Let your voice be heard

A family life full of distractions continues. But there have been glimmers of hope with a hobby paint brush being clutched in hand on several occasions. Sadly not enough glimmerings that any completed work can be shown to The dear readership. At least not yet.

 

Archivist at work

However there have been some hobbyish endeavours that are up for public viewing. The efforts to save old archival material from the original website & blog to the new website …

 http://vonpeterhimself.com/index.html

… continue. The articles sucked back from the past as if via some twisted time machine are …

The last on the list is a little different in that it was originally posted on this here blog and not the soon to be deprecated original blog & website. I decided to replicate it on the website anyway where it is a little more discoverable. The same may happen to other reports.

Above: Napoleon model 2015 aka Steve Sands from the Waterloo 200th anniversary refight

 

Whilst recreating the old articles von Peter himself had to delve into his photo library to get at the original imagery. And whilst doing so many a photographic memory was uncovered. Originally used in January 2010 and from the “lets add hilarious cartoon style captions to the image” period comes the following image. If memory serves this was from an early trial Black Powder game using Austrians vs. Greg’s Russians. The Austrian’s proved a little deaf to the orders issued by von Peter himself. The accent is terrible and the humour debatable but it seemed amusing at the time.

 

An ancient gamer

No this is not a reference to the age of von Peter himself – how rude! but rather that von Peter himself recently played a wargame set in the ancient period at the home of Terrys Garage Gaming. Sort of two ancient periods really as the game saw a Carthaginian army pitted against a slightly later in history Early Imperial Roman army. The discrepancy was irrelevant as the idea was for a get together, a quick re-acquaintance with the Hail Caesar rules, and to have a damn fine time doing it.

von Peter himself volunteered to be a Roman for the day which was a little unfortunate as the Romans came a distinct second. A personal highlight was blundering on the first turn with the command containing all the legionnaires and seeing them depart off the back of the table … and not managing to make it back on to the table for a further two turns. So much for the obviously mythical Roman Army organisation and efficiency.  A fine example to set the auxilliary troops who did well initially but in the end were well and truly beaten. Even a heroic charge by the Auxillary Prussian* cavalry withered in the end for limited gains. A final melee that included stomping elephants rounded out the game in a thoroughly you loose sort of way.

* at least von Peter himself likes to think of them that way. There’s a fair chance the cavalrymen were Germanic you understand. 😎

Many were the errors made – both in rules terms and tactical decisions – but the lunch was great and the chatter informative and entertaining. In particular the conversation on slender plastic pikes and spears, their expected longevity and potential alternatives was of interest. Thanks to fellow Roman Garage Gaming Terry for organising and hosting and Craig and Alan for the beating they provided.

Above: earlyish in the game. The two units of auxillia have shown up the rather disappointing legionaries by disposing of some Spanish infantry. They were to give a good account of themselves though they would eventually “get theirs” including a stomping by elephants.

Lead by their brave commander Seydlitzus the Roman Prussian – see above – auxiliary cavalry on the right have bravely charged all ahead of them even though they sadly lack any supports. The unit on the left were to push back their Spanish opponents into the impassable terrain and so broke them but were then flanked and eventually driven from the field. The unit on the right found their odds against the supported infantry a bridge too far and were driven back though they remained in play.

As a scratch game the Army of Carthage were sadly short of troops so they did what any Carthaginian army would do and hired some mercenaries. In this case some Roman cavalry and a Roman general. Were not the Romans forever their own worst enemies?!

 

Gird thine loins – The Great Wargaming Survey 2019

This years iteration of The Great Wargaming Survey – The Great Wargaming Survey 2019 – is upon us. From the horses mouth …

Dear history fan!,

The sixth edition of the Great Wargaming Survey is here again, running till the end of August.

As always, we’re asking you to take just five minutes of your time to let us know what YOU think about wargaming. We’ll be using the results to try and track trends and changes in the hobby, with the results published online in text, in videos and via podcasts.

Besides our undying gratitude for completing the survey, everyone who completes the survey gets a €6.50 gift certificate for our webshop which can be used to buy a small range of unique models made available by Rubicon Models, Wargames Atlantic and Sarissa Precision, or almost anything else from the Karwansaray Publishers webshop. Moreover, you’ve also got the chance to win a number of interesting prizes, including boxed sets, books from various publishers and of course subscriptions to Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy or our other magazines. So why not take a few minutes now to help us out– it’s fast, fun and might net you some free goodies!

Kind regards

Guy Bowers
Editor, Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy

For the record von Peter himself completed the survey in around seven minutes after which two emails promptly arrived – one containing the 15% discount code and the other the €6.50 gift certificate. Go on. You know you want to do it.

 

And finally another rediscovered captioned photograph from the archives at absolutely no cost to The dear reader. What an absolute bargain!

 

Enough.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

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A triplex of games

A couple of turns into the trial Impetus game. Many of the figures are temporarily stuck on bases and many more are not yet painted but more importantly The Son & heir’s crossbowmen are about to be taught a lesson by their betters. Oh yeah baby!

The last few weeks have seen von Peter himself and The son & heir participating in several games.

Hail Caesar

First up was a first game of Hail Caesar. Terry had come over all keen on the Hail Caesar rules and with the benefit of a high initiative die roll he organised a game. These rules are published by Warlord Games, are based upon Black Powder and are for gaming the Ancients period. From what little von Peter himself has seen of the game it is a development / improvement on Black Powder in several areas.

Five of us got together at Terry’s one Wednesday night after work for our inaugural game of Hail Caesar. The son & heir was on school holiday duty otherwise he would have been unavailable. von Peter himself dusted off his Sassanids for himself and The son & heir to direct and Terry dug out his Romans for Craig and John to control. Terry was official rule looker upperer.

Controversial Sassanid light horse archers sticking it to some of the roman sandal wearers

Much cruel taunting emanated from the Sassanid side as the Romans either refused to advance or were just plain unable to do so as their troops showed a complete disdain of their commanders polite requests to please advance. It is with much regret that von Peter himself must own up as the initiator of much of these verbal barrages. But hey, those roman sandal wearing effeminate western barbarians deserved all they got and besides  von Peter himself was feeling a little ‘edgy’ at the time!!  8O)

The Sassanid plan was to take advantage of the Romans reticence about moving by advancing into archery range and letting the roman sandal wearing cowards suck down a few rounds of the far superior Sassanid archery before charging in with assorted elephants, cataphracts, clibinarii, heavy cavalry etc etc. It was a perfectly brilliant plan … spoilt solely by the rolling of a double ‘6’.

For those who do not know orders in Hail Caesar are verbally issued to a unit or group of units. Two dice are then rolled to see if – and if so how efficiently – the order is  carried out by the troops so ordered. The roll of a double ‘6’ is termed a blunder and following the roll of another die a table is consulted to see what the effect of the blunder is to be. In this case the effect of the blunder was that von Peter’s main strike force of clibinari & cataphracts went charging across the table to stop an inch or so in front of some very startled roman sandal wearers. Yes, they had moved to within archery range – but please save me from overly enthusiastic aristocratic bombasts!

So that was the storm of righteous Sassanid archery theory out the window. A ‘Plan B’ was quickly drafted and initiated. It was crafty in the extreme. Charge in with the kitchen sink to try and right the wrongs of the dice lords. After all we were there to trial and learn the rules. What better way to make some learnings than to take a less sophisticated approach!  8O)

For the benefit of posterity the learnings were that …

  • elephants are not all conquering of themselves and would benefit from support … and a preparatory archery storm
  • clibinari & cataphracts are powerful units but it would really be best to win in the first round of combat when they can use their charge bonus (or whatever it’s called) … and a preparatory archery storm would be most beneficial
  • forgetting to play the Roman pilum rule is a damned fine idea if you’re dressed as a high ranking – and outstandingly good looking – Sassanid. This even works without a preparatory archery storm!

The other talking point were the Sassanid light horse archers who generated a discussion or two with their bag of sneaky tricks. Overall we all learned a thing or two about the rules and it is now up to the rule lawyers to reread the rules and sort out all the things we did wrong.

Black Powder

Next up was a Napoleonic game using Black Powder. Labour Weekend was nearly upon us meaning that Monday was a public holiday here in New Zealand. von Peter himself bestirred himself and organised an eight player Napoleonic game for the Sunday … having first gained the blessing of the Godess of War Fraulien von Peter herself of course! But by the day of the game numbers had halved to four as the result of sudden visits by in laws, remembered marriage ceremonies out of town and the siren calls of domestic home maintenance duties! As it turned out the game was another of those father – son affairs. The Fathers – Rhys and von Peter himself – took on the sons – Daniel and The son & heir.

The scenario was set in 1813. The Prussians under the command of Major General Daniel had swooped down on a town defended by six battalions and a battery of Bavarians lead by the renown von Peter himself. The town itself had some old Vauban style fortifications that were in an extremely poor state of repair. The Bavarian artillery could not be placed on the walls and attacking the walls was no more difficult than attacking a stout building. The town was situated at one end of the field of battle.

Racing from the other end of the field of battle to the aid of the beleaguered Bavarians were their French allies lead by that Marshall in waiting Rhys. Awaiting him and protecting the back of Major General Daniel’s attack on the town were the Prussians of the dastardly and infamous The son & heir. Got it?

The 1/7 Bavarian IR on the decrepit town walls. These heroes saw off the attentions of several attacking battalions for much longer than could be reasonably expected only relinquishing their hold on the walls in the last combat phase of the game. The battalion may be formed from the brush strokes of The son & heir and be part of his collection but they have never performed as heroically as on that day when lead by von Peter himself.  8O)

The usual happened with a Black Powder game in that the competing armies were shredded.

Marshall in waiting Rhys and The son & heir traded men’s lives with a truly callous indifference. The usual number of bizarre results were on display as they usually are when The son & heir is involved. Cuirassiers bouncing off the flank of landwehr infantry in line makes for an illustrative example. The scales of war slipped first one way and then the other.

von Peter himself was well served by his Bavarian troops who generally fought well despite von Peter’s leadership! Major General Daniel rushed one half of the town with a single supported battalion and to the horror of von Peter himself succeeded in wrestling it from the defending Bavarian light battalion … the one blot on the Bavarians record for the day. Fortunately the defending Prussian battalion proved just as listless in their defence a few turns later. This was just as well as the Prussians finally managed to prise the other half of the town from the determined grip of the 1/7 Bavarian Infantry Regiment. So half a town each when the game was called. A draw … though obviously a moral victory for the fathers!!  8O)

Impetus

When The family sent their possessions back from the UK to New Zealand at the end of their foreign adventure a copy of the Impetus rules was included. Despite an interest they were never played. Much later The son & heir started collecting – and on occasion even painting! – the Perry Miniatures late medieval figures. After some extended agitation he convinced von Peter himself to dig out his Greater Italian Wars Spanish-Imperialist army for a trial of the game. All The son & heir had to do was read the rules, learn the rules and run the game.

As with the first game of Hail Caesar several errors were made but we are encouraged to continue with the Impetus rules – at least for now. One nice feature of the rules is how units get worn down and become less effective as they are used.

As with all periods von Peter himself can see himself playing several rule sets for his ancients gaming. This will provide for a variety of differing gaming experiences and also cater to the various tastes of the local gamers.

Don’t forget to ‘click’ on the photos to see a larger image if they should tweak your interest.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself