Sunday, July 29, 2012

DBMM Polybian Roman vs Selecuid

A miniatures game today huzzah !! Stephen brought his Selecuids (mainly as he has several newly painted figures in particular some KnF Wedges) and I fielded my Romans for a historical type match-up (always my favourite). A really good game ensued even though I got absolutely no terrain on my half of table whilst invading Selecuid lands !!
Successors deployed first and I tried to make things awkward by deploying at an angle but being regular he was able to wheel easily. First sign of trouble for Latins came as their Spainish Allies on their right flank went unreliable (bloody Greek gold no doubt). However this meant Stephen could not approach them too closely or they would 'activate' so they were a sort of human terrain piece. It took several turns to get them into fray. Phalanx advanced in center which I held up with Velites before a straight clash between the Pikes and my Legionaries. Successors had a block of Cataphracts on my left which I faced with my lowly Roman and Italian Cavalry (did mean I got to initiate charge). The Wedges were on my right facing the Spainish (mostly auxilia) and a group of Legionaries I managed to redeploy. Initial clash saw my Legions bloody Greek nose with loss of couple of Pike and Auxilia. But following turn I lost a couple of Blade and Auxilia elements. Key loss was a blade in middle of a line leaving gap for pike to exploit as second rank reserves were off facing the wedges. My cavalry charged the Cataphracts but my General failed to kill opposing element despite my managing an overlap ! A couple of turns of indecisive combats were suddenly followed by a complete collapse on Roman side as my Legions were disheartened then broken and whole army folded. Still a great game that could have gone either way. The Selecuids are a nice balance of tough foot, Auxilia types and good punch with the Cataphtracts and the Wedges (who never count overlaps against any by light horse). Romans as ever outclassed in mounted arm but Legions are fun to use.

Selecuid deployment

Romans on featureless plain !

Successors wheel

Romans advance to meet the Phalanx


Romans deploy to their right to face the wedges

Clash of arms !!

The end as Roman lines are punctured and shattered

Another game planned for next Saturday and my choice of game but oh what to play !!??
Maurice SYW ? IABSM WW2 ? Spearhead WW2 ? Lasalle/FOGN ? FOGR ? or ??????

Wellington game set up

Set up new Wellington The Peninsular War 1812-1815 (birthday present from my brother) a few days ago and had initial run through of tutorial. Standard (if there is such a thing) card driven style game with various Operations, Event and Reserves playable with cards. Point to point movement and 'units' as such rated for strength points (same as We The People or Hannibal games). Looks very playable (and can accommodate 2-4 players) especially with campaign limited to Spainish Peninsula and three years maximum.

Overall view

Close up of Leader counters

Monday, July 23, 2012

Normandy 44 another new game on table

Another of my latest acquisitions on table 'Normandy 44' from GMT games.
Managed to get this second hand from EBay but virtually brand new (counters un-punched and with updated counters in little baggie) which was rather nice.
A more typical 'hex and counter' type game with no cards/zones/point-2-point or suchlike.
Looks a nice game with bit more meat to the tactical side of things (really an Operational scale) than the grand strategic games I have been playing of late.
Nice artwork and whilst rules run to 24 pages they seem fairly straight forward.
Running through the Extended Example from rules to get a feel for the mechanics.

This wargaming addiction continues unabated despite having no opportunity to get some lead on table as Stephens and my shifts incompatible last few weeks :-)

Overview of 6th June set-up

Cotentin with Utah and Omaha beaches

Gold Juno and Sword beaches and Caen

Saturday, July 21, 2012

WW2 Barbarossa To Berlin another game !

Had another excellent session with this game last night with my Dad.
Played out very differently to or last game and if anything even more enjoyable than last outing ! 
Dad used 'Barbarossa' ploy this time (he only ever plays the dread Hun in any game we play) and lack of decent cards in my hand saw the Offensive make some big gains this time. 
He subsequently played the 'Taifun' card (Op Typhoon) and after a sharp battle managed to take Moscow. 
I erred in this game not realising the consequences of losing the Stalin counter (should have redeployed). 
Russian RPs at minus one for duration and more importantly inability to SR with Large units (so unable to re-build and re-deploy destroyed Russian Fronts ie LCUs from Reserve box !!). I think my Dad then erred slightly by not trying to destroy as many Russian LCU Infantry as possible as this would thwart my upgrading them to Mechanized Fronts later in game. 
However I managed to take North Africa easily this time and was able to open a second front in Early 1942 at Calais (a German LCU really needs to occupy this area) using 'Round-Up@ invasion and opened up a supply port at Antwerp (playing 'Clearing the Scheldt' card). 
Early 'FDR Declares War' and 'US Build UP' appearance meant I was able to get several US/Brit unit into western France before Germans could effectively re-deploy. 
Dad tried manfully to re-take Antwerp but I won battle of build-up and he wisely retired behind the Rhine. In the East he also pulled back as my Tank Fronts appeared and kept him occupied (although Ivan offensives were pretty ineffective as I rolled a lot of 1's and 2's). 
Meanwhile I conducted 'Op Husky' and entered Sicily and Italy and then played 'Italy Defeated' card to knock El Ducebags lot out of war. 
Dad occupied Rome for a short while with German Panzers but these were soon chased north by my British and US Armies. 
We had to end game in the Fall 1944 turn (as I was about to turn into a pumpkin) with Allies having gained a foothold across on Rhine and trying to cut0off large German forces around the Ruhr. 
Southern Germany was also looking very open. 
In East the Russians were gearing up (now with 9 Tank Fronts in play) for big push. However no forgone conclusions in this game as Dad earlier play of 'Totaller Krieg' card when he was sitting on 11VPs gave him a +20VP boost  ie up to 31VP, which I had only whittled down to 7VPs when we called time. 
Tough task to take the required VPs in Germany as Hun still very strong on ground so may have had to target Axis allies Romania and Hungary. 
So many decisions and options in this game. 
Great stuff again.

Hitler ponders opening moves

Barbarossa begins

Moscow and Stalin lost

Odessa falls but limit of German advance in north

Panzer Armee Afrika dealt with, and Italians in sights 

Ashore at Calais with Op Round-Up with German trying to dislodge invaders

Antwerp opened and more units ashore and German Panzers dealt with

Meanwhile in East the Germans retire to Reich borders

Italy now defetced and Allies at Rhine

End of our game with Italy and France liberated and Russians pushing West

Russian assault on Koingsberg thwarted

Allies across the Rhine and trying to cut-off Germans around the Ruhr

Monday, July 16, 2012

WW2 Barbarossa To Berlin, Allied win !!

Played another game of WW2 Barbarossa To Berlin with my Dad last evening and we managed to play the game to completion (ie Allied automatic victory in late 1943). Both really like this game (am hoping Paths Of Glory will be similarly enjoyable) as lots of options with varied cards and events.
Dad tried the 'Paulus Pause' opening card in lieu of the 'Barbarossa' card which lessens impact of his assault on Russia (ie no plus DRMs) but conversely lessens impact of the first Soviet Winter (voids Supply limits and retains Mechanized status for his Panzers).
Therefore he only managed a thrust in Northern Russia, taking Leningrad and arriving at gates of Moscow.
I relentlessly bolstered this front whilst we both stalemated in central and southern Russia in the main.
Partizans caused some grief to German supply.
The battle for Moscow turned into a epic with losses to Russians being severe but they managed to hold on with steady stream of reserves.
In North Africa the Axis fared poorly and with my use of 'Torch Landings' to their rear they soon were run out of North Africa altogether.
I was then able to launch invasions of Sicily/Italy and more importantly used 'Round Up' invasion to steal into Norway taking Iron Ore site from Axis control.
'Casablanca Conference' card brought neutral Turkey and Sweden into Allied sphere of influence (and more importantly garnered 4VP locations) this steady drain of VP locations and lack of progress on East Front (despite a successful foray to take Sevastapol) saw Axis being forced to take at least 1 VP location  or lose the game (if VP total brought down to zero its an Auto allied win).
My Dad made couple of key mistakes at this juncture in failing to spot an open VP location to east of Sevastapol and trying to re-take Bergen when Stockholm was much easier or even a raid into Turkey.
Allies held on to achieve the auto victory HUZZA !!!
Great game again and we are both discussing future alternate strategies for another game.
US entry to war was bit later than in our last game but definately more decisive with the Torch landing yielding much better results than an easily contained version at Calais.
Invading Norway and taking a VP and the Iron Ore space fixated the Axis on this location to their detriment.
The card play system yields so many options per turn/phase/card and therefore much variety.
One just cant do everything one wants each turn and some hard decisions on card usage and indeed whether to hold or play (especially those cards whose events need to be played to allow future events to occur).
I used an upgraded map board (a thinish cardboard type) I obtained that has several enhancements on the map compared to standard paper map.

Initial stages

German breaking through in north

Set up in North Africa

New turn track with helpful hints thereon

Mid-game with onslaught starting at Moscow

Torch landings yielding result and Afrika Korps destroyed

End game in Russia with Germans pulling back as Russian Tank Armies appear at Moscow.
Sevastapol in German hands

US have taken Sicily and now crawling up Italian 'Boot'

British in Norway giving Axis a third front to worry about

Paths of Glory set-up

Managed to get counters sorted and game set-up ready for a solo try. This 2010 edition comes with an excellent mounted map board. Game play seems very similar to WW2 Barbarossa To Berlin (which is derived directly from POG of course). Nice spread of historical events on the cards. Looking forward to giving it a whirl.

Over view of set up

The 'Near East' insert map and Central Powers cards

The Western theater and Allied cards

Game counters

Rules and charts

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Wilderness War Vassal game up and running

Norman and myself now just about into first turn of our Vassal (one of best inventions since the wheel) game of Wilderness War. Since I have not managed to play a full game either face to face or even solo am finding rules Referencing is constant and literally no idea what strategy to adopt. Thankfully same applies to Norman so it a case of blind leading blind here. Am sure we will make initial mistakes but will 'straighten up and fly right' as we progress he types more in hope than expectation................

Situation along Hudson with French massing at Ticonderonga with Montcalm in charge but I managed to exchange him with Villers (up north of Lake Ontario) using an event card 'Governor Vaudreuil Interferes'

Further East all quiet so far but awaiting raids from those pesky Injuns at some point 

Looking forward to our first actual encounter.........................