23 July 2022

What a Cowboy-High Noon

Myself and Pierre-Yves played another game in person last week, this time "What a Cowboy". The test game is now at version 27 and I believe that it will be released before the end of this year. We decided to try the mounted rules, as we had not tried them before.

We were set up with 4 characters each: a Legend, Gunslinger, Shootist and Greenhorn, respectively armed with an Adams revolver, a Winchester, a Shotgun as well as a Six-Shooter. We had 2 desperado cards each and the layout was as below. 

My starting edge was in the foreground

The game went quite quickly and I would say we came to clear conclusion in 2 1/2 hours, I should note that it has been more then 6 months since I last played but we have played enough so we pick up the rules quite quickly.
P-Y's Legend-The High Plains Drifter
I believe it is the first time I have had a clear victory with this ruleset, but I have to say that I had some very good dicing. As usual, it was a lot of fun.

17 July 2022

Algernon Pulls it Off!


Two weeks ago,  we took another plunge into aerial combat, but this time in WWI. We went with another TFL ruleset. We had a 2 on 2 game, as you can see below. I believe 2 Sopwith Camels versus 2 Albatrosses. I actually had a lot of fun, we did play virtually but it went well. I liked this game a little more than Bag the Hun, but I think the next time I try it I would like to play the Fast Play Rules which were released in one of the TFL magazines. I am all for simplicity!

Here are some photos from Pierre-Yves with is wonderfully painted 1/285 models that he resin printed.

15 July 2022

Fall of France: Crossing the Meuse-"O" Group

This past Wednesday, we had a game of "O" Group. We had not played for this ruleset for 18 months so we were quite rusty. I had watched the videos from TFL before the game so I was some what prepared, but there was a lot of referring to the rulebook.

This was my first real test of playing "O" Group in 6mm using centimetres rather than inches for movement and ranges. I like Dave Brown's rules but all my WWII troops are 20mm and I did not believe they would work for a battalion level game. I was not interested in investing a lot of money or time into doing figures and terrain so I decided to go with 6mm as I had quite a few figures on hand especially AFV's from my Rommel project. More importantly, however, I have space and transport issues so I decided to go small.

The 1940 Fall of France supplement was release a little over a year ago, so I thought I would print up some French AFV's and paint them. I am waiting for the early war Eastern Front supplement as I had initially done up German and Soviet forces for the game. The Fall of France supplement contains a 6 scenario campaign so I said why not start with that. I have been working on terrain for WWII 6mm so I was all set.

In the this scenario, the Germans have crossed the River Meuse and were attempting to consolidate their bridgeheads. Our scenario takes place at the Dinant bridgehead on May 14, 1940 and documents the French counterattack. 
The French are attacking from the bottom of the terrain. The terrain is 2x3'.

The French have a 3 company battalion from the 18th Infantry Division, supported by an MMG platoon, a Reconnaissance platoon of AMR 35's as well as Renault R35 platoon. They are the attacker in this scenario. The Germans have also a 3 company battalion with a MMG section in support as well as an ATG platoon of Pak36's and a PzII platoon. All units on both sides are rated as regular. Victory for the French would be placing 3 Fubars on the Germans.

We got through 6 turn of a planned 16 turn game, which I actually thought was pretty good for the first go in 18 months. I believe we played all the mechanics of the game except for close combat, and after 6 turns the Germans had 2 Fubars and the French one. So we called it a French victory with the French earning 2 Victory Points to the German's one.

I will not go into great detail, I was playing the German Defenders with P-Y playing the French. By the end of the game I had all my troops on the table but I believe the French still had an infantry company in reserve and only half of Company B deployed. Her are some photos of the game.
German HQ with 2 Artillery Supports

PzII platoon

German right flank

The German left flank, Company Commanders on both side were quite aggressive in pushing their troops forward, the French MMG section next to the forest in the top right of the photo really chopped up the Germans and I believe they must of killed around 6 sections.

The German troops in the BUA were not well protected by French Artillery strikes.

The Pak36 ATG platoon did take out a R35, causing the 1 French Fubar.

I quite enjoyed the game and I spent all yesterday going through the rule book finding answers to questions we had as well as discovering the errors we made. Most questions were easily answered with a careful review of the rulebook but it did take a lot of thinking to figure out how Reserves were deployed, but I think I have it now. We did make quite a few errors so I have put together a cheat sheet for our next game.

In respect to playing the game in centimetres, it actually went much better than I would have thought. The infantry bases are 20x15mm but were easy enough to handle. Two things are needed though when playing at this scale, you really can not use a tape measure so I will but together some standard measuring sticks (14cm, 18cm and 30cm) as well as a couple of 20cm sticks gradated in cm. I am also going to try to find some Blast templates of 4, 5, 6 cm radius's. Finally, I aim still not happy with my fields so I need to work on them.

13 July 2022

Fangs of the Wolf-Game 2 (1 session)


We had our second game in our Winter War campaign on July 4th, Eero has just put out one of his excellent reports that I will link below.

As you will remember the Finns captured Konttipuro, thus cutting our forces in two. The Motti encirclement had begun. As I previously noted, a lot of the campaign takes place off line, so neither side knows where the enemies movements take place. During these off line manoeuvres both sides are moving about patrols trying to find the enemy forces.

As the Soviet Colonel Sharov, I have to make a decision about what to do each game turn and I decided that we should try to recapture Konttipuro.

Unfortunately, as it was, we had very few forces on the adjacent table with which to attack. I had a looks at the Wild Cards and decided that one might be useful in a stealth mission. We had only 2 infantry sections with no supporting units. It was Stalin's Birthday and because of this we had a booster to our morale. I guessed that the Finns might have left a minimal force on Konttipuro, I ended up being quite wrong. Notwithstanding my plan was to force the Finns to withdraw by loss of Force Morale rather then trying to defeat them by Force of Arms, I also imposed the Wrath of the Gods

We attacked from the north, I was hoping that if I held back our JOP's, it might cause the Finns to place theirs far forward, and that with the Heavy Mist wildcard (limiting LOS to 15") we could easily capture at least 2 of them, thus dropping their FM quickly. As it was the Finns, only placed 1 JOP forward but we went with our plan anyway. Nothing ventured nothing gained!

Well what do they say about Best Laid Plans; as you can see they seldom work from Eero's excellent report. Here are a few photos but many more can be seen in the report.
Well that did not go so well and Colonel Sharov's Outlook is falling rapidly, wish us luck in the next game.

09 July 2022

Devil in the Wilderness at L'abyss


I got in a second game of Devil in the Wilderness last night in Montreal at the L'Abyss. This is really an impressive gaming spot with a large shop with an amazing selection of gaming supplies and materials. I have never seen a larger selection of paints. The place is on 2 floors with the main floor have the shop and maybe a 30 table board gaming area, there is also a bar and you can order drinks and food right to your table while you are playing. Downstairs there is about 20 tables set up for miniature wargaming. There is also a very large selection of terrain boards and terrain pieces. Again you can order food and drink directly to your table. 

Despite the massive telecommunications failure yesterday in Canada (Rogers), I was able to get together with my friend Luis and we made it to the east end for a game. I was really looking forward to playing Devil in the Wilderness again as I have been having a tough time teeing up games in Massachusetts. I have invested quite a bit of effort in the game so would like to play. I lugged all my stuff up to Montreal. I am trying to decide whether to leave it here or not as I have not been able to set up one game in the Salem area, which is a little odd, since the game is set in 17th century Salem!

Although, Luis is a very experienced gamer I decided to go with a pretty simple set up with the objective being to discover traps/treasures and with this and the taking out of the 6 main characters would decide whether good triumphs over evil. I find the Witch Hunters are a little more powerful then the Witches, so I took the Witches and Luis the Witch Hunters.

Here are some photos from the game, they are just some general shots and not really meant to chronicle an action report.

Probably could use a bit more terrain on the table but it worked.
I use 3D printed discs for the trap/treasure tokens.
I also tag each building as I will quickly forget which is which.
Nothing like a wandering Werewolf

Luis was able to use his diplomatic skills to force my Milice to the side of good and attack me. I use different coloured discs to identify each figure, and record their colour on the figure tracking cards.

The game went very smoothly and I was only unsure about 1 or 2 things which is pretty good as I had not played for 6 months. We got in a complete game in about 2.5 to 3 hours with the Witches reigning supreme after taking out Increase Mather and John Alden but the game did go back and forth quite a bit. Both Rev Burroughs and Pukjinkwes, were both down to a single point. I got the initiative in the last turn and was able to turn the Witch Hunter's militia to the dark side and with 11 activations was able to win the game.

04 July 2022

Fangs of the Wolf-Game 1 (2 Sessions)


A few weeks ago my Finnish friends and myself started playing Campaign 11 from Eero Juhola's Winter of No Surrender Winter War campaign series. This is a massive project for using the Chain of Command ruleset with specific modifications for fighting the Winter War between the Soviet Union and Finland between late November 1939 to April of 1940. As readers of my blog will know, I have been much fascinated by this brief war and through this interest I connected with Eero some years ago.

As a CoC player, I thought the Bloody Bucket campaign was complicated to set up, it is simple in comparison to this campaign, Eero has really created quite an immersive experience for the players. You can find an introduction to  campaign 11: Fangs of the Wolf here. Quite a bit of the campaign takes place off table, with the two combatants moving about a series of 22 possible tables where combat could take place. The game is being hosted by Eero from his home outside of Helsinki on Discord. He usually uses a 3 camera set-up and acts as a non-playing games master. I believe it would be quite difficult to play this campaign without a referee of sorts.

Playing the game are 4-5 players, which include myself and Janne for the Soviets, as well as Jarkko and Mikko for the Finns, we are occasionally joined by Bill who travels to Eero's home, but the rest of us connect by the internet.

To put it simply, the Soviet 163rd Infantry Division has crossed the border near Lonkka with little opposition, their orders were to push to the southwest towards Suomussalmi to link up with the 44th Infantry Division. From there, they were to push west to Oulu, thus cutting Finland in half.
The vanguard of the 163rd Infantry division was the 81st Mountain regiment followed by the  662th Rifle regiment. The vanguard of the 44th Infantry division was the 759th Rifle regiment

The Soviet force in the game is from the 662nd Rifle Regiment, the actual force that I am in command of is Combat Group Sharov. Historically, the 662nd split into Combat Groups at Palovaara, with the group under Colonel Sharov heading north. Our campaign begins on December 19th, 1939, Colonel Sharov is on the road about 30km north of Soumussalmi, he is stuck there along a 12km stretch with one battalion with several support units, they are running out of fuel and provisions in the freezing weather. They have decided to wait it out for the 44th Infantry division, who are pushing along the Raate Road towards Suomussalmi to relieve them. The Finns under Colonel Susitaval, commanding Group Wolf, have encircled them. Thus the Birth of the Motti....a tactic resorted to by the Finns to take on a much larger attacking force. 

From here, I will let Eero tell the story in his two superb action reports chronicling  the attack of a small Finnish force on part of Group Sharov at Konttipuro (Table N).
This campaign turn took place over 2 sessions as detailed here:

We are on to Game 2 today, let us hope the Soviets are a bit more successful. I will leave you with some photos of the game.
Well, the Soviets are now split into 2, what will happen next.

It was a good game and as described by Eero in his reports, it could have gone either way. I believe I might of changed a few things in retrospect in how I played the game. There are a lot of moving pieces in Eero's scenarios but I did learn a lot in my first game so wish Janne and myself luck in our next game.