GdB game at Mikes

Just after the game vs Phillip I was invited round Mike’s to have a game of General de Brigade.

I was really looking forward to this as it has been ages since I’ve had a Napoleonics game and Mike has a splendid collection of vintage 25mm Minifigs, all the cabinets in the short clip below are his collection which covers pretty much all combatants of the wars.

Unfortunately I was beginning to really suffer with my chest so picture taking wasn’t too good for this encounter as it was taking all my concentration to deal with the game. Mike had come up with a great scenario taken from a wargames magazine. It was an encounter at the start of the Waterloo Campaign with Jerome’s division trying to cross the table whilst being prevented by a Prussian Brigade. The fight turned out to be good fun as both of us had few troops on table to start with reinforcements coming on at randomised places.

Landwehr ready themselves for battle
Landwehr ready themselves for battle
French start to appear
French start to appear

I started with a Landwehr Regiment and a Jager detatchment and had to try to hold two river crossings at separate ends of the tables, both had villages on my side of the river. I decided to hold one with a battalion of Landwehr and the other with the jager with my other 2 Landwehr battalions held centrally as a reserve. The French were coming on with a Regiment at each crossing. The village on my left was not held very well, the Landwehr battalion only managed to slow down the French for about a move or two before the French smashed into the village and bundled them all the way out – Conscript Landwher vs Veteran Leger isn’t good!

Landwher about to cop it. (Sorry about the flash!)
Landwher about to cop it.
(Sorry about the flash!)

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On the right Mike had room after the crossing to manoeuvre around the village whilst the Jager inflicted the odd casualty as they passed. I managed to bring on my Infantry Regiment on this side of the table and they quickly advanced to the town but had troubled changing orders to engage the passing Frenchies.

On the right, French move round the village.
On the right, French move round the village.
Jagers dish out a few hits.
Jagers dish out a few hits.
Prussian reinforcements start to arrive
Prussian reinforcements start to arrive in all their Old School glory!

Over on the left the French ground on and once they managed to get a Ligne Regiment across the river supported by Cavalry the gig was up for the Landwher and they broke under the pressure. My Hussar regiment made an appearance on this flank and did sterling work in a do or die charge which broke a Leger battalion but this flank was completely lost and Mike managed to exit a few battalions off of the table to boot.

Meanwhile on the right things went a wee bit better – my infantry finally managed to go to engage and slowed down the end of Mike’s disappearing column enough to prevent more units exiting the table. The best part of the game for me happened here too. Mike had brought his other Light Cavalry brigade round the village on the extreme right of the table to avoid the traffic jam ahead. I had left an Infantry battalion in square to cover the rear of my other infantry who dutifully blazed away at the passing French Chasseurs, my artillery then came on the table just near where the Cavalry would pass (jammy roll number 1), then my Infantry managed to kill the French Cavalry general causing them to falter right in front of my unlimbering guns (jammy roll number 2), I then rolled really well when firing and broke the whole Brigade of cavalry.

Target rich environment for the Prussian gunners as the leaderless Frogs falter.
Target rich environment for the Prussian gunners as the leaderless Frogs falter.

We finished up with Mike winning as he had gotten off quite a few units and the rest were poised to do so soon whilst breaking nearly half of my force. I got lucky defeating his Light Cavalry and my regular infantry were in good shape so would have been able to withdraw them safely. A good fun game with lots of random things happening to keep it interesting one of those scenarios that you could play lots of times and never have the same thing happen twice.

Club Night 12/10/15: France 1940

So I’ve finally shrugged off the bastard chest infection that I have had for the past few weeks, (which was probably not helped by going out to the club a couple of times when I should’ve been staying in bed!) so time to catch up on what I’ve been doing game-wise. As this happened a couple of weeks ago and I was quite fuzzy headed at the time I’ll just give a quick description of the game.

We were using Blitzkreig Commander rules with Philips lovely 10mm kit, I was French and he was German.

Scenario was simple he had to secure the road exits off of my table edge and I had to do the same on his, so a typical meeting engagement. We both had a tank Btln and infantry Btln supported by some air support and artillery (me) and engineers (Philip)with which to do this.

The Battlefield - French table edge nearest the camera. The woods would see much fighting.
The Battlefield – French table edge nearest the camera. The woods would see much fighting.
My armour - 'les Caramacs' - lovely Somua's.
My armour – ‘les Caramacs’ – lovely Somua’s.
Poilu's ready for action.
Poilu’s ready for action.
Artillery support
Artillery support
Air Support - lovely model of a Potez.
Air Support – lovely model of a Potez.

I won the initiative on the first go and decided to put my Infantry Btln into the wood on the left to try and control the road. My tanks would move to the wood on the right and await developments before I committed them. Philip came on table in a mirror image of me, his infantry went for the wood on his left, his tanks on his right.

Infantry heads for the woods.
Infantry heads for the woods.
En Avant les Caramacs!!
En Avant les Caramacs!!
Dastardly Bosche appear.
Dastardly Bosche appear

I did manage to get my infantry debussed and in position in the wood before Phillip’s panzers got close but it was to no avail as he attacked me with an attached engineer company supported by his Pz I’s and Pz II’s which went through my defence like merde through a goose and pushed me all the way back to the base of the wood by the buildings.

German assault through the wood on the left grinds on.
German assault through the wood on the left grinds on.

Over on the right Phillip quickly took possession of the wood as I didn’t have anything on that side to counter him – I definitely wasn’t going to trundle my tanks in there – so had to rely on bringing in artillery or getting the air support to help, unfortunately my first attempts failed and the nasty Bosche even made a foray out of the wood with some engineers to take out a tank, as well as taking one out with their AT gun.

The main Panzer force had moved to the crossroads and a tank battle broke out between the Pz III & IV’s and the Somua’s which went very well for ‘les Caramacs’ – I went on a great run of keeping rolling well on my command rolls and started chalking up kills on the German armour and at one time I won initiative back so got a ‘second go’. My gunners finally finished their afternoon vin and started firing on the German infantry and the Potez got involved too which kept the bulk of them suppressed for the remainder of the game and nullified their threat.

Somuas hold on whilst the artillery mullers the Germans in the wood.
Somuas hold on whilst the artillery mullers the Germans in the wood.
Panzers taking hits.
Panzers taking hits.
Germans clear the wood on the left.
Germans clear the wood on the left.

At the end of the game we decided on a draw as neither of us had achieved our objectives and although my infantry and taken a right kicking I had crippled the German tank force so about evens on the KO score too.

All in all a cracking game – at one time I really did think of chucking in the towel as my Poilus had been beaten, I’d lost a couple of tanks and my gunners seemed to be on strike (and to add insult to injury Philip had chucked a couple of double 1’s which had allowed him to get double moves in) but the dice gods switched sides and I started to chew up his panzers and completely smothered his infantry with some hard hitting artillery strikes.

Looking forward to the next one and might be investing in a force myself, thinking either Poles or maybe going left-field and making a Czech force for some what-iffery fun.

Some gratuitous pretty model shots.

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Got the lurgy!!

I’m suffering at the moment with the dreaded lurgy and haven’t got the jazz to update the blog as I’m really not up to it! Unfortunately for me my other health problems mean that picking up colds really wipe me out.

Having said that I have dragged myself down to the club the past couple of Mondays and over to Mike’s house last Thursday (probably shouldn’t have but there were good games to be had and I hate letting people down), so coming soon are 2 General de Brigade and 1 BKC AARs, albeit short and sweet ones due to brain befuddlement!

Workbench no.3: Pizza hills!!

I’m sure I’m not the only one who does this but you know when you see something and think – ‘Ooh, I could use that to make…….’.

Well it happened to me about a year ago after bunging a pizza in the oven. I was about to chuck the packaging into the recycling bag when I thought, hello that polywhatsit disc thing the pizza comes on could be useful, I might be able to make hills out of that. So I started to collect a few of them – actually got quite a few and didn’t do a thing with them. Until today!

I’ve been a bit disappointed with the scale of the hills at the club for use in our 6mm games as they are all quite large and have that ‘every hill in the world has to have a rocky bit showing’ vibe – which I can’t stand – or we have to use odd bits of carpet (see Battle of Klinkerhoff posts – looks awful!) so I thought I’d finally have a go at knocking something up. I’d also bought some felt squares from Aldi a while back with the intention of using them for terrain pieces somehow and I suddenly had a lightbulb moment.

I’m quietly pleased with the results, a bit simple looking but as they will be for use down at the club and they’ll go well with the felt mats we have down there, I reckon they’ll be fit for purpose – and anything is better than those bleeding carpet pieces! Oh, and they are an absolute piece of piss to make:

Take your pizza base thingy – make sure it is clean.

The Pizza base
The Pizza base

Glue it to another one.

Glued together and cut to a rough shape - this is 9mm high so perfect for 6mm.
Glued together and cut to a rough shape – this is 9mm high so perfect for 6mm. It is also surprisingly ‘solid’.

Wait for it to dry and then cut into desired shape (making sure felt piece can cover it sufficiently)

Chamfer the edges to give a slope – I make some bits steeper than others for a bit of variety.

Glue top of the hill and stick it down onto the felt

Shaped hill stuck by top onto felt
Shaped hill stuck by top onto felt

Glue the sides of the hill, do a bit at a time, and fold felt onto it and stick.

About to stick sides on, do a bit at a time so you can ensure bond.
About to stick sides on, do a bit at a time so you can ensure bond.

Trim felt around the base of the hill – I have left this bit long so there is a bit of a skirt (I might trim this up closer to the edge of the hill, haven’t made my mind up yet which is best)

Finished sticking, before trimming felt
Finished sticking, before trimming felt
After a trim, notice slight 'skirt'.
After a trim, notice slight ‘skirt’.
Side view of finished hill.
Side view of finished hill. Will only get better with practice!

I have noticed that some slight white marks appeared as the glue dried on my first attempts due to me not spreading the glue out sufficiently, these do brush off easily enough though and I could always add a bit of clump foliage on the worst bits to cover them up!

Sorry if this was a wee bit like teaching yer Nan to suck eggs but as it was so easy I thought I’d share it!

Club Night 05/10/15: The Fight at Chukkawanna Creek

Last night I had the pleasure in playing another of Philip’s ‘Crazy Horse’s Fury’ Plains War games where my brave Hunkpapa Sioux took on the 2nd Cavalry to prevent them moving a wagon over a creek and off the table – no doubt for various nefarious reasons.

The US force was of 4 companies of cavalry, 2 Veterans and 2 new recruits, with a Crow Scout troop and a wagon containing something or other (either the payroll or working cartridges, we couldn’t decide which!). They were controlled by Philip and Darren.

I controlled 4 bands of Sioux, 2 were Warriors and 2 were ‘Boys’ – not great at shooting as they had yet to obtain rifles but very game and eager to get stuck in!

Field of the action with 'my' side of the creek nearest the camera - the Wagon had to be exited anywhere on this edge.
Field of the action with ‘my’ side of the creek nearest the camera – the Wagon had to be exited anywhere on this edge.

I was allowed to set up each warband either in cover or behind a hill so that they were not visible to the yellow-legs until they got close enough to try and see me (needed to get 4-6 if the Crow’s, and 5 or 6 if ‘regular’ troopers I think). I duly marked the map and hoped my cunning plan was cunning enough – the two older Warbands were placed in the ‘rough’ ground (brighter green patches) to the left and the furthest right of the table with one of the Boys bands hidden in the copse by the creek, the last band was behind the right hand hill on ‘my’ side of the creek either to be used as a reserve or as a last gasp ambush attempt on the wagon if everyone else got mullered earlier!

These rules are a good deal of fun and whilst being simple have enough subtleties to make them really interesting. Each unit has to draw a commander chit which has a characteristic on it that will either bring a benefit or hindrance to their units’ performance. For example my old mate ‘Talkheaps’ was drawn for one of my Warbands which meant that instead of automatic activation I had to roll a d6, get a 1 and the unit was inactive that go (the Cavalry drew their own version of this: ‘West Pointer’). The Cavalry are quite lethal once they get dismounted and start firing plus they have longer range than the Indians but the Indians can move further each go and can Move, Fire and Move in a turn (instead of just Move and Fire) which gives them more fluidity, plus they are a bit more lethal in melee so both sides have their pluses and minuses.

I won’t be able to do a blow-by-blow account of the battle as it was really fluid all the way through, (again one of the great things about this game) but here’s the basic outline. After the Crow’s nearly spotted my left hand band I decided to break cover with them and leg it over the creek, planning to either draw a unit after them so that the waiting Boys in the copse for could spring an ambush or if that didn’t happen to go into reserve to be used where needed. Over on the right Darren’s troops were getting mighty close to spotting my braves so I sprang an ambush which managed to hit home but I started an unbelievably inept sequence of rolls in melee, so the attack was quite ineffectual. The Crow scouts and a Company then started probing towards the woods and I unleashed the Boys from there in another surprise attack – again they charged home on Blue-bellies but again not with the desired effect.

Some of the damn Yellow-legs prepare to escort the wagon.
Some of the damn Yellow-legs prepare to escort the wagon. I think I see a reason for subsequent bad shooting!
Crow scouts get ready to do some scouting.
Crow scouts get ready to do some scouting.
Wagon-ho!
Wagon-ho!
Other band break from cover in surprise attack. and get promptly flanked - manage to escape unharmed though!
Braves break from cover in surprise attack. and get promptly flanked – manage to escape unharmed though!
Where'd they go!
Where’d they go!

From this moment on the battle ended up as a series of moves to contact from the Indians with which I failed to do much damage from the melee; or the Cavalry would move into range to unleash a volley at me and roll a 1 or 2 (honestly they rolled about ten 1’s all night!) hence causing no casualties; or I would move into range, fire, get a 5 or 6 forcing the Cavalry unit back, then retire myself to keep out of range. I therefore managed to hold the line of the Creek whilst forcing the Wagon to withdraw to prevent it from being captured.

Braves pushed back to the creek.
Boys charge out of the Copse
Holding the line of the Creek
Holding the line of the Creek

I did manage to rout away one Cavalry unit with a successful charge by the boys, this Company being wiped out by fire when it returned but the boys came a cropper themselves when they tried to evict the Crows from the Copse and nearly got cleaned out themselves. Over on the other flank the other boys band had a terribly ineffectual in the rocks with some veteran cavalry and retired back behind the creek. By the end the Cavalry had started to unjam their rifles and cause losses on the braves so I started to fall back further and further, now not being strong enough to cause much damage myself. As time was getting on we called the game and I believe a morale victory was gained by the Indians as the Cavalry failed to get the wagon off the table but I had suffered quite a lot of casualties in the process.

Cavalry take the rocks
Cavalry take the rocks
Boys fail to evict them from the rocks.
Boys fail to evict them!
Hoka-hey!
Hoka-hey!
Up and at 'em boys!
Up and at ’em boys!

A great game again, and I’m looking forward to play another one in the future.

Here’s a few pictures of Des and Ian’s game of 6mm Napoleonics (General de Brigade – Prussians v French) that was going on behind us – game looked great so had to take some photos!

6mm Napoleonic goodness!
6mm Napoleonic goodness!
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En Avant!
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Deploying
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Vat is the Wurst that can ‘appen?
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Lovely terrain…..