Saturday, January 28, 2017

Three Wargames

      I got up with my wife today with the goal of getting all my work done early so I could get some gaming in. By 2:00 all the work was done and the dog had an hour and a half of playtime outside, so I still had a couple of hours for wargaming. My main goal was to get a trial ancients game in using the armies in Neil Thomas' Ancient and Medieval Wargaming book. I started basing some Peter Laing Carthaginians to use with these armies. I got in two games, one ancients and one Napoleonic. After these two games I still had time and decided to squeeze in one more game. For this game I diced for where terrain would be located. I also was trying to decide what figures to use. I chose my home cast Victorian Parade goose-stepping Prussians, which I use for my Shiak-Brookshire imagination games.

    Out of the three games, the third was the most enjoyable.  These figures need to be used more.

The Carthaginians are on the left, the Romans on the right. 

The Carthaginian elephants crash into the Roman line.

The Shiak army (in blue) on the left, the Brookshire army (in grey) on the right.

The Brookshire army approaches cautiously, fearing the Shiak artillery. The Shiak army advances in line.

The Brookshire sends two units to try to circle around the Shiak left.

The Shiak artillery fire drives back one Brookshire unit.

The Brookshire counterattack and kills one artillerymen. Barnaby's Rifles join the attack.

The Shiak troops close on the hill...

..but are driven back. The other Shiak artilleryman is killed by Barnaby's  Rifles  and the battery overrun.

Shiak infantry capture the hill, only to be driven off.

The Brookshire infantry turns the Shiak left flank.

The Brookshire cavalry  defeats the Shiak cavalry.

The Shiak army beats a hasty retreat.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A new Way of Setting Up Chessboard Battlefields

       As mentioned in my last post, at the end of the Napoleonic wargame I had played,  the end result of having a Napoleonic battle field having with a bunch of single figures scattered across it just didn't catch the feeling of the period. It left me thinking of my single based Minifigs and their future in my newest plans.  The next day was a beautiful day, sunny and warm, perfect for taking the dog for a long walk. These long walks are prefect to think out problems, and this walk had me thinking of my single based figures. I had already decided to consign them to fighting small battles on my chessboard using Chris Salanders' Horse &Musket 2.0. I was pondering if there was a way to transfer Command & Colors scenarios to a chessboard. I then thought of something I had seen in  " The Complete Brigadier" ruleset.   In it the author suggests making a small frame template that you can use to put over a map. By using this you can select a small part of the field for your game.
     When I got home I made a template that is equal to 8X9 Command & Colors Napoleonics hexes. By putting it over the map I picked a section of the battlefield to transfer to my chessboard.  For hills I used some cork for hills. I was happy with the result; this system could be used with Bob Corderys' Portable Wargames and other square based wargames. I am thinking of making a smaller template that will be measured off to make locating the terrain features easier to place on the board.
The template

The chosen scenario; The River Coa

The template placed on the chosen part of the map.

The armies deployed. For this game I used the One Hour Wargame army selection  charts. The rules used were Battle Cry. I was a good game which could have gone either way. I am thinking of trying a game using the forces shown on that part of the map, thereby removing having to pick and deploy the armies myself.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Two Experimental Wargames

       I managed to get two experimental wargames in this week. The first was a Napoleonic wargame, using a Command & Colors Napoleonic scenario (Salamanca) on a Heroscape board. For armies I used Neil Thomas' One Hour Wargame army selection of rolling for armies. As I was going to use 8 units to a side, I rolled two dice a side, and picked from the 4 unit army chart twice. The British had 4 infantry units, 2 skirmishers unit, one artillery and one cavalry units. The French had 6 infantry, one artillery and one cavalry units.  I used my single mounted 1st generation Minifigs. For rules I started out using a Battle Cry Napoleonic variant I had downloaded years ago. Half way through the game some rules weren't really cleared so I finished the game using Bob Cordery's Memoir of Battle. I looked at the C&CN scenario and tried to place the different units so that it somewhat resembled the scenario.  I rolled for intuitive at the start of the turn. After a confusing beginning with unclear rules, once I switched to MOB rules the game picked up and was and enjoyable game.  The British won (barely). I must admit ending a Napoleonic game with a few single figures scattered across the board doesn't really capture the splendor of the period.  If I continue to work on this project I think I will have to go with based units of multiple figures. I have been thinking of how to go forward with this idea and hopefully will do a posting on some ideas in the near future.

     The second game was an Ancients game.  I will admit this game was more to do with some ideas I wanted to try that would get me using Peter Laing figures that I haven't used. For the armies I planned to use the suggested armies in Neil Thomas' Ancient & Medieval Wargaming. If I use these armies with Command & Colors units, an army would consist of 32 figures, a number that would be rather easy to paint. For rules I used Battlelore rules that I changed slightly for my own use.  The opposing armies were a Midianite Arab Army made up of 4 camel units, 2 skirmisher units and two archer units (the book called for 2 slinger units, but I didn't have any slingers ready). This army let me use my rather large collection of Peter Laing camels. The other army was Early Achaemenid Persian Army, made up of 2 Persian cavalry, three Persia infantry, 1 Immortals unit, 1 levy infantry and 1 horse archers. In his book, Mr. Thomas has suggested deployment of the armies, which I used for the game.  For the battlefield, I just used the Salamanca field again. Before the game started I had to work out rules for horse and camel archers. I decided to use a range of 2, instead of the 3 used for archers in Battlelore. For camels in these rules I had them as medium cavalry. However, as the camels I was using were armed with archers, I gave them the range of two with bows, but if they closed into close combat, counted as medium cavalry. If I continue on this project, obviously I will have to work how the different units battle.  One good thing is the battle was close, where either side could have won.  As it was, the Persians managed to win.
The Battle of Salamanca. French in the foreground.

The French capture a ridge line.

The French cavalry drive off the British hussars.

The French cavalry continue to harass the hussars. 

It looks like the French are going to carry the field.

However, the British counterattack and between the artillery and musketry, drive off the French.

The Arab army drawn up for the second game.

The Arab army based on the suggested deployment in Ancient & Medieval Wargaming.

The Persian army.

Two Arab camel units try to outflank the Persian army.

The Arab camels engage the Persian cavalry on the Persian right.

The camels drive off the Persian horse archers.

The Persian infantry starts driving through the Arab center.

The camel units try to come to the aid of the infantry.

The camels cause havoc among the Persians, but eventually the Persians rout the Arab infantry and the camels start suffering too many losses. The Arabs withdraw.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Wargaming Books from My Library

   In my "library" or "junk room" (depending on if you are talking to my wife or me), the bookcase nearest my work desk has a shelf set aside for my older wargame books. Here is what makes up one shelf in that bookcase.

This is not a mistake; I have two copies of this volume.

This book is actually a kids history book on the Battle of Trenton.  I bought this book and another in the series Gettysburg, as they use toy soldiers to illustrate the books.