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Sunday, 8 November 2015

Battle of Oudenarde–play test game

This was the first historical battle tested with the new 18th century wargame rules, Best Allies. Previously the games had been either equal point battles or published scenarios. So in this case it was an interpretation of the actual battle with the figures available.

For details of the battle, see here.

For the figures we had available, our army lists were as follows:

Allies (points 482)
11 battalions of infantry (platoon firing)
  3 battalion guns
  3 regiments of cavalry (shock)
3 average brigade commanders
1 excellent brigade commander
1 excellent CinC

French (points 415)
12 battalions of infantry
  3 battalion guns
  2 regiments average cavalry
  2 regiments guard cavalry
5 poor brigade commanders

This is working on a 1:10 ratio of actual units. The French have no CiinC  as both of their senior officers were off doing something else. One was based on the other side of the river with seemingly no interest in the battle and the other was personally leading an attack, fighting hand to hand with the enemy. The other French commanders were rated as poor, possibly justified by the confusion about what they were supposed to be doing but also to see what difference poor commanders would make. In hindsight, the rating of the French commanders was over severe. For future versions, I would make the French brigade commanders average which would more approximate an even battle (+50 points to the French).

We started our version of the battle from the point where both armies were facing each other.

We used 6mm armies with Baccus figures.  Initial setup below, seen from the French left. The broad strip is a small river whilst the thinner strip going away, is a stream.

View from behind the Allies lines

In our game the Allied commander massed all 3 regiments of his cavalry on his left. Ready to sweep round the French right flank. The advance of the Allied cavalry is seen as a red arrow. The French infantry brigade on their right (circled blue) tried to reform to face the Allied cavalry. Whilst the two regiments of French average cavalry moved up to their support.

The French player, decided to press the Allied right and started moving everything else he had across the river and stream.

At the end of second turn, 2 brigades of French infantry had crossed the stream and were advancing on the Allied centre. The other French on the left had taken those two moves to cross the river and were well behind. The Allied infantry had chosen to form columns and march away. Following behind their cavalry swinging in on the French right. The centre of the three French infantry brigades circled was destroyed by an Allied battalion gun, which broke one of the French battalions and the rest were carried way in the rout (with very poor die rolls).

At the end of the third turn you can see the situation on the French right as the Allied cavalry form up for attack, followed by columns of Allied infantry.

And at game end. The French right and centre have been crushed. And the remaining French brigades (2 of infantry and the guard cavalry) wisely decide to retreat from the field.

This was the first test of the rules using an actual battle situation. Although the result was very similar to the actual battle it was too much of a walk-over for the Allies.

So as pointed out earlier, better for the French commanders to be rated as average, that will allow them to respond a bit better to the Allied attack.

However it was also too easy for the Allied infantry to up-sitcks and move off the hill. To that end forming column will be the only move a unit can make that move, It will not be able to both form column and move. Likewise the artillery was too effective and the rules for firing will be changed, so that only an active brigade and its enemies can shoot.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Problems with Windows 10

OK  I tried Windows 10 (from Windows 7) and thought I would let you know how I got on.

I liked the look of Win 10 and all my old software worked on it. So far so good. But the problem was that Win 10 would not allow me to associate my old software with file types. So (for example) to open a picture to edit it it, I needed to open the software, find and open the file and then edit it. All far more effort than just clicking on a picture and then editing it. So sorry but Win 10 had to go.

So I rolled it back to Win 7, then my problems really started. First my printer was destroyed. OK it was an old printer (HP Officejet 8000) and I knew the printer drivers would not work with Win 10. But once it was returned to Win 7 everything went wrong, it would no longer print double-sided and after each print (which was very poor quality) a test page was also printed. So new printer bought.

But also on the return to Win 7, my email client Windows Live Mail was corrupted. Now I know thats a known problem with a return from Win 10. Luckily I had backed up my emails. So that all was required was to delete Windows Live Mail, find and delete its storage folder on my computer and reload Windows Live Mail. I am now loading the saved emails and restoring them to their rightful folders, thats taken about 3 days of work so far.

So the motto of my story, if your software is not designed to operate (fully) under Win 10, just don’t do the upgrade. Rolling it back is not as problem-free as Microsoft claims.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Action All Fronts is printed and ready




The rules are now available on Amazon and Wargames Vault. With Wargames Vault having the option of a pdf download. Both sites have a preview feature. The printed product of the two sites is slightly different. The Wargames Vault version is darker and to my mind the picture on the front is slightly fuzzy. But the interior pictures are sharper.

Figures in Comfort have produced a clear acrylic artillery template (as pictured on the right), with the area of effect in both inches and centimetres.

The Yahoo Group for Action All Fronts continues to grow and includes a variety of files for the rules, free to download.

Action All Fronts, wargames rules for world war 2 land battles. With a figure representing one man. Company level battles with a player comfortably able to control 100 men and 10 tanks.

The rules feature:

1) Alternate unit activation, with a unit able to perform a number of different actions in a turn.
2) Covering all of WW2 in all the different theatres of conflict.
3) Visibility important with the requirement to spot a target before being able to shoot at it.
4) Artillery support from on-table and off-table artillery.
5) 5 scenarios, army lists for British, American, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Russian troops.
6) Rules for over-watch, weather, buildings, fortifications and heroes.