Sunday, 24 July 2011

Another Walk in the Sun

Lots of real life has kept me from blogging my gaming, but I got to play again on Saturday. The Hamilton Road Games Club was a cool haven on a hot day and we ran a good sized War of 1812 skirmish using a slight variant on the Iron Ivan "This Very Ground" rules. I orginally laid out the game for 8 participants, but we doubled up and went with four. (Glenn, Andy, Robby, and I - I originally thought I'd be games-master, but I played.)
Each detatchment had a mission, so it was possible for every player to win. Here's the line-up:
         British line infantry - take and hold the bridge
         Canadian Fencible light infantry - attack and destroy/capture the supply train
         First Nations/Native war party with British Indian Department "advisors" - burn the farmstead
         Canadian Militia - take and handle the boats
         US infantry - capture the bridge and blow it up (an engineer officer and a cart of explosives
                              accompanied them
         US Rifles - find and harass the enemy
         US Volunteers - escort the supply train to the other end of the table
         US state militia - move to and protect the farmstead
Everybody jumped and started on their missions. The British line took the bridge and defended it from the woods on their side. (To be fair, the bridge was much too close to the Crown side.) The Native and the Glengarry Light Infantry Fencibles crossed the bridge to head for their objectives. The Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada headed for the docks. The US Rifles began to roam, spoiling for a fight. They fired on the IMUC and drove them from the docks into the woods behind them. The US Regulars headed for the bridge with a pioneer and an engineer officer in tow. The Volunteers moved the supply wagons until a group of brigands attacked them from a wooded area and pinned the column in the road. (This was one of 10 "Event sites" on the board. When a unit got within 6", the event sprung out. More on that later.) The State militia began to march to the farm.

The US Regulars -in summer jackets no less!- meet an insane man (an Event)
who screamed, giving away their position and grating on their nerves until
the mounted officer sworded him.

The IMUC, skilled boat handling in this scenario, take the boats.

The State Militia passes the Volunteer escorted supply train on their way
to the farm.

The Glengarries and the Native warband pass on either side of the skunk.
The polecat was an "event" that the Glennies encountered but scared off
without being gassed!

Eagle Eye view of the battlefield -- US Rifles skirmishing in left foreground,
US Regulars straddling the small path, The Glennies firing on them,
the Volunteers on the road near the T, the State Militia beyond them racing
to the farm, the Natives in the woods to their left (a whiskey still was found
there but the BID officer kept control), beef-on-the-hoof on the hill. That's
Robby's hand on the right.

More of the same - the IMUC recovering morale in the woods  near the
dock, the British Regulars covering the bridge from the near-by woods,
in the background, in the middle of the hidden ford (Event #10), a BID trooper
escorts a US deserter to Andy's root beer bottle and interrogation.

The game didn't go well for the US. The Regulars got nowhere near the bridge and couldn't fulfill their mission. The US Rifles did engage the enemy and were moving to pepper the bridge and its defenders with well-aimed rifle fire. The Volunteer saw the supply train to it's destination, and actually split off a group to help the Regulars, although it was too little, too late. The Militia never made it to the farm, having some morale failures while firing at the Natives. The Natives sent out scouts who did burn the farm. The British Line held the bridge and exchanged fire with the US Rifles. The Glengarries couldn't reach the supply train and opted to engage the US Regulars. As light infantry, their marksmanship was above average and they damaged the US Infantry badly. The IMUC recovered morale and were preparing to bring the boats down stream. The BID/Native warband captured a deserter which added to their victory point total. (+1) Each completed mission netted 2 Victory Points, so the Crown total was 7VP to the US total of 4VP.

My biggest mistake was to place the bridge and the dock too close to the crown start line and too far from the US. It was still fun. At one point, after Robby's US Regulars passed a wooded area, a bear charged out belatedly and had to be shot down by an infantryman, a sergeant, and the engineer's assisting pioneer. The Glennies encountered a gouvernment official who tried to take command... but failed. The Natives discovered the cattle, but both sides maintained a watchful peace. After attacking the wagon train and pinning the Volunteer for a turn, the brigands melted into the forest.

This sort of game has become a favourite of my son and I and everybody who plays finds it fun and challenging. We add a dash of "encountered events" from Iron Ivan's "Where Heroes Dare" and it's amazing what happens. Try it. Feel free to contact me for some ideas or procedures.

The farm in flames!

The bear! With one wound!

Andy's line infantry hold the bridge.

The Volunteers escort the wagons. Ammo? Salt pork? Whiskey?
Pickled eggs? PAPERWORK? No, pickled eggs.

The much-damaged US Regulars with the engineer's cart. The engineer is
behind the horse. The US Rifles skirmish just beyond them.

The Glengarry Light Infantry Fencibles with the Lord Mayor of Where-ever
out front in brown. ("Get down, your Worship! Better yet, stay where you are!)

More later if time allows. My holidays are coming up. Fort Erie beckons!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

10mm mayhem aka Warhamster!!!

Because of schedule difficulties, no big games were planned for me at the Hamilton Road Games Club last Saturday. Andy brought a game called "Admirals" which was a naval version of Stratego. I'd neve played it before, so I was promptly trounced by Andy.  Then it was Robby's turn to be sunk.
After that Robby and I laid out the old Warmaster figures. He played High Elves (his sister's figures) while I played Arthurians (my wife's figures of a makey-uppy army; I usually play Empire while Robby pushes Dwarfs.) He beat me and really beat up my center with a brigade of chariots. My barbarian horse cracked his left but the chariots swept the center and some of my right. A revoltin' development, as has been said.
Now to the photos! (Thanks to Glenn who lent me his camera and forwarded the photos.)

Elven Chariots and Silver Helm heavy cavalry (GW figs)

Arthurian Heavy Cavalry (Pendragon & Copplestone figs)

Arthurian cavalry again

The Chariot brigade takes an objective and prepares to massacre by bowmen
(Just out of frame). The Elven mage rides a Slinky in the background.

This is how we depict the Elven Dragon Riders. I wish I knew what make
the dragon was. I think it was picked up at a flea market/Bring&Buy.

the right flank of the Elvenhost... facing late Romans (peeking out of the
left of frame.) Not too effective but they didn't have to be.

Since I had Dogs of War mercenaries added to the Arthurians, the paychest
was required! Yes, it looks like a strong box on a flatcar, but the Dog Brothers
get paid.

A Dragon Rider faces down mercenary barbarian cavalry (GW Chaos
Marauders - one of my favourite figures)

The Chariots begin to slaughter the late Roman bowmen. Messy...
and it got messier.

Warmaster has to be my favourite GW game (up there with Man O' War). It sad it never got the support it deserved. Maybe it has a larger following than I know. I haven't tried the Ancient or Medieval versions (too much money to buy too many new armies) although I've amassed a considerable ECW/TYW collection in 10mm for a variant on Warmaster I found on-line from a Pittsburgh games club. That'll show up here someday. Whatever the case, I'll continue to enjoy the game. After all, I bought it; It's MY game now!