Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Galleys & Galleons - another brief review

Over at the antipodean One Sided Minature Wargaming Discourse page, I have just read another short review of Galleys & Galleons:

"What I liked was that it was simple with meaningful moves and decisions. It also has lots of promise for multi-players, different ship types, fleets and monsters."

The full review can be found HERE.

Following up on that, the blog also a short AAR of an Anglo-French engagement in the Napoleonic period where they have used Ganesha's online fleet builder to approximate later vessels.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Dux Bellorum - A successful defence of Rheged

I had an enjoyably quiet night of gaming over the weekend, getting Dan Mersey's Dux Bellorum back out on the table for another run. It really is a smashingly well thought out little game that does a great job at recreating the bloody struggles of the Early Medieval period.

Although other forces are being slowly (oh so slowly) assembled by other gents in our gaming circle, at the moment, my Romano-British of Rheged and Ulaid Irish are the only armies, so they met once more. To date, the Irish have been undefeated. Their wild charges led by noble warriors proving unstoppable for the British riders and shieldwalls.

We allocated armies randomly and I ended up with the crazy, hound-loving, saffron-wearing, rough nuts. JB, the British player was the repeller (defender) and placed a village right in the centre of the table. Even though my warriors fair better in terrain than any of the Britons, I seemed to have ignored the fact and split my forces into two separate forces. My warlord's companions accompanied by two other noble warrior warbands were on the left and more noble warriors, riders with wardogs on the right with a unit of skirmishers in the center. JB faced my warlord with his shieldwalls, riders and a unit of archers, while he sent his companions and noble riders after my right flank.

In the photo above you can see my skirmishers occupying the village while his cavalry thunder towards my riders.

The British nobility crunch into the Irish right. I threw as many Leadership Points (LP) at my right as I could, trying to buff up the units there to hold off the Brtish warlord while I crushed his other flank.

On my left, an irrationally place unit of British riders taunted my noble warriors off a hill resulting in a cheering horde of Irishmen and a mound of horse flesh.

However, back on my right, an unbelievable roll by JB's companions (outflanked now by my skirmishers) shattered my Irish riders. While my warriors defeated the single unit of noble riders who attacked them, my poor hounds were also defeated.

On my left, the combat hotted up as the shieldwalls engaged my warriors, using LPs to soak up hits and repelling my assaults time after time. 

Each time my warriors on the far left fell back, they were peppered with arrows from the British bowmen. Soon all my noble warriors had fled on this flank with the exception of the warlord's companions.

Turmoil on the right! Shrugging off my skirmishers, the British cavalry round up the last of my noble warriors.

... and proving that the Romano-British should not be discounted, nor should the Irish be over-feared, the shieldwall of Rheged march into town to start the clean up.

I'm delighted that I was able to show how the Irish could be defeated, its just a shame I was commanding them at the time.

To finish up the evening we had a 'quick' game of Galleys & Galleons using ancient fleets for a Rome vs Carthage splash about death match. I assisted my wife to lead the poo brown Romans to victory against their almost-as-unpainted grey Carthaginians. Using double sized fleets (400 points), the game works rather well for ancients if I do say so myself.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Galleys & Galleons Review

I had a lovely note left for me on this blog over the weekend from Peter Hunt of the Hong Kong Society of Wargamers stating "I'm well impressed with your Galleys and Galleons Rules. They are the answer to something that I have been looking for a long time."

How nice! Certainly a sentiment that I appreciate. Even better, Peter went on to note that he has written up a review on the Society website. Here is just a taster:

"The rules run to 78 pages and are well written, in a “tongue in cheek” manner that is clearly aiming at a fun game rather than a deep historical simulation, of which the presence of Kraken to drag you down into the deep, Leviathans to pursue o’er the Seven Seas, Rocs to descend on you from the skies, and an Edge of the World to fall off, leaves you in no doubt. Don’t be put off if that is not your cup of tea though; there is a good set of rules here that will serve well for historical games. Almost all the aspects of the Ganesha Games’ system are here, including using short, medium and long measurement sticks to govern movement and shooting ranges, and using multiple actions to make your shooting and fighting more effective, (for example a “full broadside” in Galleys and Galleons is the equivalent of an “aimed shot” in Drums and Shakos.) Movement is a bit different because it is tied to the wind as you would expect in an age of sail naval game and this is nicely handled by cross referencing the vessel’s rig to wind aspect which will give you a speed in terms of the short, medium or long measurement that the ship will move regardless of whether it is ordered to do so or if there is a turnover."

Moreover, Peter - seemingly an inveterate tinkerer of rules and a fan of Wargames Research Group's DBX systems - produced a great little document reconciling G&G with the DBX system and producing an alternative, simplified weather gauge. Check it out HERE.

One of the nicest additions to Peter's document is the profiling of a dozen or more historical admirals inline with the Flagship rule in the game. Another taster:

"Maarten Harpertszoon Tromp (1630-1653) Born with salt in his veins and enslaved twice by pirates before he was 24, Tromp finally took down Spanish naval power and held the growing naval might of Britain in check for a generation. He introduced the line of battle and was a consummate seaman who knew the Channel like the back of his hand. Tromp, like Nelson, fell to a sharpshooter. His flag captain concealed his death from the fleet to prevent a morale collapse. Dashing and also counts as a pilot. If he suffers a “Captain Hit” result throw a dice: on a 4,5 or 6 the flag captain conceals the death, continue the battle with the Flagship now counting as a Middling Seaman; on a 1,2, or 3 the bad news leaks out, all ships take a -1 on their shooting and offensive boarding action rolls."

And the summary of his thoughts on the rules?

"It turned out to be money well spent… and a substantial financial outlay. Money well spent because the rules are very good, and a substantial financial outlay, because with my enthusiasm for the period rekindled, orders immediately went off to Navwar and Langton for a lot more new ships, Brigade Models for buildings and fortifications, and Minibits for dice holders. In the meantime a week’s work finally got a Dutch fleet to sea."