Thursday, November 29, 2012

More Bad Powder

Well Deck 5 was a rather short turn and not particularly eventful.  The "Turn Over" card came up about a third of the way into the deck.  The outstanding characteristic of the deck was poor shooting (or bad powder) on both sides.

View from North
As can be seen at left, many "powder barrels" are present (indicating they fired) and most of them at close range . . . but only Alpia's Utti Regiment (yellow banner, upper right) was able to cause a casualty marker on Stagonia's Crossbows (in the cover of the middle building).

The crossbows had previously saved against the one hit by Alpia's Light Gun but failed their throw against Utti and so are now Shaken as well as down a Casualty marker.

The Hill at Deck 5's End
Meanwhile, on the Hill, a number of units were able to deploy into line and shoot . . . but no one caused any damage.

Stagonia finally managed to get their Field Gun unlimbered so that it can shoot the next time the Artillery Card comes up . . . if it is still there and not shot to pieces or overrun.

Meanwhile in the south, both cavalry brigades wait just out of charge reach.  Until one (or both) Generals sends orders, it looks like this situation will remain static.

The routing Stagonian Ardent Regiment appears to be far enough from Alpian unit to attempt to rally when its card next comes up . . . but down two Casualty Markers it is questionable as to how effective it might be.

Hopefully my players will email any orders soon and we will have the Deck 6 results.

-- Jeff

Monday, November 26, 2012

Big Alpian Push

Well our fourth deck was decidedly in favor of Alpia.  Key cards for Stagonia were left in the last four in the deck when the "Turn Over" card appeared.  Failing to appear were the "Artillery" card and those of his Crossbows, Regiment de la Forquest (green banner) and his forward Brigadier (Arnoux).

View from North
Meanwhile, Alpia's Zuff Regiment was able to move not only on its card, but on those of General Rossi and Brigadier Franscioni (who is attached) . . . and were able to reach the south end of the hill.

In addition, Regiment Izzo charged the shaken Stagonian Ardents and routed them from the Village . . . giving them a second "casualty marker" as well.

View from West
As can be seen in the image to the left, Alpia has also managed to begin to position its reserves.

(Note:  the crossbows outside the center building and the figures outside the northern building are actually "inside" those buildings . . . so while it may seem like the crossbows are in range of Utti regiment, they are actually beyond long range.)

The Hill
It currently looks a bit doubtful that Stagonia will be able to get its Field Gun unlimbered and firing before Zuff arrives . . . but events might change that.

Certainly one piece of good news is that the Colonel of Regiment Goyette (blue banner) made a speech which has inspired his regiment to do all it can for the Stagonian cause . . . (an Event Card gives them a +1 on their dice rolls for the rest of this battle).

Cavalry Standoff in the South
 At the south end of the village, the two cavalry brigades each remained stationary.

Are they in charge reach?  There is doubt on both sides.  It is close . . . but not a sure thing.

So, for now, they both seem content to hold their positions and await instructions.  It did seem that General Murdeau had dispatched a courier . . . but his horse stumbled and no more was seen of the rider  . . . (couriers move 3d6" but if a doubles are rolled, they don't make it . . . he rolled 1,5,5 and so died).

What will happen on the next set of moves and card turns?  We shall have to wait and see.

-- Jeff

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Izzo Has Bad Powder

View from West
Il Duca Michele di Alpia may want to look into who supplied the gunpowder for his veteran Izzo Regiment.  Suspicions have already been raised that some vile Stagonian supporter has sabotaged their powder supply.

(Needing a 4+ to hit, Izzo rolled 1,2,2,2,2,3; then later needing a 5 to hit, they rolled 1,2,2,2,3,3 . . . which is highly irregular to say the least).

Alpia's Izzo Regiment discovers bad powder
  As Deck 3 opened, Regiment Izzo performed a wheel and advance and fired into the Stagonian Ardent Regiment hovering in the northern part of the village.

True, the Ardents were in cover, but still Izzo should have had some hits . . . and later when they delivered another volley, again their shots were seemingly irrelevant.

Northern View
As can be seen in a wider view, Alpia's General Rossi was able to manage to maneuver his troops into better position.

He must be particularly pleased with his Light Artillery, which managed to unlimber and pound the Ardent Regiment . . . causing a "casualry marker" (with a 4,4,4 shot) as well as forcing a "morale test" which Ardent failed, causing it to go "Shaken".

Indeed that action almost caused Stagonia's Brigadier Arnoux to pull his forces out of the village (he came within one pip of doing so).  Perhaps it was only the impending arrival of Stagonia's Field Gun on the hill that held him in his position.

Southern View . . . Cavalry Face Off
Meanwhile on the southern end of the village two cavalry brigades seem poised to charge each other.

The winner here could determine the course of the battle.  If one side or the other sweeps the other away, they will be free to exploit the other's rear.

Definitely an area to watch.

On a personal note, I would very much like to thank Ross Macfarlane and David Murdock for their participation in this project.  Given my health issues it has been over six months since I've done any gaming . . . and this allows me to do it at my own pace and take breaks when I need to.  It is incredibly good medicine for my soul at least . . . and probably for my body as well since it lifts my spirits.

-- Jeff

Deck 2 -- Stagonia Dominates

One of the things that can happen in a "deck driven" game, such as "Victory Without Quarter" is that sometimes one side can get a big run of cards and then have the "Turn Over" card appear.  Such happened with Stagonia on this turn.

The first seven cards drawn were all Stagonian including their C-in-C and two forward brigadiers.  In fact there were a total of 9 Stagonian cards, two Alpian cards (one of which couldn't be used) and an Artillery card (for both sides).

Northern View
 At left is a view of the village from the north.  The only change for the Alpians is that their Light Gun limbered up and moved to the south.

Before that happened, the Stagonians had managed to deploy inside two "buildings" (actually representing the "soft cover" of a number of smaller houses, gardens and shops).

The troops are actually inside those buildings, not outside of them.  Regiment Ardent took a shot at Alpia's Izzo Regiment but failed to cause a casualty marker . . . but the next card was a "Reload" card so they didn't lose anything by it.

Southern View
 In the south, Stagonia managed to get all of its cavalry deployed and in line as well as allowing Brigadier Gilbert to catch up with them.

On the Alpian side, the Cianti Regiment was able to deploy into line but that was it.  However there is sufficient room for the Asti Spumonte Regiment to expand next to them.

View from the East
Perhaps most troubling to Alpia is the fact that both Stagonia''s Field Gun and the de la Forquest Regiment (Pike & Shot) seemed poised to gain the hill sooner rather than later . . . well depending upon the draw of the card deck.

While the Alpian's Light Gun can do two "actions" in a turn (such as limber and move), the Stagonian's Field Gun can only do one of four things on the Artillery Card:
  1. Move
  2. Unlimber
  3. Shoot
  4. Limber
 However it does have better range.

We shall now wait to see what happens next.

-- Jeff

Friday, November 23, 2012

Big "First Deck"

Wow!  This was the first "Deck Move" of the battle . . . earlier was just march moves.  And the "Turn Over" card (which ends the turn in Clarence Harrison's "Victory Without Quarter" rules . . . even though we are using them "out of period" by a century and with a pair of Imagi-Nations instead of the ECW combatants).

So much much more happened than I expected.  But that's good because we are now much closer to combat beginning.

Southern View
As you can see from the photo at left, Alpia's Cavalry have reached the hill . . . but Stagonia's Cavalry has suddenly appeared to their front.

Alpia's brigade is led by Brigadier Paulo Lombardi and consists of the Asti Spumonte Regiment (nearer the village) and the Cianti Regiment (on the Hill).

Stagonia's cavalry is led by Brigadier Maurice Gilbert and consists of the Cheveaux de Rappeneau (in column) and the Cheveaux de Pincemail (in line).

Village View
Stagonia's Vanguard has reached the Village.  They have not however actually deployed into the various buildings and gardens there.

The three buildings each actually represent a number of houses, shops, gardens, etc..  Each "building" represents the space that a foot regiment can occupy.  It counts as "soft cover" in the VWQ rules.

Brigadier Jacques Arnoux has led the Ardant Regiment (pike & shot) into the northern most "building" and directed his Lau Regiment of commanded crossbows into the central building.

Northern View
Finally a view of the Village from the north.  The Alpians have formed Brigadier Luigi Franscioni's brigade into Line.

It consists of the Izzo Regiment (purple flag closest to Village) and the Zuff Regiment (green flag to Izzo's left).

The Alpian's Light Gun has unlimbered behind Izzo . . . with Brigadier Flavio Buffo's Picanti Swordsmen Regiment leading his brigade close behind the Gun as General Giovanni Rossi looks on.

So the next turn or two should be interesting ones, I should think . . . depending upon what orders my players issue  . . . and how the turn of cards works out.

-- Jeff

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Enemy in Sight

While contact is a turn or two away, the forces of Stagonia and Alpia are now within sight of each other.

View from South -- Brigadier Lombardi to Southwest
As you can see, the cavalry of Alpia's Brigadier Lombardi is approaching the Crossroads from the southwest (seemingly unopposed at present).

However north of the village there seems to be a looming confrontation.

 The following photo shows a view from the North where Stagonia's Brigadier Arnoux seems to be in a race with Alpia's Brigadier Franscioni to occupy the village.

View from North -- Brig. Arnoux vs Brig. Franscioni
 Who will win the race?  It will depend upon the various orders that the units have and the order in which cards are drawn.

In any event it appears that there will be conflict between these two adversaries quite soon.

To read any comments the opposing generals might have, check out the following blogs:

Duchy of Stagonia
Duchy of Alpia

-- Jeff

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Alpian Wars "Mini-Campaign"

I am currently planning on  running a Mini-Campaign which Dr. Vesuvius of The Axis of Naughtiness has written using the scenarios from Grant's "Programmed Wargames Scenarios".

But rather than use the basic battle plans from the book, I have asked a couple of Canadian wargamers (one from Nova Scotia and one from British Columbia) to "run" the armies.

They will not be doing everything by any means . . . but they will be determining the initial deployments and basic battle plans as well as the occasional game decision when their C-in-C card comes up.  Otherwise I will be running the game as a "solo" endeavor following their battle plans while using Clarence Harrison's "Victory Without Quarter" rules.

-- Jeff

Battle for the Crossroads Begins

I can't post any photos yet because the two opposing Generals (Ross for Alpia; and Murdock for Stagonia) have not yet spotted each other's forces . . . although I've sent them images of their current location on the table top.

Presumably once they've sent in their next moves I will be able to show you the situation . . . but basically it is a battle for a key crossroad near the border of Alpia and Stagonia . . . and whoever takes (and holds) it will then be able to continue and invade the opposing Imagi-Nation.

-- Jeff

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Armies

Both the Duchy of Alpia and the Duchy of Stagonia have armies exactly alike (at least to start with).  Here is what they start with (with "Victory Without Quarter" equivalents):
  • 6 units of Pike & Shot (same as Pike & Shot)
  • 1 unit of Crossbows (same as Commanded Shot)
  • 1 unit of Swordsmen (same as Clubmen -- they can't shoot)
  • 1 unit of mounted Knights (same as Cuirassiers)
  • 2 units of Cavalry (same as Trotters)
  • Artillery plus Artillery Guards
 Of the Pike & Shot units, one is Veteran, two are Trained and three are Raw.  The Crossbows are Trained; and the Swordsmen are Raw.

The Knights are Trained.  As for the Cavalry, one is Veteran and the other is Raw.  Each of the three mounted units consists of two Squadrons . . . which may separate but will act on the same "Action Card".

Artillery do not count as "units" and cannot be part of a Brigadier's command.  They are rated as Trained.  Depending upon the scenario, a side might have no artillery; or one or two Light Guns; or one Field Gun.  The Artillery Guards are Veterans (and shoot with four dice instead of three).

Since we are using the "Maddening Subordinates" optional rule, each side has access to a large number of Brigadiers which will be assigned by dice rolls for each battle.

-- Jeff

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


This is a blog to follow the fictional 16th century conflict between two Imagi-Nations.  These being the Duchy of Alpia and the Duchy of Stagonia.

I will be fighting the battles solo due to the extreme fatigue I am suffering due to chemotherapy treatments following cancer surgery.  However many of the command decisions will be made by some fellow gamers on opposite sides of Canada.

Ross Macfarlane of the "Battle Game of the Month" blog will be directing the Alpian forces; while Murdock of "MurdocK's MarauderS" will be directing the Stagonians.

I will be using Clarence Harrison's "Victory Without Quarter" ECW rules . . . with a few modifications.

My intention is to open with a simple five-battle "mini-campaign" . . . but it might take me quite a while to actually get through it . . . I'm seldom awake for more than a couple of hours (and usually less) and the fatigue is crushing so I don't know how long I can actually focus on the table top.

-- Jeff