Friday, August 31, 2007

Flames of War - The Stone Wall (Band of Brothers)





During the last two months I have been trying out or rather been taught, Flames of War, by John Maguire. Both times I have been beaten, but only through some bad/poor dice rolling on my behalf (that's my excuse). However after a long time away from playing WW2 Flames of War has given it another lease of life. Great figures and vehicles easy flowing and the rules are very enjoyable to play.


One of John's beautifully painted American Airborne stands (hard to believe they are 15mm)

Anyway last nights' game was taken from 'Wargames Soldier & Strategy' (issue 6). The scenario we picked was number three from the 'Band of Brothers' article which is a re-play of 'The Stone Wall' battle on the 13 June 1944. Easy Company had just taken Carentan the day before and were now about to start another attack that morning. However unbeknown to them the Germans, elements from the 6th Fallschrimjager Regiment, had the same idea and attack first.


American Airborne mortar team in action

Our out come was very much the same. Fighting American paras, dug in and behind stone walls proved to much for my boys and I lost most of my company fighting across the fields.


Easy Company in prepared positions

John changed a few things on the orders of battle but both sides had much the same as from the scenario. Easy Company comprised of 1 x company HQ, 3 x infantry platoons (including platoon MMGs), 3 x MMGs, 3 x 60mm mortars and for reinforcements 5 x Sherman's M4 (75mm).


2 x Fallshrimjager platoons make the first attack (supported by the Panzer IV's & the Tiger)

The Germans forces attacking were made up of 1 x company HQ, 3 x infantry platoons, 3 x MMGs, 3 x 81mm mortars, 3 x Panzer IV, 2 x Stugs and 1 x Tiger.


Stugs offer limited fire support for the attacking platoons


The attack goes into the American positions, but after bloody hand to hand fighting all three Panzer IV's were destroyed and so were the two platoons.
All figures are from Battlefront and are from Johns' great collection, however I am now the proud owner of the Fallshrimjager units.

Sherman's come to the rescue


Tank Hunters hide in the undergrowth

Bazooka vs Tiger - Bazooka team lost

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My Spanish Napoleonic Collection


For the last three years I have been slowly building up my Spanish Army, for the 1808 period. I have to admit I have probably been a little slack in the painting department, however I have also painted other armies during the same period.

One of the two batteries in my army - the artillery pieces are Elite Miniatures 8pdrs

The army comprises of 8 x battalions of line, 2 x converged battalions of grenadiers, 3 x militia/volunteer battalions in brown, 2 x batteries of guns, 2 x heavy dragoon regiments, 1 x Lancer (Garrochista de Baylen) and six stands of skirmishers.


Garrochista de Baylen (on Elite Miniatures heavy horse)

The army is still not complete as I still plan to paint up two Irish regiments, the Walloon Guard and three regiments of Line dragoons, which will take another year or two. I have based the units for Shako in 16 man battalions, cavalry as eights and artillery batteries in twos. All figures are from the superb Front Rank Miniatures collection, however the Spanish guns are from Elite Miniatures and the heavy horse for the lancers are also Elite Miniatures.


Converged grenadiers from Infanta del ray & De Guadalaxara regiments



One of my skirmish stands - Regiment of Catalonian light infantry


Heavy cavalry brigade - De la Reyna & De Almansa


De Zaragoza Regiment


Sapper from the same regiment (these boys give you a +1 when assaulting buildings and fortifications)


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Perry Miniatures - Mounted Samurai


Leroy has just finished painting another unit of Mounted Samurai. Leroy keeps on producing some fantastic work and just seems to be getting better all the time. So I decided to put the pictures up for you to have a look. Please feel free to make a comment.
Enjoy

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Some where in Russia -1812






The second game we played on the weekend was played so that John could get all his newly acquired Russians onto the field of battle, which consisted of some 32 battalions of infantry and at least 12 regiments of cavalry. Andrew Parr came up with the scenario which enabled four Russian Infantry divisions (each of eight battalions) and three cavalry brigades ( 0ne Cossack, one light and one heavy) all coming one a different times and places on the board.


Wargames Foundry Russian Grenadiers


The French forces however only had two Infantry divisions (each of eight battalions) and three Cavalry brigades (one light and two heavy), plus a small brigade of three Old Guard Infantry and a small brigade of two Guard Cavalry regiments. Each army was also allowed three batteries of guns.


Russian Guard Regiments defend the Russian right flank (all figures are Wargames Foundry)


The plan was that each side had two objectives to achieve in order to win the day. Both of which were the two villages a no either end of the table. After orders were written the army commanders (which myself leading the French and John the Russians ) then placed out their units to capture the objectives. Not all units were placed on the table and thus were to come on at various times, determined by a dice role of the D10.


Grenadiers take the second objective on the Russian left flank


The French objective was to capture the village on John’s right with my two divisions of infantry. However John had placed down his Russian Guard to defend the town plus two batteries of artillery and a brigade of Cossacks. I had no change in the first number of turns I watch my one of my divisions get shot away by artillery and the second was slowed down by the large forest, which halved movement. John had also rolled low for is re-enforcements and by turn three and other division moved on to support that flank.




Foundry Cossacks clash with Elite Miniatures Lancers (Cossack came off second best)


John’s other reserves also came on to the table faster then mind and had a greater impact on the battle. He was able to capture and hold the second objective by the end of the fourth turn and by the fifth all his reserves were on the table. My reserves which consisted of the Guards units and a Cuirassier brigade did not come on until the last three turns of the game, which and by that time John had consolidated his positions and was able to defeat in turn particularly all my units - the battle was lost to the French.


Russian horse battery with supporting cavalry - all Foundry figures

However the game was impressive and we had a lot of fun. Better luck next time I guess for me. All figures used came from John's collection.






Front Rank French slowly move through the forrest on the Russian right flank




Russian reserves lined out ready to receive the the French attack


Heavy and light Russian cavalry brigades move onto the table and contest the French centre



The Russians deploy and secure the second objective - ready for any advance from the French



The massive Russian cavalry charge which broke the French centre



French Old Guard - these guys were hit in the flank by Russian Dragoons and were ridden down


The Russian Pavlov Guard Regiment


Monday, August 13, 2007

BATTLE OF ALBUERA 1811


One of the scenario’s we played this weekend was the French (under the command of Marshal Soult) attack on the Allied right flank, at the Battle of Albuera in 1811. The Allied Commander, General Beresford, tasked the Spanish, under the command of General Blake, to defend the area known as “Albuera Heights” and defeat any French threat in that area.

Zayas 's Brigade holding the Albuera Heights (Front rank Miniatures painted by myself)

Our game which was taken from the “General de Brigade,” scenario book one, starts with the French attack on this flank and the Spanish on the defence. Players involved were Andrew Parr (who flew up from Sydney for the weekend), myself and Geoff playing the Allied army and the French were commanded by a Terry Moran and John Maguire.



The Spanish Foot artillery come under attack from a French Line infantry of General Girards' Brigade

Deployment was as per the scenario, the Spanish had one small brigade of three battalions and one battery on the heights and a further four battalions in reserve behind (all of which were on hold orders and were unable to support the forward battalions). The allied forces only had one unit of cavalry which happened to be a Spanish unit.



Girards' Brigade makes contact along the whole Spanish line and pushes them off the hill

French deployment allowed the placement of six battalions of French line and two batteries of guns, which deployed directly in front of the lonely Spanish brigade and were able to charge home within two turns.


English Reserves move forward and try to retake the heights from the French


However the French reserves have also moved up

To cut a long story short the French managed to take the heights with ease and push the Spanish back of the hill. The remainder of the French reserve were thus able to swiftly move forward in support and stop and Allied attempt to retake the heights. The only Allied win for the day was the defeat of the French lancers by the Spanish dragoons.

The only allied cavalry on the field - Spanish Dragoons

Rules followed were the “Shako Advance Rules”, downloaded from the shako website, which allowed for a good fast game. Units were again built up to six bases - 24 figures for the infantry units, 12 for the cavalry and two guns per battery. This system seems to work well and allowed the removal of bases from units which had suffered casualties, thus eliminating the use of markers or causality sheets plus you could physically see your units getting smaller.

Elite Miniatures Chasseurs

All the figures shown, accept for the Spanish, are from John's magnificent collection. Most the figures have been been painted by best painters in the world, plus collections which were painted by our own Leroy Simpson, Andrew Parr and Kym Pennell.




English Line battalion - Front Rank figures from Johns' collection

One of the Spanish reserve battalions comes under attack from French (Spanish are Front Rank and French - Elite Miniatures)

Some beautifully painted Wargames Foundry figures from John's collection

Two desperate Spanish battalions try to stop the French steam roller but both soon fail


Marshal Soult looks over the battlefield and across at the retreating Allied Army. He will now follow up his victory and relieve the siege of Badajoz

Saturday, August 4, 2007

BATTLE FOR NIJMEGAN (Sep 17 1944)



The basic idea of this game although not entirely historically correct was to war game the leading up battle for Nijmegan bridge with a little bit of added spice. This being instead of the German SS commander Bittrich sending a Recce unit from the 9th SS he would be sending a counter attacking force from the 10th SS comprised of a Tiger 1 supported by some MK IV’s and various other vehicles, this would also include a platoon of SS Panzer Grenadiers in Halftracks. This attacking force would arrive at the start of turn 3. A platoon of Germans supported by HMG’s, AA guns and various vehicles would make up the occupying German forces stationed in Nijmegan.




A full Company of US 82nd para’s would be dropped onto the table to confront this Axis force with 30 Corps arriving to support them in turn 7 (I know they did not arrive until day 4 but we had to speed up the game).

The game would be played on a 4 x 1.8 metre table with about a quarter of one end being Nijmegan and the rest being the road leading up to the city. The game would by played with my developing Panzer 1 Rule set.

Players

Craig Windebank would field the 82nd airborne with Mark Burnell being in command of 30 Corps. The German side would be commanded by Victor Perry and I would be his 2IC (I also doubling up as the game umpire unbiased of course) in charge of the German force currently occupying Nijmegan.


Orders (Allies)

Orders where issued and battle maps drawn so that the game could kick off. The 82nd’s orders where to drop in and once rallied secure the main highway leading to Nijmegan. They were to also take and hold the Groesbeek heights located to the east. Upon achieved both of these objectives they where to push on to Nijmegan and secure the bridge. 30 Corps were to arrive and assist in defeating any German resistance and then push on to Arnhem.


Orders (Axis)

Orders for the German side were to hold the bridge at all costs to aid in the German counter attack to be led by the 10th SS.



Turn One

The game started with Craig conducting his Paradrop on his pre determined LZ drawn on his battle map, this was done by him throwing bits of paper onto the table each piece representing a Paratrooper. As Craig dropped his troops and started to put them on the table I placed on the German forces which I had drawn on my battle which due to where his men had landed would now be seen by him. As it turns out he dropped right on top off an 8 ton with a Quad 20mm on the back. Ambush fire resulted with Craig losing a few Para’s but during his reactive fire stage he was able to shoot all of the crew and after carrying out a skill test to my dismay Craig drove the Halftrack off the hill toward his Company rally point. The para’s which dropped on the right side of the road were not so lucky as they landed right in front of an entrenchment armed with a HMG and a 20mm cannon on the back of a Protze truck. None of these poor devils survived being cut to peaces in a hail of lead.


Due to the rest of Craig’s troops being out of range I could not engage any of them during the German firing stage and my movement consisted of reinforcing my left. While I was doing this Craig was busy trying to get his Para’s to their designated rally points marked on his battle map. Thus ended turn one.

Turn Two

Turn two began with a second Para drop this one being at Craig’s second LZ located at the rear of the table well out of range of enemy fire. Gliders where also thrown onto the table and to my dismay they all landed safe so he did not have to role on the damaged glider chart. The rest of the turn consisted of scheme and manoeuvre with me pushing troops forward on the right to get into range on the Para’s. I did however manage to engage my captured Halftrack during the moving vehicle fire stage with a Hetzer. The shot was good and Craig failed to save as the halftrack burst into flames ending turn two.




Turn Three

Turn three and on rolled the 10th SS lead by the Tiger 1. This force then began to move through Nijmegan at great hast so that we might destroy the Para’s before the arrival of 30 corps. Craig dropped on the last of his Company and during the indirect fire stage started to lob 60mm mortar round at my entrenched Germans on the right. I also moved my German HMG team a little bit too close to his Para’s and as a result they were all killed during the stationary infantry fire phase by Para’s occupying the barn near the centre of the table. No moral checks yet end of turn three.



Turn Four

Turn four was short and sharp with Victor pushing his 10th SS through Nijmegan and Craig beginning to dig his para’s in for a showdown. A few shots were exchanged by mortars but not a lot else happened this turn. I looked across the table and I could see Mark starting to chomp at the bit to get his 30 corps onto the table. Three turns to go mate.

Turn Five

Turn five and the Germans lost the role for initiative. Craig stayed put digging in with his eye lids as Victor continued to drive his 10th SS through to the outskirts of Nijmegan. I mustered a squad of German infantry and attempted to dislodge the 82nd from the barn thus cutting the MSR to Nijmegan. I supported the attack with the 20mm gun from the back of a Protze truck destroying one of Craig’s whilly’s jeeps in the process. Troops dashing for the barn immediately came under ambush fire from loop holes cut into the walls. After suffering 3 dead and one suppressed they entered the building and went straight into hand to hand combat. I ended up suffering too many casualties on my approach to the building and did not role very well against Craig. As a result of this my attack was beaten off with my troops retreating out of the barn and running back to the German lines. Craig then used his hand to hand combat victory bonus to carry out a consolidation move and fully secure the building from further attack.

At turns end I rallied my fleeing Germans and set in to fight defensively on the right side off the table. With only one turn to go before the arrival of 30 corps Victor rolled to change orders and form a defensive parameter around Nijmegan. We knew that we would be outnumbered by 30 Corps in Armour but we hoped that our superior German tanks would hold their own.


Turn Six

Turn six resulted in Germany winning the role for initiative and we began to shimmy our tanks into better defensive positions. The Tiger would hold the left on its own with the Hetzer, StuG Mk G and MK III Ausf M in the centre. Two MK IV’s were deployed to the right to support me. We had a PaK 40 positioned in the town to fire onto the MSR and the 10th SS panzer Granadiers were held in reserve. Craig knowing that 30 Corps was about to come on began to push his 82nd forward led by his heavy weapons platoon. Some Mortar fire was exchanged with Craig losing a couple of Para’s but all held there breath for turn seven. No moral checks this ended turn Six.




Turn Seven

Turn seven and here we go. Germany won the initiative and we decided to hold our positions and receive the attack. Some minor troop movement was conducted but that was all. Allies turn and on came 30 Corps looking more like a traffic jam than a tactical deployment I guess that Mark wanted to get them on the table as fast as possible. They were lead on by a Daimler scout car and 2 x Bren gun carriers. This was followed by no less than 13 Sherman tanks ranging from 75mm to 76mm and 1 x 17 pounder Fire fly VC. 30 Corps also possessed a Cromwell IV followed up by 2 x platoons of British infantry fully mechanised in Halftracks. I looked at Victor and he looked at me. I knew what he was thinking, how the hell are we going to repel this. As soon as 30 Corps came onto the table they conducted a radio check with the 82nd to establish comms and then the bulk of the force cut left and right of the Nijmegan MSR with only the recce units and Fire fly remaining on the road. The British infantry remained mounted but out of range of our guns as the 82nd closed ranks with the tanks to provide infantry support. The deployment took some time and at its end the Allied spearhead was out of range of all but our Tiger tank which could engage targets out to 80”. There was however no clear line of sight to make a shot so Victor cried as we ended turn seven and began turn eight.

Turn Eight

The allies gained the initiative and on they came as soon as the lead tanks came within range we declared reactive fire and all across the table the German tanks sprung into action. Bad rolling mixed with even more bad rolling resulted in a couple of hits but none of our rounds managed to do anything but suppress a single Sherman which upon the rally from suppressions turn of the game Mark rolled evens and it continued its advance.


Our Tiger which was without question our most potent weapon on the board still did not have a clear line of sight. 30 corps now conducted a full move across the board and then during the moving vehicle fire stage of the game we received there retaliation. The Hetzer was the first of our tanks to come under fire with the Fire fly scoring a hit to its frontal armour, with a front armour rating of 8 and the Fire fly having a PP of 13 Victor needed to role a 5 or a 6 to save. Victor failed to save with Mark then followed up with a EP roll of 6, needing only a 3 or more the Hetzer burst into flames. Other shots missed or failed to penetrate all bar a lucky shot from a Sherman which penetrated the frontal armour of one of my MK IV’s luckily he failed to achieve the required EP role so it received a suppression which I rolled for later in the turn and passed. Infantry were now playing a minor part in the game and all knew that it would be decided by the big guns. This ended turn eight.



Turn Nine

Germany gained the upper hand and once again we decided to hold our ground and let them come. And come they did knowing full well that they still possessed the numbers to win this engagement. As soon as the Allies moved we reacted again this time scoring some good hits. A Sherman was destroyed on the left by one of my MK IV’s and to our pleasure the PaK 40 opened up and took out that menacing Fire fly. Our Tiger failed to score a hit and came under risk of being enveloped by no less than five Shermans. The Allies scored hits on my Mk IV’s but failed to cause any damage. Rounds were flying all over the place and the Shermans were getting closer and closer.

We decided to begin a tactical withdrawal back into Nijmegan with our infantry which would be followed by the tanks in due course. Our plan now was to cause as much damage as possible then withdraw into Nijmegan and have our infantry ambush the armour with Panzerfausts firing from the roof tops as they enter the City.

Turn Ten

Turn ten sore two more Shermans destroyed but it was at this point in the game that the Germans suffered a major set back. The StuG suffered a flank shot from a Bazooka fired from one of Craig’s Paras’ and was destroyed. The Mk III presented its flank to one of the Shermans on the left and as a result it too was destroyed. My Mk IV’s were also both destroyed as the centre and right side of the table collapsed. All our hopes were now dashed as the mighty 88mm tore the turret clean off a 76mm Sherman it was not enough and with regret the Tiger upon firing smoke began a tactical withdrawal back into Nijmegan and safety.

Conclusion

It was agreed that after 6 hours of war gaming we had reached a decisive point in the game as German resistance to the MSR into Nijmegan had totally collapsed. German forces in Nijmegan still possessed over a Company of determined Infantry armed with anti-armour weapons as well as a Pak 40 and a roaming Tiger 1. It was decided that today would end with an Allied Victory and that we would have another game in a couple of weeks to decide the final outcome to Nijmegan.

Micheal Edwards

Singleton Branch of the Lonely Gamers