Wednesday 16 November 2016

Franco-Mexican War BBB Test Game

I've been wondering whether Bloody Big Battles (BBB) would work at a much lower level than it was designed for. Normally each base represents from 500 to 1500 men depending on the scale of the battle. My forces for the Franco-Mexican War are organised in companies of 6 bases with each base representing 10 to 15 men.

Juaristas launch an all out assault on  Monriel

I made a few changes to the rules

  • All firing ranges were doubled eg Muzzle Loading Rifle goes from 9" to 18" range
  • Skirmish changes from an attribute to a formation - allowed to certain troop types
  • Drop the 1 Right firing modifier if firers are skirmishers
  • Add a -1 Penalty modifier to Melee if the unit is in skirmish formation
Juaristas advance!

Troops were defined as follows

Foreign LegionMLVeteranAggressive, Can Skirmish
ZouavesMLTrainedAggressive, Can Skirmish
Sudanese InfantryMLTrainedFragile
Imperial ConscriptsMLRawPassive, Fragile, Tactically Inept
Chasseurs d'AfriqueSMVeteranAggressive, Can Skirmish when dismounted
ContrasSMTrainedCan Skirmish when dismounted
Line InfantryMLTrainedCan Skirmish
Militia InfantryMLRawFragile
Local PeasantsSMRawAggressive, Tactically Inept
Irregular Cavalry-TrainedAggressive

Feel free to criticise the ratings

There were 2 French players - Steve & Shaun and 2 Juarista players - mike and myself.

The French players were allowed to each choose 4 units

Steve took
1 Foreign Legion company
1 Sudanese Company
1 Contras Squadron
1 Artillery piece

Shaun took
1 Foreign Legion company
1 Sudanese Company
1 Chasseurs d'Afrique Squadron
1 Artillery piece

The Juaristas were allowed to each choose 6 units

Mike took
2  Line Infantry companies
2 Militia Infantry companies
2 Artillery pieces

and I took 
1  Line Infantry company
2 Militia Infantry companies
1 Local Peasants company
2 Irregular Cavalry Squadron 

As you can see we are all very trusting and not inclined to abuse the system

There were 3 villages that were the objectives-  one in each side's third of the table and one in the centre.
The objectives - Rolguaní on the left, El Carchiná in the centre and Monriel out of picture on the right and already there is clutter on the table <shakes head and tuts>

Immediately both sides sent cavalry to seize El Carchiná
Shaun's French forces occupy Monriel and start to set up a defensive position to face off my Juaristas
Mike's Juaristas bring up their guns
The French view from Monriel. Sudanese in the village, dismounted Chasseurs line the wall and the Legion advance to support them
Same view showing El Carchiná as well
Cavalry action in the streets of El Carchiná
My Militia  infantry get shot up and forced back by the Chasseurs and the Sudanese
Mike's Juaristas form up into a firing line
My cavalry try to sacrifice themselves to allow my infantry to move in. Even getting 2 shifts to the right for firing; cavalry and in column, the Sudanese could not destroy them
Juarista Militia close with the Legion but the Peasants are pushed back by the Chasseurs
The Contras get repulsed in El Carchiná and it all starts to go wrong for the French
Juarista Line Infantryopen up on the French advancing to seize El Carchiná 
The fight for the wall  protecting  Monriel continues. The walls are linear obstacles that give the defender 1 Left shift in firing and melee
Another view of the action around Monriel
The French view of the same action 
In the centre Juaristas having destroyed the Legion company go on to assault the French gun protecting El Carchiná 
Finally some progress near Monriel - the French are about to vaporise.

At the end of the game the village of Rolguaní was firmly in Juarista hands. In the centre El Carchiná was "contested" by a dismounted Contra squadron facing Militia infantry and cavalry. Monriel was still held by the Sudanese so a draw. 

However Mike's Juaristas had, through firepower, destroyed the Legion company and was in the process of doing the same to the Sudanese company so a couple more turns and the Juaristas would have been victorious.

As a throw together game with completely random forces it had it's ups and downs. There were complaints about the ranges being excessive but given the low-level scale  it made sense to increase the frontage-to-range factor. Also, comparing it to the the ranges in the other set of rules that we have used for this period  they are more or less the same and a lot less sanguine.

More of the same next week when we give Vincent Tsao's Puebla scenario a run out

All of the toys are from QRFs Maximilian range apart from the Sudanese which are Peter Pig

Thursday 23 June 2016

Yalu River 1904 using Bloody Big Battles

Pat Wingfield has started producing some Bloody Big Battles scenarios for the Russo-Japanese War. He kindly sent me a draft of the Yalu River scenario to playtest.
The river has a 3" penalty to enter the river and a 3" penalty to leave it. The hills are classed as difficult ground AND steep slopes everywhere giving a 6" penalty to every move and -1 to the command rolls.

When I first saw the scenario I was a bit surprised at the disparity in the forces. He has used a scale of  1000 men / 24 guns per base

36 Infantry bases in 12 units of 3 bases
4 Artillery bases each at 0.75
3 MG bases  each at 0.4

9 Infantry bases in 9 units of 1 base each - they are never spent!
3 Artillery bases at 0.1, 0.25 and 0.5

The Japanese need to capture all 5 objectives and completely destroy the Russian forces to get a victory. A draw is Japan holding all 5 objectives and Russian forces still on the table. Anything else is a Russian victory

I umpired leaving Rodge to command the Japanese and Shaun to command the Russians. 
Japanese 2nd and Guards divisions cross the Yalu. Scenario rules force them to cross in march column. Whilst in the river they are Disrupted, cannot use skirmishers and are Tactically Inept. That's a 3 Right shift for any Russian infantry shooting at them.
The Russian view of the Japanese storming the Yalu. The infantry are in Rifle Pits. The nearest Russian artillery piece has been Silenced by the massed Japanese artillery across the river.
The Russian defensive line - the Confederate flags are objective markers. The red markers on the artillery pieces indicate their strength, eg 0.1, and that they can only take 1 hit instead of the normal 2 hits
Time for the Observation Balloon view. The Japanese artillery are in the lower left corner, 12th Division IJA crosses at the Yalu-Ai junction and the Guards and 2nd Division form up to assault the heights.. Most Japanese units are disrupted still from crossing the rivers (the yellow smiley faces)
The 12th and Guards Divisions storm Potetientzu on the right but 2nd Division are held up at Makau
 The 2nd Division launch yet another assault on Makau
Reinforcements! The Russian 1 & 3 Battalions of the 11th Infantry Regiment arrive
The massed Japanese artillery looks vainly across the river for targets. Meanwhile the 4th Guards Regiment flounders around in the Yalu.
The Russian 1st Battalion 22nd Inf Regt  bravely stands alone against the 12th Division IJA
The Japanese army prepares for the final assault against te Russian defenders of Makau
Final positions. The Japanese hold everything north of the Hantuhotzu Stream. however the Russians still have the 1 & 3 Battalions,11th Infantry Regiment on the table and hold 3 objectives.

A Russian victory!

The Russian player rolled some amazing dice. Considering that a single base has 3 Fire Points rounding up to 4 then shooting at the Japanese columns coming across the river gives them 3 shifts to the right , Column; Tactically Inept and no skirmishers taking it up to 12 meant some pretty heavy casualties coming across the Yalu

The Japanese spent a couple of turns trying to cross the River - delayed by bad dice and Russian shooting

Even when they reached the Russian lines they suffered from good firing dice rolling by Shaun

Eventually the Japanese fire power eliminated most of the Russians but the difficult terrain stopped the Japanese from seizing most of the objectives

A great scenario -  I had a preconception about how the game would play out - which went out of the window on Turn 1 

Pat has used the BBB rules and modifiers to very good effect to recreate the battle. He will post the scenario to the Bloody Big Battles Yahoo Group

I'm looking forward to the next one - Nanshan

The rules can be purchased from Caliver Books
The 10mm Figures are all Pendraken

Saturday 4 June 2016

6mm Khazari Mining Machine

Shaun has a 6mm Exodus Wars Khazari army for Future War Commander. He has put together a very nice and very very large mining machine for his force.

The kit is mainly a a toy earth digger plus bottle tops, air-freshener plug-ins, 1/700 battleship accessories, other toy farm machinery bits and bits of car that he found on the side of the road.

This thing is going to be the centre piece in a FWC scenario.

Sunday 22 May 2016

FWC Bootcamp 2016

The seventh FWC Bootcamp, the world's premier (only) organised gaming weekend for 6mm Future War Commander, took place on 21st & 22nd May 2016 at the Tudor Arms, Slimbridge, Gloucestershire. The players for the weekend were Gordon, Mark, Mike, Paul, Rodge, Steve and myself.
As tradition demands we started off with a 1100 point Mad Max: Fury Road game based around the Ork/Hunter-Scavenger (HS) army list.
The objective was to get your tanker to the Petrol Refinery at the other end of the table and back again. On a 9 foot table with 6 HS armies starting within inches of each other there was absolutely no chance of this happening.
 The Petrol Refinery
Steve's force
My force
Gordon's force about to pile into the back of Mark's force
Paul's force about to pile into Mike's force
Mark's tanker
Mike's tanker going it almost alone
My tanker

The HS armies are Bloodthirsty so have to assault enemy troops within 15cm in their initiative phase. Most of the game was played out in the first 3 feet of the table with units being destroyed at an appalling rate. Four of the six forces broke leaving myself and Steve to form an orderly queue at the petrol pumps.

Saturday afternoon was one against one 2500 point Encounter Scenario games. I only managed to take single photos of the other two games 
Mark and Steve played Neo-Soviet vs Kraytonians on Earth 2
Rodge and Paul played Humans vs Khazari on The Red Planet
Gordon and I played Red Guard (RG) vs American Republican (AP) on Cough - an Ice World - so it was called the Battle for Cough. This table used Reverse Terrain where the open ground is Low Area terrain and the only open area on the table was the hub cap Reactor Plant.
The AR vehicles are from Brigade Models Merc range they are gorgeous. I had painted them up only the night before. 
Part of Gordon's Red guard army - that's Not Imperial Guard to you and me.
Due to the Reverse Terrain only vehicles had unlimited visibility. Infantry could only see and be seen at 20 cms which was more trouble for Gordon than for me
However that still didn't stop Gordon from being very dangerous with his on-board artillery
His infantry were equally annoying when they could target anything
By the last turn I had finally managed to destroy all of his armour and turned my attention to his APCs and infantry  causing him to take a break test which unsurprisingly he passed. Therefore even though his force was rapidly disappearing he had killed more than 25% of mine so it ended in a draw.

Sunday's game was a cooperative game based on Richard Morgan's book Woken Furies. Mark put the scenario together allowing the deComm teams to field 1250 points. A lot of tech was restricted - no air, off-board arty, shield domes, teleporting, tunnelling etc. 
The table was stunning with craters, rows and rows of bombed out buildings,tower blocks and objectives
Have I said that the table was stunning with craters, rows and rows of bombed out buildings,tower blocks and objectives?
This was a sci-fi gamer's dream table
I went for a MacGregor Clan Mark 1 Tank and 14 infantry
The game involved having to clear buildings and capture objectives from a bunch of really nasty cyborg-type creatures called Mimints ranging from very small to very very big
Such as these...
and these
I was doing quite well...
...until I ran into these two...
...which resulted in mutual destruction leaving my infantry adrift in radiation hell.
Ah well - I can always recruit more infantry from Earth's mega-cities.

Bootcamp 2016 was a very satisfying weekend. Three excellent games played with 6 excellent players. Amazing scenery, well painted armies and barely an argument. What more could one ask for?

Thanks to Gordon, Mike, Paul, Rodge and Steve for taking part and a special thanks to Mark for organising the weekend and the scenarios.

I look forward to FWC Bootcamp 2017

There are 138 photos of the weekend here