Tally Ho!

Saturday 30 October 2021

Shadow of the Eagles - Russians vs Austrians

 A little more of an imagi-nations game this week as we pitted Austrians vs Russians. The Hapsburgs had a slightly larger infantry force, but with 25% inferior. They had a smaller cavalry brigade  but 2/3 were superior.

Both sides were charged with capturing a road junction and so the small hamlet guarding it counted as 2 kills. We split the cavalry between the two flanks and again adopted 160mm frontage for the line infantry.

Both sides pushed forward in the centre and on their left flanks, leading to an early cavalry clash  which the Russians shaded due to having 3 units vs 2.

As the centres collided the resilient Russians  proved more than a match for the Austrians, pushing them back across the line and capturing the hamlet. 

The Austrians mounted a number of attacks but were easily beaten back, hitting their 50% break point with the Russians having only suffered about 20%.  

The Russians were a tough opponent for the Austrians despite their better shooting due to the higher morale and chance to rally wounds that superior motivation brings for the Tsar's men. This felt a less even contest than the French who benefit from new regime flexibility and higher initiative. 

So this concludes our round of trial games - now to write a campaign. We're  still torn between imagi-nations and doing 1812'ish. 


Saturday 23 October 2021

Shadow of the Eagles - week 2, full fat play

This week for our second game of Shadow of the Eagles we used all the available rules; general quality, more detailed unit quality and permitted formations. We fought attack vs defence with a 25% larger Russian force vs the French.

The French had 25% of the infantry as Inferior and all cavalry as Regular.  They got +1 initiative giving them a bigger chance to determine activation order.  

The Russians had an Inept brigadier meaning those troops may be out-of-command and needing to each roll to advance. The line infantry counted superior for motivation (morale / combat) and inferior for training (shooting / ability roles in activation). So the Russians would be tough in melee but less good in a shoot-out.  

The Russians were the attackers with a mixture of columns, or lines preceded by skirmishers, and a reinforced cavalry brigade on their left. As the scenario demanded they pushed ahead with an attack across the whole front but with stronger flanks bulls-horns style. 

Although notionally weaker on paper, the Russian approach shooting proved effective due to a succession of 6's, meaning the more than matched the French fire as they plodded forward towards the defensive line. 

It was not all joy for the Tsar's men though as they lost the cavalry clash on their left despite having greater numbers. Some unlucky rolls a failure to counter-charge put them on the backfoot and they never really recovered. This meant the French could focus on the infantry attacks. 

As the lines clashed the French finally found their range and were able to push back the Russians across most of the front. The exception was the extreme right where the French were forced to deploy their inferior units in the front line and they were quickly blown away by the Russians in melee.  

I think this week's learning would be

  • Skirmish screens continue to be effective for both attackers and defenders - extending the separation allowed to 9" meaning they are relevant for more of the game.
  • Russians might be slow but they are tough nuts and rally wounds quite quickly. They feel the equal of Regular French with their split profile.  
  • Cavalry combats are a bit of a crap shoot and its tough to avoid additional casualties from recoiling units. 
  • Inept generals are nt too bad  - I think we only had 1 turn of total inactivity from his brigade
  • Inferior units are pretty weak, especially if you get them into melee
The final change we made this week was to narrow the frontage of the units to 160mm (120mm for mounted) to give more space on the board. This worked well so I suspect we'll stick with this.

Thursday 14 October 2021

Shadow of the Eagles - first game

This week we tried out a new set of Napoleonic rules - Shadow of the Eagles from Keith Flint. Helpfully Keith is a local gamer and always prompt to respond to queries.

The rules are very simple with only a few factors and a straightforward D6 based combat system. The twist is there is no morale tests with units accumulating hits through combat or formation disrupting actives. At one threshold they become weakened (5 hits for Regs) and eventually break (7 hits for Regs). You can rally off some of the hits but things are pretty brutal with units rarely lasting more than 2-3 rounds in action. 

As this was a practice game we very much used it to try out various situations; cavalry charging an infantry line, columns vs lines, a big cavalry melee and an attack through cover. So essentially we each attacked on the left to get quickly into the action. 

Cavalry vs a fresh line played as a I guessed with the Dragoons taking a few hits on the way in and then bouncing off. So head-on mounted are not that scary to foot in good order unless there is a quality mismatch.  

Light battalions have fairly low shooting values (about half a formed unit) and can nt hold against a determined advanced so might not feature as a central part of many games. Those Leger might be better as elite infantry with a skirmish screen   

Columns proceeded by skirmishers are pretty quick and have decent shooting. With the French formation changing for free you have the option of quickly dropping into line or pushing on in column. These felt like a good way to assault. 

Big cavalry melees have a real too and fro, with a far bit of risk involved in committing to them. You really need to watch your angles not to lose unnecessary hits by recoiling trough your own guys. As expected cavalry in line is unwieldy unless you have a big table.

Overall a fun game and quick to pick up - we played to a result in 3 hours having never used the rules before and things progressed quickly as the combat is pretty bloody. The main thing to review is the unit frontage - we played with 240mm frontage units which looks nice but restricted the options for manoeuvre.    


Friday 8 October 2021

Ottomans vs Poles - the conclusion

We rounded off the recent renaissance campaign with a large battle at the Cotswold Wargames Day so I thought I would post the final results of the campaign. This saw the Ottomans pretty much double their territory. 


The Polish proved hard to beat in the early campaign but the Ottomans adapted and taking more infantry proved a good move. Despite having weak-looking troops the Turks had two advantages; firstly they could afford to employ large artillery batteries and secondly more units gave a distinct advantage in tactical play.

The rules proved fun and fast so we'll be back with ECW in future.  

Tuesday 5 October 2021

Cotswold Wargames Day 2021

This Sunday we went on tour to Northleach for the 2021 Cotswold wargames day organised by Keith Flint.  KEITH'S WARGAMING BLOG: Cotswold Wargaming Day - Full Story and Pictures (keefsblog.blogspot.com)

Our decision to lay on a game was a little last minute so we mustered all our Renaissance gear something approximating the Siege of Vienna. 

There was was some 25mm ancients featuring Republican Romans vs assorted Celts and Latins 

A game of Sharpe Practice set in the French-Indian wars and featuring some hand sculped figures from Big Dave

A very large Napoleonic game (French vs Prussians) with big units of 36figs each


A 20mm ACW game with an attack on a train depot

WWII squad-level action 

Some 1960s armour involving the Israelis vs Egyptians (I think)

And finally some micro gaming in 6mm on a dining room sized table

All in all a nice introduction back into the show scene. The lack of traders / B&B meant a nice focus on wandering about and chatting to the other gamers. The main topic - what type of gaming mat do you use as no two were the same!


Sunday 3 October 2021

Painting update

I've been finishing up a few small painting projects this week. First some 28mm Sudanese Ansar warriors from Perry.

Secondly a Mantic Abyssal Dwarf that I've painted to be my new D&D character, and Golden Dwarf cleric. He's decked out in dungeoneering gear. 

Finally a Mantic Niaad hero that I'll use with the lizardman army as assassin