Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Freeman's Farm at Huzzah! 2015

During the Saturday afternoon session at Huzzah! I ran my second 'public' game of my Electronic Brigadier rules. I had a full table including friends I see only at conventions, Chris, Scott and Adam (from the Fencing Frog blog). Also at the table was Dick Bryant founder of The Courier Magazine. This was the same scenario that I used for most of my early play testing and for my game at Carnage 2014.

This game was a tale of the underdogs. On the west flank, Learned's brigade stood firm to the cream of the British army and turned away the British light infantry regiment and the 24th regiment of line routing each with combined infantry volley fire and support from their 6lb gun section. On the east side of the battlefield the German mercenaries held strong in the face of Poor's brigade of continentals - a force that outweighed them in number of regiments and quality. In the end two of Poor's continental regiments were driven from the line, one routing. Balancing off the other British unit was a unit of Connecticut militia that withered in the face of Dick's British brigade and fled the battle in rout.

At the conclusion of our time the casualties were slightly in favor of the Americans and the army cohesion was also in favor of the Americans by a small but not insignificant amount. Considering the equal size of the armies and the overall quality advantage of the British army I concluded the battle to be a minor victory for the Americans. Both armies sustained close to the historical number of casualties leaving plenty of room for a good re-fight of Bemis Heights if this were a campaign game.

I'd like to thank all of the players for their patience with my tablets difficulty with the hotel WiFi. I would also like to give a shout out to Adam both for pulling his Kindle out to rescue me as well as lending me some electrons with a USB battery boost when one of my tablets got low on charge.

Feedback from all of the players was very positive and motivating. I will soon be moving on to other historical periods as I believe AWI is very close to finished and working well in my rules now....if only I could acquire some additional GOOD tablets.

Update: Adam from the Fencing Frog Blog has a post about the game on his blog here: http://fencingfrog.blogspot.com/2015/05/huzzah-saturday-part-2-electronic.html

Huzzah! 2015

This past weekend I traveled up to the Huzzah! convention in Portland, Maine with my uncle.  I heard it a couple of times from different people, that this is quickly becoming the premiere historical miniatures convention in New England. I agree with those opinions. The games are high quality. There are plenty of good vendors and the venue has acceptable space for games and rooms available.

This is my first of two posts on Huzzah! and will feature everything except my own game which will be in a following post. These first two photos are of Northern Conspirator Ed's Armies at Lutzen area control game. Followers of this blog may remember my previous post about the play test of this scenario.

 Here are photos of conspirators Earl (left), Gordon (right) and Pete and Ralph (below) enjoying the convention.

These are photos of a game that used the 4Ground Pegasus bridge terrain which is re-sold by Warlord games. I've seen photos of this in the past and it's even more stunning in person. Beautiful laser work.

 This WWII game caught my attention for the nicely painted Tiger tank as well as the very tenuous position the red devil British Airborne jeeps are in a the moment. If the 88 doesn't get them the coaxial MG will!

 I was able to meet up and chat with my friend Mike who ran his epic southeast Asia skirmish game that features over 12' of table literally cram-packed with beautiful hand made terrain.

Mike runs a mailing list for fellow wargamers called the 'Barbarian Army' and also posts his exploits on Facebook. You can see his photos from Huzzah! on his Facbook page here. Feel free to follow him on Facebook while you're there.

There are a couple of rooms dedicated to board gaming both historical and 'Euro' games. Here is a photo of a hybrid - Axis and Allies.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Electronic Brigadier - Freeman's Farm Play Test for Huzzah!

Friday my friends George and Ed and my uncle Ralph came over to help me run a final play test of the most recent version of Electronic Brigadier before my public game at the Huzzah! convention next weekend. 

While the troops in the battle were from my Huzzah! scenario, I altered the terrain. I did this because all of the players have played my Freeman's Farm scenario several times during play testing of the rules. I wanted a proven scenario for the convention, but altered the terrain for the play test to reduce the monotony for Ralph, Ed and George.

The play test went well with both armies pushing hard on their respective right flanks. Both being successful with this a battle line was established roughly diagonally along the fenced road that I put on the battlefield. When we called the game due to time the computer had the casualties and army cohesion numbers approximately equal. The scenario gives a tie to the American army as they have lower quality troops. They also had the next turn coming up and would probably have advanced their position significantly during that turn.

All in all a successful play test and I look forward to a good game at Huzzah! Look me up there if you'd like to see the rules in action. My thanks to George, Ed and Ralph for their help testing the rules and scenario again.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Romans vs. Samnites - First Punic War Campaign

A couple of weeks ago we got together to fight another battle in our ongoing First Punic War campaign. This one was a Samnite attack on the Roman city of Capua. The campaign is coming down to the final turns and Rome is in a dominant position. Each of the other players in turn have been trying to drop Rome down a notch or two on the victory point ladder to extend the campaign. This was Don's attempt with his Samnites.

The battle was 9 points worth of Romans vs. 8 points of Samnites. I played with Phil and Don as Samnites. We did our best, but with a better quality army and an extra point worth of troops the battle was a slaughter and Rome won easily. Still a game getting slaughtered on the tabletop with friends is still a good way to spend an evening.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Play Test of Robert's Rules of Disorder

Last Friday a group of us got together for an enjoyable play test Napoleonics game using my friend Robert's own rules which we affectionately call "Robert's Rules of Disorder". I am not sure if this is the working title or not but that's what we're using. Some of the games base mechanics draw from one of our favorite rule sets, Volley & Bayonet, mostly due to our desire to re-use our 15mm collections without re-basing. Robert has re-build from the ground up most of the rules and has his own unique combat system that features much more predictable attrition while still providing for good variance of outcomes. The combat system also includes all of the expected modifiers for each tactical situation.

For the game we had a game of France versus a Ruso-Prussian force. Ed and I played the coalation and Charlie, Ralph and George played the French. We were able to kill a bunch of troops and try out some of each type of combat: ranged artillery and small arms, close combat infantry versus cavalry, cavalry versus cavalry and cavalry versus artillery. Robert left with a good pile of notes.

I believe this is the 2nd or 3rd play test of these rules I've been involved with. Each time the rules have made good amounts of improvement, and they're already fun to play. Our club is doing a lot of good creative work the past couple of years. We have at least a half dozen rule sets in various states of completion. All of this creativity has been a catalyst for a lot of great gaming.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Electronic Brigadier at Huzzah! Convention - May 16th, 2015

Come see a demo of the The Electronic Brigadier at the Huzzah! convention in Portland, Maine on May 16th, 2015. I will be running my Freeman's Farm scenario during the 2pm - 6pm session. The event number is 410. Unfortunately the game is already full, but I welcome people to stop by and see the rules in action.

Fore more information about the scenario and photos of it being run at the 2014 Carnage convetion, you can see my past blog post about those games. I hope to see you at Huzzah! Stop by my table to take a peek at the Electronic Brigadier rules in action.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Recent Ebay Purchases

Recently I picked up two batches of figures and a Sherman tank from three different sellers on Ebay. The first auction was nine more ancient Greek hoplites from the same seller that I got my previous batch from. As seen below, this completes a full wing of four stands of hoplites for Marathon to Marius. All I have to add is an officer and some soldiers or skirmishers. Both of the latter likely to include the Thracians I re-based earlier in the year. These figures came based for an unknown rule set. I re-based them for as shown.

The next group are some 28mm WWII British commandos. The group includes a forward observer, a 3-man Vickers heavy/medium machine gun crew, a 3-man command team, a 10-man infantry squad and a 2-man piat team. This is a pretty solid starter kit towards a British command for Bolt action.

Last but not least, a 28mm Bolt Action resin and lead Sherman 75mm. I liked this model because it was well weathered with mud and without markings. The latter makes it suitable for Americans or for British or Russian lend/lease use. I'll most likely use it with the Commandos shown above.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Northern Conspiracy April 2015 Game Day

Yesterday was our club game day. Normally we do a single session game night on a Friday evening, but this month's event was an all day Saturday game day with two sessions. During the morning session I played in my friend Byron's Indian Mutiny game. Byron is shown to the left in the red shirt going over the game mechanics. Byron's game used the Brother Against Brother ACW skirmish rule set, slightly modified by Byron for use with the Indian Mutiny period.

Byron's games feature beautiful terrain and figures and are always well run. This one was no exception as you can see from the photos below. The scenario was a hypothetical rescue of some loyal citizens (recently painted and shown in close up below) by crown troops. The citizens, held up in a small compound were protected by some local loyal forces. The compound was attacked by mutineers from one table edge and a relief force of crown forces were arriving from the opposite table edge. Present at the game was a new guest, Mark shown below in the tan shirt and beard.

Also run in the morning session were Mark D's war of 1812 game, and Pete's WWI naval combat game. I took a few quick photos which are shown below.

In the afternoon I played in my friend Charlie's Napoleonic game using his own rules, Napoleon's Rules of War. The scenario was Ruffin’s and Villatte’s attack at Talavera 28 July 1809. Rob and I played the German forces and Kevin, Bob and Ralph played the French.

Rob and I set up about half of our forces on the defensive ridge and the remaining we kept behind in a mobile formation to deploy as the French advanced. The French deployed enough across our front to keep us from leaving the ridge while their main attack went in on our left, which I defended by rushing our reserve into line there. With our cavalry arriving, Kevin was forced to form square, which our horse artillery punished with very effective fire (my dice were smokin' hot). Elsewhere the French attacked our center with cavalry as we couldn't form square due to the presence of French artillery in the sector. The cavalry punched a hole in our center, but then were forced to surrender behind our lines due to withering fire from our reserve. As the French tried to exploit the hole our reserves also rushed in to plug the void in the line, both arriving at about the same time. That sector stabilized while Kevin's flank attack was blunted by our artillery and infantry line. Victory to the Germans. Due to my hot dice, I received the table award, a tiny bottle of Chivas Regal scotch!

Sincere apologies to Michael, who ran the other afternoon game as I didn't get photos of his medieval skirmish game, Robin hood vs. the sheriff of Nottingham. Michael's games are always great fun and feature his home brew rules, Have Fun Storming the Castle Lads.