Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Chain of Command - Trial Game

Well we girded up our lions, watched the Lardies instructional YouTube clip on Playing Chain of Command (CoC), scanned the rules and QRS (6 pages!) and had a run through game using the Probe Scenario!

There's not a lot to say on the rules yet but after our next go I think we'll have a good idea of our thoughts on CoC.

For this trial set in 1940 the Poms were on the attack with an infantry platoon beefed up with and extra section, a Mk VI tank and two UCs. The Germans had an infantry platoon and selected an ATR and PAK 36 ATG to boost their defences.

We played one full turn which was terminated by a triple 6.

We ran through the Patrol Phase and because the British rolled well as part of the scenario rules it put the Germans in a tight spot from the beginning basically starting on their edge of their side.

Basic infantry movement and firing and close combat all worked okay (no one tried chucking a grenade though).

Regarding Command Dice the 3's and especially the 4's were interesting as we tried to get our Leaders to use as many of their actions as possible.

No one combined dice at any point because we didn't think of it!

Oh and we never used any of our CoC points even though the British gained 8 as we were so tied up learning the basics.

There was a lot of rules and table referencing but I suspect that will diminish as the rules get used more. I think these hold promise and are an improvement on TW&T (ableit leaders in TW&T maybe are reflected better no sure yet at this stage). We are going to try another game next Fortnight and we will try the Patrol scenario.

A few pictures taken after our session...

The field of battle, from this angle the British were attacking from the left across the fields.

My late war Brits posing as BEF guys sheltering in shell holes...

A German PAK 36 and crew, they spent their time taking pot shots at infantry as the British never deployed their armour (learning the infantry rules were enough to keep us busy!)

The British extra infantry section arrived late and started to flank the Jerry position!

Alan's excellent JOP's which we used for the game...

My el cheapo JOP's...

Our Patrol Phase markers are just painted poker chips with relevant flags, eminently suitable and look the part...they are only used briefly anyway...

We are using poker chips to determine units status, these are the 'key' ones so we know whats what...

....they fit under the figures stands nicely as seen below the section deployed along the hedge have two 'levels' of shock...


Thursday, 31 January 2019

TSOGers Escape from Colditz!

We started the years fortnightly catch-ups with a good feed and a game of Parker Brothers Escape from Colditz!

Picture thanks to Boardgamegeek!

So it was pizza and a sea of dips washed down with ample amounts of amber liquid to start proceedings! Dave left after dinner as he had work to do leaving Al, Stu and myself...

Out came the game and Stu took up the Cudgels as the Germans (black) while Al selected the USA prisoners (blue) and I used the Polish inmates (green)...

Play went on slowly while Al and I gathered gear and planned our escapes, Stu kept the cells of Colditz full arresting our prisoners as often as he could. During play Al's Yank prisoners (blue) changed nationality to British ones (red) as he and Stu were having a hard time distinguishing their pawns!

One of my Poles made a dash over the walls from the safe space near the Guard House only to be shot dead 4 spaces from safety. After that the British got a prisoner to safety outside the walls employing the Canteen tunnel. And then Poles were planning to make a dash to freedom with the Staff Car when our time ran out!

Final Stats;
Colonel Al +1 for carrying out one successful escape
Pulkownik Pete -1 one dead prisoner shot trying to escape
Oberst Stu a transfer to the Russian Front for allowing an escape!

Our game just before the British successfully got a prisoner out!

Good fun was had by all and we'll definitely be revisiting Escape from Colditz in the future!

Friday, 18 January 2019

Home Made Cornfields!

A period picture of Yankee Zouaves emerging from a lush cornfield, Northern Virginia 1861...

Well you can never have enough terrain for your ACW Skirmish games...and I suppose any other theatre of war where corn crops were grown! Anyway to make a short story long I wrote a review for the 61-65 rules for the ACW Gamer, The Ezine and got a copy of it so I could check out my handiwork and in it I noticed on page 16 an article, Planting Corn intrigued I went to page 16 and low and behold there was an article on making your own cornfields. Now these were for 54mm figures and included pumpkins but the corn stalks made out of twistie ties looked good so I decided to give them a go for my 1/56 figures!

From Ebay I order 800 ties for the princely sum of A$4.89. I then followed Mannie Gentile's instructions; I proceeded to twist bundles of 7 and 8 while my partner watched the two Annebelle movies which are far too horrific for me! Later I snipped and sprayed the 'stalks' and attached them to 2mm styrene plastic squares (6cm x 6cm). finally I dry brushed the stalks with a second shade of green and made the bases look a bit earthy...

The finished lot!
Sorry about the picture quality on this post they taken with an old phone...

The first picture without effects...

I didn't document the process its all on the Toy Soldiers Forever blog...but used some off cuts once done to make a baby stalk so you can see the original colour of the ties...

The whole process for making cornfields can be found on Mannie Gentile's Toy Soldiers Forever Blog...
Toy Soldiers Forever Blogspot

And if you're interested the ACW Gamer, The Ezine detatls can be found here...
The ACW Gamer

That's all for this time folks...

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Longstreet 4 Player Campaign Game 3 - Battle of Pebble Mountain

Game 3 of our four player Longstreet Campaign started with Dave and I winning the scouting role and electing to attack, heck we had defended the last two times and even though the Union army had an advantage in numbers that sort of thing never bothers us boys from the South! The two scenarios combined together for our Battle of Pebble Mountain were the Crossroads and the Clear the Tree Line ones...

Colonel Clampett personally directing the Confederate batteries during the Battle of Pebble Mountain...

Here’s our forces...

Alan - Colonel Firefly from Massachusetts (European Service & Artillery Officer &
Friend in the State House & Scout) 44 Bases
5th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry S R 4 Bases
9th Massachusetts Infantry S R 6 Bases
14th Massachusetts Infantry S R 3 Bases
21st Massachusetts Infantry E R 6 Bases
6th Irish Regulars E R 8
7th Venerables Infantry E R 7
4th Boston Light Cavalry S V 56 Bases
2nd US Cavalry E R 3 Bases
4th Battery Light Artillery 1 x 6lbr 1 x Howitzer
7th Auxilary Art Coy 2 x Howitzer

Dave - Colonel Leghorn from Alabama (Scout & Cavalry Officer & Indian Wars) 36 Bases
3rd Alabama Infantry E R 5 Bases + Hero
1st Alabama Infantry S V 6 Bases Old Reliables
14th Alabama Infantry S V 4 Bases
2nd Alabama Infantry E R 5 Bases
4th Alabama Infantry E R 7 Bases
1st Alabama Volunteer Cavalry S R 5 Bases
1st Battalion Alabama Artillery 1 x 6lbr 1 x Howitzer
2nd Battalion Alabama Artillery 2 x 6lbr

Peter - Colonel Clampett from Tennessee (Drillmaster & Artillery Officer & Personal Physician) 42 Bases
14th Tennessee Infantry E R 7 Bases + Hero
7th Tennessee Infantry E R 7 Bases
Walkers Legion E R 7 Bases
1st Colm's Tennessee Bn E V 6
2/22 Tennessee Cavalry S R 4 Bases
2nd Tennessee Cavalry E R 4 Bases
Baxters Artillery Company I Batt  2 x 6lbr 1 x Howitzer
Baxters Artillery Company II Batt 1 x Nap 1 x LR

Stu - Colonel Zook from New York (Political Savvy & Indian Wars) 41 Bases
52nd New York Infantry German Ranger or Sigel Rifles S R 2 Bases
53rd New York Infantry D'Epinuil Zouaves S V 6 Bases + Hero 'old Reliables'
57th New York Infantry National Guard Rifles E R 4 + Hero
66th New York Infantry Governors Guard E R 7 Bases
140th Pennsylvania Infantry S V 6 Bases + Hero
141st Pennsylvania Infantry E R 6 Bases
140th Pennsylvania Infantry E R 6 Bases
2nd New York Volunteer Cavalry S R 2 Bases
Battery B 1st New York Light Artillery 1 x 6lbr 1 x Howitzer

Let the fun begin!

Confederate Colonels Clampett and Leghorn massed their guns on a central hill know as Pebble Mountain by the local populace and pushed forward all their cavalry and infantry in two massed attacks, on the Crossroads area a field was the funnel for the attack and on the tree line area a wood covered their advance.

During the initial turns the Yankees dug in for all their worth as the Rebels coordinated their Units.

Clampett’s men secured the unguarded objective on the crossroads but the Yankee commander, Colonel Zook preempted a perceived Rebel Yell charge with their own charge after deadly fire using the Charge Bayonets card. This gave the Confederates a bloody nose but around the fields they continued to push on with three consecutive charges slowly grinding forward and inflicting losses. On the Rebel far left the boys in blue roughly handled Colm's Tennessee Battalion.

Leghorns cavalry charged the Yankee guns with the Colonel himself at their head and they defeated two Union batteries before retiring to allow the Infantry to advance. The Rebel Yell went up and the Southerners slowly pushed Colonel Firefly’s Union units back with successive charges.

On the Crossroads battlefield with the Confederates of Clampett spent the Yankees went over to the attack but the Rebels hung on while on the Treeline battlefield the Southerners drove the Yankees back to the edge of the battlefield dropping just short of capturing their objective!

At this point the during turn 10 the Federal Armies morale broke as their losses plus the Confederate Victory die roll exceeded their Shatter Point. The Rebels carried the day.

Well we hadn’t played Longstreet Street for a while and made a couple of mistakes with the rules but will be ready next time to ensure these do occur again.

Some pictures! Some are a bit dodgy not sure why and also there are no end of game pictures as we moved straight into the Campaign Phase as we were running late!

The sides line up, CSA to the left and the USA to the right, interestingly the Yankees did not occupy the objective in the Crossroads Game giving up easily to the CSA...

Early in the game on the Rebel right Colonel Leghorn lead his Cavaliers directly at the Union artillery batteries... 

...and successfully charges them causing the casualties and capturing guns. At that point the Union gunners limbered up and retired into the woods! 

Meanwhile Colonel Clampett's Regiments formed up to attack the Union forces around the crossroads...

But Zook's Yankees pre-emptied Clampett and his men fired and charged pushing the Rebels back with casualties! 

In the woods (trees have been removed to allow play just and outline remains) the Yankees were driven back and the Rebs came within a whisker of capturing their objective from superior numbers! 

After their initial repulse Clampett's boys launch a couple of successful charges but shot their bolt and were left hanging in the face of larger Federal Units... 

Confederate reserves on the right watch the lead Regiments advance into the woods... 

The Confederate left flank attacks continued against superior numbers, racking up Epic Points! 

Picture of the Tree Line area on the penultimate turn, the Union troops retain the objective and their cavalry start a run at turning the Rebel flank! 

Picture of the Crossroads area on the penultimate turn, the Union troops are trying to turn the reel flank but crucially in the centre the Confederates retain the objective giving them 2 dice when making victory rolls... 

Battle Summary:

Break Point was 38 Bases

USA 36 Bases

CSA 33 Bases

Game wise it’s now 3 Confederate wins to 0 Union ones but more importantly the Epic Points are currently standing at...

Epic Points:
Alan 5 Campaign Total 16
Dave 7 Campaign Total 20
Pete 5 Campaign Total 14
Stu 5 Campaign Total 10

Campaign Game 4 is going to look different to anything I've seen before the Union Armies have only a single Artillery base! In general during this campaign so far it's been viewed that artillery is not very effective so a few players are shunning cards for it. It'll be up to the Confederates to change that perception in game 4! As per the last game even more units have been whittled down to only a few bases, four now sitting on just two! I suspect they'll see little action next game!

Game 4 will be the first of the 1863 games so the card decks will be balanced and the army sizes will move slightly in favour of the Union.

Friday, 7 December 2018

Blucher AAR - The Battle of Piave

This Blucher AAR is for a game we played dating back to May this year! it covered the Battle of Piave, 8th May 1809 which was fought during the war of the 5th Coalition. It's another scenario from the 'Oldmedrum Wargames Group', these guys scenarios are amongst the best presented I've seen! They can be found here...

The players were unaware of how this battle ran historically so it would be interesting. Both sides have challenges, the Austrians even though having good defensive terrain are out numbered and the French will be slow to deploy as they have to cross a River which is rising. Interestingly the game played out very differently to the original battle but it certainly was entertaining!

Battlefield Map from the Oldmeldrum Wargames Group site.
The Austrians are defending the towns, stream and dike while the French start on the other side of the Piave river along the lower edge...

The Game...

In the opening moves the French pushed their weak left flank forward aggressively, this would prove costly as the cunning Austrians concentrated on these exposed troops punishing them.

Meanwhile the French centre moved forward slowly and engaged in desultory fire/combat with the best of the Austrian forces.

The French left meanwhile split into two columns. The infantry pushed toward the centre and the town of San Michel while the cavalry, led by Grouchy carried out a grand ride around the Austrians left flank and threatened (and captured) crucial town objectives also riding into the rear of the Austrians defending the centre of the line.

The game ended with a French victory but it was bought at great cost as their left was virtually wiped out. These soldiers sacrifice was not in vain as they kept the Austrians  attention locked in that area allowing for their plan to develop and the French right to run rampant to secure them victory!

Some Pictures...
The initial Austrian deployment, the French all come on 'revealed' the 'concealed' Austrians have the advantage of the chance to use reserve Movement to deploy...

The French left surge across the Piave not waiting for the rest of the army...

The Austians around the town of Barco await the French...

The Fench left start the massive task of crossing the Piave, Gouchy's cavalry can already be seen advancing on the town of Cimadolo and the Austrian left flank...

The French left charge the Austrians in and near the town of Barco and get a bloody nose!

The reinforced Austrian right counter charges the French left pushing it back...

Eugene's centre moves slowly forward deploying before the Austrians defending the dyke...

The French left gets hammered and has its back to the Piave, the Austrian cavalry flanks the infantry...

French continue to ford the Piave, the green marker indicates artillery can no longer cross this ford...

The infantry of the French right approach the Austrian defenses...unseen here to the right of the picture Grouchy's cavalry are beginning to fan out behind the Austrian left!

Grouchy's great ride begins!

What is a TSOG Blucher game without a closeup of the Dice Shako! 

Eugene lead the French centre forward against the Austrians defending the dyke pinning them as Grouchy's cavalry ride wantonly behind the Austrian line...

The French left now defeated Austrian hurriedly redeploy to face the French centre and Grouchy...

This picture shows the French cavalry attacking the Austian centre and left while in the foreground the Austrian left accompanied by Archduke John turn to face the rest of the French army...the cavalry base on the town centre left in the picture are French occupying La Mandra

I hope this gives you a good idea of our how game played out, our French replicated history and won, historicallythough the real battle was different with most of the action was in the centre and around the area of the dyke...

I'll write up my last outstanding AAR soon, Scenario 3 from the 61-65 Rule Set!