In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Victory out of Defeat

I was in such a celebratory mood, I had a beer.

Had an absolutely brilliant game of General d'Armee last night with Scott. My year and a half of intensely focused painting of 28mm Napoleonics bore some good fruit last night. Except for one regiment of French lancers brought to even things up a bit, all of the figures on table are mine.

Game is set during the spring of 1813. The Bavarians are facing a combined force of Prussians and Russians somewhere in Central Germany. I took the Bavarians. Dice rolls determined choice of table edge and who set up first. I won the first, and lost the second.

Detaching light companies to make my skirmish screen

Prussians all together


Allied cavalry brigade. They spent a lot of the game "hesitant". Mom had to get some quarters to get their horses moving.

Russian brigade, who also spent a lot of the game "Hesitant" as well.

Allied massed artillery

Prussian brigade

Skirmishers dispute a belt of trees

Skirmishers dispute the town

My cavalry threaten the Prussian flank. It will take three charges before that battalion of musketeers is ridden down!

Moving up my artillery because limbers are cool

FR Wahl taking fire from the Russian artillery. Caissons and supply wagons are cool too. The Bavarian battery used the "Artillery Assault" orders a lot in counter battery to eventually destroy the Russian battery.

Hammering the Prussians. One Prussian battalion is routed.

Russian grenadiers push their way through the belt of trees while Allied cavalry finally start moving to envelope my right flank!

Continuing to hammer Prussians on my left though

Cavalry threatening Prussian flank

Wheel my artillery to fire on the Allied cavalry, with the "Artillery Assault" order and roll really quite well (the Tolkien graphics are '6'). The Lithuanian uhlans are within a hit or two of being dispersed.

The uhlan charge fails and they are driven back, but the grenadiers from the other side destroy the Bavarian square.

2 other Bavarian battalions are retreated or routed, so that brigade is now "Faltering" status.

Even though Scott was plagued by bad ADC and brigade rolls, when his troops finally got moving, my right was overwhelmed by weight of numbers. When my right wing went to "Faltering" it was time to concede the table and retreat before the badly mauled Allied cavalry got itself sorted out.

Although I lost the game, I consider it a victory because I had a really great time and felt I could win up until the last couple of turns, and most importantly, I finally put on the table the sort of Napoleonic battle that I think 11 year old me was dreaming about.

Scott and I also have a pretty good handle on the General d'Armee rules too, so things rolled along pretty smoothly and set up to good byes was just over 4 hours.

This gaming break has me reinvigorated to work on more Prussians and Russians. 

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Battle Stations! First Game of Victory at Sea

Got some hobby time on Canada Day and finished basing my fleets. 

After dinner I tried a small game to learn the rules. Each side got a cruiser and four destroyers.
USN approach in line

IJN in a more complex deployment 

After a couple of tedious turns alternating movement, the Honolulu opens fire with her forward turrets 

Mogami takes some hits but Damage Control gets the engines working again (Litko shell splash markers are a gift from the Mad Padre. Not at all necessary, but Rule of Cool) 

Everyone starts trying to cross Tees a turn too late.

Everyone begins maneuvering and finds themselves in torpedo range! (Litko torpedo markers also from the Mad Padre)

Honolulu took a torpedo aft, knocking out the X turret. But her guns keep getting hits on Mogami, who doesn't roll as well in return.

Gunfire from Honolulu starts several fires on the Mogami. Torpedo hits from Strong and Taylor start more fires and critically knocks out Damage Control. Honolulu takes a second torpedo in the stern.

Mogami limps away, fires raging out of control. Honolulu is taking on water. 

So a bloody draw. Although I wasn't keeping as close an eye on the Damage as I should have. Both cruisers passed the "crippled" threshold before I was aware. Need proper ship rosters to track torpedoes fired and Damage thresholds.

Victory at Sea seems very focused on classic big ship actions in the Mediterranean and Atlantic. Night spotting and radar are quite basic which is unfortunate since many of the small naval actions in the Solomons occurred at night. Destroyers are treated very basicaly as well, with one fire dice and may as well be throwing marshmallows around once they've launched their torpedoes. The torpedo rules seem odd too. But that might just be me.

Still something to toodle around with until I find a better set of rules. A chap on Twitter is helping with a set of rules that seems just perfect, focusing on destroyer/cruiser actions. 

Friday, July 1, 2022

Wargaming Campaigns

This arrived in the mail from Pen & Sword.

I ordered it almost two years on a preorder deal.

It's a hefty tome, weighing in at 4.25 pounds, or 2 kgs. It is densely packed with text. There is not the usual excess of eye-candy and wargamer porn featuring gorgeously painted armies and sumptuous terrain, which, to be honest, I was expecting. 

But it is chock full of ideas which will take me a while to get through. Hopefully I'll be able to link more games together and perhaps run a solo campaign. 

Monday, June 27, 2022


Busy, busy this month with wrapping up the cadet training year. So progress on the Pacific naval stuff has been slow. 

Assorted flavors of US cruisers 

First attempt to base them was set back by vapors from the superglue clouding the plastic. Shame it didn't make a nice wake pattern. 

USN Fletcher class DDs and Atlanta class CLs waiting for decisions to be made about bases 

I switched to PVA which seems to be giving a good enough bond.

Assorted flavors of US cruisers on new bases 

IJN CAs and BBs 

IJN DDs and CL 

I am thinking that maybe just a tag big enough for a label would be better, easier to store and not accentuate the "banana boat" issues. I'm currently making labels in MS Word and trying to name each ship. The names may not be exact to the ship silhouette, but will adhere to the class, number of turrets etc. For economy I only bought one .stl each for all Japanese heavy cruisers and US 8" and 6" cruisers. I find the differences between a Northampton, Portland and Pensecola class 8" cruiser pretty small. Same with the two major classes of 6" cruisers, so I went with the Brooklyn, because it's iconic. All my US destroyers are Fletchers as well. The Fletcher class DD is just a good looking ship.

Last weekend Weirdy Beardy and I trekked down to deepest, darkest southern Ontario for a friend's 60th birthday. The birthday boy started out by running a game of "Charlie Company." He plays this like an RPG. All the players play the Americans and he runs the VC/NVA who remain hidden until we successfully spot or they come out int he open to attack etc. We were an American Armored Infantry platoon, recently transferred form Germany and tasked to sweep the area for signs of the reported NVA regiment in the area. I played the Lt, other friends played the section commanders, platoon Sgt, and the tank commander.

You can see that his set up, put together when kids were small and money tight, is basic, but still works and the game is still good.

The Zippo and two sections pour fire onto some bunkers and trenches spotted in the brush across the river while the Combat Engineers and the 3rd squad search the hooches. Black electrical tape and narrow masking tape are berms for flooded rice paddies.

MEDEVAC arrives to dust-off my serious casualty.

It was all suitably chaotic and foggy as some of my Grunts tripped mines and mortar bombs rained down us. My Lt earned the Silver Star for running into the mortar barrage to pull a wounded man out while under fire. We didn't kill anyone and never did see the enemy as our reactions successfully frustrated the planned ambush as we learned in the post-game debrief. Historically, the NVA launched their ambush and tricked the American forces into firing into the village, where villagers had been tied up to become victims of the cross-fire and provide the Communists with political capital on the international stage. So even though we didn't know it, and took four casualties and didn't get any body count, it was a major victory for the US.

After dinner I ran an eight sided Hunt for the Golden Teapot of Petra. Adventuring archaeologist, Ohio Smith has sent back a priceless artifact and a group of mysterious Foreign Gentlemen wearing fezzes have arrived in Pottersville to retrieve it mid-transit to Harvard. Their hired PI, Jack Malory, has made inquiries and this has got all the major players in Pottersville descending on the warehouse to grab the loot for themselves. I even got to play this time.

My gang, Bugs Malarky and his crew deploys in an alley

Mysterious Foreign Gentlemen

Pa Clampett and his boys leave the still in the scrap yard

Tong go after one of the Cohen gang

Pottersville Post arrive to get front page shots of my gang getting gunned down in a three way shoot out. Bugs Malarky Blasted! Mob Mayhem in the Streets!

Cohen gang and Pottersville PD square off over the hood of a truck before they decide to join forces against the Tong

Detective Paczki lays down some heat on the hated Tong

"Say hello to my little friend!" Ethan Cohen blasts away at the G-Men in the warehouse, who were incredibly close to finding the loot before they got taken out.

I got wiped out, but it was big fun. With most of us eliminated or down to 1 or 2 figures, we declared the birthday boy (Pottersville PD) the winner, since he still had all five of his characters left and control of the warehouse. Sgt. Crueller is going to have a nice retirement nest-egg set aside.