Tuesday, 26 April 2016

ACW terrain

Got the following link from the WW1 spearhead forum and thought Jon would find it interesting.  Especially the tutorial on constructing Gettysburg in 6mm.


Tuesday, 12 April 2016

One day campaign

A quite day at the office
So I thought I would check how the points compared for our one day battles using the scenario generator system.
The Brits (all regular) 1No infantry division plus 1No tank brigade plus 1regiment (4) 5.5 howitzers
3Foo =2347 points (+/-2% transports for infantry platoons)
I have not allowed for the aircraft
The Germans Panzer Grenadier Division 
Reg HQ + 1No infantry battalion +Stug battalion (Veteran)
2No infantry battalions + AT batt +Art Reg +AA batt (regular)
2No infantry battalions + Airfield guard (green)
3Foo =1296
I have not allowed for the aircraft
That puts the Germans at about 55% of the British
fascinating!!!!(must be said in a Mr Spock voice)

Friday, 8 April 2016

Battle Of Bagradas 255 BC

For next Thursday I would like to return to the days of Antiquity with a re inaction of the Battle of Bagradas.

This first Punic Wars clash took place in the Spring of 255 BC at Tunis in fairly open terrain. The Carthaginian's had hire a Mercenary Spartan General by the name of Xanthippus who made the Romans fight him in the open. This allowed the full force of the Carthaginian Elephants and elite cavalry to be maximised.

The Roman Army under Marcus Atilius Regulus was stationed in Tunis and faced with the resurgent Carthaginian army was keen to gain another victory rather than someone else claim it before him.

With a force of 15,000 infantry and 500 cavalry Regulus clashed on the plains of Tunis against a well deployed Carthaginan force comprising of 12,000 infantry, 4000 cavalry and 100 Elephants.

The Romans formed up in their normal formation - Legion in the centre with their outnumbered cavalry on the flanks.  The Carthaginians formed a Phalanx in the centre with mercenary infantry to their right with the Elephants in front. The Carthaginian cavalry sat on both flanks.

In reality the Romans were heavily defeated and lost 12,000 men with 500 taken prisoner whilst the Carthaginian losses amassed to 800.

The order of battle for Thursday is as follows:


24 X LEGION (4bd)

5 x EQUITES (cv)

Total Elements 48

The Roman Centre if used as 1 large command must use 2 commanders to issue pips to due to the number of troops on table.
The Infantry can be split up into 2 smaller commands with the c in c in charge of one and the infantry general in charge of the other if the Roman player thus chooses so.







Total elements 48

We will be using DBA big battle rules with one slight change to the demoralised command rule.

When a command has lost 1/3rd instead of the normal rule I am going to say that for this game all troops suffer a -2 on shooting and combat dice rolls instead of retreating off table. The penalty will be applied as a tactical modifier. We will see how this works out....

Although historically the Romans had more infantry, the Carthaginians had more cavalry and I think it fair to give both sides the same number of elements but the Romans have 40 elements of infantry versus 25 for the Carthaginians with the cavalry swung in favour of Carthage with 16 plus 4 Elephants versus 5 elements of Roman cavalry.

I am trying to create a battle wherein both sides use their troops historically in line with the real battle. You could argue that the Roman centre is too strong with all those blade elements but the Roman flanks are very weak on both sides and will be vulnerable to an overwhelming attack if executed properly!

I think this will make for an interesting fight. The Carthaginians will need to make careful use of their command pips in the centre but have the freedom to do what they like with the cavalry on the flanks.

The Romans should have the pips in the centre to either form a defensive line or push depending on how it plays.

The terrain is going to be Arable. The Romans are the attacking Army so the Carthaginians will select the terrain features and place according to the standard rules. The Roman player will choose which long table edge to attack from.

We will deploy with the Carthaginian Camp followed by the Roman and then deploy 1 command at a time starting with the Carthaginians.

Should be a good game. See you on Thursday.

Phil - please let me know if you don't have all these elements?

I am sure you do though!

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

A Quick Review and What Next!

Saturday's game was terrific!  Everyone came to the game with the successful experience of our last outing and it showed.  The result was close and I felt it could have gone either way as both sides tried to use to use the strengths of their particular forces.


In this game we saw Mark use his recon to scout out table 3B before making the fateful decision to take the bridge and town quickly before the Germans sent in reserves.  Jon's panzer grenadiers swept wide on table 1D, forcing Marks units on 2D to about face and then finally counter attack units on 1C instead!  Indirect artillery would have prevented the Germans making this complex change of orders but the spotter was elsewhere.  Russ counterattacked Phil's thrust down 1B and 1C with the Stugs preventing three battalions from crossing the river and then pulled off the survivors to fight again later.  He then attacked Phils forces on 3A from 2B forcing Phil to make the difficult decision to reinforce his airfield attack with his last reserve on 2A.  This gave Jon the opportunity to take  2A with his ever victorious panzer grenadiers which were only stopped by the RAF.  All these encounters were a result  of operational decisions that we don't get to make on a Thursday night game, and seldom on a normal Saturday game.  Brilliant!


The slight criticism of overwhelming allied airpower may need addressing.  I think I would drop the medium bomber from the RAF.  However, Phil and Mark made the decision to concentrate against the German airfields, and so, did they reap the benefits of a good decision made earlier in the game?  Could the Germans have used their AA units to decimate the RAF?  In all honesty I don't know, but the essence and risk in these games is that the two sides are balanced but not in the same way.

In this game we saw the Germans risk giving up all the tables but concentrating their limited forces and then using mobility to counter attack - I think they nearly won.  Again, the better command and control of the Germans was pitched against the superior numbers of the British and the forces felt balanced but for different reasons.  I think I have the points ratios to roll this format out into other theatres and periods.


So what's next?  We've decided to try a WW1 1916 trench offensive; 2x Allied corp v German reinforced division.  Russ has a British Corp and I have a French Corp but does Phil want to use his British in an all Empire attack?


To follow we could do an Eastern front game.  An Austrian and a German Corp attacking the Russians or 2x Russian Corp against either Germans or Austrians.  We would need a division and a brigade of cavalry for each side before we can put this on as well aircraft, pontoons, balloons and railways.  But we could use the exact same terrain boards for this game.


Lastly, we need to decide when we want to play it.  Broughton is booked for the first weekend of every month - do we want to play in a months time or leave it again for another two months?  Please let me know.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

The Battle of Verdun

Really good site on YOu Tube.  Loads of videos on WW1 including a week by week history of the war (with a video for each week). This one caught my yes but well worth checking out the channel.


I thoroughly enjoyed the battle on Saturday - not only because the British squeaked through by the narrowest of margins but because the whole experience really came together.  We all knew what to do  and got on with it (34 turns is amazing!).

Mark was unlucky to hit the main line of resistance and showed the need for recon. Having said that my recon unit was unlucky (as were the 17pdrs later on) to feel the brunt of the Luftwaffe but it did mean that the main punch down our right went untroubled (as it appears Mark's punch down the left flank went as well).

The Germans played a blinder. Concentration was the key as was effective use of artillery. My tanks fell to Paks and Stugs combined and I was grateful that I didn't need to cross the river under concentrated German fire as I'm sure the experience would have been short and unpleasant.

Our plan was pretty obvious once underway. Ride down the flanks and get to the back tables with strength. In our case too much strength. We should have left more in o to counter the German movement which almost won it for them.  We ended up with huge numbers at the back but with little or no strength in the middle and front tables which could have proved decisive.  The middle table plan was to create a flank protection force of 17pdrs to threaten the Stugs and a mobile tank reserve to support them if required. As the 17pdrs were killed by the Luftwaffe I had to commit the ranks early and consequently lost them - it was the aircraft that made the Stugs think again...

Keeping a battalion in Buffaloes in reserve was a good idea but I think I committed too early. Having said that they did keep up in the game at the very end.

The key though was air power. Our plan was to take out the forward airfield early as German air attacks every 30 minutes would have been horrendous. We also decided to hit them on the off-table airfield with the aim of knocking them out of the battle which we were lucky enough to achieve. It gave the Germans a 'free' uncontested air strike but meant that on return their air assets were nullified.

The result of this was a dramatic shift in fortunes. The aircraft saved our bacon several times - stopping the relief attack on the airfield, routing Jons sneaking units and hence denying them table A2 and of course polishing off the Stugs. Without them, the Germans would certainly have won.

As for balancing the forces, I don't know. Reducing the allied airforce would help but historically I think it represents the situation very well. Indeed it was rare indeed for German forces to have any air support at all in the Western theatre.  Perhaps changing some if the German forces from Green to Regular snd giving all of them a HQ stand could be enough.  Russ and Jon showed how the Germans should be played and it was solely some uncharacteristic dice by me and lucky placement that saved the Allied day.

Great day, great battle. Well done to all concerned 😀

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Taking the next step - Terrain Mats

After my own personal experience with my terrain boards I have learnt that

A: They were a lot of hard work to produce
B: They cost me a damn site more than I first anticipated
C: They are a pain in the backside to transport
D: They are not as durable as I would of liked, for the money

With all this said and done on a positive note we have had some top games using the boards so I am not going to send them to Valhalla right now but I am looking at better things.

The reasons are mainly logistical and practicality.

I searched around a few sites and found these excellent gaming mats - 6ft x 4 ft.

I am seriously looking at parting with some cash here as these are just the dogs....

There is a lot on offer here that covers all our periods.

The price may seem steep but I can tell you that the boards I knocked up were probably more expensive.

These are made from rubber and can be easily transported and will last!

Friday, 1 April 2016

Battle of Leros Photos

Phil has posted these photos with a write up of last weeks game on his blog but I thought we should have a record on ours.