Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Save the Factory - Aerial Dogfight

The Rejects got together for their regular Paint and Chat session via Zoom.  But this time we engaged in some dogfighting instead of painting.

Lee, Ian and Steve represented the RAF in their Spitfires.  Meanwhile, the Luftwaffe were piloted by David and Ray.  The German bombers were controlled by the umpire.

The starting positions were that the RAF were vectored in on some raiding DO17s with the mission to stop them from reaching the beer factory.  The BF109 top cover were close at hand, but could appear from any of the yellow markers.

All pilots started as experienced.  Their level could rise by getting kills.  However, it could drop if killed.  Killed pilots would reappear at one of the yellow markers.

The winners would be individual with the most points (2 per kill) and the side with the most points.

The starting positions.

Starting position as seen from behind the Spitfires.

...and seen from the DO17s.

At this point my ability to umpire and take photos utterly collapsed.

What I can say is that poor Ian kept on getting in the way of teutonic weaponry and was shot down twice.  Once by a bomber and another time by Ray.

By the end of the game the dogfighting was intense with Lee and a bomber damaged.

Final positions of the combatants, except one...

Steve had managed to leave the dogfight and concentrate on the raiding DO17s.  He successfully shot one down, but failed to score on the others before they dropped their bombs on the Stella Artois Beer Factory.

Steve desperately trying, but rolling bad dice.

An enjoyable time seemed to be had by all.

With 2 points for a kill and modifiers according to finishing skill level, Ray (Luftwaffe) and Steve (RAF) were joint first with 3 points each.

Ian was last with -1 !!

Overall, the Luftwaffe won with 3 points to 2.  The German fighters did their job of protecting the bombers.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

The Catholic Army on Parade

The Catholic army has been completed and here is the result.  All figures are from Irregular Miniatures' 2mm ranges.

This is the full army set in array.  The gens d'armes forming the first line with French pike and shot units and a Spanish tercio in the second and the Swiss pike in the third line behind some artillery.  The town is made from the excellent 2mm buildings from Brigade Models.  They are from their Mediterranean range.  I have some of the medieval/renaissance buildings for this period waiting to be painted.

A closer shot of the lines.

A view from the rear ranks.

The Spanish tercio.  I'm not sure that I am happy with this.  For impact, I'm inclined to make the pike block larger.  I'll ponder on this.

The photo is more blurred than I thought, sorry.  Here is a birds eye view with a tape measure down to give a sense of scale.  Basically the gens d'armes line is 60cm long.

A closer view of the rear of two of the French pike and shot regiments.  
The French constantly struggled to find enough pikemen, so often had units with a large proportion of shot.  The Huguenot foot often had no pike at all!
These two represent the Catholic/Royalist old bands or regiments and have a proportion of 2:1 - essentially what was aimed at.  The raised Catholic regiments and bands often had a ratio of 1:1.

Here's a photo of the two foot units with a 15mm French Franco-Prussian War unit behind it for scale comparison.

And... the same units with a tape measure as well.

This picture shows three units of gens d'armes as viewed from behind.

I should at this point say that my mustering of both Catholic and Huguenot armies are based on the Battle of Coutras, 20th October 1587, with the express intention of using that as a foundation from which to expand.

My army list for the Catholic army at Coutras is not perfect but this is as best as I can make out.

Commander:  Ann, Duc de Joyeuse

Joyeuse's Gens d'armes
Lavardin's Gens d'armes
Montigny's Gens d'armes
Mercurio's Stradiots
Picardy Pike and Shot Regt.
Tiercellin Pike and Shot Regt.
Cluseau Pike and Shot Regt.
Verduissant Pike and Shot Regt.

Now to get on with Henri of Navarre's Huguenot army.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Some Thoughts on my French Wars of Religion Rules

When I had finished my lengthy pondering about starting the French Wars of Religion as a wargaming project, one of my first and significant periods of reflection and energy was about the rules.  Yes, even before buying the miniatures.

Having already looked around, I had come to the conclusion that there was nothing that really satisfied me or had everything that I wanted.  This was doubtless made more difficult by deciding to proceed in 2mm.

It wasn't a hard decision to write my own rules.

I began with first principles and drew up some design guidelines:

  • No figure or base removal.  This was a no brainer really.  At 2mm, a base was going to represent a formation.
  • Everything should be centred around two attributes: unit quality and the unit's cohesion.  All my reading to date really highlights these as determining factors.  Quality will remain the same, but cohesion levels will ebb and flow during a battle.  This means that all tests, movement, firing, morale and combat will be hanging on these two attributes.
  • Morale grade is not a factor in itself but the sum of the unit's quality and cohesion.
  • Use six sided dice only.  I'm not opposed to using a range of dice (my own WW2 aerial rules use d6, d8, d10,d12 and d20s) but just wanted to reach for the dice... not decide which dice to reach for!  In most cases decisions should be determined by rolling 2d6 - i.e. 2-12.  I need the bell curve if I am going to pin everything on quality and cohesion.  Essentially both quality and cohesion have settled into a 5 to 1 range, with 5 being the top.  So a veteran unit (quality 4) with a cohesion level of 5 will pass a morale test on 2d6 with a score of 9 or under, so 83%.  However, if the same unit's cohesion has dropped to 2 then the pass is 6 or under, which is 41.6% and not so good.
  • As few markers/counters as possible.  Impossible to have none, but I think 2mm figures will be overwhelmed by too much clutter on the tabletop.
  • I want to introduce cards to give the players extra decision making, not just in moving their troops, but in playing event cards and trying to win initiative.  So the idea is that cards can influence events, but they also come with a value; this value can be used to bid for initiative, but it may mean not being able to use that card to influence an event.  I hope that the basic rules will provide a flavour of the period and the conflict, but the cards will (fingers crossed) have specific references that will enhance that feel for the warfare and the times.

Basically I ended up writing the rules before I purchased the figures.  They are under constant personal review and have yet to be used in anger by anyone else, other than solo on my dining table.

No rules are written in a vacuum and my thinking has no doubt been influenced by rules that I have read, played or seen reviewed.  There is seldom anything entirely original.  I also understand that further research may impact on my design.  I'll keep you all posted on how these develop.