The Forbidden Treasure of Li-Zhao

Jim, Ed and I played a game of Pulp Alley a few weeks ago. It’s an interesting game with quirky mechanics centered around an activation system based on advantage. In short, the player with initiative declares which player gets to activate a figure next; initiative is determined by what players do, and can switch hands multiple times in a turn. It plays pretty quickly once the players are used to the rules, but it has some interesting twists that take getting used to.

Deep in the jungles of Southeast Asia, an ancient tomb holds unimaginable wealth and power for those who can take it. With the Tomb of Li-Zhao recently revealed, dozens have come to take what they can. Who will succeed?

Captain Rogers’ crew (played by Jim) is about to brave the river.  If the treasure of Li-Zhao is all the legends say, they will all be rich beyond their wildest dreams.

Commander Varken (Ed) landed his Zeppelin troopen close by.  They will claim the treasure of Li-Zhao for Der Fuhrer and the Fatherland, beginning with the glint of metal showing from this strange well. This is a “Plot Point” in the rules, and capturing it is worth a victory point.

Doc Rocket (myself), with his trusty sidekicks Captain Halsey and Sarge, cross a stream and approach the site from the west.

While his men, Doc Rocket’s team and the Zeppelin troopen had a three way gunfight, Captain Rogers captured the treasure of Li-Zhao itself (another Plot Point).

Doc Rocket and his teammates spent several turns searching through the abandoned archaeological encampment while dodging bullets.  Finally they turned up a strange amulet (a third Plot Point).

At this point we ended the game, as Ed had to leave early. Jim could easily escape to the south where I couldn’t stop him.  The main Plot Point he captured was worth three victory points, beating the one point each of us had for the Plot Points Ed and I took.

It was an interesting game.  I’d like to give it a try again some time, though I also have some other pulp rule sets I want to give a spin as well.

Smash and Grab

On August 3 , 2013, Sean ran a Battle Tech game for us, pitting the remnants of the 2nd Argyle Highlander Regiment against a Lyran force.

Highlander and Lyran slug it out!

The battle report is on the Jackson Gamer’s blog:

http://jacksongamers.blogspot.com/2013/08/smash-grab-august-3rd-2013.html

Battle of Pine Hill (July 6, 1863/2013)

Postulating a more vigorous pursuit of the retreating Army of Northern Virginia by the victorious Army of the Potomac, we fought to side by side battles today.  Trying to protect Lee’s line of retreat, Confederate forces successfully held off their Union opponents.

Sean, a stone-faced Union commander, launches an overwhelming attack against the thin grey lines of the Confederate defenses.

Visit the Jackson Gamers blog ( http://jacksongamers.blogspot.com/2013/07/battle-of-pine-hill-july-6-1863.html ) for a brief report about one of the two battles.

The Champion Hill Battle

We played this game at Fondren Presbyterian Church in Jackson MS. on April 6, 2013. This was a large battle, a kind-of recreation of the American Civil War battle of Champion Hill, which was fought on May 16, 1863. In the real battle, General Grant overwhelmed the forces of CSA General Joseph Pemberton and sent the rebel army retreating into Vicksburg where it surrendered on July 4, 1863 after a siege. Ours was a 25mm game using our 30+ year old armies composed mainly of Minifigs, Hinchliffe and Custom Cast figures. For variety a few Garrison and RAFM miniatures along with several brigades of young whippersnapper Old Glory troops also march in our armies.

The Gamemaster for the game was Jay Stribling. The photos are by Jim Pitts. The rules used were a variant of Larry Brom’s A Glint of Bayonets.

During the Game Set-up

The above photo shows the set-up with about half of the Confederate forces on the field. The Champion hill is shown. The lower tiers of the hill were wooded and the crown was clear.

Another Set-up Image


Another view, similar to the above, during the game set-up. Again, the central hill is shown. Note the wooden ruler at the rear of the hill. This simulates the Confederate line of retreat, which was a Union objective during the game.

A Union Brigade Is Deployed

This shows the size of an “average” brigade in this game. Each regiment has six 4-man stands (24 men total) and this 3-regiment brigade thusly has 72 infantry figures plus a mounted Brigdier general.

View From The Confederate Rear


This shows more of the Union Army being set up. The order of deployment was, half of the Confederate brigades were set up first, then half of the Federal army’s brigades, then the remainder of the Rebel troops (less two brigades kept off the table) and lastly the rest of the Union brigades (with two brigades similarly held off as reserves).

The Confederate Right


This shows the regiment on the extreme Confederate right flank. This unit, composed of “veteran” Custom Cast figures, is owned by Jim Pitts.

A Mass Of Union Troops

This shows the right half of the Union army, deployed, possibly at the end of the first game turn. Jay Ainsworth is shown at the end of the game table. Partially shown are Sean Pitts and Fred Diamond (on extreme right of image).

Martha Stevens Adjusting Troops


The Confederate Players were: Phil Young (Extreme right flank) Bill Hamilton (Center-right) John Murdaugh (C-in-C, Center) Martha Stevens (center-left) and Jay Ainsworth (extreme left flank)


The Union Players were: Sean Pitts (Extreme right flank) Mark Stevens (C-in-C, Center-right) Fred Diamond (Center) Jim Pitts (Center-left) and Jay Stribling (Extreme Left flank).

The Confident Confederate General


Bill Hamilton, his forces deployed in line on the central hill, confidently awaits the Federal horde. Bill’s troops defended the hill well, till the last turn when he swept down off it to advance against the withered forces of Jim Pitts.

The Federal Advance


Union general Jim Pitts’ first brigade has it’s regiments in line, advancing against the rebels on the Champion hill. Note that the regiment closest to the camera has already lost two of it’s six stands. Rebel Generals shown in the background are, John Murdaugh (in his red battle-shirt), Martha Stevens, and Jay Ainsworth.

At The Double-Quick Boys!


With national and regimental flags flying, the first Union reserve brigade (I believe) advances in columns behind the front, trying to gain position to deploy into firing line.

The Union Left Advances Into The Killing Ground


This shows Jay Stribling’s command on the Extreme Federal left flank, advancing against Phil Young’s Confederates. Note the Palmetto flags of the defending brigade, indicating that they are South Carolinians. The figures in the foreground are Old Glory miniatures, painted and owned by Jay Ainsworth.

The Green ring on the flag closest to the camera indicates that the regiment has a morale point of 2. The gold ring on the regiment in the center of the image shows a morale point of 4 – much superior. By the end of the sixth turn of the game (the last turn) all the regiments shown here had been blown away by the Rebel sharpshooters. Only a 4-stand rump of one regiment and the red-shirted battery (partially seen behind the trees) remained on the Federal left flank.

Forward The Seventh Michigan!


The brave 7th Michigan regiment gets onto the hill, driving off the first line of Confederat defenders. Will they be able to take the guns on the crest? Ahh- No. Too many rebel defenders and too much cannister fire, drove them back, tattered and bleeding.

The High Water Mark


From the same brigade, the 20th Massachusetts infantry gets onto the hill amd attempts to seize the crest. Alas, they also were pushed back.

The Federal Advance On the Right


Toward the end of the game, the remaining mass of the Union army moves forward on the Federal right flank. Martha Stevens would be hard pressed to hold the connecting line between the hill and Jay Ainsworth’s troops on the Extreme Confederal left. But while this looks promising for General Grant, on his left flank, Generals Stribling and Pitts were being flayed by superior numbers and massive concentrations of Confederate artillery on the crest of Champion hill.

The Empty Field


At the end of the fifth turn, this shows the portion of the battlefield that had been filled by the troops of Jim Pitts’ command at the beginning of the battle. Note that Bill Hamilton has moved his first unit of Rebel infantry off the hill and is advancing against Jim’s left, severing the commands of Jim from that of Jay Stribling on the Federal extreme left.

The Massive Union Right – 1

The Massive Union Right – 2

The two images above show the mass of the Union army concentrated on it’s right. The time is at the game’s ending. The Federals are threatening the Champion hill and all of the Confederate forces to the north of the hill. In the real battle, this force broke the Confederates and sent them streaming to the rear. However, unlike our game, in the real struggle, the Union left was still intact. Not so here!

Travis Melton is shown in a yellow shirt. Travis arrived late and took over the command of Jay Ainsworth who had to leave the game, but returned in time to witness the ending.

So, what did we learn from this game? Our fast-play version of Larry Brom’s rules seemed to work well. The game-master, Jay Stribling, tried to keep the game moving and generally succeeded. In a three hour period (excluding set-up time and our lunch break) we played six turns. Not bad for 11 players and 2000+ miniatures in the game. A good time seemed to be had by all, which is normal for the Jackson Gamers.

We plan to put this game on again at Bayou Wars in Metaire LA in June, 2013. We hope to see you there!

With Massena against the British

The French perspective from our latest game using the Field of Glory: Napoleonic rules.  You can read the report at the Jackson Gamers blog.

A panoramic view from behind the French lines.

 

 

With Piction against the French

Phil invited us to his house today for an introduction to the Field of Glory: Napoleonic (FoG:N) rules.  Four of us had a nice game.  You can see the game from the British perspective at the Jackson Gamers blog.

The British center with a French corps deployed in the background.

The Battle of Bridgeport

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The Lions Did Eat Tonight!

The Jackson Gamers met today and conducted two hunts using Howard Whitehouse’s The Lion Eats Tonight rules.  You can see pictures and a report of the two hunts at the Jackson Gamers blog.

The mighty hunters gather for another safari into the African bush.

Sword and Secession – Play Test

We played this game at Jay Stribling’s home in Jackson MS. on September 15, 2012. It was a 25mm Semi-Skirmish game set on the Florida Coast, near the small town of Cedar Key. The rules were a second play-test of The Sword and Secession a variant for Larry Brom’s The Sword and the Flame rules set.

A number of years ago, Mark Stevens and Jay Stribling, on a trip to Tampa Florida, took a side jaunte to the charming little town of Cedar Key on Florida’s coast. While we were there, we visited the local museum, which had information about a Federal Raid during the Civil War, the purpose of which was to destroy a salt producing works. This secnario is the result of that visit.

The Gamemaster for the game was Jay Stribling. The photos and their captions are by Jim Pitts.


Union Marine raiders encounter Confederate militia


Union Marine raiders advance against the Confederate militia defending the salt works. We used a mixture of Union Infantry and some dismounted cavalry from our “Plains Indian Wars” forces, to portray the Federal raiders.


Confederate militia cavalry rides to the succor of the salt works defenders.


Confederate militia cavalry rides to the relief of the defenders. And yes, there are two dark faces among the militia cavalry, either free blacks or armed servants. We made use of gray-clad mounted figures from a number of armies, including irregular horse from the Zulu Wars!

Union Marine raiders advance against Confederate militia defenders of the salt works.


Federal Marines, landed just up the coast, encounter Confederate militia defending one of the outlying buildings of the salt works. In the misty background, another unit of Union raiders is moving onto the battlefield.


Unfortunately the Federal navy was unequal to the task of landing the troops together, right at the town. Apparently they had been confused by strong winds and currents and the boats scattered the landing party up and down the coast. For each unit which arrived at the battlefield, the Union commander had to dice to see where it entered the game table. The navy’s boats were also only able to land two units per turn.

The salt works are under attack from two Union units, one of US Marines (first rank) and the second of sailors


The salt works in the center of the field were threatend by two Union units uner the command of Ed Sansing – shown above. One unit was composed of US Marines (first rank) and the second of sailors (being played, for this game, by British Victorian naval brigade figures). After suffering from the volleys of the two Union units, the Confederate militia defenders morale failed and they fled from the field.

Confederate militia attack the Union Marines. The Southerners failed to close and fell back into the woods.


Bill Hamilton’s Confederate militia charge out of the woods to attack the Union Marine raiders. They would fail their “To close” morale test and fall back into the woods again.

Another unit of Confederate militia, having arrived as reinforcements, exchanges fire with some of the Union Marine raiders.


Another unit of Confederate militia, having arrived as reinforcements, exchanges fire with some of the Union Marine raiders. All of the Confedrate reinforcements (2 milita units were allowed to start on the field) had to come up the road, entring from the exreme Confederate right rear. While the Rebel units were twice the number of the Yankees, they dribbled onto the battlefield.

After advancing closer, the Confederate and Union units trade another volley.


After advancing closer, the Confederate and Union units trade another volley. This time the Confederate attack is supported by a unit of dismounted militia cavalry (right background).


In The Sword and the Flame as well as this variant, 20-sided dice are rolled, one per firing miniature, to determine fire casualties. The brightly colored dice are being pointed to by one of the players: “That’s a hit! – No, you are not reading the dice properly….”

Regular confederate infantry advances to recover the salt works from the Union occupiers.


The single unit of regular confederate infantry advances to recover the salt works from the Union occupiers. They are also supported by a unit of dismounted militia cavalry (left background). Between the two Confederate units, they were able to reduce the Union raider’s strength significantly enough that the Union troops could not complete their destruction of the salt works.


Confederate Player Briefing


The blasted Yankees are landing on the coast to destroy the salt works at Cedar Key. You must stop them. Your forces are four militia cavalry units, two militia infantry units and one unit of regulars that happened to be in the area.

Only two of the militia units may be set up on the battlefield, anywhere that you like. The other units must come on from the edge of the table on the road. You may roll a D6 at the start of each turn. If you get a “1” then you receive no reinforcements. If you get “2 – 5” then one reinforcing unit may come on. If you get a “6” then two reinforcing units may come on, again, on the road.

There are three buildings on the table, all part of the salt works. You must safeguard them all. The enemy will try to destroy them. It will take more than one turn of work, as the vessels in which the salt is rendered are quite sturdy.


And the Winner is…

The result of the game was that the Yankees were too hard-pressed by the constant flow of Southern Militia units to destroy the buildings housing the salt works. Their requirements of “Three turns work by ten men” (unkown to the southern defenders) was too much for the Federals. In the future, the salt works will be more lightly constructed!

New TSATF Rules Variant Play Test

The Jackson Gamers gathered at Jay’s house today, Labor Day, to test a new variant of The Sword and the Flame rules which Jay calls The Sword and Secession.  From the title you would be correct in presuming that it is an American Civil War variant.

As Jay states, “This is an adaptation … for use in gaming the smaller actions and raids during the War of the Rebellion.”  And he further states, “But for every great Bull Run or Wilderness, there were a hundred small cavalry actions, naval landings, and foraging expeditions.”

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