Monday, November 17, 2014

Fere Champenoise, 1814, AAR

My friend, Jerry, and I recently played another 814 Napoleonic game using Volley and Bayonet. I found the scenario at The Free Napoleonics Scenarios site
It's a small scenario, but Volley and Bayonet handled it well as a two player game.

This was the classic situation; an all cavalry command attacks an enemy comprised mainly of infantry. Can the cavalry possibly win?

Well if half the infantry are conscripts, and the rules model the effects of the rain correctly...

Jerry took the Allies, all cavalry. I commanded the French, two depleted "corps," with two small cavalry divisions.

There is a long ravine which is marked by lichen. Each turn the first player rolls for rain. The effects of rain are:
-All movement is halved
-The ravine becomes disordering terrain
-All fire casualties receive a saving throw 

The Allied Cavalry advances

The French

The Allies surround and destroy a French division that appeared on the northern edge of the table

The crippling flank attack

Cossacks on the flank

It was a hard fought game. Almost half of the turns had rain. That slowed down my withdrawal and at one point I made a mistake; I stacked my units in the middle directly behind a cavalry screen. If Jerry could rout the cavalry, they would rout down the line spreading chaos.
Surely he wouldn't see my predicament.

Of course he saw it. He attacked and in two turns destroyed half of my army--the good half. His Cossacks once again attacked my disordered and routed units. The last three games in which the Cossacks have been on the table have seen them destroy French units.

My Conscripts fell back into the town. As bad as things were, Jerry still needed to take the town to win and time was running out.

On the last turn of the game, Jerry destroyed my last units and advanced in the town.

Great fun.
Last stand of the French

Monday, November 10, 2014

I Remember, Veteran's Day 2014

One hundred years; it's almost incomprehensible to me. It's been a century since the first year of the Great War, and I'm around to see it.
This Veterans' Day I remember my grandfather, Allan Hert, Sr; a veteran of the US Army. The flag presented to my grandmother at his funeral hangs in a case behind my chair. 100 years ago he was 15. Three years later, in 1917, he was in the army and the US was in the war.
I remember him. He was tall, and quiet, and kind to his grandchildren. He was working as the Superintendent of the Avoca State Fish Hatchery when he died of heart disease. My younger brother and I spent many weekends with our grandparents in the early '60's.

The State of Indiana built what Frank Lloyd Wright called , "The ugliest public building in America," the World War Memorial in Indianapolis. I stood in front of his and his cousin's name there.

In a family full of veterans, Allan Hert, Sr, is my favorite WW I veteran.

Monday, October 20, 2014

X Wing AAR: Chasing the Corvette

Yesterday we played a game of X Wing. Six players, the scenario was an Empire attack on a damaged corvette. The bigger, capital ships look great on the table. I was an Imperial player and one of my Advanced Tie's was piloted by Darth Vader. As luck would have it, my son, Brady, was a Rebel and he had the Millennium Falcon with Luke Skywalker as a crew.
This is a fun system. I had four fighters and used two to engage the escorts while the other two fired at the corvette. We had to bring it down before it could cross the table.
Richard had Boba Fett, flying for the Empire. He made a run on the corvette, flew past it and them the corvette swung to the left and smashed into his ship, destroying it. I stayed behind the corvette, now at a safer distance, pouring shots into it. I finally delivered the final hit to the corvette by ramming it with a Tie Fighter. The Rebels had destroyed all but three of our fighters and thus earned a slight victory. Father and son did not square off this time. Next time Brady/Luke will learn to fear the Dark Side.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Battle of Mirkwood AAR

I played my first game of Lord of the Rings miniatures today. I'm not sure how I have avoided these rules for this long, but I'm glad I finally played a game.
My doctor invited me to a game with his gaming group.
My command was a warband of Wargs, with a Warg chieftain. The other commands on our side were a group of Wargs and giant spiders led by a mage, and a cave Drake.
We face two Elvish warbands and an Ent. Our plan was to hit their right flank hard and then turn on their left. Our movement allowed us to hit them first and off we went.

Our plan worked well and we killed half of the enemy force before we lost a figure. By the end of the game we had reduced them to 25% and either fully or partially controlled all VP locations.

It's a nice clean system and I hope to play more of it in the future.

My warband moves to the attack

Beasts of Mirkwood led by the Drake

Closing in on the Ent supported by Elves

Our Drake turns their flank

One of my Wargs guards one of the VP locations, marked by a Hobbit

Dog pile onto the Elvish cavalry

The final round of combar

Monday, October 6, 2014

This Why You Should Read the Newspaper

A few weeks ago I was reading the Classifieds when I saw an ad offering the Flames of War rule book and miniatures for $20. I called the number listed and while trying to arrange a meeting learned he worked in the press room of one of the papers to which I am the IT Manager. We arranged to meet at lunch the next day and he mentioned that he had a tin full of larger scale tanks he would sell for $10. I agreed to look at them and this is what I got; the 1/72 scale Forces of Valor Tiger I, Pzkfw IV, Sherman, and two M3 halftracks. There also enough infantry for one US Company and a below strength German infantry bn for Command Decision.
For my $20 I purchased the rules, enough US infantry for one squad, enough German infantry for a platoon, a German halftrack, and three US jeeps.

I had told everyone in my group that I wasn't going to participate in the FOW army building, and yet here I am.

My advice is to buy a newspaper and look for bargains.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Battle of Brienne AAR

We recently played the Battle of Brienne using Volley and Bayonet. The scenario is from the Volley and Bayonet Page
I used the early start option and the victory conditions that required the Russians to exit all of their divisions. Since the IX Corps starts at the opposite end of the table, the rest of the Russians must march to the rescue, and then the entire force retire in the face of the enemy. There were four players in the game, including one who had never played miniatures and one who had played only in the Wild West skirmish games. Both had a good time.

The historical battle, January 29, 1814, occurred when Napoleon attempted to cut off Blucher's army and destroy it. Two infantry corps and two cavalry corps are attempting to escape the trap.

The field of battle from the French entry point

The Russians have withdrawn into Brienne and formed a line with two divisions. The relief force is at the top of the photo and Guard cavalry engages some Cossacks.

The French attacked with their cavalry; it arrived on turn 1. A corps of French infantry arrived on turn three, and then two divisions of Young Guard arrived next. In a furious cavalry fight, the entire division of French Guard cavalry was destroyed! The Russian line anchored on Brienne held, throwing back attack after attack. Dusk, and then darkness meant that the French would not be able to catch and hold the Russians. The Russians win this one.

A fun, fast, three hour game. I want to try this again with different victory conditions.

Blucher's train attempts to make it off of the table.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Battle of Brienne Set Up

It has really been a long time since I've posted or even looked at other blogs. Work has been overwhelming and both me and my wife have been ill.  I've played in two games since March; a very low number for me, but today I am hosting the Battle of Brienne at my home. Russians vs French in early 1814. Should be fun.

I will be catching up in the next few weeks. 

Happy gaming!