Saturday, February 29, 2020

Battle of Paltzig - Field Of Battle at Ulster Wargames Society (and other games)

Ran a game using Field Of Battle today at UWS club using my 15mm Russian and Prussian forces for Battle of Paltzig 1759 (based around a scenario from Might & Reason).
Ron and David 1 were Prussians and David 2 and Tom the Russians.
Game ran very slickly, as it always does with FOB, coming to a conclusion in just under 4 hours (the 2 Daves and Tom were able to get a FOGR game in as well)
Prussians wings managed to cross the muddy brook but the center was caught on wrong side as Russians advanced.
Prussian left was stymied by a couple of poor move rolls and could not get forward.
However Russian center faltered when their Commander fell in battle and with replacement being a D8 it took ages to restore Command.
On Prussian right a ding dong battle between opposing Cavalry ebbed to and fro for several turns.
Highlight here was a lowly Cossack unit (C8 D4) trouncing a unit of Prussian Cuirassier (D12 C8) who charged them expecting a swift scalp !!
Both sides Morale Chip pools were whittling down but the lower Prussian pool was first to deplete and they duly failed first Army Morale test as their CinC (Wedell) was a lowly D8.
Hopefully the chaps got a nice intro to these most excellent rules and all seemed to enjoy the game.
Certainly the 2 Daves seemed to pick up the basic premise of the system by end.
Selecting the correct physical dice probably biggest stumbling block :-)
I always enjoy the narrative FOB creates even as an umpire, great to watch a game unfold just like a battle account.

Tom's right wing Russians arrayed

And his central Command

Dave 1 pushes Russian mounted wing forward

Prussians struggle to cross the brook

Overview of initial deployments

Prussian centre pinned (note however the central Russian Command stuck 'Out of Command' after Commander death - the yellow markers)

Stalemate in centre

Prussians stuck

Also being played today was a large Black Powder 28mm Napoleonic game (Bryn, Simon, Andy, George and Paddy).
1600pts of British attacking 1200pts of French I believe.
Should have been equal but sadly Mike could not attend leaving French number shy (and without his excellent play mats)
Great stuff with another fast play rule set (though not as fast as FOB game !)

I tried to get Simon to smile but this is best he could manage !

The FOGR game which was I think (?) Polish against French (circa 1650ish) and some long range shots of hall we used (larger than usual main hall).

And a couple of pics stolen from Bryn of the days proceedings

Yours truly (lardass in gray to rear centre) sorting a Cavalry Melee for the 2 Daves as BP game is just starting (they were using Blucher cards as 'blinds' prior to deploying units)

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Rapid Fire - Cristot scenario

Played Cristot scenario from Normandy Battlegames book today at mine with Stephen and again using Rapid Fire II.
Scenario designed for the rules but couple of unclear/inconsistent items in OOBs had us head scratching at start as not sure what size the 12th SS Recce Battalion starts at ? 1 Company or 2 ? and whilst a Panther is mentioned in scenario outline it is missing from OOB (but we decided it was an omission).

Stephen fielded the SS and I blooded some newly painted (yes indeed folks I have managed to paint some figures !! 100 to be exact !) British Infantry.
I bought a 15mm Late War Platoon pack from Forged In Battle several years ago as I really liked the figures but they have languished unloved until last week.

Game was rather enjoyable, at least until my Artillery got a lucky hit on the Panther and brewed it which led to much wailing on Stephens part !! now he knows how it feels :-)

To hit the Panther I needed a 5 or 6 for 1st round then a 4-6 for 2nd round then a 6 to brew it with 1-5 being No Effect so pretty lucky.

Artillery and indeed the whole 'damage' model in RF is rather 'lucktastic' but it works within the framework and fast play/decisive aim of the rules.
To get more granularity/detail a different but correspondingly slower set required.

Spotting the enemy as attacker is the main problem but anything that does expose itself is of course a magnet for Artillery (I had a 'full' Regt of 4 x 25pdrs so potentially potent).

In Normandy both sides access their Artillery on anything but a 1, but Stephen (thankfully) failed to bring his (2 x 105mm) in on several occasions (good to see dice demon suffer for once !).

Even so his Artillery (including a nasty on board 150mm) did inflict Morale checks on one of my 3 Battalions causing it in its entirety (this takes a bit of getting used to) to be Suppressed (essentially skip a turn) several times even though only minimal casualties.

Mortars are quite potent too as they tend to hit more often than Artillery, and cause a drain of casualties, but do not cause Morale Checks.

For Normandy this all seems pretty plausible stuff overall.

We managed to play 9 out of 16 turns (too much waffling about rules and other stuff as usual) and we both lost a Battalion each to Rout but game still in balance.

I am warming to RF for large games but still think that Panzer Grenadier Deluxe is my favourite overall (and look forward to release of 'O Group' by Dave Brown later this year).

The battlefield from German lines

Durham Light Infantry approach Brourary on my left (they Routed just prior to taking village)

Dragoon Guard tanks maneuvering (the Firefly lucky to survive a hit from Panther with only Light Damage). Green Howards Battalion arrives in support around Hill 102

The dagger plunged into SS heart !!

But 12th SS Recce holds the town and church steeple

SS PzGr hold hedge line (this Bttn also Routed)

Tough to whittle Elite troops out of built up areas

Bocage dominated the central area. SS reserves arrive including 2 x PzIVh.

East Yorkshire Companies are suppressed (yellow marker) by SS Artillery

The Sdkfz 251/9 on right later died in duel with a Sherman

SS Company on Reserved Fire

Reserve SS fan out.

The new Brits (mostly Forged In Battle but with several old Skytrex/Old Glory and couple of Peter Pig) prior to bases being 'dolled up'

The secret to renewed painting splurge a cheap 'Optivisor' from Amazon, which means I can again see figures sufficiently well to paint to reasonable standard.
The pains of growing old, but sexy too eh ??

Rebels And Patriots a large ACW game with 'Tuesday Warriors'

Another game using Rebels And Patriots rules at Bryns.
A 'four ball' so Bryn had set up his 28mm ACW stuff with 4 Commands.
After rolling for sides it was Bryn and Billy commanding the Union forces and Simon and I the Rebs.
Another fast and furious light game with these rules.
Pretty much able to play just using the QRS and few unit stats.
Only thing really requiring look up in the game was the 'double 1 or double 6' events of which there were several.
The Union got 4 extra Skirmish units and Rebs 2 later but the early Union appearance meant several times they got to pick from the 'menu' and selected 'Sharpshooters' (?) or as I termed it the 'Exocet Missiles' as the receiving player gets to pick any single enemy unit and roll 12d6 on 5+ to inflict hits.
Couple of double 1 rolls saw both sides inflict friendly fire on own units, which saw my Commanding Officer trot off-table with his unit after failing Morale badly.
These events are fun but maybe a bit too frequent, but then I guess they add a level of welcome unpredictability to proceedings.
Cannon are very powerful as one would expect and the Union having two proved a real pain although the single Reb battery performed well against Bryns force.
Was literally a game of two halves as my wing took brunt of Union shooting early on whilst Billy struggled through a large wooded area to attack me.
Simon moved through a smaller wood on our right screened very effectively by 3 units of Skirmishers (their shooting at Yank troops was awesome) and managed to get some charges in against Bryns troops.
Only the timely arrival of 2 Reb skirmish units (courtesy of double 6) shored up my command which was near destruction.
Not a set I fear for ACW aficionados (or any other period covered) as pretty generic troop types and weapons but again its fast playing and ideal for limited time slot/club night and for that it works very well.

My Rebs at start

Simons Rebs set up awaiting his arrival (running a bit late)

Billy and Bryn set up Yanks

Skirmish units clash in woods as Billys Line troops lag behind (They showed have lagged more but we forgot to count them as Green discipline level)

Rebs begin to suffer in centre 

Simons force moves to right

My single Skirmish unit well out numbered

Rebs swarming to right

Bryns force re-inforced by 2 Skirmish units (Billy sent him the 2 extra he received as well)

My Skirmishers doing sterling work, but Yank numbers surging forward

Rebs taking more punishment

Can Simon win on our right before I lose on our left !?

Billys extra skirmishers arrive

I form a line at wood edge awaiting arrival of Yank 'column'

Might look like a nice Reb reserve but sadly not these are my losses including my Leader !
Some very nice figures with a mix of plastics and metals

Yanks begin to emerge from woodland 

Just as two Reb skirmish units appear in very timely fashion

Billy pushes a couple of spare unit into centre.
Looks like house is on fire buts it is just a bag of tasty snacks :-)