Friday, September 22, 2017

Field Of Battle II - a few pics from a solo Napoleonic game

Playing a solo game of Field Of Battle using my French and new Russian forces to re-test a few house rules for the period and a rudimentary points system I am trying to devise.

FOB great for solo play with the changing initiative and card driven play sequence (more accurately a lack of formal sequence) but tad hard to point cost such.

Russian force tad larger (24 units) vs French (19 Units) but saddled with lesser deck (Average vs Skilled) and possibly more crucially lesser Commanders (D8 vs D10/12).

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Zorndorf accidental short video

Was trying to do panoramic picture captures of Zorndorf game but somehow it came out as a short video !


Saturday, September 09, 2017

Zorndorf with Field of Battle II

Zorndorf re-fought today using Field of Battle II rules with units as Regiments/Brigades as per the Might & Reason scenario I used as basis for terrain and OOBs and a 6ft x 4ft tabletop area.

Three protagonists in addition to mine own wee self arrived to take part, Stephen P, Richard M and Darren 'Le Duc' G and with Stephen B having to drop out at last minute this meant I got to play this time.
Le Duc arrived first so gave him persona of Frederick with me as underling and Richard and Steven played Fermor and sub-commander.

I had set-up the five Russian commands in roughly historical areas but allowed them to re-arrange as they saw fit (within 18" of table edge).

They moved Observation Corps to their left and brought Saltykovs forward command back into line with them.
I then allowed Prussians to adjust their historical set up which saw Freddie withdraw Biebersteins Dragoon command from their left to the right.

I had a couple of minor special rules in play with Zorndorf already on fire (set by dastardly Cossacks earlier) and Freddie who had control of 5 Heavy Gun Batteries was allowed to deploy them up to 12" and have an opening bombardment.
For this I used 1 x Arty Firepower card from their deck but allowed them to shoot at anything within their firing zone which was mostly at extreme range but also allowed 2nd rank units to potentially suffer.
The batteries would be re-loaded for game start but with 1 Firepower card used.
The bombardment was literally 'hit and miss' with a couple of units taking single hits.

For SYW games I should say that I do not allow foot artillery to re-limber once deployed (but they can pivot) as seems more in keeping with SYW period.
Also for all units I only allow shooting ahead along flank lines with artillery counting an extra base width each side.
We find this stops guns being used like 'sniper' rifles and again feels right.
Additionally I disallowed oblique moves by Russian foot but allowed their Cossacks and Hussars to use Skirmish formation.
I made Ivan foot as dice 8 defence but a mere dice 8 shooters (dice 10 for Grenadiers) to reflect their stoicism and penchant for bayonet charges.
Their heavier cavalry were C10 D6 with lights types fairly useless C8 D4 types.
Prussian foot were C12 D6 (Fusileers C10 D4) to reflect their superior musketry with Grenadiers a potent C12 D8.
Freddies mounted arm was very strong with Cuirassiers being C12 D8, Dragoons C10 D6 and Hussars C8 D6.
Fermor was a D10 commander with sub commanders beng 1 x D12 3 x D10 and 1 x D8
Frederick had 1 x D12+1 (Seydlitz) 2 x D12 and rest D10.
For morale points I gave the Russians 45 and Prussians 35.

The action started in earnest with Russian guns targeting Seydlitz horse units and proving pretty effective (good rolls by Richard).
Le Duc began a long sweeping move to his right aided by ease of Prussian manoeuvre and gaining of 2+ move segments.
The Russians began to move some foot to this flank but not before Prussian Cuirassier and Dragoons managed to hurl themselves at opposing mounted crushing them.
The Prussian horse were however blown (out of command and a pursuit 'hit' each) but Russians were unable to capitalise not getting a opportunity to charge in before Prussians managed to Rally (FOB at its unpredictable work).
Le Duc then swung several Musketeers units into action on this flank exerting real pressure, in fact lack of physical space to deploy was more of a problem than Russians (Stephen P rolled an epic amount of 1s on any type of dice !).
On Prussian left a virtual stalemate occurred as this weakened flank kept suffering from Russian guns having to retire to rally several times.
Only once did a unit of Dragoons manage to catch the guns masked by a hapless Russian foot unit which they duly dispatched however they Routed themselves after a pasting from cannister shot.

However by now the Russian left was in real trouble as the Prussian horse showed its prowess in close combat (after surviving some poor close range volleys) destroying outright a couple of Russians foot units with support of musketry from their foot.
Soon the Russian morale had run out and there first card of a new initiative was an Army Morale card which was duly failed giving the day to Prussia.
Prussia ended on a mere 9 Morale points (4 of which had been 'owed' by enemy) so a fairly close run thing once more.

I do so love the type of game FOB generates so effortlessly and the game now plays fast and furious as everyone now has at least a basic grasp of the rules and system.

Great fun again and two won games in a single week !!!!!!
I must go and buy a lottery ticket................................................

Friday, September 08, 2017

Zorndorf game set up for Field of Battle II

Game set up for tomorrow with some (not sure who all can make it ?) of the regular n'er do wells..............

Using a Might & Reason scenario for Zorndorf 1758 with units representing Regiments/Brigades (FOB handles such 'upscaling' well) rather than default Battalions.

Have set up Commands in roughly historic deployment areas but will allow teams to change should they so wish.
Bit smaller than Kolin game but hopefully as much fun.

An report to follow and hopefully I will actually remember to take some pics !

Oh and this bad boy arrived today :-)

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Panzer Grenadier Deluxe game

Played a game using the most excellent Panzer Grenadier Deluxe rules by Dave Brown today.
Scenario was 'Action At Tessel Bretteville' from venerable Overlord rules which we had originally intended to use but went with PzGr instead just using the 1:1 Extended range rule option.
Germans are well out numbered have 1 weakened Company (equivalent of a single Platoon) with support from an MMG team a couple of 81mm Mortars some off-board Artillery and 2 Tiger 1s.
The Soldaten can be dug-in and can fortify any house they occupy and have barbed wire and an AT Minefield.
British have a full Infantry Company with an MMG Platoon and off board Artillery backed up by a Troop of Shermans (4 Tanks one of which is Firefly) and 2 Churchill Crocodiles.
We played this many years ago using Overlord and was a tough proposition for the British as they count as Inexperienced against Elite Germans which means the Artillery really plays havoc with their Morale in addition to causing casualties.
Using PzGr I classed the Germans as Veteran and the British as Regular which is not as great a disparity.
Also off-board support in PzGr is limited to 2 defensive and 4 offensive missions.
A good game with this excellent rule set as always.

I pushed my Brits mainly on the left (including the Shermans) trying to use the minor cover of the orchards with only my Churchills on the right.
We used the attacking Fog Of War cards for first time (not needed for defenders as they count Hidden with 1 unit in Ambush) and these worked very well giving the attacker some 'unseen' movement.
Of course I stumbled into Grenadiers dug in within the orchard and the two Tigers deployed well forward.
The Tigers engaged my Churchills forcing them to Disengage and damaging one.
Winning a key Initiative (I won 90% of the initiative today !) allowed my Firefly to get a flanking shot on a Tiger and brew it up.
Its mate however proved invulnerable and damaged the Firefly.
The Germans ambushing my lead Infantry Platoon caused few casualties but did cause numerous Suppression and Fall Back outcomes.
My dice rolling today was freakishly good for the most part with several 'box car' rolls which garner extra effects in PzGr.
I did however roll 'snake eyes' when firing an Artillery stonk which caused a 'Danger Close' result on several of my foot teams Dispersing (ie KIA/Destroyed) 2 of them !
But numbers and the Sherman support eventually told as I destroyed a couple of German sections although they proved pretty tough though in foxholes and with barbed wire (as this meant I could not get into close assault as wire takes a full turn and a test to cross)
But as the sparse German numbers meant they had a low Battle Group break point the Germans were forced to yield.

Yep that's right folks an actual win over Stephen for once !!! 

Lets not mention the disparity of forces shall we.............

The HQ Impetus and Activation system in the rules works very well and all the firing and moving systems are simple to use.
Compared to Battle Group rules we have been using these offer a bit more 'meat on the bones' as it were with better graduation of AT fire ranges although Infantry is destroyed (ie removed from play) more readily and less 'gimmicks overall'.
Less feeling of 'buckets of dice' and 'everything hits on a 6'
But both very playable and fun rules.

Only a couple of pics as I was engrossed in action !

Defending section in those tough defensive entrenchments

Brits advance in orchards (playing card s are FOW Cards and yellow is Suppressed)

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Battlegroup - 'Bloody Gulch' scenario

Another scenario from KG Normandy book played using Battlegroup rules this time with Stephen as US and me with attacking Germans.
Scenario set around Carentan with elements of 17th SS and 3rd FJR and several StugIIIGs against Yank units including some battered Paras and eventually 9 Shermans and some Armoured Infantry.
Very open terrain for Germans to attack across which meant death for my Soldaten.
Germans had limited Artillery support (£ high priority General Support stonks)
Armour battle proved fairly bloodless with only a single Sherman brewed and no Stugs lost as both sides reluctant to close range and so most shots requiring 6 to hit then 8 or 9+ to kill.
One quirk we noted in this game is that Infantry in the open can mitigate losses of 2 or more by taking a single loss and falling back Pinned but if same Infantry are in cover (such as behind a hedge) they lose this option.
Whilst hitting them is one point harder and they save on a 5-6 compared to a 6 in the open we found that casualties were such that fall back option would have be preferable.
Germans took a lot of chits Unpinning units to try to move forward and along with lost units they exceeded their 39 Battle Rating long before Yanks (who had a whopping 53 or more)

Battlegroup system is certainly very fast playing and slick (I personally love the Orders and Battle Rating system) but it is a tad 'WW2 lite' in several aspects betraying at times its Warhammer genesis (6 to Hit, buckets of dice to Damage and/or Save).

It is however a fun game and always nice to get  WW2 kit on a table and play a game to completion in a few hours.

SS Stugs and Grenadiers advancing in openness........

US Paras defending

More Stugs and Fallschirmjager arrive into the openness...................

Shermans arrive

A supply truck arrives (much needed as Stugs have a mere 5 ammo)

More openness.............................

US Armoured Infantry arrives