Tuesday, 29 April 2014

First Play: In Her Majesty's Name

With Lenin having picked up both a copy of In Her Majesty's Name and some troops in home service uniform from Redoubt it seemed like a good opportunity to get both to the table.

We had an impromptu little scenario with Allan Quatermain and Mina Harker accompanied by some soldiers investigating the odd goings on at a nearby manor.

With reports of the owner having mania for Egyptology and having recently passed away under mysterious circumstances it was a mad scramble to recover any artefacts of interest before they fell into the hands of the infamous Baron!

The Quatermain Harker party approach the manor

The Baron and his minions arrive at the rear

Careful now Mrs Harker...

The Egyptian unleashes the mummies

The Cultists move around the other side

Alright men - let them have it!

Fighting over the sarcophagus

Mummy melee

Allan Quatermain enters the manor

The Baron decrypts one of the inscriptions

Turns out that mummies don't like it up them either...

The final showdown for the Baron
As with some of the other Osprey wargames offerings in this series, these rules aren't earth shattering in their novelty but provided an interesting game nonetheless.  At the end we were still undecided as to whether they had enough going for them to be added to our regular rules or whether future games of this type would be better served using the recent releases from Crooked Dice - watch this space...

Sunday, 27 April 2014

First Play: Gå På

I finally managed to get my War of the Spanish Succession collection to the table for a first play of the Gå På rules against Lenin.  In a reprise of our previous WSS games I took command of the French and Lenin took the Allies.

The scenario was an Allied attack against a smaller French force across a small (but fordable) river with the Allied objective being the capture of a fortified village on the far side.

Both sides deployed with the traditional arrangement of horse on each wing and infantry in the centre.  The French were significantly weaker in cavalry but the river crossing presented the Allies with an interesting challenge.

Here are some photos from the game:

Traditional deployment from both sides

Dutch horse on the Allied left wing

British horse on the Allied right wing

The Allied horse on the right advances to the river

Jacobite Irish defending the village

The foot face each other in the centre

The Dutch horse advance to cross the river

The French horse charge the disordered Dutch

Churchill's regiment advances across the bridge

The North & Grey's ford the river towards the Saintonge

The French artillery engages the advancing English

The Dutch foot successfully crosses the river

The British horse and foot push across too
It was an interesting game with the Dutch horse being thrown back across the river when the French charged them when they were disordered from the initial crossing and despite their greater numbers the Dutch morale cracked.

This gave the British horse on the other wing pause and they waited for some time before trying to force a crossing.

The English pushed two regiments across the bridge in the centre but the French artillery caught them in column on the bridge and they were thrown back; however, the Dutch foot managed to cross successfully but struggled to make headway against a determined defence by the Irish in the village.

In the end the French horse on the left wing couldn't replicate the success on the right and the Allies successfully crossed with most of their horse intact.  This forced the French to refuse that flank and begin withdrawing on the village.  But in the end the Allies couldn't quite break through and take their objective.

The rules produced an interesting game and I was pleased with the result but they did feel rather "old school" with lots of dice rolling with modifiers to obtain the various results - something that could be streamlined and produce a quicker game I think.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

First Look: Skirmish Sangin

When I first heard about Skirmish Sangin I took a look at their website and was a little concerned that the mechanisms might be a little heavy for the type of game I was envisaging.  Despite the draw of the Empress Modern British range, I already have the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (using Force on Force) I wasn't keen to have two games that were going to play too similarly.  So I wondered whether I could do the Modern Brits at a different level (the Soviets being at Platoon plus) and so Skirmish Sangin came back onto the radar.

I picked up a hard copy of the rules at Salute but they are also available as either a pdf (£7.50) or hard copy (with the pdf as well for £25) from the Radio DishDash website (and in hard copy from other distributors I believe).

The rules are 170 pages in full colour (in softback if you get the hard copy) and illustrated with plenty of photos from the MoD and of various wargames along with a few explanatory diagrams.  After an introduction and a brief history of the conflict the book moves on to creating a suitable force, provides orbats for British, Australian, New Zealand, French and US ISAF forces before moving onto the rules themselves, followed by an example game, two scenarios, the quick reference sheets and some counter sheets.

Troops are given a "Body" attribute which determines their various combat skills and their initiative sequencing along with an armour rating (to reflect body armour if any) and morale.  Morale and skills are expressed as percentages.

Each turn each figure will activate four times and have three action points available to use.  The sequence in which the figures activate is dictated by their Body attribute which are grouped and this allocates their activations across the ten phases of each turn.  This approach reminds me of the system used by older games like Phoenix Command and Car Wars but in a simplified form.  Actions include various movement modes, kneeling, going prone, getting up, climbing etc. as well as spotting and combat actions.  Since a figure's position (moving, stationary, kneeling, prone etc.) along with their location is significant for spotting and firing you do need to think carefully about your use of actions.

Both spotting and combat actions start with a basic skill level and then the relevant modifiers are applied before a d100 roll.  Whilst the list of modifiers in each case is substantial it quickly becomes apparent which are routinely applicable to your current situation.

If a successful shooting roll is made the damage is then rolled and the target can then roll their armour (if they have any) to reduce or eliminate the damage.  Any residual damage then determines how badly injured the target is and whether any nearby troops' morale is affected.  However, even a miss will result in a morale test being required.

As I am sure you can see there isn't anything revolutionary here but the moving parts are assembled to produce a more granular level of game than say Force on Force - which is what I was looking for.  The rules are very nicely presented and I am interested to see how they play out on the table.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

The Obligatory Salute 2014 Post

It's a little late but I have been rather busy!
Lenin and I ventured along to Salute again this year.  Queuing was back to being in another empty hall rather than in the main concourse and it seemed plain that there were a lot more pre-paid ticket holders at opening time than pay on the door people.

As several people have mentioned the lighting wasn't good but there seemed to be a little more space than previous years and the range of traders was good as always.  I had pre-ordered quite a bit of stuff to ensure the journey made sense but I made the rather daft move of collecting most of it early and carting it around for the day (note to self don't do that again!).

Notable moments for me were meeting old friends and in particular seeing some from the Jersey Privateers putting on their first mainland show game - a very nicely executed 15mm WW2 game:

Having a brief chat with Richard Clarke from the Too Fat Lardies when I collected my copy of The Raiders for Dux Britanniarum - what a splendid chap!

Rich running the Lardies' Chain of Command game later in the day
The enhanced Maidstone WW1 Belgium game (no pics, sorry - not sure what happened there!)

The bloggers meet up (good to see everyone, finally meet Michael Awdry of 28mm Victorian Warfare and get some delicious fudge from Clint of Anything but a One - what a generous chap!):

Picture shamelessly pinched from Ray's blog (he got it from Carl's...)
And some lovely games on show:

And here's what I came home with (more of these in later posts):