Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Napoleonic: French v. Russians

Jim (left flank & cavalry), Mark (centre), Chris (right flank).
3 infantry divs of 4 line, 1 light & 1 gun plus a cavalry division of 2 heavy & 2 light.
Command 9.

Steve (right flank), Nick (centre), Mike (Left flank & cavalry).
3 infantry divisions of 6 line & 1 gun & a cavalry division of 2 heavy & 2 light.
Command 7 except CIC 8.
After secret deployment within 18" of own baselines.  The French are on the right.
The Russians advance on their left with infantry & cavalry.
The French advance in the centre with flanking divisions echeloned back.  
The Russian cavalry sweep around the flank is delayed by their poor command.  The French cavalry is moving to meet it.  There is a scrappy infantry fight in the farm orchards.
The French attack on the centre faltered before it even went in after some unusually good Russian shooting & some poor break test results disrupted it.  The French left & centre has shaken out into line to bring their use superior musketry into play.
While a firefight rages left & centre, on the French right the Russian infantry is are attacking though the orchards.  The French cavalry have already charged once but both front lines became shaken without decisive result & with Russian infantry on their flank the French cavalry have fallen back to regroup while the Russian cavalry are, as usual, slow to follow up.
The Russian command team deep in thought.
The French infantry have stopped the Russian push through the orchards & are now counterattacking.  Both sides cavalry have put their second line to the fore & the French have charged again.
In the firefight on the French left & centre, the French firepower was countered by Russian tenacity (the French shoot better, but the Russians are stubborn).  The Russians have got on top & the French made a fighting withdrawal counting on winning the battle on the far flank. 
The Russian infantry division on the far flank broke first, but as nightfall approached, the French infantry on this flank & the Russian cavalry on the far flank have also broken.

So by nightfall the Russians had lost 2 divisions out of 4, the French 1 out of 4.  The army break test has it that if you lose 2 out of 4 divisions the size of the divisions is taken account of.  As one of the Russian losses was the smaller cavalry division, the Russians have lost less than half their force,so not broken, & the battle is a draw.  Given that the remaining French infantry divisions are both 1 loss off breaking & their cavalry units are almost all shaken, the French were probably saved from defeat by night fall.

The Russians had 3 more infantry units than the French.
The French had some slightly better cavalry.
The French were command 9 compared with command 7.
The Russian foot were Poorly Trained (1 less dice in shooting & line combat, line movement limit 1 per turn), but stubborn so +1 on all break & rally tests.
The French line were standard troops (2 moves in line).
The French had 3 light infantry units (3 moves in line, +1 dice shooting, & able to use skirmish line).

The French won on their right where their better command helped a lot in the swirling cavalry fight & in the scrappy infantry brawl in the orchards.  The Russians won on the other flank & centre standing on the defensive in a tight line where their poor command didn't hurt them.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Medieval: Scotts v. English

Mark set up the game for tonight:
Rules: Hail King Richard.
Each side had 4 battles. 5 units each English, 6 for Scotts.
The English have better bowmen & heavier cavalry.
Command 7, except Edward is  8. 
On the right of table: Scotts: Steve (right flank), John (cente) , Chris left flank).
On the left: English: Mike (left flank), Mark (centre), Jim (right flank).
Both sides advance with the usual disruption due to poor command ratings
There is heavy fighting on the far end of the table, but  on the near flank, poor Scottish command dice & English caution have delayed engagement.
On fhe far flank both sides are having mixed fortunes. In the centre the English men at arms have disposed of the Scots bowmen & are taking on the shiltrons.  On the near flank the Scot's advance slowly under a hail of arrows.knights are
In the centre the shiltrons have beaten off the men at arms, but have been shaken in the process & the English knights are preparing to attack.  On the near flank, the Scots billmen have broken the bowmen at the end of the English line.
The far flank is still an indecisive brawl.  The English knights have broken though the Scots centre. On the near flank English billmen are counterattacking.
The Scots centre & left have broken & with 2 of 4 Scot's battles broken & no English, it's game over & an English victory.  The battle was won by good use of combined arms in the English centre & sound defence & counterattack by the English right.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Musket Action: AWI

British: Steve & Jim.
French & Colonials: Mike & Chris.
An AWI battle using Musket Action, our house ruled version of Bolt Action for the black powder era.
The Brits are on the left.  There are 5 objectives for a Key Positions scenario.  The farm, the central ridge, the village & the two road exits.
On the far flank the Hessian mercenaries have rushed forward to beat the Indians to the farm.
In the centre the Brits have taken the hill objective, but the company that took it has been left isolated When their flanking coys failed to advance.
In the foreground the Canadian Militia have beaten the Inexperienced Colonial regulars to the village & occupied all three buildings. 
Having grabbed the vital realestate, the Brits now had to hold on against the enemy attacks.
The Inidans on th afr flank are not getting far against the Hessians who have advanced into the wood to threaten the French flank.   A British cavalry attack on the French right has been beaten off & the Frecnh cavalry are advancing on the hill.  The Canadians are hanging on in the village.
The british centre has pretty well collapsed, but 1 coy is hanging onto the objective.
With the help of  a Grenadier charge on the French cavalry's rear, the Brietish coy on the hill has hung on.  Desperate colonial attacks have cleared 2 of the three buldings, but one remains in Canadian hands maintaining the VP at the end of turn 6.

Turn 6 took us past our 2 1/2 hour cut-off time so there was no chance of a turn 7. The British army has been decimated, but has clung onto 4 objectives to win the game. 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Operation Sudlicht Bolt Action Tournament

The Devonport Gaming Club's annual Bolt Action Tournament, Operation Sudlicht 2018 was held  yesterday.

A school gymnasium made an excellent venue for the 20 players with 12 excellent tables. Chris & I made the journey to take part as did another 7 Hobartians from the Good Games & Area 52 players. Blue on Blue was avoided with prizes for Best Axis, Best Allied & Best Minor Power.  Table allocation was left to the players to pair off & pick.  With 2 spare tables & amiable players, this simple system worked well & would have simplified the rostering.  

I took my Panzergrenadiers as usual.  My first battle was Heartbreak Ridge scenario against a British army.  I ran into a s-storm of cunning opponent with a good plan & good dice.  I was not surprised when my enemy went on to win best Allied General. 
Chris took Russians.  His first battle was against a beautiful Japanese army that took 3 years to paint & won the beauty prize against very stiff competition.  Not sure how the Russians got so far south to fight in the jungle, but not Blue on Blue.

My second battle was a Key Positions scenario.  I lost again, this time I think I had the best plan, but a combination of a blunder & bad luck in the last move scramble for objectives gave me another defeat. 
The final battle was a Point Defence.  The Axis were losing the Axis v. Allies count & were made the defenders is this round.  My Panzergrenadiers lost heavily against the Matt's British but at the end were still hanging onto all objectives by their fingernails, very relieved when there was no turn 7.

Once again the Devonport blokes ran an excellent event, well attended, played in good spirit & enjoyed by all.  Camp Cromwell finished down in the pack, me with 1 win & 2 losses, Chris with 1 win, 1 draw & 1 loss, but a good day & well worth the long drive.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Bolt Action Tank War

We had a quiet night tonight with only 3 punters.  Mark umpired a 1250 pt Tank War game between Jim's Panzers & Mike's Brits.  There are 4 objectives - the village, the far end of the road & the 2 central hills.
The Germans are on the near side of the table.  2 small infantry to contest the village.  3 Hetzers in the centre wood & 2 MkIII in the far wood.
The Brits have infantry & a Sherman going at the village, 2 M10 on the central ridge & 2 Shermans & an M8 on the far flank. 
The MkII's engage from cover as the Hetzers move over to help.  The Brits send an M10. 
In the village the Brits with armoured support have the 2 small German sections pinned down but teh objective is still in dispute. 
The Germans have too many guns on this flank & the British armour is burning. 
The GI's cleared the village & the Sherman made a rush for the German's central objective.  The M10 pulled out of the hopeless fight on the flank & turned back to cover the central objective.  The hetzers turned on the Sherman from the village & though it got to the objective on turn 8, it died under a hail of Hetzer fire.  Objectives were shared 2 each, but the Germans won 6 kills to 3.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Flames of War at The Bunker Rats

The Kingston Bunker Rats ran their annual "campaign" this weekend - a series of games in 3 rounds of linked scenarios with several tables for typical battles between Normandy & Rhine. 
Oakie & I played in one scenario in round 5.  It was a two player a side scenario based loosely on the Falaise Gap.   I had the Brits coming on the near side of the table, Oakie the Yanks coming on opposite.  The Germans had some troops in the town, most on the road down the far end & some delayed reserves coming on from the left.  The Germans gained VPs by getting troops off the LH edge.  The Allies gained VPs by killing or trapping Germans.
Only half the Allies were on the table to start with, the rest in scattered reserve. 
Things started badly for the Allies when the Germans dropped an ambush of 4 88's near the village & it was all down hill from there.  The Allied air came often enough, but the Germans dripped with AA & they did little.  The Allied reserves came as slowly as possible & usually in the wrong place.  By the time the 88's had been dealt with there were 2 big pussies & a horde of MkIV's in position that far outnumbered the Allied armour.   So the Germans outgunned the Allies from the start & picked off their reserves as they came on.  

Smithy's army choice & skillful deployment of the 4 88's in ambush at the start had the game won before it started.   The resemblance of the scenario to the real Falaise Gap situation was tenuous at best - it was really a turkey shoot for the Allies, not the Germans.  Even if the Allied reserves had arrived sooner it's difficult to see how they could have won this unless the Germans played it badly w - which in this case they certainly did not.  It's hard to love a scenario where you feel doomed from the start.

The Bunker Rat's tables were as always magnificent, though the FOW campaign system used is pretty ordinary - it's hardly a campaign if there's no strategic map & no overarching strategy.  It is just a set of vaguely linked scenarios.  The only strategy being some flexibility in allocating support units in each round. 
This is a view of the Falaise Gap from the Allied ridge in 2011.
This is a Tiger still where it was abandoned when it ran out of juice facing the Canadians a few km north of Falaise.