Sunday, 19 November 2017

Longstreet 4 Player Campaign Game 1 - Battle of Seven Oaks

At the height of the action at the Battle of Seven Oaks as the Yankees looked to be breaking the Rebel right dispersing a regiment an unnamed Confederate Officer rallying his Alabamians yelled, “Look Boys! Over yonder there’s Colonel Leghorn standing firm like a picket fence!” his men gathered around the Stars and Bars fluttering proudly in the breeze and the tide of battle turned decisively in favour of the Men of the South…

After this anecdote was relayed through the ranks of the Confederate troops Colonel Leghorn was oft referred to as ‘Picket Fence Leghorn’!

Dave, Stu, Al and I hit the ground running with our second four player Longstreet Campaign last Monday. Instead of three games we're going for the full nine we'll play the second in a fortnight while the momentum is up.

Not listing the forces for this game as we're all starting with the same base force of three infantry regiments, a cavalry regiment and an artillery battery. We've all got characters and a State we'll be associated with, here’s everybody’s details;

Alan - Colonel Firefly from Massachusetts (European Service & Artillery Officer)
5th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry
9th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry
14th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry
2nd US Cavalry
4th Battery Light Artillery

Dave - Colonel Leghorn from Alabama (Scout and Cavalry Officer)
3rd Alabama Infantry
1st Alabama Infantry
14th Alabama Infantry
1st Alabama Volunteer Cavalry
1st Battalion Alabama Artillery

Peter - Colonel Clampett from Tennessee (Drillmaster & Artillery Officer)
14th Tennessee Infantry
7th Tennessee Infantry
Walkers Legion
2/22 Tennessee Cavalry
Baxters Artillery Company

Stu - Colonel Zook from New York (Political Savvy & Indian Wars)
Good on Stu for picking a real dude unlike the rest of us clowns!
52nd New York Infantry German Ranger or Sigel Rifles
53rd New York Infantry D'Epinuil Zouaves
57th New York Infantry National Guard Rifles
2nd New York Volunteer Cavalry
Harris Light Battery B, 1st New York Light Artillery

The CSA with Dave as CIC won the scouting roll and chose to defend. The two scenarios laid out side by side were the Hilltops and the Wheatfields. So began the Battle of Seven Oaks.

Early moves saw the USA advance along the line with the intent of forming a grand battery around a hill in the centre of their line. The CSA right advanced along the line and deployed a battery on their extreme right. The CSA left swung their flank toward the USA advance and their cavalry saw the red mist at the sight of limbered Yankee guns and they advanced directly at them!

The first CSA Cavalry charge fell on the Yankee guns and horse on the vital central hill, the USA guns and horse were driven back. The CSA right and USA left also clashed and the 14th Massachusetts was hammered by the 3rd and 14th Alabama Regiments. USA cavalry then counter charges the CSA Cavaliers driving them from the central hill.

The USA left recovered from their losses deployed their guns and moved infantry into a position to attack the Rebels. Simultaneously the Confederate right did the same. Then while the USA guns fired the infantry attacked, they were successful but either side of their charge another Southern attack rolled forward the Yankee infantry holding but their artillery was driven back and put out of the action!

While these attacks played out the USA right and CSA left charged and counter-charged around the central hill the Rebel cavalry being beaten soundly!

With the USA right advancing along the line the left launched a great attack routing the 14th Alabama and boy could those lads run! Meanwhile Yankee horseman charged the 1st Alabama Infantry in the flank, they shrugged them off and withdrew with minimal loss!

Late in the day the CSA right under the steadfast Colonel Leghorn held an Union attack while a charge by Rebel infantry and cavalry devastated a USA infantry regiment leaving a gap in both side lines! This combined with attacks by the pushed the Union forces to their breaking point and the Battle of Seven Oaks cam to an end!

A sound win to the Confederate state of America!

A good fast paced game, everyone got into the spirit of things and there was some fluid movement. The issue of charge or move was agonised over on more than a few occasions! I’m pretty sure we got all the rules right and the game was followed by an entertaining Campaign Phase where units recovered stragglers, then lost men to desertion, disease etc., played the campaign cards which awarded everything from artillery reinforcements to new leader personality traits and then fresh units were deployed to bring our forces up to their minimum strength! All this completed and in the space of about four hours. The decision was unanimous we’ll be playing game two next fortnight!

I'll note we have deviated from the multiplayer rules in that we are allowing non CIC players to use blue interrupt cards against an opponent they are engaged with but only the CIC can play red interrupt cards. A maximum of one interrupt against an player per phase is allowed, i.e. two non phasing players can play one interrupt each against their opposites. This just allow non CICs some interaction!

A good game was played by all except maybe me! I'm not going to analyse each players actions but I'll say I became obsessed with capturing the central hill with my cavalry. This lost me the 2/22 Tennessee Cavalry Regiment and locked my infantry in place when they should have been advancing a big mistake! I won't let that happen again! Also I'd like to congratulate Dave on a very good plan and some of the best dice rolling I've seen!

Unfortunately I didn't take the usual number of pictures I do during a game as I was concentrating on rules and score keeping anyway here's what I got that came out okay...

On the Hilltops battlefield the Yankees toward the top advance cautiously...

While on the Wheatfields battlefield both sides push forward vigorously, Rebs are closest!

Rebel cavalry charge up the small hill pushing back the Yankee guns and cavalry...

In the Wheatfields the Rebs in the foreground jostle with the Yanks to line up charges!

Results of both sides charges among the wheatfields, two Yankee regiments are successful in the centre wheatfield either side of them Reb regiments push back Yank artillery and infantry

Finally Colonel Clampett moves the bulk of his boys forward, they are in the foreground!

End of game the Confederate right the Rebs are closest

End of game the Union centre right the Yanks are closest

End of game the Confederate left the Rebs are closest

Next Fortnight we'll play campaign Game two, I'll list the revised forces and after the Post Game process then!

Friday, 13 October 2017

Longstreet - House Rules Test AAR

Monday night we used one of my previous Longstreet Campaign games to test the proposed House Rules for Morale and a Move/Charge phase. When this game was first played the out numbered Rebels on the attack actually scored a win over the Yankees, they were lucky with cards and the 'Rebel Yell' cards were telling. This time it was the reverse the Yankees had more luck in cards and with the dice which gave the Southerners a hill that was just too steep to climb and they lost.

The important thing was the House Rule tests It turned out the Morale rule did favoured the defender as it affected forward motion more than expected. But on the night the dice heavily favoured the Yankees and they had more units with less than 6 bases than the Rebels, well initially at least. So perhaps it needs to be looked at as it did affect the flow of the game but maybe we've been spoiled with previous games even units down to two bases advancing gaily into the teeth of enemy fire with barely a thought of retiring? The Move/Charge rule was only played once so really didn't get a run so there was really no way to determine the affect of it on game playability (is that a word!). The short of it I will do some more solo testing before running these up the flag pole again!

The AAR Longstreet - The Wheat Fields 1863

The sides face off Yankees defending to the left Rebels on the move to the right!

The Union troops kept up a steady and VERY successful bombardment... the Rebels advanced!

Even before meeting the Northerners the Rebels had taken many casualties and were having to redeploy their batteries (bottom left of next picture).

The Yankee line erupts again pouring withering fire into Johnny Reb!

Reb left flank at the ready to charge!

Reb right flank stuck in the crops...

The Yankees pushed back but not broken! A coloured unit retreated through two white regiments causing losses!

The Union troops reoccupy their front to charge the Confederates!

The Yankees counter charge and push the Rebs past their breaking point!

Well the consensus (I think) was to play some more Longstreet next week so we'll go with a four player game using I think just the standard rules!

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Wings of Glory Again!

Last fortnight we dragged out the WoW WW I aircraft collection and the three of us donned our flying caps, goggles, scarves and fake moustaches and 'set off into the wild blue yonder...'

We played a couple of free for all games to get into the rules, a Sopwith Camel, an Albatross and a SPAD maneouvered around the tabletop going at each other!

Game 1 the SPAD triumphed.
Game 2 no one won! Last turn saw the 2 Camels shoot each other down going head to head!

Then out came the Gotha! We each gad a go at crossing the table top flying the Gotha against two Camels!

Game 1 ended with an exploding Gotha, the Camels took quite a bit of damage!

Game 2 ended in the second Gotha blowing up as well this time the camels took light damage.

Game 3 and the Gotha made it! One camel was shot down in the action.

Next time we have a WoW night I'll read up the trench, ground fire and bombing rules and we'll try those!

Keep gaming!

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Captain Darling and the Great Antipodean Adventure

Captain Darling and the Great Antipodean Adventure
The Very Australian Civil War
Or a bit more accurately;
A Rather Violent Australian Civil Disturbance...

Well I'm off on another whim! I'm embarking on a new skirmish game campaign featuring Captain Darling! Even though the good Captain will be involved I'll be posting these games here on the TSOG Blog as it takes place after the age of Victoria and Steam!  This idea came about after I bought some already painted VBCW Warlord and Footsore figures recently for use as WW II partisans but then I thought to myself, "Hey why not combine them with my WW I Aussies and a few WW II Brits for some 'Very Australian Civil War' action?". I also have some vehicles that would be suitable plus it would be fun to make up some armoured civilian vehicles. Of course the Captain will be a little older well not much as he appears to age slowly (sinister music) but he'll feature in the story line and even the battles! Yeah I know I still haven't even finished the Russians Are Coming Campaign yet but never fear it's still on the go and will continue to its conclusion!

Australia in the 1920's and 1930's due to its sparse population density and an overall low level of industrialisation was not likely to be able to maintain a fully fledged war of State against State engulfing the continent even if the intent existed. That said there were examples of political extremism and even secession during the period. I'm thinking I would like my 'Australian Civil War' to have a some sort of grounding in actual history so I'll be setting it in 1932 with such events in mind. I envisage the constitutional crisis in NSW during 1932 as a trigger sparking off a violent conflict between Unionists and the Conservative Federal Government of the time. Various Political and Religious factions will obviously make appearances as they take advantage of the chaotic situation to put their two cents worth in, or in the currency of the time their tuppence worth in!

May 12 1932 and Captain Darling reclined in his Chesterfield sipping on a fine port, drawing on a hand rolled cheroot and perusing his favoured broadsheet. As he read he wriggled in his seat and the supple leather conformed to his every movement he sighed with content as he sunk further and further into the lounge. He shook his head as yet again the headlines were filled with news of the continuing constitutional crisis in NSW. He thought to himself the sooner the Governor of NSW dismissed the Leftie Pinko Premier Lang the better, he made a mental note to himself to write a missive to Governor Sir Philip Game on the morrow. At this point he decided to 'pull stumps' and retire as he believed tomorrow could be a very long day....

I'll flesh out the infamous constitutional crisis that occurred in NSW during 1932 in future posts on this campaign but if you're interested there's quite an good account of it on Wikipedia...

Here's a picture of some of the vehicles and figures that'll be getting a run in this campaign!

Oh not sure whether I'll go with TW&T or FUBAR rules for this campaign still thinking about that. Also I may devise an end of game process where troops may 'evolve' (or perhaps even devolve) as the campaign continues...

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Longstreet House Rules - Morale & Move/Charge Phase

My mates and I are looking at starting a full nine game campaign after the success of our three game pre-Gettysburg one. For this campaign though I'm going to see if there's interest in a couple of House Rules before we start...

House Rule One
I have always thought in Longstreet our Regiments always fighting to the last man...we'll last stand at least without a single hesitation to get stuck in isn't quite right. Now I don't want to break a game I really enjoy but I've tried quite successfully a simple set of morale rules that don't add much game time and add in flavour where depleted units aren't so eager to charge and get you that extra Epic Point!

There is a morale phase at the beginning of each player turn.
Any Infantry or Cavalry regiments (ignore Artillery) that have 5 or fewer bases roll 1D6.
The Die modifiers for this roll are; -1 if in cover -1 if any leader is attached.
If the result is greater than the number of bases in the regiment it fails its morale for that turn.
Failure means that unit can't charge this turn or move closer to any enemy units, it can fire, move sideways, move to the rear, change formation etc...
A natural 6 on the morale roll means that the unit withdraws at 1/2 speed directly to the rear retaining facing (it will keep going to clear any units) this is done at the beginning of the action phase regardless of the option the player selects Charge, Move or Pass...

House Rule Two
Every person I introduce these rules too has the same comment, a bit like when someone first enters the TARDIS and says 'hey it's bigger on the inside' for Longstreet they say 'what do you mean my units can't move and charge in the same turn?!?'. So here it is I've introduced a forth option for players in addition to Pass, Move and Charge...the Move & Charge option! It costs double the cards though so watch your card burn rate! This House rule hasn't been fully tested yet so unlike House Rule One this one is open to tweaking.

To initiate a Move & Charge phase the player must discard TWO cards. This enables units to be able to move OR charge in this phase.
A THIRD card must be played to enabled Difficult Charges/Moves.
A FORTH card may be played to assist either the charges or the moves being carried out in the phase.
i.e.  a card enabling extra movement and another card enhancing a charge is not allowed, you can only assist either the moves or the charges with a card.
All Charges must be nominated and completed before the Move 'moves' are carried out.
Stacking must be adhered to at all times at the end of the charge move so a charging unit CAN NOT occupy any part of the the footprint of another unit, even if said unit will eventually move out of its current location latter in the phase.

I'll put these to the guys and look forward to seeing their reaction. All four people that are involved have played Longstreet before, all enjoy the game and all have been puzzled by the inability of forces to move & charge at the same time so their reactions will be interesting. I'll post what they say and then of course when we eventually start the campaign if we go ahead with either of these I'll keep everyone up to date!