Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Multi Period Game: Crimean 1854



Set in 1854 outside the Savastapol siege lines  French and Russian forces are attempting to capture a major bridge crossing.  Because of its importance the bridge cannot be destroyed but must be captured intact.  Both sides have similar sized forces which reflects the armies of their time period.  Victory conditions are to capture and hold both sides of the bridge by game end.  If either force is reduced to under 50% that side must retreat off the board and has lost.  In addition both sides may select one unit to out flank the enemy and appear on a random turn on the enemies flank across the river.  I rolled to see which side of the table to set up on.  I also came up with two battle plans for each side for what they wanted to do. Rules used are "Charge of the Light Brigade" by David Raybin.

Order of Battle:

Russian Army:

16th Division (Lt. Gen. Kvetinski)

1st brigade:

Vladimirski Regt. (4 bns) (24 ea.) 

Susdalski Regt. (2 bns) (24 ea.) 

16th Artillery Battery

Uhlan regiment  (12)

French Army 

1st Brigade (Espinasse) Reinforced

3rd Zouaves (2 battalions)

7th Ligne. (2 battalions) 

20th de Ligne (2 battalions) 

1st Chasseurs d'Afrique 

Artillery Battery

  The Russian army set up within the river bend.  The four battalions of the  Vladimirski Regiment were sent in column up the road to cross the bridge.  The two battalions of the Susdalski Regiment were to their left to guard against a flank attack and then support the bridge crossing.  The artillery quickly took up position and the Cavalry were sent to flank the enemy.

  The French sent their artillery to the high ground with a good field of fire.  The 3rd Zouaves Regiment guarded the center while the 7th Ligne took the left flank.  The 20th de Ligne prepared to defend the  right flank and the 1st Chasseurs d'Afrique  were sent to out flank the Russians.

  The French quickly moved up to the front.  The  3rd Zouaves deployed into line by the bridge to maximize their firepower.  The 20th moved up to support them while the 7th moved to deploy along the river bend.  Taking their time the gunners opened fire on a target rich environment.

  The Russian forces bullied their way across the bridge.  The 1/ Vladimirski  crossed quickly and charged the French in front while 2/ & 3/Vladimirski moved across and took position.  (In these rules battalions can do additional things by paying a command point (CO).  Slower moving troops (like Russians) have fewer CP's while better troops and quicker have more.  Once your CP's are gone they are gone.  You pay for thus by the other side can pivot/change formation or fire at you!)

  The 2/3rd Zouaves easily defeated the 1/Vladimirski and sent them flying.  But this gave time for 2/ & 3rd battalions to cross over. One battalion slammed into the  2/20th de Ligne  and routed them.  They 2/3rd Zouaves were not as lucky and they were broken by a fresh column of the 3/Vladimirski.

  At the point (turn 4) the French Center was broken but the Russian infantry was in bad shape.  Two battalions were reforming and could not help the ones across the river.  Another battalion was slowly being shot apart by the French battery and the 1/7th Ligne .  But the French had two battalions ((1/3rd Zouaves and 2/20th) of their own reforming!  A close run fight so far.

 On the 5th turn the Russian cavalry made it's appearance!  They charged the  1/7th Line. ( I did a morale check for the French, they passed so I let them change facing).  They managed to get a very good volley in which sent the Cavalry back the way they came.  On the opposite flank the 1/Susdalski crossed the bridge to add their numbers to the attack.  The Russian commanders rallied the broken battalion and hustled them back across the Bridge.  But the French were holding fast and they also had battalions returning.

   The decisive moment came in the 7th  turn.  Both sided were weakened and slowing down.  But the 1st Chasseurs d'Afrique made their appearance on the Russian flank.  They charged forward against the 2/Susdalski who tried to turn to face the cavalry but failed (in the morale roll the two morale markers made the difference.  For each marker you have on a battalion you subtract 1 from each roll).  In the melee the Chasseurs rode down the infantry from the flank and routed them and pursed the fleeing soldiers.

  In the center the fresh French battalions were too much for the weakened Russian infantry.  Attacked in all sides first one battalion then another broke.  Too much had been asked of the Russians who fought valiantly.  There were no more reinforcements to be called up.  General Kvetinski threw in the towel and ended the slaughter.

    Another very hard fought battle that went to the final turn.  The Russian battalions in column get a +2 per die in melee which makes them very dangerous.  But the French have much better firepower and with more CP's can do more extra per turn.  Because of the shorter range of the Russians muskets they could not stand off and trade shots.  The French with rifled muskets could and we're glad to do so all day.  So the only way the Russians could force the issue was closing to melee.  The French cavalry charge at the end did not decide the battle but it did take out the final fresh infantry the Russians had.

  And this concludes our third and final game.  A great successful series and a very good scenario.  Looking over the suggestions from Norm a hidden ford or two might be intetesting.  At least the bridge would not be the center of all fights.  When I try this again I will add that.  Also, I have added the house rule for the unit out flanking the enemy.  In the first game cavalry ran right into infantry.  Now, I test the defenders morale and if they pass they can turn to face the attackers.  I think this balances it out nicely.





Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Enjoying the Moment


  This is a visual hobby.  We play our games on a table top with terrain that represents the world around us and toy soldiers who represent the soldiers of years past.  This is why we play with toy soldiers and not cardboard counters.  Board games can recreate a historical battle at times better then our table top encounters.  So there are times when after setting up the table I like to sit back and just admire.

  I was just getting started with my next battle.  Terrain and soldiers in place and the first move done.  But instead of continuing I decided to take a moment to sit back and admire.   My Crimean war armies our my oldest figures in my collection.  I built the army during a difficult period in my life and they have always brought me great joy and happiness.  So I thought I would just savor and enjoy the moment before dice are rolled and casualty markers come out. It is a wonderful hobby we have is it not?

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Multi Period Game: War of 1812

 Here we go with the second of three table top battles based on the river crossing scenario devised by Norm on his blog "Battlefields and Warriors. " For details of the game please reference back to the previous post.

  Set in 1814 on the Niagara Peninsula an American and British force are attempting to capture a major bridge crossing.  Because of its importance the bridge cannot be destroyed but must be captured intact.  Both sides have similar sized forces which reflects the armies of their time period.  Victory conditions are to capture and hold both sides of the bridge by game end.  If either force is reduced to under 50% that side must retreat off the board and has lost.  In addition both sides may select one unit to out flank the enemy and appear on a random turn on the enemies flank across the river.  I rolled to see which side of the table to set up on.  I also came up with two battle plans for each side for what they wanted to do.  

Order of Battle

American Army

General Brown Commanding


New York Militia Dragoons (6)

Ritchie's battery US Artillery  (24)

1st Brigade: General Scott

11th US Infantry regiment  (24)

22nd US Infantry regiment  (24)

25th US Infantry regiment  (24) (turn #3) (Elite)

2nd Brigade:  General Ripley

1st US Infantry regiment  (24)

21st US Infantry regiment  (24)

23rd US Infantry regiment (24)

British/Canadian Army

General Drummond commanding

2nd (Light) Brigade: Lt.Col. Pearson

100th Regiment of Foot  (24)

 Glengary light Infantry (GLI) (24)

Incorporated Militia Upper Canada (IMUC) (24)

3rd Brigade:  Lt.Col. Morrison

8th Regiment of Foot (24) (elite)

41st Regiment of Foot (24)

49th Regiment of Foot (24)


Royal Artillery

Niagara Light Dragoons  (6) (enter turn #3)

  After rolling for sides the British/Canadians set up inside the river bend.  The Niagara Light Dragoons were sent on a wide flanking march.  The Americans set up opposite them with the 25th US Infantry detached to out flank the enemy. 

   On the first move both sides moved up towards the river.  Pearson sent the GLI forward in skirmish formatuon with the IMUC in support.  The Royal Artillery unlimbered in the road with a clear view to the bridge.  Morrison advanced with the 8th and 41st in line and the 89th held back to guard the flank.

  General Ripley advanced the 21st and 23rd US infantry towards the stone wall enclosure with the 1st deployed to guard their flank.  Ritchie's Battery in lumbered in the center.  Scott advanced the 9th in line with the 22nd in column ready to advance up the road. 

 The NY State militia horse set up by the woods to guard the flank.

For the next two turns both sides exchanged artillery fire.  The Americans attempted counter battery fire while the British concentrated on infantry.  Neither side made much damage.

  But on turn three things got interesting.  By a coincidence both sides out flanking force arrived on the table.  The 25th US moved up to and exchanged fire with the 89th Regiment.  The Niagara Light Dragons charged the NY Militia Dragons and drove them back but the militia horse rallied and returned to the fight.

  Fighting broke out all over the board.  The 25th US charged the 89th Regiment.  Although the British got a volley in it did not stop the 25th US who closed. In the ensuing melee the 89th's morale failed and they routed back.

  The 8th Regiment moved forward to try and stop the Americans now crossing the bridge.  Although taking heavy casualties from the 8th and Royal Artillery the 9th US held firm.  The Americans pushed their infantry to cross the bridge as soon as possible.

  This time the Niagara Light Dragons broke the NY Militia horse who were sent racing away.

  The 8th Regiment held firm against the 21st US and 22nd US holding the center.

  As the 23rd US crossed the bridge they received heavy fire from both the Royal Artillery to their front and the IMUC to their left flank.  They passed the morale check but had lost heavily.

  Flushed with their victory over the 89th the 25th US charged the 41st Regiment.  The British regiment passed their morale and turned to face the attackers.  In the melee both sides loss men but the 25US failed its morale and retired shaken.  The 41st followed up its victory by driving the Americans off the board.

  The American line in front of the bridge now crumbled.  Although they had forced the 8th Regiment to retire the 100th Regiment moved up to restore the line while the 41st returned to turn the American flank.  The IMUC now came in on the opposite flank and the three decimated American regiments collapsed in retreat.  The American commander threw in his hat and the game ended.

  The bold strategy that had won victory in the previous game did not work out as well here.  The more cautious British/Canadian forces held firm.  Again this scenario provided a fun and exciting game which came down to the last die roll.  The game had worked well in both periods.  Can it work well in a third time period?  Stay turned as the Crimean armies are set up next!


Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Fort Devens Miniature Game Day


  On Saturday morning 19 November my buddy John picked me up and off we went to the Fort Devens Museum Miniature Gaming day.  The museum hosts a day of gaming and its a great fun experience.  Its not a big event, more of a small get together with friends.  Fort Devens was established to train American soldiers for the First World War and was active until closed in a cost cutting move in 1996.  There is still a small reserve unit trading area on the grounds.  This is my second time attending and I plan on making it a annual event.

The museum traces the history of the base from its day as Camp Devens in 1917 to its closure.   There are exhibits of uniforms, equipment and models.  Many individuals are highlighted which gives it a personal feel.  Events like this one help to remind the public about the museum and bring in visitors.

  As for games there was a very nice selection .  Each  were filled up and all looked outstanding.  Because individuals who had never played miniatures games were encouraged to attend game masters were very patient and encouraging to all.  Here were some of the games offered.  There were many more but these are ones I was most familiar with.  Please excuse me and except my humble apologies if I did not mention your game.

Soloman Island Encounter run by Frank Sheppard using his home brew naval rules.  IJN and US Navy units run into each other in a free for action.

Belleau Woods June 1918 by Arofan Gregory.  Newly arrived American soldier must hold A trench line against waves of German assault troops.

Battle of the River Rasin  June 1812.  Peter Lowitt's reenactment of the battle in the War if 1812.  "Remember the Raisin!". Can American volunteers hold out against British, Canadian and Native Warriors?  

Battle of Sandy Hook War of 1812  by Adam Carriere ( using the Black Seas rules.  A " What If" naval action off of  New York harbour.  A American fleet of Frigates encountered A British squadron in a historically possible battle.

  I played in this game and it was Outstanding!  Beautiful ship models incredibly detailed.  Adam moved the game along and helped us novice players.  It was fast, it was exciting.  And I should never under any circumstances be given command of Royal Navy Ships.   Lets us just say I did not cover myself in glory.  But I had a fun time and hope to play again soon.  Adam is extremely knowledgeable about the period and shared stories about the individual ships and their captains.  His enthusiasm for the period is contagious and I am already looking up books to read!  Well done sir!

Peter Lowitt and Adam Carriere work to put this on.  They coordinate with the museum and bring in games and gamers.  So a shout out is due to both of them for their hard work.