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?

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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!

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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.

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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

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.

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Army Lists

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Random Brigade

If anyone would like the spreadsheets then here they are.

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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

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

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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

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Medium with Light to the left

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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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Battle of Godfrey’s Cottage

Following the recent death of Jim Perry , I had a desire to watch a few episodes of his perfect creation Dad’s Army.

It also got me thinking about putting on a Dad’s army game for the regular monthly game. The only issue was that I did not want to play the large version I have taken to a number of shows as only two could make it this weekend. During the week I was in the shed looking for something and came across a set of WW2 skirmish rules called USSR – Ultra Simple Skirmish Rules. These are a small A5 booklet which I was given for free by Bolt Action in 2004 when they first started to sell their range. I am not sure if any of the boys have ever seen or even played these rules and I have to admit that apart from one game 12 years ago neither have I.

Having re-read the rules I saw something different in them which excited me. Yes they were simple, something I like but they also try to give a sense of camaraderie. This is how firing is done.

When any shooting happens a no. of D6 are rolled by the firer depending upon weapon, rating above  and modifiers are added to each die. The defender rolls a single D6 adds rating above and modifiers. Totals of each die are compared and from that a result is achieved. This depends upon the highest score compared to opponents lowest score. Very simple, but this is the clever bit. When defenders are in a group(1″) of another figure the rating added is of the highest member of the group. Therefore a group of conscripts with a sergeant add +4 not +2. This is explained in the rules as the sergeant communicating with his team and ensuring they learn  from his experience.

Yes I am easily pleased but I like this idea so

The Rules

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The main aspects

  • The table size is 1m x 1m, so terrain is important.
  • Simple mission generator – Not every game is necessarily a firefight
  • Casualties, as in looking after them is a key factor
  • No weapon ranges – you see it you can hit it.
  • Importance of senior officers and or training
  • Groups/Teams did not get the importance of this in game play until a couple of re-reads in.
  • Suggests no more than 1 squad per player, to maintain the command experience.
  • Targets infantry only games

Figures are classed as :

  1. Civilian
  2. Conscripts
  3. Veterans
  4. Sergeants
  5. Elites

I set about developing a simple test scenario. I laid out a simple 3’x3′ board. A  He111 carrying out a pre-Seelowe invasion, reconnaissance crashes and the crew and invasion plans must avoid capture and await rescue. The local home-guard have been sent to round up any crew.

In the terrain below the plane is in the NE corner, Godfrey’s cottage is the SE cottage and in the SW corner you can see the home-guard entering the table.

Battle of Godfrey's Cottage Briefings

German

Capt. Hertz Von Rental

Damn fools in Berlin.

The day before the planned invasion of Britain and they get you to do a daylight sortie. Just your luck, on the last run a lucky shot hit an engine and you have had to land. Most of the crew seem OK. In your last communication Berlin advised you sit tight and await help.

Group 1

Yourself – Veteran

2 crew – Conscripts

Group 2

2 crew – Conscripts

Group 3

2 crew conscripts (LMG)

British

Capt. Mainwaring.

At 17:00 hrs June 5th 1940 you have received an alarm that a German bomber was seen coming down, just outside Walmington. In fact, in the field next to Godfrey’s abandoned cottage.

You called the platoon out and have instructed the 2nd squad to wait at the Church Hall while you go with the first squad to round up the crew if any survived.

Godfrey reminded you to be careful as all the services were still connect to his house. Although the toilet may be a welcoming sight for him!

Your Squad consists of:

Yourself – Veteran

Wilson – Veteran

Jones – Veteran

4 soldiers – Conscripts

3 soldiers – Civilians

Due to ages, all move at max 4”

Objective

Reconnoitre crash site and capture crew.

 

Here are a few pictures of the game

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Godfrey’s Cottage

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Godfrey’s Garden

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The home guard cautiously advance on to the table and at the bend in the road split into two parts , one to survey the plane while the other continues on to the house.

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Crew mingle around the aircraft

sam_3915 sam_3917 sam_3920 sam_3925 The rules have no ranges for weapons due to the scale but this started to feel wrong especially as the crew had pistols only. A quick discussion and it was agreed that:

LMGs Normal 36″ Long 72″

Rifles  Normal 18″ long 36″

SMGs Normal 12″ long 24″

Pistols Normal 6″ long 12″

all would suffer a -1 when firing at long range.

As the home guard inspected the plane the crew who were now in the other damaged cottage opened fire with the LMG they had removed from the plane.sam_3929

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Pike is down and Walker is suppressed.

sam_3926 sam_3933The LMG rattled around the group and caused a couple of suppressed results and a down result! Good die throws from the Germans and poor from the British.

It took a couple of turns for Walker to recover and apply first aid to Pike.When a figure is classed as down the nearest figure must perform a first aid action. This enables them to check the down figure for their status; Dead, still down or recovered.  I thought this was a good aspect and while trying to “first aid”, a number of figures running the blaze of fire from the LMG ensured they also became victims or hid in cover.

Anyway, the home-guard recovered their nerve and returned fire eventually on the LMG team. Due to their leaders and some great dice rolls both crew became suppressed.

sam_3932Eventually one of them becoming Down and dead upon first aid from another crew member.

The other home-guard group came under fire from the crew located upstairs and having had another member die, sent a runner back to the church hall for reinforcements ( if they could have got to Godfrey’s cottage they would have found the telephone still connected and could have called).

This is where we finished for a break and some lunch. Everybody thought the rules were OK but would benefit from a little bit of additional detail.

I enjoyed it all and will certainly be adding a little more detail, so maybe watch this space for some suggestions.

Figures are all from the brilliant Foundry range

Buildings are Sarissa and Foxtrot Charlie while I scratch built the greenhouse.

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Filed under Charlie Foxtrot Models, Dad's Army, German, Sarissa Models, Skirmish, USSR - Ultra Simple Skirmish Rules, Wargame Rules, World War 2

ACW Revisited – Part 2

It has been a long time since my last post. I have been getting over a big ish operation that to be honest just wiped me out.

Anyway, finally managed to feel like playing a game so invited Steve and Laurie up for an ACW game.

It was based on the forces detailed in the first part of this post and the terrain was similar to the map.

The background was that an initially numerically superior Confederate force was attempting to take a set of road junctions and hold-off  expected Union reinforcements.

The rules we used were based upon the Fields of Honor set which we adapted to align with our house rules. The main difference is that the original rules use D6 and in our initial trials we found that while the rules were OK for middle and later battles, the early years with units having lower morale and inferior weapons meant that they usually ran on getting their first casualties. The D10 we believe balanced these issues out perfectly.

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The view from the Confederate end.

and the Union end

and the Union end

The confederate came on to the table and advanced up to the first set of rail fences and seemed to take up defensive positions to await the union onslaught. After a few turns trading artillery shots they realised that they may be better off taking the fight to the union.

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Meanwhile the few Union troops on the table anxiously await reinforcements!

sam_3837The delay by the confederates allowed the Union reinforcements to appear and have room to deploy.

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I have to be honest we then went for a bite to eat and sat chatting, which  got the better of us. We returned to the game late in the day so I have left it set up for next time.

Not much of a battle report but hope you like the photos.

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Filed under 1st Corps, ACW, American Civil War, Battle of Mill Springs, Perry, Redoubt Miniatures, Scenarios, Traders, Wargame Rules

War of 1812 – British Gunboats

For the first time in a long time I attended Fisticuffs in Weymouth. Please check it out as it is a really good show with gaming at its heart.

While there having a look around the traders I spotted a couple of painted gunboats from Britannia Miniatures owned by Grubby Tanks. I know these models well as I have a few unpainted ones waiting in the increasing “to be painted” pile . I bought them for the Battle of Crysler’s Farm but have probably thought that the painting time, to paint the 19 figures per boat was better off spent painting regiments.

Having looked at and walked away a number of times, the voice in my head finally convinced me that I deserved a treat so ……………….here they are.

They suffered a little on the way home due to the everything we bought on what was a fantastic bring and buy. But a few hours and some nice basing will soon have them ship shape.

They will then be ready to provide supporting fire from the British right flank on the River.

The problem is that they have now sparked an idea of 28mm Great Lake Naval battles!

My old mate Brian, an ex marine (reliably, his words) informed me that the oar blades are different colours due to which watch the boat belonged to, Port or Starboard. I love interesting facts like that.

Here some pictures. They are not on ice, just that I thought the detail may have been lost on a green terrain tile and I could not find a blue cloth.

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War of 1812 – American Infantry

As mentioned in my last blog, I have had a few months away from gaming but I have been busy painted etc. Mostly it has been for my new era of ACW but I have also managed to finish a few units towards my slowly growing United States army for the War of 1812.

Here are a few picture of the finished units. They are all Old Glory miniatures.

These will form part of the core American forces for the Battle of Crysler’s Farm. See previous blogs.

Flags are mostly from Warflag for free at http://www.warflag.com/napflags/flaghtml/usa.htm

the site offers a couple of National flags,  a regimental flag in buff and a speculative regimental flag for the 1st rifles. The National flags were pretty standard as far as I have found out but they also carried a regimental flag (a bit boring if you ask me) in one of three colours; Buff, White or Yellow. I have not found out how the colours of these flags were chosen or awarded to which regiments. Anyone know?

I added regimental flags in yellow and white. All I have left to do is to tough in the edge of the flags.

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Filed under America 1812, Battle of Bladensburg, Battle of Crysler's Farm, Battle of Lundy's Lane, Battle of New Orleans, Battle of Queenston Heights, Battle of the River Thames, Napoleonics, Old Glory, Traders