On Saturday 11.9.21 The Little ships which helped evacuate the British Army from Dunkirk passed through Staines with Veterans and Naval personnel on board , myself and Ann watched them go by while sitting outside the Thames side Brewery(close to Staines Bridge) drinking Cider whilst a young singer called Matt Kent standing on top of a Moored Barge Onionmusic sang the White Cliffs of Dover as each batch of boats went by. We think he was an American singer he was using his phone for the Lyrics , non the less he did a good performance.
Yesterday's club game was an attempt at an alternative to the usual ACW set-piece head-on clash of arms.
The scenario was set in the early ACW as Secessionists and Abolitionists fought it out to take the State Arsenal in the border state of Missouri, which historically saw some of the fiercest guerrilla warfare and civil strife during the war.
I brought down my 1:72 scale plastic ACW figures, and used my Beards n' Bayonets rules to umpire a clash between Philip, Noel, Rob, and Mal on the secessionist side, and Doug, Theo and Patrick on the abolitionist side. The two armies were each split into two groups, approaching from all four sides of the table.
Each side had a number of regular units, as well as irregulars (secessionist Bushwackers or abolitionist Jayhawkers) hidden in the many small woods on the table. In each side's phase of a turn, one marker could be revealed anywhere on the table, which could either be a friendly or hostile partisan unit.
In what was a lively game, the abolitionist forces failed to make sufficient headway and the secessionists won a decisive victory on the night, managing to capture the Arsenal as well as the other two built up areas.
The armies used were about half of my 1:72 ACW collection, which was put together from second-hand figures largely already painted.
In preparation for my planned game over a weekend we had a training / trail session using the full board layout. I was pleased with the visual look of the game and most players enjoyed some of my vignettes of Germans in checkpoints, patrolling or drinking! Some pictures of the initial set up are included of the German set up and the initial allied invasion waves.
Some lessons learnt from the game - making sure my own rules are followed in terms of spotting, moving and sticking to unit orders. Some additional admin is required to assist the players in a smoother running game. For the Brits roster sheets and cut down data tables, orders of battle and layout of troops that will come onto the table to be split by beach designation (Queen Red or Queen White). In addition some tweaks to the home made rules on naval gun fire which was far too effective. Some home work to check on ammunition carried and loading times for the Churchill AVRE's.
I believe the day was enjoyed by all and some pictures of the end of the game with the landing of Wave 5. The weekend game will have 15 waves if we get that far.....
We recently played an AWI game using British Grenadier rules to see how they worked and whether they could be used for a much bigger game being planned for later in the year. We had a good evening but with a slightly different result than the historical one!
Last night saw the first trial club game of my Napoleonic card wargame, Age of Bonaparte, which I designed and wrote during the first 2020 lockdown. The scenario was the first day of the Battle of Leipzig (1813).
Using cards I had produced on MS Word and a grid with '2d' terrain was my answer to the 'portable wargame' concept, as well as being easier and cheaper to make than painted miniatures. Cards also allow the concealment of troops, adding more drama to the game.
Despite some holes in the rules (what are flank lines, again?), we managed to play several turns on a 10x6 foot grided mat from Deep Cut Studios, with minimal teething problems, and generally had an enjoyable evening's play.
In future I may tweak the rules, and have already produced alternative sample cards for World War Two and the Samurai period. The cards have been designed to eschew data and numerical values to allow any set of rules to be used with them, as well as a grid or no grid.
On the night, the French managed to hold Leipzig, but the Allies inflicted 16 more casualties, so they narrowly won the game.
Thanks to all for coming, and we hope to see James and Theo again sometime soon.