Sopwith Triplanes Vs Gotha Bomber

Due to holiday and work commitments we were unable to all get together for an all day game this month. Instead Nathan came over one evening and we played a game of Blue Max.

The last time we had played this we were using 1/72 models which I have to admit look great but are probably a little too large for the hex size mat I have. I have even considered going back to Wings of War and enlarging/blowing up a set of cards by 100% for 1/72nd. In the end I went back to 1/144th but decided not to buy the lovely but in my opinion expensive Wings of War planes. I would not mind buy the planes only, if this were an option. Eventually I came across an old advert for some Skytrex models and this in turn led me to Red Eagle Miniature. Here is their link.  http://www.redeagleminiatures.co.uk/ After a bit of thought I decided to purchase the planes represented in Blue Max. These were for the Allies, the Nieuport 24, Bristol F2B and the Sopwith Triplane while for the Axis forces I order Fokker DR1, Albatros DIII, Halberstadt CLII and just because I could a Gotha Bomber. Here are a few picture from their website.

Nieuport 24

Albatros DIII

Bristol F2B

Sopwith Triplane

Fokker DR1

Gotha Bomber

Halberstadt CLII

The best thing of all is the value for money. All the planes except the Gotha were £5 each and the Gotha £9 and this included transfers as well. Once they arrived I made a few up and a brief description of the game is below.

 

For a bit of fun we set up a couple of Sopwith Triplanes against a lone Gotha Bomber. The details for the Gotha Bomber are not included in the Blue Max game but Blue Max is based upon a free online game called Canvas Eagles. There they have stats for nearly every WW1 plane you can possibly get a model for. With this detail I made up a combat chart for the Gotha for  Blue Max.

The scenario was simple, the bomber (me) had to simply fly off the end of the table. As I was umpiring as well I decided to simply have the bomber with no fighter escort.

The game started off as I had planned. Flying high and straight I headed for the end of the table. Nathan was soon engaging me and without being too boastful paying the price. Unable to get a direct bead of fire on to me he was an easy target for my observers to fire upon him. the triplane needs a direct line of sight (3 Hexes) to possibly hit while my 2 observers can fire into both the frontal 3 hexes and rear 3 hexes again up to 3 hexes in range.

This fire soon shot an engine out of one of the Triplanes. We agreed that another Triplane could appear on the table edge representing a straggler that had eventually made it to the fight.

Within a few more moves both Triplanes were in serious shape again with only light damage being scored on the Gotha.

Then my wheels feel off, well with the amount of damage Nathan inflicted upon me in one turn I wouldn’t be surprised if they hadn’t. Wing damage and engine hits caused me first to get a smoke marker and a failed wing test meant I was in a spin.

Gotha in a spin and smoking!

I dropped a level in altitude and came out of the spin and attempted to stop the smoke. A bad roll and the smoke had become a fire!!!!!!

For the next few turns I was desperately trying anything that would help to put the fire out.

Eventually I managed to put the fire out having taken some damage but still confident. The next turn I managed to hit and bring down another Triplane. Unfortunately this confidence was short lived as the very next turn Nathan having positioned his sole plane in a perfect position rolled 4 dice for hits and hit my fuselage, not and issue but then killed my front observer, pilot and rear observer. No recovery from this my plane spiraled into the ground.

A great night of gaming.

Next time I may need a DR1 as an escort.

 

 

 

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Filed under 1/144th WW1, Aerial, Red Eagle Miniatures, World War 1

Trees in 30 minutes!

I had an email a couple of weeks back about the trees in my games.

I know I posted a blog a few years back but thought I would do a quick one, again.

Step One – Find Trunks

I do not spend hours making wire armatures, i don’t have the time or the patience.

I am lucky enough to have a  Rhododendron (I think), my wife is the gardener. When pruned, I keep the cuttings to make tree trunks. The stem/branch has just the right look of a fully grown tree.                  

Stage Two – Help Them Stand

In my last article I glued the trunk to a large washer. Now I tend to drill the base of the trunk and glue in a nail or spear wire. They are small enough not to leave too visible a mark on the terrain tile. I just fill the drilled hole with cheap superglue and push in the wire/nail. It also helps during the construction. I normally have a piece of polystyrene sheet handy to stick them in like a production line.

Stage Three – Foliage

Get your “Rubberised Horse Hair” and cut circles out of it. Mine are normally about 3″ or 75mm in diameter but do not worry if they are not a perfect circle or 3″.  Then pull the layers that make up the Horse hair apart.

Take these de-laminated layers and glue them to the trunk. Keep adding the layers until you have a foliage you like. This is why size and shape do not matter too much.

I bought recently a brilliant rechargeable glue gun for a few pounds at a “budget” supermarket. Not having the wire really helps. It takes five minutes to charge before you can use it.

Stage Four – Leaves

What ever show I go to I look around for cheap scatter material. At the last show there was someone selling bags of home made scatter (coloured sawdust) 4 for a £1. I never worry too much about colour matching I just throw it all together for this type of use. I put all the scatter in a carrier bag inside a bin. the picture is not great but the scatter fills a Christmas sweet tin in size.

Next get some spray glue and wearing a glove on my left hand, I hold the trunk while screening the trunk from over-spray apply the glue until it foams white. I tend to only spray the tops. This leaves the underside bare and I think it looks more like branches.

I then transfer the tree to my right gloved hand to immerse in the scatter material. The fresh gloved hand stops scatter sticking to the over-sprayed glove. Shake off the excess back into the bin and you have a tree.

There you have it.

In 30 minutes I made 8 trees. I worked out the cost to be about £6 for all 8. This size of tree is usually on sale for about £10-12 pounds each at shows, so give it a go and save a fortune.

The dearest part is the Rubberised hair but I have had a 6×4 sheet from a local upholsterers, for a while now and it is still going strong. I make my trees large but  if you like smaller, then smaller trunks mean smaller diameter circles. Here are some 28mm ECW for scale with the rest of the trees.

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Filed under Terrain, trees

Legionary 2017 – May 13th Exeter Part 3

My demo at the Legionary show is based on the American War of 1812.

Last night I finished another unit for the table.

Native Indians.

Here they are mixed in with a few units I already had.

The figures are Foundry and Old Glory,

 

 

 

A few days rest now although I may attempt to make a few trees over the weekend.

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Filed under A Brush Too Far, America 1812, Demo game, Flags of War, Knuckleduster, Legionary Wargame Show, Napoleonics, Old Glory, Traders, Wargame Shows

Legionary 2017 – May 13th Exeter Part 2

My demo at the Legionary show is based on the American War of 1812.

Last night I finished another unit for the table.

The Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada.

This unit were always going to be in any army as I was just attracted by the uniform. I have decided to paint them in their early uniform  which they apparently changed  some time in 1814 to a more traditional Red face Blue. The earlier uniform was Green faced Red and trousers in a variety of colours from Grey to Oxford blue.

The only issue I have is that the only flags I could find seem to represent the later uniform, as the regiment colour is blue and not green. That said I cannot find any evidence of a green regimental flag, I just assumed it would or should be.

The figures are Knuckleduster with a few Old Glory and the flags are from Flags of War.

 

Tonight I hope to finish a few Indians!

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Filed under A Brush Too Far, America 1812, Demo game, Flags of War, Knuckleduster, Legionary Wargame Show, Napoleonics, Old Glory, Traders, Wargame Shows

Legionary 2017 – May 13th Exeter Part 1

Well it is fast approaching that time of year when panic sets in to complete my regular demo game for the Legionary Show, Exeter.

This year I had decided upon a Napoleonic game with a difference, The American War of 1812 or Napoleonics with Indians.  I decided upon this theme as I packed away last years Dad’s Army game. Every year I do a demo and try to furnish everything from my own collection. Therefore the Boys can just turn up and play. Unfortunately due to health issues this year I had started to fall behind with the required volume of figures needed to ensure the game looked good.

A Brush Too Far, to the rescue

Once I realised this was happening I sent some figures off to Jono and Mary and asked if they could fit in some units to help me out. Well, a number of months later the figures have started to arrive.

All I had to do was base them and here they are:

5th West Indies Regiment. Scratch built flag. Figures are Old Glory

93rd Sutherland Highlanders. Flag by Flags of War and figures by Old Glory

1st and 2nd Regiments, Men of Free Color. Scratch built flags and figures by Old Glory

1st and 2nd Regiments, Men of Free Color. Scratch built flags and figures by Old Glory

1st and 2nd Regiments, Men of Free Color. Scratch built flags and figures by Old Glory I have put the 1st in Blue and the 2nd in Green

2 regiments of Royal marines. Figures by Old Glory.

Over the run in to the Game I will post more images to hopefully whet your appetite.

Legionary Show.

Is on the scale of things a relatively small show and only on for 1 day but it has a lot of things right which other local shows should learn from, if they want to keep attracting people new and old.

Please come along and support it.

Hope to see you there.

 

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Filed under A Brush Too Far, America 1812, Demo game, Legionary Wargame Show, Napoleonics, Old Glory, Traders, Wargame Shows

AWI Campaign Ideas – Part 4 The Terrain Generator

As promised a while back here is a little bit of info on the troop and  terrain generators.

 

Troop Types

AWI Campaign Army selection rules

 Each chit is worth 100pts

Select units and assign them to a chit, each chit is to be numbered. Casualties can be carried from battle to battle.

When a battle happens the CinCs rating  is increased by 1 level for each previous battle he had a major victory in or reduced by one level for each major loss.

 

British

Brigade commander Average 15pt +/-5pt per level increased or decreased.

Cost per SP

Guards C/B/A @12pt

Grenadiers C/A/A @ 13pt

Lights C/B/B @ 12pt includes skirmish ability

Highlanders C/A/B @12pt

Line C/B/B @11pt

Rangers C/B/C @10pt

Lt Dragoons C/B/B @11pt

Loyalist Line C/C/C @9pt

Loyalist Cavalry C/C/C@9pt

Militia B/D/D@8pt

Militia Cavalry C/C/C @9pt

Indians in Open D/C/E in woods D/C/C @ 8pt MOB formation only

Artillery B/E/B @9pt per crewman (Lt=2, Med=3, How=4 and Hvy=4)

 

Hessians (Max 2 Brigades)

Only allowed if reinforcement arrive!

Brigade commander Average 15pt +/-5pt per level increased or decreased.

Grenadiers C/B/C @10pt

Line D/C/D @7pt

Jaegers D/C/D @9pt Skirmishers and rifles

Artillery C/E/C @7pt per crewman (Lt=2, Med=3, How=4 and Hvy=4)

 

Lt Guns 10pts, Med guns 15pts, Howitzer 20 pts or Heavy    25 pts

 

Promotion/Demotion

If British win a major victory (see below), then any unit that engaged the enemy may increase any factor in a unit by 1 level (no factor may be greater than A).

If British receives a major defeat then all unit that did not engage the enemy must drop by 1 level, all units that engaged enemy drop 2 factors by 1 level (no factor may be lower than E).

 

Americans (Min 25% Militia)

Brigade commander Average 15pt +/-5pt per level increased or decreased.

Cost per SP

Continentals C/D/D @7pt

Lights (1778+) B/C/B @12pt includes skirmish ability

Lt Dragoons C/C/C @9pt

State Militia B/C/C @10pt

Riflemen A/D/D @11pt skirmish formation only and rifle armed

Militia B/D/D @8pt +1pt if skirmishers

Militia Cavalry C/C/D @8pt

Artillery C/D/C @8pt per crewman (Lt=2, Med=3, How=4 and Hvy=4)

 

Lt Guns 10pts

Med guns 15pts

Howitzer 20 pts

Heavy    25 pts

 

If Americans win a victory (see below), then any unit that engaged the enemy may increase any factor in a unit by 1 level (no factor may be greater than A).

If Americans win a major victory (see below), then any unit that engaged the enemy may increase any 2 factors in a unit by 1 level (no factor may be greater than A). All other units may increase any one factor by 1 (no factor may be greater than A).

If a side receives a major defeat then all units must drop by a factor by 1 level (no factor may be lower than E).

 

Reinforcement – only when a major victory has been achieved

 

French (Max 2 Brigades)

Brigade commander Average 15pt +/-5pt per level increased or decreased.

Grenadiers C/B/B @11pt

Line C/C/C @9pt

Light C/C/B @11pt includes skirmish ability

Hussars C/B/C @10pt (Max 1 unit)

Artillery C/C/C @9pt (Lt=2, Med=3, How=4 and Hvy=4)

 

Lt Guns 10pts, Med guns 15pts, Howitzer 20 pts or Heavy    25 pts

 

Victory or Major Victory

After a battle unless obvious count the (total of points lost/original points value of army) x100 = % of army lost

E.g.: 175 point army of two brigades (Obviously has lost a battle before so now weak) loses 25 pts, therefore (25/175) x100 = 0.143×100 = 14.3% casualties.

 

Greater loses is the loser.

If loses are twice the winners loses, than a major victory/defeat has occurred.

 

Optional Rules

Defenses – Any army indicated to move may not move and instead build defenses. This allows 100 points of defenses to be built. 2” of light defenses or 1” of heavy defenses=5pt. They are only applicable in major battle not skirmishes and only if the side who built them is the defender. If left unoccupied they are removed from the board.

awi-defenses

 

Terrain Generation

To help with this I have built two random terrain generators, one for plain terrain and one for rough terrain.

I do not claim to be  good at Excel so please excuse the simple approach. Please feel free to modify percentage of availability as you see fit.

I play on a 9’x5’ table so I generated eastings of 0-108” and Northings of 0-60”. These are measured from the bottom left corner.

Here is an example of a plain generated table top.

plain-terrain-gen-awiThis gives a table like this

demo-terrainHope you get the idea. If you really don’t like it then hit F9 and it will generate another.

Here the actual files for both Plain and Rough terrain generation.

terrain-generator-awi-plain terrain-generator-awi-rough

 

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Filed under American war Independence, AWI, AWI, Boardgames, campaign, Campaigns, Fields of Honor, Naval

AWI Campaign Ideas – Part 3 The first battle

I know I said I would talk about the terrain generator but Saturday was here and it was our game day.

Nathan came around early and we set about building his British brigades for the campaign, as his computer had broken.

The Board-game

We then sat down to play the board-game. It was only turn 3 when things started to go against the idea of how the game would play in our heads.  I rolled “snake eyes” which meant that I was unable to move any of my units. This allowed Nathan the chance to catch one of my two state militia based armies and force a major battle. My plan had been to avoid a major battle until I had consolidated my forces. Well we all know about plans and what happens to them! Well it did.

sam_3983

Nathan

sam_3984

Turn 3. Nathan nominates the land unit at the top of the picture near Boston and unfortunately I had “snake eyes”.

sam_3985

With Nathan’s roll of a two in lands straight on my unit.

The Forces

That said this is what campaigns are all about though. Nathan had a strength of approximately 500 points while I not only had inferior troops but only 300pts worth. I am not sure that if we were doing a normal game we would ever have fielded forces like these. Not only did Nathan have better troops but when we got his forces out for the table top he also had a Howitzer and a large artillery piece in the force. These are very powerful on the tabletop, if they hit. This made me feel very intimidated as I had militias and a light field piece.americans-14012017 british-14012017

The Terrain

The terrain generator also threw up a battlefield I would probably never layout normally – a river down one flank a ridge splitting the table, a farm and some woods all added to the next dilemma. Where to set up as the defender?  Do I take the open side to the South and force the British to be crammed up in and around the farm although they would have the ridge to sit that heavy gun on or take the farm with its defensive fencing but allow the British to almost deploy along the whole Southern edge. In the end it was the ridge that sold it two me for two reasons.

  1. If I placed my artillery up there it should have a good field of fire
  2. The elevation sort of protected my right flank but would also slow down any British advance due to the reduced movement uphill.  This may allow me the time to turn on my heels and get away before melee.

sam_3977 sam_3978 sam_3979 sam_3980

My new plan!

I deployed my stronger brigade on the ridge so they were easier to extradite but this did leave them exposed with no fencing to hide behind.

My weaker brigade occupied the farm and lined the fencing.

I gave orders that all units are to engage the British in at least 3 round of fire but if they closed too quickly to break off and leave the field.

The British set up gave me hope! They concentrated all their forces around the centre except for the lone cavalry unit out on their left flank. This I guessed would be used to  flank the woods and attack me from my right flank. This I thought would take about 5-6 turns depending upon the activation cards ( They would not be able to be activated on the CinC’s card once they were out of sight). This left my left flank over flanking the British right. Should I advance my 2 left flank militias and swing them in on the flanks of the advancing British?

sam_3986 sam_3987 sam_3988 sam_3989 sam_3990 sam_3991 sam_3992

 

Turn 1 Steady advance by the British across the whole line.

Their artillery inflicted a total of 3 hits between them luckily all were saved.

I advanced my rifle on the hill a little closer. They have a 24” range while the British have a 12” range.

My artillery fires and hits a line unit which is unsaved so first blood to the Americans.

sam_3993 sam_3994 sam_3995 sam_3996

Turn 2

British again steal the march with all their units getting activated and the artillery hitting and inflicting 2 hits which I cannot save.

My centre fire and take out one the British Light infantry units.

My left flank jump the fences to advance on the British flank

My artillery fires but hits nothing.

sam_3998 sam_3999

Turn 3

The British get the draw again with the activation cards. Only half of mine get activated.

Their left flank hold back to allow their large gun to fire. This flaw in their deployment does not stop them destroying my riflemen!!!!!!

Their right starts to engage my units behind the fence while their right most unit swings around to face the threat of my two militia unit on their flank (my plan is working)

I open fire against the highlanders and inflict 2, both unsaved. While that would normal be the end of any unit as it would be only 1SP strong so would roll only one die but  due to the large size of this highlander unit (5SPs) they are now the size of a normal unit!

sam_4000sam_3997

Turn 4 Only the British get activated and move ever closer before the End of turn card is drawn. While I can fire I cannot make any moves. The British are too close for comfort, I cannot allow them to get into melee with mine.

I do manage to inflict another hit on the Highlanders but take another couple of hits from his guns.

sam_4001 sam_4002 sam_4003

Turn 5

End of Turn card drawn immediately.

Both sides fire and I take another 3 hits which convinces me it is time to leave the field.

For this turn I can only respond with firing and hit again the highlanders  as well as a loyalist unit.

 

Turn 6

First bit of luck, I get my army activation card. The plan was to run but………………… if I fired and caused casualties, I believe a number of the British units may fail their morale. If I don’t hit or they don’t fail their morale then when the brigade card are drawn I can extradite them then.

My boys had their eye in as every unit caused a hit. Unfortunately every hit was saved!

The next card out was the End of Turn so I had nothing to fire, having already been activated but the British opened up and caused another hit wiping out a state militia unit in my centre leaving a gap in my line.

Turn 7

The first cards out were all American so I managed to start the extraction process although one unit did get caught up on the fencing so were shot in the back by the British.

Their cavalry had just started to appear around the back of the woods so definitely time to go.

End of Turn card frustrated the British and allowed me to slip away, bruised and battered but happy that a good fight had been put up.

sam_4004 sam_4008 sam_4007 sam_4006 sam_4005Outcome

The British lost 105 pts of infantry and the American 112 points.  A draw on points as neither side inflicted more than 10% than received,  but as the British held the ground a minor victory was awarded to them.

As it was a minor victory it did not amend any of the units rating, a major victory or loss is required to do this for the British.

We rolled to see was reinforcements were available to bring the units back up to strength and called it a day.

We both agreed that the system had worked well and gave us a really enjoyable game with pressures that we would not normally feel in a standard table top game.

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Filed under American war Independence, AWI, AWI, Boardgames, campaign, Campaigns, Fields of Honor, Naval