Friday, November 29, 2013

Plug for a Gallant Foe/Friend

Winston and I worked together for about two years as tour guides on Boston's Freedom Trail.  I have know him much longer as we are both Revolutionary War Reenactors. He portrays an officer of the 1st Foot Guards while I portray a soldier of the French regiment Saintonge and sometime civilian fencing master.  Hence the "Gallant Enemy" line.
 Winston now has his own company New England Military History Tours  He is offering tours in the greater Boston Area focusing on military history, with an obvious emphasis on the British experience here in the Colonies. He's very knowledgeable and has a great persona that adds something to extra to the tours.

You can see a commercial he produced for his company here:

If you happen to be traveling to the Greater Boston Area and you have an interest in Military History Winston is your man. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I would like to wish all my friends, readers and any one who stumbles on this a Happy Thanksgiving.  Enjoy the holiday and count you blessing large and small.

Adam Carriere
(aka the Fencing Frog)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tanksgiving with Kampfgroup Commander

Dave brought out his micro armor for a battle out side Stalingrad. OK its not a real Tanksgiving as that is an official Battlefront event but there were a lot of tanks and I don't think you can copy right a pun.  Dave played the roll of German commander trying to hold by the soviet pincer while Ted and I commanded the Soviets, Ted had a Cossack formation while my own command was tank brigade (a battalion in any other army).
My command the 95th Tank Brigade
The small village that would prove the focal point of our contest
Dave and Ted over look the battle field as Dave decides which of his cleverly hidden troops to revel.
The Russian advance... not a lot of options for subtly here so in we go!
 Dave whacks one of my T-34 formations hard killing two and driving the rest off I got One Panzer III in return not a good trade.  The tank riders bail out and seek shelter in a near by wood.
I send in more tanks and get whacked again my dice rolls during this section of the game were pretty terrible.
Ted is pressing in the center with some more success. While I have all my tanks shaken so with out a rally I really can't move them(not if I want to do anything else)... so they stay still and try to shoot it out. 
Ted Presses in on the Panzergrenadiers and the 8.8 Gun it took a while but the Cossacks proved more deadly in close than the Germans.
Slowly I pick on Panzer IIIs but lose another T-34 I can't move(because of poor command rolls) return fire is my only real option.
I did catch this Panzer III by surprises and soviet anti tank guns and grenades took him down hard. Ted press forwarded in the center and pushed on the village but more German tanks revealed them selves and soon we were down to two KV-1s in the fight. My push on the village has some success...
but I lost another T-34 and the 4th and final tank ran for cover though I did take out all the Panzer IIIs in the shoot out. We called it at this point a German victory.  Kampfgroup Commander was fun though the soviets are a frustrating army to command especially when you dice are only average to poor as mine were last night.  I'd play again I do enjoy playing at a higher level of command than than the company/battalion level of Flames of War.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

War Gaming Worse than Porn? Recation to WI314

The current issue of Wargames Illustrated (WI314) has an article in its "fighting talk column" entitled "Worse Than Porn?" (Sorry the article is not on line)The article starts with the following line "Fess Up! Its Easier to slip Wargames Illustrated between the pages of your porn Mag which for some, would be infinitely less shameful to be caught in possession of."  Really?  If you the author (Barry Hilton) is that ashamed of hobby he not only claims to enjoy but is presumably paid to write about maybe he needs another way to spend his free time, and earn a living.
This isn't the fist time I have run across this attitude, I've never understood it not since I was a teenager playing D&D at an all boy's high school.  War Gaming is done at West Point, Sandhurst, and other military academies not to mention various war colleges and government agencies surely that make it masculine and adult enough for anyone concerned with image.

I display painted miniatures at my desk at work far from making me a social pariah they generally impress my co worker (those who even notice them) and even help make good fist impression on a new boss about year ago.  He latter related to our team at a meeting "when I met and shadowed Adam I saw the toy soldiers at his desk.  I asked if he collect them and he said yes and that he had pained them all himself.  When I saw how small they were and how much attention to detail he had paid in painting them I knew I had the right man for the job.  I knew he would bring the same attention to detail tot he work he did for us."  I would like to think I have held up on that impression too.

I consider myself an average to slightly above average painter and modeler.  I can design a decent scenario for a game and set up a reasonably pleasing table with the terrain I have.  I think of my self as a journeyman rather than a master in this hobby-craft of ours.  Why should I be ashamed, why should those who actually get a pay check out of it be ashamed?  that's a mystery to me on the contrary I feel pride in what I can do.

Sure there is a certain stereotype associated with war gamers but why should that matter in the 21st century and why are we helping perpetuate that stereotype when we ought to be stepping into the light and sharing what we do, not trying to hide it or apologize for it.

So yeah I paint and play with toy soldiers you have a problem with that I think that's your problem not mine. Your a war gamer and your ashamed of it?  maybe you should take up golf or something else you won't feel the need to hide.

War gamer and proud!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Liegnitz at Hobby Bunker

I had volunteered to put together a scenario for the Boston Trained Band  back in August back then a November date seemed far away .  Naturally it came up faster than I expected and I had been side tracked by other projects Never the less I was able to put on the Battle on Liegnitz Saturday thanks in part to Frank Chadwicks excellent seven years war Scenario book.

I modified the scenario slightly putting a small force of Austrians representing Daun's Army to the Prussian's rear.  In Chadwick's book the Austrians can score a minor victory by engaging and inflicting a certain number of casualties on a part of the Prussian Army that us unengaged in the real battle. That is fine for a one on one game but in a group game it leaves some one with the job of trying not to fight.  I chose to give this section of the Prussian army a job so that player would have something to do.  Rules were Black Powder.
 Above is the historic Austrian force under Loudon (played by Steve in this case facing the Prussian army massed on the Plateau, Rich had the roll of Prussian Commander. I was acting mainly as the Ref but also commanded the Austrian cavalry at the very top of the frame.
Mike had command of the Daun's advanced corps a brigade of Reich army (because they are colorful) and a mixed force of Austrian Grenadiers and Grenzers.  Bill commanded the Prussian Rear Guard. These few pictures are thanks to Rich as I forgot my camera in my concern over getting everything needed to play organized.
The initial attack by Austrian Light infantry and Hussars moving though the woods was decisively beaten back by the Prussians.  The one brigade Austrian infantry advanced over the bridge with artillery and all looked lost when on turn two with Prussian horse in the neighborhood that brigade failed to make its command check but the Prussian Cavalry had command problems of their own and wound up falling short on his charge and with his brigade strung out. over the next few turns a combination of Austrian Infantry(mainly) and Cavalry would drive off these troopers and break that brigade.
Mike is steadily Advancing on the Prussian rear while Steve and I our victory over the Prussian Cavalry not with standing are having a hard time getting to grips with the Prussian main force.  In part this was due to some poor command rolls.  The Prussian fire and their strong position also play a roll.  After several turns Mike breaks though the village to the rear of the Prussian position Breaking an infantry brigade and chewing up a second Prussian Cavalry Brigade.

The main Austrian Force has recovered form its initial command confusion has begun to press in on the Prussian front and flank.  The Prussians are in a ring of steal  and a we decided the out come is more or less inevitable.  So a Minor Austrian Victory is declared.  Thanks guys for the feed back so far I think I did make the Austrian Grenadiers too strong. Any other observation would be appreciated.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

3+ Painting plug for a friend

Hello folks yes this is an advertisement for my friend Robin's friends painting service called 3+Painting He has a little black Friday deal going place a commission of $100 or more and get 15% off.
Troll Moses here shows you he is worth what you pay him.  I took a painting class with Robin and learned a lot if you have figures you want painted and have more money then time he is your man.

1st Game of Longstreet

Ted Dave and I decided to give Longstreet a try last night.  We did the the Hilltop battle. While we were not doing the grand campaign we used those starting armies as a basis for our force. Ted (army and hands above) had 3 Eager Recruits (ER) Union infantry and one cavalry (ER) and the starting artillery (two 6 pounders and a howitzer) .
Dave (forces above) had 3 ER infantry of 10 stands and a smaller unit of Zouaves replacing his cavalry. To keep from being too out numbered I had 5 Infantry units all ER and One unit of cavalry.  I was the defender but chose to play aggressively because this seemed appropriate (we did not use any Biography cards)
Seeing a significant gap between the Union Brigades I send my cavalry forward and moved up the 18th Alabama to support them. My plan was to hold Dave off while hopefully turning Teds flank and rolling him up.
I tried a charge using Cavaliers (to counter act charging from the front) but lost a tie and fell back into the swamp Ted had placed using poor survey (have to check that we did this right) 
Ted's own Cavalry was working around my Flank so the 5th Texas move to meet them.
The Hampton Legion Dismounts but gets shot to pieces, Ted confirmed all 5 hits!
Still things are looking reasonably good against Ted until he uses a card (I forget the specific name) to give his men extra movement and hits me all along the line. I used the Fresh Fish card giving him a -1 on his combat dice but the 3rd Arkansas (center) is in for rough handling. 
The Drive off the Yankee unit on the left but the one on the right scores a number of hits and I am driven back. Yankee Cavalry charging on foot is seen off with ease by the 5th Texas.
I do some retrograde movements to stabilize my position both her and on the left as Dave has started to get to grips with the 1st and 4th Texas on that side.
His two regiment charge hits the 1st Texas.  Once again I win against the unit on the left but loose to the unit on right and I am driven back through the 4th Texas.
What a mess!
The 18th Alabama makes one final charge to try and turn Teds flank and wins getting 5 hits Ted uses his cards to limit casualties. Ted sends his men right back in on his turn I throw them back.  But I have miss calculated I have run out of cards to draw leaving me with 3 in my hand.
Its my turn I resuffle but cannot draw until after my turn and  before I can do any thing Dave uses the "they couldn't hit an elephant" I roll a 6 leaving me with NO CARDS. I cannot shoot and must pass.   On their turn Ted charges destroying the 3rd Arkansas but is unable to break the 5th Texas but things look grim and Dave who has move slow but steady all game has overwhelming  force closing in on my men.
Dave's charge brings three units to bear on the 4th Texas and utterly destroys them.  At this point I with the shop's closing time approaching I concede the battle. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

DBA Camps

 As Maureen said camps are the soul of a DBA Army and she has made some lovely ones.  Above are is her Celts camp with druids and priestess preparing sacrifices fro good luck (it worked too).  Directly below is my Orange grove camp a lovely little scene.  Finlay below we have a Greek party or maybe its religions ceremony some times in the acient world its hard to tell

First games of DBA with Boston Trained Band

Saturday I made my way to the Hobby Bunker and Maureen(above) was kind enough to lend me a early Imperial Roman army.  Maureen was also my first opponent with Celtic British army.
Roman cavalry and Briton light cavalry have an old fashion stand off going
Charriots swing for my left as war-bands storm the hill...
and crash into my Auxilas
The fighting did not go my way and I was driven off the hill with two losses.
But I was a able to reform and my Scorpion Bolt thrower on the left started harassing the chariots
As my line wheeled and crashed into the Britons
One of those pesky chariots gets my artillery.
We get to grips and manage to destroy two Briton units...
but lose my final stand, giving Maureen the win 4-2.  I learned a lot in the game about the system and Maureen was a good teacher.
Next I faced another Roman army this one I believe was a late republican army, commanded by Tyler, so it was almost the Roman Civil war.  My plan was simple march forward and engage with the legionaries(Blades) ... use the auxillas to shield the left while the cavalry would try to work around the right.
My my dice had been rather bad in my fist game but were red hot in this one.  my artillery helped break up Tyler's line giving me a significant advantage the clash of arms. Tyler was also handicapped by deploying part of his army on the wrong side of the river and by truly lousy dice roles. 
Legion faces legion as my Axuilla's over lap a flank and destroy a key spear-man unit and my blade press both Tyler's front and right flank.
I won the battle by the same 4-2 margin Maureen beat me by.  Had Tyler had better luck with the dice the game might have been very different.