Wednesday, 13 December 2017

General d'Armee - A player review

As many of you know, General d’Armee (GdA) is a new set of Napoleonic rules published just before summer by Reisswitz Press, the sister company to TooFat ardies. The author, Dave Brown, is a well-known and experienced wargame rules writer so I was expecting a good quality set, as it’s been the case.
Although I bought the book the release day and read thoroughly in my summer holiday break, I decided to refrain from commenting in the blog until after I had tested on a gaming table and could consider myself enough familiar with the system.
For that purpose, I gathered a small group of players in my local club and have been extensively playing since late September. GdA is not simple, on the contrary, the learning curve is fairly steep at the beginning; but now I feel finally fairly confident and familiar with the rules.

What is General d’Armee?

In GdA players seat in the saddle of a commander of an army or division (in Napoleonic terminology): 5 to 8 brigades, each composed of several regiments. The rules however can be stretched and extended to play with a full Army Corps. So at least on paper, GdA is suited to play medium to large battles.

However the basic manoeuvre unit is an infantry battalion (300 to 1000+ men), cavalry squadrons and artillery batteries, representing the building blocks of the regiments; and this is as we’ll see later one of my main objections to the game.
General d’Armee is an old-school wargaming set; the 100 pages manual is basically all rules, with some photos and a good number of examples to illustrate or clarify the different topics. It is not designed for a light reading; it’s full of details and as I said before, it requires a fair investment of time in reading, annotating and playing with the book on the side for consultation. 

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Eight Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge

To mark my return to a normal wargaming and blogging schedule, my first post since late April is to announce my participation for the third time in Curt's Painting Challenge. For those not in the llop, this is a friendly painting competition among wargamers across the world, organised by Canadian Curt Campbell, who I'm very fortunate to have met personally (him and his lovely wife Sarah) in a trip to Spain last year.

The Challenge launch also marks the final countdown to Christmas. The Challneg works by each participat setting his own target in the form of points awarded from painting your minis, and extends between Decemeber 20 2017 and March 20 2018. No best way to spend this dark and cold afternoons!.

In addition to the points with your painted inis and models, you get additional points participating in the thematic bonus rounds, always named with strange names to squeeze our heads with a little bit of creativity. This year's themes are the following:

  • Flight' (January 6th submission / displayed January 7th / voting results January 14th)
  • BFG: Big Freakin' Gun' (January 20st submission / displayed January 21st / voting results January 28th)
  • 'Music/Musician' (February 3rd submission / displayed February 4th / voting results February 11th)
  • 'Childhood' (February 17th submission / displayed February 18th / voting results February 25th)
  • 'Monstrous' (March 3rd submission / displayed March 4th / voting results March 11th)
Any ideas on how to approach the themes are more than welcome!

Over the past two years I have focused on one single project (German Fallschirmjager in 2015/16 and Napoleonics in 2016/17). this year won't be different and will continue swelling the ranks of my Napoleonics collection to play General d'Armee. The only new news is that I'll be painting 20mm minis in addition to my traditional and favourite 28mm scale minis.

This year Curt has also added terrain to the challenge. I'm not a great modeller and therefore I'm not expecting to take advantage of the addition, but who knows.

So expect a little more of activity in the blog in the coming weeks and months

Monday, 1 May 2017

Update & House Cleaning

Easter week holidays and some domestic priorities among my gaming buddies has brought a temporary break in our Vietnam games. However I have not been idle and manage to finish this
M-577 Command Post vehicle from Force of Arms, a really nice model but alas unavailable as the company seems to have gone under.

If you follow my Twitter account (@Anibal Invic) you'll also know that I'm currently working on a M106 Mortar Carrier too, again form Force of Arms.

Monday, 10 April 2017

DMZ Vietnam # 3 - Winning Hearts and Souls (or at least trying)

Third game of CoC DMZ, the Vietnam supplement for Chain of Command. After two games, we are now more confident on controlling the new mechanics and decided to add some complexity, introducing a political dimension to the game loosely based on Charlie Don't Surf, the Platoon-sized rules written by TooFatLardies (full details at the end of the post).

Using this time one of the scenarios included a Surf's Up, the US player was briefed about its mission: he must take control of remote village of uncertain name suspected to be the depot area of NVA units infesting the region. In Chain of Command terms, this is a "Scenario 6 Attack on an Objective" of the main rulebook, in principle winning the US if capturing the jumpoff point located in the center of the village.

But it wasn't to be so easy. As the NVA had important food and weapons supplies hidden in the village, those should be discovered and destroyed. If the enemy could exit its tactical edge with the supplies, the NVA player was victorious even if the US take control of the village. The village was inhabited and any civilian potentially a casualty in a fire exchange would count againts the US (or the NVA!) "Political Score".

Peaceful local peasents (or not?) on their way to tendering the fields
Setting the scene let's see how the table looked opposed the US entry side.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Professional Wargaming

Let me call your attention to this recent post in the "Mad Padres' Wargame Blog" run by Mike Peterson, a chaplain serving in the Canadian Army, dedicated wargamer and long-distance friend.

The post deals with the use of wargaming techniques in the training and preparation of the professional modern armies. Lots of quality food for thought and links to some interesting articles in The Strategy Bridge, an online journal on military matters. Highly recommendable reading allover.  

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Chain of Command Vietnam - Enter the ACAV

Second test game today with Chain of Command DMZ, the unofficial supplement to play the Vietnam conflict with Chain of Command. In this game we introduced for the first time a vehicle, my "Peace Maker" ACAV model,  parked in my garage for sometime now.

We chose this time to play the "Attack on an Objective" Scenario Six of the main rule book. The table had a major jungle (type 2 area) crossed by a dirt road leading to a village which according to the intelligence cources was a major NVA depot area.

The battlefield form the US edge

Friday, 31 March 2017

Storming the Citadel - New Chain of Command Campaign

TooFatLardies just announced a new campaign book for Chain of Command in their "pint-sized" campaign series (Pint = priced as a pint of beer in Richard Clarke's local pub). Storming the Citadel is the first  time that TFL moves East, to the time of Kursk/Citadelle, following the trails of the GrossDeutshcland Division.

As usual, the campaign is self-contained with all the army lists, scenarios and special rules, supported by a nice display of maps and historical information. Another one not to miss!