Wednesday, September 14, 2016

"Robbie Con" 2016

This past weekend, a bunch of us headed up to Chester, VT to game Friday-Sunday with our friend and fellow Northern Conspirator Robert "The Rouse". Robert has an old Victorian Vermont home that the company he works for has converted into a conference center. With us all chipping in a few dollars he can rent it for the weekend and game with a couple dozen of his closest friends. This was a half board gaming and half wargaming weekend. The wargaming happened on top of a ping-pong table located in the "creepy clown room" - named for the photo on the wall pictured to the left.

I messed up and didn't have my memory card in my camera until we were wrapping up and doing the AAR for our first game. Apologies to Charlie, who ran a great game of Napoleon's Rules of War - French vs British and Spanish. Ed will have plenty of photos of this game on his blog as soon as he posts his update on Robbie Con.

As you can see by the photo of my sector of the battle below, Robert did an excellent job of destroying my command which was supposed to hold the flank. The troops you see there surrounding Robert's attacking troops are ones Ralph committed from our reserve. Without them we would have been toast.

 Next up was a Galatian vs Ptolomaic battle run by Ralph using Hanibal at the Gates. Rob, Charlie and Ed played the Ptolomaics and Byron, Dave Cheng and I ran the Galatians. Dave runs the excellent convention Council of Five Nations which is coming up in a week in a half. If you're not busy check it out. In this one the Ptolomaics had the run of the barbarians. Early clashes between elephants came up all Ptolomey and the Ptolomaic cataphract and infantry battle lines held strong to combined Galatian infantry and cavalry attacks.

The final game on Sunday was Robert's house rules for Napoleonics. These rules will re-use our extensive collection of 15mm Napoleonics that are based for Volley and Bayonet. Robert's rules have a few similarities to V&B, but for the most part are a complete re-write with new combat and morale systems. Robert has done an extensive amount of work on the rules and every time we play them they get better and are more fun.

In this game the scenario was Ralph, Robert and I commanding the French and Dave, Charlie and Rob command the Austrians. We gave our largest division to Robert with a command to attack the Austrian left. Ralph massed artillery in the center in hopes to support the attack and I held the right with a lesser force hoping to buy time for our attack.

Robert's attack went in hard and fast. It also got destroyed hard and fast (sorry Robert!). The Austrians countered Robert's attack with their heavy cavalry and a series of surgical counter-attacks. In the center Ralph's grand battery just managed to hold, although it was well battered. On my flank I gave as good as I got, but with less assets the writing was on the wall, with the Austrian converged grenadiers moving to my flank to guarantee the job got finished properly. Victory to the Austrians.

Three days gaming with friends. You can't get any better than that! Thanks for a great weekend Robert.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Battle of Epirus - Part I

Last weekend a group of us got together to fight the next battle in our Mediterranean Tyranny campaign. This one is taking place in Epirus and pits the ever aggressive Egyptians, using a Roman model army with local pike mercenaries against the Greeks, who recently also adopted a Roman model army. Pictured to the left the Greek monarch Mike (in orange) and sub-commander Bob. I also helped bolster the Greek ranks as the right flank commander. Below the Egyptian monarch Rob (middle) with his ally the Levant monarch Charlie on the right, and Byron on the left as the Egyptian right flank commander.

As the Greek right flank commander I was given a fine Greek (Roman model) legion, to defend against the opponent's legion, converged Triarii and a couple of soldiers from their allied Greek command. My orders - hold out as long as I can while we hopefully could attack on our left flank were we had the superior numbers.

I had some early successes and failures. My cavalry chased down some enemy skirmishers, but then got mired behind enemy lines and ended up being destroyed. My legions gave better than they got early, but in the final two turns of the evening, Charlie reversed his losses and punished my legions heavily. If it weren't for Bob's skirmishers and Pilum attacks eliminating one of Charlie's over aggressive cavalry, the latter turns would have been all Egyptian successes on my flank. As we broke for the evening, my flank is looking quite sparse and weak. Hopefully our fresh legion on our left flank can capitalize there before my flank collapses. We'll find out when we resume the battle in a couple of weeks. At this point it's anyone's game.