Saturday, November 21, 2020

Tank War

 Jim's Panzers v. Chris' Brits on 10'x6' table. Deployment in turn 0 up to 24" in.

Pics from behind German right flank.  Both sides put their 2 infantry squads in the centre.  The Germans concentrated their armour on the right with only a Pak 38 covering their left.
The Pak 38 drew 1st blood taking out the Sherman on the far flank.  In the centre the Germans have got to the objective on the bridge first.  On the near flank both sides have lost 1 tank, but the Germans have seized the objective on the hill.
The Pak is being suppressed by the 25 pdr & Honey, but still lives.  The infantry is exchanging ineffective fire in the farm.  The MkIVs are getting on top on the right.
The Honey has finally killed off the Pak crew & the German infantry are pinned down by the 25pdr & infantry, but a swarm of Panzer IVs is coming.
The British cannot stop the wave of Panzers.  By game's end only the British 25pdr on the far flank survives & the Germans have 3 objectives to 1 having lost just 1 MkIII & their Pak. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Pike & Shot: The Empire v. the Swedes

 Swedes Mark & Chris v. Imperialists Mike & Jim

The Empire is on the near side of the table.  The Swedes are veterans & have a higher proportion of musketeers. The Empire's troops are regulars, but their pike, swordsmen & cavalry are more heavily armoured than the Swedes.   The Swedes put most of their cavalry on their right & are advancing that flank.  The Empire strengthened their right with their Landsknecht swordsmen brigade & are advancing on that flank.

On the far flank the outnumbered Imperial horse are so far holding on against the larger Swedish cavalry brigade.  Left of centre, the Swedes are using their superior nos of musketeers to soften up the Imperial tercios. On the right, Imperial cavalry have ridden down the Swedish gunners but are contained

On the left the Imperial foot is attacking while the cavalry of both sides have regrouped.  On the right one of the Imperial tercios has broken thru on the left of the cavalry.
On the near flank, the Swede's left has done well near the creek, but their left flank is crumbling & on the verge of breaking.
On the far flank it is the Empire that is hanging on desperately against superior nos of cavalry & shot.
On the far flank, the Imperial cavalry has been broken & the Imperial Infantry on the verge of doing so. But on the near flank, the hedgehog on the Swede's flank has been surrounded by Landsknechts & is broken.  With it, the whole Swedish left wing is below half strength & breaks giving the Empire victory.  

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Jutland Campaign Finale

 Tonight we were finally able to continue the campaign battle off the coast of Denmark.

The battle commenced with the High Seas Fleet running South (to the left on map above) after securing the 4th Economic Victory Point they needed to achieve Minor Victory in the campaign by bombarding shipping in the Skagerrak.  The British had as usual detected the Germans leaving port & had steamed southeast from Scarpa Flow & Cromarty to intercept the HSF on its way home.

Admiral Sheer had expected the Grand Fleet to come out & try cut his fleet off from base & he wanted battle, but on his terms.  His plan was to run south to turn & fight close to home base where he had set a trap of submarines & minefields.  However, Sheer miscalculated & stayed in the Skagerrak a little too long & the Grand Fleet were able to pincer him between themselves & the Danish coast.  

On the plus side for the Germans, they had their entire fleet in the area - mostly coming south, but 5 pre-dreadnoughts & some DDs were coming north to join the HSF, whereas the British did not have Beatty's 4 battlecruisers & 4 Queen Elizabeth surper dreadnoughts (who were late getting to sea apparently for some reason).  The other ace the Germans had up their sleeve was a minefield laid early in the campaign off the coast of Denmark that they believed the Brits did no know about.

In the first phase of the battle described in an earlier post, the HSF steamed south as the Grand Fleet approached steaming SE slightly in front of them.  The German battle cruisers took a pounding in the van, but in their haste to get ahead of the HSF the right wing of  Jellico's fleet ran into the German minefield.  A battleship was sunk & 3 battlecruisers severely damaged on the minefield.

In running the Brits onto the minefield the HSF was running into a pocket between the GF & the Danish coast & was about to have their T crossed.  Sheer ordered his battered battlecruisers to do a battle turn away behind smoke while the battleships turned to starboard onto a course that would both  provide him sea room & the chance of cross the British rear.
The improved tactical position the turn gave the Germans was backed up with some hot dice.  The rear British squadron copped a pounding & the Kaiser sunk the KGV with a devastating salvo.
The Brits turned east to improve their firepower & in a heavy exchange of fire between 2 squadrons of each side, ships of both sides suffered heavy damage. 
Several damaged ships of both sides have pulled out of the front line.  The Germans have replaced their damaged squadrons with 2 fresh ones.  The Brits have also brought fresh squadrons up, but the Germans have a neat line to face the ragged British formations.  The last German squadron is their 4 undamaged Konig class (their best ships) & the Brits fall back behind smokescreens as damage mounts & Ajax is sunk by Thuringen.  

While the main fleets have been going at it in the centre, there have been secondary actions north & south.  Behind the HSF there was a force of British CLs & DDs, but the Germans matched them with their own CLs & DLs.  The Brits made one tentative attack, but were driven back without getting into torpedo range of the battleships.  To the south the old German BBs & some DDs were a distraction that kept some the the British occupied, though they old BBs withdrew avoiding combat.

At this stage the British are heading NE towards the Skagerrak while the HSF is heading past them going SW.  Neither side is keen on risking further heavy action.  
The Brits have lost 3 ships sunk (1 to mines & 2 to gun fire) & 9 ships badly damaged. 
They have 14 ships with no or minor damage.
The Germans have lost no ships sunk & 9 badly damaged.
They have 11 ships with no or minor damage.

The Brits still have more battleships in fighting trim, but they are content to call the action off because:
- The 4 best German ships are totally undamaged whereas the 6 undamaged British ships are older Dreadnoughts. 
- The Germans are in a tight efficient fighting formation whereas the Brits are scattered.
- Night is approaching & the Germans fight better than the Brits at night.

The Germans are  also content to break off because while Beatty isn't present, they know he is at sea & don't want to have to face him & his Queen Elizabeths with their damaged fleet.  They have a minor victory through the Economic VPs they have amassed, so are content to go home after an indecisive battle with a small balance of sunk ships in their favour  of 3:0.

This has been a epic campaign.  Peter Williams has done a great job setting it up & umpiring.  All the players have enjoyed it immensely.  The tension & danger of catastrophe engendered by the hidden movement & limited intel made it a nerve wracking but very exciting experience for the players.  

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Bolt Action; US v. Japan

Die to it being Melbourne Cup day Admiral Jellico was unable to attand to allow us to finish the Jutland campaign battle, so  again used to small table for BA.

Mike's US v. Chris' Japanese 1000 pts.  Key Positions Scenario.

Pics taken from US side.  There are 3 objectives - the village & the hills each side of the centre.
It was a crushing US victory.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Bolt Action

We had to postpone finishing the Jutland campaign battle as one of the players couldn't make it this week.  Jim's Panzergrenadiers v. Mike's US.  1000 pts, key positions scenario.

The Germans are on the near side.  There are 5 objectives: Each house, the bridge & one on each flank.  Both sides deployed guns to cover the open ground in the centre & deployed most of the forces on the flanks.
The Germans got a lucky break in turn 1 when their Pak38 took out the Sherman with 1 shot.
There are bloody close range combats in the woods on both flanks.
On the right, the Germans had taken the objective, but have been destroyed by US counterattacks.  On the left the objective is still unsecured by either side, but the Germans have got the upper hand with the last US unit heavily pinned down. In the centre guns & mortars are engaged in MUD while the German LMG team is advancing on the ridge.
On turn 6, the US take the RH objective but the Germans grab the bridge & the left flank objective to gain victory 3 objectives to 2.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Jutland Campaign: Battle off the coast of Denmark

In their 5th & last sortie of the campaign the High Seas Fleet paid another visit to the Skagerrak & gained another Economic Victory Point.  Zeppelin patrols found that the Grand Fleet had put to sea soon after the HSF, so Scheer headed south to run south down the Danish coast, calling his detachments he left nearer home to head north to join him.  He was hoping for battle, but wanting to make sure he had a clear run home first.  But he found British light forces in his path near the south edge of the Skagerrak. 

The HSF is moving south from the RH edge of the table.  The British CLs & DDs have turned to run in front of them as more British CLs & DDs appear from the NW.
The HSF ran south after the British DD & CLs to find British battleships also coming from the NW but in front of the HSF.
The ruler under the Jellico's elbow marks a German minefield the Brits were blissfully ignorant of & a second column of British ships runs right through it.  The 4 BCs in the lead were all badly damaged with one sunk but the BBs behind went through the path they cleared the hard way.
Hipper's BC's in the German van are engaged with the 1st British BB division.
A squadron of German DDs has appeared from the SE in front of the British.
The 1st British division is exchanging shots with the German van while their CLs partly screen off the German rear with smoke.  So far the damage in this exchange is about equal to both sides.

Off-shot to the south the Germans have their squadron of pre-dreadnoughts & a DD squadron. With Beatty's force not present & the losses on the minefield, the numbers are as close to even the Germans were ever likely to get.  But the 2nd British division is on a course to squeeze the HSF between the GF & the Danish coast (which neither side is allowed within 3 hexes of) & there are British light ships both in front of & behind the HSF.  It's a fascinating situation & this battle could go either way - a fitting climax to a great campaign.

It is turn 18 of the battle with nightfall at turn 34. 
We decided that this was a good time to finish for the night & will continue next Tuesday.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Sunday Bolt Action in the jungle

Rich's US v. Chris' Japanese: 1,000 pts key positions mission.  The scenario was varied for a 6' square table by having a deployment turn where units were put down up to 24" from baseline.  4 objectives.

Pics from US side.  The Objectives are: one each side of the big clearing on the left, one in the village & one mid-table on the right.  The Japanese have deployed evenly across their front.  The US have concentrated their infantry right of centre with their tank & a mmg on the left & a mmg on the right.
The concentrated US attack right of centre was unstoppable. A bazooka deterred the Japanese tank on that flank while the Sherman prevented any Japanese attack on the US left.  The Us gained botht eh objectives on the right& held the one o their left as well as destroying most of the Japanese for few casualties of their own.

Rich is an old FOW veteran, but hadn't played for a long time & was unfamiliar with Bolt Action, but his strategy was excellent & produced a decisive victory.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

30 Years War

The Empire: Chris & Mark.
Swedes: Mike & SteveJ.

The Swedes are on the left.
The Swedes are advancing while the Empire appears to be forming a defensive line.
Both sides are sending cavalry around the enemy's left flank.  
Swedish cavalry have charged the Imperialist battery.  The gunners have run away.  But the cavalry recoil from the pike block behind the guns.
The Imperialist cavalry have galloped into the Swede's rear around their left flank, but the Swedes have turned some cavalry to face them.
On the Swedish left their infantry have formed hedgehogs to hold off the Imperialist horse.
On the near flank Swedish horse have galloped off shot around the Empire's left.
On the near flank the Empire's infantry are trying to defeat the infantry to their front before the Swedish cavalry can attack their rear.
The Swedish foot on their right flank succeeded in pinning their opposite numbers long enough for the Swedish cavalry to charge their rear & the Empire's left flank has been destroyed.  In the centre an Imperial Tercio is leading a counterattack supported by cavalry.

The Empire's tercio in the centre lucked out in an even fight & with them went the Empire's only chance of turning the tide.  So a Swedish victory.