Sunday, 7 January 2018

Playing around with Battle Cry.

I spent the majority of yesterday afternoon and evening playing Battle Cry, a Commands & Colors system game by Richard Borg. It actually turned out to be a hybrid game, using components from another C&C game Samurai Battles, along with 6mm Baccus figures and terrain pieces from Leven Miniatures and Baccus.

Instead of using the board in Battle Cry, I used the boards from Samurai Battles, the hexes are slightly larger.

The terrain pieces from SB have a centre cut out, otherwise they are similar to BC.

The purpose of the cut out is to allow tiles to be fitted on plastic risers, this gives a 3d look to hills, ridges etc. A neat concept which certainly, to my eye, improves the look of the board.

I also used half stands of Baccus 6mm ACW troops instead of the minis supplied with BC.

I created a scenario to represent the early morning clash on McPherson Ridge at Gettysburg.

The Lutheran Seminary is a work in progress, but I couldn't resist putting it in place for the scenario. It is such an iconic building, that even with just this building in view, most people would instantly recognise the battle to come. General John Buford balances precariously on Seminary Ridge.

Dismounted Union troopers hold McPherson Ridge. Devin's Brigade is north of the Chambersburg Pike, with Gamble's brigade to the south.

Oak Hill is in the distance beyond Devin.

The division of Henry Heth approaches Willoughby's Run.

A daunting spectacle for the Union troopers.

An aerial view of the battlefield. At certain game turns, units of Reynold's Corps would appear on the baseline behind Seminary Ridge, to allow the cavalry to fall back. Also units from Ewell's Corps would appear on the northern edge of the board.


Battle Cry does exactly what it says on the tin. It is a fast play board game and in no way claims to be a simulation. I did not take photographs of the battle as I was tinkering with game mechanics all the time, trying this and trying that, in an effort to remove some of the abstract elements. I tried all sorts of ideas, but in the end, it is what it is, a family board game.

In my scenario, the northern half of Heth's Division did cross Willoughby's Run and pushed Devin off McPherson Ridge, both sides suffering casualties. However, with few usable cards, the confederates never even reached the ridge on the south side, in fact only a couple of units managed to splash through the water to the opposite bank.
The union reinforcements of Reynolds did appear on the base line behind the Seminary, but due to all the cards being needed in combat on McPherson's Ridge, they never advanced at all. I never reached the turn when confederate troops would appear in the north by Oak Hill.

I guess I was being too adventurous with the game system, it simply isn't designed for what I was attempting to make it do. I can still use the boards, terrain etc, with other rule sets designed for miniature wargaming, as the footprint is small. Was it a waste of an evening? Certainly not, I enjoyed myself and learnt a lesson or two.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Conquest of the Empire.

Having decided to downsize from 28 mm figures, I just don't have the room for any more, I dug out this board game that has been sat on the shelf for quite a few years. The idea being to take it back to the smaller place for the Spring, Summer and Autumn of 2018. However, as is the way, I wanted to modify the game contents to make it more pleasing on the eye.

As you can see there are six factions that can be played in the game, each one vying to become the next emperor of all the empire. The ships and catapults are made from a hard plastic and are suitable for painting up.

The beige coloured pieces are cities and walls, they too of are a hard plastic, once again I will paint them up.

I have painted up a test model for the green faction. The model needed three coats of primer, I had given it a good wash and scrub in soapy water first, but it really was a battle to get the primer on.

Still, once painted up they will do nicely as game pieces.

I shall paint them all up identically, just add the relevant colour to the sail and flag.

I am also going to replace the miniature soldiers that came with the game. They are made of the soft, bendy plastic, and are somewhere between 20 and 28 mm in size. I will use Baccus 6 mm Imperial Romans for the infantry, cavalry and command. Initially I planned to use 20 x 20 mm bases, with two ranks of four infantry per base and three or four cavalry per base.

However each of the six factions has 20 units of infantry and 10 units of cavalry. That is a lot of figures and expense. I am now considering 10 x 10 mm bases, with half the figures needed. It also is of course only half as expensive, but will still be in the £60 region. Finally, it will give a smaller footprint on the map.

So this is now added to the painting queue which currently contains, 6 mm ACW cavalry and command, Battlescale 6 and 10 mm buildings, and finally Pendraken 10 mm Marlburian British. So lots to keep me busy.