Wednesday, February 25, 2015

28MM BLACK POWDER: ACTION AT FRISCHERMONT 1815

Over the past few weeks I setup a fictional game in my garage vaguely based on the action at Plancenoit in 1815 but I moved the action north to the area of Frischermont.  I have played it twice as the French player - first against Scott Duncan and secondly against Dave Paterson and Kevin Bowman.  We used Black Powder with the 66% using my House Rules.  all the commanders were rated as 8.  Both times it proved a French victory but the second game was much harder fought.  Luckily for me Dave and Kevin in the second game were hamstrung by some appalling command rolls which prevented their reserves arriving on time.  Their Landwehr brigade failed to arrive in 10 turns by which time their army had broken.   All these photos are from the second game.

French veteran brigade advances onto the table

French line infantry counter-attack at Frischermont.  Model was made by Iain Gale for his Waterloo game.
Here are the Player Briefings and OBs

Prussian Briefing

The enemy is defending the line of villages shown on the map.  Your objective is to defeat them and move your force of their side of the table.  Your force starts the game off table.  Two brigades can try to enter on each turn up to turn 3 and one per turn after that.  Decide your order of march and where the troops will enter the table.

Prussian Army
1st Brigade
4 Infantry Btns, Foot gun

2nd Brigade
4 Infantry Btns, Rifle det, Foot gun

3RD Brigade
4 Landwehr Btns, Foot gun

4th Brigade
3 Russian Btns, Foot gun

1st Cavalry Brigade
2 Dragoon Regts, Horse gun

2nd Cavalry Brigade
2 Hussar Regts

3rd Cavalry Brigade
2 Landwehr Cav Regts

Moment of Glory - French light cavalry strike the flank of the Russo-German legion

French Briefing

Your command is defending the line of villages shown on the map.  Your objective is to prevent the enemy moving of your side of the table.  Your initial starting troops can be deployed up to half way across the table.  However an outpost is established in the hamlet just over half way across the table.

French Army
1st French Brigade 
3 Infantry Btns, Foot gun

2nd French Brigade 
3 Infantry Btns, Foot gun

3rd French Brigade 
4 Veteran infantry Btns, Hvy Foot gun

4th French Brigade
2 Guard Btns

1st French Lt Cav Brigade 
2 ChaCH Regts, Horse gun

2nd French Lt Cav Brigade 
2 Hussar Regts, Horse gun
 
Note
In addition there are 3 infantry detachments (small units) holding the hamlets.

Reserves
The 3rd and 4th Infantry brigades and 2nd Lt Cav brigade are off-table marching to the sound of the guns. 

Arrival from
Turn 2 - 2nd Lt Cav brigade
Turn 4 - 3rd Infantry brigade
Turn 8 - 4th Infantry brigade

I am planning a refight in a few weeks using the new Blucher rules.

Landwehr cavalry threaten the French right flank

Old Guard charge home near Frischermont

Friday, February 20, 2015

28MM VBCW: BERWICK 1938 GAME 3

I was at Hugh Wilson’s this week for the 3rd part of our Battle of Berwick VBCW game.  This covered the 2nd day of the counter-attack by the forces of the BUF and the Northern Militia.   We played 6 turns using the Bolt Action night fighting rules and then 10 daylight turns.

View over the table - the 3 bridges and the harbour in the distance

Warship supporting landing party attacking the walls
 
As before the BUF outnumbered the Scots by approximately 2 to1 but due to command limitations within Bolt Action we could not deploy all our strength onto the table.  The Scots called up an airstrike and like both attempts in our last game it proved a disaster as the novice pilot attacked and wiped out the newly arrived Scottish cavalry.

Lancelot covers the engineering party clearing the main road bridge
 
At the end of the game the BUF, after a desperate series of assaults and counter-attacks, had captured the railway station.  In addition our infantry supported by the medium tank Lancelot had cleared the main road bridge.  We also got our giant Char 2C Black Prince into action at the railway bridge.

More photos with descriptions on Flickr at
https://www.flickr.com/photos/bill26048/sets/72157648601926444/

Scottish RAF attacks their own cavalry - a tragic error

Classic rustic scene - cricket team, cycling club and a 65 ton heavy tank



Friday, February 13, 2015

28MM VBCW: BERWICK 1938 GAME 2

I was at Hugh Wilson’s this week for the 2nd part of our Battle of Berwick VBCW game.  Tim Watson worked out the scenario for the first game and Colin Jack the scenario for this second game.  Hugh has done great work again on the terrain for the games.  Due to camera problems I did not get any photos for either game but I have used Dave O’Brien’s photos for this report.  Bart wrote a report on the first game which is at
http://asienieboje.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/berwick-uppon-tweed-1938.html

View from the sea showing 2 of the 3 bridges
The scenario over the 2 games was that the forces of the Scottish Republic had captured Berwick in the first game and this game was the counter-attack by the forces of the BUF and the Northern Militia.  We had 7 players for the game plus 2 umpires/supporters.

BUF forces advance on the bridges and their obstacles
The BUF outnumbered the Scots by approximately 2 to1 but due to command limitations within Bolt Action they could not deploy all their strength onto the table.  The highlight of the game was the airstrikes by both sides which went astray hitting their own units. 

Armour action at the railway bridge
At the end of the game the BUF had cleared two of the bridges but not entered the town.  We have decided for the game that night has fallen and the BUF will fall back to the south bank to regroup.   This game will be continued…….

Bart has written a report of this 2nd game including the OB:
http://asienieboje.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/berwick-uppon-tweed-1938-2.html

BUF airforce strikes it's own side - pinning 6 of my units - terrible mercenary pilot

Thursday, January 29, 2015

28MM AWI BLACK POWDER: GERMANWINE 11TH SEPTEMBER 1777

This weekend Dave Imrie and I arranged a game for our AB1 group.  It was an AWI game – the Battle of Germanwine - based on a fictional action before the Battle of Brandywine.  The venue was the Old Manor hotel at Lundin Links in Fife.  There were 8 players at the game.  Jack Glanville, Michael Schneider, Angus Konstam and myself provided the troops and Dave Imrie provided his impressive terrain boards as the base of the terrain.
Patriot defence line
We played the game for 6 hours and at the end it was declared a Patriot victory as they had broken 9 British units.  Only the British left wing had managed to break into the main Patriot defence line.  The flank march on the British right by their Loyalist Brigade was held by the patriots whilst the flank march on the left wing by the cavalry and the elite 2nd British brigade proved a failure.   The cavalry when they arrived were driven off the table by Patriot infantry and the elite infantry only moved twice in 12 moves so only just got across the river at the start of their route.
Patriot left wing
The British found it a major issue crossing the river and this held up their advance for some time.  I think I made it too difficult to cross requiring a unit to get 2 moves in a turn.  This seemed to be beyond the dicing ability of the British commanders for a large part of the game.
British left wing cross the river

Link to more photos with descriptions on Flickr here
https://www.flickr.com/photos/bill26048/sets/72157650533069502/

Background

In late August 1777, after a distressing 34-day journey from Sandy Hook on the coast of New Jersey, a Royal Navy fleet of more than 260 ships carrying some 17,000 British troops under the command of Sir William Howe landed at the head of the Elk River, on the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay approximately 40–50 miles (60–80 km) southwest of  the rebel capital of Philadelphia. 

General George Washington had situated the American forces between Head of Elk and Philadelphia. His forces were able to reconnoitre the British landing from Iron Hill near Newark. Howe did not set up a typical camp but immediately prepared to march across the gently rolling country inhabited chiefly by Tories, with the expectation of making an easy conquest of Philadelphia. As a result, Washington was not able to accurately gauge the strength of the opposing forces.

After a skirmish at Cooch's Bridge south of Newark, the British troops moved north and Washington took up a defensive position along the Red Clay Creek near Germanwine.  This site was important as it covered the most direct route on the road from Baltimore to Philadelphia.  The British grouped south of the creek and General Howe decided to attack on the 11th of September.
Patriots await the British assault - the snake fence is by Last Valley

British Briefing

Your objective is to bring the rebel army to battle and defeat it thus ending the war.  Threatening their capital Philadelphia forces the rebels finally to stand and fight. 

You know that your troops are far better trained than the rebels but you know from experience at Boston that the rebels are formidable opponents when manning defensive positions.

The line of the Red Clay Creek is a good defensive obstacle though crossed by a bridge and is also fordable elsewhere.  Troops can cross the bridge normally and can also ford the creek by using 2 movement actions in a turn.  The creek can also be forded east and west of the map.  The high ground is on the rebel side of the creek.  You have observed that two redoubts have been constructed to cover the creek and the bridge.

You have 8 infantry brigades (4 British, 3 German and Loyalist) and a cavalry brigade available.    The main body of the army is deployed off-table south of the map.  4 brigades a turn can attempt to march onto the table.  Note that German infantry battalions can never get 3 moves in a turn.

You can attempt flank marches by crossing upriver and downriver from the rebels to fall on their flanks.  No more than 3 brigades in total can be assigned to the flank marches.

Decide which of your brigades will be committed to the main body and if required to the flank marches and their order of march and their deployment.
End situation
American briefing

Your objective is to prevent the British from crossing the creek and capturing your capital Philadelphia.  Compared with last year your army contains far more regular continental troops and is less dependent on militia. 

The line of the Red Clay Creek is a good defensive obstacle though crossed by a bridge and is also fordable elsewhere.  Troops can cross the bridge normally and can also ford the creek by using 2 movement actions in a turn.   The creek can also be forded east and west of the map.

The high ground is on your side of the creek.  Two redoubts have been constructed to cover the creek and the bridge. The redoubts can each contain a gun and also accommodate a battalion.

You have 9 infantry brigades and a cavalry brigade available of which 6 or 7 can be deployed on the table north of the line shown on your map.   The other 3 or 4 brigades are deployed in reserve off-table to the north.  You must decide on the deployment of your brigades.  Only you can commit the reserves.

12 figure infantry units are small all others 16-20+ are standard sized units.


Order of Battle

BRITISH

1ST British Brigade                                      
4TH Foot
De Lancey’s
5th Foot
9th Foot
Light Infantry skirmishers 12 figs
6-pdr gun

2nd British Brigade                                      
Combined Grenadier battalion
Combined Light Infantry battalion
5th Foot
Grenadier Regiment Rall
Light Infantry Pickets 8 figs
6-pdr gun

3rd British Brigade                                       
64th Foot
7th Foot Royal Fusiliers
35th Foot
28th Foot
6-pdr gun

4TH British Brigade                                      
Composite British Grenadiers
3rd Foot
71st Highlanders
Volunteers of Ireland
Light Infantry skirmishers 12 figs
6-pdr gun

1ST Loyalist Brigade            
New York Regt
British Legion
Queens Rangers
Queens Rangers Skirmishers 12 figs
Indians   Skirmishers 12 figs
Indians   Skirmishers 12 figs

1st German Brigade                                    
4 Brunswick btn.                                         
Brunswick Jager 12 figs                            
Field Gun                                                     

2nd German Brigade                                                           
Fusilier Regiment von Lossberg
Fusilier Regiment von Knyphausen
Musketeer Regiment von Mirbach
Musketeer Regiment von Donop
J├Ąger 12 figs
4-pdr gun

3RD German Brigade                                                           
2 Brunswick Btn
2 Hessian Btn
Hessian Jager 12 figs
Field gun

British Cavalry Brigade
British Legion Cavalry  12 figs
Light Dragoons 12 figs                              

 
REBELS/PATRIOTS

1ST Patriot Brigade                                      
4 State Regts
Rifles 12 figs
Field gun                              

2nd Patriot Brigade                                      
4 State Regts
Rifles 12 figs
Field gun

3RD Patriot Brigade                                      
Continental Army (Washington’s Guard)
Continental Army generic (blue)
Continental Army generic (brown)
Riflemen    12 Figs
6-pdr gun

4th Patriot Brigade (M)                                
Continental Army/ uniformed Militia mixed
Uniformed Militia mixed
Southern Militia

5th Patriot Brigade                                       
1st Virginia Continental Line
4th Virginia Continental Line
5th Virginia Continental Line
9th Virginia Continental Line
6-pdr gun

6th Patriot Brigade                                       
1st Maryland Continental Line 
5th Maryland Continental Line 
Continental Light Infantry
6-pdr gun

7th Patriot Brigade                                       
1st Pennsylvania Continental Line
7th Pennsylvania Continental Line
8th Pennsylvania Continental Line
Hartley’s Regiment  skirmishers  (12 figs.)
6-pdr gun

8th Patriot Brigade (M)                                
1st North Carolina Militia
2nd North Carolina Militia
Militia skirmishers 12 figs

9th Patriot Brigade (M)                                
1st Virginia Militia
2nd Virginia Militia
3rd Virginia Militia
4th Virginia Militia
Militia skirmishers 12 figs


Patriot Cavalry Brigade
Light Dragoons  12 Figs                            
Light Cavalry  12 figs


Thursday, January 22, 2015

20MM RAPIDFIRE: THE ROAD TO DUBNO 26TH JUNE 1941

Having been inspired by last week’s Mtsensk game I put together another 20mm Operation Barbarossa Rapidfire game for my visit to Falkirk Wargames Club.  I supplied the troops, scenario and most of the scenery.  I setup a scenario so that I could use my T35 tanks.

T35s rumble onto the table and one breaks down!
Background
On 26th October 8th Mechanised Corps was ordered to counter-attack attack the German advance.  Its 34th Tank Division and elements of the 12th Tank Division advanced northwards, cutting the main road between Dubno and Brody.  The 34th then advanced east towards Dubno.  This forced the 16th Panzer Division to wheel round and attack the 34th Tank Division in the area of Verba in order to clear the road. 

The 34th Tank Division was the only division equipped with T35 tanks.  They had previously served with the 50th Tank Brigade - the Moscow parade unit. 

BT7 and T26 battalions lead the advance
How the game played
This is a tank heavy meeting engagement and both sides were limited in the numbers of units that could enter each turn.  Dave Paterson commanded the Soviets, Kevin Bowman the Germans whilst I umpired. 

The Germans started the game sweeping onto the table with their 2 companies of Panzer IIIs which the Soviets countered with thei T26 and Bt7 battalions.  In turn 2 the Soviet T35 land dreadnoughts drove onto the table but one of them immediately broke down.  A single heavy damge hit caused the BT7 battalion to flee from the table.  The plucky T26s and the giant T35s fought on eventually destroying both companies of Panzer IIIs.  However the Germans finally got their antitank unit and lighter vehicles into action and they dealt with the T26s – one surviving tank fleeing the table.  The 2 mobile T35s were then destroyed by the Panzer IVs and that effectively ended the game.  I am going to restage this game at the SESWC in 2 weeks.

German armour advancing but 1st company is in trouble
Historically the 34th Tank division had no T35s surviving on 27 June – just 5 days into the campaign.

OB

34th Tank Division

68th Tank Regt
1st btn: 3 T35 Land Dreadnoughts *
2nd btn: 4 BT7 fast tanks
3rd btn: 4 T26 light tanks

34th Motor Rifle Regt, 1st btn
HQ:  CO + 3 figures including 50mm Mtr, car
Rifle Coy:  8 figures, truck
Rifle Coy:  8 figures, truck
Rifle Coy:  8 figures, truck
Supp Coy:  MMG, 82mm Mtr, 6 figures, truck

34th Recon Btn
2 T37/38 Light Amphib Tanks, FAI armoured car (Note:  I forgot this unit for the game so substituted a flamethrowing T26 tank)

NOTES
Morale – Regular.  Infantry test as 1 unit. 
Tanks and armoured cars are poor except for T35 battalion which are elite. 
Tanks and armoured cars test per battalion

*T35s are unreliable so after moving dice and on a 6 the model breaks down.  It can still fire but cannot move.

Tank battle in full swing.....

Two T35s burning -a  sad end to a gallant action
 
16th PANZER DIVISION KAMPFGRUPPE

2nd PANZER REGT, 1st Battalion

HQ: PZIII Cmd
1st Coy: 2 PZIII
2nd Coy:2 PZIII
3rd Coy: 2 PZIV
4th Coy: 2 PZII
5th Coy: 2 PZII

16th MC Battalion
HQ: CO + 5 Figs incl ATR, 50mm Mtr, car
1st MC Coy:  9 Figs on 3 MC combinations
2nd MC Coy: 9 Figs on 3 MC combinations
3rd MC Coy:  9 Figs on 3 MC combinations
4th MG Coy: 2 MMG, 81mm Mtr, 9 Figs, truck
5th Hvy Coy:  50mm ATG, 75mm IG, 6 Figs, 2 trucks

16TH Recon Battalion
Coy: 2 Sd231 6-rad armoured cars

16th Panzerjager Battalion
Coy:  Panzerjager I
Coy:  3 37mm ATG each 3 crew and tow

Artillery Support
16 PZ Art Regt:  2 105mm How, 8 crew, 2 tows off-table
Plus FO, Car on-table

Morale – Regular. 
Tanks are ELITE. 
Infantry test as 1 unit. 
Tanks and armoured cars test per company.

Update
As stated above I did restage this game this week at the SESWC with slightly changed forces as I had sold a T35 and once again it proved a German victory.  Bart has written a full account on his blog at
http://asienieboje.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/dubno-brody-1941.html

Friday, January 16, 2015

20MM RAPIDFIRE: MTSENSK 6th OCTOBER 1941

Dave Paterson and I had not decided on our game at Falkirk on Monday so I quickly adapted a game that I played previously.  I supplied the troops, scenario and the club provided the scenery.

The game was a variant on the 1941 Kamenewo scenario in the Rapidfire Eastern Front scenario book.  I simplified the terrain by omitting the river in the original map – moving it of table and revised the German OB to agree with the models I had available.  Dave Paterson commanded the Germans, Kevin Bowman the Soviets whilst I umpired.

Germans advance confidently against the weak Soviet rearguard
The Germans made an impressive start to the game sweeping onto the table and quickly knocking out the rearguards T26 which was dug in near Woin.  The Germans panzers were making good going when on turn 6 the soviet BT7s and T 34 command appeared on the scene.  The shooting of these reinforcements was uniformly abysmal. Next turn the T34s and KV1 appeared and their shooting was not much better.  The game was all over in 2 more moves with the Soviet player conceding at the end of turn 9 by which time their only remaining tank on the field was the T60.  The Germans lost one tank destroyed.  This was a complete reversal of the result the last time I staged this game.  This game has inspired me to do another 1941 game next week

PZIV heavy tank company covers the motorcycle troops

Here is the OBs and briefings for the players.

Soviet Forces

Rearguard
HQ:  CO + 3 figures including 50mm Mtr, car
Rifle Coy:  8 figures
Rifle Coy:  8 figures
Rifle Coy:  8 figures
Supp Coy:  82mm Mtr, 45mm ATG, 6 figures, truck
Att Coy:  T26

Reinforcements
4TH Tank Brigade HQ  - turn 6
T34/76 , T60

2nd Tank Battalion – turn 6
4 BT7

1st Tank Battalion – turn 7
4 T34/76, KV1

4th Motor Rifle Btn: - turn 8
HQ:  CO + 3 figures including 50mm Mtr, car
Rifle Coy:  8 figures, truck
Rifle Coy:  8 figures, truck
Rifle Coy:  8 figures, truck
Supp Coy:  MMG, 82mm Mtr, 6 figures, truck

Morale.  Test per battalion.  4th Brigade tanks are ELITE!

Objective
The German objective is to cross the table and advance to Woin.  The Soviet objective is to stop the German advance and drive them back to within 2ft of the fascist entry side. Urraah!

Notes
The Soviet rearguard including the T26 can be dug in any point 2ft north of the south table edge.
Reinforcements enter anywhere along the north table edge.
Woods are impassable to tanks.
The Germans will enter along the road or on their wide left flank due to them crossing the river running along the south table edge.

Soviet armour burning in front of the German right flank
 
German Forces - elements of the 4th Panzer Division

35th PANZER REGT
HQ: PZIII Cmd
1st Coy: 2 PZIII
2nd Coy:2 PZIII
3rd Coy: 2 PZIV
4th Coy: 2 PZ38t
5th Coy: 2 PZII

34th MC Battalion
HQ: CO + 5 Figs incl ATR, 50mm Mtr, car
1st MC Coy:  9 Figs on 3 MC combinations
2nd MC Coy: 9 Figs on 3 MC combinations
3rd MC Coy:  9 Figs on 3 MC combinations
4th MG Coy: 2 MMG, 81mm Mtr, 9 Figs, truck
5th Hvy Coy:  50mm ATG, 75mm IG, 6 Figs, 2 trucks
Attached
Armd Inf Coy: 10 Figs, Sd251

Support
AA Bty:  88mm AA, 5 crew, tow

Morale – Regular.  Infantry test as 1 unit. 
Tanks are ELITE.  Tanks test per company.

Objective
The German objective is to cross the table and advance to Woin.  The Soviet objective is to stop the German advance and drive them back to within 2ft of their entry side.

Notes
The German units must enter in a 1 vehicle wide column along the road and in a 1 vehicle wide column on their left flank.  This simulates them crossing the river Lisiza of the south table edge.  The Panzer Regt must all be on table before any other German units can enter.

Woods are impassable to tanks.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

BLACK POWDER: MODIFIED HAIL CAESAR BREAK TESTS

When I was at Claymore last year Jim Wallace from the Dumfries  Wargames  Club mentioned that they were experimenting with using a modified Hail Caesar break test chart in their Black powder games.   Since it was Jim who first alerted me to the Alternative Turn sequence which I now use in all my BP games this got me thinking and I started drafting my own version.  I first tested it in my Bennington  AWI game.  See
http://blenheimtoberlin.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/28mm-awi-bennington-16th-august-1777.html

Following that game I made some more modifications and here below is the latest version of the chart.  The chart gives  less chance for unshaken infantry units breaking under fire.  However it does make skirmishers more vulnerable to shooting.   When to test and the break test modifiers are unchanged from BP.

TEST WHEN:
A             Test if excess hits suffered from Shooting                                                                           
B             Test if Shaken or suffering artillery casualties by closing fire                                       
C             Test if defeated in Hand-to-hand Combat                                                                           
D             Test if Shaken in a drawn Hand-to-hand Combat   
E              Test supporting units if supported unit breaks and flees

BREAK TEST MODIFIERS
-1   Per excess casualty
-1   Disordered
-1   Suffered casualties from artillery for tests A or B
 
 
SCORE
TYPE
SHOOTING
HAND TO HAND
10+
ALL
Hold your ground without penalty
Hold your ground without penalty
9
Infantry & Art
Cavalry
Skirmishers
Hold your ground without penalty
Hold your ground without penalty
Hold your ground without penalty
Hold your ground without penalty
Retreat in good
Retreat disordered
8
Infantry & Art
Cavalry
Skirmishers
Hold your ground without penalty
Hold your ground without penalty
Retreat in good order
Hold your ground without penalty
Retreat in good order
Break if shaken, otherwise Retreat disordered
7
Infantry
Cavalry
Skirmishers
Hold your ground without penalty
Retreat in good order
Retreat disordered
Retreat in good order
Retreat disordered 
Break
6
Infantry

Cavalry
Skirmishers
Hold your ground disordered or Retreat in good order
Retreat disordered
Retreat disordered
Retreat in good order

Retreat disordered
Break
5
Infantry

Cavalry

Skirmishers
Hold your ground disordered or Retreat in good order
Retreat disordered

Break
Retreat disordered

Break if shaken, otherwise Retreat disordered
Break
4
Infantry

Cavalry

Skirmishers
Retreat disordered

Break

Break
Break if shaken, otherwise Retreat disordered
Break if shaken, otherwise Retreat disordered
Break
3
Infantry

Cavalry

Skirmishers
Break

Break

Break
Break if shaken, otherwise Retreat disordered
Break

Break
2
ALL
Break
Break

Artillery are treated as infantry except  Artillery in Hand to Hand always Break instead.

At some point I will add this to my BP House Rules page.