Monday 26 December 2016

Lokhvitsa Campaign Day 1 - Game 1

The following sections in italics were given to us before we arrived on  the day to help us plan our forces.

Historical Background: Ukraine– September 15th-16th, 1941
On September 12th, 1st Panzer Group launched an attack from its Dniepr river bridgeheads directed north, to cut across the rear of the Russian South-West Front, currently defending the Ukrainian capital of Kiev. This attack formed the southern arm of two pincers aimed at encircling the Russian forces holding Kiev - 600,000 men in total. As Von Kleist’s panzers attacked north, so Guderian’s 2nd Panzer Group was fighting its way south as the northern pincer. The two powerful Panzer Groups would meet at the town of Lokhvitsa, some 180km west of Kiev.
After the successful initial breakout from the bridgeheads, Von Kleist’s panzers made rapid progress, and it was only then that the Russian commanders saw the imminent danger from the two German attacks. In desperation to save South-West Front, any available forces, some only just unloading from trains, were thrown in the path of the Germans to stall the attack and buy enough time for an effective defence of Lohkvitsa to be constructed.

Desperate Russian efforts to prevent the encirclement failed and the two German panzer groups linked up at Lokhvitsa on September 16th, sealing in all the Red Army troops and bringing about the largest Russian losses of 1941 as, over the next 10 days, 600,000 surrounded men were forced to surrender. 

Army List Restrictions
The Axis forces are attacking, and cannot take any Defences, on either day. All the normal army lists restrictions apply. There are no additional restrictions upon the German lists.
An Axis player can, if he so wishes, bring two different battlegroups, one for day 1 and one for day 2. Rosters and models must be supplied for both.
Luftwaffe Air Support: The Luftwaffe is very active in support of the panzer groups. For each round of games, 4 extra Timed Stuka air strikes will be randomly distributed to German players. Models will be supplied for this.
On Day one, the Russians are conducting desperate counter-attacks by any available forces. No defences can be taken. There is a restriction on KV tanks, but no other restrictions on the lists apply.
On day two, the Russians are now defending Lokhvitsa area itself. They may include defences in their battlegroup rosters, as per the normal rules. The player must supply the models for any defences he takes (where required). All the normal army lists restrictions apply. A Russian player may use two different battle groups, creating one for day 1 and one for day 2. This is optional, the same battlegroup can be used on both days if it does not include any defences.
Restricted KV tanks: No KV tanks may be included in a Russian player’s battlegroup(s). These heavy tanks were very limited in numbers and as such they will issued by the campaign referee. For each round of battles, two KV-1s and one KV-2 will be issued to the Russian side, one to three randomly generated players. These can be used in the battle as normal and give the player’s battlegroup a +3 BR bonus. A model will be supplied for this.
These are the same vehicles for each round of battles. If they are destroyed (breaking down doesn’t count) in a game then they cannot be used again over the weekend and will be removed for future battles.

 Playing Games and Campaign Points
Each game lasts 2.5 hours.  All battles are Platoon-sized games. The side that has 0 battle rating remaining has lost. If a game is unfinished, then the side with the battle rating closest to 0 has lost. Determine the margin of victory and inform the campaign referee.
·         Massacre: One side is reduced to 0 BR, but the winner still has over 50% of his starting BR remaining. Victor gets 3 campaign points. Loser get 0 campaign pts.
·         Solid Victory: One side is reduced to 0 BR, but the winner has 50% or under of his starting BR remaining. Victor gets 2 campaign points. Loser gets 0 campaign points.
·         Narrow Victory: One side is reduced to 0 BR, but the winner has 10 or under BR left. Victor gets 1 campaign point. Loser gets 0 campaign points.
·         Draw: Unlikely, but both sides have the same BR remaining at the end of 2.5 hours. Both sides get 1 campaign point.
Hero of the Reich and Hero of the Soviet Union
At the end of battle three the German and Russian players that won the most campaign points for his team will get a special medal for his achievements in the campaign. In the event of a tie between multiple players on a side, the referee will judge the winner on other factors, such as best painted army, friendliest player, who bought him the most drinks, etc.

The German offensive has caught the Russians by surprise, and realising the threat to the defenders of Kiev, any available forces are being redirected into the path of the German advance to stall them, whilst behind them, more forces are digging in around Lokhvitsa itself. The Russian commanders have instructions to attack immediately. The German commanders must push on towards Lokhvitsa with all speed.
Scenario Type: Meeting Engagement
Scenario Size: 450pt Platoon game.
The terrain will be provided. You will be assigned a random table to play on. Please do not adjust the terrain.
The side that loses all its BR is defeated, and his opponent wins. In the event that neither side has broken, the side that is closest to their break point has lost. Inform the referee of the size of the victory (see Briefing), Massacre, Solid, Marginal or draw.
1. Place Objectives
Place a single objective in the centre of the table. Neither side can win an ‘all objectives secured victory’. 
2. Place any Pre-Registered Target Points and Timed Barrages
Both sides should note down where their pre-registered target points are (if they have any). They should also note down the location and turn for any timed barrages or air strikes. Also, remember to chose ammo for your armoured vehicles.
3. Deploy Reconnaissance Force
The player with the least Scouts (or the loser of a D6 roll-off in the event of a tie) places all his Reconnaissance units. These can be anywhere in his half of the table, but not within 10” of the centre line. The player with the most Scouts then places his Reconnaissance units, as above.
4. Deploy  Initial Forces
The player with the least Scouts then deploys 2D6 units, freely chosen from his battlegroup,  anywhere within 15” of his table edge. The player with the most scouts then deploys 2D6 units, as above.
5. Out Scouted
The side that is out scouted must take a counter.
6. Reinforcements
Any units not deployed at the start of the game are reinforcements. For both sides, from the start of turn 2, 2D6 units arrive from each player’s table edge. Roll at the start of each player’s turn until all the forces are on the table.
7. First Turn
Each player rolls a D6 and adds the number of Scouts. In a tie, re-roll. The player that scores highest takes the first turn.
The game is played along the length of a 6x4 table.
The weather is again fine and sunny, so do not roll for weather, aircraft will be available all day as normal.
The impartial referee(s) has the extra reserve forces. The Russian’s 3 KV tanks and the German’s 4 timed Stuka attacks will be assigned to tables randomly.

The Forces
German Panzer Division 
Pts Forward HQ (L,AFS) BR Men
24 SdKfz 265 Pz Befehlswagen r (SO,AS,U) 3 3

Pts Infantry (R,E,S) BR Men
101 Schutzen Platoon r 11  
5 Schutzen Plt command (O, MS)   6
  Schutzen squad x 3   18
  MG34 Team x 3   12
15 AT grenades x 3    
24 80mm mortar 1 3

Pts Tanks (R,E, L, S) BR Men
61 3 x PzII F r (O)  6  
108 3 x PzIII H r (O)  9  

Pts Recon Units BR Men
10 Sniper v 1 1
10 Sniper v 1 1
20 SdKfz 222 (S, MS) 1 0

Pts Spec Units BR Men
59 Heavy AA Gun 88mm with transport r 3  

Pts Additional Fire Support BR Men
10 Off table fire support request 4+ 0 0

Total BR 36
Total Points 447
Officers 4
Scouts 3

Soviet Mechanised Corps

PtsForward HQ 

26NKVD Blocking detachment


58Motorised Rifle platoon


112BT7 platoon

PtsRecon Units

Infantry foot patrol
BA-10 armoured car

PtsArtillery Units

Mortar battery
Timed 76.2mm barrage
Timed 76.2mm barrage
Timed 76.2mm barrage

PtsAdditional Fire Support

Pre registered target point
Counter battery fire mission

The Game

My first Soviet opponent was Juho, one of the trio of gentlemen who'd traveled over from Finland for the event.

My Germans deploy. I'd lost the reconnaissance round so I was down a BR token already.

Sneaky Soviets - the reconnaissance infantry patrol

A race to the village


Reserve move order revealed

T50's waiting on reserve move orders

I advance and pin the Soviet infantry patrol which has captured my objective marker. A BR token for me

T50's take up a good flanking position

Add caption

Soviet artillery arrives! I loved Juho's use of a bottle top with aircraft decal as a spotter round marker. A Panzer II and an infantry squad are pinned

One of the well placed T50's is given Ambush Fire orders

The Soviet BT7 platoon arrives with tank riders. The NKVD are on the right in the 2 cars

Vehicles begin to be destroyed on both sides. Well 4 on my side and 1 BT7

The German left flank seems to be attracting a lot of Soviet armour

The BA10 pops out to take some shots

1 more BT7 get's it. My 88mm gaining the honour.

In additional firing the BA10 get's it 

A BT7 is immobilised another pinned as are some of the infantry squads. The Soviet advance is slowed

However the Soviets are dealing damage to my vehicles and pinning which I have to unpin to keep fighting adding more BR tokens to my total.

Pinned again and the last of my tanks brews up.

The MG team is one of my few units still in the fight, but weren't many targets to fire at.
My other unit still in  the fray, my sniper. Again not many targets for him.

Juho's BR token haul. Not that many

Mine - I definitely won 'who as the most counters'. Major defeat for the Germans. Juho scores a Massacre victory for the Soviets
I really enjoyed the game, Juho was a great opponent and his knowledge of the rules was impressive. It was hard fought and I found it tactically difficult. I'd never faced an opponent before who used the reserve move order so that was interesting. My lack of artillery was telling, made worse by failing the communication roll repeatedly.

Saturday 24 December 2016

Merry Christmas

A quick Merry Christmas from me on this blustery Christmas Eve as I sort out the families Christmas Kindle books and produce a little print off showing them their gifts' virtual front cover and back cover summary. It's always nice giving something physical rather 'shazzam!' and it appears on your device.

Merry Christmas to you all and I hope Santa brings you everything you wish for

Tuesday 13 December 2016

Conwy Wargames Club November 7TV game

Episode 3 'He's making a list, he's checking it twice'

Gaz played the Moon Nazi's and here is his brief. Dickie and Chris elected to play the forces of good and here's their brief for the Santa cast. No one at the club had played the 7TV rules and this was my second go at using the second edition. My nerves were made worse by chosing a Christmas theme of my own imagining, inspired by TV and film (Iron Sky, Arthur Christmas, Stargate, Harry Potter) but not an obvious series like Dr Who or the Sweeney.

Scenario Summary - details to be found in the briefs.

The Moon Nazi's have tunnelled in to on a dome hidden from all sensors including the human eye. Code named Snow Globes only their capture of Santa's sleigh has enabled them to find their locations, but they don't know what they are or what is protected. It's up to the villainous Otto von Krank and his team to find out.

Santa on the other hand is furious someone stole a sleigh, and now tunnelled in to one of his transport hubs. He wants to know who needs to go on his Naughty List and stop further secrets escaping.

The Game

All quiet ... well apart from the racket from the Aufklaurungsmol and the alarm set off by the Elfin safety officer

The Diggywiggle comes to a stop and cools. The Santagate portal is closed in the back ground

The Portal control room

The view from the opposite side from the Diggywinkle

There was a loud unscrewing noise and the Moon Nazi's poured forth

Otto von Krank split his forces left and right of the tunnel

The first Count Down card stifles any actions by the Control Room elf Dobby in Santa's turn. The black tokens are extra objectives placed by the players in turn. Possession of said tokens earns them a plot point which can be used to make actions or effect dice rolls.

The Moon Nazis in the majority rush the Control Room, while Mr Gingerbread and the MG team take the flank. As they finish the portal makes a whoosh noise and a red sleigh swoops in and lands

The North Pole Rescue Rangers leap out followed by Santa, Rudolph and Miss Naughty and Nice

Overview of the action

Santa's force ready and willing

Santa's side with cards at the ready to make the most of their casts abilities

In the distance Otto von Kranks' reconnaissance team

The Moon Nazi Marine-SS schutze are a little exposed. They blazed away at the new arrivals and missed - just like real Storm Troopers - cue Imperial March music

The North Pole Rescue Rangers sprint for the Control and erm... take control. Their support weapon opens up on the  schutze in the open and vaporises them with a hissssssss. Everyone stands back impressed with it's destructiveness

Santa and his co stars take cover behind the cabin

The remains... 

... of the Moon Nazis

The North Pole Rescue Rangers support weapon on the left. Team Santa is feeling quite smug at this point and opt to steal the scene and move again

The Moon Nazi right where Mr Gingerbread and the MG flank Santa

In the Moon Nazi turn they all dash for cover except Mr Gingerbread and the MG who open fire on Santa. After a shooting role it turns out Santa is not as much in cover as he thought and takes wounds, as does Rudolph caught in the MG fire.

The Moon Nazi then also steal the scene and go again. Both sides can only do this once per game. The Aufklaurungsmol engineer dashes forward and plants explosives and them uses a jet pack to get in to cover ready to detonate. Cool!

The North Pole Rescue Rangers daren't move or they'd set the device off!

Aufklaurungsmol engineer readys the detonator

The bomb goes off and retires some Rangers and the rest of the Moon Nazi's pour fire into either Santa or the Control Centre. Santa's wonder weapon team go down in a hail of fire, ironically because they were caught in the open

In the distance the Moon Nazi corporal has been pushed back by a Count Down card

Not so good for him

The Moon Nazi's close in, but another gadget played by Santa sees the Aufklaurungsmol demolition expert captured in a capture bubble. Revenge for his earlier stunt with the explosives and jet back. Need to get a capture bubble model, I'm thinking either a ping pong ball or maybe a Christmas tree bauble.

Santa's wounds mount up - 1 more and he's a goner. Rudolph on the other hand uses his special skill to recover wounds, but this reduces his chance to do anything

The Moon Nazi's sense victory

The Control Centre is slowly surrounded

Dr Angel and a Schutze try to get in through the window. A brave Ranger tries to take advantage of a gadget card played on the assaulting Moon Nazi's weakening them. His shots cause 1 wound on Dr Engel. She was not impressed

Santa's cast is axed but by force of will passes his test and keeps control of the Control Room/Centre/Cabin. The Rangers are now down to just 2, 1 inside 1 outside. Dobby is taken out by a splinter as the MG rakes the cabin. Rudolph picks up the control key - the episodes maguffin. Miss Naughty and Nice steps in to the clear to distract the next wave of Moon Nazis moving in.

The Moon Nazi's keep trying to get through the window. May they should try the door.

Initially Santa struggled to use his plot points but once his cast was axed the surplus kept him going, activating cast members and changing the dice in his favour. The Moon Nazi's repeatedly used up their points each turn and the lack of spares began to tell.

Otto von Krank urges his team for final supreme effort for the Moon Fuhrer. He plays a gadget that slowly engulfs the cabin in flames

Moon Nazis galore are stunned. This is the last round, which was also the last card of Act 2. If we'd continued the Moon Nazi's would need to test for being axed.

The End in flames. Cue Eastenders dum dum end music mixed with Christmas bells. Will Santa survive, if our hero's don't put out the flames they take loads of hits but if they are putting out the flames whose stopping the baddies?!

We all expected a Moon Nazi win. I totted up the points and Santa won by a huge margin. Christmas is saved. Hurrah. Here's one of the Santa team celebrating!

The feedback from everyone is that they loved the game, phew. The rules worked well and flowed nicely. Everyone liked the cards, and loved the gadgets ans countdown cards for the cinematic moments they introduced to play.

As for me I enjoyed it and the use of card stats for dubious shots/ leaps through windows avoided debate and kept play flowing. It was a blast.

Next game in Jan I think I'll go for a cops and robbers inspired shenanigans.