Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Rome v. Carthage

Romans (Mark & Mike): 2 legions with 2 cavalry brigades.
Carthage (Jim & Chris):  Citizen spears, Scutarii, Gauls, 2 cavalry Brigades & Elephants.

The Romans are on the left.  They have a cavalry brigade on their right flank & the other behind their right flank.
The Carthaginians have Elephants on their left flank &  both cavalry brigades on their right flank.  Their Gauls are left centre, Scutarii right centre & Citizens in reserve.

Both sides have advanced in echelon with their right forward.  The 
Carthaginians Elephants have been turned to face the Roman cavalry on the near flank.
The Elephants threw hot dice & quickly broke the Roman Allied cavalry.  In the centre the skirmishers have been neutralising each other but the heavy infantry are now within charge range of each other.  On the far flank the Carthaginian cavalry has been delayed in their advance by bad command dice.
On the near flank the Elephants have charged on towards the Roman heavy cavalry which is evading them.  The Gauls countercharged the advancing Romans & are putting up a good show, for now holding the line. The Scutari is engaged against the other legion which has been supported by cavalry.  But the Scutarii managed to hold on long enough for Cathaginian cavalry to come to their aid on their right flank.  
The Gauls have put up a good fight but have been outflanked on their left & are now being rolled up from that flank.  The Scutarri have done well & broken the opposing legionaries & cavalry while the  Carthaginian cavalry is doing well on their right flank.  The elephants are still pursuing the Roman cavalry on the far flank. 
The Gauls have broken & their opposing legion is redeploying to face the Citizen spearmen who have deployed facing them on the Scutari's left flank.  The 2nd legion has been broken by the Scutarii &one  Carthaginian cavalry brigade.  Half the other Carthaginian cavalry brigade is pinning down the triarii while the other half has charged the remains of the Roman cavalry on this flank.  

With one legion broken, both cavalry briagdes on half strength & one of them about to be overwhelmed the Romans concede the battle.   

The Romans have blamed their defeat on their poor dice rolling that allowed the elephants to break thru before they could be outflanked, the Gauls to hang on far too long & the Scutarii to hang on long enough for their cavalry to rescue them.  The Carthaginians put their victory down to their brilliant strategy.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Sikh War Campaign Ends

 Last week the Battle of Ludhiana was paused at nightfall.  A feature of the campaign was the lack of coordination of the several Sikh armies whose commanders had varying agendas.  One Sikh army faced the British garrison at Ludhiana.  A second Sikh army arrives to attack the British from the west, but while it was moving into position to attack a British relief force arrived on its flank.  In typical Sikh fashion the first Sikh army failed to move to assist the second until late in the day - too late to stop the British coordinating their two forces to destroy the second Sikh army.

Overnight the British reorganised their forces ready to renew the attack  The British force, though victorious on day 1 had significant casualties & faced a fresh Sikh army. (The defeated Sikh army had retired over the river & was regrouping).

Position at dawn.  The Sikh army is on the left in the pics.
On the far flank a Sikh irregular infantry brigade has advanced through the wood past the fort & is moving towards Ludhiana.  In the centre the British infantry (mostly loyal Sepoys) are advancing on the Sikh Sepoys.  The Sikhs have moved half their artillery to their right to support their infantry while the other half continue to bombard the fort.  On the near flank the truly British cavalry have charged with their Sepoy & irregular cavalry following up.   
The British cavalry continued their poor dice rolling of the previous day & failing to break through. They have pulled back, now shaken, as their allied cavalry take over the attack. 
The British Sepoy cavalry continue the cavalry fight.  In the centre the infantry are slugging it out.

Some of the British cavalry have been rallied & returned to the fray & the Sikh cavalry brigade on the near flank has now broken.  
In the centre casualties have mounted on both sides, but the Sikhs have the numbers to absorb the losses & the truly British infantry Brigade has broken.
On the far flank the Sikh irregulars are passing Ludhiana & are advancing on the British flank. On the near flank, one Sikh cavalry brigade has been broken, but the British cavalry have taken heavy losses & now face a fresh Sikh cavalry brigade.
The British decide they will be destroyed if they continue the attack & order a withdrawal.

The British attacked a Sikh force of about 40,000 men with only about 7,000 men, but the British had some advantages  to counter the numbers:
- strategic surprise
- fewer irregular troops
- some very high quality truly British troops 
- poor coordination of the two Sikh armies
The Brits could have won this battle, but a number of opportunies to make decisive breakthroughs were thwarted by the dice gods.  

Left unsupported, the fort will fall within a day or so.  The Sikhs have already taken & held Ferozepore.  As a result the campaign is over & the Sikhs have won the war this time.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Sikh War Campaign: Battle of Ludhiana continues

 This Tuesday the battle continued with 9 move left until nightfall.

On the near flank the Sikhs are trying to make an orderly withdraw as the Brits prepare to renew their attack.  On the far flank the two Sikh divisions have finally got moving.  (Failure of divisional commanders to coordinate their efforts because of their own rivalries was a feature of this campaign & is reflected in the campaign rules - causing much frustration to the Sikh players, but it is what makes the campaign a fair fight despite the huge disparity in over all numbers between the two sides).
The British have renewed their attack on the Sikh right.  The Sikh cavalry has been broken & their infantry is about to follow suit.
On the other flank the Brtish have abandoned their defences to support their left leaving only the fort garrison.  The fort is invulnerable until the walls are breached by cannon. One Division is advancing around the fort.  The other is moving to shore up the Sikh right where only the infantry & artillery of one Division is left.
The position at night fall: The British are in the foreground & hold the fort on the far flank.
The Sikhs are bombarding the fort & are wrapping troops around the far flank.
The Sikhs have had one & half of their 4 Divisions broken, but still outnumber the Brits who have lost only 2 units, but have significant casualties.
Presumably both sides will reorganise overnight & the battle will continue in the morning. 


Saturday, April 10, 2021

Some Bolt Action

 Chris's Soviets v. Jim's DAK. 1,000 pts. Key Positions scenario, Germans defending.

The DAK won the dice-off to decide who defended & had no hesitation chosing to defend.
the DAK are on the left defending 3 objectives
The Soviets threw a lot of good dice, but the DAK threw their fewer good dice where it mattered.  The MkII won the face off with the T34.  The DAK mortar ranged in 1st time twice.  And their MG42's just loved the target rich environment as the Soviets attacked.  The Soviets were annihilated except for an immobilised truck.  The Germans lost a LMG squad & held all 3 objectives.

On Thursday we had a training game for PeterC with his British 8th army v. Jim's DAK on desert terrain.  1,000pts No Mans Land.  Our reporter forgot to take any pics, but it was another decisive victory for the DAK.

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Sikh War Campaign: Battle of Ludhiana

At last the campaign has moved on from Ferozepore to another location.
The British hold Ludhiana with 5,000 men. 
2 Sikh divisions (about 20,000 men) face that force on the banks of the river north of the town.
2 more Sikh divisions (similar numbers) have arrived from the west to attack the position.

Pic taken from behind the British position turn 5 of 24 for the day.  The Brits have a fort & 3 redoubts.
With the Sikhs to the north inactive, the Brits redeploy to face the Sikhs coming from the west. (The campaign includes  provision for the historical lack of cooperation between the different Sikh armies).
The Sikhs get a nasty surprise when another British force appears on their right flank.
With their poor command factors, the Sikhs struggle to form a new line to face the British flank attack.
The Sikhs put a good fight with hot dice partly making up for lack of skill.  Their infantry is still holding on, but their cavalry is hit from two sides as the Ludhiana force's cavalry joined in & broken.
The Sikh infantry on their right flank has fallen back still capably of fighting after inflicting high casualties on the British British infantry.  British Sepoys are now taking over the front line.  The British cavalry is running out of steam against the centre Sikh division's cavalry & more hot Sikh dice.
It is mid afternoon when we called time for the night.  At this stage, both sides are reorganising their forces on this side of the battlefield.  On the far side, the Sikhs are finally showing some signs of movement.