Sunday, 28 November 2010
Monday, 22 November 2010
My first stop was the usual hellos and to catch up with the regulars and then to look at some games. I immediately ran into Mike and Les at the Peter Pig demo game of Washington's Wars. As Les was showing Mike how to play I joined in, and fortunate for Mike I did! The rules are usual Peter Pig style with tweaks to give that period feel and are good fun. Mike dallied on the left flank, while in the right I led the British forward, while the Indians swept around the American flank, carried the first objective and was descending on a second by the end of the game, while Mike was still short of even pushing back the Rebels he was facing.
Next up was a wander around and to look at some products and games. Again I found myself underwhelmed by the general material on sale. That is not to suggest it was lacking in quality, as the vast majority of traders now carry a wide range of high quality products. However they are all very similar and nothing really stands out from the crowd. I yearn to see something that is going to excite the gamer in me and really tempt me. AS it was the only purchaser I made were planned, some PanzerJager Is and L3/33s for our desert games.
As far as games go, it was a similar story. All very good and generally high quality, but nothing that really grabbed my attention and made me look a second time. The most memorable game was the skirmish wargamers fight around a stage coach. It had everything a game should, interesting terrain (rolling hills covered in teddy bear fur, looked stunning) and a strong focal point of the stage coach in the centre of the table. I know the 54mm scale helps, but these games are run once with items the members own, so really clubs that plan their games and build them together should be able to consistently achieve a similar standard.
For the afternoon I joined Robin in a participation game of his new Gruntz sci-fi rules being done in conjunction with GZG. I really enjoyed them, although 15mm they are small unit size. The game we played I controlled 3 vehicles, a bike squad, a couple of infantry squads and a large walker and that was plenty for a game. The rules obviously owe some inspiration to the Partizan Press Hordes and Warmachine systems, but that is not a bad thing as they are very solid and easy systems. I quickly had me head around the rules and the games was flowing very easily. This is what Sci-Fi should be and what recent editions of WH40K seem to have lost. Find out more at Robins blog at Gruntz.biz
Steve K was kind enough to run a black powder using the ECW modifications from the Yahoo group. These were easy enough and seemed to add enough of a feel without massively changing the rules. I took the Royalists with new member Ben against Mark and another new member called Simon (not the same Simon who joined me at the Fow, we have been very lucky with new members of late).
We had to march from Cuckfield and defeat the Parliamentarians so we could move against Lewes. Ben took the infantry and marched up the main road, deploying so his left flank was anchored against the woods as the enemy infantry moved to meet him and some of their cavalry began to move around their flank We had already considered this possibility and so began to refuse our flank and were prepared to form hedgehogs of required.
On the other flank the Cavalry under my command marched down the road in column as fast as possible to cross the ford and deploy before the Parliamentarians could respond and stop me. I was lucky that I got my men moving quickly while the enemy flank dithered and did not respond so I was quickly across the river and deployed and ready to start rolling up the enemy flank.
My gallopers charged in and saw off a unit of trotters but had taken too many casualties to exploit this, so I sent in my next wave and swept the second enemy cavalry unit away but was then held off as the infantry formed hedgehog, so I contented myself with firing on them with trotters and moving the remainder of the cavalry around to cut to Lewes road and prevent the retreat of the rest of the army.
Meanwhile the infantry began to engage their opposite number, and despite being charged by some cavalry, even one unit in the flank, held and pushed back the enemy. Even where they got pushed back they inflicted heavy losses on the enemy, eventually breaking the infantry and forcing it back. Moving forward they bought their shot to bear on the marauding cavalry and broke this command too as my cavalry rode down the survivors of the other flank command and broke that too.
A great triumph for the forces of the King, now on to Lewes.
The modifications seemed to work well and gave enough of a fell without massive changes and played quickly, and most important, where fun (although I am sure being on the winning side helped!).
Wednesday, 17 November 2010
This Friday saw me join Colin to take on Mike and Steve H in Colin's invasion of the Empire campaign which is pitting Mike and Steve with the Empire against a series of players with their evil armies. I took my Beastmen and fought the appropriate battle for the pass. Having rolled up the terrain there was a number of good defensive items but they ended up in one half of the table, so once I won the roll for table halves I took the defensive side and ignored the terrain deploying in front of it.
Leading off with 5 Chariots followed by a horde of Bestigors, a unit of minotaurs and the giant with the flank screened by two herds the beasts surged at the empire lines. They responded by opening fire with their missile troops, artillery and magic and destroyed two of the chariots and damaged another.
The beasts continued to roll forward, this time covered from the shooting by the cover called down by the chalice of the dark rain. And as a bonus one of the volley guns was destroyed in a misfire. Two of the remaining chariots crashed into the flagellants and wiped out all but two of them, while the third was destroyed as it tried to charge the handgunners. On the other flank the outriders and pistoliers fled rather than face the herds and the giant.
Finally wiping out the flagellants for the loss of one more chariot the survivor charged at the archers who fled. With a roil of 3 6's the charge distance gave them enough to redirect into the flank of the empire general and his knights, a lucky break for the beasts, especially as they then broke and ran. Meanwhile the herd continued to push the fast cavalry back and the Bestigors charged and destroyed the remaining organ gun and overran into some crossbowmen.
The handgunners valiantly tried to come to the crossbowmens rescue but could not resist the might of the towering beastmen who cut them both down with ease. On the other flank the two units of light cavalry and the knights were desperately trying to reform as against the herds and the chariot charged causing yet more casualties.
Then came the decisive turn, the Bestigors crashed though a poisoned wood into the halberdiers and the giant and the minotaurs, spurred on by the power of the idol of mork in the middle of the battle field crashed into the adjacent spearmen. The tremendous might of these three units was too much for the empire men and they were swept away and broke and fell before the rampaging creatures of chaos. The empire army was smashed asunder and another pass into the Empire had fallen to the forces of darkness.
Tuesday, 9 November 2010
My first game was a meeting engagement against Steve H's Russian Guards, with 11 T-34s I could have a bit of a problem. Fortunately with more units I could respond to his deployment and bring my artillery to bear on the first platoon, eventually breaking it. His second platoon moved at the double and I managed to catch it with my 90mms on Lancia trucks, but only two were in range. They then hid until the 90mms were destroyed by artillery. I tried to force the mountain with my L6/40s but could not overcome his infantry. However by this time, in common with all the other opening games we had run out of time. (Draw 3 to 2)
The second game was against Steve K's Canadians in the desert. With a hold the line mission I was the attacker, so I surged forward with my reconnaissance moves and was assaulting the forward infantry positions during my first turn and driving them back. With inefficient artillery fire the infantry assault was unable to drive me off and I secured my position during the second turn, and was victorious by the 3rd. A great triumph for the Italians. (Victory 6 to 1)
As the game had been quick I managed to take a few snaps during the second game.
Above: The Italians overrun the Canadians.
Below: British Artillery defended from Stuka attack by Bofors AA guns.
Above: Russian tanks attack the German held village.
Below: Russian hordes overrun the village and abandoned Tiger tank.
My Third game was against another Russian army, this time commanded by Mike and very different in Character to Steve's high quality Guard tanks. With masses of infantry he still managed to include a company of T-34s and a battery of 8 Katyusha rockets. With Mike defending in a cauldron battle in the boggy, rain sodden ground of Anzio I was going to struggle with my light armour which was not mobile in bad terrain. Still it started well, using the cover of a wood my engineers deployed close the Russians and charged forward with artillery support and assaulted the Russian defences. Despite being outnumbered their quality told and they made spectacular progress, and for the next two turns the game hung in the balance as the Kommisars ensured the Russians narrowly stayed in the fight. But then the Russian hordes arrived and only the game time limit saved me from being overrun by the T-35s, my artillery and some of my reserves already having been smashed by the devastating bombardment of the rocket artillery. (Draw 3 to 3)
Game 4 saw me face the familiar sight of Luke and his Crusader tanks, but in the unfamiliar (except for our practice game) setting of the Russian front! I was defending in a breakthrough mission and Luke immediately started very cannily. Using the village as cover for his small infantry detachment while his armour deployed in front of my machine guns where it was quite safe, blocking lines of fire to the Bofors which proceeded to dig in and then became a menaces driving off my machine guns and effectively preventing any of my reserves from arriving over the bridge. Around the village I was holding off his infantry and had destroyed a couple of Crusaders as they flanked it, but the mass of 25 pounders was seriously damaging my force. I managed to hold on of the objective for a couple of turns and destroy the armoured cars before the inevitable and the British claimed victory. (Defeat 2 to 5)
The final Standings:
2. Rick 13 points, 2 Wins, 2 Draws
3. Mike 13 points, 1 Win, 3 Draws
4. Luke 12 points, 2 wins, 1 Draw
5. Steve H 10 points, 0 wins, 3 Draws
=6. Steve D 9 points, 1 win, 2 draws
=6. Steve K 9 points, 1 win, 2 draws
7. Jim 9 points, 0 wins, 2 draws
Yes somehow the Italians have managed to snatch victory. It just shows that good leadership and having the best hats is all you need...
Everyone said they had a great time and seemed to really enjoy themselves (apart from Steve K's paddy when his 5.5" guns missed for the 20th time!) and I shall have to arrange another one for early war once the desert book is also out.
As the British surged forward the first Italian guns opened up, with the 90mm destroying a pair of crusaders and another falling to the ambushing self propelled 47s.
However this seemed to be the high point for the armoured engagement. The 90mms fell to 25 pounder bombardment and the 75s failed to penetrate any further crusaders while they gradually took losses from the crusaders and the flanking motor rifle platoon. After the loss of the 90mms on my right I moved the assault engineers forward to hold off the British infantry, but with their MGs and supporting artillery they stemmed this counter attack and drove back the engineers.
On the other flank the motorcilisti platoon and light tanks roared forward to retake the furthest objective now the covering 75mm guns had been suppressed and it was open to the enemy. They won the initial engagement with the British armoured cars but when the crusaders armed with 6 pounders arrived on the scene there was nothing they could do to resist them, and with covering artillery the infantry could not get close enough to use its anti-tank grenades.
Saturday, 6 November 2010
Thursday, 4 November 2010
If anyone else has had similar experiences and might know the case please let me know.
Monday, 1 November 2010
Steve and I played a Johnny Reb scenario I had found for Fox's gap on South Mountain. We had looked at some interesting house rules published on the black powder yahoo group, but neither of us had really had a chance to look at them properly so we stuck with the normal rules, although used their rebel yell for the confederates that allows them to win drawn melees.
Steve took the initially outnumbered Rebs defending a sunken road across the hill, while I took the Yanks trying to take it. I immediately moved my cavalry to my right to threaten the Reb flank and the road their re-enforcements would arrive on, while i sent my 1st Brigade to the left flank to try and turn the southern line and concentrate on part of their force. Both sides finally reached the end of the sunken road at about the same time and so I had to attack the Rebs in ta good defensive position. Over the rest of the game i continued to attack here, but although not taking many casualties I kept being disordered which prevented me from launching a co-ordinated and so effective attack.
On the right the cavalry was very shot up, but holding on behind some walls, and were enough of a nuisance to pin the Reb cavalry against them, to prevent the Yankees from thinking about advancing on the road.
In the centre my 2nd Brigade marched smartly across the open ground, formed up and assaulted the rebel centre. And so very nearly broke it. Of the first two assaulting Ohioan Regiments the first was devastated by musketry and cannister, but the other attacking through the cover of an orchard and without artillery against it fell upon the Confederates in a viscous melee. However the melee was drawn and so the Rebs won thanks to their Rebel Yell, but the union forces held. However by now southern reserves had arrived and were moving to strengthen the line. With increasing support the Union just got not break the line and so, despite more charges in the centre and on the left were held, and even as their second division arrived the first was so battered to be ineffective and the Rebel positions were strengthening by the hour the Union called off the attack.