Friday 16 August 2013

Achtung Spitfire!

Well, two out of three ain't bad...

I set out two weeks ago to ruthlessly pursue some summer wargaming activities. I immediately managed to go into displacement mode when I found a completed Revell Spitfire Ia lurking in the study awaiting a paint job. I then, ahem, painted it.

In fact I have just finished it and I'm quite pleased with the result. I painted my last Spitfire 43 years ago and time has improved my eye even if my hands shake quite a lot and my fingers are the size of bananas!

I didn't put on all of the tiddly decals and I think I made an error painting the prop boss white, at least in photographic terms. For the record, the top surfaces were painted in English Uniform (Vallejo 921) and Catachan Green (GW and now called something completely different) with Pale Blue (Vallejo 906) under surfaces.

So, having completed arsing about, I have applied my mind to some actual wargaming. In fact I have been playing Into Battle by Saxon Games. I haven't had time to play through a full scenario but I have started to play through one of the four that comes with the game (Scenario 3: KG Sivers). This is a Russian front WWII tactical game with squads, individual heavy weapons and individual tanks. This is the package, compete with random event cards, play sheets and turn track.



What I really like about this is that it uses squares (great), has a feel like Squad Leader to play but without the endless complexity and shows a really good understanding of the technicalities of some of the weapons (the ratings of the Panther tank for example chime very well with some of my recent reading about Normandy).

This is a Print and Play game (PnP to the aficionado) and was really nicely designed for easy assembly. Feeling very cocky after nailing the Spit I proceeded to try to chop my thumb off with a sharp knife and a straight edge. Never mind. It has stopped hurting and I'm ready for a full game over the weekend.

Check out the Saxon Games website, Norman Smith has another three games available one of which (Anzio) I have already purchased:

So, why only two out of three? Well it has been too hot for "numbers" type thinking, so this may well be the objective for my Autumn offensive. 

Sunday 4 August 2013

Neil goes to the ACW again

Army lists for the ACW (2)

I have put together two army lists, not surprisingly these are for CSA and USA forces.

CSA circa 1863
Elite, Rifled Musket, Loose Order
Fanatic, Rifled Musket
Average, Dragoons, Muzzle Loading Carbines
Special rules:
1.     Command level: Good
2.     Conditional charges: If the charge is defined as “conditional” as per the rules (paragraph 2a), roll one D6 and score 4-6 to successfully charge. Add +1 to die roll for elite units.
3.     Dismounted cavalry: Use the dragoons rules but with the following modification:
a.     I don’t think that cavalry should be able to move and fire. Not because I think that these evolutions were not rapid, but to give the players additional decisions to make that will have an impact. My rule modification therefore is that cavalry can either be mounted or dismounted in a turn but not both.
b.     At the start of the player turn, mount or dismount cavalry units in the Changes of Formation phase. Use a marker to denote dismounted cavalry.
c.     If mounted, cavalry may charge and move as per the dragoons rule, but may not engage in fire combat.
d.     If dismounted, cavalry may not move or charge into combat. They may conduct fire combat.
This army represents the core of tough and reliable volunteers from the start of the war before casualties whittled them down in 1864 and 1865.
Charging into contact in this war was not always successful and depended primarily on the morale of the attacking troops (or their naiveté in the case of US levy troops) hence the changes to the conditional charge rule. However, the charging unit does not have to outnumber the target, they just need to have the required level of self-belief!

USA circa 1863
Average, Rifled Musket, Loose Order
Elite, Rifled Musket
Average, Dragoons, Early Breech Loading Carbines
Smoothbore or Steel Rifled
Special rules:
1.     Command level: Average.
2.     Conditional charges: : If the charge is defined as “conditional” as per the rules (paragraph 2a), roll one D6 and score 4-6 to successfully charge. Add +1 to die roll for levy units.
3.     Dismounted cavalry: As CSA list.
4.     New levies: Roll one D6 before the start of the game:
1-2: Add 1 levy unit
3-4: Add 2 levy units
4-5: Add 3 levy units (if force pool allows).
The US continued to create new units throughout the war resulting in the presence of levy troops even in 1865 such as the infantry units converted from heavy artillery troops.
This is the US army before the development of their cavalry arm into first class mounted infantry with repeating rifles.
Note that the rifled artillery was iron (wrought or cast) so not strictly steel but let’s treat as such for the game.

The next job is to convert the rules to hexes, I see that Norman has already had a go at doing this for Neil's Napoleonic Rules so I wonder if I'll come up with something similar? En Avant!