Sunday, August 24, 2014

Robert's 50th Birthday Gaming Bash

My friend Robert celebrated his 50th birthday this weekend. For his special day he decided to have a mega party with all of his various gaming friends. Some play Diplomacy, some play all types of 'Euro' board games and some play historical miniatures. I do two of the three and enjoyed most of my time with the wargamers, but was able to sneak in three board games late Saturday evening. This was a great weekend, plenty of good people to meet and re-visit, great food and best of all, great gaming.

Saturday morning kicked off first thing with a great game of Charlie's house Napoleonic wing scale rules, Napoleon's Rules of War. Charlie's been working on these rules for a while and they're pretty much mature at this point. We played a fun game with very little in the way of rules questions.

The scenario was a section of the battle of Talavara and featured a portion of Charlie's wonderful 28mm Napoleonic collection which has been entirely painted by himself. I conducted an assault on the British left flank. I had numeric superiority, but Ed's use of some reserve cavalry stopped my flank battalions forcing them to form square slowing my attack. In the middle we had more success breaking several british line units and one battery. On the other flank the Spanish pushed hard and were driving us back. The battle ended up in a classic 'pinwheel of death'. Great fun.

Saturday afternoon and evening we played a game using my Electronic Brigadier rules. I expanded the order of battle for my test scenario to a full OB for Freeman's Farm (1st Saratoga). After struggling to get the WiFi working in the room we were able to (mostly) resolve that problem and play a full game. The British pushed hard and fast with their right advance wing, in the process isolating the British Grenadiers, exposing them to fire from three American battalions. While they stood firm the damage would eventually rout the Grenadiers later in the game.

On the British left flank the Hessian wing had some trouble deploying and got jumped by Poor's brigade. The early advantage eventually resulted in a couple of lost units in that wing. The Americans lost one of the Connecticut militia brigades and suffered some heavy losses in several units, but held firm and eventually caused enough damage to the British for us to call it an American victory.

This was the first time the rules have been exposed to players not involved with the play test. Although I have several things I'd like to adjust in the programming, the game seemed to be well received and I'm quite happy with the outcome - units that suffered the worst losses failed morale and behaved as expected. Combat results all seemed to be reasonable when considering all factors involved in the combat. I'd like to give my sincere thanks to all the players for enduring the technical hiccups with the WiFi and for all their excellent constructive feedback. My lesson learned, bring a mobile hotspot to all future games.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

August 2014 Game Night

Last Friday night was the Northern Conspiracy's August game night. I played in a 15mm French Revolutionary War period game depicting part of the Italian 1796 campaign I believe. To be honest as president the start of game nights are a bit hectic so my details of the game introduction may be off.

The game used Mustafa's excellent Lasalle rules. Lasalle has a non-traditional turn sequence, but produces a nice quick playing game. I like that Mustafa uses a small amount of modifiers which makes playing a game using these rules easier for the first timer to understand.

I played with Charlie and Dave on the Austrian side trying to press across a bridge head opposed by Frenchmen Ralph, John and Art. The French played well in this one and held our bridge heads well in check. Unfortunately we probably needed a few more turns for their advantage to show. I did have some early success in the early cavalry vs. cavalry skirmishing, but I don't think that threatened the French position much with their infantry solidly holding behind their cavalry. Good game, well run. Thanks Don!

The second game of the night was Greg Symko's 28mm Nine Years War game. This one featured Greg's beautiful 28mm figures and terrain and used Warlord's Pike and Shotte rules. I didn't get a run down on the game but there was plenty of fun based on the raucous sounds coming from the table. I even believe I heard George say, "Phil, I trust you." so George must have been having a great time.

The final game of the night was Mark D's war of 1812 skirmish game in 28mm.  The game used the Brother Against Brother rules which our club likes for many different periods of skirmishing in addition to their intended ACW period. This game hosted guest Owen (in the green shirt) and guest and past member Dick (in the blue button-down shirt).

I'm also not sure of the outcome of this one other than Randy's British had their officer picked off with an early 'thwacked' morale check, which slowed the British down considerably. When I got to the table at the end of the game the Americans seemed to be mopping up the remaining British.

Wing Scale Napoleonics Game at Ed's

They say turnabout is fair play. The day after my play test (see my previous post) Ralph, Ed, Peter and I got together at Ed's house to play another play test game of his wing scale Napoleonic rules. I say playtest, but we really just played a game and didn't identify much to change this round as Ed's rules are maturing nicely.

I played one of the Prussian brigade commanders with Ed pushing the balance of the Prussians. Peter and Ralph pushed the French. This was an attack and defense game and the French did a nice job of holding up against our attacks thanks to good play in the towns which anchored each flank. Peter had a single battalion hold off my grenadiers for the entire battle giving them 6 hits while receiving none themselves and holding up to three separate charges. Well done indeed.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Electronic Brigadier - Play test #2

Tonight my friend Ed and uncle Ralph came by to help me with another play test of my computer-moderated wargaming rules, Electronic Brigadier. The battle was a variation of Freeman's Farm. Tonight's game was the first try with Artillery, a section of 6-pounder guns for each side.

The game went more smoothly than the first game. Fatigue tracking is now implemented, and seems to be working well. Next step will be to enable fatigue penalties for morale and combat resolution. With some suggestions we also came up with some other small refinements to both the programming and game procedures.

I'm running a public game with the rules in October at the Carnage convention, so play testing will continue to be a priority between then and now.