Wednesday, August 28, 2013

ACW - Union Artillery

Tonight the Basement General are going to have another bash at Longstreet. After looking at my 15mm ACW troops, I found that I was short on Union Artillery. It is unknown whether these can be finished before this evenings game, but at least they are in the works.

Six guns, plus six four-man crews. So the question becomes, why am I blogging instead of painting?

The basic colors are blocked in on the crews. The guns are finished. These are not great quality, but will be just fine for the table top. I am taking a quick break to write this and grab some lunch. Back to it shortly.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Longstreet Rules in the House!

Alright! The full version of Longstreet arrived today. Kudos to Sam Mustafa's processing, ordered on 8/19 and delivered to the heartlands in four days. Not bad at all. We have played a couple of games using the Lite version of these rules. I can't wait to see what he has added.

One addition is a campaign system. I will be playing a Union Colonel Fredrick (Fritz) Wolfe. There may be an actual ancestor with that name. Time to do a little genealogy research.

The Basement Generals have more guys interested in ACW than in the Marlburian period. My Maurice project will be delayed a bit as I finish my 15MM ACW collection. I primarily need Union artillery and a bit more Union Cavalry. Not to worry though, Maurice will continue soon.

A very nice way to get a weekend started, a new rule set and an interesting Ale!

Monday, August 19, 2013

ACW - Longstreet - Ordered!

The full set of Longstreet rules by Sam Mustafa is now available on his site. We have enjoyed the lite version tremendously. As soon as I received the email announcement today, I bought my set. The PDF is available immediately. The bound version and cards should be here in about a week.

New things I have already noticed in a quick skim are the inclusion of Cavalry, troop ratings and a campaign system. This will be a night of reading the rules and thinking about a good nom de plume for a future ACW commander. Finally, will he be Union or Confederate?

Now, I have to take a look at my 15mm ACW troops again. Federal artillery is needed, but what else? This hobby does not help my ADD

Friday, August 16, 2013

ACW - Longstreet

Last night the Basement Generals tried Sam Mustafa's Longstreet for the second time. We met at the Baron's castle for the weekly gaming and beer tasting soiree. See the Baron's report about this battle and the beer at his blog.

I drew one of the Johnny Reb commands. I had the confederate left flank, and my objective was the far town. The victory conditions were control of the two towns and the center hill. The towns were already occupied, so the battle was going to be for the center hill. My job was to push the Federal right flank so it could not join the battle for the center.

Greg played the Union commander controlling their right flank. He played a defensive shoot and give ground strategy that was quite effective. I chased him all the way back to the wheat fields just outside of the town, but my forces were shot to hell. Longstreet superbly allowed this defensive strategy, and gave me several options in attacking. The cards in Longstreet are the heart of the system.

The initial deployment, my troops are ready to move forward

There is quite a battle at the little rock wall as my troops moved forward. Union artillery was forcing me to spend a lot of cards absorbing hits. As we are finding out, cards are crucial.

The battle for the center hill.

On a different note - my order for more 10MM Marlburian troops arrived. With two bags of Generals! A painting weekend looms as I get these ready for Maurice.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

CnC Napoleonics - Peninsular Wars

I generally get to game twice a week. This is pretty regular, but sometimes gets interrupted by work schedules. On Thursday's it is miniature gaming with the Basement Generals at the Baron's. On Tuesday's, I play board games with one of the Generals, Greg. The last few Tuesdays one of us has been busy. It was nice to play again last night.

We trotted out a favorite. Commands And Colors, Napoleonic War - Spanish expansion. Greg played the French and I played the Spanish. This scenario was based on an historical event, but I don't remember which one. It is hell getting old. Anyway, there was a valley with three Spanish artillery units. The French were on the attack and their goal was to kill all the artillery. That was the instant French victory, or either side could win by claiming seven banners.

CnC is a great rule system, we have been playing this a couple of years now. The mechanics are clean, simple and there is absolutely nothing to change for house rules. We have tried and it breaks things. It is very likely my favorite board game system. The French started this scenario with 6 command cards and the opening move. The Spanish started in deployed positions and only 4 command cards. This lack of cards would prove decisive later on.

Initial deployment - French get ready to assault the guns.

Battle lines are formed -- The Spanish get a little lucky and manage to get organized. I had used the Spanish Order Interrupt token a couple of times by now.

Here comes the Cavalry!

Charge of the French Cavalry. At this point, the Spanish forward infantry had to deploy into squares. The rule for forming square is one must reserve a card to do so. That left the Spanish with two command cards, and they could no longer react. It was pretty evident that the French were going to maul the center at this point.

The Center collapses

The last Spanish Artillery piece falls - game over.

I used every shenanigan card and Spanish trick that I possibly could. For a while, I held the French off. However, once I had to form square, just to survive, it was over. Greg and I both had some wild dice rolling last night with some good and some bad rolls by each. I think my favorite was when Greg attacked one of my infantry units with 5 dice. He rolled 4 Artillery and a Cavalry hit. No effect! The game was a lot of fun and a very nice way to close out my elongated birthday weekend.

Friday, August 2, 2013

An FPGA Train Wreck

In my previous post, I supplied a map of the situation for a FPGA battle that took place last night. I knew this scenario was going to be a tough one for the Austrians. I had hoped that the battle would be a little more challenging for the French than it turned out.

From the outset, this battle was a complete train wreck. I don't know if my scenario description was clear or not, but the Austrians immediately moved the two regiments in the center forward to engage the six brigades of French cavalry! I am not sure why the Austrian commander went on this suicide mission, but the outcome was predictable. They were mauled by the French cavalry. The entire middle was compromised and that set the tone for the whole evening.

Initial deployment from Austrian perspective.

Initial deployment from the French perspective.

In order to simulate that this was the second day of a battle, the players all rolled a 6 sided die for every base under their command. 1-2 = 2 existing casualties, 3-4 = 3 existing casualties and 5-6 = 4 existing casualties. This was for the infantry bases, Cavalry was a little fresher. This method actually worked quite well. It was quick and gave the impression that the armies had been in a bitter fight the day before. On the first turn, the French infantry held their positions and used some recovery dice rolling. It would pay dividends later as the Austrians immediately started moving in their worn conditions.

As the action started, the Austrian center moved to engage and was destroyed by the French. The Austrian left held their position and was eventually engaged by the French right. Here it looked like a fairly even battle, and then the dice rolling started. The Austrian commander had loaded his weapons with coal dust and marshmallows instead of powder and ball. This was an epic night of bad rolling. The French commander, mauled that flank.

The Center - showing the French Cavalry in possession

The Austrian Left - showing the French driving forward

With the center gone and the Austrian left collapsing, it was just a matter of time before the Austrian right was overwhelmed. The Austrian army morale broke shortly there after. The game was called after 2 hours of play

The Austrian Right - or what was left of the Austrian army

I really enjoy FPGA, it was fast and brutal. There was a decided victor after 2 hours of play. Maybe this scenario was flawed, but I think the Austrians had a chance to survive if they had played to consolidate their lines instead of a rash forward press.

Anyway we all had time to enjoy some of this fine brown Ale. I imagine the Austrian players thought it was aptly named.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

FPGA - French Break Through?

This is the scenario for a Basement Generals game on Thursday, August 1, 2013. This is for Fast Play Grande Armee (FPGA). FPGA is my favorite rule set for the Napoleonic period, bar none. I bought the complete rules from Sam Mustafa's site many years ago, but once he issued the Fast Play variant we have not used the full set again.

This engagement is the day after a big battle over the three towns shown in the map. When we play tonight, the commanders will be rolling for existing casualties on their commands. At the end of the first day, both armies regrouped. The Austrians have assumed that the towns are the main focus and have made a mistake. The commanders have unknowingly weakened their center by too many withdrawals. Can the French seize the opportunity to split the Austrian army leading to its eventual annihilation?

Army deployment - early morning - Day two

I will post a battle reports and photos tomorrow.