Friday, September 29, 2006

Camp Cromwell 28/09/06

SteveJ's Strelkovy v. Jim & Mark's Fucilieri.

Encounter mission on a random hilly, rocky Tunisia 8x6 table (must have been in the Caucasus).
Jim & Mark had 2 1000 pts Fucilieri Coys v. Steve's 2000 pts.
Steve's infantry was supported by 10 T34s & GOWs. The Ities had Sporadic Air.

The Russians attacked on both flanks. The T34s started on the right, but finding the Ities A/tank concentrated there, they doubled left and supported the attack there. The attacks were slow to develop due to late arrival of reserves (on both sides). In the meantime a battle of attrition went on. The Gods whittled away at the Itie guns and vice versa. The T34s took steady losses from Stukas (for once the Regio Areonautica showed up regularly) and heavy artillery. By the time the Russian attack on their left went in the T34s were about half gone & they were finished off by redeployed A/tank guns. Their supporting infantry broke the front line, but were mown down by HMGs. On the other flank Steve wasted one infantry unit by allowing them to be bottled up on a mountain top. The other infantry unit was worn down by gunfire, then the pesky L6's finished it off and charged onto the objective. A last counterattack by the AA & A/tank guns failed to blow the L6s off the objective - another win for the Axis.

Camp Cromwell Tuesday 26/09/06

SteveP's Strelkovy v. Jim's Panzers

2000 pts Trenchfight, Russians defending on random East Front 8x6 table.
Steve's army had the usual horde supported by 3KVs, 4 SU76 & the Gods of War.
Jim's army had some MkIVGs, MkIVF1s, MkIIIJs, a Tiger & Nebelweffers.

The Germans won the tank fight easily - they had better tanks, more of them, good tactical smoke & better of luck as well. But they then found out that facing an aggressively lead infantry horde backed up by a shirtload of artillery is a very dangerous business for tanks without infantry support. They lost 10 of their 13 tanks before the last 2 MkIVs broke through and grabbed the objective - a win for the Bad Guys.
The KVs were dealt with by the Tiger & MkIV*s, but once they were gone, the Tiger was reduced to backing away from the horde while sniping at artillery. The Sturmoviks didn't do much directly - didn't show up mostly & killed just 1 MkIII, but they did severely restrict the German deployment. The Nebels didn't kill much but their smoke was used to good tactical effect.
The Trenchfight scenario is a Hold the Line variant - the only differences being limited defences helping the defence and preliminary bombardment helping the attack.
My first time commanding Ostfront Panzers - recommended for meglomaniacs - one feels very powerful (at least until the horde starts swamping you).

Camp Cromwell 21/09/06

Camp Cromwell 21/09/06

A quiet night tonight - just SteveJ & Jim.

SteveJ's Grenadiers v. Jim's Indian Rifles.

2000 pts Breakthrough on 8x6 table, Germans defending.
Steve's army was his usual mob except he had a Tiger with 2 MkIIIN handmaidens & no 88's.
Jim's was his usual Injuns with lots of artillery & a Matilda platoon.

Steve did his usual trick of deploying off the objectives and covering the ground with big guns. The Indians responded by rushing the closest objective. By turn 2 they had it in their possession, but then realised that they had to hold it until turn 6 to actually win. The Injuns had outrun the cover of their HMGs & Boffors & the double 25pdrs went thru a bad patch while the German artillery chewed curry. All this allowed a Grenadier Coy to retake the objective. The Matildas turned up out of reserve a turn too late - the Panzers were by then close enough to blow them off the other objective. A last Indian attack petered out when the remnants of the Grenadiers refused to fail morale. The Indians had a remote chance of victory in a long term artillery duel, but it was 11 oclock & the battle was awarded to the defenders on time.

This was a late Midwar Ostfront Coy v. a mid Midwar Afrika Coy - the Matildas were hopelessly outclassed by the Panzers. But it was close run thing - the Germans survived a few morale tests that could have ended the game.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Fort Floriet 19/09/06

Only a small turnout this week with Doug, Aggro & Chris.

Practice game a Meeting Engagement was diced.
Chris DAK 15th Panzer Division 1500pts vs. Agro Grenadiers 1600pts.

Aggro deployed 88's concealed behind ridge on the left objective with mortars on their left & a Grenadier Platoon on the Right objective. Chris placed 4x Panzer II's in centre and 4 X F1's on the right flank with the 2 IC Panzer III J covering the DAK left hand objective.

Turn 1. Aggro got 1st turn and dug in all 3 platoons. Chris went to plan B, as his F1's would now be very unlikely to kill any 88's. Panzer II's advanced under cover as did the F1's on the DAK right.

Turn 2. Aggros airpower and mortars did nothing. DAK went all out offensive before reserves arrived 4 Panzer II's and 4 Panzer F1's only managed to kill one 88 the II's tried to assault but were beaten off and failed platoon morale.

Turn 3. No reserves planes bailed 1 IV F1. The F1's advanced killing the 88's and sat on the objective.

Turn 4. Aggro got a reserve to save the game and a platoon of grenadiers contested the objective before being cut to shreds by the DAK. The remaining sole survivor fled on the following turn.

Turn 5. Aggro got another grenadier platoon, which came on but needed to assault in order to contest the objective. The DAK had 3 functional tanks and 1 bailed left. The Grenadiers failed their tank terror and Game over.

A 5-2 victory to Chris's Panzers.

The DAK Recon are going to London, Paris, Rome, Munich Amsterdam etc. May try to get to the Bovington tank museum pics to follow in a few weeks. So no Fort Floriet for 4 weeks.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Camp Cromwell 14/09/06

Thursday at Camp Cromwell

Tactica: Jim & Oakie's Byzantines v. SteveJ's Huns
Also present: Nick (umpire), Dillon & Cameron.

The Byzantines moved to outflank the Hun left while holding back in the left & centre.
The Huns tried to manoeuvre to face the threat but couldn't match the cunning Byzanine's flexibilty.
Also, six 6's in 8 dice for the Byzanyine's first skirmish fire put the wind up the Huns from the start.
The Huns attacked on their right and 1 heavy Cav unit showed what Huns could do by bowling over a smaller Byzantine Heavy Cav quicksmart. But their Light Cav on that flank was destroyed by Heavys. In centre the Byzantine Infantry drove off another Hun Cav. Another Hun Cav was held by Byz Cav long enought for the Infantry to hit it in flank and finish it off.
Meanwhile, on the Hun left 3 Hun cavalry units were rounded up by the more manouvreable Byzantines.
The Byzantines used their superior manouvrability to generally avoid frontal fights which they could have easily lost & to create flank attacks which are deadly in these rules. A classic case of a good plan backed up with good dice - result a decisive victory for Byzantium.
Tactica rules are bit too stylised for some, but they are a fun set of easy-to-play rules. Better than most.


The current standings in the Maharajah are:
1. Jim 98
2. SteveJ 54
3. Chris 52
4. SteveP 51
5. 5. Nick 29
6. MarkO 25
7. MarkW 23
8. Peter 16
9. Barrie 16 (behind Peter on win/loss ratio)
10. Mariusz 10
The home & away continues until the end of September so the 8 could still change a bit.

Maharajah 2006 Finals Format

Roster: AFL Final 8 system.

Acceptances: Eligible players must confirm they will be able to take part & meet the schedule before we start.
If any of the 8 drop out, the players ranked below will be promoted & no. 9 will become no.8.
The 4 First Round matches are to be played in October.
The 4 2nd & 3rd Round matches in November.
The Grand Final will be in December.
Dates will be set for each match after consultantion with the players and no-shows will be forfeit unless the excuse is impressive & an alternative date is available.

Format: 2,000 pts on 8x6 table.

Standard scenarios selected by dice using the V2 Hardback Table with one veto each.
The players can also agree to mutual vetos of some scenarios before dicing.

Terrain: FOW dice system for the region appropriate for the army pairing (we can use my spreadsheet which has the same recipes).

Historical matches: Where possible battles will be Axis v. Allies with both armies either Afrika or Ostfront.

Company selection:
Each player must nominate up to 3 company types in order of preference - one only from each side in each book.
Eg: 1. Afrika Fucilieri. 2. Ostfront Fucilieri. 3. Afrika Indian Rifles.
3 selections are preferred as if everyone has 3 selections we will always be able to have historical opponents.
If you only have 2 armies you like, that will suffice as long as they are different sides (though this could lead to Afrika v. Ostfront fights).
If you only have 1 favourite army, that will be ok as long as you are the only one.
In each pairing of players the highest ranked pairing of compatible opponents will be used (or the players can agree to another pairing).
If there are two equally high ranked pairings, the highest ranked player chooses.
If a player only has 1 coy, his opponent can choose which one of his valid opponents he uses against it.

Platoon selection:
The players may finalise their platoon selection for each match after determining who is their opponent and which coy type they will be fighting.
They may change their platoon selections between rounds.
The platoon selection is made before determining scenario or terrain.
In any match the players concerned may agree to limit the time scale tighter than just mid war, or to a particular campaign, or say pre Sherman or pre Pussy.

Battles not finished by midnight are won by the attacker/defender where so nominated by the FOW rules for the scenario.
In scenarios with the Fair Fight rule, timed out battles are won by the player highest ranked on the roster.

Camp Cromwell 12/09/06

Tuesday at Camp Cromwell

Game 1: SteveP's Grenadiers v. Jim's Brat Light Armour
1460 pts each, Germans defending a Cauldron on 6x4 desert terrain
The tank swarm (3 Grants & 8 Crusaders) over-ran the German position on turn 3.

Game 2: SteveP's Grenadiers v. Jim's Brat Light Armour
1460 pts each, Germans defending a Trenchfight on 6x4 desert terrain
This time Steve was able to deploy minefields to funnel the swarm into the Marder killing ground. 3 Shermans & 3 Crusaders died before the 4 Marders were overcome (2 by surviving Crusaders, 1 by Boyes & 1 by morale). Meanwhile the only German reinforcements to arrive were the 105s. The RAF kept them pinned down & unable to contribute for the duration. There were enough Crusaders left (5) to finish off the Grenadiers on the objective.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Fort Floriet 12/06/09

Four players this week Doug, Aggro Chris & a new Russian Player Rob.

Doug played an introductory game with Rob - Russians vs. Frogs. Rob learned that Russians can get slaughtered by confident trained troops with lots of MGs.

Hold the Line: Chris 1500pts Tunisian Germs vs. Aggro 1600pts Grenadiers.
The 2 armies were similar in make up so however got to defend was in the box seat. Chris got to defend and lost 3 stands and 1 Stug F8 to the 120mm Mortars (Chris's dreaded luck with the Stugs continued needing a 1 on the dice for the mortars to have a chance). 6:1 win to Chris.

The 3rd Round draw was done for the next round of the Northern Tourney and a Hold the Line Mission was diced. Current standings with an incomplete 2nd round.
Round NumberPlayer 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Chris 6 12 Doug 5 Corinna 1 7 Aggro 6 7 Rodney 4 Matt 3 Starn 2 3 James S 1.

Next week will be the last Floreat Night for 3 weeks Chris is on a Recon mission oseas. Hope to have a big turn out next week and maybe complete the round 2 games.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Camp Cromwell 07/09/06

English Civil War - Camp Cromwell Rules

Peter's Royalists v. Nick's Parliament.

A small battle with 2 pike, 2 musketeer & 3 or 4 cavalry command groups (2-4 units each) a side to test the lastest fiddles with the Camp Cromwell rules.
There was a good deal of cavaliers riding down roundheads then galloping into the sunset.
The parliament's foot did best in in the centre where a musketeer unit got in a flank attack to good effect.
On the parliament's right a steady flow of 6's allowed the roundhead horse to beat the cavaliers.
With their centre shattered and most of their remaining troops in fruitless pursuit the royalists were beaten.

It seeems some of my critisism of the Warhammer Rules last week was unfounded. Nick confessed that some of the weirder events were allowed by his unfamiliarity with the rules. The tweaks to the CC Rules are coming along ok. I found a few more items to iron out tonight.

FOW: SteveJ's Grenadiers v. SteveP's Ivans in 2000 pts FFA on 8x6

It seemed that the rows of German tubes wore the Ivans down and the Grenadiers then walked over the field to bayonet the wounded.

Mahrajah 2006

With only 3 more weeeks to go to the end of the Home & Away, the ladder is currently:
1. Jim
2/3/4: SteveJ, SteveP & Chris are very close.
5. Nick
6/7. MarkO & MarkW are very close.
8/9. Peter & Barrie are very close for 8th spot.
The contenders should be considering their 2000 pt armies. Everyone should select their 2 or 3 favourite Coys - no more than one each of each side from each book. Then we should always be able to have historical match ups in each game.

Fort Floriet 05/09/06

Five players attended this week, which seems to be the magic number lately. Two FFA Tourney games were played.

Game 1. Starn 1600pts Russians vs. Chris 1500pts Tunisian GermsThe Russians failed Company morale after 6 turns of being bombed, mortared, Artillery and Machine Gunned. The Stugs took out 3 Matildas.A 6:1 win to the Germans losing 4 stands in the process.

Game 2. Corinna 1600pts Grenadiers vs. Aggro 1600pts GrenadiersAlthough Corinna won the game 6:1 it was a lot closer than the result showed. Corinna saved 2 platoons by passing the sole survivor motivation checks so technically didn't lose a single platoon. The main parts of the battle hinged on Corinna's Tiger & Pz III taking the left objective under the hail of shots from an 88 and some 105's. The Tigers took the objective eventually. Meanwhile on the other flank 2 of Aggros Grenadier Platoons advanced on the left objective, they were worn down and ground to a halt as they assaulted the objective. They were just repulsed by a healthy Grenadier Platoon preventing Aggro taking the objective.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Camp Cromwell Thursday 31/08/06

English Civil War to Warhammer Rules

Jim & SteveJ's Parliament v. Mariusz & SteveP's Royalists - Nick umpiring.
The Parliamentary army was larger & better equiped but had poor morale. Their commanders decided to defend & let the Royalists do the walking. Rupert lead an attack with an unsupported cavalry unit at the centre of the Parliamentary line. Nearly half of Rupert's unit got shot down as they advanced but when they charged the Parliamentarian pike & shot ran away. The follow up took out a second pike & shot unit, then was stopped when it hit a cavalry unit. On both flanks, the Parliament's horse ran without a fight when charged by Cavaliers. At left centre SteveJ's cavalry got lucky & routed the best Royalist horse unit. A Parliamentary Pike unit in good position to counterattak Rupert in flank was taken over by an Agitator & charged off in the other direction - to be overwelmed by Royalist pikes. The Parliamentary reserve cavalry was prevented from attacking Rupert's other flank by follow up of the rout from the right flank. Rupert's unit, down to about 20% strength cleaned up the horse to their front to finish the battle.

The rules are not to my taste. Issues include:
1) The combat resolution system is tedious, overly complex & there are too few options to influence things by tactical decisions - troop types & luck seem to be all that matter.
2) The movement rules don't reflect what I think is reality - no penalty for wheeling & units can even wheel freely in a charge.
3) The morale rules are too luck dependant - you're either lucky or not - with too few options to influence things by tactical decisions.
4) A cavalry unit can make an unsupported attack on a line of pike & shot & have an excellent chance of carving their way through. Even for a charge lead by Rupert against mediocre troops it seemed a bit rich - stopping cavalry is what pikes were for.
5) 6's are not always good - in morale you need to throw 1's, in combat you need to throw 6's.
6) Too many crazy rules about heros, agitators, standard bearers, etc, etc.
7) It seems very easy for a capricous or random issue like having a unit 1cm this way or that to determine victory or defeat.

Fort Floriet Tuesday 29/08/06

Game 1: Jim's Carri (1505pts) attacking Rodney's Kiwis (1600pts) in HTL.

From page 1 of the Gazzetta di Roma:
"The gallant Compania d'Angelo's adacious attack by just 2 Carri platoons over-ran a British 25 pounder battery and seized the objective. They then withstood a feeble counterattack and the enemy fled like a flock of sheep."

From page 13 of the Wellington Post:
"The Desert Fox himself launched a surpise attack on our position with overwhelming numbers of his crack Afrika Corps including several platoons of the lastest model Panzers. Our troops made a brilliant strategic withdrawal. We lost a few guns, but left the field littered with burning Panzers."

The truth:
The inexperienced Kiwi general didn't protect the forward objective well enough. The Ities exploited the terrain to leapfrog 2 Carri platoons onto the objective in 2 turns. The 25pdrs on the objective were pinned by artillery and smothered by 11 M14s - which then consolidated about the objective. A Sherman ambush plus a timely reserve Sherman platoon tried to blow them off it - but 3 Carri killed & a bail was nowhere near enough. A Maori infantry platoon had no hope of attacking the remaining tanks so it was game over at the start of Turn 3.

Game 2: Rodney's Kiwis (1600pts) v. Agro's Grenadiers (1600pts) in FFA.

On turn 1 Agro got 3 Messersmits They caught a Kiwi Sherman platoon bunched up & destroyed it. That was 1/4 of the Kiwi army gone on turn 1 and they never recovered. Two 88's dominated the field & the Kiwi 25pdrs spent the whole battle failing miserably to hurt them. The Kiwi force melted away under continual pounding from an omnipresent Luftwaffe, a 105 battery, a mortar battery & 2 HMGs. Spirited counterattacks by Maori infantry & the surviving Shermans failed to stop the Grenadiers who eventually climbed over the bodies to take an objective.

Game 3: Chris's Marschkompanie (1500pts) v. Doug's Free Frogs (1500pts) in a FFA.

Both sides farted about for a couple of hours before agreeing on a draw.