Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas fellow Military History Hobby Enthusiasts!

Today was the first day of 11 consecutive vacation/holiday days off from work. During these days, when I apply myself to this hobby, I have two focus points:

1. 15mm Vietnam Gaming. My friend Binhan wants to embark upon a Vietnam War campaign with several members of the local club. So, I need to get my troops in order and get more painted. Also, I may be shipping off a chunk of vehicles and helicopters to my brother - they're his - and those guys may get into some action too. Binhan's campaign is mainly about infantry, and I plenty of other vehicles, so no worries.

Part of the prep work is going to be re-basing the infantyr. I'll want to play with Brent's new "Follow Me!" rules when they are available.

2. Objective-C Education for iPad programming. I write software for a living, and I enjoy using my iPad (when I can wrestle it away from my wife!) why not learn to write apps? I already started my learning and wrote my first "hello world" iPad app. Yes, I do have a wargaming-related project in mind. Nothing fancy, but something I think could be useful.

So, a Vietnam themed image to leave you all with...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Field of Battle - ACW, again!

Last night I hosted another Field of Battle (2nd Edition) ACW scrum at the club's Friday Night Fights.

We drew 10! Dan was going to play SDS but had to cancel due to life's often unexpected intrusions. I know that one, maybe two, of our players came to play that instead, but ended up playing ACW with us.

Two of our players planned to play a medieval wargame but canceled that as no one else had indicated a desire to play during the week. That's not a reflection of the guys or the game they intended to play, rather a reflection on people not communicating desires. For my game, only Scott and Colin had earlier indicated a desire to play. So, I expected that only the three of us would for sure be playing...maybe a pick up player or two.

The result? Running the only game of the evening and having the game be one with a very fun set of rules. 10 players, 1 referee, lots of chaos, but lots of fun. Several of the players have done so before, so I did not need to worry about every detail - thank guys, you know who you are!

The highlight of the battle was Colin's Union command. This was his first game of Field of Battle and his last game at the club for a while (his family is moving to Texas). He drove his men into Doug's command and got the upper hand. Doug, wisely, fell back towards the support of his friends. You could still see the fight in Doug as he fell back - he did a charge and wanted to do some other things, but his generalship won out over his bloodlust. In the end Colin's command, along with men from Rick's and Reto's fought right up to the new rebel lines. Good stuff fellas!

I did manage a few pics, but was very busy for the evening...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

SDS Multiple Battles

Wow. What a day! The Broncos pull out another one...and...Dan and I hosted a triple Songs of Drums and Shakos (SDS) battle!

That's right, we put on three simultaneous SDS battles today at the club meeting. There were 16 people playing, helping or both on the three battlefields - what a turn out! The rules produce fun skirmish results and the guys have taken to them. As Dan has mentioned, members are producing squads of French and British "out of the woodwork"!

The battle I was most familiar with today involved some British lights and Royal Marines landing to surprise some Frenchmen guarding a payroll wagon in a sleepy seaside Spanish hamlet. There was a small French warship docked at the hamlet too...garrisoned by some French sailors...strung out a little loading supplies onto the ship from the dock. When the battle started, the French were rushing troops into the hamlet to oppose the English landings.

I ran the French sailors and my seamen, after trying to establish some semblance of order in their ranks, were quickly engaged by some Royal Marines. I actually did a pretty good job of holding them up for a few turns, but was outclassed by them and was ultimately defeated. The remaining sailors retreated to the ship to await terms (sailing out would mean doom with English warships in the harbor).

Funny thing. Dave had painted up the two units of Royal Marines, augmented with a couple of sailors, and was anxious to use them on the tabletop. But, the two kids with us that day, Colin and Ben, really took a liking to them (who could blame them?) ans asked Dave if they could play them! Dave, being the gentleman gamer that he is, obliged the kids and took command of some French infantry.

Speaking of Dave's French command, they advanced quickly to the edge of some light woods and began a fire fight with Ben's marines. Even though the sides exchanged some casualties, the marines had a stone wall to hide behind! So Dave fell back to draw the marines in.

Meanwhile, Greg's British lights infiltrated around and engaged Matt's French infantrymen in a fierce fight - Greg's sapper was an early casualty. Matt and Greg slugged it out, pretty much to a draw until Colin's marines finished me off and added their weight against Matt.

Ben's marines, now moved into the hamlet when Dave fell back...causing Dave to again attack him - the two fighting with and around a building. With Dave occupied by Ben and Matt falling back and continuing to fight Greg, Colin advanced his marines up the roadway and captured the payroll chest - ending the game in a British victory!

Good stuff gentlemen!

Pics follow...

Two battlefields on one table

Action is about to commence

Dan giving instructions

Stan and Scott guiding the players in the game

Eric awaits events

Sailors versus Marines

The Spanish Church again in contest

Rifles versus Dragoons

Action in the church

John's highlanders advance towards their fates

The sailors stand firmly...for now

Lights and Frenchmen

Dragoons in the open, Rifles behind a wall...hmmm

The hallway was violently contested

The church grounds

Dave's command advances towards a building

Marines are looking good

Marines rule the roadway

In-house action

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Joseph Napoleon’s Spanish Army

I decided just to crank out a handful of Spanish soldiers - allied with the French. These are men of the 3rd Regiment of the line, recruited from the area of Seville in 1810. They'll play a small role in the upcoming SDS scenarios.

They are not good troops, these are the ratings in SDS:
Line Infantryman: 18 points; Quality: 4; Combat: 2; Specials: Musket, Unreliable, Green.
Light Company Infantryman: 26 points; Quality: 4; Combat: 2; Specials: Musket, Unreliable, Green, Light.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Song of Drums and Shakos Battle

Last night we played a game of SDS set in Napoleonic Spain. If you've not played SDS, after a few games now, I can certainly recommend it. It is available here and for $8 is a helluva bargain. Get the supplement too! Frankly, you could play SDS with any horse and musket era skirmishing miniatures...pirates, French and Indian War, American Civil War, American Revolution, Plains Wars, whatever.

I wanted to play again so I asked Dan to throw down some games with me at our Friday night meeting. Also, since we're hosting three tables of SDS action at the December meeting, it was an opportunity to get a few of those players introduced to the rules.

We laid out one large table and divided it down the middle with a strip of blue felt. The two battlefields are not linked in any way and are fought as two distinct battles. One table featured the church and the other table was a hodgepodge of builds and walls and stuff. Then we divided up the players and went at it since Dan had already per-generated a handful of 400 point forces.

We kept it at 4 players per table. In SDS, only one player is "active" at any one time, so with 4 players that keeps the downtime to a minimum. Even with another player or two it would not be terrible, since a player's turn can complete very quickly.

Anyway, we all had a lot of fun - I didn't get a ton of pictures at all the right times - as I was busy driving my British riflemen forward (and sucking at doing so). The Church battle looked fun...there were big actions inside of the builds! The padres have a little "clean up on aisle five" before they can hold the next mass...

On my table, Jeff and I were two groups of British riflemen. We faced Colin and Larry. Larry ran a group of dismounted dragoons and Colin ran a mixed group of Frenchmen. In his group he had a couple of fusiliers and voltigeurs and even 1 Old Guard grenadier!

As Jeff moved alongside the main roadway, I chose to move through a field surrounded by a fairly high stone wall. This was not so bright. The delay caused me in this maneuver meant that Jeff bore the brunt of the enemy's action. By the time I got to the fight, Jeff had lost three good men, including two chosen men!

So by then it was all about trying to cover Jeff's retreat. In the last turn of the game, my men dropped two Frenchmen, including that Old Guardsman and Jeff's remaining men dropped a dragon. So we lost 4 men in all and caused 3 enemy casualties - but the French most certainly won the skirmish! Nice job Larry and Colin! Jeff, sorry about the lack of timely support - I'll do better next time!

Onto the pics...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Spanish Church - Final

Well, it's done! Finally! The Spanish Church. Actually, I think it is more Convent-looking - but what do I know?!?!? This is the largest thing I have made in a long time. The board is 2' x 2'.

Here are the final pics - but - it will be on the table tomorrow night in action!