Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Bumping Into The Enemy

After my post of yesterday helped break my wargaming ennui, I set up a very simple Encounter type action on my 2' x 2' board, with 'Honours of War' as the rules of choice for 18thC gaming. I decided to use my recently re-flagged AWI Imagi-Nations units rather than the MDF figures, just to give them a run out on the table and to inspire me to paint up the British opponents for them.

As before, I used the Austrian stats from HoW and made the Generals Dependable. I wanted to keep things pretty simple for my first game in a while, just to get back into the swing of things. Both sides had identical forces, again to keep it simple and would deploy from column of march. The objective would be simply to defeat the enemy force.

Both sides would arrive via a corner on the road, with the lead units about a full move onto the table. The forces of Prusskia would arrive via the top table corner, those of Ruthenia via the bottom one.
An overview of the table.

The Ruthenian troops led by their Cavalry and the Light Infantry.

The Prusskian forces likewise led.
Opening Moves
The Prusskian troops got the better of the opening moves, as the Ruthenian troops rolled a Poor command roll and so could not advance towards the enemy. Despite this the Ruthenian Light Infantry were able to get the opening shots of the engagement in.

The end of Turn 1.

The Ruthenian troops advance in column of march, as do the Prusskians.

The Ruthenian Light Infantry move ont the hill to cover the left flank.

The Prusskian Light Infantry move towards the farmhouse, as the Cavalry and Line Infantry move off to the right flank.

The end of Turn 2.

Both sides begin to deploy and the Ruthenian Light Infantry shoot at the Prusskian Cavalry (top left and centre).
Middle Game
Again the Prusskian Line Infantry manouevred more quickly and effectively than the Ruthenians, who once again had a Poor command roll. Both sides began to shoot at each other, with the Prusskians gaining the upper hand overall. The Ruthenian Cavalry charged and were met by a Counter Charge from the Prusskian Cavalry, with both sides causing terrible damage, but the Prusskian Cavalry were Routed, largely due to the hit they had from a previous Turn and the Ruthenian Cavalry had to retreat to Reform.

The end of Turn 3.

The Ruthenian Line Infantry take hits from the Prusskian Light Infantry in the cornfield.

The Cavalry clash sees the Prusskian Cavalry forced to Rout off the field and the Ruthenian Cavalry to Reform in the rear.

The end of Turn 4.

A Ruthenian Line Infantry unit forced to retreat and Reform due to the effective shooting from the Prusskian Light Infantry.

The Prusskian Light and Line Infantry in a good position, but are staring down the barrel of an artillery gun.
End Game
As both sides began to settle down to exchange fire, the Ruthenian Line infantry managed to get an Admirable command roll and so were able to close up with the Prusskian lines. Crucially the Ruthenians won the Shooting Initiative, which stood them in good stead, as they were able to Rout two Prusskian Line Infantry and just avoided the same happening to their own troops.

The end of Turn 5.

The Ruthenian Line Infantry rout their opposite numbers (middle left).

The Ruthenian Light Infantry just get the better of the Prusskian Line Infantry.

The end of Turn 6.

The ragged Ruthenian line manages to hold, but importantly breaks another Prusskian Line Infantry unit (top left).

The broken Prusskian Line Infantry unit (top middle) and the Ruthenian Line Infantry and Artillery just avoid having to retreat to Reform.

At least the Prusskian Line Infantry get the better of the Ruthenian Light Infantry, who will have to retreat and Reform.

End of Game
At this point the Prusskians, having lost two Line Infantry units and their Cavalry, were in no position to hold off the Ruthenians, who were too battered to be able to offer up a pursuit.

Post Game Thoughts
Well that was just the right sort of game to get me back into the swing of things and I really enjoyed myself. As always a few thoughts on how the game went etc:
  • I managed to set the game up the night before, which I find works best as everything is ready to go and I can look at the table with fresh eyes and tweak things if I think they are wrong. This is much better than setting things up in a rush on the day or evening as it were.
  • The game was nice and quick and could have gone either way. The Ruthenians probably won because at crucial times the won the Shooting Initiative and so they were able to knock out the opposition before they could respond. Their shooting was also slightly more effective and neither sides artillery covered themselves with glory, barely making the most of being in canister range! 
  • The small amount of troops worked a treat and is of similar size to the introductory scenario in the rulebook. 
  • Again the 2' x 2' table worked perfectly and allowed me to get them game in on the dining table without disrupting other members of the family too much. A bigger game does have an impact and currently this is not an option due to some home working requirements.
  • The Honours of War rules worked a treat as always and I look forward to giving them another run out soon, maybe with some additional unit stats to add a bit of variety.

Having used Honours of War, I fancy trying the same table, scenario and forces but with Rebels & Patriots. Hopefully time will permit in the next few days and I certainly am up for the game. So until next time keep safe!


  1. Steve, nice game, coming on at opposing corners opens up the game nicely. The 2x2 is an ideal space for doing a previous set-up and putting to one side until ready to play. Look forwards to a R&P game, these rules are getting a lot of blog coverage at the moment and look to be a major triumph for Osprey.

    1. Thanks Norm and the 2' x 2' board is so easy to move around, meaning I can just shift it to one side until required. R&P is really the culmination of the games that came before, so has been able to make the most of the lessons learnt.

  2. Hi,
    Your figures look pretty nice! Are they 28mm or 15mm? Back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, there would have been no such question, as the 15mm figures available to us old geezers were REALLY crude; e.g., muskets were a straight stick!
    Chris Johnson

    1. Thankyou Chris! The figures are 10mm and from Pendraken's AWI range, sculpted by Clibinarium. We are indeed spoilt for choice compared to when I started in the early 1970's where the sculpting was basic on most miniatures.

    2. Good Lord, 10mm???! That's incredible! I inherited a number of Scruby N-gauge AWI figures (actually closer to 10/12mm) awhile back. They're all painted, but I have AWI figures in larger scales, so these have not seen action. I'm now tempted to chuck the militia and woodsmen, and fill in the blanks with regular troops to make 2 European armies. Thanks a whole lot for making me think of yet another project! :)

  3. HoW is a great way to shake off the gaming doldrums. I enjoyed your pocket battle report. So much fun in such a small space. If the government knew, it would want to tax it.

    1. Thanks Jonathan and you tax comment made me chuckle. Maybe I should change my address to the Cayman Islands just in case... ;)

  4. That worked well. I need to take a leaf out of your book and just use a small part of the dining table.

    I didn't immediately catch on that the figures were 10mm Pendrakens. Despite having some of the self-same models. Excellent stuff. My wife would approve of the first Ruthenian battalion's flag.

    1. Thankyou and I've left the board out for another game and it takes up less than half the dingin table, which is great. I should remember to do this more often!

      The Pendraken figures are wonderful and so nice to paint. I was going to call the lead Ruthenian unit the Finnish battalion, but that would have meant coming up with names for the others. I think in my head it will always be that and maybe I should move my Imagi-Nation countries more towards the Baltic:)

    2. Well, they are Finished, after all!

  5. Hello Steve

    Glad to see you got enough of your mojo to play a game. I must admit I rarely set up my games and play. It may take days or weeks of elapsed time to work out the scenario, then setup over 2-3 days and lastly may not start playing for up to a week (rarely months) later. It helps to have map drawers to store the games in :-) But it does mean I can manage a game a fortnight or so!

    And as you say, your game seemed like a perfect outing after time away.

    1. Thanks Shaun. My plan is to have some dedicated storage in the dining room, but Covid restrictions have put plans on hold for the foreseeable future. I too normally plan things out in advance, with my ideas stored in a small briefcase, that is handy to carry around the house.

      The game was a perfect kickstarter for more games and another one planned today, probably after a nice brisk walk!

  6. Nice report Steve. Small games are a great way to get things going. I've played quite a few kitchen table and smaller sized games this past year and it's great to be able to get more games in. I've not the space to set them up in advance, but even so can usually set up, play and tear down in a couple of hours easily enough.

    1. Thanks Matthew:). Small games are perfect as even at home with my wife furloughed, trying to accomodate family requirements means bigger games are hard to set up and enjoy. Still I have on or two planned so need to earn some Brownie points;)

    2. Haha good luck! My wife and I are both working from home, and we've been in the process of moving house for the past five months, so space is quite limited. Hopefully once we finally get to the new house I'll have a bit more space and time. It even has a garage, I'll be able to set up my big (well standard wargaming size) tables! :O

    3. Good luck with the house move! I remember our first move took an eternity and in the end we unpacked a lot of stuff as it was taking so long. Then I had little games stuff so I was able to play now and then at a club.

  7. Looks great Steve, nice to see such a good game based on a small table.

    1. Thanks Stu and small works well if there are no other options, like at present:)

  8. Great report. Thank you for that. Looks ace.

  9. Lovely game!
    Eager to see more of your games with HoW rules!

    1. Thanks and I hope to be able to oblige with more games in the near future:)

  10. I enjoyed the pictures and write up a lot, Steve. Your 10's look very nice!

    1. Thanks and gald you enjoyed the write up:)