Sunday, August 2, 2015

CLAYMORE 2015 REPORT


I had an enjoyable day at Claymore.  Attendance seemed to be up at just over 800.  Good to see so many familiar faces and chat to people.   Building work by the College meant that there was no internal link between to the 2 halls so wargamers were forced into the fresh air of the College garden to get between the halls.  So it was a good thing we only had 5 minutes of rain.  The building work also forced the B&B to move out of its normal room to the rear entrance which was not a good location as there was simply not enough space. 
 
Kirriemuir - 2nd St Albans

Leuchars - WWI Dardanelles 1915
 
I had an interesting time as one of the judges for the games.  Here are the results

Best display game

1st - Leuchars – World War One Dardanelles

2nd – League of Augsburg – Great Northern War

Commended - Kirriemuir – 2nd St Albans

Commended – Dave Imrie – English Civil War

Best pp game

1st – Sally Forth  - Very British Civil War

2nd – Glasgow Games Group – Jurassic park

Commended -  Bathgate – Terror of Monkey Island

Falkirk - Tank War PP game - enjoyed by all the parents

Bloodbowl PP game

Sally Forth - VBCW PP game

D Imrie at his ECW game

League of Augsburg - Great Northern War - toasting their 2nd place

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

CLAYMORE 2015 EDINBURGH 1st AUGUST

My local club will be putting on it's annual show again this Saturday.

All the info is here

http://seswc.co.uk/2014/10/claymore-2015/

Some photos from last year



Monday, July 27, 2015

RAID ON INCHCOLM ABBEY

After 2 weeks in the sun of Majorca enjoying 33C temperatures every day I returned to wet and windy  Scotland.   The first game I played on my return was a Viking era raid on the coast of Scotland.

Inchcolm Island
Donald Adamson came up with the scenario and Hugh Wilson provided the excellent terrain.  The game was set in the 10th century and was based on a raid on Inchcolm island in the Firth of Forth. There is a medieval monastery on the island , but this game goes back to the days of Culdees (Celtic priests) and the imagined fate of the shin-bone of St Andrew -- a fabled (at least around these parts) relic.

Viking ship aground
Three Viking warlords, each in a longship, wanted the treasure of Inchcolm (although they were possibly more interested in the associated church plate), and three Mormaers (Earls) wanted to save the abbey (although they intended to transfer the shin-bone to a church in their earldoms). Two of these came from the newly formed Scotland (The Mormaers of Fif and Fothrif), whilst one came from the southern shore of the Forth (The Mormaer of Lothian) -- still Northumbrian at the time.  Each player commanded 50 warriors.

We used Hail Caesar with the stats coming from the Hail Caesar Army Lists (Book II)

Below are sample briefing sheets for Vikings and Mormaers.

Snorri Karlson

Ship: The Raven’s Claw – crew 50 men.

Mission: To raid the Abbey of Inchcolm, and remove the treasure from it.  Unless you get the treasure home, your people will laugh at you. First you must combine with other Vikings, and ensure that the locals do not prevent you from capturing the hoard. Secondly, you must ensure it is on your ship that the treasure goes home.

Roll a dice to determine your landing spot. Race to the Abbey. Roll another dice if the first to enter it to determine how quickly you pillage the church. Get the treasure back to your ship, or remove it from those who have it.

Fight anyone who gets in your way.

Vikings engage the Scots
Lulach the Fair

Mormaer of Fif  with 50 men.

Mission: To protect the Abbey of Inchcolm, but remove the shin-bone of St Andrew from it.  Unless you get the shin-bone home to Dysart, your people will never respect you. First you must combine with other Scots and even Angles, and ensure that the island is swept free of Vikings. Secondly, you must ensure it is on your ship that the shin-bone goes home.

Roll a dice to determine how quickly you get to the island. Roll another dice to determine the landing point on the island. The rest is up to you.

Fight anyone who gets in your way.

More Scots Vs Viking combat
How it Played

I played the part of Lulach the Fair, Mormaer of Fif.  I was unfortunate in that my ship arrived at a remote cliff path only to discover that some Vikings had arrived at an adjacent path before me.  We engaged in a desperate battle and I luckily wiped out all 5 Viking units.  Sadly another Viking longship arrived with reinforcements and they destroyed all my units after some abysmal dice rolls.   Angus Konstam’s Vikings landed away from any opposition and unusually made quick moves and reached the Abbey and found the relic in record time.  On the way back to their ship they ran into the troops of Bart (Mormaer of Fothrif) who defeated them and captured the relic.  Despite attacks from more Vikings Bart still held the relic at the end of the game and so was declared the winner.

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