Favorite AWI Blog's 2014

  • ECW Baroque - I never turn down the opportunity to wargame with John Maguire as I know we will be playing with some of the most beautifully painted figures. John Coll...
    4 days ago

VolleyFireVSFwargames

New for 2013 new adventures 1895 and Beyond
http://volleyfirevsfgames.blogspot.com/

Henry has introduced me to a new set of rules look here for new tales of these adventures.
IHNM - In Her Majesty's Name by Osprey

Volleyfiresupplydepot

My newly updated blog for supplies and painting tips gleaned from the web and my general surplus miniature selling page click on the link to take you to the new blog.
http://volleyfiresupplydepot.blogspot.com/

I now have joined the electronic age and have paypal and EBay auctions.

VolleyFireOverseas

This is a blog I set up to chronicle my adventures in wargaming overseas in Scotland in 2011 and to continue following particular games overseas that I enjoyed with my new friends in Edinburgh. I look forward to finally updating this with more pics soon.

http://volleyfireoverseas.blogspot.com/

Napoleonic Campaigning in Italy

Napoleonic Campaigning in Italy
Les Grognards Blog "The sabre that Napoleon used at Marengo"

Napoleon's Drum and his Marshals

Napoleon's Drum and his Marshals
Napoleon Mulling over his battle plan

Napoleon reflecting by Iron Mitton

Napoleon reflecting by Iron Mitton
Quiet before the battle

Napoleon the morning of waterloo

More Iron Mitton Cartoons

More Iron Mitton Cartoons
Knock - Knock

Iron Mitton Cartoons

Iron Mitton Cartoons

Civility in wargaming

Civility in wargaming

Monday, December 30, 2013

Salamanca retreat - Short version of Scottish Bill game

For a birthday game will be doing a replay of one part of my Scottish Bill's game -
Wellington's Retreat from Salamanca

British won initial engagement - But still 6 turns to go Pics below

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Black Powder modified rules SESWC - Bill G - 2013

BLACK POWDER House Rules December 2013 Update
As you will see from the reports in the blog I am an enthusiast for the Black Powder rules. I find them simple and fun to play. But a few issues have appeared in our games. So here are some house rules and ideas for house rules that we have used in our games or which I have seen suggested on other sites or which I have picked up from other BP rule sets. I have now added some notes on commonly forgotten rules and important clarifications at the end.  The most important change to the rules is the modified sequence of play which I think gives a much better game.  The latest additions are the modified rules for squares, skirmishers and lancers

INTERPENETRATION
The rules allow interpenetration of units at all times. We have debated this at different times as we think this is too free and could lead to some unrealistic tactics. Our initial house rule was that formed units could only interpenetrate other formed units as the result of retiring due to a break test. In our recent games we have relaxed this and allowed interpenetration by formed troops but not if a charge is involved. The third option comes from Hail Caesar.
Rule - option 1 - Formed units can only interpenetrate other formed units as the result of movement from a break test
Rule - option 2 - Formed units can interpenetrate other formed units except when a charge is involved.
Rule - option 3 - When Interpenetrating a formed friendly unit, if the centre of your formed unit does not pass through the friendly unit, then there is no penalty - however if the centre does pass through then you risk disorder - dice for each unit and on a score of 1,2,3 it becomes disordered.

TERRAIN
I don’t like the basic rules for moving thru woods in which everyone operates as skirmishers. I prefer that trained skirmishers still have advantages in wooded terrain so the 2 rules we have been using are:
Rule - Formed troops move at half speed through woods except when moving as the result of a break test when they move full speed.
Rule - Formed troops are not an ‘unclear target’ in woods. (To give them this would give them the same cover as skirmishers in woods).

To clarify - Troops in woods get the morale modifier for cover except when charging to contact or in hand to hand combat.

NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN SPECIAL RULE
Under the basic rules skirmishers can only charge formed troops who are already engaged in hand to hand combat. Allowing formed troops to move thru woods limit’s the effectives of Indian skirmishers in forest fighting so I suggest the following.
Rule - Indian skirmishers are allowed to charge skirmishers and shaken or disordered formed troops frontally and all troops in the flank or rear.

BREAK TESTS FOR SUPPORTING UNITS
Under the basic rules all units which could have supported a broken unit in hand to hand combat should test. This did seem excessive in our early games so we decided to limit this by nominating the units providing support so only up to 3 units need make this test - one on each flank and one to the rear.
Rule - Only the nominated units which provide the +1 support need test if the supported unit breaks - surplus supporting units do not need to test.

In addition we had issues with supporting units at full strength simply breaking on this test. We discussed the following rule but I have never applied it any of our games.
Rule - +1 per stamina strength point remaining above casualties in a supporting unit break test. Example a supporting unit with stamina of 3 which has not suffered any casualties would get a +3 in this break test i.e. the unit's minimum break test score would then be 5.

SUPPORTING UNITS
We did consider limiting the units that could provide support simply to the units in the same brigade. I have not applied this as it gives advantages to larger brigades.

66% MOVEMENT AND RANGES
We have often played games using the 66% version of the movement and the ranges. In these games we agree that though ranges and moves were decreased that given the physical size of the 28mm units that
Command radius is standard 12”
Support distance is standard 6”
However I would reduce proximity distance to 8"


DISORDERED CAVALRY RALLY BACK
Often cavalry can be stopped standing disordered in front of units firing at them and as disordered are unable to move. There is a rule in Pike and Shot for disordered units rallying back my suggestion is that this can be applied to cavalry in BP.
Rule - a disordered cavalry unit not in combat can fall back a move under Initiative.


SKIRMISHERS
In the rules infantry skirmishers are unable to evade from charging cavalry and this has been a sore point in some of our games. In addition skirmishing units can almost completely halt the advance of enemy infantry.  Here are solutions to both these issues.

Rule - Infantry skirmishers can choose to evade if charged by enemy cavalry (note that skirmishers do not form square as a charge reaction). The charging enemy cavalry do not have to stop where they initially contacted the skirmishers, and can complete their charge move (which may mean they catch the skirmishers).

Rule - Evading skirmishers are disordered

SQUARES (NAPOLEONIC MUST FORM SQUARE RULE)
These are revised rules for squares which we used successfully in our big Waterloo refight in June 2013.

Rule - Non disordered infantry in the open charged by cavalry to their front must attempt to form square as their response.  To do so the infantry must pass an order test based on their brigadier’s command rating counting normal modifiers (except command radius) plus optionally the following: 
If cavalry need 2 moves to contact then infantry have a command modifier of +1
If cavalry need 3 moves to contact then infantry have a command modifier of +2
If they fail they stay in their formation, become disordered and deliver closing fire.

Normal square combat rules apply i.e. cavalry receive no charging bonuses.  However a square testing for a non cavalry combat break test applies all the break tests results.  If they retire they become disordered and form line formation.  As per the rules a square testing for losing or drawing a combat against only cavalry ignore all results except Break.

BROKEN BRIGADE RULE
I do not like the optional standard ‘Broken Brigade’ rule in BP and in particular it has a drastic effect on small brigades of two or three units such as cavalry brigades. To be honest in most of our games we have not applied any Broken Brigade rule. However I suggest the following 2 options.


Option 1
This makes brigades become harder to control as the battle goes on and units are lost. (I would not include the loss of tiny units or guns). This is a variant of a suggestion on the BP forum.
Rule  -1 Command Modifier for each lost or destroyed unit in the brigade.
Rule  -1 Break-Test modifier for each lost or destroyed unit in the same brigade.

Option 2
Pike & Shotte has an improved Broken brigade rule.  We tested them in our big Lutzen 1813 Napoleonic games and in the game simplified them down to this version.  The difference here is that Shaken units can still be rallied but have to be more than 12 inches
from the enemy or in defences etc.  Thus a broken brigade can recover.
A brigade is deemed broken if at the start of a turn more than half of its units (ignoring guns) are lost.

A unit is lost if:
a) it has been destroyed
b) it is shaken

Effect on units in broken brigades:
1) Units that have already left the table cannot return
2) Shaken units within 12 inches
of the enemy must retire except if occupying buildings, defences or in square.
3) Shaken units are allowed to make a free single retire move even if disordered.  Guns that do so are abandoned.
4) Unshaken units in a broken brigade can be given normal orders but their morale is reduced to 6+.

LEVY USEFUL RULE
This is taken from HAIL CAESAR. Useful for applying to militia - the problem with poorly trained troops is keeping them organised in action.  Value can be modified eg 2+ to 5+.   I would combine with Unreliable for militia units.
Levy Useful Rule - Unit must roll 4+ to remove disorder at the end of its turn.

STOIC USEFUL RULE
I used to give Russian Napoleonic infantry the Steady useful rule as suggested in the rulebook. However there is no risk of failure in the first break test with Steady which I think makes it too powerful a useful rule with units surviving in quite impossible situations. Some uncertainty is required. My solution is to use a version of Valiant but amended so that the unit can only reroll the first break test it makes rather than the first test it fails.
Stoic Useful Rule - Unit can reroll the first break test it makes.


POOR SHOTS USEFUL RULE
I apply this rule to Napoleonic Russian infantry (who were notoriously poor shots equipped by a variety of poor muskets) and some militia types e.g. Poor Patriot militia or Indian Mutiny Mobs
Poor Shots Useful Rule - Unit gets a -1 modifier to its shooting dice score.


LANCERS USEFUL RULE
Lancers I think are too powerful in the rules and should not have an advantage vs. enemy cavalry as they already get more hand to hand dice than light cavalry so this is my modified version.
Lancers Useful Rule - Infantry and artillery have -1 Morale Save versus charging lancers.
MODIFIED SEQUENCE OF PLAY
This comes from the WSS “& Blenheim” rule modifications by Ian Hopping available on the Yahoo BP Forum. We have used this revised turn sequence in numbers of AWI and Napoleonic games and it seems to work well. It prevents the often complained issue of units making double or treble moves and firing at their enemy at short range when the enemy has not been able to fire. It also gives unit’s a chance to exploit the effect of their shooting by charging units that may have become shaken or disordered. This version is my extended text of the original.

Initiative Phase
Declare and undertake initiative movement – there is no change to the basic rules for this.
All moving units to be marked as having moved this turn. (They cannot move again in Command Phase).
Reactions - Any units charged may deliver ‘Closing Fire’ at the end of the initiative. Units evading are moved at the end of the initiative moves. Counterchargers move to meet their chargers as usual.

Firing Phase
Moving player carries out firing as per the rules.
All firing units to be marked as having fired this turn (for modified Command Penalty).

Command Phase
Give orders and move as per the Command phase of the rules.
There is an additional command penalty:
“-1 if fired this turn”
Any units charged may deliver ‘Closing Fire’ if they have not fired before in this turn.

Melee Phase
Conduct Melees as per rules


OFTEN FORGOTTEN RULES

COMMAND VALUE
No command rating can be modified to more than 10 or less than 5. Page 28.

VICTORIOUS UNITS

After winning a melee and it is no longer engaged with the enemy a unit can fall back including a disordered unit. Page 69

 
UNITS FIGHTING TO FLANK OR REAR

Units struck in flank or rear which after a round of the combat turn to face automatically become disordered. Page 73.

COVER/BUAs/MORALE SAVES
Once a defender has lost a round of combat they no longer get cover saves. So normal troops Morale Save drops from a 2+ to a 4+. Page 66



CLARIFICATIONS

THE PROXIMITY RULE
This is taken from a clarification by BP author Rick Priestly on the Yahoo BP Forum.

Once an enemy is within proximity distance a unit cannot move to its flank. It can only move forwards or backwards within its front and rear quarters; it cannot shuffle sideways. This does not prevent a unit turning to face so long as it remains within its front or rear quarter.

For example: - with enemy to the flank within 12 inches you could turn to face the threat just by turning through 90 degrees about your centre - or wheeling forward or back; and having done that you could (assuming you have more command moves) move towards the enemy.

Units making a charge order have to fulfil their order in the most direct way possible - which could be a turn to bring the enemy within the unit's front followed by a charge move. At least two moves would be required in this example.

REMOVING DISORDER
This is taken from the BP FAQ on the Warlord BP Forum.

At the end of each side’s turn all that side’s disorder markers are removed apart from units still engaged in combat and units from broken brigades. The rules for disorder are given as part of the rules for shooting – so they brashly assume we are talking about disorder resulting from enemy shooting. Hence ‘following turn’ is intended to refer to the other side’s turn. Bearing in mind that disorder can occur at other points in the game, the sentence should read, ‘A unit that becomes disordered remains disordered until the end of its own turn.’ (Note that this correction has been included in subsequent printings of the rulebook).


MIXED FORMATION
A unit in mixed-formation does not count both a +1 attack column morale save and -1 'to hit' for skirmishers (shooting is directed against either the skirmishers or the column). 

BUILT UP AREAS (BUAs)
The Rules As Written can make BUAs seem like mini Hougemonts.  At the start of games you should consider making a judgment about the strength of BUAs before the game begins based on their historical effect or on the effect you want them to have in a made up situation.

First off decide is the BUA is composed of mostly wooden structures or is more substantial. Based on that make the cover save either +1 or +2. Then don't automatically go with the default +3 support value for a Standard unit in a BUA. Make a conscious decision whether this should be +1, +2 or +3 (the BUA still cannot be supported by other units as is normal). Finally decide whether the 'ignore all break test results except Break' rule should apply on not.
By using all the above variables you can create all kinds of different strength villages and towns. It becomes easy to get those see saw results that happened so often in Napoleonic battles. No new rules mechanics are required, just a selective application of the rules already available.

Storage and Packing troops

Proper way to Store and go your Army


http://jayswargamingmadness.blogspot.com/2013/05/kulbacon-2013-report.html

Thursday, December 26, 2013

FIW Canoe Race

Another favorite they played
Game Title:       French and Indian War Canoe Race
GM's Name:     Dwight Jones
Scale:     28mm Miniatures
Rules Used:  Home Brew
Number of Players:  10
Description:  The Fur Trappers try and out paddle the Indians who do their best to shoot, tip over, or generally trouble the trappers.


Rapier2013/FrenchIndianWarCanoeRace02.jpg


general/pigwars.JPG

CLS Napoleonics in Spain - 1813

I was in Montana this year when they gamed this scenario in Jacksonville, Florida this Summer at the Rapier Convention

Game Title: Battle of San Marcial (Sept 1 1813)GM's Names: Dwight Jones & Ben Ellenburg
Game Type: 25mm Miniatures
Rules Used:  Column Line and Square (CLS 2 & Battle Manual)
Number of Players: 12
Description: Marshal Soult's Army has been nearly pushed out of Spain by Wellington and his Portugeuse and Spanish Allies. Ordered by the
Minister of War Henri Clarke to resume his offensive and relieve the British siege of San Sebastion, Soult draws up his plans to relieve
San Sebastion and perhaps even inflict a stinging blow on the unsuspecting Allies.......   Signed Up:  Bill Ballinger;  Rebekah Shively, Danny Daniel, Tim Gasson, Tim Tyler, Steve Mann, Mike Foster; Rick Welch; Stephen Welch; David Welch



rapier11/CLSlarge.JPG

rapier11/nappy.JPG


Rapier/DSC01613.JPG

Rapier10/clsgame.jpg



Monday, December 16, 2013

Merry Xmas one and all

 
AS a Merry Xmas from the Spanish Priest
soon to make an Appearance in this Saturdays game
Hopefully he will inspire his Spanish companions
 better than he did in the AWI Game
To all a good night -
I know my friends in Scotland
 will be opening presents first
May 2014 bring a prosperous year for all of us.

See De Alte Fritz blog - I borrowed this to celebrate
 the American victory at Trenton this Christmas Day 1776

Troiani's Battle of Trenton
This is a wonderful picture from the talented artist, Don Troiani,
depicting the death of Colonel von Rall at the Battle of Trenton on Christmas of 1776.

This picture really has me thinking about purchasing
a couple of battalions of his future releases for painting of AWI Hessians in 2014.


 
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sharps Practice 15mm French and Indian War

Mark Luthur - French and Indian War

 
Excellent game and scenario - Mark puts on a fun game as usual.
 Several shots of the peaceful garrisoned homestead unaware of the devastation soon to come
from raiding Indians and despicable French Canadians



Note the homestead Barn in the fore ground
 


 
Provincial Militia from Fort Necissity

 
Indians

 
another shot of the Provincials (looking to protect the farmers moonshne

 
Blind movement by Indians on the flank

 
Indians ambush unsuspecting Dutch Colonialists coming to rescue their Captains sweetheart

 
Although they had the element of surprise - the Indians lack numbers and
adequate supplies of good powder to do much real damage to the column

 
They soon ran back into the woods

 
Canadians set the Barn on fire

 
Brave Ranger Corporal stops advance of the Dutch to aid
the provincial militia and the other half of the Rangers


 
oops - the fire got to the moonshine in the Vorhees Barn - KABOOM


 
Fire burns intensely



 
French Canadians escape with hostages
 
Canadians beat the provincials in objectives and points set the Vorhees stone house on fire as well

Monday, June 24, 2013

Hi,
I forgot to cross post this earlier.  Hopefully you will find this enjoyable.
Bill
We had our monthly game this past weekend.  Jim ran a "Check Your Six" WWI airplane game that was very enjoyable.  Jim had set up 3 scenario's of which we were able to run 2 within 4 hours (we decided to break at this point so everyone could handle family obligations).

The year was 1917 during the 3rd Battle of Ypres (July 21st until November 18th)
The first scenario had Mark and I playing allies.  I had 2 Belgian Hanriot HD-1 fighter aircraft and 1 Belgian Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter Observation plane.   Mark had 2 British Sopwith Pups and one 1 British Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter Observation plane.   Our mission was to locate a large French infantry formation that had gotten trapped/lost behind enemy lines.  I don't remember if this was identified as a battalion or anything.   Jim placed 4 random makers on the table to mark the locations our Strutters were to search for this missing Frogs.  Given my usual luck with pilots I rolled for all three of mine to be zero skill, I believe Mark may have had 1 skill level 1 pilot.  The Germans had slightly better pilots over all.  Greg and Jim each commanded 2 Albatross D-III aircraft.  The aircraft Mark and I commanded only had one forward firing machine gun vs. two on the Albatross D-IIIs.  The amount of damage that the German's could inflict with hits was significantly higher as a result.

Below is a photo of one of my Hanriots, nice bright blue target isn't it?
We got off to a fast start, my Strutter found the Frenchmen at the first counter area I searched.  Now the challenge was to get the observer off the board so this information could be relayed to higher command.  So I did something that wasn't very clever I flew my fighters one direction and the spotter the other.  Suddenly it seemed the Sopwith was going to be overwhelmed.

It was about this time that one of Mark's pups went down in flames.   The next photos show that and some general shots of the table.  One of the photos shows two of the Albatross D-IIIs bee lining toward my Sopwith seen in the background.  The final photos in this series shows one of my Hanriots being shot down the next turn by the same pilot (Jim) that had just shot Mark down.





My hero!  Mark saves my bacon by hitting both of the German's who were intent on shooting me down.  While neither were shot down both had critical hits placed on them that forced them both to break off pursuit and allowed my Sopwith to escape and deliver the valuable location of the lost troops.  The last photo shows my lone remaining fighter showing up too late to accomplish anything other than looking pretty in blue.   Both of the damaged German pilots were able to save both aircraft (and themselves).  This would be important in Jim's new WWI air campaign he is running at Gigabytes Café and Games on the third Saturday of the month (I believe).

One win for the Allies.

Second game:  Mark and I took the Germans for the second game.   The allies consisted of two commands each with 2 Hanriots and one Sopwith Strutter.  We did not know their objective and were considered on patrol.   This time I rolled one of my pilots as a plus 2 skill level, of course my other was a zero.  Everyone else had a mixture of skill levels, I seem to remember that both Mark and Jim each had a skill level 2 pilot also.  As the location marker from the first game was still on the table we were brilliant in figuring out that the allied objective must have something to do with it.  Almost immediately the 2 Sopwiths were able to successfully drop supplies to the cut off French.  I was able to hit Jim's Sopwith and put damage on it but not force it down.  Both of the Strutters then turned for a second run to drop more supplies.  The last photos show the general "fur ball" going on and the last photos are of my skill level 2 pilot putting the hurt on one of Greg's.   The second supply drop was half successful.   Greg was able to drop his supplies on target while the damage to Jim's caused to him miss the drop zone and he provided the Germans with the supplies.  Perhaps Cognac?  It was determined that 3 out of 4 successful supply drops gave the allies a second victory on the day.






 
More to follow shortly.
We all enjoyed the games.  The third scenario that we did not run would have been on with the allies making air to ground attacks on German positions to allow the cut off infantry make it back to their lines.  Perhaps that will show up at a later game.   Almost all of the aircraft used were from Shapeways and all were from Jim's and Mark's collections.  Shapeways make a huge range of very nice aircraft for WWI.

The rules were great fun, while not as simple as the basic Wings of War they are still simple enough and have some nice chrome.  I hate to say realistic touches as these are toys but the chrome that is in the game can be rooted in "realism".  Ok, the logic used in the rules makes sense to us!

Our next game will be a 28mm WWII France 1940 game.   The French are actually launching a limited counter attack against the Germans.  These are skirmish type rules where everyone can command at least a platoon or so.  They have been put together by Jim and we have had at least 2 previous games with these rules and we have enjoyed them.  For me that says a lot as I am normally not much on skirmish games.  This game is scheduled at our normal 2nd Saturday of the month for July 13th.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Happy Fathers Day to all of us who are fathers!
Courtesy of Iron Mitton