Friday, October 31, 2014

Somewhere in Russia -- Nick (Byzantines) vs Starn (Saxons pretending to be Russ) in Saga

As usual, an enjoyable romp in Saga land. Nick was carefully picking off Starn's units using long range archery and maneuver. But then Nick's general got too close to Starn's general, and had to charge him. The fight was a draw. But in front of the rest of his army, Nick's general was picked off by a pack of beserkers. Victory to Starn!!!!

We had a few new faces at the club, and it looks like we will have enticed one to come back next week to try out the Welsh in Saga!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

1806 Campaign Practice

We have just started an 1806 campaign.  Campaign moves are on a hex map of the theatre of war using Peter William's campaign rules.   The enemy's deployment and manoeuvres are hidden until discovered by contact on the map.  Battles are to be fought using our Hail Napoleon variant of Hail Caesar with 15mm or 6mm figures (depending on the size of the battle).

Umpire: Peter Williams by email from Canberra.
French: Mike (Chief of Staff), Chris, Mark, Nick, PeterC.
Prussians: Jim, Steve, James, Barrie, Byron.

Tonight we fought a practice battle using 15mm figures to bed down Hail napoleon and to familiarise ourselves with fighting with 15mm (after mostly using 28's for a good while).

Prussians:  2 Mixed"Divisions" each 1 infantry division, a cavalry division & 2 batteries, commanded by Jim & Steve.
French: 1 Corps of 2 infantry divisions, 4 batteries & a light cavalry brigade, commanded by Mike & Mark.

The Prussians start with 1 Division in the village, the other coming down the road from the north.  The French start on the west table edge.
Pic above shows initial deployment.

The French attack the village with massed columns on both sides and an artillery bombardment in the centre.  The Prussian cavalry have advanced on the French left forcing much of Mark's division into square.
The Prussian in the village are holding on.  They've beaten off some of the Frogs, but losses are mounting.  Steve's horse has pinned down a lot of Mark's infantry, but some has got past and is attacking the orchard.   Two successive blunders have stopped Steve's infantry column just short of being useful.
The Prussians in the village have broken under nearly 2: odds.  Steve's infantry have still only deployed 1 infantry unit & the battery.
Steve's cuirassiers have broken a square & their sweeping advance has driven back the hussars. 

The French managed to get their battery unlimbered before the Cuirassiers could get to them, ending Steve's chance of a decisive breakthrough.  The Prussians decided to pull off while their 2nd Division was still in good shape to fight another day.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Chain of Command at the Garage

John came up to give me a test battle of Chain of Command.  Soviets attacking a village defended by Russians.

We ran out of time, so John ended the battle with a suicide rush to show me how assaults worked. 

The system ran smoothly, once you got the hang of the order dice.  It really is a battle of platoon vs platoon, with squad MG's dominating the battlefield.  Cover plays a dramatic role.  I am sure there are several things we got wrong, but to me it seemed another rule set that covers the small scale skirmish well.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Wars of the Roses

York: Jim (left) & Steve (right & centre).
Lancaster: Mike (left), James (centre), Chris (right).

Each side had 3 Battles.  James' division in the Lanc's centre was 3 spear & 3 bow.   The others were 2 men at arms, 2 bowmen & 2 horse.  Mikes' division on the Lanc's left had 2 small crossbow units.  All 4 Lancs cavalry were knights.  York had 6 cavalry, but 4 were sergeants.

The Yorks left the room and made a map of their deployment while the Lancs deployed.  Then returned & deployed to their map.

Both side deployed to the right of the centre.  The Lancs had the first move and are advancing in echelon.

Both sides are swinging their armies anticlockwise & struggling with our poor command rating of medieval armies (9 if going full speed forward into forward quarter at enemy in sight, 7 otherwise).  The York's left is in further confusion due to a hail of arrows from James' Battle.

On the far flank Steve's Sergeants surprised all by defeating the enemy knights, breaking 1 unit & driving the other back.  But his flank Battle's infantry is lagging behind, as is Chris' cavalry on the other flank.  Jim's Battle is trying to keep 2 Battles occupied while Steve swamps the other flank.

On the far flank Steve has finished off the knights with bow fire and is moving up to attack the Lanc's flank.  The York's left has pulled back, but Chris' knights are nearly up to the front.

Steve has smashed Mike's Battle with an attack on  front & flank.  On the near flank King Richard personally lead his knights up the hill pushing back the enemy knights & smashing 2 infantry units.  Chris' other bill unit at the end of the line has pushed the York's bowmen right back, but the bowmen have refused to break.

Steve is reorganising his victorious troops on the far flank.  James has pulled his line back so his flank is not exposed.  Both Chris & Jim's Battles are badly hurt but still in the fight.

The York's knights have ridden down the last of Chris' bowmen and retreated over the rise to get away from James' bowmen.  The York bowmen near the village have broken the last of Chris' billmen with bow fire.  Chris' battle is now broken and with it the Lancastrian army. 

It was  very enjoyable battle for all.  Both sides had similar plans.  Fortunes fluctuated widely both ways, but in the end the York's left held on against the odds while Mike's didn't.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Barrie's Sunday School: M&T and COC

Another al day Sunday School at Barries with convivial lunch between a game of Muskets & Tomahawks and a game of Chain of Command.
Jim & Peter's French (on the right) saved the civilians in the village from the evil British.

After lunch, 200 years on & Peter is carefully watched as he deploys his MG42  squad in the building. 
The Germans (JohnM, Peter & Jim) grabbed the buildings in the centre and pushed a section down the right flank.  The Brits (Barrie, Rusty & JohnW) deployed mainly on their right.  Converging German fire on the British left destroyed it before the Brits could get their attack going & the Brits gave up.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Nick in Launceston -- Crescent and Cross

Another game of Crescent and Cross.  Once again the crusaders adopted the sophisticated tactic of 'Charge', and once again it worked!  Eventually the Islamic forces had two units of levy left, and no way to move them, but the Crusaders were down to one very damaged unit of knights!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ahnlich Hundorf 1805

A scenario based on the Hundorf 7 Years War scenario in The Last Argument of Kings Black Powder supplement, but set in 1805 with the French attacking the Austrians.  (Fought using our Hail Caesar variant, Hail Frederick).


Command:                CIC & 4 brigade commanders, all 9’s.
Leger division:           6 battalions light infantry.  May deploy entirely in open order.
                                   5 dice shooting in line, 3 in column, 4 dice HTH. 3 moves in line, 1 move on fail.

Line division:             6 battalions line infantry.  Include skirmisher coys.
                                    4 dice shooting in line, 2 in column, 4 in HTH, max 2 moves in line.

Dragoon division:     4 dragoons. 5 dice.
Hussar brigade:        2 hussars. 4 dice.
Artillery:                    2 medium guns – can be attached to any division, separately or together.
Deployment:             All start off table, but can enter in any formation by normal command on turn 1. 
Before Austrians deploy, record where each division/brigade is going to come on by writing on the OOB 1-6 representing 6 equal zones along the rear table edge from left to right.


Command:                CIC & 4 brigade commanders, all 8’s.
German division:      4 battalions line infantry.
                                  4 dice shooting in line, 1½ in column, 4 dice HTH, max 2 moves in line.

Hungarian div:          6 battalions line infantry.
                                  4 dice shooting in line, 1½ in column, 4 in HTH, max 2 moves in line.

Cuirassier division:   4 cuirassiers. 6 dice.
Hussar brigade:        2 hussars. 4 dice.
Artillery:                    2 medium guns.
Grenadiers:               2 battalions – can be attached to any division.
                                  5 dice shooting in line, 2 in column, 5 dice HTH. 3 moves in line, 1 move on fail.
Grenz:                        2 small units of irregular light infantry.
                                  2 shooting & HTH. Stamina 3.  May use open order & evade attacks.
Deployment:             Hungarians & artillery must be in Ahnlich Hundorf.
Remainder can be deployed anywhere up to table centreline after the French have recorded the places where their troops come onto the table.


Ahnlich Howdorf:     The village has improvised defences.  Musket fire or attacking HTH are -1 to hit. They provide the standard advantages of obstacles but not hard cover. Stop on reaching it, then 1 move to cross & reform.
Wacholderberg:        The hill is a gentle slope with no effect on combat or movement.
Swamps:                    The green patches near the river are swamps.
Woods:                      Can be moved through by foot and horse, but must move in open order (taking 1 move to form & un-form entering & leaving) with max one 6” move/turn inside.
Vineyards:                 Stop on reaching.  Take 1 turn to deploy inside, or to redeploy outside. Defend as hedge.
Crops:                        Max one 6” move per turn, not cover, but no charge bonus.
Hedges:                      Same as the Ahnlich Hundorf defences.

Victory Conditions & Army Break Tests:
Units defending Ahnlich Hundorf become shaken but don’t retire if their division, or the Austrian army fails a Break Test. The hussar brigades & grenz don’t count in Army Break Tests.
If Ahnlich Hundorf is taken by the French, the French win.
If the Wacholdenberg is taken by the French, but not Ahnlich Hundorf, it is a draw.
If the French don’t take either Ahnlich Hundorf or the Wacholdenberg, or they fail an Army Break test, the Austrians win.
The Austrians (Peter & Chris) are deployed on the left.  The French (Mike & Jim) are coming on to the table on the right.
Mike threw his line division straight up the Wacholdenberg into the wood to attack the Austrians therein. Jim's cavalry advanced on their right flank.
A cavalry fight has started on the far flank.  With the help of some good dice the Austrians are doing well against superior numbers in the wood.  Chris is trying to send reinforcements from the Austrian right to help Peter's left, but his men are being very Austrian & not much is happening.
Peter's cuirassiers have got the upper hand over the French draoggons, but the French hussars are still fresh & uncommitted.  Mike's attack on the wood has been beaten off.  He has drawn some legere from his left to help out.
The cavalry fight has petered out, both sides happy to sit back and watch.  Mike is getting ready for a second attack on the wood.  The Austrian right is still blundering about.
Mike has renewed the attack on the wood.  Chris's force is now getting into the action.  The legere has moved out to meet them.
Mike has finally taken the wood.  The Austrian hussars bravely charged the guns, charging home and riding down the gunners.  But they were shaken in the process and had to withdraw under converging musket fire.  On the left, the legere's superior fire power was starting to tell.

It was now 10 o'clock and all agreed it was a draw.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Wertingen 1805 Revisited

With Peter Williams visiting from Canberra I introduced him to our Hail Frederick with a re-run of Wertingen 1805, an historical scenario we fought a few months ago.  Peter commanded the Austrian Corps which has been surprised by Murat's cavalry & needs to escape before Lane's infantry can come up and finish it off.  See blog of 19/08/2014 for full details of the scenario.
Two moves in and the first French heavy cavalry division is galloping forward as the Austrian infantry moves from road columns to a chain of squares.  On the right the Austrian cavalry have charged down the road at the French hussars.
The French hussars surprisingly defeated the Austrian cuirassiers, but have stayed back & rallied  as the surviving Austrian hussars fell back.  The second French heavy cavalry division has come onto the table as the first engages the squares. 
The French artillery & cavalry have broken 1 square each, but 1 French cavalry has also been broken & others shaken.   The 2nd cavalry division's advance is maddeningly slow.  The Austrian hussars have fallen back behind the village & the French hussars have followed up.  French infantry has come onto the table on the road on the right, just off pic.
The French hussars charged through the village at the Austrians but were beaten.  Then the Austrians made a sweeping advance through the village to destroy the supporting hussars as well.  This exposed the head of the infantry column on the road.  The French grenadiers hastily formed a disordered attack column which broke.  The hussar's sweeping advance was finally halted by the line infantry behind. 
The Austrian hussars fell back from the French infantry now advancing in supported line. The 1st French cavalry are running out of steam and the squares are steadily retreating while the 2nd heavy cavalry continue a careful advance with pretty ordinary command dice.  
The heroic Austrian hussars failed command when ordered to attack the French cavalry in flank & were finally broken by infantry hitting them in flank. 
The fresh cavalry division has finally made it to the action, but it's too late to stop the Austrians getting 5 of their 9 battalions away.  Two have already made it off the table and only one of the 4 in the pic above wasn't able to get away.

So this battle went very differently to the first time we did it.  This time the Austrians won.  Peter's aggressive use of his small cavalry force kept the French infantry right out of it & his fighting retreat of the squares was very well done. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Operation Cromwell V

The fifth annual FOW completion organised by Camp Cromwell was run this weekend at the Battery Point Community Hall.  The format was as last year, a pairs completion, all blue on red with 4 Axis teams fighting 4 Allied teams.  Each team played each of the enemy teams once on each of the 4 tables, each table having a different scenario.  Each team had 2 coys totalling 2500 pts in the Tunisian campaign from the book North Afrika.  The 8 teams included players from Camp Cromwell, Kingston Bunker Rats & the Launceston Gaming Club.

Table/scenario 1: Rommel's Envelopment at Abdul Fuk Dhir: The allies deploy in the centre of the table, the Axizs with a coy at each end.  There are five 2 VP objectives spread along the road.  This turned out to be the Axis' horror table, with only Munt & Coy's Italians even gaining a VP from it.
Table/scenario 2: Allied Breakthrough at Sidi Bin Hire:  The Axis deployed with one coy on their rear edge, the other defending five 2 VP objectives at in their 2/3 of the table.  This was the best table for the Axis - the only one they did better than the Allies on.

Table/scenario 3:  Fight for Djeble Ali Baba:  Both sides want to seize the mountain top and adjacent passes.  There is a 4 VP objective on the mountain top, two 2 VP objectives on the passes and two 1 VP objectives in the villages.  In this scenario both sides make secret deployment in their third of the table by making a sketch map. The mountain top has been blasted by the RAF and is a mess of craters and rocks providing bullet proof cover & very difficult ground.  The Allies did well on this table, though it's basically a symmetrical scenario.

Table/scenario 4:  Encounter battle in the Kwar d'Fuk Arwe:  Both side deploy 1 coy by the usual alternate platoon method.  The other coy is in reserve.  Its entry point anywhere between 60cm up the LH side and 60cm up the RH side.  The location is recorded secretly at the start & revealed on turn 2 when half the coy comes on.  The other half come on behind it on turn 3. As with table 3 the Allies did well on this table, even though it was a symmetrical scenario.

The Wurzen Und Alle team from Camp Cromwell (Jim & Chris) won a Golden wooden spoon by failing to gain a single Victory Point.  Perhaps they should play Saga where most hair wins tied dice rolls.

The Axis Trophy was a tie between Kampfegruppe Kromwell from Camp Crowwell (Nick & Steve) and Garry & Stu from the Kingston Bunker Rats.

The Allied Trophy was won by John & Rusty from the Kingston Bunker Rats.

Last year the Germans won most of their battles, but this year the boot was on the other foot with the Allies on top.  Nevertheless, the battles were all good fights, often much closer than the VP score would indicate.  The large discrepancy in total VPs between Axis & Allies was largely due to the spectacular lack of success of team Warzen Und Alle.   The 4 allied teams were separated by only 5 VP's and 3 of the Axis teams were separated by only 2 VPs.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Nick in Launceston -- Crescent and Cross

A quick, bloody, and fun game of Crescent and Cross (crusades era Saga). Starn had Crusaders, Nick had Saracens.

The Crusaders charged in from the start, with their knights rushing headlong into the fray, The initial battles were even. But Nick's leader tried to break through the crusader line with two units of Ghulams, pushing forces hard in the one turn to try to create a crack in the crusaders line. But the strategy didn't work, and suddenly Osama Bin-Nick was surrounded and cut down. This, however, left the crusader general ('Starn the Bold') exposed, and he too died (this time in a hail of arrows). But the damage had been done. With the flower of Islam dead on the battlefield, the Crusaders quickly mopped up what was left.

Summary -- Starn enjoyed the game, so we are doing a dark ages Saga in 2 weeks!

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Napoleonic Naval at Good Games

Peter's British v. Chris' French

Both sides had 5 ships, the Brits one 1st rate & four 3rd rates, the French one 1st rate, one 2nd rate & three 3rd rates.  The Brits had elite crews, the French had average crews.  Jim umpired.
The French fleet is in the foreground and has the weather gauge (wind direction indicator is in the bottom left corner of pic).  Both sides turned to port, then the French turned to starboard to close on the British.  This bold move exposed their flagship to the fire of 3 suffering tolerable hull damage, but enough damage so that when the wind shifted anticlockwise next turn, the flagship couldn't turn to starboard and had to close with the British van becoming isolated form the rest of the fleet which continued towards the British rear.  When within close range, the French revealed that they had loaded their broadsides with chain shot and good dice.  Two of the British ships were dis-masted.  
With much of the British fleet crippled the French swamped the rear end of their line and the 2 dis-masted British ships were forced to strike their colours.  Meanwhile the British van failed to capitalise on 2:1 their advantage over the French flagship which broke through the British line and raked HMS Repulsive causing so much damage that she too struck her colours.

The remaining 2 British ships were now upwind of the French and took advantage to get away.   A very rare and glorious French victory.  Giving the French the weather gauge gave them a significant advantage, but Chris' use of chain shot backed up with hot dice exploited the advantage to the max. 

The rules have just been given a revision.  The shooting has been streamlined a bit.  We have also moved the damage logs from the ship bases to an A4 sheet on a clip board along with the command log (at the bottom) and an ammo log at the top (under a paper flap).  Having the ammo log under a flap at the top of the board allows the ammo type to be kept secret until fired.  Critical damage & morale results were recorded by coloured counters on the bases.  The changes all worked well & are being adopted along with a couple of other refinements that became apparent in the game.  I'll post the updated version on the box files as soon as I've finished the edit.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Last Practice for Operation Cromwell

Steve & James' Panzers v. Jim & Chris' 8th Army

We threw a bit of terrain on the table, picked out about 1550 pts worth of troops & fought a Free For All in an attempt to get our brains back into FOW mode for next weekend's Operation Cromwell.
The main event soon got underway with 6 Shermans facing off a bunch of Panzers on the British left.  On the far flank the Brits put their 25pdrs on the objective & moved infantry up into the narrow wood supported by Honeys.  The Germans had Gerpanz grenadiers & 2 panzers on that flank.  They had started with half tracks in the woods and had to delay an advance while they unbogged half of them.
The tank fight was a long slogging match, but the panzers eventually prevailed, but were not keen to push forward against dug in vets on the objective while bugs were ready to rush down the other side of the wood to the objective behind them.   On the far flank the Germans came up over the ridge to attack the wood, but when the bug platoon made a dash for the objective behind them they withdrew.  Neither side was confident of making an attack so a draw was agreed.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Napoleonics at Good games

Jim's Frogs v. Chris' Austrians

This Thursday for our retired gentlemen's game Chris & I took Hail Whoever Napoleonics to the Good Games LGS.  Both sides had 2 infantry divisions of 6 line battalions, a cavalry division of 3 regiments & a battery of 2 gun figs.  To make up for the French being 9 command to the Austrian 8, the Austrians also had  a grenz battalion (2 small units) & a grenadier battalion.  The cavalry could be split into 2 brigades.
The French are on the left in the pics.  The French made a map of their deployment, the Austrians deployed, then the French deployed to their map.  Both sides chose to put their dragoons on the far flank and their hussars & cuirassiers on the near flank.
The French infantry are advancing in column.  The cavalry on the near flank are also advancing.  On the far flank the dragoons have been held back. 
On the far flank the Austrian dragoons have beaten the French dragoons.  In the centre part of the Austrian front line broke at first contact when the French columns charged.  The French cavalry on the near flank charged to try and take advantage of the Austrian's failure to get their cavalry properly deployed, but with mixed success.  They have bounced off the square and lost a hussar for an hussar.  now all the French cavalry have significant casulaties while the Austrian cuirassiers are still fresh.
The French left has formed a line with a square on the end.  Their centre continues to smash through the Austrian centre, including over-running the guns.   Poor command has prevented the Austrian cuirassiers taking advantage of their fresh status.
The Austrian cuirassiers are still only advancing slowly.  The LH Austrian infantry division has broken.  On the far flank the Austrian dragoons have bounced off the square.
On the far flank the shaken Austrian dragoons have fallen back to rally.  Their infantry counterattack from around the back of orchard has failed and now that infantry division has also broken.   The Austrian cavalry on the near flank are pushing the French back, but it's too late, the Austrians have failed their army break test.

The French effectively concentrated their attack on the left of the Austrian infantry line.  The Austrian infantry around the orchard were unable to get involved until it was too late & their cavalry was too slow to exploit early advantages.  The French won by making better use of their superior command than the Austrians did of their superior numbers.