Thursday, May 25, 2017

Huzzah 2017 Part 1

Ignoring the first 1,000 km of driving, the weekend began Thursday night when we arrived at our first destination to find our hostess in a bit of a stew. Being a novice at wargaming and figure painting Julie had bravely volunteered to paint a contingent of Pathan's for Sunday's big NW Frontier game. Now her painting experience had focused on single pieces like this: ............

(Hmm this photo looked crisper on my smartphone)

........not on rapid batch painting of two dozen 25mm Pathan's. The basic colours were laid in but time was running out! Luckily, veteran painters were now on hand and soon 6 people, 2 of whom had never before put brush to figure, had been pressed into service and coached and by the time pizza arrived a band of warlike Pathans was ready for action. Not only did they look pretty good individually, they also looked cohesive and when put down on the table on Sunday morning they charged fiercely and broke a unit of Sepoys!

The Hasty Tribe charges!

We finished off the evening with a 4 person + GM, fantasy, person-to-person, arena sort of skirmish. This isn't usually my kind of thing but I sorted through the available characters and selected a Ranger who was reasonably fast and proficient with both bow and sword. I then did my best to persuade various Barbarians and Fighters that I was fast enough that if I didn't manage to turn them into pin cushions they might collapse from boredom and fatigue  while trying to catch me and be easy prey for whoever  else was left. Whether the threat of boredom worked or they felt sorry for me, the other 3 fought until just 1 badly wounded, exhausted barbarian was left to stagger towards me and a few arrows settled the question. Alas no pictures were taken.

The convention itself started on Friday and Gary and I were there bright and early as was Rob who had driven up the 1,000 km from Maryland the day before. This gave Rob and I the chance to grab an empty table and go through a very small game to bring him up to speed on our Rough Wooing rules which I had, of course, tweaked since the last game some years ago.

If we'd been familiar with the units and rules the cards could have been pulled off to the side but it was handy to have them with the units. Luckily the 54mm figures were not lost amongst the clutter of stat cards and leader chits. 

We then took part in a 54mm "Very Civile Actions" ECW skirmish. In keeping with my experience throughout the weekend I found myself playing with a great group of people which was enough to render the game a pleasure to take part in. My character was mortally wounded while heroically leading the defence of a house blocking access to the critical crossroad which was a satisfying end. I rather suspect we were in trouble if the game had gone on much longer but perhaps not, in any event we were still holding after three hours and that had never seemed inevitable. And... no, I am not tempted to adopt the rules. They worked ok but not my style.
What initially seemed like a climatic charge turned into a bit of a stand off as the troopers fired their pistols over the cannon at the pikes. 

Friday night Rob and I hosted our Rough Wooing game. The scenario was the same one I had soloed and had hosted at Kentville, just bigger with more figures. The test games had done their job and the scenario played out to a conclusion after a tight game.

For those who missed those posts, the scenario was adapted from Stuart Asquith's Solo Wargaming. Two opposing forces have met at a road junction, both having orders to place a garrison in the town while exiting two Regiments off the far end of the table by road. Ron provided all but one of the French units as well as a stand of English Demi-lancers from his suitably converted Meisterzinn homecasts while I provided the rest of the troops.

The Advance Guard cavalry clash as the Landsknechts provided by the Emperor march on.
The French had the better plan, or perhaps I should say, based purely on observation, the French had a plan. They sent their advance guard cavalry backed by a unit of pikes to slow the English, sent their light infantry to seize the town and sent the heavy cavalry and a second unit of pikes to bypass the fighting and get off. Alas the French nobles appeared reluctant to miss the fighting and consistently rolled as low as possible for movement distances and the pikemen had no room to go past them. The Englishmen and their German mercenaries threw themselves on the old foe and there was much heavy fighting with many casualties on both sides before the English remembered the victory conditions.

An overview a little later. Just before I forgot to keep taking pictures.
Midway through the game the opposing Imperial and French pikemen settled into a push of pike amidst a swirl of archers and arquebusiers on the fringe and the focus of players and spectators was inevitably drawn towards that point until both sides remembered that the outcome had minimal effect on victory.

English billmen and archers stormed the town in bitter street fighting which wrecked both regiments. Behind the infantry both armies' remaining cavalry galloped towards the exit, or in the case of the French Gensdarmes slowly walked their horses while stopping to polish their armour, have a cup of wine.............. However, eventually the horsemen on both sides reached the decision point and in a confused series of melees where the French did some of the best and worst rolling of the game, the French cavalry was broken. That left the English with two regiments of not quite shaken cavalry ready to march off and while neither side held the town, the English still had 2 regiments in the fight including a fresh one against a single French unit and the French conceded rather than expend more whitemetal in hope of a draw.
I'm not sure how I managed this split exposure but the bottom portion is close to right. The upper, or French, unit is one of Rob's. The rest are part of my motley crew. 

After that it was time for bed and oddly it is again. Part two will cover Saturday and Sunday.


  1. Ross,
    You and your friends certainly fitted in a lot of gaming variety. Glad you enjoyed yourself and also the company. Cheers. KEV.

    1. Thanks Kev, that's what good Wargame conventions are about.

  2. Interesting observation on the "Actions" ECW rules. I have those, and recall putting on a game to see how they worked. My recollection seems consistent with your reaction: that they needed some attention.

    Trying to both run a game and get pictures--a challenge I understand (many is the time that I have come away with no shots).

    Looking forward to part the second...

    1. It appears my co-GM was more diligent in the picture front. Since he had a real camera and knows how to use it I have high hopes that I'll be able to link to them.

  3. I hope to have a report up with more pictures of our Rough Wooing game shortly; the text is written but the picture editing and the posting of them is the slow element. "Very Civile Actions" from the Perfect Captain web site, by the way. I liked the look of the big figure ECW, if I was not particularly taken with the set of rules. I guess I'd redo it in 40mm if I had the urge, though, to maintain some sort of compatibility with the rest of my terrain collection.

    1. I think the action could easily have been set during the French Religious Wars. The Meisterzins would be good for that, we'd just need Reiters.

  4. Enjoyed reading this report. Seems you had a great weekend!

  5. Looks like you had a great time Ross!