Friday, 24 June 2016

Club Dragon Closed! (...temporarely)

If you follow my Twitter account, you probably know by now.

Yesterday disaster struck at our beloved club premises: a pipe of the Madrid water utility broke, flooded the underground property next to ours, and the wall dividing both premises busted as a result of the water pressure and the tons of building materials stored there.

Literally a tsunami swept all our club and the water height reached over 30cm, flooding the lockers where many of us store our gaming toys. I have come out of the disaster with very light casualties as I use to keep my models in plastic boxes, only loosing some self-made scenery I used in my games.

But some of my club mates here were collectors of tabletop games and literally I saw then shedding tears when they open the lockers and all that was left were a mass of wet board. Some have lost several hundred euros in games and many are irreplaceable, belonging to the collectors category (old Avalon Hill, Victory Games, etc from the 70s and 80s... I did a quick search in Ebay and found one of the games being sold for US$300).

The level of destruction is such that we are unlikely to return to normal before October or November. Which on the other hand it's going to have an impact here too, as most of my blog posts deal with the games I usually play on Sundays.

Therefore, if you see a drop of activity it's not as a result of me losing interest in blogging, but because of what I just explained. As said, you can still follow my activities in my Twitter account and I'll keep posting and updating with any news as they come out.

Sad Day today

It is a democratic decision. I do not share but must respect.
Fear that this is just the beginning

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Sharp Practice: The River Neira Crossing

The final game of the Corunna Retreat campaign for Sharp Practice was put to test today. In this scenario, we saw the British crossing a major obstacle (the Nerea river at Constantin) with the French in hot pursue. The full campaign will be published in the cinoming TFL Summer Special 2016.
To achieve a victory, the British had to cross the only passable point (a bridge) with at least a 75% of its forces (equal to 48 models with the OBs used). The British forces started the game fully deployed on the south bank of the river.
The initial French forces were off table, but only the cavalry contingent was available in the first few, reflecting the scattered situation of the French column. After each Tiffin card, the French player rolls a D6 dice and if the result is equal or less than the turn number, the infantry command cards are then added to the deck. 

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Sharp Practice: A Belated Xmas Gift

Today we playtested the third scenario of the Corunna campaign for Sharp Practice. That we expect to publish in the incoming Summer Special 2016 In this case, it was inspired on the events of January 6th 1809 (Epiphany Day) when, having lagged the main army column, the paymaster's cart bullocks died and the army's silver was in danger of falling in French hands. General Paget had to retrace back all the way to where the carts were stranded and ordered the money chests to be thrown over the nearby cliff.
The game is played across the longest edge of the table. The table is actually a straight road with several terrain features offering light cover to the units, the number of items randomly calculated and placed. The British stranded cart at a certain distance of its tactical edge based on a die throw; and its deployment point at 12” from the cart. The French enter through their tactical edge, the deployment point located on the road.
The British must empty the cart and throw the money over the cliff. This is accomplished as a task with 16 points (see chapter 10 of the Sharp Practice book) undertaken by a brigade of men under the command  of a level I leader. They can start moving the money from the cart after the 3rd Tiffin card is out.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Sharp Practice: A bridge at Cacabelos

We are currently working on a small campaign based on the retreat to Corunna by Moore forces for Sharp Practice. The campaign rules are not ready yet and Richard Clarke already warned that we should dump away the Chain of Command mentality, as in this period battles are less important than outmanoeuvring your foes in the field. For this reason, the plan is to play four interlinked scenarios instead of a full campaign with the same forces. Eventually (...this is our intention..) the campaign will be published in the Summer Special 2016.
The game today was the action taking place on 3 January 1809, a rearguard defensive battle of the British at the town of Cacabelos in El Bierzo (Leon) area. It is a well known action because the French commander General Colbert was killed by a British rifle marksman called Thomas Plunkett killed at an uncertain distance. There is some confusion about this event, but likely a known impatient Colbert risked too much when reconnoitring the advanced outpost and rifleman Plunkett took his chances... and hit bang on target.

Dashing French Dragoons

Friday, 27 May 2016

The Peninsular War: A New History by Charles Esdaile

As many other wargamers, history is an integral part of my hobby activities. Believe or not, I have neglected the Napoleonic period for a long time and even more the so called (more on this later)  “Peninsular Wars” in the English speaking world, about which I’m a total ignorant despite being Spanish.
The recent publication of Sharp Practice by TooFatLardies is marking an end to this period of ignorance, as my gaming mates have embraced the rules with our renowned Spanish passion… and of course with a view to fight games against the invader of our sacred soil.
The fact is that part of my lack of interest in the Napoleonic period in Spain is the result of my school education. Being a child of the 60s, with Franco still alive and kicking, history was taught always in the key of the Spanish Civil War.
I’ll try to clarify. Script:
·      Spain had always been Spain since the prehistoric ages.
·      The Romans were invaders, The Visigoths, the Moors… all were invaders alien to our immortal soul and culture and all were defeated in due time.
·      The French of course were also invaders and actually a bunch of pre-communist revolutioners and atheists that wanted to destroy our culture.
·      The last attempt to destroy our Spanish soul was the unholy alliance of Marxist-Leninists, Jews and Masons in 1936… thank God, Franco was there and we were free to live as true Spanish since then.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Sharp Practice: The Storm of Cascajales de Alba

The French and British forces in the Iberian Peninsula fought today for the control of Cascajales de Alba, a small poor village in the border with Portugal, but key to the French defensive line in the Tagus valley.

This was Scenario 5 of the Sharp Practice book. The French were on the defensive this time and to win, the British must capture the house with the blue line on the map below. The French had a Regular core force plus 10 support points, invested in a gun with leader level I.