20 August 2021

Gembloux Gap-Across the Dyle (10)

Tuesday night we got in our tenth and final game in the Gembloux Gap campaign, in my last post I said it will be 2-3 weeks before I get the terrain together but once I laid it out I felt I was ready to go. No railway stations and some variable walls but it looked ok once it was on the table. Again, Janne and Eero showed up for the game. I am not sure how they do it at 0200h their time, but they tell me it is quite exciting to watch and after watching most of the previous 9 games, I am sure they wanted to see the grande finale.

Dice were rolled and the game started:

Germans (FM 8 (-1 on FM roll) (3 Schützen Regiment)
Schützen Platoon #3 (less 1 man)

Supports (18)
Fifth Columnist
Red Dice
Demo Team

French (FM 8) (-1 on FM roll)(110e Régiment d'Infanterie)
Infanterie Platoon #3 (less 5 men)

Supports (12)
Escouade de Fusiliers Motocycliste
Canon de 47mm ATG

Patrol Phase: As usual we played out the Patrol Phase on P-Y's ap. The smaller dots are the JOP's, while the numbered dots are the PM's at their final positions. The game was based on the Attack on an Objective scenario from the the main rulebook.  To win the game I have to exit 2 units off the western edge of the table. The French could win by expending 3 CoC dice and blowing the up the route. I was lucky and got 4 free moves, I was sort of expecting P-Y to place 1 forward JOP but he did not. I was fairly happy with my JOP's as I wanted to leave the impression that my attack was going to be along the road.
The German Plan: As you can see from above, I had 3 routes to get off the table. I had sense that P-Y would take a roadblock in this game so I did take a demo team but my main reason for taking it was to deploy the team early near the road to make it look like that was my plan. A lot was up in the air but I felt my best option was to advance unit towards all 3 escape at the same time while adjusting things on the fly as the French laid down their defenders. What do they say about "best laid plans"! I should note that P-Y placed the road bock about 12" from the French edge of the table.

Terrain Considerations: We decided to stick to the RAW as much as we could. High Walls prevent troops from firing from or to, they are major obstacles. Troops can toss grenades over them as well defined in the rules. We added that if troops are within 2" of a high wall they are shielded from fire from 2nd story windows. The Roadblock only impedes vehicle but does provide light cover. 

The Action: The first throw of the dice fell to P-Y, I think he rolled a double phase but not a lot of use as the defender. We both had Pregame Barrages, so there was going to be some limitation in deploying but I was generally pretty lucky as was P-Y when he finally decided to deploy. I rapidly deployed the demo team, a SL and a squad south of the road and another squad north of the road, these were initially all out of LOS or in cover on Overwatch. I then placed the PzIV on the road. P-Y kept his powder dry and would not deploy. I sent the demo team just south of the road to make it look like they were heading to the road block. I had also placed my Off-table MMG on the road on the German edge. A very narrow focus of fire but it did cover the road. I felt that my 5's would be more useful firing the MMG than accumulated CoC dice. I was proved to be very wrong! Anyway onto some snaps.
Demo Team
Squad 1
Squad 2
Pz IV initial advance
The French finally deploy with 2 squads in this row house, we treated the first 4 houses in this block as a single unit so once inside a squad could move through the whole block. In his initial deployment P-Y placed a squad on each floor with the LMG and 4 riflemen facing east within the house with the other 5 riflemen and JL lining the windows in the middle house above on both floors.
On the protective cover of the PzIV, Squad 1, the Demo team and the SL advance to the cover of the wall. 
Roadblock Position
Squad 2 has now advanced to the house, in the next phase they enter it.
The PzII has arrived to support the infantry advance, any deploy by the French in the houses lining the north south road will be met by a hail of HE from the 2 tanks and the Mortar team. I was now ready for the final advance.
As you can see squad 1 has climbed over the  first wall with the SL . They have ran through the garden and then climbed over the second wall. Squad 3 which had deployed as far south in the forest as they could have advanced across the open field to the protection of the barn. What you can not see that Squad 2 has now left the house and deployed onto the road. Squad 2 had taken some desultory and ineffective fire from the French inside the house. P-Y still had only deployed 2 squads

So at this point it was time to make a rush for the west and German victory. P-Y had accumulated 2 CoC dice so was close to blowing the route giving him a French victory. Three German squads were deployed within 18" of victory but were all in the open. It was the French phase and it was time for P-Y to deploy his defenders! Again back to the photos.
P-Y deploys his 3rd squad (less 5 men) to meet the oncoming Germans, they fire and cause some damage on the Germans. I had prepared for this deployment by having 5th Columnist, but P-Y rolled a 6 and they came on. My plan was now looking pretty shaking. In the next phase I caused some shock.
P-Y then deployed an ATG on the road, it fired 4 HE, no real effect.
Now for the cinematic move of the game. The German squad 2 is within 12" of the deployed French ATG. Time for Handgranaten! The Germans throw some grenades but only score 1 shock, they throw 3d6 and make contact. We tally up the dice 13 vs 13, not as good as I thought. But I get 6 kills to P-Y's 4. The ATG  gun team is wiped out. I have some kills but little shock and most importantly my JL survives unscathed.
The French phase, P-Y again fires his infantry squad but I have 2 CoC dice, I interrupt and wipe out a good proportion of the squad, but P-Y has some good dice and is able to deploy his Motocycliste Squad, combined fire from them and the guys in the house wipes out Squad 1 and injures my SL, my FM drops to 3.
I throw my 3 CD. Squad 2 makes it off the table half way there! Squad 3 makes their move they only move 4" they do not make the edge, so close but so far! But I do have an ace (or should we a CoC dice) in the hole. French phase, but with my CoC dice I am able to interrupt and Squad 3 makes it to touch!

So game over, this was one of the closest games I have played. The end of another campaign, so what is next......well I suspect we will end up in a jungle....where I am not sure yet, but stay tuned!

17 August 2021

Some Figures for Devil in the Wilderness

Over the last few weeks, I have been painting some figures for Devil in the Wilderness. I got the kickstarter figures which I really very nice and an absolute joy to paint. When I played my first test game I realised that there were quite a few NPC figures I would need. There is a good reference in the ruleset on where to get figures but I decided to print some resin files that I found on My Minifactory. Certainly no match for the metal figures but after all they are "also-rans" so I feel it is OK. 

Increase Mather, Cotton Mather, John Alden, 
Pukjinskwes, Rev George Burroughs, Skadegamutcs
Resin Figures
Wabanaki Zombies
Coon Cats (large familiars)
Rat Swarm
Wipoorwills and Snakes (small familiars)
Demonic Dogs (large familars)

I will probably reprint the rat swarm at a smaller scale and I am sill looking for some generic witches but with my conquest FIW miniatures and my SAGA Revenants, I think I am all set.

13 August 2021

Gembloux Gap-Defending the Heights (9)

Last night we got in our ninth game in the Gembloux Gap campaign after a couple of postponements. Two of my Finnish friends, Janne and Eero, showed up for the game. I am not sure how they do it at 0200h their time, but they tell me it is quite exciting to watch. 

Dice were rolled and the game started:

Germans (FM 8 (-1 on FM roll) (3 Schützen Regiment)
Schützen Platoon #3 (less 2 men)

Supports (12)
Fifth Columnist
Red Dice
MMG Team

French (FM 9) (110e Régiment d'Infanterie)
Infanterie Platoon #3

Supports (7)
Escouade de Fusiliers Motocycliste
Canon de 47mm ATG

As usual we played out the Patrol Phase on P-Y's ap. The smaller dots are the JOP's, while the numbered dots are the PM's at their final positions. The game was based on the Hasty Defence scenario from the the Blitzkrieg rulebook. P-Y was forced to deploy all his PM's in the #2 sector (NE), while I favoured mine in the south east edge. As you can see, I did well in the Patrol Phase with one of my JOP's just 15" from the northern edge. To win the game I have to exit one unit off the northern edge and control 2 of the 3 northern sectors.

The Action
My initial deployment, with a squad to the far north, any double phase will allow me to run the northern rifle team off the board ( I did forget that they could not run on their 1st move as they were in the cornfield). Also placed a SL and the Mortar team on the edge to supply initiative and support.
I placed my PzIII on the edge and then rapidly moved  to the north, I was less than 8" from controlling the northeast sector (and driving backwards as Eero pointed out). Oh for a double phase!
P-Y played his first move by deploying a squad in the woods but they were 3" from controlling the northwest sector. 
The French deploy a squad on the southern edge of the forest to tackle  the mortar team. They have some difficulty though deploying quickly because of the Pregame Barrage as well as my secret weapon......
.........the Fifth Columnist
A German Double Phase, now is the time to strike. The Germans add a squad to the MMG team on the hedge, they add a SL as well as advancing the team along the road to the north. The other SL orders the rifle team to move north with their JL. The Germans then start to pummel the French with the newly deployed infantry squad.........they take shock and their JL is killed. French morale is down to 5. Second throw of the dice.......................

..................the German infantry team exits the table..............
The PzIII occupies the Northeast sector.......
The MMG and the Mortars break the French squad, FM down to 3.
The French withdraw. Final position of all the troops...a German victory, onto the game 10 on Table 6.

Butcher's Bill

Germans (platoon 3)

Final FM 8
0 loses (1 man dead in next game)

CO +2
MO +2
Prickly (-1 FM)

French (platoon 3)

Final FM 3
3 men dead, 2 missing for next game

CO +2
MO -5 (-1FM)


So I suspect that it might be 3-4 weeks before our final game in this campaign, the terrain requirement for the last game in the campaign is quite significant as you can see below. I suspect the FDM printer might have to be brought back into action as well as having a need to make some more railway track.

04 August 2021

Devil in the Wilderness-Playtest

Over the last couple of weeks I have been making terrain, reading and re-reading and painting figures for this new game set late in the 17th century in New England. It combines both historical and supernatural elements so I was quite interested. It is card driven which is great and the game appears to be quite nuanced. Essentially, the Puritan Witch-hunters are fighting the Witches.

I had some trouble interpreting the play sequence especially in respect to the utilisation of the cards, of which there are I believe 7 different types for each faction. I asked some questions on the FB page, there are over a 100 members in the FB group but I get a sense most of these are lurkers as only the rules writer responded to my questions. This is quite a new ruleset so I am sure the numbers of players will increase. I believe that some of the difficulties I have are related to the fact that the game is really set up to be played with an online proprietry app and half the rulebook is devoted to discussing how to use the app. Not withstanding though the game comes with a beautiful set of cards, which is certainly my preference. I also realised that if you have a look at the all the cards and read what is on them before you play the game you will get a lot of your questions answered. Anyway, I sorted through things, and was ready to have a go this morning. I am still missing a couple of buildings as well as only partially painted my 6 main figures, but it is always good to bash on. I also had to remove the terrain setup today to set up for a CoC command game I am playing tomorrow night. A little bit of pressure!

The Terrain
Initial Setup
The Antagonists
Card Deck Setup
The Protagonists

The Game
First Hand of Cards for the sides, with the Objectives revealed
Some Witch Hunter friendly militia and witches
John Alden searching for an item, lucky this time
Not so lucky a Dire Wolf appears
On no.... a Werewolf!
Position end of Turn 2
Position end of turn 3
Well, I think I am really going to enjoy this game. It plays very quickly and the action starts almost immediately. There are a lot of options each turn and the movement, shooting and melee mechanisms are quite simple. I still have quite a few questions about the rules but I am sure I can get them sorted. Looking forward to my next game.