Thursday, June 30, 2022

Middle Parthian versus Later Parthian - Twice!

My newly purchased Parthians fought Russel's newly arrived Parthians, in not one, but two games in the one night.  Easy with Basic Impetus.

Game One

Light cavalry and skirmishers to the fore,
cataphracts in reserve.

I got off to an aggressive start.

Better still I started to get the best of the skirmishing.

Sweeping round the enemy left
screening their right

Cataphracts are now in striking distance

The battle is in the balance

So often with my images you miss the detail of the figures

It was bloody, but a victory is a victory

Game Two

I out scouted my opponent this time and deployed accordingly.
That is a patch of difficult going in the centre.

Again a bold advance with my light cavalry
Cataphracts in reserve slowly moving up

Initial fighting saw the enemy light cavalry and skirmishers stripped away
from their cataphracts

Their only option was to charge

Luckily I was able to pull some light cavalry back
to cover the enemy flanking move

The enemy cataphracts are tough, even when surrounded

But my dice prevailed.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Yanagi - The Secret Underwater Trade Between Germany and Japan 1942-1945

I often start book reviews on relevant subjects to post to this blog, but rarely get around to finishing the review.  So the first question is will this post see the light of day?

I recall my dad telling me that post war the Japanese camera business owed its preeminence to componentry it had received from Germany during the war bu U-Boat While I didn't doubt what he said, I didn't think that Germany could have really sent a submarine to Japan.

I had and might still have, the SPI boardgame Up Scope! on submarines and have played the solo game The Hunters by GMT which recreates a submarine tour of duty.  Obviously in any WW2 history book I have read, U-boat warfare was covered as appropriate and I knew about the Allied breaking of the German navy codes and the use of the milchkuh (milk cow) submarines by the Germans to extend the time a sub could be on patrol. What I didn't know was about voyages made to Japan during the war.

When I saw this book for a princely sum of $3 I claimed it.  Better still I have now read it!

It is basically a series of vignettes on each U-Boat that was destined for service in the far east and assumes a knowledge of submarine warfare and their operations.  Basically what you get is a list of each ship, its Capitan and bit of background on them, ships that were sunk and the fate of the U-boat.  Not surprisingly most were sunk and the book does a good job of describing each sinking in a variety of ways and I found it impressive how many different ways the sinking of a sub could be described, given that they nearly all involved the sub going to the bottom along with its crew, but not always.  Often went caught on the surface before they could dive, some crew survived, only to die a miserable death bobbing about in the ocean for God knows how long.  

I never appreciated that the Germans established a few submarine bases in the Far East, notable Penang.

The other thing of interest was the various cargos and weapons traded.  There were  a good number of merchant ships that made the voyage also and their trade tonnage far outweighed anything that could be delivered by submarine.  The Japanese seemed to get the better deal, but thankfully it was all too little and too late.

Nemisis 3

In our third game of Nemisis Zoe was the Scout and I was Soldier.  I achieve my objective, heroically dying when the ship blew up after I sent a signal telling the authorities it was infected.  Zoe escaped, but failed to send the ship to Mars, seeing how it blew up and everything.

Hard work with two players and I am sure we did a few things wrong, but fun and a joy to play with my daughter.

The game has some lovely miniatures
that are just screaming to be painted.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Alexander Macedonians versus Classical Indians in 6mm

At the NWS June Games Day Mark Woods provided his spectacular 6mm figures for a big game of Basic Impetus.  So big we needed a bit of extra table space (9x4).

Trouble with big games is being able to fit the whole thing in one image.

Macedonian left wing
The extra table space advantaged the Macedonians

Macedonian right wing with Alexander and the heavy cavalry,
the strange smell and sounds of elephants making them nervous.

The army list for the Macedonians

The left moves off,
Thracians through the woods,
Cavalry out on the flank.

Pike in the centre
all nine blocks of them!

The right wing immediately pushes forward
although the difficult going is going to slow things.

The Macedonians are moving forward
but there is a good bit of ground to cover.

Same on the right

The Macedonian left wing is getting into position

The right wing is also about to engage the enemy

The pike are now within long range bow fire,

The Indian cavalry have come out to face their opponents.
However the Macedonians are more concerned about the chariots

Indian long range bow fire fails to meet its targets

The initial attack by the Macedonians on the right
has not been successful.

On the left the Indian chariots have cleared out some skirmishers and its looking serious

Another repulse for the Macedonians on the right.
but at least the Prodromoi are now through the difficult going

The pikes are now in close range,
but Indian bow fire is proving to be woeful

On the left things have developed quickly.
Indian cavalry has been routed,
but the Indian chariots have destroyed one of the Thracian units.
The pike have routed the Indian bow line
and fighting hard against the Indian elephants and chariots

The right wing pike have held back to maintain their order 
in the face of thankfully weak Indian bow fire.
Indian cavalry have engaged the Macedonian skirmishers 
but this all serves to hold things up.

Greek cavalry has successfully engaged one unit of Indian chariots.
The chariots that routed the Thracians is looking for its next target.
While the third lot of chariots has decimated its opposing pike block.
However their elephants are recoiling before the adjacent unit of pikes.
The other pikes have reformed and now face Indian heavy foot.

The Prodromoi smash through.
The Indians commit their skirmishers to try and force the issue that is holding them up.
Alexander has dispatched a unit of light cavalry to help the other flank.
He is yet to commit his pikes.

The Greek cavalry pushes back the chariots.
However other chariots push back the pikes,
but then the elephants are still being skewered.
Meanwhile that other unit of chariots is closing.
Will Alexander's reinforcements get there in time?

Alexander sends in his pikes with mixed success.
The Indian cavalry have been vanquished.
It is now time for the heavy cavalry.

The Indians facing the Macedonians on the left are starting to crumble.
Alexander's reinforcements might not be needed.

The pikes are staying put to regain their order after winning the first round of combat.
The Macedonian cavalry are about to engage the elephants.
It could get squishy.

The big game threw up many memorable dice rolls.
Here the Indian infantry charged using Iron Discipline
and gleefully threw three 6's on four dice,
only to be met by two sixes from the weakened Macedonian pikemen.
The Indians prevailed, but it was too late.

The Indians on the Macedonian left had been close to breaking for a while,
but held on, just one point off break point.

It was the Indians on the right that broke.
But not before some epic carnage,
including Alexander who fought to the bitter end,
each win propelling him to pursue
into ever more danger.

Macedonian losses in the right hand margin,
still comfortably below their army's breakpoint
(13 out of 17 and 12 out of 36 respectively)

Brilliant game!

Friday, June 24, 2022

Don't Mention The War - Part 11 from Facebook


Allied 3rd Impulse – CW takes a combined, and a Transport from Britain picks up the British 8 ARM XXX in Bayonne as two loaded transports in the Bay of Biscay also abort back to the UK. There is no more BEF in France as it is welcomed back to Britain with tea and biscuits. Searches in the Med are fruitless for both sides. The US send another three ships to Pearl Harbour as China rearranges its line. Russia rails another HQ and two more units to the Sino-Russia conflict as the 3.4 Mongolian CAV trots into Khabarovsk to bolster the defence, vacating the resource hex.
Axis 4th Impulse – Germany and Japan having returned from their break roll clear weather on a 6, Germany now ruminating on missed opportunities of a potential longer than normal 3 impulse turn, declares a combined so he can launch his 7 U-Boats to inflict carnage on the CW convoys and then during the rebase phase, base out of Brest. The U-Boats don’t count on a run of good luck from the escorts with multiple finds by the RN rolling 2’s. Two U-boats are sunk, 1 damaged and the rest abort to Brest and Bordeaux for no loss to the convoys. Several more land units head to Bulgaria and the Greek border as well Stukas and some longer-range bombers. Italy takes a combined and rebase aircraft to the Med. Japan takes a combined and sails several more convoys to make use of the newly acquired resources and moves several land units towards the last major objective in the Far-East, the Russian city of Khabarovsk and capture another Russian resource.
Allied 4th Impulse, CW takes a land and assaults Tobruk, led by Alexander, the port is taken on a +14 TOTT roll destroying the two Italian defenders for no loss. Russia rails several more units to the Far East and reorganises its front line on the E Poland border with Germany. A Strat bomber leisurely bombs Mukden, costing the Japanese its valuable build points. The US takes a combined as three more ships arrive in Pearl Harbour. There are now 2 x CVs (Enterprise, Lexington) and 8 x slow BS in Pearl. China takes a no cost land and adjusts its front line. … and there it is again, a 1 for the EOT, rolled by the CW (2 needed) – again ending the turn on the first opportunity for the Allies. At least the German player feels somewhat vindicated that the J/A DOW against Russia would not have been a long turn. Partisan roll is a 9 with a partisan turning up in S China denying an unguarded resource. Bolstered by 5 chits, the USE chart is flooded with options. The US Senate alarmed at the recent alignments of Bulgaria, Rumania and Hungary to the Axis camp make the historic commitment to the Allies and declare the War appropriations Bill. This bill is the largest bill ever proposed by Congress. It approved $32 billion to provide additional weapons and tools of war, to increase ship production and to support the Allies. The bill took three to four hours of debate and although some representatives raised concerns, the House approved the bill unanimously, 371-0. Rep. Clifton Woodrum (D-Va.) was among the many who spoke in favour of the measure. “This bill today speeds up the great defence program, sends aid to those valiant people out there giving their blood in this cause, and sends them some implements with which they can fight this war,” he said. Given the vote count, it is evident that most of Woodrum’s colleagues shared that attitude.
The total $32,762,737,900 of war funds is broken down between departments. The War department will receive roughly $23.5 billion, with the goal of providing additional weapons to the 3.6 million men currently overseas. The Maritime Commission will receive $1.5 billion in direct appropriations along with $2.4 billion for ship construction. The funds will also provide $5.4 billion in Lend-Lease aid to U.S. allies.
“There will be a strain on manpower,” said Undersecretary of War Robert B. Patterson, warning of the consequences of not passing the bill. The funds, he explained, are needed to finance a vast flow of munitions. Army Deputy Chief of Staff R.C. Moore added that to ensure that troops are properly equipped, there must be “a necessary cushion to permit prompt and efficient supply.” All the material covered by the Department of War funds is expected to be produced this year. The army plans to spend about $14 billion for tanks, guns and ammunition, $4 billion for the expansion of war production, $3 billion for transportation, $1 billion for communication facilities and another $1 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers.
The Maritime Commission will build 1,476 additional cargo ships with a tonnage of 16 million tons, resulting in a total of 2,877 ships with a combined tonnage of nearly 31 million. Maritime Commission chairman Emory S. Land confirmed a scheduled production of 784 vessels for 1942—the commission will be able to construct two ships per day.
Return to base, production and reinforcement. The US declare 4 oil to the CW, and the British send 1 BP to the French.
Allies win the initiative as the Japanese rolls a 1, no contest as the Allies win ties – weather is also a 1 – fine everywhere, Germany and Japan groan, recognising the irony of fine weather ‘everywhere’ in S/O. The CW takes a naval and sends out Conv escorts to re-establish the convoys to and from the US and South Africa. Two transports and an Amph arrive in Gibraltar and are reinverted by Gort. The Med Fleet sail into the E Med escorted by a long range Ftr and Nav as rumours of impending invasion of Greece by the Axis circulate the Med. The presence of this British Fleet and its 5 x CVs will hopefully deter the Axis aggression against their peaceful Greek neighbour. Russia, with reinforcements placed, mostly in the Far East advance to clear the Japanese Manchurian TER off the trans-Siberian rail line and advance several more units towards the Russo- Sino border. The US takes a combined and sails a transport with a GAR cargo to Midway. China takes a land and adjusts its line, withdrawing low grade units and replacing them with high quality units. With the IJA heavily committed to fighting Russians in the North, there are opportunities for the Chinese.
Axis 1st Impulse– Germany and Italy DOW against Greece – the world is shocked as both roll less than 3, with 2 more chits going to the US German pool – no breaks for the Axis. Greece aligns with Britain. Germany takes a land and crosses the border from Bulgaria into Greece, advancing South along the coastal road. Italy takes a Combined and sails off the coast of Italy with 2 Divs that invade Greece and a Transport that disembarks the German 6.4 INF. No attacks as the Greek defenders are set up in the South guarding the approaches to Athens. Axis arcft patrol the E Med and hunt the Med fleet. They search and fine with a 2 shift split in their favour. They hold their shifts and line up for the air combat - first roll by the lead German Ftr 20! the British loose their 4 factor CVP and its pilot BUT the British then roll two 19s destroying both German and Italian Ftrs. The Italian NAV cleared through has no effect as the British AA gunner roll nothing under 4 clearing the skies. A lucky night for the Brits. Japan takes a Combined and sends its first Div to Truk, and two units are embarked destined for Russia. With clear weather and the running out of time, they launch an attack against Khabarovsk in the N East. The GS are marginal with only a Russian Div inverted, pushing on they assault the city on a +6.4 and roll one short, rolling 14 for a 20 for a 2/2 and half invert – so close - the city holds and the defenders (7.4 XXX Siberians) prey for snow.
Allied 2nd impulse – weather roll a 3, yep says the German “I expected that”- fine everywhere. Session ends, and next week the CW will take a naval and send 2 Corps into Greece and have 2 Corps ready to land with the potential of aligning Yugoslavia. This will be very inconvenient for the Axis, although they have several impulses to prepare for that contingency and attempt to stop the British from landing. The US will continue to reinforce the Pacific, and Russia will seek opportunities to inflict some losses on the Japanese. Life is getting tough for the Axis and the US having gained 7 chits in the last two turns is looking at making a DOW at any time – the clock is ticking at the rapid rate – tick tock.
· EOT – End of Turn
· BP - Build Point
· TOTT – Top of the table a 23 or more
· LOC – Line of Communications
· NCC - No Cost Combined – no oil used
· USE - US Entry

Mild Losses for the turn July/August 1941

The Senate votes for War Appropriations J/A 1941 - 7 chits will do that for you.

Relative quiet in Western Europe - the BEF back in Britain 
and the Italians on Garrison duty in the sun.

The Axis DOW on Greece - no lighting campaign here

The Bulgarians lead the push crossing the border to secure the N East of Greece.

Greeks start to defend the approaches to Athens as they have done so for thousands of years.

The Med fleet - got lucky in the E Med and rule the seas and the air for an impulse or two. 
will it be long enough to get 4 Corps into Greece or is this another trap?

The Greek border towns are taken without resistance.

The Far East - starting to look a little thin is that little red line.

The Chinese start to smell fear

The Russo-Sino conflict is getting real as the Russian bear starts to growl.

The US Fleet is in Pearl - Truk's first Garrison arrives.

Losses S/O a 20 (GERM) followed by 2 x 19s (CW) saw three Ftrs and their pilots destroyed.