Monthly Meeting Saturday 8 February 2003

after action report


The Wars of The Roses


On a suitably grey and gloomy afternoon, reminiscent of the English weather, the forces of York and Lancaster met yet again to contest the fate of the English crown.  This time it was Peter Hunt playing Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick (Yorkist) and Elliot Woodruff as Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset (Lancastrian). 


The forces were roughly equal (about 350 DBM points per side) drawn by cards – which gave the commanders the novel experience of not having a choice as to the composition of their armies – being grateful for whoever and with whatever turned up.


Both sides chose aggressive attack orders and advanced with suitable haste.  Too much, it turned out for Beaufort’s currours (heavy cavalry), who coming within charge distance of the Yorkist retinues were obliged to press on and, though seemingly ignorant of Agincourt , suffered the same threat.  In the meantime Neville moved his forces to try and turn Beaufort’s left, while Beaufort did the same on Neville’s right. Battle was joined and a slog looked like braking out along the entire front.  But Beaufort had not banked on the welsh spearmen tying to sneak between the gap on his right flank between his retinues and an open wood.  Seeing the danger Lord Roos commanding the Lancastrian right led his bodyguard into the Welsh but failed to break them.  They in turn were attacked in the flank by some Irish lights and the end came swiftly.  In the centre, demoralised by the routing currours and Lord Roos’s retainers, the retinues broke off and fled. 


For the Lancastrians, Lord Roos lay dead on the battlefield.  Beaufort was captured and awaits an uncertain fate at the hands of a vengeful Neville.  Lord Courtenay, commanding the Lancastrian left wing turned and fled – but lives to fight another day.


The game was played using a house set developed by Roger Underwood of the “Guards” Wargames club in Birmingham (UK) drawing on the best of WRG 5th and 6th Editions, DBM and Armati rule sets. Not only did these provide the playing rules themselves but also terrain maps and means of setting the scene for the battle.  The rules themselves emphasise movement and using 4-element strong “units” gives good feeling of ‘mass’ than with the usual DBM single elements.  By portraying foot units as a mixture of bow and bill with a single fighting factor, the rules overcome one the difficulties of recreating English mediaeval warfare on the table top by producing units which can shoot and fight – all using a single fighting factor. 


Elliot Woodruff supplied the terrain including the wheat field which was universally admired – and the source of an equal measure of disappointment at  the apparent absence of any retailer in Hong Kong supplying door mats suitable for making similar terrain!


Napoleonic Battles


Herbert Wong, Alexander Lam, Lawrence Ho, Christopher Chu, Eddie Law, Chan Kee, friend of Christopher Chu played two games of 15mm Napoleonic battles playtesting Herbert Wong's March to the Sound of Guns rules.  The first battle was fought between two French corps against a Prussian Corp in 1813.  The French fielded 8 infantry brigades, 4 cavalry brigades & 4 artillery batteries whereas the Prussian mustered 9 infantry regiments (equal to French Infantry brigades in game terms), 3 cavalry brigades and 6 artillery batteries.  Lawrence, Eddie and Christopher's friend commanded the French, while Alexander and Christopher commanded the Prussian.  Both the right flank of the French and the right flank of the Prussian suffered huge losses although ultimately the Prussians won the day.  The second battle was fought between three French corps and a combined force consisting of a Prussian corps and 2 Russian corps in 1813, with Herbert, Chan Kee and Christopher commanding the Allies while Lawrence, Christopher's friend and Eddie commanded the French.  The French battle plan was to assault the Russian centre and left wing while refusing its right wing.  Both armies suffered heavy losses but the French managed to break the Russian army at the end of the day and achieved a marginal victory.


Warhammer 40K: Carnage!!  


The game was played on a big table (around 50" x 50").  It was agreed to roll the random game length dice at turn six instead of turn four so as to increase the number of game turns thereby allowing the armies to manoeuvre over such a large area.  The game kicked off with Vincent Chan’s Necron (Golden Horn), Albert Leung’s Necron (Silver Horn), AV Kit’s Space Marine (Black Templar) and Simon Chan’s Space Marine (White Scar) occupying each of the four corners.  Simon Au’s Eldar (the Colorful Eldar) were placed between the Silver Horn and the Black Templar.  

The game turn sequence was Space Marine (Black Templar), Eldar , Necron (Silver Horn), Necron (Golden Horn) and Space Marine (White Scar).  It was agreed that no table talk and pre-game alliances were allowed, so forming and breaking of alliances was through the use of body language, such as winking.  It was quite fun by playing in that way.  

Driven by his redoubtable character, Simon Au started off the game by firing at both AV Kit’s Black Templar and Albert’s Silver Horn despite occupying an unfavourable position between these two players. Therefore, it was natural that the Black Templar and Silver Horn should combine their fire power against Simon’s Eldar.  Simon should have realised that in a Carnage scenario forging an Alliance is more important than declaring hostilities on other armies.  Accordingly he became the "weakest link" and his army was totally annihilated by turn six.


On the other side Vincent's Golden Horn and Simon Chan’s White Scar locked in the deadliest battle.  The hostilities began after the Golden Horn Necron destroyed one of the White Scar Space Marine’s Rhinos on turn one.


Albert Leung was cunning as he reserved most of his army for the objective while other players suffered from heavy losses in combat.  However, there was a twist during the last turn as one of the White Scar snipers with a laser cannon destroyed Albert's Monolith by rolling sixes.  This jeopardised Albert’s plan of teleporting most of his Silver Horn troops to the objective by using the Monolith portal which had just been destroyed; Albert however changed his plan in light of the situation.  On turn six his Necron lord with the 7 immortals teleported right into the objective area;  it looked like the Necron Silver Horn would win the game.  In response, two White Scar Chaplins charged in to contest Albert's move and successfully cut through the Nercon ranks and the Necron Lord like tofu.  Albert was forced to roll to see if his Necron ranks (with a ldr of 9) would break as a result of losing close the combat.  He duly rolled a 10 and the remnants of the Necron forces had to fall back from the objective, leaving Simon Chan holding the objective with his consolidate move!  The game ended when Simon Chan rolled a six when checking for random game end. 




Two Warmaster games were played:


In the first game, Terrence Cheung and Fun Lee (2000 points High Elves) vs Pollux Poon and Jackson Szeto (2000 points Chaos), with the Chaos beating the High Elves.


In the second game, Terrence Cheung and Fun Lee (2000 points High Elves) vs Pollux Poon (2000 points Chaos), with the High Elves revenging their earlier defeat.  





Space Hulk


The Sword of Damocles had once been the pride of the Imperial fleet in the Danubian sector; flagship of Admiral Hortaxus, an Imperial dreadnaught capable of withstanding the combined onslaught of 20 or more battlecruisers, it had fallen foul of forces of Chaos while passing through a warp storm in the vicinity of Chymera II, managing only to issue a brief distress call before vanishing into the murky void.  For some 9 years nothing had been seen or heard of the ship when the the long range sensors of the trading sloop Pelican picked up the feint image of a derelict space hulk drifting in an obscure quadrant of the Spiral Arm.  Closer inspection revealed the battered remains of the once proud Sword of Damocles, a gaping scar in its side out of which hung, like scorched entrails, the cabling that had long since ceased to carry the electrical impulses of command.   Now is was the lair of that insidious pestilence: Genestealers, the vermin of space!


Three days later the Avenger class Imperial cruiser, Lament of Orion, materialised out of the warp a mere 600 klicks off the bow of the Sword of Damocles, on board a fighting complement of Imperial Space Marines here to avenge the death of their brethren by cleansing the Damocles of that abomination, the filth that had infected its very core.


The plan formulated by commander Cierpikus at the pre launch briefing had been simple.  Two companies of Terminators, Blood Angels and Ultramarines, supported by one light company of Grey Wolf Space Marines, would storm the main deck of the Damocles and would seal the 6 bulkheads leading to other parts of the ship, thereby denying access to the Tyrannid host which was expected to attempt to repel the boarding.  Technicians would then reactivate the computers on the bridge, enabling the warp drive and allowing the ship to return to friendly space where the remainder of the ungodly spawn could be thoroughly cleansed from the dusty corridors and chambers of the Damocles.


Barely an hour later, three puffs of escaping steam in the starboard side of the Orion signalled the launch of boarding torpedoes, each carrying a company of the Imperium's finest, which spiralled in unison towards the hulk of the Damocles before slamming into its side and ejecting Imperial troops thirsting for revenge.


The initial phase of the game was tense and bloody with dozens of Genestealers falling before the first Imperial loss, a Blood Angel Terminator on turn 3.  By turn 4, two of the bulkheads had been secured, one by the Blood Angels, the other by the fast moving Grey Wolves.  Arriving Tyrannid reinforcements were bottled into their entry points by flamer fire and were unable to break out and attack the Marines at close quarters.  The Ultramarines quickly secured the bridge and reactivated the computers while losing but one man, unfortunately their captain, on turn 6.  On turn 7 the third Terminator fell, a Blood Angel, being gored by a Genestealer that met its doom shortly thereafter.  A third bulkhead was secured by the Blood Angels on turn 10, however, rapidly reducing supplies of ammunition, particularly for the heavy flamers, was causing the Space Marines some grief, two more Terminators, a Blood Angel Sergeant and an Ultramarine flamer fell the same turn.


Pressure began to build as a variety of Tyrannid creatures, Termagents, Hybrids armed with pulse weapons, leaping Hormagaunts, bone sword wielding Tyrannid and spore spitting Bivores began appearing, spewing out of the remaining bulkheads in quick succession.  By turn 14, when Commander Cierpikus was felled by a spore mine, the Imperial forces had lost another five men, including a Blood Angel Sergeant and a Grey Wolf Librarian.  The arrival of the chameleon like Lictor that materialised behind the Imperial forces causing havoc in the ranks of the Grey Wolves before finally being eliminated, further decimated the Space Marines.  By game's end, when the remaining bulkhead had finally been secured, the Imperium had lost over 50% of its attacking force, including its Commander, 2 Captains, 2 Sergeants and 2 Librarians - a pyrrhic victory indeed . . . 


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