Monday, May 1, 2017

Vows of Iron: Game #2

Hello everyone!
The group got together this past Saturday and we had another run at the rules "Vows of Iron" by Allen Campbell, Vows of Iron. I introduced the rules to three new players and had four returning players from the last game.  That made it easier as the referee for this game.  Also one of the guys, Jeff, had purchased the rules and had read them before the game!!  Over all I spent a whole lot less time looking things up and spent more time taking photos and adjudicating situations than last time.  

This battle was, again, the scenario in the back of the book. French vs. the Holy Roman Empire and for the most part a pretty evenly matched game.  I did use the extra Unit Captain for both sides. 

The initial layout for the table. French forces are on the left. The Holy Roman Emperor's forces on the right.

The top three photos are the French forces. The commanders setup their own units.

The next 3 photos show the Holy Roman Empire's forces. The players were allowed to setup their forces as they saw fit.

The opening couple of turns saw the forces marching towards each other.  Once they were within 20" the Impetuous Knights had to start making rally tests to hold if they passed or to charge if they failed.  Most of the knights passed their checks throughout the game.

Getting closer in the middle too.  The Holy Roman Emperor allowed the French King to do a lot of the closing in.  

The Roman Empire's Lone Unit Captain said "the hell with it all" and charged full force into the Van of the French army.

The Rear battles fought each other to a bloody pulp all night. Once they started their melees they were locked causing fatigue hits but not enough to cause serious damage until the end.

The Main Battle between the Emperor and the King was also bloody with each side trading blows but not enough to knock each other out.

The Emperor's Unit Captain has been captured!!!  He would later be escorted back to France for ransom. 

The Rear battle seesaws back and forth. Swords swinging, men falling and the Emperor's Crossbowmen on the hill fought valiantly against the knights. Holding their own for several turns. 

The Main battle lines continue to slug it out. Fatigue points are climbing! Who will break first!

The Van side of the battle goes all in. Both sides trading blows with units routing.

The Rear side of the battle still struggling against each other. A slug fest at its finest.

The Emperor's center starts to crack. A few units have routed and some have only 1 or 2 fatigue points left.

The Van side of the battle continues to trade stand for stand.

The Rear side of the battle for the Emperor starts to falter with a unit of knights being wiped out but the Kings knights are also flanked! Things don't look good.  

The Emperor's center is crumbling. 

The final straw to break the Emperor's army when the Van loses another unit the break point drops to zero.  A glorious victory for the French King and he gets to partake in collecting the Ransom of one of the Emperor's Commanders.

The French commanders from left to right: Kevin, Andy, Andrew, as the French King, and Tom.

The disheartened Emperor's commanders from left to right: Gabe, Dave, as the Holy Roman Emperor, and Jeff.

We had an enjoyable three hour battle.  Within two or three turns everyone was pretty much running the game without me.  The 3 new guys, Gabe, Dave and Tom enjoyed the rules and want to go again. Now that I've gotten a couple of games under my belt I'm going to start planning battle with more variety of troops on the board and see how things go.

We really enjoy the rules and they play smoothly.  I recommend them.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Artillery helping hand with blue tack

 I had a little bit of an epiphany late last night while I was trying to glue the wheels onto two pieces of artillery.  I don't know if anyone else has this issue but I have found that trying to put the wheels onto a 10mm piece of artillery can be a pain in the ass at times.  The below models are from Pendraken who makes great stuff but sometimes the axel for the wheel isn't well casted and makes it a chore to get the wheel to stayed glued there.
In past I've used my Insta-Cure glue, which is a cyanoacrylate brand, and held the pieces together until it set. Which could take 10 to 15 minutes. Usually it would take several tries, as I would slip or sneeze and it would come apart. Once I tried to drill out the axel and insert a small piece of metal to adhere to but found I couldn't hold the drill steady enough to drill straight. I also lacked a press and vice to hold anything.
So last night while trying to put the below models together it clicked that I should try blue tack to hold the wheels close enough together so the glue could set.
Well it worked! I fumbled a little getting the gun carriage into place the first time but then it fell into place.  The pictures below tell the story.

If you have any other suggestions I would love to hear about them.

Friday, April 7, 2017

War of Spanish Succession: Basing decision

Well I've made my decision on how I'm going to base my War of Spanish Succession troops.  I know you have all been waiting for this moment.
First, I want to thank everyone who gave suggestions and sent me photos of how they based their figures.  All of your figures looked fantastic.  Thank you again for helping out.

So the moment we have all been waiting for, the basing size I have chosen is 60mm x 30mm for infantry and cavalry.  Artillery will get based on a 30mm x 50mm base.  The reason I chose these base sizes, ease of use and I enjoyed how they looked. I had debated about going with 30mm x 30mm bases but then I figured I would end up using sabots to create units and that seemed more trouble and expense.  

An infantry unit will have 60 figures total, 30 per base. For units that used the Platoon firing mode of battle, I will drop the third rank and only make it 2 ranks deep.  This gives it a little variety. 

Artillery will be 1 gun per base and then a different number of crew depending if its light, field or siege guns.  I like the extra depth of the base as well because it will allow me to build in a little diorama. 

Cavalry will be 12 figures to a unit.  I might drop a figure for a dragoon unit just to mix it up a bit.

Now all I have to do is paint them all. :)

Monday, April 3, 2017

War of Spanish Succession: Basing options

So I am starting my preliminary work for my next project which will be the War of Spanish Succession.  I will build the armies using 10mm figures from Old Glory and mix in Pendraken where I need too.  I have several rule sets that I am currently reading like these below:
Along with Polemos rule set "Chosen Men, well Disposed", Hoplight Research's "Ridiculous Vanity" and Piquet's "Field of Battle 2".  So far after spending the past week reading rules I have narrowed down my options to "Beneath the Lily Banners", "Twilight of the Sun King" and "GaPa".  I know and have played "Field of Battle" quite a lot and know it would work, but some members of the group are not taken with the rule set.  Hence my other options above.  
With my options in rules, they all state that any basing system will work.  Well now I need to pick a basing system.

 My top 2 picks all have some variation on using basing with a 60mm frontage with a different number of bases creating a unit.  BLB uses 60mm for 25mm figures and needs 3 bases to create a unit.  The 15mm figure size requires a 30mm frontage, still 3 bases creates a unit.
Twilight of the Sun King uses 60mm regardless of the size of the figures and 2 bases creates a unit. Also just as a side note the Polemos rules also use a 60mm frontage.
GaPa uses Paces as a unit of measurement and for the 15mm scale, 50 paces would equal 30mm.  The number of bases then depends on the number of men in a unit.  So a 600 man battalion is 150 paces or 90mm of Frontage. 
Piquet uses 15mm figures on a 40mm frontage and 4 bases equals a unit.

Now having said all of this, it comes down to what looks and seems the best.  So I have taken some photos of some of the troops on different sized bases and filled them up as to how I see the units.  Take a look:

These two photos are 60mm x 30mm and can hold 3 ranks of figures.  That to me looks like a nice size unit and gives the compact feel of the period. Too model a unit that fired by Platoon I could reduce the number of ranks to 2, just to give some visual interest. 

These bases are 40mm x 30mm and again 3 ranks deep. Still looks okay.  Again the same thing can be done for a unit that fires by Platoon.

These two photos are 40mm x 20mm. Obviously only 2 ranks can fit onto a base but the mass feel is still there.

So my question to you all is "what seems like a good choice?"  Do you have any suggestions.  Do you have any experience with the rule systems listed and have some advice on how to make it work better?

As always thanks for stopping by and reading about my adventures in gaming.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Vows of Iron: 1st play through!

Last night, five of us from our group got together to try out the new rules "Vows of Iron" by Allen Campbell.  You can find the rules at his website: Vows of Iron.  I had watched a video about these rules that was posted on Facebook in the Medieval Miniature Wargames group.  After watching it, I was intrigued and bought them.  Last night was the groups first time playing them and my first time umpiring.  The rule system allows you to use any basing system you currently have, so no re-basing is necessary. 

If you are not familiar with the rules they have a nice dice based system for melee, missile fire and disorders.   In the picture above you can see the dice used.  Each unit is rated a die based on its color. The yellow die is the lowest die and red is the highest.  A yellow die has only 1 and 2's on it while the red die has 2-6 on it.  The other colors fall in between those.  The troops are rated a color and then that die can be modified up or down depending on the situation.  The troops are grouped together into "Battles" with a leader. Each side has 3 battles: the Main, Van and Rear. There is an option to have an additional "Captain" who is attached to a unit and functions outside of the big three.  There are 8 cards for activation 2 Main, 2 Van, 2 Rear and 2 Captain cards. One side is colored Red and the other Blue.  You shuffle the cards and whatever you pull, like Red Van, that command then moves.  All missile fire and melees are simultaneous. 
The rules are geared towards the wearing down of troops and the eventual break down of the army as a whole, which is something I like and too me represents what I've read.  The armies have a Break Point Value. As units are removed from play their loss goes against that point value for the army. Once it reaches zero the game is over.

The battle we played was the scenario that come with the rule book.  The troops are all ready filled in on the sheet and it was pretty straight forward and seemed like a good place to start.  In the above photo the troops are on the table with the red side on the left and blue on the right.  

The commanders for game are as follows: for the Red team (left) Andy and Andrew. On the blue team Kevin is in the back and Jeff is closer to me.

The start of play. After spending a few minutes to go over the mechanics of the system, the commanders arranged their battles they way they wanted and we started.  The red side pulled the first card and the march forward began.

The armies drew closer together and crossbow and bow fire streaked through the sky causing hits on both sides.

The blue sides mounted crossbow unit takes a hit!

Now the fun begins. The armies have closed, the Knights begin their melees, most would turn into bloody, drawn out affairs.

Hits are starting to mount on both sides.

Andy and Kevin spent much of the game seesawing back and forth with their knights locked in combat.  Both of them had their commanders captured at one point and Andy's ended up being killed.

The two photos above show the main battles from both sides trading blows and infantry units being wiped out.

The blank wooden disks were a reminder to Andy that his troops now had to roll to activate since his commander had perished in battle.

The slug fest in the middle wears on.

The Red's right melees the blues mounted crossbow.
The dials next to the units show much fatigue is left on the unit before it either routs or is destroyed completely. 

The mounted crossbow won against one of the two units that attacked it.

The battle ended with the blue side reaching zero on its army break points and they scattered away from the heavily wounded red army.  The game moved very quickly despite it being our first time playing it and my need to look up rules.  After the first few turns the commanders were pretty much running the game with me holding the rule book and answering a few questions.  I did miss a few things but that is expected on a first play through.  The best part of the evening was when the four of them all said they enjoyed playing the rules and want to keep playing them!!! This, for me, is excellent to get such a perfect consensus on a set of rules.

I will run another game next month.