Advance to Kutzenberg

Last Friday evening found three of us deploying our armies for another 1813 game using Volley & Bayonet. These days we often use the “Road to Glory” Scenario System to develop our Friday evening games and as always it produced an excellent battle.

Having organised a couple of slightly larger armies, 4000 points rather than or typical 3000 points the armies were deployed. Ney commanded four corps which were opposed by two reinforced Austrian corps and a weak Prussian corps.

Given the game a week prior was set in 1813 it seemed fitting to somehow link the two. A few photos of the game, as well as a brief summary, can be found here.

Eagles on the Weissbach

A very busy January has prevented any Volley & Bayonet so it was pleasing to finally be able to organise a multiplayer game for last Friday evening. 

I’ve been using Volley & Bayonet, across two versions, for well over 20 years. Yet every time I use them I’m reminded how much enjoyment they provide and how they create a game that follows the accounts of the great battles of the period. Dramatic events unfold as armies comprising multiple divisions and corps manoeuvre and clash on the table.

We opted to use the Road to Glory System to develop the scenario with each army comprised of 3000 points of troops. With 1813 armies often comprising poorly drilled troops. Therefore even 3000 points can produce reasonable sized armies. I was particularly keen to deploy my Austrians and prepared for a dynamic engagement. I just hadn’t realised how dynamic the upcoming battle would be!

These days I don’t attempt to provide photo reports of all my games, but this time I felt I should make an exception. Therefore a short account of our game can be found here. I’m looking forward to our next encounter in a weeks time…

Erlabrunn Heights – 1982

A long weekend and time for a game on Saturday evening of Modern Spearhead, and what a fine game it was. 

The Soviets complete with BMPs and BTRs launched a considered attack on the British who conducted a flexible defence. Supported by tanks the Soviets struggled to gain traction initially, but as additional battalions were committed so the British defenders came under increasing pressure.

Realising the Soviet plan the British commander ordered forward one then two battalions. Now, while Chieftains and FV432s lurched forward in counter-attacks artillery observers directed coordinated fires in support of mechanised infantry in a desperate effort to breakup the Soviet attack.

Yet would the Soviet Hind helicopters wreck havoc on the British defenders around Erlabrunn?

A short report of this excellent game can be found here.

Ifigenia & Spanish Steel

It’s been a while since we have had a Sails of Glory game here but last Friday evening three of us gathered for a small frigate action. I took the opportunity to use the Spanish Ifigenia, a model I’ve had for a while but untested in battle.

I won’t try and describe the battle in detail, but in general terms there was, as usual, some jostling for the advantage of wind before the two squadrons were fully engaged. Of note both the French Embuscade and Spanish Ifigenia were outgunned by HMS Unite and HMS Sybille, yet the allies approached the British fighting to gain a better position. Wind has an important part to play it would seem in the age of sail.

The French Embuscade was first to fire and unleashed a broadside on HMS Sybille, who returned fire with equal determination. At the same time the Spanish Ifigenia exchanged broadsides with HMS Unite. However, at this point HMS Unite critically lost a mast. Her captain now struggled to manoeuvre her while undertaking temporary repairs. Critically,  HMS Unite was effectively out of the action for a short period.

Yet not all was going well for the Dons. Miscalculating the enemies speed Ifigenia moved too close to the larger HMS Sybille and the two ships became entangled. The British seemed prepared to take advantage of the Spanish error.

The Spanish marines however fought with great determination. Accurate musket fire caused increasing casualties on HMS Sybille, soon they would become critical. The French Embuscade, who manoeuvred close to the wind, now also came about. Together Embuscade and Ifigenia delivered further broadsides the former with solid shot while the later with grape.

The casualties again fell mostly among the crew of the King’s ship. Now the Spanish crew, emboldened by imminent success, poured aboard HMS Sybille. Unable to withstand Spanish steel the crew capitulated, providing Spain with a wonderful prize. It was a most glorious day for Spain, and perhaps our French ally!

The Year That Was…

With the end of 2016 almost here it seems an opportune time to reflect on my year of gaming. What’s been achieved, what hasn’t, and some general reflections. I’m not one for New Year resolutions but this year I intended to, and generally achieved, an increase in gaming activities. This meant a reduction of posts here as I focussed more on gaming and less on posting. All round this has been particularly pleasing change in focus.

I’m of course fortunate to have so many good natured opponents which has made this an enjoyable gaming year. Indeed, most weeks I’ve managed two gaming evenings. Tuesday has become a regular event with one player who approaches gaming generally from the same perspective as I do. This regular gaming slot has found us playing all manner of rule systems. DBA, BBDBA, DBR and Wings of War are regularly seen as the fit well into the available time. Each tends to go in phases with 300 point English Civil War encounters being the current phase.

Friday evening slots allow greater time for games and generally allow Volley & Bayonet encounters, occasionally supplemented with Spearhead or Modern Spearhead. Larger multiplayer Sails of Glory or Wings of Glory games feature when we are suffering from the impact of a busy work week. A larger group of players attend these events but organising these sessions can be a bit more hit and miss with many opponents travelling or suffering work commitments.

My attendance at wargaming conventions has been lower than I had hoped with only one out of town event and that being in Australia back in January. It seems a distant memory now. This was supplemented by DBA at Conquest here in Christchurch, which was pleasingly well supported by out of town players.

Yet there remains somewhat a hole in my convention gaming. I recall the many excellent Spearhead and Modern Spearhead events in Wellington in years past. It’s such a shame these are no longer organised.

What I haven’t achieved in the year is much progress with miniatures painting. A couple of small projects have been completed but in general the existing projects have languished yet again. Perhaps I need to add this to the list of aims for this year. For example I really need to complete my WWII Soviets for Spearhead, while progressing some long overdue expansion of other armies. Then there is a new 6mm Volley & Bayonet army that has been on my mind for a few years. Not to mention a large batch of 6mm Spanish I was gifted a few years ago. Goodness, the painting projects almost seem overwhelming!

So on reflection an excellent year of gaming. That said I’m rather looking forward to see what 2017 holds…