Friday, December 28, 2007

Camp Cromwell 27/12/07

Mahrajah Preliminary Final #1

Jim's 7th Armoured v. Steve's SS Panzer (Wittman) in FFA
7th Armour: HQ=2 Crom+2CromCS+2AA, 3xtank, Stuarts, Mech Inf, Rifles (subbed for RE), Sextons
SS Panzer: Wittman, 2x 2 Tiger, Armoured Scout, AA, Neblewerfers (2 sections + Pak40)

The table featured a big DG hill in the middle, a diagonal road embankment & a lot of open ground.
The Brits sent Rifles & Honeys forward to the crest close to the RH objective while the main force of tanks + Motorised (on foot) moved to the left and charged the LH objective under as much smoke cover as they could put down.
The 2 Tigers on the German right danced in & out of the smoke picking away at the onrushing horde (rolling 5's to get Fireflys every time they hit). Not being able to hurt the Tigers until they were in close the whole horde picked on the Pak 40 as they dashed past. Somehow 12 tanks failed to kill it & it continued to whittle away at the Cromwells until the AA finally got it. Wittman had popped out of ambush on the German right & the Tigers from the left were moving across to help, but despite steady losses the Brits were now closing on the LH objective. The Tiger on the objective was bailed by the Sextons but the Infantry failed tank terror and missed their best opportunity for victory. But the Brits weren't done yet and they attacked both objectives at once in the next turn. On the left the Cromwells were behind the 2nd Tiger & killed it. With the other still bailed, they tested morale and failed giving the Brits control of the objective. On the other flank the Honeys & Rifles rushe dover the crest, drove the Scouts back & overan the other objective. The Brits had now taken both objectives, but it had cost them a lot of casualties & they had to hold them against counterattacks. On the right the Stuarts were blown away and the Tigers attacked the Rifles. The Piat killed one Tiger, but the other survived a Piat hit to dispute the objective & the Rifles then failed morale. On the left Wittamn shrugged off a bail to dispute the objective while the Scout's half tracks moved over and mowed down the Infantry on it. Wittman also popped the HQ Cromwell & the Brits failed Coy morale.
It was an exciting battle. The Germans looked outnumbered, but their few tanks were very powerful and were well handled to boot. The Brits probably did the right thing in making all-out attacks - they had their chances to win but didn't get the right dice at the right time.
So Steve goes into the Maharajah Grand Final against the winner of Nick & Mark.

Camp Cromwell 23/12/07

Jim's 7th Armour v. Byron's Panzer Lehr Panzergrenadiers

2000 pts FFA on 8x6 table (Maharajah SF2 table with part of river removed)
Byron's Coy was maxed up with antitank weapons - 2 Pak Platoons, 88s, & loads of panzershreks.
Jim's Coy had his Maharajah 7th Armour Coy.
Byron deployed with a Pak platoon covering each objective & 88s in the centre. One P/Grenadier was on the LHS objective in a field, the other was still in its half tracks in central reserve.
Jim put the Motor platoon & Stuarts on the right to protect that objective, Rifles & Sextons in the centre & the armour spread between the left flank & centre.
Jim attacked on his left with all his heavy armour while the infantry advanced in the centre and right. The Stuarts held back on the objective out of Pak range. The swarm of Cromwells manouvred around the German right, mowing down their Heavy Mortars en route. They then lined up and made a massed attack on the objective with 18 tanks. The P/grenadiers, even with all their Panzershreks and a Pak platoon in support just couldn't kill enough tanks and the objective was overrun (see pic).
In the centre Byron had counterattacked in the centre with the mounted P/grenadiers. This attack all but destroyed the Rifles and the survivors fell back, but the P/grenadiers were still far from an objective.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Camp Cromwell 27/12/07

Nick (Panthers) vs Byron (T34/85's)

Nick bought two armies. One - Panthers - to battle Jim's 7th armoured. And the other - Soviets - to battle Jim's Grenadiers. Jim was otherwise engaged, so Nick and Byron battled using the two armies. It turned out that the armies weren't well matched. The Panthers dominated, losing one while destroying most of the t-34's.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Camp Cromwell 18/12/07

Maharajah Semi Final #2:
Barrie's British Guards attacking SteveJ's Grenadiers in HTL (LW)

Barrie advanced slowly on a broad front with recon in front, his armour in the centre and infantry on the flanks. The Churchills then moved to the right to lead the main attack on the forward objective. This all took time and Steve was able to get his reserves on in time to take effect. The Churchills were the critical part of the British attack & Steve threw all he could at them. The He's missed, but the 105s got 1 and a Pak 40 got another leaving only the super Churchill with the 13 front armour contesting the objective. After exchanging artillery for a while the Churchill attacked the grenadiers disputing the objective with commandoes coming up behind. The Grendiers passed tank terror to counterattack & a panzerfaust got the Churchill. The commandoes were then gunned down leaving the Brits without a hope. SteveJ progresses to the 1st preliminary Final v. Jim.

Camp Cromwell 18/12/07

Maharajah Semi Final #1:
Mark's US Rifles attacking SteveP's Grenadiers in HTL (MW)

Mark attacked on a broad front - 3 Inf on the right towards the objective, Shermans & Honeys up the centre & lots of artillery support. The 88s were deployed on the forward objective. They got one Sherman and the rest moved over to the left where they faced off with Sturmgeschutz while the Honeys doubled to the rear objective. Steve failed to get reserves to secure the rear objective, but did unbail a Strurm & Stormtrooper it to contest it & keep the battle going. But on the other flank the Grenadiers couldn't stop the GIs who took the objective. The game was prolonged for a while as the Germans threw scaps forward to contest, but they ran out of scraps. Mark progresses to preliminary Final v. Nick.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Camp Cromwell 13/12/07

Byron's Carri v. Renfrey's Indians
1550 pts HTL Indians defending on the Afrika Semi Final #1 table

Renfrey deployed 2 Rifles side by side either side of the front objective (on his left) with 6pdrs & 25 pdrs in ambush & mortars, bugs, HMGs, Valentines & another Rifle in reserve. Byron had 3 M14 platoons spread across the front plus Semos in the centre & Guastaori where some scrub gave them some cover towards the objective. Of course he advanced all along the front. On turn 2 one Carri double moved forwards towards the rear objective. This provoked Renfrey into dropping his 25pdrs on that flank to protect his rear. Despite having 16 shots he killed just 1 M14. He also dropped the 6pdrs in the centre getting just one bailed Semo. The feared ambushes were a bit of a squib.

Byron now switched his left flank platoons towards the centre outflanking the 6pdrs, while the other tanks & Semos softened upthe infantry on the objective. (see pic 1). It didn't look good for the Indians now. Their 6pdrs were gone & only reserves were a Rifle Platoon brought on to cover the rear objective & even double moving a long way from the action. But Byron gave them a sniff by being too cautious on the right and the Valentines finally arrived and were doubling to the front followed by lots of bugs. The 25pdrs also made a contribution getting the odd tank & semo.

Bryon finally launched an all out assault on the objective with Carri & Guastatori. The Indians resisted subbornly, beating off Carri attacks & buying time for the Valentines. The Valentines got in range & with help from the 25pdrs took out the Semos with the loss of one bail. Now it looked like the Indians were going to win. (See pic 2). But the Guastatori were just close enough to assault the Valentines with 1 team. It bailed another tank, the Platoon failed morale & retreated leaving 2 bailed captured, then failed morale again to be a total loss. The Ities consolidated on the objective.

The Indians had one chance for victory. The 3rd Rifles were within assault range of the Guastatori & moved up with bugs & 25pdr support. The fire put the Guastatori below half. They failed morale. Byron used the CIC to rr-roll. A 1-3 meant losing the Gusatatori plus the CIC & being subject to Army Morale Test. The dice tottered on edge & fell 5! The Indian charge was stopped by the Guastatori & the tanks mixed in with them & the Ities won the narrowest of victories.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Camp Cromwell 11/11/07

Once again the Maharajah Semis had to be postponed due to daughters, dogs or bosses taking liberties. Only SteveJ, Nick & Jim were able to attend.

Jim v. SteveJ in HTL

Steve used his Maharajah Grenadiers to defend the Maharajah Semi #2 table.
Jim attacked using Mark's Maharajah US Rifles.
Jim put his objective on the right where there were woods to cover the advance of his GIs.
Steve deployed Grenadiers on the objective with artillery, mortars & rockets in support & Pak40s in ambush. Jim advanced with 2 Inf on the right with Shermans & Honeys, the other Inf & the Heavy Platoon advanced in the centre and had 2 105 batteries, heavy mortars & AA behind in support. Both sides had air, but it didn't do much.

The US advance came under heavy bombardment. The Heavy Platoon was wiped out, all 3 Inf platoons were delayed by pins, but got away with moderate losses. The Honeys rushed forward, drew the Pak ambush and lost 2 without gain. The survivor fell back behind the woods until the Shermans & Inf were in position & they all charged out of the woods at the objective while the mortars smoked the Paks. The Grenadiers were driven back and then destroyed by the Shermans.

Steve had had rotten luck with reserves, getting his first only after the Shermans had rushed the objective. But his 2nd Pak platoon fianally came on and bailed the Sherman on the objective to buy another turn. Then the Shermans all unbailed & over-ran the 1st Paks while the Inf consolidated on the objective to complete the win.

For a while it looked like the Germans had it in the bag as the US losses mounted steadily, but the US attack was relentless & they got lucky with smoke, unpins & unbails at the right time, while Steve's reserves rolls were huge handicap.
The 1st pic, taken from behind the US right, shows the Honeys going forward to draw the Paks out as the Shermans & GIs move up for the main attack.
The 2nd pic shows Steve's trying to halt the attack with a barrage. The big white patch is smoke on the Paks. The small puffs are burning Honeys.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Camp Cromwell 06/12/07

Renfrey's Brit Rifles v. Jim's Grenadiers

We used the table prepared for next week's Maharajah 1st Semi for a 1500 pts LW HTL, Germans defending.

The Germans chose to take the end with the big hill on the left & the Brits put their objective on that hill. The Germans put down 2 Grenadier Plats, each with 2HMGs attached - one on the hill to the left of the objective & one to the right extending through the fields. They had 3 Pak 40s in ambush with 4 Stugs, 2 37mm SPAA & a KT in reserve.

The Brits advanced with Bugs & Churchills on their far right, Inf & HMGs thru the farm right of centre, 2 Inf & 4M10s up the centre along & behind the central ridge. Their Sextons were firing bombardments from the rear. The Germans dropped the A/Tank ambush on the crestline & they engaged the Churchills & Bugs in an ineffectual duel that seemed to go on forever. This suited the Germans as it bought time to bring up the Stugs & later the AA & KT. The M10s came onto the ridge hull down & engaged the Stugs, but they were quickly destroyed for no loss. Renfrey then had to launch an infantry assault which was stopped by firepower and a Stug counterattack. The Pak40s were eventually destroyed & the 2 surviving Churchills finally resumed their advance, but it was too late - the KT finally reached the front line and with the Stugs following on the Brits were doomed.

The pic is taken from the German left. The smoke on the ridge is burning TDs. The Stugs have driven one Brit Inf back up the hill. The last Pak 40 is about to die. The Big Pussy is about to get into the action with the Stugs in support & finish the job.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Camp Cromwell 04/12/07

Jim's 7th Armour attacking Nick's Panzer Grenadiers in a HTL (Byron observing). Standard 1500 pts battle on 6x4 table.
It was not a very fair match as it turned out. The battle was decided on turn 2 when Nick's 5 MkIVs dropped out of ambush, scored one lousy bail then failed to stormtrooper back into the woods. The Panzers then evaporated as a dozen Cromwells & Fireflys returned fire with Jim's new 7th Armoured dice. The Grenadiers then didn't have a hope of stopping the tin horde and the objective was quickly over-run.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Camp Cromwell 27/11/07

Late War HTL Grenadiers defending v. US Rifles

MarkO failed to show up for his Mahahrajah Semi-final v. SteveP, so JIm, Nick & Renfrey volunteered to give Steve a practice run. SteveJ & Byron signed on as German advisers.
Happy to command someone else's army, the US players attacked with reckless abandon.
The US Infantry got pinned down by German fire & never hade it over the centreline.
The USAF came often enough, but couldn't hit anything, and the masses of US artillery didn't do much better.
On the other hand the US armour did surprisingly well - the 88 ambush achieved zip before they were destroyed & the Shermans took on the Stugs & destroyed them. But the Shermans ran out of support & were destroyed by a Grenadier counterattack. This left no US over the centreline & a German victory.

Camp Cromwell 22/11/07

Jim's Panzer Grenadiers v. Renfrey's British Rifles

Late War HTL, Brits defending using the 8x6 table SteveJ & Nick used for their Maharajah last week.
Renfrey deployed 2 Infantry Platoons with 17pdrs & M10s in ambush. He had Sextons, HMG Bugs, Churchills & another Infantry in reserve, plus Limited Hurricanes.
Jim had 2 P/Grens, HMGs, Mauliers, Stugs, 37mm SPAA & a KT.
Despite a Nick-like burst of 11 fails in 12 consecutive infantry saves which all but annihilating the German infantry, the dastardly Germans cynically exploited the British inexperience to take the objective with their armour (see pic).

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Maharajah 2007 2nd Qualifying Final

Nick's US Armour v. SteveJ's Panzer Lehr P/Grenadiers - LW Breakthrough

Steve's army had 2x3 Pak 40s, 3 small P/grens, Hvy Mortars, 2 lots of armoured AA, & 105s.
Nick had 2x3 Priests, 5M5, 3M8, Cav recn, 3 Arm Rifles, Hellcats & P/Air.
The Mission rules didn't help Steve forcing him to leave his halftracks off the table, makig them a waste of points. Despite have 2 Arm Inf + hellcats in the flanking force Nick seemed to have heaps of troops on the table. He worked his way forward around the German right flank avoiding the zones of death of the Pak 40s on the other flank. The US light armour took out the German AA & artillery while their artillery & air whittled away at the german defence. The 1st US reserves (Hellcats) arrived in time to get within 40cm of the objective before time and after 2 Infantry Platoons also arrived on flank it seemed only a matter of time before they drove the small Grenadier platoon from the objective. But the battle went on and on as Nick cautiously advanced. Eventually at 1am Steve conceded that he had no hope of stopping the US infantry swarm massing near the objective.

Mahrajah 2007 1st Qualifying Final

Jim's Fucilieri v. MarkO's US Rifles - MW FFA

(Started on Tuesday 15/11, with Renfrey as umpire, & finished on Tuesday 20/11).
The table featured a large rough hill at each end of no man's land, a fair bit of scattered cover in both sides rear & a big open space in the middle.
Both sides did their best to try & hide their batteries behind scrub patches & orchards but not entirely sucessfully. The US deployed infantry along the front stiffened with a/tank guns right of centre & HMGs left of centre. The Shermans were tucked behind the hill on their extreme right. The Ities put 2 Infantry on each flank with HMGs & Pak 40s covering the clear ground in the centre.
The battle started with the US digging in while the Ities rushed infantry forward on both flanks. But the Itie advance only went as far as the crests of the two hills and the battle settled down into an artillery duel. Both sides air came regulary. The USAF did bugger all at the start, but got a couple of 105s eventually. The Regio Aeronautica didn't do much either, but their constant attention on the Shermans encouraged them into leaving their hidey hole & this brought them under the template of the very 100 battery that got the KVs at Isdonisgrad (Fearless Vets they are now) - this time they got two Shermans in two salvoes. When the german 105s bailed another, the platoon failed morale to turn the battle decisively in the Itie's favour.
With both sides spead out to provide only one decent target per template it was slow going, but with 3 Vet batteries plus air & mortars, the Ities were clearly in no hurry.
After countless turns, the US had both 105 batteries & their a/tank reduced to 2 guns eachs & the Ities finally made their move. The Guastatori Avantied over the crest supported by Fucilieri & L6s on their right, and an artillery barrage. The US Infantry, battery & a/tank on the US right were overrun leaving the US position outflanked. Mark realised that there was nothing he could do to stop the L6s of doom supported by infantry and massed artillery from rolling up his line & conceded the battle.

At Barrie's 17/11/07

Jim's Falschirmjager v. Leigh's British Guards

LW 1500 pts Free For All on 6x6 table using hidden deployment & spotting
The platoons were initially represented on the table by counters with some dummies. These either had to be spotted or expose themselves by firing or moving before being put down on the table.
The Germans advanced Infantry on both flanks to sieze two woods on the centreline. They also had 3 Hummels, 4 heavy mortars & 4 Stugs behind a ridge in the centre.
The Brits dug in infantry on the objectives on each flank. A double 25pdr battery was behind their left & centre & a Sherman platoon supported their left. In the centre they advanced a Commando platoon though the central village with HMGs in carriers advancing on their left & 2M10s on the right.
The Stugs popped over the ridge and destroyed the HMGs. The Hummel's observer spotted the Firefly & the big guns promptly destroyed it. The 25pdrs failed dismally to hurt the Stugs which then turned on the Shermans & destroyed them as well.
With his Shermans & bugs destroyed, Leigh made a desperate charge out of the village towards the German's LH objective. The Falschirmjager on the left moved back from the wood to counter the attack while the Stugs rushed over from the right. The M10s lost one before breaking off from the FJs. The Commando attack on the FJs was stopped by firepower. The Stugs then finished off the M10s & the FJ counterattck destroyed the Commandos.
The Stugs & FJs advanced to attack the small Rifle Coy on the Brit's LH objective. The Brits took 3 Stugs out, but lost so many doing so that the FJs easily finished them off to take the objective & win the battle.
Barrie's draft rules needed a bit of tweeking, but in principle worked ok. It slows the game down & realistically favours the defence. It probably improves the scenario, but I'm not sure it improves the game. Nevertheless an interesting exercise - probably best used in historical scenarios rather than straight FOW Missions.

Alexander vs. Darius

Club Bowler Wargaming Centre
Alexander the Great: Nick
Darius the Dill: Cameron

Victory is achieved by eliminating / routing a single opposing heavy infantry unit (Phalanx / Hoplite)

Thus it came about that I, Emperor Darius, surveyed yet another dusty battlefield from atop my golden command chariot. A whole lot of flatness out there. Flatter than Bignose the Byzantine after the Imperial elephants finished with him.

Alexander the upstart was knocking on my empire’s door, once again. The little nuisance had a formidable force of …greeks…over there. Why couldn’t he just bugger off back home? Didn’t he realise that the Persian Empire was all powerful?

Clearly not. Only this morning, Leonordis, the royal fan waver, hissed in my ear that there were rumours flying around the camp that Alexander had a terrible ‘itch’. When I queried Leonordis about this affliction he only grunted and his skinny arms flapped the palm frond fan so violently that I may have just as well have been standing on Mount Sinai in the face of a raging Shamal. To long spent with the Zoroastrians does that to you. I’m starting to think they use hallucinogenics in their smoke.

At a loss as to whether Alexander suffered from an anatomical or strategic ‘itch’ I summoned a council of war.

Signortia, commander of the Hoplites was first to speak. “There are an awful lot of Greeks over yonder, my lord”
“Specifically what type of Greeks, Signortia?”, huffed I. A recurring fault of the Persian Empire was its inability to produce any meaningful military minds. Soft succulent servile female companions, yes. Kick ‘em in the teeth, rip out their guts grizzled, gap-toothed warriors, no.

“Phalanx’s and such, my lord. Companions.”
Puzzling…“Oh, they have female company as well?”
“No my lord, I am led to believe that Alexander prefers male companions. Dressed in armour. On a horse.”
Mind boggling stuff. Greeks. What could you say?
Still, there was the small matter of tomorrow’s battle.
“So Signortia, our hoplites can deal with matters adequately I trust?”
“No my lord.”
“Unfortunately, my lord, there is nothing in our current army that can face off against the Phalanx’s.”
“NONE?”“No my lord. The phalanx’s might be dressed in skirts and be commanded by a known shirt lifter but they have long spears and heavy armour. We would be overwhelmed in short order. All would be lost. A terrible curse –“
“Yes, alright, I have the picture, thank you Signortia”
Clearly the Persian army wasn’t where it should be. Haven’t our generals heard of benchmarking? What do they do all day, polish their helmets and wax their leotards?
“And what, pray tell, Signortia, would you advise we do?”
“Run away, my lord. They may be Greek poofters but they are poofters with long spears.”

So it came to pass that as the dawn sun rose in the east I, Darius, took charge of matters and arrayed our mighty forces.
“Signortia, position your Hoplites on the right and as soon as the bugle blows march them sideways as far as you can before forming into a tight defensive position.”
“Sideways, m’Lord?” he muttered, squinting at me.
“Yes sideways you miserable cheese eating surrender monkey. Do as you are bloody well told.”
“Of course, my lord.” He replied, bobbing his head, “Sideways it shall be”. More bobbing. A noticeable cringing about the edges.
Bob away you little turd for by tonight your head will be rolling in the dirt looking for a pair of shoulders to sit upon.
I cast my mind back to business.
“Speedatorium”, the cavalry commander, “I ask only that you put all your light cavalry on the left and all your heavy cavalry on the right”
Speedatorium, apparently suffering from squinters disease as well, peered in my direction.
“Split my command in two, oh wise one?”
“That’s right. Tell them all to gallop around the flanks of the phalanx’s and hit them in the rear. Your horsemen are our only hope. The gods of Fire will be with you all.”
“Yes, oh wise one. It shall be done.”
“Excellent. Proceed.” Good, at last somebody who knows what he is about.

Right, that wasn’t hard. Now where is Leonordis? All this commanding is getting me hot and bothered. Perhaps some olive oil applied by a few winsome slippery royal consorts might help.

Mid morning arrived. All the tedious military formation positioning and repositioning had been completed. Both armies faced each other. I was oiled and ready. All that was needed was the sound of a bugle. I waved my hand and the bugle blared it’s siren call.

Persians (black) and the Greeks (red).

I have to say that it went exceedingly well and according to my master plan. For, oh…, say five, maybe ten minutes. Such was my joy and that of those accompanying me that I immediately ordered wine and food to celebrate.

How presumptuous of me. The God of Fire hissed, sputtered and fizzled out well before any refreshments could arrive. Watching from my chariot I was forced to order all priests and other soothsayers put to the sword, if only to quench my anger at the inadequacy of the entire Persian army.

Signortia, commanding the Hoplites dutifully stomped off sideways only to metamorphose into some kind of self-induced Mesopotamian traffic jam. There were hoplites marching in all directions, becoming more tangled and twisted than the hanging gardens of Babylon.

Speedatorium’s Light Cavalry, attempting to swing around the left flank of the Greeks only succeeded in banging headlong into the entire Greek cavalry force which proceeded to chop them into pieces.

The Heavy Cavarly actually managed to penetrate past the right flank but when ordered to turn in on the rear of the Greek Phalanx’s they rode off into the desert on some kind of wide sweeping arc that encompassed all of Asia Minor. Apparently, so I was told later, Speedatorium got a good deal on horses from Flaky Phil the Philistine at Damascus last summer. Wonderful horses. Strong and fast.

In a straight line.

Try cornering your mount on one of Flakies prize steeds and you’d still be at it by sundown. Bloody horses couldn’t turn.

What a debacle. With all lost and the smelly greeks bearing down on our confused mess of Hoplites I ordered a general retreat. There is one thing that we Persians excel at.

End of the battle. Greeks (red) bearing down on the hoplites in the corner. Persian Heavy cavalry moving around to the rear of the Greek Phalanx's via Turkey and Afghanistan. Persian light cavalry on the left flank decimated.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Camp Cromwell 13/11/07

Maharajah Elimination Final 2: Barrie's British Guards v. James' Grenadiers - LW Encounter

(Continued from last week). Barrie sent his surviving "armour" - his HMG carriers forward on his right and attacked the Stugs with his Commandoes. The Commandoes took out 2 Stugs and the others withdrew to pick on easier meat - the HMG carriers. Two platoons of HMG carriers took a lot of killing but eventually all the German firepower reduced both platoons to just 1 or 2 Carriers. Barrie withdrew the survivors to preclude platoon loses. The Germans didn't feel confident to attack & the Brits advanced very cautiously. Eventually, the Allied Air took out the Stugs one by one to force an Army Morale Test that the Germans failed.
Barrie goes into the 2nd Semi Final v. the loser of SteveJ v. Nick.
James is eliminated.

Maharajah Elimination Final 1: SteveP's Strelkovy v. Byron's Aukschwadron - LW Breakthrough

After an agonisingly slow deployment the battle finally got under way. Both sides did a bit of long range sniping without great effect while Steve moved a Strlk towards the rear objective & Byron waited for his flanking force to arrive. When it did he hit the Strelk with everything & all but anhilated it. But Steve's T34s rushed over to help & the Gods joined in to destroy the flanking force completely & secure the rear objective. Byron then resorted to a direct assault on the front objective with Panzer Grens & A/cars. They cleared a hole in the line, but the Gods & T34s took their toll & the attack ran out of steam.
Steve goes into the 1st Semi Final v. the loser of Jim v. Mark.
Byron is eliminated.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Camp Cromwell 06/11/07

Battle of Isdonisgrad Concluded

We resumed on the Axis' 10th turn. Following their regroup after stomping on some Fucilieri last turn the 3 remaining KVs were grouped so all fitted under a template. The Guastatori moved up within assault range and Gandini pointed every tube they had at the Bolshie behmoths. The Italian 100's fired first, ranged in, hit the two unbailed ones, both threw 1's for armour saves, firepower killed one & bailed one. The 105's, 75's, heavy mortars & MkIVs all missed. But the Guastatori passed tank terror, got some hits & the 3 bailed KV crews were captured. That was the critical moment of the battle - the loss of the KVs stopped the Bolshie attack & removed their chance of overunning the Ities. But the Axis didn't have time to take the Russian objectives either so the batttle petered out into the artillery picking off targets of opportunity - with the Axis doing rather better out of it.

At then end of turn 12 nightfall ended the battle. Under the campaign rules this made it a draw, but the Axis as the attackers must fall back & the Russians hold Isdonosgrad. Both sides can get 1/3 of their losses as stragglers are rounded up, slightly wounded patched up, and equipment salvaged. It is now the Russian's campaign turn 2.

The pic is taken from behind the Axis right. The dead KV platoon is on the far left.

Except from the Gandini Papers:

8 Sept 1942

Herr Hitler,

I am pleased to report that Isdonisgrad is a now graveyard for the Bolshevik army. Their dead infantry are piled high, their batteries and their mighty KV tanks are smoking heaps of junk.

My plan was to hold our left flank with the Fucilieri while the Grenadiers and Panzers smashed the Russian left. As expected, the Bolsheviks made a ferocious attack on the Fucilieri Coy with massed infantry supported by KVs. The Italians fought like Lions, giving ground to draw the Bolshevik tanks into range of our guns. The Italian artillery softened them up and a counterattack by the Guastatori finished them off. Without their tanks to hide behind the Bolshviks turned to water and their attack petered out.

Meanwhile on our right the Bosheviks ran in panic before the Panzers. Only nightfall and fast running saved the Bolshek army from destruction.

In order to minimise casualties to our irreplaceable infantry I did not launch a direct assault on Isdonisgard itself. But while Isdonisgrad has not yet fallen, I have achieved my objective of weakening the Bolshevik army. Overnight I am regrouping our forces.


Maharajah 2007 EF2

James' Gernadiers v. Barries' British Guard Rifles
2000 pts LW Encounter battle.

Both sides dug in on their objectives, but James bravely sent his Tigers forward on their own to wreak havoc on the British artillery. The Typhoons failed dismally to stop them, as did 2 so called Tank Destroyers - which the Tigers disposed of. Barrie's armour arrived and his Firefly took on and beat the Tigers. But James' Stugs were also rushed forward as soon as they arrived and the Firefly ran out of luck - as did two of the Shermans. The British armour is reduced to just 1 bailed up Sherman (which did at least pass morale), but the Germans have 4 Stugs left & thats' the only serious armour left on the table. Casulties to the artillery and infantry also favour the Germans at this stage. Time ran out & the battle was adjourned until next Tuesday.
The pic shows the Tigers emerging from a smokescreen to take on the Tank Destroyers.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Camp Cromwell 30/11/07

Isdonisgrad continues

The usual incompetent Russian staffwork meant we had a late start after they turned up without the extra troops needed & had to go home & get them.

When the battle finally got underway, the Russian reinforcements came on so thick & fast on the Italian left flank they couldn't find space for them on the table. The 1st Fucilieri were overwhelmed, but the victorious Strelkovy were then too scared of Axis firepower to come out of the woods. Russian Anti-tank guns took on the MkIIs but the MkIIs won with a bit of help from mortars & Guastatori. But the gunners got lucky before the end and took some invaluable Guastatori with them.

On the other flank, the Panzers arrived eventually and the Militia on the Russian left were retreated off the table to cut their losses (one wonders what Uncle Joe's going to say when he hears about that manoeuvre - what happened to Not One Step Back ?)

Meanwhile the KVs advanced relentlessly on the Italian centre. One was destroyed by the 100s, another bailed by the 105s. But they destroyed the 2nd Fucilieri & the Itie anti-tanks guns, while the 3rd Fucilieri fell back before them with heavy losses.

While all this was going on, the artillery of both sides blasted away, mostly ineffectually, but with an occasional big hit.

When we adjourned again, it was the end of turn 9 & the battle remains in the balance. The KVs are close to the Itie objective, but they are on their own as the Strelkovy were too scared of the MkIIs, HMGs & artillery to come up in support, while the MkIVs have been turned left & are racing to assist the Ities. A decisive result is unlikely with both sides' rights being too strong to lose, but the attrition could be significant either way in the end. The KVs are the key - they have dominated the battle so far - but how long can they survive the relentless artillery barrage ?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Isdonisgrad Campaign: Battle of Isdonosgrad

The Ivans (Nick & MarkO) have a Guard Strelkovy Coy & a Militia Coy deployed around Isdonisgrad with a Strelkovy Coy coming on as reinforcements on their right. The Axis (Jim as CIC) ) are attacking with Fucilieri (Barrie) & Grenadiers (SteveJ) with Panzers (Byron) coming on as reinforcements behind their right.

The battle opened with much digging in and an artillery duel. Gandini was rather miffed by lousy 8 Million Bayonets dice and finding his calculations on the artillery balance upset by the Ivans having an extra battery from an Assault Platoon. The Ivans managed to get dug in and on target first but did not capitalise on it. The first German reinforcement came on turn 3 & was a 105 battery. The Gods hit it immediately, but Byron saved both hits & also unpinned immediately. The Ities gave up on digging-in and joined in pounding back at the Gods. The 100's, 105's & Heavy Mortars took out 4 guns in a turn & suddenly the balance shifted a bit back to the Axis.

On turn 4 the Axis got no more reinforcements, but the Ivans got two Platoons. There wasn't enough troops at Camp Cromwell available so the battle was adjourned until next week when the Ivans will get their act together & bring some more.

At this stage the Axis have lost just 1 100mm gun while the ivans have lost 5 big guns, 4 a/tank (from the Itie 75's) & 2 Infantry. The Militia on the Bolshie left is looking a bit shaky, but on the other flank the Fucilieri are facing a wall of Bolshies & more coming. Next week it's going to get very intersting.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fascist Cowards!!!!!!!!!!

Comrade Stefanovich fowarded this authentic picture of the battlefield, taken by a brave brother in a sturmovick. It shows the overwhelming effect that the Russian spirit had on the defilers of the motherland.
The fascist pigs have editted this picture for use in their bulletins. But they cannot hide the truth.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Fascists Routed!!!!!!!!

The Proletariat Defence Council is pleased to announce a glorious victory over the Hitlerites near Isdonisgrad.

A concerted attack by massed fascist forces was mounted on brave defenders of the motherland. Many heroes were gunned down by fascist heavy tanks as they tried to stem the tide of evil. But their sacrifice was not in vain -- they slowed down the forces of evil. Meanwhile, the heroic defenders of Myskina rushed to the battlefield. Their arrival totally diconcerted the evil fascists. When they saw the peoples militia, manned by the mothers and workers of the glorious socialist republics, the fascists realised that they could not defeat the Russian spirit, and started to withdraw. The withdrawal turned into a rout, with Russian light tanks pursuing the fascists and gunning them down as they fled -- a just retribution for the evil they had inflicted.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Camp Cromwell 16/10/07

Isdonisgrad Campaign Battle in Hex I6 continued:

German Grenadiers & Panzer Grenadiers (Jim, SteveJ & Byron)
Russian Strelkovy & Tankovy (Nick, MarkO, SteveP & Dillon)

SteveJ's 38ts stormed forward on the German left with Grenadiers in support.
Nick's KVs slowly advanced on the Russian left skirting the 88's zone of death. The rest of his tanks slowly moved to the right over the rough ground.
Meanwhile, the artillery, rockets, airforces & mortars pounded away at each other.
The 38ts were hit hard by Sturmovics, but they still destroyed most of a Strelkovy Plat, the few remainders stepping off the table to escape.
A Panzer platoon came on on the Germans left as the vanguard of a Panzer Coy arriving as reinforcement, but next turn a Gods of War Battery turned up on the German right flank as the advance guard of a Strelkovt Coy.
The Germans decided the risk of catastrophe was too great, conceded the battle and instigated the Campaign Retreat Rule. As they retreated the artillery & Sturmovics picked off a Pak 40 & an 88 while the Luftwaffe took out some the newly arrived Gods of War.

German casualties:
2 38t
1 Pak 40
1 88
3 neblewerfers (cmmd & obs survived)
3 Grenadiers
1 Panzer Grenadier

Russian casualties:
2 Guns from the Mysinka force
3 Guns from Mark's force
13 Inf & 1 HMG from one Strelk Plat (Mark's)
1 Kat & 1 loader team (Nick's)
1 Heavy Mortar (Nick's)

Some of the Germans (SteveJ) wanted to fight on, but General Gandini is never happy to be outgunned & was pretty happy to conceed defeat while avoiding serious loss.
Casualties in the Campaign after two battles (one minor victory each) are pretty even. A decisive battle is yet to come. Maybe Isdonisgrad next week will be different.

Except from Gandini papers:

8 Sept 1942

Herr Hitler,

This morning’s action at Ivansixski went perfectly to plan. The 2nd Grenadiers and Panzergrenadiers drew the main part of the Bolshevik horde into battle then executed a skilfull withdrawal. Our losses are slight while the Ivans have lost many guns and most of a Strelkovy Platoon.

With the main part of the Bolshevik army pinned down at Ivansixski, Isdonisgrad is ripe for the plucking. As I write our brave Fucilieri and Grenadiers are preparing to attack.

Your humble servant,


At Barrie's 14/10/07

With fresh copies of VB in hand we tried out the first two scenarios.

Whitman's Wild Ride:
Barrie's Tiger didn't quite get to end of the queue - the Honeys survived to Turn 10 to deny him victory & make it a draw (see pic).
Odd little scenario - not much to do except shoot & hope for hot dice - but probably a good one for beginners.

Point 213:
MarkO & Barrie's Tigers (2 each)
Jim's 4th CLY Armoured Squadron

The German's Tiger Ace Skill was 3 shots for both platoons. Both platoons came on on the same road (d4).
The Brits started in a pack with the Cmmd teams in the centre around the objective & the 3 Tank Platoons on the adjacent roads.
As the Tiger column came up the road, the Brits sent A Tank Platoon to the left & C Plat to the right as soon as they finished their tea. B Plat stayed in reserve continuing to drink tea. The Firefly of A Plat jumped out onto the road, missed it's shot at Mark's lead Tiger & was promptly destroyed. Mark then engaged the Cmmd tanks thru the hedgegrow. C Platoon engaged Barrie's Tigers. The Firefly got one before the platoon was destroyed (3 Croms killed & the FF failed morale). Mark's 2 Tigers + Barrie's one now finished off the cmmd tanks. While the Cromwells of A Plat manoeuvred around the Tiger's flank, B platoon finally finished their tea and engaged the Tigers front on. The FF got Barrie's second Tiger on it's first shot. Mark's 2 Tigers destroyed the Cromwells of B plat and bailed the FF. The FF survived the Platoon Morale test but remained bailed. As 3 Croms hammered away at the Tiger's sides without effect, Mark ignored them & had 6 more shots at the FF. He got just one lousy bail. It survived morale again, unbailed this time - and promptly popped both Tigers = 3 Tigers in 3 shots !
Sgt Johny Wilkinson & the rest of his crew have been nominated for medals & the model has had 3 rings painted on the barrel.
The scenario is an interesting change - nice to have 4 Tigers to shoot at ?

We didn't have smoke handy to mark the dead tanks, but all the tanks in the 3rd pic are dead except the 3 Croms of A Plat beyond the Tigers & Wilkinson's FF on the left.

Unfortunately, the FF used up all Jim's luck for the day - he copped a $80 fine + one demerit point for doing 80 in a 70 zone on the way home.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Camp Cromwell 09/10/07

Isdonisgrad Campaign - T3 Battle in hex I6

Grenadier 2 (Barrie):
Grenadier Platoon A
Grenadier Platoon B
3 Pak 40s
2 88's
2 37mm AA Arm HTs
105s (3 guns)

Panzer Grenadier (Byron & SteveJ)
Armoured Panzer Grenadier Platoon A
Armoured Panzer Grenadier Platoon B (less 1 team)
Pioneer Platoon
2 37mm AA Arm HTs
4 Marders
5 Panzer 38t

Motostrelkovy (MarkO):
Motostrelkovy Coy A (less 5 teams)
Motostrelkovy Coy B (less 2 teams)
Artillery (7 guns)

Tankovy (Nick):
8 T10
10 T34
7 KV
Heavy Mortars

Jim was in overall command of the Germans, Nick of the Russians. With so many troops to put down it was a slow process to deploy (alternating placing platoons from both Coys in a Campaign Encounter Battle).
The Russians concentrated their armour on their left in the rough ground (where they had more room to deploy). Their infantry was on the right with the artillery in the right rear and mortars on the left.
The Germans deployed Grenadiers along their front peppered with HMGs. The Pak 40s were in the front line in the centre, the 88's in the farm yard behind the centre. Artillery in left rear, mortars & rockets in the centre. Panzer Grenadiers still in HTs on the right. Marders behind the farm, 38ts on the left. AA in centre rear.
In their first turn the Germans were restricted by the Mobile battle Rule. They advanced on their left with Grenadiers & 38ts while forming a defence on their right. They managed to dig in their Paks, 88s & mortars, but that was all. One of the PGs platoons dismounted, the other moved back.
In the Russian 1st Turn they advanced their KVs, moved their other tanks to the right, tried & failed to dig in their Infantry & opened up with their massed artillery & mortars. The Germans lost a Nebelwerfer, a Grenadier & an HMG & were probably lucky at that.

The battle was adjourned at that to be continued next week. A titanic struggle seems to be in the making. The pic is taken from behind the Russian right flank. Note the swarm of tankovy in the hills on the far left.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Camp Cromwell 25/09/07

Late War Brits v. Germans

2 x 1500 pt Coys a side Encounter Scenario.

Jim's Armoured`Recon + Barrie's Italy Vet Rifles
SteveJ & MarkO's Grenadiers.

(Also present: Byron & friend).

On the German right, Mark had Grens, SPAA & 4 Stugs deployed, Grens, Nebles, 2 Tigers in reserve, HMGs attached out.
Steve had Grens, Lt Mortars, 3 Pak 40s deployed, Grens, 105s, Hvy Mortars, Pak 97/38s in reserve + Hs129s.

On the Brit left, Barrie had 2 Rifles, Hvy mortars & 3 Churchills deployed with Rifles, HMGs, Lt Mortars & 2 17pdrs in reserve.
Jim had 2 HQ Cromwells, 3 Cromwells, 4 M10 3" & 4 Sextons deployed with 3 Cromwells, 3 Honeys & Mech Inf in reserve + air.

The Brits immediately attacked hoping to strike before the Pussies came. Barrie pressed straight forward while Jim advanced diagonally to the left to support him. The Stugs stepped out from behind the village to meet the M10s, shot badly & got just one before failing Stormwtrooper & getting mashed by the crowd of Brit armour. Mark was about to be swamped, but his Tigers & Grenadiers arrived in the right place at the right time to meet the attack.

The Cromwells suddenly turned right and threatened Steve's objective. This intercepted Steve's attempt to move troops to support Mark, & Barrie took possession of the objective. The battle could have ended then, but the Tigers managed to stormtrooper to 95mm from the objective to dispute it. Jim's Cromwells then discovered what Panzershreks & fausts could do as their diversionary attack pettered out against the Grenadiers. The Germans continued to get a good flow of reinforcements into the critical spot while the Brit reinforcements were slower to arrive, then had a long slog to the front. The Tigers sat next to the objective systematically destroying the Brit armour as the Brits brought up more troops. Having lost their M10s, they gave up trying to hurt the pussies with pop guns and went for everything else while the 17pdrs were brought up & deployed on a hill with a view of the Tigers. They got 1 Tiger and Mark's command was reduced to 3 platoons all exactly half strength, but it didn't break.

Up 'till now, the Air had neutralised each other, both sides only calling for it when there were specially good targets, or for interception. But the Hs129s did break though twice - once taking out the Cromwell HQ then later taking out 3 HMG carriers. The Brits only used their Hurricanes for interception as their prime targets were always either in smoke or too close to ground troops.

Having driven off the Cromwells, Steve's Grenadiers were now able to support Mark's Tigers, plus his 105s and Heavy Mortars gave more support. The Heavy Mortars were another nasty shock to the Brits when they blew armour apart with their 3 a/t and 3+ firepower. Jim's Coy failed morale but Barrie's last 17pdr managed to pop the last Tiger before the 105s could get it. Steve's Grenadiers got smashed by Heavy Mortars & and fresh Brit Inf occupied the objective in strength to win the battle.

This was an epic struggle which went on 'till midnight. The Brits used their mobility to gain an early advantage but they just couldn't quite nail it against the German uberweapons. The Tigers were expected, but the Panzer%$#%ers, Heavy Mortars & Hs129s were all nasty too. The Cromwell's 100% casualty rate on their first outing wasn't a good start. Their speed was very useful, but the CT rating's a pain - eagerly awaiting the VB book in the hope that the 7th Armoured Cromwells are CVs.
Pic 1: The Cromwell's diversionry attack is in the forground. The Churchills are taking teh objective in the far right corner.
Pic 2: Same time as Pic 1, but from behind Brit lines. Brit reinforcements are rushing forward in the foreground.
Pic 3: Carnage around the objective at the end - all that armour except 1 bailled bug is dead.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Camp Cromwell 18/09/07

Very Late War

Another one of SteveJ's scenarios at the gates of Berlin with over 3000 pts a side.

Jim & James' Germans: 14 Tiger Is in 3 Platoons, 5 Panthers, 2 AA Plats & 1 Grenadier Plat
Byron & SteveJ's Russians: 2 T34/85 Plats of 10, 2 JS Plats of 5, 2 Strelkovy plus limited air.
The Russians to win by getting 5 tanks off the far end of the table.
The table was dominated by a large town in the centre.

The Germans deployed the Grenadiers in the rear half of the town. The Panthers & a Tiger Plat on the left reqar. A Tiger Plat on the right rear & the small Tiger Plat behind the town. There was one AA on each flank & this succeded in driving off the Red`Airforce almost every time. Only once did a plane get though & it missed its target.

The first Russian rush on their right shuddered to a halt when Jim's Panthers & Tigers lept forward & smashed the front row of T34s. The Riussians then became more circumspect & advanced the infantry through the town in front of the armour. There was a confused fight in the town with tanks sniping at each other down the streets. The Grenadiers gave ground to the Strelkovy falling back to the rear edge of the town & their Tiger support to stand again.

Steve renewed the attack on the right with JSs in support of the T34s. The Panthers lost 2 to the JSs, 2 were bailed & 1 was captured by infantry - then they failed morale. But the Tigers wiped out the T34s and then slogged it out with the JSs, helped greatly by Byron getting one bogged in a hedgerow & not getting it free until the rest of the Platoon was dead.

The fight in the town became a stalemate as the 1st Strelkovy & the Grenadiers slaughtered each other but refused to fail morale and burning tanks of both sides blocked up the streets.

At 11pm we agreed to a draw. The battle probably would have been better with a few less troops so we could have fought it right out in the time available. The Germans got a bit of a shock meeting JSs for the first time - we found out why they made KTs.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Camp Cromwell 11/09/07

Kunnersdorf April 1945 (an historical scenario set up by SteveJ).

Germans (Jim & SteveJ)
HQ, HMGs, 2 CT Gren, Mortars, 3 Pak 40s, 3 SPAA, 2 KTs + in reserve 2 KTs (diced from turn 3) & 3 Panthers (diced from turn 6) = 2475pts

Russians (MarkO, Barrie, Byron)
HQ T34/85, 2 x 10 T34/85, 5 ISU122, 5 JS2, 1 Motostrelkovy, Limited Sturmoviks = 3400pts

The Germans started dug in & GTG. The Russians started at the other end.
Russian victory condition was for the Russians to get 5 tanks past the Germans & off the far edge.

Steve's Grenadiers were on the left with the Pak 40s & his KT & AA behind. Jim's Grenadiers on the right with his KT & mortars behind.

The Russians advanced as fast as they could in an effort to over-run the Germans before their reinforcements could arrive. The T34s were fastest and concentrated on Jim's flank advancing in two waves, Byron in front, Barrie behind. Mark's JSs & ISUs advanced on Steve's flank. The Motostrelkovy in the centre got hit by mortar fire & pinned down as soon as they got out of their trucks - they never got into the action. The Sturmoviks mostly got shot down by the AA, but Steve's KT had a narrow escape when one got thru the barrage. After that they seemed to lose interest and didn't show up again.

Byron's T34s lost a few going in, but hit the Grenadier screen and killed half of it before it pulled back. Then the 2 KTs came on from reserve at the perfect moment (on the second try) and the Grenadiers counterattacked. The 3 KTs plus Panzerschreck & Panzerfaust killed or bailed the rest of Byron's T34s and the Grenadiers passed tank terror to finish the platoon off. Barrie's T34s then came up, destroyed the Grenadiers and swarmed the 3
KTs. The KT's beautiful camo jobs were so effective the Russians missed their side shots when they had a chance. Then Steve got the Panthers to come on on their second throw - the T34s did get one KT, but they were outgunned and quickly dispatched.

Meanwhile on the other flank the Russian big gun tanks wiped the Pak40s then over-ran the Grenadiers while Steves KT whittled the Russians tanks away. Mark had 4 tanks left when the losses on the other flank (including HQ) meant Russian Coy Morale failure and German victory.

The Germans thoroughly enjoyed getting their rocks off in a Turkey shoot with their big pussys, but it was still a close run thing. The Germans put up a good defence, but: that Strurmovik only just missed Steve's KT, the German reserves both turned up promptly & the T34's shot badly when they had a chance to hurt the KTs. If any one of those things had gone the other way, the result may well have been different.
Pic 1: How far can that #$%&er fire ?
Pic 2: 20 T34/ KT...come & get it !
Pic 3: The cavalry arrives.
Pic 4: On the other flank Steve's mobile pill box stands its ground.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

At Griggsy's 06/07/09

The Kingston guys started their Club Comp last Thursday with 3 x 1500 pt FE games. They are planning to do as much of a round robin as they manage. Each player has a fixed FE 1500 pt list for the duration.

Steve's Strelkovy d. Mark's Canadians

This was a Fighting Withdrawal, Mark defending. Steve put both Strelkovy on his left, Gods spread right across his rear & 2 JS's in the middle. His hordes (see pic 2) just overwhelmed Mark's right before he had a chance to remove any objectives.

Smithy's Panzer Grenadiers d. Keith's British Rifles

An Encounter Battle. Keith did have a bit of luck with his Typhoons taking out the Kingtiger (see pic 3 for burning KT), but that was the extent of his joy. His Churchills turned up on the wrong flank and didn't get into the action. His reserves arrived too late. Their desperate attack to retake their lost objective shuddered to a halt under the MGs of the Panzergrenadiers.

Red's US Vets d. Griggsy's Grenadiers

Another Encounter Battle. Things didn't look good for the US at the start - the Germans had one objective nicely placed on a Difficult hill protected by Grenadiers, the other tucked in a corner nicely protected by more Grenadiers plus a Kingtiger. But the Shermans charged forward anyway. The Kingtiger was surrounded and destroyed by a lucky side shot, but 3 Stugs had come on and the victorious Shermans were clearly not long for this world. In the centre another Sherman Platoon + 2IC charged over the hill at the Grenadiers (see pic 4). 2 got bogged down, one got pinned by a bazooka, but the other appeared to be manned by John Wayne - the terrified Grenadiers fled abandoning the objective. Griggsy desperately threw his AA half tracks up the hill to dispute the objective, but the first got taken out by John Wayne & the other got bogged down. A surprising win for the US - goes to show that fortune favours the brave.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Isdonisgrad Campaign Turn 1

Excerpt from the papers of General Guisseppi Gandini - part 3.

These are documents found at the home of a Signora Gandini in Montepulciano, Italy during the advance of 1944. They provide much valuable information on the Isdonisgrad campaign in Russia September 1942. The papers have been translated from the original Italian by Lt Sneak-Jones, British Intelligence.

This part concerns Turn 1 of the Isdonisgrad Campaign

Jayfivsk, Russia
7 September 1942

Mamma Mia,

Last week, it was a very disappointing start to my new command. This Russian weather was so bad I had to delay the attack for a week. First it rain for days, then I have to wait for the mud to dry so my Fiat she not get dirty.

But today, it all changed and all is bellissimo! The sun shine and the Panzers rolled. In just one day my men have blitzed 2 hexes into Russia on both flanks. My troops are already at the gates of Myskina & Isdonisgrad is almost surrounded.

Only at Jayfivisk, just south of Isdonisgrad did the Ivans make a stand. There, Kapitan Hundzuchter’s Grenadier Coy, they pinned down a Strelkovy Coy while I send forward Kapitan Jendich’s & Kapitan Steurmann’s Panzers from my cunningly placed reserve. The Russians tried a flank attack on our left, but our mortars, grenadiers & panzers stopped them dead in their boots. The rest of the Russians then fled in a rabble before my Panzers.

Mamma, I’m so pleased with myself! Herr Hitler will be so happy, I’ll not get shot. And maybe he give me the Iron Cross. Very clever these Germans - the Iron Cross they hang round tour neck on a ribbon - that way you don’t got to take any gold braid off your uniform to pin it on. Is a nice medal too.



PS: I enclose some pics from the battle.
1. Shows the start of the battle - Russians on the right.
2. Is picture of Kapitans Hundzuchter, Jendrich & Steurmann.
3. Shows the Ivan flank attack being destroyed.
4. Map of battlefield.
Battle casualties as recorded on attached note:
Germans: 1/105, 1 team Grenadiers.
Russians: Strelkovy Coy: Red Plat 1 inf, Blue Plat 5 inf+1HMG, 1ATR
Militia Coy: HQ destroyed, 1st Militia Plat reduced to Cmd+4Inf

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Camp Cromwell 28/08/07

WWI Naval - using Camp Cromwell Dreadnought Rules

Coronel 1914

Germans (Byron & SteveJ)
CA Scharnhorst
CA Gneisnau
LC Nurnburg
LC Dresden
LC Leipzig

Brits (MarkO, Dylan & Barrie)
CA Good Hope
CA Monmouth
LC Glasgow
LC Otranto
CA Defence *
* Defence wasn't actually there, but was on the way. We did the what-if scenario where the British commander acted sensibly and waited for reinforcements rather than charging the winners of the Kreigsmarine's shooting trophy in heavy seas that rendered half the guns on his obsolete & outnumbered ships unusable. The predreadnought B Canopus was also coming, but she was so slow the Germans would never have let her at them.

The Germans split their force - the CAs took on the Brit CAs while the LCs tried to go around theri rear. The Brits used more simple tactics, putting a LC in front & another in the rear of a single column. The German made the mistake of closing in so the benefit of their superior gunnery control was lessened. With an extra heavy ship & distinctly better dice the Brits soon started to hurt the Germans CAs. Steve's LCs were too far off to be hurt, but the Brit CAs copped a pounding from the Germans secondaries. The pic shows the Gniesnau & Scharnhorst taking on the whole Brit fleet while Steve's LCs are off on fancy manoeuvres.

The Germans CAs turned away making smoke as did the Brit LCs. Steve's LC went in pursuit of the wounded Brit LCs as the Brit CAs circled between trying to get shots off between all the smoke screens.

Steve managed to sink the Glasgow, but not before the Liepzig was made a mess of. But while the Gnienau, Scharnhorst & Liepzig were all badly damaged, their speed was not affected and they made made their escape.

Both sides claimed victory. The Brits lost a ship. The Germans were severely mangled and a long way from home. A draw is probably a fair assessment.

The rules were made for Battleship actions and haven't been tried for cruiser actions before. The umpire was also a bit rusty - it's been 4 years since we last used them. They worked ok, but could use a bit of fine tuning for this sort of scenario. Probably best to have a sub-set of rules for Cruiser actions, rather than try to make the rules cover everything.