Thursday, 24 April 2014

And now the Gallery ( a rubbish one)....April

I have not managed to get a game in for a few weeks now.  I was away on Holiday at Easter and my planned game of Epic fell through on Monday due to a  mix up (boo!). A real same as I was really looking forward to getting a game of Epic in.

So I have just finished painting my German Platoon for Chain of Command.  They are all from Crusader miniatures. I still need to base them and then get them all varnished, but at least I can get a game in now and not have to borrow someone else toys, or maybe I only need to borrow some for the support elements until I get them painted.

They are a bit of a rush job and certainly the last squad of the four was.  I found them quite frustrating to paint as all the straps, pockets and pouches made them quite "bitty".  I will certainly be glad when I get all the support elements finished.

The other thing is I was suffering a slight case of painting fatigue due to painting them so quickly so the quality is quite variable.

Once again the photos are taken off the cuff and are off a terrible quality. Hopefully we will be moving house this year and will have the space to allow me somewhere to take decent photos of my miniatures.

No game on Monday as I have somewhere else to be. 

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Assault on La Quesnoye

This Monday we kicked of our WW2 Chain of Command campaign, "48 Hours in May."

John has kindly agreed to referee a short campaign with six players. There are three a side and it is set in France in 1940.  

Marco, Pete and myself opted to play the Germans, while Barry, Ian and Allan were the French.

We were going to play a ladder campaign, with a possible three points of Assault. After some discussion we decided to attack at two points, keeping a third platoon in reserve just in case of heavy casualties.

I was given the task of assaulting the small village of La Quesnoye, which was on the German right, next to the main target of La Mahon.  Ian would be commanding the French defenders, and as such was allowed to use the terrain maps provided to set up the board.

The scenario was number 2 from the Chain Reaction rulebook, "The Probe".  The German objective was to get a single section or team into contact with the French table edge, while all the French had to do was stop them. A difficult one for the Germans to win, especially given the time constraints of a Monday night.

I rolled a five for support, which by the time you factored in the bonus the French allowed to even up the forces allowed Ian to choose the almost obligatory Off table mortar and spotter, and a few minefields. The scenario also allowed for him to have a couple of emplacements. I opted for an adjutant, as I wanted to get all my commanders on to the board and not have to worry about whether or not the rest of my troops would deploy without a senior officer behind the lines egging things on.  For the other four points of support I opted for an armoured car.  It was very lightly armoured but had a decent main gun, plus I warned my opponent before hand that I was going to bring one.

The patrol phase kicked off and I managed to get two jump points on the outskirts of the small village on my right flank, while I ended up with one on the left, back in the wood lining my edge of the board. 

Early game I deployed a squad of Germans on my right flank and started to try and get into the town. Ian deployed very quickly and in two phases had virtually his whole force deployed, heavily weighted towards the German right flank. After he had deployed Ian pretty much went to ground as his entire force was deployed in hard cover.  I quickly brought on my 5cm mortar and my armoured car and tried to push up the board.  

There was some exchange of fire, with my single deployed squad starting to come off second best against the weight of French fire against it. I managed to get a second squad deployed nd advanced into one of the central buildings, which put some pressure on the French, basically cutting their forces in two.  I managed to bring the armoured car up the centre and between that and the central squad they inflicted heavy casualties on the French squad that was guarding their right flank, pretty much leaving it wide open.   At this point Ian had finished thumbing through the book tried to find a solution to the armoured car but the best he could managed was to drive it off, so he decided to withdraw before his casualties were too great, leaving the Germans in control of the field. First combat of the campaign and victory to the Germans.

Patrol Phase

Germans start to probe the French defences

The French deploy in numbers to deflect the German probe

The French line is looking pretty strong.
A fairly bloodless game, with only three Germans felled during the game, and 4 French. 

We are both complete novices at Chain of Command and it showed. We both spent a lot of time looking through the book to check rules and make sure we were doing thing correctly. This was my 5th game of Chain of Command, while it was only Ian's third. 

Ian never managed to get a mortar barrage off during the game as he just could not get his spotter into the right position, which was telling.  He also did not bring my anti-tank ability so was on the back foot right from the start.  I also was a bit nervous about the mortar barrage and the effect they could have on the game, so I opted not to take one and see what sort of things could be achieved without relying on it.

The first game I played of Chain of Command John talked about the "four f's."   Find, Fix, Flank and Finish.  It is easy to dismiss this kind of thing while getting buried in the game and all its rules, but I am beginning to realise that it is in fact the key to success.  If you hunker down and not move you will be outmanoeuvred and eventually you will lose. You cannot rely on just your firepower to do the job. 

I also think that having a good range of support options is essential to get the most out of the game. The threat or coming up against some kind of armoured vehicle, even just a small armoured car is enough to make your opponent think carefully about what he takes as support. While I am not advocating taking a Tiger2 at every opportunity it is still a good thing to have the threat.

The fact that this was a campaign also altered the dynamic a lot. Under normal circumstances I am sure Ian would have fought on a lot longer and tried to hold my Germans off until the end of the evening, regardless of casualties, but as he was going to have to use the same force again in the follow to this he decided to give ground and preserve his forces. A pretty good decision in the end.

I really need to get a move on and get my Germans finished, so that I can stop pestering John to borrow his toys. I onyl have ten to do and then I will have the basic Platoon painted. Then I jst need to select what support options I would like to have access to.

So the Germans are off to a good start, and it is up to Marco to repeat the success next week on the road to Fort Mahon.  I am away on Holiday next week so will need to wait until I get back to find out the results.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Getting Near the End

Game Eight of our Mordheim campaign rolled around, with all the usual suspects involved.  This time were trying to capture one of the Dark Lords minions, so that he could be questioned to ascertain the whereabouts of his lair.

We had a pretty dense table set up with lots of ruins littering the table.  The evil minion was deployed in the centre of the board, with his four skeleton bodyguards. We rolled randomly for deployment and I ended up wedged in a corner, with Rory to my right (again) and Ian to my left.  After the last game I decided that I could rely on Ian to be a bit cautious and bide my time to see what people did.

Andy moved straight towards the centre of the table. Ian and Dave advanced cautiously, trying to use their archers for cover. Rory decided to split his warband in two. Half of his force advanced towards the centre of the table, while the other half formed up to keep an eye on my Beastmen. His first shot of the game managed to take one of my warband out of action though. Not a good start!   

On my third turn my Centigor went Frenzied and charged straight into Rory's ogre bodyguard, so basically the whole warband followed in behind.

I managed to do a fair bit of damage, with my Centigor taking out the Ogre with his charge. It was not without casualties though, with another two of my Beastmen going out of action. Still I managed to take out 7 of them in short order, by which time I had lost three of my number.

Elsewhere on the table Andy had taken some casualties to sniping and from fighting the evil minion and his skeletons, while Ian advanced very cautiously towards the centre.  Rory failed his rout test and was out for an early bath.  I circled the action cautiously.  Andy and Dave then got stuck in where Andy's early losses cost him and he eventually decided that his losses were too great and he retreated from the field. Then there were three.  We started circling round each other, with my Beastmen using their superior movement to put the two human warbands close to each other in the hope that they would have a go.  They did and I started to move in to pick off some of Dave's stragglers.

. After a few rounds of fighting Dave decided that his warband had had enough and called it a day, leaving me to face off against Ian's Reiklanders.  I advanced quickly, while Ian managed  a few potshots that hod no effect.  I eventually managed to get in a good charge with my warband and started to inflict a few casualties, but Ian has made his warband quite resilient and I did not do anything like as much damage as I would have liked.  Apparently I did enough though as Ian decided to preserve his warband and fled the field, leaving my beastmen victorious!

To top off the evening I did not suffer any casualties and found a fairly hefty amount of loot. I even managed to capture the Matriarch from Andy's sisters of battle. I had a few options hers, ransom and sacrificing her among them.  Being nasty evil types my Beastmen nicked all her gear and threw her in the cooking pot.  Winning this game has given my Beastmen an advantage in the penultimate game of the campaign, where we search for the entrance to the evil necromancers lair.

All in all a successful game for me, and a disaster for others. I sometimes think that failing your break test as soon as you have to take one can be a blessing as some of the members suffered some pretty horrendous losses from this game.  Two games to go as part of this campaign, and I am really looking forward to seeing what Rory has up his sleeve for the last games of this excellent campaign.

Next week we are kicking of our Chain of Command campaign, with my German Platoon leading the assault on a French defended stroghold in 1940. Looking forward to it.