Monday, December 16, 2019

'The Great Adventure' returns

Some years ago I created a web site 'The Great Adventure' to showcase world war 1 games fought using the Great War Spearhead rules set. I think the rules set is great, and I enjoy the Spearhead rules system for all three of its historical period iterations - WW1, WW2, and Moderns.

The site had been hosted by my former school, but when the server that was hosting it failed, they decided not to replace the server, so 'TGA' was without a home.

I have spent a good 14 months pondering what to do. The answer came to me when I was shown how to construct a site using Google Sites.. such simplicity and flexibility (albeit with a limited palette of formatting options).

So I have begun the task of rebuilding the site. Fortunately most of the files I used previously are still extant on my laptop, so this has mostly been an exercise in transferring and slightly adapting the content. It's not something that requires haste, so I'll establish the site a page or two at a time.

Here is the link to the new site.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Spain is in peril: Iberian adventures

For Captain Garcia Fernando Pedro del Gama this was not a great way to fight a war. He had stood with his men for 6 hours. The sun had risen from the horizon and was now almost directly overhead, and still the Generalissimo sat at his table beneath the flapping canvas, lunching, drinking champagne, and tasting the delights of the roast hare, and chicken.  A conference of commanders, it they called it. He called it a long lunch at best, damnable disgrace and a waste of fighting time at worst. There were Frenchmen to attack, Spain to defend. He kicked at the dried grass at his feet, snorted in disgust, and turned back to face the French columns advancing now across the plain.

Another action on the Iberian Peninsular, fought using the Volley and Bayonet rules, and my 25mm armies. Each army comprised 3000 points, created using the VnB Road To Glory scenario system

The position after the first two moves, the French on the left, the Spanish on th right

The Spanish left had taken up position on the first hill that they came cross

French Dragoons moved out to attack the Spanish left

One of the two Spanish reserve cavalry divisions advanced to counter the French cavalry threat

The Spanish right. Captain de Gama's troops were pushed forward to attack the French

The firsat Spanish attack routs one French brigade, but one Spanish regiment is lost in the process

On the left the cavalry battle is joined

The French left wing attacks the town of El Django, ejcting the Spanish troops that had captured it in the opening moments of the battle 

The French also apply pressure to the Spanish centre

The Spanish counter attack El Django, but fail to break in to the town

The French troops are caught in a bottle neck in the centre

The French draw troops across to their right to develop the attack on the Spanish left, but leave a hole in their own centre. Spanish reserve troops advance to exploit the gapSpanish 

The Spanish right continues the pressure on the French left, causing significant casualties

The Spanish centre/left

The Spanishjcavalry have defeated the French dragoons, but bow a division of French Hussars advances ion them

Shoring up the Spanish left

The French pull two brigades back from the Spanish artillery

The Spanish left waiting on the next French attack

Spanish cavalry have launched themselves into the flank of one of the French cnenre brigades, driving them back

The French centre/left troops pull back to guard their own flank

The Spanish right wing attack continues to push forward

The Spanish troops took their moment sot withdraw form the field as night fell. Had they been saved by the impending darkness, or had they lost the opportunity to defeat the French invaders because the battle had started so late in the day. For Captain Garcia Fernando Pedro del Gama this left a bitter taste in the mouth. Long lunches, indeed. Battles and wars were not won on the back of long lunches, but on the back of decisive action, and this day had not seen sufficient decisive action. Perhaps next time.

At this point the game was called the hour being late. The Spanish left was in a very vulnerable position. The centre/left had lost a division under withering French artillery fire, and the reserves had been called forward to hold the line. We had delayed too long before beginning the fight.

It was agreed that the Spanish army had been bested. The defensive posture of the Spanish infantry o the left had meant that they ceded the initiative to the French to develop their attack as they wished.

However this was another great game, as they always are with Volley and Bayonet.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Turkish forces push south into Egypt ... a HotT game report

This was a Big Battle HotT game that Andy and I played a few weeks ago. (The pressures of work etc have meant that the photos have sat here for a little while.) The game featured Andy's Semi historical Egyptians vs my VSF Turks.

Set up, Egyptians on the left, Turks on the right

Egyptian blade, with flyers tucked up behind

Chariot general, and behemoth (da cat!!)

Turkish airboat

Turkish behemoth

So Andy and I both made perhaps the worst choice possible.. we both chose a Hero General, and what's more, this was our CnC. They went head to head in turn 2, and on the simple roll of a die, I won/Andy lost. His entire centre disintegrated. We'd both made a bad choice.. the fate of the game hung therefore on a single die roll -- winner takes all.

Andy's centre has all but disappeared, and his reserve is rushing lover to fill the gap

On the Turkish right, Turkish riders circle around in an attempt to get in behind the Egyptians

Turkish blade battering away at what was left of the Egyptian centre

The Egyptian right is having a better day of it against the Turkish left

The Turkish right, flyers in advance, backed with Riders, pushes across into the Egyptian centre

Battering away at the Egyptian reserves

The Egyptian right makes some headway against the Turkish left

However casualties mount amongst the Egyptian reserve

The game went to the Turks with over 50% of the Egyptian forces counted as casualties. Both Andy and I had forgotten that when hero goes up against hero, each is a 'quick kill' to the other. So the entire game went the way of that single die roll.

Neither of us is likely to do that again. The game was still a bit of fun, albeit that it wasn't typical of what other of us can do as players.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Adventures in North West France, 1870 ...

Keith and I continued our small Franco Prussian War games using Frank Chadwick's Volley and bayonet rules. The games are small because... well, we just haven't yet painted sufficient forces to fight larger battles, despite having bought a fair swag of figures more years ago than we care to admit. We fight our battles at half scale, using our 6mm armies built using figures from the Heroics and Ros range,

This scenario was formulated using an abbreviated version of the Road To Glory scenario system. Each of us ended up with a deployment that saw us remove our left wing after our first moves.

Initial deployment

The Prussian centre remained, with the army commander visible centre left

The French advance

The French commander launches an attack on the left of the Prussian centre. The aim was to get in before troops had established themselves (gone stationary)

The French first attack was repulsed

The Prussian commander pushed resources across the river, clearly determined to similarly attack the French left

Each commander had his reserves come on in the same turn, The Prussian commander pushed his reserve division towards his left to bolster his left flank. The French commander pushed his reserves towards his right, to threaten the Prussian left

The Prussian right advances, with the cavalry pushed across the river, with infantry support, to make a wide swing around the French flank

Meanwhile the French commander massed for an attack against the Prussian centre and left

The position on the Prussian left , seen from behind the Prussian position - the scale of the French forces and their attack is apparent.

The Prussian commander withdraws some of his centre brigades and infantry in the face of withering French fire

The Prussian right wing flank march bypasses the French left on the other side of the river

Prussian forces on the lft bank of the river ready themselves to support their flanking attack

Th French right wing attack goes in, supported by plenty of bronze napoleons, and a Mitrailleuse battery seen top centre

The Prussian centre reconsolidating

The Prussian cavalry top right has well and truly bypassed the French left. The French commander has withdrawn a Mitrailleuse battery and an artillery battalion to protect the flank (upper left)

The Prussian right flank attack about to go in

The Prussian left under attack. A French brigade that had occupied the centre high ground had been eliminated

Prussian forces cross the river, Prussian Cuirassiers seen top centre of the photo

Prussian centre right wth artillery stationary, ready to support the attack

The second wave of French attack on the Prussian left goes in - the effect is devastating

A Mitrailleuse battery ,moves forward and drives the cuirassiers back across the river

Prussian infantry cross the river to begin the attack

The Prussian left wing division suffers a morale collapse, so devastating are the casualties. The surviving troops fall back through the woods

The Prussian right wing attack goes in, supported by mo less that five battalions of Krupp guns

The French artillery is taken in the flank by the Cuirassiers, and eliminated. The infantry guarding the French left is routed back from its position

The Prussians take the position, and begin the unhinging of the French 'position magnifique'
At this stage the French attack on the Prussian left also runs out of steam as both attacking divisions have run out of momentum (in VnB terms they are both one casualty off exhaustion).

We agreed that the French position had been sufficiently compromised that they would abandon the position. Casualties were fairly similar, the bulk of the Prussian casualties coming ffom the left flank division that had suffered the morale collapse.

For a 'small game', this had so much nuance. We both noticed that as we become more familiar with the sub period and it's own rules nuances, we are each tending to have infantry go prone more often.

Wow, what a game.

'The Great Adventure' returns

Some years ago I created a web site 'The Great Adventure' to showcase world war 1 games fought using the Great War Spearhead rules ...