Sunday, 30 January 2011

Club Challenge, Crawley vs. Warlords

We have a couple of club members that frequent both ourselves and the renowned South London Warlords and they organised a two legged 40k challenge, the first would be a home game for us followed by an away trip to London, with the home side playing the 'good' guys and the away side the 'bad' guys. I turned up with my Eldar and joined Steve H and Mike with Marines and Rick with his Guard, with Colin as an extra player to help us out against a primarily Chaos force, with some support from some traitor guardsman (some beautiful figures that almost inspired me to go back to this as one it has always been one of my on the back-burner ideas), some Orks and some Dark Eldar.

With the Imperium forces holding the centre my Eldar were split on the two flanks with Colin commanding half and me the other half. On my flank I advanced quickly through the jungle terrain towards the traitor guardsman who held the hill on the opposite side of the table. A massed flurry of Shuriken fire almost cleared the first objective which I duly advanced on to contest while my jetbikes earned themselves the respect of all by holding off and then beating some chaos hounds in close combat.
In the centre the Marine and Guard did their best to hold against an onslaught of Daemon princes with Lash of Submission, Thousand sons and plenty of Khorne berserkers.
On the other flank the Eldar again advanced towards a section of the Ork horde taking advantage of what cover they could to close on the other objective despite the mass of Orky shooting. They eventually reached it, only for some Chaos Terminators to teleport in and drive them back.
On my flank I was doing well, even despatching a summoned Bloodthirster with my Shining spears, until a Dark Eldar Talos arrived and proved just too much for my Eldar, who by this time were batter and quite stretched.
In the centre the Marines were just about holding, despatching a Daemon prince and causing some chaos for the Chaos forces with our own unit of teleporting terminators, but our forces were gradually being pinned back and the final assualt almost overwhelmed us.
Victory was awarded on a point for each turn one of the seven objectives was held. With the advance of the Eldar on the flanks and having been able to choose the most advantageous table edge we had taken an early lead, but gradually the Salute team pulled level and took the lead to claim outright victory.

A great time was had by all and some new friendships formed and I eagerly await the rematch when Crawley will attempt to get their revenge.

Club Night 28th January

Duncan agreed to run a Konigskreig SYW game set around the battle of Gros Jagersdorf, pitting his lovely looking Russians against his Dad's British masquerading as Prussians. We are still playing an earlier version of Konigskreig, that has been used in the club for longer than I have been a member, but they prove that if its not broke, don't fix it as the game was hugely enjoyable.

Duncan and I commanded the Russians advancing around a large wood towards the village. Against us Bob commanded the Prussian cavalry against our right and Rick the infantry against our left, with more infantry in reserve. The Russians attacked forward as aggressively as possible and the cavalry battle swung back and forth as the better quality of the Russians told one moment and the number of the Prussians the next.

On the other flank Rick closed on the Russians, using the Prussian ability to conduct two actions to his advantage (an action is move or shoot and most troops can only do one, enabling the Prussians to start out of musketry range and advanced and shoot before their opponent can reply). Very slowly the Russians were driven back, holding on more tenuously than expected and even driving the Prussians back at some points of the line, but eventually the end of the evening drew on and the Russians were falling back rapidly and it was decided to declare a Prussian victory.

Club Night 21st January

Duncan and I were joined by Luke and Chris D for a slightly different FoW. I took allies for a change, using a Polish force (count as Fearless Trained, but replace British Bulldog with for your freedom and ours, and cost points as for Indians) dug in defending against a German armoured attack. using my new barbed wire and Luke's new 25 pounders to give e no less than 12 guns I thought I had a pretty good chance.

I took the right flank and Luke took the left. When the Germans set up it was clear Luke was going to take the brunt of the attack, and his problems only increased as he took some serious casualties from the initial bombardment while I escaped relatively lightly. I easily saw off the armoured car patrol that advanced on me, while Luke had more problems.

Three tank platoons advanced on him, shelling him with their 50mm and 75mm guns as he failed save after save, and even failed his fearless morale tests, despite the re-roll from for your freedom and ours. The tanks avoided the mines, and some even ran the risk a few times, crushed the wire and overran Luke's battered forward platoon as the anti-tank gunners assigned to support them fled.

However as the German panzers swept round the hill that dominate the centre of our lines they finally game in direct fire rage of our 25 pounders and things began to change as they got heavily shelled. Finally the survivors fled leaving numerous burning wrecks behind them and taking the C-in-C with them.

At this point the Germans graciously accepted defeat. Our re-enforcement where arriving, they had not taken over 50% losses, but only had a single surviving armoured car skulking way behind their own lines and two infantry platoons about to try and advance into our fresh troops and a mass of artillery across open ground and their future didn't look bright (or very long). Tobruk had held for now.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Club Night 19th Janaury

Steve K, Luke and myself gathered down the club mid-week to have a try out of the Dystopian wars rules. Although my fleet is only half painted, Luke's isn't even started, but since no one else was about we didn't feel too embarrassed.

A simple sea scape with a few islands was all we needed. I started with my cruisers and some frigates on the right and my battleship, bombers, Zeppelin-carrier and a squadron of frigates on the left. As I steamed forward we quickly found the strength of the Britannians as their massed torpedoes devastated my frigates. On the other wing I smashed his frigates for slight loss.

My cruisers rushed up the centre towards his immensely powerful carrier. Consisting of two battleships side by side with a deck non top the amount of torpedoes this could fire was immense, but an opening salvo proved decisive as a lucky round penetrated the hull and exploded a magazine destroying the flagship in as single volley.

This was a major blow for te Britannia fleet, but they still had their battleship and were beginning to damage my cruisers. I quickly realised the secret was to close quickly and get too close for torpedo launches, so this I did, combined with a dive bomber strike and seriously damaged the battleship, but at hefty loss to my self, especially one the cruisers came up to support the enemy.

By this point it was getting very late, so we totted up victor points and found that the Britannia navy could claim a minor victory, which was probably fair, although they would have had really difficulties in attacking my Zeppelin.

The rules were really fun to play and I look forward to doing them again soon.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

15mm Barbed wire III

I have almost finished the barbed wire now. I was really please with the barbed wire I ordered. It was nearly exactly the right amount, and was thinner that what I already had that made it easier to twist and bend. I strung the wire by circling it around the posts and then fixing it with a drop of super glue. Once this was done I painted it with army painter to dull down the silver-metal sheen and to add a little shade and weathering. I now just need to touch up the bases when the wash ran and then matt it and I think they are done.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Club Night 12th January

Steve K joined me, Luke and Duncan for a Flames of War. This time Steve and Luke took the British as two armoured companies, one of Crusaders and one of Honeys. Against this Duncan and I took the Axis again, a Bersaglieri battalion and a DAK schutzen company, defending in cauldron battle. Duncan took some great photos so I will let them and the captions tell the story of the battle, but after a close run thing the Axis forces just managed to break the British forces and scrapped a victory.
Above: Italian Deployment, Below: British right flank artillery
Above: British Bofors on the left flank, Below: Armoured cars advance.
Above: British armour closes on the enemy, Below: The first casualties
Above: The defensive lines, Below: Stuarts launch an attack
Above: The Stuarts attack the Italians, Below: But with 20mm ATR they drive them off
Above: Bersaglieri arrive to silence the British AA, Below: DAK advance in the centre.
Above: Burning tanks in front of the Italian positions, Below: A second assault by fresh Stuarts break the defences
Above: The armoured cars join the attack, Below: British finally break through
Above: And finally overrun the last positions, Below: leaving a gap in the lines to be plugged.
Above: British Crusaders arrive on mass, Below: British Infantry moves past their supporting artillery
Above: Italian ATG knock out a company commander, this would prove decisive in the end, Below: Germans counter attack advanced British infantry.
Above: DAK Panzer drive the British back, Below: The first tank on tank battle.
Above: British scout carriers sneak forward, Below: while the infantry close on the previous defencive line.
Above: The armoured cars close on the objective, Below: British armour comes under fire from German tanks and lose one in a ball of flames.
Above: Italian armour arrives and falls to 6pounder fire, Below: German Panzers push the counter attack on, breaking the British Stuart company having lost their C-in-C earlier.

Dystopian Wars Prussain Navy 4

I have finished off my Prussian air fortress using the same techniques as the naval vessels, it now just needs army painter to complete it. The aircraft on its deck are just white for now until I decide on my colour schemes. I have painted some of the fighters in colour schemes inspired by the WW1 jastas but they seem a bit too busy so a rethink may be called for,

Monday, 10 January 2011

Club Night 7th January

I ran a Black Powder based on the battle of Chinhat (or Chinhut) in the Indian Mutiny. The scenario proved quite a challenge as most current estimates put the British force at about 600 men against about ten time that number of mutineers. I built this scenario with that in mind, making the British regulars pretty much super men, so they would keep fighting on, and although I didn't record it I was not going to let any British brigade become broken, while the mutineers all had wavering and lower command, but were allowed to recycle their commands. I also made the mutineers units use 4 POW bases even though they were standard units whereas the British used 3 to emphasis the numerical disadvantage.

Other scenario rules allowed artillery near a charged unit to fire closing fire, and mutineers to pass a dice roll to contact if they had been fired on by artillery as they charged. I also let the mutineers C-in-C to command 'loyal' Indians on the British side to change side, as historically a lot of unit did abandon their allies.

Steve K and Ian took the British, dividing the two British and two Indian commands between them, with the cavalry as a forward command to cover the column as it crossed the bridge. We managed to assemble two Indian cavalry commands under Luke, 3 mutineer Sepoys and a Ghazi command under Andy, and another Ghazi command and three irregular commands shared between Bob and Mark. With the Sepoys and artillery holding the centre and left, the irregulars took the right and the cavalry was tasked with advancing down the right.

Above: The Mutineer forces, Below: British begin to deploy

Luke pushed his commands forward as fast as he could forcing the British forces to respond which the did with alacrity, but the rear half of the column was much slower to respond leaving the British left open and exposed. However repeatedly failed command rolls meant this could not be exploited by the Indians. Once the Indian cavalry had been seen off by its opposite numbers and some of the 13th Bengal Native Infantry, taking advantage of a command blunder leaving them in column, the British left had finally deployed ready to receive the Indian attack, which although pressured the flank, never broke it.

Above: The British line of formed

The British had won a decisive victory over their more numerous enemy, repulsing the attack, forming line to see of any further attacks and in good order to retire back to Lucknow.

On reflection I think making the mutineers a lower command (majority 7 to the British 8 and 9's) was a bit harsh and caused them too many command issues. I also would change the way they had to test to charge at or near guns, either in the way they tested, or not letting the guns fire, but still check the charge. I also might have turned the table to play across rather than length ways to enable the mutineers more room to flank their opponents. Despite this it was fun to try a very different scenario and has given me lots of ideas for next time.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Club Night 5th January 2011

On a rainy January evening I headed up the Club with Luke and Duncan for my first game of the new year. Duncan and I took a 1,000 points of DAK and Italians respectively against Luke with his British on an 8' x 4' table for an encounter battle. The Germans took the Axis right flank aiming t0 push forward from the objective in their half of the table to take the opposing objective. In the other half of the with the wadi protecting the second British objective the Italians deployed their less mobile force to defend the last Axis objective.

Above: Initial Deployments, Below: British 6 pounder defend their objective

Above: The DAK forces, Below: British RHA battery

Above: Italian forces defend an objective.

The British took the first turn and in a bold move launched the majority of their armour forward at the double in a cloud of dust, striking diagonally, away from the DAK Panzers towards the lightly armed Italian forces. The Germans responded by sending part of their forces towards their objective and swinging a platoon of armour to intercept the British, but the speeding crusaders were mostly out of range and avoided the fire from the German tanks.

The Desert Air Force attempted to intervene for the British, but were constantly drive off by the Regia Aeronautica, who even managed to put in a strike of their own.

Above: The British spearhead, Below: German forces move out

Above: The British Crusader close on the Italians, Below: Italian Air-force chases off the British again

Above: British armour sweeps across in front of the Italians, Below: Italian planes knock out some of the British armour.

Meanwhile on the Axis right the DAK had destroyed the British anti-tank guns, with tank fire and a mounted charge by the grenadiers but were pinned down under a relentless bombardment from the Royal Horse Artillery. However on the other flank things were going as badly as this flank was going well. The Italians defending the objective had buckled under the attack, primarily from the continuous fire from the CS tanks 3" guns. So one flank was almost victorious, but the other was almost defeated.

Above: German advance stalls under artillery fire, below: Italian air-force intervenes again.

Above: Crusader move around the abandoned Italian positions.

The battle would now be decided by the arrival of re-enforcements to prevent defeat, or complete victory. Initially it looked like this was going to be in the British favour. Their first reserves arrived just where they needed them, while Axis reserves were strangely lacking. However after holding off the initial reserves things began to swing back in the Axis favour. The remaining British reserves arrived behind the wadi and had to manoeuvre their slow and unreliable tanks through it to get into action, while the Italians arrived just in the right place to shore up the defence of their objective. Combined with the sacrifice of the combat engineers the Italians manged to hold their objective against the British armour.

Above and Below: The desolate centre of the battle field, littered with burning vehicles.

Above: British reserve arrive to face Oberst Rettemeier, below: Italians rush to secure their objective.

Above: Italians arrive on their motorcycles, below: Assault engineers hold up the British armour

By now the Desert Air force was beginning to make its presence felt and attack the German Panzers. But the final reserves arrive in a flurry (and a cloud of dust) as massed Italian reconnaissance unit rushed towards the enemy objective.

Above: Italian reserves arrive, Below: The Desert Air Force intervenes.

Above: The last British reserves

With the last of the British reserves being armoured cars and being seen off by German tanks, despite the heavy artillery fire, the Italians hung on and claimed victory for the Axis forces.

This was a great game that really swung from side to side With Luke's initial bold move and my lack of Italian anti-tank fire power there was a real possibility of him running over the objective very quickly. But prompt support from Duncan prevented defeat, even though it probably also cost victory ads the force that remained to take the target objective did not quite have the strength to do so. And with no Axis reserves arriving, although the British reserves where misplaced it still looked like they could win, especially once the Grants got in range and the air support started arriving. However a last gasp dash by massed light Italian armour was more than the British could destroy and we grabbed victory.