Friday, April 11, 2014

Postman's been!

In today's mail, my list online auction score: a presumably Prussian field command set!  I'd seen this pictured somewhere before so grabbed it. The paint's so awful it comes off on your fingers just holding the figures.  Its hard to tell but the map table actually has little raised elevation lines and stuff.  I thought this was a Britains set but the bottom of the table says Strombeckers Chicago IL.  Sorta seen in the background are marching and at ease soldiers that appear to be from the same set or at least the same maker and series, but with broken rifles and arms.

The set also has one Britains hollowcast mounted trooper with a missing arm and a hole in the side of the horse. Imprint on bottom of horse says W.Britains and 1906.

Also in the lot were some old plastic figs and the strong scent of a smokers home.  

The command set's getting a dip in Simply Green and then its a quick repaint.  The hollowcast I haven't decided on yet.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014


After an extended break, the 18th century collection in 54mm returned to the table last weekend.  Gabe had been busy painting three battalions (regiments? units? gangs of 12?) of Russians.  Even though they were not 100% done, Gabe wished to get them on the table, and my philosophy is THROW EVERYTHING ON THE TABLE, so we fudged it a bit and contrived a Seven Years War Franco-Russian joint operation against the Hanover-Hesse-Brunswick-Britain allied forces (pictured below at game's commencement).

Not completely fudged, however. The allied armies in western Germany were usually outnumbered so the French and Russians were given a slight numerical advantage of one extra infantry battalion.

The map was an approximation of the battle of Gohfeld during the Seven Years War.  The river at the French and Russian end of the table could only be crossed at the bridge, and at the allied end could only be forded up to one foot from the table's edge. This was our largest game to date: over 180 figures on the table!  It was also the longest one so far: almost three hours of actual game play.
Being the first game playing from the shorter ends of the table, a lot of early moves were burned up with little action as both sides approached each other.  The allies successfully screened the advance of their line infantry with skirmishers (pictured below).

Here's the two armies still maneuvering closer to each other.

French grenadiers and infantry (the bright blues and the whites) come in range of Hessian line infantry. However, the allies' skirmishers prevent direct fire between the two.

On the river's opposite bank, the Hanoverian contingent of the allied forces, along with all the allied cavalry, approach two battalions of Russians.  The cavalry would subsequently be decimated by some uncanny accurate French artillery fire.

Things start getting hot!  Below, the allied skirmishers have finally given way now that Brunswick infantry has taken position to the left of the Hessians. Not pictured is British infantry atop the small hill to the right of the Hessians. Coming through to the right of the bright blue-uniformed French Grenadiers is a French heavy cavalry charge.

Pictured below is the scene a couple of turns later - the French cavalry broke the Brunswick infantry and then proceeded on to break the last of the allied artillery.  The center Hessian infantry withstood all fire for multiple activations (til the end of the game, really).  The British, despite a superior hilltop position, flubbed every single dice roll, failing to rain cheap plastic fiery death upon their 1/32 scale French assailants, and also getting handily chopped up by French return fire.  On the opposite bank, Hanoverian infantry was effectively handling the Russians.

Despite their numerical advantage the French and Russians were the first to take a break test (from losing at least half of their starting units).  However, they made this roll successfully.  When it was my turn to take my first break test I once again totally flubbed the throw and the game was over.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Little Churchyard War

Army Dark Blue and Army Red met for a rematch on the dining room table.  We again used a super-simplified house-rules version of HG Wells' Little Wars.

My son had a better time this go-around, as he seemed to do better aiming Army Red's cannon on the table than on the floor.

Highlights included: a dead-on hit on an Army Dark Blue infantryman that sent him flying backwards a good foot and a half; knocking figures off the table edge and having my son say in complete seriousness "I don't think that even hit that guy"; and hiding a guy from ever-closer cannon fire by hooking his base onto the top of a house roof - I countered by hitting the house on my next shot, sending the poor chap tumbling down.

Pretty brutal game of attrition...

I lost, in the end, although I had to coach him a little to take advantage of gains he had already earned all on his own ("I think now would be a good time to use that reserve you've cleverly kept hidden all game.")

Monday, February 10, 2014

Showdown at Cardboard Creek

The third session of viking vs Anglo-Dane dark age battles using the SAGA ruleset was the other weekend.  Instead of using the 'Clash of the Warlords' scenario which is a quick-and-dirty six-turn dust-up which seemed to not favor the viking faction, we used the 'battle of the fords' which involves two bridges over a river or stream,with points assigned after seven turns based on how many figures each side has managed to get to the opposite bank - no fording the river, the bridges are the only way over.

I must praise the ruleset because this scenario produced a completely different game than the previous sessions.  Both sides used limit breaks special abilities not used before.  It was also fairly up-in-the-air until close to the end, with the Anglo-Danes not clearing a bridge, moving figures to the opposite bank, and earning points to win the game until the seventh and final turn.

Here's the situation at the south bridge. I parked a unit of warriors on there and then menaced with my archers at the bank.  Just out of shot on the left is a reserve of hearthguard elites.  Gabe had gotten burned bad enough in earlier games by the archers than he was content to let all of this sit as is for several turns - which was fine by me because the extent of my strategy for this game was "stall at the south, grind it out at the north."

I think this (the below photo) is after the first clash on the north bridge?  My front rank of eight warriors appears to be down to seven.  This was against a viking warrior unit of twelve.

The vikings continuing their push here...

Maybe after repelling the second attack?

Way later on: here's the viking warlord holding the north bridge all by hisself.

And here's his hearthguard flying to his side.

The last pic from the evening...

Pretty happy with that flag. I hope to add a few more to this army, since they help add a little narrative element.  Bonus prize if anyone can identify the design...