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

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Old School Reinforcements Pt2

Remember those Chaos Warriors from a previous post? Here they are:
I went with the classic generic Chaos, before GW introduced the big four. Eight more to go.