Monday, May 16, 2016

Monmouth Courthouse at Huzzah! using The Electronic Brigadier

This past Saturday I ran my recently play-tested Monmouth Courthouse scenario which I call "Lee's Attack" at the Huzzah! convention. It's a hypothetical 'what-if' scenario where instead of only attacking with a force of volunteer soldiers, Lee instead attacks with each complete regiment that participated in the initial attack. With this successful game, I'm considering the AWI period 'close enough to done' to now continue onto other historic periods.

The scenario accommodates up to eight (8) players and I was fortunate enough to have a full table of great players. The game went off with only minor difficulties with the hotel WiFi which I eventually sorted out by using the hotspot that I brought for just such an occasion. 

The initial battle was going the way of the Americans with early successes and good focused volleys on the lead British regular units, particularly the 42nd highlanders and the British Dragoons.

The British finally started to turn the tide late in the game, bringing both of their massive Grenadier units on line as well as pressing the flank where the first New Jersey were making a move on the British column's route of march with the first guards. The first guards eventually faltered, but the NJ boys were also spent in the exchange. With more fresh British regulars guarding the flank, and with the casualties all but even, the game was declared a minor British victory. Putting it into historical perspective, the British left under the cover of nightfall, and would probably match that after this version of the battle as well, with Lee claiming the field and victory instead of Washington.

The two photos below are of the battlefield as nightfall settled onto the battlefield (convention game period time limit reached). The players played 19 turns even with time for rules explanations, and team strategy planning. Results of the battle are shown below and are very close to the historical casualties of the actual battle.

British Rear Guard
  • Army cohesion: 71.3%
  • Total Casualties: 580 / 6640 (8.7%)
  • 1 routed units
  • 1 shaken units
  • Honors to: 103 - Queens American Rangers
American Advance Guard
  • Army cohesion: 71.6%
  • Total Casualties: 550 / 7420 (7.4%)
  • 1 units dispersed
  • 2 shaken units
  • Honors to: 201 - 1st New Hampshire

Napoleon's Rules of War Playtest in Charlie's Gaming Loft

Two Friday's ago we got together at Charlie's gaming loft for another round of play testing of his Napoleonics rules, Napoleon's Rules of War. Rob and I played the French and Ralph and Bob played the Austrians in a small mirror scenario. Charlie's most recent round of changes were made to allow games to reach a conclusion in a more reasonable amount of time. They've done exactly that. The new changes didn't significantly effect the play mechanics, but did adjust casualties and unit deterioration. The four of us played the game to completion well within a reasonable evening session even with much conversation and fun. The result, a close affair with the Austrians pulling out the killing blow in the last turn. Not to put it in question, they actually passed the French break point by a few points in their final bound.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

White Legion Princeps

Two units of Roman princeps which completes my white Roman legion. These figures are Old Glory with a simple block paint job and my (now usual) black floor wax magic wash.

Next up on the painting table are two units of praetorian guard, using Warlord figures. My hopes are the slightly larger figures will make the elite praetorian units look appropriately impressive. These twelve figures put my total this year up to 113. I'm still on a healthy pace to crush last year's excellent output.

28mm French First Chasseurs

This is a unit I purchased on Ebay. It is painted to represent the first Chasseurs. There has been considerable discussion among the Napoleonics aficionados in my club about the validity of the figures used. The Chasseurs were at one point a lance-armed unit and that potentially justifies the helmets. Either way they were well painted and a good deal as far as price is concerned.

The figures suffered dearly in shipping. Every figure was knocked off the horse, sabers were bent, paint chipped, etc. A veritable disaster. Still I pressed on, glued everything back together and touched up the paint and re-based them. They look presentable enough and round out what I believe is all the French light cavalry I'll need for some time. I'm counting this as 24 purchased figures since they're mounted, and six stands re-based.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Monmouth Play Test #2

Last Friday a bunch of us got together to help me play test my scenario for the upcoming Huzzah! convention. The game is a slight 'what if' scenario asking what if Lee's initial attack had been formed from volunteer regiments instead of just the partial regiments required by Washington's order to only employ volunteer soldiers (each soldier having to volunteer personally). This was the second test of the scenario, and although I've resolve the order of arrival and unit locations to make for a better game while still remaining historically viable, I still need to do some fine tuning on the unit sizes. My two-stand basing system for AWI obfuscates the disparity of unit size a bit too much when using the actual unit sizes. I may need to round unit sizes up/down a little to alleviate this issue. All in all, I can still use a historical OB, but will adjust sizes to the nearest whole base number to avoid confusion and allow the game to run smoother.

On an up side, I have finally resolved what was a nagging problem with the tablet interface where the tablets would occasionally freeze. We played about 20 turns with four tablets and had zero freezes. I think I finally have that one licked!

Ancients Campaign Game - The Battle of Adrianapolis

Last Saturday the gang got together to fight the second battle of our campaign - the battle of Adrianapolis. This was Greece's turn to strike back at the Levant invaders in Greece. Earl (pictured left) is the Grecian 2iC and it was his birthday. For his birthday wish he wished for a single roll of twelve (boxcars) but he, Bob and Mike did a touch better than that, scratching out a hard fought win against the Levantian force, which employs a Roman-model army. Superior in army strength 12 points to 10 at the start of the battle, in the end it came down to the last unit removed to decide it. With both armies on the brink of collapse, Greece eliminated the last Levantian unit first and won the battle. I didn't play, but was a biased bystander, advising the Greek commanders.

Mike took a page out of the Too Fat Lardies play book, and marked his casualties with skull beads. Very posh! I have to get me some of those.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Moderns at Mark D's

Last Friday, Bob, Ralph and I travelled up to Mark D's place to play test his game for the upcoming Huzzah! convention in Portland, ME. The game is an adaptation of one of the recent Bolt Action tournament scenarios. Mark has adapted it for his Bolt Action Moderns adaptation. Mark and I played the insurgents, Ralph and Bob played the French led establishment forces.

With only four players Mark randomly selected partial commands for each side. Both sides ended up with a lot of the vehicles and armor and light on infantry. The French side got the worst of this with only one full squad of grunts, but all the toys: Cobra helicopter, two armored cars and two machine gun trucks. They also got a mortar and an HQ squad.

We received a technical with an auto-cannon on it. A second towed auto cannon, two heavy MGs and five squads of infantry.

This game was fun, fast paced and lots of stuff got 'blown up'. The infantry on both sides have plenty of firepower to deal with the vehicles. In the end the game was won by the French thanks to a heroic charge by their Lieutenant in the last turn. Somehow he survived taking incoming fire from no less than six of our squads/weapons. Hollywood material for sure! Look for Mark's game at Huzzah! - it's going to be a good one.