Wednesday, August 13, 2014

New opponents for my 1940 Germans

Vidal and I met for a pleasant evening of gaming this past weekend in his basement gaming emporium. We pulled out our WWII ruleset of choice, Chain of Command by TFL, and waded into the Attack-Defend scenario in the main rule book. This game saw my trusty 1940 Wermacht platoon pitted against Vidal's new British platoon (admittedly for late war but not so different that we couldn't see past the differences...minor as they are). For support, I chose an extra section of infantry and a Stug III. In retrospect, I could have been more effective with the Pv IVd. They both mount the same gun but the Pz IVd gets six HE dice versus the Stug's three. I find this odd and will bring it up on the TFL forum soon. Vidal chose the the Matilda II (it was the only British vehicle in our collections, aside from two Bren carriers).

Note: Apologies for the lack of photos of Vidal's Brits. My phone died early on and the iPad camera is horrible. Thus most photos of the game were useless.

Overview of the table with small village at the crossroads. These are a mix of MBA buildings and some kit bashing (the three nearest the camera). I'd had these on my painting desk for months, assembly and scratch-building complete, base-coated, and dusty. I finally gave them to Vidal for his collection and he's started slapping paint on them. Win-Win situation! You can also see my new Jump-Off Points, 50mm round bases with various bits of gear etc. Big enough to see but not so obvious as to distract.

My Germans were the attackers and got the hop on the Brits early by gaining three consecutive initiatives (with double 6s). This allowed three sections to deploy into the three buildings immediately around the crossroad. I wouldn't normally think to deploy all three sections of the platoon so early (often best to try and wait for the other side to reveal first). But two things prompted me to go head and make a rush for the buildings with the consecutive initiatives. 1) The buildings were all designated heavy cover and if I could get into them early they could prove to be quite effective stopping blocks to the Brits; 2) I had chosen an extra infantry section as support which I could hold in reserve off-table.

German infantry moving to occupy the central buildings.

Once in the buildings, the Brits were forced to try and outflank the German platoon. Vidal made attempts from both flanks, even capturing one of my Jump-Off Points on the German right flank. The more vigorous attack, however, came from the German left flank. Using smoke from the 2" mortar and fire & movement tactics (as per doctrine), the Brits tried valiantly to turn the flank but were ultimately forced back by a combination of MG34 fire, 50mm mortar attacks, and the Stug III. While it didn't do much damage, it did prove to provide cover for some of the German infantry...and the platoon leader for a while.

German platoon commander and LMG team using the Stug as cover (hiding?).

German infantry waiting for the Brits to emerge from their smokescreen on the left flank.
The British flank attacks were eventually fruitless and after suffering heavy losses, including a couple of section leaders, they withdrew at Force Morale 3. The Germans had been reduced to 5 Force Morale, so not so easy a fight.
And what of the Matilda? Vidal and I spent several consecutive initiatives trading fires between the Matilda and the Stug to no discernible effect. Then our attention was held by more important things on the table. Passing note: does it seem odd that the Matilda's 2pdr (an anti-tank weapon for which no HE ammunition was ever issued) has better HE capability than the 75mm gun in the Stug (admittedly a less-than powerful weapon but intended, as was the vehicle that housed it, especially for infantry support).
A good game overall and we're already planning a 1940 Chain of Command campaign!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Projects Review...and something new

I've recently put my house up for sale and unfortunately this means packing up most of my gaming paraphernalia to prepare for house showings. My desk is the cleanest it's been in living memory.

While my painting and building has been put on hold during the selling & moving process, I haven't been completely idle. While visiting Michael lately in Kingston, we decided on a new mutual project. This was fueled by his new posting to CFB Trenton at the end of August. This will be a four year posting and Trenton is one hour closer to Toronto. Making the trip more frequently for a day's gaming becomes much more feasible. Thus a new project is born for us both to work on. We both have our preferences in gaming. Michael likes the smaller scales and has extensive collections of modern and WWII micro-armour and buckets and buckets of spaceships (see his blog here, though sadly neglected). My preferences generally veer toward horse & musket...but in the larger 28mm field. So a compromise. Napoleonics in 6mm...yes, you read that correctly. I've ordered some Baccus 6mm Napoleonic samples and the package arrived yesterday. Damn! They're small! Painting is definitely going to be a challenge. The last time I painted 6mm armies was for an aborted ECW project with Heroics & Ros figures back in the 80s.

While waiting for these samples to arrive, I started to take a tally of my existing projects. I thought I had downsized over the last few years but apparently I was much mistaken.

28mm Carlist Wars: I have two reasonably sized (and completed) armies of Perry figures. To these I plan to add dribs and drabs as the whims take hold.

28mm WWII: I have completed 1940 German Wermacht and 1940 French platoons (with a multitude of supports and vehicles). In progress are a platoon of 1940 Brits (with some vehicles) and a platoon of 1940 Fallschirmjagers.

28mm ImagiNation: One fairly large army of the Grand Ducy of Gourmandie almost (90%) completed, a Kaiserreich army just begun, and a small army recently purchased from Phil. Of the last I'm not sure of the plans to incorporate into my two armies or keep it as a third distinct entity.

28mm Boxer Rebellion: This project is fully underway (except for the current enforced pause) with tons of figs (many already painted) and terrain currently under construction. I'm not in a hurry to move forward with this project. It's a fun initiative and I'm enjoying taking my time with it.

1:2400 WWI Naval: I have two fully realized fleets (British & German) which are fun to play with occasionally. This is another completed project to which I can add little bits as the interest ebbs and wanes.

1:2400 ImagiNation naval: This is a little used collection (about 20 ships) originally meant to be for Napoelonic naval gaming but converted to be used for ImagiNation campaigning. The ships for each force (Gourmandie & KaiserReich) have sister infantry and cavalry regiments.

28mm Wild West: While not strictly mine (really they're Daniel's), they have resided in my house long enough for the possession is nine tenths of the law rule to take effect.We have a substantial western town to play in, along with a number of gangs, townspeople, Indians and US cavalry (oh, and the stagecoach...can't forget about the stagecoach).

Hmmm, what else? Oh yeah...6mm Napoleonics!