Late October Games Night

It has been a few weeks since these games were played but things are still pretty hectic and blogging has taken a definite back-seat to everything else that is going on.

There were two games played with Paul, Terry, Shane and Jeremy playing a Flames of War Desert Encounter and John and I playing a Contemptible Little Armies World War One game.

The Great War battle was a trenchline slog with the Brits assaulting the German lines. It had been a while since we had played CLA, and it was some time into the game before we found our rhythm. The game is very simple, but for the sake of  ease of play we didn’t include any off-table barrages. That was a bit of a mistake for the poor old Brits.

The first part of the British assault was a failure, but the German counterattacks were just as bad, and in the end with the body count mounting we decided to call it a draw. This game reinforced all the stereotypes associated with the First World War, mostly because we weren’t using the key weapon – artillery. I’ll make sure that for the next game we take the time to plan the use of the barrage rules.

Anyway, some pictures of the battle:

 

 

 

The German line

 

The British Line

 

The advance on the left flank

 

The advance on the right flank to capture the town

 

Going over the top can be a hazardous business

 

trying to storm the trenches from the town proved too difficult

 

The German counterattack was no more successful

 

The Germans were slowly being whittled down, but there were not enough Brits to exploit the gaps in the line.

Having seen off the RFC the red baron took to strafing the PBI.

The other table saw the Afrika Korps take a bit of a hammering as the Brits stubbornly held onto their objectives:

No commentary on this battle I’m afraid, it was still going when I headed home. Not too sure who won, but the Brits were looking pretty comfortable.

Nate

 

 

 

Games night 30th march

John has gone to India for work for three weeks, so before he went we quickly organised a game at his place. It turned out to be only myself, John and Terry in the end, with 3000 points a side on an 8′ x 4′ table.  the plan was to have Chris there as well, and everyone would bring a 1500 point force – John and Chris would provide the allies and Terry and I the Germans. Then we would randomly draw for which army we played with. But Chris had the flu, so we ended up with John and I taking the allies against Terry with all of the Germans.

The scenario saw a British armoured regiment coming to the relief of a Para company, and was the first time I have ever played bocage. If I had known at the start of the game what I know now, I would have deployed a lot differently.

Lines up in the bocage – I should have massed the armour nearer to the camera if I had known that there would be no way to fire from one hedge to the next…

I had two platoons in the centre of the table – John’s paras are in the town.

The Paras deployed with the German assault massing on the far side of the river.

The German Panthers advance –

– and set about wiping out the Shermans in the centre.

Terry attempts to get his forces across the bridge, but only succeeds in getting his trucks set alight (along with most of their passengers)

While John blows up his support on the far side of the river.

My tanks resemble the parking lot that so many purists insist Flames of War becomes. But it is because of the Mexican stand-off at the bocage (were the Mexicans in World War Two?). Who will blink first?

Me of course! After all, I have numerical superiority – I should be able to get at least half my tanks across and that will be enough… D’OH!

John’s paras launch  counterattack and whack the remaining Germans pretty convincingly.

With nothing left to lose (actually, pretty much just nothing left) I launch a desperate infantry attack on the advancing Panthers. My infantry didn’t even manage to make a decent speed bump. Sigh. This is Terry’s revenge for the walloping my Russians have given him the last couple of times. Set me up in the bocage and watch me flounder around!

At least I have the satisfaction of knowing I’d designed a pretty solid 1500 point army list…

This was the situation before my infantry did their death or glory charge. It was a very short trip to the objective for the Panthers once they were disposed of.

So, a lot of fun (especially for Terry), but it was quite a slow game without Chris there as well, as terry had to effectively fight two opponents. Next games night we might try this switcheroo again.

Nate

Irregular games last Friday

On Friday night I was able to head out to John’s for games night, and was joined by Chris, Terry, Paul and Jordan. That was good because it meant that we had even numbers to play with. We paired off with Terry and Chris playing Afrika Korps vs Kiwis and Paul and Jordan playing Afrika Korps vs British armour. John and I decided to have a game of Napoleonics using Black Powder, as we hadn’t played either of these things in several months.

The Battlefield looking down towards the French ourtflanking movement after Turn One – John has already turned his line to face the threat. Grrr!

John set his British up on a ridge in Spain somewhere, preparing for a French attack. I decided that it was folly to simply assault the ridge head on, and brought the French on in two wings. I would contest the church with the infantry and try to bust through the British cavalry and loop around behind the British infantry. Meanwhile I would take my other infantry brigade down the extreme flank to try and cross the river and upset his balance. It was a fine plan on paper, but was fouled up in the first turn when John rolled three moves for the brigade on his left and simply turned his line to face the river.

It was now not going to be a single head on fight anymore, but two separate head-on fights. Hoo-bloody-ray.

The British Line patiently waits while the French deploy to cross the river.

The attacks went slowly after that. John occupied the church before I could get there and the cavalry just eyed each other for far too long. I tried to bombard the Church to soften up the defenders prior to assault, but my attacking troops kept getting shot up. In the end the British came down off the ridge and drove the French infantry off. At the same time my cavalry finally wiped out the British cavalry, but it was too little too late.

Artillery pounds the church but little softening up is happening. After their first clash the cavalry rallies and prepares for the next round. 

On the other side of the table the French and British went tit for tat as John’s general suffered paralysis of command while the French crossed the river (we house ruled the river would take three turns to cross unless by bridge). In the end, though, the French Brigade simply lost too many battalions and broke before the Brits did. The French army was broken and the battle ended with the Brits victorious.

The French cross the stream slowly – but the British just sit and wait.

I have to say I had rotten luck with the dice, failing the break tests at the end of the game quite spectacularly with aq series of 3s and 4s. And John getting three moves with his left hand Brigade in the first turn was also a rotten piece of luck, but then ’twas ever thus in the Peninsula.

The motivation for this battle was to see what sort of game I will get when I have painted my Peninsular War armies – 8 battalions and 2 cavalry a side. I may have to work towards 12 battalions for each, as I felt that there just wasn’t really enough to play with in the end. I also think that the scenario would probably have benefited from some late arriving reserves.

On the other table battle raged in the North African Desert. The final verdict was a triumph for the Afrika Korps, but it was hard work. The British armour under Jordan fought literally to the last tank, and Chris was giving as good as he was getting for large parts of the game.

Chris’ Kiwis, already burning up.

Terry’s Afrika Korps. He hasn’t quite got around to putting together desert PaKs. The Infantry are a commission I did for him, using Command Decision figures. Their Afrika Korps are very nice and I enjoyed painting them.

Stukas say hello to some Portees. The objective is, of course, the only piece of grass in the Desert..

Above is an example of Paul’s resin dug-in markers. He sculpted the originals and then cast them in resin. They are perfect for Flames of War and can meet up to form a trench system if you want. If anyone would like to purchase some, just let me know and I’ll put you in touch with him.

Lastly, nothing whatsoever to do with games night. I thought I’d paint up some of my Wargames Factory Romans (this is pre-baby) and construct a light box to try photographing them.  The result – fail. I may not be using enough light for my box or maybe the paper is too thick. Back to the drawing board.

I’ve hit painter’s block at the moment, as happens every year. This year I think it is a combination of starting back at school and having a new baby at the same time. I’m hoping I’ll feel a little more settled in a couple of weeks and get back to the brushes.

Nate

Burning Stukas with Burning Empires

As promised here is a brief report on the two Flames of War games played by the Irregulars last Friday.

First up are John and Terry with two scenarios taken from the Hellfire and Back and Burning Empires books.  The first saw Terry’s Afrika Korps defending a fortified position in a Witch’s Cauldron. Despite the odds appearing to be in John’s favour several times, Terry defended the objectives well.  I didn’t see too much of this game as I was setting up the 28mm table at this stage, but there was much laughter coming from that direction:

Above: the end of the game with John’s tanks contesting the objective – but not claiming it!

The Maori advance over the hill

Afrika Korps infantry run back to their fortifications, effectively stopping the British from claiming the objective.

After this game they decided to play out a raid scenario from Burning Empires.  John’s SAS were mounting a night-time raid on a German airfield. They had to burn the Stukas and Ammo dump and successfully escape before Terry’s reserves could arrive and stop him.

Terry managed to get teams on in every turn and they effectively arrived in the pefect position to block John’s withdrawal.  Not that the dice were doing him any favours as his teams failed to blow up a single objective in his first series of rolls.

Time was runing out and John’s trucks were not as resilient as he would have liked. He finally managed to blow up all of the objectives, but there was little left that could escape. Laughing maniacally Terry wiped out the last of the SAS and LRDG teams. Two wins to Terry – well it was about time he started winning again.

Over on the other table an Eastern Front battle was brewing. I spent even less time over here and didn’t manage to take many photos either unfortunately. This was a 2200 point stoush between Paul and Jordan playing Germans on one side and Dylan playing a large Soviet Tankovy force that John and I provided on the other. The result was a German win, but as it was the first time that Dylan had run Soviets he did fairly well. The Sturmoviks were the heroes of this battle, included in the army list because Paul loves his big German tanks so much.  I wanted to see the look on his face when they had rockets in their behinds!

Dylan’s artillery behind a corn-field. T-34/85s heading into hull-down positions.

T-34/85s on the left flank dealing with two Tigers – a job they performed admirably well.

So an enjoyable night and we look forward to the next games evening. Chris says he will be there this time, so I’m hoping to get a good battle in.

Nate