time in years and years therefore, we would be deploying native American allies!


After a quick run through of the scenario and winning conditions, I deployed only to look up and find DG had as well (following)


Deployment - me to the left, DG to the right..
Not surprisingly DG had done exactly what I (and I expect most) wargamers would have done, and had heavily loaded his right flank by the ford while leaving a single regiment to pin anything (willing to be pinned) by the bridge...  I on the other hand had put my Lights (Rogers Ranger's this evening), and the Indians on the hill as a kind of mobile reserve, had put two regiments of regulars facing the ford, with one regiment watching the bridge and the final two held back to go either way....

Move 2 or 3 (following) and DG's columns are hurtling across the bridge.. his Lights by the way (green flag, blue canton) have an interesting history [clicky] (one of the pleasures of Blogger is being able to record this nonsense! ). I am manoeuvring to cover my options but have bought the Regiment north of the encampment forward to replace the one held back who are now side by side with the Erbprinz..  the Indians continue to sharpen their tomahawks

About move 3'ish..

Three or four moves later and things have moved on apace (picture following)..
  • Left of picture - DG's Lights have been thrown back following an assault up the hill on the Rangers and in a subsequent morale check they failed and have routed - at this point my Indians picked up their tomahawks and scalping knives and hurtled off after them, catching the up in this move and destroying them
  • In the distance, the Erbprinz are about to take on the column coming across the ford whilst nervously looking over their shoulders at the two American regiments DG has there..
  • behind the tree to the right of the Erbprinz (and so hidden) two other regiments are exchanging musketry..
  • Right of picture - I have freed up the regiment watching the bridge - it serves no purpose being there as the bridge is not the objective - they are making best progress to assist on the hill - as are the held back reserves (in the foreground).. who are no longer held back..
About move 7'ish..
Three or four moves later (following) and it's all beginning to go a bit pear shaped for the British/Hessians/me...
  • In the distance you can see that the Erbrinz were successful (column is the one they attacked) but were indeed caught in the end and have routed from the field
  • foreground - the Rangers have succumbed to musketry and routed - to their left and partially obscured is Erbprinz's flank guard regiment who have also succumbed in the same way but not before removing one of DG's regiments
At this point DG has four regiments of regulars (albeit two of them routing/retreating) and I have three of regulars (albeit one routing) and the Rangers (also routing) and the Indians - but I was still quietly confidant....

Move 11'ish?

Two or three moves later (following) and it's beginning to unravel - but we're within spitting distance of the game end..  DG has recovered his regiments - regathered, and is now sending them up the hill from both ends (divide and rule)..  I am busy trying to reorganise/reface so as to face the danger, which is why the Jaeger's (by the red coated officer figure) are facing the wrong way, and I have my Rangers and Indians trying to block the advance of regular formed troops.... idiot... 

Move 13'ish

...and in the very last turn (following) it's all over, and DG has the day..  my forces are streaming away in disarray in the foreground leaving only the one regiment on the hill, and we both agreed that didn't meet the winning criteria so DG was awarded the victory...

Move 15 - End of Game
Post match analysis:
  • Hot and sultry evening in the loftwaffe so refreshments on this occasion was Adnams excellent  "Ghost Ship" cooled sufficiently to refresh whilst still retaining it's lovely flavour (grapefruit citrus bitterness - Citra hops I think)
  • We agreed that we need to modify the rules to better reflect open order troops firing - they're a harder target already, but we also wanted to reflect that in unit terms there would be less of them than a close order unit; -1 on the dice will do it.
Cheers John! I think he would have enjoyed this one - we certainly did... 

Friday, June 16, 2017

"One Hour Wargames" - Scenario 12 - "An Unfortunate Oversight" - Setup

DG is down this weekend for a visit with his Gand-spuds, and as his way it would be churlish for him not to suggest a game, and likewise it would be churlish of me not to bite his arm off..

The visit is apposite as I've been thinking it's about time we played the John Corrigan Memorial game for the year, so for this visit we'll give the venerable veterans of the AWI collection a run out, and for the game I have turned to the next scenario in  the "One Hour Wargames" book (was ever £10 better spent??!) which is based on a river crossing via an undefended ford...

We'll use the Will McNally AWI rules that are my "go to" for this period - simple but effective, and a cunning casualty/morale mechanic..  more details on my project page [clicky]....

Forces will be standard sized - the scenario calls for six units a side..  If we finish early we always have the opportunity to play the scenario again.

There are no arrivals/reinforcements in this scenario - everything starts deployed on the table but I'm not going to repeat the specifics here, you need to buy the book. as you'll not be disappointed, anyway.. 

Force composition will be random using the following table which was based originally on the one in the book with the following period specific proviso's/addendum's
  • artillery will always be "light"...
  • we ignore troop types that don’t apply to the period, 
  • the American War of Independence was not a cavalry heavy theatre so unit numbers are lower and infantry numbers higher...
So columns are as per the following:
Die RollInfantryArtilleryLight 
Infantry
CavalryIndians
140101
240110
341010
450001
550100
650010

In addition:
  • all unit morale modifiers will be 0 (for both sides) 
  • except for their Native American allies, no national characteristic bonuses will apply for either side (ie. British firing/European Regulars in melee etc etc., don’t apply) 
So each side will be totally equal except for the results of the randomised force generator....

.."before he dies, Magua will put his national characteristic bonuses under the knife, so the Grey Hair will know his seed is wiped out forever"...
Table set up is as per the book, but instead of a town I went with an improvised camp - all movement within the brown area is treated as if in a large "house" - so movement penalties while in it, and access and entry penalties to come in and out of it - modelling a busy camp with all the impedimenta you would expect disrupting movement...
The river/stream - only way across it is via the bridge and the ford (ruined bridge) in the distance - also the hill which is the whole point of the scenario...



Lastly the table as a whole:


We'll dice for sides on the night - and we'll also who attacks or defends...

Bring it on!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Lead Adventure Forum

If any of the poor deluded fools, sorry readers, of this little corner of the blogosphere are members of the Lead Adventure Forum, would they mind posting a message to the forum owner to ask if my membership can be approved??

Been waiting for review and approval since the 22nd, but there's no contact email to write to...

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Yapton Beer Festival 2017

Yapton again, err again... another year has passed! Yapton worked it's usual magic and the sun shone, bullshit was quoth, and we all got sun burnt and enjoyed some decent (not outstanding) ales... it doesn't get any better despite a poor turnout from the jolly boys (holidays, charity walks, plays etc) with only four of us this year...

As ever most beers were surprisingly cheap - I think we were paying £1.50/ £1.60 a half (which compares with last year and the year before), but excellent value. Entry to the festival  was up a pound to £6 (which gets you an official glass, no official glass no beer), and that's the secret of this successful festival, and a lesson that a lot of Beer Festivals could do with learning...  people aren't going to come and pay a large entry fee to an event when they are then also being charged the same or more than their local pub... last years experiment of offering beer in a third of a pint at a cheaper rate again was also continued...  this year they continued to move forward with new ideas and offered free containers for takeaway - something I took them up on, and as a result enjoyed a lovely pint of Revelation in the garage that evening!

Long may this little festival continue!

Picture courtesy http://devoursussex.co.uk

So without further ado here's the ales.....  I have to say, although I didn't have a poor beer, the choice was very largely from lesser known breweries this year...  having said that there were some stand-out's and also some disappointments...  on the disappointment side for example, they had beer from Thornbridge (very much tick) but it was 'dark caramel tasting stout with flavours of raspberry' (very much yuck - Steve the Wargamer says "oi, leave the fruit out of the beer")... having gone all that way it would have been nice if they'd bought back a barrel of Jaipur as well...

Brewery Beer (click for more info) ABV Notes (from brewery website) What I can remember...
Lazy Lizard APA 4.4% "A golden ale with floral and citrus notes. This refreshing crisp, zesty, dry pale ale is triple hopped using four varieties of American hops balanced with roasted malts" A good start from this new and coming Brighton based brewery - very tasty golden ale, with grapefruit Citra bitterness..
Vibrant Forest Cascade 5% "This range of beers utilises a single hop to showcase the flavour profile of each flower and the flavours include giant tropical fruits to big and bitter citrus. Hops include Chinook, Centennial, Citra, Summit, Amarillo, Simcoe and Mosaic." Usually a good choice, and I have to say the first half of the half was lovely, but it soon went "off the boil" and became curiously tasteless...
Brighton Bier Heydaze 4% "Our unfined/vegan cask pale ale showcasing Mandarina Bavaria alongside a rotating selection of American hops" An interesting approach as theoretically the taste will never be the same two times running (depending on which American hops are used), but it's a decent brewery. Good one, but again - not outstanding... 
Ballards Nyewood Gold 5% "Auburn bronze Premium ale with malty barley sugar and spicy hop aromas and a smooth creamy flavour with soft fruits throughout with a tasty balanced finish. Originally brewed for the Beauty of Hops Competition 1997 to trial Phoenix hops, a new variety developed to be resistant to Wilt, the disease which has decimated English Hop Gardens." Nyewood Gold is one of the classic ales, and alongside Summer Lightning and Timmy Taylor Landlord kind of started off the fashion for golden bitters so not having seen it for a while on draught I had to try it again..  good strong flavours, no shirking with this one...
Dark Star Revelation 5.7% "A blend of Warrior, Cascade, Columbus, Crystal and Chinook by the sack full – then dry hopped during conditioning using our ‘Hoptimizer’ (Industrial sized hookah)." Immense flavour, bitter, tasty, from a premier league brewery (in my opinion) - it was like coming home after hard days work, and I stuck with this for the rest of the afternoon as nothing else took my fancy...  3 halves later and I got another pint to take home....  

...and that was it - wended my way home for a snooze on the sofa and a watch of Eurovision...

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

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

I'll be the first to admit that my happy victory in the recent game DG and I played was somewhat overshadowed by my mis-reading of the scenario, and an overwhelming view that the outcome of the scenario was significantly skewed by the (duff) initial manoeuvres... for two reasons....

Not only did it nullify the whole intent and purpose of the defending forces advance guard (which were positioned where they were for good reason! ), but two, it also accelerated the time taken for any attacking flanking forces to get to their nominated attack points - I reckon at least a two move advantage and given the scenario is only 15 moves in total that's some advantage.

The more I thought about it the less happy I was with the victory, so with rain stopping play (or sailing) on Sunday, and therefore an unexpected four or five hours made available, I took it upon myself to do a solo replay of the game to see what the difference would be in reality..  couldn't have been happier I did, as it went all the way to the very wire!

First though some set up details - forces were the same, dispositions were the same, and the attackers tactics were the same - as much as possible I also adopted/adapted DG's defence tactics...

By the way - when I played the game I found an unexpected advantage with the modified OHW rules we're using that the mechanism of deciding unit movement by dice allows you to enhance solo play by throwing to see who "moves" (or throws dice) first - which allows the other side to react....  when playing against an opponent both sides throw at the same time, for solo play, throwing one side at a time and decided by dice, brings in some interesting friction....  having said that, the Union were inordinately lucky with the decision dice, but not always so luck with the following disposition dice!

As an experiment then - here is the game move by move - one shot per move, for 15 moves - all pictures taken at end of turn:


So it was another Confederate victory, but far closer than the previous game - and in three main phases....  centre, east flank and finally west flank...

Centre:

As in the last game I had brought two average regiments on to "pin" the advance guard which allowed my flank forces to start their (slightly longer) march... unlike the first game, I charged with the Union cavalry immediately though, and there then ensued a fearful knock out melee that lasted at least three or four moves with the cavalry attacking one, while the artillery peppered the other - but job done - while they were doing this the flank forces exited their area of influence...

In the end, the cavalry destroyed the infantry regiment they were battling - but in doing so opened themselves up to an attack by the surviving Rebel regiment who destroyed the, but in their turn were then destroyed by the artillery...

Phase over, with only the Union artillery surviving - they about faced and moved towards the Union home baseline and subsequently had an effect in the west flank phase...  but first...

East flank:

As in the first game this ended up in a firefight between my two Zouave regiments (not necessarily those curiously uniformed fellows, in OHW terms it is more a phrase or term for "elite"/"veteran" type troops) and the Union Zouave and one average regiment...


The rules do not allow units to close to melee unless they have a significant advantage in points (5+ over their target) so the musketry rolled for some time before..  eventually....  the Tigers overcame all...  the problem then being that they were too far away from the artillery to engage them, and were destroyed by the artillery before they could close...  which then brings us to...

West flank:

On this flank I had sent two average regiments through the woods in order to counter the Union final reinforcements which would be entering the table by the road on move 9 (to the right int he oicture following)


The regiments subsequently arrived, and another massive firefight ensued..


Happily for the Confederates, the Union deployment dice were not always playing ball...  lower the better for deployment so what this shows is that a lot of Union units would be doing their actions late in the move...


First Union regiment was destroyed in two moves by a mahoosive firing hit, which generated enough of a difference for them then to be charged and destroyed in the next move. The other Union regiment was flanked and destroyed in the following move..


Which left two Confederate regiments to finish off the artillery and force the crossroads...  suffice to say that on the very last move one last Confederate regiment was on the cross roads..  talk about taking it to the wire...