Thursday, 12 September 2019

Battle for the River El Boa - a Post of Honour AAR

As per the previous post, everything was set up for a conflict between the two rival forces operating along the El Boa river in Spain. The sides consisted of the following:
The Bourbon Allies:
French Brigade: Auvergne and Orleans infantry regiments along with 1 gun, and the La Reine Cavalry regiment operating independently.
Spanish Brigade: The Sevilla and Burgos Tercios with 1 gun and the Mahoney Dragoons and a militia unit of paisanos operating independently.
The Autricista Confederates:
Infantry Brigade: Starhemberg's regiment, Rivers' Regiment and St Amant's Regiment, along with 1 British gun. Independent to this Brigade were the Killigrew's Dragoons, Zinzendorf's dragoons and a unit of Miquelets.

The scenario was simple. The Confederates had to make sure that the Bourbons didn't cross the El Boa. If they couldn't prevent this from happening they were to evacuate their baggage from the village of Sullaro from turn 4 onwards. Included in the Baggage was the British Gerneral the Earl of Rottenborough's mistress. The stakes were high!

Turn One: With the artillery firing the Bourbons began their advance.
Both Allied brigades moved up to the banks of the El Boa

The artillery began to do some damage to Rivers' Regiment

French artillery firing in support of the advance
 Turn 2: The cavalry began to move for the open areas on either flank, while both Allied infantry Brigades advanced one regiment forward in oblique attacks that concentrated in the centre.
Zinzendorf's Regiment line the bank of the El Boa

Starhembergs' Regiment opposes the Auvergne regiment as it begins to ford the river.
 This is where I added a rule. It seemed wrong that in the middle of the crossing of a river a regiment should be able to fire with near full effect (they had a -1 to their firing for moving their full move). So I decided that any formed unit in difficult terrain should only fire and melee with half dice. I had a quick look through the rules, but I couldn't find a negative modifier like this.

Turn 3:
The leading regiments are struggling out of the river, but Auvergne has taken 4 hits and now counts as weakened. The Old Purples are crossing the swampy difficult ground where the river ends.

Starehmberg's men continue to poor volleys into the hapless French, whose return fire is rather ineffectual due to being in a weakened state.

On the far flank the Miquelets and Paisanos are engaged in skirmishing in the woods, neither side able to get the upper hand - all battle!

Meanwhile at the other end of the battlefield, the La Reine regiment lines up against the Zinzendorf's. Who will dare to charge across the river?
 Turn 4:
The Auvergne regiment has had enough - they have the dubious distinction of being the first unit to rout in the game.

Killigrew's Dragoons charge Mahoney's Dragoons on one side of the field...

While The La Reine takes the plunge at the opposite end.
 In this turn the wagons started moving. The cavalry combats were indecisive, neither side able to overwhelm the other and both retreating 3".

Turn 5:
With the Auvergne Regiment gone theOrleans boys step up with a massive volley, ably supported by the French artillery.

Both cavalry units are weakened after a second round of combat. Nothing for it but to withdraw and try to rally.

In the centre the Burgos Tercio charges Rivers' Regiment and sends it scurrying. St Amant's Regiment tries to cover their rout.

General Rottenborough tries to rally Killigrew's men. 

Another view of the Spaniards chasing away the English...

There goes another cart.
 Turn 6:
St Amant's Regiment poor a final volley into the Old Purples, who, exhausted after wading through difficult terrain , have had enough.

But Starhemberg's men are also in the same boat. Having seen of the Auvergen regiment they just don't have enough left in them to defeat the fresh Orleans regiment as well. They withdraw, but the French cannon turns this into a rout.
Turn 7:
And then the Burgos Tercio does the same thing to the St Amant regiment

The Killigrew Dragoons have rallied and attempt to cover the withdrawal of the Confederate army, but as the target of all the Allied artillery, they are weakened again.

The Orleans Regiment advances across the El Boa to join the Burgos Tercio in the final advance.

At the end of turn of turn 7 the Allies have secured the field, although Sullaro has been totally evacuated.
Once again this was a quick game. Just over an hour to play, and with moments that hung in the balance. There was some abysmal dice rolling by some units (I'm looking at you Miquelets!), and some heroic stands as well. Mahoney's Dragoons - inferior to Killigrew's who are basically full cavalry units, managed to roll all it needed to stay in the game and push their opponents back. Zinzendorf's dragoons, faced with the same situation on the other flank managed to use the river bank defensively to good advantage.

In all it was a draw. The Allies forced the river while the Confederates managed to evacuate Sullaro just in time. Lord Rottenborough may have lost his centre, but he kept his mistress.

I really enjoy the Post of Honour rules. Units have greater survivability than in Honours of War, everything is intuitive and reference to the rules is kept to a minimum. I haven't found anywhere that I need to alter them for the Marlburian period. It will be interesting to see when I have more cavalry painted and I'm able to use them as a Brigade with their own general, how tactics will evolve as reserves and tactical withdrawals behind friends in order to rally become more important.


Sunday, 8 September 2019

The Battle for El Boa river - the set-up

Having played a Post of Honour game a few weeks back I've been keen to get a second game in, but this time I want to have a few more units on the board. Recently Phil Olley posted an old scenario from Wargamer's Newsletter on his blog, the battle of the River Elbow. He has put together a scenario from it called the Battle of the Elbaubach for his Wars of the Vaubarian Succession. This was played out at the Cotswald Wargaming Day which I was unfortunately unable to attend due to 18,474 kilometres of distance, but luckily Keith Flint's blog linked above and Chris Gregg's blog gave me plenty of photos of Phil's set-up for me to adapt it to my collection.
The only problem was that I didn't have enough units painted, so the last two weeks has seen me scurrying to get everything that I need painted - interrupted, of course, by the inevitability of work and life. I had hoped the result would be a game today, but as I have only just finished flocking the last bases, that may not be possible. Nevertheless, I have set up the table, and here are a few photos before I get down to the serious business of gaming.

Looking from the Allied side of the table towards the Confederate lines across the River El Boa

Another panoramic shot down the river with the armies deployed on each side.

The Miquelets, now finished and based with a command stand

A side view showing the flag. Lighting is poor today, so I've had to use the flash for photos from this angle.

Opposite we have some Spanish paisanos.

The view from behind the Confederate lines.

The French brigade, which I belted out in the last couple of weeks.

The Spanish Brigade

Close-up of the new French gun.

Confederate infantry with, from left to right, Starhembeg's Austrians, Rivers' English and St.Amant's Dutch
The French general commanding the Allied left wing

I'm looking forward to playing the Post of Honour rules again. I'll put up a battle report when I'm done.


Saturday, 31 August 2019

Mortal Gods AAR - the daughter of Hades strikes!

I set up a game of Mortal Gods today, mostly just to put my newly painted scenery out. Craig bought me the Mediterranean farm set from Sarissa Precision for my birthday, and I've been happily whipping it into shape. The farmhouse is painted, although I have a lot of little details I plan to add to it, so  it is in no way finished, yet is in an OK state to be played with.
My eldest daughter has an interest in Greek mythology (thanks Rick Riordan) and I thought she might enjoy playing a game, so I roped her into it. This was actually my first non-solo game of MG.
We rolled dice for the set up and scenario, and it worked perfectly, with one side (the Athenians deploying in the centre of the board - in the farmhouse. The Spartans got the corners and chose to deploy in just two of them. The mission would see an objective pop up in turn three which might be in the farmhouse, or on either side of it. Cassie chose Athenians, because they're smart, which was a smart choice, as my Spartans weren't...
Initial set up. Please excuse the lighting - the garage windows are behind me as I took photos. Cassie deployed in the farm, with my lights in the closest corner and my heavies at the other end of the board.

Turn one was a disaster for the Spartans. The first omen card I drew saw my heroes take damage every time they activated, and they were seriously weakened by the time they made it into combat range. Cassie's Promachos killed my Promachos quickly and effectively. 

There he is, the poor old bugger. Got in one whole hit before it was lights out. 

By the end of turn two I had seriosusly weakened a unit of Periopoloi, but my Akontistai were in charge range, and about to have pain rained down on them. At about this stage my lochagos also departed this world. Too late I remembered about injuries for heroes, but we'd moved on too far by then...

Turn three and the objective turned up on the far side of the farmhouse, perfectly covered by the Athenian Toxotoi in the top room.

My Akontistai and Peripoloi fought a desperate action to absorb Cassie's inattention, but she moved her Akontistai to get them to the objective.

The situation in the final turn - my hoplites have come around the corner, but they can't reach the range to contest the objective.  Spartan defeat!
This was the first wargame Cassie has ever played with me, and she won. I'm hopeful that means that she will play again, as it was nice having an opponent, even if she did beat me. Then again, if I hadn't drawn that damn omen card..!

The Persians are all undercoated and ready to be painted for Mortal Gods, but I have a few things in the queue before them. I'm also waiting on Mortal Gods Mythic as I'm sure the daughter will be very keen on that.


Saturday, 10 August 2019

A few games

I thought I'd try out the Post of Honour rules today with my Marlburians. These rules have been written by Keith Flint to provide a simpler alternative to Honours of War. They certainly are simpler, using d6s and having units which seem to have a little more survivability. I played out the St Ulrich scenario from the Honours of War rulebook as it only has a handful of units which suits how little I actually have painted at the moment.

The Confederates advancing in column

The Spanish defenders providing the rearguard for the bridge

The Confederates advance

The Spanish stand and wait, while the artillery on the hill across the river fires the first shot of the game.

The Confederates deploy out into lines, Starhemberg's regiment taking the lead.

Both sides are in combat range, with close in volleys that weaken the Austrians, and the English Horse losing their initial advantage over the Osuna Dragoons.

The end of this turn sees the cavalry both weakened and standing off staring at each other, while the Austrians give as good as they get with the Viejos Murados.

The last recorded image of the English General before an unfortunate collision between his head and a cannonball.

With no general to help rally, the English Horse are unable to charge again this game, the Austrians are broken, but in turn the Spanish are broken by the Rivers' and St Amant regiments.
 The upshot was a victory for the Confederate attackers, which was fairly predicatable considering their numerical advantage, but there were moments where the game was in the balance, which is what you want from a set of rules.

Here's some lose up of the new units completed this week:
Spanish artillery

A Spanish general. I figured the yellow coat was justified as the Spanish Horse in the Nine Years War sported the same colour.
English Artillery
That was a solo game this morning, and took just under an hour to play out. Then this afternoon Adam came around and we had a game of Warhammer 40K Killteam. This relatively simple skirmish game should have been quite quick to play, but we did our best to lengthen it out to two and a half hours by being rather incompetent. We eventually worked out everything that we were doing wrong, so we'll be ready for the next game.
The battlefield

The sides begin coming together.

The Ultramarines had a pretty happy day chopping up the Genestealer cult.
I've found that I never take many photos when I play opponents, probably the part of me that believes that spending time with a phone in your hand when you have company is actually rather rude. I realise that we are a declining species.
Anyway, the Ultramarines had a pretty solid victory and then we decided that we'd have ago at playing speed-freaks. Adam had brought these over to play, but we had spent so much time mucking up Kill Team that we only ended up with a small amount of time to play. Nevertheless I played enough to get a good feel for the game, and it is a lot of fun. Not to mention that the models are simply stunning.
Me ramming Adam - these models were works of art. I loved the corkboard roads on the bases.

We managed to lose all of the war bikes very early.
A busy day and it was great to play a few different games.