Sunday, 10 September 2017

Operation Sealion - The battle for Dover

A busy gaming weekend, Old Guard today, and yesterday I wandered over to Matt's for a day in his dungeon. Matt is refighting Operation Sealion and the Germans are advancing on Dover. This was the last battle before Dover. I was the Germans and had to clear the road. as usual the layout was epic.

Right hand side, secret military base in centre and pillbox at top right are objectives

Left hand side with bridge as the 3rd objective

My infantry on the left advance

On the right the veteran paratroopers move forward

THe Brits on the right advance. They have a lot of crappy artillery, Northover Projector and Smith gun.

I drop smoke in front of the pillbox which is occupied by a vickers

The road is blocked by a Smith gun and a light AT

My PzIII and Stug face off against them

On the other side a motorbike machine gun is getting hammered by the Matilda and a 25lb gun

The anti tank gun immobilises the PzIII. Not going well

In the centre i have set up my artillery park - pak36 and a 75mm howitzer

The Brits advance into the secret military base and Vickers tank appears in hte centre where I am weakest. Matt had secreted a Boyes ATR in the central building and it was chipping away at my infantry

A random event roll causes the home guard to leave the pub and retreat towards their homes. 

On the right my PzII and 222 arrive and start to shoot the vickers and bren gun carriers that are the main forces here. A morter shell has wiped out an infantry section and the smoke caused the vickers to leave the pillbox, where I promptly killed them

We both had 5th columnists who were to cross the table.and infiltrate the enemy. They met in the middle, fought and Matt won. His spy crossed the table and would mess up the german plans for the next battle.

The pub was empty and I saw my chance to advance. I charged across the open ground. At that point the next random event card forced a British unit into the pub to quench their thirst. I was committed now.

I reached the pub as my Howitzer fired a shot into the pub and butchered the occupants. The Matilda had advanced to take out the Stug - the explosion destroyed the image.

The Matilda had advanced too far and into the range of my flame thrower. It lit up the Matilda but the fire was quickly extinguished.

The Boyes ATR fired and hit the flame thrower, blowing it up in a huge fireball.

On the right the autocannon fight is going my way, at the 4th attempt I destroyed the Vickers, I had set it on fire 3 times already.

The battle for the pub is over and i hold it. 

I take out a bren carrier and hold the flank, Matt still has the pillbox but can't hurt me. Matt holds all the objectives but only has the Matilda and some odds and sods left. It is a victory for him but only just. Dover will be ready for the attack but it will be attacked.
Great day, hard battle.

John Insisted I Posted this Quickly

The Old Guard met today to play our 1st ACW battle. We have a group 10mm project and after much furious painting had significant forces. The used Regimental Fire and Fury for the 1st time and Dave umpired, with James riding shotgun. John even opened the rules and pretended to read them. John demanded that i publish quickly, apparently he is having trouble sleeping
The battle was Brawner's Farm from 1862 with Me and Stu being the Union, who were outnumbered, and John, Pete and James being the Rebel scum.
I didn't take enough photo's so  much of this will be via the medium of dance.

Stu starts the battle in the woods and cornfield in the centre, facing James Rebels and artillery

I am on the right with a single regiment and a battery of smooth bore howitzers

Stu's crack regiment are to the fore and he must decide what to do. My artillery open fire on James' artillery and miss so badly that I don't think they've landed yet

John's Georgia brigade arrive in the centre and advance to the cornfield. Stu has a choice, he can retreat from the 2 forces he is facing from different directions, or he can hold position and use this crack regiment to whittle them down. My artillery miss the Georgia boys.

After much thought Stu advances his forward regiment into the woods to face James' infantry and artillery. A withering volley buggers him up and his guys are forced to retreat.

At this point I have opened formal negotiations to join the Confederacy. However at this point Pete's forces have appeared opposite me in field column. I have advanced and a devastating barrage from my cannon removes 3 bases from one of Pete's units and my infantry have removed another one. At this rate I will butcher him before he gets close. Then it all goes wrong. Pete hits a perfect 10 (D10 dice in these rules) and he disorders my infantry (disordered infantry fire poorly). Then James launches a perfect counter battery attack and destroys one or my cannon and silences the battery.

This gives Pete the chance to advance and he charges my infantry who retreat. I have received more reinforcements, an infantry unit and 4 more cannon. I have formed a grand battery and 1/2 are shooting at Pete (at much reduced effect) and the other 1/2 are causing havoc as John's force advance into the cornfield.
At this point I stopped taking photographs. On the left James is gradually slaughtering Stu's forced, aided by Stu's ability to only role a 1. In the centre John is stuck in the cornfield and although he is advancing the cost is high as Stu holds the woods and the right hand side of the cornfield. Meanwhile I am ruining the cornfield with artillery field. Many women in Georgia will lose their husbands / brothers today.
On the right I've been reinforced with a large green regiment and Pete has got some veterans. The Confederates advance enthusiastically and whilst I inflict some pain., Pete keeps coming and has the upper hand. Eventually the Union suffer heavy losses, mainly down to Stu ruining the crack Wisconsin regiment (1/3 of all our losses), although they were still in there swinging at the end

The final position. Stu holds the woods but the left flanks has, well left to be honest. I've held the rebel charge but only so that my cannon can escape. We lost but sold our lives dearly.
It was a fun day, John even attacked. It was my 1st go with the rules and I like them, simple and bloody but feel right. Artillery a bit to good, but that is an easy fix with tweaking of low ammo rules. We are putting on a demonstration at Battleground in November.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Border Reiver Show 2017

It was my local show today in Gateshead. Had a fun day with Stu, Stig, James, Matt, Steve and Roy. Took no photos but I did buy this lot

Another tiny preorder from Col Bill. 6mm trucks, tank transporters, and a couple of specialist FV432S

cretan archers for my incredibly short ranged romans

VBCW warlord figs via Lancer Games at 25% off, bargain

Numidian king Juba

Some Samurai bought from Stu at the bring and buy, £10

6mm buildings from bring and buy, £10

Top day out. Next weekend I'm gaming with Matt on Saturday and with the Old Guard on Sunday

Monday, 21 August 2017

Partizan II - The glorious bravery of the Camel Corps

The sun baked down relentlessly on the Sudan desert as the engineers tried to move the next rail into place. It was hot work and progress was slow. Every day they would advance and form up in a new camp built by the defending forces. Their force was strong with 2 regiments of Guards to defend the train, a Naval Contingent armed with newfangled Gardiner guns and a battery of Royal Artillery. It was approaching the end of the day and a supply column was coming in from the East escorted by the Lancashire Regiment. They had seen some skirmishing and were bringing in supplies and wounded to the train. The foot hills were full of signallers and various small parties were surveying the land whilst journalists watched on.
Far to the West the Camel Corps had taken up position in the walled village of El Damer. Their commander Major General Herbert Stewart had brought his wife and daughter along, so confident was he of a peaceful advance. To the South the 18th Hussars were on patrol and all was quiet.

The battlefield (North is on the left)

The train and zariba lined encampment

 The camel corps in El Damer

Suddenly to the West appeared Kitchener advancing quickly on his camel mount and from all sides Mahdists appeared out of the desert. He may have been a brilliant scout but it was if he had lead the Mahdists to the encampments. "Stand To" went the order and all across the battlefield the Imperial forces readied themselves for action. Zariba barricades were quickly finished and manned, outlying skirmish and scouting parties were recalled and men readied themselves for battle.

The arrival of Kitchener on his camel closely pursued by Beja skirmishers. He makes a B-line for the General in the Zariba
More Mahdists threaten the column to the West protected by the Lancs

Quite a lot of cavalry approaches threatening to cut off the Camel Corps. The 18th Hussars try to screen

Impetuous as ever Col. Burnaby leads 1/2 the Scots Guards out to protect the column

The Camel Corps are in trouble. Too many Fuzzies and not enough bullets

The Hussars rush to their aid

And smash into the side of some Beja  Camelry, seeing them off but the Baggara Cavalry inflict heavy losses

The Lancs hold off an initial Mahdist charge as 2 regiments of Bengal lancers arrive from the Indian Brigade.

The Camel Corps prepare to defend themselves

The Lancers charge and take out the enemy releasing the pressure on column

The Indians start to arrive in force

The zariba prepares

as yet more Mahdists arrive

and more. The Camel Corps is completely cut off

The Dervish charge has forced them out of El Damer and greatly reduced their numbers

With most of their opponents go the Indian Brigade and Lancs can start to turn to face the much larger forces to the North

and they've got a cannon

The Camel Corps are in deep trouble but they hold their ground to allow the women and injured to escape

The Baggara cavalry smash into the zariba but are repelled by cannon fire

But the Mahdist horde under the command of the Mahdi himself is poised to overrun the the zariba. 

The last stand of the Camel Corps. Camels stolen, 2 companies routing but they fight to the end

The Navy try to pour fire into the Madhists but both Gardiner guns jam in the same turn. The presence of the Mahdi gives them a save on a 4,5 or 6. They will hit next turn and overwhelm the zariba

The Indian brigade gets into position but they must be too late. They pour fire into the flank of the Mahdists and cause some to rout but still them come

The navy fire and then its a bayonet fight, 7 attacks from the Navy vs 14 from the Mahdists

A draw and the Mahdists are starting to be cut down

a win for the Navy and the Mahdists are wrecked. 

It was a close run thing indeed and the Camel Corps is pretty much gone saving the women. A noble way to die.
It was a brilliant battle well received by all at the show. Dave wrote the rules and they worked very well indeed.

“Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the Gate:
To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his gods
 Thomas Babington Macaulay,
 Lays of Ancient Rome