Monthly Meeting Saturday 5 July 2003

after action report


Herbert Wong and John Jenkins played a 15mm French, British, Seven Years War game using the Age of Reason rules.  The scenario was a simple introductory encounter game with both sides equal at 10 SP (strength points).  This gives each side between 3-4 Brigades.  The game is basically card driven with each card activating a particular brigade.


Set up is simultaneous, with both sides already having made a note of deployment on paper.  The set up zone for both armies for an encounter game is 12" from the baseline and 18" in from both sides.  The narrow deployment area means some consideration for manoeuvre to cover the flanks must be made.  The French set up in a classical formation for the period, Infantry in strength in the centre with cavalry on both wings.  Since the French had this advantage in cavalry, it was up to the British to secure their flanks.  The British left flank, held a defensive position using the river as a defensive anchor, against the threat of 2 French cavalry regiments. The British right was more open with no terrain to anchor the wing and not enough troops to extend the line.


The French general sensing this was the weak point sent 2 regiments of Dragoons to take advantage of the situation.  The Dragoons almost caught the British line out of position but the outer supporting regiment managed to wheel in time and send a volley of musket fire into the charging Dragoons at point blank range!  This was enough to rout the French Dragoons from the battlefield.  In later turns the British cavalry reserve advanced and also routed the second French cavalry unit, securing the flank against further intrusions.  Meanwhile the centres of both armies advanced and proceeded to hammer away at each other.


Both sides reached 25% casualties after a few turns of continuous volley fire without any significant breakthrough in the centre, although the French seemed to be gaining the upper hand.  The percentage of casualties initiates a 'withdrawal check'.  Unfortunately the French, failed their check and were forced to withdraw, much to the relief of the British centre that looked like it would not survive another round of volley fire.


This was a good example of a fairly simple encounter game for this period.  A chance for both players to try out the mechanics and familiarise themselves with the basic rules.  The choice in this case was Warfare in the Age of Reason rules by Emperor's Press (no longer print but readily available on the Internet).  The governing factor for a scenario like this was simply to use whatever troops were available, to create two equal forces.  10 SP (strength points) seems to be recommended to give a good sized game which lasts between 2-4 hours. The rules include some generic army lists so that 'equal points' armies can be fielded, and also a simple system for generating a terrain map.  


In a battle of WW2 Microtanks on the Eastern Front, Christopher Chu and Philip Ngo controlled the Soviet Army, relying mainly on the T-34/85, and met the German army led by Cheung Kar Fai and Eddie Law, head-on.  Known to some extent by us, we determined to cancel the restriction on the respective marks, and put the models which we had ready on the table to go to war with.  We think, perhaps this suits the situation of the real war even more, so the German army has the relative advantage in respect of fighting capacity.

On the table top, except for two hillocks and a bush forest which provided some cover, the battle was fought in a quite open place. This battlefield seems to be more favourable to the play of the German army.

The war begins, the German army takes the initiative, Cheung advances his Tiger I forward, having occupied the favourable position; and Eddie Law cooperates with offensive also, and attempts to move round the bush forest on the left wing, but is prevented by Ngo with many German tanks being destroyed.

On the other flank of the battle, being suppressed by the Nazi's strong fire power, Chu determines to sacrifice his Light Tank Company composed of T-60s and T-34s, refusing fire with the German army, shielding the other two teams to attack circuitously.  Unfortunately, before the T-34ís of these two teams have reached their positions, Eddie makes a very brave try and passes through the bush forest in the battle field with his Pz IVs, thereby surrounding the Soviet right wing and opening fire on their rear, smashing Ngoís HQ and paralyzing a large number of Soviet tanks.

The T-34/85s commanded by
Chu can fire on the German flank, but Cheung already has shifted his army to meet them head-on.  Although Chu destroys a Tiger I and few Pz IVs, the Soviet Army cannot retrieve a defeat.


Later a DBM of 85 points format was fought by the Early Samurai (commanded by Philip Ngo) and the Chinese Chíin army of Cheung Kar Fai (itís just a game, who cares if it isnít history!).  As a result, the majestic and violent Chíin 's defeated the invaders.



In a MechWarrior battle, Tom Tong utilizes the long-range bombardment as a shield, and wipes out Christopher Chuís Steel Wolves factions.  


Often people ask "what's wargaming really about?", so I normally respond by saying it's re-creations of historical battles on a table.  This conjures up all sorts of images, so instead I try saying it's like chess without the squares.  At this point (blank stares) I normally give up and drag people along to try it for themselves . . . similar to my encounters with 'Twister'.

Visitors and new members alike (6 in all) joined me in a pre-Dreadnaught naval battle (a period considered to be between 1890 and 1913) . . . however, given that my newly arrived American Battleships just needed a good run against my also newly arrived Germans, Peter offered up his dust covered Brits to aid the bright-eyed yanks for "A Storm in a Tea Cup" scenario.  This was effectively a scenario of preposterous origins, completely fabricated for the sole purpose of introducing 'newbies' to a simple gaming system.  Phil Barkers 'Damn Battleships Again' rules are definitely very user friendly, and having Peter adjudicate the occasional decision on stray torpedoes didn't hurt either.

Other wargamers often preserve their gaming sessions to a cave-like place in their hearts, being the last redoubt from their partners . . . however, Ken and myself brought our girlfriends along to dispel this, and perhaps to prove that it really is wargaming that we sneak off to once a month, and not some sordid girlie bar.  I sometimes wonder whether the girlie bars are easier to fathom in us though.  Still, full credit to our better halves, who not only showed an interest, but were so into it that they were screaming for the blood of their enemies with every dice throw.  I am now wondering whether I have lost my last cave site, just for me.  Now, if I could just get her interested in painting models . . .

Anyway, as to the game, broadsides and torpedo runs were generously shared, heavily overlaid with eccentric personalities which left us with a draw and too many empty bottles of beer.  Check out the photos.



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