Monday, 28 May 2012

FWC Bootcamp 2012 - Sunday

On previous FWC Bootcamp's the Sunday game has been a big two-sided multi-player game which although fun has been a bit shambolic. This year I asked Gordon to come up with a multi-game scenario for "The Big Game" and he did.

His scenario synopsis was Space Marines  land on  Formahault-7, a desert world full of unfriendly natives, looking for a damaged pirate ship and some important hostages.  The hostages mean that WOMD are not available. The success of the mission will be influenced by the outcome of several recce missions.  Storyline credits go to ‘Star Wars ’ and ‘Black Hawk Down’.

This meant 3 2-player Recce missions in the morning where the Space Marines could gather Intel and a multi-player Assault in the afternoon using that Intel

The Recce missions were 2000 point affairs with the SMs deploying in the centre of the table and getting victory points for each table edge they reach, returning to the Drop Zone and then getting Evac'ed. On all 3 tables they were faced by Orks.

The first table was desert with "wild beasts". Steve lead the SMs and Mark took the Orks. The SMs found out to their cost that the "wild beasts" were huge Spiders. However they managed to get the full 12 VPs that were very influential in the Assault game.

On table 2 - mountains, valleys and a hydro plant - Gordon's SMs dropped in on Colin's Orks only to be delayed. Eventually they came away with 2 VPs

The last table - the Neptunium mines - was a bit of a blood bath between Paul's SMs and my Orks. The terrain looked great on this table as Gordon had learnt a few tips from Richard P at the recent CWC weekend.

From their DZ the Marines spread out only to start taking casualties from the advancing Orks.
However the Marine FAO started calling down Orbital Strikes which took out a large number of my troops. Even though I managed to kill enough SMs to make them start checking their Break Point they passed it every time and managed to get most of their troops evac'ed

But not all escaped....  Paul came away with 3 VPs for the Space Marine Intel.

The Intel results allowed the SMs to pin-point the location of the hostages and to discover that the "Hubcap" mining complex was in fact a hologram generated by the Pirates, who turned out to be Eldar-aarrr, in order to hide their ship repairs.

The ship was placed on the table and the table was extended to include the area where the hostages were held. Mark prepares to guard his "Manor"

Gordon once again putting out some lovely terrain and even doing an overnight paint job on the FWC Bootcamp 2012 Souvenir - the Shanty Town Watch Tower - made by Shaun at Dreamholme Scenics

The Eldar spaceship - actually a Revell Star Wars Republic Star Destroyer - acted as a very heavy command bunker. The Eldar had a 1000 points of Infantry defending it as well as some Anti-Tank turrets.

Helping them hold the town were Mark and Colin with the survivors of the Recce Missions.

The Space Marines had two objectives - rescue the hostages and capture the pirate ship.

The first they achieved without any loss but they declined to assault the Space-ship due to the number of casualties they were likely to take. No doubt they will wait until the ship leaves the planet.

Thanks to Gordon for organizing the day's gaming - it was interesting to fight the mini-campaign.

And thanks to everyone for turning up to take part. Before this weekend I was thinking of pulling the plug on future Bootcamps due to lack of interest. However I feel that this has been the best one yet and  I'll definitely be putting it on next year

Sunday, 27 May 2012

FWC Bootcamp 2012 - Saturday

The 3rd annual Future War Commander Bootcamp took place on May 26th/27th 2012 at the Tudor Arms in Slimbridge, Gloucestershire. FWC Bootcamp is not a tournament or competition instead it aims to teach the game to new players as well as allowing us to try out new armies, rules and scenarios.

Numbers were down this year due to a clash with Expo. Normally we have between 8 and 10 players but this weekend saw us reduced to 7 - oh come on - what do you expect  - this is probably the niche-est of niche wargaming event :)

On the Saturday we normally have a couple of 1 v 1 2000 point games but this time we started with a 7 player 1000 point Mad Max free-for-all game on an 8x6 desert-themed board. We had Orks (Mark), Space Marines (Angel Barracks' very own Michael), Eldar (Paul), Euro-Feds (Graham), Khazari (Gordon), Kratonians (Steve) and Pax Arcs (me) - Kiwi Dave later took over the Space Marines.

Here we see Paul - who had travelled all the way from Portsmouth - good on you mate - surveying the terrain and then ordering his Eldar to their doom at the hands of the Kraytonian Twins - 2 Pink Grav tanks that wouldn't die!

As we enjoyed playing this game we carried on playing it for the rest of the day - if you got wiped out then you returned with another 1000 points of whatever took your fancy - for instance Paul came back with his stairs-defying Daleks.

My Pax Arcs had a bad day, firstly being wiped out by Orks after taking out loads

The Pax Arcs seen here being taken in the rear by the Orks but managing to turn and take out hordes of Death Trucks

We then got taken out a for a second time by the Kraytonian Twins who in turn managed to destroy themselves due to fall-backs.

I'm not sure who got the most wipe-outs - I think it may have been Steve's Kraytonians.

Michael from Angel Barracks brought his 6mm Sci-Fi stock down including his new buildings - excellent stuff.

I will cover the Sunday games in  the next post

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Camerone - 149th anniversary re-fight

The Battle of Camerone or CamarĂ³n first came to my notice through reading Look and Learn in the 1970s and 80s. Angus McBride did quite a few illustrations for the magazine and his images of the ferocious fight at  Camerone caught my imagination.

Today, 30th April 2012, is the149th anniversary of the battle and it is also the night we meet at the Slimbridge club so I decided to do a re-fight.

Last stands are always tricky to do on the wargames table as it still needs to be an entertaining game for both sides even though everyone knows the outcome. A search on the internet throws up quite a few rule sets and scenarios for Camerone.

I decided to use the scenario from Tim Tilson's Colonial Campaigns book Maximilian in Mexico. Although Tim's scenarios are geared towards using The Sword and the Flame rules, I find that with a slight tweak we can use our own rules - well Rodge's rules.

I spent the weekend making a very functional Hacienda. This morning there was a post on TMP from the Mad Guru about his 150th Anniversary Camerone blog which has some very interesting picture, plans and descriptions. Mad intends to build the Hacienda in 25mm . I intend to wait until he has fully researched it and then get Rodge to build it in 15mm  8)

The walls of the Hacienda were too high to climb and the Republicans had no ladders so the only entrances are two at the north wall by the road and one in the south-west corner.

The game starts with the Legion already in the Hacienda. They have 4 units each of 12 figures plus 3 officers, Capitaine Danjou and sous-lieutenants Maudet and Vilain,  so bizarrely there are 51 figures on the table representing 49 men. Danjou can be seen in the centre of the right-hand photo with Vilain just up and to his left and Maudet between the 2 units holding the north wall

The Republicans attack in 3 waves. Each wave is either 4, 6, 8 or 10 units of regular or irregular infantry chosen by the Republican players. Each regular unit is worth 2 Victory Points (VP) to the French and each irregular unit  is 1 VP. The Republicans get VPs for killing the French. There are also VP awarded  to each side for other activities but I'm sure Tim would appreciate it if you bought his book to find those out.

An assault wave ends when the Republicans roll less than the number of units they have lost.

For the first wave the Republicans decided to send in 10 irregular units. They also get a half unit for free that starts on the roof of the Hacienda which is why Vilain's squad is lined up ready to give them a volley.

The Republican irregulars armed with muskets avoided a shooting match and went straight into the attack. After losing a couple of units they failed their assault wave roll and left the table.

VP score  The Legion 10 Republicans 8

Our rules for shooting are very simple - the shooter rolls a D6 and modifies by -1 if over half range and -1 if target is in cover - the target then rolls a D6 and has to equal or better the shooter's dice otherwise they receive 1 hit. If the score is double then they receive 2 hits. Officers with units hit are killed if they roll the number of hits received.

Melee is the same except that modifiers also include +1 if officer attached to unit and +1 if supported by another unit.  Hits are the dice difference divided by 2 and rounded up so a score of 5 to 3 would inflict 1 hit. As well as hits both sides get a fatigue for fighting in melee. When this reaches a certain level then a -1 modifier is applied

In the photos red counters are hits and yellow counters are fatigue.

The Republican second wave had 6 regular units and 4 irregular giving the French an extra 6 VPs.

This wave saw sous-lieutenant Maudet fall with his squad defending the front gates and Capitaine Danjou shot as his squad held the breach in the south-west corner. Although the Republicans failed their assault wave test they carried on by giving the French a VP for each turn they stayed on.

VP score The Legion 30 Republicans 31.

The 3rd and final wave again saw the Republicans charge on with 6 regular units and 4 irregular giving the French yet another 16 VPs. This time the Republicans fired off several volleys which saw the squad at the south-west die and also one of the squads holding the gates.

The last remain squad commanded by sous-lieutenant Vilain retried to the stables to hold off 10 Republican units.

And they did!

The number of 6s the Legion rolled in succession was astonishing - the 2 French players even changed their dice. Eventually the Republicans failed their assault wave roll. Carrying on by giving the French a VP for each turn they stayed on would not make any difference so the Republicans retired leaving sous-lieutenant Vilain and his very fatigued squad holding the Hacienda and awaiting the Relief Column

Final VP score The Legion 51 Republicans 40.

The French were lucky in the huge number of 6s they rolled and in the fact that the Republicans didn't stand-off and shoot - although the French get VPs if no Republican units charge in a turn.

My thanks to Tim for an excellent scenario, to Rodge for a excellent set of rules and to Steve, Paul, Shaun and Graham for playing

More photos can be found here