Thursday, January 30, 2014

Donnybrook AAR #1 and #2

Here follows my first Scanian War, Snapphane style AAR´s using the Donnybrook rules by LoA. As this was our first game using the new rules we made it simple and just run the basig engagement scenario from the rulebook with basic 4 point forces that we didn´t even re-arange but run as they was enlisted in 1 point groups. and we managed to run it twice, switching sides.

The rules use a card activation system, one card for each unit and hero/character. As the units can be quite fluid and lack of time I decided to use poker chips and white stickes with the unit names, load and turn ends, put them all in a small cup/bag and used them for activations, it worked very fine.

As this type of activation system may result in that some units may not be activated at all, wich it did form time to time, we will try to alter the sequense a bit by only let the Turn Ends card have effect IF the Reload card already had been drawn erlier in the turn.

OOB - Danish 

1x Hero - Captain Eskild Nielsen from Farhult
2x4 Elit - Free shooters (Snapphanar)
1x3 Elit - Cavalry
1x8 Regular - Foot musketeers

OOB - Swedish 

1x Hero - Lieutenant Johan Kruuse with the Dalregementet
2x8 Regular - Foot musketeers
1x8 Regular - Foot Pikemen
1x6 Regular - Cavalry

Autumn 1676 during the last weeks the Danish Freeshooter company of Captain Eskild Nielsen from Farhult have ended up in shootouts with parts of the Swedish Dalregemente under command of Lieutenant Johan Kruuse (Som to the regiments Commanding officer) most of them have ended in danish victorys...

Lieutenant Kruuse was now hard pressed by his father the Colonel to make some improvement and settle the score with the Snapphanar in the area. Captain Eskild Nielsen of his majesty´s free shooters sees that he have a chanse to realy get the uperhand in the area if he one last time can whip the Swedes...seems like it is time for a real brawl...

AAR #1

Danes to the left and Swedes to the right...

The Danes made some swift movement and secured the windmill hill with some sharpshooting Snapphanar... 

(We decided that the Civilian rifles a.k.a. "Göingebössor" they used had a range of 32" but needed 2 Reload cards to be reloaded, this worked very fine)

As the Snapphanar at the Windmill started to take pot shots at the Swedish cavalry...

(Shooting always hit on a roll of 6+ with the dice that represent your Ability, Elite uses a D10)

...The Swedish pike and shot by the bridge started to advance...

...the Swedish pikemen started to take casulties by Snapphane and Cavalry fire as they advanced...

(No saves if you are in the open...)

The Danish Cavalry did get caught off guard and was charged and slaughtered by the Swedish pikemen...

(As you may move AND then charge you might cover quite some distance in one activation, we didn´t do that mistake in the second game...)

By the stonewall the Swedish cavalry tried to outshoot the Danish Musketeers...

(Stonewalls give good in the open dosen´t have any at all...)

The Danish foot almost had enought but when the Snapphanar at the Windmill had reloaded and joined the fight with some deadeye shooting...

As the Snapphane fire was very, very accurat the Swedish horse have had it and started to retreat...But that didn´t realy matter as the Danish "Elit" force had taken to many casualtys and failed the force morale and decide it was better to retreat and re-group to fight anotherday...

(a unit that have lost 50% have to make Moral tests to see if they Hold, Retreat or Rout, a force that have lost 50% also have to test if they loses the battle...)

Fist game was realy a learning the rules game, it was still very quick, about 60 minutes. It turned out to be quite lethal to be shot at if you didn´t have cover...

AAR #2

We used the same forces and scenario in our second game but switched sides, I commanded the Swedes and Jonas the Danes, Sören our Danish friend and partner in crime had called in sik...

Danes to the left and Swedes to the Right. The Danes deployed about in the same way as last time, apperantly aiming to seize the windmill hill and to get some musketeers to the stonewall.

The Swedes deployed the two units of musketeers to attack the Stonewall as the Pikes and Horse should advance and cleare out the area by the bridge...a solid plan Lieutenant Kruuse thought...

Lieutenant Kruuse leading from the front this time... but the Danes managed to winn the race to the stonewall with ease...

(I blame the activation system... ;) )

The the shooting started from the Danes... Sharpshooting Snapphanar was difficult to handle even thought they had a long reloade time...

Danish Foot musketeers in a safe spot...

One of the Swedish musketeer groups managed to get throught the wood and reach the Stonewall despite heavy losses...

They could now start take care of the insurgent Snapphanar by the Windmill...

By the bridge the Swedish horse had left their safe spot behind ahill and tried to charge the Danish horse, but they decided just to hold the charge and shoot it out with the pistols as the Danes was a bit to far away...

Instead the Danes got the chanse to press home the charge...

Several of the Swedes fell but the unit stayed in the fight...

(There are 2 different formations, Open and Close, if in Open order you move faster but fight worse, if you are in Close order you get a bonus to shoot "Volly fire", you get a morale bonus and you get to fight with all men in a unit even if they not are in physical contact with a enemy miniature.)

The fight was uite long, several rounds much due to the Cavalry Cuirass/Armor...

(Armor like a Cuirass gives the miniature a Save against Close Combat attacks)

After several turns of fighting the Danish commander Captain Nielsen was wounded and fell unconsious the the ground...

(A hero might not die right away as ordinary troops but get to roll on a woud table to see the effect.)

As both Cavalry units wass below 50% they had to check morale and the Swedes decided that they had enough...

By now the Swedes had lost 50% of their initial force and Lieutenant Kruuse had his me retreat from the battle much disappointment to his father Colonel Kruuse...

It was indeed some realy good games, even thought I lost them both... The first one was quite short, about 60 minutes and ended much due to high losses amongst the Danes that haden´t got the rules strightenout:
...Cover are good...or you die...
...Cavalry can move quickly, shoot pistols and charge, in total 18" out here they die...
...Cavalry in the open that get shot at... you die...
...Pikes always strike die...

In the second game I got to command the Swedes...unfortunally that didn´t realy help, as I still lost... But it took a bit longer, about 90 minutes and was a realy nice and intense game.

During our games there of course arise some rule questions that wasn´t clere in the rules, or at least we didn´t find them. My conclusion about the rules was that they arn´t for the one that uses a rule book as the law but for me that like to game in a friendly manner with easy to learn rules they was perfect, my only concearn at the moment was the command and controll, I didn´t feel that the Hero had much to do regarding commanding the troops, he was a good fighter with a D12 but still a human that could be killed...

Regarding the command we decided to let the Hero use his activation to try to activate a friendly unit within 12” that not yet have been activated this turn by an Ability roll of 5+, if he has joined the unit he succeed automatically that unit but may not try to activate any other unit. This improves the chance for a specific unit to be activated, but they still may only be activated once. This rules may also be used by the Officer in the Army Faction but no other character as we see it at the moment.

That was all for the first Donnybrook games I will have to play some more games before I give my final judgement but Donnybrook feel very fine to me so far.


  1. Great report and tremendous terrain and figures. Thanks for posting your thoughts on the rules, I am picking my copy up from Barry at York this Sunday.

    1. Thank you Phil !

      I hope you will like the rules !

      Best regards Michael

  2. Great looking games!

    Shooting might be a bit less dangerous if you let the Turn Over Card (err... chip). By ignoring it if the Reload Card hasn't come up, you are ensuring more shooting than the rules intend.

    That said, house ruling Donnybrook is very much within the spirit the game is intended and by all means feel free to keep tinkering! You just may want to try a few more games before changing too much... Because of the random activation you can play the same scenario two or three times and end up with very different outcomes...

    1. Appreciated !!!

      Thanks Clarence for a very nice set of rules !

      Good point about the reload card in my alternated activation sequence...we havent tried it yet but it was a thought that got to us when playing and some poor units didn´t get the chanse to activate at all during the the Swedish hero in the first game that just was activated oned...and as you all know Swedish hero´s should be allower the gaming table saving the world... :roll:

      More games to follow, I´m already thinking of geting outside the designated years for Donnybrook and try it out as I like the simplicity of the rules very much.

      Best regards Michael

  3. Great report. I just received my copy yesterday and can't wait until time affords me the opportunity to game. Of course, I've not yet decided on a particular theater within the period.

    1. Thank you Iowa !

      Hope yoy like the rules, you might add some more single bases AWI or FIW minis to your collection...

      Best regards Michael

  4. Very cool looking game - terrain and figs are superb. That windmill is awesome!

    1. Thank Dean !!!

      My friend Sören got the Windmill from Warlordgames, very nice indeed and it add a loot of flavour to the gaming table, but it wasn´t cheap...

      Best regards Michael

  5. Who cares about the game results, your game layout is stunning! I would cheerfully take a beating and enjoy it given I had the chance to fight over such lovely figures and terrain.

    Well done!

  6. Interesting read!
    And beautiful as usual.

  7. Splendid battle report, lovely figures and all on some superb terrain.
    The windmill caught my eye too! I was going to ask you how you built it until I read the comments!!

  8. Must applaud your terrain setup, always with a sense of detail. Looks like Donnybrook was a really fun and easy going rule system, sad to have to sit over with a flue! Anyway, 4-1 now for the Danes - if only they'd fought this well in real life...;0)

  9. I agree w Herr Freitag, a stunning game, as yours always are. I kept being distracted from the battle report by all the little details in the pictures, like the herds of pigs. Terrific stuff, thanks for sharing.

  10. Great report! It's a treat to see your new forces and that lovely windmill out on the table. I do love skirmish games and this looks like another fun one.

  11. Fantastic looking game Michael! Great report!

  12. Thanks for great write-up Michael, and for hosting the games!

    Good to be the winner once again, and two times in one evening no less! ;)

    Donnybrook was a pleasant game. It played a bit like a simplified Too Fat Lardies game: great for a couple of quick scraps, but the rules are not very "meaty" and lack a certain period flavour. Maybe it will have a different fell when we add a couple of characters to each side?

  13. Beautiful table and minis, and a great AAR. Have you played Sharp Practice Michael? There sounds like some similar concepts in Donnybrook that I'd like to explore.


    1. Appreciated frank !

      I havent played Sharp Practice yet, just Dux Britanniarum, have been thinking of trying out Sharp Practice with Silver Whistles WotR addaption for my Kalmar Union War setting.

      Best regards Michael

  14. Glad you liked the AAR ! Thank you !

    Have a realy nice weekend !

    Best regards Michael

  15. Great AAR, Michael. Very interesting and useful.
    And your figures and terrain, wonderful!

  16. Thanks for the impressions of the rules and detail on the game mechanics! I'll be keeping an eye out for further reports as this is a possible purchase for me, this year. The size of the forces seems perfect...

  17. Thanks Michael for this as I have brought the rules and waiting for them to turn up.What a what read and lovely pictures too.