Monday, August 26, 2013

Battlegroup Overlord 15mm game Yanks vs Krauts

Had a fling with Battlegroup Overlord (the BG Kursk expansion and replacement tome for KG Normandy) today at Stephens.
We choose an attack (US Inf Divn- Stephen) versus defence (Fallschirmjager - moi) 'Defence Line' scenario from rulebook.
Based on 600 pts as chosen by each player. Stephen set up the table and I choose end to defend.
I had a FJ Platoon upgraded to Elite with 1 PzFaust each section and  support of 2 x 120mm Mortars off-board with an on board dug-in FOO (of which more later) an MG42 HMG a Sniper (of which more later) a PzShk team and a 75mm Pak40 in a dug-out.
I also had a Troop of 3 StugIIIG and 1 Stuh42 plus some trenches and a Minefield.
Stephen turned out to have fielded 2 Inexperienced Infantry Platoons with 81mm off-board support and a M8 Scout a Scout Squad 3 M10 Wolverines and 3 Sherman one of which had 76mm.
The way this system works everything is placed on table ie no hidden units so I got to set up the defences (in middle third of table) and 6 units (a unit is a Inf team or single AFV/Gun) so not much at start.
The attackers set-up 10" in with all 'bought' Recce units plus in this case 3 Units so again not much to begin.
However we soon discovered a bug-bear with rules as written as Snipers are way too effective in our humble opinions.
A Sniper can shot 30" (to 40" if assisted by a Spotter) and since everthing is potentially seen (though you must roll a spotting roll each shot) Stephens Sniper was able to select my dug-in FOO stand and promptly KO the poor buggers with couple of good shots as they count as in Open if hit (ie only save on a 6 compared to normal 3+ for dug-out !!)
We found this way too good and a tad unrealistic as FOO dont really draw attention to themselves by firing etc.
My Sniper was also very effective against Yanks more so than firing of whole Sections.
So our first house rule is either to ban Snipers altogether (harsh) or simply make them subject to same cover saves as other units but with ability to select individual teams as targets.
In Scenario Attacking Yanks got to roll for rest of force arrival from turn 3 (I had to wait to turn 5) and so the Yank AFVs arrived virtually enmass overwhelming my single in-table Stug and the Pak40.
They were also able to set up to ping away at my entrenched Infantry and to await my other Stugs arrival.
Nice orders system in rules of counting number of Officers in force with roll of 2D6 (for Platoon sized game) and several options for units using orders such as, Double Move, Fire Twice and Move & Fire or Fire & Move.
Couple of key orders are to go on Ambush Fire or Reserve Move (allowing you to shoot or move respectively in enemy turn).
Pinning is a big deal in system as a Pinned unit cant be given any Orders and to Rally units you must take one of the Morale chits at turn end in order to roll a D6 worth of Pins off units. The Morale chits are a slick and fun aspect as each has a number 1 - 5 which reduces your overall force morale by that amount or they are sort of 'Random Event' chits.
I drew numerous chits but was lucky early on to draw a Mine Check (vs enemy vehicle) 2 Air Attacks (neither generated any aircraft) and a Confusion chit (extra Morale check vs enemy unit).
We found all the spotting, shooting and morale easy to pick up (Sniper issue aside) and Artillery is easy to handle as well with large Impact area by can drift quite a bit.
Took a while to get used to lack of hidden units but can see how this is intergrated into game and does have nice advatage of 'all your toys on table'.
Only other issue we came upon was that a PzFaust has same range (10") as a PzShreck/Bazoooka.
Whilst we understand how it works in game and is only a one shot weapon we again felt that a 5" range 'felt' better for them.
To be honest all these hand held AT weapons seem too easy to hit with in game but hard to tweak with D6 to hit system.
I lost all my Stugs to Yank AFVs but did kill a Sherman and an M10 with my lone PzShreck team (left precariously in Open Ground after a heroic Move & Fire order to kill M10).
As we called time I was at 29 accumulated Moral Points out of 39 needed but the Yanks were about to overwhelm my dwindling units totally as they still had 4 functioning AFVs (couple low on ammo) and a full fresh Infantry Platoon so I conceeded.
Overall a fun game with a very playable ruleset (comparable to Blitzkrieg Commander in complexity).   

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Field Of Glory: Napoleonics game 1814 Prussians vs French

Napoleonic game today at mine with Stephen.
We himmed and haad over what to play and what rules to try eventually going with FOGN. My Prussians version 1814 were pitted against their French counterparts.
Both sides had 3 Divisions.
I had 9 Infantry units 5 Cavalry and 2 Medium Gun Batteries with several attachments of Rifle Skirmishers, Cavalry and Howitzers with a mix of Line and Landwehr.
French had 2 Cavalry and I think 10 Infantry units (a mix of Conscripts, Line and Vets) with 3 Artillery Batteries one of which was large lead by its own Officer (ie a Brigadier and very useful)
Terrain turned out quite plentiful and indeed plausible for France.
A really good game with plenty of action.
I had one glorious charge with a Hussar unit running over a wavering (due to Cohesion tests after couple bombards from two medium batteries) French unit which tried to form square on hill. Its destruction caused mayhem (ie failed cohesion tests) in surrounding units.
However we both learnt today that Cavalry are largely 'one shot' weapons as they end up permanently spent after melee.
As per last game of FOGN we both felt they work well at the scale they represent (nominally 'Regimental' but really Brigade/Demi-Brigade) with a nice feeling of handling a multi-divisional Corps.
Enjoyable stuff despite the rulebook being a chore to find relevant rules readily (the index is next to useless)

Medley (?) of pics

Oh and this interesting little set of variant rules arrived in midst of the fray with which I hope to resurreuct my Squad Leader/ASL stuff

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Couple Of Combat Commander goodies arrive

Got these in post today: Pacific from Hexasim (French supplier with keen prices) and Paratrooper expansion from eBay (nice price on a rather hard to find item)
Sadly arrived just before heading to work :-(

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Die Kriegskunst Seven Years War game

Played a Seven Years War miniatures game today at Stephens as we tried out the 'Die Kriegskunst' (need to be careful how one pronounces that !!) rules from the 'Gen De Brigade' stable of rules.
I fielded my Russians in 3 Infantry Brigades 2 Cavalry Brigades and a Grenadier Brigade with a mixture of Average and Poltroon type Brigadiers. Stephen used his Prussians which were smaller but which have several key advantages in the rules such as better Order changing, ability to move and fire and suchlike.
We used the nominal points system included in the rules with 1600pts apiece.
We also used the basic Terrain Generation which seemed to work fine.
Rules are quite decent with nice Orders system and straight forward Movement, Shooting, Melee and Morale methods.
But we did find that the rules are not very tightly written with several differences between rules and playsheets and even between similar rules (nothing major or insurmountable but tad annoying).
A lack of definition by the authors of several concepts left use 'house ruling' a few things. For instance units get a +1 Morale boost for 'Supported Flanks' if units within 6cm (using 15mmscales) but nowhere is this clearly defined or illustrated as to just where units are required to be to provide such support.
Biggest beef we had was the ability of Cavalry to shoot not so much the concept (as they did mostly use Carbines) but the fact that other than reduced range they are pretty much the equivalent of a unit of Musketeers !! we cut available factors, cut the number of figures firing in half and other tweaks but in the end just binned the ability altogetheras a much simpler solution .
Despite the foregoing we did enjoy the rulesbut maybe not just enough to make it our default/go to set for the period.
At least another couple of plays required methinks.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Twilight Struggle game with my offspring

Managed to entice son Steven (who is home from University for summer) away from PC and electronic games long enough for a game of Twilight Struggle.
I took Soviets and he the Capitalists.
A really good game that went right down to last turn. Commies managed to reach 19 VPs twice but each time I just could not get that final point before being knocked back down the Victory Track.
As we got into Late War phase the Yanks got a good run of VPs themselves and game finished with them on 14 VP and enough areas dominated to carry the day. Great fun and nice to play a game to completion.
The gloating over 'beating Dad at Dad's game' is however less palatable.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Combat Commander: Fall Of The West four scenarios tried

Had a session of Combat Commander (first in awhile) at my Dads using scenarios from the latest Battlepack 'Fall Of The West'.
Don't recall the scn titles but three had British vs Germans and one French vs Huns. Only one used new 'AFV' rules in the form of a Bren Carrier (represented by a moving foxhole, a Leader and an HMG).
As always four great games with usual drama, excitement and uncertainity in spades.
We had forgotten just how engrossing and sheer fun this game system is !!

A selection of pic from the games (as I cant remember which scn is which and think I missed taking pics from a couple entirely-----old age is a bitch !)

We had so much fun I decided to order the Pacific version !!