Thursday 29 June 2017

6x6 gaming progress for June

This month has be pretty good gaming wise with five games played as part of the 6x6 challenge. Two were WW2 naval games and three were 19th century imagi-nations games.

There were also a number of smaller games played as I mess around with some 19th century European rules. After a series of these small games over both the this week and last week, the rule changes seem to be settling down.

A small game underway to test out some rules
So at the end of June my 6x6 challenge progress stands at:

  • One Hour Wargames (Tank-on-Tank) SciFi Variant - 6 games completed in February
  • Dark Ages with Dux Bellorum (Osprey) - 6 games completed in January using paper armies
  • WW2 Naval (Pz8 rules) - 4 games played to date.
  • 19th Century European Imagi-Nations OHW - 3 games played in June.
  • Galleys and Galleons (Ganesha Games) - purchased "Wargame the Spanish Armada 1588" by Peter Dennis for the paper models. 2 games were played in April.
  • Hundred Years War using Lion Rampant (Osprey) - 6 games completed as part of a series of campaign games.
I was planing to play a WW1 game, but having finished painting my 19th century imagi-nations armies the temptation to get them on the tabletop was too great and I switched them for the planned WW1 games.

 WW2 naval at the start of the game

Sunday 25 June 2017

French Indian War - A few more units painted

There has been little gaming for me on the tabletop this weekend. Most of my free time has been spent painting a few more French Indian War units. I was able to complete two French line infantry units and two British line infantry units, and also got started on six militia/frontiersman units which are still on the painting table.

All the figures are old plastic SYW Spencer Smith miniatures. There are a few ACW throw in for some of the light infantry and militia units.

Two completed Spencer Smith French line infantry
Two completed British line infantry
French forces
British forces (taken before the last two units were completed)
Because I have a limited number of militia/frontiersmen type units the painting. Two will be painted as French and two as British militia and the remaining two in such a colour they can be used on either side.

This coming week's painting
Close to finished and soon ready for flock to be added
I still have enough figures to create four more line infantry units, six units of artillery including two light artillery pieces, and one commander. The second commander unit will have to be modelled on an ACW mounted figure. Once complete this should give me enough for some small scale games with six to ten units per side.

Thursday 22 June 2017

19th Century Image-Nations Campaign - Game 3

Game 3 of my mini 19th century campaign was a rearguard action, which followed on from the previous pitch battle game. Greater Novia forces having won the pitched battle were trying to capitalise upon their victory, and cause more problems for the Ustorian forces as they retreated.

The approach for determining the forces was taken from Nineteenth Century European Wargaming by Neil Thomas. The victorious forces have 10 units and the rearguard have 5 units. The rearguard must stop 5 attacking units exiting their edge of the tabletop. The game is played longways down the tabletop.

As I have been playing through the last couple of games (and a few quick smaller one off games in between) I have been trying out a couple of rule modifications. The first of these is allowing a unit that has sustained hits to retire to reduce the number of hits, and the second is variable movement.

Retiring to reduce hits
The idea of retiring to reduce damage came from the SPI games I used to play in the late 1970's and the ubiquitous CRT (Combat Resolution Table). The results from this table often gave a player a choice of having a unit counter step down one level to hold the ground or move out of the hex it occupied to relinquish the ground and save dropping a combat level.

The aim of using this approach is to help give a bit of ebb and flow to the game. Because the rules I use are based upon the One Hour Wargaming approach. I find units once engaged don't really push back the enemy line or allow for a defender to easily give up ground.

Variable movement
The variable movement approach I have gone with is:

  • Units with less than 50% hits on a D6 roll of 4+ move an additional 50%. Less than 4 and they move their normal movement.
  • Units with more than 50% hits on a D6 roll of 4+ move their normal movement. Less than 4 and they move half of their normal movement.

The Game - and photos of the rearguard action...

The advancing Novian units see the Ustorian rearguard ahead 
Greater Novian forces:
  • 2 x Skirmisher units
  • 1 x Dragoon units
  • 1 x Cavalry units
  • 2 x Artillery units
  • 4 x Infantry units
4 units start on the table and 2 units can arrive every turn after turn 2 on a D6 score of 3+.

Ustorian hastily prepare their defences
Ustorian forces:
  • 1 x Cavalry unit
  • 3 x Infantry units
  • 1 x Skirmisher unit
All start on the table and can be placed with 36" of the baseline.

Novian units move headlong into the first defensive position 
The attacking forces quickly grind to a holt as the Ustorian forces move up their reserves
Reserves start to arrive to support the attack
Ustorian cavalry threaten the flank of the advancing Novians 
More reserves move up and things are getting a bit jammed up. Although both sides were taking casualties 
With artillery in place the defenders soon began to give way to their second line of defence
The Ustorian cavalry did little than annoy the advancing units as they start to prepare to assault the second line
The second line of defence gives way and Greater Novia forces advance

After the battle Ustoria had lost 4 units of which 2 were saved with a 4+ score. Public opinion decreases by 10% to 25%. Ustorian papers are reporting the defeat and with no valiant defences the editorials are questioning the capability of their commanders.

Greater Novian press was starting whip up public opinion reporting of a glorious actions as the first and second defensive lines were stormed. The 3 losses were somewhat overlooked as 2 achieved a 4+ save. Overall public opinion raised 5% to 45%.

Monday 19 June 2017

6x6 Challenge - 19th Century Game 2

Having played the first game of the campaign, a small opening engagement, the dice determined the next game was to be a pitched battle.

Unfortunately I managed to delete all bar one of my photos of the game. Doh! So the one picture I retained is below.

The final turn before the Ustrorian forces retired
The forces involved:

Greater Novia

  • 5 x Infantry units
  • 1 x Skirmisher unit
  • 1 x Cavalry
  • 1 x Dragoon
  • 2 x Artillery

Unfortunately only 8 units were to be available. One of the artillery units and a cavalry unit became bogged and did not arrive.


6 x Infantry units
1 x Skirmisher unit
1 x Cavalry unit
2 x Artillery units

While being able to field all 10 units. Three units, one infantry, artillery and cavalry were delayed until turn 5.

The battle was won by the Novian army after the Ustrorian army retired with the loss of 5 units. Novian lost 3 units during the engagement. However, there were some memorable moments in the game which were to play out in the newspapers.

The Novian Courier...
Breaking news - Greater Novian forces were victorious today! Few casualties are reported.

The Ustrorian Times...
Ustrorian forces put up a brave defence against overwhelming Novian forces. Acts of valour ruled the day. Our gallant infantry retook the town of Sillanburg after some fierce fighting, and our bare cavalry men who charged down attackers as they fled. However, the battle was not without price, with many of our brave Ustrovian lads laying down their lives.

The public opinion now stands at:

Greater Novia - Reduced from 45% to 40%
3 units lost, but 2 rolled more than 4+ and were saved. So minus 5%.

Ustroria - Reduced from 40% to 35%
Glorious action plus 5%
Past Glories plus 5% for a successful cavalry charge
5 units lost, but 2 rolled more than 4+ and were saved. Minus 15%.
Total is minus 5%

Given the lack of photos, here is one of two units British line infantry recently painted for my French Indian wars project. My aim is to try and complete two units each week.

Completed this past weekend

Saturday 17 June 2017

6x6 Challenge - 19th Century Game 1

The first game of my 6x6 19th Century Imagi-Nations challenge has been played out. The mapless campaign approach can be found here in an earlier post.

The first battle of the campaign was always going to be a small engagement with both sides fielding up to 6 units. The type of terrain was rolled for and Scailand Plains was the result. Scailand being the disputed territory which Greater Novia and Ustoria are fighting over.

The plains terrain consists of 2 x hills, 2 x buildings and 2 x woods, which were randomly placed on a 4x4 foot tabletop with the aid of dice rolls.

Using game setup rules heavily based upon those from Wargaming Nineteenth Century Europe by Neil Thomas. The forces and their arrival, or non-arrival, were decided:

Ustoria Forces

  • 4 x infantry
  • 1 x artillery (the second artillery unit had been bogged and was unable to arrive)

Greater Novia Forces

  • 3 x infantry (1 unit to arrive after game turn 2)
  • 1 x cavalry
  • 2 x artillery (1 unit to arrive after game turn 2)

To the game...

Greater Novia cavalry scouting on the flank
Both sides close in for action and to occupy their objectives
Novian forces prepare for the first Ustorian assault. Meanwhile, their cavalry move around on the right flank.
Novian re-enforcements arrive just as the Ustoran attack starts to take shape.
Novian flanking cavalry are seen off by the building defenders and artillery. This redirected artillery fire from the main assault which failed to make any headway.
Novian forces successfully counter attacked and won the day with 50% of Ustorian units lost

This a campaign is of public opinion so victories are not the end all and be all of the games, but they do help by inflicting losses on the opposition.

Greater Novia Public Opinion - reduced to 45%

  • Loss of 5% for their lost unit - no saved rolled.
Ustoria Public Opinion - reduced to 40%
  • Loss of 15% public opinion as there were no saves rolled post game for 3 lost units
  • Plus 5% for a valiant defence with featured in the Ustorian Times paper with lithographs

USTORIAN TIMES - Our Valiant Lads see off enemy cavalry before an orderly retirement

Tuesday 13 June 2017

French Indian War project - units progressing

Over the recent long weekend here in Melbourne. I was able to complete a couple of Grenadier units started during the week, and also paint up all my available Indian units. They are all old Spencer Smith plastic miniatures, but I am not sure how old though.

French and British Grenadiers
I am continuing with a very simple painting style for all of the units. No shading or highlighting, just the basic colours and swipe of paint to show straps and belts. All very toy soldier-ish and glossy.

Four units of Indians
A closer photo showing the simple painting style
Tonight I started my Imagi-Nations 19th century campaign. The opening battle between Greater Novia and Ustroria is underway. The outcome is yet to be decided.

Opening engagement - 19th century game

Sunday 11 June 2017

Planning 19th Century 6x6 challenge campaign games

I originally had some WW1 games listed as part of the 6x6 challenge, but with the completion of my Imagi-Nations armies I have decided to go with these instead of WW1. I have found with some of the pervious 6x6 game challenges, having a campaign structured around the games helps with the enjoyment and encourages the playing of games.

For the 19th Century European campaign I am trying out a mapless campaign. The idea of not using a map came from reading the blog Come on! My Brave Fusiliers!

19th Century European game being played to test out some new rules
As with all my campaigns to date. I will try and keep the rules to minimum at the start, merrily begin the campaign, then add to the rules if a situation demands. Being a solo wargamer does have some advantages.

The campaign setting has Greater Novia and Ustorian battling over the disputed territory of Scailand, which sits between lands of the Ustorian monarchy and the Novian states who have come together politically under the banner of Greater Novia.

As there is no map to this campaign. Victory is determined by public opinion in the home country or states. The level public opinion goes up or down after each battle and is determined by:

  • Defeat
  • Glorious action
  • Valiant defence
  • Past glories
  • Casualties
At the end of 6 games the side with the highest public opinion wins. The type of game played is selected randomly with dice: 1-3 is a pitched battle and 4-5 a small engagement. After any pitched battle, the next game must be a rear guard action. 

I will be using the rules for determining units involved in a game from Wargaming Nineteenth Century Europe by Neil Thomas. Note - first game in the campaign must be a small engagement.

A flanking manœuvre in progress
Both sides start the campaign with a 50 percent public approval rating. After each battle this is adjusted by the following game outcomes:
  1. Defeat - the first side to lose more than fifty percent of their force in a game loses 5 percent from opinion.
  2. Glorious Action - a side that captures and hold an enemy objective gains 5 percent to opinion. As the home press write about the bravery of the troops in capturing the enemy position.
  3. Valiant Defence - a side that denies the enemy and holds an objective gains 5 percent to opinion. Correspondents write about the defiant defenders and foreign sympathies starts to have an influence.
  4. Past Glories - a cavalry unit successfully attacks and destroys an enemy unit gains 5 percent to opinion. Dramatic lithographs in the newspapers depict the cavalry charge rekindling memories of past victories, and nobility support of the regime is strengthened.
  5. Casualties - for each lost unit roll a dice and lose 5 percent for each dice score less than 4. Early photography of the horrors of war and the high casualty lists start to appear in newspapers and working class pamphlets. Public sentiment is starting to change.
The tabletop terrain for each game will be randomly selected using a dice roll:
  1. Scailand foothills - 3 x hills, 1 x building, 2 x woods
  2. Scailand farmlands - 1 x hill, 2 x fields, 2 x buildings, 1 x wood
  3. Scailand industry areas - 2 x hill, 3 x buildings, 1 x wood
  4. Scailand plains - 2 x hills, 2 x woods, 2 x buildings
  5. Scailand woodland - 1 x hills, 3 x woods, 2 x buildings
  6. Scailand marshland - 3 x marshes, 1 x woods, 2 x buildings
And randomly placed on the tabletop. More on the approach in a later post.

Thursday 8 June 2017

6x6 Challenge - Games 3 and 4

This week I decided I had better get back to playing a few more WW2 naval games as part of my 6x6 challenge. The games are being played in the context a simple campaign which has Grey forces menacing Blue's convoy lanes.

In the last game Grey's pocket battleship suffered severe damage and it was unclear whether Grey would continue to move forward to the top of the map or reverse course and head for port. All Grey's moves are dice generated as described in an earlier post here.

Blue's forces moved to protect the final convey lane and Grey's objective. Grey's pocket battleship moved away to avoid further conflict as it attempted further repairs. Its other force, a remaining cruiser, ran into Blue's force of destroyers and corvette.

Blue defends the convoy lanes 
The next battle determined as Grey's cruiser runs into a Blue force
Game 3 saw Blue's Force 4 (consisting of two destroyers and a corvette) make contact with Grey's cruiser at 15:15 in fine weather.

Both sides closed on each other. The first salvo from the cruiser straddled one of the destroyers and the resulting hits saw it quickly sunk. The remaining destroyer and corvette continued to close to launch a torpedo attack.

In pressing home the attack Blue's remaining destroyer took a number of hits as the cruiser's bigger guns were proving very accurate. All torpedoes missed their mark and Blue's remaining ships turned to break off the attack. As they retreated a last salvo from the cruiser sunk the damaged destroyer.

Blue's destroyers and corvette close to be within torpedo range
Blue force takes damage as it presses home the torpedo attack

Following game 3, Blue's depleted forces were able to converge into two larger forces as they prepared to engage Grey's cruiser and pocket battleship (who had successfully made repairs). Both headed for their objective to reach the top of the map and crossing three rows of the convoy lanes. However, in doing so the pocket battleship ran into the combined Blue force for game 4.

Blue's forces combine
Grey's forces make their objectives, but the pocket battleship meets some opposition

Game 4 has the pocket battleship up against a light cruiser, two destroyers and a corvette. The forces meet at 16:00 in poor weather.

The game was very similar to the previous game. Blue's forces closing in to launch a torpedo attack with Grey's pocket battleship trying to sink them. This time Grey's shooting was not so accurate. Blue's light cruiser took some, but importantly no critical damage, as Blue managed to get three torpedoes on target and almost sinking the pocket battleship.

With all torpedoes launched, Blue quickly broke off the attack and retired under cover of smoke without loss.

Both sides close to engage 
With no torpedoes left Blue's forces make a hasty retirement under cover of smoke

Sunday 4 June 2017

Started painting French Indian Wars units

This week I have merrily started painting units for my next project French Indian Wars. As mentioned in a recent post I had sorted through an old collection of Spencer Smith 30mm plastic miniatures I came by through a swap.

A couple of French infantry units

The miniatures have limited detail on them which allows for a very quick - toy soldier style - painting. One with I am really enjoying at the moment.

I am sticking with large 4x3 inch bases as they fit nicely into a 6 inch gridded table-top, make for easy movement of troops when gaming, and aesthetically allow for a reasonable number of miniatures to be based on them.

British light infantry - they were originally American Civil War figures
While I have been painting away, I am trying to decide what type of rules or style of rules to go with. I do have a set of American War of Independence (AWI) grid-based rules I use, which started out as a variant of One-Hour Wargaming rules. But I would rather play with a different style of rules, and  have a different gaming experience. Otherwise there would be too much similarity between the games.

My thoughts so far are to take either Pikeman's Lament or The Men Who Would Be Kings rulesets and adjust them to fit the mid 1700's period. My medieval games are based upon the Lion Rampant rules adjusted to a grid, and I really enjoy the style of rules.

Of the two games I suspect moving the Pikeman's lament to a later period may be the way to go.