Friday, 10 October 2008

Fields Of Glory - ACW Style Intro

Last night I had a game of American Civil War using 20mm Plastics. Myself and Garry Hinchliffe have played numerous sets of rules over the years from Fire and Fury to Warmaster, Civil War Battles and lots of homegrown rules.

A few weeks ago Garry mentioned he wanted to try the Fields of Glory (FoG). The previous week I had watched a couple of guys in the club play an ancient battle using FoG and liked some of the mechanisms in the game.

I said to Garry why don't we try FoG for ACW. He agreed and I said I'd knock something up over the next week and sent it to him.

My first problem is I don't play Ancients so didn't have a copy of the rules, however, there are a couple of very comprehensive playsheets on the web so off I set.

The complex move test stayed, as did both the cohesion tests and the shooting phase. All that was needed was the said tables to be adapted to ACW warfare and that included ranges, movement distances, modifiers.

A big change was made to the melee phase. Impact was thrown out as I felt it didn't fit into ACW. Instead in the move phase units would declare a charge. The testing unit basically does a morale test and has to pass to initiate the charge. If it fails it does not charge home. Secondly the receiving unit has to conduct a morale test. Ot stand it has to pass. If it does then it conducts a defensive fire (which is shooting at the attacker). The attacker must take any morale tests as it closes if required. Melee is then conducted in the melee phase later.

The main addition to the rules was the use of an activation phase which was based on Civil War Battles. We feel it gives a real good flavour and uncertainty to the period.

So last night we tried the draft rules with 8 units of infantry, 2 units of cavalry and 2 artillery units each. For simplicity each inf unit was armed with rifles and when 1st activated a D6 rolled to decide whether it was Raw (1) average (2-5) or veteran (6). Not surprisingly there was only 1 veteran unit on the table, several raw units and the rest being average. Each inf unit was 6 stands, cavalry units were 4 stands.

Several minor amendments were made to the rules as we played but overall the game worked very well and gave a good flow to the game without to much headache.

I intend to publish the rules over the next week or so for all to enjoy and welcome any feedback.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Steel and Bone, A fantasy Wargaming scenario

The following rules have been sent to me by Trevor Wiley:

You will need a 1x1 playing surface, free of obstacles.

You will need Six Stands of Elves (1/72 Scale) and Six Stands of Humans (1/72 Scale)

You can start both sides on opposite sides of the table. They may array their figures in any formation, though they cannot pass 2 inches from the edge.

The order of Battle is This:

1. Elves Move
2. Elves Shoot
3. Humans Move
4. Humans Shoot
5. Charge into Melee
6. Melee
7. Back to number one

Both sides may move four inches per turn. All figures move four individually. You cannot share moves.

When shooting, you must be within three inches of the unit you wish to shoot at to shoot.

You then roll a six sided die for each stand attacking. For each roll of a 5 or 6, destroy an enemy stand.

When engaging in melee, you must first charge. If it matters, Elves charge first. You select one enemy stand as your focal point, and then declare a charge. Move four inches, right up next to the enemy unit, and then both of you roll a six sided die. Add these modifiers: +1 if Outnumbering opponent +1 if flanking or on rear. The lowest die roll loses one stand and retreats to edge of space.

Victory Conditions: You must make the enemy team surrender or destroy all their forces.

Use a 1x1 Grass mat, With a road with a fork in it, to play this version:

The only difference is you must hold the fork at the end of the battle.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Website Update

I have now given the site a facelift. It has a much cleaner look.

Whilst doing this I have also:

Upgraded Guestbook (and transferred the old book)

Changed the forums. They are now hosted by me and not held by a third party. They are also embedded into the site. (I have transferred the old historical boards contents too).

Facelifted Site

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Website Woes

At present 10th August, I have been locked out of my website.

Although I can view it it will not let me update it.

I'm trying to resolve the issue and have a back up plan if it cannot be edited.

Update: The webhost has obviously been the problem as everything is back to normal.

One good thing is I've now updated the Guestbook to a much better one.

Monday, 14 July 2008

The author hard at work

Here I am moving some of my troops in our SOTCW wargames Andrevian Tales (shortly after the unit was decimated by some good shooting by Will).

Here's the rest of the team on the day from Left to Right:
Will McNally, me, Rob Connelly and Rich Baber.

Finally Rich Crawley (on left) the instigator of the game:

Photos of the actual game can be found here:

Sunday, 22 June 2008

More Fold Flat Terrain

Went to the Phalanx show in St Helens last Sundaqy. As I was walking around I saw some lovely cardboard scenery for a Modern 1/72 game. I started to chat to the owner and realised it was Brian Handley who designed the fold flat terrain from a previous article.

It was great to see the buildings in the flesh, and whats more the table full of terrain can be folded away in a small storage space. I didn't know but he has since bought out a further 2 packs of terrain (which I went home and immediately bought).

Order it from here.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Tabletop Teasers

Found this great little site with scenarios.

From the author:
Over a period of years in the late 70's and early 80's, Charles Grant published a series of articles in "Battle", and then "Military Modelling" called the 'Table Top Teasers'.

As time has passed I've picked up various copies, been given some, but have basically collected a number of them together - they're an invaluable source of scenario idea's, so on this page I thought I'd share them with the world.


Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Fold Flat Terrain

For along time now I've heard of a "fold flat" card terrain system. I had seen pictures of it but it had never been available and as such it was becoming a bit of an urban myth.

The story went the terrain had been designed by an Engineer, which he kept fold flat in a lever arch file. On game days the Engineer would put on a game open this box, bring out folded flat scenery and erect there and then in front of your eyes.

I wanted this scenery due to storage problems I have at home. Then a couple of days ago I had an email in my Inbox from Brian Hadley via one of the Yahoo groups. He had finally produced a pack.

The pack includes a building, a wall, a ridge and a tank trap. Its a downloadable PDF so you can print off as many of each as you want. The author recommends you print onto coloured card and there are very precise instructions on how to fit it all together and how to fold it flat.

I've already sent an email with my ideas. hedges, fences, bridges and middle east buildings.

The terrain pack is available from Wargaming Online for the very cheap price of $4.00

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Civil War Battles

I'm having a break from painting up modern forces for our Andreivian Game and I purchased Civil War Battles from Peter Pig.

We played the first scenario from the book myself and Will. There are several new mechanisms in there that took us a while to get used to, but after a couple of turns we were flying. The mechanisms we like for example:

- If a unit is low on ammunition the opponent can make him re-roll all the to hit dice. There is a chance he may roll better but if it is already a good roll it gives the opposition a chance.
- Re-rolls for to hit dice with rifled muskets. Raw troops may re-roll 1's, average may re-roll 1 and 2's and you guessed it elite re-roll's 1,2 and 3's.
- Unit frontages affect maximum movement distances
- Action Points are spent per unit after a general has activated them

I have many sets of Peter Pig rules and these are certainly the nicest presented and includes pictures.

We both agreed they gave a very good feel for the period and these will be now my favoured rules for them. I use 20mm plastics which I picked up on ebay a couple of years go based for Fire and Fury. I've even been drawn to paint up some more Union dismounted cavalry and three extra Union batteries which have been gathering dust on a shelf.

Next time I plan to use the full set up rules which generates the scenario and adjusts the forces depending on what decisions both sides make on the Battle sheet.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Gauntlet Game

My local club is running the Gauntlet event in July. I have volunteered to assist in running a participation game called Battle in the Tuzkhur Valley.

This means I'm busy painting up modern forces for the game. We have created a blog for this game called Andreivian Tales.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Battlefield Heroes

Battlefield Heroes is a brand new Play 4 Free game from the people that brought you the multi-million selling Battlefield 1942 and Battlefield 2

It’s a fun cartoon-style shooter which caters to players of all skill levels — easy to pick up and play, but with deep character development

It will be released for the PC as a free download in Summer 2008

The video is online and it looks like its going to be fun.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Wargames Rules Forum

After many requests I have finally given in and created a forum purely for discussion of Wargames Rules.

You can find the forum here.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Spam Spam Spam

Well the spam problem has been getting worse by the day from the website.

Although I have a spam filter in my email client the number of emails coming from my website Email form were growing. It looks as if someone had written some code to send a dozen emails a day from my website form.

So I've had to upgrade the contact form so that the user has to input a 3 digit security code. Hopefully this will fool the bots. See the new contact form here.

As for Viruses, as I have switched to Linux see previous report this has not been a problem for me.

The other day I had to switch to my Windows partition (still kept it) because my old Creative mp3 player software only works on Windows (XP and below). Although I hadn't used Windows in over 3 weeks I got a virus within 20 minutes of using it!

Monday, 21 January 2008

Division WW2 Game

WW2 has always been one of the popular periods for me. It started for me as a young kid with the old Airfix plastic figures and vehicles. We used to have large battle on the lounge floor much to the worry of our parents.

Over the years I switched to 6mm and onto a table (I don;t think my body would allow me to game on the floor any longer). Although I've tried a number of rules I have never stuck with the same rules for more than 2 games! I've also leant towards the large scale games with each base representing a battalion.

Recently I decide to try Kremlin Miniatures Hurrah Stalino rules after a recommendation. The rules as they stand are for Russian Front 1942 – 45 but I thought they would work well for N.W. Europe 44-45 by creating some stats for the Americans. The rules use a 3” grid system but I used my 4” Kallistra Hexes.

The battle was the German counter offensive along the Ardennes. The Americans had 2 mechanised infantry divisions spread along the front with an Armoured Battlegroup in reserve off the table (which they had to dice for once the Germans reached a certain point on the table). The German offensive was carried out by 1 Panzer Division, 1 Kamfgruppe, 1 x Infantry Division and 1 x Panzergrenadier Division.

The game lasted about 2 hours and both sides thoroughly enjoyed the game (interestingly there was another 6mm WW2 game on at the club that night using a set of well known rules and after 4 hours they hadn't finished).

In our battle the German offensive began swiftly and were in combat within 3 turns. The Panzer Division leading the Infantry Division on the left flank. However, the Panzer Grenadiers on the right flank became bogged down in the forest soon taking it but making no more headway due to stiff US resistance. They fought off numerous US counter-offensives, holding the edge of the forest. On the left flank the Panzer division pinned down the other US Infantry division until its own Infantry Division caught up with them. Once they arrived, the Panzer Division rushed forward toward the U.S. Supply dump at the rear.

The US reserve battle group entered on the German right flank and the Kamfgruppe took it head on and took heavy losses. It looked like trouble for the Germans.

But this was to change significantly as the German Panzer Division took the supply dump. The German right flank had ground to a halt. The US players lack of supply meant he began suffering badly in all combats. He had to divert his remaining forces to try and relieve the supply sector. Unfortunately he failed against the Panzer Division with the German Infantry who had defeated his now threatening his flank. The US player admitted defeat.

There are some nice touches to the rules. Each hex represents 1.5 to 2km and can accommodate up to 6 units. However, only 3 of them can fight. The rules pay for tank battalions to have infantry support when attacking/defending. If you lose a combat with a tank battalion as a lead unit but you have infantry supporting you can elect to lose an infantry battalion instead of a tank battalion.

Combat is resolved by throwing 2D6 for each side and then adding dice for superior combat factors, supporting units and terrain advantages. The total number of dice are rolled and the winner is the one with the highest dice (not the total dice). Powerful units can be defeated in unfavourable tactical situations and vice versa.

If you lose your supply sector you roll one dice less each time. The US player learnt a crucial lesson here and next time he said he would guard his supply dump next time now he realised the importance of it.

All in all the game moved quickly. Tactical decisions had to be made by both players continually throughout the game but the combat system felt right. It rewarded you for using the right terrain and making good tactical decisions. We will definitely being playing this again and I can see me porting this across to the Sci Fi period.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Bye Bye Windows

Well I finally made the decision at home to switch from Windows XP on my main machine. As stated on a previous post I had reinstalled my PC with XP in August last year following a trojan. As usual it was beginning to slow down quite drastically with the anti-virus software and anti-spam software. The decision was whether to do a complete re-install or look at the alternatives. Vista refuses to install on my machine, unfortunately, even though I received a free upgrade disk when I purchased the machine 12 months ago.

I have previously looked at Linux as an operating system.Unlike windows when there is one version Linux has different distributions made by different companies. The 2 most known for newbies like me is Ubuntu and PCLinuxOS. So this is where I started looking.

Several other reasons persuaded me away from Windows:
1. You don't require a virus scanner - as Linux doesn't have viruses in the wild
2. You never need to defrag as Linux doesn't fragment files
3. Its more secure
4. Its free, the software is free
5. When you update the operating system you can update every program installed with 1 click.

Both come with LiveCDs so you can try the Operating System before you install it. Although PCLinuxOS looked nice I couldn't get my Ethernet card to be recognised but Ubuntu found it immediately. So it looked if the decision had been made.

All the software I use on my XP machine is already Open Source (i.e. free) and mostly is available for Linux anyway. I use Open Office for my Office Suite, Firefox is my browser of choice and Thunderbird is my email client.

Just before the switch over I found a version of Ubuntu called Linux Mint. Which is based on it heavily but comes included with all the MP3 and DVD Codecs out of the box and works straight away.

So how easy was it to set up. Very.

Firstly I backed up all my files from XP onto a USB hard Disk. Then I defragged the PC. Reboot the PC with the Linux Mint CD in the drive. Once thats booted click on Install on the Linux Desktop. Then followed 7 questions as to what language I wanted, what time zone I was based etc. I repartitioned my Hard Disk which was probably the hardest part so that I had 2 new partitions for Linux. I reduced by XP partition size to create it.

When the installation was complete I rebooted and had a menu whether to start Windows or Linux, booted into Linux and done. The beauty of Linux Mint aswell is I can get to by XP hard disk (but not the Linux disk from Windows). I copied my profiles for Thunderbird and Firefox so I didn't lose any emails or settings.

I can do everything I did in Windows on Linux so far and am using Linux 95% of the time. There is an excellent Community Forum that assists with any problems you may come across and they are especially helpfully to newbies like me.I probably won't completely remove XP completely until I haven't used it for 12 months...just to be on the safeside.

I reckon over the next couple of years as Linux goes from strength to strength more people will switch to it as I have done.