Saturday, August 24, 2013

Battle Line Has Been Drawn. Can You Guess Which One?

Well that was tiring!

Spent the early afternoon laying out the troops and table. 

Ground scale is 1" equals 20 meters are near enough and the table top is 48" square.

Naturally the figures are from Alternative Armies and mostly painted by their studio painters.

I have done the odd conversion and some particularly odd officers.

Terrain is mostly from The Terrain Guy and the table surface itself is from Warzone GTS.

The sky back drop is from Lemax.

So. What battlefield is this?

What event is about to take place?

No prizes mind. Sorry.

Was going to play the game however the effort involved in set up was too great : )

Will play soon though.

Torn between playing or painting.

Sentinel knows there is enough of that as needs doing.

One is fortunate to be spoiled for choice : )

Not sure I have enough Elves to throw into the maelstrom. 

May end up having to use dwarves, or rabbits to fill in as they too wear blue. 

Werewolves to for that matter.

Finally a mug my dear daughter designed for me.

With my credo on the reverse.

Hope you enjoyed the photos and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

An Affair of Outposts; Portugal 1810

I'm working on an Encounter for an upcoming game. The working title of the game is "Baker Rifle" however the published name will likely differ.

"Baker Rifle" takes the "Long Rifle" game play and ports it to the Peninsular War. In the game player's will command a section of infantry or cavalry while having to contend with the enemy, guerrillas/bandits, deserters, provosts, and hunger. Encounters will include the usual scouting, raiding (as attacker or defender) and a few other things like foraging and outpost duty.

This is my first go at the outpost encounter. The idea is that my section has been tasked with a section of regiment's piquet duty. This game takes place at night.

My force consists of one sergeant and sixteen other ranks. The sergeant and twelve men have taken up position by the farm house. Actually six of the men are sleeping in the farm house while the sergeant and six others remain at arms outside.

The other four men have been set out as videttes.

Brigadier Antoine Fortune de Brack, wrote that at night it is better to keep your videttes in hollows rather than on heights. In this way any approaching enemy will be silhouetted against the skyline as they approach.  As the dear Brigadier knew more about the subject than I could ever hope to, that is how I deployed the four men assigned that duty. While it would be hard to make a hard and fast rule for how sighting at night should be handled in a game, I decided to go with opposed challenge tests for sighting an enemy for the first time. If the figure being sighted is on higher ground than the figure trying to spot him there is a positive modifier for the spotting attempt. The  reverse also holds true so that trying to spot a figure at a lower height is more difficult. 

Having deployed my forces it was time to deploy the PEF's. One Possible Enemy Force was deployed per two foot of table frontage, giving three for this game.

That on my left was in line of sight but out of night time spotting distance of 12". The center and left PEF's were both out of sight behind hills and beyond spotting distance.

One last thing to mention is that for this game all light infantry and grenadiers were rated Rep 5, while all line infantry would be Rep 4. This allowed me to concentrate on play and not worry about what figure had what Rep. 

The enemy force table was heavily weighted to light infantry and grenadiers as these would be the most likely troops to be pushed forward first when moving on the enemy. 

I also rated all of the PEF's as Rep 3 to represent the difficulties of night movement and coordination.

The game started with the center PEF moving onto the hill top and into spotting range of my videttes.

 This turned out to be a party of 12 or so voltigeurs, the leader silhouetted against the skyline. One of the ever alert Rifles fired dropping his man and signalling that all was not well.

 Two of the Frenchmen moved to take care of their fallen leader while another two returned fire. One musket misfired but the second severely wounded the Rifleman.

 Following on from this the videttes fell back while the sergeant sent one man to wake the sleepers and set the other five out in a fan towards the front. Figured it was too soon to send word back to the grand guard without having assessed the threat.

 Firing continued and casualties fell here and there. The two flank PEF's remained fairly motionless for a few turns an then the left flank PEF moved forward.

This turned out to be a party of six grenadiers.

The right flank PEF also moved forward but no one was close enough to spot it.

At this point a couple of random events occurred with one affecting the French and one the British.

The voltigeurs inexplicably retired back behind the hill, giving my skirmishers a  much appreciated break.

Then my left most figures, blood up apparently, single-highhandedly charged the grenadiers, only t receive rough handling from their sergeant...

...and an escort back to French lines.

The voltigeurs reappeared and the firefight commenced afresh.

Casulties continued to mount and men were compelled to leave the firing line to prevent their capture.

The grenadiers continued to advance and were soon firing as well.

Another random event found one of my men getting lost in the darkness and wandering about quite uselessly.

Still the grenadiers were stopped in their tracks and the situation began to stabilize. 

That was when the right PEF was revealed to be a party of line infantry.

Now outnumbered two to one, I sent word back to the grand guard and made ready to withdraw.

The French proved none to willing to pursue and my section faded away into the darkness.

My losses were three other ranks wounded and three missing presumed captured. The French lost a similar number killed and wounded.

It was a fun game that spurred some other ideas regarding night combats in the game. The combat rules themselves worked well although here to there is an opportunity for tightening things up a bit.

Here is a photo of another go, this time on a 4x4 table. As usual the final game will be playable in on an area as small as 3x3 feet or even less.

To make for a faster game I have reduced the section size to 10 figures. Well when I say reduced rather it has no longer been augmented above 10 for this encounter. You see a proper small post should have 12 men plus videttes. Was going to presume that your section was given extra folks to fulfill the assignment but this seems to work just as well.

At this point all three PEF's have been revealed. One was just nerves, one was a half section of voltigeurs and the other a half section of grenadiers, leading to a fairly even fight unless either side is reinforced.

Friday, August 9, 2013

1842 of an old game

Like Uncle Joe at the Junction I have been moving kind of slow lately.  I have some lovely mounted halflings to paint, a wonderful game involving Rifle videttes set up on the table, and just do not have the energy to deal with either task.

A recent discussion on the Two Hour Wargames Yahoogroup that involved "Big Foot" Wallace reminded me of this game. The rules used were my home grown "Comancheria" rules and the situation was loosely based on the attack on the Parker stockade in 1836 but for some reason now forgotten this game was set in 1842.

I'm sure many of you will recognize the stockade itself, a left over from my youth...



My recollection is that the fort held, there were few casualties and the Comanche made off with horses and cattle aplenty.

In the same folder for some reason are these photos from Six Gun Sound: Blaze of Glory playtest games involving a scout fighting off hostiles and a raid by Mexican irregulars on a Texian ranch.

... and then there are these guys...