Saturday, 13 January 2018

French Indian War Campaign - Game 7

During the week I was able to find time and return to play a game in my French Indian War campaign. In the last campaign game (a few weeks ago) British forces had been defeated and forced to retreat (shown with the black arrow). The French decided to quickly followed up this victory up with another attack the other British force north of the river (Red arrow).

The campaign map shows the retiring British and advancing French.
Both sides in this battle chose to draw upon their reserves and gain an additional two units. The battle began with British units lined up behind a river. The river had three crossings (one bridge and two fords). Along the river side a number of areas of marsh were placed and could not me traversed by any units.

French Indian allied units quickly advance on the right flank with the intent of harrying the few British units and artillery. 
On the opposite flank, British units move across the river.
In the centre French units quickly march towards the bridge.
The British attack on their right flank prepares to move forward.
Indian units begin to harass the British left flank.
All along the line British units opened fire. The French advance along the road quickly came to a halt after the lost of a unit.
The British attack make slow progress.
The Indians were starting to make a real nuisance of themselves and causing the British left flank to  come under pressure.
Support for the British flank diverted reserves. 
Meanwhile the British attack was placing pressure on the French, but was almost spent.
At this point in the game was well balanced and really enjoyable. As a result I forgot to take pictures of the next couple of turns, which saw the Indians defeat a couple of units and the British attack run out of steam. This allowed the French to regroup for a final attack, only to see the remaining British units retire.

French units are regrouping for a final attack, while British units make a timely retirement.
So the campaign now stands French 4 victories and British 3 victories.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Grid based Sci-Fi skirmish game

Over the weekend I played a grid-based science fiction skirmish game. In the scenario a cargo flyer has crashed and its cargo has been strewn randomly around the table in four locations. Two gangs, Scavengers and Mercs, arrive quickly on opposite sides of the table in search of easy pickings. However, two crewmen of the downed flyer have survived and are hunkered down in the crash site. They will shoot at any units moving to a square containing cargo or coming within any adjacent squares.

Setup of the game with the cargo flyer crash site in the centre 
A couple of Scavengers advance towards some cargo and come under accurate fire from the Flyer's crew.
From another position other Scavengers provide some crossfire
The Mercs can be seen in the background advancing towards some of the cargo.
Other Merc gang members move up under cover behind the buildings

The rules I am using are house rules. I have written them up as a first draft. Mainly so I can remember what I eventually decided upon. My rules notes have notes on top of notes, and when I return to them in a week or so, I will have forget which rules I rejected.

Some areas of the rules I have settled upon I have included as snippets in this battle report.

Sequence of play

The game is played in a series of turns.
Both players roll a D6 and the scores are used to determine which player activates a figures and the number of actions a figure can perform.

  • If D6 scores are drawn, then the player who is in control gets to activate one of their figures with 1 action point. 
  • A player with a higher D6 score the get to activate one of their figures with 2 action points. 
  • If a player has a higher D6 score which is three time the other player’s D6 score, they activate one of their figures with 3 action points.
A turn ends when both players have had an opportunity to activate all their figures.


Both gangs are firing at the crewmen
The Scavengers bring up their flamer 
The crewman are eliminated...
 ...and the gangs turn their attention on each other.
Actions

When a player activates a figure they get to perform a number of actions. Each action has an action point (AP) cost. A figure may not exceed their action points and cannot carry forward action points not used.

  • Move (1 AP) - a figure can move 1 zone. A figure can move multiple times as part of their activation.
  • Shoot (1 AP) - a figure can shoot their weapon. A figure can only shoot once in their activation.
  • Reload (1 AP) - a figure can reload their weapon if out of ammunition.
  • Aimed Shooting (2 AP) - a figure can take an aimed shot with their weapon. A figure can only shoot once in their activation.
  • Pickup/Drop an item (1 AP)
  • Throw a grenade (2 AP)
  • Patch up a wound/damage (2 AP)
  • Pinned/Recover from being pinned (1 AP)
  • Close Combat (1 AP) - a figure already in the same zone as an enemy figure can move into base contact. Multiple close combat actions increase the D6 rolled.
Figures with a wound reduce their actions by 1 AP. (So a wounded figure requires 3 APs to recover.)


Support fire from the Merc members in the vegetation kills one of the scavengers 
The Mercs try and move in on some more of the cargo
Combat between the gangs is scattered as various members take their stolen cargo items back to their starting positions.
Fighting occurs over the downed flyer's wreckage
The Scavengers get the better of their opponent Mers 
The Mercs break off the attack after losing more than 50 percent of their number
Shooting

Weapons have three ranges: short, long and extreme.

When shooting a player selects a single target figure in a zone which can be seen by the shooting figure.

  • When shooting roll 2D6 at short range and 1D6 at long range.
  • Aimed fire allows an addition D6 to be rolled. So a figure rolls 3D6 at short range, 2D6 at long range, and 1D6 at extreme range.

Shooting Results - After a shooter has rolled all their D6. Select the D6 with the highest score.

The target figure now has to roll 1 or more D6 to beat the shooter’s score.
All target figures roll a minimum of 1D6. They can add:

  • 1D6 for wearing armour
  • 1D6 for occupying a zone with cover.
  • 1D6 for if they have "hit the dirt".

The target figure rolls all their D6. Then compare their highest scoring D6 to the shooter’s highest score.

  • If the scores are equal the target figure is pinned.
  • If the target score is less, then the figure is wounded.
  • If the target score is less by a factor of 3, then the figure is killed.

Targets which receive 2 wounds are treated as killed.

I hope to play a few more games as I get one or two more Necromunda figures painted up to add to the gang numbers.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Time for some more terrain

For my first project of 2018. I want to finish off making and painting the Necromunda miniatures I purchased las year as part of GW's Necromunda boxed set. I have already painted a few, so it should be a smallish project, while try and figure out what will be my major project of 2018. My old ECW collection, painted in random styles from when is was 15 years old and never finished, is the front runner.

Anyway, less about plans and back to some doing stuff. Most of my Warhammer 40K terrain has ruins rather than actual buildings. So I am adding a few intact buildings for the Necromunda miniatures, and decided to start with some very simple containers for a run down space dock.

A piece of timber (1 3/4 inch by 2 1/2 inch) was cut to size and corrigated cardboard from the local art shop was stuck with PVA glue to all the sides.
Cardboard (from a biscuit container by the looks of it) was cut out, scored and bent to cover all edges of the container..
The containers were then painted with a light grey from a sample pot (picture missing of this). A much cheaper option than model paints. Once this was dry, watered down colours were quickly washed over the grey. The containers begin already weather that way.

Now to add some, or a lot of, rust. Dark brown was quickly and randomly dabbed on with a focus on the container corners. Once dryish, this was followed by smaller a dabbing of orange over parts of the brown.  
A Steel/Silver colour was then dry brushed on to the rusted areas and edges of the containers.
While all this painting and waiting to dry, I was able to complete a small skirmish game with 5 figures per side. The rules used are some house rules. I had been using a Fistful of Lead rules, but found the card mechanism not so good for solo playing. This lead to a change in the activation mechanism, which in turn lead to a change in combat, and before long the house rules were quite different. More posts on them next week I suspect.

A game in progress while paint was drying
The finished containers with some models for scale.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

A third Napoleonic game and some draft rules

A couple of days ago, before returning to work, I was able to play a third Napoleonic game. The game set up was based upon the battle of Haslach-Jungingen 1805. As with previous games I used the scenarios from Command and Colors website.

For the games I have been using house rules which are a mash up of ideas and mechanisms from One Hour Wargames (no surprise there) and 2x2 Napoleonic. The rules are after the photos of the game if you are interested. They are draft and probably have a few typos - my eyes are now glazing over from reading them once too often.

The game set up looking from the Austrian side with the river splitting the tabletop into two sets of actions.
The French right flank quickly moved up with the light infantry to occupy the town. This move limited the options available to the Austrian cavalry units opposing them in this side of the battle. 
The Austrian right flank quickly pushes up trying to use their numerical superiority
The French and Austrian cavalry clash with the light infantry taking pop shots at any Austrian cavalry coming too close. 
French artillery are positioned to support their outnumbered left flank. The support turned out initially to be somewhat lacking from a string of low dice throws.
The French right gains the upper hand. In the background Austrian Grenadiers are moved to the bridge to stop any future attacks from the rear.
On the other flank the battle rages on with neither side yet having an upper hand. 
The French are now looking under pressure as two Austrian artillery units are well positioned to support their attack.
The cavalry clash continues, but the Austrians are looking a bit done in now.
The French defence is quite tenacious and the attacking units are getting ground down. 
The Austrian's appear to have won the fight on their right flank, but are well and truely worn out.
French light infantry come out into the open to harass the Austrian cavalry who are on the very edge of elimination. (On 13 hits of more units are eliminated unless they are elite infantry (Guards/Grenadiers).
French cross at a river ford and Austrian forces begin to retire.
A French marginal victory on the tabletop. The rules combined with Command and Color scenarios have so far provide me with three enjoyable games.

Napoleonic Wargaming Rules (Draft)

The inspiration for these rules come from “One-Hour Wargames” by Neil Thomas and “2 by 2 Napoleonic’s” rules by Rod Humble.

Units

The following unit types are used:

  • Infantry (Line Infantry)
  • Elite Infantry (Guard or Grenadiers)
  • Skirmishers (Light Infantry)
  • Cavalry
  • Artillery
  • Corps or Division Commanders
  • General (only one per army)

Units are singly based for which I use 4" x 3" bases.

Sequence of play

Roll the dice or flip a coin before each turn to determine who is Side A and B. Each Turn has the following phases and steps within each phase:

1. Movement

  • A moves
  • B moves

2. Shooting

  • A artillery shoot
  • B artillery shoot
  • A light Infantry shoot
  • B light Infantry shoot
  • A stationary infantry shoot
  • B stationary infantry shoot
  • A infantry (that moved) shoot
  • B infantry (that moved) shoot

3. Cavalry Charges

  • A cavalry charges
  • B cavalry charges

4. Rally

  • A rally
  • B rally

Movement

The standard unit movement allowances are:

  • Cavalry 6”
  • Skirmishers 6”
  • Infantry 6”
  • Artillery 6”
  • Commanders 9”

Add 3” when all movement is along a road.

Add 3” when starting movement within 6” of ta General.

A unit may move up to their movement allowance, but may never exceed it.

All movement must be in a straight-line unless starting and finishing movement on a road.

Units may pivot on their centre at the beginning and also at end of their movement.

Movement must cease once a unit comes to within 6” of an enemy unit. The exception is where a units is moving directly towards an enemy with the intent to engage them in combat.

Units which have been engaged in combat may not move unless they are rallied. However, they are allowed to pivot to face an enemy (this counts as movement for shooting purposes).

Interpenetration

Skirmishers and artillery may move through other units.

Shooting

Shooting is done in a series of steps determined by the type of unit and for infantry units whether they moved during the movement phase (see sequence of play for order).

Artillery that has been moved may not shoot. This includes a unit turning.

Skirmisher shooting does not differentiate which units have moved, unlike infantry units where stationary infantry units shoot first, before infantry units that have moved.

In each step side A first conducts shooting first and remove hits. Then its is the turn of side B. This may mean a side B unit is eliminated before it had an opportunity to shoot.

Use the following procedure for shooting (note cavalry do not shoot):

1) Determine the range of shooting.

  • All units have a 45 degree field of fire, unless they are in a town when they have a 360 degree field of fire.
  • Measure the range. Muskets have a range of 6” and artillery 24”.

2) Determine the number if hits.

  • Infantry and Guard units roll 1D6
  • Skirmishers (Light Infantry) roll 1D6-2
  • Artillery roll 1D6-2
  • Any unit with an attached Commander get to roll 2D6 and select the highest score.
  • Any target unit in cover has the number of hits halved (rounding up and fractions).
  • Any target cavalry unit can retire 6” and halve the number of hits (rounding up fractions). The cavalry unit may not charge in the turn.
  • As soon as a unit shoots place a marker (eg cotton wool) to show it has been engaged in combat. The unit may not move until it is rallied.

3) Remove any units which are eliminated due to the number of hits they have received.

Charges

Only cavalry can charge. Side A first gets to make its charges.

Move a cavalry unit 6” into contact with target unit. A charging cavalry unit may turn once at the start of its charge. The turn may not exceed 45 degrees.

Cavalry cannot charge units in cover (buildings and woods).

A target unit may not be charged more that once during a turn.

To determine the number of hits inflicted by the attacking cavalry units rolls 1D6+2. The number of hits are modified by the following:

  • If the target occupies a hill halve the number of hits (round up any fractions).
  • If the target is cavalry, then they halve the number of hits.
  • If the target unit is attacked on its flank or rear, then double the number of hits.
  • If the target is a skirmish unit double the number of hits.
Artillery units are eliminated if charged and not within 3” of any infantry or elite infantry unit. If within 3” then they cannot be charged.

If the target is not eliminated the attacking cavalry unit retires 6”, ending their move facing the unit just charged.

If the target is eliminated, then the cavalry unit must occupy the area previously occupied by the eliminated unit.

Eliminating Units

A hit represents a combination of casualties, exhaustion and disorder caused to a unit by combat. Units are eliminated when they exceed 12 hits.
Elite units, such as Guards and Grenadiers, are eliminated when they exceed 18 hits.

Terrain

Terrain effects units in the following way:

  • Woods - only Skirmisher units can enter and are treated as being in cover.
  • Towns - only Infantry, guards and skirmishers may end their move in a town, only one unit may occupy a town. Units in a town get cover.
  • Marsh/Lakes - impassable to all units.
  • Rivers - impassable except at bridge/ford.
  • Roads - All units move an additional 3”.
  • Hills - Artillery line of sight is not blocked by units or rough terrain.
  • Entrenchments - only infantry, skirmishers, guards and artillery units may use entrenchments. Units get cover and when shooting roll 2D6 picking the highest score. However, once placed in an entrenchment they must remain static and entrenched for the game’s duration.

Corps/Division Commanders

Both armies can have up to 3 commanders. As a rule one commander is allowed for every 4 units on the table.

These commanders must be assigned to an infantry or elite infantry unit.

A unit with an assigned commander is able to roll 2D6 when shooting and select the highest score.

A commander can rally one unit during the rally step within 6" of their attached unit. This also applied to the unit they are assigned to.

General

All armies have an overall commander (General). They are not units and as such cannot be engaged in combat. If approach by enemy units they can be moved 6” away from the enemy unit.

Generals can rally one unit during the rally step. If the unit is within 6” of any enemy units, then they must be within 6 inches of the General to be rallied.

If a unit is not within 6” of an enemy unit, then the General can rally they unit at any distance.

During movement any unit within 6” of an General can move an additional 3”.

Rally

All units except for cavalry cannot move after shooting until they are rallied.

A unit can be rallied if there is no enemy unit within 6”

If a unit is within 6” of an enemy unit, then it may only be rallied by either a Commander or General within 6”.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Napoleonic gaming



As Christmas is a quiet affair for us this year with just one of the kids returning for the holidays. I was able to escape and play another game with my recently completed Napoleonic armies. I set up the forces and tabletop for a Caldiero 1805 style game. I am using the Command and Colour Napoleonic maps as a guide for both the terrain layout and force composition.

Table set up
A slightly closer view of the table and Spencer Smith miniatures.
The French begin by launching an attack on their right flank
An Austrian cavalry charge eliminated a weakened French infantry unit
The French centre pushes up to support the flank which was losing momentum
Austrian cavalry launch an attack on the French right wing. This proved to be a decisive attack as it eliminated not only an infantry unit, but also the nearby artillery. French cavalry can be seen moving across to counter the move - alas they were too late.
In the centre Austrians grenadier units in the town were holding firm and taking a toll on the attackers.
At this stage the battle was at its height with reserves positioned to move into the line.
French attacks on the centre fail and the game momentum turns in the Austrian favour.  
The battle was still a close run thing on the other flank.
The French break off their attack and retire from the field of battle.

The house rules seem to be hanging together and providing an enjoyable solo game. Still a few more games will be required to help make sure the different situations that occur on a tabletop are covered. I had better write up the rules in their current state. As I will forget which of my many scribbles have been discarded if not done soon.

I must confess I am really enjoying play these Napoleonic games. The last time I played some Napoleonic games I would have been 12 years old with my yellow plastic Airfix armies stuck on bits of cardboard.  Never thought I would ever have my own painted armies to game with.