Sunday, November 11, 2018

Wargaming with a 6 Year Old! (also weekend progress)

My daughter and I played a fantasy wargame today set in the "Old World" of Warhammer with Orcs fighting against the Empire's state troops.  We played using the simple Neil Thomas "One Hour Wargames" and played with his Dark Age rules which turned out to be a ton of fun.  Forces were arrayed as follows:

Horde of Orcs: (played by my daughter)
1 Unit of Heavy Boar Riders  (CWcalled them the "piggies") 
1 Unit of Light Wolf Riders with bows (CW called them her wolves)
4 Units of Heavy Orc Infantry
1 Unit of Orc Archers
1 Orc Warboss and 1 Shaman (Shaman may reduce hits to a unit)

Altdorf Garrison: (played by me)
2 Units of Halberdiers
1 Unit of Light Infantry
1 Unit of Sword
1 Unit of Crossbowmen
1 unit of Heavy Knights

We played Scenario 1 from the "One Hour Wargames" book.  The objective is to kill more of the enemy by turn 15.
CW's forces.  Apparently she loves playing Orcs.  Who knew?  An brutal Orc commander with dainty tea china and herbal tea!  (take a look at the teacup).
 As an interesting aside, I finished these orcs this weekend!  Based and everything.  They're ready for "The Battle of Skull Pass" that Alex and I are planning using SPEAR TO THE STRIFE.

part of CW's battle line

Warboss and the Shaman
 Christina moves her cavalry out on her left towards me.  She advances the whole line as well.  Not a bad move.  The kid's got skills!

If you're a crossbowman in this army, you'd be forgiven for feeling a little lonely at this point.
 My only recourse is to charge my armored knights towards CW's cavalry.  Not a smart move as her wolf riders have bows and can shoot.  She'll start next turn and will likely assault me.

Note the infantry marching off the hill keeping pace with the infantry on CW's right.
 Christina charges with the piggies into my flank (but I didn't want to confuse her so we're not playing with flanks in this game).  The piggies do pretty well as do the shooting wolf riders.  I allow the orcs to shoot into their own ranks as that is particularly "orc-ish"
I do join the swirling melee with some swordsmen against the piggies.  It's not looking good for my knights...

knights with 9 hits by turn 3!  6 more and they're toast

CW has a solid line of troops anchoring her right.  My skirmishers have bows and can range them but they're minus 2.  I quickly realize this is also a secretly excellent way for her to practice her math and I make her do all of the casualty calculations.

My knights are in big trouble.

CW's Orc Archers are now in range of my troops.  She starts launching arrows at my foot troops on my left.  
 Sometime around turn 4 CW destroys my unit of knights and sets her sights on my crossbow troops.  If I lose them, it's curtains for me.  She launches the wolf riders towards them.  Luckily, I get a couple turns of shots with them against her "piggies" (the boar riders).

Wolf Riders in the center are headed towards my Crossbowmen.  I'm not sure CW knew they were weak in melee combat - I think she just liked "battling" as she called it.

Yellow dice are my casualties.  Red dice are Orc casualties.

CW also kept a reserve.  She didn't call it that, but the old man is impressed.
 By now, my daughter senses the time is right and launches a 3 x unit assault against my left.  It's perfect timing and she gets the breakthrough she was looking for. 

I manage to destroy the wolf riders but it's too late.  CW has reserve and a unit of archers that are untouched.  
Empire swordsmen surge forward to assault the Orcs!

An Orc horde moves towards my crossbowmen.  This is going to hurt.

CW is battling with my remaining troops.  Her archers actually make short work of my crossbowmen.  

The last Empire unit of the game!  

 So, in addition to playing a wargame with my daughter this weekend, I did make some serious progress on the '73 War Egyptians.  The Egyptian infantry company is done and ready for battle.  Pretty serious firepower here with 3 full rifle platoons and a weapons platoon. I'm starting on the Israelis now.  The bases for the Israeli armor are done - just need to hit the tanks with the Armypainter darktone wash and they'll be finished and ready for the big Christmas MEGA GAME this year.

Yom Kippur War Egyptians for 6mm "Fate of a Nation"  I'm very happy with them.

Not bad!  Note that some of them are carrying RPKs.  

Weapons platoon with 2 x PKM GPMG teams, 2 x recoilless rifle teams, and 1 SAGGER ATGM team.

RPG team.  each platoon has 2 of them.

There are RPKs mixed in with the squads.

bases for the Israeli Armor.  Once I hit them with the Armypainter "darktone" shade they'll be ready to base.  
 I'm going to make the desert table to match the Egyptian and Israeli bases as well. 

Israeli platoon almost done.
Still working on the Israeli infantry and the carriers for the Egyptians.  Almost done with the whole FATE OF A NATION project and then can move onto the TEAM YANKEE project.  Stay tuned!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Big Battle for a Small Village: EAGLES

Alex was over last night for a quick Napoleonics game.  We played on of my favorite scenarios from the NT OHW book, ADVANCE GUARD #16.  With our "Grand Tactical" Napoleonic rules EAGLES CHEAPER THAN BRAIN CELLS, this scenario now becomes the action of 2 x "Guards du Corps" both making their way to seize a strategically important village. 
The French advance upon WeissHausen from the south.  The Austrians from the north.

The scenario stipulates that both sides are "stumbling into contact" and have no idea of the other's presence until one arrives to occupy the village!  Dust chokes the small roads leading to Weisshausen on the hot summer's day.  Officers urge their men to make faster time as the timelines and march plans fall apart.  From the head of the convoy, tremendous firing can be heard!  Have the Austrians arrived?  We're going into action, men!  Steel yourselves!

The Austrians arrive, but the French garrison the town first and move up additional reinforcements.  Cellars, attics, and kitchens become fortresses as furniture is piled high, muskets are primed and bayonets affixed.  The Austrians come on in force, through the streets and alleys of the small German village.  They attack with such severity that the French are forced out, but more reinforcements fill in behind them.

Sharp fighting in the village as French and Austrian columns clash!

Close quarters fighting

A French unit is sent packing!

A counter-stroke quickly stabilizes the situation, for now.  More Austrian troops are enroute

The French fight right from the march as more and more Austrians are spotted coming down the road and are back in the town!

The 57th!  "Le Terrible" attacks with ferocity!  This unit would earn battle honors this day, fending off assault after bloody assault and rallying with elan.  Even the dreaded, crack Austrian Grenadiers could not dislodge them.

The 57th, close to breaking, rallies.
 Alex quickly commits his infantry brigades to assaulting the town and it's a good call.  He's keeping the pressure up but it seems both of us are getting low orders rolls turn after turn.  The confusion of the built-up fighting, aides being cut down, and units becoming intermingled in the mess.

More units on the outskirts of the village holding on.  Austrian Grenzers exact a toll in men and morale.

French guns didn't fire a shot the entire game.

The situation.  The French brigade in the lower right of town is threatened by Austrian heavy horse and artillery fire.  The French Guard shows up to stabilize things.  Eh Monsieur?  Who said we needed help?
 Alex commits the Grenadiers to assault Weisshausen.  Due to a lucky roll, I get a "6" for orders on the same turn Alex rolled a "1".  This would turn out to be a decisive turn as the French Command and Control got its act together, all of the units are ordered.  Alex turned to "the dice of Austria" confident that they would save the battle.

Pressure on the town.  The lead French elements are hanging on with 1 "fresh" Brigade left.

The French assault the skirmishers to drive them out of the town.  Right now it's the only assault the French can manage with the lead elements being so beat up.

Weisshausen is the scene of some incredible violence and the town is practically destroyed.

Le Terrible rallies in the face of the enemy.

Alex carefully maneuvers the Grenadiers to spare them from the close range artillery that has been brought up.  A firefight develops at the town.  French fire is not very effective.

Once again the 57th teeters on the brink of evaporation but quick action by the officers avoids a route.  This unit, unbelievable, came back no less than 3 times from a "6" casualty count.  They are nominated for Battle Honors.
 Alex lost his last supporting infantry on turn 11 and decided the Grenadiers could not seize the town on their own.  The Austrians disengage from the fighting and the battle is over.  Alex played a great game and both of us were frustrated constantly by either poor orders dice, poor shooting, or both!  The ups and downs are constant with these rules which is incredibly satisfying.  You can't do everything you want, but you can always do something.

This battle was great fun, as have been all of the other engagements we've played with EAGLES CHEAPER THAN BRAIN CELLS over the last few weeks.  I think the rules are incredibly solid and provide a quick game that is big on decision making, prioritization, and command, and low on complexity and rules.  They put you in the saddle of the division or corps commander and allow you to solve big tactical and operational problems in a small area.  I would like to push the envelope with the rules and attempt a bigger battle like Teugen-Hausen or Talavera with them on an open table. 

Additionally, I'd like to work with Alex to develop a SYW and AWI variant for large battles such as Brandywine, Freeman's Farm, Lobositz, and Leuthen!  All completely do-able and probably playable in 2 hours.  I've already played Lobositz on my 6 x 4 table in 15mm using CCN, Black Powder, and Volley and Bayonet.

The 57th Infantry Regiment "Le Terrible" Heroes of Weisshausen!