Monday, July 30, 2012

D'Argent in the 18th Century.

The Carriere family has ruled D'Argent since the Early 12th Century.  During that time they have broken the power of the local nobles, expanded the Duchy's trade established relations with many major courts and recruited talent form around Europe.

The Grand Duchy is nominally Catholic but has traditionally been tolerant of all religions as long as they obey national laws and allow those of other faiths to go about their own business. The current Duke and Duchess are only nominally devout and the Duchess grew up as an English protestant.

Argent of course means silver and the mountains of the Duchy have a number of mines though the extent of these veins is a closely guarded secret. Trade in wool, iron, and wine is the primary source of the Duchy's wealthy.  The Duchy must import some of its wheat and other food stuffs in most years usually from Italy or France.

The Duke's family have some holdings along the Rhine river in Germany bringing them into the sphere of the Holly Roman Empire. D'Argent mostly views the the Empire as a potential source of new territory though Italy is generally viewed as a better option for expansion. The Duke tries to play the Bourbons and the Hapsburg's off against each other. Relations with France are closer due to trade and familial ties but the Dukes frequently support Vienna in conflicts concerning the Turks.

Prussian, Hanover and Saxony are viewed as a potential friends or rival. Relations are distant and in the case of Prussia some what soured over land disputes in the Rhineland.

Bavarian and especially Piedmont are closer to home and while relations are generally good these nations have expansionary interest that conflict with D'Argent's.

D'Argent enjoys good relations with the Swiss and has recruiting rights in the cantons.

D'Argent has limited contact with Britain and the Netherlands but has hired out its troops to the Maritime powers at various times and though a number of Jacobins shelter in the service of the Duchy they are not active supporter of the Stuarts.  Most dealings with Britain take place as a result of the Duchy's relationship with Austria or France, though they do maintain an embassy in London.

Russia and the nations of Scandinavia are beyond there direct experience of the Duchy, though at least one member of the court Traces his linage to Sweden.

Spain's machinations in Italy make it a cause for concern to the Duchy and mar the other wise excellent relations they have with the Bourbon Family in general.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Event 10 is the one I am hosting. Looks like a great collection of games.

The Hobby Bunker in association with Boston Trained Bands is hosting the third annual miniatures game day on Saturday August 18, 2012.
The Bunker will be open for gaming until 10 PM*


Morning 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
1) Event Name: Ste. Mere-Eglise Description: The 82nd Airborn/505th Parachute Infantry Regiment captures Ste. Mere-Eglise. It’s June 7th, 1944 (D-Day +1), now can they keep it?

2) Event Name: Guilford Courthouse Description: Cornwallis's last chance to destroy Greene's army and take control of the Southern colonies.

3) Event Name: Battle of Cheriton 1644 Description: On 28 March, the Royalists advanced cautiously south from Alresford.
4) Event Name: First Battle of Sacket's Harbor 1812 Description: A naval battle fought on July 19, 1812, between the American and British naval forces on Lake Ontario.
5) Event Name: Korengal Ambush Description: -- On 25 October 2007 members of 1st Platoon, B Company were returning to base when lead elements of the platoon were caught in a Taliban ambush.
Afternoon 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm
6) Event Name: Shadows over Hanghai Description: Join the villains and heroes, don't miss this hair raising spine tingling episode!!! Beginners encouraged kids are welcome and adults that can play like kids are welcome too!

7) Event Name: Go for the Brains Description: WW2 is coming to a close Werner Von Braun has already come over to the side of the US but his colleagues want to join him.

8) Event Name: Battle of Maldon Description: The Battle of Maldon (991AD) took place on the shores of the River Blackwater in Essex.

9) Event Name: Kings of War Description: Kings of War is a fantasy wargame from Mantic Games.
10) Event Name: French Invasion of England 1759 Description: French Fleet with aid from Sweden and Russia are able to land an invasion force in England.
Evening 7:00pm - ?
11) Event Name: Battle of Mockern October 16, 1813 Description: The Battle of Mockern is the northern section of the first day of the battle of Leipzig (October 16, 1813).

Players $5.00, GM’s Free.

For More Information Please Contact
Games: Richard Claydon

Hobby Bunker
33 Exchange Street
Malden, MA 02148

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wittman Vs. 4th Armor

We had an odd number of players at The Game Castle last night so Ted and Rob split a 2000 point SS Tiger company commanded by the famous Michael Wittman. 

I had a 2000 point list of 4th Armor, our mission was no retreat and I was the defender. Unfortunately my list had 5 platoons so I got two platoons on the battle field to start off with. I picked my Artillery and one of my Armor platoons, I kept the armor in ambush.
German deployment.
I screwed up my deployment putting my CO and 2IC too far forward and when you are facing 88s that re-roll misses (Rob and ted had Every shot counts on both platoons!) that's not going to end well for you.
I was in a tough spot and the guys were willing to let me "jump into" one of my ambushed tanks with a warrior save but I was pretty sure this was not in the rules so I refused. on my turn I sprung my ambush.

My ambush sprung in the field then my Sherman 75s moved to the left of the Tigers for side shots (Detroit Finest and stabilizers baby!) while the Sherman 76s shot at long range at the far platoon.  I killed 3 of 6 tigers and bailed another! As ambushes go this one was very good.

German retaliation of the next two turns was harsh. I lost three more tanks, both my AOP and ground observer. I brought in my infantry because the objective need coverage by more than a few guns. My second tank platoon came in and rather than move directly against the remaining tigers I moved around the right hopping to get behind them for side shots. My infantry above had just killed the German recon in assault though the tiger and berg-panzer drove us off.
The tigers would kill the remaining Sherman form the fist platoon they did not assault or they would probably have won the game.
I got the flank shots I was looking for but my platoon was broken by return fire Still that left only Wittman on the board (he made his warrior save).  My Recon meanwhile had shot up the German AA platoon forcing a company moral check.
Rather than assault Wittman choose to fire on my recon hoping to break the platoon and force a company moral check on me, a check I would auto fail because my officers were dead. Wittman got three hits but I made my saves. I won this one by a whisker. I lost 9 Sherman to kill 5 tigers which is actually really good when you look the historic rate of exchange.

Monday, July 23, 2012

D'Argent's Army (Maurice inspired Imagi-nation)

Infantry 7 Units, 1 Elites and 6 regulars.

The Elite regiment is the Duke's Guard, about two thirds of the soldiers are the best men from the native regiments with the other third made up of young men from noble families from D'Argent and beyond (especially of the poorer variety).  As such the Guard servers as the informal military academy of D'Artgent. Uniforms are White with purple cuffs and small cloths, and silver lace.

Two of D'Argent's Regiments are foreign.

The First of these is Swiss they wear the traditional red coat of French Swiss troops. Cuffs and small cloths are yellow. They have no name at this point.

The Second regiment is Chevalier de Burre's Celtic Regiment comprised of Irish and Scottish Jacobite Exiles. There coats are also red with Black cuffs, and buff small cloths.

The 4 native regiments wear gray coats with small cloths and cuffs in various colors.
For now I will just use numbers but regiments will probably have names relating to provinces or commanders.All infantry wear Black gaiters.
1st Regiment Green Cuffs
2nd Regiment Red Cuffs,
3rd Regiment Black Cuffs,
4th Regiment Orange Cuffs.

Cavalry 3 units 1 Elites and 2 regulars(dragoons).

Gendarmes D'Argent are elite cavalry of the Duchy.  While a large number of the personal are members of noble families the soldiers are not like the Gendarmes of France as they do not serve at their own expense. Uniforms are Red with black cuffs and gold lace.  Uniforms include a back enameled breast plate.

Prince Carriere Dragoons are traditionally commanded Grand Duke's heir, currently his brother.  Uniforms are Blue with Red small cloths and cuffs.

Duchess "Ariana" Dragoons are named for the Grand Duke's wife.  Uniforms are Green with pink small cloths and cuffs.

Artillery 2 Batteries.

The Duchy's artillerymen and engineers wear brown uniforms with orange cuffs.  Small cloths match the coats, gaiters are black like the infantry.

Naturally nothing is fixed until the units in question are painted.

At some point there will probably be a Hussar regiment and a Militia formation for newly raised regiments. Finally I will have some sort of irregular force probably a sort of Mounted Jeager force that will be part boarder guard, part police and part military scouts in organization.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Maurice inspired self indulgence.

Having played one game of Maurice I should probably be more circumspect but I know there are at least two other people people who are interested in this game, Bergi and Rob and a few others who have expressed some interest. So I started looking though my extensive lead reserve of Old Glory 7 Years War figures and I should have plenty to an army of 10 to 12 units.

I am thinking abut 6 or 7 infantry and 3 or 4 cavalry plus a pair of guns and a few national advantages.

I have been fascinated with the whole imagi-nation thing for some years, I used to do a lot of RPGs and while I really do have a preference for war-gaming the idea of having a personality on the board is something I some times miss.

So rather than re-base my current 18th century armies I am building a new one, a fictional one. I am recycling the name from my last RPG campaign were I played a late Medieval/early Renaissance noble man Giscard D'Argent.  My Nation will be the Grand Duchy D'Argent.

I'll use French figures for my troops as I like the look of those uniforms and I like the idea of being of being the guy who sticks with the old school uniforms when every one else starts following Prussian military fashion.

I look forward to designing uniforms, coming up with names and so forth for the regiments of my army.

The Duchy itself will be a river valley looking a bit like a "y" laying on its side with the two forks facing west and slightly north with the tail falling away to the south east.  The flanks of the valley have rugged but not impassable mountains giving way to hills with vineyards, orchards and pasture land. the area along the river itself will be mostly farm lands. One City, two or three decent towns and numerous villages.

Not a bad place to call home I would say.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

1st Maurice Game

Bergi and I tried a game of Maurice.  The figures re from Bergi's 15mm Napoleonic collection I had French he commanded the Russians. I opted to me the attacker so I go extra cards sot start (reading the rules again I also should have gotten an additional regular or 2 addition irregular units, but I hardly have reason to complain).
We played with cards down and think it worked out well. Rob is the gentleman  in the red shirt he refereed the game but he did a great job. Bergi and I both  had 5 infantry (one of which was elite) 4 Cavalry (one of which was elite) and two guns.
This was my set up I had the hill as an artillery position you get to place terrain in Maurice each player positioning one of a predetermined number of terrain pieces. The defender gets to place the last piece. I advance my infantry in the center moved the guns forward a bit and then avanced my cavalry to the left of the field you can see at the top of the picture.

Bergi got in first blood smacking around my infantry with his Guns but I was fortunately able to rally the damage off.

 A savage cavalry battle took place on the left of my line I had two units broken as a result, even my elite Polish Lancers were unable to make headway against Bergi's Cossacks. The losses hurt but it drew the army commander and the cavalry out of supporting range of the infantry and guns in the center.
I took advantage of this unleashing a savage volley followed by a bayonet charge both Bergi's guns and one infantry unit were broken and on Cossack cavalry unit was savaged by my left flank infantry's fire. I used the fire fight card to stop Bergi's volley phase and broke another of his infantry on my turn dropping his moral to zero.

This was a good learning game I find the system some what limiting. you can only activate one "unit" at a time.  Your army commander cannot move unless you spend a card and you rely have to make sure he is in the right place at the right time. This limits your options and makes pre-planning your moves a key.  In this game Bergi got into a situation were his Commander had moved over to support the cavalry and was unable to support the infantry with out spending 3 cards. I am not sure this was actually critical to the game, but it certainly felt important, and in anther situation could be critical.

I think I will do up a Maurice army, I may indulge my yen to create an "imagi-Nation" as the home for my force.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

In Soviet Russia...

War-game miniatures play with you!

Rob has finished my Soviet infantry and they will be shipped soon  He sent me some pictures of this amazing work.  The price was very reasonable, I would be happy to connect any one looking for some painting services.
SMG Platoon
Mortar Platoon
Commissars "Don't turn around"
Battalion Command
Battalion Command side view.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Tournament at the Whiz (4) Breakthrough

The Final battle had me facing Mark's Indian Company form the 8th Army. Mark changed things up by choosing to night attack thus making my normally offensive Armor company the defensive force.  I could only have one mobile force on the board so I picked my recon to back up my AT guns. Air would be all but useless in this scenario (this was the only game I really regretted having it, even if it didn't get me a single kill all day, in 3 games.)  such is war.
 I had my 8-Rads swing around the forest on the left and or press forward to limit Mark's spear head move. some what.  I had hoped to snipe his 40mm AA guns while they were tuck mounted but had not luck. This didn't work out but it did make Mark deploy them further back then I think he would have liked.
 Indians and scouts advance, right at me! My AT gunners were feeling a bit out numbered I have to say!
 MG fire form the 8-Rads and some shots form the guns soon had them pinned.
 The AT guns took out the scouts but then faced attack from the Indians which they drove off with the help of the 8 Rads. The AA guns and Matildas did do some damage taking out two of my AT guns.
 My AT gun got a little of its own back... you can kill Matilda tanks with PAK 38s.  I had gotten both my tank platoons by now and Marks reinforcements got on the board now too.
 My Panzer IIs race to intercept the arriving Indian infantry and mounted AT guns. 
 A combination of MG fire, a failed Dig-in roll and a lucky assault cleared the infantry. from the road and my tanks had good luck sniping the AT guns over about two turns... as Matilda rolled down the road.
I had one shot to stop them, took it with my AT gun, the shot missed Matilda and her sister rolled on to take the objective and shot up the command team of the AT gun forcing a moral check... they ran away. I was able to move my Panzer VIs in to flank position and contest the objective... Mark killed another 8-Rad and the even timed out after several turns of ineffective shooting on both sides. I won this game 4-3 an ugly win if ever there was one. I had a lot of fun playing with Mark, I always do, he was my vote for best sportsman.

Tourment at the Whiz (3) Army parade

My favorite a fine force of Polish Armor!

90th Light Division DAK

Polish Cavalry and the train.

Italian armor.

The Dreaded BAR (this was a 'fun' game going on with one of the tournament organizers)
These are the armies I did not face. Lot of good looking troops.

Tournament at the Whiz (2) No Retreet

In the second battle of the day my DAK Panzer were on an actually desert table! I was facing Mitch and his Guards infantry. His list included two Matilda tanks and battery of 25 Pounders I really hate these especially in combination and to win I would have to face one or the other!

 This was the objective I decided to go after as facing the Matilda tanks was a no win proposition.
 I did use my PAK38 5cm guns (at the top) to fix the tanks in place (this worked for a few turns)
 My 8 Rads used recon and storm troop to limit Mitch's options for his ambush. he had to pop them turn one on the left so there shots were all long range.
 Narrow rods lead to great targets for Artillery but with all these cliffs what can an armor commander do. My dice were bad Air again did nothing, my Panzer IIs got two 25 pounders but with more and more men showing up I was in trouble. Mitch killed 4 of my 5 Panzer IIs it was crunch time and in a real battle I would have cut my losses and run.
This was not a real battle so I tried to assault but Mitch bailed two of my tanks so the assault failed to take place and extended my hand to Mitch. He was a little surprised but I reminded him of the new rules about tanks in assault "glad you remembers that" was his response as he took my hand.  We both had fun, I lost 6-1, I could maybe have survived another turn but I don't think I would have made any head way with the Matilda tanks coming in from behind.

Tournament at the Whiz 1 (Dust up)

This Saturday I made my way to the Whiz for an early war tournament. I used my DAK German Mittler Panzer force form Hellfire and back.  I lost my first two games 4-3 and 6-1 and won the final game 4-3 over all I was pleased with my performance.  The first battle was Dust Up and we had French Armor Commanded by Jason 'defending' against German armor in and around a french Village.

 I only got two units on the board to start so I use my AT guns to hold my objectives and the 8 Rads threaten my foe.
 Ne place his Artillery (105s) and the truck mounted 47mm AT guns. Which you can see wasted no time killing my CO!

 The battle quickly tunred into an urban knife fight with my 8 rads and latter Panzer IIs mixed it up in town square with the AT Guns and latter a set of H39! My Panzer IVs stayed at range providing support.
 My Doom approaching I had only the AT guns and air to hold this flank Air did very badly and my AT guns were down to 1 gun thanks to some good shooting by French artillery.
 Then the French armored cars came... Like I didn't have enough trouble!
 My air makes a last hail marry attack but fails and the french win the game.  This list is just too small sometimes its very hard to take objectives while trying to hold others at the same time. I tried for the early win and things did not go my way.

The final position of the brawl in the village just before the Germans got the order to pull out due to cut supply lines!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Maine Historical Wargamers Association Wargamers Swap, Shop and game Day

Wargamers Swap, Shop and game Day
Saturday, July 28th, 2012
Noon to 5PM at the Winter Street Center at 880 Washington St, Bath. Maine
If you would like a table to peddle your dusty lead, rules, and “projects” that just never
got finished? (Started??)
The tables and the whole event are FREE - yes FREE
Games and Flea Market from Noon to 5PM
and a Ticket Auction with lots of great items to bid on...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Battle Front Bans other miniatures from Tournamentss

The final change we are making is that from the new season all the events we run with will be only allowing Battlefront miniatures to be used. This is bound to cause some debate, so let me be clear as to why we have chosen to go down this path. Joe, Gareth and our events cost a great deal of money to run: a little over a quarter of a million American dollars this year alone. And, although it seems childish to draw a line in the sand and say, “If you want to play at our events and support the FOW hobby, you should not be bringing other people’s models along,” it is absolutely that simple. Our business is a business and we want Flames Of War to grow; we intend to give it the best support we can, but this support has a cost."

I sympathize with the need to make a buck.

I have always been a little surprised that BF was so enlightened in this regard. One of the things that attracted me to the game was that you didn't have to use their models it was a great contrast to my experience with Games Workshops were some shops won't let you play if have a single non-GW model. (I'm speaking of regular old friendly games on Sunday afternoon)  I had some WWII figures from Old Glory and while they are not as good quality wise I was glad I could use them.

I played in my first tournament this spring and had a blast!  It was an all BF forces and probably 90% of my WWII collection is this ruling won't keep me out of any tournaments, but I am still discouraged by it. 

The reason this policy is very discouraging to me, is not that I think it would ever keep me out of a tournament.  I am more concerned with this from the stand point of its "environmental" effect.  Will local tournaments start engaging in the same practice?  Will we start to see BF stores and BF Clubs they way we do with Games Workshops/Warhammer? Games Workshop is a successful brand it is tempting I am sure to use there business model, this included closing tournaments to non-company figures.

I hope this ruling will not start a move toward excluding gamers who like Flames of war but who for a variety of reasons choose not to use BF model. Some guys built their army years ago and see no need to buy the same force again.

Battle Front stuff is great but you pay a premium, there are less expensive models out there, its usually a buck here and buck there but these savings are real especially to the guy who has to set himself a war-gaming budget and stick to it.

Also Battlefront doesn't make every model in its force list, and it doesn't tell you when or if it will make some of them. Some of us wanting to field a particular force will just go buy it form someone who does make it. Shame on Battle front for not telling me when I could get French 25mm AT guns, I wanted them so I got them from Old Glory instead.

Battlefront is a good company and I firmly believe after some consideration they will drop this silly rule.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Invasion of England Play test 2

The English player Bergi and Ted  set up in a strong position. They did make what I felt was an important mistake placing the County Brigade (the second best in the English army) in the center garrisoning the town. I felt this was a better position for a lesser brigade and since I was the ref not a player I told them so, they did it any way. They used the positional battery to hold there right flank it worked as they intended and excepting some long range fire and a small cavalry clash this English right was quiet through out the battle.

The French set up and directed their attack down the center and at the left flank of the English. they go a lucky command roll and were on the hill over looking the road an village before for the English could occupy their works (that will be fixed! Ted I promise!)

The French dice rolls were unbelievably good  especially in hand to hand combat. In Three turns of play the broke an English Cavalry brigade and the English Guard Brigade takeing control off the central hill and turning the English left flank. The Yeomen Brigade to the left of the hill was holding against the leading French infantry but with two more brigades including the Swiss the English left flank was about to fold.  The only question was how dearly those Yeomen could sell their lives.

With the Guards Broke and the County Brigade committed to holding the village the English had no reserves. Over all the game was enjoyed and seemed reasonably balanced given the fact that the two sides were on the opposite end of the bell curve.

Thanks for the great feed back guys I think I have the forces close to right now. I think I will use half scale rather than 2/3rds as I think that will make life easier and keep troops form running across the table in most un18th Century manner. 
The French took the key center hill on turn 1
Bad luck Ted threw 8 dice he needed to get 3s and got none!

Irish and French threaten the Center Pinning English troops to the village.

Generals Bergi and Ted discuss strategy with another Game Castle player.
French Break the Guards Brigade and become kings of the Hill.
French Generals Bob and Rich plot the down fall of perfidious Albion
French hold the hill English Cavalry broken withdraws behind the woods.
English Yeomen get some of their own back holding the French Regiment in Bloody hand to hand fighting.
L'Roi is pleased! Generals Bob is promoted to Marshal of France and Rich is inducted is made Knight of Saint Louis.