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Friday, 20 January 2017

Spartacist Revolt 1919 - Triumph & Tragedy Rules


Now you don't see a game from this rather unique period in history being played that often, but Chas can always be relied upon to broaden our historical wargaming diet with interesting games supported by interesting rules, not to mention the figures to recreate the theme.

I have to say I have never come across "Triumph & Tragedy" until this month so if like me these are news to you and you would like to know more then follow the link below.

Any questions should be posted here on the blog and I will see if we can't get a reply from our resident expert.

I grabbed some pictures of this month's game and Vince kindly produced a summary of the events.

JJ

http://www.triumph-tragedy.de

"Spartacist Revolt 1919"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spartacist_uprising

Just a few words to thank Chas for taking Steve H & myself back to the mean streets of the little
Bavarian village of Gerching in 1919.


Hurrying to join their comrades in putting down the Spartacist revolt in Munich, a small force of
Freikorp received a request to rescue a well-known Austrian orator & politician, who had been
kidnapped by the rebels. The approaches to Gerching had been blocked with barricades and manned
by militia. Local rumour suggested more reds were approaching from Munich.


Time being of the essence the Freikorp infantry debussed from their trucks either side of the road in
the adjoining woods, as their Garford-Putilov armoured car brought the barricades under fire from its
75mm gun. The militia commanded by Chas were under pressure and taking casualties, as their
reserves arrived and ex-soldiers in their ranks deployed an HMG to fire on the Freikorp. A fire fight
developed and three Freikorp fell, before the HMG was silenced.




Meanwhile some red sailors under Steve, arrived to bolster the defences and their HMG deployed to
fire on the Freikorp on the other flank.




As the militia hustled Herr Hitler away, a 75mm shell caught the rear-guard and scythed them down.

The troublemaker in the centre of this group looks vaguely familiar - "Vhat is your name!"  "Don't tell him Pike"

Having cleared the first barricade, the Freikorp moved up to take it, but came under effective fire from the sailors and their supporting Model T improvised armoured car. The Garford-Putilov silenced the sailor's HMG, but the Freikorp on the barricade were forced back, despite their supports moving to take the right flank.


The rebels escorting Adolf away were in the distance by now, so the armoured car made a desperate
attempt to crash the barricade, but it was too little too late. Sight of Hitler's toothbrush moustache was
lost in the fading light. "Ya, a new party, revolutionary, national socialist, well maybe not so nationalist anymore." he was heard to remark.

Vince

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Vimeiro Hill - Over the Hills


The Vimeiro campaign of 1808 holds a certain affection for me in my Napoleonic wargaming history. I began studying it and the battles of Rolica and Vimeiro back in 2013 as I searched for a set of Napoleonic rules to allow me to game in the grand manner with battalions, squadrons, batteries and skirmish lines to the fore; I have never been keen on the look of three men taking a flag for a walk. If you want to see those early games then check out the link below to JJ's Wargames with the first post about Rolica way back in February 2013 that starts the odyssey described and click on the newer posts tab at the bottom to link through to Vimeiro, Corunna Oporto and on up to Talavera.

JJ Wargames - Peninsular War Scenarios

At that time I had my mind very much towards gaming bigger grander battles and Vimeiro was seen very much as a launch pad to allow me to test out rules on a small battle that could go on to cope with the bigger ones I had in mind, and now with my Talavera project nearing completion I can look back on Vimeiro with fond recollection as Tom, Will and I got our heads around Carnage & Glory II and British reverse slope tactics.

I have always had my eye out for a paper based set of Napoleonic rules to use alongside my preferred option C&G II to cater for those of my friends who still prefer to roll dice; and Napoleon at War was a potential candidate but didn't quite make the cut and so it was with much interest that I looked at Over the Hills rules which I reviewed with our first play test back in October last year on JJ's.

JJ Wargames - Over the Hills Napoleonic Rules Play Test & Review

Following that first game, I came away impressed with the neat ideas around capturing battle fatigue so well done in Carnage & Glory that I was prompted to run a second game at the Devon Wargames Group and I immediately thought of my original scenario plan for Vimeiro that I designed back in 2013 for Napoleon at War and later C&G II.

So digging out my original scenario plan I began to rearrange the detail and unit statistics around Over the Hills together with some ideas that came out of the first play test to better manage the process of recording fatigue during our game.

I have copied the briefing and unit details here to this post and will provide a PDF copy with other materials we used on JJ's Wargames with a post to let you know when they are available and how to get them if you so choose.

So on with our game yesterday. The map below sets the scene of the Vimeiro Hill scenario that focuses on the first attack on Sir Arthur Wellesley's line on the ridges covering the beach landing area above the mouth of the River Maceira.

British Riflemen landing in Portugal in 1808 - http://www.greenjackets-net.org.uk/rb/1800tl.htm
French General Junot commanding the invasion force sent to subdue Portugal in 1808 had quickly gathered what forces he could and marched north from Lisbon to crush the British expeditionary force now gathering near to the little coastal village of Vimeiro.

He decided on a flanking manoeuvre to turn Wellesley's position atop the line of hills leading in from the coast by detaching two brigades under generals Solignac and Brennier, whilst he lead the main part of his army against the British troops in front of Vimeiro and holding Vimeiro Hill. The forces involved in this part of the battle are detailed below together with the objectives and victory conditions designed to simulate the challenge faced by the opposing commanders.


Vimeiro Hill
Start Time: 09.30
Environmental Conditions
Season: Summer
Weather: Clear

Ground Conditions: Good
After Rolica, Wellesley marched across country to make contact with his reinforcements on the
coast. Hearing that Junot’s main body was in the area he made preparations to attack him, but Sir
Harry Burrard arrived and countermanded the order. The following morning he was advised that the
enemy was preparing to attack him.

Special Rules:
No Horses - The Artillery teams after the march from Rolica were rapidly wearing out.
The British foot artillery movement distance when limbered is 2” (100 paces) per segment, and once
deployed may only move by man handling, 2” (100 paces) per move plus fatigue.

Essential Scenery:
Terrain - Ground is typically gently rolling arable or cultivated, with open wooded areas, villages and
small enclosures for olive groves and vines. These areas should be scattered randomly over the table
Overhead artillery fire is only permitted from one unit to another when the firer or target is located
on or above equal elevations, both of which are higher than the intervening friendly or enemy unit.
No overhead fire is permitted within canister range.

Vimeiro Hill – This area was not suited to cavalry movement and should therefore be considered as
rough ground for cavalry outside of other terrain features (Fields, woods, Vineyards) placed upon it.

Villages – All structures are stone (Seven Defensive Points). All rules for ‘Built Up Areas’ apply.

Roads - Troops must be in March Column or limbered to gain road advantage.

Orders:
French - Your orders are to control Vimeiro Hill and/or Vimeiro Village, and force Wellesley’s forces to retreat to the beaches.

Allies (Anglo-Portuguese) - Your mission is to deny the French control of Vimeiro Hill and/or Vimeiro village. You must withstand the assault until the end of the battle or inflict so many casualties that the attacking forces are obliged to give up.

Deployment:
The Allies may deploy up to 12” (600 paces) onto the table from the British player’s edge. The infantry will be deployed in two brigades, in two lines with each battalion in line. Wellesley’s deployment had the 60th, 95th, 50th, 97th, 52nd in the first line with the 9th and 43rd battalions in the second). The Foot artillery will be unlimbered and deployed. (See map for positions)

Acland’s brigade is in reserve behind Vimeiro and may deploy on the Allies back table edge in the two squares behind the village or to the North East edge in the first square. The cavalry will be off table, in reserve and may be deployed along the Allied player’s table edge.

The French may deploy up to 12” (600 paces) forward of their table edge. The artillery may start
limbered or unlimbered and deployed. (The map shows the deployment positions taken by Junot).

Junot’s columns arrived in two distinct phases with Thomières and Charlot’s attacking first, followed
later by an attack from Kellerman and St Clair.

Margaron’s Cavalry Brigade, Kellerman’s and St Clair’s Brigades are in reserve, and may be deployed along the French player’s table edge.

Once the French have deployed the Allies may change the facing and/or formation of all their
deployed forces.

The French plays as Side A in all game turns.

Victory Status:
The side that forces the other to have MORE THAN 50% of its total Fatigue Score in recorded Fatigue Hits has caused the other to become shattered and to withdraw from the field of battle and will be declared the victor.

However, the game can be called after eight turns by assessing each side’s victory points:

  • Destroying a unit = 2 points
  • Routing a unit = 1 point
  • Breaking a brigade = 5 points
  • Breaking the most expensive brigade or anyone of two or more with the same points = 10 points


Wellesley (Divisional Commander 24”, 1200 paces) (4 +2) (57 Army Fatigue)

6th Brigade Fane (Brigade Commander 12”, 600 paces) (3 +0) (16 Brigade Fatigue)
2/95th Rifles Light Battalion (7 A/R) 411 men in four companies
5/60th Rifles Light Battalion (9 A/R) 544 men
1/50th British Line Battalion (10 C) 850 men
Fane’s Light Battalion (4 B) 200 men

7th Brigade Anstruther (Brigade Commander 12”, 600 paces) (3 +0) (19 Brigade Fatigue)
2/9th British Line Battalion (8 C) 570 men
2/43rd British Light Battalion (8 C) 649 men
2/52nd British Light Battalion (8 C) 589 men
2/97th British Line Battalion (8 C) 625 men
Anstruther’s Light Battalion (5 B) 270 men

8th Brigade Acland (Brigade Commander 12”, 600 paces) (3 +0) (11 Brigade Fatigue)
2nd British Line Battalion (8 C) 658 men
1/20th British Line Battalion (4 C) 361 men in seven and a half companies
Acland’s Light Battalion (8 B/R) 313 men composed of 1/95th Rifles plus light company men from the 2nd and 20th Foot

Under Wellesley’s command (11 Brigade Fatigue)
British Foot Artillery Battery (7)  5 x 6lbr medium, 1 x howitzer – See limited movement rates in notes
20th Light Dragoons (7) 240 Light Cavalry
Portuguese Light Dragoons (6) 299 Light Cavalry (6th, 11th, 12th and Lisbon Police Cavalry, Combined Regiment)

The table at the start of our game with the on table forces deployed at start and the British brigades (left) firmly ensconced on Vimeiro Hill


Junot (General de Division 24”, 1200 paces) (3 +0) (60 Army Fatigue)

Thomiere's Brigade Thomiere (General de Brigade 12”, 600 paces) (3+0) (12 Brigade Fatigue)
1/86th Line (8 B) 757 men
2/86th Line (8 B) 756 men
4th Swiss Line (3 B) 246 men in two companies
Thomiere’s Voltigeur Battalion (4 B) 246 men

Charlot's Brigade Charlot (General de Brigade 12”, 600 paces) (3+0) (11 Brigade Fatigue)
3/32nd Battalion (9 B) 804 men
3/82nd Battalion (8 B) 749 men
Charlot’s Voltigeur Battalion (4 B) 222 men

Kellerman's Brigade Kellerman (General de Brigade 12”, 600 paces) (3+1) (12 Brigade Fatigue)
1st Battalion Reserve Grenadiers (9 B) 467 men
2nd Battalion Reserve Grenadiers (9 B) 467 men
Kellerman’s Grenadier Light Battalion (4 B) 232 men

St Clair's Brigade St Clair (Colonel 12”, 600 paces) (3+0) (10 Brigade Fatigue)
3rd Battalion Reserve Grenadiers (9 B) 467 men
4th Battalion Reserve Grenadiers (9 B) 467 men

Margaron's Brigade Margaron (General de Brigade 12”, 600 paces) (3+0) (11 Brigade Fatigue)
4th A Provisional Dragoons  (5) 295 men
4th B Provisional Dragoons  (5) 295 men
5th A Provisional Dragoons  (5) 330 men
5th B Provisional Dragoons  (5) 330 men

Under Junot's Command (4 Brigade Fatigue)
Line Foot Artillery (7)  6 x 8lbr, 2 howitzers

The view from French lines with Thomiere's brigade (closest to camera) preparing to assault Vimero village and with Charlot's brigade (32me and 82me Ligne) facing off forces on Vimeiro Hill - Note the new Fatigue Force Morale cards in action to the left.



This game allowed me to try out my newly minted Force Morale cards shamelessly copied from Sam Mustafa's Maurice game incorporating coloured dice (blue - French, red - Allied) to record reductions in Force morale caused by fatigue. These cards will also facilitate using order chits which we didn't need in this game with the French on attack and the Allies on hold/defend orders throughout the game.

The fatigue caused to units through the game can be seen being recorded by similarly coloured micro dice positioned behind the affected units.

Thomiere's brigade beat out the pas de charge as General Junot encourages his men

With the objectives and deployments established we kicked off with the French starting their move towards both the village and the hill and with their artillery placed in the centre able to support either wing.

These early moves were swiftly followed with a call for the French reserves to move on to table in the next turn.

The British commanders could only observe to see where the French would put in their main attack before committing their reserves and so contented themselves with some early ranging shots on Charlot's brigade advancing towards the hill causing the first hit of the battle and some early fatigue.

The French artillery moves up to support the infantry assault

The arrival of French reserves on turn two consisting of the grenadiers and dragoons moving obviously in support of Thomiere's advance on Vimeiro prompted Wellesley to call forward Acland's brigade together with the British and Portuguese cavalry to secure the village as the French tried desperately to race them to it.

General Fane's 6th Brigade with General Anstruther's 7th Brigade to their right atop Vimeiro Hill with Sir Arthur Wellesley overseeing his gun line in the centre

Despite the emphasis of French deployments to their right and the village, the British command seemed reluctant to relinquish their positions on the reverse slope of Vimeiro Hill and thus it was not until the third turn that General Anstruther's 7th Brigade turned to thinking about moving to their left to occupy the slopes vacated by Fane's 6th Brigade as they prepared to offer support to the 2nd 'Queens Regiment' Foot as they quickly prepared the houses and walls in Vimeiro for defence.

General Anstruther's 7th brigade with Moore's light bobs from the 52nd and 43rd Light Infantry on the forward slope - note the little ridge-line markers to allow the British players to position their line on the rear slopes 

General Charlot was only to happy to aggravate British deployments as his two battalions gamely pressed on towards the British right atop the hill, although he took a deep breath as British artillery fire inflicted three fatigue hits on the 32me Ligne to be followed by the French guns attempting to reply rolling a ten and promptly finding themselves out of ammunition!

Sir Arthur Wellesley observes the French deployment as the Royal Artillery prepare to try out their new shrapnel shells
General Junot orders the attack to commence

The first exchanges of musketry between Thomiere's voltigeurs and Acland's light bobs on the front of Vimeiro village announced the commencement of the battle for this key objective.

General Acland's men had easily won the race for the village and placing their strongest battalion in it, the 2nd Foot, and with their brigade skirmish screen forward must have felt secure behind the thick stone walls with a defence factor of seven, as the three columns of the 86me and 4me Swiss Ligne approached the outskirts.

General Acland's brigade move in and secure Vimeiro village as Thomiere's troops enter the outskirts of the village
The British 2nd Queen's Royal Regiment of Foot with Acland's light bobs prepare the village for defence
The RFA greet Charlot's brigade with some well directed fire

As Thomiere's troops prepared to assault Vimeiro, Margaron's dragoons moved rapidly to threaten any troops moving off the hill in support of the village as Kellerman's grenadier columns moved in march column to speed their approach to the village in support of the attack.

The assault on Vimeiro develops as both sides deploy their reserves in support of the battle for the village with the 20th Light Dragoons under Colonel Taylor charging in among the 2/86me Ligne

General Thomiere was the spearhead commander as his men charged into the narrow streets of Vimeiro and must have felt he was leading a likely 'forlorn hope' as the factors added up to seven points in favour of the British defence.

Over the Hills works on the roll of a D10 needing to be rolled less than or equal to a factor for any given result. With plus seven to the score for the British only poor die rolling could prevent the French from 'bouncing' back from their assault; and that was when the French scored one fatigue hit to none received in return, gaining them a foothold in the village which they took after two further rounds of desperate melee.

French cavalry move up to seal off the British in Vimeiro from their comrades on the hill

With the 1/86me Ligne busy fighting to secure the village their sister second battalion got themselves on the wrong end of the British 1796 model light cavalry sabre. As the battalion cleared the outskirts of the village, its vineyards and enclosures they were immediately engaged by the 20th Light Dragoons under their commander Colonel Taylor.

Osprey's depiction of Lt. Colonel Taylor leading the 20th Light Dragoons at Vimeiro - Patrice Courcelle

The 2/86me rapidly shook out into line and delivered a well directed volley causing two fatigue hits but unable to prevent the British cavalry swirling in among their ranks suffered the consequences as the battalion was dispersed with men throwing down their muskets and appealing for quarter.

British troops on Vimeiro Hill redeploy to bolster the flank closest to the village

The fighting for Vimeiro had left both Acland's and Thomiere's brigades badly battered with both formations teetering on brigade morale failure which would have caused immediate withdrawal from the battle.

The good news from a French perspective was that Thomiere's troops were in control of Vimeiro and with its defensive characteristics were very unlikely to be ejected by anything but fresh troops.

Margaron's dragoons prepare to charge
The battle in full sway with French forces now holding Vimeiro village as their Grenadier reserve moves up the road in support

It was now that the battle reached its crescendo as both sides sought to reinforce and consolidate their gains or take back lost objectives, with the principle fight around the road between the hill and the village leading towards the British beach head.

French guns support Charlot's brigade as the French refuse their left flank as they consolidate the hold on their right flank and Vimeiro village

General Margaron lead his dragoons up to the British line forcing the 95th and 60th Rifles to form square rather than risk their position at this critical stage in the battle.

However the French dragoons overplayed their hand and attempted a charge on the British line further along the hill encountering its broken and disrupting terrain causing fatigue on the approach only to be met by well directed volley fire from the 50th Foot that sent the French cavalry reeling back down the slope.

Desperate fighting erupts in the centre as the French prevent British attacks to retake Vimeiro
The 20th Light Dragoons having destroyed the 2/86me Ligne in a devastating charge can only observe the French forces holding the outskirts of the village

The defeat of Margaron's dragoons was all very well, but did little to aid the British in their attempt to take back Vimeiro as the cavalry had done an excellent job in preventing Fane's men from launching a counter-attack in that direction.

The "point de décision" as the forces of  Fane, Margaron and Kellerman go toe to toe outside of Vimeiro

The afternoon was drawing to a close and both sides were looking to get an overwhelming hold on the battle.

The British sensing the opportunity to retake Vimeiro by assault slipping away refocused on trying to break Junot's force morale by breaking some of his battered brigades which had lead the assault.

The focus swung back on to Charlot's two battalions who now close to Vimeiro hill became threatened by a potential counter-attack from it by General Anstruther's powerful brigade. However try as they might the French battalions gave as good as they got and were pluckily hanging on in the fight as the French brought up their, as it turned out, battle deciding reserve.

The Combined Grenadier battalions of Kellerman and St Clair proved a reserve to far for the British at Vimeiro

Like two punch drunk boxers leaning on the ropes trying to land a key blow but now breathing hard to keep going, the fight reached its final phase.

The four columns of French grenadiers had now moved up to replace the battered French dragoons who reluctantly gave way to the French elites who launched themselves at the British elites in the form of the 60th and 95th Rifles who had now shaken themselves out into line.

This would be the decisive fight as the winners would decide the fate of Vimeiro village and who would be able to hold it.

As the French columns charged in the British commander felt confident the British volley fire would command the day, until it didn't. Poor die rolling again allowed the French columns to close to contact and it was only the quality of the British riflemen together with better subsequent die rolls that kept them in the fight for the three rounds of combat it took to see both sides pull back.

The British riflemen had held the French attack, but it was the French grenadiers who were the fresher of the two brigades and well capable of launching a second assault and just as importantly very capable of preventing a British attack to retake Vimeiro itself.

Thus we called the game at that stage with the French firmly in control of the village and having achieved their objective.

That said the fatigue levels at the end of the game below shows how close the battle was and how difficult it was to call especially with one broken French brigade worth 5 VP and a destroyed French infantry battalion worth a further 2 VP. Had the British held onto Vimeiro as they should have, it would have been an overwhelming British victory

With Vimeiro in French hands and the British on the worse end of the battle fatigue we called it a French victory

Wellesley (Divisional Commander  (57 Army Fatigue - 25) 43% loss
6th Brigade Fane (16 Brigade Fatigue - 4)
7th Brigade Anstruther (19 Brigade Fatigue -11)
8th Brigade Acland (11 Brigade Fatigue - 8)
Under Wellesley’s command (11 Brigade Fatigue - 2)

Junot (60 Army Fatigue - 29) 48% loss
Thomiere's Brigade Thomiere (12 Brigade Fatigue - 2)
Charlot's Brigade Charlot (11 Brigade Fatigue - 4)
Kellerman's Brigade Kellerman (12 Brigade Fatigue - 11)
St Clair's Brigade St Clair (10 Brigade Fatigue - 8)
Margaron's Brigade Margaron (11 Brigade Fatigue - 0 broken)
Under Junot's Command (4 Brigade Fatigue - 4)

Given that this was only our second go at 'Over the Hills' what was the overall impression and what worked well and not so well?

I very much like the way these rules play and the game they create. This scenario proved a very close run thing and we were all struggling to call it right to the end. The effects on players seeing the fatigue levels impacting on their brigades really creates that meat grinder effect of sustained battle; with the need to have fresh reserves to be able to settle the matter at the end which it what the French
Grenadiers were able to do.

The Force Moral Cards were a success and together with the micro dice we were able to easily mark hits on units that could be rallied off in the game and also easily record them against the individual brigades and army by turning the dice on the cards. Any dice used up were left on the card of the affected brigade so we could see how much had reduced the overall army morale, bearing in mind that some on the dice were not showing six points when placed.

I like to use my light companies as battalion units to screen brigades and this needs further work in how we use them as it was easy for players to get confused as to their role in situations. Simply put, light troops are their to indicate the skirmish screen and to inflict long range softening up fire, but if formed up can also fight as a small light infantry battalion and I need to get clear on how that function works in the game.

Finally the rules as with many others on the market would benefit from a thorough index to enable quicker reference to the various rule references which can occur in several parts of the rule book especially when, as we did, you are using the Optional Rules from page 55 onwards, that together with some missing factors from the QRF which I need to update, were a minor quibble that didn't hugely distract from our enjoyment of the game.

So there we are my first Napoleonic game for 2017 and much fun provided by Over the Hills.

Thank you to Nathan, Ian, Si and Steve M for patiently getting their heads around the rules whilst also producing such a close fought game which has set the year off to an excellent start.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

A Raven's Feast at Littleham Cross - Dux Britanniarum


Another year almost done and here we are in December 2016 with the traditional "Big Club Game" at the DWG, where we all come together in one final game of the year.

This year's theme is the Dark Ages and we decided to bring together the members vast collections of 28mm figures with those not having this period putting together some units for the game.

The rules chosen were Dux Britanniarum from the Too Fat Lardies and the game follows on from the play test we ran last month which was very useful in helping to decide the format for this final game.

A Gathering of Ravens at Littleham Cross



With sides activations being governed by card draw we tried using one deck to govern one large game on one table, but trying to organise wargamers is like herding cats and so we changed the format to the one outlined here.

If you are interested in running something similar, our game organiser Nick put together a briefing plus the event cards and game markers we used to add a little extra spice to the game, and I have copied that information here for reference.

The club gathers on Saturday morning with plenty of casual chat as the four game tables are created

So to set the scene for our big game, the West Saxon King Cenwalh (Vince) has gathered his warriors plus about thirty ships to support a thrust into the British Kingdom of Dumnonia ruled over by King Geraint (Chas) who has his capital in Exeter.

The Britons have been licking their wounds since Cenwalh's punishing raid earlier in the year and were determined to defend their lands should the Saxon barbarians return, thus the call to arms was answered readily when cavalry patrols along the River Axe contacted the West Saxon army and spotted their support ships creeping along the Dumnonian shore towards the Exe estuary.

As this is our Xmas Seasonal Game there is always plenty of provisions on hand

The West Saxons were concentrated close to the little village of Littleham-Cross and its church just south of Exeter when the Britons moved out to meet the raiders.

A little map to help set the scene and context for our game

For our battle, the plan was to go back to using the scenarios as laid out in the "Dux Brit" rules, by setting up four separate but linked tables with victory points gathered on each adding into a total that would decide the outcome of the overall battle.

Thus each table was a small battle with in the larger clash and each table had its own card deck dealt out to the players involved.

If a player moved his forces off table in a march to join the combat on another table he would leave his cards on the former and be dealt new ones on joining the latter once having successfully tested to arrive.

Thus each of our opposing Kings could redirect his forces as required and each would decide how many forces to allocate to each table at the start of our game. Thus on Table 4, Slave Run, we had three Saxon players up against one Briton, who received reinforcements throughout the day as the Britons fought to get control of other tables.

The tables and the scenario plan follow, together with the event cards and game markers we used.

1
The Village
2
The Battle
3
Take the Church
4
Slave Run.

Table 3. "Take the Church"  takes shape

Table 1: Loot the village
Both sides to loot and attack the village.
  • Wagon = 10 points
  • Big Barrel = 5 points
  • Small Barrel = 2 points
  • Animals = 5 points
Being attacked when carrying loot of any type means that you drop the loot to combat the
attacker, the winner of the combat takes the loot.

Table 1: layout
This table should have a stone wall around the outside of the village, with animal pens inside the
village. The village should also have streets/roads inside the village with buildings running
alongside and dotted around inside the village wall.

Looting
Any unit under the control of a player can try to loot a building or animal pens, only one unit can
enter a building to search for loot.
Dice roll: 1x D6 (When checking for loot the unit which is checking cannot carry out any other
action that turn.)
Roll of 6 = Finds loot( roll a D3, 1 = small barrel, 2 = Big Barrel, 3 = Wagon
Roll of 1 = No loot in the building or the pen.

Table 1. The Village otherwise known as Littleham Cross

Table 2 Battle.
As listed in the Dux rule book

Table 2: layout
This table needs to be mirrored for each side, so that the battle ground is fair for both sides, the
table should include hills, roads and trees and maybe a few walls, but there should be no buildings
on this table.

Points and killing
The Side which is holding the battleground at the close of play gets 25 points.

3 points for killing
2 points for killing
1 point for killing
Lord
Elite Unit
Shock Cavalry
Noble Raider Cavalry
Noble
Warrior Unit
Raiders
Raider Cavalry
Levy Unit
Missile unit
Skirmisher unit
Skirmisher Cavalry

All set to go with Table 4. "Slave Run" closest to camera

Table 3: The Church
Both sides want to take and hold the Church and the grounds.
  • Each turn of the Lords card in control of the church 5 points.
  • Each turn of the Lords card in control of the church grounds 2 points.
The Saxons want to take and hold the church as this would be a big insult to the British (Players
wanting to make fun or make a funny face at the British player could get extra points.)
As above for the British players:
Only one unit can be inside the church, only one unit can attack the church (There is only one
doorway into the church.)

Table 3: layout
The Church should be in the middle of the table on a hill with a wall, hedge or fence around the
church and the grounds, a road should be running from both sides to the church. There should also
be small low lying hills and small groups of trees.

Looting
There is nothing to loot,

Saxon raiders approach the hamlet on the coast looking for slaves

Table 4: layout
There should be buildings dotted around the table where the slaves could be hiding, with small low
laying hills and small groups of trees, roads should also be placed.

Looting
Finding a slave works in the same way as looting a building, but there is no D3 roll as all slaves have
the same value in points.
If any unit is attacked when taking slaves to their table edge, the slave makes a break for freedom
and runs off. The unit losing the slave can start a new search if the unit is in a fit state.

The Britons on the far slopes gather ready to defend their coastline, note the scantily clad modest young lady at the back acting as the Britons slave marker.

Notes for all tables
  • All cavalry can charge even with shock, but not with excess shock.
  • Killing a religious leader: 10 points
Leaving the table.
Any player can leave the table to try to move to a new table, to carry this out the Lord figure need
to move to the table edge that is next to the table the player is playing on, and the player must say
that he wants to join the new table. When this happens a D6 is rolled.

D6 Roll
6/5 = move on to the other table on that edge ( all cards which that player holds are left on the
table and new cards can be drawn on the new table when the Lords card is played again.)
A local peasant mislead you and your troops and sent you the wrong way, the same peasant also
ran off with your pet dog and has set up a love nest with your lover. Your side also lose 10 points.

4 = Move to table 4 leave cards behind and draw new cards on the next lords card,
3 = Move to table 3 leave cards behind and draw new cards on the next lords card,
2 = Move to table 2 leave cards behind and draw new cards on the next lords card,
1 = Move to table 1 leave cards behind and draw new cards on the next lords card,

Re-rolls
A player can re-roll by asking a new peasant, but at a risk of losing 10 more points if a 6 or a 5 is not
rolled.

Opposing forces move into Littleham
The extra 'Event Cards' that were added to our game
A cagey opening here on Table 2. "The Battle"

Saxon cavalry support the infantry attack on Littleham Church

West Saxon raiders enter the church grounds
These are the markers we handed out to players on completion of an objective which
was handed to the umpire to add the points to the force total
The Britons advance to meet the invaders

What proved to be one of the most interesting aspects of playing a multi-scenario game like this was the decisions of the respective commanders to allocate their forces at the start.

As the maxim holds true "he who defends everything, defends nothing" the commanders sought to gain the ascendancy on tables they thought could give them the maximum return whilst seeking to hold back the enemy on others and frustrate their attempts.

Close terrain in Littleham 
The Britons fight to defend the village

The added spice of various event cards given out to respective players meant that best laid plans could still go wrong as those players responded to events that their comrades were not necessarily aware of.
 
The lines draw near on Table 3 at the church

As is ever the case with big game battles, you are really only aware of what was going on in your particular area, with awareness of the occasional cheer further along the table as one side or another gained an objective or won a major fight.

Even as your roving reporter I still only have a vague impression of what was going from one table to another, an impression that is even more unreliable as I write this report twenty-four hours after the event; and you quickly understand why reports of real battles by limited observers throughout history have so many inconsistencies and inaccuracies.

British cavalry take a hand on Table 4 during the Slave Run battle
Thoughts of taking slaves diminish as the need to kill or be killed takes over

On my particular table, Table 4 Slave Run, we three Saxon commanders grabbed two slaves cowering in the orchards and hovels of the hamlet we encountered and they were quickly shepherded to the boats.

Then as our opposing Briton commander, Jack, moved into the hamlet gathering slaves of his own (he obviously didn't hail from this particular village), the two sides stopped slave hunting and moved rapidly into close combat, that developed into a struggle all afternoon as the King of the Britons continuously fed in reinforcements to tie the Saxons down and prevent their slave hunting activities.
 
The Britons prepare to receive cavalry on Table 3 at the church
The battle on Table 4 really hots up as more British cavalry enter the fray

Destroying enemy units was quite satisfying, but often distracting from the real objectives that would net the most points and so it was that the Britons score board just kept turning over.

Fighting on the Slave Run table under the watchful eye of a British shield wall on the slopes above

The two tables the men of Wessex were focused on, namely Tables 1 and 4 proved very difficult to get a hold on and indeed the Britons were well on top on Table 1 at the close of play.

The lines clash on Table 2 at 'The Battle'

Frustration at events only increased on Table 4 as the enraged peasants aggrieved at being rounded up for a life of slavery started to attack their attackers and whilst destroying one of these enraged mobs I ended up losing three of my elite warriors for absolutely no gain to the scoreboard for ruthlessly destroying the mob. C'est la guerre!

The Britons start to gain the upper hand on Table 1 in Littleham
No quarter asked or given on Table 4 as the villagers angered at being enslaved attack any strangers at will
Table 4 and both sides have fought each other to a standstill
British Cavalry just kept on attacking
The Clergy attempt to rescue valuables as both sides clash around the church
The Britons start to mop up in Littleham Village as the West Saxons reel under the pressure

We played from midday through to just after four pm and with the bar beckoning and a score board that clearly showed the day was the Britons the men of Wessex fell back to the boats and the River Axe well and truly beaten with 355 points versus 240 points.

The Skittles score board looks ominous for the men of Wessex. I rather think the 'Valiant Brits' should have been scored under the home team.
Still the Saxons keep fighting around the Church
They think it's all over - it is now! The Britons clear Littleham of the invaders

As usual much fun was had by all and we had a great turn out for the day with a club that has grown with new members joining throughout the year.

The Devon Wargames Group 2016

Many thanks to Nick, Jason and Steve L for organising a great day's entertainment and to all the members of the Devon Wargames Group for creating all the fun in this game and all the games held this year.

On behalf of the club we wish everyone a very happy and peaceful Christmas holiday and look forward to another fun year of wargames in 2017.