Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Play Test of "Monster" Franco-Prussian Game, Part 1

The Jackson Gamers gathered at the church fellowship hall on Labor Day for a play test of a "monster" Franco-Prussian game we're planning on running at the Colonial Barracks convention the first weekend in November.

We had 10 players (which included 3 player-referees) on two big battlefields and one smaller battlefield.  The two big battlefields pitted two players on each side initially controlling a division of infantry (approximately 13 battalions each) plus supporting artillery.  On the smaller battlefield, two players controlled the cavalry of each side (9 Prussian regiments versus 8 French regiments).  After the cavalry battle was decided, the winner got to bring in a reserve division from his side on one of the tables.  Two turns (or so) later, the cavalry battle loser got a reserve division from his side on one of the tables.

For total forces we had:

      Five Prussian infantry divisions (which included Bavarians and Wurttemburgers) and one infantry brigade (a total of 61 battalions), plus supporting artillery (16 batteries)
      Three Prussian cavalry brigades, each of three regiments (1 cuirassier, 5 dragoon, 2 uhlan, 1 hussar)

      Six French infantry divisions plus one infantry brigade (a total of 76 battalions [57 Prussian battalion equivalents]), plus supporting artillery (13 batteries and 4 Mitrailleuse batteries)
      Four French cavalry brigades, each of two regiments (2 cuirassier, 1 dragoon, 2 lancer, 1 hussar, 1 chasseur, and 1 Spahi)

That comes to a total of over 3400 figures and 98 guns.  This is probably the largest 25mm/28mm game we've staged since our college days in the early 1970s.

Here are the first set of pictures taken by Col Campbell.  Please click on an image to enlarge it.

One of the two main battlefields with French on right and Prussians on left.

The other main battlefield with French on right and Prussians on left.

The cavalry battlefield with French set-up in foreground and Prussians being set-up on far side.

The big cavalry melee - 2 French cuirassier regiments versus 3 Prussian regiments (cuirassier, dragoon, and uhlan).  In the background a French brigade of two light regiments are attacked by three Prussian regiments.
And the result --both French brigades were cut to pieces and fled the battlefield.  The French cavalry division commander (foreground) looks on in amazement and horror that his vaunted "La Arme Blanche" was defeated so easily.  Just before this debacle, another French brigade of a dragoon and a lancer regiment had been sent packing by the same Prussian cavalry.

The French right flank light cavalry brigade (lancers and Spahis) advance to revenge their heavier compatriots.
But they are defeated by the Prussian dragoons and uhlans.  It was just not meant to be for the French cavalry on this day.

Moving over to battlefield #1, a massive German column (Bavarians and Wurttenburgers) attack through the woods against a French line.
And send the French reeling back, eventually to withdraw entirely from the field.
On the right, a Prussian force advances against a French battery but get slowed by the heavy terrain.  The white rings show some of the casualties the battery caused.

A Prussian battle line faces French troops dimly seen in the woods ahead of them.

They are a regiment of Tirailleurs Algerien (Turcos) who have been called from Africa to help defend La Belle France. 

The fight between the Turcos and the Prussians rages to the left of the village (held by Prussian jagers) while French reinforcements advance onto the battlefield in the background.  Unfortunately the Prussian bayonets are too much for these vaunted North African warriors and they also flee the field.
Some French Garde Mobiles are attempting to restore the battle line so recently abandoned by the fleeing Turcos.  Some of the French artillery is trying to bring the advancing Prussians under fire but to no avail.

Switching over to battlefield #2, a reinforcing Prussian division advances against the French, behind the front line Prussians.  Earlier this hill had seen fierce fighting between the defending Prussians and the attacking French, who weren't successful in driving the "Boche" back.

There will be more pictures posted as soon as they are received and edited.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Jackson Gamers and Friends at Historicon 2015

Unable to attend Historicon this year, I've had to enjoy it vicariously from others' photographs kindly posted on The Miniatures Page.  And just to show that some of our Jackson Gamers and other south central US gamers did make it there, here are some pictures.  Original photographer identified in caption.


John (background, yellow shirt) is already resting on Friday morning.
[photo courtesy of MadDrMark]

Mark's (purple shirt in rear center) Carlist Wars game on Friday morning.
[photo courtesy of MadDrMark]

John (upper right, yellow shirt) playing in Mark's Carlist Wars game on Friday morning.
[photo courtesy of MadDrMark]

Jay center rear in green shirt) wandering around like a lost puppy on Friday evening.
[photo courtesy of MadDrMark]

A fuzzy picture of Russ S. (green shirt)playing in what looks like a Japanese samurai game
[photo courtesy of MadDrMark]

Friend Ross M. (front and center) on Friday evening just before playing in MadDrMark's "Sound of Music" game.
[photo courtesy of MadDrMark]


John (on left in red shirt) taking a picture of a very nice looking horse and musket game.  I hope he got a chance to play in it!
[photo courtesy of MadDrMark]

Pictures from "Lair of the Uber Geek" blog site (not sure of day):

Friends Tim B. and Walt B. played on opposite sides of a double blind WW2 island assault game.

Tim B. (on right) is on one side of the curtain,
[photo courtesy of UberGeek]

While Walt B. (center) is on the other side of the curtain
[photo courtesy of UberGeek]
Who won guys?

The only gamer who I know was planning on going but didn't see in any of the pictures I perused was Travis M.  I hope he and his family made it and had fun.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Send in the Marines - a Play Test

Last Saturday, I ran a play test of my game for Colonial Barracks ( link ).  With the theme being "Two Battalions of Marines" I dusted off my Between the Wars China Marines and constructed a scenario using bits and pieces of several different periods for the figures - 1920s/1930s China Marines, Victorian era civilians and African porters, 1930s Chinese warlord troops, Darkest Africa Belgian askari, 1880s American Apache Indians, and 1700s Caribbean Maroons (escaped slaves).  All together they have a very eclectic and "Hollywood" look.  Just what is needed for a "The Sword and the Flame" based convention.

Our brave Marines have been sent to rescue some missionaries from the clutches of a notoriously unstable warlord in some third (or maybe fourth) world "banana/mango/coconut republic" sometime in the late 1920s/early 1930s.  The scenario, with a few tweaks seems to have worked well so we'll see what happens in November at Colonial Barracks.

And now onto the action:

The battlefield with the trading post in the far corner.  The missionaries must reach this and board the steamer before the notoriously unstable warlord can get his hands on them.

The trading post along a pestilent river.  The steamboat brought the Marines and the seaplane is there, primarily, for set decoration.  It is a 1936 Keystone Loeing amphibious plane model made as a bank.  It is currently available in several guises on eBay.  The bamboo huts are from a posting on Miniature Wargaming (see my blog posting about them).

Hmm, a stranger has mysteriously arrived.  Will he influence the fight or his he just there to sight see?"

The Marines set out to find the missionaries.

They encounter part of the notoriously unstable warlord's army.

While the Marines are fighting off part of the notoriously unstable warlord's army, his mounted contingent attacks the missionary party.

After the Marine command element gets involved, the attack is stopped but at the cost of the Marine Captain Jack Kelly and his bulldog.
That's all the pictures I had time to take since I was running the game.  If you're coming to Colonial Barracks in New Orleans in November, I'll be running the game on Saturday morning, the 8th.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Fight for the Supplies

On Saturday, April 19, 2014, the Jackson Gamers met at Jay's house for a Very British Civil War game run by Col Campbell.  We used the "Went the DayWell?" rules for the first time.  Each of the four players had a unit of 35 figures or so, plus three of them had support weapons.

The Royalists and British Union of Fascists were led, respectively, by John M. and Jay.  Each unit had a headquarters element of 5 figures, three 10-man rifle sections, and a heavy machinegun team.  Two of the Royalist sections included a 2-man Lewis gun team.  The BUF Bolton Rifles had a rifle grenadier in the headquarters and one in the third rifle section.

The East Bergholt local forces were led by Ed S.  He had a five person headquarters section and three "rifle" sections -- East Bergholt Hunt Club of 10 men including a Lewis gun team, the East Berholt Constabulary of 8 men, and the Squire's retainers (10 men).  Allied with them were a unit of the Harwich Maritime Defence Force (revolutionary sailors) led by Sean P.  He had a 5-man headquarters element, three 10-man rifle sections, and a truck mounted naval gun with 4 crewmen.

Both sides were after the supplies scattered about after a goods wagon had derailed on the rail line between Colchester and Ipswich near Manningtree and the River Stour.

The battlefield looking from the southeast.  The Royalists and Bolton Rifles will be entering from the table edge to the left; the East Bergholt forces from the far corner where the road disappears; and the Harwich sailors from the right side of the picture.  The derailed goods wagon is in the center.  Unfortunately I put too much restrictive terrain along the stream and that impeded the Harwich sailors movement too much.
The battlefield from the northwest.  The East Bergholt forces will enter from the closer road while the Royalists and Bolton Rifles will come in from across the board where the gray troop box is.  The Harwich sailors will enter from the far left corner.  The terrain on this side of the table was much more open which aided the Royalists as you will see from future pictures.
The derailed goods wagon with supplies scattered around it.  You'll notice that there are some green colored petrol drums in the mix.  Gotta be careful and not hit them with a rifle grenade or a machinegun burst!
The rail car is from a set I purchased a number of years ago.  I still need to do some painting and detailing of it for future use as those red road wheels just aren't going to work!
The BUF Bolton Rifles advance towards the goods wagon.  Closest are two rifle sections.  In the distance are the headquarters element, heavy machinegun team, and other rifle section.  The Royalists are beyond the railroad tracks.
In the distance, the East Berholt local forces begin their advance.  On the left are the members of the East Bergholt Hunt Club including a Lewis gun team.  In the center are the Squire's headquarters element (himself, his wife and daughter, his brother, and the Squire's Ghurkha batman) and the East bergholt Constabulary.  Behind the trees on the right are the Squire's retainers.
Sean P., the Harwich Maritime Defence Force commander, shows his colors with his red shirt - how appropriate!
His sailors are advancing along both sides of the road with the gun truck on the road.
The Bolton Rifles approach the scattered supplies and exchange fire with the Squire's retainers.  The background the Royalists begin to outflank the East Bergholt Hunt Club.

The Constabulary try to get into the woods before the Royalists.  On the right, the Squire moves behind the wall to put his wife and brother out of the fire after loosing his daughter and his batman to BUF fire.

Looking from behind the Royalists as they attack the hunt club.  The Royalist Vickers gun on the left has just been set up and is awaiting a clear field of fire.

The Bolton Rifles left flank section also trades fire with the Squire's retainers.  between them and their comrades on the far side of the woods, including a Maxim machinegun team, slowly attrite the retainers.
The Harwich naval gun truck has slewed around in the road and trained on the BUF.  Unfortunately their first shot was wild and they didn't hit anything.

A section of the Bolton Rifles shelters behind a fence and opens fire on the advancing sailors and the naval gun truck.  Behind them you can see the BUF Maxim machinegun team set-up on the railroad tracks.

And quickly put paid to the naval gunners - killing first one, then the other three with some lucky shots.  Needless to say, Sean was very discouraged about this turn of events.

In final actions, the Royalists bring two rifle sections, one with a Lewis gun, and the Vickers heavy machinegun against the hunt club.  They quickly blast them into oblivion, forcing the remaining members to scamper away.
This ended the action since the Squire decided that to run away and live to fight another day was the best course of action.  With the East Bergholt forces withdrawing, the Harwich Maritime Defence Force decided that they couldn't make any further progress either, especially with the loss of their gun crew.  So they also announced their withdrawal back to Harwich.  This left the Royalists and BUF in control of all of the supplies.  Minus, that is a petrol drum that had been punctured by a stray shot but didn't catch fire or explode.
Rules comments:  This was the first time we had used "Went the Day Well?" rules.  It was rather slow going, especially with the sequencing and adjudicating the weapons fire.  We never got to a melee, perhaps fortunately since I'm still not sure I understand all that is supposed to happen with hand-to-hand combat.  I'm sure we missed things as we proceeded.
Both sides closed at the run of the first two turns so I limited them to walking for another two turns before they could run again.  I think we played a total of five or six turns before the local forces were so understrength that they couldn't continue.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Smash & Grab - August 3rd, 2013

June 16, 3064
Bialyian Desert, Carver V

A report from Corporal Johnathon Teach, support staffer of the Second Argyle Highlander Regiment:

We’d been hit hard these past two weeks.  What had been the entire Second Argyle Highlanders regiment protecting the planet has been reduces to just a single lance.  Forced to hide out in the desert, we thought we’d been lucky to find this abandoned germanium mine.  Walled in and located in fairly defensible terrain, we hunkered down to wait for reinforcements, or, if worst came to worst, make a valiant last stand for Prince and nation.

It started at 0837.  That’s when we first detected the short company on long range sensors.  By 0900 we knew that it was more than just a patrol as the started entering visual range.

Sir Nevel Kingston-Brown’s custom Black Knight and Jeff Nemo’s VTR-10D Victor stand guard at the gate while the Lyran forces enter sensor range.

The Lyrans were smart.  They came in from the Southwest, well away from the front gate to the mine complex.  Leftenants Dan Linkan and Markus Nesevo had departed to do a patrol to the north and east to see if they could catch any flankers, leaving Captain Sir Nevel Kingston-Brown and Leftenant Jeff Nemo to guard the complex itself.

Leftenants Dan Linkan, in a DVS-2 Devastator, and Markus Nesevo, in a CES-3R Caesar, return from a patrol to find the mine under attack.

The Lyrans had split up into two groups.  A lighter, faster scout force that came in south of the small mountain chain that dotted the desert, and a larger, heavier attack force that came in slightly north of them.

The Lyran scout force: Ben Corbett’s WSP-1A Wasp, Kevin Jaeger’s STG-3R Stinger, and Keith Morris’s COM-7S Commando.

The Lyran heavy lance – Brevet Hauptmann Camille Ulffson’s modified Axman, Charles Paine’s BSW-S2 Bushwacker, James Van Elson’s HCT-6S Hatchetman, and First Leutnant Hermes Gherardini’s modified Battlemaster – begin their attack on the mine complex.

Now, Captain Kingston-Brown was no fool.  He knew the only thing that would allow his 'Mech’s to stand up to twice their weight in enemy ‘Mechs was the wall surrounding the complex.  That, and some good-ol’ Davion fire discipline, allowed the two of them to blunt the enemy’s charge and even knock out the lead ‘Mech.

Hauptmann Ulffson’s Axman is the first, but not the last, casualty of the day.

But that’s when things started to go downhill.  We got word from Markus and Dan that they hadn’t start moving yet – apparently they overestimated the max range on the gauss rifles their ‘Mech’s carried.  Then we heard the unthinkable: Jeff’s ultra AC had jammed, the deep thunk of the machine’s ammo feed failing seemed to reverberate throughout the battlefield.  Thinking himself done for, the boy then leapt out of the compound straight into the enemy formation.  Even tried to do a Death From Above on one of the enemy.  Too bad he failed.  Coulda won us the battle right then.

Leftenant Jeff Nemo attempts to DFA the enemy Battlemaster.

Then the Lyrans started getting the idea to jet their own jump-capable ‘Mechs in the base.  First off was one of those little Hatchetman.  Tried to engage Sir Nevel in close combat.  Guess he didn’t count on a Triple-Strength Myomer enhanced sword slicing his ‘Mech neatly in half.

Sir Nevel Kingston-Brown and James Van Elson engage in honorable melee combat inside the mining complex.

Meanwhile, the other half of the Davion force races – as much as a 100-ton ‘Mech can race anyway – to join the battle.

And that’s when Jeff fell, his entire torso completely destroyed by the combined firepower of the rest of the Lyrans.

Jeff Nemo’s Victor falls over, just as the Lyran lights join the fray.

The Lyran Wasp and Stinger jump into the mining compound…

Just in time to see the Hatchetman bite the dust.

Jeff Nemo’s Victor’s entire torso is obliterated by Hermes Gherardini’s Battlemaster.

I guess it was then that Sir Nevel got a little flustered, and the three Lyran lights managed to get shots at his rear armor.  Now, his head had already been hit earlier, stripping it of its armor and damaging the sensors, but then one of those little guys managed to hit what was left, and, well…

The three Lyran lights manage to get back shots on the Black Knight

And manage to destroy the head section, killing Captain Sir Nevel Kingston-Brown.

I thought it was all over when Sir Nevel died, and the Lyrans began shooting at the mine entrance, collapsing it.  But that’s when we heard the unmistakable sound of Gauss rounds and PPC bolts overhead as the big boys got into the fray.

The two remaining Davion BattleMechs enter the fray.

Now, I don’t need to tell you what happens when a 100-ton Devastator attacks a 20-ton Wasp.  I’m pretty sure that thing’s arm flew a good kilometer or so before it landed.  PPCs and gauss rifles can take three lights apart pretty quickly it seems, especially because they decided to go after some mine skips fulla ore rather than skedaddle like bugs should when a big boy comes to play.  I guess that the Lyrans didn’t have too much fight in ‘em after that.  Their last two machines, a Bushwacker and what looked like a modified Battlemaster, had been worn down by trying to deal with Sir Kingston-Brown and Leftenant Nemo and they suddenly found themselves facing two pristine ‘Mechs, both armed with gauss rifles.  Started retreating right then and there, though Leftenants Nesevo and Linkan didn’t even bother trying to chase ‘em down.  Guess they were too worried about Sir Nevel to put any thought into the catching them.