fireandfury.com We design wargames for historical military miniatures

HISTORICON 2012

Historicon was at a new venue in Fredericksburg, having been bounced from Lancaster first to a convention center in Valley Forge (which then changed into a gambling casino) and to Fredericksburg. The Fredericksburg facility had both positives and negatives. The main gaming hall was spacious and at least as well lighted as Lancaster's Distelfink, and there were several other rooms as well. It was a very nice area for gaming. However, the hotels were not within convenient walking distance and the food on-site was marginal. This was mitigated by a nearby shopping area and a Wegman's grocery store with an excellent buffets. Overall, it was a good place to hold a convention and Historicon may have found a new home.

Our products were well represented at the convention, with lots of Regimental Fire and Fury and Battlefront. The original Fire and Fury still has a substantial following as well. I spent a lot of time playing this time (as well as whining about dice rolls - sorry Mike), so I did not get photos of everything. For those whom I missed, I apologize.

Elkhorn Tavern/Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove

These two RFF games were put on by Paul Olzanski. I dropped by to get a few pics of his attractive setup.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Elkhorn Tavern 1
Elkhorn Tavern 1
Elkhorn Tavern 1
Elkhorn Tavern 2
Elkhorn Tavern 2
Elkhorn Tavern 2
Elkhorn Tavern 3
Elkhorn Tavern 3
Elkhorn Tavern 3
Prairie Grove 1
Prairie Grove 1
Prairie Grove 1
Prairie Grove 2
Prairie Grove 2
Prairie Grove 2
Prairie Grove 3
Prairie Grove 3
Prairie Grove 3
Prairie Grove 4
Prairie Grove 4
Prairie Grove 4

Bladensburg - RFF 1812

The Battle of Bladensburg, which occurred in the War of 1812 when the British burned Washington DC, is a scenario that Rich Hasenauer has been playtesting over several conventions. The basic scenario pits some very good, but outnumbered, British troops against successive lines of American defenders. I started taking pictures here when the British were hitting one of the rear lines. While I have no game narrative, the pics give a good idea of the scope of the battle.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Bladensburg Picture 1
Bladensburg Picture 1
Having disposed of the U.S. first line, the British advance.
Bladensburg Picture 2
Bladensburg Picture 2
The American Line.
Bladensburg Picture 3
Bladensburg Picture 3
The British Attack.
Bladensburg Picture 4
Bladensburg Picture 4
British attack all along the line.

Bir El Gubi - Mike Sincavage

Mike Sincavage put on several Battlefront:WW2 games. This one had a British armored charge against the Italian Ariete division in the Western Desert. With the exception of their close support vehicles, the British tanks have minimal abilities against soft targets other than close assault. Some infantry show up late in the scenario, but for the first few turns, the British tanks are up against dug-in infantry, and their only way to attack was to close assault. We played this twice. In the first game the British sufferered a devastating defeat. Their close assaults resulted in several ties (exchanging a tank for an Italian Infantry), and then one of their companies decided to run away. Then 3 heavy AT guns (actually remounted naval guns) appeared at relatively close range to finish the debacle. The second game was much more even. The basic British plan was the same, but the close-assault tanks were used to cover the approach and suppress heavy Italian guns. At the end of the game, British infantry was assaulting the Italian entrenchments at one end, while the tanks were slowly bashing their way through the defences at the other end. However, time was running out. An interesting but frustrating scenario.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Italian Starting Positions
Italian Starting Positions
The Italians were set up in a line across the board. The right of the Italian Position, shown here, was dug-in, while the left had only improved positions.
End of the First Game
End of the First Game
With two of the British tank MEs embroiled with the Italian infantry (the third had run away and was regrouping), the heavy guns appear. As the scenario victory conditions are for the British to clear the Italian infantry position, and they will have difficulty even surviving, we went back to the start.
The Second Game
The Second Game
The second game started with the same basic plan, an attack on the Italian left, but the close support tanks were kept back and immediately engaged the big Italian guns. This is several turns in where the British have essentially cleared the left, but Italian M13/40 tanks from Ariete appear. Don't snicker, because the Crusaders aren't much better, and the Italians only have to defend.
Face-Off
Face-off
The Italian left and one of the British tank MEs stare at each other. The British tanks are not well suited for digging entrenched infantry out of positions, especially when there are guns in support.
Ariete to the rescue
Ariete to the rescue
Italian Tanks move up.
Dual Tasking
Dual Tasking
British tanks grind away at the trenches while keeping a wary eye on the Italian Tanks.
More Italians
More Italians
Another ME of Italians appears. Fortunately, they were M13/40s.
Charge!
Charge!
The British left flank charges and overruns the Italian trenches, but takes losses and doesn't inflict many casualties. However, just behind them is an ME of British infantry (mounted in trucks), the will actually be able to follow up.

Another Bill Grey spectacular-Battles of Chiari

Bill has done official conversion of the original F&F brigade system for the Napoleonic (Age of Eagles), Lace Wars (Age of Honor), and is now working on the second half of the 19th century in Europe (Age of Valor). His games are usually big and visually impressive. At Historicon 2012, he did two battles set over the same terrain and I managed to get photos of the second one. This game featured the French and Austrians fighting in Italy in 1859. While I don't have a complete narrative, I can give a good idea of what happened. The French were on the attack against a dug-in Austrian force. Their attack did not go particularly well, and the Austrians were able to launch a massive counterattack.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Austrians Entreched
Austrians Entrenched
The Austrian left Flank was anchored by a well foritified town.
Looking down the line
Looking down the line
Looking down the Austrian Line from their left. The French can be seen at the left of the table. The Austrians had outposts in the towns in front of their main line which did an heroic job of slowing down the French offensives.
Austrian Reinforcements
Austrian Reinforcements
Austrian reinforcements come in from behind the left flank.
Austrian Center
Austrian Center
The center of the Austrian line faces down the French. Some of the Jaeger troops can be seen near the villages.
French Left vs Austrian Right
French Left vs Austrian Right
The French Left approaches over a Bridge.
French Line of Battle
French Line of Battle
The French Main Body.
From the French Left
From the French Left
Looking at the battle from the behind the French lines. The pesky Austrian outposts can be seen defending the town.
Several turns In
Several turns In
The Austrian reinforcements approach while the French fight for the towns.
Cavalry Melee
Cavalry Melee
One end of the table turned into a back-and-forth cavalry battle between about evenly matched forces, with artillery battering the disordered winners.
Flank Face off
Flank Face off
The cavalry face off went back and forth for several turns.

Not Men, But Demons - Michael Montemarano's Game of the French Foreign Legion in Mexico

The Fire and Fury Games group has been around for several decades, and one of our longest lasting members is Michael Montemarano. He specializes in beautiful scratch-built buildings, which give all of his games a unique flavor. This game used a very simple set of skirmish rules, and the quick play led to an exciting contest that he put on several times over the course of the convention. To set the scene, a small force (49 men) of the French Foreign Legion were trapped in an abandoned hacienda at Camerone during Maximillian's ill-fated Mexican adventure in the mid-1800s. The were surrounded by about 2000 Mexican troops but successfully defended their position throughout a long, hot afternonn, finally surrendering when they ran out of ammunition. When the Mexican commander found that he had been held off by a force outnumbered 20:1, he said that they "were not men, but demons". While I don't have a narrative of the game, the pictures give a flavor of Michael's beautiful buildings.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
At the Gates
At the Gates
The FFL troops are gathered outside the gates when hordes of Mexicans come from every direction.
Another Angle
Another Angle
Another angle of the game start. One of the interesting things about the skirmish rules is that all the junk lying about the courtyard actually was used during the play of the game, as the defenders could build barricades and the attackers knock them down.
Yet Another Angle
Yet Another Angle
This view shows the inner courtyard face of Michael's hacienda.
Defending the barricades
Defending the barricades
Later in the game, the FFL troops have used the junk to build several barricades at the gates and in a gap in the walls. Fighting rages.
Defending the barricades2
Defending the barricades 2
Similar fighting occurred in a replay of the game later in the convention.

Brawner's Farm

This is one of the scenarios in our upcoming scenario book. I was playing the Union artillery and right flank, and was out of the main action (perhaps just as well. We on the Union side gave a classic demonstration of how NOT to play this scenario, so people may want to take notes. For those not familiar with the action, the Iron Brigade encountered the Stonewall Brigade late in the afternoon of 28AUG1862, as part of the Second Bull Run campaign. The Stonewall Brigade was backed up by a large Confederate force and as night fell, the historical result was a bloody draw. In the scenario, the critical area is the large field in the center of the table. The Union must attempt to hold this field by the end of the game.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
At the Start
At the Start
A view from behind the Union right Flank. The 4 big regiments of the Iron Brigade confront a small but excellent Confederate force. The objective field is in the center. There is another battery of Union Artillery just off the bottom of the picture. On the very first turn of the game, I (commanding the Union artillery), rolled a 10 against the Stonewall Brigade, inflicting heavy casualties. In retrospect, this was actually bad, because the Union left flank commander thought that he could smash the Stonewall Brigade quickly and attacked.
At the Start 2
At the Start 2
A view from behind the Union left Flank.
At the Start 3
At the Start 3
From behind the Union Position, center left.
At the Start 4
At the Start 3
From behind the Union Position, center right.
Confederate Reinforcements
Confederate Reinforcements
The first of (MANY!) Confederates arrive.
Yet More
Yet More
More Confederates. Note the gap between the Union Regiments. Each will be fighting a separate battle against massive odds.
Attack succeeded, but...
Attack succeeded, but...
The left flank Union regiment managed to savage the Stonewall Brigade, but now finds itself the subject of large numbers of Confederate guns and is completely out of position to stop the waves of Confederates heading up the middle.
Union Right Flank
Union Right Flank
The right flank Union regiment takes a position in some covered ground to confront a Brigade coming its way. Note the center of the position, where one Union Regiment is confronted by an entire brigade of confederates.
Waves of Confederates
Waves of Confederates
The Union center is in jeopardy.
Center Breaks
Center Breaks
The Union regiment routs under the combined assault of a Confederate brigade. It runs for the edge of the table, leaving a gaping hole that can be filled only by some Union troops which are just trained as opposed to the veteran Iron Brigade.
Right Flank Falls Back
Right Flank Falls Back
The Union regiment on the right falls back under pressure to the gun line (off the picture just to the rear). Night was falling, which restricted the maximum visibility, so the Union artillery, which was inflicting casualties and delay across the battlefield, is rapidly becoming ineffective.
Rolling up the Line
Rolling up the Line
Having sent their immediate opponents running to the rear, the Confederates in the center execute a right turn into the flank of the remaining Union defenders.
The End
The End
The Union Left flank finds itself surrounded and outnumbered.
This is a tough scenario for the Union player, but the way we played made it much easier for the Confederates. Our first turn's successful artillery fire should have been an opportunity to retreat without pressure instead of moving up. By attacking and defending forward, the Union allowed the Confederates to defeat each defending regiment in detail, and bring maximum force into play early, before night fell and made movement and combat difficult. Both sides' artillery is severely restricted, both by the night rules and scenario rules that prevent forward movement. By moving up, the Union allowed the Confederate guns to blast away at close range. It is essential that the Union regiments act together and give mutual support. While the field is a critical terrain objective, it is only necessary to have one regiment in it. Defending to the rear of the field and forming a solid defence line would reduce the effect of the Confederate guns, and force the Confederates to move across the field of fire of the Union batteries before night fell and made them ineffective.

Top of page

Home Page


Site Link List (for Javascript/CSS disabled browsers)