Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Diadochi campaign battle: Paeonia

Jim, with help of his ally Mark is attacking Mike at Paeonia in attempt to win back the province lost in a surprise attack some years back.  Mike is slightly outnumbered and has chosen a position behind a river.
Mike is on the left with his 2 cavalry divisions on his left, hoplite phalanxes in the centre & a mix of phalanx & light troops on his right.  
Mark's cavalry division is on the far right of the allied line.  Jim's phalanx is his centre with warbands on his left & his cavalry on his right.
Mike has the advantage in missile power having 2 bows, 2 slings, 2 light infantry & 4 light cavalry units compared with 2 javelins, 4 warbands & 4 light cavalry.
Renfrey assisted Mike with plastic pushing the cavalry & throwing sixes.  Chris umpired.
Mike has covered the river frontage with his close order troops & sent his skirmishers across the river. The allied cavalry has advanced to pinning distance from the river and Jim's arbands have been moved towards the centre in front of the phalanx.
On the far flank the allied had advanced their light cavalry as skirmishers, but they were driven back by enemy fire.
In the centre Mike took the bait of the warbands hung out in front and crossed the river with his infantry to attack them.
On the far flank Mark's attempt to renew the light cavalry skirmisher fight resulted in a blunder - his light cavalry charged over the river at the enemy heavy cavalry ans was immediately destroyed. In the centre one warband beat one of the hoplite phalanxes but another is in trouble.  An attempt to hit the winning hoplites in flank with cavalry fell one command pip short.
The cavalry is still either throwing javelins or just looking across the river at their opponents.  The hoplites broke the warband & rallied back before the cavalry could hit their flank.  The victorious warband was withdrawn to let the phalanxes get into the action.
The hoplites have been driven back over the river by the RH phalanx.  Jim's phalanx with some help from the cavalry unit have broken half Mike's right flank division.  
On the far flank Jim's light cavalry has been broken by javelin fire across the river, but the allies still have 6 heavy cavalry on the flank v. 4 heavy & 4 light & no one was keen to cross the river.
In the centre two phalanxes are pressing the hoplites at the river line supported by warbands.
Left of centre Jim's cavalry lead by himself right behind has crossed the river in the gap.
On the near flank a phalanx has been broken by bow fire & a warband is left as a pin cushion to protect the next phalanx. 
After a lot of frustration, the allies finally got some good dice - the cavalry in the centre charged & took out a light infantry unit to break Mike's right & the phalanx broke the hoplites in the centre and suddenly it was all over.   Mike's cavalry withdrew in good order.

It was long hard fought & very entertaining battle.   Having failed to find a weak spot to attack the river line, the allies resorted to hanging out a flank to entice the enemy over the river.  Mike lost patience and took the bait.  The allied counterattack with their phalanx & a bit of cavalry was then decisive.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Wars of the Roses - Hail King Richard

We did have a Diadochi campaign battle to fight tonight, but with 6 players present we decided it could could wait & it would be more entertaining to do something that all could be involved in.  The battles were all different, but the sum total of types in each side was about equal.  Jim, Mark & Chris lined up for York, Mike, SteveJ & Renfrey fought for Lancaster. At Molesworth on Saturday we used Hail Caesar, this time we used our Medieval variant, Hail King Richard.
The Lancastrians are on the left side of the table.  For York, Jim is on the left, Mark in the centre, Chris on the right.  All leaders are 8's  with no CIC on either side.
On the near side Jim's knights moved left causing Steve to retire his left fearing being outflanked.  The move was intended as a feint & as such suceeded admirably, but the ruse came to nought when the division failed command for the next four turns.  On the far flank, Mike's knights charged right across the field to attack Chris' men at arms while Chris knights refused to move to help them.  Mark tried to advance to counterattack Mike's battle before Renfrey could advance but also repeatedly failed command.
On the far flank Mike's knights have ridden down Chris' men at arms & have turned right to attack the Yorkists' rear, driving Chris' knights back.  Mark has moved forward, but failed all command tests to turn to face Mike.  On the near flank, Jim's knights finally got an order to move right to support his comrades, but his foot remain rooted to the spot.   Meanwhile Steve & Renfrey's battles have moved rapidly forward.
Jim's knights have got into the action in the centre saving Mark's rear from Mike's knights.  Chris' archers are holding on to the wood against Mike's men at arms.  Mark is under great pressure from Renrey & Steve's battle has again had good command dice to move right up to Jim's infantry.
Chris' battle is down to half strength, but holding on.  Mark's battle is almost broken in the centre.  Jim's infantry tried to attack their way out of trouble, but numbers are prevailing against them.
Mark's battle is broken, Chris's is still hanging on.   Jim's remaining knights have been brought back from the centre & have broken some men at arms, but a ring of bowmen has stopped their momentum & the whole battle is now shaken, though not broken.
Chris' battle has finally broken and with it the Yorkists also break.  Renfrey was inordinantly pleased with himself, though the Yorkists were convinced that the result had more to do with the command dice than Lancastrian tactics.

War of the Roses at Molesworth

Dave put on a  WOTR battle at Molesworth last Saturday.  He used a random army generator system to provided each side with 3 battles of varying composition.  Dave & PeterC commanded the Lancastrians, Jim & Chris the Yorkists.  I took photos of the battle on my Iphone, but old age is catching up with it & it sometimes refuses to connect to my PC so I have been unable to download the pics.  Without pics as an aide memoire I can only give a general report.  The memory that stuck was that the dice gods strongly favoured Henry Tudor.

Dave posted a full report with pics at:

Monday, December 12, 2016

Some Bolt Action

Renfrey is back home for Xmas & we introduced him to BoltAction.  On Tuesday I lent him a British army & Chris advised him in a fight against Steve's Germans.  Each army was 1000 pts plus a medium tank.  The scenario had 4 objectives.
Both sides failed to mount any serious attempts to take an objective s the battle was decided on body count & with loses about equal, it was a draw.

On Friday we had another go, this time with 1000 pts each in a Hold Until Relieved scenario.  Steve brought his new Falshermjager & defended.  I commanded the Brits with Renfrey assisting.
The Brits are on the near side.  The battle area is 6'x4', bounded by the railway line, line of rulers & river. 
The Brits rushed their half track full of commandos & Carrier down the road to grab an objective  before the German reserves could stop them.  The British infantry were supposed to suppress the German counterattack, but they couldn't hit a thng & the Germans massacred the commandos. 
The Brits on the ridge blasted away to prepare for an attack on the centre objective, finally starting to cause some casualties.
In the last turns the Brits launched attack son the centre objective, mometarilly taking it, but German counterattacks took it back.  The battle ended as a draw as teh atackers has taken only 1 of the 3 objectives.  Casualties were high on both sides.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Hail Caesar

Mark & Chris v. Jim & Mitch
We selected a couple of Diodochi armies similar to our campaign armies.
Jim & Mitch are on the left: Phalanx in the cnetre, cavalry of the left, warband son the right.
Mark & Chris are on the right with Hoplite sin the cntre, Cavalry on their right & phalngites + light infnatry on their left.
 Jim & Mitch advanced.Mark & Chris mostly blundered backwards.
 The cnetre came to grips first.
 The phalanx & hoplites clash bogged down under the phalanx rule as expected.  The warbands smashed themselves on the phalanx.  the did better v. the light infantry, but one of them withstood the charge.  The cavalry is engaged on the far flank.
Mitch's phalanx id in big trouble.  One unit has broken v. hoplites, another has been hit & flank & broken by Chris' phalanx. Chris' light inf continue to hold on.  Jim's cavalry has got the upper hand on the far flank.
Mitch's phalanx has broken, but so has Mark's cavalry.  Jim has tried to attack the hoplites with his cavalry, but poor command has stymied the idea leaving the battle to be decided on the near flank where the surviving 2 warbands are fighting the 2 phalanx units after disposing of the light infantry.  No one would break and it became a matter of which side got to half broken and the rest shaken first.  The warbands broke with one phalanx shaken & the other 1 casualty off being so.

So a close run victory for Chris & Mark.    

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Diadochi Campaign: Antipater v. Lysymicus

Lysimacus (Mike) has invaded Antpater's (Jim's) kingdom of Macedon.  Lysimacus has already taken one province while Antipater was in Asia Minor helping Leonatus (Chris) fight off the Canberrans.  Antipater has returned home and with a division of cavalry from his ally Craterus (Mark) is defending his home province of Macedon.
Antipater's army is on the left. He was allowed to choose the terrain, but had to deploy first.  Craterus' cavalry is on the far flank.  Antipater's phalanx is in the centre with his cavalry on its left and warbands on its right.
Lysymacus (army commanded by Steve as Mike is interstate) was deployed after seeing Antipater's deployment.  He placed his hoplite division on the far flank, his phalanx/light infantry div in the centre and his two cavalry divs on his left.
Lysimacus got first move and with good command dice in turns 1 & 2 thwarted Antipater's plan to get his phalanx across the river before the enemy got there.   
The two sides lined up facing each other across the river.  Lysymacus had an advantage in missile power & was happy to trade missiles over the river - inf v. cav at each end & inf v. inf in the middle.  Antipater tried to outflank the enemy with his warbands on the near flank, but it was a slow business. He also made a direct attack over the river with 2 phalanxes v. light infantry.  One phalanx succeeded,  but the other was well held.   
In the centre the 2nd phalanx was broken by light infantry on the river line & Lysymacus moved some cavalry to face the phalanx that did get over the river.  Antipater pulled the phalanx back over the river & summoned Craterus to bring his heavy cavalry to the centre to plug the gap. On the near flank, the warbands are now overlapping the enemy flank. 
Craterus' cavalry were blessed with good command dice and crossed the river in the gap in the centre of the two lines.  On the far flank the hoplites have crossed the river & are trying to move towards the centre, but the enemy's light cavalry is delaying their advance.  Lysymacus' left is now in trouble as the warbands close around it.
Lysimacus' centre had given ground in front of Craterus' cavalry, but still holds.  He has sent his phalanxes over the river to try & finish off Antipater's phalanx division.  This left a hole in his line in front of Antipater's cavalry, but it blundered back rather than take advantage.  Lysimmacus' left flank cavalry has broken, but bad command dice prevent the warbands following up.
The hoplites are still trying to get past the light cavalry's delaying action.  Antipater's phalanx has broken.  Lysimacus' phalanx has fallen back across the river as Antipater's cavalry swarms around it.  Lysimicus' left & centre still refuse to break.
Antipater is on top now, but just can't land the killer blow.   Lysimicus' phalanx fights on surrounded by cavalry.  Antipater's cavalry has run out of steam in the centre.  The warbands are still making herbal tea.
The hoplites have finally broken though light cavalry screen, but the phalanx div is now all shaken & on half strength thus broken, & the warbands have finally charged in and finished off the enemy cavalry.  Antipater has won.

Lysimucus' army was outnumbered by 56 points, but Steve made a real battle out of it.  His rapid advance denied the enemy the advantage of the river & his superior missile power forced his enemy to attack.  The battle probably turned on Antipater's order to Craterus to move his cavalry from the left flank to plug the hole in the centre being blessed with good command dice where it really mattered. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Flames of War: Kingston Bunker Rats' Doubles Comp

Steve & I competed in the Kingston Bunker Rat's FOW 2016 Doubles Competition this weekend.  3 Axis & 3 Allied teams fought 3 Axis v. Allied rounds.  Each team had two companies of about 1,250 pts to give armies of 2,500 pts max.  The period was very Late War.  The venue was a games store in Kingston.  Our Kampfgruppe Kromwell comprised two Reluctant Veteran Panzergrenadier coys:
Jim's: HQ Stug, 3x Stg, 3x Panther, Gepanzergrenadier, 4x Heavy Mortars.
Steve's: HQ Panther, 3x Panther, 3 x Stug, Gepanzergrenadier, 3x AA HT.
Game 1 was our worst nightmare.  We drew Smithy & Pat's Soviet army with 3 large heavy batteries on a snow table where all movement was difficult (no bogging rolls. but max move 10cm for HT's, 20cm for tanks & no doubling - in a Dust Up scenario.  It got worse when they won the dice-off to chose table side & we got the side with the least cover.  Anything we moved out hiding got instantly smashed by artillery.  We considered a 5:2 loss a good result under the circumstances.
Game 2 was a distinct improvement - we faced Leigh & Stu's British on a more friendly table, us attacking in a Breakthrough scenario. This time we could use the mobility of our entirely mounted force.  Steve swept around their right flank while most of my coy came in from behind them as the Delayed Reserve.  The plan was initially disrupted a bit by the double British Battery, but one large enemy battery was almost a pleasure after the previous game.  The pincer move wasn't mucked up by the dice gods & worked a treat giving us a satisfying 5:2 win.
The last game was against another Soviet army lead by Rusty.  All three games were a linked Total War Scenario played in simultaneous turns, but in practice everyone got totally involved in their own interest & there was no cross table action.  VPs were gained by holding objectives (1 or pts per turn held) or killing enemy platoons (1VP per 100 pts destroyed).  Once again we had a mission that allowed us to use our mobility and only had one heavy battery to deal with.  Again we had a good plan & it all came together.  We grabbed the points-rich central objective straight up, weakened the enemy as they tried to counterattack & finally went back on the offensive & all but destroyed them.

Smithy & Pat were the best Allied team.  Steve & I were the best Axis team.  Both winning teams lead their comrades on the same side by big margins, with Smithy & Pat being undefeated and picking a few more VPs than us.
Kampfgruppe Kromwell gets back the coverted wrecked Cromwell for best Axis players.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Flames of War

Next weekend the Kingston Bunker Rats are running a Late War Flames of War doubles tournament.  SteveJ & I are going to be Kampfgruppe Kromwell.  We haven't played FOW since the last tournament so had a practice game last night to remind us of the rules.

Each force comprises two coys totalling 2500 pts.  Steve commanded one our proposed German coys and I commanded one of British coys I'd worked out in case we needed to be Allied to balance the Axis v. Allied.  We fought a simpel Free for All Mission.  The Germans are on the far side of the table
Things went bad on the Germans as soon as the firing started.  Steve couldn't even kill an M10 with his Panthers while the Brits couldn't miss as they wiped out his AA with .50cals and his Recon with Cromwells.
It only got worse for the Germans as the M10's won the firefight with the Panthers with a little help from flanking Cromwells.  The Germans failed morale saving the Brits from having to finish of the Panzergrenadiers on the objectives.

This did not bode well for our chances next weekend, but we can only hope we have better luck then Steve had last night.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Ancient Naval: Diadochi Campaign

Both myself (Antipater) and PeterW (Antigonus) moved their fleets to the Cylades & not being allied this meant we had to fight even though we are both allied to Mark & had no intention of going to war with each other.  Opinion is divided whether this was a Machevelian ploy by Mark or just another stuff up.  Peter W being in Canberra the battle was fought at Camp Cromwell with Mark commanding Peter's fleet & PeterC umpiring.  Each fleet had 6 ships, but we made the battle 12 v. 12 to make it more interesting.
The two fleets approach in quite different formations.  Antigonus' fleet is on the far side.
The fleets clash head on with both sides outflanking the enemy's right.
It's a face to face slog along most of the line, but Antigonus' flank attack went well while Antipater's did not.  Antipater's triremes on the left were smashed by ballista fire whereas Antigonus' on the other flank had a charmed life.
It all got pretty confused, made worse by Mark's propensity to confuse left and right turns making his moves totally unpredictable, but in the usual way of ancient naval battles, once you get behind it's very hard to come back.  Both sides took prizes, but it was Antipater's ships getting sunk.   
In the end Antipater only got 3 ships & 2 prizes away while Antigonus lost just one ship sunk and took 5 prizes.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

ACW: Wilsons Creek

It was US election day, so ACW seemed the natural choice for the night.  We fought a simplified version of the Wilsons Creek scenario in the Glory, Halleljah! Black Powder supplement.
The Union commanded by Chris & Mitch are on the far side with 3 divisions.  The Rebs commanded by Mike & Mark are on the left with 4 divisions.  The Rebs have begun a general advance.
On turn 2 a large Union division came on in the Reb's rear.  The Rebs had not been told this was to happen.
The Reb attack was speedily called off as part of their left flank div about faced and their right turned back to counterattack the new arrivals.  The main Union army now advanced to attack.
The light cover over almost all the table favoured the defense and the Union attack faltered on the river line.  The newly arrived Union division's deployment was disrupted by hot Reb shooting causing some break test disorder & some poor command rolls. 
While the main Union attack made some gains, it faltered, then their left & centre broke.  With their right on half strength & the rear attack going nowhere, the Union conceded.

The portent for the election is unclear as the CSA would clearly favour Trump, but Lincoln was a Republican.