Sunday, May 29, 2016

Garden Wars Returns for 2016 - English Civil War: Warr Without an Enemie

On the Victoria Day Monday, 23 May 2016 I had the opportunity to run a rousing Garden Wars game of Warr Without an Enemie and put my English Civil War miniatures into action in the back yard.

Garden Wars returns in 2016
The scenario was built using the troop selection methods from the rules set by the Wyre Forest Gamers.

We ended up with rather large Horse forces and limited Pike and Shotte.  Indeed I pushed my collection of horse to the limits and beyond, as I have only been building a Parliamentary force and have just started on some Welshmen to begin a Royalist opposing force.  Indeed I was able to tap a Cossack contingent to finish up one of the Horse elements of the Parliament force.

I mowed out the lawn this time to show three woods areas and a set of hedgerow enclosed fields.

forests and hedges
 My opponent had not played ECW before, he has seen the pictures of Garden Wars and heard from others about the fun and as he had the time available we were able to throw down minis and have at on the field.

The field narrowed down to the left corner of the hedgerows here Parliament are deployed along the whole hedge line on the left of the image

Dragoons and "the Shepherds"

Royalist Welshmen

Royalist Welsh horse and foot

Parliament's lines before the town and out from the hedges

"The Shepherds"

Closer to the center of Parliament's positions, horse on the left

The Giant Welsh dragon flag was not to be missed.
First moves were all about getting the Royalist horse to drive deep into the right flank, while the dice rolls for the movement of the Royalist foot were terrible (lots of 1's).  Parliament was mostly happy to await the Royalist arrival.  Though the Dragoons and a regiment of Pike and Shotte, known as 'the Shepherds' did have to redeploy from the right flank to the left as quickly as possible as it was clear the Royalists were going to mass their attack on the left corner of the enclosed fields.

Parliament's position shifting

the Parliament commander

still more foot slogging through the fields towards the hedgerows

the command die rolls were low and this kept the foot commander falling back from his men

the foote brigade had problems keeping together

including crashing horse into the backs of the Dragoons

yes that is a Parliament regiment being used as a Royalist ... my forces are mostly Parliamentary

The Parliament Horse was in readiness to shoot up the advancing Royalist horse

the moves of the Royalist horse had them in Parliament's 'charge threat' range, yet not in pistol range for the Northern Horse which had been ordered to advance to fire range

many lines of Royalist horse were bearing down to rush into close pistol range
Turn 3 had no photos ... we were rushing to get the move in just in case it rained as the clouds were building.  Mostly it was Royalist horse being shot up and doing less to the Parliament horse while the Royalist Foote continued to press into the hedgerows.

hedgerow area turn 4

the corner of the hedgerows, Parliament horse lower left, Royalist horse upper left; Royalist Foote in the field still not quite at the hedgerows

the horse flank clash from behind the Royalist right flank

second line of Royalist Pike & Shotte as they close in on the hedgerows

now the two lines of Parliament horse had shot away and driven off the Royalist horse

at the edge of the hedges 'the Shepherds' were blasting away exchanging volleys with a group of Royalist Dragoons

the main Royalist line had emerged from the hedgerows into a hail of pistol and matchlock fire

clearly the Royalist horse were no where to be seen

more Parliament foote was advancing

while Parliament horse were screening and holding back Royalist pike & shotte at pistol range cycling in carrocole

Laird Guat Rage decided that after the loss of all of the Royalist horse it was better to retire from the field than lay down the lives of all of the foote as well
I am certainly happy with the turn out from the first game in the Garden Wars for 2016.

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