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.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Thursday afternoon BA at Good Games

Jim's Panzergrenadiers v. Chris' Soviets: 1000 pts Meeting Engagement

The Germans are coming on from the near side of the table.  Both sides put all their troops in the first wave.   The Germans took the initiative, advancing their full strength units units down both flanks though the cover with fire support from the ridges.
The German plan was endorsed by the dice gods and by game end only 4 Soviet units were left.  The Germans had some units badly mauled, but none destroyed. 

We tried out a couple of house rules:
1. No templates: Use the dice like v. houses, but cap the no. of hits at the no. of figs in the target.
   (Because we don't like the fiddling about encouraged by templates).
2. Going down bonus only +1 if you go down as a reaction to current fire, but is +2 if already down.
   (This sort of means being dug in.  It speeds up the kill rate a bit & seems to reward thinking ahead).
3.  Assault weapons re-roll misses rather re-roll hits.
    (We think they overcompensated for Assault weapons being too powerful at 2 dice each in HTH & also that this reduces the probability of outrageous HTH results).
They all seemed to work fine & worth more trials.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Tank War: 2220 points

Jim & Mark's Germans v. Chris & Steve's Soviets
The Soviet force compised a horde of inexperienced troops with 1 reg HT full of veteran infantry.
The German force compised regular tanks & vehicles & veteran infantry.
The Soviets had 16 dice to German's 12.
The table is 10x6' with 8 objectives scattered about it.
Both sides deployed in two groups. (Germans in foreground).
On the near flank both sides sent infantry forward into the farm.  The Soviets supportted their infnatry with armour.  The Germans instead turned their Hetzers to the right to concentrtate their fire on the Soviet left.  3 reg MkIV's & 3 Reg Hetzers should have made short work of 4 inexperienced T34/86's, but the dice gods decreed otherwise & the T34's in the open & inexp destroyed all the German armour in cover at the cost of 1 tank destroyed & 1 immobilised.
But the Germans infantry, HTs & Puma kept the Soviets on the left pre-occupied & distracted from the victory conditions.  On turn 7 infnatry who had been hiding behnd the house moved left onto the objective, still to far away for the Soviet tanks to reach.  The Soviets had 1 tank left to fire, to destroy the 8 vet infantry to keep the objective neutral.  10 shots at 4 to hit gave 8 hits, 8 dice at 5 to kill got 5 kills, morale test at 9 to pass, 11 so infantry destroyed (it was just one of those bad dice nights for the Germans).    The kuberwaggon in the woods had to evaporate as enemy closer thanfirends, so this left the objective neutral & the objective count 3 each & 2 neutral.  As the Germans were now reduced to 3 panzer grendiers in the orchard, the Soviets with just 4 units lost won by kill difference greater than 1 (actually 7 better).

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Napoleonic: Prussians v. French

Steve's Prussians had a Line & a Landwehr division of 6 battalions each, 3 guns & 2 cavalry divisions, each 2 cuirassier & 2 hussar. Command Rating 7 for Landwehr, 8 otherwise.
Jim & Chris's French had 2 infantry divisions of 4 line & 1 legere, 2 guns & 3 cavalry brigades of 2 units: hussar, chaseur a chevale du guarde & a horse grenadier du guarde.  Command Rating 9.
The French deployed first. Infantry in the centre, horse grenadiers on the left, chasseurs in central reserve & hussars on the right.
The Prussians deployed their Landwehr on their left centre, Line on right centre with the guns & a cavalry division on each flank.
The Prussians rapidly advanced their left where the French withdrew their hussars & formed a defensive line on the line of the stream to meet the attack. Despite their poor command rating the Landwehr moved up briskly and took the farm before the French could get there.  A drawn out fire fought ensued between the infantry as the Prussian cavalry manoeuvred around the French flank.
On the near flank, the French intended to advance their legere as skirmishers through the orchard & with the help of the artillery in the centre silence the guns while the line came up ready for an attack in concert with the cavalry.  Poor command dice ruined the plan.  While the Line dithered, the French guns were forced to withdraw by counterbattery fire & a Prussian battalion drove the skirmishers back with a bayonet charge.
On the far flank the Landwehr did remarkably well, but superior French musketry was gradually getting on top.  However the Prussians hussars pushed back the French hussars in the woods & threatened to outflank the French as their heavy cavalry prepared to charge across the stream at shaken infantry.  It looked scary enough for the French commander to move the Chaseurs back to the centre & go on the defensive on his left. 
On the far flank the French musketry with some artillery support finally broke the Landwehr & the heavy cavalry was held on the stream line by the legere.   In the centre the Prussian infantry columns stormed through the orchard & broke 2 French battalions.   This attack was supported by their cavalry, but the with the heat off his right, the French commander pulled his chasseurs back in support of the Grenadiers a cheval in time to meet them.  The Prussian columns in the orchards were halted, & the French infantry in the orchard fell back to a new defensive line as the Prussian columns prepared for another attack. The French artillery was again forced to withdraw by counterbattery fire.
On this flank the cavalry finally engaged & bashed each other into impotence with all but 1 unit on each side shaken & the others close to it.  The French infantry in the fields just managed to hold off the Prussian attack, but the remaining battalions are shaken.

The Prussians had lost their Landwehr division & their cavalry was all pretty well spent, though not broken.   The French had lost just 1 hussar brigade, but like the Prussians only had one infantry division in any condition to fight on.  They were moving to the left & might have arrived in time to save the shaken division on the left, but it was now past 10pm & nightfall was declared & the battle a draw.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Sunday at Good Games

This Sunday we took over the back room at Good games with 3 games, 6 players, 1 umpire & a few spectators.
Steve's new Australians attacked Chris' Japanese in the jungle in a BA Point Defence scenario..
We can all rest easy as the Japanese were decisively defeated. 

John umpired a Chain of Command battle for Rusty' US v. Sean's Germans so Sean see how the game compares with BA.   (COC uses very similar forces & figures to BA).
This battle was still going after the Bolt Action battles were finished & packed up.  When I left it looked like the US were going to win.

On the third table Matt's Panzergrenadiers fought Jim's Brits in a BA Key Positions scenario.
Matt wanted to try out his Panzergrenadier force of a lot of small units all mounted in half tracks.   It was a decisive win for the Germans in an enjoyable battle, though the Brits felt they were rather hamstrung by their dice. 

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Austerlitz - the North Flank

Austerlitz is difficult to simulate as a wargame in 28mm because of the sheer size of the battlefield, but the action on the plain at the north end of the battle makes a nice battle within a battle where Bagration's Corps fought Lannes' Corps.  In the real battle Bagration was supported by Leichenstein's Cavalry Corps & Lannes by part of Murat's cavalry Corps.  On this occasion we fought Bagration v. Lannes to keep the game to a size more manageable for 4 players on a Tuesday night.  We intend to fight the action again with the extra cavalry & a bigger table at a later date.
This pic is taken behind the Russian left at the start, the remaining pics are taken from behind the French line.  The Russians have their infantry in the centre with Cossacks on their right & their beter cavalry on their left.  The French have their single cavalry brigade in reserve behind their right.  The French have slightly more infantry, but the Russians have more cavalry & artillery.  The numbers are in favour of the Russians, but the French have better command.
Lannes attacks in echelon leading with his left.  Bagration responds by moving his infantry reserve to his right to extend the infantry line to the woods in front of the cossacks. 
Despite the French advantage in command, the Russians managed to re-deploy their right before the French attack struck their line.  The French charged in anyway without any preparation or numerical advantage.  They failed to get the luck they needed for such an attack & bounced off.  Seeing their left was now vulnerable to counter-attack Lannes sent his cavalry reserve to the left to provide support. 

After his infantry repulsed Lannes infantry on the far flank, Bagration counter-attcked with infantry & cossacks.  The mostly shaken French brigade was in big trouble, but Lannes' Hussars arrived in the nick of time & stopped the rot.  In the centre, Russian hussars have forced the French skirmishers back & the Line infantry into square making them fine targets for their artillery.  On their left, the Russian heavy brigade has failed to do much due to poor command dice.
The hussars now hold the line on the French left while the shaken infantry rally behind them.
On the left, the cavalry of both sides have fallen back behind the infantry. On the right, a line of French squares keeps the Russian cavalry at bay while absorbing the artillery fire.  The battle has turned into a stalemate with neither side keen to risk another attack.  The Russians claim victory on the grounds that they beat off the French attack.  The French claim victory on the grounds that they tied up superior numbers on their section of front while Napoleon won the battle elsewhere.