Thursday, June 23, 2016

Piquet Les Grognards - solo (and some new additions)

Solo game of PK Les Grognards played using French and Prussians.

Interesting to see 'original' style PK in action (although Les Grogs has several changes to initial set) with separate ratings for Firing, Melee and Morale compared to Field Of Battle's Combat and Defense.

I used a optional Active/Reactive D12 rolls for Initiative wherein each side gets to use rolled number for initiative use.
This worked well and less at times jarring extremes than standard D20 and Phase Limiting system.

Use of Opportunity chips and using 1 Pip or every single action seems odd after FOB.
But allowing Cavalry (and Old Guard) to perform Morale Challenges I like along with Cavalry Opportunity Charges (FOB sort of covers this by having units capable of multiple moves on single card play - dice rolls allowing).

Having to place extra Dress Line cards into decks along with Major Morale card and then discarding cards based on losses is also interesting.

The combat systems work fine as do the card decks but overall I found the game to be a lot less dramatic than FOB which subsumes a lot of these things into the Even vs Odds rolls and uses Pips merely to turn cards not per action.
The FOB system streamlines so much as no need for the Deployment and Move in Class II/IV cards from PK as again the Evens vs Odds system elegantly caters for this.

FOB2 Melee is definitely more exciting as resolved in same turn as initiated (FOB1 was more akin to original PK) and not having to wait for a Melee Resolution Card.

Still PK is streaks ahead of most rule sets for non-linear sequence of play and narrative building but its newer offspring is indeed hard to better in the drama and speed of play stakes.

Les Grogs has a Grand Tactical version (each unit a Regt/Brig) included which I must try and the horizon movement option looks interesting.

As to the new additions-

Print version of set I acquired on PDF


And two (what am I thinking !!???) new additions to the Steiner Clan.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

L'Art De La Guerre - Galatians versus Caesars Legions

Game at Stephens using the excellent LADG rules which we have not used for a brave while.

I wanted to try 'Hairy Barbarian' types so picked Galatians and Stephen selected Marian Roman list with Caesar in charge.

All my foot and most of mounted were Elite troops so they had decent durability and Furious Charge (double hits on 1st round if they win).
The Roman Legions were roughly half Average and the rest Elite.

The Elite Romans proved to be awesome indeed as with Elite, Impact and Armour they need to outscored by 3 or more at first impact then by 4 in melee a very tough proposition on a D6 !!

I did manage to beat one unit of Legionaries but the rest held my charge inflicting cohesion hits which cause -1 Disorder modifier in ensuing combats (in LADG you can Pips allowing Rally off all but first hit) making besting the Romans unlikely.
The average Legionaries are still tough but beatable.
The Galatians being Elite did stand for a while not sure if Average Celts are viable ?

Actions on both flanks were largely irrelevant as terrain stymied both sets on mounted on my right and my Chariots played 'chassies' with Light Horse on the left.

At least in LADG the Romans stand and fight unlike in DBMM wherein they constantly maneuver away from the lumbering Celts which is unlike any battle account I know off.

We were both a bit ropey with memory of some rule points but they are fully comprehensive and answers are usually easily found and clear.

As always after playing a discussion ensues as to what armies to try next and indeed what can beat these Romans :-)

Not the best pics as only my crappy phone camera with me.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Fathers Day game - Fighting Formations: Grossdeutschland Infantry Division

Game of Fighting Formations: Grossdeutschland Infantry Division with my Dad on Fathers Day.
Think we played this once before and had forgotten how good it is.

Played the introductory scenario to refresh memory and then delved into scenario one which is essentially a tank-fest, and none the worse for it.

My T34 Platoons had easy pickings of German Infantry until a Company of Panzer IIIs appeared.
Whilst the Pz IIIs have trouble dealing with the T34s frontally there are enough of them to swarm the T34s and when the PzIVF2s arrive the potency of German weaponry is suddenly apparent.
By the time my reinforcing Company arrived it was a foregone conclusion...........

Love the game play and interactions of resource management with Orders and Initiative in the game combined with units and playable systems and the asset cards are nice touch.
Lots of decisions to make each phase of turn.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Piquet Field Of Battle - The Battle Of The Boyne

Battle of the Boyne re-fought today at Chateaux Le Duc using the ever excellent Piquet Field Of Battle rules.

Game was planned as group get together but in the end due to other commitments it ended with Le Duc our convivial host and Stephen B and mineownweeself.

Being Stephens first visit to Le Ducs gaming room we started late (made absolutely no matter as you shall see !!) as he inspected the treasure trove of figures, books etc (although I think I fell asleep once or twice whilst they drooled over various D&D type stuff).

After waking me we then diced for sides and I drew the Jacobite force and Stephen the Williamite.

Le Duc had made a couple of scenario specific tweaks which I am sure he will explain fully on his Blog but essentially units with Pike could adopt a 'Pikes Forward' formation which gave them Up 1 against Mounted but losing ability to move.
Other tweaks were mainly terrain specific and to deck composition.
For instance the Jacobites had 1 or 2 (?) Uncontrolled Advance cards included and possibly more Melee cards than standard.
Williamites had Advance cards and increased Lull cards and their various Brigades only activated as each fresh Move Card appeared for them, they had only the Dutch Guards across the river at game start.
Le Duc had made Boyne specific boards for the game which looked excellent especially the river complemented fully by his super 25mm troops.

FOB is easy to tweak this way for a scenario without much effort.

Game started with Jacobites getting jump on the Williamites allowing me to advance more Infantry into the village of Oldbridge and bring my two Cavalry Brigades abreast of each other although I was reluctant to advance too close to river as there was a battery of guns covering from a small hill and I was aware of the Uncontrolled Charge cards possibly getting me into trouble.
This initial success as such was high water mark of Jacobite effort !!

Le Duc was then witness to the power of Stephens luck not only with dice rolls but with card draws !!
He managed to draw Move cards in succession and rolled even and sufficiently higher than me to allow 3 Infantry Brigades (Huguenots, Brits and North Irish) to cross the river.
The first two across opposite my mounted wing were very impressive as they managed to cross (restricted to column formation) and then deploy into line facing my Horse (which were pretty good).
Of course when I charged this meant they had full firepower and damaged and pushed back my mounted charges.
Stephen then managed to draw Firepower cards in succession getting further hits on the cavalry before them.
I only managed to repel one unit into the river but it soon returned and Rallied its hits.
In the village his Dutch Guards weathered the ineffectual fire of Jacobites or Rallied off damage (one unit managed to remove 2 hits in one roll !!) and contested occupancy as North Irish arrive to the rear.

Of course to add woes to my woes one Brigade of Cavalry refused to move on two opportunities meaning their erstwhile mates were left dangling, even when a fleeting opportunity arose to hit Infantry who had just dropped out of 'Pike Forward' formation.
Then I lost 2 of my 4 Commanders (yes 2) to death rolls (only by 1 on a D12) putting their troops Out Of Command and susceptible to the Uncontrolled Charge possibility (you just know what is coming...........)

I lost a Lull card exchange and lucky legs pulled another opportune Leadership card to Rally of hits and then immediately I 'won' a Lull to pull the inevitable Uncontrolled Charge card which saw of course my damaged Horse charge to their complete doom !!

By now my Army Morale was exhausted and I was giving Morale to the Williamites.

Just as Le Duc activated a Brigade of Danish Foot (which failed to move as he does not have demonic dicing spell) I of course pulled Army Morale and promptly failed and the Jacobites fled the field.

Despite the one-sided battle it was a hugely enjoyable game with all those events and exchanges that only the PK family of rules can generate.
I dont know of any other system (possibly Die Fighting or Blackpowder ?) that would allow the Williamite Foot to ford the Boyne and deploy without interference as most other systems have set sequences of  phases which allow players to predict exactly how far and exactly when units will move or arrive.
I just love the narrative style game FOB produces which makes it a joy to play even in abject defeat.
Events just occur in a plausible fashion that makes the games seem like a historical account or novel.
This combined with the easy mechanics of the system is hard to better for large games and for me is Wargaming as it is meant to be.

I look forward to Le Ducs version of events.................................

Jacobite deployment

Williamites with river to cross (Dutch Guard across in foreground)

Overview of set up

Huegenots getting helping hands to ford the waterway

Dutch Guard approach village

Le Duc vainly awaits activation of his Danish Foot and Dutch Horse

Jacobite horse split

And move to support Foot

Impressive array of Williamite might

Williamite foot have teleported into Line in front of my stunned Horse units and already beaten off their initial charges (Note red UI loss markers and green Out Of Cmd)

These uncommitted Crown Forces not required

Gaping hole as one whole Jacobite Horse Brigade has evaporated !!

Jacobite Foot in difficulties in the village as North Irish push forward.