Sunday, 19 March 2023

Ebenezer's Creek 1864

 Another group game at Steve's Bunker today, and great ACW action using the guys' 15mm collection and Regimental Fire & Fury.

Yes. Those are curtain tassels...yes, yes they are...

The encounter is (mostly)fictional set around a Union attack near Savannah in 1864 - so expect lots of veterans (and lots of 10s 10s rolled).

It was mainly a 2 on 2 game with a Union assault on a partially fortified position across a river.

Excellent game as always, with significant conversation on the nature of reality as per least in terms of wargames rules.  Oh, and in case debate spilled over into actual timewasting arguments over the nature of rules interpretations (don't mention 'cold steel'), I brought a whistle.

The fabled 'Sacred Whistle of Argument Enfeeblement', designed by Knights of the Order of Kwitcherbitchen, to stop rules arguments in their tracks; and lo, the artifact was used...often...

Also - every time someone says 'it certainly looks the part'  ...TAKE A DRINK!

Union approaches on the Reb left

Breaking out into extended line

The Rebel centre - hold the bridges

Action on the Reb right, where bridge assaults were the order of the day early on. This flank would start to fall mid game, as the Rebs are pushed off the river. In hindsight, reserves could have been kept closer to this flank.

Another view of the left - with Yankees streaming across the bridge

Using the wheatfield as cover

On the left, Rebs are driven back to the stone wall the Yankees push on

Mid battle - and troops are engaged all along the line of the river

Blue token? Yep - low on ammo - we rolled so many devastating fire, but you are wondering where all the ammo went

The Reb left...Union charges which ultimately result in the Rebs losing the position

Rebs pushed back on the left. Though they held in the centre...

...but with both flanks collapsing, are under so much pressure that the Rebs could scarcely hold the bridges, we called it.

Another great game with an excellent set of rules that is certainly reminiscent of ACW.

Sunday, 5 February 2023

KlosterKamp 1760 ...with V&B

 After last month's basing exercise, we finally got to grips with a relatively small V&B game (it still took 4 hours though), based on the Allied / French battle of 1760 during the 7yw, near Wesel.

Again, the elegance of V&B shines through, and we had many reversals and nail-biting finishes to melees.

Some refresh and ref to the rules was necessary during play, of course.

French units line the river, but there not enough of them to avoid leaving a gap for Allied units to exploit.

The Allied/British centre

There would be a cavalry flank action on the French left.

Advantage for the French, as they adopt stationary positions on the bank - doubling fire dice

"ze thing about ze small buildings, is zat I can not fit inside when ze shooting starts..."

The French right, which would see a stalemate until near the end, when French units were urgently required at centre

The cavalry action does not go well for the French

British troops ford the marshy stream and start to hit the open French flank

...even shooting off some cavalry

The main event happens, as fronts change, in the centre

Things were looking to go the way of the Allies as we finished, though they still had a number of  brigades to rally. All in all, a great game.
I also saw the beauty of the fire-counterfire system at work, in line with turn sequence. Said sequence does mean that there is a lot happening in these rules as the units numbers increase - although getting used to things again does make things go remarkably smoothly.

Saturday, 7 January 2023

It's all about the base...

 While most bloggers are using the first post of 2023 to display their early year paint jobs, I instead rebased my 15mm Seven Years War stuff for Volley and Bayonet.

Now, I don't have a lot of 15mm, but I remember buying the earliest figures here (Matchlock Miniatures) in the 1990s when 'Last of the Mohicans' came out, with a view to French & Indian War action.

Matchlock miniatures from the 90s (Green Howards of course)
More Matchlock French

To that end, they were only ever used for a Quebec 1763 game with WRG rules in mind but Canadian Wargames Group rules played.

There are also some Lancashire Games and Frei Korps figures in there for good measure, but here's the rub...

These figures were originally based in the nineties - on single and collective 3/8" per figure cardboard;

  • then rebased for Volley & Bayonet around 2010
  • then rebased on 30x30s to fit the groups' scheme around 2017
  • now rebased once more for Volley and Bayonet...(on 3"x1.5" and 3"x3")

What the hell am I doing? ...

Well, as the kidz say this days, 'I like the aesthetic' of the chunky V&B base for one, and I'm trying to get back into it as a multi-player, multi-period standard when Field of Battle will not do. Granted, having a lot of 3mm MDF which I got cut to various sizes many years ago, most certainly helps too.

And dammit...I have to say, aside from task of leveraging PVA stuck figures off their old bases, without a risk assessment, and the chance of slicing a finger off or losing an eye - I actually enjoy rebasing?!?! The new flock always looks good, for a while...

The problem of course remains now, with regard to differentiating between attack column and line for cavalry...but I don't care, if a marker will suffice. Previously, with 3 bases, the frontage only differed by 30mm, or a third of base width, if using three bases, so mehh.

In other news, I recently sold this 1989 boardgame on boardgamegeek:

I bought this in 1989, and despite still being a fan of WW3 wargaming, I have never even punched the counters out (and the scenarios are a bit crap anyway). Then of course, complex rules seemed to be the best way to (1) simulate modern combat, (2) impress your friends. Of course, now that I can't be bothered, there are invariably better ways to (1) simulate both the quasi-realities AND required 'gamey' elements of modern warfare, as we're all a lot smarter now and (2) I scarcely read rules which require heavy investment, and have little interest in them.

Hence a renewed interest in systems like GDW's 'First Battle', which does the same thing as MBT in my view, and even more renewed interest in attributing operation points to systems like this (which Steve is doing with PanzerBlitzHack).

My youngest daughter has been playing this video game (Valkyria Chronicles below) over Christmas (it was about 4 quid on Steam), which incredibly uses a similar operational system - the video game element involves moving characters and/or tanks under restricted action points - but the map element reminds you of 'ops points' for unit actions and 'action points' for individuals as they move and how they might be used. You can move an element 2 or 3 points, but your command/ops points thereby dwindle for doing other things.

Yes, it's an Anime ww2 crossover (fictional Europa vs the Russian Empire; based on the Russo Finnish war I think - with mad manga) but even video game designers have been 'thinking outside the turn sequence'. Don't laugh, but this game has every single modern wargaming turn sequence mutation, that we have felt so proud about in recent years, and it came out in 2008. Granted, most of these companies have designers who are wargamers on staff, so it all works.

(There was now to follow the video for 'it's all about the Bass' (see what I did there?) This 'pastiche' version of the original song has been chosen as it is more 'aesthetically pleasing' (trust really, trust me). I hope I'm proud of myself)...