Saturday, December 30, 2017

Northern Conspiracy December 2017 Game Night

Last night about 14 of the Northern Conspirators braved single-digit temperatures, slick roads and a burst sprinkler pipe in the hotel to attend December game night. Considering the slick roads and holiday season, a good turn out. Two games were run. To the left Mark Decouteau's War of 1812 game of the Battle of Lundy's Lane. This game was run using Mark and Ed's house rule wing scale variant of Volley & Bayonet. Talking to Ed after the game it looks like he and Mark are on the right track with this variant and all had a good time. Apologies for the poor focus on the photo. The lighting in the room was a bit dark and the hotel maintenance staff were a bit too overwhelmed with the flooding to ask for their help with it.

The other game was my 28mm WWII Iron Cross game. This was a hypothetical fight over an unnamed village in France on or around D-day plus four. The scenario was a German defense of a small village with the British attacking. The Germans started with a platoon of Osttruppen (Poles) in the village with the British marching on a superior force with armor support and the Germans bringing in some regular grenadiers and some scraped-together light armor to defend.

Rob and Charlie were the British. Although they didn't stop for tea, Charlie's force flanked the town and a large portion of it never really got into the fight. Charlie's armor and mortars were used to good effect, but the infantry lagged behind. On Rob's side he decided to also develop a heavy Vickers MG field of fire supported by his Sherman before going in with his Tommies. Once fully engaged it looked effective, but the Poles held firm responding to several rallies from their German officers.

In the end the Poles held out long enough for the German reinforcements to arrive and solidify the situation for the day. D-day +5 would probably see them pulling out under the darkness of night, but for this day the Germans carried the battle for the village.

We like the activation system and combat systems in Iron Cross a lot. It's a simple game with a lot to recommend. There are a few 'dark corners' in it that are left for the game master to handle. For my games I'm working on a consistent set of guidelines to use game-to-game to keep things predictable. I've worked up a QRS that is more intuitive for us on the west side of the Atlantic. Once I'm happy with it I will probably make it available for public consumption.

Friday, December 29, 2017

More WWII British Infantry and Support Weapons

These will likely be the last figures posted for 2017. The year started off well with me doing quite a bit of 28mm vehicle conversions for WWII skirmish gaming, but personal events kept me away from the painting table for most of the year. With a game to put on tomorrow, I found the motivation to base up these figures which have been languishing on the painting table since late spring.

The infantry in the force consists of ten rifle-armed infantry, two Thompson-armed NCOs and a crouching figure suitable as an officer or forward observer as needed. In addition to the grunts, there is another 3" mortar and a 'Six-pounder' anti-tank gun. All figures are West Wind figures (from Old Glory here in the USA) with the exception of the two NCOs which I believe are Artisan. They are block painted and finished with my home made 'magic wash'. Grass tufts are Leadbearer's tufts which I highly recommend. I'll count this as 21 figures for this year's painting totals counting each special weapon as a single figure.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Merry Christmas

I'd like to take this chance to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and happy new year.

Things at home have been distracting from my hobby, but with a work break coming up I hope to finish basing up some 28mm WWII British I've recently finished painting.

I'll also be hosting an Iron Cross game at our club's December game night later in the month that should make for some nice photo ops for a last game of the year.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Two French vs Austrian Napoleonic Campaign Games

Last Saturday, ten of us got together to play the opening battles in a new Napoleonic campaign run by Charlie, the author of Napoleon's Rules of War. We used my large twelve-foot table, split in half to play two battles simultaneously. Seen at the left the full length of the table as the battles begun.

On the near table, the larger of the two battles was played with French players Rob, Earl and Byron (left to right left photo) and Austrian players Peter, Kevin and I (right photo left to right with me behind the camera).

At this battle the French were outnumbered three to four, with the Austrians having their corps artillery in addition to the additional other troops. The French did well causing more Austrian casualties than they received before being forced to withdraw from the battle due to their own casualties.

On the far table were Ralph as the sole French commander and Bob and Mike as the Austrian commanders. The troops in addition to the players were 2:1 in favor of the Austrians. Ralph fought a good defense, but the Austrian numbers here brought a predictable result.

This was an enjoyable rare December game. With all that goes on during the month we were happy to sneak in a day of gaming, and get both large games on the table for an afternoon of fun.