Friday, October 24, 2014

Early Argument of Kings

Sixteen battalions of "improved" Prussian musketeers and fusiliers, along with six cuirassier regiments and two hussar regiments, with artillery support lined up to attack.  The Russians had eighteen battalions of Pandours, musketeers and grenadiers awaiting them.  About half the Russian battalions were smaller than their Prussian opponents.  Copious artillery was dispersed along the line in support.  Back, off the line were cuirassiers, horse grenadiers and hussars.  Knowing they were outclassed at every level the plan was to stand on the defensive early and counter-attack at an opportune moment.


Russian left.  Wider front but less depth than the Prussians.

Center along the ridge, which negates the Prussian shooting advantage.

Prussian infantry closes quickly, while the cavalry watches for openings.

The Russians work for an advantage but the dice favor Prussia.

Losses are heavy in the first Prussian line, but the Russians suffer too.

The Prussians refuse their left, which the Russians begin to probe.

Limited counter attacks clear out some of the Prussians.

Having lost a battery the Pandours prepare to attack.

The cavalry fought back and forth with no decisive advantage for either.

Artillery ammo runs low and the Prussian reserves approach.

Disordered horse grenadiers regroup.  Empty ammo markers pile up.

Crisis coming.  Excellent cav will sweep the hill as the infantry strikes.

The storm is coming onto the depleted center.

Having beaten grenadiers and broken a square(!) they now rout cavalry.

Russian cuirassiers to the rescue!  The Prussians are run off.

Both sides have a lot of runners and casualties.  Getting thin on the ridge.

The confused cavalry fight is slowly going in the Russian favor.

Continued hammering.  Note the order and ammo markers.

Both sides are nearing the end of their offensive capabilities.

We have a positional advantage on the right, but are exhausted.
At this point it appeared to both commanders that offensive operations were not practical.  There were some opening volleys available to both sides but the cavalry was shot for some time to come, artillery was depleted or run off, and some brigades had virtually ceased to exist. 

So we took time to gather our casualties
 
collect the routed (lots more not pictured)
 
and call it a night.  Another fine game of Final Argument of Kings by Dean West with play test additions to 1st Edition.  All in all a historically typical Prussian-Russian result.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

'Remagen Me Crazy

In honor of the newly acquired Flames of War book on the bridge at Remagen (and related actions) the Fox Valley Rangers pulled out all the stops for a mega, 6500 point battle.  Seeing an opportunity to use lots of rarely seen minis, Ranger Dan set the point total for the Germans and the Ranger Paul had no trouble matching it.  I pushed lead/pewter/plastic around.



At the newly renamed and moved Adventure Games (formerly Fire for Effect Games) in Oshkosh, WI we put two of their 4x6' tables together and laid out the forces.  The Americans could start with everything or they could hold some in reserve.  No American bombardment or air power on turn one.  The Germans started dug in and gone to ground, but with only half their force.  In hindsight we should have gone higher on the starting totals.  With so many reserves to bring on the Germans started rolling with an extra dice on Turn Two.  The majority of the on-table Germans were Fearless/Trained, while all the Americans were Confident/Veteran.  Click to enlarge photos.



Looking down the length of the German side of the table.

An American tank company with a "Super Pershing"

American armored infantry with supports, the tray holds reserves, dice, etc.

With little action the first turn, the American guns and planes began to warm up the field. Taking advantage of some of the later war American rules to swiftly advance and bring stinging fire down on the Germans. Though dug in and gone to ground, little was accomplished.
"Gotcha Mr. Jadgtiger!"  "Nein, I shrug off your rockets."
Onlookers were invited to take one of our cards for the Ranger group to see about more games.


The American armored infantry began to surge across the table.  76mm gunned Shermans and Pershing in support.  The Jadgtigers claims some kills on double sixes.

On the left the Americans "only" face a pair of Sturmtigers, Pak40s and Pak43s.  Lousy shooting lets us off easy.

We close to mix it up.  With no immediate infantry support the German guns are in a difficult position.

48" range on these bad boys, always hitting top armor

German view (through some smoke) looking at the onslaught.
One tank platoon will be destroyed, but others await.

As the Jadgtiger turns to face some flanking Chaffees, the reserve platoon comes on table and lights him up. 
Said flanking Chaffees, who think they will have an easy time against the 105s

Getting thin in the middle and only a trio of Pumas has come to the German aid

Now the rolls seem to come and lots of veteran armor is pulled out (not yet deployed in the pic)

But deadly artillery and airpower eliminate most, no final photo available
 So what did we learn?  We learned that late-war Americans have a ton of inexpensive options to improve their chances.  Although the German dice were mostly rotten, I'm not sure how you beat these 1945 Americans.  Especially with the typical 1945 Trained German.  I guess more playtests are in order!  Aw.... you mean we have to play and have fun?  Can't I go mow the lawn instead?



Perhaps next time I'll pull out 6500 points of Germans and have a go.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Road to Seville

No, not a Bob Hope and Bing Crosby movie (God, I'm old) but a skirmish in Spain, c. 1810.

The British under Sir Henry Simmerson and Spanish under Captain Morillo set an ambush for the French convoy coming up the road.  The French, tied to the road had to deploy in the spot where the allies planned to spring their ambush. 

The game system, Tirailleurs en Grande Bandes is my own card activated game.  Each unit has two cards in the deck and on any card they can perform one action (move, fire, reload, etc.) or hold it to respond to a charge or similar emergency situation.  Two jokers are also in the deck.  When drawn the gifted CO can choose one unit to receive an extra action.  A game changer in today's encounter.

The French had an escort of 17 dragoons, 20 grenadiers, 26 legere, and three units of 26 fusiliers each and four wagons.  The allies had 18 Spanish dragoons, 10 British hussars, 27 British line, 18 Spanish grenadiers, 25 Spanish lights, and 30 Spanish guerrillas.

Starting positions, prior to the first card being drawn.

Appearing from cover in the French rear, Spanish dragoons.

French dragoons advance on Spanish grenadiers, pay for it.

French legere find a mass of Spanish guerrillas in hiding.

After taking a volley on a joker, the French charge!

The grenadiers decimate the now dismounted dragoons.

The French fail to break the British, who will now wrap around.

Though out-numbered the legere charge home against the guerrillas.

The dragoons remount to be hit by British hussars.  Everyone
routs, cavalry and French infantry.

Scene of the disaster and now uncovered convoy.

Rally attempts fail and the rout continues.

Having destroyed the guerrillas the legere see an escape rout.

Necessary since the Spanish lights and dragoons have closed the road.

Two untouched units form the rear-guard.
Final tally, French dragoons, grenadiers and line platoons routed.  Spanish guerrillas and British hussars routed.  The wagons, never good at cross-country are exposed and easy prey.  In one pass through the deck the allies got both jokers and wise use of them ensured the win.  Though it was an ambush situation the use of cards meant that the French had most of the early actions to react.  The game was over in two hours.  Which I guess is a desirable outcome these days.