Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Round 4 in the Underhive

Round 4 of our Necromunda campaign and four of us turned up:

Me with my Cawdor
Rory with his Redemptionists
Andy with his squats
Dave with his Goliath Mob.

We rolled for random deployment again and I ended up deployed between Andy and Rory, with Dave on the opposite table edge.  Andy got the first turn, with me second, then Rory and Dave going last.

Boxed in.
Andy had his first go and using vents deployed two of his gang on top of a nearby building, granting him an excellent field of fire over my position.  In my turn my gang all ran for cover, either trying to stay out of site to looking for good firing positions.  Rory opted to go for a headlong charge towards me, while Dave started to send his mob towards Andy's gang.  
Under fire right from the start!

Turn two and when it rolled round to Andy his two advance gangers opened fire, putting one of my men out of action and pinning the other. Not a good start!  In my turn I returned fire with little success, while also trying to take out a few of the approaching Redemptionists, but to no avail.  Rory continued his advance, with a few shots pinning some of my gang members, while Dave swarmed toward Andy.   

Andy hastily redeployed to meet the approaching Goliaths, thankfully leaving me in peace as I had enough to deal with.  I tried to thin out the redemptionist numbers but could only manage a measly two downed from the heavy flamer, with everything else missing.  Rory's return fire was decisive, with three of my gang going down to their return fire, which combined with earlier casualties left me a bit short of men.

They're coming!
Across the other side of the board Dave had got stuck into Andy's squats and downed a fair few. Enough to force a bottle test on Andy, which he duly failed leaving three on the board.  I was right behind him as my casualties were starting to mount so I decided to call it a night there and cut my losses, leaving Dave and Rory to fight for the spoils.   Dave resorted to a bull rush on Rory, which worked quite well as Rory decided he had had enough as well, leaving Dave the victor!

Another short game (very short for me and Andy) and to make matters worse I lost my Heavy with the heavy flamer who succumbed to his wounds.

There was some post game discussion and there was a certain amount of dissatisfaction with the games.  In the end we came to the conclusion that the table was not large enough to allow for much in the way of movement. In three of the four games so far I had barely managed to get of my baseline, with vents and tunnels also proving invaluable as it let you deploy quite forward and create a buffer for you to move into.  Also most of the scenarios are designed for 2 players and cannot really be played with any more than that but there does not seem to be an easy solution to that as part of the attraction of these games is the social aspect and they would be lost if we went to two player games only. 

Next campaign game we are going to try a bigger table to see if that helps any, but my gang is starting to really suffer so I don't think that I am much of a contender any more in the campaign.  I will keep at it though and see how it goes!  

Apologies for the terrible photos this week (they are always terrible I know but these ones are worse than usual), as I pretty much forgot to take very many. 

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

All Good Things...

Monday saw the conclusion of our Chain of Command campaign, "48 Hours in May", with the German assault on the French town of Mont Lambert.  I was joined by Andy and Alistair, while lined against us were Ian, Allan and Barry. 

We had decided to do the final assault as a Big Chain of Command game, with the remains of the six platoons involved in the campaign all on the table at once, plus any support.  The scenario was to be the Flank Attack from the main rulebook.

My Platoon had managed to get off rather lightly so far, with only a few casualties, whereas everyone else was down a squad or so.  The support totals worked out at 20 for us, and about 15 for the French.

The view down the table from eth German flank attack. French would deply on the left.

Another view down the table.

View from the German centre, oppoing the French.
After a quick look at the terrain we opted to separate the table into three separate quadrants, each with its own particular needs in terms of support. The western platoon would have to assault the village so we assigned a flamethrower squad, perfect for clearing buildings. The flank attack would have to cover the most ground so was assigned am armoured car and a heavy machine gun team, along with emplacement. The central platoon would have decent lines of site at the French position and so had a spotter for an off table mortar attached.  In addition to this we selected a minefield to help block the road for any French tanks, an adjutant to allow to deploy our senior commanders quickly to maximise command and a pre game barrage to disrupt the French deployment. In the end Andy took the right, I took the centre and Alistair took the flank attack.  Our plan was to close down the French positions and limit their movement, thus limiting their firepower and bunching them up for a good mortar barrage.

The patrol phase went very well, with us able to prevent the French from getting any jump off points in the village, giving us some breathing space for advancement.  We also mange to get some very good overlapping fields of fire on the French left flank which would prove a decisive factor later on in the game.

The scenario allowed the Germans to start and we our centre and flank deployed troops cautiously 
Early deployment and getting into position.

The pre game barrage really made a mess of the French early game deployment, with hardly any troops getting onto the table. The allowed Andy to run a German squad right up the table and shut down one of the French jump off points before it had even been used.  On our flank the Germans advance was stalled by the appearance of a single French squad in a cornfield, but this quickly turned into a one sided affair when the Germans started to bring their numbers and firepower to bare.
On the German right Andy had consolidated into the village, covering off all the French advances and trapping them behind a barn on the opposite side of the road.  In the centre I continued my advance, acting as an anchor to the flank attack and threatening a crossfire if any French decided to deploy against our flank attack.  
Mid game and our armoured car turned up!  Then got destroyed by a sneakily deployed anti tank gun, which was itself then destroyed by combined fire from the German centre and flank. Alistair managed to quickly overwhelm the French left, pushing them back towards the centre of the board, while Andy and I forced them to bunch up in a small area behind some hedges.  
As soon as they were suitably bunched up I started to call in my mortar barrage, which managed to cover most of the French centre.  At thus point we were running short on time, so we stopped to take stock of the game.  One French Platoon was pretty much broken, another was trapped under a mortar barrage, and a third was trying its best to break out of confinement across some open ground. The German casualties were minimal, with a strong position from which to assault the French, or sit back and let the mortars do their job.  The GM decided to call it in favour of the Germans, although we did not actually finish the game.   
French forces unsure of what to do.

The German flank attack gathers momentum.

Nicely bunched up ready fro the mortar barrage.

A very satisfying end to the campaign (from the German point of view anyway!), with another very interesting game.  I think our success during the patrol phase went a long way to putting the French on the back foot, and also the pre game barrage proved very valuable. Alistair did a large portion of the German heavy lifting, getting right in the teeth of the firefight, but he was up to the job as he was ably supported by an armoured car and a heavy machine gun.  Andy lucked out quite early and thanks to closing a French Jump Off point very early in the game did not have too hard a time of it.  My Germans in the centre did not really have that much to do. I provided the threat of flanking fire to any French that deployed to close to our flank attack and kept the French bottled up in the middle of the board.  As for the French they were very unlucky as the pre-game barrage really made a mess of their plans, but they came out and gave it a god go, especially Ian who was hampered by some terrible deployment options and some even worse dice rolling!

All in all a great campaign, well run by John and with everyone getting into the spirit of things.  A good narrative campaign makes all the difference to a game, with the consequences of success or failure in having a direct impact on locations and future assaults/defences. That added an extra level of interest and challenge to the outcomes of our games and I am already looking forward to our next campaign.  The fact the Chain of Command plays so well and it is very difficult to play any nasty bending of the rules also helps a lot!

Next week is round four of out Necromunda campaign.  You can never have too many campaigns going on!