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...