Thursday, August 30, 2012

When is terrain too much terrain?

I love a wargaming table that is well designed and surrounds you in the period of the game you are playing.  One persons table top that I admire is Bruce Weigle of 1870 fame.  His terrain boards are fantastic to look at and I would love some day to actually play a game on them.

You can see more of these terrain boards here: Bruce's Nice Terrain

When I saw this site I sent the url to my gaming buddies.  One of them came back with the question of how functional the boards are while actually gaming on them.  This started a little debate with him.  He claimed that, for example that the forest areas were to dense and unusable.  My counter to this was that maybe the woods are unusable and that it would depend on the army that you are gaming with that would dictate how you would use the woods.
We left it that we would agree to disagree but now I'm curious what others think about this.  So at what point is there too much terrain on the table?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Follow the Leader. 20 Questions

Okay, I know a bunch of people are doing this because of The Angry Lurker and why would I be any different and not do it too.  So here are my 20 Questions answered.

1. Favorite Wargaming Period and why?
This is tough because I have several that I really enjoy that I could list but in the spirit of the question I will pick The American Revolution.  I find watching the growth of the rebels into an army from a group of disorganized rabble a fascinating journey.  Each year the battles provide so much color, excellence and heartache that I can't turn away.

2. Next period, money no object?
WWI Turkish army vs. British and Russians.

3. Favorite 5 Films?
In no particular order:
1. The Princess Bride
2. Any Abbot and Costello Movie
3. Any Marx Brothers Movie
4. Casablanca
5. Once Upon a Time in the West

4. Favorite 5 TV shows?
1. Columbo
2. Big Bang Theory
4. Frasier
5. Cheers

5. Favorite book and author?
This one is very tough because I enjoy reading so many different styles of books.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service by Ian Flemming

6. Greatest General? Can't count yourself.
George Washington.  Refer back to my first answer.  This man had so much going against him and even though his win/loss record wasn't very good, he did a hell of job holding it all together.

7. Favorite Wargames rules?
Piquet and it's supplements Band of Brothers, Cartouche and Barrage!.

8, Favorite Sports Team?
New York Yankees

9. If you had a only use once, time machine, when and where would you go?
Saratoga 1777

10. Last meal on Death Row?
My grandma Josephine's Christmas dinner.

11. Fantasy relationship and why?
Sandra Bullock. Do you really need to ask why?

12. If your life were a movie, who would play you?
John Cleese

13. Favorite comic superhero?
The Hulk

14. Favorite Military Quote?

15. Historical Destination to visit?
All of Italy!

16. Biggest Wargaming regret?
Selling my first AWI army.

17. Favorite Fantasy job?
A director of a movie with my favorite actors.

18. Favorite Song, Top 5?
1. Any thing by the Beatles
2. White Room by Cream
3. Run to the Hills by Iron Maiden
4. Highway Star by Deep Purple
5. Standing on a Corner by Dean Martin

19. Favorite Wargaming Moment?
Playing in a 1960s era scenario with the British vs Iraq. For the most part it was a naval battle and I had three british tanks positioned on a spit of land overlooking a strait.  I decided to shot my tank at a on coming PT style boat the Iraqi player had.  With one shot I destroyed the PT boat with a direct hit from my tank.

20. The miserable Git question, what upsets you?
Dishonesty, liars and general trouble makers.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Battle of Sale, 1859

Our third battle from our campaign happened this past Saturday.  The forces were pretty even strength wise for this one, unlike the first two battles where the Italians had been out numbered.  Let me introduce the generals for this campaign.
The Austrian Commander Benedek aka James plotting his opening moves.
 The Italian Commander Mollard, a manic depressive who drove his subordinate commander nuts, aka Garland.
The Italian Sub-Command Danti, wondering how he got roped into this battle, aka Shawn.
The two combatants blundered into each other in this little town of Sale.  The Italians placed the bulk of their army on the Austrian left.  Wishing to force the flank, while leaving the center and right lightly held.  The Austrian Commander must not have seen the concentration to his left and put the bulk of his forces in the center and on his right flank.

The opening went to the Italians and the General sent his cavalry out to find the edge of the massed Austrians in the center.

The Austrians start to react to the on coming Italians.
 On the Austrian right, the Jagers push towards the Italians.
 The Italian line waits patiently for the Austrians to reach rifle range.
The Italian cannons ready to fire on the Jagers.  First blood would be spilled on the Austrian right.
 The battle shifted from the Austrian right to the Austrian left as the Italians pushed on towards the Austrian center.  The Bersagileri lead the way, taking shots at the Austrians forming up in front of them.
 Another view of the Italians as the march towards the Austrians.
The Austrian center shifts to the left and angles itself to receive the on coming Italians.
 Another view of the Austrian line facing the Bersaglieri.
 The Austrian Center. A good view of their left flank being protecting by the line of Austrians.
In a bold move the Austrian Commander pushes his flank line out to meet the Italians.  The Italians answer with opportunity fire.
 The Austrian center with the bulk of the cavalry sitting, waiting for orders.  For most of the battle the flanks witnessed the most action.
Again the battle shifted to the Austrian right as the Italians and Austrians closed.  Both sides suffered major causalities during this engagement.  Both sides lost a total of a unit and a half before any close combat.
 Again the battle shifted to the left, with the Italians getting bloodied.

The impending close combat would turn into a prolonged melee that ate up impetus and morale chips.
 The engagement on the Austrian left sucked in more and more troops and resources as it dragged on.

Each side exchanged lots of fire, causing hits but never enough to kill of stands.
 As the blood bath on the left continued the right side saw both sides waver a little and then the Austrians blinked.  A full unit was destroyed and being out of morale chips the Austrian commander started to pull back his troops and save them for the rest of the campaign.
 The Italian artillery gets off a few last shots.
The Austrian Jagers down a full unit pull back.
 Overhead view looking from the Austrian Left.
 Again the left side heats up with the Italians taken more losses and soon they run out of morale chips.  But a well place shot by the Bersaglieri causes another stand loss to the Austrians and the Italians gain a morale chip.
The battle drew to a close with both sides bloody but the Italians pulling out a Marginal Victory.  After a series of losses for the Italians, this victory put some life back into their Commanding General.  We will have to see if he can carry that over to the next one.

This battle saw some of the longest phases we've experienced in playing Piquet.  Also of note the bulk of the initiative went to the Austrians in the game and they still ended up losing.  That's why we like Piquet. It's unpredictable and nail biting at times but the results never seem unrealistic.