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Monday 29 April 2013

Salute to the Back of Beyond

Well Salute as been and gone for another year, souless and noisy as usual, but this is compensated for by some rather splendid games and displays and a veritable cornucopia of war gaming goodies to buy. It was great to finally meet up and chat to Sidney, whose rather wonderful blog has inspired and enthused me at various times, it was also good to watch the demo/participation game of the forthcoming WWII rules "Chain of Command" from the Too Fat Lardies stable, Richard and Nick did brilliantly to get themselves heard over the noise of the place, I feel these break new ground in a crowded market, definitely on my to buy list. Speaking of buying I picked up some Dark Age enclosures and another Spanish building from Grand Manner, some more bases from Warbases, an excellent book of scenarios for the First Carlist War "All Honour is Lost", another semi-damaged building from 4Ground and a piece of hedge from The Last Valley. I will not dwell on the show any longer there has already been plenty of photo's and narrative on the various fora and blogosphere, so off to the Back of Beyond.

Dave came over to OHQ recently to assume his guise as Comrade General Byklizki and capitalise on his recent victory over the forces of local warlord Wan Ung-Lo, and attack the strategic town of Sher-Li with a surprise dawn attack. He gathered his forces a little hurriedly, leaving his artillery behind, he also sent his cavalry on a flanking manoeuvre, he could also count on the air support of ace pilot Ivan Juztukov.

Sher-Li And Environs
The Chinese garrison at Sher-Li were very slow to become aware that they were about to be attacked, luckily for them the Red's advance was slower, the exception being the armoured car of Robynski which thundered down the road unsupported hoping to catch the garrison unawares, a bold move which he was later to regret.

Bylizski's Red Horde Slowly (very) Advance Upon Sher-Li 
The armoured car quickly engaged the then roused Chinese with a hail of machine gun fire but the Chinese troops protected by the buildings of Sher-Li suffered little from this, meanwhile troops from Ung-Lo's encampment moved up and also engaged the armoured car with fire, with no Red infantry near the Chinese were able to concentrate their fire and a lucky hit ignited the petrol tank. 

Bolshevik Armoured Car Makes An Impetuous Advance
And Pays The Price Whilst Belated Infantry Support Arrives 
The Red cavalry arrived but appear to have been unable to find a route through to attack Sher-Li from its weakly defended flank, to work their way around there now would mean weathering a storm of machine gun and artillery fire. Their commander saw an opportunity to turn the battle, the White Russian troops were tied up valiantly defending Sher-Li temple against a mass attack of Red infantry, leaving Wan Ung-Lo with only a small group of his assault troops. The Red cavalry launched an all or nothing charge, unfortunately they were unable to surprise their target and were decimated by close range sub-machine gun fire.

Red Cavalry Charge Towards Ung-Lo's Encampment
Meanwhile Ung-Lo And His Bodyguard Await To Exact Revenge For The Previous Encounter
Ace fighter pilot Ivan Juztukov also arrived late in day, blamed on the cloud apparently, but to Comrade Byklizski's dismay the bomb and staffing runs had little effect, rumour has it that the only effect of clouds were the effects of vodka clouding Ivans head.

Ivan Juztukov Makes One of Several Fruitless Straffing Runs
The Reds one success was the annihilation of Ung-Lo's White Russian troops who sold themselves dearly protecting the honour of Sher-Li temple.

Ung-Lo's White Russians Defend The Honour Of Sher-Li Temple 
Having now lost over 60% of his attacking force Comrade Byklizski called off the attack and retired from the field, leaving the jubilant Ung-Lo still in possession of the strategic town of Sher-Li.

Comrade Bykliziski Quits The Field With His Shattered Force
Mean While Ung-Lo Reviews His Victorious Troops
Another jolly good game using "Setting The East Ablaze" rules, available from Caliver Books.


Friday 5 April 2013

Vuelta a España Dos

The latest game here at OHQ was a Spanish Civil War encounter, the objective for the Republican forces was to take and hold a bridge being held by two pelotons of  Falange militiamen before the arrival of reinforcement in the form of a escuadra of Foreign Legion with armoured and anti-tank support in turn supported by two pelotons of Carlist requetes. The initial Republican force consisted of two pelotons of Anarchist militiamen with a military advisor attached, who could expect support from two pelotons of International Brigade with tank and anti-tank gun support. 

For this game we decided to try out the popular "Bolt Action" WWII rule set with the following to add SCW flavour -

ANARCHIST MILITIA – Must always take an order test when wishing to move (to simulate a debate about the action) regardless of if they have pin markers, if they have a military adviser within 6” they can add 1 to their morale.

INTERNATIONAL BRIGADES – Can re-roll any failed order test if the company commissar is within 6”, if it fails this re-test however it will lose a figure shot as an example.

STANDARDS – If a HQ group has a standard bearer attached and the group is not DOWN the CO’s morale bonus range is extended to 10”

CHAUCHAT LMG'S - If 2 or more 1's are rolled when firing the weapon jams and may not fire next turn

The troops were classed as follows

FALANGE MILITIA – Inexperienced
CARLIST MILITIA – Inexperienced

The game was to last for twelve turns with a dice thrown after that to see if another would take place. Dave took command of the Republicans and I took the Nationalist forces. we diced to see when the relevant reinforcements would arrive, the Republicans would dice after turn one needing a 6 in the first instance and then 5 or 6 etc. The Nationalists could dice for theirs on turn four needing 5 or 6 in the first instance then 4,5 or 6 etc. Initially things looked good for the Nationalists with the Falange tenaciously holding the bridge and a nearby wayside shrine, however the Republican reinforcements arrived in turn three and the brave Falangists were eventually overrun in turn six but only due to the intervention of Republican armour, it was not until that turn that the expected reinforcements for the Falange appeared, the usual appalling dice throwing by yours truly this theme was to continue when dicing for hits and casualties.
By turn twelve the Republican tank was astride the bridge, surviving a solitary hit from the Legion 37mm Anti-tank gun, the puny PzI keeping well out of its way only to be fired on by the Republican anti-gun who fared just as badly in the shooting stakes. There was no additional turn so a win was declared for Senor Bickley and the Republican forces.

Some shots of the game, with more on the Lead Adventure Forum from Dave.

La Legion and Carlist Requetes finally arrive

Republican T26 with Internationals in support

The Republican anti-tank gun deploys for action

The Republications take and hold the bridge

View of the captured bridge from the Nationalist side

Come and get it!

 A brief hiatus on the gaming front for Dave's trip to Matt's and our trip to Salute, see you in three weeks.