Thursday, January 28, 2010

Last Playtest of "The Zareba"

The 10th Hussars exit the zareba

The last playtest before the Con in February of the scenario, "The Zareba" took place at Aero Hobbies on Sunday, Jan. 24th. I am using "The Sword and the Flame" for rules. This is a night battle, with normal shooting at 8" or under. Over 8" all targets (except the torch bearers) are Class IV targets (worst possible chance to hit). This time the Hussar's started in the zareba and exited without mishap, as the unit activations went for the British, so they closed the zareba behind them (no Mahdist units generated near the opening.)

Band of Fuzzy Wuzzy's w/torches move toward the zareba to set it on fire
The Mahdists forces did try to move in to set fire to the zareba without being cut down by either the British or Egyptian forces inside. As rough terrain doesn't slow down the Fuzzy Wuzzy or Ansars, it makes it easy to move out of it toward a objective.
Ansar swordsmen hide in the scrub

Another Fuzzy Wuzzy band moves in w/torches

A band of riflemen w/ a mounted Emir in rocky terrain
This band stayed inside the rocky terrain most of the game, to avoid being targeted by the British and shot at them and shot back by them outside 8" range. As they were the only Madhist rifle armed, this made sense.

"CHARGE!!" Hussars attack a Fuzzy Wuzzy spear band
The Hussars charged a Fuzzy Wuzzy spear band, but were themselves charged by a Ansar swordsman band, which spelled their end.
Reaching the zareba with torches, soon it will be on fire
Once on fire, the zareba burns in both direction d6"/turn. Due to the strength of the flames, all figures must move 3" away. The smoke from the flames also makes it impossible to shot through in that direction (night + smoke makes for poor shooting).

A band of Ansar swordsmen has charged into the Hussars after they routed the FW band

VICTORY!! The Ansar win!
The Hussars took some losses in their melee with the spear band and had to leave their wounded as the Ansar swords charged them. The lost that melee (really bad rolling by the British player) and in the end the last 4 figures routed. However, there were not some many of them left to enjoy that victory.

The zareba burns!
As the zareba burned, the Egyptian infantry re-formed to await the fire burning out and give the Fuzzy Wuzzy's a lead present when they charge in.

Ansar swordsmen attack through the zareba, engaging the British
This was one of the two pivotal close combats that decided the game. The Ansar moved though the zareba (getting shot up) to engage the British Infantry. They lost this close combat and routed back out of the zareba.

After the zareba burned away, the FW's charged the Egyptians
This was the other pivotal fight. If either the Fuzzy's or the Ansar won, it could make life difficult for the Anglo-Egyptian forces inside the zareba.
The Egyptians win the melee & rout the FW band
Dreams of a Mahdist victory over the infidel were not to be. The British had won their close combat and now the Egyptian had won theirs, routing the remains of the enemy. The remains of the Mahdists forces on the board were not enough to challenge the British & Egyptians. One band had already routed off the board, two band were currently running off and had yet to rally (and were either near or under half strength). The Mahdists do get some "bragging rights" for defeating the Hussars back at camp. So at Turn 5 (game would be over at the end of Turn 9) the Mahdists melted away into the night to plan their next attack....
I am working on my next game, after Orccon in February for the March HMGS game day at Aero Hobbies. I will miss it in February as it is happening on my birthday. More on that as it progresses.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

New Year, New Stuff & The Zareba Round 2

New Stuff!

I got a couple of the "Battlefield in a Box" by Gale Force 9. One was the small rocky hills and 2 of the Large rocky hills. As the rocks come unflocked, I can make them up for use on my desert map. A little dry-brushing here and there, maybe some sand, should look fine.

The Zareba, Round 2
On Sunday, January 10, Harold and I had a "Sword & the Flame" game at my place, playing "The Zareba" again, so as to get it together for the gaming convenation next month. This time it wasn't so close as the game at Aero. In a 3 hour game, Harold, as the British drove off 2 Mahdist bands out of 5 off the board.

In this photo, 2 bands of Fuzzy Wuzzys move toward the zareba and the Egyptians defending it.

The British Cavalry, the 10th Hussars, did much more this game than last. As a bands of FW's appeared in front of the Hussars, also with the Emir who was in overall command. After a couple of turns, a charge by the cav and the dust settled, that band lost the melee and beening so close to the edge of the board routed off, taking the Emir with them! This put me, the Dervish player, ina bad spot as I had to make a "Critical Morale" roll ever turn just to move anyone. I missed the first roll, made the roll the next turn but it gave Harold a full turn to do whatever he wished and I could nothing about it. The Hussars were then charged by another band of Fuzzy's, who also lost the melee, and again, being so close to the edge of the board, routed off.

The last 2 Fuzzy Wuzzys melee the Hussars...Good Luck!

I was a good game and many possible problems were addressed, hopefully we will have one more game before the con. I also addressed the problem of marking the figures, so people know what figure belong to which unit/band/platoon. Leader & key infantry figures will be re-based on 25mm rounds, mounted Leaders on "pill" shaped bases (like for 40K bikes for Space Marines/Orks) as 30 or 40mm rounds would be, IMHO, too big. I am ordering more bases from Litko, and have to see how many more FW riflemen I need to make a unit. Also how many Leader figures I need for each Dervish band, if I don't have them now.