Friday, December 31, 2021

Last game, probably last post of the year.

 Despite not having the Friday regulars for two weeks, I did get to play a 'not solo' game this week. The family rallied for a game of Mansions of Madness on the last Wednesday of the year.  After playing for over three hours, we saved the game to finish at a later date. 

Our in the game host, Thomas Carvey, felt threatened enough to call for the investigators help. All we had to do was question guests at a dinner party and isolate the most likely threat, who was likely to try to kill Carvey.

 Things got out of hand, Carvey ended up dead.

The map board at the end of chapter:


At this point in play, our youngest player  made an accusation to  character of Leland for the murder of Carvey. Evidently Leland was not the guilty party.

What happened was not expected.....Carvey's spirit, incensed that the wrong character was accused,  appeared immediately....and killed Leland anyway


...and then, to make matters worse....


Supernatural happenings afoot?  We have to finish the game, as soon as we can schedule, was the unanimous decision.

And so ends 2021, with a scary portent for the future.

Yeah, more Chosen Men, Pumpkin & Mushroom hordes crossing over genres, a Cold War era Micro game, more AD1666 on the horizon.  Here's to clean brushes and good die rolling.

Happy New Years, everyone!

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Four more finished AD1666

 Off the   painting table:


The Courtesan:


Milady De Winter:



Gypsy Lady:




El Baretero (Spanish factIon):




Monday, December 27, 2021

Tiny tanks reinforced.

 In the mail, Shilka's, FDC's, SA-9 launchers, Brdm's with AT-5's, R.E. tracks and FV432's

 Coming closer to having (as opposed to having painted) all the models for the North German Plains scenario.

 And for those of you 'No photo, did it happen?' readers.....

 

.



Friday, December 24, 2021

Wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 To all of you who have visited the blog , Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year. 

I appreciate all the comments over the year, both the helpful and hilarious.  

Since I have been told "It's all about the photos " say hello to my in-process groups on the painting table of procrastination.  These are from AD1666 game.


Milady, Spanish faction hero, gypsy

The Watch

The 1st KGL Lights, WIP.


More of same WIP

Now I must wrap some presents.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

End of year, at least for the Friday games

 We finished the year's scheduled events with two simultaneous games of AD1666.  Murder in the Tavern introduced Thomas, our recent addition to the Friday group.  Thomas did well, the game called on account of time with 5 turns to go , he was ahead in points 3 to 1.

 

Roger and Greg played a close run game using the Order of the Broken Cross versus the King's Musketeers in the  Viennagate scenario.  The Musketeers won the fight there, 2 points to 1!


Planning for next year has started. Some Pikeman's Lament , some naval games, some Chosen Men.  To cater to my rules sets not to be covered, I will attempt to play some solo games this year, especially in the cold weather. The Greater Pumpkins may rise yet!


Sadly teaching/playing the Murder in the Tavern got so intense that (Esmarelda and her knives rock!) that I once again forgot to take photos of either game.

Monday, December 13, 2021

Micro interlude- the battlezone

 Well, I got one photo of the second micro armor learning exercise. Roger had been busy crafting and surprised us with the layout in GHQ hex terrain!


Map from Scenario, North German Plain

 


Table layout Dec 10 rules run through 

We utilized the farm hexes I made prior to the game. White squares denote FRG and BAOR forces. The Russians are just off the camera view, bottom of the sketch.

We set up and played he first two or three turns. More mechanics were walked through. Perhaps in January we can have a proper game of it. 


OoPs, just noticed this was the 300th post on the blog. I had deleted a few earlier, but this is #300 that stuck.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Dec 5th Quatre Bras game final report

Well all good things must come to an end, as did the game. 

 


 The French push back the rest of the 27th Jagers, the stream giving the lights a reprieve.


 

Bachelu, played by Greg from the store team, and the Brunswickers under Dan S. close in for the fight.


Foy's third Brigade and Dragoons from the cavalry division swar across the stream.


Crashing into Netherlands militia, approaching the Brunswick newly arrived batteries.


On the Bois d' Bossu sector, the Brunswick Avante Garde advance to take some of Jerome's troops under fire.

Dan S. energetically rolling  dice ( or making gestures...we provide the film, you decide.) to keep Bachelu at bay. He also brought the Brunswickers into contact, making room for the brigades of Halkett,, Kempf, and Pack. These units would rise the Allied units to 31 battalions, 4 cavalry regiments and seven artillery bases.

Barely did all these British units make it onto the table, our time to game ran out, as night actually came to our location.  The store hours dictated the conclusion, happily at the French high water mark of 5pm game time.

I want to thank Tabletop Games for providing the venue, providing a wonderful table, great terrain and over 25 French and 6 units units. Greg H. and Dan S. were great team mates, both holding off and then attacking on the flanks. The players for the French were wonderful, both aggressive and good natured at the same time---Ron M.,Ian, Haldan, and Greg from the store.

Finally a big thank you to Heather, who ran the Twitch stream of the game for 6 hours  with interviews of players, running commentary and action reports without a net, or for that matter, much of a script!

Friday, December 10, 2021

Dec 5 Quatre Bras prt 4 continuing down the line

The post will be most of the photos I took from set up through turn 4.  I just thought to throw in one of the maps from the book on the Dutch Belgian experience, for place name reference.


Useful if you flip 90 degrees anticlockwse and 'embiggen' in another window.  :-)


 

 Left flank of Allied line....skirmishing Jagers. Backs to the stream.


 All guns in 1st Division firing. Against 8 French batteries.

More of Foy's (Ron M.) initial deployments, French 33 battalions, 8 batteries.  Allies 10 battalions, 2 batteries.


Bachelu (French Greg) deploys along the end of the Balcan heights, poised to take Piramont.


Brunswickers appear, now French 33 battalions and 8 batteries, Allies 19 battalions, 4 batteries.


French near Piramont and Materne pond, Allied left flank in danger!



Dec 5 Quatre Bras part 3

Often I read a battle report, the background  about choosing the table set up is often given short shrift, or even absent  altogether. I'd like to address the choosing of terrain elements as the scenario does work smoother if you can dress the table adequately to the ground fought over.

The store and the staff involved in the game put in a lot of thought and care in crafting the elements for the table. Greg H. from our Friday group and myself loaned some elements for the table as well.  You can watch the entire game here:

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1224954808 


The west end of the battlefield.  Greg H. masterfully deployed and led the little lead Nassauers of the 2nd Brigade, Netherlands Army against Jerome's Division ( led by Ian) for the entire game.  The Nassau units are skirmishing North (closer) of the cut, Jerome's troops are in line, attack column and skirmish order

This mirrored actual battle deployments.

The Nassau troops along the rest of the Blois de Busso eastern side.  The artillery set up to logically hold the western side. The stream starts at wood's edge and continues East over three tables, feeding Materne pond and turning North near Thyle. Ian (left) is shown trying to pull a rabbit out of his coat.

Greg H. commander of Siedlidz's (Nassau) Brigade, later commanding the brigades of Pack, Best, and Halkett. I've known Greg nearly 25 years, great opponent, and he  has amazing runs on his dice rolls. Just what the allies need today on this flank!

Rare shot  from French point of view., guns lining Balcan Ridge.



A portion of Bijlandt's brigade struggle to hold; there are opportunity fires from the artillery battery, the 5th National Militia is holding the farmhouse walled garden against at least three French battalions from Foy's Corps and did so for three turns! The Jagers (far side of the stream, near the two dice)  are half of the battalion, the other half are on the eat side of the Gemonicourt Farm.  The 7th (Belgian) Line is protecting the artillery"s flank. Just off camera to the right of the battery is another National Militia battalion.  These were my command. Can I hold for the three hours until 4th turn?

Finished this at 'bout midnight, I just reviewed, made some changes, gonna post now and get some breakfast.


Thursday, December 9, 2021

Dec 5th Quatre Bras part 2- resources

The battle is my favorite. Not as grand as Wagram, Waterloo, Borodino or even Ligny , it is the quintessential meeting engagement which pits a sliding numerical superiority first against the Anglo-Dutch force and later against the French. The terrain is deceptive, being tough to defend or maneuver in control.

Add in some units performing heroically on both sides, some blunders made by commanders on the field (and I don't mean D'Erlon's Corp) ...you get a real hammer and tongs game situation if you get enough factors correct.

Resources are abundant. I like and drew from these secondary works in making suggestions to the store staff on how hey could model the game:

 

There are a lot of Germans in the army arrayed against the French. Some came from Duchies such as Nassau and Brunswick to fight under their own leaders. Some came from the newly reformed Kingdom of Hanover.  Hofschrorer's book details some of the contributions made by these units present.

 

 

Of course without the French, there would be no campaign, no battle. The French in Rielle's Corp and Pire's Cavalry Division came off the strung out positions occupied the night before, formed up and attacked an unknown foe, fought valiantly, fell back , only to advance the day after to appear at Waterloo on the 18th. Rich in details of the orders given, the plans and ultimately the frustrations of the day.

 

The battle was fought in the Belgian border area of the dual kingdom of the Netherlands, a construct of the peace treaty written up mainly by the victors of the 1814 campaign.  Great detail about the command staff and leaders, units and special situations of the Dutch-Belgian forces.
The Osprey title gives good detail, some details about the British (and Scottish) units and some excellent maps. A good feeling for the muddle for the reinforcements on the roads from Brussels and Mons/Nivelle and others.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Dec 5th Quatre Bras battle- part one

 I will have to split up the AAR because of the scope of the game. But now, a few photos.


The table representing the battle, all 20 feet long by 6 wide. Ron M., one of the Tabletop Games managers involved is shown setting up & for scale. This view from west of the large wooded area on the battlefield,Quatre Bras itself is shown on the left side of the table.  Piramont & Thyle are at the far end of the table.

The view South of the woods, looking to the Northwest edge of the field.

Boxes of French Line and Leger, some of the 22 battalions assembled and painted by the  store based players From September to game day!  View is south of the Gemienecourt Farm (center)and Quatre Bras (farther on road.)

Much, much more to come!


Saturday, December 4, 2021

Micro interlude

 FINALLY got to try out the new set of GHQ's modern  warfare, scaled to use micro armor. Four players new to the game, we tried the scenario pitting a FRG and BAOR battalion sized teams against two motorized rifle regiments. 

Roger did yeoman service providing the Russians, British, and some of the scenery. Also, having actually played a game and researched youtube for tutorials, he provided the needed knowledge of the mechanics. Greg provided the FRG force, some cool looking terrain and his on table skills.

Our newest player,Thomas, played one of two Russian commands, bringing just what was needed, good die rolling!  I fleshed out the Russian command, provided some OOB sheets and the table dressing.

The game went smoothly, the speed typical of using a new rule set. Movement, command control, firing direct & indirect , air attack and anti aircraft mechanics were used. We actually got to resolution of the scenario when the FRG reached retreat level and the BRITISH followed  suit. 

No photos from the game, next game will be pictorially documented.  


Thursday, December 2, 2021

Gihgny as Tripp, Eloise roll off painting Queue

 Using the Gighny figure as Merlen.

  Later I may repaint the horse.

Finished Eloise, my wife's character for AD1666.

 Still deciding on color for base rim.


And then I hit butterfly mode on the paint table.  Next three days are game devoted, so not actually a loss.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

December Already?

 Despite several recent food based diversions I am down to one horse to finish painting and flock before the Quatre Bras game.  The rider will represent the Belgian Cavalry General Merlen.  (The figure is actually of General Gihgny, from the Perry line.)

 The French forces are moving to be painted on time, and done nicely to boot! I visited the store on Sunday the twenty-eighth where five players were literally assembly lining the forces of the Empire. Assembly, painting and basing were all swiftly being accomplished at two banquet tables.

 The game turn schedule and arrivals were decided upon, a few details about the table top layout were finalized. I was heartened to see that my supply of roads, trees and streams was securely stored in anticipation of deployment on the four  6x4 gaming tables planned out. 

BTW,  the game will be on Twitch, starting roughly at 11 am East Coast US standard time. It should run approximately 4 to 5 hours playing time.  If you go to the Tabletop Games website the link to watch will be under the events section. I will put it in a post if it is available before the game. Hopefully I will remember to take some photos of the game. 

I hope to have index cards with the various commands completed for the game. Mostly at this point, the French forces are in need of this little piece of admin. 

Greg will most likely command Halkett,Pack and Kempf's brigades. Which means he is Picton for the day.  A player to be determined game day will lead the Hanoverian brigades of Best and Kielmansegge. The Dutch Belgian brigades will be run by yours truly, the Brunswickers by a player lacking a command as the units approach, and the British Guard brigades run by their owner Dan S.

I will post the details of the French units command in the AAR, unless I can get it sooner.

Phew, this was a much longer post than intended. 

Anyway, on with December!

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Thanksgiving Week.

 Probably not much to report this week in the gaming side.  The last unit upgrade for the Quatre Bras game on December 5th has been finished, the last two needed Allied leaders are approaching 'ok to show' status. 

No Friday game for the three old men after Thanksgiving, family commitments for both Rog & Greg.  Solo time! Perhaps  a solo bout of AD 1666.  Or perhaps a run through of the 'Wars of Ozz ' rules.

On the paint table, 7 Spanish faction AD1666 figures and 10 of the locals. 10 British infantry in Belgic shakes destined for Chosen Men , some odds and ends probably bfor IHMN games.  

Of course there is always yardwork. 😕

Sunday is a few hours at Tabletop Games,  checking off the last few arrangements for the December 5th Quatre Bras game.  As Czar Barry says: so much lead,  so little  time.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Quatre Bras Final Allied Unit (2nd Nassau) completed, Prince of Orange off to be flocked.

 Well, the Second Brigade, First Division of the Dutch Army is completed by bringing the 2nd Nassau Regiment up to 18 castings in a battalion.  Two weeks to spare, now for some overall housekeeping for December 5th.

Brigade commander Baron von Perponcher reviewing the new troops.

Three battalions each of 18 figures.  The completed 2nd Regiment.

Prince of Orange... just some .silver on his saber, flocking on the base and done!




Sunday, November 21, 2021

Salad Days part 4 ---the party's over

 No sense burying the lead. All three of us 'got some licks in' during the game, which involved the night time wanderings of a mixed cavalry & infantry force across territory of three imaginations. Now the three sided narrative can be told.


Glad to be out of the dark woods, Don Sanchez took his lancer command toward the cluster of farm buildings. The Daharan command trailed behind in column of March. Sister Agatha rode up to confer. It was decided that the Lancers cover the flanks as the infantry marched straight into the farmyard.  

 The white areas denote where torchlight is shining.

Several figures were seen lighting torches and soon the area between the buildings was lit well enough to make out features.  An older man, gentle in demeanor , accompanied by a few servants came forward to talk with the column leaders. 

"I am Don Diego, the owner of this farm and of noble stock.  You do not wear any uniform of Orbajosa service I am familiar from memory.  You come in the depth of night, on all Hallow's Eve.  Can we be of assistance?"

The Daharan captain had his men stand at ease while the good Sister spoke with Don Diego.  Rather peremptory, she demanded to know what evil rites were being practiced in the area, of what violations of the Readings of the Light were the locals guilty? The populace across the border has accused the settlements here of communing with foul creatures, and we ourselves have been attacked by evil spirits, including a ban'shee.

The farm lord went ashen at the unspoken threats behind the allegation.  Noting the column must have come through the woods on the S'Gottland side of the river, he asked "did anyone hear the voice of the ban'shee ?  It is said that they who hear the voice are marked for death that night!"

Believing no one in the Daharan contingent had heard the Ban'shee, the Sister changed tack and asked the farmer about the scarecrow reported as standing up without a pole for support. Don Diego said all his scarecrows used support, but tales of 'things being different' on the Kaiserlich side of the river were in general circulation. Hearing this, the sister was determined to follow the clues where they lead. 

Don Diego agreed to lead the column to the passage of the boggy river on the other side of his farm. He asked the Sister to wait while he went and prepared to dress for the guiding of the column.

Fifteen minutes later , clad in antique armor and halberd armed Don Diego returned to the courtyard. His manservant, unarmored but armed with a fowling piece, announced his master in the old manner"Behold, Don Quixote, the Man of La Mancha!"

The column captain grinned and Sister Agnes rolled her eyes, but the column followed the odd pair through the countryside lanes for over an hour when they heard the command to halt.

"This tree is actually the home of the Jujube, a foul abomination; wounds caused only by the type of steel such as is forged into my halberd's blade can defeat it. Brave Sirs and Good Sister, permit me to drive the beast deeper into its den and save your stout fellows pain and possibly death!"

 Don Quixote  started wailing at the offending tree, using his halberd as a monstrous axe, Sancho watched the tree and his master attentively with looks alternating concern and wariness. Sister Agnes was about to call a halt to the display when a rivulet of black liquid flowed from the tree while bestial wails emanated from its trunk.

After nearly an hour, the Don declared the creature suitably cowed, the column moved on, leaving the Orbajosa knight and squire to go home. 

The column soon manufactured its own problems. Sending off half of the Don Sanchez  lancers to scout a route back, the Daharan foot engaged in pumpkin patch smashing frenzy despite warnings from an apparently sentient talking scarecrow.   Sister Agnes revealed both her annoyance at being berated by a vegetable and her ability to attack with fireballs from her staff of office;  thus was the scolding scarecrow set alight and consumed by fire. (I think the players were ready for a confrontation.  This is the first indication of mystical powers shown by any apostle of the 'Light.')


The result of the assault was the rising of axe armed pumpkin headed beings joined by scarecrows attacking in a coordinated series of charges at the column.  Due to the darkness and unexpected speed of the charges, the tide of Squash and Straw inflicted several casualties before petering out. Evidently, revenge was satisfied. ( Okay, everyone knew it was coming. Just how many critters they fought depended on what the column did. Now they are aware of Produce Provocateurs.)

As the column prepared to retreat , over their shoulders from another field they saw the "Great Pumpkin" rise from the field in the grey predawn light. (Sadly Charlie and little sister missed it!)

The detached lancers were able to avoid any sentient squash or strawmen and met up with the column a few hours after dawn.

A hooded mounted figure watched them leave. A few seeds fell from is hand and a ragged noise came from his cowl as he spurred his mount deeper into Kaiserlich.


 We hope you enjoyed our little interlude from 'proper gaming' as much as we did playing.

 

 The Daharan forces were Perry figures, with the possible exception of Sister Agnes,  The Don Sanchez Lancers from Brigade Games, the local farmers from the Old Glory 'Zorro" set. Don Quixote & Sancho hail from AD1666's Spanish faction, All the Pumpkins  and scarecrows are from Old Glory's Wars of Ozzz range. The Great Pumpkin from my wife's collection.