Sunday, March 30, 2014

Breakout Normandy another blast from the past

Played this Avalon Hill game with my Father after it languishing unloved since acquiring it back in 1993 i!
Do not really know why I never played it especially as it has such a good reputation.
And indeed it turned out to be an excellent and tense game.
We played the initial first week game/scenario and as Allies I just about managed to achieve the 10 VPs required (came down to my cutting off Cherbourg and retaining the Advantage. British landings were decent with only Juno stumbling a couple of turns to clear away defenders and I made good inroads from Gold beach to take a few VP areas.
But Omaha was a bit of a disaster, not in terms of losses but it took several days to get off the damn beach which meant the right flank of my British forces were vulnerable to German reserves arriving.
Utah was much better but tough to supply a large force through that beach head.
Two days were overly a tad prematurely due to Sunset roll (I considered using Advantage to re-roll but am glad I refrained in the end).
We both suffered several awful rolls when odds we in our favour which left attackers units Spent/Disrupted.
This is a great game with a lot of flavour of the Overlord situation.
Allies have power but need to get good landings and to link beaches, they are susceptible to poor weather as their Airpower is grounded.
Conversely the Germans love Overcast conditions as they are free from the nasty Air Attrition and move faster.
However Germans are initially thin on ground with several weak units (although I found several Coastal Gun Strongpoints a bitch to eradicate) with bulk of tougher stuff arriving opposite the British.
Their supply can be a problem in Clear conditions as often not enough to recover everything (doubles in Overcast).
Germans have to do a bit of hanging on grimly but do have chances to counter attack powerfully once the Panzer Divisions and Fallschirmjager appear.
Rules old school AH but we found them fine if a bit poorly laid out.
No real difficulties sorting questions but suspect our strategies were suspect.
Great stuff with bits of paper and cardboard once again and another gaming session with which we simply lost track of time as suddenly it was the next day in reality never mind on the beaches !

Friday, March 28, 2014

Sword Of Rome game arrives

Yet another game purchase (!!!) arrived today (along with some 6mm JSII GHQ works of art) and a fine looking game it is too being a GMT special edition with nice hard mounted map and nice counters.
Its a multi-player game (2-5) CDG type game covering Roman Conquest of Italy 362-272BC, essentially based around the We The People/Hannibal system but with differing 'factions' and appropriately varied victory conditions.
Hope to give it a solo try and then get at least 4 players together for a proper go at it.

'Stole' this pic from Google+ but VERY appropriate

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Field Of Glory Ancients game Sassanid Persian vs Hunnic

Game of FOGA at Stephens' last night. Stephen wanted to try a shooty/light horse army ie the Huns so I brought a contemporary period Sassanid force.
Quite a different game to our last few with lots of units whizzing about all over the show as Light Horse are very maneuverable indeed.
Superior shooting by Hun horse archers can be potent with the re-rolling of ones.
The close order Cavalry with bow are a different beast as they can skirmish against other non-lights but are still fairly decent in combat with their swords and possibly armour.
I prefer the FOG 2 version of light horse archer type troops as they still bloody annoying but slightly less so and can now be caught and have reduced shooting range.
Amazingly my poor Levy foot got to charge 3 (!!) times chasing off pesky light horse a first for them.
Interesting match up this one although we did not finish the game.

Monday, March 24, 2014

East Front another session

Played East Front again with my Dad and another great session with no mistakes (hopefully ?) with rules this time.
A better use of Blitz by Germans (Dad) this time and couple of cut off Soviet units withered on the vine.
But Stalinists still managed to hold them up in front of Moscow and Kiev.
Dad dice rolling was uniformly awful again even his triple fire 'Stukas' could yield few hits.
Really liking this game and now have a hankering to roll out West Front and Rommel In The Desert.

Monday, March 17, 2014

East Front board Wargame played after 20 or so years !!

Played recently acquired East Front by Columbia Games (original version) with Dad tonight.
Last played this some 20 or more years ago with Stephen ! 
Have been on look out for a copy for some time and managed to pick up a copy last month in great condition and decent price from BGG. 
Just as great a game as I remembered it to be. 
Such an elegant design and fun to play with the block system.
We tried the Barbarossa scenario with historical set up. 
We committed one or two rule errors early on (forgot how Supreme HQs operate for strategic moves and forgot initially about hex side entry limits) but nothing we could not recover from. 
Rules are not too dense and easy to pick up just need a bit of practice. 
Dads blitz moves got stymied by consistently poor combat rolls and he got drawn into battering at Minsk and Riga rather than trying to breakthrough past them. 
This allowed me to hold a solid line and eck out a Decisive win. 
I do not think he will get mired as much next time. 
A superb game and one of those with which time seems to fly by.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

More Seven Years War action with yet another rule set !!

Another SYW game today this time my Russians facing might of Prussia using King Of The Battlefield rules.
A very quick playing set indeed with minimum rules overhead and decisive outcomes.
No shooting as such in that you declare shots if in range which automatically inflict Morale Tests on targets.
Most targets are Routed after two Wavers (ie failed morale tests) with poor troops routing on a single Waver and Guard (of which we had none) after three wavers.
Charging and Melee very slick as well with chargers taking a Control Test (also taken to change formation or interpenetrate) then if they Charge the defender tests Morale and if he stands the Chargers then also checks Morale.
Infantry losing to Cavalry auto-rout but this is very hard to do. Cavalry melees can potentially go through several phases of reinforcement and tests.
Morale tests are a D8 counting plus vs D6 counting minus with a few modifiers any negative result causing a Waver.
We found successful Cavalry charges on Infantry hard to pull off but with big potential for devastation.
Conversely unsuccessful Cavalry charges leave the mounted chaps pretty vulnerable to Infantry shooting as they bounce off 2".
Turns play really quickly in this set which make for a fairly dynamic game.
We did use the optional Orders and Command traits rules but will next time as they seem easily implemented.
Couple of things we would house-rule are allowing Prussians Regulars to take Control Tests as if Elite types and to only allow non-Prussians to oblique at half-speed.
This would be purely to give a bit more national type flavour which the rules lack.
Also the rules allow Artillery to be man-handled which we felt was rather unhistorical and so we would only allow man-handling to change facing/arc once unlimbered any actual movement requiring limbered moves.
Another fun game with our SYW toys.
We still intend to try Warfare In Age Of Reason, Principles Of War and Piquet Cartouche.

And a great send off for BOD today in Paris !!

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Koenig Krieg try out Russians vs Prussians

Had a game at Stephens with our Seven Years War armies and he picked Koenig Krieg rules.
We have had this updated set for about 2 years (bought as a PDF) but never used so interested to give them a whirl.
A lot to like in the set with some good scenarios set-ups some decent army lists and several good rule mechanics for Brigades, Movement. Shooting and Melee.
But rather poorly explained in several areas with lack of definition of Charges, Defensive Fire and Interpenetration (no mention of latter at all !).
We spent a lot/too much time trying to fathom how several things worked.
But by far my biggest gripe (which I recall from original edition) is how Prussian foot gets 2 Operations compared to Russian 1 which allows them to move and fire.
This means my Russians can sit and wait and watch the Prussians toil forward and can do nothing but endure an opening volley from the boys in blue.
With generally superior Army Initiative this is exacerbated by Prussians usually getting in a second volley before my lot get a chance to reply !
I understand that this is systems way/abstraction to highlight superior Prussians abilities (in fact their 2 actions due to Cadenced Step) but it makes for an awfully frustrating game for Ivans as they have no counter to this.
I can see why they get Steadfast (can re-roll failed Morale tests from shooting) trait but it pails in comparison.
If shooting was simultaneous or if Cadenced Step gave extra moves things would lie with me better but too much work to change rules in this regard.
So whilst there was a lot to enjoy this aspect just makes playing against Freddies lot with Ivans rather less than satisfying.
Austrians (who have Close Drill) would possibly work better.
And the less said about French being allowed Class 2 and 3 Commander (Russians can only have lowly 0 or 1) the better !
We have other sets to try but this one I fear will struggle to be tried again

Still the armies looked nice on the table