Tuesday, March 31, 2015

First Battle of Newbury 1643

Parliament: Mark & Chris:
6 pike, 12 shot, 8 horse, 4 guns. 4 div commanders & 1 CIC all command rating 8.
Royalists: Steve, James & newbie Ed
4 pike, 8 shot, 12 horse, 4 guns.  4 div commanders & 1 CIC all command rating 8.

Fought using Hail Cromwell, our adaption of Hail Caesar for the English Civil War.
Initial deployment: Parliament are on the left.
The Royalists are trying to attack on the near flank, but poor command is compromising their plan.  Their guns and foot have seized Round Hill in the centre.  Their attempt to charge the guns has fallen short & their left has lagged behind.  On the far flank both sides are taking up defensive positions in the enclosed country.
Parliament is trying to attack Round Hill, but it's a slow advance. The advanced part of the Royalist horse is having  a hard time being counterattacked by Parliamentary horse, artillery fire & musket fire.
The cavalry fight continues but Parliament got the upper hand early and Royalist counterattacks are not changing the situation.  In the centre, the Parliamentary advance is slow, but it's putting a lot of pressure on the enemy.
On the far flank both sides are content to hold their ground with a bit of long range shooting.  In the centre a Royalist pike unit had made a flank attack on Round Hill, but after initial success, the unsupported attack has petered out.  On the near flank the Parliamentary horse are mopping up the last pockets of resistance.
The Royalist horse has now broken and their foot on Round Hill are in trouble.
The Royalist foot and guns on the hill now broken.  The King has lost 2 divisions of 4 while the enemy have lost none so fail their Army Break Test.  The real battle was a tactical draw, but the King retreated overnight because his army was out of ammo. Here Parliament did rather better.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Nick in Launceston -- KK Practice

Up north we were also practicing Kingston Kup.  We did two games in the evening -- a 1250 point game, and then a 1450 point game.  Matt won two games, Nick and Rob each won a game, and newcomer Lowell was beaten up twice -- but he is learning fast!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Flames of War out of mothballs

With the annual FOW Kingston Kup coming up in May it's time to get the 15mm armour out of mothballs & get some practice.

Jim's Panzers v. Chris' Motostrelkovy

1350 pts Late Late War Surrounded mission, Soviets defending.
The Soviets are deployed in the middle with Germans attacking from both ends.
The IS2's couldn't point their front armour two ways & 2 of them have been got.  But 3 MkIV's have died too.
While smoke & MkIV's kept the Soviet armour busy the Germans attacked the Soviet infantry on the right with Panzergrenadiers and Stugs.   The first attack was beaten off & the Panzergrenadiers failed morale.  But the Stugs attacked again & got lucky.  The Strelk failed the test & CIC re-roll to counterattack, then had to test for below half strength and again failed morale & CIC re-roll.  The Soviets had nothing close enough to dispute the objective and the IS2's missed their shots at the Stugs.  A German victory 5:2.

Men o' War in Suffolk

My email friend in Suffolk & his mates are using my Man o' War Rules for Napoleonic naval battles.  With much bigger fleets of models than we have and some local tweaks to the system, they have taken the game to a new level.

The ships are a mix of old Nav War models that Tim had had in a box for years and scratch built wooden jobs.  He hasn't completed the sails on the home made models as they are made from the wrapping on top of French wine bottles which he is still manfully accumulating.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Hundorf 1762

This scenario is from the Last Argument of Kings supplement for Black Powder.
Mike & Steve's Austrians have to stop the Prussians taking the Wacholderberg hill, but must start deployed with no troops within 24" from the summit of it.
Mark & Jim's Prussians have to take the hill to win.
The Prussians are on the left, the Austrians on the right.  Both sides have their cavalry on the far flank and have made a massed battery in the centre.
The Prussian infantry advance on the right & are moving their Hussars on the far flank towards the centre.  The Austrian infantry are moving onto the hill.
The Prussians are cursed my bad command rolls, only their right has moved much.  The Austrians have sent some cavalry to drive off the Prussian light infantry in the centre.
As all these troops are Steve's works of art I've attempted to take a few close ups for a change. Unfortunately, I've discovered that the light needs to better for close ups than for long shots & the picture quality doesn't measure up to Steve's paintwork.
The Austrians easily won the race to the top of the hill and the infantry are exchanging fire.  The Prussian CIC joined the Hussars plus they were got into column & they finally got moving across the Prussian rear.  The Prussian cavalry attacking in the centre had come under heavy artillery fire and have fallen back.  Left without targets in range the Prussians guns limbered up, then responded to an order to advance by blundering back.
The Prussian guns have finally advanced and redeployed.  The Hussars are really moving now.   The big firefight continues on the hill.

The Hussars get into position to charge but only get 2 moves and just fail to charge home on the flank of shaken infantry.

The Hussars have charged, but the extra casualties to musket fire on the way in hurt them.  One unit broke a battalion & drove their supports back into the woods, but the other Hussar unit failed & was was broken.  On the far flank the Austrians had thought about moving half their cavalry to their left, but after they refused to move for two turns decided they wouldn't get there in time & reformed their line on the far flank.
The charge of the hussars was the Prussians big chance to win, but it only partly succeeded & the musketry duel resumed with both infantry divisions of both sides on the edge.
With most infantry units on both sides shaken it was now a matter of who threw bad Break Test dice first.  It was the Prussian centre division that broke first.  Then the Prussians had lost 2 of 4 divisions while the Austrians had lost none, so the Prussians failed their Army Break Test giving the Austrians victory.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Bolt Action at Barrie's

Chris & I introduced John Mumford to Bolt Action at Barrie's this afternoon. John put together a 1,000 pt Soviet army from his Chain of Command troops.  Chris used my Panzergrenadiers in his first game commanding Germans. I instructed & umpired.  They fought the TankWar scenario with infantry armies.
The Soviets are on the left, the Germans on the right.  The 3 objectives are next to the house on the far end, the house in the centre on the German side and in the Soviet side of the wood in the foreground.

The Soviets used the Scouts deployment rule to occupy the objective house at the far end & supported it with a Strelk unit & HQ.  Strelk are defending the near objective in the wood supported by an HMG.  Inexperienced Strelk & a SU152 are in the centre.  Infantry flamethrower & anti-tank rifle teams have moved up through the village.

The Germans have a large infantry unit on the far side, 3 small one in the wood in their centre, an HMG near the road junction and have advanced their Stummel, anti-tank rifle, HQ & large infantry on their left.  The Soviets strategy was to grab 2 objectives & hang on.  The Germans attacked on both flanks.

Both sides have a heavy mortar on their baselines with well placed FOO's.

The German attack on the house was badly hurt in their advance, mainly by the SI155 but the scouts in the house were destroyed by heavy mortar fire & one infantry unit survived to contest the objective, but when time ran out the defending Strelk still had 1 man standing plus the HQ so the Soviets maintained possession.

On the near flank, the flamethrower got the Stummel, but German infantry attacks through the wood were just beaten off.  So the Soviets held onto 2 objectives to 1 and won the battle.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Barnet 1471

It was Mike's turn to be gamesmeister tonight & he put on Barnet 1471.

Jim of York v. Steve & James of Lancaster

Both sides had the usual 3 battles , left right & centre, but also a reserve, so a total of 4 battles.  The unique feature this battle was that it started in a fog.  To simulate this, the figures did not start on the table.  The players on each side took turns to leave the room each turn while the umpire tracked their manoeuvres on his map.  This phase took some time as the Lancastrians simply stood their ground while the Yorkists advanced cautiously 1 move a turn so no battle got out ahead and isolated. Eventually the Yorkists found arrows coming at them out of the mist and ordered a general charge all along the line.  Fortuitously, all battles got good dice for once and the whole army surged forward.

The first troops have been put on the table.  York is on the left.  On the far side of the road their left battle has found the enemy defending a hedge.  In the centre two battles meet in the open.  On the near flank York's right has run into a swamp with the sinister name of Dead Man's Bottom.  Both sides have a reserve battle still not down behind the front line & the Lancs have another battle somewhere.  The Lancastrians have deployed their bowmen in front with their bills & men at arms in support.  York has put his men at arms & bills in front with the bows in support.

The fog has cleared now and the players can finally see what's going on.  York's deployment of bills & men at arms in the front line paid off as the fog minimised the damage the archers could inflict before contact.  The York left drove the enemy back from the hedge, but then discovered that the 4th Lancastrian battle was on their left flank and it was too dangerous to follow up their initial success.  In the centre the Lancastrians have also been pushed back, but York's attempt at outflanking is mired in the bog and poor command rolls. 

On the far flank the Lancastrian right is slowly redeploying (we have medieval armies command rating 9 for charging forward but 7 otherwise).  York has tried unsuccesfully to bring his horse up to attack the Lanc's centre. 

The Lanc's left has finally got going and is really putting pressure on York's left.  York's cavalry attack in the centre finally went in, but failed miserably in a hail of 1's & 2's. A Lancasrtian counterattack has broken York's infantry centre.

York made one last desperate attempt to pull the battle out of the fire by charging with his reserve which finally had some flank support as some troops of the right battle got through the swamp.  But once again his cavalry failed and though the Lanc's infantry battle was broken so was York's reserve.  York's left & right battles are still on the field, but the left is flanked and doomed & the right is back in the swamp.

It's a decisive Lancastrian victory though closer than it looked.  York came close to breaking two Lancastrian battles in the first charge, and a better performance from their horse could have broken the Lanc's apart.  But it was not to be.      

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Tewksbury 1471

This scenario is based on Tewksbury 1471.  The surviving data is too sparse to be sure of an accurate simulation.  The terrain has the main features, the armies have the organisation, but the composition of the 3 "Battles" on each side is mainly conjecture.

We used our Hail King Richard variant of Hail Caesar.  Jim & Chris umpired.

Position after both sides have had their first move.
The Lancastrians (Mike & SteveD) are on the right.  They have advanced their left, pulled their cntre back out of artillery range & dithered on the right. 
Edward IV's army (Mark & James) hs advanced some of their centre battle to make converging fire on the enemy left.  The unit rear centre is a decoy, it is actually deployed in the wood oof shot on the far end of the table (not known to the enemy as in the real battle). 

After heavy losses to archery, the Lancs have pulled their right back.  They have now advanced their centre & right.

Edward has now advanced his right.

The uphill charge of the York knights was blessed with hot dice and broke the Lanc's knights  The victorious cavalry have advanced and turned left while the cavalry of the centre Battle follow up.  The Lanc's left & centre are now both flanked and under pressure.

The Lanc's left has broken & fled.  They have attacked on the far flank while their centre has redeployed facing left.  On the far side the York's flanking force has come out of the woods and is threatening the Lanc's right flank.

The Lan'c attack on the right centre has had mixed success.  Their infantry this side of the creek have been beaten off.  Their cavalry attack on the bowmen on their left flank broke through but have been left isolated in the enemy rear after the cavalry that rode over the guns was broken by York's cavalry which has now advanced to add further pressure on the Lanc's centre. 

It only takes another volley of bowfire to break the Lanc's centre & end the battle, once again as a Yorkist victory.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Dogs of War 2015

Over 2 days the Dogs of War competition was held in Launceston. This was a Flames of War competition, but with a difference. Tables were laid out with fixed scenarios, and players rotated through them. There were 5 tables set up.


This was an airborne assault, with Germans landing in gliders onto the airfield.  It was taken from the scenario in Burning Empires. 

This was a bloody battle.  With no where to hide and severe time pressures, the Germans had to assault the defending British.  Best British player on this table was Nick Bowler, who won mainly because the Germans took too many casualties while landing.  Best German was a 3 way tie between Nick Ridge, Rob Holloway, and Dennis Kosta.  Dennis's win was particularly notable -- with only 4 teams left in his force!

Ia Drang

A Vietnam mission.  Using the Hot LZ scenario, with Americans airlanding into the middle of a horde of Vietnamese.

This was an interesting scenario, with each player trying radically different strategies.  Best American was Miles Griggs, who pummelled the Vietnamese.  However, one game was a draw, and the Vietnamese won two other games.  Best Vietnamese were Rob Holloway and Nick Ridge.


A WW II battle.  If you have watched Band of Brothers, you will be familiar with this.  The US paratroops must take a town defended by some pretty tough Germans.  One of the keys to this scenario was that one platoon of US Paratroops was pinned down, and wouldn't move until Lt Spiers was moved across the table to get them moving.  Best Americans were Nick Ridge and Matt de Cure.  Best Germans were Nick Bowler and Miles Griggs.  Notable was the importance of Spiers.  Nick Bowler managed to kill him with a sniper.  Miles Griggs managed to kill him with an artillery bombardment.  And Nick Ridge played it safe, hiding him in a platoon that marched across the table -- but even then he was lucky, with an artillery bombardment hitting every stand in the platoon other than Spiers!


A small Japanese force defending against a massive horde of Russians.  The Russians had massive T-35s, a horde of T-26 tanks, and a massive amount of infantry.  The first 3 games were easy 6-1 wins to the Russians, and it was widely believed that this table was unbalanced, and impossible for the Japanese.  But then Patrick Oxborough tried a radically different tactic for the Japanese, (no ambush, no AT guns or tanks on the table, digging the infantry in up front from the very start) and managed to score a dramatic win for the Japanese.  Best Russians were Nick Ridge, Matt de Cure, and Daniel Kosta.


Who knew WW I could be so interesting.  Several people stated they were going to get WW I armies after playing this.  This was a tense battle that went down to the wire (pun intended) each time.  The tanks took a little bit to get used to -- slow, but hard to kill.  However, the rest of the battle was a straightforward infantry fight.  Best German was Rob Holloway, and best British was Patrick Oxborough.

Final Score

In the end, the competition was won convincingly by Nick Ridge, who managed to tie for best on two tables, and came in second on other tables -- consistency really was they key.  2nd was Rob Holloway, and there was a 3 way tie for 3rd -- Miles Griggs, Daniel and Dennis Kosta, and Patrick Oxborough.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Napoleonics at Molesworth

Dave & Chris' British v. Jim & Mark's French

The French had 4 infantry & 2 cavalry brigades, the British 4 infantry & 1 cavalry brigade.  The battle started with dice rolls determining that the British had 4brigades the table at the start, the French 3.  The remaining brigades were to come on turns 1 or 2 depending on further dice rolls.  Deployment was governed by alternately moving the brigade commanders only until each came to 36" from the enemy when they were locked.  The brigades were then deployed behind their leaders.
 The French are coming on from the right.

After turn 1 the French guard brigade has come on behind their centre while their cavalry hasn't showed up.   The British cavary also hasn't showed up.

The British cavalry has been brought on the plateau on the left side.  The French light cavalry was brought on in the centre, but is moving to the left.  Both sides are advancing on the other flank.  The French have moved their Guard & Cuirassier brigades to support their right.  The British had some command trouble in the centre allowing the French to get into the village.

The British cavalry have advanced down the near flank while the French light horse dither.  On the other flank there is a general fire fight.  The British centre is still advancing only slowly.

After getting the worst of the fire fight, the French line infantry has fallen back, but the French have committed the guard in a massed column attack on the British line.

On the far flank, the French Guard has smashed a hole in the British line though an attempt to widen it with a cavalry charge failed - repulsed by defensive fire by a British line.
The British light infantry brigade is putting pressure on the French centre. 
The French left is being overlapped while their light horse still dithers.

On the far flank the French are exploiting the hole in the line where a British Brigade was broken & the brigade on the far end of the line is in big trouble.
The French centre is holding on despite heavy losses to riflemen.
On the near flank the cavalry finally got to grips with the French winning the first clash, but British infantry has come up to support their horse.

On the far flank the British guards are still holding on, but suddenly the battle has been decided on the near flank.  The British infantry attack on the square was left unsupported when other infantry refused to advance and the British cavalry was broken by the French horse.  A counterattack by the French infantry on the hill combined with converging musket & artillery fire broke the British infantry on their right.  The Brits then had lost 3 brigades of 5 and their army broke.  The French had lost no brigades.