Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Field Of Battle - Zorndorf and an old enemy..................

Game of FOB today with an old adversary, Hugh.
I set up Zorndorf scenario to teach Hugh the rules and he choose to be the Russians giving me command of the Prussians.
As ever with FOB an excellent and indeed hard fought encounter generating an excellent battle narrative and so easy to teach.
Hugh picked up the mechanics fairly easily and we soon got down to a bloody affair.
My initial card draws and dice rolls were as ever poor stymieing my attempts to manovure.
Hughs rolls had me in fear for a while of fighting another 'dice demon' as he rolled constant 8 on his D8 and D10 rolls.
This saw my 'Elite' Cuirassier on my right wing being repelled by lowly Irregular Hussars and Cossacks !!
I had D12 attack versus D4 and still lost (1 vs 4 rolled !).
However about mid way through game my left flank forces began a steady drain of casualties on the Russians reducing their Morale Pool.
I had a nice run of Leadership Cards (exceptional deck helped) that allowed me to several damaged units and recover to Routing units as well.
This helped thwart Hughs attempts to push me back and for Prussians to inflict more dmage on Russians with several units Routing off table and a couple being destroyed outright by my remaining Cuirassier (I had however lost two others !)
Eventually Russian Morale ran out and Hugh was handing me Morale chips and the Russian lot was up.
However in a final act of defiance Hugh managed to pass 2 Army Morale Checks (very stoic these Russians) but we called time before his inevitable collapse.
All in all a great game and I hope an enticing introduction to FOB for Hugh who did agree that FOB generates a fast flowing game full of incident and story.

The lighting was all of the show today with some fierce sunlight at times.

Prussian centre with Kanitz command attempting to flow to right (they failed to move twice !)

Later they suffered at hands of Russian guns as Matueffels Grenadiers occupied the wood

Prussians try to take left end of steam whilst Mounted wing try to take hill

Von Seydlitzs horse ready themselves on left (I lost a Cuirassier here too)

Hugh ponders his next move as Von Seydlitz force cross the stream

Note on my far right the hill remains untaken

An eerie light casts itself across the battlefield

Battle of the 'u-bend' continues

Temporary stalemate on left

Prussian foot move right from 'u-bend' to take the hill for their erstwhile mounted friends

Heavy fighting on left as Rusians surge forward sending volleys into my horse units

Russian Infantry trying to extricate themselves from 'u-bend' (they routed from as devastating volley from a unit of Musketeers) 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Panzer Grenadier Deluxe - Auville scenario

Another game of PzGr today at Stephens this time a scenario Auville June 1944 pitting my defending Germans against Yanks.
German have a Stug, a Pak40, an Inf support platoon and 5 Inf platoons (although 2 of these are Ost units with no LMGs and a 50-50 chance of fleeing once enemy comes within 6") and 2 Direct Support missions.
Yanks have a rover to cross but have Assault Engineers (can also find fords across river) 3 Shermans, 4-5 (?) Inf platoons and couple of MMG armed Jeeps and an M20 A/C.
A Para platoon appears on German rear edge on game turn 8 (out of 12).
However they also get 4 Direct Fire missions, 2 General Support Missions, 2 Jabo missions and an opening 6" Naval Bombardment !!
The artillery has added 'bonus' (odd but just a game mechanism) that if it causes any Morale Test Result the units under the bombardment zone (8" x 4") are revealed from hidden/ambush in addition to any hits caused.
I had my Pak40 in Ambush but thankfully not revealed by Arty (3 Inf Platoons in/near town were).
Not as bad as first appears however as Inf in cover only visible within 18" but still would prefer to stay hidden.
Dice Demon had as always some spectacular rolls (ie double 6) even when my Pak 40 rolled a 12 he then rolled a 12 meaning damaged only not destroyed.
He then done same when my Stug hit a Sherman and failed to destroy as 12 rolled again !
I did roll a couple of 12s but sadly oh so many double 1s as ever.
Of the 2 Ost Platoons 1 stood the other fled when tested.
A close game in the end with this excellent scenario and rule set.
We played 9 out of 12 turns with Germans barely hanging on to the town objective and within 2 losses of auto break.
The Jabos took out my MMG and then later my lone Stug.
Artillery took out my Pak 40 giving the Shermans essentially carte blanche as only a single Pz Shreck left (which has only 6" range).
Our last few games have benefited greatly from increasing the amount of cover terrain we place on table, making Infantry a tad more durable.
Really like PzGr as a nice level above skirmish with comprehensive rules that give quick playing plausible WW2 games.
And another outing scheduled for Saturday at Mr Ps with his 'biggies' (Cintheaux scenario I think ?)

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Panzer Grenadier Deluxe game

Had set up a Normandy style table for a game of Iron Cross today however changed last minute to using Panzer Grenadier Deluxe (as practice for upcoming game at Mr P’s)
No real thought to game other trying out the points system in rules as we have always done scenarios.
I took British with 3 Inf Platoons an MMG Platoon, a reduced 3” Mortar Platoon along with a Squadron of 4 Sherman’s and a single Achilles.
Stephen had an off board Artillery stonk 4 Inf Platoons and MMG Platoon and 3 Veteran Tiger 1’s.
I lost every single Initiative roll in our game and with us both arriving onboard (not best idea) his going first was killer as Quick March followed by Exploit Phase moves saw Germans move into the central town very easily with Tigers well positioned to cover all approaches.
Sherman’s refused arrive for 3 turns (they obviously did not “want to lock horns with no Tigers!”) and Achilles was dispatched by single Tiger tout suite.
My Infantry caught in cornfields which give at least limited protection but my Mortars refused to activate to fire the whole time and indeed the FOO was discovered and forced to Disengage out of sight for his Hill top position.
Just as well as the Sherman’s eventually arrived promptly losing 2 Tanks to Tiger Defensive Fire only managing to damage 1 Tiger with lucky double 6 roll.
Actually my rolls today were a wired mix of multiple double 1s (no surprise) and several yes several !! Double 6s but seemed incapable of rolling the average 7.
I do like PzGr as just has nice ‘feel’ for size of encounter it generates with well written rules and good period flavour.

Monday, October 07, 2019

Another COIN game - A Distant Plain

First outing for A Distant Plain on Sunday evening against my Dad (is there any better way to spend ones time ?) .
Whilst it has of course the 'standard' COIN system once again the protagonists and the card events are all different enough to make it a fresh experience.
Coalition are akin to US/France in other games, Government like ARVN and Taliban like VC/FLN, but all of course with some twists in operations and special activites
The Warlord faction is very different (I assume akin to Cartels in Andyan Abyss or Cuba Libre ?) being an essentially armed criminal enterprise.
They have unique (to me) dual victory condition needing to keep the population out of both Government and Taliban control but at same time building Resources (ie cold hard cash) up to a fairly high level (40+).
Took me a while to get head around how to play them as how do you husband resources whilst spending to do other stuff !
Another interesting spin in the 2 player game is that the Coalition can be paired with the Government (as we did) or the Warlords, leaving the Taliban and Government to 'marry' up.
I thought this very strange but having played I can see why as several times various Operations by one Ally royally 'screwed' the other.
Must give this one a try 4 player at some stage.

Very poor quality pics as lighting just not enough for camera phone to utilise.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Field Of Battle and COIN system games played

A grand days gaming at chez Steiner yesterday with JB, RM, SP and later SB in attendance (ie usual suspects sans Le Duc who was awol) and a brief visit from Billy.
A good days craic and banter (and weirdly a bit of knee touching the 'culprit' remaining nameless although the "I thought that was the table" excuse was paltry at best !!)

I had set up the Battle Of Ramillies using my 10mm units for Field Of Battle 2.
74 units on table with both sides split into 2 wings with a CinC (so a mere 3 commanders per side).
Marlborough was a D12+1 with a Superior deck Villeroi a D10 with average deck and both sides sub- commanders were D10 types)
Both sides fielded a mix of Average Crack and Elite troops in fairly equal proportions (36 French units vs 38 Allied).
I approximated historical terrain and allowed players to split their forces as their nominated CinC saw fit (RM and JB)
Terrain sort of compels cavalry to be on open left/right wings but I was tad surprised that French  deployed  on their right with no gun support (these and all nearly all foot being on their left behind Petite Gheet)
Allies deployed with British on their right as per history but they essentially refused this flank rather than cross the Petite Gheet.
Billy temporarily commanded the Allied left (as did I) then S 'the dice demon' B to the chagrin of JB & SP, although Marlborough was none too shoddy with his dice.
The Dutch horse deployed on open left flank but with a good deal of foot in support with guns in a sort of 'massed battery' opposite Ramillies (which was garrisoned by Elite troops)
As anticipated (and as in history) a huge cavalry battle ensued between Taviers and Ramillies which could have gone either way but arrival of British Horse (as per history) helped swing things in Allies favour, also forcing however the French foot to surge across the Petite Gheete in response).
The French right was imploding as their foot emerged from the boggy area around the Petite Gheete and engaged the waiting British and Dutch infantry.
After several ineffectual volleys (one or two fall backs) the British managed a couple of morale sapping (I wont describe the reactions of the French for sake of propriety !) routs and by this time the French morale pool was empty and they 'noisily' yielded the field.
Game took just under 5 hours and reached a decisive and pretty much historical conclusion with pretty much no rules queries or problems a real strength of FOB in my experience.
I hope to introduce players to it at club which it should suit well with the 4hr time slot.

Cavalry about to clash

Initial advantage to Dutch as British horse arrive (near Ramillies)

French foot cross Gheet and engage Allied foot

Then after a local Indian takeout it was on to evening game with Fire In The Lake.
I had planned to referee this one as well in order to best teach the system and control things but sadly RM had to go so I took over the ARVN from him early in proceedings.
SB was  VC, SP theNVA and JB the good ol' USofA.
Played the 3 deck short scenario and a very good game it was too and pretty close in the end.
A different dynamic (obviously) when full (a couple were by this stage) complement playing game with a few dodgy deal/back stab moments.
Easy to teach the game mechanics but really down to players to digest the Op and Special Activities sheets and the interactions of choices/events/VP impact that this game presents in myriad fashion.
VC won on last Coup card (which was also very last card !) with score of 37 (+1) ARVN then on 48 (-2), NVA on 15 (-4) and US on 36 (-14) caused mainly by a massive 12 piece surge on first Coup card Commitment phase causing a 12VP drop US struggled to get back although they did fix a fairly large NVA army pretty much in place in Quang Tri.
Great game this and I hope the chaps got at least a little flavour of its playability and depth.

Friday, October 04, 2019

Elimination Gaming Club

Had a quick visit to a new (just started up in April) wargaming club at a local Elim Church Hall hence the name Elimination Gaming Club.
Very friendly bunch with some persons I knew many moons ago and some new acquaintances whose names I have already forgotten !!
Operates most Friday nights and within 10mins drive so I certainly intend to visit as often as possible.
We ‘pensioners’ need something to do :-)

A painting station which is a very nice idea (I might actually get some painting done if I took this up)

A Rapid Fire II 1941 Eastern Front game in 15mm

A very nice 10mm game of action near Dromore during Jacobite rising. Some very pretty Pendraken figures on display in unit of 60 (!) foot and 12 mounted. Rules were War of Three Kings