Sunday, December 31, 2017

Sunday Afternoon at Good Games

There were 3 games going in the back bunker.  One sci-fi, one Chain of Command  & one Bolt Action.

Bolt Action:  Chris' Japanese v. Jim's Australians
1000 pts, Point Defence Scenario in the jungle, Japanese defending (on the the far side in the pics).   The ground is jungle with visibility 12" except for the green fields & yellow crop fields.  The scenario was modified  a bit to put objectives in logical places - the village & in the clearings behind.   The defenders were allowed to deploy past the objectives.
The Australians sent an infantry unit down each flank & attacked the village with another supported by their 25 pdr & MMG,
The Australians had an infantry unit making flank march on each flank.  On the right a converging attack soon took out the Japanese defence.  On the left the frontal attack was stopped by the Japanese tank, but the Banzai charge on the flanking force was mown down leaving the objective there exposed.  The defenders in the village were weakened by support fire & over-run by an assault. 
In the end the Japanese managed to maintain dispute of the left hand objective, but lost the other two so it was an Australian win.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Bolt Action Tank War 2200 pts

Both sides had about 2,200 pts in forces not quite compliant with the rule book.
Chris' Soviets had 4 reg T34/85s, 4 reg Shermans, 1 inexp ISU-122, 1 inexp inf, 1 guard inf & 2 trucks.  (On the left in the pics).
Mark & Jim's Germans had 3 reg Panthers, 3 reg Hetzers, 2 vet Panzergrenadier squads, 1 vet panzerschreck team & 2 trucks.
There are 6 objectives on the 10'x6' table. Deployment was by drawing command dice & placing units within 18" of own baseline without firing in a turn #0.
The Germans rushed Panzergrens forward to grab the central crossroads while pinning the Guards down in their truck.  The Soviets rushed the bridge with their other infantry unit.  Meanwhile the tanks exchanged ineffective long range fire.
While tank casualties steadily mounted on both sides the infantry worked for objectives.  The 2nd Panzergren squad walked & ran over to the creek, then towards the bridge.  The other Panzergrens hunkered down on the road junction under tank hull mg fire as the Soviet Guards moved up to attack them.
The game remained in the balance for most for the game with 3 objectives secured for each & casualties close to even.   But finally on turn 7 the Panzergrens took the bridge & the attack of the Guards near the road junction was repulsed - putting the Germans in front in both objectives & casualties.  The dice gave us a turn 8 which only increased the German margin.

Tank Wars can be subject to wild swings of luck because every shot at a tank can make a big difference.  But this also makes for an exciting game.  For Tank War we like larger battles like this one to provide more scope for luck to even out, & the larger table provides more scope to gain tactical advantage.  This German list had 11 dice & the Soviets 13, so very manageable & the game took less than 2 1/2 hours. 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

ACW: Attack on Fort Cromwell

This is a modification of the Fort Henry scenario in Glory Hallelujah.  First I had a great time modifying a cheap river boat model kit into the USS Venus & buiding Fort Cromwell.
Mike & Mark commanded the Union (I had tactical command of the Union left flank, but as scenario umpire took no part in strategic decisions).
Steve & Chris commanded the CSA.
The CSA had 12 regiments of infantry & 2 field batteries to defend the fort (which also had some guns) and the fort's supply line through Oliver's landing.  A line of abatis provided a defence line from the fort to Oliver's Creek.
The Union had 20 regiments, 5 batteries & a gun boat.
To win the Union had to take the fort by 10 o'clock.  If by 10 the Union had taken Oliver's Landing bit not the fort, it would be a draw.
The Union sent a division through the woods on a flanking manoeuvre while advancing batteries & skirmishers to soften up the defence.

It took a while but eventually the flanking force got into position & the Union began a general advance (as fast as the command dice would let them). 
The CSA didn't wait for the converging attack on the end of their line  to press home & began to pull back to a shorter line nearer Oliver's Landing.
The CSA are hanging onto the village but have pulled their centre back into the fort.  The Union right still hasn't got a serious attack on the fort going, though the skirmishers, artillery & gun boat have seriously weakened the defence.
On the far flank the CSA is being driven out of the village.  In the centre a desperate CSA counterattack (by a regiment that rallied behind the village) has disrupted the attack on the east side of the fort.  But on the near flank Mark finally got his infantry to make a serious attack & has broken into the fort.  The Union's strategy of patiently softening the CSA up with artillery & skirmishers while waiting for the flank attack to get into position gave them victory with 20 minutes to spare.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

ACW Scenario from Featherstone's War Games 1963

ACW: Action in the Plattville Valley 1863

This scenario is based on the ACW scenario in Featherstone's 1963 book War Games (the book which started my obsession).  Rules: Hail Mr Lincoln.

Both sides start with their advance guard on the table with reinforcements coming on after turn 3 - on rear table edge at locations nominated in turn 1 - coming on passing a command test at -1.
Army Break Test for both is fail on losing 2 brigades.
If no army breaks by 10pm, the side holding the village wins. 
The village is closer to the Reb side, but the Union gets 1st turn & has more artillery & more rifles.

Union (Jim & SteveJ):
Command 8
Advance guard: 2 inf (rifle), 1 cav (carbine).
1st to 3rd brigades: Each 4 inf (rifle), 1 rifled art.

Rebs (Mark & Chris):
Command 8
Advance guard: 2 inf (rifle), 1 cav (shotguns/pistols).
1st inf brigade: 4 inf (rifle).
2nd & 3rd brigades: 4 inf (smoothbore).
1 smoothbore art can be attached to any of brigades 1-3.
Rebel yell: Can charge up to 3 moves on any pass of command test to charge enemy in sight ahead.

River: Crossable obstacle except for artillery.  Soft cover if either firers or target is adjacent.
Open woods: -1 to hit for muskets at range over 6".  Max range 18".  No effect on movement except Blunder on 11+.
Pine wood:  -1 to hit except art.  Max range 6". No charge bonus.  Defended obstacle for defender on edge.  Speed 3"/turn & none for art. Blunder on 11+.
Hills: Don't affect movement, but remove charge bonus uphill.
Fences: Soft cover obstacle.
Churchyard: Hard cover obstacle.
Buildings: Hard cover.  Farmhouses only hold a small unit (either a dismounted cav unit or 1/2 an inf unit).
Pic from behind the Union right flank.
Opening moves (pic behind Union left).  The Union advance guard advances along the road, the Reb's deploy near the village.
The union bring on all their reserves on the west end of the table.  The Rebs bring 1 brigade along the road & the other two on the west end.  The Reb advance guard cavalry occupy the RH farmhouse, the advance guard infantry  attack the union advance guard with half the centre brigade moving up in support. 
 On the other flank the both race for the church - which the Union occupy.
 The Union Advance guard has halted the Rebel attack & is pushing them back towards the village as the central Union brigade puts pressure on it from the north.
The view from behind the Rebel left.
The Union Advance guard has been partially forced to fall back, but the Rebel advance guard has been broken & the Union have taken the RH farmhouse. 
 On the other flank the Union have also gained the upper hand & are advancing past the church.
Suddenly the Rebel left & centre brigades break & they fail their Army Break test giving the Union a decisive victory.
 A pic from Featherstone's book from behind the Union left.
A pic from Featherstone's book from behind the Rebel left.

The original battle in Featherstone's book was also a Union victory, though the strategies used were quite different.   In ours, the Union plan to draw Rebels to the east with the Advance guard to give the  Union right superior numbers to take the village worked beyond expectations when the Advance guard not only drew troops off from the main game, but beat them as well.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sunday afternoon at Good Games

There were 3 tables going.  I gave Renfrey a BA lesson on one, father & son played BA 15mm on another & young Jim played first John, then Sean CoC.

I lent Renfrey my veteran Brits & fought with my Italians in an Envelopment scenario.  I chose to minimise the risk of the Preliminary Bombardment by only deploying half my force at the start thinking that the terrain gave me plenty of cover to bring on reserves on the left.The plan worked on the right where the troops on the ridge easily held off the Brits.
Renfrey sent 2 infantry, PIAT & his Crusader AA down his right flank.  The Italian plan fell apart when the AB41 missed it's chance at the Crusader, the British Artillery Barrage pinned down all the infantry in the rocky patch & the M14 didn't show up at all (failing 6 command tests).

Renfrey got 6 VPs for getting infantry & his tank off the Italian table edge & 3 for kills totalling 9 for a clear victory with the Ities only managing 6 pts for 3 kills. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

American Civil War: Wilsons Creek 1861

The Wilsons Creek scenario in the Black Powder supplement Glory Hallelujah is a pretty approximate simulation & we modified it some more to remove the need for an umpire & to suit our Hail Mr Lincoln rules (modified Hail Caesar).
The Confederates outnumbered the Union in points 576 to 475. 
The Confederates(Mike, Steve & Chris) had 6 inf divs of 3 units, a cav div of 4 units & 3 batteries. 
The Union (Mark, Renfrey & Jim) had 5 inf divs of 3, 1 cav div or 4 & 3 guns. 
All units & commanders Command rating 8.
To compensate for the numbers differential, the Confederates deployed 1st, then the Union.  The Union also had one inf div & their cav off table at the start.  At the start, the Union players had to record where & when these two divs were to enter the table.  They required normal command if coming on own rear edge, -1 command if from the flank & -2 command if from the far table edge in the Confederate rear.  The Rebs didn't know the rules for deployment of the Union reserves.

The Rebs deployed their infantry in a line 27" onto the table with their cavalry behind their right flank.  Their first moves were to advance their left to Skeggs Creek & charge forward as fast as they could on their right.  Their cavalry crossed Wilsons Creek behind the farm on a flanking maneouvre.
The Union deployed leaving a gap between their left & Wilson's creek.  Their 5th infantry div was ordered to come on from the flank on the far side of Skeggs Creek on turn 3.  Their cavalry was to come on the left of Wilsions Creek on turn 3.
The pic above is after turn 3. The Union inf div came in on the Reb's flank as scheduled.  Two divs were supposed to advance to the creek to support this, but bad command dice stopped that from happening while good reaction dice let the Rebs turn & face the attack.
After a poor start, the Union attack on their right finally got moving & the Rebs are now being forced back.  On the other flank the Rebs charged up the hill at the Union line wrapping around their refused flank.  Over the river the Reb cav is advancing very slowly & the Union cav haven't even showed up yet.
The Rebel attack on the Union left is running out of steam while their own left is being pushed back & has already lost 1 div.  
Having withstood the initial charge, the Union infantry & artillery on their left gradually wore the Rebels down & one by one the Rebel divs broke until they failed their army break test.  The cavalry of neither side got into the action.

The Union strategy of attacking the Rebel left with the support of a flank march while defending the ridge on their left looked a bit shaky when their right refused to advance.  But their left held firm & eventually the attack on the right got rolling & the plan came off beautifully. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Sunday afternoon at Good Games

There was a good turnout in the back room at Good Games this afternoon.
 There were three games on.
I lent Rich my Panzergrenadiers to fight Chris' soviets in a BA Demolition scenario.  Though a beginner at BA, Rich's strategy was good & he delayed Chris's attack on the near flank while his armoured car took his objective on the far right in turn 6. 
John & Rusty played Chain of Command & spent the afternoon consulting the rulebook.
Jim2 & Nathan also played Chain of Command with no sign of progress by the time the BA was done & dusted.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Hail Caesar: Macedon v. Persia

As we had some guests tonight we played straight Hail Caesar (with just a few house rules).
Macedonians: Mark & Sean.
Persians: Mike & John.
The Macedonians advanced from left of pic to attack the Persians. 
The Persians have a cavalry div on each flank - each 3 medium cav & 3 small horse archers, mercenary hoplites are in the centre, with a levy division on the hill on their right, & Saparabara on their left.
The Macedonians have a cavalry div on each flank, each 2 Companions & 2 Thessalian mediums, their phalanx in the centre, and a mixed div of 2 hoplites & 2 peltasts on each side of them.

On the far flank the Persian horse archers held up the Macedonian advance with accurate fire.
On the near flank the archer's fire was less deadly, but still broke up the Macedonian advance.
On the Macedonian left, their hoplites are making progress against the levy.
In the centre the Persian mercenaries & Sparabara have counterattacked.
The battle turned into a real slugging match.
On the far flank despite the initial success of the horse archers the Macedonian horse eventually prevailed.
On the near flank the cavalry fight went the other way with Persians eventually winning.
The Sparabara pushed the hoplites & peltasts to their front back but could not break them.
In the centre, the mercenaries broke half the phalanx, but the levy on the hill were broken by the hoplite/peltast division & a phalanx unit which were then able to wheel right & break the mercenaries so the Persians now had lost 3 divisions out of 5 so failed their army break test.
The Macedonian phalanx broke at the same time as the Mercenaries, but their army had only lost 2 out of 5 divisions so won the battle.
It was bloody affair - by the end both sides had only 1 close order unit not shaken or broken.

With 700 pts a side the battle was on the big side for straight Hail Caesar - it took 2 1/2 hours. 
We would have got it done a lot faster with Hail Whoever where we reduce the no. of to-hit dice & don't do saving throws.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Bolt Action Tank War: 2222 pts a side

Soviets: Jim, Chris & Mike.
Germans: Mark & SteveJ.
The same armies as last week except the Germans swapped 3 MkIV & a Puma for 4 Hetzers.
There are 7 objectives: 1 6" from each road exit, 1 on teh cross road & 2 on ridgetops. 
The German plan seemed to be to sit hull down & kill Russians.  The Soviets rushed forward to grab objectives & fired back as best they could.
On the near flank Soviet vets in the HT took the objective then went further forward to the wood where they were counterattacked by panzergrenadiers with better dice & got destroyed.  But the Soviet tanks kept the Panzergrens pinned down in the wood with mg fire.
In the centre Soviet infnatry grabbed teh house to hold that objective.
On the far flank, the Sovet infnatry got shot up in their truck o turn 1 & spent the rest of the battle pinned down.
Last weekt eh Soviet tanks took on the superior numbers of German tanks & destroyed them. THis week the dice gods decided it was pay back tine & the only German loss was a Hetzer hit by the SU-122 whole most of the Soviet armour was toasted.  
Despite horendous casualties, the Soviets still held 4 of the 7 objectives at the end of turn 7.  But the dice then allowed a turn 8 to give the Germans a chance of pulling it back. 
To win the Germans had to take the near objective with their panzergrens who had 4 pins & no NCO.  The Germans got first command dice so avoided further pins before testing then threw exactly the 5 they needed to move onto the objective. The Soviets fired everything they had at the panzergrenadiers but fell short of forcing a morale test, so this time the Germans won.

So two weeks in a row, one side was slaughtered but still only lost by bad luck in the last turn.  The dice can drive you crazy in BA Tank Wars, but it's a still a great game.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Austerlitz: North Flank

The north flank of Austerlitz makes a great scenario for a large 28mm battle.  The Area 52 games shop kindly gave us space on a Sunday with a 16x6' table representing the 5km front to the north of the Platzen where Bagration & Lannes faced off- with Liechtenstein's & Murat's cavalry corps being fed into the battle. We had three players a side plus me umpiring.  Mike, PeterC & Dave commanded the French, Mark, Chris & SteveD commanded the Russians.
The rules are Hail Napoleon, our housed ruled version of Hail Caesar for Napoleonics.
The battle started with only Lannes' & Bagration's Corps on the table. (Lannes on the left).
Both infantry corps were content to wait for the cavalry to arrive.   The only early moves was an advance by Bagration's cavalry on his left.  The cavalry brigade on Lannes' right flank fell back behind squares pending the arrival of the first of Murat's cavalry divisions.
Leichtenstein's Cavalry corps arrived near the south end of the battlefield.
Bagration's Heavy Brigade charged Murat's Light Brigade as Liechtenstein advanced & more of Murat's cavalry came on.  Still no action between the infantry other than a bit of redeployment.
The cavalry action becomes general as Liechtenstein & Murat's cavalry go at each other.  Lannes finally begins an advance with his infantry on the far flank.
A bird's eye view:  Lannes' infantry is advancing in an arrow formation while the cavalry action swirls about at the south end.
 French & Russian cuirassiers slug it out.
 Bad command dice has delayed Lanne's left, but the infantry is finally in action.
The number of cavalry is now reducing as both sides have divisions breaking, but the French seem to be getting the upper hand.
Lannes & Bagrations' foot are now engaged.
The cavalry fight is pretty well over.  The Russians have lost 3 cavalry divisions & the French 2, but the remainders all have heavy casualties.  The infantry fight has heated up.  The French have broken a regiment on the left of the Russian infantry line, but on the right, the Russians have held the line & are now counterattacking.

At the appointed finish time, neither side had failed their army morale test (5 divisions to be broken).  The victory conditions for the game in that case were that the Russians won if the French had committed all their heavy cavalry divisions, it was tie if they committed only 2 & a French win if they committed only 1.  As the French committed all their heavy cavalry but failed to break the Russian army in time, it was Russian victory on the grounds they did better than history.

It was very successful day's work, enjoyed by all.  It also attracted a lot of interest from gamers there for other things.  It was great venue with heaps of space - many thanks to Area 52.  We are already thinking about what to do next there.