February 2022 Roundup

Well, we’ve managed to keep to a fairly regular schedule, managing to get 5 games in and complete some terrain items.

The month started with a multi player WWII skirmish set amongst our four foot square city scape, built for us quite a few years back by Dave Marshall of TM Terrain. Designed as a generic eastern Prussia/western Russia look, this game was set in the Caucasus a favourite theatre of operations for us.

The sides were a full platoon each of Soviets and Germans plus limited support, each side approached from the east and west of the town with different deployment options and variables on heavy support/transport.

The game split into the two halves of the board; on the main boulevard a bloody gunfight saw heavy casualties on both sides (mainly from deployed mmg’s & lmg’s) but by nightfall more real estate was in Soviet hands than Germans, in the suburbs both sides proceeded cautiously inflicting low level casualties and by nightfall neither had made significant progress.

Next up was another skirmish but this time just two of us trialling the Dead Mans Hand western gunfight rules. This was a project that had notionally started way back in 2020 when we got the buildings and a few figures but then sat dormant for the first year of Covid. A few more figures were added in 2021 and I got bought the rules as a birthday present so finally we got round to it!

Anyone who has gamed with me knows I’m not a huge fan of card driven games and excessive randomness which is exactly what the rules serve up but they are well produced and Dave and I recognised that for the occasional game we were going to need something fairly short, sharp and effective.

The plus side of being simple and effective was that we got through two games in the evening so that was a plus.

Next up was a ‘proper battle’ featuring Florentines and Venetians from our Italian wars collection and using our home grown rules.

It wasn’t our greatest outing, both sides were overly cautious and where they did get bold it was in isolated efforts. The challenge when using Italian states is the generally low morale of the troops and poor command ability of the generals and so the effort for the players is more demanding than commanding French or Spanish.

Ultimately it was a score draw but both sets of players enjoyed the game and swore to be a bit more aggressive next time!

The last game on home turf was another western gunfight, same rules, different terrain, less figures.

As a game this played better, maybe due to us knowing a bit more about the flow of the rules, maybe because we limited ourselves in terms of numbers, don’t know really.

Again we got through two games and for a knock about kind of game (what some would call “fun”) it was perfectly fine but the random element gives some really ridiculous results which did start to grate by the end of play. The upshot was that Dave and I are going to have a go with the rules we grew up on, the ‘Old West Skirmish Rules’, far more complex but certainly more realistic and have a another go with ‘Fistful of Lead’ which we gamed with a while back. Stay tuned ๐Ÿ˜

Final game of the month was an ‘away game’ with some long standing wargames buddies, near to us but not of us ๐Ÿ™‚.

The game was one of those glorious British colonial expeditions in the face of unruly Afghan depredations using a new set of rules ‘Beyond the Empire’ another set in the draw a card, roll a random dice to see if you do what you wanted to and then roll some more random dice to see if you are any good at shooting/fighting this turn.

Now we had great fun; the sun was out, the beer was flowing and much hilarity was had at each players expense but colonial warfare it most definitely wasn’t.

If the very luck driven, completely random course of events and frankly unbelievable combat outcomes are for you (and I know that for many players this is indeed what it’s all about) then these are as good a set as the many other of it’s type out there. For me, no thanks.

Earlier in the year I’d got myself a couple of the Grand manner buildings in their sale – couldn’t afford them full price ๐Ÿ˜‚ and so got them painted up. Although they are ‘Spanish’ I painted them in a more generic northern European style so we could use them for WWII skirmish.

Also got hold of a Blotz minaret to add to our individual middle east buildings.

That’s about it really. The Successors project trundles along, pikemen are being painted as we speak and Dave’s decision to do some Galatians has a unit nearly done – hopefully some photo’s in the March roundup, some vehicles to add to the modern middle east games are about to get started and more Carlists are underway.

So, until next time, be safe and get in as many games as you can ๐Ÿ˜

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