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.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Diadochi Campaign: Eumenes v. Leonnatus at Hellspont

Having defeated Antipater (Jim) at Hellespont already this campaign year in a battle fought in Canberra, Eumenes (Greg in Canberra) now had to fight Leonnatus (Chris) with this battle fought in Hobart.  Greg nominated Jim to be his commander in the field, but SteveJ helped out taking command of the right wing.  Chris' nephew Mitch commanded his right wing.
Both armies comprise a large infantry division and two cavalry divisions.  Eumemes army features two horse archer divisions plus a lot of medium infantry archers.   Leonnatus moved his medium infantry into his cavalry divisions which were outnumbered 4:5 by the enemy.
In the first turn Eumenes tried to advance with both cavalry wings, but only the right did so.

On the far flank, Eumenes' horse archers stopped Leonnatus' counterattack with effective Parthian shots.  On the near flank Eumenes' horse has refused to advance.  Leonnatus is advancing his right & centre.
Eumenes left flank finally got some dice go their way.  Leonnatus also has horse archers on this flank &  tried to do a Parthian shot evade.  The shots missed, his evade failed to outrun the attack and 2 units evaporated.  In the centre, Leonnatus' attack has paused, but the enemy are shooting wide and failing to take advantage.  On the far flank Leonanatus' cavalry is surviving repeated break tests.
On the near flank the Leonnatis' flank div is being finished off.  In the centre his foot still haven't closed.  On the far flank his horse is still hanging on.  
Leonnatus' phalanx has finally charged home buta swarm of horse archers is lapping around his flank.
Leonnatus' foot have had some success, but not enough most of the line has stalemated - which just isn't enough when a horse archer division is in your rear.
The ring of archers on the near flank has failed to break the shaken phalanx and the other end of Eumenes' infantry div has lost both medium infantry units, but Eumenes' left flank horse took the easy option, charging across the rear into Leonnatus' remaining light cavalry which finally broke.  With them Leonnatus' army broke.

Euemes' army has lost just 2 medium infantry units.  Both Leonnatus' cavalry divs are broken.  His phalanx is intact but all of it is shaken.