Tuesday, December 22, 2015

WW2 6mm - 7th Battalion D Company at La Londres July 1944 scenario and replay

Introduction
This is the first of a planned series of WW2 historical scenarios based on the operations of the Hampshire Regiment (7th Battalion) of the 130th Brigade, 43rd (Wessex) Division in Europe July 1944 to April 1945. The scenarios will be a mix of a battalion and company level, with maybe some platoon/skirmish if the detail is available.  These will be based on their War History with further research where necessary. At the moment this is a side project, so not sure when I may get to the rest.

Background (or why a company level scenario and AAR when I prefer a battalion)
Feel free to skip this this section, just personal musing on why I created the scenario and the rules.


I wanted to run a campaign for a British Infantry Company in 1944 in Europe. My Dad is from Portsmouth so I decided to use the Hampshire Regiment (of the 130th Brigade, 43rd (Wessex) Division) as a basis for the campaign. The 7th Battalion fits well into my criteria and I got fairly involved in reading their history, and even went as far as ordering their history that was published recently. Do not ask the cost of shipping to Australia but it was more than the book itself.  I think it was worth it. I thought about creating some historical scenarios (as that is what I like playing) but decided for a campaign I would run some fictional scenarios loosely based on some of the 7th Battalion actions.

In parallel to this I created some things I would need for a company level campaign.  I had written some solo friendly rules for infantry skirmish, played a few games and found they worked quite well.  So I thought I would use them as a basis for some company level rules.  So I spent many hours combining my battalion level rules with the infantry skirmish rules until I had a set to test out.  In parallel, I also spent many hours on randomly generating scenarios in Excel spreadsheet based on Platoon Forward (not quite finished).

My moment of crisis came a month ago in mid-November.

I became more interested in creating and playing scenarios on the battles in the War History and much less enthused in playing fictional scenarios.  Many will be company based, but some will be battalion.  I was also disillusioned with the company level rules I had created (although I had fun writing them – I find it enjoyable writing rules).  I had moved from card based activation to dice based, and also gone for a 2 step process for infantry combat (a d6 to hit and d6 for the level of result).  I really like a single d6 as it speeds it up a lot, or multiple dice is OK so long as it is not a 2 step process (e.g. FiveCore rifle firing is 2d6 – Kill and Shock - but rolled at the same time, not sequentially).  I find card based provides enough solo friendliness rather than resorting to reactions ( the rules were full of reactions, similar-ish to NUTS!). So I shelved the rules and moved on. I tailored my battalion level rules slightly to work for company level.  I kept the scale the same but modified the die roll result slightly so that infantry don’t die as fast (as there are much less bases on the table e.g. a battalion level game may about 30-40 bases (each a section) while the company one has about 10-15).  That was about it!  Much happier.

I picked one of the early company level battles in the War History to attempt to create a scenario.  I was not counting, but I spent at least 20 hours do so, likely closer to 30.  Finding a map of the area from WW2 took many hours on the internet and then resolving the terrain took longer.  And then working out the forces involved.

But I have done a scenario based on D company’s attack on a farm complex on July 31st 1944.  And also played it in 6mm, hence this blog post..

La Londres farm scenario

Background
As part of Operation Bluecoat the 130 Brigade is to head from Caumont to Jurques. On 30th July, 4th Dorsets (a battalion in the 130 Brigade) advanced down the left of the road from Caumont to Jurques to take a location known as Le Londe farm.  They ran into difficulties with a minefield and then, for unknown reasons, never cleared the farm.  The 7th Battalion advanced down the road and dug in for the night.  D Company was attacked in the flank from the direction of Le Londe.  On the 31st July, realising that La Londe was still in enemy hands, D Company was given the task of clearing the La Londe farm complex prior to assisting B and C Company with their attack further down the road. Much of Battalion support is not available as it was left behind at Caumont  to come forward during the 31st.

Note that the War History calls it La Londe but all the maps I found online called it La Londres. But I finally discovered the general area is La Londe.

Map

Map of LeLondres farm complex and surrounds


  • Each grid is 100m by 100m.
  • British starts deployed in red sector, German deployment is in blue.
  • Germans may be in shell scrapes but there are no specific fortifications or engineering works.
  • All buildings are stone (hard cover).
  • Tress represent orchards but the trees are not close and are not bushes but low trees.
  • Hedges are not bocage but tall enough not to see over.
  • Wheatfields are waist-high and should have no effect on moving or firing.  All roads are one lane.
  • Germans start the game hidden.

British (7th Battalion)
Mission: Attack and clear the farm complex (the two main clusters of buildings).  You have 10 turns as you are required to then assist with the Battalion attack further south-east.

Victory:
Score 5 points for being the last to occupy the right farm buildings.
Score 5 points for being the last to occupy the left farm buildings.

0 - lose
5 points - draw
10 points - win.

D Company:

D Company HQ
     1 HQ infantry rifle stand
     3 PIAT teams (may be allocated to Platoons)

16 Platoon
      1 2” mortar
      3 infantry rifle stands

17 Platoon
     1 2” mortar
     3 infantry rifle stands

18 Platoon
     1 2” mortar
     3 infantry rifle stands

Support
     2 3” Mortars not in direct support (5+ on a d6 to call)

Initial artillery:
    One call of 4 4.2" Mortar pre game bombardment.

The British are of Average/Regular quality.  Although the 7th Battalion took many casualties in the Battle for Maltot on the 10th-11th July, reinforcements from the 12 Battalion filled the gaps.

Note: D company, like most in a British infantry battalion, had platoons numbered 16, 17 and 18.

I have assumed that the Battalion 3” mortars would be available to call on for indirect support.  The other three 7th Battalion companies were also conducting their own attacks on the 31st, so the mortar support is not guaranteed.

Options:
It is documented that D Company participated in the attack, but not what other support units may have been involved. Other possible support units are a Carrier Section, Honey tank, Sherman or Heavy mortar support.

While it is likely that the Carrier support platoon was with the Battalion AT guns, they did move forwards on the morning of the 31st.  The recon Honey tanks were in the area (thinking it had been cleared) and Shermans were also in the area later in the morning.  4.2" Mortars and an MMG platoon were allocated to the 7th Battalion and so are also a possibility.  If you do not want to roll for the optional units, then the 4.2" Mortar support or MMG is the most likely to have been available.

Random support (2d6):
  2
One M4 Sherman
3-4
One Honey (Sherwood Rangers recon)
5-6
Carrier Section (3 Carriers, 1 rifle section, 1 PIAT)
7-8
One MMG stand (representing 2 MMGs with crew)
9-12
Four 4.2" Mortar support (6+ required)

German (elements of the 326th Infantry Division)
Mission: Defend the farm complex (the two main cluster of buildings).  If you last at least 10 turns you have successfully delayed the advance of the British.

Victory:
Score 5 points for being the last to occupy the right farm buildings.
Score 5 points for being the last to occupy the left farm buildings.

0 - lose
5 points - draw
10 points - win.

Company HQ
    1 Rifle stand

1st Zug
   3 Rifle Stands

2st Zug
   3 Rifle Stands

Support Zug
     1 MMG stand (representing 2 MMGs)

Average quality.  Panzerfausts can be allocated as much or as little as required but assume each stand has Panzerfaust capability.

Options
None.

The German unit designation is correct, but not much else.  From the histories, it seemed that average motivated troops were defending the farm and were at near organisational strength.  I created a generic infantry force that would be sufficient to hold onto a farm and create difficulties for D Company to take.

Aftermath
After a hard fought battle, D Company cleared the farm in time and continued along the way to Cahagnes in time to support the other companies.

Notes
I did use an aerial map from 1944 to assist in creating the terrain features for the scenario but the terrain is not an exact match, mostly the hedges on the top right of the map.  But the farms, roads, orchards and most hedgerows are in the right place.

Replay
The whole idea of researching the battle was to create a scenario to play.  Here is the first play test of it.

Scale
I am going to be playing the battles on a 30”x20” table using 6mm miniatures. Distance scale is 1:800. Bases represent squads/sections/gruppe.   It is a company level game.

Rules
I tweaked my own rules I use for battalion based games to be used for companies. Card based unit activation with a joker to end the turn (I counted each flipped joker as equating to 1/2 a turn, so 20 jokers is the same as the end of turn 10).  Most things stay the same except the unit scale has been reduced slightly from 1 vehicle is 2-5 vehicles to 1 vehicle = 1 vehicle and support weapons are closer to 1:1. Distance scale stayed the same.  Some support weapon and HE values needed to change to reflect this change in unit representation.  I have not posted the company level rules up on my WW2 rules page as they are not yet in a ready state to do so, but they play very similar to my latest battalion level rules.

Deployment

The British forces, optional force was an MMG stand.

The defending Germans


Where the units deployed
The Germans were deployed  across the two main farm locations with the MMG in a central location to cover most approaches.

German deployment
The British deployed ready for a two pronged attack (see image after this).

The British deployed
The British aim is to have 16 and 17 platoon come down the edge of the table.  MMG down the centre to lend support.  18 platoon to come down the right of the road as a reserve.

British orders of advance
The Game
British pre-game bombardment. 12 dice (4 heavy mortars at 3 dice each.  a 6 will suppress, two 6s will KO) on farm 1. No 6's out of the 12.  Rolled again just to be a little fair on the Brits.  No 6s in the next 12 rolls either.  I will call that destiny. They are all shaken (-1 to fire) as being under HE fire, but that will only last a turn.


The main British forces continue to advance and are spotted by the Germans who hold their fire. They have the advantage of not being seen in the farm, and will be much harder to dig out by close combat that being fire on.

The British 16 and 17 Platoon advance.
16 platoon moves into position to charge the farm; company HQ keeps calling for mortar support while 17 platoon and 18 keep advancing.  The Major finally gets through and the farm is shaken and one gruppe retreats.  The 16 platoon charges in!  The German MMG was on overwatch and fires on them as they cross the open field.but it causes no casualties, except infantry units first fired on in the game must take a morale check and they hit the dirt.

German MMG opens fire of the advancing British platoon.
The British MMG has been lying in wait for such a moment, spots the MMG and routs them.

The British MMG was on overwatch, spots the German MMG, fires and routs them
More mortar fire on the farm and another defender retreats.

Retreating defenders
This triggers a morale check, the German defenders roll a 1 and the whole zug routs.  Very unlucky to get two mortar barrages in two turns.

But...it is turn 4 already.  Only another 6 turns to clear the other farm.  And that other farm has a  gruppe that can see the British infantry 16 Platoon in the field so fire on them - one routed, one retreats.

...and the morale check for 16 Platoon is a 1! and they also rout.

One platoon down on each side (German right hand farm defenders, British 16 Platoon that advanced over the field)
I created a new random event table a few weeks ago based on a d20 and finally (after 9 goes though the card pack) got one - the British 18 platoon get a leader.  This will help with morale checks.

A few more moves sees the Brits move closer to the second farm.

British 17 Platoon occupy the farm. 

British 18 Platoon wait across the road from the remaining occupied farm.
The German whittle down 18 platoon to one section.  The British have managed to force one gruppe to retreat in retaliatory fire, but that is about it.

The red Xs are former British 18 Platoon sections.  The farm defenders still OK.
A few more turns, the Brits call in some 3" mortar fire again, for no effect.  But then the Germans are subject to a random mortar attack of 2d6 and roll 2 6s that cause 2 retreats!  And them more successful mortar radio rolls!  But the cards are against the British and they just don't get any card allowing them to move as well to take advantage of the Germans being shaken in the farm.  And it is turn 8.

Retreated and suppressed Germans on the left.  On the right is 17 Platoon waiting for the right moment to charge in., 
Finally a card to activate the British platoon, and the Germans are still shaken! British 16 platoon charge into combat with the shaken Germans in the farm.

British 16 Platoon charge into the farm complex.
Brits roll 4d6, Germans 2d6. British win and lose 1 section.  The Germans loose both gruppe, one was the company HQ.  The last gruppe left on the board rolls a morale check and packs it all in.

The second farm is taken and the game ends with the lone survivor routing.
Well, with only one turn to go the British managed a win, as per the historical battle.

Verdict
Well, I thought it would be a rather dull game with 2 German zugs in hard cover while a British Company tries to take it. Nope.  I have mentioned it before that my sweet spot is for these little vignettes of a battle.  And this was one with lots of tension the whole way.  At various times I thought the battle would be won by one side, and then the other. The scenario needs some more playtesting before I would put it as part of a scenario book.   The homebrew rules seem to work OK for me for company level - they are quite fast and simple (for me at least) as they are based off my battalion level game.   I will have to have a go and do the scenarios for the different attacks that A, B and C Companies were involved in on the same day - about a  kilometre or so to the southeast of this D Company action.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

30 games in 30 days - game 30 in detail and reflection

Introduction
This is game 30! 30 days ago I set out to play 30 ancient games in 30 days using my own small table fast play rules to test out a programmed opponent.  A few more details at this introductory post.
Game 1 to 5 here.
Games 6 to 12 here.
Game 13 to 18 here.
Games 19 to 23 here.
Game 24 to 29 here.

The other games are a bit of a dry read, just highlighting start and end with some notes on lessons learnt.  This game 30 report is different - a decent battle report and a focus on how the programmed opponent works. but is is very long with lots of detail.

You would think I would be relieved to finish but not really - it was gaming and did not take *that* much effort, and so it is more like the passing of something interesting.  There are lots of other projects to keep me going!

Game 30  Early Britain Vs Early Imperial Rome  (Day 30 - Sunday)
At last I can get out the early Imperial Rome figures I thought I was going to use back in Game 1.  I acquired this DBM army  about 3 years ago and have not managed to get around to using them.  So at least a few of them will get out of the cupboard for a little while.

Deployment

Randomisation
I will briefly go through the deployment.  I have written a ugly spreadsheet that automatically generates each side and their deployment. Just hit the button and this is was is generated.


I have noticed another error in that the Roman Auxiliary Archers should have a Combat value of 1, not 2.  Another error in the army list spreadsheet to fix.

The top is the units for each army and the overall army tactics that influences deployment.

Unit types
Aux Chariot = Medium Chariot
Aux Cavalry = Heavy Cavalry
Bat Inf = Heavy Infantry
Aux Inf = Medium/Peltast infantry
Sk anything - Skirmishers

At this scale of the game, slings act like bows and so that is why the Slingers have "bow" next to them.  The army lists don't differentiate between slings and bows, other than the name of the unit type. One day I may fix this...

The one pager also shows the army command rating (0 to 2, the default being 0). Both at r+1 meaning the general has a greater command distance, and each side is a little harder to break.

In thee army tactics case, the British have Envelop Flanks and the Romans have Centre. From the rules:

Envelop flanks
Attack with both flanks at high speed while holding the centre.

Deployment guidelines
40% in the centre
30% on each flank

Initial zone orders
Centre: Probe (optionally Wait on a die roll of 5-6)
Flanks: Attack

For armies with less than 11 units, may optionally decrease the centre to 20-30% and fill flanks equally (die roll of 1-4).

The army’s faster units, e.g. mounted, should be deployed on the flanks.

Centre
Attack with the centre units with the aim to break the enemy’s centre.  Flank units are held back to protect the forward flanks of the centre units.  Centre will advance at high speed.  Flanks advance and only engage to protect the centre.

Deployment guidelines
60% in centre including over two-thirds of non-light units and a skirmish screen (if available)
20% on each flank

Initial zone orders
Centre: Attack
Flanks: Probe

For armies with less than 11 units, may optionally not fill a flank with units (die roll of 1-2) and put all on the major flank (non-terrain side if there is one).

Setting up for battle
The defender chooses a table edge to deploy and the terrain is randomly determined based on the defender's terrain type.  The attacker moves first.

The bottom left of the random game sheet is the table split into 9 squares.  There is a stream (the == ) that has a 1 in 6 chance of appearing.


The 2'x2' table in the map drawer. British will deploy on the left, Romans on the right.

The bottom right is the deployment options with the Attacker (A) and Defender (D) deployment zone and the percentage of units in each grid square (%) as per the army tactics.  It also has the initial zone order (listed next in order of most aggressive to least) - Rush (R), Attack (A), Probe (P), Wait (W), Hold (H), Delay (D). Or  It also shows if the general in the zone is cautious (c) or rash (r).  Cautious generals are more likely to go to less risky orders, while rash generals will tend to increase to more aggressive orders. There is about a 1/12 chance per turn of a zone changing orders.  However, no cautious or rash generals were generated (about a 1 in 6 chance for each deployment zone)..

Besides the army tactics description there are some general guidelines for where to place units but at this stage it is really up to the player to place units subject to the constraints of the army tactics.

There is no process to deploy a specific unit into a specific place.  It could be done specifically on a army by army basis, using the army tactics as a guide but that is a lot of work!  I may do it sometime for some of my favourite armies (emphasis on the *may*).

British deployment
14 units equates to about 4 on each flank and 6 in the centre. With envelop flanks I will have each flank with 1 Aux Chariot (Medium chariot), 1 Skirmisher Cavalry, a warband and a skirmisher.  I will put the general attribute (who should be placed in an attacking square) on the left flank on the warband as I have a general unit I have not used for awhile. The rest go into the centre.  The fanatics will go closer to the general, just to make that half of the deployment a bit stronger.
The +1 command means they can deploy in 4 groups but their is not much reason to do so with the heavier units so the 2 unit skirmish line in the centre is the 4th group.
Note that the warband units are all 3 figures to a base (like DBM Warband(O)) but my rules recommend 4 to a base.  It does not really matter, and I have not got these 3 figures to a base warbands out in this 30 game series.


The British deployed.

Roman deployment
The Romans only have a few units compared to the British but with a centre attack they still have enough frontage to cover three squares, with only really 1 unit in each of the flanks.  So I place the Aux Cavalry on the right flank with the auxiliaries next to them, the four legionaries in the centre and the archers and Light auxiliaries on the left centre and left flank.  Again, I could deploy in 4 groups but do not.  Legionaries are drilled so can wheel and move and so do not really need the smaller groups for manoeuvre.  The centre goes in front of the Woods as it is not a great place for them to be in.


The Romans deployed

Zone orders
In this game, there are only two starting zone orders - (A) Attack and (P) Probe for each deployment square.  Again, from the rules:

Attack

Applies to all units except does not need to apply to a reserve that is not under distinct turn orders. 
  • Impetuous and non-bow shock troops must charge, otherwise advance towards the enemy. Units with general or disciplined may roll mandatory charge.
  • Non-missile armed units must charge if within 4cm into a favourable melee; otherwise advance to within 4cm of the enemy if against a favourable combat possibility; or full distance if end 4cm or further; or to 4cm if cannot get within 4cm or unfavourable combat.
  • Missile units and skirmishers attempt to advance to within range of enemy or fire if in range.  Missile units will charge if within 4cm (8cm shock missile) into favourable melees.

Probe 

  • Impetuous troops must charge but must roll for mandatory charge, otherwise advance at least ½ towards the enemy the enemy.
  • Non-bow shock act as non-missile units with Attack zone orders.
  • Other Non-missile armed units otherwise advance to within 4cm of the enemy if within 8cm else advance to  greater than 8cm from enemy if greater than 8cm from enemy..
  • Missile units and skirmishers advance to within range of enemy or fire if in range; battle infantry charge into favourable melees within 4cm.
Probe is similar to Attack except that probe is a little more cautionary.

Note there are some guidelines that may limit a unit advances such as they can advance to support other units, may stay together to advance as a line, limit advance to not overshoot main attack zone etc.

The table with the deployed armies

Playing the game
Possible change in zone orders is optional.  I am still uncertain of it value add to the game.  I am leaning to not using it anymore in my games but have been using it to playtest so will do so for this game.  While rolling each zone as groups activate would lend some uncertainty, I so each sides three zones all at once.  No change of orders (there is roughly a 1 in 12 chance per zone per turn)

Game starts with the group on the attacker's - Roman's in this case - right. The Romans will try and smash the centre while delaying the flanks.  The Romans are unlikely to win on the flanks so the best they can hope for it\s to tie the flanks up.

The British have a zone order change for the centre zone from PROBE to HOLD.  In this case, HOLD slows down the centre advance to a maximum of 1/2 speed.  Not so bad.

The flanks advance as fast as they can and split off the skirmishers to operate independently.


After the Romans and then the British turn.

Romans continue the advance but on the left flank, with an exchange of missiles, manage to make the skirmish cavalry retreat.


British skirmisher retreats behind the rise after losing the missile contest with the slingers. The grey javelins indicate disorder.

The British turn sees their right flank orders change from ATTACK to RUSH (rush is advance as fast as possible and engage in melee where possible)...so that is what they do.


The reamining British right flank charge in and force the Romans to retreat.

Chariots have the up hill advantage and both the auxiliaries retreat.  The chariot does not pursue (rolled badly here).

On the British left flank, the chariots engage the cavalry.


The British left flank melee sees only disorder on both sides

Both are disordered (they have equal combat values).

Skirmish cavalry moves to the rear.  Not sure what it can do other than fire into the rear of the legionaries.


The Roman turn and they continue to advance the centre.

Right flank Roman cavalry rills a 6 that destroys the opposing British chariot.


The Roman cavalry rout the British chariot.

They pursue in the skirmishers that fire and then retreat through the warband, cavalry continues and in the subsequent melee the warband with the general retreats (Cavalry rolled a 6).  This also requires a general check but he is OK. Cavalry pursue again but they roll a 1 and retreat and are destroyed (previously the cavalry was supported by the Auxilia but after pursuit was not and so could suffer a bad result from a 1, which they did). Warband pursues but not enough to reach the Auxilia.
Note all of the above is generated by the reactions in the rules and die rolls.


Cavalry end up in combat with the British warlord

Roman centre charges the skirmishers, who fire for no effect, and retreat.


Legionary batteline advances to be very close

Three legionary units continue to advance (the 4th was not fired on and so dies not react).  Good rolling for the Romans sees 1 warband routed, the rest disordered.  The warband will be at a disadvantage next melee as they will not get the shock bonus.


Ancient battlelines clash :-) and one warband routed. 

It is here I stop worrying about zone orders and just play the best I can as most will be driven by reaction and local situation.

The British right flanks charges in off the rise.


The British right flank charge into the Auxilia again, and rout them both

Both disordered Auxilia are routed by the charging chariot, the latter also pursues.


The British Chariot pursues the routed Romans

The centre sees one warband routed, the general pursues, the skirmisher takes a shot for no effect.


Another warband routed and the general pursues.

British general charges into the Auxilia  but both disordered and melee continuation.


The British warlord charges the Auxiliaries and both are disordered.

In the centre, combat sees off the fanatics, and the other legionary unit finally gets to move into battle and routs the warband.


The blue shields advance into combat with the last warband and routs them.
This causes the British to reach their army breakpoint and they lose.  The Romans had lost 4 points (8 required to break the Romans).

The flanks were won by the British, but they lost completely in the centre and this was enough to see them lose.

End game.  Romans won.  The remaining Romans are circled.

Lessons (for this game)
I note in general that any woods generated always ends up on a deployment edge and not in the flank middle zone.  For warband armies, they would possibly choose an edge that allows them to advance into the woods where they have a combat advantage.  I will need to change the programmed opponent deployment rules for defender selection for warband armies that will select a defensive edge that is more likely to puts woods (if existing) in the centre three zones.  I am not going to playtest how well it works for warband armies to fight with woods on the table- I will wait for some historical battles to test combat in woods.  I have previously tested warbands fighting in woods and that was fine.

Lessons (for the 30 games)
I really enjoyed the play-testing. The rules hang together very well (my opinion of course!).  I cannot see much change to them in the future.  I do need to think about play-testing them for the period after 1000AD.  I do want to write some extended designer notes and also how to convert army lists from other rules. One day I may even convert the ugly spreadsheet into a database driven form solution (don't hold your breadth - I likely have spent hundreds of hours over the last 4 years on the excel spreadsheet and I can imagine it may be one hundred hours required to learn Access/Calc to implement).

I will do a last pass through the rules, tidy them up a little and move them from draft to a final version.  Not saying there will be changes in the future, but not for a while.

Reflections
30 games in 30 days.  I think there were three days I did not play a game, and therefore three days I played two.  Although this is not strictly true, as about 25 of the games were not played in one sitting and so some carried over to the next day. Even though each game is about 30 minutes to play, most times it would be 5 or 10 mins here and there in an evening, and sometime a few minutes in the morning.  This did mean I missed taking some pictures, particularly around games 15-18 where I simply forgot to take pictures - I would deploy and then go off to make dinner or whatever.

I managed to get into a groove with the system of packing up the figures, putting them away and getting out the new ones, deploying, then playing the game and cycling back.  The stuff outside the actual playing I got down to about 30 minutes (setup and putting away, taking pictures, writing up some notes, looking up some references - especially for the Early medieval armies that are not very familiar to me).  What this means is that I found at least 30 hours in 30 days to do some wargaming.  Some stuff did slide - I have some blogs and emails to catch up on, housework and garden work suffered.  Time with my wife, Children time, socialising, my TV shows etc. did not slide at all.  So I can see where gaming fits into my priorities!  What I have learnt is I need to not procrastinate and play some of the Peter Side's ancient scenarios and other games I have wanted to play.  I should be able to manage one a week but more likely one a fortnight. so years of more gaming to come!

Revised rules timeline
Revised rules will be up within the week and the expanded army lists at the same time or maybe up to a week after.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

30 games in 30 days - games 24 to 29

Introduction
Attempting to play 30 ancient games in 30 days using my own small table fast play rules to test out a programmed opponent.  A few more details at this introductory post.
Game 1 to 5 here.
Games 6 to 12 here.
Game 13 to 18 here.
Games 19 to 23 here.

Note this may be a bit of a dry read - there are only few pictures of each game and a lot of the text is about playtesting lessons learnt.

Game 24  Spanish/Italian Goths Vs Late Goths  (Day 24 - Monday)


Later Goths Vs Spanish Goths

Near end game, both sides are one unit from breaking and the Spanish goths have the edge.  The lone Spanish foot troops charges the remaining disordered warband in the centre.  So long as he does not roll a 1, all will be fine.  Rolls a 1 and retreats onto the steep hill.  Warband pursues - warbands are slightly better in rough and so long as a 6 is not rolled, the melee will continue. Warbands rolls a 6 and and the Spanish Goths units is routed and the Spanish Goths lose.   That 1 in 36 chance.

Warband on the left that eventually routs the Spanish Goth foot on the right.


Later Goths won in a close game.

Another great game!  Full of tension.  The Later goths won their right flank but lost the left flank.  this was predictable from the deployment.  but the skirmishers in the middle managed to rout 3 of the Warbands.  Quite incredible.  Very unlikely and it requires lots of 1s, that the later Goths rolled. So rare.  The breakpoints for both armies are quite different (due the the Later Goths high army command value and larger number of poorer units.

Lessons
None but I have forgotten to mention that in reality I only roll for possible changes to zone order for about the first 3 turns.  Once the zones are in melee, zone orders don't mean much.  Zone orders are really important for the first 2-3 turns but not much after that. Possible changes to zone orders is optional anyway and I may drop it for the games I play as it is extra rolls per turn for only a little narrative benefit.  Not moving it already covered by having to roll for movement.  Strangely enough, the WRG 7th rules that the orders are derived from also have zone orders not applying after 3 turns too, and likely for similar reasons.

Game 25  Spanish/Italian Goths Vs Lombards  (Day 26 - Wednesday)


The list for the Spanish/Italian Goths may need to be split between Spanish and Italian.  I have not changed it and it really needs more research.
The rise in the centre will not be placed as the stream runs though it (I have not done the excel formulas required to remove terrain from squares with a stream).


I started the game and realised I had not taken a picture but did take one after turn 1

Spanish Goths (left) Vs Lombards after turn 1 for each side

Lombards walk over the Goths
Each side won the cavalry dominant flank.  The Lombards did their flank faster, and cleaned up the centre as well.  this left them free to move over to the other flank and rout a unit to win the game.  The Goths only managed to rout one of the Lombard cavalry units.  They (ok, me) should have redeployed some of the cavalry on their right flank earlier than I did.

Game 26  Celts Vs Early German  (Day 26 - Wednesday)

Light warbands Vs heavy warbands, With same orders.  The trick will be for the Gauls to get local superiority over the Germans to get the +1 advantage.  It will be a bit of a slogging match  I think.


Celts (left) Vs Germans (right)


The Celtic general that I have wanted to get onto the table for awhile.


end game
Germans won but it a close thing.

Game 27  Later Imperial Romans Vs Vandals  (Day 27/28 - Thursday/Friday)

Another game where I forget to take a picture at the start and so the first picture is after the first Roman turn.

Rome (left) Vs Vandals after Roman first move

End game with a Vandal victory.
Vandals won.  The Roman right flank was ineffective and just could not engage as fast as the Vandal right flank.  I tried putting the Auxilia in front on the Legionaries to disrupt the Vandal Heavy Cavalry and this worked - two Vandal cavalry were routed in the centre. 

My 8yo daughter helped me roll some dice.  So here is the picture to prove it and the mapdrawers I am playing the game in.  Three other drawers have games setup in them, and many other drawers have gaming stuff.

The map drawers, the game and the helpful 8yo daughter.

Game 28  Sea PeoplesVs New Kingdom Egyptian  (Day 28 - Friday)
Skirmisher should not be impetuous - error in the lists.


New Kingdom Egyptians (left) Vs Sea Peoples (right)

Sea Peoples won
Sea Peoples won.  The Egyptians did not use the chariots effectively.  I keep forgetting that ancient near east infantry is not the same quality as later units - the archers are 1 less combat value.  It was still a close game.  The Egyptians lost their general that caused them to lose.  It could have gone either way, although the Sea Peoples had won the centre clash.


Game 29  Early Roman Vs Gaul  (Day 29 - Saturday)


Celts (left) Vs Early republican Roman (right)

Celts won, despite losing their general.
The Gauls won, despite the Gallic general fell in the centre.  The two generals met in the centre.  A lot of the Gallic army was disordered as a result and a few routed.  The Gauls just kept rolling really well and all the two-on-one combats took their toll on the Romans and they were defeated.

Thoughts near the end
Well, another week another seven games.  I had a head cold most of this week but it did not slow me down,although at game 24 I did have a brief moment when I was ready to give it all up.  Then I got better. I am one away from achieving 30 games in 30 days.  The last game -game 30 - I will write up as a decent battle report with some highlighting on how the programmed opponent works.