Copyright © 2011-2024, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2011-2024, 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.

Friday 29 October 2021

Gaslands - Oh yes!


Yesterday evening at the Rose and Crown Nick gave my first taste of Gaslands and I was very impressed.

A simple circuit in which we both had a a car and a buggy armed with a machine-gun. Nicks buggy got pushed out of the race quite early on and was struggling to catch up, while my car and buggy were on the tail of his interceptor.

Well, the the interceptor crossed the line first, with only one damage point remaining and five hazard tokens, my shove meant that it ended up on it's roof just the other side of the line!

I also got to see the Nicks new buggy from the Implements of Carnage II sprue fresh from Kev's painting.

Hooked, I've bought the rules and both implements of carnage sets and checked out the local charity shop at lunchtime, unfortunately coming back empty handed. Off to some other shops in the hunt for Hot Wheels later!

Monday 25 October 2021

ACW action with Pickett's Charge


Yesterday Steve, Dave and I dusted off the American Civil War collection and set to with a fictitious engagement between the Union and Confederate forces.

 A strong Union infantry brigade, supported by a small supporting cavalry brigade was about to be set upon by three Confederate brigades. Two Union brigades were rushing to support, while a fourth Confederate brigade was making its way to the sound of the guns.

We would be using the Pickett's Charge rules from Reisswitz Press part of the Too Fat Lardies stable and very similar to the General d'Armee we have been using a lot of late.

Based on the availability of the comfy chair on that side of the table, Steve took the Confederates while Dave and I played the Union forces.

The Confederate right was screened by a brigade well ensconced behind walls and fences while on the left they were ready to drop on the Union forces with two brigades well supported by artillery.

A good Union command roll saw the first reserve brigade committed on turn two, suddenly the Confederate plans went from attack to defence already.

The screening brigade to our left proved to be a tough nut to crack, the Union troops threw themselves against the numerically much inferior Confederates only to again and again be repulsed.

One huge factor in this game was the distribution of the 2d6 dice rolls, I know that we often perceive that rolls at the stop and bottom of the range occur more frequently than they do, but in this game they demonstrably did. We played about twelve turns and in that time double six was rolled five times for initiative by one of the players, in one case trumping an 11!

Likewise really low rolls were the norm, one of the Confederate batteries finished the game on six casualties, five of which had been fatigue casualties on the bombardment roll.

Eventually the Union reserves were all in play and a concerted attack launched against the Confederate lines. It did not seem the most auspicious place to commit, with a Confederate regiment behind a fence supported on each flank by a battery of guns, but here is where the hammer fell.

Although the Union forces on the right flank were driven back in disorder, the Confederates in the cornfield were whipped, skedaddling for their lines taking their guns with them.

The hole burst into their lines caused them to also abandon their position lining the wall on their right and fall back through the woods.

Unfortunately for the Union forces this breakthrough had been at a cost and the breakthrough could not be exploited as the Confederates has two fresh brigades to counter it and precious little screening their centre.

It was great to reacquaint ourselves with the rules and collections, I do hope that we get to do it again soon.

Wednesday 20 October 2021

Quatre Bras 1815

Last Friday I joined up with Nick B, Nick G and Steve at Martyn's to refight Quatre Bras using General d'Armee rules and the scenario in the 1815, The Hundred Days, Scenario Supplement. 

Steve and I played the French, using mainly figures from my collection while Nick G and Nick B played the Anglo-allies using mainly figures from Nick G's collection. Martyn was mein host, umpire and provider of terrain and more figures.

The scenario plays out over 18 turns with initially six brigades of French against two brigades of Anglo-allies but with more Anglo-allies swiftly arriving at the battlefield. If the French can get a crack on then they can clear Germincourt farm and threaten Quatre Bras before the allies can stop them.

Well it did not go to plan. Steve and I rolled terribly on our early ADC allocations and struggled to get an attack together with many brigades going hesitant, our left wing did not move for two turns and the Brunswickers were swiftly deploying behind the stream line in anticipation.

In the centre the Dutch-Belgian conscripts repeatedly threw back the veteran French light infantry tasked with sweeping them aside, I kid you not, every combat the French went in with more dice than the Dutch-Belgians but lost four rounds of combat before finally ejecting the Dutch militia.

Eventually though Germincourt was cleared, the supports on our left decided to join in and we pushed on towards the stream.

But, the delays had allowed many of the Anglo-allied troops to no only arrive at the battlefield, but also form a solid defensive line. Surprisingly though the French infantry to the right of Germincourt were able to force the stream line and push back Packs brigade.

Our heavy cavalry had now arrived, so a brigade each of Cuirassiers, Chevaux Leger and Chasseurs set upon the weaker and less well trained Brunswick and Dutch-Belgian cavalry, looking at the odds, this should have been a overwhelming victory to the French, but the dice rolling seen trying to take Germincourt farm was repeated all over again, every French attack was beaten off and our second wave of fresh troops was still unable the overcome the rallying Dutch-Belgians. 

We had to break four of the Anglo-allied brigades or take Quatre Bras to win, we were not even close.

I was so engrossed I forgot to take many pictures at all.

Steve and I may rue our misfortune in the game but it was still a great day spent with great company. 

Tuesday 19 October 2021

The Battle of Bairen,1097 at Partizan

It seems that everybody else who went to Partizan has already updated their blogs, but pressure of work and a trip to London last weekend have left me rather tardy.

James, Martin, Tom and myself put on a rather huge game of Midgard to refight the Battle of Bairen  1097 using the extensive El Cid collections that we have been working on these past twenty years or so.

I'll not write a full report, it's been far too long for me to recall all the details, but what follows is a selection of photographs from the action.

Moorish boats offshore prepare to raid arrows on the flank of the Aragonese forces

A rather spectacular shot of the initial deployments

James fashioned the sea and shore from a sheet of perspex

The Aragonese Jinetes launch themselves at the massed Moorish camels

The one where Martin points at Toms cock, so Tom does too.

They have calmed down a bit now

After an initial missile duel, eventually the battle lines close to contact

The Moorish camels supported by the boats swiftly gain the upper hand on their left flank

Forces start to clash in the center

King Pedro leads his Caballeros in the charge, but is swiftly cut down in single combat

The Aragonese left force the Moorish right almost back onto their camp

With King Pedro dead  and the Moorish camels raiding their camp the forces of El Cid and Aragon collapsed, El Cid cut his way out through the Moorish camp and would live to fight another day.

The game played really well, it's by far the biggest game of Midgard we have ever played by, I reckon, a factor or about three, but the rules scaled up really well.

We were well chuffed to win the McFarlane Shield for the best demo game. Not bad considering some of these figures were painted 20 years ago.

Hope you enjoyed, I'd suggest that if you are thirsty for more check out James', Tom's and Martin's blog posts:

Partizan Round-Up and El Cid Vignettes

El Cid: the Battle of Bairen, 1097 CE