Sunday, June 18, 2017

JUNE GAME NIGHT


Last Friday was our club's June Game Night. As usual, we had three excellent games to choose from. Above, a shot of some of Pete's figures ready to go for his Sudan game. As I mentioned earlier, time for blogging is limited, so this post will be more of the straight "eye candy" variety than detailed narrative.  You may clix pix for BIG PIX, though, as always. 

Above left, the usual suspects gathering.  Above right, the arrival of our august leader, photo-bombed by Earl (some people's children!). 
Duelling Bloggers: Mark of Come on My Brave Fusiliers Blog snapping a counter-photo.

Pete took a turn to the "Old Skool" with a Sudan game using 800 Fighting Englishmen

AJ, of AJ's Wargaming Blog, brought back his Iron Cross Radar Station game that he's been developing, which features an excellent scratch built Freya German Radar.
  
Charlie, author of Napoleon's Rules of War, ran a 28mm 1809 Abesnberg game. I played on the side of the "White Peril" (Austrians) vs the Cornflower Blue upstarts (Bavarians):
Above left, the Bavarians: Kevin, Ralph, and Robert. Above Right, my righteous Austrian colleagues, Bob O and Earl (he of the photo-bomb, no less). 
 Above, left, The Austrians deployed and the Bavarians arrive..and then approach. I was on the Austrian right. You can see that I quickly thought better of defending forward on the hill in the face of the approaching Bavarian guns and cavalry there.  The Bavarian plan to hammer the right/center is becoming evident as the columns shift.  Out on the Austrian left (picture immediately above) , Earl and Kevin would spar. 
The Austrians fought off the initial assaults on the center, and even had some success against the supporting attack directed against the Austrian right.  But eventually...
...the Bavarians broke through and the Austrian army morale cracked, except, of course, for the Austrian right wing commander, who by then was already riding hard for Vienna to be the first to bring news of the engagement (his version, anyway).  

It was a hard pounding, to be sure, but a fine time was had by all.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

HONVED JAGERS HAVE ARRIVED!

It's been a busy May and June thus far (and promises to be for the balance of this month) . What with business travel and gaming outings (conventions and whatnot), there hasn't been much to report in terms of production (painting, etc). But I suppose that having so much gaming going on during my discretionary time that it cuts into painting isn't a bad problem to have! There is some news that I think will be of interest, however. Recently, I received notice from Steve of Steve Barber Models that the Honved Jagers that I had commissioned were ready for production! He now has to get them painted and then posted on his website: watch for them soon! As the fellow who commissioned them, however, I got the first consignment ahead of all of that (and let Steve know that it would be fine to make them available to others who have consigned figures). The above package arrived in the mail this week, and the figures (below) deliver on what the greens promised (clix pix for BIG PIX): 

There are two poses, loading and firing, and I intend to have two units of these available among my Honved forces. I'm now, however, at something of a crossroads. I also commissioned another officer version....
 ...which Steve has done (as you can see above), but which is not yet available. I had wanted to use these officers for my Jagers to further set them apart. I could just let momentum carry me and paint the jagers on-hand and then add the officers later, but my practical side warns me that given how I paint, if I don't do all of these gray toned fellows in the same batch that they won't be consistent, which argues for holding off until the officers are ready. 

On the other hand....
...I could just use the standard officer (pointing) on my jagers, as I have done for my Honved infantry, and use these new officers, when available, on my Honved infantry in kepi...
...which I have also commissioned but aren't yet available.  Come to think of it, I probably will use the advancing officer with the kepi units, regardless.  It should be a smart combination, I think.  That brings me back to the jagers, who will have a redundant officer figure either way (albeit painted with the distinctive jager uniform, with green cap to set them apart even more). Back to square one.

Decisions, decision. Well, given my remaining schedule in June, I'm basically talking almost July before I can get stuck in, anyway, so there is time to meander.  In the end, it's all good.

Monday, June 5, 2017

ROBBIECON 2017

Once again, Robert (aka, "Robbie"), organized a gaming weekend at a small conference facility associated with his workplace in Vermont. As with the previous "Robbie Con" held in September, this gathering included miniatures gamers from our club as well as good friends from Robbie's board gaming circle. It ran from Friday night through Sunday morning.  This gaming "retreat" is just the sort of thing that I as a young gamer always imagined that I and my pals would be able to do as adult gamers--too bad we had to bypass "adult" and become "old" gamers to realize it (well, youth is wasted on the young, anyway). 

One interesting feature of this particular gathering was that we had three Roberts in attendance: Robert (aka "Robbie" our host); Robert (aka "Bob O" in this report), whom you may recall as Von Bob from the Danish Delight, Battle of Dybbol report; and Robert ("the Dutchman"), a stalwart from Robbie's gaming circle. Thus, it was very much a Robert ("Robbie") Con (sorry, couldn't help myself). 


I'm squeezing in this report in between returning from Robbie Con and preparing to depart on a business trip for the rest of the week. Thus, I haven't had the time to produce the usual graphic embellishments.  It will be a more stripped-down "normal" report.  As usual, in the below, you may clix pix for BIG PIX.

I arrived on Friday evening, and was involved in three miniatures games over the course of Friday and Saturday (a 28mm Ancients, a 15mm Napoleonics, and an X-Wing).  I also played in one collaborative war/card game (Grizzled), which was ably moderated by Robert the Dutchman. 

Unfortunately, I didn't get any shots of the Grizzled game, but we eventually completed a sequence without winding up among the Honored Dead of the Great War. Thanks to Robert the Dutchman for guiding us through No Man's Land!


Bob O setting the scene for his Gauls vs Romans game.
The Friday night game was Ancients using group member Ralph's Hannibal at the Gates rules system. The game was ably prepared and hosted by Bob O using his extensive and superb 28mm Romans and Gauls. In the above, you can see rules author Ralph (center of the picture) keeping a watchful eye on Bob as he explains his rules.  
Bob's superb Gauls and Romans.
This game would be a head-on slugfest...
 ...pitting the discipline and training of a smaller Roman force against a wall of charging Gauls...

...I was among the Romans. In the end, it "came down to the Triarri" (the battle line shown immediately above left and right), who wheeled into the hole that had been torn in the Roman line just in time to turn back the threat. The Roman army morale was getting dire, but the the Gauls cracked first. A near run thing and a great game (a quiet march through the Teutoburger Wald is scheduled to help the traumatized legionnaires recuperate).  Next up was 15mm Napoleonics...
 
Robert (Robbie) sets the scene for his Battle of Lutzen, 1813, game...
...the game was played using Robert's Napoleonic rules (a work in progress that allows you to play large battles, very workable and well received thus far).  The scenario replicated surprise by having the allies start within striking distance of the forward French line. My Prussian command in the center (above right) at start is set up and poised to storm the town at the pivot in the French line, which would be stoutly held by AJ who was commanding the French center...

...above left, Charlie looking down the intended axis of advance of his French Guard. The French plan was for the Guard to come in and hit the depleted Prussians in the center. The gauntlet of Bob O's Russians on the allied right, however, would prove to be too much for the French Guard to run and arrive in shape to take on the Prussians (thankfully!).  Top right, Mike C's Russians and Prussians were engaged in heavy fighting for the town on the French right/center.  Eventually, the town would fall to the Allies. Farther out on the Allied left, the Russians were getting mauled, paying the price for keeping the French right from influencing the action in the center...

...where (above), my Prussians, eventually managed to take both town squares and fend off a last gasp French counterattack. Much reduced by the hard fighting, the Prussians would start shifting to face the onslaught of the French Guard from the right, who would (thankfully) not arrive thanks to Bob O's Russians.  Another hard pounding and near run thing, this game was called at that point with advantage to the allies.  Next we were transported to a Galaxy Far Away...

 ...in an X-Wing affair hosted by Ralph. Yes, that same fellow who authored the earlier- mentioned ancients rules: such range!

Given the table configuration and the number of players, Ralph came up with an innovative plan to use two circular tables (dubbed the "infinity table" given the figure 8 outline). Where the two table discs touched they were "joined" by a wormhole, signified by the orange and yellow spinner from my unplayed Nuclear War retro card game (visible in the picture below).  If a ship exited one table at the wormhole, we placed the spinner in the center of the other table and gave it a spin. The ship arrived at the indicated point on the perimeter of the new table.  This worked out well (and proved irresistible: people just had to run ships through the wormhole to see where they would come out).  

Ralph Putting Down his X-Wing Game on the "Infinity Table"

On the far table, Mike and Bob O beat up on the lone Rebel Charlie, who was still gamely putting up a fight with a ship or two at the end (AJ managed to shoot a ship from our table over to him).
On our table, Rebels AJ (of AJ's Wargaming Blog) and myself chased Imperial Ralph around, chipping away at his force.  Ralph skillfully evaded and counterpunched against the odds until Mike's ships started coming through the wormhole to reinforce him.  Ultimately, the Force was with the Empire this day, and the Rebels would have to break off to fight another day. Normally, I'm not a fan of aerial or naval games where you plot movement for individual craft,  but the mechanics in this system managed to elegantly sidestep my usual frustrations.  Since this was the last game in the series, I was running out of steam and was also distracted by playing, so I didn't get any pictures of the action....
...however, fellow blogger AJ (above), of AJ's Wargaming Blog , was in residence, and will very likely have a few shots of interest from this and the other games, one of which ran on Friday afternoon before I arrived: something to watch for.
Robert, Our Gracious Host and Organizer: Many Thanks!
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