Thursday, July 30, 2015

(Not) Brother Against Brother Napoleonic Skirmish Game #2

Last Friday my friend Ed had Byron, Charlie, Mike, George and I over for another go at his Brother Against Brother Napoleonic house rules. This time George and I were the French and Byron, Charlie and Mike were the Prussians. Like the first go around, the Prussians got a good jump on the half-timber barn and commanded that flank from it. George and I pushed into the park with our forces. George had about the same luck pressing the Prussian left as the first playing of the scenario (none at all). Pressed from the hard cover of the barn, I eventually also withered. The Prussians handled the French roughly and won the scenario by a good margin. Well played to them.

This is a good scenario and a second play reinforced the fact that Ed's house rules are all good steps forward in an already good game system. I'm looking forward to more games using Ed's modifications.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

(Not) Brother Against Brother Napoleonic Skirmish Game

Today, the Saturday of Historicon, those of us who stayed home were invited our our friend Ed's house for "Historicon North". Planned was a day of gaming with multiple games. In truth we had so much fun playing the first game that we played straight through lunch and pretty much spent the day on it. I think I speak for all who were present, it was totally worth it!

The game was Ed's first unveiling of his house rules for the popular Brother Against Brother ACW skirmish rules.  Ed's changes include a new dice-based morale check system which includes risk to officers and special events. It also contains some formation choices for units that are on the 'nice and simple' side of complexity. Just enough for flavor without being difficult to use.

The game was a meeting engagement between the French played by Mike and Charlie and the Prussians played by George, Peter and myself. Control of three of five terrain objectives would win the game. Four of the objectives were quadrants of a garden park and the fifth was a villa outside the park. The Prussian plan was to try for the villa, but if the French beat us to it. switch our attack to one of the French quadrants of the park.

Early on it looked good for the French to snipe one of our quadrants. Just as Peter stabilized things there, George took control of the villa. This position would prove dominant for the remainder of the game. On the other flank, Peter's green Prussian Reserve company was unstoppable. They simultaneously dueled a French line unit and conducted charge attacks against a French grenadier unit in the flank. Holding out to the last two men they held the flank and helped drive the French from our quadrant sealing the game. That unit only had 2 privates and a sergeant left at the end of the battle, but before they fight again they'll be a lieutenant and two sergeants!

Thanks for the great game Ed. It's was the next best thing to going to Historicon.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Northern Conspiracy July 2015 Game Night

Last Friday our club had our monthly game night for July. Due to the holiday week turnout was low, but I did get to play in a great ancients game hosted by my friend Don. The game featured Ralph's Marathon to Marius rules and was a historic scenario, The Battle of Telamon. Don used 15mm figures, which worked just fine with Ralph's rules even though all our play tests were done using 28mm figures. Don and I played the Romans who surrounded a Gaul raiding army from two sides. Bob and Ralph played the defending Gauls.

The Gauls quickly sorted out that the Romans would be attacking from two sides and formed up a good defence with Bob probing my Etruscan infantry with his cavalry aggressively. Don's command took a while to get on line while my command fought the Gauls doing well against Ralph and approximately even against Bob. Don's command was able to do very well against Ralph's opposite battle line sealing the victory for Rome. In the end the two armies were only 3 victory chips different from each other with both armies starting with approximately 30 chips, so the victory for Rome was marginal. The scenario which Don play tested three times was well balanced. With die rolls being more even the outcome would have easily been a coin flip for either side to win.

I was running late to the event so I went directly from work and didn't have my camera with me. Because of this I stole the above photo from our club website, courtesy of the club president Phil. The rest of his photos can be seen on our club gallery here:

No, I am not sleeping in the photo, I'm just thinking really hard. Hey at least I'm wearing a Gettysburg polo shirt!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

A new distraction

Sorry that I have been quiet as of late. I've just recently picked up a woodworking lathe that's been a new distraction and big sink of hobby time. I'm sure from time to time I'll be creating wargaming-related items on this, mostly terrain-related.

In the future I don't plan on blogging my woodworking projects, at least not on this blog. I may from time to time post a notice when I might be focusing more time on it such as now.

Below a quickly turned mallet for inserting drive centers into wood, a close up of the lathe head and speed control and a pile of shavings left after you turn a piece of firewood into a mallet.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

White Legion Command & More Numidian Re-Basing

This is a very small update. This stand is my white legion command stand made up of my previously posted Vorenus figure from Warlord Games with an extra Old Glory velite as a messenger. All that remains for foot figures for the white legion are the principes. Unfortunately they're behind some Carthaginian's on the painting table.

These are the last of my Numidian skirmishers, re-based for Marathon to Marius. I still have some cavalry that COULD be re-based, but these are the last of the infantry that NEEDED to be re-based.

Sorry for the high contrast photos. I waited for several days for a good overcast day for photography but all we have had lately is pouring rain or bright sun. Given the choice I'll take the latter, but neither makes for good macro photographs.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Carthage vs. Rome - Marathon to Marius Game

Last Friday we got together to play another game of Marathon to Marius. This game featured two classic 2nd Punic War opponents with historical orders of battle, as opposed to the more 'competitive' campaign armies we've been using in our recent campaign. The goal - test some rule changes that Ralph has recently made to the rules regarding battle line mechanics.

The game went well, and the new changes were well received. The battle was a significant victory for the Romans, who decimated the Carthaginian Gual and Spanish wings. The Gauls dished out some damage, but not equal to what they received. Ditto for the Spanish scutarii. The elephants and Numidian cavalry on my flank did well, but not well enough to pull enough pressure off of the Spanish. The Romans out played the Carthaginians on this one.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

28mm Roman Hastati and Carthaginian Medium Hoplites

This post combines the last two units that I've painted up but were waiting on my workbench for about a month to be based up. The first unit is two elements of Roman hastati. These are legionary stands in Marathon to Marius and will be added to the previously painted triarii and velites for my white legion.

All of the figures are Old Glory figures. I currently have a membership in their discount club and just cannot believe the value of being able to purchase already reasonable figures at a 40% discount. I highly recommend their discount club to anyone who's planning on painting any significant volume of their figures. It pays for itself on your first order.

The last stand is a unit of Carthaginian medium hoplites. I originally purchased this bag of figures in hopes that I could paint them in a manner that would allow them to make up the fourth stand in my Carthaginian citizen hoplite phalanx. Unfortunately these figures, with their linen curiass, just don't match up well enough to make it all work that well. My new thinking is that I'll need to paint up a second unit of these to act as a smaller separate phalanx.

These figures look very Macedonian to me. I will probably save a few of the left over figures to mix into my Macedonian units.

Monday, May 25, 2015

28mm French Napoleonic Dragoons

My friend Ed offered me a gift of these beautifully painted 28mm Perry Dragoons. He's recently upgraded his personal collection to some even NICER ones. I was blown away by the offer and told him it was too generous to offer me such an expensive gift. We agreed on a price that was still a very generous gift by Ed to myself. Thanks Ed.

I'm not sure where Ed got these. Ed's such an accomplished painter that it's possible that he painted them himself. It's also possible he purchased them painted. Either way they're gorgeous, and since Ed and I use the same basing convention, they didn't even need to be re-based!

There was one musician that was missing an arm. Since each Perry box set comes with plenty of extra arms, I was able to scrounge one from my uncle's spare parts bin. Glued on and painted, it's a pretty decent match for the original. At least I can't tell it was ever missing. Close enough for government work! The photo to the left shows the repaired figure.

Some of you may have noticed a significant lull in wargaming posts in my blog earlier this month. As I showed in an earlier post, we had a particularly damaging winter this past year. I've been spending most of my spring doing yard work, including removing several damaged trees. Here you can see the 'after' photo of the tree that was photographed in my earlier post. In the background, half a dozen four foot logs still waiting to be cut and split into firewood. At least I can mow the yard again....if it ever starts growing.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Northern Conspiracy May 2015 Game Night

Last Friday was our club's May game night. I played in Ralph's Bolt Action WWII game. This was a scenario suggested by Ed on our club mailing list. This actual battle for Itter Castle was perfectly sized for a Bolt Action game. The scenario features American and already surrendered Whermarcht infantry fighting together, trying to rescue some French diplomats. The diplomats were trapped in a castle guarded by fanatical German SS who refused to surrender. You can read an article describing the battle here:

I played on the American side commanding an group of two infantry squads and a 30 caliber machine gun. You can see below my command backed up by Charlie's idenitical command. Our plan, with a long table to cross and time at a premium was to delay on the flanks and "hey diddle diddle, straight up the middle".  Like most battle plans, it didn't survive contact with the enemy... Our Sherman suppressed some of the SS in the village with a very effective shot from it's 75mm main gun and Charlie and I rushed out to hold the left flank to make room for the middle press. Then the plan went to hell in a hand basket. The SS in the village blew up the Sherman with a Panzershreck, and the SS rushed forward to meet Charlie and I and mowed us down with their assault rifles. Moving fire from the SS assault rifle squads each with two MG-34/42 LMGs was 22 dice per squad. With little cover available, Charlie and I were stopped on the left. Without the Sherman in support the village held out long enough. In the middle we had some success, but only until the assault rifle squads were done mowing down our troops on the left. Our attack stifled we settled into the village, the only hard cover available. Victory for the SS (boo! Nazis, I HATE these guys.)

It was a fun game, interesting scenario and as usual, Ralph brings a very beautiful traveling table. Particularly satisfying for me was to see the village, which Ralph made up of my laser cut buildings with his own scratch built walls and other details. 

There were two other great games played. Below are Photos of Earl's 28mm ACW skirmish game and Phil's ACW naval game.