Friday, May 30, 2014

Panzer Brigade 111

Nick vs Rob in Launceston.  1750 points, Flames of War.

Since my Banzer Brigade 106 force was destroyed totally last week, I have decide this time the force had to come from Panzer Brigade 111.  There were 4 panzer brigades, and when I lose my 4th battle I suppose I have to burn the figures (or maybe not).

Anyway, this time the Panthers were attacking a horde of Chaffees in a pincer -- just what the Chaffees needed to get behind the Panther's flank armour and destroy them.  I realised I had to win by turn 3 or I was toast.  I managed to pull it off, but only because Rob made the mistake of circling around behind my Panthers with his CinC and 2iC, and then rolling 1's to hit!  Even then I lost one platoon of infantry to a chaffee ambush and my platoon of jagdpanzer IV/L70s to bazookas and side shots from his 2iC.  If Rob had had his CinC still alive my assault onto his armoured rifles would have failed as he could have rerolled morale before losing his armoured rifles on a morale check, or rolled for company morale and stayed to fight another turn. As it was, a 4:3 for me. The Panzer Brigade forces are so, so, so fragile!!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Napoleonics 28mm

Jim's British v. Steve & Mark's French

Mike set up the scenario and provided the troops.   The Brits had a small force with 2 wagons on the road with some guns and infantry defending a bridge at their end of the table.   The Brits had to get the wagons & as much of their army as they could over the bridge.   The French with a much larger force had to capture the wagons & destroy as many English units as they could.

We used our Hail Frederick rules - Hail Caesar modified for the Black Powder period in 28mm.
The British light cavalry have deployed to cover the tail of the column on the road. Infantry & guns guard the bridge.  French Cuirassiers & infantry are behind them.  More French cavalry have come on the left side.  
More French have come on the far end but poor command dice has slowed their advance.  The front British infantry division has deployed in front of the road to cover the baggage train.  
The British flank guard has formed square while the baggage has almost reached the bridge.  The British hussars fall back slowly before a slow French advance.   The French Cuirassiers & 2nd infantry division are trying to go down the right side of the farm, but are still throwing poor command dice.   The British artillery has broken one of the French cavalry units.
The French are forming up to attack, but the baggage is almost over the bridge.
The British hussars have broken under the fire of the French infantry.  Their flank guard has begun to fall back. 
The square of riflemen somehow hold on as the British infantry fall back.
The British rear guard is about to break & the battle is over.

The Brits got their baggage away and had an infantry & a cavalry division broken.  2 cavalry units and 1 infantry units were cut off from retreat over the bridge and were destroyed.  2 infantry units broke, but could escape over the bridge.  The French had 1 cavalry unit broken. 

The Brits probably did the best they could in the situation while the French were hampered by bad command dice early on - which made it very difficult for them to cut off the wagons.  We used command ratings of 8 for both sides, but thought afterwards that 9 would have been more appropriate for French & British.  This would have helped the French more than the British in this scenario.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Panzer Brigade 106

Nick vs Rob, Flames of War, 1750 points.

Nick (Panzer Brigade 106) with 11 Panthers and 3 Jagdpanzer IV/L70. Rob with 7th Armoured Division with M4A3 Shermans, some armoured rifles, and some mortars and recon troops.

Historically, Panzer Brigade 106 was effectively destroyed in one day. Its initial attack on an American force with 40 Panther tanks slipped between two US formations, and attacked the division HQ. The division HQ held firm while the other formations surrounded Panzer Brigade 106. Of the 40 Panther tanks that went in, 3 came out.

I managed to recreate history very well with my first run of Panzer Brigade 106 -- just 3 Panthers remained when my force morale broke! I blame the fact that I hadn't had enough time to apply the turret marking decals!!!


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

It's still a long way to Brigadoon

With Mark & Steve otherwise occupied tonight & Chris in Switzerland, Mike & I took the easy path & reprised the scenario I fought against Nick last Thursday.  Miek chose to be the English witht eh task of getting their baggage across the table in the face of the Scots hiding in the scrub.
The Scots have just sprung their ambushes with all their forces jumping out of cover as soon as the English cavalry got close enough to someone to force the Scots to expose themselves.  The English cavalry advance guard began deploying into battle formation on moving to within 12" of the Scots cavalry in the hedged field.
The English get a bit of a break when the Scots cavalry fail command and don't advance.   Their dragoons dive into the central wood and start a galling fire on the pikemen.  Their cavalry turn on the Scots musketeers with mixed success.  Their large infantry division is getting sorted out under pressure.
The Scots on the far flank have driven through the English shot and reached the road.  English pike & shot have in turn broken through near the far wood.  On this flank one warband has been ridden down by cavalry, butt he other is hammering the head of the English infantry column.   The Scots cavalry are still slow to advance.
The Scots regroup on the near flank and put pressure on all along the line.  The Scots on the road hang on, even beating off a rear attack by musketeers.  The wagon train is the next unit in the column and it cannot come on until the road is clear. 
The English hang on along the table edge under intense pressure, still frustrated by the stubborn Scots on the road.
The Scots on the road have finally broken, but musketeers have come up to take over & the Scots cavalry ahs been switched to the right  to isolate the English left.
A Scots cavalry charge on the English musketeers finally broke the English army.

The fortunes of war swung wildly in this battle, at times looking good for one side, then the other.  The heroics of the Scots warband to block the road was critical as it held up the English reinforcements,  The English had another infantry division unable to reach the field because the wagons were in the way.  By the time the way was clear the Scots cavalry was in a position to destroy the wagons & the battle would be lost anyway.  For a long time it looked all over with the English one bad dice roll from an Army Break Test, but they just kept on hanging on taking the Scots to the brink of breaking themselves before their cavalry could finish the battle.

While the Scots have won both times we have fought this scenario, it's far from unbalanced.  Each time it took some good decisions & a bit of luck to win.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

It's a long way to Brigadoon

This scenario is based on the It's a Long Way to Killarney scenario in Pike & Shotte.  Not having suitable 16th century troops I moved the action on about 80 years to Scotland & the Civil War.

Nick's English:
Cavalry division: 2 heavy cavalry, 1 dragoon.
1st Infantry division: 2 pike & 4 shotte.
2nd Infantry division: 3 pike & 6 shotte.
Baggage train: Two wagons each with a musketeer guard.
The English enter the table in road column at the north end.

Jim's Scots:
Cavalry division:  3 medium lancer, 1 dragoon.
1st Highlander: 2 warbands, 2 musketeer.
2nd Highlander: 2 warbands, 2 musketeer.
Lowland division: 2 pike & 4 shotte.
the Scots start in hidden deployment.  The 9 woods & enclosures are marked A-J.  The Scots have 9 counters A-J & place the appropriate one face down next to each division on the storage tray to show where it is deployed.  To be put down when moved, or if the enemy move within 12"

Victory conditions:
English: Enter from the north end and get the baggage train off the south edge,
Scots: Pillage the baggage.
 The English advance guard is scouting ahead.  the Scots are all still hidden.
Scots are popping out of the woods & shooting up the English horse.
The Scots Lowlanders advance to engage the enemy centre in firefight bringing 4 shott units to bear on two.   The Scots cavalry pop out of the wood on the far side.  The Scots in the foreground are having command problems.  The English cavalry have withdrawn.
The Scots in the foreground have finally got moving.  The English centre is crumbling.  More Highlanders a have popped up on the far flank & the Scots cavalry have moved towards the centre to make room leaving their dragoons in the wood.  The English are desperately trying to deploy in limited space.
The 1st English Infantry division has broken in the centre.  Their cavalry tried to counterattack, but bounced off the highlanders. 

The English cavalry have been driven off, a counterattack by 1 pike & 2 shotte of the 2nd division has been stopped & the highlanders & scots cavalry have over-run the baggage train.

The Scots got on top early by being aggressive & the English never really got to use their extra numbers efficiently.  

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Dreadnoughts - the battle cruisers before Jutland

Jim: Lion. Princess Royal, Tiger & new Zealand.
Mike: Princess Mary, Inflexible, Invincible, Indominable.

Mark: Defflinger, Lutzow, Seydlitz.
Steve: Moltke, von der Tann

Both fleets came on the table in two columns but immediately manoeuvred to form single columns on not quite converging courses.  The Lion at the head of the British line took fire from all the german ships, but at extreme range and wasn't hit.  The British squadron spread their fire out engaging every German ship as they came into range.  The Lion was the only ship to get on target getting in some heavy blows on von der Tann.
The fleets circled around each other, the Brits spreading their fire, the Germans concentrating on Mike's weaker British squadron.  The Derfflinger & von der Tann took hits as did Invincible & Indominable.
The Germans are now in the foreground.  Mike's squadron is in some disarray as he breaks off with his weaker ships keeping only Queen Mary in the line.  The Germans try in vain to finish off the older British ships while the Lion continues to hit the von der Tann.
In the right foreground, the von der Tann is on the verge of going down.  Slowed to 1 hex movement she lays smoke.  In the centre the Sydlitz has become isolated in her duel with Princess Mary.  In the rear, Mike's weaker ships are sneaking away while getting the odd kick into the Derflinger.
The Seydlitz hurt the Princess Mary, but with the entire British fleet firing back at her the Seydlitz went down first.  The 1st British squadron haven't suffered any damage at all.  The 2nd squadron is hurt, but still afloat.  The Germans have lost the Sydlitz, the von der Tann is a wreck that cannot outrun the pursuers & the Derflinger is very badly damaged.  The Germans break off and run for home with the 3 ships that can.

The Germans seemed to think they were terribly unlucky with their firing.  Admiral Gandy on the other hand though his tactics of letting his comrade's squadron take all the fire while he pounded the weakest enemy ships very well done - straight out of the Harry Flashman tactical manual. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

A HOGS Visit

Nick went to the Hobart Games Society (HOGS) for a night of boardgames.  Had a lot of fun playing 'Galaxy Trucker'.  Check out the link on the right for HOGS info!  And check out my almost winning spaceship design below :)  (In Galaxy Trucker you construct a spaceship from tiles, and then pick up and sell cargo, suffering various incidents along the way -- your spaceship must be fast enough to get to the good stuff, but have enough lasers to fend off pirates and meteors, enough crew to perform tasks, and enough space to actually hold some cargo.)

Nick in Launceston -- introducing a new player to FOW

A new player, Matt, appeared at the club. We showed him FOW -- I provided a British Armoured Company from the Open Fire boxed set, and used my trusty StuG Batterie from Red Bear in opposition.

I was careful to show Matt the correct way to play FOW
- don't be too gleeful when your teacher rolls 1's and 2's for their stomtrooper moves.
- Roll lots of 6's to hit in response.
- Methodically destroy all that is left!

Now that Matt has his first victory under his belt, the kid gloves will come off!!!!!

There was also a massive X-Wing game that looked fantastic.  (The pic is as they are setting up for a 2nd game)

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Introducing Mike to FOW

With our roster system in a bit of disarray due to my plumbing problems we decided it was time to introduce Mike to FOW.   Steve took my Kingston KUP army & attacked in a No Retreat Mission.  Mike defended with Indian Rifles & my assistance.
Two Indian rifle platoons defended the village with support from a/tank guns & mortars.  The a/tank gun ambush only got 1 38(t) before the guns were blown away by a hail of return fire.  Steve then made a systematic attack on the village while Mike prayed for reserves to turn up.
The Germans have overrun the village, the Valentines have got up in time to dispute the objective & keep the war going.
With the Valentines pinned down disputing the forward objective, the 38(t)'s rushed around the Indian left flank and took the other objective.    Steve hadn't played FOW for a while but didn't seem to have forgotten much.

The upcoming gamesmaster roster is:
13/05/14: Steve - WWI naval.
20/05/14: Mike - Napoleonic 28mm.
27/05/14: Mark - tba.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Kingston KUP Complete Results

Individual competition:

Position     Score      Club     Army
1 Andrew Smith Allied 534 DBR Escadron de Fusiliers Portés
2 Andrew Oates Allied 429 MK Escadron de Reconnaissance
3 Jim Gandy Axis 425 CC German- Schützenkompanie
4 Leigh Watson Allied 327 CC Soviet- Light Tankovy Batalon
5 Carl Peacy Axis 325 DBR Italian- Compagnia Bersaglieri
6 Byron Combes Allied 324 CC Escadron de Reconnaissance
7 Tyler Jefferson Axis 323 MK German- Czech Panzerkompanie
8 Patrick Oxbrough Axis 320 DBR Japanese- Hohei Chutai
9 Rob Holloway Axis 319 LGC   German- Luftlandesturmkompanie
10 Ed Corsar Allied 318 MK Infantry Tank Company
11 Richard Taylor Axis 316 DBR Japanese- Hohei Chutai
12 Miles Griggs Axis 223 DBR German- Infanteriekompanie
13 Nick Bowler Axis 218 LGC German Leichte Pionier
14 Darcy Jones Allied 216 MK Commonwealth Rifle Company
15 Gary Howell Axis 215 DBR German- Schützenkompanie
16 Tim Taylor Axis 214 IND German- Infanteriekompanie
17 Stu Kirkham Allied 117 DBR British-Armoured Car Squadron
18 Phil La Hunt Allied 109 MK Commonwealth Rifle Company
19 Ben Murphy Allied 10 LGC   French-Escadron de Combat
20 Russell Maltham Allied 4 DBR Soviet-Strelkovy Batalon

Club competition:
(Best aggregate of top 3 players).

1. Kingston Bunker Rats 1179
2. Camp Cromwell 1076
3. Monday Knights  1070
4. Launceston Gaming Club 547

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Kingston KUP Day 2

There were two games on day 2 to wrap up the competition.  After day 1 only 3 players were undefeated, Smithy, Andrew Oates & Richard.
My 4th round match was a No Retreat v. Richard's previously undefeated Japanese horde (which attacked at night).  All looked lost about turn 4 when my front line had been overwhelmed, the 2nd line pushed back & the objective overrun.  But the 38(t)'s arrived just in time to disput the objective & finish off the Japanese armour.  Then the sun rose & the Japanese tide stopped then melted away under a hail of 105 shells, tank mgs & mg42's.

In the critical battle of the round Smithy beat reining champion Andrew Oakes to be the only undefeated player.  Going into the last round Smithy was in front, but there was a pack of potential 4:1 players hot on his heels.
My last round was against Patrick's Japs on a snow covered field.  This was a Blind Domination Mission, not a standard FOW Mission.  There were 6 counters face down on the table each worth 1, 2 or 3 points.  To win you either had destroy the enemy (thus gaining all 12 pts), hold 8 pts of objectives after turn 6 or hold the majority of objective points when time runs out.  With the advantage of 1st move & the stormtrooper rule I grabbed 10 pts early, but 3 were taken back before turn 6.  The Wehrmach steadily destroyed the Japanese in the ensuing slugfest, but time ran out before the objective could be retaken.  The total destruction of the Japanese for 12 points was not possible as they don't take coy morale tests, you have to kill them all.  But a 7:5 win was just enough to make 3rd place..

Final results:
1st: Andrew Smith, Kingston Bunker Rats, French.
2nd: Andrew Oates, Monday Knights, French Recon.
3rd: Jim Gandy, Camp Cromwell, German Schutzen.

Club Competition (Best aggregate of the clubs 3 best players):
1st: Kingston Bunker Rats.
2nd Camp Cromwell.
3rd Monday Knights.
4th Launceston Gaming Club.
Team Cromwell: Jim, Leigh & Byron.   Both Leigh & I fought under duress, Leigh walking with a stick after a hip op & I with a catheter at one end & a head cold at the other.  But it's amazing how discomfort disappears once you get the smell of blood.  We were pretty pleased with ourselves in making 2nd place ahead of the infamous Monday Knights.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Kingston KUP Day 1

The Kingston Bunker Rat's annual Flames of War Tournament Kicked off today at the Battery Point Community Hall with 20 players & 10 tables.   There were 5 players from the Monday Knights Wargames Club in Melbourne,  3 from Launceston, 3 from Camp Cromwell & the rest from Kingston.
After the 3 battles of day 1 there were 3 players undefeated, Andrew Oates from The Monday Knights and Munt & Smithy from Kingston.  I was pretty happy to have 2 wins & one loss with my Schurtzen Coy: HQ, 2 Infantry with MG's, 4 HMGs, 3 Pak 36's, 4 105's & 5 38(t)'s.

 Round 1: Defending Breakthrough v. Darcy Jones from Monday Knights with NZ Rifles.
My infantry & 38(t)'s destroyed the Kiwi infantry coming on the flank leaving the Matilda's on their own.  When both bogged attacking through the hedge, it was game over.  6:1 for the Bad Guys.

My prize for a 6:1 win in the first round was to defend in a counterattack mission against Andrew Oates' (Monday Knights) horde of French light armour on an open battlefield.   I soon learned why Andrew is the habitual champion FOW player.   He saw the weakness of my situation immediately & exploited it ruthlessly.  I felt I did alright salvaging a 2:5 loss.

The third Battle was Fighting Withdrawal. I attacked v. another Monday Knight - this time with Australians - an army not dissimilar to the Kiwis of round 1.  I enjoyed this one.  My infantry went down both flanks avoiding the Matildas.  A good plan was backed up with hot dice & I had a 6:1 within an hour.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Last Practice for Kingston KUP FOW Tournament

Jim's Schutzen v. Chris' Indians:  Counterattack Mission

Chris is defending from the near quadrant.  Jim is attacking from the LH quadrant.
The first pic is a couple of moves into the game.  The 38T's had initially moved to the right between the hedged fields.  The Valentines moved out of the village to meet them to meet then the 38T's about turned & advanced on the near side.   The German infantry in the wood in the foreground had moved up behind the ridge & have killed most of the Indian defenders in a murderous assault.

The 38t's have been destroyed by a 2pdr ambush,  the Valentines are driving back the German left, but these successes mean nothing as the German infantry have taken the near objective while the German artillery smashing the village and supporting fire from their HMGs & Paks prevented any counterattack.