26 May 2019

There are Many Rivers to Cross-Turn 2

Yesterday, myself and Greg got together at my place to play the next turn in our Belgian Invasion campaign from the TFL 2018 Annual. It had been 3 months since we played the last turn so it was time to get moving!

The next scenario was table 3 which is based on the Swift to Support scenario from the 1940 source book.  

We both decided not to rotate out our platoons so went with the surviving elements from our first game. We went through the pregame process and came up with the below starting forces.

Chasseur Ardennais Platoon (FM 10)
GdC 1: Missing 3 riflemen
GdC 2: Missing 3 riflemen
DBT Lance Grenade Section
CoC Dice
Supports (9)
Maxim MMG Team

Schützen Platoon (FM 11)
5cm Mortar Team
Squad 1
Squad 2
Squad 3: Missing 3 riflemen
Supports (15)
Fifth Columnist
Red Dice
MMG Team
Flamethrower Team
Schützen Squad

So off we went.......
The German approach
Patrol Markers with subsequent JOP's
I initially started my attack from my left flank. I placed a squad, MMG team and a SL here. This was not prudent as almost immediately my MMG got pinned and there only target was a CdG in hard cover. This was a losing battle.
The Belgian DBT gave me a lot of trouble, they were well back so were protected from anything I could launch at them. Most of their fireing was without LOS but their reducing cover to open resulted in a lot of casualties.

The main Belgian CdG unit in hard cover, I controlled them relatively well with almost continous covering fire but it was hard to cause loss with long range fire.
On my right flank I placed another SL, with a squad and a 5cm Mortar team.  Their target was the CdG in the light cover in the orchard.  A bit more success here.
The aforementioned CdG unit.
I decided that I needed a forward base so used a CoC dice to advance my rear most JOP forward, I had not done this before. It was effective but not withstanding the squad I placed here broke and I had to also withdraw the FT team as they were under heavy fire. I was waiting for a double phase so they could take out the troops behind the hard cover.
I sent in another squad to replace the breaking group with the left flank SL to help reduce shock.
They were able to pin the CdG in the light cover and with more fire they broke.
We were then at a bit of a stalemate but Greg, being the gentleman and tactician that he is, suggested that I advance a squad to take a JOP. By now the only Belgian squad that could see my right flank was the centre CdG in hard cover. They had taken lot of fire and were being worn down. I used my centre rifle team to lay down covering fire and in two bounds my right flank rifle team ran up and got within 4" of the Belgian JOP. At the same time 3 LMG teams and the MMG team where piling fire into the centre CdG unit, they were close to breaking. Greg withdrew. A German victory

The Summing Up

The ending force morale was 8 for the Germans and 6 for the Belgians. The Germans lost a JL and 5 riflemen while the Belgians lost 19 riflemen. So once we apply the post campaign process and the losses from turn 1 we have the following:

After 2 turns
Platoon 1: Germans 3 dead, 2 man missing the next turn. 1JL down 1CI (3" command range)
Platoon 1: Belgians 15 dead, 5 men missing the next turn.

Campaign Tracker
Commander's Opinion+2
Men's Opinion +1
Platoon Leaders's Outlook: Droll
Commander's Opinion-1
Men's Opinion -6 (-2FM, Sl 6" command range)
Platoon Leaders's Outlook: Sad
This was an interesting game. I definitely was very lucky in respect to command rolls with 7 double phases while Greg I believe only had 2. In dice rolling, we were about equal, earlier in the game Greg certainly had lady luck on his side but as the game went on I caught up. As I noted in my initial post, it was going to be a challenge for me as I am naturally a defender. Greg was a real gentleman yesterday in pointing out the maneuver that won me the game. I certainly have learned a lot about tactics from playing with Greg. It is interesting to me that it is really quite valuable to play with multiple different players as there are so many approaches to playing CoC.

24 May 2019

SAGA-Pitched Battle

Myself and Adam got together for our regular SAGA game last night at the Hobby Bunker. We both had obtained our Age of Magic SAGA source books last weekend at Huzzah but we really have not had a good look yet so we went with the Viking Age warbands. I again fielded my Skraelings and Adam this time decided to bring his Irish. I really dislike fighting the Irish as their BB is quite a challenge.

We again played the Chaos setup from the Book of Battles and ended up with the following:

Scenery-Bleak Moor-(standard set up)
Deployment-Pitched Battle (18" deployment area on player's table edge with a split army)
Special Rule-Fog (no shooting or charge beyond M in first 3 turns)
Victory Conditions-Carnage (Survival points rather than Massacre points)
Game Length-Cautious (5 turns only)

2 Curaidh
Javelin-armed Hearthguard-1
Javelin-armed Warriors-3

Javelin-armed Warriors-5
Bow-armed Levy-1

Here is the set up of the terrain, so 3 out of 4 pieces with uneven terrain which clearly favour the Irish.  Three pieces blocking LOS. Adam was the active player but I got 4 SAGA dice on the BB before his 1st move.
My right flank: I had a unit of Levy and a large 12 man unit of warriors on this side. Adam had a unit of Warriors and 2 Curaidh. I was not really well prepared here as I had used my 4 SAGA dice to generate 2 totems. I was eventually able to take down a Curaidh but as you can see both my units were cut down.
My left flank: Here I had 3 units of warriors and my Warlord. Adam had placed a unit of Hearthguard, his Warlord and a unit of warriors in the scrubland with another unit of warriors and his wolfhounds in the open ground.
I was able to knock down his wolfhounds quickly to 4 figures with the Skraeling  ability of Tribal Tactics. Adam decided to send in his unit of warriors to counter. A fairly even battle but javelin armed  have a slight advantage when attacking. 
On to penultimate turn, I advance 2 units of Warriors and my Warlord to the scrubland, this is quite sucessful with both shooting and melee going to my advantage...... 
........last turn, this is really where I screw up what could have been an easy victory. I set up my BB properly but I need to get my warriors to advance to attack the Irish in the open first by we obey and then initiate Tribal Tactics for a 2nd attack getting 3 javelin throws in the last turn. Instead, my Warlord attacks the 3 warriors in the scrubland forgetting to do this first. My Warlord goes in and kills all the warriors but at some risk as his bodyguards are more than S away, but he survives but I can not use Tribal Tactics on my warrior unit as there is nothing within M to shoot. The game ends in a tie!
It was a fun game. I really felt I was done for most of the game as my initial set up was poor and my right flank collapsed almost immediately. I did push back on my left flank and was relatively successful and could have won the game if I had not royally screwed up my last move.

So an 18-18 point tie. It was a fun game, the Book of Battles really has changed the game of SAGA, as every game is quite different and we have not even got past the first chapter.

We might see some Age of Magic in our next game but it will take some planning, we will have to see.

19 May 2019

Huzzah 2019

This past weekend Huzzah, the once a year con put on by MHWGA took place. It is usually held in Portland, ME and appears to be generally well attended. It is the only con, I have ever gone to and have gone 4 out of the past 5 years. I was a little disapointed this year as there was only 4 TFL games and I was only able to sign up for two as they are quite popular. I decided to just drive up each day rather than stay the night, it is only 90 minutes and a pleasant drive. There were several nice looking games but of course, I only photographed a few.

Day 1
This was a lovely looking Victoria Pulp Horror game set in the jungle. Very nice looking figures as well, apparently some dinosuars were attacking a German explorers camp but they are not there yet.
Dracula in America, again quite nice.
I forgot what this one was.
My friend Mike's SP2 game which I believe was filled within a couple of hours.
Looks like some Spaniards
Quite a firing line.
Flint and Feather

This is the game I played on Friday afternoon, I have been curious about these rules for sometime. A skirmish set set in the period before European exploration of North America. The game is put out by Crucible Crush, a British Columbian gaming company. They have some absolutely stunning figures as you will see below. Exactly in scale with Conquest Miniatures from where I obtained my FIW figures. They are quite an eclectic company with 28mm figures foe WW2, Cthulhu (very nice deep ones) as well as the Flint and Feather line which includes various mythical creatures including the Windego.

I had quite a lot of fun with the game, myself and my friend Adam teamed up against 2 other guys. Beautiful terrain as you can see as well as great looking figures. I would play again and will probably buy the rulebook. The guy who ran the game said they are quite well supported by the rules writer.....and we won!



Day 2

I got there a little late on Saturday so did not get a lot of photos taken as I had some purchases to make and some people to chat with. The game below did catch my eye though. It is the main square of Florence during the time of the Medici and the game was set around the Pazzi Conspiracy. How cool is that! The game was put on by Rich Clayton, the president of the Boston Trained Bands gaming club. Really a great looking terrain and the buildings are all from TTCombat, which was great for me as they are the buildings I plan to use if I ever get my Carnevale Venice table off the gound. I took a lot of photos.
Chain of Command

Of course the main event for me was  the CoC game I was signed up for. The game was put on by Dick Bryant, one of the fathers of miniature wargaming in the northeast. We played an Attack and Defend scenario with an American Armoured Rifle platoon attacking a village held by a unit of Panzergrenadiers. Three aside, I played with 2 of my regular gaming friends, Tom was the American platoon leader (I was one of the squad leaders) taking on Mike who was the German PzG platoon leader. I had not played the Americans much and these guys had no BAR's! We did make good use of the 50cal HMG though and with this we were able to defeat the PzG's, I think by 6FM. It was a fun game and Dick did a great job. I believe we were all quite familar with the rules and that must me a challenge for the gamesmaster.
Dick telling Mike on how he wanted the JOP's placed!
My squad of Americans
Well placed PzG's.
Lots of fireing across the field
Well I had a good time and I think next year we will try to emulate other North American lardies and  and put on several TFL games.

14 May 2019

Von Luck Redux

Hans Von Luck
Myself and Mike were able to restart our Kampfgruppe Von Luck campaign yesterday. We had messed up the supports as well as the terrain table in our first go and decided to replay both games. I had set up 2 tables in anticipation of playing the 1st two scenarios in one go but unfortunately Mike was running late so I decided to tear down the 1st table and call it an automatic withdrawal for the Brits and go straight to the 2nd table. As it turned out, I would have withdrawn anyway as none of my troops showed up for the 1st battle except 1 SL, a Piat team and Section 1!

Initial Platoon Ratings
Brits: CO +1, MO +2, PLO Happy
Germans: CO 0, MO +1, PLO Content

Post Turn 1
Brits: CO +1, MO +3, PLO Happy
Germans: CO +2, MO +3, PLO Happy

So on to table 2.....

British Paratroopers (FM 11)
2 SL
Piat Team
Section 1
Section 2 with JL and Bren Team
Section 3 with Bren Team

German Panzer Grenadiers (FM 9)
Panzer Grenadier Platoon
MMG Team

On to some photos....
The Patrol Phase went well for the Brits with the Germans isolated to 1 quadrant of the table.
Few photos were taken but we were bot able to get our FO's firing but theGermans got their Mortar Barrage  down first and my single intact section was rapidly chopped up. I have to say Mike had the most incredible luck with the dice getting multiple double phases as well as numerous 5's and 6's on his to hit dice, so despite my troops being elite my troops dropped like flies.....
.........I got 2 double phases one on my 2nd phase which was of little value and one triple 6 on the last phase which eliminated my Mortar Barrage just after I laid it down. I really had the most appalling luck with the die! So with both our FM at 8, I withdrew from the table. I believe I ended up with 4 dead and 2 missing while Mike had 1 dead and 2 missing. 
Post Turn 2
Brits: CO +1, MO +2, PLO Happy
Germans: CO +3, MO +6, PLO Affable

This moves the Germans to +1 in Supports and +3 on Force Morale throws

On to turn 3................

Naval Bombardment occurs preventing Germans from advancing on table 3.

Next game turn 4, Mike has 5 turns to achieve Victory by taking the next 3 tables. It is going to be a challenge.............for the Brits!

11 May 2019

Some Frozen Lard

I had two great games last week in Montreal and discovered the existence of a new Canadian Lardie Group called Frozen Lard. I am not a big fan of facebook but it seems one does not have a whole lot of choice in the gaming world as there appears to be a wholesale migration from webpages etc to facebook.

I drove up last Monday and surprisingly enough it was it was 26 degrees C, so not frozen at all. I have a portable table and mat in place in my apartment there but there was still a lot of stuff to lug up in the car. It is always nice to see my daughter with whom we share the apartment. She has a new job with Nicole Benisti so hopefully she is getting settled in her career choice of Fashion Design.

Chain of Command
On Tuesday evening I had planned an introductory game of CoC with Pierre-Yves T. who had contacted me through the TFL forum. I believe there to be a dearth of historical wargamers in Montreal so I was excited to hear from him. Although he had not played CoC before he as you can see through his twitter feed has done some great work on a German Panzergrenadier force as well as a lot of terrain. 

I decided to set up a German Grenadier Platoon versus British Rifle Platoon game using the Probe scenario from the rulebook. We chose table sides and PY elected to be the German defender. We threw for Force Support and got a 6. The Germans selected a Sniper and I took a MMG Team and a 2" Mortar. I will not bother to do an AR but here are some snaps of the game.
PY took a defensive position on the right.
I started my advance but the Germans got stuck in behind the wall on my left flank and in the trees on my right flank and set up a squad on the centre road.
As you can see although I get to cover I am getting pretty shot up. PY did a great job in his first game.
It was actually a complete rout as one can see from above and I ended up losing when my FM dropped to 0, while the Germans were still at 8! It was a fun game and I believe PY enjoyed himself.
We are planning to have our next game in late June or early July, this time we will be playing at PY's, he has a 28mm set up and I am looking forward to seeing his great terrain and figures.

Général d'Armée
Wednesday night, Iannick came over to my place. We have been playing Napoleonics for around 10 years now and I believe we have tried at least 4-5 rulesets over that time. We have played GdA twice before but most recently 14 months ago. My last game was in September of last year so I spend a lot of time going over the rules prior to the game. The more you get into these rules, the more you realize they are quite simple to play but it is always difficult if you do not play any ruleset for extended periods of time.

I decided to set up a game from the new source book: 1815 The Hundred Days. The Battle of Gilly seemed the business but I had no Prussians but could find enough of my new Dutch-Belgians and Brunswickers to fill the OB. Had to add a few Allied troops from the Peninsula but all good.
As usual Iannick played the French and I took the Prussians. Again not a true AR to follow but I did take a few photos.
The table showing the troops on each side, I should note that this was not there final dispositions in the battle line.
Both side had 4 brigades with the French having 5 ADC's and the Prussians 4. Most French Inafntry Brigades had 5 standard sized battalions while the Prussians had 3 large battalions. There was a Cavalry brigade per side with 2 and 3 Artillery batteries.
The Prussian right flank with line units to the left in line and the reservists in the centre-left in column.
The Prussians deployed both of their Fusiliers battalions in Skirmish order making the Skirmisher Tasking quite useful.
The French Veteran brigade advancing on the Prussian right flank.
Disaster for the Prussians. The Empress Dragoons( in the upper left of the photo) charge the Prussian Musketeers, they fail their Discipline test and are thrown back in retreat, their supportin unit also withdraws unformed. In the next turn they falter and subsequently suffer a Sauve qui Peut on the Falter Table!
The Prussian cavalry charges the centre unit in the middle French Brigade but fails also being thrown back in Retreat.

The Prussian right flank is much more successful with the Artillery successfully throwing cannister at the French Veterans. The Prussian Skirmishers aided by the formed unit in the BUA add casualties.
The Prussian skirmishers flank the attacking French. A French battalions is dispersed.
The Prussian reservists on the right form into line but by now the French have two Brigades on Infantry Assault orders.
Another Prussian Battalian retreats. It is over the Prussian withdraw failing to slow the French advance to Waterloo.
Although we did not exactly meet the victory  conditions set out in the scenario after 3 hours and 6 turns we decided that the French had achieved a victory. They had caused one Sauve qui Peut effect on the main Prussian brigade and had not even brought on their reserve cavalry. The Prussian right flank was solid but it was going to be increasingly difficult to hold their left flank with reservists. 

It was a fun game and I am quite convinced that this is a great ruleset as is I believe Iannick. Looking forward to our next game.