Showing posts with label lace wars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lace wars. Show all posts

Saturday, 7 July 2018


Peter and I played DBA on Thursday. He brought his Dark Ages stuff, including some Vikings, and thought that it might be interesting to try them against the knight-based Carolingians. This was inspired by the fact that our blade vs knight Medieval Swiss/German games had always been entertaining.

We really should have foreseen the results. Since the Vikings are generally not going to be fighting on their home-turf, they got to fight on a billiard table.

Knights vs blades on a billiard table? That means dead blades.

A charge by the knights and the Vikings ended up losing three elements.

A surprising rally saw a couple of lucky ties, which destroyed two Carolingian elements, including the general. But the remaining Carolingians polished off another Viking for the win.

We swapped sides. The Vikings died like sheep. No Carolingians were harmed in the making of this second game.

Kids! Don't do Viking vs Carolingian DBA!

Caesar and Gary played old-school WRG AWI, supervised by Ian.

This is Caesar's brief report:

"Thanks to Ian for hosting another entertaining American War of Independence battle last week using AWRG rules. Congratulations to Gary for out manoeuvring my rebels in the wilderness. I over estimated the capacity of my irregulars to hold the flank against elite redcoats in the woods and lost the guns to a heroic cavalry charge up the centre, as fast thoroughbreds and Tarleton helmets proved more than a match for 3 pounders. Washington will not be impressed!"

Friday, 15 June 2018

Maurice Campaign - Round 2

JohnP and I finally managed to get together an play our outstanding Maurice campaign game last night. It was a cobbled together affair; John doesn't own an army, but uses figures borrowed from Caesar. Caesar couldn't make it, so dropped off the figures at my place during the afternoon. Neither of us own a deck of cards, so Peter provided those. And I have a fast turnaround on a Thursday evening these days, and am prone to forgetting things. Which, in this case, meant my army list and my phone. I managed to reconstruct my list (and the casualties from the previous game) from memory, and John obligingly took a few photos on his phone.

Still, on with the game.

The war didn't end after the first round, something both I (The Electorate of Haapasaard-Skando) and John (The Irish mercenaries of Cearbhall's Cataphracts) had hoped for. Both of our armies had mauled each other badly in their first encounter, and consisted mostly of conscript troops. The old enemies faced each other the plains of En y Bold, with the Irish defending this time.

As I said above, there aren't many photos. John concentrated his force on his left flank, where the objective was, so I massed my cavalry, put them in column and swung them around his right, with my Cossacks lurking in some woods. The infantry were to pin the Irish from the front. 

It was a good plan. John responded by bringing his heavily outnumbered cavalry over, and most of the photos are of that getting a thorough beating. 

One Irish unit did break through the Swedish cavalry line, but the Cossacks dealt with it. Unfortunately this cost me time and cards, and I ended up badly coordinating my strong cavalry presence with the infantry, who were now too far back from the battle to be useful.

In a bold move, John pulled his infantry right back, turning it to face the Swedish horse, and their musketry steadily annihilated them. My attention was focused on pushing the infantry up in support, whilst replenishing my cards which had been depleted by the cavalry action. As my cavalry slowly disappeared the Swedish infantry engaged first the Irish artillery and then their infantry rearguard. The damage was done though; the two wings of the Swedish army were too far apart to support each other, and casualties were mounting quickly. The Cossacks attacked an exposed Irish infantry flank, but two charges failed to break the line. One round of shooting saw the Swedes pull back; the Irish failed to inflict any serious casualties, whilst the Swedes routed the centre of the Irish infantry line and came close to breaking one of the Guard units as well. Both armies were teetering on the brink, but it was the Irish who broke one more Swedish cavalry unit to win the battle.

Neither army saw much in the way of post-battle promotions. In fact the Swedes saw nothing. But this battle saw the Ottoman/Swedish/Austrian alliance sue for peace, ending the first war. This means, I believe, that all of our conscript troops (the bulk of the Swedish army now) get to be trained for the next battle.

It was unfortunate that I hadn't brought my phone; there were three other games on the go whist John and I were playing. Dave and Geoff played HOTT, Peter and Ralph played Black Powder Napoleonics with 15mm figures and, finally, Ian and Gary had another go with the WRG 1685-1845 rules (another Napoleonics game)

Friday, 8 June 2018


I played HOTT last night for the first time in what seems like ages. Just a couple of games, but they really hit the spot in what's been a bit of a rough, stressful week.

Peter was my opponent in both games, and went for the 'Try a Dragon' option in both of them.

In the first game I used Prester John, attacking Daenerys Targaryen's ex-slaves and mercenaries. And dragons. Peter ended up with a couple of woods in his deployment area, which made his setup and command quite tricky.

The cream of both armies was on one flank. I attacked; knights and elephants led the assault, whilst wild warriors rushed to secure the woods.

The battle swung back and forth, but the Targaryen army got the worst of it, with mobs of freed slaves being cut down in the woods, and Prester John's knights riding down the Dothraki and the Unsullied. Then the dragons arrived.

Unfortunately they were too late to turn the tide of battle; another charge by the knights saw Daenerys's bodyguard cut down, forcing her to mount a dragon and abandon what was left of her army.

A rare win for Prester John (who actually took no part in the fighting).

In the second game Peter decided to give my Hawaiians a try. They are a tricky army, that only start with 14AP on the table - a total of six elements. The rest of the army consists of a god, a dragon and some lurkers, so the army relies on luck to get the best troops into play. I used my Fishmen - a force of spears supported by artillery, missile troops and a mighty sea-troll.

The core of the Hawaiian army - spears backed up by their hero king. In the woods are the rank and file warriors, classed as warband.

Pele the volcano goddess put in an early appearance. She watched the battle for a couple of turns, then got bored and went away.

The Fishmen closed on the Hawaiian centre whilst their missile-troops engaged the warband in the woods.

The Fishmen had dragged their artillery right across the battlefield, ready to take a pop at the Hawaiian general. Just as they got it into position the Mo'o (dragon) appeared and destroyed it.

The climax of the battle. The Mo'o attacked the flank of the Fishman army, whilst their troll attacked the Hawaiian stronghold. The troll died, but the spears held, and eventually ground down the Hawaiian troops to pick up a win.

Also on show last night was an AWI game put on by Ian, featuring 25mm figures and using the old WRG 1685-1845 rules.

American troops tried to hold a hamlet full of supplies against marauding British and Loyalist troops somewhere in South Carolina.

There were plenty of players, who were apparently obliged to communicate with each other by courier. Eventually the British prevailed in what looked like a very entertaining game.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Honours of War - Lobositz

We gave Osprey's 'Honours of War' a try last night, refighting the battle of Lobositz.

The attacking Prussians are on the left and their Austrian opponents are on the right.

A cavalry attack in the centre. This went as well as most of my other cavalry attacks; it looked impressive and ended in disaster.

On the Prussian left, Daniel attempted to clear Austrian light infantry from the olive groves.

Meanwhile our infantry advanced against Lobositz itself.

That also went as well as can be expected, with the attack stalling in the face of concentrated musketry and close-range artillery fire.

Everyone seemed to like the mechanisms of the game, with alternating command activations, a simple modified die roll for combat results and fairly flexible movement away from the enemy. Like any game it will take repeated plays to work out how to play it (as opposed to just understanding the rules themselves. Supporting friendly units is essential, and gives good combat modifiers, but units can retreat or rout a long way, and interpenetration damages units passed through, so managing your reserves and supports looks tricky. Gary moderated the game, but four of us, who hadn't read the rules before, were able to play the game through to a conclusion within the evening. And we had minimal rules queries at the end of it. That's a good sign, if nothing else.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Succession Wars - Part 2

The Wars of Illawarran Succession continued last night, with six of us playing another round of our ongoing Maurice campaign. I am ashamed to say that I can't remember what the actual alliances were. I think that Daniel, John and I (playing Russia, Prussia and Sweden respectively) were allied against Caesar, Peter and Gary (Britain, Austria and the Ottomans). I could be wrong.

Anyway, I ended up facing Peter's Austrians, one of the front-runners in the campaign, and a seasoned army with no national advantages and loads of troops. Here I am, outnumbered two to one in just about everything and somehow on the offensive. Very Swedish. Basically doomed.

 I didn't have any terrain to hide behind and neither did the Austrians have any reason to come ut and attack me, so in I went.

Hey! Since I'm outnumbered, why don't I attack the strongest part of the Austrian position - the town. My flawed reasoning was that I could take it quickly, then try and hold it for the rest of the game against a human-wave of experienced, and terribly cross, Austrians. I mean where's the flaw in a plan like that?

But we're Swedes, and always up for a fight. In we went. Out we came. In we went again. Out we came. and so on. Each time I had one fewer unit to worry about moving.

As I wobbled on the brink Peter's cavalry charged, and finished me off.

 So that was the first game over with a decisive Austrian win and a realisation on my part that I need to think about (i) better army design and (ii) developing some tactics.

Here's the final position. At one point we did almost break the Austrians in the town, so it wasn't all bad.

Gary's Ottomans took on John's Prussians. They massed on one flank of the strong Prussian position ...

... turned their flank, and defeated them in a brisk battle.

Caesar's British and Daniel's Russians fought on the final table.

British pluck won over Russian stoicism.

This was the first set of engagements of a new war, but the Anglo/Turkish/Austrian Alliance won it quickly and convincingly, so we all now get a period of peace to rebuild our shattered (in some cases) armies. War will resume in a few weeks. I think I'm fighting the British.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Return To Zorndorf

On Thursday evening we had another go at the battle of Zorndorf using Maurice, this time with a scenario designed by Daniel. We had three players on each side, with about 70pts per player, so it was a a fairly large game. Daniel, John and Ralph took the Russians, whilst Gary, Satvik and I took on the task of attacking them with the Prussians.

The terrain was broken up with lots of marsh and woods, which tended to channel the Prussian attack. The Russians were initially content to sit and wait.

We decided to make Gary's attack on our right the main one; he would move in and start to roll up their line, I would pin in the centre and Satvik would simply hold on our left.

As Gary's troops moved in, the Russians advanced in confusion. This gave Gary's attack the foothold it needed.

I moved up in the centre, as Gary tried to force his way through a gap in the terrain. Unfortunately the firing rolls weren't up to the task, and the Russians held.

In the centre the Russians responded to my advance. concentrating on the left of my force with their elite infantry and giving me the sound drubbing I deserved for advancing unsupported.

Satvik advanced on our left, on the hope we could distract at least some of the Russians from mauling us elsewhere.

On our right Gary swung his cavalry around the Russian left and the inevitable cavalry action occurred. Although outnumbered the Russians seemed to get the better of it; numbers are no good if you can't bring them to bear.

My infantry even got charged by cossacks. Awkward.

Fortunately my camera ran out of power at that point, so the steady disintegration of the Prussian army went unrecorded. With our victory condition of breaking the Russian army obviously impossible to achieve, we graciously conceded to our gallant opponents.

There was some discussion concerning the balance of the scenario and especially the national characteristics in lay. The Russians had Rally To The Colours which is incredibly useful if you're on the defensive and don't have to move around much. A few times we took Russian units to the brink of breaking, only to see them fully recover. The fact that the terrain broke up our attack made coming up with a decent plan difficult, but I'll confess that, with hindsight, our initial deployment and overall strategy - giving our highest quality command to a player who hadn't played before, and then encouraging them to sit tight whilst they learned the game - possibly wasn't the best thing to do.

Thanks to Daniel for putting together what was still an entertaining and spectacular game.

As ever, Ralph has a more detailed report on his BLOG.

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