Sunday, June 29, 2014

Board Wargames ongoing online................

Just a few screenshots from several (ie too many !) Vassal (and one Cyberboard) PBEM games I have going at present.
Vassal has really helped rejuvenate my interest in Board Wargames however to the detriment of my figure painting and bank balance !!

This is Paths Of Glory (Cyberboard version) with Western Front situation in 1915 with Germans mounting an assault on my British and Belgiums at Brussels

Age of Napoleon game circa 1807 against aptly named Greig Goodfellow with me upholding Allied cause against the Ogre

WW2 Barbarossa To Berlin (one of my favourite games) in which my Allies are getting royally duffed having lost North Africa the Caucasus and at one point Moscow !!

Bitter Woods an Avalon Hill (RIP) game my first time playing. I am US forces having a hard time stemming Nazi tide (good luck spotting US units !!)

Southern sector

 Northern sector (with Liege in trouble)

Kingdom Of Heaven against ex-pat Norman playing as Crusaders in Third Crusade scenario. I have suffered a lot from attrition and disease but both Richard and Saladin have powerful armies heading for a showdown.

Northern region

Southern region where I am besieging Jerusalem and suffering awfully to epidemic disease !

Liberty Roads another first time try with me as defenders of Third Reich. Renny my fresh opponent has invaded in Brittany and is firmly ashore. An interesting game this one with no ZOC !! and some nice 'chrome' such as Support Counter draws.

Turning Point Stalingrad another old Avalon Hill (RIP) title I had for years but now playing for first time in anger !! Tough situation for Ivans (ie yours truly).

Soviet remaining 'strongholds' in the northern enclaves of the city

The overall situation with Nazis having cleared southern Stalingrad

And last but not least Hannibal: Rome vs Carthage another AH title I have not played in years. Note this Vassal module uses the newer Phalanx Games Edition board and counters (which I find a little cluttered and indistinct on Vassal)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Field Of Glory Ancients

Had game of FOG2 at my gaff using Maurikian Byzantine against Stephen's Arab Conquest.
Been a while since we have played FOG Ancients but we got into swing pretty quickly.
Terrain fell pretty well for Arabs and with my small (a mere 10 units) force I had no real scope to out maneuver them (not something that happens as readily in FOG as in DBMM anyhow).
The Arab foot are pretty tough being Superior Offensive Spearmen in blocks of 8.
They stand up well to my shooting from my Bow* Cavalry and can deal me at least equal damage in Combat.
I found my Skutatoi unit to be redundant and would have been better going all mounted (they are expensive at 78pts too).
I tried a Sassanid ally but again the unit of Elephants did not really fit in (throwing 6 dice at Impact and failing to score a single hit did not enamour them to me either !).
A fun game as always despite a drubbing.

The village with rough hill combo killed one flank of approach for my Cavalry and 2 Enclosed fields on my left made for a narrow area to engage.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Panzer Grenadier on friends Blog

Just a wee plug for mate Norman and his Blog whereupon he has a very nice AAR using 10mm British and German kit for a solo play of Panzer Grenadier Deluxe.

Well worth a look at this and his other entries.

A little teaser photo from his post

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Normandy '44 our D-Day celebration

Played Normandy '44 (GMT) with my Dad as our recognition of the great event back in 1944. First time we have played it face to face and really enjoyed it.
My Dad preferred it to Breakout Normandy (AH) mainly due to the lack of concentration on river crossings.
We played the short 7 turn scenario (although we had to finish at end of turn 4).
But just as in BKN as German defenders he found it a tough old task to hold back the Great Crusade.
He did wipe out the British Airbourne near Cabourg but lost half of Caen at same time.
A gap was forming between Bayeux and Omaha although the arrival of Panzer Lehr would surely stem the flow.
US forces were well established at both Omaha and Utah and were pressing hard to cut of the Cotentin and were poised to assault Carentan.
I had tried this game via Pbem but found it much more satisfying 'live' (a few too many file exchanges in Pbem although would be much better in real-time mode).
Great game even if the situation is not that balanced as such.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Panzer Grenadier Deluxe another outing

Had another go with Panzer Grenadier Deluxe today against Stephen.
Used exactly same scenario as last time (as I had left in situ) with me as Scottish defenders again.
Another super game which went pretty much as last with Germans pushing up on my right flank and getting into the town but having a harder time taking the required number of areas.
Less casualties for Germans however overall with poor old Scots suffering and having to test for Battlegroup Morale at the end of several turns with thankfully no adverse result.
I got 3 Air Missions this game and managed to get two Sorties in both of which targeted Panzers but first was forced off by 'ack ack' the other fail to damage a PzIV !

I also discovered a couple of rules I had misinterpreted in first outing.
Main one was to do with Cover and Line Of Sight wherein in last game we had given fields and orchards too much blocking 'power' to LOS when they are only a hindrance factor of -1 allowing units to shoot through/over such terrain.
In last game we had treated them as blocking terrain such as buildings or woods allowing LOS only to and from edge.
This of course made a impact on Observers and shooting opportunities generally.
Also in Close Combat a Leader counts as a unit which I had missed last game.

I really like the new 'Section' equivalent type firing and how a lot of the old style factors are now subsumed into Combat Results Tables.
All in all really enjoy this version of Panzer Grenadier.
For 15mm games these along with Battlegroup Kursk/Overlord would be my main sets of choice with IABSM coming close behind.

A few pics of todays action with Stephens Germans replacing mine

Sunday, June 01, 2014

New Panzer Grenadier Deluxe first try

Played a game of newly published Panzer Grenadier Deluxe rules (by Dave Brown) with my Dad yesterday (just as well as my Broadband is down at present - doing this post via other means).
A lovely new hardback book this (about same thickness and style as the Black Powder tomes and similarly expensive) with several new twists to an already excellent rule system.
Used a scenario from web covering an attack by 10th SS Panzer Division against the village of Gavrus held by units of 15th Scottish Division during Epsom 'Scottish Corridor' Operation in Normandy June 1944.
The scenario had been designed for early version of rules but worked perfectly fine.
I as ever took the British force and my Dad the Nazis.
This turned out to be a most excellent game.
Scottish troops set up hidden up to half-way to include the sunken road (acts as a sort of Bocage lined trench) Initial SS force of a strong Company of Pz Grenadiers on foot appear from southern (tabletop right) edge with 2 81mm mortatr in off-board support.
Also an FOO with access to 2 medium Batteries (this was determined pre-battle)  SS get another PzGr Coy in Sd251 plus a Panther, two PzIVH and a Sd233 (a Sd250/9 in scn but no difference in game function) after four game turns.
SS are all classed as Veterans
Brits get five Infantry Platoons and a Support Plt (MMG, Piat and 2" Mortar) at start with a 6pdr in support with an FOO with on-call 25 pdrs (Medium Battery again pre-rolled before game) and a single 'Jabo' sortie (of which more later.....).
These initial troops set up hidden with one unit allowed to be in Ambush (gets to fire once without being seen).
Two Platoons cover the sunken road area the others the orchards.
On turn 6 another two Infantry Plts and a 6pdr appear in Gavrus and on turn 7 a Tank Squadron troop of 3 Shermans and a Firefly appear on left flank road.
British all classed as Regulars
Scenario aim is for SS to take majority of Gavrus built up sectors (of which there were 5 on table) with Scots to deny such possession.

Game saw SS advance caught in front of sunken road initially suffering casualties.
They covered their left flank with a single Plt.
However 2 Plts did manage to push forward quickly on my right as I had on my support Plt covering here which was soon overrun.
This game them direct access to Gavrus.
The Panzers appeared on road to SS right getting ready to await the British Tanks.
My 6 pdrs proved totally ineffective against the Panther.
The SS Gepanzert Coy advanced along the other road, de- and assaulted one of my Plts holding the sunken road forcing their retreat.
Thankfully my Inf reserves arrived just as SS massed on my right but not before they had taken first BUA.
A tough slog then developed in next couple of BUAs which the SS eventually won taking the required 3 BUA sections !
In the centre the sunken road was lost but redeployments from the orchard stopped Grenadiers around the copse area.
On right the arrival of the British Tank Squadron a gunnery duel ensued with the Panzers.
This saw the Firefly brew the two PzIVs before Panther destroyed it.
The remaining Shermans gamely engaged the Panther at so-called effective range but either failed to activate of saw shots bounce of harmlessly.
Only poor gunnery by Panther crew allowed Shermans to survive a few turns but by game end only 2 remained and one was damaged (2 damage = KO).
But the SS assault had cost them a lot of casualties and indeed they exceeded their Breakpoint of 50% casualties just as they took third BUA.
We therefore declared game a draw which seemed a fair result.

As to new stuff in the edition of rules there is a fair amount.
Essentially it is the same basic system it has always been but a lot of stuff now streamlined and quicker to play. For instance rather than counting factors for firing small arms, tank MGs, MMG/HMGs etc they now fire a 'Section Equivalents'.
So a basic Plt of 2 Rifle Sections and an LMG fires as 4 Sections (2 for LMG 1 each for Rifles) and MMG fires as 4 section equivalent and Tank fire as 3 sections (this counts MGs and Main Guns). 4 Sections is the most one can roll for so if 6 section equivalents firing this would be split as 2 rolls on 4 and 2 columns.
Also one can target enemy stands individually or picks a primary target with others within 4" possibly effected.
As an example one could target an LMG stand alone or target it as primary target with outcomes effecting it mates, shooting results can generate multiple outcomes such as Disperse Test x 1 Disengage x 3 or Diengage x 1 Suppression x 2 and suchlike.
So as per above a single target could suffer all these outcomes or the primary take the first (and usually worst) outcome then other results effect rest of target unit including possibly primary target again.
All very neat and playable.
Indirect Artillery/Mortars works same for calling-in, accuracy as in previous versions but again roll for effect is amended with a new Fire For Effect chart that streamlines results.
All very quick and playable.

Units still activate as groups (standard maximum of 6 stands) needing a basic 7 on 2d6.
Failed rolls can be supplemented by HQ Impetus (established at start of each turn).
Initiative won allows the player to choose to activate his units first or second with the same range of order types as previously.
However a new twist is that the initiative winner also retains an ability (based on number of HQs) to utilize a new 'Exploit' phase.
This essentially allows some limited extra movement (even if unit failed to or acted in Actions Phase), Infantry reserves to deploy beside an HQ on table rather than having to advance from table edge.
To be honest we both forgot about this new phase but certainly noted afterwards where it could have been effective.
There are a couple of twists based on nationality traits but again all very playable.
The double 1 'blunders' and double 6 'super events' remain and boy did we see these both a lot !!
I had several units with 'low ammo' and a few 'battle hardened' whilst both PzIVs had 'low ammo' and several SS Plts managed to get 'double moves' and 'extra action' type results, however Dad rolled several double ones when taking Morale Tests or Rallying and saw several units 'Rout' ie removed from game !
Ref my afore mentioned 'Jabos' I did manage to call them in (without an dedicated FAC) and had them lined up to blast the Panther......but........they completely missed the target (Ie the dread double 1 on accuracy roll !!) and whacked one of my decimated Plts in nearby orchard wiping them out (must have been USAAF !?).
I have always like the BGPZGR system and this 3rd edition is a rather good update playing quicker than 2nd edition but with same overall system and level of fun vs simulation for a 'Battalion Level' game.

The basic scenario map

My version with North (British) edge to left (sunken road denoted by 'earthen banks')

A plethora of in game 'action' shots (we used poker chips to denote units which had rolled for activation as it could get confusing)