Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Oswald Mosley and his wife reviewing the British Union of Fascists Women's Auxilary.   Mosley by Black Tree Design, wife by Bob Much

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

"Bring Me the Body of Patroclus"
Giant Battle Trojan War
According to the Iliad, when the tide of war had turned against the Greeks and the Trojans were threatening their ships, Achilles “friend” Patroclus convinced Achilles to let him lead the Myrmidons (Achilles retinue) into combat. Achilles consented, giving Patroclus the armor Achilles had received from his father, in order for Patroclus to impersonate Achilles. Achilles then told Patroclus to return after beating the Trojans back from their ships. Patroclus defied Achilles' order and pursued the Trojans back to the gates of Troy.[6] Patroclus killed many Trojans, including a son of Zeus, Sarpedon. While battling, Patroclus' wits were removed by Apollo, after which Patroclus was hit with the spear of Euphorbos.  Hector, thinking this was Achilles, then killed Patroclus by stabbing him in the stomach with a spear.

This game deviates from the Homer epic to propose an all out effort by the various heroes to retrieve the body of  Patroclus

Achaeans (40 elements)

Command 1: Agamenon of Mycenea with Menelaus of Sparta -- 1xLCh/4Bd (CnC), 2xLHCh/4Bd, 4x4Sp, 1x2Ps

Command 2: Achilles of Phtia-- 1xLCh/4Bd (Gen), 6x4Wb, 1x2Ps

Command 3: Diomedes of Argos -- 1xLCh/4Bd (Gen), 1xLCh/4Bd, 4x4Sp, 2x2Ps

Command 4: Nestor of Pylos -- 1xLCh/4Bd (Gen), 1xLCh/4Bd, 4x4Pk, 2x2Ps

Command 5: Odysseus of Ithaca with Ajax of Salamis -- 1xLCh/4Bd (Gen), 1xLCh/4Bd, 4x4Sp, 2x2Ps

Achaeans fight as independent commands.  Commands are comprised of 8 elements each, demoralized when they lose 3 elements with  their general counting as 2.

Break/Demoralized = elements need an extra PIP for a forward move, toward enemy side edge. Per element, not group. Normal rules apply to movement to the side(less than 90d or rear or any movement within the deployment  area. board.  Not the Big Battle rules for Demoralization

Army loses the game if 4 out of 6 commanders are lost or when 50% of army is lost-- 20 elements lost (not just demoralized).

Agammenon rolls 1D6-1 for PIPs for each command (so it is possible for a command to receive 0 Pips for a bound). Agammenon gets the highest roll, Achilles gets the lowest (but can always move himself if in his chariot if he gets no PIPs), the other 5 get whatever Agammenon gives them.  ( When any element contacts Petroclus then Achilles gets the highest die and Achilles rolls and allocates for the generals.  If Agammennon is lost before this happens, Menelaus becomes CinC, next Odyessus, next Nestor.  Likewise if Achilles is lost after he gains control. )

Trojans (36 elements)

Command 1: Hector (CnC) -- 4x LCh//4Bd, 4x4Sp, 2x3Ax, 2x2Ps

Command 2: Paris (Gen) -- 4x LCh//4Bd, 4x4Sp, 2x3Ax, 2x2Ps

Command 3: Aeneas (Gen) -- 1x LCh//4Bd, 4x3Bd, 3x4Wb, 2x3Ax, and 2x2Ps

The commands of Hector and Paris are the native Trojans and Dardanians. Aeneas commands the Sea People mercenaries.  Hector allocates standard d6 dice as he sees fit, without regard to high and low among all three Trojan  players.

Each command is the full 12 elements, and demoralized if 4 elements are destroyed, lost with 6 gone . Thus, the Achaeans have better troops and slightly more of them, but are handicapped by their command structure, whereas the Trojans should have better command/control.  Trojans lose if 2 of 3 generals are lost or if army loses 50% -- 18 elements(lost not just demoralized). If Hector is lost then Aeneas becomes the CinC.
For both armies, all chariots have dismounted blades that can be substituted for the chariots for 1 PIP per chariot .  The named heroes, only, may also remount for 2 pips per individual.  Also the named heroes may use the Big Battle rule for the CinC of adding a +1 once per game after the initial score has been rolled.

Petroclus is dead, in the center of the table.  Capturing the body will eliminate 5 elements worth of losses to the side that brings it to their board edge.  To move it, an element need only touch it and move as normally.  The body occupies no gaming space so it cannot protect an element from attack.  If two opposing elements touch it, then they are considered in frontal combat, the winner taking possession.  If an element in possession loses a combat, the winner gets it. Only Chariots and dismounted blades can retrieve the body.  It stays to front or back of the capturing element that faces the enemy edge.

There are no camps or BUAs.  Some areas of Bad Going and a couple of Hills should be placed around the battlefield, but it is vastly just the open plains of Troy.

To increase the game to 10 players (this needs increased space and time)
add to the Achaeans
Command 6: Ajax of Salamis -- 1xLCh/4Bd (Gen), 1xLCh/4Bd, 4x4Sp, 2x2Ps
And to the Trojans (this command rolls his own die, is demoralized with 4 loses, and destroyed with 6.

Command 4:   Hittites -- 1 x General in 2-horse 3-crew chariot (HCh), 1 x 2-horse 3-crew chariot (HCh), 2 x 2-horse 2-crew chariots (LCh), 4 x Hittite spearmen (3Pk), 2 x Anatolian or Syrian spearmen (3Ax), 2 x archers (Ps)
Historical note:  I first put together my Trojan War collection in 2001.  I posted a question to Fanaticus as to how to organize the armies.  Chris Brantley suggested this scenario.  I added the Petroclus aspect.  I ran this game at Historicon in 2002.

I ran this again at the March 2017 Adepticon Convention.  It played just as well with DBA 3 as it did originally with DBA 2.    Just some slight changes in the army components.  Base Width moves speeded up play.

The game had 10 players

Another view, taken by Bill Hupp.  Yours truly standing on left.

Chariot combat in the center.  Hector's command captured Patroclus' body, defending against Agamemnon's attack.  Hector hits the Achaean leader in the flank, but loses.  Patroclus' body falls to the Achaean's side which held it for duration of game.

Combat between Nestor (lower left)/Achilles (yellow shields) and the Hittites

Final fighting in center, after loss of Hector

Hector and Aeneas were destroyed so Trojans lost.  Achaeans captured the body of Patroclus.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Good, Bad and Ugly HOTT International Tournament 2016 Midwest Leg

Here is information about the Midwest USA Leg of the 2016 GBnU Tournament.

We had our event on Saturday, Dec 3.  10 players.  We did 25mm, with BW measurement, 24AP on 3 foot battlefields,  Three 1 hour rounds. All terrain was furnished, and the same for all battles.  Woods, Hill, and generic bad going.

The Players

Sign by Penny

Here is an example of a game with the terrain placed.

Souvenir Marker for each Player

We had one game that needed the souvenir Self-ensorcell
 marker (white square -- color lost in flash :()

                             First Place Winner                           Second places
                            (Penny accepts for her Father)         Carl and Steve

                          Third Place                                                               Best Rookie
                                                                     Patrick Monaghan
                            Jim Wood

Team Winners
Patrick -UM Student, Penny (for Father - UM alum) 
Bob - Retired after 43 years working at UM
I did not play, I was the 12 player, but 11th did not come

Robert Royce

Best Rookie, Team, Third, Second and Second

The Wooden Spoon, for last Place

Final Scores

 Best Army from David Shepps.  Burmese

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Battle of Barnet, 1471, using DBA3



Our local group has been working its way through the War of the Roses.  One of the games was the Battle of Barnet.  This was an attempt by Edward IV to reclaim his throne after being ousted by King Maker -- Earl of Warwick.  The story of the battle can be found here

I wanted this game to be a large one, involving 8 players on a 4" by 8" foot table and using most of my Wars of the Roses figure collection.  This collection represents 6 DBA 3 "armies" worth for each side.

IV/83a Wars of the Roses Armies 1455-1485 AD or Tudor Army 1486-1515 AD: 1 x General (4Bd or 3Kn), 1 x currours (Cv) or border staves (LH) or unreliable levies (7Hd), 4 x stiffened billmen (4Bd), 4 x archers (4Lb), 1 x guns (Art), 1 x Welsh (3Pk) or Irish (3Ax) or men-at-arms (4Bd/3Kn) or mercenary handgunners (Ps).

I made a pool of elements from which each commander could draw.  The pool was 80 elements, 5 x 16 different element options.  I did not include the Horde as no one wanted it. Below is the Yorkist roster

The Lancaster command wrote this
"I lost my notes , but I mainly had bows and blades in the center, a mix of horse, bows and blades on each flank, and most of the horse and light in reserve." He also placed artillery in center and left flank.

This battle had a number of interesting aspects that made it a bit difficult to model.  First the right, center and left battles of each army were not aligned as they deployed at night, see attached map

Secondly, at dawn there was a dense fog that prevented troops from seeing enemy.  As they advanced, Gloucester on the York right and Oxford on the Lancaster right noticed that they were overlapping the enemy line and turned to attack that enemy in the flank.  

How to recreate the situations on the table top.  There were many good suggestion on the DBA Chat board

Part 1 -- First day of game

I decided to keep things simple.  Each side deployed not knowing the others deployment.  First set on was covered with boxes.  Then second side deployed, also covered.  Each side then moved with opponent covered until they got within  cannon range -- 5 Base Widths (BW = 60mm).  I had told the two right flank battles of the overlapped lines and allowed them to wheel towards the enemy flank.  Each side took a cannon shot straight ahead without seeing enemy.  They rolled for results, but only a couple of recoils.
Here is the table with boxes, showing Hastings vs Oxford

Then I removed the boxes and we started almost normal rules.  For a few bounds, all shooting had to be straight ahead, no support shoots.  All moves were only forward, or not at all.  Most important was that players could not talk to each other unless elements in contact.  Each CinC was given two couriers that they could send to wing commanders with new orders.

The two players whose flank was turned were not happy to see the enemy coming at them from the side.  Here is a close up of Hastings and Oxford

Exeter lost his artillery and a few bows who were shot at but not able to shoot back.  He charged a line of bows with his cavalry and light horse but was badly shot up.  One LH remained.

At the end of the first day, here is the overall picture.

Because of hostile cats at the house, we always put "Cat Baffles" on the table, if we leave the table set up for continued game.  Thin ply wood on legs.

A reader asked me what are Hostile Cats.  They are cats that are hostile to the terrain, and any figures on the terrain.  Here is some damage they did to Napoleonic battle terrain. Before the baffles, we might well find figures around the table, displaced by cats.
Here is one of the culprits

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

2014 Good, Bad, and Ugly Hordes of the Thing International Tournament. Michigan "leg" at Pro or Con Game Day, November



In 2012, Terry Webb of Nashville started a local Hordes Of The Thing tournament in which all players brought armies that were either Good or Evil, pretty or ugly. This was the first GBnU Tournament.  In 2013, an England event was added and in 2014 the concept has spread. There were 8 sites or "Legs" of the tournament around the world.  Legs were in Australia, England, Texas and the United States, including one in Michigan at the Pro or Con Game Day, November 15.  

The Crew – Good in Blue, Evil in Red 
Jim Wood* – Sherlock Holmes, Charlie Z - Pirates, David Shepps*  - Dwarfs, George Hinman/Carl Babe* – Orcs,  Bob Beattie – Leg Master, Eric/Duncan Babe*(yellow shirt) – Lizardmen, Jim Mizik (red shirt) -  Western Safari.  Missing:  Steve Roper  -  Three Musketeers, Zac Nienus – Japanese Demons
Some players were complete Newbies to HOTT, marked with *

We started with me giving some instructions.

 All boards were 3 foot square and had the same terrain:  A gentle hill, a woods, a marsh and a ploughed field.  In the first round, Bad were defenders and arranged the terrain, in second round Good defended and arranged.  In third round, dice rolled for Defender.  Each game matched Good vs Bad based on scores.  First round is shown below.  Standings and lists are shown at the end.

Bad Dwarfs vs Good Sherlock Holmes                         


Sherlock Holmes Stronghold
 Bad Japanese Demons  vs Good Treasure Island Pirates  

Good Western Safari (Bring 'Em Back Alive)  vs Bad  Orks

Good Three Musketeers vs Bad Lizardmen

Best Stronghold -- Three Musketeers

First Place – Good.  Jim Mizik (WWW)      Second Place – Bad.  Carl (WWL)     Third Place – Good.  Steve Roper   (WWL)    


Winning Army – Western Safari  (first place trophy in back )

Good = 100  (6 Win, 3 Loss, 3 Tie)
  Bad = 57  (3 Win, 6 Loss, 3 Tie)

Jim Mizik Western Safari Good 48 WWW
1 x Elephant Behemoth General 4
2 x Lions Beasts                            4
1 x Hippo Behemoth                   4
2 x Flyers                                   4
2 x Shooters                                   4
1 x Great White Hunter – Hero 4
 Zak Nienus Japanese Evil Army Bad  4 LTT
1 x  Magician              4
1 x Behemoth  Gen      4
4 x Hordes                    4
2 x Spears                     4
2 x Shooters                  4
1 x Blade                       2
1 x Knight                     2
 Charlie Z  Pirate Army  Good  15  LTT
Good Pirates- Dr. Livesey
1 x  Hero General               4
4 x  Blades                                   8
2 x  Shooters                            4
1 x  Artillery                          3
5 x  Hordes                              5
Duncn Bebe Lizardm Army   Bad      9  LLT
1 x Hero General         4
4 x Spear                     8
1 x Shooter                  2
1 x Warband               2
2 x Blades                   4
1 x Flyer                      2
2 x Hordes                    2
Jim Wood  Sherlock Holmes Good 23 WLT
1 x Steam Tank Gen. Behemoth   4
1 x Sherlock, Dr. Watson,
and Mrs. Hudson  Paladin   4
1 x Inspector Lestrade  Shooter  2
1 x Bobbies with guns  Shooter  2
2 x Bobbies with club  Blade  4
1 x Man with Bulldogs  Beasts  2
1 x Baker Street Irregulars Horde 1
1x Tradesmen    Hordes    2
1 x Royal Life Guards   Knights 2
1 x Royal Navy  Warband       2

 Carl Bebe Orc Army        Bad     27  WWL
1 x Hero General       4
1 x Behemoth            4
1 x Beast                    2
2 x Shooters               4
3 x Warbands            6
2 x Riders                   4
Steve Roper Three Musketeers  Good  14 WWL
1 x Blade General        2
3 x Musketeer Heroes 12
5 x Blades                   10

 David Shepps Dwarf Army    Bad 17  WLL
1 x Blade General                     2
1 x Hero                                   4
1 x Behemoth (giant)               4
1 x Beast (cave bear)               2
4 x Blades                                8
2 x Shooters                             4