Copyright © 2017, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2017, Paul Scrivens-Smith

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the creator.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Happy Agincourt Day


This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

Monday, 15 October 2012

El Cid Campaign Day

Yesterday I took part in the El Cid campaign day at Maelstrom Games organised by Tom with a modicum of help from myself.

I would be using the recently painted Christian Spanish, you were allowed a 1600pt list with a 250pt reinforcement to take it up to 1850pts, the list I used was:

    M WS BS S T W I A Ld    
1 Rey 4 6 5 4 4 3 6 3 9 170 191
  Warhorse 8 3 0 3 - - 3 1 - 16  
  Sword, Javelins, Throwing Spear 4  
  Heavy Armour, Shield 1  
  General                      
    M WS BS S T W I A Ld    
1 Infante 8 5 4 4 4 2 5 2 8 75 96
  Warhorse 8 3 0 3 - - 3 1 - 16  
  Sword, Javelins, Throwing Spear 4  
  Heavy Armour, Shield, Horse                   1  
    M WS BS S T W I A Ld    
1 Arminger 4 5 4 4 4 2 5 2 8 90 107
  Warhorse 8 3 0 3 - - 3 1 - 16  
  Sword  
  Heavy Armour, Shield 1  
  Army Standard Bearer                      
    M WS BS S T W I A Ld    
10 Caballeros Hildagos 8 4 4 3 3 1 4 1 8 26 325
  Warhorse 8 3 0 3 - - 3 1 - 4  
  Sword, Throwing Spear  
  Heavy Armour, Shield 1  
  Leader, Musician, Standard.                   15  
    M WS BS S T W I A Ld    
11 Caballeros Hildagos 8 4 4 3 3 1 4 1 8 26 356
  Warhorse 8 3 0 3 - - 3 1 - 4  
  Sword, Throwing Spear  
  Heavy Armour, Shield 1  
  Leader, Musician, Standard.                   15  
    M WS BS S T W I A Ld    
12 Caballeros 8 4 4 3 3 1 4 1 8 24 339
  Sword, Throwing Spear 2  
  Light Armour, Shield 1  
  Leader, Musician, Standard. Light Cavalry, Feigned Flight     15  
    M WS BS S T W I A Ld    
9 Jinettes 8 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 7 18 180
  Sword, Throwing Spear, Javelins 2  
  Shield  
  Light Cavalry, Feigned Flight                      
Characters 394 25%
Common Troops 1200 75%
Uncommon Troops 0 0%
Total 1594
    M WS BS S T W I A Ld    
18 Peones 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 7 8 172
  Throwing Spear, Javelins 1  
  Shield  
  Light Infantry. Leader, Musician                 10  
    M WS BS S T W I A Ld    
9 Peones 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 7 8 81
  Throwing Spear, Javelins 1  
  Shield  
  Light Infantry                      
Characters 394 25%
Common Troops 1200 75%
Uncommon Troops 253 16%
Total 1847



There were eighteen of us in all, sixteen of the players were divided into factions representing the Almohavids, the Andalucians, the Castilians and the Aragonese each having four players with myself and Tom being freelance mercenaries.

Each faction decided upon a player to be king based upon a combat between the generals. Tom and I would be allocated to a random faction. It was up to the king of each faction to allocate players to each of the battles.

Each player was allocated a treasury of gold, which was added to if you won battles or were able to ransom an enemy character. The treasury was depleted if you lost battles or if you had to pay a ransom to release one of your characters. You could also spend gold to be allocated a random unit of mercenaries.

In the first round I was working for the Castillians and would be paired with Bob Stradling - also using Christian Spanish to play Tom and Pete Howarth who both had Almohavids. The game would be a standard pitched battle with the basic 1600pt force each. Bobs army was more set up for skirmishing with his Caballeros whereas my army was a lot more 'hitty'. We struggled with the large blocks of Berber foot but eventually managed to squeak a minor victory despite heavy losses on our side. As we had won I earned another portion of gold for the treasury.

It was now time to eat and we next had a slap-up lunch at the Eye of the Storm.

Next round I was still apportioned to the Castillian factiom and was allocated a table. I would be Attacking in the Dawn Attack scenario against Steve who also was using Almohavids we were both using our 1850pt lists this time. I had the luck of the deployment phase. The Caballeros Hildagos were soon into combat with mixed results. My Rey and his unit cut through a unit of mercenary knights but my Infante and his unit bounced off a unit of Berber spear-men and fled off of table. My small unit of Peons seeing this also fled off the table. We now both manoeuvred to gain an advantage, my large unit of Peons managed to cause a panic test on a unit of Berber spearmen who fled in the last turn. Adding up the points only 34pts separated us, it would be a draw, nothing was added to my treasury, but nothing was lost.

The final game would be a rematch against Peter Howarts Almohavids, this time I was playing for the Aragonese. We would be playing the Appleido scenario and I would be trying to recapture the treasure. We were both using our 1600pt force. I decided that the best way to grab the treasure would be with my Jinetes. I launched these into Petes skirmishers and managed to break through on the flank and move around behind his army to capture the baggage. In the centre I screened with the Caballeros while the Hildagos moved to the right and broke through two units of Berber spears. Pete charged his Andalusian Nobles into the flank of one of my Hildagos, although I held and then won the combat in the subsequent round and ran them down. My Hildagos were then charged in the flank by a unit of Berber spears but held. At the end of the game I had scored a major victory and added another two gold to my treasury.

The final results were:



  1. Neil Dee 24 gold
  2. Myself 18 gold
  3. Carl Fisher 17 gold
  4. Steve 16 gold
  5. James Morris 16 gold
  6. Andy Hawes 15 gold
  7. Bob Stradling 15 gold
  8. Alex Barnes 14 gold
  9. Jim 14 gold
  10. Tom WD 14 gold
  11. Keith Tate 13 gold
  12. Grahame 13 gold
  13. Mike 13 gold
  14. Tom 11 gold
  15. Pete Howarth 11 gold
  16. John Carter 10 gold
  17. Simon Pope 9 gold
  18. Bryan 8 gold

A great time was had and the Aragonese were the eventual victors, it looks like I jumped on the right horse at the end. 


Here are some images from the weekend. I did not get chance to take any until the final round.

Pete and his Almohavids

Andalusians face off against Andalusians

Neils Andalsians

Andalusian foot

Jim with his Andalusians

Jims lovely Andalusian army

Pete manoeuvres against my Christian Knights

Ales's and Steve's Almohavids contest the ford

Another shot of Alex's Almohavid spearmen

Keith's Almohavid spearmen

Another unit of Keith's Berber spearmen

Neil and Johns Andalusians

James Andalusian horse archers

More of Jims Andalusians horse

Andys Spanish and James Andalusians

James Andalusians defend the ruined towers

Andys Caballeros Hildagos

Friday, 12 October 2012

Somewhere in the North Sea - 1915

At Mansfield Wargames club we have has a few games of Naval Thunder: Battleship Row / Bitter Rivals and these have given some great games for a club night that as well as being easy to pick up give a fun game with a result that usually feels about right.

Steve has a massive collection of WWI ships for both the Grand Fleet and the High Seas fleet so he recently purchased a copy of Naval Thunder: Clash of Dreadnoughts

Yesterday evening at Maesltrom Games we played our first game of WWI naval using Naval Thunder to a scenario of Steve's devising.

A squadron of Royal Navy Battle-cruisers encountered a similar number of German Battle-cruisers. The initial forces were:

  • HMS Lion (flagship)
  • HMS Princess Royal
  • HMS Queen Mary
  • HMS Tiger

Lion, Princess Royal, Queen Mary, Tiger

  • SMS Lutzow (flagship)
  • SMS Derfflinger
  • SMS Seydlitz
  • SMS Moltke

Lutzow, Derfflinger, Seydlitz, Moltke
The squadrons were approaching on a roughly parallel course at extreme range. As the Royal Navy Battle-cruisers were renowned for being poor shots they would have a +1 crew capability for shooting only.
Peter and myself would take the Royal Navy, Karsten would take the Germans and Steve would ensure it all ran smoothly.

In the opening turn we turned slightly away from the Germans to open the range - we out-ranged them quite considerably so tried to make that pay. Indeed in the first couple of turns we were able to fire unopposed at the Germans, although our poor gunnery accounted for naught. In more good news, a squadron of Royal Navy fast Battleships steamed into the fray:

  • HMS Barham (flagship)
  • HMS Valiant
  • HMS Warspite
  • HMS Malaya

Despite our poor shooting things were looking up for the British.

Of course this was not to last, in the next turn we also sighted German Battleships entering the area in the form of the following:

  • SMS Koenig
  • SMS Grosser Kurfurst
  • SMS Kronprinz Wilhelm
  • SMS Markgraf

The German Battle-cruisers had also found the range of ours! Derfflinger had a rather spectacular salvo at HMS Lion, three shots hit the hapless Battle-cruiser, all three penetrated and all three caused critical hits in the engine-room, our flagship had been reduced from 7" per turn to 1" per turn in a single salvo. We attempted to move the flag to the next ship in line - the Princess Royal - who misunderstood the signal and broke off the contact with the enemy steaming away. The flag was eventually moved to the Queen Mary. What a turn, one Battle-cruiser was crippled, one Battle-cruiser had sailed off and German battleships were in the vicinity.

Lion belches steam from the catastrophic engine-room damage, Queen Mary breaks off and the rest of the squadron is in confusion

















The Germans do not have it all their own way though, before breaking contact the Princess Royal scores a hit below the waterline on the Derfflinger and she starts to list badly which the damage control parties struggle to contain.
Unable to keep up with the battle-line, HMS Lion is still fighting gamely, a salvo of 13.5" shells crashes into Derfflinger worsening the list, Derfflinger quickly capsizes.

The British Fast battleships are now engaging closely with their German counterparts, but they are find to their cost that their shells are not as good as they thought. There is a rule in Naval Thunder to simulate the poor quality of the British shells, if your penetration dice is an odd number, the result is downgraded so that a penetrating hit becomes a non-penetrating hit and a non-penetrating hit has no effect at all. Well, we rolled very poorly and although we were shrugging off hits from the German 12" guns, our own 15" monsters were having hardly any effect at all. 

To paraphrase 'There is something wrong with our bloody guns'
After nine turns of play we though the  game had played out very well and the effect seemed about right. The British certainly had the material superiority, but with poor shells and poor gunners on the Battle-cruisers had only sunk a single German Battle-cruiser. Meanwhile, the Germans had managed to cripple the Lion but had not been able to put the killer blow on any of the Royal Navy ships.

Here are a few more images from the game, all the ships belong to Steve and are mainly Navwar models

The new flagship - HMS Queen Mary





The Princess Royal, before leaving the fight.


Derfflinger prior to being sunk

HMS Lion is hit thrice in the engine room





Spoiling for revenge - French vs Russians

After our event on Saturday some debate was had about the effectiveness of upgrades applied to the armies. Martin had dropped out of our game of SAGA on Tuesday night with a cold, so I got in touch with Adie and we arranged a game of Black Powder Napoleonics at 500pts, but no points could be spent on upgrades this time.

My list for the game was:


Divisional Commander:
Général de Division Comte Pierre François Joseph Durutte
Staff:
7
Agg:
Dec:
Ind:
1St Brigade
Brigade Commander:
Général de Brigade Chevalier Jean-Gaudens-Claude Pegot
Staff:
7
Agg:
Dec:
Ind:
Unit:
Type:
Arm:
HtH:
Shoot
Moral
Stam
Special
1er Bataillon, 8e Régiment de Ligne
Regular Infantry
Smoothbore Musket
6
3
4+
3
Pas de Charge
2e Bataillon, 8e Régiment de Ligne
Regular Infantry
Smoothbore Musket
6
3
4+
3
Pas de Charge
1er Bataillon, 29e Régiment de Ligne
Regular Infantry
Smoothbore Musket
6
3
4+
3
Pas de Charge
2e Bataillon, 29e Régiment de Ligne
Regular Infantry
Smoothbore Musket
6
3
4+
3
Pas de Charge
2e Bataillon, 85e Régiment de Ligne
Regular Infantry
Smoothbore Musket
6
3
4+
3
Pas de Charge
9e Companie 6e d'Artillerie a Pied
Regular Artillery
Smoothbore Artillery
1
3-2-1
4+
2

2nd Brigade
Brigade Commander:
Général de Brigade Baron Nicolas Schmitz
Staff:
8
Agg:
Dec:
Ind:
Unit:
Type:
Arm:
HtH:
Shoot
Moral
Stam
Special
1er Bataillon, 13e Régiment de Légère
Regular Infantry
Smoothbore Musket
6
3
4+
3
Pas de Charge
Skirmish
Sharpshooters
2e Bataillon, 13e Régiment de Légère
Regular Infantry
Smoothbore Musket
6
3
4+
3
Pas de Charge
Skirmish
Sharpshooters
1er Bataillon, 17e Régiment de Ligne
Regular Infantry
Smoothbore Musket
6
3
4+
3
Pas de Charge
3rd Brigade
Brigade Commander:
Général de Brigade Baron Adrien-Francois de Bruno
Staff:
8
Agg:
Dec:
Ind:
Unit:
Type:
Arm:
HtH:
Shoot
Moral
Stam
Special
6e Régiment de Hussards
Regular Cavalry
Sabres
6
-
4+
3
Marauders
2e Régiment de Dragons
Regular Cavalry
Sabres
8
-
4+
3

2e Companie 1er d'Artillerie a Cheval
Regular Artillery
Smoothbore Artillery
1
3-2-1
4+
1
Marauders



 If I recall correctly, Adie had the following:


  • Divisional Commander SR8
  • Brigade Commander SR8
  • 2 Battalions of Grenadiers
  • 2 Battalions of Jaegers
  • 1Foot Half Battery
  • Brigade Commander SR8
  • 4 Battalions of Musketeers
  • 1 Battalion of Opochenie 
  • 1 Foot Battery
  • Brigade Commander SR8
  • 2 Regiments of Hussars
  • 1 Regiment of Cossacks
 Adie was spoling for revenge after our game at the weekend.

I deployed my large brigade on the left, with my horse in the centre/left  and the light brigade on my left. Opposite me Adie deployed left to right his cavalry, infantry and Grenadiers with the Jaegers on the left. I won the roll off and elected to go second.

Adie started a slow advance coming on more in the center, he would fall into my cunning trap. Well, he would, but I played like a complete goober. In our lists the Russians have it all their way in hand to hand combat while the French can usually dance around and outmanoeuvre the Russian.
My plan was originally to try to re-deploy everything to the right and then leave him exposed. Did I do this, no, I just ordered everything towards him!

Despite my 'goober-ish' tactics, things did go quite well. Both batteries deployed and started hammering the advancing columns of Musketeers while the light infantry fanned out and started harassing the Grenadiers.

Legere skirmish against the Grenadiers

Adie had a great turn of orders and after rolling a succession of low dice and a column of Muskeers launched themselves across the table and hammered into my batteries. The foot battery was soon destroyed taking the supporting horse battery with it then a battalion from the large brigade also threw a four and disappeared from the field - bugger!

Things were not looking good for the Frenchies. I did manage to pull back a little though, a battalion of Line on my left did a wide left hook and broke both a unit of Cossacks and a battery of Russian 6-pdrs.

Adie unleashed the remainder of his cavalry, his Hussars tussled with my Dragoons and to compound my poor generalship I also had a poor dice action, eight dice needing three or more to hit and I made two of them.

My Hussars charged a unit of his Musketeers in the flank and failed to inflict even a wound and a volley into the side of another one of his columns did not inflict any hits.

At the end of the game though we both had two broken brigades but Adie had removed quite a bit more of my stuff so it was a solid 24 to 25 win to Adie. Almost a mirror of Saturdays result. Adie had been served up his revenge.

I thought I had taken lots of pictures, but my camera-skills were as poor as my generalship today, but here are a few samples.

We await the Russian onslaught