Tuesday, 21 March 2017

The Siege of Fort William

Our second Muskets and Tomahawks game in a week - the French try to take the Fort

With most of the terrain set up from the previous game I reconfigured the table and following the events of the previous game the French pushed up to siege Fort William.

- things did not go well for the French and their allies - enough said

three lessons were learned

1. Defending troops are very hard to hit
2. Indians assaulting the parapets need darkness on their side - do not try this in broad daylight
3. The French should have brought cannon..

More soon

Monday, 20 March 2017

Retreat to Fort William - A Musket & Tomahawks scenario

Hi Folks

Believe it or not its been over a year since the Shed had seen any action from the French Indian Wars so on Monday night I decided to put things right.

The plan was for four players to take part in the game but sadly Legatus had to talk to Peru (business) and Mark had hurt his leg so he was unable to get over that evening. I did contemplate cancelling the event but my final player, Stephen, hadn't been to the shed for such a long time and he was really keen to get to grips with the ruleset.

In hindsight I am really please we pushed ahead - it was a great game, a close run thing full of cinematic adventure. Indeed there is much to be said for playing 1 vs 1. Its perhaps more relaxed, game play is swift and of course all of those tactical decisions rest on one pair of shoulders.

On with the game...

This was going to be a retreat game for the British and their Allies. Settlers had decided to establish a settlement deep in French held territory which of upset the rightful owners. A large force of French regulars, Canadian Militia and the Indian Allies were intent on driving the Settlers from their farms.

The table was laid out in three zones - at the back end stood the strong walls of Fort William, sitting on the banks of ther Tomahawk river. Units that managed to retreat across the river (the border) were deemed to be safe.

Beyond the fort lay the small trading post of Rays Landing - access to this could be achieved by the simple road running to the fort or by a small tributary of the Tomahawk river. George Springs was ably defended with a blockhouse.

Finally beyond Rays Landing lay the settlement of George Springs. The British forces in the area were scattered across these three zones. I'd decided to incorporate boat movement into the game (it was a big table) and so there were plenty of waterways that could aid movement. Canoes in M&T can move twice as fast as a walking unit.

The British objective was simple - for every combat unit that retreats to fort William scores three points (a unit could be damaged) in addition there were 10 settlers on the table - each of these retreating to the Fort scored one bonus point.

The French scored 3 points for every unit destroyed and for each settler captured (ie close combat they scored 1 point)

British Forces

at Fort William

1 unit Line Infantry (10 men) plus Colonel
2 units of rangers (6 men each) with canoes on bank outside fort plus officer

between the Fort and Rays Landing were another Ranger unit (6 men) camping in the woods

at Rays Landing

1 unit line infantry (8 men)
1 unit of colonial militia (6 men)
4 civilians (  no combat ability - move on militia card)

at George Springs

2 units of colonial militia (6 men each)
2 units of native allies (6 men)
1 unit of mohicans (4 men - elite, take 2 wounds to kill)
6 civilians (  no combat ability - move on militia card)

This gave the British 11 units to play with...once they lost 6 units the Morale card would come into play

The French Units

3 units of French Line (each 10 strong) plus officer
3 units of Canadians (6 men each) plus officer
6 units of Indians (with canoes) plus Officer

The Indians could start with hidden movement

The French forces would all arrive together outside George Springs - The Indians had the option of arriving in Canoes

Not only did the French outnumber the British their forces were significantly more powerful and were concentrated in one place.

Given the slow pace of the civilians, I, as the British player had to trade off their defence with the extraction of my own troops. This was going to be difficult.

Just a quick note - the civilians would move on the Miltia cards drawn from the deck - this would give them 18" of movement per turn (a full turn of the cards is one turn) - the distance from George Springs to the fort is a very long way.

So how did it play...

The British managed to evacuate the Civilians and won by two points - it was a close run thing
Apologies no AAR as things are very busy...

but enjoy the following photos...

Once again apologies for the lack of an AAR

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

More Troops for Pike & Shotte

Hi Folks

Since Christmas I have had a number of things on the go on my painting table (kitchen table actually) and I have finally finished off the units I needed for my Pike & Shotte Armies

If you are interested in heading back to the beginning of this journey which I started last year head here.


First up are two units of Storming Parties - I elected to mount these on CD's given the Pike & Shotte rules don't actually call for removal of figures. The figures are predominantly Warlords with a couple of others mixed in...

Next up is a sniper unit - particularly useful to harass enemy commanders

Up next are three rabble rousers - we have been thinking about using these to 'boost' morale to certain troops. These figures are all Redoubt

Now of course the rabble rousers could command the two uinits of clubmen assembled - these are a mix of Warlord & Redoubt. The Redoubt figures are slightly larger but actually I think the height variations look good in these motley units...

With the clubmen came a few extra civilians - perfect for many periods

Now you can never have too many cavalry units and I was alkways keen to paint up the Warlord Games Harquebusier regiment. Mark and I have been using regiments six figures strong (they have smaller footprints than 12) so these 12 riders were given red jackets and green jackets

Finally a chance purchase on ebay of some plastic pikemen and a few odds and ends left over from the last build enabled me to field a large pike block of 24 men (most of mine are 16)

So thats it (for the moment) on my Pike & Shotte forces - I recently bought the Pikemens Lament so we might give these rules a pop in the coming days

Coming up soon a big Muskets & Tomahawks battle

see you soon


Friday, 3 March 2017

Beachhead - A VBCW battle report

Good Evening Folks

As my last two posts will testify the Shed has already seen two games so far this year – our Frostgrave Monster Crawl and an ECW Pike & Shotte battle. Last night we kept up the impetus with a Very British Civil War Game using the Bolt Action Ruleset.

As you can see from the pictures below I pushed out on the layout – a coastline complete with quaint village and industrial area.

Picturesque Sea Front
Not so picturesque - its called progress

View from Industrial area to Village

The Background (please note that this is entirely fictitious)

Over the last few months the Fascist forces of Sir Oswald Mosley have been pushing south down the A3 Portsmouth road and following their successful capture of the royal Dockyards at Portsmouth turned their attention to the Anglican stronghold on the Isle of White.

The Dock yard
In the early hours of a spring morning the Fascist forces launched a surprise attack on the village of Cowes. Their advance forces quickly seized the beach head and waited in anticipation for the second wave to cross the Solent. However the weather in the channel turned nasty and this spear head was quickly isolated from the mainland. All they could do was to hunker down and wait for the storm to abate. The Fascist forces spread their forces out along the coastline facing inland waiting for the inevitable counter attack.

As the background describes the Fascist forces have already landed and are now defending the beach head. Their objective to simply hold fast until reinforcements could arrive. We agreed that if the Fascist troops could hold out by the end of the gaming evening they would be declared the winners. Of course the Anglican forces on the island were not going to take this lying down and had a counter attack plan in place.

The Forces were evenly matched with John & Mark K leading the Fascist defence, Mark F and myself would lead the Anglican counter attack. We typically find that with each player commanding 8-10 units the game can be concluded in an evening session

Fascist Forces – these were deployed on the table 12-18 inches in from the coast

Grey Dice – Village Deployment

1 X Panzer Mk1 (armour 7, LT AT Gun, MMG)
1 X Armoured Car (armour 7, MMG, LT AP )
1 X Medium Mortar & Observer
1 X Grew Served MMG
1 X Light AT Gun
4 X Rifle Squads (six men strong)
1 X Command
Black Dice – Industrial Area
1 X Panzer Mk1
1 X T17 ( armour 7, LT AT Gun, MMG)
1 X Observer
1 X Sniper
1 X Crew Served MMG
4 X Rifle Squads
1 X Command

The beachhead commander inspects his forces
Looks a bit like Balamory ...Sir

The Anglican Forces – these could enter any point on the table opposite the Coast

Green Dice (Anglican Regulars) – started opposite Village
2 X FT 17 (armour 7, LT AT Gun, MMG)
6 X Rifle Squads
1 X Crew Served MMG
1 X Medium Mortar & Observer
! X Command

Red Dice ( Postal Brigade) – split entrance village & industrial area
1 X Big Tank (Big Red) Armour 8, LT AT Gun, 2 X MMG turrets)
1 X Half Track (Armour 7, MMG)
1 X LT AT Gun & Tow
3 X Rifle Squads
1 X Medium Mortar & Observer
1 X Crewed Served MMG
1 X Command

The dockyard and industrial area
Canal Crossing

How did it play…

Once the Fascist forces had deployed the Anglicans were free to enter the table anywhere along the back edge of the table – my postal Brigade forces would attempt to pin down the opposing units ion the industrial area whilst Mark would assault the defences from the Rail Line. Our first units moved on.

The first Anglican unit to appear was my Postal Brigade Half Track - it crawled into the dockyard area and opened fire on the Fascist MG on the power station - a rapid burst of fire sent the loader into heaven.

Before the unit could get out of dodge the Blackshirts armour swung round the dockside buildings and Kaboom !!

The second unit on was Big Red - with his double MG turret he riddled the lighthouse with bullets taking down the fascist sniper !

He didn't last long !

Mean whilst Mark had advanced his armour along the rail line and made short work of the Panzer 1 defending the church grounds

With the armour taken out he pushed up his infantry under smoke (delivered in the wrong place by the enemy)

The Anglican assault was full speed ahead with the bunker (facing the church a key target) - fortunately is was undefended and quickly secured)

Using the rail line walls as cover Marks forces advanced forward - the enemy mortar observer in the church was taking a keen interest in their advances. Within seconds the medium mortar was delivering some devastating and accurate fire. 

With the pill box taken the Anglican troops poured fore into the eastern end of the church quickly dispatching the hidden forces. Mark then through the full weight of fire against the MG and observer hiding in the tower

By now my advancing forces into the Dockyard were having a torrid time - the half track had been destroyed and two thirds of my infantry gunned down by the black shirts.

The Fascists started to push forwards. 

The Anglican village forces continued creeping along the rail line - intent on securing the houses facing the coastline

mean whilst back in the docks the Fascist had finished mopping up the Postal Brigade resistance

Their next target was to get across the bridges into the village - this was not going to be easy. Postie had set up an MMG in the general store (building to left of pub) and on the wharf side lurked Big Red.

What was left of Posties brigade had joined the fight in the village and a vicious close quarter battle was raging across the back gardens.

By now Marks Armour was engaging with the Fascist AT gun - rounds were exchanged and despite their cover the gun soon fell silent to a barrage of mortar fire

With the AT Gun out the way the Anglican troops surged forward through the memorial garden - Ambush. A section of hidden fascists in the school house opened fire at pointblank range 

The Anglicans died to a man but the Fascists had given away their position. Mortar rounds landed on the school building disintegrating it in a weight of high explosives

Big Red was now supported by the Postal Brigade artillery - nobody was coming across these bridges !

Trying to wrest back the initiative on the wharf side the Fascist Armoured car trundled along the docks a popped out behind the pub to take a pot shot at Big Red - he fired, he hit but the rounds just bounced off the armour. However one round managed to immobilise Big Red. 

Scuttling back the armoured car tried to attack the weaker rear of Big Red - again he hit but his light guns failed to penetrate. The response was devastating as Big Red turned his turret...well you can guess the rest. 

Big Red then switched his attention to the Fascist forces pushing in from the docks. In successive turns the Pz ! and T17 were soon silenced 

With little or no fascist forces left in the village and the fascist forces in the docks deprived of all their armour the Anglican assault on removing the beachhead was deemed a success.

An Anglican FT17 stops for refueling after a hard fight 

The Isle of White remains in the Church of Englands hands

Until next time