Sunday, 1 October 2017

The Retreat from Fort Mackenzie

Following the burning of Fort MacKenzie the British retreated back down the pass to the safety of their base

The British enter the battlefield from the North and need to cross the ford in the village to the south and get the supply wagon off the the table to the South

As the Bengal Lancers leave the pass a horde of warriors who had raced over the mountain appear near to the mouth of the pass

The British vanguard form a line as the column advances with the wagon which can not stop

The Afghans charge home and a fierce battle ensues.

The British win, just and the column is free to advance

The Bengal Lancers charge a small unit of Afghan cavalry and wipe them out. Across the river another unit a warriors shadows the column

With their side of the river clear the British advance towards the village, watched by a couple of units of Afghans

A second unit of warriors appears behind the column and the surviving Highlanders, who fought so poorly yesterday and bringing up the rear and are ordered to protect the column

The British reach the village

The Highlanders unleash a volley but the Afghans press home. Another bloody fight but the Highlanders win well.

However they are isolated and rifle fire from Afghans in front and freshly arrived irregular cavalry destroy them

The British unlimber their field gun to protect the crossing as the Lancers and a Sikh regiment cross the ford with the wagon. A unit of warriors emerge from the fields near the village and catch the rearmost British regiment in line wiping them out. The situation gets worse as fire from the following units wipes out the gun crew.

The Bengal Lancers face up to the warriors. This should be easy

Disaster. The Afghans clash with the Lancers and utterly destroy them - too many 1s vs too many 6s

The Sikhs form a line to protect the wagon and finish of the Afghans.

The wagon makes it off the table as to the Sikhs but it is a Pyrrhic victory. Over the 2 battles the British lost 6 regiments and only 1 plus a wagon survived. Afghanistan is a terrible place to invade.

Battle of Fort MacKenzie

I've been really busy for the last month, lost of house guests and start of new term at work so I've done nothing for 2 weeks, although it feels much longer. Yesterday was my first chance for some proper hobby time and as my painting mojo is off (figures on my paint table are poor quality and uninspiring) I fought a solo battle.
1882, NW frontier. Fort MacKenzie guards the entrance to a mountain pass and is held by a battalion of British infantry. The Afghans are restless and a force has been spotted approaching the fort. A messenger has been sent to send for reinforcements who will arrive through the pass to the left of the fort.

Afghans approach

British sentries keep watch

The Afghans cross a wadi

The Afghans launch a general advance

Fire from the fort disperses a small unit of Afghans but incoming fire is whittling down the British

The 1st British reinforcements arrive

Afghans ready to assualt

A mad charge and they burst through the gates. Devastating fire from the Brits stops them but they don't rout 

Activation failures cause a traffic jam and the Brits pour withering fire into the Afghans

The 1st British reinforcements have been decimated by enemy fire, advancing down the pass is going to make deployment difficult. However the next unit is advancing behind

A 3rd unit arrives as the Afghans are still stalled at the fort

Brits deploy but will it be in time

The Afghans are in and are attacking the Brits in the fort

Afghan cavalry charge the survivors of the 1st unit of British reinforcements. They hold

This give the Brits time to deploy and hold the mouth of the pass

With units in the fort the Afghans turn to attack the Brits

THey charge the line and clash with a unit of Highlanders. The Afghans win just but the Highlanders rout from the field.

Back in the fort it's all gone a bit General Gordon as the Colour party of the Brits hold the roof

The rout of the Highlanders has shocked the Brits and they form a square as the next unit arrives and clears out the Afghan infnatry

The Afghan force has been almost destroyed but the colour party has been killed 

The Afghans torch the fort and leg it. The British will have to retreat back down the pass to safety and shelter - but that is for another day.

I really enjoyed this battle, played using a variation of Dave Docherty's Imperial Steel rules which are very simple but well balanced and cinematc. I will play the retreat today and post later.

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.