Club Night 25/04/16: CoC, Fight for Collective Farm 287. Take 2.

So after suffering a crushing defeat at the hands of Comrade Andrewski and there being loads of time left we decided to give the game another whirl. We used exactly the same set up as last time only re-rolling for morale. Philip stayed the same at 9 and I, not surprisingly, managed to drop down to 8. JOP’s stayed the same too.

The battlefield looking from the German position. Circular things are shell hole craters.

Philip decided that the old maxim of ‘it aint broken don’t fix it’ was a wise one and after his first roll deployed his first two sections exactly the same as last time, one in the field by the road and one on the flank to the right. I took my first roll and oh boy what a roll, 4 sixes! This game was definitely going to be different than the last one now. Not only did I end the turn thus negating the powerful Russian pre-game barrage I also picked up a CoC dice and kept control of the next phase. I also got to roll for a random event which was that the building nearest the centre of the board caught fire which started to billow out lots of smoke.

Here we go again!
Put that bloody fag out!!

I was just as jammy with my next roll getting a double 6! It seemed like I had used up all my crap dice in the last game so I deployed two sections on the table – one in the centre with the riflemen in the entrenchment and the MG42 outside (counter intuitive I know but that deadeye shooting section worried me and I wanted the most men in cover), and the other covering the right flank – and started shooting up the deployed Russians.

Ah yes, a trench – that might help a bit!

The lads on the right had definitely put more time in on the range and proceeded over the next couple of phases to shoot the Russians over on the flank to pieces, causing quite a few casualties and piling on shock whilst taking out the Junior leader and causing a 2 point loss on the Soviet morale. The surviving members of this section became pinned to boot allowing me to advance slightly however the fight over here fizzled out as the encroaching smoke from the building fire blocked the line of sight. The firefight in the centre wasn’t going as well with the Russians just receiving shock and the odd man out of action whilst the return fire started to whittle down my section – good job they were in cover!

The smoke helps mask the pinned Russki’s on the right.
Not so flash this game are you? No JOP grabbing antics for these boys this time round….

Philip had brought on his T-34 and his light mortar moving the former forwards and cursing the latter’s complete ineptitude to cause any problems at all for my lads, he also brought on his remaining section who spent the rest of the game hiding behind the ruined farm building. I then played my trump card with my FOO popping onto the table and calling in the 81mm mortars, even the whole central Soviet section firing at him didn’t stop him. He shrugged  off a slight wound and bravely carried on with his duty and the central section disappeared from view in a hail of stonky goodness that was bang on target! This barrage not only pinned the ‘sniper club’ section but also took in the platoon leader who was nearby helping to rally off shock from their firefight with my entrenched chaps. The T-34 was also covered by the barrage but it managed to drive through without any problems.

Useless Light Mortar team and reserve section – maybe they found a stash of vodka in the ruins?
T-34 puts in an appearance
Mortar barrage starts, bang on target!

My good luck with the dice continued, building up another CoC dice quite quickly whilst Philip just couldn’t get a 5 (shame!), I also rolled a one virtually every phase which enabled me to keep causing damage with my barrage. Unluckily for me I wasn’t causing as much pain with the mortars as I’d hoped for but unluckily for him the few hits I did make all went on his Junior and Senior leaders which chipped away at his morale every time they got wounded to the point when it got down to 4.

The Russian’s only chance of victory now rested on the T-34 getting amongst my lads and causing carnage. As soon as it cleared the barrage it fired at my FOO who hit the bottom of his shell hole and came through unscathed, carrying on with his duty. The tank then moved forwards some more, either trying to get closer to the FOO or going for my left-hand JOP. We’ll never know though as I used a CoC dice (thanks Dan for the slight reminder there!) and sprung a Panzerschreck shaped ambush catching the tank in the flank and making it go boom! The resulting 2 loss on Philip’s morale meant that the game was up and he decided to withdraw while he still had a reasonable amount of men left.

Surprise, whoosh, bang, clang! T-34 about to kop it.

Again this was a great fun game and I was helped with some seriously lucky dice (I think I got 3 double 6’s as well as the quadruple) which kept the initiative with me for a lot of the game but c’est la guerre as they say! The important thing was that Philip got some more game time in and that he enjoyed it as well. Dan even said that he enjoyed just watching the two games which just shows that they keep things interesting whilst moving along at a good pace. As Philip said both games were on the exact opposite extremes of the luck bell-curve but still two games in one night, what’s not to like about that! Many thanks to Philip for a couple of great games played in a great spirit – I think our smug factors whilst winning our respective battles balanced out nicely – and thanks to Dan for added banter and rules checking for us when we were uncertain about bits.

Honestly if you haven’t tried these rules yet and you like a bit of WW2 skirmish, do yourself a favour and give them a go.

Also, just a little taster of what is happening next week as I join Des, Martin and Ian for some ACW Gettysburg type action!









Club Night 25/04/16: CoC, Fight for Collective Farm 287. Take 1.

I was facing Philip this week who would be taking part in his first solo game of Chain of Command with his new Soviet force of a regular Infantry Platoon. He was attacking in an attack/defend scenario and I was facing him with a regular Heer platoon. We did the usual thing of getting the table set up and then dicing for which side the attacker came in from which resulted in Philip attacking along the table.

Philip rolled well for his support points and with his 3 extra points managed to get 12 so he went for a T-34/76, a pre-game barrage, a Commisar and an extra LMG team (we sort of fudged the points for the last two as we couldn’t find out what the commissar was supposed to be for so were treating him like an adjutant and he didn’t have a HMG but did have a spare lmg team). This gave me a respectable 6 points which I spent on an Adjutant (obviously), a 81mm FOO and an entrenchment for a team (more on this later). We both rolled up 9 morale points and then got going with the patrol phase. Comrade Andrewski started off with 4 free moves and advanced his markers on a broad front but getting along the table well. I didn’t have the best patrol phase and was not entirely happy with with my JOP’s. However this had no bearing on the game that followed as it turned out.

The battlefield looking from the German position. Circular things are shell hole craters.

Philip started off by deploying a section into the field to the left of the haystacks who went tactical straight away. He then put another section by the JOP on the table edge on the far right of the table on the other side of the haystacks. I did get a double 6 throw next but decided to wait to deploy my lads, not wanting to draw fire too quickly – this mistake probably cost me the game as I had forgotten that Philip had the pre-game barrage and I should have tried to get troops on as quickly as possible. Philip’s lads over on the edge of the table then started to move up heading for my JOP on my right flank. To counter this I tried to get a section and my FOO out but was prevented by the hellish Russian barrage (and my inability to finish off my CoC dice to end the turn!). Just to rub it in the T-34 turned up as well and the Senior Leader.

Philip’s lads charge forward for Mother Russia as Stavka-hand deploys their illustrious leader.
I learnt to REALLY hate these guys. Tanky gets on board too.

I eventually managed to get one section on the table, which was just as well as the advancing chaps were really close now having made it out of the field and hence controlling my right hand JOP. I managed to get a pretty crap volley off as soon as I deployed which managed to slightly annoy the Soviets milling about near my JOP then I suffered from some of the deadliest shooting that I have ever witnessed.

A section manages to get through the deadly Russian barrage only to suffer from equally deadly rifle fire.
I do manage to worry the Sovs slightly with some return fire.

The Russians in the field let loose and piled the hits on, with the hits from the advanced section as well, I started to suffer quite a bit of shock (5) and a couple of casualties. I managed to give a half-arsed reply in my next go but Philip then got a double 6 allowing the crack shot section in the field and the advanced section to pour on some amazingly deadly fire on my section leaving me with 1 man and the junior leader standing. With 7 shock also accrued it was no surprise that they got on their toes and legged it straight off the table!

Romeo Lima Foxtrot!! My lads head west pretty sharpish.

Philip then took the JOP on the right and ended the turn, my morale at this point was down to 4 and with his T-34 about to run over my JOP on the left I decided that there was no use carrying on and conceded – to much mirth and merriment from Philip and the watching Dan! An absolutely fantastic feat of arms by the Russki’s forcing me to retire whilst suffering about one casualty – a mixture of the barrage and some truly magnificent small arms fire did for me, oh and forgetting that I had an entrenchment for a team might have contributed too as it would have definitely cut down the casualties somewhat!

Just being unfair, the T-34 threatens another JOP.
Some brave sons of mother Russia liberate a shell hole from the tyranny of a fascist JOP.
Gits. The lot of them. The best shots in the whole Red Army.

As we had only been playing for about an hour we decided to go again – exactly the same set up as last time with same supports – but would the result be the same …….



Aaaargh, modelling!

I remembered yesterday why I really embraced 6mm wargaming when I discovered it back in the 80’s – you didn’t have to make the bleeding models, they come ready to go.

I thought I’d spend the afternoon putting together a couple of kits for my Chain of Command Germans as I need a choice of PAK guns for a game I’ve got against Philip and his Soviet hordes on Monday (and thought I might have a bash at the lovely PSC Panther I have as well just in case!). Even with the easy build models of today I still managed to get most of the glue on my fingers and could I get the bloody gunshield of the PAK38 to sit right , could I buggery. That’s when I remembered why I stopped making them all those years ago, my dad was right, I am the most cack-handed sod in the world. To make matters worse I then completely cocked up the paintjob on the PAK 40 so will have to make another one today! Complete and utter incompetent arse!!

At least I stopped before tackling the Panther but I’ll have a go a that today, it must just be the small fiddly ones I have problems with as the PSC Panzer IV and Sdkfz 250 I made came out ok. Thank god you don’t need much for CoC.


Club Night 18/04/16: CoC, Probe at les Deux Maisons

Des and I decided at Salute that it was high time we had a game of Chain of Command against each other. We were just going to throw down some terrain, roll up a scenario from the rulebook and see what came up and that is just what we did, and it was a mightily good game.

We got the terrain sorted and rolled for the scenario actually rolling up ‘Patrol’ we did fudge it a wee bit and went for the ‘Probe’ instead. Des was attacking with his British platoon and I’d be defending with a German Infantry platoon. He managed to roll up a mighty 1 support point leaving me with nothing and as none of the kit he brought with him was under 3 points it was going to be a pure platoon action. Morale rolled was 9 for both sides so this was going to be a really interesting study in the capabilities of the two different platoons.

The battlefield just before kick off. Des’ patrol markers are just visible behind the wood on the right (and where they’d all eventually end up!)

Des rolled well for his free moves in the patrol phase getting 4 which I was slightly worried about as it might get him right across the table and make the game very short indeed. However I managed to block his thrust down the right of the table and got a patrol marker out on the left effectively outflanking his markers. This led to a weird outcome after the ‘dances with sticks’ phase that resulted in all of his JOP’s being located in a single wood (oh for a 81mm FOO!).

So, patrol phase complete we got to it. Des started by bringing on a section and his 2′ mortar which started to pop smoke in front of my flanking JOP. I decided to delay putting any of my lads on until I had an idea of what he was up to so the first couple of phases just saw Des getting his remaining two sections on along with his Rupert. I then brought on two sections at the two JOP’s behind the house – one heading for the house itself and one going towards the right along the hedge. Des was still laying smoke in front of the flank JOP and had started to shift 2 sections in that direction, one going towards the wood to flank it and one headed straight for it, his remaining section was on overwatch facing the house I was headed for.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The section that Des had moved along a hedge towards my exposed JOP had just gotten close to the edge of the field they were skirting nicely covered by the smoke from the mortars when I rolled up enough 5’s to get the CoC dice I needed to end the turn and clear the smoke. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get a couple of 6’s to regain the phase and so the section I deployed in the field to defend my JOP only got to fire once after deploying, but I had a MG42 so it is bound to hurt the Brits right – not if you only cause 1 shock it doesn’t, bollocks! Des’ return fire was quite a bit better causing shock on both teams. He had also managed to get his other section through the wood and into a flanking position so the next turn of firing from him caused some more shock and a casualty. I did manage to get some payback on the section to my front causing a couple of casualties and lightly wounding their Corporal and forcing them to take cover in the wood. After deploying my platoon leader nearby to help rally off the shock accrued in this quick fight I decided to pull back into the field and out of line of sight but still defending the JOP as I was worried about Des’ flanking section – indeed Des did deliberate for quite a while whether to assault me with these two sections so I had to get ready in case he did.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Over on the other side of the field I had managed to get one section into the house and the other along the hedge by the road. I was hoping to go on the counter here – using the MG42 from the house to keep the Brits busy whilst the remaining team and other section did some fire and manoeuvre stuff to get amongst the British section and hopefully get into the wood containing all of their JOP’s. My confidence went up slightly when Des’ overwatch fire did no damage on my MG when it hit the window and my return fire caused a few shock hits and a casualty. The next phase though soon put the kibosh on my happiness when some well aimed return fire took out the MG42 and also lightly wounded the section leader – he was downstairs at the time too so must have been hit by some falling ceiling! Des then shuffled the section across to cover his exposed left flank where I had moved my section up across the road and a lively firefight broke out resulting in a bit of shock for both sections and another wounded section leader for the Brits.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The action on the left had died down now as Des had finally decided not to charge into the field and that it would probably be best to just try and swing the outflanking section all the way round my left flank and to run them off the table to complete his mission. I did hold my section in the field for a couple of phases until but decided to fall back trying to stay level with the outflanking section – he could have the JOP really as my morale was holding up quite well.

Over on the right I had decided on a rash plan. The moving of Des’ remaining section to engage my right flank section left a huge gap that was only inhabited by his Lieutenant so with their blood up after having their MG crew hit, the section in the house went for it and charged across the road and into the field. It didn’t end well. The Brits ran back to the hedge and poured in another accurate volley which piled in shock, took out a couple of lads and wounded the JL again putting him out of the game. The survivors then had to suffer another fusillade which caused them to break.

Right lads up and at ’em
Oh dear, that didn’t go well.

About the same time as this was happening the flanking section had managed to get across the road (good use of a double 6 by Des) and with that I decided to pull my chaps out. they had delayed the Tommies for long enough. I had managed to wound 2 of their corporals and caused a couple of other casualties whilst suffering 5 casualties myself, one of which was a section leader.

All in all it was a great game. One of the beauties of Chain of Command is that you can have a game where there are not many casualties and it seems as if not much has happened action wise but it can still be a tense gaming experience where you have to really think about what you do every turn. One wrong decision or some piece of luck can win or lose you the game and it is down to how well you handle such things with sometimes limited command that is the real test: Des agonised over whether to assault my lads in the field and wisely decided against it, I foolishly advanced out of the house after losing my MG42 to some particularly jammy shooting which was a huge mistake. Having said that I thought Des played a blinder in securing the win after a not so great patrol phase for him, cap doffed sir.

We both had a great time playing the game and it was actually really good not having anything else on the table apart from a core platoon each. Des got to get another game under his belt and after talking about the benefits of games being in a campaign setting we kicked a few ideas around and agreed we’d have a think about what to do, so watch this space for news on that.

There was some more CoC action going on behind us last night too (what?) with Dan and Mike’s Poles taking on Daren’s Germans in an early war game – it looked very bloody with the huge Polish sections taking ages for Daren to break even with a bunch of PzII’s and their TKS tankettes seemed to be causing a right nuisance too. All the kit being used was Mike’s and it was really nice – everyone loves a tankette don’t we?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.






Salute again!

So my first Salute as a member of the Warlords is done and it was strangely better as going there last year as a lonely punter – even with the ridiculous early start and working for some of the day.

I got there about 6:45 and the first thing that struck me when entering the main hall was just how big it is – so much easier to tell when there’s hardly anyone around and not all the traders are in yet. I was helping out on the door and it was actually good fun, even schlepping the boxes of goody bags had its good point – when you dropped them on the floor it made a magnificent sound with the amazing echo that the empty queuing hall produced, just like gunfire! As for getting everyone into the event and into the queue I felt that it went very well and it is nice that a lot of posts online have mentioned that this was a big improvement on previous years – hats off to Bernie and Philip who were in charge of that bit of the show.

So after my shift and a quick bite I met up with Des to have a mooch about and to get some bits from the traders plus to have a good butchers at the games. I thought in general the show was good, a bit too much sci-fi and fantasy for my tastes and I could really do without the people doing fancy dress. It seems as if steampunk means wearing goggles on your top hat, if so does that mean Porta from the Sven Hassel books invented it? I did like the two French Napoleonic re-enactors though but a note to the couple walking about in WW2 uniform: if you are going to go through that much trouble, maybe get a proper period pram to but the baby in, it did look even more silly pushing around a brand new Maclaren baby chair!

Anyway, slight rantette over, so what swag did I get?

How much! GHQ ‘Third World’ infantry and support weapons. Great figures but £8-odd each pack!
Nice little bundle that Des persuaded me to buy.
Can’t have a WW2 British platoon without one of these.

The price of the GHQ kit came as a bit of a shock and to be honest I didn’t take that much persuading by Des to go for the halftracks, it is good for the hobby to spread the business around the different manufacturers aint it!

Well onto the games next. On the whole I thought that the standard of  most of the games was really good, especially those at the back of the hall. There were some crackers about though my favourites was the 7YW one put on by Bill Gaskin, a guy taking photos next to me said that he didn’t know what to take a shot of next and he was right. It was perhaps the most stunning game I’ve ever seen, from the animation of the figures to the buildings everything was just beautiful – honestly I wouldn’t go out ever if that’s what I had at home to play with! The following photo’s won’t do it justice at all.

Next in preference was the Winter War game put on by the nice chaps from the Loughton Strike Force, not only was the game a beauty but the info stand was really cool too (pilchard me forgot to snap it though).

Another corking looking game was the Siege of Bristol ECW one put on by the Crewe and Nantwich club – again stunning figures and absolutely marvellous terrain.

I did also really like this – the game it was by wasn’t that impressive to be honest but I thought this was a nice touch and made me laugh – game was Garibaldi’s men taking Palermo from the Bourbons.


And lastly a collection of photo’s of the other games that caught my eye: Dave Brown having a bash 25mm ACW style, a cracking looking Viking game played by real Scandinavian types and a lovely looking Napoleonic Peninsula one.



Club Night 04/04/16: FFT3 WW2, German vs US

After the previous bash at FFT Daren was keen to have another go and I was more than happy to oblige even more so when he said about using his 15mm WW2 kit. So we sorted out a couple of rough orbats and met up at the club where we decided that we would try dropping the scale to a 1:1 vehicle and each infantry base was a section. We doubled all ranges, artillery templates and movement and everything seemed to work just fine although we did agree at the end that we maybe needed to tweak a couple of things.

I had a roughly battalion sized Kampfgruppe with the following units:

  • 2 Infantry Coys each @
    • 2 pltns @ 2 sections
    • 1 HMG
    • 1 PAK40
  • 1 Pz platoon @ 2 Panthers
  • 2 Pz platoons, 1 @ 2 & 1 @ 3 PzIVH

I was facing quite a strong attacking force of:

  • 2 Para Infantry Coys each @
    • 3 pltns @ 3 infantry and 1 bazooka sections
    • 1 Weapons platoon (MG & lt mortar)
  • 2 Infantry Coys each @ (1 carried in M3’s 1 in Trucks)
    • 3 pltns @ 3 sections
  • 1 Tank pltn @ 3 Shermans
  • 1 TD pltn @ 3 M10’s
  • 1 Recon Pltn @
    • 4 jeeps with MG/HMG
    • 1 M8 Greyhound
    • 1 infantry section & M3
Battlefield from the German lines. I basically set up a line along the road. All buildings are Daren’s and are right gems!

I decided to defend in a line corresponding to the lateral road, spreading the infantry out and hoping to roll up enough initiative to get the panzers on the table when I needed them, risky but it kept them away from danger and might be a nice surprise. I placed one platoon of infantry along the road to the left of the farm which was held by another platoon with a HMG and a PAK40 – which was positioned to cover the road from the farmyard. The centre of the line from the junction to the ruined house was held by another infantry platoon with  the other HMG in the house. The right flank had the other PAK40 positioned where the ‘bendy’ road met the lateral road with the last infantry platoon covering the far right flank along the road.

The ball started with Daren pushing a recon platoon of jeeps down the road past the church looking to draw my fire and reveal my positions. On the right the Greyhound was sent down the road looking for trouble followed by the Shermans and the armoured infantry in M3’s the Paras advanced on the left supported by the Wolverines, however this attack would take time to develop due to the Paras being on foot.

When the Jeeps got too close for comfort I had to open up on them with the infantry posted by the junction, as they would have been spotted anyway, which resulted in one jeep getting brewed up and the complete destruction of the infantry platoon when the return fire took out the section that fired and caused the other section to fail its quality check and promptly leg it! I now had a quite large whole in the centre of my line so elected to take out the remaining jeeps with my PAK40 in the farmyard – extreme yes but they would have been right up close in the next move anyway. Daren duly started concentrating artillery on the farm to neutralise the gun, keeping it supressed for most of the game.

Daren’s lovely jeep models start to brew up.

Over on the right the PAK40 managed to take out the Greyhound but also gave away its position and I managed to get my PzIV platoon on the table and they stared duelling with the Sherman’s, who had deployed off the road followed by the infantry as soon as the M8 got hit, coming off worse by losing one KO’d and one who realised that they needed to find a repair shop very quickly! Luckily the remaining crew were proper hard cases and stuck to it for the rest of the game pinging away at the yanks without much success bar the odd suppression on the tanks. The PAK40 here also got in on the act, taking out a halftrack before getting zapped by the M4’s. The armoured infantry did manage to reach the road where they entered into a viscous fight with the defending landsers there who managed to see them off whilst brewing up a halftrack to boot.

PzIV holds the right of the line.
Lovely, lovely PAK40 about to go Greyhound hunting!
American view…

Over on the left Daren had finally got the Paras up to the road despite the best efforts of the German artillery and put in a assault on the infantry holding that flank which in typical FFT style was very bloody, he managed to wipe out the German platoon but his attackers were fought to a standstill with only 1 section left in the attacking platoon who would have legged it if they weren’t Paras and thus veterans. His tank destroyers then took out the PAK40 in the farmyard and looked ready to roll up the line when my second PzIV platoon showed up behind the farm and a duel started between them which although inconclusive probably saved the day by stalling the M10’s.

Assault on the left flank goes in. Looks like it is all over for the Germans!
Close up of the Yank assault. That German section gave a good account of itself before its demise.

In the centre the truck borne infantry had skirted the wood in front of the ruined house and I opened up on them with my, surprisingly left alone, MG42 which made them head for the cover of the woods where they stayed for the rest of the battle. I then brought on the 2 Panthers I had left and they got stuck into the Shermans on the right straight away reducing them to burning messes in short order.

Time was against us however and we had to stop, we reckoned I would have withdrawn under cover of the panzers but I had given the Americans a bit of a bloody nose. I think we will definitely have another go at FFT at 1:1, especially for WW2, the scale of the game and the figure scale just went together really well – slight tinker with the artillery maybe but apart from that it was all good.

Thanks again to Daren for the game, a true gent as usual and a pleasure to play against. Here’s some pictures of his lovely kit that we used for this game (he also did all the buildings) – all 15mm Battlefront/Flames of War I believe.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.





Salute 2016

I’ll be going to Salute tomorrow for only the second time ever. Last year I went and reconnected with the South London Warlords and am mightily pleased I did so as I’ve had a great year really getting back into wargaming properly, I’ve played in some great games, painted quite a bit of stuff and made some good friends along the way too.

This year I am working on the early shift – up at 5 and out the door by 6! – which is good as I can get to have a look around after I finish around 11, and I have arranged to meet up with someone as well. I am also tentatively thinking about popping along to the bloggers meet up but might wait until next year for that.

I have decided that I am going to be good and not get too much stuff, only if it finishes off a couple of projects that need a few bits to finish them. To this end I was hoping to get some bits and pieces from H&R to finish off my alt-history Poles but they won’t be there now which is a bit of a bummer. I do need to get some 20mm WW2 Brits to complete a platoon for Chain of Command so might be paying a visit to Capitan Games or SHQ whilst PSC will definitely be hit for some goodies – got to get a Bren Carrier and a 6pdr at least! One thing I must stay away from is ancients, I have got a real bad urge to get a 15mm Pontic Army which is getting really bad – blame lies firmly with Rome: Total War which I’ve been playing a bit too much of lately!

Games wise I am looking forwards to the ‘Tyros Keller’ Cold War game and will probably find a few others that take my fancy too. One I must mention is the Gun Run (from the Royal Tournament) game being put on by some of the chaps from the club. It will be a great hit I reckon, really ingenious and looks absolutely fantastic to boot.

I just have to remember to charge the phone up for some pics!