Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cangames 2011 May 20-22, 2011 Part 3

Sunday May 22nd

9:00 AM Diplomacy

The original Game of Thrones, with the seven great powers in Europe. One never knows how many players will show up. It has been a while since there have been three full boards in play, the maximum that Ken plans for. This year we had nine gamers, ready for action. Ken, in his wisdom divided us into two groups, the beginners and the lying, cheating bastards. You can imagine to which group I was consigned.

 The Fall of Austria

It has been a while since I've played in a 5 player game of Diplomacy. I drew Turkey and my buddy, Stephen, who decided to come and play pulled England out of his hat. Following the initial move, it became clear that England and France had formed a Western Alliance, and I had reached an uneasy agreement with Russia. I've had a long history at Cangames playing Diplomacy with Bruce, and I am sure that neither of us felt our borders were secure.

Both Bruce and I tried to get Austria interested in a a three way deal to split the Balkans, Germany and Italy. Our initial moves were to show that we were willing to try to move around Austria but the Austrian player decided that his western frontier was more secure than the eastern one.  He pulled off two quick moves that were decidedly, in our humble opinion pro-western. At this point the graciously went into civil disorder and went off to seek another game. He said he could stay and become rapidly frustrated or bow out now. A true gentleman.

The western powers relentlessly drove east. Russia and I were slowed down but the resilient Austria offense. None of our ploys or negotiations could break the western alliance. It was clear that France was in the drivers  seat and would win the game. I laid a proposal at the Tzar's door. France will win, but I had a chance to catch up if I took advantage of Russia's lack of troops. I would grab a couple of his centres and try to batter my way into Central Europe.

 The End of the Game. Darkness blankets Europe

Unfortunately the game was called at the end of the spring move, at 1:00PM. I had just captured a centre to equal France's total and was in a position to take another from him in the fall. But the official count stood at France with 11 and Turkey with 10. The totals were based on the previous fall total.

2:00 PM Wars of the Roses: 

 My general surveys the battlefield.

Medieval Warfare – Chris Evans – 4 players – 15 mm – In the late 15th century, Lancastrian and Yorkist forces fought for control of the English Crown. Warwick, the Kingmaker, has switched allegiance and now battles Edward IV. Pick a side, and carve your way to glory!

 My General is in H2H Combat as is a unit of Men-at-Arms.
Both have suffered a hit, indicated by the white skull.
My Men-at-Arms are in pursuit.

One of the things I look forward to at Cangames is the opportunity to try out new rule sets. Ottawa has a very active miniature gaming scene and this is reflected in the number of events the Ottawa Miniature Gamers support or put on at Cangames. Hats off to the club and its members!

This day I had the chance to try out Medieval Warfare, Rules for Medieval Battles 450-1515 AD. The rules were written by Terry Gore and are published by Foundry Miniatures.

 Both of my units were successful in combat.
The enemy General has routed and his unit lost a stand. 
I remain with two casualties.
My Men-at-Arms have failed to make contact in their follow -up

What I remember is that each commander, or general of a battle (division or wing) of the army receives between 3 and 5 order chits, depending on his competence. For the purposes of this game, we had identical ratings of 5, each general in command  of 6 or 7 units. Thus one was never able to issue commands to every unit, unless it was the general all units advance.The orders are charge, move, hold, defend, retire, and recover. The chits are played face down and are reveled simultaneously by both sides.

This is a link to a Quick Reference Sheet.

There are two types of movement, strategic and tactical. Strategic occurs when units are beyond 12" of the enemy and tactical when within 12".  Strategic allows you to move further, but you cease  when you enter the 12" enemy ZOC.  Movement is affected by a random die roll when charging or routing. Morale rolls may be required by units under your command. They are determined by a D10, with modifiers. A small difference can bring you to a halt, or disorder your unit. A failure of the morale by 6 points will cause two stands of a unit to vanish.

 My archers are low of ammo.
My C-in-C has his opponent on the run as well.

Missile troops roll 1d10 for each stand firing. Handgunners roll 2d10 per stand firing, while artillery roll 1d10 for each remaining crewman. The die roll is modified by range and other tactical factors to determine casualties. Melee uses a D6 to which modifiers are added and then multiplied by the number of stands in combat. The resulting number is divided by 10 to get the number of casualties. When a unit receives a number of casualties equal to the number of figures on a stand, the stand is removed.

 The Battle goes well for the House of York.
Victory will be Ours.

All in all, I found this to be a enjoyable game. We were using units with between 3 or 4 elements (stands) each but it was easy to see that you could easily double the number of troops on the table and have no effect on the complexity of play. It is a more complex game then DBA, but if you'd like to cover a table with troops for the afternoon. It is a way to go.

7:00 DBA Open Book Tournament

De Bellus Antiquitas (DBA) 2.2 – Tod Creasey – 32 players – 15 mm – 4 rounds open book DBA tournament with NASAMW clarifications. Bring your army or borrow one of the (limited number of) loaner armies provided. Some teaching of the rules may be provided but players should be aware this is a tournament. Prize (a painted Morean Byzantine army) provided by GM.

This is the main event of the weekend for me. As I wrote in Captain's Blog earlier this year I planned to bring a Burgundian Ordnance Army with me.

The organizer has a sense of humour and in the first round, I faced the winner of  last year's tournament Vlad Kinastowski, or Vlad the Impaler as he was known. Things went well for me and I easily destroyed the Early Polish Host  that I was against.

Vlad's army consisted of 1x2LH,  3x3Kn, 4x4Sp, 1x4Bd, 3x4Bw, and 1x 2Ps. I only lost 1x4Cb while Vlad lost his General (1x3Kn) , 2x 3Kn and 1x2LH. I was thinking, good, very good. This bodes well for the evening. Alas that was my final victory for the night.

My casualties mount, including my General.

My 2nd battle was against a Eastern Roman Army commanded by a Ron Taylor, a transplanted Brit. We had an enjoyable conversation as his army  destroyed mine. My third round opponent was a fellow commander from the Face of Battle Game on Saturday morning. I believe it was his chariots (Late Hittite if I remember correctly) that ran rings around my troops, but I may be wrong. In either case, chariots did run rings around my poor boys.

Unfortunately, almost two months have passed since the tournament was held. The demands of the accounting program I am in do not leave much time for gaming reflection and I have not found all the notes I made regarding the enemies my army faced. I regret that I have not done justice to my opponents.

By the end of the night I finished in either eighth or ninth position out of the 16 players who took part in the tournament. As always it was a lot of fun and I hope to be back in 2012 for the Flames Across the Border Edition of Cangames. It will be the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.