Squarebashing Verdun – Attack on Fort Vaux

James Morris popped over to Burton on with his new game of Squarebashing. It was a upscaled versions of his lovely Fort Vaux game that made the rounds last year.

This was a playtest his new scenario that pitted an overwhelming German assault. The game ran all very smoothly I thought. As a German player it might have looked rosy, but you are attacking uphill all across the line into a fort, trenches or at best hasty defenses.

The defending trenches were garrisoned be a mix of reservists and regulars. All the terrain was treated as ‘shattered’ and required dice to exit. That resulted in the Germans taking ‘movement’ as their higher command order – very rarely seen in the modern game! That has the rest that the French asset order meant that they could be far more frugal with their barrage assets and while the Germans had more assets the French used them to better effect

We had 2 main assaults , one into the Fort, which was garrisoned by very paltry collection of defenders – who turned out to be very tenacious ( I think it was them always getting 2 dice minimum – and the Germans always taking -4 dice away ! uphill forts !!).

The second was on the end of the line against conscripts who had attracted the attention of the German artillery – however , Oberleutnant Boyles displayed exemplary dice to see the best of the Germans repulsed by the French conscripts

Great game – giving a very close result.

Walter Schnaffs Playtest

Played a 2nd game of Walter Schnaffs V2 .. this game was a bit one sided with the Prussians attacking with the French suffering fearful depletions. The revised version of skirmishers was probably a bit over powering and we’ll most likely go back to the prior iteration – and we don’t think it looked as good.

Pre depletions – French look strong on the Prussian left with a impressive looking cavalry wing

Post depletions – all the cavalry were late – and ended in up reserve! The French situation is perilously thin

The Prussian assets – now with a bit of corp artillery support – Baby barrage – combine with big full strength Prussian attack broke through the French line quite easily. The random millatreuse and Chasspot effects didn’t favour the French in this game as they had in the first – which was a great swinging battle


Large Prussian assault !

Over Rays dice were poor and that didn’t help. That said the Prussians only captured 2 of the 4 objectives – which given then the game level probably would have resulted in a mediocre Prussian win. “Von Bredows Death Ride” event worked a treat though


Little shot of the Prussian ‘reserve’ hidden behind the hill – very useful

For Sale 15mm Benin

Priced at £1.50 per piece , selling the army for £500

Over 800pts Benin army , just needs a dutch ally to max out to 900pt. More warriors than you can throw a stick at. They are the Irregular miniatures Benin, BUT .. they are the first spins of the mould (they weren’t out when I got these) , so the castings as as clean as you can get from Irregular

Squarebashing Day 2017

Squarebashing 2017 is to be held on 24th June

 Battlefieldhobbies in Daventry.

It will be a team event (entries permitting). The armies are divided into 2 Pools. In each team – one player plays allies, the other central powers.

The lists and statuses are

There will be 2 games, Team against Team (Allies vs Central Powers). For each game the sum of each team score will be added to the team total. The army points are 620pts (standard game)

To encourage using under valued armies the sum total of army rating will be deducted from final score.

The terrain will be pre set , other than that, its RAW. You have the option to use the ‘Rays Stick’ method for countdown to battle. There will be no trench, canal or fort games. All painted figures please, we want it to look nice!

Any questions can be raised to me at Simon@lurkio.co.uk or via the RFCM forum

Tickets can be purchased using here

http://www.battlefieldhobbies.co.uk/our-events/

Can you please purchase tickets promptly , just so the venue has an idea on the lunch requirements. At the moment we are trying to get into the ‘big’ room which has meant that the cost has gone up a couple of quid (B/H need to put on another member of staff). But we need a dozen players to make that viable.

Tickets: £12.50 including lunch

Date: Saturday 24th June 2017

Location:
Battlefield Hobbies
17 Brunel Close
Daventry
Northants
NN11 8BR

Event Schedule
09.00-09.25 – Players arrive, welcome.
09:30-12.30 – Games One.
12.30-13:30 – Buffet lunch supplied.
13.30-16.30 – Game Two

You can get a t-shirt to celebrate the event

https://shop.spreadshirt.co.uk/rfcm/-A109805612?department=1&productType=812&color=A7B6AC&appearance=649

1066 – William vs Harald in Mortem et Gloriam

For our finale game in our 1066 series of game, we saw the victorious (from Stamford Bridge) Harald confronted by William. As this was divergence from the historic events, we had no pre planned events to follow and just let the standard game dictate the events.

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The Vikings won the initial roll off and chose to defend the north. They tried to secure their armies flank against a river. The Normans were happy to let them do that – saving a fortuitous draw of cards for the outscouting phase. This resulted in the Vikings being 70% outscouted.  The terrain while being ‘dense’, saw 2 large scrubby hills failing to place. So in the end the battlefield was open in the centre and secured by a river on one flank and a couple of field on the other.

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While the Vikings were outscouted it largely didn’t alter the army disposition,  with 5’ of shieldwall. The Huscarls were spread out across the line, rather than in one particular area.

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William didn’t have much in the way of options and really had to destroy the Viking army to keep his grip on England. So, he lined up his numerous Milites and hoped to smash the centre while the Bretons harried the flanks. The Norman left saw the infantry contingent refuse the line. The Norman infantry was at best equal to the Vikings, so it was down to the mounted wing to win the day.

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The strategy that both armies deployed was not subtle. The Normans just trying to cave the centre of the line, while the Viking foot resisted in shield wall.  In game terms the Hird are average light spear , close order infantry (with shieldwall). The Milites are average , charging lance, devastating chargers…  so in the charge they are up 2. But the bit thing was that shieldwall negates any ‘s’s , and only a ‘skull’ gives a shatter. The Hird in 9’s are really resilient, and while the initial charge might have looked good, they can afford a few bases here and there if they can inflict and casualties.  As is panned out the Normans charged, had some success, but lost a few bases. The subsequent melee was even more even.  The Huscarls are savage in the melee, being 2 up n the fight, and their presence started to take a toll.  The Normans had to spend their better cards to break off and re-charge (where they had more advantage) , but this was costing them a lot in card management. The Vikings could sit back to rally off wounds where they could. The Milites in 6’s , were starting to look thinned out. One unit broke and the Vikings had a breakthrough. This had the effect of splitting the line and some isolated Huscarls that dashed out were cut down by the Norman horseman  – this seemed all very ‘in keeping’

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However, the chances of getting the major breakthrough the Normans required started to dwindle.  The Bretons were making little headway on the flanks. There were just a few too many Viking troops, and the gap in which to manoeuvre too small.  Having javelins didn’t really help them and the Vikings were in big stodgy blocks.  The Viking berserks had not been put in the front line and were acting as a fire brigade looked like a target and some initial success with missile fire looked like they might be seen off, but the more numerous  Viking squeezed the Bretons into skirmishing away and their impact was negated.

As the game came to an end the result started to look as a bloody draw. A lot of Norman horsemen had been cut down, with just the Noman infantry intact. In conclusion it looked like Williams invasion would fail. His inability to destroy the incumbent armies would mean that his wish to control the whole of England would be inconclusive. At best we might end up with a toe hold in the south, with Godwinson defeated. Victorious Haldraada , however, might have plans to extend the Danelaw !

Fighting these battles in MeG, is quite tough , there are no quick wins, and most combats have to be ground out. The subtle nuances of the interactions actually give you some tough decisions to make. For instance the Normal quandary about martialling their cards to either ‘feign flight’ or ‘rally up’, gave the more static Vikings an edge. Also the fact that average infantry are so numerous (cheap) make any cavalry breakthrough really hard.  

Made for a flavourful game, and did seem to feel right. Surprisingly more decisions to make than in other ‘Dark Ages rule sets ©’ , where they tend to run themselves.. line up..  fight

Squarebashing 1914 – Russians vs Germans

1914 Squarebashing on Thursday. I fought using the Russians vs Bobs’s new Germans. We used Rays new ‘stick method’ , replacing the countdown to battle, which worked well – and we we determined the attack defence in about 5 minutes. Despite trying to attack, I lose that, and the stoic Russians were on the defence. I had imagined another cinematic Cossack sweep down the empty flanks. But I got neither the event nor the first turn! Defending also means you have to take the full brunt on the depletions. Its not like the small professional BEF who can cram into the object squares and hope to get lucky with the reduced dice.

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Pre Depletions

With 7 depletion dice per square the losses were savage, with the Russians ending up with over 10 battalions off the table. Any plan for envelopment was put to the side, and it was a holding on game right from the start.

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Post Depletions

The game started slowly , both Bob and I did not get assets where we were committing 7-8 dice to the throw. This somewhat stymied Bob’s attack and the missing point effect barrage prior to his central assault meant that the attack was repulsed (just! a draw!) This had the usual bogging effect on the game and both sides sat back after initial loses, trying to blast somewhere with fire and artillery to gain advantage. The fact that the central areas of the table had villages lessened the casualties that were inflicted on the Russians. The Russian reserves dribbled on not in any spectacular way, but always a battalion or 2 arriving into the centre where the fighting was fiercest. The attack was very narrow , across only 3 or 4 squares and those columns became filled with troops. The game was quite unusual in that aspect, and has wide areas in the flanks that had very thin defences.

One German battalion has strayed out of the cover of buildings into the open and was the target of a glorious cossack charge. Isolated and unsupported the infantry were swept from the field and the cossacks wore their ‘winning the fight’ like a badge of honour – it doesn’t happen often!

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With the German attack blunted it reached a stalemate. Where the germans had broken into row 3, it was not an objective, and either side defences and machine guns kept the worrying threat of a flank charge honest. The game to a close with little ground gained. The Russian losses were quite bad – and maxed out on 20 bases lost. But strangely neither side had lost any whole battalions. With the Russians still ensconced in 3 out of 4 objectives meant a solid victory for the czarists.

Another enjoyable game with the Russians, they seem to play out really well. Having a largely reservist list looks weak on paper and you’ve got to expect a lot of losses. But playing with morale higher command and a few judicious ‘hold the line’ orders and really they are not going anywhere. I suppose I was lucky when the the dreaded suppression barrage came, in as that is the reservist nightmare. If they take a casualty from that (likely) then you have 5 squares which with typically have a 3 dice test. This has a real risk of getting a ‘retire’ result, stuck under suppression meaning you can’t move and take the extra 6 hits. Whole bases are coming off in that way for Reservists.

Squarebashing always seems to give a good game, even it what might seem to be uninspiring circumstances 🙂

Battle of Stamford Bridge – 1066 Mortem et Gloriam

The next installment of our 1066 anniversary battle is the Battle of Stamford bridge. This time round Harold Godwinson was to take the field against Harald Haldraada. The armies lists were –

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The Campaign game replaces the ‘5 days before battle’ section with its own map. The Saxons are always attacking , and the Pre Battle cards indicate whether the battle took place at its original spot (where the Vikings are surprised and the army split) or whether the Vikings are more ‘canny’ and force a more conventional pitched battle. Both sided had 9 cards, so it wasn’t a guarantee that it would take place as historically.

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The preamble began slowly with the Saxons winning or drawing the early hands and thus the battle being held in the spot advantageous for them. The penultimate hands saw the Vikings make a break out away from the river and to an open plain for battle. However, a last red Saxons card in the last round saw the Vikings pushed back to the river, and the battle would be fought as per the special rules.

The battlefield was split with a traverse river, which while fordable was difficult going. The Viking army was split in two , each half being deployed on each side of the river. In the first turn the Viking would be dealt cards ‘face up’ – using the allies rules – to represent their lack of preparedness for the battle.

The scouting phase was not particularily exciting , with 100% heavy infantry armies there is not much in the way of scouting cards. The Saxons did outscout , but only by 20% (which was 2 TuGs)

stamford1

 

The blasted north, looking a bit more like Mordor than Yorkshire. The coloured sticks a necessary evil to denote troop quality and command. As they are all my figures and are the same it could get a bit mixed up

So there were 5 Vikings battlegroups on each side of the river. The Saxons had 11. The victory conditions were that the Saxons must break the Vikings (destroy 5 TuGs) while if the Vikings held on (for 3 hours) then it would be a Dane victory. So if Harold could crush the 5 battle groups on the near side of the river, before the others ‘woke up’ then that would be the game.

The cards were dealt.

Luckily the Vikings did have a good hand of cards and not one of their commands was ‘asleep’ – the Saxons has obviously trod on a few too many twigs en route to the battlefield.

Harold and his Hearthguard had made the unusual decision to go right at the end of the line to try and act as a hammer while the anvil of the Select Fyrd held the surprised Vikings in place.

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Battle was joined. The Viking on the far bank of the river formed up and advanced (as quick as their cards would allow) , but the river was slow going.

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The Vikings facing the onslaught of the Saxon army fought valiantly. The first casualty of the game being one of Harold’s elite Hearthguard. The shieldwalls ground into each other, but they were evenly matched and the Vikings broken the deadlock when one of the Saxon Huscarl catastrophically units broke on the centre of the line. The Vikings started spewing though the gap and rolling up the line

Things were looking close. Harold broke his opposition on the end of the line and tried desperately to turn the line there and capitalise on that advantage. However disaster struck and the huscarls next to Harold were attritted away and broke. They was a sizeable hole in the Saxon line now. The was a slim chance now, as the Saxon training was marginally better and the ‘tribal’ Hird would find it difficult to redeploy in a different facing.

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As an indicator of quality green = average, yellow = superior and red = exceptional

At this point the remainder of the Viking force crossed the river. This equalised the numbers and the Saxons would just have to be lucky. This was not the case. The Saxons ended up having to commit elements of the lesser Fyrd, and it was getting desparate. As we approached the end game (3 hour time limit for Viking victory) Tostig and his men destroyed another Saxon Huscarl unit. The only positive being that it cost the treacherous brother his life as he fought in the front rank! The Saxon army teetered on breaking, the coup de grace being when the flanked Saxons had a disastrous set of dice and a unit of Viking Huscarls – who had been 1 hit from breaking for most of the game – hit the end of the lined diced well and broke the unit they hit in the flank for no loses… Harold Godwinsons army broke.

Harold and his men by virtue of being at the end of the line could only be spectators as the Saxons army crumbled and fled. That did save him from being part of the destruction.

As our Battle of Stamford bridge concluded we rationalised that Harold with his army now defeated would not be in any position to stop Willliam in the south, and would flee to the continent. For our next instalment we decided to break from history try and see what would happen with the North still under Viking rule and the South now controlled by the unopposed Normans. Stay tuned for the next instalment …

Battle of Fulford 1066 – Mortem et Gloriam

As the 950th Anniversary of the battles for England in 1066, I set up a game of the first of the three battles – The battle of Fulford

The Battle of Fulford was fought on the outskirts of the village of Fulford near York in England, on 20 September 1066, when King Harald III of Norway, also known as Harald Hardrada, and Tostig Godwinson, his English ally, fought and defeated the Northern Earls Edwin and Morcar.

Tostig was Harold Godwinson’s banished brother. He had allied with King Harald of Norway and possibly Duke William of Normandy but there is no record of the reasoning behind his invasions. The battle was a decisive victory for the Viking army. The earls of York could have hidden behind the walls of their city but instead they met the Viking army across a river. All day the English desperately tried to break the Viking shield wall but to no avail.
Tostig was opposed by Earl Morcar who had displaced him as Earl of Northumbria.
The battle started with the English spreading their forces out to secure their flanks. On their right flank was the River Ouse, and on the left was the Fordland, a swampy area. The disadvantage to the position was that it gave Harald higher ground, which was perfect for seeing the battle from a distance. Another disadvantage was that if one flank were to give way, the other one would be in trouble. If the Anglo-Saxon army had to retreat, it would not be able to because of the marshlands. They would have to hold off the Norwegians as long as possible. Harald’s army approached from three routes to the south. Harald lined his army up to oppose the Anglo-Saxons, but he knew it would take hours for all of his troops to arrive. His least experienced troops were sent to the right and his best troops on the riverbank.
The English struck first, advancing on the Norwegian army before it could fully deploy. Morcar’s troops pushed Harald’s back into the marshlands, making progress against the weaker section of the Norwegian line. However, this initial success proved insufficient for victory to the English army, as the Norwegians brought their better troops to bear upon them, still fresh against the weakened Anglo-Saxons.

Harald brought more of his troops from the right flank to attack the centre, and sent more men to the river. The invaders were outnumbered, but they kept pushing and shoving the defenders back. The Anglo-Saxons were forced to give ground. Edwin’s soldiers who were defending the bank now were cut off from the rest of the army by the marsh, so they headed back to the city to make a final stand. Within another hour, the men on the beck were forced off by the Norwegians. Other invading Norwegians, who were still arriving, found a way to get around the thick fighting and opened a third front against the Anglo-Saxons. Outnumbered and outmanoeuvred, the defenders were defeated. Edwin and Morcar however, managed to survive the fight.

The game used the “1066 and all that” MeG Supplement

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You can read the supplement here

In the scenario game the Saxons were always the ‘attacker’.This gave the Viking choice of the ground on the pre battle map. It was the Saxons task to manoeuvre the Vikings on the map. Ideally to get the river to the Vikings rear. This failed spectacularly and the Viking hand of cards pushed them further and further away from the river.

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Being 100% close infantry neither side wanted much in the way of terrain and a couple of pieces of fought going were dotted around the edge, with a secure flank of steep hills.

The armies were

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The game was played by

Saxons
Pete
Bob

Vikings
Andy
Paul

All, bar Bob, were relative neophytes … and this game was a challenge.

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There was – as Barker intended – very little in the way of manoeuvre tactically with both sides lining up. The Saxons has a larger army, but were lead by lesser generals. The scenario rules were that the Saxons got an additional red card during scouting (which made little odds) , also for the first turn the Vikings were all treated as allies. As such their initial hand was played face up. If they got no coloured cards they would be unreliable, simulating the surprise that the Vikings suffered.

Here is the first Viking ‘hand’. You can just see at the bottom the last card of Harald was green to prevent him getting caught with his trousers down

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Again the cards dictated that none of the Vikings were unreliable. So, with all their advantage the Saxons gained nothing, and it would be decided by sword and spear.

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The army closed with an almighty clash.

I don’t like the coloured chits to denote unit – but as all the figures are mine identification of who is who was a real problem. So this was a necessary evil, to help those that hadn’t played much !

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The ensuing melee was challenging as the big dark age armies who were all subtly different calculated all their factors to try and understand where all the advantages were to be gained. We laid out all the dice for the whole line to illustrate this.

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The Viking has 3 bases of berserks and had integrated them in the Hird. So as exceptional devastating chargers they went in first , trying to get the shatter and force their way in the lines and give their lesser comrades more of an advantage. The Huscarls (on both sides) fought to try and push back their enemies The Huscarls were not facing one another as the Viking had placed theirs on the ends of the line to try and hold on to prevent the larger Saxons flanking them. Most troops had shieldwall – so ’S” results would not count. However, ‘Skulls’ would ‘shove’ so the where the troops were better advantaged gave more opportunities for than and therefore aid the supporting files.

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At the begining the battle seemed largely bloodless (just on the dice) , but the game progressed both armies ground into each other. The granularity of the troop types did give a choice of on determining the order of the combat, compared to ALDG which would have been a largely droll experience. That said it was tough, and the large number of combatants and different file types was tricky to manager. However, it did feel like a dark age battle decided with a scrum of fighting, with local advantage escalating into a larger one.

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The Vikings did win ultimately, while the Huscarls held on the weaker Fyrd collapsed on the wings and when the pub beckoned Saxons had lost 4 of their 5 TuGs before collapse to the Vikings 1 out of 4. That said a couple of Viking Tugs were teetering and their smaller army could have easily have had a reverse – should the dice gods desert.

A hard fought game, which required quite a bit of concentration. Probably not best for beginners!

GODENDAG 2017

GODENDAG 2017

15MM ANCIENT/MEDIEVAL/RENAISSANCE DOUBLES COMPETITIONS

28TH & 29TH JANUARY 2017

 

NEW VENUE:
Firestorm Games (Cardiff) (Tel: 02920 227117)
Trade Street
Penarth Road
Cardiff
CF10 5DT
United Kingdom

Mortem et Gloriam

Any published army
The list submitted must not exceed 12000 points.
Umpire and list checker: Alasdair Harley

alasdairharley@hotmail.com

Field of Glory: Ancient/Medieval

THE MEDIEVAL WORLD

Any army from 600 AD.
The list submitted must not exceed 900 points.
Umpire and list checker: Richard Bodley Scott.

rbs@byzant.demon.co.uk
Rules: See below

Field of Glory: Renaissance

EUROPE’S TRAGEDY

Any European army 1618-1648 (including Russia and Turkey).
The following list modifications and additional restrictions will apply:

To represent usual historical proportions in European armies of this period, ignoring artillery, the army cannot include more than 1 battle foot unit more than it has battle mounted units. (e.g. If you have 5 BGs of mounted battle troops, you can have up to 6 BGs of foot battle troops).

No more than half of all mounted battle troops can be Superior or Elite. Armies with insufficient Superior mounted battle troops in their army list to achieve this limit can upgrade whichever type of Average mounted troops in their list is most expensive in points to Superior to achieve the above limit.

No more than half of all foot battle troops can be Superior or Elite.
The army must have at least 6 bases of foot battle troops per heavy or medium artillery base.

The list submitted must not exceed 900 points.
Umpire and list checker: Richard Bodley Scott. rbs@byzant.demon.co.uk
Rules: See below

DBM

Any army. List not to exceed 500 points.

Umpire and list checker: John Graham-Leigh

jandagraham-leigh@blueyonder.co.uk

L’Art de la Guerre

400 points doubles, made up of 2 x 200 point armies (each army must be no more than 210 points with a total combined army size of maximum 400 points). The armies chosen must be listed as potential allies in either army list.

Armies drawn from Ancient Period, Classical Period and Roman Period lists (1-124 inclusive)

4 Games, same games times as the other periods

Umpire and list checker: Mike Baldwin

———————————————————————-

Cost: £ 25.00 per team of 2.

(Food will be available on site, but is not included in the entry price).
Tickets are available from Firestorm’s web site: http://www.firestormgames.co.uk/events

CONTACT: RICHARD BODLEY SCOTT, 28 PRIORY GARDENS, USK, MONMOUTHSHIRE, NP5 1AJ (RBS@BYZANT.DEMON.CO.UK)

———————————————————————–

GODENDAG 2017
VENUE:
Firestorm Games (Cardiff)
Trade Street
Penarth Road
Cardiff
CF10 5DT
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 2920 227117

 

TIME: 8.30 – 9.00 – Registration time on Saturday

Games will be:

Saturday: 9.30 – 1.00 and 2.00 – 5.30
Sunday: 9.00 – 12.30 and 1.30 – 5.00

ENTRANCE: £ 25.00 per team of 2. (Food will be available on site, but is not included in the entry price). Tickets are available from Firestorm’s web site:

LOCAL ATTRACTIONS:

If you are able to make a long weekend of it, there are numerous local historical attractions relevant to our period. These include the Roman Legionary Fortress and Museum at Caerleon and the Roman walled city of Caerwent. Among the many local castles, the best are Chepstow, Raglan, White Castle (at Llantilio Croesenny) and Caerphilly. Caerphilly castle has a permanent exhibition of full size working medieval siege engines including ballista, mangonel, trebuchet and perrier. The Welsh Folk Museum at St. Fagans is worth a visit. The Brecon Beacons National Park and the picturesque Wye Valley are also nearby.

QUERIES: Richard Bodley Scott, 28, Priory Gardens, Usk, Gwent, NP5 1AJ. (rbs@byzant.demon.co.uk)

————————–

FOGAM/FOGR TOURNAMENT RULES

1) Godendag is a Doubles competition. Each army is to be commanded by 2 players. Consideration will be given, however, to entries with only one player or three players if there are special circumstances.
2) The rules to be used are the current Field of Glory rules, together with the latest errata and FAQ posted on the official Field of Glory web site.
3) The competition will use the full rules including the terrain and set-up appendices. There will be no formal division of the battle groups comprising each army between the members of a team. It is usual, however, for each player to take control of the troops on about half of the battlefield.
4) The scoring system will be the standard FOG tournament scoring system, where 25 points are up for grabs each game.

5) Army lists must specify the number and size of battle groups and their order of march for deployment, and the number and type of commanders chosen. They should also include the total pre-battle initiative modifier and the territories list for the army. If the detached shot option is to be used, a second list differing only in this regard must be submitted. Once an army list has been submitted it may not be changed or altered other than to correct any errors. Players may only correct their errors by making reasonable changes to their list. It is not allowed to completely re-write the list, and the list checkers decision on this is final.
6) Please note that the Godendag 2017 Field of Glory event is a single list format. Any incorrect list discovered after a game has commenced (after set up dice have been rolled) must be corrected prior to deployment if spotted in time, and fully corrected in any case before the next match.
7) Army lists must be submitted for checking in advance and must be received by the Tournament Organiser by 14th JANUARY 2017.
8) The Tournament Organiser and List Checker is Richard Bodley Scott (rbs@byzant.demon.co.uk) 28 Priory Gardens, Usk, Monmouthshire, NP5 1AJ.
9) Players must fully define their troops as they are placed on table. Figures must provide a reasonably accurate representation of the troops they are trying to represent – they must not look deliberately misleading.
10) Table size is 6′ x 4′ and players must supply their own terrain pieces. These must be to an acceptable standard, and umpires will have the discretion to remove unsightly items. In addition all figures must be representative and painted and based to an acceptable standard.
11) Players must be present and ready to start the match at the appointed time. Where a player has a reasonable excuse for arriving late the match start will be delayed by up to 30 minutes. After which time the affected player will be awarded a bye. No player will be awarded more than one bye for any reason.
12) If a player resigns from a game at any stage after the first set up dice have been rolled their opponents will be awarded maximum points, and they will be awarded 0 points.
13) Time will be called after 3 hours 20 minutes plus up to 10 minutes. Play will stop at the end of the current phase. Players may always commence games earlier than the stated time by mutual consent, in which case their game continues until time is officially called as normal.
14) Admission to the tournament is at the sole discretion of the organisers and their decision on all matters is final. CONTACT: Richard Bodley Scott, 28 Priory Gardens, Usk, Monmouthshire, NP5 1AJ

Squarebashing – 1914 Russians vs Germans

Last night was the debut for the Russians. As part of a horse trade deal a long time ago I didn’t have many options of composition. The 620pt force being

  • 3 regular
  • 10 reservists
  • 1 professional cavalry
  • 2 regular cavalry, 
  • 2 reservist cavalry
  • 4 MG
  • 4 Artillery

So a veritable horde… with more cavalry than I’m used to.

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 The game was against Rays 1914s Germans, and his army was larger than normal with 3 units of his own cavalry and , no professionals at all. 

With our usual lackadaisical start neither of use invested much effort in the countdown to war, just using the normal default values. Through slightly better dice the Russians won and ended up attacking – reconnaissance in force.  Things to note

  • Ray rolled low twice on the events chart and ended up deducting 6 from his artillery assets
  • On the events I scored the opponent cannot deploy in the 2 end columns (on one side) & one turn of no scenery penalty movement. 

So, the game. As attacker I tried to move all the terrain to my side of the table and hopefully time it well with the movement event. This worked  reasonably successful.  The master stroke was that having 5 units of cavalry allowed me to utilise the vacant columns in the first turn – this was a real game winner. Moving first meant big columns of Cossacks racing down the flanks with relative impunity.

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The mob of Russian  infantry lurched out of all the bad going, and was looking frighteningly powerful as after the depletions of the German left flank left them looking fragile.  A well placed point effect on the German positions meant that they would have a rather painful morale phase.  It might all be over for Christmas!

However, the cruel mistress that SB is had other plans. The German turn saw a suppression barrage placed skilfully over the whole Russians advance. With 13 units of infantry it hard to disperse them to reduce effect. While the suppression barrage is not ‘a killer’ in as much as the casualties it inflicts are smaller. The Reservist saves usually mean that there is a casualty and therefore cause for a moral test. This is really exasperated by the factors of reservists, under barrage with casualties… the morale dice just rack up.  The Russian duly failed most of the tests  – AND  – then because they are suppressed cannot retire and take another 6 hits … again with terrible reservists saving throw.  It started brilliantly and turned to **** in one turn. It looked like the entire infantry assault had stalled due to one suppression barrage!

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The Cossacks were have more freedom running around the German rear. They had already destroyed one unit of German cavalry and were looking for  targets of opportunity.

The Germans were holding on and took some rather risky strategy with their reserves which did not pay off, they ended up with their artillery exposed in the line allowing the stoic Russians to press in those two places. However , the dice dictated against it ,even with a couple of guns they beat of a sizeable Russian infantry assault. The guns had good support and the dice were wacky.  So rather than breaking the German lines in two places, the Russians stalled and ended up standing right in front of the German lines.

The Russian cavalry in the rear delivered a textbook flank charge on the German reserves after a textbook point effect barrage preceded it  – damaging the MG – UUUrah! The Germans scattered off table , losing bases left, right and centre. Moving off table was probably best thing for them as while taking a savage beating they were still ‘at strength’ and now safely in reserve so victory points that could be gained would be limited.

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As the game concluded the game looked favourable to the Russians, and fate had seen big swings in fortune in this game. The Russians has achieved 2 breakthroughs , captured 2 out of 4 objectives and occupied the max allowed squares in rows 2 & 3.  However, this was countered but a frightful 27 bases of ‘killed’ troops and Ray having some re-roll events on the objective scored. SO, it ended up with a +7 to the Russians – Minor Victory. The Russians, while on paper look poor and their army rating of 27 reflecting that, have some good synergies. The cavalry and empty flank zones is a great combination. The sheer mass of reservists gives them great resilience … but not for the feint hearted as you cannot make an omelette without breaking some of those Russian eggs.

Great game. Squarebashing always delivers a fun evening with lots of twists and turns.