Miniatures battles lend themselves to storytelling. Write up your battles and post the reports. Give the pertinent information as to the scenario, key moves, and results. You can be matter of fact or go novelist! Let's spread the fun of playing miniatures. It's also a great way for people to learn how to develop scenarios! I'm including A Nation Divided and two orders of battle. A Nation Divided is a set of American Civil War rules at a brigade level that can be played with 6mm, HO, or even 54mm scale troops. The rules are based on La Gloire de Guerre from my book, The Games of War. The orders of battle are for the Armies of Noethern Virginia and the Potomac.

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To get the ball rolling, I'll post some of the games I've posted on Boardgamegeek.com.
The Evacuation of Crete – May 31st, 1941.
Played after school on December 5, 2008. John Bobek the judge. Chris, Pat, and Kyle the British players. Dan, Charles, Charlie, and Dennis the Italian/German players.
The British had 20 merchantman loading up with British soldiers. At their disposal were 2 battleships (Rodney and Nelson), 4 heavy cruisers (CA), 3 light cruisers (CL), 11 destroyers (DD), and 2 submarines (SS).
The Italians challenged the evacuation with 3 battleships (Conte Di Cavour, Andrea Doria, and Giulio Cesare), 2 heavy cruisers, 4 light cruisers, and 13 destroyers. The Italians had 2 submarines available for this operation but they apparently missed their orders and weren’t on station (the inexperience of first time players). The Italians had air searches available and the possibility of air strikes.
At noon on May 31st, the CA Zara steaming on a southeast course under the command of Capt. Charlie, with an escort of 2 destroyers, came under submarine attack by Capt. Patrick on HMS Tribune. The Zara sustained a torpedo hit which reduced its speed by half. The destroyers were unable to harm the Tribune, and the Italians retired back to a friendly port. The encounter took place near the isle of Nisos Sirna, about latitude 35 degrees 50’ North, and longitude 26 degrees 40’ East.
At 4 that afternoon, 24 Stukas led by Hauptmann Charles of the Luftwaffe, struck the British at the port of Mirtos on southern Crete. The merchantmen were loading British troops. One merchantman was hit and capsized. The light cruiser HMS Bermuda was hit hard and lost her forward 6 inch turret, her directors, and her speed was reduced to 6 knots. No Stukas were shot down.
At 8 that evening, 2 CA’s, HMS Suffolk and HMS Cumberland located a strong Italian naval force to their northeast heading in a southerly direction. Under Captain Kyle’s command, the British proceeded to attack the superior Italian force which consisted of 3 BB’s, 2 CL’s, and 7 DD’s! The fading light came to the Brits aid as they were able to close to extreme torpedo range. The British and the Italians exchanged gunfire and torpedoes. When it was all over, the Suffolk was steaming at 6 knots and sinking, the Cumberland, hit by torpedoes was reduced to 6 knots but had a magazine blow up from shellfire from the Cesare. The Italians, however, were not unscathed. The CL Duca D’Aosta lost her directors and was down to 12 knots from the accurate gunfire of the Suffolk. The CL Bande Nere was down 3 knots in speed from Cumberland’s gunfire. But, the most serious damage was the crippling of the battleships Conte Di Cavour and Giulio Cesare. Both ships were hit and unable to make more than 6 knots. The Italian fleet had to turn around and limp back to port. The remaining Italian force of 1 CA, 1 CL, and 3 DD’s, was simply not enough to take on the still powerful British fleet. The British would be able to withdraw their troops to fight the Afrika Korps.
Captain Kyle was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously for his gallant attack. British Admiral Chris was knighted for his command of the evacuation. Captain Patrick received the Naval Cross for his attack on the Italians. Hauptmann Charles received the Knight’s Cross for his successful air attack on the British in harbor despite its strong AA defenses. Captain Dennis received a medal from the Italians for his destroyers successful torpedoing of the British cruisers.
Task forces were marked on blank counters and maneuvered on a 1:1,000,000 scale map of the Crete area. A compass was set for a speed of 10 knots and used to mark the movement. The battle fleets steamed at 20 knots so a two hour turn would have the fleet move four compass “turns.” The number on the counter corresponded to an index card that had the names of the actual ships in that formation. Damage to the ships was also recorded on that card. One task force of the Italians subtracted some ships as they split up and created another, smaller task force.
Each side also had several counters to maneuver that were dummies with no ships. Also, the British wrote an actual location on each card. For example, 3 inches to the west. That meant that the actual location of the ships was 3 inches to the left (west) of the counter that was visible on the map. The Italians knew neither what was in the formation, nor its actual location! The Italians had the opportunity to do the same, but failed to do so. The Italians always moved first, the British second. The Italians could choose one counter each turn for an air reconnaissance and for a roll of 9 or better discover what was there (within a few ships) and exactly where. After their movement, they could launch an air strike, rolling for how many planes they had available.
The submarines had an area to patrol and if a force came within it, a roll of 9 or better meant they were in position to launch an attack. When surface forces were within radar or visual range of each other, they could roll for a 7 or better to spot. The battles were fought using The Games of War. The elapsed time was 1 hour and 12 minutes. I had the original deployments written on the cards before starting to allow more time for gaming. All of the participants, all 7th graders, were playing a naval wargame for the first time. Their only other experience playing a wargame was a civil war battle.
Clone Wars 1-28-2009
General Grievous and a droid company of about 90 droids and a hellfire droid were attempting to prevent an ambassador and his R5 droid from escaping a planet just overrun by the Separatists. Jedi Obi Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker and 5 clone troopers had to hold off the battle droids until a shuttle came to lift them off the planet.
Obi Wan decided that the best strategy was to sit tight under cover and wait for the shuttle. The battle droids seemed in no particular hurry and were content to let the hailfire droid pound away. The rock formation that the Republic's warriors huddled behind protected them well, though they were repeatedly showered with stones.
Finally, General Grievous ordered a general advance and eventually got into a position were it was possible to exchange fire with the Ambassador's protectors. Even the Ambassador's assistant was fired on by a flying droid, but luckily escaped harm.
While this exchange was going on, the shuttle finally landed and the ambassador, his aide and their droids were hustled off to its safety. Two clone troopers and two battle droids were casualties during this tentative exchange of fire. The Jedi stayed behind and then left for the shuttle.
The threat of the two Jedi instilled great caution in the battle droids. They seemed to have an almost human aversion to casualties. The Republic won by saving its ambassador. Darth Sidious' hologram began to berate General Grievous for letting the ambassador get away!!!
This was played by adapting "Hot Sand, Hotter Lead" from The Games of War. It was part of "Games Day" and had seven seventh grade boys playing in a 35 minute game. It ended just as the end of the day announcements began!
Bookends Cafe WWI air battle using "Aces High" from The Games of War.
Three Lafayette Escadrille pilots, Frank, Austin, and Brandon, were flying their Nieuport 17's between 15000 and 20000 feet in altitude in a southerly direction over their lines. They encountered 3 single engine bombers escorted by 2 Fokker DR I's flying on a northerly course at the same altitude.
Both sides spotted each other and headed toward each other like knights in the lists. Brandon went against a Fokker and neither did more than pepper the air. They flew by and immediately both turned to get on the other's tail. The Fokker easily turned inside the Nieuport and lined up a shot that shot up Brandon's fuselage. He didn't catch fire, but it was clear that he needed to break off the action. He dove to escape and though the Fokker followed him, his nimble Nieuport pulled away. Brandon made it back to his base and drew the Fokker out of the fight.
Frank went after the other Fokker and proceeded to damage its fuselage. The Fokker immediately broke off the action with a sharp turn and dive. Frank then swung around to attack the lumbering bombers from behind.
Austin made a head on pass through the bomber formation and as he passed by, his tail was badly riddled. Though his plane was now responding slowly to maneuvers, he pulled in behind the bombers and lined up to shoot at the bomber on the right. He proceeded to put a long burst into it and watched gleefully as both wings snapped and folded plunging the bomber to the earth. Austin's plane had his right wing riddled by the bomber's rear gunner, but nothing vital had been hit.
Frank pulled around and shot at the left hand bomber and set its fuselage on fire, sending it to perdition. Frank, however, did not escape the rear gunner's attentions and received a nasty wound along his temple. Despite the pain and loss of blood, Frank was able to maintain control, drop off, and safely land his plane at his base.
Austin took on the remaining bomber and attacking from behind shot it up so badly, its left wing snapped, finishing off the Hun's attack. But, again, the rear gunner riddled Austin's fuselage, but to no significant effect. Austin was able to return his "swiss cheese" to the base.
Austin and Brandon are 8th graders, Frank is an adult. Elapsed time with explanation to play was just about 20 minutes.
This game is a play test of a Helm's Deep style wargame using a 3' by6, multi-wall model of Helm's Deep at the Lake Geneva Games Convention in June.
The rules are slightly modified Maces High from my book, The Games of War. In the playtest, there were 7 participants, 1 girl and 2 boys in grade school (ages 9 to 13), 1 high school boy, and 3 adult males, 2 in their 40's and 1 in his late 50's. I simply judged and took photos!
There were958 attackers (all orcs for purposes of this game) vs. 149 defenders. The defender's archers took a worrisome toll on the attackers as they lumbered up to the wall. Once at the wall, ladders went up and a battering ram that had been shielded by a testudo formation, went to work. Orc archers had thinned the ranks of the defender's bowmen, allowing orcs to gain the ramparts. Having waited too long, the archers, bows in hand, suddenly found themselves in melees with orcs armed to the teeth for hand to hand combat. This put an effective stop to the showers of arrows that had bedeviled the attackers since they had come into bow range.
Though some orcs were killed in melee, the defenders were getting the worst of it. There were now too many orcs on the wall with more coming up every turn. King Theoden called for his men to retire to the second wall. This effectively was the end of the game as this model was not equipped with a second wall.
One brave (fool hardy?) defender, a hero type, jumped from the wall and attacked the orcs at its base. He received two light wounds and killed 4 orcs when the signal to withdraw was given.
There were 310 dead orcs, 648 left. Using smaller HO orcs and goblins as body counters, dead orcs (D+D figures from Wizards of the Coast) were recycled into the horde as there simply weren't enough actual orcs. (Cursed random collection booster packs!!!). The defenders had lost 15 elves, 6 other archers, and 6 men at arms for a total of 27. They had remaining besides King Theoden and 4 other heroes, 5 regular archers, 31 elves, and 81 men at arms, for a total of 149. With the ramparts in dispute and the battering ram making steady progress on the gate, it was only a matter of time before the orcs gained the upper hand.
Unbeknownst to the defenders, a large container of explosives was being carried to the culvert in the wall. Since the retreat had been sounded before they arrived at their intended target, they never needed to blow up that wall!
The game started about 3:15 pm and ended at 7 pm. Orcs received a +1 to melee. Elfish archers fired twice a turn. The two hero bowmen (one elf and one human - guess who?) fired 3 times a turn and had a +2 to hit. Ranges were measured from the base of the wall set for the defenders firing out, but from the orc archers to the top of the wall for the attackers
Bookends Cafe, Oak Lawn, IL By popular demand, Legos gladiators went at it in the Bookends Cafe. While patrons watched with amusement (and perhaps envy), Austin and Brendon, both 8th graders, chose their legos sci-fi warriors to do battle using "We who are about to die salute you" gladiator rules from The Games of War.
The first battle had a 4-legged, 2 armed Brendon with a shield and a wicked double sword take on Austin with a double ended spear and no shield. Both warriors exchanged blows, parrying but not dodging. Austin's character took a nasty slash to his leg and fell down. However, he had landed a deep slash to Brendon's sword arm. Austin regained his footing unharmed and proceeded to stab the now weakened Brendon in the face (he wore an open faced helmet). That was the end of Brendon's 4 legged warrior.
The second fight involved Austin's character, now carrying 2 ninja style swords vs. Brendon's sword and shield normal guy. Again, the fight started with no one attempting to dodge until Brendon took a deep slash to his leg and fell down. He tried to get up but was pinned to the ground by a sword thrust through his chest, armor and all. Death was quick. Austin won again!
Bookends Cafe in Oak Lawn, IL Two 8th graders, Austin and Brandon, squared off as gladiators playing "We who are about to die salute you" in The Games of War. I was the "emperor."
The first match had Austin the Axe take on Brandon sword bearer. Brandon deftly stepped aside and parried Austin's two-handed ax. Eventually, Brandon was able to inflict several injuries, especially after a flurry of attacks, including one nasty slash to Austin's helmeted face that Austin, fell to the ground, unconscious, bleeding from a number of wounds. The watching crowd signaled that he be put to death mercifully and as emperor, I so complied.
The second match saw Brandon face Austin's "twin," armed with a spear vs. Brandon's sword and shield. Austin, having witnessed the untimely end of his "brother," was cautious at first, choosing to dodge and parry, biding his time till he might seize the initiative. At one point, they both misjudged the other's intentions and both stabbed at the other's head simultaneously. Both sustained cuts to the head, but Brandon was hurt more seriously. While Austin's armored weapon hand protected him from a vicious slashing attack by Brandon, Brandon had no defense when Austin's spear penetrated Brandon's unarmored torso. He fell to the arena, conscious but unable to continue. The fickle crowd indicated that Austin's "brother" should have his revenge and as emperor, I granted it! Total elapsed time for the two games, about 18 minutes.
Using the HO Civil War rules To Fight for Abraham's Daughter from The Games of War, I substituted 6mm stands (Heroics and Ros figures). There were 9 students (7th and 8th graders) participating.
Two Union Divisions (Schurz and Howe) with 12 guns attacked two brigades and 12 guns from Heth's Division. The Rebels had the cover of a road with a fence but didn't take full use of it. They were also caught flat-footed as they didn't all form up into their regiments (novice commanders).
The Union forces had more brigades, but their regiments tended to be more under strength which made them more vulnerable to "brittle" morale. They too had novice commanders and were rather disorganized in crossing a road with a fence. Unlike the Rebels, they took the opportunity (both sides were offered it) of having their ranks dressed. Rebel artillery fire pecked away at them but they managed the reorganization with minimal casualties.
The Union then pressed home the attack and exchanged volleys at long range. They were able to concentrate their fire and the rebels were mown down in front of them. The Rebel gunners of McIntosh's battery took to their heels to save the guns as the regiments on either side fell to minie balls.
The one hour time limit was reached and I ruled that the Rebels needed to pull back and reorganize somewhere else with the routed battery.
Union losses were 720 infantry and 2 guns, with 240 infantry routed. Still at hand were 4,080 infantry and 10 guns.
Rebel losses were 840 infantry and 2 guns, with 360 infantry and 6 guns routed. There were 1,560 infantry and 4 guns left to oppose the Union.
6mm American War of Independence Battle
February 4, 2009
Bookends Café

Rules – “One Life to Give” from The Games of War.

A British force consisting of the 5th, 15th, 29th, 31st Regiments of the line, the 2nd Light Battalion, a battery of artillery and the 17th Light Dragoons, led by Brigadier General William Alexander Lord Stirling (Austin) and seconded by Major John Anders (Allie) advanced on a suspected Carolinian arms depot. They were met by a regiment of minutemen, the 2nd Canadian Congress’ Own, Dabney’s Virginia Legion, the 1st Georgia, the 6th Virginia, two battalions from the Corps of Light Infantry, Lamb’s Artillery Company, and the 3rd Continental Dragoons, led by Brigadier General Anthony Wayne (Brendon) and seconded by Colonel John Stark (Frank).
The British advanced in columns screened by first a line of their cavalry, followed by a line of their light infantry. The American cavalry charged from gaps in the woods and took them more or less at a brisk walk. Weight of numbers (the Yanks had about an extra hundred riders from Dabney’s Legion) told with the British losing about a hundred men and sent galloping to the rear in a rout.
The British didn’t think much about the loss of their cavalry, but the American cavalry rode on into the British light infantry. Being in skirmish order, the British light infantry lost a hundred men cut down and also took to their heels. Unfortunately for the British, Lord Stirling had been behind his cavalry but in front of his light troops. He was caught in the general melee and took a pistol shot to his upper thigh, shattering his femur below the hip. He fell and was captured.
Major Anders was now in command. The Americans began advancing from the woods and their cavalry kept charging, the dragoons at the limbered British artillery and Dabney’s Legion at the 15th Infantry Regiment marching in column behind the light troops. Here, the American cavalry’s luck ran out. Prompt response by the 29th and 31st regiments saved the guns and drove off the American dragoons. Dabney’s horsemen were no match for the British regulars in column. They took casualties and dissolved away.
However, the events had proven too much for Major Anders and he took horse from the field, leaving the remaining units of the British army without a leader. The British regiments began to withdraw in good order. The American’s had with about 100 casualties, inflicted about 200 on the British and forced them to leave the battlefield. Lord Stirling would survive, but without his left leg.
At Periscope Depth: WWII pages 226-228 The Games of War.
February 18, 2009
Bookends Café
Elapsed time 15 minutes

Two US submarines went on a war patrol off the southern coast of Okinawa in February of 1943. The USS Gato commanded by Lt. Commander Brendon, and the USS Skate, commanded by Lt. Commander Shelby.
Once in Japanese controlled waters, the two subs stayed submerged during the day and traveled on the surface at night. Entering their patrol area, they encountered only empty seas for two days. Then, a fishing boat was sighted. The USS Skate surfaced and shot up the fishing boat with 50 caliber rounds, sending it to the bottom. One crewman was killed and three were left in the water.
The next day, another fishing boat was spotted. This time, the USS Gato surfaced and raked the boat with 50 caliber. It sank with thee dead and four in the water. Later that afternoon, an Emily flew over the area but failed to spot anything.
On the morning of the fourth day, they spotted a third fishing boat. The USS Skate surfaced and finished it off with its fifties. Four were killed by fire and the remaining five crewmen were left in the water. However, this time the fishing boat had a radio and had managed to send out a report of a sub.
As evening approached, a small convoy approached consisting of two freighters and an older destroyer. The two US subs were deployed about a mile apart in the direction the convoy was headed. The Japanese destroyer made contact with the USS Gato on its starboard quarter and went on to attack it at flank speed. The USS Gato decided to fire a torpedo at the onrushing destroyer before diving. The torpedo missed and the Japanese tin can dropped a pattern of depth charges that rattled the US sub. While the destroyer was on its attack, the USS Skate fired a torpedo at it. However, it not only missed, no one noticed it either. The commander of the USS Skate closed the Japanese ship at periscope depth.
The Japanese depth charged the USS Gato and on its second run, damaged the sub. The ship was bracketed and badly shook up with some leaks developing. The third run saw another rough time of it for the Gato. As the Japanese went for their fourth depth charge attack, the Skate fired yet another torpedo. The preoccupied destroyer didn’t see the torpedo until too late. A towering column of water rose from her midships. When the water resided, all that was visible of the tin can was its stern, standing vertical, sliding under the water. The Japanese commander, Austin and his number two, Eric, slid under the waves. The two merchantmen had continued their course at their best speed and darkness fell allowing their escape.
Flying Tigers
March 25, 2009
Place: Bookends Café
Time: 18 minutes

A flight of 9 Betty bombers was off to bomb a Chinese city in preparation for a ground offensive. Three P-40 Tomahawks intercepted them. The P-40 flown by Noah attacked the rear of the bomber formation while P-40’s flown by Austin and Shelby attacked the bombers on the starboard quarter.
Noah’s P-40 fired at the tail end Charlie and hit it, but failed to cause any vital damage. Austin’s P-40 firing at a Betty bomber in the lead also hit without destroying. Shelby firing at the middle, hit and set fire to the Mitsubishi bomber. It was soon on a one way flight to Chinese soil. Shelby continued and fired upon the next bomber in the vic, riddling it with 50 caliber rounds. The bomber ignited and disintegrated in mid-air. Austin attacked the second bomber of the lead vic and set it ablaze to its doom. Noah overtook the bomber that Austin initially attacked and damaged it severely, causing it to lose speed and altitude. Noah chose to follow it to ensure its destruction. Shelby completed her flight through the vic and blowing it out of the sky.
The Japanese bombers were decimated and unprotected. Still, they were ready to die for their emperor. Shelby and Austin swung around behind the dwindling bomber formation. Austin went for his second kill and riddled another bomber, causing it drop behind the formation. He pursued its destruction and after a long burst was rewarded with its explosion! Unfortunately, Austin’s P-40 took some critical hits from the still active tail gunner. His engine caught fire and he was forced to head toward Chinese lines and to bail out when it became too dangerous to stay in the dying ship. His parachute drifted toward friendly Chinese who helped him escape Japanese patrols and returned him unharmed to the Flying Tigers.
Shelby shot up another Betty and watched it as it went down in flames, her fourth kill. The last Japanese bomber flew apart under the pounding of Noah’s 50 caliber machineguns! The final tally: the Japanese had downed one P-40, but not killed the pilot. Shelby scored four kills. Noah had three kills, and Austin was credited with two kills while losing his own machine.
Played using Watch your Six O’Clock from The Games of War.
Star Wars spaceship battle
Place – school
Time – 3 to 4 PM (1 hour)
Date – 4 – 3 - 2009

Yoda has left Dagobah and tries to lead a relocation of rebel forces to another star system after the Hoth debacle. Three Y wing fighters arrive at their new site only to discover an imperial star destroyer and a super star destroyer. Two Tie fighters are launched to intercept them. One of the Tie fighters is blown up. The third Y wing opens up on the star destroyer, but ineffectively. Its return fire is no more accurate.
At this moment, the rest of the rebel fleet arrives, 2 star defenders, 2 cruisers, and 7 transports loaded with rebel troops and support staff. The imperials launch 2 more Tie fighters and the rebels respond with 2 X wing fighters. Each side continues launching fighters every turn. The super star destroyer opens up on the star defender and is in turn fired upon. The imperial star destroyer is set upon in the rear by its attacking Y wing fighter. Yoda himself takes to the battle in an X wing fighter and promptly destroys 3 Tie fighters. The star defender he left is badly damaged and unable to continue fighting.
At this point, the transports turn tail and leave for their emergency rendezvous. Imperial and rebel fighters continue to mix it up. One cruiser went with the transports, the remaining one attacks the star destroyer. The star destroyer loses its shields and most of its weaponry in a series of hard hits. The damaged star defender succeeded in jumping to safety. Unfortunately, the other star defender is also badly damaged. It proves unable to escape, and it is abandoned by its crew. The surviving X and Y wing fighters and the cruiser pull out and jump to the rendezvous.
The imperials successfully ambushed the rebels (good spies!) and prevented them from establishing a new base. They lost a total of 8 Tie fighters (each one represents 4 for a real total of 32). One star destroyer was very badly damaged and would be out of service for a few months.
The rebels saved all their ground forces and support staff to try to set up another base. They did lose one Y fighter (4 actual) and one star defender. One star defender and one X wing were very badly damaged. Dave G. (an 8th grader) was Yoda and Charles J. (a 7th grader) was his second in command. Charles C. (a 7th grader) commanded the Dark side!

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