Friday, December 28, 2018

Cruel Seas #2

As Xmas was on our usual Tuesday we convened on BoxingDay afternoon this week to have a second go at Cruel Seas.
Game 1:
Four Vespers are escorting a freighter with 3 E-boats attacking.
The E-boats split up. 
While one E-Boat gets sunk in the centre, the flanking boats get past & launch torpedoes.
The freighter skillfully avoided the torpedoes, but the E-Boat's guns throw plenty of 6's & the freighter is sunk by gun fire before the Vespers can turn back to help her.

Game 2:
4 Vespers take on 3 e-Boats head to head.
One E-boat takes on the Brits head on, while one lags back & the other goes on a high speed flanking run.  It didn't look like good strategy, but E-boats are tough & the bunny survived & then the pincer took out 2 Vespers.  The survivors then conceded the fight & ran for it.

We enjoyed the games, but are looking forward to getting some bigger boats.  Torps are fun, but the MTB's can't be hit by them (too shallow draft) so you need some bigger boats around to make them useful.  We decided that the points system needs tweaking.  In the MTB action the Brits seemed totally outclassed even with similar points - but they had to pay 40 pts each for 4 torps which were totally useless in the scenario, whereas the Germans could choose to have only 2 torps each & waste only 20 pts.  Also the German 37mm guns cost 10pts, the same as the Brit twin 20mm but while they have the same firepower, they have range 70cm cf 50cm.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Cruel Seas

We tried out Warlords' new WWII naval game, Cruel Seas, playing two small games with a boat or two per player.

In the first game 2 E-boats attacked a British Freighter escorted by 3 MTB's.   The tanker took a torpedo hit which almost sunk her, but the two E-boats were sunk before they could finish it off.

In the second game 3 E-boats escorted a freighter while 5 MTB's attacked it.

This time the attackers got 2 torpedoes into the freighter & sank it. 

As none of us had played Cruel Seas before we were feeling our way with the rules & systems, but even so everyone enjoyed it.  It is not a complex game & easy enough to pick up & play.  The rule book is pretty, as always with Warlords, but also reasonably easy to use with a QRS & index, though the QRS could be improved with less pictures & more information.  The models are cute & a good scale for the small ships it is intended for, & the game looks great.   The dice in the bag system for actioning boats one by one works nicely as it does in BA.  The movement system is simple, but provides scope for skill.  The combat mechanisms are simple but effective with scope for skill, but also a lot of luck involved.  The ship cards with stats for recording damage work ok.  It's an exciting little game with the sort of efficient mechanisms & suitability for team play that we like - in the same vein as our Modder Fokker, Men o' War & Dreadnought rules.  Our first impressions were good & I think it may become a regular addition to the Camp Cromwell menu.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Bolt Action

Chris is going to Cancon & wanted a practice match.  I'm told there are already 70 entries for the BA comp.  Chris' Soviets v. Jim's Germans in 1000 pts Surrounded scenarios, Germans defending.
The Germans started with a light gun & nest of LMG squads in the wood & farmhouse near the centre.  The Soviet first wave came on from the far side of the table. The German reserves were all brought in on the near side of the table to reinforce the first line.  The Soviet reserves came in from either flank.  The Soviet advance was too spread out against a tight defence which allowed the Germans to pick their units off one by one. We called it off after turn 5 when the kill ratio was 7 Soviet to 1 German.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

English Civil War: Hail Cromwell Rules

Covernanters: Mike & Chris
Parliament: Mark, Steve & Jim
The Scots are on the far side.  The Englisg are attacking in echelon leading with their cavalry on their left.
The charge of the leading English cavalry brigade was shattered in a hail of 1's & 2's, but they had a second cavalry brigade to renew the attack.  In the centre the English have met the highlanders.
The 2nd English cavalry brigade is now gaining the pper hand.  An infantry fight rages in the central wooded hill.  Cavalry from both sides advance on each other in the centre.  On the far flank both sides are cautiously advancing. 
Fighting rages all along the front. 
The Scots cavalry is now broken on the near flank as casualties mount all along the line with no decisive results.
The English cavalry on the left seem content to rest on their laurels as English pikes over-run the guns & their suporting pikes beside the farmhouse.  The Scots have gained the upper hand in the central wood.  The cavalry in the centre have bashed each other to a standstill.  The far flank is still indecisive.  
The Scots right is now under pressure now the English cavalry have finally moved to support their infantry, but the English centre is a mess & the far flank still not looking like a result.  With nightfall approaching the players agreed to a draw.

The English plan of breaking the Scots right with their superior cavalry & rolling up their line was thwarted by the cavalry taking too long to wipe out the Scots cavalry & to move right, plus the good performance of the highlanders in the centre.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

ACW: Hail Mr Lincoln rules

Both sides had 3 infantry brigades of 4 regiments & a gun & 1 cavalry brigade of 4 regiments.  Cards were used to provide a random start location for 1 brigade & random arrival points for the others (somewhere on their rear table edge or 1/3 of the way down each side edge).  The reinforcements arrived FOW style on a throw of 5 with 1 dice turn 1, 2 on turn 2, etc.   Each side knew at the start where their own reserves were coming from, but not where the enemy's are coming from.

Chris commanded the Rebs & Renfrey the Union.
The Rebs are on the right in the pics.  Both sides started with their cavalry on the table just this side of centre.  The Union dismounted on the wooded ridge. The Rebs moved to the left & seized the house on their left.
By turn 3, the Union had all 3 infantry brigades coming on, one on each flank & 1 in the cntre.  The Rebs still only have 1 infantry brigade coming on, behind their centre.
The Reb rerves came eventually & mirrored the Union.
On the near flank the Union have attacked though the farm yard driving the Reb cavalry out of the house.  The Rebs have counterattacked the Union Zouaves in the farmyard.
In the centre both sides are still  deploying.
On the far side, the Rebs made up for late arrival by good command dice & charged home on the Union brigade while it was still in column of march.
On the near flank the Reb counterattack has been beaten off.
In the centre they are still deploying.
On the far flank the Union brigade is in deep doo doo, but still hanging on.
On the near flank the Rebs pulled back to the woods to regroup but the Union declined to follow up.
On the far flank, the Union brigade has broken & the 2 Reb regiments still in good shape are advancing on the Union centre's flank.
In the centre the Union have launched a desperate attack with infantry & dismounted cavalry to try & pull off a win before they were outflanked.  But the Rebs had pulled back to the orchard line & held them off.

At this stage the Union decided that their position was hopeless & conceded the battle.

The Rebs were certainly lucky with a critical command roll on the far flank, but the Union were also lucky in getting their reserves on faster.  The Rebs made the best of their luck on the far flank while the Union didn't exploit their advantage on the near flank.  The Reb's timely change from attack to defence in the centre in anticipation of an Union attack before they could be flanked was the winning move.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Bolt Action WWI & WWII

Last Tuesday was a BA night.

Renfrey played Chris in a WWI action (with some house rules for WWI).

Steve played Rob in a practice match for the upcoming Southern Offensive Comp.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Napoleonic:War & Peace

Russians: Chris, Nick & Steve.  3 infnatry brigades of 6 inf & 1 art + 1 cav brigade of 2 cuirassiers & 2 dragoons.  Command 7.
French: Jim, Renfrey & Mike.  3 infantry brigades of 4 line, 1 legere & 1 art + 1 cav div of 2 cuirassier & 2 hussar.

The French are on the left in this pic.  Mike v. Steve on this flank.  Renfrey v. Nick in the centre & Jim v. Chris on the far flank.
The French attacked on their left holding their outnumbered right back. 
The French got the worst of the cavalry clash & fell back as their infantry charged the hill left of centre.
Due to poor command the Russians were unable to exploit their initial success in the cavalry fight & legere & artillery in & behind the house started whittling them down as the French cavalry tried to rally.
The Russian cavalry continue to be worn down by French fire as the infantry fight rages around the farm & in the wood. Renfey is adding some support on the right of Jim's infantry brigade.
The Russian right has broken - both infantry & cavalry.  They have lost 2 out of 4 brigades while the enemy have lost none, so the Russians fail their army army break test.  Steve's half of the Russian army can withdraw with minimal casualties.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Zama at Black Hills

Chris commanded the Carthaginians (far side of the table) & Jim the Romans.  Peter set up the battle close to the original deployment except Hannibal kept his elephants in the rear
The Romans advanced with their cavalry going ahead while the light troops slimished in the cetre.
The light infantry have been withdrawn & the Principes have attacked witht heir numidian allies covering the overlap on their right.   The Triari are being shifted to the left. The Punic 2nd line has shifted sideways to cover the overlap of their front line.  The cavalry have engaged on each flank.
The Numidian infantry has broken on the Roman right, but the pricipes are getting the upper hand against the Punic 1st line.   The Punic heavy cavalry has broken & the Numidians have pursued.  The On the Roman left, the Triari are advancing & both sides have shifted their light infantry there.  The light cavalry fight on the left is still indecisive. 
The Numdian heavy cavalry has rallied, but cannot approach the elephants, which are doing their job of protecting the rear of the Punic foot.  The Principes have broken the Punic 1st line & rallied back.  The Hastasi have now charged the Celts in the Punic 2nd line while the Triari have engaged the Punic veterans of their 3rd line.  When the Celts broke the Carthaginians failed their army morale test.  Once again Scipio has won.

Peter's Strategos rules are lumpier & less flamboyant than Hail Whoever, but the game flows well & provides an interesting bit of variety.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Bolt Action

Steve & Rob wanted some BA practice & rules revision for the upcoming tourney at Kingston.
Rob's Panzers took on Mike's US armour (1250 pts).  The tone was set on turn 1 when Mike threw 3 1's  in succession firing at the exposed MkIII.  The Mk IV's moved up & the table was on littered with burning Shermans.  A big win for the Germans.
At the other end of the table Steve's Germans made mincemeat of Chris' Ivans in a 1,250 pt infantry game.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Bolt Action WWI

Bolt Action with some house rules for WWI.
Scenario 7: Envelopment, with some modifications.
Chris' British defended with half units on table in improvised defences.
Jim's Germans attacked with all units in the first wave. 
Both sides were allowed more artillery with 2 medium batteries off table.
The attackers were allowed 2 barrages & 1 tank.
The Germans made their main attack on their left where a ridge gave some cover to the start of their advance. 

The first German infantry squad to go over the ridge was blown away so the Germans paused  the advance while they did some more softening up.
The Germans resume their advance.
The German's secondary attack on the right has been broken by Brits counter attacking out of their trench. 
The Germans' main attack is now doing well.
The British have taken out the tank with mortar fire, but too late to stop it breaking through the line. 

The game ended after turn 6.  The Brits had destroyed 5 units giving them 10 VPs.  The Germans had destroyed 6 units & got 3 units into the enemy deployment zone so have 12 VPs.  The attackers have won though at great cost to both sides.  So WWI.

The balance of the scenario seemed pretty good.  There were times when it looked like the Brits were on top & vice versa.  If they'd got the tank just one turn sooner it could have been very different.

Napoleonics at Molesworth

Dave Hay invited me to join him in a visit to a neighbour he has discovered with an interest in wargames & space for a big table.  Dave & Stewart commanded the Brits (on RHS in pics), Jim commanded the French.  Both sides had 3 infantry brigades & a cavalry brigade.  Two infantry brigades each were on the table at the start with the other brigades coming on as reserves along the road using the FOW reserve rule.
The French were fortunate to get their infantry reserve on turn 1 & their cavalry on turn 2. 
The French saw the opportunity to destroy the enemy's right before their reserves could arrive & advanced their left as fast as the command dice would allow. 
The Brtish reserves came on turns 3 & 4 as the French cavalry advanced in the centre to prevent the Brits supporting their right & massed infantry to attack on their left.  However the left flank infantry brigade blundered backwards instead of attacking giving the British right a reprieve while their cavalry also blundered into charging forward.  Half the cavalry charged a square on the left of the Brit's right & actually broke it by a combination of hot dice & previous casualties to artillery, then rallied back.  The other half charged the head of the British cavalry column & bounced off.

The French have renewed their attack on the Brit right with foot & horse as the British left has become a confused mess around the village as their brigades intermingle.
The Brit right is on the brink of breaking but is hanging on making a fighting withdrawal.  The Brit cavalry has driven their French cavalry back behind their infantry.   The Brit left is finally getting itself sorted out.
The British left fank infantry has finally moved up to attack but their right has finally broken.
The British attack on their left faltered against the French defensive line of artillery & infantry & they have fallen back.  The French left has reorganised to turn on the British right flank.  But night fall is approaching & both sides conceed that there isn't enough time left for a decisive result.

The British made a serious error in deployment in leaving a brigade out to dry on the right when their reserves were going to come on their left.  The British reserve's deployment was also hampered by being behind their left flank brigade while the French had left a gap in their centre for their reserves to slot into.  The French saw the opportunity, but blunder dice & stubborn defence by the Black Watch delayed the defeat of the British right long enough to rob them of time to gain an over-all victory.