Tuesday 26 July 2016

A Casual Sundays WW1 Naval

HMS Royal Oak trains her guns on a distant target
Whilst the endless procession of 1/2400 ships roll on and off the production line those that are finished are not sat idle. One of the great joys of Naval Wargaming is the quick set up time for a game, no rooting out trees and hills, getting the right buildings in the right scale, oh no three 6 x 4 cloths on the table, bing bang bosh ready to go.

Team Atkinson
It's also quite easy to set a game up, you can go for the historical action and let's face it there weren't too many in WW1 or go all pointy (yuk !). We prefer the "Countdown" method, 2 from the top, 1 middle and any four from the bottom please Carol. If your not from the UK that last sentence refers to a cult daytime Ch4 game show.

Team Rudd
So we decided on 2 Dreadnoughts, 1 Light Cruiser and 4 Destroyers each for a bit of a mix and with 4 players it was a straight forward 2 German 2 British. All ships were drawn at random from those avaliable and I have put up photos of each of the players forces for the game. I much prefer this "blind" method of force selection as it can throw up some pretty random combinations. Both of the British players selected as their main force one 15" Battleship and an older ship as it's partner, a small Light Cruiser and 4 M Class Destroyers.

Team Swift
Team Reilly
I ended up with a Kaiser and a Konig Class Dreadnought and the undergunned Stettin LC with 4 S50 Destroyers. Steve my co-admiral had two Helgoland Class, Breslau and again 4 1913 Destroyer / Torpedo Boats. Table size was the usual 12 x 6 with random start locations. Team Rudd set up sailing North on the top of the table with Team Swift opposite sailing South. The other two forces set up at the southern end of the table so we effectively had two separate games right from the off.

Early game Warspite ranging on a slightly nervous Kaiser
The ranging phase of the battle passed fairly quickly with both sides rolling some pretty decent dice. 3 of the 4 German Dreadnoughts were ranged in on the first turn and the British followed on turn 2 even with their reduced ranging dice, so we were into Salvo Fire very quickly.

German shells ranging on Royal Oak, Helgoland just visible in the distance
I like to describe people's playing style in terms of a "Jellicoe" or a "Beatty" and today Team Swift and Team Rudd went for Full Jellicoe staying just out of danger in terms of range they lobbed shells at each other most of the day with little effect, a few hits bouncing off armour and a few wrecked secondary guns. Rather than concentrating on hitting things with her 15" guns Royal Oak opted for safety and used manoeuvre to avoid being hit which of course affected her hitting power.

Mummy Duck and baby ducks.
The light forces on the northern part of the table sniped at each other at long-range for the course of the game chipping off damage points but nothing was sunk or too badly damaged.

Eww look at you with your fancy squadron in Echelon
The other end of the game went a bit "Half Beatty" both sides Light forces moved in for the attack whilst the big ships got into a range where their was a decent chance of causing damage.

The first casualty of the day was the M Class Destroyer Marne, stuck in the Bridge by a German destroyer she decided to disengage, technically out of control the ship turned for home.

The hits slowed down as Warspite turned in towards Team Reilly masking Collingwood from fire (and firing back). In the meantime the German Destroyers had got into a decent position ahead of the British Dreadnoughts as the British Light Forces raced towards the German Battle line.

German Destroyers move in for the attack
Team Reilly has left behind their Light Cruiser so that as the British Light Forces came on they where met by the secondary batteries of two Dreadnoughts and the Stettin.

In one of those freak gaming incidents everyone seemed to get Rudder hits which for one German Destroyers the S54 was on the none habit forming side of things as it drove head on into the Secondary Guns. On the plus side the Fuel Fire it picked up from the barrage went out when it sunk. Putting the score back at one a piece.

That's a bit too close.
We then reached the high point of the game, S54 managed to get her Torpedoes away but they missed the Warspite. Over the course of the next couple of turns both Kaiser and Markgraf lost a rear turret. But crucially the Collingwood was caught in the rush of Rudder hits, the Germans knew exactly where she would be next turn so the last of the torpedoes dropped in the water.

Torpedoes Away
To add to the excitement S50 rammed into the side of HMS Mystic, neither came off well but the Mystic started taking on water rapidly and quickly sank. As the torpedoes rushed towards Collingwood there was a small change of a deflection hit on Warspite, small chance in a wargame of course it was a HIT !

Warspite took a good chunk of damage, lost 5 knots of speed but more worrying for the crew she caught fire and to keep the theme up the Rudder jammed.

So the torpedoes headed for the helpless Collingwood stuck on her last course, oh the curse of the dice, all the fish went wide and off into the empty ocean beyond.

The next turn determined the outcome of the game, Collingwood hit the Bridge on the Kaiser but the heavy armour saved the senior officers on board, in another querk of fate, Kaiser returned the favour hitting the Bridge on Collingwood, no save this time and the British ship was leaderless. The British Light Forces meet their doom the same turn. The Light Cruiser Galatea and the Destroyer Magic where sunk.

The British sunk pile.
The British withdrew with a bloody nose having lost a LC and 3DD, both Warspite and Collingwood had suffered reasonably heavy damage but their Damage Control teams managed to put out the fires and get the Rudder going again. The Germans lost 2DD with another badly damaged, 2 Dreadnoughts had lost turrets but otherwise were lightly damaged.

A good fun game with lots of action (on one side of the table anyway) I'm really pleased with how the rules are progressing and other than a slight modification on Gun penetration they are done. Next job is to adapt them for the mega game, Jutland.

Sunday 24 July 2016

X Wing - The Campaign - Game 27 - Between A Rock & A Hard Place

A Straight Up Squadron Fight with a Twist.

Ships of both sides dodge the Heavy Lasers
Welcome back, if you didn't know this is a continuation of the X Wing Campaign, full explanation and details of Campaign rules are here. The set up page is updated on a regular basis. Please note this is the first game with the upgraded Imperial List.

Mission Briefing


We sent you on a holiday and a planet blew up !

Heading back to base in disgrace you have hitched a ride on board a Rebel Frigate, the Nautilus.

Everything is going well until your host comes under attack from an Imperial Frigate, the Captain of Nautilus unceremoniously boots you out of the air lock in your ships to defend against incoming Empire Fighters.

You just see the Captain smile and say "Watch out for the Beam Weapons" as the airlock closes.

May the Force be with you"

Team Scum (Rebel that is)
Team "Rebel Scum"

Rick O'Shea in his K6/B Wing (Hex Ace) (Squadron Leader)
Spike Sharpie, PS 4 E Wing (Quad Ace)
Pop Cicle, PS 4 K-Wing (Ace)
Captain Tangent, PS3 T-70 X Wing
Ensign W K Junior PS4 T-70 X Wing (Ace)
Laa Laa Dameron PS1 T-70 X Wing (Rookie)

Fancy Stuff
New Stuff
Old Stuff
Team "Glorious Empire"

Tie Defender PS5 Countess Ryad with Heavy Laser Cannon
Tie Defender PS1 Delta Sqn Pilot Pilot with Heavy Laser Cannon
Tie Advanced PS2 Tempest Sqn Pilot with Assault Missiles
Tie FO, PS 8 Omega Leader
Tie FO PS4 Epsilon Ace
Tie FO PS3 Zeta Squadron Pilot
Tie Fighter, PS 5 "Winged Gundark"
Tie Fighter x 2, 2 PS4

Empire ship selection is as follows,1 Tie per Rebel, half old, half FO the first Tie will be a random named pilot, the next two Ties are random Sqn Pilots (Roll a d6, 1 or 2 PS1, 3 or 4 PS3 and 5 or 6 PS4). Add 1 Random Imperial reinforcement per two Rebel Players.

Close Combat
Set Up

Game should be played on a 4 x 3 table.

Set up

Rebel Players set up on their table edge

Imperial players set up on their table edge.

There is no other Terrain.

The game will last a maximum of 10 turns.

See Special Rules for game play.


Special Rules

Beam Weapons - this game has a slightly different sequence of play to standard rules please read carefully.

1) All players will choose their dials, move their ships and chose their actions as normal.

2) Roll 1d6 and on a 1-3 the Rebel Frigate fires it Beam Weapon, 4-6 and the Imperial Ship Fires.

3) Roll 1d10 to determine the Point of Origin (POO) on the edge of the table from where the fire is coming from, 1 being the left hand corner, 2 4" in from that corner, 3 8" and so on with 10 being the opposite corner. Place whatever you are using to represent the Beam Weapon at that point (we used a rather snazzy laser pen thingy but a bit of string would do).

4) Then determine the Point of Impact (POI) on the opposing table edge using the same dice method and place the track of the beam weapon on the playing surface.

The Beam Weapon fires across the table
5) The Beam has the following effects.
    a) The Beam blocks all primary and secondary weapons (you cant fire across the beam)

    b) The Beam blocks all bomb effects

    c) The Beam breaks any target locks

    d) Ships in the Beam have all the above effects (cant fire or be fired at)

    e) Any ship which ends its turn with any part of its base in the beam will receive 4 Attack Die
        which can ONLY be modified by straight evade dice (no actions, no abilities, nothing)

    f) If more than one ship is in the beam  the ship nearest the POO will be hit first, the next ship is
        attacked by any remaining die, so 1st ship hit twice, 2nd ship gets 2 AD.

    g) If the beam reaches the other side of the table with 4 AD left (i.e. it has not touched a ship or
         has attacked ships and not hit them) 1 hit is scored on the opposing Frigate.

Post Beam Weapon Movement - Once the track of the weapon is determined and before its effects are worked out players can chose to change their action. This can only be done however to move onto, off or across the beam.

Players may sacrifice a Focus or Evade token to use a Boost or Barrel Roll action to move as described above, if your ship has a barrel roll or boost action as standard you can fire as normal subject to standard game rules and Beam Weapon restrictions.

If you ship cannot Barrel Roll or Boost, either because your ship doesn't have that action or you have already used that action this turn, you may use a Barrel Roll or Boost to move on, off or across the Beam however you may not fire any weapons.

Jump to Hyperspace  - To leave the table you need to declare your attempt and then try and gain 2 critical hits, hits from previous rolls carry forward. You cannot attempt to jump until after turn 4.

Turn 1. Roll 3 attack die
Turn 2. Roll 3 attack die + Pilot Skill / 2 (round up)
Turn 3. Automatically jump

Frigates - Each Frigate has 4 hit points and is destroyed on the 4th hit, Frigates cannot be damaged by anything other than the beam weapons.

Victory Conditions

Rebel Victory - The Imperial Frigate is destroyed.
Imperial Victory - The Rebel Frigate is destroyed.
Draw - Any other result.

How did we get on

Six Rebel pilots mustered for the game and this week saw our first new Rookie join the ranks for a while, so everyone welcome Laa Laa Dameron, Poes younger, rounder and yellower brother.

The Imperials started well with their ship selection from the new upgraded list bagging themselves a pair of Defenders with Heavy Lasers and a Advanced with Assault Missiles, the pilots however where a bit of a let down with a PS1 on one of the defenders and a PS2 in the advanced, oh the joy of randomness.

The Beam Weapon rules worked really well (will have to use these again) and caused the maximum amount of mayhem they where designed to produce. A number of times a perfect shot was spoilt by a beam weapon crossing the line of fire, at one stage 2 Ties had got behind the K Wing with a great shot only for the Beam to place itself between the foes.

The first Beam Weapon hit was caused by the Imperials but after that the die roll to determine who fired stuck stubbornly with the Rebels and on a number of occasions Empire Pilots had to manoeuvre onto the beam and take the damage to prevent the Beam reaching the Imperial Frigate.

The K Wing jumped into hyperspace with its shields down on Turn 5 and was followed shortly afterwards by Spike in his E Wing which was down to one hull point.

It was nip and tuck all the way through and the game ended as a draw with neither side able to destroy the others Frigate, the Rebels because the beam kept getting blocked, the Imperials because they never fired.

The upgraded Imperial List seemed to give a more even game with a couple of Rebel ships having close shaves, flying into each other and off the table didn't help the Dark Side either.

Result (2 pts for a win, 1 for a draw)


Campaign overall score is, Empire 24 pts, Rebels 30 pts

X Wing madness will return with game 28 on 3rd of August 2016 when our intrepid pilots will be trying to save a certain bun headed Princess and her bleeping droid.

And now our New Feature - It's......

Comedy moment as usual was provided by the Imperials as yet again proving that having decent ships isn't the be all and end all. It was two for the price of one this week, on move 4 one Tie Defender collided with the Tie Advanced and at the end of the game the other Tie Defender flew off the board !  

Fly your best ships into each other, surely not !

Or off the table !


Jim head mechanic in the Rebel Garage is mixing up some newspaper and wallpaper paste into a lovely Paper Mashy mix to fix the odd laser hole.

Pilot upgrades prior to start of game 27

Pop Cicle bought an Auto Turret and Flechette Torpedoes

Ensign WK Jnr got himself a Kalidor Crescent and the Danger Sense Pilot Skill

Rick O'Shea bought Chaff Particles and an Advanced Proton Torpedo.

Rebel Pilot results below,

Pilot Spike Sharpie - E Wing (PS4), survived, 1 kills, 3 GC - Totals, Missions 27, 20 GC, 21 kills
Pilot Rick O'Shea - K6/B Wing (PS6), survived, 1 kills, 4 GC - Totals, Missions 26, 4 GC, 37 kills
Pilot Pop Cicle - K Wing (PS4) survived, 0 kills, 1 GC - Totals, Missions 20, 1 GC, 6 kills
Pilot Captain Tangent - T70 X Wing (PS3), survived, 0 kills, 1 GC, Totals, Missions 15, 5 GC, 2 kills
Pilot Ensign WK Jnr (PS4) - T70 X Wing survived, 1 kill, 3 GC- Totals Missions 10, 5 GC, 9 kills
Pilot Laa Laa Dameron (PS1) - T70 X Wing survived, 0 kills, 2 GC - Totals Missions 1, 2 GC, 0 kills

Not Present

Pilot Crank Case - Y Wing (PS4) Totals, Missions 20, 3 GC 13 kills
Pilot Obi Two - X Wing (PS1), Totals, Missions 2, 3 GC, 0 kills
Pilot Oi M'Groin - Y Wing (2), Totals, Missions 4, 3 GC 0 kills
Pilot Sir Jeremy Dodger - X Wing (2), Totals Missions 3, 7 GC, 2 kills
Pilot Twiki Bond - A Wing (1), Totals Missions 1, 6 GC, 0 kills
Pilot Baby Brian - X Wing (1) survived, 0 kills, 1GC - Totals Missions 3, 1 GC, 0 kills

Roll of Honour (At the going down of the twin suns, we will remember them)
Pilot Brian sadly lost after only 2 missions, RIP
Pilot Commander Wayne Kerr veteran of 7 Missions, RIP

Ship Zone

Uber geeks area for those who want to see what our intrepid pilots fly.

A Kalidor Crescent is bought for 5 GC and adds a pilot skill slot.

Spike Sharpie, Kalidor Crescent with Sniper Trait - E Wing with Shield Upgrade & Z2-K8 Droid

Pop Cicle - K Wing - with Advanced Homing Missiles, Auto Turret and Flechette Torpedoes

Rick O'Shea, Kalidor Crescent, Lighting Reflexes, Playing Possum and Chess Player- K6/B Wing with Heavy Laser Cannon, Engine Upgrade, Advanced Sensors, Chaff Dispenser and Advanced Proton Torpedoes

WK Jnr - T70 X Wing with R2-D2 mech, Kalidor Cresecent and Danger Sense.

Crank Case, Kalidor Crescent with Barrel Roll - Y Wing with Adv Proton Torpedoes (x2) and Plasma Cannon Turret.

Captain Tangent - Kalidor Crescent, T70 X Wing unmodified.

Laa Laa Dameron - T70 X Wing unmodified.
Obi Two - X Wing unmodified.
Baby Brian - awaiting new ship
Oi Mi'Groin - Y Wing with R10 Astromech and Autoturret
Sir Jeremy Dodger - X Wing with R2-D2 and shield upgrade
Twiki Bond - A Wing unmodified

Previous Game Links

Thursday 21 July 2016

British SYW Minden Infantry (15mm Blue Moon)

About 18 months ago on this blog I did a little feature on some 15mm figures I had recently purchased from Blue Moon, a US company via Old Glory in the UK. You can read my initial thoughts in my review of the figures here. CLICK

With other projects taking centre stage over the last couple of years I have been nibbling away at the edges of Project Minden. I already have pretty huge German States and French Armies but never got round to doing the British contingent.

The British supplied a relatively small number of troops to the battle with only 6 Line Infantry Battalions being present. The eagle eyed will notice that there should be a unit of Fusiliers in here but unfortunately the figures haven't been released in the UK yet so they have been temporarily replaced by the legendary 33rd Foot.

The actions of these merry few on the day is the stuff of legend. If you are unfamiliar with the Battle and the remarkable deeds I recommend a bit of research.

Each battalion is represented by 20 figures based in fours on 40mm x 20mm mdf bases. The flags are from the wonderful GMB Design.

I really must get round to gaming with this collection soon, there must be over 1500 Figs sat around. I think I have only used them twice over the years.

Rules wise it will be the 7yw version of General de Brigade, as we already use the Napoleonic and AWI versions it's not much of a learning curve.

Currently on the paint table I have more WW1 ships (of course !) for Project Jutland and keeping on with the SYW stuff I have started 4 battalions of French Guard which I must have had in a box for over 20 years.

Friday 15 July 2016

First Battle of Newbury 1643 - A Refight

An After Action Report

Royalist Cavalry advance early in the game
Last month I posted a Scenario post for 1st Newbury. If you missed it the piece contained a brief history of the action, a plan of our game table and a detailed orbat of the troops we used.

Rules wise we are Home Brew, a set that started life as Forlorn Hope but now looks nothing like them ! The main similarity is that units are defined by a single pike:shot ratio rather than counting individual figures.

Check out the original post HERE.

Royalist Artillery start the Battle unfortunately it would spend much of the day masked by its own troops.
The battle naturally divides itself into three sectors, the Royalist right opposite the hedged enclosures of Skinners Green, the centre opposite Round Hill and then the Royalist left on Wash Common.

A Cavalry melee on a flank in an ECW game, surely not.
With the Royalist Forces on the attack everything moved off towards the Rebel (or Parliamentary if your that way out) lines. Initial clashes were between Cavalry on Wash Common. The Roundheads did well against these first attacks dragging more and more Royal Regiments into the fray.

The King's Lifeguard falter early on
Things went badly in the centre from the off, already hampered by a poor initial Morale grade roll the King's Lifeguard went onto a compulsory Hold order after a bad Morale reaction to a spot of Artillery.

On the right people walked slowly through hedges

So with the Lifeguard on hold the Prince of Wales Foote stepped into the breach, for all of a turn ! Two Artillery hits and a 3 for Morale and they were off to spend the rest of the game hiding in the outskirts of Newbury.

The Cavalry battle got bigger and bigger but no one could gain an advantage, there was one move when the Royalists had a real chance to break through but the dice gods delivered a triple 1 in a melee round.

Meanwhile on the right, people walked through hedges whilst other people waited.

Tired Cavalry return to their own lines to reform
The Infantry on the Common engaged in a long range musketery duel, neither prepared to advance with an ongoing Cavalry melee on their flank. With the Infantry stalled in the centre, the Royalist Cavalry where the next to try their luck.

It was a noble attempt but sadly it failed, two Regiments tried but couldn't reach the guns on Round Hill. The Infantry in Skinners Green was now involved in a ferocious Firefight as the London Trained Bands entered the fray.

But it was already the beginning of the end for the Royalists as the pressure of the guns on Round Hill finished off the Lifeguard who routed taking one of the units in Skinners Green with them.

Bye Bye Lifeguard  (little cry, sad face)
On the left the Cavalier Cavalry had finally got the upper hand and forced the Parliamentary Infantry back off the common to protect their flank but there was nothing left to exploit the advantage, the remaining fresh Cavalry was needed to protect the crumbling centre.

The King takes cover behind his Cavalry
The fresh London Trained Bands then got into Skinners Green and the tired battle worn Royalist Infantry couldn't hold and the Green turned into mass of confused Infantry running in all directions.

LTB in da hedge

And that was that. A victory for Parliament.  The centre of the Royalists had broken and the Road to London was open. An enjoyable game which with different dice could have gone the other way. Next up some Napoleonics.

This way to London !