Monday 29 January 2018

Square Bashing Cambrai (again)

James had organised a day's gaming for the Lenton Gamers Club.
I am notionally a part of the club, but my job as Dad's Taxi means I never get to go.
However, this was on a Sunday. A Sunday with nothing written on The Calendar. So I got a pass-out request in nice and early and was off.

Simon was also available and keen for some more WW1 action, so we were set for more Square Bashing. Which suits me. I like Square Bashing.

James (optimistically as it turns out) suggested we play two games - re-fighting Cambrai in the morning and then some sort of Verdun game in the afternoon.
Although we'd played Cambrai on the anniversary of the battle back in November we hadn't fought it to a conclusion, so this was the chance to see if the British tanks could break through.

Simon and I once more took command of the Tommies with James in the guise of dastardly Hun.

Tango is a cunt
 A pilot's eye view from over the British lines

 And from the German side

 Supported by tanks the regulars set off at zero hour

Tango is a cunt
 The Germans await the advance

 Serried ranks of grey

We originally intended to attack on the right and largely refuse the left. However the initial depletions rather changed this plan as the trenches on our left were held by only a handful of badly mauled Germans. Would our raw troops be up to the fight?

Armintrout is a paedo
 The central push gets caught on the wire

 The tanks give the Tommies confidence

 Forward the Humberside Regiment!

Tango is a cunt
 'Morris Corner' looking lightly defended

 But the centre is firmly held

Our attempts to call yup assets mostly went awry. Clearly the preliminary barrage had severed the phone lines. Pilots wouldn't take off and barrages did not arrive. Fortunately we were able to sure up the morale of our wavering new recruits.

Our attacks on the left achieved good initial progress, but the inevitable German counter attack reclaimed the trench for the Kaiser
Finally the rolling barrage arrived (several turns after we could have made good use of it!)
Some of the shells inevitable fell short on the advancing British.

 Gott in Himmel die Englander artillery is zu short!

Despite an initial plan to bypass the central bunker and take it out from the flank we did rather get bogged down taking pot-shots at it that did no damage for the entire game.

 The tanks crush the wire!

 The German guns do not tire

 'Morris Corner' defenders stand firm

 The Tanks rumble ever on


Finally over on our right we had a breakthrough! In fact we'd tried three assaults all at once, and the one on the right looked least likely to succeed.
Inevitable they cleared the trench with ease whilst the attack fortified with tanks against a weakened enemy was hurled back - Von Morritz rolled six. Count 'em, six! Six saves out of six and we failed one out of three. Then we took three more casualties as we withdrew.

 The Scottish spearhead at least breaches the trenches

 Fall back! Fall back!

 Jocks in the trench

Flushed with success the Scots ran down the last defenders and achieved one of the British objectives by capturing the village. The rest of their attack then settled to the grim business of trench clearing

 Bring up the machine guns

Sporadic shelling continued to impede the Britrish left and centre

And in the end we withdrew at that side of the field to avoid further attrition.

In the end James attempted to give victory to the British, but we pointed out we'd only achieved one objective out of two and at quite considerable cost.
A draw was probably the fair outcome, and the result was pretty redolent of Cambrai (and 1917 in general).

This was a splendid day's leisurely gaming. Although two games would have been nice, one played without feeling under pressure and with plenty of time to break, chat and have lunch and still be finished during daylight was a much better outcome.
Square Bashing gave a good game, horribly reminiscent of WW1 and James and Simon were (of course) great to play with and against.
More games are now planned - perhaps a Spring Offensive game across more open terrain at Easter?

Sunday 28 January 2018

Napoleonic Black Powder

Last summer Stephen parted ways with his employer. Whilst waiting for a lucrative bean-counting opportunity to open up for him he decided to paint some Napoleonics.
Two months later he had around 200 French and 150 British ready for action.

The Sherwood, Hucknall and Ilkeston Team played a couple of games of Sharp Practice, but we didn't really like the game and it certainly didn't scratch the big battle itch (or get close to getting most of Steves soldiers on the table).

Anyway, the world has moved on and Steve is about to go AWOL for a few months training for yet another new job. So, rather than force him to play more FIW, which although it would have allowed General B. and I to mock him about his AWI soldiers, he doesn't really want to play, we decided to give Black Powder a go.

Steve and General B have played before, albeit on John "Warlord" Stallard's preposterously huge table, whereas I've played a fair bit of Hail Caesar (and Warmaster for that matter) so we thought we'd have a reasonable grasp of the mechanics.

Only having a 6x4 table to play on and concerned by the distances troops can potentially move we decided to reduce all the moves and ranges by 1/3. To further avoid the "car-park" effect I've witnessed a couple of times at club games we also settled on 16 as the standard size for foot units and 8 for cavalry.

We set up a pretty basic meeting engagement and had at it with me mostly commanding the Thin Red Line and General Salle-de-Bain in charge of the French.

 The 99th Humberside regiment advance

 Redcoats rush forward

 The French defend the hill...

As is his way General Salle-de-Bain ordered a rapid advance, with two units hurtling toward the British lines. Despite fire from the British, the French came on unimpeded.

 ...before lurching forward to the beat of the drum

 British fire causes a little shock (pom-pom)

The British centre had advanced too far and were caught in the open. But held their ground (much to everyone's surprise)

 The French crash home

Bothy sides had small squadrons of cavalry on the same flank. Eventually the French charged home and saw off the British Light Dragoons.

 On the British  right flank the cavalry clash

Their work done the French horse crashed home into the rear of a British unit.

 Hussars to the rear!

Surprisingly the British held and drove off the French cavalry, who were then charged by the rallied British horse and drven from the field.

 More French charges

Unfortunately this proved a hollow victory for the British as elsewhere on the field the French forces crashed home.
Despite desperate defence on the hill the Redcoats were soon forced to turn tail and victory went to the French!

Struggle for the heights

This was a good fun game. Black Powder cracks on at a fair old pace and we'd all grasped the rules pretty quickly.
More importantly we all came away wanting to paint more soldiers.
It could be that BP is a keeper and will see more regular outings at the Ilko Gaming Hut.

Monday 22 January 2018

Frostgrave: The Keep

The Gaming Heir has recovered from his unfortunate experience at the hands of me and his brother and was once more willing to give his old man a thrashing in Felstad.

We decided to make use of the teleportation circles from Blotz I painted recently and play The Keep scenario. He set the table up while I was judging and watching his elder brother swim in a gala and when I got home we were ready to play.

 The field of battle (contains slightly more snow than last time)

 The Magic 7-up Bottle! Tempting, huh?

 Clubby gets whisked across the board

 And from a very slightly different angle

 Valerie's men fan out (note new Thug Sacky)

 Lanterny and the Treasure hunter take cover

 Fiery Elementalist and gang

 The recovered dog, fresh from his new kennel goes on the attack

 The new knight makes a discovery

 And is Leaped toward the board edge

Where the Tracker tries to tackle him

The game was great fun with the teleportation mechanic playing havoc.
Sadly the boy's Elementalist is now casting leap on just a seven, so he made off with the bulk of the treasure.
His new Marksman also proved lethal - and as he has a magic crossbow I can't use Decay to ruin his day.
The butchers bill was particularly high. The Elementalist Apprentice died utterly on the ground and the GH had to buy a new one.
Unfortunately my Apprentice was also badly injured and I don't have enough GC to heal him in time for the next game. Though as he failed to cast a single spell in this one I'm not sure I'll miss the useless git.