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.