Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Sidi Rezegh with Rommel - Take Two

Following on from the success of our last game (which was my first Rommel game) Simon and I replayed the Sidi Rezegh scenario again, this time swapping sides.  It was even more exciting and played even better and, although the Deutsches Afrika Korps was monstering the 7th Armoured Division, it still ended up being a close run thing.

 Straight up the 21st Panzer Division attempts to storm the first objective.

 They failed and the 7th Armoured were able to counterattack, 
giving the defending infantry time to dig in.
The black markers are used to show "tipped" units.

 The 21st Panzer keep attacking,
while on the left the 361st Schutzen Regiment have made their first attack on another objective.

 The 361st have success, while the 21st Panzer have surrounded their objective.  
There is about to be a vicious clash of armour with the newly arrived 22nd Armoured Brigade.

 It is now the end of the eighth turn and the 15th Panzer Division has arrived
 along with the British 4th Armoured Brigade.

 The 7th Armoured has deployed a mixed force to defend the centre objective.

 The fighting has been intense,
but the 21st Panzer have their objective completely surrounded.

 The 15th Panzer has immediately attacked the Honeys of 4th Armoured 
(yes I know they look like Matildas)

 All quiet in the central sector.

 But the 21st Panzer has taken its first objective and is now eyeing the next one.

 The initial attack is not very successful.

 But the 15th Panzer has the British on the run...

 Again the 21st attack, but are beaten off.

 However the 15th have destroyed the enemy and taken a third objective.
To win the DAK need to hold three of the objectives by the end of the game.

 The 7th Armoured is left holding one objective.

And narrowly fail to recapture one of the other objectives.

At the end, weight of numbers allowed to Axis to make repeated attacks at the expense of not using various tactics to get advantages in combat. 

The game provides plenty of opportunities for counterattacks, as well as movement and some nerve wracking decision making.  No measuring and only a single combat strength calculation make for an easy game that allows you to develop and implement plans giving the feeling of actually being in command and trying to outwit your opponent.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Eins Sdkfz 222, Zwei Kubelwagens, und Drei Stug IIIs

Continuing the theme for the North African Theatre build-up, and also working through some accumulated kit, we now have some German reinforcements, circa early 1941.

 This little beauty is by Zvedza.

 It went together perfectly.

 The decals are PSC and while fiddly, actually worked.

 Unknown metal.  Really need some crew.

 This time the DAK emblem decal didn't work, pity.

 The odd one out is by Zvedza, the other two are unknown metal.
The metals models were missing their barrel assemblies.
I used the one from the Zvedza model to cast replacements.

 The Zvedza Stug is the same length, but noticeably wider.
It was another dream to assemble.

Only one vehicle came with the regulation paint, the others are still in factory grey.
The paint scheme was Tamiya black undercoat with Tamiya German Grey top coat.  
Then I applied a wash of VJ Buff, followed by a dry brush of VJ Bluff.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Three US jeeps, two big trucks and a reclaimed Lee Tank

Well there are only sixty days till Xmas.

When I purchased the Tunisian Campaign army, the US component had no jeeps or trucks.  I've now started to remedy that.

 Can't have a US army without jeeps.

 A few options were available with their assembly and I went for the full set.

 I don't normally do decals, but the models cried out for a white star.

 And you need trucks too to carry all the supplies.

 These are solid resin models with cast on bases.
Makes them easy, but I'm not sure it is a style I like/prefer.

 This model is solid metal, but I do not know the manufacturer.

 It is a bit of a rescue job as all its barrels were broken.
They have been replaced with wire or, in the case of the 75mm gun, brass tubing.
A bit fiddly, but I had more trouble with the decals.  
The white line is hand painted, but the stars have a coat of varnish to hold them in place.

 I'm very pleased how this model has turned out.
It was part of a stash of things I got back in the middle of 2017, 
from a club auction (see this post).

The new reinforcements all together now.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Nikephorian Byzantine versus Sassanids again

Keen to keep my hand in I coerced a tired Mark B to venture out to the club and face my Byzantines again.

 Surprisingly I was the attacker.
Not sure I got to take advantage of that with my deployment.
Again the Sassanids opted for Aggressive Deployment..

 I felt weak on my right so decided on an immediate attack.
My elite light cavalry should have ridden down the skirmishers with ease.
Sadly they failed their Cohesion test badly, very badly.

 End of the first turn.

Then I decided my CinC better charge.  He came up short...

 End of the second turn.
The Byzantines are carefully engaging the enemy elephants with bow fire.

 End of the third turn.
Luckily I got the first move and my commander continued his charge.
It didn't do any good, except it now meant the massed enemy cavalry were stuck.

 Different perspective on the end of the third turn.
The enemy elephants had also failed to charge home.

 My CinC was able to clear the enemy infantry, but suffered heavy losses.
Then the enemy cavalry charged.
This time the Byzantines passed their cohesion test and hung on for another turn.

End of the fourth turn.
Sassanid losses are mounting.

At the start of the fifth turn my CinC succumbed to the weight of enemy horse and my opponent pleaded for an early night, so we called it quits.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Sidi Rezegh with Rommel

Finally Simon and I got to play a game of Rommel.  I was delighted when I stumbled upon the scenario for the battle of Sidi Rezegh as it matched my 15mm collection quiet well.  This would be the first time I used the figures and models I purchased for my Tunisian project some time back.  Also only the second time I had used my new gaming mat which I had particularly acquired for use with Rommel.

Would I enjoy the rules?

Simon, being the experienced player (as in he had played a game before, although that was five months ago) went DAK.  I went 7th Armoured Division. 

 Set up.

 First combat.

 Panzers getting ready to attack.

 Clash of armour.

7th Armoured's  tanks got the worst of the fighting.

 Okay, they are Matildas, but they are representing Honeys.

 The DAK have captured one objective so far.
But still have plenty of fight in them, whereas the 7th Armoured is a bit run down.

 The final reinforcements have arrived, top of the picture.

Game over on the final turn.
DAK just manage to hold three objectives, 
or rather the 7th Armoured just fail to retake an objective.

So, what do I think of Rommel?

I like my wargames where I am an army commander and Rommel certainly gave me that feel.  Often with WW2 games you are not often in the role of a senior general.

The command, movement and combat systems all worked well and were quick to get the hang of.

Using a grid made things easy.  It is not something I have previously experienced.

The game, including set up took six hours and while we could have played a bit quicker, it is probably not suitable for a club night, which is a pity. (Club night's are only about three hours.)

Yes it did feel like a boardgame with figures, but I like board games so this wasn't an issue.

Have to remember that the bases represent companies, not individuals.  I'm used to that with Napoleon's Battles; Fire and Fury; and Impetus.

Labels... Well, same applies to Napoleon's Battles and Fire and Fury, two of my most favourite sets of wargame rules.  The labels could be changed and possibly even done away with, although some strength counters would be required or a good roster.

Tipping, while an essential mechanic, seems an odd term.  I'd prefer something like regrouping.  I don't like the idea of twisting the bases to show tipping and think I might make up some markers instead.  I need to do that to show suppression in Blitzkrieg Commander.  One simple option would be to use cotton wool.

More a concern for me, and this is nothing to do with the Rommel rules, is that some of my collection are based and some not.  There are pros and cons with both approaches.  Some of the plinth bases could be improved by painting the edges to match the gaming mat.  Rommel doesn't need standard base sizes (as long as three can fit in a grid square, so this is definitely an aesthetic issue for my collection.

I'm looking forward to my next game of Rommel.