Sunday 12 August 2012

New Israeli Specialists for Gruntz

These are some specialists for my New Israelis that have been sitting around for quite a while. I was waiting on the dry grass to finish them off. They're all from Ground Zero Games and up to the usual very high standards. Bigger images when you click...

First up some grav bikes - very quick and quite fragile. These will need careful use but could be very effective if used properly.

Next some heavy duty gauss support weapons. My basic NI gruntz have been light on for backup until now and these will add a bit of punch on the defence.

That's pretty much it for the New Israelis now I think. I haven't got anything left to paint and until I have a few more games under my belt (and the new version finally arrives) I'm reluctant to expand anyway.


Song of Drums & Shakos AAR Four

Last one for a while we promise! [Ed]

Having plenty of time Matt and I reversed the mission and I took the French with the deployments very similar.

However the French activation rolls worked beautifully with a very good group move enabling the group to move twice.

Matts activations were slender and he did nothing to support the two soldiers on the bridge and the subsequent French moves enabled them to shoot and wound one guard, storm the bridge and then assault the British Sergeant.  This was the first time we had made a close combat assault and it was quite deadly with the Sergeant killing the one attacker.

Follow up turns though had him knocked to the ground and he then received the bayonet for his troubles.  The remainder of the British were consolidating at the wall.

With no guards left the French stormed the bridge but became piecemeal in the rush but fortunately despite some fire survived relatively unscathed.

The two forces continued to exchange fire and despite losing three troops along the way the French managed to consolidate close to the British.

Again the French survived some close shooting and poor British activations and then primed for an assault with the French officer failing to kill the knocked down British bugler.  A subsequent activation though had a French musket shoot and wound the British Officer at close range which meant the British fled off the board and relinquishing the large stocks of wine and ale to the victorious French forces. 

I tried a couple of triple roll activations in this game and they came off very well and Matt was unlucky with his double rolls.  It was great to play one of the scenarios and also to get some troops into hand to hand combat for the first time.

I had recently bought some Conflix buildings and had only just completed my Hovels bridge so was very pleased with the table top.  Another couple of great fun games and I look forward to many more.


Song of Drums & Shakos AAR Three

For this game I used Assault on the Farm scenario as the basis and dropped the defenders from 10 figures down to 10.  This was another game with Matt, the wargaming novice, and for this I started with the British defending the bridge and Matt attacking with Matt winning the initiative.

French deployment was as below.

And the British.

As Mat had the initiative he went but had problems activating his troops and so can on piecemeal while I started well and formed a nice three layered defensive position.  The Brits had obviously only just arrived at the bridge as they had not yet had time to plunder the Tavern!

Matt came on and I started some desultory fire.

Eventually Matt got his troops lined up properly and things were starting to fall into place when Private Tomkins in the corner of the wall fired a deadly shot and wounded the exposed French Officer

With the loss of the Leader the French went to pieces and in the subsequent fleeing move lost another three troops and the remainder were scattered.  The French Sergeant was able to rally the troops sufficiently to try and come on again but with only just 75% of the starting force.

Being outnumbered the French suffered at the weight of British shot and were soon down to 50% casualties ending the game.  The British officer did very little this game with at least the last 5 activation rolls failing but lead by the Sergeant at the bridge he was not needed.  Obviously he was casting a wanton eye over the large amount of liquid stock and working out how much he could sell it to the rest of the Battalion for!

A very enjoyable game and Matt really must learn to not put his officer out in the open!


Song of Drums & Shakos AAR Two

I was lucky enough to have a second game with Matt less than 24 hours later.

The French started very well with some good activations to move forward and set up a nice deployment.

This game soon developed into a stand up and shoot it out brawl as you can see above and it was very much the turn of the British to win as they outshot the French who lost the 6 soldats to 1 private.  Matt employed a different strategy with his dice and predominantly went for single die rolls to ensure he could activate as many troops as possible while I was a lot bolder and generally went for 2 die.  Unfortunately for me I rolled many double fails on the first one or two activations so passed the play to Matt frequently.

Unlike Eric who is a wargamer, Matt is not at all but is happy to play for some light entertainment.  I am happy to say that Matt, Eric and I all very much enjoyed playing the game and picked it up very easily.  All of us are very happy to play some more and it will be fun to get some Riflemen and other types of troops painted.

Now that I have played a couple of games I have been looking at how powerful troops with Quality 3 and Combat 3 & 4 are.  I have had my Perry Riflemen figures arrive recently and I am very keen on getting them painted and giving them a try but I must question the Q4 and C2 for them.  I also think that the author of the rules must really like the Scottish troops because they are Q3 and C3 which I think is more appropriate to the Rifles.  But Eric is keen on the Highlanders and I have my Rifles so we will hopefully be able to give them a go on the table and be able to make an informed opinion later.

French Old Guard being Q2 and C4 will be really nasty so it is fortunate they are so expensive and you can get almost 4 British Line Infantry (104 points total) for the one Old Guard Grenadier (93 points).

I also have put together my essential gaming equipment now too with my cotton pom poms for shooting markers, appropriate dice and measure sticks made out of bamboo kitchen skewers.  Gaming on the 4’ x 4’ tables with my 25mm I am happy to use the larger ranges and the Short Medium and Long are simply the Red White and Blue.  Nice and tiddly albeit somewhat of a cliché! 


Song of Druns & Shakos AAR

Well Eric and I managed to get the first game of SDS in last night using all of the figures previously painted.  The mission was just a basic set up each side and have at them so we could get our heads around the rules.  Both sides played with the same stats and I set the table up in no particular design.  Eric won the toss for who would get the initiative and we decided French or British and table edges by the simple measure of which was closest to you when you sat down.  No over thinking here!

You can see the set up of the table and both forces here

I should point out early that we started at around 4.30pm and finished around 6pm so you will see the battleground getting progressively darker.  You will also see a dark omen on the table with my dice showing two ones!

Fortified by a good coffee each we started with Eric having the initiative and rolling quite well to activate his troops.  Handed over to me it started very well with my officer taking the lead and giving a bold En Avant to his trusty band grouped together.

And that is all that happened.  Poor Etienne was left for several turns standed by the barrels with his troops obviously not hearing him for about three activations as I continued to get 2 failures.  I think after the event reading the rules more closely I could have had one move but I didn’t pick that up.  Meanwhile half the British force was marching nicely forwards and taking ground.

Finally I had some success and was able to move forward my left flanks but as you can see the British were coming up in force and the French right flanks were stuck in their starting positions
It was all going swimmingly well until the French opened fire and wreaked havoc.  The British Officer was struck down wounded with a private and another private was knocked down.  The British right flank was in disarray!  You will note the white pom poms used to indicate who had fired.
With the British losing their Officer an immediate morale test was taken and they fled.  One bolted completely and the rest were scattered badly. 

The French were feeling very pleased with themselves and even their right flank started moving up.  The British were able to rally but the French firing line soon took their toll and the British were down 4 men with no loss to the French.

But steely in resolve the British Sergeant soon rallied his men and sent them forward to seek some revenge on the French.

Both sides moved forward and then started to exchange fire and the superior weapons skills of the British began to take its toll and soon the French had lost 3 Voltiguers themselves for the loss of another Light Co private!  After some knock downs and recoiling the French weight of numbers began to tell and the British lost another soldier bringing the game to an end with a French victory.
Both Eric and I really enjoyed ourselves and even though we just played a very basic move and fire we were able to pick up the rules very quickly and with only one rule book.  I really liked the activation method and the game can twist and turn quite viciously at the wrong moments.  The British had generally really good activations to get the troops moving while the French were just plain diabolical!  But then once in musket range the French found their mojo and were quite deadly although no triples were rolled.  We both played reasonably conservatively and generally went with 1 or 2 die rolls although the odd three was rolled generally to no great success!  But we both had fun and are keen to play again no doubt getting much better with the rules as we go.  Thumbs up for SDS from us.   One thing that we did was use the 40mm ranges so 100mm, 160mm and 240mm for S,M & L which worked well on the 4’ x 4’ table.  Using a single tape measure was a bit irritating though and I have since got some bamboo skewers which I have painted suitably.

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