Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Camp Cromwell 26/05/08

FOW 1500 pts LW Breakthrough

Griggy's German Armour v. Nick & David's Brit Rifles (RV Desert Rats).

The Brits had M10's, Sextons & Bugs in reserve, 3 Inf, HMGs Hvy Mortars & 17 pdrs on the table. The 17 pdrs were deployed limbered up and moved onto a ridge to protect the objectives. 2 Infantry also moved to the 2 objectives.

The Germans put 3 MkIVs & 2 SPAA in flank attack & advanced with 5 Panthers (2 HQ) & 3 SPAA. The Brits got a reserve early and brought the M10s on behind the Panthers. Caught in a cross fire between the M10s & 17pdrs the Panthers soon died, taking just 1M10 with them. At this stage it looked hopeless for the Germans - but in FOW there's always hope. The MkIVs came on behind the 17pdrs and wiped them out with MG fire in one turn. The bugs & M10s were delayed by the burning Panthers blocking a defile between river & wood. The SPAA held off the attacks of the Brit Rifles and artillery fire (with the loss of one) while the MkIVs attacked the Rifles holding one objective. The MkIVs got beaten off losing a tank, but they returned to the fray & on the second try took ithe objective, though with another tank bailed. The Rifle platoon on the other objective were close enough to counterattack. The Sextons & Heavy Mortars failed to hurt the bailed tank on the skyline, then the Rifles failed tank terror & didn't press their attack. This left the Germans with their 1 operational MkIV holding the objective. Once again the breakthough scenario produced a great little battle with Grigsy managing to manufacture an unlikely win after a major early setback.
Pic 1: Note the pile of burning Panthers.
Pic 2: The MkIVs attacking the objective.
Pic 3: The end - the unbailed MkIV holds the objective as the Rifles refuse to charge the bailed one.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Camp Cromwell 20/05/08

2000 pts Breakthough on 8x6 table

Jim's Fucilieri v. Rich & SteveJ's Strelkovy - Russians defending.

The Russians deployed their two souped up Strelkovy either side of the centre, their Gods, A/T & Honeys were in their left rear & their HMGs on their right.

The Ities put 1 Fucilieri in the flank attack. On their left thay had, in order, L6's, Semo 47's, Brexias, Guastatori, Fucilieri , HMGs & Fucilieri. Their right had A/tank in front then
the 75's and the 100's behind.

The Italians attacked immediately on their left using a village & wood as cover while the so called Itie armour advanced around the open flank. The Russians moved their HMGs & a/tank guns towards the rear objective and their 9 Honeys headed across the centre to intercept the Itie armour. The Itie infantry attack petered out against the swarm and they hunkered down in cover to let the artillery, Stukas & armour do the work.

The GODs took out a 100 howitzer on their first salvo but then got pinned down by counterbattery fire & did little else for the rest of the battle. The Honeys were the Itie's big worry & they hit them with Stuka's, 100's & 75's. The Stukas took out 2 Honeys, the 100's and the 75's both got another, including the leader, then before the 2IC could take over and move them on, the guns inflicted a mass bailout which lead to morale failure & the loss of the whole platoon.

While all this was going on the flanking Fucilieri came on and hunkered down in a village under a hail of HMG fire as the armour raced to the rescue. The HMGs were overan by the L6's of doom and the objective taken. The Stukas & artillery destroyed the a/tank guns while the Strelkovy was still coming over. The GODs, finally unpinned, could do no more than bail a L6 so the Ities held the objective.
A very exciting & close battle - as Breakthoughs can be. For once, the Regio Aeronautica actually did something - they knocked out 2 GODs, 2 Honeys & 2 a/tank guns - not bad for sporadic ! The Russians lost 2 platoons out of 5, the Ities only one out of 11, but they had 1 on sole survivor & 4 more below half surviving on hot dice.

Pic 1 is taken behind the Russian left early in the battle. The GODs are in the foreground, the Italian artillery just off the left edge. Italian Infantry is attacking the village & their armour is working around their left.

Pic 2 shows the itie armour closing in on the HMGs defending the rear objective.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Cromwells go to Kingston 15/05/08

2 x 2000 pts Encounter battle in the 12x6 Kingston bocage:

Grigsy & Smithy had Panzer Lehr - Panzergrenadiers & Panzers respectively.
SteveJ & Jim both took 7th Armoured - a very appropriate swarm of Cromwells.

Both sides had both their objectives close together on their left flanks. Steve & Smithy were opposed on the British left where both sides had high ground with a farly open valley between. Grigsy & Jim's flank was also relatively open except for an uncrossable river in the middle (with two bridges), but the centre was heavy bockage.

The Panzer Coy had 7 Panthers on the table at the start. The Brits decided that the Panthers could over-run Steve's Cromwells if left alone so plan A (a rush to take an objective themselves) was abandoned and Jim's Coy used a convenient road to move left to support Steve against the Panthers. The result was a furious tank battle with the Panthers backpedalling into the scrub as the Brits charged forward. The table was soon littered with burning Brit tanks. But eventually the Brit's low probabilty chances began to pay off - some Cromwells survived the ride to get effective side shots, one Panther got bogged, long range sniping by the Fireflys got one & finally the artillery had come on and got lucky as well. Suddenly there was only one Panther left (the HQ), the MkIVs from reserve had just been hammered by Steve's Cromwells and the German left was now a shambles. Grigsy hadn't fired a shot as his Coy struggled sideways through the bockage while Smithy fought most of the Brits on his own.

The Brits were now feeling pretty confident - they had lost an M10 plat & 2 Crom plats but that was a more than fair trade for most of a Panzer Coy. But it was near midnight and there was no quick route to an objective so a draw was agreed.
Pic 1: View from Brit right at start.
Pic 2: Panthers in the smoke.
Pic 3: Grigsy's Stugs on the move.
Pic 4: Close to out of time.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Camp Cromwell 13/05/08

FOW Midwar Eastern Front

The crusader battle was over soon enough to allow a quick tank battle as well. Nick happened to bring along a 1500 pt Tankovy & a 1500 pt Panzer so Rich took the Russians & Jim the Panzers. Nick & SteveJ (until he had to go to work) assisted the Russians with generally helpful advice.

The Germans deployed their Tiger, 6 MkIIIs & 2 MkIVs in the centre on a flat topped hill & their recon in a village protecting the objective on their right.

The Russians advanced sappers into a wood leading to the objective on the German left with T34s advancing on their right also hidden from the Panzers by the wood. SU85s lurked in another wood covering the centre & T70s covered the objective on their left.

When the Panzers moved left to meet the T34s, the T70s doubled towards the village & the SU85s came forward out of the woods - losing 2 to bogs in the process. The Tiger & MkIVs popped back onto the hill and got lucky - they killed 1 SU & bailed the other unbogged one forcing a morale check - which they failed. The HQ was nearby, so they re-rolled - and failed again - losing their SUs and their command T34. Pretty stiff luck for the Russians to lose so much to just 2 hits.

The T70s reached the village and assaulted the Recon. Many of the tanks got bogged, but they killed one of the two recon teams. The other passed morale and was out of assault range so the the objective remained disputed.

On the other flank the T34s came out from behind the wood and took on the Panzers prior to the sappers making an assault. The Panzers took losses and also had to detach 2 MkIIIs to deal with the T70s on the other flank - but they didn't quite lose enough - they had sufficient firepower remaining to get 5 hits and stop the sapper's charge. Returning their guns onto the T34s, the Panzers hit hard and forced a morale check which the tanks failed. Now the sappers were left skulking the woods unable to attack the 4 remaining panzers without tank support while the 2 MkIIIs systematically picked off the T70s to force an unwinnable Coy Morale test.

Camp Cromwell 13/05/08

Outreemer campaign battle

Nick, Cameron & Jim are involved in a crusader campaign run by one of Nick's old mates in Washington DC. Jim is the Sejick Sultan & his army of horse archers had intercepted a Byzantine army of spearmen which were attempting to take his city of Nicopolis. Nick took the part of the Byzantines. The rules used were as dictated by the campaign - "Lances & Dice".

As instructed by the real Byzantine, Nick lined up his spearmen in a shield wall of 25 coys stretching across the table. The Turks grouped their much smaller army into 5 large coys. The Turks advanced to the Byzantine centre and commenced showering them with arrows without much success. The Sultan then figured that the presence of the enemy leader was having a significant effect and that the troops outside command range of the leader would be much easier pickings. So the Turkish swarm moved left and attacked the Byzantine right. Soon gaps started to apear in the Byzantine line. Nick tried to withdraw, but it was too late, the Byzantine right wing was penetrated, surrounded and mown down.

The campaign pursuit rules then kicked in. Because the Seljick army was all cavalry and the Byzantines had none, the remainder of their army was destroyed in the pursuit. It seems that in these rules infantry armies armies with no cavalry support are so much dead meat.
Pic 1 is the start of the battle.
In Pic 2 cracks are forming in the Byzantine line.
Pic 3 is near the end - the line is broken.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Camp Cromwell 06/05/08

Battalion Battle 2 x 1500 pts LW Coys each Encounter on 8x6 table

British: Jim, Rich, Richard: Desert Rats Rifles & 7th Armour
Germans: SteveJ, Nick, Tim, Peter: Panzergrenadiers & Panzers

After a turn's hesitation while they assessed the situation, the 7th Armoured suddenly snapped into Tally Ho mode and 18 tin cans rushed forward towards the 3 Tigers on the objective on the German left. Despite mounting losses they popped 2 Tigers and momentarily took the objective, but the 2nd Tiger platoon turned up early and in the right place and it was retaken. The 7th Armoured reserves showed up eventually and they too charged forward. To late to save the other Platoons, they swarmed the objective again, but 1 bailed Tiger wasn't enough. The surviving Cromwells & Stuarts gave up on slugging it out with Tigers armed with 21st Panzer dice & made a last mad rush onwards to to 2nd objective, but Tiger shells go faster than even Cromwells & they didn't make it.

There had also been a bit of skirmishing on the rest of the front, but it was insignificant compared the main struggle on the German left. The RAF mostly either didn't show, missed, or got shot down. Left on their own by the anhilation of the Tanks, the Rifles had no chance so the British conceded. The Brits had their chances to win, but there was always a black D dice when they got a sniff.

Camp Cromwell 04/05/08

Jim's Indian Rifles v. Tim's Panzers - 1500 pts Encounter

Tim put his two MkIII platoons + HQ on the table with only Panzergrenadiers & artillery in reserve. The Indians had 2 Rifles & a double 25pdrs platoon on the table with 2 Rifles & 6pdrs in reserve. The terrain gave the Indians little cover as the Panzers rushed forward on turn 1 & mowed down half of them before they even had a chance to go to ground. The 25pdrs should have extracted some revenge, but shot poorly. 2 bails was poor reward for 16 shots. The Panzers then turned their guns on the 25pdrs and soon destroyed them before finishing off the rest of the Infantry for a casualty free win.

Jim's Indian Rifles v. Tim's Panzers - 1500 pts Breakthrough

The scenario suited the Indians better. They deployed a ring of 25pdrs, 6pdrs & infantry around the German deployment area with 2 Infantry platoons positioned to secure the objectives. Tim put one MkIII platoon & the Panzergrenadiers in reserve & the other Panzer & the 105s on the table. The Panzers charged the Indian left flank. Initially they did well, destroying an Infantry platoon on turn 1. The 25pdrs and 6pdrs now did what they might have done last game & destroyed the MkIII platoon. The HQ continued on to take one 25pdr platoon in flank & with the help of the 105s destroyed that too. But that was as good as it got for the Germans. Indian Rifles on the right flank attacked the 105s while British & Indian Infantry platoons reached and dug in on both objectives. With their advance covered by a hill the the Indians on the right quickly overan the battery.
The Germans got the Panzergrenadiers on the table on turn 4, but with the loss of the battery they had 2 platoons lost & only one on the table & had to take a Coy Morale Test. This they failed giving the Indians victory.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

A Visit to Grigseys 01/05/08

US Armour v. Motostrelkovy - late war 1750 pts Breakthrough on a 6x6 table

The US Armour had to attack under the Defensive battle rule. The US was an elite force with 2 Sherman platoons, Motorised Mortars, Priests & Recon. It looked totally outclassed by the Russians with a large & a small Infantry, 5 T34/85, 3 KV/85s & 3 SU155s - especially since the battlefield was very densely covered with hills & scrub allowing the Rusian Infantry to form a virtually continuous cordon in the scrub around the US deployment zone.

The bogging rolls hurt the Shermans bad when they attacked the Infantry. Their first attack was beaten off with heavy loss. A renewed attack did break through the end of the line, but by then the T34/85s had arrived & the surviving Shermans were doomed. The flanking force of Mortars had 3 KVs waiting for it so there was no hope there either, so the US conceded.

The pic shows the Shermans attacking the dug in Strelkovy.

US Infantry v. Panzergrenadiers - late war 1500 pts FFA on a 6x4 bocage table

Both sides attacked on their left. The US attack reached the objective but was stalled by a stubborn Panzergrenadier platoon dug in next to it. On the other flank Panzergrenadiers attacked in their HTs. A furious combat ensued after which both sides failed morale and ran away. The Panthers made a last grab for the objective, but they had lost 2 to the USAF and were finished off by heavy A/tank guns. After their loss the Germans failed Company Morale giving the US victory.

Griggsey's table features quite magnificant looking and very dense terrain. Camp Cromwell look like a desert by comparison. The terrain made the US Armour's task in the Breakthough hopeless - if the army lists hadn't already. It was hard to see the equality between the two forces.

The pic is taken behind the US left early in the battle.