Monday, December 30, 2013

Hail Caesar: Rome v. Seleucis

Rome: Mark & Renfrey - on the left of pics.
Seleucids: Jim, Mike & Chris - on the right of pics.
Seleucis stood & waited for the first 2 turns.   His phalanx is in the centre with cataphracts on his left & elephants on his right. There is a second cavalry division hidden behind one of the ridges on his flanks.
The Romans are advancing their left hand legion with their cavalry covering their far flank, their 2nd legion advancing in echelon covering their right and their auxiliary division on the ridge in front of the camp.
Contrary to Seleucis' orders, Mike's elephant division advanced to meet the Romans.  Though muttering about crucifixion, Seleucis ordered his left forward in concert, though the phalanx was slow to move.  Mike's elephants had mixed success, one cohort being stopped & the other hurt bad enough not to be able to follow up its success.
The elephants renewed their attack.  Seleucis revealed his cavalry on the far flank, moving it forward to meet the Roman cavalry.  The phalanx has advanced, but not fast enough to get into the 1st legion's flank.
On the right, Mike's cavalry and elephants are gaining the upper hand.  The left of the phalanx has charged to hold back half the 2nd legion, but the right has been intercepted in its attempt to flank the 1st legion.
The Romans are feeling the pressure now.  Their cavalry has been beaten back.  The 1st legion has been beaten by the elephants & their supports. The 2nd legion is broken up and being destroyed in detail.
The Romans made a desperate counterattack with their surviving cavalry, but light v. heavy needed a miracle that didn't happen.  The 2nd legion was swamped & the Romans had lost 3 of 4 divisions & are broken.  All talk of crucifixion in the Seleucid camp was replaced by talk of extra virgins.  It was good to have Renfrey back for a summer away from the English winter, though we gave him a pretty rugged introduction to the joys of Hail Caesar. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Practice for Bolt Action at Cancon

Chris' Soviets v. Jim's Germans

Point Defence Scenario:  The Soviets won the dice off and elected to attack.  The Germans chose to defend the far side of the table.  The 3 objectives are in the 3 cornfields nearest the far side.
The Soviets put their guard smg squad and their T34 on flank marches.  The rest advanced on abroad front.  The Germans deployed infantry on each objective and their howitzer, mortar & mmg on the right.   Their armour & anti-tank assets were kept in reserve.  On turn 3 the Soviet smg squad came on halfway down the left side.  The Luchs & veteran infantry squad came on help defend the left.  The Soviet guards got the drop on the German vets & destroyed them.  The horde kept on coming, over-ran the RH objective and the Luchs pulled back.
On the other flank, the T34 came on turn 4.  The Germasn brought heir panzerschreck on but it missed.  But the infantry squad's panzerfaust came with sixes & the T34 was destroyed. 
With the T34 gone, the German defences on the right easily stopped the Soviet attack there and provided support for the centre.   Despite getting the extra turn 7, the Soviets couldn't take a second objective.  So with 1 objective taken the battle was a draw.   It was tense struggle between two tough forces.  We timed the game at only 1h 40min, so well within the Cancon 2.5h limit - even with a lot of looking up to make sure were doing stuff right.

Both Jim & Chris are going to Cancon to play Bolt Action next month.  The lastest bulletin from the TO told us it was booked out with 40 entries.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Hail Caesar: Rome v. the Germans

Mark's Romans v. Mike's Germans

Mike's Germans are on the right, Mark's Romans on the left.  There is another Roman division in hidden deployment in the gap, but neither side made any real use out of the hidden deployment system.
The Romans have charged forward with their cavalry in the foreground.  The German right is advancing, but their centre has been delyed by a blunder.
The Roman's 2 heavy & 2 light cavalry quickly smashed the Germans 4 medium cavalry units leaving the German infantry's left flank exposed & their commander rather rattled.   The Germans left some warbands behind to cover their flank & continued to advance. 

On the far flank they charged home ignoring the Roman bowmen in the fields on their right.  The Auxilia held the charge and the Roman archers charged the Germans flank. 
The German's right flank division has broken under the flank attack. Their attack in the centre was so weakened by the need to cover their left flank that it did not break through and the Romans are counterattacking in the centre with superior numbers.  With 2 divisions broken, the other two on half strength & their camp undefended the Germans conceded the battle.

The Romans had good fortune to win the cavalry fight quickly.  The German command then seemed to become demoralised, fatalistic and unable to come up with another plan.  The German army became disorganised and their defeat inevitable.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Wars of the Roses (Hail Caesar)

Jim & Mark's Yorkists v. Chris' Lancastrians

Both sides had 700 pts in 3 divisions.  Both have camps in the rear of the village which count as a division lost in the Army Break test if taken by the enemy.
We used deployment chits with 2 dummy sets each.  Only troops visible to the enemy were put down until their chits came into view.  The Yorkists are on the far side with 2 divisions in view.  The hidden one is on their left.  The Lancastrians have most of 2 divisions out of sight.
 The Yorkists have advanced in echelon, right forward.  The Lancastrians have advanced to take up a defensive line in the vineyard & along the ridge.
The Yorkist charge right & centre put their best troops forward, but after one initial success they ran into a wall of hot dice & the attack faltered.
Mark's division on the Yorkist left seemed to be doing a Stanley & doing nothing. The centre division held their ground but were now only half strength.   Richard urged his right forward to renew the attack.
Mark at least managed to get his cavalry to charge the Lancastrian horse that had smashed through the centre, but even at 2:1 odds all he could do was push them back.  His infantry still dithered.  Richard has renewed the attack on the far right.
After much frustration, the dice gods finally relented on Richard and he suddenly got a flurry of good command dice.  A men at arms unit broke through the enemy bowmen, then next turn wheeled left and rolled up their line.  At the same time a longbow unit took the camp. 

The Yorkists had broken the Lancastrian left flank division & taken the camp while still not losing any divisions themselves.  That made the Lancastrians fail their army break test and flee.

The Lancastrians were in a winning position for much of the game, but failed to capitalise on their tactical advantage and didn't keep a close enough eye on the break test situation.   Despite many tactical setbacks (that's the last time I let the enemy have my Afrika Korps dice), the Yorkist plan to use their strongest division to smash through the Lancastrian left flank division and take the camp while neutralising the rest of the front eventually paid off.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Nick in Launceston

Flames of War -- Early War. Ben with French vs Russ with German.

The French had an armoured force. And it was stunning! Fantastic painting by Ben. The Germans also had an armoured force -- with average painting by me. The mission was cauldron, with the Germans defending.

The Germans put pioneers on the objective, and an '88' behind them, while waiting for their armour to arrive. The 88 did some damage, knocking out a platoon, but it was overwhelmed. The Pioneers were rock hard -- the French were rightly scared of them. The German tanks arrived, and a gun duel started between a platoon of Panzer III E's vs a platoon of Somuas. However, the French won the duel in style -- all of the Panzers bailed (except for one that was destroyed), and they then failed their morale and ran. At this point all the German heavy hitters were dead, and the Germans conceded.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

English Civil War in Scotland

Jim's Royalists v. Chris's Covenanters

Each army has 3 divisions.  The Covenanters are on the far side.  In the first turn they made a small advance in the centre, but failed command on their right.  The Royalists have advanced slowly except for the highlanders who have dashed forward on the left & got their line disrupted by the orchard.
The Royalist have advanced their left & centre, but didn't quite charge home.
The Covenanters charged the oncoming highlanders beside the church & broke one unit and pushed another back.  Montrose's Irish have charged in the centre and smashed a hole in the enemy line.
The highlanders are losing on the left, but slowly.  The Irish have all but broken the enemy centre.  The Scots Royalist P&S have had mixed fortunes, but hold the line right of centre.  The Scots right is advancing just enough to keep the enemy left occupied.
The Royalist horse sensed their time had come, charged and smashed through their opposition.  The rest of the Covenater's left flank division is circled by Royalist foot & are doomed.   The Highlanders are broken on the far flank, but they have tied up the Covenanter's strongest division long enough.  In the next turn the Covenanter's left broke & with it the army.

The Royalists won by tieing up the strongest Covenanter division with the highlanders while their mad Irishmen smashed the enemy centre then wheeled right to compete the victory.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Bolt Action Cancon Practice

Jim's Germans v. Chris' Soviets
1000 pts, Hold Until Relieved Scenario

The Soviets are defending a single objective in the centre of the table - the flock of sheep in the field.  They had 2 units near the objective at the start, half the rest in a first wave coming on in turn 1 and the rest in reserve coming on after turn 1.   The Germans could deploy anywhere more than 18" from the objective, or any deployed enemy.
The pic is taken part way through turn 1.  A German infantry section had rushed into the house on the left, but the Soviet guard smg section retook the house.  The Germans lost a unit, but were consoled by some losses on the Soviet Guards and the fact that they had been drawn away from the objective.
The Germans are advancing on the objective.  The Soviet Guards have come back out of the house & Soviet reserves are coming up.
The Germans advance on the right was stopped by Soviet fire (though their Panzerschreck got the SU-76).  The German mmg in the church tower did a good job spreading pins about before it was destroyed by the Soviet mortar.  In the centre, the Soviet Guards were pinned down and destroyed by the Panzergrenadiers supported by the Luchs.  An inexperienced Soviet infantry section came up & tried to attack the Panzergrenadiers, but they too were destroyed.   The Soviet infantry on the road by the objective had been weakened, & was finished off by the Luchs.  A last Soviet charge on the objective was also cut down before it got there.

The Germans won comfortably in the end.   They maintained their aim on the objective while the somewhat piecemeal Soviet counterattacks were picked off.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Maharajah Trophy Grand Final 2013

Steve's Seleucid army v. Jim's Pontic army

The Seleucids are on the left.  From their near flank: phalanx division, zoo division (elephants & chariots), mixed division & cavalry division.
The Pontic army has cavalry divisions refused on both flanks and 2 infantry divisions in the centre.
As experienced Hail Caesarians do, both sides moved cautiously at the start.  Mithradates advanced his infantry obliquely to open  a gap in the centre and moved his left flank cavalry towards the gap.
The fighting started on the far flank where the Seleucid cavalry attacked the weaker Pontic cavalry division.  In the centre the scythed chariots did a frenzied charge on a phalanx leaving the elephants behind.
The scythed chariots were seen off, but they badly wounded a phalanx.  The Seleucid cavalry has destroyed their opponents and is wheeling in on the flank.  Mithradates has made a flank guard of archers & a phalanx & has puts some cavalry in reserve to cover the flank.
The same levy medium archer unit that defeated the Carthaginian spearmen in an earlier battle in the competition has beaten off a cavalry charge with defensive fire & is still holding the flank.   The Seleucid Galatians bounced off a phalanx, but their own phalanx took out the other 2 Pontic phalanxes on that wing.  The Pontic cavalry has charged to help out in the centre.
The Seleucid phalanx division has finally got to grips with the Pontic left and has quickly gained the upper hand.  In the centre the elephants are pushing back the Pontic light troops, but their mixed division has been pushed back by the heavy cavalry.  On the far flank Seleucis has still not been able to exploit the early success of his cavalry.
Mithradates looks to be in big trouble - his left is disintegrating, he has lost 1 division while the other 3 all have heavy losses & his camp in danger.   He now throws his last reserve cavalry into the centre while launching a counterattack on the enemy cavalry with his surviving phalanx.
The Pontic left is broken, but the Seleucid division has a 7 Commander & is slow to advance on the camp.  But the Pontic counterattack is going well - the phalanx attack worked wonders, broke 2 cavalry units and broke that division.  The zoo division has been broken by the cavalry & archers and the mixed division is now under pressure.  Suddenly Mithradates is back in the battle.
The Seleucid mixed division has now broken.   The Seleucids have lost 3 of 4 divisions and it's game over.  Mithradates came back from a hopeless looking position to snatch victory with just 5 close order units remaining out of 20 & 3 of them shaken - 2 divisions broken & 2 on half strength.
A rather haggard looking Mithradates accepts the trophy from one of the umpires.

It was remarkable battle.  Both sides had the usual strokes of good and bad luck. The Seleucids got the upper hand early, but Mithradates hung on in there and stuck to his plan - which was to accept likely defeat on weaker flanks, but delay that as long as possible & to win by smashing through the centre.  It didn't go quite according to plan, the flanks folded too easily for comfort, but enough of it worked to snatch a skin-of-the-teeth win in the end. 

Monday, December 09, 2013

Monday afternoon Bolt Action Armour

Chris's Soviets v. Jim's Germans

We played a practice match for the Cancon 1250 pt armoured platoon comp.
 The village is the objective with the Societs coming on from this side, the Germans from the far side.  In the first 2 or 3 moves the Soviets got infantry into the low house between field & church & an mmg into the house on the right.  The other 2 infantry squads & the armour followed up.
The Germans got their infantry into the church & concentrated their armour behind the trees to the right of the church. 
The Soviet infantry in the low house were blasted away by German fire.  The Grenadiers rushed over the road and took the house, but the Soviet regular smg squad retook it.  Meanwhile the armour piled into the village started slogging it out.
The German mmg in the church again cleared the Soviets out of the low house, but they were replaced by the 3rd Soviet inf squad.  Then the mortars of both sides got on target & all the infantry of both sides got smashed leaving only the armour to slog it out.   The regular Germans gradually got on top and destroyed the inexperienced Soviets. 

Friday, December 06, 2013

Nick in Launceston -- Force on Force intro

Dennis taught me force on force using his beautiful 20mm moderns.

We played the intro scenario that Dennis downloaded off the web -- a US patrol must rescue a downed pilot before the Taliban get to him. Lots of Taliban, and a few US troops. I was the US, and I started off the game with a flurry of 8's (The US use D8's, the Taliban use D6's. Shots are opposed die rolls, so the US has to roll higher than the Taliban to make a hit. Obviously, 7's and 8's cannot be beaten). By the end of the first turn almost 1/4 of the Taliban were dead. From that point it was all downhill for Dennis -- even if I made a stupid move, he was so far behind the eight ball that he couldn't catch up!

The game was fun and simple. We obviously ignored some of the chrome. But I am now hooked. Yet another addiction -- just what I need!!!!!! Although I am doing force on force in 15mm, so I can reuse all of my North African WWII terrain.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Maharajah 2013 2nd Preliminary Final: Rome v. Seleucis

Mike's Marian Romans v. Steve's Seleucids

This the 2nd preliminary final with the winner to fight Jim's Pontic army in the Grand Final.
The Seleucids are on the left waiting for the Romans.  Cavalry on the near flank, phalanx right centre, mixed infantry left centre & the zoo on the far flank.   The Romans have advanced steadily with 2 legions in the centre with cavalry on the near flank and Scutari on the far flank.
The first clash was the cavalry on the near flank. 
The Roman cavalry is getting the worst of the cavalry melee, but is not broken.  The legions have charged the phalanx, but their right was overlapped & a flanking counterattack from the right is hurting them.
The cavalry fight has turned into a desultory fire fight.  The legions have fallen back a bit & repaired their line in the centre.  The Scutari are keeping the Seleucid left occupied.
The Romans are advancing to renew their attack left of centre.  There is desultory action along the rest of the line.
Steve's left flank division may not be particularly powerful, but it sure looks good.
On the far flank, the Scutari have seen off the chariots & driven the elephants back.  On this flank, the Roman cavalry drew back in the face of superior shooting, but left an opening for a cavalry unit lead by Seleucis himself to charge the Roman centre.  Attacked from both sides, that legion was broken & has been removed.  The other legion had pushed the phalanx back, but it hasn't broken.  
The Roman cavalry has been broken but a Scutari unit made it to the camp before the Seleucid cavalry could get there & gain the extra VP to finish the battle.  The Romans are reduced to the battered Scutari division on the far flank and one legion which having just failed to break the phalanx is now getting surrounded near the enemy camp.   The Scutari did make a last desperate attack & broke the elephant division, but soon after that the Scutari also broke - finally ending an epic struggle.