Monday, October 27, 2014

Shameless Plug - Dropzone Commander UCM Army For Sale

Sadly, I'm selling my Dropzone Commander UCM Army on Ebay. Readers of this blog can probably remember seeing them completed from this post. While I'm still interested in the game, it just never took off locally and I feel somewhat silly with $200.00 worth of science fiction models taking up valuable space in my figure closet when I've never played a game with them, and I'm not likely to do so in the foreseeable future.

If you're interested in this army and you're a local person, I'll even throw in two homemade 10mm buildings that I built for the game and one N-scale model railroad building as well as the Dropzone Commander rule book. I was very happy with how nice these came out. I'm sorry to see them go, but it's a waste to keep them.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Electronic Brigadier - 6th Play Test

Tonight we got together for the sixth play test of my computer moderated rules, The Electronic Brigadier. This was the last play test before my public unveiling at the upcoming Carnage Convention, and hopefully the last time my friends will all have to play the Freeman's Farm scenario for a while.

The British plan was to delay with their right wing while their center command pulled into position forming a solid line. The American plan was to shift Morgan's light infantry and the Connecticut militia to the American far left to hopefully flank the British while Learned's brigade filled the void in the center and Poor held defensively on the right.

Left the British, appropriately dressed in red and green, Ralph, Bob and Charlie.

Right the Americans, Ed, George and Rob.

As the battle developed Bob pressed the British center brigade hard up the middle, capitalizing on Learned's slow arrival and the weight of the Hessian artillery on Poor's New York battalions. To guard his flank Ralph pushed the British elites into action against Learned and Morgan in a series of successive charges. The Americans mostly held against these charges wearing out the British eventually turning the British grenadiers from the field. In the center Bob's British brigade pushed a large bulge deep into the American lines while Poor fought Hessians to a stand still.

In the end the loss of the British Grenadiers, and the wavering British and Hessian light battalions were enough for us to call this an American Victory. Final statistics from the fight were:

British Forces
  • Army cohesion: 60.0%
  • Total Casualties: 417 / 3709 (11.2%)
  • 1 unit dispersed
  • 1 routed unit
  • 1 shaken unit
American Forces
  • Army cohesion: 67.1%
  • Total Casualties: 279 / 3740 (7.5%)
  • 1 unit dispersed
  • 1 shaken unit

This was a fun game to run, with lots of action. We had some post game discussion about the weight of the effect of quality on melee and morale outcomes. This is something I think we'll continue to adjust as we get more games played and more data points. For now I don't think there are any major hiccups that have to be addressed before the unveiling at the convention. Looking at all the smiles from the photos, I think everyone was having a lot of fun.

More photos from the game:

And from the game, a video of the British moving their units while the Americans track their orders in the tablets:

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Battle of Gaugamela

Last night a few of us got together at my uncle's house to try out his TWO new 28mm ancient armies, his Alexandrian Macedonians and his Persians in a Hanibal at the Gates scenario for the battle of Gaugamela.  The Persians have a wing of Greek mercenary phalanx, but otherwise their infantry is somewhat lesser in quality than the Macedonians. What they lacked in quality they more than made up for with quantity. We all know what Stalin said about quantity.

The core infantry for the Persians are classified in HATG as 'Rankers'. Think Auxila in DBx, or generally medium infantry that don't use missile weapons. There is ample cavalry and skirmishers in the army as well as scythed chariots and elephants. We had good luck with our chariots as one of them took out a Macedonian companion cavalry unit. The rest of our expendable troops were mostly, well, expended. When push came to shove, our superior numbers of cavalry came to bear as did our abundant skirmishers. When we called the weeknight game the Persians were in possession of a healthy lead, although there was plenty of fight left in Alexander's army, as they had only lost one phalanx unit with only one other significantly damaged.

This was a fun game, and the first with both of these new beautiful armies, which Ralph has painted in the last six months or so. This feat is something mortals should not attempt. It has taken me nearly four times that much time to paint one army of this size.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

28mm Spanish 'Small Shield' Cavalry

This is the last unit for my 28mm Carthaginian army. I started this project in November of 2012, so it has taken me almost two years to complete it. Considering the size of the army I'm actually happy to have finished it in under two years.

This is a unit of Spanish 'Small Shield' skirmish or light cavalry. In Field of glory this will be a single battle group of four stands. In Hannibal at the Gates it will be four separate skirmish cavalry units.

The figures are again from Old Glory. This particular sculpt isn't my favorite, but I think they came out ok. I went with military red tunics and took the extra time to paint the horses as Andalusian breed, which is an ancient Iberian breed appropriate for these troops. The light brown coats match well with Army Painter strong tone 'dip'.

Next up on the painting table, the first of my Republican Roman army to oppose the recently finished Carthaginians.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Pirate Game Day 2014

Today the Northern Conspiracy got together for our annual Pirate game day. This year our host was Michael with his adaptation of the venerable Limeys and Slimeys rules aptly named Penguins and Pirates. We had a great turn out of 12 pirates, three of which were guests, two players running the government ships as well as two game masters: Michael as head GM and Paul as the Chancellor of the Exchequer. 

The day was fast paced, fun and exciting. We had plenty of ships sunk, scuttled and captured. I did well early fighting off a wolf pack of four pirates with my small merchantman sloop, but later on got run down by another wolf pack of pirates sending my boat to the bottom and leaving me penniless. Still a great day of gaming and my thanks go to Michael, Paul, and everyone who brought terrain, boats and a fun attitude. This was the last gaming event of my tenure as president of the club and I cannot think of any way to go out on a better note.  I hope my successor as president decides to bring pirate day back for a return next year.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

28mm Carthaginian Citizen Heavy Cavalry

I intended this to be the last unit I painted for my 28mm Carthaginian army, but when reviewing my dead lead box I actually discovered I misplaced a unit of Spanish light cavalry, so this will be the penultimate unit that I will paint for the army. This is a single battle group in Field of Glory or four individual units in Hannibal at the Gates. These are the citizen heavy cavalry. The most affluent of the first class citizens. I've painted them in expensive blue and green underclothes and they're equipped with the finest bronze breastplates and linen armor. The shields are a combination of decals and hand painted decorations. The figures are made by Old Glory.

I'm heading out on a week's vacation. When I return I'll be finishing up the last unit of Spanish light cavalry and participating in our club's pirate game day.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Pirate Rules Play Test #2

Yesterday we got together to do a full scale test for our Pirate Game that we'll be having at the club in October. Michael and I did a test earlier using tabletop miniatures, but we wanted to make sure the movement and shooting ranges would work with the full size models in a room so we got a group of Northern Conspirators together to do a play test in my garage.

Since we only had seven testers plus Michael as the GM we scaled down to only three Islands and had a column in the middle of the garage take the place of the government ship. The play test went well and we were able to iron out the last of the small details for the game in October. The October game looks like it's going to be a great one.

Thanks to Michael for running the play test, Ross's wife for the delicious apple bread and everyone for helping testing.  My friend and fellow blogger Mark D was at the play test and has posted even more photos and a write up over on his blog.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Electronic Brigadier - 5th Play Test

Tonight we got together for another round of The Electronic Brigadier and my venerable Freeman's Farm scenario. Helping me play test the rules were Byron, Ralph, Phil and Owen. Since Owen was new to the rules I played with him and Phil on the American side while Ralph and Byron chose the British as last time they were both Americans.

Since the last play test I've cleaned up a lot of the smaller problems in the programming and adjusted the casualty and morale calculations based on previous play tests and feedback from the players. Tonight's game seemed to be the best yet and may be the end of any significant adjustments in those calculations. We identified a couple smaller problems that will be addressed before the next play test.

For the game Byron led out with his right wing, the cream of the British forces. Byron quickly attacked Moran's rifles who surprisingly held. On the other Flank Ralph deployed the Hessian artillery and infantry in a solid line with the artillery on his left flank. The pain train for Poor's brigade began as the guns started their work.

In the center the militia were swept away early by the British simply through a few volleys of fire. The militia would eventually rally but too late in the battle to be a serous factor.

Owen used Learned's brigade to good effect eventually turning away the British and Hessian light units and finally the 24th foot. Honors for the game definitely went to Learned's brigade. On the Hessian flank Poor's brigade eventually lost both New York battalions and one New Hampshire. Although it looked like Poor's brigade was to be swept from the field the same could be said for the British advanced wing, a much higher cost. All in all a tangible American victory, but well fought and close until the end.

The game end statistics:

British Forces
  • Army cohesion: 44.5%
  • Total Casualties: 394 / 3512 (11.2%)
  • 4 units dispersed

American Forces
  • Army cohesion: 62.3%
  • Total Casualties: 333 / 3525 (9.4%)
  • 2 units dispersed
  • 1 routed units
  • 1 shaken units

Left, Owen entering Byron's British moves. Right Phil entering Ralph's British Moves.

Left, the British, Byron and Ralph. Right, the Americans, Phil and Owen.