Sunday, August 14, 2022

Snappy Nappy Campaign, Russia, 1812: the Northern Flank. To be held Saturday, October 29, 2022

 On June 24th 1812 the Grande Armee invaded RussiaIt is now late July, and on the southern banks of the River Dwina, the fearless French Marshal Oudinot commanding the II Corp has received orders from Napoleon to protect the northern flank of the invasion, particularly the approach possible at Polotskwhile marching on the city of St. Petersburg miles to the north as wellHowever, the  adventurous Count Wittgenstein and his I Russian Corp have been assigned by General Barclay-de-Tolly, and Czar Alexander to protect all the land in which he operates north of the River Dwina, and defeat the enemy.





Join us for this campaign-in-a-day event, using fourteen different tables, and hundreds of bases of 1" high historical miniature figures. Snappy Nappy rules are quick play, will be taught and are easily learned. Adolescents (with parents) and older are welcome to participate. Pre-registration required (see below).


Where: The Portal, 60 Hilliard Street, Manchester, CT, 
When: Saturday, October 29th, 2022, from10 AM until 5 PM, 
Lunch: Pizza and small bottles of water will be provided by the GM. 
Entry Fee: None

GM & Registration: Mark T. – contact via  Gamespoet@aol.com, and be certain to send an email to reserve your spot!

Rules:  Snappy Nappy, by Russ Lockwood (rules will be taught)

Covid Disclosure: We recommend players be vaccinated, boosted, tested the night before, and masking is optional (required if by The Portal or the State of Connecticut at the time of the event).



1st Battle of Polotsk - 
By Wilhelm Kobell - Попов А.И. Первое полоцкое сражение. 2010., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18635036


Player commands for 12 players, 2 Overall Commanders, and an option for 2 more commands if needed.

Please take several moments to review the two lists of commands, and the notes towards the end of this email.  When you've decided which command you'd like to have as a player, during the campaign-in-a-day event, then please send an email reply, and let me know what your choice is.  First come, first served.

By the way, the French have 29 infantry units (including 1 engineering), 10 cavalry units, 12 artillery units, and 33 of 51 start on Turn 1, while 18 (the Bavarian Corp) start at some point after Turn 1.  For the Russians, there are 28 infantry units, 12 cavalry units, and 14 artillery units, 42 of 54 start on Turn 1, and 12 (Steinheil's reserves) arrive afterwards.

Also, leader and unit quality will be sent via emails to the teams of French and Russian commanders at another time.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

One person is needed to play the French Marshall Oudinot, and he has 6 other French commanders needing players.

French Marshall Oudinot ... 1 Engineer unit, 1 Cavalry unit, 1 Pre-Game Spy, and will start in the vicinity of Legrand's 6th Division.

1.  General Legrand's 6th Division
5 Infantry (2 Line, 1 Light, 1 Hanseatic, 1 Portuguese), 2 Foot batteries

2.  General Verdier's 8th Division (plus Castex's 5th Lt Cav Brigade attached), the Vanguard/Rearguard
4 Infantry (2 Line, 1 Light, 1 Dutch), 1 Foot battery, 1 Horse battery, 2 Chasseurs

3.  General Merle's 9th Division of Swiss (plus Corbineau's 6th Lt Cav Brigade attached)
6 Infantry (4 Swiss Line, 1 Croatian, 1 Dutch), 1 Foot battery, 1 Horse battery, 2 Chasseurs

4.  General Doumerc's 3rd Cuirassiers
3 Cuirassiers, 2 Light cavalry, 1 Horse artillery

5.  Von Deroy's 19th Division of St. Cyr's Bavarian 6th Corp
6 Infantry (5 Line, 1 Light), 1 Foot battery, 1 Heavy battery

6.  Von Wrede's 20th Division of St. Cyr's Bavarian 6th Corp
7 Infantry (6 Line, 1 Light), 2 Foot batteries, 1 Heavy battery

- - - - - - - - - - - -

One person is needed to play the Russian General Wittgenstein, and he has 6 other Russian commanders needing players.

Russian General Wittgenstein ... 1 Engineer unit, 1 Cavalry unit, 1 Pre-Game Spy, and will start in the vicinity of Kakhoffski's 2nd Line.

A.  General Kulnieff's Vanguard/Rearguard
Grodno Hussars, 1 Cossack Cav, Jager Regs, 1 Conv Grens, 1 Combined Depot Cav, 1 Horse battery, 1 Foot battery

B.  General Kazatchkowsky's 1st Line Command of Berg's 5th Division
2 Jager Regs, 4 Infantry, 3 Position (hvy) Batteries

C.  General Kakhoffski's 2nd Line Command of Berg's 5th Division
1 Converged Grens, 2 Depot Gren groups, 2 Dragoons, 2 Light batteries, 1 Horse battery

D.  General Sazonov's Reserves
4 Inf Reg, 1 Depot Jagers, 2 Opolochenie, 1 Position (hvy) battery, 1 Light battery

E.  Prince Repin's Cavalry Reserve
1 Depot Dragoons, 1 Converged Cuirassiers, 2 Light cavalry, 2 Horse batteries

F.  Count Steinheil's Russian reinforcements
2 Jagers, 6 Inf, 1 Position (hvy) Battery, 1 Light battery, 1 Engineer unit, 1 Hussar

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Other Notes:

I.  Both the overall commanders, Marshall Oudinot and General Wittgenstein, have important roles in helping to co-ordinate and plan with their team of 6 commanders.  They also will be in charge of issuing orders, and receiving messages and reports to the various commanders during the Campaign-in-a-Day event on Saturday October 29th, 10am to 5pm.  These overall commanders could also take a command, yet it is better for these two to be focus on the larger strategic interests and activities of the entire team of their commanders while riding along with one of the other commanders or moving from one to another command accompanied by their cavalry escort unit.  This year we are also introducing some Pre-Game Turns (starting on Sept 5th for perhaps 4 turns/weeks in a row) for the French and Russian command teams to use cavalry Scouting units, and also traveling Spys, on the strategic map previously provided.  The map has been attached again here, and details of how these Pre-Game Turns will work are forthcoming.

II.  Marshall Oudinot and General Wittgenstein will also each have control over which command the engineering units will start, and this can be chosen after the Pre-Game scouting turns occur.  These Engineering units can not be placed with the Vanguard/Rearguard commands nor the Cavalry reserve commands of either army.  The engineer units will be able to build bridges and construct basic redoubts, and rules for these are forthcoming.

III.  Count Steinheil's Russian reinforcements also have an Engineering unit with him, when this command arrives sometime after Turn 1, details forthcoming.

IV.  The two Bavarian commands allied with the French will also arrive sometime after Turn 1, details forthcoming.

V.  There is room for an additional French commander, and another Russian commander as well.  If someone would like to take the role of French General St. Cyr commanding the 2 Bavarian commands, or General Berg commanding the two Russian infantry divisions, then let me know.  If not, these additional commanders will be placed with one of the commands at another time.

VI.  It is possible to add an additional command from forces that eventually arrived in the theater, if 2 more players beyond the initial 14, one on each side, want to be involved.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Feel free to ask questions, although I may or may not wait until a bunch of have been submitted before eventually sending an email answering a group of them together.

I will update command choices and send update emails as soon as possible.

Cheers!
Mark

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Historicon 2022: Battle of Marengo with Morschauser style rules

 

I ran this game Friday afternoon. It was a good thing that I set it up well in advance, as I kept thinking it was at 6 PM! 


Part of the French starting positions. 


The Austtians begin their advance. They had majorn traffic control problems. I really should have used 30 - 50% fewer units! 

Getting into the action! 


The opposing armies close. I didn't take many pictures due to being well engaged in running the game. 
It looked great, and played OK, but I would have been better to have stuck to the twice tested Austerlitz scenario. 

I didn't have nearly enough vineyards for the game, even with all of the new stuff I bought at Hiistoricon in November!



Back home, some Russians model the vineyard pieces, created from purchases from Pastimes on the Square. 


I bought very little again at Historicon this year. One booth had Lucid Eye Productions at 10% off. I had never heard of them, but they are a British company that dopes mostly fantasy stuff, but also has a nice range of Republican Romans and Macedonians. I bought 2 sets of Roman Consuls, as I never seems to have enough figures to use as Generals!


I also bought a pair of Eagle bearers to use as Army Standards for my Roman Army when playing  To the Strongest! I also purchased eight D12's of various different colors, with Test of Resolve games in mind. 


Historicon Special free figure - a female Ukrainian hero from WW2. I spotted these Perry Austrian High Command set and picked it up; I always seem to need more Austrian Command figures, too!


I really wanted some more Poplar trees from Battlefield Terrain Concepts, but they didn't have any. They had their usual show special - buy 12 of these trees, get 3 free. With two $12 GM vouchers in hand, the out of pocket cost for these trees was quite low!


Altogether it was a great show. Attendance seemed down modestly from 2019, but given the ongoing pandemic, that was to be expected. lots of good games and seeing friends old and new!

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Historicon 2022: Pavia 1525 with To the Strongest!

 

Overview of the Imperialist forces, as seen from their left. The Mirabello hunting lodge is in the midground, along with the  Vernavola stream. This and nd a number of additional photos courtesy of Milton Soong. 


On the Imperialist far left were Italian pikemen and arquebusiers, supported by some Genitors/Jinetes (Javelin armed Spanish light cavalry)...


and a unit of Landsknechts.


The Imperialist right: Spanish Knights, Imperial Gendarmes, Italian Elmeti, two Spanish Colunellas, supported by a battery and Spanish Arquebusiers (arguably the best in the world at the time). 


Some (!) of the French Gendarmes and supporting cavalry prepare to advance. They have a big advantage in Cavalry on this side of the battlefield, but putting it to good advantage may be challenging. 




Initial chage of the French Gendarmes! The markers indicate the "Lance" bonus has been used. 


The "french" troops advance boldly on their right as well.

Charge and Countercharge!


Overview from the Imperialist mid left.

Spanish Genitors attempt to clear the woods of pesky Swiss skirmishers.


Cavalry melee swings back and forth on the Imperialist right/


Recreating history, King Francis II is hit and captured!
"All is lost, save Honor!"


Swiss and Landsknecht pike blocks face off. The Swiss should have the advantage...


Overview from the Imperialist far left (including the walls of the Park defining the battlefield). 

Push of Pike!  

Jeff Wasileski had the fearsome Swiss Pikes. Well, they were fearsome on paper, but underperformed here, much as they did in history. Of course, being outnumbered didn't help much! 


Gotta love the Great Italian Wars for color!


Late game on the Imperial Left.


French Crossbowmen seize the Mirabello Lodge.... but seem unable to make anything of their success otherwise!


Late Game on the Imperial right; the Imperial cavalry has taken heavy losses, and ,more French Militia crossbowmen have seized the woods, but the Tercio is Tough and strikes some Landsknechts in the flank. Ugh - oh!


Now just who is on the flank of whom?!


Late game overview from the Imperialist right.


"Oh we're artillerymen and we're OK; we bang, bang, boom, and then run away!"


The game mirrored History once again, with a French defeat, and King Francis being held in captivity. All the players were great, and the game played smoothly with the proposed Renaissance modifications for To the Strongest!


















Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Historicon 2022: Heraclea 280 BC, with To the Strongest!

Historicon 2022 started off in grand style for me at 9 AM on Thursday, with 8+ players and the Battle of Heraclea a (see scenario previously posted), using the fantastic To the Strongest! rules, by Simon Miller. 

Epirote players, left to right: Ted, Joseph, Jeff Grein, Jim Mauro, and Milton Soong.


Both sides advance, with the Romans pushing forwards over the river and attempting to drive off the Epirote light troops that had been "observing" the Roman positions. 


Roman players, left to right: David Knight, James Sulzen (in our club HAHGS (Hartford  (CT) Area Historical Gamers) polo shirt from 13+ years ago (yeah, I still have and use mine, too!), ?, and Todd. 


My freind form the UK (and Historicon roomate), David was playing opposite a long time (20+ year) Piquet/Filed of Battle freind, Jim. David had command of the Roman Cavalry, which outnumbered the "Greeks" 3:2. Dave managed to lose his entire command in record time!  This put the Romans seriously on the back foot, especially on their right! 


Pyrrhus managed to get his Phalangites into the action more handily than in the playtest. However, the Left flank Roman cavalry performed much better than their opposite number, and soon there were 2 units of Roman/Allied Light cavalry in the Epirote backfield; never a good thing! 


The Romans have cleared the river fairly handily!


Right flank Roman cavalry... where's they go - poof! Tghis left James' legions seriously exposed on the flank, a situation the Greeks were all too happy to capitalize upon!


Whern James tries to stabilize the situation, the first card he turns is... an Ace (no activations for the command this turn)!  Every TTS! player dreads those moments!


On the Roman Left, Pyrrhus receives a light wound (exactly as he did in the actual battle), and has to use every bit of his Great Leader abilities to tie up the Roman heavy cavalry for the entire game. 


Whoah, Nellies!


A Roman Legion eliminates an opposing Phalanx, achieving a breakthrough!


However, the Epirotes continue roll up the Roman right flank infantry command, unit by unit.


Pyrrhus manages to hold on (losing him and his elite Cavalry would have been the game, and the Romans run out of Victory medals - game to Pyrrhus, with much the same heavy losses as suffered historically in the original "Pyrrhic Victory"!


As usual, the gam was over in about 3 hours, and everyone enjoyed the game and came of impressed by the rules if they hadn't played before. Jim Mauro had the rules, and had played once a few years back, and then forgot about them. He liked them so much that he was already planning his first game back home with his own gaming crew while we were cleaning up the table. In my case, over the past 10 years or so, TTS! has caused me to increase the size of my decades old Ancients armies by 50-100%, as well as adding some new ones! 

Monday, August 1, 2022

Historicon 2022: Wars of the Roses with Test of Resolve

My friends Tim Couper and David Knight came to Historicon from the UK. For Tim, it was one of a great many times here, but it was the first trip to the show for David. We kept expenses reasonable although staying on site, by sharing a room at the Marriott (convention hotel). Tim and David showcased their new rules for the Wars of the Roses, Test of Resolve, by running five games over the course of 4 days. The troops for one side (as well as any terrain)  were provided by yours truly, while long time wargames freind Ken Baggaley provided the troops for the other side. 


Mortimer's Cross (February 2, 1461) - Thursday, 2 PM

Edward of March had gathered troops in Wales and moved towards London. On learning of a Lancastrian army (a mixture of the Welsh followers of Pembroke and a largely mercenary force of Bretons, French and Irish) moving south towards Hereford, March moved to confront them at Mortimers Cross. Test of Resolve: fast play, innovative wargaming rules, designed to fight all the major battles of the Wars of the Roses (see testofresolve.com & Facebook). 


Tim explains the rules to long time Historicon/Piquet/FoB etc freind Freddie Avner.



A "Battle" with Archers deployed at "stand off" distance" for the preliminary arrow exchange.  
These first two photos are courtesy of Milton Soong. 


Towton (March 29 1461) - Friday 11 AM

The Lancastrians had been victorious at St Albans but eventually returned to York, leaving the Yorkist Edward free to enter London to be crowned King on Mar 4. A week later he marched north to Yorkshire where, on a wintry day, he engaged with the Lancastrian forces.

Miles and Anthony, standing by Tim, with Eric, a real WotR aficionado, moving his Battle. 


I love Miles' shirt: "WARNING: May start talking about history!"



Getting stuck in!  Quite a few participants bought rules, cards, and or scenario books after playing.! 



The games are fast (over never more than 2 hours), fun, and allow for all the wacky things that happened in WotR battles!


Miiles commands an ambush emanating from a wooded copse. He is well named! "Miles" means "soldier" or "knight", from the same Latin stem that gives us military (and the distance a a mile between Roman forts). 


Craig (white shirt), Mark (in yellow "Mark's Game Room garb)

\

Stoke Field (June 16 1487) - Friday 7 PM

Lambert Simnell was crowned as King Edward VI to provide a figurehead for the Yorkist cause. Mercenary troops, Anglo-Irish and Gaelic, were raised in Ireland, and sailed across to northwest England. Moving south they met with the the Lancastrian forces of Henry VII in the Midlands, where the final battle in the Wars of the Roses was to be fought.

The set up; all of the games were from one of the three scenario books for Test of Resolve: Wars of the Roses. 


Thomas, Dad Alex, Phil, and Brad



Mark in gold and Joe in black, and our GM  and rules co-author Tim Couper, dispensing his usual bad puns and worse advice!



The players enjoyed this game so much that Tim set it up again, and they replayed it, with a different result, if I recall correctly! 


Hexham (May 10 1464) - Saturday 11 AM

The recently defeated Lancastrian forces decided that their only chance of survival was to have another attempt to defeat Montagu before the reinforcements being raised by Edward IV could arrive to crush the rebellion in the North. So the Lancastrian survivors of Hedgeley Moor advanced south to just outside Hexham. Montagu, confident in his ability to defeat them without Edward’s support, moved out from Newcastle to force battle.

I didn't manage to get any shots of this one, but I understand the game played well, was fun, and as usual was completed in under 2 hours! 



Empingham (March 12 1470) - Sunday, 9 AM

A rebellion led by Sir Robert Welles in Lincolnshire gave an opportunity for Warwick to begin an armed uprising. Welles raised a large body of men with few experienced fighting troops. He headed towards Warwick at Leicester. Edward marched to intercept Welles with a smaller army, but consisting of higher quality troops with artillery support. He informed Welles that if he did not disband his forces his father, Lord Welles, would be executed, which he was immediately prior to the battle.

 

Welles rebels' (a scurvy lot composed largely of very inferior troops) were well on their way to being broken, when King Edward was killed in battle ("don't roll a one!"), resulting in an immediate victory for the Rebels! I played the far left loyalist command in this game, and actually manage to hit something with my artillery for once!