Wednesday, July 18, 2018

More Big Bolt Action Tank War

2 x 1250 pts Late War platoons on 10'x6' table.
Mark & Mike: US v. Jim & Steve: Germans
Jim's Hetzers & Mk III's on near side left.  Steve's Panthers on the right.
Mike on the US right, Mark on US left.
There are 7 objectives. 1 at each place where a road enters the table (6" from edge).  1 at the farm house, 1 in the village & 1 on each of the two ridges nearest the centre.
The round tress are orchards =  BA standard woods - can see in or out of but not thru, no doubling.
The pine trees on the hills are thick woods.  Visibility 6". Max move 6". No wheeled, tracked take bogging roll if moving: tanks bog on 1, half tracks bog on 1-2.  Bog = stop & go down for this move.
On the left the Germasn have grabbed the objective on the road, but the US are winning the tank duel.  The US get to the farmhouse first, but a Hetzer & 2 panzergrenadier squads are disputing the objective.  There are lot of tanks dancing around the woods & orchards on the far flank.  The Germans have taken the objective in the village. 
On the left the Hetzers have struck back & destroyed all but 1 US tank with 2 Hetzers left (1 in the orchard beside the house).  The German attack on the house resulted in MAD, but the Hetzer secured the objective.  On the right the tanks traded blows as the US inf moved up to attack the village.  A Sherman sent ona  flaking mission on the far table edge struck a telling lucky blow by taking out a Panther in the village in a front on fight. 
After turn 6 the Germans held 5 objectives to 2.  In turn 7 the Germans in the village held off the US attack, but on the left the remaining Jackson ran thru the fire of 2 Hetzers to take the road objective & on the far flank that damn Sherman dodged Panther fire to take the road objective in the German rear, so the US staggered over the line to win 4 objectives to 3.

It was a rattling good game.  The first turns took a long time, slowed by much US indecision & a lot of units to be actioned one at a time.  But as casualties mounted the game sped up & we finished in 2 & 1/2 hours.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Bolt Action Tank War

Each side had two 1250 pt tank platoons.
Steve: 2 King Tigers & a halftrack with Pak 40.
Jim: 3 Hetzers, 1 MkIII, 1 Puma & 2 small panzer grenadiers.
Mark: 2 Sherman, 1 Cromwell, 1 Firefly, 2 small vet inf in bugs, 1 PIAT.
Mike: 3 Shermans, 2 M10's, 1 M8 A/C, 12 inf in M3 HT.
The Germans are on the left, the Allies on the right.  Steve's pussies sat back on the left with a good field of fire, the Hetzers moved up hull down behind the ridge in the centre & the infnatry & light armour advanced through the village & orchards on the German right.
Mike's US are on the Allied right, Mark's Brits on their left.
The armour traded fire mostly at long range & from hull down.  The Allies never got close enough to do hurt the KT's & concentrated fire on the Hetzers.  The Hetzers had a charmed live while the Allied armour was  slowly whittled away by the heavier German shells. 
The German attack through the village did no go well for them.  The Puma was poped as soon as it showed oit's nose.  The MkIII was was popped by the PIAT.  The Panzergrenaders cleaned up most of the Brit infantry, but were themselves destroyed by the mg fire of the bugs & M8.  
In the end the Germans lost 2 tanks, Puma & 2 infantry sections while the Allies lost 5 tanks, 1 inf, Piat, jeep & bug, so a decisive German win. 

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

American War of Independance

After several good small games in the period using our Musket Action rules we decided to try a bigger AWI battle with our Hail Napoleon rules.

British: Mike & John.  1 British brigade of 4 line, 1 grenadier & 1 light inf, 2 German mercenary brigades of 4 line inf, 1 cavalry brigade of 3, 2 guns & 4 Indian bands.  Command 9.
Colonials: Jim & Mark.  1 French brigade of 5 line & 1 grenadier, 2 Colonial inf brigades of 4 line, 1 cavalry brigade of 3, 2 guns, 4 Indian bands & 1 woodsman rifle battalion. Command 9 except Colonial infantry 8
The British are on the far side.  From the left of pic: Cavalry, British, guns, 2x Germans, Indian in woods.
Colonials from left of pic: Cavalry, guns, Colonials (2nd line) , French, 2 Indians, Colonials, 2 Indians & woodsmen (in woods).  
The Germans are advancing on the village with Indians in the woods on their flank in the woods.
The Colonials are advancing into a defensive position in the village, the french are advancing on their left.  The Colonials& guns on the left have failed to respond to orders to advance.
The cavalry has slowly advanced to cover their army's flank.  The French & British infantry are exchanging volleys.  The British artillery has stopped the French advance on the left of the orchards.  The Germans are assaulting the village & orchards. The Indians & woodsmen are skirmishing indecisively in the woods.
The French, fearing that the outnumbered Colonials won't hold the village have attacked with their cavalry on the left & turned the right of their infantry right to assist the defence of the orchard.
The French cavalry attack had mixed success, but heading for stalemate.  In the centre there are heavy losses on both sides, but the fresh Colonial infantry reserve has now moved to the front.  In the orchards, the Colonials got a bit of luck & with the help of the French on their left broke the German brigade in the orchards. The other German brigade has taken the church, but the battle seems to have suddenly turned in favour of the Colonials.
The cavalry of both sides has fallen back to rally.  The colonials in the centre have been driven back by British fire, but the French have rolled forward again.  The British guns continue to keep the French right back.  The colonials in the village are making a fighting withdrawal from the 2nd German brigade.  The Indians & woodsmen continue indecisive skirmishing in the woods.
A charge by the French grenadiers on their left broke through the British line.  The Colonial Indians in the centre advanced through the orchards & flanked the British line which is now breaking.  The Brits now have lost 2 brigades broken out of 4 while the Colonials have lost no brigades.  The British fail their Army Break test.

The Colonial/French plan - to bog down the enemy in the village to gain superior numbers for an attack in the centre looked a bit shaky when the well sited British artillery drove back the centre of the French/Colonial line.  But the support of a French line unit & some heroic dice throwing from Mark in the orchard got the plan back on track.  The Inexperienced Colonial infantry reserve was slow to move up & not very effective, but in the short time they staying in the front line they added enough casualties to the Brits to allow the French to make a second & decisive drive at the end.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Sunday Bolt Action at Good games

Jim's Australians v. Chris' Japanese, 1,000 pts, Demolition Scenario.
Deployed for battle.  The scattered trees represent jungle with visibilty 12".  The green & yellow patches are open ground.  The huts near the rear table edges are the objectives.
The Australians push forward on the whole front.  The Japanese advance on their right.
The veteran Australians are getting the upper hand over the regular Japanese & have swept forward on the right where the opposing light tanks are trading ineffective shots.
The Australians are now attacking across the whole front, but at the end of turn 6 the Japanese commander & an infantry unit are still defending the objective - so still a tie situation.
The dice decreed a 7th turn U though the Japanese tank popped the Honey, it copped a PIAT round up its rear end & also died completing the total destruction of the Japanese force & an Australian victory.
John & Rusty were also fighting Bolt Action on another table.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Napoleonics: French v. Russians

French: 3 infantry divs of 3 line 1 light & 1 gun, 1 heavy cav div of 4 dragoons & 1 light cav div of 2 hussars & 2 chasseurs.  Mark, John & Jim.
Russians: 2 infantry divs of 5 line 1 yeger & 2 guns, 1 heavy cav div of 2 cuirassiers & 2 dragoons, 1 light cav div of 4 hussars.  Mike, Chris & Nick.
The French have Command Rating 9, the Russians Command rating 7.
To win the French have to break through the Russian centre.  The Russians win if they hold the line until 10pm.  The French are on the right in this pic, but the rest of them have the French on the left. 
The French are advancing on the Russian centre with 1 inf div covering their left.  Their cavalry, initially in reserve are redeploying to their right.
The Russian right is trying to mount a counterattack, but with their poor Russian command are not going much.
The Russians in the centre have not waited for the French but have charged forward to meet them.  The Russians on the left are advancing painfully slowly. Both side's cavalry are content to look at each other for now.  
The French are throwing terrible dice in the centre & getting the worst of the infantry fight.  This has spurred the French cavalry into action, but even with their superior command rating they are advancing slowly.
The Russians are finally putting some pressure on the French left as their centre begins to collapse.  The French hussars are doing well, but so are the Russian cuirassiers.
The French centre has collapsed.  The French dragoons are hanging on, but their hussar's second line failed a critical command test to put in a flank attack that might have saved them.
The dragoons are broken & French army fails its Army Break Test with 3 of 5 divisions broken with more than half an hour to spare.  So a great Russian victory.  Of course the French CIC blamed unlucky dice & a revised Russian Stubborn rule we were trialing, but the Russian tactics in the centre were very good.  They deployed in column & counterattacked before superior French firepower could take effect.     

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Road to Moscow: Variation of the Road to Damascus Scenario

We used the Road to Damascus scenario from Hail Caesar as the basis for a Napoleonic scenario.  Chris' Russians defeending v. Jim's French.  Rules: Hail Napoleon.
The Russians have an infantry brigade in the foreground village with 2 cavalry brigades & another infantry brigade coming down the road from the left.   The French have 3 smaller infnatry brigades coming down the road from the right with 2 cavalry brigades.  The French have to clear  apath through the village for their wagon train & to exist to the left.
The French sort their brigade columns out into a wall of attack columns with light infantry to the front.  The cavalry of both sides are squaring off mid table.
The french columns attack both sides of the village while they deploy artillery & skirmishers to soften up the houses.  The French dragoons are getting the upper hand over the Russian dragoons.
The Russian infantry are stubbornly defending the village, but the French are lapping around their flanks.
The Russian resistance in the village is collapsing.   The Russian dragoons are broken but the French are so badly hurt they have pulled back to rally.  The light horse of both sides are facing off ina  stalemate with a hedge between them.
 The French infantry has cleared the village & is redeploying to the right.  The Russian infantry is trying to deploy but is squeezed between the French infantry & hussars.

With half the French hussars now deployed facing the Russian battery, the Russian hussars chanced an attack through the hedge & partially broke through.   The Russian inf atry deployment was compromised by a blunder that saw their column charge straight at the French line.
The French dragoons had just enough juice in the tank to send the Russian hussars back over the hedge.   One of French infantry brigades has failed to move up, but the other two are comofrtably holding the line. 
The Russian infantry is making desperate attacks, but the 3rd French infantry brigade finally threw good command dice & came up in a rush.
The 2nd Russian infantry brigade had broken & it's all over.

In this version of the scenario, the French had the advantage of good command which helped their sound plan (based on the mistakes made 800 years previously last Tuesday) work almost flawlessly.  They swamped the village defenders before their supports could come up & had time to redeployto meet the counterattack. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Road to Damascas 1143

This is a scenario from the Hail Caesar book.  We enjoyed playing it 3 years ago & decided it was worth a re-run.  Again we modified it a bit to suit what we have.  We used our Hail King Richard rules - Hail Caesar modified for medieval.
The Damascans have a holding force of infantry in the village with a screen of horse archers in front.  A relief column is coming on the road from the far end of the table. The crusader army is coming on from the near RH corner.  To win the crusaders have to clear a passage for their baggage train through the village & through the pass halfway along the LH edge of the table by 10pm (2.5 hours playing time).
The Damascans in the village are putting up a surprisingly good fight as both sides bring more troops onto the table.

Dismounted  knights have failed to break into the village.  Dismounted Ghulams broke one unit & the other hasn't even been able to dig skirmishers in the houses.  More crusader infantry is being sent forward to join the attack on the village.  Opposing lines of cavalry have formed to the right. 
The knights have finally taken the houses, but most of the village is still in Damascan hands.  To the right of the village the leading knights have ridden down some Ghulam cavalry, but the ring of horde archers is wearing them down. The 3rd Crusader division is being slow to deploy on the right.
The knights have finally taken the centre of the village, but a pocket of resistance on the left remains On the right the Damascans have counterattacked.  The infantry of the 3rd division has been turned left & is marching to reinforce the other infantry which is running out of steam.  The knights in the centre have been forced to retire by the horse archers, but the other 2 brigades of knights have now got to the front.

On the left, horse archers pepper the crusader infantry as the Damascans form a new line with the infantry in their relief column & the Crusaders bring up fresh infantry.  The knights in the centre are being kept disordganised by bow fire.  The knights on the right has destroyed some enemy cavalry before it could deploy, but are now ringed by horse archers.  
A renewed attack by the crusader foot now engaged with the levy infantry of the relief column rather than dismounted Ghulams, but there are lot of them to hack their way though.  The 1st brigade of knights has broken.  An attempt by the 2nd brigade to break through to support the infantry has been driven back,.  The 3rd brigade is being surrounded by horse archers.  
At nightfall, the Damascans still hold part of the village though their troops there are on the verge of breaking.  The crusader foot in the centre has broken one line of levy but there is another behind it.  The knights on the right are mostly shaken & verging on breaking.  The Damascan cavalry is also badly mauled.  The crusaders may well have enough infantry left in fighting shape to clear the way though eventually, but they have failed to do so by nightfall so are defeated.

The initial stubborn defence of the village against the dismounted knights was the key to the Damascan win.  Not only did it buy time, but it led to the crusaders sending all their infantry that way leaving the knights to take on the masses of Damascan cavalry without any infantry support.  The knights did well enough against the Damascan horse when it could catch them, but without any bowmen to counter it the steady attrition of the horse archers wore them down.

It's a great scenario & nicely balanced though between two very different armies.  In our previous go at the scenario (see blog 22/09/2015) the Crusaders won in an equally desperate fight.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Napoleonic Naval

Five players:  Two British each with a squadron of 4 ships.  Three French each with a squadron of 3 ships.  Each squadron mainly 3rd raters with a 2nd rater leader.   British crews elite, French crews regular.  Rules: Our home made Men o' War rules.
The wind is coming towards the camera so both sides are on beam reaches.
The French 3rd squadron the 1st British squadron are passing through each other.  With both sides having started with some of their broadsides double shotted, having their first fire bonus & raking shots combined, the carnage on both sides was terrible & the lead British ship was dis-masted.
The French 3rd squadron now ran alongside the British 2nd squadron & copped more punishment - the 2nd ship being sunk.  The other 2 French squadrons are running downwind to get engaged.
The sole survivor of the 3rd French squadron breaks off as the rest of the French ships sail downwind to get in close & personal.

The two fleets have now passed through each other at close range inflicting terrible damage on each other.
The 2 British ships in the distance have broken off with high damage, 3 others have turned about & are still engaging the French, 1 is dismasted with its colour struck in the middle of the French, the other one has sunk.  5 French ships remain in action but all are badly damaged.
Both sides are content to break off the action claiming victory.
The Brits have lost 1 sunk, 1 dismasted & captured (but set fire to as it couldn't sail away), 3 so badly damaged they have broken off & 3 still in action.
The French lost 2 sunk, 4 ships so badly damaged they have broken off & 3 still in action.
Pretty much draw in fact.

This was the bloodiest Man o' War battle we've had - it was mostly point blank fire, often raking & double shotted with very little long range fire.  There was also an unusually high number of ships sunk, but this was the result of some very bad Break Test dice on both sides.