Tuesday, August 26, 2014

F&IW Scenario for Recruits

The scenario for Recruits next month is loaded and primed ("locked and loaded" didn't sound appropriate for the black powder period). I have a new unit of Indians to varnish and some new marsh terrain to finish, but otherwise the preparation is done.

The scenario is loosely based on the Battle of Lake George and the preceding "Bloody Morning Scout." I used both the latest Osprey Campaign "Fort William Henry 1755-57" and the eponymous scenario in Worthington's excellent boardgame "Clash for a Continent" to guide terrain set-up and orders of battle. I replaced a unit of New York militia with British regulars because I ran out of militia, but otherwise the troops are representative.

The scenario as partially described in "Clash:"

As part of the British strategy of 1755, General William Johnson was to attack Crown Point on the banks of Lake Champlain. The French were well aware of these movements, having captured plans describing the campaign after General Braddock's devastating defeat on the Monongahela River. To counter the British, Baron Dieskau headed south with a mixed force of French regulars, Canadian militia and Indian allies, approximately 3,500 men in total.

Johnson had a force of approximately 3,000 New England militia and a small group of allied Mohawk Indians with which to capture Crown Point. As he neared the objective, he established a fortified camp with the main body of his troops. Meanwhile, Dieskau had moved his men to within striking distance and prepared to ambush Johnson at his first opportunity. Johnson obliged by sending a 500-man detachment, accompanied by the Mohawks, to "find the French." This decision prompted the Mohawk leader, Johnson's friend Thayonaguin, to comment if the men in the detachment "were to be killed, they were too many; if they are to fight, they are too few."

The map above shows the situation as the detachment leaves the fortified camp and approaches the French ambush. . . you can just about feel the French and Indians lurking in the woods, can't you.

See ya . . . at Recruits next month, maybe?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Return of the Hordes of the Things

The title not only refers to the recent republication of what, in my sorta humble opinion, is one of the great sets of wargames rules ever published, but also to my official "return" to playing Hordes of the Things (HOTTs) after nearly five years.  

I can't believe it's been so long.

Bruce and I arranged to meet last Saturday to play some HOTTs and discuss some local promotion. We invited others to join the game and discussion, but picked a beautifully mild summer weekend in Minnesota, which I reckon led to activities other than HOTTs. And the venue we chose was hospitable and habitable, but not so centrally-located.

So it was just Bruce and me. After getting re-acquainted and kicking around some plans for future games, we got down to the game at hand. Feeling a little rusty, we decided to dispense with terrain (not even a board!) and focus on the basics. We still had to look things up!

Here's a photo of the game a few turns in that mostly shows our 24 point armies.

Bruce brought his Sea Kings Armored Division:
Rider General @ 2 points
4 Riders @ 2 points each
Hero @ 4 points
2 Shooters @ 2 points each
2 Airboats @ 3 points each

Think Renaissance (note the Da Vinci airscrews) Byzantines. . . 

I brought the Undead:
Magician General @ 4 points
8 Hordes @ 1 point each
Behemoth @ 4 points
3 Knights @ 2 points each
Flyer @ 2 points 

The Hordes and Behemoth trundle forward while the Sea Kings dance. . .

And danced some more. . .

Reviewing the rules after the game, I realized this maneuver, as a group move in column, is illegal (not intentionally so!) because at the end of the bound not all elements in the group are in edge and corner contact and facing in the same direction. This is what happens when you play different rules over the years and try to keep them all straight. . .

First blood went to the Undead. I maneuvered the Flyer to a position behind one of the Airboats and then used the Magician to bespell it, forcing a recoil that it couldn't complete because of the Flyer, which eliminated the Airboat. The other Airboat then promptly turned on the Flyer and doubled it, eliminating it in turn.

Then I did it again. It referring to my previous post wherein I lost my army's General in single combat. After a second failed bespelling attempt on the remaining Airboat, the Airboat moved into contact with my Magician General.

The Airboat has a combat factor of 5 and rolled a 5 for a final score of 10.
The Magician General has a combat factor of 4 and rolled a 1 for a final score of 5.
The Airboat doubled the Magician General, which eliminates the Magician.

Game over. Sea Kings win. We shook hands and called it a day.

And on the drive home I realized I DID IT AGAIN. I missed a rule, in literally the same situation as the last post. In this case I didn't add the +1 tactical factor to the Magician's score for being a General. The final score now a 6 instead of 5, it is no longer doubled by 10, so is not eliminated. The result should have been a recoil. Oh well, the moral this post is the same as last: Wargamer, know thy rules.

Here's hoping there's more HOTTs for us in the not-too-distant future. 

See ya!