a fair turnout of some 23 gamers, including ex-member Oliver Silsby who,
after several years of absence from club meetings, was visiting from his
Taiwan home. We also welcomed one new member, Hin Or, who is based
in mainland China but will be visiting Hong Kong on a regular basis.
Austrian: Alex Lam, Lawrence Ho
We used 16 SP for each side, and used my new experimental army list, each
side getting around 13 units, plus command and artillery. The
Prussian King personally took command in the field and therefore a grade 4
Infantry unit (IR 6 the Grenadier Guard) and a grade 4 unit of Cuirassiers
(No. 8 Seydlitz, a unit of excellent performance in the SYW) could be
fielded by the Prussians. Under our new system, we need extra SP for
these cream units, so play balance is still preserved.
The terrain was rather open, the village named Welwarn was a medium sized
Bohemian village separated into 2 settlements, one we called "Big
Welwarn" located on the left of table, the other named "Little
Welwarn" located on the right table, these two building blocks were
rather close to the Austrian side, and naturally they became the anchor
for Austrian line. The Austrians set-up first (on the assumption
that the Prussians had out scouted the enemy and thus were able to set-up
second), they deployed along the road linking the two Welwarns and
occupied the two building blocks with those Croats (skirmisher
troops). Lawrence took command of the Austrian right wing and Alex
got the left wing.
The Prussian King surveyed the enemy line and decided that he would
concentrate all his cavalry, plus two out of the 3 infantry brigades to
strike on the Austrian left wing, capturing "Little Welwarn" and
breaking the Austrian left wing. He would also deploy 1 infantry
brigade to face Lawrence's Austrians, about half of the Austrian army; the
Soldier King believing that Lawrence's cavalry plus infantry needed at
least 3-6 turns to close the Prussian left wing, and within this period,
he could defeat the Austrian under Alex, and conclude the battle with
The Prussians moved fast toward the Austrian left wing, the Grenadier
Guard led the attack in "the Potsdam Watch-parade", the 1st
Hussar (the Green Hussar ) tried to engulf the end of Austrian left
wing. After the morning mist lifted, the Austrian left wing
commander Alex immediately recognised the Prussian plan and without any
hesitation decided to fall back, so it was funny that the whole Austrian
left wing started the battle with their backs facing the Prussians!
However such move saved the Austrian wing from collapse early in the
battle. In the mean time, Lawrence sent his fast moving troops
straight down to the Prussian left in attempt to outflank them.
The first few turns saw both sides skilfully march and counter march in
order to outflank the enemy whilst not being outflanked themselves.
Finally Alex anchored his line by using "Little Welwarn" as a
corner, forming a right-angle shaped defensive line. The Prussian
1st Hussars charged the Austrian Hussars, both sides committed cavalry
units one by one into close combat near "Little Welwarn". The
Prussians had slightly the upper hand as their cavalry had both a quantity
and quality advantage, it was at this critical moment that the Prussian
Cuirassiers (grade 4) galloped to charge the enemy. If they charged
home, they would probably rout those Austrian Cuirassiers and would carry their
pursuit into the exhausted Austrian Hussars, and the cavalry battle could
be concluded in favour of the Prussians; the Austrian left wing would be
in trouble with their cavalry gone. But a Austrian medium battery
stopped such plan, their opportunity fire causing a morale test, the
Prussian rolled 3 dice with only 5!! (a total of 6 would have passed the
morale test), they were checked and fell back.
Seeing the cavalry falling back without any success, the Soldier King
committed his guard and tried to capture the building block of
"Little Welwarn", at first he waved the IR no.46 to lead the
attack, but they failed the initiative test and showed hesitation not
advancing toward the village. However, the Prussian Field Marshall
Schwerin (a +2 commander) seized the Guard's colour and personally led the
attack against the Croats inside the village; the Guard showed their value
disregarding deadly fire from a heavy battery, a light battery and close
volley from the Croats inside the village, they pushed out those Croats
with bayonets, however half of the battalion fell in the attack.
In the mean time, Lawrence's outflanking move forced the Prussians to fall
back and reform their left wing, the King also held the centre infantry
brigade as a reserve to counter any such threat. So only long range
artillery fire ensued from both sides in the Prussian left and centre.
After the loss of "Little Welwarn", Alex reformed his line
behind the village, reinforcements from Lawrence side arrived, and the
line was steady. Prussian cavalry suffered huge casualties and so
did the Guard, both side were exhausted and as sun was setting, both sides
called it a day.
In terms of casualties, the Prussian losses were higher, but at least they
captured one geographical objective; the Prussian cavalry captured 2 colours,
in return they lost 1 colour and one of their brigade commanders was
captured by the Austrians, so tactically it was a drawn game.
Just after the battle, Captain Rahm rode toward the Soldier King:
"Your Majesty, Little Welwarn was captured and we found a
delicious soup still boiling, so your dinner is ready".
Soldier King replied:
"My dear captain, you mean the price for my dinner is half the men
in the Grenadier Guard??"
Chu and James Cheung played the old SPI game called Leningrad, in
its second edition reincarnation, published by Decision
Games. The game is simple and fun but nevertheless was still
played incorrectly in their first match, which had Christopher playing as
German and James as the USSR. The Soviets successfully delayed the
advance of the Germans long enough. However, halfway through the
game they found they had wrongly interpreted the rules, so the game was
restarted at 5 o'clock , switching sides, as now James played the
German. He divided the six German armour units into 2 corps each
with a panzer unit, thus obtaining a column shift in his favour when in
overrun and normal combat. This time the Germans did better as they
managed to occupy Kaunas in the first turn, although one of thier panzer
corps was repulsed by the Soviets. Another panzer corps did much
better and managed to breakthrough.
The second turn had
the Germans mopping up the remaining Soviets units along the border of
East Prussia with the German panzers managing to occupy Riga by the third
turn. Thus the defending line along the Dvina River was broken and
only a handful of Soviets units stood between Leningrad and Riga.
However, like their counterparts in history, the German infantry lagged
behind and were unable to support the advance of the panzers.
German panzers continued their advance and managed to trap 2 strong Soviet
armour corps to the south of Pskov. However, one of the Soviet armour
corps managed to slipout of the encirclement and counted-attacked the
Germans together with reinforcements. The German panzers took one-step
loss as a result.
turn 5 the German infantry arrived and rescued the beleaguered panzer
units. They drove the Soviets away and the damaged panzer unit
retreated to Dvinsk for replacements. The Soviets retreated eastward
and formed a thin defensive line east of Lake Pskov and Lake Virts.
turn 6 the Germans
assaulted the thinly held Soviet line and successfully drove the enemy
away. Pskov was captured. The Soviets gathered their
reinforcements around Leningrad and prepared for the counter-attack on
turn 7 (the Soviet player has a 4 column shift in combat in his favour
during turn 7). Awaiting
the Soviets' counter-attack, the Germans formed a defensive line just east
of Pskov., although they also took the opportunity to capture Tallinn and
gain a foothold east of Lake Peipus. The Soviet counter-attack
materialised and successfully drove the back the Germans, damaging one of
their infantry divisions.
From turn 8 to turn 12
saw the German assaulting the defensive line around Leningrad.
Novgorad was captured on turn 9 and a foothold east of Luga River was also
secured. The Germans threatened Leningrad both from the south and
the west (from each direction supported by a panzer corps). On turn
10 the road to Leningrad from the south was cut, thus stopping Soviets
reinforcements arriving in Leningrad. The German force from the west
was hindered by the presence of strong Soviet armour and fortifications.
The Germans however
attempted to assault the city of Leningrad from the south. The city south
of Neva River was taken, but the attempted breakthrough by the 39 Panzer
corps to the north of the city failed. With only a handful of
reinforcements (the Leningrad Militia) the Soviets could not counterattack
the German positions.
the last turn (Turn 12), the Germans assaulted the city again, finally getting
a foothold in the north of the city. The Soviets made their last
effort to drive the Germans out, but in vain. As only one
objective was taken, the Germans finally claimed a tactical victory
enjoyable game, which was fast and furious, finishing at 7:30 pm.
as ever, I decided to hold the whole of the English Civil War in just one
day in a one day tabletop campaign. In
fact two days would have seen it completed but as it was we had to settle
for the first two years.
set up can best be viewed in the photograph of Eric doing his Igor
impression. Basically the
is laid out in panoramic splendour,
and Wales are not represented.
Eric in fact makes for a good reference point as he is squeezing
pass Chester, opposite (in a pink shirt), is Oliver looking south towards
London, but focusing on Nottingham with its forest and with Hull and York
just in front of him.
sits in the centre of the table with Gloucester
coming off in forks.
The bottom (dark green) table shows Exeter
and the road to Bristol. Out
of view further South is Plymouth
with Lyme just below Exeter. Out
of view to the right is Poole
of these cities was given a value, which ranged from 9 for London
through to 3 for Rye. These
values were the revenue values which was used to recruit:
addition each player had a General and 8 points to spend on elements of
his choice. Elements
recruited on towns had to start there; Generals could start as they chose.
The Royalist towns were
York, Chester, Nottingham, Oxford, Bristol
The Parliamentarians started with London, Dover, Poolw, Lyme, Plymouth, Gloucester and
King (Oliver) could summons an army from Ireland
at any time but on doing so would be
required to dice for each town with a 50% chance that they would rebel.
The other Royalist players were Andrzej (as Prince Rupert) and Ken, against Eric,
Jeff, Peter and Denny.
started in Plymouth, Ken in Exeter, Eric in London, Peter in
Gloucester, Andrzej in Chester, Oliver in
Nottingham, (where the Charles I had raised his
standard) and Denny in Hull. The
Royalists had a plan, always dangerous at the best of times, and Ken left
the West Country never to return. Jeff
followed up and at the end of year two had captured Exeter
first battles occurred when Oliver and Andrzej closed on Denny at Hull
and Peter and Jeff cut off Ken from Oxford. Denny
put up a fight but was defeated unfortunately. Hull
was diced for, (on seeing a friendly army
beaten) and declared for the King. Ken
was defeated in the midlands with only remnants entering Oxford. At
the end of the first year the King held the North and Parliament the
South. Next year saw a major
strike towards London
by the King with his combined
two battles took place, one outside Nottingham
and one at ‘Edgehill’.
The King also called in the Irish (none of the Royalist towns
revolted). Both of the battles resulted in victories to the King, although
Edgehill was as much a very bloody draw like its real counter-part.
So ended the second year of the war.
to say we ran out of time but for those who want to emulate it, two days
would see it through. The
rules allowed the Scots to enter in year 4 on a dice throw.
was by strategic movement and then by DBR movement pips.
There were two strategic moves to a year.
One of the cool things about fantasy boardgames is
game is not restrained by historical premises or “straightjacket
rules”, in which you are bound to do something to repeat history (you
bet, there are plenty such rules in GMT’s Europe Engulfed for
A Game of Thrones by Fantasy Flight is a game set on the fantasy island
in which 5 houses have vowed to claim their rightful throne.
We gathered 4 players to play: Anthony Lee (Red, House Lannister),
Lawrence Hung (White, House Stark), Simon Shum (Yellow, House Baratheon)
and Hin Or (Green, House Tyrell). Pyke
(Black) was controlled by no one and was not allowed to move or attack.
The game began with Stark rushing down from the
northern Winterfell to the central plain of Moat Cailin.
Plagued by the lack of supply to raise new troops, however, House
Stark was stopped by Lannister.
was worried that if Stark was unchecked, it would be difficult to repeal him
later because of general Stark’s good defence tactics (he had
Catelyn’s double defence strength card and Eddard’s double fort card
which could reduce casualties).
ensued over Moat Cailin, which turned into a protracted war and a
build-up of supporting forces on both sides.
Tyrell slowly built up his forces and began to look
for expansion from the southern city of Highgarden.
Taking advantage of the Lannister engagement with Stark, he soon
found there were spaces to occupy unhindered.
Garlan fought bravely with his attacking capabilities and Ser Loras
killed footmen with more and more blood being spilt.
Fearful of Tyrell’s expansion, Baratheon turned to central
highland in Westeros – King’s Landing.
Baratheon is the royal house in the land
But the rumours spread the news that the dying King was being killed by his
adopted son. His throne,
therefore, was no longer rightfully claimed by the Baratheons as the King
did not pass it on in his will. “We
have to prove it ourselves.” Renly and Stannis Baratheon captured
King’s Landing on the third month.
Taking advantage of Baratheon’s
moves, Tyrell engaged in a battle with the Baratheons on Dragon’s Stone.
Baratheon was weakened at the rear because of the offensive in
King’s Landing. Suddenly,
Baratheon realized there was no diplomatic security with the neighbouring Tyrell.
began to take control of the Bay
by defeating Pyke in the latter years.
Alarmed by the possible landing in his hinterland, Stark
secured a peace contract with Lannister.
Lannister was willing to make peace with Stark because the Moat
Cailin battle went into a stalemate.
the threat from Tyrell, Lannister made a final contest for determination
of the final master of the land
in Hanchhall. The final result
was that Tyrell slew Lannister and claimed the throne.
Baratheon kept the last remaining headquarter at Winterfell and
Westeros entered a new era under the house of Tyrell . . .
Final score: Hin Or (Green, House
Tyrell) – 8, Anthony Lee (Red, House Lannister) – 5, Lawrence Hung
(White, House Stark) – 3, ), Simon Shum (Yellow, House Baratheon) – 1.
The Game of Thrones basic
game "engine" is very solid and has many similarities to
traditional war boardgames. A
very tense game
throughout, as different houses have their own distinct abilities at different stages
of the war during the 10-turns game duration. I
particularly like the initial planning operations for each area with a
force where a token has to be placed. The
operation tokens are revealed simultaneously once everyone has made their
decisions, you therefore never
know what your opponents are up to.
Your plan to attack may, for example, be foiled by a defence order taken by the
defender with naval “bombardment” support from neighbouring sea fleets.
Overall, a very good game with colourful maps and components, and a
lot of possible strategic options throughout the entire 10 years (turns)
of the game.
Prussians: Cheung Kar Fai
French: John Jenkins, Peter
Munn & Philip Ngo
This was a very interesting and exciting battle with a result
that was quite close; both sides routed enemy units by cavalry charges and
thus needed to check their army morale.
In the final event the Prussians won because the French had more
First of all, I’d like to describe the terrain.
It was a flat plain with a town on the Prussian right flank.
On the French right flank there was a farm with a long stone wall
that kept the Prussian cavalry charging to their right.
The French had three commanders; Philip Ngo was on the left
with 6 units of infantry, trying to take the town held by the Prussians;
in the centre there were 2 cavalry units commanded by John, and Peter was
on the right with 5 infantry units. I,
the Great, deployed my 4 units of
cavalry on the left to face Peter, 5 infantry units in the centre and 3
units in the right.
In the first 3 turns, Philip
tried to use 2 units to take the town but was stopped by my light infantry
in the town. The French were
held in the centre and on the right. When
Philip’s infantry was held, I marched my infantry in the centre to line
up with the troops in the town. However,
the left most of the infantry exposed their flank to the French cavalry. Fortunately,
I smelt something wrong, and decided to send one of the Dragoons from the
left to the centre, which helped very much later.
On the fifth of sixth turn,
French cavalry charged my Grenadiers’ exposed flank and routed that
unit. That charge had a domino
effect, routing and pushing back nearly all of my units in the centre
towards the town or to the edge, with only 2 units on the left still
After the French cavalry units
had made their historically successfully charge, their position was quite
exposed to my Dragoons moving to the centre; at the same time, Philip
moved his infantry units trying to take the position to attack the town
from the flank.
It was my turn to strike back.
Ensuring the success of the charge and increasing the melee
personally led the charge. The
Dragoons charged the French cavalry in the flank, easily routing them
because their size had been reduced in the previous battle. The
follow-up charge took place and was fought against the flank of Philip’s
infantry units. The domino effect now came back on the other side; 3
infantry units were routed, and one more cavalry and infantry unit were
routed by my Hussars who had followed the Dragoons.
The French centre was actually broken on the 10th turn and the Prussians
gained the battle field.
and Horace played Days of Wonder' new game Memoir
'44, by Battle Cry designer Richard Borg. The game,
which simulates the invasion of Normandy and the Western Front battles,
shares many similarities with Battle Cry and is a simple and entertaining
game, with lots of colour (and lots of plastic soldiers and tanks) - it's
an excellent introduction for the novice wargamer and can be enjoyed by
both beginner and grognard alike.
blurb from the web site should give you an idea of what the game is
about: From the cliffs of Pointe-du-Hoc to
the hedgerow battles in the Corentin Peninsula and beyond -- Memoir '44
airdrops you into the key battles that turned the tide in Western Europe
during the summer of 1944. Omaha Beach, Pegasus Bridge, Operation
Cobra... step in and command your troops on the battlefields that defined
History in the 20th century!