29 April 2021

Gembloux Gap-Palm Off at Perbais (1)

Last night, we played the first game in our CoC Gembloux Gap campaign. In this campaign I am playing the Germans, I thought it only reasonable that Pierre-Yves play the French. As an interesting aside, P-Y tells me his grandfather fought in actions close to this specific battle. I prefer Early War as there are less powerful AFV's which can really take over the game like the Panther in our Bloody Bucket campaign. I do not have a French force but the Belgians are similarly organized so I susbstituted them for the French.

Rather than typing out their force structure and available supports, I have taken a photo of my 20mm forces. The Germans are primarily AB while the French (Belgians) are from Early War Miniatures. Most of the vehicles are 3D Prints aside from what appear to be some EWM and PSC's. I recently got a resin printer some the FDM prints which are pretty rough will be replaced. 
Missing from the supports are additional infantry squads for each force as well as the MC Recon Squad for the Germans.

So on to our battle, I have copied the terrain map from the Scenario booklet. P-Y has wriiten an ap to apply more accurate measurements to the terrain in order to assist in laying out the terrain.
Here are some photos of the terrain, I set up before the game.

So at 1845h, I fired up Zoom to get the game started. I had posted some photos of the terrain on "The Drive to Minsk" discord channel, a couple of my Finnish gaming friends asked that I post the Zoom link to the game on discord, I had no expectation that they would show up as the game was starting at 0200h Helsinki time but before I knew both Janne and Eero were on line. It must have something to do with their long winter nights, as I could not stay up that late! P-Y soon joined us, and we played the Patrol Phase on another of his aps, unfortunately I forgot to take a screen shot of the action. But you will be able to see the JOP's in the following photos. 

Dice were rolled and the game started:

Germans (FM 8) (3 Shützen Regiment)
Schützen Platoon
Supports (10)
IG 18

French (FM 8) (110e Régiment d'Infanterie)
Infanterie Platoon
Supports (7)
2 entrenchments
60 mm Brandt Mortar Team
Escouade de Fusiliers Motocycliste

The Action

P-Y won the toss to start and on his first throw declined to place any troops, as is usual with a defender. I threw my dice, and for the first time in what I felt was a long time, the dice gods favoured me. In the ensueing phases I believe I got 4 double phases (we use the TT modifications for CoC, so no firing with the same unit consecutively). I immediately placed a squad north of the railroad tracks on overwatch, followed by Jean Claude in the tall house on my side of the terrain with my IG 18 on overwatch south of the aformentioned house. P-Y responded by placing his 5 man Escoude de Fusiliers in an entrenchment behind the garage. He followed with placing his Brandt Mortar Team out of LOS behind the house on the otherside of the road south of the garage. We exchanged fire over several phases, I added my 5cm Mortar Team just north of the IG team, adding one of my SL out LOS behind the house. I lost 3 of the men in my squad on the railroad tracks but was able to take out the Escoude de Fusiliers as well as their JL. By then I had added another squad next to the house where the majority of my troops were deployed and started to advance them across the southern wheat field. P-Y made one last heroic attempt to drop my FM by deploying a Groupe de Combat in the entrenchments vacated by the motocyclistes but no avail. My troops held, P-Y's FM was 4, while mine was still 8, he withdrew. I am hoping the following photos illustrate the placement of the troops and the action as previously described. This was a very quick game, maybe one of the shortest I have played taking about an hour. No great tactics on my behalf, but my dice were great and P-Y's were less good, so a German Victory.....on to table 2.
Brandt Mortar Team
Group de Combat entrenched
German position when the French retreated
Jean Claude in the top floor
German Squad

Butcher's Bill

Well... very little in this game, as we do not count men killed who belong to support teams.

3 men killed but negated by +4 FM difference
CO +1
MO +1

0 men killed in core force
CO -1
MO 0
Short Tempered

28 April 2021

WaC Campaign-Escorting the Gold, Game 4

We had our next game in our What a Cowboy campaign a week ago, we decided to play the Escort scenario. In this game, I would have prefered to play the defender (trying to stop the cargo from exiting the table) but I rolled high and ended up being the attacker. As discussed in my last post, I have quite a weaked posse and now the Sheriff has 2 shootists and 3 desparado cards to my posse with 2 greenhorns and 1 desperado card. We are playing the campaign as written although I have some suspicion that the progression as written causes the campaign to become quickly unbalanced. Maybe, I will be proven wrong!

As supports, I took a Henchman Group, Mobile Deployment point x 2 and some dynamite. I believe P-Y took a couple of Deployment Points as well as an Henchman Group. The text colour in the posse refers to the band colour on the figure.

Mexican Banditos

Tuco-Legend-Outlaw-Adams Revolver, Winchester Carbine-Deadeye, Stealthy-Shoulder Stock, Spy Glass, Telescopic Sight, Brass Knuckles
Angel Eyes-Shootist-Ex-soldier-Wincester Carbine, Sawn-off Shotgun-Rifleman
Le Français-Greenhorn-Merchant-Colt 45-Slow
3-Fingered Julio-Miner-Colt 45

Sherriff's Posse

Robert "the Savage"Cain-Legend-Ex-Outlaw-Adams Revolver x 2-Quick Draw, Ambidextrous- Shoulder Stock x 2
Elmer "Two Lives Pratt-Gunslinger-Ex Outlaw-Winchester Carbine, Shotgun-Lucky-Telescopic Sight
Moses "the Viper" Rivera -Shootist-Buffalo Hunter-Winchester Carbine, Colt 45
Herman "the Mute" Elliot-Shootist-Ex-soldier-Colt 45, Sawn-off Shotgun-Tough, Deadeye

I had a good look at the terrain, my starting point was the mine edge and decided that I would start my deployment on my right flank but with the plan to start the wagon from left flank as once it reached the field of cacti, it would be difficult to spot. I also planned to get my Angel Eyes or Tuco to jump on the wagon early on in order to gain the 2 rep points if they were on the wagon when and if I could get it off the table. We had some debate about who should be driving the wagon as it comes supplied with a driver. We did play it that an exchange could be made between the character and the driver if a move dice was burned. I felt this was quite a reasonable way to play this.

The first photo below shows my edge in the farground, but I should first comment on the terrain as P-Y really outdid himself with this one. Have a good look at the the closeups of the mine face.

Fortunately, my wagon card came up late in the first turn allowing me to deploy figures or mobile deployment points before it was revealed what my path to the opposite edge would be. I really had to be careful as any advance do to a victory would be diminished if I lost a figure.

I new that P-Y would deploy one of his characters on top of one of the peaks so it was also important to stay out of LOS or stay at long range. He indeed placed "Two Lives" Pratt on the central peak and deployed his Legend behind the same peak. He placed "The Viper" on my far right flank with "The Mute" being the only figure on my left flank. I sent my Henchman over to my left flank to keep Moses busy and deployed Julio next to the mine and when my Wagon card came up, I deployed in the same area. I used my mobile deployment points for my other cards to keep P-Y guessing. Moving them about in the forest and behind the shack.

I will not go into the details but many gun fights ensued and the dice gods were on my side in this game. I was fairly quickly able to drive off Herman and Elmer. I would of liked to have killed them but I I took what I could get. Unfortunately, my wagon driver was quite hopeles after the first 2 turns not throwing a "one" for 3 consecutive turns. Angel Eyes had to take over, this was relatively costly in action dice and at the smae time he was quite exposed slowly but surely permanently losing action dice. By now only P-Y's legend was left on the table, and started to swing the action to his right flank, I tried to use Tuco to distract him but I was a little clumsy with this and he ended up being shot up, but using a desperado card, I was able to eliminate his shock. 

Now the race was on, "The Savage" could still take out my wagon, although when turn end came up I was prety sure that he would lose the Skedadle Test, but my guys needed the reputation boost. My wagon driver card came up, he threw 3 ones, I galloped off the table.

So it was an important victory for the Mexicans, Tuco is now up to 10 reps, Angel Eyes has 8, Le Français has 5 so will be promoted to a shootist and Julio has 3 points. The Sheriff''s Posse gained 1 rep only and that went to Bob as he was the only character left standing.

Well tonight, we are going to switch eras transport ourselves to 1940 France. 

27 April 2021

UBOOT-Patrol 15



After laying low and quiet at the bottom seabed of Scapa Basin,

UBOOT hydrophone operators reported following events during the day:

in the morning about 0930, a small patrol boat came in from south (RED), along the coastline to harbor, then back out to the west… few hours after that, a merchant vessel / freighter  (GREEN) took off from Holm area and went the same route west.

Around 1600 a single patrol vessel or possibly small corvette came out from harbor area, wnet past UBOOT position and out south.

at 1720, a larger group of bigger and smaller vessels came out from harbor area, headed south past UBOOT position, following the route of previous patrol vessel.

1815 hours, with sunset coming closer and the fleet of vessels having passed further south into Hoxa Sound, UBOOT rises slowly up to periscope depth, to take a look.

First observation, toward south to Hoxa SOund, reveals following:

Aircraft carrier with fleet of smaller escort and few Torpedo Boats holding the rear, sailing out to south.

Next observation comes when periscope is turned toward Scapa Harbor:

First vessel is clearly a warship… with further examination Officers seem to identify her either as HMS Hood or as HMS  Royal Oak. Further examination reveals there are men climbing up and down on scaffolds on the side of the warship, there seem to be maintenance, reparations and refitting going on. Apparently not much chance of the warship moving from its anchorage.

Vessel behind warship look very much like some type of merchant / freighter vessel… superstructure tower in the back of the ship… not clear if that belongs to the ship on is behind it at the dock. Further examination reveal a single man coming up to have a smoke at the front deck of the ship… the smoker is wearing a white labcoat. Consensus opinion decides this must be the primary target of this mission - chemical warfare floating labratory HMS Arborath… although no flag or name identification is clearly visible… can also be some countermeasure in trying to disguise the true purpose of this vessel.

UBOOT starts to approach Harbor at periscope depth… a patrol boat seems to pick up some signal and comes out from the shoreline… but eventually seems to lose interest and disappears south

UBOOT arrives at effective torpedo range… Captain orders to fire 2 silent  electric torpedoes, both aimed at the labship

WAtch Officers counts seconds on his stopwatch, waiting for confirmation that torpedoes hit… the moment of truth approaches…  extending 2, 3, 4, 5 seconds… nothing happens - first torpedo gives no result, perhaps went under the vessel or went off course or otherwise failed to detonate...

BUT Second torpedo hits - explosion seems to be much more than anticipated, there must have been something special that blew up in the labship.

2 bubble torpedoes still in front tubes, one in rear tube… 

before Captain comes to order reloading, hydrophone picks up signal from the south: PING  clearly rings out in the water, someone is coming…

The asymmetric cat-and-mouse game begins with UBOOT and surface vessels… hydrophone operator is glued to his headphones, trying to hear clearly…

As final result, UBOOT crew manages to get clear fix on 7 search signals,

so UBOOT gains  +7 BONUS POINTS for following torpedo shots.

Enemy search vessels manage to get 3 clear fix signals on UBOOT position,

so enemy gains 3 POINTS for upcoming DEPTH CHARGE attack. 

When the next phase begins, UBOOT has still some local tasks to be managed  with, Captain needs to decide when to deal with these, there was a small fire which was successfully put out… there still remains minor water leakage and escalating shortcircuits in electrical systems. Crew ALSO has in storage one FREE TOOL to be chosen for repairs. ENGINEER crew already has ELECTRICAL CABLES & TOOLS in their possession, they can be used freely to give +3 BONUS POINTS for repairs. FREE TOOL choice could be WATER PUMP for anyone that Captain orders to deal with the water situation, that would provide +3 BONUS POINTS for that operation.

to be continued...