Showing posts with label campaign. Show all posts
Showing posts with label campaign. Show all posts

Monday, 14 May 2018

Maurice Campaign - Round 2

Apologies for not posting for a week. Life has thrown us one of those ... life things, and my attention has been elsewhere. But we have a way forward now and should be returning to a semblance of normality for the foreseeable future. Even that wouldn't have prevented me posting a report of our games on Thursday night, had I not been so distracted that I left my phone at work on Friday; the one with all of the photos on it.

Anyway, on Thursday we started the second round of our Maurice campaign. John couldn't make it, and I was in doubt (I turned up to watch), so we sat it out, and will play each other again at a later date. In the meantime Gary (Ottomans) defended against an attack by Ralph's Prussians, whilst Caesar's French defended against Peter's Austrians.

Here's the Prussians attacking the Ottomans. Ralph stacked most of his army against the extreme Ottoman right trying to avoid the massed guns of the Turks. Even so he lost a few units to cannon during the approach.


Once he got in close, though, the Prussian musketry dealt with the Ottomans rather effectively.


However Gary swung his irregular cavalry across the battlefield to hit the Prussians in the flank. The battle was close, and could have gone either way, but the Prussians clinched a victory in what was an exceptionally bloody fight.


Cavalry featured heavily in the early stages of Peter and Caesar's Austrian vs French clash as well.


Whilst the cavalry pushed each other back and forth on the flank, the infantry eyed each other up.


At that point I had to go. Peter took the following pictures, but I'm not sure if they're in the correct order.






Peter also provided a summary of the game, including the bits after I left.

The Brief Summary

1. Austria attacked French Cav 5 vs 4 unit

2. French beat off Austrian attack

3. Cav battle grinds on for a long time, we get down to 2 cav each

4. I bring up my infantry to start volley firing at French Cav

5. I gun down the french cav

6. French infantry advance,

7. one crazy french battalion attacks the Austrian line and is eliminated (Heat of battle card)

8. the french infantry attack stalls and are then attacked form the rear / side by my Cav.

French are defeated.

This was a victory for each side in the alliance. Both games were fairly bloody, so there will be a lot of conscripts in play next time. John and I still have to play our game.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Maurice Part Deux

Gary and Caesar finally played their Maurice campaign game last night, completing the first round of our campaign. Gary defended with the Ottomans against Caesar's massed French columns.


Gary seemed to get off to a good start. His laid a dense terrain, which gave his massed artillery plenty of protection, but which also allowed his irregular cavalry to do a sweeping flank attack on the French infantry as it advanced. Caesar managed to stabilise that situation, and eliminate the Ottoman horse, but had suffered plenty of casualties. Eventually, though, his infantry met that of the Ottomans and a firefight ensued in which the Ottoman line slowly crumbled. Gary's artillery did fearful execution on the French cavalry, but it was too late; the Ottoman morale collapsed, giving the victory to the French.

Gary was part of the same alliance as Peter and myself, so his loss means that the war continues into another round, with many of us fighting with armies made up of hastily-raised conscript replacements. So the next set of battles look like they might be interesting, but short.


John and I played a few bouts of Munera Sine Missione, with a lot of the rules being in my head owing the the major rewrite they are currently undergoing. We ran a campaign setup, but only played out the first Games. We each had a school of six gladiators; two lights, two mediums and two heavies, putting two challengers forward each and matching them with something suitable from our school for a total of four bouts in the 'day'.

My fancy arena really only allows one bout at a time, so that's what we did.

Bout 1: I used Hero against the spear-using Alumnus. Alumnus couldn't get past Hero's armour, whilst the heavier gladiator slowly wore his opponent down and eventually forced him to his knees to seek mercy from the crowd. They spared him, but that meant there was a negative modifier on the next gladiator to appeal that day.


In the second fight, I used Bremusa against the dimachaerus Spiculus. Bremusa is armed as a thraex, but since Spiculus doesn't have a shield her sica simply counted as a sword (In MSM a sica is specialised for circumventing the opponent's shield).

This was probably the best fight of the evening, with both gladiators ending up wounded. It went for ten rounds before Bremusa finally backed Spiculus into the arena wall and ran him through, mortally wounding him.


The third fight was between the heavily armoured contra-retiarius Telamonius and my school's retiarius, Titan. Titan got in an early net attack, but couldn't exploit it before Telamonius cut his way free. However his agility mostly kept him out of trouble, and eventually he managed to fell Telamonius with a mighty blow from his trident. I'm hazy on what happened at that point (our notes are incomplete), but I think poor Telamonius fell victim to the crowd's desire for blood.


Finally John used the lasso-using Gracchus against my other heavy gladiator who, at some point, has lost his name label, so was called Anonymous for the evening. John had appalling AP rolls in this fight, to the point where Gracchus simply gave up trying to use his lasso, dropped it and fought with his trident in both hands, just so he stood a chance of getting in some attacks.


Anonymous had better luck with Action Points, and took down Gracchus fairly quickly. Like Alumnus, he was backed against the wall, and killed instantly.


We called a halt at that point, since John had lost all four bouts and decided that his school would close in shame.

The various changes we were trying out seemed to work OK, but Victor and I have plenty of work to do tying everything together, agreeing on terminology and (in at least one case) agreeing on mechanisms.

There were actually two other games on offer last night; Peter and Geoff played a big DBA game, whilst Ralph ran some Team Yankee at the back of the room. I didn't get photos of either of those games, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

The Mighty Mongo - Part 2

This post concludes the career of the gladiator Mongo, who you saw in action yesterday. When we left him he had taken part in four bouts, winning one, getting one draw and losing two. he had some experience and a little bit of prestige, but was still early in his career.

I played one quick fight this morning, in which he fought Crixus, a gladiator similar to himself  but with a smaller shield. The two fighters traded blows for a while, and Crixus took a decent hit, but it was obvious that they were evenly matched and the referee eventually called a halt to the proceedings, giving Mongo another draw. A pity, as Crixus was the favourite, so if Mongo had defeated him it would have earned him much prestige.


During the day I had a brainwave, and ended up rewriting the fatigue system in 'Munera Sine Missione' as well as bits of the wound system. This is still a work in progress, but I got enough of it sorted out during my commute and lunch-break to feel confident enough to try it out in the remaining games.

Mongo's sixth fight saw him face a similar gladiator to Crixus, the flamboyant Margareites. despite the crowd being behind him, Margareites was no match for Mongo, who was keen for a victory. he wore down his opponent and denied the mob of even a chance to spare their hero, by backing him up against the arena wall and running him through.


This gave Mongo another skill; he replaced Margareites in the crowd's affections, becoming a Crowd-Pleaser. He also gained another point of Prestige, going up to 3.

In his next fight he was pitted against the barbarian Andromache. She was unarmoured but carried a sturdy big shield and a sharp sword. Despite her lack of experience she outfought Mongo from the start, dodging out of his reach and then darting in to hit him with thrust after thrust. Eventually Mongo was forced to appeal to the crowd, who spared him despite his not landing a single hit on his opponent. However his reputation suffered; losing to a less-experienced foe cost him a point of prestige.


Looking to build up his reputation again, his lanista arranged for him to fight a retiarius called Cupido. Needless to say it was only moments before Mongo found himself trapped in Cupido's net. He fended off the ensuing attacks, cut free, and took the fight to his lighter opponent. However he couldn't quite finish him off, and seeing that he was too exhausted to be entertaining, the referee stopped the bout and declared it a draw.


The ninth fight of Mongo's career saw him fight another spear-armed gladiator, the agile Spicula (sister of the dimachaerus Spiculus). She got in an early hit that saw Mongo seriously wounded, but he rallied and managed to cut his opponent to ribbons, forcing her to appeal to the crowd. Entertained, they spared her. Mongo gained no prestige or skills from this fight since Spicula was less-experienced than he.


Gannicus was Mongo's tenth foe. Under the campaign rules I was using, Mongo would be freed if he won this bout. He went in aggressively, but tired quickly even though he inflicted wounds on his opponent. Gannicus took advantage of Mongo slowing up, and felled him with a mighty slash of his sword, forcing him to seek mercy from the audience. They were happy to spare a gladiator who had kept them entertained for years.


Gannicus had the same number of skills as Mongo, so there was no loss of Prestige.

And so on to Mongo's eleventh fight. This time he was up against Flamma the thraex, who was very much the favourite; strong and skilled in defence, Mongo was going to have a hard time wounding his foe.


Mongo fought like a man possessed, fending off his opponent's sica, and driving him back across the arena. His steady attacks produced plenty of cheers from the crowd. A lucky blow saw Flamma wounded, and Mongo spotted his chance. Exerting himself to the full, he charged, sidestepped and, to the cheers of the mob, downed Flamma with a  mighty sweep of his sword. There was no question, after such a spectacle, that Flamma wouldn't be spared.


Having won the bout Mongo was granted the rudis, the wooden sword of freedom. For beating Flamma he gained 2 Prestige, bringing his total to 4, as well as an extra skill - he chose Stamina, although would never use it in the arena.


This is the first time I've had a gladiator survive at least ten bouts in a campaign. Mongo had fought eleven times, won four fights, lost four and drawn three times.

The new rules and changes didn't seem to be seriously broken, and just need a little refinement. Incorporating them into the main rules is going to be a fun exercise, however, as they will require modification to pretty much every section, and some major redefinition of key terms. If they prove viable, then it looks like the next version of 'Munera Sine Missione' will be a full v3.0 rather than a sub-version.

(The campaign system used for these bouts will also be part of the new version, as well as the one I use for multiple players. Those will be a major addition.)

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Maurice Campaign 2 - This Time It's Personal

On Thursday we started another six-player Maurice campaign. Unfortunately Gary (Ottomans) couldn't make it, so we rigged the pairings for the first war so that Caesar (French) opposed him, with their game to be played at a later date, whilst the remaining four of us picked one or the other to support and paired off against each other.

So the first war consists of Gary (Ottomans), Peter (Austrians) and myself (Haapasaard-Skando) vs Caesar (French), Ralph (Prussians) and John (Irish).

The last two nations in each alliance might seem unfamiliar. The Electorate of Haapasaard-Skando is basically a Swedish-inspired army based around a fictional Baltic nation which grew out of the Swedish victory in the Great Northern War.  It gave me an excuse to use my Swedes, but padded out as required by Russian troops. The 'Irish' army is Cearbhall's Cataphracts which is, as best as I can tell, an army-sized gang of Irish mercenaries with an improbable backstory.

Anyway, as described above, at some point in the future the French will fight the Ottomans. On Thursday we saw the Austrians defending against a Prussian attack, whilst the Irish found themselves assaulting the army of Haapasaard-Skando.

I couldn't resist weighting my campaign army towards cavalry, something which will, no doubt, come back to bite me on the bum over the next few weeks. Haapasaard-Skando fields seven units of regular cavalry and three of irregular.



The infantry is very much the secondary force - six units.


Faced with a strong cavalry force on one flank, John decided to march his Irish against the other, hoping to overwhelm the defenders of the village of Bona-Polari.



I switched my cavalry to that flank as well, catching teh Irish cavalry formed up just before his infantry could move up in support.


It was tight though.


The Irish cavalry fought like demons, and it has to be said that the Swedish horse were not at their best, despite their flank attack advantages and hard-charging Cavaliers special trait. The Irish cavalry did give ground, but not as fast as they should have done. This left the horse of Haapasaard-Skando very battered even after they finished off the majority of the Irish.


John pretty much abandoned his cavalry anyway, focusing his command on getting his infantry into position to face mine. Some of this involved polishing of the remains of my cavalry, though, leaving my morale in a very precarious position.


The Irish led with their elites, but Swedish musketry was better than their use of sabres and they halted the Irish attack, even counter-attacking to finish off a guard unit on the point of breaking.


The Irish made a bold attempt to assault the village with another guard unit, but were thrown back. The Swedes sacrificed a unit of irregular horse to finish off the attackers before they could rally (not pictured).


With his second line of infantry still disorganised, and very much in the wrong part of the battlefield, John decided to withdraw his army at that point, despite a heft morale advantage. My troops could afford to play for time, and nightfall was fast approaching. This gave Haapasaard-Skando a minor victory.

Meanwhile Ralph's Prussians assaulted Peter's Austrians. I don't have the details of this battle to hand, but I know that it started with some brisk fighting between opposing hussars in the woods near the Prussian baseline, followed by a Prussian attack on the Austrian infantry that nearly broke them, the deadly Prussian musketry tearing great holes in the white-coated ranks.



Peter snatched a victory but pulling his cavalry out of reserve and onto the flanks of the Prussian infantry, giving Ralph pause for thought and causing him to call off the attack and quit the field.

This gives two victories to the Ottoman/Austrian/Skando alliance. The war could end if the Ottomans win or don't lose heavily. I hope so, because in rolling for post-battle experience my troops didn't do so well, and after replacing losses a lot of my army is now conscripts in dire need of a period of peace for essential training.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

The Battle of Midsomer Wellow

I set up and played another game in my Midsomer ECW campaign last night. The background, setup and basic campaign rules can be found HERE. The previous battles are here:

Midsomer Barrow - In which the two sides met for the first time, and Causton declared for the winner.
Ford Florey - In which both sides battled for control of some strategic river crossings.
Morton Fendlow - In which a Parliamentarian raiding force was ambushed by Royalists.

This game was the first in a new phase of the campaign, which now sees the Royalists preparing to advance and take Causton for the King. Rather than use my modified Neil Thomas rules, I decided to use it as an excuse to test out my Portable Wargame variant. Few changes were required to the campaign system described above; I had to change the way horse were classified to take into account Trotters and Gallopers, and I had to drop the pike/shot ratios for foot because the Portable Wargame is not granular enough to allow for that kind of distinction. I rolled the following forces:

Royalists
3 x Poor Pike & Shot
1 x Average Dragoons
1 x Average Trotters
1 x Elite Trotters

Parliament
1 x Elite Pike & Shot
2 x Average Pike & Shot
1 x Poor Pike & Shot
1 x Poor Dragoons
1 x Poor Trotters

The scenario, from One Hour Wargames, was Flank Attack (1).

Because of the precise nature of the One Hour Wargames scenario objectives, I didn't use the Exhaustion Point rule for this scenario. In addition I randomly added some areas of woods and enclosures to the otherwise open battlefield.

Now fully supplied, Lord Standing was ready to lead his Royalists in an attack on the town of Causton. Expecting a siege, Sir Thomas Barnaby began to pull back all of his troops in the county towards the town. The main part of his force was marching along the road from Midsomer Wellow when it encountered what appeared to be a small force of Royalists ahead of them. It soon became obvious that it was, in fact, part of the main Royalist force, who descended rapidly on the Parliamentarians. Sir Thomas quickly prepared his troops to smash through the Royalists and and reach the safety of Causton.

Here's the setup - Sir Thomas's troops were marching along a road, whilst ahead of them were two units of Royalist foot. The remaining Royalist units were heading towards the right flank of the Parliamentarian column. Parliament had to exit three units off the road in order to win.


The Royalist flanking force consisted mostly of dragoons and horse.


Sir Thomas went for an aggressive assault on the Royalist blocking force, swinging his horse onto their flank whilst assaulting them from the front with his personal regiment.


He covered the flank and rear of his force with the dragoons and some militia, who quickly found themselves under attack by the Royalist horse.


Amazingly the dragoons held off the attacks, and with the help of the militia soon put pressure on the Royalists.


The Royalists supported their foot on the road with dragoons in the nearby enclosures, but it wasn't enough and one unit broke. Sir Thomas kept up the pressure on the other unit of foot, aiming to force it away from the road to clear his escape route.


It was at this point that he fell, seriously wounded, whilst leading his horse in an attack on the Royalist flank.


Despite this, the Parliamentarians maintained their discipline as they moved along the road, holding off the Royalist attacks as they went.


With the Royalists seemingly unable to apply any serious pressure, Sir Thomas's army escaped.


This was a pretty quick game, and was over in five or six turns. Parliament were able to mount an effective attack on the Royalist blocking force, and clear the exit point, well before the Royalist flanking force could exert any serious pressure on them. Royalist shooting was abysmal; on one turn they failed to inflict a single hit on any of Parliament's units.

The Portable Wargame provided a perfectly adequate alternative to the Neil Thomas rules, and I'll probably try the next game, in which the Royalists have one more chance to move on Causton, using them.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Maurice Campaign - The Conclusion

I was a latecomer to the club's Maurice campaign, and last night was only my third game. But some others were playing their sixth, (maybe seventh) game, and were close to accumulating enough points to clinch a win if they played well in this session. So there was everything to play for as six of us settled down for an evening of 18th century warfare.


I used my Swedes again, an army design I realise was flawed from the start, with too many elite troops, and not enough regulars, leaving me sadly depleted and outnumbered after the first battle wiped out my quality and left me with no replacement quantity.

For the first time I defended, against Caesar's British.


I established a strong position behind a stone wall, whilst my cavalry operated on the left, opposite that of the British


The objective.


Basically the battle was a tight little cavalry action on my left flank, with Caesar's irregular light horse ...


... pushing through the wood ...



... into my rear ...


... where I charged and routed some of them ...


... before being attacked in turn.


There was lots of charging and counter-charging, and we both depleted our hands a couple of times during the wild melees.



The British gained the upper hand, and marched their infantry into position to exploit the possible opening on the flank.


But when the last Swedish cavalry unit broke, the army broke with it. The infantry never engaged, and only one Swedish stand even fired a shot.


The British infantry looked magnificent, but never even dropped out of column.


So that was a win for the British, and a third straight loss for the Swedes.

On the other tables, John P's Prussians faced Peter's Austrians ...


... whilst Daniel's Russians opposed Gary's Ottomans.


Prussians vs Austrians.


Ottomans vs Russians


Fierce fighting saw the Austrians defeat the Prussians.


And the Russians held stoically against an Ottoman attack, eventually breaking it.


Peter's win as the Austrians basically gave him a campaign win (he was a couple of points short, but really only had to just turn up for the next game, so we gave him the win anyway). Everyone was pleased with how the campaign had played out over the past few months. Even I had a great time, despite my shocking defeats. When we start a new campaign I'll be looking at starting with fewer elite units, so I can have more troops overall. And I might invest in some irregular cavalry as well; a few allied Cossacks wouldn't go amiss I reckon.

(Nice shiny photos courtesy of my new phone; I've retired my old iPhone 4S at last).
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