Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Mediterranean Encounter (2)

Somewhat later than planned due to various equine shenanigans, here's the brief conclusion to the Renaissance galley action that I played out recently. As the previous post ended the Turks had given the Holy League light forces a real beasting and many ships had been sunk or captured. In the centre the Holy League heavies were enjoying more success, but their commander had a tough choice to make - fight on and risk total loss, or try to extricate what was left of his force.

Of course he chose the former, and it proved to be the right thing to do. The Turks managed to finish off the lighter galleys on the flanks, but in  the centre the heavy artillery of the galleasses scored some critical successes against the Turkish great galleys which left them vulnerable to their Christian opponents. In short order the Turkish centre collapsed. The Turkish admiral, realising his light forces were now at a disadvantage, decided to withdraw with his prizes and captives, and so the wings of his fleet headed for safety, easily outrunning the surviving Holy League fleet which now clustered around the lumbering galleasses. After another 12 phases (2 complete game turns) I judged that the Turks had successfully disengaged, their heavy ships mauled but their lighter forces still posing a significant threat, especially once their prizes could be refitted and turned against their former owners. But a tactical victory for the Holy League who held the field of battle al the close.

I was very pleased at how the rules played out, with the various mods and tweaks of the last few months resolving the last few inconsistencies and niggles that I had. Now to spruce up the formatting and put together a short QPS and they are done :)

Turkish light forces on their left flank decide to make a run for it as their centre falls apart.

The scene at games's end, Holy League heavies in the centre, Turkish light forces heading for the hills....


Saturday, 8 April 2017

Mediterranean Encounter

For the last three days I've been trying to get a game in using my forthcoming fast play Renaissance galley rules. This decent sized battle was set up on Wednesday night but I only got a chance to play the first few turns today. It was worth the wait, as the game has proven to be quiet interesting, and as I write has reached a tricky phase for the Holy League.

The setup on Wednesday night - kick-off was three days later!

The island on the Holy League left flank

Batteries and buildings purely decorative for this action

Holy League light forces poised to the left of the island

The scenario features two roughly equally matched forces in a littoral environment. The Holy League had the advantage of four galleasses. Both sides deployed in fairly standard lines, with heavier ships taking the central positions, lighter galleys on the flanks. On the Holy League left (Turkish right) a large island annoyingly splits the battlefield and led to a smaller virtually independent action on that flank. Both sides have a number of bergantines in support, clustered around the middle of their fleets.

And we are off! Game finally started on Saturday afternoon

Both sides maintained a steady advance, the Holy League slowed by the presence of their galleasses. In the opening salvoes of heavy gunfire the Turks scores better than their opponents, causing a smattering of damage across the Christian fleet and shattering one light galley outright. Return fire caused some damage, then the fleets crashed into a widespread melee. The Holy league hed an advantage in short range gunnery and this quickly tore into the crews of the Turkish ships, but with bigger crews they were able to absorb the losses; the larger Turkish crews proved decisive on the flanks, where over half the Holy League light galleys succumbed to boarding and were captured or sunk. In the centre things were more evenly matched, with the galleasses in particular proving their worth in beating off a number of attacks, and a couple of Turkish heavy ships were sunk or captured.

The situation at the end of Phase 2 (end game turn 2) - the Holy League holds the centre, but the flanks are crushed

For info - red counters represent hull damage (two reds = KO), black indicate crew casualties, green signifies a ship that has been captured

The confused position in the centre - Holy League holding on and scoring some decent victories

But carnage amongst the Holy League light forces behind the island

And on the other flank, with a number of Holy League light galleys captured

As play draws to an end today the battle is poised in the Turk's favour: the Holy League light forces have been effectively destroyed leaving the flanks of the heavier ships exposed. The Holy League commander has a difficult choice to make - continue in the hope of breaking through the centre using his heavy galleasses as gunnery "battering rams", or to try to extricate his force before his heavy units are enveloped in a tide of Turkish light galleys.

Hopefully more tomorrow!

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Mad Max and the Thunder Boats From Hell (2)

The lack of blog posts for the last few weeks would give you the impression that I've not been up to much. On the contrary, I've dashed off another 40 Renaissance galleys and terrain, a load of 15mm WW2 stuff and a few other projects (of which more in a future post). I've also painted up my "Thunder Boats from Hell" models and started on the rules. These will be based on Dave Schueler's original "Thunder Boats" but will add such niceties as mortars, mines, rockets, machine guns and other fun. The plan is to debut the game at the Naval Wargames Weekend in July and then to take it to the IPMS modelling and wargames show at Thornbury in August. Should be fun :)

Friday, 17 February 2017

Galleons and Galleasses

My current area of interest and rule development from a naval wargaming perspective is the Renaissance, where I've been building up some nice generic squadrons of galleys and other oared fighting ships. However, a rummage through the "lead pile" the other day uncovered a box of old Valiant Miniatures 1/1200 Armada period ships, some new in their packaging (from when "The Keep" sold off all their stock), some bought painted from Ebay but very heavily damaged. So my Renaissance project has expanded slightly to bring these in and over the last week or so I've started to renovate the battered ships I got from Ebay.

So the first ships I've had a go at doing up are a couple of galleasses, a small galleon and a couple of carracks. Due to their origins they retain a rather war-worn look but I'm pleased at how these have scrubbed up and I'll be adding to their numbers slowly over the coming weeks.

Unfortunately they seem to have been stuck onto their rather thick bases with some incredibly resilient glue and I'm fearful of damaging the models if I try to hack them off, so they are likely to stay on these rather than the thin card that the rest of my ships are based upon, but I can live with that.

Monday, 30 January 2017

You, Ze American Army

Over the weekend I've been finishing off the bulk of my winter skirmish collection. The terrain was just about sorted a few days back, and yesterday I did the bulk of the winterisation and painting of my American AFVs and vehicles. Some final dry brushing and varnishing tonight and now they are all done. A set of worthy opponents for my battle hardened Germans, perhaps somewhere around Bastogne...

Saturday, 28 January 2017

In The Deep Midwinter

It was about a year ago that I started my 15mm Eastern Front skirmish plan, which began in earnest in March. After about 10 months I have finally managed to get figures, vehicles and terrain sorted and so I celebrated by staging a setup on the wargames table to see what it ll looked like. I must say I'm quite pleased with the results

At the time of writing my more recent US force is nearing completion (infantry finished today, whitewashed all the vehicles today as well, so tracks/wheels and detailing starts tomorrow), and I still need to sort out some roads and frozen river sections. I guess no project is ever complete :)

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Mad Max and the Thunder Boats From Hell

After thinking about this idea for a few months I decided today to crack on with my "Mad Max-esque variant on Dave Schueler's "ThunderBoats" hydroplane racing game. I've played the original for a while now and its a lovely game, but some of the locals at the BV club wanted something with more "risk" in it - by which of course they mean shooting.

So I'm working on an overlaying set of rules for various weapons such as rockets, mines, mortars and personal weapons with which boat drivers can do combat as they navigate around a course (I'm thinking "Death Race on Water" here), with a view to running this at the Naval Wargames Weekend in July, and maybe at Thornbury in August. And this morning saw me in the man cave knocking up the first batch of prototype boats. Still some way to go but I think thy are shaping up nicely....