Monday, March 29, 2010

Where've you been?

Not much in the way of gaming recently, apart from a couple of games of DBA on the weekend with Bob in which my beloved but mercurial Sassanids won one and lost one against Romano-Britons (kind of like a proto-Crusader match-up).

The 1/72 Napoleonic project continues to progress, I now have completed all of the French infantry in my posession including 6 battalions of regular line (Hat):


Some 4 battalions of Young Guard (Hat again):


Some Light infantry (1 battalion, Hat):


and some cavlary, which include a regiment of dragoons (Italeri, very nice):


A regiment of chasseurs cheval (Italeri again, okay but slightly gigantic):


And of course, a regiment of curassiers (Italeri, not bad, bit small):


I am working on artillery and commanders for the French now, and will have enough painted to play a small scenario in Black Powder or Lasalle. I like both of these rules, Black Powder because it looks like fun, and Lasalle because I think it is very well thought out and innovative. I really like Sam Mustafa's work.

Next up: arty and commanders, and next week the final battle against the dreaded Normans. I will have to work on a new strategem since Scotty has been taking it to me the last few times. It will involve a lot of pointed sticks, and maybe some extra Viking mercs if we can afford them...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Chevauchee at EWG

Tonight I ran a game of Impetus at the club, these are the best-ever set of Ancients-Medieval-Renaissance rules ever written.

Best. Rules. Ever.

I ran the Chevauchee campaign from Supplement 1, this include a map game that sets up the battle.

The sourcebook for the Chevauchee

Tonight, the English (commanded by Jonathan and Terry) landed and started their raid, but early on rolled an epidemic special event, which has the effect of weakening their army every turn. Therefore they were compelled to force a battle early in the game before attrition wore their force down. They were able to contact one of the French armies, but fortunately for the French, they were able to force march their second army onto the same location, thereby forcing a battle between the full combined armies of both sides. The smaller French army arrived exhausted after their forced march.

I had the players set up a flanked battlefield, with the English deployed in the northeast anchored on a central hill position, and the French small force entering from the west and the larger, fresh French army entering from the south.

Dave the elder contemplating deployment

The French deployment to the south

The starting positions on the west flank

The French started their advance from the south side

French knights tucked in safely behind a screen of crossbow skirmishers

And from the east edge, a bit more cautiously

Jonathan contemplating his response, fire perhaps?

Terry decided to advance his longbow to a position near the brow of the cental hill, facing south, they advanced carrying their stakes over their shoulders. Unfortunately, he just underestimated the ability of the impetuous French knights to close quickly, Dave took advantage and the impetuous knights charged up the hill into contact with the English. The English paid for their mistake dearly...

The French charge and sweep the hill
Even though Dave managed some pretty appalling rolls

Doh!
Dave the elder, training his dice upon threat of decimation

The outcome was not much in doubt once the French charge reached the English lines, a couple of English knights managed to draw some blood in counterattacks, and the west flank held out when the French charge faltered in point blank range of longbow, but French nobles completely overmatch longbow without stakes in melee and soon the French were feasting on roast beef in the English camp and Edward was forced to flee the field.

Crunch!

I think everyone enjoyed the game overall. A few observations of interest:
- everyone liked the way the map metagame influenced the battle, in this case both positionally (by feeding back from the map movement to deployment) and by forcing the battle to happen when it did.
- Game play rewards historically sound tactics. The bows were vulnerable without stakes. The French knights were uncontrollable, but their impetuous nature also allowed them to complete charges that would not have been possible for non-impetuous knights.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Allons'y!


Got started on the French this week, starting with this set of line infantry from Hat:

It is superb, really great raised detail, 100 figs in the box with perfect proprotions of grenadiers, fusiliers and voltigeurs to do 4 large battalions of 24 figs, including drummer, nco and officer. They are a very soft and rubbery plastic with takes paint very well but also holds a lot of detail that is very easy to pick out. Here are some shots:






I completed 48 of them this week, I think they are probably the best 1/72 I have ever worked with. The sculpter who does this range for Hat is brilliant, I really like the oversized detail, they look like metals when painted, and the soft plastic takes paint very well and has little flash. OK, they are a bit too tidy and well-equipped for 1815, but frankly I want my toy soldier to look sharp on the table.

Some way to go just yet, next up more fusiliers, voltigeurs then maybe some infantry in greatcoats and Legeres.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A red hair day in Scotland....

The clan McLovin suffered it's first defeat in the campaign against the Norman invaders. Their fleeing army slipped through our grasp and escaped from bonny Scotland after our noble warband failed to control their temper and chased after a worthless band of crossbowmen in a fit of red-misted rage. Meanwhile, the Normans managed to smash through our middle and make the board edge. It would have been a complete defeat had our band of mercenary Vikings not pincushioned one of the escaping Norman unit of knights with javelins (hoo-haa!) and cause them to soil their chainmail in panic.

So, this the second time our Scottish temper (i.e. a roll of '1' on the warband control roll) has costed us a level of victory. Now, with the final showdown coming up, we will just have to harness that anger and point it in the right direction. Aye...