Tuesday, April 15, 2014

WWII Barbarossa To Berlin: Grandson vs Grandfather

My lad (with a little initial help from me) played my Dad at WWII Barbarossa To Berlin and seemed to have a good time with probably 'heaviest' Wargame he has tried thus far.
Plenty of moments of me having to bite my tongue as they both missed opportunities to put a lot of hurt on each other !
But a real slug-fest ensued as Steven counterattacked a lot even when not most judicious choice and launched both Sledgehammer and Shingle invasions and managed to get away with it mostly causing Axis to divert a lot of effort trying to deal with several incursions.
Did not manage to complete the game but Africa was cleared and Neutrals converted to Allied cause by Casablanca conference just as it ended.
Interesting watching from sidelines for a change as you tend to see overall picture a bit clearer than when involved directly.

But I really need to get a figure game as suffering lead withdrawal !

Monday, April 07, 2014

Hannibal: Rome Vs Carthage another golden (not too) oldie hits the table

Played game of Hannibal Rome Vs Carthage (Avalon Hill version) with my son (nned to make use of him whilst he is home) tonight and another topsy turvy but exciting card based game it proved to be.
Tactics/Strategy from us both a bit ropey to be honest as we got caught up in bashing each others armies with both Hannibal and Scipio Africanus being eliminated (both invading ports that they could not retreat from after being beaten in battle !!).
To be honest both were pants especially Hannibal who lost lots of units to attrition and failed to win a single battle.
However Mago and Nero (Pro-Consul most of game) both shone for respective sides.
Only last couple of turns with total Combat Units depleted did we really concentrate on placing Political Control markers and Province control.
All hinged on Gallia Transalpina with my failure to gain last subjugation point on a Carthage friendly Tribe allowing Steven to place a single PC marker to gain control of this Province to make it 9 Provinces controlled each which gives Carthage the default win ! Damn...................................................................................................................

Great game again with both of us pledging to do better next time :-)

Sword Of Rome 3 player game

Got to try Sword Of Rome with my Dad and son (home for a few weeks from University) and to find out what a fun and interesting game it is.
I had the Etruscan/Samnites, Dad had Greeks and Steven had the glory that is Rome.
In 3 player game the Gauls are abstracted as a 2d6 dice roll each turn which can effect each nation or the current leader.
They proved to be the absolute bane of the Estrucans (especially as the favoured roll of 7 effects Etruscans) causing a constant drain of combat units and political support.
Greeks have their own nemesis in Sicily in the form of Carthage which can be controlled by either opponent on player of requisite card. Rome of course are tough and can generate a lot of reinforcements if not stymied but are in slightly vulnerable central position.
Their leaders (Consuls) can change each turn being a mix of the mediocre, poor and decent. With each nation having its own card deck you are pretty much able to do something of value each card play/impulse well at least whilst you have some combat units in play.
During our game Greece suffered at hands of the Carthaginians losing hold of Sicily in short order.
Dad did manage to get Phyruss into play quickly but just as quickly saw him poisoned ! Rome played a sort of waiting game building up Walled Cities (thereby enhancing reserve count) leading to an overwhelming superiority in strength as game wore on.
The enfeebling of Etruscans by Gallic raids aided them as they ended up able to Etruscan victory locations easily.
My claim to glory came with Samnites who fielded a reasonable leader in Pontius in their mountain stronghold.
He fought a whopping 8 battles in the game losing only 2 and managed to conquer Capua and hold it for several turns.
This included an epic battle against the Romans in turn 7 with Rome playing a Campaign card and flanking the Samnite capital space, thankfully they were beaten off and suffered ignominious 5 lost combat units and a big hit in Political Support.
However their losses were easily replaced and Rome went on to win an auto victory the following turn.
A great game this and I can see how it would really shine with a fourth player in control of Gauls.

Etruscans suffering after Isolation phase as populace lose faith

Sicily firmly in stranglehold of Carthage

Roman Dictator

Greek ponders next move

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Breakout Normandy another blast from the past

Played this Avalon Hill game with my Father after it languishing unloved since acquiring it back in 1993 i!
Do not really know why I never played it especially as it has such a good reputation.
And indeed it turned out to be an excellent and tense game.
We played the initial first week game/scenario and as Allies I just about managed to achieve the 10 VPs required (came down to my cutting off Cherbourg and retaining the Advantage. British landings were decent with only Juno stumbling a couple of turns to clear away defenders and I made good inroads from Gold beach to take a few VP areas.
But Omaha was a bit of a disaster, not in terms of losses but it took several days to get off the damn beach which meant the right flank of my British forces were vulnerable to German reserves arriving.
Utah was much better but tough to supply a large force through that beach head.
Two days were overly a tad prematurely due to Sunset roll (I considered using Advantage to re-roll but am glad I refrained in the end).
We both suffered several awful rolls when odds we in our favour which left attackers units Spent/Disrupted.
This is a great game with a lot of flavour of the Overlord situation.
Allies have power but need to get good landings and to link beaches, they are susceptible to poor weather as their Airpower is grounded.
Conversely the Germans love Overcast conditions as they are free from the nasty Air Attrition and move faster.
However Germans are initially thin on ground with several weak units (although I found several Coastal Gun Strongpoints a bitch to eradicate) with bulk of tougher stuff arriving opposite the British.
Their supply can be a problem in Clear conditions as often not enough to recover everything (doubles in Overcast).
Germans have to do a bit of hanging on grimly but do have chances to counter attack powerfully once the Panzer Divisions and Fallschirmjager appear.
Rules old school AH but we found them fine if a bit poorly laid out.
No real difficulties sorting questions but suspect our strategies were suspect.
Great stuff with bits of paper and cardboard once again and another gaming session with which we simply lost track of time as suddenly it was the next day in reality never mind on the beaches !

Friday, March 28, 2014

Sword Of Rome game arrives

Yet another game purchase (!!!) arrived today (along with some 6mm JSII GHQ works of art) and a fine looking game it is too being a GMT special edition with nice hard mounted map and nice counters.
Its a multi-player game (2-5) CDG type game covering Roman Conquest of Italy 362-272BC, essentially based around the We The People/Hannibal system but with differing 'factions' and appropriately varied victory conditions.
Hope to give it a solo try and then get at least 4 players together for a proper go at it.

'Stole' this pic from Google+ but VERY appropriate

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Field Of Glory Ancients game Sassanid Persian vs Hunnic

Game of FOGA at Stephens' last night. Stephen wanted to try a shooty/light horse army ie the Huns so I brought a contemporary period Sassanid force.
Quite a different game to our last few with lots of units whizzing about all over the show as Light Horse are very maneuverable indeed.
Superior shooting by Hun horse archers can be potent with the re-rolling of ones.
The close order Cavalry with bow are a different beast as they can skirmish against other non-lights but are still fairly decent in combat with their swords and possibly armour.
I prefer the FOG 2 version of light horse archer type troops as they still bloody annoying but slightly less so and can now be caught and have reduced shooting range.
Amazingly my poor Levy foot got to charge 3 (!!) times chasing off pesky light horse a first for them.
Interesting match up this one although we did not finish the game.

Monday, March 24, 2014

East Front another session

Played East Front again with my Dad and another great session with no mistakes (hopefully ?) with rules this time.
A better use of Blitz by Germans (Dad) this time and couple of cut off Soviet units withered on the vine.
But Stalinists still managed to hold them up in front of Moscow and Kiev.
Dad dice rolling was uniformly awful again even his triple fire 'Stukas' could yield few hits.
Really liking this game and now have a hankering to roll out West Front and Rommel In The Desert.

Monday, March 17, 2014

East Front board Wargame played after 20 or so years !!

Played recently acquired East Front by Columbia Games (original version) with Dad tonight.
Last played this some 20 or more years ago with Stephen ! 
Have been on look out for a copy for some time and managed to pick up a copy last month in great condition and decent price from BGG. 
Just as great a game as I remembered it to be. 
Such an elegant design and fun to play with the block system.
We tried the Barbarossa scenario with historical set up. 
We committed one or two rule errors early on (forgot how Supreme HQs operate for strategic moves and forgot initially about hex side entry limits) but nothing we could not recover from. 
Rules are not too dense and easy to pick up just need a bit of practice. 
Dads blitz moves got stymied by consistently poor combat rolls and he got drawn into battering at Minsk and Riga rather than trying to breakthrough past them. 
This allowed me to hold a solid line and eck out a Decisive win. 
I do not think he will get mired as much next time. 
A superb game and one of those with which time seems to fly by.