Saturday, December 15, 2018

Honours of War AAR - The crossroads (take three)

This was the third attempt at the same scenario using different rulesets in order to best compare and select a preferred one. The scenario, as before, involves two perfectly balanced forces converging on a crossroads with seperated columns (4 columns all arriving at semi random times). The strategies of the combatants had been diced in the original attempt and keep consistent since.

This go around uses Osprey's Honours of War. It was very helpfully suggested by Jonathan Freitag of Palouse Wargaming Journal who has a number of battles written up using it as well. We both liked the rules and are planning another go around (with a different scenario). We did have some concerns about time to close, but we think if we change to the 20mm distances (from the 15mm) and possibly add some road benefit it may alleviate those problems for us. On to the writeup and more thoughts...

Friday, November 23, 2018

Black Powder AAR - The crossroads (redux)

In the quest for a most preferred ruleset (thereby sidestepping the 'best' discussion trap) Tommy and myself replayed the crossroads game . A quick recap: we are hunting for a lacewars era ruleset to use with an imagi-nations type campaign/dabbling.

The scenario has been taken out of the excellent 'programmed wargame scenarios' and sees a closing engagement between two enemies of  two brigades each  marching down 4 roads that intersect in the middle (hence the crossroads designation).  Tommy has instructions to form a north-south battle line centered on the town, while my own orders are to take the commanding heights past the town.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Age Of Reason AAR - The crossroads

My forces marching towards the distant hills
I'm hunting for a 'lace wars' era rule set that I like enough to play regularly. One of the local gamers handed me a big box of unpainted lead (15mm scale isn't something he wants anymore) for the era. I'm planning on painting up an 'imagi-nation', but basing and unit sizes somewhat depend on rules so....the hunt is on.

Very quickly the cavalry is setting up to clash at the crossroads
My erstwhile opponent, Tommy, came into a large lot of prussians based and painted for Age of Reason. It seemed to be the most simple approach to try these rules first. We chose a relatively small set of matched forces (4 units infantry (inc 1 grenadier), 2 units can (light and med), and 2 cannon). Consulting Charles Grants 'Programmed Wargame Scenarios' we found that we were advance guards coming from the East/West trying to seize the cross roads. Tommy was meant to form a line of battle North/South at the crossroads. I was meant to 'seize the heights' which involved marching past to the South West and occupying the hills. Obviously these were incompatible plans so things got bloody.

I find it interesting when rules do cause 'historical' engagements. We had lots of failure of nerves to actually close into melee. Our cavalry clashed early/first and each side had a unit run off the table (dragoons beating hussars in both cases). It was actually more effective for grenadiers to advance to musketry range and blaze away at a lesser unit than (fail to) charge in.

Failure of will means the cav swaps insults at close range

 Some mistakes were made. The artillery was overly effective for the first couple salvos (1/2 of an infantry unit disappeared in a pink mist at one point).
The cavalry also tested their ability to close to combat incorrectly early, so there probably would have been even fast clashes at the beginning.

We played for 3 hours before running out of time. I suspect we were pretty close to a decision. Tests to withdraw were being made (although currently at a 12 on 2 dice). More importantly a lot of units were worn and likely to leave with a few more casualties. 

 I'd be willing to give these rules another go, having gotten up to speed on them. Our plan is to try the same forces/scenario with a different ruleset next month for comparison.
My infantry blindly marches past the screening cavalry into the teeth of the guns. A pink mist ensues....

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Imperial Skies - French fleet (2) - Brigade Aeronefs

The second half of the french fleet that came with my kickstarter. These are two cruisers are a Jeanne La Pucelle class, a Valiant class, and the Battle ship is the Charlemagne class. The latter has since been retired and remastered with some superstructure options and moveable turrets. I suppose this one probably is the 'actual' Charlemagne of the class as it's old and non-improved.

Once again, I'm a little unhappy with the grottiness of the boats and the annoying guy wire ripping up the paint from the lead problem. I also struggle with deciding whether to glue the bases in. These ones have a tiny plastic plug that is hugely annoying when it snaps off in the lead as happens most frequently in any structural failure.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Imperial Skies - French fleet (1) - Brigade Aeronefs

I kickstarted the imperial skies ruleset. It was done by Robin Fitton of Rottenlead blog who also wrote Gruntz so I was easily hooked. Once again, figs delivered a few years ago I'm sure, and they are just getting paint now. *sigh*. I ended up with two fleets so I should get cracking on the other one and then maybe I can actually try the game!

These figs are from Brigade miniatures Aeronef line. I was quite interested in aeronef but reading into the rules it sounded as they they were quite dated and (I supect) clunky. A rules freshen up was just what it took to get me in.

These two squadrons are the destroyers. I think destroyer is as small as it gets for the nefs.

The paint jobs I'm a bit meh on. They look a bit too grotty. Really annoyingly the lines (silk thread) tend to rip off the paint from the bare metal. Cool looking, but I forsee repeat repairs in the future.

Friday, September 7, 2018

15mm French Napoleonic Generals - Old Glory

As part of the "finish that lot of lead you got 7 years ago so you can finally table that force of french" project we have some generals hitting the table. These guys are a single bag of old glory lead. I was a little mystified by some of them (which is not uncommon with napoleonics I find) as they have different head gear and saddle blankets. I suspect that some might actually be ADC (aide du camps) but I wimped out and painted them all as high level officers.

Technically speaking for Napoleons Battles these are all divisional leaders as they are a single model on a 1 inch base. I almost group up some, but I realize I need a fair number of divisional leaders, and I have another bag of 'marshals' which should more than cover the higher level command.

At this point I really only need some heavy cavalry to be able to field all the necessary unit types for my french force. Unsurprisingly I have way more extra units than that to paint, but it's nice to have the choice narrowed for me.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Congo! Sultanate of Zanzibar (3) - 28mm wargames foundry

The final elements in the Sultanate column are the local african hirelings. No doubt these guys are cannon fodder for the more 'valuable' troops. Also, I expect these guys desert often as the groups pass into different tribal areas and get too far from home.

 East coast Africans were in a drier area so that the shields could be solid wood. The forest tribes tend to use wicker as jungles rot everything pretty fast.

We see some basic muskets, spear troops, and those poor poor porters.

Strangely for the Zanzibari's the white robes denoted a higher socio economic class, whereas for the Africans, having a piece of colored cloth to cover your junk was an aspiration.

I could have 'dirtied' up the loin clothes, but I felt it's more visually pleasing to have crisp colors on the wargaming table.