Monday, November 30, 2015

Fall In 2015 - Encounter at St Joost - January 1945

This is the second Battleground WWII game:

Encounter at St Joost - January 1945

The scenario: The British 8th Hussars had the task of breaking out towards the River Roer. In their path, lay the village of St. Joost with an unfordable stream and one bridge across it. St. Joost was thought to be held by a unit of second-line Germans reservists. Looks like a cake walk. Can the Germans prevent the British from breaking out towards the Roer River?

Rules:  Battleground WWII

This was a slightly modified scenario from Squad Leader - Cold Crocodiles.  Another member of the HAWKs ran the same scenario earlier in the day using the same terrain and figures but showcasing the new Combat Patrol rule set.

The German defenders used hidden map set-up and movement to make things more interesting.

The British cautiously advance into the village.  A view of the British attack as they entered the village with the infantry supporting the Cromwell's advance. 
One squad with a Cromwell enters the village

A building is captured
Another view of the British advance; in the bottom right corner you can see the Vickers MMG set-up to cover the street crossing.

Another view of the British advance
This British artillery barrage scattered a bit too close to the British Cromwell and infantry behind the wall.  It had no effect on the German defenders.  In fact, the British artillery was not very effective at all during the game.  Even the smoke barrages hindered the British as much as the Germans.
Danger close - no kidding
The Pak-43 claims its only victim of the evening - a Cromwell IV.  The Pak-43 then received a barrage of small arms fire that kept it out of action for the remainder of the game until the Crocodile moved into the village square and finished it off with a burst of flame.
A Cromwell is brewed up
A supporting Churchill Crocodile finally enters the fray. 
A Churchill Crocodile lumbers into the village
The hidden map movement and set-up didn't slow things down too much.  But because they couldn't "see" anything, the British advanced very slowly and were not able to capture enough of the village to claim a victory.

As usual, I failed to take enough pictures throughout the course of the battle.

Fall In 2015 - The Assault on Villers La Bonne Eau

 The Assault on Villers La Bonne Eau

The scenario:  During the later stages of the Battle of the Bulge, the 137th Infantry was deployed near Villers-la-Bonne-Eau.  On the night of the 29 December 1944, Companies K and L forced their way into the village.  They radioed back that they had taken the village but needed bazooka ammunition.  They settled in and waited for the inevitable counterattack.  The following day, the Germans attacked.

Rules:  Battleground WWII

This scenario was the first of five games that would be played using the village terrain over the course of the weekend.

A top view of the village square.

A top down view
A few views of the village from various sides.

A view from the North side
A view from the West side
A view from the East side

A view down one alley showing American GIs slowly maneuvering forward to engage the Germans.
GIs advance.....slowly

A squad of German infantry dismounts and prepares to assault into a building containing American GIs.  The GIs laid out the welcome mat with grenades and BAR fire.  A misthrown German grenade landed on their own flamethrower operator, killed him, caused the fuel tank to explode which then took out two German riflemen.
Panzergrenadiers prepare to assault a building
Panthers in the square
After several bazooka shots failed to hit, Panthers claim control of the village square.  It was a good close fight but the Germans failed to capture enough buildings to control the village.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Games I've Played Lately

Over the past month I've had the opportunity to play several games.  Here's a couple pictures highlighting the action:

Here's a game from a recent HAWKs club night hosted by Chris:  10mm Lizards, Dwarves, and Elves fight for control of an island.
Bear Yourselves Valiantly:  LSNC Ancients & Fantasy
 And down at the local game store (Critical Hit Games), I played in a six player game of Kings of War to commemorate the release of the KoW Second Edition rulebook.  We played the entire game in less than 2 1/2 hours.
Kings of War 2d Edition
 Another day at the local game store - Muskets and Tomahawks.  This was a four play game with 200 points each.  The British forces completely routed the Canadian (me) and French forces.  Two new players were trying the rules for the first time.
Canadian Militia preparing to drive off the British Indian allies.

British Rangers fire from the woods
 And one more HAWKs game night......This time it was 10mm chariot racing hosted by Buck.  We ran two laps around a figure 8 track.  It was mostly a close run race with only one player wrecking his chariot (unusual for a group of HAWKs players).

10 mm Chariots heading into the first turn

The second lap the pack had closed up a bit

Little Groups of Paratroops - A Battleground WWII Scenario

"March to the sound of the guns and kill anyone who is not dressed like you..."  On D-Day, small groups of scattered paratroopers merged into larger groups. One such group from the 101st Airborne Division found itself near a causeway exit from Utah Beach.  The beach exits were primary objectives and had to be taken and held until the beach landing forces could link up.

Looking from the far side of the village toward the beach

Another view of the village

View from the south side of the village
The Germans had flooded some areas in an attempt to hinder an Allied invasion.  They had a bunker with an anti-tank gun positioned to cover the beach exit.
Looking from the beach towards the causeway exit at the village; protected by a pillbox
The German defenders started in the village and had to send out two patrols on preset routes (until contact was made).
A different view from the beach side
The four groups of paratroopers were scattered around the table after randomly determining their starting points.
The German defenders paid a heavy price to keep one group Airborne troops out of the village

Another little group of Airborne troops approaches through the woods
The paratroopers moved building to building to clear a route to the bunker blocking the beach exit.
"Knock, Knock"
By game's end, they had cleared most of the village and had effectively neutralized the bunker.  The Germans only controlled two buildings and had a bunker full of wounded and broken men.
An Airborne trooper throws a grenade into the bunker
In the end, the Airborne had captured a majority of the village and the pillbox had been neutralized.  A minor victory to the Americans.

(Note:  I forgot this entry was in my draft folder - oops)

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Battleground WWII at Historicon - Buchholz Station

So this year saw the return of Stan, who moved to Colorado a few years back.  It was good to see him and catch up on news.  Several regulars were absent this year.  Hopefully we'll see them around the table again soon.

For Historicon 2015, I revived my adaption of an old ASL scenario - Buchholz Station:

"The opening moves of the Battle of the Bulge centered around seizing key road junctions.  One such place was near the village of Buchholz.  A unit of the German 27th Fusilier Regiment moving quickly through the morning fog stumbles into an American unit eating chow.  Being the Division reserve, the Americans were unaware that the Germans had penetrated so deeply."

The American's had to send half of their troops toward the chow line.  They had to continue rotating through the line until all the troops had "eaten" or until the enemy was spotted.  The heavy fog made spotting twice as difficult as normal (measure the range, then double it before checking the spotting chart).
The set-up from the point of view of the Germans
The unit XO set-up the chow line across the field and waited for the troops to arrive for their meal of slightly green colored eggs and SOS.

The chow line is open for business

Here comes the first of the morning's guests as the squads start sending troops to chow
The American's hadn't even reached the chow line before the Germans started their attack.  If only they had waited another turn or so......
The Germans have taken the old train station and advance along the railroad
The Germans attacked with 2/3'd of their forces along the abandoned railroad and 1/3 along the road.  The railroad forces moved methodically (i.e. slowly) and eventually overcame the American resistance and captured the railroad underpass.

The American's defending the road approach whittled the Germans down to just a couple troops by the end of the game.

As usual, once the game got going, I forgot to take more pictures.  I'll have to work on that in the future.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Tanker's Challenge Returns to Historicon

After having a few people ask last year, I decided to bring Tanker's Challenge back to Historicon 16-19 July 2015.  And plan to do so each year.

On Thursday night, 10 tankers climbed into their tanks and prepared to battle it out for the title of "Top Tanker".  Points are scored for killing a tank; points are lost for losing a tank.  The points were calculated using hull front armor value + turret front armor + gun armor penetration value.  The initial starting line-up included the following:  M3A1, M5A1, Semovente 75/32, M14/41, 2 Cruiser I, 2 StuG IIIB, and 2 Pz38T.

The starting locations were set to prevent "spawn" camping as much as possible.

The table set-up at the start
When a tanker lost a tank, they rolled on a chart to get something better.  There were a total of 66 tanks available.  By the end of the game, 43 tanks were on the board - mostly burning.  The number of tanks lost per player ranged from two to a total of seven with most players losing three.
A Char-B1 lumbers out looking for a victim.  It didn't last long.

The field of burning tanks continues to grow
As was too busy running the game to take many notes or get a lot of pictures.  My usual assistant GM couldn't make the trip this year.

Finally upgraded to something with a bit of armor - a Churchill IV enters the fray
As usual, alliances were made and then immediately broken when the backend of tank was shown to a supposed ally.  And several friendly rivalries popped up between opposing tankers.

When all the dust settled, the top tanker had +163 points and the bottom tanker had -379.  All in all, everyone had a great time.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Crescent Root Buildings

After seeing Buck's post on the Crescent Root building he purchased, I finally took the plunge and placed an order.

I ordered two buildings out of their 28MM Series 3 buildings:  28E3 and 28F3.  The building are well constructed and have ample detail.  And as a bonus, come pre-painted.  Assembly is quick and easy with the corner pins to hold things together.  The doors are mounted with a tape hinge that allows them to swing open.

Below you will find several shots of the two buildings with some 28mm figures and a 1/50th scale German tank for size comparisons.
The inside view of building 26F3

Exterior view of 28F3 without the outer courtyard wall

Exterior view of 28F3 with the outer courtyard wall highlighting the hinged doors

Top view of 28F3

Building 28E3 unassembled

Assembling 28E3 showing the pins

An interior shot of 28E3

Exterior view of 28E3

Backside view of 28E3
Both building will make their debut during Historicon next month.  If you are attending, drop by the HAWKs room and check them out in person - pictures don't do them justice.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Battleground WWII - Saturday Cold Wars 2015

Saturday evening at Cold Wars 2015, I ran a Battleground scenario called "The Fight on Wilkes - 23 December 1941". 

The basic scenario description:  On the morning of 23 Dec 1941, under cover of darkness, Japanese forces landed on Wilkes Island. Although the US Marines defending the island were spread thin and outnumbered, they were still able to mount a counterattack. "At this time," states a Japanese report, "Wilkes Island was the scene of a fierce and desperate battle."  The Marines completely eliminated the Japanese landing force.  Unfortunately, the Marines on Wilkes Island were forced to surrender when the rest of the Wake Island defenders capitulated later that same morning. (Adapted from a Jim Keats scenario from the Iron Ivan Games website)

A view of the gun position looking south towards the landing beach
A view of the gun position looking from the west

The Japanese set their three squads in defensive positions around the guns; not knowing the direction of  the Marine

 The Marine attack consisted of four elements:  CPT Platt, two MMG teams, and a reinforced squad from the west; Battery L crewmen from the north; and Lieutenant McAlister and a squad
from the east.
CPT Platt and others move through the jungle towards the Japanese position
 The Japanese Naval Landing Force didn't have any heavy weapons but as it turned out, they didn't need them.  On the west side, CPT Platt, his MMGs, and the other Marine squad poured a lot of ineffective fire into the Japanese.  The Japanese return fire was a little better.  The Marines decided if fire wasn't working, then a taste of clod steel might help.  So out of the jungle they charged.
Despite their superior marksmanship, the Marines take more casualties than the Japanese
As the Marines charged toward one of the Japanese positions, the Japanese managed to blow up a 5" gun ammo bunker.  The resulting explosion took out 3 Marines.  Most of the remaining Marines were then cut down by a LMG - ending the Marine's heroic charge.
One Marine survived the charge against the Japanese LMG position
CPT Platt engages the Japanese Commander
The Japanese Commander defeats CPT Platt
It was at this point, with the loss of CPT Platt and 50% casualties, the Marine decided they didn't have enough combat effectives to continue the attack.  They fell back, leaving the Japanese in possession of the gun position.

Although the game ended early, all involved had a good time.  And with the time change that night, getting to bed early was a bonus.