Monday 29 June 2020

A couple more games of Liber Militum Tercios

We played the games, I took the photos, but I never got around to posting the battle reports of the last two games. Sorry! Anyway here's a quick run-down, with what I remember.

The fourth game was, predictably, the fourth scenario in the book, "Question of Honour". This was quite similar to the third game in style being played short-end to short-end, but had symmetric objectives. Each side had a vanguard and a rear guard. I'd added a few extra Pike and Shot units into the forces for this one.

Deployment: Royalist on the left, Parliament on the right.

The plan was that at the top of the table the cavalry would clash and the lower half of the table the infantry would fight.

However once the cavalry got close together the Royalist cavalry actually changed direction and headed towards the centre of the table where the Parliament infantry were starting to cause some real damage. This left the the Parliament cavalry a bit at a loss as their target had vanished.

Royalist cavalry arrive in the centre where the infantry is struggling.

Parliament cavalry chase after them.

However the Royalist cavalry does not really make the difference in the centre and a lot of units are destroyed in the melee. Troops are spotted around the battlefield, it's very bloody. But in the end the Parliament troops are victorious, but not my much. Only a "Fair" Victory for them, but their first one nonetheless.

At the end the armies are both in disarray.

Plenty of casualties on both sides. Royalist left, Parliament right.

The fifth game was, again predictably, the fifth scenario, "Capture the Hills". In this one there are between one and three hills in the middle of the table (we rolled for one) and the deployment is on the diagonal. Victory goes to the forces with control of the hills, with some interesting ways of calculating the victory points for that. I'd added some mounted arquebusiers to Parliament, a musketeers unit to the Royalist forces and more artillery for both.

Parliament got to choose sides and used that choice well to choose the far superior side. I was stuck with my Royalists with loads of terrain bottle-necking my troops and blocking my artillery fire.

I didn't realise until the game started that the rocks in front of my artillery in the foreground blocked line of sight.
Of course I couldn't move them as limbers have not arrived from Heroics and Ros yet!

A narrow gap between the town and rocks.
The Parliament forces had loads of walls to hide behind.
On the left flank our cavalry forces clashed, but his was larger than mine and soon he had my cavalry on the run. But that didn't matter, at least I'd diverted his cavalry from the hill, that was the only objective.

Cavalry clashes. Some of my infantry marches through the wood.
I marched quickly up the hill to gain the advantage. The Parliament infantry stood behind the walls and shot at me. I had to cycle units to the front, have the front ones fall back to recover and repeat. My infantry was taking heavy damage but holding.

I have plenty of units on the hill.
Brendan timed his attack on the hill with perfection. With a roar, the Parliament troops climbed over their walls and up the hills. They were fresh, but my troops were heavily damaged. Units started to rout but still I held on, not allowing him onto the hill.

Eventually though the Parliament forces were too much and the hill falls. Though again only a "Fair" victory to the Parliament forces. They'd taken hardly any losses. The Royalists on the other hand had taken a hammering, but today it was that hill that mattered, not the blood of Englishmen.

As we play more and more the rules get more fluid and we enjoy it even more. The next scenario is the last in the main book, but there are another six in the expansion, and of course they all have good replay value.

Friday 19 June 2020

Blücher French Shako Dice Cup

So right back when I started playing Blücher I found this blog post. I was impressed and wanted to make a Shako dice cup of my own, but with so many minis to paint and terrain to make I never got around to it.

When I got my 3d printer a few weeks ago I thought I might be able to make a cup easily. I found some 28mm French Foot Artillery minatures on thingiverse which I could see had nicely detailed Shakos and thought that could be the basis for my new cup.

It wasn't so easy. I had to modify the STL mesh itself with Blender, adjusting the position of vertices and wiring up new edges and faces before being able to cut out the centre and split it into two parts for printing. Quite a bit of work, but a great learning experience.

It sat for a while unpainted as other projects again took priority, but last night I completed it. I'm really pleased with it even though it was a lot more work than I had expected.

STL files are here.

Tuesday 16 June 2020

6mm ECW - Liber Militum Tercios game number three

Another Sunday Afternoon another Liber Militum Tercios game against Brendan.

On our third game the rules really are flowing well. We're not having to look things up hardly at all and have no real problems working out what should happen. We're also still enjoying the battles massively and looking forward to more.

This was the third scenario in the main book, "Stubborn Defence" and was the first with lop-sided objectives. The defender had to kill the attacker's units whereas the attacker had to break through the defensive lines and get units into the defender's side of the table.

Add to that half of the defender's troops would be up front and already with a point of Wear (damage) and the rest would be far in the rear and acting more as reserves.

This time I'd added into the armies some more cavalry. Haselrigge's Lobsters (Cuirassiers) and some standard Horse for the Parliament army and some Veteran Cavaliers in the form of Prince Rupert's Horse for the Royalists. I'd also just finished painting a massive quantity of hedges and walls from Battlescale and some 3D printed buildings using STL files from Eskice Miniatures. We couldn't get anywhere near all the hedges and walls we got with our order using the Tercios terrain rules, so you see just a small selection.

I was again to take the Royalists and Brendan chose to be the defender. Here is the initial setup. Attacking Royalist forces far left; Parliament Vanguard in the middle; Parliament Reserves far right. All Cavalry ended up at the bottom of that picture, the cavalry fighting would mostly be over those hedges at the bottom, middle.

Royalist Horse. Rupert to the rear.

The New Model Army troops in the Parliament Vanguard could not line up behind the hedge
 due to the position of the deployment area, so had to be in front.

Parliament Reserves

Royalist Infantry
The first turn saw the Royalist forces run forward and the Parliament vanguard stand their ground (mostly). Parliament reserves moved quickly forward.

Royalists and Parliament both advance. 
Dragoons find a nice wall to hide behind in range of the Parliament Pike.
The second turn the advance continues, still no real combat takes place.
Both side's cavalry advance almost into contact, and pistols are fired over the hedges. 

On the other flank the foot advances and shots are fired.

Learning from previous games about the ineffectiveness of shooting in turn three we got in and started some melee. Both sides saw successes and losses on both flanks. Neither side seemed to have an advantage, though the royalist lost a unit of Pike and Shot in the centre. But the victors in that battle were not much better off.

It was mayhem over the hedges for the cavalry.
Rupert took heavy damage but survived.

In the centre the lead Royalist Pike and Shot was routed,
but the second one quickly filled it's place.

On the other flank, Pike and Shot units from each side fell back in disarray.
Turn four was good for the Royalist attackers. The dragoons remembering the objective advanced into a gap in the Parliament lines. The cavalry fight across the hedges continued.

Royalist dragoons see a gap and advance into it. Royalist Pike and Shot rally.

Hedge fighting continues.
One parliament unit routs making a gap for Royalist Horse to exploit.

A gap opens up in the centre as well.

Turn five saw some excitement. The Royalist CinC, saw he could get to the dragoons and so with those ran across the centre line to score objective points, whilst doing so he ran over the Parliament CinC killing him! No points for that, but it didn't make the Parliament forces happy!

On the hedges the Parliament horse commander used a special trait to confuse the orders of one of the Royalist horse units. This resulted in them charging Hasselrigge's Lobsters across the hedges... this should have been a disaster, but the Lobsters retreated from the combat leaving another huge hole in the Parliament lines!

Turn six saw the Royalist troops take advantage of all these holes and advanced plenty of troops across the line to give a "Clear Victory".

Heavily damaged and disordered most of the Royalist horse
crosses the all-important centre-line.

In the centre the Royalist Pike and Shot creep over the line.
The dragoons turn around having crossed the line with the intention of giving support if needed.

Again a brilliant game. Enjoyed by both sides.

More next week!

Sunday 7 June 2020

6mm ECW - Another Liber Militum Tercios game

We had our second game of Liber Militum Tercios today.

We added in all the commander rules this time, with Traits and Virtues and also some extra rules with dragoons and New Model Army regiments. These all worked well. Total points each side was 925, so just under the "medium" game size.

The scenario was the second in the book "Determination" with the objectives being to get more of your troops onto the opponent's side of the battlefield than they get onto yours.

I won choice of side, a key thing I think in this setup. I set my Royalist troops up in a long line, whereas Brendan's Parliamentary troops were a little more clumped up.

Royalist to the right, Parliament to the left. The crack in the centre is the centreline.
Parliament deployment

Royalist deployment

We both decided that we needed to move fast towards the centre, so apart from the artillery every unit had a Run order on it in the first turn. I advanced straight forward. Brendan swung two of his P&S units round my left flank and the New Model Army units down the middle. His Dragoons moved as far as they could, but a lake and my cavalry blocked his way.  Also had some artillery lined up to deal with those.

In the second turn I advanced a bit further taking the village and shooting started. I charged my cavalry in and it bounced really rather badly! Brendan's cavalry still held back. My dragoons sneaked around to his rear.

My dragoons sneaked around his rear.

Lots of shooting in the centre.

My cavalry bounced off some pike and ran away even though they'd not taken much damage.

In the third turn Brendan's two units on the flank ignored the dragoons and marched towards the objective, my side of the table. A sensible move as there are no points for casualties in this battle!

In the centre we did a lot of shooting the front one of his New Model Army battalia took heavy losses, but stood their ground.

Brendan charged my cavalry with his, I countercharged and won, but didn't break his horse.

The dragoons and the flanking forced passed like "ships in the night", ignoring each other completely.

In the centre there is an ineffectual firefight, though Brendan's front unit takes a lot of damage.
You can see the order markers face down ready for the next turn.
In the fourth turn things didn't change much. We shot ineffectually at each other and Brendan brought his flanking force around the wood.

The green dice show Wear (damage) big units tend to be able to take 4, small ones 3.
The fifth turn was the key. This is the first turn when victory could be assured. A five point advantage would win it for me at this point with a major victory. I saw that I could just step several of my units over the centre-line something that Brendan could not do. So I did just that.

We did more shooting, but nothing died, again! I had 13 points over the line, Brendan just had 6. That was enough for a Decisive Victory for me.

It was odd not having any units actually be destroyed, but we did both enjoy the game and it played fluidly. The full commander rules made a lot of sense, though I did keep on having to remind Brendan to use them and I kept forgetting myself. They gave some flavour with my CinC able to reveal enemy orders and add an extra dice to the unit he was attached to in melee. Brendan had his CinC adding a similar dice to his artillery shooting.

I do like how artillery does a very small amount of damage fairly reliably and tends to disorder units most of the time as well.

Overall I'm very pleased with these rules. I'm not sure what units to add in next. We'll be carrying on working through the scenarios one-by-one, the next one is the first Attack/Defence scenario with lopsided objectives. I'm really looking forward to this one!

Dragoons, The New Model Army and 3D Printing

I've had quite a busy week.

After last weekend's game of Liber Militum Tercios I decided I needed to get some movement trays made for my ECW minis. I decided that to make them I'd need a 3D Printer. After some investigation I ordered a Monoprice Select Mini V2 printer. This would take a while to arrive so I decided in the mean time to get some extra units painted.

I decided to paint some more pike and shot, this time in the form of the New Model Army, red coats and helmets on the pikemen, the feathers cut off the Heroics and Ros minis.

I also painted up a couple of units of dragoons, one for each side. I couldn't decide whether to put the horse holders on the bases or not. In the end I decided for my current project I would. This may change if I play For King and Parliament, where the horse holders can be left behind, but for Liber Militum Tercios it does not matter. I also don't need mounted dragoons yet!

Both these photos show examples of my 3D printed movement trays. They have space for a small dice to keep track of wear (damage) and have the centres of each side marked accurately for Liber Militum Tercios. Everything is magnetised with magnetic sheet so switching units around is a doddle but nothing falls out!

With the movement trays such a success I even went ahead and started 3D printing the actual bases. These have cut-outs for the Heroics and Ros bases and the acrylic sealant I always use works as glue and filler around them. These have again been a wonderful success and very quick to print!