Sunday, April 28, 2013

Look what is on my table at present

Answer sod all as I waited in vain for Battle Group Overlord pre-order package to arrive this weekend, me being off and all, but to no avail.......bah humbug.........

Postscript just got this on 29/4/13

Dear Gary Barr,
The Plastic Soldier Company Ltd
Order Number: 4602
Date Ordered: Saturday 06 April, 2013
Your order has been updated to the following status:
New status: Shipped
Please reply to this email if you have any questions.

Combat Commander in triplicate

Played 3 games of Combat Commander at Dad's and another 3 super games they were. First up was a scenario from the Normandy battle pack pitting US vs Germans at Mortain.
A night time scenario with SS unit attacking Yanks on some small rises.
But the Yanks have great support from a battery of 105mm (and can use 5 Command Confusion cards as Artillery Requests).
SS got caught a few times by Pre-Registered Barrages (2 allowed in scenario) and under Star Shells and losses were such that they had little left to contest field (1 up to Allies ie moi).

Next game we used the Random Scenario Generator (using a Playing Card deck to sekect map).
This saw a German Line detatchment pitted against a full Soviet Guards SMG Company.
Whilst German defended they were simply overrun by the Guards who had battery of 82mm Mortars in support whose timley use of Smoke gave great cover to Soviet advance.
Another forced surrender on Germans (and 2 up for me).

We went with RSG again this time I had British Line Company assaulting an SS Detachment in fairly wooded terrain.
The large wood and smoke from my light mortars got me right up into SS faces and several successful assaults later I had the key victory locations against which remaining SS battered themselves to destruction (3 out of 3 for Allies !!)
This one had SS in a Bunker on a bridge which they were forced to abandon due to a blaze which spread straight down the road behind them forcing them out of hex and into further blaze of British fire.
I love this sort of stuff in CC.

Pretty poor iPhone pics as I forgot iPad

Friday, April 26, 2013

Regimental Fire And Fury game

An American Civil war game at Stephen's today using the Regimental Fire & Fury set.
Scenario was an 'official' one outlining an encounter preluding 2nd Manassas set in August 1862 (I think it was called Brokenaws Meadow or similar ?).
I took the Rebs against Stephen with Feds.
A sort of meeting encounter although with onus on Rebs to do bulk of attacking.
Both sides started on table with only 3 Regiments, the Feds having some on table and off table Artillery batteries in support.
Feds are from Iron Brigade and Rebs are also Crack but much smaller. Both sides get reserves as game goes on with numbers advantage to Rebs.
Rebs are good quality overall with the initial 3 Crack Regts and all the rest Veterans.
Feds a more mixed bunch with some Trained troops but several Regts are rather strong.
Main objective is a field pretty much in centre of table but both sides score for inflicting over a third casualties on enemy forces.
The game lasts 9 turns with visibility decreasing every couple of turns as dusk then night falls.
Our game ended up in a bloody draw with glorious Rebs in possession of the field.
Stephen (ACW buff) tells me the game played out pretty much as per history with Feds inflicting losses on Rebs but suffering themselves with Rebs taking the objective and Feds being forced essentially to quit the field prior to big attack next day.
RF&F is a very slick set of rules that plays pretty fast once you get going with them and am tempted to purchase them despite not having a single ACW figure.
Having played the original F&F helps of course as a few differences/nuances but with core system the same.
Fun game and nice to try ACW period again.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

WW2 Barbarossa To Berlin revisited

Played another game of WW2 Barbarossa To Berlin with my Dad, and another cracking game it was.
We also managed to fight this one to a conclusion.
Dad was as ever the Axis and I the Allies. This time he chose Op Barbarossa as his opening gambit and plowed a furrow through Russian lines in the north threatening Moscow right away.
In fact he took Moscow and killed Stalin despite my placing reserves directly into the city.
However strategically he left Minsk,Kiev, Odessa and elsewhere untouched and this was to cost him later.
I did take Moscow back driving out 2 Panzer Army but damage done (several Russian cards require Stalin to be in Moscow to play to full effect).
Axis failed to take any other Victory Locations and in first winter this cost them 5 VP points thereby cancelling out the 5 earned for taking Moscow and killing Old Joe.
Dad fairly well ignored N.African theatre only bringing PzArmeeAfrika into play, occupying Malta but doing little else.
I had planned to do the same but a couple of Mandatory Orders for Allied Attacks saw me having to take action here.
As it turned out I clobbered a bunch of Italians and cut off PzAA which died to attrition.
I then cleared out the whole theatre of Axis forces.
In 1942 I got to use Sledgehammer invasion (I remembered to use FDR Declares War and US Build-Up cards this time) coming ashore at Calais.
I took temporary possession of Hololand and Antwerp for victory points but a Panzer Army soon arrived and retook these pushing me back to beaches.
This of course took said Panzers away from Russia and spent precious actions dealing with invasion (ie its whole point).
In Russia things still not going HItlers way as German failed to capture any VP locations either by direct assault or encirclement.
Lack of German reserves Corps saw couple of Armies die without replacement (ie permanently) and all I had to do was hold my ever strengthing lines against diminishing German power.
Subsequently in the Winter 1943 turn the Germans suffered a -6VP penalty for lack of VP locations which took them down to zero total required for Auto Alied Victory huzzah.
We both enjoy this game as despite its general course being the same (ie Germans try to kinock out Russia, Soviets desperately hang on as Allies build up in West and Africa is a side-show but cant be ignored), no two games play out the same due to vargaries of card play and of course dice rolls.
My dice rolls were quite awesome in this game (lots of 5/6s) whereas Dads were on the low side generally.
Great stuff.

Am hoping this arrives sometime this week especially after seeing teaser pages and the games run at Salute (sadly only on web). I enjoyed the Kursk rules but Normandy is really much more my 'thing'

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Combat Commander Saturday slaughter and a new arrival

Another couple of Combat Commander games played at my fathers this rainy Saturday evening.
And another two hugely entertaining encounters they turned out to be.

First up was a scenario from a C3i magazine (Scn 102 I think) with a Night Time attack set 23rd July 1994 with powerful German force attacking Americans.
Germans had mix of Paratroops and Pioneers (one with a flamethrower) against a US force of Line troops.
Besides Night effects on shooting we both had odd hand rules in force. Yanks had only 1 action per turn and the Krauts only 1 Discard.
This certainly made tings interesting.
Krauts were pretty unlucky in couple of close combats I initiated never having any Ambush cards.
This allowed me to take out their best leader (after several exchanges of the Initiative card for re-rolls !).
This fairly stymied their attack and a virtual whizz through Time Triggers saw them lose on points as Sudden Death arrived.

Next up we tried another Randomly Generated Scenario for which Dad rolled and found himself as Italians "ha ha and great !" roared I and then duly found myself in charge of a bunch of Greeks (ie the dread 'French' hand).
We decided to randomly pick our forces from the available chits and this resulted in an Italian Fucellari Company (a massive 18 Squads) attacking a lowly Greek Detachment (a mere 9 Squads).
Luckily for me the map orientation was narrow as a wide set up would have left me very thinly spread.
The Eyeties looked impressive (almost Soviet indeed) when lined up  with the Plate-smashers looking rather unimpressive in comparison.
However I did have benefit of decent defensive terrain ie hills and had purchased 6 Foxholes to aid my bunch.
I also set up right in the Italians faces (risky as any disaster would leave my rear areas wide open) and the weak Italian Squad firepower became evident.
Several nasty Events struck us both and yet we ended up with 3 Veteran units on the map !
Eyeties had purchased an Artillery support in set-up phase (a nasty 105mm) but this in the end proved their undoing as in the close terrain several stonks fell short breaking more of their own troops than mine. Several of these I then dutifully shot down building up a commanding points lead (one of the random Victory chits was double points for eliminations).
Game ended on turn 8 after second Sudden Death roll with Greeks having amassed an unassailable 22 points.


As to the new arrival this was an Ebay purchase of Fading Glory by GMT a boxed collection of 4 Napoleonic battles (originally produced under the VPG  Napoleonic 20 banner - 20 being upper limit of units per side).

This is a low complexity game with low unit count of which I started a quick game of the Waterloo battle.
Quick playing but with bit more meat on its bones than first meets the eye, especially with flexible (if risky) option to use Morale points to assist Combats, Rallying and suchlike.
Several optional rules of which only one I did use was the 'Battle Fatigue' option as bit fiddly to remember and not sure it really suits the complexity level of the game.
Nice to have as option though.
Components wise the game is excellent with nice mounted boards (2 double sided) and good chunky counters.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

More Vassal action in North Africa and now Europe

Just fiinshed today a Vassal game of Shifting Sands with Norman.
A close run thing in the end but with Norman victorious by having minimum 6VP needed, which is just reward for gentlemany conduct earlier.
After a ropey with start with rules (mainly by yours truly) we got this game going well and very enjoyable it was too.
That wonderful thing hindsight instucts that I needed (in this particular scenario at least) to be more aggressive with DAK in N.Africa as Brits have fairly easy time in Near East and East Africa claiming several of the Victory Locations there.
Should have tried for Tobruk earlier I suspect so as to put pressure on Mersa Mutrah and force Norman to take actions in this area as each taken there is one less in other theatres too.
Rommels positive combat shift of 2 columns when attacking with German units is very powerful.
British use of Malta Convoys cards also pwerful as it reduced Axis hand by 2 cards limiting scope for Operations for at least two turns.

End game

Hoping Norman is up for another Vassal game but of what it will not too sure (Fast Action Battle: The Bulge or Kingdom Of Heaven or ?)

 Also just started a game of Barbarossa To Berlin WW2 on Vassal/ACTS against a Canadian bloke Greig.
I am playing as Soviets in this one.
We are just onto second turn after Greig unleashed Barbarossa and made some decent gains.
I have just brought some much needed Ivan reinforcements on hoping to stem the Fascist tide, we shall see..........................

Red front pierced by Barbarossa onslaught

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Combat Commander two more encounters battled through

Played Combat Commander again with Father after a weeks break.
Two scenarios played and usual mix of fun, frustration, events and excitement (with accompanying shouting and much wailing as appropriate)

First up was scenario from CC:E entitled 'Misty Mountain' with me as USA attacking some heavily dug-in (Trenches, Bunker and uphill posistions) German defenders in foggy conditions.
Things started quite well for Yanks with fog helping them advance and their reserves appeared quite quickly and it looked like they would be able to swamp Kraut left wing.
However this being Combat Commander pendulum swung quickly against them with Time Triggers appearing in very quick succession and seeing the Sudden Death roll triggered and game end pretty damn quickly with Krauts still well ahead on points.

For second game we decided to try the Random Scenario Generator which we have not used yet.
Stuck with CC:E to make things bit easier and we ended up using Map 11 with a German Rifle Detachment against a Russian Guards Rifle Detachment.
As these were identical Points cost it also ended up as a Recon vs Recon game.
Map 11 is very open and so our respective HMGs were dominant features of game which Dads Huns won very narrowly (ie 2 VPs) mainly due to his managing to get 3 Squads off my table edge against my one of his (it was double points for Exited troops).
We found the RSG very easy to use and looking forward to trying it again.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Field Of Glory: Renaissance game

Game of Field Of Glory Renaissance played today at Stephens with my usual Early German Catholic army pitted against his Ottoman Turks.
Another super game and another total loss !!
I used Later Tercios as my core Foot and they suffered from the Turkish Artillery (6 pieces) and Muskets.
My Mounted managed to push back the Turk wings initally even killing a General (hoora) and taking out a unit of nasty Jannissaries but fell foul of shooting and a unit of Elite Spahis.
Great stuff once again with this ruleset.