Thursday, 9 January 2020

More 7D - BAOR in a BIND...

More 7D in a midweek deathmatch with Steiner-ovich and DiceDemon(ski) taking on me with a paltry British defending force ;)

'Forty quid worth of diesel please mate...(ski)...'   If you have any photography expertise, you'll also note that using my fantastic depth of field knowledge, I have managed to achieve full focus on the hedgerow, while the tank and garage are slightly out of focus. Deliberate, of course...

Nice rules, great game, though some chat about its lacking in terms of artillery 'reality'.
Some doctrinal issues could be addressed, though the WPact 'platoon fire' rule tries to solve some of that in tactical terms, though arty and airstrikes a little too random with the card system.

The PringleLego Power Station

WPact also far too maneuverable - today especially...(bitter, me?)

 Pact armour moving with infantry support in centre.

 Steiner-ovich on British right - would remain 'mostly' untouched by Chieftain fire discipline and Milans, despite numerous attempts.

 NotEnoughBuildings-Hof on the Rhine

 My superb and envied system with regard to hidden units, which remains the 'top' way of doing it; honest.

 'Firing! APDS UP!'


 Steiner-ovich plods on, and on...

 Milan teams and British infantry running out of ammo (chits).

 The British do some damage on their left, but a Chieftain for one or two T64s is not the kind of exchange they need. (Should have pulled back to rearguard positions, but got carried away).

 The Lego Power station - consisting of Danish Bricks and British Pringle cartons...


 They're not all duds though!!!

 The British left was ok, but the Chieftains would not last long, especially so when Red Air is floating about.

 British right.

 More T64 brew ups, but not enough - exchange needs to be 2 or 3 for 1.

 Here it comes...

 Red Air is driven off, but not before it devastates the British left, that's 3/4 of the armour gone.

 LegoPringle Power Station on the left, as Steiner-ovich moves to cover from the ridgeline.

 ...while DiceDemon-ski just waltzes down the road, and the British can do nothing - out of chits - 'what? No. They were NOT Territorial Army ...who said that?' ...I blame Colonel Rupert...

 Near game end, and the British hit their break point, and the town is captured.

Great set of rules; eminently hackable, and more WWIII actions are promised, together with some of the WWII version in the shape of Iron Cross.

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Fontenoy 1745 (with Maurice)

More of Sam Mustafa's Maurice, this time with the Fontenoy scenario from the rulebook.
Still a great game, and to be honest, I pay scant attention to its 'gamey' nature, each time we play, as it gives a narrative which feels like a real battle.

  • It focuses attention where the players want; that said, you can play into this by forcing the opponent to do something he doesn't want to do.
  • There are several cards which allow mis-direction and loss of control; it all plays into the narrative, and feels historical. (Command  'Blunders'? It's more than that...)
  • The commander's focus dictates what happens; thereby, an entire wing can remain motionless, even as it slowly attempts to feed reinforcements to the main fight, but with great difficulty. Isn't this what we read about?
 Between Maurice and Field of Battle, there are two systems which I'd love to hack for more modern periods. Can't say I'd ever want to consider that for Slack Chowder. I'd run out of dice.
  • The designers of Maurice and Field of Battle have wanted to obtain a narrative, historically playing/sounding action from their rules.
  • Both have been designed to give a historical feel, such that the game is memorable and plays out like a battle narrative.

     Metaphors? I think where Maurice is the explosive  ‘Die Hard’ Movie…there could be sequels, using the same formula, since it works; Field of Battle is a long running series about intelligence operatives, with a convoluted plot arc, where someone is the traitor, yet we don’t find out who until the last episode.

    …and Slack Chowder is an episode of Eastenders…(or the Gilmore Girls).

Also used my fledgling 15mm forces here. What a great scale, and fits on my 6x4 (site 'B'). I've had these for years, but recently got Stephen #1 to paint most of them for me.

 Shadows lengthen, as the forces' dispositions remain'll see why.

 The French left - seems secure.

 The Allied centre.

 The Allies have the balance of their troops on the right flank, with most of their elites. What are they planning?

 Allied moves initially with elite cavalry on their right.

 An allied push in the centre, even with 'lethal vollies', will come to naught.

 Early artillery action to tray and stem the allied advance, but the focus shifts to the centre.

 The Allied left remains static, though both sides feed reinforcements from this flank during the day.

 In the centre, allied musket fire ensures severe casualties, but not enough to break the French.

 Allied attack through the centre.

 Despite shooting away the French guards, the attack falters.

 More movement on the Allied right - slow and steady.

 Dutch move to the centre in order to prevent its collapse.

 French cavalry move to hold their left, which is under threat from elite Allied troops (remember that cavalry?).

 Early attacks on the French left go in. The Allies awaiting their infantry.


 Good use of cards to maximise and control the narrative.

 The battle quickly revolves around the fight on the flank; the French realising that their objective marker remains critically exposed - they now understand the Allied tactic - pulling their troops into a feint in the centre, to create a relatively unopposed flank action!!!

The flank under significant pressure as the battle proceeds. 

 The French hold on for many turns, but they can do little, having to focus their attention on multiple charges, even trying to bring infantry from the centre.

 ...but their morale is being eaten away.

...and the allies capture their objective.

A great game, where trying to do too much simply creates panic, and commanders must keep a level head in order to ensure that (1) they focus on the right things and (2) they sacrifice forces where they need to, while preserving units where required. Great game.

Sam Mustafa neatly sums up the design intent, in this piece in the FAQ on page 104 of the rulebook:

New players frequently feel 'sucked-in' by game events, becoming focused on some action in one sector of the battlefield, and they feel that they can't risk tearing themselves away from the action for a single round until it reaches a climax, preferably in their favor. When a couple of your units get into a fight, it can be tempting to devote more and more resources to it. But you have to step back and realize that it's usually a better use of those same resources to bring entire large forces into the action instead.

Sometimes you have to let units die. You can't save everybody. There are times when haviong a lot of cards is more important than having any one unit. ('Pass', for instance, even though you're in the thick of a fight.) As you become more experienced, you will learn to pace actions and manage your army.

I still make the mistakes that he refers to, which is the beauty and 'art' of this game. You won't see this sort of discussion in many rule-sets.