Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Busaco: Ney's Assault

We had this scenario set up from the previous night's game, so we gave it another play. The center was heavily contested; the French force the British skirmishers to withdraw from the town and woods in midfield, a British counterattack retook the town. A hussar brigade attacked, forcing British infantry into square, but there were enough other regiments nearby to drive off the horsemen with heavy losses; a second brigade of hussars swept up the center to the artillery, and spiked the guns before withdrawing in good order. A heavy French assault recaptured the town in the center and drove through to the ridge that the Redcoats were trying to hold. On the French left, the British dragoons and Grenadier Guards advanced, breaking the French left wing, but too late to save the day. The score was French 7 (including both British generals), British 4. Josh said that this game convinced him that I use black magic on my dice.

C&C:N reflections

I think I'm getting the mindset necessary to enjoy C&C: N. It takes more patience, and an awareness that you are starting the game not ready to dive right into the attack; you have to marshal your forces first. It also takes a philosophical acceptance that you won't have the cards you want, so you just have to use what you have as best you can.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Conflict of Heroes

Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel--Kursk 1943 is produced by Academy Games. I haven't even punched the counters, but I like this game already--it was designed with solo play in mind.

The box is solid, the rule book is glossy and well laid out; the four maps are mounted and have a satiny texture. There's a scenario book with fifteen firefights. There are tracking sheets, so each player can track his Action Points, Command Points and Victory Points; there are well-designed one-page (front and back) summary sheets. The counters are big 1" squares, which is good because there's a lot of information on the counter; each counter represents one squad, vehicle or gun. Seven pages of rules will get you playing the first two scenarios; the remaining nine pages add tanks, half tracks, trucks, artillery, ground attack planes, mines, bunkers, anti tank ditches and other obstacles, snipers, smoke, and special effects cards.

The key concept is action points. When you activate a unit or group of units, you get 7 Action Points, which you spend on Actions: move (usually costs 1 or 2 points per hex), fire (2 to 4 points per attack), or rally (5 points). Leadership is represented by Command Points, which can be used as extra Action Points or to influence die rolls (directing fire, rallying a squad); however, those Command Points are in short supply and must be used wisely.

The attacker has different firepower values depending on whether he's firing at a soft or armored target; the target has different defense values depending on whether the incoming fire is coming through front or flank (which includes rear). If attacker's Firepower + 2d6 (and Command Point DRMs, if any) is equal to or greater than target's Defense Value and Terrain modifiers, the target takes a hit. The target unit might be destroyed by a hit, but it might also be stunned, pinned, suppressed, or merely unnerved; the defender draws an effect chit and puts it under the unit, so the attacker doesn't necessarily know how effective his fire was. Is the enemy panicked and suppressed, or just waiting for us to get closer?

The "thank you" letter that came in the box lists several awards won by the first game in this series: an Origins, two Charles Roberts, a James Dunnigan and an International Gamers. I'm thinking that this might be the game that ASL should have been.

The first scenario is small: five Russian squads are in a village, and three German squads need to clear it. Perhaps tomorrow...

Garcia Hernandez

This looked like an interesting battle; the French had a mix of infantry and cavalry (plus one gun battery), and the English had nothing but cavalry. Historically, this is the action where the Kings German Legion horse broke two French squares.
The French start with two battalions in square; they brought two more battalions up to try to relieve the pressure, but they were quickly forced into square also. The KGL pressed the attack and whittled away at one of the squares while taking heavy casualties. An English hussar regiment charged a French unit battalion that couldn't form square (due to a rule limit on how many squares can exist at one time); the hussars destroyed the battalion and broke through. They charged a second battalion, destroyed it as well, and nearly captured General Foy, who fled the field.

And then the cavalry arrived. The French cavalry. My light horse received the charge and took a drubbing; they did some damage in return, but not enough to keep them from being swept from the field. The finishing stroke was when a French battalion on the far left launched a bayonet charge that came on a KGL regiment from behind; our retreat was blocked and the regiment was doomed. General Gleichen was led into captivity, swearing like a trooper. many you can have) and destroyed them. The victorious hussars broke through the line, attacked another battalion and destroyed it; General Foy and his aides fled the battlefield.
Score: French 7 , British 4 (6 required for a win).
Note: a unit commendation for the hussar regiment which pressed the attack through the French line. That unit scored all four victory points for the British.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Today we did Command and Colors: Napoleonics scenario Bussaco (Reynier's Attack), with Josh commanding the Angle-Portuguese army and me taking the French. The French demonstrated on the right, moving their battalions into position; the British began moving their forces up to the front of the ridge. A sharp exchange of fire between light companies forced the British artillery to retreat, but decimated the two leading voltigeur companies. I hadn't brought all of my infantry battalions up to the front but decided to launch my assault with what I had on the line, before the British were fully prepared. The drums beat the pas de charge and three battalions attacked with the bayonet. On the left, a Redcoat battalion had come down from the ridge, and my grognards broke them and sent them running. In the center, the British light company waited till the last moment and fired, causing many casualties, but my assault column maintained the attack and many a British sharpshooter fell to a French bayonet. On the right, the attack faltered and the Redcoats were able to drive back the column. Our artillery battery bombarded the exposed British Li
ght battalion in the center and broke them; on the left, the survivors of the assault column pursued the fleeing English and destroyed them.
And then the tide of Fortune turned. A Portuguese battalion took my assault column in flank and destroyed it, while long range gunnery finished off the survivors of the voltigeurs in the center, and a unit on the right as well.

The French heavy cavalry on the left swept across the battlefield in a mad charge to try to save the battle, but the Portuguese infantry formed square and the cavalry could do nothing.
As they milled around, the British dragoons countercharged; the French withdrew, but the British pursued and put them to flight. Massena saw he could do nothing against British arms, and withdrew.
Final score, 6 to 2.
French losses: 3 line infantry, 1 light infantry, 1 foot artillery, 1 heavy cavalry.
British losses: 1 line infantry, 1 light infantry.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

C&C Napoleonics

We did Rolica 2nd Position late Saturday night, and a replay on Sunday. Just the fact that we can get three games done in one weekend makes this a winner. It does, however, have a bit of a learning curve, figuring out how to do the best you can with the cards you have.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Josh and I had our first game of Command & Colors Napoleonics today, starting with scenario 1, "Rolica (First Position)". The historical battle took place in Portugal in 1808; Wellesley with 15,000 men dislodged Delaborde and 4500 from their positions and forced them to withdraw.

In the scenario, the numbers are more even. The British have four Portuguese units on the right, four Redcoats and two batteries in the center, and beyond the river on the left are a heavy cavalry, a horse artillery, and two infantry units. The French have a battery in the center, with a total of six infantry, with each flank guarded by a light cavalry unit.

The game is divided into left, center, and right sectors, and you can only move and fight units as
allowed by one of your command cards. One card might let you give orders to two or three units on your right flank; another might allow you to order one unit from each sector.

First blood went to the French gun battery, which used a "Bombard" card for exceptionally effective fire, and forced one of my batteries out of action.

Most of my starting cards were attacks and assaults on the right flank. Since that's what I had to work with, my Portuguese advanced and attacked, pushing the French off their hill. The Portuguese cavalry swept behind the French hussars, forced them back and nearly destroyed them.

And then the French counter attacked. A "Short Supply" card forced the Portuguese cavalry back to the British base line. Massed French musketry and bayonet charges destroyed the cacadores and one of the Portuguese line infantry units, and nearly destroyed the other one, which scampered back out of range as quickly as it could.

My left advanced, but was hampered by terrain. They fired on the cavalry guarding the French right and forced it back, but were unable to do much damage. I brought up my infantry in the center, but Josh used a "Rally" and got his infanry on the ridge line in good order; before I could launch my assault he preempted me, and a blaze of musketry wiped out two of my infantry units and forced a third back to the trees.

He then made use of a "Cavalry Charge". The hussars of his right swept past my infantry to attack the horse artillery that had been plaguing them; the artillery fell back, the hussars followed and pressed the attack, and wiped out the battery.

The final position is shown. The French are still holding the original position; the Portuguese have remembered something urgent back at camp; the British left is in good shape but half the center is gone. Josh got a 5:0 win.

Solo Wargamer

A blog dedicated to....

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Previous Posts

My previous After Action Reports and other wargame-related posts, from my other blog

Battle Honors

Battle honor: the right awarded to a military unit to emblazon the name of a battle or operation on its colors or uniform.