Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Mouse that Roared! Little Generals' Club Game: April 2012

Those who know me as a wargamer also know of my abysmal luck with the dice. If they were present at a Vietnam game, using Force on Force rules, in October of 2010, they also know that every once in a while (18-24 months) I get ONE game where the dice gawds smile upon me and grant me a boon.

Well, today was one of those days. :)
Note: some of these pictures are less than stellar. Sorry... it was a day where I had the shakes.

The above gent is Dan. He is the "father" of wargaming in the Central Valley of California. It was he, in 1974-5, that created the Little Generals Club, which I joined about a decade later. At this meeting, which Dan was forced to attend by Bryan, he was presented with a plaque in appreciation of his contribution to our hobby. You can see the great amount of pleasure on his face at receiving the award...

Today's game was an AWI fictional combat, using a homebrew set of rules based on Games Workshop's Mordheim and elements of another rule system (I forget which). Bryan and his son, Ryan, put the game on, using figures that Bryan had purchased from Dan about 15 years ago.

The game took place at our usual venue, Hobbytown USA, Fresno. This time, though, we used the upstairs room, which is a bit smaller, but more private. The table pictured was 15' long by 5' wide. To the right is the deployment area for His Majesty's troops and to the left is the zone for the rebel scum.

The objective was for the attacking American troops to capture the two redoubts on the table.

The left most redoubt, under the command of Colonel Richard, comprised of Hessians and other mercenary troops, along with two guns. On this flank, somewhere in the woods, were three warbands of natives (commanded by Scout Lieutenant Jeff), who ventured out for some looting and scalping several turns into the game.

The redoubt on the right was defended by my brigade of 2 battalions of British regulars, 1 battalion of British light infantry, and 1 battalion of loyalist militia. Dan was on my right, with four battalions of regulars, one being an elite unit of highlanders. I also commanded two guns.
The American force contained 31 battalions, and His Majesty's heroic defenders amounted to 14 battalions of infantry and three warbands of loyal natives. Above, one sees a few of the approaching rebels from somewhere in front of the Hessian redoubt. As about half the rebel army was made up of militia, they advanced through the woods, limiting the ability of our cannon to rake them as they advanced.
Initial deployment for both sides is completed on the right.

The above two photos show what my own brigade faced after about two turns of movement. Essentially, on the right, the rebels had nine battalions to (what they observed to be) five battalions.

On the left, the Americans had a nearly 2.5:1 advantage.
Dan, wanting to get stuck in sooner rather than later, advances from the redoubt to form a line at a right angle to the front of my position.

A terrible shot, so don't bother clicking on it, but you can see the relative distance between the advancing rebels and my position. Dan's regulars are in the top right, after having formed a new line.

General Neil's American scouts were able to spot my light troops, which had been hidden in the woods. A rather unfortunate turn of events. Yet, I had drawn first blood with a nice bouncing shot from one of my cannon; 3 of the rebels are turned into so much tomato sauce.
I have no envy for Colonel Richard, only pity. These Americans were going to become a big problem for him...and soon.

Dan springs his trap, and unleashes the rest of his brigade that had been hiding in the woods. The Americans, under General Art, fell back before the greater numbers of British infantry.

However, having spotted my light troops in the woods, General Art is able to charge them. My lads have to pass a morale test, which they do, but the casualties favored my men slightly.

General Richard feeling the increasing pressure as more and more Americans march on his redoubt. Some loyal natives have appeared on the American's flank, drawing the attention of two elite units.

My light troops end up getting wiped out to a man after being charged by a second battalion of rebels. However, I counter attack, with two battalions (one being militia), immediately.
The hammer of Dan, as it is swung against the Americans. The two battalions in the left foreground are mine, the rest (in line at an angle to the viewer) are Dan's. My two battalions pictured here charge the rebels. One fighting a depleted unit of rebels out of frame to the left and the right one against the brown clad militia in the left middle-ground.

It is here where my dice are suddenly blessed beyond all hope. I have two large close combats/melees this turn. One is of 37 models against about 22-25 models. I score 32 wounds!! Since the rule is, a unit does not recover casualties during combat, your unit is eliminated if you lose combat and all your troops are down. Scratch one full battalion of rebels and the remnants of a second (I have already destroyed one battalion in the previous turn). My second combat is of 20 troops facing 16...I score 17 wounds!!!. A third American battalion is eliminated in close combat, the fourth in two turns.

I start to refuse my left flank, but my lads in the center of my new line, those on the right side of the frame just beyond the foreground (with ones that are on their backs) was counter-attacked immediately after they won their fight against the militia. I had nine figures standing at the end of it, but my boys did not give their ground and the combat continued.

Dan comes in with his wall of troops all at once, striking three American battalions, including one that my own boys are fighting. He shatters the skirmishers in the center of the photo, helps me eliminate those troops which had just counter-attacked me to the left side of the frame (at this time the figures were being removed, thus the moving hand of General Neil) and Dan is rolling against another American battalion at the top of the picture...
which ends of giving as much as it got, but failing its morale test falls back as a result.

At this point of the game and on this side of the table, the Americans have lost six battalions eliminated, a seventh battalion is falling back at under half strength, and three other battalions have taken a handful of casualties between them. We have lost, on this flank, one full battalion of light troops, half of the elite highlanders, and about a dozen other figures. For a casualty ratio Americans to British of over 2:1.
Now, the left flank of our line was doing...less well. While giving as heroic a fight as they could, the Hessians and other mercenaries are in the process of being overrun by American militia...who passed some morale rolls that were nearly impossible.
With the game declared a draw, this is the situation on the British right just before we cleaned up. My two units are still in the woods, with a few of my militia barely in the frame at lower right foreground and my third battalion to the left of center frame. Across from my lads is the head of a long column of rebel militia reinforcements...which I had hit several times with artillery. My troops pictured here had just weathered a ferocious amount of fire coming from American regulars, but I suffered only one dead. It appears my terrible luck with the dice rubbed off on both Neil and Art, today. Luckily for Art, he had to leave right before the turn where I wiped out his units with those great two rolls. He would have had a coronary had he stayed to see it!

Overall it was a great game...and once I had that fantastic turn, I could have lost everything all at once and I still would have had a wonderful time. It was about damn time I had things go my way with the dice!!!

Tomorrow I hope to have more thoughts on the Army Painter mega paint a hint...think "disappointment, but workable."


  1. Looks like a mega game Justin, no win but at least you threw some great dice and enjoyed yourself!!!! Did you get my email from last week?

    1. I just found it in the spam box. I have sent you a reply. Yes, the game went well.... the umpire declared it a strategic victory for the Yanks, though. :( I am just happy at having a 3:1 casualty ratio in MY favor for a change.

      Neil ended up calling my troops the "Bullet-proof Brits!" as he did rather poorly on his shooting and I did very well on my wound determination rolls (33% chance of death per wounding and with my rolls today, it was more like 5% dead).

  2. Good game and good luck, what more do we want?