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Sunday, 25 September 2011

Blackpowder2 or the Arguement of Kings.

In Issue 26 of Battlegames David Brown wrote a very interesting article regarding the plethora of modern rules that have a fixation with speed. I found the article thought provoking especially as my sloth like brain had been pondering the modern rule writers fixation with taking away the thought processes of wargamers and replacing them with something else,.
 David Brown also hit the nail on the head about the lack of written orders and their replacement by a dice induced mega move.
Which little preamble leads me onto last weeks game.
  John and I attended Colin's for a SYW game [ Blog; Carry on up the Dale], Russians v Prussians.
The idea was to stage a battle using The Arguement of Kings. Now I have played Blackpowder since their release and truthfully find them playable and usually they make for a decent nights entertainment.
 But the game didnt sit easy with me. Initially I thought it was to do with me losing the game,but I normally take losing almost as a given nowadays.
 I think what it was however was the mechanisms that the rules use.
 Firstly I was in charge of the Russians, whose commanders werent the best, just average. The troops under their command were however acceptable and imbibed with slavic stubborness.
 I was however facing a fairly more nimble foe, led by far better commanders. Additionally the Prussians were classed as trained, veteran or Elite.
The game however seemed balanced,as I did have slightly more units.
 My first gripe was Colin throwing a very low score on his dice which enabled him on move one to march right up to my first russian line. Under the new rules,this was offset by his inability to fire aftersuch a move.
Right I thought, lets see how the Prussians handle close range, and first volley fire from two large units.
 The result was quite easily really. A hand full of saving throws and a little bit of luck and the Prussian first line was unscathed.
 On the other flank John had managed to throw such a high throw that he couldnt move his units, well apart from those in march columns. Very un prussian like. This was to continue for most of the night for John.
 Next Prussian move I had to face a close range Prussian volley, not nice to say the least.You can guess the effect on my average troops. Due to their stubborness they managed to hang about, but after a second ineffectual volley, I realised that I was better off just charging in,which I did. Not exactly how I understood the SYW to have actually been. It didnt matter my Russians just got shredded. When John finally got moving my right wing was already in complete disarray, and the Prussians by another decent dice throw had turned my flank while I had to stand and watch. By the end of the night, I had only three regiments left and two brigades fleeing. The roll call for the Prussians was the loss of half a unit of skirmishers, and ONE figure casuality on the right wing.
 My gripe, it just didnt feel right. Now its a bad trademan who blames his tools, but it got me thinking; what if the Prussians had been facing my Austrians. They dont have stubborness so on move two they would have ran from the board.
 Historically right,I dont think so.
 If the Prussians had been that good, how come it was called the Seven Years war. Lets be right Frederick was lucky to hang on as he did, only poor generalship allowed him off the hook, not super troops.
 I intend to expand on this thought. The game itself was nice to look at, spoiled by something that is becoming a trend in wargaming, speed at the expense of accuracy.       

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Border Reivers, Newcastle.

Well yesterday was our appearemce at Border Reivers in Newcastle.
Inevitebly it rained, as it has done every year, but it didnt seem to put too many people off.
 There has been criticisms in the past re the poor lighting, but this year seemed far better. It didnt really matter because I have some decent halogen lights,that I use.
 John,his son Neil and I put on a Flames of war game based in the desert in 1941.
I was a bit concerned because due to heavy demands on my time I couldnt really do any specific terrain, but had to use my generic show boards.
 I think they looked alright,and we got a lot of questions so we must have done something right. Oh and the Italians actually won,so that was a first.
I did enjoy the game,and not just because of the victory.

Looking around the show,there were some decent bargains in the bring and buy, including someone selling some of my old 6mm Russian napoleonics. I nearly bought them back.
I had to buy the civilain pack from Jackdaw miniatures, and Andy showed me his new Jackdaw Austrians, the grenadiers are excellent, full of character and style, and no seperate arm.
He also had a painted british regiment on show, which were very fine, and also 21st century Willie like if you know what I mean.
 The French line cavalry are due next, hey ho, more expense.
 Talking to Dave Thomas, he managed to virtually sell out of his plastics, turning in a very good profit. Dave was having to do an emergency order to get some more stock for Partizan today.
Also on sale was the Zvedva 15mm range which also sold out quickly. I think wargamers are realising the value of plastics,especially when they are detailed and made of rigid plastic.
I forgot to mention Pendragons latest product, plastic trees,which are very good and also very reasonably priced,check them out if you need decent quality trees. A good venture.
 I bumped into Charlie wesencraft at the show,who was again still bemused by the sucess of the re release of his two wargames books. He was saying that he has a set of corps level Napoleonic rules ready,but doesnt know if he should try to get them published.
Now that would be £30 I would be happy to pay.
 All in all a decent show. I tried not to buy anything, but managed to still come home with Charles Grants latest SYW book, a couple of magazines, and some more figures.
The mountain continues to grow.

Desert buildings created by Games of War from Seaham County Durham, definately recommended.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.
Austria 1809.

Austrian Hussars

Austrian Hussars
Hinchliffe figures

Austrian Grenzer

Austrian Grenzer
Austrian Grenzer

Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2013
Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2012

Smoggycon 2012
Smoggycon 2012

Smoogycon 2009

Smoogycon 2009
My French getting another beating