Wednesday 21 January 2015

The 2015 campaign season begins!

It took me until last Friday to get my first wargame of the new year, but the 2015 campaign season has now started with a bang: four solid days of holiday weekend gaming, some great games with good friends. Truly the "High Quality Gaming Experience". For the record, the weekend's entertainment comprised:

AWI: Bunker Hill (Black Powder - Rebellion scenario book)
We fought this twice, changing sides. Essentially it is a simple frontal assault, which is a bit limiting, but it was still entertaining to play. The British won both times. First time we focused on the American centre and simply punched a big hole with our elite Grenadiers and Light Bobs. Then on the receiving end, it was a bit closer (we changed the reinforcement rules, which helped), but the British finally broke through on their left and rolled us up.

ACW: Seven Pines (Altar of Freedom)
My first taste of this ruleset. A good-looking game in 6mm. The battle ebbed and flowed for a while, but as the Union we were doomed by Alvin's evil yellow dice that kept rolling 6s for him. When I run a game, I make sure everyone uses the same dice ... Confederate victory.

AWI: White Plains (Black Powder)
Being pretty ignorant about the American War of Independence, I had never heard of this battle. One of a succession of British attempts to turn American positions, apparently. A few more options than Bunker Hill, and we managed to choose one of the wrong ones: before my Hessians were able to march round the woods that obstructed us on the left, my British employer charged in the centre, got a brigade broken, and cost us the game.

Fireball Zombie
This is the Zombies variant of the conventional WWII company-level game, Fireball Forward. British Paras found themselves up against Nazi Zombies in Normandy, and had to escort French civilians to the (relative) safety of the abbey. Our Zombies managed to eat one Para, but mostly just got futilely mown down, as the Paras skilfully mutually supported. Credit to our human opponents who deserved their win.

The classic board game. We didn't have time to finish, but I wasn't among the frontrunners when we stopped.

Crimean War: The Alma (BBB)
One of my favourite scenarios, from what I think is probably the best campaign in the BBEB scenario book. As our host doesn't (yet) own actual Crimean armies, we improvised. Napoleonic British for the Brits; ACW Union for the French, with zouaves for the zouaves, and turbaned zouaves for the Turks; and ACW Confederates standing in as Russians. A stonking fight, which for a while looked like being a Russian win, only for the Allies to clear them off both objectives on the very last turn.

WWII: Operation Totalize (rules in development)
Akin to the "Bloody Big Battles" philosophy for C19 games, we've been looking at developing rules that let you fight the whole of a significant multi-division WWII operation, on a sensible-sized table and in a sensible amount of time. We want the game to give due attention to command & control, and also to logistics, but without it becoming an exercise in accounting and blanket-stacking. So that meant Monday was spent pushing Oddzial Ozmy picoarmor across the tabletop, tinkering with rule mechanisms, deriding each other's unworkable ideas. There's definitely a viable game in there somewhere but it may be a year or two away.

My score for the year so far:
Games played to conclusion - 5. (not counting the one I refereed)
Wins - 1.

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