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.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Carnage 2014 AAR - Part One

This year at the Carnage Convention I played a Friday night game. The game was a 28mm Carnage & Glory game run by Rich Wallace - The Battle of Belmont. Rich's games are always beautiful and he's a C&G expert so they're always smoothly run. I played the Tennessee reserves on the Confederate left flank. The union were super aggressive in this game charging both my flank position and our center with mounted cavalry. Our infantry in works and behind fences held. They also gave the center fortified position a hard charge up the middle with infantry chasing away the gunners from one of our batteries, but our counter charges destroyed the attacking infantry in return.  After the excitement from the initial charges had subsided the Union slowly backed out and some even fled the field. Rich gave our best player, the C&C Mike commanding the center, a beautiful diorama as an award for being the best player on the winning side. 

Saturday I slept in and got up in time to photograph the other Northern conspiracy games being run in the morning session. First up was Phil's 15mm Fire & Fury game of the battle of Sabine Crossroads. This was a close fought affair. When I left it towards the end the Union were holding on by their teeth. I think they did end up saving the supply train and eeking out a minor victory, although I could be wrong on that.

Ed ran an 'old school 25mm' scale 2nd Afghan War game using modified Gaslight Historical Battles rules. It's amazing how 'giant' 25mm figures used to look now look almost small against modern 28-32mm 'epic' scale figures of today. Still I really like the proportions of the old figures, and Ed's are superbly painted and will match up well with anyone's modern lead. The game was running smoothly when I popped in several times. I'm unsure of the outcome but everyone seemed to be having a good time.


Byron ran a 28mm Indian Mutiny game using The Devil's Wind rules (modified Brother against Brother). This game features Byron's beautiful figures and terrain including cavalry and large artillery pulled by Elephants. When I left the British forces seemed to have the rebelling Indians well in hand having captured the large mosque and eliminated the most fanatical of the rebel units. 

I didn't get good photos of the Saturday mid-day or evening games as I was also running games during those periods. Those games will be the subject of my next blog post. My sincere apologies to the other conspirators who ran some truly excellent and beautiful games during those game periods.

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: