Monday, April 29, 2013

FOW Kindergarten

Sam's Afrika Korps v. Toby's 8th Army

My neighbour's grandsons have ways of infiltrating my wargames room.
Sam (10) on the left is attacking with the Afrika Korps v. Toby (8) defending a Hold the Line with 8th Army.  About 1,000 pts each.  Toby's 2 pdrs did a good job of holding up the MkIII's taking 2 of them out & keeping them from supporting the infantry attack.   But the German infantry attacked the ruined mosque objective on the side away from the HMGs & with mortars pinning the defenders they were able to over-run it before the British reserves could come up. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Warhammer Ancients at Nick's

Jim's Romans v. Nick's Barbarians
The Romans on the left got first move and have advanced.
On the near flank the Roman skirmishers have been destroyed and the barbarian skirmishers have moved up to enagage the archers.  The Roman horse has turned to cover the flank of their main body of foot which is deploying to meet the barbarian foot.
 The Roman archers ahve been destroyed by skirmishers throwing hot dice.  The barbarian horse is advancing.  The heavy infantry is engaged.
The barbarian foot unit on the far flank  has broken, leaving the barbarian right flank exposed.
Hit in flank the next barbarian foot unit has also broken with the pursuit hitting the second line.  The Roman horse has broken and been pursued from the field.
The 3rd barbarian infantry unit has been broken by a flank attack.  The 3rd cohort has turned to face the cavalry.  The Romans in the scrub have given ground, but not broken.  Next turn the barbarians in the scrub break and the barbarians fail army morale.

This was my 2nd game of Warhammer Ancients - the other one was several years ago.  It was Nick's 1st - part of his quest for the ultimate rules set.  My view of WHA is that it was one of Rick P's steps on the way to Hail Caesar & Hail Caesar is so much better.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

FOW on Anzac Day: India v. Afrika Korps

Cpt Gandhi's Indian Rifles v. Rich's Schutzen

No retreat mission, Indians making a night attack.
The Afrika Korps is dug in in the foreground, the Indians have begun their advance before dawn.
Indian infantry took the village as the bugs & portees went around it.   A combined infnatry & tank attack took the objective at the first attack.  The Germans counterattacked with their Panzers out of ambush.  The panzers drove the infantry off objective, but the Valentines hit enough of them to force a morale test.  The failed test pretty well handed victory to the Indians.  The German reserves tried to retake the objective, but without armour support they had little hope.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hail Cromwell: Covernanters v. Parliament

Chris & Mike's Covernanters v. Mark & Steve's Parliamentarians

The newly retired Chris Arthur has returned from the wilderness & was introduced to Hal Cromwell - ECW using tweaked Hail Caesar.  The terrain's a bit boring, but we kept it simple for Chris' first go.
The Covernaters deploy their 2 cavalry divisions on their right, 2 infnatry dvisions on their left and artillery in the centre.
The English also put both cavalry divisions on the same flank - opposite the Scots cavalry.  The English have more musketeers, some better cavalry (2 cuirassiers cf 2 lancers), but no artillery).
The Scots infantry advanced to take the hill.  The English foot stand & a fire fight starts.  On the far flank the English horse first moved left to get away from the guns then advanced to attack.
The English horse initially pushed the Scots back on the far flank, but a flank attack stopped the rot and the English fell back, both having lost 1 unit.
.The cavalry fight ebbed and flowed in attack & counterattack.
The superior numbers of English musketeers broke a Scots infnatry division & the other fell back.  The English Cuirasiers eventually got on top of the game Scots lancers and both the Scots cavalry divisions broke to give the English victory.

The Scots made a mistake advancing their foot into a fire fight against geater numbers of musketeers.   They should have held back to give their artillery a chance to do some damage.  Better command gave the Scots cavalry a chance, but in the end better equipment won the day.

Monday, April 22, 2013

FOW at Barries

Jim's Indian Rifles v.Barries Italian Motocyclisti

 1555 pts Dust Up Mission
The Indians are deployed in & around the wadi in the near corner, the Italians in & around the oasis in the far corner.   The Italian reserves came on in the near RH corner.  The Indians came on in far LH corner.  The Indian infantry from reserve attacked the oasis.  The Italian reserves did not imediately but moved to reinforce the oasis and the centre.

The Indian attack in the oasis petered out but their Valentines moved to the centre & enagaged the Italian armour which retired rather than fight.   An Italian attack over the plateau was beaten off.  Two and  half ours was well gone, neither side had any confidence that they could make a succesful attack, so a draw was agreed.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Nick in Launceston

The last two weeks have seen some Kingston Kup practice games. Shane with Italians. Rob with British. Starn (who is not playing in the Kup) with French. And Nick with both British and Germans.

Hail Caesar - Punic War

John's Carthaginians v. Jim's Romans

Carthage had 4 divisions - one of spearmen + elephants, one of Punic cavalry, one of Gallic warbands and one of Spanish foot and horse.
Roman had 2 legionary divisions & 2 allied divisions for foot and horse.
The Carthos are on the right.  The Romans are advancing their legions in the centre, the Carthos advancing their flanks, both being compromised by bad command dice.
The Punic cavalry on the far flank got carried away and charged way ahead of the next division.  It was engaged frontally by the Allies and hit in flank by Triari.  The Roman cavalry was beaten, but the victorious Punic cavalry was finished off by the Allied foot throwing javelins.
On the near flank the Spanish have advanced too slowly and the Allies oppoiste have slipped left to help out the legion.
In the centre the legions have engaged the Carthaginians & Gauls.  In both cases the Romans got their timing right and got charges in before their enemies could do so.
The Spanish still haven't got into  the action.  The Gauls have broken and the Carthaginans are about to follow suit. It has been an easy victory for Rome.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Wars of the Roses using Hail Caesar

Jim of York v. Mike of Lancaster

Both sides had 3 battles of 5 units.
The Yorkists on the left are advancing in a remarkably orderly fashion.  The Lancastrians who have more bowmen are standing and waiting except there is a forward movement of the their horse on the far flank.
York's centre has charged forward but his right hasn't kept up.  On the left, the Yorkists have formed up a defensive position  as the Lancastrian horse advances.
Despite his own presence, York's centre has halted in front of the enemy bowmen.  But his right has charged forward and pushed back the enemy left.  On the far flank, the Lancastrian cavalry charge was beaten off and the flank has stalemated.
The Lancastrian left has been driven from the field and now York's centre is in the action & doing well.
Lancaster looks on pensively as his army crumbles.   His centre is now attacked front and flank & is doomed.  The battle is all over next turn.

This was a quick little battle, all over by 8.40, but great fun.    In this case, Lancaster's reliance on the bow was trumped by York's shock tactics.

Force on Force at Barries

Jim's Taliban v. John's US

We played an introductory scenario, it being John's 2nd & my 1st try at Force on Force.  Barrie umpired.  TheTaliban are in the foreground, the US coming on from the far side.  There is a downed airman in the central house's courtyard the US have to rescue.  We blundered about a bit with the rules, Barrie spending a lot of time looking for stuff in what appears a not too well laid out rule book (his 2nd battle too).

The Taliban got badly shot up, but so did the US and they failed to rescue the airman within the time limit, so a win for Allah.

The rules have some unusual mechanics using varying types of dice - 6, 8, 10 or 12 sided.  I saw no advantage in this - looks like a way of trying to be different with no real advantage in efficiency.  I wasn't particularly impressed with the rules, but have learned not to be too critical on the basis of first impressions - some rules get better when you get to know them.  Barrie's troops and table looked great.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Wars of the Roses: 28mm Hail Caesar

Jim of York v. Mike & Steve of Lancaster
The Lancastrians discuss their plan.  Both sides have 3 Battles of 5 or 6 units plus some skirmishers.
The Lancs make a slow steady advance while York charges forward, his plan some what compromised by the slow advance of the left flank. 
The whole line is engaged with both sides winning and losing some.  Yorkist cavalry has smashed through the line right of centre, but the horse on the left is still way behind where they should be.
A close up of the action in the centre.
Carried away in the heat of battle the photographer skipped a lot of the action.  York's left flank cavalry finally came up.   One unit was immediately knocked out as the Lanc's cavalry countertattacked in the centre,  But the second unit stopped the rot.  Right of centre, York's winning cavalry pursued into trouble & was defeated by a counterattack.  York personally lead his cavalry of the centre at the surviving, but disordered enemy cavalry.   With a little more luck the charge could have cleaned up the enemy's left, but although the Lanc's cavalry were eventually beaten, their stubborn resistance left York's horse Shaken & unable to carry on the attack. 
With that York's chance of victory had passed.  York's left broke while the Lanc's left held on and the rest of Yorks's army was on wood.  A last desperate infantry charge broke the Lanc's left, but it was too late, the ring of Lanc's archers broke another of York's units in the centre, breaking that Battle and with it York's army.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

FOW Early War

Barrie & John's Poles v. Steve & Jim's German HMG Coy
Breakthrough - German's attacking
The Germans are attacking towards the near corner. The German coy looked awfully small with only 5 tanks on the table, with 2 HMG platoons on flank march. The Polish cavalry have galloped up to the near objective while infantry have moved onto the central objective.    The panzers have attacked the centre but have been repulsed.
Having sampled assaulting fearless infantry the panzers changed tack and swung around the wood.  They destroyed some mortars and a/tank guns but then had the Polish armour arrive behind them.
Even attacked in rear with anti tank guns in front Steve's panzers won out.   Jim's HMG teams came on one at  a time and attacked the dismounted cavalry in the wood.  At this point John kindly pointed out that HMG teams couldn't assault, though they could have been swapped for MG teams at the start.  However Jim reveled in the chance to use Steve's dreaded Panzer Lehr dice and the Polish cavalry melted away under a hail of L's.  The Poles tried to counterattack, but the massed HMG's mowed them down giving the Germans victory.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Ocana 1809: 6mm Napoleonjic

Mike's Spanish v. Jim's French

Following our Talavera of 2 weeks ago, our 6mm Napoleonic version of Hail Caesar has been further refined & another Peninsular battle set up.   The battle data comes from Gates "The Spanish Ulcer" with extra terrain info from Google Earth.  35,00 French v. 60,000 Spanish.  The Spanish have twice as many infantry as the French, but the cavalry & artillery are about equal in numbers.  The Spanish have Command Rating of 7 to the French 9 as well as having lower combat and morale.  The changes to the rules have been to further simplify them to make the combat even easier.
We used close to the historical deployment.  The French are on the left.  Both sides have most of their cavalry on the far left.
Soult's plan produced a crushing victory, so the French player stuck to it.  The infantry advanced to pin down the enemy while the cavalry charged forward on the far left.
The French might have stuck to the script, but the Spanish did not.  Their cavalry put a surprisingly stiff fight and their right centre infantry charged forward to try and exploit some disruption in the French line caused by inconsistent Command dice.  The counterattack was beaten off, but not without significant loss and the Spanish had a second line to fill the gap.  On the right, the grand battery in front of Ocana was causing havoc.
The Spanish have had enough of the grand battery & retreated into Ocana.  The battery has limbered up and is moving left following the infantry division on its left.  The Spanish are also trying to move reserves to the other end of the battlefield, but poor command makes it a slow business.  The Spanish cavalry is finally losing the fight on the far flank.
Another Spanish counterattack right of centre broke one of the French divisions and got 2 more to half strength. But the French cavalry finally prevailed over their opposite number, and moved right while the grand battery was moving up on the other flank.  The Spanish tried to retire out of the noose to a new line on the river but weakened though the French foot was, the combined attack of infantry, cavalry & artillery was too much for the Spanish.  Their centre broke and with it the army.

The Spanish lost, but Mike could claim some measure of victory as it was far from the one sided rout of the real thing.  There were a few details requiring some fine tuning, but all in all, the rules worked very well - to have got all that done in little more than 2 hours is proof of that.  The theory behind using Hail Caesar as base for the rules even though they need major changes in detail is that players familiar with Hail Caesar, Pike & Shoote or Black Powder can play it pretty well straight up as long as there's an umpire to handle the details.  This was Mike's first Napoleonic battle ever and he had no difficulty in make good fist of it.    

Major Darren of the Royal Artillery, VC (Nick in Launceston)

Some context first. About a year ago Darren decided to get out of Flames of War, and sold his British 8th army troops to me. They were in various stages of painting, but I finally finished painting them up. Last night was their first run....

For Conspicuous Galantry, Major Darren of the Royal Artillery has been awarded the Victoria Cross. Major Darren and his artillery troop were setting up at an unnamed desert oasis when they enexpectedly encountered the Italian Ghost Division. (Shane hadnt painted his troops yet -- they were still in white undercoat!) Within seconds of meeting the Italians, a large force of Italians on Motorcycles attacked Major Darren and his artillery troop. Concerted fire from the 25 pdr artillery did not discourage the Italians, and a large force of Italians launched a bayonette charge. Major Darren avoided all attempts on his life by the attacking Italians, and single handedly launched a counterattack, killing many of the attacking Italians. The rest fled.

A short time later, a strong fore of Bersaglieri attacked, having tried to outflank through some woods. Again, Major Darren launched a counterattack, killing all but the commanding officer.

No sooner had the first Bersaglieri platoon been defeated when a second platoon launched an attack. While this attack destroyed many guns in the artillery battery, Major Darren once more lead a counter attack, forccing this attack to break off.

Single handedly, Major Darren acounted for over 20 enemy casualties (5 stands), and inspired the staff officers and gunners supporting him to inflict a similar number of casulties. The break up of the enemy attackes allowed reinforcements to arrive, preventing loss of a vital desert oasis.

Moral of the story -- unpainted troops cant throw better than a 3 in assault!

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Dacian Wars: Hold the Pass

We fought the Hold the Pass scenario from the Hail Caesar Dacian Book.
Mike & Steve's Romans v. Jim's Dacians
The Dacians put an archer unit behind the barricade, deployed the rest near the centeline & waited.  The Roman advanced surprisingly slowly.  Their right even blundering back a turn.
The action real started when the Dacian left suddenly charged forward at the Roman foot.  The Roman line realed back, but did not break.  Then the Roman cavalry finally got up and charged the Dacian right.
The Dacian right held and the Roman horse bounced off though 1 warband broke as they did so.  The Roman right was still giving ground, but only the cohort  on the far right broke.
The Dacian left were finally worn down by the Romans and broke.  A renewed cavalry attack broke another warband but again the winners had to fall back.  The Romans were now running out of time.  The large Dacian division was broken but the small ones had both lost their warband leaving them an archer and an engine so still not broken.  A last charge by the Roman light horse failed to break the engines & the Dacians had held on until nightfall.

Monday, April 01, 2013

KK Practice at Barries

Mark's Shurtzen Coy v. Barrie's Crusader Squadron

Breakthrough Mission, Crusaders attacking.
The objective are in the near corner.  Barrie has A10's & a Motor Platoon in reserve.
The Germans rushed to cover the objectives doubling where possible.  The Crusaders rushed forward to get a plethora of shots at the doubled MkIII's but managed only a couple of bails.  The tanks slugged it out while the infantry moved into position.
The A10's came on early, but 2 MkII's turned their turrets & popped them.  That Motor platoon came on next and assulted the Paks in the wood, destroying them.  The Crusaders & MkIII's continued trading blows - eventually the Crusaders won out while the Germans started to  redeploy infantry towards the centre.
With the panzers out of the way the Crusaders attacked the objective where the German infantry had remarkably failed to dig in after many attempts. The armour won the fight for the objective and thus the battle.

While the Crusaders won, they make a brittle little force.  It certainly looks like the BAR crisis resulted in over-compensation when you compare points for a MkIII.  153 pts v. 120.  Similar in most ways, but CV v. CT, 3 shots v.2, side armour 3 v. 2, 2 mg v. 1, stormtrooper & protected ammo v. Tally Ho, no HE & unreliable light  tank.