Friday, 24 May 2013

CoC game again, plus various ramblings.

On Wednesday Gus and I braved the darker reaches of Torquay to visit its shortest resident.  Casa Goodyear saw another game of Chain of Command, with the Italians, commanded by Gus, taking on Nathans British.  This time we were trying out less commanders on the Italian side, plus neither side knew what the other had taken as support.

Jump off points in place
Gus had an Italian platoon (1 senior leader and 2 squads each with 1 junior leader and 19 men), supported by an additional senior leader, a 75mm infantry gun and a forward observer with 8cm mortars on call.  Nathan had a British platoon (2 senior leaders and 3 squads of 1 junior leader and 9 men).  His support was an M10 Achilles.  Of the two forces, Gus' had the best support options as Nathans M10 had no HE capability and, as Gus had no armour, its mighty 17pdr was wasted.  He also cunningly forgot to bring on his 2" mortar.

Italians on the flank
Italians pushed back
The map was set up and off they went.  Gus pushed around on his left flank, but was then driven back by the combined fire of 2 British squads.  The other British squad was exchanging fire the the remaining Italians in the village, but 10 men with 1 LMG will always lose out to 20 men with 2 LMGs.

The 75mm infantry gun started banging away at the Achilles at long range.  As the HE shells exploded on the glacis plate, the crew of the Achilles were forced to keep their heads down.  Their return fire with the pintle 50cal was ineffectual and the driver decided to move them behind the hill and out of sight.

British advance into the mortars barrage
Nathan reads the wrong rulebook
"Happy" Gus, who finally won a game
Things got a bit rocky for Gus on the left when his sergeant went down, but the mortars saved the day for him.  The CO called them in and when they started coming down they decimating the British squads on that flank.  As his troops fell, Nathan's morale did the same and, before you could say "put the kettle on" he was falling back and quit the field of battle. 

So, another victory for the Italians and Gus has finally won a game of CoC!

 In other news, I have finally got some painting done this month.  Things took a bit of a downward turn as I was getting very pis, ahem, I mean fed up with being ill.  It has been over a year now and lately its been worse than before, which was getting to me.  So I had painted sod all this month until Monday.  Monday morning arrived and I went off to see the consultant, hoping for good news but not expecting much.  I had a scan back in March, were I had to eat some radioactive scrambled egg and then sit in front of a scanner for 90 minutes.  That was was so riveting that I fell asleep for about half an hour.  Anyway, the idea of the scan is to see how the stomach is doing at moving the food about and sending it on down the digestive system.

Now I had assumed that there was no news as I hadn't heard anything.  The first words out of the doc's mouth were "Well, it's not in your head", which is nice to know.  The scan had shown that my stomach was doing nothing and the radiation just sat there in a nice tight ball for 90 minutes.  That explains why I get stomach ache and feel sick whenever I eat.  The technical term is Gastroparesis, which goes well with my scarred pancreas, hiatus hernia and irritable bowel.

It is nice to finally have a diagnosis though, now I know what I have to beat into submission.  So, after spending the last few years eating high fibre foods, then the last 4 months eating gluten-free, I am now on a low fibre diet.  No more granary bread, which I like, its back to plain old boring and tasteless white bread.  The healthy options of high fibre cereals are taboo too.  So all the stuff I used to eat for its health benefits are now verboten.

So, Monday afternoon I started painting again.  Tuesday morning I finished the first unit of Napoleonic Old Guard for Andy, then I started a WW2 German platoon.  Things have gone on like that, so that I have now painted 70 WW2 Germans, 32 WW2 US Paras and 32 French Napoleonic infantry.  Not bad, although it is all going to slow down again now for a few reasons.
A - The in-laws are down again, so I have to do "holiday" things (see note C).
B - I am off to Twickenham tomorrow with No2 son to watch the rugby premiership final.
C - Sunday we are going to Bristol zoo, with the in-laws........
D - Monday we are spending with the in-laws before they leave to go home again!
E - Monday night is gaming night
F - Tuesday is also scheduled for a game as Panjo has a free day so we are going to Nathans again.

So, no more painting now until Wednesday at the earliest.

So, basically this month has taken a definite turn for the better. Be happy folks and keep rolling those dice.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Battlegroup Overlord game and missing spray paints.

Hello again.  Yet another 15mm WW2 game played last Wednesday.  Nathan came over with his new and shiny copy of Battlegroup Overlord.  Gus was meant to be coming over but had a bad day with his ongoing treatment, so it was left to myself and Nathan.

The bazooka takes out a Puma
Battlegroup Overlord seems to play pretty well, Nathan having seen off a British force at the last meeting of the Devon Wargames Group.  This time we played a 500pt game, with his Germans taking on my US Paras.  He had a platoon of grenadiers, 3 Stugs, 3 big armoured cars, a supply train and some mortars off table.  The Paras had 2 platoons of infantry, 2 recce Jeeps, 1 AA 50cal on a jeep and a forward observer with artillery on call. 

Another Puma smokes as a mortar round lands
US Paras occupy the church
 The game started well for the Germans, but as it went on a lack of infantry told and the superior fire of two US platoons wore him down.  A heroic move and fire by a Bazooka team killed his first Puma and, when his second was taken out as well, it triggered a quick slump in his armys morale.  My pulling "Beyond the Call of Duty" tokens three times instead of losing morale points helped.  The forward observer did nothing all game, while Nathans mortars kept banging away and pinning my 50cal and mortar team.

 It was a good game again, different from Chain of Command, but enjoyable.  Nathan would have been better off with 20mm armed armoured cars instead of Pumas, just like I would have been better off with a 57mm AT gun.  Its useful that figures based for CoC also work for BGO, which almost justifies me having 2 full platoons of US Paras.  Well, sort of anyway.

The rest of the week was spent in pain as my stomach rebelled against something I had eaten, but I have no idea what it was.  I did manage to get a bit more painting done though, with some 15mm French Old Guard Grenadiers joining the done list. 
Nathan commiserates by sucking his thumb!

And here is another picture just to annoy Nathan.  What are you doing?

I have a slight problem with painting vehicles at the moment as no one seems to have any of the Flames of War spray paints in mid/late German or British green.  It does mean I can focus on the infantry I need to paint first, but I felt like painting some tanks.  Ah well.

Now this is where I would tell you what we are playing tomorrow night.....but I can't remember what was agreed.  Doh! 

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Chain of Command at Devon Wargames Group

Overlord Game
Yesterdays meeting of the Devon Wargames Group saw three games put on.  JJ put on a nice WW2 game in 15mm using the new Battlegroup Overlord rules.  He has done a decent write up of his view of the rules as well.  The only downside was Nathan's "Happy Dance".

Nathan starts his "Happy Dance"
Black Powder Game
Meanwhile the other end of the room saw a Black Powder game, I think set up by Chas.  It looked good and from the players comments it seemed to play well too.  I am a bit concerned about Vince's concentration on the Jaffa Cakes though.

Vince eyes the Jaffa Cakes
Paras in the village
The third game was Chain of Command, put on by myself and Gus.  Ollie had asked us to put on the game after seeing it at Legionary, so he handed Gus his latest defeat in an ever extending run of defeats.  This time we had US Paras (again, I really need to get another Allied force) against German Grenadiers.  Ollie had the yanks, leaving Gus with the Germans.  Both took an extra squad as their support, with Gus also gaining a senior leader as well.
Germans on the hedgeline

Paras on the other hedge
Left flank attack
As the game went on Gus split his force into two, each with 2 squads and a senior leader.  This looked good initially, especially when a squad on overwatch managed to catch a US rifle team as it ran down the road, killing 3 of the 8 men in one volley.  In the end the extra senior leaders in the US force meant they could remove shock more easily than the Germans, plus the concentrated fire of 2 squads decimated Gus' right flank force, causing his morale to go.  The game was, as usual, enjoyed by both players and brought up a few new ideas and minor issues with the rules and forces.  But that is what playtesting is supposed to do, so it's all good.

This afternoon No2 son and I went to watch the latest Star Trek film.  I enjoyed the first one and was hoping for a similar reaction to this one.  Well, I was not disappointed.  I know some people have issues with the re-launch of Star Trek, but the new, dirtier look to the Federation seems more realistic than the "too good to be true" Federation of the older series.  Don't take me wrong, I liked the original Star Trek series, although I struggled a bit with Next Gen.  DS9 was good and Voyager was ok, but the less said about Enterprise the better. 

So I hope your all having fun, keep rolling those dice.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Bank Holiday gaming!

Yesterday was the first bank holiday that hasn't seen the outinlaws appear.  Mainly this was because I had booked the dining room for a game of Chain of Command and, as they sleep in the dining room, they couldn't stay here.

Oh dear.

How sad.

So, onto the game.  Nathan used his British infantry platoon while I took out my Italians for their first game.  At first glance I thought they were going to be unwieldy, as their platoon structure was very different to that of other countries.  The British platoon had an Officer and a Sergeant (Senior Leaders) and 3 sections each with 10 men.  The sections are lead by a Corporal (Junior Leader), a 3 man Bren team and a 6 man rifle team.  Platoon support is provided by a 2" mortar and a PIAT, each with 2 crew.  American and German platoons are very similar, with 3 squads and support. 

The Italians do not use this structure, instead having a single Officer (Senior Leader) as the sole HQ element.  Then there are 2 squads, but each has 20 men in it.  These squads are commanded by a Sergeant (Junior Leader), who takes direct command of 2 LMG teams, each with 4 men.  The remaining men are a Corporal (Junior Leader) and 10 riflemen, who make a single (large) team. 

So a British Platoon has 2 Senior Leaders, 3 Junior Leaders and 31 men, manning 3 LMGs, 1 mortar and 1 PIAT.  The Italians have 1 Senior Leader, 4 Junior Leaders and 36 men, manning 4 LMGs.  This squad setup proved to be much better than I had thought as more men were activated by a command dice than was possible for the British.

The table set up
The table was set up to represent a small village occupying a "vital" road junction.  Nathan's British took an M5 Stuart and a single truck for their support, while the Italians got an L6 light tank and some Panzerfausts.  This was the first use of proper tanks, which was good.

Italians in the streets
The Italians quickly moved on with one full squad and the LMG teams from their second squad seizing the buildings that covered the road junction.  They were also set on overwatch, ready to hit any Tommy who stuck his head up.

Nathans first units moved on and fired at one of the LMG teams, killing 2 men despite the cover provided by the stone walls.  The return fire was slightly less effective, but one Tommy went down.

British truck on the flank
The 2nd British section appeared on the right flank in a truck.  Obviously a sneaky, high speed drive around the flank was in their sights.

The result of a 20 man melee
The 3rd British section moved around on their left flank, trying to outflank the LMGs in the buildings.  The Corporal in charge of the Italian rifle team spotted this and rushed his men over to block them.  A load shout of "Carica" rang out and the Italians threw themselves at the British.  Despite the rapid fire of the British Sten and Bren guns the Italians won the fight.  As the British Corporal fell wounded, 7 of his men were also cut down.  As the smoke cleared the remaining Italians gathered themselves, suddenly realising that their corporal was also down, along with 5 other men.  The 2 remaining Tommys routed away as the 4 Italians captured their corporal. 

The truck turns and the tank appears
While their comrades were seeing off one danger, the 2nd Italian rifle team came on and moved to cover the advance of the British truck.  As the advanced, one of their LMG teams also moved up to cover the area.

As the left flank attack had failed, Nathan was forced to bring on his Stuart to cover any threat on that side.  At the same time the motorised section changed course to come down and reinforce the center. 

Lt S-C-G looks for his men
As the enemy had revealed their armour, the Italian CO brought on his one remaining asset, the mighty L6 tank.  Ah how the British tremble at the throaty roar tinny drone of its engine was heard.  Who could possibly stand up against this mighty engine of Italian might?  Ok, its small and has a measly 20mm gun, but it is a TANK! 

There they go, into the distance!
The Italian LMG fired at the truck, killing a man and delivering some shock.  The British CO, Lieutenant  Smythe-Carruthers-Goodyear, came on and ordered the truck to get out of the line of fire.  As the driver floored the accelerator, something went wrong with the truck.  Despite the minimal damage caused by the Italian fire, the truck moved a measly 8 inches (on 3D6 doubled!).  So the Italians got another burst in, killing another man.  "Change gear you blithering idiot" shouted Lt S-C-G and, with a grinding noise and a belch of diesel smoke, the truck shot off down the road.

Smoking Stuart!  BOOOM
"Oh bother" though Lt S-C-G as he realised that he was now all alone facing off against 14 Italian soldiers.

Not many British left now
In the town the Stuart was hammering away at the Italian LMG team on that flank, having driven the victorious rifle team back out of sight.  As he watched the fall of his MG fire the tank commander suddenly spotted a vehicle, as the mighty L6 came around the corner.  Shouting at his gunner to switch targets and use the main gun, he watched as the 20mm gun fired at him.

Curly and Moe!
Despite the excellent aim of the Italian gunner, the Stuarts paper thin armour was too much for his 20mm shells.  The Stuarts 37mm gun barked and, amazingly, bounced off the turret of the Italian behemoth.  The 20mm cannon barked again and somehow found a weak spot, the Stuart exploded and showered the nearby British infantry with shrapnel.  Fortunately they were just far enough away for it to have no effect, but things were looking grim for the British.

Just to add insult to injury the L6 fired at the truck, killing another man and forcing the troops to bail out, as the driver decided enough was enough for one day and disappeared in a cloud of smoke.

At this point Nathan's force morale had dropped to 1 point and he decided to retire his remaining troops.

 It was a good game again.  Every game I have played or watched has been entertaining, as you never know what will happen.  The British plan to advance on both flanks was probably his downfall as it split his force up too much.  The Italians proved to be very strong on the table, with their rifle teams being able to match the 2 of the British sections, leaving the 4 LMGs to fire at the other one and support the rifle teams.  The tanks were interesting but proved to be of little real use in a built up area.

All in all we had another good day, then went off to Zob's to play a Black Powder ACW game in the evening.  A scenario from the latest Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy magazine, the Rebs drove the Union troops back and broke enough of their brigades to win the day.  It looked a bit rocky at one point, but Panjo managed to stop failing his command rolls and swept forward with his best brigade, sweeping all before him.

Have fun and keep rolling those dice.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Legionary 2013

Yesterday saw the return of Legionary, Exeter's annual wargames show.  It seemed to me to be busier than last year, plus more traders and more games made it a good show.  There was a good mix of games from ancients to sci-fi and skirmish to massed battles.  I didn't take photos of all the games on show as there seemed to be more than enough photographers doing the rounds, so I am sure pictures will soon appear on blogs and in magazines.
Deep thoughts?  Probably not.

JJ, the smiling GM

Devon Wargames Group had a hand in two games on the day.  JJ put on a Carnage & Glory Napoleonic game with Steve and Nathan taking the British and French respectively.  I don't know how it happened, but the British lost in a very close fought game.  It was in the balance right up to the last turn, when the French managed to do enough damage to drive the British back.

Table layout

The other game was put on by Gus and myself.  Initial plans had been to do an AWI game using Maurice, but we changed it two weeks before the show.  As you can probably tell by my previous posts Chain of Command has been a big hit with us, so Chain of Command it was.  Gus bought some extra buildings from 4Ground and we set up a game based on the attack on Carentan from the Band of Brothers series.

Initial deployments

The US paras attacked (again), this time under Gus' command.  He had 3 squads of 12 men, each with 1 LMG.  They were supported by a 60mm mortar.  The Fallschirmjagers also had 3 squads, each with 10 men and 2 LMGs.  No mortar support and half the number of senior leaders gave the US a slight advantage, but the extra LMGs gave the Germans a slight edge in direct fire.
Massed US troops

Mortar rounds land
The game started off well for Gus, with the amazingly accurate fire from his left hand squad whittling a FJ squad down to 2 men.  His left flank was his main advance, with 2 squads supported by the mortar and with direct command from Captain Winters.  As they advanced the German fire was blocked by some well placed smoke rounds, but not before they managed to wound both the German squad NCO and platoon 2iC.

US troops advance
As the US forces on the left gathered to advance, the German 3rd squad reinforced their depleted comrades and their accurate fire pinned down the US right flank.  As they moved upstairs, the effect of their fire increased and soon the US squad was down to 7 men, including the platoon 2iC Lt Spears.

Just as the other 2 US squads gathered themselves to attack, the sneaky Germans used their CoC dice to end the turn, removing the smoke and reactivating their 2 wounded NCOs.
First floor firepower

The turn end marked the end of any effective fire from the allies.  Previously their 30cals and Garands had been hitting with amazing accuracy and effect, but this had changed and now the MG42s and Mausers had the edge.  As their numbers fell the US started losing NCOs, hit as they tried to rally their squads.

Due to Gus' ability to always roll a 6 on force morale loss rolls, the US advance stalled, then turned into a retreat.  The Germans still held Carentan, but they had been hit hard.

German NCO in the loft

Too many casualties now
It was a good day out, with several people expressing interest in the game, although nobody wanted to play a few turns.  Two chaps spent most of the day watching Gus and myself, but both were happy to spectate, which was a shame.

Ah well, we had fun anyway.  The scenery looked pretty good and I do like the mdf buildings over resin ones.  It is very handy to be able to put your troops on the correct floor.

Monday will be another full day of gaming.  I have obviously been very good to get two days in one weekend, but I am not complaining.  Nathan and Gus are coming over and we will try out the Italians and, possibly, some Russians.

Have fun and may your dice be better than Gus' were yesterday.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Black Powder ACW, 15mm painting and Legionary 2013

Mondays game was a nice ACW bash put on by Nathan.

Gus eyes up the opposition.
Paul/Panjo/Pingu looking laid back
 Gus and I had command of the Union forces while Nathan and Paul took the Confederates.  It was a refight of Pickett's Charge from Gettysburg. 

Nathan/Stumpy/Toxic looking less laid back
True to history, the Confederates failed to drive the valiant boys in blue off of the ridge.  Paul was hindered by his inability to roll 9 or less on 2d6.  Three consecutive rolls went 10, 12 and 11.  Oh how we chuckled (from the safety of the Union lines). 

Despite his best efforts the rebs did manage to get some charges in, but never enough to drive the Union troops back and, as his third unit broke and fled the field of battle, Paul conceded defeat and went to make the tea.

The rebs advance towards the blue line
The general consensus was the Black Powder seemed to work better for this period than it did for the Sudan.  We are giving it another go on Monday, with a more general battle than last time.  Should be fun.

Painting has been going fairly well this week.  I have painted up a total of 10 jeeps, 4 for Nathan and 6 for myself.  Nathan has had his already, but here are some pictures of my 6. 

I also snuck in a lone kubelwagen and a US para cart being pulled by 2 mules men.

Final additions to the painted list was another US Paratrooper platoon, metal this time instead of plastic.  I have sorted through some of my unpainted lead and found that I have more US paras than I will ever need, so I sorted a few out to paint and sell on.

They will probably end up on the bring and buy at Legionary 2013 tomorrow.  This is a great local show, going from strength to strength as each year passes.  In the last few years it has been moved from the university, into the city center and is now held at the local cattle market, which is much easier to get too and has ample parking.  You can definitely smell the country air in this building.  Odour aside, and it fades away after about 10 minutes, the venue is pretty good with lots of space and decent light.  Gus and I are putting on a Chain of Command game, while Nathan is helping JJ on his Napoleonic game.  Come along and say hello if you are in the area.

 Have fun and keep rolling those dice.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

More Chain of Command and some more painted stuff

 Friday brought about another game of Chain of Cammand.  Yet again Gus and I visited Casa del Stumpy, where the newly based US Paras faced of against the newly based Fallschirmjagers.  The US, commanded by Nathan, were attacking a Fallschirmjager infested town.

Jump off points are deployed
Initial recce put the Paras on the ridge just outside the town while the Germans occupied the buildings at the edge of the town.  The Americans had a reinforced platoon, giving them 4 squads (12 men with 1 LMG), a 60mm mortar and a FOO able to call in 81mm mortar fire.  The Germans had 3 squads (10 men with 2 LMGs each) and a 2 man AT team.

US Paras appear
Fallschirmjagers deploy in the cafe
German NCO and right flank unit.
The US advanced on their left, with 2 squads facing 1 FJ squad while the other 2 squads engaged the remaining Germans with suppressing fire.  This tactic didn't work the way Nathan wanted, although in the long term it won him the game.  The fire of 2 German squads worked out at 36 dice(4 LMGs with 8 each and 4 riflemen).  This proved too much for the right hand US squad and they were forced back with lots of "shock" hits, but only 2 dead. The US return fire was 32 dice(2 LMGs with 8 each and 16 riflemen), which wasn't much less but the Germans were also in hard cover.  Although the shock effect was much less, the US fire killed more Germans. US riflemen reroll 1's to hit, due to the Garand rifles.  It doesn't sound like much but it does make a difference to their fire.
Sarge is down!

On the left the Paras advanced to the edge of the field, then came under accurate fire from the German squad.  Despite their best efforts they were forced to go to ground.  Their return fire did manage to kill a few more Germans though, this "few hits but always a kill" effect was starting to cause the Germans some problems as they started to run out of men.

Boom boom boom...missed!
As the game went on the American continued to whittle away at the Germans, despite taking much more shock.  Their superiority in NCOs allowed them to rally the shock more effectively than the Germans.

 Another turn and the FOO managed to bring in the 81mm mortar support.  Despite his spotting round being on target, the actual barrage shifted just enough to miss the Germans.....fortunately. As time went on though, the steady attrition of Germans caused their morale to go and they were forced to fall back.  Damn und blast.  They nearly won, with the US suffering a large number of squad NCO hits, all of which cause a possible loss of force morale.  Unfortunately they didn't lose quite enough.  Every US squad had their NCO either killed or wounded, which resulted in the platoon officers and NCOs having to step in.  It was a good game again though, with Nathan managing another win.

FoW US Para Platoon
 Apart from playing I have also been painting more bits to sell on.  So here we have the US Para platoon from the "Open Fire" box for Flames of War.  Very nice figures that, like the German Grenadiers, match their metal figures very well.  If I didn't have so many US Paras already I would have used these for my own CoC force.
FoW British Shermans
 Also from the Open Fire box we have the other 4 Shermans.  The first 4 went on eBay last week, while these are on there this week.
FoW Pak-40s
 Finally we have the Pak 40s, again all in plastic and again a nice match for the metal models that Battlefront do.

I am now in the process of painting some Jeeps and a kubelwagen.  There are 10 jeeps in all, 4 for Nathan and 6 for me, while the Kubel has sat in a basecoated state for about 12 months now, so I have decided to finish it off.

Hope you all have lucky dice, I know Nathan did last Friday.  Catch you later.