Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Battlegroup scenario played 'La Gleize'

Another game of Battlegroup today at Stephens as we are on a bit of a WWII binge at present !
Played a scenario from the 'Wacht Am Rhein' booklet entitled 'La Gleize' with Peipers unit having a bit of a last stand on outskirts of the village.
I played Nazis and Stephen got to field his Yanks for a change.
Nice scenario with all Spotting and hitting for Aimed Fire subject to a -1 to simulate Smoke and Mist shrouding the battlefield.
German vehicles also subject to a test to run out of fuel (a 1 on a d6 each time they move).

Great game which despite the Krauts being greatly outnumbered was a close contest.
We both saw Tanks suffer from 'random events' with my drawing a Mine Attack chit and destroying a Sherman but later Yanks drew a Breakdown chit which he placed on a Panther and rolled a 1 to see the crew abandon the Panzer !
With the poor visibility most shooting was Suppression Fire and with Yank Artillery causing a lot of my units to be suppressed leading to a lot of Chit draws to Rally.

German morale broke first as their 36 level was passed first although the US had accumulated 30 of their 38 so a close outcome.
Yanks had taken one of their 2 tactical objectives but would have had a real fight for the other.

Enjoyable game and with both sides having squads split into two teams the Orders issue I had was mute.
Battlegroup are a very slick set which I would term in some ways WWII-lite but they certainly generate a fast flowing and fun game.

























Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Battlegroup a Normandy scenario (Ludemanns Hunting Panthers) played

Played a scenario from latest Battlegroup core rule book entitled 'Ludemanns Hunting Panthers' versus Stephen using 15mm kit.

Scenario set 7th June 1944 in Normandy with 12th SS against 3rd Canadian Divisions.
Been a wee while since we played the rules so decided to play them as is (ie no house rules) including recording ammo usage for tanks (we did not differentiate between HE and AP just an overall total used), which worked fine.

I set up the scenario from the book (actually part of a campaign but fine as a stand alone game).
We then rolled for sides and I ended up with attacking Huns against the dug-in Cannucks.

Huns had an Battle Rating (ie Morale level) of 24 compared to Cannuck 34 so a really tough proposition to attack dug in troops on open pasture land/cornfields, especially as Huns had no artillery support relying on their Panthers (6 in total) to push their weak Grenadiers (2 squads only) forward.
They are also hampered by a reduced Command dice roll due to off-table events.
The Cannucks start with a Troop of 2 Shermans and a Firefly (with a duplicate Troop appearing on fifth turn) supporting a full Infantry Platoon in Foxholes with 2 x 6 Pdr anti-tank guns and and off-table pre-registered aiming point for 2 x 105mm guns (no on board spotters available to adjust or call fire).
They also get an off-table 17 pdr shot (reduced effect compared to on table versions) each turn once Panthers get within a 50" range.

Game played really well despite the 'Hunting' Panthers ending up the 'Hunted' !
Rules are very slick and with every aimed shot requiring a spotting roll and with no hidden units (nice to have all our kit on table) we used a lot more Suppressing Fire (renamed from Area Fire) to try to cause Pins.
The Ammo rules meant our Tanks had to be a lot more circumspect at selecting targets than simply banging away without restriction.
Panthers advanced into a deluge of fire and once their Infantry came up they too suffered from dug-in volleys.
Hun Morale failed first (ie they reached they BR rating) and they withdrew leaving 3 brewed Panthers and one abandoned (crew failed a Morale check whilst Pinned) with their Infantry wiped out.
Cannucks lost a Firefly and a Sherman with another Firefly immobilised but their Infantry and ATGs virtually intact as their foxholes and dug-outs proved effective (3+ saving roll when hit)

Am still not a fan of the Hun squads requiring 2 orders (1 for squad as such and a 2nd for MG Team) as it meant my 2 squads (ie 4 teams) required 4 orders per turn to act in comparison to the 3 squads (1 x single 10 man team) and HQ squad of the Cannuck Infantry Platoon which also used 4 orders (although they did require separate orders for a PIAT Team and a 2" Mortar team).
Seems a bit odd/jarring to require 2 orders just to advance across a field compared to comparative British squad and then when fired upon the MG teams are singled out for attention and if destroyed cause a BR chit to be pulled so therefore 2 per Hun squad vis 1 per Cannuck squad.
But that said they do have some advantages in flexibility (Orders permitting) when it comes to firing (MG pins enemy then squad can kill/assault them at least in theory) but not sure it offsets the perceived disadvantages ?
However ultimately we felt in the round that it all works within the rules framework/structure and probably not worth house ruling/complicating (allowing them to move in concert for 1 order or similar ?).



The table set-up prior to the fray (the 'black' road is a railway line)







The battle................
















In other news I acquired a couple more rule sets :-)














And a painting project for the year (he says hopefully !!) of a 15mm ACW Confederate force (I bought an Army Pack in the Lancashire Games sale)



Tuesday, January 03, 2017

King Of The Battlefield game played Prussia versus Austria

Game today at Stephens using King Of The Battlefield rules as chosen by Stephen.
I used my Prussians and Stephen the Austrians although with these rules as written it is pretty much 'red vs blue' as no difference between armies as such (ie no national characteristics or traits).
But nonetheless are very slick and enjoyable game.
We really liked the Cavalry melees wherein after each round you can choose to attempt to feed in successive Cavalry units to try to achieve a decisive breakthrough, very exciting and feels historical as units are committed to a swirling melee.
Combat both in melee and firing is pretty decisive with most units being routed/destroyed upon second hit (Guard take 3 hits and 2 class only 1).
All combat is adjudicated by causing a Morale Test on target enemy unit with a D8 (counting as plus) and a D6 (counting as minus) with several factors applied and any negative outcome yielding a hit.
Movement is fairly easy with such things as Formation Changes or Charges requiring a Control Test on a D10 with a score of 4+ being successful.
Again a few adjustments to this roll.
Units can Rally hits but this is rather difficult as you must be outside 10" of enemy and requires passing a Control Test but with a -5 !!
Even with a General in contact (+1) this means you need an 8-10.
I had an off-table Reserve Brigade and a single unit Flank March all of which were easily handled by the rules.
We really enjoyed the speed of play and slick mechanics our only negative being the generic nature of the Armies by default.
No army lists as such in rules (only a sample Prussian and Austrian points based examples) but we will address Army differences in such fashion most likely eg allowing early Prussians more Elite types than others and suchlike.



Prussian Cuirassier facing Austrian right (note Austrian Dragoons on counter march)




Austrian left prepares





Prussians 'steal the march' (ability to conduct a formation change for free and move first)  on their right.





Central set ups







Prussian Reserve of Cavalry arrives on right of advancing Foot







 Overview after opening moves





First casualties  on Prussian Horse and a counter move as Austrian Dragoon appear






Prussian gun hit






Prussian march on right continues (flanking Hussars announce arrival but with 2 turn delay)








Prussians outnumbered in centre






Austrian Horse deploys with Foot support





Prussian Foot pinning Austrians back







Prussians wheeling left on their right !









Cavalry melees begin on my left






Losses mount in centre










Flank march arrives as rest of Mounted form up










Austrian view of their right flank








Prussians starting to fold on this flank











Austrians pull back on their left









Prussian right has collapsed 











Leaving the centre in dire straits









Prussians  have some success on right against Austrian Horse but too late as right and centre fold.