Monday, December 30, 2019

Field Of Battle - Prussians Charge at Lutzen May 1813

Game using FOB2 today at my gaff with Bryn and Luke as Prussians and Billy and Simon as French.
Have played this scenario (adapted from GDE scenario) several time but this time on larger table layout with 'full size' (ie 4 base) units.
Billy and Luke have played once with FOB (at Elimination Club) but new to Simon and Bryn.
Game was played to completion with minimal rules issues (FOB is a mechanically easy game to teach/pick up).
A vicious fight occurred over the central Grosse-Gorschen which changed hands twice before a Prussian Grenadier unit managed to hold on to village despite repeated charges from Simon and Billys French Conscript units.
Bryn on Prussian right pushed up slowly against Klein-Gorschen which the Prussians took at first blush again repulsing several attempts to re-take the village.
They were unable to get within striking distance of the other two villages however.
On Prussian left Luke controlled their Cavalry which forced a French Brigade into squares.
One square was ridden down, another unit failed to form and was also routed but the two outer squares held forcing back the Prussian horse.
The high attrition level in the center saw French Morale Pool dwindle quickly before most of their Reserve Formations arrived to make any real impact and therefore the French yielded (despite passing their first Army Morale Test).
As ever with FOB a lot of 'narrative' to the game with several key combat being decisively resolved with some extreme dice rolls (several 10-12 vs 1-2 outcomes).
To make things easy I made both Generals D12 both with Average decks and all Brigadiers D10 (although Billy managed to lose 1 who was replaced with a D8 type).
There were a lot of Lull rolls as we had a couple of re-shuffles with several being 'stolen' by other side.
Hopefully the players enjoyed their initiation to FOB2 and see it as a nice alternative to Black Powder (not a replacement).

Pre-game view of table from French side (units not deployed)

French defend Klein-Gorschen as battle is joined at Grosse-Gorschen

Bryns wing approaches Klein-Gorschen

French Conscripts try to evict Prussians who have ousted initial defenders

Billys French faced by Prussian mounted arm as Reserves move up

Pressure mounts at Klein-Gorschen

Luke and Billy facing off as Bryns strength grows

Solid Prussian lines

Klein-Gorschen has fallen to Prussian Fusileers

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Seven Days To The River Rhine game played

Game today at Mr Ps using 7 Days To The River Rhine rules and some excellent 10mm (12mm actually) kit.

Mr P and John fielded a Nato defence force of FRG (Mr P) and French (John) against attacking Pact forces led by Mr B, Le Duc and Steiner(ski).

FRG had a Leopard 1A5 several Milan and Infantry teams whilst French had 2 AMX30B with several Infantry and some Light Afvs including an nimble Panhard Recce A/C all of which set up hidden (numbered counters plus dummies used)

Pact shared a force of 10 T64B several BTRs and BRDMs along with a Company of Infantry although 12 units started off-table.
We also had a Hind gunship

Mr P had set up an excellent table with some superb Timecast and other buildings and with a nice 1980s vibe.

After an almost disaster (!!!!!!!!!!!!!) with Mr Bs figures we commenced the game which was an exciting fun affair.

I do not own the rules although I do have the Iron Cross WW2 set (which I also greatly enjoyed much to my surprise if honest), but did have a copy of QRS which once you get flow of game is essentially all you need along with relevant unit stats.

Le Duc has a nice AAR on his Blog:-
so no real need for me to regurgitate here but will echo the enjoyment of the game and rules.

As I said during game a nice straight forward rule set covering a complex game period that generated a fun plausible experience for 5 players in reasonable amount of time (roughly 4 hours) with an acceptable amount of abstraction.

Pre-game overview of table from Pact entry edge.


Nato left flank (note hidden markers on wooded hill

And in wood adjacent to industrial complex I attacked through

The central built up area objective (Mr B and Le Duc fought around this) this included a newly painted and impressive apartment block

Nice amount of terrain which is essential for these types of games IMHO

Pact left along which Le Duc advanced with excellent garage complex

My right flank force (2 T64 and an Infantry Platoon) occupy the industrial area

Mr B covers center with T64s

Pact CinC in village

The industrial area cleared (note containers another nice modern touch)

My MBTs provide cover

Pact Infantry scouting ahead in cornfield

Poor shot of brewed Leopard

And an AMX30 taken out by the Hind (Note Nato supplies we were really after !)

Wood now cleared as well but Infantry taking fire

Mr B's T64s engage enemy

As Le Duc pushes up on our left

Battle in full flow with French Light Afvs deploying and some Pact losses visible

Fire In The Lake

Another outing for this most excellent COIN game with Dad.
Tried the full scenario again as the last few times the VC have been easy auto winners early in game and I wanted to see if they could be thwarted.
What a ding dong game it proved to be !
I targeted the VC relentlessly with US and managed to keep them in check but almost opened the back door to the NVA as a consequence.
Judicious use of US Irregulars and ARVN Rangers managed to keep reducing their troop numbers and a couple of key events targeting their resources (including Linebacker pivotal event) helped heap pain on them as well and gave US/ARVN a narrow win eventually.
Really love this game.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas one and all

Hope you all have a very Merry and Happy Christmas, I know I intend to !

Am not quite that old but feel like it at times 

Brownie points accumulating

Mine will be 'neglected' for next 3 days (might sneak odd visit)

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Combat Commander - 3 Bulge scenarios played

Revisited the excellent Combat Commander tonight with Dad, one to play something Battle Of Bulge related and two to remember the sad passing of the games designer Chad Jensen.
First scenario was based around downed gliders in the snow around Bastogne on 27th December 1944 with US Paras tussling with a mixed bunch of Krauts.
I got lucky in this one getting a support roll to generate a 155mm Artillery battery and some key shooting with my on map medium mortar especially with smoke rounds.
Next two scenarios were linked simulating actions near Lanzerath on 16th December with a tiny but well dug in force of US teams facing a varied bunch of Germans with Conscripts, Volksgrenadiers and Fallschirmjager.
Tough for Germans as fairly open terrain and snow conditions, but Dad could I felt have used smoke much more especially in the 2nd part of the scenario.
First part was a virtual massacre of the attacking Krauts but the get more units and a massive 8 card 6 action card in part two.
Much tougher fight but Yanks came out on top again.
Great to replay the most excellent game system with one of the most errata free rules I have ever encountered a true testament to the designer (his Fighting Formations is also superb)

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Bataille Empire - Russia vs France 1814

Another run out with Bataille Empire rules today with Mr B.
He wanted to use 1814 French and so I fielded 1814 Russians at 200pt size game.
I tried using 2 Cossack Irregular units and 2 Large Dragoon units along with standard Foot.
Cossacks are flexible (being an Army Reserve) but impotent, the large Dragoons are ok but maybe the flexibility of 3 standard units is better ?
We both rolled a waterway so a large stream dominated on one flank along with 2 buildings and a field each.
As ever we waffled about other rules sets and general stuff before starting game so failed to finish.
But we did learn more stuff we had been doing in error the main issue being, we had failed to observe that all Cavalry is Disordered after a Shock Combat win or lose, we certainly had not been doing this.
Otherwise I think am at last getting a handle on rules, it is not that they overly complex as such just quite involved (as they cover just about all Napoleonic 'box ticks') and some key rules are scattered about the set.
For instance the author (on forum) had mentioned in answer to another query that all Cavalry are Disordered after melee, but damned if we could find this stated anywhere despite looking in sections on Disorder, Charging, Shock Combat,  finding it eventually in Outcomes section.
Maybe we are just becoming 'hard of learning' !!??
The rules do give a nice flavoursome deep game but are essentially quick playing due to small number of units in a 200pt game, today it was a Battle scenario which is essentially a both deploy and go at it scenario.
The will speed up once we stop the pre-game waffle and just play !
Cavalry do seem pretty powerful although now a bit less so with Disordering effect.
May try one of the historical scenarios next.