Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Arabs, Syrians & Armenians

The Black Tree Design Arabs.


Syrian Cavalry

The Armenian Infantry

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Basing (again)

I've rebased my Syrian Cavalry over the past few days as I've decided to "standardise" my system:

Heavy Cav: 3-4 figs (typically 4 if they will fit)
Med Cav: 3 figs
Light Cav: 2 figs

Heavy foot: 6 (or 8) figs
Light Foot: 6 figs (loose order- deeper base)
Misssile troops: 4 figs
Skirmishers: 2 figs

I've also all but finished the Ar menian infantry and have 4 stands of Cav to go before hopefully getting a game in next week vs Kent. .

Tonight for something a bit different I painted up 6 Black Tree Design Muslim figures as characters for our D&D game as it is in a desert themed setting- and since I am going to concentrate on Perry's for the Crusades armies I coulfn't see the BTD ones being used as they are a bit big and chunky compared to the Perry's. No pictures tonight, maybe in the next few days.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

More Armenians

Four stands of heavy foot finished- except for the banners. I'm working on improving my freehand shields.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cilicean Armenians

I have started on my Cilicean Armenians. The Perry order arrived yesterday, which was pretty damn good as the order was only sent from the UK last Thursday- I painted up two stands last night and a few dismounted Crusaders and crossbowmen over the weekend.

I think I need a tutorial with Kent on how to do decent sheilds by hand though. Tonights job is to finish off the bases and paint up another two stands of Armenian heavy foot.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lasalle Game

Last night Kent and I managed a game of Lasalle at the club. He's been bsy and hs completed a brigade of Perry Dragoons- and they look absolutely stunning.

The game was a bit of a roller coaster but my Russian Grenadiers held their ground and by the endd of the game had destroyed 4 French Battalions for the loss of one of their own and a battery of artillery that got run over by the Dragoons- hitting artillery with 3x regiments at once beng a very successful tactic.

Alas my camera died so no photos- so I've borrowed a few form Kent's site. He has written an entertaining report of the game here.

We are both struggling to get to grips with the rules in Lasalle not sure what our problem is but we both seem to struggle to locate rules as we go (is it the way they are organised?) and each time we play it feels like we are relearning everything- the rules just aren't sticking. We had a chat about it at the end of the game and have decided to go back to Shako II for our next game- using 3 stands per battalion. That means I will need to get some more infantry painted at some point soon. I might even look at getting some of the new Perry plastics (3 boxes for fifty pounds free shipping) to buk the army out a bit.

The Cilicean Armenian Project
I also swapped my Perry Plastic hussars & dragoons with Kent. I doubt I'd have gotten round painting a Napoleonic French force, they just don't interest me that much so I swapped them for the odds and sods of Kent's Perry Crusaders which means I can start on the Cilicean Armenian Project for our Impetus Crusades forces.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Update & Next Project

In the past two weeks Ive managed to do absolutely nothing wargame related- a part from play the new Panzer Corps 1939 @ 1940 campaigns- which I really like :)

I was up in Christchruch for the weekend and tried to squeeze in a game of Early War FoW- my French Recon company vs a Panzer Company. Ian and I were trying to get a game in before people turned up this morning but only managed a couple of turns before family commitments put paid to that!

Pity, it was shaping up to be an interesting game.

Next Project
I have finally decided on my next project. Kent isn't too keen to face the Syrians with his Crusaders at present- finding the light horse a bit hard to deal with, however, it took me a number of games to get the hang of them and they are a pretty fragile army! So I've decided my next Impetus army will be a 400 pt Cilicean Armenian force for vs his Crusaders.

It will play similar to the Crusaders and I will be using the lovely Perry Armenian range of the bulk of the troops.

My initial force will be:

1st Command:
4x Armenians Heavy Cavalry
2x Bedouin light horse

2nd Command
4x Heavy foot (Armenians/ Franks)
2x Mercenary (Frankish) Crossbows

3rd Command
4x Heavy Foot (Armenians)
2x Light infantry
2x Archers

So that should keep me out of trouble for a while.

This week though, Kent and I hope to get in a game of Lasalle.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Game 5 Roadblock vs British Paras

Bob was another of the guys down from Wellington. We played each other at the Masters last year and had a very enjoyable game. Like Nick he's done pretty well at FoW this year so I was not going to underestimate him or his 4 platoons of Fearless vet British Paras!

  • 3x Para platoons
  • para pioneers
  • 4x para 6 pdrs
  • 2x para mortars
  • 4x para 75mm artillery
  • 3x FV Cromwells

I really liked the Roadblock table, it was inspired by the dykes of Holland. It had a raised road (for the ambush) two lower side roads leading to this and two villages. Plenty of crops and a couple of woods so plenty of cover for both sides.

I knew my fortifications would be next to useless (except maybe the pak nests) as they had to deploy in narrow strip opposite the road. I'd just been discussing with Nick Roadblock and he said he usually put down and infantry platoon to ambush as they start dug in near the road- sounded like a good plan to me! So I ambushed the cromwells, which were escorted by two platoons, with my large FJ platoon (attached shreks & mortars) and left my stugs in my deployment zone!

We were a bit unsure about the ambushcade but decided that I could only ambush the nominated platoon (i.e the cromwells) so my FJ sat in their foxholes and stared at the paras- my initial plan had been to hit a para platoon with my infantry and the cromwells with my shreks. Anyway long story short we figured out afterwards that we had done it wrong and my ambush was not therefor as silly as it appeared- next time I'll do it properly!

The shreks got lucky, killed a cromwell and bailed the others but being vets they got straight back in!

Bob bought on two para platoons so my large FJ platoon was about to be assualted by up to 3 para platoons! The pioneers unleashed a flamethrower but in the assault I only lost 2 more teams and my guys retreated to escape the other para platoons-who then occupied my recently vacated buildings!

At this point Bob double timed the cromwell's round my right flank to take out the nebelwerfers (reinforcemetns on turn 1) and paks but unfortunately or him my marders arrived from reserve and killed another cromwell and baled the their which then fled- lucky really, 8 shots needing 4s, only 2 hits!

With the cromwell's gone I managed to drop artillery on his newly arrived 6 pdrs and kill one or two and snipe another with a stug. I now had the mobility advantage, I just had to stay within 16" of the objectives and try not to get assaulted! Speaking of which the worl's most unlucky assault about to go in.
A skillful flank assualt (under a smoke template from mortars) with 2 piats & TA 3 infantry but misses with all 3 teams so I retreat.

I tried to maximise my firepower- both offensively and in defensive fir but even so Bob kept dropping smoke rounds on my tanks and forcing me to move- he launched several assaults and indeed my infantry and his traded a number of assaults.

Here they come again. My stugs are retreating from the paras but can only go so far as I still need to be within 16" of an objective. The pioneers finally managed to get a successful assualt in, killing a stug and bailing another before I could break off. Then the next round a 75mm artillery battery destroyed another stug and the survivor fled!

Meanwhile my reserve infantry were advancing through the buildings on the other(left) flank towards the para positions- which were on the far side of the raised road and so out of my LoS.

One of the many assaults through the village on the hotly contested right flank. By the end of the game I'd destroyed one of the two platoons along here and the other was down to 3 teams, I was not much better off though!

Slowly however the tables turned in my favour. The pionners and one infantry n my right flank were finally killed. On the left flank my other FJ platoon was still at full strength and managed to assault and destroy the last 6 pdr and the mortars. I even killed the British CO 2-3 times but was unable to roll a 4+ vs his warrior save!

In the end I assaulted the last para platoon and destroyed them and the CO breaking the paras- who were left with 3 infantry teams on table! A hard fought game that was not as clearcut as this report may indicated.

I ended up 5-2 and Poochie also got a 5-2 vs Nick so Poochie and I tied for first equal. They gave it to me as I beat Poochie but as far as I'm concerned it was, and is, 1st equal. Jason Holland was not far behind in 3rd with Nick 4th.

Post Comp Thoughts
Well my run of sneaky success at Conquest continues. It was a fantastic comp and a really enjoyable weekend. Thanks to Poochie for the relaxing BBQ and place to stay- as well as the game. I got to face more of the guys I was hoping to face than I would have liked but this meant I had some very tough, but fun, games.

Were handy but not overpowering I thought. They look tough but can be sniped- as both Nick and Poochie did. The 2+ platoon/ company morale tests were bloody handy and saved my bacon on a few occasions.

The Games
I was a bit lucky to miss some of the forces with heavy assualt guns and massed tanks and the stugs/ marders were able to handle the Allied Mediums (just). I liked the balance in this list and thought the stug fitted the theme nicely but the only change I'd make may be to replace them with panzer IVs (same points) for more MG dice.

Probably the most important thing was that, as I had hoped, I had enough mobility to move around and take the fight to the enemy when needed/ when I could.

I really enjoyed all my games, they typically went to the wire and I was a bit lucky to win a couple of them but I guess you need to ride your luck sometimes. After the smacking I took from Dave in round 1 I was a bit surprised to be able to bounce back- but for me the key in all games is to:
a) avoid giving away VPs and
b) try to take them off opponents and I managed to get a couple of off Dave which were as it turned out very important. It is often late in the game, when things are going down to the wire that you need to husband your forces to minimise losses whilst also trying to pick up the smaller more vulnerable platoons (if you can). As this comp showed that can be the difference between doing well or falling a few places.

Final Remarks
Steve S did a fantastic job of organising things, the tables were fantastic and suited the missions well and the whole weekend went without a hitch.

However, what probably impressed me most was the new batch of FoW players in CHCH, all really nice guys, who took flavourful and interesting lists and all seemed to have a ball. I am just a bit disappointed not to have played any of them but can only see them getting better and better in future.

My next FoW comp is on a month in Wellington-Bunkers and Beaches a Normandy themed event organised by Bede (so Pooch & I refer to it as Bedecon). I was going to take the T&T list but I really liked the look of Bob's British paras so might see what I can create with the paras. We will have to wait and see...



Game 4- FFA vs Poochie

As we were driving to the venue on day two I told Poochie I'd rather not face Andy T in the morning round as didn't fancy facing his Soviet Sapper horde. We also hoped not to have to faceeach other for a change and as there were about 6-7 players on 2 wins I was hopeful, but as it turned out Poochie and I got to have another of our totally random, totally silly comp games.

Poochie and I both attended the first Conquest. He as a 15 year old who had only been playing a month took best general with his US Armoured Rifles, and my Stelk came 3rd. The highlight of our first ever game being when I bombed my own KV 1 with a sturmovik (V1 rules) and his M10s to try to win the game- I missed the M10s and KOed my KV allowing Poochie to run riot and take the game. Since then we've had a lot of games and more often than not they end up as very close, very entertaining and one or the other of us wins though some totally random dice roll towards the end. Last year he stopped my US paras with his German infantry. Who would win this year?

Poochie had a HH Guards Rifle Company
  • 3x full rifles platoons
  • 3x carriers
  • 4x 6 pdrs
  • 4x M10s
  • 2x fireflies & 2x shermans
  • 4x 3" mortars
We got to play a FFA on a fairly interesting table. I created a pak line and waited to see what would happen- he had more infantry so immediately seized the initiative. Pooch is also one of the more aggressive players I know and really likes to put pressure on so I was expecting a lot of trouble!

I managed to destroy a lloyd carrier in my first turn with the nebelwerfers but the 6 pdr survived and by the end of the game accounted for: a marder, 2x pak 40 nests, 1x HMG bunker. Poochie advanced his Shermans into a central wood as his infantry followed up the advance.

My far right objective was held by a full FJ platoon, Poochie sent another rifle platoons & his M10s towards this objective- the panzer II nest was quickly destroyed by the M10s.

Turn 2 or three. I raced out with the marders and also fired 2x pak 40 nests at 2 shermans- I managed to kill one Sherman and bail the commander (with 8 shots-grr) before racing into the woods (stormtrooper) to hide. But the 4th marder bogged at the endge of the wood so left me a bit vulnerable. My stugs were also moving from the right flank to assist (I decided the FJ could hold the single rifle platoon by themselves!). Poochie's return fire from the Sherman commander, 2 fireflies, a 50 cal armed carrier and 2x 6 pdrs was about as effective as mine- one marder destroyed and another two bailed (could have been a lot worse!)

My stugs also weighed in and I managed to kill the Sherman commander and a firefly as well as a carrier. The last Firefly passed its motivation test and the 6 pdrs bailed two more marders while the last one remained bogged!

Poochie smoked and stugs and assaulted the marders destroying them. I lost a stug to another infantry assualt under the smoke but passed my motivation test and broke off 12" towards Poochies uncontested objective!
In my turn the infantry that had killed the marders were pinned by nebs and failed to unpin for 2-3 turns but the M10s redeployed from my far right flank back to the far left objective (over 2-3 turns) to try to deal with the stugs.

My stugs double timed to the objective but were hotly pursued by the two (also double timing) carriers. As you can see the infantry were unable to move back fast enough to intervene. In our next turns neither of us could contest but the carriers were enough to stop me grabbing a sneaky opportunity victory!

Meanwhile my right flank is under pressure. I raced out and missed the (destroyed in the picture) M10 with my panzershrek but an infantry assault destroyed it. Poochie's infantry then charged out of the far wood and I took a few losses in the assualt before breaking off to the safety of my trench- and the protection of the HMG bunker! It is about now that the stugs made their move so the M10 retreated to support the far right flank- so had a bit of ground to cover.

Poochie followed up with another assualt but took casualties and the FJ held on. By he end of several assaults the British Rifles were dead and my platoon was down to 3 teams (including the CO)- had the platoon that had been pinned in the photos above been unpinned it could have easily of switched its attack to this objective and won the game- my FJ were also being sniped by the lone firefly (now with a newly promoted commander) and a couple of 6 pdrs so things were looking grim- the 6 pdrs also knocked out the HMG nest.

In fact I was all but out of the game as a I'd bogged a stug and had another destroyed by an M10. The last active stug fled the table and I now had to deal with carriers and M10s and advance across the table with 1 full FJ platoon if I was to somehow win!

Poochies third platoon was strung out and being sniped by a pak nest and also losing the odd stand to my nebelwerfers. With 2 platoon still pinned I decided to charge out of my trenches with my last platoon and take Poochie on.

The 2nd British platoon is soon destroyed and the 6 pdrs too.

Alas at this point things were so intense the propaganda crew forgot to take any more photos!

At this point things also got very, very silly! Poochie assaulted my last 3 teams on my right objective with his firefly. He killed the only regular FJ team then missed for 3 rounds in row (veterans my arse!). I on the other hand managed to hit the firefly 3 times with the platoon command panzerknacker but Chris passed all saves & motivation tests- rolling 5s & 6s for top armour saves! In the end he retreated and I passed my sole survivor test. The next turn Chris assaulted again and I again missed, but finally fell to the panzerknacker. With the platoon commander being the only team contesting and only team to get anywhere near the objective I had to keep hi on table and he passed 3x sole survivor tests in a row.

Meanwhile my other FJ got into the buildings and badly damaged the third rifle platoon leaving it without a command stand! Chris had no company commander- he' died trying to take the objective earlier and was also just obove half strength. i was trying to avoid the M10s, knock out the carriers and infantry while also slowly being whittled down- in fact I got down to 4-5 stands but passed my platoon morale test.

In the end the rifle platoon broke first and somehow I turned around a 3-4 into a 4-3.

My only advice after this, and it has been true in many, many games over the years, is don't give up! When dice are involved strange things can happen and just as happened in reverse last year a couple of improbable assaults changed the course of the game. It could have gone either way, was intense and a thoroughly enjoyable game but I think I reclaimed the Get out of Jail free card off Poochie for that one.

End result that Poochie and I joined about 3 other players on 3 wins out of 4 games at the top of the field and Poochie and I were tied on the tie breaker (BF) points.

Bob (British Paras) had just managed to defeat Andy Ts Sappers so it was me vs Bob in my final game- a Roadblock while Poochie and Nick took each other on in another other tough final game.