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Saturday, February 10, 2018

I'm back and Report of past Gaming and Teaching Marathon

It has been quiet on this blog due to are very hard time during the past months finishing my master thesis about the German Peasants' Revolt, but it is done now.

As the title suggests, I did a lot of gaming in October last year and want to give a short report of it. Three games in four Days and all of them were introductory games, in which I explained 3 different rulesets for 3 different periods to 3 different opponents (being a teacher also seems to continue in my hobby time^^). Spoiler: Everything went fine and many nice pictures were taken.

First up was a game of "British Grenadier!" for the American War of Independence. I played a new gaming mate at his home and we fought the Battle of Hannah's Cowpens, using mainly his amazing collection. He was attacking with the British against my American force, deployed in a three-line-defense. This Battle was also a duel between two feared commanders: Daniel Morgan and Banastre Tarleton and served as the inspiration for the final battle in Mel Gibson's "The Patriot"!
The starting positions at Cowpens from the American table edge.
A view from the British table edge
Tarleton was despatched from the Cornwallis' Southern British Army to pursue the force of Daniel Morgan and destroy it (if possible). Therefore he assembled a clolumn of his personal British Cavalry and Light Infantry (here represented by the Queen's Rangers as stand-in), some combined Light Bobs, as well as the Regulars of the 7th Royal Fusiliers and 1/71st Fraser's Highlanders.
The British force: Queen's Rangers, British Legion cavalry, 3 pdr gun, Tarleton, 7th Royal Fusiliers and 1/71st Highlanders.
Morgan deployed his American force, consisting mainly of militia accompanied by two regiments of Continetal Veterans and some cavalry, in a three line deep-defence starting with the first line of skirmishers in the woods, followed by a second line of militia (again in the woods), with the third and final position on a range of hills held by the Continentals.
The British encounter the first line of defense
The amazing mass of Tarleton's British Legion cavalry
The first line of Militia retreats
Tarleton's British steadily worked their way through the first two lines of militia, who put up a good but not to persistend fight. Breaking the thrid line of elite Continentals, supported by two regiments of Cavalry, proved to be a much harder nut to crack, though.
The elite Continentals face the Light Bobs
While the Continentals held the line against atacks from the Light Bobs and Queen's Rangers, the huge amount of British Legion Cavalry was massing to attack the American right flank. Therefore the American 1st/3rd Dragoons, led by William Washington (cousin of the CiC) and Militia Cavalry decided to perform a preemtive counter-charge.
Cavalry charge on the right flank
Clash of Cavalry
Washington's 1st/3rd Continental Dragoons
Seeing a possibility to turn the tide and direction of the battle, the Virginia Continentals tried to charge the skirmishing Light Bobs, who evaded, but bumped into the following up batallion of the Queen's Rangers
Continental counter-attack bumps into the Queen's Rangers
As the American counterattack failed and losses were piling up heavily, we called it a night and a victory for Tarleton's British, who suffered less than in the historical battle.

Next up was me first game using Dan Mersey's excellent Lion Rampant rules. It was straight forward, played well and was very amusing. We played the "Sausages without Mustard"-Scenario (an terrific name, as I really like mustard^^) where one side had to inflame four haystacks in a village, while the defender tries to prevent this.
View of the Battelfield
I dragged together two rag-tag warbands from my finished late Medieval troops. This put the following units against each other:

Defenders: 2x Burgundian Knights, 1x Burgundian Crossbowmen with Paveses, 1x Landsknechts with halberds (Expert Foot Sergeants), 1x Burgundian Handgunners (Bidowers)

Attackers: 1x Italian Knights, , 1x Mounted Crossbowmen, 1x Italian Crossbowmen, 1x Italian Bowmen (Bidowers), 2x Swiss Pikemen (Foot Yeomen with Moveable Shiltron)
Burgundian knights and X-bowmen meet the Swiss/Italians in the village square
Italian Crowwbowmen (old GW Dogs of War)
The Italian Knights quickly set fire to one haystack, but were counter-chraged and beaten to a man by their Burgundian counterparts. Meanwhile on the right flank, the Burgundian crossbows decimated the Mounted X-bowmen completely. On the other flank a Swiss Pike unit positioned itself next to a barn, awaiting the second unit of Burungdian Knights.
Burgundian Knights bravely/stupidly charging a Swiss Pikeblock
Killing the Italian leader in the shine of a burning haystack
The Burgundian Knights definitely won the game for me, as they defended the haystack (less one) and killed the Italian leader, as well as defeating the Swiss Pikes! The Bidowers and Italian X-bows exchanged some shots, but were not decisive during this game. The Landsknechts were bogged down in a cliff and came too late to participate in the fight, sharing this fate with the second units of Swiss.
Therefore it was a clear victory for my Burgundians, as I still had enough hay in the barn...
Knights beat Pikes, who would have expected that!?!

Last, but not least, was an 100 points introductory game of Team Yankee at my club. I was trying out some newly bought terrain (recognise the ALDI store!) and Soviet list, which combined Afgantsy airborne infantry with a reserve T-72 Tankovy batallion. My learning opponent was lended the American force of a friend, consting of two small company teams, one M1 Abrams and one Mechanied Infantry plus support in form of 2 Cobras, 2 A-10 Warthogs, 3 M109 Artillery SPGs and 4 VADS AA.
View of a beautifully layed out 1985s Germany battlefield
We were playing the "Brigdehead"-mission, so the objective for the Americans was to eliminate the dug-in Afgantsy before their armoured reinforcements arrived. They tried to encircle the Soviet from both flanks, but with no success. The M1 Abrams were blown  up by the Hind Helicopters and arriving T-72s, while the Desantniki infantry stubbornly remained sitting in their trenches all game.
Hinds blow up 3 M1 Abrams tanks from behind
In retrospective, my opponent (who was still learning the game of course) made two decicive mistakes: 

1. He moved his artillery in turn one, instead of starting to bombard my Afgantsy right away, because dug-in infantry is really hard to get rid off in Team Yankee anyway and American Artillery is just the way to do this effectively.

2. He positioned his only AA, the 4 VADS on his left flank to shred my infantry with it. Not a bad idea, but that left his right flank open to my Hinds. Positioning them in the centre to take on the Hinds first might have changed the outcome of the game immensely.
Dug-in Afgantsy await the final (and hopeless) push of the Yankke Infantry
Even a final push of two American Infantry platoons could not bugger the Soviet Airborne soldiers very much. To conclude, it was an all out Soviet victory ba the end of turn three. So remember, Hinds plus dug-in Desantniki are dangerous as hell...

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