The Saga tournament was held at the September meeting. Twelve players competed for the trophies. Below are two photos from the battles.
Below are a few of my better photos
One of the great pleasures of umpiring a tournament is being able to move around the room and watch all the games. At any given time, someone in the room will have everything going to pieces, their plan on fire and their army disintegrating. If I'm lucky, I can be right there in that moment to giggle. Sure enough, I was there when one of Richard's units broke and ran from combat against a weaker enemy...causing his elite Guardsmen to break and run from a weaker enemy...causing three more units to break and run, in the worst succession of dice rolls I've seen in months.
So the out of state challenger Brett, won in the end. Congrats to him, and well played on four wins in a row
An edited tournament report by the umpire, Tyler Jefferson
The July meeting saw a variety of games played. Below are a few of my belter photos. Clockwise from the top left; Fast play Napoleonic skirmish game, a close up of the French infantry storming the farm house, WII infantry shelter in a building and a Dystopian Wars fleet.
Parliamentarians ("Roundheads") and Royalists
The highlight of the March meeting was the multiplayer English Civil War (1642–1651). This game was organised by Martin and used the 15mm Fields of Glory Renaissance rules. Lots of fun was had all. Below are a few photos from the game.
Martin briefs the commanders.
The opening moves.
Cavalry formations at impact
Pike and Shot infantry defend the road
Tournament report by Django Upton
Ten players equipped only with SAGA armies braved the sunny climes of the League of Ancients September meeting at the German Club Tivoli and managed to defeat many beers as well as each other over the course of Ragnarok 2014!
The use of different scenarios on each table provided more interesting games that previous SAGA events but a few changes had to be made to certain scenarios to balance them out.
The Multiplayer final round was again the highlight of the tournament
First Place “William the Bastard” Award; Mark “Uthar the Terrible” Robins: Huns, 3 wins, 56 VP, Warlord VP,
Second Place “Harald Hardradda” Award; Jack “Slain” Garley: Irish, 2 wins, 51 VP, 9 Warlord VP.
Third Place; Tyler “Owain Glyndwr” Jefferson: Welsh, 2 wins, 51 VP, 14
Thanks to KayJay's Games & Hobbies Café http://www.kayjays.com.au/ for their support with trophy figures.
Speaking of Ragnarok, it was the final battle for the original SAGA rules, with this being their last tournament use. Next year the new Crescent and Cross rules will take us to the crusades as well.
The August meeting saw a great variety of games including
15mm Fields of Glory ancients, 15mm Hail Caesar ancients, 28mm Warhammer WW I, 15mm
Age of Eagles Napoleonic, along with many others. If you are interested in WW1 gaming then read the full report here >>> August 1914 <<<
Warhammer Historical World War 1 with 28mm figures.
Hail Caesar 15mm Greeks
Sunday the 1st of June saw the People’s Army of Vietnam successfully infiltrate Little Wars Melbourne.
We developed a scenario to represent a fairly typical Vietnam War firefight, using the Flames of War Vietnam rules.
An American unit is ambushed in the Jungles near Long Khanh, and an armoured cavalry force needs to fight their way to the beleaguered infantry before they are overrun. In this case though, the armoured cavalry is none other than the brave Aussies of 1ATF, with their mighty Centurion tanks!
Here are a few photos form the battle
A few photos from the April meeting, which also happens to
be the second day of the Field of Glory Renaissance tournament.
Cancon2014 – LoA Demonstration Game:
TheBattles of Zorndorf 1758 and Paltzig 1759
This was my 31st Cancon since 1983 (I only missedCancon 1998) and my first non-competitive one. Geoff Frost, Ray Ashton, Wal Bristow and I decided to refight twoRussian verses Prussian Battles from the Seven Years War, Zorndorf and Paltzig (also known asKay). Initially the plan was to use the Maurice rules, but ultimately we opted for Black Powder, which in my humble opinion delivers a muchquicker and more enjoyable game. We usedrandomly drawn unit quality cards to create a fog of war effect so that thefirst time a unit was activated, shot orwas shot at, it would draw a card whichmight give it from zero to two extra special abilities. This created a nice level of uncertainty inthe game without unbalancing things.
Geoff supplied the Prussian army and I supplied theRussians. Ray opted to play Prussian andso Wal joined me with the Russian horde. Thanks go to Andrew Bishop too for supplying his beautiful table mat.
Generals Robinsov & Bristowsky Generals von Froststein& von Ashtonhausen
The Russians had a slight numeric advantage in Zorndorf anda much greater numeric advantage in Paltzig (although there the Prussians weredefending an excellently defensible river line anchored between twovillages). But with the random unitquality cards, the Prussian infantry hada significant edge with quality. ThePrussian commanders were much better in BlackPowder terms (having two generals with command 9 and two with command 8verses two Russian generals with command 8, one with command 7 and one aptlydescribed ‘idiot’ with command 6). Although for the Paltzig game we rated the Prussian CinC, General von Wedel (who historically attackedout of his defensive position), as anaggressive command 7.
Day 1 – Zorndorf
Historically this battle was a bloody draw as Frederickunderestimated the Russian staying power and relied on unimaginative frontalassaults. In this battle Wal commandedthe slightly stronger Russian infantry division on our left, leaving me with the other infantry divisionand our cavalry division, ineptlycommanded by General Demiku (who was rated as an ‘idiot’ with command 6). Geoff commanded two Prussian divisions ontheir right leaving Ray to face off against me with the largest Prussiandivision.
Viewfrom Russian left wing Viewfrom Russian right wing
We fought Zorndorf twice. In the second game, Brian Hallcommanded the Prussian right wing.
In the first game, myplan for Demiku’s cavalry to nimbly sweep around the Prussian left wing failedmiserably in the face of Demiku’s rating of ‘idiot’, as he only ever issued one ordersuccessfully. Fortunately for me, Ray “blundered” (i.e. rolled double six whenissuing an order) early on, and hisunsupported Grenadiers charged into the middle of my infantry line. This enabled me to take out one of the crackPrussian Grenadier units (the best infantry on the table) and forced Geoff tohave to start reinforcing Ray’s position in the centre. Meanwhile Wal maintained a steady pressure onthe Prussian right.
Viewfrom Prussian right vonAshtonhausen and Robinsov equally perplexed…
Finally General Fermor (Russian CinC) decided to issue anorder to Demiku’s Cossacks, who gallopedup bravely and tempted the Russian Black Hussars into a bold but doomed charge(I rolled well for the ‘untested’ Cossacks, giving them a Stamina of 3 and drew a quality card which equipped themwith lances, heh heh heh). With Ray’s infantry line slowly starting tocrumble in the face of my numerically superior infantry (and Ray’s appallingdice throws!), our first Zorndorf endedin a Russian triumph.
Our second fight of Zorndorf was even more amusing, with Wal in command of the Russian left wing ‘blundering’on turn 1 and his entire division simply marching off table! Brian Hall commanding the Prussian rightsensed victory and swarmed forward into the vacuum created by Wal’s division’sabsence.
Geoff & Ray too advanced boldly, only for me to blunder with one of myGrenadier units who then launched a suicidal charge into Ray’s well-orderedinfantry line (just vengeance for Ray’s similar ‘blunder’ in the morninggame). But I thought that I had theright troops to cover the problem as I advanced the Russian Cuirassiers, only to draw a ‘determined charge’ qualitycard. This ‘special ability’ forced meto launch a suicidal charge with the Russian Cuirassiers into the same steadywall of dark blue over the bloody green and red tatters of my own Grenadiers, with a similar outcome! Both Geoff and Ray moved swiftly to exploitmy discomfiture as they steadily ground down my remaining units.
But then suddenly, the Russian Siberian (Yellow) Hussars swept into the right flank ofGeoff’s division, urrah, urrah! After his initial ‘blunder’, Wal’s entire division had returned to the field immediately and deployedso as to swamp Brian’s advancing Prussians. Having so ably ‘lured’ the Prussians into this trap, and despatching them with equal aplomb, Wal then launched the Russian Hussars intoBrian’s remaining gun, running it downand exploiting into Geoff’s exposed flank, thereby breaking the Prussian army’s morale. Well and truly was I saved by Wal’s heroicand dashingly deployed cavalry!!!
Day 2 – Paltzig (a.k.a. Kay)
Historically the Prussians attacked out of their almostunassailable position despite the Russian numeric advantage of 3 to 2 withpredictable results. In our firstgame, we decided the Prussians did nothave to emulate von Wedel’s courage (stupidity?) and they could defend theirline. This time Wal commanded theRussian Cavalry division (again with that idiot Demiku as division commander)and one of the Russian infantry divisions and I commanded General Fermor’sinfantry division on the Russian right. Facing me was Geoff’s infantry division, strongly occupying the village and the ridge line just over theEickműhle-Fliess, whilst Ray deployedthe Prussian Cavalry and remaining Infantry divisions behind the reverse slope.
Russians attacking along the Eickműhle-Fliess Geoff’s Prussians stall myattack…
On turn one my Russian division swept a little too boldlyforward (3 moves right up to the Eickműhle-Fliess) as the rest of the Russianarmy failed to move at all. And socommenced a grinding match between Geoff and me as his superior infantrygradually whittled my more numerous battalions down. When I advanced the Cossacks up to try tooutflank the Prussian right, thePrussian Black Hussars gained revenge for Zorndorf and rode my Cossacksdown, forcing me to redeploy my reserveinfantry Battalion to face off the Prussian Hussars and to call for the RussianDragoon cavalry in reserve (but who almost never made a command roll for thewhole game).
Wal’s bold cavalryattack!
But once again the honours of the day fell to Wal. He eventually was able to order up hisinfantry and cavalry to the line of the Eickműhle-Fliess, just barely in time to prevent Ray andGeoff’s infantry from routing my division. This in turn forced Ray to launch a series of cavalry charges into Wal’sCuirassiers. But time and time againWal’s Cuirassiers would make almost all of their hits count and would save allof the hits that they had taken. Buthaving routed both Prussian Cuirassiers, finally Wal’s Cuirassiers fell prey to the Prussian Dragoons, and with the loss of our Cossacks, this was enough for both the Russian andPrussian cavalry divisions to mutually break. But with the Prussian cavalry gone, Wal moved up the remainder of his infantry to swamp Ray’s beleagueredPrussian division. Once again I was‘saved by the Wal’!
For our second refight of Paltzig/Kay we decided to emulatehistory with the Prussians having the initiative and launching an attack on theRussians as they formed up. In order tosucceed, given the significant Russiannumerical advantage, the Prussians wouldneed a lot of luck. But unfortunatelyRay’s dice remained abysmal (next time he threatens to get out his Kőnig Krieg dice). The Prussian Hussars covering the Prussianleft charged the Russian Cossacks (who rolled a 6 for their stamina as“untested” and again drew the lances quality card) only to be repulsed andeventually charged off the table by the Cossacks. This enabled the Russian Grenadiers to‘hinge’ the Prussian line and issue a deadly enfilade fire down the Prussianleft flank before charging in. Nevertheless, Ray’s Prussians valiantlyheld on for several turns despite the heavy odds against them in two prolongedmelees.
And so again it was Wal to the rescue! Wal managed to smash the Prussian cavalrycommanded by Geoff and to stall Geoff’s central infantry division, just long enough for me to finally crackRay’s die-hard Prussian foot. Geoff andRay’s courage was simply not matched by their dice as history repeated itself….
These four games demonstrated to me the fundamental strengthof Black Powder as a rules set. Its relatively simple mechanics make for aswift and decisive game, neverthelesswith significant subtlety and scope for tactical finesse. It also shows that wargames rules can bewritten well so that you not only enjoy the reading experience, but you actually understand the rules sansthe head-aches inflicted from reading the more ‘heavy’, competition driven rules sets.
Of course the problem with playing out historical refights onthe wargames table is that they do not have the faux ‘equality’ of a standard‘line them up and at them’ style competition game. Thus, you do not necessarily play for table top victory but more for theexperience of the simulation as a whole. I think that both the aesthetics of our game, with both figures and terrain, and the overall ‘feel’ of the two scenarios, achieved real heights. I have never laughed so much at a Cancon (atleast not during the wargames sessions). Wal’s hilariously merciless and relentless sledging of Ray, matched only by the pure sewerage power ofRay’s dice rolling, and the fact of Walconstantly having to come to my rescue, leftmy sides generally sore by the end of day 2.
Not playing a competition, enabled me to have day 3 of Cancon ‘off’. This meant a sleep in for me, whilst Stubbsy, Nick Wade and Michael Greyhad to rush into Epic for their 5th rounds. I then had a leisurely visit to the WarMemorial, where amongst the morestandard, if first rate, exhibits I came across a stunning WW1 aerialcombat exhibit in ANZAC Hall. My visitwas, however, marred slightly by a rabble engaged in afutile and idiotic protest outside the War Memorial as I left (but that’s theprice of freedom I fear, and it was forthe preservation of such that much of the sacrifice was made which is rightly honouredthere). Eventually I returned to Epic towatch my friends’ round 6 match ups (which confirmed my feeling of being prettygood about not having to play any more games) and to go on a final plunder raidaround the trade stands (which I must say have well and truly more than coveredup for the now none-too missed absence of Milsims).
And so I will definitely do another demo game at nextCancon. Much as the FoGR competitionlooked like fun, for me the laughter ofdays 1 and 2 so nicely topped as they were by the leisure of my day 3, means that I do not feel too sorely temptedto throw dice in earnest in a competition next year…..!
by Charles Watson
over twenty members attended the January meeting. Here are a few photos from the battles fought
By Damian Pooley
On the morning of May 29th, 2012, five wargamers and anumpire refought the first few hours of the deciding battle of the 1859 campaignbetween France, SardinianItaly and their foe, Austria.
The players (pictured) from left to right were: FML JonathanMoore(Austria, I Corps), General Geoff Frost(France, 1st Corps), Marshal Ian Poade(France, Imperial Guard Corps re-enforcements), FML Lyle Daymond(Austria, VCorps) and not-pictured General Andrew vanIngen (France 1st Corps, 2nd Division).Many thanks to all the players. I hope they had an enjoyable game. The umpirewas myself, Damian Pooley, and the rules used were 1859 from the Grand TacticalWargames series by Bruce Weigle.
The origin of Wargaming the battle of Solferino started aroundthe middle of last year to give a reason to kick start painting my masses ofOld Glory 15s Franco Prussian War French and to make some terrain. This year’s fixedterrain DBR tournament at Cancon was the perfect vehicle to make the icon ofthe battle-field, the Solferinoridge and its many built up areas (which I hadkicking around from paper terrain a while back too).
After cancon it was time to start painting and over thecourseof three months I managed to paint 3 1/2 French infantry divisions (12 infantrystands) and a brigade of Dragoons for an approxi-mate total of 250 miniatures anddouble (re)base them on FoW command stands (if I had followed the rulesguidelines I would have a total of10 French Divisions...). It was a big effortand I’m glad its done! Jonathan graciously supplied the Austrians.
As most players were only available for a 1/2 day game thepace was kept quite quick and to get all the players involved and battlehappening. The rule mistakes and leniencies made, and not wanting to readthrough the book all the time (and slow the game down) made more happen duringthe turns (more melee, more morale checks). Historically the Austrians were notable to concentrate as fast as Johnathan Moore’s I Corps did in coming to theassistance of Lyle Damond’s V Corps who faced the brunt of the assault by theFrench 1st Corps. V Corps marched to the sound of the guns and deployed a largegrand battery that reeled back General Geoff Frost’s 2ndBrigade, 1st Divi-sionalthough it was coming under pressure from 1st Brigade (74th & 84thRegiments) who charged down the ridge full of furia francaise!
FML Lyle immediately started to consolidate his Corps, spreadout as it was over the 3’ length of the ridge. FailedFrench Charge orders for1st Brigade, 1st Division, gave him some breathing room. However the French hadsuccess when Cavalry Brigade Villaine (the French MVP) flanked and overrunLyle’s artillery and crashed through to disorder an entire infantry divisionbefore they were forced to retire with mountain casualties and blown mounts.Despitethat setback V Corps began a general advance from Contrada San Martinonorth of the ridge and not only pinned General Andrew van Ingen’s 2nd Divisionin place but disordered all of its Regiments. The Division would take hours tosort itself out.
By the end of the game (5-6 turns) the French 1st Corps wasalmost unable to perform offensively. Three fresh divisions, two from theImperial Guard (Marshal Ian Poade)were moving up to relieve them and continuethe assault against still strong but tiring Austrian formations. The Austrian’scontrolled the fields on either side of the ridge and had not been evicted fromany of the strong points on the ridge itself. Would they have continued theirpincer attack or reverted to defensive tactics against the fresh and elite ImperialGuard?
More battles using the series are planned for later club meetsthis year. The Times Correspondent Damian Pooley, SOLFERINO 1859