Sunday, March 29, 2015

Combat Commander: Normandy revisited

Played three Combat Commander scenarios at my Dads.
Three Normandy set games with three wins for the Allies.
First was from Paratrooper pack with US Paras defending a hill post D-Day west of Meredret river.
Next up was British Airbourne at Pegasus bridge followed by the assault on Pont Du Hoc by U.S. Rangers.
Three excellent games with usual excitement of events and action combined with frustration and teeth nashing that this great game system generates.

Maurice face to face game

Played Maurice again this time with at Stephen with my Prussians against his Austrians.
What a close game this turned out to be !
The Austrians fielded a massive 6 gun batteries (nearly 25% of their force) with Artillery Academy trait which is essentially Lethal Volleys for Artillery. With a 24BW range (72cm with our 3cm bases) this meant they could target my Prussians just about anywhere.
To top it all off I was defender and had to deploy first giving Austrian guns free choice of juicy targets and Stephen massed them in a line in his centre.
The pounding commenced on turn one and I soon realised that I was on a hiding to nothing trying to Rally faster than the 'Grand Battery' could inflict hits. A unit of Musketeers was dispatched and this goaded my 'defenders' into action.
I advanced my left wing of Infantry and Horse as fast as actions would allow.
This meant however that my other wing continued to be pounded to dust as I could not Rally and Advance (due to the cunning action and card system in these rules).
My advance did 'silence' those damn guns as Austrians deployed to meet oncoming enemy. However they had destroyed 3 Foot units by this time !!
We included the optional weather card in the deck and its fortuitous appearance and subsequent worsening of conditions basically saved my army.
Rain started which stopped all long range fire ie that bloody artillery.
A bloody battle ensued on my left but sadly my Horse got worst of it against more numerous Austrian mounted types.
I did manage to bring up my two Elite Grenadier units to plug gap.
Just as I was in range to volley the damaged Austrian Horse the weather card was turned again by Stephen and now it was Heavy Rain which stops all Musketry !!.
So it was a stand off between my fresh Grenadiers and Austrian Horse as he was too weak to charge and Foot cannot charge Mounted.
However the Austrian artillery was on move and several fresh Infantry units.
They were in columns heading to the objective (on the only hill on my side) with only a single Prussians gun battery and two Dragoon units to intercede (one of which was on 4 hits from the artillery saved only by the weather).
I managed to stop 2 of his Infantry units with these Dragoons as now the weather helped me with his fresh units unable to fire with damp powder.
A fortuitous use of the 'Its Not On The Map' card allowed me to place some difficult going in front of the other two units thereby slowing their advance.
At this point the third card deck ran out and we used our remaining cards and game ended. Austrians had started with 16 morale points ending with 11 or 12 (?) the Prussians began with 15 ending with a mere 3 and that after being boosted by 2 from a card play !!
So a narrow Prussian victory but the very definition of Pyrrhic with loss of 9 units overall.
As Frederick may have said "I cannot afford any more such victories !"
Great fun although the massed batteries seemed more Napoleonic than 18th Century but it sure made for an exciting game.  

Sadly my camera needed batteries so only a couple of early game shots using my phone

The accursed Austrian gun line

Prussian left wing spoiling attack

 Prussian right being pounded (1 unit of foot already obliterated)

Planning game for next week and possibly (so much to choose from) a Napoleonic bash but what rules to use !!??

Damn it maybe I will just do WW2 but then what rule set........................... :-)

Friday, March 27, 2015

King Of The Battlefield and MInden Rose solo games

Having just use Maurice rules for a SYW bash I thought I would give King Of The Battlefield and Minden Rose rules a go using same table layout but with larger forces.

Another very enjoyable set couple of sets of rules that I really ought to use more.

This and last post make it sound like I had loads of time on my hands last few days but actually most of this was done in chunks of 30-40 mins very early or very late ie before or after work shifts. Hence the somewhat erratic nature of the photo quality !!

With KOTB I really like the way Cavalry Melees can potentially grow and grow in a turn if either side has units available to reinforce in attempt to break enemy.

Whilst the lack of actual firing (its effect is reflected as a Morale Test on target units) as such in initially jarring/odd it makes for a quickly resolved combat method.

Another fast play set that allows games with large forces in reasonable time.

Minden Rose I did get too much time with but again found this another decent set of fast play rules that are easy to play with low rules overhead.

A fairly bloody set when it comes to shooting/melee (a 2 base battery of Medium Guns get to throw 8 D6 needing 4-6 depending on range when firing) but this makes for fairly decisive outcomes and speeds up game.

I like the simple but effective Orders system (note I was using Gen De Brigade chits so Engage is actually Attack in MR)

Maurice Solo game concluded

Managed to finish my solo game with Maurice rules over last few days.

Prussians came out winners as their right wing oblique attack proved too strong for Russians and rest of Army too slow at trying to reinforce that wing.

Nice slick and fast game play and I love the decisions the cards engender each phase.

Prussian attack goes in

Objective well defended but ultimately doomed

Stalwart defence by Russian Horse Grenadiers on Russian left with a reserve Regiment of Foot Grenadiers arriving belatedly

The full weight of Prussian attack bears down

Valiant Horse Grenadiers defend their hilltop as Prussian foot sweeps past

Refused Prussian left wing small but enough to keep opposing Russians worried

Horse Grenadiers put to Rout eventually and Russians about to be outflanked and crumble

Frederick victorious Infantry

Russian second line tries to redeploy

Prussian Cuirassier and Dragoons who made hard work of defeating Russian horse

The flank is turned and Russian Artillery overrun and their Army Morale collapses