Monday, January 9, 2012

A Fresh Look

In a rare expression of "commonness" with his subjects, the Grand Duke of Litharus was observed taking a stroll with his Duchess and retinue recently.  Stunned on-lookers saw him walking the cobblestones of the older part of Vilnius.  He was even seen to leave a few coins at the local inn.

Buildings are a recent addition from the fpm series available at the Wargame Vault. These are sold as PDFs and are an inexpensive way, coupled with a quality printer, to produce inexpensive buildings by Dave Graffam Models.  They often come with different "layers" so that with basic Printshop skills you can produce a winter or harbor-side version.  Plus, since you have purchased the PDF you can print multiples, make some variations of your own, and produce a nice village or town setting.  Frequently at The Wargame Vault you can score a free or on sale version.  In retrospect I should have scaled them down a bit before printing so make them more compatible with my not-quite-so-heroic scale figures.

For our purposes, my darling wife glued these to a card backing of similar weight to what you would find on the back of a pad of paper.  This gives the building much more strength and fewer warping problems, but does create some construction issues.  Peg did a very nice job putting them together so they sit nice and flat.  These aren't Miniature Building Authority quality (what is?) but you can literally get a couple dozen for the price of one MBA model.

The cobblestones are a post-Christmas sale score.  The strip is 3' x 18" and cost me less than 10USD.  Over the years I've picked up enough of them to set a decent diorama.  Figures are a mix of Blue Moon and Eureka with the parade offered up by the latest Ostzeiskiy battalion from the Wargames Factory figures.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Achtung, Jabos!

Our regular Sunday game this week featured Flames of War, four players and evidence all points are not created equal.  As a pick-up game we went with what we had.  So my 1944 British, based on the 11th Armoured Division took on 1941 Germans.  Points were 1830 for the British and 1786 for the Germans.  Both sides bought priority air support and neither bought any AA assets.

After deployment the British plan was to attack on the left while defending on the right.  To that end the two troops of armour (I'm being British here) was in the left and centre with a platoon of infantry, while the Vickers platoon and 6 pdrs. were on the right.  3" mortars were there primarily to help defend given their short reach on a 9x6' table.  The Germans had two platoons of panzer-grenadiers in trucks, a bunch of "door knocker" 3.7cm anti-tank guns, short-barreled StuGs, PzJgr.I and self-propelled 15cm guns.

Hauptman Andrew says, "Vas ist los?"

My recon element made a dash on the right, mostly with the intent of keeping them honest.  If an opportunity to dash in opened up, then great.

Both sides advanced and both sides got air support quickly.  The Germans started a string of unsuccessful attacks, while the British got in a devastating hit early.

Equally quickly we learned that there was little the Germans could do against the Shermans frontally, though I continued my tradition of "once bailed out, always bailed out."  The killer for the German chances was the Luftwaffe's (Jake) ability to roll "1s".  Five or six Shermans were hit and anything but a one would have destroyed us,  In each case the Sherman survived.

As the Germans pushed forward across the front, the recon troop saw their opportunity and dashed for the safety of the woods.  They then began a lucky (no bogs) trip through the woods to eventually emerge behind the Germans.

Air support continued for both sides until the Germans were down to two dice, the British got theirs even with just two.  Results for the RAF never matched the early one, but it continued to be a hindrance for the Germans.

Finally, we had whittled them down to the point where Lieutenant Todd rushed the enemy objective with his infantry as tanks moved up to support.  Since the second objective was also threatened we could call it.  To complete the action, the Germans failed their company check.

Two of our regulars are teenagers and this game featured "youth and skill" against "old age and treachery."  We all know how that turns out.  However, I must tip my hat to the boys.  Despite the most wretched of dice with the aircraft, they behaved in a most mature and gallant manner, always keeping in mind "it's just a game."  Bravo lads!

Now maybe I'll cook up something special for a future game.  Scenario driven rather than objective.