Tuesday, 5 December 2017

First Game of SAGA

Well this was a first for Bob and myself.  We met George through the TMP pages  when he was looking for gamers in NE London.

George kindly offered to host and Umpire a game using the SAGA rules.  All I knew about SAGA is that there is a company in the UK that offers Insurance and Travel for people over 50 called SAGA!!.  This turned out to be something completely different!  George had set out two 4 point SAGA 'armies'.  Normans and Vikings.  Bob commanded the Vikings and I had the Normans.

My Normans consisted of a Warlord, 3 units of cavalry and a unit of crossbowmen. 

Bob had 2 units of infantry, a unit of bowmen, a Warlord and a unit of Berserkers - more of them later!

Firstly, credit to George.  The figures looked superb, some he painted and other he acquired but they definitely looked the part.

Bob and I were each given a 'Battleboard' with various symbols and commands on it and some dice with corresponding symbols.   To start I must confess to feeling completely outside of my comfort zone rolling these odd looking dice and working out where to put them on the Battleboard to best effect.  You have to use these dice to 'activate' your units and to give them additional bonuses - charging, firing, fatigue additions and removal. Provided they are the correct symbols, you can place multiple dice on the same against the same sections on the Battleboard' to 'Activate' multiple units or in the case of archers to move and fire.

Bob won the initiative and rolled his dice, activating his units and moving forwards.  His bowmen moved onto a hill dominating the centre of the table.  

In response, I activated all my horsemen sending one unit out in a wide flanking movement and another with my Warlord charged one of Bob's units of spearmen.

This seemed like a terribly good idea at the time. You get extra dice if your Warlord is with a unit, but if the other side have a largish unit, even of average troops, it is far from a foregone conclusion.  My cavalry did rip into Bob's infantry and he failed to save many of the casualties leaving him with just 2 figures still standing but I lost men as well and had just my Warlord and one other figure still standing. 

For want of understanding of the effects, in the next round I went in for the kill to finish
off these two remaining infantry men.  They fell, but so to did my last horseman.  The Warlord was on his own and vulnerable to Bob's archers on the hill.  Fortunately, their bow strings were wet and they failed to score a hit.

Bob was rolling all sorts of runic dice and moving forward his Warband headed by a female Warlord whose name Bob and George debated.  All I can remember is they decided she wasn't Brunhilda or Brunhilde!  Anyway, on she came supported by the Berserkers.  I was starting to get the hang of the Battleboard concept, all you need to know is on the board and you have to make decisions about what outcomes you want based on the dice you have rolled.  Honestly, it is better than my description!

My crossbowmen fired at the Warband taking out a couple of figures and them I sent in the larger of my cavalry units assuming this would be enough to finish them off.

Because of the Warlord I lost the melee and a number of troopers and the unit was pushed back.

Bob then sent in his Berserkers and carnage followed.  Although, I managed to kill 2 of the 4 Berserkers, my cavalry was decimated - actually it was worse than that the remaining unit was destroyed to a man!

My Crossbowmen now found themselves on their own facing an advancing Warband, the remaining Berserkers and the longbowmen who had advanced off the hill. 

Whilst all this was happening my Warlord linked up with my remaining cavalry unit who were coming up behind Bob's troops.

The Crossbowmen managed to get off a shot but the remaining Warband and Warlord beat them and pushed them off the table and into oblivion.

At this point making decisions with my 'dice' on the Battleboard was pretty simple as I only had one unit left. I  gave them a Charge and Melee bonus and surged into the rear of the archers.  One archer survived the onslaught!

 I got a bit excited at this point and forgot to take any more pictures!!!!  Bob's remaining Berserkers singled out and attacked my Warlord in an effort to win the game (death of the Warlord equals victory).  Based on their effect on the other cavalry, I think Bob, George and I all thought it was all over.  7 hits by the Berserkers on my already fatigued Warlord!  My little lead figure had other ideas! Six sixes saved him.  Then it was all over for the Berserskers! 14 hits to be saved in return on the 2 figures.  With his Warlord and a couple of Warband figures still standing against my mounted unit Bob conceded the game.

Never tried anything like this before and whilst I won't be selling my 19th century armies anytime soon it was a really enjoyable diversion and something I would happily play again from time to time.  Even as 'newbies' Bob and I got the hang of the game after a couple of turns - helped by George who had played it many times before and we had a really enjoyable evening.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Minifigs S Range 1866 Hesse Kessel Cavalry Conversion

Still ploughing on with my 1866 conversions.  Here are the latest.

Hesse Kessel Cavalry

I thought the uniform was superb so I had to have some of these.

I used the French FPW Hussar as the body with the head of the CW Russian light cavalry figure.  I filed down one side of the cap to make a 'slope' then added 'green stuff' to make the drouping cap and a blanket roll.  Since I only needed 6 figures I made each conversion separately hence the slight variations.  Can't paint as well as I used to as I have a bit of a problem with my eyes at the moment.  Hopefully the hospital can fix things!  They pass the distance test - well at least to my dodgy eyes they do.

Whilst I was at it and to finish the Hessel kessel contingent I add a couple of artillerymen by putting the Russian CW helmets on the bodies of a Wurttemberg artillery figures.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

The Battle of the Bridge a BP Napoleonic game

A game not involving S range figures for a change!  Went over to Bob’s for a game.  The scenario involved a race for a Bridge with the Russians aiming to destroy the bridge before the advancing French could take it.  The playing cards represent potential fords. This is based on an idea I found whilst trawling the net some years ago and I take no credit for it.

Bob commanded the Russians, whilst I took charge of the French.  The French outnumber their Russian opponents, but most are off table and need to move on down the road.

Bob won the initiative and moved his lancers down the road towards the bridge.

Then disaster befell the Russians, the Engineers who were following them failed to pass the command move, blocking the road to all the remainder of the Russian troops.

My forces by comparison all passed their tests and moved down the road.  My leading cavalry setting off in search of fords to cross the river.

Again most of the Russian forces failed to move, the Engineers resolutely staying put.  One Russian regiment moved off the road to try to get around the blockage and the local peasants came out from the town to support their army.  The lancers again moved and Bob decided the only course of action was to move onto and over the bridge to protect it.

My cavalry found a ford

However, before I could cross Bob’s lancers crossed the bridge and prepared to charge!

My leading infantry regiment immediately formed square, blocking all further movement onto the table for the time being

The lancers bravely charged and my chasseurs counter charged.  I have to say I thought it was all up for my cavalry.

Thanks only to my supports, I managed to win the melee.  I do wonder about this rule on occasions.  The lancers took and then failed their command test and left the table.

My infantry reformed from their square and the infantry ‘snake’ continued along the road - but very slowly. Although a group of skirmishers managed to cross the ford

Meanwhile the Russians were still having all sorts of movement problems. The Russian artillery got stuck at the back of the line and despite attempts to fire often found its targets masked by its own troops.

My line on the road was simply becoming too long so one brigade took off across country to try tl reach the ford supported by an artillery unit which set up on a nearby hill to provide supporting fire and make the Russians life more miserable.

To a resounding cheer the Russian Engineers finally reached the bridge and started to lay their charges hopelessly late.

With the Russian infantry deploying to engage my infantry crossing the ford, the Engineers only found themselves supported by one regiment of infantry.  They were forced to abandon their efforts as my infantry swarmed onto the bridge.

At the same time my other cavalry regiment started to cross at the second ford potentially outflanking the engineers and the Russian infantry.  The Russians were in a hopeless position but their guns finally had a target and managed to halt my infantry on the bridge. 

However it was clear that the Russians couldn’t fulfil their objective of destroying the bridge and retreated.

An interesting game spoilt in part by the Russian Engineers failing to respond to orders and blocking the road.  The fords were also too easily crossed we liked the system but have added a card which if turned means there was no ford.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

1866 S range Black Powder game

Having converted and painted enough Austrians and allies, Bob and I decided to try them out.  The Prussians are out-numbered and defend a village.  The Austrian objective was simple, to drive the Prussian from the field.

Bob commanded the Austrian and allied force.

The Austrians were accompanied by Bavarian and Wurttemberg brigades and regiments from Baden and Saxe Meiningen.   They deployed with the Baden and Saxe Menninger regiments to the front centre supported by the Austrian brigades who had their Jaegers spread out to the fore, with the Austrian Heavy Cavalry on the left flank.  The Bavarians supported the Austrian right with the Wurttemburgers on the extreme right with a unit of Bavarian light horse in support.

My Prussian forcers opposing them were regiments of Prussian cavalry on the right, Prussian infantry in the centre and on the left a brigade consisting of Saxe Cobourg and Oldenburg infantry, a unit of Prussian landwehr and a regiment of Prussian line infantry together with a regiment of Hussars.

Bob had the initiative and ordered his brigades to advance.  Despite their lower command level all obey orders, except the Austrian cavalry, and advance.

The Austrian forces on the road rush to their deployment positions

For the first time we found that all the brigades respond to orders and the Prussians and their allies move to react to the Austrian deployment.  The Prussians bringing forward their limbered gun (managed to make a rider for the gun seat, must make the other one sometime).

The deployed Prussian artillery open fire to no effect.

Again all the Austrians moved, including their cavalry

And the Jaegers open fire on a Prussian regiment

The Saxe Cobourg regiment moved into the open ground to the extreme right supported by the Prussian Hussars.

Having got some momentum, Bob launched an Austrian Cuirassier regiment into a charge against my Prussian Cuirassiers.

The Prussians counter attack and in the ensuing melee suffer badly being shaken and forced back, with the Austrians following up.

Meanwhile the Austrian advance continues with the Bavarian and Wurttemberg forces moving forwards

The Prussian Cuirassiers break and flee the table but the Austrian Cuirassiers are quickly engaged by 2 regiments of Prussian dragoons and flee.

The Prussian and Austrian artillery and infantry now engage one another. The Jaegers are broken in an exchange with the Prussian Jaegers and line infantry and retreat to recover.

In the centre the Saxe-Meiningen and Baden troops are hit by artillery and infantry fire and halt, with first the Saxe-Meiningen and then the Baden regiment being broken.

The Bavarian infantry on the flank cross the hedge into an open field to engage the Oldenburgers and a Prussian landwehr unit

In the centre the Austrians and Prussian are heavily engaged in a fire fight, with the Prussian artillery playing a vital part forcing the Hungarians and supporting Austrians to halt.  The Austrian and Wurttemberg artillery often being masked by their own advancing troops had little to do.  The Bavarian artillery however played its part scoring hits on the Prussian regiments who manage to stand.

The Bavarians, Oldenburgers and Landwehr engage in close quarter fire around the hedges, with first the Bavarians and then the Oldenburgers being forced back.

The second Bavarian regiment on the flank is broken through a combination of numerous Prussian Line infantry fire and artillery pouring down on it.

The Saxe Cobourg infantry meanwhile advance to engage the Wurttemberg infantry.

On the other flank the Prussian Dragoons supported by a regiment of Uhlans engage the remaining Austrian Cuirassiers.  What I thought should be a bit of a walk in the park given my superior numbers turned out to be anything but with Bob rolling superb dice whilst mine were truly leaden!

The Austrians held and even won the dice roll but my supporting troops kept me in the contest.

Eventually I managed to best the Cuirassiers but all my cavalry were weakened and not in a position to play any significant role in the game.

On the other flank the Bavarians, with help from a Wurttemberg regiment managed to break the Prussian landwehr.

The Saxe Cobourg troops delivered a bayonet charge on the Wurttemberg infantry surviving the closing fire and pushing them back.

In the centre the Austrians outnumbered the Prussians but despite the Austrians bringing their guns into play the line held for a while,  but then the inevitable, the first Prussian line infantry broke and fled.

Whilst parts of the Prussian line held, the writing was on the wall, the Austrians still had some fresh cavalry and although both the Bavarians and Wurttemberg brigades had suffered, more Austrians were moving forwards and the rallied Jaegers added to their numbers. 

The Prussians were obliged to pull back leaving the Austrians victorious.

An enjoyable game, as always there where  a few mistakes with the rules, but it all balanced out.  The Prussians and their allies need a bit of a recruitment drive and even giving them a bonus when firing didn’t offset the disparity in numbers, so it’s back to the converting and painting table!