Category Archives: AAR

ShedCon 2018 – Grays

Despite a knackered foot and hobbling around I made the trip down to the home of Iain Burt (Essex Boy) in Grays for a 20mm WSS game to christen his shed! 

The shed is outstanding. Plenty of room for an 8’x5′ table and six of us around it. Lots of storage at one end and under table. The table is great, can be reduced in size to 6’x5′ if needed and was all built by Iain himself. The raised edge has hills and sky painted on to aid with taking nice pictures! I arrived Friday afternoon and although Iain has been planning an preparing this game for over six months I was roped into painting the bases in trees and later he was finishing basing figures! But the plan in the day was to get up early and at 8am go into the shed to lay out the table. That shouldn’t  take long should it? I knew he has some painted blankets so just throw those down and lay out the terrain on top? Not Iain… 

First a layer of 1″ polystyrene laid down followed by a double layer of compressed underfloor insulation sheets….

The river sections were then laid out and the course marked and the whole thing cut out of the insulation board to create a recess.

The blankets were then laid down, tucked under the boards and locked in by the edges and pressed into the recess to allow  the river to sit in that with matching blanket material to blend it in. A LOT of work but it really looked good.

Now the roads. These were made for the game and just needed laying out as planned as they only fitted one way. Half an hour late after looking at pictures and ‘trimming’ a few bits they finally all fitted! 🙂

A few buildings and fields and a LOT of trees added and we had the final table. Well worth the effort. The trees especially looked the part.

The scenario was a simple one. Myself and Dave Hall were defending the road junctions. Five wagons were placed at road entry points (mostly on the far side) and at end of game the other side (Simon, Gary and Tim) had to have clear roads to exit at least three of the wagons off their side of the table. As long as we had a unit that could charge the road along a route then it was blocked. We started with four infantry brigades deployed anywhere two feet away from the three ‘enemy’ sides of the table. They started with five brigades coming on at table edges. Other brigades (cavalry and infantry) were fed in to either side as Iain saw fit. Rules were based on Rank and File with a few mods from Iain.

I’ll post all the pics in a gallery but a few here to describe the key events of the game. I was defending the right against Simon with a Yomper brigade (it’s the name we give to the figure!) which included the Savage Swans and the Alterfritzenburg brigade was deployed centrally to cover against a central attack by Tim. 

Dave had the tougher job of defending the left village and centre against a determined Gary and Tim.

The battle around the village was savage with Gary having to battle through angry townsfolk and then unit after unit being thrown back before, after pushing and pushing, Dave was thrown back. Although, the road was almost open Dave was able to put up a final line of defence and with a unit of cuirassier in support still controlled the crucial junction.

In the centre Tim had a tough task. Both myself and Dave had brigades blocking his way and the impassable woods made it hard to make numbers tell as he tried to cross the river and bring his force to bear. Two gun batteries caused casualties even at distance and as both were often able to converge on one unit it made progress slow. However, as the flanks came under more pressure and unit had to be moved in support the defence in the centre weakened and with a little more time the defence would have collapsed. However, time was on the side of the defenders!

My battle was to be a grinding affair on the right to seize control of the road. After Simon’s initial attack stalled he withdrew to control the road. As his cavalry came on some went up into the woods to battle with some stubborn local militia. As his force consolidated its defence it became clear I would need to advance and contest the road as if we did lose the other flank then we could not afford to give an easy ‘point’ away here. So my first brigade advanced and the ensuing firefights did not go well for me. Supporting dragoons and cuirassiers came up and the dragoons charged into the face of multiple battalions and guns and did not fair well! The supporting cavalry did push back Simon’s line but they too were eventually thrown back. The Savage Swans were the only unit of the brigade to survive and as supporting units of Altefritzenburgers, battered from their own battles, came up in support it was clear that here too the defenders still contested the road. 

So, as the day drew to a close it was decide the defenders had done their duty and held the roads! It was a great game. The rules worked well. Each unit rolled for quality as they took their first test. I ended up with quite a few green troops! We used low ammunition rolls which restricted the power of guns a little. And the various markers and flags that Iain produced made the game flow really well. Equally the good company and their approach to the game did likewise. A pleasure to play with the chaps again! Here we all are: Iain Burt, Simon Tonkiss, Andy McMaster, Dave Hall, Gary Phillips and Tim Hall.

It was a pleasure to play with Iain and Gary’s collections and to christen the new shed in such fine a manner. Many thanks to Iain for all the work put in.

And as a final note, I spent the Sunday helping Iain buy a new PC and then setting it all up for him. I was rather shocked when I saw the PC it was replacing! I don’t think I’ve seen a monitor that small for nearly ten years!

Thanks for looking. All the images from the day are at: ShedCon 2018 Gallery

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Fire and Fury in Whitley Bay!

And a second game in one month! This week the Whitley Bay 3D Gamers club were meeting on Wednesday rather than Tuesday. Tuesdays are currently slightly problematic due to my wife’s hectic Pilates schedule! 🙂 but finishing work slightly early and having access to the car makes the odd Wednesday possible. There were four games being played last night:

A large Bolt Action game:A 15mm AWI rules playtest:And a WW2 boardgame:

And a large’ish 15mm ACW Fire and Fury game laid on again by Andy Oliver. Three players aside it was basically a meeting engagement with three divisions aside and the various hills being the objectives for victory points. I took a Union division of three decent size brigades and a battery and set up next to the wooded enclosure with the two hill to my front being the targets. Over the far right the troops were in action straightaway with Andy’s division again assailed by two divisions!My troops prepare to advance.Although my first brigade faltered and forced the supporting brigade to pass through!To my left, Rod started a rather cautious advance alongside the road…The Rebels (Lawrence) advanced to the central hill but seemed hesitant.And on the left their large brigade prepare for the onslaught of Rod’s division!While Lawrence’s other brigade and guns set to hold the hill!
With a possible threat to my right I held back my brigade and battery and finally advanced on the far hill. Meanwhile on the far right Andy was having a few problems…And the other hill the Union had secured prepared to defend it.With the threat to my right gone as those brigades shifted their target my brigade began a long round of combats with the Rebels facing them.Finally my central attack drove home as both brigades went in with great enthusiasm!Sweeping the brigade from the field and crashing into the guns behind!While my other brigade was pushed back again!

Having driven the guns back as well my brigades took the hill but the supporting brigade became a little confused, refused to re-deploy and after some enfilade fire was hit in the flank by a rapidly moving brigade.And to my left Rod’s division, having ‘secured’ a hill and only fired a few shots from the battery sat and observed… As my enfiladed brigade was swept away and my forward brigade faced rebels to front and rear!And that was it really. I had gained a hill and lost it! On the right, Rebels, despite suffering badly still managed to hold ‘their’ hill and in the centre drove the Union off another. It was looking a poor show for the Union… at least where they fought! 🙂

A nice, quickly set up and played game that was good fun. A couple of players hadn’t played before but in most circumstances the rules are pretty straightforward. Thanks again to Andy for organising it.

And in other news… at the weekend I managed another short game of X-Wing with Zach. This time his sister (Hannah) wanted to play (she’s 11). For a change he too two X-Wings with decent pilots and I took a TIE and Interceptor and Hannah two TIEs. The game didn’t last long. We got lucky and managed Hannah’s TIEs hitting on X-Wing and stripping the shields. As I tried to get shots on my target I ended up getting a long range shot at the already damaged ship. Two hits. One a critical causing two damage! Scratch one X-Wing! Luckily tea was ready as Zach was none too pleased! Good to be playing stuff anyway!

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Fire and Fury on Tyneside!

Last Saturday I managed a pass to get down to the Tyneside Club to play some Fire and Fury. With a proposed sub-LAW game pending in March I thought it worthwhile to get some games in to get up to speed with the rules. 

Andy put together a scenario based on Antietam where him, myself and Paul took the divisions of Jones, Hill, and Ewell respectively under Jackson to hold the ground around Dunker Hill against a strong Union attack commanded by Rod, Frankie, Ben and Alex. 

I think the scenario was roughly based around Hooker’s Attack on the Fire and Fury UK website as the map was similar to the one there.

I took Hill and deployed on the hill! Paul to my right defending Roulette and Andy on my left defending the West Wood. The Union forces deployed across a broad front but two divisions concentrated on Andy and the West Woods With three brigades deployed forwards Andy was going to have a tough time against two divisions! However the attacks in the centre and to the CSA right were very slow getting going… Not so the troops heading into the West Wood! These woods were to see a LOT of fighting as Andy fought the Union to a standstill in the woods but never quite getting the dice to breakthrough and cause havoc in the Union rear. Frankie’s attack made slow progress though the fields but he eventually concentrated his guns (as did I) and we had much counter battery fire. The Union should have had the better of this (and eventually did) but my guns held their own for many turns despite having one battery destroyed and guns silenced…. Finally Ewell moved forward and engaged on the right. Against the odds he help up the Union advance very well.The battle for the West Wood raged but their flank had been turned and troops were now descending on their flanks.Finally, Union troops leave the fields and advance against Dunker Hill.This was the climax of the battle in the woods as the two CSA brigades were attacked front and rear/flank.

We had some discussion here as to whether a brigade forced to retreat (and NOT disrupted) could retire through the gap away from BOTH lots of Union troops? In the end we ruled yes. That allowed one brigade to escape. The other, already disrupted, could not.

Meanwhile, on the CSA right the battle raged on and brigades moved to the centre to defend the church and hill. The remains of the CSA artillery are threatened by a Union brigade. The attack on the centre looks finally to be getting underway.But as dusk was falling the CSA came off the hill and tried to destroy the attack before it could get underway. Andy’s troops on the left were still holding that flank against Ben. The attack in the centre was held off and Paul, on the right, had held all his objectives (the farms). As the CSA main objective was to hold the high ground I felt we had really achieved that. As night fell, the Union called of the attack. Totalling up the points it was a good CSA victory. Andy on the left had suffered quite badly but had held the flank and severly mauled two divisions. Frankie and not pressed his attack quickly enough so the high ground was held, and Alex had never got near the farms. We felt that a Day Two would see the CSA pushed off the hills, especially as their guns had suffered. But the first day definitely went to Jackson!

Andy had continually asked for support, but to get their I would have had to move off the hills and across open ground covered by the Union guns. And as the objective was to hold the hill I felt the more damage and time Andy gained would aid that. If the centre and right attacks had been pushed more vigorously I think the outcome could have been different. It was a good game and thanks to Andy for organising it.

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First proper game of X-Wing

Last night I finally freed up some time to play some proper X-Wing with my lad, Zach. We still stuck to the Core Set and basic ships just to get the basics down. Again, I took the lone x-wing against the two TIEs. This time we remembered to put the shields on the TIEs! Just using the standard pilots.First couple of moves saw us rush headlong and gave me the chance to pop at the slower pilot. There then followed a bit of dog-fighting where I caught the slow pilot again but the better guy was closing in and stripping off my shields. However, a couple Critical Hits on my main target finally let me take him out.And left me facing the tough guy!This got very close in and dirty with some quite good manoeuvring from Zach!As we prepared for yet another run past we were both down to one Hull left. I evaded his one hit (using my focus) and had three attacks on him…Which didn’t go as planned! Another couple of turns and we were still battling! A final run. He missed. I got the hit I needed!

Good fun and the lad did well. More importantly he didn’t strop when I beat him and wants to play again! 🙂

Couple of things came up:

Assume that if your stress goes after your green manoeuvre you are then free to do an Action?

And the vinyl mat – the ships slide very easily on it. Is there a solution to this? Does someone do the bases with a non-slip bottom to them? It’s not a big problem if careful but we knocked the mat once or twice and the ships slid around!

All in all, good fun and looking forward to the next game in which Zach is desperate to try some new ships! Of which we have a few! Richard (aka Herkybird) at the Tyneside Club very generously gave us a selection of his ships that were surplus to his requirements so we have the following to choose from:

  • 1 Tie Defender
  • 1 Z-95 Headhunter
  • 1 Starviper
  • 1 E-Wing
  • 1 M3-A Interceptor
  • 1 Tie Phantom
  • 1 VT-49 Decimator
  • 1 YT-2400 Freighter
  • 1 IG-2000
Thanks again, Richard! Richard has a set of solo mechanisms for playing the game and I’m tempted to give those ago with the lad so we can plan the actions together. The rules are available here: X-Wing Solo Rules.
I actually played a big 15mm ACW Fire and Fury game at the club on Saturday so the write up for that is coming soon!
 
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A first try at X-Wing

My lad wanted to try the new game out ASAP so despite waiting still for the star game mat I laid out a couple of other mats, punched the components and we started the intro game. He took the bad guys!

I managed to inflict damage on one TIE and he took out some of my shields. We were both getting the hang of the movement and also of not knocking the ships out of position! We managed half a dozen or more turns before Cubs beckoned! The mat has now arrived but I need to flatten it out a bit and find a bigger playing surface for the 3ft square! Might need to grab a bit of 4×2 MDF as I have a spare piece anyway…

Good fun. And needles to say I have additional bits on the way!

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