Friday, July 17, 2015

Fistful of Lead: The final showdown

Marshal Bill Marshal was the toughest man ever to draw breath. He'd put more bad guys, scoundrels, and ne'er do wells in the ground than cholera. But his reckoning was coming.
Organized by those blackards, the Dixon Gang, every scum and renegade in the territory was riding hard for Lesterville to put an end to Marshal Bill.
 Lesterville
The Longriders move in
El Guappo's crew gets piled up on the bridge...
...because of well placed snipers in the hotel.
The Dixon Gang enters the fray.
The Cavalry doesn't save the day.


El Guappo's banditos tried to cross the border, but were quickly pinned on the bridge by some well placed riflemen in the hotel. Meanwhile, most of the Marshal's men were tied up keeping Yellow Knife's Indian renegades at bay.
Two forces started out off table. The Dixon Gang could enter on a d10 roll less than the previous trun number. The Cavalry on a d6 roll, making it, in theory, easier for the Cavalry to arrive.
It didn't work that way. The Dixons entered turn 2. The Marshal's men were now outnumbered 2-1 and taking casualties. The Marshal was nowhere to be seen.
When the Cav did appear they rode straight for the Injuns... And were either wounded or killed to a man. So much for the big save.
As blood pooled in the streets, the Marshal appeared. He had been hanging out in the General Store for most of the game. Playing checkers? In then proceeded to do what he does....kill.
Until, El Guappo showed up. The corpulant bandito then killed 3 men in a row, including the Marsha.
With the mission accomplished, it was just a matter of cleaning up.
Lesterville was now in for dark times. There was a new boss in town. El Heffe himself.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

GASLIGHT Battle

It won't stop raining here in the Midwest. To alleviate the gloom, I need something steamy and clanky.
Each player got two infantry units and one contraption. Each side had one village, but needed the other village.

This would prove to be an oddball game. The Jaguar, a German velocipede is usually the first unit to draw blood, and being unarmored, the first to die. This game, he took three turns to get started, despite a high START roll. Then, once engaged did little damage.

Weird thing number two. Most of the time units break apart somewhat quickly because of failed morale rolls. This time, it seemed like every unit stuck around to the bitter end.
Third, the Rokkittruppen, as regular readers will know are a tough unit to use. They move quickly, but because of the "fire OR move" basis of the rules means if used wrong, they usually charge to their deaths. This time, they moved into a defensive position and unleashed Hell with their spring work submachine guns.



And the unicycle Uhlans...Poor Uhlans. They held postion the entire game, waiting for thr right moment to charge. They took a calculated risk and moved last in the turn, hoping the following turn the Germans would go first.
They didn't. The Home Guard cut them to pieces.
With both sides beaten and bloody, we called it soon after the Killenkanner toasted an entire unit of French soldiers hold up in a house.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Returning to DUST

Summer's a hard time to get everyone together. That's why I went back to simple set of rules with some great models: DUST. We only had 4 people playing, but a ton on minis and tanks on the table. I was even able to the Boy to drag himself away from the Xbox to play, which says something about the cool factor.
I don't have the official DUST dice, but you can easily use standard 6s or, if you are like me and have a bunch of 6s numbered 1-3, even better.
Each side had a "biggun" with guns capable of insta-killing anything on the table. These became the focus of both sides. The Axis had a bunch of undead troops. These boys are cheap, but don't take suppression hits. They are mostly close combat troops, however. This forces them to run across the open battlefield, but they get great saves.
The Allies had some heavily armored troops capable of rocketing into position. We used these try a pincer.
It sort of worked.
Much like any other game, we learned the hard way those troops better be suppressed or have already activated before you close in for hand to hand. The ability for troops to deliver Reaction fire creamed most of both sides assaulting troops before they got close.
The Axis ended up with a marginal victory. All of the Allied armor was knocked out, and what infantry was left, was hanging on by the skin of their teeth.
Again, a great game in very little time. I'm still thinking of converting these for 15mm SciFi.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Great Italian Wars - To the Strongest

Our group has been playing around with Simon Miller's (aka Big Red Bat) "To the Strongest" Ancients rules for a while now. I don't really have ancients miniatures, so I make do with others, or Medievals. But, I DO have a large and growing Renaissance Italian Wars collection. What is
Renaissance warfare really, other than Ancients with firearms? Most generals of the time were rediscovering the great generals of antiquity and trying to emulate their tactics.
With that in mind, my French and Swiss & Italian mercenaries took on a Neaplolitan/Imperial Spanish force. Some troops were subbed in from my War of the Roses armies. Billmen were used for Swiss halberdiers, old crossbows for new, etc. Nobody from my group knew the difference...

This time we used Stratgatems for some underhanded maneuvers. After fielding our Cavalry as one big mass, our "Take the High Ground!" card allowed us (French) to send or horse two squares forward before any moves.
The game started with huge cannonade turn by the Spanish. Despite needing 8 or above to hit, on top of just activating, the Spanish artillerymen blasted two units of Swiss crossbows to bits, and disordered a unit Pikes.


I must say, the Spanish grasped a key feature that really let them use their Deep Pike formations to full effect. Deep units can't share a square with any but lights. This allowed their skirmishing arquebusiers to move with them. They could fire, then retreat behind the pikes when danger threatened. This allowed them soften up their foes before impact. Also, not allowing non-deep units to fight back against those charging pikes made choosing lesser targets a tactical factor.
The "push of pike" felt right as those big units of Landsknects and Swiss duked it out in the center.
The game ended, though, when the flanks gave out.
A great game to play, and one that was visually stunning IMHO. The rules worked great for the period. I need better terrain, and this game gave me the urge that I have been needing to paint the hordes of crossbows and knights I need inspiration to push out.

Friday, June 19, 2015

15mm Napoleonic Black Powder game (in honor of Waterloo)

With the 200th anniversary of Waterloo yesterday, we just had to run a Nappy's game. Armed with but a fraction of Lead Addict's enormous Napoleonic collection we staged a Black Powder game using some of the house rules generated over the years on the BP forum.

A combined British-Prussian force had to stop a French force from combining with it's parent army off table. The British had 5, let's call them brigades, of 3-4 units plus cannon, while the French had 4 brigades of 4.
Both sides had all their cavalry massed on one flank. And that is where the initial clash happened. In a fast and furious battle the British Horse were shattered and left as a broken brigade, but the French fared little better. One more unit disabled and they too would join the British as combat ineffective.
On the other flank, a Blunder roll had the French charging into the Prussian and British line. Due to some terrible British combat rolls, it actually worked out for the French.
But in the center, the French couldn't seem to get moving. Their attack Columns saved them from failed maneuver rolls, but they only got sluggish moves.



It finally ended with a bit of an anti-climax. Much like last week's game, commanders were intent on their own section of the battle and failed to realize the bigger picture. If you use the "real" rules where a brigade is broken at half casualties then it was a draw. If you use most people's house rule of over half, then it was a slight victory for the French. Both armies would, in reality, be of little use later.
An 8 player game with thousands of minis on the table over in 2 hours. A good game.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Black Powder ACW-Battle of Moore's Crossroad

In preparation for next week's Napoleonic game celebrating Waterloo's 200th anniversary, I wanted a quick, easy game of BP to get everyone re-acquainted with the rules.
Union forces had set a gun emplacement in preparation for the bombardment of the rebel held town of Moore's Crossroad. (The name of the battle unfolded later as one of the player's plunked a canon in the middle of the road that defied almost all the odds and blasted a huge regiment to bits).
The small rebel garrison had already called for reinforcements, so the Rebels got to start already on the table making a dash for town. Their job was to destroy or run off the Union artillery.
Meanwhile, the Union forces had to get their strung out troops up from the roads entering their side of the table.
 "The battle's this way boys!"
The hill seemingly being secured.
It was a fun battle, with the Rebel forces at first sprinting across the battlefield with some great Command rolls. But the might have to soon. They were quickly outflanked and the right wing (with an untested regiment) getting destroyed quickly.
 Union troops hold the flank. They held firm the whole game. Unfortunately their comrades did not.
Meanwhile, the Rebel left cavalry flank, which everyone was sure would simply ride around behind the puttering Union flanks and destroy the cannons, failed several Command rolls in a row, and spent most of the battle picking apples and enjoying the weather.
It was an interesting fight. At times, both sides were sure the battle was lost for their side. In fact the Rebs were dismayed when they heard that the second Union brigade had broken, and the army was now in retreat.
It was only fitting that General Moore's forces would win with his big 5-0 on the horizon.
As much as I love Fire and Fury, when wouldn't have been able to fight a battle of this scale in the 2 hours we had. Can't wait to play some Nappies next week.

Saturday, June 6, 2015