Saturday, May 31, 2014

Battle of Campaldino 1289

While at Enfilade I ran two battles.  This one "The Battle of Campaldino 1289" was to full fill the Obscure Theatre and Battle theme for the weekend and to full fill one of my dreams of running the battle along with one WWI battle (which I will do a separate post for it).  I have to say that this battle has had a long fascination for me as it was the focus of my minor concentration for my masters degree in history.  I compared two written versions of the battle using one first hand account and the second written almost 50 years later.  Enough of my boring school stories.

As some of you know my group and I love using Piquet's Band of Brothers 2 for this time period.  We love the ebb and flow and the uncertainty of the battle once the game has started.  This is also the first time I've tried to run a Piquet game at a convention.  I limited the number of players to 4.  2 per side and as evenly as possible broke up the commands for each person.  In my last test battle the infantry didn't get involved until the very end and only because the Guelph knights broke through to the waiting infantry.  That entire game that night was one big cavalry fight.  

There are some adaptations that my group and I use when we play.  We use dominoes for impetus.  The two C-n-C's roll their d20's and the high side picks a domino.  They get the higher number of dots and the loser the lower number.  This tends to eliminate the big impetus swings and it keeps everyone involved in the game.  Second change, the game ends on a double domino being pulled or if  one side finishes their card deck.  If the double domino is pulled the end of turn is immediate.
My biggest concern is keeping everyone in the game and active, especially with a convention game.  I hate sitting around and not doing anything and I don't want others to feel the same way.

Now on to the AAR for the battle.  With this battle I wanted to create the historic charge by the Ghibelline front rank knights.  So the two gentlemen in charge of that faction were told that ANY move card would cause the knights to charge and melee immediately with the front rank knights of the Guelphs.  This was the only restriction for the scenario.  After that all rules pertaining to movement and melee reverted to normal. 

This is an over view shot of the battle field.  This view is from the Ghibelline side.

One of the Ghibelline battle groups on the hill waiting for orders.  This group historically left the battle field once the battle started.  Not this time.

The Guelph army awaits the Ghibelline attack.

Guelph archers in the woods.

The Ghibelline knights wait impatiently to charge.

The initial Ghibelline charge strikes home and routes most of the Guelph front line knights.  At this point I thought things were going to go very badly for the Guelphs.  The gentleman playing the Guelph C-n-C couldn't roll higher than a 3 on most of his rolls and was getting slaughtered.  I felt bad.

The Guelph archers and crossbow men open fire into the flanks of the Ghibelline knights.  Causing stand losses.  They helped slow down the Ghibelline attack.

The other side of the Guelph archers and crossbow men.

The second line of Ghibelline knights and cavalry waiting for their chance to move out.

The units up against the river were once the Guelph vanguard.  One routed unralliable and the others were eventually brought back.

The Ghibelline command recalls his front line knights so they can stop being decimated by the Guelph  archers and crossbow men.

The unit on the hill moves out and tries to out flank the Guelph army.  He gets close to doing it too.

The Guelph knights form up and charge into the Ghibelline knights causing large losses and routing many of the knights.  The Ghibelline infantry moves forward shielding the fleeing knights.  You can see in the back ground that the Guelph infantry swung to meet the Ghibelline unit on the hill.  The infantry would cause a unit of knights to rout by hitting them on the flank.

At about this time our 4 hour time limit was almost up for the gaming session.  The Ghibellines ended their quest to win and limped home.  The battle was a close one.  Both sides ended up with 4 morale chips left.  The Ghibellines started with 27 and the Guelphs had 24.  At one point the Ghibellines had 12 left while the Guelphs had 4.  In the span of a few minutes the Ghibelline army fell apart with some good dice rolling by the Guelph commanders (finally).

After the game I asked the guys playing what they thought and to gain some insight for future games.  The biggest complaint was too many charts to look at and use.  I had given each command a copy of the QRS sheets so they could follow along and eventually do the dice calculations themselves, which they started to do by the end.  Maybe next time I will just do it or only give them the important charts like Missile Fire, Melee and Morale.  I'll keep the others and do those for the players.  Over all the guys playing enjoyed themselves.  Which is what I wanted.

Friday, May 30, 2014

A lovely Ebay Purchase

Just before I left for Enfilade I came across a great buy on Ebay.  A 10mm Imperial Roman Army based for Warmaster: Ancients.

They are beautifully painted and I like the mass effect of their basing scheme as well.

Here are some pictures of my new army.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Back from Enfilade 2014!

After weeks of preparation and last minute changes to one of my games my friend Shawn and I headed out to our local convention Enfilade which is held every year in Olympia, WA over Memorial Day weekend.  We left Friday morning around 930ish and arrived a little after 12.  Other members from our group Andy, Dave and Kevin where either there already or were on their way.  Check in this year was a breeze.  Last year, the hotel was doing major renovation work over the convention weekend and played havoc on guests trying to check in.  Some didn't get a chance to check until 7pm due to construction delays.  This year no issues.
So this year I had decided to branch out a little bit more and run two games at the event.  The first was in line with the convention theme Forgotten Battles or Theaters.  I scheduled it from the 2nd session on Friday night.  I ran the Battle of Campladino, 1289.  The second game was in honor of the 100 year anniversary of World War I starting.  For that, I ran a Russian vs. German 1914 scenario using "Through the Mud and the Blood."  As a gift for running both games, the guys in charge gave everyone who ran 2 or mores games this spiffy hat. The WWI game was run during the 1st session on Saturday morning.

I will write up a full AAR for both battles with more pictures from them this week.  

This is a quick shot of the Campladino Game.

A setup shot of the WWI battle.

I had full participation in both games which was nice.  I'm always a little anxious about running a game as I'm not sure anyone will want to play it or have some sort of interest in it.
Once those two games were over I was free to play other games the rest of the weekend.  The pickings were good.

My first game on Friday afternoon was WWII battle pitting the U.S. 29th infantry vs. Germans who counter attack a section of St. Lo.  The rules were "Breakout Normandy".  I played the overall US commander and in the end we were able to stop the German attack.  I also played the 4 sherman tanks we were given and was able to blow up 2 Stugs.  I was pretty happy.  :)  The terrain was beautiful!

The second session on Saturday had me playing in a Lancastrian vs. Burgundian 28mm Armati game.  I had never played these rules before and wanted to try them.  They were pretty fast but the gentlemen running the game did all of the calculations.  We just had to push lead and roll dice. The figures for this game were incredible.  The detail was amazing.  My iPhone didn't do them justice.

The last session on Saturday, I played in 10mm Samurai game with homebrew set of rules.  The rules were only 1 page front and back.  The battle was based on a historical battle, unfortunately I don't remember the name of it.  I held one small end of a long table.  Because of that our end of the battle took became a little bit of side show to the larger forces at the other end.  At one point we were about 5 turns ahead and had to wait for them to catch up. :-)  The figures were awesome looking and I loved the mass look of them too.

The first session on Sunday and also our last session, I joined a Check Your 6 Jet Age game.  The scenario had the Argentinas attacking British troop transports which were protected by the Royal Navy and 4 British fighters.   I had a 4 Argentine jets loaded with bombs.  Before my jets even got close to the transports two of my 4 were shot down.  The other two made it, dropped their bombs and missed.  I was able to fly away after that.  

After my planes were shot down and the other two escaped, I was free to hit up the bring and buy and the dealer area.  I also took photos of this awesome looking medieval 28mm siege game.

So what's a gaming convention without buying more stuff!  I did and I think I came away with some pretty good deals.

Everything at once.

This is a paper kit and it comes with everything you need from the figures and fittings for the ship.  I can't wait to get this one built.

I've own the CY6 Jet Age rules for awhile and I want to do this period.  Now I have too.  Just need to get some planes. 

There was a dealer there who had some 15mm WWI British for sale. $4 a bag, not bad.

This was in the Bring and Buy, a 15mm DBA Western Imperial Roman Army.

Another DBA army Teutonic Knights, which dropped in price from $60 to $20 by Sunday.  That's when I snapped it up.

The Game Matrix is always at Enfilade and I bought this Low Country DBA army from them.

This was another Bring and Buy special.  Another Roman army.

I think over all this was the best purchase.  These are 10mm War of Spanish Succession figures.  I'm not sure of the count but on Friday this box started at $60 by Sunday morning I got it all of $10.

I've looking to buy Conway's book 1906-1921 for many years.  The price was always an issue.  $90 and above for a book.  In fact one of the dealers had a copy for $90.  This one was in the Bring and Buy on Saturday and I bought for $25.  Not bad at all.

This whole weekend was awesome and my gaming group and I had a great time.  It was great seeing friends that we only see once a year too.  Lots to catch up on.  I'm already starting to plan what I want to do for next year. :)