Friday, January 25, 2013

Nick in Launceston

Nick vs Rob, 1750 pts, Flames of War.

We had agreed to play a bulge themed game. This was great -- I got to play with my winter based Germans -- the first time in about 5 years!!!! And whats even better, I got to use my JagdTigers -- for the first time ever!!!!!

Rob had 2nd Infantry division -- with winter training, they would have been deadly in the snow. Fortunately, we agreed it was light snow -- just for visual effect.

I must say the table did look nice!!!

The scenario was breakthrough -- with the Germans attacking.  The German artillery failed to kill anything on the first turn, and immediately suffered from counter battery fire.  The rest of the Germans were off table, waiting to come on to attack the objective.

Unfortunately, the US managed to get into position to guard the objectives.  The first German reserve, some pioneers, managed to take out a US platoon.  But from then on the German troops came on into a hail of lead.  And when the JagdTigers came on, they were met with a reception:

The US 155mm artillery took out one JagdTiger, and eight bazookas attacked the other one -- it wasn't the panzer corps finest hour!!!!

Another great victory to Rob!

Next week -- Tunisia!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Maharajah 2012 Grand Final

Steve's Sassanids v. Jim's Pontic army

Both armies had 4 divisions making 700 pts (including 140 pts for command by our house rule using P&S command costs - both having 4 div commanders at 8 & a CIC at 7).  Both sides cavalry divisions were on the flanks and comprised 3 heavy cavalry + 3 horse archers, but the Sassanids were slightly stronger with 3 cataphracts with kontos & bow whereas the Pont's had no cataphracts & only 2/3 with kontos.  The Sassanid infantry comprised 2 medium & 2 heavy foot with bow & spear in 1 division and 5 light archers in the other.   The Pontic infantry divisions were both 2 imitation Romans + 4 light archers.
For those of you not familiar with the traditions of Camp Cromwell, the Maharajah Trophy pictured above has been fought over as the club championship since 1995.
 Steve is finalising his deployment - the Sassanids are on the left in all the pics.  The Sassanid heavy infantry & most of both Pontic cavalry wings are on low ridges that border the plain.
The Sassanids advanced in echelon, left forward.  The Ponts sent bowmen forward in open order all along the line & advanced their infantry as fast as command dice would allow (which wasn't very).  Their heavy cavalry was content to sit on the ridges and let the enemy come to them.
The cavalry on both flanks are sparing with each other, both generals trying to gain advantage before committing their heavy cavalry.  The Sassanid light infantry is being pushed back by one Pontic infantry division while their heavy division is holding its own against the other.
The cavalry on both flanks are still sparing with each other.  In the centre both sides have lost an infantry division and are engaged in a exchange of arrows.  One of the imitation Roman units, having pursued an archer unit to its death, is charging towards the rear of the Sassanid cavalry on the near flank, but the Pontic cavalry's attempt to pin the cavalry frontally has failed.
On the far flank, the Ponts were at first pushed back, but they rallied and fought back.  The Sassanid heavy infantry are verging on breaking under the hail of arrows though they have managed to beat off a flank attack by Pontic cavalry.  On the near flank, the imitation Roman's intervention has given the Ponts an advantage.
Mithradites considers his options .
Both sides have lost 1 division and have all 3 remaining ones on the verge of breaking as each side takes turns to gain and lose the advantage
On the far flank, the Sassanid cavalry have broken.  On the near flank, the Pontic cavalry have broken.  In the centre, the 2 opposing infantry units just can't land a killer blow on each other.  Both sides are reduced to 2 divisions, all on the verge of breaking.  Two old stagers have slugged each other to a standstill in an epic contest worthy of a Grand Final.

As the battle stood, getting a result would hinge on who was the first to throw a bad morale roll.  Neither player, nor the umpire thought it appropriate for the trophy to be determined virtually by a dice roll, and we decided that as both sides had lost 2 out of 4 divisions & none of the remaining divisions was in good shape, a draw was the appropriate result.   The Grand Final will be re-fought in three weeks time.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Introducing John M to Hail Caesar

John's Carthaginians v. Jim's Gauls

The Gauls had 2 infantry divisions both 4 warbands with a cavalry division on their left of 2 medium & 2 light cavalry.  The Carthos had elephants & spearmen on their elft, Scutari in the centre & cavalry on their right facing the Gallic cavalry.

We used the rules as writ to keep it simple for John.  John soon found out why we've fiddled with the command rules as his army lumbered forward without the cavalry.  The Gauls sat back & waited for the enemy to come within charge range before charging themselves.

On their left the outnumbered Gallic cavalry tried to strike first & redress the balance, but they lucked out and the Punic counterattack soon broke the division.

On their right the Gallic foot pushed the elephants & spearmen back but they refused to break and the Gauls, as they do, ran out of steam.

In the centre the Gauls charged the Scutari pushing them back, but not breaking them either.

The victorious Punic horse wheeled left, rode down the Gallic infantry's flank guard and smashed into the flank of the division breaking it and winning the battle.
The pic is taken from behind the Punic right at the end.  The Gallic centre has been broken by the cavalry charge into their flank.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Nick in Launceston

Its been a while since I played a game in Launceston.  Real life has not been too pleasant for the last few months, and I haven't been wargaming.  But the job situation looks better, my grandmothers funeral is over, and, all in al, it was time for a game!!!!

Flames of War -- 1500 pts. -- Nick (Soviet Udarny) vs Rob (SS Panzer).

The battle was a free for all. 

I had:

13x Udarny Infantry, 5x Sappers, 4x AT rifles, 2x Flamethrowers
9x Udarny, 2x Flamethrowers
3x Scouts
4x ISU 122 platoon with tank riders.

Rob had

3x Panther
6x Panzer IV
4x Stug
2x 8-rad armoured car.

The battle was an epic.  With forest for cover, the large Udarny powered down one flank, taking out 6x Panzer IV and 2x Panther.  The ISU 122 took out the other Panther, and 2x Stugs.  All was set for a glorious victory:

There was one minor issue -- the German 8-rads got into the Soviet rear.  My holding force of AT rifles and a sapper stand left behind to hold the objective died horrible deaths.  And Rob got a well earned victory!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hail Caesar: Rome v. Sassanids

Maharajah Trophy match : Steve's Sassanids v. Mark's Romans

Steve used the same army that defeated Jim, Mark the same army that defeated Mike in the previous round - both 700pts in 4 divisions.
The Romans are on the right. They have their cavalry on ther left, veteran legion in the centre, 2nd legion on the right and heavy auxilia behind the vets in the centre.  The Sassanids have cavalry on both flanks, heavy inf left of centre, light archers right of centre.
The Roman foot advanced in Testudo but their cavalry refused to advance.  The Sassanids advanced into bow range and stood shooting.
The failure of the Roman horse to advance left the vet legion's flank exposed.  The Sassanid cavalry attacked & broke the cohort on the flank.
The Roman horse finally got going and attacked the Sassanid horse.  In the centre the Sassanid foot has counterattacked the weakened veteran legion.  On the far flank the Roman foot is falling back before the Sassanid cataphracts which keep failing to charge home, while their bowfire has little effect on the testudos.
The veteran legion has been broken but the auxilia still hold the centre.  The cavalry fight in the near flank is ebbing and flowing.
The Roman cavalry is verging on breaking.  The Auxilia is hammering the light archers opposite their left while the rest of the division is under hail of bow fire.  On the far flank the Sassanid cavalry still hasn't got to grips with the legion.
The Roman cavalry was reduced to just 2 light horse, both shaken, but they fell back, one was rallied and the division held on.  But an auxilia unit wheeled left and broke a cataphract unit with javelin fire and it was the Sassanid cavalry that broke even though ti won the cavalry fight  The auxilia also broke the light archers - keeping the Romans in the game.  But eventually the large Sassanid cavalry division on the far flank charged home and though it died hard, the legion was broken.  This left only the auxilia and a bit of light cavalry - mostly shaken or close to it facing the two strongest Sassanid divisions.
The battle line revolved as the cataphracts slowly wheeled onto the flank of the auxilia which was mostly pinned down by bow fire. The Romans conceded.

We decided this battle showed that the divisional break test needs altering.  The rule in the book is: a division breaks if more than half its units are broken, or all the remaining units are shaken - but the test is taken at the end of the command phase allowing divisions with all surviving units shaken to survive if they are lucky.  We have found that this can allow armies that look beaten get lucky and hang on through an extended end game as the winning army can't quite nail them. This battle was an extreme example of this as Mark continually kept in the game by rallying shaken units just in time.  We decided to make the house rule that the division break test is taken at the end of the turn (as it is in Pike & Shotte).  

This result means that the Maharajah Trophy Grand Final will be between Steve's Sassanids & Jim's Pontic army next Tuesday.  Steve won the round robin match, but Mithridates was notorious for keeping coming back.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pike Shotte: New Model v. Covernanters

Jim's new Model v. Mike's Covernanters

Both sides had 2 cavalry & 2 infantry divs.  The New Model's cavalry was better quality, the Scots had more infantry & artillery.
The New Model is on the left with cavalry on each wing.  The Scots put all their cavalry on the far flank.
 The Scots made a steady general advance.  The New Model supported their left flank cavalry with artillery & foot.  The rest of their foot advanced towards the village.  On the near flank, their dragoons advanced in open order while the horse formed column and moved right.
On the far flank the Scots horse are charging.  In the centre both sides are deploying in their half of the village.  On the near flank, the New Model cavalry turned around and moved back to the left - the move to the right was a feint.
One of the Scots cavalry divisions was broken when it failed to charge home on the guns  & was counterattacked by New Model horse.  But the other Scots horse division struck back, they charged the guns in flank and broke the New Model horse as well.  On the near flank the Scots foot is advancing while the New Model dragoons try to delay them.
On the far flank the surviving Scots horse are retreating rather than face the fresh cavalry from the other flank.  On the near flank the Scots infantry is slowly advancing.  In the centre, the New Models had formed a L shaped defensive line with the angle protected by the village.
The large Scots division on their left is slowly manoeuvering  onto the river line under fire from the New they bring reinforcements across from the left.  The Scots have tried attacking across the bridge, but were easily beaten back by shotte in the buildings.
The Scots have finally deployed on the river line but hesitate to cross as New Model reinforcements come up.
If the Scots had a chance to break the New Model's right, they missed it.  Their line is gradually been whittled away by the New Model musketeers firing from cover.
The Scots see they are losing the fight and pull back.  The New Model follow up.
The Scots slip away, just 1 unit shy of being broken.  The New Model stop at the river, not wanting to expose their flank to artillery fire, so a draw is agreed to.

Once the fight in the open on the far flank turned into a draw the terrain made a decisive result difficult to achieve with neither side prepared to take the risk of  an all out attack & the Scots prudent enough to get out of losing fights in time.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Mithridates Strikes back

Maharajah 2012 battle:  Jim's Pontic army v. Mike's Romans

The Romans fielded 2 infantry divisions of 4 legionaries, 2 Scutari & 2 skirmishers plus a cavalry division of 4 medium cav (deployed on their right).  The Pontic army had 2 infantry divisions of 2 phalanx, 2 Thorakatai & 2 skirmisher bows plus 2 cavalry divisions, one of 2 Sarmartans plus 2 horse archers on their left, the other of 3 Pontic cav plus 3 horse archers on their right.
The Romans are on the right in the pics.
The Ponts sent their archers foot and horse forward and made a slow advance on their left.  The Romans made a general advance with the flanks forward.
 Having got their horse archers out on the Roman right  flank, the Ponts attacked in echelon left forward.  The Roman horse couldn't handle the combination of horse archers & heavy cavalry with knotos and were soon in big trouble.  The Roman legion in the centre charged forward while the one on their left was delayed by bow fire.  The Romans cleared the Pontic skirmishers in the centre.
The Pontic horse on the far flank have broken the Roman horse and are working around the flank of the Roman foot.   One phalanx was broken by the legionaries and another fell back, but with the other legion bogged down by the horse the Pontic centre was able to reform.
The left flank phalanx supported by cavalry broke their opponents and pushed on against the scutari the Pontic cavalry charged their flank guard front and flank.The Roman right collapsed as the cavalry made sweeping advances down the line.  The centre legion broke giving Mithridates victory.

Jim's Pontic army will meet the winner of Steve's Sassanids v. Mark's Romans in the Grand Final.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Maharajah 2012...Hail Caesar

Jim's Pontic Army v. Steve's Sassanids

In the Maharajah Trophy Comp the players are allowed to change their armies between rounds.  Jim chose to reduce his infantry to 1 large division and boost his 2 cavalry divisions.  His plan was to keep the Sassanid centre busy while he crushed their wing.  Unfortunately for the plan, Steve discarded his elephant division and put the points into more cavalry giving both sides cavalry wings of similar strength.
The Ponts are on the left in the pics.  Both sides have cavalry on each wing.  The Pontic infantry is one big division, the Sassanids have 2 infantry divisions - 1 of light archers in front of 1 of a mix of heavy & medium infantry on the ridge behind.
Both sides started in a cautious vein.  In the cnetre the Sassanids pushed their light infantry forward while their heavies sat on the ridge.  The Ponts also pushed their skirmishers forward followed up with the Thorakatai.  They discovered the down side of big divisions when the Phalanx kept failing to get orders to go forward.  On the far flank the Sassanid horse archers got the better of the Pontic javelin armed light horse as the heavies advanced slowly.  On the near flank both sides plans were compromised by bad command dice.
On the far flank the Pontic heavy cavalry has charged.  The Sassanid cat's advantage of kontos pretty well negated by the Pontic cavalry having more support.  The Ponts were content when the first round of the fight was a tie all along the line, hoping to do even better on the next round when the kontos no longer gave advantage.  In the centre the Sassanid bows have wrecked the Pontic skirmish line, but the Thorakatai are within striking distance.  On the near flank the Pontic cavalry has refused to charge.
 On the far flank the second round of the cavalry fight was a disaster for the Ponts.  They broke from all 3 combats and having lost a light cav to horse archers earlier, the division was broken.  In the centre the Thorakatai refused to charge the bowmen, perversely preferring to stand and be shot at. On the near flank the Pontic cavalry finally got a good command dice and charged.  They had 3 heavy and 3 light cav v. 2 of each, but alas Mithridates must have trod on a goat this morning.  The horse archer's fire & flee disordered and stopped the right hand heavy cav keeping 1 heavy 2 light cav out of the action and evening up the fight.  The dice did the rest.  One Pontic heavy cav broke the other fell back.
Next turn the Sassanid cavalry exploited their advantage getting a flank attack on the unit stopped by the horse archers.  The turn after they finished off the division.  With 2 of 3 divisions broken the Pontic army was broken.

This result means that all four Maharajah finalists now have 1 win and 1 loss in the round robin.  The next round will be Jim's Ponts v. Mike's Romans and Steve's Sassanids v Mark's Romans.  The two winners will fight off in a grand final.

In response to request: More close ups of some of Steve's Gripping Beast Sassanids.

Edit By Nick

A close up of one of the Sassanids that beat Jim.  Jim will always bear the ignomy of being beaten by an army wearing funny hats.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Maharajah 2012...Hail Caesar

Our club comp for 2012 has run on into 2013 due to various disruptions.  We are now fighting a round robin using Hail Caesar between Mark, Steve, Mike & Jim.  Tonight's battle pitted the Emperor Mikus Nashius v. the revolting Markus Oaktavius.  Jim & Steve umpired.
The Emperor is on the left with 2 infantry divisions a cavalry division on the far flank.  The rebels are on the right with 3 infantry divisions & a cavalry division also on the far flank.  The emperor's infantry divs have 4 legionary units, 2 scutari & 2 skirmisher, his cavalry 4 Gallic medium cav.  The legionaries on the right are vets.  The rebels have 2 heavy cav 2 light cav units in their cavalry div while their infnatry divs all have 4 heavy inf & 2 skirmishers.  The heavy infnatry on the left is auxilary, in the centre vanilla legionaries, on the right Dacian vets.
 Both sides tried to advance in echelon right first.  The rebels did it perfectly while the emperor's right blundered about & dropped behind.
The fight started with the cavalry and mixed fortunes, both sides winning and losing a fight, while the rebel vets broke through the left flank of the Emperor's infantry.
The rebel vets are trying to manoeuvre onto the flank of the Emperor's infantry but they are pressing forward regardless.  The Emperor's vets are still trying to close with the auxilia on the hill.  Both side's cavalry are regrouping.
The Emperor's centre division has been broken, but his vets have finally got to grips with the auxilia which are crumbling fast.
The Emperor's vets are mopping up while the victorious rebel divisions and both side's cavalry are still reorganising.
The Emperor's cavalry having first fallen back have turned right and have charged through the end of the Rebel line.
Both sides work to get their battle lines back into shape at right angles to the original line.
The battle ended when the Emperor threw his last unshaken cavalry unit against the unit at the end of the rebel infantry line.  If they had won, the rebel vets would have broken giving him a chance of winning, but the gamble failed, it was the cavalry that broke, with it the cavalry division broke and thus the Emperor's army.

Maharajah 2012 scores:
Jim's Pontic army: 1 win, 0 losses
Steve's Sassanids: 1 loss, 0 wins
Mike & Mark's Romans: Both 1 win, 1 loss

Next match:  Steve's Sassanids v. Jim's Pontic army this Thursday night.