Posts for Tag: game report

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!

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 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.

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.

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

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.

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 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.

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.

Zeppelin Troopen enter the camp.

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

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.

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.

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…

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.

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

The bloody ruins.

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

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

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.

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

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

The action begins!

More troops are involved.

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

A view down the battlefield later in the game.

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 its 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

On the Russian right, the first of two defensive worksthe great redoubthas 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.