Tuesday, 12 July 2022

Trench Hammer War Game Rules Test

Hello! We have yet another set of rules we're having a go with, Trench Hammer. These are designed to cover tactical WW I warfare. These are similar to From Shakos to Coal Scuttles in that they are simpler and more streamlined than other rules, they also are a bit of a sandbox you can tweak them without breaking them!

This is not a full review but our general thoughts. Overall we like what we have here;
  • Initiative roll each turn
  • A die roll to determine command control each turn
  • Alternating activation during the turn, one side activates a unit (squad, single gun or vehicle)completes it action then the other side has a go until all commands are complete
  • Long Rang fire, short rang fir and then very short range close combat, with the latter two surviving targets shoot/fire back, all use the same system with different modifiers
  • Units accrue damaged (usually up to six points worth) before breaking, there are a couple of options to rally those points off
  • Officers at their risk can try extra actions
  • Covers Rifle Grenades, HMGs, Armour, Special Troop Types, Mortars and Field Guns 
Need to add;
  • Force Morale
Our 'game' was hypothetically set in the Caucasus, Mounted Aussie Light Horse and British Yeomanry supported by a (sort of) Hornet tank went up against a mixed Russian and Arab force. The tank (as it should be) was a powerful machinegun platform and unfortunately for the Russian they couldn't get their gun into action against it! Th Yeomanry fared badly in the initial advance but both the Arabs and Russians were slowly ground down by the tank with Light Horse support.

The Entente advance, George's mounted troops looked great!

Despite losses to the Yeomanry the advance ground down the defences, here the Arbs have been dispersed the Entente have occupied two buildings and the Russian gun is unable to get a shot at the Hornet!

Dismounted Aussie Light Horse deploying behind Lt Bruce's abandoned car...

The last of the defenders realise the 'jig is up'!

This game with 7 Entente Units against 8 Caucus Army Units played very quickly and we only really referred to the rules early on for the firing modifiers (which we pretty quickly memorised). These are a good set of simple rules that you can add as much chrome as you want to for a night of cut and thrust action. They could really be used for fights from the late 19th century to the Inter War period. At some point we'll list our modifications! Thanks for checking out the TSOG Blog!

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

WW I Wings of War/Glory Session...

Monday night due to Covid19 Quarantining we met at Dave's place, Great War Wings of War/Glory was on the agenda! The beauty of Wings of War/Glory is the playtime, we got three games in on the night and plenty of time for coffee/tea after! So each of us had a go as the bomber force!

The Mission;

A Caproni Ca.3 with a Nieuport 17 had to carry out a bombing run over a town AND return to the entry area.
Three German planes were tasked with shooting down the Caproni, two Albatrosses and a Halberstadt comprised their force.

The Outcome;

Game 1 Entente Victory
Game 2 Central Powers Victory
Game 3 Entente Victory

Some Pictures;

Very enjoyable! For some variety we had some random cloud movement this time and it worked well, the clouds movement was controlled by a scatter die and and D3 (six sided die with result divided by 2 rounded up).

Saturday, 4 June 2022

ACW AAR - the Battle of the Bridges - FS2CS Rules

With the great success of our ACW Test game using the From Shakos to Coal Scuttles Rules last Monday we played a two player game fielding two 12 Unit equally balanced forces in a meeting engagement! The objective of the game was to be in possession of the two bridges on the tabletop at the end of the game or break the enemy! We included the Exhaustion Rule this time to cover the 'breaking the enemy' victory condition and boy was this rule was telling in the exciting climax of the battle!

Confederate Gunners at work targeting Yankees...

The Forces

The Yankees;
1 x Command base Brigadier Copley
2 x Veteran (Elite in rules) Regiments - 3 bases each
5 x Trained Regiments - 4 bases each
1 x Raw Regiment - 6 bases
1 x Cavalry Regiment - 4 bases
2 x Artillery Batteries Early Rifles - 1 base each

The Rebels;
1 x Command base Brigadier Neudegg
3 x Veteran (elite in rules) Regiments - 3 bases each
4 x Trained Regiments - 4 bases each
1 x Raw Regiment - 5 bases
2 x Cavalry Regiments - 4 bases each
2 x Artillery Batteries Smooth Bores - 1 base each

The Battlefield

The Confederates started at the top of the below map and the Federals at the bottom.
The Rebels concentrated in the centre of the battlefield while the Yankees advanced on a broad front!


While a great battle raged the Leaders of both sides recognised the importance of two bridges over a stream that should be occupied to allow the easy transit of artillery and wagons in that area. Each side assigned troops to occupy them!
CSA Brigadier Neudegg was confident he could accomplish his task easily advancing on a narrow front his horsemen leading the way whilst the Union Commander, Brigadier Copley advanced his forces on a wide front with strong flanks hoping to envelope any opposition he may encounter while carrying out his mission. Importantly just as the battle commenced the Confederate Commander was incapacitated leaving the Southerners with no one in overall command giving the Yankees an edge!
The Southern horseman arrived at both bridges before anyone else, one Regiment  dismounting while the other remained mounted and ready to charge! Union infantry engaged both of them and under fire the cavalry retired from the crucial bridges.
Rebel infantry replaced the horsemen and a race to occupy the best positions along the stream began! Once in place the Regiments of both sides deployed into line and engaged their opposition! A frightful firefight commenced, the infantry exchanged volley after volley resulting in significant casualties! Several units suffered badly wavering and then falling back. The battle was in the balance as the exchange continued.
Then a great Hoorah emanated from the Union right flank a brave Regiment charged defeating the Rebels they faced and with artillery support they started rolling up driving in the Rebels line! The deadlock was broken s was the Confederate morale! The Southerners fled followed by the enthusiastic cheers of their Union foes...Hoorah!

Some Pictures...

The Confederates advance, their two Cavalry Regiments can be seen scooting ahead of the infantry toward the bridges!

The Federal Right moves forward...

......as does their left!

Brigadier Neudegg leads from the front during the approach and was injured, he was 'hors de combat' for the rest of the game, his Command Dice was lost! 

The Yankee centre advances.

View from the Confederate side as their Cavalry dismounts at their objective, the right hand bridge...

The same dismounted horsemen were driven back by two Regiments of Union infantry!

At the other bridge more Union infantry fire drove the Southern Riders back!

Rebel Infantry replaced their mounted brethren and crossed the left hand bridge putting pressure on the Union line.

Meanwhile the Union right flank attack started to pose the Rebs some issues!

A Southern Regiment also secured a stone wall near the bridge! Just beating a Union force there!

The Union upped the ante in this section of the field when one of their flanking Regiments started to envelope the Confederate position.

Flanked and under artillery fire the Rebels were driven back across the bridge and forced from the stone wall position, the Confederate left was literally in great disarray!

The Confederate right despite being pushed back from the bridge looked in better shape and were deploying into line to face the Federals!

A Confederate Regiment took position on high ground on the extreme right of the line and their volleys pushed back the Rebs facing them.

The Yankees left was preparing to launch an attack with a fresh Zouave Regiment when events on the other flank of the battlefield decided the action, the Confederate troops exhausted began to withdraw...

The end of game positions the broken Rebels are toward the top of the picture! 

A very close battle! Both sides were destined to break on Turn 8 due to their high levels of Disarray so whoever gained the Initiative for the turn was in big trouble. Dave and his Confederates drew the short straw and went first and at the end of the player turn the Rebels  reached their Exhaustion Point! The game played well and very quickly, once the basic rules were mastered we only had to check them occasionally! Our ''ACW period adjustments' worked well so once we get a full team of four players at a session we'll be playing a super 24 Units a side battle...I can't wait!

Just a point on the Exhaustion Rules, it reads as follows...
...with so many Units on the table we think the base level of 12 is too low unless we played an extraordinary battle on the night. Based on our experience we think with armies of 12 Units you should try 18 as a base and work from there, anyway that's what we'll do next time! This game both sides high level of disarray by Turn 8 saw them both set to roll over twenty dice each for their Exhaustion roll!

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

From Shakos to Coal Scuttles ACW Test Game

Monday night George and I tried the FS2CS Rules in the ACW period. We wanted to test all the rules so set a central objective and a one and a half hour time limit to make us advance and engage. Both sides had 9 units and 6 Command Dice. We set up a busy tabletop typical of the conflict, we also ensured there was the obligatory ACW stone wall 😊. The idea was to try every rule we could so we included some larger, smaller, elite and raw units.

At the end of the session and eight turns completed we were pretty happy that FS2CS would allow us to play a huge ACW battle on one of our Monday night sessions. Like any set of rules covering a broad time frame they will never be perfect for a particular period but this one worked okay so we'll definitely schedule it in for a Monday night!

Below are the changes we will be using for our ACW FS2CS games, some of these will also be used for other wars/time frames when we use FS2CS. Just a note for ACW games for which we use these rules we are assuming each foot unit is a regiment and each base within it represent around 125 soldiers.

FS2CS ACW Rules Updates:

Army Rating Leadership & Command Dice;
We will allow you to not use your leadership Dice when rolling Command Dice (a big call) but if you do include the dice allocated by Leadership in your Command Dice Roll include a D12 in the throw, if a '1' is rolled on the D12 subtract one from the Leadership value (minimum of ZERO) for the rest of the game, this indicates a Leader casualty. If your Leadership level is ZERO obviously you can disregard this, If your Leadership starts at say 3 this result could occur up to three times!
This is in addition to the existing Lead from the Front and Heroic leadership rules.

For the ACW period, we will have three formations for Foot/Dismounted Units;
Existing 'Advancing' Mode is really a March Column, it acts as per rules but may not move within 12" of an enemy unit in its Line of Sight. If it starts a movement phase within 12" of it must deploy from this formation.
'Attack Column' Mode will be 2 bases wide and at least have one base in a second rank, once a unit reaches only 2 bases in strength it may not use this formation, the remaining two bases automatically go to 'Battle' mode. This formation may turn up to 45 degrees before moving or charging, it moves the same distance as the 'Advance' Mode.
'Battle' Mode for Foot/Dismounted Units must have room to extend to a full single line to deploy and act as per the rules.
Interpenetration of foot units by foot units is allowed if they can clear the other at no penalty.
Interpenetration of horse units by horse units is allowed if they can clear the other at no penalty.
Interpenetration of artillery units by foot and horse units is allowed if they can clear the other at no penalty.
Single Base Units;
A unit reduced to a single base may still function as a 'Battle' mode unit, for this period many Regiments had very small compliments and still functioned, they are still able to merge with another unit as per the rules.

In addition to requiring a Shock Die to enter or move through Dense terrain a unit also suffers the Sparse terrain movement modifier i.e. 'Whenever a unit enters a sparse feature or begins a move within one, roll 1D6 per stand in the unit. For every 6, reduce the remaining available movement allowance of the unit by 1”. This can force a unit to halt, unable to move any further.'
Rear/Flank moves, when in 'Battle' formation units may move at half speed directly to the rear (retain facing) or directly to their flank, no oblique moves.
Infantry in 'Battle' mode may about face for free and follow it with either a move or fire.

Fire Combat;
Artillery firing directly at a Unit with a second rank receive a plus one die modifier.
Artillery firing directly at a Unit with a third rank or more receive a plus two dice modifier.
Artillery enfilading an infantry formation receive a plus one die modifier.
Note the first two modifiers above will encourage players to follow the usual formation doctrine used during the war of operating in extended lines.
Push Back Result, if a unit is in cover and receives a Push Back result they can at their discretion can take one level of Disarray per Push Back this replaces the 2" move(s).
Move & Fire Phase;
Units should be marked with Move or Fire 'markers' as they complete their action, we are doing this purely for our own administration purposes.
Marking Firing/Moving, unlimbered/Limbered Artillery bases, if an Artillery base moves replace it with the limber this indicates it moved so can't shoot, we are doing this purely for administration purposes so we don't accidently fire and move a gun!

LOS Clarification:
Two linear obstacles between firing units that they are not adjacent to block LOS

Important rules that can will be using to give units ACW character are;
The (Obligatory) Rebel Yell Rule, using two Shock Dice to activate a Rebel infantry unit to charge gives it two extra dice in the Impact Phase of the the Charge sequence.
Elite, these will be for Veteran units for ACW purposes, they can be no larger than three bases, Veteran units will also be hardened so have a Disarray rating of 5 and have a 50% chance of being Hesitant (role before the game).
Raw units are fresh eager ones, these will have only three Disarray as per the rules but can be five or six bases!

Some pictures from our 'game'! 

Our Battlefield, both sides objective was to control the bridge in the centre and we were playing to a fixed time of 1.5 Hours, in which we had 8 turns!

There were two formations for each foot and horse unit: 'battle' i.e. line and 'advancing' a single base wide column. Below you can see regiments of four bases in 'advancing' formation. for these ACW games we believe the latter required changes!

A Yankee Zouave Regiment in Line shooting it out with Rebels, they have two levels of Disarray as shown by the mini die. We are only going to allow single rank lines for our ACW regiments.

A Yankee regiment in trouble, it is up to four levels of Disarray (so will be required to retire next Union Moral Phase unless they reduce this total!) and in the sights of two Confederates Units!

Rebel Guns unlimbered and drawing fire from the Union troops, they ended up with three levels of Disarray, lesson learned, don't unlimber too close to the enemy!
In the foreground is the Confederate CiC.

If by chance you use FS2CS please let us know your thoughts on our thoughts!

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

WW II Wings of War/Glory Session

Monday night under Al's watchful eye we had a WW II Wings of Glory session!

This was a warm up for our next gaming night when we'll play some bombing scenarios as a reminder of the rules. We usually play WW I games with these rules and there are some significant differences between the two.

After a counter sort out Al and I boarded our Messeschmitts, Dave his Hurricane and George his Spitfire and it was chocks away!

Results at the end of Play were...

Pete shot down twice
George shot down once
Al shot down once
Dave not shot down

...so that's 2, 1, 1 and 0 which means I won I think!?!?!

Oh and Al supplied the excellent terrain boards and Dave dressed appropriately for the night in his old RAAF gear and the rest of us didn't!