Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Pierre take to the "Air" again! (WWI WoW)

Flying with a British formation has its pros and cons. The food is terrible but the alcohol is cheap and plentiful, albeit inferior to the pre-war French cognacs and fine wines. What is this Guinness and Newcastle Brown Ale? My head is still thumping as I take to the air (see below):  

Myself and another hungover Englishman are "Over the Front" and we soon spy the dreaded "Boche" (see below):

We close at an alarming rate, the cold air and adrenaline of combat clearing the head wonderfully (see below). "Rat-a-tat-tat" go my guns but no discernible hits for either side as a dirty yellow Albatross flashed by me:

The melee gets very confusing as Pierre "nine lives" attracts the attention of a garishly coloured Albatross (see below). Where has my English friend gone?

Escaping from the clutches of this new foe I swing my plane around to see my erstwhile yellow Albatross adversary intent on another pass (see below):

By now I have collected some pretty bullets holes in my plane. The question is "how fairs my son of a Junker opponent?" Some may say a better question would be "Where is that Englishman"?

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The Battle of Bedford Beetfield: 1644 ECW Hypothetical [7] Parliament Falls


The Royalist left command attacks, attempting to overrun a Parliament light artillery piece and in the process hold back any reinforcements to the Parliamentarian center. It all hangs on a dice roll (see below): 

The center looks terrible for Parliament, a clumsy looking Parliamentarian column has been formed in a desperate attempt to force an 'opening' against the Royalist line, but at the same time it is being massively outflanked by Royalist shot and pike (see below). Even worse is the fact that the Parliamentarian center is now worn to near breaking point while the Royalists have been carefully husbanded and are still fresh.  

The fight on the Parliamentarian right results into two rounds of "standing draw" where both sides avoided deadly do-or-die situations. A lot of dice rolls but no stands lost (see below): 

Parliament's attack fails and then the front ranks of Parliamentarian pike succumb to deadly Royalist shot and artillery. The center Parliamentarian formation breaks and becomes a huddled mass of struggling humanity, lowering pikes and asking to parley (see below):

And so Parliament fell in the year of Our Lord 1644 and the monarchy was retained ... roll on the next campaign (This time with tanks please and no DBx rule systems!)

Saturday, 19 May 2012

The Battle of Bedford Beetfield: 1644 ECW Hypothetical [6]

The Parliamentarian Right:

Strategically the plan was to pull troops from the secure right flank to reinforce the Parliamentarian Center and be a form of reserve. What occurred was a comical sequence of marching "up a road" only to march "back down the same road" with a Pike Block. The C-in-C bequeathed only a few PiPs to this third command, which meant the 'strategic' plan stayed but a twinkle in the "mind's eye" of the Parliamentarian commanders. When the Royalist horse turned up and threatened the baggage the command was effectively pinned (see below):  

A minor fire-fight broke out as the Royalists tried to press a point but they suffered under 'bad dice' rolls representing good Parliamentarian marksmanship. The Royalist right lost two stands of shot recoiling into their own cavalry - by a quirk of fate dying by the very DBR rule which was 'refused or deemed unacceptable' to the other Royalist (Right Wing) command (see below, at one time there had been four Royalist shot). The less said about DBR's rules of 'recoilment' the better methinks ;) 

Finally interior distances meant that a thin wall of Parliamentarian Pikes sealed off the Royalist horses root to the Parliamentarian baggage (see below). But more Parliamentarian stands were being fixed in position by an inferior Royalist force, which meant ultimately the Parliamentarian Center was being hard pressed.

Indeed the center of the battlefield was looking very messy (see below). Gradually the Parliamentarians were getting worn down. The Parliamentarian Pike had been committed while the Royalist Pike Phalanx was  moving out from a reserve position lining up for a deadly "push of pike". The Parliamentarian command was forced to commit to several do-or-die combats, suffering badly from their absence of artillery.

To ensure no reinforcements could be committed from the Parliamentarian Right to assist the in peril center of the battlefield the Royalist Left gamely "did their duty for Rupert" and fixed the enemy (see below):

What would become of the middle?

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The Battle of Bedford Beetfield: 1644 ECW Hypothetical [5]

Subtitle: Trying to get an answer to the question of WHY we play wargames and reasoning to find out when it is best not to play ones that disagree with digestion: 

After his recent run-in with the almighty (they were very God fearing folk in the days of 1644) the Royalist General leaves a "be back later note at the pearly gates" and decides to fight his way out of trouble (see below). The battle is confused and hectic and many more dice are rolled:

However despite numbers and terrain (where the Royalist cavalry were forced back onto the rough of the "Beetfield") were on Parliamentarian side the DBR "dice" go in the way of the Royalists and it was Parliamentarian stands that started disappearing (see below) urk!

The Royalists sense an opportunity to roll it up but somehow lose their "luck of the devil" General in a freak 'I read it in the rules' moment of DBR history - an odd/even roll on a troop type in an enemy/friendly bound that results in a push back being turned into a kill (or something) when 'the moon hangs over yonder tree'. To his great and ever lasting credit it was the Royalist player pointed this out to a bemused group of DBR players who were lost in the complexity of DBR arcane law. Reading the various sets of DBx rules is sometimes more "legalese" than common wargaming sense but the upshot was that the Royalists were suddenly within a hair's breath of going demoralised (see below, the Royalist General had been in the top left corner bit is now 'gone' to Parliaments amazement).  

If the previous picture showed the noble side of the DBR sporting player explaining 'how he died' the next picture shows the fictional "billimeter" nonsense that DBR (or any) rules can degenerate into. Any loss from the Rolyalist command now means "the end of their right wing", so when the little red horsemen (see below bottom left quarter) suffered a recoil from the shooting from Parliamentarian pistol and light artillery it should have been "Goodnight Vienna" as it recoiled into friends/enemies facing the wrong way, but the Royalist player invoked the "blind billimeter DBR defense". Groan ... my head started swimming.

(For those interested in the plain inanity of it all: The stacked up combat behind the Royalist stand in question was a recoil result of a base depth and the thing to remember is that a base depth is always shorter than a base width - as in "you can'na change the laws of Physics captain". The gap is therefore a 'base depth' wide and the recoiling larger 'base width' is trying to fit into it - impossible sire BUT the table and stands had been shuffled and knocked slightly in the course of play and the 'physical bases' weren't uniform size SO the very same "sportsman of the highest noble order" is turned into a HEELS IN THE MUD OVER MY DEAD BODY so after a long debate Parliament gave way [sigh] - this despite showing him the photographs above - we let it pass, but their and then I vowed to burn my copy of DBR and make this the last game I play argh it brings out the worst of a gamer, myself included. It is Impetus for now on for me!)

Did it matter? Nope, because next turn my mounted troops from the right flank swarmed over a Royalist hanger on was dispatched and the Royalist right wing command was now demoralised and broken (see below):

Thus ended a tiring wargaming night. For the record "no quarter" was taken over this last stand but the owning player of the figures stopped me short and said I was not allowed to break the figures off the base despite the urge, only kidding. 


Darn me, Blogger seem to have fixed this now ...

For a long, long time I could 'join and follow' new blogs (in theory) but not in practice as I could not pull them into my "Blogs I Like to Read" section.

But behold this "bug" seems now to be fixed. Well done to the programming gnomes at Blogger. It is much appreciated


Tuesday, 15 May 2012

The Battle of Bedford Beetfield: 1644 ECW Hypothetical [4]

Parliament rolls high on their PiP dice (see below), but what can we do with them?

Parliamentarians from the right try and trundle to the left (see below) sounds vaguely logical:

Parliamentarians on the left perform all sorts of strange line out manoeuvrings (sounds more like DBx now), with the dragoons out front displaying reckless abandonment considering the proximity of the Royalist psychopathic cavalry (see below):    

Er, told you so, this is going to hurt (see top left) as the enemy Royalist General runs them down, ow! 

The infantry battle in the Beetfield closes in range so you can see "the whites of your opponents eyes" (see below). No stand losses more of a wiggling of the lines:

After mowing down one stand of Dragoons a second stand becomes a follow on target and thus seems bound to become a "speed bump" to the Royalist General's search for battle filed glory (see below). Being in the Parliamentarian army seems to be one endless learning experience of "what not to do" with the various different troop types at ones disposal! But there is a humorous moment as a Parliamentarian Light Artillery piece unexpectedly guns down a charging Royalist cavalry stand (see bottom left below versus the previous picture - two above): 

Things all get very messy, as the Parliamentarian dragoon doesn't "read the script" and inexplicably rolls good dice 'and fights the Royalist General to a standstill' so the Parliamentarian General tries to seize his moment and kill the opposite number (see below middle):

But it all goes horribly wrong (aka bad dice) as Parliament bounces off the Royalist General's armoured hide and another brave Parliamentarian dragoon alas dies (see below): 

The Royalist cavalry seems to have brought the luck of the devil with them.

Monday, 14 May 2012

The Battle of Bedford Beetfield: 1644 ECW Hypothetical [3]

Parliament scrambles to deploy "to the edge pf the world" before the Royalist Curaissier's charge hits home (see below):

The Parliamentarian right wing (me) tries to find something useful to do. The plan was to get its infantry as a reserve for use with the middle command (see below): 

"Bang" a crumpled explosion denotes the end of 50% of the Parliamentarian 'Heavy Cannon'. Not the time to roll a "one" when your opponent rolls a "six" (six below):

The "Beetfield" musketry dual commences. Nine Royalist shot to the eight Parliamentarian (see below):

The far left of the Royalist line of battle, a wing of horse and shot starts its journey to take the long way round to the Parliamentarian defended right hand side hamlet (see below): 

The poor old crop in the "Beetfield" gets trampled underfoot (see below) as the Royalist and Parliamentarian shot exchange "hand bags at dawn" and shuffle their lines:

Here comes the Royalist Cavalry juggernaut (see below):

Brace yourself 'Percy' the Cavaliers are coming.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

The Battle of Bedford Beetfield: 1644 ECW Hypothetical [2]

The Royalists get a bundle of Command PiPs, 18 "plus two" from Rupert's command bonus, him plus the dog no doubt [Note: Rupert always carried about a large poodle hunting dog called "Boy"] (see below):

The Royalist right flank cavalry were off to the races to find out how good these new Parliamentarian Cavalry were (see below):

Into the "bloody beetfield of Bedford" the Royalist shot stormed (see below):

And the Royalist  phalanx of pike did its best at a game of hide-and-seek with the Parliamentarian cannons, choosing as much of the Royalist army it could to hide behind (see below): 

All did not go to plan as the Left Flank Royalist horse took a parting shot from the Parliamentarian cannon before it jumped completely out of arc (see below):  

The Parliamentarian line then turns to commence the long awaited heavy artillery duel with their Royalist counterparts (see below): 

Next: The "big guns" speak

Friday, 11 May 2012

House Move Competed :)

It came, it passed and it was survived ;) However the painting tray is looking rather sad and bare at the moment (see below):

All the angst that is associated with a house move is best summed up in that epiphany moment, when all your earthly possessions are in the back of a very large truck speeding away from you, a small voice in the back of your mind cries "why" as you know you have to 'unpack it all' at the other end.

The 'collections' seemed to have survived and many a book that has not seen the light of day for many a year is now open to viewing :)