Showing posts with label Wargame Photos. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wargame Photos. Show all posts

06 June 2019

D-Day 60 years on - 2004


Remembering D-Day today, I dug out some old photos from a game we played on this date back in 2004 on the 60th anniversary of the invasion.













Our good friend Alberto (the flaming red-haired Celtic-Iberian below) designed, built, and spent the whole week before the game putting together the boards.




And on the morning before the game we all pitched in to help him put the finishing touches.... these are pictures taken just about an hour before we started.



I remember the game was good and we had a great time - fortunately the only victims who died in this battle on that 60th anniversary were just little toy soldiers.

I also remember, to stop us feeling so smug, it was pointed out later that we made the same mistake as Spielberg in Private Ryan and put the beach obstacles the wrong way around.





05 March 2019

Game Report - Battle of the Bulge - Bolt Action Wargame in 1/72 Scale


We finally got around to starting our Ardennes campaign last week with our first practice game and in the process baptised our new "sand" table

When were looking around for ideas for a Battle of the Bulge campaign last year, we bought a Battlegroup rules downloadable pdf supplement called "Wacht am Rhein" by Warwick Kinrade for gaming the Ardennes from the plasticsolder.co.uk website.

We used a scenario taken from this supplement called "Ambush at Ligneuville".

It's based on events that took place on December 17th, when Peiper's spearhead encountered their first serious American resistance as they raced into the village of Ligneuville to secure the small stone bridge over the river Amblève.

In the scenario, the Amblève crosses the width of the table east to west across the board with the bridge in the centre. The river is lined with dense bushes, scrub and trees, with various buildings on either side of the bridge.

The scenario we used is part of the larger campaign from the book, so a previous game, and this scenario's result are geared to points later in the scenario book's campaign itself.

This was just a one-off game, so we kept the scenario's main German objective to secure the Bridge by turn 5.

Another of the objectives was to stop the American Brigadier-General "Timberlake" from escaping off the table.

The Americans had to delay the Germans from taking their objective by turn number 5, and in the process either get the Brigadier-General off the table or avoid his capture or elimination.

Over the years our group has gamed with various rulesets, all of which have their pros and cons, but we decided that for this new Ardennes campaign we'll be using the Bolt Action rules by Warlord Games which we've found are ok for fast-action skirmish scenarios like this.

All the vehicles and troops used in the game are as per the published "Ambush at Ligneuvile" scenario, and even though the scenario is geared to the Battlegroup rules, it migrated well for use with Bolt Action.

The game was played on a 1.60 x 1.20m table, and we got to use our new sand table and used four or five bags of cheap table salt sprinkled over the surface to represent snow on the ground (see previous post HERE)


GENERAL VIEW OF THE TABLE



The road leading into the village is the German entry point, top centre is the small stone bridge over the river, and to the left, the large building represents the hotel where the US commander is staying.


TURN 1

The German spearhead thunders into town via the main road, led by "Obersturmführer" Werner Sternebeck in his Panzer IV passing by parked up transports of the American HQ.



Following close behind is a second Panzer IV + two SS Pioneer squads, each in a SdKfz 251.

Brigadier-General Timberlake's jeep was parked out in view of the oncoming Panzer IV so he decides to make haste with his two aides out the back door of the hotel and try and escape on foot.



The rest of the Americans are some 20 odd rear-echelon troops divided into small rifle and BAR teams, a .30 cal MMG and an M4 Sherman.




TURN 2

A bazooka team try and take out Sternebeck's Panzer IV. These are green inexperienced troops and miss miserably (also due to a terrible dice throw). The M4 Sherman also makes a brave attempt to take out the leading Pz IV but misses too.



SS pioneers dismount from the leading Sd.Kfz 251 and head away from the road towards the bridge from behind the cover of the building where the bazooka team are lurking.



The second group of SS pioneers dismount and take out the Sherman with a well-aimed panzerfaust.



Sternebeck's Pz IV blasts at the hidden bazooka team and makes mincemeat of them.

A Panther tank rumbles onto the table from the road and heads toward the bridge following behind the leading tanks.




TURN 3

Reinforcements arrive in the form of two Shermans and an M10 Wolverine coming in from the road on the US side of the river.



Firefights break out between US troops and the SS pioneers heading on foot toward the bridge.





Timberlake meanwhile makes his way through the bushes and rough ground along the riverbank. The Germans spray him with machine-gun fire and his two aides fall, leaving him alone.



Another German half-track appears on the table on the road toward the village, carrying Peiper himself.





TURN 4

As Sternebeck crosses the bridge he meets a Sherman waiting in the middle of the road on the other side.



Both tanks exchange fire, the Sherman hits but fails to penetrate. The Panzer IV returns fire, hits and completely destroys the tank.



Back on the other side of the river, Timberlake is still pinned in the brush on the riverbank and miraculously escapes unscathed from numerous volleys of shots from the Germans.




TURN 5

Sternebeck rumbles into town past the burning Sherman. The small groups of green rear-echelon US troops in the surrounding buildings are powerless to stop him.



The remaining Sherman and the M10 Wolverine both make a vain attempt to take out Sternebeck's Panzer IV, but the "Dice God" intervenes again and both miss the target completely.



The Pioneers secure the bridge while the Panther gives covering fire from the riverbank.



At this point the bridge is now secured and Timberlake, still pinned and unable to escape, finally falls under a hail of fire.



CONCLUSION

Victory for the Germans and a crushing defeat for the US defenders (until the next time that is .... )

Sternerbeck and Timberlake discuss the finer points of the rules
Sternebeck and Timberlake discuss the finer points of the rules 
The game played out well, the Germans took the bridge, as they did in reality.

Timberlake didn't escape, though in reality he drove off in his jeep when he heard the German tanks approaching and escaped, The fact that he tried to make it off the table on foot was a big mistake.

The Americans had the disadvantage of being classed as "green" and the Germans had the positive modifiers associated with SS troops and it was going to be difficult for the Americans to win a decisive victory.

That said, the Americans could have at least done a little better, but on this occasion the dice throws meant they didn't have the ability to hit a barn door.

Even though we gamed on a heavily snow covered table, when this skirmish took place on 17th December 1944, from all accounts it wasn't snowing at that point in time.

The scenario was well written and it plays out well. It was easy to use "as is" using all the vehicles and figures mentioned in the scenario, and adapts well to the Bolt Action rules. It would be nice to play again maybe with some other ruleset.

All in all, a very enjoyable time with two of my regular gaming mates Alex and Carlos who aptly played the winning Germans.

11 October 2018

Wargaming Nostalgia - Manchester Visit + MAWS


Back in the Summer I was in my old town of Winton in Manchester and I got the chance to game in the very same church hall where I used to wargame as a kid with my little plastic Airfix soldiers and tanks.

Back then the group was called the "Winton Warriors", and every week, with other kids my age, historically incorrect battles would be fought out with Tigers and Panthers against Centurion and Patton tanks, and other similar aberrations, but we loved it. At the club I'd marvel at the lovingly painted armies I'd see on the other tables there and the much more historically correct games being played by the older gamers who tolerated us youngsters and our plastic battles.

I've not been back to that church hall since the mid 70s, so just actually going back inside that very place after so many years made me feel nostalgic, to say the very least - nearly even brought a little tear to my old worldly eyes.

The fact that I also actually got to have a game there 40 years later, gave the nostalgia even more significance.

I'd seen on Facebook that the Manchester Area Wargames Society (MAWS) were going to be playing a big Normandy game in 20mm on a Sunday in August that coincided with my visit to the area, so I contacted them to see if I could come along and watch - well if you don't ask the answer is always no - and they kindly said yes ! They even went so far as to ask me to join the game as a player, which I course jumped at the opportunity,

And I had a great time, superb table, good friendly welcoming company, and a big game in my favourite scale.
















Thanks to the MAWS lads for letting me join in on the day, I got thoroughly hammered during the game, but enjoyably so, and met some great blokes and made some new wargaming friends.

14 May 2018

Disposable Heroes - Latest Game in 1/72 Scale


On Saturday afternoon my mate Alejandro invited us to his house and we got together with another of our gaming buddies, Juan, and managed to get in a good skirmish game using the the Disposable Heroes ruleset by Iron Ivan games.

We've only recently got back to using these rules, maybe the last time we gamed regularly with them was about 4 - 5 years ago, so there were a few things we'd forgotten, but we remembered the basic mechanics and with the rulebook at hand we got in a good 1:1 skirmish game (the rules are about 15 years old, and there's a version II recently released which we'll maybe give a try soon).


The scenario was taken from the "Go Forward Together" British / Commonwealth armies list


It's set in Normandy 1944, British attacking with numerical superiority against a smaller force of SS Panzergrenadiers.


"Montgomery is determined to tidy his lines as part of the drive on Caen. He sends heavy attacks driving around the town to capture vital positions before launching the major operation designed to take Caen itself"


The British have to take the majority of the scenario objectives to win.




General view of the table




Sherman close-up (Airfix kit with "extras" to hide the undersized turret)




British advance





Pz IV Straddles the road





And takes out a Sherman on the 1st turn




The PAK 40 took various pot-shots but missed miserably




German troops regroup behind a barn




More Germans emerge from a field




And successfully immobilise a Sherman too eager to advance without infantry support




A Churchill "races" along the right flank to take one of the objectives




Meanwhile a brave PIAT team (actually a bazooka wielding ancient Matchbox 1-76 Brit) move ahead and spy the Pz IV straddling the road.




Boom ! - A lucky shot from the PIAT and the Pz IV goes up in flames.


Despite the numerical superiority of the British, it was not easy for the attacker, they (ie : me and Alejandro that is) made the mistake of not going full-out to reach the objectives.


We found it was a good balanced scenario and the Germans SS and have a higher morale rating but less units and so less activations, and it was hard to get them pinned.

The British had some luck with a 3" mortar and the PIAT, but they only reached one objective, which was really their own fault for dawdling around given the limit on the number of turns.
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