Saturday, November 28, 2015

Bosworth at Molesworth

Dave & Chris for Henry Tudor
Jim & PeterC for Richard III

Richard's army is in the foreground.  His unreliaible ally Northumberland on his left, Norfolk on his right & Richard with his cavalry in the centre.  Lord Stanley is on the far side left, William Stanley far centre & Henry Tudor far right.  Oxford with the main part of Henry's army is about to enter the table on the far right.
 Richard & Norfolk swing right to face Oxford while Stanley & Northumberland dither.
Oxford marches to attack Norfolk's right.  Northumberland & Stanley move slowly forward. Richard & Henry seem to pause to eye each other off across the bog.
Oxford has attacked Norfolk on the right but Richard's foot has suddenly got moving and lapped around his right flank.  Tudor has combine his horse with Stanley's and attacked across the bog.  The melee is ongoing.  The dubious allies on this flank are still dithering about.
Richard's horse has fallen back out but Tudor's front line is shaken and unable to follow up.  Oxford is hard pressed front and flank but his hot dice is holding the Yorkists off.
Richard rallied his horse first and charged again.  This time he won, but Henry Tudor escaped in the rout.   Oxford is still holding on.  Stanley has advanced a bit, but is not getting carried away.
Richard's horse has galloped to help Norfolk and Oxford has finally broken.  Stanley has launched a sort of attack, but it is too late, the Lancastian Army has failed the Army Break test.  The Yorkist cameraman cannot contain his excitement enough to get a decent image.

The battle was fought with Hail Caesar.  Northumberland & Stanley required extra dice rolls to actually do anything.  This produced a pretty believable degree of inactivity from them.  Our Richard could not resist the urge to go for Henry Tudor & after an initial setback this time pulled it off.  Oxford  erred in going out so far to his left & leaving his right hanging.  He held on for a long time, but once Richard won the cavalry fight and joined in against him he ran out of hot dice.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Bolt Action at Good Games

Jim's Germans v. John & Chris' Soviets
1000 pts, Breakout Mission.  (Cancon practice for Jim & Chris).
In this scenario both sides come on opposite long sides & gain 1VP per enemy unit destroyed and 1VP for each unit they get within 6" of the their far table edge.
Both side pushed attacks down their left flanks.  The German push cleared out its weak opposition, but didn't move fast enough to get over the line.  The Soviet push was stopped by the Panzergrenadiers.  So the battle was decided by no. of enemy units destroyed.  The Germans got on top early with some hot shooting by their StugH & infantry gun & the Soviets never caught up.  The Germans lost 3 units, but the Soviets conceded after turn 5 with about 6 units lost & no prospects of coming back.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Rescuing the Outpost at the Oasis from the mad Mahdi

The Sudan 1898

Mark's detachment of 4 British coys holds the fortified village beside the oasis at one end of the table.  Mike & Chris's armies of Fuzzy Wuzzies are massing to destroy them.  Jim's relief column is on the way.   The Mahdists can win either by taking the village before the relief column gets to them, or by defeating the relief column.  The relief column has to move up a valley with hills on both sides hiding the two Mahdi armies, each of 2 infantry & 1 cavalry division.  The location of the Mahdi's divisions is unknown to the British until they come into sight.
The artillery & baggage moves up the road with infantry on each side.  Hussars have scouted both flanks revealing enemy infantry on the left on turn 1.  The hussars on the right were slower to move & have not yet reported back.
The hussars have fallen back harried by skirmish fire while the column deploys to face the enemy both ways.
 Blessed with good command dice, fanatical infantry & cavalry swarm over the ridges from both sides and charge into the British & Egyptian lines.
Three units at the head of the column broke under the cavalry charges while the Mahdi's infantry was beaten off.
The Mahdi's cavalry regrouped and charged again.  It did not look good for the Brits when the Gatling gun jammed and the Egyptian infantry gave ground.
The Gatling was over-run, but the 7pdr managed to beat off the attack.  The Mahdi's cavalry fell back, but his infantry attacked again and more appeared down the valley. 
The troops in the village have finally realised that it is now the relief force that needs relief & belatedly moved out of the village and formed up.
The Egyptians have finally broken.  The hussars are there to plug the line, but nothing is going right for England, they fail to break the shaken infantry and are now shaken themselves & can't follow up to finish off the badly damaged Fuzzies on the right.
Another fresh division charging the head of the column breaks another coy and the relief column is Broken.
Colonel Flashman leads the hussars through the Fuzzy skirmishers leaving the remaining infantry to their fate.  It si crushing victory for teh Fuzzies, but the battle was closer than it looked.  All the first 4 Mahdi divisions were very close to the breaking point, but the Brits never managed to get in a killing blow on any of them.
The sand of the desert is sodden red,—
Red with the wreck of a square that broke;—
The Gatling's jammed and the Colonel dead,
And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.
The river of death has brimmed his banks,
And England's far, and Honour a name,
But the voice of a schoolboy rallies the ranks:
"Play up! play up! and play the game!"
(Henry Newbolt, though it sounds like it should be Kipling).

Sunday, November 22, 2015

FOW Tournament at Good Games

The Kingston Bunker Rats put on a one day tournament at Good Games yesterday.  1750pts Early War, 12 players, 3 2 1/2 hour games in the day.  Camp Cromwell were represented by Jim's Schutzen & Mark's Fucileri.  There were also players from the Launceston Gaming Club.  There was a bit of a profusion of German armies (the Bad Guys do get the best toys) making Blue on Blue's unavoidable, but it was a good day renewing aquaintances with the other Tasmanian FOW players.  The venue was excellent as well as free, Good Games truly is our FLGS.  The Rats as always provided a great set of tables to fight on, with Nick Ridge doing most of the organising.
Your correspondent did not have a particularly succesful day, but a good day all the same.

Game 1 was a Counterattack.  I probably picked the wrong quarter to deploy in and Rob from Launceston did all the right things.  The only consolation was knocking off enough enemy to score 3 probably undeserved VPs.

Game two was against Smithy's Soviet horde in a Fighting Withdrawal.  In not my favourite mission, a mass of tanks I had limited counters to & an opponent that really knew made what he was doing made scratching up 2 VPs seem like a good result.

Game 3 was a Blue on Blue Free For All v. NickB who had a similar army to my own.  I felt I had to attack because of the enemy's superior artillery.  I had some good moments taking out the dreaded 88 that dominated the battlefield and the artillery with my HMGs. rushed forward while Nick was destroying my Paks.  But the critical fight was between his 4 35t's and my 5 35t's.  It went on for ages as pop guns fired ineffectively at tin plate, but a lucky round & a bad morale throw left me tank-less. Nick sent his tank rushing forward toward an undefended objective as I launched desperate infantry attacks on both my objectives.  Both attacks were far from hopeless, but both failed.  But Nick's tanks reached their objective, my Stukas didn't come and blow them off it, so it was Nick's victory.  It was FOW at it's best despite the Blue on Blue - two equally skilled players with good plans slugging it out until one of them got lucky.

In the third round, our Mark and NickR fought it out for first place.  The battle had not been decided when the time ran out, but Nick gained more VPs for killing enemy platoons than Mark to gain first place.  Mark did well to come second with two 6:1 wins and an honourable loss.  It seems he learned more in losing our two practice games against each other than I did in winning them.

Thanks to the Rats & NickR in particular for a great (though exhausting) day.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Flames of War tournament practice

We have not played FOW at Camp Cromwell since the last tournament so more practice was considered desirable to refresh out memories & minimise embarrasment next Saturday.

Jim's Schutzen v. Mark's Fucileiri
1750 pts Early War. Hold the Line Mission, Germans defending.
The Germans are in the foreground.  The Italians looked fearsome at the start with so many troops, but dug in veteran Germans are hard to kill & their firepower thinned the conscripts out and stopped their frontal advance in its tracks.  The flank attack from the left did push the Germans back but their line held long enough for their reserves to come up & time ran out for the Italians.  

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Small Napoleonic

Jim's Austrians v. Mike's French

Each army has two infantry divisions & a cavalry division.  One infantry div each started on the table - Austrians in the village.  The other divs are to arrive like FOW reserves (on throwing a 5, 1 dice first turn, 2 second, etc.).  Their entry point also is decided by a dice: 1 = 18" down left flank, 6 = 18" down right flank, 2-5 at intervals along the long edge.
The French got first turn, got no reserves bu advanced on the village.  The Austrian cavalry arrived on their 1st turn on their extreme left.
Both French reserves arrived on their second turn - their cavalry on their extreme right, their 2nd infantry.  The Austrian infantry arrived on their turn 2 - also on this flank.  
The French are attacking the village frontally & on the far side but pulled back their right in the face of the Autrian artillery and advancing reserves.  The cavalry face off in the foreground as the 2nd Austrian infantry columns march towards the action.
The French are over-running the Austrian left & the remaining Austrians of the division have fallen back to a second position at right angles. The cavalry fight is swirling back and forth.
The 1st Austrian div is still hanging on in the village.  The 2nd has formed attack columns.  The French have got the upper hand in the cavalry fight.
The 2nd Austrians have launched a counterattack on the right of the village, but their attack has bounced & the 1st division has finally broken so the Austrians break.

The random deployment gave both sides something to think about & a chance to win.  The Austrians were more spread out, but had the village to defend.  While the French took it they lost heavily in doing so & the fresh 2nd Austrian infantry div might have turned thing around had their cavalry not let their side down. This was a fine demonstration that a battle doesn't have to big to be enjoyable.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Flames of War Practice for Good Games

Jim's Germans v. Mark's Italians

Although allies we did a training exercise for next weekend's FOW tournament at Good Games being run by the Bunker Rats.
The dice decreed a Breakthough Mission.  The Italians are defending deployed in the far left and near right quarters.  The Germans are deployed in the far right quarter with their objectives in the near left quarter. The Germans have a Panzer 35t platoon and an infantry platoon in delayed reserve to come on the near left corner.  The Ities have a medium & a light tank platoon in reserve.
In the first two turns the Italians rushed to get into position to defend the corner objective while the Germans tried to disrupt them.  The Germans were fortunate to get their 1st flanking platoon at the earliest possible time - in turn 3.  They came on before the Fucileri could dig in and they drove them back off the objective.   The German flanking infantry arrived next turn.
The Italians succeeded in breaking the German infantry on the objective, but the Fucilieri refused to unpin to counterattack and the Carri spent one too many turn exchanging fire with the Panzers who still held the objective at the start of turn 6 when it became live.  

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Le Garde Recule !

Mike & Mark's French v. Jim's Austrians & Chris' Russians

Mike has finally finished his 28mm French Napoleonic army and brought it along for its first battle.
The Allies deployed first on the left hand side of the table.  Jim has a Landwher div on the right flank, a regular infantry div in the hamlet and his artillery and cavalry div in the centre.  The Russians have their regular infantry division on the ridge with a cavalry division on the left flank and a guard infantry division on their right.
The French have a regular infantry and a guard div on the near flank, cavalry in the centre, more infantry on the far ridge and another cavalry div on their right flank.
The French did not try to hide their intentions.  Their right advanced immediately while their right stayed put.  Clearly they intended to knock out the Austrians before the ponderous Russians could get too involved.
The Russians immediately began to advance, but their low command rating made it a slow business.  On the near flank, when the front line of regular infantry was partially disordered by some hot shooting by the Yegers the French charged past them with the guard.  But they left their right flank hanging and an unusual run of good command dice allowed the Austrians to counterattack the French in flank.  The two guard columns on their right were rolled up by the flank attack and one of the others threw such rotten dice that they were broken by the Landwehr.  With 3 of 4 battalions broke "Le Garde Recule!"   There was talk of immediate withdrawal, but Mike is made of sterner stuff than that & he ordered Mark to counterattack on the other flank as he reorganised his regular division onto the defensive.
In the centre the French cavalry charged their cuirassiers forward at the Austrian horse and tried to charge the flank of the Austrian infantry attack with their hussars.  The hussars didn't move fats enough & the Austrian horse soon broke the French cavalry in the centre.
Mike's infantry on the near flank put up stiff resistance as the Austrian command reverted to form and their counterattack stumbled forward trying to finish them off to break the French army.  On the far flank Mark's cavaly charged forward and at least gave the French some jollies by riding down a Russian square and a column behind it.  But there were plenty more Russians still coming and the Russian cavalry outnumbered the French which they now finally got to grips with.   When the second French cavalry div broke that was the army break test for the French. 

Once again a splendid newly painted force has failed ingloriously on it's first outing at Camp Cromwell.  The French Guard should have steamrolled the Landwehr, but Mike got a bit over-enthusiastic in his attack (So French!) and the Austrians got the right dice to take advantage. 

Monday, November 09, 2015

Muskets & Tommahawks at Barries

French: Chris & Jim v. British: Barrie & Rusty in 600 pts a side.
The Brits (on this side of the table) objective was "Scout" (to get a figure into every 2' square on the table).  The French objective was "Slaughter" (kill every civilian on the table).  The French advanced agressively to try to get at the civilians but suffered heavy casualties from Brits in the heavy cover.  It became apparent that neither side had any hope of achieving their objective directly, but it was the French who lost more than half their figs first and they conceded the battle.

As always M&T look great on Barrie's table, but the scenario was confusing and almost irrelevant - the battle boiling down to a simple matter of who broke first.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Bolt Action: Kittyhawk Down Scenario

Jim's Germans v. Chris' Soviets: Practice match for Cancon 2016

Kittyhawk Down is one of the scenarios being used in the Cancon tournament next January.  It features a plane crashing on the table halfway through the battle & the crash crater becoming the objective.
The Germans are coming on the near edge of the playing area, the Soviets from the table edge.  The scenario has both sides coming on from opposite sides then at the start of turn 4 a plane crashes on the long table centreline 10D6" from one short edge.  The winner is the side with the most infantry or artillery units within 3" of the crash site at the end of the game (after turn 6 or 7).
Both sides advanced troops in the woods on their side of the centre while moving troops up on the flanks to provide fire support to the centre & to guard against the unlikely event of the crash site being way off centre.  The Germans won the sideshow on the far flank, the Soviets won the one on the near flank.  The crash was as the odds should have it, near the centre.  The impact caused some serious pins to the units of each side close to it - the German spearhead being particularly hard hit.
The rush for the objective resulted in mutual destruction & at the end of turn 6 neither side had anyone within 3" of the crater.  But the dice decreed a turn 7 and the Germans managed to get one unit to advance and survive within 3" of the crater to gain a costly victory.

At first we thought the scenario a bit odd, but as we played it we found it was actually a challenging and interesting scenario.   The first part fo the game is a matter of manoeuvering for position whie weakening the enemy.  The second half is a desperate fight for the single objective.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Barnet 1471

Chris set up a scenario based on the Battle of Barnet 1471.   Details of the batle are scarce and contradictary as usual for the period, but Chris picked out the critical points.  Bot sides outflanked the other's left.  The Yorkist had more troops.  The Lancs had some hedges to defend.  No one had any cavalry.  Jim commanded the Yorkists with 18 unitss.  Mike had 16 units in the Lanc's army.  Both armies were in 3 battles each half long bow men & the rest a mix of dismounted knights, billmen & spearmen.
 The Lanc's are skulking behind the hedge on the far side of the table.  Edward's centre has advanced & his right under Gloucester has formed columns to speed up their intended manoeuvres. 
The Lanc's have advanced their left.  Edward's centre is going on a flanking march while his right is marching into the resulting gap in his line.  Hastings on his left was supposed to hold back and form to the left, but has blundered forward.
Hasting's blunder-charge  initially had some success, but being outflanked they have fallen back as Cloucester's battle deployed on his right.
Hastings is hard pressed onthe lft, but Gloucester is pushing forward in the centre.  Edward's flank march is going nowhere.
Edward has finally got moving again, but the Lanc's right has fallen back giving him no one to fight while supporting their centre to stop Gloucester's advance.
 Hasting's battle has broken on the York's left leaving Glouster outflanked.  Edward has blundered sideways to give him support.
Gloucester is down to half strength but hanging on grimly as the Lanc's try to bring up more trrops to finish him off before Edward can get at their left.
The revolving door is complete as the Yorkist now occupy the Lanc's starting position.  Both side's lefts are hanging on as their rights try to finish them off.
Edward took his time getting there, but his battle is pushing the Lanc's left back while Gloucester is hanging on in the hedegrow on half strength.
It came down to who's left would break first.  Gloucester was saved by the hedge & it was the Lanc's who lost their second battle first to give the Yorkists victory.   A very entertaining battle which was in the balance right to the end until the last swing of the dice going the Yorkist's way.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Biggest yet Wings of Glory at Barrie's

A record 10 punters showed up at Barrie's this Sunday afternoon for a Wings of Glory WWI air game.  Each side had 2 bombers escorted by 3 fighters & a two seater, so 12 planes on the table.  There were several bomber targets at near the far side of the table for both sides. VPs were to got by effective bombing of designated targets or by shooting down enemy planes.
We made quite a crowd around the end of one of Barrie's two 12'x6' tables.  I'm afraid the picture quality isn't real good as I only had my iphone.
The Germans are coming towards the camera & have maintained a pretty tight formation with 2 escorts for each bomber.  The Brits on the other hand are all over the place.  Chris has rushed forward & is getting himself Fokkered.  Barrie's DH4 went meandering off to the right for no apparent reason.  Jim is in his usual Flashman mode, hanging about the rear.  Only Mark is actually keeping close to the bombers they are supposed to be protecting.
None of us had any experience in bombers & we found out the hard way that they are damned hard to shoot down & pack a punch.  They sailed right past the enemy fighters and went for their targets.  Some of the fighters turned to follow them, others seemed to think it safer to go for the enemy fighters.
The bomber pilots now found out how difficult it was to hit a target.  JohnW's Allied bombers could do no better than some near misses, but SteveJ, the German bomber commander, got the hang of it with his second run and scored some serious damage.  The Allied bombers were badly damaged and one went off table too badly damaged to turn to avoid the table edge but the other fought on after it's ineffectual bombing run.  Mark's dedication to attacking the German bombers was rewarded by him being shot down by SteveJ's gunners, but with the allied bomber gunners & fighters picked off the Fokkers one by one - first NickB's, then Jake's, then John's and finally Rusty's Hanover.

In the end the only German plane to escape was one of their bombers - the other bomber being scored by Jim & Chris after Mark had valiantly done the hard work.   The Brits lost one fighter & had one bomber leave the field.  We decided it was tie as the Brits won the dogfight, while the Germans had much more success with their bombing.

WOG is not a game to take too seriously - the system's far too fickle for that - but it was rattling good fun.  It got a bit loud in the crowd at times (hearing aids had to be turned down), but we were learning the rules, not arguing.