Monday, November 9, 2009

Another Round for the Duke

Using the Rank and File rules from Crusader publishing I decided to go 'solo' one afternoon. My son wasn't interest in playing, he had just bought himself a copy of Call of Duty 4 and was glued to the TV and XBox. I, however, decided to play against the easiest and most ineffectual wargames general I know: myself. The scenario was simple, capture a line of low hills and this was done using the Programmed Scenario booklet produced by WRG a few years ago. The Duke of M had two brigades of British Infantry( 3 units each), some Dutch guns and a large brigade (4 units) of Dutch and Prussian cavalry. The troops of the Sun King had, exactly the same with both sides advancing quickly to take the hills. The British, with the superior firepower won the day but a charge by a regiment of French Dragoons (Firmacon) gave the Duke some real headaches as they ploughed through two redcoat battalions. They were seen off by the Dutch Cavalry. Ahh the glory and spectacle!!

Rules, rules and more rules

Has this ever happened to you? You buy ruleset after ruleset and although some of them play really well, and each one has some great mechanisms not one has the right 'feel'. Over the years we've played a lot of WRG Horse and Musket and for a period of time the Brothers were dedicated Shako fans. But for a variety of reasons these fell by the wayside.
In the last year or two several new sets have been available and the boys have all been willing to give them a shot(pun intended). We tried Beneath the Lilly Banners by the League of Augsburg which weren't too bad. In recent weeks we tried the new offering by the Foundry Napoleon and found the firing, melee and morale rules to be simple and really effective. We had a few strange situations due to the command and control rules, but that could have been my fault through misinterpretation! So we tried again...and got the same strange result. Although they look great and the information in the book is great, I'm not sure if we'd use them as our regular set. We've also tried the Crusader publishing set Rank and File. Now these were a very fast set. Once you start losing more than a stand or two from your units, things go downhill very fast in terms of morale! We used my ACW figures in 25mm and it was a quick, easy game with a result in around 2-3 hours. With 8 players and only one person having read the rules, not a bad effort. Finally, Warlord Games new 'Black Powder' rules arrived in the mail a few days ago. We haven't tried them yet, but when we do I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Alex and Darius at Gaugemala

The lads got together for a game in early January in the understated elegance of my garage for our usual Christmas bash. It was decided that we would refight Alexander the Great's biggest stoush: Gaugemala. Using Armati we assembled over 900 infantry and around 300 cavalry. I think just about everybody had soemthing to contribute: Thanks guys!!Ralph was Darius and Nick played the ever aggressive Alex...something Nick has no worries about playing. Nick doesn't ask who they are ...but where they are! The above photo shows the initial deployment.

On the left flank of the Persians Phil initially found his light cavalry ridden down by the Thessalian cavalry commanded by Paul, but using his advantage in numbers he held and then counter attacked, driving the Greek allied cavalry from the field. The center was where the battle would be won and lost and true to form it was a bloodbath when the rampaging Hypaspists and the Companions broke through the first Persian line. Initally it looked like it would be a Macedonian walk over but the Persians fought on grimly. On the Persian left Roger fought a long drawn out conflict with the mercenary hoplites and other assorted cavalry commanded by Ross. In the center Ralph managed to get one of his heavy infantry units to wheel ( not all that easy under Armati) and slam several units of the Macedonian phalanx- commanded by Lochlainn- in the flank. The game was completed in 9 turns and took six hours to play on a very pleasant Saturday! With a Macedonian victory- and the death of 2 Macedonian commanders ..and ALL of the Persian senior officers except was a great afternoon- for the Macedonians anyway!!

Persian cavalry.
The Phalanx.

The Phalanx advances!!
Below: Persian skirmishers in front of the main battle line.
Alex with his Companions and the Hypaspists at the rear of the photo.

Another view of Alex hitting the Persian cavalry. In Armati the general's element is attached to the rear of the accompanying unit.
The center of the Persian line- with the horses of Darius' chariot in the foreground.

Greek mercenary hoplites clash with the phalanx in the left center.

The Persian heavy unit that hit the phlanax in the flank!!