Friday 26 August 2016

AWI with Ahistorian

This week wargaming chum Matt invited me over to his place for an AWI game.
Matt's just moved so this was a chance to show off his gaming room.
He's also playtesting some rules of his own devising Tree of Liberty and I suspect I was drafted in as the "lowest common denominator" tester - if I can understand it they must be really nice and simple.
Now although I have read a book about the AWI and last year I helped Steve Jones at Salute with his mighty 28mm display game it's not really a period I can claim much, or indeed any, real knowledge of.
However the rules are nice and simple to understand - they're also very short at just two pages. Short and simple - a bit like me - this was going to be fine.

Matt set everything up and I made the dread confession that I'd never actually played a 15mm game before. It's a scale I've never quite got my head around - my one attempt at painting some 15mm ECW ended in failure as I tried to lavish the same level of detail on as I applied to 28mm models.
Matt, being a generous soul forgave me my sins and we were able to get on with the game.

I declared my preference for the righteous redocats meaning Matt would be forced to field the perfidious American forces.

The British deployed in column along the road, with the Colonial terrorists revolutionaries arrayed along the fences

Before the game Matt had advised me to avoid using single units to charge off ahead of any support. Especially elite units as it was easy to get carried away.

Here we see the Fusiliers which I used quite brilliantly to illustrate his point.

After initial success they were thrown back into the river and fled the scene. Oh.

The Colonial rebels largely hung out on the fence line on the left, whilst their militia riflemen spread out along the ridge.

A firefight broke out across the stream - meanwhile my second line deployed ready to storm the wheat field.

Having learned the lesson of the Fusiliers I wisely sent some support up behind them.

This time British success on the wooded ridge was more enduring.

The Scots in particular made bloody work of the riflemen.

After an initial reverse the British infantry hurled themselves into the cornfield and began to drive off rebellious Marylanders

In the meantime cavalry had arrived in support of the British column.

The Scots, their danders clearly up, ploughed through three units of militia before falling on some colonial regulars and driving them off with tails between their legs as well!

And with that the craven Colonials melted away into the American wilderness.

I very much enjoyed this. The basics of the rules were very simple and gave what felt like a historical result and awarded historical play (at least as far as my limuited knowledge understands things).
The mechanics of combat rely on dice multiples, which I never quite got my head around in this game, but they were easy to look up each time - probably something that would come after only a few plays.

All in all a very pleasant evening with good company and a great looking table and models.
Matt is hoping the rules will be up for sale in the not too distant future.

Thursday 25 August 2016

The Ivory Gauntlet - A Triumph and Tragedy Darkest Africa game

After many months* of preparation and painting I was finally able to stage a Triumph and Tragedy game for the other members of the Sherwood Hucknall Ilkeston Team.
I bought the rules many moons ago and then chum James gifted me some Africans and then I started building jungle with no real idea what I was doing.
At some point I decided I'd do the free Ivory Gauntlet scenario, available from the Triumph and Treachery website as a free download. I finished most of the models a while ago, but only cobbled together enough scenery just before I went on holiday.

Usually when we get together for a game we agree what we'll play and then all turn up with soldiers - me turning up with everything and GMing was a new departure for us.

The scenario

Professor Camberwell Greenwick, doctor of anthropology at the University of Swindon, has ventured deep into the jungles of Tombogo, leaving a swathe of destruction in his wake. He is now returning to Tomsville laden with booty.
The fearsome, Ilk'oni tribe - "backward and savage heathens" according to Professor Greenwick - are preparing to ambush him as he heads home

The table. 

Steve initially expressed displeasure at my use of aquarium plants "It feels like gaming in a fishtank" but when it was all laid out everyone agreed it looked very jolly. I was pretty pleased with how it all appeared.

The game

The game began with the Professor leading the bearers forward.

The Ilk'oni appeared with bloodthirsty and savage intent on their minds

The proud Askari marched forth to meet them

Initial shooting from the Askari piled on some shock and a few casualties and the Ilk'oni withdrew to the undergrowth to recover.

Meanwhile the professor ordered the bearers to ford the river while he and the Askari kept up a hail of fire

The Professor proved a fairly hopeless shot.

The bearers paddled the river with no mishaps.

As the Askari broached the waters of the Hookinall river bow armed natives suddenly emerged from their hiding place!

Arrows and blowpipes wreaked havoc on the surprised Askari

Meanwhile the bearers picked up the pace and headed for Tomsville

The archers left the Askari to the mercy of their spear armed brethren and poured fire into the bearers.

Casualties mounted and shock increased

Valiantly the Professor belched led at the native fighters. but to no avail, the Askari were cut down.

The last few bearers left the table and as the warriors whooped their victory cries the White Man faded into the jungle hoping to make his own way back to civilisation.

This was great fun and the chaps seemed to enjoy it. The rules worked very smoothly for the most part, though we got a bit lost with combat and were a little puzzled by the morale/supression rules.
I think I'll ask some questions on LAF to clear things up. We also got the shooting modifiers wrong at first, but as it affected both sides it didn't matter too much. I really liked how T&T played and can see lots of potential for using them for small scale skirmish games.

Everyone agreed that "hosting games" made for a fun change, so Steve is planning something for General B. and I next week and the good General himself is planning to teach us both Congo the week after.
Me I'm thinking about a some more Darkest Africa T&T. Perhaps the follow-up scenario from the download pack, or maybe a rescue mission sent forth from Tomsville in search of the missing professor.
Does anyone make a 28mm cannibal cooking pot...?

*years, actually

Tuesday 23 August 2016

Holiday painting - NWF Artizan Sikhs

I took a small TMWWBK unit of the very nice Artizan 2nd Afghan War Sikhs on holiday with me.
Despite it being gloriously sunny all week (in Scotland of all places!) I still found time to paint them up.

Really lovely models to paint. I followed the same method as for the British I've done previously. The images I found seemed a little contradictory about whether Indian units wore leather or webbing - in the end I went with leather to match the Brits.
Just a Mountain Gun to go now and I should have a starter force for Tim Wubbuk games.

I missed Partizan due to being in the aforementioned balmy climes of Scotland. However James and Matt acted as bagmen/white metal mules and picked up some more Pathans, so I can get the opposition sorted.
Great service from Old Glory who I left it until the very last minute to call.

To finish, here's a slightly better lit shot of the Artizan Pathans from the last post

Wednesday 10 August 2016

Artizan Pathans

A quick pair of shots taken under natural light (so a bit dark) of 12 Artizan NWF Tribesmen with muskets.
Lovely models to paint.

Sunday 7 August 2016

More Sharp Practice

The stars aligned, the fates were auspicious and somehow or another the Sherwood Hucknall and Ilkeston Team managed to get together for a game at the Ilko Gaming hut.
I wanted to play Sharp Practice and no-one else had a better idea (AoS is definitively NOT a better idea). Originally I had plans for starting a campaign, but ran out of time and inclination and so we just played another standard game using the basic first scenario.
Each side took standard forces and with a high roll on the support chart General B and I added an extra unit of skirmishing infantry, a level 1 leader and a deployment point. The French added a bunch more men and another deployment point.
I forget the exact details of much of what happened (I’ve had a sleep since then. And been to a wedding where ale was taken) so you’ll have to make do with some pictures.

 The Redcoats arrive

 And more...

 Skirmish screen in place

 Voltigeurs open fire

 Cavalry make a first appearance in our games


 Thin red line (with added shock)

 More firing occurs

 A surfeit of voltigeurs

 Hussars charge home

 Firing drives back the redocats

More bang!

The game stagnated into a long range firefight and a late charge home by the hussars didn't meet with the expected success.
Eventually the British were badly mauled and withdrew.

I fear the Sherwood Hucknall and Ilko Team are not feeling the love for Sharp Practice. The general feeling (well, the General Ballroom feeling) is that it seems quite complicated to achieve quite a simple result. I see what he means, but I think that’s probably our fault rather than the rules being to blame. Each time we play we’ve forgotten/not looked up what happens, so the first half and more of the game is spent frantically looking stuff up, disagreeing and forgetting about the cards. So we’re not really seeing the rules in their full light.
I like the system and think it’s got plenty of depth and possibilities, but it needs one of us to actually properly learn the rules and lead the other through it, rather than our current “wing it and refer to charts” approach. If Steve is the one to do this it’ll just mean he wins games even more easily that he currently does and Gen B. and I will feel sad. The good General can’t be expected to do it as he’s hopeless at rules and is recovering from a stroke. So I guess it’s down to me. So I’m planning on taking the rules on holiday with me in the hope that when I come back I’ll be a proper ninja master of SP and we can have some fun.