Monday, June 29, 2015

Some Memoir 40 reinforcements

The end of kids soccer and some brutally hot temperatures drove me back to the basement over the weekend to finish off some single bases of WW2 German infantry. Apologies for the colour quality of the photos--I am still learning how the new camera works!

These are a mixture of ESCI and some Airfix that came some various tins in Terry's basement; All had been clipped from their integral bases so I used some spit to accelerate the crazy glue to get them to stand up.

I have six more bases of Zvezda infantry groups underway and then I think I have enough troops to run a game at the club in July. I am keen to try to the France 1940 campaign in the Memoir book. 

Up next: Some more Longstreet with Bruce (I think) and then some more 1/72 WW2, including a Wespe with track woes and some infantry.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Even more Longstreet!

Bruce and I continued our Longstreet campaign on Monday night. This was a meeting engagement and we each had objectives to protect. The picture below is pretty much the start lines. I hoped to draw Bruce's cavalry onto my guns (on the right) but then got a "that's not on the map" card that put rocky ground in his way. His horse eventually turned back and played no role in the rest of the game.

In the middle, our lines came together and the north was repulsed. In the very background on the left you can see a brave cavalry charge by the flower of southern chivalry against the north's pitiless guns... .

What followed was a bloody shoot-out while Bruce whittled down my cavalry unit on the left and I shot up his new Zouaves on the right.

The game ended with a northern victory, but I'd say no one really won that game! Fortunately, the south was able to recover during the campaign phase and will rise again against their foes.

One of the nice pieces of the campaign system is that it is simple and keeps the games balanced. It is interesting but not so interesting as to over-shadow the miniatures game. I look forward to my war-weary foot and blood thirsty cavalry giving Bruce's northerns a right thrashing on Monday!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

More Longstreet

Bruce and I played a second game of Longstreet last week. The south was again defending and forced to set up inside the white zone to protect an objective marker. My plan was to rush my cavalry forward on the right and set up in the trees while infantry manned the wall.

Alas, Bruce moved much more quickly than anticipated and I barely got the infantry to the wall before the got shot up while in column of march. I re-routed the cavalry to the left flank, thinking I might have an opportunity to enfilade his central force.

Bruce pushed me off the wall on the right but I managed to turn my cannons and contain his advanced. In the middle, the lines clashed inconclusively while his cavalry ran into traffic problems.

Eventually, the north decided the battle could not be won and started to fall back. Bruce covered his retreat with a gimmicky (i.e., my favourite) card that put rough terrain down.

Another interesting game, with lots drama and the armies are evolving in interesting ways. Looking forward to game three!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Gaming: Longstreet

Back from Ottawa to find Bruce has rebased his 5mm ACW armies for Longstreet, Sam Mustafa's new rules. Simple rules (or so I thought). Bruce did most of the pre-game and the basics of the campaign are you follow a brigade through 9 battles.

I was the defender and had to hold the cross roads. Bruce played the northern aggressor with what seemed like a lot of damned drums (the legacy of a long-ago trade).

The opening moves (below) saw both of us use cards to hoop the other guys: my right flank charged forward into a wheat field while Bruce's left flank (in the distance) had major traffic issues. On my left, I jumped guys forward from behind a stone wall and rushed the hill to tangle with Bruce's dragoons.

I tried to extricate my guys by forming column. I also started working my mounted dragoons (unseen below) around my left flank.

Things are coming to a head on the right flank but Bruce suffered some bad dice. In the meantime, I'm over the hill on the left flank and I delivered a devastating (i..e, damned lucky) volley.

His dragoons start to disintegrate before my dragoons can even get there so I plan to continue on with the cavalry charge and attack him from the rear in the centre of his line.

In the meantime, my right flank is falling back and starting to fold up. The centre remains inconclusive. But he is losing a lot of cannon.

Eventually I managed to knock off enough units for him to signal the retreat, alas before my cavalry can charge to glory. The Northerners are knocked into a cocked hat! And the Southerners have seen the elephant! We then did the post game phases where troops become wary, die of disease and new units show up.

Overall, a nice set of rules. The cards make sense, lots of tough choices but fairly simple combat mechanics. I would definitely play again and I find most ACW to be intensely boring! I think Mustafa has hit upon the right level of abstraction. At the brigade level everyone can still have some cavalry and overall it was less fiddly than Maurice.