Portable Wargame – Ancients

We had an enjoyable game yesterday between Macedonians and Indians using Bob Cordery’s Ancient Rules from his  Developing the Portable Wargame book.  There are some photos below.  The toys were 20mm HAT and Newline Designs mounted on 8cm wide bases.  Having recently moved house, I couldn’t find all the figures I wanted and so the armies were mainly based on what I could find!  Alexander had 1 x Companions (Elite/4SP),  1 x Greek heavy cavalry, 1 x Hypaspists (Elite Phalanx 5SP), 5 x Phalanx, 2 x Light Horse Archers,  1 x Peltasts Light Infantry Javelins, 2 x Light Infantry Bow.

Porus had 3 x Elephants, 6 x Heavy Archers ( Light Infantry Close order Bow), 2 x heavy Cavalry (Poor/2SP) and 2 Chariots (3SP).   I gave the chariots an extra SP to make them heavy.

We played the standard rules and didn’t use the elephant optional rules – but see comments about this later.  Each side had 13 units and we used median card activation method (as described in Bob’s earlier Portable wargame book), but giving Alexander a +1 to his median to reflect his brilliance!  This meant that Porus had a deck of 4 x 6/7/8 cards and Alexander a deck of 7/8/9.  There was also a joker in the deck.  The table was 12 x 8 square grid of 4″ squares.

The game played quickly and smoothly.   Alexander routed the Indian left wing quickly but the Indian right held up well with the Horse Archers being seen off.   There was something of a grinding match in the centre but then Alexander had a lucky run of activation cards without the Indians being able to respond and this led to the Indians reaching Exhaustion point – although Alexander also became exhausted the turn after.   One thing we weren’t sure of was how the winner was decided.  We called it a draw and headed off to the excellent Bakewell Thornbridge Brewery taproom for a couple of lunchtime pints!

We enjoyed the game and discussed a few house rules we might consider for next time.  These included:

  • Having to use an another activation if you want to advance and fight again after a combat
  • Only allow pulling out of combat if you are faster than the enemy
  • Only apply the having to turn to face rule if you in the square adjacent to the enemy front.
  • Allowing light troops to retreat one extra grid to pass through friends behind.
  • We would like to find a way of making massed bow fire more effective than skirmish bow fire – perhaps +1 to die roll and remove the commander +1 firing if in same grid.
  • Some sort of evade option for light troops but not sure how that would work.
  • Limiting number of turns a unit can make if not lights – eg heavy cavalry and heavy infantry 2 turns, Phalanx, Elephants, Heavy Chariots can only change direction at beginning of move.  Perhaps allow a diagonal drift if maintianing the same facing. – measured orthogonally as usual.
  • We thought you got to move a lot of units with the median card – perhaps make the middle card 1/3 rather than 1/2 total number of units rounded up?
  • For elephants, use the normal hit resolution table but apply the retreat rule when the last SP is lost.

Playing on a grid certainly speeds things up and didn’t spoil the look of the table.  Would love to hear other people’s thoughts on the rules as it is a good game engine.

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The initial deployment – Macedonians in foreground

 

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Indian cavalry and Heavy Chariot

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Porus on his elephant

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Alexander and his Companions

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Cheers

Simon

Bakewell Leg of the GBnU HoTT Tournament – Part 1

There was a good turnout at the Medway Centre in Bakewell on Saturday 16 November for the local leg of the Good, Bad and the Ugly HoTT Tournament.

The core principle of the GBnU tournament  is to have fun and share a common event with others around the world.   The theme this year was “Old School” which could be (and was) interpreted pretty liberally!

Fourteen players took part and six rounds were played.

The final scores rankings and armies were:

  1. Pete Duckworth              The Enemy Within
  2. Mark Johnson                  Chinese
  3. Tony Green                      Elves
  4. Baldie                                Badly drawn Baldie
  5. Simon Wilson                 Leonardo da Vinci Old Art School
  6. Owein Mason                  Lords and Ladies
  7. Tim Sharrock                  High Crusade
  8. Neil Mason                      Buster Keaton’s The General
  9. Stevie Andrews              Them!
  10. Nick Wright-Carter        Semi-historical Arthurian
  11. Kevin Casey                     King Arthur
  12. Rob Rush                          Orc and Goblin
  13. Philip Donald                  Sheep
  14. Frank Shaw                    Rat Army

The Bakewell Leg nominated Pete Duckworth’s Enemy Within (1980s protesters and rioters) as the best Theme Army and Neil Mason’s The General steam locomotive as best stronghold.

Here is most of the team: ( I was taking picture so happily for readers not in it!)

Team photo 2

Left to right – Baldie, Kevin Casey, Pete Duckworth, Mark Johnson, Rob Rush, Nick Wright-Carter, Frank Shaw, Stevie Andrews, Tony Green, Tim Sharrock, Philip Donald, Neil Mason.

.. and here is the action underway:

Games underway

I hope to be getting some more photos over the next few days and will post them in Part 2.

Bakewell October DBAfest

Saturday 14 October saw 14 players come to Bakewell for a matched pairs tournament.  The idea was that you brought two historically matched (and hopefully reasonably balanced) armies.    If you and your opponent had used own armies the dame number of times, you diced to see whose pair was used.  If one player had used their own pair less times than the other, that player got to use their own pair.   The person who didn’t own the armies in play got to choose which one to use.

Here are the full rankings and army pairs:

  1. Paul Murgatroyd                II/5c Theban & II/5d Thessalian
  2. Scott Russell                     II/2 Mountain Indian & II/3 Classical Indian
  3. Rob Rush                          1/6b Midianite & i/60a Early Achaemenid
  4. Phil Johnson                      II/52 Dacian & II/56 Early Imperial Roman
  5. “Baldie” Storey                  II/5l Black Sea Greeks – two armies
  6. Mark Johnson                    II/74a Palmyran & II/69b Sassanid Persian
  7. Phil Steele                         II/62a Axumite & II/23 Later Pre-Islamic Arab
  8. Reece                                III/3 Italian Ostrogothic & III/4b Early Byzantine
  9. Graham Fordham                IV/3 Anglo- Norman x 2
  10. Frank Shaw                        II/7 Early Spartan & II/12 Alexandrian Macedonian
  11. John Saunders                    II/32b Later Carthagenian & II/39b Celtiberian
  12. Nick Wright-Carter              II/64a Mid Imperial Roman & II/78b Late Roman East
  13. Tristan Gale                        IV/79d Late Swiss & Iv/82b French Ordonnance
  14. Tamara Fordham                 I/6b Midianite Arab & I/22a New Kingdom Egyptian
Jeff from Outpost Wargame Services kindly contributed to the prizes.  As overall winner, Paul won an Early Tang Army and Tamara won the good humoured resilience award – a Pictish army.

Unfortunately, my phone ran out of juice during the event but here are some of the pics I did take!

medway
The Medway Centre in Bakewell – venue for the tournament.Enter a caption
martin johnson and paul
Mark Johnson tries to stay awake while Paul Murgatroyd goes through the rules with a fine tooth comb!
phil steele
Phil Steele notices that one of Graham Fordham’s figures has a top button undone.
nick wright-carter
Nick Wright-Carter wonders whether Phil Johnson’s coffee cup is in fact an edifice
scott russell
Scott Russell gazes tenderly at his lucky red dice of death  while John Saunders works on a battle plan based on his opponent throwing only sixes.
robert rush
Robert Rush checks the lever on his ejector seat in case Frank Shaw comes throws a 6:1.
tris
Tris Gale makes sure he looks down at his Later Swiss to avoid the glare from Baldie Storey’s pink polo shirt

A Squarebashing summer

I have been playing quite a lot of Peter Pigs excellent WW1 Squarebashing rules this summer.

I took part in Lurkio’s Squarebashing day on 24 June – a great event with a friendly wargaming crowd.  Here is a good report:

http://rulesforcommonman.uk/smf/index.php?topic=685.0

This was followed up with a very well-researched game for Oppy wood organised by James Morris with myself and Tom Webster-Deakin taking part.  I also played James’ Fort Vaux Verdun scenario earlier in the year at the Burton wargaming club.  Tom’s report  for Oppy Wood can be found at:

http://tomstoysoldiers.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Square%20Bashing

I have now finished my very own first two Squarebashing armies – late German and British using the rather nice Kallistra 12 mm range – here are some photos of a very recent game with my son.  The buildings were simply made with cork tiles and filler, painted with cheap poster paints. The battlemat was also poster paint daubed over a cloth.  Roads kindly provided by that perfect gentleman Ray Boyles.  The Mk IV tanks are by Butlers Printed Models – these 3D prints can be made at any scale.  Hasty defences by Pendraken 10mm. Blasted woods from my hedge!!

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End of the year

OK – so one New Year’s resolution is going to have to be to write this Blog more frequently!

Since the last entry in June, the wargaming front has been a bit quiet – so another resolution must be to PLAY MORE GAMES!

Back in August, I helped run a DBA tournament at the BHGS Britcon event in Manchester.  I put the fact that I came bottom down to me organising, umpiring and playing – a bit of a stretch on the multi-tasking front.

britcon-startbritcon-team-photo

The nest event I attended was a battleday with the Peter Pig Square Bashing rules in Daventry and organised by Simon Clarke.  Although I bought the rules a few years ago, I had never played them apart from the participation game at York when I was seduced into buying them.  Anyway, I am glad I did as I thought this was a brilliant game.

More pictures can be found on the RFCM forum at:

http://rulesforcommonman.uk/smf/index.php?topic=390.0

I am already looking forward to the next day in June and I have also asked for (and got) some Christmas 12mm Kallistra Late war Brits and Germans to play the game with.

My old mate and gaming partner Sean has introduced me to Art de la Guerre and that is also a game I will be playing more of.

My son James has been home for Christmas and New Year and so we got some assorted games in.

Firstly, a game of Irregular Wars by Nic Wright.  These are focused on various small actions  in the period of discovery and conquest in the age of discovery in 16th and 17th centuries.  We played an action from the conquest of Siberia with Cossacks against Koryaks – NE Asian headhunters.  Great fun!

siberia-game-1siberia-game-2

More details about Irregular Wars – Conflict at the World’s end here:

http://irregularwars.blogspot.co.uk/p/irregular-wars-conflict-at-worlds-end.html

Next game up was a chance to get out my long-neglected 15mm Crimean war figures to try out the Neil Thomas Simplicity in Practice rules.  Although vert simple – and in the old school tradition – they gave an entertaining game.  We used a scenario from Neil’s 19th Century Wargaming book – one of my favourite wargaming books.

And finally, a game of Lion Rampant.  We played the fugitive scenario – as it seemed to be over quite quickly with me locating and finding the fugitive before James’ hunters were anywhere close, we continued the game as the Bloodbath Scenario.

On the painting bench right now are a couple of DBA armies – Late Swiss and French Ordonnance in preparation for the Mercian Tournament in February, with the Italian Wars as the theme.   After that i will be getting on with my Kallistra Late WW1 Brits and Germans.

Hopefully there will be less of a gap bef0re the next Blog entry than there was since the last one!

 

 

 

Bakewell DBA Tournament 18 June

As a relative newcomer to DBA, it was with no little trepidation that I offered to organise a tournament.

The theme was based on a dreadful pun (Bakewell TARTars and T’ARTillery) after the local delicacy.  This meant that armies had to have at least four Light Horse and/or Artillery elements.  In order to give LH room to roam around the flanks and give elements the chance to stay out of artillery range, the boards were large ones at 800mm square.

On the day, 14 gallant competitors cantered in on their light horse, some dragging their artillery with them – in some cases (well Arnaud to be precise!), dragging quite a lot of artillery.

The players:

group

Back row, left to right – Tom Whitehead, Paul Murgatroyd, Richard Pulley, Scott Russell, Pete Whyman, Neil Mason, Graham Fordham, Tristan Gale (observer), Phil Duncan, David Constable (obviously worried about being seen at a v3 event as he tries to edge out of picture!)

Front Row – me, Tamara Fordham,  Arnaud Marmier (the winner),  Martin Myers (edging forward and trying to look like the winner!), Pete Duckworth and Phil Johnson.

The prizes were kindly donated by John Roberts of Naismith and Roundway (http://naismithandroundway.co.uk/ ).  First prize was a 15mm Late German army IV/13d – hopefully to be seen at the next Mercian tournament when the theme will be the Italian Wars.

The results:

Bakewell DBA results

A few photos from the event:  (Pictures of the armies to follow)

general pic
The games get under way – partially obscured by Arnaud’s big hair
paul m
Paul looks in horror as his first throw is a 1 and that plough mysteriously turns to mud!
arnaud and richard
Richard tries to guess which of Arnaud’s three artillery pieces will blast him first.
david and martin
Martin looks on, amazed as he witnesses David, former v2 infantryman, enjoying a v3 cavalry game!
graham and neil
Neil and Graham take a brief respite from the game to discuss beard trimming techniques
neil and arnaud
Arnaud and Neil practice levitation – or is that an ouija board?
pete and richard
Pete squints to avoid snow blindness while trying to stop his sleeves catch the table edge
phil and tom
Tom uses his magic wand on his d6 to make sure it continues to throw high while Phil J reaches for the brandy.
scott and tamara
Tamara helps Scott understand what a base width is.
scott and graham
Scott gets ready with his canister of sevoflurane in the hope it will knock Graham out at the critical moment.
pete d and Phil D
Phil D looks on aghast as more Lithuanian LH reincarnate as 3Bw

Long time – no posts!

I can’t believe it is seven months since my last post!  perhaps things have been a bit too busy on the wargaming front (and other things!) to stop and write about it.

I guess the main bits of wargames news are:

  • Two excellent DBA tournaments – the Mercian organised by Pete Duckworth and Alton arranged by Martin Smith.  My North Welsh didn’t come top, but they didn’t come bottom either!
  • My old chum Hugh Harvey from Minneapolis visited us for a heavy wargaming weekend, introducing me to Art De La Guerre (liked) and Aurelian by Sam Mustafa – really, really liked!
  • I have bought a couple of nice Oriental DBA armies – Khmer from Outpost and Malay from East Riding Miniatures/Grumpy.  Also on the painting bench are some Perry 28mm plastic Arabs for Saga and a long unpainted 15mm DBA Dynastic Bedouin army.
  • This coming weekend (18 June) I am organising my first DBA tournamenr in Bakewell – currently 16 players are signed up for it.  Full report to follow soon – i promise!  The theme is armies with at least four Light Horse or Artillery.
  • I am also helping to run the first DBA tournament at Britcon in Manchetser on 13 August.

More news – and perhaps a few photos to follow soon.

DBA v3

So far, gaming in November has been very much about playing DBA v3!

Firstly, there was a good game of Big Battle DBA with Sean, my long suffering regular wargaming mate!

The game was set around the battle of Nicopolis in 1396 between the Ottomans and a combined Hungarian/Western Crusader army.

The orders of battle were based on the scenario by Ian F White with a few minor changes to cater for my miniatures collection.

The orders of battle were as follows:

Hungarian Right (12 elements): 1x3Kn (General – King Sigismund), 2x3Kn, 1x6Kn, 4x2LH, 2x4Cb, 1x4Sp, 1x2Ps. Appear 2nd bound

French Centre (12 elements): 1x3Kn (General – John of Nevers), 7x3Kn, 2x3Cv, 2x4Cb.  (50% demoralisation, must have highest pip score + move towards enemy directly)

Wallachian Left (12 elements): 1x3Cv (General – Prince Mircea), 4x2LH, 2x3Bw, 1x5Hd, 4x2Ps. Appear 2nd bound

Ottoman Right (9 elements): 1x3Cv (General – Tinnurtash), 5x3Cv, 3x2LH

Ottoman Centre (15 elements): 1x3Cv (General – Sultan Bayuzid), 3x3Cv, 3x2LH, 4x4Bw, 4x2Ps.

Serbian Left (12 elements): 1 x3Kn (General – Stephen Lazarevitch), 5x3Kn, 1x3Ax, 5x2Ps  Appear on third bound.

The overall result went as it did in history with an Ottoman victory.   The French got bogged down in the dry river bed against the Ottoman centre and the Hungarians fell victim to the Serbs coming in from the Ottoman left.  The Wallachians did well on the Hungarian left, demoralising and then routing  the Ottoman left, but then suffered a series of abysmal PIP rolls that stopped them from contributing further.

We really thought that the BBDBA game added an extra dimension to the game with the demoralisation to the different commands.

In hindsight, the terrain was probably too challenging for the Hungarians as the dry river bed was treated like bad going and as soon as they eventually got out of it, the Hungarians and their French/Burgundian allies were under punishing bowfire from the Janissaries!

Here are some pictures – figures are 12mm Kallistra.

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Above – Sean considers his options as the French/Burgundians rush heroically towards the enemy!
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Above, the Serbs attack on the left

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Above, the Household Sipahi wait to pounce!

On Sunday, 15 November, Patrick Dale organised a  DBA tournament at Great Bowden near Market Harborough- this was my first and great fun it was too.  16 participants, 5 games and a theme of feudal English and their enemies.  I took a North Welsh army with South Welsh allies.  I really liked the fast moves and +3 modifier for the 3Pk – a real incentive not to hang around and get stuck in!

I look forward to my next tournament!