Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Napoleonics: Chris's New Russians hit the table

With Chris' Napoleonic Russians finally ready for action we teamed them up with an Austrian Corps led by Mike to fight a Frog Corps commanded by Jim, Mark & PeterC.
The Allies deployed first on the LH side of the table with the Austrians on their left.  Both Corps have a large infantry div, a cavalry div & a battery.  The French have 3 inf divs, Mark's on their right, Peter's in the centre & Jim's on the left with their two cavalry divs.  The French plan was to smash the Russians while holding off the Austrians.
Both sides attacked with their left wings. The Allies moved their large Russian battery onto the central ridge and sent the Austrian cavalry towards the centre. 
The cavalry fight on the near flank was hard fought.  The French eventually broke the Russian cavalry but not before losing one of their own cavalry divisions.  The infantry attack on the Russians faltered at first.  The Austrians cavalry is trying to come over and help the Russians out but Peter's infantry has been moved forward to hold them off.  Mark's infantry on the far flank is being beaten but has not broken.
While initially the Russian foot held their ground, once a unit cracked the superior French command allowed them to exploit the break and the Russian infantry line was rolled up.  With both Russian divs broken, the Allied army had lost two of four including their biggest divs so failed their Army Break Test.  (The French had only lost one small cavalry div out of 5 divs, though Mark's infantry was verging on breaking).

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Bolt Action: Germans v. Soviets

Jim's Germans v. Chris' Soviets

1,000 pts Camp Cromwell Domination scenario.  This scenario has a deployment turn 0, where units are placed in own 1/3 of the table without shooting before a normal turn 1.  There are 7 objectives on a 6'x5' playing area.  The winner is the one with the most objectives at the end, or if tied for objectives & one side has lost 2 or more units than the enemy they lose.
The Germans have deployed on the right.  Both sides start with 2 objectives held & soon grab another on their left flank.  The centre objective in the village becomes everyone's centre of attention.  The Germans get to the central objective first occupying the line of hedges & woods, but the Soviets occupy the nearest house with their veteran SMG unit, the far house with a rifle unit & their freeby inexerienced men hide behind the centre house. 

The Germans concentrated their fire on the near house and get enough pins to break the Soviet vets while the Soviet rifles in the other house make a mess of the Germans in the corn field.
At the end of  turn 6 the Germans still held 4 of the objectives, but they had much higher casualties, largely due to the Soviet heavy mortar which destroyed the MMG & the howitzer on the hill plus the infantry who occupied the house vacated by the Soviet vets.  If the dice had decreed a 7th turn, the Soviets may well have turned the tables as the Germans had precious little left to defend the two forward objectives.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Carthage v. Rome

Carthaginians (Mike & Mark) v. Romans (Jim & Chris)

The Romans, on the right in this pic, have 2 legions in the centre & a mixed Allied div on each flank.
The Carthos have 2 Celt divs in the centre with Punic infantry on each side (each 2 phalanx & 2 medium inf) and a cavalry div on their left flank.  Jim faces Mark on the Roman right while Mike faces Chris on the Roman left. 
(The rest of the pics are from the Roman right).  Both sides advanced carefully trying to maintain a line despite the vagaries of the command dice. The Romans have held their horse back on thrier left & advanced it on their right.
The closer Celt div got the advantage of charging home but threw rotten dice.  The RH half of these Celts was broken & the nimble maniples wheeled right into the flank of the LH half.
The far Celt div was charged by Chris' Legion.  The front line was broken, but the second line is still sound.
The Punic cavalry is making slow work reaching the Roman horse on the far flank.
On the near flank the Roman horse has smashed the Punic flank guard & is deep behind their lines.
That Punic infantry hasn't really got into action.

Mike's 2nd row Celts on the far flankcahrged and were pushing Chris' Romans back, but a flank attack by one of Jim's maniples stopped the rot and the Celt div has broken.
Mark's Celts have also broken.
Mark's Punic infantry had initial success against the Roman's allied infantry, but the Roman cavalry came into their rear while legionaries hit their flank and this div also broke.
On the far flank Mike's cavalry took too long disposing of the Roman horse and the Punic infantry failed to effectively  support the Celts.

The Carthos have lost 3 of 5 divs and fail their Army Break Test.

This was a large battle but we finished it in little more than 1 & 1/2 hours playing time using our "Hail Caesar Lite" house ruled version of Hail Caesar.  The main change is that we don't use saving throws, using less to-hit dice to compensate.  This saves a lot of time while otherwise making no noticeable difference to the way the game plays.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

English Civil War Scots v. Scots

Covenanters (on right of pics):
Mike on their left wing: 2 Divs of 4 cavalry.
Chris on their centre & right: 2 Divs of 2 pike & 4 shotte + 2 guns.

Royalists (on left of pics):
Mark on their left: 1 Div of 2 pike & 4 shot. 1 Div of 4 Highland Warbands.
Jim on their right: 1 Div of 2 pike & 4 shot, 1 Div of 6 cavalry.
Mark held back the Royalist left whole Jim pushed their right forward.  The Covenanters tried to make a general advance, but por command dice slowed them down.

Mark has belatedly pushed his left forward.  Mike's cavalry charged Jim's, but bounced back.
 Jim's cavalry has followed up success as his infantry moves up to make a firefight acros the river with the odds on his side.
The 1st Royalist cavalry Div has broken, but the fresh 2nd Div has counterattacked.  With odds of 3:2 against in the firefight Chis' left flank infantry has lost a musketeer unit.  On the far flank Mark's Highlanders have charged home on the pike & shot. 
Jim's pike & shot help his cavalry out by charging shaken horse.  The Highlanders are pushing their enemy back, but haven't broken them.
The intervention of the foot into the cavalry fight has saved the Royalist horse and the 2nd Convenanter cavalry division has broken.   With 2 Divisions broken out of 4 whule the enemy has lost none, the Covenanters fail Army Morale.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Wings of Glory at Barrie's

We had six players for Wings of Glory WWII air at Barrie's this Sunday.  2 Spads (Jim & Ed) & a Camel Barrie) took on aTripe (JohnW), a Fokker DVII (Steve) & a Roland (NickB).
At the stage of the battle in the pic the Roland has become isolated from it's comrades & is surrounded by a flock of Allied fighters.  But somehow it came though relatively unscathed while when the Fokkers got back into the action Barrie's Camel was shot down.  Outnumbered and with heavy damage the Spads managed to break off the action and escape. As usual with WOG everyone had a good time  tying to second guess the opposition while hoping to avoid drawing the cards of doom.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

On the road to Khatoum

A British column on the road to Khatoum has to reach the oasis or die of thrist.   Mike & Mark command the Brits, Mark on their right.  Jim & Chris command the Mahdists, Jim on their right.  The rules are Hail Queen Victoria our house modification of Hail Caesar for the era.
The Mahdi's army is formed up behind a ring of hills in front of the oasis waiting for the Brits to advance into the ring.
Mike advances with all the British cavalry on this flank.  Jim's cavalry counterattacks.  In the centre the Mahdi has sent skirmishers forward.
Once again my theory that the better looking the figures the worse dice they get was borne out as the hussars were immediately broken by the Mahdi horse.   This success emboldened the Mahdi generals into making a general advance.
Unfortunately for the Mahdi his victorious cavalry refused to advance to exploit the exposure of the British left flank and the Martini Henrys began cutting down the Mahdi's left.   On the far flank the Mahdi's infantry refused to advance off the hill.  The cavalry charged & came within a pip of breaking through the British flank guard, but once stopped, the Martini Henrys made them pay for that one pip. 
The Mahdi's right has melted away. Chris has finally got his infantry into the fight on the left, but it's too little too late. 
Mike's infantry has wrapped around the Mahdi's flank and destroyed another division Breaking the Mahdi army. 

I hindsight, the early success of the Mahdi's horse may have been a disaster for the Mahdiarmy as their attempt to exploit the success rapidly fell apart under the weight of bad command dice and so many Martini Henry dice.  It ended up a decisive British win, but the Mahdi had his chances. If either cavalry wing had broken through and followed up it could well have been very different. 

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Gaugamela 331BC

With Barrie's Sunday school off this weekend, we did one at Camp Cromwell instead.  Mike & Steve commanded the Persians while Jim played Alexander.  The numbers assumed for the scenario are about 35,000 Macedonians & about 60,000 Persians, a reasonable interpretation of limited data.  Our Persians are probably a bit light on for cavalry as we used up all the suitable cavalry figs we had.  Points-wise the armies are about equal.
Both sides have roughly the usually accepted historical deployment.  The Macedonians are on the left.  The phalanx is in the centre with the mercenary hoplites behind.  Alexander is on its right with his companions and hypasists behind.  There is mercenary cavalry on both flanks.  The Persians have their chariots in front of their centre with mercenary hoplites and Immortals behind.  They have two cavalry divisions on each flank and 3 levy infantry divisions across their rear.  The pic is taken after turn 1.  The Macedonians have advanced their centre.  The Persians have advanced their flanks. 
Both sides have formed a V, centre forward for the Macedonians, centre back for the Persians.   The Persian scythed chariots have charged the phalanx and have been destroyed, but they got a few casualties and disordered the Macedonian line for a turn.
On the near flank Alexander has lead the charge of the Macedonian horse.  Most of the Persian cavalry on this wing evaporated in one turn.  On the far flank the Macedonians are not doing so well and are being pushed back.  The phalanx has re-ordered itself & is ready to advance again. 
In a bad turn for Macedon, the phalanx failed to charge home on the hoplites & immortals while Alexander's cavalry somehow failed to break the levy infantry and have rallied back with significant losses.  The Macedonian left continues to give ground.
The Persian centre has counterattacked the phalanx.  Alexander still hasn't broken the levy infantry & has been unable to sweep left to support the phalanx or to get at Darius.
Alexander has finally broken the levy infantry and the right of the phalanx has won through, but the left of the phalanx is in big trouble with one unit being pushed back by the immortals making a hole.  The hypaspists were sent to assist the phalanx but failed command and did not charge home.  The Macedonian left is still hanging on.
Alexander has finally got into the flank of the Persian centre, but it's too late, the companions have run out of punch being all shaken and the entire Macedonian left has collapsed.

So in our fight history was reversed.  Both sides used what we think was the historical plan and the battle followed pretty much the form of the original, but our Darius was bit more cunning and our Alexander lucked out in a couple of important phases. 

Friday, October 02, 2015

Bolt Action Doubles at Good Games

Jim & Rusty Germans v. John & Chris Soviets

Both sides had two 1000 pts infantry coys.  The Scenarios was essentially two FOW Hold The Line Missions fought side by side on a 8'x6' table.
The Germans are defending on the left, Rusty on the far side, Jim this side.  John faces Rusty and has two objectives, one on each of the small hills.  Chris faces Jim and has an objective on the road off to the left and on the other side of the nearest house.  The Germans deployed half their units on their half of the table with the rest in Reserve to come on turn 2. The Soviets deploy second putting all their units down up to 18" from their rear table edge.

The Soviets will win if they get 2 objectives, the Germans win if they hold all 4.  One objective taken is a tie. 

There are two dice bags, one for each pair of enemies.  Each pair start each turn togetehr then proceed at their own pace.  If a player wants to take action against the enemy not in front of them, they announce it and the other pair complete current action then pause while it is done.  If there are two crossovers at once dice to see who goes first.

The Soviets did well on the far flank taking the near objective quickly, then sending troops to help the attack on the near flank.   At the end of turn 6 the game was a tie, but the dice decreed another turn.  The combined attack got to the objective in the farmyard but could not finish off all the Germasn around it so the Germans held on.   But on the far flank a FUBAR saw the defenders of the rear objective run away and the Soviets moved up their command team to grab it and victory.

The trouble with scaling up Bolt Action is that the game takes too long if drawing one command dice at a time from the bag if you have about 20 units a side. The double bag system solves the problem, almost halving the game time by usually allowing two things to be happening at once.