Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Twilight Struggle


Played the most excellent Twilight Struggle with my son as a send off back to Nottingham.
As ever a tense Cold War contest with the USSR Bear (moi) coming out on top two turns from the end.
Several new events for us this time with Israel falling to red inspired Arab Invasion and East Germanyremaining  firmly under U.S. Influence throughout !
Great game this with lots of decisions to be made each turn and card.
Not so much a Wargame as a Conflict game but no less fun for that.







Sunday, May 24, 2015

Combat Commander played

More Combat Commander played at my Dads.

We played 3 more scenarios from the Normandy pack (

All three wins for the Germans.

First was assault on Crisbeq battery behing Utah beach (forgot to take pics of this one).

Next up a sweep against French FFI units in Brittainy

Finally British assault on Capriquet


















Battle Group Overlord: Frenouville Scenario

My Dad and son Stephen (who is home for a few days from England) played a scenario (taken from Battlegroups precursor Kamfgruppe Normandy) Frenouville with yours truly umpiring.

This pits Grenadiers Guards against 12th SS on road to Cagny in Normandy.

I had to adjust the scenario very slightly to accommodate new rules (essentially only Battle Ratings) and picked a couple of options that are dependant on results of earlier scenario outcomes.

Therefore in addition to their 3 PzIVH and 2 Veteran Infantry Platoons backed by some 105mm Artillery the Germans also got a King Tiger (optional extra).
They also get 3 JagdPzIVfs as re-reinforcements which I allowed them to roll for (needing 10+ on 2d6) from turn 3.
My Dad of course commanded the Germans

Stephen had control of an Motorized Infantry Platoon in Kangaroos (as I have insufficient M5 half-tracks) and Infantry Platoon supported by 25pdr Battery.
He also had 11 Tanks being a mix of Shermans, Fireflies, Achilles and Cromwells (these an optional addition).
He also had a Forward Air Controller to assist with calling any circling aircraft (a futile job as it turned out)

Germans set up on one end in some woods and behind a line of Bocage in Ambush (ie Opportunity Fire status), the British appear on opposite short table edge.
There are 4 objectives (a couple of buildings and some hedgerows.

Stephen pushed forward quickly with his Kangaroos into a cluster of buildings taking one objective early.
The Germans proved unable to dislodge them.
He also advanced on his left with the bilk of his armour surviving several shots from waiting Panzers (movement by both sides and obscuring hedge lines and orchards made hitting a problem early on for both sides.

However the Jagdpanzers showed up on their first available turn thwarting the British Armoured push.
A gun duel developed which the British lost as their 17pdr armed AFVs died leaving only lowly Shermans and Cromwells.
The Tiger II is an awesome beast being impervious frontally (only a 17pdr has a chance) and almost auto killing anything it hits.
Stephen manfully tried to tackle it with side shots from Piats and Tanks but failed then seeing these brave units die in return.

Both sides used their Artillery with British being easier to access as in direct support but with some wayward spotting rounds.
Germans lost quite a bit of Infantry crossing open ground but the British armour as decimated by the Panzerwaffe although 3 Panzer did brew.

Both sides drew lots of high value Battle Rating chits with only a couple of Event chits appearing.
Sadly for British they never drew an Aircraft counter the entire game !!

Game ended when British Morale broke but was closer than it appeared as Germans only 6 points from collapsing themselves.
The early appearance of the Jagdpanzers was a huge boon to German cause.

Great rule set and fast playing game even with this much kit on table.
I used my usual tweaks of allowing German MGs to operate as per Bren teams and not tracking ammo usage for AFVs.



The calm before the storm. Germans set up on left British approach from right




 Initial German moves (poker chips denote a unit has acted)



 Guards armour advances




And start to suffer................................



Some German units suffer Pins





As do British Infantry caught under artillery stonk






More Guard armour turned to scrap





Panzers suffer losses





 The 'Beast'






 And his prey



Saturday, May 23, 2015

Maurice and a Nine Years War bash at Duc De Gobin's

First time visit to Duc De Gobins (Darrens) to play a game of Maurice using his very nice 25mm (mainly Dixon figures I think ?) Nine Years War Armies on his nice big table.

He has an awesome book collection that I spent some time drooling over and I think he put me on that side of his table to distract me ! :-)

I selected the French in defence against the Anglo-Dutch with 6 Regular Infantry 3 Conscript Infantry (an insult to the Irish Wild Geese figures) 2 Guns,and 3 Regular Horse and one Elite unit of Grade Francais foot, with Great Captain and A La Boinette traits.

Duc had similar amount of foot although he had two Elite Dutch Guards and an extra Mercenary foot unit, he had but one gun but with some 4 Regular horse.
He had traits of Maison Du Roi and the extremely lethal Lethal Volleys (those re-rolls are key attribute).

I had one Conscript unit in Garrison of a town.

I decided to go at the oncoming Anglo-Dutch to keep them as far from my lines as possible but my right wing Cavalry assault faltered on some previously unseen rough ground due to that damnable 'flying terrain' card !!
This put my Horse in all sorts of trouble.

Duc advanced his Elite Guard units in forefront on my left and it looked for awhile like they might carry the day alone with their Lethal Shooting.

I did however manage to beat them in melee by ganging up on them but two units of Horse from his reserve stopped me taking advantage.

He then lethally volleyed (are up picking up how important this trait is ?) two of my central units to bits tipping my Army morale into the dustbin and carrying the day for the Anglo-Dutch.

Great game using Maurice and some deep discussion about its merits and abstractions afterwards.

We plan to try Black Powder at next encounter.

Very glad to have made Duc's acquaintance through our Blogs, as I was oblivious to his presence so near at hand (a 30 minute drive which is pretty much same as Stephens only in opposite direction).
I liked his cunning plan of placing me on the collapsing chair !! :-)

Phone pics




Irish Conscript (!) Garrison




 French Horse poised





Initial moves








Anglo-Dutch surge forwards




 Their Horse looking on






 Battle is joined




































French lines under pressure






Dutch Horse making nuisance of themselves (although one unit dealt with already)





More foot assault the French with lethal volleys






Monday, May 18, 2015

Die Fighting 2 Napoleonic game

Face to face game with Stephen today with my French facing his Russians using Die Fighting 2 by Bob Jones.

Interesting game especially compared with first version which we played several times.

The use of Commands to generate Resource dice and their individual pooling of same is a major change from the original version and we felt this worked much better.

Especially as these pools can be restored on the Rally/Restore card.

The similar but new Card Phasing system is much easier than previously with all the nice but complex variations now in two essentially equal decks.

I also liked the latest updated rule regarding Proximity which allows units far from the enemy to move by using Free dice in lieu of actual Resource dice, a nice touch.

We pretty much got the hang of shooting and combat finding Heavy Artillery to be a constant drain on enemy (as they should be).

We both lost a unit to catastrophic loss which is another new rule when a unit loses a firefight or combat by 13+ it is instantly destroyed (rather than Routed as in DF although this was a later amendment).

Also units that suffer 7+ losses 'gain' a black dice in addition to Disorder which must be Rallied off but which counts as a minus dice whilst with the Disordered unit.

We did encounter one or two queries (which I will broach on the forum) main one being from the Napoleonic Template in relation to Attack Columns in Melee.
As we read it it seems these are a better Defensive Formation than Offensive which seems odd ?
Also in similar vein Cavalry seem to be better against a Square than Infantry in Line or Attack Column which again seems counter intuitive ?

Considering our usual pre-game waffling and newness to the rules we managed to get through a fair few turns in our 4 hour slot which is a bonus.

I would definately rate DF2 in same bracket as Field Of Battle 2 (no surprise as both have ancestry in Bobs Piquet rules) with both having their own pluses and minuses.




French deployment






 French Guard Artillery opens proceedings.........




 Russian left flank under a Foolhardy Commander






 Russian centre and right





 Engagement on French right






Prussian Heavy batteries which were a constant drain on French morale and progress







 Russian right wing





Old Guard push forward with one unit in folly of assaulting town






French chasing Russian Jager into heavy woods

 

Hannibal Rome vs Carthage played

Played this old Avalon Hill title with my Dad managing to get in two plays in one night.

Such a good game and I found the Battle Card system very nostalgic indeed.

I played Carthage both times and almost took Rome in both games but lost Hannibal himself to Rome counterattack (in AH version this is auto win for Rome although I think in latest rules this is not so ?).  

Such fun with this game especially exciting when Carthage sends an army by sea !