Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Musket Action: AWI

British: Steve & Jim.
French & Colonials: Mike & Chris.
An AWI battle using Musket Action, our house ruled version of Bolt Action for the black powder era.
The Brits are on the left.  There are 5 objectives for a Key Positions scenario.  The farm, the central ridge, the village & the two road exits.
On the far flank the Hessian mercenaries have rushed forward to beat the Indians to the farm.
In the centre the Brits have taken the hill objective, but the company that took it has been left isolated When their flanking coys failed to advance.
In the foreground the Canadian Militia have beaten the Inexperienced Colonial regulars to the village & occupied all three buildings. 
Having grabbed the vital realestate, the Brits now had to hold on against the enemy attacks.
The Inidans on th afr flank are not getting far against the Hessians who have advanced into the wood to threaten the French flank.   A British cavalry attack on the French right has been beaten off & the Frecnh cavalry are advancing on the hill.  The Canadians are hanging on in the village.
The british centre has pretty well collapsed, but 1 coy is hanging onto the objective.
With the help of  a Grenadier charge on the French cavalry's rear, the Brietish coy on the hill has hung on.  Desperate colonial attacks have cleared 2 of the three buldings, but one remains in Canadian hands maintaining the VP at the end of turn 6.

Turn 6 took us past our 2 1/2 hour cut-off time so there was no chance of a turn 7. The British army has been decimated, but has clung onto 4 objectives to win the game. 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Operation Sudlicht Bolt Action Tournament

The Devonport Gaming Club's annual Bolt Action Tournament, Operation Sudlicht 2018 was held  yesterday.

A school gymnasium made an excellent venue for the 20 players with 12 excellent tables. Chris & I made the journey to take part as did another 7 Hobartians from the Good Games & Area 52 players. Blue on Blue was avoided with prizes for Best Axis, Best Allied & Best Minor Power.  Table allocation was left to the players to pair off & pick.  With 2 spare tables & amiable players, this simple system worked well & would have simplified the rostering.  

I took my Panzergrenadiers as usual.  My first battle was Heartbreak Ridge scenario against a British army.  I ran into a s-storm of cunning opponent with a good plan & good dice.  I was not surprised when my enemy went on to win best Allied General. 
Chris took Russians.  His first battle was against a beautiful Japanese army that took 3 years to paint & won the beauty prize against very stiff competition.  Not sure how the Russians got so far south to fight in the jungle, but not Blue on Blue.

My second battle was a Key Positions scenario.  I lost again, this time I think I had the best plan, but a combination of a blunder & bad luck in the last move scramble for objectives gave me another defeat. 
The final battle was a Point Defence.  The Axis were losing the Axis v. Allies count & were made the defenders is this round.  My Panzergrenadiers lost heavily against the Matt's British but at the end were still hanging onto all objectives by their fingernails, very relieved when there was no turn 7.

Once again the Devonport blokes ran an excellent event, well attended, played in good spirit & enjoyed by all.  Camp Cromwell finished down in the pack, me with 1 win & 2 losses, Chris with 1 win, 1 draw & 1 loss, but a good day & well worth the long drive.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Bolt Action Tank War

We had a quiet night tonight with only 3 punters.  Mark umpired a 1250 pt Tank War game between Jim's Panzers & Mike's Brits.  There are 4 objectives - the village, the far end of the road & the 2 central hills.
The Germans are on the near side of the table.  2 small infantry to contest the village.  3 Hetzers in the centre wood & 2 MkIII in the far wood.
The Brits have infantry & a Sherman going at the village, 2 M10 on the central ridge & 2 Shermans & an M8 on the far flank. 
The MkII's engage from cover as the Hetzers move over to help.  The Brits send an M10. 
In the village the Brits with armoured support have the 2 small German sections pinned down but teh objective is still in dispute. 
The Germans have too many guns on this flank & the British armour is burning. 
The GI's cleared the village & the Sherman made a rush for the German's central objective.  The M10 pulled out of the hopeless fight on the flank & turned back to cover the central objective.  The hetzers turned on the Sherman from the village & though it got to the objective on turn 8, it died under a hail of Hetzer fire.  Objectives were shared 2 each, but the Germans won 6 kills to 3.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Flames of War at The Bunker Rats

The Kingston Bunker Rats ran their annual "campaign" this weekend - a series of games in 3 rounds of linked scenarios with several tables for typical battles between Normandy & Rhine. 
Oakie & I played in one scenario in round 5.  It was a two player a side scenario based loosely on the Falaise Gap.   I had the Brits coming on the near side of the table, Oakie the Yanks coming on opposite.  The Germans had some troops in the town, most on the road down the far end & some delayed reserves coming on from the left.  The Germans gained VPs by getting troops off the LH edge.  The Allies gained VPs by killing or trapping Germans.
Only half the Allies were on the table to start with, the rest in scattered reserve. 
Things started badly for the Allies when the Germans dropped an ambush of 4 88's near the village & it was all down hill from there.  The Allied air came often enough, but the Germans dripped with AA & they did little.  The Allied reserves came as slowly as possible & usually in the wrong place.  By the time the 88's had been dealt with there were 2 big pussies & a horde of MkIV's in position that far outnumbered the Allied armour.   So the Germans outgunned the Allies from the start & picked off their reserves as they came on.  

Smithy's army choice & skillful deployment of the 4 88's in ambush at the start had the game won before it started.   The resemblance of the scenario to the real Falaise Gap situation was tenuous at best - it was really a turkey shoot for the Allies, not the Germans.  Even if the Allied reserves had arrived sooner it's difficult to see how they could have won this unless the Germans played it badly w - which in this case they certainly did not.  It's hard to love a scenario where you feel doomed from the start.

The Bunker Rat's tables were as always magnificent, though the FOW campaign system used is pretty ordinary - it's hardly a campaign if there's no strategic map & no overarching strategy.  It is just a set of vaguely linked scenarios.  The only strategy being some flexibility in allocating support units in each round. 
This is a view of the Falaise Gap from the Allied ridge in 2011.
This is a Tiger still where it was abandoned when it ran out of juice facing the Canadians a few km north of Falaise.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Napoleonics: French v. Austrians

Steve:  2 cav brigades of 2 dragoons, 1 hussar plus 1 horse gun.
Mitch & Rob: Each 1 infantry division od 4 line, 1 light & 1 gun.
Mike: 1 infantry brigade of 6 line, 1 grenadier, 1 gun
John: 1 infnatry brigade of 6 landwehr,   yeger & 2 guns.
Tyler: 2 cavalry brigades of 1 cuirassier, 1 dragoon, 1 hussar.
The French are on the left.  Both sides put their cavalry on the near flank.  The Landwehr are in the Austrian centre. 
Both side hold back with their cavalry.  The French advance in the centre.  The Austrians have sent 2 battalions on a flanking mission on the far side. 
The French attack on the ridge was successful on their left making a hole in the Austrian line.  But their right was stopped & the Landwehr are counterattacking the French right.
The Austrian flank march was stopped by French deployed in the RH orchard.  The French attempt to widen the breach has been countered.  Mike has been trying to counterattack out of the LH orchard but has been thwarted by bad command dice.
The cavalry has finally started to advance on each other. 
Both Austrian infantry divisions are now couterattacking.
 The centre French infantry division has broken, the other is hard pressed.
The cavalry fight is providing mixed results.
The cavalry fight has ended in stalemate with both sides losing 1 brigade & the other too shaken to continue fighting.  
The Austrian line division has broken, but the Landwehr outnumber the surviving French division & are slowly closing in for the kill.
The French infantry break next move to give the Austrians are hard fought victory.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

AWI Musket Action

British: Mike & Steve.
French & Colonials: Mark & Jim. 
Rules: Musket Action = Bolt Action house ruled for the black powder era.
Scenario: 5 objectives - winner determine don objective held at the end.  Casualties as tie breaker.
Set up: Turn 0: Place units as dice drawn within 18" of own edge (no moving or firing allowed). 
The French are on the left. The objectives are: The church, the farmhouse, the two ridges near the centre & the road exit on the near edge (just out of shot).
The Brits rush light troops forward to grab the church & farmhouse.  The French advance in the centre.  The Brits send the Hessians forward left of centre but hold back on their ridge with the Brit regs.  Both side's send their cavalry to grab the objective near the near table edge.  The subsequent cavalry fight was a disaster for the French. They lost both cavalry troops while inflicting minimal losses on the enemy.
The battle is joined all along the line with exchanges of musketry.
The British cavalry are wrapping around the French right. Two colonial coys turn the face them as 3 others take on a Hessian battalion in the orchard.  The French Grenadiers have now advanced on the left of the orchard.
The French grenadiers ahve made a hole in the British line & are ready to attack the ridge.  The  Hessians have fallen back of the orchard to cover their flank.  The British dragoons have disposed on one infantry coy.
On the last turn the French desperately attacked the church & farmhouse but British Indians & Canadian Milita held on to them.  The Grenadiers did take the ridge, but it's still a clear British victory.

It was very likely all decided by the cavalry fight in turn 2.  The decisive British cavalry win not only gave them an objective but meant two Colonial coys had to pulled out of the attack on the farmhouse to cover the exposed French flank.  If the cavalry had gone the other way, the French would not only have taken that objective but the farmhouse surely wouldn't have held out either.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Tank War Sunday at Area 52

I organised a Bolt Action Tank War event at the Area 52 games shop this Sunday afternoon.  The object of the exercise was to give other Bolt Action players a chance to try BA Tank Wars on a big table - which we at Camp Cromwell have decided is the best way to play it. 

There were 2 games each payed on 8'x6' tables with teams of 2 players - each player having a 1,250 point tank platoon.  Both games used the standard tank war scenario with 7 objectives.

Game 1:
John's Brits + Rusty's US v. Steve & Frankie's Germans on an Italian table set up by John.
On the far end, John's Brits made measured advance using cover from ridges & woods plus smoke against Steve's platoon.  On the near flank Russ & Frankie engaged at longer range. 
Steve's Panthers killed a lot of tin cans, but  not fast enough to stop their advance.
On the other flank Rusty's US kept Frankie's huns busy.
It ended in a  decisive Allied victory with the Allies finishing with 6 of the 7 objectives. 

Game 2:
Mike's US & Daryll's Brits v. Rob & Tyler's Germans.
On the near flank, Daryll's Churchills faces off Rob's Panthers.  The far flank Mike's Yanks face Tyler's Mk IV's.
The big tanks on both sides achieved little.  The MkIV's & Detroit's finest kept each other busy witht the Germans getting the worst of it.  But the German's gained the advantage with bold use of their three Panzergrenadier squads & their recon.  One squad rushed forward, detrucked & took out a Churchill with their fausts.  On the other flank a squad too out a Chaffey.  In the centre the third squad advanced thru the village, took heavy casulaties from an M10, then blew it away.
In another bold move a half track roared down the road to take out an M10 with its doorknocker.
After taking out the Chaffey, Tyler's Panzergrens took teh rocky hill from the GI's.

The Germans won a ripping game with 4 objectives to 2 (one not taken), having shown that Tank Wars is not all about the big pussies.

We are fortunate to have such a good venue where we can put on events like this.  Everyone enjoyed the games & are keen for more such non-competitive events.