Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Diplomacy Game: S1905 Turn Results

Spring 1905 was a time of frustration for some of the contestants, as collisions and stalemates frustrated their plans.  

Most notable was a collision of Austrian and Turkish armies in Livonia,   As far as we can tell, this was an accident between two allies, but by the time this friendly fire incident at a corps level was diffused, neither side owned Livonia and the way appeared clear for Germany to claim St. Petersburg in the fall.

German and Italian armies clashed in Burgundy in their race to retrieve the spoils of France.   While Italy claimed the city of light, this clash with the German colossus comes at a terrible time for embattled Italy.   Even though Italian warships pushed back the Turkish navy and the legions of Rome marched back into Tunis, the entry of the Austrian army into Venice threatens to undo the triumphs of the Resurgimento and of Garibaldi.   In her hour of peril, Italy can scarce afford to alienate Germany.

Meanwhile, in a sad and pointless battle, the British fleet was bottled up in Brest by a zombie French fleet in the English Channel, all that remains of France’s martial glory.  France is now in civil disorder and there are now only five active players:  England, Germany, Italy, Turkey and Austria.

Moves and mao follow:

Results for Spring, 1905 (Movement)
 General Notices:
Order resolution completed on 01-May-2016 at 13:10:42 EDT
Order Results:
Austria: F adr - apu; A bud - tri;  A gal - war Failed because Austria: A war - lvn failed. 

] A tri - ven; A vie - tyr;  A war - lvn  Bounced with mos (1 against 1). 

England: F bre - eng Bounced with eng (1 against 1). 

 A lon Holds;  F por - mao

No order for unit at English Channel. Hold order assigned.
 F eng Holds

No order for unit at Silesia. Hold order assigned.

 A bel - pic; F ber - bal; A edi - yor;
 A kie - ruh; A lvp - wal; \

A mun -bu  Bounced with mar (1 against 1). 

F nwy - bar; A sil Holds;  F swe - fin

A gas - parI; A mar -bur Bounced with mun (1 against 1). 

 F nap - ion;  A naf - tun; F tys  Supports F nap - ion

 No order for unit at St. Petersburg. Hold order assigned.Russia: 
        A stp Holds

A bul - gre; F con - aeg; F ion - tys Bounced with tys (1 against 1). Dislodged from nap (2  against 1). 

A mos - lvm Bounced with war (1 against 1). 

A rum - bul; A sev - mos Failed because Turkey: A mos -  lvn failed. 

F smy - was; F tun - wes     

The Turkish player chose to retreat his fleet from the Ionian Sea to the Adriatic.  The map below shows the dispositions at the start of the F1905 turn.


Monday, May 2, 2016

Meanwhile, In Rohan - 1

Some scenic work through April has produced this charming little farm for my Dux Rohirrim project.  As most Dark Ages games seem to be focused on pillage and looting and other beastly acts, and seeing as a fair bit of beastliness goes on in Middle Earth, one needs things to pillage and to defend from pillage.

The haystacks are from a Canadian company, 6 Squared Studios, and were in hot demand at Hot Lead in March.  I grabbed the last two - yellow ochre base, wash with Army Painter Light Tone, and several successive dry brushes of light tans.   The fence sections are half a pack's worth of wattle fences by Renedra.   They do come with little feet  I have seen chaps use them to simply stand them on the table, but I am a stolid sort of fellow and wanted them to have proper bases, even if the result is that the section ends don't quite butt up against each other.  The pig is a happy little fellow I found in a toy store.   I know that Pegasus makes some plastic barnyard animals and I could use some for plunder purposes.  We all know how cranky orcs get when meat is off the menu

I confess I am happier with the pig than I am with the barn (if that is what it is).     It is a model kit from PlastCraft Games that Vincent from the local games store stocks.  All the cool kids are getting these, Vincent told me.   Since it was under $10, I thought it wouldn't hurt and would give me a quick medieval / Rohanish / old timey building.

What I got for my $10 came inside a ziplock bag and was rather disappointing: Two sheets of precut plasticard pieces for the walls and roof, and a hard plastic doorframe and door made from some sort of injection moulding.  You got taken, Rabbitman wisely observed when he saw it under construction.   There was no scoring or any kind of feature on the walls and doors as suggested in the illustration - likewise the bits of wood shown on the exterior roof in the photo were missing.   I used a craft knife to score the walls and roof to suggest planking, and I cut the bottom edges of the roof pieces to make it look more like the photo.   Since the top roof pieces didn't join perfectly (I can't be sure if I should blame the model or my rotten skills), I glopped some plastic wood on top to look like a thatched crown to the roof.

I cut some balsawood for the outside of the roof, painted it a black, heavy dark brown drybrushing and a lighter gray drybush to suggest weathering.  Since there is no chimney or opening for one, I am guessing this building is used as a barn or as storage.  It's rough and ready, but I think it will go reasonably well with my MDF Sarissa house.

The next step is to populate the village.  For that I have this pack of Wargames Foundry Dark Ages Saxon Civilians who are next in the queue for the painting table.   I like the young bow third from left, he looks like he will be the one running to the village to warn that the orcs are on the way.

I think these figures will blend in fairly well with the scenery.

The talented and eclectic Paul from Paul's Bods blog recently showed some whimsical 20mm medieval civilians chasing geese, which I would dearly love in this scale.

Besides painting the peasants, I have some other ideas to pursue on this project.  One is building a watch tower - I think I have the plans for one from an old White Dwarf when LOTR was the big thing with GW.   Also, Rabbitman has just sent me a link to another fellow's DIY longhouse prject which looks very tempting.  Finally, there's the thought that if I was the headman of a village out on the edges of the Riddermark, with orc raids a constant source of dread, would I build some sort of palisade or stronghold at the very centre of the village for my people to take refuge in?  And, if so, would it be of stone or of wood?   I must think on this.

For my own purposes, I am going to count all the fencing sections as one terrain feature, and the two haystacks as another.  These models bring my 2016 totals to:

28mm:  Foot Figures: 38; Mounted Figures: 3; Buildings: 2;  Terrain Features: 2
6mm:  Mounted figures:  36;  Buildings:  2

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Diplomacy Game Update: 1904 Build/Adjustment Phase Results

Here are the results of the 1904 Adjustments Phase for all you Diplomacy fans out there.  At the end of eight turns. Germany leads the game with 10 Supply Centres, while Turkey follows with 8, Austria with 6 and Italy with 5.
A new English player has replaced the original player, and Russia is now declared in Civil Unrest as the Russian player has dropped out.
Results for Fall, 1904 (Adjustment)

General Notices:
 Order resolution completed on 25-Apr-2016 at 14:08:39 EDT
Order Results:
Austria: Builds A tri


France: Removes A bur France: Removes F mao

Germany: Builds F ber Germany: Builds A kie


Russia: Removes F cly Russia: Removes A lvn Russia: Removes A ukr

Turkey: Builds F smy

Supply Center Ownership:

 Austria: Budapest, Greece, Serbia, Trieste, Vienna, Warsaw (6 total).

England: Brest, London, Portugal (3 total).

France:  Paris (1 total).

Germany: Belgium, Berlin, Denmark, Edinburgh, Holland, Kiel, Liverpool, Munich, Norway, Sweden (10 total)

.Italy: Marseilles, Naples, Rome, Spain, Venice (5 total).

Russia: St. Petersburg (1 total).

Turkey: Ankara, Bulgaria,  Constantinople, Moscow, Rumania, Sevastopol, Smyrna, Tunis (8 total).

Here are the results.   Russia’s last unit is an Army in St. Petersburg, and France’s last unit is a Fleet in the English Channel.   England holds grimly on to London, while the Royal Navy holds the Mid Atlantic coasts.

Will the war between Turkey and Italy heat up after Turkey’s capture of Tunisia?  Will German and Austria escalate their war over Silesia and Bohemia?   Find out more next weekend when the Spring 1905 orders are due!


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

An Epic Night of Longstreet

Four of us played a game of Longstreet at the wargames club last night.  It is quite a dark space, so I had to play with the exposure on these photos.

We used Len’s Cigar Box Battle Mat, which looked quite spiffy.  We put some styrofoam hills under the mat to create some elevations.    Stephen and I took the Union, while Len and Bruce took the Corn Fed Rats. We were both using the starting forces for a Longstreet Grand Campaign set in 1861

We are the attackers.  Our Union regiments go forward in column.   At the start of a Longstreet campaign, 10 stand units look quite impressive.

One of Len’s regiments awaits the onslaught.   All of Len’s units are Sash and Sabre figures, and looked quite fine.

The view from my position.  Two young ladies watch the battle in the foreground, obligingly serving as Objective Markers.   Both sides had artillery mounted on hills, but we found that the rule about Shooting Over Friendlies (Longstreet p. 41), which requires that there be 6BW or more between the artillery and the friendlies, and at least another 6BW between the friendlies and the target, meant that it was very for the artillery to support the infantry.  

The building in the foreground is one of Len’s - it looks very good.  Not sure what make it is.

In the centre you can see that I pushed one of my artillery bases forward to engage the enemy with canister, but they were shot down before they could get off a round.  I didn’t regret the move, as it took some pressure off the Irish moving up in column to the right of the gun section.  in retrospect, though it’s not clear in the rule (Longstreet p. 20) on artillery formations, this may have been an illegal move, as I am not aure that one can break up artillery formations.

It all comes down to the big face-off.   I moved my two surviving guns to the right, where they could engage Len’s infantry on the hill on his left wing.  He saw my clever move, and brought his fellows down to shelter from the guns behind my black hats.

The big climax.   Stephen and I played the Charge Bayonets card (I think that’s what it was called) which allows units to shoot and then charge in the same turn.    


All four of our units charged, even the dismounted cavalry which don’t do as well in Combat as infantry do.  We split the honours, winning two of the battles on our right and losing two on the left.   We had an advantage, since all of the units started out as Eager, and Eager units do better on the attack than the defence.  However, with over thirty bases in total charging, that qualified us for three Epic Points, which means that we totally won the battle.  



We had time to run the post-battle process.  All four of our units kept their élan as Eager, while two of the rebel infantry units fell from Eager to Seasoned as a result of casualties.  It must have been because they got roughly handled in our Epic charge.  We were doing well until Stephen rolled for Reduction.  Out of nine dice for one of our nine-stand infantry regiments, Stephen rolled five “1”s, which meant that we lost five stands from disease.   Wow, the brigade shouldn’t have stopped at that IHop on the way home, the food poisoning was brutal.  Should have listened to the Adjutant, he thought that buffet looked dodgy.

We did ok one our Campaign cards, gaining 2 artillery stands (Light Rifles), a company of Sharpshooters for one infantry regiment, and raising our hardest hit infantry unit to Veteran status.

Here’s the Union force after the post-battle phase:

7 stands Cavalry, Eager Recruits

4 stands Infantry, Eager Veterans (w Sharpshooter company)

7 stand infantry, Eager Recruits

8 stands Infantry, Eager Recruits

1 artillery formation:  2 stands Light Rifles, 1 artillery formation

1 artillery formation: 1 stand howitzer, 1 stand 6 pdr smoothbore

Replacements: 6 stands infantry, Eager Recruits 

Hopefully next week this force can seek it’s next battle, in 1862.

Blessings to your die rolls!


Friday, April 22, 2016

On Newstands Now! The Daily Dissembler, Fall 1904 Edition

Your latest copy of the Daily Dissembler, containing essential news of a fictitious Europe in flames, may be found here.  Followers of the game will note that we have a replacement English player, hence the cover story.

Thanks to the Turkish and Italian players for content, and to the inestimable Ion Dowman for his play by play analysis as Sir Erasmus Blatt.

The online DD contains a somewhat imprecise rendering of the Turkish player's journalistic efforts, the Ankara What.   Readers may find their own Turkish delight in a clearer view of that fine journal, here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

PBB Diplomacy Game Update: Fall 1904 Turn Results

Hello Diplomacy fans (all three of you).
It took a little time, but the results of the Fall 1904 turn are in and were sent out to the players some days ago.  Now it can be told to you, too.
This last turn was disappointing in that three players (France, England and Russia) missed the orders deadline and failed to submit moves.  Turkey, Germany and Austria profited thereby, while Italy held her own.
Here are the orders, as shown in the colourful and action-filled map below:
Results for Fall, 1904 (Movement)
Order resolution completed on 15-Apr-2016 at 20:23:54 EDT
Order Results:
F alb - adr; A bud Supports A gal A gal Supports A war
A vie -  tyr  Bounced with mun (1 against 1).
A war Supports A mos

No order for unit at Brest. Hold order assigned.
No order for unit at London. Hold order assigned.
No order for unit at Portugal. Hold order assigned.

No order for unit at Burgundy. Hold order assigned.
No order for unit at English Channel. Hold order assigned.
No order for unit at Mid-Atlantic Ocean. Hold order assigned.

A ber - sil;  F den - swe;
A lvp Supports A yor - edi; A mun -  tyr Bounced with vie (1 against 1).
F nth - nwy; A ruh - bel; A yor - edi

F lyo - tys; A mar Supports A spa - gas
F nap Supports F lyo - tys; A spa - gas
A tun Holds - Dislodged from tys (2 against 1).

No order for unit at Clyde. Hold order assigned.
No order for unit at Livonia. Hold order assigned.
No order for unit at St. Petersburg. Hold order assigned.
No order for unit at Ukraine. Hold order assigned.

 F bla - con; A bul Holds;  F ion Supports F tys - tun
A mos Supports A war; A rum - ukr Bounced with ukr (1 against 1).
A sev Supports A mos; F tys - tun

Results for Fall, 1904 (Retreat)
General Notices:
Order resolution completed on 15-Apr-2016 at 20:26:53 EDT
Order Results:
Supply centers were gained. Units that may be built: 1.

France: Supply centers were lost. Units that must be removed: 2.
Germany: Supply centers were gained. Units that may be built: 3.
Russia: Supply centers were lost. Units that must be removed: 3.
Turkey: Supply centers were gained. Units that may be built: 1.
Italy: A tun - naf   (Italian Army Tun has no other retreat route than NAF)

England has missed two turns now and the player is thus removed from the game.  England is declared to be in a state of Civil Disorder as per page 18 of the official rules.  If anyone would like to take over as the English player, pray send an email to madpadre (at) gmail (dot) com.   While Germany occupies two of England's three Supply Centers, England still has skin in the game.  France and Russia however are in dire straits.
The deadline for all players to get their builds and removals to me is no later than this Sunday at 23:00 EST.  Before then, watch for another issue of the Daily Dissembler.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Spring Brings Some Dangerous Dames

Internet access is a little spotty at the present, thanks to leaving my MacBook at Casa Rabbit after OP THUNDERING DICE, necessitating the planning of OP MAC BACK.

In the meantime, here are some figures I've been working on through March, off and on, as spring draws near.  They are both Wargames Foundry figures, from their sadly OOP Realms of Faery series.

I love an elf with a big ... bow.   I gave the young lady with the booty a yellow dress, only to find that it is a tricky color to work with, and turned out rather muddy from the wash, even after repeated attempts to blend in lighter tones of yellow.
I also gave her a silver bow, because it seemed more fantasy-ish.
The five figures from the blister, making what I think could be the nucleus of a very fine Dragon Rampant war band.   I am delighted to say that the lovely Dianne Ansell at Foundry discovered more figures from the Faery range for me, and I am looking forward to getting them.
If this noisy fellow leads his orc host into the wood where these ladies are, he will find himself missing a drumstick.  Among the figures I completed this last weekend is a 28mm GW Orc musician from their LOTR range.
Finally, while this lady may not look dangerous, I wouldn't let the posh Bryn Mawr New England accent fool you.  This is Amelia Roosevelt, America's Girl Reporter, who will be well known to readers of the Daily Dissembler.
This figure is from Canadian company RAFM, an investigator from their Call of Cthullu series.  She was part of a very kind gift of figures I received two Christmases ago from PatG, one of the most eclectic and interesting people I know in the hobby.   Pat was a player in my 2014 online Diplomacy game, and sent the figures as a thank you for that experience.  I am sorry it's taken me so long to paint her, and I hope this goes out to Pat as a big thank you.

I used to think RAFM figures were rather clunky, but they have come a long way.  This figure is full of detail, and the face came to life under the brush, with a pert and somewhat playful expression.   With her binoculars and writing satchel, she could indeed be a reporter of travelling investigator, though her clothes are a few decades too late for Miss Amelia of the Gilded Age.  Perhaps Amelia's daughter?  I may be able to use her in my Weird War Two project.
These figures bring my 2016 totals to:
28mm:  Foot Figures: 38; Mounted Figures: 3; Buildings: 1
6mm:  Mounted figures:  36;  Buildings:  2

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