Monday, July 28, 2008

Slaughter in the Teutoburg Forest

In 9AD Arminius (Herman the German) led an army of barbarians in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest and over a matter of weeks he fought a battle of annihilation with three Roman Legions led by Publius Quinctilius Varus. Varus Legions were destroyed and the battle would go down as one of Romes greatest disasters. Our battle ended in much the same way. I played the Romans and John the Barbarians. I was to follow my normal bad dice rolling game and John just rolled good. I had no chance.

General Varus awaits the return of the 17th outside the gates of the marching fort.

General Varus bearded after two weeks of continuous battle (he looks very much like General Maximus 1st Corps)

The 17th pushes forward along the road but is ambushed on all sides.

The game was set up with just one narrow road leading to a marching fort. The 17th Legion was to come up the road in march column until they came within 12 inches of the enemy. We made it 12 inches for re-action was to compensate for the dense forest and the ambush ability of the barbarians. Once they were seen the Romans were allowed to deploy into battle formation. This again proved hard as the enemy was all around and I found myself fighting with all flanks exposed.

Arminius looks on and directs the attacks on the long Roman columns

Confusion rains as the Romans are attacked from all sides.

The last straw - more Barbarians cross the the stream and race towards the Romans.

In the end there was just too many barbarians and not enough Romans to fight them all off and the 17th went down in the same way as history. We are however thinking about replaying the battle but this time only the Barbarians on the other side of the stream is not to react until at least one or two units of Romans have past through it, otherwise you just find yourself fighting for your life right from the start.

The Last Stand

All the figures used are from Johns' collection. Romans are Wargames Foundry and the Barbarians are mostly 1st Corps plus a few Foundry figures. All the Barbarians were painted by Leroy, Myself and Scott Robertson.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tactics and Glory


Two weekends ago, Andrew Parr came up from Sydney to play out a few more games of his "Tactics and Glory" which was the old "Tactical Napoleonic Battles" now under a new name. We played three games in all ranging from a small 500pt game, which comprised of only four to six battalions, two units of Cavalry and a battery of guns each, to a large game comprising of all my Spanish - 13 battalions, three cavalry regiments and two batteries of guns, plus the opposing French and Allied Army of much the same size. The small size games can be played comfortably in a evening, say 1-2 hours and the bigger games no longer then four hours at the most, with all games ending in a result of winner or loser.

The first day of battle a French Army Vs a British Army

All figures are Elite Miniatures except the Highlanders which are Front Rank. Figures were painted by Leroy, Andrew Brian and others.

Leroy Simpson, Brian Buskel, Julian and myself enjoyed the rules immensely and all agreed that Andrew's rules were coming along very nicely indeed. Andrew hopes to have the rules ready to hand out to those interested during MOAB this year on the October weekend. He will also be putting on a Demo game for his rules. So make sure your there.

Second day of gaming - French/Allied Army Vs the Spanish Army

Polish and Italian Troops advance towards the Spanish lines.

Spanish Militia Battalion (Front Rank Miniatures)

A Spanish Battalion promptly awaits their turn to advance.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

String Of Pearls - Flames of War

This was the second game played on the same night and again the scenario was taken from the 'Operation Cobra' booklet from Flames of War. The idea was that now the Americans had hedge cutters they were able to break through the bocage and easily flank the German position. However the Germans were dug in along the hedges and would prove hard to dislodge, especially since that they were SS again, 'Das Fuhrer'. The Germans also had a reserve of two MKIV's to go with three SS- Panzergrenadier platoons, one SS-Panzerpionier platoon, two anti-tank guns, one other MK IV and of course Company HQ.

View of the right flank of the German positions. The vehicles in the foreground had to get to the other side of the table (along the road) with getting destroyed by the Americans.

The Germans started in prepared positions

My Shermans with hedge cutters attempt to break through the bocage and flank the German position.

The Americans fielded three tank platoons and two armored Rifle platoons. Not much to take on the SS..... where was the air cover they promised? We had no change, barely had the hedge cutters gone through the hedges and they would be destroyed by anti-tank fire. Infantry where unable to deploy and the German re-enforcements came on table by the second turn...not a hope in hell could we break through. Jules made one attack on the left flank and was beaten back and I tried to conduct a frontal attack with a infantry support on the flanks but again I was beaten back with heavy causalities. Tough one again.

Only a narrow strip of cover was provided for our attack. Already one of our Shermans fell to German anti-tank fire. We were boxed in.

My Shermans try to punch their way through the tough German defences.

But all are destroyed and the American attack grinds to a halt.

The centre of German resistance.

Barkmann's Corner - Flames of War

This game was one of two we played at John's house the other night. Both games were scenarios from the 'Operation Cobra' booklet, Flames of War. The scenario is based on Ernst Barkmann's famed defence against a company of Shermans from the 32nd Armoured Regiment.

The lead tanks goes up in smoke, blocking the road, Dog Company, 32nd Armored Regiment has to go through the bocage.

Oberscharfuhrer Ernst Barmann moves up the road only stopping to engage and destroy another of our stranded Shermans.

Myself and Jules were to play the Americans and John played Barkmann. Forces included three platoons of Shermans (two of five and one of four) plus the Company HQ (of two Shermans). Germans consisted of one Panther tank (commanded by Barkmann) and one platoon of SS-Panzergrenadiers (with only two squads).

We brake through the bocage, leaving burning tanks behind us, and move forward hoping to flank the German position.

Shermans reach the final bocage hoping to get a shot at the lone Panther.
We have him now?

As you could guess the game did not go that well for us, pushing the Shermans off the road and through the bocage proved harder then it looked (three tanks were lost to Barkmann doing this, including the Company Commander). However we did manage to get the remainder of the company through only to be picked of one by one by the Panther and the SS infantry. It proved a tough game for myself and Jules especially trying to get on the flank of Barkmann's Panther, only flank shot from our tanks had any hope of destroying him.

Nope! SS Panzergrenadiers are lying in wait behind the bocage.

And deliver the final blow to our flanking attack, my platoon is instantly destroyed by the deadly handheld anti-tank weapons of the German infantry.

Elite Miniatures - Duchy of Warsaw

The figures pictured are from Elite Miniatures Duchy of Warsaw collection. They have been designed in the classic Peter Morbey style, which is lean and well animated. Peter has designed three poses for the Fusilier and the Flank companies, all in march attack and with different head and arm positions. The officer, drummer and eagle bearer only come in the one pose, the officer however can also be used for a French Light Infantry Officer in bicorne. All figures have been painted by Leroy Simpson, here in Townsville, and are painted as the 1st Line Regiment.