1870 FPW Game - After Action Report by Larry Brom:
In a recent battle using the newly released Fast Play Rules, "Bring Up The Guns", the NOGS (New Orleans Gaming Society), a group of 5 experienced gamers, fought an 1870 battle.There were 1028 figures (25mm) on a 5' x 11' game table and the battle was fought to a definite conclusion in four hours.
It was a resounding victory for the French, who ended up with 32% casualties versus the Prussians 51%. The difference in weapon capabilities was the key factor.None of the experienced gamers had ever fought an 1870 battle and were not familiar with the tactics needed to ensure victory with the disparity in weaponry.
This was a Chance Encounter game with no objective other than to inflict 50% casualties on your opponent, at which time Army Morale comes into play. The French Chassepot rifle had greater range and better hit capabilities while the Prussian Krupp guns had the same.The Prussians stayed cautious and tried to keep out of Chassepot range and kept their Krupps too far back for the same reason.We play again in a month and all players have learned from this experience – it will be an interesting re-match.
Bayou Wars 2007 - After Action Report by Larry Brom:
The weekend of June 8, 9, and 10th, 2007 at the Bayou Wars Gaming Convention in New Orleans, I debuted the final version of our new Fast Play Rules series, "Fire-Fight Pacific". A platoon level version of jungle combat in the Pacific between Marines and Japanese. Each side had about 51 figures mounted on 3-figure stands organized with three 13 man rifle squads, a two stand M.G. section (with 2 guns), one mortar tube stand, and a Platoon Headquarters stand. The game table was 5' X 8' (120 yards by 192 yards in scale to the figures).
Two games were played, one afternoon and one evening. Each game had 8 players. Four per side; one Platoon Commander and three Squad leaders. These battles were both "chance encounter" events in heavily jungled terrain with concealment and limited visibility. Random movement and firing was choreographed using a deck of standard playing cards. Each game took two hours to come to a definite conclusion and each game lasted 10-12 turns. The Marines won both games.
Surprisingly both games played out about the same. For the first two turns, after entering on their own table edge, both sides moved concealed through the dense jungle. On the 3rd turn, natives friendly to each side revealed all the concealed units and they were placed on the table (this speeded the game along for convention play).
Some highlights. Marine mortar fire in the first game was deadly (roll a D10 to fire, hit targets in cover with a 1 or 2) and both Japanese MG's were taken out within the first 4 turns. A Japanese single-squad Banzai attack was butchered by MG fire in one game and a Marine "banzai" in the second turn across open ground and under fire, cleared out the Japanese center positon in the jungles edge and pressed on and took out the Platoon Headquarters and their Mortar.
All in all the participants enjoyed the game, had no serious issues with these new rules and said they would play again. A very good endorsement for a first-time game at a convention. By the way, on the 3rd turn most players understood the game mechanics and knew the Firing and Close Combat tables. More rules to come!
Larry Brom reports on the Battle of Katrinaburg:
"On the 27th of August, two days before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the inaugural battle on my new 12' x 6' game table was started. It was an 1870 tactical game using Chassepot & Needlegun rules and 1215 (28mm) figures from the armies of Mark Stevens. In attendance were myself, GeorgeCarr Sr., Mark Stevens, Jay Stribling and Russ Schneider.
Game Scale: One inch = 40 yards One figure = 40 men 24 figures = a 960 man German battalion 18 figures = a 720 man French battalion 16 figures = a 640 man cavalry regiment 6 figures and 3 guns = a 6-gun battery (Battalions each have 6 bases)
Game Mechanics each turn: ~Random Move cards determining which brigade moves as a card is drawn. ~Simultaneous Firing of all arms. Standing weapons first, then moving weapons. ~ Close combat phase, fought base-vs.-base. ~Moral adjustment phase. ~Rally phase of routed units. ~Major army morale phase defined; Firm, Shaken, Bad or Broken. All of this determination is based on number of bases off the game table.
French forces consisted of 4 Infantry brigades, each of 5 or 6 battalions, 4 Cavalry regiments and 3 Gun batteries. Prussians mustered 3 Infantry. brigades (each of 6 full battalions), 4 Gun batteries, and 4 Cav. regiments.
Initial dispositions were generally like this; French strong on their center and left flank with two infantry brigades and 9 guns deployed. Their cavalry division (4 regiments), Algerian brigades and Guard brigade were off-table reserves. The Prussians kept 2 brigades and 1 cavalry regiment off-table in reserve. Two infantry brigades were deployed on their center and left with 3 cavalry regiments (hidden in woods) and 12 guns supported by a Guard regiment on a hill to their right and right-center. Three turns were completed on the 27th before we all parted in preparation for the hurricane.
The game was commenced again on 15 October by Larry and Lori Brom upon returning from 6 1/2 weeks of being harbored safely in Columbia, Mississippi by Mark Stevens and his gracious wife, Martha. After 7 more game turns, the German army capitulated on the field, following their rapid decline into the "Shaken" morale phase. The French had turned the German right flank (there were virtually no German forces left to cover that) with almost 4 full Cavalry regiments.
Casualties were within 10% of each other but the German army morale totally broke. Gawd, what bad die rolls....!"
(You can view photos of the Battle of Katrinaburg on our "Gallery" Page.)
Ed Watts of the Monday Night Adventurers (MNA) writes:
"I decided to take advantage of your TSATF & 800FE combination deal as my gang has started using 800FE for a lot of our games as we often have 5 or 6 players at a Monday Night Adventurers session and at the last 2 HMGS conventions we're running our Sword in North Africa Foreign Legion games as 800 Fighting Frenchmen since we had a 10 and 12 player game at Historicon and an 8 and 10 player game at Fall In and it's the only way to handle that many players. Part of the trick is also to give the French players what looks like a massive army and then hand the commander 6 mission cards so he has to divide their forces and send the other players all over the board as junior officers with smaller commands. To win they have to acccomplish more missions than they fail (Rescue a civilian party at an archaelogical dig, Escort a herd of cattle to a starving village, Escort a caravan across the board to a trade town, Free the slaves being held at an old tumble down outpost, Hold and relieve the forsaken Fort Zinderneuf, Take the mosque and shut down the imams calling for a jihad against the French (every turn the mosque is open the Arabs get to roll for more units joining the jihad). The game breaks down into seperate battles all over the table with players supporting each other when they can but spending most of the game operating on their own. I also ordered the scenario package as that ought to make it easier for impromptu game night games and the Sword in the Forest as I already have a French & Indian War armies for both sides."
Greg Horne writes to the Colonial Wars Yahoo Group
Subject: Wargames for Fun TSatF Battle Reports
Last weekend Gerry Webb of Castaway Arts put on a Sudan TSatF demo game for all comers at the Wargames for Fun annual event. We were fairly sure that most of the Australian Branch of the Yahoo Colonial Wars List were in attendance! Lots of fun was had and the desert sands, ever greedy for blood, did not go unsatisfied...
The Fuzzies were arrayed thusly:
2 Units of Swordsmen; 1 Unit of Spearmen; 1 Unit of Rifles; 1 Unit of Camelry and; 1 Leader (Uthman Horn).
Whereas the Forces of the Empire were so: 1 mixed Unit of mounted Infantry and camel corps - dismounted; 1 Unit of Egyptian infantry; 1 Unit of Egyptian Lancers and; 1 Leader (the doughty, if one-armed, Colonel Lohrman).
BATTLE 1 In the name of God, the forces of Ahmed al Mahdi, he who is the Expected One, are seeking to free our lands from foreign oppressors. In His Name we know that our best hope for victory is to deny access to the wells of Tearoom to the Turks and their scavenging English "allies" so as to prevent them from advancing further toward the reprehensible Gordon awaiting his just fate in Khartoum!
With fortifying cries of "allahu akbar!" and assurances from our leader, the wily Uthman Horn that the enemy's bullets were made from water, the entire body of the our force unhesitatingly sprang forward.
On our warriors came, black as hell and thick as grass as an unbelieving poet may have put it.
To our left our brave and steadfast jihadiyyah riflemen mounted a low and rocky hill, seeking to dominate the well that lay between it and the ridge diagonally bisecting the pink sands of the battlefield. Before them we espied the British mounted infantry and camel corps slogging through the sand towards the well and began peppering them with what long-range Remington fire we could bring to bear. Across and away from us, we could see our brothers in the camelry charge headlong at the only Egyptian Infantry unit which was occupying itself in mounting the ridge.
We were startled and dismayed to see them shattered by the Egyptians' startlingly fine musketry and sent reeling back on their supports from the black flag rayyia! The presence of the courageous Uthman Horn in their ranks was not enough to prevent their flight, although he was able to rally them!
Unseen by we rifles, our other two bands of the black flag flung themselves headlong at advancing Egyptian Lancers, one crashing into their front, the other cannoning into their flank. Ha! The Egyptians were destroyed as a unit, their remnants fleeing for the unclean flesh-pots of Berber! The black flags had suffered terribly in the melee however, both units taken down to half their original strength. They managed to recover their resolve and hastened toward the Egyptians standing on the ridge.
The battle hung in the balance. The British infantry were exchanging desultory volleys with the our brave riflemen on our hill and going nowhere, bent as they were on the destruction of we pestiferous fellows! The Egyptian infantry were standing firm at their end of the ridge, Lohrman Bey (curse him for an unbeliever!) backing them with his stern (albeit one-armed) presence and, although reduced somewhat in the subsequent melees, refused to run when hit by successive waves of our attackers.
Uthman Horn fled in confused dismay while the remnants of his black flags shrank back in shame to Tearoom. The Egyptians had stood - Lohrman had been un-killable, sending Uthman Horn reeling single-handedly!
As they marched on to relieve Gordon, the men of the Egyptian unit with chests swelling with pride jeered their English comrades roundly, having won their battle themselves. Perhaps their thoughts were turning to a second Tel-el-Kebir?
The affair came out as God willed.
BATTLE 2 Overview: Perhaps somewhat embarrassed by their performance in the previous battle the British infantry raced onto the ridge. Were they aiming to establish a field of fire that would enable them to command the wells on either side of the ridge? Only time would tell. They could see their old enemies, the jehadiyya swarming onto the opposite end of the ridge.
Blimey, but our English blood was up and the lads were itchin' for a scrap with the benighted heathens doncherknow! Down to the right of us the bally Gyppoes were advancing as though they had sand in their bleedin' boots; that one-armed Yank, Lohrman, 'e was keepin' pace with 'em. Now, I don't know much about their infantry (tho' we dished it up to them in good enough style a couple of years back!) but their lancers made a pretty fine show of it.
They went off at a spanking trot right the way 'round the right flank and belted right into a mob o' fuzzies and started choppin' 'em up in a pretty display. Then another lot showed up and Gad, though every one of his troopers was dead or fled, the little Gyppo Lieutenant with his flinty eyes, nut-brown face and absolutely tremendous moustache kept on a-choppin' away 'til all the fuzzies had decided to give it up for a time. Damn' if they didn't have to form a queue for him!
I 'eard he got put in for a VC or a Khedival Star or some such, but the despatch got lost when Lohrman went down!
We was stuck on the ridge bangin' away at the jehadiyya blokes, but they'd opened their order right out and our volleys weren't doing all they should have. We did wound their leader Oofman 'ore or something or other, though. Young Captain Chris, well 'e goes an' gets his blood up at this point and takes the mounted infantry charging down at the feller meanin' to do for him. Reckon's it'll put a dint in the enemy's morale. Well, we follows out of a supportive spirit, I s'pose you might say. Right into a swirling horde of Fuzzies. Still yer takes yer shillin' and yer takes yer chances as me ole Sergeant would have said.
I couldn't understand the Captains' last words as he was spitting up blood an' 'orrible gribbly bits with a spear like a shovel stuck through him. Something like Orkz and Tyranids or some such... 'is mind was wanderin'.
We got the rest of the lads together and tried to retreat back to where the Gyppos had been worn to rags by the fuzzies thumpin' them over and again and were trying to form square so as to shuffle back to some Cairene sherbert shop. I never saw what happened to them, as my boys were being pulled down all around me.
Me, how did I survive? I must have been hit on the head and been buried under some bodies or somefink. All I know about it was that I was just about the last man out alive. Bloomin' 'eck, I need a pint.