Tuesday, July 02, 2024

Napoleonic Naval again

With only two players tonight we reprised last weekend's game with the same fleets, but different random deployment.
SteveJ: 4 French & 4 Spanish.
Jim: 2 British squadrons of 3.The Spanish are in the far corner, the French on the right.
Wind coming left to right down the table.
The Spanish tried to run behind the Brits, but the Brits are tacking to starboard to intercept their run.
The French are tacking to beat up to windward to help their Allies.
The 2nd Brits are sailing towards their comrades as fast as they can.

The Spanish turned to starboard & ran past the 1st Brits exchanging broadsides.  The 1st Brits are tacking to pursue, the 2nd Brits closing from upwind.  The french are workign their way uo towards the 1st Brits.
The 2nd Brits have caught the tail of the Spanish squadron.
The 1st brits & the French are engaged at long range.
The 2 rear Spanish ships have struck their colours then run aground as the lead 2 ships run for Cadiz.
The 2nd Brits are passing to Port of the French exchanging broadsides.
The first Brits have engaged the French on the other side.
The 1st Brits have passed the French & are about to tack back.
The French & the 2nd brits are exchanging broadisdes.  Both are receiving heavy damage but extra ship is telling for the French.
The 1st & last French ships have had to fall out of the line with critical damage, but all 3 Brits of the 1st squadron are in the same state & the flagship so badly damaged she has had to fall out of the line.

We adjudicated the result from there.  The Brit 1st squadron flagship will be captured while the other 2 ships escape.  But the French won't hang about because the Brit 2nd squadron is in better shape than them.  The French will follow their surviving allies to Cadiz with their prize while the Brits will burn the stranded Spanish ships.  

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Napoleonic Naval

French: SteveD with 1 1st rate & 3 3rd rates.
Spanish: Chris with 1 1st rate & 3 3rd rates.
Brits: Jim with 2 squadrons each 1 2nd rate & 2 3rd rates. 
Random deployment.

Spanish far LH corner. French centre RH side.
Brit 1st squadron LH centre, 2nd squadron near corner.
Wind directly behind the Brits.
Your reporter got carried away chasing Spaniards & forget to take any pics until after smashing through their squadron with both broadsides double shotted. Two Spanish ships have struck their colours.  The two survivors are sailing this side of the island while the Brits are sailing around the other side. 
Meanwhile the French were working their way upwind to intercept the Brit 2nd squadron. 

The Brit 1st squadron have intercepted the remaining Spanish ships which have now struck their colours.
The French & 2nd brit squadrons have sailed past each other exchanging fire at close range.  Both sides have suffered significant, but not fatal damage - enough to dissuade both from wanting to renew the fight.   The French sailed off cursing their incompetent Spanish Allies.  The Brits were content to have taken all 4 Spanish ships. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Napoleonic Naval

British: Mike, Chris & Steve each had a squadron of 3 ships. with with crews
French: Jim had a squadron of 4 ships & a squadron 3 ships with regular crews.
Spanish: Mark had a squadron of 4 ships with raw crews.

Random deployment put Mark's Spanish in the far LH corner, Mike's Brits in the far RH corner, Chris & Steve's brits on either side & Jim's French in the near RH corner.  Chance decreed the wind to be coming from the wast - the end of the table nearest the camera. 
We had to move the ships 12" to the north twice to keep them on the table as the ships generally moved that way.  
Chris sailed down on the Spanish as they sailed north away from Mike.
Jim descended on Steve & with 7 ships to 3 soon sunk the Brit 3rd at the end of the squadron.  
Chris crossed the rear of the Spanish squadron & sunk the tail end ship, but the Spanish wore ship & engaged to inflict significant damage on the Brits.
Steve's 2nd ship had to strike it's colours as the admiral made his escape.
The Spanish broke off from Chris' squadron, but the brit squadron was so badly damaged it too stayed out of further action.
Mike & Jim's 1st squadron engaged each other as they came past the island.  The French thought that with 4 ships to 3 & 2 more coming up they had a good chance of a great victory, but the combination of superior British gunnery, damage inflicted by Steve & better British dice soon turned the tables on the French.  They inflicted serious damage & one Brit ship even had to strike its colours, but all eventually all 4 French ships of the squadron had to strike.

The Brits recovered one of their struck ships, but lost one sunk & one captured plus every ship had serious damage while they captured 4 French ships.  
The Spanish considered themselves having done really well to get away with only one ship lost & having severely damaged a British squadron.  
The French lost a whole squadron of 4 ships captured, but the 2nd squadron sailed home with only the flagship having significant damage & a captured British 3rd rate & news of sinking another.
So clearly a British victory in the Times while le Bulletin & el Mundo didn't have to stretch the truth as much as usual to also claim a victory.

The lesson we learned from this battle was that the weather gauge is a two edged sword.  If you have it, you can control the action & have scope for decisive action, but if things go bad, you cannot get away.  Once Mikes' squadron got on top of the French to windward of their line, the French couldn't break off the action by turning & running away downwind.   


Wednesday, June 05, 2024

Modder Fokkers

 Tonight we got out the WWI aircraft for two 6 player games using our Modder Fokker rules.

Steve, Jim & Chris all flew Fokker DVII.
Mike, Mitch & mark flew Camels.
Each plane's starting position was decided by drawing cards, so one plane in each corner & at the midpoints of the long sides of the playing area.

Game 1 starting locations:
                Mike's Camel            Steve's Fokker                  Mitch's Camel
                Marks's Camel          Chris' Fokker                   Jim's Fokker.

In this dogfight Chris & Steve shared the kill of Mitch's camel, but then Mark shot down Chris.  Steve was badly damaged & ran for home leaving Jim's undamaged Fokker facing two Camels with moderate damage.  After a bit more skirmishing, Jim also ran for home.  So kills equal but a  inor win for the Brits as they held the filed.

Game 2 starting locations:
                Mitch's Camel,                 Steve's Fokker                    Mark's Camel
                Mitch's Camel                  Jim's Fokker                       Chris' Fokker      

In this battle Jim & Chris tried to combine on Mark's Camel, but Mike arrived to help before serious damage was inflicted on Mark's Camel.  Mitch by-passed Steve & took on Chris while the other 2 camel's attacked Jim.  Jim was wounded by a lucky shot & ran for home rather then fight disadvantaged against 2 camels.  The 3 Camels then converged on Chris & before Steve could get into the action chris had sustained so much damage that he too ran for home.  Steve then took on all 3 Camels evading serious damage, but the task was too great & he too eventually broke off & ran for home.  So while no planes were shot down, once again the brits won a minor victory by holding the ground. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Crusaders again

Saracens: Steve, Mike & Chris. 4 Egyptian foot, 4 Arab foot, 8 heavy cav, 8 horse archers.
Crusadrers: Jim, Mark & Mitch. $ bows, 4 spears, 4 sergeants, 4 knights.
The Crusadera made a map of their deployment, the Saracens set up, then the Crusaders put their troops down.  The result was very unsymmetric deployment.  Both sides put their foot in the centre & their heavy cavalry on their left.  The Saracen right flank was horse archers.  The Crusader right flank was overlapped.

The Crusaders are on the left.
The Saracen heavy cavalry immediately advanced on the Crusader foot which wheeled to face them abchoring their right on the table edge.  On the far flank the Crusader horse is trying to drive the horse archers off the table. 
The Saracen horse is attacking the Crusader foot with a mix of charges & bow fire.  The Crusaders are defending with the spearmen in front & their bowmen firing overhead,
In the centre the Arab foot is advancing face d by just 2 units of sargeants.
On the far flank some of the horse archers have been driven off the table, some have escaped into the oasis (defended by the Egyptian infnatry). 
The Saracen horse has broken thru the Crusader line but the knights aare galloping to the rescue from the far flank.
The surviving Crusader foot hang on desperately as the knights ride down some the Saracen foot in the centre. 
Both sides are verging on the edge of failing their army morale test as both sides cavalry hack into the  enemy foot.
In the end it became matter of luck as to which side lost half theri force first.  In the last turn, both sides  only had to lose 1 more combat to fail morale, but the Saracens hung on in two combats they were at a disadvantage while pulling off a win to break the Crusaders. 


Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Still in the desert, but back in time

Crusaders: Mark & Mike.
Saracens: Jim, Steve & Chris.

The Crusader army is marching down the road needing to get to the oasis for water that night, but a Saracen army is hidden behind the ridges & in the village to prevent them doing so.
The Saracen players have placed playing cards next to each brigade on trays off table corresponding to cards on the table.
As the Crusaders deploy either side of the rocky ridge horse archers com eove rthe ridges to begin harassing them.
When the Crusaders breast the ridges they find Saracen heavy cavalry on both flanks behind the horse archers & infantry near the oasis. 
On the near flank the Saracen heavy cavalry are putting up a good fight against more heavily armoured enemy cavalry.
On the far flank, the horse archer shave been more effective in assisting the heavy cavalry, but the Crusader infantry have attacked in support of their cavalry. 
On the near flank the Crusaders have won the cavalry fight, but not without severe casualties.
On the far flank, the Egyptian infantry advanced out of the village to support their cavalry & the Crusader attack on that flank has run out of steam.
At this stage it looks like the Saracens are winning.
On the far flank the Crusaders have pulled back to regroup.
On the near flank the Crusaders have attacked the Arab foot with their last serviceable cavalry & spearmen while their archers rain arrows on the Arab centre.
The Crusader charges on their left flank broke though & at the same time the archers destroyed the Saracen centre.  In one turn the Saracens lost 3 Arab infantry units & failed their army morale test, so were forced to withdraw giving the Crusaders a victory.

Despite the Saracens having a a great run of the dice thru most of the game, one turn of good luck was all it took for the Crusaders to win.  The post battle discussion brought up four possible explanations:
1. The Crusaders had a better strategy.
2. The points system over-valued the Saracen army. so the armies were unequal.
3. The scenario was tough for the Saracens
4. Luck on that the Crusaders didn't have a lot of it, but they got it the right time.

The Saracens strategy of weakening the enemy with horse archers, blunting the attack with their heavy  cavalry, then holding on with their foot didn't work.  In the first wave of combats, the Saracens stopped the Crusader cavalry, but in the process they lost almost all their cavalry broken while the Crusaders had a lot of units shaken but few broken.  Only broken units count in the army morale test, not shaken ones, so when the Crusaders pulled back their weak flank to cut their losses there & renewed their attack with their few remaining unshaken units on the other flank, just three good combat results against the Arab infantry was all it took for the Saracens to have half their formed units broken & fail army morale.  

My conclusion is that the critical factor in this battle was the Crusader's tactics of pulling back the flank where they were losing & reinforcing success. The better command ratings of the Crusader troops made it easier for the Crusaders to control the action.  Perhaps the points system doesn't give sufficient weight to the difference in command ratings. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Playing with tank rules

This week we used the same scenario as last week with 15mm tanks, but modified the rules a bit:  Basically standard Bolt Action except we used IGoUGo instead of the BA Command Dice.  

The card draw provided a similar scenario to last week with the battle fought lengthwise.  Again the Brits had Crusaders on their left facing the MkIIIs & Valentine/Matildas on their right facing Marders.  Both times the MkIVs were to the rear, but this time behind the Marders rather than the MkIIIs.
Once again Jim got the Matilda/Valentines & Steve the MKIVs.  But now Mark has the Crusaders, Mike the MkIIIs & Mitch the Marders.
On the left, the Crusaders rush for the village while the MkIII's go for the oasis.
On the right the Crusaders advance towards the village as the Germans advance move towards their flank behind the ridge.
On the left the Crusaders & MkIII's slug it out at close range.
On the right, the Germans move onto the to engage the Matilda/Valentines from hull down.
On the left, 9 Crusaders destroyed the 7 MkIII's without loss, then moved thru the oasis to supoprt the Valentine/Matildas.
On the right, the Valentines/Matilda's pop guns managed to take out just one Marder before being almost wiped out before the Crusaders arrived & their 6pdrs saved the day.
2 MkIV's & 1 Marder made a getaway leaving an immobilised Marder.   The Brits had lost 1 Crusader & 8 Valentine/Matilidas.

The IGoUGo certainly sped up the game, tonight's battel took little more than half the time to last week.  Otherwise the progress of the game was pretty similar.  The difference in strategy was that the MkIV's supported the Marders this time rather than the MKIII's.   The Valentine/Matildas were wiped out by the Marders & MkIVs, but without the support of the MKIV's the MkIII's were destroyed by the Crusaders with no loss & were able to go on the take out the rest of the Germans.  Oakie's luck being transferred from the MKIII's to the Crusaders, was cited as another decisive factor, but only by the losers, the winners pointing out that the Valentines/Matilda's couldn't buy a hit. 



Wednesday, May 08, 2024

Bolt Action Tank War in 15mm

 Still on tank binge, this week we moved to the desert with 15mm models.

We used random deployment for 5 platoons for 5 players.
Steve's 5 MkIVs are in the far LH corner.
Marks's 7 MkIII's are at the centre left.
Mikes' 4 Marders are centre right.
Mitch's 9 Crusaders are near LH corner.
Jim's 9 Valentines/Matildas are near RH corner.
The Crusaders have advanced to a line of ridge & palm grove.
The Valentine/Matildas have advanced to just behind a ridge line.
The Marders are set up in ambush waiting for the Valentines/Matildas to advance.
The MkIII's have moved into The palm grove near the village.
The MkIV's are laying smoke to cover the MkIII's deployment.
The Marder ambush immobilised two tanks, destroyed one & pinned down down another on the ridgeline as the rest of the platoon rushed forward to get into close range of the Marders.
On the left the Crusaders & MkIII's are slugging it out , but the dice gods are favouring the Germans.
Some MkIVs are advancing, the others firing at Crusaders at long range. 
Despite early loses the Valentines/Matildas struck back taking out the Marders & advancing into the village to move on the MkIII's flank.
MkIVs have moved up to support the MkIII's flank as the crusaders continue to die with no gain.
Time for a cuppa to relieve the stress of battle.
The Valentine/Matilda attack thu the village petered out, their their 2pdrs found wanting against the MkIVs.  The MkIII's finished off the unlucky Crusaders.

The Brits are elft with 2 immobilised tanks on the ridge, while several MkIIIs & IVs survive so clearly a German victory.