Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Tuesday Napoleonics - A Draw (Yes it was)

Last nights game of Napoleonics was one of maneuver and terrain.  This time round the terrain was virtually all on my side of the table.  Andrew had cunningly placed them to screw me around no end, so my hats off to him for forcing me into a position that made me rather desperate.

I confess that looking at the terrain set up I was half tempted to just not fight the battle and force a reroll of the terrain.  However I look at the position that not every battle is where you want it to be fought and that I'd give it a go and see what the result would be.  I was not optimistic about the outcome.

As can be seen I had a crooked stream on my right flank, a farm, a hill and just off to the left a hamlet and large woods.  Andrew had placed the terrain at the extreme edge of the deployment zone.  This neutralized my artillery and created funnel points where my would have to emerge from.  As you can see with the hill there were two sections which the french could cross, so I broke the battery into two 2 gun sections to cover the approach.  My approach was to sit in as much a defensive a position and see what the french would do.

I spent some time having to think out my deployment.  While I out scouted the french, which allowed me to setup after Andrew, I spent too much time I think analyzing how to respond.  Initially the french adopted a line, which did not in the least entice me to advance.  I occupied the buildings with my dodgy Landwhere, and waited.

This was the left flank which worried no end.  I was surprised that Andrew did not push this flank more aggressively.  My cavalry were set up to protect the flank, but I thought that with the horse artillery (now off on another mission) I would eventually loose, while hopefully dragging away the french cavalry as they pursued the routers.  Mind you I could have perhaps have won the cavalry duel (oh who am I kidding!).  The Landwhere were sent into the buildings where they actually drove off a french attempt to take the buildings off them.  
I spent more of this game reacting to Andrews troop movements than initiating my own.  The few actions I did, were where I thought I had a decent chance of breaking up his plans.  I will generally pursue troops that have fled, mainly because Andrew tends to rally them most times than oft.

The french guns were a problem.  The fact that my guns were not in any position to challenge them frustrated me, especially as I had left the limbers behind, so a 50mm movement was slow going.  In this picture we see how I chose to (successfully) charge a french battalion that was in square (fearing the Hussar charge).  Two battalions I had sent out to lure the french cavalry out was just shot to pieces by the artillery.
It was a tiring game.  Both Andrew and I were fatigued for various reasons and I called the game at 10pm.  While I was prepared to concede the game (I could not see how I could pull a win) we decided a draw was a more logical conclusion with night closing in.

Last photo of the night.  The french horse artillery evaded the Hussar charge previously and were set up causing problems off to the left (not in photo).  My other unit (left) charged another french battalion in square, breaking it.  My Dragoons were waiting for Andrews heavies to commit.  The cavalry skirmish at the top of the photo was a win for me, chasing off the french.
So a draw.  Terrain placement in this game played a big role in the length of the game and how the battle played out.  I'm now a little wiser with regards using the terrain to my opponents detriment (I think),  All up a good game with a good opponent and friend.  So here's to next week then.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tuesday Napoleonics - Undecided due to irregularities!

I had my usual game with my friend Andrew last night.  The terrain was fairly open, with Andrews reserves arriving on turn 3.  The french were particularly aggressive in this game, I found in previous games that unless I cock up horribly (which is normally the case), Andrew tends to commit when all his forces are in play.  He is quite skilled compared to my groping in the dark responses to his actions.  Perhaps I'm even learning!

Why undecided irregularities?  Andrew was 5 points over his 1600 points (an additional gunner) and when Andrew queried my scouting factor later in the evening I found I was playing with 6 Hussars short, a 72 point less force.  So I think we'll put this down to the reason I won.

Yes I won a game.  My artillery continue to pick off Andrew batteries with unerring accuracy at times (while not doing particularly well otherwise), and my die rolls were unusually positive.  My cavalry which I have dubious faith in actually worked in my favour, particularly the lancers who drove off Andrews heavies.

So here's to next weeks game, looking forward to it.

The last turn played Left Flank (my perspective).  My landwhere would have bolted from charging french battalions, but I doubt that even a good dose of hits from shooting would have changed that position.  However I did have a Guard battalion  ready to pounce (on the left) and the Hussars on the right would have supported any further action on that flank.

The last turn played Right Flank (my perspective). My guns had reduced the french cavalry and halted their charge on said guns.  My 3 battalions were lined up to chase or engage the french troops advancing.  One battalion charged and actually engaged french deployed in line, routing them.  Way of on my right, not in picture were a troop of horse artillery which were I think, hoping I would send troops off to deal with them.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Once Upon A Time - one-on-one book driven combat

Back in the 80's sometime there was a curious fad that took off for a while.  Much like the solo dungeon adventures and other pre-programmed simulators of the time.  Today with the sophistication of online gaming and more innovative and robust board and miniatures games I guess these gems are just nostalgic pieces trapped in the proverbial amber of time.

Here is some of my collection that I could find at the time of this going to post.

Even Games Workshop got into the act, albeit a lot later than
the original fad.

This series proved rather popular at the time.  There other Mechs
created, I seem to remember the Griffon and Shadow Hawk.

The fighting fantasy series.  I think I lost the others of this
collection when I was flooded in 2001.
Hmmm, having troubles with the orientation.
Ace of Aces a very popular set amongst my peers
at the time.

Wild West without the figures.  Lots of fun.