Sunday, December 30, 2012

FOW Surrounded Mission

Byron and Richard were supposed to fight their Maharajah trophy battle, but something came up & Byron couldn't make it.  Steve & Jim took on Richard's tankovy with Byron's Hungarian Tank Coy defending in one of the new V3 Missions - Surrounded.  2,00 pts on 10x6 table.
The defenders deploy first in the centre of the table with 2 objectives to defend.  They may have 1 platoon in immediate ambush -  put down after the attackers deploy.  The attackers can deploy either end of the table 40cm back from the defender's 60cm wide deployment zone, but must have at least 1 platoon at each end.

The Hungarians are deployed along the centre road - from the left Panthers & infantry in the village.  MkIV's on the road between the tree lines.  Panthers out of Immediate Ambush beside the bridge.  Nimrods hiding next to the farmhouse.  Wefers in the corn field.

The Ivans have a horde of super Shermans on the left, a horde of normal Shermans plus superman on the right and some uber SPGs & captured Panthers on the far side.

The pic above is after the Ivan's first turn.
The Panthers and MkIVs move to face the super Shermans on the left and blow most of them away in 2 turns.  The HQ MkIVs move off the road to support the Panthers.   The Shermans have got to the objective, but one Nimrod survived the captured Panthers only bailed, passed platoon morale, unbailed, disputed the objective and popped a Shermna - it's in the pic  amongst the smoke of burning Shermans.
Having disposed of the super Shermans the Hungarian left is rushing to the right.  The Ivans couldn't hit the Nimrod in the smoke so it maintained dispute allowing the panzers by the river to stay still & blast away.

the Nimrod was finally got, but it bought enough time for the panzers to move up and take over.  The Ivan armour melted away under side shots from MkIVs and the Panthers' big guns.  Soon only their SP guns on the ridge survived and they failed army morale.  

Early in the battle it looked like the Russians were going to overrun the objective & win easily, but  the Nimrods bought vital time for the panzer's quality to trump the Ivan's quantity.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Small Pike & Shotte

Joe's Covernanters v. Jim's Parliamentarians

We used the rather crowded table prepared for the FOW battle to be fought tomorrow.  Each army had a cavalry division of 4 units and an infantry division of 3 pike & 4 shot.  The Scots had a commanded musket unit, Parliament a dragoon unit.  The Scotts cavalry was weaker than Parliament's, but to compensate they had a medium gun.  All commanders were 8 to keep it simple.
The pics are taken from the Parliament rear or right flank.  Parliament deployed infantry in the centre & cavalry on the right.  The Scots put their cavalry in the centre with infantry on each side of it using their CIC to command the infantry on their right.
Both sides tried to advance but their cavalry was slowed down by the terrain.  (All troops were restricted to one 6" move in the corn fields, woods and crossing the creek or tree lines).  The Scots infantry on the far flank formed column and began marching to the other flank.
 One Parliamentary musketeer unit is on the road in the trees covering the flank, the others are lining the creek line with the pikes in support.   The Scots charged over the creek but were beaten off.
In the foreground the Parliamentary cavalry are slowly making progress.  On the far flank, the Scotts cavalry is working its way around the flank.   In the centre the Scots have a hole in the front line following their failed attack.   The infantry from the far flank suddenly found themselves in the front line and had to get out of column.
 The forward units of Parliament's horse have ridden down a musketeer unit but the next line managed to form hedgehog in time. The Scots commanded musketeers got over the creek to the safety of the wood.  Parliamentary pikemen block the road through the village.
In the villlage the pikes block the road but the Scots cavalry git past the crossroads and are using their pistols on them while a second unit turned left and charged the musketeers on the road in flank.  Parliament's dragoons have dismounted in the cornfield and are moving around the Scot's flank.
The second wave of Parliamentary cavalry had advanced up the river behind the first line which was caracolling the hedgehog, but when ordered to cross the creek to assist the foot it blundered back 2 moves instead leaving the foot exposed to attack by horse on one side and the musketeers in the wood on the other.  The dragoons flank attack was intercepted by Scots musketeers.
The dice gods had now deserted Parliament big time.  While the Parliamentary caracolle was doing bugger all the Scots caracolle broke the pikes in the village exposing Parliament's flank.
Suddenly it all fell apart for Parliament. The 2nd line of horse was slow to return from their blunder & the dragoons broke.  The Scots horse came out of the village, got 3 moves, charged the flank of the foot facing the musketeers in the wood and broke them.  With that the Parliamentary foot division broke and that was the battle.

It was the most crowded battlefield we've ever used for pike & shotte and it certainly changes the game.  Neither side really handled that well, but Parliament seemed to have the battle well under control having got the Scots foot on the verge of breaking early on.  But they just couldn't get the extra unit before a string of bad luck handed victory to the Scots.   This happens sometimes, but it's a consequence of an exciting game system, win or lose it was a very enjoyable little battle - proving again that you don't need big armies to have fun with the Warlords rules.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Pike & Shotte 28mm

Mike & Mark's Scots Covernaters
Jim & Steve's Parliamentarians

Both sides had 2 infantry divisions & 2 cavalry of about 835 points.
Typically the infantry divs had 2 pike + 4 shotte, the cavalry divs 4 horse.
1 Scotts infantry div also had a commanded musket + 3 guns.  1 Scotts horse was just 3 lancers.
1 Parliamentarian cavalry div also had a dragoon unit.
The Scots deployed with all their cavalry on the left, their bigger infantry div on their right..
Parliament deployed with cavalry on each wing, dragoons on the left.
Pic taken from the Scots left flank.
The Scots advanced the cavalry on their left as fast as they could with their left hand infantry following in echelon.  Parliament retired their right flank cavalry & advanced their left flank cavalry.  Their left flank infantry was supposed to advance as well, but at first refused, then did so very slowly.
The Parliamentary cavalry quickly swept around the Scots right flank, but the Scots formed hedgehogs in time to block them off.  The Parliamentarian plan of a combined attack on the Scots right was in ruins due to the failure of their foot to advance.  Their horse cold only fire their pistols at the hedgehogs.
The Parliamentarian foot on their left are advancing slowly.  The Scots cavalry advance has slowed down as their opponents fall back behind the wood.
The Parliamentarian left has finally advanced, but they did so so slowly that the Scots ordnance has taken it's toll and the Scots centre has had time to move to threaten their flank.  The Scots have stopped their cavalry advance and have diverted their lancers to their right.
The Scots are looking jovial & the view from the other end doesn't look any better for Parliament.
The Parliamentarian right is trying to go onto the offensive now the lancers have moved to the other flank, but its all happening too slowly.   On the other flank the Parliamentarian horse desperately tried to break through only to find why they say in the rule book that only the foolhardy charge hedgehogs with cavalry.  The cavalry rallied & returned to using their pistols.  The left flank parliamentarian foot division is about to break as it is raked by artillery and attacked from the flank.
As Parliament's right advances the Scots left has fallen back to buy time while their victorious centre reorganises to come back and help them.
The right flank Parliamentarian horse has finally got to grips with their opponents, but the fight is indecisive.  Their left flank cavalry is still blocked off by hedgehogs and now also under artillery fire.  The remaining Parliamentary foot is now under pressure from front and flank and is doomed.  Parliament conceded the battle.

The Parliamentary plan of a converging infantry & cavalry attack on the Scots right was stymied by the slow advance of their foot which allowed the Scots time to weaken them with artillery and get into their flank from the centre.  Sending a cavalry div with the CIC around the flank where it could be bottled up by hedgehogs & a scrubby hill was a mistake & the Parliamentarians also erred in going too defensive on their right and thus giving the Scots freedom to transfer troops to their right.

It was a very enjoyable battle (even for the losers).  The 28's look great even though some of them aren't quite finished yet.  For our Pike & Shotte 28's we have adopted a standard unit frontage of 15cm for musketeers in 2 ranks & cavalry in one rank, and 10cm for pikes in 3 ranks.   For Hail Caesar we use 20cm as the standard width, but the smaller frontage suits the mixed pike & shotte formations and better match the numbers you get in Warlords boxes (as well as making the figures go further).

We trialed a new house rule for command:  If a unit or group of units has exactly the same order as last turn (whether it passed or failed), they may re-roll their command dice if they fail to get at least 1 move.  This is to mitigate the frustration of too many units doing nothing or making stop-start advances.  Bad command dice still affected the battle (as it should - both sides had some divs with command ratings of 7), but this certainly mitigated extreme results.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Small Hail Caesar

Jim's Imperial Romans v. Joe's Britons

To introduce Joe to Hail Caesar we fought a small action with just 2 divisions a side -1 infantry & 1 cavalry.  The Romans deployed infantry on their left and cavalry on their right.  The Britons put their infantry in the centre with chariots in support, 2 light cav on their left & 1 light cav skirmishing on their right.

The Romans advanced their heavy cavalry right of centre with their light cavalry echeloned back covering their right and the infantry held back on their left.  The cavalry charge didn't break anyone, but held up the Briton left so only 2 of their warbands charged forward against the Roman foot.
One of the warbands smashed through the Roman line, the other was stopped.  Even after losing a unit the Romans outflanked the victorious warband then followed up to finish off the other one.
The Briton's right flank cavalry finally arrived on the legion's flank, but it was too late to assist the warbands and 1 unit turned to face it.  On the Roman right the light cavalry of each side threw javelins without much effect.
With the legion coming up on their left to engaged the chariots, the Roman heavy cavalry renewed the assault on the remaining warbands.  Already weakened by the first assault, the warbands broke.  The Britons had now lost their largest of 2 divisions while the Romans had lost just 1 unit so victory was awarded to the Romans.  We proved that you don't have to have a lot of troops to have a good battle with Hail Caesar.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hold the Line with Bolt Action

As a change we played Bolt Action using the FOW Hold the Line Mission.  Both sides had 2 players each with a platoon and totaling about 1770 pts a side.  10'x6' table.  Mike = US, Joe = Brit against Jim & Steve, both with panzergrenadiers.  The Allies defended, mostly putting the Brits on the table as their half on, with US as usual to turn up later as Reserves.  The Germans had Jim on the right and Steve on the taken from German rear or right flank.  The RH bridge & the farm in the Allied rear are the objectives.
We tweaked the BA Hidden rule to Dug In = hard cover (+2 to hit) with all defenders foot squads on table at the start being Dug In until they move.  We used the BA Reserves Rule as is.  Attackers take an objective by having troops within 3" of it but no defenders within 3" of it at the end of a turn.
Steve's platoon on the left was elected as the target of the British artillery and was consequently delayed.  Jim's Stug & Steve's werfers engaged the anti-tank guns as the Stug & Hanomags rushed forward.

The anti-tank exchange was singularly ineffective for both sides.  The Cromwell rushed up the road from reserve & joined in also without effect.  Jim's infantry dismounted close up.
Jim's RH squad got pinned down, but the other one & the HQ stormed the bridge.  The werfers continued to fail to hit & the 6pdr finally got the Stug while the Cromwell was taken out by multiple hits by panzerfausts.  The Americans are rushing to the rescue.
Jim's Hanomags have been destroyed before the anti-tank could be taken out and his infantry is melting away, but Steve's troops are now sweeping through the village to meet the Americans.
A vicious series close combats has left the bridge still in dispute with both side still having squads within 3"   This was the end of turn 7 & after 11 o'clock, so under FOW rules it is an Allied victory as the attackers have failed to take the objective before time runs out.

The FOW mission (with a few tweaks) worked fine.  We did find one problem with BA used for large team games - in normal IGUO systems multiple players on the moving side can do a lot of stuff concurrently, but this is not possible with the BA command system where you have to do one squad at a time, thus large multiplayer games can take longer than one might like.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Panzergrenadiers do Bolt Action

Joe's British v. Jim's Panzergrenadiers

Joe's returned from Broken Hill for Xmas thirsty for wargames.  I introduced him to Bolt Action - lending him my British and trying out my new 28mm Panzergrenadiers.   Envelopment Scenario, 1040 pts on 10x6 table, Germans attacking.  To compensate for the large table we made duration 8 turns and made it that the Germans had to exit the table between the field and the wooded hill on the British rear edge to gain 3 VP's per squad.
The German force looked rather small with 2 PG squads & HQ in 3 Hanomags, plus 1 STUG.  The Brits had 4 squads of infantry plus lots of support including a 6 pdr & my unlucky Cromwell.  TheGermans came on with the Hanomags on the left and the STUG on the right.   The STUG was supposed to stop the British left from moving to their right to meet the main German attack, but for the first time ever the Cromwell did something, popping out from behind the village to fire down the road and pop the STUG on turn 1.
The Hanomags pressed on to their left somewhat spread out due to the effects of an artillery barrage as the British all moved to their right to meet them.  The panzergrenadiers in the lead half track debussed and took on the Cromwell with a panzerfaust.  Three 5's or 6's later the Cromwell had reverted to its normal state of "toast".  
Without armour support the British right melted away under the German firepower.  Their PIAT was bayoneted & the 6pdr now in position on the river line missed every shot.  The British infantry in the cornfield managed to destroy one PG squad, but one PG squad, the HQ & all 3 Hanomags ran the gauntlet to exit the table in the 3 VP zone.

When the STUG died, things looked black for the Germans, but a panzerfaust turned the game back on its head and the German plan came good in the end.  A very enjoyable game.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

1850 Points Bolt Action

I took a rest after moving house last weekend and made up my Warlords 1,000 pts British Bolt Action platoon.   This was augmented by Mike's US platoon while Steve bumped up his points by adding in his Tiger.

Scenario 4: Hold Until Relieved 1850 pts on 10x6 table - Allies Defending

The scenario has an objective in the centre of the table (in this case a bridge).  The defenders deploy 2 squads near the objective.  The attackers then deploy their force anywhere more than 18" from any enemy.  Half the rest of the defenders come on their table edge as first wave on turn 1, the rest as reserves from turn 2.
Pic taken from the Allied side.  The objective is the bridge on the far side of the village.  The Germans are deployed in a quarter circle on the far side of the village.  The pic is taken at the end of turn 1.  A British infantry squad holds the houses near the bridge with a MMG in support while the first wave of support has come on on the left.

As the Germans close in the Brits in the village keep their heads down and call in the artillery.  It takes 2 turns to arrive, but when it does it pins down all the Germans directly in front of the village buying valuable time.
Allied reinforcements are now pouring onto the table while the Germans try to regroup in the centre.
The Allies are attacking the German right wing to tie them down.  Allied losses are high, but the attacks ease the pressure on the centre.   The Cromwell has been immobilised by a panzerschrek.
Allied infnatry has advanced through the village and down the right side of it.  The Hanomag has been taken out by PIAT & bazooka fire.  The Tiger moved through the line of trees to stop the infantry advance on the German left.  It did that, but this also took the pressure off in the centre.  GI's stormed out of the village to take out the Grenadiers around the half track to secure the objective.

This was by far our biggest Bolt Action battle so far.  The extra troops provided more scope for tactics, but it was still all done in about 2 1/2 hours.  BA are far from a perfect set fo rules, but they do give a very enjoyable game & you gotta love 28mm armour.   The Cromwell survived a battle for the first time tonight - albeit disabled...maybe one day it will actually do something useful.  In contrast, the Tiger shrugged off the fire from medium anti-tank guns, PIAT & bazookas - though it did lose some vital time pinned down by artillery fire.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Bolt Action 04/12/12

Scenario 3: Point Defense:  Mike's US v. Steve's German Vets.
The Germans have to defend 3 objectives on their side of the 6x4' table (LHS in the pics).  They have half on at the start with half coming as reserves on turn 2.  The attackers have none on the table at the start, but can have all come on on turn 1.  Same forces as last week.
The Germans adopted an active defense, pushing forward in the far wood and in the centre.  They use their armoured car & half track to defend their right.  A mortar & HMG proved support from the ridge left of centre, armour on their right & anti-tank in centre rear.

The US sent 1 GI squad down their left, 2 left of centre & 1 right of centre.  Their armour is on their right, support weapons in the centre.
On the far flank the allied Cromwell was bushwhacked by German infantry as it tried to rush past the wood.  It died with a panzerschrek up the clacker.  On the left, the GIs have slipped past the light armour & taken the objective (the 6pdr got the half track).  In the centre the concentrated US attack has all but destroyed the German centre as they withdrew  a squad to defend the near objective.
It was looking hopeful for the US, but the end game suddenly went pear shaped.  The German mortar ranged in on the guys on the objective killed most of them and the rest bugged off.  Then the dice for an extra turn didn't allow the US the extra move they needed to grab the central objective.

The US did well tactically despite the terrain slowing their advance, but despite far higher casualties, the Germans won as no objectives were taken (1 taken = draw, 2 taken = attacker wins).

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Nam in the Garage

Nick vs Carl, using the Flames of War Vietnam rules.

The scenario was 'hot LZ'.  The Americans landed in the center of the table, and had to take an objective in one of the corners.  In our case, the objective was a crashed helicopter.

Nick played it cautiously, using his first platoon to set up a dfence around the landing zone.  His second platoon landed and started to move out to the objective.  At this point, Carl dropped a horde of NVA in the scrub.  While not blocking the route to the objective, they dominated the pathway.  So Nick couldn't send more troops to the objective without taking a lot of casualties.

Artillery from a firebase was called in, and a helicopter gunship went to work.  The NVA company was damaged -- but was still strong enough to fend off any US attack.  And then another NVA company appeared.  Nick was about to bring in his third platoon, but one helicopter was hit by AK 47 fire and broke off (1 VP to Carl).

The helicopter gunship and the artillery did some more damage.  A replacement helicopter appeared to fill in for the one that broke off -- and it was damaged as well (another VP to Carl).

Finally, the NVA Anti-aircraft battery openned up.  It missed, and retribution was brutal -- on AA battery destroyed by Artillery, gunship, and direct M60 fire.  (1 VP to Nick).

With NVA all around him, Nick couldnt do much other than shoot.

Carl then dropped his last AA battery.  It shot down the Hog gunship and the artillery observation helicopter.  (another 2 VP to CARL).  Meanwhile a NVA sapper company pushed the US off the crashed chopper objective.

At this point the US were well entrenched, and the NVA couldnt attack them.  The NVA were taking hits from Artillery, so they opted to melt into the jungle, leaving behind 4 damaged or downed helicopters -- a major victory to the NVA. 

Analysis after the game was that Nick should have pushed hard to the objective.  By the end of the game, his LZ was too well protected, but he couldnt move once the NVA platoons started appearing all around him. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Bolt Action 28mm

Mike's US v. Steve's Germans

Mike's army had 4 infantry squads, some support weapons & a Brit Cromwell (commanded by Jim in between umpiring).  Steve's army was veteran with 3 infantry squads, some support weapons & a Puma.

The scenario was #2...Maximum Attrition.  Both sides come on from opposite sides with VPs gained by destroying enemy squads.  We made it 8 turns rather than 6 to compensate for the big table (10x6).
The Germans are on the left, US on the right.  Both sides deployed spread out across most of the front.  On the far flank, both sides had one infantry squad isolated from the rest.  The German vets soon got on top and eventually destroyed their opponents.

In the centre the US advanced through the fields and the town.  The Cromwell moved down the road but was taken on by a Panzerschrek in the tree line.  The Cromwell backed off and moved to the left to intercept the Puma which was advancing on the near flank supported by infantry.

The Puma declined to take the Cromwell on and fell back behind the ridge among the infantry.  With time running out, the Cromwell moved along the ridge to take on the Puma and it's infantry support.  It proved to be a rash move & the Cromwell was knocked out by the Puma.

Meanwhile in the centre a GI squad had been pinned down on the road and destroyed by MG fire from the hamlet on the left.   The allies lost 2 infantry squads and a tank, but they had picked off a MMG, a panzerschrek & a mortar, so VPs were equal and the battle was tie (though a moral victory for the Germans who had clearly killed many more enemies than the allies).

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

First Battle at the Ordnance Store

We haven't moved house yet, but after last Sunday's working bee, the wargames room was ready for action.  There's still some fine tuning to do with the set up, but it's looking good.

Bolt Action 28mm: Steve's German vets v. Mike's US regs.

Mission 1 in the book is a breakthrough mission which counts VPs as: 1 for each enemy squad destroyed plus for the attacker 2 for each squad moved off the far edge of the table.  We compensated for using an 8x6 table by allowing 8 turns rather than 6 & restricting the attacker's exit zone to the middle 6'.
The Germans are defending the left hand side of the table with 2 squads of vet infantry supported by a mortar, a HMG & a Sdkfz 251.  The US have 3 regular infantry squads supported by a mortar, a HMG, a bazooka and an inexperienced Brit Cromwell.

The US attacked up the centre with 2 squads and the Cromwell while the 3rd squad made a flank march on their right.  The Germans mounted an active defense, counterattacking the infantry in the centre and destroying it with rifle & mg fire.  The Cromwell destroyed one squad, but the 2nd infantry squad moved up with a panzerfaust and took it out.
The 3rd US infantry squad came on well down the far flank and made for the rear edge.  The Sdkfz 250 headed off through the woods to stop them, but it was attacked and destroyed allowing the GI's to exit the table & gain 2 VPs.  But it wasn't enough, the Germans had mopped up the rest of the US force while losing only 3 squads themselves to gain enough VPs to win.

We got into some new territory with armour v. infantry & had to spend a bit of time hunting for unfamiliar rules (not always where you expect them to be), but it still went well & we all had a good time.  The 28mm's sure look good & certainly improve the game over the 1/72 scale we'd used previously.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Last Battle at Cromwell St

Next Sunday the Camp Cromwell  HQ is moving to new quarters in the Ordnance Store in Castray Esplanade.  (We are downsizing from a big house to an apartment).  It's a pity to lose the Cromwell St address, but an apartment in an old Ordnance Store isn't a bad wargamer's address either.  The building was built in 1836 as the military store for the colony, located right next to the Battery Point battery that protected the port.  The new games room has less square metres than the old, but as one 5m square room it's a more efficient space.

Hail Caesar:  Rome v. Britain

Mike's Romans v, Steve & Jim's British.  Same armies as last week, each with 3 divisions.
The Romans are on the far side of the table, deployed with infantry in front, cavalry as a central reserve.  The British have their chariots & cavalry on their left.  Initially only the British cavalry has advanced while the Roman right has been curled back.
The Roman right is engaged with the chariots.  Their left has moved to the right to make a gap for their cavalry.  The British infantry is stuttering forward.
The infantry on the near flank are slogging it out.  The Roman horse is moving forward. The chariots are getting ready to attack.
On the far flank the chariots are now supported by infantry and the Roman infantry are under pressure.  On the near flank the infantry fight has broken apart.
On the far flank the Roman infantry has broken.  In the centre the Roman horse is threatening to break through.   On the near flank the Romans seem to be getting the upper hand in the infantry fight.
The British left has been broken by the Roman foot.  Their centre has been destroyed by the Roman horse.   But the centre British infantry division still has 2 units left so has not broken and their horse has galloped to the rescue.
The chariots have smashed into the Roman horse.
The Roman heavy cavalry has been destroyed & a sweeping advance has taken out an infantry unit by flank attack.  The Romans are down to 2 divisions, both on wood.
The British horse has taken a Roman light horse unit in front and flank to break the the division and the army.

A very enjoyable last battle for Cromwell St.  Next week we'll christen the new place.