Friday, August 30, 2019

Iron Cross again US versus Fallschirmjager

Another game using Iron Cross rules today with Stephen at my gaff again.
Used essentially the same table as last game just rejigged somewhat with some bocage and change to some hills, woods and more buildings.

Stephen brought his US forces and I decided to use Fallschirmjager (I did however make a mistake with list fielding a Sniper but only allowed if defending in a scenario).

We used the Escalating Engagement scenario which has up to a third of forces deployed at start with rest coming on on turns 2 and 3.

I had Elite FJR with support from 2 Stugs and Stephen had Regular Yanks but with 6 Shermans, two with 76mm (we again just used the points system with 500pts apiece).

Another excellent game with this very playable and fun set.

Lots of AFV action and even a close assault by some FJR on a Sherman (sadly ineffective) with Yanks running out victors (once both Stugs dispatched for loss of just 2 M4s it was tough for FJR)

Not the meatiest of rules but they simply work and with the Activation/Reaction system there is a real game of stalking each others AFVs (not many sets grant this so easily).

Stugs are decent but their lack of turret is shown really well as whole vehicle has to turn to align gun with -2 To Hit modifier whereas turreted Tanks can traverse up to 90 degrees without suffering modifier.

I thought I would be turned off by a set of WW2 rules that have no Artillery indirect fire (only Mortars) or Aircraft but for the low level scale of the game it seems fine as action is fast and furious.

The choices of what to activate and when and if to react and when to pass initiative are excellent decision points (I have read that some have bolted this system onto other rule sets and I can see why).

We looked at inserting a few house rules but decided against most as not worth added complication for such a fast playing set.
Beyond a brief set of LOS rules (as none really in rules) we have given Infantry in buildings a -2 to hit just to differentiate from lighter cover such as low hedges/walls, and it seemed to work fine.
Am sure for a scenario we could include off-board HE if needs be but as I say not really missed.
Only other items not really covered in rules are stuff like foxholes, trenches, minefields and the like but again should be easy to 'scenario rule' these.

Certainly I prefer this to the 'lets include everything' style of FOW or Battlegroup systems.
Two fun games thus far with WW2 kit.

Fallschirmjager side of table

Yanks move into central Church area

Stug takes out an M4 then ko'd by M4/76

More US armour appears

And trundles along roadways

Blasting FJR in buildings

Overview with other Stug brewing an M4 on left flank

FJR section goes 'toe to toe' with Sherman (they failed to inflict any damage)

The Sherman backed out of contact and decimated the FJR

FJR section with PzFst in trouble in woods after hitting but failing to destroy an M4 !

Yanks firmly in control of church and grounds

FJR sections opposite

Other Stug brewed by 76mm this spelled disaster for FJR

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Iron Cross first play

Tried Iron Cross rules today with Stephen.
A set I have had from publication but never used (one of many !).

We went for simple Meeting Engagement with 500pts per side as a straight forward learning set up.
I used Germans and Stephen fielded Russians (our 15mm kit).

Have to say I really enjoyed the rules, very much WW2-lite but also very fun set.
The Activation and Reaction system is very good giving a nice skirmish feel to game and fast play low complexity.

Some of the rules are not too well explained/fleshed out but nothing we could not work out/house rule.

For instance no Line Of Sight rules as such in the rules only few hints here and there but easy to work out re hidden, concealed or obstructed shots.

Very fun game and indeed we are going to have another try on Friday.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Colonial Twilight a win for FLN this time

Another outing of Colonial Twilight with my Dad this time I played as FLN against French.

Another cracking game with things extremely close at one point.

French were in winning position by Propaganda card just would not appear for them and FLN managed to whittle their score down to below auto-win margin (35) just as Propaganda card finally appeared.

FLN then cranked up their own score to their minimum winning score (30) before French could thwart them as when final Propaganda card appeared they won the game.

Think if Dad had have been more aggressive with his French Elite units he could have wiped out a few more of my FLN havens and Bases reducing my Victory points but you just cannot do everything you want in this game.

Love the COIN system so many decisions to make and trade offs between using Events, performing OPs whilst trying to stop enemy doing same.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Blucher again French versus British in Spain

Another go with Blucher today at Stephens using a French Peninsula force against Stephens British.
Again using 300 point army builder and the very generic terrain set up (we will try Scharnhorst campaign system).

Another cracking game with my French burdened with attack against almost perfect defensive terrain but a ding dong battle anyhow.

So easy to play this rule set and whilst it has a good deal of abstractions it works fine for the multi-Corps level it is set at.

All in all a fun playable set in fact we managed a whopping 24 turns today !!
Only Field Of Battle or Shako really match this for Grand Tactical Napoleonic games.

FOGN, GDA, BP and OTH are all at lower Tactical level with more formation nuances but slower playing (maybe not BP so much) as more choices to 'deal' with which suits these more tactical games.
Blucher essentially eschews the Column, Line Square options into Standard and Prepared Defence (ie anti-mounted) as units represent Brigades (ie 4-6 Battalions)

We did find that the British Firepower trait is very underwhelming as French can charge from and retreat outside Volley range (unless the British attack and pursue) but made little difference to outcome as attackers (if they attack) suffer at least one Skirmish shot which generally reduces them by 1 or 2 Elan before contact and the Steadfast British trait certainly aids in Combat.

A French loss but it was hard fought and exciting stuff.

French attacking right center. Light Cavalry Scouting ahead

And on left and left center

Central French Infantry Corps

British starting to be uncovered

French Reserve Corps (guess what ?)

Reserve Corps on right wing

Struggle for village on left with British Cavalry about to reveal themselves (dirty beasts !)

Assault goes in against hill (1 British unit repelled the other stood)

French Artillery here on right fired several devastating bombardments (4 out of 5 hits !) 

A very nasty British Light Infantry unit on right hand hill (this unit can Move and Shoot)

French Infantry reluctant to assault on this flank

The Reserve revealed

But not before British Heavy Cavalry destroyed my heroic Artillery

One French Brigade has pierced the British Line on hill but support have been repulsed

British Cavalry forces French into 'Prepared Defence' as guns pound the village

Monday, August 19, 2019

Colonial Twilight first play

Having been enticed by the COIN system with Fire In The Lake I acquired Colonial Twilight mainly due to it being a 2 player version and the subject matter.
Managed to get a run out with it with my a Dad.
He took the FLN and I the French and another hugely enjoyable game it was.
Of course similar system to FITL but more playable with two unsurprisingly and with several nuances for the different situation.
A lot of decisions to make again and never sure (especially as new to us) what is best option regarding playing the card Events or conducting Operations and Special Activities combined with the initiative Track indicating who has first dibs on cards or actions each turn.
I managed to run out winner with French after a couple of fortuitous events coupled with a spending spree of resources to boost my Support levels in the cities just in time for a Propaganda card to appear and give me auto-win.
Great stuff.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Benefits of retirement

Having taken early retirement at start of August Ifind I now have time to get myself reacquainted with my paint brushes.
Decided to begin with a easy project before delving into figure painting again and so some 15mm WW2 German vehicles seemed a good jump off point. 
Great to a project started and finished in one week especially spending only one or two hours per session.
Mind you it is startling how much my eyes have detoriated in past few years !!