Monday, 14 December 2015

Why do we wargamers let companies get away with this crap?

The following is the reason I've given up on Warlord Games rules in general and "Pike & Shotte" in particular. Why the hell should the questions raised in the following post need to be asked about a rules supplement dedicated to the Thirty Years War?

Warlord forum question on the "Devil's Playground" supplement.

And the questions still haven't been answered - really taking the piss at the cost of the supplement!!!

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Somewhere in Northern Spain Late 1813ish Part Three

Well we finally finished the game this week. It ultimately went for 20 turns and ended in a draw - both sides choosing to leave the field and managing to recover all their routed units so we'll be on to game two in the New Year.
I think it's fair to say that we have both been impressed with how these rules work, and Dave might add his thoughts in the comments below, but for me it has been all about the impact of the Brigadiers. The two French "victories" in melee were brought about by taking advantage of either their own general's positive tactical modifier or the negative modifier of the British general. In addition to this, when it came to rallying lost units after the game, the French brigadiers' positive "Vigour" modifier were crucial.
The four lost units (2 British and 2 French) all needed to throw 3s to be recovered for the next game. Dave saved the two British units with no problem, but I threw 2s for both of mine and fortunately these were modified to 3s by the Brigadiers' vigour. In this battle there was definitely something to be said for sticking your bicorne on your sword (just don't Dave, please just don't) and shouting "Vive l'Empereur!"
So here's the position at the end of the game.......

On the Allied right flank, the isolated French veteran unit was disposed of as predicted in the last instalment.

In the centre Ross's battery continued to block egress from the village, but the 53rd were perhaps fortunate that night came. They ended in square in the face of the French horse battery and a unit of dragoons.

On the Allied left the rifles re-entered the wood and posed a threat to the horse battery and supporting chasseurs. The KGL dragoons turned about to threaten to support the rifles and 53rd, whilst their attached horse battery threatened the French hussars who had managed to rally off some of the damaged caused to them earlier.

The following three pictures show the closing position from the French perspective:

I think the verdict was "bloody brilliant" - kudos to Sam Mustafa for these rules.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Somewhere in Northern Spain Late 1813ish Part Two

We've had a couple more sessions on this game and have got to the end of "Normal Time" which is 16 moves. The subtleties of these rules are really beginning to come through now, especially with regard to generals' ratings.
On the Allied left there were some cavalry melees which ultimately resulted in one regiment of the KGL dragoons routing. Although they were shock cavalry and had an advantage in the number of dice thrown, they were ultimately undone by their general having a poor tactics rating meaning that whilst they hit on 5s, the French hit on 4s. When a general directs combat by using his own good tactical rating or (as in this case) the opponent's poor rating, he puts himself at risk - in this case the French cavalry general survived.
In this photo it can been that the Allied left flank is now covered by the horse battery attached to the KGL dragoon brigade. Their roundshot was enough to make the unit of French chasseurs that had done the damage rout as they had been pretty well cut up in the process. The rifles can also be seen withdrawing from the wood.
In the centre the a general's tactical ability told again with the French brigadier using his own bonus to direct a combat which resulted in the 43rd being routed out of the village. We've started to realise how important an ability this!
Ross' battery has redeployed in front of the village and although their firepower is insufficient to cause any damage to the French infantry inside, it is making them think more than twice about advancing towards the objective. The 52nd have now deployed in square next to the battery as they are faced by a unit of French dragoons. As a result they are taking some damage from the French horse battery in the top left corner, but they are both a large unit AND managing to rally the hits off.

On the Allied right a  lone French battalion has assaulted the cacadores to its front. Although it is of decent calibre, it took damage on the way in, partly because of having a poorer skirmish factor, and took another two hits in the melee. It is now one hit away from routing with the French to go next. If they retire they will not be able to rally off a hit and if they do stand and rally AND there is a further move, the cacadores will either go in with cold steel and probably annihilate them or try to inflict the necessary damage point from shooting.  In either case I think I've thrown away one of my few veteran units.
On the French side of the field the 3 remaining units of the cavalry brigade  are sitting in front of the RHA battery.  The lead hussar unit is one hit away from routing and really needs to get the hell out of dodge next move!

The 52nd's situation from the French point of view. They are in square due to the presence of the French dragoons and are being constantly hit by roundshot from the French battery.

The French look pretty strong on their left, but most of their infantry is conscript, the previously mentioned veteran battalion's morale is on the verge of collapse and another veteran battalion has effectively been wasted because it was deployed in loose order (irregular formation in LaSalle) to get through the woods. The foot battery looks impressive, but it is effectively firing roundshot blindly into the woods in the hope of doing some damage to the cacadore unit hiding inside.

The hussars to the rear thinking "We're going to have to take their place in front of that artillery now aren't we? - are we? - really?"

 And finally a shot of the  52nd and Ross' battery blocking egress from the village and preventing an advance on the objective, which is behind the artillery.

So we are into extra time and all we know for certain is that there is going to be one more French move. The score so far is: France 2 (one unit of chasseurs a cheval) breakpoints received against a total of 9, but they are in imminent danger of receiving another 4 if the battle goes beyond the one extra move ; Allies 5 (one large cavalry unit and one infantry unit) breakpoints against a total of 7, but with little threat of any further immediate losses.
I think we are both quite enjoying this - the campaign scenario puts a totally different slant on everything!!