Monday, July 23, 2018

Battle of Ginly - Imagi-Nation report

The first full engagement of our mini-campaign using our Imagi-Nations and the Wulfenbuttel War by Charles S. Grant kicked off Sunday.  We use Batailles de l'Ancien Regimes by Bill Protz for rules, 10:1 figure ratio, card driven mechanics.

It has been a while since I posted on this campaign, so in brief review the Ottoman state of Venaria with Russian vassals learned of a plan by neighboring Odessenau and Latveria to join armies and invade.  So stealing the initiative the Venarians have invaded Odessenau.  In this action engaging the (mostly) Odessenau army with the objective of controlling the crossroads by turn 12.

Venarian army on the march to the crossroads.

The Odessenau advance guard moves on.

The raison d'etre for the battle.

Slowed crossing the water barrier the army moves forward.

A single squadron prepares to sacrifice itself to slow the Venarian

My saving throws started awful.  But they can't stay that way.

The light cavalry is routed away but now we face steady lines
of infantry.  Enemy lights are in the woods which disorder formed

The natural bottleneck greatly slows our advance.
By this point an all too familiar pattern was emerging for my games of late.  First, any time it is important to get the movement or fire card it goes to the enemy.  Additionally, my saving throws have remained consistently below average.  I even changed dice part-way through to no avail!  My friends joke that I love the game but the cards hate me.

Our lights charge an Odessenau gun and capture the crossroads.

From the Odessenau perspective.  They have gotten reinforcements
and are now roughly on a par with us after our losses.

Bosniaks drive off the lights and recapture the guns.

But then an opening volley wipes them out.

Even though we have an extra 30 infantry at the start, the table
shape keeps us in disadvantageous formations and the clock is
now a factor.

A huge cavalry scrum ensures with the advantage going to us,
but a full enemy battalion occupies the crossroads.

The cavalry melee was finally decided by disordered but victorious
cavalry charging into the rear of the enemy heavies.

I lost track of taking pictures for the last couple of turns.  The freakish card distribution meant we were doomed.  To add insult to injury, getting a joker allows you to "trump" an unfavorable card.  They got both of them.  So I take a little satisfaction that the game wasn't decided until the final turn.  A little cheese with my whine is needed.  <GRIN>

Darkness fell and ended the slaughter.  Though many would rejoin their units, either from recovering their courage or patching a light wound, but at the end 1,680 Venarians were missing against 1,550 Odessenauers.  In our campaigns each casualty gets a d6 roll.  Dead on a six, heavily wounded and out of the campaign (but could be a prisoner) on a four or five, and will rejoin the regiment next day on a one to three.  The only trophy was a standard from an Odessenau cavalry unit.  The defenders guns, which changed hands several times, ended up back in the possession of Odessenau.

Monday, July 16, 2018

French v. Hanoverians - SYW

After completing our semi-annual mega game, we opted to down-size to a small Seven Years War game in 15mm using our preferred rules, The Final Argument of Kings by Dean West.  Twelve French battalions including a Swiss and two grenadiers vs. eight first class Hanoverian and four militia battalions.  Each side had two medium and a heavy gun along with four cavalry regiments.  Hosted by our friends at Adventure Games in Oshkosh, WI.

The initial layout on a battle mat.  The lighting makes it look shiny.

First turn and a French battalion routs from artillery fire.

The French cavalry under my command had orders to reach the
Hanoverian center.  En avant mes beau sabres!

A mis-cue with orders left the Hanoverian cavalry reeling back.

Seeing an advantage on our right, the infantry advances.

The Schomberg dragoons get mentioned in dispatches for running
off three battalions and capturing a battery.

The cavalry pulls back to reorganize as the infantry press forward.

And so, with the clock running down, the Hanoverians declared their intent to withdraw.  Most of the Hanoverian battalions that routed were able to rally, but once the French cavalry reorganized the position would be most difficult.  More importantly, a number of battalions got their first tabletop experience.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Kursk - 75 Years Later

Sort of.  Our semi-annual mega-game, played on a 16x6' table, is loosely based on the action at Prokhorovka on July 12th, 1943.  To use Flames of War v.4 we had to "bath-tub" it down to playable scale, though even then the numbers of tank models involved were huge.

All artillery except dual purpose elements and mortars were off table.  The Germans automatically got aircraft the first two turns and then each side threw one dice, if the relative scores were two greater then that side got two aircraft.  A roll of "6" on a d6 would produce a severe thunderstorm.  As it happened, it never occurred.  Each side has programmed reinforcements.  The scenario was harvested off the Battlefront website.

18th Tank Corps on the far left, part of 29th Tank Corps next to
the railroad berm.  Facing infantry-heavy 1st SS Panzer.

On the other side the rest of 29th Tank Corps and 2nd Tank Corps
face the rest of 1st SS Panzer.

At this point the Soviets have 10,500 points on table against a mere 5,000 German.  This left the latter with little choice but to absorb the attacks and hope to counter-punch when the rest of the SS Panzer Corps put in an appearance.  A bunch of Lend-Lease Churchills were found in the 18th Tank Corps list.

Great execution at first on the right as Pak40s and MkIVs take
a heavy toll.

2nd Tank Corps begins to advance Turn 3 just as elements of
2nd SS Panzer arrive on the German right.

The only aircraft shot down all day for either side.  Rockets are
very (too) powerful.

2nd Guards Tank Corps arrives on the flank of 2nd SS on Turn 5.
They now face two tank corps.

With good German saves they are making progress against 29th
Tank Corps on the right.

Bad saves on the left mean the panzergrenadiers are soon to
be overrun in assault.

The Soviets have such a preponderance in tanks and mobility that even light-weights became effective when maneuvered behind or on the flanks of the desperate Germans.  Airpower has been largely Soviet and when the Germans did show up their attacks were easily shrugged off whereas the rockets could be devastating.

Most of the air support for both sides was on the left.  Here a
rare attack on the right.

Despite misplaying the assault rules, the objective will shortly
be in German hands.

3rd SS arrives on the left, but so do two more Soviet formations!

29th and 18th Tank Corps are spent on the right.  German mortars
relocate to get within range.

Verdammt Sturmoviks!  Even a trio of quad 2cm SPAA couldn't
stop them.  Aircraft are very survivable in v.4.

And just as we begin to relax, a new Soviet formation rolls on.

At this point we have approximately 21,000 Soviet points against 15,000 German.  Since each previous Soviet group has whittled down the Germans it is an even more significant advantage.

Soviets running wild on the left.  Even Rudel can't slow them.

Nothing to do but slug it out on the right.

Part of 1st SS and all of 3rd SS are ruined.  The remnants will

A final shot as we near the end.  Soviets on their last gasp on
the right.

As we reached Turn 12 and the end, a draw was declared.  All the German formations on the left, both of them, had broken and fled along with two Soviet.  This left three objectives in Soviet possession.  On the right all four Soviet formations were broken, leaving three objectives in German possession and one that we couldn't reach in time.  So in terms of formations it was six to two in favor of the Germans but as the adage and myth goes, they could afford the losses.

Now to begin planning the 2020 game!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Demo at Reenactment

Our local historic site and society hosted an American Civil War reenactment at Heritage Hill State Park in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  Our group volunteered to set up dioramas and a demo game for the visitors.  They gave us part of the Surgeon's Quarters to set up in.  The weather was great and a nice breeze moved though the building.

I was only there on Sunday but the attendance and interest ran high all weekend, particularly on Saturday which is always the busiest day at a reenactment.  As the Union and Confederate forces squared off, we talked about two aspects of the Battle of Antietam, the theme of the weekend.

Bob's demo game using 1/72nd scale miniatures.
Some of the reenactor kids had such a good time playing Saturday they were waiting for the doors to be unlocked Sunday.

Here Todd describe's Turner's Gap and the advance of the Iron
Brigade.  Mostly recruited in Wisconsin.

The two set-ups.

Here I talk about the Sunken Road, or Bloody Lane.

Meanwhile, the two Reb guns came into action.

Reb firing line.  

Thinned, but still advancing.
As a black powder era reenactor it is rare for me to watch a tactical unfold.  Thinking on it, this was just the third in 25 years!  Here's a short clip of the musketry.  Alas, the hand-to-hand clip is too large for Blogspot to handle.

When the reenactors come around you'd better be on your game.

Things cleared out fast after the afternoon tactical.  Thankfully. 
A long weekend for Bob and Todd who worked both days.

Doing what a soldier does best.  

The site was very pleased with us and we were pleased with the reception.  I imagine we'll do it again next year.