Saturday, August 28, 2010

FoW: LW Motostrelk vs Sperrverband

Dale and I managed a game of LW FoW (1500 pts)- sperrverband vs Motostrelkovy last night.

My Motostelkovy consisted of:
  • 2x 2 platoon companies
  • 3x BA 64
  • 4x Zis 2
  • 3x 82mm mortars
  • 8x Stuarts
  • 4x SU 122s
  • 5x T34/85s

The stuarts and 82mm mortars were last minute changes, dropping an ATP platoon to do so (which I was to regret).

Dale took his speerband, which is an interesting but very defensive list:
  • HQ + 2x shreks
  • 2x speerband platoons (both minimum strength)
  • 4x hetzers
  • 3x stugs
  • 2x88s (luftwaffe- reluctant trained)
  • 3x hummels
  • Sporadic HS 129s
We set up a relatively closed table- lots of forests, steeps hills and a central village. Then we rolled a Free For All so there were going to be few long lines of sight.

Mine was simple- one motostrelk on each flank, supported by armour (T34/85s on one, stuarts and SU 122s on the other) while the mortars and the Zis2s stayed central covering the village and hope he could not cover both objectives. With HS 129s hovering I needed to get in close before they did something dramatic!

Dale was stretched thin, with only 2 small infantry platoons he had to dig in and hope to parry my assualt with his armour. One platoon was covered by stugs, the other by hummels, while the hetzers and 88s were central- the hetzers making use of a cornfield to use their manouvre and fire special rule.

I was quietly confident that I had the numbers to overwhelm him...

The battle
I advanced on both flanks. I wanted by Stuarts to rock up and engage the hummels before his armour could intervene. Alas, Dale quickly repositioned his stugs to protect his hummels, so my stuarts moved through the village and even managed a shot at one hummel but missed. The SU 122s closed into short rang of the now dug in sperrband but one was knocked out by an airstrike and 2 bogged as they retreated to cover away from the stugs- failing to unbog both were then destroyed. The infantry, also pinned in the airstike failed to unpin and started taking casualties (I failed at least 50% of my infantry saves all night). Eventually we unpinned and moved forward only to be MGed by stugs and reduced to 5 men! The stuarts bravley tangled with the 88s and also the hetzers. For three round Stuars zipped out and MGed and shot at the nearest 88 which took several hits but passed every gun save! My 82mm mortars also snuck up to within range and started to lob shells but failed to destroy the gun- although they did pin it.

(The 88 not only successfully passed 4 out of 5 guns saves but I failed my FP test the only failed one, they also unpin twice- needing 5+s -grrr).

Meanwhile on the other flank my infantry advance was halted by a barrage of hummel fire- and despite having the CiC nearby they too failed to unpin and also took heavy casualties (stupid failed infantry saves!). By the time they unpinned (thanks to the kommissar shooting a team) my T34/85s were behind a hill on the German flank, and tried to take out the 88 protecting the objective, but this 88, like its partner on the other side of the cornfield wouldn't die. The hetzers intervened and eventually the panzershreks did too and soon there were 5 burning wrecks. The surviving ten or so soviet infantry tried to launch an assault but failed to pin and the Germans drove them off, and this platoon too was reduced to less than 5 teams.

Game 6-1 to Dale!

Wow, talk about one sided!
What went wrong? I failed to unpin didn't help but trying to attack both flanks with infantry supported by tanks was probably a bad idea, both companies should have acted together and I should have screen the other flank.

The 88 failing to die was very frustrating! It halted my stuarts and prevented me getting near the hummels- my primary target.

What worked what didn't?

Zis 2s: Never had any LoS but dominated the central board, Dale was not keen to press forward in that area due to their presence so they had an indirect affect. Lack of transports prevented my from repositioning them where they were most needed. However, they did manage to snipe one hetzer at the death.

Stuarts: almost the entire game I was wishing they were M3A1 scout cars with 50 cals! They could have gone after the hummels and the infantry (with a flamethrower) gone for the 88s and hetzers.

mortars: ranged ina few times but failed the FP tests- if I can find points I might look at upgrading them to 120mm ones.

T34/85s: Lacked numbers. Must boost numbers by adding some T34/76s! % tanks was too fragile.

SU 122s: The command tank managed to (finally) knock out the 88 but by then it was to late. The 24" range wasn't enough vs the stugs and the stugs dominated them. Rolling 2x ones to enter a wood didn't help either! I may upgrade them to SU 85s.

Recon: Lost 2 to the hetzers when they too went after the 88.I forgot their recon move at the start and was not able to remove GtG.

The main one will be to swap in the ATP for the stuarts. I could also look at dropping the Zis 2s (until 1750 pts) and so bulk up the T34s and upgrade the assualt guns to SU 85s- I will think on that.

A few pictures:

Stuarts and SU 122s advance.

The wheels are about to fall off- in the distance the hummels and stugs prepare to halt the attack.

On the other flank the T34s and infantry advance- alas they were pinned here for two turns taking more casualties in the process.

The reluctant trained (reluctant my arse) 88s and hetzers worked well together and were a tough nut to crack.

Dale painted these jagdpanzers a few years ago and I really like the ambush scheme he did.

Stuarts position themselves to snipe an 88- but it passes its saves!

That's not looking quite so good!

5 onto 1. That's good odds right?

What about 1 onto 1? The hetzers had used their maneuver rule to fire at full rate of fire and then stormtroopered back - one of them was then in range of 2x Zis 2s (at last) and died but too little, too late).

It was good to get a game of FoW in at last and hopefully we can start to play every couple of weeks or so, I've a couple of ideas I want test out ...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Urak Hai, Rohan & FoW

I have continued basing up the Urak Hai and have finished another bases:
  • 4x heavy infantry
  • 3x pikes
  • 1x crossbows
I've just to paint the bases on a last unit of pikes and another of infantry and perhasps a couple of stands of skirmishers to finish them off.


I think I will also standardise with a 6cm depth for all infantry except skirmishers which will be on 5cm deep bases.

Ive also decided to stick to 6 figures per base- 4 in the front rank and 2 in the rear. It seems to make the stands look more dynamic and so in future will be doing this with most of my infantry.

I also completed the 4 bases of Rohan infantry

Conquest is now only a couple of months away and I've started to consider Flames of War forces to take. Apparently it will be 1750 pts late war, although this has not been confirmed. I'm really not a fan of late war, and definitely not of 1750 pts but may go as I have played in six of the seven Flames of War competitions at Conquest and the only one I did not play in I ran a multiplayer Arnhem demo game (2007).

So with that in mind its time to start getting in the odd practice game and also start thinking about possible lists. I am seriously tempted to take something Soviets as they are still one of my favourite armies. I am considering the following:
  • Rota Razvedki
  • Cossacks
  • Motostelk
  • Stelkovy
I think Cossacks could be fun, and I've enjoyed my mid war Rota. Stelkovy have always been one of my default lists and Motostrelkovy offer a few different options to Strelk- and no flame throwers, which is fine by me as I never field them with my stelkovy. Motostrelk might be worth taking (I ran them at Warclouds 2007) as they seem to be a bit of an underrated force when compared to strelkovy (flame...cough...throwers...cough) but I've always felt they have some very good support options that makes them worth taking- armoured cars, ATPs and weapons platoons tank support for instance!

I like the idea of increasing the Cossack force I used at Day of Days into a full fledged competition force (Day of Days being our Firestorm Bagration Campaign earlier in the year) and think it could be fun to run so those two forces probably have the inside running at present.

Laely, ive been concentrating on mechanised forces (panzer grenadiers and rota) so some cossacks might be a nice change. I've four intial lists sorted, one for each army type and it will be a matter of experimenting vs different German forces to see which I prefer.

However, I'm not discounting the possibility of something German either- possibly Fallschrimjager, panzer grenadiers or even a Sturm company. But I'm not really looking at my German options yet.

Monday, August 23, 2010

DBA- War of the Ring

We had a quick rematch after tea tonight, this time with 12 elements per side.

  • 4x Blades inc. General
  • 3x warband
  • 2x trolls
  • 1x bows
  • 2x light horse (warg riders)

  • 4x Cav inc. general
  • 4x spear
  • 2x aux
  • 2x bows

Warg riders advance

Rangers (Aux) move to intercept the warg riders.

Battle is about to be joined.

An indecisive first round- despite some great match ups (orc blades vs bow).

This time the orcs have more success, killing 2x elements.

Rohan's attempt to destroy the warg riders is repulsed.

A similar outcome on the other flank.

A lucky round for Rohan repulsing 2 potentially game ending attacks- the Cav winning 6-5.

The next round they are not so lucky, losing another cavalry element.

Success at last- we run down the warg rider.

Game, set and match! Having dealt with the warg riders the cavalry attacks the Urak Hai from behind, a win would force them to be destroyed as they couldn't recoil- the dice say it all :)

4-1 Well played by Finn.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

DBA- War of the Ring

Finn and my first try of War of the Ring using DBA

I had enough Urak Hai bases for HoTT WoTR but not for standard DBA, so we only used 9 bases per side.

  • 5x Riders of Rohan (Cavalry) including general
  • 3x Rangers (Auxilia)
  • 2x Rohan bowmen

Urak Hai
  • 4x Urak Hai scouts (warband) including General
  • 1x Urak hai crossbows
  • 2x Warg Riders (Cav)
  • 2x Trolls (elephants)
Finn set up as he wanted and as it turned out the terrain was a bit close together (will remember to make it more open next time).

The Urak Hai and allies prepare to advance.

Both armies advance and things are already getting congested.

The Rohan bowmen concentrate fire on a troll with disastrous results for the troll!- it dies!

The warg riders try to battle the rangers (auxilia) in the marsh- not a good idea! Again they were doubled and die.

With Finn I tend to work out the combat factors and put a die with that number showing behind or beside each base. We then roll our dice, he adds up the scores and works out the results- a bit of simple maths while he is playing. See wargaming can be educational! In this case the auxilia started out as a 2 (and rolled a 6) while the warg riders had a base factor of zero so no die needed, and rolled a 4!

The remaining troll attacks the bow (and recoils) while the warband attack the Riders of Rohan and they stick.

Having seen off the warg riders the rangers gang up on and slay the crossbows to win the game. Not a good start for the trolls!

Thoughts and Changes
I quite liked it, to me it had a good feel, and more variety in troops types than HoTT and so I think has a better fit for WoTR than is HoTT. The magic and heroes of the proper WoTR game aren't exactly my cup of tea and I think this will work better for Finn until he's a bit older. He might want to try WoTR again in future but this should work in the meantime- thanks Mark Davies for the idea.

Not sure whether to use the warg riders as Cavalry or light horse- we might try them as light horse next time.

For some reason we started using 1 inch= 100 paces, next time we will revert to our normal 2"= 100 paces.

I will also make sure Finn sets up the table to have a bit more open areas.

More Reinforcements
Tonight I have re-based:
  • 4x Rohan militia (spears)
  • 3x Urak Hai with swords (blades)
  • 3x Urak Hai pike (uncompleted)

So next time we'll be able to use a full 12 elements per side. This week I hope to finish off re-basing enough Urak Hai swords and pikes for a second command (for Big Battle War of the Rings- BBWOTR).

Once they are done I'll add another 4 bases of Riders of Rohan and so be able to do a second command of those as well.


10mm HoTT

This morning we had a game of Big Battle HoTT at TAGCON- 3x undead commands vs 3x Goblins. The game featured 3x 8 year old generals, a 15 yar old and Tony, Stephen and me as the old hands.

i'd like to report a glorious victory to the undead but we were well and truly crushed- 2 of our wizards became ensorcelled and another hero general fell to a dragon.

The undead figures are all Warmaster 10mm and the Goblins, which belong to Tony or Dave, are mainly Kalistra (I think)

The game was a lot of fun and the kids enjoyed themselves- which is the main point after all!

Not a fan of 40k or other sci-fi games, they just don't interest me at all. However a couple of the 40k tables at TAGCON really impressed me. One is by one of our local players, Richard and features a Warp gate and cool temple like setting. The other was from some of the Christchurch gamers (I think).



Game 1 v Lewis & his Ancient Britons

The only good enemy general is....surrounded!

Game 2 vs Tim & his Ptolemaic Egyptians (2-4 loss)

Note my light horse at the very top left of the screen- 3 light horse vs a psiloi and an auxilia. This will be a doddle...

Then there were 2! One LH fled off table.

Note the knight. I think I may have killed the psiloi with my LH then the auxilia retreated and Tim charged his knight into my LH flank, forcing us to both fight in bad going (2 vs 0) and whoever lost died... I lost!

And this sums up my luck vs Tim! His general is flanked and the door well and truly closed, he needs to roll better than me to stay alive... I roll a 1, he rolls 6. I die. Game to Tim!

Game 3 (1-2 draw) vs Brian's Late (?) Imperial Romans
The BUA has an artillery piece which I avoided like the plague. The hills are all steep and Brian moved quickly to form a solid defence so we sparred a lot without much success.

There was a lot of shuffling as my blades treid to line up with his bow and his bow tried the same with vs my knights.

Things are finally starting to open up for both of us but we ran out of time.

Game 4 (4-1) vs Keith's Carthaginians who had invaded the steppe.

The battlelines close.

The decisive combat- it could go either way but my dice rolled well- I killed the Carthaginian light horse and then an elephant.

It's about all over- 3 dead elements.

On the other flank I ran down an auxilia with my knights for the win.

Game 5 vs Stephen's Mid Imperial Romans
Umpiring duties had got to Stephen. He deployed is auxilia in the gentle hills of the steppe and his blades opposite the rough going!

Too much good going terrain to save Stephen as we closed.

Game 6: Final vs Mark Bradley (Patrician Romans)
We had fought our way across the steppe and into the rich Roman farmlands. Getting his auxilia out of those woods could be a problem but I outnumbered him 4 knights to 3.

Unless he advances out himself...

After this point I became too engrossed in the game. His knights eventually closed and after a round of inconclusive combats I killed one, then ran down the auxilia in the open.

The Players
Lewis (left) and Tim (right). The future of gaming. Its great to see young guys at the club who are into historics rather than 40K! Tim is a very, very competent player and you underestimate him (and his dice) at your peril!

Keith and Dave. Keith is running the DBA section of the World Champs in Wellington next February and Dave is one of the two official umpires. Not sure who won this one- but it was a game that featured 5 elephants IIRC (Classical Indians vs Carthaginians)