Saturday, October 29, 2016

Hail Caesar

Mark umpired a multiplayer game in the Successor period as practice for the Diadochi campaign & an introduction to HC for Chris' nephew.

Steve & James on the left are standing back with their foot while their horse archers go forward on their right. The Arthurs on the right are advancing in echelon, cavalry in front on their right, phalanx in the centre & warbands on their left.

The Armenian cavalry got a flank attack into the left of the Illyrian phalanx and took out half it, but the Illyran cavalry has wrapped around the left flank of the Armenian foot.

On this flank the warbands have pushed the enemy cavalry back.  They have suffered badly under the hails of arrows, but have not broken.  But both Armenian infantry divs have been broken between t give the Illyrians victory.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Diadochi Campaign: Antipater v. Craterus

We have just started a campaign set in the Successor of Alexander period along with our mates in Canberra. The umpire & 4 players are is in Canberra, 5 players in Tasmania. The Tasmanians are mainly in the west, the Canberrans in the east.  Two very different modus operandi became very apparent in the first turn.  In the east there is a complex network of alliances and a general movement west against the Hobartians with Chris on the Agean Coast of Asia Minor in the hot seat.  In the west, there are no alliances & Mark & I have jumped straight into a fight for supremacy in Greece. Given the eastern alliance moving our way this is probably not a good idea strategically, but we would rather lose fighting interesting battles than win by boring diplomacy & treachery.
Craterus of southern Greece (Mark) on the far side surveys the intial set up.  He has his phalanx on his left, hoplites in the centre & his cavalry on his right.  Antipater of northern Greece (Jim) has his phalanx on his left, Illryan warbands on his right & cavalry in reserve. 
Antipater advances his phalanx and moves his cavalry to the left to face the enemy cavalry.  Craterus has better cavalry, but less of it.
Craterus gets the vital command dice that gave him the chance to control the cavalry clash & bad break rolls soon had half Antipater's cavalry broken & his plan facing ruin.
Antipater held his nerve, used a phalanx to help out his cavalry & fought back.
The forces are now engaged all along the line.  The Illryans on the far flank have little chance against the phalanx, but are taking some down with them.  In the centre, Antipater's phalanx has the edge.  On this flank Antipater's cavalry is on the counterattack.
On this flank, Antipater has turned the tables and broken Craterus' horse.  But the hoplites are stubbornly holding the line and the need to divert aphalanx to help out the cavalry has given Craterus the chance to outflank the phalanx's right.  The Illryans are hanging on, but clearly dooomed.
There's a bit of a gap in the photo record here as Antipater got too involved in the desperate struggle to remember to take pics.  Despite the flank attack, Antipater's phalanx had Craterus' hoplites on the verge of defeat, but Craterus' notorious luck held & his centre did not break. The battle became a race to get their victorious lefts to help their centre's out first. 
Antipater's left got their first, but bad command dice at the critical points times prevented him from putting in potentially battle winning charges.
In the end Craterus got his line back together & it was Antipater's centre that broke.  With massive casualties on both sides it may have been a good result for the unholy Canberran alliance, but it was very enjoyable & exciting battle for us - so no regrets for either winner or loser.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Operation Cromwell VI: Bolt Action Tournament

Camp Cromwell ran Tasmania's first Bolt Action Tournament at the Good Games shop in Hobart yesterday.  20 players, 10 Axis v. 10 Allies took part.  There was also a good number of Bolt Action fans who had been unable to take part who popped in to check it out.  Chris assisted me with the TO duties.  The schedule allowed for 3 rounds with 2.5 hours per game, but we did a bit better than that.  The first game started at 10.15am & the last was finished about 5.15pm.  

The scenarios used were:
Round 1: Key Positions
Round 2: Envelopment
Round 3: Sectors

The players came from several different playing groups.  A pre-set roster was used that mostly avoiding pitching mates against each other as well as making all games Axis v. Allied.

Most of the 10 tables were provided by players.  Dennis Berwick brought 4 excellent tables with him from Devonport, Dave Hay provided 2, Nick Bowler & Sean Devenish provided 1 each, leaving me only 2 to do.

As TO I have to thank the players for making my task easy with their great easy going attitude.  There were no issues with the change to V2 & all rules issues resolved quickly and amicably.

This time the Germans won the war convincingly - with 54 VPs to 33.

The top Axis player was a man in a beard and black T-shirt (the one on the right).  Chris Maconis came from Canberra to lift our silverware & visit his rellies.  He was the only Axis player to win all his 3 games.

Richard Harris survived a protest about his shirt to retain his ranking as top Allied player - the only Allied player to win all 3 games.

Frankie Munro proved that size doesn't matter on the wargames table - he was the 2nd best Axis player & 3rd overall with 2 wins & a draw.

Many thanks to Mike at Good Games for providing a great venue complete with snack bar well supplied with the wargaming essentials of pies and coffee.  The Magic players were pushed into the odd left-over tables at the ends of the shop for a change.

There were some great bits of terrain.  This is a close up on one of Dennis's tables.

 Man v. Panther.

The $20 entry fee went into $65 Good Game vouchers for the Award winners & 2 Lucky Door prizes:
Rommel Award for Top Axis: Chis Maconis
Patton Award for Top Allied:  Richard Harris
Stalin Award for causing the most casualties (mostly his own): Nick Bowler
Noble Peace Prize for the causing the least casualties: Nathan Birchall
Lucky Door prizes: Bradly Williamson & Jim Wyndam.

Axis Players:
Chris Maconis 9 VPs
Frankie Munro 7
Riordan Macbeth 6
Jim Wyndam 6
Steve Jendrich 6
Dennis Berwick 6
Dave Hay (Japanese) 6
Matthew Devenish 5
Mark Oakford 3
Lachlan Fulton 0

Allied Players:
Richard Harris (US) 9 VPs
Sean Devenish (US) 6
Sarah Matthews (Australian) 6
Ian Martin (Soviet) 6
Nathan Birchall (Soviet) 3
Nathan Lovell (British) 1
Bradley Williamson (US) 1
Darryl Munro (British) 1
Nick Bowler (US) 0
Derek Fulton (US) 0

VPs are 3 for a win, 1 for a draw.  Ties in VPs ranked in order of kill ratio.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Last Practice for Operation Cromwell VI

This Saturday we are running Operation Cromwell VI, a 3 round Bolt Action Tournament at the Good Games shop.  We have 21 entries from several different groups of BA players.  Chris is dropping out & assisting me with TO duties to round the numbers off at 10 Axis v. 10 Allied.  Several players are bringing terrain making life pretty easy for me (I only have to provide 2 tables).

Last night we had a BA practice for Steve & Mark who will be playing & Chris who is reserve for any late withdrawal.  I practiced being umpire.
Steve's Panzergrenadiers steamrolled Chris' Soviets in a big win.  Mike's Yanks all but destroyed Mark's Panzergrenadiers but failed to take the objective in the Demolition scenario.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Bolt Action Night at Good Games

Good Games have made Wednesday nights alternately Bolt Action & Konflict 47 nights.  I checked out the Bolt Action last night. 
 There were two games in progress when I arrived.
I'd arranged to meet Damian who has just moved here from Sydney & has been in email contact.  I lent him my Panzer Grenadiers for his first game of BA v. my Brits.  My teaching skills proved to exceed my playing skills & I was soundly beaten.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Hail Caesar: Diadochi

We are about to take part in a Diadochi (Alexander's successors) campaign with our mates in Canberra, so fought a Hail Caesar practice match.
On the left, Jim commands the 2 cav div on the far flank, Mark the 2 inf divs on the near flank.
On the right, right Steve commands the 2 cav divs, Chris commands the inf div in the centre & Mike has the inf on the near flank.
In the first moves Steve's cavalry & Mark's infantry have advanced. 
The action started when Jim's order for a minor redeployment of a cav div turned into a charge.  He then ordered the other cav div to join in while Mark moved his reserve div over in support.   The cavalry fight was indecisive and both sides have fallen back to regroup. 
A renewal of the cavalry fight has seen one of Steve's divs break.  Chris is moving up, but Mike is lagging behind.
Jim's cav has moved to the right to flank Steve's.  Mark's phalanx is trying to get at Chris's div before Mike can get up.
 Steve's countermove of galloping up close & throwing javelins with 6's has broken one of Jim's cav divs.  Mark's initial attack on Chris was beaten off, but his mercenary hoplites have now joined.  Mike is lapping around Mark's right flank.
 Steve has mopped up the cavalry fight but his own survivors are in pretty bad shape.  Marks hoplites are doing well in the centre while his right has fallen back to cover their flank.
Steve has fallen back to rally his cavalry.  Chris' div has lost a phalanx and is hard pressed.  Mark has got in a flank attack on Mike's hoplites.  The battle is in the balance.
Every division on the table is in bad shape, with most units on both sides shaken.  Mark could be winnign the battle here, but Chris' peltasts are holding out against his hoplites  on the far side while Mike's hoplites, though disordered by the flank attack are hanging on on this flank.
After a hard fought battle between evenly matched armies & generals, in the end the dice Gods decided.  Chris' peltasts beat Marks' hoplites while Mike's hopites beat Mark's peltasts leaving all 5 divs left on the field verging on breaking.  All it took was a few javelins from Mike's skirmishers causing a break test on a shaken phalanx and it was all over for Mark & Jim.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Bolt Action V2 Clinic at Good Games

This afternoon I'd organised a Bolt Action V2 training day in preparation for Operation Cromwell VI, the Bolt Action Tournament I'm running at Good Games on the 15th.  There were over a dozen people turned up, most of them playing.  We had 3 tables set up, one was used for 2 game sin succession, another for a doubles game.

I found that I didn't have to do much training.  Most of the blokes were well across the rules & a good attitude in playing the game.  One of them seemed to have memorised them - he seemed to be able to quote them verbatim.  Most of them had their own armies, either fully painted or close to it.  Only one had to borrow one of mine.  He did quite well with it too - he didn't even get my Cromwell "Toasted".  There were no dramas with V2. 

Good Games have made Wednesday nights Bolt Action & Konflict 48 nights - alternating weeks.   This Wednesday is a Bolt Action night.

We have 22 entries for Operation Cromwell & Mike at Good Games thinks we have a good chance of getting a full house of 24 by the day.  6 different covens of wargamers are represented.   I have had plenty of offers of help with the terrain, there is plenty of enthusiasm & all looks good for the event. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Bolt Action v2 Tank War

Mike set up an assymetrical scenario on the big table with 2000 pts of US v. 1500 pts of Germans.  The Germans (Jim & Steve) deployed first totally hidden with positions marked on a map.  The US (Mark & Chris) then deployed within 12" of their table edge.
The Germans also had most of their force on their right.  But then the US deployed entirely on their right.  This meant two panzerschrek teams hiding behind the house & wood on the far side of the creek faced most of the US army & the rest of the Germans had to re-deploy. The Stug came of the the wood to move to the left, it's commander not seeing the M10 on the road behind the wood - which moved out and popped it first shot.
The Tiger showed itself in the centre, but an 88 is no good if doesn't hit the target.  German infantry has advanced in the centre  (& still out of sight to the enemy so not on the table) behind the house on the right. The panzerschreks on the left eihter missed their targets or failed to penetrate.
The GI's have mopped up the panzerschreks & the Tiger stands alone against the swarm of allied cans. The German infantry is clearing the wood in the centre of bazookas.
The Tiger has finally actually hit something & a M10 is burning, but it still faces 3 Shermans & an M10.  The US left has been cleaned up.
On turn 7 the Shermans got lucky, set the Tiger on fire & the crew failed morale & bailed out.

The US claimed victory on the grounds that they had destroyed half the enemy units. But the Germans felt they had done pretty well in still holding half the table & destroying as many enemy as they lost despite the odds against them and awful dice rolling in their anti-tank shots.  But we all had a good time anyway.