Sunday, September 28, 2014

Wyvern Wargamers - All Dayer 2014

Saturday saw the annual all dayer over at Wyvern Wargamers, a day reserved for those games you want to put on, but 3 hours on a Sunday evening is just never enough.....

We were privileged to have two of the mainstays of the hobby in attendence, taking a day off from running games and demonstrating their products to actually play a game....

Rich Clarke of Too Fat Lardies fame commanded the British Para's in a large Normandy Game using his Chain of Command Rules.

Paul from Kallistra brought his Hexon Terrain and WW1 figure collection for a massive WW1 encounter using his own Raging Empire rules.

Meanwhile fellow Wyverner Phil hosted a string of linked battles in the Sudan using Black Powder.
I played a Brigade Commander in Colonial Army as we marched out into the desert to crush El Mahdi who had risen up against the Egyptian government and the forces of the Queen.

The plan for the day was a series of linked scenario's with the results of each battles impacting on the forces available in the next.

My Brigade consisted of.

-King's Royal Rifle Corps
-28th Bengal infantry
-Screw gun
-10th Hussars

Two further brigades were commanded by Ian and John - Time for a jolly good dusting....
Game 1 - Ambush
The plan was simple advance down the centre of the table fending off any of the nasty locals and reach the far end, easy a quick stroll in the desert before stopping for tiffin.

The Soldiers of the Queen set off into the desert.

King's Royal Rifle Corps and the 8th Bengal infantry, wheel right as arabs appear from the high ground, take aim fire......

Dervish to our left and right, nothing for it but to stand firm and pour fire into the advancing hordes.


The 10th Hussars tired of being shot at by native marksmen charge off to flush them out.

What are you doing here?
A blunder by the British forces encounters a party of civilians, camped in the dunes, the mounted infantry rush to rescue them only to be routed from the table....

Game 1 draws to a close with the Mahdists withdrawing behind the dunes.

Game 2 - Take the high ground.
Take the village and the high groud, securing both the well and the spring so our troops could push on into the desert, what could possibly go wrong...?

The spring in the ravine on the left, the well in the vllage, not a soul in sight.

Hoping to catch the Madhist's out, we push on past the village and headed straight for the spring, I was determined to make sure I was the hero of the hour, (This was one of several crafty sub plots woven in to each game for each of the British players)


Skirmishers and Artillery are spotted on the ridge line.

On our right flank more Dervish appear, gulp.... time to dress the ranks.....

Damn it, another blunder my brigade they forget their orders and rush the natives on the hill, fortunately on this occasion fortune does favour the brave as the Dervish are driven off.

We form up on the ridge line, whilst the Egyptian and Naval Bridages advance up the table to join my command.

The disadvantage of reaching the ridge line so soon is you are never quite sure what's on the other side, I pretty soon found out.... hundreds of flaming blokes with sharp swords and pointy spears, my Brits and Indians are pushed back, they break and flee back over the ridge, leaving the Hussars to plug the gap.

Game Two draws to a close with the Naval Brigade reaching the ridge line and fending off the remaining Madhists.

Game 3 - Hold the Line. 
With the ridge secure time to press on to the village, we re-ordered the brigades, after my poor show in losing some of the best troops in game two, I took the artillery park and cavalry leaving the fighting to Ian and John.

Side show Bob my reduced command.

The trick to winning this one had to be to seize the village quickly and force the Dervish to come to us. All we needed was some good command rolls.

Not the best of starts only the naval brigade was able to move and rushed towards the out skirts of the village.

Hordes of natives rushed forwards catching the Rifles in the open.

The Rifles stood their ground, slowly falling back as the Dervish pressed hard.

Royal Marines dig deep, wave after wave of Dervish are beaten back.

The cavalry are unleashed, by now the rifles, artillery and rockets had done their bloody work.

The Madhists are shaken and riddled with shock as they throw themselves at the British lines.

Meanwhile on the right flank the last of the Devish charge into the Egyptian defenders, despite a stoic defence they are forced back into the village, before being forced to flee as arab cavalry bear down on them.

The British hold on securing the village.

A cracking days gaming.... Cheers Phil.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

From Empire to Revolution - Mud & The Blood goes East

A great addition to the Too Fat Lardies stable. From Empire to Revolution is a supplement to the  WWI rules "Through the Mud & the Blood" written by Chis Stoesen.

From Empire to Revloution
80-pages of goodness covering the Austro-Hungarian and Russian armies of WW1 with an insight into organisations and tactics, followed by 16 scenario's from small encounters with around 30 figures to those with over 100.
The scenarios are as follows:
  • In Search of a Drink, September 1914
  • Bridge Over the Wislonka, October 1914
  • Spilling Royal Blood, October 1914
  • Clear the Trench, October 1914
  • A Hunting Expedition, Spring 1915
  • Noblesse Oblige, March 1915
  • “Yashka”, Easter 1915
  • A Terrible Harvest, August 1915
  • A Scouting Party, Fall 1915
  • Bagging a General, November 1915
  • Kept in the Dark, November 1915
  • Frontkämpfer, April 1916
  • Dead Men’s Hill, August 1916 Against All Orders, October 1916
  • The Brides of Death, Spring 1917
  • Ending with a Bang, July 1917
You can downloaded your copy from the TFL web site.
A quick read through has given me some great ideas for tweaking my Russian forces for the Russo-Japanese War and the scenario's can easily be adapted for the Manchurian theatre. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Chain of Command - Bush War Rhodesia - Play Test

Sunday night saw the first playtest of Chain of Command - Bush War Rhodesia, a future offering from the Two Fat Lardies, this is a departure from the balanced forces found in the WW2 variant, with forces designed to fight Counter-Insurgency (COIN) operations on the tabletop.

The Rhodesian Bush War was a classic ‘asymmetric conflict’  where one side wants essentially to 'get away' and the other wants to ‘engage’. The rules have some great features to represent the need for the Security Force player to keep losses to a minimum, whilst representing the hit and run tactics of the communists.

The table is a lot more open than I am used to in the usual WW2 outings within Chain of Command, but with an 18" range representing sight through the hinterland you can be quite aggressive in your early moves, I was representing the security forces and needed to close down the communists quickly.

Jump off points have less relevance in the bush, but as the insurgents you need to keep your escape routes open, I pushed my two sections forward looking to pin the deployed communists against their jump off and dispersal points. 

The ZANLA forces ambush my advancing section as it captures a communist jump off point wounding one of my men, a single wound can impact my force morale so I have to be careful how I deploy and approach possible enemy force locations.

Having saved a CoC dice the modern day fire power knocks chunks out of the ambushers, Double 6 on the command dice does not help, as a further round of fire pins the ZANLA forces. The insurgents fire is poor and comes with several modifers which makes it hard for the communists to inflict heavy casaulties.

Security forces push on receiving a number of slight wounds as the communists blaze away, forcing the section to go to groud, as the night draw to a close ZANLA slipped away, leaving the government forces with nothing but grassland and blood trails...

Bush War CoC has the same great feel as the the WW2 variant, the hit and run tactics have a good feel to them, as the security player you have to watch your casualty count, whilst as the insurgent you can the advantage of numbers, but the frustration of poor shots...

I had some very lucky dice, but felt I could lose every time a stream of tracer flew my way.....

I can see us getting quite a few more of these games in, over the next few months.....

Saturday, September 20, 2014

At Close Quarters - Chris Peers Rule review.

A couple of the African games of late have been getting rather larger, to large so that some of the finer details within the THW rules are being lost due to the multiple reaction tests needed to take, so I thought I would give Chris Peer's - "At close quarters" a try. I had heard some go things about how they handle larger games.

I knocked up a quick scenario deep in the jungles of Zikanga to see how the mechanics play out and would it give me the right feel for large skirmishes.
The Southside boys had been slowly gaining ground and had begun pushing North towards Milo a small village containing various NGO's and refugees, a detachment from the L'armee Zikangeleze had been sent to defend the high ground a few miles outside the village and stall the advancing militia, the bloodshed would be untold if they broke through with so many women and children in Milo.
Object defend the ridge line until the end of the evening.

Let's see what two sections of regulars can do defending the high ground can do against 4 sections of militia advancing on their position.

The rules layout and design are a little dated than some of the more glossy rules available on the market today but at about a tenner you are paying for the rules and not a load of "filler" they really need a QRS to help them along.
Don't be put off by the finish they are advertised as "fast and enjoyable modern skirmish wargames" and they certainly hit the mark, within 2-3 turns we have the required to hit rules nailed and they easily handled the 60 militia vs 20 regular with very little reference to the rule book.

The rules are based on troops being classified into 6 classes.
Elite, Professional, Fanatic, Regular, Militia, Rabble
Each troop classifiaction has a rough organisation structure with the better quality units having less troops within each unit. e.g. Elite might be 4 SAS troopers, whilst a militia unit might be 25 figures.

Players take it in turns moving one unit at a time, then shooting is resolved for all.

The better quality units always shoot first, which gives them a distinct advantage when it comes to flying lead and getting the drop on poorer quality opposition.

Firing is then either aimed or unaimed. Only aimed fire can inflict casualties, you have to spot your target first before you can commence aimed fire but unaimed fire will supress an enemy forcing it to pass several dice before it can move forwards or fire.

Most weapons fire in two different modes Single shot or Auto this dectates the range and number of dice rolled. Firing is carried out using a D20 dice with modifers for your class, militia for example suffer a minus penalty.
A modified score of 18+ means the target is killed. A roll of 15-17 means the target is pinned.

If you are firing unaimed then your best result is to surpress the enemy with so many pinned markers they become combat ineffective, due to how long it would take to return to combat ready.

Everytime your unit suffers a kill you have to pass a morale test, 2 fails and your whole unit is pinned, causing you to seek deeper cover whilst you try to recover each fighter.

In our short encounter the 2 platoons of regulars where easily able to pin a large number of the militia before they could fire back, the poor training of the milita meant that much of their fire was unaimed and the regulars training allowed them to recover far quicker than the militia when they themselves were pinned.

The ability to successfully aim meant that the regulars were killing militiamen and causing morale checks which were pinning whole units who ventured out into the open.

At the end of the evening, the militia pulled back having lost 13 of the 60 attackers and had a further 25 pinned, the regulars had suffered no casualties..... 

Overall it felt like the right result for this type of scenario, regulars defending emplacments vs aggressive yet pourly trained militia men, It's a real worry when the bigger weopons came into play, the RPG's attracted a lot of fire when ever they popped up into the firing line, which feels right from a gaming perspective, even unaimed they can keep peoples heads down, more so than simple small arms fire.

Definately a set of rules worthy of another outing, quick fast paced and easy to remember.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

MoFo - Downed Pilots.....

Zikanga can be a dangerous place.

As these downed pilots have recently found out.

What was a routine UN supply mission has turned into an African nightmare for the crew of UN178.

They had been parachuting medical supplies to the village Baringa which had been cut off by recent fighting and were heading back to the UN base at Zabriski Point when they had been forced to ditch approx 20 miles from known friendlies.

Having recently purchased Chris Peers Modern rules - At Close Quarters, these should make for a small game to test the rules before any larger outing ina few weeks time.

Yet more from the backlog of lead mountain...
Figures from MoFo Gripping Beasts modern miniature line, well worth a look.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Russo-Japanese War - Shock Markers and Bombers.

A good day on the painting front and yet more from lead mountain, I picked these extra's from Tsuba Miniatures at salute back in April, no news yet of the promised Japanese Cavalry, still plenty more to get on with.

The ammo bearers pack is a useful addition and gives me a few more options for shock and low ammo markers for use within the The Two Fat Lardies - Mud and Blood rules, which are my rules of choice for the RJW.

Second up a couple of casualty bases which add a little more flavour to the table, I contemplated copying the plate below, which the figure on the right is model on, but thought better of at, better to blend in with what I have, however it did get me thinking about another unit of Russians with white tunic's - I am not sure the trousers are entirely correct?

Can anyone help confirm the red trousers before I put paint to brush????

I had a couple of spare Japanese from the WW2 Project left over and throught they might get more table time, if a recruited them into the RJW ranks.

A couple of Warlord Games bombers ready to storm the trenches of Port Arthur, should they get through the wire first...

Followed by a Mounted Big Man also from Warlord.....

It's been several months since the RJW Troops got an airing, with a couple of fresh units painted up, time I put on a game up at the Wyverns Wargames Club.