After-Action Report

Historical Miniatures Game Day, Saturday, 6 August, 2022

Wicked Gaming Center, Peterborough, New Hampshire

    The game day was a great success, and we would like to thank everyone, but especially the folks who ran games and our hosts, Gayle and Brendan. The venue is clean, well-lit, comfortable and - important at this time of year - air conditioned! Despite some last-minute cancellations due to COVID, we had around 16 participants in 6 games. (We even had some curious locals stop by to see what these people were doing with all the toy soldiers...)

    The original games schedule can be found here. Below are a few pictures and a brief description of some of the games, in no particular order.

    The Road to Paris, 1814

    In this scenario, the Prussian advance guard was in danger of being overwhelmed by a larger group of French "Marie-Louises" before the main Prussian forces could arrive. They have to hold out while they wait, defending a small village. The Prussian defensive set-up can be seen below:

    The French pushed hard on the village, but it held out, causing no small number of casualties on the attacking force:

    The French had sent a cavalry brigade around the village, however, to block the road on which the Prussian reenforcements would arrive. This was guarded by a single battalion of Prussian fusiliers. Just as the Prussian main body approached, a large force of French Chasseurs a Cheval swarmed over the Prussian infantry. The Prussians were surprised by the sudden attack, failing to form square but falling back and re-ordering (it helped that the French were attacking in skirmish rather than en masse - the heavier French cavalry had been tied up by the Prussian Kuirassiers).

    In the end, it was declared a Prussian victory, but it could not have been closer!

    Clown Cars and Cruiser Tanks - Italian and British Armor in the Western Desert 1941

    The road to Tobruk, 1941. A heavily laden truck convoy, escorted by an Armor Squadron is heading west on the coast road. An Italian Compagnia di Carri Armati (armored company) has to stop them - but may not target the trucks (as they are badly in need of the water those trucks are carrying - not only for the men and vehicles but also to be able to cook their pasta --- seriously, that was a reason the Italians surrendered in the 1940 campaign).

    Both sides were dead equal in points (53) and almost equal in fighting vehicles (26 British - 15 Crusier tanks, 2 Daimler armored cars, a Daimler Dingo scout car, 3 Humber armored cars, 4 Priest Self-propelled guns, and one Honey Stuart; vs 24 Italian - 14 M14/41 tanks, 4 Semovente Self-propelled guns, 3 L6 light tanks, 3 Autoblindo armored cars).

    Bob's Italian armored cars blocked the road (the trucks, being heavily laden, could not leave the road lest they bog down in the sandy soil). His light tanks took a position on a nearby hill. Then, from behind the escarpment south of the road, his son with the self-propelled guns rolled out to support the light tanks facing the front of the Brits - and the medium tanks crested the escarpment to engage the Cruiser tanks - which, true to their "Tally-Ho and Broadside" doctrine, were in single file just to the south of the road, turrets facing the escarpment.

    At first, things went badly for the British - and then things got worse. Dan, who was in command, got into a firefight with the blocking force, while Bill tried a flanking movement on the escarpment. The British took very heavy losses and inflicted very few. Dan,'s company commander was in the lead tank in the Cruiser column and got killed. The Brits lost 4 out of 8 units - one more and they would break (and, with no company commander, no chance to rally and stay in the fight).

    The British fire off desperate texts to Winston Churchill, hoping to get some stirring words of encouragement in their darkest hour!

    But then, Bill came to the rescue. His flank attack broke through and decimated then destroyed Mark's M/14-41 tanks. Bill decided to risk his Priests, whose bombardments had not done much damage, by bringing them into direct fire range - and despite a slow rate of fire they hit and hit and hit again, and whatever they hit they destroyed. The Italians lost 4 out of 7 units - but Mark as company commander kept them in the fight. Then they lost a 5th - and still, he fought on, and a sixth - and still he refused to break...but then, on the last turn, the last Italian unit - and Mark's command tank - were destroyed.

    So, no pasta tonight for the Italians - and plenty of fuel, bully beef, water, and beer for the Desert Rats.

    A Battle of Four Armies

    As the sun was setting on the Roman occupation of the British Isles, the remnants of the once proud Empire were forced to band together with other invaders in an attempt to leave the islands in one piece.

    In this case one of the Last Romans, Michaelius Bailius, was forced to swallow his pride and ally with the Viking warband of Brendans Berserkers.

    They came upon an unlikely pair of brigands, Matt, Hammer of the Scots, and Nick, Dog Whisperer of Ireland.

    In typical Viking fashion, and overweening Roman pride, those 2 warbands surged forward.

    The Irish hearthguards quickly dispatched a Viking warrior unit only to be set upon by the howling berserkers. Although they succeeded in destroying the Irish horseman and having a portion survive, Nick himself was able to attack them. I’d say he caught them with their pants down, but…you know…berserkers… The Irish were then able to trade blows with the disheartened Viking band and even help their Scottish allies with the utilization of their ankle-biters and wolfhounds.

    On the other side of the field a pre-emptive strike by the Roman cavalry was easily dispatched by their Scottish hearthguard counterparts. Michaelius himself joined the fray only to be flayed alive by Scot warriors and then flattened by Matt’s hammer.

    No matter what they tried to do it seemed the Romans had let their swords rust in their scabbards, their shields turn to dust and their arrows disappear over the horizon.

    It was a great day for the Gaelic natives, but who knows when they will eventually turn on each other?

    Playing for Time - Le Cateau, August 1914

    This battle was set at the very start of WWI, in the second major encounter between the British Expeditionary Force and the invading Germans at Le Cateau. A British platoon, supported by a howitzer of the Royal Artillery and the battalion MG section, plus some allied French artillery - must hold out at the very left end of their line. Hordes of the enemy approach, and the Tommies must hold them off long enough for their fellows to withdraw to safety.

    This was a coop play game, with all players on one side, facing off against the German forces, which are placed on the table by the computerized app (also used to generate all the combat resolution tables, etc.) The initial British set-up is shown below:

    (The French spotters are hidden in the upper story of the stone cottage - the French battery of "soixante-quinzes" is firing from off-table.)

    At first, only a small number of Germans appear our of the mist - a few dismounted uhlans and some reservists. The crack British infantry can handle these with ease!

    As the battle progresses, more and more Germans appear, until the action starts to get quite hot! Even so, the Tommies hold their ground, taking a few casualties, but keeping the enemy at bay.

    The Germans insist on assaulting across open ground, despite the fire of Allied artillery and the British machineguns. This is not the war the German high command was expecting to fight!

    After holding off four waves of attackers, it is clear that the British have prevailed - the BEF will have a chance to withdraw, and fight another day under more favorable circumstances (well, until they invent trench warfare, anyway... not really "favorable" circumstances, even for the victors!)

    The Plains of Abraham: The Battle that Decided the Fate of North America

    Mark ran this definitively "old-school" game, with the smaller style of 25mm figures which were popular in decades past. (Even the newer figures he mentions were mostly special-ordered from the UK, cast from the original molds!) He writes:

      I ran the Plains of Abraham (Quebec 1759). Both the rules and the figures are almost 50 years old (although I did add a few new ones this spring).

      The French advanced cautiously, hoping to either entice the British into coming forward into closer range or at least wait it out until (and if) Bougainville and his reinforcements arrived (not a sure thing; and even if they arrive if Montcalm's force breaks they would - as Bougainville did historically - turn around and leave.

      The British high command, refusing to be enticed into advancing.

      The British would not be so enticed - until they got the news that Bougainville was on his way. So, they came forward and launched many desperate attacks - some of them against full-strength French Regulars who were waiting for them. Most of those attacks did not go as planned -- even when they won a fight, casualties were so high the victorious unit would itself rout from such heavy losses. Still, they gave better than they got, and Montcalm had his back to the wall (literally, the walls of Quebec were off the board behind him). For four turns Montcalm was one unit away from breaking - but the British would rout a unit - and he would rally one. Finally, the heavy losses and the arrival of Bougainville who brushed aside the 2nd battalion of the Royal Americans and the British Light Infantry (the former broke, the latter, of course, died to a man), the British threw in the towel. Two more units dead or routing and they would break, and what little they had left was in tatters.

      The action is joined...

      Wolfe, though wounded, kept on fighting and was able to leave the field (although, sadly, as he was already dying from consumption historically, he did not have long for this world).

    Future Plans

    We hope this will be the first of many game days in future! Current planning is thinking that we will hold another in early October, if everything comes together. If you would like to learn more about these events, please contact us at