Monday, January 19, 2015

The Battle of Lillybaeum - Conquest of Italy Campaign

Two weekends ago I hosted the Battle of Lillybaeum at my house. This was the second battle in the conquest of Italy campaign that my friend Mike is running. The battle was a Carthaginian defense of Lillybaeum against an invading Syracusian army. On the Carthaginian side (left in the movie) are forward to back, Ralph, Me, Rob and Bob. On the Syracusian side forward to back are Charlie, Greg, Ed, Phil and spectating in the back was Don. 

This was a fun game with the Carthaginian army having higher numbers, but lower quality units. Syracuse actually out-numbered Carthage 9 army points to 8. The battle resulted in a Carthaginian victory, thanks to excellent play by the Carthaginian 2nd in command, Rob, and good play across the board. All of the Syracusian players played very well too.

This video was the first one made by Mike and it's actually quite enjoyable to watch. It gives a great feeling for what our games are like. It includes each side's strategic meetings before the battle and plenty of in game banter.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Macedonians vs. Persians - Hanibal at the Gates

Yesterday Charlie, Bob and I visited my uncle Ralph to play some Hanibal at the Gates ancients. The game was Persia vs an Alexandrian Macedonian army. The Macedonians were fresh off the painting table, beautiful and Ralph was interested in play testing the pike for his rules.

I took the right half of the Persian army which contained a Greek mercenary phalanx wing and a Persian infantry wing. Bob had two Persian infantry wings, but one of them was the royal guard - a higher quality of troops in it. Opposite me was Charlie, who commanded a Macedonain pike wing, a heavy cavalry division and the infantry elements of Alexandar's royal guard. Ralph faced Bob with his own Macedonian pike wing, a cavalry and the companion cavalry.

This was a hard fought game. The Pike and Greek spear units seemed well matched against each other. Charlie having an additional unit of heavies won the battle on our side. On Bob's side the companions proved too tough for the lightly armored Persian cavalry and they carried that side. Victory for Alexander. I heard he was pretty good....

It was a fun day and the Pike seemed to work well. They have more figures than Greek style spear phalanx but lighter armor so play similarly. Next up for HATG a Macedonian army vs a Roman army, also to check for play balance. For me next up is a play test of my ACW Electronic Brigadier scenario for the Northern Conspiracy's upcoming January game night. I'm going to be running Monmouth, which includes some British dragoons. This will be the first Electronic Brigadier game with cavalry, so I want to make sure everything works properly before I bring the game to the club.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Syracuse vs Carthage - Hanibal at the Gates

Last Friday evening my Uncle hosted a pick up game of his ancients rules, Hanibal at the Gates. This was partially a re-match of our recently completed campaign battle which pitted a Syracusian army against a Carthaginian army. In the campaign battle the Carthaginian's won, but in this re-match, Charlie, the Syracusian commander, devised a system to fight with the hoplite phalanxes that seemed to work nicely.

This was a well fought and close game with Syracuse coming out slightly ahead when we called the game.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Northern Conspiracy December 2014 Game Day

This past Saturday the Northern Conspiracy got together for our December game day. Being December 27th the theme was the Christmas Truce of 1914. Our new president, Phil, was raised by his grandfather, a WWI veteran. Phil made a nice opening speech about his grandfather's service and the first world war. We opened the day up with a hot catered breakfast followed by two games.

 Andre ran several battles using his excellent Aerodrome game which has players plot their moves on simulated aircraft dashboards. Figures were 1:144 scale Wings of Glory miniatures. Many of them modified by Andre using decals and paints.

Bob ran an early war (pre-trenches) French vs German scenario using Bolt action rules with his own WWI modifications and his beautiful table featuring hand-modified trees and homemade freshly plowed fields.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Battle of Sutrium

In ancient Rome the phrase 'to go to Sutrium' meant 'to be ready for war'. Sutrium was on the border between Roman and Etruscan territory and was the site of many battles. In our current ancients campaign it was the site of our first tabletop game.

The Romans handled this easily beating the Etruscans by destroying half of the Etruscan core units while only losing 1/4 of their core units - a 2:1 victory. My thanks to Don for hosting the game and allowing me to push the Etruscan cavalry. Unfortunately my performance was due a battlefield execution. I lost 5 core points worth of cavalry while only destroying 2 core points wort of enemy units.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Carnage 2014 AAR - Part Two - Electronic Brigadier Unveiling

Saturday mid-day at Carnage I ran my first public game using Electronic Brigadier. I was somewhat nervous but several conspirators stopped by to help me set up and also to proctor the players through the first few turns. A huge thanks to Ed and Ralph for helping me out.

The game I feel went very well. The players seemed go grasp the system quickly and were more focused on the miniatures than the tablets, which I very much desired would be the case. I had some players experienced with computer moderated gaming and some completely new. Both groups seemed to like the system. Considering I took about 20 minutes to explain the rules, terrain, scenario and the computer system, after we got started moving the figures, the players played the game to it's conclusion in about 3 hours. Each side played 12 turns for a total of 24 turns.

The game was a moderate American victory, although their casualties were significant. The outcome info from the computer was pretty close to the historical casualties of 556 for the British and 316 for the Americans:

British Forces
  • Army cohesion:46.7%
  • Total Casualties: 495 / 3709 (13.3%)
  • 4 units dispersed
  • 1 shaken units
American Forces
  • Army cohesion:59.0%
  • Total Casualties: 302 / 3740 (8.1%)
  • 2 units dispersed

During Friday evening and Saturday day I had 6-7 people approach me disappointed that they couldn't get into my game as it had filled up very quickly once the Carnage event listing was posted. My table was open in the evening period so with the encouragement of some of these people, I volunteered to re-run the game so some of those people could play it.  I didn't get a lot of photos, but my friend Ed was generous enough to share these that he took.  This one to the left is me explaining the rules, terrain and scenario and the one below is me playing.

We played the game, which has 3 commands on each side, with four (4) players, me being the fourth. I was on the American side, my opponent was a young gentleman named Sean who out played me the entire game. So much for having an author's advantage!  Other than myself, the other three players were all new, but none of them had any trouble keeping up with running extra troops. By turn 3 Sean was able to enter my moves faster than I could move my figures.

This second playing was vindication for the British as they won in good order. They used an excellently formed line of battle with charges to sweep away the militia and rifles without charging unnecessarily. I had less luck charging in the dense woods, as my troops regularly refused to close there. In the open field I eventually lost both New York continental units although I think my opponent was also close to breaking in some places. Final battle statistics for game 2 were:

British Forces
  • Army cohesion: 72.2%
  • Total Casualties: 427 / 3709 (11.5%)
  • 1 shaken units
American Forces
  • Army cohesion: 58.0%
  • Total Casualties: 420 / 3740 (11.2%)
  • 3 units dispersed
  • 2 shaken units
Elsewhere in the evening session, Mark D. ran his 28mm War of 1812 skirmish game using Brother against Brother and Ralph ran his 28mm WWII skirmish game using Bolt Action with our local 'big battles' modification. Photos below again were taken by my friend Ed.