A Bit of Basing

Taking advantage of the warm weather to try and get some of my own figures completed. Specifically getting all of the 54mm Napoleonic collection rebased and the bases finished off.

Took everything outside and managed to complete the 4 stages of basing on a box of Prussians and rebase some French Cavalry horse.

Bases have Brushscape dark sand added, then figure bases and edge of base painted with Desert Sand and a slight dry brush. Then dry brush with light sand. FInally adding flock to cover the figure bases.

This is how I’ve been doing bases since the late 1990s…

On to a box of French Infantry next then Dutch Belgians after that…

North West Frontier Portable Wargame

On Wednesday afternoon my regular opponent, Anthony, and I met up virtually for another game using The Portable Wargame using Zoom video conferencing software. This time I setup a small North West Frontier scenario using my 54mm AIP collection of figures.

The screen setup was the same as last time with a mobile phone suspended above the table to give an overhead view and a laptop position on the other side of the table to give the illusion of playing across a table with an opponent.

The table setup was a little larger than before with a grid 8 deep by 12 wide. There was plenty of rocks providing cover and ruined fort which was the objective for the game. Whoever held the fort at the end of turn 15 was the winner…

The Afghans had 9 units including a 2 cavalry and 3 units armed with firearms. The Afghans have a fire range of 2, but can double move if they roll a 5,6. They are rated as average.

The British had 7 units including a gun. They have a fire range of 3 and count as elite.

The British deployed first and also took the first move, concentrating their Infantry on the fort, the Afghans deployed with a diversionary force on the other side of the river. The river is fordable but you have to stop when you enter it.

In the first turn, the afghan cavalry charged a double move hoping to score an easy early victory but forgot that they wouldn’t be able to retreat, lost the melee and were destroyed..

The Afghans evened up the score after that with a British unit who enter the fort taking hits and also being eliminated.

The melee and shooting are inconclusive for a few turns with just one Afghan unit being eliminated and noone holding onto the fort. But the Afghan diversionary attack on the flank manages to eliminate the British gun without losing a unit.

The British have taken the fort, but how long can they keep it?

The British unit outside the fort are surrounded and finally their luck gives up as they are also eliminated.

There is just one British unit left and they are driven out of the fort by concentrated Afghan fire.

And the Afghans manage to gain control of the fort. Surely it is all over for the plucky British?

But no, on the very last turn (turn 15), the British charge the fort and push the afghans out – thereby winning the game!

It was a very close and exciting game in the end with the British just taking it on the final move.

I have a copy of the new Portable Colonial Wargames book but have some reservations about the new rules as written, so we used the original Portable Wargames rules with sudden death elimination and the ability of the natives to move twice if they throw a 5,6 after moving.

I will put together a post on my throughts about the Portable Wargame and why the original rules seem to suit our style of games rather than the newer ones… We are planning on trying out the new rules in a full game to see how they play.

Gaming using Zoom

As Anthony, my regular opponent, and I are unable to meet up for a game, I decided to try and create a setup which would let you play a game using the Zoom Video Conferencing system. I decided on The Portable Wargame as a grid based game is easier for the player on the end of the video link and it stops problems with movement and fiddling with facing.

The setup was devised after a discussion with my wife, Sarah, who devided a system using bamboo canes across the table which would allow smartphone to be suspended above it.

I setup the table with a grid of letter and numbers down the sides and setup for One Hour Wargames Scenario 4 – Take the High Ground.

The smartphone above the tabel gave the following view enabling Anthony to plot his moves and see the whole table.

I setup a laptop on a chair on the opposite of the table to me so Anthony could see the table from a normal view and it appeared that we were playing a normal game.

Once Anthony joined, we had a 3-way conference call and Anthony was able to switch between the overhead view and the straight on view – though he most used the overhead one.

We used large foam dice for rolss which showed up well and Anthony was able to see them from the overhead camera.

The sides were 4 infantry, 2 cavalry, 1 artillery and a general each. We found that one the small table that the artillery was a little too powerful and for the second game dropped the artillery pieces.

Sadly, even though I was throwing all the dice, Anthony managed to win both games as the British!

But it was a successful test of technology and we are able to have two games of the Portable Wargame while maintaining social distance… We will definitely be repeating the experience.

PS> The photos are rather dark as the overhead lights shone too much on the shiny table tiles and made the overhead view harder to see,