Saturday, November 27, 2010

English Civil War

Oakie's Royalists
Jim's Parliamentarians

Camp Cromwell Rules

Both sides deployed traditonally with cavalry on the wings and pike & shot in the centre.  Parliament bolstered their weaker right with 3 guns.  Both sides put their musketeers in or in front of the village.   Parliament supported them with their dragoons & cavalry behind.

As they should the Royalists took the initiative and attacked all along the line.  On their left the Royalists had superior numbers of horse as well as better troops, but the Parliamentary horse put up good fight & the battle was won & lost elsewhere before the Royalists could use their win to influence the result.

On the Rotalist right there was a confused but interesting fight in the contricted space between the wood & the village.  Parliament eventually got on top, but as on the other flank it took too long to allow the win to affect the result. 

The battle was decided in the centre where the Royalist foot had the better luck in a fair fight.   It was case of both sides having sound plans which neutralised each other making the result a bit dice reliant.  But the battle was none the less enjoyable for that.  We both a had a good time & the rules worked well - none the worse for being a being a quick adaption from ancients. 

Pics all taken from behind Parliamentary right.

Trebuchetting at St Virgils

I was asked to provide a trebuchet demonstration at St Virgil's Grade 8 Medieval Day.  I took the little one & the scale model.  The school  provided a small section of castle wall as a target.  4 groups of boys had a great time hurling a mix of fruit, water bombs & bocce balls at the target at a range of 50m (the machine's max range is about 100m, but I kept it powered down for safety reasons).  Every group managed at least a couple of hits, including some through the window or castelations to take out the defending bowmen.  The hits on the MDF wall went straight through.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Camp Cromwell 23/11/10

Renfrey's British Guard Armour
Richard's Hungarian Armour
Late War Breakthrough 1500 pts, Hungarians defending

Richard eventually prevailed in a bloodbath.

Joe's German Infantry
Jim's British Rifles
Early War Cauldron 1500 pts, Germans attacking.

The Brits recognised the achiles heel of the early German army - rifle armed platoons.  Aggressive counterattacks by the British Infantry destroyed the German infantry attacks.  The Germans couldn't put enough firepower out to stop the British attacks.  A convincing British victory.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Magnesia Played by Email

Nick's Romans
PeterC's Seleucids

The Romans are significantly outnumbered, but generally ahve better quality troops, better morale & better command & control.

The Romans deployed first with their Heavy Cavalry on the right, legionaries in the centre, Perumene Allies on the left & elephants in rear.

The Seuecids placed Cavalry on the left to match the Roman Cavalry on that flank with elephants in front.  Next to those were the 4 phalanx units echeloned forward to the right with the Aregaraspids in the lead.  On their right were more elphants & two warbads, then peltasts and Medium Cavalry on the far right.  A reserve of their best cavalry was placed behind the warbands.

The Romans ordered the Legions to wheel left, for the Pergumenes to move forward a little to make room & the cavalry & velites to hold the left.

The Seleucids charged forward with the whole front line.  The 1st pic is just before the front lines come into contact.   On the Seleucid left their cavalry followed up the pigs at a discrete distance and when the pigs were replused took over the attack. The phalanx advanced slowly.  The grotties locked up & slogged it out in the centre.  The medium cavalry and peltasts moved around the Pergume flank.

The second Roman line halted facing half the phalanxes while the front line continued to the left helping out the Pergumenes to hold the flank.  Pic 2 is the Roman right.  Pic 3 is the Roman left.  The phalanx is closing in outflanking the Roman infantry, but itself in danger on its right.

Pic 4 is the climax of the battle.  The Roman cavalry won, rallied and has forced the end phalanx to form hedgehog.  The Argaraspids on the other end have been charged frontally by 2 maniples.  The next one is pinned in front by 1 maniple with another ready to charge it in flank.  The third phalanx is trying to manoeuvre around the Roman flank.  The Argaraspids broke.  The phalanx threatened in flank won & luckily pursued rather than rallied & avoided the flank attack.  But their good luck was their mate's misfortune, the 3rd phalanx copped the flank attack instead and was routed.  With 2 phalanxes routed, one pinned down by cavalry & other making whoopie in the Pergumene baggage train, this was high water mark for the Romans.  But they couldn't do any better than that.  A fresh cataphract from reserve drove off the Roman cavalry to free the last phalanx.  Repeated cavalry charges on the Roman left reduced most of the units there to shaken status causing the Romans to fail their Army Morale Test.

The experiment with PBEM was judged a success & we intend to do some more.  I ran the game like a solo game except I had general orders from the players.  The players were send regular sit reps & pics & sent new orders as the battle progressed.  It took a few email exchages to get it all set up, but once it got going we did the main fight in a night.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Magnesia 190 BC 13/11/10

Refrey's Romans
Jim's Seleucids

According to the historians (all Roman) the Romans were outnumbered 2:1 and still won a decisive victory.  While the Roman army was composed of highly motivated veterans & the Seleucids were the usual mix of mercenaries and drafts, it is most likely the historians fudged the figures to make their country look good.  In our scenario we allowed a few more Pergumene allies for the Romans than allowed by Livy - troops easily overlooked in the telling.  The Roman army had better command & control and better morale than their opponents.

Renfry deployed first with his legions resting their right on the scrubby hills thus leaving only one hanging flank protected by his Pergumene allies.

The Seleucids replied by deploying their phalanx opposite the legions with elephants in front, then their masses of grotties & cavalry on the right.

The Seleucids held their phalanx back & advanced with their first line accross the front.  The Romans advanced the legions with their left echeloned back.  The elephants were dealt with by the legions with little loss and they continued on to ttack the phalanx.  The attack was supported by some peltasts sneaking up through the rough ground to outflank the end phalanx.  The phalanx line began to unravel from the left.

On the other flank the Seleucids tried to smash forwrad with their first line then manoeuvre their second line into the flank of thre legion.   But with their good staff work the Romans were able to delay their plan by feeding second line troops into the fray.

The 3rd phalanx from the end put up a stubborn fight with the help of the companions, lead over by Antiochus to cover the open flank.  But in the end it had to break & that was the battle.

Both pics taken from behind the Seeucid left.  Te first when the elephants & legion meet, the second near the end.

The same scenario is now being used in a PBEM experiment - report to follow when it's over.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Blitzkrieg Night

Munt's British Guards
Renfrey's SchutzenKompanie
1750 pts Hasty Attack on 6x4, Germans defending

The Brits attacked bravely, but the Germans had a good balanced force to meet them.  The critical issue was the 88's v. Matildas.  The 88's won & that was game over.

In the pic the Brit attack si about to run out of steam - taken from behind the brit right.

Nick's British Rifles
Joe's Infanteriekompanie
1500 pts Breakout on 6x4, Germans defending

Nick grasped the essence of the unfamiliar mission first, immediately doubling infantry into the village to contest an objective.  They lost sorely to artillery & armoured cars, but enough made it through.  Then the bugs came on and distracted the Germans on their left flank while dying slowly.  On the other flank, Pak 38s destroyed the allied Renaults, but that bought time for the HMGs to move up & dig in in a great spot overlooking the objectives.  The HMGs then won a duel with the Paks.  On turn 6, the Brits held an objective with no Germans able to contest.

The pic is taken from behind the German deployment area late in the battle.

It was an interesting night with new missions from Das Book in a new period.  Munt brought his own army and we managed to scratch up another Brit & 2 Germans out of midwar stuff with a few subs.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Breakout Mission

Jim's Panzergrenadiers
Byron's British Guard Armour

Breakout Mission, 2000 pts on 8x6 table.

We decided to test out the new Breakout Mission from Das Book.  It's a bit like Cauldron meets Breakthrough.  The defender (Germans here) start dug in in one quarter with all but one mech platoon in reserve to come on from far corner.  The attacker has half on the table in the 2 diagonal quarters with reserves coming on in their rear corners.  We made the come on zones 600 from the corners ratehr than 30 to compensate for the big table.  Objectives are in the middle just out off both deployment zones.

The Germans kept their Stugs in reserve, placing artillery, infantry & armoured cars on the table.  The Brits put their artillery, heavy mortars, 1 rifle & 1 Sherman platoon on the table, with 2 more infantry, another Sherman, bugs & armoured cars to come.

The Germans were fortunate to get their Stugs quickly.  They deployed around the farmyards ready for the Shermans.  When the Shermans came up the tank v. tank fight was indecisive at first, but as often happens eventually got deadly.  The Germans lost one Stug platoon, but Bits lost both theirs.  The remaining Stug platoon was king - the Brits had nothing left to counter it so Byron conceded.

There was a lot more stuff going on round the edges not decribed above as it wasn't critical.  It's a challenging mission, but interesting because of that.  In the pic the German deployment quarter is far right.  The Shermans are advancing in the forground, Stugs lurk in & around the farm yards.  Panzergrenadiers are moving thru the village to secure the objectives betwween the village & the farmyard.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Maharajah 2010 4th Semi Final

Steve's Panzergrenadier (Panzerlehr from VB)
Mark's US Rifles (FE)
No Retreat, US defending 2000 pts on 8x6

Mark as usual maxed out on artillery - 5.5's, 2x105's, 105 light's, light mortars plus aircraft.  He also had 2 inf, HMGs. engineers, SPAA, 3 Shermans & 2 M10's.  He deployed inf, HMGs, mortars, light 105's & 5.5's.
The Germans had a shirtload of armoured half tracks full of grizzled vets toting mgs, supported by Pak 40's, Neblewerfers, 105's, 2 lots of SPAA & flamethrower HTs.

The Germans attacked with a wall of half tracks while their artillery laid smoke to impede observers & their AA shot down the USAF every time.  The GI's were no match for the half tracks and the objective was over-run on turn 3.  The US only hope was their Shermans coming out of ambush behind the ridge and rushing to contend the objective.  The ridge was Difficult Ground so bogging rolls were required.  Oakie proceded to bog them all & could not contest the objective.

This was the first Axis victory in the Maharjah for 2 years !

Next round - semi finals:
Nick's US Armour v. Steve's Panzerlehr.
Jim's Panzergrenadiers v. Rich's Canadian Rifles.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Maharajah Battle: Jim v. Byron

Jim's British Guard Rifles (HH)
Byron's Grenadiers (DD)
Encounter Battle (2,000 pts on 8x6)

The Germans placed Heavy Art on the exposed objective on their left, Grenadiers on the one in the woods in the centre, Paraducci in the village, 88's still mounted behind the wood in the centre & Stugs hidden in the village.  To come they had Recon (3x2 8 rad), Neblewerfers, 2 small Panzergrenadiers & more Grenadiers.

The Brits placed 25pdrs on the centre objective, 5.5's on the objective on their left and 2 Rifle platoons forward left & centre.  To come they had 2 Cromwell/Challenger platoons, bugs & HMGs(2 off).

The Brits started off pushing their infantry forward towards the village.  The Ities came out to meet them, but were soon sent back by accurate rifle fire.  The Stugs came out to attack the LH rifles, but did little before they were distracted by a Cromwell platoon coming on on that flank.  The rifles then attacked and took the church.  About the same time the 8 rads came on behind the other objective - they had better luck than the Stugs, destroying the RH rifles with MG fire before they could chase the Ities into the village.

Meanwhile the Brits were getting the better of the artillery duel, badly hurting the 150's & keeping them pinned down in between hits. 

The other Cromwell platoon came on on the British right, soon followed by the HMGs (in carriers) & bugs.  These rushed towards the objective, now defended only by 8 rads & a gun.  It looked like an easy kill, & this prompted Byron to mount a desperate & doomed counterattack on the 25pdrs with 8 rads before he lost his objective.  But the Cromwells couldn't hit a thing and the Germans held on the the objective with the 2IC platoon & some 8 rads.  The Cromwells tried to rush the objective but were stopped by the panzerscreck - the platoon reduced to an unflappable Challenger sitting back commandless & resolutely missing every shot. 

On the other flank the Cromwells & Stugs traded shots ineffectively until the 88's were deployed and the Stugs broke off to rush to help the defence of the German left.  The Cromwells rushed after them as the 25 pdrs smoked the 88's.  The Stugs & Cromwells rejoined their fight at close quarters next to the village.  The Cromwells had first shot, but missed their chance, then the Stugs took out all but one.  Only the unflappable commander survived.

Meanwhile on the objective the bodies piled up.  The Challenger finally found the range & with some artillery help finished off the 8 rads.  By then the HMG carriers were all gone, but somehow, the bugs had survived to hold the objective.  Two Stugs broke off from the Cromwell fight to contest the objective.  They failed stormtrooper to get within 100, but managed to bail all the bugs to hang on another turn.   The Stug left behind had 2 shots at the last Comwell & missed.

On the other flank a small Panzerfrenadier unit had been marching down the table edge towards the objective defended only by un-dug in 5.5's & was was almost within charge range.  But the tide suddenly turned for the Brits.  Their artillery smashed the Werfers & pinned the infantry coming from the village, one bug unbailed and the Challenger was on a roll - 3 shots, 3 hits, 3 dead Stugs.  Suddenly it was all over.

It was one hell of a fight - one of those great see-sawing FOW games that make us love it so much.  

Saturday, November 06, 2010

WMD's on the Domain

Rich & Jim took their WMD's of choice to the Crossroads Oval on the Domain.

Jim's small treb threw the usual mix of water bombs, fruit & bocce balls.  The arm had been rejigged to provide more power since the last time it was used several years ago.  This lead to unexpected consequences when we maxed the weight - the slings kept breaking even though they were the same as last time - when they worked fine.  As a result we had to power back & limit the exercise somewhat.  A trip to the ships chandlers for some thicker high strength yachting rope is in order.

Rich provided more modern WMD's in the form of solid fuel rockets. These blasted straight up almost out of sight.  A parachute then deployed to allow the shell to drift slowly back to ground with a herd of kids in hot pursuit..  

Maharajah Night at Nick's

Two Quarter Final matches for Maharajah 2010 were fought at Nick's.
2000 pts on 8x6 tables.

Rich's Canadian Mech
Leigh's 21st Panzer Infantry
No Retreat, German's defending.

The Canadians made an almost continuous line of vehicles across the front & charged forward with a horde of bugs in front.  The Germans also had a lot of platoons, but strangly did not deploy any infnatry on the forward objective.   Their intention of defending it with firepower fell over under the onrush of bugs.  Theyw ere forced to use all their firepower picking the bugs off the objective which allowed unfrocked priests to get up and deliver an infantry platoon.  There were then too many teams to take out and teh Canadians won a quick victory.

Nick's US Armour (Cobra)
Joe's Falschirmjager (MM)
Hasty Assault, German's defending

The US objectives were on each flank.  The LH one in the open defended by Pak 40's and 150 Art, the RH one in a wood, not directly defended, but well back so reserves could be expected to arrive in time.  2/88's dominated the centre behind the dominant terrain feature - a big ridge in the middle of the table.  The US decided to attack through the woods on their right down a narrow corridor out of range of the 88's & 150's.

On the other flank the artillery dueled while the Germans manhandled their Paks forward to help, but that was all a sideshow, the real action was on the US right.

The US infantry advanced through the woods.  Armour followed up with the odd bog or panzerfaust ambush causing delays.  A second tank platoon stayed back to give covering fire & make the big FJ platoon in the centre keep their head down.  The German reserves showed up just in time for 2 infantry platoons to occupy the wood with the objective, but they were not yet dug in when the GI's attacked.  The woods actually helped the attack as the Germans failed to halt the charge with defensive fire and the lead platoon was destroyed.

The Jagdpather arraived and kept the Shermans busy for a while, but it was swamped and the attack resumed.  The GI's cleared the 2nd platoon with heavy losses but passed morale & held on.  The Germasn now had no alternative but to move the centre platoon over to contest.  But they were mown down by the massed Shermans before the 88's & 150's could do much damage.

It was  a long hard slog past midnight for the US, but with persevance to the plan they got there in the end.

So Rich & Nick progress to the Semi Finals.  Jim & Byron are scheduled to fight on Sunday, Mark & Steve on Tuesday.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Camp Cromwell 02/11/10

Joe's FJ's from Hell's Hwy
Jim's US Armour from Cobra

2000 pts Hasty Assault, US attacking.

The US put their artillery (105's & 155's) & infantry (dismounted) on the table with 2 Sherman platoons (of 5 & 4 tanks) & M10's (4) in reserve.

The Germans had 2 infantry, 4 Pak 40's on the table & 2 88's in Immediate Ambush.  Another infantry, 155's, Jagdpanther & kampfgrup in delayed reserve.

The Mission has 3 objectives for the attacker, one of which is pulled up by him after deployment.  In this case the LH one protected by the Paks.  Pic 1 is taken from behind the US left.

The US infantry advanced into the fields in the centre.  The US got a big break when their reserves came on 1 per turn for the 1st 3 turns.  They immediately rushed each platoon forward on the right.  The German reserves on the other hand failed to materialise.

The TD platoon got a nasty surprise when they found out about FJ Panzerfaust Trap teams in the woods on the right.  But that was a sideshow.  The GI's & Shermans made a combined attack on the FJ's on the RH objective.  The FJ's were overwhelmed (pic 2).  The 1st German reserve, their Jagdpanther finally showed up, but it was too late, they could not get to the objective to contest fast enough.

Itw as interesting to try a new Mission (from Das Book) & good practice for Joe in his Maharajah battle v. Nick on Friday.