Thursday, November 26, 2020

Byzantines versus Carthaginians

To be precise, Nikephorian versus 2nd Punic War Carthaginians.  Russell took my Carthaginians and came a close second.

Deployment.  I had the advantage, or so I thought.

We advanced, light cavalry going out on the wings.

Turn 2 and it looked good for my light cavalry.

But on Turn 3 the Carthaginians got the initiative 
and there was nothing stopping their infantry 
from walking straight through my centre.

Turn 5 was the climax.
Could their elephants complete the job,
before my cavalry could take out their cavalry (and general)?

The Byzantines were one off breaking,
the Carthaginians were one over.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

World in Flames via FB - 5

Italy declares war on the Commonwealth (not France) and sends its frogmen into Gibraltar in an attempt to cripple the Commonwealth Mediterranean fleet, it has limited success.  Germany does little except shoot down a French fighter.  The USSR declares war on Iran, but fails to make an immediate conquest. For China you will have to read Mike's detailed report.

1940 M/A
Reinforcements placed. the Allies won an uncontested initiative and went first as the +3 on the weather roll meant that it was likely to be clear. The Axis did not contest as again they want to retain their +2 on the Initiative track for the summer offensive against France and the Low Lands (Dutch: de Lage Landen, French: les Pays-Bas). Weather rolled by the Allies was a 10 with a +3 for an ‘off the table’ 13! Fine everywhere! ... and a great decision by the Allies not to have given away the first turn to the Axis – not that they were ever tempted, take it when you can.
Allied first impulse and Russia made its predicted DOW against Persia – the Senate wide awake was not happy with Russia again flexing its military muscle and demanded a chit. Persia was aligned with Japan (thanks for the free oil) and sets up the Persian’s to defend the capital and await its ‘calling up’ its MIL Res. Russia, took a no cost combined, and attempted to GS the Tehran defenders with a surprise bombing raid - no success, Russian’s Corps cross the undefended border and advance towards Tehran. The CMWLTH took a Comb and sailed out to the North Sea in order to provide shore bombardment to deter a GERM attack against British assets. The Long-range bomber search of the Baltic in fine weather finds the Pocket BS Deutschland and sends her home but fails to find the GERM Baltic Convs. The Brit strategic bombers also fail again and drop leaflets instead of bombs, despite the clear weather and a +1 for non-interception as the hard-pressed Luftwaffe is stationed on the French front line. The GS from British and French in a pre-emptive strike is only marginally successful as only two GERM frontline units are inverted as well as the GERM AA unit. The Luftwaffe finally has some success in the air rolling an 18 against the French and shooting down their first enemy acft, capturing the pilots as they bail out over Axis controlled territory. A few allied land units uncomfortably juggle (military term – redeploy) on the front line and await the expected OChit offensive in the bonus clear weather turn of M/A. France collects the Dakar TER who boards their Tpt bound for mainland France. China, noting clear weather moves a Div into their point defensive hex and like the French and Brits in Belgium await the Axis assault.
Axis first impulse - and to the Allies surprise and great relief, no declaration of a land offensive by the GERM? Italy finally steps into the ring and makes a DOW against the CMWLTH seeing that the bulk of the BEF is in France and Norway, declaring a Naval. The US Senate were not impressed – they cancelled the loan or resources and demanded a chit and a strongly worded telegram to Mussolini – they got their chit. The Italian’s sail all their ships to the E and W Med and subs into the convoy lanes in the Bay of Biscay and outside Gibraltar. The Italian frogman surprise the defences of Gibraltar (A 10 is rolled by the Brits!!!) and avoiding detection they sink two CA’s and damage a BS – the British had seen this coming and made sure there were no CV’s or tpts in Gib. The other sea area searches all failed other than the Bay of Biscay search which surprised the 16 Brit and Allied Convs as the British rolled a 9! (two surprise rolls, a 9 and a 10 really) They sink 3 and damage 6 Conv, aborting all bar one – cleared that sea lane they almost did. Importantly for the CMWLTH it was on the first impulse which will allow the CMWLTH and its allies to re-establish its Conv lane – if it happened on an EOT roll, it could have been a disaster for the CMWTH’s build and gearing, but clear weather in M/A is not common. GERM Land sees them move reinforcements to the Belgium border and reinvert the three inverted units, including the important 88 AA Div. They send two GERM Corps to Italy and practice embarkation drills – off to N Africa is the guess. Japan takes a combined, and GS the wooded resource hex in Southern China, again missing most of their ground strikes. Again, the Chinese air-force intercepted the Japanese GS acft and destroyed another acft and pilot. The Chinese air-force has flown up every turn, and every time they have shot down a Jap acft, either Ftr or Bomber – these guys are Aces!
Allied 2nd impulse and it is a 4, bad weather in most theatres, fine in the N Monsoon. The RN take a Naval and send fleets to the E and W Med to counter the Italian influence. The Med fleet in the E Med have a soft find, but the Italian CA uncharacteristically saves it sink. The Conv lanes in the Bay of Biscay are re-established. Russia, France and China do little as the weather is their strongest defence – it is storm in the Temp so no air ops over Europe.
Axis 2nd Impulse - Japan as expected launches their attack on the wooded resource hex in Southern China after missing all their ground strikes. But with a solid +10.9 attack they roll average taking the hex, destroying two Chinese units at the cost of their ENG, with a half invert. Japan places the inverted MIL Res in Tehran, more than doubling the defence from 4 to 10 with a +2 (Inverted MIL). GERM takes a Naval, sails its single sub on patrol and send the Schleswig Holstein into the North sea to ‘take on’ the British fleet (well actually it is there to remove the ‘presence’ penalty for the next possible impulse) – the British search for her and fail to find. Italy takes a combined and search for the British in the W Med, failing to find and sends boldly the Libyan TER crosses the border into Egypt, towards Alexandria.
Allies 3rd impulse and the Allies worst nightmare rears its ugly head with a 9 rolled – clear everywhere with rain in the Artic – turn possible end on a 3. The Allies consider a pass, but instead elect to have a turn as Russia wants to finish off the Persians defending their capital and the Allies want to try and GS the GERM front line units again. This could get really ugly for the BEF and the French. The CMWLTH takes a Comb, and fail to find the Italian fleets or the Schleswig Holstein, but the Italian NAV Air operating in the E Med finds the Med fleet in a soft split and damages the Brit CV, forcing the RN to flee to the Suez out of harm’s way. The British GS the GERM front line with little effect and redeploy several units and in Egypt the Egyptian Army goes out to meet the invading Italian TER in the middle of the desert. France, already set on the front line, aborts its Tpt carrying the Dakar TER and lands it in Marseilles. China adjusts its line to cover the Southern city of Kweiyang as the line has thinned with the last Jap roll. Noting that the Japanese Mech DIV has now arrived they elect to retire from the plains and retire to the mountains. Russia spends oil and launches its first attack of the game against Tehran, rolling very ordinary dice they fail with a 1:1 loss – bugger, or what ever that word is in Russian. Better news for the Allies, when, pushing their run of good luck EOT rolls, the Allies roll a 3 to end the clear weather turn - Germany again muttered some not so polite expletive knowing that this was another missed opportunity snatched away from then by an unlucky die roll.
Partisans roll with two more turning up in China, with again the Northern iron mines of Shanghai being occupied denying that valuable resource to the Japs. Rebasing and production will occur next session as will be the important initiative roll – will the Axis finally win the initiative and roll clear weather!
An interesting session, with the most important die roll being the Allied EOT roll of 3 – basically a two-impulse turn for the Axis. The Allies were perplexed and relieved that the GERM did not declare a Land Offensive in the first clear (Bonus) impulse – when queried the Germ player was hoping for a third impulse of clear (or later) and then declare a Land Offensive with its units all back upright, the majority of the Allied air-force flown and perhaps the opportunity to end the turn and achieve a double impulse for M/J having broken the Allied line – French or British, the impulse before – he was counting on the Allied not ending the turn. The GERM had gambled but luckily for the Allies, the Allies did roll the end of turn and averted a potential disaster if the GERM plan had been executed as conceived. Next week will Belgium hold or fold, where will the GERM hammer blow fall – against the French or the British?

More Austrian Infantry

The final batch of figures from the purchase of Stan's Austrians.  Just fixed a few paint chips and based them.  A rifles needed gluing to strengthen them (I hope it works).  Three were badly broken and so were converted to standard bearers (with added flags of course - easy with a colour printer).

With the black facings they can represent:
60. Giulai.

Although I could claim the black is actually a very dark green or blue and then they can be:
33. Sztaray,
51. Splenyi,
61. St.Julien, and/or
62. F.Jellacic.

As they represent a brigade sized formation (or large regiment - 16 figures represent 960 men) I am not too fussed.

However, these figures are actually Grenz, but I will claim the depot outfitting these Hungarian infantry units ordered the wrong head gear or was commanded by an officer whose brother only made Grenz style shakos or had a warehouse full of the things and was desperate to use them.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Trial of Strength - Summer'45

The game has a variable end date based on Allied progress (an abstract die roll) and how many resources Germany diverts to the Eastern front.  For our game it meant we got three extra turns.  Could the Soviets take Berlin?

Direct attacks towards Berlin have been delayed due to lack of supply, 
a river and the need to move the Soviet air force forward.
Better progress has been made to the south of Berlin.
Note: Berlin is the hex that has the face uop blue aircraft unit on it.

The Soviets now have two hexes on Berlin ready for the big assault.
Meanwhile the rest of the map is being cleaned up of Axis forces.

Hungary is overrun.
The attack on Berlin was unlikely to succeed.
Casualties were inflicted, 
but there were enough German units to absorb them and be able to avoid retreat.

With 10 movement points available and it taking six to launch the attack, no further attack could be made :-(

Excellent game, made extremely challenging by the fog of war (which was further assisted by me not knowing the rules).  I never made use of airborne or naval forces not that historically the Eastern Front is known for such things.

In a bid to preserve a bit of modern abstract wargaming art, here is a scan of the sheet of paper I was using to record replacement points as well as calculate combat factors (an aide memoire to mental arithmetic).

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Austrian Infantry

These dudes are more from the Stan purchase.  Just fixed a few paint chips, painted the cockades and based them.  A few baynotes needed repairing as you will see.  I also added the flags after replacing two of the flag poles that had broken. 

With the sapphire blue facings they can represent:
3. Archduke Charles Erzherzog Karl;
29. Wallis; and/or
55. Reuss-Greitz.

The three infantry figures on this base all have new bayonets.  
They are made from foil, attached with super glue, strengthened with a coat or two of PVA glue, lick of paint and they look better than the originals with the benefit that they readily bend rather than snap.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Trial of Strength - Spring'45

Richard and I completed the penultimate session of this classic game.  Google tried hard to change the orientation of the images and I ended up having to go into the HTML code and muck about.  Not happy.

End of mud.
Nothing happened.

Attacks start again.
The Vistula line has been broken.

The intensity and success of the Soviet attacks increases.

Warsaw has been liberated.

Konigsberg has been surrounded.

The very successful spring offensive has just outrun its supply lines.
The red Airforce also needs to relocate (range is 3 hexes full effect, 6 hexes half)
There are three turns left.

2nd Punic Wars Carthaginian versus Early Swiss

My boys certainly get around, this week invading Switzerland, 
although maybe a few hundred years late. 

The deployment only really covered half of the 4x3 table.

A slow advance commences.

Very slow.

By Turn 3 my skirmishers are close enough to engage the enemy.

Turn 4 and the enemy used Decisive Initiative to close with my army,
In an amazing poor set of die rolls, 
the Libyan skirmishers with stood the might of two Swiss Halberdiers units.

Turn 5 and the fighting is on, but not very conclusive.

With Turn 6 the Swiss called it quits after a further string of poor rolls.

I need to seek clarification on units that retreat and meet enemy units, and on what happens to units that retreat but don't clear friendly units.

Monday, November 16, 2020

World in Flames via FB - 4

 1940 -J/F Happy New Year – well it was more so for the Allies

The Axis won an uncontested initiative and allowed the Allies to go first rather than lose their +2 on the Initiative track during winter, saving it for the summer, weather roll is 6; Snow Arctic and N Temp, rain in the Med - winter had arrived. Allies went first with the CMWLTH taking a predictable Naval and sailing to escort their convoys just in case the U-Boats get curious, heavy naval assets are sent into the North Sea and the 3 x TPTS in Norway head back to the UK and France to reload more units. Arty GS by both British and French Arty Divs fail to invert GER front line units. Two strategic bombing runs on Germany by bomber command end up being leaflet drops. France takes a no-cost combined to pick an INF from Syria, remaining out at sea in the E Med to tempt the Italian into a DOW. China moves a Div and a Cav Corps South to cover expected losses as the clear in Monsoon always spells trouble and losses for the Chinese.
Axis impulse and a Combined by the German sees additional units land in Oslo and head North to counter the British build up. GERM acft in Norway head South to offset recent Luftwaffe losses and prepare for the renewed Low-Lands campaign. Italy, despite being tempted by the French loaded Tpt passes up the chance and stays home. Japan takes a combined and lands more units in China and GS two S Chinese hexes – again the Chinese air-force flies in defence of its ground forces shooting down a 3 LND for no loss, all other GS fail on 1’s and 2’s, Japan elects not to attack without the GS plusses as they still have additional acft to fly next impulse.
Allied 2nd impulse, weather just got worse (8+1) 9 Blizzard in Arctic, and Snow in N Temp and Med. A combined by the CMWLTH sees GORT’s vacation in France cancelled as he is shipped to Norway, a search for Baltic Convs finds nothing other than a patrolling GERM HE FTR – in a continuing saga of poor performance the FTR is shot down by the British bomber as it returns back to blighty – ‘a close run thing’ The British acft relocate too and from Belgium and the UK, swapping poor quality acft for slightly better acft. France, another no cost combined sees their lonely tpt abort back to Marseilles with a very relieved 4.3INF please to be back on home soil – viva la France! China flips a DIV into the ‘pointy end’ so that at least there are 3 units in the mostly attack hex – giving away a +1.
Axis 2nd Imp and with little to do on the land the Germ Nord fleet led by the two BC Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and two CA’s sails boldly into the N Sea to take on the might of the Royal Navy, looking smart they roll a 1 – they have found their prey! But in equally brilliant seamanship the RN roll a 1 as well! The German Admiral was not happy, but in fairness the likely outcome should have been both fleets not finding, just a pain when you roll that cheeky 1 and your opponent does the same – back to the battle, the Nord fleet takes a 1/2/2 and the Blucher is sunk (almost historical) but the GERM was lucky saving both rolls on the BC’s who abort at their best flank speed with the Hipper back to Keil. The British loose the Dutch CA De Ruyter sunk, so despite a 3:1 combat ratio both fleets only lost a CA each – it would appear that the GERM shooting was better on the day. Japan again attempted multiple GS with 1’s – as is normal, but again with no success. With a possible EOT roll coming up they launch their attack with a +8.7 rolling a 6 for the dreaded ‘Squiggly 14’ 3/1 loss to the attacker – the Japs loose three Corps (luckily all with or adjacent to a HQ so they get back 3 x valuable BPs) – the Chinese loose that 1.1 GAR Div. Italy, pleased that it has done nothing celebrates a long festive season at home.
Allied 3rd Impulse sees the weather worsens with a 9 rolled +2 (11) Blizzard mostly everywhere and a Storm in N Monsoon – nothing happening anywhere – no oil spent and little acty by any of the Allies – they end the turn, no change to the initiative track , still at a +2 to the Axis.
Partisan roll was a 2 with the Norwegian Partisans getting together for the first time since their country was invaded and deciding that it was too early and cold -23C to become active. China however, delighted with the recent losses inflicted on the Japanese Army’s failed assault become optimistic with two more PART being drawn, one deciding to occupy the Northern Mountains, and the other the Northern iron mines of Shanghai denying that valuable resource to the Japs. Not a good turn for the Japs, losing 3 x INF/MIL Corps and another bomber for one Chinese GAR Div and no territorial gain – it was not the Axis’ night. But still it is early days. Having said that the Japanese have had rolled consistent +14 rolls on their attacks up to that point, just frustrating when you roll that nasty ‘squiggly 14’ on the assault table and lose three for 1 – it hurts and is expensive, especially if you don’t take the hex and have to ‘rinse and repeat’, hoping you don’t roll 14 a second time.
1940 M/A
Reinforcements placed the Allies won an uncontested initiative and went first as the +3 on the weather roll meant that it was likely to be clear. The Axis did not contest as again they want to retain their +2 on the Initiative track for the summer offensive against the lowlands. Weather roll by the Allies was a 10 with a +3 for an off the table 13!, Fine everywhere! ... and a great decision not to have given away the first turn to the Axis. Germany muttered knowing that this was another missed opportunity, on top of what has not been a great night for the Axis, with little joy anywhere – still early days and a new year – next session in two weeks’ time. Clear weather everywhere – will the GERM choose to use O Points to break the French or British line in a bonus, probably one off M/A clear weather turn – it will depend on the GS from the Allies I guess who may well be forced to target the front line hexes or GERM HQs – next week will tell.