Thursday, October 29, 2015

Campaign Mappe for "The Kings War"

The Kings War image from Cyberboard set

A set of comments has prompted me to share the map image from "The Kings War" gamebox for Cyberboard.

Cyberboard is a board game system for use over cyberspace.

Friday, October 16, 2015

For God, King and Country - a cyberboard campaign system

I have been experimenting again with Cyberboard, an electronic board-game system, this time with an aim to create the "For God, King and Country" campaign system.  This way the tabletop games will have a meaning beyond the battle of the moment and we will have an ongoing record-keeping system to manage the forces and to generate future combats.

a fairly simple map
I wanted the map simple, so as to allow for the fast transition to action on the tabletop.

Since the For God, King and Country system has its own map generation and overall control mechanisms this makes leaving the map simple much easier.

Now to play a few more battles and see what stage the other players want to take with the forces....

Monday, October 12, 2015

Warr Without an Enemie - meeting engagement

In an effort to better understand the rules and let me get these ECW minis onto the tabletop I run a little solo game at home.  The idea being to use only the new Quick Reference Sheet that I had printed.

I only had a 30" by 47" space to work with so I used a single mixed Oxford (random) brigade vs. a single mixed Essex brigade, set in 1643.

The random system in the game gave these force mix results:

Royalist:                                                   Parliament:
Trained 4 stand Foote I3                          Trained 7 stand Horse C2
Raw/Elite 4 stand Horse C3                     Trained 6 stand Pisoleers C2*
Veteran 6 stand Foote I3
Raw/Elite 3 stand Horse C3
Trained Light gun Artillery

I used "Good" commanders for each side.

having built a Parliament Army for much larger forces I could field both these brigades from the one collection - a bonus for the ECW period ... the 'uniforms' are essentially the same.

the terrain was an area of hills, not much else, Royalists put their cannon on a tall hill and covered it with a foote regiment, then Veteran foot in the center, with the two horse on the right flank

with only two large horse units, the Parliament set up the pistoleers on their left

the Parliament commander, took post between the two horse units

Royalist command was behind the Veteran foote

arrayed with the two over sized white flags the Veterans were the anchor of the Royalist force
Given that the Parliament force consisted of two horse units this was going to be a fast battle.

The pistoleers managed to roll two "1"s and in the hills built up 3 DPs in a hurry

while the Parliament Horse drove forward towards the cannon and force of foote on the tall hill

there were a few hits from musket fire, and all these were saved via the saving throws for a Trained unit 4,5,6 on a d6

the Pistoleers were in some disarray
Royalist die rolls for moving also had some "1"s in them and a horse unit was at 4 DPs on the far flank having started to wheel and being on hilly terrain.

the move roll to charge in for the Parliament Horse, they certainly 'made' the 8 inch distance uphill

the gunners chose to fire and flee (they rolled a "1" to get away) and ended up dead, the line of foote got off a shot (all saved) and then the crash of the horse utterly shattered the foote, they were routed taking more than 7 hits in the melee

while on the other flank, not declaring a charge, caused both lines to close up to 2" distance and the pistoleers got off a limited shot ... all saved.

as usual with battles dominated by horse ... they move quickly

the Parliament horse did not 'reign in control' - they missed the die roll by 1 pip and the Pistoleers were routed

battle for the Parliament Horse here was over by turn 3

Pistoleer Horse are almost useless against decent Royalist Horse
I looked upon the scenario like a flank or rear guard action, perhaps a Parliament Army is maneuvering in the area and this advance guard came across a Royalist brigade?

In any event the Royalist definitely lost a foote and cannon while the Parliament lost a pistoleer horse unit (is that really a loss?) and had to take some time to gather up the other horse unit after it had butchered the foote unit that it ran off in pursuit of.

In all the new QRS works great!  I did not have to look into the rule book at all during the game, only during the creation of the brigades.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Hedgehog of Piepsk a Squad Leader Game

Looking to challenge myself in my rules understanding I chose to run a Squad Leader game, out in the Russian steppes of 1941...

The Germans had set up a 'hedgehog' to hold a towm.

Russians are assaulting said town at dawn.

10 turns.

the game was designed to last 10 turns ... in the event it only lasted 8

Russians advanced in three columns, two covered by hills the third, and largest, coming on the flank
the center column, not knowing where any Germans were, ended up scattered in the street from the first burst of MG fire

the Soviets had taken one of the five objectives before any accurate mortar fire could be directed
in the event, that mortar fire was devastating, though the center MGs appear to have run out of ammunition
by turn 8 it was clear that there were not enough Soviet squads left unbroken to achieve any more results
The deadly combination of MGs directed by good leaders and 81mm mortar fire make it impossible for the Soviets to break into much of the town.  Indeed, had the German Sergeant at the radio directing the mortars managed to keep contact a bit better the battle would have been over by turn 6.

To win this battle the Soviets need some 'bad luck' on the part of the Germans.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Warr Without an Enemie QRS edit #1

Here there are the two sides of a version of the Warr Without An Enemie Quick Reference Sheet.

Warr Without an Enemie QRS Side A

Warr Without an Enemie QRS Side B
It is proposed to use these during our next match in the English Civil War tabletop game of Warr Without An Enemie.

Comments are welcomed.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Warr Without an Enemie Battle of Whalley take 2

Once again we returned to Jeff's game table, in order to play out the Warr Without an Enemie rules set.

The Whalley battle scenario was still laid out on the table, though this time the Parliament would be commanded by Rob, who had run Royalists last time and my eldest son would command the Royalists, while I could handle the rules adjudication, bringing my attention to the details in action speed.  Jeff was content to cat-call and ensure that photos were taken.

this time all the troops were 'started' on table

again the Royalists were not orgaanized

scattered about the town

Colonel Shuttleworth was in nearly the same spot as first game

and his commanded shot was also arrayed to deliver the first fire

Royalist dragoons started dismounted as last game

likewise, at a range of 8" the pike and shotte were lined up
As before turn one was a blast of shot from the commanded shotte behind the wall and a hasty set-up for organizing the Royalists.  This time the saving throws went slightly better.

fire from the wall, while everywhere else was a scramble to get formed up
Turn two was also little different, as the firing from the wall continued to be devastating and the Royalist commander was hamstrung, basically only able to affect one unit.

Royalist dragoons start to fall apart as more horse rides forward

Parliament Dragoons round the great hall in the north to face the moving Royalist horse
Turns three and four were mostly inconsequential, the Royalist Dragoons vanished in a third blast from the commanded shot at the wall (just as in game 1) and the Royalist forces managed to struggle forward while not rolling a "2" or lower each turn for army morale.

Turn 5 is when the situation between the two games changed.

Royalists are still only starting to move forward as 1/2 of the foremost troops were eliminated

now the dreaded "2" arrived and the Royalists started their cha-cha of retire and re-order

the Parliamentarians under Shuttleworth, had not yet destroyed the last forward Royalist Pike & Shotte unit

more of the cha-cha from Royalist horse

while Parliament horse were moving to both flanks

hurrying out across the field

and over the hillock to the north
the Royalist retire was short, as they did not roll a "2" or below again

this allowed the Pike & Shotte unit to escape destruction
scene from the Royalist rear on turn 7

more DPs (Disruption Points) had been accumulated by the moving Royalists

though now they were close to reaching Parliament units

and even getting a chance to do so without being at near exhaustion DPs

Parliament Dragoons mounted up

exchange of fire between Pike & Shotte and commanded shotte
even though the Royalist forces had kept more order, they were still not all formed together, facing the Parliament troops in 1's and 2s

Parliament commanded shotte again had rushed over the wall

and driven back the Royalist Pike & Shotte (now with 4DPs)

The commanded shotte was firing volley after volley

Royalist horse was not yet in position to help the Pike & Shotte

though now at last a gap had opened and the Parliament would have to come out to exploit their advantage

Colonel Shuttleworth

this time the Royalist commanded shotte was not having to cha-cha over a fence line so less DPs built up
There were still plenty of units with DPs in the 3-4 range by the time any other Royalists even cross the river in force to help the retiring Pike & Shotte unit.  After the battle my eldest son commented that the only way the Royalists can even have a chance in this battle is to hold back everyone at the river line and try to stay in the battle until that can be done.  This was not his actual choice in the game though.

unable to get all the forces together the Royalists do what they can one unit at a time

more horse storm over the bridge

Parliament Dragoons and Pistoleers are ready ... ?

now Royalist horse were targets of the commanded shot

having moved to cover the retiring Pike & Shotte, stopping them from being destroyed

Parliament Pistoleers move to engage at close range
desperate fighting at the center field would now result

a charge of the horse, pushed back one commanded shot

though now that left the flank totally open to a pistoleer assault

Dragoons dismounted and began firing into a horse column, while pistoleers moved to flank them

not seeing the trap forming, the Royalist horse rode into a maelstrom

Parliament Dragoons now dismounted and giving fire
the final turn was sudden, as the collapse of the Royalists came with the destruction of their horse

at last the foot units were coming close together, just in time to flee

the clash of horse units was simultaneous

all four units engaged, with the Parliament horse coming out on top of both combats

the clubmen could see their commander, as he ordered the general retreat

moreover, they could see why ... all the horse was dead

Shuttleworth would hold the field

with the Pistoleers, disrupted somewhat, though triumphant

they each took some DPs as they passed through each other in their respective combat pursuit

nothing more to shoot at for the Veteran commanded shotte

Now the foot could retreat together

still only 1 DP for these Veterans

Shuttleworth could look up the road to see his Royalist opponent start to flee

all the Royalist forces remaining at game end
There are still some rules issues that are not completely clear (especially as part of the charge procedure).

And we have had some feedback from the game designers (Nick):

- Units that are on AHC, CT and AFC orders can change their orders to Hold for free

Yes. A unit commander could always halt and seek clarification when things looked tricky ahead.

- to rally a retreating or routing unit a Hold order is required.

Yes. Also remember that it is likely that some parts of the unit will never stop - the bases removed and DP's acquired.

- Units that are not being charged may fire at a charging unit in phase 7 only and must be within range at that point.

Yes. This is a compromise. Because units usually take some time to fire full, they usually fire 1 rank at a time, so if a unit is firing at a quickly moving unit going into contact or out of arc of fire will not get many shots of. 

- units that fire in the stationary fire phases cannot voluntarily move in the turn (I don't recall if this happened but it would be easy to forget).

At first we put 'puffs of smoke' - cotton wool - in front of the units that fired in the stationary fire phase for this reason. This worked well but after a few games people just remembered, they had got used to the ide.

- if the firing unit moved this turn add +2 to the savings throw. This is a big one which we didn't remember last night. This rule and the one previous seem to contradict one another; I am not sure how they interact. The only situation that comes to mind is a unit that is retiring but still in range of a target.

You don't have to be stationary to fire, you can move and fire. But if you move and fire you take any hits from stationary firers BEFORE you fire and also you give the other guy the saving roll bonus. Of course you do get the advantage of the move you make.

- Infantry vs. Mounted modifiers; remember last night when I wondered why there were no postive modifiers for Cavalry when charging Infantry? Well, there isn't but there is a lot of negative modifiers to the charge test for infantry, especially if they are out in the open like Shuttleworth's foot was. I don't think we remembered them last night otherwise those combats would have turned out differently I think (without including DP's , according to the chart on page 18, the Infantry would have had a -5 to the Charge Test when Derby's Cavalry hit them).

This reflects the nature of combat at the time, and is also often not understood. Cavalry could and did take on infantry frontally but if the infantry was supported or in cover then that was risky and likely to be costly in lives. So they would use there mobility to go round the flanks, possibly with the charge threat idea to pin the target in place. Isolated infantry units out in the open were easy meat for the cavalry.

- Savings throws are taken in Combat as well - I am certain we forgot that. The Combats would have gone on longer I think.

Saving rolls are a key factor in unit quality and so are part of the combat. Combats should be fairly decisive as a relatively small difference will produce some kind of result.

- "Under Fire": a unit is defined as being "Under Fire" within range of an enemy unit/base that could fire at it. The unit does not have had to have been fired at in this turn or the previous turn.

Yes. The idea is that stray fire and the threat of fire would be enough.

- changing formation casue 2 DP's when under fire; I probably would have lost a base or two on sunday under those circumtances if you consider this rule in conjunction with the one previously.

Difficult for me to say but the idea is certainly that doing things under fire is not a good idea if you can avoid it.

- A unit which has fought a round of melee combat can only have DP's removed if the commander is attached to it.

Yes. The idea is that given the situation the commander has to actually be there himself, he can't send an aide to do this.

 - I found found the "enfilade" rule; page 16: "Flank/Rear Target: Double the number of hits (infantry in hedgehog formation are always counted as being fired on from the flank/rear)." 

Yes and another reason to watch your flanks.
We may have more in follow up and I plan to post a new Quick Reference Sheet that I have designed to highlight the charge procedures and certain rolls at all times.