Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Return of the Iron Duke

On Saturday, Nov. 21, six of us gathered at Jay's to fight a Napoleonic battle using a highly modified version of Command and Colors Napoleonics we laughingly call "Stribling's Folly."  Using a small part of Jay's immense 25mm Napoleonic armies, the forces of France and Great Britain went hammer and tongs over some rather insignificant real estate somewhere in Spain, or maybe southwestern France.

Jim, Sean, and Ed commanded the Anglo-Portuguese forces against Phil, Jay, and Fred commanding the French.  It was a close, bloody affair with the Anglo-Portuguese winning 16 points to 14 points with 1 victory point not in control of either side.  The victory points were awarded for enemy units destroyed (1 flag each) and for access roads (5 roads) controlled.  The Anglo-Portuguese had 14 French flags and 2 roads while the French had 12 British flags and 2 roads.  One road was not controlled by either side.

The Anglo-Portuguese were on the attack and outnumbered the French.

Here are some of the pictures Jim took during the fighting:

An overview of the British center, consisting of two heavy cavalry regiments, two light infantry battalions, six line infantry battalions, and one foot battery, commanded by Jim who was also the senior Anglo-Portuguese commander.  He was opposed by Phil, the French senior commander and Jay, the French right flank commander.

A British light cavalry regiment, part of Sean's primarily Portuguese left flank, attacks a square of French infantry of Jay's French right flank command.

The main attack by the Portuguese under Sean on the left flank against Jay's French.

On the Anglo-Portuguese right flank, Ed led a British command against Fred's French force.  Ed's objective was to take the access road that led off of battlefield.  He was finally successful at the end of the fight.

In the center, Jim's British infantry advance against Phil's French center.  They are led by a light infantry battalion who has 3 (out of 4) strength points.  Phil's French infantry battalion rolled four musket attack dice and got 4 (!!!) infantry hits, totally destroying Jim's battalion.  Unfortunately Jim had that happen many more times during the fight.

Fred, the French left flank commander dolefully watches as Ed's infantry and cavalry beat up and push back his poor French.  Fred did have some success early in the fight but couldn't stop Ed's slow steamroller.

On the Anglo-Portuguese left, Jim's two heavy cavalry regiments add some weight to Sean's attack.  Sean lost three out of four left flank cavalry regiments but severely punished the French cavalry and infantry in the process.

Another look at the Anglo-Portuguese left flank as the French units vanish before the gunfire, bayonets, and sabers of the British and Portuguese troops.  But they didn't get quite forward enough to seize the access road (left rear of picture) before the game ended.  That victory point wasn't won by either side.

Please click on the pictures for larger images.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween Napoleonic Game

Five of us meet at Jay's on Halloween day for a fictitious encounter between the French and the Russians somewhere in Poland sometime during the Napoleonic Wars.  We used a rule set Jay is calling "Stribling's Folly" which is based on the "Command and Colors" rules but without the cards and with many modifications.  We used Jay's vintage (and not so vintage) 25mm Napoleonic forces.

Ed S. and Phil Y. were the French players, each with two major commands.  Jay, Sean P. and Jim P.  were the Russian players.  Jay and Sean each had a major command, while Jim had a major command and the Russian reserve (cuirassiers and grenadiers).

The winner would be the first side to collect 14 enemy flags by destroying enemy units.  The French won but it was a bloody victory for them.  As usual we suggested more modifications to the rules which will be incorporated for our next game in 2016.

A look down the center and left of the French line.  The "shiny stones" in front of the Russian units on the right indicate that an activation order has been given to that unit.  Each commander had three automatic orders plus an additional number obtained by rolling a D6, with a 1-4 giving that many additional orders and a 5 or 6 giving none, except for the commander-in-chief who got 5 or 6 additional orders with those die rolls.

The French center and left (on the left) and the Russian center and right.  We used four 4-figure stands of infantry, three 4-figure stands of cavalry, or two 1-gun/2-gunner stands of artillery for the respective units.

Jay's right flank Russians seize one of the villages that dotted the battlefield.  The numbered markers denote the strength of each unit which are decremented when the appropriate "hit" dice are rolled.

One of Ed's left flank French commands faced Jay's troops from the previous picture.  This shows the composition of the individual units very clearly.

In the middle of the picture, one of Jim's Russian grenadier battalions has seized a village, destroying the French garrison in the process.  But they had advanced a little too far and became isolated.  The French destroyed them the next turn with gunfire followed by a close assault.  French cuirassiers and carabiniers are in the foreground.  They will attack into the Russian center and shatter it.

Ed rolled for attack dice against one of Jay's unit.  The die on the far right is actually balanced on its rounded corner.  We've never seen that happen before!

A large cavalry scrum happened between Phil's right flank French cavalry (foreground lancers and dragoons) and Jim's left flank Russian cavalry (starting with dragoons who were destroyed and following with cuirassiers).  Jim was trying to attack Phil's lancers with one of his cuirassier units but could only roll three "infantry" hits which of course don't count against cavalry.  Ooops!

With Phil's dragoons (right) reduced to only 2 strength points, Jim closed with his Cossacks (left) to finish them off.  He killed on strength point but the French dragoons attacked back with 1 point plus 1 heavy cavalry bonus point, rolled 2 "cavalry" hits, and destroyed the 2-strength point Cossack unit.

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.