Chuckadice: Wargames TaKtiX

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Battle of Louisville, June 1861

Rebels Suffer Major Defeat in Kentucky.
This reporter was lucky enough to be allowed to join the staff of General G. H. Thomas, commander of the Army of Cincinnati. This force of gallant men of the Union set out to prevent the destruction of the city of Louisville by the nefarious band of rebels, calling themselves the "Army of Chattanooga", that had advanced from Tennessee. Numbering nearly 30,000 men this band of ner-do-wells were brought to a halt by the valiant Union troops and soon realised that they had bitten off more than they could chew.

Initial intelligence reports showed the rebel force to consist of four brigades of infantry, one of cavalry and a battery of cannons. This proved to be a major underestimation of the size of the enemy force as more and more brigades appeared. In total they had more than ten brigades of infantry, plus at least two of cavalry and two batteries of artillery. General Thomas requested aid from nearby units and eventually the Union force was increased to match that of the secessionist's. The initial force of seven infantry brigades, supported by two cavalry brigades and one battery was soon swollen to thirteen infantry, three cavalry and two batteries.

Despite initial set backs against fortified positions and ambushing bushwhackers the forces of the Union soon pushed the rebels back from Louisville. A rebel cavalry brigade was cut off and captured by the 1st Illinois Cavalry, while the 1st Rhode Island and 1st Missouri Infantry smashed through one rebel unit after another and ended up driving off the entire left flank of the rebel army.

Casualties were light for our gallant boys. Of 35,500 men engaged in the battle there were 1,050 confirmed killed or seriously wounded, 4,500 suffered light wounds and 600 are missing, possibly captured. The estimated size of the rebel force was over 30,000 men and over 2,000 were killed or seriously injured, nearly 6,000 are thought to have received light wounds and there are 2,400 prisoners under guard.

With Louisville now safe it is thought that General Thomas will reorganise his troops and secure the rest of Kentucky from the secessionist's. I can only hope that those in the southern states will come to their senses and end this futile rebellion of theirs.

For those who have not yet realised, this is a report from one of the battles in the first turn of an ongoing American Civil War campaign, played using Fire & Fury rules and assorted 15mm figures

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Peter Pig's "Bloody Barons" game

Last night I played a game of Peter Pig's Bloody Baron's against Mat. We did have a slight problem in that neither of us knew the rules properly and, due to this, several mistakes were made. We still enjoyed it though, so we shall attempt to play it properly next time.

The troops in the game are split into 3 classes, Household (the best), Retinue and Levy. You also choose captains, bodyguards, cavalry, foot, bowmen, crossbows, handgunners, unarmoured foot, cannons etc. The list is expansive enough to allow a wide variety of armies. You do have to take some units, such as 2 levy units and 2 retinue units, while others are restricted such as no more than 5 bodyguards and no more than 2 household units. The army also has 3 generals, who rate from 0 (a man of iron) to 3 (not much use for anything). Considering this it was quite surprising to see the similarities in our armies last night. We both had 2 retinue cavalry units, 1 household foot and 2 levy foot units. All our foot units had the same composition, the only difference was I had a large and a small cavalry unit, plus a light gun, while Mat had 2 large cavalry units.

After choosing forces you set up the scenery and then allocate "purses" to such things as subterfuge, supplies, weather and various others. You then roll against your opponent with the victor either gaining bonuses, such as extra arrows, or messing with the opponents force, such as moving units once they are deployed. This part takes a fair amount of time but really makes the game. It's very annoying when the unit placed to defend the hill on the flank is suddenly repositioned directly in front of your cavalry in the center.

After all the sneakiness is done the battle itself starts. Generals roll to activate units, with the score needed dependant upon the quality of both the general and the unit, plus the distance between them. Activated units get action points and you then do what you can with them. There is also a nice "opportunity fire" section that allows the non-moving players units to fire on enemy units that are within short range of them during the other players turn. Shooting is simple to work out, while combat takes a bit more work but seems to work out well. Unless you consistently roll low like I did at the start and Mat did at the end. Morale is caused by losses and can result in units holding position, retiring or routing.

All in all I liked the game we had and will (hopefully) be playing it again soon. I would recommend it to anybody who is looking for a fun evening's game that isn't too serious and I'd give it an 8 out of 10.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

ACW Naval Wargames

The American Civil War on water in 1/600th scale using Hamerin' Iron rules (all Peter Pig) provides a great evenings entertainment using some of the very unusual ironclads and paddle steamers. The last action involved the USS Benton and the USS Cairo trying to pass two Confederate forts positioned on an island and the river bank with mortar rafts placed behind the island out of sight of the on-coming yanks.
The Ironclads came on with only their frontal armour exposed and having their medium rifle bore guns causing damage to the earthworks of the fortifications that were equipped with heavy Columbaid guns that proved ineffective at range. Quickly the forts were on fire and guns were destroyed as the range shortened.
The mortars opened fire causing little damage being inaccurate, and one burst and expolded killing all the gunners.
The ironclads had to turn broadside to avoid the island fort, this was a critical manover as the USS Cairo had limited armour to the rear. Heavy cannon fire and hits from mortar shells soon penetrated the inside causing much damage and fires. The rudder was shot away leaving the vessel out of control.
The USS Benton carried on, passing the island destroying the fort and mortar rafts.
It was a costly action with the loss of the USS Cairo but mission was accomplished by the actions of USS Benton which remained almost undamaged.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

AK-47: the Righteous Brotherhood speaks

The Religious Movement of Father T'ake De' P'fromu and the Righteous Brotherhood...
The last battle won over 7 turns against Matt's Peoples Popular Front ppf, or is that that ppppppfffft as in bunch of farts, killed all but one of his units a frightening group of 3 tank gunned armoured cars that turned up 2 turns before game end, fortunately... phew...

Looked tough at about turn 2 the ppf held one position with massed infantry but the threat of mortar attack kept them pinned down and the Father's Nike wearing olympic runners, thanks to political points gave us an additional 3" move per turn, just what you need to close on the AA and RR armed technicals that had my 1 armoured car pinned behind woods, but after presenting the afore mentioned tech's to my mortar crews we had to let them have some, cos we are sharing types... knocking out one, then another the next turn, then my infantry were amongst them, bish bosh, burning tech's, he he, the cowering infantry in the objective move out to attack us but get hit with gunfire, small arms, and mortar fire, ahhhh, the nike boys then move onto the village to take up residence and await the ppf reinforcements and yep you guessed it, bish bosh again, take out his AA truck and some infantry nand then he attacks my leader and his body guard in the village but in typical style we kicked their butt, and they ran away, to be butchered by small arms and tank gun fire, meanwhile the final unit comes on and runs for the last objective a hill, we come under fire from the armoured cars, but i see the turn points going rapidly so time for sacrifice, deploy the mortars in the group and all others leg it for the hill, hey we take some fire but get the 30 pt terrain peice, oh well, then the game ends and the points totalled up, holding all three victory peices, killing or driving off all but one enemy unit and only loosing 6 stands therefore winning by over 87 points, and writing a historical account, is'nt that right matt, oh he's dead... te he....

Monday, May 22, 2006

AK-47: How to lose

I love Peter Pig's AK-47 Republic. It's a great game, tongue in cheek, a dose of humour, good gameplay and a diverse setting.

Tonight, Nathan (toxic) and I played our last games for this, the battles for turn 7. The victory point system is fairly simple and straightforward. Up to 5 points difference is considered a draw. Over 21 points difference is a major victory in which the winner "writes the histroy books". Anything between is a fairly normal result. Um, what do you call a difference of 83 points? Ouch?

So, what I've learnt.

Range matters

No matter what it looks like, a massive swarm of infantry is useful as the attacker, but useless as the defender. The attacker can just charge forward and hope he's got enough men left to storm the baricades. That's how I won most of my initial games against Zob, who is now, by the way, completely vanquished in the campaign. So, tonight, I had two large units of infantry. One didn't turn up till mid game, but the other? It sat in an objective template, holding it effectively, but doing no damage.

The defender wins by killing the attacker, not holding ground

The attacker has to take the objectives, the defender merely has to destroy the aggressor. Ergo, the defender needs troops able to engage at range and defeat the attacker before he gets close.

Morale Matters- use weaponry that causes tests

The game is won or lost not really on the casualties inflicted, but on the morale tests to chase units off. I killed as many of Nathan's units as he did of mine in two key engagement. The casualties he inflicter were by mortars and tank guns. Mine were by AA guns, small arms and recoilless rifles. The latter don't cause tests, the former do. Given that a unit only has to fail three tests total, and can fail up to two per turn, if you take a few casualties in the open caused by mortars or tanks, the unit will be close to running.

So, how to win

When assembling your forces, you can choose to spend lots of points on troops, or spend some on political actions. As a PPF, it's not worth spending more than 40 points on political as that's where your best results are. Against religious movements, you're likely to be the defender. So, assume you are, and take mortars. Don't waste points on RRs, range of 18" isn't enough. Take tank guns, mortars and AA guns, giving you range and morale - consider tank guns as well. Don't do what I did, spend no points on politics and take an aggressive force, it's a waste of time.

I love the game, really enjoy playing it. When I'm the attacker, I can win. As the defender? Haven't run a succesful defense yet. That has to change, Nathan's religious movement and Panjo's Colonialists are circling. Still, at least I don't need to try to figure out what Rob's up to next turn. Watching from the sidelines, his "President" in jail.

If you've never tried AK-47, try it out. Easy to pick up, figures are easy to paint, we use a selection of old toy cars to represent the trucks at times, and it's quick, simple gameplay makes it fun. I'll, I suspect, continute to die horribly on a regular basis.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Warmaster Ancients

Last nights saw Mat and Nathan play a game of Warmaster Ancients. Mat was commanding a Successor army while Nathan had control (sort of) of the Republican Roman army. The terrain was a bit of a pain, the core of Mat's army could not cross the hills in the center of the table, the left was covered by a wood which he couldn't go through so he had to go down the right.

The game went quite well, espescially as we didn't know the rules half as well as we thought we did. Phalanx units are very nasty, in fact they are pretty much able to chew through just about anything. The high points of the game both went to Nathan. In one turn all his generals (he had three) managed to roll command blunders. You blunder when you roll a 12 on 2d6, he managed 3 of them in a row. Then his skirmishers managed to shot 2 lots of phalanx units as they were charged and then beat them in a fight by virtue of all the shooting casualties. How we laughed, except for Mat.

We are having another go next week, using smaller forces to try and get the rules sorted out properly. I'll try to take notes and (maybe) photo's next time.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Press Release: M'Tor'Hed retakes Laire and liberates town of Nainne

The M'Tor'Hed Peoples Popular Front of Zoosia has serious concerns about the claims made by the spokesman for the near-vanquished dictatorship of Maine.

They seem to be unable to tell the time; our dawn raid into Laire in which our forces triumphed greatly was followed up later in the day by a full on assault to liberate our brothers in the town of Nainne. If the renegades now without a homeland of their own wish to in some way claim that afternoon now happens before dawn on the same day then they are as delusional as they are badly led.

Given that our forces now once again hold Nainne itself and much of the surrounding province, if the remnants of the vicious dictatorship forces do not wish to accept our terms of surrender we shall attack them again with renewed vigour as we liberate their remaining territory.

Alternately, if the remaining forces wish to rebel against the self-styled "President", we will assist them and welcome them into our structure in the continued liberation struggle.

Power to the People!

Wl'fee, spokesman,
on behalf of L'mee, first citizen.

Friday, March 17, 2006

New Campaign log, template tweaks

OK, I've added in a page for the Band of Brothers campaign, and I've also tweaked the front page using a nifty tool I discovered that displays the headlines for the sub pages in the sidebar. I really like the way Rob's after action report comes out as a web page; After Action Report: Cherbourg.

Not bad.

Also, if anyone is interested, I've set up a generic Warhammer blog on a separate bit, the idea being that Jason and I can write up any news or games we play there, which may be useful; will probably invite others as and when...

Monday, March 13, 2006

Does anybody have any aircraft carriers for sale?

Nathan needs some, plus a battleship. :-)

As you may be aware we have been playing a PBEM WW2 Pacific naval campaign. Its been going for a while now and we have finally had a big naval engagement, with all attacks coming from aircraft. After the smoke had cleared the USN Saratoga was damaged and would need some repairs. Reports from the returning strike aircraft indicated that the Soryu had suffered 9 bomb hits and was last seen listing and burning. The Shokaku was hammerheaded by the torpedo-bombers of VT-2 and suffered in excess of 5 torpedo hits and was last seen sinking. Dive bombers from the Saratoga found the Yamato and pressed home the attack. Three hits were reported and the battleship was brought to a virtual standstill. Then the Dauntlesses from the Saratoga appeared and , despite heavy antiaircraft fire, they struck the killing blow. Three torpedoes struck below the waterline and the Yamato was sent to her watery grave. Commander of the IJN Yamato, Admiral Nathanimoto Goodyearito was last seen in an 8' rowing boat heading for Japan as fast his little arms could row him.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Band of Brothers using "Death by schmeisser"

Tonight we finished playing a BoB scenario, using the death by schmeisser (Jerry rolls a six) rules.
Unfortuneately the gallant Sgt Murphy was rotated home having been WIA. However Edge Platoon completed their objectives and a fun time was had by all.

Full details will be issued by SHAEF as soon as the team have been debriefed.