Sunday, December 30, 2012

Battle of the Tonbo Crossroads

The brisk breeze provided a chill the clear morning air.   A steely calm ran through the command group of the Lion Clan Daimyo as she spoke with hatomoto and courtiers.    From her stand point she could see all of her forces and those of the Dragon across the field.
Akodo Dairuko surveyed her forces as they deployed out in accordance to her plan.  Would it be enough?  She would discover in but a few moments.    A small unit of Medium Infantry with Yumi held the right flank anchored against a small shrine.   Matsu Yuuto in his ever present red armor led a unit of Wardens that were positioned between the small unit of archers and two units of Lion Medium Regulars both under the command of Lion Chuis off to the Wardens left.   On Dairuko’s left flank a unit of Lion Pride of the Hand protected by a unit of Lion Heavy Elites, the Elites were under the command of the dashing Matsu Hachiro.  The extreme left was defended by a Unit of Lion Heavy Regulars with another Lion Chui commanding them.    It was a good deployment and if all worked well her plan should provide a easy victory for the Lion.
In the morning sun Akodo Dairuko stared across the field at the deployment of the Dragon forces.  On their right flank across for the Lion Heavy regulars was a unit of Veteran Peasant Pikemen and a unit of Agasha Fire Blossoms.    In the center a unit of Dragon Flame and a Agasha Fire Blossoms unit were in the front with Dragon Scales and Kitsuki Magistrates in support.  The Left Flank was a unit of Miromoto Forward Regulars.
 The battle began much as Akodo Dairuko believed it would, the two forces closing slowly, however a concern became an issue as both the Wardens and the nearest unit of Lion Medium Regulars didn’t “Know the Terrain” and the crossing of rough pass of ground began taking too long.   In a second a long range volley from the Dragon Flame caught the Wardens and a Samurai was lost.   In discussion with Kitsu Miro it was decided the “Ebb and Flow” of the battle was necessary on the Wardens.   The ground flowed and Wardens moved forward, and as they prepared to move forward a Trap was found.  The result was instantanious, the Wardens were broken, Dairuku couldn’t believe it as she asked her Signalmen to signal a recheck but the Prophecies of Asako Yurito were against it and the Wardens were Broken.
The unit of Dragon Flame attempted to former Archer’s row and failed, the decision was instantaneous, the unit of Lion Medium Regulars cried Banzai and Charged the Dragon Flame.     The Dragon Flame Reacted with a round of fire but it as of little use.   At the same time the Lion Heavies on the left charged forward and collided with the Veteran Peasant Pikemen and the Agasha Fire Blossums who put it all on the line as it was all or nothing.   The Heavy Armor of both units served them well as the slammed home.
The Dragon Flame broken under the weight of the Lion medium regulars and Dragon Flame with unanticipated grace broke away from the Medium Regulars, the medium Regulars immediately charged the Dragon Scales.   The Miromoto Forward regulars charged home into the medium Infantry with Yumi to which the battle was short and the medium infantry was crushed.
However Dairuko plan suddenly was coming to culmination as the War Cats broke right and in short order charged the Kitsuki Magistrates, in Fast Strikes they eliminated three samurai and took only a single wound in return. 
In a moment Dairuko decided there was a bridge of sand to protect Matsu Imura from any sort of Duel.  The forces of the Dragon knew it was over.
It was not the glorious victory that the Lion Clan Daimyo but it was a victory none the less.  

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Battle of the Blackened Wood Shrine

The Exulted Ugla thought of himself as a handsome and Beautiful Creature.   He was tall , well tall for a Goblin, and had beautiful straight green hair and a long flattened nose, like his forefather, and as leader of a band of Goblins deep within the Shadowlands who was to say otherwise.
His Tribe, the Goblins of the Blackened Wood Shrine, had lived a relatively quiet for the past two weeks.   Well too quiet for the Shadowlands, a place where dog eat dog and Oni eat Oni was all to common.   His warriors were worried they had died and gone to blackened fields in the sky and just didn't know it yet. 
The piquets gave him the first notice that something was wrong, not many Goblins messed a meal and when they did you knew something was wrong.   The scouts had failed to return and Ugla sent trusted members of his second cousin's daughters boyfriends adopted parents sister-in-law family out to check what was going on, I mean if you cannot count of obscure relatives who can you count on. 
One of the smelly ones returned with newly stained pants and reported that three Elementals were stalking the surrounding countryside.   Ugla knew immeditiatly we he should do, but he decided running made little sense as he lived comfortably in the shrine and why shouldn't he sacrifice a few Goblins to Fu Leng to please him.   He questioned his obscure relative one more time and learned if was Oni no Taki-bi, Oni no Kaza, and Oni no Mizu.   Three Oni, how many goblins could they kill he asked his followers aloud.
He counted his followers, there was one and another one, and one more that make more than one, he determined.   All this counting was making him hungry.   So he sent Ugu's Cavalry off to right around the bog water.  His Goblin chuckers he sent to not right to defend against an attack over there.   He egged on his Beserkers to go straight up the middle and the four goblins he just had bathed in fresh magic mud went almost left but not straight ahead.

The Goblins riding Ugu's Cavalry encounted Oni no Mizu, the thing made of water.    His boys leader decided to charge the wave head on, but his boys had a different opinion, stupid Goblins.   Instead they let Oni Mizu charge them.

Ugla had a trick up his sleeve, well if he had sleeves he would of had a trick up them.
   He knew how to make the ground shake, rattle and roll.   The spell was tricky and Oni No Taki-bi was almost extinguished as the earth quacked beneath his flamie little feet.   Does a Fire Elemental have Feet?   
Oni no Mizu splashed into his cavalry while Oni no Kama flew headlong into his chuckers on the not right side.

That water thing sure knew how to hit like a ton of water.  More than one and one and one and one of his Goblin Cavalry disappeared in the first wave of Mizu attack.   And the Cavalry did actually hit the water, like a 16 school boy hitting the beach in the middle of summer.

The second wave of the attack, he had his SueJenGa flicky the bicky and light up two of his magic mud goblins.   The mad a mad dash into the water, Ugla was not sure whether they were attacking oni no Mizu or putting themselves out.   Silly Goblins, Magic Mud not go out, but make big splosion.    And the two goblins did make huge splosion and the wave was no more.   Hey is that rain?   I mean what 7 wounds amongst friends.

Over on the not right Kaza was attacking his chuckers, but they were holding their own and each other and their pants up and well he got the point.    Ugla hoped Oni no Kaza got the point to, many times from his chuckers.    They threw something called a Catchin Sink at the Oni, what ever in that is.   Kaza got clucked a good one, two wounds.

When Kaza finally got to the Chuckers he rolled a Natural Yatzee of Ones.  Perfect score at the wrong time, when a second Catchin Sink, man ugla hoped that wasn't a disease, caught Kaza in the beak and down goes Frazier.  
One, two, what someone knows how to actually count, what number where we on, yeah 10.   Kaza's out.   Some Goblin claiming to be from Philadelphia was screaming something about "there ain't going to be a rematch", Ugla was upset, his Goblins were supposed to be Italian sausages or stallions or something like that.

Without warning Oni no Taki-bi slunk off into the night, how you not see a moving camp fire.   Some Goblin named Po attempted to explain they were blinded by there own awesomeness.   What kind of Goblin is that, so awesome they blind themselves.   Well my kind of course since they work for me, or worship me, or follow me or something decided Ugla.

Monday, December 3, 2012

War of the Dragonfly - Prequel

It was a cold damp wind that blew across the Kyodai na Kabe sano Kita.   The warrior stared head longed into the Mountains that formed the Great Wall of the North, the moisture freezing instantly on his splendid Emerald and Gold colored armor.    The Oracle had spoken.
Like a moth to the Flame the warrior knew where he must go and that the flame could burn him if he was not careful.   He paused again to reflect on he heard, for the Oracle had spoken.
“Shu’ Jin, we must return to Shiro Mirumoto, the Waha’ tatsu must be told of the words of the Oracle” the monk’s clear, sharp voice contrasting with the dull moans and groans of the sharp and bitter winds.
“Waha’ tatsu” the warrior paused “already knows what the Oracle said.”  The warrior’s armor heaved as he made a slight turn to look at the monk.  “I do not doubt that our Laughing Dragon, the waha’ tatsu, the Champion of the Dragon Clan, Mirumoto Shikei knew what the Oracle would say long before we were sent here.”   He turned back to the wind.
“Shu’ Jin” the monk waited to see if the warrior would react.   The pause was awkwardly long before he continued.  “If Mirumoto Shikei knows then it is our most important duty to inform our Lord that the words have been spoken.   It is not the knowledge of the words that bring forth the power but the sound of the words that bring forth the truth.”
“Spoken like a true Ise Zumi, guidance and answers in the form of riddles.”   The Warrior turned; a frozen tear stung his cheek.  “The Oracle has spoken and Dragon will answer her call.”  A glare of hatred was frozen on his face.  “The Dragon will move on the fallen tower and conflict with Right Hand of the Emperor will follow.”  He paused without looking at the monk. “How many mothers will lose their sons?  How many sons will lose their fathers?  How many wives will lose their husbands?  How many children will the Dragon lose?”
The monk did not reply.
 The warrior began to walk, his armor creaked as the ice broke free.   “I go to inform the Laughing Dragon that the path laid before us cannot be altered, we march head long into confrontation.”    The face of the monk changed as if he had already realized what the Warrior was about to say. “The Oracle has said there will be war; she did not say that the Dragon would win the war.”
“Togashi Noboro, you know as well as I once the power of the word has been spoken we must do what we must do.   We cannot alter our paths as simply as a moth cannot alter it fatal attraction to the flame.”
“I truly wish I could say you spoke wisely.” The remaining part of the sentence was left unsaid.
Akodo Dairuko sat quietly on her chair.  The flickering candle light made it difficult to concentrate on a single item in the room.     Silence hung across the room as even the breathing of the dozen or so individuals in the room barely registered.   As the third child in her family she was used to waiting, as the Daimyo of the Lion Clan it was not in her nature to be patient.    She glanced once at her Hatomoto to make sure they were hearing the words spoken by the scout, one single glance, a single connection of the eyes let her know understanding was mutual.
The Daimyo of the Lion Clan quickly returned her focus to the scout.   Like most Matsu the scout spoke only of what she was sure of, regardless of what the individual’s intuition and gut instinct said, what she said was simply fact.   It was the responsibility of the Daimyo to question the fact, to question that fact until she knew the truth.
Her voice was clear, collected and deliberate when the Daimyo finally spoke.    “The banners of the Togashi have been seen in Kyuden Tonbo.   The war camps have been spotted in the valley north of the City.”   Akodo Dairuko looked again at her Hatomoto for nearly a fraction of a second and back to the scout.  “The houses of the Dragon have long been allies of the children of the Fallen Tower, why does a few banners among many change anything.”
The scout did not answer at first.   She looked first at her Daimyo, then at each of the Hatomoto in turn, she focused on young Matsu lord.  He made a simple gesture with a hand and the air in the room was released.   “I have not seen the banner with my own eyes.”  The scout paused.  “The Banner of the Laughing Dragon comes to Kyden Tonbo.” 
No one breathed.   The sound of their own heart beats filled everyone’s ears.   The hatomoto dared not even move.    Slowly as if a trance was lifted Akodo Dairuko spoke “The Laugh Dragon has left the heights and contemplation and acts.”    She turned to the Hatomoto and continued.  “War has come are we prepared?”
A voice of another filled the room, “Surely the Emperor must be told.” And then another responded “The Laugh Dragon does not come quietly the Emperor must already know.”  A third voice was heard “The first sacrifice in war is honor."  to which a fourth voice intoned "Honor has already been sacrificed.”
To be Continued ...
As a note my friend Jim and I have pulled out our figures and are some what planning on a series of games in the continuation of the Dragon and Lion Clan conflict.  Our first battle scheduled later this month should have 4,000 koku a side.  Pictures and Story to follow.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

American War of Indepence Collection

I spent more than a few hours looking at my collection of painted figures for the American War of Independence on Saturday trying to figure out what the heck to do with all of them.

On the British Side I have
12 - British Guard Lights (Half Painted)
12 - British Guard Grenadiers (Half Painted)
40 - British Guard Infantry
40 - British Guard Infantry
40 - 4th Regiment of Foot
40 - 15th Regiment of Foot
40 - 20th Regiment of Foot
40 - 23rd Regiment of Foot
40 - 33rd Regiment of Foot
40 - 64th Regiment of Foot
40 - 71st Regiment of Foot – 1st Battalion
28 - 71st Regiment of Foot – 2nd Battalion
28 - 105th Regiment of Foot – Volunteers of Ireland
16 – Royal North Carolina Regiment
26 – Light Infantry of District 96
16 – North Carolina Highlanders
15 - Royal Scots Emigrees
24 – Queen Rangers
30 – Loyal Militia
10 - Starkloff's Troop of Light Dragoons
40 – Erbprinz Fusilers
40 – Von Bose Musketeers
12 – Von Bose Grenadiers
14 - Hessen Chasseurs
8 - Artillery Pieces and 32 Crew

On the Continental Side
16 – 1st Maryland
16 – 2nd Maryland
20 – 3rd Maryland
20 – 5th Maryland
32 – 1st Delaware
28 – 1st Pennsylvania
32 – 2nd Pennsylvania
32 – 1st New York (No Command and mostly painted)
16 – 1st North Carolina
16 – First Composite Light Battalion
12 – Second Composite Light Battalion
16 – Lee’s legion
16 – Armand’s Legion
15/18 – Backwoods Militia
15 – Virginia Militia
15/15/15/15 – North Carolina Militia
15/15/15/15/15/15/15/15 Generic Militia
7- Artillery Pieces and 28 Crew
I should note that I am in the process of Remounting the Figures and have thought long and hard about how they should be organised, after much debate I think I got the basing right when we chose Wilderness Wars and I am going to skip with that basing.

I guess I need more Continentals as they are outnumbered 3:2. I have the figures, heck I have two New York Regiments half painted and another North Carolina Regiment close to completed.

But the problem is what am I going to do with all those figures?

The figures are organized to play Wilderness Wars, by Normal Warfare. The problem is the flaw in the rules where the rules authors ignored the sizes of the Militia Regiments when creating the rules, thus you have one of two options the Militia Regiments will either rule the battlefield and there is nothing the British can do but run away OR the Militia Regiments are pointless.
After looking at the second edition and basically cringing at a number of the changes (the rules pertaining to Charging are very humorous one way or the other).

After much thinking and rehashing of ideas
I however have a hybrid Idea, which I am looking forward to trying out.
Currently you roll dice based upon stands; however I am going to roll combat dice based upon the number of figures. At Short Range you roll 1d6 per every four figures, at Normal Range 1d6 for every five figures, and at Long Range 1d6 for every six figures.
Casualties will be hits per stand 5 Casualties to remove a A Class stand, 4 B Class stand, 3 for a C/D/E Class stands and 2 hits for a skirmish stands regardless of rating.
Talking to Jim to get it on the Schedule.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A productive Saturday

I awoke on Saturday with a pretty massive head cold, thought about the 40 minute drive to Coon Rapids for ReCon! and decided that it was not in everyone’s best interests for me to share my cold.

I understand that the War of the Jumbled Alliances game went off and Tom Zwirn has decided that at the next ReCon! he will be running a double sized Thirty Year's War game using Field of Glory - Renaissance Edition. Tom also announced he has finished rebasing his Rally Round the Flag 15mm Figures for Regimental Fire and Fury and will be selling off three Brigades of figures.

Since I was not going to ReCon! I spent the day organizing, cleaning, priming and painting figures.
The organizing is probably my biggest accomplishment, I love to organize everything but my hobby stuff, and I broke down and did a pretty good job. I found 60 Dismounted Tarleton Figures, a number of 15mm Napoleonic figures, but failed to find the 25mm Courier De Bouis that started my organizing.
I got 60 British Highlander figures cleaned up and mounted on bases and primed that will become the 78th Regiment of Foot, Frasier’s Highlanders for the my Quebec campaign of 1759.
I also got a number of other lose figures cleaned up and mounted and in many cases primed. Cannot believe I need French Officers and Drummers and British Command for the French and Indian War.

When it comes to painting:
I completed for the Austrian Kaiser’s Infantry Regiment I completed the command section of 8 figures, one mounted officer, and the first company of 15 figures. I also got a good start in the second company of 15 figures completing the Officer and NCO, getting all the major color blocks done, leaving finer detail like cross belts.
I got a good start on the French Royal Rousilon Infantry Regiment, completing the command section of 8 figures, and 12 of the eighteen figures I was planning to paint at the beginning of the day, the group grew to 24 figures, but I need Command and Drummers.
For Bougainville command of French Grenadiers and Pickets I got the figures mounted up and ready to paint. His command will have 30 Grenadiers, 30 Courier De Bouis, 30 Canadian Militia and 30 Indians. I have 15 Militia and 15 Indians completed.
I also re-mounted my 30 British Rangers for the French and Indian War onto circular bases from their old square basis to be consistent across my collection for the period, I need to finish flocking these bases in the near future.
In total I got about 45 figures painted for the weekend and another 15 basically done.

I spent some time looking at my American War of Indepence Collection, but I will leave that for another post.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Road to Bull Run – 17 July 1861 – Near Dranesville, Northern Virginia

An advance party of the Colonel Ambrose Burnside Federal Column comprised of Colonel John Slocomb 2nd Rhode Island Volunteers has been order to take a crossing in preparation for the movement of the Union Army of Northeastern Virginia against the Rebel encampment at Manassas Junction.

The advance party, consisting of four squads of Company B and one Company H of the 2nd Rhode Island Volunteers moved in the early morning hours ahead of the main force. Shortly after sunrise near Dranesville, Virginia the advance party encountered the most northern detachment of Confederate Army of the Potomac, the First Louisiana Special Battalion at a small bridge crossing Difficult Creek. The First Louisiana Special Battalion under Major Roberdeau Wheat, consisting of three squads of Tiger Rifles and one squad from the Catahoula Guerrillas and one squad of Swedish Jagers (A Mercenary Unit Recruited on the Docks of New Orleans).

Deployed North and West of the old Arlington House, a European Style Villa, Captain Jimbo Fitzgerald, a cagy veteran with vast experience in all forms of miniature combat, deployed the Swedish Jagers in a wood line and the squad of Catahoula Guerrillas moved along the small track that served as the road for the locals. Captain Mark deployed his three sections of Tiger Rifles to the north and east of the Arlington House in parade ground formations.

The 2nd Rhode Island Volunteers were deployed in two divisions, the jolly Bavarian Captain Conan commanding the section of the Kent Guard and one section of the Company B on the west side of the road north of the White Farmstead. Captain Andy with three sections of the Company B faced off against Captain Mark on the east side of the road.

The terrain was almost evenly divided on the west side of the battlefield by a line of trees on the north side of Difficult Creek. On the east side of the road the White Farmstead dominated the center with solid stone fence along the east west road. A decent sized open field bordered on the south by heavy woods and the Arlington house and on the north by the stonewall filled the south eastern corner of the battlefield.

The Jolly Bavarian and Captain Jimbo had a race for the stonewall while Captain Andy and Captain Mark sprinted at a dead ahead slow speed for the wood line.

The section of Company B under Captain Conan made it easily to the stone wall leaving the mercenary Swedish Jagers caught out in the open. The Catahoula Guerrillas moved ahead to take the split rail fence along the intersection ahead of the slow moving Kent Guard.
On the west side neither Captain Andy or Mark could motivate their troops to do anything beside stand and look pretty.

A protracted firefight between the squad of Rhode Islanders behind the stonewall and Swedes continued for several minutes as the Kentish Guard got their dander up and charged the Catahoula Guerrillas who decided an all out retreat, I mean strategic redeployment to the south was in the best interest.
Captain Mark finally got his first squad of Tiger Rifles to march in parade ground perfection forward and Captain Andy also got his boys to move along in more of a gaggle than a block. The Tiger Rifles took the first volley and the first squad of Company B seemed to disappear. The second squad of Company B fired through the wood line into a squad of Tiger Rifles.

A squad from Captain Andy’s Company B moved up on the Catahoula Guerrillas and both the Kent Guard and the squad from Company B fired multiple volleys. In an unexpected moment the squad form Company B moved forward one additional turn pulling itself out of position as it fired one last volley into the already decimated Catahoula Guerrillas.

Captain Mark finally got his Tiger Rifles to move forward and fire multiple volleys into the remaining squad on the west side of the road. Outnumbered three to one the lone section of Company B on the west side of the road hit the road as the Rhode islanders Skedaddled, leaving what is left of the Kentish Guard, two heavily damaged sections of Company B against the basically untouched Tiger Rifles.
As the Tiger Rifles swung to the East it caught a squad of Company B on a small hill and several squads of Tigers fired volleys into Company B. The next squad of Company B disappeared in hail of musket balls, leaving two heavily damaged squads.
As the Tiger Rifles moved forward another volley fire was leveled at the last squad of Company B and they skedaddled quickly after the fire. The Kentish Guard attempted to with draw under fire.
Lacking orders to advance the First Louisiana Special Battalion looked to their wounded as they controlled the battlefield.
A couple notes on Gameplay:
I play tested this game several times and had virtually no problem moving squads around, of course Jim and Mark as well as Andy had an average move of what seemed like 2 inches for the first couple of turns. Is it a problem in scenario if one or both sides cannot role at least average dice.
During the play test we started with eight squads and a half section of artillery a side, each time we ran the scenario we scaled it back, I think however I took it one step to far with five squads a side, should have been six.
Players easily controlled three squads a piece and I think that is a nice number for players to control.
Will be working on adding three more squads for the Kentish Guard and four Squads for the First Louisana Special Battalion before starting new Companies. In addition I need to finish the Union Artillery even though I don't expect to use them very often.