Wednesday 22 May 2024

Ravenfeast AAR - Scenario Back to the Boats!

Monday night (May 22) we tried a new set of rules, Ravenfeast and played a Dark Ages skirmish.

We used the first scenario in the rules book called ‘Back to the Boats’. We played the game with two rival Anglo Saxons war bands. The smaller (blue) force had to exit a Lord/Hero from the opposite table edge to the one they started on with at least half their war band to gain a major victory, exiting just a Lord or a Hero would gain them a minor victory anything else was a victory to the other side (the red side), there was no turn limit.

Lord Neugegg commanded the smaller blue force of 301 points;
1 x Lord                                           
1 X Hero Hearthguard                     
2 x Hearthguard                              
2 x Veteran Fyrd                              
3 x Fryd                                           
2 x Bowman                                    

Lord Copley commanded the main red blocking force of 255pts
1 x Lord                                              
2 x Hearthguard                               
2 x Veteran Fyrd                               
3 x Fryd                              
2 x Bowman

And Sheriff Galloway commanded the flanking red forces trying to block Lord Neudegg;
2 groups of totalling 248 points each comprised…
1 X Hero Hearthguard                     
1 x Hearthguard                               
2 x Fyrd                                              
1 x Bowman

The tabletop layout, blue is where Lord Neudegg deployed...

The AAR, or should I say Saga...

It was a miserable wintery day as Lord Neudegg lead his hearty war band on a foraging foray to the north of their hillfort, all did not bode well though and evil portents gathered from the gloom. Sensing the direness of their situation the Lord and his men were struck by an uneasiness, fearing for their lives and hastily turned south to regain the safety of their encampment!

They felt danger with good reason, Lord Copley whose own 'Kingdom' was nearby had heard tales of Lord Neudegg's sortie and had struck out with all his available fighters to bring him to his knees and either gain his allegiance or dispatch him for the scoundrel he was.

The sun broke through the dreary clouds as Lord Neudegg sighted his foes, he roared to his breathren, "Ye foes are to our left, to our right and also before us, charge into yon valley of death my brave men and gain glory in defeating our wretched enemies!" (hmmm Shakespearean Tennyson type Dark Age speak interesting). Lord Neudegg's noble few charged forward while archers covered their flanks!

Lord Copley seeing his enemy told his men to prepare to receive a charge and signalled his lackey the Sheriff Galloway to take Lord Neudegg in the rear (ouch!)!

A fierce struggle ensued where every one of Lord Neudegg's retinue was slain, epic struggles took place here and there on the field of glory as several Heroic figures clashed with their lessers and took many a good man to their grave, after this slaughter Lord Copley and Lord Neudegg faced off man to man, well actually Lord Neudegg faced Lord Copley accompanied by several of his warriors and in a spectacle to end the ages they fought long and hard in the end Lord Copley prevailed!

Some Pictures

Lord Copley's war band in the foreground awaits the charge from their foes!
Sharp eyed may notice since I don't have any painted Anglo Saxon archers so some suspiciously ancient Germanic looking guys are standing in!

On rushed Lord Neudegg's men, uncharacteristically both the Lord and his 'Heroic' offsider Bob are in the last rank...WHAT!?!

Our field of glory! Lord Neudegg's Band can be seen in the central position...

Archers loose! In general the archers performed badly and we quickly realised they are best used to pick off lowly types as armoured warriors save/armour factors are too high!

Lord Neudegg's men avoid the four man 'shield wall' Lord Copley had created and picked off easier targets hoping to break through to the exit area! Not sure you can form a shield wall with four blokes but I suppose the term adds character and perhaps they are just huddling close for support?

The Sheriff's men quickly catch up with Lord Neudegg!

Lord Neudegg and a few of his war band break through the defensive line victory is in sight!

Lord Neudegg's men are cut down...

...he (on the left below) is engaged by Lord Copley (on the right with red and black shield with a white bit…)

Outnumbered...

…Lord Neudegg is felled...or is he?

Afterwards Stuff

Well the game played well, even though this was our first go at these rules everything ran smoothly and quickly, we only referred to the rules themselves a couple of times and the only thing we couldn't find in the rules we easily resolved! Did the rules play out historically we're not that sure but it felt like a brawl with is probably what you'd expect from a group of blokes some in mail with shields, swords, spears and bows! A Lord vs Lord fight could go on for quite a while both hitting on 5 or less on D6s and saving hits on 5 or less on D6s and needing three successful hits! In our game once Lord Neudegg was alone and surrounded by foes his demise was only a matter of time...well did he actually die or was he just left bruised in a pool of blood, I think we may see him again in future Ravenfeast games!

Sunday 21 April 2024

Blucher AAR Day One of the Battle of Kulm

Monday April 8 we played a Napoleonic game using Blucher rules, this is the first time we've used these rules in ages! There were three of us on the night so Dave took the Russian side, George took on the French and I would umpire!

The scenario is based on day one of the Battle of Kulm, day two becomes quite a one sided affair but day one poses an interesting situation. A quick summary of the situation; the Battle of Dresden had been won by Napoleon and the Allied Armies are retiring, a French Corps believing the main French Army was pursuing the Allies moved to cut off their retreat. So we have Marshall Vandamme's Corps deploying into battle against the Allied Army's Advanced Guard of Russians led by General Ostermann-Tolstoy.

In the game victory can be achieved by occupying Straden and Priesten after 20 Plyer Turns or breaking the enemy Army.

    How the game unfolded;

Both sides initial moves are arrows outlined in black and their later moves are the arrows outlined in yellow...red 'blasts' are where close combat or volley duels ensued...

The Battle

The French advanced rapidly and planned to weaken the Russians with artillery and skirmish fire before closing in to defeat them with cold steel, the Russians decided to used the stream as a defence line and hold the required towns at all costs!

Unfortunately for the French there plan was scotched by the Dice Gods, they successfully closed to skirmish range and then proceeded to roll a lot of shite dice, at one point they had got a single 6 after rolling 54 dice! Meanwhile the Russian artillery was hitting the advancing French regularly and their Units advanced to the stream as planned.

With turns running out the French advanced to get in close and things started to get better for them. They captured Straden and finally got some 6's while using volley fire. Several Russian units were hit hard and the Russian 14th Division was virtually obliterated! The Russians then used Guardsmen to recapture Straden at bayonet point, pinned the French horsemen and pulled their right flank back away from the now rampaging French! It was looking dodgy for them but the French were out of time. The Russians had held on as required!

At the end of the 20th Player Turn the Russians occupied both the objectives but had lost 4 Units and had several teetering on destruction, the French dropping just short of breaking them!

A Russian victory!

Some Pictures...

The battlefield at the games start the Russians in the foreground, the Units are all concealed.

The French advance on Straden, the pre attack fire had worn the defenders down to a single fatigue Point!

On the French left they advanced rapidly and despite the Russian artillery raining death on the columns started pushing the Russian flank back.

In the centre of the battlefield the French (in background of picture) engaged the Russian 14th Division with Volley fire, one Brigade is destroyed and the second retired with a single Fatigue Point left!

The overall battlefield situation after 10 of the 20 Player turns the French are to the left, for the attacking French half the game was gone neither objective had been captured and no Russian Units had been destroyed at this point, not looking good!

The French after taking Straden were ejected by the Russian Guard, below the French assault Straden a second time but on this occasion the Russians hold on!

The Russian left flank during the second half of the game was in disorder, Units were everywhere, the artillery was running low on ammo and the French were closing in!

On the Russians right flank they hold Straden but their Units are not well placed, many have taken losses and the French are across the stream! At this point the French ran out of time, a Russian victory.

The original Blucher Dice Shako got a good workout on the night!

So a good night, the French suffered from very poor dice rolling and there game was pretty much consigned to the dustbin because of it! This is not an easy scenario for the French to win but it is definitely possible, in this game they inflicted a lot of casualties on the Russians so a good tactic would be to try to win by destroying Units threatening the objectives the Russians must hold onto. 

We decided we would play Blucher again next fortnight!

Lastly we would like to thank Tim who runs a great blog called Tales from a Wargame Shed for sharing this scenario for everyone to use! He has a lot of scenarios for various rule sets on his site, here is a link...

Tales from a Wargame Shed Link

Sunday 31 March 2024

War of the Roses Battle - Impetus AAR

Still catching up on old AARs!

Monday March 25 Maurice hosted us for a War of the Roses Game, George and I played the House of York and David an Maurice were representing the House of Lancaster, we used Impetus rules.

The deployments saw the Yorkists place some horse in the centre and left with foot of varying quality in support, The Lancastrians set up all their horse on their right with their artillery and their best foot in support then varying quality of foot along the rest of the line.

The battle unfolded with the Yorkist centre and right advancing whilst the Lancastrian opposing centre and left did too, this lead to the lesser Lancastrian units up against a mixed lot of Yorkist ones, the better quality Yorkists units began to win. This then led to a rash charge by the Lancastrian horse on their right which failed and the redeployment of much the infantry on the right to the centre where it was ground down. The Lancastrian left at this point 'broke' and their army decided withdrawal was the best option, a victory to the House of York!

Some Pictures...

York placed its best horse unit in the centre, it literally rode down several Lancastrian foot units its placement was rucial as there were no horse to face them from the Lancastrian side...

Yorkists in the foreground advance!

The Yorkist's artillery proved useful, in the background you can just make out the foot from the Lancastrian left redeploying to boost their crumbling centre!

A close up of Maurice's fine figures!

The Commander of the Yorkists left is the foreground looking on as his troops hold off the late charge by the Lancastrian right...

Grinding melee went on all along the line...

The figures and terrain Maurice supplied were up to his usually high standard!

Thursday 28 March 2024

Wings of Glory (or War) Balloon Busting Session

Well two things; first we are getting way behind on posting our fortnightly gaming reports and secondly here is one!

On March 18 we unpacked an old friend the box of WW I Wings of Glory/War models! This session we thought we'd try our hands at a bit of balloon busting it turns out it is not as much fun as regular dogfighting but still well worth the time spent, we managed three games before sitting down to shoot the breeze!

Game 1; Al and I took on a Nieuport and a Spad XIII respectively and Dave and George both had Albatross Vs but with the task of guarding the balloon! I tried to flank the balloon and took a shot from Dave's Albatross at long range, I drew the explosion card! Al went straight at the balloon armed with rockets and with his first shot using both sets available blew the balloon to bits, he then turned and exited the play field being chased by Dave and Georges Albatrosses. George didn't even get a shot in!

Game 2; Again Al and I took on the Nieuport and a Spad XIII respectively, Dave had an Albatross V and George ran the Trench cards again they had the task of guarding the balloon! Again I went to flank the balloon and shot Dave in his Albatross down getting a Pilot kill, Al was shot down by ground fire then I made repeated sweeps and took Balloon out while everyone else sat around, a bit of a boring solitaire end to the game!

Game 3; We dumped the balloon and went for a dogfight 2 Fokker Triplanes vs two Sopwith Camels, it was fun with 'twisty turny' Dogfighting! Both the Fokkers were shot down in the end.

Some Pictures
Game 1 Lt Copley takes a deadly blast from Ritter Von Neudegg!

Game 1 Cpt Harrison's rocket blast the balloon from the sky...

...he survives to tell the tale!

Game 2 Lt Harrison is not so lucky and gets taken out by ground fire!

Game 2 and Lt Copley survives ground fire to take down the balloon...

Game 3 lots of dogfighting! Ritter Von Neudegg 'buys it!'...

Game 3 LT Copley is shot down by the Brit Fighters!

A good night as usual with these rules! More catchup AARs to come!

Monday 5 February 2024

Saxon sv Vikings battle AAR - Impetus Rules

Last Monday Maurice hosted an Impetus game for us, more importantly he also laid on some neat dinner!

Dave took command of the Vikings and I led the Saxons! It was quite a large battle and Maurice's figures and terrain were excellent.

It was a grinding action. The Saxons in the village which was the Vikings main object held out long enough for their right flank to defeat the Vikings facing them and bear down on the rear of the Vikings right!

Some pictures...

The Saxon right advances! 11 Units faced 5 Viking ones, but the latter were of better quality and included 2 units of vaunted Berserkers

The Viking Berserkers charged but were repelled and then overrun by the Saxons...hmmm...

The terrifying Vikings warriors then followed up the Berserkers and attacked and they too were repulsed!

On their other flank the majority of the Viking Army advanced on the village...

The defenders were out numbered but the Saxons in the village were the best the Army had to offer up!

Saxons counter charged the main Viking force!

Meanwhile the Viking left was overwhelmed, not a good day for the Norsemen!

The Vikings were held by the village defenders!
Here we found the fact units get locked in combat until one side or the other is defeated made it hard to deploy fresh second line units into the fray to beat worn defenders!

Another view of the fight for the village...

Close up of some of Maurice's excellent figures!

It was a close battle. We like the Impetus rule set, the combat takes getting your head around but once that is done it gives us a good fight that can be completed in an evening!