Saturday, April 23, 2016

E-Con Spring 2016 - Part 2 - Jungle Fever

Saturday afternoon at E-Con we played Brothers in War. A new WW2 ruleset currently in playtest by Brent Oman of Piquet Inc. This is the first time the rules have been tested in a Pacific theatre with this much terrain.

Scale - Squad level. Each infantry unit is a squad, each weapon is a single weapon with crew, each vehicle is one vehicle.

Rules - Brothers in War (think Squad Leader, but much easier to play)

Figures - 15mm. From the collection of Eric Burgess

Terrain - By the great Mal Wright! These terrain boards are just amazing to play on.

Originally, I was supposed to have 8 people show up, but as with all wargamers life makes twists and turns, and I only ended up with 4 players and a very large scenario.

This was our first time playing the rules so there was going to be some confusion, but I was going to umpire and provide suggestions and feedback to Brent.

I will provide some commentary to the photos, but mainly they are for your entertainment.


USMC won this battle. We called it after about 4 hours of excellent gaming. Very lopsided card draws. This has been fixed via feedback to Brent.

I placed 4 objective markers on the table for the USMC to take from the Japanese.

Caption for each photos is above the photo

Here you can see Phil placing his Marines on the landing beaches. He need to secure the small mountain in front of him and the ridgeline deep in the jungle across the table. This shows most of the board, except for the town of Garapan, which will be at the bottom of this photo.

This photo gives you a good idea how thick the jungle was in front of Phil. There are Japanese squads placed on the table in this photo. Japanese placed all troops and bunkers on the board. They are very hard to see.

The ridgeline in front of Phil covered with jungle (not to mention Japanese and HMG bunkers)

Two shots of the town of Garapan. This was a USMC objective.

Here is a photo looking down one of the lonely roads leading from Garapan to a small native village.

Japanese SPG waiting for the Marines to come around the big mountain.

Japanese lurking in the tall jungle grass waiting...

Japanese units hidden in the town of Garapan are placed offboard and out of sight of the Americans.

I particularly like this photo showing USMC squads riding the tail of a Sherman for protection. They are moving past the sugar cane factory near the beach. 

Without the red arrow I doubt you would see the Japanese bunker either! The USMC squad at the bottom of this shot was gunned down by a Japanese HMG in the bunker. The Marines then sent that Jap machine gun team to hell.

Looks like squads of the 3rd Platoon, Bravo company moving through some of the "light" terrain in search of Japanese and a way around the back of the large mountain.

Nice shot of the 1st Platoon, Bravo company assaulting Japanese positions in the town of Garapan.

Objective star flipped to blue to indicate US control of the little mountain.

The USMC moved past the small village and into the jungle. Here, the USMC squad assaults a Japanese squad. Japs at the bottom of the photo, while the round bases of the Marines can be seen closer to the village. The close assault range is 5" in this game. The Japs are thrown back with heavy loses.

Sorry for the blurry shot, but this shows a Japanese infantry gun being pulverized by US off board artillery.

Japs drop 150mm Howitzers on the USMC. This failed to cause significant loses. In this case, instead of the battery hitting one unit, each tube drifted to other units in the area.

Parting shot of USMC moving through the market of Garapan and assaulting some Japanese dug in like ticks.


This battle I reduced the number of troops as we only had four players and it was a Wednesday night. I also took out the town of Garapan, so we could focus on a much smaller area. Rough 6' by 4'. The USMC won this battle. Japanese ran out of Morale Points and failed their Morale check.

The Japanese decided to deploy more aggressively in this battle especially taking up positions in the native village. This caused tons of grief for the USMC as they began moving through the village. This aggressiveness also cost the Japanese a lot of Morale Points.

Caption for each photos is above the photo

USMC Players: Brian and Jan
Japanese Players: Phil and Mike

Here you can see Jan doing some initial deployments near the native village. There were a couple objective markers on the board (red or blue painted wooden stars)

Brian's command was closer to the big mountain

Air support will be a factor in this game.

USMC squad walks right up on a Japanese MG bunker. The bunker is under that tall plant smack dab in the middle of the photo.

USMC advances confidently through the village.

Marines close assault the bunker and take it out.

Here you can see the USMC blends pretty good into the terrain

Brian's Marines setup the Pack 75 to suppress any Japanese on the hill.

In the next three photos the Japanese spring an ambush on the Marines! The 22 cal shell casing show which units have fired. If you see a yellow marker that means the unit is suppressed. All hell breaks loose in the village at this point!

USMC took a lot of artillery fire from off board Japanese assets. Brian's troops are suppressed and forced back.

More artillery falls on the Marines. The "2" counter means this unit has lost 2 UI (Unit Integrity). I need to make better markers for that.

Jan drags his 75mm Pack Howitzer up on the small mountain.

Marines moving around the big mountain.

Love these eye level shots.

Great shot of the chaos around the native village. Not sure there will be anything left for the locals after that battle.

Apparently the Japanese like Molsen beer! Good view of the large mountain near the beer bottles. USMC is making their way around the left side of that mountain as the front is not scalable by the Marines.

USMC squad with a flamethrower moves through the native village. 2nd Platoon, Bravo Company.

US Destroyers find and destroy a Japanese squad.

Japanese drop some tubes of a 75mm Off Board battery right on the Americans in the village just after they cleared out that section!

GMC Halftrack with 75mm gun moves around the Japanese flank. This Japanese squad is unloaded and has lost two UI.

You can see the Marines suppressed after the Japanese artillery strike, but they are moving onward.

Japanese retreating through the jungle.

Maybe one of the coolest shots of the Pack 75, US Navy forward observer and Bravo Company commander up on the small mountain calling in off board artillery strikes. They can see most of the board now.

The Japanese dragged their 70mm mountain gun through about 200 yards of jungle only to be blown up by US off board artillery!!!

The last hold out. The Marines had to call in this air support to finish of the last Japanese squad that was clinging to the village.

The village section where the Japs were holed up. The Japanese were completely destroyed and this ended the game as the Japanese ran out of Morale Points.

This was a really fun game! Thanks to all that played!

I sent a lot of feedback back to Brent and he does a great job of listening and not getting offended by someone providing constructive criticism to his rules.

We discussed ...
  • Card Deck composition
  • Snipers
  • Off Board Assets
  • Unit ratings
  • Air Support
  • How bunkers work
  • Flamethrowers
  • etc

He has made a lot of adjustments over the last three weeks and we played two more games, on my other jungle terrain setup. I'll post those results in another post. Thanks for sticking with me if you made it this far!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

E-Con Spring 2016 - Part 1

We had another successful E-Con (Eric's Convention) at my house.

We had a mix of board games and miniature games with a lot of good times.

Each game had 2 to 8 players and we managed to get in seven different games over the weekend.

  • Fief 1429 (4 players game)
  • 1775 (4 player game)
  • French vs Spanish in Spain (Shako II, 15mm figures)
  • Command & Colors Napoleonics (6 players)
  • 1812 (5 players)
  • Jungle Fever (15mm Pacific Theatre)
  • Vendee (For God and for King) - 2 player board game.
I don't have many photos of the board games as they are not much fun to photograph, but do have lots of photos of the two miniature games.

First the board game photos.

With Command & Colors Napoleonics (GMT Games) we setup 3 games side by side with one game of Austrians vs. French, one of Russians vs. French (snow map in the middle from Memoir '44), and Brits\Portuguese vs French. This was light weight wargaming and is a real joy to play.

We didn't get any photos of 1775 or 1812, but these are truly great games from Academy Games. Highly recommended. You can fight the entire American Revolution or the War of 1812 in 2 to 3 hours. Splendid!

On Sunday I played Pour Dieu et pour le Roy from Vae Victus magazine game. I've put the counters on blocks and painted the blocks blue for the Republicans and Red for the Vendeans. This was a learning game for Phil and I, as this game has a lot of unique features (which is needed for the Vendee Revolt). We are both still trying to figure out the best strategies for our respective armies. Very enjoyable game.

We played Fief 1429 first on Friday. We had one player not show up so we were down to 4 players. I think this game needs 5 or 6 players to really get that backstabbing and alliance gratification. With only 4 players, the alliances are too easy and the board is easily carved up.

Friday night we tried Shako II for the first time in our group and had a pretty good time. I have some problems with volley fire vs. skirmishers mechanics, but otherwise they are a solid set of rules. With Division activation there is some randomness to the game. Steven's figure collection is outstanding, with AB Miniatures and his brother is an artist when it comes to painting.

Here are some of the Spanish cavalry that shows off the beauty of these figures.

Spanish Dragoons:

Spanish Hussars:

Scenario: Spanish troops defending a ridgeline with a walled brothel as the main victory location for the French! The Spanish, being outclassed and outnumbered, did everything they could to stop the massive French assault.

My Spanish infantry Division before the game began. They are located to the right of the brothel and in defensive positions on a ridge.

Spanish on the left and the French on the right. This is a good shot of the battlefield. A Spanish militia division is at the bottom of the photo south of the river. They put up a good fight but at least half of them ran without firing a shot.

Me (Eric) kneeling at the table to get a nice view of the battlefield. Jan is standing to my right. He was the left wing Spanish commander.

My division had one grenadier battalion, one regular battalion, and lots of 2nd rate line units. It was going to be a tough day for the Spanish. Good thing the French were not much better that I was facing, except for the Vistula Legion which was bad mamma-jamma!

Spanish Militia hiding in the woods. Next two photos

Charles says "hi" as he leads his French Division against the Spanish Militia in the woods. Nobody can roll ones like Charles!

Ben sent his division straight into my thin Spanish line, but was pretty much halted by the tenacious Spanish infantry. Much to my surprise!

Meanwhile, Charles' division crashes into the militia in the woods. This was a bloody affair with the Spanish artillery doing some serious damage to the French attack columns.

Spanish left flank (The cavalry battle), showing Steven's French Dragoons laying waste to the Spanish cavalry. It was ugly early and often. The Spanish Cavalry Division was broken fairly quickly.

Ben tries again to assault my Spanish, and my Grenadiers give him a lead volley that shatters the assault for a second time.

Here you can see the successful assault of the brothel and the French can now happily continue their campaign in much better spirits! The Spanish will just have to wait for their revenge.

This ends part 1 of my E-Con report. Part two will contain a battle report of the Jungle battle. Here is a teaser photo: