Friday, June 26, 2015

28MM HUNDRED DAYS WEEKEND

I was away at the weekend at Kirriemuir in Angus for a 28mm Hundred Days event.  Over the two days 12 gamers attended from the LOGW.  All the scenarios were developed by Charles Grant and covered the lesser known fronts of the Hundred days.  The figures were supplied by various members of the group and I supplied my Prussians and Austrians.

The Vendee table
On the first day there was a choice of 4 tables with differing scenarios.   Each of the players played 3 games on a different table.  The scenarios were a Prussian Russian advance near Strasbourg, an Austrian advance thru the Alps, a Spanish-Portuguese advance into southern France and an action in the Vendee against the Royalist insugents.  I played the first 3 scenarios as the allies coming out with 3 defeats.  That ensured that I would not be the allied commander in chief.

My Austrians winding their way thru the Alpine passes

The Spanish attack....
 
On the Sunday we played a single big game – a fictional battle fought between the River Brie and the Fortress of Roquefort – approx 200 miles southwest of Paris.  A combined Austro-Prussian-Russian force were attacking to break through towards Paris.

French deployed on the 24ft big table
The allies decided to hold on their right flank with the Russians whilst the Prussians and Austrians would attack on the centre and left.   My brigade was on the wrong side of the River Brie and could not get into action until they had completed a pontoon bridge.  I had a single battalion holding a bridgehead on the far side of the river.  Our attack on the French right broke 3 of their brigades and the game was a decisive allied victory……

Pontoneers at work on the River Brie

First troops cross the bridge
It was an enjoyable weekend and the rules adapted from the Kevin Calder’s ACW and Crimean War rules worked well and were easily picked up by all the players.   My thanks to Kevin who acted as the hard working rules umpire and Charles who provided the inspiration and organisation for the very enjoyable scenarios.

all my photos are available at
https://www.flickr.com/photos/bill26048/sets/72157654716302370

View across the Brie as the allied attack develops

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

28MM BLACK POWDER: ACTION AT DURNSTEIN 11 NOVEMBER 1805

During this week week I setup a game in my garage vaguely based on the action at Duernstein-Lobien on 11 November 1805.

French coup de main takes Unterlobien - under the noses of my troops who failed to move!
 Background

The French VIII Corps under Marshal Mortier is advancing along the north bank of the Danube whilst the main French forces under Napoleon are racing along the south bank towards to Vienna.  The Russian army has crossed to the north bank joining small Austrian forces and intend to retreat into Bohemia.  The allies convinced Marshal Mortier that they would retreat from the area of the Lobiens leaving only a small rearguard.  As The French begin their advance to the east they meet advancing allied troops who they apparently outnumber whilst the hidden Russian reserves are moving north thru the mountain paths to fall on the French left flank.

How the Game Played

The French players were Colin Jack and Hugh Wilson whilst myself and Mr Ray Neal commanded the allied Russians and Austrians.  We used 66% ranges and movement and the revised turn sequence (Initiative moves, Firing, Commanded moves, Close combat).  Given the poor state of Austrian morale at this point in the 1805 campaign I only gave them a morale of 5+.  The allies could not form attack columns as they still believed in linear tactics in this campaign.

Confident French columns go in against the linear Austrians and lose
Both sides deployed about 8” onto the table.  Between them were the villages of Oberloiben and Unterloiben.  The allies deployed with the Austrians on their left and the Russians on the right partly behind Unterloiben.  The combined cavalry brigade was held of the table as tactical reserve.  Colin’s French brigade advanced rapidly against the Austrians while Hugh commanding the other brigade and the cavalry moved on the Russians.  My Russian command rolls were so poor that my troops did not move for 3 moves during which time the French rushed a battalion into Unterloiben using a follow me order.  Colin’s 4 battalions in attack columns engaged the 2 front line battalions of Ray’s Austrians.  Colin had a battalion in each combat each supported by a battalion in the rear.  Both of the combats was drawn in the first round.  However the engaged units in one of the combats had become shaken and had to take a break test – the Austrians retired whilst the French column broke and it’s supporting column retreated.   The next turn the other melee was resolved in favour of the Austrians with the engaged French column breaking followed by it’s support also breaking.

French left wing - cavalry moved to the centre to meet the allied sabres

The French cavalry attempted to charge the Allied combined cavalry which had moved onto the  table south of Unterloiben but tragically for them fell short.  My Russian artillery scored 3 hits disordering them then they were charged by the Austrian Hesse-Homburg Hussars supported by the Pavlograd hussars.  The Dragoons broke as did their supporting Hussars…..Urragh!   On the far allied right Hugh’s other 3 battalions had engaged my Russian line.  The French got 2 columns into combat supported by the third whilst my Russian line was supported by a battalion and a gun.  The first round proved a draw as I saved 8 of the 10 hits scored by the columns.  In the next round the French only scored1 hit on me from 12 dice and my battalion won the melee.  One of the engaged French columns broke and their supporting column also broke. 
My Russian line about to beat 2 French columns....
 
It was an amazing turn as the French tested 8 units with break tests and 6 of them failed with most of them having no excess hits!  Truly appalling dice rolling by the French commanders.  The game ended at this point turn 6 – as a glorious allied triumph - as there were only 3 French battalions still on the table and none of the reserves had arrived.  The allies lost no units….

Glory - the Allied cavalry at their moment of triumph - both French regiments broke

Here are the Player Briefings and OBs

Allied OB and Notes

1st Russian Brigade
4 Infantry Btns, 2 Foot guns

1st Austrian  Brigade
4 Infantry Btns, Foot gun

Combined Cavalry Brigade
Austrian Hussar Regt, Russian Hussar

Reserves

2nd Russian Brigade
4 Infantry Btns, Foot gun

3rd Russian Brigade
4 Infantry Btns, Foot gun

Russian Cavalry Brigade
2 Hussar Regts

The allied reserves arrive from turn 7 down the northern passes.  The brigades arrive down each of the passes running east to west consecutively.

French OB and Notes

1st French Brigade 
4 Infantry Btns, Foot gun

2nd French Brigade 
4 Infantry Btns, Foot gun

1st French Cavalry Brigade 
Dragoon Regt, Hussar Regt, Horse gun

Reserves

3rd Allied Brigade
4 Infantry Btns, Foot gun

The 3rd Brigade is off-table marching to the sound of the guns.

Arrives from
Turn 3-4 appear on a dice roll of a 6
Turn 5+ appear on a dice roll of 5-6.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

28MM AWI BLACKPOWDER: RED CLAY CREEK 1777 (FICTIONAL BIG GAME)


This weekend Dave Imrie and I arranged a game for a subset of our AB1 group and a group of visiting Australian wargamers.  The venue was the Kingswood Hotel in Burntisland Fife.  It was another fictional AWI game – the Battle of Red Clay Creek – adapted from our previous fictional action the Battle of Germanwine. 

I used almost the same OB as Germanwine but we added a further 4ft of width to the table and simplified the rules for fording the creek.  To speed up the setup time and remove the pregame player input I used chance (a pack of cards) to deploy the units and also allocate the players to a command.   We used Black Powder with my house rules and 66% movement and ranges.  16-20 figure infantry units were standard units and 10-12 figure units small.

Centres about to engage
There were 10 players.  Five Scots and 5 Queenslanders, Mark Rogerson, Brett Morris, John Maguire, Glenn Lamprecht and Mitchell Clist who are touring the military sites of Britain, Belgium and France took part.  Jack Glanville, Angus Konstam and myself provided the figures whilst Dave Imrie and Brian Phillips provided the impressive terrain boards as the base of the terrain.  The cards allocated me a British command and I also acted as umpire. 

We played the game for 6 hours and at the end we declared a Patriot victory as they had avoided defeat by the British and both sides still had reserves to commit.


Hessians wade the river east of the bridge

View of the unfortunate British left - in centre troops are engaged
The British wing brigades had the worst of their combat with their Patriot opponents.   Which was unfortunate as they both contained an elite combined grenadier battalion.  Each side committed their reserves in the centre including their cavalry – after both had lost a brigade – and it was not clear at the end who would be victorious here.  The Patriot militia holding the fence line east of the crossroads held of the attacks of the Hessians and Brunswickers..

We all agreed that it was an enjoyable game played in a very friendly manner with no problems.

Here is a link to more photos of Red Clay creek on Flickr
https://www.flickr.com/photos/bill26048/sets/72157653752355332

Jack has put up a report on his blog at
http://pioneerpainting.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/germantown-2.html

Angus has put up a report with a fuller description of the action on his blog at
http://www.edinburghwargames.com/Journal%20106.htm

Loyalists reserves about to wade the creek west of the bridge

British right wing about to be destroyed by the veteran continentals

British left wing about to collapse


Historical Background

In late August 1777, after a distressing 34-day journey from Sandy Hook on the coast of New Jersey, a Royal Navy fleet of more than 260 ships carrying some 17,000 British troops under the command of Sir William Howe landed at the head of the Elk River, on the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay approximately 40–50 miles (60–80 km) southwest of the rebel capital of Philadelphia. 

General George Washington had situated the American forces between Head of Elk and Philadelphia. His forces were able to reconnoitre the British landing from Iron Hill near Newark. Howe did not set up a typical camp but immediately prepared to march across the gently rolling country inhabited chiefly by Tories, with the expectation of making an easy conquest of Philadelphia. As a result, Washington was not able to accurately gauge the strength of the opposing forces.

After a skirmish at Cooch's Bridge south of Newark, the British troops moved north and Washington took up a defensive position long the Red Clay Creek.  This site was important as it covered the most direct route on the road from Baltimore to Philadelphia.  The British grouped south of the creek and General Howe decided to attack on the 11th of September.  Loyalists have identified useful fords at the creek and so substantial British forces have already crossed to the north bank east of the Patriots.  

British Objective/Deployment

Your objective is to bring the rebel army to battle and defeat it thus ending the war.  Threatening their capital Philadelphia forces the rebels finally to stand and fight. 

You know that your troops are far better trained than the rebels but you know from experience at Boston that the rebels are formidable opponents when manning defensive positions.

You have noted that the rebels have deployed a strong force south west of the creek to cover the minor route to Philadephia and protect the flank of their Creek line.  Their line runs half way across the table.

You have 8 infantry brigades (4 British, 3 German and a Loyalist) and a small cavalry brigade available.    The main body of the army is deployed off-table south of the map.  5 brigades are in position to march onto the table initially.  The other 4s arrival is delayed by the poor roads and tracks.

Chance will decide on the 5 initial brigades and their position and also which reserve arrives when  called forward by the British CinC.

Patriot Objective/Deployment

Your objective is to prevent the British from moving north and capturing your capital Philadelphia.  Compared with last year your army contains far more regular continental troops and is less dependent on militia. 

You have 9 infantry brigades and a cavalry brigade available of which 6 can be deployed on the table north of the line shown on your map.   (Half way across the table)  The other 4 brigades are deployed in reserve off-table to the north.  Chance will decide on the 6 initial brigades and their position and also which reserve arrives when called forward by the Patriot CinC.

Terrain Notes

The line of the Red Clay Creek is a defensive obstacle though crossed by a bridge and is also fordable elsewhere.  Troops can cross the bridge normally (but only 1 unit at a time) and infantry and cavalry can also ford the creek counting a  -1 on their command level.   Troops fording the creek can only ever make 1 move in their turn.  No troops can ford the creek under Initiative. 

Fence lines do not provide cover from shooting but do give a +1 to morale saves.   The buildings are all simply scenic.

BRITISH OB

1ST British Brigade                                      
1st Combined Grenadiers
4TH Foot
De Lancey’s
5th Foot
Light Infantry skirmishers 12 figs
6-pdr gun

2nd British Brigade                                      
2nd Combined Grenadiers
9th Foot
32nd Foot
34th Foot
Light Infantry skirmishers 12 figs
6-pdr gun

3rd British Brigade                                       
Battalion, 7th Foot  (16 figs.)
Battalion 16th Foot (16 figs.)
Battalion, 23rd Foot (16 figs.)
Battalion, 33rd Foot (16 figs.)
Light Infantry skirmishers 12 figs
6-pdr gun

4TH British Brigade                                      
Composite Grenadiers (18 figs.)
3rd Foot (18 figs.)
71st Highlanders (18 figs.)
Volunteers of Ireland (18 figs.)
Light Infantry skirmishers 12 figs
6-pdr gun

1ST Loyalist Brigade                        
New York Regt
British Legion
Queens Rangers
Queens Rangers Skirmishers 12 figs
Light gun

GERMAN

1st German Brigade                                    
4 Brunswick btn.                                         
Brunswick Jager 12 figs                            
6pdr gun                                                       

2nd  German Brigade                                                           
Hessian von Bose (18 figs.)                      
Hessian von Mirbach (20 figs.)                
Linsing  Grenadiers                                                
Von Donop Musjketeers                            
Hessian J├Ąger 12 figs                                                                                
6pdr gun                                                       

3RD  German Brigade                                  
Breymann Grenadiers
Brunswick Btn
2 Hessian Btn
Hessian Jager 12 figs
6pdr gun

BRITISH CAVALRY BRIGADE
British Legion Cavalry  12 figs
Light Dragoons             12 figs                  
                       
PATRIOTS OB

1ST Continental Brigade                                        
4 Cont/State Regts
Riflemen 12 figs
Field gun                              

2nd  Continental Brigade                                        
4 Continental Regts
Riflemen    12 Figs
6-pdr gun

3rd  Continental Brigade                                        
4 Continental Regts
6-pdr gun

4th Continental Brigade                                         
1st Virginia Continental Line (16 figs).
4th Virginia Continental Line  (16 figs.)
5th Virginia Continental Line  (20 figs.)
9th Virginia Continental Line (16 figs.)
6-pdr gun

5th Continental Brigade (Veterans)                      
1st Maryland Continental Line  (18 figs.)
5th Maryland Continental Line  (18 figs.)
Continental Light Infantry (20 figs.)
6-pdr gun

6th Continental Brigade                                         
1st Pennsylvania Continental Line  (18 figs.)
7th Pennsylvania Continental Line  (20 figs.)
8th Pennsylvania Continental Line  (18 figs.)
Hartley’s Regiment  skirmishers  (12 figs.)
6-pdr gun

7th Militia Brigade                                                    
1st Virginia Militia (16 figs.)
2nd Virginia Militia (16 figs.)
3rd Virginia Militia (16 figs.)
4th Virginia Militia (16 figs.)
Militia skirmishers 12 figs

8th Militia Brigade                                                    
4 Militia Regts
Militia Skirmishers    10 figs
Light gun

9th Militia Brigade                                                    
4 Militia Regts
Militia Riflemen 12 figs

Cavalry Brigade
Light Dragoons  12 Figs                            
Light Cavalry     12 figs      

Friday, May 29, 2015

28MM GANGSTERS: THE KEY LARGO MASSACRE

On Wednesday I went to Hugh Wilson’s for the first part of a two part saga set in the era of the VBCW.  Tim Watson came up with the scenario.  A VBCW faction has been buying guns illegally in the USA and they are being shipped to Key Largo Florida by the local of the teamsters.  Various other criminal and law enforcement groups are trying to stop or hijack the shipment.

The Lucky sue awaiting her cargo.....

I commanded the state troopers and the national guard, Donald commanded the Italian gangsters, Hugh the local police, Bart the teamsters and Colin a gang of molls led by Bonnie Parker.
We used the gangster variant of Legends of the West.   The game worked well.  The teamster convoy only got half way to the harbour at Key Largo when it was stopped by the local police.  This enabled all the other factions to close up and a general firefight ensued.   The truck carrying the cargo was driven into a river by a teamster to prevent its capture.  However it was then found that the cargo was silk stockings as the arms had already been transferred to a VBCW submarine.  It had all been a decoy.

Teamster convoy on the way

State troopers advance on the bridge
 
Once again Hugh did a really great job with the terrain.  The second part of the game will be the arrival of the arms in the war torn VBCW UK.  

Truck with vital cargo reversed into the river

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

CARRONADE 2015

Here are some of my photos from this years successful Carronade show at Falkirk.  I helped the SESWC with their East African display.  A combined Anglo-Belgian attack on a German outpost.  The first casualty in the game was the Belgian CO trampled down by 2 ostriches.  My only buy at the show was some MDF bases from Martin at Warbases.

East Africa 1916 by the SESWC - the KAR avoid the rampaging Rhinos

East Africa 1916 - the objective of the German fort in the distance

54mm Medieval - the £60 game

Pacific Island Bolt Action game

54mm Plancenoit

Sudan campaign by the Iron Brigade

28mm Vietnam game

Indian Mutiny game.








Friday, May 1, 2015

28MM HAIL CAESAR: MORLAIX 30TH SEPT 1342

On Thursday I went to Hugh Wilson’s for a 28mm Hail Caesar Hundred Years War game.   Dave O’Brien produced the scenario including troop ratings for the Battle of Morlaix on 30 September 1342.  Hugh provided the terrain and Dave most of the troops with the remainder coming from the collection of Donald Adamson.
Battle line deployed
I commanded the English force and simply deployed my command behind the line of wolf pits.  The French attacked with 2 of their divisions leaving the knights in reserve of table.  On our right centre the Genoese crossbowmen steadily outshot the facing English longbowmen.  The first attack by the French sergeants on our left was amazingly successful and drove their opponents back into the forest.  The French cavalry then rallied back to regroup before launching a second attack which was also partly successful.  Once the crossbowmen wore down their English opponents then the French knights launched their attack.  One wing of the knights forced back their opponents but when the second wing was ordered to charge it turned its back and fled from the English.
At the end of the game the French had lost 4 units (corrected)  nd the English none but a large part of the English force was heavily battered and had withdrawn into the forests.  I would count the game as a French marginal victory.
A fun game….highlighted by some consistently bad shooting by the longbowmen w.
First attack of the sergeants
 
Background
The HYW has been ongoing for 5 years and apart from the naval action at Sluys 1340 nothing major has happened until Edward III decided to get involved in the dispute over the succession to the Dukedom of Brittany. Edward has decided to support the wife of John de Montfort who usurped the title from Charles de Blois the rightful contender. John has been imprisoned in Paris by the King and Charles has advanced to recapture the towns taken by John and his wife.
An English force under the command of the Earl of Northampton has landed in Brittany and is currently besieging the town to Morlaix when they were warned by scouts that a large force led by Charles is advancing to break the siege. Not wanting to be caught between two forces Northampton has decided to take most of his troops from the siege lines and march during the night to surprise the French. The French had camped for the night outside the village of Lameur and in the morning were surprised to find the English in battle formation on a ridge along their line of march.
The young an inexperienced French commander held a council of war to decide how best to attack the English and it wasn’t until after midday before they finally decided to launch an attack.
The English have drawn up in three battles under the Earls of Northampton, Derby and Oxford while the French have drawn up in three large battles. The main battle of knights is commanded by Charles while another cavalry and infantry force is commanded by Geoffrey de Charny while an infantry battle of Genoese crossbow men and French peasants and militia are commanded by Robert de Guesclin.
Bidets lead the French central attack

French knights about to launch the final attacks

 
 

Here are the player briefings.
English Briefing
The French had camped for the night outside the village of Lameur and in the morning were surprised to find your force in battle formation on a ridge along their line of march. The young an inexperienced French commander has held a council of war to decide how best to attack the you and it isn’t until after midday before they finally decided to launch an attack.
What they don’t know is that during the night you dug camouflaged pits 6” away along the front of your troops, any enemy infantry crossing will be automatically disordered and suffer 1 casualty test, enemy cavalry will suffer d2 casualty tests. This might reduce as the pits get trampled on and filled with bodies.
You have drawn up in three battles under the Earls of Northampton, Derby and Oxford,
you are rated as a 9 and the others as 8’s
Victory conditions
Destroy the enemy force 3 points
For each enemy commander killed or captured 1 point
For each enemy unit of knights destroyed 1 point
French Briefing
An English force has under the command of the Earl of Northampton has in battle formation on a ridge along your line of march, you must destroy them before being able to march to Morlaix and lift the siege. Unfortunately your council of war took longer than expected and it is now passed midday before you can launch your attack before it gets dark and the English can slip away.

The main battle of knights is commanded by yourself Charles while another cavalry and infantry force is commanded by Geoffrey de Charny while an infantry battle of Genoese crossbow men and French peasants and militia are commanded by Robert de Guesclin but there is not much you can expect from your militia and levies.

You and all your commanders are rated as 8’s.

Victory conditions
Destroy the enemy force 3 points
For each enemy commander killed or captured 1 point
For each enemy unit of knights destroyed 1 point

Troop Ratings
Type            Clash  Sustained   Short range Long range  Morale  Stamina  Special


Mounted            9            6                   3/0                  0                4              6                    Lance, 6” move
Men at Arms

Dismounted     8            7                    2/0                  0                4              6                    Double handed
Men at Arms                                                                                                                       English are Stubborn
Archers            6            6                     3                   3                5              6                    Longbow
                                                                                                                                           Marksmen
Heavy              8            6                    3/0                  0                5              6                    Spear
Cavalry
Mercenary       5            5                     3                   3                5              6                    Crossbow
Crossbows                                                                                                                         Move or Shoot
Spearmen        7            7                    3/0                  0                5              6                    Long Spears, Militia

Medium Inf     7            6                    2/0                  0                5             6                    Double handed, Militia

Bidets              5            5                     3                   0                6              6                    Freshly raised, Levy

Bidets              3            2                     2                   0                0              4                    Mauraders, Open order
Small unit
Peasants           5            4                     3                   0                0              6                    Freshly raised, Levy
Lance, enemy morale capped at 6 only when lancers charge.
Longbow and double handed weapon, enemy morale capped at 5.
Marksman, reroll one missed shot.
Stubborn, reroll one failed morale test.
Crossbow, enemy morale capped at 5, move or shoot, no closing/traversing shots.
Militia, no move on equal command role.
Freshly raised, check page 100 first combat.
Marauder, ignore distance penalty for command.
Levy, roll 4+ at end of turn to recover disorder.