Thursday, October 25, 2012

I have decided to go back and document some of the wargames I fought while I was in Korea.  Specifically two games in which I played as the Koreans (Koryo the first time and Choson the second).

The first game we looked to refight one of the battles the Koryo Dynasty fought against the Mongols during the First Mongol Invasion of Korea.  This battle actually was an open field battle where neither side was on the defense.  The normal tactic which the Koryo very quickly relied on was to hole up in their hill forts and wait for the Mongols to basically leave.  Please forgive my poor translation of the text below and paraphrasing:

동선령 전투 (Dongsanryeong Battle)
고려 고종 18년(1231) 9월 황해도 봉산군 동선령 일대에서 몽고군과 고려군 사이에 벌어진 전투.
In the 18year of the Koryo King Kojong (13-14 September 1231AD) in Hwanghae Province, Bongsan Area, Dongsanryeong, there was a battle between the Mongol army and Koryo army.
(Note:  The Koryo capital at the time was in Kaesong directly south of the battle site and it was necessary to block the Mongol advance on the capital.)

이 해 8월 10일 압록강을 건너 함신진(의주)를 공격하여 11일 항복을 받아낸 몽고의 원정군은 함신진을 교두보로 하여, 군대를 남로군·북로군·본군의 3개로 재편하였다.
 On 10 August of that year,  (the Mongols) had crossed the Amnokgang River (present day Yalu) and attacked Ouiju (Area of NW Korea), on the 11th they received a surrender (from the locals Koryo defense) and the Mongol Expedition established a bridgehead, and the Mongol Army was reorganized into three spearheads (The South, The North and the Model Army??(probably the Main Force). 

이때 정주(靜州)-용주-철주-선주-곽주-정주(定州)를 거쳐 청천강을 넘어 안북부로 진출하였던 남로군은 9월 14일 황주를 거쳐 개경으로 향하여 동선령 북쪽 15리 지점까지 진출하였다. At that time, the Mongols had entered (Jeongju, Yeongju,Cheolju,Sanju, and another Jeongju) and finally advanced as far as the north side of the Cheongchongang (river).  The Southern heading Force on September 19th was facing towards Kaesong then called Kaekyong and arrived about 15 Li(6 Km) north of Dongsanryeong.

동선령은 봉산과 황주의 경계를 이루는 고개로, 개성-평주-봉산-황주-서경의 길목에 있어 동선역이 설치되어 있는 교통의 요충지였다. 
Dongsanryeong consists of the boundary of Bongsan and Hwangju, and lays on the road connecting Kaesong to the northern cities and was a strategic position.  (It was the most direct path to he capital)

 고려 조정에서는 대장군 채송년을 북계병마사에 임명하여 몽고군의 남진을 저지하도록 하였다. 고려군은 9월 13일 봉산 북쪽 10리의 동선령에 도착하여 동선령과 그 북방의 두이봉·마산·사인관 일대의 고지에 진을 치고 있었다.
 For Koryo, General Chaesongnyun was appointed to stop the southward Mongol advance.  The Koryo Army, on 13Sept arrived 10 Li north of Dongsaryeong and there was a built position?? in the mountain.

몽고군은 정찰기병을 파견하여 이 같은 사실을 탐지하고 8,000명의 병력을 동원하여 두이봉·마산·사인관 일대에 주둔하고 있던 고려군에 대한 기습공격을 감행하였다.
 The Mongol Army reconnaissance cavalry of about 8000 strong mobilized and stationed there and decided to conduct a surprise attack on the Koryo Army.

갑자기 기습공격을 당한 고려군은 장군 이자성·노단 등이 부상을 입는 등 순식간에 큰 혼란에 빠졌다. 그러나 이때 동선령의 중군이 출동하여 몽고군을 공격하였으므로 몽고군은 후퇴하였다.
Suddenly the Koryo troops suffering the surprise attack, among the Generals there was a great amount of confusion.  But then at the center of the Koryo troops there was mobilization and reorganization and forced the attacking Mongol troops to withdraw.
 (Note:  This first day was the battle we played out.  I will translate the 2nd day some other time.)

 9월 14일 몽고군의 공격이 재개되었다. 몽고군은 목책을 불태우고 고려군의 진지로 돌입하였으나 고려군의 용감한 활약으로 많은 몽고군이 죽임을 당하자 몽고군은 공격을 중지하고 퇴각하였다. 고려군은 퇴각하는 몽고군을 추격하여 타격을 가함으로써 몽고군은 더 이상의 남진을 포기하고 진로를 북으로 돌려 정주까지 퇴각하였다.
동선령전투는 몽고군과 고려군의 주력군이 최초로 맞붙은 전투로 이 전투에서 승리한 고려군은 퇴각하는 몽고군을 추격하여 고려 북계의 군사적 거점인 안북부(안주)까지 북상할 수 있었다.

The General became aware the next day that couldn’t win the battle so changed his tactics and  built a wooden fence (palisade) fortified camp
그러나 몽고군은 다시 공격 와서 목책에 불을 질렀다. 그리고 일부분의 목책이 타버리자 사이로 그들의 타격부대인 기병을 투입하였다.
But the Mongols attacked again and lit fire to the palisade.   And the part of the palisade was burnt down and so Korean Cavalry was put into the fence gaps to block the Mongols.
이에 목숨을 벗어던질 각오를 산원 이지무와 이인식이 이끄는 너덧 명의 용사들이 백병전으로 겨우 이들을 물리쳤지만 몽골군은 계속 목책을 불태우며 돌입 기회를 노렸다. 실로 위기였다.

이때 인근 언덕에서 전쟁 구경을 하고 있던 황산이 근거지인 산적 놈이 있었다.
관군에 체포되면 극형을 면치 못할 범죄인 신분의 이들에게 뜨거운 민족의 피는 흐르고 있었다. 그들은 위기를 보다 못해 달려 내려와 경군에 합류했다. 그리고 선두에 나서 활로 연사하여 몽고군 서너 명을 사살했다.
동선령 전투는 역시 경군의 부대가 몽고군의 후미를 기습하자 몽고군은 패주했다.
일화는 대몽 전쟁이 () () ()뿐만 아니라 산적 ()까지도 총동원했던 민족 대항전이었슴을 수가 있다.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

An itchy trigger finger....again

Well, I was introduced recently to the games Saga(Dark age skirmish) and Tomahawk&Musket (FIW).  As I was browsing online, I was a victim again of my mouse prrssing buy without my finger...well...I guess I should just own up to the crime, but that would make for a boring blog post.  So, I have more minis (Scots) to paint and rules to learn....  Woe is me!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Cheap, Fast Asian Huts for 25-28mm play

    About two years ago, when I lived in Korea, I set up a samurai skirmish game with some of the local gamers.  I was to host the game at my place and I needed some Asian style huts for the scenario (quasi-Japanese, but flexible enough to span several periods).  Everything online or local was ridiculously expensive.  Well I set to work as my wife was out of town and I was bored out of my mind.
    So I used thin styroboard for bases for each house.  I then used some cardboard cutouts for the frame (4 walls).  I used toothpicks pushed through the middle of the corrugated cardboard as stabilization and glued the walls to the base.  I set two to three pieces of pluck foam (left over from foam figure trays) to reinforce the interior walls and let everything set for a while.  After everything set hard, I cut strips from some old reed placemats we had to wrap around the outsde of each hut.  I glued them and after dry cut out he windows and doors tat they coered from the orginal cardoard frame.
    The true challenge came with the building of the roofs.  I used old chopsticks and built them into a semi Norse/ Japanese design frame roof. Actually the wood glue wouldn't hold so I tied them with dental floss and then glued them.  They are not connected to the houses, simply resting on them.  This allows you to remove the roof and move characters inside as well.

For the roof cover, I cut up an old beach towel and spray painted the inside to get the mossy peat type appearance.  Its still a little grey, but good enough for me.  All in all it took me about five hours (including waiting for glue and paint to dry).  The next day I painted the interiors and sprayed the roofs.  I would say that total price for this project was about $3 a house and they came out pretty well.  They are also quite sturdy and very playable.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

This is my Historical Wargaming Blog.  I have several areas of interest throughout history and it might seem like I have ADD from time to time as I jump from period to period, but they are pretty specific eras and are also generally limited by scale as well.

1)  Asia:  My interest in Asian Warfare seems to be by shear number of miniatures, primary.  My period interests include Chinese, Korean, Mongol and Japanese armies.  Chinese (Tang and Sung, 28mm), Korean (Koryo and Choson, 28mm), Mongol (25mm and 28mm) and Japanese (Edo and Sengoku-jidai, 25mm and 28mm).  Also as a period extra, which should fall under Japan, are some Wako Pirates (28mm).  These round out my Oriental Armies.  Now I add some post Civil War  US Marines for play in the Korean Conflict in 1877.  This allows me to play pretty much every thing from about 500AD to 1890.  Pretty cool!  I think the only thing I need to get would be some Japanese Meiji and Manchu Troops for the Sino-Japanese War and then later on the Japanese Invasion and Occupation of Taiwan.

2) Dark Ages:I bought a bunch of 25mm Plastic Vikings and then some metal as well.  The plastic were all painted wonderfully and all for $5.  Can't beat that.  I had wanted to play out some games with Vikings raiding villages or monasteries, but firstly never acquired an opposite force of the same scale painted (because Im too lazy to paint them myself) and secondly never found someone to play against.  With the printing of THW's Rally around the king I can now play skirmish and full set battles solo.  This is great and I am really looking forward to playing out some games once I get moved in to our new house.  A new friend here told me about another new game SAGA, which if I get a chance might be something to check out as well.

3) WW2:  This period of interest was initially going to be towards Flame of War as the system to use, but over time, the prices and the appearance of the game seemed to be less than what I wanted.  I wanted more of a Platoon on Platoon action game, rather than Company and Bn level.  Once again THW came to the rescue with NUTS!.  The series covers the entire WW2 period with army lists and even alternate ("Weird War") rules.  This will fit in great with my DUST Tactics kits that I still have un-assembled and sitting in a box somewhere.  Overall I don't expect to increase my collection in this time period as I have a good amount of 15,20,28mm models to play with at skirmish level.

4) WW1 Naval: During my last trip to the sandbox, I really became interested in GWAS (Great War at Sea wargame series from Avalanche Press).  The game operates at Strategic and Tactical level which I really like.  It lends to playing out campaigns better.  However, when playing the tactical level engagements I thought it would be really neat to have miniatures instead of counters and so began my interest in 1/6000 ships (They are TINY!) from Figurehead.  I bought a whole bunch and painted the British fleet somewhat, but motivation, time and life all ended that pursuit.  Next engagement TBD....

5) Civil War Ironclad: I was at some schooling in VA and GA recently and went to a Civil War Naval Museum.  Shortly thereafter I impulse bought a set of Ironclad rules and the Expansion Pack.  Well, no minis yet, but it is still of interest.  Like the WW1 Naval...TBD

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