Wednesday, February 1, 2017

2017 Games


2017 Games (Weeknights Red) + (Weekends Blue)
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January was unusually busy because of five Flight School Sessions. These were held so thirteen pilots including myself  would be more up to speed for the 3rd. BIG BoB on 28 January 2017.

1) Jan. 5 (Thursday) WWII Philippines
2) Jan. 8 (Sunday): SYW BAR (Day after Tundra Con) , Appleton, WI
3) Jan. 9 (Monday) Battle of Britain Flight School
4) Jan. 10 (Tuesday) Battle of Britain Flight School
5) Jan. 16 (Monday) Battle of Britain Flight School
6) Jan. 17 (Tuesday) Battle of Britain Flight School
7) Jan. 22 (Sunday) Battle of Britain Flight School
8) Jan. 26 (Thursday) Stargrunt II at John's
9) Jan. 28 (Saturday) 3rd. BIG Battle of Britain Game

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10) Feb. 2 (Thursday) Naval Thunder
11) Feb. 8 (Wednesday) Pirate Naval The Arrival
12) Feb 11 (Saturday) WWII Chain of Command (at Dan & Morgan's)
13) Feb. 15 (Wednesday) Pirate Naval The Finish
14 & 15) Feb. 18 (Saturday) Naval Descent + Pirate Naval
16) Feb. 23 (Thursday) 54mm SUDAN (BAR Colonial Rules)
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?) Mar. 11 (Saturday) Rescheduled Annual Light Troop Game at Keith's
?) Mar. 31-Ap. 1(Thur.-Sat.) 34th  Seven Years' War Weekend, S. Bend, IN
http://sywconvention.com/
Waterford Estates Hotel 1-574-272-5220

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?) Ap. 28-30 (Fri.-Sun.) HMGS Little Wars Convention, Lombard, IL

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?) May (Saturday Evening) 1st BIG 8th Air Force Mission

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?) Jul. 12-16 (Wed.-Sun.) Historicon, Fredericksburg, VA

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?) August 26 (Saturday Evening) 4th. BIG Battle of Britain Game

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?) September (Saturday) Annual BIG Colonial Game (Sudan or NW Frontier)

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?) October (?) Mordheim #2

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Sunday, December 4, 2016

IMAGINEERING UTTERLY NEW THINGS


Or --- What Happened When A Vexing Cold Attacked Me!


IT STARTED THIS WAY
December 3, 2016 was to be our annual Light Troop Game. It didn't happen because a disagreeable virus the night before laid me low. Rather than contaminate my pards, I called the host and he immediately thought it best to postpone the game to a later date. Everyone understood, especially the four friends I was driving to the game 1.5 hours away. I figured there was no way being in the close confines of a car would not get them contaminated.

THE WEEK BEFORE
Saw many of us getting miniatures collected and packed for the game. Mine remained on the table....

Especially Bad Squiddos regal and lovely 28mm Catherine The Great. 

She was not going to be Catherine The Great on December 3rd. However, she was going to be associated with Hinterland's 28mm Princess Victoria mounted Hussars just finished for the game.

Such fun to paint in the prior week.

Their dismounted counterparts including matching hair color were completed several years ago. Once upon a time they guarded Lady Diana Pettygree in the Annual Light Troop Game held at Randy F's.

Opinion: The ladies are styled historically and beautifully which I really appreciate --- rather than heroically or scantily clad. Sculpting females in a lovely way is needed too. How about it you designers out there?

THEN IMAGINEERING KICKED IN
John B. has mentioned an interest to do something post WWI in Russia. I fancy he may mean the Reds versus the Whites. I don't think he has any of either side yet. However, he completed twelve gorgeous and varied mounted and dismounted Cossacks for the cancelled game. They could feature in 1919-1925 Russia. And....

So could these 28mm Tiger Miniatures Bulgarians. These fellows appeared in my blog Story Expedition To Alexandrapour 3-5 years ago as Russians. To me they look like Russians of the era. Tents and buildings are from Miniature Building Authority.

The USA vendor is Recreational Conflict.

These riders have dismounted counterparts --- not shown.

WHO ELSE COULD BE FIELDED?

As I was taking photographs of the Russians, I remembered....

These 28mm USA infantry also suitable (close enough) with imagination. The USA, Canada and India sent Expeditionary Forces into Vladivostok and/or Murmansk in 1919 or so.

So here are Americans trotting down the scratch-built dock somewhere in conflicted Russia. Miniatures are from the collection of Der Alte Fritz, Jim P., artfully painted by his nephew Alex.

A few minutes later I wondered if my Japanese Special Naval Landing Force could also land? Though the SNLF did not exist until the 1930s, there were Japanese marines who looked like these fellows serving in The Boxer Rebellion. The Japanese were ardently anti-communist and did commit combatants into the region. These fellows are 28mms from Pulp Miniatures in Canada.

AND SO....

"Vill you join me to defeat the Red Menace and restore the monarchy?"


FROM DON FEATHERSTONE'S --- SOLO WARGAMING

"We wargamers are no less fallible than other human-beings to the pangs of sickness, so that there usually comes a time when Fate beats us in the dice throw and we are put on our backs and pushed around by surgeons, doctors, nurses and wives for varying periods. When recovery is just around the corner, Man displays an unfailing sign - his return to normalcy is heralded by a desire to resume some pastime or practice...." p. 148

CLOSING REMARKS

1. Imagineering allows latitude with uniforms and fictionalized history. Many of you do this with your 18th Century armies, don't you? Jim has Hesse-Seewald. I have Gallia. Michael has Litharus and so on. Close enough --- is often --- good enough --- and fun.

2. Catherine or whomever she may become is obviously a survivor of the Russian monarchy because she wears a proper 18th Century uniform. Here it is a retro ceremonial uniform. It just occurred to me I have Pulp miniatures who can double for her in more customary 1919 garments when in the field.

3. So as I write the day after the cancelled game, you see Don's words come true for me, "...to return to normalcy...to resume [wargaming]."

4. This also shows what we can do with our collections - cutting bindings of strict historicity - if we want to. It's liberating actually.

5. Will we do the above concepts? I don't know, but the idea is banked here for later withdrawal.

6. I haven't been able to do much but things are getting better. I may try to paint some 1/2400 Australian WWII destroyers later today. Easy does it. However, it would be better for a little while if I take a nap.

7. I did rest after posting this. Later the three destroyers were completed.

Here they are: Voyager, Vampire and Vendetta; late WWI British V Class destroyers eventually transferred to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). They served in WWII. Destroyers are easy. (GHQ 1/2400 scale)

8.What are you able to do when sickness strikes?

Your remarks are welcome below. Click on Comments.

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Prussians Attack French Supply Depot


Date: November 25, 2016
Genre: 28-30mm Seven Years' War
Location: Thuringia
Situation: French Supply Depot Attacked
Rules: See Photo Below
Batailles de l'Ancien Régime 1740-1763 {BAR}
Available here: http://oldregimerules.com/
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WE COMMENCE

Most armies think November is a poor campaign month. Prussia's Frederick II does not think so. In a lightning move, he formed two fast-marching columns to penetrate deep into Thuringia....


To destroy this French supply depot and on....

THE FRENCH RIGHT FLANK 

An adjacent powder magazine. Prussians appear in the hazy distance on the French right flank. BAR Version #1 uses speedy movement rates to get to grips faster. The leading regiment (Blue Hussars) started Turn 1 on the far side of the bridge. It cantered 18" adding a 24" road bonus travelling almost four feet in one turn! We like that.

In an effort to cave in the Prussians on the bridge road off image to the right, Colonel Bercheney's Hussars engaged the Prussian Black Hussars. The result at first was inconclusive. Meanwhile, the leading Prussian blue hussars swung off the road toward the depot off image to the lower left.

Next turn the Prussian Norman Dragoons erupted through a forest defile into the rear of Bercheney's horsemen. I did not see them on the Back Table because of a wooded area and because Morgan E. unintentionally blocked my view going about his duty playing the game. Had I seen them, I would have left before being overwhelmed.  Kudos to Jim P. commanding the Prussian dragoons!

Closer to the bridge another hussar action ensued trying to cave in the Prussians from another angle.

As the newly arrived Erbprinz Regiment held the extreme French right flank above.

The Erbprinz Regiment soon elected to contend the area solely within the hedged enclosure. It's Grand Division formerly on this side of the hedge was annihilated by the von Bungle Regiment.

Later von Bungle withdrew to the dry river bed because....

French and Austrian infantry from the Allied Back Table arrived west of the powder magazine and....

Advanced slowly stopping several times to engage in firefights. The Prussians lost a resolute battalion in the exchange. Meanwhile, von Bungle (not shown) struggled near the bridge due to vegetation encumbering it in the dry river bed.

French right flank stabilized.


THE FRENCH CENTER

Prussians march forward to the left of and toward the supply depot....

Closing on and soon engaging defenders.... 

 Such as a portion of Auvergne in the heavy stone enclosure.

 The stone wall reduced casualties from prodigious Prussian musketry.

When the Prussians moved closer....

 Auvergne having had enough withdrew out of harm's way --- for a while.

Then Languedoc arrived mid-afternoon directly into the compound by a series of D6 throws.


And took up a defensive position behind supply boxes.
Why? --- Prussians arriving in the upper left!

 Other Languedoc's split off to the right of the main building.

Close to 4:00pm half of Languedoc has become the new French left flank.
Why? Read about it next on....

THE FRENCH LEFT FLANK

To the left is an impassable ridge (east wall of the basement) on the French far left flank. As the French Guyenne battalion arrived, Fischer's Chasseurs a Cheval at first opposed onrushing Prussians and then shifted right....

Opposing Prussian riders heading forward in the this photo's top right.

This opened the way for opposing infantry to fire at each other. Though the Prussian Fusiliers won the initiative to fire first, the French used a Joker (fog of war) to fire first instead with deadly effect. The fusiliers with casualties removed fired next. Afterwards they withdrew to the building and fenced area in the upper right.

And shown in the upper left of this photo. 
Meanwhile, Fischer's Chasseurs charged Prussian cavalry opposite them.  

Result: The Chasseurs won on the right and lost on the left.
But---more Prussian infantry is marching forward.

 Guyenne shifted from the left side of the tower to it's right to oppose them.

 As you see here.


Back to the far left French flank again. Fischer's last light horsemen and their former opponents have rallied and reorganized as Prussian dragoons thunder down the road toward the stone building.

A few turns later surviving Fischer's Chasseurs charged into the same Prussian cavalry they had engaged earlier. The initial clash went well enough but you see newly arriving Prussian dragoons.


These fed into the melee next turn causing the end of Fischer's last light horsemen.
Here is the thing!
See that road leading out of the photo's lower left? We reasoned the Prussians would go down that road onto the French Back Table. Afterward there was nothing to stop them riding into the rear of the French Army. Nothing. Plus....

Guyenne and another French battalion (four and five photos previously) to the right of the tower ceased to function effectively.

The French left flank was lost after a robust and effective defense.

CLOSING REMARKS

1. Our players were:
Seated left to right: Jim H., Morgan E., Dan E. and Chris K. Standing left to right: Der Alte Fritz Jim P., Bob B., Bob M. and yours truly Bill P. Photo courtesy of Jim P.

The Prussian Back Table is behind our cast.

2. The powder magazine is a magnificent Herb Gundt creation; HG Walls. All other buildings and the bridge are from wonderful Miniature Building Authority. The heavy stone wall is a very well-done William Britians 54mm structure.

3. The table on the French left flank abuts the basement wall. This removes a walkway but allows the table to be larger on the French far right flank. More table space is the result. We've done it this way for years to get more table area to play on. We don't miss the walkway near the wall. We really don't. Try abutting your table against one wall in your home so you can add extra table square footage at the other end.

4. Approximate numbers:
Prussian Infantry: 510.
French/Austrian Infantry: 360 (60 more added when an extra player arrived)
Prussian Cavalry: 148
French Cavalry: 112
Prussian Arty: 2x Light 6 Pounders
Saxon Arty. in the tower: 1 Heavy 4 Pounder and 1 Light 12 Pounder.

5. Table sizes:
Main Table: 6'x 16' approximately.
Prussian Back Table: 2.5'x 16' approximately.
French Back Table: 2.5' x 14' approximately.

6. Earlier I mentioned we used BAR Version #1 for movement rates in the game.

BAR Version #2 shortens same (weapon ranges too) by 1/3. This makes it suitable for smaller tables and 15-20mm miniatures. Here is a photo of the Quick Reference Charts Version #2.

We did not consult the main rule book once in the game. 

7. Aren't uniforms of the mid-18th century splendid?

8. Your remarks are very welcome at Comments below.

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

ANTICIPATION


ANTICIPATION

This classic set of war game rules authored by Brigadier Peter Young and Lt. Colonel James Lawford created anticipation, inspiration and a sincere yearning for what I hoped would become a wonderful pastime; the hobby of historical miniatures war gaming.  It delivered all this plus a strong foundation and more especially for me from 1970. It's echoes even now are still being heard.

The blue coated grenadiers on the cover belong to Peter's Regiment 1/Erbprinz, now disappeared in the distance of time. It took forty-six years for me to finally march my own Erbprinz Regiment onto a tabletop. It's been on my mind all that time.

Here they are --- Stadden 30mms artfully painted by UK friend John Preece in three grand divisions. When he announced the sale of the unit in early 2016, I rocketed out of the starting gate to bring it to the USA. It was an amazing opportunity. I was lucky.

We no longer play CHARGE. I will though if someone invites me to. What may I happily bring?

Instead there were decades playing Ken Bunger's Tricorne which I often still play at the annual Seven Years' War Association Spring gathering. Then in 2007 I published Batailles de l'Ancien Régime. We call it BAR. I reckon we've played near 150 games since then.

Please read descriptive text in the above photo.

The colorful item above is page 1 of BAR's Quick Reference sheets. We barely consult the rule book. It's been this way for a very long time because 99% of what is needed during a game is in the QRs.

Earlier this year friend Lewis S. inspired me to number each rule section and to colorize them. If you ask for Post Mêlée Pursuit stuff, this officer will say to you, "Go to Chart 11. It's light green." Players find things fast this way. Colorizing helps enormously too. No wandering about you see.

The left inside page is mostly about weaponry procedures. The opposite page has mêlée and morale dynamics.

My Eureka 28mm Saxon Leibkürassiers are reading about Saving Throws. They appreciate the second white line on Chart 30 so more of them can be in the pink during combat.

This kind of rule also allows mêlées which burst open holes often causing big trouble especially if there is a breakthrough or pursuit. It also separates types of horsemen from each other more. Otherwise results are often too narrowly similar and therefore less dynamic and fun.

Saving Throws are amazingly fun. It's why we game --- to have fun.

The back of the Quick Reference Charts offers easy ways to maneuver battalions and squadrons closely to how it was done. Here's one example.

"Bill, can I just back up my cavalry?"
"You mean like a truck with lights flashing and the alarm sounding?"
"No. I'm sorry. See the lower right hand diagram and wheel each squadron to the rear."

"Here's how to do it as easy as counting 1, 2, 3 and 4."




Mastering these simple maneuvers is fun, illuminating and frankly will give you an advantage if the chap opposite you can't master and time them right. Give him chances to learn though.

Imagine doing this with a battle line of horsemen. Don't back up like a truck or move diagonally. This is not chess. You can do it.

To accomplish historical maneuvers like this you will need:

  • Long movement rates
  • Side to side and front to back intervals (gaps)
  • Ample room for cavalry 
  • Willing players

Quick Reference Charts are periodically revised/improved. The latest is dated September 22, 2016. Version 2 has shorter movement rates and weapon ranges compared to Version 1.

Here's what makes BAR significantly different.


HOMAGE

I owe a lot to Peter Young. His inspiration has been singularly important in my war gaming hobby. He gave me the above Victory Column in 1985 when Dorothy and I visited the Young's.

The column adorns my table moving from place to place observing how we play the game.


ANTICIPATING THE FUTURE

1. See the upper left side of this blog to purchase BAR where these words appear.

Fun Rules And Savory For Sale


2. Or see:  http://oldregimerules.com/  to purchase BAR alongside my other published rules. If you only want the latest Quick Reference Charts, they are  available separately. Postage is included. It's not extra.

3. In 2017 BAR will be ten years old. God-willing we'll keep going on and on. For one example, read the immediately preceding story. See  http://campaignsingermania.blogspot.com/2016/05/splendid-day-of-gaming.html

4. Companionable and cheerful new players are welcome. Visitors passing through too.

5. "Today is life-the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto." Dale Carnegie

6. War gaming has been a great enthusiasm for me. Enthusiasm is BAR.

7. Your remarks are welcome below at Comments.


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