Category Archives: Boardgames

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.

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Nathan

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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AWI Campaign Ideas – Part 2

Since the last post I have been very busy but have still managed to add a bit more to the campaign idea.

We have agreed that the campaign will:

  • Play the boardgame “Skirmish” as normal until there is either a major battle or a naval battle. This is when both forces end their move in the same area.
  • Transfer this to the table top –  Each counter (Land or ship) =100pts
  • Before the campaign starts each counter is numbered and a force representing it is picked (see below).
  • After the battle forces are reviewed and consolidated with surplus counters being removed.
  • Each unit is to be tracked and their ratings can be modified depending on things such as: winning/losing/ engaged enemy.
  • The boardgame  has a watermark effect which shows hills, very subtle but this will be used to determine if the tabletop game (Land) will be set up as plain or hilly.
  • I have also used an Excel sheet to generate the terrain layout.

Here is the initial layout with a few of the counters numbered

sam_3956sam_3963Here is an example of what the counters represent.

american-awi-costs

Army Lists

eg-american-brigade

Random Brigade

If anyone would like the spreadsheets then here they are.

awi-american-brigades awi-british-brigades

When the battle is to be played I transfer the units to their tabletop organisation.

british-table-top-organiserThis allows me to copy the cells from the bottom depending upon the units in the brigades and paste into their tabletop structure above. One of the Brigadiers becomes the CiinC. This can then be printed and used to track units through the game.

Here is the original excel sheets for both the British and Americans

dummy-record-sheet

I have also been painting a few units ready for our first game

sam_3964

A heavy gun and crew from Foundry

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Militia

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Militia

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Militia Brigade

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Lee’s Legion in Skirmish formation

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State Militia

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Riflemen

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The Grand battery. L to R Light,Medium,Light,Howitzer and Heavy

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Howitzer

sam_3967

Medium with Light to the left

sam_3966

Light

sam_3968 The British view hopefully

Hope this is of some interest. Next blog I will cover the terrain generator.

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

AWI Campaign Ideas – Part 1

Last month we didn’t have a big game. Instead Nathan came over and we played a few different board games. This was mainly due to use wanting to discuss rules and campaigns.

If you have read any of my posts before you will know that I quite like the AWI. With this in mind we played a very old game called skirmish by Milton Bradley, probable from the 60-70s.

skirmish-mbI will not bore you here with the mechanics but each side get a number of counters and for the British these are organised into 4 armies of 5 counters. They also have a number of sailing ships including a troop carrier with 2 reinforcement units for the British. These can only be requested once they have lost a major battle. The Americans have 16 counters but these are organised differently. They represent 13 militia units, 2 state militia units and the Continental army.  They also have a reinforcement ship which carries 4 counters. These can only be called for once they have won a major victory. There are two type of land battles. These are Major or skirmish. A major battle happens when a player maneuvers their army/unit to land directly on top of the opposition. A skirmish is when they end up adjacent to an army/unit. Skirmishes are resolved using a randomly drawn card.

skirmish-boardAnyway, while playing I started to think about this being transferred to the tabletop. Here are my thoughts:

  • Play the game as normal but when there is a “major” battle, transfer it to the table top.
  • Each counter equals 100pts.
  • Each counter if numbered could then be tracked.
  • Reinforcements for the British could include Hessians, and French for the Americans.
  • Army lists need to reflect our preferred rules” Field of Honor”.
  • Consideration regarding fortifications
  • Naval aspect – recently we have played a number of different sets and none so far delivering the killer blow. They all add something but not enough for any one set to be our choice. I think this is because we will need different sets for scales of battle. More later. Tomorrow we are playing  “Trafalgar” and “Galleys and Galleons”.
  • Terrain generation

I will now start on the army lists so back soon.

 

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World War 1 Dogfight – Those Fokkers !

Last night a couple of mates who couldn’t make the big game over the weekend turned up for a chat and a game. Luckily I had just finished putting together some 1/72 aircraft to play Blue Max with. A Hotz hex mat (Bought for Armada game), a mix of 1/72 Airfix, revel and diecast SMER planes, home made bases and smoke and fire markers. The game was ready in 10 mins.

I think Blue Max is one of the best game to play this era.

The forces were two Nieuport 24s portrayed in the game by Sopwith Camels against 2 Fokker DR1s.

Both sides energetically attempted to engage each other and first blood had to go to the British in the shape of Luke who in a particularly daring do managed to cause tail damage to none other than the Red Baron. This had the hilarious affect of forcing the Baron to perform left turn manoeuvres only for 3 turns this and the fact that he had also jammed is guns which can only be unjammed in straight flight. This essentially put the Baron out of the game for at least 4 turns. But the Baron being the Baron managed not only to survive, unjam his guns but then caught Luke in a head on duel and shot out Luke’s one and only machine gun as well as causing significant damage to his wings. This force Luke to attempt to safely land to fight another day.

Brian flying the other Sopwith was trading blow for blow with the other DR1 and getting the upper hand. He wasn’t even fazed when the Baron started to head his way. Unfortunately in one turn both DR1s got a bead on him and  took out his engine and most of his wings. He glided down to the ground the Fokkers letting live to fight again.

A German victory.

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Start of the dogfight

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SAM_3364 Too close for comfort. Both planes received some wing damage

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The dogfight in its full glory

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Luke attempting to land his machine gun less and almost wing less plane to fight another day.

SAM_3369

2 Fokkers is too much even for Brian, with his engine destroyed and smoking

SAM_3370

Those Fokkers !!! Queuing up to have a go at the wounded Brian.

SAM_3365

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Wargaming Saturday

This Saturday was a great day, our first wargaming day since Christmas. We all discussed what we had been given before settling down to play Blue Max from Stratelibri.

I have to admit that as we sat down, I nor any of the others, Nathan, Luke or Brian had played the game before and sadly in my case even looked at the rules until an hour before.

Game box with beautiful artwork

Game box with beautiful artwork

So what do you get? –

Rulebook –

Double sided hex game board (1 side plain blue, 1 side historical landscape) –

6 View protection screens (3 per faction), brown/grey outside, rule summery inside –

18 Manoeuvre sheets (9 per faction) –

18 Airplane cards (9 per faction), 1 side airplane info, 1 side airplane details –

you get 3 of each plane. Each with different paint scheme.

You get 3 of each plane. Each with different paint scheme.

144 Small game cards (136 damage cards, 8 trace cards) –

18 Airplane tiles, hex (9 per faction), 1 side top view, 1 side flank view –

3 of each, matching the cards

3 of each, matching the cards. The letters around the edge indicate what type of damage you take if hit.

6 Ready marker tiles / direction tiles –

12 Special damage marker tiles (6 fire/smoke, 6 observer killed) –

15 Ammunition marker tiles –

30 Altitude marker tiles (1/2/3/4/5 each 6) –

24 Altitude manoeuvre tiles (up/down/constant/landing each 6) –

60 Fuel marker tiles –

1 Block with 60 record sheets –

6 Special dice – marked 1-6 with additional blue or red markings on some faces  for damage.

The planes

Allies – Bristol F.2B – Nieuport 24 – Sopwith Triplane

Central: – Halberstadt CL.II – Fokker Dr.I – Albatross D.III

We started to read the rules and set up the game as described.

Brian and I were flying Halberstadt CL.IIs while Nathan and Luke were flying Nieuport 24s. We set up at each end of the board. We had agreed that for our first game fuel and altitude would not be a worry. These would be added in to the next game if we agreed to play it again!

Both sides dived in and tried to get to grips with the enemy as soon as possible. First blood went to the allies hitting Brian. Each side continued to trade shots on each other. The turning point came when in one turn Nathan was hit with 7 fuselage hits and machine gun destroyed. This was due to a long machine gun burst from me, but this caused my gun to jam. No problems just fly level and roll a 4-6. Seven, yes seven turns later having rolled a 1, 6 times, I am still trying to un-jam my gun. While all this was going on I( (Snake Eyes Graham) should have been a sitting duck, albeit a flying one. Luckily,  Nathan’s gun was out of action and Luke had his own problems. In one turn he jammed his guns and had smoke appear from his engine. Considering I was trying after 7 attempts to un-jam my guns, Luke managed it first attempt. Cool hand Luke as he was now known then did a slip manoeuvre to help remove the smoke. Needing a 4-6 he rolled a 1. This had the unfortunate effect of turning the smoke into a fire! And changing Cool Hands Luke in to Hot Hands Luke! 4 turns later Hot Hands Luke finally puts the fire out and with little un-burnt framework to his plane left, headed home.

Outcome: A small victory to the Central powers. All pilots lived to fly another day.

Will we play it again?

In short YES. We all loved it. Simple, fast and fun.

Positives

Great art work

Hex board can be multi usage. Plain blue on one side and terrained on other. The blue side will be ideal for may other uses.

Simple clear rule processes once understood. By turn 2 we all knew the procedures and processes

Hex movement ideal and less cumbersome than the template system used in Wings of War.

Scalable up to 1/72, just need a large hex mat. or just use the 144 scale planes from wings of war.

Minimal book keeping

Negatives

Rule book not too clearly laid out but OK once read thoroughly. Had to jump around the book it felt at times to get the full understanding of some processes.

Limited planes. I think the original game version had about 20 plane types to choose from, not the 6 in the current version. I am not sure if additional plane are available as an add-on but check out the Canvas Eagles’ website. Canvas eagles is a printable version of this game and has every plane from an Eindecker EIII to a Handley Page 0/400 bomber.

What next?

We have already started discussing which 1/72 planes to get. I have just ordered a Handley Page 0/400 bomber. I intend to start this at one of the table with a small escort and have a Junta of DR1s attempt to shoot it down.

Armada

After a break for lunch we played Armada from Zvezda.

Not a great deal to mention. great game as always. Nathan and myself played the role of coach/umpire to Luke and Brian as neither had played before.

A great afternoons gaming was had by all and all agreed that these two games will form part of our wargaming more often.

Here are a few pictures of Zvezda’s latest release to support the Armada game – the Golden Hind. She is small compared to the ships included in the game. Here she is waiting for her masts and sails.

Hind and Revenge for scale

Hind and Revenge for scale

Golden Hind 4

Golden Hind 4

Golden Hind 3

Golden Hind 3

Golden Hind 2

Golden Hind 2

Golden Hind1

Golden Hind1

This is a beautiful kit. I have to admit that she is fiddly, though this is due more to the size of my hands. She will be needed to be based  as she will not be sturdy enough I think to stand up to the regular rigours of wargaming. I am panicking about doing the rigging!

The only thing I think disappointing is that she never came with a dedicated character card. It doesn’t even appear to be downloadable from the website. Of all the Zvezda’s ” Art of Tactics” websites “The Ships” version is the weakest. When compared to the Samurai or WW2 versions there are no additional scenarios or rule amendment/clarifications.

I do hope that Zvezda release a few additional Spanish ships to increase the variation soon. How about an oared galley?

The format for this game is brilliant and could also be rolled out to other eras.

How about a medieval version with English Cogs battling it out against the French in the Hundred Years War version or against each other in a War of the Roses version.

Does anyone know of a manufacturer of cogs etc in 1/144 – 1/300 scale. I would have a go at writing the rules and creating art work.

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Filed under Aerial, Armada, Boardgames, Naval, Reviews, World War 1

A Long Time

Really sorry it has been so long but the computer crashed and died 4 weeks back and after receiving CPR was no better.  I had to get a new PC and just so many other things have got in the way. That and understanding windows 8.1

Science Fiction

I have to admit that I have never been too much into Sci-Fi wargaming although I do like Sci-Fi. That said I do believe that my wife maybe an alien replicate! I have come to this conclusion based on this year’s Christmas presents. Up until now, every Christmas was the same. I can hear her saying ” You are so awkward to buy for. You only want toy soldiers and I don’t know what to buy you, they all look the same to me”.

I know you are all thinking, but I also have to admit that she is a star even when I have the dinning table still cluttered up 30 mins before Christmas dinner, she never moans.

Therefore I would normal end up with lovely items that I needed but little of what I wanted. So imagine my surprise this year when I started opening the presents to find:

4 off Perry War of the Roses wagons – these will be used as ammo wagons to carry arrows to hard up archer units in my demo game.

Samurai Battles

Zvezda board game Samurai – Looks great. Want to start constructing it but there is so much.

9 boxes of additional Zvezda Samurai troops

War of 1812 Scenario booklet by Stuart Asquith

Stuart Asquith Book

Stuart Asquith Book

Sun of York card game – Could be good

Blue Max WW1 tabletop game – Looks great and fun. I had toyed with getting Wings of War but the choice is now made.

5 of 1/72 scale WW1 aircraft for starters. These will use the above rules.

SE5a

SE5a

Fokker EIII

Fokker EIII

Fokker DVII

Fokker DVII

Fokker Dr1

Fokker Dr1

Albatros DIII

Albatros DIII

Zvezda 1/350 Golden Hind for Zvezda’s Armada board game

Hotz 3”hex game mat, well a voucher as delivery was not due to till the New Year. This will replace the tiles you get in the Armada Game.

Box set of “Hornblower” ideal to have on in the back ground as we play or build the Golden Hind.

There were many other things but these are the ones that count. Do I report the abduction? I think I will wait and see if the cooking is still as good as ever, if so she stays. Just have to work on the Toy Soldier comments – model replicants is so much better and she may be able to relate to the term!

I will give updates/ reviews on all items as I start them.

Hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas and most of you got what you wanted and not what you needed.

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Filed under Aerial, America 1812, Armada, Boardgames, Medieval, Napoleonics, Naval, Scenarios, Uncategorized, War of the Roses, World War 1