Wednesday, 16 November 2016

The Men Who Would Be Kings game at HRGG

"Just Passing By"

That is the name of  Scenario A from "The Men Who Would Be Kings" rules book.

The objective of this scenario is to accumulate more victory points than your opponent. Both sides receive points for exiting off the opponents edge, the more figures the unit has the more points it is worth, they also get points for destroying enemy units, but more points for exiting. there is also a big bonus for the first unit to exit off the opponents edge.

British table edge
Zulu Table edge.
Both players (Stephen and Bob) had not played these rules before, one of the players started war gaming a mere 6 month ago.

The attacker sets up no farther than 2' from table corner along the short table edge, his opponent on the opposite side.

Both sides initially had the same strategy, exit as many units as quickly as possible from the table edge opposite their start positions, and hope to get the first unit off the table, the Zulu changed their plan as soon as the saw how rapidly the NNH were covering ground and opted to hit the British on their side of the road, get points for killing and then exiting some full strength units (which are worth more VPs). The turn after the Zulu changed the axis of their attack the NNH failed to move for 2 consecutive turns. The Natal Native Horse thereafter never again failed an orders test and were the first to exit, and the Zulu failed more than a few actions test and stalled just inside long range of the British rifles, but eventually got moving and easily destroyed on unit, and charged the other but surprisingly lost the melee. The British formed close order line got a volley off, but were down to 6 figures when a full strength impi hit them 16 -8, but wait since the Brits were close order only 8 fierce Zulu could fight, the close order line won, but was reduced in numbers so could no longer get the benefit of a close order, and next Zulu turn were wiped out, causing pin tests on the NNC and the British behind them, the NNC passed whereas the Brits failed, it was around this point the NNH  point exited they table (the first to do so). The Brits recovered an eventually started firing on the Zulu remnants, eliminating most of them, the Zulu exits a full strength impi and the game was called at this point. A British victory 9-4.
Midway through the game Zulu have crossed the stream, the Natal Native horse have been watering their horses for 2 turns, due to failed move actions

The NNH has exited, 2 British units have been destroyed as have 2 Zulu units, but 3 Other Zulus units have been shot up pretty badly.

The remaining unit of Red Shirts hiding behind the the Natal Native I mean the Red Coats are offering close support for the NNC. A Full strength unit is leaving the table at the top of the picture.
This picture is at game end, the Zulu unit at the top left, exits in its next turn.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Anglo-Zulu war game prep

I got these rules in September and have been itching to give them a try.

"The Men Who Would Be Kings" from Osprey Games.

Some of the guys at at the Hamilton Road Gaming Group, here in London, Ontario, Canada, were going to be playing some "Disposable Heroes and coffin for seven Brothers" which I wasn't in the mood for. I offered to run a game of these if anyone was interested.

The book suggests Scenario A "Just passing By " as the first game.

In preparation for this game I had to once again dig out my Brits and Zulu, which I have not used in about a 5 years. I thought I had enough painted to run it right away, but alas I didn't. I had to paint my NNH. Which I proceeded to do in a few evenings, and since I was working on the mounted guys, I figured I should finish basing the dismounted figures which have been waiting 5+ years for me to do so.

Then I dugout 3 units of Redcoats. They needed a bit of repainting, as the paint had flaked off where the left hand grasps the rifle, on almost every figure. That done I then resealed the touched up areas in white glue.

And I finished re basing the dismounted NNH figures.

Then it was dealing the Zulu. opened 6 baggies of them and chose the best 16 figures from each bag.

Pictures of the Zulu coming soon(tm)

I noticed as I was  dealing with the figures that the bases are really light (they are just #26 Illustration board) but I don't want to re base every figure (over 400 Zulu and nearly 100 Britons), I grabbed a couple of my Magnetic Sheets, and stuck the figures to them, it gives the bases just enough weigh.

Ignore those 6mm Napoleonics, they have nothing to do with Zulu wars.
 Then grabbed a table clothe and some almost suitable terrain. The tables at the library are 7.5x5' I marked a 6x4 area, I did eventually remember to remove 9" from each short edge as well
The British side of the table.
The Zulus table edge

Sunday, 18 September 2016

28mm east front terrain

I needed some 28mm terrain that could stand in for eastern europe and being creative (and cheap) deciced to make my own.

I am not ready to try my hand at log houses, yet, so I went with this type of house.

I made it out of foam board and this I what I have so far.

Since I was already making one I figured I may as well make a second, so the first one wont be lonely.

And what rural house doesn't have a garden.

I think they look pretty good, but they are not done yet, though I should have angled the gable ends of the roof, well next batch.

Need to hide that join better.

Towel glued on then painted with diluted white glue aka PVA glue.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Blucher Battle of Frischbach

The Battle of Frischbach, Southern Germany 1809, a Battle between France and her Allies vs. Austria. A fictional battle using the Blucher rules.

July 24th I ran a game for my local gaming group, when i designed it I was expecting 4 players, I decided to use the coalition rules and each player would run an army (so of course 6 players showed up). Which required I do a bit of off the cuff adjustments, which mostly worked out well. This game saw the first official use of my DIY battle mat.

Rather than spend a lot of time thinking of army lists, I used my force cards and drew two 200 points Austrian armies and two 250 point French armies. I ended up actually having more than enough painted units to do it (I had to proxy some French ally units though with actual French units) for a total of 37 French & Allied units and 33 Austrian units. Each army was 2 corps. Due to the cards I used to create the armies both sides were very short on cavalry 6 a side and while the Austrians had more guns than the French, they opted to attach most of them to infantry units (as they were defending), they only had 1 massed horse battery, whereas the French had 4 massed foot batteries.

I used the Scharnhorst maps to choose a battle area, a couple of die rolls saw me using the South Germany maps with the battle centred around D3/E3. I added a road and village in D4.

The scenario was the Austrians were defending and if the French didn't break their army morale or capture both objectives the Austrians would win.

This was only the second game in which I used my Concealing boxes to show units in reserve, see Blind box Tutorial for additional info on them.
Setup locations French on the Right, under the Blue boxes, consider that one red box a blue box.

The Austrians deployed 3 of their 4 corps behind the stream, not realising they couldn't use their reserve move and cross over the stream. (I guess I didn't explain it well enough)

Opening moves, the French send forward almost 2 entire corps against the lone Austrian corps.

The IV French corps, (which is mostly made of the allied units) moves to the stream and threatens to cross. The last French corps (the III) stays in reserve .

The Austrians realising how exposed they are on their Left try to race their III Armee Korps to help.

a bit of skirmishing across the stream.

French reserves waiting for an opening.

Austrian I Armee Korps grimly holding on, the French II Corps prepares to assault the area around the village of Frischbach.

With the Austrians having little or no reserves uncommitted the French reserve launches it attack on the the Austrian center.

The fighting around Frischbach is very bloody

Fierce fighting on both sides of the stream near Frischbach.

The fighting around Frischbach dies down. The Austrians army on this side has broken and these French are beat up somewhat.

French reserves rupture the Austrian line in multiple places

The Austrian players concede the game after one wing is broken, the second Austrian wing was still in pretty good shape, but both French armies were still combat effective, albeit the I and II corps were brittle, and the French III corps had just punched 2 holes in the Austrian line

A great game and a good time had by all players. 8 Corps hammered away at each other for 5 hours and we reached an actual conclusion, as opposed to X would have probably lost.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Tutorial Blind Boxes

There have been a few people asking how I made my concealing boxes so rather than type a long post to each person individually I'll put all the information here and refer them likewise.

Materials needed:
Bristol board (card stock)
Hobby knife
PVA Glue (aka White glue or Elmer's Glue)
Clothespins (4-6 per box) or Paperclips

I got some coloured Bristol board from a convenience store, each sheet is 18"x 22"  and cost about 1.50 each (2 for $1 from a dollar store). Bristol board is a kind of crappy card stock.

The sides of the box are 1" high (enough for my tallest figure to sit beneath safely), and the box top covers an area 1.5" x 2.75".

After marking out your lines, LIGHTLY score all your lines then cut the lines where your front and side overlap. Scoring the lines helps in making sure the fold is nice and sharp.
Then fold all your score lines in the same direction.
Apply glue to outsides of Tabs A and affix them to the back of Tabs B
Apply clothespin to hold Tabs A & B together while the glue dries.
Fold tabs A & B inwards along the score lines, then glue Tabs A to the inside of Tabs B

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

DIY Blucher unit Labels

I already have figures therefore I didn't buy the units cards, instead I made unit labels to go with my sabots. I started with a piece of paper with Corps affiliation, a box with Elan (for a die to sit on) and special abilities. It worked fine until I started moving units with dice on the labels, and got worse if the unit was on terrain.
First draft, I placed a die on the Elan Box.

For my second attempt I immediately decided on an Elan Track, which I would use wet or dry erase markers on, and coloured differently for each nationality.

2nd draft I went to Elan track on different coloured card stock for each Nationality.
Here are the latest (and Probably last) labels I make for my Blucher sabots. I replaced the symbols for Steady, Shock and Firepower (replaced the musket with a gun shot/explosion) because I didn't like the look of the originals. I got rid of the different colours for different nationalities, I didn't like the way the table looked with them attached. Print them on card stock, cover the front in Packing tape, so I can use wet or dry erase markers on them, also cover the back of the label in more tape, so I can re-use the labels longer, When adding the label to the sabot I just use masking tape to adhere it.

Latest draft. I fill in Corps Id and black out the attached artillery with wet erase marker and use dry erase for damage, the wet erase is difficult to erase with dry erase erasers.

For those interested and don't want to go through all the trouble I did, here is the JPG I use when I make new ones.