Saturday, February 26, 2011

Rules Comparison

Following the FOG battle at Nick's last night I set up similar armies (though 15mm) and fought the same battle solo, using Nick & Carl's battle plans & Camp Cromwell Rules.  I made all the heavy infnatry the same quality except the 3 on Carl's right as Spartan Citizens ahd a +1 in combat.

This time the cavalry fight locked up despite Nick's advantage in numbers. 

Nick's won the infantry fight on his far right (helped by defending in a rough field)  and the winning unit turned left to roll up the Spartan left.

But when the Spartan right hit home, their quality won out and they too rolled up the enemy left.

This left both sides with 3 routs & on the brink.  It all came down to the cavalry fight which was still deadlocked on the flank.  Then Carl's cavalry suddenly got lucky & won it against the odds to kick Nick's army over the edge & win the battle.

So the same result was achieved though slightly different means.  The pics are all taken from behind Nick's left.

 The comparison is interesting:

Skirmishers:  The treatment of skirmishers is quite different.  CC treats skirmishers as true skirmishers - dispersed troops that cannot fight in close combat except against other skirmishers & simply get out of the way of the heavies.  But what FOG calls skirmishers, are actually treated as formed light troops. Once you think of them that way, the rules for them make sense.  In both cases skirmisher fire on heavies can be a significant help, but seldom decisive, but in CC skirmishers could only hold up heavy cavalry by hot shooting.

Close Combat:  The duration & chanciness of combats was similar, but the CC method is much simpler & quicker to do.  CC also provides much more advantage to flank/rear attacks.

Time:  The FOG battle took over 3 hours between experienced players with 2 spectators to help look up rules.  The CC exercise took 45 minutes.   Of course a solo game will go faster, but the difference in combat resolution time & rules reference time is stark.

Overall result:  Very similar.

Conclusion:  FOG will make a small simple scenario into a night's entertainment, but larger actions could become very hard work.  It's a good system for those who like mastering a complex set of rules for its own sake and who don't mind a bit of mental gynastics.  CC rules are designed for large historical battles, so the processes are simple & fast to do.  As a result small simple scenarios can lack depth & be over quickly, but large historical actions can be done in a night without brain fade.   It's not a matter of better or worse, the 2 rules systems are designed to do different things.  I can see what Carl & Nick like in FOG, but my own preference is for more efficient rules systems that achieve results with less work.   Maybe Hail Ceasar (Black Powder for ancients, coming soon) will do that & please us all.

FOG at Nick's

Carl's Spartans v. Nick's Greeks

Carl & Nick used two very beautiful 25mm armies supplied by Carl. Jim & Leigh observed & assisted with rules location.

As usual with Greek Hoplite armies there wasn't much scope for sublety - 2 lines of Hoplites, some cavalry at one end and a few skirmishers. Nick put his skirmishers on the flanks, Carl put his in front of the centre.

Nick's bigger cavalry unit won the cavalry fight on his right flank. His skirmishers on the hill o his left pinned down the end Spartan hoplite unit. In the centre, the Spartan skirmishers were totally ineffective and only served to delay the advance of his own heavies. Eventualy he got his scum out of the way and charged in on his left & centre, leaving his right refused.

Nick should have rolled up the line with his cavaly, but it ran into the the rear of a skirmisher unit which not only didn't rout, but turned to face & held on for about 5 turns. His right flank skirmishers did attack the end of the Spartan hoplie line and the end unit broke. But the rest of the main battle line remained in a complex overlapping mellee that tied up for several turns, unitl finally Nick got a run of bad dice and his centre broke. About the same time, his cavalry finally broke the pesky skirmihers.

With both sides teetering on the edge of army morale failure, it was a race to see if Carl could clean up the end of Nick's hoplite line before Nick's cav could get into his rear. Carl won the race & the battle. It was an interesting and exciting enough little battle, though it took over 3 hours.

All pics take nfrom Nick's left.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Russian Front Late War

Jim's Rota Razveoki v. Steve's 21st Panzers

1750 pts Breakthrough on 8x6, Germans attacking.

Steve's army was small but rather fearsome - 2 KT's, 2 Tigers, 7 armoured HT's full of Pnazergrenadiers, 3 AA HT's and 122mm artillery.

Jim's had 2 Rota Raz platoons, Motorstrelk, 10 T34's, 2 capt Panthers & Heavy Mortars. 

It didn't look like a good mix for the Russians on a pretty open table, but a river crossed by only 3 bridges had to give the Ivans some advantage. Pic taken at start from behind Russian objectives.

The Motostrelk held the river line while the Rotaraz's were deployed to move onto the objectives, armour in reserve.  Steve concentrated on one bridge where the Motostrelk held on grimly for the first few turns.

The T34s came on imediately & were brought on on the left & moved behind the wood ready to counterattack.  The Panthers came on next turn & were sent to attack the heavy artilllery in the far corner.  They didn't make it - the artillery destroyed the both.  The German flanking force was single KT, which arrived on turn 3 & began hosing the Rotaraz's who hadn't had time to dig in.  The T34's rushed forward to take it on.  But the Motostrelk holding thre bridge suddenly cracked & a torrent of armour poure dove rthe bridge.  The T34's were caught in the open in a cross fire of KT's & Tigers (2 of which had ROF 3) & evaporated.

With no armour or anti-tank capabality left, the Ivans conceeded.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Kolin 1757 again

Jim's Prussians v. Mark's Austrians

This time I set up a bigger table (10x6) to allow us to start earlier in the day with the troops facing each other on the Austrian left.  Fred has the option of making a flank march as he did, or making a direct assault.

The Prussians deployed first restricted to their corner of the table.  The Austrians deployed second - anywhere in their half of the table, plus Grenz allowed in cover anywhere outside the Prussian area.  The Prussians had first turn.  The Austrians were not allowed the Initial Orders rule.  Pic 1 is the initial deployment from behind Austrian left.

The Prussians immediately began to wheel their army left and march down the Kaiserstrasse as Fred did, Hussars in front.  The Austrians reacted by beginning to redeploy to their right, but also they sent their left wing forward in a spoiling attack.  This was met by the prussian right wing cavalry.  See Pic 2.

The vanguard of the Prussian left pushed the Grenz out of the way and turned right beyond the tree line to be met with another Austrian counterattack by their right wing cavalry.  But the Prussian centre was halted before the tree line. 
The 2nd Grenadier division were turned around and sent back to attack the Austrian left. The centre cavalry turned right & advanced towards the Austrian centre followed by a large infantry division in columns.  See pic 4.

The Austrians had succeded in redeploying, but their spoiling attacks were rapidly turning into disasters.  On their right, their Hussars were beaten without loss by their opposite numbers in  a fair fight.  On their left the cavalry was beaten by the Prussian counterattack and as a result the advancing infantry there was outflanked and rolled up.

The Austrian right was secure, with infantry in place to face off the Prussian Hussars.  But their left was outflanked - Grenadiers were marching inexorably for the end of the line as the Prussian cavalry regrouped beyond the flank.  In the centre a mass of veteran line infantry columns surged up the hill supported by grenadiers on their left and cavary on the right.  The Austrian centre broke under the concentrated attack and the their position was totally compromised.  Time for sauve qui peut.

The Austrians did a good job or redeploying.  The rules didn't make it easy for them,  but they acheived historical results on the ridge.

The Prussian plan was to march left until the Austrians were committed to redeployment, then turn and attack their centre & left, rather than push on and try and turn their right.  This succeeded beyond their hopes due to an extrordinary performance by the Prussian cavalry.  Whereas on the day, Fred was let down badly by his cavalry, today they won every fight, decisively winning the cavalry actions on both flanks.  The losses on the flanks robbed the Austrian centre of reserves to contain the breakthough by the concentrated infantry attack on the centre.  At the time we finished, the Austrians had 15 units routed compared to the Prussian's one (dragoons destroyed by artillery in the centre).

This was a much more interesting scenario than how we did it a couple of weeks ago.  We got a credible result, thoguh far different from the original.  The failure of the Prussian cavalry was widely blamed for the original fisasco, this game showed what might have happened if they had performed better.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

FOW Eastern Front Mid War

Jim's Rota Razveoki v. Steve's Panzergrenadiers.
1500 pts No Retreat on 6x4, Russians attacking.

Steve deployed 2 Armoured Inf & 105's on the table with 2 88's in ambush. 
Jim had 2 Razvedki, deployed on his right, 10 T34's, Heavy Mortars, 2 SU122's in the centre & Cossacks on the left.

The 88 ambush was deployed in the cornfield & took out a few T34's but the rest doubled to the left to get behind the hill & out of sight.   The Russians made 2 pronged attack - Cossacks & tanks on the left & Infantry on the right.  The Germans counterattacked with Armoured infantry on their left.  They destroyed the Infantry platoon on the flank but the other one passed trough the LHS of the wood towards the objective.

The Cossack attack was beaten off, but the T34's succeded and they took the objective.  The Germans threw every thing they could at the platooons holding the objective.  The T34 platoon was reduced to 2 bailed tanks but passed morale.   The Infantry were all but destroyed by firepower & finished off by the P/grenadiers counterattacking from the wood, but the P/grens failed tank terror to over-run assault the bailed T34s and were left just short of contesting the objective allowing the Russians to win.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Renfrey's Last Stand

Renfrey's last game before returning to England for our winter.

Renfrey's British Armour v. Jim's Panzer Grenadiers
1750 No Retreat on 6x4, Germans defending.

The Germans probably did well losing the roll for Attacker.  Pioneers were deployed on reverse slope at the forward objective, Stugs behind & Marders in ambush with Armoured PGs, Werfers & 3 Stugs in reserve.  The Brits had 3 Sherman platoons with Fireflies, M10's, Sextons & 2 Rifles.

The oncoming tide of Brits looked fearsome, but the Germans got their 2nd Stug platoon on turn 2.  They came on with targets in range, the Stugs behind the hill poked their noses out & the Marders came out of ambush all at once.  One Sherman platoon and most of the M10's evaporated.  The Brits regrouped behind the wood and resumed their advance.  Around the wood the Germans lost a Marder & couple of Stugs, but it wasn't enough.  The Infantry attack in the woods was beaten off by mg fire.  The Marders & Stugs took out another Sherman platoon.  The Infantry attack on the hill was stopped by rmg fire, then annihilated  by a counterattack by the Pioneers.  The Brits the failed army morale.

Pics taken from behind German left.  Pic 1 before the Germans fight back.  Pic 2 the Brits regroup.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

FOW Cauldron

Jim & Mark's Panzer Grenadiers
Renfrey & Byron's US Armour

Germans defending a Cauldron, 2000 pts on 8x6 table.

The Germans had just 2 infantry & a Pak ambush on table at the start, with Stugs, Marders, Artillery & Werfers in reserve.  The US had Supershermans, Honeys & Shermans with Priests, Mech Inf & M10's to come.

The US tried to make a quick kill rushing the infantry on the hill with the Supershermans & Honeys while the HQ & Observer tank dealt with the Paks.   This came unstuck when the Paks wiped out the Honeys & a combination of Panzerfaust, bogging rolls & German luck destroyed the Supershermans.

The US Inf arrived and immediately attacked the innfatry in the wood supported by the Shermans over the river.  The Stugs arrived to distract the Shermans (by kiling them), but the GI's destroyed an infatry platoon and gained an objective.  The Germans disputed the objective with Stugs over the river while their 105's kept the GIs pinned down in thier half of the wood.  The M10's came on but couldn't handle Stugs + Marders and their demise put the US in army morale trouble.  Soon after they failed morale to give the Germans victory.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Kolin 1757

Jim's Prussians v. Steve's Austrians

Mark umpiring using CC M2M rules.

We used the scenario as recorded in the Camp Cromwell Minutes from 2003. 

The Austrians deployed first - Hussars on the far right, infantry in centre with guns, heavy cavalry on the left and Croats in the orchard & villages.

The Prussians put their Hussars & half their Cuirassiers on their right, their dragoons & the rest of the curassiers on the right.  The grenadiers were left of centre with a line dvision in columns on their left, and another supported by artillery on their right.

The Prussians advanced their cavalry on their left & advanced straight up the hill with their grenadiers with their supporting infantry on each flank.  They held their right back.

The Austrians pulled their Hussars back behind the orchard & attacked on their left.  They tried to support their right by transfering dragoons from the left, & turning their infantry on their left onto the flank of the Prussian infantry attack, but poor command delayed the process. 

On the Prussian left, the cavalry took a while to manoeuvre around the orchard, then were held up by the Hussars holding a narrow front.  On the Austrian left their superior numbers gradually made themselves felt and most of the Prussians were swept away, but that wasn't where the battle was decided.

The attacking grenadiers suffered casualties from the artillery & the Croats sniping out of the villages & orchard, but they shugged them off and charged home.  Their supports on their left went through the orchard and struck the Austrian infantry line in flank.  Steve was able to get one battalion & some dragoons to face it, but this removed support from the frontal attack & it broke through.  On the right of the grenadiers, the Prussian line protected their flank from the counterattack. 

Finally, the Prussian cavalry on their left broke through the Hussars and the Cuirassers cut loose in the Austrian rear deciding the battle for Prussia.

The battle was well advanced before I remembered to take a pic.  In pic 1 the Austrian counterattack is under way in the forground.  The Prussian grenadiers are enagaged on the far hill, the flanking infantry have entered the orchard, the cavalry on the Prussian left are behind the orchard & the Austrian infnatry counterattack is being met bya  thin blue line.  In pic 2 the Prussian right is a shambles, but the Austrian right is under greta pressure.  Pic 3 is at the end - the Austrian right was too late to save their right which has collapsed under the attack from front & flank.

The battle was a great test of the rules with lots of different combinations happening.  It ripped along nicely & had a good feel - it didn't show up any need for changes (other than taht the points system still needs work to make good troops cost more - which we already knew).  The Prussian attack was well planned & Steve was too slow to get get his left into action against the main attack.  Partly this was due to the command rules penalising the Austrians, but he also committed more on the left than he really needed to.