Sunday, August 28, 2016

Bolt Action WWII at Adler Hobby

Yesterday I stopped by the Adler Hobby Boardgame Cafe to do some shopping and visit with my friend Gordon, the owner. Adler Hobby is a full board game and wargame hobby store and also has a gaming cafe, where you can play board games and war games. While I was shopping and visiting, Gordon had a couple of customers come in and request to play his "Italian Steel" Bolt Action scenario. Gordon offered me a spot in the game, and since I had the afternoon free I accepted.

This is a fun scenario, and surprisingly, the small infantry force of elite Australians actually has a fair chance to win against the all-armored force of the Italians. For this game it came down to the last Italian tank available on the last turn to destroy the Australian fortress. Luckily for us, it succeeded. A narrow victory. You can see from the photos below the carnage as tank after tank got knocked out by the plucky Aussies with their anti-tank grenades.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Northern Conspiracy August 2016 Game Night

Last Friday, the club got together for our August game night. Although it was a beautiful summer evening, we still had enough players to run all three games. 

Mark D. and Ross played a game of Axis and Allies WWII ships. 

Mike Coppinger ran his annual "First Man of Rome" mini tournament. This year it featured historic scenarios on each of the tables with scenario victory conditions and in some cases unbalanced forces. I'm not sure who won, but last I heard first-time DBA player Dr. Dick was doing very well (as is the tradition at these it seems). The photo at the bottom of this section may have been the final pivotal game of the tournament, based on how many spectators it had.

I played in Greg's "Chain of Command" early war WWII skirmish game. These rules intrigue me similarly to how Field of Glory ancients did. There are a lot of innovations in it, many of which I don't fully understand. I played on the German side and did well for a while in my sector. In other areas of the battle we were doing well, until a series of rolls allowed the British to have three turns in a row. During this run they rallied their center and used a mortar barrage to destroy ours. The German players morale was crushed possibly even more than the tabletop forces, and the Germans capitulated.

Even with the crushing loss, I went home and purchased the rules. I have to admit, they are fun, even when frustrating.

Greg's game also featured the debut of his early war Germans, which I had the pleasure to have good views of all game long. They're beautifully painted.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Fort Ticonderoga 2016 Reenactment

The reason we picked this particular weekend for this trip is because it allowed us to attend this year's AWI reenactment at Fort Ticonderoga. The fort is a privately run site, funded by contributions, memberships and a modest park entrance fee for visitors. Although the French and Indian war and AWI fort would have been primarily earth works, the current depiction of the re-built fort represents a later time, possibly of partially questionable historical accuracy. Still the placement of all of the structures remains as it was in the AWI and the stone barracks at the time were stone and have been accurately restored.  The fort's exhibits are extensive and include a climate controlled portion underground that allows for more delicate artifacts to be displayed. 

The mountain shown below is Mt. Defiance, which the British used to compromise the fort with artillery fire during the fort's capture.

Outside the fort the reenactors cook meals in an earthen multi-port field oven. Shown in modern clothing is Charlie, fellow conspirator and chef, discussing the oven with the period cooks.

Reviewing the troops inside the fort.

The diagram on the wall in the museum showing the number of cannons installed in the fort by year.  Also photographs of fellow conspirators enjoying the museum's displays.

As the British reenactors described them using period French terms, Les Savage. The native American loyalist scouts. They're a terrifying sight in camp and particularly in the woods! Also with them some British rangers.

Two British 3 pounder light guns. Used in the reenactment even these 'small' guns projected a fearful report even without shot loaded in them.

The British regulars line up in parade formations and prepare to march into the reenactment area in the woods.

The reenactment's first skirmish starts. Our vantage point started within the American lines, but as they were pressed, the British eventually passed by our location providing excellent views of both armies. In addition to these photographs, I've also uploaded six short videos of the action to my YouTube channel. I was using my still camera, so I apologize for the poor audio quality.

The regulars are coming!

The second phase of the reenactment happens closer to the fort, near the Carrilon battlefield area. This was a much more heavily sloped area with poor sight lines for photography, although I did get a couple of nice shots of the American battle line, which was quite impressive considering the number of reenactors available. This was approximately 40 men. Imagine a battalion of 500! Note the smoke from just a couple of volleys from 40 muskets.