Saturday, 12 December 2015

Hello all,
Again a long time between postings.  Work and family and Christmas blah, blah, blah....

I have not done much gaming, but have started a couple of new modelling projects.  After years of using old buildings of faking it with incorrect models, I am in the process of making and up-grading my collection of colonial buildings.  First are some proper Rorke's drift buildings.  I have fought this battle loads of times or at least variations on the theme, but never with representations of the buildings and position correctly modelled -- or at least close to it.  So, I have started by creating the basic shapes, one of which you can see below - this is the hospital.  As noted in the BFE scenario, it is more important to make the buildings fit your unit basing than getting them totally correct historically.

In addition, I got a bunch of basic ME wall sections from Warbases.  These are quite cheap and provide a great start for my modular wall system for the new ME buildings I have designed.  They will need quite a lot of work to bring them to life, but I like these basic shapes and they work well with my colonial basing (sorry about the Zulu War redcoats).

Finally there is a shot of something that I have been chipping on for a decade: Omaha Beach for Rapid Fire.   These German positions have been done for a couple of years, but I am still working on the US forces and the landing craft.  Getting close, but this project reminds me that the journey in wargaming is often more important than playing the game -- indeed, I really can't imagine that the game could possible live up to the effort gone into preparing for it.  Alas, that is OK.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Back to BFE II.  Last Thursday we played the "Fighting Withdrawal" Sudan scenario which was developed by Matt Irsik of Warning Order fame.  It is a fictional scenario but quite clearly inspired by a certain debacle for the imperial forces...  I slightly amended the OOB to suit my collection - more camels.

This proved to be a real cracker of a game with swings of fortune dramatically shifting from the Dervishes to the Egyptians.  Initially the Dervishes crushed the Egyptian speed-bump force ordered to hold while the balance of the retreating Egyptians made for the village and fort.  Without the loss of a single unit the Dervishes destroyed several Egyptian units.  However, the rear guard did their job and the Egyptian column made it the buildings and hunkered down just in time.

Now the Dervishes started losing units at an alarming rate.  By the end of the game the Dervishes had taken the fort but were no where near taking the village leaving the victory to the initially demoralized Egyptians.  It was a fun evening.

The pictures are random but give  a sense of the action and how I base my miniatures.  I have a fairly pragmatic approach to painting and this collection is a combination of very old figures and newer ones.  The old ones are glossy still.  I love the old Connoisseur figures and just ordered some more.  However, I think the Old Glory range is excellent and many of my Dervishes are OG.  I have some Perry figures too that are quite nice.  Still love the old classics from Gilder, however.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Hi All,
The scenario supplement is finally here!  10 free scenarios.  Some are old, but rejigged for the new rules, and others are new both from my hand and others.  Please have a look at the following site and see the button at the top left for the free supplement:

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Something that has occupied me for a while....Armati Renaissance.  Here are some pictures of my Swedes led by the man himself.

Here is a close up of various bases stored in their box....  Note that rifle armed units are based "properly" (4 stands) to allow them to form skirmish line.
Again, a long time since my last post.  This time I took a few shots of some Sudan Dervishes to show you how I cheat on the numbers of figures.  Occasionally I will do some bases with lots of rocks and grass on them.  The pictured bases show a basing system I used about 20 years ago when I played Peter Gilder's rules for colonial gaming.  A fun set and available again, the mechanics were a bit clunky and the fun bits were Pony Wars.  Anyway, I left that behind but for BFE I retained the basing and it works fine -- a bit shallow and too wide, but for a Massed unit (front and rear stands combined into two larger bases) it works.  And all those rocks really look good and stretch my collection even further.  Haven't finished dry-brushing or flocking the last ones.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

I have made some minor changes and additions to the rules and these are available through the Hotz link to those who have purchased the rules in the form of replacement pages.

Here they are:

Battles for Empire 2: Errata and changes
April, 2015
Whole sections of the rules are copied below with changes or additions noted in red text.

Replace section 13.8 with the following:
The early MGs of the nineteenth century were unreliable especially when fired at a high rate by crews under pressure.  When firing an MG the player first decides on the number of fire dice he wishes to throw (3-6 dice) and carries out the normal firing procedures.  Immediately re-roll all “missed” dice.  The MG jams if any of the re-rolled dice result in a “1.”  A jammed MG causes no hits on the target this turn but is ready to fire again next turn (with another risk of jamming!).

Note that more reliable modern MGs like the MG carry the same jamming mechanics.  Since they “hit” more easily their risk of jamming is already less than the older MG types.

Machine Gun Fire Example:
                  A British Gardner gun unit (one stand) fires at a Shaken Dervish foot unit in the open.  The British player decides to roll six D6s in order to maximize the possibility of accruing hits, and needs a 5-6 to hit on each die.  The D6 results are 2, 3, 4, 4, 5, and 6.  The player immediately rolls the 4 “missed” dice; one result is a “1” and the MG jams eliminating the effects of this shot.  Had no “1” resulted the shot would have caused two hits; that equals 2 Kills and a Shaken effect.  The repeated Shaken effect is meaningless. In the next turn the MG may fire again normally, but again with a risk of jamming.

Replace text concerning jamming on QRS with the following:
Jamming: re-roll misses; “1” on any die=jam; no shooting effects this turn  Fire normally next turn, with risk of jamming again.

Replace Section 14.1 with the following (note that only the Procedure sentence is changed):
In contrast to controlled volley fire, Rapid Fire expends greater amounts of ammunition, particularly at ranges where the enemy are especially threatening and the firers excitedly discharge their weapons without restraint.  Therefore, a unit that Rapid Fires, must determine whether it has run short of ammunition. 

After rolling the Rapid Fire dice, immediately reroll all “missed” dice.  A unit becomes low on ammunition if any of the dice result in a “1.”

A unit that runs low on ammunition is marked as such (an ammunition box or a chit marked with “low ammo”) and remains low on ammunition until re-supplied by an ammunition mule.  A unit that is low on ammunition may fire but does so with a negative fire modifier. It also suffers -1 in melee.

A firing unit not rendered low on ammunition is unaffected by Rapid Firing.  The unit performs as usual and may Rapid Fire again next turn. 

Native and Boer units:

Native and Boer units may usually not Rapid Fire. However, scenario designers may sometimes give Boer units the ability to Rapid Fire and can apply the effects of low ammunition to any units to suit the situation being represented. 

Imperial and Colonial Recruit Camel mounted units.  Add the Exception to the Charging rules:

A charge is a move into melee contact.  With the exception of Imperial mounted units, once a unit is in melee contact it may not voluntarily move until the melee is resolved and there is no more contact with the enemy.

Charging with cavalry and infantry:
All mounted units may charge any unit type.

Exception: Imperial and Colonial Recruit Camelry units may never initiate a charge into melee contact.  If charged themselves, they immediately become Shaken.  Apply the marker immediately in the Movement Phase.

Add Boers to the Moving and Firing rules (and the -1 penalty for doing so):
Only foot units (and dismounted cavalry) armed with firearms may fire; the effects of javelins, spears, and other hand-hurled weapons are represented by melee.  Imperial and Boer mounted units may not fire but may dismount to do so.  See Optional Rules (Sec. 20.0) for Mounted Unit Firing.

Only front rank stands can fire (Exception: Pathan and Boer infantry in skirmish order may fire 2 ranks of stands; see Skirmishing, Sec. 9.1).  The entire frontage of each firing stand (foot or MG) must have a clear path of fire to the target uninterrupted by intervening enemy or friendly troops or terrain. 

Moving and Firing:
Moving and firing is mostly dependent on the kind of firearm being used, but unit training and formation also affect the ability to move and fire.  ALL MG units must remain stationary to fire except they may pivot in-place and fire as ‘moving’ (-1).

Formed and Massed Units
Muzzle-loading smoothbore or rifled muskets:
All Formed and Massed foot units armed with muzzle-loader muskets that remained stationary that turn may fire.  Any movement, including changes of formation, wheeling, or changes of facing, prohibits Formed or Massed foot units and MG units from firing. 

Exception: Skirmishing with muzzle-loaders
Units in Skirmish order armed with muzzle-loaders that are permitted to move (e.g. not Natives) may move up to half their movement allowance and fire with half their number of eligible firing stands applying the -1 modifier for moving and firing.  The movement may include any allowable type of movement (e.g. Wheels, retrograde, change of facing, etc.) as long as it does not exceed half the movement allowance of the skirmishing unit or result in melee contact (e.g. a charge). 

A muzzle-loader unit may change formation to Skirmish order and fire as moving skirmishers as long as no further movement is conducted that turn. This is the only type of fire and movement permitted to most Native units in skirmish order; most Native units may not move while in skirmish order.  Pathans and Boers are exceptions; see Sec 9.1)

Breech-loading rifle:
Drilled Europeans, Colonial Recruits and Boers armed with these weapons may move up to their full movement allowance in any formation and still fire; they fire with a -1 modifier.  The movement may include a change of formation or a change of face, including dismounting.  A unit may not charge and fire in the same turn.

Again, it has been a while since the last BFE 2 post.  In addition to a heavy work load, I have been occupied with my group preparing two huge Shako 2 Napoleonics games: Ligny and Waterloo.  We presented these in 28mm at the US convention Enfilade.  They were vast undertakings and everyone (other than the organizers of the convention, it seems) were impressed by the games.  About 20 players committed to the two 8 hour games and seemed chuffed to have participated.

The guys were happy with the way it all came together after a year of painting and model making to supplement our existing collections.  It was a logistical and administrative challenge, but it worked.

My next project in terms of buildings is to replace my rather tired Sudan buildings and I finally want to make a dedicated set of buildings for Rorke's Drift.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

It has been a while since I posted.  Once again gotten in the way of gaming.  That said, I am involved in a large club project for my other gaming passion, Napoleonics using Shako II.  We have been preparing our collections to refight, you guessed it, Waterloo and, less commonly done, Ligny.  I have worked on the scenarios and am building the terrain.  This has entailed my wife and I modelling 19 villages and farms (La Haye and Hougoumont).  I am designing them on a small foot print.  So, the buildings are not to scale, but on a 6/6" square I try to get a church and 3-4 other buildings.  They are tall enough to give the impression that they are to scale, but the ground scale is very much reduced.  I like the effect in that once they are placed on the table the landscape is dotted with church steeples in a manner reminiscent of period battle paintings or those woodcuts of the 17th century.  Making buildings to scale means that one building is usually meant to represent a village.  Not my cup of tea.

Anyway, I will be back to colonials soon again.  I purchased the BP Sudan scenario book and it is quite useful.  The scenarios are rather simple, but easily converted to BFE 2.  My own scenarios seem to be interminably held up.  Sorry about that.