Sunday, 24 September 2017

Black Orc Down: Blood Bowl and Blucher AARs

Last Tuesday Grandfather_Nurgle called over to my house for a day of games. We'd not seen one another for a couple of years, so it was good to catch up and actually play a couple of games together. 

The first game we played was 3rd Edition Blood Bowl. I've been a long time fan of 2nd Edition BB, but have never tried the later version (which has a good press). As we wanted to play as many games as possible we played 'Sevens', a Sunday League version of the game with only seven players per side and a smaller pitch. This would give me a chance to get used to the rules and still fit in a bigger game of Blücher later. So, I took my Gouged Eye orcs and he used some Human figures he'd picked up off EBay (but had not yet got around to repainting (he paid me to say that...)).

I won the toss and got the ball, I sent my Blitzers and the Black Orc down the centre looking for a weak point in his defence line.

Then the humans took their turn, stepping up to block my mid-field, whilst ganging up on a poor lineman on the wings.

A bit of brawling and argy-bargy in the centre saw the human line weaken slightly, so I switched my attack to the right wing.

Then both of my Blitzers went down!

And then, disaster; Black Orc Down!

Exploiting my players sprawled across the pitch he made a run for the ball, but was just short of plucking it up.

I took the advantage, my thrower grabbed the ball and lined up a chuck with one of my blitzers.

One was jumped on by two humans, but I still had another Blitzer waiting in the wings, he snatched the ball and sprinted for the endzone! Touchdown!

The Orcs scored on their last turn of the first half and I enjoyed the game thoroughly. 3rd Edition is a lot quicker and I like the switch over rule, in that if you make a mistake, the turn switches to your opponent. It really speeds up the play. I'd like to try a bigger sized game and see how that holds up.

However, by that time, Ninjasaurus Rex has also turned up and we moved onto a game of Blücher. We used the same forces as last time, ie three Corps each, and I took the British defence lining a ridge. As it was Grandfather Nurgle's first game he and Ninjasurus teamed up as the French attackers. Their task was to capture two of three objectives to win, I had to stop them from doing this for a British victory.

The opening moves saw the French wings begin their slow march across the field.

Then the Imperial Guard revealed themselves in the centre and the mass of men, horses and cannons began their advance.

This allowed me to reveal a foot artillery battery on a hill and start taking shots at their Lancers.

I held back from revealing more of my units, which worked as I could hear them chuntering about where my other artillery battery was (I didn't have one, I'd split it up as attached artillery, but a bit of poor enemy intelligence always helps!).

Suddenly, they released their Red Lancers, bearing down on the British artillery! This automatically revealed a lot of my units as the cavalry came within 4 base widths of them.

Similarly on my left flank the French infantry had advanced so far forward they could see the British units on the ridge line.

The inevitable result of cavalry charging artillery was the artillery fell back, but as my back line was crowded there was nowhere for them to go, except retire off table!

Meanwhile on the left the British defence line was exchanging shots with the advancing French.

With the artillery gone in the centre (I did forget to take photos of the previous few turns... oops...) the French cavalry was having a field day smashing into my Dutch conscripts.

The Lancer and Grenadiers a Cheval made a formidable combination against the British troops holding the objective on the middle hills. Forcing the infantry off the objective the Cavalry captured it in quick time.

On the left the French infantry had mauled the British Guards so heavily that their defence crumbled and they were also forced off the second objective!

It was all over and was a very quick victory by the French. In lessons learned, I should have really advanced some of my forces to absorb the advancing threat, having everything bunched up on the back line meant that as soon as a brigade was pushed back from combat they retired off the table as there was no where else for them to go! Maybe capturing one or two of the small houses in the centre of the table would have given the French a strongpoint to have to deal with.

All in all though another good game of Blücher and a good gaming day all around!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Imperial Guard Artillery

Although I'd finished off the French Imperial Guard recently, when I bought the figures I'd also got myself a set of heavy 12lber cannons, to use as either a battery or attached artillery. These didn't take long at all to paint, with only about 31 figures on the base, so I just sat down and cranked them out one afternoon.

The six guns are modelled nicely and represent Napoleon's 'Beautiful Daughters', his pride and joy and the heavy battery at Waterloo whose bombardment started the battle.

The heavy artillery in Blücher get certain bonuses for firing at long range, so are pretty good for softening up advancing infantry.

As mentioned, I also made a couple of attached artillery tokens from the spare guns and crew. This will slot on a brigade base during a game.

This then brings the total of 6mm figures now painted to: 3,335!

I have been busy on other projects as well, as I got Rommel by Sam Mustafa in the post recently, I decided to extend my Square Bashing board to be able to try it out. The two games are based on a 6" grid, so I repainted the underside of my second 4 foot by 3 foot board with Burnt Umber, then added flock in 6" squares to double the board size for Rommel.

I've not had a chance to try the rules out yet, but reading them gives me confidence they will be an interesting take on the usual WW2 rule sets. Time will tell!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Trois Bras; A Blücher AAR

Last weekend Ninjasaurus Rex called over for a game of Blücher. I had finished off the French Imperial Guard and was looking to try them out in a game, along with everything else I have been painting for the past two years... 

I set up the board as a French attack that was centred on capturing a ridge with a small village on top. The forces were:

I & II Corps
Imperial Guard Corps

I & II Corps
Brunswick Corps

The points hovered around 300pts per side, so we would be rolling 3 MO dice and the army break point was nine brigades for both sides. Given the amount of bases on the table, we didn't have much space to set up: 

In the opening moves I revealed my right flank as the I Corps and they began moving forward. As they did they came under fire from British artillery on the objective ridge line.

As my spread out Corps advanced in lines the British left flank moved out to meet them led by their cavalry and the Brunswicks.

By this time, I began pushing forward the left flank of II Corps and the Guard in the centre of the field.

Meanwhile on the right, a small cavalry clash was desultory, but my infantry were still coming under fire from the artillery.

The French cavalry of I Corps were successful in chasing off the Brunswick cavalry as his infantry tried to restore order to their ranks.

Slowly the Guard moved towards the rising ground and some British units moved forward in order to meet them.

The fighting on the fields on the right flank was not proving decisive for either side, just yet...

As the British in the centre nosed out of the safety of the ridge, I sent forward the Guard cavalry to threaten their flanks.

Meanwhile, the slow grinding attrition on the right flank was taking its toll on my infantry, who had failed to break through the Brunswicks.

In an unprecedented move British infantry attacked the Guard cavalry, sending them flying!

A third of the way through the game and although we had clashes between the Imperial Guard and the British Guard infantry nothing had been decided!

I gathered the Guard together, ready for another frontal attack on the defending British Guards.

The I Corps on the right flank was fighting its way through the Brunswick defenders, finally, making some headway.

But the forward unit was smashed in the flank by British cavalry.

Meanwhile, the Guard piled forward into the British Guard.

Pushing them back to the ridge line!

This allowed me to send forward more units to continue the success!

Then we were joined by Wellington's Cat.

I knew I had to get moving to win the game, so I started moving the II Corps through the woods on my left flank. This was slow progress, but I wanted the fresh troops up front to continue pushing against the British line from the flank.

The attrition on the right flank was taking its toll on the British infantry and I still had plenty of fresh Brigades, just waiting for the right time.

In the centre of the field the fighting was intense.

Including the destruction of the Imperial Guard Chasseurs under a combined attack from British and Dutch infantry!

The victory was not long in celebration though as British brigades also broke.

The British lost their final brigade, breaking the army morale and ending the game in a French victory, but only just! Had I lost a couple more brigades the result would have been very different.

On the French right flank serious damage had been done to the British defenders, but their line was still relatively intact.

It was a fantastic game of Blücher and given the amount of figures on the table it took us two days to conclude (we were chatting a lot, so the game could have been a lot quicker...). But it was great to be able to get about 3,000 figures on the table and prove to myself that the last two years worth of work is worth it! Mind you, I still have a few more British and French Corps to finish before I even begin with the Prussians!

Thanks for reading!
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