Tuesday, 26 June 2012

VBCW in Northumbria

Our mate Bill Miller was up from London so Colin Jack put on a VBCW game for him to take part in as he had never fought the period before although is always full of great ideas.  All the toys and terrain are from Colin's vast collection so there was no need for me to get my militia out of their box plus they would have been fighting on the other side.
This game was set on the coast of Northumbria and involved both sides aiming to capture one of the local villages which was notorious for smuggling, the plan was to capture the goods and get the smugglers to join your forces.  The government force was a mixture of BUF forces supported by a womens Royal Naval detachment, a police unit, a unit of Belgian Fascist volunteers, a mixture of armour and the chance of some air support.  The bad guys commanded by Bill was an Anglican League force made up from a motley collection of regulars in the form of American volunteers, regular army tank corps, communist milia and even the local school boys and Hexam Morris dancers and also a chance of getting an aircraft.
This is the BUF command group
The Anglican command had a cunning plan
The navy hoped to get involved but only the female sailors made it into action
It wouldn't be a Colin Jack game if it didn't have at least one unit of females in it.
I believe these beauties are by Hinterland Miniatures.
But Colin decided the BUF needed two females units,
I'm not sure if he's trying to say they are just a big bunch of girlies?
Fortunately I had some decent troops as well as the Belgian Volunteers land onshore
The Black Prince promised much but didn't live up to expectations and hardly hit anything all day
although it did some damage on the Anglican Lanchester armoured car and forced the Communist Militia to pull back out of range.

Both sides advanced troops as quickly as they could as the objective was to take and hold as many buildings as possible, each of which is worth an unknown number of points.
The Anglican's moved their tanks up on their right flank and Communists on their left through the mine workings.
Both sides managed to get aircraft on quite quickly and a dog fight soon ensued...
...with victory going to the BUF, unfortunately that was about the highlight of their performance.
The Anglicans soon brought on another plane which then spent most of its time trying to avoid my ace pilot and had only suffered four points of damage by the time the game ended.
By the final move of the game my forces, or what was left of them had only managed to occupy 5 buildings whereas the Anglicans had managed to occupy 6 or 7 but when the points were totalled up we had both scored 24 which should have been a draw but I had so few men/women left that it was definitely a win for the bad guys.
The Triumph and Tragedy rules that we use work well, it's just a pity that my dice didn't perform the same.  I managed to get plenty of hits but often failed to kill or damage anything.
War is hell!!

Monday, 25 June 2012

Temple of the Golden Virgin

This ancients game was played using Hail Ceasar which is the ancients version of Black Powder and as I hate the BP rules I was very sceptical how this game would work out but I have to admit that I was very surprised and the rules seemed to work very well and even felt like an ancient  battle.
All the games I've played with BP from Marlburian, AWI, Napoleonics to Colonial games have all felt the same with no feel for a particular period and it was only the different figures that reminded you which period you were fighting.  Hail Ceasar on the other hand has obviously had a lot of thought and effort put into them and you really felt like you were having an acient battle.

The game scenario was put together by Donald Adamson who also umpired the game and involved a Persian force with Greek mercenaries defending the Temple of the Golden Virgin from the ravages of Macedonian barbarians supported by just as barbaric Spartans.
These are some of my Athenians who were guarding the Persian left flank
This was the main Persian force defending the temple commanded by Bill Gilchrist.
Hugh Wilson commanded Corinthian Greeks on the right flank.

The table was set up with a high range of hills running across the table with 3 passes which the Macedonians had to pass through to get to the temple and just off table was a beach with the Macedonian ships tied up waiting to take home their prizes.
The Macedonian centre was commanded by Martin Gibson
Angus Konstam commanded the Spartan mercenaries on the right flank and Colin Jack commanded another division of Macedonians on the left flank.

Rather than just have a straightforward bash Donald had come up with the idea of both commanders trying to bribe the others mercenaries to switch sides which was done with a dice roll.  I failed the test and decided to fight for the Macedonians whereas the Spartans passed and remained loyal to their paymasters so before the battle even started things were looking bad for the Persians with now four commands against two.  This situation didn't last long as Angus managed to roll a blunder and ended up being forced to charge the nearest troops, which happened to be my Athenians.  At this point Donald decided that Angus had changed sides and now joined the Perisans.

Athenians and Spartans clash
Centres about to clash
Right flank combat

The fighting on both flanks remained bloody but inconclusive whereas in the centre it was a different story and Bill lost his army commander and virtually all his troops only having left his new replacement commander and a unit of temple guards.
The new Persian commander
Temple guards

Monday, 18 June 2012


This was the big multi-player WW2 game that we played on the Sunday of our League of Gentlemen Wargamers weekend and was based around the battle of Villers-Bocage in Normandy 1944 made famous by the remarkable talents of Michael Wittmann. 
You can read more about it on this site http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Villers-Bocage
This photo shows the main town of Villers-Bocage with British vehicles parked along the side of the road each of which was worth an unknown number of points which would be collected by the German players once they knocked them out.
This photo shows the town in it's place on the much larger 20'x12' table that the game was fought over with a large pop-up section in the middle.
The lurking Tiger of Michael Wittmann played by Andy Nicolson.
All the allied players started off with a tank column like my French Shermans and came on the table at a selection of points scattered around the large table.
Apart from Wittmann and his side kick who were in Tigers the other four German players started of with groups of Panzer IV's
Angus' Irish Guards managed to get themselves into a bit of a pickle and eventually had to
pull back behind my French where we formed a tank phalanx and even Colin Jack's Canadian
got into the action.

The Canadians even went Tiger hunting in Villers-Bocage.

As if having Tigers and Panzer IV's wasn't enough the Germans started bringing on Panther's as reinforcements.  This one was Barry Hilton's and didn't even manage to fire a shot as I kept playing event cards on it and Colin and myself using it as target practice.
More targets for the Krauts
Sherman target practice.
The Germans were also on target sometimes much to the surprise of my infantry who were even more surprised the next move as the US Airforce plastered them in a miss-placed bomb run which took out half my armour and most of these infantry.

The game ended up an Allied victory as they managed to blunt every German attack and even killed Wittmann, twice!!!   It appears that he was the sole survivor of his tiger being blown to bits by Peter Nicolson (Andy's brother) and eventually was killed in a commandeered panzer IV by Adrian Howe.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

LOGW WW2 weekend

I'm just back from one of our great League of Gentlemen Wargamers weekends, this is a group of like minded friends who get together three times a year to fight huge battles or mini-campaigns.
This weekends extravaganza was set in WW2 and involved a series of small one to one scenarios on the Saturday and a mamoth Villers Bocage battle on the Sunday.  There were six tables and scenarios set up and once everyone had a game these were changed each time so we had a total of 24 tables and scenarios to fight over and since there was so much going on I have only managed to take photos of the games I was involved in so appologies to the other guys for not getting shots of their stuff.
We used Disposable Heroes rules for all our games, these are written for much smaller games but we as a group have tested them to destruction in our larger game.
Game 1 involved me trying to find and destroy two German MG nests which were hidden on the table and supported by a couple of rifle squads.  This pic shows my French advancing through a village while mortars are set up in support.
The Germans were set up over an unfordable river and the only way across was over the bridge.
I suffered a number of casualties and failed to destroy the MG's so victory went to Dale Smith.

Game 2 was against Steve Rimmer and the objective for both sides was to take and hold as many buildings as possible.  Each building was given a points token but the amount was unkown until the end of the game.
My French advanced from the right and unfortunately there were only two building on my side of the unfordable river and four on Steve's side so he had an advantage from the start which also improved as he played one of Barry's event cards on my half track right from the start which ran over a mine and was disables too far away from the action.
Defending the garage.
Both sides moved into all the buildings and had a fire fight which I think I was starting to get the better off especially with my mortars which suddenly came good having hit nothing in the previous game. The final move saw both sides rushing for the bridge which was also an objective but since it was contested neither of us got the points but Steve still won 250-150 points.

Game 3 was a really unusal game which involved blue on blue action.
The scenario was that troops were retreating and looting as they went and the other side
was made up of Colin Jack's MP's trying to stop the rot and get the soldiers back into action. 
As in the previous game buildings or supply dumps were given a points token which the routers
had to loot and get off the table and the MP's tried to get them back and convince the routers
 to surrender by negotiation or shooting.
For some reason I forgot to take pics of this game but the highlight for me was a surrounded unit placing a charge in a building which destroyed the building as well as three MP's half tracks and many Red Caps unfortunatley this still didn't give me a victory and all my six units either surrendered or were cut down.  The only unit that had a chance of getting off the table ended up with a token worth zero points. Doh!!!

Game 4 against Barry Hilton was another type of taking and holding buildings to win points.
This time the Germans were actually in the town but not allowed to be in any of the buildings at the start and the other side were given the initiative to start first and this was the first scenario that had armour in it.  My first move was to play an event card which allowed my troops to set up in ambush which allowed them to be close to one of the objectives which they immediately occupied.
Barry replied by launching an assault against the building which ended in disaster for him as his squad was wiped out.
My other French armoured infantry column advanced and took the other objective
which was the church
My force consisted of three armoured infantry columns like this.
French Armoured infantry.
Apart from Panzer Grenadiers Barry's force also had a Tiger and this quad AA gun which proved lethal to my half tracks and infantry.
The highlight for me was one of my Shermans knocking out Barry's Tiger
and gave me my first victory.

Crimean game

Barry Hilton and myself eventually managed to get together to fight a sample battle for his up and coming Four Empires book which is a Crimean supplement to go with his Republic to Empire rules.
I don't want to give too much away from the battle but here are a few taster shots of the action which involved a French Division of three infantry brigades and a cavalry brigade supported by a brigade of Turks and a Berseglieri unit.
This shows the main infantry brigade led by their Chasseurs a'pied.
Artillery is seen moving up on their flank and a brigade of Zouaves and Turcos in the distance.
Russian rearguard and village defenders.
Attackers go forward.
Storming the village.
I won't give the game away but suffice to say that the battle swung to and fro
and either side could have won until finally decided in the last move.