Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Season Of Battle/Field Of Battle solo Napoleonic initial encounter concludes

Played out final phases of initial encounter and a real nail biter it proved to be !

Prussian pressure succeeded (barely) as they forced French morale to drop to zero (France then 'gave' 3 morale points to Prussians) just as their own was on a mere 1.
French then drew a Army Morale card which they promptly failed giving the day to Prussia.
However it was a rather Marginal victory with campaign staying in the Lutzen area.

Prussia lost a net 22 National Will points going down to 51 whilst France lost their entire 29 points so now on a dire 17 and in real danger of losing the campaign early.
Prussia used its Discretionary 4 Victory Points to attempt to pursue a unit of Young Guard unsuccessfully whilst trying to boost the fortunes of a Grenadier unit again unsuccessfully.
However both sides found that post battle played fortune played fickle games with the morale of their units.
Prussia saw 3 units suffer a Morale drop with one being left out of next battle whilst 1 unit of Musketeers were upgraded.
France had 4 units degraded with one also left out of battle but saw 3 units upgraded including one to Elite status.

Prussians have pierced the French centre

Forcing the French left to fall back to avoid being flanked

Prussians also across the stream in force on French left

The chaos of battle with French Cavalry activated too late and getting into a real log jam as Prussians advanced.

Seasons Of Battle/Field Of Battle solo 1st action.

Started my solo initial battle which I am terming Battle of Lutzen.

Despite French nominally being strategic aggressors I diced for stances in battle and attack status fell to Prussians.
After an initial lack lustre start (ie no bloody move cards) the Prussians have really taken it to the French !
A general assault across the stream and bridge has taken their central Infantry Divns into the heart of French deployment.
It has not been without loss however as 4 Prussian Brigades are now hors de combat.
France also saw 4 Brigades Routed but with they managed to recover 3 of these in short order.
Prussia is exerting more pressure in centre and 2 further French units have Routed.
A hum dinger of a slog between a unit of Young Guard and a Prussian Grenadier unit has seen both charge, be re-buffed, exchange volleys, drop and regain morale thus far.
The Prussian Grenadiers also saw of a charge by Polish Lancers managing to coolly form Square.
France lost a Divn leader and this could have spelled disaster with his Divn all Out Of Command but they held a a replacement was quickly found and order restored.
On Prussian left their Cavalry also managed to get across the stream but have been repulsed.
On French left the Young Guard Divn is holding off 2 enemy Divns and with the battle still ongoing the French Cavalry Divn is as yet (ominously ?) uncommitted to the fray.....

Field Of Battle excels at this sort of game 'narrative' with sweeping advances possible and dramatic swings in fortune possible.
Makes for exciting games even in solo mode.
My further testing of a 'Form Hasty Square' rule has worked well and am still toying with possible 'Cavalry Retire' (essentially for when approached by Infantry to stop standing still for devastating volleys).
I had considered a 'Cavalry Intercept/Opportunity Charge' but not sure it adds much.

Prussian cavalry cross the stream

Prussian assault in centre

French deploy on right to thwart Prussian cavalry

Young Guard holding forward posistion

The fierce onslaught around bridge

French advance from town but lose a Leader (hence the Out Of Cmd units)

Prussian Cavalry forced back across the stream


View from French left

Central struggle continues

French Chasseurs and Light Infantry routing leaving a dangerous gap in lines

Which Prussian seek to exploit

All the action in centre

The Prussian 5th Grenadiers and 3e Young Guard face off

Prussian pressure on French right of centre

Stalemate on French right (Artillery cannot cross stream)

French Cavalry Divn poised but where to go ?

Monday, February 19, 2018

Seasons of Battle another solo trial

Have set up another Seasons Of Battle campaign to solo my way through.
This time setting is Napoleonic with Prussians facing French in 1813ish.
Was going to try SOB system with different set of rules but plumped again for Field Of Battle as just so solo friendly and I have a couple more house rule ideas I wish to try.
Using small 2 base units (for ease of play) as Regiments/Brigades (ie similar level to FOGN) to allow some scope for manoeuvre on a 6' x 4' table top.
I also used a points system I am working on for FOB to establish the starting forces (1600pts apiece) and see if any form of balancing can be achieved.

Both armies have 4 'Divisions' ie small Corps.
The Prussians have 2 Infantry Divisions of 2 Regulars 1 Grenadier 1 Foot Battery 1 Landwehr (Large units ie 5UI) and Landwehr Light Cavalry.
A third Infantry Divn of 2 Reserve and 1 large Landwehr with a unit of Uhlans.
Their 4th Divn comprises 2 Dragoon and 2 Hussars units with a Horse Battery.
They start with an Average deck and a Skilled D12 commander, lets call him Blucher.
Starting National Will is 72 (it is the War of Liberation after all)

The French have an Infantry Divn with 2 Regular, 2 Conscript and 1 Light Infantry backed by a Battery of guns.
Another Infantry Divn of 1 Veteran foot, 2 Conscripts, 1 Light Foot gun Battery and a unit of Chasseurs.
Their 3rd Divn has 2 Young Guard foot a YG gun Battery and Polish Lancers.
The 4th similarly to the Prussians has 2 Dragoons and 2 Hussars.
The have a Skilled Deck and D12 General who I shall name...um...lets see.....Napoleon.
Starting National Will is 53 (losses of 1812 still way heavily) and means 'Strategically' they will need to attack to increase their Will whilst hopefully reducing enemies.

For the preliminary battle in the 'Lutzen' region the map selection yielded a table with a stream  running down the middle, gentle hills, several dense woods (I rolled odds/even for each area to see of light or dense) and a town complete the make up of the terrain (ala terrain card 19).
As a house rule I rolled a D4 to allow that many extra terrain pieces on table (with a roll of 6 on a D6 removing any) this saw 3 pieces of which only one remained; a small marsh.
Initial Campaign Card play (I used standard deck just ignoring any Battlefield Adjustment cards) saw French 'win' the set up.
The French gained 10 Strength points to starting morale (but rolled low so only 29 Morale) and won Deployment allowing them to deploy units one extra zone forward.
The Prussians have to deploy one Divn first but can amend the deployments of 2 Divns after French set up they start with 26 Morale points.
The Prussians also got to choose side of table to set up.

Encounter set up ready to go....................and so to war !

Prussians on hills to left, French ensconced around Town on right

Young Guard Divn deployed forward

French Cavalry behind Guard.

Infantry on right

Prussian left with a 'large' Landwehr unit (ie 3 bases)

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Field Of Glory: Napoleonic another game played.

Another try with FOGN today with Stephen fielding French 1814 against my Prussians.
Another interesting game although we spent way too much time pontificating about armies, tactics and comparisons to other rules !!
French had maximum possible artillery 3 medium batteries 1 heavy battery and 4 attached batteries which made Prussian advance a very nasty proposition indeed.
Thankfully I had a Cavalry Divn which was able to do an on table out flank otherwise it would have been an extremely frustrating day.
Artillery are tough in FoGN as the get to shoot every fire phase and can prolong (with CMT) and can pivot for free 1" to bear on a target.
With 6 dice at medium range they are hard to close with especially as they can generally get multiple shots before Infantry can close with usually being disordered or even worse wavered.
With units only being able to recover cohesion at end of their own turn and only 1 per Cmd it's tough to arrive in fighting order and makes attacking pretty tough.
I did manage to charge one battery (the veteran heavies with an officer) that miraculously failed to stand and so the crew abandoned their guns. 
But we could not find any way in rules to destroy the guns (fair enough) but also it seems you can't move through them either so they are effectively an insurmountable wall in that state ?

As ever with FOGN the most time consuming aspect is finding relevant rules for things.
Eg Line Of Communication stand is mentioned in three seperate areas of book but one says the LOC. must touch table rear edge whilst another states it must touch rear edge and a road.
Perfectly logical but less than clear.
Also we failed to find what defines being in Cover ie all of a unit, most of a unit ??
Again easy to adjudicate (we said you had to be entirely in cover to benefit) but no such definition in rules which only mention moving in cover ir firing from cover.

We are going to try a Principles Of War Napoleonic next as a direct comparison as set at same Regimentsl/Brigade scale.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Field Of Glory: Napoleonic game played and another session of Labyrinth

Bit of a catch up post.

Played a game of FOGN using my French against Stephens British in a Peninsular bash circa 1811.
Been a while since we played FOGN but found that it seemed less complex than first impression !?
Still a badly laid out set but does include everything.
We both feel that whilst more complex than Blucher or Principles of War (other sets set at similar Brigade/Regimental scale) it has a lot of options and decisions to offer players.
One big error we made was allowing units to become Broken by hits at Medium and Long range (can only occur at Short range) otherwise all flowed well and was an enjoyable game.

British & Portuguese line hills with Cavalry in reserve.

Young Guard approach on left supporting a Line Divn

French Veteran Divn on right overlapped by British (my Cav Divn off-table in reserve)

Polish Lancers support Young Guard

French push forward

Lancers clash with Dragoons (both Disordered and Spent)

Both sides taking hiits

French Cavalry arrives to support Skirmishing unit and forced British into Square

General action along the front

Also managed a couple more games of Labyrinth with my Dad.
I won both but he smit (infected) me with flu seemingly as revenge !!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Labyrinth The War on Terror boardgame tried

Managed a try out of this with Dad.
Took us awhile to get the concepts down but once we got going it flowed very well.
No idea as to best strategies for either side or best use of cards for events or operations.
Some similarities to Twilight Stuggle but otherwise an original concept and system.
Hope to get more in depth play.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Mortem Et Gloriam: Sogdian versus T'ang Chinese

Game at Stephens today and he selected MEG rules once more as he wanted to try his T'ang force circa 620AD.
I chose Sogdian (using a mix of Central Asian Turkish type figures).

This was another cracking game which went right down to the wire.
I was trying to sack Chinese Camp at end and needed just one more kill to destroy the camp and thereby break their army but rolled poorly (the story of my wargame life !) and was then contacted to rear and trounced causing my army to break first.
Excellent stuff once again.

Sogdian center and left

Sogdian Light Horse on right wing

Massed lancers in center

T'ang center foot with mounted reserve

T'ang right

Sogdian light horse holding up T'ang left

As they try to attack on own left

Sogdian left begins to crumble (but skirmish types do not count against army break)

Sogdian lancers get to grips in center and left wing

T'and camp under threat

Piecemeal fighting on left

T'ang camp under assault (to rear) but with game winning unit approaching besiegers