Thursday, December 25, 2014

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Ambler Goes to West Point, 2014

 I have been having fun with the Ambler Gamers for almost two years now. One of the things that makes the club special is their annual pilgrimage to the USMA at West Point in order to host a miniatures game for the Military History faculty and their students.  We went up yesterday and had a great time, depspite the rain, grey skies, and chilly weather.

The Military History Library, where we are based. This is in the basement of Thayer Hall, the former stables of USMA.  I could spend a whole day just drooling over the spines of the books in this collection.

This case was a small exhibit of artifacts saved by a former POW in Vietnam.  What made the exhibit really special was the selection of audio recordings which connected the artifacts to an oral history.

The table when it was still 100% untapped potential. Joe and Scott start to lay out roads and streams for what will be a gigantic Napoleonic battlefield.  On the left, Olivia sets out snacks for the hungry and appreciative cadets.

We add terrain.  The table was sturdy. It would need to be, considering the lead it would soon have to support.

There we go.  French and their allies on the right. Russians, Austrians, and Prussians on the far side.

Steve Turn ran a War of the Roses game.  Looked like a cool system where players had to plot the tactical dispositions of each unit as they entered combat.

My kingdom for a horse!  Seriously, there was no cavalry in this battle. :)

English vs. English means lots of longbows.

Steve Pilch brought the ever-fun King of Tokyo.


I love the West Point military atlas series.  Some of the original maps were mounted on the walls.

After lunch at Grant Hall, we headed back to Thayer.  A good day to be inside playing with toys.

And now the eye candy portion of our report...

Scott's Austrian cavalry for the win.

Mark brought a uber-cool windmill.

I can't imagine a Napoleonic field without Bavarians.  Who else would bring the pretzels?

Prof. John Stapleton, our host, talks some pre-battle smack with fellow professor Maj. Rick Anderson.

My, that's a lot of little men...

Mark lays out the premise.  "Go that way. Shoot. Charge. If you feel the urge to maneuver, ignore it and plow ahead."

The armies creep forward.  Many brigades had a hard time getting the move on.  The cadets at my end of the table wisely waited for an opening before rushing forward, a sharp contrast to the other end of the table.

Joe cackles as the commanders realize that the narrow table means that they begin the game in charge range.

Steve Turn prefers a laid-back approach to umpiring.

Bruce offers sound advice to the Yorkist commanders.

And Tokyo gets stomped. Again.

The Russians were to prove a juggernaut who practically won the battle by themselves.


And here is how melees work. Learn these rules well. You'll need them.

Merde! We're losing!

Behold the bear!

Squares can be so inconvenient.

The Guard gets their act together.

The Austrian/Guard scrum in the center of the table.

Does cavalry get a depth advantage?