Tag Archives: Wargaming

Lion Rampant

Over the last few months I have been looking at a number of changes in how I wargame. Most of my collections are large. Unfortunately over the last few months many of my regular wargame buddies are unavailable due to moving out of the area or work impacting upon availability. So the last few games have been smaller than normal. It made me think about skirmish style gaming but I still wanted the ability to play larger games, if and when we all can get together again.

Recently I picked up a number of Osprey rules sets. Some look good and not so sure of but have onky had a quick scan of them.

Last night I met up with a gamer from Exmouth and we started to discuss Lion Rampant. They were a set of rules he had but again had never played so we decided to have a walk through to see if they may offer what we want.

Overall the rules seem to be ok and while they appear simple they may take a while to master. The easy of play will allow addition of house rules if and when needed to reflect a particlar era.

We got discussing 2 areas that didn’t feel right.

  • Challenges – like the idea but the process of rolling 3 dice and the highest number of 5 or 6s win. It appears to take no consideration of armour etc. We set about trying a number of option to give what we think would be a more reflective result. We came up with the following:

3 dice as original

3 rounds and the leader with the most hits on them at the end is dead

To hit a general, roll 3 dice needing to roll as if attacking

Any leader hit rolls armour rating or less to save each hit

Leader who has most hits inflicted upon them each round gets a -1 to attack rolls(accumalative) up to needing 6s

  • The other thing that jumped out was that all foot units not knights or serfs all have the skill of schiltron. I think I allow certain foot not to have this ability i.e. my English spears fighting their Scottish equivalents at Stirling.

We are planning to try the rules out with figures on the table in a few weeks time.

Leave a comment

Filed under Lion Rampant, Medieval, Pirates, Scottish Wars of Independence, War of the Roses, Wargame Rules

Cheap Ploughed Fields?

Just a quick blogg.

Popped into Lidl on the way home to get tea and saw these doormats 60x40cm. They are not too thick so may not have lasted long in their original role but that means they are flexible. Thought ploughed fields and at 99p, thought bargin.

May have a go at cutting them up over the weekend.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fields, Terrain

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Terrain, trees

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

 

Leave a comment

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.

Leave a comment

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.

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

sam_3975

Militia

sam_3974

Militia

sam_3973

Militia Brigade

sam_3972

Lee’s Legion in Skirmish formation

sam_3971

State Militia

sam_3970

Riflemen

sam_3969

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

sam_3965

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.

Leave a comment

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.

 

Leave a comment

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