Friday, February 25, 2022

General d'Armee in 15mm

This time my Austrians faced Chris' French.  Simon took command of one of the Austrian Brigades and John had one of the French brigades.  It was still very much a learning exercise with these rules.

I'm in command of the four battalions to the left of the wood.

We have to secure the town, even though it is on fire. 

Simon's command advancing on the right.

The critical turn.
The bottom most Austrian brigade has been bloodily repulsed before it even got into combat.
The fighting near the town, while starting to look promising,
ended in a draw.

Most importantly, we were starting to get a handle on the rules. 

Thursday, February 24, 2022

World in Flames - FB 54


Breaking News – Mussolini has finally turned up with a few of his entourage and has declared that Addis Ababa in Ethiopia is the new Italian Capital. The territories of Ethiopia and Eretria celebrate in muffled tones as they had hoped to be forgotten in the conflux that is WWII, Mussolini’s arrival has probably put paid to that.
Allies’ 1st Impulse, knowing it will be a short turn, the US take a Super Combined – and as they have spare O-Points to burn, and many more being built, the CW take a Naval/Land and the Russian an Air/Land with China a Land and France, a Naval. France’s naval sees it transporting valuable US reinforcements to Europe and providing escorts to the valuable convoy links. The CW Naval move, likewise, focuses on shifting the weapons of war by shuttling transports and their valuable cargoes to and from the US. They also escort the Allied convs that are now delivering 15 US BPs to the UK from the factories of the East Coast of America. In the North Sea the Home fleet sails and escorts 6 Amphs/Tpts in the 3 and 4 boxes as they pick up DIVS and Corps off the coasts. In a similar manner, in the Med, Amphs/Tpts off the coast of Italy embark multiple Divs and Corps to land in Northern Italy so that they can follow up the retreating Axis forces. The last of the CW units from Egypt arrive to support the Italian Campaign. US TF17 sailed to support and escort the TPTs arriving in the Med and TF 11 sailed to the North Sea. Massed Allied naval forces, CVs, BS and CAs and loaded Tpts and Amphs all loaded with INF and MECH are now out at sea in both the North Sea and off the Coast of Italy. With snow in the temperate 8 Strategic Bombers take off to bomb the Axis factories – despite none being intercepted and also having a +1 (for not being intercepted) only one of the bombing runs succeeds (Munich) as the bombers all roll consistent 2’s or 3’s. It would appear that the snow has done an excellent job of camouflaging the targets.
The subsequent GS phase is similarly uneventful with only a few Axis units inverted, thanks again to the excellent AA gunnery in the West and poor GS rolling by the Allies in the East. Although yet again the Luftwaffe was roughly dealt with by the Russian air-force as three more German Ftrs were shot down. Importantly the German black print 7.3 defending Bucharest is inverted, guaranteeing the capture of the Rumanian Capital on a +22 Assault. The Russian press on with a +10.5 Assault against Belgrade and another against Cracow, taking both cities and eliminating their defenders. In the North the Russian Army advances and assault Lodz capturing the city and its red factory. Another Axis Infantry is eliminated, again for no loss or inversions – Stalin’s forces are on a roll – as high odds attacks and winterised bonuses help the attacks. Having taken an Air/Land the Russian air-force is rebased forward occupying forward airbases to support the next offensive.
In the West, the US forces attack the 6.3 SS anchoring the SW line in the mountains on a gutsy +4 assault, hoping not to roll the squiggly 14 (3/1 loss). Fortune favours the rash and they roll a 1/1 exchange losing their 6.4 Mtn Corps but importantly eliminating the 6.3 SS, the line is now turned. In a similar manner the CW launch a +10 Blitz attack against the coastal defenders at Calais. This attack is supported by Marines debarking in Dover and attacking across the channel, plus shore bombardment and aircraft. Rolling TOTT they destroy the two Axis MIL defenders (only 7 Points) and turn the NW line, flanking the city of Lille – finally there is movement on the Western Front. With storm in Italy there is little movement and there are no attacks by the US and CW forces. Massed Allied acft are rebased and reinverted by Allied HQs hoping for finer weather in the next impulse.
In the Far East, the Chinese attempt a strategic bombing of Japan, but their US built Liberator is shot down by the remnants of the once proud Japanese air-force. China launches an attack against the Siam 2.2 MIL defending Bangkok and take the capital at a cost of a Nationalist 1.1 – attack weakness – is always going to give you a lower odds attack. With the fall of Bangkok, another Axis minor capitulates and the impulse advances by another 3.
Axis 2nd impulse and the important weather roll favours the Russian again, it would appear that when you are down nothing goes well, as another double snow turn arrives with a 5 rolled, the Russian front has just become untenable. With rain in the Med the W Allies will not be left out of the action. German units are railed to the Russian front in a desperate attempt to stave off the inevitable, single units are now holding the front-line against the Russian horde, from Austria in the South to Germany in the North – there are more vacant hexes than units! The Western Front is slightly better, as at least the line is double stacked and short – and despite the Allied air superiority the German AA gunners have been doing sterling work driving off the majority ground attack acft – with few inverts the Western Allies are less inclined to assault the line. The German HQ Manstein reinverts 3 units, including the two Heavy AA guns and the FW190 - 10 factor ftr to assist against the next Allied assaults in the West.
Allies’ 2nd Impulse the CW, US and Russian take Land actions with the Chinese an Air and the French a Combined. The recently arrived US Super Fortresses bomb Berlin again and find their target with 3 factories production halted. Other bombers strike German factories and with much better results shut down 5 more German factory production. The US and CW forces in Italy assault the defending 3 factor (6 in the mountains) SS MIL in the rain, eliminating it for a ½ invert, clearing central Northern Italy, the US DIV on the Island of Quarnero advances into Pola capturing the resource and welcoming 2 x debarking Marine Corps to secure the port and threaten the major port city of Trieste. A successful GS in central Italy inverts an OOS black print 5 INF which is eliminated in the rain. With snow in France again and little success on the GS due to again superb AA five from the defending AA batteries, both Western Allies decline to attack. CW forces push North to outflank Lille, hoping to isolate its defenders However, the US forces cross into Germany as they advance against empty hexes towards Stuttgart and Munich – threatening the German heartland and its beer halls. The W Allies are conserving their forces for the fine weather and are happy tie down valuable German defenders whilst the Russian pursues their quarry in the snow. French partisans occupy Metz and set up bunting, trestle tables and red wine, as they sense that the Allies will be arriving soon.
On the Russian front, the rout continues, as successful GS sees the odd OOS German defender inverted and become another casualty as the ‘dead German pile’ gets bigger. The Russian Juggernaut trundles West. A +18-blitz attack against the last remaining Hungarian army unit, the 5.5 Mech that ‘got away’ last turn sees it eliminated with no inversions, a +29 attack against another cut off German Corps sees further advances westwards. The HQ Kesselring, caught by itself as its flanking units evaporate is eliminated on a +17 attack. The carnage continued as two +11 attacks, the first against an 8 factor in a mountain hex and the second against Zagreb see two 19’s rolled for massive TOTT rolls – no inversions, no losses! Yugoslavia will now fall in the conquest phase, as will Hungary – two more Axis allies will surrender. The Allies fail to end the turn, and the impulse marker advances by 3 – it can now end on a 5 if Italy and Japan both pass - and there is no reason for them not too.
Axis 3rd Impulse – weather roll a 7 +1 (😎, snow in the Temp bodes well for the Allies much to their delight. The Axis badly needed a storm or Blizzard. Germany demands their minor Allies pass and they do, Italy and Japan pass – Germany takes a land. Units are railed from Italy and Germany to bolster Vienna and the Russian Southern front which has become extremely vulnerable, if not indefensible. On the Western Front Lille is vacated to straighten the line leaving behind the inverted AA gunners and the last German units cross the border into Belgium and Germany in good order. In Northern Germany MIL attempt to block landing sites adjacent to Kiel as CW MAR arrive. Axis attempt to roll EOT needing 6 or less – hand on heart, but they roll an 8! The turn goes on as the impulse marker advances by 2. The Russian is wringing his hands with anticipation and savouring more dead German units with the onset of snow.
Allied 3rd Impulse - The Allies take land actions to keep the pressure on. The Russian front has mostly culminated as most of the acft have flown, attacks against lone units continue with an assault against Vienna’s defenders topping the table. Units in the South advance into the Austrian mountains with the aim of exploiting the lack of defenders. On the Western Front CW and US forces advance into Belgium and eliminate the inverted AA gun left behind in Lille, taking the city. US forces in the Southwest, led by Patton exploit towards Munich, the Brennen Pass and Stuttgart – the US forces have established a significant bridgehead in Germany. In Italy the combined US and CW forces cross the Po River as they para drop the empty hex with the intent of cutting off supply to the mostly inverted German units in Italy as they ZOC the mountain highway to the Brennen Pass, they are successful in their coupe du main breaching the river and cutting supply. Trieste is occupied forcing the remaining Italian ships to rebase – they are not found by the massed fleets off the Italian coast – not sure how that is possible? The Canadian HQ Crerar launches an attack from Denmark against Kiel as all the defenders were inverted in a lucky GS. The Assault at +6.5 which was speculative but worth the risk, even in snow – no reward for the Canadians as they roll very average for a 1.1 loss to each side, Kiel survives.
Allies roll EOT and Germany sighs, although he notes that the German units in Italy are now OOS and with no path to a German primary source will not reinvert at the end of this turn. Partisan roll – no partisans turn up despite several rolls, mainly against the Allies, which included India again. During the conquest phase, Siam capitulates as their last unit is removed off the board. Hungary and Yugoslavia likewise join the Soviet Bloc. Rebase and production, and M/A reinforcements. Germany spends its captured BPs from the collapse of Italy and again retrains a number of its pilots. The late war is often catastrophic for the Axis, and this game is no different. In three impulses the Germ has lost 22 Corps, 4 Divs and 8 Ftrs – and the only land units returning to the front line will be the turns-built MIL as there have been no units Blitzed back to the spiral and there are no reinforcements arriving for M/A 45.

Germany surrounded

Italy about to be 'liberated' of German units

Seoul the next on the Soviet hit list

The Russians are coming

Western Allies have liberated France and entered SW German

CW forces arrive in Italian E Africa and Eritrea

Enormous losses for the Axis in a winter turn - three snow impulses in a row will do that together with some hefty rolls.

Monday, February 21, 2022

The Siege - Two

At the February NWS Games Day Simon assembled his fortress and prepared to stand siege.

My post on our previous game using this fabulous terrain can be seen here:

It's hard work, but someone has to do it.

The siege!

The terminology

View from the besiegers

View from the besieged

Inside the fortress

Engineer supervises the building of the saps.

The fortress front line defenders

The saps wriggle forward

Parallels and additional batteries are constructed

Getting close

The besiegers have plenty of ammunition and their guns are well crewed

The fortress has been trying to conserve its ammunition

Small arms fire now supplements the siege artillery

An assault is imminent,
but sadly we were out of time

The game was playing well, but a few modifications would help:
1. Units eliminated should be classed a Combat Ineffective (CI)
2. Risk of loss should always be on high rolls: 456 for gun crew, 6 for engineers, master gunners etc 
3. Delineate two/three areas for each side for placement of CI units, units removed during the turn and for returning units (i.e. those that were removed last turn).
4. Marking troops under fire.  Troops fired on during a turn are marked with a "smokey" this stays for the next turn to indicate they had been fired on.  Consider simplifying so if a unit is fired on at any time in a turn it gets marked.  All marks come off at the end of the turn.
5. Just role for initiative once per turn, not per fire segment.  So gaining initiative helps to immediately place enemy units under fire if that is what the phasing player wants to do.  

Friday, February 18, 2022


Zoe and I got in another game of this today.  Took around two hours and we were much quicker than before (it helped that I had now read the rules).  This game is a lot of fun, but very hard to win.  Zoe was the Scout and I was the Soldier.  I was a rotten shot!  Zoe got slimed and spent an inordinate amount of time looking for clean clothes!  Just as we were starting to make progress the aliens, eh intruders, started appearing.  Then fires broke out.  Then the alien queen took a liking to me - result I died.  Then the fires spread.  Result ship blows up.  As it was it was just about to go into hyperspace and none of use were safe.  Plus the destruct sequence was underway.  Engines unknown, but destination earth!

The game might not photograph so well,
but it certainly tells a story


My daughter told me she had played this game with her friends and really enjoyed.  Thanks to Tactics here in Perth I was able to source a copy super quick.  Then it was just a matter of finding some time to play.  Our first game was a bit of a challenge in not knowing the rules etc, but it played well, provided you remembered that you were in an alien (hint hint) infected space-hulk (hint hint).  Zoe's character was the maintenance and and was intent on collecting shiny things (didn't happen).  I was the commander and wanted to send off a signal and find peace in hibernation.

We fought off a few intruders, survived some wounds, got covered in slime (well one of us), both got infected and died, just as the game was coming to a close.  

Not a good image, but the blue ring was my character's resting place.

Now to play again.

Whoops, forgot to publish this.  Game took place around 20 January.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

A bit more General d'Armee

At the club last night we reconstructed the game from last week and pushed along a bit, getting a better handle on fire combat, charge and melee.

I haven't read the rules or watched any of the videos so it was a bit of a suck it and see exercise.  Some bits irked me, like skirmishers shooting up artillery and skirmishers not getting a bonus firing on squares, but this might be me being so used to playing Napoleonic's were an on table unit represents a brigade, not a battalion.

I mentioned before I found the rules to be like Shako, but this similarity started to fade as I got a better feel for them.  The charge mechanism seems interesting and I liked the idea of maintaining supports for units to rally back on.

I did have some shitty die rolls, but nothing new there.

Skirmishers have been pulled back and the French in line engage the British with some volleys.
A battalion in column stands in support.

Cavalry action, despite having the numbers and quality, the French did not have the luck.
However after two draws the British retired off the table due to lack of support.

A French line protecting their battery from deadly rifle fire.

Something must be working for me as I've agreed to play next week, but this time fielding my 15mm Austrians.

The Romans are Coming!

I'm about to start on an early Roman army to match my Carthaginians.  This is based on a DBA army I picked up from the late Tony Cooper, some spare figures from Simon and a purchase from a chap in New Zealand which I had the good fortune to find on Facebook.

Need to do some research, but I am sure I have at least enough for a Basic Impetus army.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Twilight Struggle - Take Two Completed

Today's session completed this excellent game.  We had a lot of ups and downs, but ended up exactly where we started in terms of Victory Points - zero. nada, zilch.

Richard claimed moral victory as the US was ahead in the space race.

Excellent game.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

General d'Armee

So I rocked up to the club expecting to play Black Powder with some of Simon's excellent SYW figures and find I am playing General d'Armee with some of his excellent Napoleonic figures. Such is life.

This photo doesn't do the figures justice,
although I am sure you can get a feel for their charm

Originally I was going to play the British

But I ended up with the French playing against Curtis and John,
with Simon umpiring.

This was the first game of GdA for all of us.  Simon had the rules and had watched some videos and so he was the expert, although we were able to cal on some of the other club members to help us out with rule interpretations etc (but not many).

Given our novice nature, even raw conscript in my case, with the rules, it is not surprising that we only managed to complete about six turns and were yet to really get into action.

I had been busy given attention to using my artillery to bombard the enemy, while hoping my skirmishers might have some luck in resisting the rifle armed British equivalents.  This was all to give me time to redeploy my cavalry from the left to the right which I successfully did.

The intention is to pick the game up at this point next week.

My impression of GdA is that it is very much like Shako, without some of the ridged movement restrictions, although not having read the rules I won't make too much of this.

Makes me want to do more Napoleon's Battles though!

Friday, February 11, 2022

Twilight Struggle - Take Two

Tuesday Richard and I started our second session of the Cold War game, until life cruelly interrupted and called me away.

The US seem to be gaining control of more countries, but the USSR has put a dog in space.

Friday, February 4, 2022

Maurikian Byzantines versus Arab Conquest

Effectively a rematch from our game on 16 December, this time Stephen took command of my Arabs and roughed up my Byzantines.

The Byzantines outscouted the Arabs.
I thought my three units of cavalry would be more than a match for the Arab fanatical foot.

We advanced, but Byzantine missile fire proved ineffective.

The Arabs won the initaitaive and charged and were just able to make contact.
One unit was beaten off but another took out the Byzantine CinC.
Oh dear!

The ability of the Byzantines to turn the Arab's left flank was way too late
as another Byzantive cavalry unit was routed.

The Arab foot put paid to the last Byzantine elite cavalry and game over.

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Twilight Struggle

Using the same system as Europe in Turmoil, this game tackles the Cold War.  Richard and I started the game on Tuesday and got carried away staging coups in Egypt only to discover this raised the Defcon tension and precipiated Nuclear War and end of the game.  Being gentlemen we didn't apportion blame for causing the Nuclear War and with the planet now destroyed there seemed little point.  In the future cockroach scholars are sure to debate the origns of life on the planet, once they have evolved sufficently.  The smart money is on a lot of big bangs.

Excellent game, looking forward to next session.

World in Flames - FB 53

Now is the start of 1945 and while the Allies have lost the initiative, at least the Soviets have been blessed with snow.


Allies 4th impulse and fine weather again as another 2 is rolled – three fine weather rolls in N/D! The US, CW and Russia take a land with China and France a no-cost- combined. France’s search off the coast of Iatly fids the lone Roma and in the fine weather the Allied NAV of 26 points get 2 sinks and 2 D’s there are no survivors.
The Russian launch a +10 attack against Bucharest where a single German 8 INF is defending - and roll their second ‘snake eye’ for the N/D turn, the previous double one was against Warsaw and now another against Bucharest - it seems the Russian Infantry are less than enthusiastic to assault capital cities. Worse for the Russian, what was a handy +10 Blitz attack against the lone 5.5 Hungarian Mech just sees it blitzed back to the spiral with another average roll, it will return to Bucharest as a reinforcement in J/F 1945. Russian forces clean up the Yugoslav Mtn unit a 7 German Inf that were acting as the rear guard for the retreating German Army for no loss – the road to central Poland is clear. The Western Allies, despite clear skies also roll poorly with both of their two attacks, one CW and one US, both roll average, just retreating the German defenders closer to Germany, to fight another day. The British advance to the retake the resource and threaten to cut off a pocket of German defenders, the US roll a 1/R and loose a 1.6 MOT Div for their trouble. In Yugoslavia the British clean up the pesky Yugo Inf Div which had blocked the mountain highway to Bucharest.
The Allies roll the EOT roll rolling a 3 (5 needed), the initiative marker goes to the zero as the Allies started and finished. Partisan roll and the anti-Allied Partisans start agitating – perhaps for their independence as Partisans turn up in India, Yugoslavia, NEI and one in France for good measure. The Allies are hopeful to win the J/F 45 roll as going first will trap a large portion of the German Army in France and on the Russian Front open central Poland – depending on the weather of course. Return to base, reinversions, and production. Conquest phase and Italy surrenders N/D 44! The North of Italy remains in German hands, but most of central and Southern Italy becomes US, including Rome where Italian Families catch up with long lost relatives from NY and the Bronx – grappa all-round, and toasts to the end of the war. Two of the Italian BS remain loyal to the Axis cause – perhaps in part to the proximity of German Infantry units in their home port. France is now liberated, as the Free French relocate their capital back to Paris.
J/F 1945
The last year of the war and a game that could have gone either way but swung heavily in the last turn of 44 in favour of the Allies, thanks to the fine weather and some good rolls. However, the Axis win the initiative twice as the Russian’s second roll was a 1! Initiative now to the Axis +1, no rerolls for the Allies in M/A – not the start they wanted for 45. Weather roll was mid-range with a 7 for Snow in the Artic/Temp and storm in the Med. Russia delighted and a mixed blessing for Germany, as snow will hurt them on the Russian front but at least will shut down the Western Front. Snow does allow movement of unts in both adjusting their defensive lines and moving reinforcements and replacements to the front to bolster the front lines but does not shut down the GS from the massed Allied air-forces. The other good news for the Axis is that the turn advances by 3 so it will be extremely likely that the Allies will only get two impulses, and the Axis three.
Axis 1st Impulse – the Western Front steps back one hex, hinged on Calais on the coast and the Swiss border adjacent to Germany in the S East – reinforcements arrive from Germany and this line is now triple stacked – no easy pickings for the Western Allies this winter. In Italy the German do little in the storm as any movement by the mostly GAR units that are there will be penalised by being inverted – the HQ Von Bock is railed to Genoa to co-ord the defence of N Italy. With storm and the mountainous terrain there will be little Allied movement and certainly no invasions. German occupied N Italy is mostly safe this impulse, but unoccupied Rome will welcome the Allies with open arms, flowers and chianti. Three excellent German units turn up in Vienna to defend the city, Bucharest is abandoned as it is indefensible in Snow against the winterised Russians arrayed against them. In the North, German units attempt to withdraw under the cover of snow, they leave several ‘stay behind’ parties to absorb the Russians next impulse. A delaying defence is called for, as the bulk of the German reinforcements deploy along the Oder River and dig in, establishing a thin grey line along its banks – the defence of Germany’s heartland begins. How much of the Army Group North will get back to the new line will depend on the success of the Russian ground strikes and their subsequent attacks. Seven reinforcing Acft are redeployed along the front lines split between the East and the West, the Luftwaffe is a former shadow of itself.
In the Pacific the Japanese take a land as the Russian now can break the Sino Russo pact – they step back forming a straight defensive line double stacked and await the assault. The turn advances by three – this will be a very short turn, very likely that the Allies will only get two impulses, they will be hoping that the German will end it so that they can get the initiative to shift back to the centre of the initiative track so that the Allies can demand a re-roll if needed.

Convoys ship huge amounts of BPs and equipment to Europe for teh final push.

France, is almost free as the Axis retreat to Belgium border, Paris becomes the new Capital

Germany - the defence of the German homeland begins in earnest.

The Russian front - and it is snow - Poland is likely to be liberated this winter

The Russians are coming -

The Southern Front - Budapest is vacated so that Vienna can be defended, 
Rumania and Yugoslavia may well fall as well !

Japan - with the collapse of the pact - Korean and Japanese defenders retreat and form a line in preparation for the assault.

Italy Surrenders N/D 44

Huge losses for the Axis again, especially in acft and land units - fine weather will do that in late 1944