Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Poland Defiant - Part Two

The chit draw activation for units and certain events creates a wonderful tension in this elegant game.  The CRT is straightforward with terrain, principally cities and towns, nullifying some of the results.  A one against city will produce a null result regardless of the odds, while a six is normally a win (units take losses and/or retreat).  With infantry having a movement allowance of 3 and it costing one to enter or leave an enemy ZoC, once committed it is hard to change the axis of attack.

At the end of Day 6
The Southern most (RHS of the image) army has a way to go to get to its next objective.
But it is the 10th Army (the one in the middle with the red stripe)
that will decide the game.

About to go into the penultimate game turn.
Germans need two Victory locations to achieve historical outcome.

Game Over!
The Germans had a few lucky chit pulls, but the main clincher was the one and only random event
that gave the Germans a free move for two units. This allowed them to grab one vacant city 
and move up another unit that was able to participate in a successful attack on another city.

This game would play really well solitaire, pity I couldn't find a Vassal module for it.

Monday, March 28, 2022

Don't Mention The War - Part 2 from Facebook


Axis 4th Impulse Having rolled an 8 for weather, finally some bad weather, rain in Europe and storm in the Artic and N Monsoon, advances by 2. Germany takes a Land as their army that successfully took Warsaw needs to be railed to France and the low countries as quickly as possible – with still a potential clear impulse left in S/O - the German seeks to exploit his early successes. Three Corps are railed to Holland as other units make slow process heading West. Italy declines to do anything and stays at home near their fires, wine cellars and women. Japan take a land and rails units South where the clear weather is more likely and prepare for the campaigning season against the Nationalist in the N Monsoon. Germany fails to roll the EOT with an 8, impulse marker goes up 2.
Allied 5th Impulse, with rain the CW take a Combined to move some of their recently acquired Dutch conv points releasing British ones to rebase. A speculative GS by British bombers out of Britain fails to invert the front-line German units. France takes a no cost combined and adjusts its line and then rolls a 1 to end the turn. Partisan roll is a 2, a 0-2 partisan arrives in the mountains of Northern China.
Return to base, production and N/D 39 reinforcements. France was successfully Strat bombed in S/O by the German Luftwaffe so lose their production from their Metz factory. Britain scraps the Fairy Battle sending its pilots to Hurricane school for retraining, melting down the airframes for a future BP. The US Senates supports the decision for the Allies to ship resources to China and agree to send blue-prints and parts so that they can build their own acft. The US build the two Huston Oil facilities to supply America’s future industrial needs.
N/D 1939 Winter Arrives with a Vengeance
The CW declare support to the Chinese cause and declare that they will ship an oil and a resource along the Burma Road to the Chinese. Axis roll for the initiative with a 7+2 (9) but is beaten with a definitive 10 by the French – Germany declines a re-roll. The more important weather roll was a second 10 +1 (11) and a +2 on the next roll – impressive, most impressive rolling by the French so far tonight – Germany groans. Blizzards descend on the continent and shuts down land and air operations for both sides. This will be a short turn as the turn as the impulse marker advances 3 per impulse. Belgium is relieved as they can now celebrate a last Christmas under their King Leopold. Having won the initiative, the Russian’s occupy the Baltic States with little interest from the world and the US Senate.
Allies 1st Impulse The French and CW both take naval actions. The Western Allies reinforce the French line as Wavell arrives from Gibraltar to orchestrate a defence by an expanding BEF. The CW takes a naval and escorts the convoys and dominating the North Sea with both the Home Fleet and Force Z. France’s Naval sees the Med Fleet conducting naval ops in the W Med, and their CA’ assist with Allied Convoy escort duties. China decides that they can take a land and use the bad weather to cover the withdraw to more defensible terrain in Northern China, recognising that the IJA cannot attack them in Blizzard. Stalin’s Russia starts sending Siberians to the Iranian border for military exercises conducted by Zhurkov, supported by the long-range air – Tehran, appeals to the League of Nations with a strongly worded telegram but the league members are going into winter recession and are looking forward to the Christmas circuit of embassy drinks in Geneva.
Axis 1st Impulse – Germany takes a land and rails three more units into Holland from Poland. The German has a number of HQ’s Corps and Arty which all need to be railed to the West. Stukas are also rebased towards France and Japan takes a paid land, and with a lucky bonus, they shoot down the Chinese air force with a handy 17 as their bombers get cleared through for GS which see several lucky 1’s invert the Chinese defenders, With success in the air and with the GS, they launch a +8 assault in the rain against the Chinese resource hex, an average roll of 12 sees a 20, for a 1/B, half invert as their Eng is eliminated and the Chinese are blitzed back to the spiral – good choice of the Blitz table by the Chinese. Italy closes the door for the long winter.
Allies 2nd Impulse – The French roll a 9+2 for another 11 for the weather – the Blizzard in W Europe continues unabated. The CW takes a Naval and declares the mining of the Norwegian Coast – the US Senate is incensed by this action and the US losses a chit with a roll of 2 – needing a 5 or higher, worse was to come for the British, with the Norwegian Government also angered by Churchills decision to mine their water – they promptly declare a gift of 10 Convs to Germany, a guaranteed shipment of iron ore to Germany and the use of Oslo as a transit port if they require it - YES the CW player rolled a 10! Churchill was not happy with the Norwegians ‘overreaction’ and was expecting the 10 Convoys to be reflagged for the British. The French take a no cost combined, conserving oil and readjust their line – shipping the Senegal TER into Marseille. The US looks on as the world descends into chaos.
Axis 2nd Impulse Germany takes another land and rails three more units into Holland and France from Poland, completing the majority of operational movement for the French Campaign. The German’s Stukas arrive in W Germany , their target France. Japan takes a no cost combined, rebases aircraft and shuffles ( a military term for soldiers that can’t dance) their line. Italy remains closed for the winter – its Blizzard in the Med!
Allied 3rd Impulse, with an EOT roll at 7, the Allies agree to ‘all pass’ needing a 9 or less, the French roll an EOT with a 9 – so close - the turn ends. No Change to the initiative marker as it is already ‘topped out’ in the Axis +2. Partisan roll is a 4, as another partisan arrives in the mountains of Northern China to plan the doom of the Japanese land forces in China. The US senate declare that the Selective Services Act which is not well received by the free press as they loose a chit to tension. Return to base and production. Tokyo in a strongly worded letter demands the closure of the Burma Road which is done with not even a murmur – the CW cancels its shipments of Oil and iron - no chit for the US as it builds two more oil facilities ensuring oil supplies to the Allies in the years ahead. With the Swedish iron ore shipments temporarily suspended due to the Blizzard for a second turn – Germany burns 2 stored oil to keep up their factory production
J/F 1940 – Winter is Here to Stay.
Reinforcements, and the French player rolls another 10 to win the initiative (My recollection is that the Axis won the initiative and decided to go second) for the first impulse of the new year, recognising that the weather is appalling +2 on the roll the Axis decline a re-roll and allow the Allies to go first. Weather roll is an 9 + 2, another 11 to continue the longest blizzard Europe has seen in decades – three blizzard impulses in a row – the German is not happy, and his early successes of the long, fine autumn of S/O 39 turn evaporate in the worst weather we have seen. Another short turn as the impulse marker advances by 3 and there is a +3 on the next weather roll – worse that means guaranteed bad weather and the Allies will be able to end the TURN on a 5 after their third impulse. Germany is looking for the weather to clear, hopefully in M/A 40. The only compensation to the German is that Norway has become a friend and the gift of their resource, and 10 convoys was not the Christmas present that they were expecting, possibly they would have preferred Brussels – but that is dice and the world of WIF.

Losses EOT N/D 39 - is there a war on?

Blizzard everywhere the war stops

All quiet on the Eastern front

China the front lines form - Burma road closed

Russian exercises on the border of Iran

US Entry - moderate position, a number of chits should have gone the US way 
- probably down 1 to 2 chits.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Prussian and Austrian Casualty Markers

These have been a slow trickle of progress, especially considering the Austrians were already painted as part of an acquisition last year or possibly the previous year.  The Prussians were also in varying degrees of completion over the years, but all done now.  These markers are part of my quest to reduce counter clutter in Napoleon's Battles games.

The aim of these markers is that as soon as a unit takes a casualty, one of its bases is removed and replaced by one of the casualty markers bearing either a one or two chit or just the bare bae which represents three casualties.  This keeps with the miniatures theme as well as reducing the likelihood that casualty marks will be left behind (something that I find happens all too often). Note: should it be left behind it would mean that the unit was down a full base.  Ouch!

Any spare figure can be used, but there are some nice casualty figures in the AB range as well as others.

Photo taken with natural light (no flash)

This next little guy was a one off test to see how a French figure from Lancashire Games could paint up as a Westphalian.  While I was happy with the result I never proceeded to obtain the necessary additional figures.  This poor little guy has been languishing for over twenty years.  Finally he has a purpose.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

5cm PaK38 gun

Actually pack GE512 and they are supposed to be SS, but I have painted them up in just field grey.  A Xmas gift that I am happy to have completed only three months into 2022.

I paint and base these up as "anything but Flames of War."

I've got these textured urban bases so I might as well use them.

But I have to say I'm a bit disappointed in them
(my reasons being obvious in the above image)

Not sure what the officer figure is doing,
peering through his monocle maybe?

This muddy rubble base blends in better

Very pleased with these.

I had fun positioning the crew differently for each base.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Don't Mention The War - Part 2

Mother nature put an end to the war in November/December 1939 when she blanketed the world in snow, with Blizzard being rolled three impulses in a row.

The forecast for January/February is for the weather to significantly deteriorate.

The Commonwealth sneaks out and blatantly mines the peaceful Norwegian coast.

Norway contemplates joining the Axis,
but only if Germany takes London or Moscow first.
Very wise of them

Not to be out down in bastardry, the Soviets occupy the Baltic states.

US public opinion is outraged.  They start to arm the Chinese as a counter to communist expansion.  The Japanese quietly close the Burma Road in order to avert war between China and the USSR.

And what was Germany doing, apart from shovelling snow and writing letters to Congress?


In Sept/Oct Germany commissioned Guderian (armoured HQ), the Bremen Boy Scouts (the worst pick, a 2-2 Militia unit), some desperately needed Stukas and their pilots, repaired the Dutch submarines and dragged out some old subs (a surprise zero cost build).  Not much for 15 Build Points.

In Nov/Dec the loss of Swedish resources was made good by Norwegian resources and expending some oil that hadn't been used in the almost non-existent turn.  This time adding in the Lodz factory raised the Build Points to 16.  Attendees at the Leipzig Toy Fair were recruited to form another Militia unit (a better than nothing 4-3), a much more powerful armoured corps commenced assembly using Czech components, JU-88s were added to the production line as well as essential pilots and another sub was put on the slipway.  A Mountain Corps also commenced training, especially in blizzard warfare tactics: Schneesturmkrieg.

Production summarized in the highly efficient tabula form known as ├╝bertreffen.
Note: Build Points lost are those traded to the USSR for resources and oil.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

The Flying Men of Mars

Not really Barsoom, but could be.  After my last game of Songs of Blades and Heroes I gave some more thought to how to classify the Flying Men of Mars.  I left the basic characteristics as Q3 C2 L Flying, but modified the combat results so that while they were flying they couldn't be overlapped (although they could still overlap enemy figures) and that it required a double to knock them down (as in bring them to the ground).  I should add that doing more to them in combat would be a push back.

The Red Martians are Q2 C3 M and when mounted have a plus 1 against a knocked down Flying Martian as well as all the usual advantages of overlap etc.

The continued diminishing of the planet's resources has caused the Red Martians to travel further afield in search of materials.  This has brought them into contact with the Flying Men of Mars, who have not taken too kindly to their arrival.  The Red Martians set up in one corner, the Flying Men appear randomly round the table edge.

The Red Martians have to cross the table scoring a point for each member who makes it.  

The Flying Men score a point for each Red Martian they kill.

The Red Martians have knocked one of the Flying Men down, but their lead riders are being mobbed or swarmed.

A gruesome kill on the downed Flying Man saw his mates flee in terror, with one exiting the board.

"We're back!"
The Flying Men of Mars swoop down on the Red Martians as they resume their trek.

The tables have turned and a gruesome kill on a Red Martian sends the others fleeing for their lives!

The Flying Men take out another Red Martian.

Knowing they must get past, the remaining Red Martians attempt to fight it out.

They prevail, killing another Flying Man in gruesome fashion and causing the last one to flee.

Tally; Four dead Red Martians and three dead Flying Men of Mars

Very happy how this game turned out, nice and quick and simple but with plenty of action.  I just need to improve the narrative (really build a campaign) and perfect the combat against flying creatures by suitably documenting it rather than making it us as I go along :-).  Thanks Stephen for being in the red corner.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Poland Defiant - Part One

Perhaps triggered by my recent set of posts on the start of the new World in Flames game or perhaps by world events, but Richard suggested we try this game. And a damn fine suggestion it was too!  Only 12 pages of rules (including cover, index etc).  The expectation is that it would play quick, and it does, except for the decision processes which are tricky, caused by the random activation of armies.  This would also make it suitable for solitaire play.

Boardgames, except when played on Vassal, can be tricky things to photograph.
This image is the set-up

Each Turn is one day and the game goes for ten days.
This is at the end of day five.
Army Group South has been successful, although did have some set backs.
Army Group North has been moderately successful, although the push towards Warsaw has stalled.
Two pockets have been created and the isolated troops need to be cleared so the Victory Locations can be claimed.  The Germans have to keep up with the historical rate of progress or they are penalised.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Don't Mention The War - Part 1 from Facebook


S/O Axis 1st Impulse. Germany sets up heavily for Poland – Polish forces surround their capital hoping for the weather to turn on the next roll. The two Polish Ftrs set up in NE ready to fly into Russia and internment. The GS against Warsaw and Lodz by two Stukas are average but the Polish HQ survives being inverted. Germany makes three land attacks all TOTT clearing Polish Corps from the Lodz adjacent hexes. Italy takes a no cost combined (NCC) and sails a Tpt to the Red Sea and embarks a 3.3 Inf from Italian Eretria.
In the Far-East the Chinese have set up in the mountains in a conservative defence. Japan takes a land and advances along their front occupying the city of Chang Sha which is of little interest to the US Senate (no Chit) and then launches two attacks destroying the 2.2 Kunming Mil in Changhow – ill-discipline gives the US Senate a chit as their atrocities are reported in the New York Papers. In the mountains of the North the Nationalist 2 Cav is eliminated on a handy roll breaking the line at its weakest point.
Allied 1st Impulse the CW declares ‘none shall pass’ and shuts the Suez Canal trapping the Italian loaded Tpt and its 3.3 Inf cargo – the US Senate is displeased with this action and lose a chit. The CW takes a Land so that the aligned Poles can manoeuvre and allow their HQ to reinvert two Corps at the end of the impulse – the 5.3 polish WP Corps heads East towards the Russian border and sanctuary – ‘fool of a took’ (second and last ref to LOTR). France takes a combined and ships a valuable 5 Inf from Syria to Marseilles and promptly rails it to Paris, Res are placed, and two ‘surprise ‘GS fail to invert any German units on the French border. China takes a land and with the threat building in the North move’s forces North and steps back towards the mountains of Lan Chow. USA – shifts some stuff.
Axis 2nd Impulse – weather 3 – Clear – not what the Poles were hoping for, Germany declares a land placing its Res adjacent to France and Belgium. In Poland they assault Lodz led by Von Leeb taking the city with a TOTT roll – no losses. Some Acft and units head West and the German Res are reinverted by Guderian (Ed: Rundstedt) and an ATR. Japan advances West occupying the hexes that the Chinese units have withdrawn from, no attacks as some units are inverted and the Japanese starts to shift units South noting that the weather will soon become poor in the temperate. Italy ponders the British decision to close the Suez – halving the Italians Tpt capacity – Mussolini is somewhat displeased, although the British action cost the US a chit.
Allied 2nd Impulse the CW takes a Naval and ships the first elements of the BEF into Calais as Gort is landed, he reinverts the Tpt. The rest of the RN sails to Conv escort duties, a WP 7.3 Inf arrives in Malta to protect the strategically important island and Wavell is sailed into Gibraltar. The bulk of the Home Fleet sails into the North Sea to provide a reassuring presence to the BEF. France takes a Land and send its units to the front line and uses both its HQ’s to reinvert his Res. China resets its line having withdrawn in the North and the South to establish a secondary defensive line. The US moved some stuff.
Axis 3rd Impulse – weather 6 – Clear in the Temp – another clear turn, and Germany declares another Land launching an assault against Warsaw led by Von Beck – rolling a 6! for only a 20 they suffer their first loss, their Eng and half the units are inverted BUT Warsaw falls and Hitler’s plan proceeds unhindered. In a surprise action the Army in the West, not wanting to let these sunny days pass DOW on the Netherlands and invade the country overwhelming the defenders, so surprised were the Dutch that the German Army captured a Dutch sub and 2 x CA’s as their crews must have been asleep or drunk or both - 3 x 1’s rolled! The US Senate sent letters of encouragement to the Dutch Government as it fled to Dutch Guiana and gained a chit.
Allies’ 3rd Impulse – CW takes a Combined and sends a tpt to the North Sea embarking the 7.6 Mech for the BEF, destination Calais. To slow the German, advance the Fairy Battles from airfields in the UK attempt to GS the lead German columns on the Belgium border, escorted by the Gloster Gladiators from the CV HMAS Furious, they are overwhelmed by mass ME109’s that promptly roll 16 destroying the Gladiator and its pilot – first points in the air war to the German. The French manoeuvre units on their front line to prepare for their German visitors – they now have a front line. China does little as the bad weather stops all operations and the US moved some stuff. An attempted to roll the EOT – 1 needed fails as the French player rolls an 8.
Axis 4th Impulse weather 8 finally some bad weather, rain and storm. Axis 4th impulse next week after an excellent start with the turn yet to end! Three clear weather impulses almost always guarantee early success for the German and they are now poised to assault Belgium and France, especially if there is fine weather in the N/D 39 impulse – it could be a disaster for the Allies and the BEF are feeling more than a little nervous.
· TOTT – Top of the table 23 or more
Western Europe

The German advance takes out the Netherlands with ease - next stop Belgium

France - The Germans are coming - hopefully the clear weather is over for 39.

Poland after the first impulse - the Poles were hoping for some bad weather - only sunny days

Warsaw Falls

Britain closes the Suez trapping the Italian Tpt

The Far East - good advances for no loss for the Japanese 
- great start but winter is coming

We have a front line - tenuous

Only the German Eng lost for the Axis - solid SO39 Start

Burgundian Ordonnance versus 100 Years War English

A friendly/practice game against John who was running the English.  However, it was slaughter as I rolled sixes almost non stop.  In fact our first initiative roll I came up with double six.  John then rolled the same!  I rerolled and scored 11.  John followed suit!!.  On the third roll John again rolled an 11 while I thankfully rolled something less - game on!

Happy to get my two new units on the table.

The Burgundians sit tight and put their trust in the big guns.

Their faith is rewarded.

And rewarded

The English decide to press on (it was a friendly/practice game after all)

They make a little progress...

This image is here as an aide memoire
The right hand English dismounted men-at-arms is in contact with the pike and organ gun
(the levelled pike figures make positioning a bit tricky).
When that second unit charged, it is not clear if the adjacent melee is reactivated.
I have asked a question in the Basic Impetus forum.

Post Script: and the answer was no, the adjacent melee is not reactivated

But what did I say about rolling sixes?

Game over
as the Burgundian Gendarmes thunder forward