Sunday, September 22, 2013

Hanging Out in the 16thC

Its been a while since the last remote game. There is no Skype version for my Chromebook so Rob and I connected using the Google Hang Out video chat for a game of Rough Wooing, 16thC French vs Imperials.  
Somewhere in Italy c 1545, French and Imperial columns converge on a crucial pass through the hills. That's Rob at the far end of the table.

The scenario was a variation on an old one from the Courier  crossed with one from Stuart Asquith's Solo Wargaming. The opposing armies are approaching on converging roads with the goal of seizing a pass through the hills. In addition to a General, each side was allowed to pick 15 units from the following list which in turn was based on what was on my shelf:
9 pike, 6 shot, 1 swordsman, 2 gendarmes, 2 hc, 2 lc lancers, 2 mtd arquebusier, 1 lt gun. 2 units could be elevated to Captain allowing 3 Battles per side. (As it turns out I over estimated the number of  arquebusiers and had to borrow some Scots).

First fire, my nimble arquebusiers out march Rob's light cavalry and ambush them at the junction.  

Rob's Imperial force fielded a Van of 2 light lancers and 2 mounted arquebusiers, followed by his Main Battle with the General, 2 heavy lancers, 2 shot and 2 pike. The Rear was composed of 2 pike, 2 shot and 1 swordsman. 

My French had an Advance of 3 arquebusiers, 4 pike, and 1 light gun, a Main Battle of the General and 2 HC and a Rear of 2 light cavalry lancers and 3 arquebusiers.

Mid game. My troops closest to the camera. 

Rob's light cavalry rode ahead and seized the objective while his infantry slowly marched on and formed up. I had led with my infantry with the intention of seizing  the junction and using my artillery and arquebusiers to whittle away Rob's force until they were ripe to be counter attacked. Worked like a charm thanks to lucky shooting dice on my end and some slow movement dice on Rob's end. 

The view from the other side. My chromebook  doesn't have quite as good a camera as my old laptop so the picture was a bit fuzzier.

Our light lancers clashed with losses on both sides which left the situation unchanged apart from Rob's cavalry being out of command and unwilling to advance close enough to return fire against my arquebusier. It took a good long while but eventually I whittled them down so that they broke and my Rear, now leading, was able to advance and occupy the pass in turn.

The end of the day, 

In the center, Rob's Main Battle repulsed an attack by my more numerous pikemen while his Rear drove my arquebusiers out of the park behind the stonehouse then advanced on my unsupported gun. Luckily for me, the constant trickle of artillery and arquebus fire wore his troops down and finally broke both battles  leaving the French in command of the field.

Rob handled the Activation Deck from his end, flashing the cards for me to see.


  1. Ross, interesting gaming media. Can you provide a brief explanation of your remote gaming? Do both players have a table set up or only you?


  2. Jon, only the host has the table set up. A webcam is used with video chat software like Skype or Google Hangout to connect the remote gamers. (In theory there could be more but I have not tried it). The webcam (in this case built in to a laptop) is placed where the remote player can see the table. On occasion the remote player will need to ask the host to shift the webcam to see a particular area better.

    The software allows the players to talk to each other using the computers as speaker phones so the remote player tells the host how to move the units and the game progresses as normal. When dice are to be rolled the remote player rolls his own dice and reports the result (there is an element of trust of course). Since the players can talk normally there is the usual chit chat while the game progresses. It is as simple as that. 40mm is a good size for such a game as it is easier to see the figures when looking at the remote picture but I have played with a friend who used his 10mm armies when he hosted a game.

    Here are some other remote games that I have blogged about in the past.

    If you have more questions, please ask.

  3. Cool Ross, we shall have to see if we can arrange something with Jeff for another VWQ match!

    1. Good idea, it should also be possible to do a 3 way conference with a gm in one spot and 2 remote players. Haven't tried a 3 way call yet though.

  4. Great to see Ross. How long did the engagement take?

    1. As Rob says the call was about 2 1/2 hours inc lots of chit chat and a coffee break. I'm guessing the game itself was less than 2 hours.

  5. It was a short one; about 2 1/2 hours including side conversations.

  6. "Fascinating".

    Brave New World, indeed! :-)

    1. Well the Great Captain Cordoba was an innovator was he not?

  7. Hi Ross - I have been thinking about this post since I read it a few days ago, I really like the idea of these remote games. I'm thinking this set up would work very well on my small hex board game with figures, it's only 20" x 30" so I guess I could get in quite close on the camera. Mmmm, I did hear that Mr Borg has been play testing a 'tricorne' version of C&C, and that one big change is that it uses 2 sets of cards, each player has own deck, now that would work well with this type of online C&C game would it not?

    Great game and fine figures as usual.


  8. Lee, I suspect a hex game would be even easier to play remotely since one could count hexes if there was doubt about distance or direction. It could even be possible to have duplicate boards.

    2 sets of cards would make it easier for C&C style games. I suppose one could do it now, the change in over all numbers of cards would be the same for both sides.