Saturday, 12 October 2019

1066 Hastings Anniversary 2019

Monday 14th October will see the anniversary of one of the main battles that brought about a real dynastic / political directional change to this nation, good enough reason to get it up on the table. 

This is ‘Invasion 1066 The Battle of Hastings’, a small footprint boardgame from Revolution Games and one of my own designs.

This post just picks up a few highlights from this anniversary playing of the game and includes a couple of shots of my (slowly) growing 1066 12mm Kallistra armies.

Please use the ‘read more’ tab for the rest of this post. 

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Post Battle analysis of an ACW game

The short scenario for Stonewall’s Sword concludes, with a Moderate Victory for the Confederates.

By the end of the game, the Union had lost all attack capability right across their battlefront and needed to reorganise to recover some strength and fall back onto better defensive positions.
Furthest part of Confederate advance 

The Confederates still had some attack capability, notably on the far right, where Pender was about to turn the Union left and 38th North Carolina were just one hex away from Robert Hudson House, a Victory location that would yield 10 VP’s and if taken, would have raised the level of Confederate victory to ‘Major Victory’ had they captured it.

In the end, a few of the chits drawn mattered. Fatigue was played against Pender, which was enough to dampen his final attack and if only there had been a Rebel Yell chit remaining in the Confederate arsenal, perhaps 38th NC could have taken Robert Hudson House. I love the way this system makes these small things matter.

I think the victory level scores and result accord well with what I am seeing on the map and interestingly the victory outcome was totally casualty based, rather than coming from location VP’s.

I like the way in this system that in the last turn, rather than units flinging themselves into dubious attacks that they might not normally do if another turn existed or if loss was likely, they instead either hold back to prevent loss or look to the ‘Available box’ on the Broken Track to see whether they can recover any units back to the board, so that they don’t contribute to the enemy VP total.

In this game, Garnett (Confederate) was able to recover 1 unit, while Prince (Union) failed to recover their 3 regiments that were in that box and that ultimately really mattered.

This is not a game term, but for the purposes of this report, I have judged brigades to be ‘spent’ that have the majority of their units flipped and under Shaken / Disrupt counters.

The Following brigades were so spent;

Union, Crawford and Prince.

Confederate, Garnett, Taliaferro, Early, Thomas and Branch.

An interesting moment in the game was when the hard to activate Taliaferro got a full activation and went over onto the attack. They went into a relatively vulnerable part of the Union line, but managed to smash themselves in the process at no gain. Another saw Pender activate to Manoeuvre with the Quick March chit added and then Jackson activated them again for Manoeuvre, allowing this formation to really make progress against the Union left flank, while the Union didn’t really have anything (other than the two artillery batteries) to counter this.

I am really taken by this system and want to play much, much more of it.

To offer some statistic on this game, at the close of play;

Union - Robinson LOST, Knap and Roemer BATTLE WORN
Confederate - Dement (b) BATTLE WORN

General activity
DISRUPTED - Union none, Confederate 1
SHAKEN - Union 5, Confederate 5
BATTLE WORN - Union 6, Confederate 18
TOTAL STILL IN PLAY - Union 22, Confederate 40

The statistics reflect that the larger Confederate army had worked hard to get their victory as half their army was Battle worn, while only around a quarter of the Union force was Battle worn

Friday, 4 October 2019

Union artillery fend off assault

Returning to Stonewall’s Sword, Revolution Games’ regimental ACW game covering Cedar Mountain, last night, we played our first face-to-face session of the game.

It was a learning game for Mike, so we only got through a couple of turns in a couple of hours of play, but we both really like the system.

This morning, I picked up where we left off and played on, solo.

The photo shows the Confederate right flank at the start of the third turn, at the conclusion of the artillery phase. It is 6.20 PM, Thomas and Early had been pressing the Union left flank, with Early pushing through the cornfields and Thomas skirting them, following the line of the South Fork of Cedar Run.

A collapse of the Union left would expose a gap running from Robert Hudson House to Hudson’s Mill and open the lateral Pike behind the Union position, to Culpeper Road, either trapping much of Banks’ II Corps (Army of Virginia) or allowing their flank to be rolled up.

Banks, with resources stretched on that flank,  responded to the threat by sending Greene ‘s 78th New York and 1 DC to the edge of the Cornfields, together with the gun batteries of Roemer and Robinson moving to cover the open ground.

Thomas’ advance brought his regiments directly in front of the newly placed Confederate artillery. Caught attacking over open and exposed ground, just 600
yards away from the guns, his Brigade suffered harshly.

But the crisis was by no means over and with the Confederate brigades of Archer and Pender about to arrive on the battlefield, this flank was going to come under significant pressure.

This system looks like it will generate plenty of localised regimental action that I can port over to by 12mm figures and hex terrain, that would give a good game in a 4' x3' space.
Perhaps 102nd New York amongst the 
cornfields,  awaitin' for Early's assault.

In the meantime, here is a look at some new Cornfield terrain that I have been working on for 28mm, using Christmas crafting pieces sold in The Works (UK high street stationary focussed retail outlet). You get bags of 8 x 1 foot lengths of a sort of thin Christmas tree type material for just £1. When cut down to 30mm, they give a fair representation of a corn field at normal viewing distances.

I have made two trays of corn for this field, which can be removed to allow troops to be represented in the space. Both pieces can also be removed and replaced with a bit of teddy bear fur to re-purpose as a wheat field.