David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occassional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

"It will be over by Christmas!"

Probably the last game in GHQ this year, though you can never be sure where the 'Two Sad Beggars' are concerned! A rerun of last week's WWI game using Black Powder rules with several amendments suggested to us, well Phil mostly, by the previous game! We had thought of using 5 bases to represent a battalion, but in the end stuck with the 10 bases as we preferred the 'look' of the game. I am going to add a few Command bases to the British side, again just for the impression it will give, and we may add a fifth battalion next year to each side, Phil already has the figures I learned! Anyhow, on to the game ~


















Most of the Germans failed to make it onto the table in Turn 1! Hurrah, I thought, time for a bold move. The cavalry and supporting RHA Battery will advance and deploy on the low ridge, thus commanding the German left and centre. Roll of the dice brings a Command roll of 3! Yes! The British seize both the ridge and the initiative, catching two Hun artillery batteries on the move too!
























Away on the British left things are not so successful: the Borderers fail to reach the wood and the Gordon's fail to occupy the town. The A10 though is collecting valuable intelligence concerning the Hun's deployment and intentions.
Aerial reconnaissance reveals large formations of Hun infantry moving up in the dead ground behind the orchard. The enemy artillery have deployed under fire and are already doing some damage amongst the British cavalry brigade.
Having seized the ridge with the cavalry brigade it's time to move the infantry up to complete the domination of the enemy left and centre, or it would have been with a better Command Roll! The Hun takes advantage and seizes the orchard and ruined farm. Their artillery continue to play merry hell with the cavalry skirmishers.
Despite the hiatus in the infantry advance, the first battalion passes through the skirmishers on its way to clear any enemy from the flank and then roll up the Hun line! It all looks very jolly for the boys of the B.E.F. at this point!
Meanwhile, on the B.E.F.'s left things look sticky: the Hun battalion in the ruined farm, although Disordered, holds its position while at last the Jaeger battalion appears in its support.
The B.E.F.'s advance on the right has stalled, the Lancers charged the Hun cavalry skirmish screen to their front but were held off, and suddenly the battalion in the B.E.F.'s centre breaks! Its retreat is gallantly covered by the machine gun company. On the left the Borderers failed to reach the Jaegers in a charge after a poor command roll and are Shaken and Disordered in the subsequent fire fight! The battle has suddenly swung in the Hun's favour over two moves!
Suddenly the Hun see their chance and pour men forward into the gap. There are no reserves available to plug the hole in the line and so the Hun claim the victory!
The Gordons do hold the town, although Disordered by enemy fire. The Borderers can do nothing to aid the cause and so a general retreat is ordered by the B.E.F. commander. Their will be some hard marching before they can regroup and attempt to stem the Hun tide as it washes over Flanders.
The game lasted 10 Turns and for the first seven all the successes were with the B.E.F. but without a telling blow being delivered. In Turn 8 it all unraveled and defeat was almost inevitable when the centre collapsed suddenly. In the post match discussion over coffee and cake we came up with several ideas to develop the rules further for 1914, so if you are interested keep an eye open here for future developments. "Toodle Pip, Goodbyee!"




22 comments:

  1. Bloody he'll that was quick, it will all be over by Christmas indeed.
    Another fine game I thought too, Black Powder mechanics again holding up well to the extra 14 years.

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    1. Our rule changes worked quite well I thought. If you think this entry was quick I've also written another 400 words towards my WI piece.

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  2. Very interesting use of BP - thanks for the post.

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  3. Great looking game David! Again, Black Powder does really show it's flexibility.

    Christopher

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    1. The more I fiddle with BP, the more it's nuances and flexibility appeal to me.

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  4. Goodbyee, wipe the tear baby dear from your eyee. Though it hurts to part ... etc.
    Lovely report and very enjoyable pictures.

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    1. Glad that you enjoyed this blog entry Nobby.

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  5. Lovely looking game....I do like your terrain boards. A nice set and great figures jolly good looking wargame...but it is early to finish yet for crimbo !

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    1. Thank you for such a positive response Matt. As you know Phil made the terrain boards, his prices are reasonable and the end product is first class.

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  6. I wonder if I could do the same for my ww1 eastern front figures? Inspired to try.

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    1. I think they would work admirably, certainly worth a try.

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    2. Yes, only slightly at the moment.
      If you check Dave's post on the Warlord BP forum board, I have outlined our thoughts to date on there.

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    3. we give the Brits first fire to reflect the initial 15 rounds rapid and also the sharpshooter rule to reflect continued rapid fire, we also give the sharpshooter rule to German jaegers.
      We give artillery soft cover against small arms Fire to represent the cover of the gun shield.
      We treat all targets not in column has a skirmish target to represent the looser order/skirmish screen and that some would be prone or making use of any cover not represented on the table.
      Troops can dig in taking a complete move and requiring an order, once dug in they count as in soft cover.
      Cavalry we allow to move and dismount and also Fire.
      We are changing how we treat machine guns for our next game, giving them three dice at up to 24" and two dice over that up to maximum of 48", jamming if two ones are rolled, and count short range as 12" not 6", in all other respects as artillery except that they cannot move and fire.

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  7. Great looking game, figures and scenery,lots of time till Christmas surely?
    Best Iain

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    1. Thank you for the encouragement Iain.

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  8. A lot of gems in a single post! Beautiful terrain and pictures (love the second one with the plane above the splendid buildings), and great looking game!

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    1. Thanks for those kind endorsements of our efforts Phil.

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  9. As above, nice AAR with great looking figures and terrain.

    Tough luck though but you have to let the Hun win once in a while don't you?

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    1. It all looked so promising too, until...

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