Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Modder Fokkers

Mike Shevak was down from Coff's Harbour & as an old veteran of WWI air wargames at Mt Stuart in the 70's he was keen so see how the rules had evolved.

Game 1: Mike x2 with 2x Albatrii v. Jim's Tripe, Chris' Neiuport & Mark's Pup.
It was 2 v. 3, but the Abatrii had twin MG's & tougher bodies.
The inexperienced Germans made a mistake in splitting apart.  The Allies got in between them and ganged up on MikeN after MikeS dived through the pack..
MikeN's Albatross ducked & weaved with a trio of Allies on his rear end as MikeS made a token gesture  of turning back towards the fight.
Oakie peeled off to chase MikeS who was now just trying to escape.  Jim & Chris shared the kill of his comrade while MikeS ran out of height & couldn't escape Oakie's Pup.

Game 2: Chris & Mark had 2 Fokker DVII's v. Jim's SE5, MikeN's Camel & MikeS' Spad.
Afgain 2 v 3, but the Fokker DVII was the best plane going.
Things went pear shaped for the Germans in the first pass when Chris was wounded. 
The Allies immediately  went for the weakened prey
Now it was Chris's turn to be hounded by a flock of enemies while his comrade found a safe spot behind the action.  Mark now found himself on the wrong side of the table with 3 undamaged enemy plane between him and his home side of the table.  He did a pretty good job of slipping through the pack & making his escape.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Barrie's Sunday School: Bolt Action & Saga

With 8 punters turning up Barrie's Sunday school split into 2 groups, 4 playing Saga & 4 playing Bolt Action.

Saga x2
Jake fought Nick & Barrie while Barrie fought JohnM.

Bolt Action
Darren was introduced to Bolt Action teaming up with Jim using Jim's Germans.
JohnM & Chris used a Soviet army provided by JohnM.
Scenario: Hold Until Relieved Germans defending, 1,000 pts.
Rules: The book with WWPD Season 3 changes & our house rule on Bombardment Miscalculation.
The scenario has a single objective near the middle of the table - in this case the road T-junction. The Germans deployed 2 units first  - 2 infantry in the house next to the objective.  The Soviets then deployed all their force no closer than 18" to Germans on the table, or the objective.  The rest of the Germans came on from the RH side half in the first wave on turn 1, the rest as Reserves.
The Germans brought on infantry & MMG on their left to distract the Soviet right while their main force came on their right to directly support the defence of the objective.
The German left was a side show, but a significant part of the Soviet force was diverted away from the objective to destroy it & the MMG got in some useful fire support against the Soviets attacking the village before they died.
The Soviet artillery miscalculated but we used the Camp Cromwell randomised plot rather than RAW Friendly Fire.  This resulted in the German armoured car getting pinned down until turn 5.  If we'd used the RAW the Germans could have placed the barrage on the main Soviet attack and very likely won the battle with one stroke of luck in turn 2 - and thus ruined what was to be a very good game.
The Soviet attack was lead by Pioneers who cleared out both houses with their flamethrower beofre German firepower finally blew them away.
Two more Soviet infantry squads armed with SMGs moved up to contest the village, but 2 squads of veteran panzergrenadiers supported by their half tracks took them on.
At the end of turn 6 the objective was still contested with 1 Soviet squad pinned down on the road between the houses & the German HQ which moved up on the far side of the house.  The dice decreed a turn 7 in which the Germans shot up then finished off the surviving Soviets in the village by assault.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday afternoon Bolt Action

With only Chris & Jim available this afternoon we moved the venue from Good Games to Camp Cromwell.  

Bridgehead Scenario from the Ostfront book:
This scenario has a mechanised German force attacking a bridge over an un-fordable river.  The Soviets start with half on and the rest in delayed reserves (coming on turn 3).  The Germans have half in 1st wave and half in normal reserve.  Game length is 10+ turns.  The winner is the side holding the bridge at the end (troops within 6" & no enemy within 6").  The Soviets on the table at the start are Dug In (an extra -1 to hit until they move).
 The Germans are coming from the right.
The Germans are pushing infantry forward under a barrage of covering fire.  One of the Soviet forward units has already been blown away.
The Germans have taken the objective & destroyed almost all the Soviet infantry, but the Soviet armour could still save the day as the German's have nothing more powerful than light a/tank.
The Soviet light tank was pinned to death by the 38t, A/car & ATR.  The T34 tried to move up to dispute the bridge, but was forced to withdraw, then immobilised by some hot shooting by the 38t.  The only other Soviet unit alive is a MMG team in the house who had no hope of reaching the bridge.  The Soviets conceded in turn 9.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

English Civil War to christen the revamped games room

The re-carpeting of the apartment at Camp Cromwell has lead to the games room being completely reorganised and tidied up.  We christened the new look room with the English Civil War using our Hail Cromwell variant of Hail Caesar.

Mike's Royalists v. Jim & Mark's Parliamentarians
The Royalists started deployed in a village with a division of 6 shot & 2 pike.  They have a cavalry division of 4 cavalry & 2 dragons and an infantry division of 4 shot & 2 pike coming as reinforcements on 2 of the 3 roads to their rear & flanks.  Mike drew chits so he knew which div was coming on which road without the enemy knowing.  He threw 1 dice on turn 1, 2 on turn 2, etc getting a reserve if a 5 was thrown.
Parliament started with 2 infantry divisions of 4 shot & 2 pike & 2 cavalry divisions of 4 cavalry deployed up to 18" onto the table but not closer than 18" to enemy.  Mark took 2 divs on the left, Jim took 2 on the right.
Parliament win if they break the big div in the village or both reinforcements.  The Royals win if they break 2 Parliamentary divisions including 1 inf.
This pic is taken behind the Royalists right with all ready to start.
This pic is taken from behind the Royalist left where their cavalry has come on turn 2.  Jim's horse has galloped forward to meet them with the up-hill advantage.  The Parl'y foot is advancing slowly with the shot in front.  Mark's cavalry has crossed the creek to a position where he hopes to bottle up the enemy infantry reinforcements.
Jim's cavalry quickly broke half of Mike's horse & has rallied back, but 1 Royal horse retired off the table & the dragoons survived in the house and wood so the division was not broken.   The Parl'y shot is firing away at the village as the pikes manoeuvre to the rear.  The Royal inf reinforcements have come on the far end & are facing off with Mark's horse.
Mike's dragoons got some good command, remounted and galloped across to reinforce the village while Jim's horse decided they needed a rest.  Mike launched a counterattack with a lone pike unit on his left.  He broke one Parlimentary pike block and made the other fall back.  Mark's attempts to attack the foot on the far flank got nowhere.  The Royals either got into hedgehog or stopped them with shot.
On this flank Jim's horse has finally got moving again. His musketeers have charged the field after shaking the enemy with their fire and taken the hedgerow.  Mark's foot is still trying to weaken the enemy on his side of the village enough to assault them.  His horse is giving ground to the pike & shot.
Jim's infantry have broken 2 shot units, but have run out of steam with all units shaken. Mark's pikes have finally charged the other side of the village but are meeting fierce resistance.  Most of Jim's horse has got over to help Mark on the far flank.
A view from behind Parliament's left.    Mark's foot has cleared the field on his side, but were shaken in the process & unable to follow on.  Mike has 4 of the original 8 defenders of the village still fighting (reinforced by the dragoons).   He only has to lose 1 more for the div to break & with it the army, but Parliament are running out of units fit to fight.
Parliament had one chance left to win the battle - they could attack the shaken pike unit on the crossroads with the tail end Charley of Jim's cavalry division & Jim's last pike block, both rallied back from shaken & one casualty off being shaken again.  The cavalry got good command and charged the pikes in flank.  The pikes managed to turn & face, the dragoons in the house missed with opportunity fire & the charge went home.  The casualties were tied, but both were then shaken & had to test & the cavalry broke.  The Parliament's pikes failed to charge home in concert with the cavalry & next turn when they did charge were broken by the opportunity fire of dragoons.  Jim's infantry div then broke with half units broken & the rest shaken. 
Parliament played on for another turn in the hope of a miracle, but Mark's horse was broken by musket fire & it was all over.  It was an exciting & very enjoyable battle of fluctuating fortunes that easily could have gone either way.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Nicopolis Bugle #1 (from 1977)

From the Camp Cromwell Archive 7th Sept 1977:

The reason there was no wargame report last week was that Camp Cromwell in under renovation.  The flat is being re-carpeted, wargames room included.  I have taken the opportunity to reorganise the room, changing the layout and sorting out the stuff that has been lurking under the table since we moved here 3.5 years ago.

Among the stuff uncovered were copies of the Nicopolis Bugle - the newpaper produced during our ancient wargames campaign in 1977.  Here is a copy of issue #1.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Barrie's Sunday School

With a good turnout there were 2 games of Saga & 1 of Bolt Action.
Saga 1:
Jim's Welsh were quickly beaten by Darren's Vikings on an open battlefield that gave the Welsh little opportunity to use their advantages.
Saga 2:
In complete contrast the fight for 2 bridges between JohnW & Jake went on for hours.
Bolt Action:
JohnM's Soviets (on the left) defeated  Rusty's Germans in a Maximum Attrition Scenario.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Bolt Action Doubles at Good Games

Germans: SteveJ & JohnM (both vets)
Allies: Jim (British regs) & Jake (US vets)
Each side had two 1,000 pts coys in a Doubles Frontal Assault scenario on a 8'x6' table, Germans attacking.
The Germans are attacking from the far side of the table.  The Allies are on the near side, Jim on the left v. Steve, & Jake on the right v. John. There are 4 objectives in the Allies half of the table.  The Allies deploy half their units in their half of the table, remainder in reserve.  The Germans deploy all of theirs up to 18" from the centreline.  The attackers win if they take 2+ objectives, the defenders win if they hold all of them.

John's attack with motor cycles and half track mounted troops supported by a his StuH, a bombardment & Steve's Puma soon over-ran the RH objective in the wood.   The Brits on the left held off their opponents and were able to send some support for Jake as his reserves came on.  John couldn't take the second objective needed for victory before time ran out.  So the battle was an honourable draw.  We find that this mission (one of our own design) is balanced enough, but hard to win for either side.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Bolt Action

Jim's Panzergrenadiers v. Mark's Brits

1,000 pts infantry coys.  Our Domination Scenario with 5 objectives in a dice 5 pattern - one at the road junction, one 9" in from the table edge one each of the 3 roads & on eon the hill in left LH corner.  The Germasn are on the near side of the 6'x6' table.
This Scenario starts with a deployment Turn 0 where as the command dice are drawn units are deployed without firing in deployment zones up to 12" from the table centreline.
The Brits have 3 infantry squads on each flank & 3 in the centre, a Honey & a bug in the centre, 25pdr in their left rear, spotter team left rear, HQ in centre & PIAT in the bug.
The Germans have 2 Hanomags with Panzergrenadiers squads on the left, 2 small infantry in the centre with HQ, infantry on the right rear, MG & mortar ceantre rear & 75mm gun on the ridge on their left.
Both sides occupied a house in the centre to dispute the objective with other troops in support behind.  Both sides worked on blasting the enemy out of the hamlet with artillery or mortar fire. The Hanomags swept down the left flank with one squad dismounting to blow away the British infantry there.  The British barrage destroyed the German HQ and pinend down the rest fo their troops in the hamlet, along with the Brits in the house. 
The Panzergrenadiers on the left moved on to kill the observer team on the objective and take it.  The second squad attacked the Brits beside the road & took them out to cover the advance on their left.
The Germans in the village were eventually destroyed and the Brits took the crossroads objective.  In the last 2 turns (the game went to 7) the Brits tried to retake their lost objective.  It got down to an infantry charge on the last 2 heavily pinned surviving panzergrens by the last 3 surviving men in a Brit squad.  Defensive fire took out 1 Brit so 2 smgs fought 2 assault rifles.  The Brits died and the Germans hung on to win with 3 objectives to 2 despite having lost more units.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

KIngston Kup 2016 Flames of War Tournament

The annual Kingston Kup Flames Of War Tournament was held at Good Games this weekend.  Te theme was Italy Late War with some splendid scenery made up by the Griggsy & the Bunker Rats.  The usual carpet baggers from the Monday Knights came over from Melbourne to grab the silverware & there was a strong contingent from the Launceston Gaming Club.  Other commitments kept Camp Cromwell's contingent down to just 2 - Jim's Panzergrenders & Mark's US artillery.  There were 5 rounds over the two days.

Mark failed to trouble the scorer much, but avoided the wooden spoon.  Jim's Panzergrenadiers as usual put together a mix of close wins & close losses to finish in the middle of the pack.
Round one was free for all.  The Panzergrens started badly against Rusty's US when teh TD's took out the MkIV's, but the Panzergrens fought back for a  4:3 win.
Round 2 was Hasty Attack with the Panzergrens attacking Patrick'sTiger infested FJ's in a Blue on Blue.  Patrick's force was reduced to 3 Tigers on one objective & 2 FJ's on the other, but he got a 6:1 win because he kept passing sole survivor tests & the destroyed platoons didn't count as destroyed.   
Round 3 was an Encounter MkII Mission Panzergrenadiers defending v. NickB's US.  Both of us were unfamiliar with the Mission where the defenders have half at one end of the table & random reserves coming in at the other end.  It was a rollicking ride with side then the other looking on top until Jim forgot to spread out his Mauliers & the USAF showed up & destroyed them in one strike forcing an army morale test which failed, so a 3:4 loss.
Round 4 was an Envelopment Mission with The Panzergrens defending v. Garry in another Blue on Blue.  The Tigers looked invincible after swiping aside the Mk IV's, but the Good Germans nibbled away at them with Pak 40's & rocket propelled broomsticks and the attack ran out of steam & a 4:3 win the Good Germans.
Round 5 was a Counterattack Mission with the Panzergrenadiers defending in another Blue on Blue v. Griggsy.  Once again the MkIV's got smashed as soon as they came on out of reserve (this time by Paks & Stugs), but the Panzergrens held out until time time ran out for another 4:3 win.

It was good enjoyable weekend despite the things about FOW tournaments that irk, such as too much Blue on Blue, too many unecessary Mickey Mouse rules and a stupid Victory Points system.

The Monday Knights cleaned up with the top 3 places and the Team Trophy.  Andrew Oates, arguably the best FOW player in the country won again.  Rusty took the wooden spoon for Kingston & an undermanned Camp Cromwell came last in the team ratings.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

FOW Practice for Kingston Kup

Jim's Panzergrenadiers v. Mark's US Rifles
Hasty Attack Mission, Germans attacking.

The Germans are on the near side with half their platoons deployed, the rest in Reserve.  The US have half their platoons defending 2 objectives, the rest in Delayed Scattered Reserves. 
The Germans advanced in the centre.  Their first reserves, Panzers & trucked infantry advanced on the left.  The Panzers have already destroyed the US 155 battery.  The first US reserves, their tanks came on behind the US left, but Detroit's finest have quickly doubled to the centre to support their right.
The Panzergren's on the left dismounted and charged the GI's, but Mark got 9 hits in 9 dice to stop the charge while the Panzers failed to even get a hit on hit the Shermans.  It was all downhill from there for the Reich.  The Panzergrens's in the centre had been pinned down by mortars & failed to unpin for 3 turns, advanced a bit, then got pinned down again.    The Paks came up but the US got their a/tank guns to come on just where they wanted them on their right.  5 MkIVs & 4 Paks v. 5 Late Shermans & 3 57mm looked a fair fight, but the Panzer's Paks lost out taking only 2 Shermans & 2 guns with them.

A German push through the village took out the pesky mortars to gain a 2nd platoon kill, but the 105's had come on by then and took over their role & the US heavy platoon came on in the centre to stop the German advance.  The Germans could do no more & conceded a 5:2 loss (the US had 9 platoons so 1 loss didn't count).

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Men o' War: Napoleonic Naval

British: (MikeS & Mark) 2 squadrons of 4 ships each, 1 2nd rate & 3 rd rate with elite crews.
French: (Jim & James 2 squadrons of 4 ships each, 2 2nd rate & 2 3rd rates each with regular crews.
Mike Shevak was in town from Coffs Harbour, regrettably, for his father's funeral.
The French are on the left in two columns, Jim's on their left.  The Brits are on the far side, Mark's on their right.  The brown & green patches are atolls low enough to fire over but not good to run into.  The wind is from the right so the French are on starboard tack & the Brits on Port Tack.
The French decided to concede the weather gauge & go downwind of the big brown island. Oakie's fleet got a bit confused manoeuvering around the small brown island. A clockwise wind shift allowed the French to quickly close the range to fire their chain shot.
James dived through the MikeS's fleet in a very un-French manner while Jim skirted their rear and Oakie was left right out of the first clash.
HMS Dalia at the tail of MikeS's squadron was quickly sunk by the converging fire of Jim's fleet, and the rest of MikeS's fleet was hit hard, but MikeS's hot shooting kept the Brits in the game causing a lot of damage from limited opportunities while only half their fleet was engaged.  (You can pick out the sides by the Brits having yellow hulls & the Frogs brown).
Admiral (Flashman) Gandy manouvred his fleet neatly around the edge of the battle pouring fire at targets of opportunity while James missed it up in close with MikeS & Mark continued to blunder about ineffectually. 
Jim's fleet has failed a test to tack and has been left downwind of the action as the Brits go for James' fleet.  HMS Pansy has struck its colours, but another wind shift has left Jim's fleet downwind while the Brits make a dash at James' fleet. 
The tail of James' fleet has been hammered and sunk by the British counterattack.  Two British ships have critical damage but they are between the two French squadrons and James first 2 ships (nearest the camera) turn downwind and run for home while the Brits recapture the Pansy.  Jim's fleet has twice failed to nail its tacks and is way out of the action, so he decides to sail for home to get in first in claiming a glorious victory.  In fact the Brits have lost 1 ship and the French 2, while there are 2 British ships & 1 French ship critically damaged which may not make it home.  So pretty much a draw.  But it was interesting and enjoyable game.