Wednesday, February 28, 2018

February 2018 in Review

Hi folks,

Busy as usual here in the WAR ROOM, with loads of games being played.

 7th - Raiders of the North Sea (EB, EC, Paul, Brian, Jan, Phil)  
14th - Russo-Turk 1877 battle (Brian, EB, Wes, Phil)      
21st - TALON - Base Attack (EC, EB, Jan, Hammer, Phil, Wes)
24th - HIS 500th (EB, Brian, Wes, EC, Jan, Phil) - Saturday Game - 9am
28th - TALON (EB, Wes, Phil, Brian, EC)

Raiders of the North Sea

We played a six player game with the two new expansions and most of the players had never played before. EC ended up winning, but this was an extremely close game.

The new expansion allows for players to try many different paths to victory, which should provide years of playability.

Here are a couple game photos of this beautiful competitive board game.

Russo-Turkish War Battle

These were 15mm figures from Brian's collection. We had a good time and the Turks had nearly taken the fort when we had to call the game. We started the armies way too far apart, and we didn't get an early start. Still we have fun! Cigar Box mat was used.

Don't have time for commentary, but the photos are nice.


This is an extremely cool game of space ship combat by GMT Games. Very well thought out and loads of terrific battles.

I'm using a Cigar Box "Start Frontier" mat with 2" hexes. Looks great!

Here I Stand 500th Anniversary Rules

Well, we had an outstanding game of HIS last October on the true 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's 95 thesis, but we didn't have the new rules from GMT by then so we scheduled this one and just had a blast.

We had great moments scattered around each and every turn! Massive wars, burning Protestants, shaming Catholics, piracy (if EC could roll a frickin' die), and many Conquistadores being eaten by the locals!

We finished five complete turns, with no winner, but had to call it a night by 6pm. The Ottomans and French were tied for first with nearly all players in a big pack waiting to take advantage of any slip-up.

Dirty Hapsburgs attempting to invade France, and I made him pay!

Cortes eaten in the New World.

One of my terrible hand draws!

England taking Antwerp from the Hapsburgs, while the HRE was battling in Germany and the frontier against the Turks.

France prepares for War against Genoa. I was able to take Genoa on my last card play of Turn 5.

Vienna has fallen! The sorrow!

The Victory Point graphic:

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

GWSH2 - Caucasus Counter-Attack

After playing some great board games in early January: Raiders of the North Sea, Kemet, Merchants & Marauders, Formula De, and 878 Vikings pimped out with 28mm figures, it was time to get back to the miniatures!

It took me a long time to setup this terrain, so you are likely to see it a couple more times.

This week's game...

When will blood cease to flow in the mountains?
when sugar-canes grow in the snows.

Caucasus Counter-Attack

Scenario Background

The premise of this ahistorical battle is based on the reality on the ground in the Caucasus in early 1915. The Turks just finished their disastrous Caucasus campaign in December of 1914, and this is part of the wave of Russian counter-attacks following those dark days.

We have the Russian VI Army Corp (2 divisions, 7 regiments) attacking the Turkish X Army Corp (two divisions, 6 regiments). The Turkish regiments are about 2/3 or less the size of the Russian regiments and the Russians have more artillery.

This will be our first Defender vs Attacker GWSH2 scenario.

Rules, Players, and Miniatures

Rules: Great War Spearhead II by Shawn Taylor
Figures: 15mm Collection (Eric's), Mini-figs and Irregulars.
Players: Brian, Phil, Mike, Wes, and Charles (I'm umpire)


Here are a couple photos of the terrain and the map given to the players to plan their respective attack and defense. The terrain looks much more hilly in person, as my hills are under the terrain mat.

The Plans!

GWSH2 has players give orders by drawing on the maps. Here are both side's plans for the battle.

Russian Plan

Russians kept 2 Regiments (one from each division) in reserve off-table and brought the Field Gun brigade on during turn 2 to give room for maneuver.

Turkish Plan

Turks kept one regiment off board. They would have received VP if they didn't have to bring them in.

The Battle

View from the Turkish positions.

Using the village for cover

Far right Turkish flank, 92nd Regiment

Turkish MG takes cover in the snow covered woods


Hard work for the Russians

The East Siberian Rifle Regiments are going to clear the town.

Russian left flank assaulting the Dragon's Spine.

Overview, as Russian casualties mount in the center.

The blue markers indicate Stationary Fire. We just pick them up when we are done firing the unit.

The Dragon's Spine has become a graveyard of Russian men.

Russian Brigaded 76.2mm Field Guns start to impact the Turkish positions.

All the black splotches are destroyed companies!

Finally, the Russians have inflicted some casualties on the Turkish center.

7th East Siberian Rifle Regiment has done grim work, and paid a very heavy price to clear the village.

Here are some of the late game shelling I was able to do against the Turkish positions.

Because of time, we had to call the game. GWSH2 requires map planning before the game begins which tends to slow the start of the actual battle. The map planning is a critical and fun part of the game, however I think we lose 30 minutes doing so.

After Thoughts

We enjoyed ourselves again with GWSH2, and will start adding our own tweaks to the game.
1. Attached  support weapons (MGs) will need to be touch a combat company in order to fire through it. We found that, per the rules, letting them fire through any fighting company (not support unit) in the command was too flexible and looked weird.
2. Attached artillery must have a clear line of site (can't fire through fighting companies) in order to fire.

I plan on doing Belleau Wood in May (100 year anniversary), but may get another GWSH2 game in before that.

The week after this game I used the terrain for the same scenario, but 120 years earlier with the Potemkin Russians attacking the Ottoman defender.

A couple photos of that Russian victory!