July 31, 2010

Battle of the Boyne - Saturday

Our second BLB game... not as many pics. Not sure what I was up to...

King James II urges on the Irish Guard as they try to push the Williamite grenadiers back into the Boyne...

The Danes ford the Boyne on the other flank...

One more set of pics in a day or two.

July 23, 2010

Battle of the Boyne - Friday

Looks like the poll is running toward including other historical projects, which is great because I want to show some pics of our Grand Alliance game using the second edition of Beneath the Lily Banners (available this fall)! This was actually the first time I got to play these rules beyond set piece situations to test certain rules because I don't have armies for the period (yet... heh). The main table was the same by design, but the 'loose' terrain was different. All three of these games used the same set up, based on the historical battle, but all three played out very differently...

All of the terrain again was mine, but this time, the armies were Barry Hilton's - some from his personal collection and some that were painted specifically for the convention which found a new home here in the USA. One one side, King William III (mercilessly referred to as King Billy by Barry the entire weekend) with his mix of Dutch, Danes, Irish, and French Huguenot infantry, a pair of heavy guns, but no cavalry. On the other side, King James II with his Irish army, including six squadrons of horse.King James II also had two battalions of French in reserve - though they were not present at the historical battle, there were French units in the campaign. In all three games, the player in charge of the French were told they were under orders from home to be reluctant allies (move at half speed - what was funny is that none of the other players on their side seemed to notice).

As with our Republic to Empire games, the table was full for all three games!

Barry's river crossing minis were a big hit with the players and passerby's. The river took a random number of turns to cross. Here, King Billy directs the crossing of his French brigade...

Farther down, the Danes also attempt a crossing...

King James II's horse respond to the French crossing...

The French brigade sees off the cavalry and are soon to be reinforced by the Irish contingent of King Billy's army...

Yet another crossing near the village of Old Bridge. The Dutch Guards and combined grenadiers emerge to face the Irish Guards!

This game ended with King James II quitting the field, just as he did in the historical engagement, and I think a marginal victory for the Williamites who had gained a foothold on the central crossing. Old Bridge was still being contested, but the Jocobite center, including most of their cavalry was in retreat.

July 20, 2010

The Battle of Almarez - Saturday

Last game and with a third variation on the set up. This time, Barry moved the village to the east end of the bridge and there were THREE fords, though two of them were hidden. The village was held by the 43rd Light Infantry while the 95th Rifles defended the obvious ford. The French actually missed one of the fords in the beginning of the game that might have spent doom for the French. A deserter had been captured before the game and placed adjacent to Marshal Ney, but though he was noticed, none of the French players thought to try and question him until turn five or six when the ford on the southern half of the table was revealed...

For the French, the 82nd and 50th line assaulted the village, supported a few turns later by the Legion du Midi and 2nd Westfalien. The remaining French infantry began inexorably to push the 95th back across the ford.

One of the innovative mechanics in Republic to Empire (and the upcoming 2nd edition of Beneath the Lily Banners) is the rules for Fighting in Built Up Areas (FIBUA). The rules fit seamlessly into the rest of the game, making it easy and fun to include farms, villages, forts, etc. - something I use to avoid in other rule sets. There are also rules for pioneers and engineers that give you the chance to model cool vignettes!

More pics from the action. The 95th was pressed back across the ford and formed into line. They managed to hold out for a couple of turns before being pushed back to the hermitage on the hill. The French captured the village, nearly wiping out the 43rd (who lost their colors in the process), but once again failed to capture the bridge and shelling from the RHA  and fire from the Spanish regiment forced them into retreat (The French commanders inadvertently tried to push their worst unit, the Legion du Midi across the bridge first). Despite the capture of the village, the game was a marginal victory for the British, denying the French both crossings.

However, a third crossing had been found and as with the other two games, had this battle been fought without the need to explain the rules or with the addition of a single hour, the outcome may have been much different as again the mounting pressure of the French was a turn or two away from making things very hot for the Allies!

Up next, a three part series of our Beneath the Lily Banners games...

July 18, 2010

Now What?

The gigantic poll above (not sure why the text is so large but I couldn't find a way to reduce it) is for folks who a regular visitors. I have had my fill of painting Napoleonics for the time being and I'm going to be working on several other periods/genres for a break. I'm just wondering if people want to continue to see what I'm up to here or should I continue to reserve this blog for R2E and Napoleonic pursuits?

The third R2E battle from Historicon will be up in a few days and I'll be showing the three BLB games as well (possibly as a link to branching into other periods).

July 17, 2010

The Battle of Almarez - Friday

For the next round of our Republic to Empire, Barry and I wanted to try something different. Though the terrain and goals were essentially the same (though the ford was moved), the starting positions of units were different. For one thing, each side had two squadrons of cavalry which failed to make it onto the board in the first game. Secondly, four companies (12 models) of the 60th Rifles were placed in the village and the French were told they needed to be rousted out in addition to capturing the bridge. One of the main reasons for this was to demo the Fighting in Built Up Areas (FIBUA) rules.There's a good pic of the village from this battle on Tyler's blog, as well as shots of some of the NPCs who got in on the action. Finally, one brigade of the 24th Light, the 2nd Westfalien, and the Legion du Midi entered near the northern edge of the table (near the bridge)...

The action started quickly. The 5th Hussars swarmed over the bridge, only to turn away from the combined firepower of the Spanish muskets and cannons. The 95th Rifles fell back as the cavalry turned toward them and the 2nd Westfalien splashed through a ford. Two battalions of the 66th line and two battalions of the Hanoverienne Legion close in on the bridge while the 26th Line, 82nd Line, and 50th Line assault the village.

The 5th Hussars were routed by the arrival of the KGL who successfully pulled up from their charge to avoid being disordered at the end of the bridge. The 66th formed up to charge the Spanish. Though it looks like the French infantry were in dire circumstances with the KGL on their flank, the cavalry were TOO CLOSE to mount an effective charge and their combat factors would be severely reduced in melee.

In the end, the first battalion of the 66th were routed as well. The French captured the village, but the bridge was still in dispute. I think we called this one a draw as the KGL were disordered in the face of the enemy, the French were in a good position to send three more battalions across the bridge, plus they still controlled the ford... if we could have played a few more turns, it may have been a French victory, however it may be interesting to note that Donkin's Brigade never arrived on the table, with the bulk of the fighting being done by the Spanish, KGL, and British Light Battalions. This shows with the proper scenario, you don't need to have huge armies to have a fun game. While the French had twelve or thirteen units, the British side only consisted of five infantry battalions, 1 cavalry regiment of 2 squadrons, and two half batteries of guns...

One more to go, with yet a different set up...

July 15, 2010

The Battle of Almarez - Thursday

This is the first of three posts to show some of the photos I took of our Napoleonic game. These aren't true 'after action reports' because I didn't have time during the games to keep accurate notes. We ran the game three times during the con, each time with the same objectives, but slightly different set ups to feature different aspects of the rules. We made minor changes to the orbats, in some cases fielding 'brigades' of two battalions to accommodate as many players as possible. Something to note for the 'this game is too complicated' crowd... we managed six or seven turns in three hours with four or five gamers per side who had never played the rules. Subtract from our time the 45 minutes taken for introductions, assigning commands, explanation of the command system, and other mechanics as they arose... experienced players could probably manage ten to twelve turns with division sized armies.

Thursday afternoon was our first game. The French started crowded in the south on the road from Almarez. The Spanish were deployed defending the bridge, with the Light Brigade marching onto the table behind them and Donkin's Brigade from the 3rd Division, supported by two guns of the RHA, moving up from the south on the west side of the river. Barry is the guy holding the scary playsheet which actually opens into a six-page screen - which by the way is the only thing we needed to run the game. The only thing I remember looking up in the book is the movement rate and command radius for generals...

Several turns in, each side has made good use of the Exploitation concept in the rules (which allows units multiple actions if enough Manoeuvre Points are available) and the battle is nearly joined...

The Hanoverienne Legion moves to capture the bridge with the 26th Line in close support. The 95th Rifles spread out on the west bank to slow them down while the two battalions of the Spanish Zaragoza regiment inches closer to the bridge.The Spanish units were much admired throughout the weekend and several people went in search of their own boxes of Victrix early French from the dealer stands to make their own conversions.

This is how our table looked for most of the convention...

The Hanoverienne were thrown back, though they rallied in good order and the 26th made the next attempt, but now the entire Light Brigade was formed up in defense. General D'Heroique led the charge and succeeded in routing one of the Spanish battalions, but was sadly killed in the melee. The 43rd and 52nd managed to stand, reform facing the enemy, and the 26th suffered mightily from short ranged volleys. In the distance, you can see the second French brigade massing to attempt to force a second crossing, a ford revealed by a French spy, though our three hour time limit had been reached so it was declared a victory for the British.

Everyone had a blast and several players were prompted to return to have another go on Friday. I'll post pics from that game in a day or two and after all of the Napoleonic pics are up, I'll show the three rounds from our award winning Beneath the Lily Banners game!

July 11, 2010

Time to Go Home

Tomorrow I'll be heading for home. At times the schedule we set for ourselves was very hectic, but it has been a fantastic trip! Barry Hilton and I won two awards for our 2010 Historicon games:


I'll be writing more about the event and my experience when I have time to do justice to the post, but for now here are two shots of the action, one from each game...

The first is the Battle of Almarez game I've been nattering on about on this blog and the second was our Grand Alliance Battle of the Boyne. I'm off to finish packing and then off to bed!

July 9, 2010


I am having a blast at Historicon! It's been great to meet Barry and get to spend more than the usual hour or so talking on the phone. We've run two games that seem to have been big hits, with the third set to kick off in a little over an hour. They were both full with a cordon of spectators. I've had lots of compliments on the terrain and figures, offers to buy some of it, and two inquiries about commissions, all of which I will have to consider.

It's also been great just to meet so many of the people in the industry - the Perry twins, Nic and Rob from Eureka Miniatures, Duncan McFarlan, Dave Taylor, Angus Konstam, Chris Scott, Buddy from Triangle Miniatures plus guys from the forums and folks who chime in here: Joe, Gavin, Rob, Derek, Hugh... apologies to those I didn't name - I've meet so many people in the last two days it's all kind of a blur... in case, I've enjoyed meeting and talking with everyone!

I've taken lots of photos but I haven't had the time to download them so it may have to wait until sanity returns to my life. Two games down and four to go!

July 7, 2010

Heading North

All of the terrain and models are finished. The car is packed. As soon as this posts I am heading north to meet Barry in Philly! I'll try to get off a few posts from Historicon if I get the chance...

July 4, 2010

General de Brigade D'Heroique

With most of my preparations for Historicon finished (yea!), I realized I only had enough French officers for two brigades! Since the scenario calls for three brigades plus a C-in-C for the French, this could have posed a problem... especially since I have run out of unpainted mounted officers... yes, I need to let that sink in for a few minutes. I have had piles of unpainted Napoleonics around for more than a decade and I've never gone to the bits box and come up empty. During my work on REPUBLIC TO EMPIRE, I managed to paint almost every metal Foundry French infantry model I had. I still have boxes of plastic Victrix and Perry models, but since all of my French models are Foundry, I wanted a Foundry officer.

Back to the bits box... I found a Foundry (remember I said almost) Young Guard Officer on foot that was part of a pack of skirmishers and inspiration struck. Further searching found a Victrix horse and I started painting. Presenting my alter ego on the game table (note the pony tail, added with a bit of green stuff), General de Brigade Henri D'Heroique:

I might manage another post before Historicon, but if not I will try to post a couple of updates from the field if I get the chance.