Monday, July 6, 2020

Call Out the Militia!

I completed 3 units of 10 British Colonial Militia this July Fourth weekend. I hope my fellow Americans practiced "Safe Celebrating," and perhaps even took a little time to contemplate what could be the real moment for meaningful societal change that we may be. . . yeah. Sigh. So, as I was saying, three new units of Militia are ready to defend the Colonies. The first unit is shown above.

Here's Militia Unit #2:

The third unit is the most desperately called-out, including even women and children!

"I ain't your scout. And we sure ain't no damn militia."

Ahhhh. . . makes we want to watch the movie AGAIN!

Switching genres, Too Fat Lardies released their new Ancient-era small-unit skirmish rules, Infamy, Infamy! which uses their Sharp Practice 2 engine. Infamy! focuses on Late Republican and Early Imperial Roman conflicts with their "barbarian" neighbors: Gauls, Britons and Germans, etc. The Lardies are promising a Punic Wars-era supplement soon, so of course I have to check it out. I'm reading the advance PDF now. . .

See ya. . . sometime.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The 47th Regiment of Foot arrives!

The hatmen of the 47th are ready for action, joining the Grenadiers from last post. They've been patiently awaiting the completion of their bases for a couple years and it feels good to have them done at long last!


Benjamin Martin, fictional Revolutionary War pacifist but French and Indian War "hero" is ready to take on the French, supported by various family members.

Finally, here's a teasing glimpse into another project slowly "collecting". . .

Be safe!

Monday, April 20, 2020

So What's New?

Well, I'm working more hours than I do normally, so I have no great stories about all the hobby projects I'm finally getting completed. . . Not playing any games, so the basing goes on. Above is a photo of the British Grenadiers from the 47th Regiment. Working on the "hatmen" still. No photo, but I also finished up 3 French and 3 British artillery crews.

Been tinkering a bit with solo rules for both DBA 3.0 and Commands and Colors: Ancients, but really most free time I have right now is going toward completing bases.

I did pick up 2 new rule sets in the last month or so. I supported the Kickstarter for Clash of Spears, a skirmish game set in Ancient times, in particular, the Punic Wars.

They had me at "Punic Wars." Scale is small-unit; around 6-12 soldiers per unit. I really like the deployment system; it reminds me a little of Sharp Practice 2. It's different but also uses a concept of "deployment points" that is a fun alternative to the "line up and go" of some Ancients games. The rest may seem familiar. . . roll to hit, roll to save, lots of traits and customization possible. Haven't played it yet. Lots of pretty eye candy.

The other set is Muskets & Tomahawks 2

Another very pretty hardback book. Same basic game as the original version, but with some streamlining and clean-up. The command system has been re-vamped; the optional hand management system from the original version is now standard, and an interesting additional system of command points has been overlaid to provide more tactical flexibility. Like Sharp Practice 2, Muskets & Tomahawks 2 is a broader volume covering all theaters of "black powder" warfare, not just the colonial wars in North America. To get the army lists and specific rules for said North American conflicts, a second softcover book is required: Redcoats & Tomahawks.

Not sure that this will ever replace my "go to" Muskets and Mohawks, but I am sure I will at least give it a test-run.

And while we're talking about small-unit skirmish rules (I just realized we have a theme going now), check out Wiley Games' new Fistful of Lead offering:

Stay Safe!

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Corona quashed my DBA. . .

In the grand scheme of things, this can't even be considered a hardship, but it is one more example of the change in daily life that response to the virus requires. My regular DBA 3.0 opponent (and friend) is 70+ years of age and took himself out of group/face-to-face gaming a couple weeks before the country started to embrace "social distancing." I was totally supportive; you may remember that I lost my mother to the "regular flu" a couple years ago. Just not worth taking any chances. . .

So what to do until we get "back to normal?" I might play around with De Bellis Solitarius, but I'm more likely to use the home time to catch up on completing the bases on some of the 54mm French and Indian War units I based over the last 2 years. . . like the French La Sarre troops I just finished.

One great aspect of the Muskets and Mohawks rules I play with is that they are designed to be played solitaire. It is not just an afterthought, but an integral part of the rules!

Last month's DBA 3.0 game was a Big Battle pike-fest, pitting two triple-sized II/16 Asiatic Early Successor armies against each other: II/16a Antigonus (me) and II/16d Eumenes (Bruce). Historical enemies, to boot. Both pike-heavy forces, the main difference was that Bruce/Eumenes had more elephants, and I/Antigonus had some light horse and 3 Pike Generals (Eumenes' Generals were Knights). Terrain ended up on the flanks with little impact on the game.



As the Pike blocks advanced, I sent my right-flank Light Horse out to skirmish, and fed Elephants and Pike toward my left flank to defend against Eumenes mounted push.

When the Pikes embraced the Antigonid Pike Generals provided a slight edge in the initial combats. Turned out Bruce had also PIP-starved the Elephants on Eumenes left flank by assigning them the low PIP dice, depriving it of a potent weapon. These two factors kept the Antigonids ahead of the attrition race and eventually led to the Antigonid victory.


Eumenes "himself" fought off the Antigonid PIkes for a couple of bounds before being finally overwhelmed.

Be safe!

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Super Bowl Champs and some DBA

My team finally won the Super Bowl. Still doesn't seem real. . . and I am honestly still basking in it. I was in 6th grade when my family moved to the Kansas City, MO (NOT Kansas) area, the year after the Chiefs won Super Bowl IV against the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings were "our" team then, since we had lived in Minneapolis for a couple years previously - Kindergarten and 1st Grade for me - so we were pulling for the Vikes in IV. I stayed in KC until my mid-thirties, long enough to become a fully-vested member of the Chiefs Nation, before heading back to Minnesota for work. Fifty years is a long time to wait just to have your team in the Super Bowl, let alone win it, in the midst of family and friends, in the burbs of Kansas City, whooping and crying. Congrats, Chiefs! What a fun win!

A couple weeks before, Bruce and I met for our monthly game of DBA 3.0. Bruce provided 2 28mm Classical "Greek" armies: II/22 Alexandrian Macedonian and II/5c Later Hoplite Greek Theban. We played Big Battle format; each army x 3 for 36 elements per army. After dicing I got the Thebans, defending. Not much terrain; a Woods, some gentle hills and ploughed fields, mostly on the flanks. Pretty Classical.

The Macs were Pikes supported by Knights, Cavalry, Auxilia and Psiloi. . .

The Thebans were basically the same, with Spears instead of Pikes, and no Knights. . .

So, it would be a contest of double-depth Pikes against 2 lines of Spears. The Theban army is interesting in that it has a Spear General and an element of double-depth Spears (8Sp), both of which get a +1 in combat in Good Going against Pikes. Number of elements times 3, remember, we're playing Big Battle. Moving into close combat and thereby getting to choose the order of combats could be critical when engaging the Pikes.  

The Macedonian mounted threatened my left flank, so I refused and expanded it with my own mounted. Our Auxilia skirmished in the hills on my right flank.

Then I spotted a potential "Gaugamela Moment" on my left flank. . .

. . . and due to very favorable dice roll the Mac General went down fighting!

The loss of the General slowed down the threat on this flank while the Spears in the center pushed into the Pikes and we both fed Cavalry into the skirmish on the opposite flank. 

First contact in the center went slightly in the Spears favor, and the subsequent elimination of a couple of Pikes elements, despite the loss of a couple of Spears, led to increased Theban momentum as a couple of holes in the line were exploited. The second line of Spears moved up where needed to plug their own holes. Combats on both flanks also favored the Thebans.

And suddenly, due to their small sizes, both Macedonian flanks were demoralized, and despite the fact that the center large command had taken losses but was still intact, per the rules the demoralization of two commands breaks the army.

Thanks for another fun game, Bruce!

See ya!