Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cromwell invades Scotland again

English Republic:  Mark, Renfrey & Jim
Scots Covernanters: Mike, Chris & Steve.

Both sides have 2 cavalry divisions & 1 infantry division.   The English cavalry is stronger with 2 cuirassiers, 3 heavy cavalry & 3 medium cavalry to the Scots 8 medium cavalry (2 of which are lancers).  The Scots infantry division has 3 pike, 6 shotte & 2 medium guns to the English 2 pike & 6 shotte.
The Scots are on the left and have put both cavalry divisions on their right.  The English have cavalry on each flank.
 The Scots ponder on their first moves.
Mark moves his infantry forward, but also shifts it to the left to support Jim's outnumbered cavalry on that flank.
Mark's foot have advanced on the Scot's centre.  Renfrey's cavalry on the far flank is supporting their right flank at a safe distance.  Part of the Scot's cavalry tried a flank attack on the left of the English foot, but they safely formed hedgehog.  Jim's cavalry has deployed to face Steve's Scottish cavalry.
 On the near flank the heavier English cavalry has gained the upper hand over their lighter enemies.  On the far flank Renfrey's cavalry has charged Mike's Scots foot with mixed results.   In the centre, Chris' Scots foot has counterattacked and has got the upper hand.
On the far flank Renfrey's cavalry is reduced to caracole in front of hedgehogs.  Mark's centre is almost destroyed, but his big division has not broken.   On the near flank Jim's cavalry with infantry support has broken both the Scots cavalry divisions.   With 2 out of 3 divisions broken, the Scots army breaks.
The English commanders seem indecently pleased with themselves.  Perhaps beating up on the Scots is welcome consolation for losing so comprehensively at cricket.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hail Caesar in Canberra

Jim's Gauls v. Steve Daniels & Greg Blake's Romans

On my last night in Canberra I fought a Hail Caesar battle at Steve Daniel's place.  My little bushwalking camera didn't take very good pics in low light I'm afraid.  I should have used my Ipad, but you can see what's happening.
The Romans (on the left) deployed 3 legions with their cavalry in reserve behind.   The Gauls deployed 3 divisions of warbands with their chariots & cavalry on their left.
The Romans got the right command dice to charge the Gauls first to give them the advantage of the charge bonus right along the line.   The Gauls weren't too unhappy about that, they had superior cavalry which they expected to win when it reached the Roman horse and they had the opportunity to swamp the far end of the Roman line.  Unfortunately, bad command dice prevented their second line coming up to do that job, even though their CIC was there fro re-rolls. 
The Gallic centre is predicably being worn down.  Their cavalry & chariots have failed to capitalise on their superior strength & are now holding on rather than charging the legions in rear as planned.  And ont eh far flank, the second wave still refuses to advance.
The Gallic centre has disintegrated & the legions are wheeling on the Gallic right, which still has hardly moved.  The Gallic horse breaks right after this pic was taken to complete the rout of the Gauls.

It's always interesting to play new opponents & see how they do stuff.   The Canberra blokes use a standard unit width of 120-150mm - smaller than we use for ancients, but close to what we use in later periods.    They do less Hail Caesar than us & have developed fewer house rules.  But it showed that the house rules & base widths really make little difference to the big picture.

Cancon 2014

With only 6 Bolt Action games to play and only some going the full 2.5 hours, Chris & I had plenty of time to check out the rest of Cancon.  It really is quite something - so many nerds filling such a vast space - this time in mercifully pleasant temperatures.    There were many fantasy fans & their girlfriends dressed up in weird & sometimes very cute costumes as well as rows upon rows of tables with people playing all kinds of games, including BA, FOW, FOG, DBM, Renaissance, Napolonics and more. 
 This is just one of 2 large halls with lots of small venues in between.
 A WWI demo game (not a good photo I'm afraid - primitive cameras in 1915).
 A Black Powder 18th century demo game.
 Some 1/16th scale radio controlled tanks being driven about.
Shopping !  I got some good stuff, including Winged Hussars, Agema Velites, a Puma, 2 Opel Trucks, lots of orchard style trees & some nice new dice.
There were also demo games of Bolt Action as well as the tournament.  On day 2 they had Pegusus Bridge set up.
There was a spectacular Musket & Tomahawks demo every day - each day a new table & an even bigger action. 

The above are just a sample of the demo battles - all trying to outdo each other.  There was also a big 2nd hand buy & sell area.  But we didn't find it until day 2 & if there was anything we wanted, it was gone by then.

Camp Cromwell does Bolt Action at Cancon 2014

Camp Cromwell's expedition to Cancon 2014 comprised Chris & Jim, both playing Bolt Action.

Bolt Action 1000 pts Competition
The main event was 1000 pts standard reinforced platoons - 5 rounds over 2 days.  The comp was fully booked up with 40 players and 20 tables.  The players spanned a broad demographic from spotty to grizzled.  They seemed to mainly comprise fantasy players trying something historical for a change, or jaded FOW players.  They were a jovial bunch - all our games were played in great spirit with never a cross word.   The armies included all sorts, including Polish cavalry & French Colonials - clearly picked for looks rather than success.  The standard of modelling was generally excellent (Chris & I didn't even bother putting our armies on the judging table). 
The terrain too was generally excellent - the odd planish table, but most were a joy to play on.  The TO, Blair Oakley, did a great job. 
We both drew a good mix of enemy armies & we both did ok - finishing around the middle of the pack.  Our style of play & type of army was really little different to the others.  The mainlanders do tend to get more into fringe stuff like snipers, flamethrowers, medics & air power than we do.  The main difference is that they had a more WYSIWYG attitude to terrain than us.  Being able to see through any amount of woods with just a -1 to hit, & being able to see over hills, just doesn't feel right for us Tasmanians.

Jim's Panzergrenadiers 23rd place:
R1: Polish cavalry:  Win.
R2: Australians: Loss (this bloke came 2nd).
R3: Japanese: Draw.
R4: US: Win.
R5: British: Loss (this bloke came 3rd).

Chris's Soviets 28th place:
R1: Germans: Loss.
R2: French: Loss.
R3: Italians: Loss.
R4: Japanese: Win.
R5: US: Win.

Armies present from 12 nations: British, Australian, Japanese, Soviet, French, German, Scots, Chinese, US, Italian, Vichy & Polish.  British & Commonwealth armies were the most successful taking the first 3 places with a Japanese army 4th, Russians, 5th, French 6th & the best German 7th.

Prizes were given out in a democratic way.  There were 40 prizes on the table ranging from some big boxes down to blister packs.  Best general got 1st pick, then best army, then 2nd & 3rd generals, then I think each in turn from the last up got a pick.  I scored a big spray tin of  Dunkelgelb primer.
The TO in the orange vest and a fine body of Bolt Action players at the prize giving.

2 x 1250 pts Armoured
On day 3 we did some just-for-fun armoured action with players in pairs each with 1250 pts armoured platoons on 12'x4' double tables played lengthwise.   My motley collection of Stug, Marder, Hetzer, Luchs & 2 squads of panzer grenadiers with lots of fausts was paired with a young lad with MkIVs against British and Polish platoons.  Only a few players stayed on for this and we only did one round as everyone was pretty-well battled out, but it was good fun and well worth doing.  It was really an experimental battle as the armoured platoon supplement book hasn't come out yet.  Again there was a prize for everyone, most tanks killed got 1st pick, then by dice off. I had killed a Cromwell for no tanks lost & scored the German Allies supplement book.  My only regret was that I never got to fire even one of my 8 panzerfausts - the British artillery wiped out one of my panzergrenadier squads in the approach & the other found out the hard way what happens when Gukhas charge home.

Nick in Launceston (Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory)

Nick vs Rob, Dogs of War Practice.

Ok this will be brief. Rob had Soviets from Desperate measures. Included were IS-2's, SU-85M's, two infantry companies, and planes. I had a Stug Batterie with pioneers and hornises and AA and recon (with panzerfausts)

By the end of turn 3, Rob had lost both his infantry and his company commander. His SU-85M's were in a wood, with one bailed and one bogged. Right in front of them was the recon element with Panzerfausts, ready to assault. And the Hornises were shooting at the SU-85M's at long range. The next turn should have been destruction. Instead:
- the recon troops failed tank terror.
- the Hornisses missed
- the Russian aircraft came on, and the AA missed, resulting in death for a Hornisse.
- the recon troops were blown away by main guns (remember, SU-85Ms have no machine guns)
- the Hornisses missed again. All of the Stug's moved into range.
- the SU-85M's remounted and one moved to shoot the Hornisses at long range, which succeeded. The others blew away the Stug's
- the last Hornisse missed again
- the SU-85Ms destroyed the last Stugs and the last Hornisse

On other tables there was another practice game, and a great looking Force on Force game.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Hail Cromwell: English v. Scots

Steve & Renfrey's English v. Mike & Mark's Scots

Both sides had 2 infantry divisions of 4 shotte & 2 pike & 2 cavalry divisions of 4.  The English cavalry was heavy, the Scots cavalry was medium, with 2 lancers.  The Scots also had 2 medium guns.  Jim umpired.  The Scots are on the left in the pics.
The English have advanced on both flanks.  The Scots are holding their horse back on the ridge on the far flank & slowly advancing to meet the English elsewhere.

The first combats are hidden by Mike's arm.  The English horse swept the left of the Scots cavalry away, but lost their own left where the Scots had some shotte support from the farm.
On the far flank the cavalry of both sides have regrouped with the Scots falling back.  On the near flank the infantry are engaged in a long range firefight.  The Scots are moving their right flank cavalry to the left.  The English are advancing in the centre.
In the centre the English horse charged the guns and the flank of the Scots horse.  Their infantry attacked in support on each side, but their horse on the far flank refused to advance.
The left of the English cavalry rode down the guns and joined their comrade's attack on the Scots horse in their sweeping advance.  The first line of Scots horse broke, but somehow the second line held their ground and the English bounced back.  The English infantry attacks were also beaten off.
All the players have retreated to the right side of the table to escape Mark's emissions.  Renfrey's infantry is advancing on the near flank.  The 2 Scots cavalry divisions, both on half strength are taking advantage of the English flanking cavalry's slowness to counterattack the English cavalry in the centre.
With English cavalry on the flank failing to assist, the English cavalry in the centre has been broken. Mike's infantry is attacking out of the farm putting big pressure on Steve's foot.  Mark is giving ground as Renfrey's foot advances in the foreground.
Mike's infantry pressure backed up by a cavalry charge has broken the English infantry division on the right.  That's 2 out of 4 divisions broken before the enemy has lost any, so it's game over and a Scots victory.

The English looked like they should have won this one.   Their cavalry charge in the centre was only stopped by some pretty remarkable dice throwing by Mark.  Their right flank cavalry should have swept down on the centre and cleaned up the Scots cavalry, but bad command dice kept it out of the action until the Scots won elsewhere. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Friday, January 17, 2014


Shane wanted to try Lasalle, so I put together French vs Austrians.  The Austrians had an 'Avante Guard' Division, with support from an Infantry Brigade and a Cavalry Brigade.  The French had a Veteran Infantry Division, with support from a Cuirassiers Brigade (in reserve), and an Elite Light Infantry Brigade.

The game was a learning exercise.  The Austrians attacked.  Shane had a pretty sensible deployment, but suddenly learnt the hard way that a combined infantry / artillery / cavalry attack can be hard to stop with just infantry -- if you form square the artillery blows you away, and if you stay in line the cavalry charge in!  Shane was being beaten on both flanks until his Cuirassier reserves appeared.  The Cuirassiers were destroying the Austrian cavalry on one flank, but alas the other French flank crumbled, and Shane's army failed a morale test.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Leopard Tank

I went fishing up at the mouth of the Tamar river, and as I was driving back suddenly noticed a tank parked at the side of the road!!!! Turns out little old Beaconsfield has a Leopard Tank in the war memorial!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Deepest Darkest Somalia -- Nick & Cameron

Cameron hosted a game at his place using his Force on Force set up. 15mm figures, with a nice backdrop board, and with fantastic home made houses.

Nick had a small patrol of US forces racing to rescue a pair of civilian contractors who had become trapped.

Cameron had a small group of insurgents -- but got reinforcements each turn at a random location.

Nick charged up the road, and mowed down some insurgents. But then an angry mob of civilians moved in the way, hindering progress.

A guy with an RPG appeared, and was promptly dispatched.

Some insurgents got into a building at the end of the road. Nick got to the trapped civilians and started to retreat.

The insurgents at the end of the road shot, and manged to wound one US trooper.

The US kept retreating, but slower with a wounded man to carry. Suddenly an RPG shot exploded in the group, knocking down 3 more US soldiers.

The US kept retreating, but were really slow now -- every able man was pulling a wounded man. More insurgents appeared. With no suppressing fire, the insurgents managed to wound a few more US infantry. Finally, only Corporal Nick was left standing. He died gloriously in a hail of gunfire from three directions!

The game was great fun! I especially liked the casualty and other character figures that Cameron had painted up.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Hail Caesar: Rome v. Britons

Joe's Romans v. Jim's Britons

Joe Dexter is in Hobart to visit the rellies & came round for a game bringing his mate Adam Purdy.  The Romans had a legionary division, a medium cavalry division & a light cavalry division.  The Britons had 2 warband divisions & a chariot/light cavalry divison.
Joe has his medium cavalry on the right facing the Briton horse which has advanced in open order to skirmish.  On his left, his light cavalry has formed open order and advanced to pepper the advancing warbands with javelins.  The Briton warbands are trying to charge the Romans, but their command dice are not cooperating.
On both flanks the skirmishing cavalry is evading the advancing close order enemy.  In the centre the warbnds fail to charge home.
The legion charged the warbands in the centre and quickly destroys the centre division.  The Briton's right hand division fared a little better, with a tie & a fall back.
With their centre broken, the Britons have attacked on both flanks to try to get out of jail.  The large legion division is wheeling ponderously to attack the remaining warbands.
The counterattack by the Briton chariots and cavalry has succeeded in breaking the Roman horse on the far flank & their chariots are trying to move to help the right.  But their right is reduced to half strength & is in big trouble. 
The Roman light horse form close order and smash into the flank of the warband to finish the battle.
The warbands failing to charge home allowing the Romans to get the first charge in on the warbands was critical when followed up with some good combat results.  The Briton commander might also have given the inexperienced Romans a bit too much tuition for his own good.