Monday, 31 December 2018

Ramilles - part Deux

Same battle, different day, with Field of Battle at Sgt. Steiner's.

Here's the takeaways vis a vis FoB & Die Fighting.

  •  FoB was more dynamic. That's not to say 'gamey' as such, but everything made sense, in the same way, but the drama was heightened. There were more nail-biting charges, more un-predicted reversals, more lethal volleys combined with heroic attacks, and ill founded moves that could be recovered from. It still wears down your army - but not at the expense of having to manage the rules.
  • The British attack was foiled, and pushed back. A French counter followed, with local counter attacks on both flanks. With too much resource management, we'd have spent our time counting chips rather  than doing something stupid/heroic...or both.

  • Some discussion on - when a commander is lost in FoB, everything under him goes out of command, which can be detrimental to effectiveness - St.Ruth at Aughrim and the collapse of the Jacobite flank echoes this. I can read an a account of a battle and immediately ascribe a rule mechanism from FoB to it. Though there is management of resource in other rules, they just don't seem to ascribe a narrative the way FoB does. 
  • I can attack, get beaten back, rally and attack again in FoB. The cost is my overall army morale, but I know that will ebb down - and that's my narrative - making the enemy ebb down quicker. Isn't that a battle?
  • Now there is management of resource 'by command' in DF as opposed to the army morale in FoB - but it still works as a ready reckoner of force staying power - and you still have chances to stay and fight thanks to the Army Morale roll.
  • Granted - and by virtue of the same mechanism, weaker units can bleed your army morale rapidly - but, using your militia wisely (in AWI for instance), or making allowances for them in the resource pool, can help this.

To the pics (with Sgt Steiner's excellent 10mm Marlburian stuff):

 The Allied centre.

 Allied Left.

 Immediate action there!

The allies come off worst in initial charges.

 ...and sometimes disappear completely (a 1 is never good).

 ...prompting the allies to protect their flank for the rest of the battle.

 Strong French centre.

 French mass on the Allied right.

 ...pull back to the crest boys...


The French attack on the right, supported by cavalry. The British troops are the cream of the army, but won't fare well.

Bold moves in the centre. 

 Allied troops rout on the right after a successful French assault.

 ...with some cavalry success...

 The left flank holds.

Both sides battered - artillery was particularly effective.

Great to compare the two sets. FoB always a winner though.

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Ramilles - first game

Some shots from a first crack at Ramilles 1706, with Sgt Steiner using 'Die Fighting' rules.

These are quite innovative. Highlights:
  • Your force has a burnable resource, by 'command' (left, centre, right).
  • It's very hard to keep inertia flowing in the attack, and reacting to the opponent burns resource even more.
  • When you run out of dice to respond, it becomes difficult to react, and the opponent can take the initiative.
  • Where you can gather d6 to roll vs opponent's roll, it always helps - be they resource, bonus, or command dice - but it's an attritional mechanism.

This, on the face of it, is a superb mechanic, as you constantly have to manage the force and nurse it along to ensure that (1) you have enough dice to respond to attacks while (2) ensuring that the units actually do something and maintain a line/attack.

Now, you'd think I would love this, being attracted to 'manage your resources to manage the battle' style games, and I can see the merits of the system. Although, being the first game, I used up my resources far too quickly, and found myself fighting the rules rather than the battle. But certainly one for additional plays, and seems to reflect the WSS quite well. It certainly makes you think about husbanding resources.

It's definitely less 'gamey' than say Maurice or Field of Battle. That's not a bad thing - but does require a different way of thinking and planning.

Another game tomorrow - same battle - but with 'Field of Battle' (of course).

French right. I decided to launch an un-historical attack instead of defending against the allies. certainly tests the resource rules!

French left

Allied held high ground. Hmmm...not a chance of taking that with my flank open.

 The battle was dominated by a cavalry action on the French right, which pretty much opened up the flank for the Allies.

 The French, despite deciding to launch an attack, were inevitably going to run out of steam.

 oh yes - sixes always help :)

Saturday, 15 December 2018

More Spearhead - WWII this time

Keeping with his promise with regard to 'educating me in the ways of Spearhead (TM)', Dice Demon Steve arranged a game based on the scenario 'Twilight of the Gods' in the 1996 Spearhead Eastern Front scenario book - 'Where the Iron Crosses Grow', and the relief of Driesen.

Some fantastic 1/285 WWII kit on display here from Steve's painted collection.

A great set-up and game, with lots of heavy armour (damn those Tiger IIs) in a late war scenario.

Russian motor rifle brigade sets up in defence - with armour in reserve.

A lot of troops in Driesen, with random morale generated during combat. This would prove to be a problem... 

 German troops make initial forays. There is a flank march reserve somewhere, with lots of Tigers!

With this in mind, Soviet tank brigade makes an early appearance. T34s - 76s and 85s.

German armour, consisting of Panzer IVs on table - heading for the high ground, in support of their still to appear, heavier cousins.

It'll be an infantry fight to take back the town, with armour in supporting roles, though the Russians will have their work cut out when German reinforcements appear.

 ...aaaaand, there it is.

 This is going to hurt!

 Engaging in long range fire - which inevitably the Germans will win - though it comes down to how long the Soviet armour can block the route, and prevent German infantry taking the town sectors.

Infantry assaults on both sides as town sectors are held and taken.

 Driesen becomes hell for the infantry on both sides.

While the Soviets make a thrust in the centre with heavy armour and air-power.


 Russian armour on the flank is crushed, as the German forces start to take town sectors, despite stiff resistance.

A great game, and more to come from these rules. Very nice for this scale of effort, with some real fog of war and forcing decisions on the basis of doctrine.