March 2015 Gaming Weekend Part 2

And so we come to Day 2. Saturday night in Newark was most enjoyable. A few beers (including one VERY expensive one – sorry Simon!) and an excellent Kerelan meal at Koinonia. We were all staying at the Compton House B&B. This was a lovely old house and they kindly sorted suitable vegan options for breakfast. I’d chosen the cheapest room in the house, Harry’s Room, and all I can say is Harry must have been bloody small! The shower cubicle in particular was a little snug for someone  6’4″! But all in all, a nice stay.

To the game. Simon has a new game room. Half the garage converted to allow for up to an 8’x6′ table, painting space and storage for books and figures and terrain. It’s an excellent space. The game was to be Sharp Practice, which I’ve wanted to try for a long time, and Simon had worked a scenario following on from last year’s Ayton game where our C18th ImagiNation forces were heading for the coast to extricate themselves from the defeat at Pescadrix. The advance troops of The Gateway (Iain) and Altefritzenburg (me) were to secure the bridges over the river and clear the path for the army to get to the coast. The evil and decadent forces of Medetia were there to stop them!

2015-03-08 10.14.17A lone sentry stood with the gun on the bridge as the day dawned. 2015-03-08 10.14.26The morning chorus interrupted by the sound of cavalry approaching down the road, and then the whooping and war cries and the Native Indians of von Donovan’s Legion erupted from woods behind and rushed to the southern bridge. Now alert, the sentry rushed to the nearest house to sound the alarm! The Indians rushed to the bridge, now joined by the Corsairs of the Purple Sash who had emerged from the nearby marshland. The race was on! 2015-03-08 10.43.34The alarm raised, elite Grenzers rush to the defence2015-03-08 10.59.50Meanwhile, Gateway dragoons charge onto the bridge and tip the undefended gun into the river2015-03-08 11.11.22The dragoons were to spend quite sometime crossing the bridge. Deciding to dismount. Then mount again and then finally dismount as, with Gateway infantry massing behind them they decided it was a dragoons job to assault the nearby house!2015-03-08 13.08.50They were to be kicked back out by the few terrified gunners hiding there and it took them a looong time to finally capture the building, where they spent the rest of the action occasionally taking potshots but mostly trying to tie up their prisoners!

The Indians finally rushed the bridge while the Corsairs provided fire support but although coming to grips with the enemy they had lost too many men and were driven back in disarray! Meanwhile, the Corsairs were threatened by rapidly advancing Medetian infantry and after a bloody melee they too were driven from the field with heavy loss!2015-03-08 12.14.25 2015-03-08 12.23.01 2015-03-08 12.28.47 2015-03-08 12.33.41The southern bridge was lost and Medetian infantry advanced to secure it.

Meanwhile, at the other bridge, under the vigilant eye of Captain Mainwaring of the Gateway, an assault on the town began. Sort of. The Gateway advanced slowly and finally plucked up the courage to attack the Grenzers, only to be thrown back, leaving their apparently less then popular Captain lying wounded in the street. Meanwhile, the Gateway set up their gun ON the bridge to try and lend support to the rest of the attack.2015-03-08 13.57.34 2015-03-08 13.57.45 2015-03-08 14.37.55 2015-03-08 14.44.51To the North, the troops of Altefritzenburg, in the form of von Donovan’s Savage Swans, tried to force a crossing of the river. But they were to find this very hard going as elite Jaegers brought chaos to their ranks and held them their for a long time. 2015-03-08 12.11.44 2015-03-08 13.48.13Their attempts were not helped by the Medetian rocket battery on the hill to the north. Although the first rocket salvo was to prove astoundingly inaccurate!2015-03-08 12.14.50 2015-03-08 12.18.31This inaccuracy was to still prove the bane of the Swans and several hits and near misses were to cause much disruption in the ranks and contribute greatly to most of the attack force being driven back to dress their ranks.

2015-03-08 13.28.34 2015-03-08 13.34.27 2015-03-08 13.48.04To the South more Medetian troop arrived by boat. The now reformed lancers charged through the woods to engage them only to be driven back in disarray!2015-03-08 15.10.54 2015-03-08 15.42.12 2015-03-08 16.12.05It was clear the attack was faltering. Although some of the Swans, under Leutnant Lamm (newly promoted) finally forced a crossing and drove off enemy infantry it was clear they would soon be cut off!2015-03-08 14.09.08 2015-03-08 16.32.45 2015-03-08 16.45.57As the Gateway troops in the town came under more fire from front and side they had no choice but to retire. Although some Jaegers had arrived in support and local natives rushed from the hill to (hopefully) aid them, it was clear the day was lost. The route to the sea was closed and the army would need to find another route!2015-03-08 16.54.56 2015-03-08 16.55.00 2015-03-08 16.58.42And that was it! A bloody great game! I really enjoyed the rules and look forward to trying them again. The card driven nature meant there were times when troops just stalled in indecision (although some of that was just Iain!) and then the action would pick up. The skirmisher types proved very effective (as appropriate for the scale of the game) and the action just ‘worked’. And they are great rules for ‘narrative’ type games where the story is a big part.

And Simon’s table was lovely (supplemented with trees and a few bits from Dave). Troops were supplied by all of us. It was a great days gaming and great company (as always). And there were numerous ‘events’ that will become legends in the retelling!

Needless to say there are a LOT more pictures in the main gallery: Sharp Practice 2015

Thanks must go to Simon and Dave for organising an excellent weekend. I haven’t had so much fun for ages! And to Iain for providing us with so many ‘moments’!

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March 2015 Gaming Weekend Part 1

I have just  had a most excellent gaming weekend with Simon (Goat Major), Iain (Essex Boy) and Dave (World2Dave). This has been planned for a while but like all these things it only really came together in the last few weeks when we finally realised we could all make it and it was going to happen. It was planned as a two game weekend. Meeting at Dave’s house on the Saturday for a 6mm Franco-Prussian War game and then travelling to near Lincoln for a game of Sharp Practice at Simon’s house in his new game room! I travelled down on the Friday night and after a swift pint with Iain in Newark I was picked up by Simon who had offered to put me up for the night. We were all booked into a B&B in Newark on the Saturday night so we could all grab a few beers and a meal and not have to worry about getting back anywhere!

We managed to get to Dave’s for around 10am (even Iain!) and soon got started with the first game. If you haven’t seen Dave’s armies and terrain you are really missing out. Beautifully coordinated terrain and figures that look stunning overall (and close up!) and were a pleasure to play with.

We did a 6mm FPW game using Real Time Wargames To the last gaitor button rules and Dave’s lovely 6mm Heroics and Ros collection. These are painted in a minimal style (how 6mm should really be painted) but the choice of colours and contrast really make them look good and the painting is just so neat! Myself and Simon took a Bavarian and Prussian corps respectively. This was the table with the jump off points indicated by markers. 2015-03-07 10.23.44We were coming on with roughly two divisions each for the first three turns with the target being the town of Hoffen in the middle. The French held the town and were feeding in re-inforcements.

2015-03-07 10.23.54The rules use a grid for movement and firing and it took a while to adjust to the scale of command and how hard it is to change your plans once you’ve deployed a division to attack in a particular direction and then need to change! My troops streamed on to the left of the town with the plan to drive a wedge between the town the coming reinforcements on that flank. 2015-03-07 11.36.23Unfortunately the French got into the woods to my left and I allowed myself to be drawn into covering that threat as my main forces pushed forward and tried to hold off the threat.

2015-03-07 12.56.05Part of my problem was poor initial placing of my corps artillery reserve but they eventually began to pummel the troops in the village. Unfortunately, as my weakened troops prepared for the assault they were hit in the flank by French cavalry.

2015-03-07 12.58.59Although I did manage to drive forward to the left of Hoffen and get troops into the woods to support my assault on the town I had lost too many men and my corps was looking fragile.

2015-03-07 16.03.43And as my left started to crumble it was clear the assault was too little too late.

2015-03-07 15.23.38Unfortunately the Prussians had had little success on their flank, struggling to build a strong assault.

2015-03-07 13.33.072015-03-07 16.11.53Both the Prussian and Bavarian corps exceeded their breakpoint on the same turn and it was clear the French had won the day!

The rules worked really well, despite some issues adjusting to the ‘scale’ at the start and it was clear that reserves were crucial. Trying to cover too large a front and fight everywhere just doesn’t work as for any attack to work you need the fresh troops to take advantage.

The game was played in great spirit (we even overlooked Iain’s blatant cheating!) and the pictures don’t really do Dave’s setup justice. There are lots more pics here: Franco Prussian War gallery.

It was a great start to the weekend. More to come on Sunday’s game soon.

 

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