Sunday, February 26, 2017

Bolt Action on Sunday

I arranged the table into 2 6'x4's to allow 2 standard games of BA.  Both 1,000 pts demolition scenario.  In this scenario both sides have 1 objective and win if they end a turn with a non-transport unit in contact with it.

Steve's Russians v. Frankie's Germans
For once Steve commanded Soviets, using Chris' troops (to even up the Axis v. Allies for the day).  The Germans were on the right, the Russians on the left.
Steve kept up the pressure and steadily advanced on his left and centre.  Frankie's small high quality army just couldn't stop the Russian horde.  Steve reached the objective on turn 6, the Germans never even got close to theirs.

Matt's Germans v. Darryl's Brits.
The Brits are on the left, the Germans on the right.  The objectives are in the cornfields behind the houses abiut the middle of each side.
The Germans seemed to get the upper hand early with some hot shooting by their Hummel & artillery, but the Brits struck back with their barrage immobilising the German centre for a while & the Hummel getting zapped by a humble 2"  mortar. 
It looked like it was going to be a stalemate, but the Germans made late push through the vinyard and when the dice decreed a 7th turn they managed to reached the objective. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Diadochi Campaign: Battle in Palestine

Ptolemy has invaded Palestine by sea outflanking Perdiccus who had to retire from Egypt to fight to restore his supply line.  Ptolemy chose a battlefield with woods and sand on both flanks.
Ptolemy (Peter, Mike & Chris): Phalanx div, 2 light infantry bow div, 1 allied horse archer div (from Leonadis
Perdiccus (SteveJ, Mark & Mitch): Infantry div of phalnax, medium bows & small light jav, 2 cav divs of 3 heavy & 2 horse archer.
Ptolemy has his phalanx between the woods with light troops in each wood & horse archers in front. Perdiccus has sprung a surprise by putting his infantry on the lefts & his cavalry in the centre. 
Ptolemy advances his whole army.  Perdiccus' infantry advance is slowed by sand compounded by blunders while his light cavalry advances driving back their opposite numbers.
Ptolemy is being as unconventional as Perdiccus & has charged the enemy heavy cavalry with his phalanx.   (HC says that cavalry can't charge undisordered pikes frontally, but that infantry that charge cavalry are disordered. Our interpretation is that the cavalry can countercharge in this case as the pikes are disordered by charging.  We resolve the fight with both sides disordered & without charge bonus).  The result was mixed - Perdiccus lost  2 heavy cavalry & Ptolemy lost a phalanx. 
Both sides draw back in the centre with significant losses, but the Perdiccian cavalry div that lost to the phalanx was broken by bow fire as Ptolemy's left breaks out of the wood on their flank.  On the far flank Perdiccus has given up his flank march and is trying to get his phalanx out of the sand.  His medium & light infantry has attacked the wood, but has been repulsed.
Perdiccus is bringing his phalanx back to the centre while his lighter infantry now defend his left flank.  Ptolemy has pulled his damaged phalanx division back while outflanking Perdiccus' right with bowmen.
Perdiccus tries to hold off the bowmen on both flanks while preparing for a counterattack in the centre with his phalanx. 
Ptolemy has rallied & re-ordered his phalanx and has advanced to meet Perdicus' phalanx.  Perdiccus' flanks are still holding out under a hail of arrows.
 The phalanx fight has been indecisive with both sides falling back. 
Both side' phalanxes have run out of steam, but it's seems only a matter of time before the the ring of Egyptian bowmen get lucky & break some more units.
Finally, the phalanx covering Perdiccus' right & the medium infantry covering his left both break and with them the army breaks.

It's a moot point whether Perdiccus' flank attack was a good idea.  Perdicus' large infantry division is an unwieldy beast and it only took a couple of bad command rolls to get the flank march bogged down in the sand.  But it did avoid the risk of a frontal attack with a wood full or archers on each flank. Instead it provoked Ptolemy into attacking in the centre - an attack that ended in stalemate, but could easily have lost him his phalanx & with it the battle.  As it was he was able to rally his shaken phalanxes before Perdiccus could organise his counterattack.  In the end it was the shear weight of Egyptian bowfire on the flanks that won the battle.  On the Eygptian right the bowmen were protected by the woods & on the right where they advanced in the open they were fortunate that Perdiccus' cavalry was so weakened by the phalanx attack that they never had to face a serious cavalry attack. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

New Hill System

The traditional small hill pieces scattered over the table are not the way hills usually are.   The land generally has much larger large scale slopes.  Rivers more often run in valleys between generally higher ground rather than on plains with isolated hills. Long escarpments and large plateau are also common features.

When my Body Corporate bought a bunch of IKEA outdoor furniture for our communal terrace I grabbed a large quantity of large cardboard boxes and packing with a view to using it to provide a system for making more realistic land forms in greater variety.
I tried the system yesterday for a BA battle on one end of the table & have since made some more pieces & extended some trial pieces over the whole table.
The system utilises the wooden 24"x12"x2" storage boxes I use to store troops not currently in frequent use to form the basic shape of the high ground.  Cardboard sections mostly 24"x12" or 12"x12" are hinged together in 2's & 3's with duct tape to cover the top of the boxes and form the slopes.  Some triangular shapes allow for bends & corners.  The polar fleece cloth has enough elasticity to conform to the shapes and it also hides the joints & overlaps pretty well.

The hinged sets fold up flat for compact storage - much easier to store than the usual 3-D hills.  The storage boxes stack away neatly under the wargames table & continue in use for storage whether they are on or under the table.  The pic above is a stack of about 60 square feet of hill formers flat packed for storage.

The system is still a work in progress but I think it's looking good & I still have lots of cardboard left.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Napoleonic 28mm

This report is from couple of weeks back.  I just noticed that it was draft that had not been posted.

PeterC set up a scenario based on Valmy.  To suit the 28mm troops we had we made it Napoleonic French (Jim) v. Austrians (Chris).
The Austrians are on the left.
The French launch a cavalry attack on the near flank. The Austrian infantry in the centre plod forward towards the French guns as fast as a command rating of 8 & linear formations allowed.  On the far flank the Austrian cavalry dither
A cavalry fight ebbs & flows on the near flank.  In the centre the Austrians survived the artillery remarkably well in their advance then sent most of the gunners packing with effective volleys. On the far flank the French have made wall of squares to face the Austrian cavalry. 
On the near flank the Austrians are reduced to just 1 cavalry unit, but their French opponents are almost entirely shaken.  In the centre the Austrians have taken part of the ridge line & a grenadier unit has pressed on past it now counterttacked my conscript columns. 
The only unshaken French cavalry unit on the near flank has charged the surviving Austrian hussars.  On the far flank an Austrian cavalry attack was a disaster & the division has broken allowing the French right to turn left and counterattack the successful Austrian centre.  More French cavalry has been sent to support the infantry behind the centre.
The French counterattack on their right is rolling up the victorious part of the Austrian line 

On the French left the Austrian cavalry have hung on long enough for yegers to get into the rear of the French hussars.  This breaks one of the French cavalry divisions.

The Austrian left is hanging on, but the end is nigh. 
The Austrian infantry on their left has now broken and with that the army also breaks.

It was tough scenario for the Austrians facing the thee French superiority in artillery.  Chris made a brave fight of it but it all unravelled with the loss of his left flank cavalry.

Sunday Bolt Action

Jim's Panzergrenadiers v. Chris' Soviets
1000 pts Meeting Engagement
The terrain featured my new large scale hills made using cardboard from IKEA packaging.  The system allows larger & more realistic valleys & plateaus to be provided.  Mitzi the cat also showed a new found interest in wargames this afternoon.
The Germans are on the left, the Soviets on the right.  Both sides brought on all their forces in the first wave with  no reserves.
On the near flank where the panzergrenadiers dismounted from their Stummel to attack the most advanced Soviets.  The rest of the front  has a long range shooting match going on. 
The German attack was stopped by the T34 which ignored the Pak 40 on top of the hill & dispatched first the Stummel, then the dismounted panzergrenadiers.  The Pak was suppressed by the ZIZ, but both were destroyed by mortar fire.
The battle then stalemated with Hitler's buzz saws pinning down the Soviet advance all along the line, but the V2 rule of -2 to hit for going down makes it very hard to finish off units at long range.
At the end of turn 6 both sides had lost 3 units & there was no turn 7.  So a draw.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Diadochi Campaign: Yet another invasion of Egypt

Once again Perdiccas is trying to invade Egypt & Ptolemy defends a river line in the delta.
Prolemy is on the left defending the crossable part of the river.  Perdiccas is on the right.
Perdiccas is trying the usual softening up with missile fire.
There is an Egyptian engine off shot on the left that is hurting his cavalry more than his own engine on the other flank is hurting Ptolemy & Ptolemy has more firepower in the centre.  So with the missile exchange not going that well, Perdiccas moves up his phalanx to force the crossing.
The Egyptian light infantry has evaded the phalanx crossing the river & forced the horse archers to retire.
Ptolemy counterattacked the phalanx immediately it crossed the river.  After the usual ties on  the first round, Perdiccas' infantry started to fall apart with two phalanxes breaking in the centre & the left being forced back over the river.
A flank attack out of the sand field on the right broke Perdiccas' right end phalanx & bow fire forced the cavalry back on his left.
It was only a matter of time before the Egyptian bows broke Perdiccas' infantry.  There was no point in continuing with cavalry alone, so Perdiccas retired.

It's a big ask to force a river crossing on a narrow front.  Perdiccas needed either a lot of luck or a Ptolemaic brain fade to win this & didn't get either.

Diadochi Campaign: Battle of Bithynia

Greek allies Antipater & Lysimacus were besieging Bithynia.  An army of the Asian alliance attacked to try & relieve the siege.
Antipater (me): 3 divisions: Phalanx, warbands & cavalry.
Lysymacus (Mike): 3 divisions: Phalanx, mixed infantry, cavalry.
Eumenes (SteveJ & PeterC standing in for Greg in Canberra): 3 divisions: 2 infantry (mix of phalanx & medium bowmen, 1 cavalry (medium & horse archers).
Antigonus (Mark standing in for PeterW in Canberra): 3 divisions: 1 infantry (mix of phalanx & light), 1 heavy cav, 1 Seleucid horse archers.
The Greek allies are on this side of the table, Antipater on the left, Lysimmacus on the right.
Eumenes faces Lysimmacus, Antigonus & the Seleucid horse archers faces Antipater. 
Both sides advanced pretty much as fast as their command dice allowed.  The Asians were particularly unlucky with their cavalry - on this flank their horse archers held back & on the far flank their medium cavalry held back.  
Antipater's warbands charged recklessly ahead leaving his phalanx and cavalry way behind.  They dodges a bullet when Antigonis' cavalry fauiled to charge home on their exposed left flank.
On the far flank Lysimacus had some good luck when most of the enemy horse archers failed to evade & were ridden down. 
On the left Antipater used the phalanx to narrow the front of the cavalry fight to limit Eumenes' advantage in numbers, then threw good dice to gain the upper hand in the cavalry fight, breaking the heavy cavalry.
In the centre the warbands lost one fight, but broke a phalanx & the rest of their line stalemated with both sides shaken.
Right of centre Lysimacus' & Eumenes' phalanxes are battling it out.
On the far flank there is a confused cavalry fight going on.
It took a while for Antipater's phalanx to get at Antigonus' phalanx, but with them already weakened by the warbands it was soon verging on breaking.
On the far flank there's a great deal of mutual destruction but no decisive result.
The end came suddenly.  On the far flank all three divisions of both sides were on the verge of breaking, but it was Eumenes' cavalry and his infantry on his right that broke first - forcing an army break test so the remaining division also broke.  Lysimacus was left with three divisions on the verge of breaking, but safe with no enemies able to finish them off.
On the near flank, Antigonus' infantry is scattered, outflanked & 1 loss off breaking, while his heavy cavalry has broken & the horse archers are being driven back towards the table edge.
Eumenes retired his infantry & horse archer division before they could be broken.

It was a hard fought victory for the Greeks that could very easily have gone the other way but they got lucky at the critical points.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Bolt Action in the jungle

Jim's Australians v. Dave's Japanese
Point Defence Scenario, Australians defending.
The Australians are on the left defending 3 objectives. 5 units are deployed , 4 are in reserve.  The Japs are on the right with 4 units on flank attack.  The terrain is jungle except for the green or yellow patches.  The jungle has visibilty 12".  The blue line is the end of the playing area.
The Japs advanced their tankette over the near ridge, the Australians brought on their anti-tank rifle to tackle it.  On the far flank the Jap commander and some small units are advancing through the jungle.  They are easily held off by the Oz infantry unit on that flank.
In the first few turns not a lot happened except the ATR forced the tankette to withdraw.  It rallied and has returned to the fray but is about to be forced back again.  The Jap reserves all came on the near flank.  Their unit on the left has destroyed an Oz unit with a banzai charge.  The unit on the objective had advanced in the truck & dismounted to claim the objective.  The other units were the first to come on & have been badly mauled & pinned down by Oz fire across the clearing.
The game went to 7 turns with a flurry of charges and close range fire.  In the end the last man of the unit holding the objective for Japan failed morale (fanatics still have to test if reduced to 1) & the last Jap unit is 3.5" away from the objective, so it was retaken by the Australians giving them victory.  It would have been a draw if the Japs had taken 1 objective & they needed to take 2 to win.  Both victory conditions are hard to achieve & I think this scenario is often drawn.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Diadochi campaign: Ptolomy v. Perdiccas

Ptolemy (PeterC) is defending Egypt against an invasion by Perdiccas (in Canberra).  Outnumbered by a good margin he chose to defend a ford.  Ptolemy' force had a core of phalangites supported by a host of light infantry bow men.  Perdiccas army has a core of phalangites supported by some medium archers, some skirmishers & a ballista, and two cavalry divisions each 3 small heavy cavalry with 2 horse archers.
 Prolemy is on the left.  the gren is impassable swamp. The yellow is soft sand.  The wide sections of river are un-crossable.
The battle opened with an exchange of missles over the river, both sides putting a line of archers on their river bank.  The fickle finger of break tests has caused gaps in both side's lines.
Suddenly the battle changed as a double six followed by another sent Perdiccas' phalanx charging across the river past their light screen.  Perdiccas consequently sent a cavalry div across to support their left flank & another to their rear to exploit openings or plug gaps.
Ptolemy immediately counterattacked with his entire phalanx.
After two turns of push of pike both sides lost a phalanx unit & the horse archers bounced back shaken.
The victorious Perdiccian phalanx might have pushed on through the light infantry to break open Ptolemy's line, but for two successive turns was pushed back bow fire.  The rest of Perdiccas' phalanx was also repulsed.  It was now up to Perdicccas' cavalry to win the battle.
Perdiccas' cavalry on the left again failed to break the shaken phalanx on this end of the line & is regrouping for another go.   
Perdiccas renews the attack on the near flank while again trying to weaken the far flank & centre with missile fire.

Perdiccas' attack on this flank has been beaten off, the phalanx division broken.
Perdiccas withdraws his shaken left to try & rally it.  His cavalry in the centre are pushing back a shaken phalanx.

Perdiccas' cavalry has run out of steam and one by one they fail break tests under the relentless Egyptian bow fire.The near cavalry division fails first and with it the army broke.
The blundering charge of the phananx forced Perdiccas' hand.  He immediately supported the premature attack and could have broken through the Egyptian line on the left but for some unfortunate missile break tests.  The ballista, though much feared by Ptolomy,
fired away all game on the far flank but did little serious damage.