Sunday, June 23, 2019

Mortal Gods - 1st Outing.

Whilst work on the Spanish continues at pace with a deadline of Thursday to get them tabletop ready, a rather fun distraction with Paul rolling out his fantastic Greek collection for Mortal Gods.

The mechanics are simple with each unit/character gaining a pebble, White for units and Black for leaders and heroes. You also have three Red omen pebbles which generate a positive or negative event card which can impact characters or battlefield events. Be careful though once all the red stones are drawn the turn ends.

Combat uses specialist dice with Swords for attack and Shields for defence, depending on your character you might get to use the pegasus symbol to aid you. You roll off attack dice vs defence dice but only if you burn your unt action (in which case you take your colour pebble out of the bag.) otherwise you roll against your armour, this is good as it can pin troops if they choice to burn defence dice to keep casualties down. As you would expect Hoplites are good in defence but skirmishers with no armour don't last long if caught.

Even on the face of it the weakest units have a chance my priest was caught by a unit of sneaky skirmishers but the gods were truly with him today...

As each unit/character comes with their own card which holds their scores and abilities this serves as a great aid to keep us newbies informed but also serves to track units that have been activated.

There is also a nice touch where if you bring units into a Phalanx their stats improve and you place a card over the top of your unit to record their new stats, the same occurs if your 3 man units is reduced to 1 man.

Mortal Gods had a good feel to it, a large scale skirmish, but the pebbles and the omen cards gave it that ancient slant. The units sizes are relatively small so a single box set and a couple of characters should give you all you need for an evenings gaming. The various units types give you plenty of scope to mix and match plus the cards for each set out on the side of the table means that we didn't spend all evening diving into the rule book.

Heroes are tough but are not invincible and if you are using them offensively they won't be able to command troops on the table which can slow your tactics down and hinder your morale.

Overall a good fun system which gives a good gaming experience, the danger is with on a few figures to a unit you could be dragged into thinking that's not to many to get a force together , so now I am spending time on the web tempted by Persians as I had a bit of a thing for the Peloponnesian Wars many years ago. The latest offering from Footsore miniatures does look nice just not sure about the detail on the uniforms to do them justice.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Here come the Spanish - Spanish Colonial Troops in Haiti

Just a short post more for reference than anything else.
With the Spanish being one of the more aggressive factions I need to move them up the painting queue to bolster their forces before their second engagement next week.

Trent Miniatures have produced a small selection of Spanish troops but finding additional reference was proving rather hard, I came across these useful uniform guides whilst trawling the web.

The first troops should be leaving the paint table this weekend.

If anyone can give me any further pointers please let me know.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Encounter in the Hinterland - 9th August 1791

Try as he might Georges Biassou could not shake off Louverture and his forces, they were better organised, armed and trained after yesterdays initial Biassou's slave forces had been forced back. But before they could reorganise the lead elements of Louverture were amongst his pickets.

George Biassou called his men out it was an all out attack...
He would be defending the left hand side of the table while the General would come on from the right.

So the scene is set. Biassou knew where the loyalists would be advancing from so rallied his men seeking the best ground he could in the limited time available to him.

He had high ground to his right and a small orchard to his left. The battlefield was littered with slave shacks and small plots of merger crops. Biassou ordered his men forward.

Biassou ordered his men up to the wooded ridge but the going was tough and despite his urging his men struggled to make progress up the steep incline.

On the far right his skirmish troops grabbed cover in a small plot of crops and awaited the advancing enemy. 

Keen to take away  Louverture deployment options he rushes all his troops forward including the mass ranks of poorly armed slaves, armed only with sharpen stakes, swords and axes, they lacked any range weapons but were deadly in hand to hand.

The Haitian skirmishers begin to appear on the table popping up amongst the slave huts and fences.

The slaves charged forward their Voodoo priest convincing the mass of troops that the loyalists musket rounds would not hurt them if they had faith. On they rushed clearing the open ground rapidly and heading straight for the irregular skirmishers.

The trap is sprung. After yesterdays encounter Louverture was not going to be caught out again and with 3 flags launched his ambuscade revealing his assault column who unleashed a deadly volley, killing a number of the attackers and sending the others running for cover with over 14 points of shock.  

Seeing the initial attack fail the remaining slave forces waited for the assault to come.

They did not have to wait long as the column advanced across the open ground. Louverture sent forward his skirmishers who harassed the militia forming on the tree line. Who let loose a crushing blow which slowed the column as it came on to the defenders.

Up until now the loyalist forces had showed great discipline yet after delivering a bloody volley into the mass ranks of slave militia and having seen the column destroy the charging slaves. The irregular skirmishers ignored their commander and broke through the hedge to charge towards the enemy. An opening volley sent them running from the field.
With over 11 flags in the bag a random event was bound to happen.

Meanwhile the Haitian columns marched on.

Whilst the skirmishers rash move had been unplanned, it had brought the Infantry enough time to charge into the left flank of the militia who were struggling with a pall of smoke massing their front. The loss of the melee pushed Biassou's force morale to zero and his troops flee the table.

With a force morale difference of 6 the loyalists broke through into the slave camp, looting 4 sacks of supplies and butchering the wounded from the previous days battle.

Mainforce casualties for both sides had been light, with Biassou only losing 2 killed, where Trousant Louverture had two men wounded from his mainforce.
But more importantly for Louverture, Biassou was beaten in battle again and was slowly being forced back to his capital.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Yet more Haitian Line....

The start of another Haitian line Regiment. 
As the campaign moves on it gives me the push to get more of the backlog of unpainted metal on to the table top.

Finding a formal reference for uniforms within Haiti is difficult but that does give you some latitude with the choice of uniform.
To separate these from the existing regiments these will have green Pom Poms and canvas top hats rather than black.

8 down, 16 to go.
These go straight into battle this week under General Toussaint Louverture and his push to subdue the slaves under Georges Biassou.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Cinderella Cattle Company - This is no fairy tale.

Another outing for Legends of the Old West and the occasional campaign game in the region around Dead Man's Gulch. Today's outing see's the Cinderella Cattle Company venturing out to secure a number of their lost cattle who have been acquired by the Mexican Army...…

Don't listen to the Mexican government who will tell you it was a vicious raid on the legitimate government who were simply garrisoning the (wall) border it's all fake news :-)

The Cinderella Cattle company under Trail Boss - Tom Kelfer supported by Green Horn's, Buckaroo's and Cowpokes. Plus Stinky Pete the Cookie.

The outpost with it's sole guard wandering aimlessly around and the returning wagon and patrol no doubt with some else's property to add to their rations......

After several moves of sneaking around the perimeter, the cattlemen hide amongst the cattle and tall grass as the Mexican soldiers walk their horses to the stable.

As the Federal troops near the stables Tom calls out to his men to open fire, his men blaze away and take down the unsuspecting Mexican troops.

The alarm is raised and the Mexicans rush to engage the cowboy's. Popping up at the various windows and doors of the blockhouse. 

The cattlemen shoot down several Mexican soldiers, whilst the Mexicans have the range with their bolt action rifles, everytime they raise their heads they face a blizzard of lead, with several Mexicans going down.
However despite their losses the Mexican numbers are starting to tell with Jeff Lebar and Derek Shultz both being taken out by the Federal troopers.

With a number of the Mexican soldiers ducking for cover or out of action, the cowboys make a break for it grabbing two of the cattle and heading for the table edge.

The Cattlemen skirt the stonewall field as the soldiers line the wall looking to inflict casualties on the scampering Cinderella men leading off the cattle.

Having slipped pass the blockhouse defenders the cowboys are intercepted by the commander of the local garrison who shoots Drew Hickey dead, the westerners fire back as the Mexican Captain takes cover behind the fence line.

A good day in the field for the Cinderella Cattle Company having captured two cattle and three horses, all three of their casualties have managed to crawl away and are able to return to the fight next battle. Meanwhile the Mexican were not so lucky with five of their number killed in battle.

A cracking days gaming and steak for tea :-)

Saturday, June 08, 2019

The Pearl of the Antilles. - The Haiti Campaign - Day Nine - 9th August 1791

The orders are in and after a lull to reinforce. The fight for control of the Pearl of the Antilles is underway once more.

Across the island the various protagonists make their moves.

The British under Thomas Maitland continue their onward march along the peninsula knowing that the day will soon come that they will have to engage the defenders of the island. 

Meanwhile the Republicans and Free Mulattos under Andre Rigaud continue to view each other with suspicion waiting for each other to make a mistake or show their hand.

To the North the French Planters ready themselves for future engagements. After the attack by rebellious slaves at Bahon, they scout the surrounding area for the enemy to establish their number and directions of potential attack. Dutty Boukman and his forces bloodied but unbowed spread around the surrounding high ground and cut the routes back to the regional capital. If the Planters are to receive future reinforcements they are going to have to force their way through the slave lines. 

The Royalists sailors arrive back at Le Borgne with their prize.

Elsewhere the Spanish Colonial forces are unleashed on the slave forces of Princess Amethyste the Spanish having probed the river bank to to find a suitable crossing, The slaves ready themselves against the aggressors looking to put them back into Slavery. 

Toussaint Louverture continues his offensive against his rival Georges Biassou having pushed him back at the Battle of Bassin-Bleu he needs to keep the pressure on his rival and his slave forces, Battle is joined with Louveture looking to inflict far more damage than the opening skirmish.

So two battles to fight this turn, good job the first of the Spanish are on the paint table.

Friday, June 07, 2019

Two new games in a week...

Try as I might I am a sucker for something new and shiny, despite my best efforts I find my head being turned by two new games. 

I have always had a hankering for the cold war and modern games ever since reading Larry Bond's Red Phoenix back in the early 80's in which North Korea launches a lightning invasion of the South backed by heavy soviet support. 

I have tucked away in a box a reasonable North Korean and South Korean force that has not seen the light of day for over a decade waiting for rules that would give me the right feel for encounters in Korea.

I might just have found them with Great Escape Games latest offering. - Seven Days to the River Rhine. 

Designed to be a fast play set of rules which caters for company plus sized encounters, where one model represents one vehicle, Infantry are based on stands which contains small arms and a supporting AT weapons. Good because I can hardly see the things these days in 6mm.
However ATGW such as Milan's are separate.

The rules are well laid out with a nice touch providing you with QR codes to watch a video explaining the rules in more detail. You will need your own counters to mark your units, these also serve as your number of available orders who you issue to units over a turn and serve to flag who have activated.

The rule book covers a number of NATO and WARPAC army lists. But once again I have chosen less popular forces for the Korean peninsula, but the vehicle specs are pretty much covered across all the lists if you dig into the specifics - my older Korean stuff is largely T55's vs M48's.

In our run through we pitched a West German Mechanised Infantry formation vs the massed ranks of Soviet Armour. A fun affair giving a tense encounter as players whip out their laser pens looking for that dead ground, from the top down the playing area looks flat, but ask the German commander who deployed in a wood only to realise that the rise in front of him gave him no field of fire. 

A small hamlet in a valley awaits the rumble of soviet armour. The table can look quite bland in this scale but add some pylons and telegraph poles and suddenly the table comes alive. 

Recon units creep forwards through the pine trees, you need to make sure you get your kill shot in as the reaction fire can be deadly as my BRDM's and BMP's found out sitting on a hill top only to be thumped by West German Milan teams.

Rushing down into the village was no better especially as the wire guided AT weapons needed to be stationary to fire, definitely a one time only weapon. 

Meanwhile the Russian Armour rumbles on to the board, the platoon order gives me the ability to move 3 vehicles at once but you burn through your order chits pretty quick. 

The open valley proved to be step to far for both of us, whilst the German Infantry was slowly whittled down. The Russian Armour was picking up wounds and a steady steam of knock outs and we called it a draw.

But a good nights gaming and the encounter had the sort of feel that I was looking for with my Korean forces, looks like they my well see daylight in the weeks ahead.

If one new game was not enough mid week saw a run through of Battlestar Galactica Starship Battles by Ares Games the guys who brought you Wings of Glory. Being child of the 70's how could I resist. 

The detail on the ships is brilliant, if you look closely enough you can even see Starbucks name on the side of the cockpit, the first release is based on the reboot but their are plans for the original Cylon Raiders. 

Plotting of movement similar in style to the WW1 & 2 rules but with the ability to increase speed and height a lot quicker, good because you don't last long in a dog fight, two rounds of fire and the toasters are pretty much toast. 

The Vipers are nimble but the Raiders can take slightly more damage. If you are used to wide sweeping turns in WW1, be warned there the colonies can turn very tightly very often getting on the tail of the Cylon who had to take a wider arc.

The starter set includes 4 ships, Control Panels and movement decks for each together with pilot cards and bonuses as you become more experience, poor pilots being nuggets and more experienced pilots being experts aces. 

A really fun evening or was it just because I secured 4 kills :-)
Sorry gents I promised I would not brag.......