17 September 2018

For Sale: Folklore-The Affliction Tabletop Game

I am never going to play this game but I did enjoy painting the figures of which I painted all but 5 from the Core Box. Included in the sale is the Core Box, The Dark Tales Expansion, The Ghost Miniature Pack and the recent Farmer Upgrade for edition 2 of the game. You can see the details here as well as the pricing. By my calculation these 4 boxes would cost around $250 without shipping. Please note that the Farmer Bundle has just shipped so is not yet available for retail. The game has been played twice, some of the counters from the core box have been punched but nothing is missing and everything is in excellent shape.

I would be happy to sell this for $220 including shipping so around a 20% reduction from retail and you get the painting for free. Close ups of the painted figures can be found here.

16 September 2018

Death in the Hürtgenwald: A CoC Mini Campaign

Yesterday Tom and myself got together to finally play the Achtung mini-campaign from the Summer 2017 TFL special. I had got to play part of the campaign that Tom presented last spring at Huzzah but it was not until now that we got a chance to play out the whole campaign. It was also the first time in several years that I got to play an actual CoC game with Tom. Tom introduced me to CoC when it first came out.

As usual we played at the Hobby Bunker, and got set up and started by about 1030h and finished at around 1730h with a brief break for lunch, making this the longest gaming session I have ever played.  We got in 2 campaign turns and although we did not finish the campaign completely we came to what I believe was a fair conclusion.

The scenario pits an American infantry platoon against a German platoon that has occupied two WWI era bunkers in the Hürtgenwald. The scenario is played as a mini-campaign as it would be quite difficult for the Americans to take both bunkers in one go. Each time the American re-set the game they suffer a -1 to their Force Morale. You can purchase the scenario here for the price of a pint! I have taken the liberty of taking the terrain image from the booklet as follows.
Tom did a great job with the terrain as you can see.
The German Edge

The American Approach
First Game

German Forces (Starting FM 10)
SL w/ MP40
Two 8 man infantry squads w/ 3 man LMG team, 4 riflemen and JL w/StG44
MMG Team
PzSck Team
5 Minefields
4 Barbed Wire Fences
Infantry Squad

American Forces (Starting FM 8)
SL x2 w/ Carbine & SMG
Bazooka Team
3 Infantry squads w/SMG armed JL, BAR Team w/ 2 M1 riflemen and a 8 man M1 Rifle Team
Pregame Barrage
1 Wire Cutting Team
2 Mine Clearing Teams
I felt I was pretty successful in the Patrol Phase as I got 2 JOP's far up my left flank were I felt would be my best approach of attack. I used the JOP in the farground to deploy the diversionary force coming up the centre.
The Diversionary Attack up the centre w/ the FO and a SL. The FO throws a HE barrage in the centre of the German lines allowing the left flanking American unit to have some cover as they approach the first minefield.
The Main Attack up the American left flank under cover of a HE barrage over the centre blocking the LOS of the German troops in the Bunker on their left flank.
Second Infantry Team added as well as a Mine Clearing Team and a SL to direct operations.
The American unit in the centre who is not shielded by the barrage starts to take casualties. and decided to withdraw, I am not really sure why I did not order a general withdrawal at this time as I was about to take out or had taken out the first minefield as planned. I could have easily teleported from the JOP rather than making a run for the perimeter.
Mission accomplished: First minefield removed, the American unit retreats.
Summary of First Game
Once the first minefield was removed, I felt it best to withdraw in order to re-assemble my forces. I had started to suffer significant casualties (13 men and a JL) and my FM had dropped to 3 and I had only 3 Command Dice. My plan for the 2nd attack was to quickly take out the second minefield and than outflank the Germans on their right, thus gaining access to the smaller bunker and so on.

I had taken a pregame barrage as one of my supports in the first game but unfortunately threw a treble6 very early on thus making this of no use. I also had not got to deploy my wire cutting team. The Americans have only 12 supports to the Germans 20, I felt I had not enough heavy firepower down the centre, so as you can see I had to reconsider my support options as reflected below for the 2nd game. I had also permanently lost 7 men and had 4 not to return for the 2nd game. The Germans has essentially lost no men.

Second Game

German Forces (Starting FM 8)
SL w/ MP40
Two 8 man infantry squads w/ 3 man LMG team, 4 riflemen and JL w/StG44
Supports (unchanged)
MMG Team
PzSck Team
4 Minefields
4 Barbed Wire Fences
? 5 points

American Forces (Starting FM 8)
SL x2 w/ Carbine & SMG
Bazooka Team
Infantry squad 1 w/SMG armed JL, BAR Team w/ 2 M1 riflemen and a 8 man M1 Rifle Team
Infantry squad 2 w/SMG armed JL, BAR Team w/ 2 M1 riflemen and a 4 man M1 Rifle Team
BAR Team 3 w/SMG armed JL (CI 1), BAR Team w/ 3 M1 riflemen
Pregame Barrage
Sherman 75
1 Mine Clearing Team
3 Satchel Charges

Of course now the battle became quite heated, so I forgot to take many photos and I missed taking any at the end of the game.  We had now been playing for 5 hours so I hope to be forgiven! I should also note that according to the scenario rules the same JOP's were used, so there was no Patrol Phase.
In this campaign turn the pregame barrage was much more successful and as you can see I was able to advance my intact Rifle squad with a mine clearing team quite rapidly to the 2nd minefield. The mine clearing team did take significant casualties once the Germans were able to deploy. They had put their MMG team in the trench system which did chop up both the Engineers and the Rifle Squad but close range return fire forced them into the bunker with only 2 men remaining. The German SL had deployed to remove shock but had to skedaddle out of their once the MMG team had bolted to the bunker. The SL started to run unsupported toward the far bunker trough the trench system. The Sherman has deployed in the American centre, the tank JL first lays down some smoke to block the LOS from the German left flank bunker but then advances to rain HE and MG fire on the bunker and then spots the fleeing German SL............
.........The 2nd minefield has been cleared by the last remaining engineer! The Americans advance to take out the bunker.  No further photos, I am afraid but I will describe what happened. The American squad advances and enters the trench system at its far right as above. The American SL who is accompanying the squads orders one rifleman to advance with a Satchel charge to the back door and place it. He is successful but gets blown up in his retreat, a 2nd infantryman has also been ordered to place a 2nd Satchel charge on the main forward looking port, he is also successful but escapes unscathed. The JL then commands the BAR team to occupy the bunker while sending the Rifle team along the trench system to take the 2nd JOP in the German centre. They end up just short but close enough to deny the Germans the ability to deploy to it. I use a CoC Dice to end the turn. The German morale is now plummeting. They have only 2 Command Dice, their is little they can do and their SL gets caught by the Sherman's MMG and dies, FM 1.......time to end the game.

Summary of Second Game
The Americans end up with a partial victory having taken 1 bunker, but by now almost 6 hours had passed and I think we were pretty done. The American plan had gone pretty well and I think if we had played a 3rd turn, I might have been able to take the second bunker. 

If I had my time back I would have taken different supports in the 1st game. I should have take an engineering squad rather than 3 Engineering teams. The sniper although deployed really did not help and by serendipity the choice of a pregame barrage was of no value.

I believe I made the good choices in the 2nd game but again an Engineering squad with mine clearing and demolition teams would have been more valuable as the demolition team comes supplied with Satchel charges. The Sherman was quite useful as was the pregame barrage.

All in all, though it was enormous fun. Tom is a lot of fun to play with it and he supplied a great terrain and game.

01 September 2018

Maida: An Introductory GdA Scenario

I finally got together with my good friend Mike last evening at the Hobby Bunker to engage in a bit of Wargaming. After some discussion we decided to have a game of Général d'Armée. Mike had yet to play and as a connoisseur of fine rulesets this needed to change. He is putting together a Prussian force and I felt that could also do with some encouragement.

I have placed the OB we used above. As you can see it is a 3 brigade on 4 brigade battle but I gave each force an extra ADC. The minimum recommended in the rulebook is five but I have found that for a teaching game this works. I also placed the 4th British brigade as an on-table reserve representing Ross's regiment's late arrival on scene. 

We essentially set up a very simple table with a few trees, wrote our initial brigade dispositions on  a sheet of paper, then laid out our troops and started the game. We actually got in 8 turns in 3 hours which I felt was quite good. I have found that careful referral to the excellent QRS that comes with the game is all that is needed. I have probably played 5-6 games now so the game flowed well. We tried out several different rule mechanisms in the game and got in everything but Melee but this is not unusual in this game as it seldom happens. The Charge process was a little labourious the first time but after that  it seemed to go well. Still am a little shaky on skirmishers but otherwise the game went without a lot of referral to the rulebook.

We did not come to nay real resolution as I have to say both our dicing for Brigade Initiation was poor and in each turn we each had multiple Hesitant brigades. Mike did take out my RHA battery and we both we able to force a couple of battalions into Retreat, so we had quite a nice introductory game. I believe Mike quite enjoyed it. We both took a few photos which I will display, but I will not bother with a formal AR.
Both sides advancing
The British left falnk
The centre
In Square
French Infantry Assault
The Infantry Assault from the British view
Overall a fun night and a terrific ruleset.

27 August 2018

Striking Back: CoC Winter War Scenario

This past Sunday myself and Greg had a CoC game set during the Winter War. I have been working on a campaign for the Battle of Suomussalmi for a few years but got held up by the inability to find playtesters. Greg likes Early War games, so he is a good choice and he has quite a few games of CoC under his belt. I am about half way through the process now and it is going relatively well.

I have been working on this scenario for about a month, it is quite novel as rather than an infantry on infantry battle, it is really more of an armour on infantry encounter. I got the idea from the Skirmish Campaign booklet on the Winter War. The rules need some tweaking but in a relatively minor way and was curious how it would work out.

Early January, 1940. The Battle of Soumussalmi is not going well for the Soviets. The 163rd Rifle Division is in retreat, and the 44th Rifle Division which was sent down the Raate Road to support the 163rd is being slowly cut to pieces by the Finns. The Soviet objective of cutting Finland in half is in jeopardy. Soviet high command decided to send an Armoured Column to counterattack the Finns and in an attempt to clear the Raate Road.

Core (may dismount after deployment)
SL, JL w/rifle squad in Gaz truck
JL w/rifle squad in Gaz truck
Supports-fixed (33 points of AFV)
Quad Maxim Team in Gaz truck
T-26 Platoon w/3 tanks and SL
BT-7 x2
Command Dice  5, Green Force

Standard Elite Winter War Platoon w/2SL and 4 squads
21 Regular Supports from list.
1 Molotov for each squad
2 light satchel charges
1 Smoke pot for each squad
Slide mine
3 man AT team
CoC Dice
5 man Maxim MMG Team
5 man AT Rifle Team
Captured 45mm ATG, JL w/5men
Command Dice 5+1, Elite Force, Agressive

Scenario 4 from rule book: Delaying Action. Both sides play the patrol phase as laid out in the rulebook with the Soviets being the Attacker. The Finns place their JOP's, however the Soviets do not as all their troops enter on the road. Victory to the Soviets if they cause morale failure to the Finns.

Basic rule changes: Soviet AFV can be activated on a 2 or a 3, for 1 CI and 2 CI's respectively. The Soviet infantry may disembark from their trucks but the Quad-Maxim team stays mounted. The Soviet T-26 platoon has a SL who may communicate to the other 2 tanks in his platoon as laid out in the rulebook. The T-26 platoon deploys as a complete unit.

Terrain: Heavy snow, the Soviet trucks have to stay on the road, the Soviet AFV's may go on the verge of the road (3" other side) but risk bogging down. The terrain is rough going for the Soviets but the Finns have skis and are not limited. The Finns may move 2 d6 tactically. The forest is light cover and blocks LOS up to 6". The hill is impassable and blocks LOS.

The Winter War Soviet Army list is here, for calculation of the AFV support values I would use the Consolidated Arsenal values as this list is incorrect.
The Suomussalmi Finnish Army list is here
The Striking Back Scenario pamphlet is here.

Our game started, I played the Finns and Greg played the Soviets. You can see the supports I selected above, as noted the Soviets had a fixed list.

Finns 11
Soviets 10

I am a very poor AAR writer and I forget to take photos almost immediately once a game starts. I will let the photos tell the story.

The Soviet starting point is to the left, There are 2 types of tree stands, the multiple stands demarcate the forest.
The Finnish edge.
Patrol markers and Finnish JOP's in blue.
Greg sends in his T-26 platoon as his advance.  I send in 2 infantry squads from my right and left flanks respectively  with Molotovs and the squad on the left has the Satchel charges. I cause some shock, but the HE from the 3 T-26's is giving me trouble as well. No advantage to being Elite with HE in the woods.
I take out the lead T-26 but as you can see my infantry squad on the Soviet right has been driven back. Greg has now brought on the T-28 as you can see in the far left! On my right flank I have advanced my MMG team little use against the AFV's though. In the far right you can see my AT rifle team getting in position.
As you can see the Soviet tanks are venturing on the verge carefully moving 1d6 in order not to risk getting bogged down. I send my MMG team across the road to meet the advancing Soviet squad who has now disembarked from a Gaz truck. I advance another infantry squad on my right but have little AT weaponry on my right flank. As you can see the Soviet Quad Maxim is advancing but I keep my infantry well back. The Soviets are now moving in to attack the Finns.
I start to throw smoke pots to block the Soviets tanks LOS, in the foreground you can see that the result of the Soviet infantry advance, the Soviet squad is destroyed after attacking my Finnish squad, but they break as do the supporting MMG team. The game got very heated so of course I forgot to take photos. Unfortunately I lost my AT team to HE as they got left isolated without support. You can not see it but I was able to deploy my 45 mm captured Soviet ATG team in the right foreground (they are just not caught in the photo) to start to take pot shots at the 2 remaining T-26's. Their aim is accurate but the Soviet armour holds despite a clear advantage in AP. 
By now both sides have suffered significant morale failure. Greg cleverly advances his last infantry squad against a weakened Finnish squad, this was a true Soviet tactic as although outnumbered in Combat Dice by the Finns, the Soviets were not outnumbered in men. The Finns had a SL, JL with squad and an AT rifle team while the Soviets attacked with a SL and a JL with a full squad, they made good use of their grenades before attacking. All my men were slaughtered, 4 morale tests dropped me to zero, while the Soviets dropped to 3. A Soviet victory!

1 T-26
1 SL
2 JL's
18 men
1 SL
1 JL
1 AT Rifle team
1 AT Team
10 men

We both thought the scenario worked quite well. It could have gone either way. I certainly made some mistakes and really did not effectively utilise my AT resources. Greg did have a lot of double phases near the end of the game and he advanced his forces well. The game played out in 2 1/2 hours despite us having to look up how some of the rarer units worked. Neither of us were really familiar with how AT weapons work, as we seldom play with AFV's.

I left a whole infantry squad un-deployed as well as a sniper and never got to try my slide mine. Greg did not have a chance to bring on his 2 BT fast tanks as well as his Flamethrower tank.

I believe we both enjoyed the game and Greg mentioned that he would be keen to play again with the Finns!

The scenario is set up so you can use what early Soviet tanks you have in your collection as laid out in the Arsenal Summary for the Winter War. Just select 33 points of AFV's as delineated in the above Winter War Soviet list. I will leave debates about which tanks actually fought along the Raate Rd to those more informed than myself.

I am still not sure if I would change anything, although I should point out that I did not chose a Roadblock as one of my supports as I had not given the Soviets any resources to remove one. Roadblocks are quite tough to remove in this ruleset.

If you chose a Roadblock, I would add a Soviet Engineer Demolition squad with a JL to the Soviet OB. I would then also add 4 more supports to the Finns for a total of 25.

01 August 2018

Early War CoC-Narvik

Gerbirgsjägers at Narvik
Last Saturday I travelled out to Concord, MA to have an Early War Norwegian Front CoC game with Greg. Greg is an aficionado of the Early War especially the border confrontations that took place in 1939-40. He has quite a terrific collection of EW troops in 28mm many of which I have yet to see on the gaming table. Greg had travelled to Salem about 6 weeks ago and we had a great Winter War game.

The scenario was centred around the land battle that took place during the Battle of Narvik. I know almost nothing about the Norwegian Campaign so this was a nice introduction. What is especially fascinating is the different forces that were involved as you can see in the OB below. The scenario was number 5 from the CoC rulebook, The Flank Attack. This is a bit of a challenging scenario which I had not often played. We tossed for sides and I ended up as the Defender.

Allied Attacker (starting FM 11, CD 5+1):
2 Senior Leaders
2 squads of Elite French Foreign Legion
1 squad of Norwegian Regulars
1 squad Polish Regulars
1 VB Launcher Team with Junior Leader
MMG Team
1 Hotchkiss H35 Tank

German Defender (starting FM 8, CD 5+1):
2 Senior Leaders
2 squads of Elite Gerbirgsjägers
1 squad of Regular Kriegsmarine
1 5cm Mortar

As usual, I forgot to take many photos but I have a few which will help tell the story.
The right quadrant in the foreground was the defender's area. Both the Patrol Markers and the Jump Off Points are still on the table. Hard to see I know but you can see 3 of the German JOP's encircling the area I was defending with the 4th JOP in the group of trees in the centre of the farground of the table. The 3 Allied JOP's were in the trees to the left foreground with 2 in trees in the right farground. My JOP's did not serve me well as you see!
I put my Gerbirgsjägers to defend the long axis with my Kreigsmarine defending the short axis of my ground.. You can see the Norwegians advancing in the right farground.
Greg had placed his Polish regulars in the trees with the MMG team and then deployed 2 squads of the Foreign Legion on his far right flank. He deployed his smoke grenades to good affect. The VB Launcher team are in the rear. The red and grey discs represent HE grenades and smoke grenades respectively. We both had a limited supply.
The Norwegians continue their advance towards the Kreigsmarine but it ended up being a feint!
The Foreign Legion advance behind the smoke throwing grenades as they go.
The Norwegians race to capture one of my JOP's, I am able to send in my Kreigsmarine , a major combat takes place, which I lose but both our Force Morale drops as a consequence. 
Greg in his next phase makes one of the more brilliant moves I have seen, he is able to advance his troops on 3 of my JOP"s in one phase and use a CoC dice to end the turn. Three Force Morale tests! My FM drops to two while Gregs is 8, time to withdraw.
I really quite enjoyed the game but I have to say losing 3 JOP's at one time was a novel situation even for me! It was a lot of fun to play these different forces. I did not play my best game and Greg played well. Greg also makes great use of grenades as well as Covering Fire, tactics that I have not used much in my previous games. Interestingly enough there was no double phases in the game. I felt the dice throws were pretty equal.

We are planning to meet again for another Winter War game at the end of August, which should be interesting as I am planning a Soviet Armour vs Finnish Infantry game, but more on that later. Otherwise on the CoC front, I am hoping to start the Von Luck campaign with my friend Mike, although I am having some problem tracking him down. I am also hoping to restart my Thursday evening gaming with Adam in the next week or two.

30 July 2018

This Very Ground-French Indian War

Two weekends ago I got my a FIW game in with my friend Iannick in Montreal. It is always good to catch up with him and talk Wargaming and Quebec politics. It was the last day of my vacation and it was a nice way to finish.

We played at Iannick's although I am slowly setting up for wargaming in our flat in Montreal. I now have a table and mat as well as some hedges and roads in place. I suspect my wargaming there will be confined to 28mm FIW as well as 15mm Napoleonics so it is simple enough. I would like to have it so I just have to transport the troops.

Th scenario was one of Iannick's design and oddly enough was set in Massachusetts. I believe we played a variation of this several years ago. We played using the This Very Ground rules, it had been some time since I played them and on a read-through they seemed a little complicated but the game actually played very well and it was fun.
As usual, I was the dastardly Americans and Iannick was the French. I only took a few photos but I will describe the action in association with them.

I hav eto defend these 3 homesteads, Iannick set up to attack from my right flank
I had 4 groups of militia, I put 1 in each fenced enclosure and 1 group on my right centre
The dastardly Hurons advance
I was able to repulse the combined Huron- Milice Canadienne units and was still standing pat in all 3 homesteads after 8 turn, but I have to say Iannick came quite close and it could have went either way. 

It was a fun game, and I will certainly play the ruleset again. It is tough having 3 possible rulesets for FIW Skirmishing, especially as I like them all. This ruleset is very easy to set up and gives a nice game.