Monday 8 July 2024

Operation Jupiter 20 - Secure the Village. 20mm WW2.

Introduction

This is game 20 in replaying the scenarios from the Briton Publishers Operation Jupiter skirmish scenario book.   Links to previous games are on this blog page.

Rules used

I am using a variant of my 4x3 grid rules without grids and sections are 3 person units rather than 1 base. I have changed them a little and now if within 3” are fighting in melee but all have cover modifiers. Also activation is now (mainly) 2 section/vehicle per side per player turn.

Scenario

The British have 8 turns to capture the objective building. The British player enters from the northwest road on turn 1. Although the Germans have a small force, they can concentrate their firepower in a narrow lane. The British must not become channelled by the road.

Troops

British


1 Platoon HQ

    1 figure

    1 2" mortar

    1 PIAT team

3 Sections

    3 figures

1 MMG

British are all regular

Germans


1 Zug HQ

    1 figure

2 Gruppe

   3 figures (with panzerfausts)

1 MG42 team

Germans are all regular

 

Deployment

The German’s deploy one Gruppe in the objective building, one Gruppe in a building opposite and the MMG in the building that has a good view up the road and the building along the British entry road.

German deployment

The British have no choice in coming on the road but will quickly pivot off the road to the right and get to the objective.  Time is tight.

Game

British enter 2 sections.  The first section comes under MG fire and 2 figures are out of the fight.  Already.

Germans MG lining up the British

The British run as fast as they can out of the line of fire, using the buildings to block LOS to the MG.

British run to cover

The remaining British enter – the Vickers MG to a building that has LOS to the objective but not in LOS for the German MG.  The third section enters with the Major and support (PIAT and 2” mortar), the German MG fires at the third section and two are suppressed (unlucky).

The remaining British enter

The first (and single figure) section and second section move into the woods and spot the Germans in the building opposite.  They fire, suppressing one.  The Germans fire back and suppress the first section that retreats.

Germans and Brits clash

The Germans in the building fire at second section in the woods, KO’s one and the other two are suppressed and forced to retreat.  The MG fires at the far building but inflicts nothing.

Germans force the British to retreat further into the woods

The British third section in the building rally one figure and one other is now OK. The rest of the unit (including the major and the 2” mortar) move towards the woods.  The Vickers MMG can see (just) into the German Gruppe in the building and cause two suppressions.

British fire and movement

The Germans attempt to rally their Gruppe in the building. Alas, even with the commander present, one routs and the other two figures remain suppressed.

The British concentrate on the building on their side of the road

A bit of fire and rallying with the result that the second platoon (2 figures) in the woods is unsuppressed, as is the German Gruppe in the building.  Two more turns of trading fire saw one German figure in the building rout, and the British infantry in the woods advance but then retreat again suppressed.

The British just cannot make headway

The turn count is up and the British have not managed to take the objective.  A win for the Germans!

Verdict

That was good fun!  Two things from the game:

1. I seem to have rediscovered my art of being able to play a turn or two (5-10 minutes to play and write some notes) and then come back some other tie, even days later.  I lost this several years ago, glad it is back.

2.  I have overused the word vignette but I find these games are like vignettes of a larger battle and are very tactically challenging with a small number of units and a small battlefield.

It was never going to be easy for the British.  They only had one more section than the Germans and the German MMG was going to be tough to avoid. 

Saturday 15 June 2024

Operation Jupiter 18 - Maltot Under Siege. 20mm ww2 game

Introduction

This is game 18 in replaying the scenarios from the Briton Publishers Operation Jupiter skirmish scenario book.   Links to previous games are on this blog page.

Rules used

I am using a variant of my 4x3 grid rules without grids and sections are 3 person units rather than 1 base.  But mostly the same.  I did play this scenario out with the rules but they were too brutal (no cover bonus in a building if moved into it).  So I have changed them a little and now if within 3” are fighting in melee but have all cover modifiers. And also activation is now (mainly) 2 section/vehicle per side per player turn.

Scenario

Each side has 8 turns to control the objective building. Control means no unsuppressed units occupy the interior structure.

The scenario calls for an urban layout so rather than use a large table I am opting to set the game up on a 2’x2’ table.

Troops

 British

1 Platoon HQ

    1 figure

    1 2" mortar

    1 PIAT team

2 Sections

    3 figures

3 Universal Carriers (enough to carry the infantry assuming 3 figs per carrier)

1 x Achilles (M10)

1 X Churchill VII

British are all regular

Germans


1 Zug HQ

    1 figure

2 Gruppe

   3 figures (with panzerfausts)

2 Halftracks for transport (to carry the infantry)

2 x Tiger I

Germans are all regular, except the Tigers that are Veteran.

Deployment

The objective building and table edges of entry

Game

British get to move first and move on a Churchill and a section of infantry (via the Brens). They have taken the objective building.

British have taken the objective

The Germans move on two Gruppe.  The Gruppe is the buildings are with 3” of the objective occupied by the British.

Germans move on two Gruppe

The Germans fire and suppress one of the figures.  The British return fire and 1 figure is KO.

 The British move on the second section into the edge of the woods and the Company HQ into another building at the T-intersection to provide support for the objective.  The British fire at the Germans again in the building and suppress one.

The remaining British infantry enter the battlefield

The german turn is an event.  A random 81mm attack on the objective building but no effect.  The Tiger enters the battle and fires at the Churchill but misses.  The Gruppe and Brits continue to exchange fire that sees another British figure suppressed.

Tiger enters.


Overview

The British in the objective building unsuppress.  The Churchill hits the Tiger but for no effect. The British and Germans exchange fire and the Germans are all suppressed and so retreat.  The Germans in the forest move into the building just vacated by the other German Gruppe.  The second Tiger enters.  Lots of firing for no effect.

View from the German entry point

The British section in the forest move up to also be able to attack the building.  They are successful and the British manage to suppress all the Germans in the building forcing them to retreat.  The British advance and take that building.  The tanks are surprising ineffective with lots of shots missing.

British take control of another building

The British section manage to rout some Germans behind the wall.  Even though the Germans in the building manage to unsuppress (with one routing) it is not enough.  Time has passed and the Germans are unable to occupy the building so retire.

British successful in defending the building


End   

Verdict

The rules are working well. I have had this table setup in the map drawers for 2 years – have been dithering over rules to use. Finally I have played a game!  It was good to use the 20mm forces again – I have great fondness for them and likely my favourite scale and period to play.  The rules are the ww3x4 with some minor changes for no grids and also using the activation system from another older ruleset of mine (ww2 on a 12x12 grid) rules that seemed to be better than activating by squares.  Basically roll a die and usually 2 units can activate.  Needs more testing but is fine so far for only a few units and a 2’x2’ table.  There are another 6 or 7 scenarios to play out on the same layout so hoping to keep using these rules for them.

Saturday 4 May 2024

700,000 and 14 years

Introduction

700,000 and 14 years.  It seems like only a year ago it was 600,000 hits.  That is because it was!  I had a huge increase in hits (an order of magnitude) over the Christmas period for about 3 months that saw the 700,000 milestone reached about a year before I was expecting it.  Ah well. I do know that about 90% of the 100,000 hits in the last 12 months have been bots.  It is easier to track these milestones based on Google blogger reports rather than Google Analytics.  And an excuse for some reflection.

I did do more posting in 2023 (16 posts) compared to 2022 (2). I did predict this in my 600,000 so that is a positive.  I had a recent stubborn 12 week severe sinus infection January-March that sapped all my energy and motivation but it is all behind me now so back on track.

As per last milestone, I have split some short observations across my three current areas of interest: Ancients, WW2 and solo SF RPG’ing.

Really short version on what is coming:  Mainly did ancients historical battle refights and more of them are planned, not much WW2 gaming but probably a little more this year, and the solo SF RPG continues to be of interest.

Outside these areas I am playing a few boardgames with my 15yo son and his friends.  Actually got out Space Crusade,  I was gifted this back in 1990 when a friend moved cities.  Never played it – until now!  Only 34 years to get it to the table.

Finally got to play it after 34 years.

I have a few other games from the 70’s and 80s like this that I hope will see the light over the next few years.  And today I managed to score a complete copy of HeroQuest - hopefully play that soon too.

Ancients

My main score in the last 12 months was 30 ancient games in 30 days. All historical refights on a 40cmx40cm board with 15mm figures.  Part of my continuing to test out rules that are solo friendly and fast.  I still need to expand them (just a QRS) at the moment and put them on the page dedicated to my solo ancient rules development.

I managed to play some miniatures games with my 15yo son using a slightly modified DBA on a 12x12 grid and 8 units each.

Did do some 12x12 gridded games to test out some a variant on my current rules that requires no markers and works on a grid.  They seem to be working ok but more playtest definitely required.

Battle of Susa 647 BC, Assyria Vs Elam

More ancient historical refights coming as at the moment this seems to be where my interest and enthusiasm lies.

WW2

A few ww3x4 games – one posted and in January this year did another one but then the sinus infection hit and so while I have the pictures I have no recollection of what happened!  I am thinking of doing a few more of these but no promises.

4x3 grid.  Germans defence Vs British advance (this is the German deployment)

For 20mm I am in the same position as last year; the table is setup.

The board(for an Operaiton Jupiter scenario) has been setup for nearly 2 years now :-(

I have moved a little further and have got out the forces for each side.

German and British forces next the the board, ready to be deployed.

I do have a game of One Hour Skirmish Wargames planned in the next few months with some friends.

Solo SFRPG

Still going.

Keep changing my own rules, going from simple to more complicated and back.  Currently using some simple ones to generative some narratives and enjoying the process of tweaking the rules and playing them out.  I have rules for pure RPGing and also tabletop combat on 1'x1' (no measuring and 3x3 grid) and some 8x8x and 12x12 grids on larger boards.  All are works in progress!

A 1x1' table with a few Heroscape minis.

Postscript

So the gaming for the last twelve months has seen peaks and troughs. Still managing to get the gaming in, and slightly increasing the number of non-solo games being played.  I also think in the near future I will gets a similar number and games as in the last 121 months, and so should see a similar amount of posts.

The bots are still going strong on my blog and I may be back with the 800,000 milestone within the year :-)



Saturday 6 January 2024

Battle of Mons Graupius 84AD using When Warriors Collide

Introduction

This is game 66 in play testing my ancient rules by replaying historical battles.  I am using another set of my rules, When Warriors Collide (WWC).  I am in the process of writing up the rules but the current draft is here:  When Warriors Collide V3.0e, .  I am play testing rules by replaying all the Peter Sides scenarios from his Historical Battles books.  WWC is designed to finish in around 30 minutes on a 2’x2’ or smaller table; I am currently using a 40cmx40cm table.

Battle of Mons Graupius

The Caledonians attack the Romans when the latter march on the Caledonian grain supply.

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Mons_Graupius

Some battle reports:

https://amsterdamwar.game.blog/2022/03/12/mons-graupius-as-wargame-test-drive-scenario/

https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.com/2016/04/the-three-battles-of-mons-graupius.html

https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.com/2017/12/polemos-spqr-battle-of-mons-graupius-i.html

Command and Colors scenario:

https://www.commandsandcolors.net/ancients/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=731

Troops

Roman

Roman

4 HI Legionaries

4 MI Auxilia

2 HC Heavy Cavalry

2 Leaders

Breakpoint: 3

Caledonian

Caledonian
4 WB Warbands

2 LI Skirmishers

2 CH Chariots (poor so x1/2 in melee)

2 LC Light Cavalry

1 Leader

Breakpoint: 3

Scenario changes

Reduced the number of units.

Deployment

Deployment

Game

Roman auxilia move and split into two groups to be able to block the opposing 6 units.  Some Light Cavalry and Light Infantry fire at the approaching right flank auxilia for no effect.  The Light Cavalry retreats but causes the opposing auxilia to advance into a light infantry.  Subsequent melee sees both disordered.

Action on the Roman right flank

On the Roman left flank the Light Cavalry fires for no effect and the Light Infantry fire, disorder the auxilia and then retreat.

Action on the Roman left flank

The Caledonian Light Cavalry fires and disorders another auxilia on the Roman right flank.  The right flank auxilia destroys the Light Infantry in melee.

Overview of first battleline status

An auxilia charges a Chariot and it is disordered.  Another auxilia charges another chariot and it is also disordered.  An auxilia charges the Light Cavalry, the Light Cavalry fires at the auxilia and routs it.  The Light Cavalry retires.

Auxilia causing some disorders, but the rightmost auxilia is disordered.

Heavy Cavalry moves to within range of the Light Cavalry. Light Cavalry fires and retreats.  Missile fire causes the Heavy Cavalry to retreat as well.  Light Infantry charges Auxilia in the centre but is disordered.  Light Cavalry fires on Heavy Cavalry and Heavy Cavalry disordered.

Current battleline

Roman right cavalry continues to try and close with Light Cavalry but is routed by missile fire in the end.  Most unexpected.

Roman Cavalry routed by British Light Cavalry

The auxilia move up to harass the Light Cavalry and the Light Cavalry are forced to retreat.

Auxilia harassing the Light Cavalry

On the Roman left flank things are going better with a chariot and the Light Infantry routed by the efforts of the auxilia and advancing Heavy Cavalry.

Clearing the British right flank

Auxilia rout the chariot and move to the flanks to let the Legion line advance.  The Roman Cavalry on the left charges the Light Cavalry that retreats.

Romans have cleared the first line and ready to assault the hill.

The Roman Heavy Cavalry manage to pin the opposing light cavalry and disorder them.  The Roman legions charge up the hill.

Legions advance!

It was all 1:2 (except the Roman leader) so mostly the legionaries disordered.  Now the Warbands do not get the 1st melee bonus The Romans are now mostly 1:1. Managed to get an auxilia on the left flank and that warband was routed.  Next turn it advanced to the flank of another warband and that too was routed.  The Heavy Cavalry also managed to rout the Light Cavalry.

Tenacious Auxilia on the Warband flanks.

The Britons are at their breakpoint and so retire from the field.  The Romans have won!

End game

Rule changes

None. 

Verdict

A long game as there were two battlelines to get through.  Otherwise an interesting battle with some new troop type interactions tested.

Battle of Boudicca's Revolt 60AD using When Warriors Collide

Introduction

This is game 65 in play testing my ancient rules by replaying historical battles.  I am using another set of my rules, When Warriors Collide (WWC).  I am in the process of writing up the rules but the current draft is here:  When Warriors Collide V3.0e.  I am play testing rules by replaying all the Peter Sides scenarios from his Historical Battles books.  WWC is designed to finish in around 30 minutes on a 2’x2’ or smaller table; I am currently using a 40cmx40cm table. 

Battle of Boudicca's Revolt 60AD

Boudicca leads an uprising against the conquering Romans.

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boudican_revolt

C&C ancients scenario: https://www.commandsandcolors.net/ancients/scenario-list/conquest-of-britain-43-60-ad/408-boudicas-revolt-61-ad.html

Troops

Roman

Romans

4 HI Legions

2 MI Auxilia

2 HC Cavalry

2 LDR

Breakpoint: 4

British

Britains

4 WB

2 LI

2 CH (no missile fire)

2 LC

1 LDR

Breakpoint: 3

Scenario changes

I reduced the number of units to fit onto the small board.

Deployment

Woods are on both sides of the table.

Britains on the left, Romans on the right

Game

The Romans advance, as does the British.  The British right flank Chariot charges the opposing Roman Cavalry and both are disordered (it was a 1:1 attack).  The light cavalry stayed out of it awaiting the outcome.  In a subsequent turn the Chariot is routed but the Heavy Cavalry do not pursue.

British Chariot and Roman Cavalry in melee.

The right flank Roman cavalry charges the British light cavalry that fail to get off effective missile fire and is disordered.

Cavalry action on the Roman right flank

The Roman legions advance into range of the British screening light infantry.  The Roman auxilia stay behind to guard the flanks.  The skirmishers inflict a disorder on one Roman unit but the other is forced to advance and in the subsequent melee the light infantry is destroyed.  The Romans are now within charge range of some warband units, one of which decides to charge.  Both the British warband and Roman unit are disordered.

Initial clashes on the battleline.

The left flank Roman Cavalry charges the light cavalry (else the light cavalry would shoot at the heavy cavalry in its turn). It will end up being a 1:1 melee but better than sitting there being shot. The light cavalry fire as the Roman cavalry charge in for not effect.  The Light Cavalry manage to retreat but the Roman Heavy Cavalry pursue.  In the subsequent melee the light cavalry are disordered.  In the next round of melee (next turn) the light cavalry is routed.

British light cavalry in melee with Roman Heavy Cavalry.

The remaining British light infantry fires for no effect at the Roman legionaries.  One warband charges a Roman legionary unit and the warband is disordered.

Warband in melee with the Roman legionary unit

The remaining left flank British chariot charges the Roman auxilia.  Both are disordered.

Chariot in melee with the Roman auxilia

The Roman right cavalry, even with great odds, does not manage to rout the light cavalry.  The adjacent Auxilia does rout the chariots.  The Roman leader does not rout the opposing warband. 

The right side of the Roman line not doing as well as expected.

Roman left flank – one chariot gone but the rest locked in melee.

British light infantry fires at a Roman unit for no effect and the light infantry retreat.  The Roman unit advances into the British warband with the leader.  Must attack (at 1:2) and rolls the worst result – “1” and routs.  The Warbands pursue.

Roman unit pulled into melee with the British leader warband.  Doesn’t end well for the disordered Romans.

The right side of the Romans do well this time.  The heavy cavalry routs the opposing light cavalry, a Roman legionary routs a warband.

Roman right side clearing the opposition

The Roman leader charges into the last untouched warband.  1:1 and rolled a 1! Romans disordered.  Roll again to see if leader incapacitated.  Rolled a 1!  Oh dear.

Roman leader charges a warband but is cut down.

The Romans start manoeuvring on the flanks to bring those units into the centre but then the other Roman leader routs the opposing warband and the British have reached their breakpoint and flee the battle.  The Romans win!

End game

Rule changes

Note that this game was played prior to my 30 games in 30 days so these rules changes occurred before those 30 games.

Prior to the game I changed leaders to be a 1.5 multiplier, rather than 2.  At the end of the last game I did mention I thought they were too powerful.  In Bill Bank’s Ancients they were really makers than moved per turn for local focus of effort.  Not the case with my rules. Also, I have made undisordered WB value 3 rather than 2 (and then only a x2 multiplier for 1st melee rather than x3).  WB should be a bit stronger again HI and MI than they are currently.  

Lastly, melee was always optional unless charging.  So a lot of the 1:1 melees would not occur as the risk is equal for both sides.  And made the game slower, less decisive and more predictive.  So now if you are at 1:1 or greater or charging you must melee.

Added back in a fire and retreat for Light infantry and cavalry.  Last game I said it did not seem like a problem; now it does J

Verdict

The Romans had the slightly superior force but the British could have got lucky.  They did manage to incapacitate the Roman leader but it was too little too late.  A fun game.