Wednesday Night Gamers Turn 7 Dark Ages Campaign Game

I am really behind in my AAR posts on the Dark Ages Campaign that club has been playing for the last several months.  This report is from the game played on March 19th. For me it was the first actual battle that my kingdom was fighting and a chance for me to gain a province at the expense of Rick’s kingdom to my South.  It was a complete disaster from top to bottom for me.

I thought I was going to do well as I had been given the Ambush card so could attack from another unseen side with up to three units.  I picked a cavalry heavy army for this reason. The scenario was I would gain points from holding objectives starting on turn 4 lasting through turn 8 when the game would end.  George was sitting in for Rick who would be late and picked a new type of Army to defend with that had a mostly infantry force of soldiers but had extra commanders for the morale and combat bonus of the troops.

So how did this turn into a disaster one might ask.  How can I count the ways.

  1. I did not start taking pictures right away so don’t have that many of the game. One could say that is not really a disaster and I agree.
  2. I misplayed the Ambush card as I thought I could come in from any side but had too come in from a forested area.  This affected my deployment.
  3. I thought I could not spring the Ambush until turn 3. I could have attacked at anytime but attacked on turn 3.
  4. After loosing the initiative on the first 2 turns I won it on turn 3 that allowed me to go first and spring the ambush.  This allowed George to go second and react to my cavalry and not be hit from behind. Major mistake on my part and negated the advantage of the ambush card.
  5. I got too close to George’s troops on one flank with my infantry with the idea of using range fire to do damage.  George charged those troops and caused them to break and flee without them causing any damage. George charged all my troops in fact.
  6. Rolled badly against the charges on the left flank while George rolled better. Not really a disaster just bad luck.
  7. Rick arrived and made all the morale rolls forced upon his forces by both myself and Del who was commanding my forces on the right flank.  Again one of those things just the luck of the dice but coming with everything else it caused me to make morale rolls as he passed his.
  8. Del and I failed all the morale rolls with my infantry even with are elite infantry troops.   Yes this happens but on turn 3 it had pushed all the infantry back from both objectives as they had all broke.
  9. Had taken 50% loses by turn 4.  Not good any way you slice it.    

Now some photographs.   Click to get larger views of photographs.

My left flank infantry and skirmishers breaking on turn 3

My left flank infantry and skirmishers breaking on turn 3

Del's right flank taking hill objective awaiting charge from George

Del’s right flank taking hill objective awaiting charge from George

My cav attacking from the trees in George's rear being stopped by his commanders.

My cav attacking from the trees in George’s rear being stopped by his commanders.

George turns his infantry to face the cav during turn 3.

George turns his infantry to face the cav during turn 3.

After taking so many dead by turn four and having all the infantry break I gave up and called the game after turn 4 as I was never going get back to a objective for points.  George played really well all around.  He picked a good army.  He stopped the cavalry charge by sacrificing his leaders.  His leaders in the rear stopped the charge and allowed the form units to turn and face the cavalry not getting hit in rear.  George made a good move with getting two infantry units on one destroying one of my in one turn.  George and Rick rolled well.  Del and I did not as they made the morale rolls we did not.  I made mistakes on my calculations, understanding of rules, cards and rolled badly.  As I was the attacker the only good point was that I did not lose any lands.

Next time I will post about the March 26th game.

Russ-Japanese War battle from Cold Wars 2014

I am really late posting this up on my blog but I am kind of behind with most things I think sometimes.  I had the good fortune to get to play in a test game for the Age of Valor rules set coming out soon covering the period of 1848 to 1904.  This covers a period of wars I have figures for and am interested in.  It is based on a well known set of American Civil War Rules called Fire & Fury.  I must admit I am not a real big fan of Fire & Fury, as I fine the bell curve on the charts to be just a little too much for my taste.  That being the case I wanted to give this a try and especially was interested in playing a battle from the Russo-Japanese war. The terrain and figures I felt were really nice.  The charts and rules were well laid out and easy enough to follow along.  The battle is a historical battle won by the Japanese that helped seal the fate of Port Arthur during the war.  One downside to the game as we had to use the figures in the positions left by the people who played the game the night before.  That meant the Russian right flank was being flanked and the Russian infantry on the right had been pushed back from their entrenchment into a cross fire.  Not really great position but you sometimes have to make due with what you are given.

Nice terrain and figures.

Nice terrain and figures.

View across table from Russian guns towards Japanese center.

View across table from Russian guns towards Japanese center.

So with that in mind we began the game with myself and another player commanding the Russian left flank and the reserve.  At this time it was suggested the reserve move towards the Russian right flank to some how try to stabilize the situation.  A person who did not have a ticket to play but appointed himself in charge said that was a bad idea and too attack the Japanese front line as he was going to fix the flank.

Russian reserve on the right flank forming up.

Russian reserve on the right flank forming up.

Did not have to do much attacking as the Japanese came right at as on turn 1.

Japanese cavalry charge my infantry front on during turn 1

Japanese cavalry charge my infantry front on during turn 1

All out attack by Japanese on the Russian left flank.

All out attack by Japanese on the Russian left flank.

Perhaps this was a major or even the most important part of the game.  Myself and the other commander on this flank had overwhelming firepower against these charges.  Against the cavalry alone I was getting x2 fire points for have magazine rifles and a +2 to the dice for hits because it was cavalry charging me.  I rolled a which became a 3 which was still no effect.  Actually the guy on my side also rolled a 1.  My first five rolls were in fact all a 1.  Even though we did not take many hits we really lost the chance to inflict major damage and perhaps break the flank and come around on the Japanese artillery line in the center.

Japanese marching to victory.

Japanese marching to victory.

After several terms we started to about break even with the damage but I think that the Russians had lost their chance to break through.  I tried and did damage some of the many Japanese cannon but not enough to make a real difference in the outcome.

Not enough Russian guns to hurt all the Japanese artillery in the center.

Not enough Russian guns to hurt all the Japanese artillery in the center.

 

Though the Japanese were urged by the gamemaster to be more aggressive on the other flank they did not charge until late in the game.  They really had that flank in a cross fire and could have ended things really early if they had pressed the attack.

Russians right flank attacked from two sides from turn 1

Russians right flank attacked from two sides from turn 1

Russian right flank being obliterated.

Russian right flank being obliterated.

Even without charging it was only a matter of time for the Russians on the right flank.  They continued to loose stands then the Japanese broke through.

Tried to reform a unit to protect Telissu the Russian supply point.

Tried to reform a unit to protect Telissu the Russian supply point.

Game over as the Japanese are able to reach Telissu.

Russian right flank crumbles.

Russian right flank crumbles.

I did really like the game and the rules worked well.  You combine that with very nice terrain and figures and it was really a good time.  The gamemaster is putting out the rules with scenarios for all the periods covered in the rules so makes it a winner.  The gamemaster also gave everyone who played a disk with the rules, scenario, charts, uniform and flag info for the period as selling point for the new rules coming out after Historicon.  Real good marketing if you ask me.  You can get more information and pictures at the website for the rules http://www.ageofeagles.com.  I admit I am thinking about these rules even if it is based on Fire & Fury.

 

Book Review of The Dardanelles Disaster: Winston Churchill’s Greatest Disaster

I asked for this book for Christmas and I received it. I have an interest in the First World War in theaters other than the Western Front. This combined with my having actually been to the areas mentioned in the book was part of my interest in the book.

Another interest is that I have read Winston Churchill’s own writing on the subject matter. Needless to say he is not critical of himself and his decisions and says very little on the subject overall. The book covers both the sea and land campaign which is known as the Gallipoli Campaign. Winston Churchill famous as Prime Minister of England during the dark days of World War II was First Sea Lord at the beginning of World War One.

I will not read the whole book to anyone but the author Dan van der Vat (who is British I learned) blames the extreme loss of life and overall failure to take Constantinople on Churchill and the bungled naval campaign. This allowing for the war to last two years longer than it would have as it cut a supply route to Russia and tied up troops and resources that could have been used on the Western Front.

That is it in a nutshell. I though feel van der Vat really brings out that mistakes were made on all the highest levels. Prime Minster, Churchill, Admirals on site, Generals on site. The book to me really blames General Kitchener. Even the Dardanelles Commission Inquiry blamed him but he was dead and the public was not informed according to the book. The book is very informative about all the major and minor players to commanders of individual mine sweepers at times.

After reading the book two things stood out especially to me. One there was plenty of blame to go around.  Mismanagement at the highest level was rampant and the Royal Navy did not and should not have gone it alone for so long.  Lord Kitchener had the troops and when he did land them it was also a bungled.  Two I felt that the Turkish troops are not given enough credit.  They fought hard when faced with being outnumbered defending their homeland.  

World War One was full of mistakes by both political and military leaders so this aspect of the book should not be surprising.  The end of the book which tells what happened to all the individuals involved on all sides does add some interesting information that I did not know.  I would recommend the book as it tells the story from both the naval side and the land campaign.  Is it ground breaking new stuff perhaps not.  Lots of good information all around for the reader though. 

Turn 6 British Isles Dark Ages Campaign

I missed turn 4 and 5 of the campaign because of weather and then HMGS Cold Wars caused a break.  Having said that turn 4 and 5 saw various invasions go astray because of campaign cards that in one way or another defeated the invasions.  Example of turn 4 my invasion was against a fellow British Kingdom who had Britain’s Unite card which meant we would not fight each other.  In turn 5 I had that card and foiled an invasion the same way.

Turn 6 saw some more action as Will’s British Kingdom of Elmet invaded George’s Saxon Kingdom of Anglia.  As Will was unable to attend that Wednesday, Will had Ben command his troops.  Ben picked a peasant army with one cavalry unit, one elite infantry, on soldier and lots of units of peasants with a few skirmishers.  Ben got a lot of troops with good speed for the points but would they have the staying power?  George picked a Cavalry Army, so lots of cav, some soldier infantry and 1 peasant unit.  He had fewer troops but they were fast and hit hard.  Neither side knew ahead of time what the other picked no the set up so  it was a totally blind set up.  George picked Del to be his other commander as Garrie, Ben and I commanded the British forces.  Click on pictures below for a larger picture.

Original set up for game, rows of troops awaiting orders.

Original set up for game, rows of troops awaiting orders.

Ben and Garrie and I were British commanders.

Ben and Garrie and I were British commanders.

The British forces needed to have two of three objectives in control on turn 8 to win the province.  Facing off in the center the peasants and soldiers moved off against the Saxon soldiers and peasants.  Sadly, for the British that was mostly peasants and few soldiers.

Turn 2 British peasants moving towards Saxon infantry.

Turn 2 British peasants moving towards Saxon infantry.

Meanwhile the Saxon Cavalry moved around the British left flank.  Both Garrie with his peasants and I with my lone cavalry unit tried to stop this.  We were not successful.

Saxon cavalry preparing to ride down the British on turn 3.

Saxon cavalry preparing to ride down the British on turn 3.

As George deployed his cavalry to ride down the peasants on the flank I counter-charged with my lone cavalry unit.  I did not take photographs but it was ugly.  George got 16 attacks to my 12 as he had a hero.  I killed 3 he killed 9 of my 12.  I broke and George rode them down from behind on turn 4.  This began the great turning movement against the British.

George turning the flank the troops in the foreground are destroyed peasants already run down by cavalry.

George turning the flank the troops in the foreground are destroyed peasants already run down by cavalry.

On the right my infantry attack Del’s infantry in a battle of attrition.

British peasants and elite soldiers meet head on with Saxon soldiers on turn 4

British peasants and elite soldiers meet head on with Saxon soldiers on turn 4

Turn 5 the right center is looking better for the British as they push back and break some Saxons.

Peasant power, breaking a Saxon unit and pushing it back.

Peasant power, breaking a Saxon unit and pushing it back.

Garrie and Ben tried to keep one of the objectives while holding off George’s cavalry.  Even with the number of troops they were just too easy for the cavalry to kill and could not do the job.

Garrie's peasants being hit from behind by Saxon cavalry.

Garrie’s peasants being hit from behind by Saxon cavalry.

British dead pile mounting turn 5

British dead pile mounting turn 5

In the end we could not escape the cavalry attacking from behind, though I was able to defeat some of the infantry to my front and turn my soldier unit around to face the upcoming rush.

British turning to face rear attack.

British turning to face rear attack.

The skirmishers that Ben put out in front of the cavalry in the above picture were just small speed bumps in the end.  George ran through them like a Marylander on get away day before a 3 day weekend.

Saxon Cavalry riding up on what is left of the British forces from behind.

Saxon Cavalry riding up on what is left of the British forces from behind.

Turn 8 came and the British forces did not have control of 2 of the 3 objective spaces.  Actually good morale rolls had kept them in the game that long.  The Peasant Army was an interesting choice but Ben felt he needed to spread them out against the cavalry forces.  Having said that, they really only win if you bunch them together two on one in combat as they are weak.  Sometimes quantity does not win out over quality.

Last turn British with no chance for control of objectives.

Last turn British with no chance for control of objectives.

Next week my Kingdom invades Rick’s Kingdom.  Rick has picked some interesting troop choices in the past and we will see what Wednesday brings.  I for one don’t think I will pick a peasant army.

Cold Wars World War I game played in Friday night

Friday night at the HMGS Cold Wars convention I was able to get into a World War I game for a change of pace.  The battle was Komarow, August 1914 on the eastern front.  It was a playtest from an upcoming scenario book “Great War East 1914” for Command Decision Test of Battle Rules.  I had never played the rules but was looking forward  to the game as I have an interest in the Eastern Front during World War I.

Starting positions Austrian cavalry holding Komarow with Russians forces moving forward.

Starting positions Austrian cavalry holding Komarow with Russians forces moving forward.

Austrian army starting position.

Austrian army starting position.

The objectives was for the Austrians which side I played to hold Komarow the town in the picture and keep the line of supply open.  Attrition also would play into the victory points.  The Russians had forces moving in down the two roads as this was a meeting engagement from the upcoming scenario book.

Command and Control was important in the game as was the fog of war cards that you got one per turn and could be played to help defeat the opposition.  Overall the cards  were mostly used to hinder one side or another with wire barriers, out of supply, we did get some cards that added to our fire.

I moved my brigade up to the town, as the other brigade commander went to the woods in the center to protect the line of communications.

Austrian brigade moving into Komarow with dice showing orders.

Austrian brigade moving into Komarow with dice showing orders.

Turn 4 fight for the woods and Komarow heating up as Russians advance on both.

Turn 4 fight for the woods and Komarow heating up as Russians advance on both.

Facing down the Russians from light cover as they move towards the objectives.

Facing down the Russians from light cover as they move towards the objectives.

Russians halted by fire.

Russians halted by fire.

My really big problem was all the Russian guns as they were pretty accurate with the long range fire.  When I tried to move my lone piece of artillery into the open it got pounded after a turn by 3 guns and was destroyed though the command stand survived.  I held the town but the fight in the woods was getting tense and more Russian reserves were being moved towards it.

Fighting in the woods with my dead regimental commander killed by artillery fire.

Fighting in the woods with my dead regimental commander killed by artillery fire.

Late in the game I tried to move two battalions of infantry towards the woods to protect the supply line.  Mostly this was not a great move as yes the Russians had pulled back from the town as they had been stopped by fire but my troops took hits going to towards the woods from long range guns.  This including the regimental commander which they singled out.  Not sure how real to life that is but it happens.

Woods full of Russian Troops turn 6

Woods full of Russian Troops turn 6

The main fight took place in the heavy woods at close range.  This was not my command but was pivotal to the game.  The Russian commanders marched his reserves into the woods instead of down the road to cut off the Austrian supply line.  This I feel was accurate to real life, forces feeding into the combat not going around for a strategic objective. The Austrians had already committed the last reserves to the woods at this time.

Russians trying to drive the Austrians out of the woods towards the supply line.

Russians trying to drive the Austrians out of the woods towards the supply line.

Just as I worried that sending troops towards the woods was going to leave the town open to attack.  The Russian player regrouped and tried to move around the town.  I still had a machine gun and battalion in the town with cover to fight but I was outnumbered.  At that point the game ended as the turns had been exhausted.  The game was ruled a draw by the GM as the Russians had taken more loses but he felt the town would be lost if the game was continued past the original turn limit.  I agree it was likely but the Russians might have broken going in as I had cover on a hill.  The woods were held by the other Austrian commanders so the supply line was saved.

Position of Russian troops at end of game towards Komarow leading toward draw

Position of Russian troops at end of game towards Komarow leading toward draw

Did I like the rules yes.  I had a good time and would play it again.  The figures were really nice Peter Pig figures I understood from the GM.  I am looking forward to seeing the scenario book come out.  I would like to see more Eastern Front games especially Austrian-Hungarian forces.  I think Jesse Scarborough ran a fun game and my hat is off to him for the terrain and figures.

Friday Battlestar Galactica Game at HMGS Cold Wars

I finally got around to writing something about the HMGS Cold War convention I attended last week.  I enjoyed the convention and had several friends running games.  Friday I got into several games in periods I don’t play much but enjoyed.  My only real disappointment for the convention happened Friday as I was registered for the 1690 battle of the Boyne game, but it was cancelled.

My first game of the convention was named Felgercarb, perhaps you remember from the 1970’s Battlestar Galactica what that meant.  It was a straight up match with each player having 2 fighters so 2 colonial players and 2 toasters.   I did not take too many photographs of this game.

Apollo closing in for the kill.

Apollo closing in for the kill.

This game was a little different as you could pick an assortment of weapons missiles, decoys and mines the cylons getting more weapons besides lasers.  I really don’t think I used my missiles well and never used a decoy though I picked a mixed load with no mines.  No one used mines successfully on either side.  I had Apollo and Starbuck and ended up being the last colonial warrior alive.  Boomer and Jolly being flown by the game master died early.  I took out one of the toasters but was having trouble with the other 3 left to face me.

Chasing around the asteroids after some near misses with misles.

Chasing around the asteroids after some near misses with misles.

I enjoyed the game even if it was one I lost.  I would play it again and the game master did a really good job explaining the rules.  His figures were well painted and the photographs don’t do it justice.  I plan to post about the other games I played at the convention soon.

Removed figures from Gallery

As I have just sold the 7 years war figures on Ebay I decided to remove them from the gallery. I will load some pictures of other figures in my collection at another time.

It has been a while since I posted anything to the blog.  I have not made it to some the Wednesday Night Gamers of Alexandria meeting for a while mostly due to weather.  When I did make it we played a American Civil War game.  We were playtesting the battle that Del and Ben were going to put on at the HMGS Cold Wars convention in Lancaster.   I plan to put up some pictures on the games I played at Cold Wars as I had a good time though I would say the convention was perhaps a little bit of a disappointment.

I found that a number of games were cancelled this year.  The Lancaster Host was looking a little more worse for wear I felt as well.  I could not help but notice that they were using a temporary boiler for heat at the Host.  My room was really toasty the whole time.  I did get into the games I wanted though expected for the Battle of the Boyne game which was cancelled.  I really was looking forward to that game.  Still I did enjoy the other games.  I did not take any pictures of the games put on by other club members.  Ben ran an American Civil War game and an Iran & Iraq war game using his rules system.  Kon had a Battlestar Galactica game several nights but I noticed Saturday no one came to participate which was too bad.

Overall the convention was pleasant for me and I can’t really complain.  I like getting away to Lancaster.  The weather was fine so no real problems, for a while I was worried.  At first I was not sure I would attend next year mostly for financial reasons but I think I will try my best to attend next year as I really do enjoy the atmosphere and games.