Sunday, August 11, 2019

Lobositz 1756 with MIGHT & REASON

A few weeks ago Ken suggested we play a game of Sam Mustafa's "Might & Reason" and so we tried it out (me for the first time and Ken a mere 12 years after his first game).  You can read Ken's original M&R battle report, the Battle of Reichenberg, at his blog here [click].  

My thoughts were we could refight Reichenberg but Ken found this gem, here, on the downloads page on Sam Mustafa's Honour site.  Me being a sucker for the Battle of Lobositz, there was no way I could turn that down.  

If you're a long-time fan of the blog, you might remember this battle has been played many times on my table with rules varying from Black Powder, to Commands & Colors, to One Hour Wargames, and so what rules set better to fight it with than a set made for epic clashes of the 18th century!?!

I set up the terrain and to really add to this historical treat, Ken brought over his outstanding 10mm Seven Years War Prussians and Austrians, which basically make me second-guess every SYW 15mm purchase I've ever made...

Sullowitz next to the bridge over the Morellen Bach.  Lobositz clearly visible along the Elbe River upper-right.  The road the Prussians attack down is top center, in the saddle between the Homolka-berg (left) and the Lobosch (right).

Lobositz center-stage.  Note the Prussians coming down the valley stage right!
We followed the historical disposition as close as we could.  This game, the turns were decided for us in the scenario (6 turns total).  Ken and I are thumbing through the rules (Ken has a soft copy, I have a digital copy) for most of the turns to get our questions answered and I'm happy to report probably 90% of our questions had pretty solid answers within the rules.  It probably dragged the game out much longer but I think it was a good "training session" and the next time will not take quite as long.

Austrians comfortably behind the Morellen Bach.  We had to sub Napoleonic 10mm Cavalry!  The horror!  Ken mused that my road is probably 200 feet wide but I think it looks cool.

Looking down the sunken lane, currently occupied by Austrian Grenadiers.  Wchinitz is visible on the far right of the picture - that's where the Prussians are coming from.

Prussians deployed smartly!  (these are Ken's troops, BTW.  Mine are 15mm).  Ken got some "inactives" on his control tests.  Frederick was not pleased!
 I realize I need to get some troops into that sunken lane to defend Lobositz.  In this scenario the victory conditions center around control of the town itself.  Right now I don't have much infantry to contest it as they're all on the other side of the Morellen stream.  There are a few units to act as speedbumps in the Prussians' way but I need more troops to defend the town!

  I put Kollowrat's "Division" into movement formation and get them ready to move out! 

Movement is very deliberate and stately in M&R.  I like that in a SYW game.  
Cavalry crossing the sunken lane.  Ken's Cuirassier are bearing down on me!  I foolishly leave them in movement formation.  A whopping -5 to my melee results...More on this later!

Defense of the town is starting to coalesce now with a Grenadier unit in Lobositz and one on the outside next to a musketeer regiment.  Note the Prussians coming on in force!    Mercifully, Ken keeps getting inactive results for at least one division!

Austrian Cavalry is on the field on the left.  The storm is about to break but note my infantry coming up along the sunken road on the left!  Reinforcements!
 Ken's Cuirassier burst off the Homolkaberg and shatter the cream of my cavalry in a very one-sided melee as my units in movement formation are promptly destroyed one after the other! 

The Prussian PanzerKorps advance!  

Austrian Pandours guarding the Lobosch entangled in the vineyards and walled gardens on the hill.  Kleist's infantry still have not begun their assault.

Awaiting the enemy attack.

Meanwhile the swirling Cavalry battle is coming to an end in the center.  I have to say, things are going pretty historically so far.  Prussian infantry is slowly grinding their way down the saddle, and the Cavalry have engaged in the center.  The Prussians haven't lost a single unit yet and when the smoke clears on the field, 3 of my Cavalry units will be gone!

Prussian Cuirassier!

Infantry advancing on Lobositz!  We are just about in musket range and the fun will really start.

Field so far.  An Austrian defense is forming but not sure it will be enough against the Prussian onslaught!

The field very much looks like a Seven Years War battlefield! 

Ken advances into musket range.  He is setting himself up for an assault next turn!  (we tried this turn but realized we couldn't since you have to fire a volley first - meaning you have to be in musket range to launch an assault with infantry).

Austrian infantry reinforcing Lobositz!  A tough nut to crack behind cover!

My Austrian Hussars (Blue coats) will evade this next round.

Note Kleists 2 x Regiments forming (top-center) to advance up the Lobosch.

Ken charges!  (we had to move the lads back after realizing we violated the volley rule)  Next turn!

Old Fritz urges his men on!
Well unfortunately we had to call it as we ran out of time.  We did leave the game up to finish next week though so I promise there is more SYW action on the horizon! 

 This was a great, learning game and I think Ken and I know enough to be much more dangerous for the next round.  Ken mercifully offered to restart the game after my Cavalry evaporated being in movement formation.  Throughout the game I noted the distinct similarities between Might & Reason and Fast Play Grande Armee and now I really want to play FPGA also!  In fact I'm looking forward to getting that on the table as soon as we finish Lobositz!  Perhaps a refight of Teugen-Hausen!?

Some things I really liked about Might & Reason so far:

Simple mechanics but challenging play.  While there are some nuances, the game is very straightforward and you're constantly thinking about how to set up an attack, the most advantageous way to move your troops, and shepherding your command dice.

Generous movement distances.  At this level of command, you can really focus your efforts, make a plan, and develop an attack.

The Shooting and Artillery rules.  Simple and subtle.

Linear Fighting.  Sam M. says it in the rules intro - the units behave in a manner that looks and feels right for the period.

Similarities to FPGA:  I like that the systems are very similar.  It will frankly make FPGA play even faster and I'm starting to think the Christmas MEGA GAME should be FPGA?

So there you have it.  A great afternoon of gaming refighting one of my favorite battles with beautifully painted toy soldiers and an orientation to a great set of rules.  Looking forward to next week's fight!

Sunday, July 14, 2019

ANTIETAM with BattleCry!

Yes that's right.  The whole battle on my humble table....with Battle Cry!  We played the simplest of all the Borg "Commands and Colors" series games last Sunday and enjoyed it so much we played 2 more games that afternoon.  Brian was there to offer tactical advice while Ken and Alex played the first game.

This is a challenging scenario where the Rebels have 6 command cards and the Yankees have 4 but great positioning on the field.  The Rebels are spread out and not concentrated.

Heights visible upper right and of course Burnside's Bridge!  The Cornfield is visible on the far center-left and the sunken lane in the center of the field near Dunker Church and the visitor's wait.

Burnside's men poised to assault across Antietam Creek

AP Hill's Division moves forward
Guarding the sunken lane

AP Hill prepares to counter attack the bridge after Burnside seizes it!

Heavy fighting in and around the cornfield as the Union troops press on.

Rebs push the Union back to their start line at Burnside's Bridge.  Still the scene of brutal fighting
We played 3 games that day, actually, with most being done in under an hour (!) truth be told I cant remember the outcomes but I am pretty sure the Rebels won 2 out of 3 games. 

Battle Cry is probably one of the simplest of the Commands and Colors games with many elements lacking that are in the Napoleonic and later versions.  Brian brought over some extra rules he'd found adding some neat flavor (rules for taking ground, different movement and firing values, etc) and I would really like to try those soon.  All in all, a great and relaxing day of gaming.  Can't wait to do more!  This weekend's focus was on the basement re-organization and storing away most of my World War 3 Cold War 15mm stuff (don't worry I'll come back to it soon) in favor of 6mm 1/285 micro armor projects.  Also putting my British WWII forces in storage for the time while I'm finishing up the Americans.  Have been working down in the basement cleaning up for the better part of 2 days!

Saturday, July 6, 2019


A truly epic day of gaming yesterday as Ken and I finished our Cold War battle with SEVEN DAYS TO THE RIVER RHINE featuring Ken's excellent 15mm Team Yankee Soviets against my 15mm West Germans.  Again, we played the "capture" scenario and a hard-fought Cold War nail biter ensued.  We closed up shop at 4:00pm and I prepared myself for some Commands and Colors ECW "Hammer and Tongs" action at Brian's house.

Pictures will tell the story for the most part here.

Marder in a hide position at the Aldi.
 Ken weighted his right with the motorized infantry in BTRs.  They came barreling down the road at top speed and were promptly dispatched by auto-cannon fire. from my Marder.  I also had West German infantry in the Aldi preparing the Carl G for close action!

Note the burning BTR to the left and the ton of yellow dice representing command tokens on the right!

 This time I'm trying to not give up my hidden positions until the last possible moment and Ken starts putting the pressure on right away with his reinforcements from turn 2.

Leo on the left in the village firing at the oncoming BTRs.  Ken would eventually switch tactics, seizing the hill in front of the village which protects his advancing infantry from fire.  It's a tactical mistake I will pay for dearly!
Firing against Ivan's oncoming vehicles.  I feel like I have this flank "locked down"

West Germans at the McDonald's

 After stalling out and losing a platoon's worth of transports and some infantry squads, Ken starts the advancing on the his left with his T-64s.  Trouble!

I take one out.  This Leopard I has been very busy!
 All apologies to Ken, I kept reading the stats from he T-64A instead of the "B" model.  Ken paid for the extra armor and performance from the B model.  We realized this around the end of turn 4.  Sorry Ken!  Speaking of turns, Ken tries out his attack helicopter.  Luckily I have an "air cover" card waiting to be played for just such an eventuality!  I roll lucky and down the Hind!

On they came!  T-64s bounding towards their objective.

Ken uses a tactics card that has Precision Guided Munitions (krasnopol?)  and targets a leo I with it!  Recce coming in handy!

cool pic.  cool model.

burning leo i on the road.

 Sensing that he's not going to get infantry up the right flank, Ken opts to send them up the middle with a covered route behind a large hill which I foolishly left unguarded...  It's a great call and Ken slips his infantry up to the treeline and takes out my Leopard I from close range!  Crap!

Another burning Leopard I.

The Leo's wingman comes up and fires on the infantry in the treeline!  RED 2 SCRATCH MY BACK!
Ken's advance on the farmhouse/mill here turns up a West German squad waiting in ambush.  There are more marders and Milan teams guarding the northern approach to the village.  Ken dismounts his infantry and advances on the farmhouse!

Endgame for me as I hit my breakpoint with the destruction of the Milan team in the enclosed farm!  What a great game!
We broke the action off when my Germans reached their breakpoint.  What a fun but exhausting game!  I really feel like 7 Days evokes the feeling of a good, tactical fight at the company level but I will say a company is about the limit that a player will want to control.  Anymore than that and I feel the game will start to overwhelm the controlling player, unless you do multi-player, which also comes with its share of difficulties.  All in all a great game, and Ken handled his Soviets well playing true to life tactics and seeing them pay off.  It speaks to the great strengths of the 7D system (and the Iron Cross system!).

Later that evening I went to Brian's for some outstanding English Civil War action, but using a kit-bashed version of the Commands and Colors Ancients rules (and cards).  WOW is all I have to say.  This game rocked and really evoked the flavor of the period I felt.  Brian's changes and mods were perfect!

I was so engrossed in the game that I only took a few pictures but they are excellent pictures and show how awesome these CC games look with miniatures.  Naturally I played the Royalists...

My infantry in the center!
 I played against Rich and both of us came to grips rather quickly, opting for aggressive action.  The entire game took a little over 3 hours.
Cavalry on the flanks of course!  Rich wisely used infantry to cover the cavalry action and properly supported his troops, and also allowed room for them to retreat!  not me!

The battlefield looked good!

A swirling cavalry battle!

Fortune shined on me during the first half of the battle and I think at one point i was ahead 6 to 2 but Rich had a magnificent breakthrough with his cavalry on my left and also was properly using his infantry to shoot up my infantry opposing him.  Something I was not doing properly.  Rich played a great game and he caught up in a matter of about 2 or 3 card pulls!  I was busy setting my infantry up in the center for a crushing blow, all the while Rich was focusing on wearing down my units.  It was a good move and after a very good round of Cavalry combat, Rich ended up taking the game! 

All in all I'm thankful for a fun, relaxing day of gaming with friends and I cannot wait to play more 7 Days or Commands and Colors!  Sadly my "Stay-Cation" is coming to an end and it's back to reality on Monday!