Friday, May 27, 2016
Two weekends ago I moved a pile of mulch, the equivalent of 250 bags, from our driveway to our various plant beds, one wheelbarrow-full at a time. I rewarded myself the following weekend by prepping the bases of 60 more French and British soldiers, in lieu of any more yard work, as the Great 54mm Re-Basing continues. I know; to each our own motivations.
I am re-basing another 60 soldiers in preparation for the Warlord: Open Games Day in Oklahoma City the weekend of June 17th where I'll be taking my F&IW project to play some Black Powder, Warlord's horse and musket rules. Black Powder is more of a "big battle" ruleset than skirmish-level, so I think it important to feature some straight linear firefighting between the European Regulars as well as the more expected colonial irregulars.
I found an appropriate scenario in a new Osprey book I just bought (and recommend!):
As described within, the battle at La Belle Famille is a meeting engagement in a clearing between two predominately Regular forces and their Native allies. In the actual battle, the British arrive before the French and set an ambush from which the French can't recover. I am changing the chronology a bit so that both forces start with light troops on the table screening the near simultaneous arrival of the Regulars on opposite ends of the road. The start of the game will look something like this:
I don't have a lot of hands-on experience with Black Powder, so The Baron has agreed to be my Co-GM for the Day. Thanks, man. Road trip!
Come see us at Warlord: Open Games Day in Oklahoma City the weekend of June 17th!
Sunday, May 1, 2016
I finally ordered the Barzso Fort William Henry playset. I've wanted it for awhile but didn't really think I "needed" it, and still don't know if I will ever play with it in it's entirety, but now have some scenarios in mind where at least pieces of the fort will play a role. Bottom line. . . it's just cool and I finally gave in. . .
It's big; about 4 foot square. It's made of foam so it's pretty light. Designed for 54mm scale plastic toy soldiers, though not quite the actual scale size of the original fort, it offers a great base for customization that should provide a reasonably authentic set-piece for gaming wilderness-style sieges and assaults. In glorious 54mm, no less! If you look closely in the photo above you can see three "hatmen" of the new John Jenkins' 60th Royal Americans defending the ramparts. Here's another shot, to provide a sense of scale.
Unboxing the fort was definitely a family affair. Here's Lord Percy, lazily supervising the assembly from the comfort of the fort's packing materials. . .
while Chief Engineer Rocky inspects the finer details of the construction here. . .
Maybe we'll debut the fort at Recruits 2017. Stay tuned.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
What?! That's not the French and Indian War, you say! No. . . it's not. It's a photo of the 15mm Sixteenth Century Samurai game played by the local Centurions at Recon this past weekend, using the Field of Glory rules. In the foreground is the red-armored cavalry of the Ii about to fall on an open flank.
Now for the promised French and Indian War. I hauled my Blooding at Jenkins' Ford scenario - check the TwisterCon labeled posts for background - to Recon to introduce it locally. I had 4 players in the first game, two British and two French; each took one 10-man unit just to get a handle on the rules. As it happened, the two regular units were roughed up and the Rangers decided to beat it when their Provincial allies were routed by the Indians.
For the second game, Bruce (British) took a unit of Provincial regulars and a unit of Rangers, and Greg (French) a unit of Marine regulars and a unit of Indians. Both had a good feel for the rules, This Very Ground, and handled their troops well. The Marines took on the Provincials in the opening volleys, then were put to flight and eventually killed to a man by the Rangers. Meanwhile the Indians managed to work around the flank of the weakened Provincials and then slaughter them in a whooping charge. The game ended in a draw when the last 5 Indians found themselves in the cover of the woods staring at the last 4 Rangers and the Provincial officer across the river in their own wooded cover!
Thank you, Bruce, Greg and George for helping to load the game into the truck afterward!
Saturday, April 9, 2016
As noted previously, we had 7 players for Game Three of Blooding at Jenkins' Ford. Here is the scenario description if you need a reminder. It's basically "kill or be killed;" the winner is the side with the most combatants alive at the end.
Here is the troop disposition at the end of the first turn's activations:
Of the three games, this third displayed the most strategizing and cooperation among the team members. The French weighted their right flank heavily and were very aggressive with their Indian allies. There seemed to be a tidal wave of Indians pouring through the woods!
The Indian onslaught forced the Rangers out of the woods on the east side of the river, who formed a sort of "covered square" in the woodline with the British Regulars on the west side of the river.
In the center, a unit of Colonial Provincials left the cover of the woods and received a brutal volley from the French Regulars, which sent back into the woods to lick their wounds.
The effect of this volley seemed to embolden the entire French army and they advanced all along the line, shifting to their right to put more pressure on the British left.
And as the Indians on the British left stormed across the river and charged the British "square" in the woods, I got so caught up in the action (and figuring modifiers to Courage scores) that I stopped taking photos!
When the Indians killed the Regulars to the last man, with a unit of Provincials nearly wiped out and the Rangers with no option but to run, the British ceded the game. A very dramatic finish to a game played well on both sides.
I think I will take this scenario to Recon in a couple of weeks. I am not sure how many players we will have and the game scales up and down just fine, so we can be flexible as needed. If you're in the Twin Cities on April 23rd, come see us at Recon.