Sunday, June 17, 2018

Combat Commander - 1940 scenarios in triplicate

Been awhile but got CC:E back onto table with my Dad tonight playing 3 scenarios from the 1940 Fall Of The West battle pack.
First had BEF defending Dunkirk perimeter, the second Brits again defending in Norway and third had French in well France.
Nasty old Huns lost all three but the last was exceedingly close.
As always exciting play with this most excellent game system.

BEF defends near Dunkirk

As Huns attack

Action in Norway

And French see off Huns near the Meuse

Saturday, June 16, 2018

I Ain't Been Shot Mum eastern front action this time

Another try with IABSM this time using a scenario from the Bashnya Or Bust! supplement.
I was Germans defenders and Stephen used his Russian hordes to attack near the fictional village of Holm.
Le Duc arrived later on to view the rules in action.
We failed to finish the game with things firmly in the balance.
As ever a few 'what do we do here' moments with the rules but thrashed out a couple more house rulings.
We also learnt a few nuances regarding the use of Company commanders and the potential danger of occupying buildings !
The dice demon managed to 3 x 6 on 3D6 when firing HE at a house which reduces it to rubble killing all occupants !
He then rolled 2 x 6 on 3D6 against a wooden abode with same devastating effect...……………
I lost 2 MMG teams and 2 Big Men to this so 12 men.
Despite our struggles to understand several aspects of these at times ill-defined rules we actually like the game they generate at this 'big' skirmish scale as evidenced I guess by multiple plays.

Only a couple of pics once more.

Dug-in Panzer Grenadiers supported by a Pak38

Soviet attack developing slowly

Panthers deploy to thwart Russians


Saturday, June 09, 2018

I Ain't Been Shot Mum another outing

Another try of IABSM this time using a scenario from the 'Bleneville Or Bust' supplement with my Germans encountering a US force under the command of Stephen near fictional Norman town of 'Belle Maison'.
Another interesting and fun game (unless you were a Panther crewman!) with even a visit from a USAAF rocket armed 'Jabo'.
We did however find one or two more ambiguities with the rules not knowing if Blinds can use Reserved dice for Firing later in turn ?
I believe reading rules they cannot but far from clear.
Still a nice flavoursome ruleset
I still favour PzGr Deluxe overall but these are a nice alternative.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Final Arguement Of Kings - a little solo Seven Years action

Had set up a solo game with my SYW Russians and Prussians to try a few rulesets I have not used much or at all.
I tried a simple encounter style scenario first using Honours Of War rules from Osprey and whilst there is a lot to like in these rules as ever I just find them far too bloody (even with my dice rolls !) so I quickly reset the units and gave Final Argument Of Kings a try out.
A more complex and therefore a tad slower set but much deeper and more satisfying overall.
Essentially they are a variant of Johnny Reb for SYW with order markers and semi-simultaneous activity but it flows pretty well.
As in JR the most complex sequence is charges especially if multiple opposing units declare charges as there can be literally a lot of moving parts !
But once I got this sorted the game flows very well overall.
As in most SYW sets Prussians are better troops with greater move options and quality with Russians conversely poorer shots but stoic in their morale (ie damned hard to upset !).
With orders system solo is bit stilted as not much in way of surprise possible but still fun to explore the game systems.

Hope to get a head to head game with these at some point.

The pics mostly from the HOW game but same deployments etc

I Ain't Been Shot Mum scenario played

Sticking with WW2 Stephen and I decided to try IABSM after our CofC games.
Stephen picked a scenario set in the Normandy bocage with an US Infantry Company attacking with support of 5 Shermans against 2 German PzGr Platoons with 3 Veteran StugIIIG (one commanded by a Level 3 ace !).
The Yanks also had a battery of 105mm in support (but thankfully these failed to ever fire).

We have always thought that IABSM had a lot going for it at its 'large' skirmish scale but we have usually struggled with how Blinds and the card deck work and are used in IABSM but somehow today we seemed to have got last !
The card and command initiative system combined with unit actions based around numbers of useable dice works very slickly and plausibly.
I am not a big fan of  'buckets of dice hits/saves' AFV combat systems (with a Sherman if it achieves a hit rolling 7 'strike' dice needing 5-6 to 'hit' and then the Stug rolling 7 'armour' dice needing 5-6 to save any such 'hits') but in essence it works especially when combined with the armour Command system of unit orders (Hunt/Engage), actions, aimed or snap shots and the damage model of equal or greater 'hits'.
Obtaining the initiative by having your unit or big man card appear first is a major boon and of course is random within a deck (that chaos factor I like) and indeed the possibility of not acting in a turn if the 'Tea Break' (end of turn) card appears makes for a nicely unpredictable sequence of actions/events.
Lucky Legs of course managed to get every single card out before mine in one turn and I watched as 2 of my Stugs got pummelled on the road with one suffering it gun damaged and temporary immobilization (with associated effect on actions) and the Ace being permanently immobilized and shocked !!
Of course in hindsight I had no need to reveal them from their Blind as soon as I did so running such risk.
The rules for aces are interesting and easy with ability to aid shooting hits and/or effects.
The ace did brew a Sherman but his mate then suffered similar fate and he was the subject of the attention of 3 other Shermans for rest of the game eventually being forced to abandon his knocked about assault gun.
A firefight between the fifth Sherman and my remaining Stug saw the dice demon twice roll 5 hits out of 7 dice rolls and whilst I survived first volley second saw my vehicle explode damaging a nearby Hanomag and PzGr section.
Just as in CofC dice demon seemed to take minimal infantry casualties whilst nearly every volley on my men resulted in kills and shock.

Great stuff overall and a very enjoyable game.
Only complaints (as per most Lardie rules we have tried) is maybe a lack of definition on some aspects especially regarding line of sight and terrain issues.
We were unsure just what effect some types of terrain have and if sighting across multiple terrain types affects firing/vision.
EG if my line of fire crosses a hedge and goes through high wheat is it degraded once or twice ?
To be fair the rules seem to very much 'a gentlemans agreement' type set in many regards and its easy to establish how much such detail one wants to include.
And since small arms firing is either a Good, Okay or Poor shot its easy to debate/argue a case for which applies for individual actions and locales.
A lack of a points structure means one has to use scenarios or fudge things but that's fine just different than say Battlegroup.

We shall be using these again.

The German set up area with lots of terrain 'Blinds' areas

US Tanks appear with one Blind still unrevealed

Opposing Stugs (Ace to bottom) with one already damaged and crew shocked

Closer look at Shermans and Company HQ units

And the Stugs

Note Engage order behind Shermans (aids shooting)

US Infantry in cornfield

And advancing against my left with Tank support (1 Sherman brewed on road)

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Chain Of Command again !

Another game using CofC today this time with a scenario from the Scottish Corridor campaign 'Le Valtru' which is a meeting engagement between SS and Brits.
I took Brits again (glutton for punishment) and Stephen the nasty Nazis.

Very interesting Patrol Phase in this one with lots of decisions as to placement for both Patrol Markers and Jump Off Points.
This is a very nice system for setting up an encounter.

During game the SS sections once more showed their prowess with double MG42's pumping out massive firepower.
An 8 man SS section yields 20 dice against the Brits 8 men with lesser 13 dice, which on average rolls means Brits will suffer 1.5-2 times the hits and casualties.

I had a Churchill VII (great armour poor gun) which managed to survive a hit from a mighty Tiger 1 (great armour great gun !) but my Infantry suffered badly.

Of course not only was Stephens rolling good as ever but he managed a couple of double phases and therefore volleys at my troops (one poor Section had 44 dice rolled against it !!!) and of course I then rolled for my hits and (in the inevitable reversal of dice fortunes) I rolled numerous sixes (ie Kills) on my troops (even in hard cover !!) and then managed to Wound several NCOs all of which saw my 8 Force Morale whittled tout suite to zero and the game ended (6 morale tests yielding the 8 minuses) in a mere 2 hours or less !

We both love the Patrol Phase and the Command Dice/Chain Of Command dice system of CofC (bit of genius to be honest) but the Shock/Morale model and 'buckets of dice' combat is maybe too simple/bloody to give much depth to the games, certainly it is tough to manouvre when speeds are randomized and with a lot of long fields of fire even in Normandy.
Of course as it is a 'simulation' of a very few seconds or at most minutes of combat it certainly plays well as a short sharp shock style of game easily and quickly resolved

Planning another WW2 game next week either CofC again or maybe IABSM.......................

SS get to good positions first yet again

A race to the hedge line on the right was won by SS (I just could not get timely usable dice)  

The losers of the race...................

Overview of Le Valtru

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Chain Of Command - Another trial of Op Martlet

Another try with CofC rules (as we are trying to learn nuances).
Played the same opening Op Martlet scn but this time at Stephens.
Having mucked up the Patrol phase last time I had more success this time being able to at least Deploy a good deal further forward this time.
However with such a lack of cover on Brit half of table the high firepower of the German section (2 x LMGs) made forward progress costly or stymied it completely.
Pz IV took out my Sherman support again.
We are still not sure of a couple of rules re attaching Leaders and the vulnerability but otherwise think we have rules mostly down.
Using 15mm figures we decided to reduce off-board Mortar barrage to a 12" square instead on 18" and to reduce Covering Fire areas from 9" & 4" to 6" & 3" respectively otherwise everything as written works fine.
Planning another bash with rules next week but trying a different scn :-)

Not many pics from CofC games as not much density of troops for posing purposes

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Chain of Command - Operation Martlet tried

Had a try with CofC rules today using the Op Martlet 'pint-sized' campaign as a handy scenario generator.

I took British and Stephen Germans using our 15mm kit.

Played two games on the initial 'Probe to Fontenay' map.

We like the rules especially the dicing systems for Order/Commands.
Shooting etc is 'buckets of dice' but works fine and all pretty easy to pick up and remember.
Tough scenario for British as very little cover for Jump Of Points or any advance.
Mis-use of Patrol Phase to a degree made it harder still as I tried a broad front approach which saw all but one of my JOPs moved to rear edge.

We certainly intend (when I have I heard that before !) to re-try the rules and the campaign.

The table prior to action (Brits appear from near edge)

The story of the day Brit Inf stuck in open fields

German Inf 'in' a building block (we used drawn floor plans as roofs fixed)

More Pinned and exposed Inf

Panzer IV advances

Some damage to Germans mainly from Mortar fire