I still haven't managed to get back to painting, but I have in the last few days managed to get in some games. Both times I thought I'd put my camera in my bag, but discovered I hadn't.
On Thursday Simon and I played a rather large game of Full Thrust - roughly 4000 points of ships each. That equates to the Mega Fleets from GZG - a few capital ships, a bunch of cruisers and a small flotilla of escort ships. Simon had his NSL; I finally got my NAC out for a game.
Simon had split his fleet into 3 squadrons. His SDN squadron was coming in from one corner, the other 2 squadrons were coming in from the other corner, so were effectively 2 squadrons. I split my fleet into 2 squadrons as well. My main squadron had the capital ships plus the heavy and escort cruisers. The other squadron had 2 light cruisers, 2 destroyers, 2 frigates, 3 corvettes and 3 scouts.
My capital ship squadron decided to take on his SDN squadron, while my escort squadron acted as a sacrificial delaying/distraction
My plan worked out quite nicely, or rather it would have done if we'd been able to play the game out to a conclusion. Unfortunately we only managed to play out 3 turns due to the combined effects of having so many ships on the table and Simon having to field calls from a project team at work.
However the probable result was quite clear at this point. His SDN squadron was just about to die gloriously with my capital squadron being largely intact. The remainder of his fleet would take several turns to be in a position to take on my capitals, by which time I'd have got myself into positions where I could take advantage of their reduced firing arcs by getting behind them. Admittedly I had lost all of my
It was definitely interesting to compare the pros and cons of the 2 fleets. The NSL are able to put out a lot of firepower and can take a lot of damage thanks to their armour and strong hulls. The NAC can also put out a lot of firepower, perhaps not as much as the NSL. The screens on everything cruiser class or above helps to offset the fact that they have less armour and slightly weaker hulls. Speed and agility are the other major difference between the fleets. The NAC have a higher thrust rating which makes them more agile (more rapid acceleration/deceleration; can turn through tighter arcs [in Full Thrust, ships can use up to half their thrust points for turning, with each point of thrust so used giving a 30 degree turn]).
Sunday saw another big game of FoG run by Gordon. This month's battle was Brunanburgh, which saw the Saxon armies of Mercia and Wessex take on the combined might of the King of Dublin with his allies the Kings of Strathclyde and of Alba. This game saw us using Gordon's rather impressive collection of 25/28mm figures, some of which hadn't been played for over 30 years.
You may recall that during the Analogue Painting Challenge I submitted a figure of Egil Skalagrimsson? Well he was there at the battle. The man, not the figure! At the time he was in the employ of Aethelred of Wessex.
I ended up taking the role of Constantine, King of Alba on the left wing of our army. Our initial plan was for me to sweep out onto the right flank of the Wessex army. However, when we got back into the room we saw that they had deployed a substantial reserve force on that end of the table, so my plan went out of the window. A quick discussion determined that I would instead just try to delay them enough to expose the right flank of the Wessex force for the Strathclyde Scots to exploit. Unfortunately Constantine took some tactical advice from Owain of Strathclyde. This entailed various manoeuvres which delayed my troops getting into action. When they did get into combat, they didn't fare too well. Mind you, it seemed to go very badly for the whole of our army and we were very close to being routed by lunchtime. Most of the losses were to the Scots and Irish troops. Rather than finish the day early, we decided to call the result as a massive victory for the Saxons and play the battle again after lunch.
For the second battle we cut down the number of troops on each side, with the two overall commanders pruning their lists according to some formula they had agreed. This battle went much the same way, with the Saxons wiping out almost all the Irish, the Viking mercenaries and a large proportion of the Strathclyde Scots. My Alban Scots were actually faring quite well and were getting close to taking the Wessex army's flank and rear.
All in all it was a good day of gaming, accompanied as always by excellent food from Gordon. Whilst I'm not sure that FoG are the best rules for recreating this type of warfare, Gordon's special rules did a good job of compensating by trying to force shield walls to stay solid - units with exposed flanks suffered an additional minus per exposed flank on cohesion tests and if they failed would suffer a double drop (eg from steady to fragmented rather than the normal steady to disrupted).
Another special rule was that commanders who were attached to units in combat had to fight in the front line. That meant they wouldn't be available to rally other units until their combat was over. We also had a handful of warlords who acted as generals only for the specific unit they were attached to.