Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Just wanted to comment on this weekend's game. Thanks to all who came.
This was by far the largest Shako battle we have fought to date. With the British numbering roughly 37 infantry battalions, 4 cavalry regiments and 3 artillery, while the French had roughly 50 infantry battalions, 5 cavalry regiments, and 7 artillery.
The initial set up was Thomieres (Callahan), Maucune (Dave), and Cuto's Cavalry (Dave) swining around the left flank. Claussel (Oscar) was marching straight down the center, with Brennier & Ferey in reserve, and Foy (Scott) waiting on the British right flank for something to happen. That is when as per history, Marshall Marmont was wounded, and Bonnet (historically Bonnet was wounded as well, but the French lucked (?) out) took command at the end of turn 3.
At the end of turn 1, Wellington sent send orders for Crauford (Carl) to advance against Scott. Turn 2 saw Leith's 4th Division (me) advancing on timed orders against Oscar and Carl advancing against Scott. While the French continued their flank movement.
Turn 3 saw the trap enfold that Wellington had set up for Marmont. Pakenham's 3rd Division (John) was waiting for for Thomiers in line. The British Cavalry Division (I forgot the gentlemen who played this division) showed up on Johns flank. The unexpected appearance of the 3rd Division and the cavalry shocked the French players as much their historical counterparts. At this time, the British 1st Division began their timed advance up the slope toward the flanking units. ADCs from the now Bonnet were dispatched, and each one met an untimely demise for the French.
Turn 4 saw Calhan's fore units get destroyed by volley and charges, The British Cavalry charging Dave's lead cavalry elements and the rear brigade of Calahan's. In the mean time 2 heavy french guns commanded by artillery master Scott, was blasting holes thru my portuguese and highlanders. This pounding went on and on and on. By the way Scott, did I tell you how much I DON'T like you! :-)
Turn 5 on... The British 3rd division destroyed Callahan's lead division (which is historically what happend). The British Cavalry division destroyed Cuto's division. My division fertilized field with blood but eventually defeated Oscar's Claussal's division. Another division, Brennier's followed up and even though I had a significant help from 1st division, eventually broke (historical note, the 4th division was the only division that broke in the actual battle, and this was done by Clausal's). The British Cavalry broke against Dave's Maucuane Division. Meanwhile, Carl's Light Division was beating up Scott's Foy Division. Carl was on the verge of routing Scott's division, when ADC's finally made it to Ferey now led by Callahan, and started turning Carl's flank. There were desperate cries of help from Carl, but there was no one near enough to help. The closest division was mine and it was in its own death throes. Callahan was relentless in advance, with two battalions of the elite 95th rifles routing. Scott in turn counterattacked turning the table on the other two light battalions. Scott, Callahan, and Carl ran the fight all the way to night time, where Carl's light division barely survived with two Portuguese Cacadores badly wounded but still holding their own. They limped away, with the French unable to claim a victory there, but the casualties on the light were tremendous.
For the rest of the game, we called the fight at the end of turn 11. Dave's Maucune division was almost entirely gone between John's hammer blows and Justin's division in the center on the hill fighting Dave's rear and flank. That division was ready to break. Oscar's Ferey Division was badly mauled but was still fighting against Justin. We ended the game with a 3-2 victory for the British. The right and center was in pretty much a British victory but the left flank of the British was only being held with barely two battalions against two divisions, even though one was badly mauled.
As a historical note, there were a lot more British divisions on the table then we played with. There was also the 5th, 6th, and 7th... I did take the liberty to move the 1st division to the British right center (this was historically next to the light division) and boosted it with two additional guard battalions which did not make it to the division until 1813. As for my 4th division, this actually was the only British division routed in the battle, but the new 6th division (which we didn't play with) ended up turning back Clausal's division. The 3rd division in history did surprise the French on the flank and rolled up one division after another. Instead of British KGL's on their flank, there were actually Portuguese Cavalry and in one of those rare moments, performed quite well, and routed the French light cavalry they went against. Where the 1st division was situated, there was actually the British Dragoons. This heavy cavalry charged over the hill and into the flank of the french. With infantry and Portuguese cavalry to their front, and heavy cavalry on their flank, whole French divisions evaporated. On the other side of the battle, both Ferey and Foy didin't get into the fight and acted as a rear guard when things went bad for the French. There was only one division we didn't play with for the French, which was Bonnet (which I believe never was close) as well as the Army Heavy Cavalry (dragoons) that were never even on the maps...
So ended the Battle of Salamanca, 1812... Thanks everyone for joining in...
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
This is an AAR from a Combat: Alien War Game from the 2011 Guns of August convention by Alex Hoover. I suspect that Alex and his crew will be back with more C:AW gaming at Williamsburg Muster 2012.A progressive scenario of small sci-fi skirmishes where teams brave hostile terrain, natives, and each other to retrieve a mysterious alien artifact played at ODMS’ Guns of August convention, 2011.
USMC Squad (13)
- Squad Sergeant V NCO
- Team A Leader E NCO SSW
- Team A CAA E NCO ASSW
- Team A Member G
- Team A Member G
- Team B Leader E NCO SSW
- Team B CAA E NCO ASSW
- Team B Member G
- Team B Member G
- Team C Leader E NCO SSW
- Team C CAA E NCO ASSW
- Team C Member G
- Team C Member G
Mercenary Team (5)
- Merc V NCO G(1)
- Merc V NCO G(1)
- Merc V NCO G(1)
- Merc V NCO G(1)
- Merc V NCO G(1)
Alien Team (9)
- Jedun E NCO
- Soldier E
- Soldier E
- Jedun E NCO
- Soldier E
- Soldier E
- Jedun E NCO
- Soldier E
- Soldier E
Local Yokel “Militia” (20)
- Foreman G NCO (x 2)
- Yokel G (x 18)
The game was conducted in a progressive campaign of three vignettes. In the first vignette, a player had to get his squad across a 2’x2’ board, corner to corner. Another player played the local fauna, the Krgrgkrt (no guns, but pick the best of two dice during close combat), starting in the other two corners, whose goal was to eat the squad. The first vignette was run twice, with players swapping squad and bug play. In the second vignette, two players started their teams in adjacent corners and had to transit to their own opposite corner, obviously inhibited by the other team. Wounded combatants who made it off the board were given a stim-pack, so they were back to full up around for the second vignette. Wounded combatants left on the board became Krgrgkt snacks. The third vignette pushed all the boards together, with a hole in the center for the “Quantum Eagle” a millennial-old crashed space ship from an unknown alien culture. All the surviving teams started on the outskirts of the board and had to get a “scan” of the QE from each of the four corners. Scanning didn’t take a turn, it just required a team member to end is turn on a corner of the terrain piece. Three extra squads of six Krgrgkrt were added to the board and played by the umpire, since it sounded like a good idea.
The terrain used had two effects. First running was limited to 3+d6 inches to simulate swampiness and to keep it from being too easy to dash across the board. The tufts of marsh grass both cut movement rate to half to cross and provided one level of cover. Setups varied board to board, and players swapped out to different boards for different vignettes.
While the idea for the three progressive vignettes was very structured and flowing, the actual play at the convention was a little less so. We had quite a few walk-ups, a few people who just played a quick one-off vignette waiting for another game (which says nice things about the rules that you can do that), and a few initial vignettes when one of the referees would play the bugs to accommodate the walkups.
The bug vignettes played out fairly well with players getting a good chance to exercise the rules in simplified combat (only one side with guns). All the squads played out fairly evenly and proved to be a significant over-match for the bugs, but at an expense of 20-25% of their forces.
The most common tactic was to first sprint to what looked like a good location for a stand, then open up on the bugs. Several Marine players discussed the merits of suppressing one squad of bugs and trying to outmaneuver the other, however, none actually did that. It is probably a little different in the abstract and when the bugs are up in your grill. A few players did successfully charge one element of bugs, raining lead, then blow through on that side. Falling back and picking bugs off at long range (even through the cover) was also effective. One bug player was able to eat an alien squad down to one solider left. We let that player have a try with another team.
After taking a few lumps and drawing a little blood, the second vignette ran fairly smoothly as well. While tactics tended to be a little more conservative (perhaps thinking ahead to the third vignette), taking a few potshots and lobbing a grenade or two, while keeping mobile was the order of the day. There was a little bit of confusion a time or two when a “Mad as Hell” retaliation during an interrupt action turned into a “Who the Hell’s turn is it?” Those were quickly sorted out after a couple of deep breaths. Only one player decidedly left a string of wounded behind (playing the alien team with the uzi titin’ monkeys pictured above, lower right), but a few early casualties were left behind to ensure a team would make it all the way across the board.
The final vignette, the all-in race to capture the data on the Quantum Eagle for your side, ended up playing relatively smoothly. Major questions were ironed out in the initial play, so the players were pretty much autonomous. The militia squad was able to use their numbers effectively, both in spreading out and using a little bit of meat-shield tactics. The mercs were able to effectively press their skill advantage by just muscling at everything in sight (including charging into close combat with bugs!). The multiple SSW carried by the Marine squad was put to good use clearing them an open path to the objective. The alien team found it relatively easy to split up and hit the corners of the QE, securing the first couple of scans. While the Marines did a good job taking out the bugs at range with heavy firepower (and were the only team to have all their combatants who entered the final scenario survive), it bogged them down a little, so they were late getting to the objective. The mercenaries pretty much brute forced their way to getting three scans first. However, the militia made a mad sprint (with some excellent 9” run rolls) late in the game and was able to secure three scans in one turn, winning the game.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Write to John for details...
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Location is Southern Pines, NC. (one hour south of Raleigh).
Details are in the updated sign-up thread at:
This is just one week before our convention, so would be a great warm up event!
Sunday, July 24, 2011
At noon on July 15, the Union column was attacked by some 500 Apache warriors led by Mangas Coloradas and Cochise. Geronimo, sometime before his death in 1909, claimed to have fought in this battle but this has never been confirmed.
The Americans were not in a good position to fight. They had just walked dozens of miles across the hot Arizona desert, they were heading for the spring at Apache Pass which was now beyond an army of well armed Chiricahua warriors.
Lacking water, and with the risk of losing dozens of men by retreating back to Tucson without water, the column's commander, Lt. Thomas L. Roberts chose to fight. The natives had constructed defenses, several breastworks made of stone. They also had set up an ambush, they waited until the Americans came within thirty to eighty yards of their positions, then opened fire.
Behind almost every mesquite tree and boulder hid an Apache with his rifle, six-shooter and knife. At first the Union troops could barely see the natives firing on them. After a few more moments of intense combat Roberts ordered retreat, so his force withdrew to the mouth of Apache Pass, regrouped and unlimbered mountain howitzers for a second advance.
This was one of the first times the United States Army had been able to use artillery against the native Americans. Roberts ordered his infantry to take the hills overlooking the pass, while he, his officers and howitzers stayed inside of the pass to direct artillery support. The skirmishers moved forward, where they came across an abandoned Butterfield Overland Mail station, which was then used to provide cover from the accurate Apache rifle fire. The infantry was now about 600 yards from the spring, overlooking the water supply were two hills, one that overlooked from the east, the other from the south. On both of the steep hills sat the breastworks, manned by Apache riflemen, doing their best to keep back the American skirmishers.
Roberts moved his howitzers forward and commenced fire along with his infantry, the shots were not very effective because of their position some 300 to 400 feet below the Apache defenses. The artillery would have to be moved again if it was to be effective in this battle. So again the artillery was movedforward, under heavy enemy fire.
Once the guns were in effective range, the commanding sergeant ordered his artillerymen to engage.
Until nightfall the Apaches were bombarded when they broke and fled the engagement in all directions, abandoning the breastworks and leaving the Union troops with a victory and access to the spring.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Friday, June 10, 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Monday, March 14, 2011
Cliff will be running a 15mm ACW battle, using the Neil Thomas rules as modified by Creech. I plan to bring a copy of BattleCry to set up on a side table (last year we did Rev War on the side table).
Show up if you can.
Here are some links:
Article on PR Web
Article on James River Journal
Downloadable Flyer (pdf)
Friday, February 25, 2011
The next post should have some photos of the terrain as I move this project from the PC to the garage and start cutting the beadboard for the elevations.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
US Army: Captain Roberts in command of 3 infantry companies (10 men in each) from the 1st California Infantry, an attached battery of two 12 lb. mountain howitzers, and a cavalry escort from the 2nd Regiment of California Volunteer Cavalry (10 men); 5 total units, suitable for 2 players.
Apache: Two commanders - Mangas Coloradas and Cochise, each in command of 6 warbands (10 men in each); 12 total units, suitable for 4 players.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
About a month before the show, in early January, things really pick up. Stuff starts coming together. At this point it is well ordered and everything looks fine. The 3rd of the Brandenburg Concertos (J.S. Bach) comes to mind - in my mind one of the greatest testaments to the Human Mind and its ability to construct order out of nothing.
Soon, it is the week before the convention and a lot is not done. Things go from orderly to scary. The demons begin rising up out of the schedule, and stuff gets lost. It should have been done two weeks ago, but human beings haven't changed for 10,000 years. Chuck Time rules (ask an ODMS member what Chuck Time is). At this point, the scene goes to Mussorgsky and his perfect Night on Bald Mountain.
Thursday the tables are set up, and the Vendors start coming in with their treasures. Watching those guys trudge all that great stuff in has to be accompanied by the Volga Boatmen Song, and no version is as pure as the one sung by the Red Army in 1965 (as old as me).
Finally, at about 1:00 on Friday, the first miniatures games start. This really brought up a couple of things in my mind. First, I thought the Triumphal March by Verdi, from Aida . . . but no. Then I thought of the Prince of Denmark's March (much better) by Clarke.
The tournament players line up - mostly the Flames of War guys - like Monks in their Cells. If I were a bit more quixotic I might think of something modern and romantic like Mea Culpa by Enigma, but rather I am reminded of Gregorian Chant as they go through the litany of rules and modifiers back and forth. Hail Holy Queen by the Monks of Notre Dame gets the nod here. Close your eyes and imagine the FoW guys going through the motions while listening . . . but try not to pollute the sacred music too much with whimsy.
In fact, a better option might be the Monk's Chant from Monty Python.
Seeing all the great games set up and playing can only stir (in a wargamer of a certain age) the strings and melody of La Victoire est à Nous. This version is complete with images from Waterloo, and is a montage along with La vieille Garde and The Girl I left behind me (played during the death scene of Picton).
Finally I get around to running my own game - a large game of The Sword and the Flame - and it is a blast. This has to be O Fortuna by Orff.
Time comes to pack up and leave the convention. Saying goodbye to old gamers, fellow brothers from the club, new friends and gaming comrades, and all the great people that make our conventions fun. This has to be done with only one piece of music - not for me, but for the folks leaving the convention!
The bad part of this year was that I realized sometime Sunday Morning (as people were starting to leave) that the Guns of August flyers we put out were misprinted with the wrong information! Horrors, my very soul dropped through the floor as I felt bad about this mistake. It was all my fault, and I tried to tell everyone I could, but the fact is the dates on the flyer were wrong (correct dates below). This was such a blow, the only thing I felt is summed up by the poet/king David, and set to music in Miserere Mei.
Anyway, I hope you had a good time at Williamsburg Muster, and will think about Guns of August. We would be glad to spend some time gaming with you.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
The Williamsburg Muster is coming up, only a few short weeks away. The PEL on the website is chock full of awesome games, and there will be terriffic vendors at the show, as well as the hospitality suite, the great raffle, and Winston Churchill (in the flesh).
Don't forget - it is February 4,5,6 in Williamsburg.
See the website for loads of details - http://www.odms-club.com/convention/
It's time once again for Battle Hymn, a friendly local gaming convention taking place on Saturday May 7, 2011 near Richmond, Virginia! This year, the Richmond Leisure Society has once again combined forces with the Virginia Aviation Museum to put on quite a show. Only at the Virginia Aviation Museum can you get up close and personal with an actual World War I fighter, an SR-71 Blackbird, a Huey Slick, and William Randolph Hearst's personal luxury plane!
The central hall of the museum and the concourse area have been given over to gaming, and a significant number of both rectangular and circular tables with chairs are available.
The Richmond Leisure Society has several games planned for the event, but we need more folks willing to present some games. Any type of miniatures game is welcome, whether historical, science fiction or fantasy. Board and card gamers are encouraged to join us! The general public will be attending, so introductory games would be appreciated in addition to games for experienced players.
Based on the Virginia Aviation Museum's operating schedule, the time available for the gaming tables has been divided into two 2.5 hour slots, with an hour break in between, as follows:
1000 – 1230 slot one
1330 – 1600 slot two
The Museum opens at 0930 and closes at 1700, so we have uninterrupted time in between. If anyone would like to use two slots for a longer game, it can be arranged.
Besides our miniatures and board gaming, attractions include a mini movie theater continuously showing the late war installment of the Soviet classic "Liberation" and other films, a full-motion flight simulator, and all of the outstanding exhibits that are part of the museum! A guided tour of the exhibits will be given during the break in gaming as well.
Admission is $6 USD per adult, $5 USD per child under 18. Seniors and active military enjoy reduced rates.
Folks interested in running a game, please contact me at: Battlehymn (at) inbox (dot) com and I can reserve a table and slot for your game.
If any games publisher would care to send a representative to demo a game, we'd be more than happy to accommodate you!
For information about the Virginia Aviation Museum, including driving directions check their website.
For information about Battle Hymn, including updates check their Facebook Page.
Battle Hymn Events Coordinator
The Richmond Leisure Society