Sunday, December 27, 2015

Battle of Trenton 26 December 1776

Yesterday on the 239th Anniversary of the Battle of Trenton we played it out again using the Black Powder rules.

While historically he battle was very one sided we set up the scenario and the victory conditions to make conditional victory a possibility for either side.

The Hessians are greatly outnumbered and head to head battle will not go well for them.  Their objective is to preserve their force  in the face of overwhelming odd by retreating at least two Battalions across the Assunpink and exit the board.

The Americans are tasked with preventing their escape and routing/capturing at least two Hessian Battalions.

The American OoB:

General Washington-Commander in Chief

Green's Division- General Green
Stephen's Brigade
Stirling's Brigade
Mercer's Brigade
Fermoy's Brigade

Sullivan's Division-General Sullivan
St Claire's Brigade
Glover's Brigade
Sargeant's Brigade

Hamilton's Artillery-Captain Hamilton
3 Gun Sections

Hessian OoB;

Colonel Rall-Commander in Chief
Rall's Grenadiers
Von Losberg Regiment
Von Knyphausen Regiment
2 Lt Artillery sections
Dragoons detachment

Reference for OoB:

I also used another blog to help with troop positions:

Initial Deployments
In order to make the scenario work with Black Powder  some things had to be simplified.  There were more American guns, but only a few were in position for the attack, As a result the three American guns are put under the command of Hamilton.

American;s Advance on Trenton
Historically the Hessians were caught by surprise and slow to react.  To depict this, the Grenadiers and the Jagers are the only units that start on the board.  The remainder are in quarters.  To represent this starting with Turn 1 the Hessian commander will roll a D6 for each unit, 4-6 the unit is available at the beginning of the next turn.  All units will form up by Turn 4.

Others Special rules.
Heavy Snow-All movement is cut in half.  Infantry 6" Cavalry 9" and Commanders 27"  Commanders still have a 12" command radius.

First Fire/Wet Powder-American infantry all get first fire, but they must make a wet powder check.  the first time they are in range and attempt to fire roll a D6, on a result of 4-6 fire as normal with the bonus.  On a 1-3 they cannot fire that turn and lose the first fire bonus.

Jagers/Split Unit-  The Jagers start as two sections guarding the roads.  The fire and melee value is halved until they reunite.

Hessian Grenadiers are formed within 12" of center of town
Jagers form two units guarding the roads
All other units will form within 6" of the center of town when they activate

Artillery and Fermoy's Brigade form to North
Greens and Sullivan's Division are along the roads approaching Trenton
Sargeant's Brigade is detached north of the river on the far side of town and function as marauders.

American Artillery and Fermoy's Brigade deployed
The Battle:

The scenario played well and was done in under three hours.

The Hessians all formed on turn two with the exception of the two infantry units which did not arrive until turn three.

The Americans formed lines and confronted the Jagers driving them back.  The Grenadiers maintained good order taking up position behind stone walls and facing Hamilton and Fermoy allowing the other Hessians to form.
Grenadiers deploy to slow the American advance

The Hessian guns dragoons and helped to delay the American advance.   The Jagers were overcome and routed though just as the Hessian infantry began to form.
Hessian guns manned and deploy to face the onslaught
Jagers Break in the face of the advance
The Hessians were able to gain some hope when Sargeant's Brigade and St Claire's Brigade with routed due to combined artillery and infantry fire combined with poor rolls on the break test table.  This left the bridge wide open for a retreat.
Sargeant's Brigade advances to secure the bridge, but eventually breaks under fire

Unfortunately, there were just too many Americans and they were able to disorder the Hessian units at key times preventing them from taking advantage of the opening and allowing the Americans to get in close.  In addition, Rall missed  critical order  test leaving a unit in critically exposed in march column which the Americans took advantage.
Hamilton's guns pour into the Grenadiers
By turn 7 the game was up for the Hessians.  All three infantry units were disordered the previous turn so they could not move,   The Americans were able to deliver devastating fire forcing two break test which both failed giving the Americans a sound victory.
After Mounting a stalwart defense the Grenadiers finally break
Overall a great game and fun for both sides.  The after a couple more play tests I may tweak a few minor things.  I had giving the Hessians a low stamina which may need to be raised to give them a bit more lasting power.

The best part was being able to play it out on the actual anniversary of the battle.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

2015 Gaming Year in review

WOW, where did 2015 go? 

Not a single post in 2015.....I will try to do better in the coming year.

I tend to take a lot of pictures of games and thanks to Photo bucket they catalog all my mobile uploads by month.  In the near future I will be a guest on a podcast to talk about the Bolt Action scene in our area during 2015.  In preparation I reviewed my pics from the last year and a lot more than I imagined transpired.

Here we go.......

Bolt Action and Black powder (AWI) was the primary focus for gaming in the past year.  My figure collections seems to have grown exponentially in the process.

This past year I managed to complete (well are they ever really complete?) two new Bolt Action Armies as well as almost complete most of my AWI armies (close to 900 figures now).  In addition I added many new models to the existing armies.

IJA Infantry Vehicles and SNLF

In the process I also participated in a Firestorm Normandy campaign adapted to Bolt Action (Great experience) by Phil.  Finally I closed out the year by hosting/playing in one Bolt Action Tournament and playing in two others.  All in all it was a stellar year on the gaming front.

Undefeated French List that went 6-0-3 in Tournament play
Here is the month by month break down per my pictorial records.

January 2015:
-Worked on my newly acquired French Bolt Action army adding the Bus and Schneider armored car
-Added Rubicon T34 for the Soviets
-Played AWI Freeman's Farm with the crew

Rubicon T-34

AWI Freeman's Farm

February 2015:
-Added a few models to U.S Airborne for upcoming Firestorm Campaign
-Completed Warlord Tank Obstacles
-Played the first games for the Firestorm Campaign

U.S. 82nd Preparing for Normandy invasion
First successful Airborne Landing vs. Sam's Vet Grenadier's Apparently they do not like BBQ

March 2015:
-Finished U.S. 1st ID for possible Normandy landings in the Firestorm campaign and then never used them as I ended up being the U.S. Airborne commander
-Expanded the French with  R35, FFL Light Howitzer and more Infantry
-Helped out at the Demo Day at Black Dog Games by providing armies and playing
-Supported Bolt Action Demo Day and Vanguard games

1st ID rebuilt....yet to see the table

French Armor support
Mighty French Cavalry will become vital to my list
Black Dog Demo day

April 2015:
-Started Soviet Cavalry project
-Played Brian Soviets Vs. IJA (Epic 1250 pt Battle)
 -Attended Little Wars in IL

Little Wars...Mark's Gold Beach Scenario in 15mm
IJA vs Soviets where all Armor was neutralized early and it became and infantry slug fest
Vanguard Games Demo DAK vs. 8th Army

May 2015:
-New Project Purchased IJA used.  This was very unplanned, but to good a deal to pass up.  I had previously sworn off the Pacific theater now it is one of my favorite armies.
-Played AWI With Phil (Chatterton's Hill)
-French added HQ units, Senegalese and  L37
-Soviet added BA 6
-German Lieg Gun and PZ J1...Liege gun was an inside joke as it was my downfall when Brian played me the first time and I did not know what it was.

Chatterton's Hill...a resounding American victory unplanned project
Senegalese....Regular tough fighters

June 2015:
-Much progress on IJA adding some armor:Type 94, HaGo, Shinhoto Chi-Ha, Scout Cars, Vent and Jungle Infantry

IJA goodies added

Jul 2015:
-Battle of Kahlkyn Gol (Soviets vs IJA) with Brian and Donavon on Brian's terrain Board.  This was one of the best and most memorable Bolt Action games of the year.  Not just because we won with the IJA, but the terrain board Brian created truly made it an event.

Kahlkyn Gol.....IJA win Handily, awesome terrain
Type 94 Charges down the river bed

August 2015:
-Soviet Cav Complete with the help of Brian (My little Pony)
-Added Soviet Small Teams
-Played French Maginot Line with Brian...first real test for the French in what turned out to be a lopsided affair as the Germans never had a chance with the terrain.
-IJA Matchbox Truck conversions
-Restarted ACW 10mm project (now all painted pending basing)
-Thursday night Game night in Madison kicked off w/ Ben and crew
-Added BA Plastic Panther for the Germans painted by Brian
-Char 2C added in Prep for Vanguard Tournament which in the end I could not attend.

Soviet Cavalry ready thanks to Brian's painting
Maginot Line is a tough day for the attackers

Match box 1920 Mack truck conversion for IJA

10mm ACW Project rekindled
Char 2C joins the French...compared to T28

September 2015:
-Added Warlord T34
-Prep for What-Khan TO...I always start early as in order to make the events look as professional as possible and run smoothly with great prize support.

Char 2c Goes into battle for the first time
Warlord T34 (Top) with Rubicon

October 2015:
-What-Khan Tournament as TO (Played as odd man)
-What-Khan AWI game
-Phil's WWI CoC at What-Khan....I am sold

What-Khan Bolt Action Tournament ready to go
Generous Prize Support

AWI Freeman's Farm with 7 new players
Phil and James hosted a great WWI Chain of Command Demo

November 2015:
-Game Hole Con Tournament run by Brian
-Added IJA Type 92 Shape ways
-Started Anglo-Zulu Project....Impulse project with Brian and Phil
-AWI Bemis Heights...this game was a year in the making, but well worth the wait.

Game Hole Con...French once again thwart Phil's IJA
Ben's Soviets prove a tough adversary resulting in a draw
Dice gods took a coffee break giving Donavon's Italians a well earned draw

In true style Phil's dice abandon him along with his troops and Gen Arnold captures the redoubt.

December 2015:
-Continued Anglo-Zulu (Confirmed what we already know Brian has A.D.D.)
-Supported Steven and the  Twin Cities "Winter Storm" Tournament
-Playing BA w/ My Son, Justin (Americans v French Americans v FJ)
-End of year clean up and organization of hobby bench
Anglo-Zulu Progress

Luke's Americans feel the sting of French Cavalry

Char 2C Scores a rare Ace on Joe's Greyhound

Rick's Germans fight the French to a draw in the final game
Justin returned home and learned to respect the French

Hobby Area cleaned and ready for future projects
If all goes well before the end of the year I will get a couple more games of Bolt Action in with Justin as well as play at least one more AWI scenario.

Gaming goals for 2016:

1.  Be a better blogger with at least a monthly summary post if not for each significant event.

2. Surprisingly, adding another BA army is not on the list, just the opposite I am going to try not to buy any more BA other than a few models to round out what I already have.  Mostly I want to take time to play and enjoy the collection I already own.

3. Host at least one area Bolt Action tournament, although in may not be in conjunction with a convention.  The past two years at What-Khan were very rewarding, but not the participation level I had hoped.  My gut tells me there are too many other distractions at the convention that pull the Bolt Action players away.

4. Host another Black Powder game at a Convention, possibly Bemis Heights.

5.  Possibly return to my Naval gaming which has been on hiatus for the past two plus years since I discovered Bolt Action and Black Powder.

6. Continue to enjoy the friendship of my current gaming group and add new ones.

Until next time......