Sunday, April 29, 2018

Hail Caesar - AAR April 28

April 28 was the club meeting and game day we held at the Virginia War Museum.

There was a room full of gamers there for the ODMS meeting in the morning (10:00am), but by Noon, the number had grown, as we added a few more gamers for a game day.

The games played were two, primarily - Heroes of Normandie, and Hail Caesar.  I was the referee for the Hail Caesar game, so here is the description.  There were six players, three on each side.  The Carthaginian side featured Rich (of CMS), a friend of his (Brian I think), and Justin as overall commander.  The Iberian side featured Richard, Stephen as overall commander, and David as the commander of the Gallic mercenaries.

History
The Carthaginians, during the period following the First Punic War, whence their fortunes were somewhat reduced, were led by the Barca clan to believe that new fortunes could be made by having a reinforced trade colony in Iberia.  Much of that effort was the various ports and colonies on the eastern coast of the Peninsula (Carthago Nova, for instance), but also the Phoenician bad boys wanted to push in country.  This led them to a conflict with the Oretani tribes. 

The Phoenicians had established the city of Tartessos at the mouth of the Baetis river, and now they had moved up the river, and constructed an inland port.  Raids by the local Oretani (a mix of Iberian, Celtic, and of course, Celtiberian) warbands made the area unsafe, so the Army was called in.  They moved in from the eastern coast, and began the ponderous job of crossing the river, to pacify the Oretani.

At that time, the Oretani tribes, alerted to the river crossing, struck!  They came down out of the hills and attacked the Carthaginians during their weakest moment, with half the army on each side of the river.


Scenario
In the game, the Carthaginians had four divisions of troops, two on each side of the river.  There was only one permanent (stonework) bridge that had been constructed for the colony, it could accommodate 1 unit of troops, per turn, crossing it.  Each division of troops has 4-5 units in it, so that is a nightmare.  Luckily, the Carthaginians had some engineers along, and were able to construct a hasty pontoon style bridge, to double their crossing capability.

Along the river, there were several mooring spots near the colony.  The Carthaginians had shipborn reinforcements (a fifth division of troops, very heavy, with 8 units).  But it would take turns to sail to the mooring spots nearest the action.  In addition, the Carthaginian players decided to build the pontoon bridge in such a way, that it masked one of the mooring spots (making it inaccessible).

So the pregame decision of the Cartho players was - where to place your pontoon bridge.  Too far up stream, and you lose tactical capability to relieve pressure on the main point of action.  But too far down stream, and you block potential landing areas for reinforcements.

The Iberians, on the other hand, had their own pregame decision.  They had a chest full of Lusitanian silver (as well as some Lusitanian soldiers who joined the cause).  With that silver, they could (1) hire Cilician pirates to attack the Carthaginian reinforcements (and attempt to sink some of them), or (2) hire Gallic Mercenaries.  The Iberian commander chose the second course of action.
The game was a disaster from the outset for the Carthaginian players.  They were not making their command rolls well, and they were commanded by all newbie players.  The Iberians had a couple of ancients players on their side.  Plus they were making very good command rolls, ensuring good moves (at least in the earliest turns).  Also, the scenario very harshly punished the Carthaginians.  In hindsight, I think I would have (1) made the landing points for the reinforcements more flexible, and (2) allowed more units to cross the bridges each turn.  But the scenario was to be the Barbarians catching a stronger Imperial power, while they were in the act of crossing a bridge.  That succeeded, but it could not have been much fun for the Carthaginians.  In spite of that, however, the Cartho players did seem to have a really good time, and they even had some great tactical successes.  Until the horde of Gauls descended on them - that proved to be too much, and it was time to call it a game.

In the meantime, it did encourage me to finish painting the Old Glory buildings used in the game, and to scratch build the pontoon bridge and the mooring spots (piers).  Including "Fisherman's Wharf" - shown here with the infamous Iberian Koi.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

DBA and Hail Caesar - AAR April 19 2018

This week, the club had its weekly gaming night at World's Best Comics.  There were a couple of Ancients games being played. 

First was a DBA game between Dave and Stephen.  (details to follow)

Second was a Hail Caesar game between Stephen and Chuck (playing Gauls) and Dave and James (playing Marian Romans).

Gauls taunting their Roman foes


The Hail Caesar game had 400 point armies on both sides. 

Hot action!  Gallic Infantry, ferocious charge against Roman line!

The Marian Roman army list consisted of:
3x units of Legionaires
3x units of Veteran Legionaires (Caesar's 10th?)
3x units of "Spanish" style light Legionaires
2x units of Germanic medium cavalry
1x unit of Numidian light cavalry
2x units of Roman skirmishers (small units, with javelin)
3x division commanders (1 was commander in chief)

The Gallic army list consisted of:
1x unit of Gaesatae (naked fanatics)
1x unit of General's bodyguard (cool, professional soldiers)
7x units of Warband (large units, with javelin and sword)
2x units of medium cavalry
1x unit of light cavalry
2x units of skirmishers (small units, with sling)
3x division commanders (1 was commander in chief)


Gaesatae (from behind) Ready to throw themselves on the Romans!
The game progressed pretty well, with three divisions on each side (roughly four units per division, not counting the skirmishers).  The Roman's (albeit in a pretty good position) finally lost the battle when the second of their divisions breaking. 
Gaul line meets Roman line (Gallic division commander riding in a chariot)
 Some interesting effects of the game system's command and control system - the Gallic cavalry, on the right flank, did not want to activate the first two turns of the game, which almost left the right flank of the army open to a unit of German cavalry, supported by the mounted Numidians.

Gauls approaching the Roman testudo formations!

The Roman legionaire units all began the game in testudo formation, and that combined with their training, meant they could execute a move every turn, regardless of their command and control dice results.

Gallic second line advances (ignore the Persian styling on the C-in-C chariot)

The game was a learning one for most of us, and we got a few things wrong as we work through the rules, but we planned to try it again in a few weeks, the basic rules being pretty enjoyable, and offering up some interesting tactical solutions (like unit support in combat, interesting flank move possibilities, and lots of great army lists and unit types).


Maybe this'll happen next time, Romans

Friday, March 16, 2018

Williamsburg Muster 2018 was a Huge Success!

A great convention, with almost 200 gamers, as well as lots of staff (who also played games) and great vendors presenting all sorts of wares for sale.


Check out the Facebook site for updates and tons and tons of pictures and game AARs.








Sunday, October 8, 2017

October 2017 ODMS dates

Upcoming ODMS dates...

October 12 - 15mm Romans v. Sassanians, Stephen at WBC

October 14 - ODMS Picnic, in Huntington Park, picnic shelter near Fort Fun

October 26 - 15mm Medievals, Chuck at WBC

November 3-5 - Fall In! HMGS show, Lancaster PA

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Guns of August 2017 - a great success

The ODMS summer convention was hosted by the Virginia War Museum this year, and they did a great job of accommodating us.  In fact, ODMS member Chris Garcia, also the Education Director of the Museum, did a fabulous job of coordinating the whole thing.

In the end, we had dozens of great games, and they looked great set among the military displays and galleries of the museum.  We had a few brave vendors who attended the show (including some of our best supporters, such as Dragon's Hoard, the Phalanx Consortium, and Silver Eagle Wargame Supplies).

We don't have final numbers yet, but there were hundreds of attendees over the three days at the Museum, but they were spread out so it did not look busy at any one time.

Some excellent games were hosted, and played, and I personally got to sit in on Stephen P.'s English Civil War game, using Warlord's Pike & Shotte rules.  Here are some pictures of the many great games.

Lots of gamers, all ages, participated - including walk in Museum visitors.
Lots of fantastic terrain among the museum galleries.
Fantastic ECW action - Where, O Where has Prince Rupert Gone??
Napoleonic Action

So, after several different venues for our conventions over the past year (starting out with the Ramada last Guns of August, then the Williamsburg Muster was held over Memorial Day weekend at the Doubletree, and now this year Guns of August was held in the Hotel) we are returning to a traditional time and place for Williamsburg Muster 2018.  Watch this blog, and our facebook groups, for information on that convention.  It's not too early to start planning your games!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Event List - July through November

Historicon just occurred (July 13-16), and it was (at least for now) the last one in Fredericksburg.  I was able to attend for one night only, and saw some great games, including watching ODMS member Mike Bates play Kings of War against Ralph Krebs.  A very interesting game, and they had a pretty good time.

There was a most excellent selection of games being hosted, and the tables and terrain were great, but the convention hall was not as comfortable as the convention spaces up at the Lancaster Host.  Now, I know that there are a lot of valid complaints about the facilities at up in Lancaster, but other than spots of bad lighting, the gaming space and the dealers hall are very nice.  The hotel rooms, on the other hand . . .

But, that is behind us.  Moving ahead we have some great events that ODMS members will be attending, no doubt.

Guns of August - August 25, 26, 27 - to be held at the Virginia War Museum.  ODMS is proud to be putting on many games and events at our summer convention, this year hosted at the War Museum.  This will be a great event, and will feature (we hope) a lot of community attendance.  Great news for gamers - no attendance fee other than the very reasonable fee for entry into the Museum. And GMs get a discount.  Please write to me if you are interested in running a game, or being a vendor.


Southern Front - October 6-8 - to be held at the Holiday Inn North-Midtown, in Raleigh NC.  This is (and has been for a long time) a great little regional convention, that ODMS modeled their two shows (Guns of August, and Williamsburg Muster) after.  We eventually acquired a flavor of our own, but that does not detract from the experience at Southern Front, which has it's own (in my opinion, excellent) flavor.  Big enough for a great variety of games and vendors, small enough that you can have a great conversation with just about anyone there.

Fall In! - November 3-5 - to be held at the Lancaster Host Resort, in Lancaster PA.  This is the fall event put on by HMGS, now many years old, and still a great convention.  Not as crowded as Historicon, but still an extremely wide variety of games, tournaments, flea marketeers, and vendors.  A great show.

And on the long event horizon . . .

Watch for news about the 2018 Williamsburg Muster, and the 2018 Cold Wars.  Big ODMS events planned for both.  Equally, look for some smaller ODMS events (large weekend game days, maybe starting in September/October).

Saturday, July 1, 2017

ODMS restart

With the passing away, a few years ago, of Carl Sciscio, the club stopped meeting and gaming on a regular basis. Gaming was pretty regular and constant at Carl's house, in his game room/garage.

Now, the club has started meeting again, and I have to say, it has been a great reboot.  The club started up in the 1980s, informally, at Campaign Headquarters in Newport News (a now closed, but once great, gaming store).  It formalized sometime (more or less) around 1990.  In 1992 the store was sold and became Gamer's Guild.  A few years later it merged with World's Best Comics. Through that whole period, and up until maybe the early 2000s (maybe 2004) the club met every week, with a large attendance (several dozen on some nights) at World'sBest Comics. Then the group started meeting at Carl's place, and attendance remained strong, but not the peak level. At Carl's place, however, there was gaming maybe four nights a week.  Carl grew sick in 2014, and after his passing away, gaming sort of stopped, except special events and at conventions.

Around 2008 the club decided to host a local convention - the Williamsburg Muster. That grew to two conventions, and despite some hiccups, are still going strong.  But now, local gaming has returned.

ODMS crosses the Alps
In the interim, there was always the local Wings of War group, organized by former ODMS president John Snelling, and also the Battletech and X-Wing groups led by member Jack Hollingsworth. But not general gaming.

On June 22, we met at World's Best Comics again, for a great game of Wings of War, and followed up by a game of "The Rules With No Name".  All told, about ten gamers and a handful of spectators.

Deadly action in Stephen's Cowtown

My band of cold-hearted cowboy killers

On June 29, we met again, for "1754:Conquest", "Frostgrave", "Bolt Action" and "Hatfields and McCoys".  A great turn out, close to 20 gamers.

John, Justin, Dave - 1754 action
John D learning Frostgrave
Bolt Action pictures by John H


More to come, much more. July 6 will see ancients in 15mm (DBA, including armies for beginners) and maybe a session of Neil Thonas' introductory rules for medievals. Other games anticipated.

The week of July 13 will probably be light, as many members are attending the last Historicon in Fredericksburg, but the following week should be great with more games, and people showing off the games and miniatures they get at the convention.

Lots of planning for the near future - Ancients(28mm and 15mm), Napoleonics, Fantasy, SciFi, Car Wars, board games and more. Come check us out. You'll find something to like.

We are looking for a weekend venue also (Saturday and or Sunday) for larger more serious gaming - maybe a community center or a meeting room. If you have any ideas leave a comment or post an email to cturnitsa@gmail.com.  Probably a monthly event on the weekends.

Looking for articles about gaming, history, fiction etc for the new ODMS website.  Rules, campaigns, army lists - whatever you like.  New website will be posted here.

Check out the ODMS Facebook group.

Also, be sure to attend Guns of August (August 25,26,27) at the Virginia War Museum in Newport News. Lots of gaming, and the only cost is entrance to the Museum ($8, with several discount categories).

Virginia War Museum