Thursday, May 19, 2011

Having a Go With Hexes

It's been raining here in SW Virginia for so long I think I might apply for "Honorary Brit Status"...or maybe move to Seattle and be done with the sun for good... and to cap it off my son was sick and home from school as well so nothing to be done for it but...break out a game!

We decided to try out Bob Cordery's "Portable Wargame Rules" based on Joseph Morshauer adapted to hexes. I had just read Ross McFarlane's AAR of a game using the rules and thought they would be just the ticket for a quick game.
We used my 6mm Napoleonics and the hex board from a Command and Colors game from GMT. The terrain was some of my homemade (using Polymer clay) buildings and a few store bought buildings as well. We fabricated a few hills by tracing around some of the C&C games tiles on to 1/4" balsa and sprayed them...(amazingly building the hills took only about 20 minutes)...and then we got to it.
We each had an army of 18 stands (the rules call for 1 1/2 times the number of baseline hexes to set the size of the army).

Now Napoleonics are a notoriously difficult era to simulate what with all the "rock, paper, scissors" nuances to deal with and such, but for this game we decided to use the rules as written to see how they worked and then adjust them later for Naps.

As the game progressed, I did cook up a simple "infantry squares" rule that seemed to work well: We said infantry could elect to form squares when an enemy cav unit moves doing this the infantry gives up it's roll against the cavalry in the Close Combat phase. The cavalry in turn has it's combat power reduced to 2, and if it fails to destroy the infantry unit, it is retreated one hex after the combat and is pinned. The infantry unit while in square cannot fire and takes an initiative point to change formation out of square.
We managed a few turns before my son lost interest (he's five after all...), but I soldiered on. The French after a turn of cannonade, advanced a strong force on the left and pressed the Brits hard. A couple of Highland units stood fast until destroyed by overwhelming numbers. The rules are bloody, but fun in true Morschauer style, and I didn't mind the level of abstraction at all, as I found you quickly had to get into making some hard command choices as with casualties your initiative dice begin to dwindle.

those 6mm fellows are tiny but aggressive!
The rules as written have a two hex infantry fire range which seemed long using 6mm, (but would work great in mid to late century battles).  I used it anyway and chalked up the long range fire to skirmishers and "tactical" (i.e, non Grand Battery) artillery fire. In a future Napoleonic rules "tweak" I might try making two hex infantry fire a "pin only" result.

The battle was winding to a close as the French assault on the left slowly began to strangle the British command rolls...but we had to wrap up the game when the wife came home from work and said, "Is this what you guys have been doing all day?"

.... ahh the lot of a married wargamer is fraught with peril...


The Angry Lurker said...

"Is this what you guys have been doing all day?",words to break any square, nice looking game and miniatures.

littlejohn said...

---now THAT is funny lol...

Ross Mac said...

The 6's look good on the board, and so does the terrain. I like your square rule too.

One of the things I've come to like about the quick and bloody is that it pays to keep reserves in hand. An all too rare need in miniature games.


Robert (Bob) Cordery said...

Many thanks for writing up this battle report ... and I like the simple rule you have developed for forming squares (which I might need to copy if I venture into the Sudan with my Colonial figures).

The terrain and figures look superb, by the way; simple but very effective.

All the best,


littlejohn said...

Thanks Guys, ...and I just this afternoon fought a historical scenario of Quatre Bras using Bob's rules and it worked out great...I'll post an AAR asap

Bard said...

Those are great looking 6mm figures. When I saw the first photo I had to do a double-take, thinking they couldn't be 6mm. Very nice indeed.

littlejohn said...

Bard,... thanks! ...and welcome to Lead Gardens!

Fitz-Badger said...

Between you and Ross, you guys are making this hex stuff and the "portable game" idea look like a lot of fun! Nice terrain and miniatures, too!
@ AngryLurker - ha ha, made me chuckle