Saturday, December 16, 2023

Spearhead - 'Summer Fury' scenario played

Our Christmas game today at Johns using Spearhead with his and Stephens excellent 6mm kit.

Scenario was from published East Front booklet entitled 'Summer Fury' set in August 1942 with Germans attacking entrenched Russians with aim to achieve a breakthrough (ie exit 10+ stands of enemy base edge) 

John and I took Nazis and Stephen and Mr P the Soviet defenders (Le Duc was AWOL being down in Fermanagh - well someone has to be I guess.)

A tough old slog for Germans against entrenched Soviets (who get lots of Ambush fire).

On German left Johns Panzers came a cropper against dug in Soviets whilst his PzGr had torrid time against Mr Ps infantry (John had so many 1 and 2 rolls whilst Mr P could not roll anything but a 5 or 6 !!).

On German right my Veteran Panzer Battalion outflanked and was doing okay against Soviet foot after discovering them with Recon elements and then assaulting with Panzers against Suppressed units. 

However the appearance of Ivan reserves turned tide here as T34s just too good compared to outnumbered/outclassed PzIII/IVs.

One Stuka sortie done huge damage taking out a full Company of Soviet infantry !

But German losses were such that they were not going to break through Russian lines (they had to additionally destroy 12 Ivan elements which they just about done) as we called game (on turn 12).

Great game with one of my favourite rule sets and so suitable for 6mm

My Panzers pummel Soviet lines

Johns Recce Abteilung advances in center against massed entrenched Ivan infantry

As PzGr and Panzers support

Panzer Battalion with 2 Coys of PzIII 1 Coy of PzIV and PzII Recce Coy (PzRegt HQ was attached) 

Forces heavily engaged as Soviet reserves appear with tough T34s the bane of the Panzerwaffe

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Glory Is Fleeting first try

Had first outing with Glory Is Fleeting (ie FOGN3) set today with Stephen using his French versus my Prussians circa spring 1813.

Very much a experimental game as we tried to use various troop types and get a grasp of new rules.

Army lists seem essentially unchanged (no doubt several tweaks) but rules whilst having same core as previous version has several new aspects to absorb.

The set-up system with the six strategies is retained (hurrah ! as this is excellent) with only minor changes to wording/effects, as is the terrain generation system.

Several changes to game play including sequence of play and some streamlining of procedures but with a whole new skirmishing aspect (similar to that used in Lasalle 2) to game.

I had a brain barf throughout with regard to Complex Move/Command Tests which I think is same as it ever was but I kept getting confused/failed to grasp as to when an ADC was used and a dice roll required d'oh !!

We only played a few turns as much discussion of new game effects and possibilities/what ifs along with of course a couple of queries.

These have great potential for points based, minimal preparation type games.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Field Of Battle 3 - Froeschwiller 6th August 1870


Another game using FOB3 today at Stephens this time a Franco-Prussian War bash using his 10mm forces (been a very long time since we used these).

Scenario was based on action in the central sector of Battle of Froeschwiller (Worth) in 1870 with Prussians (moi) attacking defending French (Stephen).

Prussians had a D12 CinC with an Average Deck the French had a D8 leader and a Poor Deck.

Another fun game with the French Chassepot rifle showing its prowess (especially in hands of several crack French units) with greater range than Needle guns of Prussians and backed up by the Mitrailleuse batteries.

Prussians could avail of Company Columns but with reduced firepower.

Prussian artillery out ranges French but is not on table at start (arriving on 2nd Move card) so had minimal effect on proceedings. 

Both sides have a Rapid Fire card in deck usable for Prussian guns and for French musketry and Mitrailleuse 'reloads' respectively.

Prussians on my left and centre could not close to firing or indeed charging range due to French fire but several Prussians did engage on my left but were rebuffed by superior French troops.

A Brigade of Bavarians on extreme left were most successful managing to get to grips with several average French units and pushing them back from wood edge but with several casualties suffered.

The French firepower reduced Prussian Army Morale pretty quickly and Prussians succumbed on first Army Morale test.

First time we have used FOB for the period and they worked well as usual and giving decent feel for period nicely showing the differences in weaponry, they felt on a par with 'They Died For Glory' our previous go to set back in the day.

Prussian Brigade advances on right on Company Columns

Central Prussian Brigades advance with Bavarians 

Quiet before the storm of fire from French lines 

Casualties mounting as cavalry reserve arrives (fairly ineffectual in period)

Prussian artillery Brigade deploys with heavy guns engaging at long range, Prussian foot suffering

Prussian right wing attack stalled by long range French firepower

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Field of Battle 3 - Malplaquet at Ulster Wargame Society and at home and a purchase !!

Monthly Society meeting today and I put on a FOB3 game of Battle of Malplaquet 1709 (conversion of scenario from Lace Wars set I have but never used - an oft told story !) using my seldom seen 10mm stuff.

Had 2 French (Mike and Bryn) and 3 Allied (Dave S, Dave T and Dave B !) commanders playing with some 88 units (39 French and 49 Allied) on table, with units being nominally Foot Brigades and Cavalry Regiments as Malplaquet is rather a big battle.

Game played very smoothly and was great to watch events unfold on par with history (Allies maybe took less casualties overall) as Allies attack both flanks drawing French reserves from center.

French had some poor luck in early going both with dice (Mike could throw nothing but a 2 on any dice) and card sequencing, but did put some hurt on Allies later in game.

Some great narrative type events in game including a delayed Dutch assault and an early penetration of French lines by 2 units of Dutch cavalry who then sat ineffectually refusing to obey orders for what seemed ages until engaged by some French mounted. 

An untimely wounding of French general d'Artgnan on left saw a mass of French foot (some 12 units) go out of command (disordered) and thwart their efforts to slow the Dutch infantry.

A real slog in the Woods of Sar and Lanieres on both flanks saw several units destroyed, routed or damaged with edge going to Allies who managed to capture several of the field defences.

French morale (40) dropped to zero quickest and they handed several morale chips to Allies (who had lost 36 of their initial 50) and quit the field on first Army Morale card then turned.

FOB shone for sheer playability once more with 5 players and around 70 of the 88 units engaged in just over 4 hours of playing time resolving the action on a plausible manner with all players seeming to enjoy proceedings, cannot really ask for much better than this of any rule set.

Action mid game with French left wing being turned in Woods of Sar and Dutch assault on Laniers Wood (at top). Note erstwhile Dutch cavalry on road behind French lines but isolated

Allied Imperial infantry pushing French ever backward

French defences in Sars wood being overrun

French cavalry redeploying to deal with those daring Dutch chaps

Dutch heavily engaged in Lanieres wood as Allied horse push up in support

Game end with French right still in disarray after wounding of general (yellow Disorder markers abound)

French quit the field at this juncture after a hard fought encounter

Also at club was a nice 20mm run by Phil & Son with Japanese vs Russian I think in Manchuria 1939 ? several eye catching aircraft but no idea how it turned out ?

In preparation for Society game I play tested the scenario with Stephen on Thursday and it went much worse for French (under yours truly so no surprise !) as they could not cause much hurt on Allies who carried both flank positions in woods fairly easily.

Overall its a tough one to 'win' for French but they can if they can damage the Allies early and often.

A few pics from test game

And lastly a purchase of a set of wargame rules (been awhile by my standards !) these being 'Glory Is Fleeting' which are the new set based on Field Of Glory: Napoleonic which arrived whilst I was away so not had chance to peruse them as yet.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

L'Art De La Guerre - Catalan Company versus Ottoman Turk Empire

Game of LADG (been awhile) at Stephens today as practice for his participation in Munster Competition at end of January.

Theme is late Medieval again so had to use his figures as I have nothing that late.

I compiled a Catalan Company force as Almugahvar troops are sort of unique, and Stephen tried an Ottoman Empire force with some fortifications which were a first for us with LADG (and pretty tough).

A good game even though we were bit ropey on some basics and lots of discussions of lists and options which is definitely half the fun of ancients period gaming with such competition style sets.

Thursday, November 09, 2023

Shadows of the Eagles playtest

Had a game with Stephen today using Shadows of the Eagles rules as quick trial as possible option for multi-player games.

Used the scenario from book but removed the river and reserve deployments to make for a simpler test game.

Stephen used French I had Prussians circa 1813/14

Got through several turns testing out just about all aspects.

I had thought artillery was weak in system but having played more extensively feel it is fine.

We did think Cavalry seems bit weak versus infantry overall and Line formation seems best in most circumstances (not a 'bad' thing) with attack column needing 2 on 1 for any chance.

Like the fact that close combat is not the result of every charge (especially once units take hits) and everything is fairly easy to resolve within system.

Units can get 'burnt out' so you need reserves and to soften enemy up before charging, which is all good stuff.

A decent rule set, well presented with nothing innovative nor daft. 

Thursday, November 02, 2023

Combat Mission II - PBEM game finished

Play be Email game of venerable Combat Mission II: Barbarossa To Berlin finished this evening.

Been playing a scenario 'Eye Of The Storm' (set December 1942) with John from good ol' USofA, for last several weeks and it finished today with a win for Russians (ie me).

Sort of a last stand for Germans against a swarm of T34s and infantry

So glad this still works on current PC (Win 10) as still very enjoyable game.

Overview of situation at game end with Russians swarming over town objective after leveling the place !

The AAR score card and not often I experience  "You have won......" in any format :-)

Valour and Fortitude test game

Outing for new edition of V&F today at Stephens using a scenario based around assault on Redoubt at Borodino with Stephen as French and I as Russians.

I had briefly tried the original set and new version led to same sort of conclusions (surprise !) ie V&F is a broad brush, quick play set, with some woolly writing, odd situations, simple playable firing and combat systems, sort of Black Powder 'lite' feel overall but comes at a highly competitive price (its free by gad !).

Being a short set several things are not fully defined such as flank attacks but easy enough to sort out.

Some things are a bit jarring such as the full and free interpenetration of units, so seemingly one can have units charge through each other in any formation leading to odd situations of Attack Columns charging through each other or through Lines or even through Squares, odd to see on table but certainly simple (again house rules could sort this). 

Light Inf in Open Order seem overpowered (similar to Soldiers of Napoleon) as they generally have 1 extra firing dice but can also fire at full effect when in open order whilst taking half casualties and moving faster than Line and acting as a 'force field' for following units (I feel another house rule coming on)

On flip side we liked the effect of Artillery, being not overpowered at range but potent in canister range there is no bounce through, and the Activation rolls (less frequent failures than in BP) are easy to implement along with the varied actions allowed.

Also lack of Save rolls when taking hits cuts out a lot of dice rolls in firing and combat reducing any 'buckets of dice' feel.

The Valour rolls for 'excess' hits works well but as any failures are Routs (ie destroyed) this makes things rather bloody/decisive.

Interesting and a set we are considering for large multi player games where simple is usually better.

In other news I had unusually decent dice rolls today !!!