Saturday, September 26, 2015

AAR: The Napoleonic French takes to the Field

With Andreas' Napoleonic French collection growing fast it was time to test them on the field of battle.

Visiting old gaming buddies in Scania, the southern parts of Sweden, was the perfect opportunity. The rules used were General de Brigade. The scenario had the French defend a hill and the Prussians had to break all close order infantry within ten turns. 

The French were hard pressed on their right with a line battalion becoming dispersed. But the newly painted 2nd dragoons, also on that flank, did take some preasure off. They managed to chase two squadrons of Prussian hussars off the table as the latter tried to evade the dragoon's charge. The French left did really well standing up to the Prussian advance. The center including the foot artillery gave the Prussians a real pounding. The Prussians conceded the battle after losing two battalions and not being able to dislodge the French from their positions on the battlefield. The French were victorious!

The French 1st Battalion, 1st Light Regiment advance in line...
...with the 3rd Battalion, 1st Light Regiment in support.
Overview of the French left.
The French foot battery in the center.
The French 2nd Dragoons try to stabilise the French right.
French skirmishers try to slow down the Prussian advance.
Battle is joined.
French dragoons fails to break a Prussian square.
The Prussian advance had stalled however and victory was in the end with the French!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Napoleonic French 2nd Dragoons in 28mm

Lining up for battle

Its been a while since our last post but we haven't been idle. Especially one of us, Andreas, has been busy painting French for his Waterloo Campaign project. As shown samples of earlier some infantry is done (the battalion in these photos have have now been given 1815 pattern colours for the 100 Days campaign).

Time for some cavalry then. Andreas' main focus is the fighting in the area of Hougoumont (and some of the same regiments present at Quatre Bras). These are the 2nd Dragoons, in the 1st brigade, 11th cavalry division, 3rd cavalry corps. With them is General de Brigade Cyrille Simon Picquet, commander of the 1st brigade. 

The other regiment of the 1st brigade, the 7th dragoons, is still to come but work is already under way.


GdB Cyrille Simon Picquet

Aide de Camp

The next cavalry regiment coming up - the 7th Dragoons.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

AAR: Attack and Defend on the Western Front 1944

A Chain of Command Battle Report in 28mm

The German Fallschirmsjäger take aim as the Americans advance.


Long overdue we finally got the opportunity to try out the Chain of Command rule set from Too Fat Lardies in earnest. Rather than play a specific setting we simply pitched an US rifle platoon against a platoon of German Fallschirmsjäger, somewhere on the late war Western Front. We used the Attack and Defend scenario from the Chain of Command rulebook where the attacker get alot of support to make sure that we would be able to get some armour on the table, as we wanted to include the vechicle/armour rules.

If you are not familiar with the Chain of Command rule set you can find good instruction videos on Youtube from Too Fat Lardies. Also, this blog post from Anatoli gives an excellent summary of the rules.

Opposing forces

The US were the attackers in this scenario and therefore had more support available. The regular US rifle platoon was supoorted by a 60mm mortar team and a 76mm Sherman tank.

The defending German fallschirmsjäger, also regulars, were supported by a sniper and also had an entrechment and a mine field.

US Rifle Platoon with 60mm Mortar and 76mm Sherman

German Fallschirmsjäger Platoon with Sniper, Minefield and Entrenchment

The table

The game was played on a 6x4' table. As defenders the Germans had a slight advantage in the Patrol Phase, starting further onto the table, and got control of more terrain. The US did, however manage to get a forward jump off pont on their right flank. German jump off points are shown in red and US in blue. The Germans placed a 6x6" minefield covering the road in front of the two buildings.

A 6x4' table.

German jump off points in red, US jump off points in blue.

View from the German side, with the fallschirmsjäger's zeltbahn tents.

The Game

As the Americans took their time to advance the Germans instead took the initiative early on and occupied the central orchard area with a squad with its two light machine guns. That move blocked the Americans central advance for quite some time as the orchard gave very limited visibility.

The Germans enter the central orchard.
The US opposing central position.

The American central position got worse as another FJ squad entered the large building. If the US troops entered the orchard they would take fire from from two directions and from very close range. Also, the route up the road on the other side of the main building was blocked by the minefield.

Germans in the main building covering the orchard
A US left flank move through the forrest was stopped in its tracks as a German sniper opened fire from the small house and an entrenched FJ squad appeared on the other side of the forrested high ground. The latter took quite a beating though as the 60mm mortar targeted them again and again until the team that didn't have a fully entreched position was wiped out. The sniper firing was enough though as the shock inflicted on the American squad severly restricted their movement and ability to fire.

The US riflemen advance but comes under sniper fire from the small house
The sniper and entrenched FJ stop the US advance...
... but not all FJ had entrenchments to take cover in.

The US Sherman 76mm tank arrived on the scene and its cannon kept the heads down on the entreched FJ but failed to do much else as its crew couldn't target the FJ in the orchard nor the sniper.

The Sherman 76mm arrives on the scene
As the US finally committed their last squad on their forward, right, jump off point things got in motion. Using consequitive US phases they arrived on the flank of the FJ in the orchard and fired at close range, causing many casualties and a lot of shock. At the same time the central US squad rushed the distance to the orchard and added their rifles to the attack as well. The FJ holding the orchard were wiped out.

Fire and manouver. The US squad appeared on the flank of the FJ
firing as the other US squad rushed the open ground to the orchard.

The US hold their fire as their friends reach the orchard.

While the fire fight took place in the large orchard a German panzerschreck team - using a chain of command dice ambush - suddenly appeared in the garden next to the small house. From ambush it fired on the Sherman, its first shot shocking the crew and wounding the tank commander. The Germans stayed on target - having two phases in a row - and rapidly reloaded to fire another shot, knocking out the Sherman tank.

Ambush! A Panzerschreck team appears
in the small garden behind the cart.
Ka-boom! The Sherman explodes...
...and burst into flames.
Following the destruction of the tank - and their opposing US squad pinned by the sniper - the FJ advanced a LMG team from the entrechment to behind the small house.

The FJ advance.
The US call for mortar support.
Note the luckiest guy on the table: the left most US soldier is within 2" of our
minefield marker i e in the 6x6" minefield! But we didn't notice... :-)
The mortar fire yet again...
..disrupting the Germans.
Somewhat of a lull in the fighting occured by the larger house as the FJ on overwatch in the building had a strong position overlooking the orchard and their back covered by the mine field. This changed as the US - again using two phases in a row - started a encircling move across the fields on their right, threatening the jump off points of the German base line.

The US flanking manouver.
This forced the Germans out of their positions exposing them to US fire. Using a chain of command die the Germans moved a jump off point further away from the closing Americans. The damage was done however as the Germans had left cover and they were eventually overwhelmed by the more numerous Americans. The German Force Moral got dangerously low and the few German survivors decided to withdraw. The Americans had won.

As the Germans are forced to leave their positions the end is near.

What a great game! Eventhough it involved quite a bit of reading the rules as we played - and one could sometimes wish for the rules to be more clear and better structured in some aspects - we enjoyed the game immensly. We probably made some mistakes along the way but had fun non the less.

In our view the Chain of Command rules provides a really good "feel" of the uncertainties of combat as you don't know what enemy units that will appear where or when. The patrol phase, the jump off points and deployment method are all very clever game mechanisms. Also, the command dice that dictates your control and command, or fog of war if you like, is tuned just about right. It - together with the use of chain of command dice - gives you many options but not total control. There are many other nice things aswell. For example the sniper rules are excellent and a sniper can, if used right, really render an enemy squad useless. Also, the posibility of enter and fire an infantry AT weapon from a variety of positions on the table is great and gives every tank commander head ache, just as it should. In some other games you can simply avoid your opponents very visible AT capacity with your armour.

Looking at our game the US started off quite cautious and the central US squad got nowhere at first. The central orchard's restricted visibility, we played it as area terrain, dictated much of that part of the battle. The FJ arriving first, and later also occupying the main building on overwatch gained strong positions. After the attack over the hill through the trees got stopped by the sniper the third US attempt finally worked. The US rolled alot of double '6' at the right time and could thereby use their consequtive turns to turn the game around with some proper fire and manouver action. Also, the US 60mm mortar was a constant nuisance for the Germans. In the end the Germans were down to low numbers and could not really stop the last flanking move across the fields without leaving their positions. And as they did they were cut down by US fire power.  

Having read many positive reviews of Chain of Command we can now only agree and will definitely come back for more.

Friday, July 10, 2015

WW2 Log Entrenchments in 28mm with a Tutorial


With more miniatures done for second world war wargaming we need some other additions aswell, including entrechments or MG nests. In Chain of Command you can "buy" entrechments as support and one entrenchment should be able to hold a team while two of them should be enough for a squad or section (i.e. about five or ten men respectively).

As much of our WW2 gaming center around forrested areas on the Eastern front or along the West Wall, like Hurtgenwald, log entrechments seemed like a good choice. Very easy to make they are too.

1. Twigs from the garden made into a wall using wood glue.
2. A build up in front made from cardboard or similiar material.
3. Cover the front with filler or any other cheap, rough material. For extra detail add a few small pebbles into the filler.
4. Paint it all in your base colour, for us a dark brown.
5. Drybrush with lighter colours. We made the logs lighter than the surrounding "earth" for more of a visual impact.
6. Add flock and other vegitation that goes together with your wargaming table.

Twigs and cardboard.

A layer of filler.

All done, with some 28mm Americans to show the size.

Plenty of space.

The real thing.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

A Gaming Board Revisited

A lone rifleman inspecting the new Realm of Battle.

A long time since the last post on this blog. This spring has been very hectic with very little time for fun and games. We have not been all idle though and will have stuff to post in due time.

One of our gaming boards, a hard plastic Games Workshop Realm of Battle Board, has served us well through the years. It is made out of eight 2x2' sections making a 8x4' table if needed. It is sturdy and its modelled slopes gives options for some varied set ups.

The original board in a 6x4' set up. Notice the pits of skulls...
When first bought we modified it somewhat, removing skulls and adding flock to get rid of that Fantasy Battle feel. We kept the colours a bit dull and also added some water effects for a rather "wet" and gloomy board.

Pretty much ever since it was finished two things has bothered us a bit. The rock was left too bare, leaving too much stone exposed. In a real forest rock and stones tend to be covered in moss or similar. Also, the boards dull colours made the board a bit to dull(!) and limited its uses somewhat.

Just recently we had the opportunity to revisit the board. The primary objective was to cover more of the grey rock in flock for a more natural look, but also to add a touch of more colour and variation to the board itself. The challenge was to add more colour but yet maintain the "wet" and "autumny" (is that even a word?) feel that set this board apart from some of the other boards out there. By adding a bit more green to the mix it can now (with the right accessories and add ons) pass as wet summer but with the use of autumn trees etc we feel that it still works well for autumn.

All in all we are happy with the make over and hope you agree.

The full revisited board. A touch of more green.

A closer look. No more of that bare rock.
The remade separate hill.

And as a comparison; what the old board used to look like.