Saturday, 13 July 2019

Saxons and Normans make it to the tabletop

Having finished the 1066 Saxon and Norman armies it was time to squeeze in a few quick games using One-Hour Wargame (OHW) and Dux Bellorum rules. Then finally trying a variation of the OHW rules using the leadership point ideas from Dux Bellorum. I like the approach with Dux Bellorum and will be going them another go soon.

The first trial game
Another test game using the same terrain
However, the 1066 gaming ended as we have family visiting for a few days. The table was cleared so some Necromunda style One-Hour Skirmish Wargaming games could be played. The rules are simple and fun to play, and the family don't mind indulging me with a game or two.

Necromunda style game
Gun fire is exchanged
The opposition

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

19th Century Imagi-Nations Game

Over the last weekend I was able to play a 19th Century Imagi-Nations game. The main purpose for playing the game was to try out the smoke rule mechanism, where the effectiveness of shooting is reduced if the shooting unit fired in the previous turn.

A black and white photo midway through the game
To help determine the tabletop layout "Introduction to Battle Gaming" by Terry Wise provided the inspiration with its imaginary ACW battle of Centreville. However, a version of Centreville would be transposed to the disputed territory of Scailand where the Ustorian monarchy and the Novian states are fighting for control.

Tabletop layout
The order of battle was determined using the approach used in the chapter Wargaming Scenarios from "Wargaming Nineteenth Century" by Neil Thomas.

Ustorian Forces
  • 5 x Infantry
  • 1 x Skirmishers
  • 2 x Cavalry (reduced to 1)
  • 2 x Artillery (reduced to 1)
Unfortunately due to recent rain a Ustorian artillery unit and cavalry unit became bogged and failed to reach the battle.

Novian Forces
  • 5 x Infantry (1 on flank move)
  • 2 x Skirmishers (1 on flank move)
  • 1 x Cavalry (flank move)
  • 2 x Artillery
Part of the Novian force on a flank march and will join the battle on turn 6 from a tabletop edge determined by a dice roll.

Ustorian forces start the game with an advantage in numbers, but must make that advantage count in the first 6 turns before the remaining Novian units arrive on one of their flanks.

Ustorian forces deployed
Novian forces arrive
The bulk of Ustorian forces are deployed on their left
Both sides exchange fire along the river as both forces advanced
The centre hill is pivotal to the Novian defence until their flanking units arrive
Ustoran forces move across the bridge as their cavalry rush to the right flank to cross the river
Ustorian forces line the river bank in an attempt to clear away Novian defenders. In the background Novian artillery can be seen repositioning to the centre hill after taking some punishing fire.
Novian reserves arrive on the flank. While in the centre Ustorian cavalry having crossed the river charge into the forward Novian infantry.
Ustorian cavalry charge in and will rout the Novian infantry.
On the other flank Ustorian forces are repositioning their infantry to counter the Novian flanking force.
The Novian centre is at risk even with additional support from their repositioned artillery unit.
Novian flanking forces cross the river at a ford, and their cavalry rush to support a struggling centre.
Novian centre forces are being whittled down.
Ustorian forces desperately try to take the centre and bolster their right flank.
Relief arrives for the Novian centre.
Flanking Novian forces are looking threatening.
The Novian centre holds it ground as the Ustorian attack begins to falter.
Novian cavalry make short work of the defending skirmishers.
It is all over for the Ustorian forces.
A most enjoyable solo game. Ustorian forces were unable to use their small numbers advantage before Novian reserve arrived on the flank. As for the smoke rule mechanism? This worked out well, allowing fresh units entering combat get a definite advantage without it being overpowering.

Saturday, 6 July 2019

A bit of WW2 and 1066 this week

This weekend's wargame will be a 19th Century imagination game to try out the smoke modification to the rules (see previous post). However, most of my free time so far this weekend has been directed to completing my Normans and Saxons paper armies so I can have a game next week. Both armies have cost less than $60 to complete and were done as part of a challenge. I may have got the challenge wrong as I think the $60 limit was for a single army.

The Norman paper army completed
A close up
A quick WW2 game based upon Tank on Tank rules during the week
During the week a secondhand book I had ordered arrived - "World War II Desert Tactics" by Paddy Griffith. I found this an interesting read providing a useful overview of the tactics applied by the various armies from the start of the Desert war through to its conclusion. It got me thinking about the composition of forces I put on the tabletop, particularly the number of Anti-Tank guns used by Commonwealth and German forces.

Recent book arrival

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Rules idea from ACW Wargaming Book

I have been reading the rules section amongst a few other chapters of interest in Airfix's American Civil War Wargaming by Terry Wise. The rules are of their time, but are for the most part very straightforward. For example, units have a moral value based upon their size and quality, which when exceeded by the number of hits causes the unit to retreat unless rallied by a commander. The author states "Personally I prefer a much simpler system based on figure value and in practice, during countless games, I have found this to often have almost identical results to the complicated charts, and in some cases it has actually proven more realistic - mainly because it dispenses with the unpredictability of dice".

A game in progress
One rule mechanism which caught my interest was the smoke or "fog or war" rules which have smoke markers placed at a distance from the shooting unit and these are moved closer to the firing unit each time it shoots, reducing the unit's visibility. In the book it does go on caution "the system is rather complex and rather annoying in a fast game". While I like the idea I have no wish the measure and place smoke markers. For me a somewhat cruder mechanism is to place smoke on the shooting unit, which I tend to do already for aesthetics and to remember which units have fired, then deduct 1 from shooting if a unit fired the previous turn. A unit what has not fired the previous turn will not be penalised. Reflecting the unit has had the opportunity to reload in an orderly fashion and reorganise itself.

The rules for Infantry and Skirmishers Shooting are...

For Infantry units roll 2D6 selecting the highest score, while for skirmishers roll 1D6. Then add and subtract for:

-1 Short range 0” to 6”
-2 Medium range 6” to 12”
-3 Long range 12” to 18”
-1 Target in cover
-1 If shooting in the previous turn

And one final photo...

A couple of turns later

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Norman Paper Soldiers

My Norman paper army is almost complete. I plan to add two Breton cavalry units this coming week. Then I can start to play some small scale games between them and the completed Saxon army (pictures here).

Norman Army
Norman units currently completed are:

  • 4 Norman Spearmen units
  • 2 Archers units
  • 2 Norman Cavalry
A closer view 
At sometime in the past I just have been thinking about Normans and Saxons as I had this Osprey title in my library.

I started building these paper armies as part of a challenge proposed on the blog wrong - where "The idea being you buy and paint an army with a view to gaming with it for £30 (or the local currency equivalent) or less in a set number of weeks."

The cost to date is $57 the Australian Dollar equivalent:
$24 for Peter Dennis Paper Armies 1066
$16.50 for the Saxon army (photocopying and cardboard)
$16.50 for the Norman army

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Playing around with weather and a book arrives

This week I have been spending my free time cutting out Norman paper soldiers and playing a few Imagi-Nations 19th Century games with a bit of weather thrown in. The effects of fog to be precise. The game is a pitched battle (One-Hour War-games scenario 2) but with both forces advancing on a foggy morning. The fog limits both movement and shooting to a range of 6" on the first move, and visibility is increased by 6" with each turn as the fog lifts.

Some photos of the game as troops move forward and encounter each other in the fog.

Then in the post today arrived Airfix American Civil War Waraming. I have so far just looked through all the pictures of the black and white photos of games with Airfix ACW figures and various conversions. What I really like about these game photos is they look like a games you can emulate. Unlike the wargaming photos in current magazines which are far too perfect and amazing detained to emulate.

I have some painted MiniFig 15mm ACW armies which have not seen the light of day for quite a while, and hopefully will get a run on the tabletop soon.

Sunday, 23 June 2019

ECW Campaign - Game 21

The Battle of Barton Hall, September 1644, has a smaller Royalist force taking up a defensive position against a slightly larger Parliamentarian force who are advancing into the East Midland region.
Battle map and deployments
Royalist forces took up positions with Barton Hall in their centre, cavalry on the left, and dragoons pushed up into the fields on the right flank. Parliament moved up into their positions, cavalry on the right flank to mirror their counterparts, infantry positioned around Barton Hall Road, and dragoons pushed out near the boggy ground.

Having deployed his forces by mid morning the Parliamentarian commander then pushed forward his centre infantry and dragoons. The centre wood split the Parliament line and was proving an impediment for the issuing of commands issues.

Early moves
More untis become engaged in the fighting
Orders eventually reached Parliamentarian cavalry who moved forward slowly towards the Royalist cavalry, who decided the best defence was to counter charge and a cavalry melee was soon underway. On the other flank both sides were taking losses and the fight remained in the balance.

Parliament cavalry advance
A view of the battle at its height
While Royalist cavalry put up a good fight the weight of numbers began to tell. This was the same story on the other flank where Royalist infantry began retiring and consolidating for a last defence at Barton Hall.
The cavalry engagement rages on
Royalist forces retire around Barton Hall.
As the battle moving into the afternoon a depleted Parliament cavalry claimed victory as the last Royalist cavalry left the field of battle. At this point Royalists had lost more than half their units and could not make any attacking moves. While still in good defensive position around Barton Hall, this was not going to be their day and they began to retire. Handing a minor victory to Parliament who as a result will gain control of the East Midlands.

Parliament cavalry win the melee.
Battle movements
The gain of another region is important to Parliament who had suffered a few unexpected reversals of fortune during 1644. With only two months left in 1644 we will have to see if Royalist forces are able to mount another campaign move before the end of campaigning this year.