Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Gabiene 316 BC

Antigonus (Joe) v. Eumenes (John Mumford)

Both armies were pretty standard Successor types - phalanxes, agema, companions, greek heavy cav supported by elephants & light troops. Eumenes had more infnatry & elephants, but Antigonus had much more cavalry, plus a command advantage in his son Dimetrious as a subordinate general.

Both sides lead with their right but John's plan was better executed.  His weak left delayed the bulk of Joe's cavalry while he won convincingly on the other flank.  Thus when the phalanxes scrummed down in the centre he was able to put in flank attacks from the right before Joe could do the same from the other side.

Both pics are from behind Joe's left, John's army on the left.  Pic 1 is soon after the start - both right flanks are advancing.  In Pic 2 the battle is well underway with the battle rotating about the phalanx scrum in the centre.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Nick in Normandy

As one blog post on TMP put it -- you cant swing a cat without hitting an historic site in Normandy. One day was just not enough. Especially as I kept deviating off planned routes to go and look at sites! The satnav kept saying 'take next right' and I ignored it as I would zip off to villers bocage or some other site I saw a sign for. In the end I managed to get to:
- Bayeaux (for the tapestry)
- Villers Bocage (where I couldnt find the actual battlefield, but I did find the sewerage farm!)
- Pegasus Bridge
- Arromanches (Sword Beach)
- Longues-sur-mer (Atlantic wall fortifications)

I need to go back to do the Canadian war museum, pointe du hoc, and the bocage.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Anzac Day Battle

Jim's Australians defend Tobruk v. Byron's DAK
2000 pts Big Push on 6'x6' table.

The Germans started well with a devastating preliminary bombardment, killing 6 of 8 25pdrs, 2 of 4 HMGs, a 2pdr and a rifle team.  They advanced to the wire using 3 recon patrols to lift gone to ground to help their covering fire.    The Oz ambushes of HMGs & 2 pdrs were put in the village near the point of attack.  But the Germans smoked the village to cover the Pioneers as they gapped the wire & the minefield.  The pioneers made the gap but were destroyed by the surviving artillery  & the mortars from reserve.  An infantry platoon went through the gap & attacked the village.  Although supported by 3 MkIIIs, the attack failed due the timely arrival of Matildas from reserve & stubborn resistance from the 2pdrs & HMG platoons. The Matildas and MkIIIs then had a stand off - neither able to hurt the other at long range while the artillery of both sides whittled away the other side.  The Germans had better artillery (4/105s & 4/werfers), but the last 2/25pdrs & 4/mortars did well. The25pdrs got a MkIII and the 88 that dominated the ground in front of the village & allowed the Matildas to advance.  The 2 remaining MkIIIs fell back but the Matildas didn't want to advance throught he gap in the minefield where they would be bunched up under artillery templates and vulnerable to counterattack from the German infantry in the scrub.  So after a hard fight, a draw was agreed to.

Pic 1:  After the prliminary bombardment from behind the German left.  There had been a row of 25pds along the table edge on the left. A minefield with wire both sides covers the front.
Pic 2:  From behind the Oz right near the end.  The Matildas advance on the MkIIIs, one smoked by mortars.

Nick in Paris

I finally got to the wargames club in Paris. There were 7 people present: 2x games of Field of Glory (FOG), and one game of Legends of the High Seas. All figures were painted to a high standard. The FOG games had that typical setup of gorgeous figures and abstract terrain. But some figures were truly gorgeous!!!! The pirates game used some 'made in china' cheap houses to great effect -- it looked a lot of fun.

I also went to the two wargaming shops in Paris. Paris metro area is 12 million people. There is not a single stockist of FOW I could find. Descartes is a GW stockist that also has board games, puzzles, german family games, etc. About 1/2 the size of Area 52(not including the playing area). FG Miniatures is a pure miniatures shop. A lot of 25/28's, but also some 15's. I bought some corvus belli, but only because I felt obliged to buy something after spending so much time browsing. Most of the range was 28's, especially Perry samurai, wwI, old glory 25's, etc. There was a pile of old glory 15 napoleonics in a corner, but nothing I needed. There are also a bunch of GW stores in Paris. But in the end Paris has a population almost 50 times Hobart - but neither store was as nice as Area 52. We need to appreciate how lucky Hobart is to have such a great little store!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Camp Cromwell 20/04/10

Sucessor Battle using Camp Cromwell Rules

Antigonus (Joe) v. Pergumum (Steve)

Antigonus' army had RV Mercenary Infantry, CV heavy cavalry, elephants, horse archers & skirmishers.  The Pergumenes had CT Citizen Phalanx & Cataphracts supported by Cappodocian warriors (horse & foot).  The battlefield was a boring plain. Pic 1 is taken behind Steve's right.

The battle was quite a slug-fest.  Both sides had mixed fortunes on the flanks before the phalanxes locked up in the centre.  But Steve got more value out of his wins by getting cataphracts on both flanks to make flank charges & pursue into the rear of Joe's phalanxes.  When they rallied & charged the rear of the pahlanxes the battle was won. 

Pic 2 from behind Steve's left as the heavy infantry lock up in the centre.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Camp Cromwell 17/04/09

100 Years War - Camp Cromwell Rules

Byron's English v. Jim's French

(Byron had a couple of hours to kill on Saturday morning while SWMBO had things to do).

The English deployed 2 longbow units in a village on ther right flank with their baggage train. On the right they had 2 more Longbow units on a hill.  Their centre was a line of 4 Men at Arms units with their 2 heavy Cavalry behind in reserve. 
The French put their mercenary spearmen in their centre flanked by Corossbowmen.  4 Heavy Cavalry on their left, 2 in reserve.  2 levy units protected the baggage & 2 more were on the far right flank.

The English had no incentive to leave their sound defensive position & they let the French take the initiative.  The French advanced with their infantry & held their cavalry back.  As expected the French infantry fared badly against the superior English foot.  The Levy routed on contact with bowmen on the hill.  The crossbowmen next to them lasted a bit longer, but 2 units of longbowmen soon shot it to pieces.  The crossbows on the left failed to damage the men at arms, but they did keep the bowmen in the village occupied. 

The French let their first wave get out of the way, then charged with their cavalry, keeping back one unit on each flank to cover the flanks.  The English generally stood to meet the charge, except on the right they pulled the only men at arms unit to get 2 casualtes back behind the cavalry.  The English men at arms with a casualty form beating off the first wave had no answer to French Knights bearing good dice & were generally ridden down.  But the French cavalry had mixed fortunes.   The unit sent to the right to cover the flank was destroyed by longbow fire.  Two pursued off the field (one after beating English cavalry behind the foot).  One rallied on the hill, got new orders & then took out the last men at arms unit.  The left flank guard charged across the rear to take out the longbowmen moving over from the right.  The unit countercharged by cavalry was defeated & the victorious English cavalry pursued on towards the French baggage train.

After all that, determining who won was a matter of interpretation of the army morale test.  The French had lost more than half their units, but not more than half of their Core units - the knights had 2 lost, 2 in control & 2 in pursuit - so they passed.  The English had lost more than half of their units, but all their units were Fearless Veterans so count as Core units - so they failed. 

These were basically the same armies we used a fortnight ago except I reduced the units from 4 stands to 3 & we used a small table.  Using the smaller stands didn't affect things much.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Camp Cromwell 13/04/10

Jim & Rich hit the beach
Joe & Byron

Rich brought Sandy Bay beach to Camp Cromwell.  Joe chose an army from Cobra with 2 platoons of Grenadiers armed with MGs, 2/88's, 4/105's, 2/155 Inf Guns & 2 HMGs plus an 88 bunker & 2 tank turrets on the waterfront.  The Brits had 3 Inf plats, 3 Crocks, 2 Arves, Pioneers, Light Mortars, Heavy Mortars, 3/DD's, bugs &  Typhoons.

The preliminary bombardment was a failure - a solitary Grenadier team was a poor return.  One Arve survived the 88's and took out the 88 bunker.  The DD's all got swamped, but the crocks landed ok & picked off the German 155's with semi-indirect fire while wairing for the Arves to breach the sea wall (the road was blocked by an anti-tank ditch).  The direct attack on the village was beaten off by the Grenadiers therein, but on the right where there was less opposition the Rifles cleared the wire, got off the beach, successfully assaulted the tank turret, and headed inland.   With the help of mortar smoke the Rifles took the village, though the Grenadiers pulled back onto the forward objective in the wood with only light casualties.

The Typhoon's sole contribution was to attract he fire of the 88's for a while.  They hit nothing in the whole game.

The Rifles on the right advanced and took out the 88 on the hill (the other one had been destroyed by heavy mortars).  By then the 2nd Grenadiers had occupied the rear objective, so the Rifles pressed on on the right of the hill to attack the 105's.  Unfortunately for them, the Germans' last platoon, a mickey mouse 2IC platoon of 2, came on just in time to save the gunners.

The Rifles in the village went on the take the forward objective, but the Brit's chance of victory evaporated when their Arve took 4 turns to breach the wall, then promptly bogged down in the gap.  Consequently, the Crocks couldn't get to the rear objective in time.  So it was a minor German victory.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

D-day at Rich's

Rich's British Rifles (1750 pts)
Jim's Grenadiers (1000 pts)

Maybe inspired by the magnificent Kingston Beach, Rich wanted to try out his own Sandy Bay Beach.  It might be a  very poor thing by comparison, but it still gave us a good little battle.  As usual with this mission the Brits were held up on the beach for a good while, but once they got over the wall in strength the German front line disintigrated quickly.  The first objective was taken, but the front line troops, with the help of the heavy artillery from reserve, had destroyed all the armour and had bought time for the reserve grenadiers to dig in on the 2nd objective. So it was minor German victory.

Friday, April 09, 2010

A visit to the Van Diemen Wargames Club

Joe, Jim & Steve attended the Van Diemen Wargames Club's monthly (2nd Friday)  meeting at the Rosny Library.  There were about 20 people there all except us playing fantasy or sci-fi, but they were welcoming & not at all adverse to a FOW presence.  Attendance is free the first time you show up, then $3 at night.  They had about 10 tables set up & more in the store.  There was a spare board for us to try out my new Challengers.

Joe's Panzers v. Jim's Welsh Guard Armoured Recon (Steve assisting Joe).
1500 pts LW Breakthrough, Germans attacking.
The Welsh had 2 6pdrs, infantry, a Cromwell/Challenger platoon + 4 Cromwells (2 CS) in HQ.  Another tank platoon was in reserve.
The Germans had Neblewerfers, Panzer Grenadiers, 5 MkIVs, 4 Stugs & HQ Stug.  A Kampfgroup of 3 Stugs was the flanking force.
The Welsh deployed up one end where there was cover & moved up on the objectives in the cover of woods.  The Germans sent MKIVs followed by the Panzergrenadiers in their trucks to the left & the Stugs to the right.
The Welsh reserves were brought on behind the Panzergrenadiers & destroyed 2/3's of them.  The  remaining truck passed morale but doubled to the rear not to be seen again.  The MkIVs were then pincered between the reserve & the main tank force & destroyed.  The German flanking force came on and took out a couple of Cromwells, but were in turn swarmed by tanks & finished off by the infantry.
Now it was turn 6 & the remaining Stugs had to move forward out of cover to contest the objective.  Avoiding the Cromwells & Challengers, they attacked & destroyed the 6 pdrs in the wood to get within 40cm of the objective.  The Welsh then attacked the remaining 2 Stugs with 8 Cromwells, a Piat & infantry.  They failed to kill any & the infantry was beaten off with heavy losses.  But it was only a matter of time before the 1's & 2's stopped - the Stugs didn't survive the next attack, leaving no Germans near the objective.

Pic 1: Overview with Joe & Steve setting up on the left.
Pic 2: The MkIVs get swarmed.
Pic 3: The end, the last Stug in the wood has failed morale & bugged off.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

The Kingston Guys Hit the beach

Following their impressive showing at the MMACA Exhibition the Kingston guys have reassembled their 16'x8' D-day beach for action.  There were a dozen guys there tonight lined up shoulder to shoulder, D-day books in hand.  A most impressive sight.

In the garage the paras were landing at Pegasus bridge on another table.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Camp Cromwell 06/04/10

100 Years War - Camp Cromwell Rules

Joe & Rich's French
Jim & Mark's English
The English deployed in a long line with their archers on the hills on both flanks, men at arms in the centre & their small cavalry force in the gap between the hills on their right flank.  The French deployed with their knights dispersed along the front with groups of mercenary spearmen, levies & crossbowmen between.  The English had standard command control with one 3 dice general.  The French had one 3 dice general, but -1 for command (they had more points in troops to compensate).
Initially the English stood their ground apart from advancing the archers on the left onto the hill to their front.  The French advanced on both flanks. On the French right their mercenary spearmen advanced uphill against the archers.  One unit got cut to pieces in short order, the other held on for a bit but was doomed as the winning archers rallied and flanked them.  On the French left the English archers moved forward to threaten the knight's flank.   This caused the French to halt their advance while the crossbowmen came up to cover it.  Then the English used their superior command control to gain the initiative and counterattack, pinning the fragmented French units frontally then outflanking them.

The pics are all taken from the French left flank with the English on the left.
Pic 1: Deployment.
Pic 2: The English counterattack begins.
Pic 3: The French line begins to crumble.
Pic 4: The French left is surrounded & breaks while their centre is smashed by the pursuing English knights.

The battle was a bit unfair as the dice put the two most experienced players on the same side.  The difference in command control of the two armies was critical.  Once the French started trying to manoeuvre they were stuffed, the English ran rings around them.  The French probably should have treid to make it a charge & throw dice game, but that doesn't seem to happen with these rules.

Monday, April 05, 2010

"Operation Cromwell": FOW Tournament in Hobart, 2-3 Oct, 2010

In the last week or so the blocks have dropped into place and "Operation Cromwell" has gone beyond pubtalk & become real.  It will be held in St George's Hall in Cromwell St (over the road from Camp Cromwell) on the weekend 2-3 October 2010.  That's the weekend after the AFL Grand Final.

The basic parameters will be 1500 pts Late War with 5 rounds, each a different 2.5hr Mission.  Armies can be from any LW book, but not from pdfs.  

Area 52 have agreed to sponsor the event.  We have begun preliminary publicity with posts on appropriate forums, but it's still 6 months away & we have a bit of time to finalise details before we should start serious promotion.

A Sherman at Nubeena !

While going on shore patrol from my Easter yachting trip I found this unusual tractor at the back of the Nubeena shipyard.  It's a converted Sherman tank !  Now how did that get to the Tasman Peninsular ?