Sunday, 19 November 2017

The Old School

On a rainy Saturday, quite a few people stopped in to see what we were doing at the Hamilton Road Games Group at the Crouch Branch Library in London, ON. Kevin and Martin were playing a version of the Sci-fi space ship battle game, A Sky Full of Ships II. Andy, Beth, and I played a Seven Years War game using Warfare in the Age of Reason rules. We were experimenting with the rules, and comparing them to the set of rules we had been using - Black Powder. Certain aspect of those rules were not satisfying, such as the command and control rules and the "binary" nature of melee, musketry, and a few other aspects. (By "binary" I mean that the results are either yes/no, live/die, stand/fall with no partial results. It's a personal thing and no one has to agree with me.)
     Anyway, Andy fielded Prussians (four infantry brigades, two cavalry brigades) while Beth and I fielded Russians (three infantry and two cavalry brigades) and Bavarians (one infantry brigade with attached hussars). Artillery was attached all around. The terrain was randomly ascertained according to the maps found in the rule book. (A system I heartily recommend.)

the starting positions - Prussians to the right, Russians and Bavarians to the left.
Eric oversees the entire set-up.

Andy's right wing beginning their march around the bend of the river
toward the single crossing... where the Bavarians waited.

The centre of Andy's line.
In the Seven Years War, it pays to keep your troops in line and tight to their neighbors.

Russian grenadier brigade.
The playing card is used to randomize the movement.

The Cossack cavalry brigade.
One regiment ran off under artillery fire, the other punched some Prussian
hussars in the nose and caused them to fall back.

The Russian heavy cavalry brigade - horse grenadiers, cuirassiers, and horse guards

The Bavarian brigade - 5 infantry battalions, 2 medium guns, and 1 hussar regiment
In short, the Prussians advanced to the bridge on their extreme right where the Bavarians waited. They sniped and stared at each other for the game. The two centres cautiously advanced and traded artillery shots. The cavalry on the Prussian left/Russian right eventually came to grips. The Russian horse grenadiers were roughly handled by Prussian cuirassiers, although the grenadiers had been mauled by the Prussian artillery. One unit of Russian cuirassiers fell back from the melee while the other remained in a prolonged combat with some Prussian cuirassiers. The remaining Cossack regiment smacked a unit of Prussian hussars and caused them to fall back. (Was it the lances or the smell? You decide!) The curfew fell about that time as the library prepared to close down.

Your humble blogger, Beth, Matt, and Eric look over the early movements of the game.

On the far left, the Bavarians hold the bridge. The Russians advance with varying success.

Russian heavy guns limbered.
Not so much a grand battery as an artillery reserve attached to the grenadier brigade.

Andy places the smoke markers showing that the heavy guns have fired.
The thunder of the Russian heavy cannon - can't you almost hear it?

The Bavarians fire their cannon as they hold the river line.
These are my wife's troops and she painted a lot of them...
... but not the flags; she leaves that insanity to me.

The Prussian's view of the Russian grenadiers

Russian Cuirassiers

The cavalry melee - the Russian took the worst of it although the Cossacks
proved their mettle.

Prussians advance toward a Russian brigade in their summer sleeved  waistcoats.

My brave Cossack cannon battery is cut to ribbons by the methodical Prussian musketry.
Actually, not a bad roll! I wish I'd had more of them.
I'm old and set in my ways. I think I prefer the "old school" wargames - Age of Reason, Johnney Reb, Shako, Battlefront WWII. They are more complex but they are somewhat more satisfying to my taste.

I haven't been blogging a lot lately. I've been quite busy. Because of a few complexities I won't go into here, I'm now pastoring two churches in the same small town, one Evangelical Lutheran and one Anglican. Both are in "full communion" and can exchange clergy. The hope is this arrangement will allow both congregations to continue and to thrive. Both are in similar situations because of finances and the age of the congregation members. Time will tell. But... it's good to be "back in the saddle again" as far as blogging goes!