Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Battle Report - Waterloo Campaign Turn 1 - Hougoumont

Hello Folks,

So on Friday I went down to the Historical club to continue on with the Waterloo campaign. This time I would be borrowing a British army to face off against the hated french in hougoumont. I was given the British regular army division with a support of light cavalry to defend against the French onslaught. I was a bit lazy about putting this on up and since it's been a few days my accuracy may slip a bit but that's ok. The French had a Infantry army with an organic elite infantry support.

The terrain was based on the 'chateau' map in the lassale book, with a wood added by the French. My light cavalry is not deployed at the start as it's in reserve. My open took one look at my 6 infantry units and 4 cavalry units in reserve and decided he couldn't win the attack so decided to defend, as you can see allot of troops in line and in the woods. I figured fine be that way then the defender will attack!

I advanced across in attack columns biding my time until the cavalry would show up (you have to roll less then the turn number on 2 dice, but each player turn is a turn). Which they did on or around turn 5 I think. So the plan for me is to get some mixed charges with cavalary and infantry against single French infantry units, and some good 2 vs 1 charges. All I need to do is kill 4 or so units and they will be rolling army morale. The French don't have an objective for me to take as they are the attacker but that is the best I can do. (not my favorite feature of this game)

The set up continues for another turn or 2 while I bring up the mounted troops. The four french troops in front of the house are my target victims. My plan is to try flaking them a bit with around half my infantry, while the rest plays games with the French line. Fishing for lucky results I guess, and hoping not to loose more then 2 of them.

Here we are after a bit of action. I have 3 mounted units trying to break a French square, meanwhile 2 of my infantry are attack a French column while my last mounted unit gets them in his sights. On the other side I got a bit to in the face of the french line and they decided to charge, so one of  my units has an elite French in his face but I am planning to just fall back as the odds are not good.

I never got what I really wanted out of the 3 mounted vs the square, but was able to break through with an infantry unit to help out, so after 2 rounds of 4 units against 1!! I was able to kill that guy. A couple of more units fell to a combined infantry and cavalry charge. So I have the French at 3 which is not bad, but I have also lost a few units to flank charges.

Bit blurry sorry, battle tires you out is my excuse
In the end I lost another unit to cannon fire, so we both had 3 units lost, but sadly the we ran out of turns to play so the game was over.

Turns out it is pretty hard to win an attack as the defender, but I think I gave it a good go. I think I could have at least had them rolling morale if that one square hadn't given me such a huge amount of trouble. But a fun game none the less, I guess a draw is still ok for the allies as we keep the terrain, but I feel that in this campaign stacking up losses is more important the territories in the start, so you really want at least a minor victory so they loose half their attacking points.

Still I think Jeff's plan of defending with really small armies and playing fro draws has payed off nicely in the first turn, at least I assume that is the plan.


Thursday, 18 June 2015

Battle Report - Waterloo Campaign Turn 1 - Wavre

Hello so we started off the Waterloo campaign at the club. Serge and I played a game with the Prussians vs the French at my place yesterday. Basically meant to represent Wavre I guess. The main feature of the report thou is that I finally got my new mat from Baueda that I had ordered way back and it's really great so check that out!

So here we have the initial deployment. I elected to be the defender due to all the rivers (Serge always tries to attack), and decided to go a bit different so tried out the infantry support instead of the cavalry. The French went for the light cavalry option.

The bridge is there to way down a kink in the river, but we just played it as a bridge anyway.

I choose the table side and set up first as I wanted to force the French into the rivers as much as possible, so I just put everything in attack columns in a giant line with the cannons in the center. Lines are basically useless in this game so no need to worry about that. My plan is to march to the edge of the river and defend with them in the bad terrain.

So here are the first few moves, going basically according to plan, except that they are massing on one side more then I had anticipated and avoiding the artillery more then I would like.

Now we have a round of prepping attacks, the French mainly move from march columns to attack columns but can then charge as I am to close. I continue more or less as I was but attack more down by the ocean as I felt strong there and need to press in and break some units.

Next turn there is surprisingly little violence, the shooting starts in earnest but only 1 or 2 combats. The French cav are reluctant to charge my squares across a stream. So they maneuver looking for an advantageous combat. This game is all about attacking units 2 vs 1, or creating a situation which forces the defender to half their dice.

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to form a line down by the close marsh, I have 3 units against my 1 but they are to far to charge due to the bad terrain. But that is still 6 dice vs 4 and I am not sure how that was meant to help me, should have pulled back.

Next turn the fun begins, 2 units of cavalry now charge a square finding that to be better odds. And some infantry fight across the river, more combat down on the far side but the pic is blurry. This is the point where thing start to go very bad for me. The square is broken by the 2 mounted units, and my line is lost, and my artillery is somehow broken by the French artillery shooting in a near perfect role.

I launch some ineffectual counter attacks on my turn but not really getting the success that I need. I am not really ever able to capitalize on those 2 vs 1 combats, the maneuvering can be a bit overly tight to that point where we are wondering about millimeters.

Well with loosing so many units the French are able to get even more advantageous battles and things go from bad to worse, they kill my poor cavalry and break some more units putting me into an army morale position, meanwhile I have taken out just 1 french unit. I now have to race to get two mroe to avoid a decisive French victory.

But I am just never able to recover from it and can't get anything to succeed. Even the French musketry is doing more damage then would be average. I pass my first morale test and we move to turn 16, unable to damage the French I am now hoping the day will end before my army breaks, but on turn 16 I roll a 16 for morale and you need to get higher then the turn number. So my army breaks and gives the French a great victory.

This game highlights a few things I don't like about Lasalle, mainly that it encourages you to break off when you are winning instead of pressing the advantage, and in certain situations the geometry can be overly precise. But still a fun game anyway.

I like the change to the victory level conditions that Nick has which frees up the army lists a bit. It's still a bit restrictive for some armies but still is better. More and more I find myself wishing for a second version of this game that modifies and corrects things just a bit. Anyway still fun hope you like the report.


Friday, 12 June 2015

Battle Report - Flames of Great War

Bit lazy about posting the battle report for this week for some reason. Anyway on Wednesday Serge and Raphael dropped by to try out the Great War supplement for for Flames of War (this is all their stuff), I just took some pictures and harassed Serge but I am going to post a report anyway because why not.

I don't know the armies exactly but the Germans were Confident Trained with 2 infantry platoons, machine guns, 2x A7 tanks, infantry gun, and a couple of flame throwers. The British were Confident Trained with 2 infantry platoons, 1 Mark IV tanks, a whippet some HMG nests, and some guns.

The battle was to be a trench attack and the Germans were attacking. The objectives are the cross roads in the trench lines, and the German infantry platoons would come back as fresh attacking platoons when they died. The other important bit is due to all the craters infantry which don't move in the open are concealed and in bullet proof cover instead of just concealed.

So here we have the start of the game, Germans on the right British on the left.

The Germans advanced the tanks, the infantry just moved up to the wire. The British return fire was largely ineffectual.

Next turn the Germans tried to cross the wire but mostly failed. They were how ever pretty successful in killing the nests and got one of 2 with the tanks. Their inability to cross the wire was set to be a trend.

Here we are at the start of turn 4 I think. The Germans are still barely able to cross the wire so not to much is happening. The British have brought in a tank thou so now we are getting a bit of a tank battle. Both of the British guns have been killed by this time.

Heavy machine gun position. This status quo lasts for a few turns with the Germans trying to cross more guys and both sides hammering away with small arms to little effect.

The British finally get the rest of their reserves, more tanks and the other infantry, things are getting harder for the Germans now.

But one of the A7s gets a lucky hit and blows up a mark IV.

The British bring up the second platoon to help cover the objective against all the Germans that are finally starting to make an attack.

It's very difficult to make an infantry assault in this kind of a situation so I harassed Serge into assaulting with the A7s. They were forced to go one at a time, they managed to kill a few British infantry something like half a dozen bases, but no decisive result before both were to damaged to continue the assault. But no free captures on these big land ships. The British tried a counter attack to push them out of the trenches but there were to many machine guns to do much. At this point we ran out of time so it was technically a win for the British, although we mostly agreed the Germans could have won eventually.

I like the Great War version, it's different enough from normal that it really feels different, and it's fun to try some different scenarios. There are 4 missions in the book so you are not forced to be attacking trenches all the time. Also these are the pre set forces from the starter boxes so people would likely take some different options making their own forces. I don't think the guns are very useful for instance. 


Monday, 8 June 2015

Battle Report - Firestorm Loraine Campaign Turn 2B Game 1

Yesterday the club continued on with our Firestorm Loraine campaign, this was the second round of games in turn 2. In this round I had to attack the Metz again and go up against the heavy entrenched guns. I was a bit lazy so I just went with the same army I have been using for most of this, this time my firestorm support troops were a platoon of tanks and 1 of heavy artillery.

My German opponent had a mix of Panthers, Panzer IVs, StugGs, Infantry, Artillery, so really just allot of stuff. I don't have the exact lists ready to post this time but you get the idea. We rolled for a mission and got Cauldron which was vetoed and then Hold the Line (or was it no retreat), it's the defensive battle where the defender is in delayed reserves but has 2 ambushes.

Here is our start position, the objectives are between the 2 hills in the back, and behind the trenches and tank obstacles on the right. As you can see I have decided that assaulting engineers in trenches with full panzerfaust is not a great idea so my plan is to bypass that mass and go for the rear. The Germans also have their heavy artillery on the board and the Panthers in ambush. We later realized that the Panzer IVs had forgotten to deploy so they were added later.

First turn I moved up cautiously and sent in the recon to make it hard for the panthers to deploy from ambush in a great position. The Germans fired the artillery and killed a sturat and held back the Panthers for now. As you can see I have elected to keep the heavy guns under smoke for most of the game.

On turn 2 I sent my recon unit in to attack the heavy guns, and was able to take out 2 of them at the cost of only 1 jeep, so no to bad. Meanwhile my tanks crept forward.

In the following turns the Germans deployed the Panthers and then brought up the Panzer IVs. My recon were taken care of by the commanders who decided to suddenly show up.

As you can see the Panthers were giving me quite allot of trouble. I was not having great luck, and my plans to take cover behind the houses back fired as the Germans were able to take advantage of that to avoid firing at my heavily armored jumbos, and instead kill the better gunned 76mm Shermans. The Reluctant Panthers had great luck un-bailing as well which was not great.

Eventually I was able to kill all but 1 of the Panthers, mostly with artillery, but by then almost all of my tank had been destroyed. Still both of the German command tanks had been killed, so there were possibilities if I could some how kill the last Panther and 4 Panzer IVs with 1 command Jumbo and 4 Stuarts.

This was not to be as my commander was surrounded and bailed out, so when I had to make a company morale test there was no one to roll it resulting in a loss due to company breaking. But still was a fun game, perhaps I could have played more conservatively and relied on my heavy artillery to do more work, but that is just not fun. As it turns out one of our allied generals was able to get a victory and captured the important town of Nancy. This puts us just in the lead as we head into the third and final round of the campaign which will have all the German counter attacks. So we will really have to do a good job defending our gains to pull off a draw.


Thursday, 4 June 2015

Battle Report - Lasalle Prussians vs French

Hello all, so we had another war gaming day yesterday, this time decided to go for a game of Lasalle and try out some Napoleonics to practice a bit for the upcoming campaign. I took my Prussians, plus a bunch of Serges Austrians to make up the numbers as I don't have enough, and Serge and Raphael took command of the French.

I went for the Hundred Days infantry division with a light cavalry support, and French had the equivalent from their list. The French elected to attack and I had set up a hilly board.

So here we are at the start of turn 1, the french are mostly in columns marching in to attack, and I have set up with a mix of attack columns and lines, with cannons in the middle and we both put cavalry out on the right flank. Somehow I was think my reserve infantry was not great so I kept them in the back (white guys), but turns out in the hundred days they are as good as the regular infantry so it should have been the unpredictable Landwher holding the back but oh well.

So here we have my moves, my cavalry is a bit worse all told, but I do have an extra unit, so I decided it would be smart to try and catch the french while they are still stuck in lines, so I moved them up aggressively. On the infantry side I am mostly biding my time and trying to get into position where they can't double charge my units, which is tough.

The french continue to march up in columns, deploying out most of the cavalry, with just 1 unit stuck in a march column.

Knowing how much this game favors the attacker in a combat I decided to march out a bit. I deployed one of my infantry units out into a line, and moved up the other to try and pin down the columns. The Landwher marched out around the town trying to face off those units one for one. Meanwhile my cav took their chance and charged in, 2 of my poor landwher cav units are fighting and my better unit is into the hill.

So here we are a couple of turns later. My cavalry that charged the unit in march broke it, and went on to charge the next unit and then broke that as well I believe. The other unit was facing some tough opposition and bounced. On the infantry side we have assault going in all down the line. My lead landwher unit got pushed back putting the front one in a bit of an awkward spot. But overall things are still going well for me.

So on the infantry side now we have traded units a bit, I think I lost that landwher unit, but broke on somewhere on the hill I think. The French are now marching down and I am trying to avoid another 2 vs 1 combat, and my unit on the hill is in real danger of being flanked, but I moved up my artillery aggressively hoping to get a fire into that french unit. The cavalry battle battle has calmed down quite a bit and we are just shifting around now, a few of my units are at 3 disruptions, so about to break, and are trying to avoid that.

Close up of the action around the town.

I managed to get a third cavalry unit so by this point the french force is now broken, so they are rolling for morale, but I am soon to follow. You have to roll higher then the turn count on 5 dice to continue, this is around turn 11 (count both players turns as 1). They main focus now is wether or not I can hold on to the objective (the quarter), as I would drop to just 4 dice if they can take it!

We both pass the morale test once and then on the next round the French pass by one (needed 13), and then on my turn I fail by 1 (needed 14). So a loss for the Prussians, a few more units had died but to no great effect. As I had won the cavalry battle my force has the advantage in Pursuit cavalry so it is just a minor loss as the French are unable to fully capitalize.

Was a fun game for all sides I think, lasalle usually does give that as it's not so serious of a game so there is not allot of pickyness. Kind of like Hail Ceasar or something, but almost need an extra bit of table space. Some of the armies are not super well balanced either, but this is a quite good match up.

Really feel like I should paint some more units for the campaign, hopefully I can at least get the Landwher Cavalry units I have started from years ago done!