Sunday, May 31, 2020

Teddy Bear Fur test

example of the old grass paper (left) and the light olive fur (right)
I am still testing out the teddy bear fur (I mean I spent the $ on the cloth and flocked it and cut it all up) to see what final effects might be like on the tabletop.

The recent ECW D3 game, showcased the older grass paper with the new light olive and flocked fur is like, along with a few copses of forest so that I can definitely say that the woods still stand out as different green than the table covering.  I was concerned with how dark the 'olive' color was once it arrived.

Now I will need to arrange a different game or setup at least, to test out the look and use of the light tan, grey paint and flock teddy bear fur that has been done for the Royalist forces.

Maybe next game?

Royalist (left) Parliament (right)

ECW D3 rules tryout #1

In an effort to support the interest in faster tabletop games that my youngest son wanted to have with the English Civil War minis, I took a page from Peter over at Grid based wargaming, and tried out his ECW D3 system.

It took only about 30 mins to set up the minis with new tags and on all 2" square bases.

I also used the new teddy bear fur based Parliament forces while my son used the old grass paper Royalists, so that a visual comparison could be done on the new olive green fur table cover I have.

a final shot the captured the teddy bear fur and smoke action of a pair of pike and shot units
We laid out the small table in my office (the only one I have total control over).

printed out the rules so that there was one for each of us for reference in the game

layout for the first ever battle on the new olive green fur covering - the 'rivers' mark the non-usable boundaries of the table
With each turn taking some time as we discussed the new ideas and concepts of the 'command numbers' and what they could be used for, it took some time to do the first turn.

a good eye will instantly notice the little green 'die holder' on the top of the lord commanders stand (center left)

die holder in use

I made up a set of little die holders for each unit (max is 12 for the whole army, so it was not a huge task to do 26 of them - one 'double' for each commander)

new dice holders drying on Friday for use in the game Saturday
I made a critical error ... did not save enough action 'pips' for use in an ongoing melee, so my horse had to fall back - leaving my commander totally exposed to a Royalist galloper attack!

Not one to miss such a juicy target, my son did the deed!

now recovered, the Parliament commander returned to the field and behind the lines of foot to keep the pressure on the Royalist flank

bright white smoke was used to denote a unit that had 'expended powder' (rolling a "3" in firing)

black smoke used on the cannon

 The loss of the commander function for a full turn was devastating, and the Parliament force just did not fully recover and once the commands dwindled down it was obvious that the command pips did not exceed the damages.

field at battle's end

Plenty of maneuver room with 8 units and a general in the game.

Play was really fast once we figured out how to work everything.

So a second battle was set up really fast - same terrain, different angles.

second battle

tabletop setup, Royalists to the left, Parliament to the right

good shot of the grass effects

the Royalists had a ridgeline to contend with in their immediate start area

it caused some separation of units and thus lower 'command pips' to use

more of the grass effect of the teddy bear fur in action

about 1/2 way through the second game

I really liked how this dragoon unit looks in the photo

The Royalists got trapped on the ridgeline and constantly struggling to get enough 'command pips' to take actions (casualties in the far distance (top center of image) are not in the action any more

Royalists collapsed as they lost their final horse unit and the artillery at the same time.
All-in-all a good little 'game' and makes the players think about all units and all actions (including the commander) and where units 'will be' in another move.

The youngest son liked the experience and will likely be exploring this one again.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Experiments in teddy bear fur ...

There was an early tryout of the minis 'sticking' to the magnets on the bases through the, thicker than paper, furry throw that I had in a light olive color.

Now I have a new dark olive blanket to use for the tabletop covering, the time came to do the 'long grass' look for the bases covering.

Here's the test shots:

with the skycloth backdrop, the fur gives a more rough field look
as compared with the 'non-fur' (paper grass) bases:

non-fur, grass paper bases
plus a few other shots of a more 'overview' look:

fur covered
non-fur covered
the sheet (throw) before cutting into the sections for use as base coverings:

quickly done with paint and flocking

fast color comparison with the new blanket for table coverings
What do you all think?

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Live Broadcast Tabletop game - support of Lets Roll and KeyCon 2020

Another journey into the history of Austerlitz.

This time with some adjusted forces, to see what Bonaparte might have accomplished the storming of Pratzen with.

during deployment Dan-O captured this image
We had plans to record this session fully, yet something happened in the software (or operation of it) and the recording was lost.

I still managed to grab a few still shots and this wonderful one from one of the many players from the US east coast in support of Lets Roll 2020.  Including a key one of the Snappy Nappy operations team.

forces fully deployed at game start

view from the French lines towards the Austrians lining the ridge
Again I was using the dark cloth table covering, with the stones as before to delineate the hill top and bottom slopes.

We made use of the tech at hand and had the French team go into a break out 'room' (digital) to make their plan so that the Allied commanders were 'in the dark'.

Then both sides did their orders maps as required by SHAKO II rules:

Allied map was dead simple - save for the Guard which was explained to my tech leader, Alex

The French map was more detailed and covered the situation really quite well
The missing Russian guard portion called for the Guard to arrive on turn 2 (same as the Russian foot division, to the north) and pass south of Pratzen and move past the point of the plateau into the hollow to the west of Pratzen.  With a turn 2 arrival and a slow march, this would put the division 'point' of the arrow on or about turn 5.

turn 3 overview

The French Guard columns were storming the plateau with Italian guard to the south side of the formation

Russians and Austrians were now becoming intermingled as they struggled to hold the ridge against D'Erlon's division in the north of Pratzen

D'Erlon's view

massive artillery formations were present from both sides, with the French having the Imperial Guard foot and Horse Batteries

the gap between d'Erlon's division and the Guard

Guard on advance with Pratzen town in the distance

French Guard Commander Bessier (represented on the white horse - my own sculpt of Eugene de Beauharnais)

not to be outdone the Russian Imperial Guard under Grand Duke Constantine was now assembling behind their own horse batteries supported by Austrian Horse batteries!
the supreme moment came in turn 5, 13h00 as the French Guard executed an excellent combined arms assault just south of Pratzen hitting the Russian Pavlov Grenadier Guards with both the French Grenadier Guard a Pied and the Grenadier Guard a Cheval at the same time, indeed a turn earlier the Guard Foot Artillery had injured this unit as it moved forward.

game ended after 5 very active turns
The French had a toe hold, and if you look to the top right of the flash photo with troops in it you can see the Allied Imperial Headquarters behind Pratzen (now on fire) and the French Grenadier foot and horse are BOTH in easy range of this vital target.  On turn 6 without doubt the Allied Grand Headquarters would have been over-run, leaving the Allied armies leaderless and at -1 to all rolls for continued survival.

It is hard to say if the French could have claimed to have achieved the same results as Bonaparte, who was reported to have been sighting artillery on the south slopes of the plateau at 14h00.

All in all a great game, had a wonderful time chatting with Dan-O and Thomas after the battle and have some new ideas on how to make our next tabletop broadcast even better.

We are certain to have at least two more opportunities over the next few months as the separation instructions and needs will keep us away from face-to-face for a while longer yet.  Watch here and on facebook for future game events.