Welcome to the Blog of a Skirmish wargamer! I hope you enjoy reading it!

All my rule sets are freely downloadable from our club website's Downloads page

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Saturday 25 February 2023

On the Attack!

 Today we were going to do Colonial skirmish, but Phillip couldn't make it and Mick has Covid (!)

So...it was just the old 3 of Lawrence, Phil and me, so we got my American Revolution (AWI) figures out again for another game!

Amazingly, I got the Initiative! With all the odds against it I managed to roll a 6 and Phil (AKA Lord Howe) a 1! - I even got to deploy in one of the flank sectors!!!

Would this bode well for me?

The British deployed in multiple lines...Phil had the bulk of the British on their right.

Lawrence had 2 Brigades of Hessians and a British one.
I deployed into the right flank.
I tried another of Washington's stratagems, placing his Militia behind woods etc where they would be safe and wouldn't upset his plans! on their right were my dependable N.Carolinas.
In my centre, I had my New Jersey Continentals.
On my right I had my Virginians who had covered themselves in glory last game!
I started the game badly, 3 of my brigades on the left and centre refused to move! - Only on the right the Virginians, 2nd Continental light dragoons, and some irregular light infantry advanced.
All the left could do was detach a few riflemen to...
...occupy the wood?!
The Hessians fired their 6 pdr battery...
Good shooting at extreme range! A Virginia regiment was disordered.
I brought my light gun to support their attack.
On the left again, and mostly with Washington's urging, the North Carolina Continentals advanced to support 'Les Enfents Perdus'- my riflemen!
Having got the disorder off my Virginians, the Hessian gun hit them again!
Who built it ... Krupp?
Soon after, it disordered my Light gun as it deployed, the poor Virginians were slowly wheeling to attack (We need Steuben!)
The rough hill on my right, slowed even my light troops, and the good command rolls Lawrence got meant any hope I had to outflank the Hessians was gone.
My light gun finally got shooting!
In the centre, my New Jerseymen advanced through the woods, opposed only by some Feldjagers.
My N Carolinas advanced bravely on the British Grenadiers, harassed by Light infantry.
I even got some militia advancing on the left, things were looking up!
Suddenly some British light infantry charged my Riflemen, who retreated in haste rather than face those fierce bayonets! Even the 17th Light Dragoons joined in the attack!
My N Carolinas got a good volley off and damaged the 2nd Grenadiers.
The battle continued, great shooting from my guys was eventually answered by a crashing volley.
My Riflemen bravely charged the Light infantry rather than get ridden down, and came a cropper!
The survivors routed and the Brits chased them into the second group of Riflemen.
The 17th joined in!
They cut the luckless Riflemen to pieces, but were then blasted by the enraged Militia, the 17th Light Dragoons were scattered!
My Virginiamen pushed on through heavy artillery fire.
My supporting gun...
...Hit and destroyed the Hessian battery!
The British Grenadiers closed to short range but were cut down by accurate American musketry.
My New Jersey Continentals were getting through the woods, the Hessians were waiting!
The battle (despite Lawrence playing 'The British Grenadiers' from the film 'Barry Lyndon) with my North Carolinas ended.
The survivors retreated, no Rout for these chaps!
A Fresh pair of regiments were left isolated.
The brave Virginians were continuing their assault.
The British were getting their reserve lines to close off the North Carolina attack.
The Virginians fought hard...but would it be enough?
The British light infantry attacked my militia! and won!
The Virginians halted, and were hit by yet another controlled volley...
until they finally Routed!
The survivors broke through the second line disrupting them.

At this point, with a brigade of British coming over the hill on my right, Washington called off the attack and withdrew.

The army had fought hard, and had had some successes, but the British were in the ascendancy.

The difficult terrain which made the British maneuverability outperform the Continentals, as well as some bad opening command rolls, made it very hard for the Americans to attack. I think I sympathise with the Americans at Monmouth Courthouse a lot more now!, and I cannot help but think the Virginian attack resembled Picketts charge!

Fun game though!

Saturday 18 February 2023

Our first try at 'The Men who would be Kings'

 Today I was supposed to be off clubbing doing family stuff, but illness sadly meant my relatives didn't make it up to Northumberland.

Never mind.

I therefore got to the club! where my friends Lawrence and Phillip were trying out The Men who would be Kings, published by Osprey. 

Lawrence brought down his lovely terrain...

'Terrain often maketh the game'!
I was running a bunch of Zanzibaris.
Phillip had some plucky British colonial troops.
I got to set up in the village, my aim was to hold it while the British would gain points for destroying buildings with their mountain gun.
I had some African reinforcements off table. 
My troops opened fire as the British advanced...
My dice started well, and if anything got better as the game went on!
Even at long range I killed three of the 'foreign devils'
They failed their reaction and were pinned!
The Mountain gun and the awesome Sikhs now joined the fight.
More Askaris extended the British line.
Those poor Askaris no sooner got their 'Pin' off when my rooftop 'snipers' killed their officer, who was virtually blind so never saw it coming!
Pin back on!
The Sikh fire killed one of my men, but I passed my tests.
Those Sikhs outranged me and were laying down some fire.
The Mountain gun and the leaderless Askaris now fired...
Another of my men died, and the house took a heavy hit.
The leftmost Askaris formed a close line.
They had seen my reinforcements approaching.
My lead group lost a man and were pinned.
I was bringing up reserves to support my Africans - including my Arabs from the other buildings in the town.
We were getting the occasional hits I needed to keep the return fire down.
The Leaderless Askaris were still hanging on.
My rooftop heroes were doing really well!
I finally got my mass to bear against the end of the British line - my aim all along had been to try and coordinate a massed attack and overwhelm the British.
My Arabs were joining in now.
The Askaris return fire was slacking as we gradually overwhelmed them.
The Arabs focused on one Askari unit, my Africans on the other.
The Sikhs and the gun were the only forces offering any real opposition.
Maybe I could get through the Askaris and kill the gun crew?
Despite being down to 3 figures, the leaderless Askaris fired back...
They hit my Arabs!
The other Askaris now died to a man...in true colonial style!
The other unit was now on its last legs too.
The Sikhs formed Close Order and Volley fired.
My Arabs got plastered and pinned to boot.
Using their range, they quickly transferred fire to my best Arab unit.
We took losses but escaped the deadly pin!
In fact my 'Destined for Glory' leader led them forward firing...
The Sikh officer fell! His ability could have removed the pin they took!
Phillip ceded the game, unsurprisingly!

The rules, I thought, were quite easy to pick up the basics of. They did make for a quite fun game. I also like the IGOUGO esque move which is easy to run.

I admit I do have a problem with games with activation rolls/cards, as you end up trying to rationalise why troops suddenly stop for no reason!!!

The Pin rule, also, seems a bit harsh, making multiple poor units better than fewer better units. Phillip's dicing was awful today and he frequently failed Pin/Rally tests, so he often got pinned, then in his phase got the pin off, only to get pinned again! - we all had suggestions how this could be 'tweaked' to make it more user friendly...and to stop so many units fighting literally to the last man!

We all want to play again, so that is a good sign.