Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Enfilade 2013 Recap Part 2 - My Games

This year I ran two games for Enfilade, one on Saturday morning and the other on Saturday afternoon. The morning game was the 2nd Battle of St Leonard's Creek, using a modified version of Sail and Steam Navies, and the afternoon game was the Operation Tungsten raid to sink Tirpitz, using the Mustangs rules.

The 2nd Battle of St Leonard's Creek 
This game was for six players, 3 Royal Navy and 3 American Flotillamen and represented the breakout of Commodore Barney's gunboat flotilla in June 1814. The Royal Navy orders were to destroy the American gunboats if they tried to breakout; their force consisted of a 32-gun frigate (HMS Narcissus), a 18-gun brig (Jaseur), a 14-gun schooner (St. Lawrence), a set of barges armed with Congreve rockets, and a converged battalion of Royal Marines with ships' boats. The American were supposed to exit St Leonard's Creek and head north into the Pawtuxent River; their force consisted of 15 gunboats (6 with 2 guns and the others with 1 gun), along with a land-based naval battery (with two guns) and two American Army Regiments.

The Royal Navy had their ships anchored and were able to shift the initial position slightly before the start of the game. The rocket barges and ships' boats were placed adjacent to the anchored ships. After the Royal Navy was set up, the Americans placed their naval guns on the hills and set up their gunboats (they could have chosen to delay entry for all or some of the gunboats, but they decided to come in all at once). There was no wind at the start of the game, so the anchored ships would only be able to move by using their anchor points.
Royal Navy setup (You can just make out the American naval battery in the upper right)
American Gunboats ready for action
The Americans start out moving straight toward the Royal Navy ships and both sides opened fire. Initially, the only guns that were having luck hitting were from the naval battery, which hit St. Lawrence (the ship closest to shore) several times.

The rocket barges launched several volleys at the American naval battery, temporarily forcing the crew of one gun to run away, and at the approaching gun boats, but did not cause any major damage.
Congreve rockets fly past the American gunboats as they approach the anchored Royal Navy ships
The Royal Navy also decided that the Marines in the ships' boats would be best used to try and catch and capture the American gunboats (rather than sending them ashore to attack the American Army and naval battery). This created an interesting situation with each side's smaller ships trying to close with the enemy's bigger ships.

As the gunboats approached, the St. Lawrence's Captain chose to cut his anchor cables and try to drift downriver to avoid the American guns. But the American gunboats were able to catch the drifting schooner and tried to grapple with and board the drifting ship.
The Americans try to board St. Lawrence
As the range closed, long gun and carronade fire began to hit. The Narcissus and Jaseur took some light damage, but their guns were starting to heavily damage and sink the American gunboats. The Americans were always planning on making a run for it, but they were hoping to inflict some heavy damage on the Royal Navy before being forced to break off. But with several gunboats sunk or sinking, they decided it was time to head north.
The Americans start heading up the river
The battle for the schooner St. Lawrence went back and forth. The Americans struggled to get all their gunboats into the boarding action, while a timely reinforcement by a group of Royal Marines helped hold off the Americans.

As time for the game period was running out, we decided to wrap up the game. It looked like the Americans would be able to get five to eight gunboats off the board (depending on how luck the Royal Navy with long range cannon fire), while for the Royal Navy the schooner had heavy damage, the frigate and brig had light damage and they lost a few groups of ships' boats and Marines. All things considered, we decided to give the Royal Navy a marginal victory.

The game went pretty well (although it seemed to take longer than I expected). If I ever run this again, I will probably change the Royal Navy setup to allow them more freedom with their initial positioning.

Hunting the Beast (Operation Tungsten) 
After finishing up the morning game, I quickly shifted the table around for the Tirpitz game. For this game we had eight players, 2 German and 6 Fleet Air Arm (FAA). Kevin and I handed out the briefing for each side and started talking about their choices for the game.

The Germans planned to have two FW-190s and two Me-109Gs over the Tirpitz anchorage. They also selected to add a destroyer to help with flak and to let their light flak fire at long range (they could have chosen to rein in the light flak by limiting the range it would fire at).

The FAA selected to launch a morning raid and for their raid they chose 6 Barracuda bombers, three Corsair fighters, two Hellcat fighters, and one Firefly for flak suppression (the FAA was limited to 12 aircraft). Once the forces were selected everyone setup and the FAA players made their navigation roll, which they passed without any problems.
The FAA raid enters the board with the German fighters in the center of the board
The FAA chose to take the short route to the battleship, which forced them to bunch up their bombers a bit. The Luftwaffe initially was at high altitude near the battleship and the FW-190s had to make a hard turn to get into action. The Me-109s got off a couple shots at the high-level escorting Corsairs, but only did minor damage to one.
FAA closes with the battleship
The FW-190s ended up tangling with the Hellcats, with each side losing one plane. The remaining FW-190 continued to turn to go after the bombers, while a Corsair tried to get behind the German fighter. The FW-190 did get off a long-range shot at a Barracuda, it only caused minor damage. The Corsair finally caught the FW-190 and bad rolls by the German player would cause the fighter to go down in flames.

The Germans started aiming their heavy flak, while the FAA Firefly moved to suppress some of the flak. However the most effective flak suppression turned out to come from the German players, as they couldn't roll high enough to do any real damage to the FAA planes.
Barracudas moving through heavy flak
The FAA bombers were able to move into attack position ...
Bombers over the target
and make their attack with devastating results.
Tirpitz goes boom
The FAA came away with three critical hits and three other hits, which was more than enough to put the Tirpitz on the bottom of the fjord for an decisive FAA win. This game moved very quickly and everyone seemed to enjoy it. After the game I handed out some prizes, provided by Fights On. Thanks to the crew from Fight's On for supporting my game and providing the flak emplacements and prizes.

I think both games went pretty well. The Tungsten game had more spectators and you should be able to see some photos from the game elsewhere.

Enfilade 2013 Recap Part 1 - Other People's Games

Well, Enfilade is over for another year and this was a very good year for the convention. We have a record attendance (around 350, including vendors) and the gaming tables were almost full for the Friday night and all Saturday sessions. Everything seemed to go smoothly and I didn't hear of any major issues. While Enfilade doesn't measure up to the eastern US conventions attendance-wise, I think that we would match up nicely on the quality of games.

As with the recaps from previous years, I’m doing two Enfilade posts; one on the general convention and other people's games (including ones I played in) and a second covering the games I ran. This post will cover the general convention stuff and games I played in. For more pictures and descriptions from Enfilade, be sure to check Kevin's blog, Dean's blog. and David's blog. There are some other blogs out there too and I will try to post links as soon as I see them get some Enfilade entries up.

Friday Afternoon 
The first gaming period started at 2:00 on Friday afternoon. This used to be a pretty sparsely populated period. But as more people decide to show up early, there are more games. I was looking for something fairly light to start the convention and jumped into a game of Silent Death (easy space fighters). I took four small attrition fighters and was knocked out pretty early by the heavier fighters. But it gave me a chance to unload my stuff in my room and wander around the other games too.
Agincourt using the Hail Caesar rules
Austria vs. France in pre-Dreadnought action
Silent Death
Viking Run being set up
Guy Bowers' (from Wargames, Soldiers, and Strategy magazine) Wrath of Heaven game

Friday Evening 
Wings of War floatplanes try to Sink the Emden
Battle of Dennewitz using Shako rules
Wildcats fight off Zeros and Bettys
Setting up for Circus Maximus
French ships get ready to battle it out with...
German ships
The Gangs of New York
Golden Age Air Racing
Massacre at Fort William Henry (from Last of the Mohicans)
Rapid Fire in the desert
WWII Pacific scenarios (I never did find out what the tiger was for)
Row Well and Live galley combat
Stargate SG-1 game
Saturday Morning and Afternoon 
I was pretty busy running my own games on Saturday morning and afternoon (see my next post for more about those), but I managed to get a few photos of those games (mainly as they were being set up).
Setting up for Assault on Crete (using Bolt Action rules)
Battle of Hanau
Bjork's Drift (VSF on Mars)
France 1940 in 6mm
Wings of War Bombers
1940 French bombers attacked by Me-109s using CY6!
An American Civil War action
Battle of Peleliu
A close view of Peleliu
Desperado game with a train

Saturday Evening 
I played in Mark and Joe Waddington's Vietnam game on Saturday evening, which was visually stunning and a lot of fun to play. I was on the Vietnamese side and we were trying to find the crew of a downed chopper (which included a high-ranking officer), while trying to delay the American rescue effort. Although we didn't really know that was the mission at the start of the game. My squads were able to delay the Americans for long enough to allow the other Vietnamese time to capture the downed crew and march them off the table, but I did lose most of my troops in the effort.

American main force arrives
American airmobile troops land in a village
The downed chopper the played an important part in the game
The Americans prepare to advance on my position
And they spot my dug-in troops a little earlier than I was hoping
Over on the other side of the board, the airmobile troops advanced out of the village into the Rice Paddies
My second squad attacks (ineffectively) the American flank
More American troops arrive
The Americans reach the downed chopper, but a little too late
NVA forces block the Americans, allowing other forces to get the captured general off the board
I was a little too focused on my game and missed out on taking pictures of most of the other games, but here are a few.
The Sword and Flame on Mars
Time traveling Nazis with dinosaurs
a smaller portion of Trafalgar
Sunday morning was the annual member's meeting. It was well attended this year (another surprise for me, since most gamers find it difficult to drag themselves out of bed at 8:30 on Sunday morning). With all the extra people, I was wondering if there was going to be a lot of complaints about the convention. But, for the most part, everyone was complementary of how things went. There were some comments about communications issues (NHMGS did have some website problems this year) and some other minor items, but overall everyone seemed pretty happy with things. The NHMGS President and Treasurer did say that in addition to helping support other region conventions, they are looking to help support some regional game days in Seattle, Portland, and other locations. NHMGS isn't really looking to run the game days, but is looking for local people to organize things and NHMGS will be willing to provide some seed money. It is nice to see that we are getting back into a position to support the hobby in areas outside of Puget Sound. With the meeting over, it was time for some more games.
Sails of Glory demo game
American forces for the Battle of Cryslers Farm
British forces for Battle of Cryslers Farm
Battle of Hastenbeck
Sea Harriers pursue Skyhawks and Daggers over San Carlos
Galley Quest (think Jaaon and the Argonauts)
Martian War machines from War of the Worlds
WWI North Sea Rumble
Siege of Castle Mire (using Tactica Siege rules)
A Spanish Civil War action

Finally, here is a list of the games that won "Best of" for the different gaming periods.

Friday afternoon-Viking Run by Lloyd Bowler and David Mebust. The only game with spectators. The runner up for best of show overall

Friday Evening-Massacre at Fort William Henry by Darryl Nichols. If you've seen Last of the Mohicans, you've seen this game. Darryl also won the best game that reflected our "At the Movies" theme.

Saturday morning-Assault on Crete 1941 by Mark Sieber

Saturday Afternoon-Liberia 1920 by Bruce Smith

Saturday Evening-Vietnam 1968 by Mark and Joe Waddington

Sunday Morning-Galley Quest: Jason and the Argonauts by Tom Condon

The overall Best of Show winner was Vietnam 1968 by Mark and Joe Waddington.

Congratulations to all the winners and thanks again to everyone that helped out with the convention and put on games.