My blog about my wargaming activities. I collect a lot of 15mm miniatures for the American War of Independence and so collect a lot of rules for this period. I started miniatures with Napoleonics, so I have a number of armies in 6mm and 15mm figures for skirmishing. I have15mm WW II figures that I use for Flames of War, Memoir '44, and someday, Poor Bloody Infantry. Finally there is my on-again, off-again relationship with paper soldiers that I sometimes write about.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Campaign Idea

Ira and I finished out the Spring turn for our Hoplite campaign (finally!) and it got me to thinking about a discussion I had with Don for doing an ancients campaign.

So, Ira and I have a campaign where we resolve the battles in DBA. Events in one battle result in effects in the next battle. This is exactly what I want in a campaign: consequences for actions and linkage between battles. So far it has worked out pretty well, but I think it could be better.

Don has shown a lot of interest in Command & Colors: Ancients (CCA) lately, so we've been playing games of that too. I told Don that there was a web site that took the DBA army lists and converted some of them over to CCA. So, we could essentially play out a DBA campaign using the CCA rules.

Last night it struck me that the two campaigns could be combined: as the DBA army lists could be translated to CCA (and vice versa), you could play a campaign and then choose whichever rules struck your fancy at the time to fight out the battles. Of course, you would have to figure out a few things like which rules to use if both players disagreed, etc. but I think it is a very workable idea.

As for time commitment: hell look at my blog and see how long we take between games. Even if you play only one battle per month, it still shows continuity between games, which is the goal.

DBA Hoplite Campaign - Spring 479 B.C. - Thessalian Move

Well, it has been a long time since the last move is this campaign, but no, it is not dead.

Sorry for the lack of graphics, but my main computer won't boot so I cannot get to my nice graphics tools; I am stuck on a $200 Netbook until I get the other fixed.

The Thessalians, having freshly recruited replacements for last year's campaigning, and hearing that the Thracians have less of a stomach for fighting this year (they are down three elements) have attacked Potidaea.

The battle was fought far away away from the city (there was no BUA on the board) in the wooded hills on the approach to the city. The board had two steep hills and two woods, pretty much a symmetrical board. The Thracians were defending.

The Thessalian light cavalry made a sweeping attack around their left flank, heading for the Thracian camp. With high PIP rolls Ira made an attack on the camp on the third turn, but was unable to overrun it for three straight combats; on the fourth he succeeded. (And this was his LH General, by the way.)

Meanwhile the Thracians had moved back their Peltasts (Auxilia and Psiloi), plus move a Light Horse unit completely into the rear of the attacking Thessalian horde and slowly choked them off, racking up one, two, and then three kills. The Light Horse General, seeing that his escape route was closing, made a mighty dash and roared away with Thracian women and gold as booty. (Ira rolled six PIP and used four of them to escape.)

The battle at that point was 3-0 for the Thracians (they had re-taken their camp, denying the Thessalians the 2 VP) and Ira was stuck with a dilemma: how to take out four elements when I had Peltasts and a lot of Bad Going terrain. (Although I had knocked out 3xLH, I started the game down 1xLH, 1xAx, and 1xPs, so we were both sitting even at nine elements.) His only choice: march his hoplites up a steep hill and attack the peltasts waiting at the top for him. So with 3xSp and 2xPs on the flanks in support, he attacked 3xAx.

At first the battles looked good. I recoiled my two end elements (that were overlapped), leaving the third combat with a double overlap against me. Nonetheless, the Thracian peltasts held the line and recoiled the hoplites. On the Thracian turn, with only two PIPs, one peltast element charged back in and with each side having one overlap, the Thracians got a 6-1 roll, doubling the hoplites, and ending the battle.


The Thracians won 4-0, forcing the Thessalians to retreat their army back to Mount Olympus.

Athens: 4 prestige; reserves: 3x4Sp, 1x2LH, 1x3Ax
Sparta: 7 prestige; reserves: 4x4Sp
Thessaly: 5 prestige; reserves: 3x2LH, 1x4Sp
Thrace: 5 prestige; reserves: 1x2Ps, 1x3Ax, 1x2LH

The Thessalian prestige rose because they were the first to sack the enemy's camp. (It does not require that you remain in possession at the end of the game.)

Ira and I rolled for the order of the Summer moves and it is: Athens, Sparta, Thessaly, and Thrace.

Hmmmm....

Saturday, April 03, 2010

One Monk Miniatures are now free

You can find them here.

For those of you who don't mind a little cutting and gluing - or the fact that the figures are flat - One Monk Miniatures are now all available for free. Jim has decided to return to making paper miniatures as a hobby, rather than as a business, which I applaud.

I started many periods using paper armies and I still think it is the way to go, at the very least until you are sure that: a) you want to game the period; b) you want to use the rules you have decided upon; and c) you want to use the basing scheme indicated by those rules. For example, I wanted to game the Franco-Prussian War using Warmaster and, other than having to draw some of the figures (and convert others' figures, like Jim's) was able to create a French and Prussian army fairly quickly. Hated using those rules for the FPW. Still have the armies all based for it though.

If anyone is interested in posts about using paper armies, post a comment.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Next version of AWI rules

Although I have been trying mightily to avoid it, I think the best approach to horse and musket is to use an attrition approach. I have been trying to avoid the use of markers, but I think I am going to have to break out the cotton balls again and use the "smoke" to represent attrition hits on an unit. (Maybe a need a little pin on the base to secure the ball.)

The idea is that each marker represents a blow to the unit's morale or manpower (primarily the former) and will give the unit a -1 to its opposed die roll. So, unlike DBN, which destroys the unit after a certain number of hits, this method will allow a unit an unlimited number of hits, but eventually it will catch up with it. (Because the minuses can rack up, the minimum number rolled, after all modifiers, will have to be '1'.)

Another concept I want to try out is that a unit charging a fresh enemy infantry unit suffers a minus in close combat (possibly as large as -2) to represent that steady infantry tend not to run when charged. A unit that has any number of hits would not count as fresh.

Also, there should be no continuation of contact with ties in close combat. Granted contact can represent firefights at very close range, but I think I like better the idea that if the close combat is tied, the attacker is forced to retreat out of contact.

Finally, there have to be some national characteristics beyond the ability of the American versus German versus Ferguson rifle. The Patriots tended towards firefights, as did the Germans and French; it was the British and Loyalist Provincials that favored the bayonets. (Note: I am not saying the others did not use the bayonet, rather they did not favor it. The British tended to fire one volley and charge, instructing their units not to engage in firefights. The others believed in wearing down the enemy until they were wavering, then went in and ran them off with the bayonet.)

One final thing - but I haven't figured out how to do it yet - I would like to be able to roll more dice per combat in order to even out the luck in the rolls. Many battles seem like they are primarily won, not by superior tactics, but by a 6-1 roll. I don't like rolling multiple D6 and adding them together as it throws the probabilities off. I am still pondering it.

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Huachuca City, Arizona, United States
I am 50 yrs old now. I bought a house in Huachuca City, AZ (although I have a townhouse in Houston, TX and a small home in Tucson, AZ) working on a contract for "the next two years" that is going on five years now. To while away the hours I like to wargame -- with wooden, lead, and sometimes paper miniatures -- usually solo. Although I am a 'rules junkie', I almost always use rules of my own (I like to build upon others' ideas, but it seems like there is always something "missing" or "wrong").