Sunday, March 23, 2008

Normandy Breakout

Host: Jim and Chris Ferich
Rules: Flames of War
Scale: 15mm
Game Length: 4.5 hours
Objective: The British were to exit as many units as possible off of the opposite edge.

On Saturday 3/22/08 a game was played on a 6'x6' playing surface. The game consisted of German Fallschirmjaegers and SS holding off British infantry and armor units breaking out around Caen. The Germans were veteran units that set up hidden across the board, and had the support of a company of Tiger Tanks.
As you can see the game board consisted mostly of bocage with narrow roads leading out of the town. There were a few hills that were used by German mortars and tanks to fire long range harassing fire. The bocage rules in FoW make movement very difficult, infantry had to stop when reaching it and could then pass through the next turn. Tracked vehicles were in danger of bogging down and exposing the vulnerable under carriage to enemy fire.
Germans were secretly deployed in the fields waiting to ambush the advancing British forces.

The beautifully painted town was a focal point of the British advance. The Gemans did not deploy in the town, bu the British player did not know where the German deployment zone was located.

The British enter and deploy mortars and Sexton SPG's to lend support to the upcoming advance. Since there were no targets, the artillery sat idle until recon units arrived to find targets. The British have established a rather large support group. They deployed behind the town fearing the possibility of urban combat. The biggest worry to the British is the thought of dealing with Germans in the hedgerows. Hopefully the artillery would be the great equalizer.

British recon units begin to enter the town. They have a special ability allowing them to see hidden units in an 8" range. These prove extremely useful in uncovering enemy units lying in wait. Without these troops the British casualties would quickly mount.

These units made it safely through the town after thoroughly inspecting each town section. The British player was wondering what was on the other side of town.

German Fallschirmjaegers open fire on advancing British Troops.

German paratroopers guarding the left flank attack, they inflicted light casualties. Stuart tanks lend support, even these light tanks are a threat as the Germans had little anti-tank capability.

The British recon arrive a little too late to uncover the ambush but their machine gun support and artillery spotting ability make up for their late arrival. The Germans are really up against it.

(Note - These are the same figures appearing in the Flames of War supplement.... these are fantastic to look at and are really inspiring.)

Action on the British left.

The British that advanced on the left flank opposite the town had open ground to cover. The Achilles tank destroyers gave the British some comfort knowing that a company of Tiger tanks were roaming the field. The lethality of the Tiger was evident as British armor suffered from long range fire. British armor approaches a farmhouse.

British reinforcements arrive and stack up along the road. If there were only a Stuka provided the British may not have been so bold.

The reinforcements arrived by company, every turn added a D6, for every die roll grater than or equal to 5 the British could bring in a company. Unfortunately for the British most of the results were lower than needed and the companies entered piecemeal.

Sherman tanks start to brew up from long range shots. The Firefly is still out of range to counter the Tiger tank threat. The British press forward to close the attack.

German paratroopers take casualties as British troops press on. The Germans are forced back to a second line of defense as they also dish out fire and take a few Tommies with them.
British armor scoots around to the road and are trying to find more hidden Germans waiting in ambush.

Sextons wait in a field waiting for a target to be called in.

Germans line the road and try to halt the armor by any means

The lightly armored recon units suffer from a hidden recoiless rifle...definitely a cheap (cheat?) shot.

The British are running out of time.

The town is stacking up with armor for the final push.

Anti tank guns are brought in to try and help break out.

The British attempt to double move but the Germans bring the Tiger company to bear on the column.

Time has run out ...the game was very close, but the Germans held out.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

WAB - Arthurian Battle

Rules: WAB - Authurian Supplement
Miniatures: Old Glory, Gripping Beast and Foundry
Host Jack Pope
Game length: 7 turns
Played 2/22/08

The lay out of the battlefield before the game... the livestock is a nice touch.

The battle field put two opposing forces advancing toward each other for control of a watch tower (the main objective) and a town (secondary objective). The table is 6'x12' and we always try to use s much of it as possible. We had 3 players per side with Jack hosting and acting as umpire.

The figures were panted in Sri Lanka and by Jack. As you can see by these close up pictures they are exceptional by anyone's standard. I could never hope to come close to this kind of quality. The bases are from Litko, Jack has spared no expense in his collection. It made the game much more fun to play. I have never had a desire to collect this period...yet. Our club is diverse enough that we can play almost any period twice a month with no repeat games. We are fortunate, we lucky few.

A kit bashed Warhammer fantasy standard looks great in the ranks of the ancients. You never know where the good ideas come from.

The battle was set in England after the Romans had left. This involved two very distinct troops, those who fought with strong Roman influence, and those who had a war band mentality in their fighting style. The war band troops were a bit unpredictable as there was a chance every turn that they would charge uncontrolled at the closest enemy. The randomness of discipline meant that you do not have complete control over your troops. Your best plans would be soon discarded when the combat started.

The Roman style troops led by Ambosius advance with a screen of archers and light troops. The heroes Crisius, Sextus and the priest Cassius lead the way. This is the left flank of the army, they had solid leadership and morale and proved to be a tough opponent. The right flank had allies that fought in a war band style.

You can see he WAB style formations, these rules are very popular with the club. The supplements do a great job explaining the details of each unit type.

The two forces approach each other at the top of the hill.

By turn 3 the two sides started closing in. There was the customary opening volley of arrows and spears in a "getting to know you" game turn. Casualties were very light as most archer units had 8 or 9 figures firing, there was not enough missile weapons to sway the battle in either direction. It was very clear that we had to close and kill; with minimal dancing around the table. All we had to do was find an opponent and start the melee sequence.

The cavalry were placed on both wings of each army. These units played important roles as infantry had to be careful of their flanks. Infantry was kept in check and could not advance too far.

On the Roman right flank the cavalry maneuvered around the town to hit the enemy from an enfilade position. A large cavalry battle ensued with a Roman victory. But the fate of the town remained in doubt.

The fight through the town was brutal....urban warfare never changes!

The forces opposing the Roman troops fought well, but the generals and heroes were used to force the issue. We did forget that the general and heroes were soon out of command range of the units in the center....oops. This caused the Roman allies in the center to quickly flee. The war bands fighting the Roman center were victorious when they committed their king to the battle, he killed a lot of Roman allies that day. At this point the Roman/Brit flanks were stable but the center was lost. The war bands soon seized the watchtower... it was a see-saw battle and anybody could win it..(except me as my units routed with poor leadership!). The Roman/Brits were in trouble as the war bands charged the Roman/Brit center to secure a victory. It was amazing to see a unit lose very few troops , and run from the field. Leadership is the key to this game.

The Roman/British army give one last charge...but fall short!

The game was a very close one, a very balanced scenario. The game lasted about 3 hours and took 7 turns exactly. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the game and it was an inspiration for me to start painting more figures, (I have been working on Macedonians from Zvezda). As I do not play these rules frequently I did rely on the others for help... yes we even help the opponents. Our next game is postponed due to Cold Wars.... I hope I can make it. There is also a Ground Zero Games convention on March 1st , we have a few members going to that one as well.

Here is the overview of the battle.....oh the humanity!

Well off to Cold Wars!