The second Games Day event seems to have come off well. Below is a compilation of after-action reports and game-master e-mails to players for the various events.
The full schedule of events can be found here.
All told, we had players sign up for around 50 seats in sixteen different games, making this one a bit bigger than last time. (It should be noted that most games were fairly small, as remote play is less-suited to having large numbers of players than in-person.) Games were variously conducted using Discord and Tabletop Simulator, Skype, and Zoom, based on the game master's preference.
Our thanks to everyone who helped make this event possible, and especially the game masters. Another successful remote event (and likely, there will be another... stay tuned!)
Todd ran 4 games, switching between two different scenarios. Due to technical problems, he was unable to do any screen captures this time, but you can get a general sense of what the games look like from the AAR of the last event. Sadly, Todd was a bit plagued by other technical difficulties - but he wins the "trooper" award for running so many events!
Friday night, Learning Game of ESR. I had one player and we had a good run-through of the rules. I was concerned by the lopsided balance of the game, especially as a learning game and I planned to adjust the troop counts to make it a bit more even when I have two players.
Saturday morning: Yakubovo scenario. I had two players. Both running Tabletop simulator. It was a blast. The Russians crushed it. No better luck than good luck and the French rolled poorly throughout the game. Nothing catastrophic in the tactics or order of battle, just bad/good luck.
The Russian light cavalry flank march was fun to watch develop. All of the Russian light cavalry marched across the southern edge of the battlefield, through the wood, to threaten the southern flank of the French. Meanwhile, the Russian forces in the west continued their march to the east, rolling up the French from the castle. The Russian commander changed his objective to the castle, which brought all of the light cavalry back towards the infantry -- undoing several turns of planning and set up.
At this time, the French commander released his own light cavalry into the woods across the front of the Russian infantry and into the cavalry making up the Russian right flank. After a few rounds of combat, the French light cavalry were decimated (lots of rolls did not go the way of the French) with the Russian light cavalry weakened but still ready to fight.
We called it at 2:30 with the French infantry mostly destroyed and the Russians tired but still able to advance.
Saturday afternoon: Learning Game of ESR. I had two players. Neither of my players could run Tabletop simulator so they played through the Discord stream, using my perspective to make decisions on game play. We fought the scenario to conclusion and it was a good learning game. I'm planning to re-balance again, since the French win was a foregone conclusion after a few rounds of play.
Saturday evening: I eventually had two players. One had to drop due to networking issues. My one remaining player could not get a reliable connection to Discord. This was an interesting phenomenon where every time he launched adobe, the connection with Discord would fail. We tried to make this work for about an hour. We mutually decided to call the game because there was no way to exchange information.
[Note: The scenario for the battle can be found here.]
The GM wrote:
That was a close-run thing - well played by both sides. With a little better luck, the Germans could easily have won.
Here are some pictures:
The battle starts, and the Germans dive-bomb the Soviet heavy mortars in the village as their infantry makes a frontal assault on the bridgehead.
The Panzer Grenadiers start to feel the pain, and the Tigers face off against the T-34s on the far bank.
It does not end well for the Soviet armor!
The Germans break into the bridgehead.
It starts to look dicey for the Soviets as the losses start to mount.
The Soviet engineers blow the bridge as their toe-hold on the German bank is overrun, but to the north they still have an infantry battalion on the German side of the river.
In the end, the German counter-attack falters as it runs out of fuel and ammunition. The Soviets barely manage to hold onto their position for a narrow victory, thanks to the brave tankers of the T-26 regiment, facing off against the now-toothless German panzers. Atypically, they are awarded the status of "Hero of the Soviet Union" non-posthumously!
Thanks to all for a fun game!
The GM writes:
The Friday session for Ravenfeast: Hunt the Beast ended with one of 4 Jarls leading his warband to victory and wealth. He made it back his longship with 11 Geld of plunder to return home with. Epics will be told about campfires for generations celebrating his exploits on this mysterious North Sea island!
Here are some highlights:
A section of a the Orange Warband rounds the corner, rushing to join the fray against the beast ahead.
The Pink Warband kills a troll.
Hirdmen from the Pink Warband form a shield wall to discourage any ideas a rival Warband may have. They are backed by their two Huskarls.
Rotting death rises from the well in the form of a Draugr and attacks Berserkers from the Blue Warband.
The GM writes:
The Italians made extensive use of smoke to mask their troops assaulting the Free French positions inside the fort.By turn 4, they got their infantry with attached engineers up to the minefields right in front of the walks, and cut two breaches through the minefields. At this point, things were looking good for the Italians.
But the quality of the French forces proved hard to overcome. Italian units rushed into the breaches one by one, each being handily repulsed by a combination of Foreign Legionnaires and Senagalese Tiraileurs.
As casualties mounted, Italian units one after another decided they had enough, and went to the rear.
Despite a well coordinated attack, effective use of smoke, and greater numbers, the Italians were unable to break into Bir Hakeim. Everyone played well, and I enjoyed running the game. I think this scenario favors the French and could use some tweaking for play balance.
The GM wrote:
The Saturday session for Infamy, pitted to Gaulish Warlords against a Roman Centurion. While passing through, our Gauls sought to pillage or destroy amphoras of oil and vinegar at a Roman settlement high in the Alps. Our Roman commander needed to defend the Salad Dressing!
It ended in a Roman defeat. Axrotalus, the leader of the first Gaulish Warband, destroyed two huge Amphoras. While his brother , Orgatarix, led his men around full of fervor to completely destroy and already weakened Roman Cavalry unit and destroyed a group of Roman Archers.
Here is the play by play.
Axrotalus and his Noble Warriors were ambushed by the Roman main Legionary force early. A superbly played ambush on the part of the Roman Centurion, Arvina Flacus. The combat was brutal and eventually the Nobles were pushed back. But not for long. Meanwhile his Tribal Levy contemplates sacking the shrine by the road.
Roman Cavalry prepare to charge at the Tribal Levy up the road and Auxiliary Roman Archers take cover behind the wattle fence. Meanwhile, a large group of tribal warriors under Orgatarix watch. They build fervor as the battle unfolds.
The Cavalry charged to drive the Gauls of the Shrine. This was expected to go poorly for the unarmored Tribal Levy, but it was the Cavalry who were repulsed.
The Roman Cavalry retreated down the road, only to have the fervor-filled warriors on the hill charge them and drive them from the field.
Axrotalus will call his Tribal Levy to support his Noble Warriors. With new-found strength and the knowledge that Roman rear support is limited by the chokepointhead, the Barbarians charge back at the Legion's line. Behind the Roman line Orgatarix and his warrior are dispatching the Roman archers and preparing to attack the Legionaries from the rear.
The scenario can be found here. The game itself is available through the Application of Force site.
The GM wrote:
Thanks for the game! I did not get a lot of pictures, but here are a couple off the camera.
Sometimes, history repeats itself! Here's my summary for the AAR:
The Yorkists won the initial skirmishes, getting brief flanking fire in from Tewkesbury Park on their left, and wiping out the enemy irregulars in the woods on their right.
The early loss of their artillery to the Yorkist bombardment cost the Lancastrians, but the death of the Yorkist cavalry against the crossbowmen manning the hedges on the Lancastrian left more than made up for it.
The fatal stroke was the Lancastrian mounted knights getting demoralized by the Yorkist bombards, allowing for the charge which destroyed them and caused their contender for the throne, Prince Edward, to be killed. Once that happened, all that was left was to see if the Yorkists could be made to pay dearly for their victory, and that almost happened. The charge of the remaining Lancastrian knights off the hill into the flank of the victorious Yorkists on their chargers did not quite wipe them out, and the even the charge of the Lancastrian foot knights in the center, which annihilated the Yorkist crossbows, did not quite break the army.
In the end, the Lancastrians suffered a loss of 11 points out of their 10 Army Morale - and Prince Edward was killed - but they brought the Yorkists within 1 point of breaking, scoring 9 points out of the needed 10. A loss, but not a slaughter (unless you are Prince Edward, anyway...)
It will be another 12 years before King Edward IV dies, opening the door to the treachery of Gloucester (commander of the Yorkist left at Tewkesbury on the day), who will kill Edward's son in the process of making himself the last of the Yorkist kings, Richard III.
Thanks guys, I had a lot of fun!
The Yorkists attack on their right flank.
The view in the center.
The charge which didn't quite destroy the victorious Yorkists knights.
And the charge over the hedge that wiped out the Yorkist crossbowmen, but too little, too late...
The GM wrote:
Three players, Chris, Dick and Mark met in my game room via Zoom on Saturday afternoon for a mass battle from the Saga Book of Battles. In this game, each player is on their own and only one could emerge victorious.
Chris commanded the Mutatawwi'a war band, Dick commanded the Milites Christi war band and Mark commanded the Saracen war band. Each war band consisted of four points and victory was decided by survival points (the worth of each figure left in a war band at the end of six turns) with bonus survival points given out for each charge that resulted in a melee, so the tactic of the day was to be careful but not too careful.
Troops were deployed, one unit at a time, anywhere on the board that the commander wanted. All the commanders decided to keep their units in fairly close proximity, with Chris and Dick taking advantage of terrain, and Mark deciding to keep his distance from the Milites Chisti and trusting to a hasty pact to protect himself from the nearby Mutatawwiv'a.
There were no charges or shooting allowed during the first turn, but it saw Dick and Chris maneuver toward each other, and Mark, while heading towards both his opponents, trying hard to appear non-threatening to Chris.
Turn two saw the action heat up quickly, with Dick using a two point (eight figure) mounted Hearthguard unit to charge Chris's 1 point (four figure) Camel mounted Hearthguard unit. It was a glorious charge and wiped out the Camels, but, unfortunately, it left Dick's troops isolated from their supporting infantry, and in Chris’s turn, they were dealt with rather rudely.
Much to Dick's dismay, the pact between Chris and Mark held until Dick's troops and warlord were mostly dead, with Chris's taking quite a beating from Dick in return, and Mark's Saracens quite content to fight to the last of Chris's Mutatawwi'a.
In the end, Mark took a narrow victory with 19 survival points (16 points for surviving troops and three successful charges) to Chris's 17 survival points (13 points for surviving troops and four successful charges), while Dick finished with 5 survival points (2 for surviving troops and three for successful charges).
A very entertaining game to be sure, and I am looking forward to the next Let's Roll event.
The GM writes:
The Saturday session for Ravenfeast: Hunt the Beast ended with one of 4 Jarls leading his warband to victory and wealth. He made it back his longship with 7 Geld of plunder to return home with. Epics will be told about campfires for generations celebrating his exploits on this mysterious North Sea island.
Here are some highlights:
The Orange Warband discovers a Troll early in the game near the ancient gates.
While half of the Orange Warband deals with the Troll at the gates, the other half runs into a Draugr, the rotting, walking dead of the North. Note his Shield Maiden Slingers pounded the horror with stones while the Jarl and the Hirdmen were stunned in terror.
While archers fire a volley of arrows into the Beast, the Yellow Warband move in.
The long dead queen of the Island rises from the well in the form of a Draugr and attacks part of the Pink Warband. While the other part rushes down the old cobblestones to beat a rival warband to an ancient shrine. But, the Jarl still has his archers fire toward the beast fighting the other crew. It is this barrage that will help bring it down.
The Jarl from the Pink Warband sends a Hirdmen forward to investigate the shrine. While their rivals in the foreground (helmets and raised weapons at bottom of the pic) finish with the Beast.
As the Jarl of the Orange crew hastily boards his longboat for victory, a Hirdmen and some Bondi Ax men from his crew face a wolf.
A group of American Privateers and US Navy ships have teamed up to attack a wealthy British convoy, and a squadron of French Privateers joins the attack. (The threatened ship of the line failed to appear...)
A shot from the camera during the Black Seas game.
The full AAR can be found here, on Adam's Fencing Frog blog.
The scenario can be found here. This was a game run using 54mm figures, in an effort to improve the visibility of the figures through the camera.
The GM wrote:
This was fun even if the Anglo-Portugese seemed to have the luck of the cards this time around...
First - I had always heard that the French sometimes referred to the English as "roast bifs" but I had no idea they meant it so literally. I can honestly say I have never heard so many jokes about cannibalism in a game which didn't actually explicitly involve cannibals!
The French got beaten to the tower by the Portugese Cazadores, and it was only by sheer luck that the Contessa was willing to tell their officer where the banner was hidden, over the objections of her loyal family retainer. This was actually quite unlikely!
They did pay a price though - the Cazadores got pretty well trashed by the French lights, but then managed to run down the side of the hill at a very healthy pace indeed, to inform their guerilla colleagues how to open the secret compartment in the statue which they were already fruitlessly searching.
In the meantime, the relentless French grenadiers pretty well put paid to the British infantry with a single volley, but the speed with which the Portugese and guerillas were able to find the sacred banner meant that such bloodshed could do no more than save face for the Emperor. They did acquire some fodder, but in light of their failure to recover the banner, this mattered little to their high command (the troops were probably happier with the geese and pigs that got brought back!)
Thanks to everyone for the game!
The French advance, and the Legeres exchange fire with the Portugese riflemen. (The Germans, as usual, stay in the back and achieve basically nothing...)
The British and Portugese line advance from the north...
It gets a little hot at the tower - the Contessa has taken refuge inside...
The guerillas are peeling filth off the statue of Santo Anselmo in their fruitless search for the sacred banner, but the Cazadores are coming to help them out with the key to the puzzle.
The sacred banner is unfurled! The British are advancing to act as a shield, but not for much longer! (Soon, the ones who can still move will be going in the other direction...)
The guerillas carry their prize to safety, and are no doubt rewarded by Wellington with copious arms and ammunition to carry on their patriotic struggle against the French!
The French, having gathered what food they could (and hopefully not too many of the fallen Cazadores and British) fall back to join the main army, defeated.
The usual silly TFL fun!