Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Club Night 26th and 27th March

On the Friday I finished off the last few bases, except for their basing and cleaned up the joins of the boards in preparation for a game with Duncan on the Saturday. And then on Saturday we finally play tested the game. We used the full Impetus rules and I was surprised how quickly and easily the game flowed, despite Duncan never having played the rules before.

The Teutons advanced against the Lithuanians and began to push them back and then break them, but in doing so the Germanic Knight began to charge off of their own accord and get scattered. The Poles then committed their centre command to battle and things began to sit on the balance before the Teutons broke the Lithuanians and the Brother Knights began to make their presence felt, and broke the Poles for a Teutonic victory.

I was really please with the way the game played out how smoothly it went. Hopefully it will be playable at shows and still have a good visual impact and look a little unusual. And for the Poles, they need to exploit the impetuous nature of the Teutons more to pull them to positions where they can be surrounded and their superior fighting prowess can be negated.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Firestorm Bagration

On Sunday I joined Luke at his to try out Firestorm Bagration using the Generals wargames rules. We diced for sides and Luke took the Russians and we decided to play the longer 6 turn game.

The initial Russian advances where vicious and the German line broken at several points and two cities isolated. The following turn the pace slowed, before the Germans began to launch a counter attack by winning the initiative on most rolls. With two Heavy Panzer Battalions leading the attack they broke through and restored supply to one city before cutting off the Russian spearhead and destroying it near the Pripet marshes. In the North they were forced to throw Polezei division into the line to prevent another Russian exploitation.

The Russians then renewed their attacks and began to push the Germans back. They valiantly tried to reopen communication with their forward positions, and even managed to cut off and destroy another Russian spearhead, but the line was too weak and had buckled, Minsk was under threat and finally feel. When the last German attacks failed to recapture the forward cities, victory for the Russians was assured.

This was a fantastic little game. Remarkably simple but requiring a lot of thought and forward planning and really felt quite accurate in the way it played out. I hope we are able to convert it for our preferred Desert format without loss of any of the key features that made it so enjoyable.

Club Night 19th March

Another Flames of War but this time something a bit different. 1944, Italy and 2,500 points of Germans against British across hilly terrain broken by a couple of rivers. I joined Mike fighting a strategic withdrawal with the Germans. We deployed our 3 grenadier platoons, 1 around each objective. The left was reinforced with a platoon of Panzer IV's, the centre under the watchful eye of the C-in-C, a pair of 88s and a Tiger, and the right under the 2-in-C with some additional PAK guns.
Against this the British armoured company massed against our left with a small infantry force in the centre.
The British proceeded to use their advantage in Artillery to pound our centre and destroy the 88s, while all we could reply with was some desultory mortar fire against their infantry. Their tanks shelled the grenadiers around the left objective before advancing past the destroyed remains of the British recce platoon.

The weight of fire from the Shermans destroyed some of the Panzer, and the others withdrew, followed by the support platoons as the Germans endeavoured to keep the main combat platoons fighting for as long as possible. Although battered the left held long enough for the centre to withdraw, before joining them in retreating from the battle field.

The British infantry harassed the withdrawal, but had been delayed enough by the mortar fire earlier they could not close quick enough to cause problems. The only position left that was relevant was on the German right, behind a river and still heavily defended by an infantry platoon. The Germans had been pushed, but not hard enough and had delayed the British long enough to establish another defensive line and withdraw before the advance.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Show game update

A quick update and some pics. The Poles are already done, although there are some re-enforcements on the way.
The Teuton and their allied knight are done, just need their bases finishing.
And the Poles allied Lithuanian contingent is done, just needs base too.
Next up is some more terrain work, and the infantry detachments before the last few cavalry bases.

Imperial War Museum London

As I had a week off work I took a trip up to London and went to the IWM. As good as I remember it, with a harrowing new exhibit on the holocaust with some stories about families posted around the exhibit that were particularly striking with their personal touch on this horrendous events that could not fail to move you. They also have a section on Monty I do not recall which was interesting. I took a few snaps which I added to my album.

Club Night 12th March

After a week away I thought i would return to try something different...so Flames of War Africa it was again! This was going to be a big game using a scenario with me, Luke and two of the Steve's but real life interfered and it was reduced to me borrowing Luke's Italian and Steve D using his British in a normal point game. We rolled up a very empty table with only a couple of salt marshes breaking the otherwise flat desert. The British defended in a hod the line scenario with a battery of 25 pounders, a small motor rifle platoon and a troop of crusader hiding in ambush.
The Italians had an unfortunately defensive force to try and attack with, just 8 tanks including the CO, a Bersaglieri company and a mass or Artillery. I had bought a pair of Italian manned 88s, a battery of 75's and a Battery of 100mm howitzers to devastate the British.
And this is what the massed artillery proceeded to do. It quickly won the duel with the 25 pounders, leaving one remaining conducting desultory fire against the 88s. The guns then switched to the infantry and pinned them down and the Italian armour advanced, with the Bersaglieri crying Avanti! following them up. Then the Crusaders sprung their ambush and opened up on the Italian tanks destroying a number of them, combined with the fire from the British commanding officer and his 2-iC. But the ambush had been deployed in range of the 88s and they quickly destroyed the crusaders who had taken a toll on their armoured comrades.

The Italian infantry where by now preparing to assault the British infantry who were pinned down under a relentless artillery bombardment and beginning to take casualties. But they where not alone and two troops of Grants moved up and finished off the Italians tanks. This was a decisive moment, if the Bersaglieri could clear out their opposite numbers and dig in a round the objective it would be very hard for the British to dig them out with limited artillery and no more infantry. They launched their assault, but came under machine gun fire from some of the Grants and where pushed back. The American supplied armour then opened fire with its main guns and killed a number of the Italian infantry, including the company commander. With the Italian CO also dead there was no way the battered survivors, who stubbornly refused to flee, moving back to try again and so a hard fought victory went to the British.

We even had time for another game, this time Indian infantry backed by Kingforce Churchill tanks against Mike's DAK. With an free for all battle both sides set up on table with little time, or room, for subtlety. First blood quickly fell to the British as the 6 pounder fire from the infantry tanks destroyed the 88s, leaving Mike in a dangerously exposed position to try and hold back the British. However on my flank I had much more success. Using the Sturmtruppen movement I stormed forward against Scott commanding the British left. Although I lost two tanks to 6 pounder portee fire, I destroyed one and left the other with out its truck in return. The Schutzen platoon then assaulted and destroyed an Indian motor rifle platoon.

They continued to roll forward and the German CO attacked the remaining 6 pounder and the accompanying infantry captured the Indian 2-iC before occupying the objective. The British made a desperate last gasp to take their objectives but fell short, and the 25 pounder battery could only bring one gun to bear on the DAK troops on their flank and missed all its shots giving a dramatic and swift German victory.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Cavalier @ Tunbridge Wells

On Sunday the club headed to the Angel Centre at Tunbridge Wells for the annual Cavalier show and the last outing of the Peace for Galilee game. Back in the hall with the bring and by, we were pleased to find less games so more space and managed to run 3 popular games. My favourite was where we pitched James and Ben on one side against brother Charlie and their dad on the other side. Ben set up his LMG on the bonnet of the police car below and after his Dad had killed James proceeded to win the game, wiping out his brother and dad in the process.
A close second was the three lads who played Israelis, where one of them stood next to the wall, failed to jump off it twice while being shot, then misfired his RPG, wounding himself before he was finally shot, with a first ever score of -2 for the self inflicted wounds.

While I am sad to see the end of this game I am really looking forward to Tannanburg. And we went out on a success winning the best participation game in show. The club kindly donated the prize money to myself and Luke for the work we had put into the game, so I got some desert terrain and some British Bofors to add Daimler Dingos and Italians I had picked up earlier.

Club Night 26th February

Luke and I set up our second campaign battle, an encounter engagement with the British assisted by Duncan. Having rolled the terrain, one half of the table has a small village, a depression and some salt marshes, while the other half was completely barren. And Luke won the roll for choice of edges and so occupied the village with his motor infantry and the depression with a troop of Crusaders, while the armoured cars move out on the British right. Against this the Italians deployed their guns around their two objectives interspersed with Infantry, while the rest of the infantry and the Servomentes prepared to advance on the village under the watchful eye of their CO.

On this flank with a cry of 'Avanti' the Italians advanced as quickly as possible with the guns shelling the village, while the anti tank guns stopped the armoured cars sweep on the other flank. With the British pinned down by the artillery fire the Italians took light casualties, while the direct 75mm gun from the self propelled weapons took a toll on the British. The Italians manged to occupy one building and then make an assault on the British. Unfortunately one of the buildings was too far away to reach, so despite success the British launched a counter attack and drove them back into the building where they had started. Both sides where then stuck in this position exchanging desultory fire, with neither possessing the strength or firepower to drive the either out.

The British CO had moved to support his infantry and ensue that they stayed in the fight, while the Italian CO had been driving his men forward. With the arrival of the Shermans starting to take a toll on the Italian artillery with semi-indirect fire and the Grants destroying the Sevormettes, the British began to bypass the Italian infantry and advance on the enemy positions. The British CO personally engaged and destroyed his Italian counterpart before he was himself destroyed by direct fore from the guns. The Grants then drove through the survivors and where in a position to occupy the objective, when the leaderless Italians broke and withdrew from the field of battle.

On the other side of the battle field, after the destruction of the armoured cars, there was a lull as neither side could summon any reinforcements, then in short succession the Italian tanks and British Crusaders arrived and a typical sweeping engagement commenced. As the tanks maneuvered to try and gain advantage the British took a very humane approach of forcing the Italian tankers to bail out before destroying the empty tanks. Although it was a close fought thing the British just about had the upper hand and this proved decisive as the Italians took enough casualties to break them.

This gave the British a narrow victory and closed it to 8VPS to the Italians against the British 6. The next battle will see a cauldron engagement with the British as the attacker as they push their advantage, while the Italians attempt to cut off this breach in their lines after their over ambitious advance after their successful defence of their lines on the first engagement.