Sunday, September 29, 2019

Friday afternoon Bolt Action

Chris & I tested our 1,100 pt lists for Southern Offensive in December.My Grenadiers v. Chris Soviets in a Double Envelopment scenario.
The Germans are on the near side of the table.  A screen of German mg squads on the ridge keep the Soviet right busy while Grenadiers rush the Soviet left. 
Nothing much went right for the Soviets.  By the end of turn 6, they were reduced to 1 tank, an immombilised SP gun & half an infantry squad while the Germans had lost a jeep.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Hail Caesar: Rome v. Mithradides

Tonight we played ancients using Hail Caesar pretty much from the book.
Romans: Jim, Mark & Chris: 3 legions of 4 heavy & 2 light, 2 cavalry divisions of 2 medium & 2 light.
Pontic Kingdom: Mike, John & Steve: 2 heavy cavalry divisions, phalanx of 4 pike & 4 light, Galatian division of 6 warbands & 3 light.
The Ponts are on the right: Cavalry on each wing, Galcians left centre, phalanx right centre.  The Romans have deployed their cavalry in reserve behind their legions.
The Romans try to make a general advance with their foot, but their left got bad command dice & lags behind.  They try to move their cavalry to protect their flanks, but their right hand division has not yet moved.
The Romans foot smashes into the Galacian division as all the cavalry & the Roman left suffer from bad command dice.   The book list gives all these forces a command rating of 8.  This is really having an effect, upsetting both side's plan & forcing them to make the best they can of their situations. 
The Galacians have been broken.  The Roman foot lost no units, but the RH legion is mostly shaken.  The Pontic cavalry has had a lot of bad command dice, but is now coming to grips with the weak Roman cavalry.  The Romans are trying to get at the phalanx before their cavalry is ridden down. 
Both Roman cavalry divisions are hanging on by a thread.  Pontic hopes depend on Oakie's 2 legions taking out the phalanx fast. 
The Pontic cavalry has finished off the Roman horse & is now attacking the Roman foot in the rear. Oakie's legendary luck saved two cohorts from rear attacks & the 2nd line has turned to face the cavalry as the phalanx makes a fighting retreat. 
The Roman 2nd line plus the rallied RH legion has stopped the Pontic cavalry & the phalanx has lost 1 unit & the others are under pressure.  But the centre Roman legion pushed too hard & it was the division that broke first - one minute before our 10 o'clock nightfall rule.  The army break test for both armies was break if losing 2 divisions including 1 infantry.  The Ponts lost 1 Galacian while the Romans lost 2 cav divs & 1 legion.

It was an interesting change to use HC pretty straight from the book with minimum house rules.    We did have a bit of rule confusion where Hail Whoever differs from HC, but we were able to look up the book when Oakie got argumentative.  The play of the game was much the same as it would have been with Hail Whoever, but it was obviously slower & harder work to resolve the combats.  In Hail Whoever we would have given the Roman legions a command rating of 9 which would have given them more time to break the Pontic foot before their cavalry was beaten, but we also would have cost them points for that, so their force would have been a little weaker & very likely got the same result.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Sunday Afternoon BA

This week the retired gentleman's game was postponed to Sunday as we priortised saving the planet on Friday.  Chris & I tried out 1,100 pt armies as practice for the upcoming BA comp in December.  Jim's Grenadiers v. Chris' Soviets in Hold Until Relieved scenario.
The bridge is the objective.  The Soviets started with infantry next to the bridge with a armoured car in support.  Their 1st wave & reserves come on the far side.  The Germans deployed their forces on this side of the table over 18" from the soviets on the table.
It was a difficult table for the defence.  There was little cover on the objective & the Germans had good positions to provide fire support for their attacking squads.  The initial defenders fell back to cover  on the ridge but were decimated by MG fire then over-run by grenadiers.

Russian attempts to re-take the position were easily repulsed, even before Mitzi intervened.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

English Civil War

English: Mike, Chris & mark.
Scots: Jim, Mitch & Steve.
Both sides had 2 cavalry brigades of 4, 3 infantry brigades of 2 pile & 4 shot plus 2 guns.
Rules: Hail Cromwell.  Table 12'x6'.
The Scots are on the left. The English have cavalry on each wing.  The Scots have 1 cavalry on their left & the other as a central reserve.
The English made a general advance.  The Scots redeployed a little to meet the attack, keeping their reserve behind their centre.
On the far flank the Scots cavalry was simply ridden down by an equal English brigade in a shower of bad dice.  But on the near flank the English cavalry was met with a wall of hedgehogs, thought better of their attack & fell back. With their left already a brigade down, the Scots now advanced their right while forming a defensive position in the farm on what was now their left flank. 
As the English start their attack on the farm, the Scots cavalry reserve has attacked the English.  On the near flank the English cavalry has advanced again to meet the Scot's foot.
The 2nd Scot's cavalry brigade's dice were little better than the 1st & they failed to make the hoped for breakthrough.  A counterattack on their left by the victorious English cavalry was replused, mainly due to the Scots artillery in the farmyard firing into their flank. On the nea rflank the English cavalry is being well held by the Scots foot.  Between the cavalry fights the Scots infnatry advance has stalled in the face of Oakie's shower of 6's.
In the farm, the Scots are hanging on grimly.  On the near flank neither side can gain the upper hand.  In the centre, the Scots cavalry plug the gap despite heavy casualties.
The English are slowly pushing their way thru the farm. The Scot's hopes of breaking the English centre before their left collapses have now disappeared after another counterattack has failed to break thru against the English 6's.  The Scots are now just trying to hang on until nightfall. 
In the last turn before nightfall (10pm realtime) the Scotish infantry in the farm has broken.  The army remains unbroken with only 2 of 5 brigades lost, but the English have lost no brigades, so clearly the Scots have no alternative but to claim victory and retreat overnight in good order.

The Scots responded to the terrible performance of their cavalry on their left by trying to attack on their right before the English could use their now superior numbers.  The farm & their well positioned artillery bought them time to turn defeat into victory, but their counterattack lucked out, the English centre held them off, & the opportunity passed.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Friday afternoon Tank War

Chris' Germans v.  JohnM's Brits.
Tank War scenario 1,500 pts.  Table 12'x6'.
The two forces started with their forces coming on as first waves from opposite corners at the near end of the table.  There are 5 objectives - the T junction, the 2 bridges & the tops of the two hills further down the table.   There is no visibility thru the double lines of trees along the road.
Both side protected their flank by deploying 2 tanks in ambush back from the tree lines while rushing infabtry to the village with tanks on their other flank.
The Brits seemed to have had a plan to use their artillery barrage to lay smoke to cover a charge by 2 Cromwells for one of the hill objectives.  But they seem to have been distracted from the plan by the shirt-fight in the village where the Grewnadiers had taken the T-junction objective.   When the Germans pulled a tank out of their nearside flanking screen the Brits attacked there.
The British attack on the near flank was very effective taking out all 3 MkIV's, but the Grenadiers had destroyed the Brit infantry around the village & held on against the Cromwells until the end of turn 7.  If there had been a turn 8, the British armour might have won the day, but it was not to be. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Napoleonics: French v. Austrians

French: Mark & Chris:  3 infantry divisions of 4 line & 1 light infantry + 1 battery.  3 hussar divisions of 4. 2 corps batteries.  Command 9.
Austrians:  Mike & Mitch: 3 infnatry division with 6 infantry & 1 battery, 2 cavalry divisions of 2 light & 2 heavy.  Infantry a mix of line, grenadiers, landwehr & yeger.   Command 8 except Grenadiers 9 & landwehr 7.
The French commanders make their plans on a map in the library.
The Austrians deploying.
Both sides have 3 divisions on the table deployed u to 18" from their table edge at the start, plus 2 division in reserve to come on at nominated spots on the throw of a 5 with 1 dice on turn 2, 2 on turn 3, etc. The French are on the left & have 1 inf & 1 cav in reserve.  They have made their 1st move.  The Austrians have both their cavalry divisions in reserve.
The French have advanced their infantry to the line of ridges & sent their cavalry to the right. The Austrians have advanced 2 divisions to the line of the road.  Their 3rd division is having command problems & has dropped behind.  Their heavy cavalry has come on the far flank. 
The camera drone has moved to the other end of the table.
The Austrian heavy cavalry has deployed on the Austrian flank.  Both sides have light cavalry on the far flank with French advancing & the Austrians dithering.
The Austrians have made an uncharacteristically bold advance on their left, attacking the right of the French line with infantry in attack columns. 
The Austrian attack had some success, breaking one unit, but the French unit on the wooded hill confounded the Austrians by breaking two attackers. 
On the near flank, the Austrian infantry also attacked.  Their cavalry was supposed to support them, but failed commands.  The Austrian attack on the French right has stalled & the division is trying to withdraw.  The cavalry on the far flank is now engaged.
The Landwehr are doing well on the near flank, but the cavalry still hasn't advanced to help them.  The Austrian withdrawal on their left has turned into a rout as hot French musketry forced more break tests.  The French cavalry attack on the right has been beaten off, but they have reinforcements at hand.  The 3rd French infantry division has finally arrived on the French left & is marching up the road .
The Austrian heavy cavalry has finally moved up, but not fast enough to immediately exploit the Landwehr's breakthrough.   On the far flank the 3rd Austrian infantry is still deploying as the French reserve division approaches.
The Austrian heavy cavalry has finally joined the fray, but French squares are holding them off as the Austrian infantry run out of steam.  The French right is now attacking around the farmhouse.  

The poor performance of the Austrian cavalry blew the opportunity for victory on the near flank & the infantry there has been broken.  On the far flank the renewed assault by the French cavalry took out the Austrian hussars, though not before losing their lead division.  So the Austrian army broke on the last move before nightfall with 3 of 5 division broken.  The French lost 1 cavalry division.

Strategically, the Austrians did pretty well.  Their light cavalry tied up both French cavalry divisions & with the late arrival of the 3rd French infantry they had a 4 divisions to 2 advantage for a while.  They attacked to exploit the opportunity.  But the advantage of the extra point of a Command Rating of 9 v. 8 is sometimes very significant.  The Austrian heavy cavalry could have broken the French left if they had advanced in close support of the Landwehr & the slow advance of the deployment of the Austrians on the left left their first attack unsupported. Oakie having one of his lucky streaks with the dice didn't help their cause.