Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Fort Floreat 29/11/2005

A small crowd tonight. Expected reinforcements did not show -- probably emulating Grouchy and wandering aimlessly.

We did a 1500 points flames of war free for all. Jim with Italian infantry vs Nick with US infantry. The terrain was open, but mud was in effect, diminishing the ability of tanks.

The game was won in deployment. Nick deployed 4 shermans in the open. Jim deployed 2 semovente 90mm AT monsters in the center of the table in sight of the shermans. Whoever got to go first would kill the other. Nick had a +1 on the dice, having finished deployment first. Hence Nick had a 2/3 chance of going first. Unfortuantely, the dice gods did not agree. Jim got first move, killed the shermans, and the US lost 1/3 of their army before they even got to move.

The Americans fought back, killing Italian infantry and AA platoons that advanced to attack. The Italians took one objective with a tank and a below strength reluctant platoon. Nick killed the tank, and caused a morale check for the platoon, which unfortunately survived its morale check!

The mud played little part -- but it did slow down the dreaded semovente 90mm monsters at a critical moment.

Another fun game!

Italian comment: The game illustrated the inherent problem in the FFA scenario giving a big advantage to the 1st mover - getting first shot at full rate against enemy who cannot be dug in or gone to ground - particularly so on a small table with sparse terrain. But even with the 1st turn big hit the battle was far from a pushover - it put the Yanks on the defensive & attacking with Reluctant peasants isn't that easy. The mud effect was interesting - vehicles doing a bogging roll every turn sure made you think carefully about assaulting inf with tanks, or indeed, about moving vehicles at all.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Camp Cromwell 24/11/05

Lobositz 1756:

Prussians (MarkO, Barrie & SteveP)
Austrians (SteveJ & PeterW)
Jim umpiring.
The Prussian attack concentrated on the right of centre, the infantry & grenadiers going in after a short artillery bombardment while the cavalry guarded their flanks.
The Austrians defended well and counterattacked on their right.
It was a close run thing - when the Austrians failed morale the prussians were only a unit off a test themselves.
The rules mods worked well - in particular the command system seemed a sucess. Some tweeks were suggested to the flank/rear attack rules and we got some ideas for further refinements of the command system.

FOW on the desert table:

Mariusz's Polish armour
MarkW's DAK
in a free for all.
Your correspondant was otherwise occupied, but Mariusz won comfortably.

Next up:

Saturday afternoon at Barrie's (Stalingrad).
Tuesday at Fort Floriet (Maybe US v. Italy in Sicily)
Thursday at Camp Cromwell.

More stats on the FOW battles so far this year

In scenarios with designated attacker & defender: the attacker has won 54%

The best German army is Grenadier with 52% wins.
The best Italian army is Carri with 88% wins.
The best US army is Infantry with 68% wins
The best Empire army is Brat motorised with 88% wins
Russian Infantry & Armour are both on 50% wins.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Fort Floriet 22/11/05

Jim's Fucilieri + Chris' Grenadiers
defending v.
Starn & Coreena's Russian Armour + Nick's Russian Armour
in a 2x1500 pts Bulge Scenario on an 8x6 rolling steppes table.

We used the Battalion rules for Company Morale (one platoon fails = it's pinned, two failed = game over).
Peter Williams dropped in for while but couldn't stay to fight. The Take Away Mission came up Spuds after Hungry Jacks was vetoed.

The Axis deployed Germans on the right, Italians on the left.
Both Axis armies were heavy on the anti-tank guns - the only armour being 4 Marders & 6L6 light tanks.
The Russians deployed entirely on their left opposite the Germans.
They had a mix of T34s (2x10), light tanks, SUs & KVs - no grunts except for the commanders.
Both sides had limited air - Sturmos & Focke Wufs.

It was a really enjoyable battle with wildly varying swings of fortune, so everyone had their turn at getting their rocks off.
By turn 2 it looked to be an Axis walkover after 2 Ivan tank coys had been splattered by anti-tank fire following a perhaps too enthusiastic advance.
Two turns later after the Sturmos & the surviving tanks had taken out 4 anti-tank batteries and the 88s were occupied with AA work it was the Axis feeling nervous.
But the Ities counterattacked the Russian rear echelon and Iavns casulaties were mounting - Nick's company was pinned and Starn & Corenna's leaderless.
Nevertheless, Starn's T34s had cleared a path diagonally across the table to avoid the 88s & Marders and were storming forward towards the Itie's thinly held rear objective.
On turn 9 the Luftwaffe finally showed up. A lone Focke Wulf finished off the T34s and forced a Company Morale Test that couldn't be passed.

The Axis claimed victory 3 times over:
1. Russians failed morale.
2. Russians failed to get into zone 2 by turn 10.
3. Russians held no objectives (the L6's had taken back the one taken from the grenadiers).
It was a hard fought win - the Germans had lost 2 of 6 & the Ities 4 of 9 platoons.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Camp Cromwell 17/11/05

On the Desert Table:

2 x 1500 pts Hold the Line
Mark I & Peter W's US Inf + Mariusz's Polish Armour
Jim & Barrie's DAK + Steve's panzer grenadiers.

The deployment was as two platoons side by side on a 8' front with 4 objectives, 2 to be taken to win. 1st platoon to fail morale pinned.

Steve's faced a swarm of Polish armour with very little - he had only 5 platoons so there was just 1 grenadier & the 88 ambush on table to face them. The 88s got smoked by the US 105s most of the game & when they did get a shot in they missed. The grenadiers inevitably got over-run by Honeys. The reserves came on only to be picked off as well.

On the other flank the yanks were held off and a reserve DAK infantry platoon spared to cover Steve's 2nd objective.

The Polish attack on the 2nd objective got a hell of a fright when the Grenadiers charged them through smoke bailing all but 1 before failing morale. But 1 survivor was enough & the rest of the grenadiers died in the counterattack & the 2nd objective fell.

It was a tough assignment for the Germans. The rolling hills limited the ambush potential while there was little cover for the defence. The wide front allowed the objectives to be widely spaced and hard to defend. Steve's coy was ill-suited to facing serious tanks.

We had a long discussion before the battle trying to get the multi-coy rules straight for this battle. We need to work on getting clearer scenario conditions for multi-player games. There's some on the website to start with.

On the Lobotsitz Table:

Mark II's British Armour VS Steve II’s Russian Infantry
1500 pt Breakthrough Mission

As the defender Steve chose to place his artillery on a high hill which had a view of most of the table. The Infantry were dug in between the river and the woods. The other smaller infantry were dug in around a village to deal with the expected bailed out armour.

Mark placed his armour within striking distance of the artillery leaving Steve to think that he was not so clever after all and that the game would be over very quickly!

Marks first turn enabled him to effectively smoke the artillery preventing them from creating the destruction that Steve was desperately in need of.

The Sturmoviks failed to arrive! The dice gods however, decided that the Russians horde deserved an even break and allowed Steve to roll for his reinforcements and on came 9 T34’s right in the path of the advancing armour! Between the T’34’s and the now protected artillery the British attack was decimated.
The battle had swung dramatically in favor of the Russian horde! However new life was injected into the game when the Sturmoviks finally found their way to the battle only to attack their own troops, killing off ¾’s of the artillery!

Mark had bad luck with his reserves not turning up until the last few turns when it was all but over. A very enjoyable game with some valuable lessons learnt around deployment and the value of airpower.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Fort Floriet 15/11/05

2250 pts Big Push on a 6' front
Jim's Indian Inf attacking Chris' Grenadiers.

Chris deployed grenadiers entrenched on the objectives with 4 FK36r's, 2 Pak38's and 2 88's in support on the hills behind.
He then went on the Take-Away-Mission (generously conceeding to the Indians HQ's request for Harri Curry) while the Indians deployed.
The Indians attacked on their left with the advance covered by Bofors, HMGs, mortars, RArt & 2 Sherman platoons (2250 pts gives you lots of support). The RE cleared a path through the minefield & wire while the Shermans & Bofors wiped the Pak38(r)s and the mortars & 25pdrs smoked the Pak 38's & 88s.
The first infantry passed through the minefield & wire, attacked & took the objective supported by the Shermans.
But the Indians inf on the right had been destroyed by some hot shooting & bad saves as it made for the shelter of a wadi - this left the Germans free to shift all their troops to their right and thus they were able to make an immediate counterattack - destoying not only the infantry but the Shermans as well with a combination of grenadiers, panzerknackers and a/tank guns (finding gaps in the smoke).
It looked all over for the Indians, but their last infantry platoon retook the objective yet again & held off the immediate counterattack.
The remaining grenadiers went to ground just within 100 of the objective & proved bullet proof as the last Indian infantry platoon got ready for a last effort.
The Indians climbed out of the captured trench & charged. The grenadiers weren't fazed by the Indian War Cry, but still only managed 4 hits, so the attack went home, somewhat blunted by 3 kills out of those 4 hits. In two rounds the grenadiers were all killed. The Indians consolidated back in the trench below half strength, but they passed their Morale Test. The Germans couldn't recontest the objective, so it was Game Over - a narrowest possible victory. Obviously it was the Harri Curry that made the diffference.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Camp Cromwell Bulletin 10/11/05

Jim's Indian Infantry + Mark I's Aussie Infantry
Barrie & Steve I's DAK (2 x armoured coys)
Bulge Scenario, DAK attacking.
Barrie on the left, Steve on right of the German attack. Indians forward & Aussies in support. Mariusz provided his Allies with valuable advice.
We agreed to use the 1 Coy fails morale = it is pinned rule to make it practical for the defender to deploy one coy forward & one back.

The Indians defended the forward objectives with 2 inf platoons & mortars. The Aussies moved up to join the rest of the Indians in a second line defending Zone 2.
Steve quickly overran their forward objective with MkIIs but the Oz 6pdr ambush popped the MkIIs & the advance slowed while the 6pdrs were smoked and the Shermans dealt with.
Barrie took some time to clear his forward objective in the face of desperate Indian resistance. They had to kill the platoon to the last man. The Brit 6pdrs attached to the Indians were placed down in the centre. They didn't kill anything, but further slowed the advance.

Finally the Germans realised that they had to charge to make it to Zone 2 before the Allied Turn 10. Steve's Panzers were stopped by the Brit 6pdrs even though they were reduced to 1 gun & command. Barrie's were stopped by the 3rd Indian Infantry.

A win to the Allied defence - Mark's first win for the year.

Both sides had air. The priority Hienies came 3 or 4 times but killed just 1 Sherman. The limited Hurricanes never showed up at all.

The pic is taken at the end from behind the German lines.

Some FOW stats for the year so far:

There are records of about 189 FOW games reported in the year's CC Bulletins so far. These includes the Area 52 Tournament, plus some Fort Floriet games, but do not include Raid Scenarios (too Micky Mouse to count). In multiplayer games all players count a win or loss, though the country counts just 1 win or loss. Tied games aren't counted. I've probably missed or confused the odd result so they are approximate, but can't be far off.

Ignoring draws I've tabulated: (Games won / games lost) & the percentage of wins:

Germans (21/33) 39% won
US (20/12) 62%
Italians (17/11) 60%
British & Empire (17/14) 55%
Russians (12/16) 43%

Infantry (43/43) 50% won
Mechanised (24/26) 48%
Armour (17/16) 51%

Jim (36/19) 66% won
Steve J (16/15) 52%
Chris (10/11) 48%
Leigh (9/2) 81%
Peter (7/8) 47%
Mariusz (5/4) 55%
Barrie (5/10) 33%
Steve P (4/4) 50%
Nick (4/5) 44%
Glen (1/2) 33%
Mark W (1/4) 20%
Starn (1/4) 20%
Mark O (1/6) 14%

Take out Leigh's 9/2 & the Russians score is 3/14 for the rest of us.
Mark O is clearly the most consistant performer.
Army types are all close to 50/50.
The US & the Ities are the Uberarmies.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Fort Floreat 9/11/05

Somewhere in the desert ...

We tried a flames of war battalion game. Jim with 1500 pts Indians plus 1500 pts Australians vs Nick & Chris with Rommel and 5 honey light tanks (350 pts) and another 2600 points of Afrika Korps table decorations.

The game went as follows:
  • The Honeys did a pre-game 'Rommel' move to move up, then charged around some scrub and machine gunned some happless Indians who thought they were out of range of the Honeys. The Indian platoon was damaged, but alive. This is the situation in the picture.
  • The Honeys then moved to the top of a hill and machine gunned some Indian mortars on an adjacent hill, destroying the mortars. They used their stormtrooper bonus to dash down the other side of the hill and out of sight of some AT guns.
  • The Honeys assaulted a large platoon of Indian infantry, dug in on an objective. The Honeys wiped them out. Return fire from AT guns was ineffective.
  • The Honeys ran up onto a hill and attacked the 2lber AT guns from the rear, killing their trucks and some guns. The AT guns failed morale. Chris's troops finished off the damaged Indians that the Honeys had first hit.
  • There was now a mass of crusader and valentine tanks approaching the honeys. They could have dashed over into the face of the tanks and killed some more Indians -- in retrospect it would have been a glorious victtory! Especially as the Indians were in trucks, and it would have been easy to break the Indian's morale. Instead, the Honeys retreated and moved to the other flank to continue their attack. They assaulted dug in Australian infantry, and killed some. The Crusaders had managed to get to the infantry's rescue, but the crusader return fire missed.
  • The Honeys shot back at one of the two platoons of crusaders, killing two tanks including the platoon commander. One platoon failed morale and ran.
  • The remaining Crusaders were joined by Valentines and Bren carriers with .50cal machine guns and 25lbers. The Honeys killed another tank and a bren carrier, taking their first losses in the exchange.
  • Rommel and his half tracks machine gunned an indian machine gun platoon and some Australians that were hiding in a depression, causing the Indians to take a company morale test.
  • Rommel was killed, along with his half tracks. The honeys retreated back to the German lines.

The Indians were below 1/2 strength. The Australians had only lost one platoon, but most of their other platoons were on the verge of breaking. It was 2 am and we called it a draw. The 25lbers were a potent allied weapon that could still have inflicted massive damage, so it was by no means clear who would have won.

The one thing I do know is that the Axis had the same bad dice luck as the week before. Since Jim was in both Axis sides, we now have convincing proof that Jim is a dice jinx!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Camp Cromwell 03/11/05

On the steppes table:
Mariusz's Polish Armour v. Steve's Winter Russians in a Free for All.
Your reporter was busy elsewhere so details are sketchy, but I gather that the Poles made their traditional galant charge and swept all before them.

Marharajah 2005:
Jim's Carri v. Leigh's Russian Guards.
Free for All on the Lobositz table (plus some extra trees).
The Russian infantry, aa & a/t deployed to defend the objectives while the T34s rushed for the Ities left flank objective.
The Ities sent their M14s forward against the Russian left while the Semos, 90s & L6s covered the objectives.
While the T34s hestitated in the face of the 90s & Semos, the M14s just charged their objective (see pic). They lost 6 tanks, but kept passing morale & mowed down the Ivans on the objective to win 6:1.
The Sturmovics came only once - there were 3 of them, but 1 didn't find a target, 1 was shot down & the other only managed to bail 1M14.
The Regio Aero came 3 times, but was intercepted each time.

We need to fight Barrie v. Jim & Chris v. Peter ASAP.
If the Axis & Allies win one each the two winners will be clearly top of their side & will play off for the Trophy.
If it goes all Axis, or all Allies, it might require more play-offs.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Fort Floriet Tuesday 01/11/05

Jim's Russian front Fucilieri v. Nick's Russian Infantry in Hold the Line.

Round 1 - Ities defending:
The Ities started well with their attached Pak 40 ambush taking out Nick's SU155 & the Regio Aeronautica taking out 3 T34s. But there were still 7 T34s with riders left. The T34s rushed forward losing another to the Pak 40s before rushing over their covering hill & mowing them down. Then they lost one to the 105s and another to a flank shot from a 47. They then failed their morale test & it was effectively game over. But both sides were disapointed at such an early end & reversed the morale test so the T34s could assault the objective & we could have more fun. The T34s passed all subsequent morale tests & did reach the objective, but the L6s wiped out the Russian infantry and the HQ forcing Army Morale failure before they held it. The Italians could claim 2 wins for this one - one 6:1 & one 5:2.

Round 2 - Russians defending:
We changes sides of the table & did it again.
The Ities marched bravely forward, but a 10 T34 ambush is a fearsome thing on a table almost devoid of cover. It took out the Pak 40s and half the L6s, but the Ities smothered the Ivans in smoke and Avantied on. The Russian infantry & tanks were both driven back by their attack but the T34 counterattack retook the position with great slaughter. They soon finished off the Ities over the centeline to win. A 6:1 for the Soviets.

Russian tankovaya v Finnish panzer grenadiers

Fort Floriet 01/11/05

The soviet Tankovaya company consisting of 1st company of 9 t34s including the commander and the 2nd company consisting of 4 kv1es+2kv2 advanced on the finnish objectives. Russian air support was non existant ( too much vodka back at base), whilst the brave soviet air defence attempted to beat of those lend lease german fw 190s that kept on appearing. The Finnish command's stratagem was all wrong and this proved fatal as the t34s cut down the finnish infantry advance with their machine gun fire and the brave comrades who defended their tanks from the backs of the t34s. Order of Lenin awarded to them and no doubt they will be awarded Guard status soon by Stalin.

Russian conscripts 6 finns 1