Thursday, October 31, 2019

World in Flames 14

It is amazing how quickly the game moves when there is bad weather...

 Germany has aligned Hungary and Romania.
The weather has been blizzards and storm and so both sides are struggling to redeploy.

 The rotten weather has allowed the Chinese to safely pull back,
but they are now on their last line of defence.

More interesting (in terms of opportunities to do something)
is the situation in Far East USSR where the Japanese are getting ready to attack.

Michael, who hosts the game, does a much more detailed write up that is posted to the Face Book World in Flames Group.  This is what he wrote for this session: 

"N/D 40 – J/F 41 The night started with the final impulses of 1940. With little to do, and bad weather the CMWLTH took a combined sailed some more convoys and attempted to GS the OOS Italians in N Africa from its CVs operating in the W Med. No results, but with the ‘lucky’ weather die roll of snow in the Med the Greek Mtn Corps in a last act of revenge for the loss of Athens overran a GER LND destroying the ACFT and killing the pilots – Goring was furious and demanded a ‘please explain’ from the Army commanders who were supposedly responsible for airfield security – an unnecessary loss – more counselling required. The Russians, sensing that the GERM build up on their borders was more than an ‘exercise’ have started to pull a number of key units (MECH) away from the Polish border, further East. No Allied EOT Roll, giving the Axis a valuable extra impulse. Germ chancing a high EOT roll (8) elected a combined and searched the Faeroes Gap conv lanes sailing the old pre-dreadnought Schleswig Holstein, and with what has been a rough time for the CMWLTH, she found with the help of a sub in a high box and a reasonable split sinking 3 CONV and aborting 3 others leaving only 4 left to supply the UK. A second search attempt, to severe the lines completely, saw a reverse and a large split go against the GERM (which surprised both the CMWLTH and GER) and in a violent retribution the sub was sunk as was the venerable Schleswig Holstein which had triggered the search – medals to valiant, as the turn ended. Only bonus to the Allies was they did roll to end the turn, which would have seen the initiative track gain a +1 to the Axis. It remains in the zero box rather than +1 Axis which is important with OP Barbarossa looming. EOT saw a partisan turn up in France with a roll of a 1 as there were 14 garrison points – unlucky, as it now sits on a resource, denying it to the GERM. Greece surrenders and the US finally wakes up and sends the beleaguered British 50 old, but most welcome WW1 destroyers. This creates tension in the US and there are now 7 chits in each of the pools and two in each tension pool, America is awakening. Builds and reinforcements – CMWLTH build is down due to only 4 resources arriving in the UK – this EOT roll against the convoy system always hurts the CMWLTH when it is successful. China with the loss of its Capital Chungking is down to 2 builds. Italy started to build roads in N Africa to connect East and West using local ‘labour’. Churchill (the Brit Player) announces that he wants a short bad weather turn in J/F 41 – a request to the weather Gods. J/F 41 – Axis finally wins an initiative, first for a long time, and promptly hands it to the Allies who go first. Weather is very bad, Blizzard in the Temp and advances by two, and the CMWTH takes its mandatory Naval, sailing escorts and convoys to re-establish and protect its convoy lanes. ACFT from both sides react into the W Med to search for the Italian conv supplying N Africa and the it is found by a French sub patrolling the sea zone. She sails a small fleet to hunt the single SCS in the Bay of Biscay – no find. Russia continues to pull back away from the Polish border as it is getting too dangerous to remain so close to that border as they seek to husband their quality units, China, delighted about going first, steps back into the mountains and double/triple stacks the Communist Chinese and settles in for the winter. Axis impulse sees a Naval for the Italian as it contest both the W and E Med now that the distraction of the Greek campaign is over, it sails it’s sub fleet and fails to find the British Convs but the escorts find and sink the French sub in the W Med where it had been menacing Italian convs. GERM announces the alignment of Rumanian, and the slightly awakened US Senate interest is peaked as he rolls a 2 and gives the US a late Christmas present – a 41 Chit. GERM took a combined and sailed the Nord fleet (5 ships incl the Bismarck) into the 4 box off the Bay of Biscay to search for several British ships that were hunting its comrade, but failed to find. The GERM Raider operating out of Panama sails into the Pacific hunting British convs but failed to find with the Aust – Canada chain remaining intact. The Japanese, taking a no cost land (saving oil) started to send land and air units North to the Sino-Russian border and establish a containment line along the Chinese/Japanese front line, while it sets up to support the GERM Op Barbarossa. Second Allied impulse sees Churchill gets his wish, roll of a 10 +1 (11) BLIZZARD everywhere and advanced by 3! China does nothing – Russia continues to withdraw MECH units towards the new expanded Romanian/Russia border – the garrison value is now 99 GERM v 46 Russia. CMWLTH takes a Naval and sails its 7 battleships led by Nelson and Rodney to hunt the Nord fleet – bad weather aided by poor rolling – both sides rolling their not-so-favourite 7’s, see both fleets missing each other. The Dutch sub patrolling off the Italian coast searched but was instead found and sunk by the Italian escorts. Axis 2nd imp next week will see Hungary aligned and not much else, although the GERM may well consider bailing from the Bay of Biscay as 7 British Battleships tend to focus a GERM Admirals attention and it is a fight they can not win, even if the roll well. Japan will take a land and ship more land units North with Italy a combined to again search for CMWLTH convs"

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

World in Flames - 13

Our thirteenth session was unlucky for China.  With one good weather impulse Japan struck and in a massive display of airpower captured Chunking.

At the same time the Communists pulled back.
The Chinese army is quiet substantive (losses have been low),
 but that doesn't help if they lose their supply cities.

With the USSR it is just a matter of waiting.  
The Axis are yet to align Finland, Hungary or Romania, but that will happen soon.  
War could be as early as March/April although May/June is more likely.

Elsewhere, despite an initial good showing, Greece fell.  However the Italians seem to be losing control of the Western Mediterranean.

I also need to get back to practicing the invasion and response on Vassal.

And whoops, I failed to post this in a timely manner!

Friday, October 25, 2019

Up in the Air

 I take to the air in this Nieuport.

 Straight up I have my tail clipped by the hun!

 We circle round.

 He has a friend, but will he be in time for the action?

 Another blast and my kite is on fire!

 I can only hope that the enemy collide.
Close, but not close enough.

 I make a flaming exit!

 I had one damage point remaining.
Phew, that was close.

Enemy planes were flown by Stephen N (they are all his) and Mark B

First attempt to play Bag the Hun on my hex sheet.
I need to reduce the scale.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Fortress Europa - Part Six

By mid February 1945 the Allies are across the Rhine in three places.  The end is nigh.

The Axis had to withdraw the Sixth Panzer Army, but not before it roughed up the British Army in a bad way.  However the Allied progress has been accelerating even without clear weather.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

World in Flames - 12

In Fortress Europa I roll on a six sided die wanting a low roll for clear weather.  I WiF I roll a ten sided dice wanting a high number for bad weather.  It's doing my head in!

 China hung on for all of the September/October 1940 turn 
thanks to bad weather, bad Japanese rolling and a short turn.  
However the weather for the first pair of impulses in November/December 1940 is fine...

A large force of Axis troops are expected at any moment to appear on the border 
now that Vichy has been declared.  
Bulgaria has been aligned and Greece invaded.  
I have started to pad out the Finish and Rumanian fronts.

China was able to build two divisions and the USSR three infantry units, one garrison and one cavalry plus more pilots.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Fortress Europa - Part Five

In our last session Richard and I had just got up to the big German counterattack.  It went like this:

 The drive on Antwerp was successful.

 And on the border with Switzerland the French Army was badly mauled.


 It immediately came to nought.

And by mid January the Allies were again pushing forward,
thanks to mild weather and good die rolls by me and not so good die rolls by Richard.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Napoleon's Battles via Scharnhorst

I had not got my act together for the Club's Games Day and just thought I would go with NB Scenario One yet again, but then I had a thought, let's front end it with Scharnhorst.  I'd done this successfully before a few years back, but had not got around to trying it again.

I had a quick few tests and went with just three movement points representing an hour (which is two on table turns).  That seemed to work.

Stephen went Prussian and Simon French while I umpired, adjudicated, pontificated and made things up as I went a long, with occasional consultation.

 There were three hours of marching about until the French declared battle.
The table was C4, C5 to E4 and E5.
As can be seen it had two nasty rivers running through the battlefield.  
Fordable, but rough.

 Facing west.
The Prussian Advance Guard which was in E5 is moving to join the Prussian 1st Division 
that has just arrived.  
Their 2nd Division is marching to the battlefield
and will arrive in about four turns.

 The Prussians suffered badly at start.

 But when their reinforcements arrived...

They were able to fight to a standstill.
The French centre was weak and the two flanks separated
making further combat problematic.

The Order of Battle was as per Scenario One which is set in the Revolutionary War.  Using Scharnhorst made for a much more interesting game and holds lots of promise.

Here are a few extra photos that Stephen took:

Friday, October 11, 2019

Fortress Europa - Part Four

Richard and I just managed to get in about three turns, completing November 1944.

 So we've raced up to the border...

But noe the Germans will be launching a huge counterattack with these new reinforcements!

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Nikephorian Byzantine versus Late Eastern Imperial Roman

500 points on a 6x4, quite different to recent games using Impetus Second Edition.  My Byzantines against Dave's Romans.  To account for the table size we added an extra terrain piece each, however we both threw "nothing"on the terrain table.

This game is best summarized as "on target".

 Despite my preponderance of cavalry.
I was out scouted and had to set up first.
But as can be seen, this didn't matter.

 End of Turn 1
I actually advanced.
In switching between rules we forgot that ranges changed and that opportunity was a thing.

 Oh dear!
My sub-general is downgraded.

 End of Turn 2.
We are in missile range.

 End of Turn 3.
My guys have been fantastic shots!
Half of the enemy skirmishers have been eliminated.

 End of Turn 4.
Did I say fantastic shots?
They were double good fantastic shots!!

 End of Turn 5.
Oh no, they are firing (pitifully) back.
(Note disorder marker on my far left legion - it actually hurt as we shall see...)

 End of Turn 6.
My army viewed from the disordered Roman side.

My CinC gets downgraded.

 While the enemy subcommander gets upgraded!

 That same enemy general who has lost most of his command 
and is about three casualties from breaking.

 End of Turn 7.
Contact and my troops recoil.
(the disordered legion on my far left was badly mauled)

 End of Turn 8.
And end of game.

The Roman left wing collapses (who's the upgraded general now huh?)
and with the losses sustained by the main body that is enough to tip them over to break.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

World in Flames - 11

It's the waiting that's getting to me.  The tension is high as the Japanese have built up a massive force in China and in Europe the Axis are massing on the border.  I can do little against the fgormer, but the latter is a bit more tricky.

 It is the second impulse pair of September/October 1940 and the weather has cleared.
Note Japanese outflanking which is going to be a pain to contain.

I learnt that unlike the European map, you need two corps/armies stacked to generated a ZoC. Luckily HQ units have a ZoC all by themselves, so Mao saves the day.

The July/August build for China was one Militia and one Garrison.

I've started to rearrange the front and plan for a forward blocking pattern and a rear flexible deployment ready to move when the war starts. 
It all comes down to unit numbers and terrain points
and that bare border with Romania looks like trouble. 

The border with Romania looks a bit empty, but units have started to go into the border Finland.

The USSR build was a HQ (Infantry), two Infantry armies, a garrison and a pilot.  I gave serious thought to building an armour, but it would not arrive till after the expected hostilities and I need troops now, plus I want to get the gearing limit up so I can build all the infantry.

The garrison value is currently 18 from units and 15 from chits (33).  The Axis have 31 from units (the SS militia and garrison units count double, but are not really offensive troops) and an estimated 24 from chits.

The Nazi-Soviet Pact was signed in Jul/Aug 1939, six turns ago now, and to declare war they must have double the garrison value.  Until the end of Jan/Feb 1941 the Soviet garrison values for their units are doubled :-)  The Axis therefore need 102.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Hexes A Go Go

One of the major challenges being a blogger is thinking up amusing titles for posts.

I've always wanted a hex mat and now I have one.  However I can't decide what to do with it, so I've tried it out with a range of my figures and models to see what looks good.  Here are the results:

6mm base that I kind of did for Blucher.
Perfect fit!
Information on Blucher Hexes can be found here:

I should note that I have only five bases of 6mm figures, although lots of 6mm figures in varying degrees of painting and basing.

I wonder how my Impetus bases fit?
The Light Cavalry base is the biggest, so all the rest would fit fine.
Maybe some large units might have an issue...
Just need to convert Impetus to hexes to give it a try.

One of the initial reasons for getting the Hex Mat was to see how it would work for Napoleonics.
This standard cavalry unit from Napoleon's Battles is a tight fit.

But a two base cavalry unit is a much better fit.
The hexes are roughly four inches wide.

A big Napoleon's Battles infantry unit.

Again, a slightly smaller unit fits better 
and allows for different formations or postures to be depicted.

Column of Manoeuvre

March Column

There's even room for artillery.

Not quite limbered artillery...

But where there is a will, there's a way!

Do I have enough hexes for a system like Bag the Hun?

Sadly my hopes for using this mat for Rommel ain't going to work.
So I'm making plans to add hexes to the reverse side of my squared desert mat.