Saturday 27 May 2023

Irregular Wars first Playtest, Elizabethan Ireland AAR

I have been collecting troops for Elizabethan Ireland for some time but never really settled on rules. I decided to give Irregular Wars a bash. I have had the rules for a little while but I am awful at reading and digesting rules, it just doesn't go in. So with no game planned I asked if we could give these a run out and made myself read them three times through.

Not sure it helped.

Unit frontage is the building block for all measurements. A U being a unit frontage and a number of these being the movement rate of units and range of various weapons. The rules recommend 30mm bases for 15mm figures and one base is a  company. I decided that for 28mm a unit of 8 figures with an 80mm frontage would look right. So cavalry move 40mm, which is 5U's and firing range is 48mm or six U's.

Each unit has stats covering weapons, movement and resolve which is the most important factor as all fighting is aimed at reducing the resolve of your opponent until he breaks and scatters whilst keeping your own intact. No casualties, no morale tests resolve is everything. 

The rules are aimed at the era I would refer to as Tudor being basicly the 1500's and are particularly aimed at the clashes between different cultures. The Conquistadors in America, the Portuguese in East Africa and India and the English in the Carribean and Ireland, there are dozens of army lists covering everything from Cossacks to Samurai but usefully for me Royal English, Northern English, Irish and Highland Scots.

Hopefully then a good fit.

Chris was to command the Irish and Steve the English. In our game a fortified English Manor (Hudson and Allens fortified Manor building) needs resupplying, a column of Royal troops are marching to relieve it and the Irish are waiting for them.

The English have three companies each of Pike and Shot and two companies each of Demi-Lancers and Border Horse along with one unit of allied Irish Kern.
The Irish have 3 units of Galloglass, two units of light horse, 2 units of Kern Sharpshooters 3 units of Kern and one of Bonnaught (Better trained and armed Kern) We marked the resolve of each unit with a dice, if we stick with these rules I may invest in casualty markers.
Pre game rolling sees one unit of Demi Lancers hare off in front and another along with a unit of Pike and the English Lord fall back a move. Players then each take three chance cards which may be used immediately or saved for an appropriate occasion. 
We get going and the Irish are quick to move forward in the centre and start to flank on the right, unfortunately the Kern on the left are out of command range and an uncontrolled test sees them decide to leg it this turn.
The Irish shotte are a mixture of figures, some of them conversions adding firearms, they advance in the open either side of the Gallowglass, the best fighting men of the Irish.

Move 2 and Chris passes the initiative to Steve who immediatly charges a unit of Kern with his Demi lancers, in his turn however Chris is able to charge more Kern into the melee before it can start. I missed quite a bit here unfortunately for both players, the Kern sharpshooters are great shots but very poor in melee, I also missed adding the +4 charge bonus to Demi Lancers. So we see the Demi Lancers win but only by enough to reduce the resolve of the Kern by one. Sorry guys, will get it right next time.

In the centre the English shot have fired with little effect onto the Gallowglass who charge in and have a great advantage over the poorly armed and unarmoured shot. The out of control Kern have turned around and charge the allied English Kern and the Irish light horse have got around the flank of the English whilst the border horse charge the Bonnaught.
A large punch up ensues with the units around the edges unable to get a decisive upper hand and the English Shot managing to stay in the fight in the centre.

The English Lord leads his Demi Lancers forward to counter the Irish light horse, however whilst still out of charge range a shower of Javelins descends upon them and Chris plays his assassin card, the English Lord is cut down!
His unit of Demi-lancers are disheartened and scatter. At this point we see the ripple effect that can occur when things start to go wrong.
A unit of Pike seeing its Lord cut down takes minus 2 resolve and retreats, two of the shot units go down to one resolve which is wavering and have to retire, both touch the pike behind them and the unit takes one resolve off for each and becomes wavering itself and retreats. Suddenly the English centre is in complete dissaray, with 4 units on the verge of collapse and one already gone scattered, the English decide to attempt a fighting withdrawal.
Meanwhile far in front the Demi Lancers are still battling the Kern sharpshooters, one unit has disengaged successfully the other manfully battles on.
At this point we run out of time, the rules make much more sense now and Chris has agreed to take them home and read them properly, the end result was a fun game that will be more fun next time when we know the rules to start with.

Apart from reading the rules its going to be important to give players a list of what they have and what the troops can do, I think they translated well into 28mm with larger units and I am happy to give these a few more outings before considering if anything might need changing.

Probably the best indication of the success was that I immidiatly went home and started to build an order for more Kern from Antidiluvian miniatures.

More on this soon I hope, thanks for stopping by.

Friday 19 May 2023

Another Eclectic Workbench

 A few different things coming off the workbench this week.

With an Elizabethan game test looming I decided to get a few more of those finished. A couple of pike and a Kern, not based yet as I have yet to finalise whats happening with basing. The English pike are Foundry and the Kern is Perrys.
I also completed a cart for 40mm Peninsular, really nice this and surprisingly is in fact a 1/35 scale plastic model.
Lastly a Spanish artillery crew of 5 figures.
These two are Perrys French artillery with a head swap for the Bicorne who will be my gun leader.
The other three gunners are first legion, again French with Bicorne Head swaps. The two figures in the middle came out less well than the right hand figure and the Perrys, but ok otherwise.


I am still to decide how to base these guys, a single base for all the crew and detachable gun or based in pairs with a separate gun like the skirmishers. Not sure what will look best and be most flexible.

Wednesday 10 May 2023

A Larger Live Free or Die battle AAR

 We have not played AWI for a little while so Steve put on a fairly large game using Live Free or Die rules. Partly I suspect to get his newly painted figures on table (A brigade per side, good going Mr Shann)


The table would be six feet by eight with the British attacking. Steve would command his new brigade of Hessians, I would have two Brigades of British and Chris Charlton would command the four brigades of Patriots/Rebels (delete as appropriate).
Both sides deploy forward and are encouraged to crack on with things. 
The Hessians don't look to have much opposition but there are three more battalions of Continentals coming up from behind. 
In the centre the continentals have three strong battalions flanked by rifle skirmishers on both sides and a pair of guns, a tough nut. On the left is Lees Legion, a quality unit but supported by three battalions of Militia, this is where our bets chance of break through is, but we need to keep the rest busy.
We are very quickly up to effective range, the British are having the better of it to the right and centre right but the rifles and guns make short work of the Loyalist Militia who are quickly driven into retreat.
A swift volley and Grenadeiers charge the continentals to their front. As usually seems to happen to me with these rules, close combat does not go well and the Grenadiers are forced back.
The Light infantry step into the gap left by the Grenadiers and trade more musketry with the continentals as the Kings American Legion trade shots with the rifles and artillery.

The British light bobs and trading short range fire with the rifles as the rest of the brigade advances either side of the farmhouse.
I try a charge again with better results this time with the Lights. The Continental regiment is seen off but the Lights are cut up in the process.
With the lights pursuing what remain of the centre of the American line the grenadiers wheel to add their volley fire in to the retreatigng rifles and open up the flank of the Militia.

On our left the Hessians and Continentals have giving each other a thorough thrashing and both sides have withdrawn to reform, the right hand unit advances to support the American Legion along with its Jeagers.
In the centre the Rebels are being pushed back and the Militia on the right is only being held together by the depleted Lees Legion as the Crown forces push onto their flank.
A birds eye view reveals the Militia return to the fray giving three battalions to take on the guns and rifles on the centre left whilst 6 battalions advance on the remnants of 4 across the rest of our line. On our far right Chris charges Lees legion at the British Battalion facing him looking to draw the British off of his militia.
The remnants of Lees Legion and the British unit continue their mutual destruction until Lees are finally spent. 
Chris reforms a depleted line as the British organise themselves to push on.
Centre left the Hessians, Militia and Legion troops have destroyed the rifles and one gun leaving just a single cannon to face them and opening a gap between the rebel centre and right which remains the strongest position with Fresh troops pushing the Hessians back.
In the centre we are almost set for the final act as the British form to attack the last line of rebels.
Meanwhile the action on our left is hotting up and the Hessians march to attack the fresh Continentals.
After a brief but bloody firefight one unit of Continentals and one Hessian drive each other into retreat leaving one Hessian battalion to face three Continentals. A glimmer of hope for the American forces.
The Militia at the extreme right though are very exposed, an attack on these could see the whole rebel centre rolled up.
The British are in a good position to push on and finish the job but we have run out of time.

So with the centre falling and the left almost gone the Rebels were in a difficult spot whilst on their right they were pushing back the Hessians, all still to play for but on balance we decided the Crown forces had the edge.

A hard fought game swinging back and forth for both sides.

Sunday 7 May 2023

40mm British Light infantry Skirmishers completed

 The latest unit completed and ready for the table top, British Light Infantry.

These are all Perry Miniatures figures and are quite lovely.
The Sergeant has been completed for quite some time, just waiting for his Platoon to land.
They are painted as the Light Infantry company of the Connaught Rangers who saw a lot of hard service in the Peninsular Campaign.
Eventually I hope to have 3 Platoons of 6 figures to fill out my company, with a leader for each.
Whilst I have added a mix of colours, the majority of the trousers will be white or off white.
Clearly our Young Officer can afford something a little nicer, our Sergeant must make do with off white.

More to follow, possibly Spanish artillery next.

As I was asked size comparison below for the Flashing blade Portuguese vs Sash and Sbre figures. Not  abad fit.