Saturday, October 17, 2009

Big Napoleonic Game

Today we had a large Napoleonic game at the Fellowship Hall, Fondren Presbyterian Church. The Russian army (Jim Pitts, Clay James, Sean Pitts, and Larry Reeves) successfully conducted a rearguard defense against a superior French army (John Stengel, Ed Sansing, Bill Hamilton, and Phil Young).

Please click on picture to see a larger image.

The Russian Great Redoubt.
Jim defended this important position with two 12-lb position batteries and a brigade of four battalions of infantry. To the right is the town, defended by a brigade of infantry of Sean Pitts' command of which a battalion of jagers is visible.

This game had almost 2,500 infantry and cavalry, plus artillery and commanders. The french had 45 infantry battalions and 12 cavalry regiments. The Russians had 35 infantry battalions and 12 cavalry regiments.

The French were plagued with poor traffic control and troop management. They were only able to get about half of their troops onto the battle field.

The battle itself was patterned after the American Civil War battle at Sharpsburg (or Antietam).

A battle report will soon appear on the Jackson Gamers' web site. LINK

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Affair at Alt Kirchendorf

The latest game our group has done was an action involving mid 18th Century forces engaging in a campaign in Imagi-Europa. The battle report has been posted on ColCampbell's Barracks blog. Please stop by for a look.

The battlefield is all laid out and the troops are deployed.
All we need now are for the commanders to arrive.

The next game will be on Saturday, October 3, and will be the second action in this campaign, the Affair at Eisenmuhlen. The game starts at 10:00 at Fondren Presbyterian Church, 3220 Old Canton Road, Jackson. MAP

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Introduction to BAR Rules

I ran an introduction to Bill Protz's Batailles de l'Ancien Regime rules on Labor Day Monday.

A brief report with a few pictures is on ColCampbell's Barracks blog.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Crossfire WW2 Battle

On Saturday, August 1, six of us enjoyed a romp in the French countryside as the Germans and the Americans went against each other.

The Americans were less than inspiringly commanded by Jay Stribling, Bill Hamilton, and Ed Sansing, each with an American leg infantry company, plus they had a platoon of 81mm mortars to provide fire support.

The Germans were capably commanded by Sean and Jim Pitts, each with a Fallschirmjager (parachute) company, and Phil Young, with a German infantry company, plus they had a platoon of 81mm mortars to provide fire support.

One of Jim's Fallschirmjager platoons prepares its firing positions behind a smoke screen prior to engaging one of Jay's American infantry platoons.
[click on picture for a larger image.]

The full battle report will soon be available on the Jackson Gamers web site.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Sword in Africa

On July 18, the Jackson Gamers gathered in the Fellowship Hall of Fondren Presbyterian Church for game using Larry Brom's The Sword in Africa rules. These rules are based on his venerable The Sword and the Flame but use 8-10 figure units and various types of "event" cards. Jim Pitts was the game master. He also painted all the troops and constructed the terrain.

The overall scenario involved stalwart British led askari, valiant native warriors, devious Zanzabari slavers, and disreputable Ruga-Ruga bandits. The Ruga-Ruga have captured some villagers who are to be sold to the local Zanzabari slave factor. The villagers' chief is out to rescue his subjects and the British askari are there to punish all malefactors, whomever they may be.

In the picture below, the players examine the board, their forces, and their specific objectives. [As usual, please click on the pictures to see an enlarged version.]

From left and clockwise: Phil Young (Ruga-Ruga), Ed Sansing and Bill Hamilton (natives), Sean Pitts (Zanzabaris), and Clay James (British askari).

Native warriors advance through the bush. Here they have encountered a mad holy man (squatting in the center by edge of a clump of brush) who delayed their advance while they persuaded him of their good intentions.

The villagers have appealed to the local tribal chief for help in rescuing their people. He is leading a force of warriors to assault the Ruga Ruga compound and rescue the villagers. The chief knows he must wipe out the Ruga Ruga if he is to have any peace in his land and must show the Zanzabari slave factor that it is not worth it to try to procure slaves from his peoples. The chief also doesn’t completely trust the district commissioner but won’t interfere if it appears the white man’s soldiers are out to punish the Ruga Ruga or Zanzabaris. But if he sees that they aren’t controlling themselves or any of the other whites then he may not feel so accommodating. He is also wary of any other whites who happen to be in the area, not trusting them as far as he can spit.

The Zanzabari slavers move towards the Ruga-Ruga compound.

Meanwhile the Zanzabari slave factor has received word that the Ruga Ruga have some slaves for him and is marching to their compound to buy them. He doesn’t really trust these bandits and is prepared to fight them if necessary. He knows that the local tribal chief may try to rescue them and wants to get the captives from the Ruga Ruga and back to his fort as quickly as he can. Their goal is to purchase the captives and get them back to their fort (located off the table) as quickly as possible, all the while avoiding rescuing natives or Government troops.

The Ruga-Ruga compound.

The Ruga Ruga have raided a small village, taking some of the villagers captive to sell to the local Zanzabari slave factor. They are holding the captives in their compound. They have sent word to the local slave factor and expect his arrival at any time. But they don’t completely trust the Zanzabaris, knowing that they will try to cheat them of their payment. They will defend their captives against anyone who tries to take them away.

The British led askari column moves toward the Ruga-Ruga compound.

The jungle grapevine has brought word of the raid to the district commissioner of the raid and impending sale of captives. He has dispatched a small column of Askari to intercept the sale, free the villagers, and punish the malefactors, whoever they may be. The column commander doesn’t really trust any of the locals, be they tribesmen, bandits, or slavers. As far as he is concerned, the only good local is a dead local.

The rules include a series of event cards that govern mystical, terrain, animal, etc. events that may impact the missions of the various forces. They came into play frequently and resulted in some hilarious and not so hilarious events.

Here a small herd of giraffe investigate the native warriors who wisely are moving away from their hooves. (Plastic giraffes from a toy animal tube.)

Somehow the natives set fire to part of a clearing and had to hot-foot it out of the way of the flames. Somebody probably dropped his ganga stick. The fire burned for several turns and prevented anyone from entering the clearing.

The Zanzabari encounter a lion as it bursts from the bush. But the unit leader drops it with a well aimed (and lucky) pistol shot, earning him the acclaim of his troops.
This event happened shortly after the senior Zanzabari leader had been killed by a snake that dropped on him from a tree.

The askari discovered a strangely marked stone and the column commander made his bearers pick it up and lug it along with them, in addition to the loads they already had.

As the natives approach the Ruga-Ruga compound, their leader is accosted by a lost white missionary who was revered by both whites and natives. But since they couldn't understand each other, he wandered off without any impact.

When the senior Zanzabari leader died, one of his units ran away after they heard that the other unit's leader (the one who killed the lion) would assume overall command. But they returned later and encountered a native spear unit. The natives charged but the resultant fight saw two natives captured (on right) and the rest killed.

Native and askari units close on the Ruga-Ruga compound as the defenders withdraw inside.
[The compound was hand built and the huts inside are paper mache bird house decorations obtained from Michaels.]

Just because the Zanzabari leader had killed a lion didn't make him Superman. Here he is after loosing a melee to the natives who then transferred him to the askari for punishment.

The natives have set fire to a corner of the compound, hoping to smoke out the Ruga-Ruga and rescue their fellow tribesmen. The askari are waiting to shoot whoever comes out of the gate!

On the back side of the compound a native unit encounters a rare white rhino.
Several of them die of fright and several run away. The rest scatter from the horns of the mystical beast.

Suddenly another lion bounds out of the bush and heads directly to the senior native leader who welcomes the encounter with open arms.

And moments later, Simba lies dead with a spear through his heart. All the natives rejoice at the tremendous courage and fearlessness of their chief. Surely this will be a good omen for their cause!

And a good omen it was. The Ruga-Ruga attempted to break out of the compound but were gunned down by the askari and then close-assaulted by the native spearmen. All but two or three of the bandits were killed and those few fled into the bush with the natives in hot pursuit. The villagers were rescued from a fate worse than death.

The British led askari took the captured Zanzabari leader back to the district headquarters where he was hanged as a warning for all would-be slavers.

The other Zanzabaris swiftly headed back to their fort with the two native warrior captives. At least they got a small return on their investment.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Battle Report - 2nd Assault on Fort Khalaam

The report of our game on Saturday, June 20, is now posted on my blog, ColCampbell's Barracks. Please drop by for a visit. The photo below is just a teaser.

Highlanders assaulting the Haddabiera fort.

This is the scenario that I will be running at Bayou Wars on Saturday, June 27 at 9:00 am as te 2nd Annual George Carr, Sr. Memorial Colonial Game (and as a celebration of the 30th anniversary of The Sword and the Flame rules by Larry Brom.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Crossfire WW2 Game

On Saturday, June 6 (the 65th Anniversary of the Normandy landings), we gathered at Bill Hamilton's house for an introduction to the Crossfire WW2 rules. The scenario was a meeting engagement between a small German force (two infantry companies commanded by Jay Stribling and Jim Pitts) and a small American force (two companies commanded by Phil Young and Sean Pitts). Bill Hamilton acted as the game master and rule guru.

As you can see from the photos below, the terrain was very close with a small village and many patches of woods.

The movement in Crossfire is unusual in that a company may move its elements (platoons and squads) from terrain feature to terrain feature for any distance until it is either stopped by enemy fire, by inconclusive friendly fire, by failing to rally an element, or by the mover's choice. This lead to elements moving from woods patch to woods patch until they started receiving enemy fire.

Then the action bogged down and the initiative flowed from one player to another very quickly. The Germans had a slight advantage in that their squads could move while out of sight of the platoon leader while the American squads had to be within the sight of their platoon leader or the company commander.

Getting your squads suppressed by enemy fire (see red markers above) meant that they could not move or fire until rallied. This caused some squads to linger in a suppressed state for a long time because if you tried to rally a squad and failed, then you lost the initiative to the opposing player.

But gradually the Germans begin to wear the Americans down forcing them into a slowly constricting perimeter. Sean's American company was wiped out and Phil's had lost heavily by the time night fell and the battered Americans could slip away.

I can see this rule set being used for small scale actions in WW1, WW2, Korea, Vietnam, and modern conflicts. It was a fun game, especially since I was on the winning side (for a change!).

Pictures and report by Jim Pitts

Monday, June 1, 2009

Assault on Fort Khalaam

Please see Col Campbell's Barracks for a report about the first play test of my Bayou Wars scenario for the Second Annual George Carr, Sr. Memorial Colonial Game. Enjoy!

The Fort of Khalaam

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Battle of Khalaam, May 16, 2009

The battle report for the first battle of Khalaam is posted on ColCampbell's Barracks. The action was fought on May 16, 2009.

Here is a teaser photo. For the entire report, please click on the link above.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The game this coming Saturday, May 16 (Armed Forces Day, by the way) will be held at Fondren Presbyterian Church, 3220 Old Canton Road, beginning at 10:00 am. We will be using the Fellowship Hall which will allow us to have an 8' x 5' playing area for this rather smallish game, as well as plenty of room for "back tables" to store dead troops and drinks/snacks so that the playing surface can be a little less cluttered than normal.

The scenario will involve an Anglo-Indian expedition setting out to punish some Ahoogastani bandits. After the punitive expedition five years ago against the wiley Khan Abbis, things seemed to have settled down along the North Central Frontier.

[For previous battle reports, see:,,,, and]

But recently the Haddabiera tribe, under Emir Tubier, have been raiding closer and closer to the regional capitol of Jellybad. Her Majesty's High Commissioner for the North Central Frontier has ordered out a new punitive expedition to penetrate to Khalaam, the Haddabiera stronghold, and show these banditti the error of their ways. The first game will portray the expedition's initial penetration of the Vale of Khadaam. We will use The Sword and the Flame rules. All figures will be provided by the game master - c'est moi!

For lunch, the closest place is Quiznos Sandwich Shop about a block away. I have a batch of coupons which we can use to reduce our expense both for this game and the next one on Saturday, May 30. There is a Coca Cola machine at the church (cost is 50 cents each), as well as plenty of iced water. You can, of course, bring your own (non-alcoholic) beverage(s) and snacks.

Map showing location :

You can zoom in and around on this Google map so you can see the streets better. I've found the easiest way is to take the Lakeland Drive West exit off of IH-55 and drive west past St. Dominc Hospital and the UMC campus until Lakeland intersects with Old Canton Road. Then turn right (north) onto Old Canton Road with Fondren being just past the second traffic light (Duling Street) on the right. There is plenty of parking. Sean will be the door ward for a short while after 10:00 am, but if you arrive and the door is locked, just push the buzzer button located above the mailbox to the left of the door (I'll try and remember to place a distinctive marker). We'll come and let you in. Yes, we will, really!

Just remember that we'll be a church (in my church!) and we'll need to be on our slightly better behavior, especially with our language and scatalogical allusions! :^)

See you there,

Jim Pitts

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Recent and future locations

While we're working on some prospects for a public place to hold games, right now we are playing in people's homes. The locations on the game schedule should be accurate, and an announcement for each game will go out on the mailing list a few days before it happens.

Monday, February 2, 2009

New Gaming Location

Our game last Saturday was our last at The Dragon's Lair as that was also the last day they were open. We talked among ourselves about an alternate location and agreed to try the China Kitchen restaurant just west on Highway 80 from the Dragon's Lair. After lunch Jay talked with a manager and they agreed that we could use their private party room from about 10:30 am (they actually open to the public at 11) until about 3:00 or 3:30 pm. We had to guarantee that we would pay for ten lunch buffet meals, so if we don't have ten gamers show up who will also eat, then those of us who do participate will be responsible for the balance.

The game this coming Saturday (Feb. 7) will be the US Cavalry versus the American Indians. It was originally scheduled by Jay Ainsworth who had to drop out for personal reasons. So Jay Stribling, Jim Pitts, and John Switzer will pool their troops and Jay will be the game master. Please come to help us try out this new venue.

The China Kitchen should be familiar to almost all the regular Jackson Gamers as we tend to eat at the buffet almost every Saturday we have gamed at the Dragon's Lair. It is about 150 feet (more or less, probably more) west of the Dragon's Lair on Highway 80 in Pearl. The following pictures show the restaurant, which is also right next door to a Church's Fried Chicken place.

Looking from the westward direction

Looking from the eastward direction

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Aeronef game, 11/29/2008

The British orders were to escort a convoy of transport vessels to the British colonies in East Africa and defend them against any attackers. The French were to intercept and destroy the convoy. The French came upon the British high above the African desert. Jim and Phil commanded the French fleet, while Ed and Sean commanded the British. I (Bill) took control of the convoy ships.

Photo by Jim Pitts
A squadron of French commerce raiders watch the skies for new prey.

Photo by Ed Sansing
The British transports and their alert escorts steam over the Mauritanian desert. Ed's squadron is spread out on the port side, and Sean's squadron is close on the transports' starboard.

Photo by Jim Pitts
The transports: two 'nef cargo ships are accompanied by two small 'dig transports and the 'dig passenger liner Majestic.

Photo by Ed Sansing
Two squadrons of French raiders move in from the table edge, racing into the spread-out port side of the convoy. Jim's squadron is on the left, and Phil's squadron is on the right.

Photo by Jim Pitts
Another view, from the perspective of Jim's French attackers. The French plan was to cut through the convoy at high speed, doing as much damage as possible, then break away from the fight.

Photo by Ed Sansing
As the French penetrate the British portside escorts, the transports turn away from the attackers and make all possible speed. The starboard escorts turn across the transports' paths, moving into range to fire on the French ships.

British fire was surprisingly ineffective. In the first turn, Ed managed to roll 26 dice and not get a single hit. Later turns continued that trend.

Photo by Jim Pitts
Jim's French position themselves for broadside fire against the British, then move on to attack the transports.

Photo by Ed Sansing
Phil's French squadron (on the left) and Jim's squadron (on the right) cut through the British defenders' fire and set their sights on the transports.

Photo by Jim Pitts
The two cargo dirigibles and one of the transport 'nefs have been destroyed, and the French are well on their way to destroying the second 'nef and the Majestic.

This game was definately a French victory. All the transports were destroyed, heavy damage was done to the British escorts, and the French attackers came out relatively unscathed. The French got three victory points for each destroyed transport, and one for each destroyed British military vessel. The British got one point for each destroyed French vessel and (in theory) three for each undamaged transport that made it off the table. The total points were 16 for the French vs. 2 for the British.

In hindsight, I probably needed seven or eight more transports and another squadron of defenders. Transports get half the damage boxes of an equivalent military vessel, and this made them surprisingly fragile. The victory point values should be adjusted as well. A method of taking ship class into account would work best.

(Photos by Jim Pitts and Ed Sansing.)