Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hail Caesar at Barrie's

Barrie's Carthaginians v. Mark's Romans

The Romans are on the left in the pics, infantry in centre, cavalry & allied infantry on each flank.

The Carthos have cavalry one each flank, Gallic inf left centre and Cartho spearmen and elephants right centre.

The Carthos lead with their right advancing in echelon.  The Romans advanced their left to meet them.

The Punic cavalry on the right had some initial success then the flank went pearshaped in a welter of Roman 6's.   The cavalry, the elephants & the spearmen were soon routed by the Roman left.

One Gallic warband was left to guard the camp while the others charged forward in a desperate attempt to turn the battle around.  The Punic left flank cavalry was sent across their rear to plug the hole on their right.  (The Roman left had had bad comand dice and was not a threat).

The Gallic charge caught the legionaries to their front not properly aligned and although one warband was flanked by triari the other 2 went straight through the left hand legion and broke it.

Suddenly there was hope for Carthage.  The breaking of the legion left a gap and Barrie sent cavalry through it towards the Roman camp.

But the other legion was closing on the Carthaginian camp.  The warband tried to defend it, but Oakie's dice prevailed and the Romans took the Carthaginian camp first.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hail Caesar 28/12/11

SteveJ's Seleucids v. Jim's Carthaginians

The Seleucids deployed their phalanxes in the centre, elephants & cataphracts on the right, medium & light inf on his left.  The Carthaginians put their gauls right centre, punic spearmen & elephants left centre, Spanish infnatry & cavalry on the right and punic cavalry on left.

The Seleucids held their phalanx back while advancing with their cataphracts and supporting lights.  The Punes skirmished with cavalry on the wings and advanced their infantry diagonally to the left.

The Punic attempt to flank the cataphracts failed due to the speed with which the cataphracts destroyed their opposition (cavalry, elephants and spearmen) and the intervention of the Seleucid elphants.

The kontos is indeed a fearsome weapon - not only destroying the enemy troops, but also inflicting grevious wounds on the enemy players who got too close.

The phalanx finally advanced.  The Gauls & Spanish redeployed to face it as light cavalry and some Gauls tried to hold off the cataphracts.  But there were now too many Seleucids and not enough Carthaginians left and one by one the Carthagian divisions broke. 

Cancon Practice 28/12/11

Jim's Hungarian Light Infantry v. Pat's Guard Strelkovy

1500 pts Witch's Cauldron, Hungarians defending.

The Hungarians deployed 2 infnatry platoons with HMGs & a/tan rifles attached from the heavy platoon with Pak 40's in Immediate Ambush.  38T's, 105's & the rump of the heavy weapons in delayed reserve.

The Russians deployed their 6 T34s on their forward right and Regimental guns rear right.  A large and a small Strelk were in Reserve.

The large Strelk was brought on behind the T34s, the small Strelk soon after on the opposite side of the table.

The Russian Reg guns tried to take out the infnatry support weapons, but only got one HMG before they were destroyed by return fire.

The T34's moved up through the woods and tried to soften up the defenders as the Strelk came up.  However the Paks picked off the T34's one by one.

This left it all up to the Strelk.  The small platoon advanced to put pressure on the other flank while the big Strelk lined up ready to charge out of the wood.

The Hungarian reserves arrived just in time.  The 105's deployed at the table edge and started bombarding the large Strelk.  The 38T's doubled forwrd.  They moved to the LHS of the village where their HMGs gave the small Strelk something to ponder.

But the critical action was the attack by the large Strelk.  Their first charge was halted by defensive fire, but their second try destroyed the Paks and pushed the infantry back.  But it was too late.  The 38Ts moved over and backed up the infantry.  The surviving Strelk saved morale, but they had no chance now and Pat conceded.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Cancon Practice on Boxing Day

Jim's Hungarian Light Infantry v. Mark's US Rifles

1500 pts Witch's Cauldron, Hungarians attacking.

The US put down 2 Rifles & 105's, with their Heavy Platoon in Immediate Ambush.  To come:  Honeys, A/tank guns, 5.5" artillery & SP AA.

The Hungarians put down Infantry in the village and in the corn field with Paks in support.  To come 105's, 38Ts  and the rump of their Heavy Platoon (less 2 HMGs & 2 A/tank rifles attached to the inf).

The Paks picked off the 105's while the Infantry sniped at each flank while waiting for reinforcements.  The Hungarians brought on their 105's first, then the 38Ts & Heavy Plat - all on the far side.  Then they began their main attack from that flank with infnatry & tanks.

The US Honeys & anti-tank guns came on on the flank of the 38T's, but veteran status and range saved them  After pausing to put down a couple of Honeys, the Hungarians resumed the attack on the objective under smoke. 

The US Rifles couldn't stop the combined assault and the objective was over-run.  Officer casualties and pins prevented a US counterattack and there were too many Hungarians on the objective to be shifted by firepower even though the 5.5's were able to fire.

Compared to old Cauldron, the new Mission has some obvious disadvantages for the defence (objectives potentially further apart & reserves have further to go).  Compensating disadvantages for teh attacker are not immediately obvious.  Maybe BF think old Cauldron was biased for the defence - but that's not something we've noticed.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hail Caesar 21/12/11

Steve's Successors v. Jim's Romans and Mike's Gauls

The Romans/Gauls are on the left of the pics.  The Successor's deployed with Phalanx and supports in the centre, Elephants & light inf on the their right and cavalry on their left.  The Allies deployed the Gauls in the centre, Romans on their right and both cavalry divs on the left.

The Allied plan was to charge the enemy centre with the Gauls while holding off the enemy cavalry with the Romans and skirmishing with the elephants with cavalry.

The Gauls were a bit slow advancing, but got there eventually. The velites were soon disposed off by missile fire.  The legionaries then squared off v. the cavalry.  But neither side wanted to risk a charge so the two lines skirmished with each other ineffectually until the battle was decided elsewhere.

The Gallic infantry did rather well on the first impact, breaking one phalnx and pushing one back, but the phalanxes fought back and with some light cavalry coming over from their left, the tide looked to be turning against the Gauls.

But on the far flank, the Gallic cavalry got tired of pussy footing around and charged the elephants.  This was the battle winning move as elephants immediately broke. 

The Roman cavalry rode to the centre to help the infantry deal with the enemy cavalry while the Gallic cavalry galloped around the wood and into the flank of the phalanx.  The phalanx division broke and with it the Successor army.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Maharajah Grand Final 2011

Byron's Panzers v. John's Cossacks

2000 pts Cauldron on 8x6 table, Cossacks attacking.

On the hill watching:  Jim, Leigh & Richard.

The initial deployment was rather sparse.  The Soviets deployed 2 assualt gun platoons + HQ, The Germans deployed 2/88's, a MkIV platoons & HQ.   Both sides had air support.   (The pics are taken with the Russians coming on from the right).

Byron's immediate ambush was 3 Panthers which he placed in the wood in the foreground.

Things were looking for Germany when they promptly dispatched 3 assault guns.  But then the cossacks showed up...  They rushed up to the Panthers in the wood.  One Panther bogged, Byron probably erred in trying to fight on to save it and lost all his Panthers.

The Cossacks swarmed onto the objective and dug in.  Now it looked like a cake walk for the Russians.

But the Huns weren't done for yet.  Their panzergrenadiers and Luchs came on and they counterattacked the cossacks from two directions with them and the MkIVs.

The Russians held off the attacks and held onto the objective while the Germans failed army morale.

So John becomes the worthy winner of the 17th Maharajah Trophy competition.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hail Caesar 14/12/11

Steve's Seleucids v. Jim & Mike's Carthaginians

Both armies were 450 points, but not quite in compliance with all the rules in the lists.  After the Carthos had a council of war and decided on their deployment, Steve put his troops down, then the Carthos put theirs down as they had decided in their council of war.   Victory conditions were lose if 1) any 3 divisions broken,  2) heavy inf div + 1 other broken, or, 3) lost the camp.  The pics are taken from the Cartho right.

The Seleucids deployed their heavy infantry division (3 phalanxes & 2 medium inf) around the camp, a division of 2 elephants and lots of light inf in front and cavalry divs on each flank (2 light & 1 cat on their left, 2 light & 1 cat on their left).

The Carthos put their Cartho inf div (2 spears, 2 bows, 2 elephants in front of the camo with theri Gallic division (4 warbands) in front, Punic cav (2 med, 2 light, all small) on their left & their Spanish div (2 Scutarii, 2 Caetrari, 2 light & 1 med cav) on their right.

The Carthos surged forward.  The Seleucids held their heavies back around the camp behind their ligth screen and advanced with their cavalry flanks.  

On the Cartho left the Spanish took on the cavalry.  They beat the cataphracts by pinning frontally and hitting them in flank with infantry.  The light cavalry with Parthian shot were harder to beat, but were eventually overwhelmed.

On the other flank the Punic cavary destroyed the light cavalry with javelins .  They tried to do the same to the cats, but the cats eventually got some good command dice closed in and smashed them.

In the centre, the Gauls paid for lack of light infantry when they got pinned down by hot shooting when both the Spanish & Punic light infantry wouldn't move up to help. 

Left of centre, the Carthos tried to send their elephants to help out their left flank cav, but they were intercepted by the Seleucid elephants.  The combination of cats & pigs was too strong and the Cartho infantry division was reduced to just the 2 spear units.

The Gauls finally charged down the skirmish line, but in doing so got too close to the phalanx.  After being weakened by the skirmish fight the division was soon broken.

Finally, the phalanx was on the move, charging forward to enagage the Rh spear unit, already shaken and pushed back by the elephants.  In a rush of hot dice followed by Seleucid cold ones, 2 phalanxes were broken before the thrid hit the spearmen in flank.  It still looked all over for Carthage, but the spearmen stubbornly gave ground, but refused to break while the Spanish light cavalry rode down the last fo the skirmishers and rode towards the Seleucid camp left undefended by the advance of their centre.  For a moment, the Carthos had a glimmer of hope, but the spearmen finally ran out of luck  before the cavalry could take the camp.

Once again we had a rattling good battle - and quite different to any we'd had before - this time it was all about light troops.  The Cartho plan was to avoid the phalanx and destroy the weaker Seleucid divisions, but they couldn't quite pull it off - Steve's elephants & skirmishers saved the day for him.  The capriciousness of some the Hail Caesar systems can be frustrating at times, but they sure give you exciting and interesting battles.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Hail Caesar on Pearl Harbour Day

Steve's Seleucids v. Jim & Mike's Carthaginians

The Seleucids (on left in pics) had a cavalry division on each flank, each 2 heavy cav & 2 small light cav and a big infantry division in the centre with 3 phalanxes, 2 medium inf, 2 elephants & 2 skirmishers.

The Punes also had infantry in the centre and cav on the flanks.  On their left 2 med & 2 light cav all small.  On their right 1 standard medium cav, 2 small light and 2 elephants.  Their Gauls 3 warbands with skirmishers were in front centre with 2 citizen spear units and 2 light infnatry and 2 skirmisher units behind.

The Punic right came forward to meet the cataphracts, elephants first.  In quick time the Seleucid division was routed at the cost of the elephants.

The Gauls charged forward with some hesitation followed up even more slowly by the spearmen.   The bowmen on the right advanced and started peppering the mediums on the phalanx's left.  One light unit was sent to guard the camp.

On the far flank, the Punic cavalry fought a delaying action falling back before the Agema.  The medium cavalry were eventually caught and destroyed, but the division did its job keeping the enemy cavalry busy. 

The LH Gauls beat the mediums on the phalanx's right, but the rest of them were stopped by the phalanx.  However, they had weakened the phalanx enough to give the Carthaginian spearmen a valuable edge.  The Cartrhaginian cav from the left had been galloping across the rear to help their left, but seeing their comrades doing ok and the camp adequately protected, turned right and supported the spearmen.  When the last elephant broke under bow fire, the Seleucid army broke with it.  

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Maharajah 2011 Semi-Final 2

Byron's Panzer Lehr v. Mark's US Rifles

2000 pts Midwar.  Dust Up Mission on 8x6 table.

It could be that Mark blew this one by wrong choice of table quarter to deploy in. He had to defend an objective on the front edge of a difficult hill.   Byron saw the oportunity, left his infantry & artillery in reserve and put all his armour down at the start.

The US 90mm AA on the hill were blown away by the massed tanks before they could even fire.  Then 2 platoons of MkIV's hosed the GI's before they could dig in.

The Shermans moved up to hull down, but were outgunned by the MkIVs.

The leading platoon of MkIV's drove the surviving GI's off the objective, but losses on the tanks accumulated and surprizingly the Panzers failed morale and ran off while the GI's hung on.

But it wasn't enough.  The 2nd Panzer platoon was still there and Pumas had moved around both flanks mowing down the 105 gunners and threatening the rear objective.

The last Sherman unbogged and disputed the rear objective, but the last GI team was killed by the 2nd Panzer leaving the front objective in German hands.   The battle was over before anyone got any reserves on the table.

The Grand Final will be between Byron's Panzers and John's Soviets, date yet to be determined.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Cancon Practice at Nick's

Richard's Finnish Light Inf  v. Jim's Hungarian Light Inf

Roadblock mission, Hungarians defending.  The Hungarians chose to ambush a Finnish infantry platoon with their heavy platoon, but just 3 teams killed wasn't a good return.

The Fins hunkered down near the objectives and brought on anti-tank guns & pioneers on the right.  The Hungarian artillery wiped out the antitank guns but the pioneers counterattacked the heavy platoon.  The pioneers took out the anti-tank rifles but were decimated by HMG fire & an infantry counterattack - they fell back behind the farm.

The Fin deployment was completed with heavy mortars on their left and light mortars on their right.  The Hungarians brought on infantry on their right, and their Paks and T38's on the left.

The Hungarians converged their attack on their left, the infantry following up the T38s.   The tanks took the objective but the Fins mounted repeated counterattacks under smoke to keep it in dispute. 

The Fins fought bravely almost to the last man, but the T38s prevailed for a costly win.

Both players were happy with the way their lists worked.  The Fins lost, but only 4:3 in a mission/terrain combo that didn't particularly suit them.

FOG at Nick's

A hoplite battle put on by Carl using his 28mm figs and FOG rules.

Carl's figs are absolutely drop dead amazing!  And a big hoplite phalanx is a joy to behold.

The battle was Athenians vs Spartans.  The Athenians had better light troops, and an extra phalanx, to make up for the superior Spartan phalanx.  Nick was the Spartans, helped by Tony later, vs Steve as the Athenians.

The Athenians deployed in a line, with much of their line on a ridge.  The Spartans deployed an almost matching force opposite, but held it back on the plains, and meanwhile tried to win with their Spartan citizen hoplites and cavalry in an attack on their right.

The attack on the Spartan right bogged down. Although it was winning, it was not winning fast enough. Steve advanced his force off the hill to attack the Spartan center.

Steve had bad luck in the center -- his attack, which should have had an advantage, got bad dice on the first turn, and suddenly the Spartans gained an advantage.

With the Spartans winning on the right and in the center, Steve conceded.

We will be doing the same battle using Hail Caesar some time in the new year.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Hail Caesar in the Wilderness 01/12/11

Jim’s Romans v. Chris’ Carthaginians

I took advantage of the need to go to Strahan for work to stay overnight and initiate Chris Arthur into Hail Caesar.  The troops travelled well in their stationery drawers jammed tight in the boot – better than Hannibal’s men, though I too had to cross mountain passes on twisty roads in snowstorms.  (It was the first day of summer – gotta love Tasmanian weather).

8x8 table. Four divisions each totalling 450 pts. The mission rules were:
Place divisions alternately – tossing to see who goes first.
The side placing the last one moved second.
Victory conditions:
1) Take enemy camp & hold undisputed until end of enemy’s next turn.
2) Break 3 of 4 enemy divisions.
3) Break both Roman legionary divisions.

The Romans (on right in the pics) deployed the legions in the centre with their allies on each flank (1 med inf, 3 small cav each). The Carthos deployed Gauls in the centre, their Citizen spearmen with light infantry on the right, Numidians (mix of elephants & cav on their left and their Punic horse behind the gap between the Gauls & Citizens.

The Carthos advanced on their right and held their centre & left back. The Romans tried to look busy on the left flank, buggered about on the right and advanced with the RH legion. The LH legion was also supposed to advance, but didn’t.

The Roman allies on the left lost half their number keeping their superior enemy busy. Not much happened on the Roman right/Cartho left as both sides had command difficulties. The elephants tried to assist the Gauls by attacking the legion’s right flank, but the Triari held them off while the Legion smashed the left of the Gallic line. The LH legion belatedly advanced, peeling off troops to pin down the Punic cavalry while 2 units pressed on towards the Gauls.

The RH legion continued on over the Gallic bodies into the camp. The Gauls tried to counter attack to take it back, but they didn’t make it before the LH legion broke a 3rd unit to break the Gallic division.

The Romans held the camp uncontested and won the battle. The inexperienced Carthos made the same mistake as the Seleucids the previous night – putting too much weight on one flank so their centre wasn’t strong enough to stop the legions.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hail Caesar 30/11/11

Jim's Republican Romans v. SteveJ's Seleucids

The Romans had 2 legionary divisions each 4 hast/princ, 2 velite, 1 triari, all small units & 2 allied divisions each 1 small med cav, 1 small light cav, 1 med inf, 1 light inf.   The Seleucids had an infantry div of 4 phalanxes, 1 med inf, 2 elephants & 2 skimishers & 2 cav divs, each of 2 cats or heavies & 2 small light cav.

The Romans deployed with allies on each flank.  The Seleucids put all their cav on their right with the left of the phalanx protected by elephants & light troops.

The mission rules were: Map deployment.  Army morale failure if 1) camp lost, 2) more than half divs lost, or, 3) all of inf divs lost.  Pics all taken from Roman side.

The Seleucids got first turn and generally advanced, except their right flank cavalry dithered.

The Romans tried to advance their right, but poor command dice made it slow going.  The first clash was on the Roman left where the cataphracts smashed through the weak Roman cavalry.  The left looked bleak for the Romans, but the Seleucid cavalry dithered and the allied medium infantry on the hill stood firm before the light cavalry and protected the Legion's left while it took on the phalanx.

On the other flank the Romans tried to send their cavalry over to bolster their left, but their div commander just didn't get it and they sat behind the wood for the duration.  But the infantry did better - charging the elephants and driving them back to secure the Legion's right flank.

In the centre the phalanx and the legion met head on.  The legions got the better of it on the right and broke the phalanx line.  The flexibility of the small units then allowed them to exploit the gap and the Seleucid infantry division broke giving the Romans victory before the Seleucid cavalry could make an impact.

The Seleucids considered themselves unlucky in the infantry fight, but it could be said that they made a strategic error in advancing the phalanx.  If they had held it back, the Roman infantry would have exposed their flank in attacking them.  As it was the Romans had the opportunity to counterattack with their strength before the Seleucid cavalry could be brought to bear. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Nick in Launceston

Nick vs Rob -- FOW, 1500pts, Mid war -- Afrika Korps (Nick) vs US (Rob).

Nick's first attempt at Afrika Korps turned to disaster when his combined assault on a unit of US engineers went wrong and the engineers steamrolled the Afrika Korps infantry and CinC.  Then it was just a waiting game until the US took down another platoon.  Rob got a well deserved 4-3 win. 

On the other table it was Dennis vs Shane.  Dennis used his strelkovy with flamethrowers to eat through the Panzer IV's and Panthers opposing him.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday School 27/11/11

There were two Cancon practice matches:

Munt's Fins v. Mark's Bersaglieri (Jim's list) in a Cauldron Mission

Munt was the attacker.  He got a good deployment (all on one side)and mounted a sound attack on one end of Mark's line.  He took an objective and Mark's cavalry (2 platoons of M14's) failed to arrive in time to take it back.

Rich & Thomas' Tankovy v. Jim's Hungarian Light Infantry in a Breakthrough Mission

Rich & Thomas had KV1's, T34's, T60.s, ZIZ's & infantry, plus tanko's on the heavier tanks.  It was designed to fight Jim's Bersaglieri list that Mark was using, but was just as nasty for his alternative Hungarian list - 2 infantry, heavy platoon, Pak38's, 105,s, 38T's & Nimrod AA.

The Hungarian infantry quickly dug in on the two objectives. 

The Pak38's were no match for the KV's which rolled over them and pushed on to attack the centra objective.

On the Hungarian right, the ZIZ's moved up into close range of the heavy platoon before they fired.  The Hungarians won the exchange of fire, destroying the 4 ZIZ's.

On the Hungarian far left, the 38T's came on from reserve and engaged the T60's.  After a long slog they won out and destroyed them.

In the centre the KV's rolled forward seemingly unstoppable.  The infantry gave ground hoping the artillery could save them, but the T34's came on and joined the KV's assault.  A spirited defence by the infnatry pushed the T34's back, but the KV's rear mg saved them from the panzerknackers and they destroyed the infantry to take the objective.

The Nimrods disputed the objective while the heavy platoon counterattacked and captured a KV bailed by the 105's.   But the Hungarians only hope of victory was for the 38T's to destroy the Soviet infantry and force an army morale test.  But Thomas was smart enough to dig them in in a convenient forest and the objective fell before the infantry were reduced below half.

Conclusions:  The Hungarian list put up a stiff fight against the worst possible opposition - certainly they did better than the Ities last Friday.  So the Hungarians may well be going to Canberra. 


Friday, November 25, 2011

Cancon Practice 25/11/11

Leigh's Soviet Armour v. Jim's Bersaliglieri

1500 pts Free for All:  Leigh's army is this Bergagalieri list's worst nightmare - 11 T70, 10 T34's, 10 Stuarts & 4 SU85's - made worse by losing the Attacker/Defender roll and being put on the open side of the table.

The Stuarts defended the Soviet left and the rest lined up to smother the Paks & infantry on the other flank.

The Ities charged forward on the right with tanks & infantry.  The Carri all but destroyed the Stuarts, forcing the Soviets to bring their T34's over to defend the objective.  But they had already taken out the Paks and they plenty of tanks left on their right to deal with the Ities there. 

The Carri couldn't hope to take on the T34's so they moved left, but they were too little too late to save the Bersaliglieri.  They were overwhelmed by the T70's and survived the fire of the artillery & Carri to hold the objective.

This was a reality check for the Ities.  There are going to be combinations of army, mission & terrain that make them dead meat.  The same may well be true for Leigh's all tank force.