SteveT has a birthday game!(May 2022)

Garage Gamer SteveT was having one of those birthdays that feature a ‘0’ so he decided to host a Game in his Garage. Steve has written the report and I have added pictures.


Battle of Bautzen Report by Steven Thompson

Why host a big Game?

There was two key reasons why I wanted to host a big game for the Garage Gamers using my own old school 20mm Napoleonic armies. I wanted to celebrate a major upcoming birthday milestone (how the hell did that happen – one year at a time I guess) but more importantly I wanted to do it to thank Terry Swain and the other Garage Gamers for allowing me to participate in their garage gaming nights.

I was very much a solo gamer before Terry invited me to the Garage Gamers nights. It is the best thing that has happen to me in the hobby as I have enjoyed playing with beautifully painted 28mm armies, experienced a wide range of periods that have included ancients (elephants!), ACW, WW2 Sea battles (battleships!), Napoleonic sailing ships (which brings out the kid in us all) and recently Flames of War modern battles.

The forward to the Black Powder rulebook says it best, ”let us remember that ideal accompaniment to the journey [in our hobby] maybe found in good brandy, fine cigars, and the companion of like-minded enthusiasts.”

We may not be big on cigars but we do like fine brandy & whiskey and I cannot think of a finer bunch of like-minded enthusiasts to share the hobby with than my fellow Garage Gamers.   

Planning a Scenario

I have long been fascinated by the 1813 campaign which featured a number of epic battles which are rich in the element of “what if” scenarios. Bautzen is one of these, and I was interested when reading Michael Leggiere history of the 1813 Spring Campaign about the debate in the Allied HQ for a counter offensive against the initial three French Corps that crossed the River Spree on the first day of battle.

My Bautzen game was more in the spirit of the battle rather than a historically accurate refight. I wanted to use the terrain boards from the epic Wagram battle at Call to Arms in 2019 as I have fond memories of that game and the boards lovingly built by Paul Weakly deserve to be used. 

Boards from the Allied right flank

This still allowed me to retain the key elements of a Bautzen game, Allies in strong defensive position on heights, a number of fiercely contested villages as the French launched pinning attacks before the arrival of the sledge hammer flank attack. The layout of the terrain boards also allowed the Allies the opportunity to use their advantage in cavalry to inflict a punishing attack on the initial French deployment.

Allied left

I added a bit whimsy to my scenario by making the Czar as a very distracted CnC for the Allies as Terry had wanted to spend part of the day drinking whisky while listening to 70/80’s Lps on my  stereo. However this did remove the best player on the Allied side from the game at important moments. 

Me listening to Steve’s Album collection….managed to enjoy Elton Johns ‘Captain Fantastic’ and Patti Smith’s ‘Horses’…. some of my Fav 70’s sounds.

In planning any good scenario game you should try for an even match in player abilities and temperament and this was where I came a bit unstuck due to unexpected late withdraws. I had Paul Goldsmith commanding the Austrian Bde (I know but I did say it was in the spirit of Bautzen!) and a Heavy Cavalry Bde as he knows how to get the best out of those big battalions in white and is an aggressive cavalry commander. Rob Parks who was to command the French VI Corps and I Reserve Cavalry was a good match against the Allied commanders he was likely to face in the opening stages of the battle.

Steve’s 2pm set up SNAFU…deployed Russian Jager BEHIND VILLAGE so French took village unopposed. I had to send myself to the naughty corner in the music room and start drinking.

However due to illness neither could attend which meant I overloaded poor Keith Gates with the Austrian Bde when he enough on his hands being Blucher. Rob’s unavailability meant that Keith & Stephen Clarke had to face Russel Briant in command of 3 French Corps from move one.

Early action in the centre….players went through a LOT of units in game around this spot.

Russell is a player I have huge respect for as he sees the angles in BP rules for flank attacks just quicker than anyone else. When playing him you are constantly under the threat of your units being overwhelmed by a never-ending wave of flank attacks and playing with French he rarely fails any command rolls so these attacks come at a speed that is difficult to defend against. He only failed one command roll all game.

I also learnt a lesson about not laying the units on the table at 2am as you will make deployment mistakes which allows one side an unfair advantage which was never your intention.

How did it Play?

We managed to get six full moves completed by 4pm. Robert Nippert had the heavy lifting role of storming the heights defended by Alan Hollows entrenched Russian & Austrian Bdes.

Prussians race to fill the void

Robert is an experienced French player and due to my early morning placement blunder he quickly crossed the River Spree, stormed the village at the foot of the heights and pushed a Russian Bde back into the woods at the top of the heights. However he could not sustain his position and his Bde representing Oudinots XII Corps settled for retaining control of the village.

Table shot.. love this terrain…a lot of nights were spend in the former garage carving polystyrene sheets….applying the fields…..painting the roads….tracks….assembling the 4Ground building etc

His second Bde representing McDonalds XI Corps also managed to make it to the top of heights, storming a redoubt before facing fierce cavalry and infantry counter attacks which drove his units back down to the river line. Fighting in this zone of the battlefield settled ended in a stand-off but Robert had achieved his objectives of pining Alan’s Bdes in place and seizing the village.

Russ attacking in the centre…Austrians being Austrians really didn’t want to move off escarpment into the town when ordered to.

The key battle was in the centre between Russell, commanding the French IV & VI Corps, I Reserve Cav Corps and the Guard and Keith and Stephen with Bluchers I Prussian Corps, & 3rd Army of the West.  Keith took my “what if” scenario to heart and advanced boldly forward to attack the French VI Corps but did not use the heavy cavalry Bde to provide flank support.

A lot of cavalry fought over this section of the battlefield.

Russell took one look at the open flank and reoriented the Swiss Bde he was planning on using to attack the town of Bautzen, to slam into Keiths advancing Prussian Bdes. The poor Prussian Bde was hit by the 2nd Bde of VI Corps to its front and the Swiss Bde to its flanks and eventually destroyed.

Yeehaa….Ney arrived to be greeted by the Czar!

Stephen moved this Bdes into the gap and launched a series of attacks against Russell’s advancing French. This involved a series of heavy cavalry battles which despite losing some units Russell managed to prevail, destroying the Allied heavy cavalry Bde. The end of the days play saw Stephen and Keith cobbling together a make shift defensive line as Russell was bringing up his guard units to deliver the coup de grace.

End game is nigh

Terry deployed the Russian Guard and Reserve Cuirassier Bdes to face Ney’s flank attack which finally arrived in turn four. We ended playing a game divorced from the rest of the action which more resembled an Age of Marlborough game as we both deployed our units in line to blast away at each other as Terry used his cavalry to try and take out my artillery. 

Table view from Allied left.

We are planning to rerun the game in the summer when everyone is fit and healthy and it will give me a chance to tweak the scenario to make it flow a little better so we can fit more turns in a day’s playing which is always the challenge for big Napoleonic games. 

But as for my two personal objectives it was very much mission accomplished!

Steven Thompson

So that is Steve’s report! I must thank him for his hospitality…fully stocked fridge…hot tea..and his lovely wife Clare provided a sumptuous feast for lunch! I personally enjoyed the bottle of Monkey Shoulder Whiskey while I listened to music before my occasional visists to the Game room…. this was the role as per the scenario instructions! PERFECT! As Steve said…he plans to replay game in summer when hopeful everyone is free of Covid.

So the Whiskey of the Week has to be Monkey Shoulder.

Review is:

Color: Dirty gold.

On the nose: A faint mix of honey and chili flakes make up the top notes, accompanied by sliced white bread. The base notes are all about malt: porridge, oat cookies, and the slightest touch of starch. Then, it transitions into old bananas, apple skins, and cotton candy powder. These aromas blend too soon until only the malt notes remain dominant.

In the mouth: The core of malt remains but with added light citrus peel and toasted rice. The fruity aromas are less distinct, giving way to wood spice, old gumamela flowers, and Manila paper. The texture is thin. It has a medium-length finish, beginning with powdered nuts and weak Victorian perfume before trailing away with toasted wood and old flowers.

Must say that is one of most ridiculous tastings have read…its a blended whiskey…was quite pleasant and on a cold day….warmed me up nicely….what more can one ask for! Thank you SteveT!!

Til next time..Terry out.

p.s Garage been out of commission for a month….we have been replacing furniture so old stuff was in garage until all sold…then popped down to the Winter playground of Queenstown to visit one of my daughters who is working there at moment. Normal gaming resumes next week.

May 22 Game – ACW Bartletts Farm 1863

Now my garage is unavailable this month for games so I asked Alan if he would like to host so he offered up an ACW game. So Alan picked a scenario from the Black Powder Supplement ‘Glory, Hallelujah!’ in Bartletts Farm 1863 on page 158.

This scenario was akin to the battle of Chickamaunga on September of ’63. A Union force, knowing that the Confederate army was near, had taken post near a crossing on Brown’s Run. The Confederates realizing that this comprised a small Union Division had decided to crush it while it was exposed and isolated, before any troops could march to its aid.

So the players for this game were Keith and I as the Confederate players with Alan and Goldie as the Union players.

Keith had Wilsons Brigade – 4 regts rifled muskets and a 6pdr battery , and Oates Brigade of 3 rifled muskets, 2 smoothbore muskets and a 12 pdr battery. I had Evans Brigade of 1 rifled musket and 2 smoothbore musket regts plus a 6 pdr battery then Bowers Brigade of 2 rifled muskets, 2 smoothbore musket and a 12pdr battery. Divisional commander Scott was attached to Keith’s force.

The Union had a group of anonymous Generals commanding(scenario didn’t name them!). Starting brigades for Union were Alan with a Brigade with a breechloading rifle, 3 rifled musket and a 6pdr battery. Goldie had a Brigade of 2 rifled musket, 3 smoothbore musket and 12pdr battery.

The Union had 3 reserve brigades which would arrive on the table edge on a roll of 4+ and at a randomised spot.

The Confederates got to move first. Or rather we tried to…..I failed with both brigades…Keith made a bit of a move.

So below we have part of a brigade that did not move, while in distance Keith’s Rebs are racing for the stream… in far distance…..Bluecoats!

Keith’s centre with stream to front then Goldies starting brigade awaiting him. In distance the Union reserves start to arrive..Alan managed get them to all arrive on turn on…he felt guilty !

Union troops in the farmstead…..fields and 2 brigades have marched on!

On Reb right and Keith is over the river…..his shooting has ‘Whupped!’ several units who are forces to pull back outside of 12 inches with reduced fire power. The 3 black counters mean this unit now shaken so I think brigade has now broken.

From the Union side Goldie formed an arriving brigade on lines and then on their next order…instead of advancing, they blindered to the right behind the farmhouse! Keith can be seen advancing 2 regts across the stream…..beside wood I have a rifle regt shooting away…and with the battery in front of the farmhouse had now ‘Whupped!’ the Union regt in their farmhouse…so their firing was now reduced.

‘Whupped!’ units are not destroyed but must retire from enemy and stay outside 12 inches and shoot at reduced factor and count as destroyed for morale purposes. So they can be annoying for both sides….are in way of reinforcing troops…and have to be chased off by attackers as can still shoot at you!

On the Union left Alans newly arrived brigade after dithering has advanced to attack. The brigade behind them has 1 regt which blundered off the table!

Facing the advancing brigade is my left brigade……. the small one but was still able to deliver lots of firepower.

Back in the centre…the bridge Alan whipped up for the game on his new 3D printer! AWESOME!! Keith’s units can be seen advancing on the right… rifle regt has pulled back as was getting shot up…..but still in range… and along with the 2 batteries ‘Whupped!’ the regt in front of farm and pushed it back.

On Reb right Keith is like ‘A pig in muck’ as the phrase goes!! Outflanking Union which has really taken casualties and Goldies getting blunders on his arriving brigades has not got them in position to save this flank.

A look dowb the table. At the top Keith has pushed Goldies starting brigade off table and has swung into Union flank. Of the 2 Union arriving brigades committed here one has formed a defensive line but Keith is now flanking it. The second brigade has suffered damage and will also get hit in its flank. Alans start brigade if south of the brudge with 1 regt on base edge still from where retired from field. Then Alans reinforcing brigade has advanced…suffered and is now retiring.

On the Rebel left flank where I have stayed back and let the Union come to me Alan has taken enough damage to now pull back!

In the centre Alans starting brigade is still fighting , you can see the naughty run away regt in distance on left baseline.

Wow…this is where game finished…was 10:23pm and go home time…but am sure Keith would have liked 1 more turn! Was on flank of Union line with lots of combat power ready to go in.

And this brigade was positively screaming out their ‘Rebel Yell’ for their next turn!

So that was the battle of Bartletts Farm.

Conclusive Confederate Victory even with the Union 3 reserve brigades arriving on turn 1. Turning point really was the blundering of Union brigades when ordered to advance and also failing orders to advance allowing Reb side to pour fire into the 2 starting brigades and Keith to get his 2 brigades across the stream and into the Union flank.

Really good game!!( I am as always biased :)) Keith and I threw a LOT OF SIXES during the game….our dice were running hot…Goldie threw sixes as well…but normally 2 at a time when giving orders making his brigades BLUNDER. Beautiful.

Very attractive terrain Alan has made with his wee gaming boards…a great Xmas project he did and now with his 3D printing am looking forward to lots of great terrain pieces. I have placed an order for more stone walls when he has time…… at the moment he is making Waterloo buildings…and they are beautiful… a big game could be coming along……best finish my Dutch brigade!

Til next time…Terry out.

Games in April 2022 – Game 2

So 2 weeks prior to Game 1 posted….Alan, Rob, Robert and I visited the Hutt Club taking along some Naps for a game.

I had an idea for a game…….got there and changed the set up. Stoopid. I told ladz after game when I have one of those ideas…you know to tell me its stoopid before we start!

So rather than playing across the table…we played down it….and I increased the number of units for each side as well. I must fight the desire for ever larger games!!

Below we have Bavarians and Russians at one end. Alan had bought along his newly painted Victrix Bavarians. Being not allowed into his office for a couple of years due to earthquake damage and the plague that goes on and on and… has really allowed Al to focus on painting armies…darn that man!

And at the other end of the table we have the Frenchie’s with Robert having those on the left and Rob on the right!

Shot through my Russkie’s to Roberts French at the far end. It was a rush to reach the centre of table where woods and village was!

Alans newly to Battle Bavarians. As ever..wonderful paint job.

Now these are Perry plastic Bavarians. The enlightened among you will know the Perry’s do not(well yet anyway) make plastic Bavarian cavalry…this is Alan playing with heads…adding shabraque extensions etc to make units up. He’s just embarassing.

So the issue with my really bright idea is now apparent…wall to wall troops…in depth with no space for manoeuvre. A slug fest.

Robert was really aggressive….Russians eat up aggressive….especially aggressive columns charging their large batteries…yum yum.

What a mess.

So the game ended in a fairly bloody draw…..

Now one of the nice chaps have met at the Hutt Club is doing some 3D printing and I have purchased the 3 buildings below which are Team Yankee scale 15mm building and will fit in perfectly with the pre painted building have bought from Battlefront. He is also doing various tanks etc which look quite good.

So that was the 2nd visit to the Hutt club…. finding with upgraded motorways now open its only a 15 minutes drive!

Til next time…..Terry out.

Games in April 2022 Part 1

Been bit slack in writing up games….

In no particular order.

Game 1: Battle of Saltanovka

So another game played at the Hutt Club. Previous visit had taken Naps along for a game and 2 of the regulars in Reg and Doug expressed a desire to get their Russians out on the battlefield so I rounded up Rob and Goldie to play them while I helped with rules for Reg and Doug. Chose our old favourite in Saltanovka but we reduced the orbat by roughly 40%.

Below is a picture of ladz… from left Rob, Doug, Reg and Goldie.

So the Russians are on the left and the French on the right. You probably have already figured that out! Doug had the Russian right flank opposite Rob in Saltanovka and Reg was on left opposite Goldie in Fatova. Russians deploy up to 8 inches on table and have first move. The rounding down on orbats gave each Russian player a brigade of 2 Jager and a brigade of 4 Musketeers with 2 batteries attached. On turn 4 a brigade of 2 heavy cavalry would arrive. The French players had a brigade of 4 battalions plus a battery each. On turn 2 another brigade of 4 battalions would arrive. On turn 3 they get a brigade of 2 heavy cavalry. The French start positions were holding the 2 villages.

Goldie’s force with battalion in line on left behind field fortification with a battalion in each of the houses and then a 4th in reserve. The battery is set up to shoot down the road. Reg’s force in distance.

Here we have Doug advancing on Saltanovka. Note the lovely 5 gun battery on a gorgy terrain piece on the left. It fired as a standard 3 gun battery but was so lovely we made sure it was on table! Rob has battery in advance behind cover with bttn’s in buildings and 2 in reserve.

A bit along in the game….. Doug has taken out the French battery and the cavalry for both sides is on the table. Goldie has moved the bttn from beside Fatova to woods further back due to artillery fire.

French reserve infantry are advancing around French right flank.

Woohoo! I do love heavy cavalry charging each other! Rob’s cavalry brigade has charged the Jager skirmishers who evaded out of the way opening up a charge on the Russian Kuirassier’s who counter charged. It got quite bloody… Rob’s Kuirassier’s imploded…Doug did a sweeping advance into the 2nd unit of Kuirassier’s…resulting in both units becoming shaken…but Doug’s won the combat. Rob’s 2nd unit was now shaken and so was removed from table as brigade now broken.

Now on the other flank… Reg has been throwing some truely appalling dice….and Goldie was getting stuck in and avoiding the Russian artillery…..

A bit further along and end of game time…and…well….its all a bit confusing…units have charged all over the place…combats have carried on..Reg has made some amazing dice rolls to hang in there…..but in the end…Goldie got there

On the other flank…was last turn so I encouraged Doug to charge in and see what would happen…good practice… sigh…..several bttns popped…….taking buildings can be very hard…even when you shake units with artillery first!

So that was a learning game for Reg and Doug.

Hopefully they will want to play again!!

And its Whisky of the Month time!!(Month as with Weakley overseas…..far less Whisky being consumed!!)

So I received an advice from my favourite online supplier to tell me that the Talisker Dark Storm was back in stock. However as I excitedly logged on to buy…found already sold out……not happy (picture a very sad emoji). So I looked around and saw the GlenDronach Port Wood was in stock so decided to give it a trial.

The marketing spin says:

Glendronach 10yo Port Bottling Note

Following on from its Peated Port Wood Finish, GlenDronach have released another sumptuous single malt that has enjoyed a rest in Port casks. This particular expression is a 10 year old whisky, initally aged in Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks before being finished in Port pipes from Portugal’s Douro valley.

The tasting notes say:

Nose: Huge helpings of dried fruit, mixed with aromatic oak and strawberry jam.

Palate: Brandied cherries, blackcurrant and chocolate digestive biscuits.

Finish: Honey, biscotti, raisin and orange zest.

Terry says….liked sound of it…..but…..bit of a let down…..perhaps being harsh as have had the GlenDronach 15 and 21’s and perhaps expected more from this…could be the finish in the Port casks….am not a Port drinker….will put aside for partner to drink..she enjoys a port!

Til next time.

Team Yankee – Game 2 March 2022

So Goldie and I journeyed out to the Hutt Club here in Wellington for another Saturday game of Team Yankee. We had increased our Forces to 100 points which seems a more balanced game total.

So once more my mighty West German Bundeswehr faced those evil Russians of Goldie!

Scenario required each player to keep minimum 40% of points off table at the start of the game. Each turn on a 5+ one team could enter on your baseline. If they failed to arrive, the dice was added to next turn etc.

This time Goldie and the Russians got first move. We each placed 2 markers close to opponents table edge as objectives. Below you can see one in bottom left, the Hinds are positioning to take out my Roland’s / M109s with tanks sweeping towards the objective. The builings beside the Rolands also have Redeye teams in them! In buildings to the right are my PanzerGrenadiers with Marder’s and Luch’s in support. Out of sight in a wood on the left are my Jaguars, the Leopard 2 commander and the Observer M113 for the M109’s. My 2 teams of Leopard 2s and the Pah choppers were off table. Goldie has 2 teams of tanks off table.

Oh dear….. one Hind got shot down and the other failed to hit anything. The Russian guns dropped smoke in front of the Jaguars in the wood and nothing else happened. In my turn…woohoo….command tank blown away… 3 more tanks destroyed and last one has bailed out. Firepower from the Jaguars, even through the smoke got hits in….the command Leopard joined in as did the Milan’s from the PzGrs and the M109’s dropped a barrage on top of them as well! The Shilka’s, BMPs and scout cars are in support.

Goldie charged his infantry at my PzGrs in the houses. Tsch tsch…it did not go well for them. He just missed pinning my troops…but a miss is.. a disaster. I held the charge and then in my turn, destroyed the 1 remaining base. Meanwhile the Milan’s were picking off targets in the centre.

Unlike Goldie, I managed to get a reserve on and bought on my choppers. Useless things missed. However, a Milan took out the Observers for the mobile guns. I must talk to Goldie about leaving stuff on the table!! On the left you can see result of another barrage…I LOVE the M109s!

So here we have the centre…all the tanks now destroyed, 3 of the 4 Shilka’s and BMP’s in trouble.

A bit further along in the game and 3 Leopard 2’s from reserve have arrived. The Jaguars have advanced from the village, the BMP’s are all destroyed as are the Shilka’s with 2 of the 3 mobile guns now also destroyed(they switched table sides. I moved my Luch’s/Marder’s forward to shoot up the Shilka’s and mobile guns.

Paul eventually got his reserves on and 10 more tanks raced on. I met them with a barrage of shots from my Leopards and Jaguars. Rob who lives close to game venue popped in so I got him rolling dice and moving units for my side. So Rob rolled 12 dice needing 3’s to hit the Russian tanks. He hit with 4…. Goldie insisted I take a photo of it.

The first of the Russian tank reserves can be seen in the distance, the other group arrived beside the wood on the left.

And a warm welcome to the reinforcements! There are 3 left! Hiding behind the destroyed BMP’s!! The 3rd mobile gun and 1 scout is also destroyed. On the right the Marder’s and Luch’s have advanced up and shot up the last mobile gun and the scout cars.

And…end game…..the brave Russians charged forward……silly idea. Blown up.

And the last scout is destroyed and that is also the last Russian units destroyed.

West German’s win.

Now I feel for Goldie, I was able to destroy his initial set up force before any reserves arrived. Conversely, my arriving reserves allowed me to pick off his commands so when his reinforcements arrived, they had no supports and that…was that.

Fun game, I enjoyed the expanded points figure and now will rip into painting the units rather than assembling and undercoating.

Now it was mentioned to me at the club today how they enjoyed my Whisky of the week…so by request……

Now about 9 years a go when my wife died, my friend Rachel introduced me to ‘Edradour in the cask’ a luscious wee drink that packs a punch. I even brought PaulW a bottle for his 50th birthday last year!

So I decided to try the Edradour Caledonia to see how it compared. Now the colour of the bottle below does not do it justice, it is a deep dark rich colour!

Tasting notes are:

Nose: Sweet, creamy and honeyed, with notes of Manuka honey, hints of dried fig and date, soft sherry and a hint of oak.

Palate: Full and rich with notes of berry fruits, and honey and butter on granary toast. More sherry, caramel and toasted almond.

Finish: Spicy, dry and sprinkled with a dusting of cocoa.

I can confirm the sherry, caramel and then spicy finish…yum yum!

Now the ‘Edradour in a cask’ is 57.9% while the Caledonia is a mere 46% and I must admit I am enjoying the lower alcohol content and am going to have to get a another bottle so I don’t run out!!

So after a very successful days gaming, and a pleasant evening listening to music while writing blog posts and drinking whiskey this is Terry signing off!

Black Sea’s – March 2022

So Alan has been adding more vessels to his Sailing Ships Collection so I suggested a game be played at his house. Alan, Russ and now Rob have models.

So Alan hosted the group a couple of Thursday nights back. There were 3 players a side and I sat on a comfy lounger in the garage and watched. I did find it hard to follow the crazyness in the game so forgive me if I get some things wrong…. expect I will get corrected.

But as with all the Black Sea’s games so far, they are by far the LOUDEST games we play as everyone gets very excited…. and there was no alcohol being consumed to help!

Below a shot down the British line.

And over on the other side, the French are off! From memory each player got 3 or 4 vessels.

The 2 fleets approaching each other.

Goldie was commanding the British small ships…. who got confused and thought they were in a Formula 1 race. More later.

To me this looks like should be drums beating ‘Ramming Speed’!

And here we have Lewis Hamilton driving his wee ship though the French line, leading a charmed life and even inflicting damage on larger vessels!

By now my excursions to the table were really a head scratching event, I couldn’t work out what was going on.

Not looking good for this Britisher.

Lots of damage being done and the game slowed down a bit.

The wreck is what happens when the ‘Victory’ unleashes.

Oops..another Frenchie getting it!

Bye Bye!

End game….I think the British won. That ‘Victory’ is a beast!!

It was change watching the wee ships racing around the bigger vessels…..adding to the game I think.

Til next time…Terry.

A return to Borodino – March 22

Seeing as the Borodino game boards are stored in the garage, I decided to use 3 of them for a game. For a change… the French would be defending and the Russians attacking! I set the game up for 6 players but alas only 4 of played on a lovely evening.

The terrain boards were the Great Redoubt down to the Fleches but without the southern woods instead I left it open and deployed cavalry brigades on the now open flank.

The French had 5 x4 bttn’s of infantry with a 2 regt light cavalry brigade on the right flank, and a 2 regt light brigade and 3 regt Dragoon brigade on the left. Their was a horse battery on each flank and 5 batteries. 2 batteries and 2 extra legere bttn’s were in reserve for the French commander to deploy when he arrived.

The Russians had 2 standard infantry divisions each of a 4 bttn Jager brigade and 2 x 4 bttn’s Musketeer brigades plus 2 large batteries. They had a light cavalry regt on the left and on the right a 2 regt light brigade and a 2 regt Dragoon brigade. I also gave them a 2 regt brigade of Uhlan’s in the centre. They also had a horse battery.

Rob was first to arrive and he chose to be French so he commanded the French. Alan walked in next just ahead of Goldie so Alan was Russian commander and Goldie 2nd French player. I then played as the 2nd Russian player. Rob took the French right v Alan and I faced off against Goldie.

The French got to fire… the Russians then got first move. Below the view from the Great Redoubt.

My Russian Hussars on the right flank! Love these guys.

Alan on the left sends his skirmish line up with the Musketeers moving up in support.

This is a few turns on….I forgot to take photos as was having to much fun. I do love Russian cavalry!! So I have lost a unit of Hussars….and surviving shaken unit is in top right corner….having cleared out the French light brigade. Both my Dragoon regts are gone….. ran off table…shaken so can’t come back! There is a shaken French Dragoon regt in the lower right corner. Goldie and I traded a number of cavalry charges…in last one I thought I had him….but I threw REAL BAD…Goldie threw REAL GOOD. The remaining 2 French Dragoon regts are on the table but not in good shape either.

On the other side of table they were getting into it!

A bit further along and is end of game time. In the centre skirmish lines and batteries traded shots and skirmish units retired and were replaced by fresh units.

On the right … well…I had a lot of fun… horse battery blew the French dragoons that were in the corner away… Uhlan’s and Goldie’s other Dragoons got into it…his Dragoons are no where to be seen anymore…..Uhlan’s followed up into infantry who popped and I had moved horse battery up to obliterate a shaken column…..Goldie shot up and destroyed the shaken Hussar unit in corner……but enough damage had been done to Goldie’s flank that it was a Russian victory on this flank.

On the other flank Alan was making good headway and was attacking the Redoubt itself! It looks in the balance here but feel Alan has his nose in front.

So that was a fun game…. I do love cavalry charges.

Next game is Black Sea’s sailing ships which will be at Alans place as a change. Rob has painted his first ship up.. the ‘Victory’ so will report how he does!

Til next time..Terry out.

Team Yankee – First game March 2022!

So the first game in a new period for me.

Team Yankee!

For the non enlightened this is combat in 1985, NATO v Soviet Pact using 15mm models/figures by Battlefront. I had decided to collect West Germans and Goldie went with Soviets. So we had been assembling and painting models, adding some scenery and were ready to go.

Now I had no idea what I was doing…what the models were or could do and had not read the rules(who needs to for first game!) so expectations…well shall we say were not high! Goldie had played 1 game v Russ so was battle hardened and well read on the equipment(I feel that was a bit over the top personally).

So picture below is the initial set up…we rolled dice and I had to set up first…then have first move. Which worked out quite well actually. Goldie is in his beach shirt…trying to pysch me out.

So my army had in it a units of 5 Leopard 2s, 3 Marder 2s, Panzergrenadiers, Jaguar 1s, M109Gs, Rolands and some red eye teams. Goldie had 3 units T64s, infantry, Hinds, Shilka’s and some trucks with rocket launchers.

So turn 1….I had 5 Leopard 2 tanks….Goldie had 13 T64’s! First shots I took out 2 T64’s.

Then the long range SPGs let rip…woohoo!! 2 tanks destroyed and 2 bailed out. Love these guys!! Bonus infantry got pinned as well…AWESOME.

Goldie send the Hinds over to obliterate the M109s and Jaguars. They are LARGE and look darn impressive.

But he fired his tanks first and 2 Leopards bailed out(you test morale next turn to see if they remount…1 did)

Then the Hinds let rip…blew up 1 M109G… and one bailed out(it remounted next turn)

My turn…..sent my PzGrs into 3 buildings…moved the Marders up in support……..and my tanks took out 4 T64’s!! 4 more can be seen in southern wood…and command tank is ordering a Big Breakfast from Macca’s!

Have removed roofs so can see the PzGrs in buildings. The left team have a Carl Gustav and the other have Milans…plus MG teams. 2 Shilkas are using the blown T64’s as cover while the Russian infantry are right are no longer pinned.

Hinds have moved across to get at my Leopards. The Rolands and Red eyes let rip..

And 1 Hind is more! One of the bailed out Leopards had been destroyed.

The Shilkas have advanced and taken out the front squad. The Russian infantry have made cover of wall.

Goldie positioning some grunts in a building.

Heh heh….have taken out the command tank and Shilkas.

and the 2nd Hind bites the deck.

So the end game and Goldie has the infantry in centre remaining…

Bigs thanks to Goldie for the game and helping me out with rules and suggestions through the game. The dice gods did favour me……so we will give it a go again in 2 weeks…..with some changes to each side as Goldie still waiting for his BMPs to arrive….and I will be adding some scout vehicles….more PzGr’s…more Leopard 2’s and reworking the Marder 2s I expect.

So fun game…liked the rules…..expect will be some discussions on what constitutes a BROKEN army that will not be allowed to be fielded! In meantime….I need to finish the painting, decaling and basing of the force then add some more units.

Til next time…Terry out.

Victory at Sea Game – Feb 2022

Somewhere in the Atlantic in 1941……..

Now we have had several practice games of gradually moving from a destroyer v destroyer to adding cruisers in games to learn the rules a bit. So as our local club Wellington Warlords had cancelled Saturday games as the hall used on Saturdays has been requisitioned as a Covid testing station, I decided to move a Thursday game to Saturday. It would also allow a full days gaming rather than 3 hours at night.

So for this game it was the Germans v the British. Russ and SteveT would be the Germans with SteveC, Goldie and Robert the British. I was on drinks and assisting the BossLady with lunch duties.

After rolling up the scenario the Germans with the Bismark, Tirpitz, Scharnhorst and Gniesnau would square off against the Hood, King George V, Warspite who had company in the Ark Royal(with Swordfish), 3 cruisers and 3 destroyers. The Germans had to exit the table and inflict more damage than they suffered. Simple enough.

Below we see the Kreigsmarines finest steaming full ahead. The Tirpitz and Bismark are the 2 larger vessels.

And here is a close up of the Tirpitz. Russ paint jobs.

This is the picture on turn 2. The British has deployed in line facing left on the top table edge with the line led by the destroyers, then the cruisers and the biggies in the rear. The Ark Royal was off table but had some Swordfish flights in the air. She has 15 flights. Now I didn’t agree with the British set up…but being an unbiased(well sometimes) umpire it didn’t seem the best position to be in facing a group of 4 Battleships…..a remark that was ignored as most of my comments tend to be LOL. So below we see the Germans going full speed to the right to get off table….the British destroyers and cruisers who are torpedo armed and need to get in close the the Germans…like right alongside… fire off their torpedoes with any effect…are going to need a miracle… catch them. The British battleship group is moving to intercept the Germans…the Warspite being rather old and slow is starting to fall behind. Some Swordfish are flying over them… however they are REAL slow for planes!!

A close up of the British Battleships with the Swordfish flying by.

Here is the Ark Royal sitting off table…launching one flight a turn…which move only marginally faster than the German Battlegroup.

Close up of the King George V (model says Duke of York..but…no one wants to play with the Duke of York!)

Battle scene below…Germans racing for table edge….British Battleships moving to intercept…Swordfish closing in on Germans…and British Destroyers and Cruisers trying to catch up. More flights ofSwordfish are joining the action.

Russ and SteveT had the Germans in formation so nice and compact and can unleash a lot of firepower. Players ignore size of model…you measure from the model bridge …so there is no blocking of shooting angles.

The unusual formation of the the British smaller ships……

Something for the German ships to worry about……well…..hopefully anyway….there is a lot of dedicated AA and light guns on those 4 ships to get through.

Remember the Hood… it had the misfortune to be closest the the Germans.. the red marker is her burial spot.

Remember the King George V…the red Marker is his burial spot.

But…some Swordfish’s made it to the Bismarck brought her to a halt(a chance to get underway again) and

the Scharnhorst…. and did some serious damage with all main guns being taken out. The Tirpitz and Gniesnau were relatively unscathed. The British had lost the Hood, King George, the Warspite was 1 hull point away from critical damage, they had lost a cruiser and a destroyer and a number of flights of Swordfish.

So in balance…I feel the Germans won it…….the picture below was a bit earlier ,,,,the red marker in the Hood…the King George about to get one as well.

So that was a fun game…we all got better acquainted with the rules , introduced battleships and carriers to the mix. Also need to get some of the battle card holders that Russ has. One of gamers at another local club is making them for Victory at Sea…makes admin side of game SO MUCH EASIER!.

Looking forward to the next game already. I have had a supply of Japanese planes and ships arrive from Magpie Promotions so will post an update on them and my Team Yankee force am working on next.

Next Group game is 2 weeks away….. will be a return to 1812.

Bye for now.


ACW Game Feb 2022 – Picketts Charge

So there are 2 games planned for this month, the first being an ACW game. I did a quick search online for a scenario and JaysWargamingMadness came up. Now this is a treasure trove of wargaming goodness for the uninitiated and for those interested in the American Civil War with lots of scenarios and general terrain making guidance.

There was an excellent scenario for Gettysburg July 3rd 1863 and Picketts Charge. So I adjusted it for Black Powder and set up table as below. Now over Xmas 21 break I made some more fence sections and wall sections so almost had enough for a change.

Below are the starting positions. The Union has 3 brigades, from left to right… Alan has 3 regts and a battery, Keith has 4 regts and a 2 batteries(large) and Goldie has 4 regts(3 small) and 2 batteries(large). The Union second line can only advance when the Confederates are attacking over the stone wall.

Down the far end the Confederates from left to right are Rob with 5 regts, Robert with 5 regts and Russ with 5 regts. They have 4 batteries on a low rise behind them that do not move. Pickett is also AWOL so they are on their own. The Confederates are ‘Stubborn’ and have the ‘Rebel Yell’ rules(so they reroll a miss in hand to hand and re roll any morale save they want to). They also ignore the broken brigade rule. This is all to show their desire to get over that wall. The fences and wall offer a -1 to hit from infantry fire but no help from artillery fire plus have a 6inch movement penalty.

Here they come, the Rebs are on their way.

The Rebs are getting closer. So basically the Union players have to do as much damage as they can before the Rebs get close. In turn the Rebs have to shoot up the Union troops and try and silence the Union guns before they can charge in.

Now the Rebs have formed a long firing line to pour as much lead as possoble into the Union lines. The units dropping off are disordered/shaken units left behind for now.

Rob has some good shooting and has made Union regt retire ‘Whipped’. So they are permanently shaken and will keep 12 inches away from the enemy at all times.

On far flank Russ is getting damaged a bit, those big batteries at medium range dish out some damage.

I let the Union advance their second line when the Rebs made it to the wall(trigger was meant to be when Rebs engaged over wall…but….they seemed to want to not do that and were shooting to do as much damage as they could…silly me for letting them know about the 2nd line rule).Now below Russ has charged into the Union lines. Russ was playing as Armistead who had a +1 on charging rule for his brigade.

The attack didn’t go to good at the start…Russ has one unit remaining in the line attacking.

But…. they did the damage in the end.

On the other flank…the game is done…the casualty and disorder markers have been removed…..but this is the high water moment….the Rebs made it to the wall…but they had suffered to much damage getting there and the Union 2nd line reinforcements plus all that artillery firepower saved the day.

And the final view….on the left Russ has a shaken union having won combat sitting at the wall…..with a battery looking at their flank…infantry to the front and rest of the brigade spent. While Robert in the centre and Rob on the right in the same situation. An almost…but not not quite result for the Confederate forces.

So history repeated and the Union won. Will probably redo this allowing the Confederates to move their batteries forward……some time in the future.

The next game up is a ‘Victory at Sea’ game in the Atlantic. Russ and Steve have capital ships and carriers so a full fleet action will occur so this game will be a saturday game rather than an evening so we have plenty of time.

Til next time.