Saturday, 30 August 2014

Race to the Delaware

Lately I bought the Warlords supplement "Rebellion", which sparked again my long lasting dream of a bigger AWI campaign – that started from some historical point, but then would soon develop into something else as the players surely will have their own ideas.

As many I like to agree with the rules of Black Powder, if one use them as a tool box to create the feel of an area AND adjust to perfectly to the needs and wishes of the players involved.

I alway had a weak spot for the White Plains battle and the resulting chase and counter battles until Trenton and Princeton. Also as at White Plains is (as many other occasions) dubbed the last chance of Howe to end the rebellion. There is not an awful lot of imagination needed to see the difficulties involved in that ensuing campaign for both sides.

As I have developed the Pre-deployment game "Eve of Battle", I‘ll have in mind a mixture of an tabletop board game to control the campaign and all of its issues (movement, weather, supply, command, morale and reinforcements etc.) combined with the issues of an customised battle deployment rooted in the campaign development rather than pure either historical fact or pure fiction.

Maybe with a board game that controls the campaign development in one week at the club to determine and prepare the next battle to be fought for the next week. ....

I'm also painfully aware that I have other game developments in progress (not to mention the other unpainted heap of lead, which is what everybody else says, I know), I can only ask for patience, which should be the first virtue of a wargamer anyway...

American forces available at White plains

British forces available at White plains

Map of the march towards Trenton

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Hrolrf never heard the end of his saga

"Simon's a computer, Simon has a brain, you either do what Simon says or else go down the drain!"

Later at 793 or so our little saga begins at a small castle near a a church called Deuchars, as two dark age hordes were having a deadly rendez vous. The attacker were led by Matt (known as also the Greek) leading expertly painted lead provided by Derek (the Hodge), while I (Exaybachay) had the privilege to play the marvelously painted Vikings figures provided by Paul (the Greek). Both Matt and me are kind of new to the Saga rules, so we got able advisers Derek and Paul.

Because Matt had the more impressive facial hair (my nose hair didn‘t count apparently) he could start the battle, the warriors moved at each others, dices were falling and suddenly the enemy warlord, Fyrkantig, the Green, attacked my innocent Bondi. But the Norns were against him and, "bei Odin!", he lost most of his Huskarls. Which led me to believe that his force was just a pretty good Anglo-Saxon horde in Viking costumes.

Damn Ragnar and his rock, I did the counter attack and smashed the enemy‘s warriors, and his left flank was beginning to shrink. Then I took a risk and attacked his bowmen, which left my warlord, named Hrolrf, exhausted and exposed. 

The inevitable happened and Fyrkantig cut the glorious ending of this saga a bit short...

The subtle tactical formations at the start of the battle

The superbly drilled and painted Viking force

They might be giants or even Anglo-Saxons 
opposing lines clapping shields and all that

The Hirdmen attack the bowmen

the Viking Hirdmen running up hill

Hrolrf is distracted by an retro electronic computer game named Simon

beneath the sway of francesca

the Vikings rallying to their Raven banner

turned out the false Anglo-Saxons were real Vikings though ...

Friday, 15 August 2014

Duculus Britanniarum

This Thursday we played Dux Britanniarum, Jack brought his Northumbrians and Derek came with his Pictii or was it Scottish raiders on horse with a bit of foot soldiers, or better dirty guys in pyjamas with sticks and shields... these post-roman times are no doubt confusing me.

Jack and me we played the sober British and did a very good prayer before the fight, like every good potential killer should do. Derek, Peter and Paul opted for the Scottish raiders and for the booze, a conservative choice.

We deployed directly half on a very strategic hill position and attacked with our light troops around the flanks. Then after some skirmish the moment of truth came, our Heavy horse in reach of the turned Scottish infantry and a couple of very good cards, just to ride them down and end the game to make the world a better place ...  and Jack, the dux, rolled a 4 with 3 dice??....

That was probably when HE told us just to let it be and lend the other chin, but as christians we were not giving up. Only just to be beaten by those drunken bastards... convert and repent later, I say!

In fact I had nothing to regret, it was a very good game.

the sober Nothern British 
The drunken Scots

Death defying in the name of god

The battlefield after some shuffle

Horses in godspeed

The light horses clash

Back to the church!

The thundering of doom

Facing the drunken berserkers attack

Frolic pagans

The last attack just came that far ...

Monday, 11 August 2014

Defending the Empire at Sonntagshausen around somewhat 1540

We met at the club on Sunday to enjoy a multi-player of Pique, early Renaissance, French against the Habsburg with a little help of some Italian (Florentine) and a Swiss (Bern) contingent. The Hapsburg figures were provided by me and Jack, the French ones by Paul (the Irish) who was also fully responsible for the army lists and the set up of the scenario.

On the French left (cavalry) the very same Paul (the Irish) against Paul (the Greek) leading the Hapsburg Cavalry. In the centre myself with the Ordonnance and the Landsknecht pikes against Jim ordering the French mercenaries, the famous Swiss and some artillery as well.
On the right Bart with the French light infantry and artillery against some Florentines known as Jack and Derek. First I rolled average for our CinC and then abysmal for two of our three Battalia commander!! The remaining average commander, I gave to Paul (the Greek), that we would have at least a chance in the upcoming cavalry spectacle. The CinC I gave to Jack and Derek plus the other abysmal commander.

Then we advanced ... for piquet rules, very fast! But got bloody noses pretty much on all sides!  The German cavalry did not break through, Jims Swiss came and slaughtered one Landsknechts block, so that they fled back to northern Bavaria. The Italian just fiddled around and we all were happy that they advanced in the end, which was easy as Barts troops were somewhat immobile.

But then my cunning cartagean tactic was paying off and with a flank attack from my Landsknechts the  uncontrollable Swiss was sent home over the Alps, which has a serious effect on the French commander morale. Jim never recovered.

Then Paul (the Greek) who is famous for his cavalry attacks, reversed the left flank and sent the French Gendarmes d‘Ordonnance fleeing. A truly Alexandirian feat.

Then Bart woke up out of his coma and attacked the two funny Florentines who then set out to trouble him quite reasonably, very bad biscuits!

So in the end an astounding holy victory for the imperial troops, (if one decides to ignore the chippies in the funny coloured bags).

To quote classic standard from a SESWC member, All in all a very good game!

The Italian section of the Habsburg battle line

The Centre with The Landsknecht Pike blocks

The deployment at the start, top row Imperialists,  opposite the French
The French Gendarmes and Men-at-arms

The Imperial Cavalry flank

The Swiss (French) are coming! (fast!)

The clash of old enemies

The Imperial Gendarmes attack!

The Nürnberger Landsknecht Pike sent home by the French Swiss

The German Gendarmes have to take losses by the French
More Swiss attacking the Memminger Landsknechte

But then the Gendarmes d‘Oultremontagne sent the French home

Also the in the centre a reversal through a flank attack

Again the French cavalry in flight!

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Little Red Ravenna

We tried, with the help of a semi-historic scenario (the tabletop embellishments were inspired by Ravenna 1512, the exact set up was of course different), to test some new rules my troubled mind came up with lately.

Paul (the Irish), Donald and Bill volunteered for the Frankish side while myself, Campbell and Bart took on the burden of strategically more challenging Imperial encampment.

Lacking amongst other things, a plan of action, we waited for Paul's Horse to attack. And heaven and hell, the French gendarmes came fast and hit hard, leaving Bart in a real trouble to counter attack; the German side was somehow confined and constrained in their maneuverability. After initially losses he did the only prudent decision: to retreat over the river (a smaller version in this scenario) and saved so many German knights for later.

Meanwhile the notorious Swiss stormed to the edge of the German fortifications. The Imperial command had all trouble to control the concerto of the moving troops amongst all the fuzz and shouting. Troops were forced into support and others were suddenly too cumbersome contact the enemy in time, leaving two pike blocks of landsknechts, one of them already shaken and not fit to do the task, to misunderstand commands and fleeing two moves away from the enemy in straight line.

As a last resort, I ordered a condemned unhistoric Hedgehog against an infantry attack, but the gamble did not go off as planned, and the last pike of the flank was cut down to the very last man.

Pauls heroic cavalry tried to chase up the remnants of the Imperial horse over the river, or thats what he claimed he would do if we only had more time ...

So a clear draw, if there wouldn't be a couple of disintegrated men-at-arms units an a pike block swimming in the beautiful red Ronco river, now there is a waltz!

All in all, a very good game. 

you can read another version of this clash on Bart blog under:

The Imperial command musing about Waltzing and beautiful blue waters, (me, Campbell and a very small Bart)
The formidable French side, in hiding Paul, Donald and Bill
The French Gendarmes in full attack!
The Clash of heavy horses cost the Imperials dearly

But the french command wondering how to break the Imperial horse 
The Imperial camp shifts to the left, a logistical masterpiece
The Swiss attack the Landsknechts who trying to save the flank

The unshakeable Swiss and the very shy swordsmen

The remains of the French Gendarmes who obviously flee the field

Sunday, 3 August 2014

The mercenaries need to be tested!

Maybe, the set up for next Thursday, if people are interested, some Landsknechts bashing, and testing out rule tweaks ...

I've worked a bit on an artwork for the new game

Imperial army list for P&S

French army list for P&S

possible set up

P&S rule additions - trying to reflect more the Tercio style

P&S useful rules (and tweaks)