06 April 2014

The Longstreet Campaign: Game 4

Another game was played in our excellent American Civil War campaign at the Hobby Bunker last Thursday night. Again the rebel forces led by Adam claimed victory. But as we all know this is a war of attrition and my noble Union forces again initiated many heroic combats and are still holding on to lead. We know it is all about strategy rather then tactics!

This time we played the Clear the Tree Line scenario. I had a good look at it before the game, it definitely seemed an advantage to be the defender here, but this was the first game in our campaign where I did not have the advantage in choice by pulling the Broken Code campaign card in the previous post game process and of course Adam won the toss and I ending up being the attacker.
used with permission
You can see the basic layout of the table as above, in this game the terrain placement phase was going to be pretty important as the attacker gets to place the objective. My initial plan was to place the objective on Rebel's left flank where there was a clearing so my attack would not be encumbered by the cover provided by the trees. I pulled a stream as my first terrain card, and placed it running vertically  through the Confederate set up area, thus forcing the bulk of the Confederate forces to set up to their right flank thus making them expend valuable cards to cross it to protect the objective. Well what do they say about the best laid plans, Adam promptly laid down a ford across the stream. So we continued to lay the terrain mostly to the left Confederate flank and of course I then decided to of course to change my plan and place the objective on the Confederate right flank!
I set up first and as you can see from above the objective was very well protected. In previous battles the rebel cavalry had been used to great advantage, and in this battle I added a large unit of Union cavalry and I planned to use them. The Union forces advanced rapidly to my right Rebel flank and the objective but of course my blue riders get decimated by the Rebel guns.
At this point I felt my initial plan was going to fail, I had just lost too many troops to the guns, but I ordered the troops to get stuck in and order a massive frontal assault all along the Rebel line. Up until then the dice gods had been against me, but I felt my luck was about to change. I got rid of the White Hand of Saruman dice and pulled out the good old Westphalia dice. 

Adam cleverly plays Couldn't hit an Elephant  as well as the Old Rivals cards so my initial charge gets somewhat delayed and my troops get a good chewing up by rifle and grapeshot fire. But they are resolute and launch a massive engagement gaining me two Epic Points.

I won all combats by a decisive margin aside from one, which was a tie and at this point I was able to carry through with an advance to the objective. My clever use of the Trackless card limited Adam's response and lo and behold my much weakened 4th US Cavalry unit was able to capture the objective and gain an Epic Point.
At this point I wanted to finish the game and gain a victory. I was very close to my Shatter Point, but alas I rushed it and launched a second charge when really I should have been more patient and readjusted my lines. Adam was able to recover and charge my very tenuous position and he recaptured the objective so I lost that hard earned Epic Point. I had reached my Shatter Point and the victory was Adam's.

Well it was a great game again, Adam is a much more patient player then I, and he has now gained 3 victories in our 4 games. My impetuous style though has kept me ahead in the Campaign and lead by one point. I am going to have to be much more careful though in our upcoming games as I am burning through the troops and Adam had a relatively successful post game process and has now many veteran units, and more cavalry and guns then I going into our next battle.
Adam's Roster mid 1863
John's Roster mid 1863

23 March 2014

The Longstreet Campaign: Game 3

Myself and Adam had our third game in our American Civil War campaign last Thursday, it was the best game of Longstreet I have had yet (probably because I am starting to understand the rules). Adam has posted an action report on his blog with plenty of photos. Have a look.

This time we played Scenario 1, "Outflanking" from the book, I again had the advantage in choice, so I picked being the attacker. It was an interesting scenario in that terrain placement was going to be obviously important as well as the need to be quickly advance the troops.
used with permission
I placed the majority of my troops on my right flank, with a small force to my left just to keep the CSA distracted. They were all placed in column so to rapidly advance. As you can see from the photo below, I was pretty successful in moving the troops on my right to the objective which I captured with relative ease. The objective is the large command base in the left foreground.
Adam is quite wily and although I had launched a massive assault to the right...........
he was carefully planning the same on my abandoned left. My union infantry battalion took it from behind with a small harrying cavalry regiment. Adam is quite clever with his cavalry, and uses them just at the right time.............
................and causing this unit to break and me losing the game.

My troops were heroic though and we gained a lot of Epic points and in the post game process I actually gained 3 more points just pushing me 1 point ahead of Adam in the campaign.

In the campaign we are now entering 1863 and the north is now starting to gear up their industrial might and manpower advantage. 

I am really enjoying this campaign and ruleset and the great news is that Fernando has now received my Blue Moon miniatures and has started painting. Hopefully I will see my own ACW miniatures within a couple of months.

Anyway for the next battle I have added a large US cavalry regiment, which I hope I will be able to counter the rebel riders.

20 March 2014

My Challenge in Review

Well Curt's 4th Annual Painting Challenge has come to an end. If I remember correctly there were less then 10 contestants in the first year and 60 this year, really Curt needs to be applauded for all the work done, I suspect he had almost 500 entries to catalogue and post on his blog. Brilliant job!

For myself it was pretty successful as I got several projects completed. The last couple of years has seen my gaming interests broaden beyond Napoleonics, although I have been good at limiting myself to skirmish gaming only. The one additional area that involves massed troops specifically Ancients, may end up being abandoned. We will have to see. My Dark Ages, French Indian War, Sharpe Practice, LoTR, Napoleonics and WWII forces have been completed. I still plan to add some winter Russians and possibly some winter Germans, DAK and 8th Army platoons to my Chain of Command forces as well as some Picts to my Dark Age armies. Otherwise it is back to lead pile of Napoleonics, still lots of Prussian and Dutch/Belgians there.

Anyway back to the contest, I planned to paint 1500 points but hit just over 1400 points, so I missed my target. It has been a tough 3 months as I was away from home for almost a month, and when I am away that much, I am working almost every day that I am home. Also my amount of gaming as increased markedly, going from one game every 6-8 weeks to a game every 1-2 weeks in the same three months, which is great.

I have not posted all my submissions so I thought it would be nice to do a summary.

The Gall-Gaedhill from Gripping Beast

SdKfz 251/1 from PSC

SdKfz 10 with 2cm AA Gun from SHQ

MC Recon Team from SHQ

Pioneer Squad in Kubelwagons from SHQ

Panzerjaeger Bren 731e from SHQ

Transport Truck from SHQ

German Pioneers from CP Models

3/13e leger from Front Rank

StuH 42 from Armourfast

Mounted Panzergrenadier Squad from SHQ and PSC

Officer Transport from SHQ

British Paratroopers from CP Models

Thorin Oakenshield Company from GW

Winter War Finns from Warmodelling

Dark Ages Slingers from Gripping Beast

Casualty marker from Offensive Minaitures

British Engineers from SHQ

The Price of Admission from Reaper

Radagast and Gandalf from GW

More British Paratroopers from CP Models

Panzergrnadier squad from PSC

Gestapo officer from SHQ

Sharpe Practice Napoleonics from the Perry

Winter War Finns Support Weapons from SHQ and Warmodelling

French Indian War British Infantry from Conquest

More Winter War Finns from Warmodelling

08 March 2014

The Longstreet Campaign: Game 2

Myself and Adam had our second game of Longstreet last Thursday at the Hobby Bunker, again Adam has posted an AAR on his blog The Fencing Frog. Unfortunately the game was quite intense and we never took many photos. 

In this my second game, I focused on utilizing the cards as well as their intrinsic abilities. Longstreet is complex game with a simple mechanic. In my first game I was just trying to get an overview. The card driven aspect of the game is great and really everything depends on saving the best cards and playing them at just the right time. For my next game I plan to focus on terrain and well as the innate qualities of the units in respect to shooting and combat. The mechanics of shooting and combat are very similar to Lasalle.

We played the Walled Farm scenario, and as I had the Broken Code campaign card from the first game, I got a +2 on scouting roll. I subsequently won and chose to be the defender. 
used with permission
I set up all my cannon in the middle and my infantry on each flank, with one cavalry unit and an infantry unit in reserve. Adam essentially set up in the centre of his deployment zone. Here we can see some of the action mid game, but more on Adam's blog.
Well I did score a victory, and earned 4 more Epic Points, I am now only 3 points behind Adam, and the Union does get stronger through each year of the war. The post game process is a lot of fun, essentially you see how many troops die of illness and remove their bases from your roster. You also pull campaign cards which can reinforce or upgrade your troops and also may give you an advantage going into the next game. Here is my roster as it now stands going into game 3.
Other Things

Acquiring some ACW forces: Well the money has been sent and I am hoping to have a fairly hardy Union army in 2-3 months from Fernando and Blue Moon miniatures. I have never utilised a painting service in the past, but I suspect I will be pleased.

The Painting Challenge: Well I still have a number of figures painted that I have not submitted, this includes a platoon of Panzer Grenadiers, some Sharpe Practice forces, a small unit of  FIW figures that are almost done and hopefully some more Winter War Finns, but alas I will not meet my goal of 1500 points. C'est la vie.

Normandy Campaign Terrain: This is pretty well done aside from the base board itself (which is the easiest part). I am about to put together a 4Ground shed and hoping it will size out with my Italeri houses. I suspect I will have this ready for April, the Soviet campaign I am currently involved in is going quite slow, so the timing will work out.

28 February 2014