Saturday, October 29, 2011

Aerodrome - Fight in the skys

Hello to all,
Friday night Bill hosted an Aerodrome game at his house. Bill has acquired over 20 World War I aircraft and enough of the Aerodrome game panels and flight stands to entertain about 16 players. Friday though, we had 9 players and a fantastic time. All the players with the exception of myself were from Mid-America Wargamers. A great bunch of guys who have allowed me to participate in many of their games over the years. As a note, Bill's planes are each works of art. He has spent many hours assembling and painting these 1/72nd scale beauties. All planes have pilots and where appropriate the observer or rear gunner. Beautiful models to play with. He has mounted rare earth magnets on each plane to allow for easy removal from the flight stands for storage.

Our first game was a general melee with the following players.
Central Powers - Tom (DrI), Rob (an Albatross looking plane) and Greg (DrVII)
Allies - Bill (Se5a), Larry (Nieuport 17), Jack (Spad XIII) and myself  (Se5a)

Tom and I paired off and manoeuvred to get a good firing position. We both achieved this at the same time and blazed away at each other. Tom inflicted over 50% damage to my plane and also inflicted a critical hit, engine damage. This restricted the amount of actions I could chose in a turn. My blast caused Tom to take over 50% damage and also inflicted a critical hit on him. He suffered a leaking fuel tank and needed to roll each turn to see if his plane caught fire. Fortunately for Tom, he was able to fly out of the battle zone and head for home without catching fire. I on the other hand decided to head into the general melee that was raging in the center of the board. Even though I was damaged, there was still a chance to nail someone and still survive the fight. All I had to do was get into a good firing position while not getting shot at myself. While I manoeuvred my damaged craft, we lost one of our flier's. Larry in the Neiport was shot to ribbons.
Well I managed to get int a great position to inflict major damage to an opponent but he also did the same to me. We were heading at each other for the famous head on pass! The Aerodrome rules make combat devastating if you are in the right spot at the right time and each of us had achieved this. The amount of damage inflicted to each plane was sufficient to destroy each plane. So Greg and Greg (myself) shot each other down. Shortly after this the last Central Power player (Rob) decided that it was time he escaped the Allied wrath.
All in all I have to give the Central Powers the edge in this battle as the Allies lost two planes and two pilots while the Central Powers lost one plane and only one pilot but did not retain the field of battle.

The second game brought a new element into the game, rear gunners. Up to this point none of us had ever played with two seater planes and Bill had built and painted 3 of these just for that night.

The side changed slightly and we were as follows.
Central Powers - Bill (DrVII), Jack(DrVII, Larry(DrI) and Greg(DrVII)
Allies - Tom(Bristol F2b), Rob(Bristol F2b) and myself (Bristol F2b)

The Allies had a plan to fly in formation to take advantage of the combined firepower of their planes but for some unexplained reason I thought that I could do better if I could get into a position that would allow my rear gunner to have a wide range of targets to choose from. I actually flew out of the fight for a short time and when I got back into the fray Bill had suffered damage and a critical hit, a severed fuel line. This like the punctured fuel tank required that Bill roll each turn to see of he caught fire, and he did.
As I got lined up to try to assist the rest of my flight I was able to take a shot at Bills flaming plane as he tried to land the plane and at least save his pilot from being killed. I added to the damage he had suffered but it made little difference in the long run as Bills pilot was killed on landing.
Back to the main fight and I again manoeuvred into a great firing position, along with two of the Central Powers planes. I was again in that nasty head on pass position with my enemies at different altitudes but each still able to fire at me. I took my best shot between Greg and Larry and inflicted a fair amount of damage but I took an incredible amount of damage form each of my attackers and was left barely holding on. While trying to get out of the line of fire of my previous attackers I managed to get into the line of fire of Jacks DrI and am shot to pieces! Dead again. I should have followed orders and held our formation.
The rest of our flight circled around from each side again trying for a good firing position.
Larry who had suffered fuel tank damage escapes from the battle but does not catch fire. So at this point the sides are even as to planes in the sky but the Allies have the advantage in the number of guns. Greg gets double teamed by Tom and Rob and is shot down while Jack also decides that discretion is the better part of valor and heads for home.
This game was a definite Allied victory as we only lost one plane to the Central Powers three and we retained control of the sky.
Everyone had a good time playing the game and as always the gathering of like minded gamers itself lends to an enjoyable evening.
Thanks again to Bill for hosting the game and many apologies for not bringing my camera to show off his fine work. Perhaps I can include pictures soon.
Good gaming to all.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Last Tactica game for this campaign season.

Hail to all who read this report!
This will be the last Tactica game for a while as poor campaign weather is moving in (Mike's basement is too cold in the winter for gaming and he declines to send his troops to foreign lands). We will still report on other battles from other eras as they occur. Next week I should have a report on a WW1 air game from the skys of Bill's house.

The game we played Saturday was Carthage vs Rome. This has to be one of my favorite anchient face offs. As you may or may not know, in Tactica to defeat you enemy you need to destroy half of his main battleline units. The Carthaginians had 12 main units of heavy infantry. In addition there were 2 units of medium Spanish infantry, 2 units of elephants, 4 units of heavy cavalry, 4 units of light cavalry and 6 units of light infantry. Facing them were the Romans with 16 main units of heavy infantry (smaller in size to the Carthaginians), 4 units of heavy cavalry, 4 units of light cavalry and 7 units of light infantry. In reality the forces were fairly even.

Each side started by deploying their forces as their commanders saw fit. The commanders were as follows:
Carthage - Bill - Supreme Commander and had the Left wing.
                 Wendel - Commander of the Right wing.
                 Jamie - Commander of the center
Rome - Greg (myself) - Supreme Commander and had the center.
             Mike - Commander of the Right wing.
             Ken - Commander of the Left wing.

Thre Roman plan was to hold each flank and drive through the Carthaginian center, turning either left or right to roll up their battleline. The Carthaginian plan was to hold back their center to draw in the Romans while trying to defeat one flank or the other and then roll up the Romans battleline. Carthage used their light troops to support their cavalry while Rome used theirs to inflict casualties from a distance and to act as blocking and delaying forces to hold up the Carthaginian cavalry attacks.

The game started with a general advance by the Romans who wanted to close as soon as possible.

Note the Romans shifting troops to their right to try to take advantage of the thin line of Carthaginians on that side.
Rome was advancing acros the field and eager to get to grips with their enemy as soon as possible. At the same time, Carthage moved up some of their medium infantry to support their cavalry attacks on their right flank.

Roman advance on the Carthaginian left flank.
Once the flanks were engaged, great fights were fought and deeds were done that will be told in barracks around the world for generations to come! Light troops were driven under the hooves of the Carthaginian cavalry but the Roman cavalry, supplied by their allies were more than true to their word today. Seeing only glory and gold in sight they fought tremendous odds and held fast! Mike rolled no less that 4 moral saves for his cavalry needing a 10,11 or 12 each time on two 6 sided dice! The power of Rome was evident today.

Eventually the flank attacks ground down as fewer and fewer troops were left to fight.

On the Roman left flank Ken was dishing our more of the same and first stopping the Carthaginian cavalry in its tracks and then slowly forcing them back. This was no mean feat as Wendel on the Carthaginian right is one of the best cavalry commanders in our games. But today he was cramped into the corner as the troops were too numerous for the field of battle.

This caused the Carthaginian commander to ammend his plan and ordered an advance by the Carthaginian heavy infantry.

Now the heavy fighting was in the Roman right center and a victory here would allow the Romans to roll up the Carthaginians and win the day. The Carthginian's allied Spanish troops were eliminated and the elephants were prevented from breaking through to create havoc behind our lines. But what is this? The Carthaginians heavy infantry, well rested and fresh to the fight started destroying the Warriors of Rome causing gaps to form in thier line.

All across the front Roam units were leaving the field in the face of a determined Carthaginian advance. All the damage caused by Jamie's well lead Spanish medium infantry and the feared elephants was starting to tell as unit after unit disintigrated. No brave stands as the Roman allies had preformed, just shame and disaster. The battle was lost and again the Gods have forsaken me!
Well better luck next time. Maybe next week I will keep from getting shot up as a WW1 pilot.

As always I ave some eye candy from Mike;s great colection.

These are Gripping Beast figures with Aventine chariots in the back ground.

Here is shot of the back. Note the detail work on the capes.

These are the Aventine chariots from the front. Great figures!!!

Another great figure from Aventine.

So there we have it my friends. Another defeat snatched from the jaws of victory. Will this never end!
Coming soon as I mentioned, the WW1 air game from Bill's house and we will be having a Flames of Ear game at my place in November. The British vs the Italians early in the campaign in North Africa. This time I will have a secret weapon, both of my sons will be playing and I certainly can not let them down. besides, their die rolling abilities are legendary in our gaming world.
Good gaming!