Category Archives: AAR

Framlingham 2018 Day 2

After the Russian/Allied setback on Day 1 we decided we all wanted to play another game on the Sunday so we jiggled the terrain and had the British/Allied forces pushing out and attacking the Russian forces. We drew lots for opponents but kept the same forces as the day before. I drew Iain (Essex Boy) as my opponent.. which I knew would result in an ‘entertaining’ game… In an attempt to prevent the usual ruinous cavalry events he is famous for, this time he brought an entirely infantry force to the game made up of two brigades: the Erbprinz (Spencer Smith Little Britons) and the Dystopia National Guard (lovely little figures sculpted, cast and painted by himself) along with a machine gun and a field piece.

After removing a few walls that is was decided would too generously aid an all infantry force, we deployed. My Savage Swans had as captives two Boy Scouts and the unofficial objective of the game was for Iain to recapture them.

My forces deployed at the baseline
And advancing rapidly to gain the centre and some cover
While Iain’s troops did the same with the Erbprinz heading for the cover of the wall

The battle was really in two halves – physically and emotionally! But the events and outcome were strongly shaped by random weather events which from early on saw all units reduced to half movement due to mud and several periods where visibility was so reduced it was impossible for most troops to see anything to shoot at. My rapid advance on the left stalled and Iain was able to make the hedge first. He then let loose multiple withering volleys the vast majority of which I saved! I was then able to deploy and return fire and drove off one unit quickly. 

The Swans and Altefritzenburgers advance rapidly
First casualties
The Swans take fire both from the front and the distance field gun
But one unit is driven back from the hedge

In the centre I pushed forward both Jaegers and these were to do sterling work peppering the advancing troops and holding them back. The Russian Jaegers found alcohol in the nearby house and become very drunk but still fought on until the remaining officer charged the enemy, pistol in one hand and broken bottle in the other, to die a heroes death!

The Jaegers harass the enemy
The devastation on the left
The enraged Jaeger officer having a “are you looking at me?” moment!

On the right, things were not going well for the cavalry. With the Erbprinz advancing valiantly into the fray (or hiding behind a big wall as some would call it…) there was little point in a frontal attack. And getting too close put them at risk from the gun, and staying back allowed the gun and troops to shoot across at the other troops. And when the movement was reduced to half there was no way they could redeploy to the left, and advancing was slow and left them exposed for too long. After a lot of effort I finally got both heavy units brigaded again only for a random Boy Scout to offer to lead them around the flank only to abandon them in a walled enclosure further to the rear! Although the Cuirassiers and the Cossacks tried to advance they were shot to pieces before getting anywhere near the halved charge range! Finally, they and the Naval Battalion in the centre started to withdraw having already lost the machine gun.

Erbprinz hiding…
The mightily confused and lead astray heavy cavalry
The attempted advance against the Erbprinz who had bravely stepped over the wall…
Driven back

While Jaegers died valiantly in the centre and cavalry were frustrated by mud and Boy Scouts on the right the Altefritzenburgers and Swans fought on! Despite exchanging volleys and saving well the extra cover from the hedge was to tell and finally the Altefritzenburgers, reduced to half, fell back in disarray!

Exchanging volleys
Driven from the field!

The Swans on the other hand fought valiantly! As they approached they took fire from front and side and in the fusillade of lead the CO, Oberstmajor Johann Patrick von Donovan, was struck down and severely wounded! This did not stop them pressing on and exchanging fire! But casualties mounted and they stopped at the hedge line and fought and died to a man! Hugely outgunned and outnumbered it was a valiant stand! They left a trail of dead behind them.

The end is near
Casualties mount
The Boy Scouts stand bewildered amongst the dead!
The trail of dead viewed by the seriously wounded von Donovan as he crawls from the field

The Boy Scouts were then taken into the uncertain care of the Erbprinz regiment and the battle was over!

It was an excellent game and it’s always great fun playing Iain, even if he does argue lots! 🙂 I just didn’t have the infantry to fight what was basically an infantry battle and when I could have used the cavalry to at least hold and threaten, the mud made getting them anywhere impossible. Iain had some shocking dice at times but also some convenient brigade activations at crucial times. But overall it balanced out. The card systems works well and is fun. There was some concern that as a force reduces in size those few units can sometimes get multiple activations in succession and zip around a lot. But nothing happened that detracted from the overall fun! I’ll be buying the rules when they are released. 

Thanks again to Tim H and Simon T for all the setup work and all the guys for making it a fun weekend both on the table and in the evenings. And also to Paul for giving me a lift which made the whole trip possible.

I might need some more Shiny toys…

And here’s a small gallery with all the pics and a few at the end from other games.

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And Simon took a load of pics as well which you can see on the LAW forum. His iPad seemed to take much better photos!

http://www.looseasswargamers.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=400

http://www.looseasswargamers.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=401

 

 

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Framlingham 2018 Day 1

The background…

1895 – Following his gallant stand at the Coldstream bridge, Sir William Hullough-Casting was forced to retire towards Berwick before the Russians completed their encirclement of the town. With British forces in Scotland neutralised by Russian occupation, and Crown forces in the South and West, much reduced in number and fending off incursions by French marine raiders, the situation looked bleak. Ireland was in turmoil, and British forces there were committed to fighting a Fenian uprising which was taking advantage of the international crisis, and fomented by agents of the Kaiser.

The only reserves of any note were being gathered in the east of the country, with troops being mustered from whatever source possible. Active and energetic in this, Brigadier Inigo Hardly-Standing had brought together a field force from several disparate elements, including two celebrated units of the Indian Army who had been in London as part of that year’s Royal Tournament. Thanks to his Herculean efforts Hardly-Standing formed the Eastern Command Field Force, and following a flurry of telegraphic communication with Sir William Hullough-Casting this force prepared to march to the relief of Berwick. Sir William agreed to meet the Eastern Command Field Force at Scarborough.

So the field force was entrained at Ipswich to head northwards. However on reaching Boston in Lincolnshire railway authorities reported to the Brigadier that the lines had been cut outside Grimsby. Dispatching mounted scouts Hardly-Standing learnt that a large French force had landed at Skegness and had joined with a Russian naval force which had landed and taken Grimsby three days earlier. Other, unknown military units had been reported supporting the Franco-Russian army which was now marching eastward. Hardly-Standing could not be sure as to the purpose of this landing, it could be the Russian intention to cut off the Midlands and East Anglia from the north, or even march on the south and London. He was the man on the spot and in command of the only sizeable British force that could deal with this new threat. There was good news however.

In response to appeals for help, a small expeditionary force comprised of troops from the minor German principalities had landed at Kings Lynn. This coalition had been formed to oppose Prussian expansionism, and being aware of the real powers at work in this crisis had offered their help to Britain, an offer which was gratefully accepted, the British being desperately short of trained troops at home.

Hardly-Standing posted piquets and vedettes on the approach roads to Boston whilst he organised his forces to meet the threat. With this new influx of forces he was able to put a comparable force into the field against the Franco-Prussians and their lackeys.

Such were the events leading up to the great battles that took place this weekend in The Crown Hotel, Framlingham. Tim Hall and Simon Tonkiss had done a great job organising the event and providing most of the troops. Others (Tim Waudby, myself, Iain Burt, Paul Bright, Mark Philips and Dave McUmphla) had supplied some of their own to greater or lesser degrees. Day 1 saw me facing Mark Philips (Peeler) on the right of the line. My small force was combined with a larger Russian force:

And faced a strong British force who unexpectedly arrived down the road on the flank rather than at the opposing base line:

I tried to advance rapidly to seize the hedge line before the British force could deploy but this did not happen and my central troops only reached the field.

With my cavalry deployed to the right I was faced with either standing and waiting for the British guns to start taking their toll or try and attack the troops now at the hedge. And having not really read the rules properly I mistakenly thought my Guard Cuirassiers might stand a chance against what turned out to be the Grenadier Guards!

It didn’t end well…

Simon was most upset…

This really marked the end of my cavalry action on that flank. The remaining heavy cavalry and cossacks were not happy and retired and milled about, unable to risk getting close to two full battalions and a field gun. They did however stop these units influencing what was a rather bloody battle across the central field as Russian marines, jaegers and a machine gun did battle with British riflemen and cavalry!

This fight was to prove inconclusive.

Meanwhile, on the left my Savage Swans and Jaegers finally advanced to entice forward the two regiments of light and heavy cavalry there. The jaegers running forward and shooting and then shooting and retiring.

Evenually this goaded the cavalry to attempt a charge to run them down. They evaded back through the Swans and the heavy cavalry, not having the move to make contact, stayed where they were but the lancers charged onwards and in. Only to be seen off!

It was at this point we called time. The overall battle had been decided on the other three sections of the table where a British victory was declared. However, it was decided (by me and Paul Bright) that my troops had stopped the British on that flank and could claim a success or at least a winning draw. Peeler, unsurprisingly disagreed! 🙂

Here are the rest of the pics with a few from other parts of the table.

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The rules used were Howard Whitehouse’s upcoming A Gentlemen’s War rules. These are aimed a toy soldier type games but have some great and fun mechanics. We really enjoyed them!

Day 2 coming soon…

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And there’s more!

Following the altercation at Eadric’s hut Brother Simon continued to make his way south towards the monestary where he spent so little time. As the stream wound round again he started to cross at the ford. Only to be confronted by three Normans, obviously not common soldiers.

Simon de Bouc Majeur had got word from the surviving sergeant of the recent bloodshed, and pushing ahead with his hornman and cousin David la Salle he too appeared along the path to cross the ford.

Sensing there were more soldiers in the area, Brother Simon, after the formal introductions with his namesake, said he had seen strange travellers, dark skinned, who, after brief words he had seen leave the path and head northwards.  David ordered the horn be sounded to summon their men!

And Simon, ordering the monk to be on his was, was a little bemused to see the large club the man of God had concealed behind his back! 

But sensing that even a monk might need to protect himself in these troubled times he let him go and awaited the arrival of his men. The hunt was on!


These are three Crusader Miniature Normans that Simon (Goat Major) sent me along with the monk figure. Although already nicely painted the style didn’t really fit with mine so in the Dettol they went and yesterday they were painted and today based.

Nice figure and easy to paint. Three more characters added to the story!

 

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Returning home… a first little game of Song of Blades and Heroes

I’ve been trying  to get round to trying SoBaH for a while but despite having the table set up it never seemed to happen. However, this evening I finally threw a few figures on the table and tried the basics out. I kept it simple. A Norman knight and four of his sergeants are patrolling the local woods and come across a Saxon hut and it’s lone occupant, Eadric. Eadric has served many times in the Fyrd for his lord and soon grabs his spear and shield to defend himself! I’d started everyone quite close together and gave the Normans the initiative. I used a system I found on a blog (which I can’t remember but will try and dig out!) where for the opposition in a solo game you have one dice marked 1-3 and roll that with three other dice which you can order (I chose red/white/blue). So for activation rolls if the yellow dice is a 1 you use the red dice, a 2 you use the red and white etc. The first rolls saw the Norman sergeants rush ahead, apart from the chap at the back managed to end the turn!

Across the bridge, Grimmwulf was returning from his long travels with his two companions, Abdul Khaliq el-Rahimi and Kameel al-Hameed. As Grimmwulf drew his two blades, he and Kameel headed to the bridge.

But Abdul, seemed a little hesitant and they paused, not knowing why.

This saw the first blows struck as Eadric fought with the first Norman!

Kameel rushed onto the bridge but Grimmwulf sped past him to confront their first enemy!

In a flurry of flashing blades the first man fell to Grimmwulf’s wrath!
And sensing the new threat the furthest Norman paused to consider his options!

Grimmwulf bellowed his war cry but seeing three potential enemies paused.

A sergeant rushed at him but was stunned, falling to his knees!

Meanwhile, the Norman knight rushed to face Kameel as he reached the end of the bridge and forced him back!And Grimmwulf, his opponent at his mercy, dispatched him bloodily and mercilessly!Seeing this two of the Normans fled back But their leader was made of sterner stuff and fell back in the face of three foes. Coming to blows with the savage warrior with the two swords he was pushed back and as his men made haste to escape he too fell back. He had encountered a fearsome warrior and lost two of his men! As his foes gathered along the path he bid them farewell and headed back to report his news.And Grimmwulf and Kaleem prepared to help the old warrior whose life they had clearly saved.And that was it! As it was a solo game I think  the three dice approach worked well. Generally, I rolled two for ‘my’ chaps except for Grimmwulf as I had given him the Hero trait so he always gets one successful activation. His two-blades trait proved quite nasty in combat but he did roll well. His final attack was two 6s which enabled the grusome kill that prpmpted the morale checks that led to the Norman fleeing!

The basic stats were:

Norman Knight: Q3/C4 and the Sergeants: Q4/C3
Eadric was a basic Fyrd warrior: Q4/C3
Kaleem and Abdul; Q3/C4
And Gimmwulf was Q3/C4 with Hero and Two Blades traits

I’d made up a measuring stick beforehand as well has marking out the D3 I used.I was playing the Advanced rules so used Reactions for both sides. I’m not sure this really worked solo but it was OK. I think I need to look at one of the other solo rules variants for a more formal way of handling the enemy. But the game was simple and quick. The hero did the killing, the bad guys ran away and the Norman knight now has an enemy who got the better of him and must now seek revenge!

More to come!

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Ayton 2018

And as the first May Bank Holiday passes we complete yet another excellent Ayton gaming weekend! This was our 8th gathering and this year, as we often do on alternate years, we returned to the C18th with our ImagiNation forces. The background and pre-game campaign was run by Henry Hyde and you can see related updates on this, the weekend itself and Henry’s excellent maps of his new ‘Indian’ subcontinent over on his Twitter account: https://twitter.com/battlegames

The crux of all the pre-game shenanigans was that myself and Purps (the armies of Altefritzenburg and Cress) had secured the pass at Currybad having spotted a large enemy force to the north. This force was commanded by Jeremy and Jamie – the Ayton Virgins! Jeremy in particular has made a huge effort painting up a large ‘British’ force just for the event!

The main area of conflict (used by permission)

Day One

We took up defensive positions behind the crest of the pass, hiding our strength and deployment from the approaching enemy light troops and cavalry.

As the enemy approached the crest our forces gradually became visible.

As the enemy approached Purps threw forward three regiments of hussars! 

And echoing Purps past reputation for valiant charges, they all died horribly!

Slowly as the advance continued our full forces came into view.

I had managed to place the heavy and medium guns of the Legion on a hill to the far right and there were able to pepper the enemy advance throughout the whole game.

It then transpired (for various campaign reasons) that the Two Js were joined by the Big G as Gary P joined our table and started marching on battalion after battalion of fresh troops…

The table was getting very full and the prospect of a successful defence was looking less promising… The upshot was that the weight of Gary’s massed troops and those of Jamie were just too much for me to bear and the elite Guards Brigade was to be the hammer that finally pushed me back and prompted a withdrawal back down the pass. 

Highlights (or not 🙂 ) of the game were my valiant Jaegers skirting the rough ground to take up post in the woods on a steep hill to threaten the advancing enemy. Only to be thoroughly dislodged by heavy cavalry who in one move advanced, changed from column of march to line, and charged uphill and into the woods! I may have felt a tad aggrieved! 🙂

A similar fate was to befall my native Indians. They executed a perfect ambush of a passing cavalry column but refused to charge home! They at least had the chance to run away!

And in the centre one of Gary’s Highland units hit two of mine and rather upset them!

So that was the end of Day One. Much fun had, even if if the odds were stacked against us! Having just about held on ’til nightfall we retired back down the pass to Fizzipop where we rejoined the main army and dug in to await the assault. There are a pile more pictures from Day One in the Gallery Ayton 2018 Day One.

The other game on Day One saw the invading forces marching and assailed on all sides by native troops. I was too busy to take many pics (the odd random one in the gallery!) but there are plenty in the links at the bottom of this post.

Day Two

Day Two is the BIG ONE! 35ft table and a LOT of figures! In the past we have often faced off across the table using our own forces of infantry, cavalry and artillery. This year Dave Hall came up with the suggestion of massing the cavalry on the one flank for a huge cavalry ding dong! The central area was the fortified city of Fizzipop (which myself and Simon (Goat Major) were defending, and the right flank had more massed infantry and light troops.

As you can see, a big table with  LOT of troops. I had the pleasure(?) of defending the old part of the city with its crumbling walls against the argumentative might of Peeler(Aytonia) and Essex Boy (The Gateway). My cavalry were deployed to the left as part of the cavalry wing but were actually facing Aytonian infantry and guns.

My infantry and guns were deployed on and behind the walls and towers and in the buildings in the town.

The general flow to the left (while Dave and Gary fought massive cavalry melees!) was that my cavalry advanced. It was either get peppered by guns of try and run them down while the rest of the force engaged what cavalry were there. The glorious Braunschweig Cuirassiers charged and were met by Peeler’s tripled barrelled organs of death and one volley saw them reduced by more than half!

I sent the flaming pigs forward to try and disrupt the enemy cavalry but they were intercepted by Peeler’s Savage Nuns!

The Legion cavalry (lancers and dragoons) charged to engage Aytonian heavy cavalry. Despite getting in first strike the dice were well against me and both units were heavily defeated!

The highlight of the defence were the Medetian rocket battery who managed to not blow up and despite some very random trajectories inflicted a good few casualties on the enemy!

The defence of the town was a grim affair as the might of the Gateway began to pummel the walls (destroying a tower and gateway) and advanced en masse. My light troops (Grenzers, Jaegers and ambushing Indians) bought valuable time for the defence with the Grenzers in particular dying to a man!

But then the assault began. The Gateway light troops advanced to the two breaches but both were driven back with volleys from the Altefritzenburgers and Legion infantry.

And as darkness started to fall the Gateway infantry made their attack. In the centre they were held.

But on the right the famed Bolyn Regiment withstood a devastating volley and then charged home across the rubbled walls. Despite being outnumbered they pushed back the Legion! And gained a foothold inside the defences!

But darkness would save the day and defenders. With no success in the other side of town the assault was deemed to have failed and Fizzipop was held!

The cavalry battle to the left of the town was a bloodbath! Very few units left on the table! Jeremy was assaulting the toughened defences in the other half of town defended by Simon but wave after wave was repulsed! And on the right the massed infantry of Medetia and Cress (under Purps) stood their ground against the massed enemy commanded by Jamie.

It was a massive game. I think another couple of turns of daylight might have seen victory in the town as the assault from Peeler was about to commence (he never rushed really! 🙂 ) and I just didn’t have the forces to hold them back. All good fun (as Ayton always is) and some excellent feeding and drinking on the three nights though not to the excesses of earlier years (some of us take longer to recover now!).

The rest of my pics are in the Ayton 2018 Day Two gallery. You’ll get some idea of the scale of the cavalry battle and the sheer number of troops on the table

There are some excellent pics of both games (and the excellent modern Africa skirmish game) from Simon over on the LAW forum:

http://www.looseasswargamers.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=281

http://www.looseasswargamers.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=282

And a huge collection from Henry himself on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/battlegames/sets/72157666714688727/

As ever, thanks to all concerned (especially Henry and Peeler) and to my opponents on both days. It was a pleasure (even against Peeler and EB!).

Roll on next year.

 

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