Sunday, November 30, 2014

Black Powder AWI Game

The other day while the snowstorm raged outside, I played a nice game of AWI Black Powder using "half sized" AWI Battalions (all of my units are 6 stands and I split them to 3 stand Battalions).

The game was fun and a nice refresher for my Black Powder skills.  Additionally, there was some satisfying uncertainty "built in" due to the Black Powder command system that harks back to the days of Warmaster.  This ensured some of the units would not get to move during their turns.

The British started the game with 2 "Brigades" of Battalions.  1 main body infantry force commanded by the commanding general, with the other "advanced corps" of lights, some regular infantry, and the artillery.

 The American units started out with 4 Battalions organized into 2 Brigades, charged with defending.  The British needed to score a breakthrough to turn Mr Washington's line.

Mnifigs Continentals

My musket miniatures 11th Mass Troops from the Hubbardton Project!

My Musket Miniatures.  The 24th Foot and 55th Foot on the right.  Some Old Glory figs on the left.  The Commanding General is clearly visible on his white horse.

I think I like my 6 stand units better than the 3 stand units...

Converged Light Battalion.  Still based for other games...
 The British infantry advance got off to a very slow start however the advanced guard on the British right got off on schedule and made it almost up to the Marylander's muskets.

 The British infantry advance was slow and deliberate.  Their plan was to advance up to the wood in front of the American positions on the hilltop and envelop them from three sides.  On the British right, the plan was to advance up and assault the rail fence with 2 battalions, pushing the defenders back.  The advanced guard on the British left was more of a feint while the infantry force on the right was to do all the punching.

Marylanders at the rail fence!  The British battalions are crossing the road to assault them.

 The assault along the rail fence, although not impressive, achieved its aim of pinning down more American units while the infantry on their right advanced up to the hill
Disordered at the worst possible moment!

The Americans are surrounded on 3 sides.  It's not looking good!
 British shooting is deadly and disorders both American battalions atop the hill.  This would be an ugly turn and American shooting is now -1
Another Maryland force is brought up behind the unit at the rail fence.

British units from the infantry main-body assault the hilltop!
 This was a great game for practicing the melee rules.  There are a set number of things that have to happen and they can be a little confusing.  The last turn, the British assaults annihilated 3 American Battalions one after the other!
Lots of melee!

Assaulting British receive the rear support bonus!!
Played this game in centimeters instead of inches (unlike some of my 25mm Napoleonic Games which were played in inches).  That was a little nicer as it allowed for more maneuver than if using inches.

Also smaller units allows for a greater sized force on the table.  I think though I still like the look of my 6 stand units as it just looks right.

I always enjoy playing a game of Black Powder and think it's a great "one size fits all" horse and musket rules set.  You can add period flavor to your games using the unit characteristics.  The game has a nice, clean way of resolving fire, melee, disorder and some of the other important characteristics of this era.  I'm not sure it's my "go-to" rules set but it's definitely one of my favorites.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Ambitious, Diabolical Plans Part IV Updated!

It's been awhile since I've updated my ambitious, diabolical gaming plans so I thought I would post what's been gamed on my list and what I still have to game now:

Axis & Allies Naval Battle - South Pacific

Battlegroup Modern Game - Attack / Counter-Attack

Volley & Bayonet - Teugen Hausen 1809  Technically we only played 2 turns of this battle but I'm looking for progress here!  anything over 1 turns gets a scratch!

Sails of Glory

Large AWI "Black Powder" Game  I played a small game of Black Powder while it snowed the other night using my 15mm AWI troops.  I would like to post an AAR soon.  It was a nice refresher for the BP rules.

Warfare in the Age of Reason First Game

Warfare in the Age of Napoleon First Game

"The Big Push" Eastern Front Game using Grant's BATTLE Rules  I may play this using Flames of War rules or perhaps even Battlegroup rules.  Not sure yet.

Westfront Game 1944 using Grant's BATTLE Rules (Op Luttich perhaps?) I may play this using Flames of War rules or perhaps even Battlegroup rules.  Not sure yet.

Large "Bolt Action" Eastern Front Game:  This one I'm really looking forward to.  I now have a proper Soviet platoon based for Bolt Action and a platoon of vehicles will accompany them into battle along with their support weapons!  This should be a good one.  Stay tuned!!!

Not-Warhammer40k in 15mm  I am not sure if I have enough minis for a proper battle - with only 5 "galactic marines" and 10 "guard troopers" that might not be a good one.  That being said, I did make some progress the other day on a NOT LEMAN RUSS 15mm main battle tank.  Again - stay tuned!!

Kings of War Fantasy (changed from Warhammer Fantasy)  KOW looks extremely appealing as a Fantasy Mass Battle Rules set - and frankly that's something I've been looking for for a long time.  Something not as intense as Warmaster Fantasy, and not as simplified as Kallistra's Hordes & Heroes which I've tried and tried to like but just can't seem to get into.  KOW looks like a great rules set (FREE!!) and lots of fun.  Also easily converted to 15mm or 10mm which is what I'll do.

Warfare in the Age of Reason First Game

Warfare in the Age of Napoleon First Game

Hobby Front: 
SYW Prussian Regiment "Alt-Braunschweig" is about 40% done now, with SYW Austrian (Hungarian) Regiment and a Napoleonic French Battalion in the works. 

Also more Bolt Action / Battlegroup support units on the workbench, a Fantasy Orc Regiment from Khurasan, 15mm Cold War Soviet Tank and Motor Rifle Platoon, and of course my 15mm Americans who could use some TLC.

The biggest impediment to getting this stuff done?  TIME!!!  I never seem to have enough of it. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving to my American Friends!

If you live in the US, it's a good chance you're celebrating Thanksgiving today.  SOUND OFFICERS CALL would like to take this opportunity to wish our American readers a Happy Thanksgiving! We here on the blog staff have much to be thankful for.

Like I do every year, here is a link regarding the history of this wonderful tradition in America.

From the wargamer's perspective, I have my usual annoying list of wargaming things I'm thankful for:

1. Plastic Soldier Company
2. Ironfist Publishing (publishers of the Battlegroup Series)
3. AC Moore's (hobby store) Military Discount
4. NWS Minis (thank you, Ken!)
5. On Military Matters, purveyor of fine, obscure wargaming rules long thought out of print.
6. Bolt Action
7. Roskopf Miniatures (HO Scale train models but actually 1/100 in scale)
8. Too Fat Lardies
9. Khurasan Miniatures
10. Rebel Miniatures

That is all.  We're off to the parents house in a little while!   

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Battle of Teugen-Hausen, 1809: A Volley & Bayonet Thanksgiving!

This past weekend, I played a Napoleonic Volley & Bayonet game at Ken's house using his beautifully painted miniatures, scenery, and terrain and all those "flocking" bases made by yours truly.

If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you may know I am a big fan of Volley & Bayonet.  Unfortunately, comprehension of the rules is perishable and it has been far too long since I've played a proper game.  Even for a simple set of rules like V&B, Ken and I had numerous questions that plagued our turns and in actuality we only completed 2 full turns, but what a set of turns they were!

You can read up on Keith McNelly's excellent Scenario for Teugen-Hausen at this link here or go to the wikipedia article on the battle here.

Saint Hilaire's troops arrive and are thrown immediately into the attack!  Davout calmly urges the brigades forward.
 One of the best parts (in my opinion) about Volley & Bayonet is that it puts you in the saddle of the Corps or Army Commander on the ground.  Decisions that would have to be made by the operational commander are made by you in this game.  Forget about the trivial duties of a Regimental or Brigade commander, you need to start thinking about traffic management of your units, maneuver space, and support for their attacks.  Reinforcements and reserves become crucial as your lead elements become worn down and non-mission capable.

Unit after unit is thrown into the fray!
 Ken as the Austrian commander had alot of combat power on the ridgeline overlooking Teugen, where my French troops were assembling and he made full use of it!  He expanded the line I would have to attack and also reinforced it with more Brigades.  The first combat sees a Brigade from Saint Hilaire's Division thrown back by combat with Grenzer detachments (I really underestimated those skirmisher detachments).

Light cavalry!  Ken's beautifully painted Hussars!
 One problem I ran into was maneuver space for my Brigades arriving in March column as their "tail" goes back a long distance it's hard to position all of them at the same time.  You have to force them to stop at half distance and change into field formation.   So the first turn would not see too many of St Hilaire's units attacking.  I also toyed with the idea of detaching skirmishers of my own, but did not want to lose the extra combat power of my Brigades, so in the interest of time, I kept my Brigades together.

Ken's initial deployment along the road to Hausen.

Brigades of Saint Hilaire arriving in March Column!

The initial battle situation.
 The first French attack is against the 2 small Grenzer detachments and is repulsed to the loss of 1 Grenzer unit.  I also forgot that the Austrian artillery could participate in this round!

Austrians moving up to reinforce the advanced guard.
 Ken moves up reinforcements from Lusignan's Division and they bolster the Austrian presence on the ridge.  Additionally, he uses more skirmish units to lengthen the line and breaking through it will not be a walk in the park...

The second Austrian position!  No shortage of troops back here!

Contact is made!  And my impudent French are sent back this round.

Looking south towards Hausen at the remaining Austrian Brigades.

You can see the French disordered Brigade with the yellow marker in the lower right and 2 more Brigades waiting to attack.  On the ridge, down the road, the Austrians are 1 less detachment but still lots of combat power there!

French turn 2 massing for a large, coordinated attack against the ridge in the hopes of breaking through.
 I immediately notice that the command distances are going to be a challenge to keep.

The French get serious and it's now the end of turn 2.  THe Austrian force has been reinforced by numous infantry brigades and the part is just starting!

More and more and more Austrians!!
The scenario stipulates that the French receive a Division performing a "flank march" and I can start dicing for their arrival next turn at one of the arrival location along the Austrian left flank.  Ken and I had numerous questions about the rules, and that slowed progress just a little.  Retreating into other units was one question that we solved, also the type of forest terrain on the ridgeline being an "open" woods which we determined would be classified as "orchard" in Volley & Bayonet speak, (and Mr McNelly later confirmed).

Still though, the first 2 turns were incredibly enjoyable and I'm looking forward to the refight!

Friday, November 21, 2014

That's a lot of flocking bases!

Ken and I are supposed to play Volley & Bayonet this weekend using Keith McNelly's excellent scenario for Teugen-Hausen, 1809.

We had been meaning to play this game for quite awhile but for various reasons had not gotten around to it so this weekend we should give it a shot.  I had prepped the large Volley & Bayonet bases weeks ago but today figured we should game in style and decided to flock all of the bases I had prepped weeks ago.

31 brigade bases, 34 linear bases (those are mostly for Lobositz, hopefully one day) and 29 skirmish detachment bases
 Well one thing led to another and I decided to flock everything that needed flocking...Soviets, skirmish stands, SYW Austrians, AWI name it.  hours later here I am!  My fingers have grown a few ring sizes thanks to the extra Mod Podge also, I may have ingested a ton of green flock as has to be high in fiber right?

Bolt Action squads now fully flocked and ready for action!

Not Imperial Guard and Not Space Marines!  Eventually Im going to paint and drybrush the sand and grit on the space marines' bases.

Surprise!  A "Trencher Mk II" Not Leman Russ Battle Tank!  He's almost ready for the first layer of camouflage.

An unusual bunch of lads for sure.Not all of them are flocked...yet.  Before I go to sleep they will all be done!  SYW Austrians, Hale's Continentals, PA Militia, 55th name it!  The gang's all here!
Anyways that's all.  not much gaming or painting going on tomorrow as I'll be up hiking in the mountains.  However check here Sunday evening Eastern Standard Time for hopefully a nice AAR of Teugen-Hausen, Volley & Bayonet style.  (now with nice, flocked bases).

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Flames of War Practice: Small Infantry Battle! Cool Pics!!

Sick day today so I didnt feel like painting, basecoating or building models.  I did, however, play a very small Flames of War game (255 points vrs 265 or 275 points) utilizing a Soviet Infantry (Strelkovy) Company with 2 platoons, a Maxim HMG, and a Kommissar stand against a German infantry platoon with a small 1 section HMG platoon in support.  I played the first scenario from the rulebook entitled "Free For All."

Even if you don't like Flames of War, there is some neat eye-candy in here I promise.  Also, the small forces ensure a nail-biting, harrowing, hold-on-by-your-fingernails defense on the part of the Germans.

The setup.  Soviets start on the right, Germans on the left.  Both sets of objectives are clearly visible.

Germans advancing through the cornfield.  The Soviets are right at their doorstep!  No time to "Go to Ground" this game!!
 The Soviets sent their company right up the middle of the board in true Bolshevik fashion.  The "Quality of Quantity" special rule in full effect!  No pins until 10 hits!!!  The entire width of the company advancing encompassed both objectives...if they could push that far!

Wave after wave of humanity!  The Red Army advances!

You can see the maxim team and the company commander urging the men forward.
 The Soviets move "at the double" since they won the die roll to move first.  This was a big gamble but it paid off as none of the German teams could see them during their first turn.

 Both sides trade vicious fire with the Soviets getting bunched up by the terrain during this turn.  Resulting in them only being able to shoot with about half of their teams.  The Germans concealed and veteran ensured no pins.  The return fire was another story entirely.  The Germans choosing not to move shot full ROF for their Rifle/MG teams this round and caused the company to pin.  Under the watchful eye of the Kommisar, they passed their rallying roll with no problem...

Fritz pours on the fire!!

For the motherland!  For stalin!  

German HMG Team opens up on Ivan on the road

They came in the same, old way.  German rat-hole firing position!  

This marker got alot of use.
 Eventually the tide turned the Soviets' way.  One turn 4, the Germans lost enough teams to force a morale check which they failed.  All that is left is the HMG team and the Company 2IC with them.  They end up taking out 2 more Soviet teams before their command section and teh Company 2IC is KOd.

Road is open for Ivan!

Lessons Learned
Well I always enjoy a good Flames of War game.  I think playing small, 300, 500 and 700 point games is nice as a rules refresher.  Not that I plan on playing any large or tournament games, but it's good to stay current on the rules.  My 1/2 sized stands also enable to me store more and use them in other rules sets with little difficulty.

So where did the Germans go wrong?  Did they go wrong?  For starters, I think they could have co-located the HMG with the platoon.  1 Section out there on its own is asking for trouble.  Speaking of trouble, how would you like serving in an HMG section with more officers and NCOs than Soldiers???  This would have enabled much more firepower at the decisive point on the battlefield.

These guys had the trees blocking their shots for most of the game.

Retrograde.  The Germans attempted to fall back after the successful pinning on Turn 2 and that was a mistake as I believe they could have won the close combat if it happened.  In this game, the Soviets never actually closed to assault.

Fire and Movement:  The Soviets could have used fire lanes more effectively and as a result, a large percentage of units did not get to fire simply because of mis-management during movement.  Every die counts!!!  This is most likely the reason the Germans didn't receive a pin result until the very last turn.

well that's it for gaming tonight.  Going to make a hot cup of tea.  *sniffle*