Sunday, March 18, 2018

Greene vs. Cornwallis Pt.II

Having rallied from the previous tactical defeat, the redoubtable General Greene  prepared to clash with the forces of General Cornwallis once again.  Each side had received reinforcements since Guilford Courthouse so this promised to be the biggest battle.  Yet.

Having blocked the valley they waited as the cavalry and Light Bobs identified their position and sent word back to Cornwallis.  Each side was allowed some troops to enter from off-table with the rebels having more options.  Rules are Guns of Liberty 2nd Edition, tables adjusted for 25/28mm figures.

Looking at the Rebel position from the light brigade.

The Rebels could have had a 2' set on but kept back.  The lights
were to pin but keep the cavalry intact for the pursuit.

The stream is impassable for wheeled pieces as the advance begins.

The newly raised (by me) Queen's Rangers appear on table.

Our left is mostly Loyalists, stiffened by a grenadier detachment
and a light gun.

We press on the right.  Von Bose, Queen's Rangers and Highlanders
wait to engage as two medium guns open fire.

It is mostly American militia facing the Loyalists.  A fair fight.

Our lights engage the best American units as more maneuver.

The loss is heavy on the left, made worse by the appearance of
American cavalry.

The Yanks charge over the fence!

60th Royal Americans (had to use my F&I figures) are shaken.

Our cavalry and mixed brigade prepare to strike.

Things go back and forth on the left.  The cavalry is easily repulsed
but an ominous dust cloud appears along the road off table.  Yellow
slips represent disorder.

Taking an extra turn to form line of battle, the French and Americans
move on table.  Late, but a welcome addition to Greene.

Likewise, Cornwallis' "Guards" brigade moves on.  They were
supposed to arrive elsewhere but were redirected while off table.

Although the cavalry was again unsuccessful, everywhere else
the Americans are routing or recoiling in the face of our steady

So once again General Greene is forced to break off and retreat.  Had things held better on the main table the flank march might have been decisive.  But in the event our planned two session game was ended in one.  This time I believe the pursuit would have been a bit more vigorous as we had untouched and fresh troops in position, whereas the fresh rebels and French were out of position. 

Each side enjoyed success at times and the sadness of failure.  So a good game in that respect and better in that law and order was preserved for the Empire.  (Cue the music.)

Monday, February 26, 2018

Italian v. Americans - 1943

Another attempt at Flames of War 4th Edition.  This time a friendly "grudge match" between Paul's mid-war Americans and my Italians.  Using the mid-war point system and new Avanti book for the Italians, we agreed upon 150 points.  I came up short with my Italians.  Probably could have made it but between things I own but not included in the book and things needing rebasing (yuck!) I had to incorporate a small platoon of Afrika Korps panzers.

Italians had two formations, one of "tanks" and one a Bersaglieri Weapons company.  The Americans had everything in one armor formation.  Shermans, Lees, Wolverines, Priests and armored infantry.  Oh boy!

Initial deployment with "Spearhead" moves made.

American halftracks with 75mm guns, Wolverines with 76mm guns,
mortar halftracks and the command Shermans.  And that's just in
the foreground!

Italians put the Bersaglieri and Panzers on the left, "tanks" on
the right.

Italians win the roll-off and have the first move.  Hits and kills
are exchanged.  The Italian 88s continue their reputation as killers.
The village/town annoyingly split the field so my two 88s, in which I depended upon so much, were limited in their field of fire.  Most of my other weapons couldn't kill American tanks.

On my left a cat and mouse game between Lees and Priests and
the Axis forces.

The mission is Annihilation, so the Italians are very aggressive.

This is a fight we will lose, but it will hopefully take a long time.

A vicious firefight develops in town, that with the 100mm
artillery, the Italians are winning.

On the left the panzers are dead or run off but the Italians have
given their licks and hold on.
Sadly, we had to declare it a draw.  The Americans could/would not advance in the face of the 88s and the Italians had shot their offensive bolt.  Losses on both sides were heavy.  Aircraft weren't particularly effective.  Italian AA helped hold off the P-40s and the Falco isn't much of a ground-attack plane.  Maybe next time I'll pay to upgrade to a Stuka.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Blitzkrieg Commander II Intro Game

In a special introductory game, three players new to Blitzkrieg Commander II and three experienced but not recently players gathered to get sand in our shoes.  Set as a early 1943 game, we had roughly 4000 points of Germans and Italians against British.  You can read the remarks of Der Alte Fritz on his blog here.  The game was set with four turns of recon so the Germans and Italians dutifully drove armored cars on table looking for trouble.

BKCII uses 2d6 to activate formations and was significantly modified to accommodate our tastes for the game.  Who wants to see their pretty toys just sit and do nothing?  The game was played lengthwise on a 16x6' table.

Such a peaceful arena as the recon drives on table.

My AB-41 armored cars with German SdKfz 222s in the distance.

We engage in a lively duel with Marmon-Herrington armoured cars.
 We had three full turns of recon work, then on the fourth turn each side drove their heavy units on table.  Heavy being a comparative term for the Italians.

Now that's a heavy!  A Tiger heads some Mk. III tanks.

We used dust clouds till spotted.  In this case a formation of M14
tanks followed by Semovente self-propelled guns.

The Germans waste no time coming into action.
Initially things seemed to go our way.  The British armoured cars had to give up ground in the face of all the armor, we didn't find any ambushes, and the Germans started exacting a heavy toll right away.  At first it seemed we were "just" facing Crusader III tanks with 6 pdrs as their main gun.

My M14s were willing to fight Crusaders till the Grants showed
up.  Time to play "chase me, chase me."
Oops.  After some poor shooting on my part and some average to slightly better by the British I could do the math.  Twelve shots to twenty-four, with them having a better gun and needing more hits to kill.  So the Italians beat a hasty retreat back to nearly their starting positions.

Grants seem to be particularly nasty in BKC II.

More Germans I hope.

Back at one of the starting ridges.
 Much like the back and forth movements of Rommel and his adversaries across Africa, so too our forces went forward and back over the same ridges all day.

The Crusaders advance ahead of the Grants while on the other
flank more are being shot to pieces by the Tiger and company.

Too ambitious in the end, engaging without the Grants.  All the
Crusaders are quickly burning.
 I joked about drawing them onto our line of anti-tank guns, not really knowing what was in the German arsenal.  As it turns out I was right.  A pair of 88s and the panzers made short work of the Crusaders, even though they were in a good hull-down position.

You can see the reorganized Italians and formidable array of Germans.

A Stuka appeared and help take out part of the other Crusader batch.

Some Hurricanes returned the favor, I think killing a panzer.

With the Crusaders eliminated the Germans and Italians begin
to pursue.  Germans aided by their superior command ratings
pull ahead.

Over the top boys, charge!

My might Falco CR-42 finally puts in an appearance.

And is promptly shot down.  Can truck mounted Bofors really
fire on the move?

A nasty surprise awaits us.

And promptly takes out a panzer company.

Being smarter than the average rabbit, my Semoventes use the
depression and move to town and our exit path.

So much wreckage strewn across the field.

Axis players are Jim, John and myself; British players Bob, Bill
and Keith.

The Axis mission was to exit along the road next to town (away from the Italians).  At point we wondered, "where did the Tiger go?"  Slipped off table with its escorting Panzers.  So with most of the British armour destroyed and our tanks moved or moving off table, an Axis victory was declared.

There are things about Blitzkrieg Commander that I really like and other aspects that are beyond goofy.  We'll keep tinkering with it and see if something can be created that play to the system strengths and minimize the impact of weaknesses.  So we'll just have to play more often!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

"What news from court?"

A small diversion:


"Sasha Davidov, this was an excellent idea.  The morning could not be better."

"Da Professor Markovitz, is good.  I myself prefer to be, um, active in the morning."

"So Sasha, what is the latest news from court?  I have been away far too long."
"The biggest news professor is that we are receiving a delegation from Venaria at court!"
"Venaria!? (as a dramatic murmur/gasp runs through those present.)  "We are to take up diplomatic relations with Turks?!"
"Is true" said Vladimir Odoevsky, shifting uncomfortably because of his gout.  "Messengers have indicated they will arrive shortly."

Odoevsky added, "They intend to make it a permanent mission.  Quarters for their special needs are being prepared near to court."
"I suppose it is a necessary evil, given that Latveria and Odessinau seems to be getting very close.  But the Turks have been the peril of Europe for centuries" said the professor with a sigh.

Adopting a soothing tone Davidov said, "All very true, but these are Ottomans and have even gained a sense of understanding with Mother Russia.  It is said true Russians even serve alongside them."
"Oh what is the world coming to" sighed Kara Milovy as she brought a kerchief to her delicate features.  "And can't we do something about the noise and smell those soldiers are creating?"

"I fear not my dear.  They must repair any damages that occurred during the winter.  For your protection."  Leaning in such a way that he almost displaced the servant perched on his leg Davidov leered, "If you prefer we could retire to other, quarters?"
"Shame on you Sasha Davidov, you know I am with General Koskov" she responded, feigning insult by vigorously fanning herself.
"Ah well, they are in addition laying in fresh supplies.  All in anticipation of more mischief from Latveria.  Sales to the military have been good."

"Well, we shall have to be prepared to make sacrifices and persevere in spite of whatever hardship may develop" avowed Odoevsky.

"Oh look, it is Lenkin, Count Lippe's diplomatic aide, and it appears he brings news."

Vignettes are by Eureka with Old Glory and Blue Moon making up the rest of the civilians.  Pioneers are primarily RSM figures.  The fortress was 3D printed and painted by me.  Certain liberties have obviously been taken with the map and history of Europe.  The map is provided to you some sense of what we are up to these days.