This Week


Sunken hex river sections

Over on Keith’s Wargaming Blog (link below), Keith describes the process that he uses to get a sunken effect for waterways using inverted single hexes and the photo here shows his results with a built in 6mm bridge installed. 

There is a similar ‘how to’ over on the Kallistra website for conversion of their 6 tile combination pieces.

Looking at Keith’s previous posts for his napoleonic C&C battles, the effect of the sunken river is very good and I quite fancy a dabble at doing these, though for covering bigger tables there is quite a bit of modelling to do ..... but who doesn’t like playing with clay!

Link to Keith’s blog


Wargaming and bad backs!

Currently suffering after helping an elderly lady in a coffee shop! The lady needed help because she had a bad back, how ironic!, so I have put together a post that looks at getting a game going, even with limited mobility.

The post is main;y looking at some boardgames that have a small footprint, with an 11" x 17" map, plus a mention of a jigsaw App .... more useful, when even sitting is not an option!

As usual, a link to the blog


Wanting to keep the Eagles of France system fresh in our minds, more in anticipation of the release of Quatre Bras than anything else, we set about the St. Amand introductory scenario from the Ligny package as it just gives a pleasant evenings game, while having enough variety to hold interest and keep the gamer in touch with the basics of the game engine.

A French victory relies upon capturing 4 major buildings across the map and inflicting more casualties than lost in four turns.

In our game, the French won a roaring victory, ploughing up the map towards Château de L’Osaille (a VP location), to which they had set as their Orders destination, allowing them to drive through two other VP locations on the way. They deliberately chose to ignore the 4th VP hex at Dagnelée over on the Prussian right, instead concentrating their forces on a rapid push up through the centre.

The Prussian force held on as best it could, with each successful delay frustrating the French advance.

(Picture above) At Château de L’Osaille, 24th Infantry (a), like others elsewhere, tried to hold out against the odds. Surrounded, with 38 French Combat Points against their 12, giving a 3:1 attack, +2 DRM for defending a big building and -1 DRM for a morale differential, they survived a QFT1 test, forcing the French to spend time putting in a second assault. But ultimately, these ‘last stands’ were too costly and Prussian losses ran high, as surrounded units not able to retreat when called to do so by the CRT are removed from play as a consequence.

On the final turn, the Prussians chose to bring in some reinforcements, at the cost of surrendering further VP’s to the French. On the heights behind St. Amand, they launched a counter-attack that pushed the French back over the stream, but they failed to inflict the casualties that needed to restore the situation.

By the end of the game (turn 4) the final VP tally was 37 points in favour of the French (they need 28 or more), giving them a clear and well deserved victory.

If anyone has this game on their shelves unplayed, then having a go of either of the two introductory scenarios and if wanting a refresher, the St. Amand scenario in particular is just the job, it’s a great system, thanks Hexasim.                                                          


This is one of a pair of General figures that come with the Perry plastic 28mm ACW Battle in a Box set.

This officer has been painted up as the union commander and looks rather nice to the Mk I eyeball, if a little stiffly posed, but as usual, flash lit digital photography has been a little unforgiving in this instance.

There are two poses available. I have chosen the ‘sword in hand’ option and will reserve the ‘binoculars in hand’ option for the Confederate commander.

The figure is MDF based and the large grass tuft was bought from Great Escape Games.


A Battle of Bosworth (1485) project.

A long time ago I put together some text and rules specific to the Bosworth Battle. Recently coming across this work, I find myself encouraged to start a new and ‘pretty’ project that hopefully would be playable in a small space.

I have done a bit of a write up about the history of this project over on my blog and hope to see it develop into something worthwhile.



Fields of Despair - WW1 France 1914-18 by GMT.

Played face to face last night. This is a beautiful production, but one that I wished was more tradionally wargame orientated than it is.

It is more than a heavily themed Euro, but I felt that there were too many Euro type mechanics in the game, for my tastes, with some things working more as ‘interesting’ mechanics, rather than working as a traditional simulation. 

The German side managed to amass a collection of armies (something like 65 points worth of combat value) to strike at Verdun, break the fort and the front, laying open the way ahead to Paris, this should have created a panic scenario for the French. The system seemed to handle this quite well, but in the background, the French army were moving into German hexes, deploying 1 point armies, pretty much like spoiling attacks and by doing that, collected enough VP’s to cause an early sudden death win! So the gamey met the serious and the result was a cartooney experience that per the rules was a French win, but by any other measure, it was the German army that had the strategic advantage that ‘looked’ right as a model for the campaign. 

My dislike this sort of thing was reinforced by wooden cubes going into bags, which were randomly drawn to generate ‘developments’ depnding on what colours were drawn and resource tracks, which I dislike. It is of course just me, not the game at fault, I am the wrong audience, those that comment at BGG score it highly and seem to love it. It is just the wrong game for me and by the end I felt a certain empathy with the title of the game!


Battle of the Bulge

After re-setting the board, I decided to go for the full camapaign game that runs from 16th December 1944 through to 26th December inclusive.

Each day is represented by two turns, so this is a 22 turn scenario and played across two standard sized boardgame maps and was played over four days in real time, so for me, this counts as one of those ‘game fests’ that I have promised myself to have a couple of times a year.

Bulge, like Gettysburg, is just one of those games that seems to find its way to market every year in one form or another and we have all played enough Bulge games to have an idea of how they typically play out, so to buy or play another system, they really need to be offering somethinng new.

For me, I got that from this game. The German offensive capability seemed to last longer into the game than usual and the allies, due to very heavy early losses, never really seemed to amass that jugernaut of reinforcements that typically attacks mid game.

This translated into an action that really gave the allies a lot of genuine cause for concern over a longer period of the game and I thought that emmotional connection with play was good, though overall, the Germans felt like they had more capacity mid and late game than I expected. I’m not sure whether that is justified or even typical, perhaps another game, in which the allies are more careful about getting cut off and then removed from play, might help in giving the allied forces greater presence in the second half of the game.

Still, an enjoyable game and one to come out again at some point.


Bitter Woods by Compass Games

Last night, we went through the tournament scenario, which uses just the first 6 turns (3 days) of the game. There are quite a lot of turn one and turn two rules to remember, so I made a reference sheet for them and did two readings of the rules before play.

Everything was straight forward and we were soon in our stride. There are some things that need to become second nature like advance after combat, which is calculated by hexes, but movement costs also have to be counted to ensure a unit does not move further after combat than it would normally be allowed in the movement phase.

We only got as far as part way through turn 4 (the German part) and the furthest elements of the German advance is shown in the graphic (click to enlarge). Bastogne is still holding and there is armour coming up from the south in the next turn, that should strengthen their position. At the top of the picture, you can see 7th CCA, CCB and CCR tank units with artillery support making for the fuel dump at Samrée - the rough location (hidden) of the fuel being shown by the red counter. The fuel dump is an important German objective in the campaign game. The yellow counters are German objectives in this scenario and the two red square counters show where the German force has already captured the yellow markers.

Manteuffel with Lehr /130 is leading the advance after breaking through via Noville and is now on the road to La Roche. This is the last turn that the German are automatically classed as being in supply, so the Allies will no doubt be looking for opportunities to cut road supply to curtail such advances.

I have re-set the table for another go over the weekend.

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