14 June 2017

Général d'Armée: Vimeiro Hill 1808


I thought I would see how GdA works with less then the recommended number of brigades, so I took the Vimeiro Hill scenario from the General de Brigade Scenario book #5. Here we have 3 brigades per side and the British only have 2 until turn 5.

Below we can see the hill in the farground with the 3 attacking French brigades in the foreground. Very little terrain is required so it is a simple terrain to set up. The scenario sets the game at 12 turns with the British having to break 3 French Brigades or alternately the French have to have units on Vimeiro Hill and break 2 British Brigades. The hill is a gentle slope so offered no impediment to movement.

The British

On the British right flank is Fane's brigade made up of the 50th Foot (large) and a two regular battalions, the 5/60th and the  2/95th with some skirmishers from the 1/95th rifles. These units are of Line quality except the 95th that are graded as Veterans.
Attached to Fane's brigade is a RFA battery, in the background we can see Wellington with his 3 ADC's. As one British brigade is not available until turn 5, one ADC can only be activated only on a 5 or 6. 
Anstruther's Light Brigade on the British left flank, made up of 4 regular sized battalions;  the 9th, 43rd, 52nd  and 97th battalions with some skirmishers detached from their light companies. The two light battalions are Veteran and the other two are Line.
The French

Here we have Charlot's brigade made up of 4 battalions of line as well as some detached skirmishers and an attached medium foot battery. These were all graded as line.
Junot with his 3 ADC's
Here are two small brigades, to the right of the photo is Kellerman's brigade comprised of just 2 battalions of Elite  combined Grenadiers. Next to it is another small brigade of 2 battalions of Veteran Grenadiers under GdB St Clair. They have an attached Veteran Foot Battery of 4pders.
Charlotte's brigade assemble into Attack columns and advance to take the hill!
They are encouraged forward by Junot's ADC's with a Forwards Tasking.
On the next turn Junot uses his ADC's to give direct orders to take the hill by the Infantry Assault Tasking. This allows multiple battalions to charge with support/ care was taken to avoid the mass battalions disadvantage. I use red discs to indicate a charging unit, the mini dice are recording causalities. As Charlot's lead two battalions charge the British line fires in response causing some attrition.
One French battalion is thrown back but the 1/32e ligne charges home, engages in melee and drives back the 9th regiment of foot.
Meanwhile on the British right flank the 4 battalions of combined grenadiers manage to advance as well. The French were quite successful with ADC taskings, and were able also to get St Clair's brigade on Infantry Assault. Here you can see both battalions charging the 95th. Kellerman's Elite grenadiers are not on an Infantry Assault so can only charge with 1 battalion. Both the 5/60th and 2/95th Rifles are quite successful with their fire in response to the charge............
................but unfortunately for the British, the French are able to charge home and Rout the  Rifles causing the brigade to Falter. The British right flank is collapsing.
Back to the French left flank, Turn 5 finally and Acland's Brigade arrives. The Line 2nd and 20th Foot advance with Elite rifle-armed skirmishes.  
Charlot sends his 2 rear battalions to protect his right flank, they get placed on Infantry Assault and by good dicing are able to throw back Acland. The 20th Foot Rout!

Fane's brigade is pushed off Vimeiro Hill, 2 battalions are dispersed. All 3 British brigades are faltering  so on turn 9 the British withdraw and relinquish the Hill!
So a great game, I hope to play this again at the Hobby Bunker tomorrow with Adam. I plan to add an ADC to each side. Playing solo is OK but a real opponent is better.

As you can probably tell I am really enjoying this set of rules.

30 May 2017

Général d'Armée: Vitoria

I have been looking forward to obtaining this new set of Napoleonic rules for almost a year. They were written by David Brown, the author of the well regarded General de Brigade ruleset, and they come from TFL's Reisswitz Press. I have never played GdB, so I really had no specific expectation of the ruleset. I have gone through several rulesets, including Le Feu Sacre, Field of Battle, Republic to Empire, Black Powder, Lasalle, Rank & File and none really sat well with me. They were either too complicated or just boring as they really had weak Command and Control. After playing Chain of Command, I have found rulesets with poor or no C&C really just not that interesting. Any one can push figures about and throw dice but I want a game with some high level decision making.

Description:

The rules are written at both the tactical and grand tactical command levels. The smallest game would be a Division aside with 5 brigades at the minimum. A large game would be at the Corps level with 2-4 Divisions per side.

Basing: is agnostic, although it is recommended that both sides be based similarly. Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery units are designated as Large, Standard or Small and are graded as Elite, Veteran, Line or Recruit. Command bases with C&C, Brigadiers are recommended as well as some skirmish bases.

Attrition: is measured using a method of accumulated casualties. A unit accumulates casualties by being fired upon, charged or in melee. Units have a graded loss of effectiveness according to their size and type as well as the number of casualties. There is no stand removal, at a certain point the unit is dispersed and is just removed from the game.

Order of Play: is Command, Charge, Movement, Firing and Melee.

C&C: is really the sterling feature of this ruleset. each side has a number of ADC's equal to the number of Brigades (there is some variation on this if needed). The turn begins with a dice roll to see how many of these ADC's are available for this specific phase. ADC's have multiple uses, they can be used as a Brigade Attachment to insure that a specific brigade will obey orders in a turn, they can be used to coordinate a specific attack, they can increase movement or firepower or to incite a commander into a glorious maneuver to name a few. Once these tasking are applied, each player dices for each brigade to see if they will follow orders or become hesitant. Finally both sides dice for initiative to see who goes first.

Movement: is fixed for specific unit types, in most cases you maneuver or move although standard sized elite units as well as Horse Artillery can do both. You can still fire if you have moved but at a reduced fire power. Movement, maneuver and interpenetration are all dealt with quite simply and after a couple of turns you do not even need to refer to the QRS. Movement is alternative and follows the declaration and resolution of charges.

Charges, Firing and Melee: Are also quite simple. The charge is sequential with each side declaring charges followed by each side carrying out the charge. There is an opportunity for a Charge Reaction. Charge resolution is quite simple, both sides throw 2d6, modified by several easily remembered factors. The pips are tallied up and the difference between each side is applied to the Charge Result Table. Either the charge fails, one side retreats or routs or a melee ensues.

Firing is similar but only one side throws 2d6, followed by the other side. The player with the initiative has the advantage because of this. Again there are modifiers and a Firing Resolution Table is utilized.

Melee is the last step in a turn, here each side throws a fixed number of dice which is again modified by a number of factors and the results are applied to a Melee Resolution Table.

Morale: In each turn a brigade starts out as being Steady or Hesitant, Hesitant brigades can not charge or move forward and have limited fire power. As a result of combat, Brigades can also Falter and as they lose units they become Demoralized.

To test the rules, I put together a small scenario based on one part of the Battle of Vitoria, as laid out above. This was a solo venture which is somewhat difficult as you have no-one to bounce questions off. The author though has been readily available on the TFL forum and has been answering questions quite quickly.

As usual blogger screwed up the order of the photos so they are all jumbled but I think they give you some sense of the game.

British starting position in the foreground with the French just this side of the river.
Near the end of the game, the French are using an Infantry Assault Order to pummel  the British Artillery. 
The British Artillery position covering the French advance with the Portuguese holding their left flank.
The French off table reserves were bought on in the centre once the Portuguese  were weakened , they immediately went on a Assault order allowing them to launch a combined assault with supports.

Near the end of the game, the French right flank that was held by 2 cavalry regiments  against an elite  brigade of British Guards as well as a light dragoon brigade. 
The initial British Guard Brigade advance
The 3rd Guards being ridden down by a single Chasseur regiment
The French off table reserve
The French left flank early in the game, they are advancing against a KGL Brigade.
More left flank action
French coordinated assault
Some Portuguese
British Guard Brigade attempting to flank the French Infantry Assault, they bottled it on  their command roll and hesitated allowing the Chasseur unit to charge into their flank.
The British Guards skulking in square.
The starting French position
It is too bad that the photos are all out of order but this was really not meant to be an Action report. By the end of 12 turns the French had clearly won, both side had lost their artillery and half their cavalry but the British were down to 5 battalions while the French still had 10.

Summary:

This is a great ruleset, I found it a lot of fun but also challenging. The rulebook is well written and well laid out. I had no problems figuring where things were. Most importantly the gaming mechanisms are quite simple and easily learned. Mr Brown has scored a winner here. I look forward to many more games.

20 April 2017

Général d'Armée

Something to look forward to, as announced on TFL, especially after the disappointment of GBCoC. It looks like my AB Napoleonic army will see the table soon. Will it be the grail, we shall have to see.

Token set:

13 April 2017

A Piece of Terrain

I bought this resin piece off TMP about 6 months ago, I only recently got to paint it. It was a bit beat up and poorly cast, but it is a crashed plane after all. Everything is hand painted. I will probably do a bit more work on the base once it is placed on the terrain with more foliage etc etc.



It will be a nice addition to my Pacific Island collection.

06 April 2017

USMC Part 2

I had planned to get these 3 USMC squads done for the recent Painting Challenge, but like my recent Epic Armageddon post I just ran out of time. I still have some AB Napoleonics as well as 2 more units of SAGA Revenants in the queue, but that is it.

These 3 squads complete my core USMC platoon with supports for Chain of Command, so another project completed. I will just now have to entice someone into a game as the terrain is also all set. I knew nothing of the WWII Pacific Theatre and it has been quite an interesting study, so interesting that I put the official list Early War USMC list together for Chain of Command. I did have a lot of help from the TFL forum. From what I learned the above photo puts this theatre together for me.

Anyway, I still needed 2 core squads for the platoon as well as a raider squad. Most of my initial figures came from BattleModels, these are nice sculpts and although I was guaranteed that when this company took over Warmodelling they had remade the molds, this was not the case. What I received were really poor casts, many had to be tossed. So I moved on to Eureka which are really first class. It is too bad that their 20mm WWII range is somewhat restricted as these are great figures and come highly recommended. You can review my other USMC forces, Jungle Terrain and my IJA forces here.

The painting scheme was pretty simple with VMC Khaki base coat with a Citadel Camoshade wash (very useful for many WWII uniforms), followed by the Warlord Games painting guide scheme for USMC. I believe they came out OK for wargaming.

3 squads
Rifle Squad 3

BAR Squad, the 2 BAR gunners are from BattleModels
The Raider Squad (list 6) with a JL, 3 shotguns, 3 SMG's and 3 BAR's
Platoon Guide (list 2)




02 April 2017

VIIth Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge


The VIIth Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge has recently concluded and although the winners are yet to be announced, it was quite a contest with 96 painters competing.

STOP PRESS......... The winners have indeed been announced!

I have competed in all 7 contests and although my contribution was the the smallest to date, I still made my personal target of 400 points. Curt yet again did a wonderful job and this online event just keeps growing and growing. My contributions were quite varied and this year, I not only painted some 6mm figures for the first time but they are fantasy gaming. I also added to my 1/72 WWII, SAGA, FIW as well as getting my Congo project off the ground. 


Hanomags from Plastic Soldier Company
Revenants from Gripping Beast
Moorish Archers from Footsore Miniatures
 Voltaire from Eureka Miniatures (Curtgeld)
 French Indian War from AW Miniatures
Viking Warlord
 Missionaries from AW Miniatures
 Figures for Congo from Wargames Foundry
The start of a Blood Angels force for Epic Horus Heresy