1st November 2020
In what looks like the last club meeting we will be able to hold for some time, four intrepid members met at Holt and brought with them a taste of the Orient. Many thanks to Pete and Vlad for the photographs and to Dan for the words.
Ronin - a fantasy skirmish in feudal Japan
Pete, Vlad, Dan and Andy J got together to play Osprey's skirmish rules and put on a spectacular display of figures and terrain. I am not sure if the supernatural elements in the game are in the original book or were house rules written for this scenario but they certainly added something to the occasion. Pete was the eventual winner. This was a busy game on a fairly large table (7' x 5') so I would like to express my thanks to Dan for producing the following detailed report even though he was in the thick of the action throughout.
The village, which had stood for maybe 1,000 years didn't know we were coming that day. If they had perhaps they would have prepared better. Four buntai were on the march that day. The daimyo's taxes had gone missing and he had sent a bushi of samurai and ashigaru to find the lost taxes and punish the ashigaru who had stolen them.
A rival to the daimyo had also heard these taxes were being held in a village and sent his men to claim them for himself. A wealthy family had hired some Ronin also to claim the taxes for themselves. The fourth buntai were a force of Sohei monks that were concerned that the villagers had stopped sending offerings to the temple and sent a small force to investigate and, if possible, gain the taxes.
The four buntai arrived from the north, north east, south east and south of the village. All arrived within a short period. The daimyo's force marching down the road saw the monks entering the village and opened fire on them with their yumi, the monks and bushi then exchanged fire for a bit whilst the monks entered the village to see what was happening. The daimyo's men turned North just outside the village and towards the shrine where the taxes could be hidden. To the north the Ronin advanced down into the village but keeping to the outskirts, the villagers could be seen just north of the shrine and south of them. The daimyo's rivals force entered the village from the north east, they went straight for the villagers, opening fire and attacking them as soon as they had a chance.
But the villagers didn't run, because a jorogumo spider demon then revealed itself within the pack of villagers. She had taken control of them and forced them to fight for her and though there were many of them their fighting skills didn't match that of the trained samurai and ashigaru, and soon it developed that they also had the backing of the ronin who joined the fight attacking the villagers from the flank and behind. This was too much and the villagers, though putting up stiff resistance, could not last long under such an attack.
The monks ,who realised that the peasants were now in mortal danger, stopped searching for the taxes and began moving towards the villagers, but the daimyo's men were in between them, and launched an attack at the monks. The initial charge was held off and soon the rest of the monks came into support and cut the daimyo's men down
But not all the daimyo's men had charged in, others were looking for taxes and treasure. In the shrine a lone ashigaru found a chest but as soon as he opened it an Oni giant monster appeared, heavily armoured and immensely strong. It withstood four of the daimyo's men attacking it, after this not all of them wanted to fight it, but the daimyo's men were now losing. The monks had dispatched those who had charged them and started to move toward the rest.
Meanwhile the villagers had all been cut down, and only the spider demon remained, many of the daimyo's rivals men were trying to bring her down but she was able to take all the attacks and gave back as much as she received. The ronin now had few opponents left to fight and moved towards what they saw as the treasure, and towards the Oni, killing another of the daimyo's men. Only their hatamoto was left, but the night was coming in and soon it would be too dark to see, the fighting was over, the daimyo's men had suffered terribly, most were dead. The monks left with some light wounds, but couldn't save the villagers who were cut to pieces.
The taxes were never recovered they were left in the cart were they stood all day, this rice may have been taken later by the ashigaru who had stolen it in the first place.
25th October 2020
Only one game was played at Holt Village Hall on this Sunday, five members taking part. A slightly fuller account than usual follows: -
The Battle of Prague - a campaign game using Twilight of the Soldier Kings rules
This battle was the first table-top engagement fought in a Seven Years War campaign organised by Nick and involving Gordon (Prussia) and Darren (Britain/Hanover) against Bryan (Austria/HRE), Andy W (Russia) and Neil (France). Gordon and Darren commanded the Prussian army, Andy and Neil the Austrians (regrettably, Bryan was unable to attend due to a bad case of self isolation). The background to the battle was as follows. In the opening campaign the Prussians moved to Prague and fought Charles of Lorraine. This was done using the combat system in a board game and happened in game terms in the hex of the city. In contrast to actual historical events, the Prussians decided not to march to attack the Austrians but instead stayed concentrated at Prague. Daun's army moved near to Prague to block the Prussian supply lines and make a siege impossible. The Prussians at this point split their forces and marched to attack Daun's army but this time on the outskirts of Prague. The Austrians were defending the high ground north of the streams and fishponds that bisected the battlefield and held the advantage in the number of troops deployed. The Prussians, however, were of higher quality and they had Frederick the Great in command.
The Austrians deployed with their heavy cavalry concentrated on the left flank, infantry and Grenzers in the centre and right wing, light cavalry in reserve. The Prussians, however, set up in three large march columns on the right and centre right of their position, infantry in the middle and mounted support on each side. The plan was obviously to deal a crushing blow to the Austrian left before their right wing could intervene by making use of superior Prussian mobility. Moving as swiftly as their action tests would allow, Frederick's forces began to cross the stream and began to mass threateningly on the Austrian left. Reacting to the danger, the Austrian commander began shifting resources from the right wing to provide support and the battle became concentrated on one side of the field. The massed Prussian infantry brigades crossed the stream without difficulty and moved up the slope to engage their Austrian counterparts (the Prussians were using "bayonet tactics" so were not initially permitted to open fire and had to move into physical contact to force a morale test). Before that could happen, however, the Austrian infantry delivered a devastating volley into one of the leading Prussian brigades and it was immediately broken. The Prussian infantry advance continued but was met with stubborn resistance and, as Austrian artillery and infantry made their presence felt on their left, began to suffer serious losses. In a prolonged engagement four Prussian infantry brigades were routed to the Austrians' one.
While the infantry were duelling in the centre, on the Austrian left a series of cavalry charges and counter charges were taking place. The Prussians had a numerical advantage and were able to score some early successes. However, as the Austrian light cavalry made their way across the battlefield to provide much needed support, the Austrian mounted troops were able to steady the line and Frederick's horse were unable to achieve a decisive breakthrough. The critical action actually occurred on the Austrian right where a brigade of Grenzers had made their way across the stream and got into position to assault an artillery battery. The guns were routed and that meant that a wing morale test was required. The Prussians failed and, as result, the entire force of infantry was obliged to quit the field. The Prussian commanders continued the game for one more turn in the hope of inflicting more cavalry losses on the Austrians but this was not successful. The Prussians then withdrew, leaving the Austrians in possession of the field of battle. The Prussian losses were five units routed and four failed morale tests, the Austrians had three broken units and five failed morale tests.
Nick was the umpire for this game, he also supplied the terrain and the Austrian army. Gordon used figures from his own collection for the Prussian forces.
18th October 2020
Holt Village Hall was the sole location for this Sunday's games and the "limited attendance" rule was in operation. Three tables were in play and I would like to express my thanks to Dan, Ian, Pete and Andy R for their contributions below.
In this game, fought using the most recent set of Lardie rules, Ian commanded the Germans and Dan led the Romans, whose task was to destroy the enemy village. I am indebted to Dan for the following gripping account: -
A slow but steady advance saw the small roman detachment of 3 groups of legionaries accompanied by 2 groups of auxiliaries and 1 group of auxiliary archers making good progress, some German slingers to our flank and rear made sure we kept our heads down. But then 2 groups of German warriors pounced on the auxiliaries forcing them back and doing serious damage to the lead group. The legionaries who were slightly ahead of their colleagues sent the rear group of legionaries smashing into the side of the Germans sending the first group running for the woods. The 2nd group of auxiliaries then charged into the remaining group routing them off as well.
Meanwhile the 2 remaining groups of legionaries commanded by a centurion halted waiting for the action to finish when 2 groups of German warriors and an oath sworn group ambushed the Romans from the front, being in close formation they were able to withstand the initial charge and the 2 groups of legionaries held their own. Then they saw a chance to step back and launch 2 rounds of pilum at the 3 groups though this had little effect. The Optio and his group of legionaries now started to try and re-join the centurion and his 2 groups. But before they could re-join the formation a group of fanatics launched themselves from from German mob to the front. They smashed into the Optio and his group killing many and sending the others fleeing for their lives.
The fanatics were now in the middle of the roman force and behind their lines. The next card to be drawn could be decisive in the battle. The German warlord, he shouted his orders to the fanatics to turn and charge the centurions group from the flank and charged forward with his 3 groups. Before a dice could be thrown the Romans dispersed fleeing for their lives ( the Germans had 4 times more dice than the Romans which is an automatic rout). The Roman force moral plummeted and the remaining groups turned and ran.
In Her Majesty's Name
Pete, Ross and Maurice were the players in this 28mm game, utilising Osprey's popular Steampunk skirmish rules. Here is Pete's brief description of the action: -
Four companies tried to find the mystic diadem - Germans, Belgians, the Royal Navy and a Scientific expedition. Much mayhem ensued, including the RN shore party bringing down the Belgian autogyro. Tarzan, Jane and assorted giant animals joined in, but in the end the German Robot Men held sway.
Thanks Pete for making that perfectly clear.
Oathmark, Dwarves vs Anglo-Saxons
Making their second appearance on a club Sunday were yet another set of Osprey rules in the shape of Oathmark. I will now hand over to war correspondent Andy R for the following report: -
Tom Pugh put together a very impressive dwarven army to take on Harry’s Anglo Saxons who were bolstered by two Wizards.
Tom brought a very impressive ‘Behemoth’ heavy catapult and then bolstered it by casting spells to turn the projectiles into exploding rocks. A tremendous battle then developed as Tom strived let loose his devastating bombardment while Harry’s wizards employed many cunning stratagems to stop him. In the end, Tom's fire power with the catapult and two units of archers were too much for Harry’s beleaguered forces. However a brave Anglo Saxon hero did have the satisfaction of slaying the captain of the dwarven army.
11th October 2020
The main venue in operation was Holt Village Hall and so only six players attended and only two games took place. My grateful thanks to Pete and Darren for the photos and accompanying text. In addition , Ian hosted a game at his home where he took on Andy R in a game of Chain of Command. Thanks to Ian for his pictures of this game.
Over the Hills - More Napoleonic Fun in the Peninsular War
The first game involved Gordon (the French commander) and Pete (leading the British and Spanish formations) and was a Talavera scenario from the Over The Hills book in which the French (the German Division) attacked the redoubts. This was a French win mostly because the British didn't move quickly enough in the first couple of turns. Most interesting was the way the Spanish Division looked very pretty, but crumpled away when struck by the French columns.
A Seven Years War Battle with Twilight of the Soldier Kings Rules
This was an imaginary battle of the Seven Years War involving generals Darren, Billy, Andy W and Nick. The outnumbered Prussian force attacked a solid defensive Austrian position. A closely fought battle ensued with the cream of Prussian cavalry making a hard assault against the enemy wings and taking heavy losses whilst buying time for the superior Prussian infantry to grind down the Austrian centre. A narrow Prussian victory was gained after both Austrian cavalry wings decided that enough was enough and retired off the field to get some fresh sausages for next time...
Chain of Command in Normandy
This 28mm game, an imaginary tussle somewhere in Normandy, was hosted by Ian (who commanded the German troops) fighting against a British force led by Andy R. The only information that Ian was willing to share was that the British gave the Germans a thrashing. I can only assume that the full details were too painful to relate.
27th September 2020
This was the first of our "Rule of Six" events where games took place in more than one location. The reports that follow will be in a shorter format than usual as your correspondent could not be in three places at once. Thanks to Pete for the photographs and game information from Holt and thanks to Andy R for pictures of the Kings of War game in Heightington.
Holt Village Hall
Chain of Command Spanish Civil War
Pete was the host for this meeting which took place in our usual location. Two games were played, the first of which was an American Civil War battle fought between Dan and Vlad, using Dave Brown's Pickett's Charge rules. The second contest was a Chain of Command Spanish Civil War engagement in 28mm scale, Stephen, Pete and Bill taking part. Here is Pete's account of the action: -
Moroccan troops were trying to take a farm held by Republicans and Anarchists. In the opening few turns the Moroccans were doing well, then the Republican tanks turned up. Their combined fire pinned the only AT unit the Moroccans had and their Commanders could do little as fire from the Militias and Carabineri routed one of their sections. Losses were mounting on the Militias as well, but with an untouched squad in reserve, and the Nationalist morale down to 2 they withdrew from the field.
Blucher - French cavalry corps on the right
Heavy fighting around one of the French objectives
This game, a 6mm imaginary Napoleonic battle using Blucher rules was held at Neil's house. Gordon and Bryan took charge of the Austrian army, Terry and Neil were the French generals. This was an exciting and closely fought contest with the result in doubt right to the end. On their final move, the French needed to break only one more Austrian brigade to win the game. However, the Austrian forces held on and in their last throw were able to rout the two French units required for victory.
Kings of War 1
Kings of War 2
Nick hosted two games at his place. Due to an intelligence gathering failure, information on what went on is scarce. All I can tell you is that Thomas and Andy R played Kings of War and Billy, Nick and Andy W fought an American War of Independence battle. Anyone who can provide further details or any additional pictorial representation of events will receive my eternal gratitude.
13th September 2020
In the last meeting before the "Rule of Six" regulations are imposed, fourteen gamers took part in five games at Holt Village Hall. We also had the pleasure of Ian's company for a while but he did not get his dice dirty. Brief reports can be found below:
American Civil War with Fire and Fury
This battle was an American Civil War encounter fought with 20mm figures (courtesy of Nick) using the Fire and Fury Rules (Brigade Edition), which were first published in 1990. Although the scenario was imaginary, the armies in play were cut-down versions of the forces that took part in the Battle of Gettysburg. Andy W was the Union general while Nick was in charge of the Confederates. In the game the Rebels came up against some determined musket fire from the Feds, so much so that some Union units ran out of ammunition. The result was a victory for the North.
WWII Chain of Command on the Eastern Front
The usual Russian Front Chain of Command game was fought between Bill, leading the Russian forces and James controlling the German troops. Maurice was also involved but I am not sure in what capacity. The scale was 28mm and the figures and vehicles came from the players own collections. Both sides employed a significant amount of heavy armour and so it is hardly surprising that the engagement turned into a bit of a bloodbath. After a very closely fought contest Bill emerged as the winner.
The Battle of Barrosa 1811
Making their second appearence on a club Sunday, the Napoleonic "Over the Hills" rules featured in a Peninsular War scenario fought between Gordon and Pete. The game was a re-fight of the Battle of Barrosa, 5th March 1811, which came about when an Anglo-Iberian army tried to break the seige of Cadiz. Gordon took on the role of the French commander and Pete led the Allied forces. In the historical battle, the Allies scored a tactical victory but in the miniature version it was the forces of the Emperor that gained the upper hand.
Hidden away in the room at the back and clearly observing social distancing in its most stringent form, Dave B and Harry recommenced hostilities in the Classical world with another game of Impetus. This time the setting was the Ionian Revolt, a series of rebellions by Greek regions of Asia Minor against Persian rule in the late fifth century BCE. At the last club Sunday when the two captains had played this game Dave had come out on top but on this occasion Harry had his revenge.
Aspern-Essling with Blucher Rules
The final game was a recreation of the first day of the Battle of Aspern-Essling, May 21st 1809 using 6mm figures and fought with Blucher rules. Bryan provided the terrain and Neil W supplied the figures, devised the scenario and umpired the game. Billy and Andy J shared command of the Austrian army and were opposed by Dan and Bryan's French and German troops. Unfortunately, there was not enough time to complete all the moves in the scenario but it is fair to say that despite some frantic cavalry combat in the centre, the Austrians never seriously threatened to take either of the objectives (the villages of Aspern and Essling) and the French held on despite the numerical odds being against them.
A detailed description of the scenario, complete with orders of battle for both sides can be found here.
23rd August 2020
It's good to see the number of attendees at our meetings gradually creeping up to pre-lockdown levels. Holt Village Hall was the venue once more and we had 19 players battling over six tables. Here is what transpired:
The Battle of Kolin 1757
This battle, fought in 10mm scale and using Maurice rules, was a recreation of the Seven Years War engagement that took place at Kolin (now in the Czech Republic) on 18th June 1757. Bryan supplied all the figures and terrain and partnered Jon in joint command of the Austrian army, Terry and Neil taking responsibility for the Prussians. Following the historical scenario, the Prussians had to attack and seize the objective on the Austrian table edge, a difficult task given that they were significantly outnumbered. Nevertheless, Frederick's army nearly pulled off an unlikely victory and it was only as both sides' army morale approached zero that the Austrians prevailed.
Lord of the Rings
JRR Tolkein's Middle Earth was the venue for this fantasy skirmish battle, a 28mm game using Games Workshop's well known set of rules. James, taking on the mantle of the lord of darkness, led an evil force of orcs, Uruk-hai and a very impressive looking armoured troll. Thom, the champion of the free people of the west, commanded a force that included some of the characters of the Fellowship and a number of the Riders of Rohan. Maurice moderated the action and no doubt cast the occasional spell. Two battles were fought in the course of the afternoon, the good guys coming out on top in the first, the second being too close to call.
First World War Spearhead
A large scale action on the eastern front, this battle was inspired by the Brusilov Offensive that took place between June and September 1916 and resulted in a costly victory for Russia. Ross devised the scenario and provided all the material required for the game, the rules used were Great War Spearhead and the scale was 6mm. Billy was in charge of the Austrian defenders while Dave C took on the role of General Brusilov. Though greatly outnumbered, the Austrian forces held on grimly but, in the end, history repeated itself on the table-top.
Impetus in the Ancient World
Set in the third century BCE, this game was an imaginary encounter between the armies of the Seleucid Empire and those of neighbouring Parthia. Harry was the Seleucid general, he provided the 6mm figures and scenery used in the game and he also chose the rules to be used (Impetus). Dave B was the Parthian captain and it was the first time he had played the game. As so often is the case, the novice proved more than equal to the task. The Seleucids carelessly lost their left flank and it was not long before the Parthians were masters of the field.
Chain of Command in the Spanish Civil War
The Chain of Command rules made their customary appearance at the club but with a new twist this Sunday. Stephen brought along the Spanish Civil War supplement (a game featuring "crap tanks and religous fanatics" according to the organiser), supplied all the 28mm figures and umpired the contest. Bill led a force of Moroccan Regulares for the Nationalists and Paul was the leader (if that's the right word) of a group of Anarchists fighting for the Republican side. Not surprisingly, the Anarchists were unable to mount a successful defence and despite almost managing to mow down a Nationalist squad with their armoured car, it was Bill that emerged the victor.
The Battle of Klissow 1702
Yet another game in 6mm scale, this impressive display was a re-fight of the Swedish king Charles XII's victory over the Polish-Saxon army at Klissow, 8th July 1702. The game featured purpose-built sectional terrain created by Gordon and he also supplied all the figures. The rules were Twilight of the Sun King and the author, Nick, also took part in the contest. Two games were played during the afternoon, in the first Clive and Andy J commanded the Poles and Saxons while Gordon donned the breeches of Charles XII. The Swedes, despite their vaunted reputation, suffered a bit of a beating. In the second game Nick took over the Allies and in this game the Swedes did substantially better.
9th August 2020
For our third week at Holt Villlage Hall we had 15 amateur generals playing five games. Read on for brief descriptions of miniature carnage.
Blood and Valor - WWI skirmish combat
A period that is not played frequently at the club is the First World War, so it was good to see Jon and Andy J fighting a small scale skirmish engagement in 28mm from the early part of that great conflict. The rules used were Blood and Valor (sorry about the spelling but the rule book does originate in America so I suppose we must make allowances), a relatively new set that neither player had used before. Jon commanded the Kaiser's men while Andy led the Scottish infantry. The British officer later expressed disappointment that his troops had not shown their customary fanaticism. Nonetheless, the Black Watch claimed the victory as they had one almost complete squad at the end. Both players thought that the rules worked well and gave an enjoyable game.
Twilight of the Sun King
Nick performed his usual functions of rules, figure and terrain provider for another instance of his Twilight of the Sun King game. Andy W was the Allied general and Phil from the Worcester club (welcome Phil) commanded the French forces. It was particularly gallant of Phil to take on the task as he had come to the club hoping to play Napoleonic "Over the Hills" but his opponent Pete couldn't make it. His day was not wasted, however, as he was victorious despite Andy's best efforts to thwart him.
The Battle of Dogali 1887
Clive, Maurice and Billy got together to recreate an historical scenario from the Italo-Abyssinian War of the late nineteenth century, the battle of Dogali in 1887. The rules used were Gunboat and Bayonet, adapted by Clive from Bundock and Bayonet a free set on the web. Clive provided the 28mm figures and terrain, Billy was the Abyssinian general and Maurice was in charge of the Italians, whose task was to escort a number of supply wagons from one end of the table to the other. History was repeated as the Italians were overwhelmed before they could escort the wagons to safety.
What a Tanker - Armoured Combat in WWII
On our previous club Sunday there were no games using Lardies' rules. This time normal service was resumed with two of their rule sets in play. In the first of these games, Terry, Neil and Thom indulged themselves with "What a Tanker" using 1:48 scale vehicles (a mixture of plastic kits and die-cast models) in a NW Europe late war battlefield, all scenery and equipment supplied by Neil. Each player took turns in commanding the Allied and German forces and three games were completed in the course of the afternoon. Thom came out on top with two wins to his credit
Chain of Command WWII Eastern Front
The second set of Lardies' rules in evidence was Chain of Command. In this WWII eastern front engagement in 28mm, James and Dave C were in command of the Axis troops and Bill and led the Soviets. The table featured some very effective ruined factory buildings provided by Ian. The scenario, designed by Ian and originally part of his 2020 ladder campaign (although this game was not included in campaign results) involved a German platoon attack supported by some heavy armour. Dave’s platoon got shot up very badly early in the action and the Russian defenders were able to stubbornly hang on, even managing to dispose of the enemy tanks with captured German equipment!
26th July 2020
Our second meeting at Holt Village Hall saw fourteen members engaged in five table-top battles. Clive, accompanied by four-legged companion, made a brief visit but neither he or Meg joined in a game. Here are short reports on the action that did take place.
Beneath the Lily Banners - Carnatic Wars
Stephen, Billy and Paul participated in an imaginary battle fought during one of the Carnatic Wars (a series of conflicts that occurred in mid-eighteenth century India). The scale was 28mm and the game featured a large number of excellently painted figures from the collections of Stephen and Paul. The rules used were "Beneath the Lily Banner" with modifications made by Stephen to reflect the nature of warfare in the sub-continent at that time. The scenario involved an engagement between a Mughal army and a British (or should that be an East India Company) force and the result, after a hard-fought contest, was a narrow win for the British.
Oathmark - fantasy battles with a Medieval flavour
A relatively new set of rules making their debut at the club, Oathmark - Battles of the Lost Age is one of the latest offerings from Osprey Publications, which allows gamers to command the fantasy army of their choice. Andy R and Harry played a 28mm game in which Andy commanded a force of exotic creatures such as ogres and orcs while Harry was in charge of a fairly conventional looking medieval army. The rules feature a campaign system which allows players to expand their territories and develop their troop types as games progress, so I have no doubt we'll be seeing much more of Oathmark games at future club events.
Over the Hills - a Napoleonic tussle in the Peninsular
Another rule set making a first appearance on a club Sunday, Gordon, Pete and Andy J used "Over The Hills" to fight a battle between two small French dvisions and a mixed Spanish division circa 1809. Gordon was the French General and Pete and Andy shared leadership of the Spanish. This was a first time tryout of the rules so progress was a little slow but all the players agreed they gave an enjoyable game. The Spanish cavalry enjoyed some success driving off a French cavalry Brigade and destroying a horse battery but as the French columns made contact a Spanish battalion was routed on the right and the second French cavalry brigade smashed their Spanish counterparts. With the Spanish left flank open, the field was conceded to the French.
Longstreet - opening shots in the American Civil War
"Longstreet" is a card based set of rules designed by Sam Mustafa which simulates brigade-sized combat in the American Civil War. The scenario played was intended to represent the opening moves in the Battle of First Bull Run (July 1861), the first major engagement in that bloody conflict. The 10mm figures and terrain were supplied by Dan and he was also the Confederate commander. Nick was the Union general and this was the first time he had played the game. The Northern forces won through in the end against the determined Rebs.
Maurice - a Seven Years War battle
Sam Mustafa's rules were again in evidence in the final game of Sunday's session, the ever popular Maurice, designed to replicate warfare in the age of gentlemen and philosophers. In a Seven Years War scenario, Terry, assisted by Bryan, led a British/Hanoverian 10mm army against a French force commanded by Dave B and aided by Neil. Terry chose to attack, the objective being the village in the centre of the French position. The French cavalry saw off the threat from the British horse on their right but suffered serious infantry losses as the Allies pressed in the centre. However, as the day ended, the British were unable to take the objective and although their army morale was superior to their enemy's, the French secured a technical victory.
12th July 2020
After an extended break from club gaming due to the social distancing regulations imposed following the outbreak of Covid-19, Sunday meetings recommenced in a new location (St Ambrose Parish Hall being closed until September). Fourteen members were able to make it and there were five games in play. A brief account of each of them will follow, but first, a word about our new venue.
Holt Village Hall exterior
Holt Village Hall is situated on the A4133 about a mile west of Ombersley and is roughly half way between Kidderminster and Worcester. The hall is large enough to accommodate six tables with ease and there is a room at the rear of the building that could be used for another game.
Holt Village Hall interior
There is a well equipped kitchen and parking spaces for several vehicles. In all, this is an excellent site for club meetings and, because it seems to be little used, gives us the opportunity to organise additional gaming sessions if the demand is there.
Hexblitz - WWII Operational Level Battles
Bryan, Terry and Neil got together to play, for the first time, Bob Cordery's set of rules intended to reproduce large scale Second World War engagements. The 10mm figures and terrain were Neil's while Bryan provided the hexagonal tiles essential for the game. The scenario was set in NW Europe and featured a British offensive by an armoured division and an independent infantry brigade against a German battle group. Two games were played in the afternoon and the players soon got to grips with the rules. An enjoyable game, though the consensus among the players at the end was that some modifications to the combat resolution tables would be desirable.
Seven Years War - Twilight of the Soldier Kings
A game featuring Nick's Twilight rules, this battle was fought with 15mm figures. Billy was the Prussian commander, Gordon the Russian general and Nick himself was umpire. The Prussian forces, taking the initiative, attempted a flank attack on the Russian right wing but soon ran into difficulties. The Russians, despite being under great pressure, were able to buy enough time to shift troops over to overwhelm the exposed Prussian infantry in the attack. The attacking Prussian infantry put up a good fight for a while but army morale eventually broke - victory to the Russians.
Infamy, Infamy! - Skirmish Battles in the Ancient World
Another set of rules making their debut at the club, Infamy, Infamy! is the latest production from the prolific Too Fat Lardies and attempts to simulate large scale skirmishes in the the ancient world. The scale was 28mm, Harry commanded a force of Germans, Pete was in charge of the Gauls and Dave B was an interested spectator. In a straightforward pitched battle scenario, the Germans pressed the Gauls hard but a late rally ensured the latter stayed stubbornly on the field as evening drew in. The result was, therefore, an honourable draw.
Chain of Command - WWII Eastern Front
The Lardies to the fore again as the ever popular Chain of Command rules got another airing. On this occasion the action took place on the Russian front, James was the officer commanding the German troops and Bill led the Soviets. Andy R was also present, playing the role of impartial observer. Each player provided their own 28mm figures while the scenery was Bill's. I think that the outcome was a Russian victory but if the German commander wants to correct this assumption he is at liberty to do so.
Gothic - a Supplement to "In Her Majesty's Name"
Although the In Her Majesty's Name rules have been played many times on Club Sundays, this was the first time that the "Gothic " supplement (produced by the The Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare) has made an appearance. Ross and Maurice were the protagonists, the game was played in 28mm and featured some nice scenery and some very characterful figures. These included vampires, vampire slayers, werewolves, ghosts and villagers. As usual, when these guys are playing I have absolutely no idea of what is going on. Perhaps it's just as well. I quote from the Gothic website: - "This is classic Victorian Gothic Horror at its grisly, horripilating best. It is not recommended for ladies and gentlemen of a nervous disposition, for the darkness will feed upon their terror." That counts me out, then.
15th March 2020
The Coronavirus crisis had a substantial impact on attendance this month as many members who had previously committed to a game were unable to make it. Even so, seven contests took place with 17 gamers involved in them, here are the reports: -
Chain of Command Campaign Game - British vs Germans
In the first game in the 2020 Chain of Command ladder campaign season, Dave B led a platoon of British infantrymen against a similar German force commanded by Andy R. The scale was 28mm, Dave was using his own figures, Ian provided the German figures and also the terrain. An early deployment error put the Germans on the back foot throughout the battle and left them unable to stop the British pushing through the centre, overrunning a JoP (Jump off Point) along the way. First blood to the Brits.
Chain of Command Campaign Game - Soviets vs Germans
The second campaign game saw Bill leading a group of Soviet naval troops against a defending German force under the control of Thom. Bill supplied all the troops and terrain used in this 28 mm encounter. The Russians pushed up the left flank in force and managed to break through the German defence despite losing their Armoured Car support. Victory went to the Soviets because they managed to get one team off the German table edge.
Ian organised the campaign, provided material and also acted as umpire for both games. For more information on the campaign, the organisational details are here and the campaign tracker can be found here.
Wings of War Aerial Combat in WWI
Ross and Phil indulged in several games of Wings of War, the popular aerial combat game first published back in 2004. The scenario involved a British Handley-Page bomber being harassed by a variety of German fighters. The two flying aces eventually got bored of dueling in the clouds and started playing "Magic - The Gathering", about which I have no comment to make whatsoever.
This was a 28mm game with all figures and terrain provided by Tom. The rules used were "Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan 2001-2010, designed by Ambush Alley Games and the adapted scenario involved British forces facing the Taliban. Tom's opponent was Carl and they were able to get two games played in the course of the afternoon.
Sixteenth Century Japan
Another 28mm game set in feudal Japan, this skirmish was played using the "Ronin" rules published by Osprey. The scenario involved a group of assassins who had been dispatched to kill a rival warlord who was protected by a handful of peasants, foot soldiers and his formidable wife. Dan and Pete were the gamers taking part (all figures and terrain courtesy of Pete) and the scenario was played twice, each commander swapping sides for the second game. This was the first time the players had used the rules and both agreed that they gave an enjoyable game.
Cold War Becomes Hot War - Americans vs Soviets
Fought using 6mm models, this was an imaginary encounter somewhere in Northern Europe and was set in the mid 1980's. Doug and Bryan were in charge of an American battle group, Andy W commanded the Soviet opposition and Nick acted as the umpire. The rules used were the well known "Modern Spearhead" set and the scenario involved an advance by US Forces against stubborn Eastern Bloc opposition. The outcome was an honourable draw.
Airfix Battles - a WWII Board Game
Branded as an "introductory" wargame, this self-contained board game comes complete with counters, cards and maps but it can also be used with 1/72 scale figures and vehicles. Billy and Neil played the same scenario three times, changing sides and direction of attack each time. Billy emerged as the 2-1 winner.
16th February 2020
Storm Dennis played havoc with our attendance this week. Many gamers wisely hunkered down and did not attempt the journey while other intrepid members set off in high expectations only to be forced back by impassable flood water. The end result was a mere 12 gamers present and 4 tables in action. Here are brief accounts, photographs and reports kindly supplied by Nick.
Billy and Andy J recreated the famous siege of the American War of Independence which took place in 1781. The board game itself was of 1981 vintage and designed by one Marco Donadoni. Billy, commanding the British, played the role of Cornwallis while Andy impersonated Washington. The result was a victory to the American/French forces.
In Her Majesty's Name
Ross, Maurice and James took part in this 28mm game using Osprey's popular fantasy rules. The scenario was effectively a dry run for the game the club will be displaying at the Alumwell show on Sunday 8th March. HG Wells' "War of the Worlds" was the inspiration for the game and so naturally featured evil Martian tripods and defiant human resistance. I have no idea what the outcome of the battle was, but I would like to think that if all else failed, the Martian invaders were (in the words of Wells)"slain, after all man's devices had failed, by the humblest things that God, in his wisdom, has put upon this earth"
Longstreet First Bull Run, July 1861
This contest was a re-fight of the First Battle of Bull Run, the first major battle of the American Civil War. Dan was the Union commander, Andy GPT (welcome back, Andy) was the Confederate general and the scale was 10mm. The rules used were one of Sam Mustafa'a enjoyable card based offerings, many of which have proved popular with club members. The result was a reversal of the historical result as Dan was able to secure a hard-fought victory.
Beneath the Lily Banners, late seventeenth century
Gordon was the umpire for this imaginary encounter featuring a Williamite army commanded by Dewi and Andy W and a force controlled by James II, Chas in charge with the help of Nick who commanded a French contingent. The scale was 28mm and the figures painted to a very high standard, including Jacobites painted by club member Vlad. Unfortunately, it was not possible to bring the game to a decisive conclusion, but with the right flank of the Jacobite/French smashed by enemy cavalry, the advantage was with the Orange forces when night fell.
26th January 2020
Great to see some new faces at the club this Sunday. There were six games on offer with twenty-two gamers actively engaged in them. Dave C, Maurice and James also paid fleeting visits but were not directly involved in the action.
Maurice - Seven Years War
The forces of Great Britain and Hanover took the field against the French in this 10mm scale SYW encounter. Terry commanded the French army, Jon was the British general and Bryan and Neil W were their respective aides-de-camp. Choosing to attack, the French cavalry swept their English counterparts from the field and the infantry pressed forward in search of a decisive breakthrough. However, Jon was able to steady the line and, after very heavy losses on both sides, successfully prevented the French army from taking their objective.
Chain of Command Eastern Front
This was a "Big" Chain of Command game in 15mm, two platoons per side, each with a substantial armoured component. Vlad and Peet were the Soviet commanders, Bill and first time attendee Rob led the German troops. The game was another keenly fought contest with the result in doubt right to the end. However, it was the Axis forces that secured a narrow victory.
Saga Dark Ages
Tom was the umpire for this contest, featuring another set of regularly played rules at the club. He also provided the bulk of the 28mm figures on the table though Nick also generously chipped in with a few to make up the numbers. Andy R and first time attendee Tom P were the Anglo-Saxon commanders while Dan and Carl (also a new face at the club) led a combined force of Vikings and Welsh warriors. I am not going to reveal the result of the battle because a). I do not want to embarrass potential new members and b). I forgot to ask.
The Men Who Would Be Kings - the Mahdist War
A late nineteenth century tussle in the desert utilising the popular Osprey rules, this 28mm scale battle was fought between Pete, leading the Sudanese forces, and Harry commanding the Anglo-Egyptian army. Harry's troops were attempting to recapture the fort impertinently taken by the Mahdists prior to the game. The superior firepower of the Empire forces proved decisive (particularly the machine gun) and Harry emerged victorious. This was the first time that the players had used these rules and both reported that they gave an enjoyable and entertaining game.
Twilight of the Sun King - War of the League of Augsburg
Late seventeenth century Europe was the setting for this 10mm scale battle using Nick's Twilight rules. He also provided the figures and umpired the game as Ross, impersonating William of Orange, took control of an allied army opposed to the French forces commanded by Andy W who was wearing the breeches of the Duc de Luxembourg. The order of battle for both sides was identical to the historical dispositions at the battle of Steenkirk, 1692, though the terrain was entirely of Nick's invention. From what I could make out, Andy spent most of the game cursing the performance of the French cavalry from which I can only conclude that the result was a grievous disappointment to him.
Sharp Practice - Rebellion in the Colonies
Ian once again supplied all the equipment for a further round of American War of Independence fun in 28mm, and also acted as umpire (perhaps one day he will actually get to play a game). Billy and Andy J were in charge of the tiresome rebels opposed to King George III and Dave B was left on his own to command a force of loyal Redcoats. It was another disappointing day for the British, as American sharpshooters picked off their light infantry and other units displayed a marked reluctance to enter the field.
5th January 2020
A busy start to the gaming year at the first of our January meetings. Twenty-two players were involved in seven games and here are short accounts of what transpired: -
Sharp Practice 1 - the Peninsular War
The first of the two games played using the Lardies' Horse and Musket skirmish rules saw Andy J's French/Polish force take on Pete's mixture of Spanish regular and irregular troops. Each player provided his own 28mm figures. In fairly open terrain, the use of the Polish cavalry proved decisive, beating the Spanish opposition "back to whence they had come" (in the words of the victorious general) and the seizure of a key objective secured the field for the Emperor's men. Pete is now on a recruiting drive for some suitable mounted troops.
Sharp Practice 2 - the American War of Independence
The second Sharp Practice game was a very nice looking AWI scenario in 28mm using figures and terrain entirely supplied by Ian, who also acted as umpire. Dave B and Dan were in charge of the rebellious colonists while Dave C and Graham commanded the British Redcoats. The forces of King George were lacking their customary mettle in this engagement and it was the upstart Yankees who came out on top.
North West Frontier
More imperialist machinations to report on in the Khyber Pass as Afghan tribesmen led by Maurice attacked a British column under the command of Clive and Billy. Clive provided the 28mm figures and scenery, the rules used were Triumph and Tragedy and the action took place in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Private Widdle was again making his presence felt and the British also suffered the misfortune of having their artillery destroyed. The result was more egg on the face of the British Government - or was it perhaps imperialist yolk?
Narrow Seas in WWII
Following their successful foray onto the high seas in last month's game, Gordon and Doug once again combined resources to stage another round of 1:300 scale warfare in coastal waters. Nick joined Doug in command of the British forces while Darren and Andy W helped Gordon to defend a convoy of German ships making its way along the shores of northern France. At least one German cargo vessel made its way to Davy Jones' Locker and the way the British torpedoes were tracking it looked certain that more were to follow.
Kings of War Ancients
Another game in 28mm in which all the equipment was provided by Tom, this was an ancient battle fought using the Kings of War fantasy rules adapted to historical periods. Tom was in control of a Parthian force and his adversary, Andy R, led a Successor army. The scenario played was one featured in the rule book but I neglected to find out which one. Suffice to say that Andy found the legendary Parthian horse archers too hot to handle and Tom emerged as the clear winner.
Chain of Command 1 - Normandy 1944
The first instance of the ever-popular WWII small action rules this month was a 28mm British vs Germans game set in Normandy 1944. Neil W provided the material and also some not very useful assistance to first time player Jon, who commanded the Germans. Bryan led the British platoon. The Germans very nearly captured an enemy jump-off point but their squad was forced off the table by determined British defenders. The allies inflicted greater casualties on their opponents but neither side was able to achieve the victory conditions, and a draw was the final outcome.
Chain of Command 2 - Operation Barbarossa 1941
The second Chain of Command game on this club Sunday featured Bill leading a small force of Russian naval troops and James in charge of a German platoon. Each player provided their own 28mm figures and supports but all the terrain was supplied by Bill. Two games were played in the course of the afternoon, and the players had the pleasure of achieving one victory each. Interestingly, both gamers secured their victories when they were defending.