Friday, May 29, 2015

Last Practice for Kingston Kup FOW

Jim's Panzergrenadiers v. Chris' Motstrelk in 1945 pt Cauldron Mission, Soviets defending.
The Soviet Cauldron is on the left initially defended by IS2's and a large Strelk in the wood and farm.  The objectives are the wurst stand between the tanks and in the wood.  The Germans initially deployed Paks & Werfers on the far hill & Panzergrenadiers on the right of the wood and this side of the orchard. 

The Panzers came out of reserve early and engaged the IS2's.  Pincered between 3 Paks & 10 MkIV's the IS2's shrugged off the hail of fire, but with only 1 shot each, didn't do a lot of damage either. 

The trucked Panzergrenadiers attacked the near end of the Soviet infantry position and were destroyed by the inevitable counterattack.  The Armoured Panzergrenadiers attacking through the wood had their first attack beaten off, but were still fit to fight. 

The T34's were the first Soviets to arrive from delayed reserve, but they arrived too late to influence the battle.  The Panzergreanadiers renewed the attack and took the objective in the woods.  The battle then came down to who would survive the Morale tests, the last 2 survivors of the Panzergrenadiers, or the last 5 Soviets.  It was the Soviets who broke and the Tankovy and 2nd Strelk from delayed reserve were too far away to dispute the objective.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Mare Nostrum Campaign Report

The campaign is in it's 6th turn/year.
The apricot coloured scourge of Mithridates in the middle east and Greece is an ominous sign to the rest of the players.   Mithridates has twice benefited by taking over countries already weakened and demoralised by others.  Ptolemy has gained two provinces by attacking Carthage while her army and navy was tied up in the inevitable war with Rome.  The other players have provided most of the action fighting  hard against each other, taking and losing provinces, but gained nothing.  There is no justice in this particular world.

In the west Carthage is on her knees after the great Roman/Gallic victory at Vercella, with the Romans besieging Numantia and Ptolemy seizing their homeland. 

The main action this year is at Decumantes.  Mithridates has moved his now mighty army north from Athens while his running dog in Macedon has moved north from Byzantium.  At Vercella, Gaul and Germany were enemies, but now they are allied and have joined forces at Decumantes where they face a Pontic/Macedonian force 33% bigger than them, their own planned advance on Athens intercepted.

Regrettably, Steve of Macedon couldn't make it tonight and without him we didn't have enough figs for Mithrades to take over command.  So battle postponed until next Tuesday.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Kingston Kup FOW Practice

Mark's US Armour v. Chris' Motostrelk

1750 pts Domination Mission.
The US are on the left.  There are 6 objctives. Two 3 pointers on the centreline, one 1 pointer & one 2 pointer in each side's deployment zone.
The action started with a shootout between T34's and Shermans.  The 76mm Shermans showed their worth and the US won the fight decisively.  But the Soviets secured the far 3 point objective and the near one is in dispute.
The Strelk supported by IS2's have driven the US off the near 3 pointer while the US armour at the other end try to soften up the Soviets there with firepower.
In the foreground the IS2's advanced down the road to clear the remaining US from the 2 point objective.  A combination of artillery and kamakasi bazookas destroyed the IS2's so the 2 pointer remained in US hands.  On the far flank the attack of two Sherman platoons drove the Strelk back from the objective. 

After 2.5 hours, time was called with both sides holding 6 points.  So a draw.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Mare Nostrum Campaign Turn 4: Battle at Vercella (in Gaul)

Rome (Mike + Gaul (Jim)
Carthage (SteveJ subbing for PeterW) + Spain (Chris subbing for SteveD) + Germanicus (Mark)

After three turns of pussyfooting around & missed opportunities, all the armies in the Gaul theatre converged on Vercella in turn 4 for the biggest Hail Caesar battle yet at Camp Cromwell.  I extended the table at the far end by 0.5m to make it 3.6m long.  The combined collections of Jim, Mike & Steve supplied the armies with only a few proxies (the Spanish warbands look a bit like hoplites).  As the defenders, the Carthaginians & friends chose the ground (a flat plain) and deployed first.
The Carthaginians & Allies are on the left:  They have the Carthos in the centre, Germanicus on their left and the Spanish on their right.  Rome is facing the Spanish.  Gaul on their right is facing both the Carthaginians and the Germans.
The Roman & Gallic armies made a steady advance, managing to maintain a good line.
(Pic from behind Roman/Gallic lines).  The Carthaginians try to counterattack the advancing Romans, but just fall short in the charge.
The Gallic army lacks skirmishers & the Carthagininas & Germans send theirs forward to weaken the Gauls in their slow advance.
 Both the Carthaginians & Germans send their cavalry forward on the left of their armies.
 The Romans have got the better of the first charge breaking most of the Spanish front line.
The Spanish army is breaking up off pic to the left.  The Carthaginians have tried a flank attack on the victorious Romans, but too late to save their allies.  The Gallic infantry has charged the Punic infantry pushing back the advanced units protecting the flank attack.  The Punic cavalry has charged the Gallic centre, pushed it back, but not broken it. 
The first German cavalry attack was beaten off & they have renewed the attack. The German infantry has also finally charged, but did not quite reach the Gallic line.
The Spanish army has broken & fled.  The Romans on the right of their line who were attacked in flank have fallen back, but did not break.The Gallic attack in the centre has been beaten back, but the Gallic division has not broken.   The Carthaginian cavalry attack has pushed the Gauls back, but not broken through.  The German second cavalry attack was held off and the foot has not yet got to grips with the enemy.

The Carthaginians & Germans decided to take advantage of a break in the action along the front & make an orderly withdrawal.  The Romans were still reorganising after defeating the Spanish & the outnumbered Gauls were all too happy to let their enemies withdraw unmolested.

Remarkably, we fought a battle with over 1,100 pts a side in one & a half hours.  The Roman plan to keep two enemy armies busy with their allies while crushing the third with the legendary Might of Rome was backed up with good command dice and relentlessly terrible Spanish Break Tests.  The Carthaginian & Germanic dice were little better than their allies and the Roman plan worked beyond all expectations. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Mare Nostrum Campaign Turn 4: Battle of Byzantium II

Although defeated by the Macedonians outside Byzantium last turn, the Greeks gamely turned around and came back for more.
The Greek army looks rather small on the far side of the table as the Macedonians advance over the ridge into sight.

The Greek hoplites charge the Macedonian left.
 The Greek attack on the left has been beaten of & they have now attacked on the right.
 The Macedonians have outflanked the Greek right & pushed their left back.
The Greek right has broken and with it the hoplite division.  The Greeks have now lost half their 2 divisions without breaking any enemy divisions, so their fail the Army Break Test.
The Greeks are now in big trouble because as they renewed the attack on Macedon, Mithridates  made an amphibious attack on Athens behind them with a much superior force and they have no alternative line of retreat.

Kingston Kup Practice: FOW

Jim's Panzergrenadiers v. Chris' Motostrelk
1250 pts Counterattack mission, Germans attacking.
The Soviets are deployed in the near left quarter with another Strelk coming on in reserve from the far right corner. The Germans have a huddle in the near corner.
The T34's & Panzers are slugging it out in the centre.  The Panzergrenadiers have dismounted on the far objective but the Strelk are coming for them from Reserve.
The Panzers have won the tank fight while the Strelk attack from the right has been stopped by German firepower.  The 1st Strelk has advanced to counterattack, but too late.  
The attack of the 1st Strelk has been stopped by the fire of the wall of Panzers & the Soviets concede.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Hail Mr Lincoln

Confederacy: Mike Shevak & Mark
Union: Chris, Jim & James

An American Civil War scenario fought using our Hail Mr Lincoln adaption of Hail Caesar. 
The figures are Chris' 15mm (which are considerably older than James).
The objective of the battle is to control the village with its road junction & bridge at nightfall (5pm real time). 
The Union have a small infantry division and a small cavalry in the village.  3 more Union divisions each 4 infantry & 1 gun are on the road on the far right edge of the table. 
The Confedracy have 2 divisions of 4 inf + 1 gun deployed in the foreground and 3 more similar divisions coming up the road from the far left.
Mike, commanding the Reb's right has deployed some troops in front of the village and opened fire to soften them up (small arms range is 12").  The rest of his force is moving down the difficult ridge on the right (the ridge counts as difficult ground and light cover).
Chris' Union cavalry have dismounted in the village and have moved onto the far end of the hill in open order.
Mark is deploying the second Reb column to his left on the ridge & in the orchard and set a battery next to the cornfield to fire on the village.
James has sent the rear Union division through the wood towards Mark's left.  Jim has sent one division over a ford to support Chris and the other towards Mark to support James.
On the near flank Mike, unfamiliar with the HC command system split his divisions sending half of each forward down the ridge.  This had caused significant delays as has the stubborn defence of the dismounted cavalry.
On the far flank James attack has pushed the Reb left back, but has lost heavily.  In the centre Jim has reinforced the village defence on both sides of the river and put some pressure on Mark's centre.  The defenders of the village have lost heavily to Reb fire, but still hold on.  The defenders of the house over the river broke under artillery fire, but the Union replaced them before the Rebs could take the building.
The Reb line holds on their left, but the Union are content to be keeping 3 divisions occupied with 2.
The Union attack with their right has finally forced the Union cavalry to withdraw (they have remounted and retired behind the village shaken, but not broken).  But the Union have had plenty of time to forma reception committee.
As dusk approaches, the fight on the far flank peters out into an indecisive firefight. The Rebs make last chance charge at the field in the rear of the village, but it is repulsed.

The Union hold the village at pub o'clock so it's a Union win & off to Knoppies.

Although the rules differ little from our Hail Napoleon, the contrast with Napoleonics was striking.  The large proportion of cover & difficult ground and lack of real cavalry made for slow combat resolution and it was a typical ACW slog with not one division broken.  Still an interesting change.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mare Nostrum Campaign Turn 3: Battle at Byzantium

Campaign Turn 3

The Greeks followed up to Byzantium after their victory last turn.  =
In the east Mithradates repudiated his alliance with Ptolemy and has laid siege to Antioch which he'd ceeded to Ptolemy after defeating Seleucis (go figure).
Ptolemy is besieging Carthage.
The Spanish and Carthage have besieged Vercelle after the Gauls were forced to retreat to Arausio.  Rome is retaking Parma.
Having surrendered in his role as Seleucis Mark has been resurrected as the German leader and promptly took a pile of Carthaginian gold to join them in the attack on Gaul.

SteveJ's Macedonians v. James' Greeks

Both sides had enough resources to replace their losses over winter though some units are diminished in quality. The Macedonians are on the left.  Much of their army is out of sight behind a low ridge  extending across most of the gap between the two woods.  Mark umpired while there were 4 spectators being free with gratuitous and not necessarily helpful advice.
The first Macedonians to appear is their cavalry coming over the far end of the ridge.
Macedonian infantry has appeared out of the woods on the Greek left.  (The phalanxes on the far edge of the table are the rest of the Macedonian army, but they are still out of sight and may not be exactly there).
On the near flank Greek infantry were able to react to the flank attack in time and are counterattacking.  On the far flank the Macedonian cavalry has advanced.  Two hoplite units have been diverted to help the weak Greek cavalry.
On the near flank the Greeks are getting on top.  On the far flank there's bit going each way.
The umpire goes to video review - checking photos to resolve a difference of opinion on how many casualties a certain unit had before it's casualty counters went missing.
On the near flank the Macedonian infantry has broken.  The Macedonian phalanx has finally made an appearance on the ridge to meet the Greek centre.  On the far flank the Greek cavalry are not doing well. 
The victorious Greek infantry on this flank is making slow going in moving to assist the centre.  The Greek centre is getting the worst of the fight on the ridge.  The Greek cavalry has been pushed back.
The Greek cavalry have broken on the far flank.  The Greek flank attack on this flank was too late to have an impact.  The Greek centre has not broken but is in big trouble.    Both sides have lost 1 division out of 3 broken, so neither has failed an army break test, but the Greeks concede the battle and order a general withdrawal.

Friday, May 08, 2015

FOW practice for Kingston Tournament

Jim's Panzergrenadiers v. Chris' Motostrelk

1750 points Hasty Attack mission, Soviets attacking.
The Soviets (on the left) have started with Strelk & T34's on the table.  They have IS2's & more Strelk in reserve.  The Germans have 88's, P/grenadiers & MkIV's. They have P/grens, MkIV's, Werfers & A/cars in delayed & scattered reserve.
The IS2's have come on the near flank and taken the 88's on with some success.  German firepower has stoped the Strelk advance through the village.  The 2nd Strelk has advanced unscathed, protected by the woods.  The T34's have disposed of the MkIV's on the plateau firing hilltop to hilltop and have advanced to support the Strelk.
The IS2's have disposed of the 88's but are now blanketed by smoke.  In the centre the German armour has finished off the Strelk I the village and has moved to the right to meet the T34's.  Pumas have advanced on the far flank trying for flank shots at the T34's.
On the far flank the T34's have all but knocked out the 2nd MkIV platoon & advance don the plateau.  The Strelk are dug in in the wood.   But the Germans have won the battle by the P/grens sallying out of the wood and taking out the IS2's.  They then mounted their half tracks and dashed off to the right to take the objective there.

It was an enjoyable battle.  We had become jaded with FOW, but a rest certainly freshens things up.  We clearly need a bit more practice before the comp though - we need to rinse the BA out of the brain & get fully back into FOW mode. 

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Mare Nostrum Campaign Turn 2.2: Battle at Athens

James' Greeks v. SteveJ's Macedonians

The second battle of turn 2.  The Greeks are defending and have chosen a position with a ridge extending over 2/3 of the gap between wooded hills. The armies are evenly matched in points, both with a large infantry division, a lighter infantry division and a cavalry division.
The Macedonians are on the right.  Most of the Greek army is still out of sight behind the ridge and not on the table.
The Macedonian light cavalry have got to the crest of the hill and the Greek army is now all on the table.
The Macedonians are using their superior numbers of light troops to soften up the Greeks.  The Greeks have moved some infantry into the woods on the near flank to stop the Macedonian cvalry outflanking through the woods.
The Greeks have made the decisive move - they have counterattacked on the far flank smashing into the Macedonian lighter troops with hoplites. 
The Macedonian phalanx counterattacked to try & save their comrades on their right, but although they broke one hoplite unit, they couldn't save the division. 
 The Greeks have followed up the success of their left by attacking the phalanx in the centre. 
The Macedonians made desperate cavalry attack on their left to try and flank the hoplites, but the Thorakiti held firm and the hoplites prevailed.  The Phalanx division broke and with it the Macedonian army.

That's the last combat of turn 2 of the campaign, now some bookwork for recruiting, etc, and some diplomacy before the orders for turn 3.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Bolt Action Doubles at Nick's

Jim & Nick's Germans v. John & Chris' Soviets

Each side had two 1000 pts infantry armies.  We played a Tank War scenario with 5 objectives on an 8'x6' table.  John & Jim faced off on the German left (near the camera) & Chris & Nick on the far side.  We used two dice bags one for Jim & John and one for Nick & Chris.  Generally the two pairs fought each other drawing dice at their own pace, but waiting for the slow side before going on tot eh next turn.  If a player wanted to fight a unit on the other flank, that was allowed, we just paused the double action until the cross-over action was resolved. 
After turn 1.  The Germans are on the right.  The objectives are the hill top, a ford on the far side (near the Sherman), and in the 3 hamlets.  Soviet Scouts being allowed forward deployment have given the Soviets a kick start by taking possession of the near hamlet and the one in the centre.
The Germans are advancing to attack the Societ held objectives, the Soviets likewise to support them.
Nick has taken the objective in the centre.  Chris has taken the one in the far hamlet and has troops in the houses.  The Soviets holding the nearest hamlet are being destroyed by German fire, but still hang on.
Unfortunately the game had to end after turn 6 as John had an appointment with his CO.  At this stage, the Soviets have possession of 3 of 5 objectives.  But they have lost 7 units to 4 and the Germans are in a good position to clear the near hamlet.

The doubles experiment worked just fine.  The only issue was that we should have made some adjustment for the fact that the table was 6' across not 4' so it took too long to get to grips & thus we didn't finish in the time available.