Monday, 17 December 2018

AAR: Escape the Pocket! 15mm v4 FoW

Hi folks,

Those of you who also follow Dave will have spotted his photo's today of yesterdays WW2 game, but I've a few of my own to post so thought I would share my perspective.

As usual, we were playing Flames of War v4. Unusually, we played this game without any significant alterations (so no random events). The scenario was thrown together last minute and is only roughly based on recent reading about American advances post Operation Cobra.

This also fit with Dave's current American FoW force, which is pretty light on infantry currently while he gets stuff painted up. We laid out a table with a 'main road' up the centre - representing the American main axis of advance for one of the Armoured Divisions Combat Commands.

The Germans would be played by yours truly and would be attempting to cross the width of the table. The German models were a mix of mine, Ian's and a single Panther of Dave's. In the picture above, the Germans would be travelling from right to left. The American forces were strung out all along the road, with the objective of stopping the German escaping.

American forces were whatever Dave decided made sense to put on the table, while the Germans were randomly selected from the v4 late war German unit cards, with D3 units arriving a turn, each at a random point along one table edge (allocated via a D6 roll).

Dave and Ian decided to keep the roleplay aspect by moving their columns up the road, while we initially used skill checks for units spotting each other to determine whether they did and realised they were enemy units. The pocket was, after all, 'sealed'.

Early turns saw some StuG's attempting to use the railway line as an escape route - they ran into the tail end of the M10's and were all brewed up. 

Meanwhile, on the other end of the table a American Recce Patrol passed some Flakpanzer 38t's, much to the surprise of both parties. The fire from the Flakpanzers bailed one Greyhound, while return fire knocked out both German vehicles. 

The StuG's trundle on - both sides still failing skills tests to spot the other. 

Some Stummels and Halftracks meanwhile try to get through the convoys, but get stuck up on the hedge, hit with artillery fire then caught in the open by Shermans. A single one survived for a few turns before also being brewed up. 

In the centre, a couple of German A/C's duelled with a pair of M8's and some M18's - both survived till the end of the game, before being surrounded and surrendering. They accounted for an M8 and an M18, and forced the other M8 to flee. 
The game moved on, with the American's starting to react and trying to pinch off the entry points.

Another view of the crossroads - the American Company CP was int he farm at the top of the picture. 

The American tank platoon that had been moving off table sorts themselves out, alerted by the sound of nearby firing. A unit of Wespe's got a kicking from these tanks and the Recce unit. 

View from the top of the hill! Zoomed in a bit, but still looks cool! You can see one of the small lego tiles Dave uses for markers - green with a small printed 'bailed' sticker on it, yellow for 'pinned'. 

Burning StuG's - they managed to bail one M10... the return fire was pretty devastating!

More German motorised and mechanised infantry arrive, as well as some Panzer IV's - who become the target of the M18's while the Puma's get out of dodge. 
The American's were consistently able to bring weight of fire on the German's - those M10's and M18's packed a punch - we weren't sure about the historical accuracy of using the M18's, but they were nice models...

Finally, some big cat's arrived, in the form of some Panthers. One plucky Stuart bailed one of them, while it's comrades went and hid....

Return fire bails a Stuart... must have passed straight through (I failed the firepower roll). 

The American M18's decide to apply 'tactics' and re-deploy, aiming to get flank shots once the Panthers advanced. The M3 guns are actually 57mm guns. 

Elsewhere, the American's advance while German vehicles burn!

German infantry hunkers down, taking out some US infantry that were hanging around in the woods, but being subjected to artillery fire in return. 

Another group of Germans arrive, some Panzer IV's and mortar half tracks. Some German foot infantry also dash across the table, trying to make it to safety. 

However, the Panzer IV's advance was met by a wall of American armour, and again failed to inflict casualties (another bail on an M10)

The Panthers push forward to the crossroads, while Ian tries to get behind them with his Shermans, running into some Panzerfaust fire from German infantry in the buildings - no Shermans lost though!

Another nice shot from up on the 'hill' caused by a higher table!

The battle at the crossroads gets fierce. Bazooka teams let fly, and infantry assault but fail to harm anything. A Panther is lost to flanking fire from a 76mm Sherman. 

The Germans get one Panzer IV, a Panther and a couple of Infantry squads over the table, killing a few Shermans in the process. 
Things wrapping up...

Surrounded German units start to give up. 

Turret eye view from the M18's

Against all expectations, the Stuarts and Greyhounds survived, and even got in some kills. 
All in all, the scenario worked ok - though in future I would award victory points for every German unit making it across and every American unit move off to support the advance. Some unarmoured convoys would be nice as well, for the Americans and Germans. More hedges are also required!

On the other side of the hall, the rest of the lads were involved in some 'spear chucking' - playing Hail Caesar. Lovely looking models, but the terrain needs some work!

No idea what was going on, but they seemed to enjoy it and it kept them off the street and out of the community for a few hours!

My own care in the community efforts have been to prep for the AHPC which starts later this month. This has included assembling some 40mm SP Bofors... which is not a painful experience, honest!

Hopefully, I'll get some more gaming in when the club next meets on the 30th. I've also (hopefully) secured a more local hall to use next year to try and get some monthly big games in! We just need to get a few folding tables in the new year.

Hope everyone gets what they are after for xmas, and that everyone has a great new year. Just remember as well, there is a community of people out there that shares the same interest, and while the time of year can be tough for many, there is always someone out there to talk to! Have a good one,


Friday, 7 December 2018

Finished!: 6mm British Moderns (part 1...)

Hi folks,

I had intended to post this last weekend, but didn't get around to it and have had a hectic week this week which has seen little painting being done.

I've been trying to clear some of the models that have been cluttering up my painting shelf for the last 12 months, some of which has been my Brits for Team Yankee. These are a mix of GHQ, Heroics and Ros and Butlers Printed Models miniatures, and I'm about half way though currently.

So currently, a full squadron of Chieftains, with the front two on the right being BPM models, while the one on the front right is a GHQ model.

The Harriers and Lynx's are H+R models, which came out quite well. Blowpipe models are H+R while the Spartans on the bases are BPM. The Swingfires are GHQ, while the Abbots are BPM and the M109's are (I think) H+R.

Still all the infantry to do, and a load of AFV's. The models are quick to paint, as I've kept them very simple. However, the basing is time consuming!

In other news, despite my better judgement I've volunteered to take part in the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge again this year... So need to start organising what I plan to paint as part of that!

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Battleground 2018

Hi folks,

Yesterday was spent at the Battleground 2018 wargames show in Stockton along with my 'Old Guard Wargames Club' compadres. We were using our 10mm figures and the Black Powder rules (or at least a chopped down version) and attempting to fight 'Pickett's Charge' from the 3rd day of the Gettysburg battle.

I was being General Pettigrew on the Confederate left (far left of the table above). I had one large unit and 4 medium sized units, and was backed up by Angus, who had three medium units.

My end of the table, the initial advance was limited by poor command checks combined with the odd blunders (I think all the Confederates had the same issue - my problem with these rules number 1: the defenders were sitting back and shooting, and didn't have to roll command checks and run the risk of incurring a blunder). My objective was to capture 'The Angle', which was defined as the space between the two buildings with the stone wall to my front. The capturing of this point was deemed to be pointless (ha), as there was another Union Corps behind this one, but capturing it would classed as a rebel victory.

Too many years having to assault with my Highlanders has led to me treating every army like Highlanders - so my troops got up and into the Union defenders, taking a few hits on the way. I tend to get a bit annoyed when the rules are woolly (not knowing the rules myself doesn't help) and/or the game doesn't fit my internal logic of what I feel they should do (and generally that's because the rule isn't being applied properly or there is a failing in the rules system).

A few turns later, I had managed to batter my way over the wall and into the Union position:

Dave, seeing the collapse of the Union right, sent some troops over to shore up the flank. By now my own units were on the verge of collapse, having got into the Union positions on their own. Angus managed to get some of his troops up to support, which helped.

The game ended with the Confederates getting smashed, but still in control of the wall (technically, a Rebel victory, as much as any defeat can be...).

Loot wise, I picked up a few FoW related goodies:

Some dug in markers, a German special character, artillery template and basing sand - plus a book I've been after for a while, which turns out to be a bit disappointing (review may follow).

I also picked up some 28mm Sci Fi terrain, which will be for Necromunda:

I really had every intent of taking pictures of the other tables at the show, but managed to fail to get around them this time. Sorry!