23 December 2014

Chronica Iohannes: Thieving Saxons

We played the 6th scenario (5th game) in our Dux Brit campaign a couple of weeks ago, got a little delayed in posting because of the Painting Challenge. Because of the significant Saxon victory in our 4th game, the Saxons were able to win the Baggage Train scenario unopposed as I did not have the troops available to challenge them. Adam was then able to shower gold on his followers and they elevated him to the status of a Warlord.

This time we played the Sheep rustling scenario and I have to say it was the closest game we have played. We are now pretty acquainted with the rules so the game flowed quite smoothly, we still make mistakes but they seldom now affect the game outcome.

You can find an AAR on Adam's blog, but essentially the Britons eked out a narrow victory after a morale failure by the Saxons. The Britons suffered heavy losses but our next game will be set in September of 551. This will probably be the last game of this raiding season. With the money gained in this raid the Britons built the last of their 3 required Watchtowers and with some more gold Antoninius can be promoted to a Legatus.

09 December 2014

29, Let's Go: Flanking St Germain du Pert

Tactical Situation
As you will remember, the last game in our campaign was won by the Germans by an impressive margin. However they were down to to 3 LMG teams and 1 Rifle team from the original platoon. Leutnant Fuchs felt that a tactical withdrawal from Arthenay was the best next move. This would give him more time to prepare his final position in Osmanville. He had gained some time for his comrades to evacuate over the bridge at Isigny and for the pioneers to start laying their charges to blow the bridge. Meanwhile the American commander has realized that he needs to take out the Artillery that has been stalling his advance to the west. Local intelligence informs him that there is a German platoon as well as some mobile 88mm guns in the village of St Germain du Pert to his right flank. He sends in a fresh platoon with two Shermans to do the job.

So we were set for our 3rd game in our D-Day campaign last Saturday at the Hobby Bunker. This is scenario 5 from the main rulebook, and essentially the Americans start with 6 patrol markers along two sides of the table. The German are isolated to a 3x2' rectangle around the the village. They have been outflanked! Mike improved on this by getting 4 moves of his patrol markers before I even got to move one. The good news is that for this game I had a fresh platoon and two Marders in support. I had to other support choices. Mike had yet another fresh platoon and 19 supports two of which had to be Shermans, I know he had a some off table mortars as well a bazooka team. I am not sure what else. So we tossed for morale, and in this game we both started off with an even 9. Mike had to force me to withdraw from the village.
St Germain du Pert
American JOP's, the one in the farground gave me a lot of trouble
German JOP's
Being in buildings may provide hard cover, but is limiting. This was the only squad I really brought into action in the whole game, it did cause damage to the Americans but is hard to maneuver. I should have been behind the stone wall.
Two American squads advancing through the hedges..............
.............slowly but surely
One of the StuG's standing in as a Marder II, which actually should of been a Marder III, one of the several mistakes I made during the game. I was really asleep at the the wheel.
A very pesky American Squad, they are pinned here, but no matter how much I shot at them they would not rout.
The Americans used the hedges to good advantage.
The second Marder advancing, the first was taken out by one of the Shermans.
I thought I would play the game as I did the last ...conservatively. Mike was able to place a JOP within a 8" which was a really problem for me, not only did it make it easy for him to pile troops in right next to my defensive perimeter but also one of my JOP's was with 12" so suffering significant risk of being overrun. I placed a squad in the house with the LMG team and half the rifle team covering the north eastern approach to the village. I also placed one of the Marders on the table early on, otherwise I held all my troops in reserve until I had good close up targets.

As you can see Mike placed 2 of his squads to my right flank (southeast of my position), they were little threat as they had quite a bit of ground to advance over. He did this very cautiously. He brought on a Sherman as well, I was able to disable this fairly quickly with my Panzershreck team.

On his first double 6 throw Mike brought on a squad to the JOP next to the village, foolishly I did not put my LMG team on overwatch, so they were able to fire first causing death and shock on the team in the house. He was also able to get the Sherman to fire some HE at the house causing more shock before I was able to disable it with the PShk team.

I then got fixated on destroying this squad as they were threatening my JOP. And although I poured significant fire into the squad, I was never able to rout them. They took fire from two LMG teams, as well as fire from the hull mounted MMG on the Marders and even were ambushed from their rear by the third LMG team. Would not rout!

By then Mike was able to bring his second Sherman into play, and I had foolishly exposed the sides of both Marders to it's 75mm gun. In fairly rapid succession, both were taken out. I had very little luck on the Morale table and although Mike's morale was now 5, I had dropped to one. Time for a withdrawal to prevent a rout. So the game ended with an American victory. I lost 8 men and two AFV's while Mike lost 6 men and a Sherman. A fairly close game in that sense, but in the campaign a significant loss. The German morale is falling and will now test for -2 in the next turn.

I really played a poor game and we did make some mistakes in the set up and in interpreting the rules, but a good game was had. As you can see from below, Leutnant Fuchs is now become prickly and has a reduced command range of 6", but certainly Col Goode is less troubled.

I thought I would also post some photos of a SYW game in 15 mm. Most Saturday's when I am at the Hobby Bunker, this guy Mike is setting up a large game. I have always been very impressed with the look of his games. The airbrushed mat looks great and he has an expert ability to blend in his lay on terrain elements into the table. It certainly makes me think that I should have gone with Napoleonics in 15/18mm.

03 December 2014

The Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge

Well it is that time of year, I am not really sure how Curt does it but the 5th iteration of the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge starts this friday. 

I have participated in all 5, I think there were only a dozen contestants the first year, but this year there are 72. I just missed my goal last year of 1500 points, so this year I have put in for a 1000. 

I believe I have lost my painting mojo over the last year. I am now much more interested in gaming and constructing terrain around planned games. I think I also burned myself out painting over 3000 28 mm Napoleonics over the first 7 years of my gaming life. My painting now is more directed with focus on skirmish armies that I plan to use in WWII and Dark Ages/Medieval games. I still have some Napoleonics to paint though and I have primed some for this year's challenge. I still plan to paint a Dutch-Belgian brigade as well as another Prussian brigade but who knows. I bought a bunch of Flag Dude standards about a year ago, and that is how I measure my progress, but 15 more Napoleonic battalions is somewhat daunting.

I have though bought some Victorian Pulp/Horror/Steampunk figures from Westwind Production's Empire of the Dead line, which I will paint for pleasure. These are lovely figures, they remind me of the Conquest Miniature's French Indian war line which are the nicest figures I have seen and painted to date. I am quite looking forward to painting them.

So I am quite prepared this year, with most of the figures prepped as you can see from the above photo. I have also made selections for the bonus rounds each fortnight. I will keep them to myself but I suspect you can guess some of them from the below list. So what do we have.
  • A Soviet Winter War/Stalingrad platoon with supports from CPModels TQD line, these are really are my favourite 20 mm WWII line. I hope to do them justice. I believe there are roughly 66 figures here with a HMG and medium mortar, Roughly 270 points.
  • Next up is a 28 mm French Napoleonic limber with caisson from Front Rank, maybe 45 points here.
  • Then we see the EotD figures, 90 points.
  • Next to some figures to fill out my Moslem SAGA warband, 16 plastic archers from Gripping Beast and an Iman. 85 points.
  • More Gripping Beast Dark Ages figures for my Dux Brit British warband, 4 mounted cavalry and 8 elites. 80 points.
  • Some more Napoleonics, 3 British Artillery pieces from Perry and Front Rank, as well as a French Ligne battalion which has been on my painting desk primed for over a year from Crusader Miniatures. 200 points.
  • Three British AFV from Armourcast and PSC in 20 mm. 36 points.
I make that roughly 800 points, so with the 7 bonus rounds worth 50 points each, I should be good with some room to maneuver.
  • December 14: Cold
  • December 28: Mount(s) & Rider(s) 
  • January 11: Victorian
  • January 25: Myth
  • February 8: Hot
  • February 22: Comedic
  • March 8: Anti-Hero 
I should also mention that the challenge has it's own website now, so stayed tuned for all the action. Wish me luck.