Thursday, March 23, 2017

Soviet Deliberate Attack to End the Great Patriotic War

Today Richard and I used his fabulous 15mm collection to stage Scenario #4 of Blitzkrieg Commander: Deliberate Attack.  I went the Soviets and had twelve turns to secure three objectives.

The Soviets massed for the attack.

My plan was for the assault engineers to go in first on the right.

The Nazi position looked sparse, but backed by some wunder weapons.

With the exception of the roads, all terrain was at least partial cover, if not hard cover.
We do have a house rule that units in hardcover that engage in fire, lose the cover's benefits.

My elite assault force failed its first activation.

The armour also stalled.

The CinC took over and ordered the armour forward.

Unsupported by infantry, this is what happened.

Next turn and still the assault engineers fail to activate.

On my left, where I had planned to go slow, I made good progress.

Unlike on the left which again failed to activate.

Turn Four was a litany of command failure.

But on the left flank, once contact was made, 
Soviet mortars made short work of the defenders.

Finally things get moving.

However a close assault in the centre is repulsed.

The left flank bog down again with commands just not getting through.

And then this...

A command blunder sees the Soviet armour pull back.
Where's the NKVD when you need them?

But in no time the tanks were back at the barricade.

And the assault engineers were doing their thing house to house.

But it was hard going.

Soviet armour at the barricade was held up by this monster for a good while.

The way was clear for the Soviet armour to rush the bridge,
sadly the order did not get through.

And on the right the Soviets almost reached the objective,
but were held back by the concentrated desperate fire of the Hitler Youth.

And so close on the left...

Two of the Nazi commands had broken, but without the Soviets reaching any of the objectives the game was a draw.

BKC is a funny abstract system, but it certainly works.

Thanks Richard for organising the game.  It's great to see all those fabulous minis on the table.

A Successful Sassanid Affair

My Early Macedonian Successors fought the Sassanids...

Mark B's Sassanids face my Greeks on very open terrain.

My skirmishers only got one dice, but what a beauty.
The enemy threw the same for their cohesion.  Sad.

The two armies jostling for position.

My skirmishers covering my left evade as best they can,
while on my right I send my cavalry to out flank the enemy.

This unit of skirmishers survived a charge by heavy cavalry and then by elephants.
Maybe there was some terrain after all.  
Repeatedly throwing 1's for Cohesion bought my army time.

My centre grinds on.
Its flanks protected by peltasts.

Briefly... both units of peltasts got mauled, 
but my cavalry came good.

And my Thracian peltasts miraculously dealt with the elephants.

But my pike won the day causing the Sassanid foot to flee.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Military Modelling Magazine 1971-1984

If I remember correctly my mum and dad bought me the first issue of Military Modelling magazine. By the time it had arrived in Australia I was well into my first year at High School so perhaps it was a reward for doing well in a test or something.  A standing order with the local newsagent supplied the magazine from then on, rather than my academic prowess.

In 1973 in one of those embarrassing teenage fits of madness I sold my collection only to start again in 1976.  By then I was in University and old enough to regret my loss.

Forty years later and good fortune smiles upon me and I have now an almost complete collection of MM from the first issue in January 1971 to December 1984.  Only June 1976 is missing.  I don't know why that is except I have a dim recollection that there had been some disruption due to industrial action in the UK.  It was just before Maggie Thatcher's time so maybe it was the real event that propelled her to power and confrontation with the unions.

1984 was a good year for me to stop getting MM.  Nothing like a relationship breakdown to cause a bit of reassessment of one's life.

Now my challenge is to get an index so I can make use of the magazines as many of the articles are still informative, inspiring and imaginative.

The missing issue.

In acknowledging my good fortune I would like to say thank you to Bill Roberts for donating a whole lot of wargaming stuff to the NWS and to my association with the NWS.

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Battle for Singapore

When I had the good fortune to holiday in Singapore in late 2015 I decided I should read up on the campaign as I only knew generalities.

My local library supplied me with Peter Thompson's The Battle for Singapore.

It covers the whole of the Malaya campaign, from the prewar period to the final Japanese surrender after "the Great Miscalculation" (the post war Japanese Prime Minister, Shigeru Yoshida).  Lots of detail and personal recollections pulling no punches on either side.  The cast of characters was hard to keep track of, but gee, Gordon Bennett!  I often wondered why I heard that phrase as a swear word growing up and now I know.  Sadly, apparently not... Slang: Gordon Bennett

Dad always said how they were told the Japanese couldn't fly and all wore glasses and that the jungle was impenetrable.  Thank heavens he was deployed to North Africa and then Italy.

The Allies were out generalled by Yamashita.  Both sides suffered from hubris and arrogance and ultimately paid the price.  What impressed me was the sacrifice of the Chinese.  I knew they had suffered on the mainland, but didn't appreciate this "extermination" extended to the Chinese diaspora.

I enjoyed this book and it achieved my aim of plugging a gap in my knowledge.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Basic Impetus 2 - A Successful Thracian Affair

Last night at the club I had my first game with the new Basic Impetus rules.  This was against Andrew's Thracians and it was his second game with these rules.  I ran Early Macedonian Successor so it was an historical match-up.

End of Turn 1.  I had initiative (i.e. went first).
Terrain setup is different to Impetus as is deployment.
I had set up my Thracian light cavalry on my left  and then moved them right.  
I should have kept moving them.

End of Turn 2.  I again had initiative.
Some missile fire was now underway with mixed results.

Turn 3 and the Thracians had initiative which effectively gave them a double move.
Their elite cavalry has run into my peltasts.

Turn 4 and I had initiative and the double move.
This allowed my cavalry to counterattack.
Sadly they failed to follow up and were left exposed.

My centre heavy foot get into action.
I scored a lot of hits,
but was matched by Andrew's successful cohesion rolls.

Turn 5 and they had initiative.
However my flanks were holding firm and my centre...

Pike and long spear coming at ya!

Turn 6 and winning the initiative was icing on the cake.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Twin Saga

Yesterday Simon and I played two games of Saga back to back.  My Vikings against his Normans (occasionally disguised as Andalusians).  Just four points aside as I was rusty and this was Simon's first game(s) of Saga.

First up we did Clash of Warlords

I had success with my Hirdmen against some Norman Sergeants.

Although I ended up having to swap them out with some Bondi

But my Warlord had the ultimate success.

Then we tried the Sacred Ground scenario.
I seized the hill.

Some of my Bondi sneaked a look into the adjacent field.

While my Thralls attempted to put a few arrows into the enemy on their way to the wood.

Being on the hill was all very well, but I was not getting enough VPs.

My first attempt to capture the field was repulsed with heavy loss.

So in went my Warlord.

My other unit of Bondi entered the wood, but didn't attempt to evict the enemy.

My Warlord fought valiantly and died.

Both games were very successful and lots of fun.