Ardennes Game – December 16

On December 16, 2017 we played our final game of that year. This was a 15mm German vs. American battle set loosely during the Battle of the Bulge.

Looking across (long ways) the table. The Germans will enter from the left and try to exit off the right. The Americans will set up (hidden) on the table.

Alex and Ed were given time to secretly deploy their forces and decide where to put their mine fields These anti-tank mine fields played a big part in the American defence. The Germans had given the possibility of mines no thought. The Americans had not realized how effective they would be.

German Kampfgruppen on their left flank – Phil’s units. One group is mostly Tiger tanks with a little infantry. The other is an infantry company supported by Stug III’s.

Near the center of the table German artillery has hit a village and set part of it on fire hoping to drive any Americans out into the snow.

Steve’s units were behind a hill and weren’t taken under fire on the first turn, so he hit the village and some woods with artillery. Jay advanced right into a mine field losing his armor support. Part of the unit was destroyed by mines and the rest knocked out by Alex’s M36 tank destroyers which were covering the mine field.

In the foreground Steve’s kampfgroup (infantry and Panther tanks) advance on the German right flank. Editor’s note: Yes the photo is rotated 90 degrees.
Click on the photo and it will display correctly.

In the center of the battle Jay’s units (infantry and Mark IV’s) have hit a mine field and stumbled upon some of Alex’s infantry in the woods. On the German left the infantry dismounted and were hit by mortar and machine gun fire. The Sturmgeshutzen are trying to push the infantry out of the woods. The Tigers are advancing slowly on the German left..

Steve’s Panthers advance but are hit in the flank when they come around the hill by Ed’s M10’s.

Alex’s infantry is able to hold the woods in the center and the American right. Phil’s Tigers advance slowly dueling with some Shermans in the woods.

In the center the attack is bogged down. The American infantry hold the village and 2 pieces of woods. They are able to direct a lot of machine gun and mortar fire on the deployed German infantry. American tanks and tank destroyers are taking a toll on the German armor.

Ed’s M10s are taken out by Steve’s Panthers but cause enough damage that the Panthers are killed by some Shermans. Steve’s infantry find more mine fields.

Ed’s M10’s did not duck out of sight after hitting the Panthers and retaliation was swift.

Steve’s Panthers firing up Ed’s M10’s. Some of Steve’s infantry has also stumbled into a minefield.

Ed’s remaining armor (some short 75mm Shermans) take out another Panther and damage the last one.

The German attack never really got going. The Americans hid in the woods and were able to stay hidden until they could get the first shots at close range. The mine fields in the center also took their toll.

At the end the Germans had their Tigers and very little supporting infantry. The Americans still had some Shermans and about 3 companies of infantry.

Atribution: All photos and commentary by Ed Sansing. Such editing as was done (yes this included the photo on its side) by Jay Stribling.

And yet another postponement

Because of events occurring in and about Fondren Presbyterian Church in Jackson MS, we have had to cancel our game set for Saturday November 18. Please join us for the next scheduled game.

Game on Sep. 30 is POSTPONED

Due to a late scheduled event at the church, we will not be able to have our game there on Saturday.  The 15mm Medieval game that I was going to run to introduce everyone to the Might of Arms rules will be postponed, probably to Saturday, November 18.

Sorry for the delay, but it can’t be helped.


The Crimean War

On May 11, the “Old Geezers” lunch meeting was in full flower, with Eds Sansing, Jim Pitts, Russ Schneider, and Jay Stribling when two of our favorite “extended range” club members joined us. These were Marc Fluitt from Mandeville Louisiana and Mark Stevens from Columbia Mississippi. After the lunch, we adjourned to Jay Stribling’s home where we played a previously prepared 15mm Crimean War game.

Marc Fluitt took a number of photographs with his massive camera (with that lens it could probably take images of Pluto) and I will post them here.

Russian Infantry battalions advancing across the game table.

I (Jay Stribling) had probably set up too large a game. Certainly the Russians were too numerous. Three divisions of infantry, three brigades of cavalry and four(?) batteries of artillery were too many for the British and French to halt.

Above, a French battalion fires furiously. The British and French battalions received five fire dice (at full strength) while the Russian columns were allowed only one fire die. There were several Russian Rifle units that shot with four dice. The allied generated far more casualties than they took (at least three to one) but there were always more Russian battalions.

In close combat the Russians did as well as the allies… I blame the one-sided game (Imperial Russia’s finest day) on the game-master and his inability to balance the thing. Who was this scoundrel of a game-master? It was Jay Stribling (ME)!

A British battalion in line. All the troops are mostly Minifigs.

At one point many MANY years ago, Mark Stevens and I began painting this army using 15mm Peter Laing figures. Does anyone remember Peter Laing? We still have a few of those (Small 15m) guys, but all of the figures painted in the last 25 years have been Minifigs.

More Russians with the tiniest portion of the British shown on the right.

This is almost a repeat of an earlier shot. The figures shown make up perhaps half of one Russian division – they had three divisions. These were a lot of figures on a 5′ x 8′ game table.

Jim Pitts, one of the Allied players.

Jim Pitts, Mark Stevens (Brits) and Russ Schneider (French) were the allies. While Jim and Mark suffered heavily, Russ was just blown (or bayonetted) to nothingness. Ed Sansing, Marc Fluitt, and Jay Stribling were the Russians. We had so many troops that traffic control was our major problem. Not a balanced game.

Russian columns and British line are involved in melee

There are almost no reserves for the allies, but there are many more Russians. This is the center of the line on about turn four. In defense of the game-master, he thought that the allied battalions’ fire would stop many of the Russian units.

Mark Stevens in a joyful mood (probably just gave the Russians a good volley)

Mark obviously has pulled off a tactical coup here, but still the Russians march on. The Russian objectives were very near the rear edge of the allied line. This meant that the allies had very little room to fall back. They were on higher ground than the enemy so never thought about moving forward to meet the Russians earlier.

Jay Stribling, the fiend of a game-master

We used a variant of the Brom Standard rules which were an ancestor of Larry Broms Chassepot and Needlegun rules for the Franco-Prussian war. C&N would have worked just a well. It was a good game however there was muttering about “Jay fixed the game and played on the winning side.” In a way that was true, but the assignments to the sides (Russian or Allies) were made randomly long after the game was set up.

I enjoyed it anyway!

Battle for the Jungle Planet

It was a newly discovered Earth-type planet whose soil was very compatible to growing Earth-style crops.  It was a find to be claimed by the strongest.  But who would that be — the Draconis Combine or the Federated Suns?

We used the mech forces raised by Sean P.  The rules were “Battle Tech – Alpha Strike” which are a simplified variant of the standard Battle Tech rules.  We like them because they play quicker and are easier to recall from one game to another over a period of months between the two games.

Each nation-state sent a veteran combat company to claim the planet for their own.  Let the battle begin!

A Draconis Combine platoon advances through the high grasses.

A Draconis Combine platoon advances through the high grasses.


Their Draconis commander consults his battle plan as he opens fire on the Federated Suns force opposite him.


The other Draconis platoon advances against a single Federated mech.  Is he separated from his battle comrades?


The other Federated Suns platoon starts to receive fire from the Draconis platoon.


Two Federated mechs (black in center and green behind tall grass) are attacked by three Draconis mechs.  Who will come out on top?


The battle continues as the two Federated mechs stand back to back against the three Draconis mechs.


But one of each falls through close battle damage, leaving the little Federated Enforcer mech facing two Draconis mechs.


In the center of the action, a Federated Black Knight mech (brown camouflage on left) watches his red and black painted Enforcer battle buddy succumbs to the fire of a Draconis No-Dachi mech (red on right).


Later in the battle, one of the Federated platoons has been wiped out.  The two Draconis platoons (right background and foreground) now gang up on the lone Federated platoon (center and left foreground).


Closing in from all directions the Draconis mechs finally blast the remaining Federated mechs into scrap metal, winning the planet for the Draconis Combine!


We had time for a second battle but only one photograph survived.  A Draconis battle team of a Strider (left), Komodo (center – gray), and Jenner (right) mech seek cover before firing on their Federated opponents.  Unfortunately all three of these Draconis mechs were later destroyed by the Federated forces.  But that didn’t do the Federated forces any good as they were forced back to their landing zone by the stronger Draconis force.

In the first game, the four players each had a platoon of four mechs.  In the second game each had a half-company of six mechs.

A fun time was had by all even though the Federated commanders couldn’t roll hits worth a hoot.  If they needed an 8 or better to hit, then they rolled a 7.  The dice just weren’t in their favor.


To the Strongest! Medieval Rules Tried Again

On Monday, Feb. 15, a small group of the Jackson Gamers assembled at Jim’s church hall to give the “To the Strongest!” rules another try.  Jim provided his vintage 15mm early Medieval armies composed of a Norman force based in Southern Italy led by Count Robert “Guiscard” de Hautville and a Byzantine force led by Basil, the Katapan of Langobardia.  We played two games since the rules go very swiftly.  Both were basically encounter battles with each side’s forces drawn up in battle array.  The Normans won both games, handily beating up on the Byzantines.

Here are a few photographs showing the action in the second game:

Action in the center with Byzantines on the left and Normans on the right.

Action in the center with Byzantines on the left rear and Normans on the right front.

One of Jim's Norman cavalry units tries to move but draws an Ace (no activation)! Thus ends Jim's turn before it begins.

One of Jim’s Norman cavalry units tries to move but draws an Ace (no activation)! Thus ends Jim’s turn before it begins.

Papal allies of the Normans attack the Byzantines in the center with Swabian axemen about to cross a low ridge.

Papal allies of the Normans attack the Byzantines in the center with Swabian axemen about to cross a low ridge.  In the background there is confused fighting between Byzantines and Normans around a small village.

Papal spear units advance against some Byzantine scutatoi.

Jim’s Norman spear units advance against some Byzantine scutatoi.

Normans (on right) press their attacks against the Byzantines.

Normans (on right) press their attacks against the Byzantines.

Jim’s forces are mounted on 80mm x 40mm bases originally for the “Vis Bellica” rules which we no longer use.  They’ve been unused for many moons until “To the Strongest!” rules came along.  Now they can be brought out with each base being a single unit.  Good to see them again.

Troop Redeployment

This past Saturday some of the Jackson Gamers assisted Jay, Lord Sterling in moving his vast armies of “little lead men” from his old house in northeast Jackson to his new house in east Brandon.  With four pick-up trucks, one van, two compact SUVs, and Jay’s car, the redeployment went almost without a hitch.  The hitch, unfortunately, was the loss of the wargames table frame which came unsecured from Russ’ pick-up and smashed itself to splinters near the Pascagoula south-bound on ramp of IH-55.  Luckily no following vehicle was impacted by the flying frame.

Jay would like to thank Larry C., Larry R., Jim P., Sean P., Mark G., Fred D., Phil Y., Russ S., and Jerry A. for their assistance in the troop redeployment.  Without friends like these the armies would still be in transit, one small carload at a time.

Our next game is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 20, at Jay’s new house.  We’ll see if that actually happens.

Here are some pictures from the first trip’s unloading and the resulting stacks of troop and terrain boxes.

Larry R. and mark unloading Russ' truck

Larry R., Russ, and Mark unloading Russ’ truck

The start of the stacks in the two-car garage.

Start of one of the stacks on the back porch.

Phil unloading Jim’s CUV.

Troop boxes in the back of Mark’s pick-up.

The stacks in the garage get bigger.

The rear of the garage stack.

More stacking on the back porch.

And even more stacking on the back porch.

Taking a break before a brief tour of Jay’s new house.

The Lashwood Expedition

On July 18, 2015, we took a trip deep into the Peruvian jungle of the 1930s (courtesy of FiveCore), where Professor Lashwood and his expedition had discovered a legendary lost temple.  When the locals began muttering about sacrilege and threatening to murder the archaeologists, the US embassy sent marines in to escort the expedition to safety.  Little did they know that the Germans have learned of the discovery. They have sent their Zeppelin Troopen in to capture the archaeologists and any artifacts they have discovered.  Larry, Fred and Sean played the Marines, while Phil, Jim and Ed played the Germans.  Photos are courtesy of Jim.  Figures are from Pulp Figures, except for two Marine BARs I borrowed from Jim.

The temple complex, a pyramid looming over the ruined buildings.

The temple complex, a pyramid looming over the ruined buildings.

The Marines and the Zeppelin Troopen first had to locate the expedition’s campsite and the archaeologists.  The Germans set up on the right side of the table, while the Marines set up along the stream feeding into the river on the left and the narrow track toward the far end of the table.  The camp lies near the pyramid, directly behind the rightmost of the two trees near the river in the foreground.

Zeppelin Troopen advance toward the camp.

Zeppelin Troopen advance toward the camp.

The early game had quite a few “Scurry” turns for both sides.  The Germans rolled more, allowing them to move into the camp while the Marines were getting into position.  They held onto that advantage throughout the game.

Germans enter the camp

Zeppelin Troopen enter the camp.

On the other side of the pyramid, the Germans take position in cover near the camp as Marines advance.

Gunfire breaks out.

A Zeppelin Troopen lies dead.

Both sides exchanged gunfire for several turns with little effect.  Then the dice turned hot.  One German was shot dead in the center.

Marine firing line.

Marines advance while Zeppelin Troopen search the camp.

On the German left, the Marines engaged the Germans taking cover in the brush while other Germans searched the camp.

Marines take fire.

Marines take fire.

In the center, the Germans returned fire, killing two Marines.  To the left, one of the archaeologists (James Lawson) was found in one of the ruined buildings.

Several turns later...

Several turns later…

Lawson took cover in the ruins as the firefight raged around him.  The Marines tried to pull him out, but were cut down by the Germans.  Here they have surrounded the ruin and are ready to assault the last Marine defending the building.

Dan is captured.

Dan is captured.

In the camp, the Germans captured another of the archaeologists, Dan Davenport.  Marines prepare to rush in and rescue him.

The bloody ruins.

The bloody ruins.

Marines and Germans fought and died around the ruins hiding Lawson.

Lawson captured.

Lawson captured.

Eventually, the Germans won out and captured Lawson.

Off camera, the Marines found Professor Lashwood and his daughter Sam, and led them to safety.  Unfortunately, they were unable to stand up to the Germans.  They were steadily driven back until the Germans had control of the entire temple complex.

In the end, this was a win for the Germans.  The Marines rescued two members of the expedition, but the Germans captured two others and were able to take their pick of the artifacts and documents in the expedition camp.


Overall the game was a blast to run.  The players seemed to enjoy it as well.  To run it for a group, I gave each player five figures and two activations per turn.  Each side rolled one action die and followed the results accordingly.  After a few turns, play moved quickly and required little assistance from me.  I definitely plan to run it again some time.  And maybe then I’ll get to play.

The Battle of Moriarty’s Tavern

Moriartys Tavern Jay 004s

We fought a “Murican Revolution” game in 25mm on July 4, 2015. It seemed appropriate somehow. I am going to pop up some photos for your amusement, and then follow with commentary a bit later.

Moriartys Tavern Jay 009s

Russ Schnieder, one of the British commanders, looking a bit skeptical as the game begins.

Moriartys Tavern Jay 019s

Jim Pitts, one of the Patriot commanders (along with his son Sean Pitts) hurries newly-arrived reinforcements into the battle.

Moriartys Tavern Jay 026s

The action begins!

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More troops are involved.

Moriartys Tavern Jay 034s

Russ, along with his fellow Royalist commander Ed Sansing are in action.

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A view down the battlefield later in the game.

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The surviving British and loyalist cavalrymen go “view-hallooing” along after being withdrawn from the British right and sent along a safe path to the left. General Schneider wisely kept them out of range after an initial blooding.

The colored plastic rings indicate the units’ morale state. A yellow ring shows a morale state of 4 (the best), a Blue would indicate a morale state of 3, a Green ring would show a morale state of 2, while a Red ring would be a morale marker for a morale point of 1 – the worst!



A view of the battlefield before the battle began. Photo by Jim Pitts





A view of one of our regiments. Each is composed of six stands of 3 figures each. While real-life British or Patriot units varied wildly in size, ours are the same size, for easy identification of current strength as opposed to starting strength. Photo by Jim Pitts.



Patriot dragoons attack the British lines on the right flank of the Rebel lines. Sean Pitts launched this attack in an attempt to slow down the enemy advance, which it did, but at the cost of most of the Rebel mounted troops. Photo by Jim Pitts.



Photo by Jim Pitts.



A patriot unit milling about in confusion having fallen back in rout due to British volleys. The tag on the unit shows that previously it had gone low on ammunition. Cute markers instead of clumsy labels to show low ammo or loss of officers are just around the corner – and have been for years! Photo by Jim Pitts.



Photo by Jim Pitts.



This Pennsylvania regiment has fallen back out of the Holmes Farm with the prisoner, who had been the object of the search by both armies. The British had been trying to “rescue that brave man” while the Patriots had been trying to “Get that prisoner to headquarters before the Militia do something stupid”. Photo by Jim Pitts.



Photo by Jim Pitts.



The Rebel right flank, under the command of Sean Pitts, at the end of the battle. They had severely attrited the British left, and were bending it back, but it never quite broke. The Patriot center and left, HAD broken however. The Patriot army was in poor shape (Major Morale) and was leaking units to the rear. Photo by Jim Pitts.

The Rebels had their prisoner, but they lost on points with 8 (5 of them for the prisoner) to the British 10 points, all from inflicting casualties on the Rebels.

Thee will be a bit more text to be added to this report.

The Battle of the Alma

On Saturday June 30, 2015, the Jackson Gamers refought the battle of the Alma. This was the first action in the Crimean War, on September 20, 1854. The allies (Britain and France) had landed north of their objective, the Russian city of Sebastopol on the Crimean peninsula in the Black sea. They then marched around the city to attack it from the south.

The high ground beyond the river Alma was where the Russian army made it’s stand. We took as the basis for this game an older SPI “Quad” game published 30 years ago. This board game contains four battles, including The Alma, Balaclava, Inkerman and Tchernaya River.

Game Crimea May 15 021a

John Murdaugh, commanding the French 3rd Division and the British 3rd Division, considers the battlefield. The troops that we used were part of Jay Stribling’s 15mm Crimean War army, placed on enlarged versions of the board game counters.
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Some of the Russian defenders, under the command of Prince Menshikov (Jay Stribling) await the allied onslaught. Because of the difficulties that the allies had with the crossing of the Alma river, the French army was unable to cross for the first two turns of the game. This is a carry-over from the board game rules.

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The French army, lead by Zouave regiments has finally gotten itself in gear and has crossed the river. The French 1st, 2nd and 4th divisions were commanded by Phil Young.

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The Russian defenders await the French onslaught. Jay Stribling commanded the Russians on the left and Ed Sansing commanded the Czar’s troops on the right side of the battlefield.

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Telegraph hill (named for an incomplete semaphore telegraph tower that was on it) has been occupied by British and French in this image, take about half-way through the game. The British battalions consist of two infantry bases on a “stand” with a pinkish label containing movement, morale, and combat information, taken from the boardgame. The French battalions have blue labels. Note the red rings on two of the British units, showing that they are disrupted, halving their fire and melee factors.

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On the Russian right, the first of two defensive works the great redoubt has been overrun by the British after a prolonged defense. General Sansing attempted to recapture the work, alas to no avail. The British and French units had a much greater fire effect than the Russian battalions, but the Russians had a higher hand-to-hand combat value.

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The village of Bourliuk which was stuffed with straw and set ablaze by the Russians in an attempt to deny the allies shelter and to slow their passage of the river Alma.

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Another view of the French battalions on their extreme right, attempting to turn the Russian left. By this time, the Russians were withdrawing slowly with occasional bayonet counter-attacks. The Russian army’s morale that grown shaky with units being lost, and every turn, to avoid a loss of victory points, they had to withdraw to battalions off the table edge to the rear.

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On the Russian right, the lesser redoubt has also fallen to the British, under the command of Sean Pitts. The surviving Russian defenders have retreated out of the image of the camera.

So, who won this battle? It was closer than it seemed at the time. The Allies destroyed 8 Russian units, while losing 7 of their own. The Russians still had their road-exit to the rear, but had lost one Victory point on turn 7 for not being in a position to withdraw two battalions as their army morale broke. So, the Allies had 8 victory points, and the Russians had 7. An allied victory! The war would continue, with thousands upon thousands of soldiers dying, mainly of disease.

Game Crimea May 15 033a

Here is a photo of the boardgame that Jay Stribling stole (was inspired by) the game mechandisms, map and order of battle.
Actually the allies should have had 10 more units, but we did not have enough infantry stands to create them – not that they needed them.