Friday, September 30, 2016

AWI re-basing project - finished! Part 1...

The re-basing project is done..!

117 bases in all - 21 were refurbishments, the rest were completely new...  started July 19th, ended last weekend...

So - here is the AWI Project as a whole - British and Allies top row left to right; Americans and Allies middle row left to right, American Indians bottom left; Artillery/transport/ancillaries bottom right...


99% of these are Minifigs (25mm scale); the exceptions are:
  • in the ancillaries box the canoes ("damn sightseers") are Parkstone,
  • the Welch Fusiliers are Front Rank, 
  • the Sussex Regiment are also Parkstone


Close up view of the Artillery/Transport/Ancillaries....  the spare guns are used for routed markers and when the guns are in limbered mode, same with the crews - there are enough limbers for all guns - the canoes have removable figures as I can use them to give transport for Ranger units - when they land the figure are swapped for standard bases...



Allied Indians...  four war bands...  these can fight for either side depending on scenario - not used them recently, so a scenario featuring them may have to be played soon!

 
Bear with - separate posts on British and American forces will follow..

Thursday, September 15, 2016

"One Hour Wargames" - Scenario 9 - "Double Delaying Action" - Game


This is my 800th post, so it seems strangely right that it should feature, one, a game (which is after all one of the main points of the blog), and two, those venerable old Minfigs American war of Independence figures Lofty C donated all those years ago..  Funnily enough, it's also near enough damn it, the blog's tenth anniversary - my first test post was on the 20th August back in 2006 [clicky].. portents do indeed abound!

So the evening before Colours [clicky] DG came round for what is now our traditional game before the show- DG lives a few hundred miles away so Skype aside, and not being what you'd call a clubbable fellow, this is how I get most of my games...

As per the set up post [clicky] this is scenario #9 from the "One Hour Wargames" book, and that without spoiling the outcome at all, I can confirm that without a doubt this is the best scenario so far in both our opinions..

First things first then, and we diced for forces, and then we diced for who would be attacker/defender - since force composition might influence that choice...

DG ended up with a 4 for his force, I rolled a 3; we then threw again and DG won and opted to attack...

Die RollInfantryArtilleryLight 
Infantry
Cavalry
14110
24011
34101
45100
55010
65001

Table is as follows, north is the furthest edge - the key terrain points (in terms of scenario) are the town and the road entrance on the top (north) edge...


So  15 moves to get a result ...bring it on 

Initial deployment was as follows....

I deployed first with:
  • my artillery (light) immediately on the hill at the rear edge
  • one battalion of infantry in the town
  • three remaining infantry battalions and the cavalry in the centre to cover both river crossings - one infantry until held back as a reserve
DG then deployed and moved - he concentrated almost his entire force opposite the town except for one battalion of infantry on his far left flank

This is the end of Turn 1 ==>


..and so the game started - the scenario calls for a staged withdrawal (from the road exit on the north table edge) by the red player (me) - the Blue player also has a requirement to get units off the table by the same road, and also a winning goal to capture the town... the cunning'ness of the scenario of course is that there are balances to be made (for the red player) as every unit withdrawn reduces your ability to deny the blue player his victory conditions..  fiendish...

End of first few moves - following - about move 3 I think...  DG (whose hands are visible top right) is launching an assault on the two - his artillery is deployed - I have already identified that he's out of range of my artillery (d'oh!) and have opted to use them as my first "withdrawal unit" - I needed to withdraw three in total..  I have also taken the decision to reinforce the town with an additional battalion of infantry - out of picture bottom left that single battalion of DG's infantry has crossed the river so my reinforcement force remains where it is covering both flanks....


Two or three moves later (piccie following) and I send further reinforcements to the town (one of my units is out of site the other side of the house)..  we treated the town as one large building in terms of terrain, so reduced movement and lots of penalties for firing, movement, and attacking in melee..  I think it worked quite well (see post match analysis)...

My tactic here was to hold back from the edge of the town meaning I was not eligible as a target to DG's artillery, but I also couldn't fire, but given the victory condition was to control the town DG would have to force me out at point of bayonet...


Which he attempted to do over the next several moves ==>


Many battle honours were won by DG's infantry as they charged repeatedly over that little bridge (which is by Bellona as spotted by one of my followers - bear with, as I'll put up a post about that long forgotten little manufacturer at some point in the future), eventually however numbers told, as DG started to feed units in from the flank (see above), and at the end of the game I was forced from the town on almost the last move..

So - end of game and time to tally up the results - I was convinced I'd lost - but when we checked the winning conditions again we realised that although DG had managed to take the town, he'd neglected to also exit the required number of units via the road! My how we laughed... "fog of war, old boy", I chortled...

Post match analysis:

  • casualties were fairly light - I lost more units, but mostly as a result of failed morale - as usual Erbprinz looked magnificent and routed early!  This is not a casualty counting scenario so losses are largely immaterial providing you meet the other conditions..
  • the rules cludge to manage the fighting in the town was to treat the entire area of the board as one giant building, but with firing/moving penalties in the area as if from building to building.. We worked out afterwards that for all the shooting no casualties were caused to either side while in the town, similarly there were only one or two successful melee's - by far the worst outcomes were as a result of failed morale checks.. units fled as a result of poor morale rather than outright casualties... and it was this that eventually delivered the town into DG's hands
  • this is quite a difficult game for the attacker to win as not only does he need to take the town he also needs to me the unit exit criteria...  we talked about it afterwards and will definitely play this scenario again, but one area that worked well was DG's flank attack - rather than funnelling everything across the bridge, a bigger outflanking manoeuvre might have yielded dividends
  • ales on the evening was Adnam's "Ghost Ship" [clicky] snacks were Hula Hops Puft (who have their own Twitter page - what a marvelous age we live in when a starch based snack can have it's own presence on social media )

Monday, September 12, 2016

Colours 2016

"Bear with..." the battle report from the last game [clicky] will be along in a minute (also - by the by - my 800th post!), but first a report on DG and I's foray into the wilds of Berkshire, to the very hinterlands of Newbury, where we were forced to visit Colours and spend a whole lot of cash..

It was the weekend of Colours so in addition to the game, DG was also here to visit the wargame show which is now in it's umpteenth year at the race course - not sure how many years - they had a hiatus for one, but I think at least six or seven - either way - cracking venue with lots of light, air, and much easier to get to than the old Hexagon (which was the very opposite in terms of air and light!).

It's also still down to one day instead of the old two day/weekend event...  jury (for me) is still out on that - I guess visitor numbers are up (it was pretty jammed all day from what I could see) but this seems to be at the cost of competition games/demo games and the like...  I assume (and I have no experience never having been one) that competition games require a longer period for the tournament???  I further assume that for demo games (as opposed to participation games) it's a lot of effort to set up for one day (Salute is kind of different since the audience is so huge..)? Either way, not so many good looking games, and the whole feeling is a bit frenetic - this is definitely more a trade show than a gaming show - but still an excellent day out (one of my three a year)

Due to the whole re-basing thing this year, for the first time in donkey's aeons I actually had a shopping list, most of which I managed to complete - with no Caliver at the show one of the items went by the way side - hopefully they'll be at Warfare in November - so, as the Bloggerati are want to say, here are my "shinies"  ==>


A bag of white mini dice - now that I'm using for casualty tracking I realised I didn't have enough of them - got lots of red (rout) and yellow (shaken) but whites were few and far between...

Also, a bag of static grass, half of which has already gone into my pot of basing material (the basing material pot is a bit like "Trigger's broom"* - I've been using the same stuff for 35 years now, it's just had 14 bags of static grass added, 25 bags of...  etcetc )

Lastly a couple of wagons for the ACW project - same manufacturer as the last one's [clicky] (Britannia - model HDT4 [separate clicky]), but a different type just for variety.. an excellent price by the way, £4.50 for a 20mm wagon, including horses and crew, but (having started on them already) the cast quality is as rough as old boots so they will need a little work....

Shopping and browsing done - and it took me a good 2 or 3 hours to get round every trader - it was time to check the games which as per previous events - were on the top floor.... as usual here are my favourites in reverse order - it was an easy win this year for me...  as ever, if a game features any of my illogical dislikes (hexes, 6mm or smaller, etc etc) it's unlikely to feature in the following..

"Last", or third if you prefer...  the Crush the Kaiser team had a demo game featuring the latest addendum to the rules covering the "Mexican Revolution"..


Nice terrain, some nice models..


..what earned it it's place was the train..


Little activity on the table to be honest, no one seemed to be playing it, and I'm not a huge fan of individually based figures...


..but the train was nice...


Second place - I think this was a participation game and there was nothing to show who was running it but I thought I recognised it and I can confirm that this game was a Salute earlier this year (it was my fifth placed game [clicky]) and was run by by 'Loughton Strike Force' [clicky] - "Russo-Finnish War 1940".


"The plucky (but misguided?) Finns take on Uncle Joe's minions, with an attack over an iced lake was based around the Battle of Rate Road [clicky] during the Winter War between Russia and Finland in 1939..."


Lovely modelling..




In first place, though, was this game - "Caught at Kut" - I'm a sucker for desert based games, and biplanes - this was also fairly close in period to my Sudan project - add into that some superb modelling and a very nice looking table, and it was a "no brainer"...





Bit of a "Lawrence of Arabia-type-thang", as a British relieving force fight their way through the Turkish besieging force, to a British held fort..  superb little vignettes all over the table though..  loved this telegraph/radio wagon in the fort...


Turkish siege lines - artillery facing both ways..


Royal Navy would not have it all their own way - I loved this as I can't imagine it had any effect on the actual game - it's just there for the look...


Artillery and attached "canteen"


The Royal Navy unloading supplies...


While the RFC provide air cover - look at the stitching on the cockpit - lovely model...


Sikh troops advance through the remains of an ancient monument...


While a Turkish biplane circles above..


These were the rules being used..


...a stand out winner without a doubt...  the only thing that possibly could have improved it would have been some Rolls Royce armoured cars...

...and now by way of a change..   this is the offering from the South London Wargamer's...  the sheer amount of time and money spent on this is beyond calculation...


..barking mad... this thing stood two foot tall and had little red LED lights for eyes...


..bonkers - not my cup of tea, but I doff my cap to anyone who feels engaged enough to want to put on a game like that...


...and that was it - roll on Warfare...

*I'm aware that for most non-UK readers the term "Trigger's Broom" will be a confusion - I can only suggest "Google is your friend", and enjoy the results...

Thursday, September 08, 2016

"One Hour Wargames" - Scenario 9 - "Double Delaying Action" - Setup

Colours [clicky] is at the end of this week (Saturday) and as a result DG is down, - his OAP purse bulging with spends - which gives us an opportunity for a game.. the first one since June so much anticipated...

Having spent humongous amounts of time re-basing the AWI collection this summer (and it is now 80% complete) I took a unilateral decision to give them a run out... 

For this game we will also return to my favourite scenario book of the moment, and this time we are going to play (the next) Scenario #9 "Double Delaying Action" which is based on the historical Battle of Wavre [clicky] during the 100 Days/Waterloo Campaign..

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. All arrival/reinforcement rules will be exactly as written in the book - and I'm not going to repeat them 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/addendums
  • artillery will always be "light" and never more than three pieces...
  • we ignore troop types that don’t apply to the period so columns are as per the following
  • the American War of Independence was not a cavalry heavy theatre so numbers are lower, and infantry numbers higher...
Which gets us to:
Die RollInfantryArtilleryLight 
Infantry
Cavalry
14110
24011
34101
45100
55010
65001

In addition:
  • all unit morale modifiers will be 0 (for both sides) 
  • 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....  

Table is as follows, north is the furthest edge - one hill, one wood, the road, a town, all other terrain is no penalty:


...side view.. north is left..


...bring it on