Tuesday, January 10, 2017

RJW - Japanese First Army

For my RJW project I'm basing my Japanese collection around the Japanese 1st Army commanded by General Baron Kuroki.
The reason I'm picking this army is most Japanese armies during the war had 2 or more divisions. However, the 1st Army also has the Japanese Imperial Guard or Guard division attached to it, plus the two standard divisions of a normal army. Also, the Japanese from the collection I bought were based on that army, so it makes sense to continue the progress made by Mal when he made this collection.
The 1st Army had 3 divisions, and I plan on fully collecting the Imperial Guard Division and 2nd Division, then add units to the 12th Division as I can. So, even if I fight another battle that had a different Japanese army, I can use the Imperial Guard as a proxy for the second division of the other army and 2nd as a standard division. The uniforms are different between the 2nd Division and Imperial Guard, but nobody will really complain if I use Imperial Guard as regulars.
Imperial Guard Division: commanded by Lieutenant General Hasegawa
2nd Division: commanded by Lieutenant General Nishi
12th Division: commanded by Lieutenant General Inouye
To put some faces to the names, here is a great photo of these three generals. (click for larger image)
Here is the complete OOB of the 1st Army and I will discuss each Division in separate posts, as I work on them.

Japanese 1st Army
Commanding General: General Baron Kuroki

Imperial Guard Division: Lieutenant General Hasegawa
1st Brigade: Major General Asada
     1st Guard Infantry Regiment (3 bns)
     2nd Guard Infantry Regiment (3 bns)
2nd Brigade: Major General Watanabe
     3rd Guard Infantry Regiment (3 bns)
     4th Guard Infantry Regiment (3 bns)

Attached to Guard Division:
     Guard Artillery Regiment (36 guns)
     Guard Cavalry Regiment (3 sqns)
     Guard Engineer\Pioneer Battalion

2nd Division: Lieutenant General Nishi
3rd Brigade: Major General Matsunaga
     4th Infantry Regiment (3 bns)
     29th Infantry Regiment (3 bns)
15th Brigade: Major General Okazaki
     16th Infantry Regiment (3 bns)
     30th Infantry Regiment (3 bns)

Attached to 2nd Division:
     2nd Artillery Regiment(36 guns)
     2nd Cavalry Regiment (3 sqns)
     2nd Engineer\Pioneer Battalion

12th Division: Lieutenant General Inouye
12th Brigade: Major General Sasaki
     14th Infantry Regiment (3 bns)
     47th Infantry Regiment (3 bns)
23rd Brigade: Major General Kigoshi
     24th Infantry Regiment (3 bns)
     46th Infantry Regiment (3 bns)

Attached to 12th Division:
     12th Artillery Regiment (36 mountain guns)
     12th Cavalry Regiment (3 sqns)
     12th Engineer\Pioneer Battalion

Corps Artillery:
5 Howitzer Batteries (20-4.72" Krupp howitzers)
Total Theoretical Strength, all ranks: 40,866

British General Staff, The Russo-Japanese War, His Majesty's Stationary Office, London, 1906-1908.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Winter Wonderland Wargaming!

I finally took a long vacation of about 2+ weeks, and filled most of the first week with wargaming with all my good friends.

Monday - Maria (War of the Austrian Succession)

I haven't played Maria, but have played Frederick by the same company. Maria is a 3 player game with our games only including the basic rules and the Bohemian map.

Steven H was the French\Bavarian alliance.
Steven M was the Austrias (fair Maria)
I was Frederick the Great

Maria in her younger days

We played two games with me taking the first one by victory locations (Maria and her generals were off killing French, while I snuck in behind her and gathered 12 fortresses.

The second game we all had a better handle on the game and I was able to attack two Austrian armies who were in diamonds, while my 4 armies were in 3 different suites and included the Saxon army (which was destroyed in the process of burning through Maria's diamonds). Here is a photo of me before delivering the killing blow to Maria and her white clad army.

See the resemblance?

Tuesday - Command & Colors Ancients

I've been looking forward to a game day of C&C Ancients for years so Phil and I picked our top 5 battles from the Rome vs Barbarian expansion and began playing them on Tuesday morning around 10am. We played until about 3:30pm and we were able to finish five games in that timeframe (+ lunch).

Here is a chart of the games we played, along with the victory banner count and winner. "R-EB8" means Romans played by Eric with 8 victory banners.

C&C Ancients – Expansion #2 – Rome vs Barbarians
225 BC
Aquae Sextiae
102 BC
German Tribes
River Sabis
57 BC
Belgic Tribes
56 BC
Invasion Britain
55 BC
River Stour
54 BC
Excellent – Chariots!

Some photos of the games. I really had fun when I got to play with all those Barbarian Light Chariots!

Nearly killed Caesar in the last battle!

Wednesday Day - Sekigahara

Steven M. and I played this game Wednesday morning and afternoon. I've never played this game before and was so busy with the game I forgot to take photos. This is a cool game! I love the period flavor with the blocks, clan symbols, and combat mechanism. Fairly unique with tons of replayability.

Wednesday Night - ACW Sharp Practice (miniatures)

Robert kindly ran an ACW skirmish game set in 1863 with the Yanks attacking the rear guard of the Confederate army. None of us had played this rules (except Robert) so there was a little bit of a learning curve, however we all enjoyed the game. Robert's figures are nicely painted and the sabot bases are great for moving the individually mounted figures.

That is Paul explaining to Phil how his Yankees were going to sweep in an destroy the Confederate lines. In the end, the Confederates successfully delayed the Yankees enough to keep the Army of
Northern Virginia safe and intact.

Thursday Day - Russo-Japanese War

Phil and I play tested a RJW game called "Bear Burned by the Sun" by Brian Asklev. This is a block game in the Fog of War series by Academy Games. Only Strike of the Eagle has been published in this series, but I have play tested several more games in addition to this Russo-Japanese land campaign.

First, I love the Fog of War game mechanics: card driven, with unit orders, and no dice. I love the card play interaction with the combat mechanics. The order system really allows you to bluff and apply strategic thinking to your game.

Here is a review of Strike of the Eagle by Marco if you want to understand how it all works.

Some photos from our two games, which turned out to be very close. These are all playtest graphics, and I made the block labels. I also have 15mm Japanese army for the period and have them on the table holding the playtest map down. Below is the Japan holding box, with Japanese infantry divisions and brigades awaiting transport to the Chinese mainland.

The first game was the introductory scenario that lasts 2 operations + the Replacement phase, which allowed Phil, who has never played a Fog of War game, to get a better grasp of the rules. This was a minor Japanese victory, and played in about 1.5 hours.

Monday December 26th - Game of Thrones

I had the pleasure of meeting some new gamers down at the Carolina Table Top hobby store in Pineville, NC (about 15 minutes away) and we played Game of Thrones. I had never played the game before, but certainly love the HBO series.

I was stuck with the Greyjoys, which appears to be one of the weaker factions, but the game is serious fun and there can be only one victor!

Mike, Ben, Peter, Wes, Steve (The Hammer), and I played this beautiful game.

We had a joke as Eddard Stark kept getting "assassinated" (card removed) by the Barathians nearly every turn after the Starks reshuffled their deck. Not sure Ben (Eddard) was too happy about it.

Victory face or constipation? You be the judge!

We managed to play 10 turns (entire game), without someone triggering sudden victory. In the end, my Greyjoys prevailed! Unbelievable. It came down to several tie breakers: total castles, total strongholds, total supply, and finally Power tokens. I had more power tokens than Mike!

So, that was my week of gaming adventure! Completely awesome time with great friends and I can't wait to get back to our weekly gaming sessions.

RJW - My Project for 2017

Hi everybody,

I hope all of you had a GREAT New Year's and I hope you enjoy good times and good health in 2017!!

We've been doing a lot of board gaming here at the Charlotte Garrison, but I also wanted to focus on one miniature collection this year, and I have decided on the Russo-Japanese War 1904-1905.

Why in the world would I do that?!?!

There are several reasons I want to focus on this period and here some of them.
  1. I have a massive 15mm collection I bought from Mal Wright about 10 years ago, and I've only managed to put these figures on the table once! Travesty!!!
  2. I want to work on my battalion scale rules for BARRAGE (Piquet Supplement for early 20th century wargaming).
  3. I have several first hand accounts and maps from the "Reports of Military Observers attached to the Armies in Manchuria during the Russo-Japanese War" (RMO from now on) published just after the war in 1906. These contain stunning drawings and maps of all major and minor battles, fortifications, equipment, tactics, etc. Just a gem of a resource. This appears to be in re-print now, but I don't think they include the fold out maps.
  4. The uniforms are cool, with lots of unit variety, and this represents one of the first glimpses into what war would look like over the coming decades.
  5. I'm helping to playtest a RJW strategic level block game and I'm fired up about that too.
First up will be me re-painting and flocking of the Japanese 2nd Division, which was part of the Japanese 1st Army. I also have the Guards Division from the 1st Army halfway completed.

Typical Japanese Divisions in this war comprised of the following

2 Brigade, 2 Regiments per brigade
1 Cavalry Regiment (Scouting, etc)
1 Pioneer Battalion
Divisional Artillery (7cm Arisaki Field Gun): six batteries of six guns each (36 total guns).

The above is what I would need to be able to field this wargaming Division on the table. One of the challenges will be to find 15mm Japanese 7cm Arisaki Field Guns as they are very unique looking. More on that in another post.

The infantry Regiment was made up of 3 battalions, with 4 companies each. Each company had 3 zugs (platoons), which had 5 subsections (squads). Each company had 5 officers, 30 non-commissioned officers, and 200 privates (paper strength). [Page 7, Part III, RMO]

Here is a nice photo from my RMO book, part 1, which shows the composition of the 2nd Division. Mal did make a telegraph company so that has to get on the table at some point!

My next post will be on the 2nd Division's makeover. :-)

Good gaming

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Battle of Lundy's Lane July 1812

Hi folks,

We refought Lundy's Lane twice over the last two weeks. This is a very small battle in terms of the number of soldiers involved (less than 4000 a side), but was a pivot battle in the War of 1812 between the United States and Britain.

I only took a few photos as I was playing in both games for a change.

These figures are 18mm figures from Brian's new 1812 collect. It was great to see some different troops on the board (uniforms etc) than we normally see here at my house. Thanks to Brian for the work put into painting the figures and running the game.

We used Piquet for the rules as usual, and had a ton of fun. The first battle was a massive British victory with the American reinforcements unable to turn the tide, while the second game after some adjustments was a clear cut US victory.

Terrain was minimal, with woods on the US right, a cross roads, and some small buildings that played no part in combat or line of sight.

Game 1 Photos

Eric and Brian: United States commanders
Phil and Jan: British Commanders

The US army needs to go back to the drill field. They were just out-right terrible in this one. The only good thing for the US was my light guns actually were devastating to the British\Canadians which is very unusual in Piquet games. Otherwise the Brits stomped on the US in every other facet of the battle. They sent Scott's brigade packing and slit the US line right in the center and rolled up the units on each flank of the breach.

Jasper's 25th US Regiment attempting to outflank the British by moving along a trail. They ended up being lost the entire battle and never got into the battle.

My US Light 6# artillery battery just before being overrun. Uggh. At least it represented the US well up until that point in time.

View of the battle from the US side. This two British regiments in the center are about to burst through the US lines roll them up. US reinforcements heading up the road in hopes of  turning the tide.

Game 2 Photos

Eric and Paul (new guy): United States commanders
Phil and Jan: British Commanders

We made some tweaks in this game with the forces starting closer together, the actual playable area reduced (US reinforcements arrive closer to the action), reinforcements arrive on a Stratagem Card rather than an exact turn. When the card is turned the move onto the table one full move. Scott was rated a Brilliant Brigade Leader and was given a Brilliant Leader card (wild card). Because of the weird nature of this battle, Brian is using Field of Battle "rally UI" on an Office Check card.

Overall the changes were really good and will lend itself to a great intro to Piquet.

Paul was a great addition to the Charlotte Garrison, bringing in free die rolling success to the USA side in this one. The US army fought and moved like clockwork in this game constantly out-maneuvering the Brits.

In this game the British actually advanced against Scott's brigade to see if they could damage the Americans early, only to run into a buzz saw.

British regulars seem unphased by it all.

Two Canadian trained militia units are routed by the fire of my light guns!

We fired our guns but the British kept-a-comin'

British regulars are still unmoved by their allies routing.

Overview of the battle as Jan tries to slip around my flank. You can see the US 2nd Brigade deployed on the right with no British reinforcements in site.

View from the British point of view as the Americans swept around their left flank

Some raw Canadian conscripts and a rallied Canadian trained militia attempt to hold off the American right hook.

One of the big battalions of American regulars. Pretty white pants. :-)

The US regulars collide and rout the militia just as British reinforcements arrive on the table, right were Phil and his red shirt is located. Too little, too late. Americans have crushed the British in this battle. Sorry for the lack of photo history as I was playing and not umpiring this one.

Brian is thinking of making this a game to run at Historicon 2017 with 2 players a side. I'm sure we will play this a couple more times to tweak the rules for the convention game.