Monday, April 29, 2013

Off Topic- Football

One of my other hobbies is football- or soccer as it tends to be called down here. Football is football but in NZ rugby is known as football which confuses the hell out of ex-pat poms.

I’ve been playing since I was 5 or 6 and had one year off when I was about 12 or 13 but have played every season since then- so coming up to 40 years all told!

As well as playing I coach my son’s team (12th grade this year) and also look after our clubs C  team, playing and doing the ring round to get players each week (since nobody else would put their hand up to do it). For me the main aim is a bit of fitness on a Saturday afternoon and afterwards have a quiet beer or two with guys I’ve played footy for and against over the past decade or so. C division suits me these days, the fitness doesn’t need to be the same (rolling subs is a bonus)  and you get a bit more time on the ball than in the higher divisions.. The majority of players in our division are over 40, so it is a semi-masters grade, but most teams have a smattering of younger guys as well so there is a good mix of ages and abilities in the teams. We’ve a couple of guys in our team in their fifties and in their day were pretty accomplished footballers and can often still show us younger guys a thing or two. Being over 45 now I reckon each week I can get my boots and run round the park for 90 minutes is a bonus and so no longer take it for granted like I used to.

Anyhow, barring injuries I am playing most weeks and still enjoying it. One of the main reasons I am continuing is because I would like to have one year of having my son play in the same team before I retire. He’s 11 now so if I can keep playing for another 4 seasons or so (assuming my knees continue to hold up) then I may be able to make it and get him join us in the afternooons (high school footy is in the mornings). This year he has started training with us to help improve his skills and he is really enjoying practising with the adults (or B and C teams train together) and it’s helping his skills no end. On Saturday we had the bare minimum of players so I told my son to grab his gear just in case. Sure enough, 15-20 minutes into the game one of our players did his calf and left us with 10 players on the field so my son was on- a bit younger than intended. Our opposition were good about it and gave him plenty of time on the ball and didn’t tackle him too hard. The game ended up in a draw. My son had a couple of cracks at goal and thoroughly enjoyed himself. I was a bit worried at first but he played well, dribbled, passed, and tackled as needed and came off beaming. It won’t be a regular occurrence but that was the first time I’ve been in the same team and I hope in the next few years it won’t be the last.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

ANZAC Day- FoW Game

Dale was keen for a game of FoW at his new house to commemorate ANZAC day. He suggested a Gazala-1st Alamein era theme and so I made up a couple of Axis companies for Kent and I to use.

            Italian Carri  (Me)
1x        M14/41          
4x        M14/41          
4x        M14/41          
4x        Semevontes 75mm  
4x        captured 25 pdrs     
Sporadic Stukas
            Panzer Company  (Kent)  
2x        Panzer III Late Js     210
4x        Panzer III late Js       420
4x        Panzer IV, 2x F2, 2x F1      480
2x        231 Acs          85

Dale: Light Tank Squadron
2x Stuarts
3x Stuarts
3x Stuarts
3x Stuarts
3x Grants
3x Gants
Sporadic Air

Nigel: Light tank Squadron
4x CS Crusaders
3x Crusader II
3x Crusader II
3x Cruader II
3x Grants
4x 25pdrs

We used a 6x 7.5ft table and played a FFA to keep it nice and simple.
Nigel and I deployed at the top of the shot, Dale and Kent at the bottom of picture.

 Turn 1- Kent advances his panzer company.
 Dale's Stuarts have zipped in amongst the  sand dunes.
 Nigels crusaders using the town for cover.
 I get a stuka strike on turn 1.
  I destroy two of Dale's tanks and bail 3 more!
 Turn 2. Nigel's crusaders advance covered by the Grants (which look rather like Shermans!)
 My Semovante's try to remain gone to ground but the closest one gives their position away as he is in the open to the crusaders.Nigel and I then engaged in a rather pathetic fire fight for 3 turns, either missing each other or failing most firepower tests. To make matters wore my artillery was pinned on turn 1 and failed to unpin for a couple of turns so remained GtG.
 Kent has been putting pressure on Dales tanks so my Carri  (CT)race out to join in the fun- and promptly become the target of every allied tanker. 
 The "tank fight" continues, to round 2 and we've managed to bial one tank each!

 Then there were three bailed semovante's!
 Kent's panzer continue to use the sandhills as cover, sniping and stormtroopering.
 Kent's tanks start whittling down Dale's Stuarts. 
 Finally, a couple of rounds of shooting has sen of the crusader threat. The final one tried to assault the Italian artillery and was knocked out by defensive fire.
 The panzers continue taking a toll on Dale's tanks.
 Meanwhile tohugh I have lsot a carri platoon and are engaged in a firefight with the CS crusaders
 But a combination of Kent's panzers, carri and finally an airstike destroy the HQ tanks and Nigels' squadron is broken.
 Moments later Dale's company breaks as well. 

Although the result appeared one sided, it was pretty close on my flank as I was down to one Semovante and had passed a morale test to stay on the board. The crusader IIs, carri and semovante were a blast to run- pop guns and pretty average armour made for  fun game and many entertaining events. 

So a victory to the Axis but really the day was more about getting together, rolling a few dice and playing a game to commorate NZs national day of remembrance to those that served, those that fell,   and the lucky ones who returned. 


Thursday, April 18, 2013

28mm Huns

My Gripping Beast huns are done. I am very happy with the way they have turned out. 

 Commander: Average                                                                                            

1x CM Nobles (Gen)-  Comp Bow C
1x CM Nobles- Comp Bow C
6x  CL Huns- Comp Bow B

Total points: 244    

The nobles- medium cavalry.   

 The light horse.

 Now I need a couple of stands of Gothic cavalry to start their allies... and to find some opponents :)


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Carthaginian's vs Gauls- 400 pts

Another clash vs Kent's Carthaginian's tonight. A couple of minor changes to my list:

My Gauls

Commander: Poor (+1)(13 pts)
4x        CM Cavalry 
1x        S Javelinmen
Commander: Fair (+2) (19 pts)
2x        FL  Elite Warriors-large (Gen)
2x        FL Warriors- large
2x        S Javelinmen

Commander: Fair (+2)(19 pts)
2x        FL  Elite Warriors-large (Gen)
2x        FL Warriors- large
2x        S Javelinmen

I used the rulebook (VBU 3 skirmishers) and put all my cavalry into a single command.The rationale for the single javelin unit is bit of a metagame- the command will break at 50% losses so it brings the break point up to 7 meaning that if I hide the javelinman along my backline I will need to lose 3 cavalry units to break the command. Hopefully though if I send two cavalry units forward and leave two in reserve. If I can retreat the cavalry when they are damaged before they are destroyed I should be able to throw forward the two reserve units.
Kent used the same commands as last time, evenly split.

Good command
1x Veteran spearmen
1x Libyan Spearmen
2x Spanish scutari (javelins)
2x skirmishers
1x elephant 
1x punic cavalry

2nd command the same but with a poor commander. 

Kent's poor commander rolled double ones on turn 1 and so become incompetent which had major repercussions for the rest of the game...
 My plan? To try to win on the flank with my cavalry, holding half back a a reserve while also trying to outflank Kent's troops on the open right flank.

 The Gallic cavalry prepares to advance.
 Nothing like a mob of impetuous Gauls. My strategy this time is to put all my infantry into large blocks and close as quickly as possible  before the accursed javelinmen wear down my infantry.
 Kent's punic cavalry.
 My right flank infantry command advances on turn 1.
 Turn 2- After having become incompetent on turn 1 on turn 2 he wheels his line to face my advancing horde. In the centre/right he pushes forward his screen of scutari and skirmishers. My second block of nfantry advances in the centre.
 My right flank advances though the woods, their young javelinmen advance taunting the Carthaginians.
 Meanwhile on the left flank my cavalry drive the punic cavalry back.
 Turn 4 (I think) my infantry on y right pass the woods and close with Kent's poor command- which once again is paralysed with indecision.
 My strategy on the left is going much better than expected, smashing several units. Kent's left in in danger of being overrun and I have still taken no losses!  Having destroyed the Libyan spearmen and driven off the cavalry the Spanish Scutari have turned to face the threat and try to stabilise the situation.
 In the centre, my crazy Gauls close with the Carthaginians, driving back an elephant. Finally though Kent's javelinmen start doing some damage and my centre takes a couple of losses.
 In the end Kent's left flank collapsed spectacularly and his army routed. My left flank took some damage in the last turn as Kent tried to get some points back before the game ended. That command lost 8 pts in the end (6 n the final turn)  and my centre command lost 6 pts but we destroyed the right and inflicted major losses on the left flank too. My cavalry command performed much better than expected, even if my plan to hold half the units back failed when I spied an opportunity early on...

A rather decisive victory and a complete reversal of last weeks game! The game took less than  1 1/2 hours all up so we are keen to increase to 500 pts for the next game, I might need to paint up a couple more units of Gauls for that though...

Next Thursday is ANZAC Day so Kent a talking of a multi-player game with Nigel and Dale, possibly an East Front FoW bash so no Impetvs next week. 


Monday, April 15, 2013

28mm Huns

A couple of years ago I bought 20 Gripping beast Huns as one of those projects that I didn't quite get started. So last night I decided to start painting them.

The army will be:

2x medium cavalry (nobles)
6x light horse

They will be supported by a second command of Gepid heavy cavalry and infantry for a bit of variety. 

I really like the animated poses of these guys, lots of variety. I also decided to try a new basing for these guys too and try to get the impression of them charging across the front line, loosing arrows before darting back to safety. .


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Impetvs- Carthaginians v Gauls (400 pts)

Kent popped round this evening for our (almost) weekly game, once again pitting his Carthaginian vs my Gauls. He had made a few changes to his last list taking a few more skirmishers and javelinmen at the expense of his Libyan infantry. He too two commands. He fielded something like:

2x Punic cav
2x Vets
2x Spearmen
4x Spanish javelinmen
3-4x skirmishers
2x elephants

I had also tweaked my list, also taking 2 (average) commands.

2x        CM Cavalry 
1x        FL  Vet Warriors-large (Gen)
2x        FL Warriors
2x        S Javelinmen
2x        CM Cavalry 
2x        FP Soldurii (Gen) – large units
2x        FL  Vet Warriors-large VBU 5
2x        FL Warriors
3x        S Javelinmen

 The Carthaginians deploy.

 At the top of shot the larger command with the Soldurii (VBU 6), the smaller command take my right flank.
 On my right I throw my cavalry forward early, driving back the punic cavalry but then I bounce off the Spanish javelin armed Scutari.

 On my right the small warband and cavalry advance while the large warband stay on opportunity.
 I pull back my cavalry on my left.
  On my left Kent's Spanish javelinmen destroy one of my cavalry units and the other pulls even further back.
 Kent' centre is covered by his skirmishers and his elephants are converging towards my centre.
 I see your skirmishers and raise you mine. Kent's Italian infantry being used as skirmishers, VBU 3 trumps VBU 2 and my skirmisher screen starts to melt away.
 Still, we try to nibble away at the Scutari before the screen is totally gone.
 My skirmishers are driven back, opening room for the elephants to charge.
 On my right things are looking up. I have destroyed the punic cavalry and my warband are eying up the Spanish scutari.
 Ha! My small warband charge from the direction of woods and hit the Spanish, not quite in the flank but still doing enough damage to destroy them. 
 One FL Javelinmen unit is destroyed, one more unit and that command is broken...
 Meanwhile, on the left Kent charges my heaviest troops (my FP Soldurii) with his elephant, causing casualties but in my next turn my general's unit is thrown in and the elephant is killed.  
 Then the other elephant charges causing even more damage. Suddenly my larger command is feeling a tad fragile.
 Kent's right pulls through. My last cavalry unit is destroyed and that takes me over my break point so my left flank collapses!
 The elephant is driven off but it is too late. With my left flank gone my right flank command calls it a day, retreating back to their homeland.

A rather decisive win in the end (I lost about 27 points, Kent 8!) but I was one unit shy of breaking Kent's force too so closer than it looked. Kent had learned his lessons well and designed this force to really maximise its missile potential. I really though I had a great chance when he sent his javelin armed Scutarri so far forward from his main infantry unit and was confident of overwhelming them with my impetuos troops, but alas it wasn't too be.

I think both forces were well balanced and we both tried to exploit the weaknesses of the opponent while maximising our own strengths, so it was a very enjoyable, and rather quick, game.