Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Banner Day

Today I received a notice from the library that my interlibrary loan request showed up. Christian Ortner's book Stormtroopers had arrived. This has to be the best book on the groundforces and stomtroopers of the Austo-Hungarian Empire. I have barely had a chance to flip. Through it so far but I am very happy withwhat I have seen thus far.

On top of that, I just got in a great big box of painted confederate cavalry. They are once again marvelous. I will need to change focus and get a game of Terrible Sharp Sword in as soon as possible.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Back End of Nowhere - “Chaos in Bhakarsitan”

I just had a very enjoyable game this evening. Meeting up with Alan from the TFL List, I joined him, his son and another Chris for a game of Mud and Blood.

I had the honor of commanding the Mad Baron's forces of White Russians. The Russians had three groups of 7 Cavalry (Cossacks, Mongols and Who knows what), a group of 10 former Russian officers and another group of Mongolian infantry. The Mad Baron was accompanied by Don the Cossack and Nicolas Lardovich - The faithful lieutenant of the Mad Baron.

Entering the board, the building to our left was guarded by some British infantry with a machine gun covering the bridge. Judging them not to be a threat to White Russians, two groups of cavalry led by Don the Cossack charged for the Bridge. Thinking that at a gallop, I could easily reach and come to grips with the Chinese cavalry I gave it a try. Even with three dice at +3 per die, I missed. This left the cavalry a mighty compact target sitting on the bridge.

This was to prove to be a disastrous move. Little did I know, my allies (the British) had orders to engage anyone attempting to cross the bridge. Between the Chinese HMG who killed the Don the Cossack and the lead group and the British HMG who killed the rear group, that was a failed plan.

Meanwhile, the mad baron and the remainder of his men had arrived on the table. As I began to advance the remaining cavalry around the church - away from the British, a group of Gurkhas emerged from the church to challenge the Baron. Initially this must have alarmed the Baron whose madness swept him backwards towards his starting point. But he rallied and ordered his men to open fire upon the Gurkhas and their Big Man - Lieutenant Blinky. The two Lewis guns of the White Russian officers squad promptly jammed. That's right. Both on the first turn jammed and remained so for the rest of the game. Then the Asian allies opened fire on Lt Blinky followed by a cavalry charge. In two turns of firing and close combat, only Lt Blinky remained.

Lt Blinky surrendered to the Mad Baron and the remnants of his guard cavalry. The Baron opened negotiations with the remaining British for passage across the bridge. This was all but secured when the Baron's madness struck again. The Baron promptly shot Blinky as a communist infiltrator. An act which doomed the negotiations but which removed the remaining shock on his forces.

At this point, knowing that the British would not take this well, the Whites charged in and attacked the remaining British. All of the remaining cavalry belonging to the Baron were killed. The British lost an entire group of infantry and were well on their way to loosing their heavy machine gun when time was called for the game.

On the other side of the river, the Arabs, Chinese and Red Russians expended a considerable amount of ammunition blazing away at one another. Other than the dead cavalry on the bridge, the White Russians had no effect on that side of the game.

I have to thank Alan (a very gracious host), his son and Chris (not me, a different one) for a great game. I hope to participate in another episode of the continuing saga of the Mad Baron.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Mark's AWI Game - Savannah 1779

Mark ran a wonderful game of Sharp Practice last Saturday (4/2/2011). I will be deliberately vague in describing the overall game as Mark may wish to publish this or submit it for the scenario contest at some point.

I was given a command of a single group of 71st Highlanders tasked with creating an outpost on the farm at the top of a hill.

It was a beautiful game that was well executed. It was a four player game where everyone started out on "unknown" blinds. I started with a series of poor movement rolls and advanced less than a whole foot of distance.

I was able to spot some French troops at the top of the hill who in turn spotted me. At least four groups of French troops, including grenadiers began to move towards my single group of Highlanders.

The highlanders lost two men as they exchanged fire with the advancing French but they gave better than they received. Using a Thin Red Line card, they gave a wonderful volley into the French and charged... and failed to reach the enemy. However, this gave the French a great shot at charging me. They did and rolled three kills and a shock. This is where magic occurred as I rolled five kills and two shock. This broke the French unit and caused them to flee.

A follow up unit arrived and fired a volley into the Highlanders killing their Lieutenant. This was the first Big Man casualty of the game. Not only was the Big Man hit, he also was killed right off. The Highlanders were Big Man heavy for a single group. The Sergeant ordered the Highlanders to fall back. Once again my movement rolls were terrible and they only fell back 3". At this point, I was forced to leave the game. Since my troops were falling back and the French had pressure elsewhere, I was fairly confident that the French would let the Highlanders scamper off with no more attention.

Mark informed me that this was not the case. The French continued to harass the Highlanders and killed the sergeant and broke the unit. Oh well.

All in all, a great game that was considerable fun. Thanks Mark.

Here is the link to Mark's pictures of the game. I added some comments where my command was involved.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Mud & Blood: 15mm French Continued

I decided to try out the pack of Peter Pig WWII rifle grenadiers. I did not know they had such a figure pack and I have been wanting some rifle grenadiers for my TW&T French Force anyway. I will use the riflemen and the Chauchat teams from Minifigs for the near future. As soon as I can find better replacements, I will begin to switch over.

It looks like I will be able to get in a game of Mud & Blood this April.