Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Barbarossa Turn 19 Soviet and Turn 20 Axis

In this session we completed Turn 19 and started Turn 20.  Turn 20, representing 30-31 July, saw mud in both the north and centre sections.

Talin under siege and the islands requiring additional rules to be read/comprehended.

AGN still has to take Pskov before it can move on to its main objective.
AGC on the way to capturing Smolensk

AGS before Kiev (and a bit of AGC in the north).

Let's not forget the Romanians,
and where will that cluster of Axis divisions go
now that the Vinnitsa pocket has been reduced?

Turn 20

It looks like AGN will finally take Pskov.

I failed to take a photo of AGC combats,
but they launched major attacks on the three areas marked in the above image.
They took a few casualties.

AGS tries to attack Kiev from the north west - it fails.

Vinnitsa pocket is wiped out,
and the now surplus Axis forces head to Kiev. 

Romania with some German help,
attacks all along the front.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Here I Stand for four turns at least

Friday saw us start another game of Here I Stand.  This time Richard was the Ottomans, Jeff the Protestants, Simon the Hapsburgs, while I was the Papacy and we had two newcomers to the game with: Mike playing France and Russell England.

Turn 1 and Luther gets off to a good start 
and it looks like piracy might breakout in the Mediterranean.
England goes to war with Scotland and France comes to their aid,
perhaps not fully appreciating that they are already start at war with the Hapsburgs and Papacy.
At some point the French fleet was completely sunk giving England mastery of the seas.

Turn 2 
Did I say Luther had got off to a good start?
The unpronounceable league has been established!
Hungary collapses bringing the Hapsburgs into a war with the Ottomans.
France went to peace with everyone but England who have an Irish War added to their woes.
(Note: an Irish war where both sides threw double 1s at one stage of the combat)
The Papacy allies with the Hapsburgs, lending them fleets to help fight pirates.
Genoa flirts with France before joining the Papacy.

Turn 3 and France is in the lead.
Luther and the Pope are busy printing and burning books respectively.
Pirates have been defeated.
French explorers fail to explore instead becoming tasty treats.

Turn 4 
England has a healthy heir after the Pope grants a divorce.
Pirates were again smashed and in following up the Ottomans lost Athens,
after the Pope provided the Hapsburgs with some professional rowers in their hour of need.
Halley's Comet appeared which was seen as a dark omen to Reformation.
The Pope claimed it was the Hand of God.

The version of HIS we are using is the part of the 500th Edition and has a few rule variations that we have not necessarily fully identified for the 2nd Edition rules.

Friday, May 26, 2023

ALEXANDROS BI2.0 - Granicus

See this post for background to the conversion to Basic Impetus of the Alexandros campaign (really just a series of linked games).

Turn 2 Granicus 334 BC

Macedonian Army 3.2 (plus one unit)  vs Later Achaemenid Persians 3.4 (minus scythed chariots)

The battlefield has the Granicus River running across the middle of the table, but is otherwise open terrain.  The Macedonians are the attackers.  The river is Broken Terrain about 1H in width.  The Persians set up first.

Special Rule: Alexander is deployed with the Hetairoi and can reroll a “6” on a Cohesion Test (once per test).

Ace in the Hole – Aggressive Deployment (in a rush to cross the river) 

Ace in the Hole – None 

There are numerous articles on this battle, but nothing definitive.  No mention of scythed chariots.  The Macedonian list has the Thracian javelinmen replaced by a unit of pike.  Not sure this should be the case and it might be better to have the extra skirmish unit and have the Hypaspists armed with Long Spear.

But on with the games.

Round One

Mark B is the Persians and I am Alexander.

Solid deployment

Alexander advances while the Persians manoeuvre.

The Macedonian wings evaporate
and the centre is not doing as well as expected either.
Oh dear.

Things momentarily look up for the Macedonians

But a very significant defeat befalls Alexander.
VD loss inflicted by Mark B 12 and lost by him 3 gives him a score of 9.

Round Two

A quick game is a good game and now it was Mark B's turn to be Alexander.

A different deployment this time
with pikes in echelon.

Persians get busy manoeuvring to face the threat caused by the enemy concentration.

Things are in the balance on the Persian left...

But the attention is now switching to the centre.

It's hard going for both sides

But the Persians centre collapses.
In the subsequent turn their left wing cavalry breaks and victory goes to Alexander this time.
VD loss inflicted by Mark B 11 and lost by him a gives him a score of 10.

This proved to be a very interesting scenario and worth playing again with the Hypaspists with long spear and extra skirmishers (which would be more in keeping with the Basic Impetus Army List options).

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Don't Mention The War - Part 43

Germany's dreams of a united Europe just require a little adjustment to what "Europe" means.  Certainly it includes Germany and Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, the Northern Italian Free State and West Poland, oh, and not to forget Bulgaria. 

The situation at the end of the September/October 1944 Turn.
If the Imperialist invaders get the initiative it will be very bleak.
Thank fully this did not occur.


Production was only maintained due to requisitioning of a large amount of Italian material.  There could have been more but the Imperialists mercilessly bombing the brave Italian workers as they tried to load various objets d'art on to trains, trucks, cars and bicycles.

Both the Hungarians and Bulgarians have upped their military contribution and rolled out some vintage planes found in their antique air collectors' garages.

Bulgaria has all the cockpit glass. 
Hungary has to go without

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Barbarossa AGS - Vassal - Madness - Turns 1 to 3

Time to play catch up.

The opening attacks all along the line.

The Soviets immediately implement a strategic withdraw.

Turn 2 sees continued attacks on the now fragmenting front line.

Some trapped Soviets try to fight their way out.
It fails miserably.

The Soviets continue to withdraw although as per the rules this is not at full speed.

AGS pushing ahead on the northern flank.

And bearing down on Lvov.

The Soviets have put a good distance between themselves and the invaders.

Barbarossa Turn 19 Axis

After the big move today's session saw us just do the Axis part of Turn 19 (July 28-29).

AGN trying hard to take Pskov,
but not there yet.

AGC attacking everywhere all at once,
but the main focus has to be Smolensk.
(Just follow the red line at the top of the above image)

Mud in the south doesn't stop AGS having a go at reducing the Vinnistra pocket.
Even the Rumanians launch an assault.

Friday, May 19, 2023

Barbarossa Map Move After Turn Eighteen

Trying to get the whole new map space in using a video...

I hope it worked...

Napoleon's Battle Practice

Wednesday night at the club I got in a rare game of Napoleon's Battles which was really just a practice game with Stefan who went Austrian in Scenario 2 from the original Green Scenario Book.  We used 2nd Edition rules with self rally from 4th Edition and a house rule limiting withdraw casualties to not exceed the rout number when combined with combat casualties and also that a unit that goes into contact that is routed prior to close combat does not inflict a winner's loss.

French attacking in echelon.
I must come up with a less intrusive react marker.

Also must do more cavalry casualty bases

Battle in full swing
the brigades with their bases all higgly piggly denote rout

This is where we got to when we ran out of time,
but many brigades were starting to disperse.

French still had Free Roll chits :-)

Monday, May 15, 2023

Barbarossa - Vassal - Madness - Turn 10

I am now thinking I need to play AGS to catch up and decide whether to send Guderian south.  I also finished reading a document about the Vassal grand campaign that Richard found and it raises some interesting ideas about Mandated Attacks, rail road conversion rates, supply unit allocation that got me thinking "why am I playing?"

Simply put I find it entertaining on a number of levels.  But to address the ideas that have given me pause for reflection

Mandated Attacks - this is to force the Soviet player to attack or give the Axis player bonus VPs.  In both the face to face game and on Vassal the opportunities for the Soviets to make an attack unless the Axis player really disperses and closes with the enemy are extremely rare.  Worse, they would just result in lost units and give the Axis an even easier time.  So I am playing without considering the NKVD (or Gestapo) officer in the HQ.  This invokes is it a game or a simulation paradigm.  It's a bit of both.

That leads to the rail road conversion rates.  I have assumed these are reasonably accurate like movement rates etc.  They will be key in the later stages of the game so it is too early for me to assess the impact of the rates as they currently exist (will be four hexes per turn in good weather/terrain.  That is 16km per day and is conversion so the railbed etc is all there).  I understand a bigger issue was the availability of rolling stock.

Allocating supply units based on need between AGN and AGC has merits.  This hasn't become an issue (unlike the Luftwaffe), but I think it is reasonable (as would be swapping units between AGs, which happened).  

So on with the game as I'm having fun!

Weather: mud in the north and mud and storms in the centre.  Well, I was having fun...  The hardest thing about the weather is remembering the special effects, such as the impact on the zocs of motorised units.

Even though supply has caught up to the Axis forces in front of Pskov,
they are not yet in position to make attacks 
(they could have, but they would be at 2:1 and risk incurring heavy losses on the panzers)

Daugavpils is where AGN is really held up.
Maybe this attack will clear the city?
The panzers that have raced ahead are suffering fuel shortages.

Similarly AGC needs to clear Minsk if it is to continue its drive east.

The southern flank of AGC
with three panzer divisions assaulting Bobruysk.

The AGN attack fizzled while all the AGC attacks resulted in the elimination of the Soviet defenders. It might be time to reconsider the priorities and directions of attack in the north as the delay will only make the Pskov front harder to assault and get around its southern flank.

AGN stuck in the mud, but the next few days will be Dry
(It is a game rule you can only have two consecutive turns of mud in the dry season).

AGC next stop Smolensk, weather permitting.