Wednesday, 30 August 2017

A 19th Century Battle

I thought I'd finally get round to trying out Neil Thomas's Wargaming Nineteenth Century Europe rules and give my cuties an outing to a battlefield.  I set up a typical piece of coutryside and rolled up two random armies, using the table in his One Hour Wargames for six unit armies and rolling on it twice for each side.

I decided on the early part of the period, so both sides have close order infantry with rifled muskets and the artillery is smoothbore.  All units are average except guard infantry, hussars and cuirassiers  who are all elite.

The armies deployed for battle.  The square grid has no effect on play, though it might be fun to try converting these rules to a grid at some point.

GrosseKleinStadt are to the North (at the top of the picture), Bomenburst to the south.

On the Bomenburst left, two units of line in attack column screened by the army's only unit of jagers.

In the centre another two units of line to the front backed up by guards infantry and both the army's artillery units.

The general has no effect on play, but he likes to turn up for a photo opportunity.

The right flank, two line infantry, the hussars and the dragoons.  These are just normal cavalry, not the special dragoon units that appear in a few army lists.  I don't use any of that type, I like my cavalry to charge to contact, not dismount and fire.

The GKS right flank, and their cavalry is as far away from the oppositions as possible.  These are dragoons and cuirassiers.  They are preceded by grenzers (skirmish infantry for those not following my borrowed terms, same as the jagers on the other side).

The centre is held by two units of guard infantry, the lone artillery unit the army could drag to the battlefield and more grenzers.

And finally the left flank, four columns of line infantry with the Archduke prancing about in front of them like he's already won (but carefully remaining out of range of the enemy).

And so to battle.  The Archduke waves his hat in the air, almost falls off his horse, recovers and the troops advance.

The left flank columns advance towards the town and the grenzers move up and start harassing fire, causing one casualty.  The GKS artillery is out of range.

Bomenburst mirrors the enemy and also advances on the left with two infantry columns and the jagers.  The jagers can't hit the side of a barn but the artillery gets a single hit.

The infantry columns plod onward to the town and the cavalry moves up to support the grenzers who manage to get two kills on the jagers.

One column shakes out into line while the other goes forward behind the jagers.  On the right flank the hussars move up to threaten the GKS columns.  Skirmish fire is again ineffective but the artillery put two hits on both the grenzers and the nearest column.

The columns move ever on, very close to the town now.  The grenzers and the artillery fire to no effect, whatever is wrong with the jagers must be catching.

The hussars charge in...

...taking two hits from defensive fire on the way...

...and then lose the melee two hits to one!  And having the first stand removed of the game, oh the shame!

Being (allegedly) elite they pass all their morale tests and fall back to try to work out where they went wrong and how to blame someone else.

(I should point out that the sequence of play has charges then normal movement and firing and finally the melee is resolved, I changed it for what I think makes a more exciting report.)

Meanwhile the remaining column on the Bomenburt left changes to line, the jagers retire though their ranks, and they open fire on the grenzers causing a hit.  The Town garrison causes two hits on the column approaching along the road and the artillery puts another two hits on the nearest column which loses a base and then another as it fails it's morale check.

Unperturbed, the Archduke has three of his columns deploy into line while the third angles to bypass the town.  The guard units and the artillery advance and the cavalry moves up ready to charge next turn while the grenzers move out of their way.

Firing causes a few casualties but not enough to remove any bases,

The Archduke smiles to himself, a couple more turns and victory will be mine he thinks. :)

The hussars decide the best way to hide the unfortunate outcome of their earlier charge is to repeat it and win this time.  They lose one stand to defensive fire and fail a morale check which results in a single stand with one hit remaining colliding with a full strength infantry unit with only one hit on it.

And somehow they win the melee!  They cause two hits and only take one in return!

Unfortunately they only had one hit remaining, and so are wiped out.  The rules don't seem to cover what to do in this situation, but I decided to call it as a win for the infantry, seeing as they are the ones still alive.  C'est la guerre.

Everyone else holds their ground and fires away, most significantly destroying a base of cuirassiers and causing a morale check that removes another.  The infantry on the road also lose a base and the column to their right takes three hits.

And now both GKS cavalry units charge in, defensive fire knocking out another base of cuirassiers and getting three hits on the dragoons.

The cuirassiers win their melee two hits to one and the line infantry lose a base to a morale check for losing the melee.

And the dragoons inflict five hits but take four and lose a base on a morale check for the loss.

The unit facing the cuirassiers had it's retreat blocked so broke and ran, the one facing the dragoons fell back through the jagers.

Firing caused hits in the town and removed a base from the infantry unit flanking it.

Bomenburst again stands and fires along the line, wiping out the victorious horsemen and knocking a base off an approaching guards column for good measure.

The GKS forces respond in kind, their main success being in removing a base in the town and causing another one to run away after failing it's morale check.

"Not long now" thinks the Archduke.

The line unit facing the nearest guards performs a flawless formation change to column and charges them, catching them by surprise.  Defensive fire costs a stand but they pass their morale check with ease and crash into their target.

The guards inflict one hit and take five in return!  They fail their morale check and are gone!

The enemy infantry to their right lose a base to fire and another to a morale check.  The GKS line looks very fragile all of a sudden.

Drastic times call for drastic measures, so the unit which so heroically destroyed the hussars is ordered into column and flung against the town.  They lose a base to defensive fire but pass their morale check.

They win the melee three hits to two and the defenders fail their morale check and rout.  They advance to occupy the town, the perfect spot for a bit of looting and a chance to lay low for a bit.

The unit who broke the guards in the centre is obliterated in a storm of fire.

"We have them on the run now lads" yells the Archduke, though no one can hear him due to the aforementioned storm of fire.

And run they do, only towards their opponents, not away from them.  They lose a stand to defensive fire but press on.

Breaking them!

Bomenburst advances everywhere, but their firing is ineffective.

A hail of fire is thrown against them, and their left melts away.

The guard's attack on the town is driven off with heavy losses, the lesson being don't disturb line infantry while they are looting, it annoys them.

The cavalry are all but wiped out by defensive fire and failed morale checks.

But the survivors win the melee and force their opponents back.  Firing causes some losses but it's not enough.

Bomenburst turns and flees the field.

"Well done lads" says the Archduke, "That went exactly as I planned it".

I love these rules. :)

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Once More Unto the Breach: Ambush Z Third Game

Third test game, this time using the weakest type of zombie.  The soldiers are in four groups of five instead of five groups of four, following some wise advice I received.

I'm also testing out my rule changes for firing, though as it turns out they tend to favour the zombies more often than they don't.

Starting positions.  My tactical plan, such as it is, is to try to get further into the city before I start shooting and drawing in more zombies.

Group One is by the wall, Group Two by the oil drums, Group Three on the road at the table edge and Group Four beside them.  The leader is with Group Two.

Groups One, Two and Four move up the road without firing, drawing the zombies on the road towards them.

Group Three moves through the alley to the edge of the compound.

One group of zombies mills around aimlessly, the other drifts away from the exit point.

So far so good. 

The new hotspot goes in the compound, stopping any plans I might have had of moving through there.

And then eight zombie reinforcements appear right behind Group Three.

But Group Three aren't bothered, they move forward and fire on the zombies to their front, trailing a herd of zombies behind them.  Three kills.

The firing draws in seven new zombies far too near the exit point for my liking.

The zombies they fired on charge them but are interrupted and blown away, and as a bonus the firing didn't attract any more zombies this time.

Group Two fires at the zombies on the road and gets four head shots.

And then wipes out the other two when they charge.

Eight zombies wander onto the road ahead of them, drawn by the noise...

And another seven from the North.  Kill six, fifteen replace them.

Group One moves through the alley to where they can provide support to Group Three, Group Four moves up to next to Group Two on the road.

Nice and concentrated, mutual support, maybe I'm getting the hang of this. :)

Zombies move towards the firing across the board.  End of Turn two, and I feel optimistic.

A new hotspot appears, on the route to the exit.  I'm so mean to myself where I'm placing these. :p

And nine zombies appear as reinforcements.

Group One moves forward to the walled building.

And open fire on the zombies on the road, dropping four and provoking the rest to charge.

They gun them down with defensive fire clearing the road and Groups Two and Four move up to the junction.

Group Three sprints to join them.

The fire didn't produce any zombie reinforcements, fortunately.

And zombies shuffle towards the sound yet again, ending turn three.

A new hotspot is placed by Ami's Bar.

And eight zombies appear as reinforcements.

Group Four backs away from the zombies on the road.

Then opens fire, killing two of them.

The zombies charge in.

Two of them fall to defensive fire.

And then it's a chaos of teeth against rifle butts and the zombies are wiped out but not before injuring a trooper.

And five more zombies shuffle on next to the holodrome.

Group Two moves to the alley between the store and the City Guard building.

And opens fire, four kills. :)

The to zombies remaining try to charge but fall short.

And seven more arrive, fortunately far away from the action for now.

Group one advances and finishes off the two zombies staggering across their path.

And Group Three moves through Group Four and forms a line behind them for them to fall back through next turn.

And as the zombies shuffle closer turn four ends.

The new hotspot is by the exit.

And is where eight more zombies arrive as reinforcements.

Group Four move into the store, dragging their casualty with them.  And bump into four zombies in residence.

Defensive fire kills three.

And close combat deals with the last one with no loss to Group Four.

The zombies on the road were drawn forward after Group Four.

And four new ones are drawn by the gunshots.

I really ought to invest in silencers.

Group One fires up the road, only killing one zombie.

Provoking a charge which falls short and drawing a group of zombies further up the road too.

Group Two enters the City Guard building and finds eight angry zombies, quickly reduced to six by firepower.

And another three fall in close combat for no loss.

And finally the building is cleared.  This could have been where it all went horribly wrong, still not out of the woods yet but I dodged a bullet there.

Group Three, acting as rear guard, guns down four pursuing zombies.

And kills the rest of that mob as they charge in.

The fire draws seven more, but too far away to make any difference.

Then Group Three joins Group Four in the store.

Situation at the end of turn five.

A new hotspot goes down.

And six more zombies come on.

Group Two goes on overwatch.

Group Four checks it's casualty, WIA.  Group Three fires on the zombies in the lane dropping three and provoking a charge from both them and the zombies in the road.

This is where it got really messy, as two groups of zombies attacked a building occupied by two groups of soldiers while a third group of soldiers provided overwatch fire.  The zombies all got wiped out for no losses other than the risk of repetitive strain injury from die rolling.

The rattle of dice attracted five zombies at the exit point and eight more too close for comfort.

And provoked a charge against the overwatch unit, who gunned two down as they closed.

And finished them off with defensive fire.

Provoking the newly arrived zombies to join in.

Who were then dispatched in close combat.

And another four zombies arrived.

Group One moved to join Group Two in the City Guard building, and the zombies shuffled forward to end turn six.

Turn six starts with four zombies arriving outside the store.

Group Four exit the store and head behind the City Guard building, pursued by zombies.

Group Three continues to act as rearguard, moving into the lane to block the zombies and opening fire, reducing their number by four.

Then being charged by the rest in close combat but wiping them out.

I just realised this was a mistake, these zombies had already taken their action for the turn by following Group Four.  

Oh well, these things happen.

Group Two moves to secure the exit, shooting down three zombies.

Getting two more as they charge in.

And finishing the job in close combat for no losses.

The fire brings six more zombies.

The zombies shuffle forward, end of turn seven and the end of the game.  The soldiers all have a clear run at the exit and leave the Board for my first victory in Ambush Z. :)