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.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Cold Wars Saga Game

Jim GM'd his first convention Friday night at Cold Wars 2015.  Judging from how much fun the players had, it was a great success.

The village of Lower Uncton - peaceful looking
 Two of the players were West Point Cadets; part of a group down for the weekend.  The others were a mixture of experienced and novice Saga players.
Jim briefing the players
The basic scenario involved a Saxon Lord and allies (Normans and Irish) visiting a village to collect his yearly tribute.  Coincidently, a group of Viking and Danes were visiting the same village to collect plunder.  Each war lord had their own side missions to complete - they did not always compliment the overall goal of each side.
The Anglo-Danes move towards the village
The lead Viking and the Danes moved into the village.  The Vikings looting and the Danes pillaging (burning everything in sight).  The Saxons and Irish moved to engage.

The Irish move to intercept the Danes
On the other side of the village, the Normans engaged one of the Viking war bands in an extended series of battles, preventing the Viking from looting any of the building.

Norman cavalry engaged Viking raiders
The Saxons countered the other Viking war band in a series of pitched engagements.  While his troops were engaged with the Vikings, the Saxon Lord rescued several chests of tribute.

The Danes thrashed the Irish for a while until the two warlords got close enough to talk.  They then negotiated a truce - the Danes would kill and burn and the Irish could steal the loot.  The Dane also took an opportunity to kill the Viking leader when he was found separated from his men.

The Danes have gone crazy burning and pillaging through the village.  In the upper left corner you can see a lone Viking running away with some loot.
In the end the Saxon side triumphed by scoring more victory points then the Vikings.  A couple war bands were completely decimated.
Jim and his players celebrating a great game
Jim is already looking forward to running another scenario at Historicon 2015.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Battleground WWII - Friday Cold Wars 2015

Friday afternoon at Cold Wars 2015, I ran a Battleground scenario called "Defending the Pont".  The scenario was a recreation of K Company's defense of "The Point" on Peleliu.  It was a hard fought battle for the Marines as Japanese machine guns and direct fire guns steadily whittled them down, man by man.  Random artillery rounds fell on the Marine positions through the fight with little real effect. 

The Marines gave as good as they received and Japanese casualties littered the sand.  In the rear, the Japanese Commander stayed in his bunker the entire battle - not very inspirational but he did survive the battle.

A view of The Point from the Marine side
 On the first turn of the battle, the Marines lost their radio to Japanese howitzer fire.  And with it their chance of obtaining artillery support from the landing beach.

On the left flank of The Point, the leader of one Japanese unit told his men to prepare to banzai charge. 
Japanese unit prepares to banzai charge....or maybe not
 As they got ready, the leader, Naga-Jeff-asaki, changed his mind and ran off the board (Rolled a 20 on a morale check); leaving his troops very confused.
On the other side of The Point, another Japanese leader yelled for his men to follow him.  Yelling "Banzai....Banzai", he charged toward the Marine position.  After 20 yards, he noticed that none of his men had followed - he died alone but with honor.

A view of The Point from the Japanese side
Marine casualties start to add up

On the left flank, the Marines wait for the inevitable Japanese assault
As things got tough for the Marine defenders, 4 or 5 Japanese managed to gain a foothold on The Point, killing several Marines.  Captain Hunt moved to intercept them.....

Captain Hunt engages  4 Japanese

Captain Hunt earns his Navy Cross
 In the end, the Japanese came close to gaining a foothold on The Point....but close wasn't good enough.  The Marines held on until reinforcement arrived.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Final Prep for Cold Wars Complete

This weekend I finished working on Saga figures and terrain for Jim's Cold Wars game.  The figures are from several different manufacturers.  The fenced in enclosure is made from wattle fences by Renedra.
A warlord and some warriors

Another Warlord and some villagers,
Some more Renedra Wattle fences mounted on 3/4" wide bass board and some haystacks
I also managed to finish some Old Glory FIW figures for use with Muskets and Tomahawks.  Hopefully they will see some game action soon.
American FIW militia

American FIW settlers