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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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!

Club Night 21/03/16: FFT3 Poles vs Soviets

Daren was interested in having a bash at FFT3 so I duly obliged. Daren pinged me a list of what Soviet kit he had and I knocked up a force out of it for him to use whilst I would be using my alt-history Poles. We decided on an encounter battle, chucked some terrain down and diced for which side we would be arriving on and got to it!

Daren had a couple of Regimental sized units with a Recon Btln which were in no way near a ‘real’ TOE but as this was a training game really and it was what we had we made the best of it – lets say it was an ad-hoc force made up of surviving units from an earlier battle sent out to secure an objective on a flank?

1st Regt (BMP):

  • Cmnd BMP-1
  • 120mm Mortar + Truck
  • 1 zsu-23-4
  • 1 brdm/sa-13
  • 1 brdm/AT-5
  • BMP Btln:   3 Inf + BMP-1
  •                        3 Inf/Spigot atgm + BMP-1
  •                        3 inf/SA-14 manpad + BMP-1
  • Tank Btln:   9 T-72
2nd Regt (BTR): exactly same but with BTR-70 and T-62
Recon Btln:  2 Brdm-2
                         4 Pt-76
To face this force I had part of the Armoured Cavalry Division consisting of an Armoured Cavalry Regt and a Tank regt. I also had a Mangusta attack helicopter that might make an appearance.

Armd Regt                           

  • 1 Cmnd 4k-7f apc
  • 1 Striker
  • 1 Blowpipe Manpad team
  • 1 Spartan
  • 1 4k-7f-GrW81 sp81mmM
  • 2 Inf Coys @        1 Inf/Bantam
  •                                 2 Inf (3 ar, rg, lmg, law, maw)
  •                                 3 4k-7f-20 aifv
  • 4 Tank Coys @    3 Vickers mk.3

Armoured Cavalry Regt

  • 1 Cmnd LandRover
  • 1 Striker
  • 1 4k-4fa- GrW81 sp 81mmM
  • Inf Coy  @       1 Inf/Bantam
  •                            2 Inf
  •                            3 4k-4fa
  • 2 Lt Tk Coys  @    3 Scorpion-90
  • 1 Tank Coy @        3 Vickers Mk.3

So the forces were quite evenly balanced with roughly equal amounts of tank stands each and off table artillery but with the Sovs far outweighing the Poles in terms of infantry and with better ATGM in the infantry platoons.

The battlefield from the Polish side. Scorpion-90’s to the fore, Vickers MBT’s head for the wood. Russian Recon units can be seen in the wood on the right and deploying around the manor house.
I won initiative first and lead with the Armoured Cavalry Regt. I barrelled the Scorpion-90’s as far forwards as possible but in position to cover the deployment of the rest of my force. The tank Coy headed for the wooded hill on the right to cover the road and valley to its front whilst the infantry followed them. We were using my command and initiative house rules so I was hoping that I would be able to get the Tank Regt on as soon as possible to push on through and take the battle to the Soviets, if not the Cavalry lads were in for a tough time. Daren decided to beef up his Recon btln by adding a company of T-62’s and BTR infantry and a nice little recon battle ensued with the Poles coming off better once the Vickers came into line.

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Then things swung Daren’s way with him managing to roll up his first reserve unit and decided to bring on the BMP/T-72 Regiment and they came on in usual Soviet style in a menacing looking phalanx of steel. Facing this onslaught was 2 companies of Scorpion-90’s and a Striker platoon. Luckily for me Daren belied his Royal Artillery training and had trouble calling in his artillery during this phase of the game so I didn’t suffer too badly from it, my gunners were doing better and I managed to slow him down a bit with suppression but he soon got his SP atgm BRDM into play and I began to lose a couple of platoons to tank and atgm fire causing the remains of one company to fail its quality check and do the bofski.

However, just when things started to look dodgy I managed to get enough pips on initiative to get my Tanks on the table and they crashed forwards looking to take on the advancing BMP’s ad T-72s. Daren decided to debus his infantry now looking to secure his gains so far as he had taken some hits to his BMP’s from my surviving Scorpions and the Striker. When my tanks got far enough forwards to start engaging the T-72’s we were running out of time so after a few rounds of tank duelling we had to call it a night with us reckoning that with the arrival of Daren’s other regiment we would probably both hold where we were with Daren controlling one junction and me the other, so a good draw was the result.
Polish Tank regiment arrives to save the day.
And again in all its glory.
Daren liked the rules and once we got a few turns in the pace picked up somewhat – I was to blame for most of the delays as I kept forgetting bits and pieces of the rules so we had to do some looking up (and asking Terry). The initial battle between the lighter forces was particularly good I thought it was just a shame we ran out of time before the tank battle really got going – maybe we need to do something on a big game Saturday soon so we have more time.


Club Night 14/03/’16: Assault on Fort Edith Evian, France 1940

Philip had only told me that this game would be ‘something a little different’ and it was. I received a ‘warning order’ informing me on what I had to do and the troops I had to achieve my mission with, but I had to assign my loads, plot my Landing Zones and mark my Glider approaches before we met up at the club. Yes we were doing an airborne assault on a fortified position 1940 style, although it would be in France and not Belgium. The rules were Command Decision and we’d be using Philip’s lovely 10mm kit so the affair was quite an undertaking with a few battalions involved.

The fort I had to tackle was positioned to cover two river crossings, a road bridge to the  north and a rail bridge to the south. It housed a 75mm gun in a retractable cupola that had to be destroyed to allow some panzer types to get across the river. The fort was also home to a couple of anti-tank and machine gun bunkers that also commanded the surrounding area and was wired in, mined along the perimeter and had an infantry garrison too – at least it wasn’t raining! There were some weapons positions in the surrounding area that I had to take care of too, all of these had to be destroyed before the lead elements of the schwerpunkt turned up otherwise the mission would be a complete failure.

Objective: Festung Edith Evian. A tricky problem……..

To accomplish this mission I had the following:

  • Glider Btln:
    • HQ Coy@ 1 HQ, 1 MG, 1 Mortar
    • 2 Inf Coys @ 1 Inf HQ, 2 Inf
    • Pionier Coy @ Eng HQ, 2 Eng
      • The Pionier coy had 3 hollow charges and their HQ could generate smoke once.
  • Para Btln:
    • HQ Coy @ 1 HQ, 1 MG, 2 Eng (with 2 shot flamethrowers)
    • 3 Para Coys @ 1 Para HQ, 2 Paras

I had the option to make up Company teams by cross posting platoons which was useful as I was limited by my lift capability. I had 3 gliders that could take 4 platoons each and each of my JU-52’s could also carry 4 platoons each but I only had 4 per turn available. I decided then to land all the gliders in the first turn and go for an all out assault on the fort from the off, the Para’s would come in in two drops over the next two turns to take out the outlaying positions – choosing to use two drops to try and keep the French guessing and maybe keep any mobile units in place.

The initial glider assault went very nearly to plan, only one of the gliders overshot its target but, of course, it was the one that was aiming directly for the 75mm cupola, however they did land next to a MG bunker and the engineers attacked it straight off however the shaped charge failed to go off, verdammt! The French did manage to take the other occupants of the glider under fire and they were pushed back towards the edge of the fort and took casualties. The other two gliders managed to get their lads out without problem and one started their attack straight away whilst the HQ glider readied for action.

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The glider troops had to reorganise to the south of the fort for the assault on the turret gun which would now have to cross the fort and contend with the alerted French infantry garrison. The northern assault team did manage to get onto the 25mm ATG bunker covering the road crossing that was their target but again their shaped charge failed to go off, things weren’t going very well at all.

However the first para drop was coming in so things might improve, one drop was ok landing safely behind the MG bunker guarding the railway crossing but the other landed smack on top of some French infantry and mortars that were guarding the target gun position of that drop. A terrific fight broke out around this position with the Para’s ultimately coming off worse even though they had a training and morale advantage over the defenders – it all came down to a assault on the surviving mortar platoon who valiantly triumphed over the Para’s wiping out the remainder of the company although they were assisted by a couple of Panhard armoured cars that had turned up. (The dice gods also helped, they were definitely on the Gauloises!)

Tante Ju about to drop some Green Devils into a whole lot of trouble – the hardest mortar teams in the whole French Army!

The next drop for the paras was equally dicey, this time coming in near a 20mm AA gun which caused some casualties during the drop. The scheisse was really hitting the fan now as the cavalry was arriving for the French, literally. A company of horsey types showed up and attacked one of the Para companies straight off keeping them occupied and away from the AA gun that was their target, this fight carried on for the rest of the action centred on the building near the level crossing with the advantage going to and fro.

Up at the fort there was some joy as the glider-types had managed to successfully reach the 75mm turret and placed the last shaped charge, this one actually worked and the gun went up with a mighty boom. The paras that landed near the MG bunker also managed to take it out so at least one of the crossings was open which was lucky as the German Recon unit I was expecting had shown up n the road across the river so they headed for the railway crossing instead of risking crossing whilst the AT bunker was still operational even though the glider boys were still trying to take it out but as they were reduced to using grenades, bad language and obscene hand gestures they were having no joy. Some air support also showed up in the form of a Stuka and that helped in taking out a French infantry position covering the road bridge but that crossing was still definitely closed.

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The remainder of the fight was quite confusing with the French garrison and the Glider assault team reinforced by some flamethrower armed paras fighting back and forth over the fort, whilst the flamethrowers managed to take out the MG bunker covering the railway bridge the AT gun was still intact at the end of the game. Elsewhere the remaining Paras were fighting it out with the French outside the fort, managing to take out the 20mm AA gun eventually with the aid of the Recon Armoured cars when they finally made it over the railway bridge.

So the German’s didn’t manage to completely take out the whole of the fort as they hoped and planned and suffered quite heavy casualties in managing to just about secure one of the crossings but the added weight of the Recon force would have tipped things to my advantage so we just about got away with a winning draw I think.

Many thanks to Philip for putting on an interesting and fun game, which did swing one way then the other all through the evening, in fact I was pretty sure at one stage that there would be no way I’d be able to pull it off. I’d be right up for giving it another game some day.






Still here!

I have not given up on the blog but have just been a bit lax recently – a mixture of a few things. We have had a friend staying with us so for the past 3 weeks so I had lost ‘my’ room (as it is the spare room) and so have been busy entertaining them. I have also been feeling so much better due to my new medication which has given me back enough energy to be more active so just been enjoying doing other things – outside things to boot. I have been still going to the club so have a few posts lined up to get done covering club nights, and will be getting them done over the next few days.