Thought I'd put a little note out that I'm on Christmas break. I'm off work unitl January 2nd, and probably won't be posting until next year. But fear not. I'll be busily painting and gaming and should have tons of photos when I return.
Prince Adelbert of Franistover, claimant to the throne of Unkerlant, proudly wears his newest honor, the Military Order of the Golden Crown, presented to His Serene Highness by the Reich Duchy of Beerstien.
With his back against the wall, Duke Sigmund of Zlobenia, made at stand at the hilltop town of Altenbruk. It's command of the only two crossings of the River Blut made it ideal for defense. With this in mind, the Duke Sigmund arrayed what was left of the Zlobenian army on the slopes of the town, waiting to find out which crossing Prince Adelbert and the Franistover army would take.
It was a particularly cold Spring morning, and fog covered the lowlands around the river for miles. Sigmund had placed his Horse, led by the remnants of the Ducal Horse Grenadiers, forward in hopes he could catch the Frannies at the bridges, holding them long enough for the Infantry to arrive.
Luck, and the weather was against the Duke. When the sun fiannly burned away the fog, it was to reveal the entire Franistover army crossing at one point, the northern bridge, the farthest from his Horse.
Zlobenia seized the initiative, and the Duke raced his Horse in a giant arc, north towards the bridge. His Foot, however either were tardy, or didn't budge. The brunt of the attack, would rely on his cavalry, which had preformed abyssmally at the last engagement.
Frainstover Horse range across the countryside, while the foot battle it out.
Meanwhile, Franistover had managed to get a few troops across the bridge. The Horse move quickly to swing wide and ride hard for a spot between two forests. Prince Adelbert was having a hard time getting his Guard units to move. They had stopped dead in their tracks on the road. Maybe they had seen the Zlob horse thundering down from the hilltop town, straight for them.
Indeed, the Duke's horse slammed into the still forming Franistover foot. They horse caught them in marching formation and cut them to pieces.
The Franistover Horse that had crossed the Blut, bypassed the fight and rode headlong towards the only road from Altenbruk to the capital. If they succeeded in holding it, Altenbruk would be cut off from the rest of Zlobenia.
The battle over the bridge was getting heavier. Rain started to fall. More troops were committed. Prince Adelbert left his carriage and trudged through the mud to his General of the Guard, the Count Zuffel. Prince Adelbert literal put his boot to the Count's backside. Finally, the Guard would move across the river.
The steady drizzle was turning a firefight into a slow grinding of bayonet and sword. A battle of attrition was something Duke Sigmund could not afford. Weakened by earlier battles, the Zlobenia army was giving way. Troops sent to drive off the enemy horse from the road to capital were slow to respond, and were proving ineffective at budging the horse.
As night fell, Duke Sigmund pulled his troops back, as Prince Adelbert encircled Altenbruk.
It would be a siege. Horrible dice rolls ruled the night. Both sides had trouble moving troops, and command points were hard to come by. But, as always, Might and Reason proved a fun and period game.
I knew we were having quite few of the boys over last night, so I dug an old favorite, "Fistful of Lead". Every bit of scum in the territory showed up to steal the railroad payroll.
Each player had their own objectives besides capturing the gold. The Leftover Gang and the Injuns started a skirmish right off, but decided after a couple of casualties, maybe a team-up might be better.
El Guappo and his banditos stated in a terrible place between to other gangs, and got chewed up pretty bad. Meanwhile, the Longriders and Stinky Dixon's gangs took advantage of cover and stayed clear of the sometimes violent citizens of Lesterville. (except when the Dixon's almost ran over local Egg Shin and got karate chop in return).
the Dixons steal a wagon
In the end, Injun Joe of the Longriders, was able (with the help of the Dixons) to steal the payroll and win.
After the disastrous Battle of Derlopp, Duke Sigmund and what was left of his army, fell back to his capital in Zlobenburg. Several of his foreign military advisors "disappeared" while he personally oversees the defense of the city, and consolidation of his army.
Sigmund's dragoons now scour the countryside around Zlobenburg recruiting soldiers to fill his decimated ranks.
Meanwhile, Prince Adelbert of Franistover has not been idle. His forces quickly occupied the much larger town of AltenBruk after a dangerous crossing of the river Blut, where the two main bridges had been destroyed by the retreating Zlobs.
Now, there is but a few miles of road separating the two forces. Two old foes pair off in what is surely to be their deciding battle.
I am but mere chronicler of these sad times. As Unkerlant stretches into its second year of war for Succession, our focus shifts to the northeast, where duchy of Zlobenia has invaded the Principality of Franistover.
The first year of the war, Franistover and Zlobenia, centuries old rivals, marched back and forth across each other territories, even capturing each other's capitals, but to little effect, other than the starvation of their subjects.
Hoping to finish Franistover in one fell swoop, Duke Sigmund massed the forces of Zlobenia on the border, largely undetected due to the Spring torrential rains. Meanwhile, Prince Adalbert, despite his well earned nickname "Addle-brained", had the same idea. When the weather let up, both sides found themselves facing each other outside the border town of Derlopp, ancestral home of Otto Von Derlopp, colonel of Zlobenia's own Derlopp Grenadiers.
After much posturing and redressing of lines, the battle didn't start until well into the afternoon. Prince Adalbert, found of food and drink spent too much time arguing with his head chef over the menu for dinner, while Duke Sigmund was discussing strategy with his many foreign advisors. A task which required more than half a dozen translators.
Franistover's cavalry, never good due to their homeland's mountainous terrain, operating on the wings charged forth with elan. The infantry, however, especially the guards charged with taking the town, dallied behind.
Across the field, Zlobenian troops, drilled by the latest European officers, marched steadily forward in parade ground percision.
Neither side made the attempt to cross the river to the north and try an end around flanking move. Such a bold move is perhaps beyond the scope of most Unkerlantan generals.
One the Franistover right, the hard charging Cuirassiers collided with their Zlobenian counterparts, including the much vaunted Ducal Horse Grenadiers. Still smarting from their beating by the Franistover 1st Dragoons in a previous outting, the Horse Grenadiers were itching to prove their standing as the elite of Unkerlantan cavalry. Little did they know, their rivals were among the fight.
The fight was terrible. Franistover's horse was driven back, but managed to give out worse than they got. It was when the Zlobenians counter attacked, that the fight became truly bloody.
Meanwhile, in the center, Zlobenian troops captured the town, just moments before the Franistover guard units.Troops in the town began peppering the Frannies to little effect.
The regu;ar Franistover regiments, however, came under increasingly accurate Zlob artillery fire. The 1st regiment, the Bakers Legion (literally made up of the Royal Baking Corps) took an especially brutal beating.
To the north a similar cavalry battle was playing out. Both sides see sawed.
The battle raged. On the slopes outside Derlopp, Prince Adalbert's Loyal Mountaineers poured volley after volley into the Derlopp Grenadiers. They died outside their own walls in droves.
On the southern flanks, Frainstover cavalry was getting the worst of it, but not before routing the Ducal Horse in shame once more. Soon, only the 1st Franistover Dragoons held the flank.
On the opposite side, Prince Adalbert's forces were faring better. Not only had the effectively smashed the Zlobenian Horse, but his infantry was making gains. Night was falling.
There was a pause in the fighting. Neither side could seem to get the their troops motivated for one last push. The infantry battles in the middle were evolving into slow grinds, troops falling in bits and pieces.
Finally, Frainstover was able to get the upper hand in the north. As the sun went down, more Zlobenian troops were falling than Frannies. Duke Sigmund watched in horror as his regiments disssolved, even given up Derlopp.
Devoid of cavalry, Zlobenian troops were hunted into the night by victorious Franistover dragoons. The Duke himself barely avoiding capture.
Prince Adalbert would have his grand dinner, albeit a little late, in the Zlobenian town of Derlopp. I was good. Once again, Might & Reason provided a period feel in a short time withe fun results. I apologize for the distinct lack of miniatures.
The Baroness left for a gathering of the lady nobility this weekend, so I put on a mini version of Basement-Con. Thursday and Friday were mostly boardgames so I pulled out the stops for a GASLIGHT mega-battle Saturday night.
Here's the pictures:
a "Spider" walks through the trees....
Franco-British forces push towards the bridge
Clankers advance towards the farmhouse
French marines find a ford, while the Le Roue blocks the bridge
Skirmish on the flank
One of the Empress's Own Elite Lady Hussars brings the Roue to a halt.
from Wargame Downloads: "Delightfully concise and simple, this game manages to cover all the rules you will need to play an entertaining and satisfactory tactical wild west wargame. FoL is quick to learn, entertaining to read, and a breeze to house-rule and expand." Though my Wild West rules have been out for a while, its always nice to hear someone new discovering them and liking them.
I loves me my Dark Ages. Dunno why. Maybe it was watching Kirk Douglas in "the Vikings", or Chuck Heston in "the Warlord". Or all those Bernard Cornwell books I keep reading.
Whatever the cause, you can't swing a stick in the Wargaming Blogosphere with hitting "Saga". After reading countless reviews, I broke down and ordered it.
It's like a boardgame with it's Battleboards where all the strategy is done. It's like a traditional wargame. Its simple but has depth. I'm sold, and with the low number (by wargame's standards) of minis involved, I'm already envisioning new factions. Crusader just came out with some Dark Age Scots. Hello Old Glory 40% Discount!
First of all, let me apologize for the lack of pictures. It was a playtest, so the terrain was pretty sparse. Also, I'm in the process of repainting/rebasing for this playtest, so I hard to improvise on troops and commanders (thus the War of the Roses command stands).
As a background let me say, this is one of favorite periods. I've been waiting for just the right rules for these guys for literally, years. I've tried every wargames rules set there is for Renaissance (yes, I have. So don't throw out suggestions). Playing Black Powder really got me jazzed when I saw Hail Caesar.
To me, Renaissance is really Ancients with gunpowder. Most generals of the day had been studying ancient texts and were trying to recreate the legions and phalanxes of years gone by. I wanted a set of rules where I could build the units the way I thought they should look. I don't like counting figures, or a ton of modifiers. I'm getting old, so I like simple, too. HC did it for me.
I've read the rules 3 times but never played, so of course we got things wrong, but there was a lot of right in here too.
The scenario was a fairly even match up between Neopolitan Spanish and the French. The forces were fairly small, 4 commands a side. Each side had two commanders with a unit of Heavy Cavalry (rated as cataphracts) and a mounted crossbow/arquebus unit (rated as missile armed light cav). One general had artillery, a pike unit, and two open order crossbow/arquebus units. The final commander on each side had two pike units and two crossbow.
There were surprisingly few 3 move manuevers, so the sides moved slowly at each other. Our supreme leader (even with a reroll) couldn't get the center forward. The heavy cav on one flank clashed and after a quick see-saw had my Gendarmes running for the hills. On the other flank, our mounted bows kept the enemy tied up all night.
Over all, everybody fought as they should. Regular units that didn't get out the way got smahed by the pike blocks. The pikes scrummed for a bit, til one broke. I gave the pikes a short range attack to simulate the arquebus skirmishers many used, and it worked great. In the future, I might let them detach such units to act as Forlorn Hopes. I'm very pleased with the results. Once everyone got the hang of it, the game went really quick. The French got chased off the field, but just barely.
Huge, huge thumbs up.
Sorry for the delay from last Thursday's usual battle report. I've been working on a set of fantasy gladiator rules for awhile. Something easy enough for a convention, but good enough to hold up for one of or regular Thursday night games.
So, I had the rules, but no arena. Using 2 inch thick pink foam, I cut 6 x 6 inch pieces. Glued those to a same size foam core base.I scribed in one inch squares, added cracks, painted black and dry brushed grey. I repeated this 15 more times to create a 2 foot by 2 foot geomorphic arena, that can be easily reconfigured over and over. Some tiles have walls, some pits or crevasses. I still have to add some flavor: different color tiles here and there. Moss, blood and most of all sludge or water for the pits.
I used some marines I had laying around and painted them up quick for test run. This made it ore SciFi than fantasy. There were "power ups" all around. Players could land on them and had a 50/50 chance or grabbing upgrades, ammo or armor to their gladiator, from the cards I made. This served as a way to keep the players from sitting in one place blasting away. I also limited the ranges and gave them limited ammo. I added simple teleporters and viola!
It was great !
Things I'm adding:
Traps. Now when you land on an upgrade, there's a chance it's a trap.
Drones. Eliminated players can still screw with the living by piloting little bombots around.
The list goes on!
Besides Virginia, Missouri was the most fought over state during the Civil War. And a lot of those battles were fought very close to my home town of Independence. Of particular interest to me is the First Battle of Independence, which will have it's 150th anniversary August 11th, 2012.
Enough time for planning a tabletop reenactment? During the summer of 1862, many Confederate and Missouri State Guard recruiters were dispatched northward from Arkansas into Missouri to replenish the depleted ranks of Trans-Mississippi forces. Various guerrillas and bushwhackers, most notably those under William Quantrill, had gathered in Missouri and assisted these recruiters as they worked in the region. For example, Upton Hays was aided by thirty men from Quantrill's command under the brutal George Todd. By August 1, Hays was camped near Lee's Summit with 150 men. Additional Confederates continued to infiltrate the area throughout the days that followed. Union forces, meanwhile, were bivouacked in Independence, the county seat of Jackson County. These were led by Lt. Col. James T. Buel. Like many towns in that part of Missouri, Independence had a number of sympathizers from both sides residing in it. Colonel Hughes intended to cross the Missouri River, to recruit around his hometown of Clinton County, Missouri. He and Gideon Thompson rode to Hays's camp with 75 men; 25 additional men with Quantrill soon arrived. The officers conferred. Desperate for ammunition, and needing a victory to stir their recruiting efforts, they determined to make a surprise attack against Buel before he could attack them. Cole Younger and another man conducted a successful reconnaissance of the town on the day prior to the Confederate attack. Lt. Col. Buel for his part had sent one of his officers, a Captain Breckenridge, scouting for eleven days, but Breckenridge found nothing. Buel became aware of Hays's camp, however, and prepared to attack it. On the evening of August 10, several citizens warned Buel of an impending assault on the city; many Union residents had already fled. Buel ignored these warnings, but another of his officers, a Captain Rodewald, did not. The Federals were positioned in three main concentrations: their camp near a rock wall, the bank serving as Buel's headquarters, and the county jail.
Col. John T. Hughes’s Confederate force, including the partisan leader William Quantrill, attacked Independence before dawn, in two columns using different roads. They drove through the town to the Union Army camp, delivering a deadly volley to the sleeping men. Captain Breckenridge suggested surrender, but Captain Jacob Axline formed the Federal troops behind a rock wall and a nearby ditch while the Confederates rifled through their camp, looking for ammunition. The Rebels made several attacks against Axline's wall, but never succeeded in taking it. Here Colonel Hughes was killed, while Thompson and Hays were wounded.
Lt. Col. Buel attempted to hold out with part of his force in the bank building he used as his headquarters. He was forced to surrender after an adjacent building was set afire. Through a flag of truce, Buel arranged a meeting with the new Confederate commander, Col. Gideon W. Thompson, who had replaced Colonel Hughes, killed earlier. Buel surrendered, and about 150 of his men were paroled; the remainder had escaped, hidden, or been killed.
The battle intrigues me:
1- It's a small enough scale to be doable maybe even in 28mm: USA Lt. Col. James T. Buel
2- All the colorful characters. Being a direct descendant of one of Quantrill's Raiders, I look forward to gaming so close to my heart.
What I need:
- Maps and terrain. Luckily, a lot of the buildings are still there (including the jail) 5 minutes away from my house. I just need to take a couple of picks.
- Minis. The Regulars are easy enough to find, the militia and Bushwackers are tougher. Foundry claims to make some guerilla types but they're wrong, wrong. They sculpted them with carbines. Being an exclusively hit and run mounted force, they shunned having to reload after each shot, and so usually carried anywhere from 4 to 8 pistols. Great-great grandaddy carried 6.
This will be one of the few times I've set a wargaming goal for myself. Hope I don't blow it.
After the brutal beating we gave Drums and Shakos last week, I decided to pull back and try a smaller game. We only had 4 players last night, so I dug out some minis I've had sitting around patiently for rules to go with.
I recently downloaded the latest in the "Song of..." family from Ganesha Games, "Flashing Steel". Having played lots of games from the family the group was already familiar with the mechanics. But, FS seemed to have a little more depth. I gave each player only two figures each (except the Cardinal's men who got a bunch of "extras"). Each team only came out to 150 points. Normally in a two player game, you use 500 points a side.
The scenario went thusly: A messenger carrying secret letters of love to the Queen's lover has been waylayed on the road to Calias. She has sent her loyal Musketeers to find the messenger and the letters before they fall into the wrong hands. Enter the Cardinal's men. They want the letters to prove the Queen's disloyalty. Somewhere at the crossroads they meet....
Each player had to search areas on the board. Aramis found the messenger right away, but forced to burn an activation each turn to keep him close. He could take him off the board, but would lose Aramis for the rest of the game.
The Duc D'Harme and his lackey Smedley stumbled into the thugs that had attacked the messenger. While they were distracted D'Artagnon and Porthos attacked. Unfortunately for our heroes, it was a bad move. D'Artagnon was taken out by a common thug, while Porthos was done in by the Duke and his man-servant.
On the other side of the table Athos was dispatching a veritable horde of Cardinal's Guards single-handedly, while Rochford (boo-hiss) stumbled around the woods looking for letters (which he found along with a pack of wolves).
It finally came down to Aramis and Rochford. It was Aramis's "Slippery-ness" that won him out. The Queen's honor remains intact!
This turned out to be my favorite version of the Ganesha system yet.
Here's the dilemma: I have a large group that comes over every Thursday. I have a nice 6 x 8 table. So most of my games need to almost be convention style, and playable under 3 hours, cause some of the guys drive a little ways.
This limits, sometimes, the games we play to mostly large scale skirmish. I really like the the "Song of Blades and Heroes" game mechanics, but they're really made for one on one games.
So, I guess it was inevitable that this game Song of DRums and Shakos wasn't going to work.
We had 9 commands. Four British, defending a fortified farmhouse against 5 French units. The game looked great, and actually played well if we had 6 hours.
I'd like to try the whole thing again with something simple like GASLIGHT.