Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Friedland 1807 - the afternoon

Jim's French v. Peter & Renfrey's Russians

The armies were set up in their historical late aternoon positions when Ney & Victor came on and attacked.  We only did the French right as the action on the other side of the Fluss was just a sideshow.  The troops that fought in the morning were all made Shaken  while the French newcomers were of course fresh.

As in the real thing Ney stormed through the Forest of Sortlak to pressurize Bagration as Victor passed through Lanne's lines to attack Docturov.  For a time the Russian line held, but holding a line with your back to a river is a dangerous game.  Suddenly Victor's Dragoons got on a winning streak - they broke a Dragoon counterattack & followed up hurling hot dice.  They broke the second line and went on into the flank of Bagrations Cuirassiers as they were trying to redploy them to cover the line of retreat to Friedland.  This broke the Russians in two and cut off Bragration line fo retreat entirely. 

The battle was not meant to be at all competitive - basically Napoleon had Bennigsen on toast and the wargame confirmed this unequiocally.  But it was a nice test of the rules and a good opportunity to get some feedback on them from fresh eyes.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Friedland 1807

Mark's French v. Steve's Russians

We fought the morning action where Lannes held off the Russians until Napoleon arrived.

In the pics the French are on the left.  Grouchy's cavalry on the far side of the Fluss, Lannes' infantry on the near side.

On the French left the Russians advanced until Grouchy counterattacked.  The Cossacks on the far flank were quickly routed.  The regular cavalry was a tougher nut, but the French eventually beat that too.  But the Russian infantry & artillery held the line & the flank ended up in a stalemate (as it did historically).

On the French left, the Russians found it hard work for all their numerical superiority.  The mainly French Confident Vets more than a match for the mainly Fearless Conscript Russians.  But the Russians eventually got their cavalry/artillery/infantry coordination right and the French broke.

The time taken for the Russians to beat Lannes was about 3 hours - better than history so the game was judged a Russian victory.   Nevertheless, even though victorious, the Russians were in no fit state to face Napoleon's fresh troops.  Most of their troops on their left being Shaken & their cavalry broken on the right.

We used M2M & they worked well giving a good Napoleonic feel.  The combat system could benefit with a little streamlining & I'm working on that.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friedland 1807

Friedland 1807 fought solo to playtest the Camp Cromwell Big Battle Rules for 6mm Napoleonics.

Bennigsen crossed the River Alle at Friedland with about 60,000 men in an attempt to crush Lannes' 30,000.  The attack started about 9am with Lannes & Mortier holding the right and & Grouchy's cavalry the left. They fought a brilliant holding action while Napoleon marched up with another 50,000 men.  Napoleon arrived about noon and Victor & Ney soon after.  The Russian attack pettered out as Napoleon organised his forces.  About 5pm Ney attacked the Russian left as Victor hit their centre.  The Russians were driven back onto the river only about half of them escaping over the few bridges & fords.

This scenario covered the morning battle.   The pics are taken from behind the French right.  In the first pic the Russian attack has just got under way.  On the right edge, a thin line holds the Forest of Sortlack, then Lannes & Mortier's infantry hold a line of hills to the Muhlen Fluss.  Over the Fluss, Grouchy's cuirassiers stand just out of cannon range of a line of Russian infantry & artillery while his dragoons & hussars fight some cuirasiers, lancers & hussars plus a horde of cossacks.

On the French left, the cuirassiers & their oposition were content to look at each other.  But there was furious cavalry fight on the far flank.  The Russians were decisively beaten, but Grouchy does not  pursue as more Russian infantry and artillery came up & deployed to the right of the first lot and were advancing.

On the French right, the fight in the forest became a stalemate despite superior Russian numbers.   The Russians took a long time to get their attack organised, but their combination of infantry artillery and cavalry gradually wore the French down and eventually broke them.

The French right broke after 14 turns (per side).  At 3 turns per hour that is about 1.40 pm.  The battle reports are a bit vague on when the French reinforcements arrived, but probably not yet.  So Bennigsen has done rather better in the wargame than in real life.   However, his army is in no fit state to fight the fresh French forces when they do arrive.  The Russian left has just one unit left unshaken.  The Russian right is in good shape, and the defeated Cavalry Corps will be rallied and back in action in another couple of hours.  But Grouchy's cavalry can fight a delaying action & the Fluss will prevent the Russian right affecting the main game on the other flank - a factor not lost on Napoleon.

The exercise was valuable in tiding up loose ends in the rules and demonstrated that the time scale isn't too far off the mark.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Camp Cromwell 21/12/10

Munt's British Rifles
Jim's Shutzenkompanie
1750 pts Early War Roadblock, Germans defending on 8x6 table.

The Germans ambushed the Brit 25 pdrs with 4 Pak36's.  They knocked out 2 in the ambush & finished the rest off in the next 2 turns. 

The pic is from behind the German right.  Most of the Brits came on on the right.  They occupied the farm yard to dispute that objective with the rest fo their troops deployed in and behind the wood and farm unable to advance for fear of the Paks on teh tree line & the T38's.  One Brit Rifle, Light Tanks & Bugs came on on the far flank.  The Germans secured their right with Paks & tanks and deployed HMGs & 88's in the village.  They sent 1 Inf platoon to the right to take over from the tanks & the other luked in their trucks behind the village.

The German armoured cars came on on their left but were beaten by the Brit light tanks.   The light tanks and bugs then threatened the German left.  But the Germans deployed their reserve infantry in the treeline behind the village to prevent this.

With both flanks secure and the centre a killing ground covered by 88's Paks & HMG's, the patient Germans finally attacked.  The T38's moved left thru the village, around the British rifles now in the cornfield and destroyed the mortars on the far objective to take it and win the battle.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Camp Cromwell 14/12/10

John's Cossacks
Steve's PanzerLehr
2000 pts Hasty Assault on 8x6 table

The Cossack horde charged down the Russian left flank with armoured support.  But too much time was spent by the players in yaffling and they ran out of time before the armies got to grips.

Munt's Gurkas
Renfrey's Panzergrenadiers
1750 pts midwar No Retreat on 8x6.  Brits defending.

Pic 1 shows the German armour rushing forward at the start.  The Churchill ambush in the trees failed to hurt the Panzers (1 bail) & revenge was swift, both the 88's & the Panzers got a kill & bail & they were wiped out next turn.

The Armoured halftracks & Panzers then assaulted the objective.  The Gurka's fought bravely, but the German armour overwhelmed them.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Gaza 312BC BPEM

Ptolemy (Nick)
Demetrius (John)

This was our second go at a PBEM ancient battle using Camp Cromwell Rules.  One of the battles between the Sucessors.  Ptolemy had more phalangites, but Demetrius had more cavalry and some elephants to make a pretty even fight of it.  In the real thing Ptolemy won.

Pic 1 is the initial deployment, Ptolemy on the left.  Ptolemy advanced his phalanx in the centre first, then his wings.  Demetrius advanced his right first, then his left holding his (weaker) phalanx back. 

The fighting started on Ptolemy's left. Cavalry v. cavalry, cavalry v. peltasts, elephants v. phalanx, peltast v. phalanx.  The cavalry fight ebbed & flowed for a long time boths sides winning & losing.  D's cavalry beat the peltasts after a couple of charges.  P's phalanxes shrugged off the elephants & peltasts & resumed their advance.

On Ptolemy's right his peltasts outnumbered their opponents, his cavalry beat the elephants, but his flank was overlapped by peltasts.  In the centre, P's phalanxes marched forward.  D lead his reserve companions out round the right flank of the advancing phalanx.

 Now the battle is reaching the crisis.  The pic is from behind Demetrius' line.  On the left, D's peltasts have wheeled right and are pressing hard.  In the centre, the phalanxes have locked up.  D has won one on the right but his phalanx lost heavily in the process.  D's comp-anions have pinned down the 4th of P's phalanxes.  On the right, the cavalry melee is winding up with D ending up with a cavalry unit free.

Now it's P's phalanx's turn to win, but after a tough fight leaving them in rough shape.  D's cavalry is coming from the right & P's right is looking shaky with the peltasts breaking behind the phalanx.

P pulled his cav back from his right to meet D's cavalry in the rear.  But D's HA hurt them on the way & they were beaten.  D's cav then thoguht they'd done enough & chased after them.

P's LH (pic way) phalanx just managed to rally & about face to meet the peltasts.  The other 2 phalanxes (1 each) struggled to rally.  P's archers kept D's remaining phalanx pinned down while P's phalanx rallied, turned & hit it in flank.

By the now both sides were mess.  Demetrius has only 1 key unit left - his companions, 3 more have pursued off the field, his 3 phalanxes have routed.
Ptolemy has 3 phalanxes left, but 3 companions routed and 1 in pursuit.  Neither side has more than half their key units (phalanxes & companions) routed, but neither has much chance to get any more routs.  According to the Army Morale Test its a tie.  Though with 3 phalanxes left Ptomemy could claim he really won.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Camp Cromwell 07/12/10

Jim's Motostrelk
v. Munt's Hungarians
2000 pts LW Breakout on 8x5 table.
Byron also present.

The Russians started with 2 M/Strelk & Rockets on the table & T34's, KV's & Honeys to come.
The Hungarians had Infantry, Artillery, Hetzers, A/C's & Stukas, with Panthers, Stugs, Infantry & Paks to come.

Pic 1 is at the start after the Hun recon move.

The first M/Strlek got picked on, but it got into the village within 100 of objective & the surviors hunkered down.  The second M/Strelk did better detroying the Hungarian infantry in the wood on their flank, then swinging right to move on the objectives.  The Katies lasted just 2 turns of artillery bombardment.

By the time the Russian armour arrived, the Huns had a reception committee of 3 Stugs in a hedge & 2 Panthers waiting.   The Russians doubled the T34s & Honeys to get close to the objectives while the KV's entertained the Panthers (pic 2).  Finding Munt too cunning to let them near their side armour they were whittled away.  The T34s took out the Stugs, the Honeys managed to take one Hetzer down with them, but the Russians were on borrowed time - nearing an army morale crisis.  The remnants of the 1st M/Strelk beat off an infantry attack on the village & the 2nd M/Strelk attacked in a desperate attempt to force a Hun morale test.  They drove the Hetzers back and took out half the Hun battery before the Hetzers drove them back again.  Then when the Panthers bagged the 6th T34 and the Russians failed morale & it was game over after a great battle. 

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Maharajah 2010 Semis at Nicks

Jim's Panzergrenadiers
v. Rich's Canadian Mech

Cauldron Germans defending.

The Germans defended the Caudron with 2 Infantry, 105's, Neblewerfers & Pak 38's.
2 Stug platoons, Armoured cars, infantry guns & Kampfgroup to come.
The Canadians started with M10's, Shermans, Recon, Heavy Mortars & 25 pdrs on the table, mounted infantry & 6pdrs to come.

The Canadians used their Recon effectively to thwart to German plan to ambush the M10s with the Paks forcing the Paks to deploy in the hedges further back.  While the Canadian Infantry gathered, their artillery, mortars & tanks destroyed the 105's.  Then the Canadians made a well coordinated attack with infantry & armour, driving the Grenadiers off one objective.  It looked all over for the Germans, but they suddenly got lucky.  Their 2nd reserve dice was 2 5's so all their Stugs arrived.  The remnants of the grenadiers passed morale & unpinned to keep a toehold on the objective.  The Canadians erred in digging in on the objective instead of pushing on with their infantry, & the M10's, weakened by Paks, failed to take out the remaining Panzergrenadiers & they bought time for the Stugs to come up. 

The 9 Stugs made a wonderful target for the RAF, but only 1 plane came & it missed.  The Stugs finished off the Shermans & M10's & reached the objective in the nick of time as the brave infantry were finally destroyed.  Six 6pdrs were the Canadian's last hope, but they had to deploy in the open, did little damage with their 1st shot & were promptly destroyed by Neblewerfers & Stugs. The Canadians failed army morale & the Germans gained a lucky victory. 

Nick's US Armour
v. Steve's 21st Panzergranadiers

Encounter battle.

As usual Steve dug in on his baseline & defended doggedly.  After a long artillery duel, Nick made an attack down the right flank, but by midnight it hadn't got near an objective. 

Battle drawn.  They will have a rematch - this time a Breakout Mission - which one would expect to give a result.    Winner to fight Jim in the Final.

Leigh's Parliamentarians 
v. Joe's Royalists

Leigh & Joe used the 3rd table to fight an ECW battle using Fields of Glory rules.  After a long slog, Parliament prevailed.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Camp Cromwell 30/11/10

Jim's Russians
Renfrey's Speverband
1750 pts Hasty Assault, Russians attacking.

The Russians made the battlefield very crowded by making a massed assault on their left.  Motostrelk mutually destructed the German infantry while the T34's took on the Stugs & Hetzers.  Then the Cossacks came through and took the objective only to be destroyed by a counterattack by infnatry brought from the other flank.  But the Russians had won the tank battle by then and their KVs sat ont eh objective to win the battle.

Munt's Hungarians
Joe's Yanks
No Retreat, US defending.

Joe ahd a bit of a learning curve to climb in his first experience as Americans.  He got overun by Hetzers in the end, but he had made the Axis pay dearly.