Saturday, January 13, 2018

Battle of Middle Potsdorf

A Tundra Con tradition has become an invitational BAR game (Batailles de l'Ancien Regimes) on the Sunday after.  This year we played on an 18x5' main table with two back tables in play, each 18x2.5' in length.

Primarily featuring our Imagi-nation forces with a stiffening of French line, guards and heavy cavalry.  Around 1900 28mm infantry and 300 cavalry figures total with appropriate artillery.

All troops deployed on the back table, which was fully in play.
Representing Litharus and Rondovia.

The Franco-Latverian-Prockland-Odessenau side of things.

Thundering first move on one end...

And first move on the other.
The ridge dividing the table was considered impassable terrain except for the gap and road.  It also blocked line of sight to prevent any firing from one zone to another issues.

No one wasted any time coming to grips.  Match-ups are all
important, here we see Cossacks fighting dragoons.

At the other end the infantry tried to be prepared for any reverses.

Back and forth with superior numbers beginning to tell.

Twelve Litharusian squadrons against six, later eight squadrons.

The cavalry recover on the other end and withdraw to catch their
breathe and let the infantry duke it out.

la Gardes Francaise.

Prince Soubise (seated) has reason to look relaxed and confident.

Fresh troops are fed in.  Nothing like the look of a "big battalion."

Gaining a real advantage here, but French cavalry is on the move.

Some units are getting rather small.

Re-ordering behind the ridge, ready to renew the fight.  Things
are looking good here.

The Grassins move up to support the Guards.

Litharus marches to the aid of the Rondovian command.

High water point on the Rondovian side of the table.

Time and again the Rondovian cavalry are tested by the French heavies.

The victorious cavalry rally back to re-order and continue.
 Alas, once again Prince Soubise is victorious as the larger French units are able to roll over the Rondovians and Litharus brigade despite them getting a lot of first firing cards.  I'm beginning to believe I'm cursed by cards.  In my previous game all nine firing cards had gone against me.  In this game ten of eleven were for the other side.

The French Maison du Roi pursue the fleeing Rondovians.

A delegation from Middle Potsdorf awaits the victors with
open... "arms."

BAR is card-driven so one side moves or fires on black cards,
the other on red.  We used two decks, one for each side of the ridge.

The participants.  Left to right seated: Andrew, Khymanta, Bob,
Brent, Todd C., Bill (Marechal Soubise).  Standing: me (General
Ouromov), Todd P., Paul, Chuck, John and Dan.

So for the second year in a row Soubise has bested Ouromov.  But no matter for a good time was had and a close-fought engagement.  We started flipping cards at 10:30AM and had a clear result by 4:30PM with a lunch break added in.  I was on my way home shortly after 5:00.  Next year Soubise!  I'll have something tricky up my sleeve.  

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Tundra Con IV

January 6th saw the 4th installment of Tundra Con at the American Legion Post in Appleton, WI.  We had a wide range of games and a few vendors.  Food and drink available on site too, so at just $10 for a day of gaming it seems a bargain and attracts around 50 players each year.  We have been lucky that in four years there has been bitter cold, but no severe storms.  Check out Tundra Con V on January 5th, 2019.

"Siege of the Lich King" on an adjustable table (for sale).
Bruce Laue GM

Setting up Memoir '44.  Todd Chirhart GM.

Battle of Culloden using Final Argument of Kings.  Todd
Prochniak GM.

54mm Greeks and Trojans for sale by Ken Ciak.

Russo-Japanese War in 1/600 using Naval Thunder.  Dan
Wideman GM.

Pikemans' Lament set-up, "They Are Coming For Us" scenario
set in the colonies around the turn of the 17/18th century.
Mike Husky GM.

Something has gone wrong for Kyle apparently, Star Fleet Battles.
Eric Drumm GM.

Table detail and dice tower.

A 4x6' table that can be custom built.  Multi use item.

The undead hordes are shambling forward.

The invasion is on.

The "Lost Battalion" is lost, using 1916 as rules.  Paul Alaniz GM.

Lots of Bolt Action action.  Teddy Alecos and Kyle Bey GMs.

Check Your 6 being prepared over the Eastern Front.  Chuck
Seegert GM.

My own game, a pirate "Raid on Marquay". 

Pirates rowing ashore in the gloom.

The Free Men of Color company rushes to rescue the brig Electra.

We also had Hail Caesar (Paul Alaniz), Wings of Glory (Bob Rondou), modern micro-armor (Dan Wideman) and probably others I'm forgetting.  Some games ran multiple times.  In my own game the pirates cut out the Electra (4 guns) and a small craft but failed to take the shore battery or town, in part because of a warband of natives that showed up to investigate all the noise.  But the creepy Governor escaped with his entourage and most of his ill-gotten fortune, all while mentally wording his report to the King of Spain about how the pirates took everything and taxes would need to be doubled.

See you in 2019!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

1st Game of 2018

To usher in 2018 we went to our stand-by rules and period, Empire.  The game was set during the 1809 campaign and featured the Austrian 1st, 2nd and 4th Corps with a cavalry reserve against Oudinot's II, Eugene's Italians and the Reserve Cavalry corps.  Unknown to us at the start the Garde Imperiale and the "Corsican Ogre" lurked off table.

We had an impassable river on the Austrian left and a fordable river on the right.  A bridge crossed the river but once over would not be able to come to grips with the enemy.  Low, rolling hills and open woods dotted the table and all built up areas were heavy cover.

As has become my practice, the post is picture heavy and light on text.  Click to enlarge images.

Looking from the Austrian center towards the right where the
French heavies await.

1st Corps is tasked with holding off Oudinot's flanking attack
on the Austrian left, thankfully on a narrow front.

Graf Bellegarde's view of the approaching French.  Note the
cannon mass on both sides.
For those not familiar with Empire or contemptuous of the rules, grand tactical movement takes care of the laborious moving forward of 4-10" at a time and gets us to the fun part, the tactical combat.  You then go to a "move-counter more" situation.

Under the direction of the Archduke Charles, dragoons trot out
to meet the Italians.

The ominous mass of French infantry and guns approach on the left.

Having become "engaged" at 12" the opposing heavies start to
draw sabres and sound trumpet calls.

Gallantly the Italians try to come to grips in the center.

The French view of their left.  Who are those guys in the fancy
The pattern on the French left/Austrian right became one of the French hammering the Austrian horse but largely failing to break them.  It was a fine day for the Austrian cavalry.

Charles next approached the Blankenstein Hussars and Schwartzenburg
Uhlans to direct them into the flank of the Italians, with huge success.

French view of their extreme left.

The dragoons, though weakened join in the attack on the Italians
as the Austrian cuirassiers move up.
This was a day decided by cavalry charges and artillery.  Although the infantry was engaged they played a secondary role for a change.

French artillery at the top of the pictures are bombarding the
Austrians guns into rubble, but the foreground is holding.

Give and take in the center.

The rampaging lights are tearing up the Italians in the flank.

Two divisions are essentially cleaned up.

Oudinot needs to break through but a frontal attack would be
suicidal.  This flank will take time.

One shaken Italian division bravely fights on.

Slow progress on the Austrian left.  The lights are being pushed
out of the woods top left that has delayed the French advance.

The Young Guard and Guard cavalry put in an appearance and
the cries of "Vive l'Empereur" can be heard.

Meanwhile the right holds and for the moment has the advantage.

The "Big Boots" (Grenadiers a' Cheval) engage the Austrian

The Italian Empress Dragoons win some and even when they
don't, refuse to break.

The French are ready to push hard after the softening-up, but is it
too late?

Prince Eugene surveys the wreckage of his command.
The Grenadiers a' Cheval were overwhelmed by superior numbers, hitting them while blown from previous combat.  The Young Guard are not yet engaged so will keep any pursuit from getting too vigorous, but pursuit it will be as Napoleon decides to disengage.  Throughout the engagement the Austrians got the first initiative by Archduke Charles leading from the front as he historically did and other leadership bonuses.  The game, and yummy food, was enjoyed New Years Day and briefly on the following day.  Hosted by Dan Wideman.