Saturday, May 30, 2015

Two days two games...........numero deux being another World War 2 bash at UWMS club

Managed another visit to Ulster Wargames Club at invite of Messrs Pentland and Smith for another game using Battle Group system.

Added bonus was that Norman was over from England and was attending also.

Another excellent set up by Adam with 20mm kit provided by him and David.

Scenario saw British (Adam et moi again ie gluttons for punishment) against Germans led by David and Norman.

British had to cross a canal and had a Heavy Bridging unit to provide a supplementary crossing for their vehicles.

British fielded (if my ailing memory serves) 2 Shermans a Firefly a Cromwell and an Achilles (a second Firefly standing in for this) with a Platoon of Infantry and a couple of 3" Mortars.
They also had a pre-planned Typhoon strike and a 25pdr Artillery strike.

Germans had an impressive 2 PzIVs 3 Stug IIIs a Stug IV with a Veteran Grenadier Platoon and a Veteran Fallschirmjager Platoon.

Both side had to roll each turn to see what amount of units turned up with Normans FJ having a special rule allowing them to appear at any of 6 arrival points (as it turned out they arrived on German baseline).

British managed to steal the jump on the Hun by flooding across the major bridge whilst laying their Bailey Bridge unmolested.
They occupied the Germans with timely Typhoon and Artillery strikes which decimate the inhabitants of a house (an German occupied Objective).

However German armour arrived in force and of course the British armour began to burn with the Cromwell going up first.
Two Shermans also brewed but luckily my Firefly ko'd a Stug and a PanzerIV in one action.

The dastardly Huns then managed to pull an Air Support chit and our lovely 'Tyffy' then stood in for a FW190 (truly a wolf in sheeps clothing) which caused merry hell as we had no dedicated anti-aircraft assets.
I mean who expects the Luftwaffe to arrive !!??

A bloody Infantry battle between David and Adam saw some to and fro Close Assaults with heavy casualties on both sides.

I managed a very potent stonk with the 3" mortars gaining three Direct Hits out of 4 dice rolled and then rolling above average kills with three Hun infantry units minced.

However the FJ routed another Brit section and the remaining Panzers dealt with the Firefly and Achilles in one turn.

Such losses pushed the Brits past their Battle Rating limit of 35 and the Huns were victorious having a much larger 55 BR limit of which that had lost 28 (?).

Another excellent game with these rules which played much smoother today despite one or two queries.
Not really a fault of the rules as such more to do with the complexity of WW2 combat and weapon systems.
It was the stated intention to use the AFV ammo limit rules today (Adam had a couple of Supply trucks fielded) but once game got going that soon went by the wayside as no one wanted to do the book keeping :-)

Great fun and another excellent game with a bunch/gaggle/herd/gathering of gentlemen wargamers.

Quiet before the storm. Setting was winter like (or NI in May) and Adam has spread some white sweetener on table as a quick yet effective sparse snow covering.

British bridge-layer prepares to deploy bridge across canal

First of Adams units rush across the bridge

 Followed by my Shermans

Stug IV arrives with tank riding Grenadiers

 And wintery PanzerIVs (one with Tank Ace onboard) and a Flakvierling

 Shermans cross bridge as bridge is being laid over canal

 Cromwell brews (Adam had brought along a destroyed model showing his confidence in the quality of British made armour !!)

More Germans arrive

 Bailey is up and Firefly crosses canal with dry feet

Shermans duel with Stug (this bugger survived 4 shots before brewing by Achilles)

 Cromwell continues to burn whilst Infantry occupy house

 Achilles (disguised as Firefly) cover right flank

Sherman in its natural state.....aflame....................... 

 More Hun armour appears

 Firefly guards left flank

Two days two games..............first up duking it out with the Duc

Another game with the Duc (De Gobin) at mine using Black Powder for a Napoleonic clash between Prussians and French.

I had set up a table loosely based on action at Kaztbach 1813 but with non-historical forces.

We both had 4 Infantry and 2 Cavalry Brigades to call upon but I had set a scenario rule that we both picked 2 initial Brigades to deploy on board with others only arriving on a 2d6 roll of 10+.
Also on a double 1 the Brigade would not appear at battle of which more later..........

Darren selected the Prussians who had large Brigades compared to smaller French versions due to their containing several Young Guard, Old Guard and Guard Cavalry.

I deployed two Infantry Brigades (my first mistake) whilst Darren selected one Infantry and one Cavalry with both sides tentatively approaching each other no doubt awaiting supports.

This worked well as neither of us could guarantee arrival of much needed Brigades and indeed they appeared in dribs and drabs but it felt very much like 'marching to the sound of the guns'.

However of course when I rolled for my Guard Cavalry Brigade to appear the dice gods (who still hate me it seems) inflicted the inevitable snake eyes and the Guard away to some other locale !!!!!

As Brigades appeared we set to it with a bloody Cavalry encounter on my left.
Several times my foot Brigades suffered the Blunder roll of 12 thereby doing their own thing despite my explicit orders !!
Of course not helped by my forgetting the Reliable Troops rule which should have aided my Guard.

I charged some columns of Young Guard into awaiting Prussian troops and lost them in short order.
We soon realised we were in error in working out Melees as we added the various support adjustments as hits rather than purely as factors in determining melee victor.
This saw a few units die that may have remained longer.

I soon had Brigade broken to offset the Broken Prussian Cavalry Brigade and as I watched my Old Guard foot fail to move forward my army succumbed and fled the field.

I enjoyed the game and am further warming to Black Powder as a big battle game.

I will still have Shooting phase before Command Phase but am now considering having an Initiative Phase to start turn to allow Initiative Moves and for rules such as Elite which allow such units to roll off Disorder (which would obviously be desirable prior to shooting opportunity) otherwise pretty happy with tweaks we have in place.

One other gaff we made (despite both having read the rules prior to play) was failing to Disorder units that suffered a 6 when shot at.
Again this could have made a difference to several combat scenarios but then we both failed to do it so evened out maybe ?

Darren not so much a fan of Black Powder feeling them to be maybe a tad clunky (am sure he will elucidate on his own blog) but I fear he is spoilt by the genius and playability of Maurice rules.
However one would struggle to use Maurice for a game of this size even in its period.

Up next Beneath The Lily Banners.

PS I fear I was a bit naughty showing the Duc my 10mm Malburian collection as he is now contemplating venturing into Pendrakens 'pit of temptation' !! :-)

Prussian Brigade arrives (3 Regular Foot 1 Landwehr Foot 1 Gun and 1 Landwehr Light Cavalry - the Prussians had 3 such Brigades)

 Reserve foot unit in field with 'limbered' artillery

 A Young Guard Brigade (3 Young Guard units with a Gun)

 Regular French Brigade (3 Line 1 Light Infantry and a gun)

Prussians again......"Raise the Black Flags my children".........was heard from the Duc

 French Line support Lights who have entered town (the where later chased out)

 Young Guard traffic jam (some units with skirmishers out in Mixed Order)

 Prussians in centre

 Elite Prussian Brigade arrives (1 Jager and 2 Grenadier)

Traffic still jammed up after failed activation rolls (when I forgot their Reliability trait)

 A clash of arms

 French Cavalry Brigade (1 Carbinier 1 Chasseur 1 Hussar and Horse Battery) having destroyed Prussian counterparts (2 Dragoon 1 Hussar and Horse Battery)

Prussian Fusiliers prepare to assault town

Old Guard Brigade arrives (2 OG Foot and a gun) despite their mounted brethren failing to appear (1 Grenadier A Cheval 1 Dutch Lancer 1 Garde D'Honneur and Horse Battery.....sniff)

 Young Guard pile in in Attack Columns

 Prussian foot march forward on their right

 The main battle lines. Note French extreme right (top) about to be enveloped by Prussian Cavalry (1 Dragoon 1 Hussar 1 Uhlan and a Horse Battery)

 The furthest extent of the Old Guard advance

 Battle continues around the central town

 Chasseurs charge into trouble

French centre suffers losses

And a fresh Prussian Foot Brigade arrives in time to see French yield the day

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Twilight Struggle

Played the most excellent Twilight Struggle with my son as a send off back to Nottingham.
As ever a tense Cold War contest with the USSR Bear (moi) coming out on top two turns from the end.
Several new events for us this time with Israel falling to red inspired Arab Invasion and East Germanyremaining  firmly under U.S. Influence throughout !
Great game this with lots of decisions to be made each turn and card.
Not so much a Wargame as a Conflict game but no less fun for that.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Combat Commander played

More Combat Commander played at my Dads.

We played 3 more scenarios from the Normandy pack (

All three wins for the Germans.

First was assault on Crisbeq battery behing Utah beach (forgot to take pics of this one).

Next up a sweep against French FFI units in Brittainy

Finally British assault on Capriquet