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

If you need to contact me my E-Mail address is richardbradley5@gmail.com

Sunday, 20 February 2011

1917 campaign game (Wings of War)

Today, we were going to the third and final installment of Einars escape from justice, but my estwhile ally, Ian, was not well, so...

Wings of War!

This gives us the opportunity to advance our campaign characters somewhat, or get them riddled with bullets!

The Campaign rules generated a game we had done before, where a player (Lawrence this time) gets to swap his beloved SE5a for a DH4. He is detailed to fly straight and level across a marker indicating the position of a German Artillery position, and take pictures (during a slow straight manoeuvre).
Phil and me were to fly our SE5a s as escort.
(As usual, the opposition were randomly generated, and run by my Solo system.)

...Coming from the other side were 3 Fokker DR1s...

Both SEs moved forward to engage...

...The DR1s kept a tight formation, closing with the DH4..

My SE (painted as J McCuddens SE - with a large '6' on the upper wing), moved ahead and to the left to try and draw off the Fokkers away from the DH4. Phils SE (Painted as Rhys-Davies - with a large 'I' on the upper wing), stayed a little behind and to the right of the DH4 acting as close defence.

It soon became clear that the Fokkers would reach the target first....

..but my SE drew off Voss's Triplane, so the DH only had to face 2!

However, to our surprise, The DH4 swung round and away from the target!

..while in a dazzling display of sideslipping my SE hit Voss in flank for 5 pts damage!

Meanwhile, Rhys-Davies moved to outflank the other 2 triplanes...

..but he turned too soon!-and got hit for a point!

The triplanes then attempted to support each other, neatly avoiding the 3 SEs.

Seeing the melee tying down the Fokkers, the DH4 turned again and headed for the target.

Over the target the SEs and DH1s engaged in a swirling melee, each attempting to turn tighter than their opponents!

Rhys-davies got an inneffective long range shot...

..which did not prevent 2 Fokkers combining in an attack on the DH4 causing 5 damage!

The DHs front gun answered in kind for a lucky 3 points on Voss! 

In the next turn the aggressive DH4 got effective shots on 2 Fokkers who found themselves out of position!

Rhys-Davies, having outpaced his pursuers, swooped in for a further 5 damage on one of the DR1s...

..but could not keep up his good shooting. the DH was shooting little better...

..but managed to get his picture!

At last, McCudden got into position to attack in support of Rhys-Davies!...

..and followed up into Voss's blue tripe, which took more damage in the exchange!

The DH4 swooped away looking for all the world like a Klingon bird of prey, his mission done!-he took a lot of damage from Voss's DR1as he withdrew however!
..The SEs on the other hand, decided to stay around for a little glory!

Voss tried to keep a bead on the DH4...

...but was shot at (ineffectually) from the DHs rear gunner

...and soon began to be outrun.

Rhys-Davies was still engaged with the other 2 Fokkers.

..supported by McCudden.

Voss vainly tried to catch up with the DH

Rhys-Davies had a Fokker on his tail but managed to avoid damage...

McCudden engaged the other one...

Rhys-Davies got his guns on Voss and sent him down in flames!

..while McCudden hammered at another, jamming his guns in the process!

Rhys-Davies tried to cover but failed to 'Get a bead'

When McCudden got his guns back, a wide sweep allowed some bad long range shooting!

..then joined Rhys-Davies in a 'furball'!

..where their combined fire downed a second DR1!

The remaining Fokker made good his escape and the RFC retired across the lines for Tea - or perhaps a stiff brandy!!!

The game gave our characters a good boost - but in a follow up game (a ground attack scenario) poor Phil got shot down by Archie fire and captured.

All in all it was a good day, enjoyed by all!

Players:  Lawrence and Phil and me.

Campaign and Solo rules available (and several others!) free at: http://tynesidewargames.co.uk/downloads.html

Hope you enjoyed this AAR, and like the rules enough to use them!!!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Black Powder, anyone?

This Saturday (12-02-2011) - we decided to give the new Black Powder rules a try!
....It was decided to try a scenario from the rulebook, using ACW forces.


The initial setup had a single Federal regiment in skirmish order, screening the main Union positions behind, in a town, with a camp to their left, and a weapons foundry to their right 

The Rebel forces appeared in a surprise attack to the pickets front. Their plan was to launch a concerted assault on the Union camp, then move on to the town. The movement dice prevented the right hand brigade moving at all, whereas the centre columns moved 3 times in their first move!

...The left flank brigade crawled forward, despite only facing the picket regiment...

...and kept crawling.....

..until at the end the union skirmishers advanced to say Hallo!

On the rebel right, facing the camp, the Rebels advanced in a long snaking column... the right hand brigade, despite being joined by the Divisional commander still steadfastly to move!

In other circumstances this would have left them dangerously exposed....

..But the Union generals had been taking tea at 57 Acacia avenue, biding their time!

With the first shooting from the picket line though, the Generals moved rapidly to their brigades. The centre brigade got a great dice roll and in 1 move got all his regiments into line behind the pickets.

..Who, having been finally engaged by the ponderous brigade facing them, fell back towards the town.

Near the camp, the cenral brigade deployed from column of march into a column of regiments, and neared the camp...but where were the blue-bellies?

The rebels marched into the camp to find a single regiment deployed hastily into line on the road. The Rebels took serious casualties in the ensuing firefight.

...At this juncture (Finally!!!).. the right hand brigade advanced very quickly in support of the attack on the camp!

Back in front of the town, the Rebels slowly pushed through the cornfields, their front regiment being bogged down in a firefight with the picket regiment.

At this point, the unengaged Union forces from the foundry were seen moving to cross the stream to potentially threaten their flank.

In the camp, more rebels moved up, but took heavy casualties - they were now being enfiladed by Union artillery from the town, which having got in position in 1 turn, inexplicably had refused to deploy and fire at this juicy target for the next 2 turns!

The first Confederate regiment disintegrated under this combined fire.

To their left, the picket regiment was taking heavy casualties from the advancing Rebels, but did not break...

..Which allowed the Union force in the town to redeploy to face the left where the Rebels were moving to outflank them.

In the camp, meanwhile, the first Union regiment also disintegrated under the Rebel attack, despite the remaining 2 Federal regiments joining them fighting the Rebs at bayonet point. In the end, only one fresh Federal regiment remained, facing off against two battered Rebel ones.

With the belated appearance of the 'foundry' brigade in the rear of their position, the Rebels decided to pull out and retire at this point, the battle was over.

So - what of the rules? - My feelings were that it is a forgiving system, and esentially quite straightforward to play. 
I was aware that we were playing the basic rules and not the advanced ones, but I did have some reservations about the systems used;

(1) I felt the die rolling to move was far too arbitrary. No plan of battle can survive first contact with this die rolling!-- My troops felt 'Jerky' - either moving very fast or not at all, I didn't like this, and I didnt feel it was very realistic - I always feel in real battles, troops are sometimes hard to get going, but once moving, they will not stop without reason--but once stopped, are hard to get going again!
If this was what the rule writers wanted, it could be more simply done with WRGs PIP dice surely!

(2) This is a system based on D6s, and to get the effect desired, has a modified'To Hit' dice, followed by 'Saving throws' for combat, I do much prefer a single modified die roll, even if you have to throw a different die type to achieve this.

I am still, however, fairly positive about the rules though, and would not wish to condemn them on the basis of a single game!
The writers do suggest making your own modifications if you dont like something, which I applaud!