Thursday 26 January 2017

The Star Wars Armada Fleets

My megalomania is currently sated until the next releases. I now need to pick 300 points for the game on Sunday.

Friday 13 January 2017

Lokhvitsa Campaign Day 2 - Game 3


Day 2 of the campaign weekend in 2015 comprised 1 game with a different scenario. Here is the brief we'd all been given before the weekend:

The German pincers are closing on Lokhvitsa itself, were they will link up and surround the troops holding Kiev. If they succeed, the defence of Kiev is doomed. The Russian have quickly dug-in in the area and must now make a last-ditch defence of the Lokhvitsa area.
Scenario Type: Attack-Defence
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.
MAP: See deployment map on page 174 of Battlegroup Kursk.
1. Place Objectives
Place two objectives. The Russian player places an objective anywhere in the frontline zone. The German player then places a second objective anywhere in the Russian player’s third of the table (beyond the frontline zone). The Russians cannot win an ‘all objectives secured’ victory, but the Germans can.
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. Determine Initial Defenders
The Russian defenders must place all his Defences (those chosen from the Defences section of the army lists) in the frontline zone (the central third of the table). In addition to his defences he must also places 3D6 units, freely chosen from his battlegroup, in the frontline zone as his initial defenders. A D6 of these units may start the game on Ambush Fire.
4. Determine Initial Attackers
The German attackers must place all their Reconnaissance units (those chosen from the Reconnaissance section of the army lists) up to 10” from his board edge. In addition to his reconnaissance units, he must also place 2D6 other units, freely chosen from his battlegroup, up to 10” from his table edge.
5. Out Scouted
The side that is out scouted must take a counter.
6. Attacker’s Reinforcements
Any units not deployed at the start of the game are the attacker’s reinforcements. From the start of turn 2, 1D6 units arrive from the German player’s table edge. Roll at the start of each German turn until all his forces are on the table.
7. Defender’s Reinforcements
Any units not placed in the frontline zone are the defender’s reinforcements. From the start of turn 2, 2D6 units arrive from the Russian player’s table edge. Roll at the start of each Russian turn until all his forces are on the table.
8. First Turn
The Germans are attacking and get the first turn.
The game is played along the length of a 6x4 table.
The weather is fine and sunny, so do not roll for weather, aircraft will be available all day as normal.
There is no free initial bombardment in this version of the scenario, only what the player has taken as part of his battle group.
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
I tooke the same force as Day 1 see German Panzer Div force

Pts Forward HQ (L,AFS) BR Men
22 FHQ (MS)  Jeep i 3 3

Pts Infantry (R,E,S) BR Men
47 Reserve Motor Rifle Platoon i 5
Cmd (Aux) 3
4 x Squads 1 DP Lmg (Aux) 32
18 Maxim 1 3
47 Reserve Motor Rifle Platoon i 5
Cmd (Aux) 3
4 x Squads 1 DP Lmg (Aux) 32
18 Maxim 1 3

Pts Tanks (R,E, L, S) BR Men
72 T26 Plt 5x T26 (Stal!) i 10
8 T35 1

Pts Recon Units BR Men
15 Sniper and spotter v (30-40 hit 6) 1 2

Pts Artillery (AFS) BR Men
87 Hvy Mortar Battery 120mm x 3 i 2 9
16 FO jeep (Art spotter) i 1 2

Pts Defences BR Men
45 3 x minefields 0

Pts Spec Units BR Men
54 AT gun battery  3 x 45mmL46 horse tow 3 9

Total     Points 449
Total BR 33
Officers 0
Scouts 1

The Game
This game saw me playing against my old mate and long term gaming companion Guy. Since I'd moved to distant parts we hadn't gamed for a year so it was good to face each other again.

I won the recce round so first BR counter for Guy. Ironically the use of snipers to boost your recce was a trick I'd learnt from him.

Guy's deployment was mainly in the houses. His minefields came with a set of dummies so you couldn't tell where they were. I'd did this to him in a previous game but his counter were great, with the live minefield marked underneath.

Guy's HQ occupies the church

First casualty to Guy using his AT guns.

I pin some infantry

I pin some more infantry

Guy takes BR counters and unpins them

Guys mortars pin my 88

Guys MGs devastate my infantry

I get back to pinning units

I purposely halt in front of the minefields because having lost so many infantry my main offensive weapon is the tanks. I use them to pin or whittle down the defenders so I can issue a general advance and take objectives, without losing more infantry or use the infantry to find the mine fields so the tanks can cross. 

Nice close up clearly not showing the arrival of Guy's tanks and my destroying the T35 with my off table fire support. The mists of time and lack of photos... a sure sign I was enjoying myself means I can't remember what happened to his T26's.

By the end of the game we discover I was still dazed from the artillery battering from yesterday and my single mortar had been promoted to a battery throwing double the dice it should have. Oops. I don't think it changed the games outcome but the mortars did some pinning and Guy did take BR counters to unpin. On the whole Guy's dice were having a bad day while mine could do no wrong. Although my advance was stalled in front of the defences due to a lack of pioneers (I'd decided they were too costly) by the end of the game Guy's forces had it's Battle Rating (BR) reduced by a higher percentage than mine. A minor victory for Germany! My first in 2 campaign weekends or 5 games.
I really enjoyed the weekend. I loved seeing the different forces taken by everyone and coming across new tactics that I can use myself in the future. I'd definitely do it again time permitting which in 2016 and for the forth coming 2017 weekend it doesn't.

Wednesday 11 January 2017

2016 Review

2016 was a very busy year which impacted the hobby for me. No figures painted, terrain made or shows visited, or campaign weekends in 2016. I did manage 13 games, plus I kept up to date with all the Star Wars Armada and X Wing waves, and acquired all the latest 7TV, Battle Group, Hail Caesar and Black Powder publications. I even managed to buy some figures adding a brigade of French lancers to the plastic pile (courtesy of Warlord Games sending me vouchers) and 4 7TV starter casts from Crooked Dice whose 7TV Directors scheme I joined.

Well on with the review or more correctly a list of wargame and related stuff I did in 2015.

Places Visited 
Very few this year and nothing military. I will work on putting this right this year 

Games played - 11 (down 6)
I had 11 games with the Conwy Wargames Club. 1 solo game. All written and posted on the blog!

Finished models - 0 (non mover)

Shows visited - 0 (down 2)

Blog posts - 53 (less than 2015 by 29)

Kickstarters backed - 0 (down 1)

Books Read
This year I managed to read lots, but not many historical books. The historical books I read were

  • Ottoman End Game
  • Quatre Bras
  • Quatre Bras: A French Perspective
  • Waterloo:  A French Perspective
  • Collapse of the 3rd Republic: An Inquiry into the fall of France 1940
Non fiction are too numerous to mention but I was mainly reading these authors:
  • Stella Gemmell
  • Eric Flint
  • John Birmingham
  • Christoper Nuttall (discovered in 2016 and most read)
  • John Scalzi
  • Peter Hamilton
  • Neal Asher
  • SM Stirling

Favourite Films - that inspire games
Star Wars Force Awakens (Rogue One is better but watched this year)
Anything Marvel - I'm now almost up to date
Warriors of the Rainbow (about Taiwan's resistance against the Japanese 1890 - 1900s)
April 9th (about Danes fighting the German 1940 invasion)

Favourite TV series - that inspire games
Dark Matter
Wayward Pines
Agents of Shield
Game of Thrones

Monday 9 January 2017

Lokhvitsa Campaign Day 1 - Game 2


This after action report like the previous one see link below took place end Oct/Nov 2015 (my backlog of games to write up goes back even further than this and shockingly I started writing this post back in 2015). The games' scenario and specific rules are the same as game 1 see Lokhvitsa campaign day 1 game 1

The Forces
See Lokhvitsa-campaign-day-1-game-1 German Forces

Total Points 447
Total BR 36
Officers 4
Scouts 3

PtsForward HQ 

23Forward HQ plus T26


Motorised Rifle platoon
Medium  trucks x 4
Anti tank rifle team
Infantry gun and komoslets tactor


72T26 platoon

PtsRecon Units

30Sniper and spotter x 2

PtsArtillery Units


Observation Team
45mm AT gun battery
plus horse tow

PtsAdditional Fire Support

100Timed 76.2mm artillery strike

Pts     Special Units
4        Supply column
8        T5-Z6 Armoured mmo carrier
28      AA vehicle
18      AT 1 spg

Total BR 31
Scouts 2

The Game

For the afternoon game my opponent was Russ, fielding a Soviet force very much after my own heart. He took loads of artillery. In games with friends I'd been talked out of fielding this kind of force and I was about to find out why. It was classic shock and awe.

My objective marker. No it's not Mr Tumnus.

I won the recce round. First BR token for my opponent. My confidence soars. Russ deploys first then I did taking a strong position around the village.

My sniper on the right is a veteran of my childhood being a Airfix German Mountain trooper, backed up by a metal MG crew.

Russ's AA vehicle and sniper team

Russ's FHQ and infantry platoon. I love the little artillery tractor.

Aerial shot of the board

The first of the Soviet timed artillery strikes lands pinning 2 units (white smoke) my 88mm's prime mover and Pz I

The dice show that my units are on ambush fire

My FHQ, infantry HQ squad and mortar team 

Waiting for the Soviets to show themselves. My armoured car has taken the objective, another BR token for Russ.

A look at the Soviets in the distance. Not a lot visible

Another timed artillery strike pinning my MG team and destroying a Pz II

At last Soviet targets arrive

My ability to strike at the newly arrived Soviet targets rapidly diminishes under more timed artillery strikes destroying my 88mm, it's prime mover and 2 PzIIs. I'm picking up lots of BR tokens now

Oh joy, more artillery

Horse drawn limber look great, and are now on my 'want' list.

The Soviet tanks unsurprisingly take out my armoured car and claim the objective.

Just about visible bottom of the picture one of my PzIIs takes out a T26

More artillery later and there are no more PzII's in play. My infantry whoop for joy as a T26 breaks through to the road

Soviet general advance to be stopped by rifles and grenades only if they are not pinned by the time the rolling juggernaut of Soviet might arrives in range

Russ's 3 tokens at the end of the game

My many tokens. Another German massacre but I loved the game. Russ kindly wrote up his list for me so I could a) blog it and b) use it!