Ran my RCW game Saturday afternoon at the convention. Short version: everyone had a good time, but unlike our playtest a few weeks ago, the Whites got splattered, despite having more support and forces than the playtest. The Reds go going faster at the beginning and the Whites never had a chance to develop the momentum they had during the previous game.
Anyway, longer update and photos in a few days when I’m not blogging from my phone…
Off to Vancouver Friday morning for two and a half days of miniature gaming goodness at Trumpeter Salute 2012!
The Russian Civil War figures and scenery I needed for the game I’m running Saturday have all come together nicely, and I’ve got everything packed away for transport. Clothes, toothbrush, all that boring stuff too, with luck…
I’ve had a quick look at the convention schedule, but except for my own game, I don’t plan ahead too far at Trumpeter. There’s always good stuff running, with some reliable standbys like the near-constant 1:72nd Canvas Eagles WW1 air games to fall back on if nothing else grabs my eye. That said, I always go to conventions looking to try new gaming systems, new rules, new eras, new genres and to play with different people than the usual crowd I game with all the time!
I’ve got the WordPress Mobile app installed on my Android smartphone, so there might even be some short updates here over the weekend before the big post-Trumpeter posts sometime early next week. Hopefully I remember to take photos, even.
If you’re going to be at Trumpeter, say hi if you see me. I usually scribble “Wirelizard” on my nametag these days, because that’s become my default username online, and I even remembered to make a sticker version of my orange lizard logo (see the right-hand side of the banner up above this post) to stick to one edge of my nametag. Or just look for the Russian Civil War game in the Saturday afternoon slot and come join in! 2PM (1400) on Saturday afternoon!
And so the day began, much like the day before it, but with the promise of relief. Dust clouds had been seen along the road toward the main force, maybe the good Colonel could see fit to send us some more men. Yesterday’s fight was bloody but at sundown, we still held the hospital, if only just.
-Memoirs of the Zulu War, Col. Reginald Heathe (ret.), commander of the Royal Oak Bay Volunteers 1875-1891
Sunday marked our second Zulu War game, the first to include figures from all five players who have bought in (myself, Malcolm, Dale, Bruce, and Nathan). Also debuting this game was my hospital, built on an imperial-ized version of Matakishi’s detailed plans.
The back story I concocted for this game was that my Royal Oak Bay Volunteers had found themselves under siege yesterday and had narrowly carried the day, but were holed in the hospital and required relief. This explained my single company on the table (my remaining British and Zulu are unbuilt). A large relief column was moving towards the hospital in an attempt to relieve it.
It all began well enough. Zulus appeared at one of six random locations under a blind, usually two blinds at a time. Luck meant that most of the blinds started in one of the two locations nearest the hospital, representing the forces from the day before coming back. The column moved slowly, but ground towards me. As our Zulus are “AI controlled”, the random stance they choose was to stand back and fire their muskets and chuck their spears against me. All was well, the Royal Oak Bay were holding.
At this point, it all went off the rails. The relief column got bogged down in heavy terrain and by the time any numbers of them could have arrived, Zulus were already attacking the front of the wagon train, leaving the Royal Oak Bay all alone. And then the Zulu’s charged. Given the difficulties both of us had in scoring any hits through the windows and doors, I lasted a surprising long time, outnumbered and worse in melee than the Zulu.
The action was hot and close. The Zulus pressing on all sides of the hospital, finally testing their spears against our bayonets. With many doors and not enough men, I was forced to step straight into the breach, holding the door nearest our relief. I parried their spears thrusts with my saber, finally driving them back. I could see the relief column, but it appeared swarmed under with Zulus. As I turned to give encouragement to my men, I saw not a single standing red coat. What I saw instead was a wall of black Zulu warriors.
– Memoirs of the Zulu War, Col. Reginald Heathe (ret.)
With the hospital fallen, the Zulus ground the British back, forcing them to retreat inch by inch. More Zulus appeared in the right flank of the column, but those Zulus discovered the pain of a gatling gun.
By nightfall, the British were tired and bloody. They retreated in poor order, leaving the hospital and this part of veldt to the Zulus for a little while longer.
As with our last game, we used Triumph and Tragedy, albeit heavily modified. Besides the aforementioned AI Zulus, the action is driven by cards which specify a certain command, either for the British or the Zulus. These include the basic T&T Fire, Fire and Move, Double Move, but also Zulu Charge, Zulu Command (which may change their tactics), and Hordes of Zulus (which puts new blinds on the table). In an effort to bring an end to the game, we decided that each player that had Zulus could lose up to four groups before they could bring no new groups on. Still, with over 250 Zulus between the four, we still didn’t end up with all the Zulus on the table at any one time.
All in all, an enjoyable game. Our rules are still in flux, but they appear to producing a good result. Now we just need to win. There are a few pictures that haven’t been seen here, they can be seen in my A hospital unrelieved Flickr group.
I am, as mentioned in the last post, neck-deep in prep for my Russian Civil War game less than a week away at Trumpeter Salute 2012. Nevertheless, something near and dear to the very core of the Warbard’s raison d’etre needs to be linked to…
Via the excellent Dieselpunk, who in turn got it from kitchener.lord’s spectacular Flickr stream, this Red Airships photomontage poster:
I’ve long been a fan of pre-WW2 Russian design; there were some very talented people doing great stuff even in terrible conditions.
Anyway, back to final drafts of initiative cards, then painting the last 16 White Russian infantry for the game!
I’ve been house- and cat-sitting for a relative in town the last ten days, so not a lot of action here on the blog, but I did take advantage of having extra space available to get a bunch of wargaming scenery built.
The most interesting pieces are a pair of houses for my growing Russian hamlet. The first is T-shaped, the second L-shaped with a fenced garden/yard area. Both have thatch roofs from towel; building and covering the more complex roof shapes was an interesting challenge. I even got some step-by-step photographs of the roof-building and thatching process, so expect an illustrated tutorial at some point in April here on the Warbard!
Both buildings have a 5″x4″ footprint and are about 3.5″ to the peaks of the double-hipped roofs. Unlike my earlier church, these two have doors or windows on all sides, so they’re potentially tactically useful instead of just being a line-of-sight blocker like the church.
In addition to the two buildings, I built two large hills (which can butt against each other to form one long ridge) and a smaller hill. I’ve needed more hills for ages, so it was nice to get these made finally. No photos of them, I’m afraid, as they’re buried in the bottom of one of my scenery boxes at present.
I”e also got about about ten new pieces of scatter terrain in progress, not all of which will be ready for my Trumpeter Salute RCW game in ten days, but I hope some of it will be. Photos of that as time allows in the countdown to Trumpeter!
We had an excellent Russian Civil War game using the TFL Mud & Blood rules Sunday afternoon. More people than I’ve seen in a while up at our gaming club’s Sunday meet but for a lot of folks it was a day to socialize, do a bit of painting or figure prep or similar – the RCW game would up being the only full game running.
I acted as referee/gamemaster, and three of the four players had never played Mud & Blood before. We still finished the game in under three hours of play and everyone apparently had a good time, so that was all good.
Bit of a quiet week here on the Warbard. I’ve been burning up all my available hobby time painting Russian Civil War figures. There’s two dozen Cossack infantry finished, another three dozen regular White riflemen nearly finished, twenty Red infantry in progress, and a new unit of ten Red sailors well underway. Yes, if you total that up, it’s nearly 100 figures, all 28mm. I’ve been a busy chap. There’s six or eight half-written articles in the Drafts queue here on the Warbard, but I haven’t touched any of them in days!
Even better? By my quick admittedly rough calculations, a 20ft-long model of the USS Macon is roughly 1:56th scale, ie 28mm… the gentleman in California has created a wargaming model, possibly without knowing it!
Tomorrow we game the Russian Civil War again using the Mud & Blood rules, photos and a game report tomorrow evening!
Well, dozens at least. We have recently decided to start down the Zulu War path, but haven’t made it very far down that path. In fact, I think we made it about 1/4 across the table today, our first Zulu Wars game.
As my Warlord Games figures have not yet shown up, we were quite light on the troops. I borrowed the 4th Coy of the 14th Fernwood, Malcolm ran his 3rd Coy, Bruce had a wagon train, and Dale another unit of infantry and a gatling gun. We pretty much all died.
I got to lead the whole day, an “honour” for which my slain commander, Captain Bromhead, scored our first Victoria’s Cross. At first, the Zulus were just a hazy sight in the distance (made hazier by Bromhead having lost an eye in the Indian Mutiny of 1857).
However, the Zulus very rapidly became not-so-hazy. Very distinct as a matter of fact. They were kind enough to remain at a distance, allowing me to very sportingly shoot them. (Later arrivals weren’t nearly so accommodating. Hence the VC.)
Bored at being out of action, our gatling gun decided to go and discover some Zulus via running to our extreme left flank. Shortly Zulus were discovered, and sent packing. The Horns of the Buffalo card meant that “sent packing” actually meant “gone to get their friends.” Amusing result on the right flank was a herd of cattle. Horn of the cattle more like.
The left flank went from “Gee, I don’t think they should be all the way over there” to “Oh crap, we are overrun” in very short order. Colonel Spiffer, shiny white uniform and all, quickly found himself surrounded. Being a hero, he was able to extricate himself. Our gatling gun, on the other hand… Let’s just say that rumours of the Zulus using a gatling gun a month later are totally untrue. Slanderous treason, in fact.
All this action to flank quickly evolved into action across the entire front as Zulus, hot off their success against our gatling gun, attempted a front assault. Flesh was pressed, personal details (and bodily fluids) were exchanged, and everybody got screwed in the deal.
In due course this wave of Zulus was sent packing, but the next wave sent both my brave 4th of the 14th, and Dale’s scurrying for the rear. Which leaves only the 3rd to hold the line. I think the next two pictures tell the story.
And so ends our first action of the Zulu War. We can only hope that better painted troops will fare better (although that is likely to hold true for the Zulus as well).
Our rules are based very loosely off of Triumph and Tragedy (from the superlative Lead Adventure forums) with a great deal of rules changed. First and foremost, we ran our Zulus as AI-controlled with dice to determine action. There are many on the fly changes to the modifiers, as we sought to get the right “feel”. We also changed from i-go-you-go to alternating half-way through, again to test rules.
We also experimented where the overall commander, in this case Malcolm, handed out two order cards (from the standard T&T deck) to each player at the start of each turn. This led to a lot of jockeying for a specific card, especially as our situation became more desperate.
Figures are mostly Warlord Games, with some Empress, Wargames Factory and Essex. Terrain is a mixture of mine and Malcolm’s.