Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hotlead convention game

Bob and I decided that our contribution to Stratford Ontario's Hotlead gaming convention would be to put on a large scale Lundy's Lane game. This would follow the War of 1812 theme of the convention. To add to the 'WOW!' factor we'd use a ratio of 1 figure = 5 men. Bob supplied the figures and since Bob is a human painting machine he had enough figures to even do the battle on a 1 to 1 ratio! Can we? We figured we'd need a 25' wide table and I wasn't prepared to make all that terrain so we kept it at 1 to 5. The figure size was 15mm.
Our test game. The hill was on it's last legs.
For our test game back at my house we used our original hill terrain from a game we did about 10 years back. The Styrofoam flocked hill was in poor shape. The flocking was coming off and the edges of the hill were chipping away. To transport this one large piece to a convention would be a nightmare. We had to make a new hill.
A 6' x 10' table for our setup. Our new terrain at the convention.

I made the new hill out of Styrofoam again but in 3 easier to transport pieces. I also decided not to flock it. I hate flocking! This time the hill is taller to really show the Lundy's Lane heights.We also decided we didn't need tons of trees as per our test game. We used some historical maps as a terrain reference and we noticed the fighting zones of the battle were not wooded except the eastern edge. To further increase the portability of my terrain I decided to use for the first time my new woods terrain. You can see in the photo above they are pine trees with magnets glued on their based in a recessed hole. The base stands are painted pieces of sheet metal. I'll do a report later on the details of this tree project.
The game starts. Scott's bridge approaches the hill.
We had 3 players for each side. The opening moves are on the US side with Scott's bridge approaching the hill. The British force on the hill, Pearson's light brigade and Morrison's force send out a cavalry squadron to see if Scott's artillery hugging the trees is worth an charge. They stayed too far out and 2 of Scott's regiments got close enough to fire some deadly volleys into them. The cavalry suffered heavy losses and routed. They never make an appearance again.
Scott's brigade presses forward.
Because of the deadly British battery on the hill top the US forces never go near the center. Scott's brigade concentrates on rolling up the British left flank.
As the game progresses the British decide to occupy the front center of the hill.
The British players decide that to alleviate pressure on their left they'll move a few regiments down the hill in the unoccupied center.
As a routed Canadian militia regiment (IMUC) leaves the field, Scott's brigade reforms.
The Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada breaks and runs. Now Scott's brigade has to contend with Hercules Scott's brigade coming up the other other side of the hill.
The last US brigade arrives on the field.
Porter's brigade finally arrives on the field. The US side decides to deploy them on the British right. Hopefully this will take pressure off Scott's brigade on the opposite side of the field. Against them are part of Morrison's force (Glengarry Light Infantry) and some embodied militia units.
Porter's brigade advances.
Now one would think that Porter's fresh brigade would easily push back the militia in front of them. Porter's first regiment actually has a poor moral check and ends up routing throwing the whole line into disarray. At this point after gaming for 4 hours and 13 turns of a nail bitter game we called it over. We agreed it was a British / Canadian victory with heavy casualties on both sides. Actually quite like the historical outcome.
The rules we used where home grown and worked very well except one melee that had a cavalry charge on a routed unit being a failure resulting in the cavalry unit routing! I'll have to work on that.

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