Showing posts with label gong garage gamers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gong garage gamers. Show all posts

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.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Punch A Nazi

I know how much most people here like to see Nazis getting a good kicking (and if you're not one of those people, what are you even doing here?), so here's some pictures of a couple of games of HOTT I played against Geoff last night. I used my Weird Reich army. Geoff used the Weird WWII Americans in the first game, and won, and then the Weird WWII Soviets in the second game. And won again.

Americans vs The Weird Reich

Gung-ho US soldiers pile into the Death's Head Battalion. In fact the skull-heads came of best in this fight, one of my few successes of the evening.

A few brave boys engaged Adolf himself, who fled to his bunker (some bad going far to his rear).

Captain America and The Haunted Tank teamed up to take down the Aryan Superman.

Desperate fighting in some ruins. The ruins had to be removed because of all of the fighting.

The Death's Head Battalion has a go at The Haunted Tank.

But this is where it all ended. Cowering in the ruins, Adolf was attacked by ... Lassie! And Lassie won.

On to the second game. I used the same army as before, whilst Geoff switched to the Soviets

I had a good feeling about this game, and advantages on a couple of key parts of the battlefield.

Hordes and skulls faced-off on the left (although skull-headed soldiers already have an advantage in a face-off).

On my left I did a grand job with the werewolves, but Geoff did a grander job with The Hero of the Soviet Union and an even grander one with Stalin in his battle-suit. These two elements cut their way through the Nazi centre, before finishing off the werewolves to win the battle.

So that was the Nazis thoroughly punched twice.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the room, everyone else was having a far more sensible time refighting Marengo using Black Powder.

Friday, 9 March 2018

The Return of Dr Fu Manchu

So in the past few weeks I have, with the aid of others, come to two conclusions regarding my Fu Manchu's Halls Of Horror scenario for Battlesworn.

The first is that it's tremendous fun.

The second is that it's hideously unbalanced and I doubt SAVE can ever win it.

The first conclusion seems to trump the second for most people. Gary certainly enjoyed himself last night, despite failing to stop the Devil Doctor.

Here's the start.

Initial skirmishes in the hallway of the house saw at least one fighter bogged down for several turns trying to kill a skeleton.

The mummy appeared. Gary did a fairly good job of moving low-grade figures to block reactions from Fu Manchu's minions as he moved the better characters into the house.

The agents of SAVE finally worked their way upstairs, but time was running out. We had a few turns mid-game with tied bids, and they very much favour Fu Manchu who can afford to sit tight and let the clock run. Note to self: Maybe I can change the scenario so that a turn with a tied bid doesn't count against the ticking clock. I'll have to think about that.

As ever, the mighty Baron ended up cursed, and faced the prospect of fighting his way down a landing guarded by a skeleton and Jack The Ripper.

To his credit, he had a good go at it. But his combat rolling was abysmal, even taking the curse into account, and he was quickly killed.

By the time the Baron fell, Fu Manchu was ready top begin his ritual. Gary made a bold effort to get stuff upstairs to stop him, but it wasn't going to happen, and SAVE lost again.

But did I say that we both had fun? Well, we both had fun.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Seriously? More Swiss?

Sadly, yes. We played DBA again on Thursday and once again I used my Swiss. I'm getting good mileage out of them really, and will get even more once I have my pseudo Medieval German army finished to oppose them in the comfort of my own home.

Anyway, Caesar got to play against them first, using ... Medieval German. He went for the incarnation with hordes, but, like everyone else, couldn't resist the double-depth knight element.

The battlefield ended up as a billiard table; Caesar wanted room for his knights to run me down, so simply picked ploughed fields, a road and a small wood, the latter of which which managed to not get placed.

What were the Swiss to do in conditions like that? I opted for a full frontal charge. Again.

Actually it was slightly more considered than you'd think; I charged with my right flank against the infantry on his left, as that's where my advantage lay. Caesar obligingly spent his PIPs rearranging his line rather than charging the knights on his right into my vulnerable left flank.

Sadly his infantry were feeling motivated, and held the Swiss attack. The German general joined the fray, and rode down a couple of their columns, and that was pretty much it. The Germans didn't lose a thing.

Stars of the show were the German crossbowmen who kept winning close combats against the odds, and the bloody hordes which simply refused to die. Readers of this blog will know that I like DBA hordes. I like them even more now; I assumed the powerful Swiss double-depth blades would slice through them. I was wrong.

Other games - Dave and Ian played a Spartan vs Persian fight, which I think saw the Persians steamrollered.

Gary and Peter mirrored our game, with Gary using a Late Swiss army against Medieval Germans. His Swiss went for the 4Bd option, though - slower, safer but, seriously, not half as much fun.

We then moved on to a double-sized battle. Peter and Caesar combined their German armies, whilst Gary and I formed an Intermediate Swiss army (half Early and half Late).

Gary plodded forward. I simply charged. Peter had a vulnerable infantry column in his line (a product of restricted deployment zones and the terrain), and I hoped to exploit that for a pile of early, easy kills. I got one, but the psiloi I supported the attack with were destroyed by their German counterparts, leaving the Swiss army well down on points with half of the army unengaged.

Caesar's knights attacked in the centre, but were driven back. Gary's Swiss halberdiers polished off some German knights and some of their psiloi as well.

I just kept the Early Swiss wing doing what the Early Swiss do best - attack, attack, attack. casualties mounted. Both armies were looking wobbly.

Gary began to flank the knights in the German centre.

But it was the Early Swiss who managed to flank and destroy the remains of the German infantry column to pick up the two kills needed for a narrow win.

I love this Early Swiss army!

Friday, 23 February 2018

Swiss Roll

An opportunity arose last night to give my DBA Early Swiss an outing against some historical foes, so I went for it. At last, a chance to find out if the army is a dog, or not.

In the first game they defended against a Medieval German army under Peter. My reckoning is that the biggest danger for the Swiss are enemy knights, since they have a decent chance of riding down the blades in the open. I tried to close down the battlefield with plenty of difficult hills, but two of the three ended up being discarded. The one that wasn't was large enough to hamper the German deployment, though. In addition I opted for a hamlet; this doesn't slow movement, or seriously hinder combat, but does prevent the Swiss infantry from being ridden down.

The hill had left the Germans somewhat caught out in terms of deployment, so I went for what seemed to be the obvious Swiss tactic - a full charge. This was mostly aimed at the enemy units deployed on the hill, where no-one would be at any particular advantage.

This started well, destroying a couple of German elements, but the Swiss crossbows on the flank were lost to their enemy counterparts, leaving the army in a precarious position. The blades in a Swiss army are double-depth, which means that the first one lost counts as two elements. With two elements lost already, the first casualty would see a Swiss defeat. and the battle was bogging down, with the German knights ready to counterattack.

They did, and the Swiss held them, even killing one. They kept fighting and picked up the fourth kill to secure a win.

We played a second game with the same armies. This time the battlefield was split by a river. Again I hurled the Swiss forward into a wild charge, against the opposing infantry at least. The troops facing the German knights held back. I ended up with a few command issues, since a lot of my stuff was on the wrong side of the hill from my general. But they moved forward as best they could.

Again the battle was centered around the hamlet. I think rough going is a big asset to this particular Swiss army, but a hamlet is the only terrain of that type they have on offer when they defend. Expect to see a lot of games featuring hamlets when the Swiss fight.

The Swiss quickly got the upper hand in the hamlet ...

... but the German knights charged the other half of the army, which rapidly collapsed, giving the Germans a narrow win.

For the third game Dave took over the Swiss, and switched to the first Late Swiss list, which swaps some of the blades for pikes. Peter switched to a not quite historical foe - the Free Company, and opted for lots of foot.

I reckon lots of foot isn't the way to fight the Swiss, who are optimised against infantry. This seemed to be the case in the game. The Swiss defended again, and pretty much steamrollered the Free Company.  Their archers suffered particularly badly, as the Swiss move fast enough to avoid a sustained volley of arrows, and can easily slaughter the bows once they get into close combat.

A counter-attack by the knights ended up with them skewered on pikes. Another Swiss win.

For the final game Dave took the Free Company, opting to put more of them on horses. I took the Swiss. For the first time the Swiss were fighting on enemy territory, and Dave sensibly made it as open as possible.

I went for the same tactics as before - attack. And, despite the Swiss losing a couple of their elements and putting them one kill from defeat, they prevailed, sweeping away their Free Company foes in a pretty much straight head-to-head fight.

I was surprised at how effective the Swiss were, so long as they could attack quickly and get to set the order of combats. A lot of their troops pursue after combat, which quickly led to broken lines, but their blades are fairly tough so this isn't too much of an issue. On their own territory they did pretty well, especially if they could force the enemy into cramped deployments. Ad they seemed to be able to hold the knights better than I thought they would just looking at the factors. Obviously having the choice of combats, and aiming to get overlaps, helped there.

So, the Swiss - they seem to be all about attack.
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