28 July 2015

GB-CoC Playtest: Maida

We have had two further playtests of General Bonaparte meets Chain of Command. I have discussed the rules in a previous post and a discussion of our first playtest is documented here.

You can see the Action Reports on the Fencing Frog blog here and here. Thanks to Adam for so carefully chronicling each game.  We used the same scenario for both games. Maida is really an excellent scenario for testing rulesets, two almost evenly matched sides with varied troop types.
In our first game we had two veteran gamers Adam and Mike. Adam has played a lot of Dux Brit with me while Mike has been my pretty regular CoC opponent. In the second game, I finally got to play.

Many moons ago, I came up with a list that was important to me in respect to a Napoleonic ruleset.
  • Preference for Tactical.
  • Like the ability to field variably sized units plus rules for skirmishers
  • Rules are base dependent and figure independent.
  • Good Command and Control. I find games very boring where one player moves all his pieces and then the next guy moves all his pieces, it is just not real for me. It is important that the player be not able to utilize every unit every turn thus forcing him to make tactical choices each turn.
  • Easy movement with simple and variable movement.
  • Simple melee and firing mechanisms with minimal and similar steps.
  • Easy casualty marking with base removal.
Well it would be hard to say that GB-CoC does not fill all those criteria, so I am quite excited about the ruleset. I hope to entice my friends in Montreal into a game soon, and who knows Curt may show up there this fall. Both Adam and Mike have no reservation in playing the ruleset again. I will have to work a little harder to get the local gaming group interested, there are about 30 members in the group and a significant proportion play Napoleonics on a regular basis.

20 July 2015

Attention New England Wargamers: A Gazeteer of Local Game Stores

I am not one to post links from other's blogs but Adam at the Fencing Frog posted this excellent review  of the many wargame stores in the Metro Boston and Southern New Hampshire area.

It is a must read!

18 June 2015

The Battle of Waterloo 200 years today!

Well I did not get to play in any Waterloo commemoration mega games, I am quite jealous of you who have. To live in the Antipodes!

I had to do something to celebrate so I pulled out all my Napoleonics and laid them on a table. Although I am not certain, I think I started painting sometime in 2005-6. The lead pile has considerably reduced, really very few and French and British lying around now. Still quite a few Prussians and a brigade of Dutch-Belgians. I also think there are 2-3 battalions of Austrians and of Portuguese. Could be much worse!

But the big question is how many? Take a guess the answer is below.
6x4' of soldiers
8-9 years of painting
Prussians.....all Calpe
The Brits
A lot of French
Prussian Commanders
The Brunswickers......all from Perry. Two line battalions to go!
The Hanoverians, mostly Perry and some beastly Victrix Plastics
The Portuguese......all Front Rank
An Austrian Brigade.......again from Front Rank
The Rifles
Nothing like massed French
One of my favourite French units.....the 13th légére in pre Bardin.....Front Rank again.
Crusader Miniatures do very nice pre Bardin ligne figures
Perry cavalry are a bit of a challenge to fit in with other manufacturers, but who could resist these Mameluks
Prussian Cavalry
The Black Duke
These Westfalia Miniature's Kielmansegge Jäegers are the best figures in my collection
The man who started this megalomania. F... you all who do not like Bernard Cornwell or the TV shows!
The Front Rank Portuguese are quite nice
Those white uniforms are daunting
One needs some Rockets
The Perry mounted Rifle Officers are really quite superb
Well that is it all 2712 of them. I thought it a little more but of course there is still the pile!

06 June 2015

Hougoumont: A Black Powder Action

This Saturday, I reset up the Hougoumont Scenario that the Boston Trained Bands put on at Huzzah three weeks ago. I did not get a chance to play then so was quite keen to have a go. The club uses the Black Powder rules for Napoleonic wargaming. Not my favourite set, but certainly a good set for an asymmetric scenario like Hougoumont. Few rules sets allow for 4 different sized units, but to recreate this battle with multiple single companies coming on at different times, I have to say they worked very well. One other thing I like about BP is that the movement rules are quite simple. I less like the fact that the combat and firing mechanisms are not related to the number of bases but rather to several (4) intrinsic stats for each unit. I have to admit I also like stand removal. But I should not be too critical, as I have to say I really had an enjoyable game.

We played the scenario as written in the Albion Triumphant (a title which drives my French friends crazy) supplement, with one minor change. The scenario only allows one tiny unit within the wall of the chateau complex. The footprint of the model we used was much larger than described in the supplement, so we allowed 2 units in the chateau and two in the walled formal garden. It was a 12 turn game with a French brigade (21 battalions in total) coming on in turns 1, 3, 4 and 6 while the Allies had the equivalent of around 3 1/2 battalions dribbled in over the same period. The French arrive anywhere on the southern edge while the Allied companies arrive in either the compound, the garden, the orchard or the kitchen garden. The Allies have one advantage and it is significant, the British Guards make up 2/3 of this force. They are fearsome! The Allies also have 2 small brigades as reinforcements in Turn 10. There are also off table artillery firing each turn, 5 for the French and 2-6 for the British. No cavalry in the game.

Four of us played, Rich and Steve split command of the Allies, while myself and Bill had 2 french Brigades each. Aside from myself all well well acquainted with the rules. The French have the first move.
Baudin's Brigade enters
Two companies of Nassau in the walled garden
Prince Jerome issuing orders 
Lord Salton, the Allied commander with a another company of Naussers.
The French légére face off against Hanoverians and a British Guard company in the woods.
The Hanoverian jägers were quite brittle, but the Guards were pretty tough. 
A small Guards unit taking on two French Attack columns
As one can see the French are suffering significant attrition from the skirmishers in the wood
The French right flank is pushing back the Guards and Nassau jägers
The French push through the wood into the killing ground.
More Guards!
Turn 3, another French Brigade:  Soye with 6 battalions of ligne
Turn 4, Tissot's 4 battalions of ligne, by now though Baudins's Brigade has suffered morale failure and is withdrawing from the combat.
Soye rushes in his troops to take the place of the withdrawing légére

The Guards have seized the ground in front of the chateau
Jerome keeps on feeding in the troops.
Soye's Brigade challenges the Allies in the orchard, but the brigade also fails morale and has to withdraw
Jamin's Brigade joins the fight.
Finally the Allies are push back and the French mount their attack on the chateau and the walled garden
More Guards, Tissot's Brigade suffers morale failure
We are now at Turn 9: 3 of the 4 French Brigades are withdrawing. Jamin's battalions enter the compound but his brigade now has more then half their units shaken and withdraw. An Allied victory, a historic result, a good game.