For one of our summer wargame weekends we played over two days a big samurai game using Phil’s fantastic 15mm figures.
The object of the game was to become Shogun. This was achieved by the player who controlled the entrances to the imperial Place (set in the centre of the table) and having the most money at the end of the game. Phil was umpiring, decreed there were two sides in this conflict one headed by myself and one headed by Brian as the richest clan heads. Each player was given money to bid for a clan and then once he had a clan they could bid for more clans and Monk armies. There were over 9 samurai clans to acquire and 5 monk armies to acquire. Brian and I had the job who persuading other players to join our faction and they were able to swap sides at any point! This provided many humorous episodes during the game as Brian and I tried to lure players to each of our factions. Players were also allowed to steal from each with added to the tension!
Brian and I were one of the first to get a calm (thanks to our greater wealth) and enter the table. At once we engaged in combat. I was lucky to persuade Mark to join my faction early who had secured a huge Monk army. Together on the first day we attached Brian’s samurai army. Brian was unable to persuade many other players to join him apart from Dave to help him out. Noel in particular did a great job of collecting bribes and stayed firmly on the fence. He did not lift a Katana in anger for the whole weekend! At the end of day one Brian was in not a position to continue the fight (not surprising as we fighting two of the biggest armies single-handedly) and Phil allowed him to join me and he made a new player head of the opposite Faction head – Piotr.
On day two Piotr tried to split my samurai army from my allies and nearly succeeded but was beaten by the combined armies of own, Mark’s monk’s army and Brian’s samurai clan. The other players had declared their allegiances to me at the end of Day 1 and despite Piotr’s valiant attempts with offers of lots of money he was not able to persuade any other players to join him. The fact that the other player’s armies were shadowed by my forces did not help him at all. On the last turn Piotr, knowing he was going to lose gave all his money to one of my allies Jonathan which made him Shogun! A good game which brought out our paranoia and our distrustful personalities to the full.
We have not played Ancients for a long time and we decided for our next game at the War Room we were going to play a big Ancient game. This was not going to be historical correct but hopefully a bit of fun!
The Carthaginians had deployed lightly in the centre and placed some of their best troops on the flanks hoping to do another Cannae on the Romans. The Spartan were deployed in a long line of hoplites with their cavalry deployed to their right. Opposing them the Seleucids put their cataphract cavalry on their right flank their pikes in one big line in the centre with their elephants and other cavalry on their left flank. Both the Theban and Alexandrian Greeks deployed traditionally with infantry in the centre and cavalry on their flanks. The Parthians had trouble deploying their heavy cavalry due to the terrain they were deployed on. Facing them were hordes of Gallic Warband with cavalry on their flanks.
Movement was done with PIPs and the number of PIPs were decided by a D6 average with modifiers per army. The Carthaginians and their allies having a better led army generally had more PIPS. To counter this the Romans and their allies generally had much larger groups of troops to aid movement but caused problems later when breaking up their commands.
Looking at the Carthaginian deployment I begged for assistance to help with deal with the powerful Carthaginian flanks from my neighbours The Seleucids to my right and the Alexandrian Greeks to my left. Both players thankfully obliged the Seleucid player sending their elephants to deal with the powerful Carthaginian Horse on my right and to my left the The Alexandrian Greeks sent a powerful horse command to take out the Carthaginians on my left flank to allow my legionaries to get to grips with the centre.
On the far Roman left the Gallic army advanced with their cavalry to tackle the Parthian army before they could effectively deploy their cataphract cavalry. In the Centre the Romans advanced with a skirmish screen in front to protect the legionaries which faced opposing skirmishers and a block of elephants. The Seleucid army unleashed their scythed chariots and cataphract cavalry against the lines of Spartan Hoplites. The Alexandrian Greeks moved forward to engage with the Thebans.
The flank support given to the Roman army was very effective in destroying the Carthaginian cavalry flanks that threatened the Romans. The Roman skirmishers were battered by their opponent skirmishers and light Cavalry but did come to grips with the Carthaginians elephants tearing a hole in their line. The Seleucid sent forward scythed chariots ahead of their heavy cavalry but these were destroyed by missile troops who caused significant casualties on the heavy cavalry before they came into contact with Hoplites. These casualties were decisive in rebuffing their charge. Their Pike line was still a long way off engaging the Spartan Hoplites
The Alexandrian Greeks advanced forward and were also taking casualties too from Skirmish infantry from the Thebans. On the Roman far eft the Gallic army was making progress against the Parthians but neither side could deploy their forces effectively to get a decisive result. Unfortunately, time ended before we could get a full result but the umpire felt the Carthaginians and their allies got the better of the day! A great day of gaming though!
The third battle of Kharkov was the last major German victory on the Eastern Front, fought in February and March 1943. In order to reflect the epic sweep of the campaign, I used 2mm figures and my home-made Kampfgruppe rules for fastplay World War Two battles, during this club night encounter held on Friday 8 July.
Noel had decided to have a fun game on our Friday night session. Each player was given a squadron of tanks and once they were destroyed they were given another squadron. Each squadron was random depending upon your dice role. The period was early desert in WW2 and the rules used were a modified version of Crossfire. Entry point on the battles was also randomly determined. Needless to say as our tanks were replaceable a fierce tank battle ensured. Victory finally going to the Allies who were able to maximise the use of their their Matilda ~Mark I the battleships of the desert.
After the Friday night warm up Game we played a large Seven Year War game in the War Room. The objective was for the British side to attack and defeat the French Centre and one of their Wings. The French held a extensive ridge which was cut by a valley and its right flank partly protected by a river. The British elected to put the vast majority of their cavalry on their right wing and put their best infantry in the centre.
We were using Noel's home made rules which encouraged players to adopt larger linear formations as was historically accurate. The amount of formations that a player could move was down to the number they achieved on a Average D6. The British flank and Centre moved slowly forward whilst their left was held back containing their worst quality troops. The British right flank was up against a mixed force of French infantry and cavalry was unable to move quickly forward due to the large number of formations it contained. The British centre advanced towards the French centre which was strengthened by a village that was well defended by infantry and artillery.
The British centre finally engaged in a fire fight with its opponents after capturing some artillery which caused casualties as it had advanced. The French centre was being worn down and pressured the French to draw forces from elsewhere to bolster the line. However the British right flank were not making the progress they would like. Unfortunately the day ended before any part of the French forces could be broken. A French victory!