Monday, July 13, 2009

Skirmish '09

One of the local groups here in Dallas runs an annual one-day game day (called Skirmish) at the Plano Convention Center. It's always one of the best days of the year for me, since it's one of the few days I'll get out gaming and there are lots of games to see and gamers to connect up with. This last weekend was Skirmish '09, and I had a blast. I've been wanting to get a game of Might of Arms in for a long time, and was fortunate to get in one standard game and another MoA variant for the ECW on Saturday.

The first game was the Battle of Chalon 451...Romans/Allies vs. Huns/Allies. It was my first MoA game in about 3 years, but was really easy to pick up again. I played Romans with the gamemaster Steve against a Hun duo of Bob and Michael. Both flanks were Germanic allies of each of the two "big-boys" in the match and charged at each other right away. After several turns of brief bowfire and melee my Alannic infantry broke the Gepid line and sent the Hun right wing into chaos. The Roman allied Visigothic cavalry on their right wing didn't have quite the same success, though they made heros of themselves by dealing and absorbing a great deal of punishment forcing half the Hun cavalry from the center of their line to stem their tide. The result was that while the Visigoths were in no condition to continue fighting, the Hun left wing was little better. Meanwhile the Roman center with many units of unblooded infantry began marching towards a very weak Hunnic center. The game was no longer in doubt...A great game with the Romans coming out on top.

Me with the black cap.

The second game was an ECW variant of Might of Arms that Steve and the Thursday Night Irregulars worked up. Originally this game was to be using Clarence Harrison's "Victory Without Quarter" rules, but were apparently difficult to adapt to multiplayer convention format. I was looking forward to trying these rules and the ECW out, but the MoA-ECW adaptation was a nice substitute. The battle was Whaley, 1643. The Parliamentarians were defending a river crossing while the Royalists tried to force their way further into Lancashire. I commanded the Royalist cavalry on the Royalist right wing. In the center was the Royalist infantry and several guns, and on the far left was more cavalry and a fortified house anchoring the left wing. The Parliamentarians were aligned similarly, backs to the river that ran parallel to their lines.

The action started on the Royalist right wing as I drove my cavalry up to the traitor cav and gave them a blast of lead, which was returned and then we charged each other. Two units vs two units and both sides with one in reserve. The cramped parliament line played a key role here as one traitor unit of cavalry could only fight with 2 of its 3 stands vs. my unit of 3 stands...just not enough room on the line between a gun battery and river-bend. The rest of the lines were hesitant to greet one another and so traded cannon shot for a few turns from the center of both lines, with the Royalists taking out the Parliament guns - counterbattery fashion. After knocking out the guns, the Royalist infantry began to advance and the Royalist cav on the leftwing (with dragoons occupying the fortified house advanced as well.

(above) Royalist on the left and my cavalry in melee at the bottom.

Close up of the cavalry melee, a turn or two before the traitors broke and ran. :D Figures all painted by the talented Steve Miller.

About this time, the first round my cavalry melee ended with both opposing cavalry units breaking and routing leaving 1 reserved traitor cavalry unit vs. my 3. This unit charged into my weakest unit to protect the flank from being rolled up. My two leading units were heavily fatigued, but the first unit held while the other turned and charged into the flank of the desperate 3rd cav unit still unblooded in reserve in case either forward unit broke. The center of both lines were now in contact after bloodying each other with musketry, and the cavalry on the other flank were now finally engaged. However, it was going to be the King's day, as the melee went almost all into the Royalists favor. The last parliament cavalry unit opposing me, broke before my own would give way, and two traitor infantry broke the same turn which caused rippling morale effects for the Parliament boys and the day was decided. Another great game.

More pictures of Skirmish '09 can be seen here: (note none of these are my pics)

I would have really liked to play in the Silent Death sci-fi fighter, and the cool looking Dr. Who game, but Skirmish is a one-day only event...maybe next time!!

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