16 November 2017

An Introduction to Général d'Armée

I got a chance to introduce the Général d"Armée ruleset to my friend Iannick last night in Montreal. Iannick has been looking for the grail in respect to Napoleonic rulesets for even longer than myself and he is particular! I spent the day going through the rules as I had not played for 3-4 months, and I wanted it to be a good introduction.

I picked a Vitoria scenario that I had written when the rules came out. There is 5 brigades aside with artillery and cavalry involvement. It is a nice balance as I believe you need this many brigades to get a good idea of how the C&C function works.

The game was a first in some respects as it was the first game that I have got to host in my apartement  here, we usually play at Iannick's. I also finally got to use the portable gaming table that I purchased a year or so ago from the Czech Republic. It is 6x4' but folds down to 3x4' for transport. I was able to wrestle it into my car and transport it to Montreal where it will now stay. 

I went out and purchased  some beer and and found a pizza place that delivers (imagine that it has been almost 15 years that I have been going to Montreal and have had an apartment there for at least 5 years and I have never got a take away!).

I will not bother to write an AR, I think we got 4-5 turns in, but I did take some photos. It was a good night and I believe that Iannick enjoyed the rules. Enough so that he is planning to acquire an 18mm Napoleonic army himself. Stay tuned as I think he will be selling his 28mm Austrian and French forces and he is a great painter.

We had no really plan to finish the game but it did go back and forth. As usual we spent a lot of time talking and nourishing ourselves with food and drink. It was a good evening. I really had little cause to refer to the rulebook as the 4 page QRS is all you really need. It is a great ruleset.

Digging out the troops
The French right flank
The French left flank
4 battalion brigade
The Portuguese on the allied right flank
French Artillery
The KGL on the British left
The Guards with some 95th Rifles in the centre
The big picture
A particularly challenging cavalry duel, the cavalry rules are a lot of fun. The charge-countercharge aspect of the rules works well and  was quite realistic
Some French ligne retreating across the bridge

12 November 2017

Terrain for 6mm Wargaming: Part 1

Well it does say ........sometimes smaller.

For the last 6 weeks I have been working on a very large 6mm project that has yet to be identified. I am sure many of you can guess what it might be. It has been enormous fun. The research for it is quite painstaking and I have made a few errors, but overall it has been the most interesting task I have taken on in some time.

Otherwise, things have been a little slow in respect to wargaming as I have been unable to get in any games. My last game of CoC was 10 weeks ago and my last game of SAGA was 6 weeks ago. Unfortunately my 2 main gaming colleagues have been taken out of commission for various reasons. It has got so desperate that I made a plea on the TFL forum, but unfortunately it has gone unanswered. I suppose I have boxed myself in being a TFL gamer in this part of New England, my gaming club are all Black Powder, Bolt Action and DBA. All games that just do not attract me. If there is anyone out there who is a TFL fan and lives within 90 minutes of Salem, MA please get in touch!

Fortunately, I do have a Général d'Armée game teed up for this week in Montreal.

Anyway back to the post. For my the ruleset ( the one yet to be identified), I need some terrain. I have not built 6 mm terrain before so it has been interesting. Since the game is scaled in kilometers rather than in metres it has taken some adjustment. If I have it right, a 6x4' mat would be scaled at 96 square kilometers. I am also keeping in mind the Canadian 30k Epic project as well. My friend Iannick is planning an Epic bash in Montreal in the coming year so it will be good to have some terrain done.

The project is desert based, so it is mostly mountains and wadis. I am not really sure how I am going to do the wadi's but in gaming terms they will be uneven (soft, irregular etc) ground. I am also going to need a couple of towns/cities. Forest are not required and rivers will certainly be limited. Every 6" square area represents a square kilometer. 

So I thought I would start with the mountains which are really the main requirement. So here we go:

First I start with the base, I get these mdf bases from the BigRedBat's Shop. These are the 130x85mm bases which are just perfect for 15cm squares. Simon really provides excellent service.
Next up is some styrofoam. I use 2" thick blocks to start and cut them down to 40 mm in height which I think is good for 6 mm vehicles (a clue!). 
I then carve them up and use a blow torch to shape them and to seal them. We all know what happens when we use a aerosol paint on styrofoam. Do this outside. 
I cut the blocks so they are slightly smaller than the base.
Checking to see that they are roughly all in scale.
Aerial view
The all necessary PVA glue
I tried to vary it as much as possible.
Stayed tuned for Part 2.

20 October 2017

More Affliction

A few more figures that I have painted from the Folklore The Affliction Kickstarter. Above is a somewhat questionable unboxing video which I believe is important rite of passage in the Board Gaming World!
Two Werewolves and the Witch Hunter
Decaying Dead

18 October 2017

Something Different

Almost two years ago I backed a Kickstarter for Folklore-The Affliction. I am not sure why except perhaps it was by a local company in Marlborough, MA. I forgot about it then, the pledge was $95 and I looked at it as support for the local gaming industry. I really had little interest in fantasy boardgaming, I had not even played Dungeons and Dragons in past. I think the last boardgame I played was Risk maybe 40 years ago.

I did get regular email updates and about 2 weeks ago a large box showed up on my doorstep. It contained the basic game as well as another box containing an expansion set as well as some extra figures. I have to say I was shocked with the quality of contents as well as the figures. There were multiple pieces including many cards, punch out counters, a gaming board and almost a 100 figures. The quality of the game components and the figures were really first class. The board and card art was amazing. The figures came assembled and based and were of hard plastic, I suppose one would call them heroic 28mm. They were all beautifully sculpted and well cast. And aside from the faces on the human characters which were somewhat soft, they are very easy to paint...........yes I just could not resist giving them ago.
Base Game
Expansion Set
The game itself is a fantasy romp through a world inhabited by both minor evil beings and animals as well as the Afflictions, the major adversaries. The game is for 2-5 players and each player assumes the persona of one of 12 characters who travel through the world following a pre-written storyline. The depth of the story telling is quite impressive and easily played solo. The characters have to act cooperatively in order to make it through their travels. Each chapter takes about 60-90 minutes and the play is quite engrossing with simple gaming mechanics. Although the story is scripted the number of branch points is impressive and the combat mechanism is quite simple and fun. The characters of course grow in ability and strength as they progress through the story. I know this is old hat to most of you but the whole thing was quite novel to me.

It was so novel that that I could not resist setting up the game and having a solo run through it. A lot of fun indeed. Two of my sisters happened to be visiting last week and I played a couple of chapters with them and they also quite enjoyed it. Now all that is left is to convince my wife to have a go......she says maybe!
Flesh Eating Ghouls
Rabid Wolves
The Telepath, the Archeologist and the Arcanist
Anyone this has been a lot of fun and I will look forward to painting more of the figures in the box, at least 80 more to go as well as some Afflictions.

On the gaming front, I am working on a massive new project which is going quite well and hope to have a post up soon with some photos.

22 September 2017

Some SAGA Action

Myself and Adam got in another game of SAGA yesterday. It was the first for both of us in about 6 weeks. Adam and his wife Arianna had a beautiful baby girl Evelyn about a month ago which has put a slow down on Adam's gaming as one would expect.

We both fielded new Warbands yesterday which was fun and despite having two completely new Battleboards to assimilate we were able to get through a game in 2 1/2 hours. Adam decided to play the Irish and I opted for the Romans. I had painted a Manuballista and I was keen to give it a go.

I will leave it to Adam to put out a Battle Report, but I thought I would post a few photos.
The Manuballista
Some Hearthgurad

The Irish mounted Hearthguard attempted to run down a unit of Bow armed unit of Roman Warriors, this was the only melee of the game which ended in a result for me.
Roman Advance was a little tenuous, I was a little unsure of of the Roman offensive abilities.
The Roman right flank
Crazy Irish Warriors with javelins with their Warlord
The climatic end of the battle with the Roman Hearthguard attacking the Irish elite while Warlord's Pride forces the Roman Warlord to attack the Irish King. It did not come out well for the Romans due to my fumbling my BB abilities and very poor dicing. Game end........a poor outcome for the Romans but a fun game.
The Aetius and Arthur supplement has really added another dimension to the game with 6 new factions and updates to adjust the the earlier Battleboards to the 5th and 6th century.

16 September 2017

Winter Supports for the Ardennes Campaign

Not a whole lot of posts recently, I left my MacAir in Montreal on my last trip and just got it back. I have been quite busy on the gaming front though. A couple of weeks ago I finished some US and German supports for the Ardennes campaign. I have also have started a totally new project which I will talk about in my next post. These are supports for the CoC Bloody Bucket campaign. I still need to do a US Sherman and I made an order error for one weapon as you will see below.

German leIG.18 Infantry Support Gun (List 4)- I had some difficulty finding this gun in 1/72. I finally found a First to Fight model. Very nice model but not really for wargaming. A lot of fiddly bits, and the 3 soldiers that cam with it were quite hard to clean. To bring the model up to 5 men I added a couple of PSC troops. I should have got the Zvezda model
US 75mm M8 HMC (List 5)-I was actually supposed to obtain a M8 Light Armored Car, but got a little confused in the ordering process. This is a SHQ model, quite nice. I added in a figure Dan Dunbar painted from I believe the PSC US Heavy Weapons set. I need to put on some decals.

US Bofors M1 40mm Gun (List 4)- Again from First to Fight, very fiddly to assemble, I left out a lot of small bits which were meaningless to me. Nice gun though, again supplemented by Dan Dunbar troops. 

US 57mm Anti-Tank Gun (List 5)-Also from SHQ with some Dan Dunbar figures.
That is pretty well it for the Bloody Bucket campaign, now let's see if I can find someone to play!

21 August 2017

Hauptkampflinie Gebrochen

Yesterday myself and Mike had the next game in our Martlet campaign, this was our 7th game and my second attempt the to overcome the German line of resistance north of St Nicholas farm. By now the Scots Fusiliers had done what they could and the remnants of their platoon were withdrawn. A platoon from the Duke of Wellington's Own, who were advancing from the right, were sent in to take out the panzergrenadiers of the Hitler Jugend.

Again as in our last game, this was an attack and defend scenario as below, this time both sides had increased their supports by one point.

I should note that the German Platoon Leader was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class at the beginning of this turn for his actions in the previous turn.
He is looking a little frazzled though!

British (Morale 9)
2 SL's
Piat Team
2" Mortar Team
Rifle Section 1: 10 men
Rifle Section 2: 10 men
Rifle Section 3: 10 men
Supports (21)
Piat Team
2" Mortar Team
Churchill AVRE

Germans (Morale 11)
1 SL
3 Panzerfaust 30
PG Squad 1: 7 men/2 LMG
PG Squad 2: 6 men/2 LMG
PG Squad 3: 6 men/2 LMG
Panzer IVH
Supports (9)
Senior Leader
Rifle team
8 cm Mortar with FO

Some Terrain Photos:

Two Italeri Houses

Houses from 4-Ground
Patrol Phase and JOP's:
Patrol Markers
3 British JOP's
3 German JOP's
The Battle(or lack there of):
German Panzergrenadiers
The ever present German Barrage
Finally they missed
British 2" Mortars
Pesky German FO
This was a do or die game for me. I have to admit that I thought Mike was going to bring out 2 Panzers rather than another FO. I prepared myself with 2 Piats, a Sherman and the AVRE. Antitank guns are not an option in this scenario when you are the attacker.

To test the waters, I brought out my support section first and brought them up my right flank attempting not to get caught in a mortar barrage if there was one. Well there was one and I was able to keep out of it twice. Mike sequentially brought on all his squads and at the end of the game he had only not deployed his Panzer IV and his Platoon Leader. I brought on two 2" mortars and they started to deploy smoke. I also brought on a SL as well as a Piat team. I was able to advance up my right flank to the crossroads and on a double6 CD roll, I attempted to cross the road. Unfortunately, I missed that Mike had both LMG teams of one of his squads on overwatch and of course they got chopped up losing 6 men before they could pull back into the woods. I also brought on my AVRE on my right flank and advanced it in order to bombard the stone houses where 2 of the German squads were deployed. In response, Mike started to redeploy his troops.

Having learned my lesson in the last game, my advance was quite cautious as I wanted to build up my CoC Dice before I tucked into the assault. After 3 turns, I had almost 3 CoC in reserve and my AVRE was ready to start the bombardment. Mike decided to withdraw his troops, he had no loses and knowing his troops morale was quite high he decided to maintain this. I still had a Sl, a Piat, 3 infantry sections as well as a Sherman not deployed.

The Campaign Tracker:

As you can see at turn 8 with only 4 games to go I have to win the next 3 games to get to table 6 and win a marginal victory, the opportunity for an outright victory has been missed. This is going to be quite tough even though I have a full platoon. The German's now have +4 on all Morale rolls, +2 on Supports and a SL with 4 CI as well a 12" command range. The Brits have a -1 on Morale rolls, +1 on supports and a Platoon leader rapidly falling in his Men's Opinion. Mike's tactical withdrawal was clearly a very clever strategy to win the campaign.