Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Chicago Wargamer Discord Server

As most of our Chicago game groups are quarantined for the duration, I have created an official "Chicago Wargamer" Discord server to facilitate communication and VASSAL game play. Our local community will continue to thrive even in the face of adversity. This week alone we have seen virtual action with ASL, To Take Washington, Space Empires 4x and Imperial Assault. We can only get through this together!

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Korean War ASL with The 2 Halfsquads

Listen as I discuss with Dave Kleinschmidt, Dave T. and Chris W. our first impressions of the ASL Korean module "Forgotten War" on the lastest episode of Dave and Jeff's podcast. You can actually hear my eyes strain on the recording as I try to read the small font on a particular vehicular counter even with my reading glasses on!

Part 1
http://www.the2halfsquads.com/2020/02/episode-240-game-of-rising-sun.html
Part 2
http://www.the2halfsquads.com/2020/03/episode-241-konigsberg-and-korea.html

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Great Campaigns of the American Civil War "All Green Alike"

Saturday, February 22 was the opening day of our epic multi-player format version of the full Virginia Campaign from "All Green Alike." This module is found in MMP's Stonewall Jackson's Way II. Six players faced off in this 14 day scenario utilizing the two maps from SJWII and the west map from Here Come the Rebels. The situation presented is the opening campaign of the American Civil War in July 1861. Two Union armies face off against their corresponding Confederate counterparts in nearby Virginia theaters. One set of opponents face off outside the gates of Washington D.C., while the others maneuver in the Shenandoah Valley. Each side faces an interesting set of decisions as to how to accomplish their goals. 

The Virginia Campaign - July 1861

We completed the first four days of the campaign from July 15 to 18. In the Valley, Patterson's Federals and J.E. Johnston's Rebels quickly and deliberately marched for each other along Mill Creek. Each side launched attacks where local advantages were found, but the end result was stalemate along the line. 

Stalemate in the Valley

McDowell's Union Army of Virginia marched on the direct road toward Bull Run. P.G.T. Beauregard's Confederates contested this advance with a series of sharp battles in a fighting withdrawal. General Keyes' Union command was routed while "Shank" Evens' brigade was obliterated in a massive Union counter-attack. The situation in this sector remains fluid and undecided. 

Union Advance on Bull Run

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Last Chance For Victory - July 1: Dawn to 2:00 pm

Dan K. and I recently started Last Chance For Victory's full battle of Gettysburg scenario, Dean Essig's latest regimental treatment of the battle using his Line of Battle series rules. The current edition is a much evolved version of his groundbreaking Civil War Brigade Series most remembered for the use of actual written orders to direct your troop movements. This signature command feature exists here along with a linear combat model that more accurately reflects the way Civil War era engagements played out.  It is also unique in that it is one of the first Gettysburg games to constrain the Confederate player as he approaches the town on the morning of July 1 to better represent the actual historical situation.  A.P. Hill and his boys cannot blitz across the map securing far flung objectives when in reality they barely knew what was over the next ridge.

July 1 8:30AM Burford's Cav block the roads to Gettysburg

John Burns lends a hand!

Here we see Heth's approach to McPherson's Ridge, who by design always opens the battle with his historical decision to send in Archer and Davis' brigades to probe Buford's cavalry screen. As higher level commands start to arrive you begin to develop your own battle plan, but the opening moves of the unexpected meeting engagement set the tempo of the battle in a more appropriate historical context.

July 1 10:45AM Iron Brigade ambushes Davis


July 1 1:45 Reinforcements from all directions!




Thursday, April 11, 2019

GMT Battles of the American Revolution Recap

Here is a summary of our marathon of the Battles of the American Revolution series.  Mike L. and I played each full battle scenario without any optionals when offered.  We often switched sides based on preference, so this list does not reflect personal wins but simply which side was the victor.

Guildford Courthouse - British Marginal
Eutaw Springs - Patriot Marginal
Saratoga - Patriot Marginal
Brandywine - British Substantial
Germantown - Draw
Monmouth - Draw
Savannah - Patriot Decisive
Newtown - Patriot Substantial
Oriskany - Patriot Marginal
Pensacola - Patriot Decisive

One of the odd artifacts of the series rulebook is that every game can be won by reducing the enemy morale to zero, typically through success in combat, which immediately gives the victor a "substantial" victory.  To attain a "decisive" victory each individual game provides some specific condition such as to occupy certain hexes at game end. If one succeeds in the field during the game, you may end up denying yourself the "decisive" victory accolade.  

The Final Battle - Pensacola Falls to the Spanish