Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Summer Trip 2015

I have been away to Minnesota again this summer to visit with my wife's family.

Again I brought out a set of troops for my two nephews, I was most pleased that they had actually kept the other sets I have given them in good condition (some bayonets broken and a flag pole gone - all in all really well kept for a 5 and 8 year old).  When the younger one saw the four red boxes he knew instantly what they were and inhaled with excitement, what a joy to give to someone like that!

During our time there we played many games with the boys, the usual battleship and asked for monopoly (though the younger one was really not up to using the money, so we 'faked it' with just the cards and houses.  He likes to count the dice anyway.  I also played a few games of "Tower" defense (?), with orcs and goblins and rolling boulders in a team effort.  The young ones like it and it was silly fun.

We also traveled to a few craft places and some game/comic stores.  Since time was available on the return trip I made a stop at Imperial Hobbies, where I picked up the next book in the English Civil War series.

In Minnesota I finally got to handle the new Ares Games sailing ship models for Sails of Glory.  They are a good size in plastic, yet the coloring seemed off for what I was expecting, also there did not appear to be any way to switch out the masts to show damage to sails or no sails or striking of colors.  I am still torn on attempting to follow the game for just the models, I am sure that the system has its fans, yet the problem will be getting the ships I want, beyond the usual ships of the line and frigates, Xbecs and sloops or ketches and any other barges or inshore craft are what are needed to do justice to the other than main naval forces of the era, for it was near inshore waters where the SOL were vulnerable and not enough Frigates could be made to keep then all safe at all times...

Summer 2015 loot
More humble in budget for such things right now, so only a book and much needed Molding Paste along with a silver paint to replace the one that dried out a few months ago, the last tube lasted 10 years, maybe this one will also!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Stagonia and Alpia clash again in a Victory Without Quarter

A few weeks ago Bluebear Jeff hosted a Victory Without Quarter game.
Stagonia's lines

Once again it was Stagonia vs. Alpia.

Alpia's left and Center

The game was put on to show Rob, our new area game enthusiast, what forces Jeff could field for the 14th to 16th Century.

Jeff's wonderful cards set-up in support of the tabletop
This was also a chance to showcase the Victory Without Quarter game system.

My eldest son came out to command the left wing
For me the VWQ system is a non-starter.  I understand the concept of the cards driving the action on the table, I just do not agree with the tactical results in a face-to-face game. 

Jeff's models with their simple colorful pain jobs are fun to work with
Having played many games now via email, I have learned not to expect much from any one game turn and deploy my troops in much tighter formations with little or no expectation of really moving in any sort of co-ordinated fashion.

because of the card mechanics there is the possibility of key forces never moving

indeed it was not until turn 14 that my Commander in Chief got to do anything
Tactical objectives are kept totally limited and strategy is a waste of effort.

The game was another Victory for Stagonia, my eldest son was happy to have driven back cavalry with his foot units.  Yet the face-to-face experience was not what I like from tabletop play, again mostly due to the card driven randomness of all the tabletop action.

Still fun to push lead and chat.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Many Shades of Quatre Bras

Over the past 10 days I have had opportunity to play out the Quatre Bras scenario a few times.

Ney in command at Geminoncourt Farm
With a Garden Wars game, I laid out the troops to do a solo game, to examine the battlefield and get a better sense of what challenges there were that day.

Sadly my own challenges included a call out to drive for the family, so the game was suspended early.

Then I had opportunity to do a game demonstration at my son's high school.

With four lab tables pushed together we had a fine battlefield.

field as seen from Picton's left rear, Bossu Wood to the top center of the image

Anglo-Duch lines of Pciton, with Wellinton's command just behind Quatre-Bras

The French prepare to cross the stream

By turn six the situation had gone poorly for the French attackers

Jerome was stuck in the woods

Dutch units were standing firm in the face of French assaults

French units in Bossu wood were taking hits and not pressing forward

By turn nine the situation had further deteriorated, Bachelu had retreated his whole division and Pire was not able to pick up the slack.  Picton's force was going to hold their ground.

Not all was perfect for the Anglo-Dutch though, as the Brunswick division had also retreated...

Picton had gone over to the attack to drive off Bachelu
By turn 10 it was clear that the French could not dislodge Picton's division and with the collapse of Bachelu and Pire it would not be possible to reach the crossroads at all.  We ended the game at this point.

Then on Sunday 21 June, I did a game demonstration at the local farmer's market.

smaller table, so only the center/right of the field was represented

Bachelu's Division charged into the woods in three columns

The Brusnwick force was deployed in a series of lines

The field on turn two as seen from the French left, Foy's division in the foreground

by turn five, the Brusnwick force was coming under attack on the flank, as the battalion covering the woods had fled the field, leaving a gap in the dark black line

on the French right, Bachelu had smashed through the woods and was now coming onto the flank of Picton's forces

the broken flank of the Brunswickers, their nerve gave way as the Duke of Brunswick rolled a "2" for the Division morale and they fled en-mass

by the end of the turn, Merlen's cavalry had also been pushed into action against Pire's lancers, half of the formation was gone and again a "2" was rolled ... again the result was a retreat from the field ... Wellington was running out of troops.

By turn eight the action was decided as the Guards under Picton were hit enfilade in the flank by a French column and the melee went all for the French a 6-1 die roll sealed the guardsmen's fate and Picton's Division left the field with 80% battalions broken.

The center of the field, littered with dead men & horses

French battalions surged into Quatre Bras, long before any re-enforcement could come up
Many thanks to Jeremy, and his wife, for good sportsmanship and patience on the hot day.

Now only one more Quatre-Bras game is planned for this bi-centennial year at the InCon event in August.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Sean Bean On Waterloo Episode 2

A view from the ground of the battle of Waterloo, with emphasis on cavalry weapons and more firing from 200+ year old artillery.

Sean Bean On Waterloo Episode 1

A ground level view, looking back at the evidence from the battlefield and an opportunity to fire and examine the effects of 200+ year old firearms and cannon.

Bicentenaire de la bataille de Waterloo Juin 2015

Re-enactors take to the field two-centuries on.

This video with a reasonable sound track.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Tuesday, June 16, 2015