Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Holly Wood Gang goes to the country.

My historical opponent had prior committments, so I decided to play an All Things Zombie:Better Dead Than Zed game.  I got out my Risks & Rewards cards and drew out the first 3 gangers.

And here they are.  Holly Wood, with the highest Rep is the obvious leader.

She decided that they would investigate a farm they were passing to see if they could "liberate" any supplies.
Initial scanning of the layout showed only 3 zombies, 2 dead ahead, and one way off to the right.
They all fired, and Holly and Sven downed their zombies, but Asthma Al missed the one in the field to the right.

All these shots only generated 2 zombies, 1 to the rear and another to the right.
They moved forward as a group.
Holly and Sven sprinted towards the house, Holly to the front porch and Sven to check the rear, and see if there was a back door.  Al lagged behind.  Even Holly's LD couldn't keep him up to seed.

Now that Holly was more than 4" from Al, he couldn't activate, but luckily for him, neither could the zombies. Humans 5 Zombies 6.
Sven rejoins Holly, who steps through the unlocked door (should have told the Ganger something), and comes face to face with 2 survivors, Andy Capp, Rep 4 with a submachine gun, and Thumper, Rep 3 with a pistol.
Time for Meet & Greet, and Holly scores 1 more success than the Survivors, so they join up only for this episode.  (Both sides were -2d6 for not being the same types).
We are up to turn 5 and its Humans 3 Zombies 1 on the activation dice, so the humans activate first. Holly searches the kitchen and finds nothing.  Andy and Thumper search the other downstairs room, and find a pistol, which Andy keeps.  The beginning of a trend.  The zombies stumble towards the house, but can't even catch Al, who moves forward.

Turn 6: Humans 2 Zombies 5. 
Holly and Sven go upstairs.  The upstairs landing is empty.

Turn 7: Humans 2 Zombies 4
Holly goes into the left bedroom, and find Mon & Dad, zombified!  Zombie Surprise!

Holly wins the Zombie Surprise, and takes a shot at each, hitting both, miraculously killing both with her pistol!  Sven opens the bathroom door, and finds a Zombie Surprise of 2 zombies!  He outrolls the zombies and fires, taking out 1, going Low on Ammo, and then the other in melee.
(The tension was so great that my hand shook while taking the picture).
Meanwhile, Andy and Thumper have gone out the front door and take an In Sight on the zombies approaching the front porch.  They hold fire.  Al spins around, and snapfires, and misses.  The zombies still can't reach them.

All this shooting has only generated 2 zombies.  Ah, the country!

Turn 8:  Humans 1 Zombies 5
Holly searches the room and finds nothing worth keeping.  Sven reloads.  Al, Andy and Thumper head for the barn.

Turn 9: Humans 5 Zombies 1
The zombies begin to follow the conga line.
Holly crosses to the other bedroom, and finds it empty.

Turn 10: Humans 2 Zombies 4
(At this point company arrived, and picture taking became more haphazard)
The zombies charge the group.  Rep 3 Thumper passed 1d6 on the Being Charged test and melees her zombie at -2d6 for being charged to the rear, and still takes it out.  Andy passes 2d6, turns, fires, hits twice, but doesn't take out the zombie, but kills him in melee
Al passes 0d6, and retires 8" away from the threat.
Holly and Sven descend to the first floor.
Andy and Thumper continue on their way to the barn.
The shooting generates one zombie, about 3" from Al.

Turn 11:  Humans 3 Zombies 1
Holly and Sven fast move towards Al, and Holly fires at the zombie, missing.
Andy enters the barn, and the ground floor is empty.
Al shoots at the zombie and misses.  The zombie charges and Al fires, and misses.  The zombie knocks Al OOF.
1 zombie is generated, to the rear.

Turn 12:  Humans 5 Zombies 3
Holly and Sven charge the zombie standing over Al, and take him out!  The zombies move closer.

Turn 13:  Humans 1 Zombies 5
Holly and Sven move to the pump house behind the house, open the door, and find thmselves staring down the barrels of 3 shotgun belong to 3 Rep 4 Survivors.  The Survivors pass 1 more d6 in Meet & Greet, and wave Holly and Sven off.  "Go away, and we won't kill you!"
Andy digs around on the ground floor of the barn and finds gold: a roll of toilet paper still in its wrapping!

The rest of the turns will become narrative, since the zombies are a little too far away to be really dangerous.
Thumper follows Andy into the barn, with a zombie following way behind her.
There is a Hummer 2 behind the house and Holly sees that there are no people, living or undead, in it, and no keys.  Holly finds a rifle in the car.

Andy and Thumper climb the ladder to the loft in the barn.  It's empty, except for a baseball bat.
Holly tries to hotwire the H2, unsuccessfully.

Andy and Thumper climb back down the ladder to the floor of the barn.  Sven successfully hotwires the H2.
It only generates 1 zombie.

Turn 18:  Humans 1 Zombies 2
A zombie moves to unconscious Al, but before it can start to chew, Holly backs the H2 over it, not losing control.  Sven jumps out and throws Al in the back seat.

A few more zombies are generated by the H2, but they are no match for Holly's driving, and the only one who is in the road is run over, with Holly maintaining control of the vehicle.

The Holly Wood gang has gained a rifle and an H2.

Al passes his "Harry, are you OK?" test with flying colors, and won't become a zombie.  Holly has passed all criteria to increase her Rep, but doesn't make the grade.  Sven, with hotwiring the H2 passed his, but doesn't make the grade either.  Al has failed, but doesn't decrease in Rep.  Holly will have to keep him closer to keep him under her leadership.

For being Gangers encountering two groups of Survivors, they were mighty lucky in the Meet And Greet results.  The 3 Survivors with shotguns could have easily taken them out.

This was fun: I hadn't played gangers before, and they react a little differently than the others.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Napoleonic skirmish

I just figured out how to convert my Comic Creator files to JPEG, so here's  a game at a by-gone Bayou Wars more as a trial than anything.  Please see if clicking on the picture will allow it to become large enough to read.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tommy Atkins Puts Paid To Johnny Zulu! Zulu Find The Thin Red Line Unbreachable! Captain Woolstonecraft And His Boys Feted in Helpmaeker!

Captain Woolstonecraft cleverly set up his boys from the 1/13th Light Infantry, 90th Foot, and the Naval Brigade in an abandoned cattle enclosure, and let the wave of Zulus come to him.  The almighty Martini-Henry in the hands of our troops proved too much for the Zulus.

1/13th Light Infantry: Rep 5 with a Rep 5 Lt. 1 Rep 4 Sgt, and 2 Rep 3 NCO's
90th Foot: Rep 5 with a Rep 5 Lt., 1 Rep 4 Sgt and 2 Rep 3 NCO's
Naval Brigade: Rep 5 with a Rep 5 Lt, 1 Rep 4 PO and 2 Rep 3 PO's.
Royal Artillery:  Rep 5 with Rep 5 Sgt.
Frontier Light Horse/Natal Carbineers: Rep 5 with a Rep 4 officer and a Rep 3 NCO.
Irregular Horse: Rep 4 with Rep 5 officer and a REp 3 NCO.
Natal Native Contigent:  Rep 3 with Rep 3 officer and NCO.
Captain Woolstonecraft:  Rep 5.

White dots: Rep 5 with a Rep 4 Leader.
Blue dots: Rep 5 with a Rep 3 leader.
Red dots: Rep 5 with a Rep 3 leader.
Orange dots: Rep 5 with a Rep 4 leader.
Yellow dots: Rep 5 with a Rep 4 leader.
Purple dots: Rep 5 with a Rep 4 leader.
Mounted InDuna: Rep 5.
All Zulu are Ferocious and shielded.

The center and right of the main line.
The center and left of the main line with supports visible.
Right flank support
Left flank support

Turn 1: British 6 Zulu 2
The Zulu move into sight in 2 wings.
Turn 2:  British 5 Zulu 2
The Irregular Horse moves to extreme range and fires at the Orange Zulu, who sustain no hits, and move to within 12" of the Irregular Horse, who prepare for the soon-to-follow charge.

Turn 3:  British 1  Zulu 3
The Orange Zulu charge the Irregular Horse and catch them as they volley fire from horseback, knocking down 1 Zulu.  The hit is ignored and the Orange Zulu catch them, and kill 3.  The rest Runaway, leaving the right flank exposed.
As soon as the Irregular Horse run, the Royal Artillery fires into them, causing 1 hit and going Low On Ammo.
The 90th fires at the Red dot Zulu, but their fire control is poor, as they miss, and go low on ammo.  They send a runner for more.
The Frontier Light Horse/Natal Carbineers fire at the Red dot Zulu, and knock one down.  They Carry On.

Turn 4: British 5 Zulu 4
The 90th Foot fire at the White dot Zulu, and miss.  The White dots charge in response, the 90th volleys, misses again,  but kill 2 Zulu in the melee.  They Carry On.  The FLH/NC turn to their right and fire into the unengaged White dots, causing 2 casualties and 1 Runaway.  The White dot Zulus steady themselves and remain at the wall.
The Orange Zulu charge the gun taking 3 hits and 4 Runaways before they kill the gunners.  (They finally passed 2d6) .
The White dot kill 4 of the 90th Foot, but they are unshaken and Carry On, as do the Zulu.
The death of the Royal Artillery causes a Test of Will for the 1/13th and they hold and prepare for volley fire.
The Blue dots advance, causing a Test of Wills for the FLH/NC.  They also hold and prepare for volley fire.

Turn 5: British 1 Zulu 3
The Orange Zulu charge the 1/13th, who volley fire, causing 2 hits, and in the excitement go Low On Ammo.  However, the 1/13th outnumbers the Orange Zulu by 2:1, and they begin to filter away, until they have all Runaway.
The Purple dots ignore their fleeing cousins and advance on the 1/13th, causing a Test of Will.  The 1/13th volley at them, doing only 1 hit, which the Zulu shake off.
The White dots melee the 90th Foot, who lose 2 more soldiers, but both side Carry On.
The 1/13th retires and volley fires on the Purple dots, hit 2 and 7 Runaway.

They advance, the 1/13th takes a Test of Wills, volleys at the Purple dots, taking 2 down and 1 Runaway.
The Naval Brigade fires at the Red dot Zulu, who have now reached the wall, do 3 hits in volley fire, and the Red dots Runaway.  The White dots are wetting their spears and ignore the cowardly Red dots.
The FLH/NC fire at the Blue dots, and miss.  The Blue dots stare at them.

Turn 6:  British 4 Zulu 3
The 1/13th fire at the Purple dots, casuing 1 hit, and the Purple dots Runaway!
The 90th backs away and fires at the White dot, causing 1 hit, but they Carry On.
The FLH/NC fire at the Blue dots, causing them to charge, but the horsemen do not stand the charge and Runaway.

Here is the situation before Zulu activation.  The are 2 Zulu units in good shape on the table and 1 below half strength.  The Blue dots are facing away from the enclosure, and must activate to turn around.  The Blue dots have a Rep 3 leader.  The untouched Yellow dots, with a Rep 4 leader are more than a foot away from the 1/13th, so chances are very good that the 1/13th will get to fire at them andthen get a favorable result on the Test of Will.  The White dots are below 1/2 strength.

We decided that though we could play out the game, the Zulu were to seperated to make any deadly attacks.  The InDuna is in an unfortunate position where he is only helping a 1/2 strength unit with his Rep 5.

Playing the Received Casualty as Ed intended it changes the game completely.  I now do not have enough Zulu to give the British force a run for it's money.  The breech-loading rifle is now queen of the battlefield.  We were both very happy with the result, feeling that the results were "historical."  The Zulu had a very difficult time defeating entrenched British.

Perhaps a few words about how I paly the light horse are in order.  Basically, I treat them as Mounted Infantry firing from horseback.  The time it would take for them to dismount, fire, and remount will result in them dieing in the second turn.  I try to reflect thier fighting method by treating them as infantry if they would charge, infantry if they would fire in the crises tables, and mounted if they would Runaway.  I feel this reflects their fighting style more than treating them either as cavalry or mounted infantry.  These were small local volunteer units, equiped with carbines, and no melee weapons other than a bowie knife, no match for a shield and spear.  Most were excellent horsemen, and able to fire from the saddle.  At Ulundi, they stood on their horses backs and added their fire by firing over the ranks of the square. Since they have no sabres, they do not get the mounted +1 in melee.  They are a brittle unit who's purpose is to get the Zulu out of position to help in the all-important main charge.

You can see that in this game they did this, adding turns before the Zulu units distracted by them could attack the British firing line.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Colonial Adventures and casualties

Ed of Two Hour Wargames recently explained that I was doing casualties incorrectly.  The side suffering casualties rolls a Received Casualty test for each casualty they received, and if this causes Runaways, they are also considered casualties, who then each take a Received Casualties test.  Ed calls this the Spiral of Death!

So I ran a test of 1 Zulu band attacking 1 British platoon.  The Zulu band is Rep 5 with a Rep 4 leader, Ferocious, and shielded, in a mob.  The Brits are Rep 5 with a Rep 5 leader, and stationed behind a wall, in close order.  Both are 20 man units.  Sorry, no photos, since one unit on one unit doesn't lend itself to good photos.

This a bit dry, but really important to understanding the power of the Europeans in Colonial Adventures.  I will use RC to stand for the Received Casualty test, since it shows up so frequently.

Turn 1:  British 3, Zulu 5
The Zulus move to 23" from the British.
The British volley fire 8d6, causing 1 hit.
The Zulu passes 2d6 RC test - Carry On.
At the end of the turn the British have 20 men, Zulu 19.

Turn 2:  British 4, Zulu 6
The British volley fire 8d6, causing 2 hits, and going low on ammo.  They send a man back for ammo.
The Zulu pass both RC's with 2d6 - Carry on.
British 20 men, Zulu 17

Turn 3: British 6, Zulu 1
Zulu move to 11" from British, who pass Test of Will with 2d6, fire 7d6, and miss. 
The Zulu pass 2d6 on Received Fire and charge.
The British pass 2d6 on Being Charged. and volley 7d6, causing 2 hits, and going low on ammo again.
Zulu 15 men
The Zulu pass 1d6 on both casualties, causing a total of 4 to Runaway.  They pass all 4 of these tests on 2d6, Carry On.
The British have not yet been contacted and whittled the Zulu down to 11 men.
The Zulu close to melee.  Both sides lose 1 man, leaving the British with 20 men and the Zulu with 10 men.
In the melee the Zulu roll 7d6, passing 4, and the British 6d6 (+1 for the wall), passing 3, so they lose a casualty.  The Zulu pass their with 2d6, and the British pass both of theirs with 2d6.
British 18 men, Zulu 10 men.

Turn 4:  British 2 Zulu 3
The Zulu continue the melee.  British 17 men Zulu 9
The Zulu roll 7d6, passing 1.  The British roll 6d6, passing 1.  Its a wash.  Both pass 2d6 on RC.
Although the British unit outnumbers the Zulu 2:1, they don't outnumber them 2:1 in figures in contact, since they are lining the wall.
The British, being in close order, back up 4", and volley fire 6d6 (2 low on ammo markers), causing 1 hit.
British 17 men, Zulu 8
Zulu pass 2d6 RC, but it's considered 1d6 since the firers outnumber them 2:1.  1 in 6 (1) Runaway
Zulu 7 men.  The same result applies to each Runaway.  The Zulu have reached the point in which the remaining figures Runaway 1 by 1, because they can no longer count as passing 2d6 on the Received Casualty test.
So in 4 turns the British have removed the Zulu unit, with the loss of only 3 figures out of 20.

This is a critical change in the way I was doing the Received Casualty check.  Doing it incorrectly, the European fire (hitting only on a 1)was puny, and caused little effect on the charging Tribals.  Now the Europeans have a chance to reduce the Tribals before they can reach the bayonets to half their strength.  It will be even more effective against non-Ferocious Tribals.

We will do one more Zulu game this weekend, and I'll give a full report with photos.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Zulu War

I have determined to my satisifaction that the British cannot defeat the Zulus unless the Brits have superior numbers, so the Zulus go back in the box, never to be seen again.  This follows the 5th game in which the Brits were behind a wall, uphill, with an artillery piece, and still could not kill enough Zulu by firepower to reduce them to the point where the Brits had a 50% chance in melee.

Since I've just read "The Washing of the Spears" and "Brave Men's Blood", I know that entrenched Brits should have a better than even chance of defeating the Zulu with small losses to themselve.