Thursday, 29 March 2012

Club Night 23rd March

Steve and I decided to try out the Trafalgar rules from Warhammer historical, using some modifications that David Manley had published in Wargames Illustrated. It was never going to be as detailed as Signal Close Action or similar rules, but for me it was far more satisfying to play. I am not a sailor and so the more complex rules often baffle me or I spend more time fighting the rules than my opponent. With these I could move my ships more freely as if I did know how to sail them and spend far more time fighting with them than against them.

For me it felt realistic enough and played as what I think of when I considered Napoleonic Naval warfare. My only disappointment is that they are still line of battle rules and I would like a simple set f rules for frigate actions so I can play at being Hornblower!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Game night with Luke, 21st March

Luke popped round to mine before he started a late shift and I cleared some space for us to play a little Helldorado game. It was the first time I had played it since the English rules and I was really looking forward to it and was not disappointed.

Luke took the Westerners starter box and I took the Daemons.

I suffered early from the musketry for the humans, but once I got a frenzied Succubus into combat swung the battle back the other way. I didn't take any photos and so much is crammed into the 4 turns you play it is really hard to recall exactly what happened.

The rules are really easy to pick up and really do generate a frenetic game. The next game will see us customise our forces slightly, then we can start to look at teraforming.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Club Night 16th March

Luke and I decided to give V3 another good play through (since the campaign had been V2 the finale was also V2 rules), and to try out some proper mid-war forces. Luke took a Grant squadron and I took my Squadrone Esplorante supported by tanks and self propelled guns. The first mission saw Luke attacking a breakthrough mission.

With my light armour dashing around to get flank and rear shots on the heavy Grants it quickly degenerated into a proper knife fight engagement, while my infantry tried to hold onto the village overlooking the objectives. However the heavy weight of the British armour proved my undoing and I was defeated in a great game.

Unfortunately our second game was not anywhere near as fun. It was the surrounded mission with me in the centre. With the open terrain and little room for manoeuvre and heavy armour on both sides I was smashed by the 75s using semi-indirect fire as I tried to close to a position where I could actually engage them.

Two games vs Luke. RECAM vs Grant sqdrn. Breakthrough, then surrounded.

Club Night 9th March

Luke and I dusted off (in some case literally) the figures and buildings from our 2009 show game and decided to give the original version of Ambush alley another try. This time we played the Alamo scenario with the Israelis under Luke in the centre and me commanding the Arabs surrounding them.
I hurried my forces forward to close with Luke's forces and stop them being able to move. My opening volleys pinned them down, but as they returned fire I began to take casualties. And now my problems began, although my force did receive regular reinforcements, they all seemed to be single special weapons men. With the way Ambush Alley works this is quite problematic as single men do not work at all, so all I was doing was adding to my existing teams at a slower rate than I was taking casualties without being able to attack from a different direction and stretch the Israelis.
I really enjoyed this game, but I am still not quite sure about the mechanism, we will just have to try the rules again!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Club Sunday 4th March

We finally managed to reschedule our campaign finale for Operation Crusader. With the British attempt to break out from Tobruk a failure it was already an Axis victory, but now I launched my forces in a final attempt to take the city against their reduced defenders.

To make a proper finale Luke came up with a 3 linked battle scenario. A force of Italian Bersaglieri had broken trough the lines and where in a cauldron scenario, whole another force launched an all out assault on another part of the lines, while my RECAFM force of armoured cars and light tanks launched a break through. The idea was that the breakthrough table led into the Italians side of the cauldron table, and the British side of the cauldron table led it the rear of the defences on the all out assault table. Forces could only move off one table to the next once they had won their table and took a full turn to arrive (the dust and noise signaling their potential arrival). In addition all undeployed troops formed a reserve pool and could be committed to any table, although no table could receive more reserves than it rolled to arrive.

I took my RECAFM force against Steve, while Luke commanded the defences against Scott's assault and new member Colin took the Allies against Rick on the final table.
I started with my usual recce moves and then smashed into one flank of the defenders and began rolling up their line, while on the other flank I chose not to dig my guns in and to use their full ROF to remove all threats. This very nearly worked, I certainly removed most of the anti-tank threats to let my armour roam free, but failed to knock out the MGs that then caused massed casualties among my artillery.
Meanwhile my vehicles swept around the flank and pushed on towards the objective. On the main assault Scott was pushing forward , while Rick had destroyed the immediate threats to his positions, but was coming up massed artillery fire and was unable to respond effectively.

As reserves began to arrive, we committed the mobile forces to my table and my motorcycle infantry joined in on the attack on the objective, while pioneers supported the main assault. With a secure position Rick received very few reserves. On the allied side Luke was left holding his defences with only the few units he started with, while Rick found more and more artillery added to his opponent and I faced all the light armour and anti-tank they could muster to stop my armoured cars.
Gradually numbers told and my force broke, while Rick had been pounded and with the arrival of Steve's forces was in an untenable situation. The bright spot for the Axis, is with no reserves Luke was in an increasingly stretched position and Scott finally became the first player to breakthrough and win an all-out assault.

Despite losing two and the three games and so losing overall, it was a Pyrrhic victory for the Allies as they had ultimately lost and their offensive had been repelled.

Club Night 2nd March

Luke, Steve and I played an early war Flames of War as our first test of the new 3rd edition of the rules. I took an infantry force, supported by all 12 of my new tankettes and Luke took a Jock column with Steve assisting him.

With two relatively immobile forces and a meeting engagement scenario this was always going to be a slow game. The British sat back, while I attacked with my tankettes on both flanks and initially made really good progress with massed machine gun fire and the limited anti-tank the British had. As I closed on the objectives it all went wrong though.

Under massed rifle fire I rolled massed of 1s and 2s and saw many of my tankettes stopped in their tracks or destroyed in the ensuing combat. Having been neaten back I launched an infantry assault on my left flank, but this met similar resistance.
At this point I know I was near to breaking and pulled back to try and stem the British counter attack, which was then launched and, with the loss of my CO, when I did reach breaking point they one.

I actually found this a very frustrating game as I was forced into attacking in what should have been a meeting engagement, and instead was an attack by me on an equal force that was really doomed to failure from the start.

On a more positive note I think the 3rd edition rules are exactly what a new edition should be. Eased by the fact 2nd edition players got a free copy, I think the club was always going to move onto the new edition, but I think this is a good thing, all the changes are for the best and see to properly evolve the rules, rather than changing for the sake of a new edition. The only thing I am less happy about is the auto-range in for aircraft. It makes sense in most theatres, but in the desert with no terrain to hide in they can become very powerful, especially when with the Italians I have very little AA compared to the Germans and, especially, the British Bofors.