Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Garden Wars season 2016 :: teaser

Lawn Mowed, this time with hedgerows!
The 2016 Garden Wars season is upon me and this past Victoria Day, May 23, was the first outing on the lawn.

Just a teaser here as the pictures are being processed into a blog post soon!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

SHAKO 2 Game from InCon Convention :: refight of Marienberg from Campaign of Nations

The local game event, called InCon, was held over the March 29-30-31 weekend (yes it is taking more time for me to get to posting these details)

At the event I hosted a large (for me, alone) game of SHAKO 2 using nearly all of the cavalry I have, most certainly all of the Austrians and Russians that I have available in my collection.

There was a coordinator for the games demo area and he took this photo just after I had the table set up
Within a half hour we had players and deployed the whole force
The French had two 'chevrons' for defense on the right flank

The Allied force massed Russians to assault the chevrons.

Austrians were in the center.

Austrians on the right flank of the Allied line, with Prussians backing them up.
The general plan was similar to the one used in the first play of this battlefield.

A difference in this case, the Austrians were going to commit to the assault of the town center and the bridge, in order to cover the moves of the Prussian column and keep the French stuck in the town so that they could not shift to stop the Russians attacking the chevrons.   Essentially a 'full court press'.

Turn 3 was the arrival of the Russian Hussar Division

Yes, there were different players that came along to command the Hussars

the first line of Hussars

Austrians forcing the river Main

French allied troops from German territories stand the river Main defenses

yes, those are Polish Lancers filling in as Russian Uhlans

the mass of Hussars in behind the Russian infantry lines

Austrian advance guard Grenzers rush off to the left flank

Austrian artillery pound away at the town while the cavalry of the advance guard move to the flank

Prussians now join the line forcing the river crossing on the north side of Marienberg

While Austrians storm over the bridge and deliver fire into the town

French batteries traded shots with Austrians, while the Germans massacred Austrian infantry with their artillery

Leading Russian cavalry drive towards the river line

further columns follow up the foot

Russian battalions ford the river Main

more of the fording ... seen from further to the flank

the Cossacks were sacrificed so as to permit the infantry to cross the river without facing constant artillery fire
Then we had a number of player changes, and there were dozens of folks asking questions about the game and a steady stream of action in the game ... forgot to take photos.

another quick shot of the table sometime near turn 3

The battle at the chevrons, dragged on; there were no clear ways to break into the area for the Russians.  While the Austrians in Marienberg were routed and fled the field, another Austrian Division opposite the Germans was also blasted off the field, so the score was going against the Allies by turn 5.

Battle was not going well for the Austrians, who had been routed from the field

All the Russian Hussars were now prepared to shift to the center, as the chevrons were now tied down without room to maneuver

the view down the lines of the Russian Hussar Division (13 units)
Then even more folks were in the games demo room and at one point I was doing a discussion about Napoleonic tactics and painting the uniforms almost at the same time.  20 or so folks were in these talks around the table while troops continued to move.  Once again I was too busy to remember to take continuous pictures.

by turn 11 the score was 3 French losses and 15 Allied losses

the situation by the chevrons was loaded with bodies and disordered troops

the German division had lost 1/3 yet managed to rally and hold while huge cavalry formations clashed all around them

the Austrian Grenzers were across the river Main

Crenneville, the commander of the Advance guard had swept around into the flank and was threatening the French command as well as cutting off the French escape route.  They had killed off the French light cavalry division.

still though the French had managed to tear through nearly half of the Allied forces ...

No other pictures were taken of the field as the questions continued.

The final result was very close, as the French had lost 8/9 and the Allies ended up with 31/28 losses.

A brutal cost, yet the French held the crossing of the river Main at Marienberg, the opposite of our result in the Campaign of Nations game.

clean up from the coordinators perspective

The final commanders and the table covered in the casualties from the battle

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

More Lion Rampant experiments

Another opportunity to game with BlueBear Jeff.

This time I used a few of my Cossacks and Pikes from the ECW armies that I have.

foot Yeomanry

more foot Yeomanry
My ponies usage was poor and Jeff's bidowers mowed down all opposition.

'nuff said.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Lion Rampant night out with Bluebear

A good Sunday night outing was had with a visit to Bluebear Jeff's table.

The two sides early in the match

critical moment when the dark age Scots had their leader shot up by archers
Jeff has been champing at the bit to get me to do some "Lion Rampant" games, so this past Sunday night, after a total failure of a weekend in other game plans, I went out.

Some Dark Ages Greek looking fellas were my troops vs. some Scottish looking opponents.

Rules are fairly simple, though they lack diagrams to show tabletop 'actions' with clarity in some situations; good amiable opponents make for a better game experience.

Play is fast enough that we did the meeting engagement and had time for a 'messenger escort' game.

Sadly the Scots did not have any border horse in their troop mix and were badly outclassed by having to chase horses on foot.

the line of shields was the 'finish line' that the horsemen needed to get to ...
 The closest they came was after two failed move rolls for the Greek Yeoman, then it was all anti-climactic.

Perhaps I shall have a go at some crazy Cossacks in another week?

In the meantime, work continues on the Hundred Days Campaign, blog parts are being assembled and the Cyberboard Gamebox is coming together at last.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Library Finale

Fell flat.

Troops were all laid out for a last engagement between Austrians and French, this time the Austrians were going to be on the attack!

I had my youngest keen to do the setup, then no players were interested.  Finally we got things going, then my youngest lost interest.  He's 10.  This is allowed.

Game ended mid-way thru turn 3.

Flat way to end the games at the Library, next up will be some Squad Leader; to gauge interest.

Did you have no-shows in your games? 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

English Civil War - Royalist Welsh Force

In continuing the expansion of my ECW forces for play with Jeff in our games, I have started on my Royalists ...

I have decided to do a mix of Welsh sorts and Cornish troops, to augment ones that other players may have of the core Nottingham or Oxford Armies.

The finished first force in green in time for St Paddy's day
They are planned to have Welsh colors of red and green with a red lion on the flag.

work in progress, bare metal and base coat

work in progress, base colors and blocking colors
At least two more foot units are proposed for the Welsh, could see more in the future.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

SHAKO at the Library - Return to the Danube Valley

Once again I put out the Napoleonic troops on the table at the local library.  This time an old hand came out to test his mettle against me on the attack with French, while I held the line with Austrian forces.

We randomized the terrain and laid out the troops, in near record time!

Austrian forces on the ridge line
The woods across the center of the map made for a more limited battlefield, and the Austrians made full use of the cover and strength such a natural defensive feature provided.  While the French were going to march out from a series of built up areas, a 4 sector and 2 sector town.  Oh, and there was a small hill on the far left flank of the French position, of no consequence for this battle.



Ney in his HQ with heavy artillery


Austrians line the ridge

all the way

Austrian horse was on the left

The deployment marker, silver lion

View of Austrian lines along the ridge
Artillery started, though the French guns were soon masked as the foot advanced

Italian columns

Guard, maneuvering so as to march around a town

Germans in columns also

Ney screaming orders

Austrian Guns pound out punishment on French horse

Austrian horse make ready to charge, beyond the Austrian HQ
Horses clash with devastating results on the French
French reach the Austrian advance line ... taking casualties without result
By turn 5 the situation was not looking good for the French attack.

Two division commanders had 'stalled' having made contact with the Austrian line, they had fallen back and converted to defensive.  The French light horse was in 'desperation morale' having failed to rally from the loss of the first of three brigades.

the supreme moment of action needed for the French

at last the Austrians were taking casualties

pressure was building on the Austrian line

troops were getting thin in the French lines

The Guard was moving forward

repeated charges were having an effect

There were literally mounds of dead to march over as the French pressed up the hill ...
Turn 6 was the telling one.

at last the Austrian forward defense was beaten

only one force of foot was holding the forward line
The problem was it had cost more French men to win that position, and while the French light cavalry had recovered their courage ... they were now open to Austrian artillery and horse counter-charge.

Leading to a final thunderclap in turn 7:

a series of charges and counter-charges along with the Austrian artillery were to end both the Italian Division and the French light horse

Davout was to see his command shattered by artillery fire

the guard was simply not able to engage before the battle had ended

Austrian command had remained stationary with a close-knit interior line of communication that was not tested all game

The action had been concentrated in the open flank

High ground proved to be all powerful

indeed the Austrians had never really been pressed on the hill top

French artillery was not well placed all battle long

allowing the Austrians to use the woods to screen off anything coming from their left flank

German allies of the French proved to be very adept at staying out of the line of fire ...

the carnage of the hill

Austrian artillery, while not deadly every shot, proved to be effective when needed

combined arms was the trick for making the French pay for every inch of their advance

General Victor was twice ordered into the Austrian lines, and twice was not able to press home

some of the carnage

the ground of the repeated cavalry charges and counter-charges was the most deadly this day.

This makes the match-up between France and Austria so far 1:1 in the library.  One final match ought to be run to determine a final winner.

It was great to have the experienced opponent, who was capable of taking his own decisions and moving the men quickly.  We were able to play out the full 7 turns and come to a final conclusion in just over three hours, from about 12:45 to just after 4 pm.

In the meantime, my eldest was busy running an active game of Long Live the King!

The Long Live the King players