Club Night 08/02/’16: Battle Ground WW2

This game was put on by Daren and was using a new ruleset for me called Battle Ground. They are very detailed WW2 skirmish rules which gave a quite enjoyable game. I took command of a small British Para force on the outskirts of Oosterbeek, I had a 17pdr, a rifle section, a 2′ mortar and a couple of PIAT teams so I was going to be spread thin but was confident that I could handle any tank nuisance that might come my way. I was up against a Heer and a SS section supported by a Panther and a mortar with maybe more to arrive later.

As I have been ridiculously slack in getting this posted I am a bit fuzzy on the details (sorry Daren!) so I’m going to give a rough outline of what happened. Actually not much happened for the first part of the game as the Germans – Matthew in charge of the Heer section and Mike with the SS and Panther – advanced down either side of the road trying to spot the plucky Paras (you have to test to spot people in these rules) waiting to ambush them. In fact I only had one PIAT team in front of my main line of defence which was along the road in front of the buildings and in the churchyard. I did have a go with the mortar as the Germans came round the first bend in the road but all this did was make the German tank commander look for any activity in the church tower and then take out my FOO team with some 75mm fire – dashed unsporting of him.

The battlefield. My advanced ambush PIAT team are in the wood ‘below’ the glider at the bend in the tarmac road. 17pdr is facing up the road from opposite the entrance to the churchyard. Rifle section split between hedges in front of the house and wall of churchyard.

I was hoping that the Jerries would be kind and drive the Panther along the road so that I could have a go with the 17pdr and for a while I thought they would but they swung it of to my right along that road and then round the wood. The infantry advanced with the Heer section going through the wood on the left which caused me to decamp the PIAT team there pulling them out across the dirt road to wait for the Germans to pass so that they could sneak back in behind. The SS were advancing along the road with one team and through the wood on the right with another. I finally opened up on the ones on the road with my Bren team that was on the roof of the house, this didn’t end well for me as I lost that firefight and my lads copped it.

Target front!

As I was worried about the Panther crawling round on the right flank I started to move my other PIAT team across to behind the house to give some AT capability over there. The SS in the woods had advanced to the road and my lads in front of the house now started up a firefight with the Germans but their MG42’s slowly gained the advantage. The Panther then started to add it’s fire to the contest and soon there was no Para’s left along the hedge and the tank started to move forwards to take on the guys along the churchyard wall. These boys were having a far better time of their own firefight which had started with the Heer section which was soon virtually wiped out.

After clearing the Paras from in front of the house the Germans get ready to clear the churchyard.

However the battle then swung round again to my advantage as the PIAT team I had move across to behind the house managed to sneak up to the hedge across from the Panther without being seen (the Germans were firmly focused on the church by now) and got ready to have a pop at the mighty beast. To be honest I was only half convinced that it would work but it was really close range and it was a flank shot so maybe, I had also moved the other PIAT team undetected round to the bend in the road behind the advanced Germans so had at least another shot at the tank. However I didn’t need the extra chance as the PIAT by the hedge earned himself a gong by not only hitting the Panther but brewing it up! (the rules have you roll for where you hit and I managed to hit a weak spot that cooked off the ammo!).

Target, bloody great Hun tank!


The game ended about here and Daren said that it was a winning draw for the Brits as the Germans had failed to take the junction by the church but they had caused some serious casualties. It was a near run thing, if the Panther had managed to get firing on the lads in the churchyard it would have left me with 2 PIAT teams, the mortar team and a 17pdr – maybe ok for taking out the tank but the infantry would be alright.

All in all it was a good game, a little slow at first but once the action started quite good fun with the highlight of the game having to be the taking out of the Panther. All the figures are Daren’s lovely AB’s which are painted fantastically. The Panther was his as well as was the cracking glider model. Here’s the rest of the pics….

Germans start their advance.
Lovely, lovely glider.
Stroll through the woods. Yes they do have eagles on their arms…..
Just before the mortar rounds start to fall.
Plucky defenders of the churchyard. Buildings were Daren’s too, the graveyard is well done.

Vapnartak ’16

Des and I made the journey up to York last Saturday on the train, the plan being to meet fellow SLW’ers Ian and Martin there. After dumping our bags at the hotel (we couldn’t book in until 3) we repaired to the pub where we had agreed to rendezvous with the others. Unfortunately it was closed due to suffering damage in the floods, however, just across the road was a ‘proper’ model shop – planes and military kits and figures down one side, railway stuff down the other and packed full of goodies. I emerged with an Italeri box of PAK-40’s for my Late War German CoC force and could cross them off my shopping list for the weekend, although Des agreed that by buying them on the Saturday it didn’t affect my budget for the show. After a quick rearrangement of meeting place and a quick bite to eat it was off to the racecourse to set up the table for the next day.

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The set up went very smoothly with just a few minor repairs to the lancers to do, in fact the only trouble we had was getting the sodding banner things to stand upright!, and we were done quite quickly. We then had a quick mooch around the venue which I thought was cracking, nice large windows for light (even though it was a miserable day outside) and the multiple levels actually made it a bit more interesting to go round. We had a look at some of the stalls that had already been set up/were being set up and had a chat with the chaps from Early War Miniatures then went back into town. After settling in at the hotel, Des and Martin watching the rugby, me listening to West Ham getting beaten on the radio (arse!) it was off for a couple of beers in a lovely little pub round the corner.

The Sunday was a cracking day weather wise and after some proper brekkie at the Weatherspoons next door to the TraveLodge – do NOT get their breakfast basket thing, complete waste of money, it was actually cheaper to buy a full English in the pub – we were off to the show. It was busy from the off with lots of people milling about when we arrived and so we quickly had a quick squint round the other games on and got the obligatory team photo out of the way before the rush started!

Des, happy in his work!
SLW on tour – left to right: Myself, Des, Ian and Martin. A body of men definitely. Fine, maybe!

The day went really well, there was a lot of interest in the game particularly in the green teddy bear fur that Des used for the mat, which the light coming in from the windows made even more effective, and also the figures too – they are all 20mm plastics with many conversions and some custom made. It was the first time I had taken part in a demo game like this and it was really nice chatting to people about the game and wargaming in general. It was also quite cool seeing young lads asking about the game – some even wondered if it was a Napoleonic battle which was brilliant, good to see that they aren’t all about killer robots/space marines/zombies etc.

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I did get a chance to go round the other games on show but my phone was rapidly running out of battery so I couldn’t take many snaps although my favourites were the Alamo game and the Back of Beyond game which both looked stunning and good fun – every game should have hats for the players I reckon!

I managed to get a few bits and pieces although nothing too exciting: some kit from Warbases to make up some more markers for Chain of Command, some stowage bits and pieces from Early Wars Miniatures, some grey primer and some more Germans from Shell Hole Scenic’s Friend or Foe range – a 50mm Mortar team, a MG42 team and some assault engineers, nice figures which I hadn’t come across before (we were all fans of their Romanians and Hungarians, can see these being bought in the not too distant future). I also managed to pick up the Empire Campaign System in the B&B sale for £4 which was worth it for the map of Saxony alone, however, the bloke selling it to me offered to do a deal on it and I said no as it was a fair price gave him a fiver and he wasn’t going to give me any change – I had to ask him for it! Pilchard.

Overall I had a cracking time, we did get a few surprised comments about us coming up ‘all the way up from London’ for the show but overall we had a good response to the game (one of us did get some stick for being a southerner from a certain trader who shall remain nameless, mind you he was probably trying to divert attention away from where he was from as we were in Yorkshire – hint, hint). It was a really busy show – apparently roughly 1,600 people came through the doors – which was great for the York lads and I’d definitely come again as a punter if possible in the future.

Apart from having the chance to get to the show to ‘get my nerd on’, it was a right pleasure having the chance to  spend a weekend chatting about the joys of the hobby (and footy) with the chaps. Des, Ian and Martin many thanks for a great time and thanks for inviting me along, I’m definitely up for the next trip in 2017!




Club Night 01/02/’16: Chain of Command

I’ve been very lax with updating the blog recently for which I apologise. This has been due to feeling shite due to my medical condition being a bastard, I am switching to some new medication so having a crossover period as one wears off and the other kicks in, which has left me extremely fatigued and fuggy in the brain department which is not conducive for getting this done. However after getting venesected the other day things are a lot better, a good old fashioned remedy of just draining off blood helps no end! When I have been feeling ok I have been painting though so not all wasted time.

Ok, so this week at the club saw both Des and Daren wanting to play another game of Chain of Command so I agreed to umpire again to give them another go at getting their heads round the rules. Again it was a simple attack/defend scenario but this time with Des defending with the Brits and Daren attacking. To make things quicker to set up on the night I rolled for support points and asked the chaps to let me know beforehand what they wanted – this is not how it should be done as I found out from the Lardies forum and might have been a problem as Des spent all his 3 points on minefields and Daren didn’t go for any engineers but a FOO and an extra section. However, I had a cunning plan to get round this! Apologies for the lack of photos again but I was a tad busy with the umpiring.

The field. Germans start to deploy onto the table (‘top’ end). The light coloured fields in front of the farmhouse are minefields. Objective was a junction off photo where this writing is.

Daren started by deploying his chaps on the table quickly, two with the Panzerschreck team on the right and one with the ‘extra’ Green team in the orchard. Des responded by putting a section in the farmhouse with the Bren team on the roof which gave a great field of fire covering the right hand side of the table waiting for the section there to hit the gap in the hedge or enter the field.

Tomkins, targets right!

The Bren opened up and did quite a bit of damage over the next couple of phases, causing major casualties but hardly any shock on one section crossing the gap and pinning them by the time they crossed the hedge into the field even with Daren deploying a smoke grenade to try and get some extra cover. Des also deployed another section onto the hedgeline at the junction where the farm track met the road to further cover Darens advance.

Daren’s section hit the gap just before Tomkins opens up.
Tomkins reduces them to this many after some deadeye shooting! First round to Des.

However, Daren had been activating his FOO at this point and then brought a barrage down on the farmhouse bang on target (with his Royal Artillery background I’d expect nothing less) which pinned the pesky Tomkins and also the section Des had just deployed along the junction. The other benefit of the barrage was that it had a chance to take out the minefield – I got Daren to roll a d6 for each section of mines, blowing them on a 4+ first attempt and going down by one for each subsequent activation.

We now all learnt the power of a barrage as Daren kept rolling to activate each turn, meaning that Des spent his activations rallying off shock whilst, thankfully, only suffering a few casualties (even though they did slowly start to mount). Daren slowly moved the 2 sections in the orchard forward to the edge of the barrage waiting for it to lift as he planned to walk it forwards. Over on the right though his intact section was curiously hesitant and spent a few phases sat in the field, he was wary of Des’ uncommitted section that could deploy on the hedgeline across the open ground to the objective so a stalemate developed. Des was unlucky in not being able to build up a CoC dice quickly and by the time he did Daren had one so even if he did use it to end the turn Daren could keep the barrage going. When he did finally get one together he used it to good effect, springing an ambush with a Bren team on the section sitting in the field causing some mischief.

Daren’s left hand section in the field.

We had to stop shortly afterwards and although it didn’t seem like much happened the chaps really enjoyed the game and we all learnt more about the rules which is the important thing. I feel that maybe Daren could have been a bit more aggressive with his left hand attack but after having one section mauled I could understand his reticence in getting forwards out of cover. Des was canny in keeping his third section off table which kept the threat of where he was entering which added to Daren’s caution, a great result of the tension that JOP’s add to the game. The barrage was really effective too, although as I have found out once it ends there is a chance that you lose it for good, but when you have it and it is active it really does the trick.

Good to see that both Daren and Des are liking the rules as much as Mike and I so looks like there will be much CoC’ing about in the near future!

Here’s some more snaps of the action…..

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Club Night 25/01/16: CoC ‘Training’ game

Last Monday night saw me put on a game at the club for Des and Daren to have a go at Chain of Command, Mike was also having a game with Ian to help him get to grips with the rules too – ‘spreading the Lard’ I believe it is called!

I’m afraid I only took a few photo’s as my time was pretty much taken up with answering questions about the rules, checking rules myself and giving suggestions to both players. The scenario was an attack/defend scenario with Des’ Motor platoon attacking Daren’s PanzerGrenadiers. Des had a Sherman in support and had also plumped for a 3′ Mortar battery, Daren had an extra ‘schreck team and an 81mm mortar FOO.

I had shamelessly lifted the terrain from the game we played the week before but added a couple of standing crop fields for extra cover.

The game went well although we didn’t manage to end a turn and the chaps were picking it up by the end of the night. Des did really well in the patrol phase and managed to get a great close in flanking position for one of his JOP’s. I think that I might have done Daren a disservice in explaining the patrol phase as I didn’t mention that it is there to also prevent your opponent gaining ground and he stopped moving when he secured his own defensive positions. However, one advantage was that the action got going very quickly.

Des started off and deployed a section to take the building under fire and a section in the flanking position. Daren countered by putting a section in the house and one in the wood to cover the flanking manoeuvre. Des actually got the better of the two firefights, I had made his lads Veteran to offset the firepower advantage the Germans had with their two mg teams per section. Over on the flank Des really got going making a successful grenade attack on Daren’s section which caused him to retire due to taking heavy casualties and shock – he did roll particularly bad dice for hit effects every time!

After Des brought his Sherman on and put it on overwatch overlooking the house Daren wisely decided to abandon it and safely got his lads out the back whilst taking some shock from Des’ 2′ mortar, Des was being frustrated in a lack of 1’s to get his 3′ going though (luckily for Daren). Whilst Des was moving his men up towards the house Daren played a CoC dice and sprung a skilful ambush with a LMG team to the rear of Des’ forward section causing a few casualties. Des then finally got the mortars ranged in and had just started the barrage when we had to end things due to time being up.

Even though we didn’t get through a turn we did get through a good number of phases and more importantly both Des and Daren really enjoyed the rules – so much so that they both asked me the next day if I wanted a game the next Monday! The game also caught the interest of some other chaps at the club so we might be spreading the lard even further with a bit of luck.

The battlefield. Germans defending end nearest the camera.
The battlefield. Germans defending end nearest the camera.
Peek-a-boo! Germans decamp from the house.
Peek-a-boo! Germans decamp from the house.


British section goes tactical during advance on the house.
Des’ flanking rifle section.


Vapnartak, York 7th February

I just thought I’d bung up a quicky to let people know that Des, Ian and Martin from the South London Warlords have kindly asked me to assist in be putting on a demo game at this show on Sunday: THE BATTLE OF ARAURE “Largo de los Muertos”- 5th December 1813.

It is a battle from the Wars of Liberation in South America fought in what is now Venezuela and the game will be using 20mm Figures and an adapted version of General de Brigade rules.

So if you are at the show on Sunday, please pop by and say hello. If I can get around to take some photo’s I’ll stick a report up next week when I get back.


Club Night 18/01/16: IABSM Normandy ’44

As you might have gathered if you have been reading this blog, I have been getting heavily into Chain of Command of late and painting up my force, writing up the campaign posts and playing through the campaign games with Mike has taken up a bit of time. Also Football Manager ’16 is out so that is getting a hefty look in too! All this combined has meant that I have been slow in getting this post done, 2 weeks is not on though and I will attempt to return to normal service asap.

Ian was putting this game on and it was a follow on game from the one we played before Christmas (see here:  ). I was in charge of the US Airborne again and had been reinforced with a 57mm AT gun so was expecting to tackle some armour. I had also been informed that the Germans had dug a line of entrenchments when they had controlled the area and that they were still ok to use, which was nice.

The battlefield. I held the side nearest the camera.

The entrenchments ran from the copse on the right (by the rulebook in the photo) to near the road so I placed one platoon in there as a forward line. The other two platoons were placed in the wood by the crossroads and along the hedgeline in front of the building facing towards the Y-junction. My HMG was in the building with the mortar in the ‘garden’. My ATG was placed on my right facing towards the gap between the copse and the Y-junction hoping that any armour would come that way. In case it didn’t I put the Bazooka team in a reserve by the crossroads opposite the building.

Mike and Daren were taking the Germans and they had a force comprising some Fallshirmjager (or maybe Luftwaffe FeldDivision – I can’t remember, sorry) and a platoon of armour. My plan was simple, wait for the Germans to get close and let fly once they get into close range – Mike and I had been playing the first 3 games of the campaign over the weekend and I think I was all gamed out to be honest!

I spot the Jerries as they cross from the road.

I managed to spot a German platoon early as they crossed from the road to the field in front of my entrenchment, although they failed to spot me back. I let this unit creep along the hedge popping some ineffective mortar fire at them until they got close enough and let fly with the guys in the trench.

Pour it on boys! My guys in the trenches let themselves known to the encroaching Germans.

This surprise fusillade did some damage to one section but brought down a heavy weight of return fire and I lost the firefight quite quickly with the surviving members hot footing it along the trench to the safety of the copse on the right. The action then settled down to a gradual German advance with me waiting on overwatch for the time to fire. In fact all I did was to swing my 57mm round to point up the road to cover the crossroads as the armoured support had been spotted and they weren’t coming the way I’d hoped but over on the left.

German armour spotted on the left flank. Lovely Pz III models (PSC I think?).
Watch out, Tigers!

I also decided to withdraw the chaps in the wood to the left as the PzIII’s were headed straight for them and they had an uncovered blind moving along with them too, didn’t fancy taking them on with smelly socks and swearing so thought discretion and all that.

German return fire clears the trenches, and the advance continues.

I think I must’ve got a bit bored waiting for the Germans to get a move on because I opened up on the them in the road with my HMG when they weren’t quite in close range. I failed to do any damage apart from to myself as the Germans let fly in return and the weight of fire put paid to the MG team. My mortar had been plonking rounds on the road troops too but to no real effect.

The panzers and their accompanying blind hit the wood but I had managed to withdraw the lads there across the road and that is when we ran out of time. All in all a nice enjoyable game, and many thanks to Ian for putting it on – even though I had to put up with a bit of stick due to the drubbing I had suffered at the weekend from Mike – so it was nice that I managed to not technically lose this game, I may have lost a few casualties but had slowed the Germans down enough that they had failed to take the crossroads. It might not have ended like that if we had more time mind you!

Also at the club that night was this 7YW game that caught my eye – Alan, Phil and Paul were trying out the new Osprey rules. Very pretty figures as one would expect from the period I believe it was a French vs. Imaginations set up with some very dashing gunners in a lovely claret and light blue combo!

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