Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A funny thing happened on my way to the redoubt.... moves 9 & 10 (Jack)

End Move 10 (Jack)

This continues to be the most interesting game  and for your delectation let me bring you moves 9 & 10, which continue from the previous posts...

Move 9 was one of consolidation for the Americans - the surviving Green Mountain Battalion shook out into line and headed for the end of the redoubt that faced the expected Hessian assault - on their way they divested some of their men to man the gun*.

The New York Regiment watches in bemusement as the Brunswicker's rout past them and off the edge of the table, but advance slowly towards the British cavalry who have wheeled and are doing the same....


Once again no American reinforcement cards turn up in 9, but in 10, I turn up the Jack and the American Militia Battalions (two of them) turn up... and guess where....  and don't forget this is all decided on a dice throw.....  the picture's a give away... yep - exact same spot the Green Mountain Boys turned up - instant reinforcements for the Americans....  astonishing....

At the other end of the table, the British Dragoons crash home on the New York Regiment who stand, but in the ensuing melee are routed from the field...

Mixed fortunes indeed.....

Stay tuned - we have some American cavalry to turn up yet.... and then there's the fight for the redoubt.... if the Americans can hold it, the British/Hessians can't achieve their victory conditions..


* I have no rules for this, but it seemed infeasible that a full battalion of men, trained in the use of gunpowder and firearms, would turn their noses up at an artillery piece when it could be critical for the defence of the redoubt, so I played it as follows:
  • -1 Strength Point from the battalion to man an artillery piece with a temporary crew - this is of course returnable....
  • -1 Firing modifier for any artillery piece with a temporary crew

Monday, September 24, 2012

A funny thing happened on my way to the redoubt.... moves 3 to 8 (Queen)

There are games where you can't wait to get back to the table to find out what happens - bit like a good book in fact - this is one of them... 

Move 8 - The Green Mountain Boys make themselves at home - I may well allow them to man the gun in return for some SP's..
So where we left it the Green Mountain Boys had completely turned the tables on the Hessians by having the temerity to (almost) capture the redoubt ... the "almost" bit is important as they still had to clear the artillery...

Move 8 - The wagons have drawn to a halt while the Hessian guard start to deploy for the inevitable attack on the redoubt... in the foreground the New York regiment have deployed - on the left the British Dragoons have been acting as flank guard - there was only a 16% chance (1 in 6!) that someone would arrive behind them and where did the Americans turn up??! The Brunswicker's continue to rout.....

This proved to be far harder to do than they had found with the Brunswicker's, and in the end after two failed charges in the face of concentrated cannister, a well aimed volley finally resulted in the morale checks, and more importantly failures, that resulted in the gun crew running for their lives.

The Brunswicker's, as we speak (end turn 8), are still routing - they managed to recover for one move but broke again the next turn - poor dice throws leading to a mirror of the actual experience of the regiment in the war



So - end move 8 and the Americans finally turn up another reinforcement card - the Queen - which results in the New York regiment arriving at point 1 - just as the Brunswicker's are routing past.

Stay tuned....

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A funny thing happened on my way to the redoubt.... or Wagon train redux redux

While the table was still set, and not wanting to miss the opportunity, I decided to have another go at the wagon train scenario that DG and I played earlier [click here].. all scenario details were the same, with the exception that I included a couple of the suggestions I made in the post match analysis; wagon strength has gone to half, and the American commander has the ability to decide if he wants to enter the table at the time the card is drawn or wait....

So a shorter game report this time than last...

Move 1 and the Hessian order of march...
...it all started to get very interesting quite quickly.... On move two the Americans pulled the "Ace" from the pile... two battalions of the Green Mountain Boys.... hmm... I wonder where they're going to arrive... and then there followed a flow of dice the like of which I've not seen before....

First they throw and entry point dice and get "6" - now for those of you who remember the last game that was the road right by the redoubt....  an interesting conundrum - how lucky do I feel, what do I want them to do, etc etc. The redoubt is a hard nut to crack but the artillery is pointing the wrong direction (maybe I should have called it Fort Singapore) and the entry is adjacent......ok - let's go for it....

Target rich environment - Green Mountain Boys are into the redoubt albeit still in column
Given this was the American move, the Hessians have the opportunity to return fire, but are all either out of arc, or out of range...

In the Hessian turn they rotate the gun (this is going to be nasty) and move the Brunswicker garrison into column - they end up just out of charge range. The American fire is desultory - no casualties....

Then it begins to get very weird.....on the American third move and the Green Mountain Boys charge - well you would wouldn't you - I swear you could hear a tiny cheer as they went in, bayonets gleaming....  but clearly there was a huge hill to climb given that artillery and fire power....  I even bought the other battalion up in support ready for when they broke and ran....

Both the Brunswicker regiment and the artillery fire.... but miss!

The Brunswicker's test to see if they stand in the face of such naked aggression....  they fail... they fail badly - routing out of the redoubt and and losing SP's......


Which means that we now have a VERY interesting game as the Hessians are now delivering supplies to a fort that is (largely) no longer theirs!

Stay tuned....

The Hobbit..


...and more...


...out in December - can't wait...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

New transport...

Picture courtesy:
http://www.scale-model-kits.com/about_us.html
A little parcel arrived yesterday from DG - inside was a cryptic note "too big for 12mm, too small for 20mm, 15mm??"..  interesting!

Upon further examination, the parcel also contained one of these (left)

Now I remember DG buying this as an experiment when we were at Colours the other weekend, as he was hoping they'd be usable with his Minifigs 12mm/N scale stuff.. 

Once I'd compared however I could see what he meant.. despite the scale being quite close there was a significant difference...

Either way - a little comparison shot... please ignore the butchery of the paint job on the Peter Pig Blitz..  I was having problems with my varnish at the time and rather than re-painting I went for a shortcut fix that didn't quite work!

L - R ; Minifgs N/12mm scale, Zvesda 1/100, Peter Pig 15mm (I think)

Same order - I think the Blitz may now have been dropped by Peter Pig as it's no longer listed...
To say I'm impressed is an understatement - at just over £2.50 a kit these compare extremely favourably with the metal models - which were about £4.50'ish if I remember...

No comparison....
Time for me to put an order in for some replacements I think, as the old models really are beyond the pale.... and they do half tracks as well.... uh oh...

Monday, September 17, 2012

John Corrigan Memorial game 2012 - "Wagon Train"... Redux! The Game...

My apologies for the delay in posting - been a stupidly busy week, after a stupidly busy weekend - events this week have been dominated by the re-launch of my boat which has been ashore for a few repairs, and has caused not a little worry and anxiety..

Happily last weekend visit from DG was a much needed, and welcome, distraction - I've blogged already on Colours, so this was the other event of the weekend...  the over due John Corrigan Memorial game.

Scenario:

A small set-to heavily based on the Charles Grant wagon Train scenario...

A relieving force (Hessians) has to make its way the length of the war game table to a fortified position at the other end. They have a number of wagons containing desperately needed supplies, protected by a (relatively) small covering force..

Their opponents (the Americans) are more numerous, and are trying to stop them getting the supplies through - the rub being that although they are numerically superior, they do not arrive as a coordinated force but arrive piecemeal and from a variety of directions..

Set up:

I reduced the number of approach roads to two (instead of three) as my table is simply not wide enough, but other than that it was largely the same..

Rules used were the Will McNally one's available for free on the web..
  • The supply force enters at on the road at the far end of the table from the fort - in column - order of march depends on the Hessian Commander wishes.
  • The infantry regiment comprising the Garrison force can leave the fort, but only when any convoy wagon is visible (ie. within long range for a medium cannon and no blocked line of site)
  • The American arrival is decided randomly using a single suit from a deck of cards - at the start of each move where the Americans are the moving player they turn over a card, if the card is one of those specified (J/Q/K or A) throw a D6 for the entry point. These are mid-tile on each long side – numbered 1-3 on the wall side (left as you face the fort) and 4-6 the other side. Units arrive in column of march and can arrive at the same time (alongside each other) if required
  • The wagons can only move on the roads. Any other unit may deploy off the road after it has been on the table for one move period.
  • The Hessians may move all the wagons together, or split them. 
  • Wagon Rules: 
    • Damage - each wagon is worth a number of strength points (4 SP for a light, 6 SP for a heavy)
    • Hits are inflicted in the usual manner. Once the wagon gets to half points it moves at half rate. Once it gets to 0 points it is stopped.
    • If a wagon is immobilised or destroyed, no other vehicle may pass it. It then requires one full move period with assistance for the wagon to be man handled off the road to allow other wagons to pass.
    • Infantry or Cavalry can assist wagons by man handling them to overcome damage - a unit doing this needs to be next to the wagon for one move and can 'donate' strength points from their roster to the wagon roster (which represents the loan of man/horsepower).. 
    • Wagons suffer the usual morale tests (so can rout), but ignore the retire result instead they just stop where they are.

Victory Conditions:

Wagons have a nominal points value in terms of supplies carried
  • 4 points for heavy wagon (so a total of 8 points) 
  • 2 points for light wagon (a total of 8 points) 
Game is drawn if the Hessians get 8 points into the fort, and won if 12 or more arrive safely.

Orders of Battle:

Americans - with the playing card they appear on..


Hessians

I had to press gang the large wagons from my American Civil War collection - hence the description...

The Game:

So with not a little trepidation we rolled for sides, and I ended up as Hessian, DG as American, and the first wagons rolled on to the table - I lead with von Barner, then some wagons, then the 16th Light Dragoons, then some more wagons, the other two infantry regiments came on last...

I chose the road nearest the wall

DG struck lucky as early as move 2, with the arrival of the Green Mountain Boys at entry point 1 - virtually opposite the arrival point for the wagons.. talk about timing...  happily however, after a short exchange of musketry, and then a roaring charge one of the Green Mountain Boy battalions was seen off. I then brought up my cavalry, and together with von Barner another tussle ensued which saw von Barner, and the remaining Green Mountain Boys exit the field...  bloody....

DG had however managed to destroy one of the heavy wagons, and the other light wagons were all over the place trying to dodge American attacks!

A couple of moves later his cavalry arrived and were engaged immediately by the British cavaly in the ploughed field ont he left in the picture below.. a sharp encounter with the British triumphant and driving off the American cavalry fro the table..

A couple of further moves later and the New York regiment appeared my cavalry turned to block their advance....
Move 7'ish - The Green Mountain Boys have been seen off, the British cavalry are shielding the wagons from the New York regiment (foreground) - in the background Erbrpinz and Prinz Ludwig face up to the American Militia...
Two moves later (about move 7) and DG's Militia battalions arrived at point 2 - almost as if he'd been able to chose where to enter the table as the wagons were on the move again and had just about got to this point...!

One of the militia units immediately attacked the other large wagon - and successfully inflicted damage on it causing it to retire rapidly with them chasing behind - cue Benny Hill music

"Wait for meeeee!!" Fort garrison have now marched out to give support...
Support from the artillery in the fort was enough to force the milita back, and the first wagon arrived in the fort...

The Militia Regiment that had chased the wagons can be seen eparting the field in rout (red pin), meanwhile Prinz Ludwig crashes home on the other (disordered) Militia regiment (yellow pin)
...and that, to all intents and purposes, was it -  the first Militia regiment failed their morale and routed fromt he table, the second Militia regiment was attacked and broken by Prinz Ludwig, and DG called it....

One wagon home...  more to come...
Post Match Analysis:

  • I had worried before hand that the Hessians were understrength - I needn't have done - I'll admit the dice were going my way, but if I was to play this scenario again (and I/we will), I'd lose one of the Hessian units from the orbat to even the game...
  • The wagons were too strong - next time I'll halve the SP's. DG said that maybe we should even consider them lost if an enemy regiment even contacts them, but that may be a little too much.. 
  • I thought afterwards that we could also modify the entry conditions so that the American player can choose whether he enters the table when his card comes up - if he doesn't want to, he can replace the card back in the pile before he rolls for his entry point...  up to the players as to whether the deck is then shuffled or not....
  • Refreshments were tea/coffee (un-memorable), but the biscuits were a tour de force being double chocolate brazil nut cookies - yummm!
  • Cheers, John.. footballer pictures

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Colours 2012

Pictures and a report of the Wagon Train game will follow in due course, but first of all here's my report from the Colours Wargame show, which DG and I went to on the Sunday...

This was the reason that DG was down from deepest darkest Wales as we go every year, and is one of our three regular shows..  in as much as you can express a rating for a wargame show though (they're all brilliant aren't they? ), while I still think it's a brilliant show, it's the least brilliant of the three...

I used to like Colours more when it was at the Hexagon Centre in Reading - yes it was a bit dark, and a bit convoluted to get round, but it had a brilliant atmosphere - I'll be the first to say that on paper the race course is the airier, lighter, more refreshing venue - but wargaming is an  inside activity suited to darker surroundings....

So how was this years show??  Welllllll...  I don't have much to compare my view with as things seem very quiet in the blogosphere with regard to the show - I've only seen one other review (he liked it), I'll be interested to hear what Legatus has to say when/if he blogs, as I believe he was there, other than that I only have DG's view and we thought it was a pretty quiet show to be honest...  a full set of traders, but not many people to buy from them, the show games were a little lacklustre (in my opinion), the demo games were OK, but there didn't seem to be any bright and new idea's....

Dark Ages continues to dominate, the theme of the show this year was Borodino so there were a few games related to this (none of which I really liked! One was 6mm ..  blechhh...  one was nice terrain - I forgave them the hex tiles - but the figures were a little "average"...), and if I was forced to make a call I'd say the next rave period is going to be ECW (based on no analysis at all - just gut feel)

Purchases were the first Wargames Annual for a knock down £8 (reduced from £15), and a copy of the Esprit de Corps "A House Divided" ACW rules for the same price...

I continue to be slightly put off by the Regimental Fire and Fury rules (I think I'm getting cantankerous in my old age - I preferred the beta version to the final version!) but am slightly mollified in that DG appears to feel the same way so maybe it's not just me! We've now dismissed "Guns at Gettysburg" as a possible alternative (too complicated), these one's look OK, and at £8 you can afford to take a punt, but I'm slightly put off by the sheer number of tree's that must have been felled to print this publication...

So...  what about the games at the show....??? Welllll (uh oh - there's that "welllll"  again) I have to say there was a paucity...  so unusually for me I don't have any favourites, but here were my stand outs....

First the Skirmish wargamers were there with another of their huge games set on the retreat from Moscow in the Napoleonic wars..


.. I asked what the white powdery stuff was, as it looked a bit like soap flakes - apparently it's the stuff shops buy at Christmas for their window displays - either way it was getting everywhere - hope they had a hoover with them!


All in 54mm - lots of detail..



Another stand out was the Very British Civil War game by the same guys who did the game I liked so much last year - this years game, I thought, was a bit crowded though - it lacked focus and just seemed to be an excuse to shove as many (lovely looking) figures and models on the table as possible... it just ended up looking a little unrealistic...

Liked the fold down armoured truck centre... oh, and Jones's lorry complete with the full Dad's Army platoon...!
See following for what I meant about crowding...


...and the only thing missing in the following is a kitchen sink...


Last of all the following was a game put on by the Warlords, and represented the Battle of Alam el Halfa (the first battle of the 2nd Alamein) in North Africa. click on the link for further views..

On the face of it this should be my stand out favourite game of the show but it fails so badly on the crowding issue... I dislike WWII games where the vehicles are lined up right next to each other.... the the terrain was lovely, and the models were mouth watering - what put me off was the sheer number of them..


...any Kittyhawk driver who saw that little lot in front of him would have have thought all his luck days had arrived at once........  now clearly this is a divisional level representation but even so - in my view the table is not big enough, or they should be using less models to represent the division....



Sounds like it was a really rubbish show which would be very far from the truth...  DG and I enjoyed it very much, just not as much as we have done in the past...  roll on Warfare

Friday, September 07, 2012

John Corrigan Memorial game 2012 - "Wagon Train"... Redux! Setup...

The John Corrigan Memorial Game is upon us again...  difficult to believe that John passed away almost a year and a half ago (it was last May), but it gives DG and I a good excuse to have a chat over a game, we'll hoist a beer (or a cup of tea) in his memory, and push some of his lovely figures about....

The scenario for these games is largely immaterial (the main point of it is to get the AWI figures out which John gave me many years ago, and through them remember John), but I try to make the scenario "old school", and amongst that pantheon there are none more old school than the Wagon Train scenario!

Either way, the table is set, DG is due in a couple of hours (and we're going to Colours on Sunday!) ...

Looking forward to it! More anon...!

Hessian entry point bottom left - they're the convoy escort for this game...  destination is top right

Destination - the Hessian held "Fort Corrigan" (or should that be von Corrigan? )

The farm house and lane (which counts as road)..

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Lord North & Grey's Regiment

After far too long an interval (3 months!) I recently returned to the painting table to start adding some further battalions to the forces of the Duke of Marlborough..  think it may have been Ray & Fran's twenty questions that caused me to reach for this specific regiment (best general, "Marlborough")...

Grenadiers on the right... I particularly like the regimental standard for this regiment


Either way can I introduce you to the Earl of Bath's regiment of Foot...



This regiment started life as Granville's regiment of Foot, The Earl of Bath's Regiment, and were raised at the time of Monmouth's invasion in 1685 (in the 1751 reforms they were given the title of the 10th Foot, and were later known as the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment as that was where they did most of their recruiting post 1781)

John Granville Earl of Bath's (1628-1701) commission was to raise 11 companies of foot which were to be joined by a Plymouth independent garrison company to form a new regiment in June of that year.



Somewhat presciently (cynical?? moi?? ), in November 1688 the Earl of Bath switched allegiance to William III but despite being immediately relieved of his command by James, was restored to his command by William III barely a month later following the Glorious Revolution..

After that the regiment was in garrison until 1690 (Plymouth and on the Channel Islands)..

In 1691 the regiment sailed to Ostend under the command of Beville Granville (nephew to the Earl of Bath, and grandson of the Beville Granville who had died leading his Cornish regiments up the hill at Landsdown in the English Civil War).

They fought at Steenkerque on 3 August 1692, and in October 1693 Beville Granville was officially appointed as colonel of the regiment.After further action in the low countries the regiment returned home in March 1696.

After another short sojourn in the low countries from May 1697, in order to evade the disbanding act the regiment went to Ireland in July 1698 and stayed on that establishment for three years.

Command - drummer in reverse colours as was typical at the time.. best yellow I've found..  a pleasure to use...


They returned to the low countries in June 1701 - and from then, their record in the was was as follows;
  • In 1702 (the year William III died) it was part of the actions around Nijmegen and was with the main force during the sieges of the Meuse fortresses and the siege of the citadel of Liège.
  • At the start of 1703 Granville became governor of Barbados and the regiment received a new commander, William North, 6th Baron North, 2nd Baron Grey (c. 1673–1734), who was appointed on 15 January 1703. 
  • In May 1703 it participated in the confrontation near Loonaken. It then participated in the siege of Huy in August. 
  • In May 1704 the regiment marched to the Danube where it fought at the Schellenberg
  • At Blenheim it was part of Rowe's Brigade attacking the village of Blindheim; North and Grey lost his right hand during the battle.
  • In 1705 the regiment was in the crossing of the Brabant Lines.
  • In 1706 it was present at Ramillies, and in July it was at the sieges of Oostende and Menin.
  • In March 1708 the regiment embarked for England to prevent the French attempt on Scotland, but at the end of April it was already back in the low countries. Later that year it was at Oudenaarde and was part of the force covering the siege of Lille, and the siege of Gent were their Lieutenant-Colonel (Grove) was captured.
  • In 1709 they were at the siege of Tournay and Malplaquet, before ending the year at the siege of Mons. 
  • In 1710 it was part of the siege of Douay and the siege of Aire.
  • In 1711 it was at the siege of Bouchain. 
  • In 1712 it was part of the force covering the siege of Quesnoy..
At which point the war ended... 
A distinguished record...

Commanded by:
John Granville Earl of Bath20 June 1685 - 8 December 1688
Charles Carney8 December 1688 - 31 December 1688
John Granville Earl of Bath31 December 1688 - 29 October 1693
Sir Beville Granville29 October 1693 - 15 January 1703
William Lord North and Grey15 January 1703 - 1715
Henry Grove23 June 1715

Figures:

15mm, Black Hat Miniatures

Further reading:

http://www.spanishsuccession.nl/armies_uk/regiment_f10_granville.html