Archive for September 2016

Painting update   Leave a comment

After a long hiatus I have actually painted and based my lord of the rings casualty markers plus my Saxon baggage – weapons and shields plus sacks of flour

Have also under coated my jomsvikings .

Photos to follow .

 

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Posted September 25, 2016 by wargamesdiary in Uncategorized

Saturday 24th September: To the Strongest; Brunanburh   1 comment

 

Saxons

Mike and Phil refighting Brunanburh using To the Strongest Rules.  On a field enhazelled near the settlement of Brunanburh two sides shall meet to determine the fate of Britain.  Aethelstan’s forces from Wessex and Mercia against those of the Alliance of Hiberno-Scandinavians (from Dublin), Scots and Strathclyde British from Cumbria led by Olaf (Anlaf).

About 150 points each side with a field bordered by woods, and a marshy stream.

viking-king-olaf-guthfrithsson

Scenario Rules:

1 Only Olaf and Aethelstan can command forces from other divisions.

2 Units charging into melee get a plus one to command (making it easier) to do so.

3 The first army to destroy four enemy formed units may take the “golden hoard” token.  This may be used as a  free additional general replacement activation card once per turn for any unit in the army that is in command range of its general (including Olaf and Athelstan).  However each unit may only have one replacement card played on it per turn.

The battle

 

 

Phil played the Alliance and Mike the Saxons.  The forces began by advancing towards each other though the Hiberno-Scandinavians (H-N) on the right flank proved extremely reluctant to follow Olaf and his Axemen.  On the left flank the Strathclyde British light horse took refuge in the enclosed field proving an irritation to the Saxons.  Fearing a charge at the rear of the Viking mercenaries the reserve Saxon cavalry were dispatched to eventually winkle them out.

As the skirmish lines closed the casualties fell heaviest on the Alliance whose skirmishers occasionally failed to evade as the shieldwalls clashed too.  Olaf and his axemen were caught exposed thanks to the reluctant Ostmen H-N shieldwalls and fell into disorder.  He had to retreat them back to his line and rally whilst the Saxons under Edmund reordered their own lines and then advanced again.

To the left flank the British cavalry failed to dislodge the Vikings even with a charge to the flank and were eventually threatened by the reserve horse.  The Alliance used about 18 ammo chits throughout the battle but inflicted very few if any casualties.  The Saxon shieldwalls held strong.  The battles were furious aided by the scenario rule of a plus one to activate a melee.  However with both sides fielding lots of deep units it proved difficult to achieve a decisive breakthrough.  The Scots seemed to be making headway against Aethelstan’s forces but because of his detached status and free command moves every time they infliced 2 disorder on the deep units he soon had them rallied again.

Eventually even the Scots could not hold back the indestructable deep shieldwalls and their cavalry and javelnmen/ archers proved inneffective.  Even the Irish blackshields on the right flank failed to take the opportunity of a flank charge when Olaf really needed support.  Note the two Aces next to Olaf’s doomed Axmen.  With the route to the camp cleared once the Ostmen were destroyed the Alliance realised the day was lost and Victory was awarded to the Saxons.  Well played Mike.

The Leaders

Thoughts:
we might do this as a display game hence the large sized leader name cards pictured.  Would be better double sided.  The Saxons should not really have detached leaders.  Far too powerful in this period with Deep shieldwalls and heroes.  What to do about the cavalry?  Just seemed to be too much cavalry for a clash of shieldwalls battle.  Probably should make the saxons raw or small units and allow the Saxons to deploy with their flanks better protected by the woods.  Head on there seems little the British cavalry can do to a formed shieldwall as it should be.  Also the Saxons had too many veterans compared to standard Fyrd which unbalanced the forces further.  This was done in an attempt to balance the forces but backfired. Mike is painting up some Irish warriors for Olaf’s H-N force which will be better and then more Fyrd can be allocated to the Saxon side as originally planned.   One we will definitely do again and the To the Strongest rules worked well, as always with lots of tense moments and fascinating moments. Such as when Athelstan took a light wound from a Scottish Spear thrust and survived to keep on fighting and rallying his Shieldwalls.

The Original Poem translated into English:

King Athelstan, the lord of warriors,
Patron of heroes, and his brother too,
Prince Edmund, won themselves eternal glory
In battle with the edges of their swords
Round Brunanburh; they broke the wall of shields,
The sons of Edward with their well-forged swords
Slashed at the linden-shields; such was their nature
From boyhood that in battle they had often
Fought for their land, its treasures and its homes,
Against all enemies. Their foes fell dead,
The Scottish soldiers and their pirate host
Were doomed to perish; and with blood of men
The field was darkened from the time the sun
Rose at the break of day, the glorious star,
God the eternal Lord’s bright candle passed
Across the land, until this noble creature
Sank to its resting-place. There many men
Lay slain by spears, and northern warriors
Shot down despite their shields, and Scotsmen too,
Weary, with battle sated. The West Saxons
Throughout the whole long passing of the day
Pressed on in troops behind the hostile people,
Hewed fiercely from the rear the fleeing host
With well-ground swords. The Mercians refused
Hard battle-play to none among the fighters
Who came with Anlaf over rolling seas,
Bringing invasion to this land by ship,
Destined to die in battle. Five young kings
Lay dead upon the battlefield, by swords
Sent to their final sleep; and likewise seven
Of Anlaf’s earls, and countless of his host,
Both Scots and seamen. There the Norsemen’s chief
Was put to flight, and driven by dire need
With a small retinue to seek his ship.
The ship pressed out to sea, the king departed
Onto the yellow flood and saved his life.
Likewise the wise old Constantinus came,
The veteran, to his northern native land
By flight; he had no reason to exult
In that encounter; for he lost there friends
And was deprived of kinsmen in the strife
Upon that battlefield, and left his son
Destroyed by wounds on that grim place of slaughter,
The young man in the fight. The grey-haired man
Had little cause to boast about that battle,
The sly old soldier, any more than Anlaf;
They could not with their remnant laugh and claim
That they were better in warlike deeds
When banners met upon the battlefield,
Spears clashed and heroes greeted one another,
Weapons contended, when they played at war
With Edward’s sons upon the place of carnage.
The Norsemen left them in their well-nailed ships,
The sad survivors of the darts, on Dingesmere
Over the deep sea back they went to Dublin
To Ireland they returned with shameful hearts.
The brothers also both went home together,
The king and prince returned to their own country,
The land of Wessex, triumphing in war.
They left behind corpses for the dark
Black-coated raven, horny beaked to enjoy,
And for the eagle, white-backed and dun-coated,
The greedy war-hawk, and that grey wild beast
The forest wolf. Nor has there on this island
Been ever yet a greater number slain,
Killed by the edges of the sword before
this time,as books make known to us, and old
And learned scholars, after hither came
The Angles and the Saxons from the east
Over the broad sea sought the land of Britain,
Proud warmakers. Victorious warriors,
Conquered the Welsh, and so obtained this land.

Posted September 24, 2016 by wargamesdiary in Miniatures

ENGLAND IS BORN ON THE BLOODY FIELD AT BRUNANBURH   Leave a comment

I have set this up for To the Strongest hoping to refight it soon in 28mm!

The Deadliest Blogger: Military History Page

Bruneburg

The Battle of Brunanburh is largely unknown to all but the most die-hard buffs of Anglo-Saxon or Viking history. But it is a battle that deserves to be remembered. For it was the largest and bloodiest battle fought in Anglo-Saxon England prior to Hastings (and likely surpassing that later battle in the numbers of combatants involved). It left its victor, King Athelstan of Wessex, the first Anglo-Saxon king to be called “King of England”.

Athelstan was the son and heir of Edward the Elder, and grandson of Alfred the Great. Upon his father’s death in 924, Athelstan was acclaimed first King of Mercia (central England); and then King of Wessex (the dominant Saxon kingdom, encompassing all the area south of the Thames) the following year. Continuing the ambitious, anti-Danish policies of his father and grandfather, in 927 Athelstan conquered York; which had been in Danish hands for 60 years, since…

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Posted September 22, 2016 by wargamesdiary in Uncategorized

Saturday 17th September: Fortune and Glory plus X-COM   Leave a comment

Michael, Mike, Phil and Alex went to Bruce’s to play F and G followed by X COM-two co-operative games.

Fortune and Glory

The Nazi’s had a good start and were rapidly moving up the VP chart.  Michael’s Lord and Alex’s driver started an adventure in W Europe and were soon joined by Phil’s Scientist to complete the quest.  Lord Dudley then went shopping in Paris.  Meanwhile Mike got beaten up in a bar in S Africa whilst the Nazi’s escaped with Thor’s hammer.  Bruce crashed into a mountain just outside LA.

Next Bruce and Mike tried to complete the quest outside LA but were pipped at the post by the same female villain evil Nazi after being chased by a Jeti.  Phil and Alex travelled to America too and spent a long long time negotiating a temple complex until the Zeppelin brought even more evil Nazi’s to once again thwart them and steal the artefact from under the noses whilst they were distracted by the Crimson Guard (who knocked Alex’s driver out whilst Phil escaped only to fall off a cliff).  Meanwhile Lord Dudley grabbed the Blue shield from the British Isles and sold it at auction in Moscow to great success.  Then Bruce and Mike’s stange author got delayed and badly chewed by sharks in Eastern Europe.

Nothing seemed to stop the Nazi’s who began occupying Venice and dropping solders off all over the World whilst the players struggled to make progress except Lord Dudley of course.  Finally the Nazi’s won. Well done Game.

X-COM

We played X com next.  The tutorial was challenge enough for us.  Mike’s good money management supported Bruce’s excellent squad leader tactics.  This allowed the team to survive with just South America in Panic as they took on the final challenge.  Boosted by Alex’s clever tech the final four soldiers alive took on and defeated the Final Mission assisted by Phil’s satellite support tech again from Alex.

 

Posted September 18, 2016 by wargamesdiary in Uncategorized

Saturday 10th September: Quartermaster General   Leave a comment

A new player called Michael joined us for two good games of Quartermaster General.

First game:  Phil Russia, Mike USA and Bruce UK, played Darryl Japan, Alex Germany and Michael Italy.   The two western powers concentrated on Japan leaving Russia to fend for itself.  Russia seemed to be doing so well he also helped against Japan and then fell foul of Alex’s blitzkrieg into Moscow!  The VP’s kept piling on for the Axis and even with Russia soon back in the game it was too much too late from the Allies.  Axis victory at turn 20, well played.

 

Second game:  Alex Russia, Phil USA, Darrl UK, played Michael Japan, Bruce Germany and Mike Italy.  This time USA started out strong in Schezuan holding up Japan a little while.  Russia held off the Axis Eastern front whilst UK and USA fenced on the Western Front which was then heavily fortified.  Eventually the UK got into North Africa thanks to lots of lend lease from the USA.  This depleted the USA a fair bit allowing Japan eventually to conquer the seas and create a nice VP empire but US and UK held onto the mainland VPs for most of the game.   Eventually USA got into the Mediterranean and invaded Italy; though with a depleted draw pile (lots of lend lease, use of radar and economic warfare took its toll).  The VP’s proved to be moving too fast for the Axis once Italy fell and the game ended a little early with an Allied Victory at this point.  Well played Allies.

Posted September 11, 2016 by wargamesdiary in Boardgames

July and August 2016   Leave a comment

A quick belated catch up.  Over the last few weeks have played the games listed below.  Mike, Darryl, Bruce and Alex joining in as much as possible.

 

Fortune and Glory: The Cliffhanger Game

Bruce’s new game in which we   beat the evil Nazi’s in a co-operative game.   Great game.

Mansions of Madness: Second Edition

We sort of made it onto the boat but Phil and Alex got left behind (sadly).

Star Wars: Imperial Assault

The Empire struck back and it hurt badly.  Probably should have left Skywalker behind in retrospect.  Darryl was happy though!

Mansions of Madness: Second Edition

We made it just about but were too slow to stop the ceremony (of course).

Ticket to Ride

Bruce showed us how to play this classic game: winning easily in the end by holding the best tickets.

Love Letter: The Hobbit – The Battle of the Five Armies

Always fun.

The Hobbit

The Smaug/s mountain one.  Phil won this one by being the greediest dwarf!

Star Wars Rebellion:  Darryl introduced us to the new game with 2 unfinished games of SW Rebellion over 2 separate sessions.   Certainly enjoyed them and we realised just how many options there are and that its important to know what the other side can do with at least the starter mission cards before setting out.

 

Posted September 11, 2016 by wargamesdiary in Boardgames

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