Sunday, October 28, 2012

Plataea - the final battle for this campaign season

Good day to all. As you can see by the title, this is the last Tactica game at Mikes house for this campaign season. Due to the weather conditions (it is too cold in Mikes basement) we will not play again until next Spring.
But enough of the bad news and on to the battle!
This game was the battle of Plataea which was fought in 479BC between the Persian Empire and a coalition of Greek city states lead by Sparta. Using the Tactica rule set (as Tactica II still has not been released ), our armies are described below.
Persia - played by Mike and Bill:
16 Heavy Infantry
6 Light Infantry
2 Medium Cavalry

Greece - played by Ken and myself:
11 Heavy Infantry
6 Light Infantry
2 Medium Cavalry

As you can see the Greeks are outnumbered in heavy infantry but this is balanced by the fact that the Persians took casualties on a 4-6 on a six sided die and the Greeks took casualties on a 5-6 on a six sided die. The Persians though did have 2 large 36 man units with 24 archers in each that allowed them to reach out and touch the Greeks long before they were able to close into melee.

Here  is the initial set up. The Persians maintained a symmetrical set up and placed their two large bow units in the center with their light infantry spread evenly across their front.
The Greeks placed the Spartans on the right flank in honor of their reputation and leadership, while all their cavalry covered the left flank.
The Persians needed to destroy 6 of the Greek heavy infantry units to win while the Greeks needed to destroy 8 of the Persian heavy infantry units for them to win.

On turn one the Greeks won the initiative and passed the first move to the Persians who did little except deploy their cavalry on their right flank. The Greeks on the other hand. eager for battle, advanced across the field.

On turn two the Greeks again win the initiative and decide to keep it and take the first move.

Turn three sees the Persians win the initiative and keep the first move. They advance their archers to within range along with the light troops and deliver some very effective missile fire against the Greek center.

On turn four the Greeks win back the initiative and keep the first move to advance into melee with the Persian archers to nullify their galling fire. The Greek cavalry on their left charges their Persian counterparts and engage a what will become a slugging match with almost even exchanges of casualties. The light troops from both side engage in a lively exchange of greetings and missiles.

Turn five finds the Persians with the initiative and they keep the first move. Advancing their cavalry on their left flank the Persians are eager to get at the Spartans but a melee between some determined light infantry on that flank prevents them from getting at the Spartans. Meanwhile the Greeks keep advancing to get into melee with as many Persian units as possible hoping that their stronger units will prevail against the Persians greater numbers. The Greeks in the center have been severely mauled by the Persian archers. This turn the Greek cavalry finally wins the melee on the left flank and is now exposed to the Persian heavy infantry on that flank while being seriously hurt from the preceding melee.

On turn six the Greeks winn the initiative and keep the first move. This turn sees the first loss of units for each side. The Persians loose a large missile unit in the center while the Greeks barely hold their own in the middle also. On the Greek right flank both light units in melee finally succumb to each other and clear the way for the Spartans and the Persian cavalry to contact each other. General melees occur across the front. Third turn also sees two remarkable morale saves by the Greeks that allow them to send two of their opposing Persian units off the board. We also see the loss of the first Greek heavy infantry with many more in very bad shape.

Turn seven and eight have the Persians winning the initiative and retaining it on each turn. Alas, even though the Persians made a remarkable morale check it was not enough to stop the Greeks heavy infantry from inflicting serious losses to the Persian line. With the Greek center penetrated and Persian troops marching to the Greek rear, the Greeks snatched the victory and managed to destroy the eighth Persian heavy infantry unit to win the game.

All the players had a great time and Mike was the gracious host as always (even though he was on the loosing side). Ken as the Spartan General, did a remarkable job of inflicting damage to the Persian  line and managed to turn the Persian left flank putting the Spartans in a position to roll up their line. Both Mike and Bill had some intimidating die rolls that really had the Greeks worried for the entire game.

And again here is the eye candy we all wait for from Mikes units.

Thanks to all who stop in and good gaming.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Barbarossa - Our experiment

Hi all,
Saturday we played out a Flames of War game based on Operation Barbarossa. The game was based in Army North's sector and did not have a specific historic location or units involved. We wanted to see if the Blitzkrieg would work with Flames of War rules.

The forces involved were extensive for Flames of War. On the Soviet side was a full Strelkovy Battalion and an aarmored company in reserve. The Soviets also had sporadic air support for interception only. The Germans had an infantry company, Czech Panzer company and a Medium Panzer company with two sets of priority air support on call.

The Soviets began the game dug in and secretly wrote down what sector their reserves came in, left, right or center. They also rolled to see what turn they would arrive. This could be from turn one to turn four. The Germans were not aware of when or where these reserves would arrive.

Here is the battlefield from the German left, center and right.

The above pictures are as the Soviets are setting up and before any German units are placed. It is a little difficult to see, but the terrain is mostly rolling hills with scattered woods and villages.

Above you can see the entire battlefield as seen from the German left and after the Germans and Russians have deployed.

The next four pictures are from the Soviet perspective and follow the bard from the Soviet right to left.

the German strategy was to use the infantry company to hold the Russians right flank and use the two armoured companies to break through the Russian center or left. The Czech company was placed on the German right flank and the Medium Armoured company was in the center. The German artillery was centrally placed to support all companies with the help of the air support.

Below we see the German first turn where they advance both armour companies with a smoke screen laid down to prevent an anti tank platoon from disturbing the advance. The German infantry digs in on the left.

The Soviets get off some A/T shots and cause minor casualties. Below we can see the effects at the end of turn two. The Germans continue their advance and the Soviets hold onto their initial positions.

On turn three the Russian reserves still have not arrived and the Germans are now engaged in assaulting the Russian positions in the center and on the Russian left. The Czech company is very successful in destroying the Soviet anti tank threat on the German right. They then concentrate on eliminating the Soviet infantry to their front and left.

Below is the situation on the German fourth turn.

In the top two pictures you can see that the Russian infantry has disintegrated before the German assaults. In the third picture you can see German recon and armour exiting the table which is helping to fulfill their victory condition of getting a full company of armour off the table. Looks like a cake walk at this moment.

Then on the Soviet portion of turn four tragedy strikes. The Soviet armoured reserve appears at just the right place at just in the nick of time.

Four KV-1's, 8 T-34's, 10 t-26's and 7 BA-7's arrive right in front of the German's medium tank company. A close range firefight causes tremendous losses to the Germans who then extract payment in part by destroying 3 of the 4 KV-1's with their 88 guns on the hill near the center of their base line.

The T-26 unit was severely mauled by a few Mk IV's and some 34t's. while the T-34's destroy anything in their way. At this point we had been playing for over 5 hours and decided to call the game a German minor victory as they managed to get some mobile units off the table and would, given enough time destroyed the balance of the Russian armour and infantry although at additional casualties.

So how did our little experiment play out? I think that the rules can provide a fair simulation of the events that transpired although it eludes us to find a way to recreate the human factor in a game of this size and scope. As we all know the Soviet armour was far superior to the German equipment yet the Germans were able to accomplish much more with less than their Soviet counterparts. Perhaps the folks at Battlefront will have some rules that can compensate for hindsight when their Barbarossa rules finally come out.
Good gaming!! Greg

Friday, August 17, 2012

Check out this paint job!

Hi all,
Here are some picture of a figure that my oldest son just finished. Nice work by my standards or anyone else's for that matter. But I am prejudiced. So see for yourself.

Note the sword and light on the back of the cape are all freehand. The figure is a warrior priest from Dungeons and Dragons but I do not know the manufacturer.
Ps. The figure is from Reaper Miniatures

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Fort Apache - Ancient Britain

Greetings to all.
Yesterday Mike hosted another ancient game at his house with his fine collection of figures. This time we had an extra added bit, a Roman fort with all the trimmings. Towers, gate, walls and ditch. This wonderful addition to our gaming is available from Atcheson Creations and a nice bit of work it is. I believe that Mike's was painted by the Evil Bob's PAinting Service but will post any corrections if this is incorrect.

So the scenario was an assault on the fort by some riotous and brave Celts from the Isles of Britain. We had 6 gamers plus our host Mike. Bill, Wendel, Phil, Ken, Larry and myself. Larry was destined to leave early so mike would take his place at that point. The rules we used are homegrown and were created for a specific game we ran at a convention many years earlier and used a tremendous number of figures. By my meager memory I believe that game had 1440 Celtic infantry, 96 to 144 Celtic cavalry and over 500 Romans and allies. It was really epic.

But I digress. The sides were Bill, Ken and Phil as the Celts and Wendel, Larry and myself as the Romans. From the beginning the Celts plan was to swamp one section of the fort to gain entrance.

A view of the fabulous Roman fort.

The heavily weighted Celtic Right flank.

Another view of the Celtic Right flank.

So the Celtic hordes begin their assault without wasting any time. Each commander gives his men an inspirational speech to stir them on to victory! This is a die roll and check on a table where the result can increase, decrease or have no effect on the units fighting ans morale. During the initial moves it is not really needed but seemed like fun.
Everyone had very good mobility. The Celts could move 16" per turn and the Romans had internal lines of movement and communication moving about 10" to 20" per turn.
The Romans began the game with missile troops lining the walls and 10 balista in support in the towers and on the walls. The Celts took a heavy beating with the missile fire causing them to reach the walls with some units near the breaking point.

The assault on the Roman Left flank.

 Another view of this attack.

A view of the Roman Right flank showing the Celtic attack meant to tie down Romans from participating in the defense of the Left flank.

After four turns of see saw fights for a foothold on the wall of the Romans left flank, an opening appears on the wall! It was just prior to this point that Larry had to depart and Mike took over for him.

 And the Celts take full advantage of this opportunity to get on the wall and into the fort.

 And now on the next turn another and much greater opportunity presents itself for the Celts. A large section (the entire left side of the fort!) is left without any troops to defend it and the Celts come pouring on to the wall.

Well this looked bad for Rome. but valiant counter attacks and the freeing up of troops from the Right flank, stole this victory from the brave and valiant Celts. A Roman victory and off to the woods for the Celtic warriors to tend to their wounded and fallen companions. Perhaps another day with more warriors and no less determination will carry the day to rid their homeland of the despised invaders.

Here as always, a couple of pictures from Mikes collection.
Romans from Foundry.

Roman cavalry but I did not get the manufacturer.

The Celtic hoard are Old Glory but sorry I do not have a picture to do them justice.

Thanks again to Mike for hosting anther gathering of gamers and letting us play with his wonderful toys. Everyone had a great time and as always the high point is the camaraderie enjoyed by all.