Tuesday 27 February 2018

Carlist War Guard Coraceros

Just finished a little unit of cavalry for friend Chris Charlton. These are the Liberal armies Guard Coracero's. Chris has used Perry plastic French Heavy Cavalry with Currais and changed the head a simple but effective swap.

Not really sure if the photos do them justice as they are really quite a pretty little unit. Looking forward to seeing them on table soon.

Wednesday 21 February 2018

Carlist AAR Storming the reboubt

Had a cracking little game at Steves place this Thursday.

I had to throw it together fairly quickly but it worked quite well with a couple of reservations, as usual for Carlists we were using Black Powder with some amends to create a brigade break test and fire before movement.

Table was 8x6 feet with a small hill near the Isabelino entry point, a small wood and a recently erected redoubt slap bang in the middle occupied by a Brigade of 3 Carlist battalions and a gun.

Mark would have 5 Brigades coming on over moves 1,2 and 3 where Steve's reinforcements were force marching to his support and would arrive on the roll of a dice so he never knew what would turn up when or even where as the entry point was also randomised.

Marks moved first with a Guards Brigade of 3 battalions and a gun with also a militia brigade of 2 small battalions and a squadron of line cavalry.

In Steves turn he had a squadron of cavalry arrive on his far left flank whilst a mountain gun and tiny unit of skirmishers arrived right over on his right flank near his single squadron of lancers.

Move two and the first two brigades push forward followed by two further Brigades, on the Liberal right the French Foreign Legion have two battalion and a squadron of cavalry with a mountain gun, to the left 4 battalions of infantry and another mountain gun. These start to push around either flank

Steve gets first blood with his artillery on the guards brigade and then has a battalion of Portuguese volunteers to his rear with another squadron of cavalry to his left.

The game is moving on now, Mark realises that he has to push on quickly and take advantage of the delays in Steves reinforcements.
The Alavese Guides come on for Carlists on the right whilst on the left the Legion Lancers engage the Carlist Cavalry, defeating the first which breaks and forcing a break test on the second which immediately follows suit leaving the whole Carlist flank wide open.
Pressing his luck Marks guards Brigade storm the earthworks. Unfortunately at this point we learn just how hard that is in practice without damaging units first. Steves Carlists get a +2 to their saving role meaning that they are saving on anything but a roll of a 1, at the same time as the White caps are tough fighters they get to re-roll a miss, the Guards are pushed back with heavy losses.
Meanwhile the Legion Lancers form behind the Portuguese volunteers ready to charge their rear as the rest of the Legion press forward into the exposed flank.

In Steves turn he fires into the retreating guards and forces a brigade break test which is promptly failed and sees the whole brigade break and retire off table. With a big hole in the centre Marks decides to try force the flank of the position. pulling his cavalry back from the far side of the wood and looking for a gap to exploit.
Steves troops are now in a  firefight with Marks Militia brigade and the Legion are in close range of the Portuguese. At this important point Steve gets three battalions of Carlist reinforcements right where he needs them behind the entrenchments but fails to get them marching forward on his orders test. His volley into the Legion is ineffective and they are now poised to charge the Portuguese.
Into the next turn the Legion volley the Portuguese ensuring they are disordered and then charge in breaking them immediately. The Legion form up ready to take on the veteran white caps who have taken a dis-order from the Legion skirmishers.

Things are touch and go on both flanks now as the forces start to equal out. but Steve is still struggling to get his reinforcements moving. The fore fight with the Militia is taking a heavy toll especially as the light gun gets into a position to enfilade and gets double dice (which all miss!)
Charge!! The Legion Storm into the earthworks and go bayonet to bayonet with the White Caps. The minus to White Caps for the dis-order and the Legion charge bonus prove the decider and the White Caps are defeated and break after their morale.
On the other flank the firefight continues with Liberals getting slightly the worst of it as the reserve brigade moves up and the horse artillery comes into action. Mark decides there is no room for his cavalry and risks sending them across the table to join the Legion on the open Carlist left flank.
The brave Legionaires now try their third successive charge, unfortunately this is one charge too far and they are forced back. Just as Steve gets his reinforcements back under command and begins to march them on table.
After an exhausting forced march the Cavalry brigade appear ready to save the day, unfortunately its already clear that the Isabelino's cant take and hold the earthworks and they will be just in time to cover the retreat of the gallant Legion and remainder of the other two brigades

A close run thing and very well fought game. We found that troops in earthworks were probably a little too difficult to winkle out unless you can bombard them and have overwhelming force. Something to remember for next time.

Other than that it worked really well for a quick game thrown together, a fairly decisive result in about 3 1/2 hours.

Monday 19 February 2018

El Cid Berber Light Cavalry

The last of the units back from the basing department are Berber light cavalry.

These are a really useful addition as both the Andalusian Taifia Kingdoms and the Christians used them as mercenaries, but they also made up the bulk of Ben Yusuf's Almoravid Cavalry too.
Mix of manufacturers here, I have a command pack of Artizan, teo Black Tree arabs and a Gripping beast figure, all fit together quite well although I have used all Gripping Beast light ponies to tie them together size wise.

I particularly like the Officer and standard bearer, I have again used the generic Berber colour pallet and added the striped robe the mountain tribe soften wore for the standard bearer.
These guys make up the bulk of our El Cid Moorish Cavalry so will have to work hard and get lucky to make a dent in the Christian Armoured Knights.

Write up for the game to follow soon.

Thursday 15 February 2018

Eastern Front Late WWII another AAR

I have been blessed with gaming time over recent weeks and another game on Thursday with friend Steve Shann. Steve wanted to run another playtest of his home rules, based loosely around field of battle. This time keen to see how more infantry works.

Mark and I thoroughly enjoyed these last time so were looking forward to another go.
Mark and I were attacking with Russians whilst Steve defended two built up areas with late war Germans.

Mark had a battalion of foot without transports and a battalion of 3 x ISU152'S whilst I had a battalion in trucks and 2 battalions of three T34's all off table.

The Germans had 2 weak battalions of foot dug in or in houses with an 88 and mortar on their right and a Raupenshlepper PAK40 and a Pupschen AT gun on their left.  They had no armour on table which surely meant we should get a move on before it turned up.

Steves wife Julie looked after us with biscuits and Tea, I will certainly be recomending this establishment!

The Russians got move cards fairly early in the deck allowing us to get forward, I also rolled 9's for all of my movement which allowed us to take three move actions each time and we were very quickly pressing forward. In the centre Mark was also making steady progress.

Steve chose to "Shoot and scoot" with the PAK40, missing and retiring behind the hill, I followed him over the hill and fired into it knocking it out. You can fire at any time but end up unloaded so I fired 2 of my T34's and kept the other loaded for the inevitable arrival of the German armour.

As this was gong on my infantry was being mauled by mortars and Mark was pressing forward towards the first buildings with a view to storming them.

Sure enough a couple of cards after, the third German move card came out which was the signal for two Panthers and a Whirbelwind to move on table, I fired my remaining tank, bouncing off that thick sloping armour, to no effect and they returned fire badly damaging all three of mine.

Next card is firepower for the Germans and they get to re-load and fire, one destroyed T34 later and the rest of the badly mauled battalion are forced to retire to cover.
The game was meant to try out the infantry side of the game so we did a lot of building assaults. Mark got the first one, attaching three platoons to a tank company to assault a house. As armour was attached the Germans had to test to stay and fight, they failed and pulled back to the next building. Steve was busy firing the 88 at the ISU'S to no effect whilst Mark was dropping artillery on the 88 with equal lack of success. The subsequent morale test for the Church defenders saw both the Wirblewind and the platoon of defenders break and run.
On my side my trucked infantry stormed and took the first building whilst a further platoon of tanks riders attacked and took the church. (A fantastic model, built forma  plastic kit I believe.)

At the same point Mark has dropped a third round of artillery on the 88 and managed to knock it out and all its crew.

Chancing my arm I push the remainder of my first battalion of T34's over the hill to have a pop at the Panthers whilst pushing my infantry into short range to engage the German entrenched infantry near the wood.

As the T34s were damaged this made it even harder to hit the Panthers and the result was depressingly familiar, 2 more burning T34's. But the foot are making some headway and gradually grinding down the German defenders. The light anti tank gun in thew wood has a shot at the T34 next to church and misses and the T34 and the infantry in the church return fire knocking it out.

I get a good movement dice and push the other two T34's right on the flank of the rear Panther and fire knocking it out, Mark meanwhile has captured 2 buildings and is moving on the next set. At this point we run out of time but with half of both villages captured all of the AT guns destroyed and one of the Panthers knocked out the Germans ability to resist is almost at an end and the Russians claim a hard fought victory.

I have thoroughly enjoyed both games so far and got a really good fast moving game from them, looking forward to a larger and longer game, although next week Steve has asked me to put on a little Carlist Wars game, so keep an eye out for that.

Thanks for reading.