Monday, 18 July 2016

Battle Group Fall of the Reich game

For May's Conwy Wargames Club meeting Pete re-ran a Fall of the Reich scenario we'd played before called 'Holding Dolegin Station' but with the right troop types this time round, but with a smaller board to speed up the action.

Situation Report
A German SS panzer battle group with some thrown together Luftwaffe gunners cum infantry is defending a train station on the Seelowe heights before Berlin. The initial defenders are supported by a Panzer Grenadier platoon in reserve to come on in a later turn.

The Soviet start the game with an assault force whose aim is to breakthrough the line to allow the massive reinforcements to follow up.

This is a narrative game rather than a balanced one.

The Battle
We used a smaller 6x4 board rather than the 8x6 in the scenario. D6 Germans can start on Ambush Fire and the Soviet first wave starts 20" in. Reinforcements come on their sides base edge.

The Battlefield/Objectives

Initial German set up. The King Tigers are sat on the main objective, the fortified Dolgelin train station. Volksgrenadier infantry are in the houses. In the distance is another building objective, occupied by the Luftwaffe. Between the building but not in site are squads of Luftwaffe gunners in trenches behind (using your imagination) raised railway line with embankment. I commanded these.


















Forces

German
Volksgrenadier platoon
King Tiger Platoon 2 x Panzer Aces
37mm Flak gun
2 x 20mm quad Flak guns
3 spare Luftwaffe flak crew rifle squads

3 mine fields
6 x off  table 88mm shots
AT barricade

Backs to Berlin +D6 BR

Reinforcements
Panzergrenadier platoon
Supply truck

Soviets
ISII platoon
Assault pioneer platoon (tank riders)
Forward Observer
2 x timed Katyusha strikes
Off table a battery of 2 x 152mm guns

Turn 2
T34 Tank company
Rifle company (tank riders)

Turn 5
Supply truck

The Game

The rest of the King Tigers and supports commanded by Gaz.

It turned out Gaz's men were lining a pond. We didn't notice this in set up!

Some of Gaz's Volksgrenadiers in their trench on the reverse of the railway embankment (good use of imagination required here). We kept forgetting the embankment as both sides tried to conduct long range tank duels.

View from one German side to the other

The Soviet assault force commanded by Dickie

My side of the Germans. A 82mm mortar crew in the trees middle right near the tracked AA vehicle in the middle

Soviet spotters

History repeats itself as the Soviet Katyusha rockets take out a Kingtiger in the same place the Germans lost a Tiger to the same rockets in the previous game. I've no excuse for not learning a lesson as I played in that game as well!

ISIIs advance and take hits causing the infantry to jump off

ISII's discovering the flat embankment is raised blocking line of site (we missed the scenario description stating that the embankment was very low!)

How many tank!

T34 company ready to advance commanded by Dickie's comrade Pete (not the umpire, our club has a lot of Pete's). The infantry are on the tanks, another imagination moment.


On the right the line of posts mark the minefields, blocking the Soviet advance

The King Tiger goes to work

The station is contested but not taken. The Soviet infantry haven't got in but all the German defenders are dead.

The 37mm flak gun didn't last long but did pin some T34s.


My Panzer Ace feels out numbered

Gaz did not have good luck with his King Tigers. He had to advance because the railway embankment (use imagination) hampered line of site (did I mention that we missed the scenario description saying it was very low). This exposed him to the stationary ISIIs who through weight of shots knocked him out.

Times up and the Germans are down to 40 out of 56

The Soviets Battle Rating is 58 out of 72. Germans lost 16 BR and the Soviets 14. A clear Soviet win, history definitely not repeated.

The view from the Soviet right side

The Soviet opposition on the left.

Very well intact JSII platoon
The Germans didn't even get their Panzer Grenadiers on, but without the Kingtigers falling back to Berlin was the only option.

Fun gun as always. The katyusha strikes in the first round slowed the game down before it began as it took us a while to remember the rules then work it all out. Like last time this should be a day game, but hat's off to Pete putting it on last minute.

I'm determined to replay this scenario and get it right.

Monday, 4 July 2016

20mm Vietnam Game

June's Conwy Wargames Club game at the Creuddyn Community Centre was a very Asiatic affair with Dave putting on a 20mm Vietnam war game using the Force on Force rules.

The Scenario
A US airman has been shot down and is hiding near a NVA held village which has been supporting local Viet Cong. The nearby fire base has sent out a force to rescue him. Naturally the NVA and VC would like to capture him too.

The Board
6x4ft table covered in light jungle e.g. trees block line of sight, with a road leading to the NVA village short edge to short edge.

The NVA could place their defences anywhere within the village and secretly place a tunnel complex exit anywhere on the board for the VC to pop up from.

Dave as umpire marked on a map which tree the pilot was hiding in.

The Game
The starting postions

US heavy weapons, the firebase wouldn't provide artillery support in fear of hitting the pilot.

The APC's holding squads of 8 infantry

The convoy was limited to the road, if they left it they would get bogged down

The tank leads the way

The NVA had a HMG/AA gun

NVA getting ready to go search for the capitalist lackie pilot of the decadent west.

More NVA getting ready to head out.

The left dug out has an RPG, the right the HMG/AA gun. On the other side of the roas out of picture is another dug out with a mortar.


The US commanded by me roared up the road at top speed and began trading shots with the HMG. On it's final shot the HMG hits something important stopping the tank from moving. The tank could still shoot which was fine an dandy for me. As the NVA moved through their units reacting the mortar disabled the lead APC, but like the tank it could still fire. Time for everyone to get off the vehicles

The NVA didn't get off scot free and lost men manning the HMG and mortar

The US troops ready for acrion

Chris and Ian survey their options to ensure the historic didactic goes the right way 

The over enthusiastic and omnipresent media gets to close to take a clear picture

A nice blurred picture of a truck with a quad HMG

The squads deployed around their APCs

Eyes peeled for Charlie

Contact on the right 

VC RPG doesn't hurt the tank

The tank will soon makes these brave defenders of the working class disappear

Tank shrugs off the VC RPG shots

More VC appear and take on  the dismounted US infantry who return fire thinning the VC ranks

The NVA now move up and back searching as they go the areas around the village

The US troops do the same

The lead APC's infantry squad is whittled down to 1 man. As is the 2nd APC. We forgot to do casualty rules

The NVA regulars open up on their US counterparts decimating the squad. About now both sides realise that they don't need to check the trees nearest the enemy if the enemy hasn't found the pilot. This narrows the search area. The Communists had to through better dice to find the pilot because he'll make himself known to the US troops (we hoped).

The 2nd APC moves up to distract the NVA from the tank. 

The NVA keep up their advance. The VC keep popping up and getting knocked down again, quicker than I could photo them all on the board

NVA supporting the VC

NVA HMG down to 2 men

Only the bottom left hasn't been searched by either side yet

Still not found him

The truck moves to bring its HMGs in to devastating play

More VC 
Time was running out and neither side had found the pilot although the US forces were the nearest to him. The Communists force were shot as were the US. We called it a draw. Both sides still had the capacity to hurt the other, the US would win the main objective of rescuing the pilot but then would face mission creep to tow the tank and APC out.

This was my second Force on Force game and I enjoyed it. It's very table heavy but scoring a hit and saving them were straight forward. Unit cards would be handy to help us follow Dave's hard work in keeping the game flowing. As minimum I need to read the summary sheets available to download from Ambush Alley games.

I'd definitely play this again. I may even use one of my unpainted/ unmade Centurions purchased for my Korean War games and buy some Aussies. I also thought I could use some of my Korean War Chinese for a Vietnam v China clash. Now that is a sign of good game is makes we want to spend money!