Sunday, February 8, 2015

1642: Warre Comes to Hedgehog-on-Lune

Lancashire, 1642. Tensions run high as local notables side with King or Parliament. 

In little Hedgehog-on-Lune the forces of the King rally around Sir Crofton Chase, those of Parliament around Goodfellow Pryce.

Assembling his men at the his ancestral home, Crumbly Old Place, Sir Crofton receives word that Pryce's men have formed for battle in a nearby  meadow.

The Parliamentarians arrayed
Without a moment's hesitation (or thought for that matter, for such was his way) Sir Crofton marched his forces to the field.

The Royalists take the field
The scene was set for a rather less than epic clash between amateurs at arms!

This is my first test game using a set of rules derived from the grand tactical Napoleonic rules from my last post.  The rules use cards to determine who gets to act and with how many units. Combat is resolved with 1d10. Simple rules allow for a difference in actions between units in command and those out of the commander's control, without those out of control units simply stopping as if someone had switched off their motors.

The Field of Battle
There are seven levels of experience that units may progress through over time. In this game all of the units start at the bottom rung, Raw. For simplicity's sake, and to reflect the less then knowledgeable nature of the combatants, this fight takes place in a featureless field.

The Parliamentarian force consists of three units of pike and shotte, two units of just shotte, and one unit of horse.

The Royalist force consists of three units of pike and shotte, one unit of dragoons, and two units of horse.

Looking to make up for his lack of horse, Pryce stationed one musketeer unit and his lone unit of horse on his left flank. His center consisted of a unit of musketeers supported by two of pike and shotte. His right consisted of a single unit of pike and shotte, tucked neatly into the flank of his center. Pryce took station in the center to better control his infantry.

Chase formed his infantry in the center, his horse on his right flank, and his dragoons linking the two. Devil take the left flank! Sir Crofton took station at the head of his horse.

Royalist Horse Advance
Quickly seizing the initiative, Chase set his dragoons to pester the musketeers screening the enemy horse. Some fine shooting and poor morale saw the poor musketeers in dire straits.

Sir Crofton directs his horse

Chase followed up the success of his dragoons by advancing both units of horse.

Parliamentarian horse charge
Seeing the plight of his musketeers, Pryce called for their withdrawal, and quickly charged with his sole unit of horse. The combat was indecisive and both units fell back to regroup.

Chase's horse withdraw
Chase's horse fell back behind their supports with the aim of regrouping.

The inexperienced Parliamentarian horse panic!
 Mishap (although if you ask Sir Crofton it was the Hand of God), caused the Parliamentarian retreat to turn into a rout. Truth be told with such inexperienced troops on both sides, its surprising that the Royalist horse did not also rout.

With Pryce's left flank successfully dealt with, Sir Crofton turned his attention on the enemy center. The dragoons fired on one regiment, while two of the Royalist regiments exchanged shots with the musketeers screening the enemy center.

The End
Once again luck was on the side of Sir Crofton, with the loss of three enemy stands to none of his own.

Seeing how the day was going, without cavalry support and losses of five to nil, Goodfellow Pryce sounded the retreat.

Sir Crofton let his enemies go in peace, hoping against hope that this one battle would put an end to the rebellion...

Not bad for a first go. Found some areas that worked very well and others that need working on. The next battle will see all of the units save one rising from Raw to Trained. While it may seem strange to some to allow defeated units to gain experience, both sides have now "seen the elephant" and will be better prepared for their next meeting...with the exception of the musketeers from Pryce's left flank, who having lost two out of four stands will be so diluted by Raw replacements as to remain at Raw status for now.

All figures from and painted by, the board is from Warzone GTS.

Hope you enjoyed the post and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year, New Rules: Quatre Bras 1815

Hello! I do hope you all enjoyed your holidays.

For my part, spent most of November and December abed whiling away the hours mentally developing a new set of grand tactical Napoleonic rules.

These are an old school style set of rules inspired in the main by the work of Charlie Wessencraft and Paddy Griffith. Each unit is a battalion of infantry, regiment of horse, or battery of guns. Ground scale is roughly 1" = 100 yard, and each turn is about 15 minutes simulated time.

It's 3'o'clock just south of Quatre Bras.  As the Prince of Moscow, I have set Jamin to operate along the Brussels road, while Gauthier's brigade enters the Bossu wood to the west. The corps artillery is advancing to take up positions on the recently gained ridge south of Geminoncourt. To the east Campi's brigade can be seen in reserve.

Orange has not been idle, having fought a splendid delaying action spanning from the wood to the Gemioncourt ridge.

At this point the only loss has been one battalion of the 2nd Nassau-Usingen Regiment although  three of my battalions have been in turn shaken and one even routed. All three have been rallied, and its time for the advance to continue.

As befits a game played at this scale only terrain that offers significant challenges to movement and those providing a height or defensive benefit need be represented on the table.  The layout of the the Quatre Bras battlefield pictured may be thought of perhaps as the cavalryman's view of the field. This was not good country for horse, much to Ney's detriment. While a single horseman can indeed go just about anywhere a man on foot can, the same cannot be said if formed units of horse are to be employed. The numerous streams, woods, and the sunken Nivelles/Sombreffe road itself all limited proper deployment of horse to the fields nestled between the Bossu Wood and the Brussels road.

The French right. Campi, center in reserve while Bachelu's other brigadier, Husson, has just about cut the Namur road south of Thyle.

The game uses a simple I-Go-U-Go sequence of play with a contest for initiative determining who goes first each turn. Combat uses only 2 six sided dice for resolution, and command and control uses a moderate command radius for the C-in-C coupled with an activity test for brigadiers outside that radius. Brigadiers are rated Timid, Cautious, Average, Dashing, or Reckless and are given to hold back, follow orders, or advance based on a 2d6 roll. In the current game Husson held back for a turn or he would have already taken Thyle. Will this lack of initiative be telling?

The French left. Gauthier can be seen pushing Netherlands troops back through the wood while Jamin advances on the crossroads. Bottom center one can just see Pire leading his horse towards the main road.

After four turns, the game having started at 2'o'clock, I'm a bit behind Ney in advancing on the crossroads, but closer to taking Thyle on the right. My plan is to advance Husson's troops up the road to the north west and roll up Orange's line.

Of course it is at this point that the Durch cavalry, Brunswick contingent, and first British troops arrive on he scene.

I am compensated by the arrival of Kellerman's cavalry and Jeromes division. While I will maintain a superiority in cavalry throughout my infantry will soon be facing even numbers and still later greater numbers of the foe.

Can the crossroads be taken and held?

Finally while I have had great fun designing and playing this game, the rules use no Two Hour Wargames mechanics and as such will likely not see publication.

Still having fun, and perhaps developing a greater understanding of the "why and how" of significant events is the point of the thing so all is very well indeed.

Hope you enjoyed the write up, and look forward to more as it happens.

Thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Dragoons Monsieur Rico, Millions of them

Alright. Not millions, 42 to be exact. Conveniently both the meaning of life and the number of dragoons unboxed from my latest Troopship From Scotland.

Gavin has written a fine piece about them, well illustrated here.

Here is a shot of the lot taken from Gavin's article just to add some color to this post.

Thirty mounted modular dragoons and twelve dismounted dragoons to go with them.

I cannot say enough in regards to the quality of painting and service it has been my good fortune to receive from the good folks at Alternative Armies /, other than that I am well pleased.

In this batch of 30 multipiece models only three figures had bits that had fallen off in transit, and these were still in the wrapping for the figure to which they belonged. That's no mean feat. Over the years AA's packing has improved dramatically to the point where I never worry over the complexity of a painted piece before ordering.

The new resin losange bases for the horse look sharp. It's a nice improvement over the old rectangular bases.

Also included was a set of food items for conversions. 

Cooked Meat (pictured above), Fish, Dodo Legs, and Carrots. 

On a personal note I've been unable to do much gaming, or put much effort into writing lately for a number of medical reasons and this package has given me quite a lift so Thanks to Alternative Armies for that as well!

Sorry for not posting more often but to borrow a phrase "good health is just around the corner" and I've lots of plans to put into practice in terms of rules, conversions, and scenarios when I'm up to it.

Happy veteran's day and thank you for your service to all readers who have served their country!

And as always. thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Forlorn Hope: A New Encounter for 95th WIP

Been working on this one a bit. Hope to send it off to Ed soon.

Basically your character can choose to lead the first assault party into a breached fortress wall.
Success will yield great rewards.
Death or maiming is more likely.

Here Captain Sharke (bvt.) leads a party of ten men; a Sergeant, two grenadiers, four line infantry, and two light Bobs.

They start out just before first light and hope the French sentries won't notice them until the very last possible minute.

In the event they were noticed right away...

Shots rang out. Carcass lit the morning. Fougasse turned the ground into so many mini volcanoes.

Sharke was hit twice by musket balls and took a pummelling from a mine but still he carried on.

First man into the breach was grenadier Simpkin of the South Mordor Regiment.

He was immediately shot and killed by a squad of Frenchmen waiting behind the retrenchment.

Disappointed at not having been first, Sharke redoubled his efforts, making his way up the wall to the parapet and killing a French officer in hand to hand combat.

The other side of the breach was tackled by a light infantryman who was not as lucky. His broken body tumbled to the ground below.

Of the ten men in the party only three reached the top of the wall.

It was enough to secure a lodgement for follow on forces, so a good, if costly, result.

Still need to finish up some bits (that means writing), both for this and the regular assault scenario. Still the end is in sight!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Team Jakub vs. Team Edvarda

Which side are you on?

As war in the Witchlands rages on, twilight is falling.

As chaos engulfs La Grande Armee, teenaged Isabella Le Morte, faces a different kind of war.

A war of the Heart.

Daughter of one of Emperor Mordred's liaison officers, Isabella has been living amongst the werewolves of Diberia for some months.

There she struck up a friendship with werewolf  heartthrob Jakub.

Jakub is an up and coming werewolf leader held in some regard by both General Hoofiuszko as well as the Emproer himself.

Jakub has lost his heart to young Belladonna.

Edvarda Sverkayushchey-Kozhi-Bletski
aka Kulinkov
aka The Pope of Mope
But life (and death) is not so straight forward for the wan Isabella.

Out gathering nightshade one frosty morning, Isabella found herself surrounded by fierce Zombiske Cossacks.

The wee girl was unceremoniously brought before the raiders' leader, Captain  Edvarda Sverkayushchey-Kozhi-Bletski  aka Kulinkov.

When his undead eyes met hers for the first time she was lost.

The feeling was apparently mutual as the sparkly vampyre soon spoke to her of his feelings.

No ordinary Vampyre was Kulinkov. He loathed his undeath as well as the hierarchy that had spawned it. 

Kulinkov vowed to Isabella that one day he would be free of the Dark Czar's grip and when that day came he would fight for the Emperor. 

With that Edvarda made sure that Isabella was safely returned to her camp.

Ever since their first encounter Isabella has been increasingly dreaming about a "life" of  undeath, in which she spends eternity with the dreamy Edvarda.

Truth be told, while by no means wishing the curse of undeath on his beloved, Edvarada has been making plans involving Isabella as well.

Meanwhile Jakub has had visions of his own.

Note: Edvarda was first introduced in the  scenario "General Buster and the Cossacks of Doom", published as part of the Orcs in the Webbe Advent Calendar 2013, and rules for his use in games of Flintloque may be found at the above link.

It had always been my intention to follow this up with a prequel mini-campaign featuring a series of skirmishes between Edvarda's undead and Jakub's werewolves. The outcome of the thing will be decided by the games although we must presume that Edvarda "lives" in order to turn coat and take part in Colonel Buster's expedition.

Only recently did I manage to finish up Jakub, a werewolf from West Wind's Gothic Horror line IIRC. I also took some time to rework Edvarda in a foot and mounted version including some repainting and use of gloss varnish on his skin to give that sparkly effect that drives the ladies wild.

The first encounter is already planned with the Undead raiding a convoy defended by the werewolves and elves although at this point I am not sure when it will make it onto the table.

Hope you enjoyed the post and thanks for stopping by!