Friday, 28 October 2016

BBDBA Agincourt

 

After Sunday's great game using Hail Caesar rules blogged previously, I was able to continue the Agincourt theme this Thursday, 601 years and 4 days after that epic battle...


This time Peter organised the game, using BBDBA rules. I've played these a few times as followers of my blog will know, and flow so naturally that I don't even own a copy of the rules but am able to keep up, plus ou moins...



The other major difference to Sunday was that we would be using 15mm figures, from a variety of collections and manufacturers - I heard Peter Pig mentioned, as well as Essex...


The English Goddams - L-R Daniel, who first game with BBDBA this was, but again picked things up quick smart, commanding the Vanguard, Caesar as Henry V with the main Battle, and David, commanding the rearguard.



The equipe Francais above on the left, Geoff nearest the camera took the right wing of the first Battle and after battle, whilst Alan in the natty cardigan took the left wing. When not snapping photos I was sitting betwixt the twain with the centre main and after guard. An odd command arrangement, but it seemed to work - at least better than the nonexistent French arrangements on the actual day! Peter is sitting judicially at the head of the table as befits the game organiser!


Any scenario of what, with hindsight, is a one sided historical battle has to be a balancing act between the historical setting, and a playable game.


Whereas on Sunday I inflicted a historical setting on the French players, which they nonetheless turned into an exciting game, Peter emphasised balance and playability in his scenario...


Hence no forces were allowed into the woods on either side, and the slowing and disordering effects of the mud only came into force 8 cm, 2 basewidths, in front of the English, accentuated somewhat for the last 4 cm, or basewidth, before contact.


A few French units were rated as excellent troops, and most of the English were too - as a DBA novice I let the precise detail escape me, but Alan wanted to know more, and asked about each specific unit, until it turned out all the English troops were! Mon Dieu! BTW, if you want to read a DBA compatible account of this game, do check out Alan's terrific blog post here: The Stronghold Rebuilt - Agincourt


Nothing daunted, Monsiegneur de Geoffrois gallantly bashed on over on the right wing - rather successfully...



Alain Le Sire de Staines similarly led off on the gauche and I sort of milled around in the centre - utterly historically, there was insufficient room to deploy properly, so I had to split my commands up to be able to both get to grips with the English nether regions, and prevent both my wingmen from being flanked...


However it was impossible to keep up with Geoff, who was taking out Archers like there was no tomorrow, despite a series of torrid command rolls - he certainly earned man of the match for this one!


I had to leave early so Peter took over my command, but it was pretty much jeu fini with Geoff's men at arms careering all round the English flank...


A thrilling and enjoying game, which go to show that a historical game inspired by an iconic battle need not be predictable - Thanks Peter, more BBDBA soon si il vout plait!

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Agincourt 601 with Hail Caesar!


On this St Crispin's day, the 601st Anniversary of the epic battle of Agincourt, it is meet and fitting indeed that I chronicle an account of our very own, petty battle of Agincourt...


It was a small band that met to mark the occasion, but a happy one...


Left to right: Ian, Matt, Vic, Phillip and Mark



With a battle like Agincourt, and with a historical scenario, I knew it would be hard to find players to be French!



Whilst the odds would be on the French side, it would be a challenging task to fight through the mud, the arrows, the stakes, to even come to grips with the English!


To their credit, Mark and Ian volunteered for the job without being asked, and, as host, I felt I had to do the same! Noblesse Oblige!



Mark as the Count of Vendome took command of the French Cavalry - all Mounted Household Men at Arms, SR 9. Ian as the Constable of France took the 1st Battle - all Household Men at arms, SR 9. I took the 2nd Battle - Men at Arms toute simple, with a SR of 7 as the hapless Duc of Bar.



That left Vic and Phil to stand by King Harry! Vic as the Duke of York led the Vanguard on the right wing, SR8, with 2 MAA and 10 English Longbowmen. 



Phillip, our medieval expert, took the Main Battle as Sir Thomas Erpingham with SR 9, with 2 Household MAA, 2 MAA toute simple, and 6 Welch Longbowmen; and the Rearguard as Lord Camoys, SR 8, who had 2 MAA and 10 English Longbowmen. Henry V had a SR of 10 as befits that great warrior lord!


To add a bit of tension to the game, it started at the exact point the English arrived at their second position nearer the French, to attempt to taunt them into attacking. They would have to pass a command check for each unit to get their stakes malleted back in...


The Rearguard, over on the English left - failed the command check - leaving them vulnerable if the French Cavalry got a triple move...


Which they didn't - leaving them stranded out in the mud amidst a hail of arrows! For the first 3 moves, the effect of the mud was just to reduce movement by a third. For the next 3 it would reduce movement to half, and then for the last 3 moves it would also disorder any charging troops.


Lord Camoys lost no time in getting his men behind stakes, but Mark, with his blood up, charged in anyway!


And managed to charge home! After inflicting a few paltry casualties, he was beaten off again - but it showed what might be achieved given sufficient noble courage and mien...


So he went in again, this time against the Sir Thomas Erpingham's Main Battle...


But Sir Thomas skilfully sealed off the breach and the gallant chevaliers were all cut down...


By this time Ian's 1st Battle had come up, and thanks to the back and forth antics of the cavalry, could only really commit in the flanks, where he started clearing away the English archers..


With more room to manouever without getting stuck by arrows from 3 sides, Mark lined up for a last heave, as movement on the boggy, churned up, corpse bestrewn ground was getting harder and harder...


And striving mightly, broke through that dread English line in two places!


But, alack, support came in far too slowly as men, brave but not superhuman, floundered in the mud..


Giving the English ample time to seal off all incursions...


So that the setting sun forsook the field of honour, sick at the sight of the flower of French nobility bleeding into the cold wet mud...


Thanks to Matt, Kym and Anthony at the Hall of Heroes for setting us up and looking after us so well, and to Gary for the loan of his lovely collection.



Monday, 10 October 2016

Team Yankee Iron Maiden Global Release - Sydney!

As you may have seen on the Team Yankee website, the Hall of Heroes Campbelltown was selected, at the last minute, to represent Australia in the Iron Maiden Global Release event Hall of Heroes write up this last weekend. In particular they said some very nice things about our participation game towards the end of the Q&A session - thanks guys!


A mini completion,80 points worth, was organised by Lachlan...


With the prize being the Iron Maiden demo army, which had been assembled and undercoated.


More on that below...


As usual I brought some books and items to theme it up a bit..my old navy combats to help with painting British DPM cam...which is ironic as most of mine are now ruined by being worn for painting!



As well as the usual Team Yankee suspects, including the contingent up from Canberra with their lovely models..



I don't know how Ken makes his Soviet armour look so interesting, but I'm very jealous!



The Canberra mob also do some very nice West Germans!









We had a fair few new faces drawn in by the event! Colin on the right is ex RAAF, but still an extremely nice guy, and given the though he's put into his West Germans, I reckon he'll be a force to be reckoned with on the NSW circuit...



But I'm not convinced that Rees is taking his Air Defence seriously enough...



As far as the Iron Maiden models themselves go, I think Battlefront have raised the bar yet further!





However, not likely to have a painted British army for quite some time, for our participation game Bryan and I stayed on our old stomping ground, pitting a Soviet T-72 force against a US force in the CENTAG AOR...As it was a demo game though we bumped the points up a bit to represent a good balance and example of All Arms....



We also didn't worry to much about picking a scenario or objectives, as we expected people to dip in and out of the game...



although as it happened most people stuck around as the game went on, with the action kind of naturally gravitating around the autobahn flyover...and Bryan, Lachlan and I having nothing to do but look up the odd rule...

Dave and Steve opened up for the US Armor aggressively enough... particularly for Team Yankee novices...


Giving the Soviet Mechanised force pause for thought - and an involuntary dismount!


However Phil, Richard and Mick, both playing for the second time that day, were nothing daunted as intrepid Soviet Liberators!



In particular Phil's dice rolling was eyewateringly effective - in 2 successive rolls of 3 dice he scored 6 x 6s! If they hadn't been my dice I would have been suspicious! But as it was the Soviets were able to trade blow for blow, gradually whittling down the small M1 platoons at about the same rate their T-72 companies were melting away...



The game went right down to the wire, with the surviving M1s having to be sent in to clear the Soviet Motor Rifles off the objective...


And the only units on table not needing regular morale checks were the respective artillery batteries!


So that the Soviets resorted to sending theirs in for some direct fire...good Soviet WW2 tactics from these FOW players!


And in the end, right down to the wire, the M1s had to withdraw from the assault...


So a great day's gaming, both competitive and introductory, a suitable way to celebrate a terrific release! If I'd have known our game was going to be profiled, I might have dressed up a little though! Still, as they say - been there, done that, got the T shirt!