Sunday, September 24, 2023

Terraforming Mars

 My eldest son has always had a keen interest in a number of board games, this one he's had for a while and got some expansions of - including a set of 3d markers.

game at setup

It has a set of general rules, then there are the 'contracts' that are the cards that drive the action and form some of the 'victory' conditions.

Mostly non-competitive, other than a few cards that 'attack' and you will pay with loss of victory points.

game end

there was a 'nuke' dropped on Mars
- to increase the temperature -

there were four players, I was tied for 4th

Friday, September 15, 2023

re-New-ed table top covering

 I have taken some time to take advantage of the past few sunny days to get a new layering on my old table cloth covering.

the last of the grass tufts were still setting

the darker 'chocolate' cloth that I will use with allied
(Austrians, Russians or British) forces

freshly done for my French bases

Now they get on the table

while I was re-sorting the magnets and minis
I lost track of a couple of the bases when I set them
aside on the tablecloth

the rough-and-tumble look is what I was after

they do not look anything like the old green grass paper ones

from behind it is still easy to ID the units

Summer is looking to end quietly here, only some little showers so far.

Saturday, September 09, 2023

Cavalry match at Bruceville 1863 (fictional)

 A cavalry match was established at Bruceville by the fictional 1863 Campaign game that we set up over the summer.

No one had enough cavalry to game this out - even at 1/3 scale with all of our cavalry combined.

So I decided to put my Fast Play Grande Armee tools to work, as this was an all horse match-up with some artillery supports.  All the sorts of things that existed in the Napoleonic era ... though the Union horse would have carbines - so I gave them a heavy cavalry unit to represent the extra firepower this might represent on the field.

This meant that the French would be representing Union troops and I chose Russians (because they were ready) to fill in as the Confederates.


Union job:  keep the Confederates off the two roads going south across the Monocacy River.

Confederates:  get any unbroken (more than 1 strength) brigades down either the road to Liberty (east) or Frederick City (west) so as to disrupt Union ability to  interfere with Confederate movements towards the east, either Baltimore or Washington.

the horse were fighting over Bruceville
just as the foot were tangling at Utica Mills

Custer was granted command of the 'heavies' and had the job to flank far right.

battlefield overview
(the tray holding Confederates were arriving from
the road to the north - left of image)

Union held in readiness to see what the Rebs were bringing

there were more Union cavalry coming from Liberty
to the south east, they would not arrive before noon though

Custer is in command of the Cuirassier, seen here in the distance
to the left

tale of the Confederate battle ... they could not get
the bigger numbers needed in combat die rolls

this caused many more losses to the Confederates

as usual an all cavalry battle was going to be a swirling mass of horsemen with the decision coming fast

Custer, top center, failed to attack - TWICE!

this allowed Confederate horsemen a clear shot
at a Union battery group

Pleasanton was just too far away to effect anything
much of a personal nature on the field

so the Union Division commanders were needed
to keep the action 'in-the-face' of the Confederates

1/3 of the Union guns were run over by Confederate horse

a lull came over the field just before 11 am

both sides had pulled back after an hour of furious action

in the midst of recovering some casualties - both sides failed their
break point rolls, though the Confederates failed their roll by more

remaining Union forces about 2/3rds strength that they
started with

Confederate survivors, they had been mauled
though all artillery survived, the horse were
at less than half strength they started with


Bruceville 1863 game timelapse


Now we know what all the situation of the 3rd of July will be ...

There is a small opening to the east, certainly north is open, west of course will achieve little.

South may be only an option if Longstreet can hold it open for two more days ...

Wither will General Lee and the remains of the Army of Northern Virginia go?

Sunday, September 03, 2023

Victory Without Quarter - Alpian Wars - solo game

 After much work on completing a downstairs bathroom and the first series of tests on my First Responder course I decided that there must be an Alpian Wars throwdown.

Lacking opponents, I decided to use my solo simple system to lay out a battlefield and set a simple objective.

The tabletop was 1/3 'swampy ground' in two of the six sectors, so this was likely something happening in the 'low-countries' where flooding is common.

a hill and a small town rounded out the battlefield.

For 'orders' the Stagonians ended up with the task of killing or capturing the enemy commander and they could use much resources to do this (King of Diamonds drawn); for Alpia it was more vague ... they had to use a 'plan' to win (the Nine of Clubs).

Stagonian Command

I have many photos of the table, yet the whimsy of the miniatures and the look generated by the clip to comic app seems to serve telling the overall story of an Alpian Wars game better than the many other shots.

I will still use a few of the photos, AND there is a time lapse of the whole game broken down by deck draws.  (at the end of the post)

the Alpians used their pike and shot to some effect
in guarding their commander

I randomly assigned the troops to the commands, three to each brigadier and two to the CiCs.

No artillery were used and the artillery cards were removed from the draw deck.

the Stagonians were in greater strength on their right
as were the Alpians to the right of the hill

the great story of this battle would be the
many times Stagonians rallied (like here)
and how most often the Alpians did not rally

Zuff P&S

and Queel P&S were great at blasting away

at Stagonian Knights, who were eventually
killed off the field ...

while the Alpian Knights simply withdrew
after taking some fire and having other troops
retreat through their ranks
(many, many failed rally rolls - the like the '2' seen here)

Alpian forces were down to minimal, with Brigadiers
attaching to help keep the men from fleeing

in the midst of the ninth deck,
the Alpian Commander decided that his life
was more valuable than any army and left the field

a score of 6 : 1 in favor of Stagonia
a tactical victory but a strategic draw ...

Fun to get the minis on the table again this month - looks like I might have an opponent for another game this long weekend - this time some FPGA.

Finally enjoy this longer form video of the whole process, from set up through each card deck and finally clean up.