Thursday 17 February 2011

AWI Clash! Second attempt at British Grenadier

I set up our second AWI game using British Grenadier hoping that the scenario would ensure a tight, fast and enjoyable game. The premis was that a British supply column had to be brought in safely (to where was never specified but could have been Philadelphia, New York or even somewhere down south as much as anywhere else), escorted by a small mixed force of Light Infantry, loyalists, light guns and cavalry. As the game progressed reinforcements might appear at the exit end of the table. Opposing this force were three brigades of Parriots/Rebels (delete as applicable) , one each of line, 2nd line and militia. There was also some artillery and a very small force of cavalry. This force was tasked with pinning and intercepting the British as they traversed the length of the table and to stop the supplies escaping. Simples!

As far as the game went, all three Rebel brigades entered the table, with the better Continental brigade on the right (me), the militia in the centre and the 2nd line brigade on the left (both John). Rob had the British and at once sent a delaying force of Queens Rangers and British Legion cavalry to hold my brigade at bay whilst the rest of his force and the supply column raced (?) down the road. Despite winning a local victory by chasing the cavalry off, followed up by a heroic charge across the bridge by one of my Continental battalions, which resulted in the Queen's Rangers running away, my brigade had lost too much time and had no chance of intervening in the battle that was developing at the other end of the table.

The British Light battalion and Hessian Jager were sent out as a flank guard to delay the centre Rebel brigade, which they did very well as the militia were held up at a fenceline with a large collection of DPs that they could not get rid of fast enough. The fighting in the centre finished with a bayonet charge by the light battalion that saw off one batallion of militia.

Meanwhile John's leftmost brigade, supported by cavalry, was trying to get into contact with the British, but were picking up lots of DPs on the way. British reinforcements also started appearing (17th Foot followed by the Volunteers of Ireland, 3rd picture from the top, the next move) thanks to some good dice rolling by Rob. John was almost caught in column by the 17th Light Dragoons but survived. Unable to make headway against the British reinforcements, John's brigade was forced into a firefight with the British which he would be unlikely to win in the long term, especially when the 23rd Foot arrived as reinforcements in the final move. The supply column was not going to be stopped from leaving the table edge. A British victory was declared.
Much debate was had about the rules. On the plus side we had played for about two hours and got through around 10 moves using quite large numbers of troops. It looked very pretty as a game and the scenario was a hard one, whether it was for for the British to achieve their goal or the Rebels to achieve theirs. However, whilst the game was ok, none of us were totally happy with the rules, and I think that despite being the 'rules of choice' for the period, they are too complicated for our liking, don't give a particularly AWI feel to the game, and we just can't 'get' DPs as there must be another way to reflect what they are intended to do. I understand what they are there for but there must be a more satisfying way of depicting the need to redress lines etc. It may just be that we're still not fully up to speed with the rules. Rob suggested that we try the same scenario using Black Powder, which we shall do next time. We are all great fans of the period so I hope we can either get used to BG or find another set. I might try and adapt our own 'Old School' set we use for Seven Years War that we all like.

Friday 11 February 2011

World War 2 interlude

I went down to John's last night to play another 15mm WW2 game with Rob. A couple of weeks ago we had tried out Peter Pig's 'Abtaillung' rules in an early war scenario and had a cracking game. I had been the British attacking force and Rob the defending Germans. In the rules you have to throw to see if your reinforcements arrive, and I got all mine on well before the Germans were all on table. My tanks and armoured cars rushed ahead and Rob had me backed into 75% of the table, hanging grimly on. In the end the victory conditions system used by the rules dictated that it was a minor German victory as they had held on to their main objective, so it felt about right.

Last night we changed sides and John had set up an encounter battle. Rob's Anglo-French force was on table long before mine arrived, and coupled with some crap dice rolls, were making a mess of my Germans! My 88mm gun only hit once in the whole game and most of my other rolls were so low I doubt the enemy even knew we were firing at them. Highlight of the game was Rob's cruiser tank squadron commander who spent ages trying to get out of a minefield, only to be brewed up the moment he left by one of my Pz2's, and the French hunting party trying to pick off my remaining armoured car from the recce squadron. They failed and I was saved by the arrival of my last infantry platoon. At the end my forces had been pretty much carved up. Out of 10 armoured vehicles I had only two left, although the Brits and French were almost as bad. When we calculated the victory conditions there was only one point in it, in the Brit's favour, so another win to Rob. Excellent game but as John, Rob and Neil have masses of 15mm WW2 stuff I have no need to invest in any......not until my AWI project is well and truly complete!

Sunday 6 February 2011

Vapnatark Show York today

Well, to paraphrase Wallace and Gromit, "it were a grand day out". Arrived nice and early so parked very close. The nice guys from the York club let us in at 9.30 becasue it was wet and windy in the queue. Also, being of a certain age, I was desparate for a pee and the only toilets were inside the venue.......sigh of relief there for sure ;o)

I had a shopping list, in a vain attempt to control my spending. I was off piste almost straight away after having a chat with Dave at Grand Manner. I have loads of his buildings for AWI and other periods, and have nearly bought his windmill many times in the past. Well, temptation got the best of me and I bought one. Hopefully will get it done in time for out next SYW game. Then made a concerted effort to actually buy stuff I had come for, i.e. black primer and some tufts and stuff from Mutineer Miniatures (check!), two packs of Perry Hessian fusiliers from Dave Thomas (check!), assorted mdf bases from ERM (check!), more hills of S&A scenics (check!) and some fencing off Last Valley (check!). Limbers off Irregular and some gabions off Ironclad completed the list and it was not even half ten! Cup of tea with my old friend Dave and his wife Kath, and did the rounds again and picked up some dice from what looked like Dice 'r' Us and then had another cuppa with John, Neal and Rob, plus Dave and Matt from the Durham club. I then went over to see Andy at the Old Glory stand. Mistake as he had some new AWI figures - very nice they were so I had to have some of course! After a couple more circuits I left and was home by 3.30.

The verdict. A good day out. Very busy but lots to see, lots to buy and friends old and new to catch up with. Now to unpack and sort out my purchases..........