Monday, September 25, 2017

Burgundian Ordonnance versus Frederic III's Imperials

Today Mark Woods and I had a hard fought game of Impetus when he took Frederic III's Imperials to fight my Burgundians.  550 points in a contemporary battle.

My stock standard army in its usual deployment.
I might lack imagination, but my CinC is a genius.
Frederic is charismatic.

Hmmm, my sub general gets down graded first turn.

I realised I had my supporting infantry too close to my artillery
 and had to pull them back to avoid presenting a large target for the enemy artillery.

 Perhaps my CinC was not such a genius...
The dice seemed to think so.

 The view from the Imperial side.

 In a daring move the Imperial light cavalry charged the guns.
Luckily for me they came up short.

 My centre recovered and tried hard to bring fire down on the enemy.
Most of my fire throughout the game was mediocre
and it was only through being sustained that any casualties were caused.

 Another view from the Imperial side, 
just before things got interesting.

Somehow that annoying enemy light cavalry
got a flank charge on my CinC.
What was that about him being a genius?
 
My CinC was trying to retrieve the disaster caused by the German wedges
which had punched hole in the left flank.
Luckily he beat off the flank attack.

 Things were moving slowly on the right...

 But then the action quickly started to happen.

 While on the left there was developing a knightly swirl.

 Stabbed in the back!
But the die rolls told a different story.

 My guys might not have been able to shoot straight,
but they could fight real good.

 The enemy centre has broken and my right hand command is doing well.

 I'm trying to turn my centre round but it doesn't seem keen.

 Oh dear, my camp is ransacked.

 The fighting on the right has intensified.

 But I am going to lose on the left, unless...

My CinC snatching a draw from the jaws of defeat,
with both armies breaking at the end of the same turn

Phew!

Great game.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Southern Hemisphere Open Zombies

Today at SHO I took part in the NWS zombie game.

Team photo
This is one angry bunch of librarians

There's always one...

Eh, three...

Five!

After finally getting clear of the first wave of zombies
and getting past the notice board,
what did we find?
More zombies!



Saturday, September 23, 2017

WBTS via Vassal - Weeks 57 to 60

The eighth cycle of 1862 begins with a siege.  Porter attacks the Confederate defenders of Alexandria.  As this is part of the Siege Combat (Monthly Strategic Turn) [13.41] he does not need to be activated.  He is on the 111-131 column of CRT 3.  Porter uses 1 supply and both sides lose 2,000 men.

Washington is under extended siege as the Confederates in the fort at Alexandria cut the water supply path and the large Confederate army astride the railway line to Baltimore blocks the rail supply path [13.39].  So Washington won't be producing supply.  The units in Washington have to live off supply in the city, but can do so for only one month, however this doesn't seem right as there is a good supply path by road to Baltimore.  Regardless, Washington is in trouble, as are the two Confederate blocking forces.

Supply for the Union is 180 minus 20 for the Washington being cut-off, plus 5 from carryforward. Total of 165 for 10 personnel points.  They augment a 3-3 to a 10-3 and commission a naval flotilla.

The Confederates carryforward 100, receive 60 for major cities and 6 from seaports.  Total 166 for 5 personnel points.  They build 5 garrison factors.

The Confederates deploy new 10-3 divisions to Richmond and Raleigh and a 3-3 to Memphis.  Holmes appears in Richmond.  This is not taken well as 5,000 men leave the militia in Virginia.  2,000 go home in Texas.  Beauregard is given command of the Cavalry Corps and his corps is retired (there is no rule for such a removal of HQs, but it seems reasonable).

The Union deploy new 10-3 divisions to Baltimore and Philadelphia, a 3-3 to Cincinnati and a 2-4 to Cairo.  They finish building their fort between Washington and Annapolis.  They would like to build more, but don't have enough supply to complete them outright.  They have 84 supply.  An army HQ lapses as there is no one available to take command of it.  Curtis takes command of a corps in Washington.

There are no partisans, but another cadre appears in Tennessee.

Union supply is 45 using 17 rail.  They now have 39 left.  They broadcast supply to Thomas and Crittenden.

Confederate supply is 30 and 9 rail.  They have 126 left.  The garrison of the fort at Alexandria surrenders due to lack of supplies.

The Confederates get a political point for having isolated Washington.

Week 57

The Union get the 5 chit.  Things keep going from bad to worse for the Confederates (maybe).

In the West Pleasanton is ordered to Cairo to collect the cavalry.  This will give him a good cavalry corps ready to fight any partisans that dare appear.

Halleck takes the war to Georgia, capturing Rome and Kingston and getting closer to the prize of Atlanta.

The new 10,000 man division is marched to Baltimore and the 10,000 man division there sails to Alexandria.  That frees Porter to conduct the master stroke.  A small band of militia are forced march to clear the bridge, they perish, but not in vain as the way is clear for Porter to take his 15,000 men and sweep round and occupy Manassas Junction.  He does just that, dooming the Confederates on the Potomac.

McClellan activates, but his position is as good as it gets.  Porter has repaired the bridges between Alexandria and Washington. He orders an empty supply train to Alexandria which is then provided with supplies shipped in from Baltimore.  He moves Keyes to take over from Rosencrans so the latter can take his cavalry and totally seal of the rebel host marooned at the gates of Baltimore.

Crittenden, Banks and Pope must be dazzled by Halleck's advance on Atlanta and just read the despatches, awestruck.

Hooker descends on St Marks, FA.

Buell crosses back over the Mississippi to reinforce Thomas.  The Confederates have 81,000 men around Memphis and the Union only 51,000, but the Confederates aren't able to get all their troops into battle.

The Confederates send Magruder with 22,000 men to confront Porter.

The new division in Raleigh is railed to Augusta.  Van Dorn and 4,000 men are railed from New Orleans to Holly Springs in north Mississippi.  He is to collect some reinforcements and then reconquer central Tennessee.  Jackson takes the initiative to send him 11,000 men who he hopes will be more effective attacking where the Union ain't.  Hardee sulks because he wants to lead to reconquesta.  Huger keeps quiet as he likes it in Memphis.  [Aside: having looked at the experimental leader rules, the Confederates could really do with Van Dorn as a cavalry commander at this stage.]

Polk is happy in Little Rock.

Floyd is very happy in New Orleans although the gossips say Mrs Floyd isn't that happy.  He is tempted to rearrange the defences now that Van Dorn has fled, but is annoyed to find that Van Dorn has done a good job of securing the Mississippi delta.

Buckner still awaits orders in Brunswick.

A Hill completes the recovery of the North Carolina coast, and then leaving his division in Wilmington and takes the midnight train to Augusta.

Beauregard inspects his new command at Leesburg, but doesn't have the initiative to get out while he still can.  Johnston doesn't want to flee, he wants to attack.  He doesn't.  So it's over to Magruder to attack.  He doesn't.

 The catastrophe in the East 
(for both sides and the rules as well I think)

The West
where Van Dorn is ready to strike east

Week 58

The Union get the 4 chit.

Pleasanton is ordered to Columbus, he will be Van Dorn's shadow.  He also sends 4,000 men by paddle steamer to Nashville.

Halleck arrives on the outskirts of Atlanta.

Curtis comes out of Washington, picking up troops from Alexandria and securing Porter's right flank. The Confederate railroad repair unit is overrun.  Rosencrans is sent to join Porter, but with his cavalry he presents a much more serious threat to the Confederates.

McClellan, Keyes and McClernand await developments.  Porter stays put.  If he can hold, Rosecrans will be able to slip round causing the Confederates a whole world of pain.

Hooker bides his time.  He has his sights on Chattahoochee, but it requires careful planning.

Pope, Crittenden and Banks still seem bewildered in the Tennessee mountains.  They are not moving.

Sumner sends his reinforcements from St Louis to Rolla and then heads on to Springfield to collect the rest of his army.

Buell, with Thomas and McDowell, thinks about attacking Jackson.  And he does!  It is on the 131-160 column of CRT 3.  The Union use supply and inflict 10% casualties on the Confederates, suffering the same loss in men themselves, 4,000.  The Union victory is short lived as Thomas is wounded and will be out of action for eight months.

Aside: I reckon I am over committing my leaders.  If I had stuck with the optional rule [26.2] I would have been very reluctant to commit leaders as the risk is death on the throw of a 1 and a wound on a throw of a 2 with a six sided dice.  Too a high risk except for desperate battles.  Also, one would have prepared for the risk by having replacement generals handy.

Van Dorn reaches the Tennessee.

Bragg is sent to Culpepper Court House with 10,000 men from Richmond.  Hindman is left defending Richmond with 4,000 men.

A Hill is told to get moving to Atlanta.

Hardee sends reinforcements to Jackson so the latter can now make a counterattack.  He does!  Its on the 91-110 column of CRT 4.  Jackson uses 2 supply and is able to adjust the outcome to a 5% loss for him versus a 10% loss for the Union (3,000 to 5,000)  The Union retreat.  Buell has a lucky escape due to staying behind at Army HQ.

In a last chance to breakthrough, Johnston attacks Keyes on the 131-160 column of CRT 2. The Confederates use supply.  There are no losses and Keyes retreats.  Johnston has a lucky escape like Buell - it pays to be an army commander.

Precarious

The Confederates desperately need to go first in week 59.

Week 59

They do, the Union get the 2 chit.

Johnston does his best to try and extricate the trapped troops.  Beauregard is sent back to try and keep the rear open.

In the west Van Dorn keeps heading east.

Hardee brings up more supplies so Jackson can keep attacking.

Bragg helps shore up the Confederate line in North Virginia.

Johnston considers an attack on McClellan, but can't get the orders out in time.

Jackson attacks Buell again, on column 91-110 on CRT 4.  The Union use 1 supply, the Confederates 2.   It is a bloody outcome, the Confederates lose 11,000 men (25%) to the Union's 8,000 (20%).

Rosencrans is ordered towards Leesburg, tightening the second noose. Militia are pushed into the valley blocking the Confederates' supply from that source.

Porter has the initiative to send a small force to bolster Rosencrans.  Everyone else in the East stays put. The tension is very high over who will get to be present at the Confederate surrender.

Everywhere else people are glued to the telegraph office waiting for the news from Washington.

 It just keeps getting worse for the Confederates.

Week 60

The Union get 1 free in initiative.  Will it be enough to doom the Confederates on the Potomac?

The Confederates tell A Johnston to pull out.  He orders Breckenridge to try and push Rosencrans aside in a march attack.  He fails with both sides losing 1,000 men.  Magruder tries also to push Rosencrans out of the way, but fails.

Van Dorn is ordered to retake Decatur and Huntsville.  He does, but loses 1,000 men in the process.

Buckner gives up waiting for orders and decides to march down to liberate Florida.

A Hill makes it to Decatur, GA.

Jackson decides to attack again, but goes into a rage after reading despatches from the East.

Breckinridge fails to attack, but Magruder does.  He has to attack across a river, but is on the 201-250 column of CRT 3.  Magruder uses supply, which he luckily has, and suffers 10% casualties (3,000 men) but inflicts 40% on Rosencrans who loses 2,000 men and is forced to retreat.  A supply line is open to the Army of the Atlantic.  Rosencrans is wounded and will be in hospital for seven months.

The Union order Curtis to counterattack.  It's a march attack on the 91-110 column of CRT 1.  To the Confederates' dismay it is successful.

McClellan shows initiative and swings down crossing the Potomac and then strikes the under belly of the surrounded Confederates.  Both sides lose 1,000 men.  McClellan, carefully leading from the rear at the Army of the Potomac's HQ, narrowly avoids becoming a casualty.

Hooker languishes in the Florida swamps.

Halleck, Banks, Crittenden and Pope display no initiative what so ever.

Likewise Buell, Pleasanton and Sumner in the West.

Farragut pulls the US navy back up the Mississippi to maintain contact with Buell's Army of the Missouri.

McClellan could attack, but thinks he's done enough.

 The East - where it has all been happening
The grey stacks north of the Potomac are doomed

The West - where the action is very different to that in the East.

Casualties


Union losses have been 16,000 compared to the Confederates' 20,000.  This is before the surrender of Lee's army, 55,000 men.  And then there is Johnston 51,000 men who were sent to the rescue but are now trapped.




The Red Badge of Courage 1974

I enjoyed this movie that I found on You Tube.  It was very close to the book and had good atmospherics.  However there was something that didn't quite work for me.  Having given it some thought, and in watching some modern TV, the acting style in this movie was too reminiscent of soap operas.  Not that it was melodramatic or anything like that, it just rang false.


The reason I went for the 1974 version was that it was in colour. I'm now thinking that Richard Thomas as "the youth" aka Henry Fleming, looks better in black and white rather than blue and gray.
Next is to watch the 1951 version, available on You Tube.

Southern Hemisphere Open Skies

Today I took part in Stephen's demonstration game at the new miniature gaming event for Perth called the Southern Hemisphere Open.  Stephen's game was part of the NWS' contribution.

 As it was his game and his models he got the unenviable job of flying five Albatross scouts.  
I had a miserly two Snipes.

And on my first shot my guns jam.
Even though my pilot had the special ability to reduce this occurrence.

Coming and going

 A hit!
One down, four to go.

 My other Snipe has had to break off.
It took 14 damage and can only take two more.

 My remaining Snipe keeps fighting,
although heavily outnumbered.

 Getting a shot at the Hun leader.

 Some near misses
Collisions are a frequent risk in Wings of Glory

  By the end of the allotted time, my remaining Snipe had 12 damage points.

10, 9, 7, 1 the damage on the four remaining German planes.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Built Up Area Combat - Another Test

Last night at the club I enlisted Mark B to help me do some more testing of built up area combat for Napoleon's Battles.

I used the same forces as in my previous test and much the same deployment, although this time I had both Prussian units deployed to get maximum benefit of the BUAs.

End of Turn One.

The French advance and have incurred significant casualties from the Prussians defending the villages. 

End of Turn Two

The French have deployed into line ready to attack.  Prussian fire combat remains on target and they are bringing up their battery.

First French attack.

The French were disordered going in, but fought well, however they were still repulsed.

End of Turn Three

The French have recovered and further deployed ready to attack. 

A major attack is made on the left hand village.

Both brigades attack.  The first is repulsed, forced to withdraw when it became disordered after a tied combat roll caused two casualties each.  The Prussian defenders were not disordered by this as their disorder number is increased by one for the occupation of the BUA.

The second brigade manages to inflict a casualty on the Prussians which causes them to reach their rout number.  The French occupy the BUA.  As well as being disordered I ruled that this was also an automatic change into column and, after a bit of thinking, that it actually represented them deploying into the BUA, so that they were considered to be filling all of it.

The Prussians counterattacked.

As the BUA is rough terrain, if the French brigade were considered to be where they were placed, then the Prussians couldn't reach them.  But as they are actually in the process of occupation, they are lining the perimeter etc, so combat occurs. 

End of Turn Four

The French light infantry on the right had been dispersed by accumulated fire casualties.  The brigade that had successfully occupied the BUA on the left were driven out by the Prussian counterattack and dispersed by accumulated casualties as well.  With two units lost, game over.

This test allowed me to work out an important aspect to occupation, namely that the unit will count as being in column, but occupying the area.  However I might need to do a further test.