Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Counterattack at the Old House

Another game of VBCW Chain of Command which I played last week with Chris P.

It's been a while since we played but having three very fine new houses from Hacme, I was keen to get another game in. This was played with the Attack/Defend scenario with the BUF attacking and an Anglian force defending. Chris took the BUF with a standard paramilitary platoon supported by a Vickers MkVI light tank and an 18pdr field gun while I had a mixed force of militia and one section of sailors (12 men but no MG) supported by a Morris armoured car. It was a game played in excellent spirit and we both thoroughly enjoyed it.

I confess though that I didn't do very well....

Here we see the first of my sections deploys to defend the Old House; see how they are still some way back from it though. Their MG manned the wall just next to front of the house while the rifle team went inside (and were promptly killed by some very concentrated fire).

My A/C bravely foolishly drove down the road (A/C's do tend to like roads) hoping to deter any BUF armour. Unfortunately an AT rifle team popped up from beside the building and in their first shot killed my driver. This didn't actually immobilise the A/C but effectively it did.

Here we see the remains of my rifle team running; they left promptly as Chris ended the turn, taking their leader with them, (that's bad). Meanwhile the ATR continued to bounce shots off my A/C until eventually it had excess shock and the crew bailed out.

Here is a nice shot from the other end of the table (courtesy of Chris) showing his Vickers tank which wisely kept well away back from my A/C and any possible ATR of mine. It added useful support to his infantry from distance.

While on the other side the BUF deployed an old 18pdr field gun in a position which was well placed to dominate at least half the table. Also as it fires HE it reduces cover by one level.

To counter the field gun  the Anglicans deployed their sailors who did shoot up the gun crew a bit (but not enough). They also tried to get flanking fire on BUF infantry in the centre but their over-enthusiasm saw them break cover and become dangerously exposed (I rolled a double 6 for movement).

By this stage I could see the writing on the wall. However I deployed my final section in the centre to try to support (more replace) the first lot. They were quickly shot up and my forces withdrew badly demoralised.

So the final result: an emphatic BUF victory. Here is the BUF's morale at the end of the game.

..and here is the Anglican's.

In fact I did not even force my opponent to make even one roll on the force morale table and I only managed to kill 4 of his men. I lost count of how many I lost. (In fact I said well before the end that I would have withdrawn but we carried on as there was plenty of time before dinner).

With hindsight I now realise that I did not get my jump off points in positions where they could really support each other and I probably tried to defend a position too far up the table, though I was supposed to be defending the the village and specifically the 'Old House', which is the green one. (I had some pretty poor rolls too). Chris on the other hand managed to get his jump off points in positions where they were all really useful and was able to deploy his troops very effectively.


Saturday, 20 December 2014

Black Powder - 1815

A few weeks ago (I am behind with updating the blog, again) my good friend Derek came around to play a Napoleonic game. We essentially used the Black Powder rules with about a dozen units on each side on the grounds they should be fun and quite simple .

I have had Black Powder for a while but have never done very much with it. I'll confess that I not much enamored with all the mechanics. For example the Command mechanic which makes a triple move so much more likely than than a double move; I do think this can be quite easily fixed though by making a double move the maximum available and allowing this on a roll of 3 or more less than command (I am an incorrigible fiddler with rules). I also made a few other minor rule changes including introducing a penalty to shooting for units which have just moved.

The scenario was intended to be straightforward with one infantry brigade (4 units) per side initially quickly followed by the arrival of a brigade of cavalry and then somewhat later by a second brigade of infantry. I, as the allied player, chose to have Brunswickers initially (I could have had Dutch if I'd preferred) followed by a brigade of British/Highland Infantry. The French were umm, French; their second brigade were Guards (a somewhat unusual appearance on the table for them). Unfortunately, due to poor scenario design on my part the game didn't get anywhere near finishing and sadly neither the Britigh infantry nor the Grognards got to play much part. However as a proof of concept it was well worthwhile and we learnt a good deal about how these rules work. It was also very good fun.

Derek definitely had the edge, in that he took the farm in the centre and beat my cavalry; his lancers saw off two units of British dragoons. Here are a few pics of the game; we used 15mm figs with a relatively small number per unit (typically 12 for an infantry unit) and a 50% reduction in scale.

The French Commanders meet for an early drink at the inn 

French infantry close in on the farm

French cavalry arrives:
and then promptly leaves again after a blundered command roll!

Brunswickers support their skirmishers who hold the farm

The French assault the farm (and are initially thrown back)...

... and the line unit in support

British infantry starts to arrive...

... but the Grognards are ahead of them

The British dragoons are beaten by French lancers

Game End: the French have now taken the farm

But the British are still forming a defence

In the centre a disordered square holds off French Chasseurs

Hoping to return with more soon