Sunday, 25 May 2014

Going to Broadside 2014?

Milton Hundred Wargames Club will be hosting their annual Broadside show in Sittingbourne again this year in a couple of weeks.  Whilst it's on the smaller side as shows go it's managed to secure some of the bigger name traders and some lovely games in previous years plus the entry charge is a little more affordable than some of the bigger shows.  I am planning to go along again this year assuming everything goes to plan.  Anyone else coming along?

Saturday, 10 May 2014

The Gloucesters at Zuytpeene

I put on a 15mm WW2 game at the club last meeting using I Ain't Been Shot Mum.  I used one of the Lardies' own scenarios featuring the Gloucestershire Regiment defending the village of Zuytpeene against the Blitzkrieg.

The Brits had two platoons, a Boys anti-tank rifle, two Vickers MMGs and three "Big Men".  Facing them the Germans had three platoons, four MMGs, five "Big Men", three Panzer IIs and some Stuka support.

The German objective was to secure the river crossing just beyond the village - which meant clearing the village in order to secure their lines of communication.  The Gloucesters simply had to stop them.

The Germans decided to deploy on one of the two roads but it was the one the Brits had not expected.  However, the German advantage was lost when they were slow to deploy and advance.  This allowed the British to redeploy some troops and hold them up along the road.

The initial German assault from the road across a field ran into some dug in opposition and after a fierce firefight the German platoon suffered heavy casualties.  After having run into the Boys one of the Panzers decided that supporting the second wave of the infantry assault in the field would be a good idea and that tipped the balance and soon it was the British retiring hurt.

The third panzer engaged a British section deployed forward of the village.

The third German platoon continued the advance up the road.

A sniper in the church tower (it's a tradition!)

After a hard fight the third German platoon eventually entered the village.

Whilst the Stuka bombed some of the retiring British.

In the end the slow pace of the Germans was their downfall as, whilst they did get troops into the village they failed to secure it before their time was up.

Monday, 5 May 2014

First Play: Skirmish Sangin

Impressed with the production and keen to see how the mechanisms would work on the table, Lenin and I gave Skirmish Sangin a spin.

Lenin supplied some of his Paras and I provided the Taliban figures but we each handed them over to the other for the game.  We decided to run one of the official scenarios with the Taliban moving down the board and running into my troops trying to head them off.

As you might expect things started slowly with us becoming acustomed to the rules but we quickly got the hang of them.  I moved my first section up to secure the first set of buildings.  I quickly came under fire from some Taliban - all I can say is thank goodness for body armour!  My first fireteam returned fire whilst the other fireteam secured a building to use as a base of fire.

Once I had my teams in place things got rather hot for the first group of Taliban but soon a second appeared to my flank.

When my second section arrived and took position along the nearby edge of a poppy field we began to win the firefights and I could advance one of my original fireteams.

In the end the volume of fire and having the successful hits by the Taliban absorbed by body armour mean the Taliban were in a fix and so the game was mine.

Whilst the rule mechanisms and dice roll modifiers look a little daunting at first, we quickly got the hang of things and the game flowed pretty well for a first try.  The rules certainly did what I was hoping and provided a more granular game allowing a smaller number of figures to be used.  I suspect I will replace the official markers (as you do need quite a few of them) with something a little smaller (particularly as you quickly learn the modifiers printed on them and they're also on the QRS) to help with the aesthetics.

We will definitely be using these again and I have moved my purchases from Empress up my painting priority list as a result.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Engineers at Jametz

Lenin and I played the first game from the next campaign in the Rommel's Route to Verdun booklet from SkirmishCampaigns.

As with the previous games Lenin took the Germans, although without Rommel himself this time, and I took the French.  Unfortunately, since it has been a while since we played one of these I forgot the lessons in converting the stats to Nuts! by TwoHourWargames which, combined with me accidentally giving the German officer Rommel's stats, meant it wasn't going to be easy for les Poilus.

The German 13th Engineer Battalion, advancing with the 123rd Grenadier Regiment and elements of the 124th Infantry Regiment, were advancing to the Meuse River.  Their objective was to cross the table with their engineering equipment and supplies.  The French simply had to hold them up.

Unfortunately I also followed the deployment rules from the book and the first German section onto the table triggered fire from the first French unit which did very little.  The Germans then suppressed the French and advanced.  With the first French section taking serious casualties the advancing Germans came under fire from the second French section but took cover in some shell holes and, in the subsequent exchanges of fire the French came off worst.  As a result the Germans rushed the remaining French who surrendered.

Note to self - try to learn the lessons about not slavishly converting the stats from the book next time!