Thursday, May 29, 2014

ENFILADE 2014 Report

Enfilade is the annual convention of the Northwest Historical Miniatures gaming Society(NHMGS). It is held on Memorial Day weekend at the Red Lion Inn in Olympia Washington. Although not as big as East coast conventions its still a great convention with lots of good games.

This year I put on two Tactica II games on Friday and helped my friend Gary put on Two Napoleonic Courier games 2nd and 3rd Period Saturday. The players seemed to enjoy all the games and Gary and I won "Best of Show" for the 2nd period Courier game on Saturday. I only managed to take some pictures of the 1st game we did on each day. Was just too much to do putting on back to back games and by the 2nd one each day, I was to whipped to remember to take photos.

The 2nd Tactica game was a lot closer than the first. The Romans were just 1 figure away from one of their Legions breaking which might have given the Ponts a victory. At any rate, the following is a write up of the first game. Below is the initial disposition of the Forces, pretty standard with HI in the middle and Cavalry and LI on the flanks.

Roman Army (Number, Type, Descr, FV, Morale, Weapon)

12    HC    Roman     5-6    V Javelins
12    HC    Roman      5-6    V Javelins
8    LC    Gaullic LC  3-6    V Javelins
8    LC    Allied LC     3-6    V Javelins
8x9    FT    Legion I Cohort 5-6    V Pila/Swords
16x1   FT    Legion I Cohort 5-6    EL Pila/Swords
8x9    FT    Legion II Cohort 5-6    V Pila/Swords
16x1   FT    Legion II Cohort 5-6    EL Pila/Swords
12    LI    Tribal    3-6    V Javelins
16    LI    Auxilia    3-6    V Javelins
12    LI    Auxilia    4-6    V Javelins
12    LI    Auxilia    4-6    V Javelins
12    SI    Auxilia Archers    4-6 V Bows
12    SI    Auxilia Slingers    4-6 V Slings
12    SI    Auxilia Javelins    5-6 V Javelins

Pontic Army (Number, Type, Descr, FV, Morale, Weapon)
2    HC    Pontic     5-6    V    Spears
18    CAT ( I )    Armenian     5-6    V    Lance
12    CAT ( I )    Rhoxalani     5-6    V    Lance
12    LC    Skythian     3-6    V    Bows
8    LC    Thracian Light Cav    4-6 V Javelins
3    Scyth ( I )    Chariot    5-6    MG    Itself
48    PH    Brazen Shields    5-6 V    Pikes
32    PH    Phalangites    5-6 V    Pikes
48    PH    Ex-Slave Phalangites 4-6 V    Pikes
24    COH     Immitation Legion    4-6 V    Pila/Swords
36    FT ( I )     Bastarnae    4-6 V    Various   
27    LI( I )    Thracians w/Romphia 3-6 V Various
12    LI    Thorakatoi    4-6 V Javelins
12    LI    Thurephoroi    4-6 V Javelins
12    SI    Armenian Archers    4-6 V Bows
12    SI    Slings        4-6 V Slings
12    SI    Javelinmen    5-6 V Javelins

 Above is a view of the Pontic Set Up.

 A look at the Roman side Set up.

Here is a good view of the whole table and the opening moves. For convention games I roll for the terrain as per the rules ahead of time and then let the Players set the individual pieces up where they want them.

The Pontic Cataphracts failed to get Impetus against the Roman Cohorts and ended up eventually getting destroyed. Such is the roll of the Dice. Roman Pilum were unusually deadly though and reduced many of the Pontic 1st melee round die rolls. The Pontic Scythed Chariot however did get Impetus and did some decent damage, taking out a couple of Cohorts before disapearing.

Here is the crux of the Battle. In the middle you can see the Pontic Player has placed his Army General in contact with one of his Phalanxes. A very Bad Move and I even gave them a hint telling them so, but Hey! It's just a game. Phalanx wasn't outscored in Melee, but rolled an eleven for the General casualty killing him. Unit them had to roll for "Loss of General" which they failed making them disordered. Next turn they fight disordered with half melee dice and no rank Bonus. Disordered units who are outscored in melee must roll a Control Test which of course they were and they fail again. Good Bye Phalanx!

I count up the Pontic Broken units and come up with 138. Loss of General counts as 10% which in this case is 21 for a grand total of 159. Pontic Break Point is 151, so Game Over. It wasn't as bad as it looks. Roman Legion on Pontic Right had lost 52 figures, 7 away from Legion Break Point of 59. Other Roman losses at this point were 56 so if a Legion had gone with its 88 figures, the Romans would have been over their Army Break Point of 138.

View of the last Phalanx. You can see some of  the Cohorts are very close to being eliminated. Great game, the guys had fun playing. Lesson learned, do not risk your General by adding him to a melee with one of your units that counts for almost a third of your Army Break Point.

Second game used same forces but with slightly different terrain. Romans won, but just barely in that one.

Saturday's Courier Game (Get the Message Through).

On Saturday we did a Napoleonic Courier game in which players take the roll of Hussars or ADC's trying to get a message through from Napoleon to Ney. The game has an interesting history. I moderate a Yahoo Group for Napoleonic Skirmish games   A guy named Malcolm posted on there looking for some ideas for a game he was planning. Below is his original post"

"I'm designing a one-off game using 28mm which is for 4-5 French
couriers in the peninsula racing to get a message through enemy lines.
If at least one message gets through then the player with the most
boasts wins the game. If all messages are lost then the player with the
most shame loses. Boasts and shames are gained by having little
encounters along the way with British patrols, guerrillas, civilians,
and even priests.

The step I'm on now that is giving me some trouble is nailing down the
little narrative mini-events that can occur to our heroes. Most of
these might just be resolved with a die roll or delay him for a turn
and give either shame or boast.

In particular, what might happen when a courier pauses in his course to
explore a farmhouse. Surely one result will be finding some food and
another will be finding a maiden, but what else could befall him?

The tables that need filling out are Adventure at a farmhouse,
adventure at a bridge, adventure in the woods. Then I need to figure
out the interesting results that could come with parlying with
civilians and parlaying with priests.

If any ideas come to mind, send them along. My imagination is near

I gave him some ideas and he turned it into a game which was described here: 
At the Historicon Convention about two years ago, Gary and I met a guy, Chuck from Michigan who had taken Malcolm's idea and revised it quite a bit. He did a pick up game at that Convention which Gary and I played in and had a lot of fun. We enjoyed it so much thatI had Chuck send me his Rules. Its taken awhile but Gary and I finally got around to doing our own version at ENFILADE.

 We needed a long table to do this, but arrangement in the convention site prevented us from moving the table around as they would interfere with other games. So we did what Malcolm did and used a "U" shaped table where the Couriers go up one side and down the other. Above you can see the last of the Couriers fighting a British Patrol just past the Bridge. Others have entered the town for an "Adventure at the Tavern". There are 4 enemy patrols players must dodge and 4 "Adventures" they must participate in, the Bridge, the Tavern, the Farmhouse and the Woods.

Here is a view of thew other side of the Table showing the Farm House and the Woods. If you look closely, you can find Richard Sharpe, 95th Rifles Officer lurking in the woods. On one of the Wood's Adventures you may find yourself having to fight the renowned Richard Sharpe.

 In addition to the Patrols and Adventures, players must negotiate with a bunch of  irksome Monks before they can move on. In front of the Monastery is a patrol of Spanish Guerrillas. Heaven forbid if you get captured by them and have to roll of the Guerrilla Torture Table.
 Ok we're near the end now and one player has drawn an Adventure that gives him a friendly patrol of French Dragoons to accompany him for a couple of turns. They came in handy in fighting off a patrol of British Riflemen.
There is Ney at the end of the road awaiting his message from Napoleon. You can see it was really close with four Couriers contending to get there first. One of the players is a Spy who can win by riding past Ney. In the first game it was a kid who played but was revealed by the Farmer's daughter at the Farm House. He was soon thereafter killed by one of the other Courier's. In the second game, the Spy wasn't revealed but he was not close to the finish line at games end.
The guys had a lot of fun playing this one and Gary and I will probably do it again at next years Enfilade convention.