Sunday, June 15, 2014

Small Action - Gunboat Giza Running the Guns (Sudan Campaign)

We fought another small action this time with the Giza running the guns after the 5th cataract in order to get to Berber in time for Major Elder's Assault.  We used the excellent ruleset Boilers and Breechloaders (B&B).  This is the first time I have used any gunboat rules so this was a good learning experience for me.  Thanks to Patrick Wilson who answered some preliminary questions that helped me setup the battle.  I would also like to thank Andrew and Matt for helping me fight the battle.  Andrew took the place of Capt. Owen in this one and Matt ran the Dervish side while I was game master.  

If you remember the Battle for Berber the Giza made it in time to support the assault.  What was left out was how the Giza made it there.  This is the run the Giza made.  I wanted to make it interesting and not using any gunboat rules before I think I got the balance right.  But who says it has to be balanced anyway?  

So in B&B each gun and boat is assigned a number or a card.  And then I used cards as I would a TSAF battle to run through the sequence of moving and firing.  I had some scenario modifiers:  The emplaced Dervish guns had a rate of fire (ROF) of 2.  They also suffered as improvised crewmen but the target was large (Giza 17" long) and they were a small target.  You roll 3D6 to beat a number after the modifiers are added to the To Hit base number for Short, Medium and Long ranges.  I like the way it played.  The Giza came on with a 6pd QF so I left it as stated in the rules to a ROF of 3.  The fact that they are British increases their chances of hitting their target.  You really should get a copy of B&B from TVAG and give them a try,  you will not be disappointed. 

So on to the battle from the Dervish point or View.  The gun emplacements were in perfect locations. The first emplacement of two guns took on the Giza right away and started peppering the gunboat without many jams.  Once the Giza trained her 6 pdr on a target it was usually with devastating effect.  While the Giza suffered many hits including a Bridge hit from this battery, the battery suffered some heavy damage itself.  The Crew of one gun was killed off once and allowed a 2nd improvised crew to take their place after one turn.  The 2nd gun received an ammunition hit and was out for 3 turns.  I allowed them to displace and move the gun to a different vantage point.  The Island battery was pretty much ignored because the Giza gun was trained on more threatening targets like the first battery and then a couple of Dhows coming downriver.  It was pretty exciting to watch this battle unfold.  The Giza increasing speed, taking hits, water spouts from missed shots, the Captain maneuvering in closer to shore to get the Nordenfeldts into action.  Beautiful!  And I can say that a wooden dhow taking any kind of gun hits is going to hurt.  They are Wooden unprotected vessels so suffer 2 points of damage per hit where the Giza, a protected boat was taking only one damage per hit. The biggest one time hit the Giza took was getting rammed but I may or may not have done the rules right.  The Giza suffered 3 ADs damage on the ram.  I will figure these out the more I play them.   

So on to the battle, again I hope you are enjoying the campaign.  The next big land battle will be at Atbara. Our club meetings and upcoming convention has thrown off my scheduling but looking for dates to get that done because it seems that a Omdurman/Khartoum battle is upcoming along with more gunboat battles. I hope to complete the Campaign over the next two months.  

So with all that said here it is.

(Reference Elder at Berber:

Sunday, June 1, 2014

DBN Battle of Abundancia (15mm)

So my French opponent Mr. Matt V. brought over his French for a practice DBN battle.  We came up with 36 points using the minimums as stated in the DBN 2.1 with some minor variations.  If you take a look at my blog you will see a Black Powder battle of the same Abundancia scenario.  For this battle I reduced the size to conform to the the DBN format of a 2 x 4 foot battle area.  This an interesting battle because you really have to think of your force composition in order to attack and take as many objectives to get the 55 points of the 100 available to win.  Both sides start with their main entry and baggage area (10 pts) and a hill (10 pts) that are within the 6" deployment zone.  Then the battle for the main hill, woods and a race to the farm which is worth 25 points.

We each split into three commands and each commander had their own die roll to get their command pips.  The French had their 1812 era "chrome" of a +3 to their attack columns and +1 to all Command rolls.  The British "chrome" is that their light cavalry must pursue and British fire with a +1.

I won the setup roll so was the attacker.  Matt setup his French then I setup my British and moved first.  The battle went 8 turns but we plan a 10 turn battle for a competition battle against our rival club in Colorado Springs.

I will say no more enjoy the battle.

Last Stand Dan