Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Barbarians at the Gates Again - Part 2 et fini

Richard and I concluded this game today.  It might have been my bad play couple with poor die rolls, but the poor Romans had a hard time and collapsed early.  We will swap sides and try again.

As per the previous post on Part 1, Richard has again been inspired to provide the following game narrative.

Turn 2

The difficulties for the Loyalist Roman player foreshadowed at the end of Turn 1 came home to roost as the Jutes occupied Tolosa, whilst the Usurper force commanded by Magnentius gathered the entire Britannae garrison and landed in Gallia Lugdunum and fought a series of battles with Silvanus in Gallia Belgica resulting in heavy losses to the Loyalists.

Whilst the Jute incursion and capture of Tolosa was swiftly crushed by the Loyalists and the Jutes were eliminated from play, the distraction of having to shut down this invasion in a rear area and the severe weakening of Silvanus and his move away from the Rhine frontier to confront Magnentius allowed substantial Frankish and Vandal forces to invade and cause significant damage to frontier defences in Gallia Belgica. The Loyalist player decided to eliminate the growing Barbarian threat to Italia Annonensis and resettled the substantial Vandal force in Africa at Cathago.

The control of provinces was stabilised for this turn and only 1VP lost for Barbarian plunder, however, not enough control was regained to allow the loyalist to gain any VPs.

Turn 3

The Visigoths invaded in force and made for the Italian heartland. The Loyalist played the Eagles Leave Britain event, which brought the Britons into Britannae as a loyalist tribe, however, they were soon assailed by the migrating Saxons who landed at Camulodorum and this province remained uncontrolled by the loyalist for the remainder of the game.

The Franks advanced across the Rhine and played "Garrison Surprised" at Augustodorum in Gallia Belgica, wiping out the garrison and successfully besieging the city and gaining plunder, before immediately moving on to attack the Loyalist Roman force in Durocortorum who avoided battle. The Loyalist player then played the "Invaders go East" card and the significant Frankish force was placed in the far east box and out of Gallia Belgica. (They will feature in the final act of the game a little later on....)

In another blow, the Barbarians targeted Theodosius Snr at Mediolanum, with Usurper Emperor and flipped control over Italia Annonensis away from the Loyalists. The Loyalist summoned support from Byzantium allies who took up positions in Sirmium to shore up the province of Illyria and there was some manoeuvre, but no decisive combat between the usurper and loyalists for the remainder of the turn, although a successful interception by the Usurper Emperor and then subsequent avoid battle by the Loyalist left a substantial Usurper force consolidated in Southern Gallia at Lugdunum.

Some limited raiding generated plunder and this coupled with losses of provinces in Gallia lead to negative VPs for the loyalist. (They lose immediately if the VP total goes to zero).

The Franks, seeking revenge for their banishment migrated swiftly through the trails of Germania and found themselves once again on the border, poised for further incursion through play of Barbarian migration in the strategy phase and also regular migration in that phase, now moving at up to 2 spaces per migration move.

Turn 4.

Patricide or not?

A series of bloody battles between the two rival Emperors Theodosius Jnr (Loyalist) vs his dad Snr (Usurper) sealed the fate of the empire this turn. In a horrendous run of combat rolls by the Loyalist (which pervaded the entire session), saw significant losses accrue to the Loyalist forces, to the point that they were a spent force after losing battle after battle. Theodosius Jnr was eventually eliminated after his force was completely wiped out and this also cost the Loyalists a VP due to elimination of Emperor.

Things were no better elsewhere as the Franks moved a huge force under Aleric into Italia Suburbicarica and defeated Arbogastus on the outskirts of Rome following the Barbarians play of "Barbarian Fervor" which gave a massive +4 DRM. Rome was subsequently sacked by the Franks.

In a final cruel blow to the loyalists, the Barbarian played "Revolt against Rome" which flipped the only just resettled Alleman tribe back to Barbarian control and cost the Loyalists control of another province.

With control of the provinces, now just Africa and Illyria this generated a devastating -4 VPs. This was enough to drop the Loyalist VP to zero, so game over.

An extremely tough game for the Roman player, who was unbalanced by Usurpers and had a shocking run of combat die roll losses. The timing of the receipt of the Usurper Emperor cards in this game, meant that the Loyalist player was constantly battling a civil war whilst being unable to offer any effective resistance against the Barbarians.

It will be interesting to see if further play of this game can generate some kind of workable strategy to hold off the Barbarians whilst dealing with the devastation and distraction which is caused by the Usurper threat, which seems to be a devastating element of the Barbarian player's armoury.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Barbarians at the Gates Again - Part 1

Armed with a little more knowledge, Richard and I started a new campaign.  I am the Roman player and Richard the barbarian.

This is the situation after the third turn.  The initial civil war finished, although a usurper then took control of Britannia for an early Brexit option.  Barbarian raids have been more prominent and take a while to clear up the damage that they do, which is critical to do so as to maintain provincial control and scrape up those all important VPs for the Romans.

The Game's developer has been very helpful in responding to rules queries vis the Boardgame Geek forum:

Richard has provided this excellent and detailed commentary:

Barbarians at the Gates 337-476 Scenario

The Successor Strife turns A and B

Beginning with the death of Constantine the Great, these turns represent the struggle between his sons. It was Constantine II vs Constans II. Loyalists vs Usurpers or should that be Usurpers vs Loyalists?

Following play of Usurper Emperor on the Loyalist Leader Magnentius in Britannia (a precursor to R(oman)-exit) by the Barbarian player as the first card of the first turn, the Loyalist player promptly decided that the Usurpers were a better bet and immediately switched sides. Possibly one of the most unique elements of this game, is the ability for the Roman player to swap sides at a point of his choosing in the event of a civil war occurring and going badly for him. The Usurper Romans are controlled by the Barbarian player.

Both players largely spurning Barbarian action during these first pre-turns, concentrated on regaining their rightful Imperial title.

The Roman player was soon rueing the decision to swap sides, as the previous Loyalists (now Usurpers) exploited their Gallia Belgica stronghold to gather in the the border garrisons with the play of the "Emptying the Border Forts" card. With a now sizable 10 factor army (the largest that can be moved by a single leader) encompassing the original Loyalist , Constantine II ran amok in the province of Gallia Lugdenensis and Italia Annonaria defeating and scaring away Loyalist forces who refused battle. The Loyalists lost control of both provinces for turn A
and this cost them Victory points in the scoring phase.

Thanks to the retreat of the Loyalist forces away from the border and the stripping of the garrisons by the Usurper, raiding opportunities presented themselves to the Barbarian player. Despite the ease of crossing the border, a number of raiders were stopped in their tracks and destroyed whilst attempting to plunder walled cities in both Gallia
Belgica at Augusta Treverorum and Caesarea in Africa. Despite these setbacks, a particularly successful raid from Germania penetrated all the way to Hispania. These first turns saw these limited, but highly effective raids from the Barbarians, generating enough plunder to knock the Roman VP tally down a point, as well as weakening Loyalist Gallia Viennensis to the point that the Loyalists also lost control of this province.

The Loyalists under Constans II after successfully avoiding battle and reinforcing, finally engaged the Usurper Constantine II at Mediolanum. The Loyalists played the "Traitor's Head" battle card which gave a crucial +2 DRM to the combat dice. Just enough to win the battle. Lucky for the Loyalists as a defeat would have seen the Barbarian player immediately play "The Road to the Throne Card" which would have seen that leader displaced and cost a Loyalist VP, but is was not to be and suffering a heavy defeat, Constantine II withdrew behind the walls of
Mediolanum in an attempt to hold off Constans II. A siege attempt was immediately made by the Loyalist and the rebellion was crushed. The empire was reunited (for now) under Loyalist control.

Turn 1

The first appearance of Barbarian invaders in the form of Gunderic and his Vandals was thwarted by the Loyalist through the play of "Delay at the critical moment" card which saw Gunderic stalled after crossing the Rhine and just short of investing Augusta Treverorum in Gallia Belgica. The remainder of turn 1 saw a switch in direction from the Vandals with a limited incursion into the border areas of Italia Annonaria and the elimination of a border garrison and castra fortified area. A further Barbarian Tribe, in the form of the Jutes made an appearance on the Skagerrak. The Loyalist took the opportunity afforded by the restoration of peace within the empire to start to rebuild the frontier defences by moving substantial forces up to the border regions in Gallia Belgica as well as constructing castra to slow down the raiding opportunities.

Play continues in a turn so long as there are unplayed cards in hand. The Loyalist player burned through his hand rather quickly, resulting in the Barbarian player have the last play of the turn, normally the Loyalist has the last turn in card for card play. Not taking "no" for an answer, the "Usurper Emperor" card was again played against Magnentius in Britannia, switching control of that province and its substantial garrison away from the Loyalists at the last gasp. Although not quite a R-Exit in the form of "Eagles leave Britannia" which can be played in later turns, it is more than enough to cause the Loyalists big problems in the turns ahead.

With the end of card play, the attrition phase was next, followed by the Barbarian tribe mandatory migration. The Vandals began moving toward Italia Annonaria whilst, in a twist created by the card play, the Jutes, who are able to migrate by sea, found themselves not limited to migrating to Britannae as they normally are, as a result of no loyalist
controlled ports there due to the Usurpation of Magnentius, they were instead moved to Burdigala on the Atlantic coast of Gallia Viennensis near the border with Hispanae. Whilst a weak tribe, this is another problem for the Loyalists as further raiding opportunities from behind the Rhine frontier now present themselves to the Barbarian player, together with the still relatively porous Rhine frontier.

Turns A and B are pre-turns. At the end of Turn 1 of 9, the Roman VPs stand at 9 down from an original 12. They lose if the VPs ever go to zero and gain and lose VPs for control of provinces, whilst the Barbarian player reduces Roman VPs through successful plundering via raiding and occupying cultivated spaces in Roman provinces.

There is a long way to go, but it does get much, much harder for the Romans.

New strategies will be needed if the Romans are indeed to keep the Barbarians at the Gates!

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Barbarians at the Gates - Conclusion

Some further rule clarifications and better understanding plus the all important ingredient of time and Richard and I were able to conclude our first game of Barbarians at the Gates.

While not a complex game, it does have unique mechanics and card play that take a deal of study to master.  It also evolves so tactics and strategy have to change as the game proceeds. 

It seems to be hard work for the Romans, which of course was historically the case.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Achaians (Trojan War) versus New Kingdom Egyptian

Both armies are from Volume One of the Basic Impetus army lists.  My Carthaginians devolved to an earlier form and pretended to be Achaians to fight Dave's Egyptians.  I was feeling confident and things went well until the moment of contact.

My army is defending, arrayed between a wood and a lake.
It is strong in infantry, but out numbered in chariots.

We advance.
Greek slingers cause disorder in the Egyption chariots.
Their main body comes down off the hill.

The impetuous troops next to the chariots have charged and been bloodily repulsed,
however missile fire has proven to be effective.

While the Egyption chariots struggle against the Greek chariots,
they have run down a second set of infantry.
So much for being strong in infantry.

This doesn't look good.
The only Greek infantry that are fighting well are the bow armed skirmishers on the right flank.

What a bloody battle,
particularly for the Achaians!

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Don't Mention The War - Part 18

May/June 1942 started with bad weather, but then the sun shone and fine weather was upon us and time to liberate Eastern Europe from the grip of the Communists (who are being aided by the Imperialists).  It's Europe against the world!

Army Group Rumania was tasked with liberating Chisinau and Lvov as well as completing clearing the Communists out of the Carparthian Mountains.  Lvov was automatic. The mountains an easy 18.7 with a die roll of 10, but Chisinau was a 12.8 and had a die roll of 8.8 - it just scraped in.

Chisisnau successfully returned to Rumania

High fashion returns to Lviv after the Soviets are expelled
and it is safe to walk the streets again.

In the north Army Group Baltic started to prepare for the encirclement of Kaunas

Kaunas, the key to the Baltic 

And in Greece there was an almighty battle for the Thermopylae Pass.  It was a 7.1 with a 12 on the dice made for losses alround.  All it needs is a second attack and the pass will be cleared.

And for the next impulse of May/June 1942 the weather is... snow, storm and rain!  Not a total disaster, if we can get another go, but it ended (30% chance).  Not a good outcome as the freak snow blocked shipments of Swedish iron ore.  It also meant the Pripet Marshes returned to being just that (in snow they convert to woods).  The presented opportunity to infiltrate was lost.


The withdrawal of Russian resources was made up by a second syntheic oil plant coming online and Finland providing resources (that somehow avoids being iced in).  Germany continued to supply Italy with 4 oil and 1 resource.

I need to check I haven't lost a BP as one of the subs was zero cost.  It is possible I built a 4 cost gun.


Now we come to the key campaigning season.  Who would win the inititaive?  Both sides threw 9s.  As the Allies went first last time the Axis win ties.  The Allies try for a reroll (which gives the Axis a plus 1).  The Allies threw a 1.  There was still one more hurdle to cross, weather.  The previous snow/storm/rain gave a +2 to the die roll.  A high roll (9 or 10) would mean rain... The roll was a 7.  Phew.  Clear skies!

The second battle for Termopylae was on.  Everything was lined all.  All that was needed was an exchange.  It was a 6.9 attack.  The die roll was a 6.8 resulting in nothing!  The one chance for significant progress evaporated.

A lone tank trying to navigate its way through the pass.
What do we do now?

Army Group Rumania moved up to the border with Ukraine, bringing up artillery, aircraft and attempting to inflitrate.  The Soviets have built a strong line.

At Kaunas a ground strike goes horribly wrong and a number of advanced JU 88 bombers are shot down.  The Soviet airforce is numerous and much of the Luftwaffe fighter strenght is covering German factories from the depravations of British litter drops,

A JU 88 in happier times.
Note the self censoring wing tip 

The attack went in.  It was 7.6 with a die roll of 6.6 producing the dreaded squiggly 14.  Three losses for the Germans with remaining troops inverted.  Germans HQs scramble to restore troops to fighting readiness.  There is the chance for one more attack, but the Baltic Front, like the Ukraine, has now been strongly manned by the Soviets.  

Elsewhere bad weather seems to have stymied Japanese advances.  A significant build up of Imperiealist forces has occured in Britain and an invasion of Europe seems imminent.

Monday, August 15, 2022

Galleys, Guns and Glory

At the NWS August Games Day Simon launched his fantastic handcrafted Venetian and Turkish galleys in a premier game based on the Galleys, Guns and Glory rule set by Skull and Crown.  I hope this post does the models proud and that my write up is not too biased or one-sided.

Angus and Marc commanded the Sultan's squadrons, while Simon and I had the Christians.  Specifically I had the Venetian and Maltese ships.

Sails raised purely for aesthetics.
My ships are the eight nearest on the left

My flag ship,
proudly displaying the Lion of St Mark

Some dubious ships in the employ of the Sultan

My ships as seen form the Turkish side
the red dots denote the ship needs to reload
the chits indicate hull or crew loss.

The pirates had an excellent opening bombardment,
scoring hits with all guns,
including the big gun that scores double.

The Turks score the first sink/wreck

The Venetians defeat the Sultans's ships they were facing,
although they had lost one ship and others had suffered severe damage.

One Maltese ship was sunk, but they too were victorious
However it was not such a good story for the other Christian ships
and things were probably in the balance.

A close up to show off the detail 
of these balsa, wood, plastic and paper creations
the oars are from a brush

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Don't Mention The War - Part 17

Finally the skies cleared and the European powers were able to commence the liberation of Poland, Bessarabia and the Baltic States from the communists.

Naval forces were dispatched to the Baltic and Norwegian seas to stop the Imperialists interfering in this noble crusade.

The world will be shocked at the size of our pocket battleships

These next two images are the before situations as seen in the Part 15 and 16 of the via Facebook post.

This next image is the after shot including the Communists' response.

There had been attacks as follows, running from the Artic Ocean to the Black Sea:
  • The Finns, newly aligned, attacked a Soviet 2 factor garrison at overwhelming odds (24 automatic Top of the Table).
  • A naval invasion put troops ashore in Estonia.
  • A Soviet 5 factor militia was attacked at 14.1 with a dice roll of 13 TOTT
  • A Soviet 5 factor unit hiding in the woods was attacked at 12.8 with a mighty die roll of 18.8 TOTT
  • A Soviet 4 factor garrison was crushed at 18.5 die roll 11 TOTT
  • Two Soviet 5 factor units defending the woods in front of the Pripet Marshes were attacked at 12 and 14.4 respectively with die rolls of 12 and 11 both producing TOTT results.
  • A 4 factor militia unit hiding in the woods near Lvov was hit with a 20 attack, die roll of 8 TOTT
  • The city of Cernauti was liberated after an 11 attack with an excellent roll of 18, again TOTT
  • A 3 factor unit lodged in the mountains was attacked at 12 with a die roll of 12 TOTT
  • And down near the Black Sea a 4 factor militia was easily overwhelmed at 30 TOTT.
The Soviet airforce later attacked and disrupted one German HQ and they have set up some fairly strong road blocks, but at least the weather is fine for the next impulse.

Friday, August 12, 2022

Barbarians at the Gates

This is an intriguing if somewhat slightly challenging game due to the rules layout (we seem to spend a good amount of time hunting up rules), but plays well and seems to be a good simulation of the period (about which I know little I readily admit).

This is the end of our second session,
we are about halfway through
and the barbarian pressure is mounting.

Don't Mention The War - Part 15 and 16 via Facebook


1942 J/F (Cont)
Axis 3rd Impulse – weather roll 6+2 for an 8, still no fine weather for the Axis and yes, another short turn. Germany and Japan take Naval actions. With the threat of overrun of naval units by British land units on a surprise impulse in their African Colonies Petain asks Hitler for oil – and gets a Naval to move his ships. The German U Boat fleet which has been mostly inactive in 41 gets to sail, and seeks out the Allied convoys that are plying the waters between the US E Coast and the UK. Search’s by U-Boats and the Royal Navy escorts are in the main futile, with the only find off the E Coast of the US where a single U.Boat finds and sinks 3 Convs and damages three others and an escort for no loss, leaving only 3 Convs at sea. The German surface fleet sorties out to the North Sea to secure the Swedish resources into Germany as the overmatch the British HMS Warspite and its escorting CA Frobisher. The entire Vichy fleet in Marseilles sails into the W Med on a ‘training exercise’ but more importantly their convoys finally get to sail out to SW Africa putting their isolated fleets of subs, Convs and a tpt back in supply. Japan in their naval goes after the impertinent US CA’s and finding both the Huston and Vincennes sinks them both, they reconstitute the important Convs in the China Sea, supply and resources are again able to be traced to Japan. Italy takes a no cost Combined and sails its conv to ship the Sardinian resource which the patrolling British subs fail to find. EOT is rolled, 7 needed, 2 rolled and the initiative slips into the +1 Allies box, a welcome result for the Russian who wants to win the initiative in 42 .
Partisan roll results in another partisan in China as the Japanese continue to oppress the Chinese population. Rebase, production and reinforcements. Full builds for the Axis partners, for the first time in the game as the Axis factories work overtime to produce the implements of war. The extra 3rd impulse despite the loss of the initiative was a godsend to the Axis and a very valuable impulse for them.
1942 M/A – Russia and Germany prepare for War!
Allies AKA Stalin rolls and wins the initiative and after a brief conference with his Allied partners hands over the first impulse to the Axis. The weather roll startles everyone – a 10 +2 (12) FINE everywhere! Oh, summer days, something the German has not seen for what seems like an eternity. Germany and Japan have a quick exchange of telegrams, but sensible Germany declines to break the pact and DOW against Russia – 1 fine impulse, does not an invasion turn make. In a surprise move Germany declares another Naval – obviously OKH feels that they have enough units on the Russian border and that another Naval won’t impact the German reinforcement schedule. Vichy France welcomes the decision as their now supplied fleet in their S African colonies can now return to Marseilles and mainland France for essential maintenance and RnR – they haven’t seen their families since Vichy was declared. German U-boat commanders are also elated, as they get a second chance to attack the Allied convoys before they get escorted, and they get to search in fine weather! The Graff Spee and Deutschland elect to remain in the North Sea rather than abort back to Kiel possibly to retain presence at the risk of being found by the Royal Navy. The Italian takes a Combined action and also despatch their subs out in search of convoys as well as flying a single Ftr into the W Med to hunt for the Dutch Ftr in the 0 box. The sub and U-Boat searches by both the Germans and the Italians are average with only one find – 3 British convs are sunk. The Italians find the Dutch Ftr and the Greek Conv but elect to sink the conv with a reacting Italian Nav that gets cleared through. Importantly the E Med search for the British convoy supplying bully beef and biscuits to the BEF in Greece remains undetected as both combatants roll 8’s – Greece remains in supply! The Italians GS the Greek font line but fail to invert any of the defenders – there will be no Italian attack this impulse.
Japan, keen to take advantage of this rare phenomenon of ‘fine weather’ takes a combined and targets Singapore. The Advance Fleet sails into the S China Sea to provide shore bombardment on the assault a +10.5 and a snap 10.5 rolled for a perfect 21 – 2 losses to the CW and none to the Japanese, Singapore falls. Historical note this is the 80th Anniversary of the fall of Singapore – ed note; I was there two weeks ago and visited many of the museums commemorating the event. The 0-4 Partisan in Iraq heads for the safety of the mountains, something partisans in that country have done so for thousands of years rather than be eliminated by the Russian build up. The EOT advances by 1.
Allied 1st Impulse. Free France and the USA DOW against Vichy in an attempt to reduce the Vichy SCS that are still at sea before they are able to return to Marseille and more importantly stop the Dakar resource getting to mainland Vichy and ultimately giving the German War Machine an additional 10(+) BPs. The US find and sink two convoys and two CA’s, the Duquesne and Tourville with the remaining Vichy SCS scuttling back to Vichy France – families are reunited. In the Pacific a lucky Sub search by the US finds the Japanese convoys in the Sea of Japan and damages 6 of them and aborts the rest, victorious he returns to Midway Island for beers.
The CW takes a mandatory Naval and sends out its escorts and ‘tops up the Convs off the W Coast of America. Aggressively, Force Z sails into the 1 box in the E Med with 4 CVs and 4 BS under the cover of British air from Gibraltar. They search for the Italian Nav and its Ftr escort - rolling, a 2 they find with a handy split of 4 shifts and risking a ‘clear though’ of the Italian Nav, they take the Italian down to a -5 which aborts a CW CVP but roll an 18, which destroys the Italian Nav and its pilot – the Italian’s morale wounded, his Ftr returns to Sicily. A risky search in the E Med fails to find by either side and Malta and the BEF in Greece remains in supply. The British land the Free French 6.3 Inf into Nigeria (Lagos) and the French Inf promptly marches into the Vichy Capital of French Cameroon, liberating the the unoccupied capitol. So it begins, the long journey to recover French Colonies. The Graff Spee and Deutschland are found by the Home fleet in the North Sea, but a soft split sees the Graff Spee and the British CA Frobisher both sunk in an exchange of gun fire and the Deutschland damaged as she limps back to Kiel. China, fires its 3 Arty at the Japanese Garrison in Kweiyang, but fail to invert the Japanese defenders – the arty is reinverted by Stillwell. The EOT advances by 1.
Axis 2nd Impulse – weather roll is a 5 – Storm in the Artic/Temp, and more snow in the Med, +2 on the EOT and the German OKW and Hitler feel vindicated that they were not tempted to launch Barbarossa on that first impulse of M/A. Averting the temptation and an obvious trap, an excellent decision by the Axis. Germany takes a Land and rails another 3 land units to the Russian border – there is a significant build up in force elements of Army Group North (AGN). GS by Stukas on the Greek front invert 1 Div – but snow will prohibit an attack, the Axis will wait another impulse hoping for fine, and to invert the Greek defending Corps. Italy takes a no cost combined and again searches for the British Convoy in the E Med – and again fail to find. Italian Arty is railed to Greece as more Italians shuffle along the Greek Coast towards Athens – this is to be an Italian campaign. Japan aligns Siam and takes a Naval, the Strike Feet with a small invasion landing force heads out to the Bay of Bengal threatening Ceylon and Burma. Convoys are reconstituted and escorted, and the naval perimeter is protected by a screen of SCS, submarine searches in the Arabian Sea fail to find the British Convs and in the Marshal Islands one Japanese sub is found and damaged. The US presence in the Marianas is removed. EOT advances by +2
Allies 2nd Impulse – The CW takes a land and advances shuffles (military term) units in the UK and in launches an attack against Italian Eritrea taking the colony with ease – another of Mussolini’s empire is liberated. The US takes a combined and captures another Island of the Kwajalein group. The US also liberated the Ivory Coast by entering its unoccupied capital Abidjan – it will be handed back to the Free French. China again fires its 3 Arty at the Japanese Garrison in Kweiyang, but again no inverts (faulty ammunition) - no attack. With attack weakness the Nationalist cannot afford too many losses, so they need the inversions to make anything happen – similar to the Italians against the Greeks in the Med. EOT roll 5, it advances by 2. End of this week’s session mixed luck on both sides, the German Naval has seen the massed Vichy French Fleet successfully relocated to Marseille, and at war with the US.
Axis 3rd Impulse. Weather roll is 6 – marginally better weather as fine conditions return to the Mediterranean. Germany takes a no cost land action and rails units to the Russian border, including several large units from Greece, including its last HQ. Italy takes a no cost combined, saving oil and moves several more land units another hex to the Grecian front. The last of the German Stukas are rebased to Romania. Japan takes a Land, a Japanese Div debarks in Burma adjacent to the capital and attacks with the Siamese Corps, the Marine Div and naval SB and air on a +13 rolling an 8 for another perfect 21 – taking the Burmese capital for no loss – no more oil for China for a while.
Allies 3rd Impulse The CW takes a naval and decides to expand the convoy lanes in an attempt to get extra oil into the UK, but in an act of stupidity sails a conv into the E Med to ship the Cyprus Resource – triggering an Italian search and yes, a lucky search roll by the Italian fleet in the E Med, they rolled a 1, and find and sink two convs and the British are finally OOS and will not reinvert if the turn ends. The US takes a combined and consolidate their ‘outer ring’ and rebase acft forward. Russia takes a land and rails two more units from the Far-East to the West and sets up its line for the onslaught that is about to begin. Some of their forward acft are relocated to the rear anticipating that they may be overrun if too close to the border when war breaks out.
Axis 4th Impulse, Weather roll is a 6, snow and storm (Temp) but fine in the Med and N Monsoon. Germany, Italy and Japan all take combined actions. Germany sends out a 4th Conv into the Baltic preparing for the Finnish iron ore shipments, Italy sails the entire Italian fleet to the 3 Box in the E Med to provide shore bombardment of Greece if required. Naval searches in the E Med fail to find each other, more 8’s! The Axis for the third time, again attempt to GS the Greek line, and again they roll above the 3s needed for an inversion, none of the Greek Corps are inverted – no attack, the odds are simply too low without the plusses from inversions. Aircraft are rebased by both Italy and Germany. Japan ‘s combined sees them take Guam in an exchange for the US taking another Kwajalein Island. The Japanese rebase land air and consolidate their Japanese arc and secure their inner sea areas from US interference, now that the Pacific Fleet is based in Rabaul.
A 5 is rolled for the EOT roll – 5 needed. The partisan roll results in another two partisans in China as the Japanese continue to oppress the Chinese population. Losses are moderate by most standards – the loss of the Italian Nav is always welcomed by the British in the Med, but good news for Japan as both Singapore and Burma are now conquered. Rebase, production and reinforcements. Full builds again for the Axis partners, as their factories work overtime with the influx of forced labour workers from Yugoslavia and Poland. Reinforcements are placed with the bulk of German reinforcements arriving in Konigsberg, 2 x 7 factor ftrs land and a Stuka plus INF. For the Russians they receive their first 7 factor Ftr as Inf and Mech Corps reinforcements are dispersed among the front-line cities.
1942 M/J – Russia and Germany prepare for War!
Drum roll - as the Russian and German dice off for the 2nd most important roll of the year. Stalin rolls a 2 for a modified 4 which is easily beaten by the German’s 7. Without hesitating the Russian reroll wins the initiative, and in an ironical twist of fate with an 7 against the Germans 2 – sort of a Zen balance. Allies, Russia goes first and then the most important roll and it is the German’s nightmare, a 1! Unbelievable, the Germans snow curse continues as a late winter return to the Artic and storm in mostly everywhere else, and importantly for the Russian and a probable short turn, as the impulse marker advances by 2.
Next session, Russia goes first in bad weather and the impulse advancing by 2, simply put, it does not get any worse for the German, or any better for the Russian on a Barbarossa turn. Germany will be hoping for multiple long turns of fine weather in both J/A and S/O to help balance the ledger.
The UK starts to welcome the US allies

Army Group North prepares


Army Group South

The Russian front - and its snow - Nothing new.

Yep May Jun and its Snowing

Where does all this snow come from!

Germans prepare in E Poland

The Germans Plans are revealed as the Russians win the initiative

The Russian Reserves are warned out.

The Far East - now Japanese

The Sino-Russian campaign in Stasis


The S China Sea - Singapore now firmly in Japanese hands

Moderate losses for M/A 42

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Maurikian Byzantine versus Early Khalifs

When my opponent was unable to make it, I was fortunate that Jeff agreed to run one of the two armies I had brought along to the club (I also had a third in play - my Carthaginians pretending to be Gauls on loan to Simon).

My Byzantines out scouted the Arabs and decided to face their foot with the cavalry.

But timing would be crucial

While the Byzantine light cavalry out on the left wing met with success
The Byzantine foot was shot to pieces

While that was happening, the main bodies came into contact.
It initially looked favourable for the Byzantines...

But that was an illusion

The Byzantine light cavalry have triumphed
but the Arab slingers have added to the woes of the Byzantine foot.

When the Byzantine foot were finally routed by the weight of fire brought against them,
the Byzantine army collapsed.