Sonntag, 11. November 2012

Battles in Persia, the Peninsula - and in Space

When considering the three basic elements of our hobby - painting, collecting and gaming - normally I have a strong bias towards the first two. It's not that I do not enjoy gaming as much as the others, but due to several reasons "real live" is very busy at the moment and it takes much less planning to sit down and paint than to arrange a quiet evening at the gaming table. Yet after several months of not-gaming it really was great that I had the oppertunity for three very different but really great games in the last two weeks.

First was a game of DBMM 240 with my good friend Norbert. We've had several different settings of DBMM 240 with 28mm figures during this year, all of them including Romans but from different periods. So far I was lucky and kept winning - which is quite surprising fiven both the facts that Norbert is the much more experienced DBMM-player AND my dice-luck is normally much less then average.

This time we had Sassanids against Imperial Romans - not exactly a historical match, but close enough. The Sassanids had a lot of Levies and some Elephants in the center, knights and superior cavalry on the right flank and also some cavalry and light horse on their left. Opposing them were the Romans with some cavalry and light horse on their right, a double line of legionaries supported by artillery on ox carts (which can fire over their own troops and are especially deadly for Elephants) in the center and some Auxilia on their left.

The Roman General plans ahead - and I'm so glad that Roman armies are so much smaller than my "barbarian hordes"

 My plan was simple: Advance and smash them. It worked. An advance of my knights on the rigth drew the artillery away, and although my levies were killed at a shocking rate my elephants finally broke through and were able to trample the Roman general who felt safe in the second rank. His last thought after a stampeeding pachyderme ran over him: I should have commanded from the rear...

A really great game, but to be honest I probably would have lost it if the Roman general would have been less audacious. This way alas my series hold, and I'm looking forward to the next game against Norbert.

One final word regarding this game: DBMM 240 works really fine for 28mm figures. I don't enjoy 15mm gaming of this ruleset as much as I once did, but in 28mm it is just great.

Next: My good friend Marios came over for a game of Lasalle - by far my favorite ruleset for non-skirmish games at the moment. We used the generic scenario generator for a game of French vs. British (both my own 28mm armies of Perry miniatures) and got "the valley" - a narrow valley between two large hills. The british were defending, the French went for the attack. Both armies were waiting for an off-table reserve of heavy cavalry.

The British (front) await the French attack - all figures are Perry Miniatures from their fantastic Napoleonic range

 My plan as French commander was simple and elegant: Advance and smash them. It, errr, did not work.

At first it looked good: My center advanced in force and my heavy cavalry - commanded by a commander with high vigor - arrived quite soon. A barrage of rifle volleys and roundshot from my guns reduced the British guns to firewood and then - everything went wrong.

The British psoition looks rather frail - sadly it was indeed implacable

Despite several audacious tries to storm the hill with both infantry and heavy cavalry...

My carabiners attack, but the British are able to form a square in the nick of time - all this valor for nothing...

...I suddenly was restricted to the lower numbers a dice has to offer, and this in a tremendous continuity. In fact after the initial rout of the British guns I was not able to kill a single batallion, while my own batallions grumbled away under British rifle volleys. When the British heavy horse finally arrived and my left flank wavered...

British heavy horse (on the far left) arrive and my left flank turns tail and runs

... not even my own heavy horse (moved there in a hurry) was able to stop them. We run out of time around turn 16, but already over a third of my army was gone - forcing me to make tests for the army moral now every turn. Thus I left the field, swearing to return to those hills sometime in the future and to bring better dice next time.

The game was great, and again I really enjoyed not only Marios' company, the great rules and the beautiful figures, but also the many advantages of the gaming mat - it was so easy to create a realistic looking valley by simply butting small parcels under the mat. How much better this is than the contour-lined pieces of carton or plastic that I've used for hills so often before...

The third game was yesterday with my dear nephew Jan, who with his 16 years already is a cunning strategist. We've played a game of X-Wing, and it was tremendous good fun - although the emperor will not be pleased with my efforts to wipe the rebel scum from the galaxy I have to admit.

We've played with 100 points, giving me the best five TIE-fighter I could muster against Luke and two of his pals. I have to say the asteroid-belt we placed in the middle of the playing field (which I had speed-painted the evening before on the backside of a 90x90 MDF board) did more damage to my ships than his lasers. I should not have taken Vaders laconic view of "asteroids do not concern me" at face value. Later I realised it is easier to neglect those flying mountains if you pace in the bridge of an executor star destroyer, than sitting in the tight cabin of a minute spot of dust that is a TIE-fighter. Well, I'll have to go back to the acadamy and repeat those navigational-eaxams...

End game - three TIEs are already destroyed by the combined force of stone and laser

 I like this new game very much, and I think it is a worthy adaption of those space dog-fights I've loved so well in my youth.

Next week I hope to squeeze in another game-night at my club, then I'll return to my painting table and finally get thos DUX Saxons done...

Have a nice evening and thanks for your visit,