Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Campaign Newsletters - The Pyramid

The original "Scandal Sheet" - The Pyramid issue 1 page 1

One of the most enjoyable activities in wargaming once one been gaming for a while is playing in an ongoing campaign.  The difference between playing a one off battle on a gaming night where you can throw caution to the wind and simply pile in all forces compared to a strategic fight where losses are critical and the repercussions of defeat can be disastrous are enormous.

I have had the very good fortune of playing in several superbly run campaigns over my years of wargaming and none better than those run many years ago by the effervescent Micheal Hutchinson and the NWS.  Mike had the temerity and discipline to keep a rag tag bunch of often distracted gamers together over several wonderful ancients campaigns and was not afraid to declare disasters upon regimes that failed to govern their forces well (read: did not put their orders in on time!).

The Pyramid - Issue 1 page 2.

One of the most interesting aspects of a campaign is when the participants start to publicise their deeds and their opponents misfortunes in a campaign newspaper/newsletter.  Enter the Pyramid - as the mast head states the voice of "T.A" otherwise known as "The Almighty" (campaign master Micheal that is!)."

The Pyramid - Issue 2 page 1

It allowed Battle Reports (now known as AAR's) to be put together, confidential but somehow leaked strategic plans to be uncovered by the fourth estate, scurrilous lies to be put in the diplomatic zones and downright sledging of opponents lineage and the real status of their parents!  Superb stuff.

The Pyramid - Issue 2 page 2

As you can see these newsletters are well before the modern wonders of electronic computer generated graphic software and easy push of a button cut and paste.  These were labours of love from all who contributed and were superbly illustrated by the graphics skills of good old Youngy.  Well done Paul - they still look as good today as they were then.

The Pyramid - Issue 2 page 3

Hopefully they are not too hard to read and provide a bit of enjoyment to some who participated, and a few other who regularly visit this spot, from all those years ago.


Saturday, 26 October 2013

Successors Mini-Campaign weekend

Eumenes battles Ptolemy upon the desert ruins of Egypt

Something slightly different for this post - an old Successors "Clash of Empires" campaign played over two days at the club some time ago.  Probably more "with pyjamas through a cloud of arrows and the occasional pointy sarissa up the backside" than grapeshot!

The games were based on the magnificent Successor lists by Jeff Jonas and the games he played with his group of gaming companions in the States sometime ago.  Jeff was as always a gentlemen with suggestions, advice and tips on how to run the campaign well.  It was a fantastic tournament for the eight players who participated.

Persians look to gold and glory for the new King of Asia

 The players were to play a series of linked battles over the weekend in campaign situations such as capturing the travelling baggage train to obtain gold to continue to pay mercenaries etc.  Four tables were set up to represent the different fields of battle in Greece, Egypt, Asia and Persia with various camps to defend etc.

Persian cavalry advance towards Ptolemy
Two factions were decided and the teams accumulated victory points, territory and gold after every round.  A leader board and empire map was up so everyone could track their progress and then bid for mercenaries before the next round of battles.  Tremendous fun!

Leader board and maps - another great idea borrowed from Jeff.

Eumenes prepares to lead the Companions in action.

Egyptian battlefield on teh banks of the Nile complete with
hungry crocodiles prepared to feast on broken units within two inches!!

Seleucus battles Chandragupta near the ruins
of the temple - Indians are a long way from home.

Leosthenes battle line of hoplites and peltats.

Eumenes dispatches Demetrius in an attempt to
gain more victory points by killing the other geneeral

Bindasures rides into combat

Gamesh must be bloody heavy baggage for those poor Indians!
There were prizes for all kinds of actions, feats and deeds.  One tactical issue that all the real Successor leaders had to deal with was keeping their Macedonian veterans happy.  This included ensuring their baggage camps rich with the gold of years of campaigning away from home were safe and protected.  More than one general was killed by their own troops or betrayed by veterans to recover lost gold!  So we had a prize for the best baggage camp.

Ptolemy advances

Silver Shields painted by the Lonely Gamer himself
Vinnie for my collection.  Thanks Nathan -top notch work!

Leosthenes battle line of hardened Greek League Hoplites.

Peithon pushes forward his masses

Scythian mercenaries on the rampage through Greece.

Indians clash with Persian Satrpal forces

It was a great campaign enjoyed by all with spoils to the victors and ignominy for the defeated!

Final leader board

Great bunch of players with Cookie, Guido, Myself, Steve, Rob, Youngy,
 Marty, Nigel and son contributing massively to a fun campaign.  Thanks fellas!

The weekend was helped significantly by the massive wonderful contribution of figures from the collections of Steve, Paul, Marty, Nigel and the wonderful assistance of all the boys in general.

Guido was the dark horse of the comptition. Check out his blog
"This aint living" on the links on the sidebar for more of his wonderful collection.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Somewhere in Belgium...

Set up showing the initial French dispositions.

Allied deployment.

 A while back we played a fantastic 1815 encounter battle between a strong French Corps based on Reilles formation in the Waterloo campaign up against The Prince of Orange and a combined British, Dutch, Brunswicker army.  It was a fantastic game of General de Brigade and if memory serves the French managed to punch through on the left and break the allied lines and capture the road to Bran L'Alleude before the reserve British formations could reach the field.

French 1st and 5th Chasseurs a Cheval

What would an 1815 battle in Belgium be without some jolly
Scots running about terrorising the locals and the French alike!
French advance upon the Brunswicker position
Belgian Cavalry - 5th Dragoons and 8th Hussars
One of my favourite wargaming units - Brunswick Advante Garde

Brunswickers set up near the old farm

A view from just to the right of the Brunswicker position...just a few French
 to contend with...for now.

The Allied centre with Nassau and Belgian battalions advancing upon the
French centre...that was their firsttactical mistake!
 Nearly all the figures are from the wonderful Perry Miniatures range of Napoleonics for 1815 with the exception of the Scots and some other British units which are Perry designed Foundry figures.  The game was an enormously enjoyable one with just a few beers and ciders being enjoyed by the local commanders and the hospitality of Mr Yardley was greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Franco-Bavarians on the march - Danube 1809

French forces start to mass numbers on the right flank
 I thought that I would put some more images up of this particularly enjoyable 1809 game up on the site.  The figures are a mix of Foundry, Perry with a few Essex command figures thrown in.  There is also a lovely Elite Miniatures Austrian Uhlan regiment which is a particular favourite and never ceases to perform way above its station since the raw figures were purchased from the famous wargaming personality, at least in Australian circles, Nathan Vinson (The Lonely Gamer himself - great site with a link on the side bar).

French 7th Hussars charge home - Foundry figures painted
when I was barely in my 20's.  A lifetime ago it seems!
Bavarian Cavalry starts to menace the Austrian flanks.
As well as advancing upon the guns!
Just have to love those 48 figure Austrian battalions -
the Napoleonic version of the SUV!
Back on the Franco-Bavarian left flank the remnants of
Wredes Division prepare to defend the town.
The advancing Austrian forces - obviously very little enemy cavalry about.
Hovels La Haye model has many uses.
Rallying Bavarian troops try to take some pressure of the brave defenders of the Village.
Whilst a badly mauled square prepares to sell
itself dearly against a confident Hussar Regiment.
A clash of the Beau Sabeurs - Austrian Hussars and Bavarian Chevaulegers.
An Austrian Column cannot believe its luck as a
flank presents itself due to an unfortunately timed forced retreat.

However the victory will need to be decisive to ensure a similar fate doesn't await it next turn.
 This was a particularly interesting battle fought over several actual days with the very real benefit of not feeling rushed and needing to fight to a conclusion as "such and such" had to be somewhere at a certain time.  In this way we could easily contemplate tactics, ensure that the rules were being interpreted correctly and have a few light refreshments along the way.