Thursday, November 26, 2015

Testing Rule Changes with a Wargame

As mentioned in the last posting, I thought that the Vikings were too weak and the Saxon peasants too strong. So, using BATTLELORE rules where certain forces would be "bold", where they ignore the first retreat roll, and the peasants would be "frightened", where they would retreat 2 spaces for every retreat roll.  I also started using the "battle back" rule, where a bold unit could fight back if they weren't forced to retreat.  This, being a game just to test the changes, had no terrain and I had no plan to photograph it. I did take a few shots with my phone after it started, as it made for a better game.
The Saxon army advances, being careful to keep their  units supported.

The Saxon shield wall starts inflecting losses  on the Viking.

The Viking pull back their medium infantry, and the Viking heavy infantry hits the Saxon shield wall and breaks through it.

The Saxon heavy infantry starts losing heavily.

The Saxons lose 50% of their units; the Viking continue to attack. The Viking archers aim at the priest, who was the Saxons leader.

He is forced to retreat with what's left of the army.

Using the right rules made for a better game. I have to remember to use rules as they are written; it didn't complicate the game that much. I do think that Ross Macfarland's suggestions from the last comments as to what units are bold are the way to go. I think I will play one more Viking game, with larger forces, and the above changes to the rules.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Viking Wargame

      While I haven't been doing as much with gaming recently, I try to work on figures at least half an hour each day. Last year I got a sizable collection of Peter Laing Viking, Norman and Saxon figures. I haven't done much with them. I wasn't crazy about the painting of the Viking so  I started stripping some of the figures. The paint came off easily; I don't think the figures were primed before painting.
     I also got a large collection of BATTLELORE supplement sets. These are the first series figures that are cartoonish. I personally like the figures and, with each se,t besides new figures you get additional scenarios for games. I have in the past used a couple of the scenarios to use Peter Laing figures; I fought Agincourt several times ,of which I wrote postings of.

      This week I also started watching BBCs series THE LAST KINGDOM. I had missed the first 6 episodes but luckily with my cable TV I could watch the entire 6 episodes this week. It made me want to do a war-game. I touched up some of the painted Viking and based them.  I was using my simplified BATTLELORE rules for the battle.
The Vikings are at the top of the page, the Saxons on the bottom. 

Both sides advance.

The Viking's original plan was to close then form a shield wall. One band though charged forward to draw first blood. 

The Saxons had more discipline and formed shield walls. In BATTLELORE if you have two units forward and a unit behind, they are "supported" and can ignore the first"retreat" roll.

On the hill on the left, the Berserkers are causing havoc. The Berserkers I treated as "heavy cavalry" . That gives them 4 dice to roll and can followup and combat a second time if they force a retreat.

In the middle of the picture can be seen two dice. This is where, between a medium infantry unit and light unit of Saxons  wiped out a heavy unit of Viking. The two dice shows the light infantry roll that wiped out the unit.

A close up of the above shot.

The Viking start inflecting heavy losses on the Saxons.

The two crossbow units on the Saxon left manage to eliminate the Berserkers. The Saxon Bodyguards, with help from another unit, cuts down the the Viking Chieftain and his bodyguard. Another Saxon unit drives off a unit of Viking archers.

Close up of the Berserkers defeat.

Close up of the Viking chieftains death.

With the death of their chieftain and their flanks being encircled, the Viking retreat.

I think if I continue to use these rules I will have to reread them. The fact that the Saxon peasants  fight as well as Viking just doesn't seem right. There are different rules in the more advance rules. Viking should be "bold" where they ignore the first "retreat" rolls. The Saxons should be "frightened", where every "retreat" roll they retreat two spaces instead of one. Something to think about.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

40 Years Ago Today....

      40 years ago today my father was laid to rest. My father served in the 67th Evacuation Hospital in Europe during WW2. The 67th landed D+6 and won 5 battle stars. The 67th was stationed in Malmady at the start of the Battle of the Bulge, fortunately it was not overrun. The 67th ended the war in Czechoslovakia. I can't tell many stories of my fathers service, as he spoke little about it. When he did it was of the horrors of war. It took me a long time to get what he was trying to tell me.
My father, First Sergeant John T. Patriquin (on right), with  Pvt. Clyde Snyder. While doing some online research on the 67th Evac. Hospital, I read how Pvt. Snyder was one of 50 men who volunteered to stay behind with the hospital supplies when the 67th retreated from Malmady.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

42mm Britains figures

     I have been waiting for some figures I bought on Ebay. They are some Britains, 4 which are smaller than the usual 54mm figures.  I bought them hoping they would be the same size as Zinnbrigade 42mm Prussian parade figures.  The package came in today. I think they are the same scale, although a book I have lists the Britains as being 44mm.
The Ebay lot. The 4 figures on the left were the figures I wanted.

The figures belong to Britains  "W" series.

Unfortunately, the Highlander is damaged, with a large hole in the side. The upper part of the torso seems to have been crushed. The figure is still usable though.

A converted Zinnbrigade figures stands with the Britains. They are a good match.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

New Casting

      I realized that my rubber for making molds was getting to the end of it's shelf life.  I have some toy soldiers coming soon which I hope to make molds of. I did want to see if the rubber was still good. I decided to make a mold of a Minifigs general figure. It is in the classic "heroic" pose; being a figure on a rearing horse,pointing forward to where the action is. It is a complicated figure and didn't hold out much hope that it would turn out useful figures. Happily, the figures came out good enough for my use.
The master.

A couple of shots of the castings after trimming and priming.

Starting to paint a couple. One good thing is there is little detail around the head, so they can be painted looking forward (as with the red coated figure) or facing sideways (as with the blue coated figure).