Monday, April 28, 2014

Combat Commander: Europe first couple games in a while

Played two scenarios from the Paratrooper Battle Pack for Combat Commander: Europe at my Dads last night. Both played on same map but two very different games ala Combat Commander.
First scenario had Peipers column trying to escape of foot across American lines during the Bulge battle.
This one went fairly easily to the American Para force opposing Peipers SS troops as they wracked VPs for killing the Krauts who failed to get forward.
Second scenario was set in early 1945 also in Ardennes area with US Paras attacking German Infantry in a snow blizzard.
This one was a very close run affair with everything hinging on a single building objective that was worth some 20+ points overall.
My Paras invested the building killing all but one leader whom they simply could not get rid of and I could not get a single advance card to enter into melee with this stubborn sod.
Time trigger saw US get lucky missing a couple of Sudden Death game ending rolls. However in a twist of fate that CC can produce a Blaze Event was drawn by The German and guess which hex it ended in ? Yup the bloody victory hex over which Paras had expended so much effort !!!
This pretty much ended their chances and low and behold the next Time Trigger appeared in short order ending game in German win.
Exciting stuff and a reminder of how enjoyable this game is.

Peipers boys failing to escape

And the US Airbourne advance towards the key objective (on left)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Twilight Struggle vs my son and ongoing Vassal games

Played Twilight Struggle today against my lad Steven. And low and behold I managed a win for once.
I played as the USSR achieving an auto win in the mid-war period.
Cue much crowing and dancing !
As ever a nice game to play with each turn generating a hand you have to play as best you can whilst trying to achieve your strategic aims.
Not a 'true' wargame as such but a fine and fun game of itself.

Several ongoing PBEM games via Vassal on my schedule at present:

Another Twilight Struggle game (which I have just lost on last turn as USA)

Turning Point Stalingrad game (into its fourth turn 16th September 1942) 

Barbarossa To Berlin (with me as Axis) facing massive Red build up having failed to advance far into Russia.

Hannibal: Rome vs Carthage (using AH rules but newer board on Vassal) with me as Rome. Hannibal rampant in Italy but Varro now in Western Numidia

Bitter Woods (am brand new to this one) with me commanding US troops (AH 2nd edition rules on L2 Vassal map). Yanks are really thin on ground at start ! 

Another Barbarossa To Berlin game with me as Allies this time and early in Turn 2

Breakout Normandy again.............and some more acquisitions

Another game of the excellent Breakout Normandy from Avalon Hill (RIP) against my Dad.
And another win for my British and US forces.
We realised that we had done Bombardments incorrectly last time as we were adding the defence factor of units instead of just the Terrain modifier. Whilst Bombardments cannot actually eliminate any units they can certainly suppress them (ie in game terms force them from Fresh status to Spent or Disrupted keeping them out of action) with the Naval Task Forces being very good at this against German units at or near the coast.
As per last game the British landings were successful overall as was Utah but poor old Omaha suffered once again.
However Omaha recovered better overall this game and I took the key Carentan area and once again cut-off the Cotentin Peninsula.
I got lucky taking Caen early with its 4 Victory Points, a set-back from which the Germans never recovered as I filled it with troops.
We must try the longer extended game as I think the Germans may fare better in the long game.
Great stuff once again.

And some EBay and new purchases (over past few months I hasten to add !)

And a couple of Miniatures rule sets

Saturday, April 19, 2014

FOGR One shall be the number, neither shall it be two and three or more is right out !

Game of FOG Renaissance at Stephens last night using Early TYW Catholic against a Later Swedish TYW as practice for Celtic Cup at end of May here in Belfast.
What a game it turned out to be !!
I lost 17 bases to shooting with 13 of these losses to Death rolls of 1 (and at least 11 being single hits ie any other bloody number but a 1 would allow survival of troops !!).
Thankfully my Morale rolls were decent (couple of times I rolled double 6 for Morale with accompanying 1 for Death Roll) or the game would have been over even sooner than it was.
Stephen by contrast lost a mere 2 bases to my shooting (some sort of early force field ?).
I did Fragment a couple of his units but a mere spit into the oncoming hurricane wind as he broke 3 of mine Fragmented 2 more and reduced 3 of my 4 Later Tercios to lowly Pike and Shot units through these Death rolls.
No amount of army tweaking or tactics can defeat the dice Gods who of course hate me.
Oh how we laughed at first few rolls but then as it turned horrific I tried to crush the cubes through sheer willpower and physical manipulation (mind over matter is pure balderdash and I need to eat a few more eggs of a morning !)
Never have so many dice rolled so little so often...............well not for a while anyhow.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

WWII Barbarossa To Berlin: Grandson vs Grandfather

My lad (with a little initial help from me) played my Dad at WWII Barbarossa To Berlin and seemed to have a good time with probably 'heaviest' Wargame he has tried thus far.
Plenty of moments of me having to bite my tongue as they both missed opportunities to put a lot of hurt on each other !
But a real slug-fest ensued as Steven counterattacked a lot even when not most judicious choice and launched both Sledgehammer and Shingle invasions and managed to get away with it mostly causing Axis to divert a lot of effort trying to deal with several incursions.
Did not manage to complete the game but Africa was cleared and Neutrals converted to Allied cause by Casablanca conference just as it ended.
Interesting watching from sidelines for a change as you tend to see overall picture a bit clearer than when involved directly.

But I really need to get a figure game as suffering lead withdrawal !

Monday, April 07, 2014

Hannibal: Rome Vs Carthage another golden (not too) oldie hits the table

Played game of Hannibal Rome Vs Carthage (Avalon Hill version) with my son (nned to make use of him whilst he is home) tonight and another topsy turvy but exciting card based game it proved to be.
Tactics/Strategy from us both a bit ropey to be honest as we got caught up in bashing each others armies with both Hannibal and Scipio Africanus being eliminated (both invading ports that they could not retreat from after being beaten in battle !!).
To be honest both were pants especially Hannibal who lost lots of units to attrition and failed to win a single battle.
However Mago and Nero (Pro-Consul most of game) both shone for respective sides.
Only last couple of turns with total Combat Units depleted did we really concentrate on placing Political Control markers and Province control.
All hinged on Gallia Transalpina with my failure to gain last subjugation point on a Carthage friendly Tribe allowing Steven to place a single PC marker to gain control of this Province to make it 9 Provinces controlled each which gives Carthage the default win ! Damn...................................................................................................................

Great game again with both of us pledging to do better next time :-)

Sword Of Rome 3 player game

Got to try Sword Of Rome with my Dad and son (home for a few weeks from University) and to find out what a fun and interesting game it is.
I had the Etruscan/Samnites, Dad had Greeks and Steven had the glory that is Rome.
In 3 player game the Gauls are abstracted as a 2d6 dice roll each turn which can effect each nation or the current leader.
They proved to be the absolute bane of the Estrucans (especially as the favoured roll of 7 effects Etruscans) causing a constant drain of combat units and political support.
Greeks have their own nemesis in Sicily in the form of Carthage which can be controlled by either opponent on player of requisite card. Rome of course are tough and can generate a lot of reinforcements if not stymied but are in slightly vulnerable central position.
Their leaders (Consuls) can change each turn being a mix of the mediocre, poor and decent. With each nation having its own card deck you are pretty much able to do something of value each card play/impulse well at least whilst you have some combat units in play.
During our game Greece suffered at hands of the Carthaginians losing hold of Sicily in short order.
Dad did manage to get Phyruss into play quickly but just as quickly saw him poisoned ! Rome played a sort of waiting game building up Walled Cities (thereby enhancing reserve count) leading to an overwhelming superiority in strength as game wore on.
The enfeebling of Etruscans by Gallic raids aided them as they ended up able to Etruscan victory locations easily.
My claim to glory came with Samnites who fielded a reasonable leader in Pontius in their mountain stronghold.
He fought a whopping 8 battles in the game losing only 2 and managed to conquer Capua and hold it for several turns.
This included an epic battle against the Romans in turn 7 with Rome playing a Campaign card and flanking the Samnite capital space, thankfully they were beaten off and suffered ignominious 5 lost combat units and a big hit in Political Support.
However their losses were easily replaced and Rome went on to win an auto victory the following turn.
A great game this and I can see how it would really shine with a fourth player in control of Gauls.

Etruscans suffering after Isolation phase as populace lose faith

Sicily firmly in stranglehold of Carthage

Roman Dictator

Greek ponders next move