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Monday 27 July 2015

Germany 1945, Break In Or Breakout?

A brief AAR of a recent late WWII game here at OHQ using the rather good Battlegroup rules and the Fall Of The Reich supplement.
We used a scenario from the mini rulebook you can buy if you are not interested in the original Kursk campaign book, it is entitled Attack/Counter-Attack which fits the scenario of a German Battlegroup breaking out (more likely) or indeed breaking in to the Soviet encirclement of Berlin. The Soviets have a force intercepting them, each side starts from opposite corners rather than edges.
The Soviets being out scouted and losing an objective in turn one, had to take two chits, good start a "1" and a low ammo to be played on the Germans, apart from a Low Fuel Chit which forced a PanzerIV to be abandoned that was it, all rest being 2,3 or 4's! Don't ask about about dice scores, now it is taken for granted in our little group to throw ones on a regular basis, but come on now! I excelled even myself this game. I did not get to call in a single off table artillery strike, even when using a wire team, the Germans of course never failed and I was constantly harassed by 120mm mortar fire. The same went for their firing, quickly brewing up or forcing my T34's to be abandoned, although the accuracy of their fire did tail mid way during the game, but due to the innumerable pins on my units and equally dreadful firing  I was unable to capitalise on this. As you can see from the below picture after picking up my twelfth chit I was over my BR rating, good night Berlin. If I had picked "1" chits as well as I rolled 1's the story may well have been different, maybe next game. The brilliant thing about the Battlegroup rules is you can have a great game despite being annihilated because you know the result could easily have been the other way round.
That's enough waffle I will let the pictures do the talking.

No game next week as Dave is in Scotland for a break and Claymore, a great show if you have the opportunity to visit do so you will not be disappointed.


Monday 20 July 2015

Wot, no T34's?

When I checked it appears we have not played a WWII game at OHQ since last October, so I thought we had better remedy that with an Eastern Front game. The last few games we have used the Battlegroup rule set, I thought that this time I would revert to the old stalwart, Rapid Fire, a set that has stood the test of time well IMHO.
I have not had much time to work out an elaborate scenario, so what we have is a simple break the line game, the German forces must break through the Soviet line and reach the road with at least a tank and an infantry company in twelve game turns, the Soviets have simply to stop this happening. With Dave's recent defeats in Normandy it was only fitting that he be sent to the Eastern Front to redeem his lost honour, so for this game he would fore go being the Soviets.
The Germans are relying on a strong armoured thrust using two tank companies, one of Panzer IIIs and one of Panzer IVs, high command can only spare a single infantry battalion to support this, it will however benefit from the support of a 105mm howitzer battery. No air support is available, an unenviable task for the German commander, however intelligence sources say that this part of the line is weakly held by the Soviets who are expecting an assault elsewhere on the line.
They have three infantry battalions supported by an humble T70 tank company, however a troop of KVIs is en route to bolster the defence, no air support can be expected but a battery of Katyushka rocket launchers will be on call to support the defence in the unlikely event of an assault.

The Battlefield

The German Advance Begins

First Blood To The Soviet Forces

The Collective Comes Under Heavy Artillery Fire
The first turn started well for the Soviets a Katyushka stonk took out a Panzer IV and the 50mm A/T tow, forcing the remaining PzIVs to retire meanwhile the Germans fired at an abandoned T34 expecting it to contain a Soviet observer while calling up 105mm fire to on the collectives buildings.
Small But Brave The T70's Advance

The Assault On the Centre Intensifies
The valiant T70s advanced to get behind the PzIIIs before the PzIVs could get back in to action, alas the commanders tank was taken out by reserve fire from the 50mm A/T gun causing the remaining vehicles to retire.


Whilst all this was taking place the Soviet FO was suppressed by the intense artillery bombardment or was unable to make radio contact and then eventually falling victim to the shells, so it was that the Katyushka was not to fire again, this was to have dire consequences for the outcome of the Soviet defence.
An Heroic Action

Panzer IIIs Engage The KVI

German Infantry Advance To Road On The Open Soviet Flank

Mounting Casualties And The Destruction Of The KV Tips The Infantry Morale
Over on the other flank one brave soul made an heroic action and attempted to destroy a stationary PzIII with an anti-tank grenade a heroic but futile action indeed. The remaining PzIIs were meanwhile hotly engaged by the solitary KVI whose poor return fire ultimately sealed its fate, while this was going o the infantry in the trenches were hotly engaged by the advancing German infantry which combined with MG fire from the other PzIII tipped them over the morale threshold, the resulting morale test saw them flee the field leaving the returning T70s out on a limb. Turn seven and a resounding victory for the Germans.


Thursday 16 July 2015

I've Got Bills

If you remember a previous post I mentioned that I had bought a copy of Lion Rampant to see if it could reinvigorate my stalled Wars of the Roses project, we used the rules for a early Dark Ages game and were suitably impressed. A few days later I set too unbasing the WotR figures I had done and redoing the livery and adding livery badges where necessary. One of the reasons, apart from the prospect of painting two large forces of basically the same troops I got frustrated with the different liveries, badges and flags. This time I am determined not to, so don't tell me my "murrey" is the the wrong shade or my livery badges to big because I don't give a fig :-)
I would have posted pics earlier but I deleted them in error, I have now took new ones and in the meantime have added some men at arms. The figures are all Perry Miniatures, the flag is from Pete's Flags and grand they are too, check them out on EBay.

     I have also recently completed a Saxon standard bearer for my early Dark Ages project, the figure is from Footsore nee Musketeer Miniatures
 Next game at OHQ will be a WWII Eastern Front game using Rapid Fire rules, our recent foray into WWII can be viewed over on Dave's blog, Tales From GHQ.

Finally I dedicate this blog entry to my mother in law who sadly passed away at the weekend, a wonderful and kind lady who was always enthralled to see my latest painting efforts, so much so that I had to paint a small vignette up for her, which she proudly showed off to all visitors.

Ivy "Audrey" Walters Nee Tyler
10.08.1930 - 11.07.2015
Probably The Best Mother-In -Law In The World

Monday 6 July 2015

Don Byklos Follows Through

Following his stunning victory at the Rawnla valley, Don Byklos is keen to maintain the initiative and so pursues the Carlist general Don Fillipe with a view to engage his now depleted force again before he can be reinforced by fresh volunteer battalions.
So the scene is set for our latest game here in OHQ, the game would be played out using the Black Powder rule set with movement and ranges reduced to 66%.
The forces of Don Byklos comprise of two brigades
Brigade 1. Three infantry battalions all with the First Fire and the Must Form Square rule.
                 One line cavalry regiment with the Lancers rule
                 One horse artillery battery with the Marauder rule.
Brigade 2. Two British Auxiliary Legion battalions all with the First Fire and the Must Form Square rule.
                 One unit of attached skirmisher, small unit, skirmishers rule.
                 One Royal Marine Rocket Battery
 The forces of Don Fillipe Hijoderobin comprise of one brigade on the table, a further brigade of newly raised recruits is expected to arrive asap
On table;  Three infantry battalions, all with the First Fire and Must Form Square rule and one with the
                 addition of the Elite rule, in this case 4+
                 One line cavalry regiment with the Lancers rule.
                 One foot artillery battery
To arrive:   Two newly raised volunteer battalions both with the unreliable rule
                  One unit of attached skirmisher, small unit, skirmishers rule.
We have played previous games without an overall C in C so I thought it about time I got a couple of figures painted up to represent us on the table.
Don Fillipe Hijoderobin

Don Carlos Byklos

Things started badly for the Carlists, the newly raised battalions would not arrive until turn three at the earliest, the first brigade would have to hold off the numerically superior Isabelino forces until then. The Isabelino forces fresh from their victory had their dander up and advanced rapidly on the outnumbered Carlists, one Carlist battalion surged forward, unfortunately it was not supported by its fellows and subsequently paid the price, being wiped out by combined Isabelino fire. Meanwhile the rather timid Carlist cavalry were charged by their Isabelino counterparts and were forced to retire, this in turned forced the other infantry battalion to form square. The brigade commander, Diego Olivera tried desperately to rally the Carlist cavalry, but instead the callow fellows retreated further. Over on the left the remaining Carlist battalion was being advanced up by the whole of the second Isabelino brigade, desperately awaiting the arrival of the fresh battalions. These duly arrived but were hesitant to get into action, this handed the initiative back to the Isabelinos, who took full advantage of there timidness, by the end of turn five it was really all in for the Carlists, who had no choice but to surrender. Don Filippe managed to escape but it remains to be seen if he will get another command after another dismal failure.
Isabelino Light Infantry Regiment, from a pen and ink sketch by an unknown officer of the British Auxiliary Legion

Don Carlos Byklos with a Royal Marine Rocket troop in the background

 The next  game will not be until the 27th as I have been summoned for jury service again. Dave has a Rapid Fire D-Day game planned to christen his newly created beach boards.