Sunday, October 29, 2017

Sunday Bolt Action at Good Games

Jim's Italians v. Chris' Soviets
1000 pts infantry forces in a Point Defence scenario.
The Italians can ask for a re-roll if they do't get to defend, but that failed too, so the Soviets defended.
A diagonal ridge diagonally across the table provided cover for the Italians as they rushed forward from the right of pic putting several units on the ridge line to soften up the enemy. 
The dice gods smiled on the Italian plan & it worked like clockwork.  The T34/85 was a move late arriving & when it did it the puny Italian fire kept getting pins on it while the beast couldn't even knock out the M14.  The Soviet infantry on the centre objective was blown away by mortar, autocannon & MG fire & the objective taken by the Italian commander supported by the AB41 & ATR.  The Paraduitisti came in from flank march on the far right to pincer the defenders there between them & fucileri.  The Soviet right was shot down when it tried to support their centre.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Napoleonics: French v. Russians

It was time to give the Napoleonic Russians we had been collectively working on over the winter a run.  The two long table edges were divided into 4 sectors designated 1-4 diamonds one side & 1-4 spades on the other.  The 8 corresponding cards were shuffled face down.  The Russians had two divisions each with an inf antry brigade of 6 units, a cavalry brigade of 2 units & 2 batteries.  The French had 2 infantry brigades of 4 line & 1light plus 1 battery & a cavalry brigade of 4 units & a horse battery.

The French drew a card to decide where their 1st infantry brigade deployed. The Russians drew one to decide where their 1st division was deployed.  Those troops were deployed up to 24" from the relevant table edge quarter.

The French then drew 2 cards for their other two brigades & the Rusians for their 2nd division. These cards determined where the reserves for both sides would come on put on the table- this was kept secret from the enemy. On turn 3 each side threw 1 dice, on turn 4, 2 dice, etc,  with a 5+ meaning reinforcements arrived at the designated table edge.
Chris drew 1 diamonds & deployed his Russian division on the left end of the north edge.
Mike drew 2 spades & deployed his French infantry brigade right of centre on the south edge.  
Chris advanced as far as his command dice would let him.  Mike advanced to the farm & deployed to defend.  On turn 3 Jim threw a 5 & revealed he had 2 diamonds & came on immediately on Chris' right.   On turn 4, Steve got a 5 & revealed that his cavalry had 3 spades & came on Mikes left.  On turn 5 Steve got another 5 & reveled that his infantry had 3 diamonds & came on the Russians right flank.
On the far flank a desperate fight continues in the farm while the 2nd Russians fight against the usual awful Russian command dice to turn to face the oncoming French flank attack.
Mike is still hanging on around the farm as Steve gets ready to attack across the stream.
Chris relentless attacks in the village have finally paid off & Mike's infantry brigade has broken.  The French attack across the stream has pushed the Russians back but they have now got their defence in order, French casualties are mounting & Chris' troops are beginning to lap around Steve's right flank.  The French concede the battle.

Our rules give the Russians similar combat factors to the Spanish, but with better than normal morale rather than worse.  That simple change makes them a very different enemy.

Sunday Bolt Action at Good Games

I gave my Italians a run on the Eastern front v. Chris' Soviets
The dice gave us a Double Envelopment Mission.  Chris tried out a small high quality army with only 8 units.  I ran my relatively top of the range Italians.  The T34-85 threatened to dominate the battlefield & it quickly disposed of the Italian armour.  But while it was busy doing that the Solothurn ATR team got onto its flank & got a pin on it & the mortar got another.  It then thew bad command dice and retreated for the rest of the game while the Italian infantry stormed across the field killing Ivans & accumulating VPs.  It was a salutary lesson inteh dangers of  putting too many eggs in one basket. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Bolt Action Tank War

Chris & Mike's Soviets v. Jim & Mark's Germans in a Bolt Action Tank War on a 10'x6' table with 8 objectives.   Both sides had about 2000 pts.
The Soviets had 3 T34/85, 2 T34/76, 2 Sherman, 1 ISU-122, an M3 with a veteran SMG squad & a truck with an inexperienced squad (all tanks regular).
The Germans had 2 Panthers, 2 MkIV, a Sdkfz 222 & 2 Hanomags with panzergrenadier squads, all regular except the veteran Panzergrenadiers.
We started with a deployment turn 0 where units were deployed within 18" of own table edge but no firing as the command dice were drawn.  The Germans deployed on the right of pic concentrating their force on the near side of the table.  The Soviets divided their force, putting the ISU, Shermans & M3 full of vets on the far side of the stream.
The German plan was to crush the Soviet left gaining the 4 objectives there, plus either holding the objective on the bridge with panzergrenadiers, or win by having equal objectives but inflicting 2 more casualties.
On this flank, the Panzers engaged the Soviet  tanks while the armoured car & a Hanomag + panzergrens dashed down the left flank - they took out a T34/85 plus the inexperienced infantry crossed the rear of the Soviet line to take the objective on the road.
On the other flank, the M3 & vets grabbed 2 objectives unopposed.  The ISU did a lot of damage firing across the valley while the 2 Shermans attacked the panzergrenadiers who had seized the bridge.
At the start of the last turn the Germans held 5 of the 8 objectives, but then a Sherman charged over the bridge scattering the Panzergrens & went on up the hill to dispute the objective on the crossroads while the other secured the bridge objective.  This put the Soviets in front.   Then the last MkIV moved to the right of the village & took out the Sherman on the crossroad putting the Germans back in front on kills.  But in the last action of the game the ISU took out the Panzer IV reducing the Germans lead on kills to just one - so this most enjoyable battle ended as an honourable draw.


Monday, October 16, 2017

Kingston Bunker Rats Stalingrad Weekend

The Kingston Bunker Rats had a Flames of War Stalingrad weekend with a linked set of battles in 5 rounds of 5 battles each.  Round 1 was on Friday night with 2 rounds each day Saturday & Sunday.  I haven't played FOW since the May Kingston Kup Tourney & couldn't face 5 games of it in a weekend, but I signed up for 2 Sunday Games for the Reich.  Nick did two Saturday games for the Ivans.

There were 8 tables set up with a wide variety of terrain representative of Stalingrad & the land around it.
My first mission required me to attack a horde of Russians defending ruined buildings.  I tried to rush an objective before their reinforcements could arrive but the dice gods wouldn't cooperate & simply ran out of men (which I had a whole lot less off than the Russians).
In my second mission I was again outnumbered (in points as well as numbers).  This time I didn't even try to attack & take an objective.  I dug in in the hope of hanging on for draw, or if I got lucky maybe breaking the attacking Russians.  But again there were too many of them & I ran out of men.

Playing FOW again only reinforced my opinion that Bolt Action is a better game.  BA is simpler & much easier to play & if it has some silly rules, FOW has a whole lot more of them.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

English Civil War: Scots v. English

A small ECW scenario with Nick's Scots fighting Mike's English.  I looked after Nick's right wing.  Both sides have 4 divisions.  For the army break test getting troops to the place to where a road crosses the enemy's table edge was worth an extra broken division.  (The was secret deployment by sketch map & this was designed to ensure troops were deployed both sides of the creek by both sides).
The Scots are on the far side of the table.   On the near flanks the English have two cavlry divisions.  The Scots have their only cavalry division supported by some dragoons &  a pike & shot regiment supporting a battery of 4 guns.  On the far flak the English have two infnatry divisions each of 3 regiments.  The Scots have a division of highlanders behind the village, a regiment of pike & shot on each side of them & one behind.
On this flank the English strated to concentrate all the cavalry on the lef tof the hill, but when the Scots began deploying dragoons & shot on the flanks of their cavalry  they changed their mind, pulled back on their left & moved a division back towards the centre.
Pics are now taken from behind the Scot's right.   The highlanders charged forward through the fields, but the Pike & shot were slower to advance.   On the right this was due to bad command dice.  On the right it was due to the right flank commander not realising that the infantry regiment between teh village & creek was in in his command.  
The highlanders had mixed success before the attack petered out for lack of support.  When the pike & shotte finally got into contact on the far left theri faltered in a run of terrible dice.
In the centre the English horse valiantly charged up in front of the guns preventing them supporting the attack of the foot on the other side of the creek.
Between the village & creek the large Scots pike unit pushed though, but their shotte were outnumbered & pushed back leaving the pikes isolated.
The English horse took heavy casulties in front of the guns & shotte but did their job ensuring that the infantry attack  on their right succeeded. The Scot's left has been destroyed & while they still have an infantry & a cavalry division unbroken, they have no hope of cutting off the English advance down the road from reaching the table edge (even though they have begun to move their cavalry to the centre).

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Battle of Winwick Pass 1648

The scenario was one from the To Kill a King supplement to Pike & Shotte slightly modified for our Hail Cromwell variation of Hail Caesar.
The Scots have formed up to fight a rear guard action against the English army after the Battle of Preston.  They have erected improvised defences on the crest above the valley on the far side of the stream.  The larger English army has detached a cavalry division on a flank march.  The Scots don't know on which side, no one knows when it will arrive, or exactly where. 
English players: Steve (left), Nick (right), Jim flankign force.
Scots players: Mark (right), Mike (left).
The English have launched an attack all along the line.  On the near flank Scots cavalry have forced a regiment into hedgehog.  On the far flank the English advance has been slowedby poor command dice.
The Scots are holding the line pretty well & the English cavalry remain reluctant to advance.
While doing well on their left, the Scots line has developed some cracks on their right.  The Scots have withdrawn their right flank cavalry suspecting the flank attack will be on that side.
The English flanking force has come onto the table behind the Scot's right.  The English left has began to advance.  The English cavalry on the right is finally in action, though their foot there has replused. 
Despite a spirited counterattack by Scots cavalry taking out 2 musketeer units, the Scots right flank infantry division has broken.  With the English flanking force working their way though the hedgegrows behind them, the Scots are now doomed & concede the battle.

The scenario is heavily biased against the Scots making this a tough one for the Scots to win.  But in our battle the Scots have done much better than historically & claim a victory of sorts.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Operation Cromwell 2017: Bolt Action Tournament

Operation Cromwell 2107 was held at the Good Games shop & cafe on Sunday 01/10.

We had 12 players on 6 tables for for the event played at Good Games, Hobart. There were two last minute withdrawals due to illness or injury, but their spots were taken by reserves who were not able to play all 3 rounds who shared byes so all the other players still got their 3 games. The players' attitude was great & made TO'ing a pleasure.

There was great variety of armies: 1 Fin, 2 Italian, 3 German, 1 French, 1 British, 1 Australian, 1 Soviet & 2 US. Most of them showed great modelling skills & minimum cheese, making the decision on Coolest Army boil down to a bit of a lottery. Matt won it with his Fins, but Ryan's French only missed out because it was a borrowed army (from Dennis in Devonport).

The terrain was supplied by 5 players, me, Sean, Matthew, John & Devonport GC, providing good variety from my functional to Sean's magnificent French village.

The competition was very close & wins were hard earned with many ties. The war went down to the last round where Sean gave Jim W his only defeat. But Jim's 2 wins were enough keep in the lead as Best Axis while Sean slipped into place as Best Allied.

Frankie was given the Banzai award for fighting the bloodiest battles.

The roster was Axis v. Allies: The Allies won the Axis v. Allied count convincingly 29 Tournament Points to 17.

The Roster also split the players into Team Good Games (the regular players at GG on Sunday arvo) & Team Rest of the World, each team 3 Axis & 3 Allied. Team Good Games beat the Rest of the World 26 to 20.
John & Mark fighting over Sean's lovely French village
Mike & Frankie fought a draw size difference not withstanding.
Richmond's run had to end somewhere, Ian's Italians couldn't crack a win.
Jim W & Steve on John's table.
Three tables in the main area.
 Three tables in the back bunker.
Close up of Seans' village.
Some one enjoys a pizza!
One Stug salvages a draw from a horde of Frenchmen.
A cheapo stand-off.
The winners names on the trophies in the Good Games display cabinet.