Thursday, June 30, 2016

My Blokes Book Club Pick: Winged Victory by V.M.Yeates

As my turn picking the book for my Bloke's Book Club I selected Winged Victory by V.M.Yeates.
The discussion meeting was held in my wargames room where I was able to amplify the bloke's education on WWI air warfare with my collection of 1/72nd scale models, my headfull of history & a demo of WWI air wargaming.  The group of retired professional gentlemen, none of them wargamers, really enjoyed the book and the discussion.  I recommend the book as both a rattling good read & an education on WWI dog-fighting.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Modder Fokkers

Game 1:
Germans: Mark & Steve both had a Fokker DVII.  They also had a Hanover 2 seater which had to do a straight photo run diagonally across the table at 2 hexes a move.
Brits: Mike & Chris had Camels staring low.  Jim had an SE5a starting high.

The Germans have started in the far corner & the Brits on the left.
As the Brits converge on the Hanover the Fokkers come in on the Camel's flank.
Camera angle changed to other side of the Germans.   Mike's Camel is engaging the Fokkers as Chris' goes for the Hanover's tail.  The SE5a even though its engine is damaged has dropped under the Hanover, has it's Lewis pointing up & can still keep up.
The Fokkers split off from Mike and dive after Chris's Camel. 
A deadly conga line has formed behind the Hanover.
It couldn't last.  The Hanover went down but Chris' Camel soon followed.  The spluttering SE5a is looking for a way back the mess to claim it's half of a kill.
Both British planes are damaged & run for home.Both side claimed 1 kill but the Brits conceded the field so a German victory. 

Game 2:
Germans: Oakie & Steve have Albatrii, Jim has a Pfalz.
Brits: Maike & Chris have Camels.
To even up the 3:2 the Brits have better planes, and were also were given a height advantage with the the Germans forced to fly straight until the Brits dive out of clouds and open fire.
The Brits are about to pounce of the their prey.
It soon gets up close and personal. Oakie's Albatros dives out of trouble, the other two Germans take them on.
Mike went though the dogfight and out the other side leaving Chris looking a bit lonely.
 Mike comes back into the fight face to face with Oakie while Chirs finds hiself in a Hun sandwich.
Some hot shooting my Mike blow's Oakie's Albatros out of the sky evening the numbers.  But only for moment as while Steve turns to fight Mike, the Pfalz shoots Chris down.
Mike intially got the upper hand over Steve, but a nifty sideslip and a bit of Pfalz turned tables.  With two Huns on it's tail the Camel was doomed.
So another German victory, this time 2 kills to 1.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Hail Caesar at Barries

Macedonians: Barrie & Darren
Persians: SteveJ, Ed & Jake
644 pts as side, played with Hail Caesar with a few house rules, with Jim umpiring.

The Persians are on the left.   They have 5 divisions & chose to deploy them with 2 cav divs on the far flank, the guard infantry in the centre with levy infantry behind & their Greek mercenaries on ther right.
The Macedonians have 4 divisions, cavalry on both flanks (the companions on the far flank supported by 2 peltasts), The phalanx (which counts as 2 divs in the army break test) right of centre & Greek mercenaries left centre.
The Macedonians attacked with their phalanx with the others held back a bit (not entirely by design command rolls slowed some down)
The phalanx failed to break though due to Steves's good defence of supporting his best troops with the levies & an administrative error detected too late that had the Persian guard infantry with 7 HTH instead of 6 on the OOB. 
The Macedonians attacked on both sides of the stalled phalanx as the Persians counterattacked the mostly shaken phalanxes - which they found tough nuts to finish off.  On the far side the Companions were fought to a standstill, but not broken.  The mercenaries of each sides lugged it out indecisively on this side.  
The Macedonians had moved their left flank cavalry around the enemy flank.  If theri charge on the hoplite flank guard had broken though they might have had a chance of rolling up the enemy line.  But it was not to be.  The hoplites held them off.   The phalanx division has finally broken in the centre.  The Macedonian cavalry divs are now too weaken to do much & their mercenaries are about to be swamped by the Persian centre.  The Macedonians conceded.

Steve was the only experienced Hail Caesar player playing & I think his experience was the decisive factor.  His grouping of both cavalry on one wing with the long spear armed mercenaries on the other was good - it meant that one Mac cav div was outnumbered the other only had longs spears to throw themselves at. Using the levies only as supports for his good troops was also good tactics. 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Bolt Action At Good Games

Steve's SS v. Darren's Brits
Jim lent Darren a british army & umpired a 1000 pt Point Defence scenario, Germans defending. 
The 3 objectives are on the hill in the right foreground, on the RH corner of central wood & in the far house.
Darren put a bit of pressure on the German right but grabbed the easy objective in the centre and went for the poorly defended one on his right.  Steve erred in putting too much of his force on the right.  It put too many units under the British bombardment to start with, though they mostly recovered from that before the Brits got to them.  The main problem is that he didn't have enough left to defend his left
Steve got his rocks off shooting up the Honey with his Puma, but the Brit inf grabbed the centre & near objectives and Steve couldn't bring enough firepower to bear to blow them off them.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Waterloo +201: East flank-ish scenario

For the 201st anniversary, Mike made up a scenario loosely based on the arrival of the Prussians on the French right at Waterloo.
View from behind the British line. PeterC's Brits & Hanoverians are deployed behind the reverse slope on the flat behind the gentle rise.  Mark's Dutch-Belgians Dutch Belgians are in the village on the far left.
View from behind the French lines.  SteveJ's 2 ibf divs & a cuirassier div are on the left.  On the right Jim has a line div, a Guard div, a cavalry div of hussars & dragoons & 2 batteries.
In the opening moves the French got uniformly excelent command dice and advanced rapidlt except for a curiously reluctant guard div.  The Brits looked anxiouslt to the east, but bad dice kept the Prussians out of sight.
Jim got a nasty shock when a British Hussar division suddenly materialised in front of his advance carelessly lead by unlimbered artillery.  One of the batteries managed to evade behind the infantry, but the other was ridden down. 
Jim's cavalry counterattacked, but the infantry remained pinned down by the hussars.  In the meantime Steve, just returned from Europe apeared full of French elan.  He threw his Cuirassiers at the centre of the British line. It bounced off, kept it busy while his infantry attacked the far flank of the british.
Steve's left is making progress, but it's hard fighting.  His right is moving up.  Jim's cavaly has broken the hussars.  Mark's Dutch-Belgians have come out of the village.  Still no Prussians.
 Heavy fighting continues on the French left.
The Prussians have finally arrived on the east flank.
The French guard's dilatory advance has put them in the perfect place to form a flank guard.  Part of Jim's cavalry plus and his line infantry have moved up onto the British left flank.
Suddenly it all goes pear shaped for the British.  Steve has broken through on the far flank & is overlapping the British line.  His infantry on his right has put pressure on the other end of the british line just as Jim's infantry smashes into it from the flank.
Both British divs break leaving only the Hanoverians surrounded by Frogs on this flank.

The scenario was a pretty loose adaption from Waterloo, but was a good battle anyway.  It's the first time we've taken advantage of the 4.25m table length made possible by the new layout of the wargames room.  The French had a pretty sound plan helped by some good command dice early.  The British hussars gave them a  scare, but the late arrival of the Prussians meant the delay bought by the hussars wasn't nearly enough to save the Brits.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Muskets & Tommahawks at Barrie's

There was  a good crowd at Barries for a large M&T game he set up, then couldn't play in because he'd injured his back & couldn't stand up for long enough to fight.
JohnM, JohnW, Rusty & SteveJ defended with the Brits.  Jim, Jake & Darren attacked with les Frogs.
The Brits had works parties out working surprised by the Frogs, but had forces in the camp & the fort available once the alarm was raised.
The French made good progress at first, but some of the works parties escaped back to camp as the Brit regulars formed up gave the French some real opposition.

When time was called the VPs were added up, 2 for each works party fig that escaped & 1 for each enemy killed.  It was narrow French victory 53 to 57 - virtually a draw.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Hail Mr Lincoln: ACW 28mm

ACW scenario for 14 June 2016

Ratings numbers are: HTH / Shooting / Stamina / Command Rating

Div 1: 4 cavalry 3/2/4/9 mtd, 2/3/4/9 dismtd (shotguns & pistols).
           Start deployed within 6" of town, mounted or dismounted.
Div 2: 4 veteran infantry: 5/5/6/9, 1 rifled cannon.
           Start on centre edge of table in columns abreast.
Div 3: ditto. Start in RH corner of table in 2 columns of 2 with guns between.
Div 4 ditto.  Start on or beside road on left flank in 2 columns.
CIC: CR 9.  Start with Div 2.

Div 1: 4 cavalry 3/2/4/9 mtd, 2/3/4/9 dismtd (carbines), 2 Zouaves: 4/4/6/9.
           Start deployed within 18" of road entry point at centre of rear edge.
Div 2: 6 Regular infantry: 4/4/6/9, 2 rifled canon.
           Start in 3 columns of 2 with guns between about 27" from rear LH corner
Div 3: ditto.  Start in 3 columns of 2 with guns between about 27" from rear LH corner
CIC: CR 8.  Start with div 1.

Win by:
1) Breaking the enemy army.
2) Being in possession of all the buildings in the town at 10pm if no army is broken.
The Confederates are on the far side commanded by Mike on their left and James on their right. Union are this side of the table with Mark on their right and Jim on their left.
The Union cavalry have charged the Rebel horse and done well enough for the Zouaves to get up close to the town.  The Union have also rushed forward on the far flank.  On the near flank the Union are fluffing about, but a blunder has brought Rebs over the river to them.
The Zouaves have seized the railway station & the Saloon.  The Rebs get into the whorehouse.  The union attack on the left, but are beaten off. On this flank the over-enthusiastic Rebs have fallen back over the river.
This view is from the Union left.  The Union have reformed their line.  Rebs from the centre are coming over the ridge to help out.  The village has stalemated with shooting between houses and cavalry lurking safely in the rear.   Mark has got his attack underway on the Union right.

Whoops I got a bit close here, someone might notice that some of the Rebs are English Civil War musketeers (we gave up waiting for Chris to paint his Rebs typical of Confederate logistics). 

Mark has pushed the Rebs back over the river and also reinforced the centre. 
As Mike's left is driven back he tries a desperate cavalry charge past madame Orres.  It drives back the Union horse, but Mark's infantry turn on it and shoot it up.
The Rebel cavalry has broken and Mike's infantry is sore pressed.
Another pic from the Union left.  A Union cavalry charge past the railway station into the Reb's flank has been beaten off, but it served to take the heat out of the Rebel counterattack on this flank.  Mike's division on the far flank has now broken & the Rebs concede the battle.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Bolt Action at Good Games

Jim's Panzegrenadiers v. JohnM & Chris' Soviets
1000 pts modified Bridgehead Scenario.  We played the Bridgehead scenario from the Ostfront book with time limit 8-9 turns & no limitations on troop types.
The Soviets are on the far side of the river.  They initially deploy up to half their force within 12" of the bridge.  They could have put troops on this side, but declined the option.  The remainder come on as delayed reserves from turn 3.  The Germans start with half in the first wave on turn 1 & the rest on turn 2. To win you need to have troops within 6" of the centre of the bridge with no enemy likewise at the end of the game.  
From the start things did not go well for the Riech.  Their artillery & MMG were wiped out by enemy artillery & mortars before they fired a shot leaving the spearpoint rather short of support fire.  An over-ambitious charge over the bridge by panzergrenadiers out of the Hamomag was destroyed by ambush fire & counterattack.  Belatedly, the Germans went on the defensive, hunkered down a unit in the house near the bridge & played for a draw.  But they had lost too much by then, The Ziz & ATRs picked off the Hanomag & Stummel and a Soviet counterattack across the bridge by a truck full of pioneers took the house on turn 8 leaving the Germans with no way of coming back, so they conceded.

It was decisive victory for the Soviets, but that does not mean the scenario was unbalanced, although we might have had a bit too much terrain this time.  The Germans had bad luck early, but still might have salvaged a draw if they had gone the defensive sooner.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

The Way We Were: 1975

Reorganising the wargames room turned up some old pics of the way we were in the days of steam cameras.
A summary execution on the veranda at 89 Cambridge Rd for crimes against the state on the wargames table.
Dramatis personae: Sue (wife MkI) as Madame Defarge, a rather younger me as Ernest Defarge, Socrates as the cat, Mike Shevak as executioner and Peter Williams as the condemned.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Medieval: Scots v. English

Braveheart was on TV last night & the NBN was so slow I couldn't watch Iview or Netflix (thanks Malcom).  Crap movie, but there are worse battle scenes in movies.

English: Jim & Chris
Scots: Mike & Mark
The Scots are on the hill far left.  Cavalry on their left,  highlanders in the centre with shiltrons each side.  The English have cavalry on their left in column, Men at Arms on their right, bowmen in the centre & billmen in reserve.
 The English occupy the village while advancing onto the Scots right flank.  The Scots redeploy their spearmen to face the cavalry.
In the centre, the English bowmen advanced, but were immediately charged and disappeared in a flurry of lousy dice.The English cavalry charged the shiltrons, also threw lousy dice and bounced off.
Down a division already, the English went on the attack rather than let the Scots keep the initiative.  The billmen this side of the village charged, but the cavlry refused to renew their attack in unison & their attack petered out.
On the far flank the English Men at Arms withstood the charge of the highlanders & are pushing them back, but the Scots cavalry have outflanked them preventing exploitation.  The billmen in the centre have fallen back shaken. The English cavalry have finally charged again and this time have  made a hole in the line, breaking the shiltron on the end of the line. 
The succesful English cavalry charged on into the shaken spearmen that were withdrawn to be rallied and took out 2 units. 
The English cavalry success came too late.  The billmen finally broke in the centre and the Men at Arms on the right were overwhelmed front & flank by highlanders & cavalry.  So Mel won this one.