Sunday, December 21, 2008

Saturday at Camp Cromwell 26/12/08

Renrey's Royalists v. Jim's Parliamentarians - Camp Cromwell Rules

Both sides deployed their main body of pike & shot on ridges with their cavalry opposite each other on one flank (Parl's left). On the other flank there were Royalst musketeers v. Parl's musketeers & dragoons amongst clumps of woods.

The Cavaliers charged on their flank. The Ironsides held back countercharging until the last moment and advanced infantry on the flank of the cavalry. The cavaliers won the fight on the far flank, but a flank attack by infantry saved the other group of cavalry, routing their opponants.

On the other flank the dragoons trotted right round the Royalist flank and across the rear of their main line. One group of Royalist musketeers followed them round as best they could on foot.

The victorious cavaliers pursued to the edge of the table, but rallied on their last chance. While the infantry that had helped the cavalry tried to block the return of the cavaliers, Parliament launched an attack on the right of the Royaltist foot. The Royalsts in turn started an attack with their own left including trying to attack the flank of the leading Parliamentarian foot unit. The Parliamentarians used all their command dice of a turn failing to react to the flank threat, then next turn got the order thru but failed the skill test to make the formation change. This allowed a flank attack which swept the unit away. The returning cavaliers manoeuvred around the Parliament's rear guard & despite losing heavily to the artillery joined in on the rear of the parliamentarian right completing its destruction. With that loss Parliament's morale failed.

The pic is early in the battle - taken behind the Parl's left. Cavaliers are pursuing cavalry in the foreground. Other cavaliers have been hit front & flank. The Parl's dragoons are in the far distance behind the Royalist foot.

Camp Cromwell 22/12/08

Maharajah Quarter Final deciding set: SteveJ's Panzers v. Leigh's Scotts in FFA

The Scotts dug in most of their force while the Panzers advanced on all fronts. The cunning German plan became apparent when they began picking on the Churchills. The right flank Churchill platoon was destroyed by the Panther platoon which then headed right to help against the other platoon. The left flank platoon was swarmed by MkIVs with a Panther attached & won on its own before the cavalry arrived. The loss of the Normandy Tank Platoon meant Army Morale failure for the Scotts & a German victory.

Now Steve's Panzers have to face Jim's 7th Armour for the right to fight James in the final. As James will be away on a trip to Canada until February, they have opted for a best of 3 semi final over January.
Rich's Canadians attacking Renfrey's Grenadiers in a 1500pt Breakthrough on 6x4

This time the Grenadiers gave the Tigers a rest & had 5 Stugs. The Canadians put all 3 Rifle platoons in flank attack. The Stugs attacked the main Canadian force & there was a shoot out with the Shermans & Priests on one flank - which the Stugs eventually won. Meanwhile the M10s & bugs headed around the other flank towards the rear objective dodging Pak 40 shells on the way. The Germans sent a Grenadier to hold the rear objective. They got there ok, but failed to dig in before the 1st Rifles arrived. The Germans were pinned by bug & rifle fire & the assault went in leading to mutual destruction. But this left only 2 SPAA to dispute the objective. 2 more Rifles arrived next turn & overwhealmed the SPAA to take control of the objective.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Rainy Saturday at Camp Cromwell 13/12/08

Rich's Canadian Rifles v. Renfrey's Grenadiers in 2000 pts FFA

Renfrey had 4 Tigers plus supports. Rich had his usual mix. Renrey attacked on his right with the Tigers supported by the HMGs & SPAA. Rich attacked on his right with infantry & bugs. Rich's attack went well at first, the bugs & mortars caught a Grenadier moving up & destroyed it & the Aircraft took out most of the Pak 40s (it's only acheivement). But then Renfrey threw hot dice when the Rifles attacked the objective & the 2nd Grenadiers held on. The German attack was met with the M10s, 6pdrs & Shermans. Renfrey sent the 3rd Grenadiers from the centre to the right to help the attack, but it was intercepted by the Shermans & artillery & destroyed. Rich got Tiger fever & missed the opportunty to slip the Shermans past the Tigers to take an uncontested objective. Instead, the Shermans were evaporated by the Tigers. Even though partly distracted by killing the Shermans, the Tigers also took out the M10s for 1 loss & the remaining 3 attacked the Rifles on the objective. The Canadian grunts put up a brave fight & got one Tiger with their Piat, but even with 12 dice the 6 pdrs were useless in support and in the end the Tigers prevailed & took the objective.
Pics taken from behind the german right.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Camp Cromwell Ancients 09/12/08

Mark's Pergumenes v. Jim's Seleucids using Camp Cromwell Rules

On 8x6 table with a fair bit of terrain.
The Seleucids deployed the phalanx in the centre with cavalry on its left, infantry on its right & their elephants on the far right flank.
The Pergumens had the phalanx on a ridge in the centre with infantry on each flank of it, some light cavalry & infantry on their right & their cataphracts & more light cavalry on their left.
The Seleucids made a general advance, only holding back some infantry on the right of the phalanx. The Pergumenes advanced on the flanks & waited on the ridge in their centre with their heavy infantry.
The Pergumenes won both flanks, but the Seleucids won the centre. The Argaraspids beat the much larger immitation Romans by a flank attack & the superior Seleucid phalanx eventually overcame their opposite number. A few other loses here & there was enough to push the Pergumenes below half strength.

It was enjoyable battle with a good deal of manoeuvre. It certainly wasn't a case of "form up two lines & throw dice at each other". We tried yet another variation in the close combat system - it seemed to work real well & it may finally be what I have been looking for.
Pic 1: The start of the battle taken behind the Pergumene left.
Pic 2: The critical point of the battle. From the right right:
Cataphracts returning after beating elephants.
Seleucid Light Infantry & Cappadocians in reserve behind line.
Cavalry fight on the hill - the cataphracts are fighting the Companians & Greek cavalry.. The returning cataphacts charge the Companians in rear, but it's too late to save the others.
The Galacians on the hill are attacked by Cappodians & do beat them.
The 2 phalanxes are slogging it out.
The Argaraspids have hit the Immitation Romans in flank & they are about to rout.
The Pergumene Guard cavalry have hit the Cappodian Cavalry in flank & they are about to rout.
The light troops on the Pergumene right have advanced out of sight as the Seleucids fell back.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Maharajah 2008 Semi Final 2

Mark's US Rifles v. James' Grenadiers: 2000 pts LW FFA
There seemed to be an awful lot of Yanks on the table - 12 platoons v. 8 - but then 4 Pussies take up a lot of points. James put infantry on each objective, artillery & werfers in rear & Tigers + AA in the centre. Mark did much the same but his Shermans were put on his left behind a wood & his 3" a/tank in the centre rear covering the open ground.

The battle opened with the Germans advancing in the centre with Tigers & Grenadiers while the US advanced infantry & their Shermans on the left & AA & infantry on their right. The US artillery & airpower was spectacularly unsuccesful in this phase of the battle, consistently failing to range in.

The Tigers diverted to the right to intercept the Sherman's threat to the RH objective. The Shermans tried to flee, but didn't make it - the Tigers popped the lot in two turns. In the centre, the Grenadier attack over the big hill failed to charge home & they were then destroyed by massed firepower.

The Tigers turned left and headed for the objective through the infantry & a/tank infested cornfield. They drove back the infantry & got a gun at the cost on one bailed.

The battle was adjourned at that point and continued a week later.

The Tigers pushed forward driving the GI's out of the cornfield, losing 1 Tiger to the 57mm a/tank guns to dispute the objective. The Yanks had one only battered Infantry unit in reach of the objective, but had 2 105 batteries & 2 3" a/tank guns in range.

On the other flank 2 US Rifle platoons supported by SPAA attacked the Grenadiers on the objective. Poor prep shooting left the Grenadiers unpinned & the GI's were stopped by defensive fire.

The Tigers sat in the cornfield & mowed down the GIs contesting the objective. The US guns managed to kill only 1 more Tiger leaving 2 holding the objective. James goes through ti the Grand Final.
Pic 1: From the US right.
Pic 2: The battle resumes on week 2.
Pic 3: The US attack on the objective - about to be stopped in its tracks.
Pic 4: Pussies on the objective.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Camp Cromwell 01/12/08

Steve of Pergumum v. Jim of Seleucia.

Camp Cromwell Rules. We used the alternate Command Group deployment system to deploy. Both sides tried to weight their left. Steve's left did win, but lost a couple of units in doing so & it took too long to exploit his advantage. In the centre the imitation Romans quickly destroyed the Seleucid peltasts but were then themselves beaten by the Seleucid 2nd line. On the Seleucid left the Capadocian cavalry pinned the cataphracts while the Greek cavalry swept away the light cavalry and wheeled into the cataphract flank. In pursuing the routed cataphacts the Capodicians ran into the Guard cavalry and beat that too. This caused the Pergumenes to fail Army Morale.

The battle ran pretty well despite not using them for long enough to forget a few things. There are still a few loose ends to tidy up & Steve made some suggestions I'll think about.
Pic taken from behind the Seleucid right.

At Nick's 28/11/08

Game 1: Jim's Panzers v. Tony's US Infantry in 1500 pts MW HTL, US defending.

The terrain favoured the defence with a lot of cover on one end of the table & bugger all on the other. The defender got to choose & of course defended the end with the scrub. Infnatry with 3 Bazookas in a gully around the forward objective, 105s on the rear objective & Shermans in ambush.
The Panzers (all MkIIIs & IVs) charged forward in line abreast losing one to air attack on the first turn & anotehr to the 105s on the 2nd. Then the Shermans popped out of ambush in some scrub close to the MkIVs. The MkIIIs ignored the Shermans and went straight for the objective. They lost tanks to the bogging rolls & to the Bazookas & failed to take the position. The Shermans then turned their guns on the MkIIs & finished them off.
It was a tough ask for the Panzers & they needed some luck they never got.

Game 2: Jim's 7th Armour v. Nick & Tony's Panzers in 1510 pts LW HTL.

The Germans had lots of MkIVs & Stugs + 2 AAHTs but no infantry. They put their objectives in the open.
The Brits had lots of Cromwells, some Fireflies, bugs with 50cal & a rifle platoon. They put one objective in the closed ground on their left flank, the other in the centre.
Two long lines of tanks faced each other in the centre. On their right the Germans had just their SPAA to face the bugs & rifles.
The Germans crept forward with their tanks - precipitating a slug fest between the tanks. The Brits used smoke to force the Stugs to keep moving with ROF 1, but even so were getting the worst of it. Clearly the Panzers were eventually going to win on that flank.
But on the British left their bugs and rifles were creeping forward towards the objective while the SPAA waited behind a hedge. Once close enough, the Brits rushed forward with both spraying the SPAA. The bugs got 1, the Piat missed, but a lowly rifle team got the other leaving the bugs on the objective uncontested. The Germans had to pull a MkIV platoon out of the tank fight to try to reclaim the objective. They opened fire on the bugs, but they used their recon evade to dive behind a house while still within 10cm of the objective. A nervous search of the rule book confirmed that evading teams can still hold an objective & that the Brits had won.
Pic 1: The Panzer burn at the end of the first battle.
Pic 2: An unimaginative deployment from both sides.
Pic 3: The Panzers turn right to take on the bugs.
Pic 4: The German High Command ponder where they went wrong.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Camp Cromwell 17/11/08

Maharajah QF1 Round 2

SteveJ's Panzers attacking Leigh's Scotts in HTL

Leigh deployed infantry on the front objective, 25 pdrs on the rear one, Churchills behind the crest of the central hill & 6pdrs & 17pdrs in ambush. Steve deployed Panthers, 2 MkIV platoons, Command & AA on the right, a mixed Panther/MkIV platoon & 20mm AA on the left.

The 17pdr ambush was dropped in the village on the Scott's left. The Panzers paused their advance & took them on. The 17 pdrs died, but took the 3 Panthers with them. On the other flank the Churchills took on the Panzer platoon & eventually beat it. The Scotts reserves didn't start coming until turn 3, though they came in a rush after that.

On the German right the MkIVs attacked the infantry on the objective. The 1st platoon was beaten off but the 2nd took it. The 6pdr ambush & the 2nd Churchill platoon cleared the Panzers on the objective, but the other platoon retook it. Concealed in the smoke of their burning comrades this platoon was harder to hit, but it still lost more than half. It failed morale, but Steve had the CIC with them & could re-roll. The whole battle came down to this re-roll - if Steve failed he would fail Coy Morale as well. But he threw a 4, one Panzer stayed unbailed on the objective & he won the battle.

This means they will fight a Free For All to decide if Pic 1: Deployment.
Pic 2: The Panzers advance.
Pic 3: The Panzers pause to take on the 17pdrs in the village.
Pic 4: The panzers attack the infantry on the objective.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Camp Cromwell 10/11/08

Jim & Rich's Panzers v. Leigh's Scotts in HTL, Germans attacking

The swarm of Panzers looked pretty impressive as it rushed forward on turn 1. But an ambush of hot shooting 6pdrs made a big hole in it by taking out the 5 MkIVH platoon in one turn. The 6pdrs then mostly survived a barrage from 6 Neblewerfers, 2 Tigers & 7 Stugs, but they were at least pinned down and did not repeat their heroics. The Stugs charged on, destroyed the Infantry on the objective and took it on turn 3. The Scots had no-one in reach to dispute the objective so the Stugs only had to survive a turn to win the battle. 4 17 pdrs dropped out of ambush & 2 platoons of 4 Churchill moved up and let fly. Most of the Stugs died, a couple remained bailed, but the platoon failed morale & it was a quick game over.
Pic 1 shows the Panzers rushing forward.
Pic 2 shows the Stugs on the objective about to be blown back off it.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

At Barries 04/11/08

Maharajah 2008 Quarter Final #4

Jim's 7th Armoured
HQ 2Crom+2AA+Arve 260
3 Crom + 1 Firefly 325
3 Crom + 1 Firefly 325
3 Crom + 1 Firefly 325
Field Batt SP (8 Sextons) 355
Rifles 135
RE, Mech Inf or Rifles 135
3 Stuart 135

Barrie's Grenadiers
HQ +PF+PS 75
Grenadier +PF 165
Grenadier +PF 165
4 Mortar +PK 150
2 HMG +PK 145
3 Pak 97/38 110
4 Tiger 860
4 105's 210
2 Pak 40 120

Jim Attacking in Breakthrough, SteveJ umpiring.

Barrie deployed in the 2 most crowded quarters of the table. Jim chose to deploy in the most open quarter & attack into the cover.
The German deployment had 105s behind the woods on their left, then Grenadiers in the woods, Pak 40s & HMGs out in front. In the other quarter they had Pak 97s near the centre, then Grenadiers & Mortars on ther their right. The dreaded Tigers were in rear centre ready to pounce.
The Brits put their Artillery in the centre, the 2IC's platoon on the left, the heap of tin on the right & both infantry in flank attack.
The Brit over-ran the Paks & HMGs on turn 1. The Tigers moved forward sniping, but at long range across standing corn, rivers or burning tanks it was always 6 to hit. They got the odd hit & they got one Cromwell platoon but the rate of attrition just wasn't fast enough to stop the tide. One platoon of Cromwells doubled to the edge of the wood then over-ran the 105's. The other Tank Platoon plus the Stuarts wore down the Grenadiers - only repeated morale test passes kept them in the game. On the other flank the 2IC platoon worried mortars & Pak 97's into ineffectiveness, then rolled up the Grenadiers - but again good morale throws kept that platoon in the game.
Meanwhile the battle was being decided on the objectives. Both Rifles came on on turn 5, took the rear objective & dived into the fields around it. This forced the Tigers to move over to dispute it. The Sextons then smoked the Tigers while the Honeys grabbed the other objective. 3 Tigers backed out of the smoke to try to blow the Honeys away while the other stayed disputing the objective. They got one Stuart, but the morale dice came up Rats & the Brits held the objective to win the game without killing a single Tiger.
Pic 1: Overview from rear of British start quarter.
Pic 2: The Rifles have taken the rear objective, Cromwell & Stuarts harry the Grenadiers, the Tiger don't know what to shoot.
Pic 3: The Tiger come out of the smoke but can't drive the Stuarts off the centre objective.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Maharajah 2008 Quarter Final 2

Maharajah Quarter Final #2

Nick's US Armour
HQ 2 Sherm +dozer 145
5 M4/76 445
5 M4 345
5 Stuarts 235
Recon +B 70
Arm'd Rifles 240
SP Art 3 Priest 185
TD 4M18 335

James' Grenadiers
HQ +1PK+1PF 55
Grenadiers +PF 165
Grenadiers +PF 165
Grenadiers +PF 165
2 HMG 80
4 Pak 40 220
4 Tigers 860
4 105s 210
2 SPAA 20mm Arm 80

LW Free For All, 2000 pts on 8x6 table. Umpires: Jim, Leigh, SteveJ.

Nick deployed the Super Shermans & Stuarts on his left, TDs in the centre, Shermans, Inf, Recon & Art on his right. ames deployed Infantry & Art on his left, Infantry & HMG on the right & Infantry, Anti/tank, SPAA & Tigers in the centre. James scored the first coup of the night by throwing Tiger Skill of 3 shots. But that was negated pretty quick when the first US barrage got Time on Target & wiped out the Pak 40's.

The inevitable Supersherman + TDs v. Tiger fight started well for the US too with a Tiger brewing up. But then the German sectret weapon stepped up - the SPAA took on the TDs and destroyed them. The Tigers popped a couple of Supershermans & the rest of them ducked for cover behind a hill. The Stuarts tried to rush the objective on the German right while this was going on, but the Grenadiers beat them off.

On the German left the Shermans whitled away at the 105s & the Infantry was sent to the centre in their HTs to defend the objective left exposed by the death of the TDs. The SPAA rushed towards the other objective on the US right forcing the US Infantry in the HTs to turn back to intcercept. Their MG fire bailed up the SPAA, but didn't kill it. One Tiger shot at the HT's needing 6 to hit (long range, concealed, slow traverse) - James threw three 6's. The HT's burned, the GI's lept out, the unpinned SPAA mowed them down & the rest failed morale. Suddenly the battle had turned - the US had nothing to defend their centre against the SPAA & Grenadiers.

The US deperately attacked on both flanks. On their right they made progres - finishing off the 105's, but before they could take the objective from the Grenadiers, the battle was decided elsewhere. The last 2 Super Shermans and the CIC came out from behind the hill & took on the Tigers. Now the US got lucky and they killed both the Tigers on that flank (the other had been left behind to assist the left). But the last Tiger survived Platoon Morale, & firing at 6 to hit popped the HQ Sherman. The US made a last desperate effort to take their left flank objective. They destroyed the HMGs, but Grenadiers beat them off - they failed Platoon Morale forcing a Coy Morale Test that could not be passed.

This battle had more ups & down than the stock exchange. The Tigers dominated the centre & they did their bit, but the SPAA were the unlikely heroes for the Fatherland - taking on the TDs & their Armoured Car escort & beating them.
Pic 1 is early in the battle with US armour skulking out of sight of the Tigers at both ends.
Pic 2 is the classic "how far can that bloody Tiger shoot?" pic
Pic 3 is the pile of bodies on the US RHS objective.

James goes through to a Semi Final v. Mark.

Anti-Tiger Leaque Practice Matches

Nick's 20/08/10

Jim's Grenadiers v. Nick's US Armoured in 2000 pts FFA

The Germans deployed infantry on each objective, artillery in rear, HMGs, Pak 40's & Tigers in the centre, Infantry right of centre & SPAA on the left. The US deployed Infantry & most of their armour on their right, artillery in left rear, Honeys & Recon on their left.

The US advanced on both flanks. The Germans advanced their 4 Tigers plus the Infantry & HMGs in the centre. The US rushed the Tigers with their TDs & Super Shermans. Before they even fired a shot 2 Tigers died & one was bailed - the Tigers only passed morale because they had thrown For The Fatherland. The remaining Tigers plus the Paks hit back. The TDs died but so did another Tiger.

On the German right, the Honeys wiped out the advancing Infantry and then rushed the objective, but the Infantry defending it threw hot dice and beat them. On the German left, the Shermans rushed the other objective. They destroyed the defending Infantry & took it, but the Paks & Artillery hit back destroying the whole platoon to save the game. The US Infantry came up & also took the objective. The lone Tiger did a Ned Kelly defying the remaining Super Shermans & 2IC tank to go to the objective. It then survived the attack by the bazooka heavy infantry platoon to maintain dispute of the objective until the Paks could finish off the Super Shermans & force Army Morale Failure.

The US got within a whisker of winning several times, but every time the Huns held on. For The Fatherland is not one of the most desired Tiger Ace Skills, but this time it won the game - without it the Tigers would have been gone without firing a shot, and I lost count of the number of times a 2 unbailed or passed a platoon morale test for the last heroic Tiger.

Camp Cromwell 28/10/09

Jim's 7th Armoured v. Steve's Grenadiers in 2000 pts Breakthrough, Brits attacking.
Steve' army was the same as Jim used v. Nick the night before = 4 Tigers with some support.

The Brits made a rush round the table edge furthest from the Tigers. The Honeys died on the way, but so did a couple of Paks. Two Infantry platoons exterminated each other in the centre. The Cromwells overran the 105's in their path but lost a platoon doing it. The mob of tin then formed a two abreast columns to squeeze between a DG hill & the table edge. They charged out into the open into the face of the Tigers as the reserve infantry came on.

Cromwells burned everywhere under the Every-Shot-Counts fire of the Tigers, but they kept passing platoon morale keeping the Brits in the game with 2 platoons down to 1 tank. Meanwhile the Germans lost their last Paks to artillery, lost another infantry to the Brit reserve infantry & had to check Coy Morale every turn. On their second try the Germans failed giving the Brits victory. The Germans had lost only 1 of their Tigers - to a Murder from the Sextons.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Camp Cromwell 20/10/08

Mahrajah 2008 Quarter Final #1

Steve's Panzer Lehr
HQ 2MkIVH 190
4 MkIVH 380
4 MkIVH 380
4 MkV 750
3 SPAA 20mm Arm 120
3 SPAA 37mm Arm 180
Leigh's Black Watch
HQ RV 35
Rifle RV 135
Rifle RV 135
Rifle RV 135
Bugs 3/50 RV 105
4 6 pdrs RV 120
Hvy Mortar + P RV 165
Field Battery 4 25 pdr RV 170
4 17 pdr 200
2 Churchill VII CT* 230
1 Ch VII +2 Ch VI CT* 285
1 Ch VII +2 Ch VI CT* 285
* Normandy Tank Squadron
Hold the Line
Steve Defending

Because of the Normandy Tank Squadron attachment the Scotts counted as armoured so attacker/defender was diced for - thus the Panzers defended. The Scotts made a night attack which allowed them to close up before the Germans could open fire. The Scotts advanced a platoon of Churchills on each flank with infantry & anti-tank guns in the centre.

The Germans deployed MkIVs in the field & wood near the front objective. One Panther was attached to the MkIVs on the left & it alone persuaded the Scotts to hold their right flank tanks back. The other Panthers dropped out of ambush in the wood. The Germans had some success cutting up the central Infantry platoon by advancing to the hedge line then stormtrooping back & the Scottish infnatry all went to ground. But the Churchills on the left mounted a little hill which gave them a good field of fire & they picked off a bunch of MkIVs & AA and the Panthers were whittled away - 1 to 17pdrs, 1 to artillery & 1 to heavy mortars. The Germans just ran out of tanks & failed Coy Morale.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Camp Cromwell 14/10/08

Maharajah 2008 Quarter Final #4:

MarkO's Fucilieri v. SteveP's Strelkovy (MW)
Hold the Line, Ities attacking, 2000 pts, 8x6 table.

Steve deployed Strelk on his right in cover well in front of the rear objective & his GOW across his rear. Another Strelk was in ambush.
Mark deployed all his Fucilieri in a column on his right along with Brexias & a/tank. His 3 artillery batteries lined his rear. The L6s lurked in the village on his left. Pak 40's & HMGs in the centre.

Scared of the GOWs, Mark made a painfully slow advance with the Fucileri column while digging in everything else. The Stukas & artillery started on the GOWs & eventally the Fucileri got to the centreline. The Russians dropped their ambush around the objective & then counterattacked the Fucilieri. The lead Fucilieri was destroyed but the follow up assault was stopped by RMG fire from teh 2nd Fucilieri. Then the Ities dropped a storm of artillery & rmg fire on the Strelk - dropping it below half . The Strelk then failed morale & the komisar shot himself. The Strelk evaporated allowing the Ities to get a team back across the centreline & save themselves from defeat by the no-one over the centreline rule. But the T34s had come up into a position to attack the Fucileri & the Ities still looked doomed. But then the Regio Aeronautica struck - they took out the command T34 & it all changed in an instant. The T34s were frozen leaderless in the standing crops mostly unable to fire at anything & unable to move - & the 2IC was across the other side of the table.

The Ities now had a foothold over the centreline & had time to bring up the rest fo their force - all the time whittling away with their 3 batteries. The 2nd Strelk tried to cross to objective & take the 2IC to teh T34s, but were mown down by HMGs & L6s. The 3rd Strelk came up, recovered the objective & destroyed the 2nd Fucilieri, but it ran out of men & the 3rd Fucileri finished it off. When the artillery finished off the Anti-tank guns, the Russians had lost more than half & the CIC had died with the 2nd Strelk. The Ities had also taken the objective.

A remarkable battle. Mark seriously stuffed up his attack and was dead lucky to avoid defeat on turn 6 by the no-one over the centreline rule. Then the Regio Aeronautical won the game by taking out the command T34. The T34's would have had to have driven the Fucileri back if they weren't immobilised by lack of command. With them frozen, the Ities bought time for the belated advance of their force and for the artillery to do their work.
The 1st pic shows the start of the battle from the Ities side. The 2nd one is from the Ivan side as the 1st Strelk counterattack to drive the Fucilieri back ove rthe centreline. That horde of Strelk on the objective & in the fields evaporated in one turn. The T34s moved left & forward into the fields to the left of the objective to take over the counterattack when the Stukas made their only kill for the game to take out their leader.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Camp Cromwell 09/10/08

Maharajah 2008 Qualifier #2

Leigh's Panzer Grenadiers v. Byron's Allied Italians 2000 pts LW Trenchfight

Leigh: HQ + 3 Panzergren + HMG(4) + Pak40s(3) + Stug(3) + 105s + Hvy Mortars + Neblewerfers(3) + 37mmSPAA(3)
Byron: HQ + 3 Fucilieri + 2 HMG(4) + 2 47mm(4) + Shermans(3) + 17pdrs(4) + 25pdrs(8) + Limited Air

Leigh deployed 2 P/grens about the forward objective on his right + 1 P/gren on his left. Wire covered the whole front & minefields most of it. His right & centre were stiffened by 2 HMG bunkers. One HMG & the Paks were in ambush.
Byron deployed across the front with the tanks in the centre. The Preliminary Bombardment was pretty ineffective - 2 infantry teams & 2 HMGs not really enough for the Ities. Byron initially advanced on the whole front, but held the right back rather than charge the bunkers & pressed on on his right. The Paks came out of ambush, missed the Shermans then got popped by return fire & 47's. The Fucileri on the right just failed to take out the P/grens holding a field there & Leigh was able to reinforce them with the HMG ambush before the next wave came up. This platoon also just failed to take out the P/grens. Meanwhile the Shermans had crossed the wire en route for the rear objective. Leigh's reserves were late coming, but they did come in the end & in time. The Stugs took on the Shermans and a mass of artillery & mortar lined the back of the table. The Shermans lost an unequal fight & the last Italian hope went with them. Byron conceded. Byron's flu last week may well have lost him the match - Leigh got to have a practice match in which he made plenty of mistakes he did not repeat.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Camp Cromwell 07/10/08

Breakthrough Assault Mission from Stalin's Onslaught

Bad Guys: SteveJ & James
Forces of Evil: Jim & Rich

The Germans squeeled like schwein as the preliminary bombardment cut a swathe through their ranks. The Russians adopted a traditional strategy of charging straight forward on a broad front, but they soon discoverered that the preliminary bombardment didn't hurt the Huns nearly enough. Their army began to melt away under intense German fire. The PT34s went through the minefield & the wire only to discover the hard way that ALL the German infantry squads had Panzerfausts. They died & their suporting infantry was pinned down. In the centre the sappers got to the wire but no further, likewise the Strelk on the right. The SUs on the right were stopped by Pak 40s & Panzerfausts. Only the IS-2s in the centre did much for the Russians - they took on the Stugs when they arrived & destroyed them. But enough Paks had survived the Bombardments to whittle the IS2s down to 1 & all the infnatry were cut down. The no attackers over the line by turn 6 rule gave the Germans victory before the Russians failed morale.
This looks like a tough mission for the Russians - clearly the attack has to be made with a lot more finesse than it was tonight.

Camp Cromwell 02/10/08

Thursday at Camp Cromwell

It was supposed to be the Maharajah 2008 2nd Qualifier: Byron's Allied Italians v. Leigh's Panzergrenadiers, but Byrom reported in sick. So Jim & Rich gave Leigh a practice battle.
Leigh's Panzergrenadiers (FE) v. Jim & Rich's Desert Rat Rifles (VB) in 2000 pts Trenchfight, Germans defending.
The Germans deployed first with a Panzergrenadier platoon on each objective, & another + HMGs in ambush. He put 3 lines of barbed wire accross the centre with 2 HMG bunkers.
The Brits immediately saw the weak spots in the German position - fields & woods on the left giving cover for an infantry & no anti-tank immediately available to stop armour crossing the wire in the centre. 2 Rifle platoons supported by 2 lots of bugs attacked through the wood on the left while the tanks attacked the objective directly. One Rifle platoon got stopped by the German 105's but the other one took out half the P/grens & the Cromwells got the rest. But then 2 of the Brit tanks bogged & by dropping a P/gren in ambush in the woods the Germans could counterattack the armour. But it just wasn't their night, the Panzerfaust kept missing, the Cromwells kept passed their bogging rolls & morale tests and the Germans ran out of men to contest the objective.
The Germans made mistakes in deployment they couldn't recover from & their cause wasn't helped by slow reserves either.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Camp Cromwell 29/09/08

Maharajah 2008 1st Qualifier: James' Grenadiers v. Rich's Canadians: 2000 pts Cauldron on 8x6

Rich's Canadians
HQ 25
Rifles 145
Rifles 145
Rifles 145
4HMG 130
4 heavy mortars 150
6 6 pdr a/tank 185
4 M10 3" 250
3 Sherm + 1 FF 290
4 Priests 235
3 Bugs 80
Medium battery 225

James' Grenadiers
HQ + 1PF 50
Grenadiers + PF 165
Grenadiers + PF 165
Grenadiers + PF 165
4HMG 140
Pioneers 220
2 Tigers 430
4 Stugs 380
4 105s 210
2 20cm Arm AAHT 80

The Germans rushed the nearest objective, taking it on turn 2. Then the battle turned into a slug fest as attack & counterattack disputed possession of it. Eventually the entire infantry forces of both sides were destroyed in the struggle as the armour sparred on the flanks & the artillery had a field day dropping templates on the crowds. The Stugs were destroyed by a combination of artillery & infantry & the M10s by artillery helped by Tiger they missed.

At the start of the Canadian turn 7 the umpires (Jim & SteveJ) realised that both sides were below half strength. The death of the Pioneers in the previous turn should have caused the Germans to test, & the loss of the M10's pushed the Canadians over. The Germans took their test & passed. The Canadians had lost their CiC in the infantry fight & automatically failed. The germans also held the objective at the time - piled high as it was with bodies & wrecked Stugs. After a long see-sawing struggle, the battle had been decided on a single 50/50 dice roll.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

At Nick's 26/09/08

Jim & Nick's Royalists v. Craig, Leigh & Cameron's Parliamentarians - Carl umpiring.

Parliament sat back and did nothing, as Parliamentarians do, & the Royalists attacked.

The DBR rules have you throwing a dice for each of your 3 generals then using the pips to move or rally troops. Jim threw lots of 6's & Nick threw straight 1's so the Royalist right got into action long before the left even got close.

The Cavaliers on the right slugged it out with the Roundhead horse while the Cavaliers next to them took out a pike & shot unit. Next to them, pike & shot of both sides met, but the Royalists had lost some critical casualties to artillery fire in the aproach & lost. This caused an army morale failure & Royalist defeat even though half their army hadn't even got within musket shot of the enemy.

Nick & Craig had little to do on their flank while Cameron, Leigh & Jim had all the fun while Carl did the hard work with the rule book.

Carl's figures were magnificent & the battle looked great. Though I enjoyed the battle, the battle did nothing to change my opinion of the DBX rules systems - a curious mix of oversimplification & arcane mechanisms.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Camp Cromwell 23/09/08

Rich's Romans v. Jim's Carthaginians - Camp Cromwell Rules

The Carthaginans deployed first to give the Romans some compensation for inexperience. Elephants & Numidians on the right, Spanish & Gaulic infantry in the centre, Spanish & Gallic heavy & light cavalry on the right, African spearmen & cavalry in reserve. The Romans did the standard deployment with their allies in reserve. For a time all went well for Hasrubal. The elephants & Numdians bogged down the Roman right, the Spanish/Gallic heavy cavalry quickly routed the Roman horse on the left, a Spanish infantry unit went through a gap in the line to get at the Allied foot & the Carthaginian reserves started working around the Roman infantry's exposed right flank. But the Spanish & Gallic cavalry pursued off the table & the winning infantry kept pursuing as well. The Hastasi/Principes smashed the Carthaginan centre & the loses on the sacficial left had the Cathaginians teetering on the edge of army morale. But Hasdrubal saw one last opportuny & charged his last African cavalry reserve against the weakest section of the Roman line. A win would have turned the battle, but the infantry withstood the charge & soon after the last African foot broke & it was game over. It was an exciting little game & I was pretty happy with the way the rules worked, but as always I have noticed some scope for tweeking. I'll put a pic on the blog.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Camp Cromwell Saturday 20/09/08

Saturday: James' Grenadiers v. Jim's Canadians

A Maharajah practice match to balance the leger. 2000 pts HTL, Germans attacking.
The Canadians placed a layered defence in front of the objective - 17pdrs n front then HMGs on the ridge crest then rifles on the objective behind the crest. M10s & Shermans in ambush.
On the German left they kept their Stugs & Tigers well back from the 17pdrs and pot shotted at them with the Tiger's 88s & 105 artillery from out of range. In their centre their HMGs & Pioneers advanced in the cover of a village and engaged the Canadian HMGs. On their right 2 Grenadier platoons & the AA HTs advanced at the double down the table edge.
The Canadians got their reserves pretty steadily and were able to mee the flank move with an artillery barrage & bugs. One Grenadier plat evaporated, but the other counterattacked with an AAHT & destroyed the bugs before diving into the village for cover before going on pressurise the Canadian reserve rifles platoons.
On the other flank, the Tigers & 105s finally weakened the 17pdrs enough for the Stugs to advance & finish them off & for the heat to go onto the HMGs. The Canadian armour dropped out of ambush and engaged the Panzers. The armour slugged it out trading Stugs for M10s.
In the centre the Pioneers and left flank Grenadiers advanced on the ridge as soon as the HMGs were disposed of. With a smoke barrage to help, the Grenadiers & Pioneers cleared the ridge and took the objective. The Canadians pulled the Shermans out of the tank battle to help the reserve infantry retake it, but it was temporary reprieve. The Pioners & the Grenadiers in the village counter attacked the counterattack and destroyed the rest of the Canadian infantry - with the CO - & the death of the last M10 caused the Canadians to fail Army morale.
It was a great little battle & close - the Germans were just one platoon off an Amy morale test themselves.

Camp Cromwell 16/09/08

Tuesday: Warhammer Ancients
Macedonians: Jim & SteveJ
Persians: Mark & Leigh
Umpire: Nick
Also present: Byron
The Macedonians soon became convinced they were doomed when realised that their phalanx wasn't going to get to the Hoplites skulking on the far edge of the table before the superior Persian cavalry destroyed the rest of their army. The Macedonian's sole success was their light cavalry sweeping away their opposite number on the left. Meanwhile they lost peltasts on their right to missile fire and all their heavy cavalry on the left of the phalanx. But after defeating the heavy cavalry the Persians pursued across the rear of the phalanx. The phalanx about faced and charged the cavalry in flank. The cavalry routed into some skirmishers. You would have expected the skirmishers to evaporate, but apparently not, & the cavalry was destroyed. The Macedonians got away with a narrow victory.
Subsequently it was found that there were numerous umpiring errors including less Macedonians than there should have been, less effect on morale due to skirmishers & no about face & charge. Bloody umpires !
I think WAB is a fun game if you have someone there who knows them well enought to keep it moving, but as a wargame you can't take it too seriously.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Camp Cromwell 11/09/08

Maharajah training for Rich
Game 1:
Rich's Canadians defending HTL v. Jim's 21st Panzer Panzergrenadiers (MM)
2000 pts on 8x6 using same table as last Tuesday.
We tried the option of compensating for the larger table by making the objective zone 30cm from edges & centre instead of 20cm. It seemed to work - the attacker has further to go to get at the objectives to compensate for the defender's reserves having further to go to get to the front.
It was all over on the German's 4th turn - the novice Canadians being taught a few lessons by the wily old Krauts, including:
Not getting any reserves in the 1st 3 turns is Very Bad.
Scouts on motorcyles can get to an undefended rear objective very quickly and force you to waste a precious ambush to dispute it.
Panzergrenadiers with a Panzer platoon, a Tiger platoon & a double Rocket platoon in support take a lot of stopping.
When you drop your Sherman ambush in front of 5 MkIVs & 2 Tigers and miss - you are in Big Trouble.
HMGs attacked in flank by Panzergrenadiers are Dead Meat.
Airpower can be useless.
Game 2: Same armies, same table, but FFA.
Again the Krauts won convincingly giving the Canadians some more lessons, including:
Bugs can be a real pain for the enemy, but are they are no match for AA half tracks (the Krauts decided the bugs were a bigger threat than airpower).
Infantry should use the terrain to protect their advance.
Panzers & Tigers just love a central position with good fields of fire.
Heavy mortars are Dead Meat if Panzergrenadiers get up close.
Once again, when the Allied tin cans come out to play they had better not miss on their first shot - they may not get a second one.
Beware the firepower of the Panzergrenadiers (MG teams ROF 3).
Summary. Rich complemented inexperience with terrible dice to be defeated twice in 3 1/2 hours. Jim decided he likes the 21st Panzer Panzergrenadiers.

Camp Cromwell 09/09/08

Tuesday at Camp Cromwell
Present: Rich, Byron, Jim, SteveJ.
Apologies: Nick, MarkO, Barrie.
Rich's Canadians attacking Byron's Grenadiers in HTL. LW 2000pts on 8x6.
The Germans took a big hit early when the Tiger ambush missed the Firefly which then took out a Tiger. But when the Stugs joined in the Canadian Shermans & M10s melted away.
The 1st Canadian rifles attacked Grenadiers on the forward objective & were destroyed by small arms fire. The 2nd rifle platoon attacked under smoke & did better, taking out the front line. But a 2nd Grenadier platoon came up, counterattacked and destroyed them.
On the Canadian right their 6pdrs & HMGs were stopped by a Stugs (left behind as the others went M10 hunting) & SPAA.
The artillery & mortars on both sides was pretty ineffective,as was the Allied air.
With no armour left and most of their infantry destroyed it was clear that the Canadians had no chance so they conceded defeat.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Camp Cromwell 05/09/08

Field of Glory Ancients

Renfrey's Roman's v. SteveJ's Carthaginians, Jim umpiring.
We used the sample armies in the rule book to do a test run of these rules.
On his left Steve mucked up his maneuvers and copped a couple of flank attacks to lose the flank. On his right he won a fair cavalry fight & after a long struggle the elephants beat triari. But the battle was decided in the centre where the Carthaginian skirmishers out-diced the velites then their larger foot units prevailed over the smaller, but better Roman units.

I'm still wary of making a judgment on these rules, having been mislead by first impressions of rules before (as Nick won't let me forget). The combat system is pretty good, but marred by the difficulty of picking out relevant factors from the tables. The rules suffer from unclear writing, lack of a one stop reference table for terminology & abbreviations, and poor arrangement (though an expanded index download helps). The book is full of instances where they tell you part of the rules for something in one place & the rest in another place with no cross reference. Eg: You'd expect to find victory conditions under Victory & Defeat on p 118, but there it only tells you that you have decisive victory if the enemy has attrition points >= the number of units - without saying what attrition points are nor referring you to where they are defined (they are in the Playing the Game section on p37).
The turn sequence seems unduly complex & the game is slowed down by multiple combat rounds each turn - there's an impact combat round for new charges, then a melee round so a combat has 2 rounds of combat using different combat factors in it's first turn - so in a pair of IGoUGo turns there are 4 sets of combat resolutions, plus 4 sets of firing calcs as both sides fire missiles in each turn. It's very inefficient.
To keep a game simple & focused a designer has to select the most important parameters to include in detail, while ignoring or simplifying others. I'm not sure that the selection is always to my taste & whether there are enough real tactical options - games I have seen have tended to degrade into dice fests - but that may well be newbie players not knowing how to play the game.
There is nothing particularly brilliant apparent except for the presentation - which is certainly excellent - but surely this is not the most important aspect of wargames rules. They do have some good ideas, but it's a pity that they are often poorly implemented. They have many similarities to the latest Camp Cromwell Rules (we've been plagiarizing the same sources). Fair comparison is difficult because of different levels of familiarity, but there's no doubt that the Camp Cromwell rules are vastly more efficient in playing time & mental effort.
It remains to be seen if the perceived problems will go away once we know the rules well enough to get on with the game without being hung up on rules searches. The benefits of knowing how to use a widely accepted set of commercial rules are obvious & these are probably better than the current alternative (Warhammer Ancients), so I think it's worth persevering with them.

Camp Cromwell 02/09/08

Flames of War

Renfrey's Panzer Grenadiers attacking Rich's Canadians in 1535 pts Cauldron (Monty's Meatgrinder).
Also present Nick, David & James.
The battlefield had plenty of cover for the Canadians with a large village & a wood in the centre to defend. The Germans got good reserves dice and the Canadians got lousy reserves dice which made it hard for the Canadians. The Germans made a concentrated attack on the wood beside the village. They disposed of the HMGs with artillery, neblewerfers & Tigers then sent in the Panzergrenadiers to take the objective in the wood. The Canadian rifles counterattacked bravely, but the rifle/mgs stopped them.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Gaming Garage 29/08/08

Jim's Grenadiers v. Renfrey's US Armour. 1500 pts Late War Breakthrough.

Renfrey used one of Nick's lists - Super Shermans + Shermans + 2xStuarts + Priests + Scouts.
Jim had 2xGrenadiers, Pioneers, 2xHMG(2), Pak40s(3), StuGs(4), 105's.
Nick umpired & provided technical assistance to the US.

Renfey put both Sherman platoons & the scouts in the flanking force. The Stuarts pounced on the forward grenadier platoon & all but destroyed it on turn 1. But the Priests had failed to lay a smoke screen & the StuGs, Paks & 105s wrecked terrible revenge. Only failed tank terror prevented the 2nd Grenadiers finishing off the Stuarts immediately. It took the Germans until turn 3 to finish the Stuarts off & by then the cavalry had arrived - the Shermans came on with the first reserve roll & had caught the Pioneers on the rear objective before they could dig in & destroyed them. A bunch of hills prevented the German antitank guns covering this objective so suddenly things looked dangerous for the Krauts. It got worse when the Super Shermans came on next turn. The Stugs were outgunned & were soon destroyed, but with the help of the 105's they took the standard Shermans with them forcing a Coy Morale Test on the US (3 platoons destroyed & only 2 left on the table). The US survived the test but the 105s hammered the Super Shermans. Once again the 2nd grenadiers failed tank terror & missed a chance to finish them off. But the Scouts failed to arrive on turn 6, missing the chance to occupy the vacant rear objective & requiring another 2nd Coy Morale Test. This time they failed, handing the Krauts victory.

This was battle of wildely fluctuating fortunes. Both sides made some good moves & the Dice Gods could have given victory either way. The big tactical difference was the effectiveness of the artillery - the Priests did little while the 105's did most of the killing for the Krauts.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Gamng Garage 19/8/2008

Steve and Nick, Blitzkrieg Commander. The scenario for the trial version that used to be available on the web.

To cut a long story short, we both agreed we prefer Flames of War. Each side concentrated on moving their tanks, and their infantry were ignored as a side show. This may have been inexperience with the rules, but there just wasnt that feeling of 'fun' that we get from Flames of War.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Aigues-Mortes 07/08/08

Aigues-Mortes in the Camargue rivals Carcassonne - if somewhat less spectacular being in a flat swamp rather than on top of a dramatic hill..
The 13th century town wall is virtually intact forming a rectangle about 0.5 km square around the old town. It was originally built to protect the port which was then the Kingdom of France's only Mediterranean port. But after a hundred years or so, the port silted up & territorial gain gave the King a better port in Marseilles, so the place became a backwater (as it is named...Aigues-Mortes = dead water). It was still the only fortification in the whole area - presumably the only place where stones didn't sink into the swamp, so it was maintained as a garrison town and/or prison unit the 19th century. The place was such a backwater that using it as a quarry wasn't necessary so it survived pretty well intact until it's worth was appreciated. It hard to tell how much is restoration, but very much less than Carcassonne and what they have done is more authentic.