Sergio's blog: hints, ideas, pictures and news about SDS (and more) from the author

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Never give away plastic pieces from boardgames.....
Do you like that?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Sunday at GiocaRoma

Yesterday I went with Andrea to GiocaRoma, a small CON organized in Rome by Ludus Magnus.
I brought "Aye Aye Sir!" and had a couple of very interesting and useful playtest games.
Above and below, the first of the 2 games played. Diego (left) with 4 British ships of the Line against a mixed French-Spanish squadron of 6 ships. After this game I was able to solve a problem I had with the game when the Wind was extremely low.

In the afternoon Diego invited me to play a Drums and Shakos Large Battle game he prepared for the Show (Battle of Hohenlinden, year 1800) and I agreed with pleasure. Playing with an opponent without explaining the rules is something I did not do since months. My French Division was defeated by his Bavarians: in the pic below, Diego doing something that surprises me (according to my face) but unfortunately I do not rememeber.... :-)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

DS LB Battle report

As I promised in my post celebrating the 100.000 page views of this blog, here is an AAR of my last solo DSLB battle.
After a looong time without playing Drums & Shakos Large Battle I decided to set up a battle using the rules for pick up games and the Army lists included in the rulebook. No research this time, just open the boxes of my 15mm Naps and.... play!
 I went for French vs. Russian in 1814: two brigades for the French and 3 smaller Brigades for the Russians plus a Reserve for both.
TURN 1 Above, the Russkie entering the table: a Cavalry brigade (Uhlans and Cossacks, with a Horse battery) and two Infantry Brigades in the foreground. One Brigade passing by a farm, with the Grenadier Brigade following on the bridge. A Reserve Brigade (Cavalry and a Heavy Artillery Battery) is near the CinC on the other (right) side of the river.
 The French entering on the opposite side of the table: 2 Infantry Brigades (1 Elite and 1 Conscripts, in pure "1814 style") and a Reserve made of Cavalry and Artillery. The Conscripts Brigade is in road column, the Elite Brigade is ready to deploy in the middle of the table.
 Another view of the Russian Division, with a close up on the small Grenadier Bde (centre) and the Reserve Brigade with the CinC (left).
 Some play aids: Disorder markers (green, yellow and red cubes) Reaction markers (brown cubes) Proximity rule violation markers (red arrows) measurement sticks, French (blue) and Russian (green) dice and two average dice for the Conscript units Quality rolls.
 TURN 2 The Russians taking position: Infantry wheels right along the road  and Cavalry opens to take possession of the hill.
The French Brigade quickly advancing to deploy (thanks to a couple of Group Orders and 3 actions gained). The Conscript Brigade deploys one Battalion in Attack column (top right).
 TURN 3 Ooops this is really blurred, sorry.... The Russkie cavalry is now on the hill (moving quite slowly as you can tell) and also the Infantry Brigade seems to be sleeping, while the French (below)...
 ...have both Brigades almost fully deployed. The Conscripts mostly in line and the Elite in Attack column. A unit from the French Reserve (Dragoons) is sent by the CinC to help the Elite Brigade, facing an entire enemy Cavalry Brigade on the hill in front.
 TURN 4 After a lot of struggling the Russian Cavalry Commader succeeds in deploying his brigade on the hill with the Horse Arty just between two Uhlan Regiments. Cossacks screen the flanks. The Infantry Brigade deploys in the centre, but its right flank is dangerously "in the air", as the rightmost battalion fails its activation...
On the French side the entire line is now formed, and the CinC sent in another Dragoon regiment from the reserve, to deal with the Uhlans on the hill. An exchange of artillery fire causes the Russian Horse battery a DIS (green cube).
TURN 5  A clash of sabres and lances on the Russian left wing: the French Dragoons charge the Uhlans and destroy them, opening a hole that the Cossacks would be called to close. At the same time the Horse battery manages not to be destroyed by the frontal charge of the other French Dragoon regiment. All along the line the Eagles march forward. The Russian Infantry commander manages to deploy a battalion on the far right but it is already at DIS 3 (red cube) and therefore about to rout.
 TURN 6 French Dragoons charge again the Horse Battery, this time destroying it. They are both quite spent now (DIS 2, yellow cube) while the remaining Uhlans and the  regiments of Cossacks are still unscathed. In the Centre, the Elite French brigade moves forward pushed by its Elan and sends a Russian line battalion back with losses. In the very centre, a terrible exchange of artillery fire sees the Russian battery taking damage, while on the far right of the Russian line the crumbling battalion of the prevoious turn is routed. The Russian CinC commits the whole Reserve and prepares the Grenadier brigade to enter the fray.
 TURN 7 Disorder and casualties mount as you can see from the yellow cubes on the table. The French push forward, breaking the Russian first line in dfferent points, but the Russian General manages to build a very strong second line, forming a Grand Battery just outside the Farm wall. The Russian Cavalry brigade reforms downhill, while the Grenadier brigade opens up to cover as much ground as possible, and the Russian Cuirassier Regiment, sent from the Reserve breaks a French Elite battalion in the centre.
TURN 8 French Dragoons are exhausted (DIS 3) and have to withdraw, leaving the wise Russian cavalry Leader in command of the hill. The Grand Battery fires routing another French Elite battalion in the centre. Both sides reach their breakpoint, but the French Division has gained more ground, being in Russian zone 2 with two units in command and with less than 3 DIS. Therefore the game ends with a French marginal victory, but it was very close....

Friday, June 7, 2013

More pics of 1:2400 ships

I've been requested to post more pictures of my 1:2400 Napoleonic Ships, and here they are.
 The full (for the moment) French fleet: from left to right a 120 Guns, four 74 Guns. Just in front a 24 Gun Frigate and a 40 Guns.
The same pic, seen from above.
My British fleet: from top left a 100 Gun, four 74 Guns and a 40 Guns Frigate.
And finally, the Spanish fleet. A 100 Guns, and four 74 Guns. The Santisima Trinidad (130 Guns) will follow ... soon.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Painting 1:4800 ships

First experiment at 1:4800 napoleonic ships from Tumbling Dice. I bought them 2 years ago at Colors in Newbury and then forgot to have them.
 These are all 1st Class ships from the "Trafalgar Pack" and (as I did for the 1:2400) I painted them with yellow, red and pale sand sides. Even if they are quite small, there is some detail helping you in paiting them.
Next batch will be a dozen 74 guns. In my mind this scale could be OK for playing fleet actions (i.e. big naval battles) with my new rules.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Fresh breeze from the South West..

Last thursday night was the Premiere of my new Age of Sail game: 6 friends came to play and I organised a simple scenario giving them one ship of the Line each. In about two hours I explained the rules, we played and we got a clear final result. They all enjoyed the game, and play proceeded smoothly after the first couple of turns. I was so busy taking notes and explaining that I did not take any picture of the game. At the end we had a brief exchange of thoughts, and they made some suggestions that I'll follow, regarding Crew grading and boarding actions.
So yesterday I wanted to test these modification myself and put up an engagement between a Franco-Spanish and a blockading British squadrons.
Miniatures are 1:2400 Hallmark (painted by me), sea-mat from Magister Militum.
The Allied squadron (top right of the above pic): three French and two Spanish ships.
L'Orient (120 guns), Guerrier and Conquerant (74), San Justo and San Leandro (74).
 A close up on the British squadron: Britannia (100 guns, left), Mars (74 guns, right, leading the formation). Orion (74) and the "small" Chesterfield (40) follow.
Some play aids: the ships' Logs with allocated crews and the wind star (top right) indicating wind from South East, 6 strong. Some ships have already sustained some damage, as you can tell from the Damage die on the bottom right corner of a couple of the Logs.
 A close-up on the Log of French ship L'Orient, a Large one (120 guns). The French squadron Commander is on board, as you can tell from the Flag on the top left corner of the Log.
 A sudden wind change and the British squadron, seizing the initiative in perfect Line formation, passes behind  the Allied squadron, using all its firepower to damage the Spanish ships San Justo and San Leandro. The latter will also catch fire and abandon the fight for a while. After few turns however, L'Orient successfully boarded and captured the Orion while the Chesterfield - heavily damaged - was forced to flee.
Not bad, for a game that has no name yet....