Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fiday at Nick's

Jim's Byzantines v. Nick's Crusaders - Camp Cromwell Rules.
We used the FOW FFA alternate deployment rule. This lead to a rather bland symmetrical deployment as the second player matched the first each time. The Byzantines had light cavalry on the left, infantry in the centre & heavy cavalry on the right & the Crusaders had a mirror of that. The Byzantine infantry skirmishers were in front of their foot, their horse archers on the right. Crusaders put half their infantry skirmishers on the right of their foot & the other half on their far left flank.
Fearing the superior Byzantine light troops, the Crusaders charged forward immediately on the left and centre. The Byzantine response was severely hampered by awful activation dice - no orders at all getting thru on turns 2 & 3.
In the centre, the Crusaders halted their advance to fire with bow & crossbow & actually gained a skirmisher advantage right of centre. The Byzantine counter attack was delayed by lack of activation dice, but when it happened the Varangians smashed through, but the Scutari, weakened by bowfire had a hard time of it.
The charge of the knights was met by a swarm of horse archers backed up by cataphracts on a hill. There was a complex fight between the cavalry forces. The horse archers were largely negated by the knight's armour & morale and after some complex attack & counterattack the knights got the upper hand losing 1 unit routed & one off pillaging while destroying 4 Byzantine units.
On the Byzantine left the light horse of both sides did nothing much for the entire battle as both sides had more important priorities for their limited activation dice.
The battle was finally decided in the centre. The Varangians rallied and turned to help out the Scutari, but one unti lucked out against the Crusader reserve & the other arrived too late to save enough Scutari to prevent the Byzantines failing army morale.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Nick in Launceston

Firstly, apologies -- I forgot to take any pictures.

Another rainy night in Launceston. The FOW part of the club put together a four player scenario -- using 2 x 1500 pt forces per side. The allies had veteran US tanks (Nick) plus British tanks (Rob), vs Germans (Starn and Aggro) with lots of tigers and 88's, in a breakthrough scenario.

The Allies had horrendous luck at first, failing to damage the tigers. The tigers moved to attack, slowly destroying the allied armour. However, they moved away from the rear objective. The allied breakthrough took the rear objective (though not without loosing a lot of tanks to the German infantry), and the Germans had nothing that could get back in time to contest the objective. A win to the good guys!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Firestorm Campaign - Final battle: Minsk

After 2 months & 21 battles our Firestorm campaign came down to one battle.
The Germans had 270 VPs to the Russians 200, but if the Russians could take Minsk, worth 80 VPs, it will be 190 to 280 in the Russian's favour.
FFA on 12x6 table, Germans defending with Festerplatz defences.
Germans: Steve, Barrie, Adam 2,500 pts Sturmkompanie + Firestorm 2 Panthers, Grenadiers, 2 A/C & 2 105's.
Russians: Rich, Nick, Jim, Joe, Leigh 2,500 pts Strelk + Firestorm 2x2 IS2's.
Both sides had little armour. The Germans had 2 Panthers & 3 Stugs, the Russians 4 IS2s & 6 Honeys.
But they both had heaps of artillery - especially the Germans. The Germans had 155's, 105's, Inf guns 150s, Heavy Mortars, light mortars & Firestorm 2/105. The Russians had Gods, 8 Katys & a Heavy Battery.
The German infantry were armed to the teeth with MGs & panzerfausts & backed up with a heap of HMGs & Pak 40s.
The Strelk were supported by flamthrowers, Pioneers & Scouts.
The Germans hunkered in their trenches behind minefields & wire & let the Russians do all the work. The Russians attacked on both flanks. On their left with 2 Strelk & Honeys, on the right with the IS2's & Pioneers. The artillery lent support to both flanks. On the Russian right, the Russians popped the Panthers but the artillery whittled away at the IS2's. The Pioneers got to the wire, but the Russian right ran out of troops. On the Russian left, the Strelk took the objective, but they had suffered such heavy casualties in doing so & couldn't hold off a counterattack by the Stugs.
So the Germans held onto Minsk & won a Tactical Victory in the campaign.

The pics are: 1) Overview from behind Russian right soon after start. 2) Behind Russian left late. 3) Behind Russian right.

Firestorm Campaign Summary:
Battles fought: 22 (5 in turns 1 & 2, 6 in turns 3 & 4).
German wins: 12.
Russian wins: 8.
Ties: 2 (Both effectively German wins as they held vital areas).
Initiative: Germans 4x, Russians 18x. (It was the 13th time before the Germans won one).

Final Victory Points: Germany: 270.
Russia: 200.

The Russians had taken Vitebsk (on 3rd attempt), Mogilev (on 2nd attempt) & area Lepel.
The Germans held Orsha (attacked unsuccessfully 3 times, but out of supply) & Bobruisk (lost on 1st attempt, then regained) & areas Osipovichi & Dzisna.
Both sides had lost some Firestorm Troops (3 German, 2 Russian).

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Nick in Launceston

NickB (2nd SS Panzers) vs NickR (British infantry) FOW. A breakthrough. Battle was noteable because the British had 5.5" Artillery and Chruchill Crocodiles. Both were fearsome and caused damage. But in the end, as with so many breakthroughs, the British had to move infantry up to protect the far objective, and before they could dig in the SS panzergrenadiers came on and mowed them down with machinegun fire. The Crocodiles were too slow to get to the objective, and the panzergrenadiers shot down the infantry that tried to come up and contest. Victory to NickB in another tight game.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Camp Cromwell 13/06/09

FOW Battle:

Jim's Spevverband (+2 Panthers) v, Rich's Strelk: 2,000 pts FFA on 8x6.

Rich attacked with infantry on both flanks, tanks right of centre & Zis3 & Zis2 left of centre. After a few turns Rich had lost his IS122s (to Panthers, Paks & hvy art), 2T34s (to Paks & Stugs), Zis2's (to artillery, HMGs & Hetzers), small strelk (took a Sperpioneer with it in MAD), Gods (to Stugs, Hetzers, artillery & HMGs). They had lost more than half & faced a 50/50 morale test every turn. The Germans had lost just Sperrpioneers, Paks plus 1 Stug. The German objectives were undefended, the Hetzers, Panthers & Stugs on the loose. The T34s moved to cover one objective, but the other was wide open for the Hetzers. The big strelk & pioneers had advanced safely thru a wood & had only just reached the wire, then had to cross a minefield to get at the intact Sperrband dug in on the objective with two batteries able to support. Rich pkept passing army morale tests each turn while the pioneers died clearing the wire & the minefields. Then the Strelk charged. The smgs pinned the Spevvers then the Strelk drove them back with more than 1/2 casualties & they failed morale. The Hetzers had just reached the far objective, but the Russian passed morale yet again & held theirs first - so it was a Russian victory !

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Nick in Launceston 11/06/09

Played a 1500 pt game vs Starn -- Nick US vs Starn's Germans. 1/2 way through the first turn we realised Nick had a latewar army and Starn had a midwar army. After some quick points checking we gave Starn an extra tiger, a panzershreck, and upgraded all commands to panzerfausts.

The game was characterised by bad rolling on both sides. Starn made a cunning move with his tigers -- but failed his stromtrooper, even though he had 'for the fatherland' (stormtrooper on 2+). Nick rushed in with his sherman 76's for flank shots -- and missed. Starn retaliated -- and missed. Nick, with glee, returned shots -- and missed. Starn finally managed to destroy the 76's. But the battle was decided on the other flank where artillery killed the 88's, shermans came out of hiding and killed nebelwerfers and then a MG platoon. Finally, the shermans charged into the German infantry on the objective, knowing that they only had to kill one more platoon to cause the Germans to take army morale. The German infantry succeeded in destroying the shermans, but failed morale themselves, taking the whole German side with them. A good close game.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Firestorm Battle 5, Turn 4, 09/06/09

Barrie & Steve's Spevverband defending Orsha from Jim & Richard's Strelkovy from Dobryna.

Free For All. Germans out of supply & dropped a Morale class, but had Festerplatz defences.
1500pts + 2 Firestorm troops each, 8x6 table.
Germans: HQ, Sperr Pioneers, 2xSperr, 75mm Inf Guns, 155 Battery, 4Pak40, 2Hetzers, 3 SPAA + 3 Stugs,& P/grens Firestorm Troops. They deployed infantry on both objectives behind minefields, artillery in rear centre, Stugs in left corner, Hetzers in right corner.
Russians: HQ with pioneers, 3coy Strelk, 2coy Strelk, 2coy Pioneer, 4Ziz2, 4 ISU122 + Hvy Battery & 5SU76 Firestorm Troops. They advanced Strelk & Pioneers through wood towards both objectives. The ISUs & Zis2's advanced in the centre. The SUs held back to cover the right, art in rear.
While Steve hunkered down on the left & played with his artillery, Barrie launched a counterattack on the Russian right with his Stugs. The Russians lost a SU76 discovering how useless they were v. Stugs & pulled them back out of sight behind a village. They called off the infantry attack on the centre to defend the right as Barrie supported the Stugs with Infantry & SPAA advancing from the centre.
On the other flank Jim's attack ran into a brick wall. As soon as the pioneers left cover to deal with the minefields they were mown down by a hail of hmg & mg fire. The ISUs popped the Hetzers, but then found their lack of rate of fire made them pretty useless against infantry with anti-tank of 5. A Sperr Pioneer counterattack under smoke destroyed one ISU & intimidated the rest.
In the centre, the pioneers turned right to attack the German infantry advance, destroying them. They had a chance to take out the SPAA while one was bailed, but 6 shots got 6 hits & they were beaten off.
But it was on Barrie's flank that the battle was decided. The Russian artillery failed to even hit a Stug firing at them every turn after the 1st. The SU's came out to play when the Stugs were at close range, but soon died taking just 1 SPAA with them. The Stugs took the objective, but were pushed back off it with one loss by an infantry counterattack. The Zis2's had been manhandled across to help out, but a village severely restricted their field of fire. The Stugs retook the objective & the Zis's bailed up the one on the objective, but it was only delaying the inevitable. Next turn 2 Stugs & 2 SPAA held it & the Russians didn't hit any of them.
The Germans had lost 2 platoons - Hetzers & Sperr so a 4:3 victory, but they threw 2 6's for Firestorm casulaties & the Russians lost both of them. The Germans lost none. The Russians could carry on about bad luck & useless equipment in the usual fashion, but in fact they were outplayed - Barrie's counterattack was exactly the right thing to do & Steve's defence was rock solid.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Camp Cromwell Monday

Jim's Byzantines v. Rich's Crusaders

Rich deployed in 3 big huddles. The Byzantines deployed conventionally with infantry in the centre, heavy cavalry on the left, light cavlry on both flanks & elite cavalry in reserve. The Crusader huddles partially broke up but Rich kept his light cavalry on his right and his infantry in centre & left in deep blocks. This was imaginative thinking, but it just didn't work against an experienced opponant. The infantry blocks were pinned in front and charged in flank. The light cavalty block was hit by cataphracts & a 6 and was ridden down. The knights won 3 of 4 attacks, but it did them no good, the battle was lost elsewhere. A quick fun game.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

At Barrie's: Firestorm battle 4, turn 4, 07/06/09

Germans in Molodechino attacking Volozhin

SteveJ's SS Panzer (ROH) v. Jim's Strelk - 1500 pts + FS in Encounter Mission.
The Germans had HQ in HTs, 3 Panzergrenadiers (2 in HTs), 4/155 art, 3 Panthers plus Firestorm 105's.
The Russians had HQ with Pioneers, 2 Strelk, GODs, 4/152 art, 4 Katys, 4 Zis2 plus Firestorm 3T34/85's.
At the start the Germans deployed 1 P/gren, heavy art & Panthers. The Russians deplyed 1 Strelk, GODs & heavy art. Boths sides dug in & engaged in an artillery duel while waiting for their reserves.
In the centre the Panthers & T34's spared around a wood. The T34s cut through it to get side shots, but one bogged & the others missed - which the Panthers did not. The Panthers went on to pick off the Katys
On the Russian left, Strelk & Zis2's took on Panzergrenadiers in armoured halftracks. Although the Strelk charged home & forced a retreat, the Zis's failed to do enough damage & the HT's mgs destroyed the Strelk. The HTs then retreated behind a village & hill leaving their artillery to finish off the Zis's.
Meanwhile the artillery duel went on without much effect. The GODs were decimated, but the 122's survived. The Russian heavy guns got enough hits on the Panthers, but never managed to get a kill. In the end the Russian defencive line was still intact, but they had lost 1 Strelk, Zis2's, T34's & Rockets - 4 platoons out of 7 & failed army morale.
The Germans take Volozhin (the Russians lost the T34 Firsetorm troop).

Friday, June 05, 2009

Nick's 05/06/09: Firestorm Battle 3 Turn 4

Jim's Spevverband defended Stolpce against Bowlerski's Motostrelk + SU76s from Pripyat in a 1500 pt Encounter Mission.
Spevverband: HQ+2P/S, Sperr Pioneer, 2xSperr, 2 Mortars, 4 Pak 40, 2 155 Inf Guns, 3 Stugs, 4 Hetzers.
Motostrelk: HQ + 10T34(half 85s) + 3ISU122 + Ravedki + 2xStrelk + 5SU76
The Soviets tried to strike immediately before reo could arrive & used the hilly terrain to cover their rush forward with T34's & ISU122's towards the right of the German line, while holding their SU76s back in a safe place covering the objectives. The 2IC's Panzershreks died on the end of the line, but they bought enough time for retribution to be prepared. The T34's evaporated under the fire of 2 155 Inf Guns, 4 Marders & some Paks. But the KV85's remained a formidable threat. The Stugs came on & the Stugs & Hetzers hung onto both flanks of the ISU122's taking side shots while the 155's joined in (ineffectively) & the first Sperr from reserve was brought up. The Stugs were lucky to lose just 1 while escaping with a couple of bails. Then Hetzers popped the command tank & the infantry swarmed the other two, the Panzerfaust getting both of them. The Russians had a small success when their Ravedki came on in half tracks on their right and caught the Germans mortars moving up, but the battle was won by then, the Germans just had some mopping up to do to complete the victory with the loss of 1 small mortar platoon, the 2IC platoon, 1 Stug & 1 Inf Gun. There were no Firestorm losses & the Russians retreated to Kalinkovichi, abandoning Pripyat. The Baranovichi rail line remains in operation.
Also present were Rich, Thomas, Marcus & Cameron.
Marcus's US Armour defeated Thomas"s Panzers in a 1250 pt Midwar FFA (Rich umpiring).

Launceston Wargame Club 04/06/09

I took advantage of a work trip to crash at Nick's & check out the Launceston wargames club's weekly meeting. They meet in a church hall in Punchbowl - an excellent venue with lots of space & well supplied with fold up tables with 6x4 sheets to put on top. I was told it was a quiet night (raining) but there was still about 40 people there and at least a dozen games. Mostly they were playing fantasy & sci fi, but there were some FOW games & talk of Ancients. There was good feel about the club - a good mix of people playing - kids, a couple of females, young & old guys. Pity we don't have something like it down here.

Nick did have a DBM Ancient planned, but something came up with his enemy. However, I happened to have a Grenadier Coy in the car so we did a FOW instead.

Jim's Grenadiers v. Nick's US Armour in 1500 pt Encounter Mission on 6x4 table.
Nick attacked with his Super Shermans and destroyed most of the Grenadiers on one objective, but he chickened out of actually taking the objective, intimidated by a row of Paks & the possibility of 5 Stugs coming from reserve in his rear. As it happened, the Germans got no reserves next turn so he would have got away with it. Instead, the when the Stugs did come on they took on the Shermans & popped them before the other Sherman platoon could come up, then popped that one too leaving an objective open for the taking & Nick conceded.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Firestorm Battle 2, Turn 4...02/06/09

Firestorm battle at Camp Cromwell
Barrie's Vunderwatzits v. Jim & Richard's Strelk - Germans attacking Lepel from Borizov - Breakthough Mission, Russians defending.
The Russians had HQ, GODs, Heavy Artillery, Katys, Zis2's, Sturmovic (F/S), T34/85 (FS) and 2 Strelk to stagger onto the objective & bayonet the wounded. They deployed the GODs as a screen on their left with Rockets behind. The 2 Strelk on the start lines ready to rush the objectives - one each. The Zis2's were between the Strelk, heavy battery in the back corner & T34/85s in forced reserve.
The Germans had 2 infantry up front supported by MkIVs on their right & a KT, 3 SPAA & Heavy Artillery behind. A large Panzer Pioneer unit was on flank march.
The GODs battery was doomed but it fought bravely & took out the SPAA & a MkIV as well as decimating and throwing back an infantry assault. Richard, serving on the other side for once perhaps showed where his loyalty really lay by failing to hit anything with the heavy artillery in the entire battle. But he did dutifully advance the Strelk & Zis2's & dig them in on the objectives.
The Sturmovics should have run riot with the AA knocked out on turn 1, but alas when they did bother to show up they either missed or the rockets bounced off the KT's armour. The Katys had to make a precipitous withdrwal when German infantry & MkIVs aproached, but the flank was secured when the T34/85s turned up at the right time. They popped a MkIV & the last one dived into the village for cover.
But all this action on the Russian left was really a sideshow - the German plan was to hold the Russian attention there & strike hard with their flanking force - a powerfull beast with lots of half tracks loaded with rockets & mgs. If it had come on early before Richard's Strelk & Zis2's had got into position & dug in, they may have been unstoppable. If they had come on late it would have been a tough fight. But they didn't show up at all & the Russians won by the "no enemy within 40cm of an objective on or after turn 6" rule. A pretty unjust result really, but then the Ivans could feel that Hewy owed them a bit of luck after Sunday.
The Russians lost 1 platoon (the GODs), the Germans 1 (SPAA) though one infantry & the MkIVs were below half but passed morale.
No Firestorm Troop losses. The Germans FS troops retreated Art to Molodechno & MkIVs to Dzina. The Russians advanced Sturmos & T34/85s into Borizov.
We threw for Initiative for the next battle - the Russians won.