Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Charge! Or How to Play Wargames

A fast evening game of Charge! Or How to Play Wargames was played on a 3'x4' field on the living room using 54mm plastic figures.  These are my 'freelance Napoleonic project' figures, and are not painted to any specific units or nationalities.  I meant to throw together some background story with my oppoent (age 7) but forgot.

Both sides were compositionally identical: 24 infantry, a cannon with 4 crew, 6 cavalry, and 2 officers. 

The Charge!rules are wonderfully simple: the entire 'elementary' game rules are summarized on two pages!  They are also good simulation rules, both in terms of the effect of musketry and the back and forth of cavalry melee. Both sides began trundling forward.  Army Red's (me) artillery fire was spot on and Army Black took dreadful casualties as they advanced.

No pictures but there was a swirling melee to the left between the cavalry.

Infantry finally close in and the musketry fire commences. Army Black begins to chip away at Army Red.  The break point is first to loose 19 figures. Things get down the wire: Red has lost 18, Black has lost 17.

A great musket volley by Black's infantry at point blank seals their victory: 6 casualties in one blast!

Including set up time, I think we played this whole game in 45 minutes or so.  The figures are a mix of HaT infantry, Timpo cavalrymen on Imex horses, Armies in Plastic cannons, Call to Arms crew with All the Kings Men heads swapped on, and Italeri command figures (phew!).



Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Cavaliers Embarassed in ECW Defeat

We played our second English Civil War game, again using the Pike & Shotte rules. Each side had twice as much infantry as the last game (so two infantry 'battalias' of one pike block and two musket 'sleeves' each) and two cavalry battalias of two squadrons each (last game had one battalia of three each).  We also used medium guns instead of light falconets for artillery. 


The board had essentially three terrain features arrayed along the center: a village surrounded by hedgerows on the south edge, a hill at the north-center (complete with grazing sheep), and woods on the north end. At the center and center-south was as fairly open space.

The Parliament forces (Gabe) spent a lot of turns trying to set up an infantry battalia (the 'Orange Regiment') in the cover of the hedgerows by the village while a cavalry battalia moved quickly through the streets.

The Royalists (me) responded with (attempted) aggressive cavalry attacks on both flanks. The melee in the village streets went poorly with the defeat of the entire Royalist cavalry.The cavalry melee around and on the hill to the north was an effective stalemate. All this in spite of inferior Parliamentarian cavalry commanders!

In the center the Royalist Blue Regiment lost a musketeer company early on and the Red Regiment failed to form-up as intended.Parliament's cavalry charged from out of the village as the Orange Regiment finally climbed over the hedgerows and got in musket range.

The Royalist Reds formed hedgehog causing the Parliament cavalry to pull up short and the Blues were already broken and leaving the field. The Parliament Green Regiment also began to break up but the game was over as the Royalist cavalry battalia lost in the village plus the breaking Red Reg. meant that half of the army was broken.

For next game:

1. Consider placing starting-lines 18" from table edge rather than 12".This could reduce the game time, as a lot of time is wasted as the infantry of both sides struggle to get into musket range. There would still be a large back-space behind each army for maneuvering and reserves.
2. Continue to forget to use the 'first fire' rule for all musketeers – each unit gets bonus for the first volley of the game.
3. Might be time to drop the 'marauder' rule for both sides' cavalry. Same thing for Parliamentarian cavalry's 'caracole' rule. Parliament cavalry commander could also have an '8' rating rather than a '7'.

I have now lost two games, somewhat badly, but I am enjoying myself immensely.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Death of a Swiss Pikeman

[From a tapestry depicting the Battle of Pavia, from drawings by Bernard van Orley.]

Friday, May 15, 2015

Little Towns

The collection of self-made 25mm buildings shaping up nicely (suitable for dark ages through early modern era)!  Future plans include some larger buildings such as a tavern, earthworks, perhaps an inn with a courtyard, and a 'manor house'.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

SAGA Game (Welsh vs. Vikings)

These pics are from a game played at Guardian back in January.  Gabe fielded his Vikings and I fielded my trusty Welsh. 

An interesting game in that the Welsh spearmen in the wheatfield there were knocked out in the second round and I was even considering conceding the game. 

However, the rest of the Vikings came over the hill there and into the woods.  There the Welsh ambushing tactics paid big dividends and basically got me back in the game, which was then won by a thin margin.