Wednesday 29 November 2017

Late WW2 Eastern Front Playtest AAR

I was invited to Wargaming chum Steve Shann's tonight along with chum Mark to try out Steves new WW2 rule set. Its an amalgamation of a number of rules taking what Steve feels is the best of each into a new set.

Steve had already laid out the commands in inital deployments, Mark took the Russians and I took the Germans.

I had 5 Stug's in two companies, 2 with the 105 support HE guns and 3 the more powerful AT guns, I also had  Jagdpanther, two companies of infantry, a mortar and a Raupenschlepper PAK40 anti tank gun on a truck bed. 

My foot were dug in around two villages and my tanks coming on move 1 in support. The Germans were mainly veteran.

Mark had 9 T34 85's in 3 companies of 3, an infantry battalion, 2 IS122 tank hunters and a recce battalion with 2 T34 76's attached. The Russians were mainly regulars.

The forces were in-balanced in favour of the Russians but at the same time the requirement to capture both villages in one night, especially with new rules was a very big ask.

We use card activation and diced for initiative. Initially I threw a 5 and Mark a 2 so I went first, I pulled 3 cards off the top of my deck as this was the difference between our die rolls and so did Mark.

Stug airbrush painted by Steve Shann

Steves excellent Germans

T34 85's again painted by Steve

My first card was  Firepower card allowing me to fire and reload with all weapons. Unfortunately only the Jagdpanther and mortar could see anything, these duly fired. Most anti tank weapons role two D10 to hit, at long range I was needing 8, 9 or 10. Once you score a hit you then check for damage. Take the armour score of the target away from the gun class. In this case the T34 was an armour class of 8 and the Jagdpanther gun class of 16, that gives me a difference of 6. That means 6 D6 to throw, normally needing a 5 or 6 to penetrate, but a 6 in this case as its long range. I roll one 6 and have therefore penetrated. Each armoured vehicle can take 4 hits before being destroyed. Interestingly the rules allow you to target a group of tanks. So I could have chosen to target all of the tanks, if I had got a lucky roll of 3 sixes all three tanks would have taken a hit. As a hit causes a morale check  and reduced the effectiveness of the targets gun when they fire this can be really useful. I also fired the mortar, being long range I rolled dice for the deviation from aiming point and managed to land my rounds completely off table. Never mind.

Next I drew a move card, all my units can now move, I only wanted to move the armour so a roll a D10 for each unit. the higher I roll the more moves a vehicle can make, on a 10 I get 4 moves ( 8 inch off road and 12 inch on road) on a 1 or 2 I dont move at all. I get three moves and deploy my Stugs around the village and move the Jagdpanther to the far side of the wood to lay in wait for the Russian's to drive out of their village.

My last card is a morale card which I cant use at this stage. Over to Mark for his three cards..

o I wont take you through the game card by card but wanted to give you a feel of how it works. its perhaps easier if I take it trun by turn to give you an idea of how the game played out.

Marks T34 85's had mixed fortunes with the two outer units pressing forward and the centre one refusing to budge, unfortunately most of his off table recce also refused to move. He has only no targets visible in his turn so back to me.

This time two of the stugs fire along with the mortar. A hit one of the T34's sees a suppression on the infantry and one tank fail its morale and rout off table.

In response Mark now gets his forces pressing forward, dropping one company of foot into a wood next to my right hand village and taking one T34 unit to the left of my other village to isolate the Stugs at that side. The cards and the dice are favouring me for the first few moves here. I am able to score hits on 4 of the T34's and the mortar begins to cause damage to the recce company in the jeeps.

However the cards catch up with me eventually and several hits o the stugs see's one rout off table and another so heavily damaged I am forced to hide it behind the village.

Marks infantry from the Recce unit now try to close casualty the first buildings in the right hand village, the extra two command figures in there and a lucky shot in closing fire are enough to tip the balance and force the recce troops to retreat with casualties. All three platoons pick up supressions forcing them to remain in the woods for now.

Further mortar fire takes it toll on the jeep mounted platoons too, they are close enough to the village that we automatically hit and so its straight onto saving throws.

In response Mark swings his T34's around the village, my closing fire damages his tanks and one is suppressed but his retuRn fire causes 3 damage points, only one left now and I am firing on a minus 3.

Marks IS122 is now in the sites of the Jagdpanther and 5 hits from 6 dice sees it firmly destroyed. Firs vehicle destRoyed in the game at this point.
Marks T34's get to fire again and this time they finish off the Pak40 with little trouble.

My left most Stug hits a T34 85's and it fails its morale retreating to long range. Mark moves the other two and along with three platoons close aussaults the first building in the village, my defenders leg it as soon as they see the tanks haing failed a morale and the first building is in Russian hands.

In response I fire at the T34 85 which has retreated and get lucky destroying it.

Two of Marks remaining T34 85's drive past the Jagdpanther, a side armoutr shot on one of them see's another T34 destroyed.
Having taken the first house two of Marks T34's go back for a second shot at the lefthand Stug which manages to destoy its second T34 in return for one damage point.
Mark removes the suppressions from the majority of his force and the T34's from the recce begin the flank my position. A lucky shot from a panzer faust puts two damage points on the first one around the back of the village. In return it fires at and destroys the Jagdpanther which is a serious blow at this point.
Driving past the burning Jagdpanther the last IS122 destroys the next Stug at close range.

Yhings are looking fairly desperate for the Germans, another firepower card see;s the IS122 destroy its second Stug of the night.
To add insult to injury the remaining T34 85 on the left destroys the valient Stug holding my extreme flank.

Clutching at straws my infantry close assault the IS122 and destroy it, another lucky shot from the right hand village from a panzer faust and the flanking T34 is also destroyed.

Deciding that with only one vehicle left and 5 minutes to go I should at least try to hang on to both villages I throw a platoon and my last remaining damaged Stug ath the building Mark has captured, my last card being close assault. We throw the Russians out with casualties. Mark now truns his last card over, you guessed it close assault as well. He throws three platoons and three tnaks into close assaulting the building and takes it straight back.

We end the game there. I hold all but one building, but Mark really didnt have time to take much more. With only one damaged armoured vehicle left it was pretty inevitable with a little more time he would have won (but dont tell him). On the below you can see I have 5 burning vehicles and Mark has 7. That actually feels about right for the ratio in forces and quality of  vehicles and troops.
Overall I thought the game flowed really well, I enjoyed the rules and found them flexible and good fun. I look forward to trying them again, thank you Steve. Both Mark and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.

You can see more of Steves figures on the League of Augsburg blog if you are interested or see his blog

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday 28 November 2017

Workbench Back to Great Northern War

So I am pretty sure this says a lot about me.

Having decided to have a short break from Great Northern War, mainly as I wait for Warfare Swedish Cavalry to be released, I have bought a stack of Perry Plastic 15th century figures with plans to build a company of mercenaries, then bought a stack of English and Irish to expand my Elizabethan Border Reiver collection into Ireland. Bought rules (Pikemans Lament) and various books, painted 4 figures and then reverted back to Great Northern War!


So anyway this is what I have been mostly painting lately.

Firstly some Polish Cavalry, these are Redoubt enterprises and Assault Group figures which go together well enough.

Not a massive fan of the particular horse the leader is riding but its the only one left and I like the figures other than that.

This will take me to seven units with a couple of figures left over. I also plan to get a unit of Polish Dragoons both mounted and dismounted, I already know what figures I plan to use. This will be a fairly time consuming piece with some head swaps etc but the new Ebor Russian Dragoons look fabulous so this may be the basis for both the Poles and possibly a unit of Saxons to replace the plastic Dragoon currently in use/ That takes me to 8 units and being light on Pancerni I plan to add a unit of Pancerni so I have a division of cavalry in three brigades of three units.

I then have the first of my next unit of Swedish foot. These are Jomkopings regiment. I have enough figures in Karpus for a battalion and a spare flag for this unit so it made sense. The cold weather gear on this Wargames Foundry figures is just the thing as I had to scrape the ice of my windscreen this morning. Will be a few weeks before this unit is finished.

Finally I am well into the second battalion of Saxon Regiment Pistoris.

I have tried to include a few more of the floppy hats which the Saxons wore in the early part of the conflict but most of m metal figure shave tricorne. I particularly like how the mid blue conrtasts with the madder red for this unit.

These are real mix of Wargames Factory (Now Warlord) plastics with Wargames Foundry and Ebor command mixed in with a couple of advancing Ebor musketeers too. Eleven completed out of 18, the other seven are part painted so hopefully have these over to the basing department in the next week or two.

So back on the Great northern War bandwagon. The stomach is not great at present so dont expect lots of painted figures to appear, but in the mean timer I have a couple of game after action reports to share I hope you enjoy.

Thanks for reading.

Monday 20 November 2017

Rapid Fire French AAR Part 2 1960's or a Theroux Thrashing

So we played the second of our games today across the same terrain with virtually no changes. The only additions a small factory and a radar station on a hill. As a couple of players did not show each side had a battalion taken out of their army, this did leave the French in particular spread pretty thin.

Rules were Rapid Fire with appropriate modern amends and scale was 20mm again.

John commanded the Russians, having commanded the Germans on Friday, whilst I was CinC for the French again.

The French defended the same terrain but with a different force available. The French order of Battle as follows:

Brigade HQ
Anti-Tank Company 2 x AMX 13/105
4 x spot mines
Anti Aircraft Company
Artillery Battery 2 x AMX105 SPG
Artillery Battery 2 x 155mm F3 SPG
2 Mechanised Infantry Battalions
Armoured Regiment
5 x M47
1 X AMX 13/105
3 x AMX 30
Air support on anything but a 8/9/0 on a D10

The Russian force was as follows:

Brigade HQ including anti aircraft
anti tank company 2 x BDRM with sagger
3 x Guards Elite motor battalions
Rocket Battery 2 x Katyushka
Self Propelled artillery battery 2 x ISU 152K
Artillery Battery 2 x 152mm Howitzers
Guards Tanks Brigade Elite:
14 x T55
 6 x T62
Air support each turn on anything but a 6 on a D6

In broad terms then the French had two battalions against 3 Russian and 11 tanks against 20 tanks. The Russians were mainly Elite and the French all regulars.

The French deployed in a not dis-similar manner to the 1940 game but with less available opted to leave their right flank almost undefended. The Russians were given three objectives, the two roads leading away from their entry table edge and the radar station. As we had fewer troops available we opted to be strong in the middle and hoped to leave enough on the left to slow the Russians down. A forlorn hope as it turned out.

We planted half a battalion in the town with the other half behind it in the hills supported by 5 of our tanks. The left had two tanks and a company up front with three more companies and two tanks behind. The right flank had just one company and two tanks.

The game started with the Russians massing on either flank and leaving a token force in front of the small town to pin the garrison, This included a gun battery and OP team who immediately spotted one house and dropped Katyushka and artillery fire, destroying the building and half the occupants.. They moved forward quickly on the French right and we were into the fighting almost immediately. The French front line company and two M47's firing and destroying one Russian tank and heavy damaging the mine roller, their rifle fire being unable to do anything to the closed down armoured personnel carriers. In return the Russians opened up with all they had and destroyed both tanks and wiped out the company. Not a great start. On the French left the other half of their force made steady progress through the woods where we were unable to see them.

Move 2 saw the Russians continue to advance, the French second line now opened up with the 106 recoiless and two anti tank guided weapons firing but to no effect. The advance BTR rolled over a mine which did no damage at all The responding fire took out one ATGW and the recoiless. We got an aircraft but the Russians immediately shot it down. Things were really not going too well. On the left the Russians continued their un-contested advance.

Move 3 took the Russians further into the French left, they spotted the Bazooka waiting at the farm house and promptly destroyed it, the ATGW fired again causing a light damage and was in return destroyed along with the last of the infantry company. On the right the Russians rolled on, one company of tanks left the safety of the woods and Chris managed to take one out with his AMX 13/105'S sending them back into the wood.

Move 4 saw Johns Russians almost having taken the length of the left hand road. My AMX-30's had moved from the centre of the table to bolster the flank and ow opened fire destroying a armoured personnel carrier which turned out to be entirely empty. The returning fire heavy damaged one of French tanks which were only lightly armoured.  On the right Andy's Russians were finally in place and promptly destroyed both of our tanks and opened up on the infantry company. In the centre left Richard had moved to the edge of the woods ready to pounce on the remains of the French left.

Move 5 John finished off the Heavy damaged AMX 30 on the left. I reserved fire on Richards T55's and missed, his return fire taking out both of my M47's and Andy wiped out the infantry company holding the radar station. By this time it was all pretty desperate. The AMX-30's passed their morale but that was about all you could say in our favour.

Move 6 and the Russians continued to roll forward. The road and radar station were captured. The AMX-30's took out one of Johns T55's and the artillery took out one of Richards but it was all too little too late. One and half of the the two French battalions were gone and 7 of the 11 tanks were gone, in return we had destroyed 5 tanks and barely touched their infantry. The game was up, General Theroux threw in the towel and we went home.

I have to admit I did not enjoy this as much as Friday's game, to be honest though this far more to do with my awful dice than anything else. Thanks Chris for your hospitality over two full day games with some beautiful models and the to all of the players.