Club Sunday Game Reports
Club Sunday 3rd December 2023
There were sixteen gamers playing five games at our last visit to Holt Heath in 2023. We welcomed two first time visitors, Keith and Darren and brief discriptions of the action can be found below: -
Kings of War
I am grateful to Dave K for the following account of this 28mm game. Darren was making his first appearance at the club and we hope it will be followed by many more.
Halflings vs Empire of Dust
I had invited my friend and long-time opponent Darren along to the club to play a game. I'd hoped to let him loose on Maurice and James, but instead it was my poor Halflings who found themselves staring across their green fields at a shambling horde of dusty undead. He fielded a regiment of Chariots, two regiments of Spearmen and one of Mummies. They were lead by a brutally tough Pharaoh and a Cursed High Priest who could each surge a regiment up to a further 8 inches in the magic phase. I fielded my Sorceror and Sergeant with regiments of Braves, Spearmen, Lancers and Forest Trolls and a troop of Rifles.
Knowing how tough the Mummies were, I peppered them with Rifle fire and charged my Lancers down hill at them for the extra Thunderous Charge. To no avail: the regenerated off the bullet wounds and laughed off the Lancer's attack, smashing them together with a flank charge from supporting Spearmen. Only hitting on 5's and 6's is fine when you're throwing 30 dice! At least my Trolls were able to lure his Chariots into the woods and beat them up, but it didn't save my Spearmen from the rampaging Skelly Spears in their flank. For once, my Braves and Rifles survived the battle, but that wasn't enough to make up for my other casualties. Another win for the Shamblers and I'm actually missing those Rhordian Knights!
To The Strongest
A fine looking game in 15mm, organised by Neil C, featuring the increasingly popular (at the club) 'To the Strongest' rules by Simon Miller. Feudal Welsh were matched against feudal English, one side commanded by Nick and the other by first-time attendee Keith (welcome Keith). Regrettably, I am unable to provide more details on the course of the battle, an omission I will be happy to correct if the information embargo on the action is lifted at some point in the future.
Chain of Command Normandy
This 28mm game was an 'attack-defend' scenario from the Lardies' rule book. Charles, with the assistance of Neil W, was the German Panzergrenadier commander assaulting a position held by US infantrymen led by Mike and Bryan. The Germans had twice the number of support points than the Americans and chose two armoured vehicles and a pre-game bombardment. The bombardment turned out to be completely ineffective as Charles' dice throwing meant that it never reached the table.
The Germans did have some early successes, managing to destroy a bazooka team and kill a junior leader. However, as more US GI's deployed on their jump-off points the Panzergrenadiers started to suffer serious losses. Charles' Marder III fell victim to second bazooka team and he wasn't able to deploy his second armoured asset (a Panzer IV) due to unfortunate dice rolls. Ultimately, Mike's well equipped squads blunted the German advance and reduced their force morale to zero. A convincing victory for the Yanks.
Si Vis Pacem - WW1 Naval Warfare
My thanks to Stuart M for the following report. Andy W was the British commander, Andy J and Gordon were the German admirals.
In August 1914, the Grand Fleet and the High Seas Fleet met for the grand battle both sides called “Der Tag”.
Further thoughts from Andy J from the German perspective: -
The Germans ( Gordon and Andy J) tried to lure the British (Andy W) battlecruisers onto the guns of the High Seas Fleet but it went badly wrong. The Germens suffered attrition as was to be expected, but unlike Jutland, the British battlecruisers showed considerable robustness and did not explode when hit by a single German shell. The German losses ended up somewhat higher than the British. The British admiral definitely knew what he was about but but the two German commanders were definitely "all at sea" - Thanks to Stuart for a good game.
WWII - Graham's Rules
The late Dave Chubb (see a tribute to him here) always used to say that every wargamer had a set of rules in them. Inspired by these words, Graham has produced rules for company-sized WWII actions and brought them to the club for their first public airing this Sunday. Graham's willing guinea pigs for this opening game were Andy R and Ian. Graham put together an Eastern Front scenario in 20mm scale with figures and models from his own collection. I am hopeful that a full review of the gameplay will be submitted by one of the participants in due course and that Graham's rules will be published in full in the near future.
Club Sunday 19th November 2023
Another great day's gaming at St Ambrose with twenty-six players enjoying seven games. There were visits from Paul J and Wyn and we also had the pleasure of welcoming Mark to the club for the first time.
Infamy! Infamy! - The Battle of Nimby Field
I must express my gratitude to Ian for his description of this 28mm game in which he once again acted as umpire and rules coach.
All the Romans were trying to do was bring some modern infrastructure and services to the primitive Britons, but of course the local 'Asbo' tribe were having none of it. The inevitable protesting rabble had to be sternly dealt with by the law. Our game was a Roman vs Briton confrontation, circa 60AD, using the Infamy rules. The Romans were in the process of building a road and tower when some angry Britons showed up.
Chain of Command Africa
One of two Chain of Command games played on this afternoon, this 28mm contest was an Italians vs British battle set in terrain somewhere in the Western Desert. Gordon was commanding a force of British infantry and Pete was in charge of an Italian platoon. The game itself was a repeat of hostilities that commenced between these gentlemen in October. In that game, the Italians were victorious but I am unable to inform you if the British took their revenge in this encounter. Any further information would be appreciated.
To The Strongest
This was a 15mm Persians vs Greeks ancients game organised by Neil C. My thanks to Andy J for producing the following report.
Well, where shall I start? The Greeks were played by Neil, Dante and Nick, the Persians by Andy W, Andy J and Dave.
This was a wonderful afternoon of gaming (special thanks to Neil) but I didn't think the rules were very historical so I'm looking forward to trying Sword & Spear! I think we won because after saving huge numbers of hits the Greeks' luck ran out and they suffered loads of casualties in a short space of time.
Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps
Board games only make rare appearances on club Sundays so it is nice to able to report on one such occurrence. Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps is a co-operative survival game in which Marines enter a terra-forming facility and are likely to be attacked and ambushed by xenomorphs at every turn. Getting out alive is, I think, the main objective. Dan, Vlad and Peet were the players and I am unable to confirm how many times each of them was eviscerated in the course of the action. However, all found the experience to be enjoyable although the consensus of opinion was that the game was tough to play.
Anglo Zulu War
Andy S provided the report of this colossal 28mm game (thanks Andy), organised by John. Also taking part were Billy, Daniel and Howard.
My thanks to Paul B for the account below. Paul's opponent was Mark who was making his first visit to the club, hopefully to be followed by many more.
Today, the 1st battalion of the 29th Foot, took to the field after the daughter of the Colonel went missing whilst on a romantic assignation. Captured by the French, they had the cheek to imprison her in a windmill, guarded by a handful of farm hands in French uniforms. The Colonel had already sent troops looking for the girl and came across her and her captors at the windmill. British skirmishers advanced to secure a walled field but were driven back by French infantry.
Chain of Command Normandy
In this 28mm game, Jon was the German commander, Charles his British opponent and Neil W was the referee.
This game was an adaptation of a scenario from the Too Fat Lardies supplement "Kampfgruppe von Luck". The action takes place immediately after D-Day and features a platoon of British paratroopers defending the perimeter of the Orne River bridgehead against a hastily assembled force of Panzergrenadiers with orders to re-take the river crossings. The British troops were classed as elite but the Panzergrenadiers carried significant firepower and had plenty of support points.
Jon, the German commander, decided to make his main effort against the village on his left and launched a daring attack against a section of paratroopers in hard cover. After a vicious exchange of fire the paras broke and Charles, the British officer rushed in another section to fill the gap. However, moving from house to house and bringing up another squad in support, Jon was able to get one unit to his opponent's table edge and thus won the game.
Club Sunday 5th November 2023
After a quiet October the number of people and games shot up this Sunday at Holt Heath. There were twenty-five members playing seven games - our best ever attendance at this venue. I am grateful to all who contributed to the reports that follow: -
Chain of Command
This was a 28mm scenario set on the Eastern Front in which a Soviet platoon, commanded by Mike and Neil W, attacked a German platoon led by Charles and Bryan. The Russians had to capture a bridge defended by the Germans and hold it until the end of a turn. Interestingly, both sides selected armoured cars as part of their support options. The Soviets made good progress at the start as a heavy barrage prevented many enemy units from deploying on the table. However, as the effects of the bombardment diminished and more German squads arrived, the Russian commanders found it very hard to make progress. By the end of the game, the Soviet squads were all pinned down by heavy fire and their armoured car was knocked out by a Panzerschreck as it attempted to rush the bridge. The Russians withdrew to lick their wounds,, leaving the German infantry still holding the position.
Kings of War
My thanks to Dave K for providing the following account of this 28mm battle: -
Today Tim joined me to array his 750 points of Undead alongside a similar number of Halflings to see off Maurice's oppressive League or Rhordia troopers who were buoyed by their victory last month. No James this time, but Maurice didn't seem to need his dice magic as he threw a blinder on his shooting. Tim's eternally suffering Zombies & Skeletons caught the short end of a blizzard of shot from the Rhordian Organ Gun and Arquebusiers. Tim's Soulreaver Cavalry got gradually worn down by the Rhordian Guard, but were avenged by a regiment of Zombies, thirsting for human brains.
On the other flank, my Lancers made heavy work of riding down his Pistoliers before his Fanatics ate them for breakfast. One unit of Knights was held up by my Spearmen and the other got lost in the woods. They found the flank of my Forest Trolls, but didn't seem to know what to do with them and got thumped for their pains. The game ended with honours even. We tried a second game but had to call it on turn 3 as Maurice had to leave. Again, his gunners were shooting like demons, but at least Tim's Zombies had revenge against them. I came up against his Arquebusiers, Pistoliers & Guard. A good tough fight, and again we couldn't call it either way.
Andy S wrote the report that follows, for which many thanks. The other participants were Daniel, Howard and Stuart S (who provided the photograph). The figures were from Andy's collection and provided a very impressive display.
After a small hiatus we retuned like bad pennies …
Some of Sam Mustafa's games have dropped in popularity at the club in recent times but Lasalle continues to make regular appearances, chiefly thanks to Andy GPT. This time his opponent was Pete and both fielded 12mm armies from the 'Epic' range of Napoleonic figures. Close observers of the accompanying photograph will perceive that they were using the hex-grid system that is a common feature in most of Andy's rules modifications - I am hoping that he will share these with us in an article in the near future. Unfortunately, I have no information on the actual force composition or result of the game but if one of the participants wants to share this I will happily provide details later.
Sharp Practice in the American War of Independence
Ian provided the resources for this fine looking 28mm eighteenth century skirmish game. Also taking part were Andy J. Andy R, Daniel M and Tom D. I had an embarrassment of riches in the material provided for this battle as no less than three of the participants submitted accounts of the fighting. For this reason I have decided to give this encounter a page of its own in the 'After Action Reports' section of this website and you can find it here.
Soldier Kings Campaign Game
This was the third table-top game with figures played in the club's ongoing Soldier Kings campaign game. The battle took place at Holzkirch in the province of Banst. Ross, in this engagement commanding the aggressive Yellow faction was fighting against the neutral territory which was commanded by Darren. The Yellow army had a slight advantage in numbers but the Banst forces had the benefit of entrenchments. 'Twilight' rules were uased to play the game and the scale was 15mm. In the game, the Yellow forces came out on top but the defenders managed to inflict significant losses on the invaders. The consequences for the campaign will now have to be calculated by Nick, who is running it.
To The Strongest
I am grateful to Harry for producing the following report of this 28mm tussle: -
I ran a game to introduce some folk to the "To The Strongest" set of ancients rules using my home made grid and 15mm figures. The scenario was the Seleucid Empire attempting to chase off a troublesome nest of migrating Celts, who had recently settled on imperial land without permission. Nick D and Andrew Wharton took a command each as the proto-Galatians, Neil C and Stuart M did the same for the Seleucids.
Club Sunday 15th October 2023
Another quiet Sunday get-together (I wonder if there were competing attractions nearby?) which saw three games occupying the attentions of nine gamers. It was good to see John H playing what we hope will be the first of many games at the club. Read on for brief accounts: -
Chain of Command on the Eastern Front
I am grateful to both Ian and Andy J for contributing accounts of this 28mm encounter. Andy R was also taking part in the game, I think as tactical advisor to Andy J, but I may be mistaken.
From Ian - This game was a repeat of last week's scenario, "Attack on an Objective" but on the Eastern Front. Andy J opted to attack with the Russians against Ewan with the Germans defending the inn. It went well for the Russians initially, despite their pre-game barrage seeming to have little effect on the German deployment. However, when all seemed lost for the Germans, the tide turned and it was the Russians who were struggling to develop their initial advantage. The Russians did have a tank but it seemed to be too afraid of the dreaded German Panzerschreck to be effective.
Second Afghan War with Principles of War
This was a game of three Johns - John F who provided the resources and acted as umpire, John H who was playing his first game at the club and Jon who was the opponent for John H. The game was a 28mm representation of a battle from the Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878 - 1880) and John provided yet another stunning display of figures and terrain. Unfortunately, I am unable to provided any information on the course of the battle.
If my memory serves me correctly it was during this conflict that another John, Army surgeon Dr Watson, was seriously wounded at the Battle of Maiwand (1880). Shortly after his return to England he began his long association with a Mr Sherlock Holmes and shared rooms in Baker Street, London. I assure you that these are well established historical facts.
To The Strongest
I must thank Charles for submitting the following account of this 28mm battle. Each player provided his own troops.
Harry and I used the "To the Strongest" rules in a Roman civil war scenario. Harry had a much smaller force but was mainly legionaries, mine was about twice the size but predominantly auxiliaries.
Slowly both sides moved forward, neither sides' Scorpions hitting anything but fresh air. Hindered by a lake in the centre of the battlefield, most of Harry’s units were in contact but mine were bunched up and out of play. Very quickly a slogging match ensued, with Harry’s units inflicting more damage than they received, and, at crucial junctures, certain units failed to be activated by me! The upshot was a substantial amount of my army vacated the field and despite his right wing disappearing, Harry’s centre and left swept all before them.
Another loss for me!
Good game though!
Club Sunday 8th October 2023
Four games were played and there were ten gamers present at this unusually quiet club meeting. We welcomed new member Andy SP to the fold and hope he will become a regular attendee at our little get-togethers. I am still awaiting a report on the game he took part in and I will add it as soon is it becomes available.
Chain of Command 1 - British vs Italians 1940
My thanks go to Pete for the pictures and text he provided for this WWII scenario
Gordon and I played a Chain of Command game, British vs Italians, circa 1940 - somewhere in East Africa - focussed on capturing a railway halt and an adjacent oasis. The patrol phase turned the table through 90 degrees and allowed the Brits to occupy one objective with a section almost immediately and they deployed a Mk VI light tank and a Bren team in support. The Italians responded with an MG team which pinged away at the MK VI albeit to little effect.
Chain of Command 2 - British vs Germans 1944
Ian provided the resources for this second WWII action and I am grateful to him for the images and report that follow: -
I took Tom through an intro game of Chain of Command, an "Attack on an Objective" scenario, set in Normandy. Tom opted to attack with the Germans against some British defending the target inn. They had obviously left some fine wine behind and came back to get it! They didn't manage to do so despite a very successful "Pre-game Barrage", but we had a fun game. I think Tom has a much better grasp of the rules now, especially the importance of the Patrol Phase and how critical support and deployment choices can be.
Kings of War
I must again thank Dave K for describing the latest round of mystifying action in the long running Kings of War saga, and also for providing the photograph.
Yet again the League of Rhordia (Maurice and James) were battling to thwart the Shire Halfling raiders (Stuart and I) in our attempt to secede from the League. It started so well. Our Lancers shrugged off the Arquebusier fire prior to riding them down with our dogs and my own Riflemen all but crippled a unit of Knights with their shooting. Then it went rapidly downhill. The Lancers failed to break the Arquebusiers and were taken in the flank and smashed by a unit of Foot Guards. My Aeronauts did destroy the Fanatics, but were torn apart by the Armoured Bears. A Volleygun shredded a regiment of Halfling Braves and then the regiment of Mounted Rifles.
James seemed incapable of throwing anything but a 12 (or 11 at a push) for our Nerve rolls. My Harvester and Stuart's Sergeant exacted some vengeance, but by then the other two units of Knights had hit our main line and and Halfling Rifles and Braves and their Forest Troll allies disappeared under a flurry of hooves. It was a sad day in the Shire when the battered survivors limped home to report the raid's failure. We'll be back for revenge.
Club Sunday 17th September 2023
Six games occupied the attention of nineteen members on this blustery and rainy Sunday. Paul J popped in to say hello but did not take part in a game and we welcomed potential new member John H to the club, who we hope we will be seeing much more of in the coming months.
Twilight of the Sun King
My thanks to Nick for providing the accounts of the two TWoSK games played during the course of the afternoon: -
We played two small Great Northern War from the Baltic theatre. Andy W was the Russians and Andy J the Swedes in the battle of Hummelshof, 1702. While Harry was the Russians and their Lithuanian allies and Billy the Swedes and their Lithuanian allies in the battle of Jakobstadt, 1704. Both of these will feature in a future scenario book and both had heavily outnumbered Swedes fighting Russian hordes.
In the Hummelshof battle Andy J took the fight to the Russians at the start. The Russians forces arrived in 3 sections and so Andy J aimed to cause some damage on the initial Russian force before the rest arrived. He chased down the Russian light horse and managed to wipe them out. But Andy W had bought enough time for his reinforcements to arrive. Soon the Swedes were forced onto the defensive and unfortunately they were not in a great position to defend. So, despite a spirited resistance eventually the Swedes succumbed to the Russians.
The Jakobstadt battle was very surprising. Many readers will find this difficult to believe but Billy did NOT have good dice rolls. The Russian army was large but fragile and so Billy's Swedes launched an attack to sweep the first enemy line away. But it turned out to be a damp squib and achieved little, from then the Russian numbers began to tell. The Swedes caused a lot of losses but also took a lot and they didn't have a big enough army to take them.
So it was defeat for both Swedish armies in these two battles.
Darren and Andy GPT met to re-enact some revolutionary stirrings in darkest Africa. The scale was 15mm and figures and models came from each player's collections. Darren was, I believe, in charge of the well known WUNKERS faction with its usual motley collection of soldiers and vehicles But Andy's force had some impressive modern armour to deploy on the field of battle. Regrettably, I cannot inform the reader of the outcome of the engagement as furious fighting was still in progress when I left the building.
Another tussle in the long running series of games using the Saga rules was contested by Charles and Wyn this afternoon. As usual, Wyn's collection of 28mm medieval figures took centre stage. The end result of the game was a victory for Wyn - I should say quite a decisive one from the rueful look on Charles' face.
Chain of Command - a Normandy Scenario
This 28 mm game used the 'attack on an objective' scenario from the Lardies' rules and featured Bryan and Dave B as commanders of the British assault force and Ewan and Dan leading the defending Germans. Neil W was umpire. We made some tweaks to the command dice rules to cater for both the enlarged platoons and the fact that there were two players per side. For a detailed commentary and analysis on how well this worked, please take a look at Ewan's excellent account of the game in our After Action Reports section, available here.
Bolt Action - Italian Style
Stuart S submitted the following report and the also the photograph that accompanies it - many thanks sir. The players involved were Howard, Andy S, John and Stuart.
BIR EL GUBI Nov 1941 - recon elements of the 7th armoured division look for a break in the line of the Italian Ariete Division. The allies got close on a couple of occasions broking through the wire and minefields defences but were held up by pre-planned artillery and the arrival of a Italian armour.
Club Sunday 3rd September 2023
Our second all-day event saw eighteen gamers enjoying four games in the sweltering heat. Read on for more details.
The Siege of Delhi with Principles of War
Thanks to Andy S for his report, and to Howard for his photographs, of this spectacular 28mm game put on by John - a truly stunning display, more pictures of which can be seen on the club's Facebook page.
Indian Mutiny siege of Delhi 1857. John laid on an amazing game on a massive 10x6 table, using Principles of War rules. Howard and Andy S played as the brave Indian freedom fighters defending their walls, whilst Stuart S and Dan S were the oppressive English forces laying siege. John was the umpire (as usual).
The range of figures and types supplied by John were huge and very colourful - we had camels elephants and all sorts on the table. The rules were easy to get along with and fairly intuitive.
The advance was slow and steady. Howard’s Afghan mercenaries fought well before the remains were routed off the table. The battle felt like a push and pull with flow and luck switching sides several times. In the end a draw was called and the British had made it pretty much to the moat but not to the gate.
All in all an excellent game. Well done John !!
Kings of War
My thanks to Dave K for his usual detailed and colourful reporting.
We managed three games today.
The Battle of Shiloh with Fire & Fury
This was a large scale battle in 6mm scale. I am grateful to Nick, who was umpiring the game, for the account that follows: -
This time we refought the Battle of Shiloh, 1862, from the American Civil War. Ross and Tom D played the Confederates with Andy W, Gordon and Stuart M taking the Union. In the battle the Confederates literally caught the Union army sleeping and encamped. On the first turn the Confederates piled into the sleeping outer troops of the Union army. This set the stage for the first part of the battle. The battered remnants of the first line of Union troops pulled back and tried to reform and form a battle line to face the Confederate horde. Gordon on the Union right struggled with the terrain and the aggressive attacks by Ross' Confederates. On the Union left Andy W was 'luckier' in that one of his units refused to move and so was left behind. This abandoned unit then fought off repeated attacks by Tom D.
As the game unfolded the Confederates advanced and sorted out their units who had started in a mess but needed to be organised as the Union line solidified. Meanwhile with fresh Union units waking and moving to the frontline the Union managed to form a defensive line based on a sunken road, basically something like a trench. In theory this sunken road was a formidable position but by now the Confederates had reorganised and were ready to launch a full attack on the Union line. Across most of the front honours were even as the accumulated Confederate loses started to tell but at the sunken road there was a decisive attack. Tom D launched an attack all along the sunken road and achieved a breakthrough, although at some cost.
We did not have time to finish the battle but after this the Confederate continued pushing for ultimate success and certainly had the advantage at the end. Yet their loses were mounting and so the result was not yet certain. It was a great battle which we last did at the club sometime in the mid 90's.
Chain of Command - The Eastern Front
This was a platoon-sized 28mm game set sometime in 1944 on the border between Poland and the Soviet Union. The Germans were fighting a delaying action (scenario 4 in the Lardies' rulebook) against advancing Russian troops. We were able to play two games in the course of the day. In the first, novice commander Neil C (assisted by Bryan) took charge of the Soviet force while Neil W led the Germans. The Russians chose a BA24 armoured car and a heavy machine gun team as supports, The Germans had only a length of barbed wire defences and a 5cm mortar team. Neil C began the attack with the proper aggressive spirit while his opponent played a waiting game. The turning point came when the Russian officer carelessly let his armoured car get too close to the enemy line and it fell victim to an ambush by a Panzerschreck team. The superior German firepower of their infantry squads then took a heavy toll and the Soviets called off the attack.
Club Sunday 23rd August 2023
St Ambrose hosted seven games and twenty one players on another well-attended Sunday. A warm welcome to Tom who visited us for the first time (the first of many, hopefully) and my thanks also to those who contributed to the following accounts.
Soldier King Campaign Games using Twilight of the Sun King Rules
In July, Nick set up an 18th century multi-player campaign based on the venerable 'Soldier King' board game. Eight club members, in teams of two, are attempting to gain control of an imaginary island empire by ensuring the succession of their chosen claimant to the throne. This is accomplished by the conquest of rival and neutral provinces by battles fought either by using the board game rules or on the table top. The first two contests using Nick's 15mm miniatures took place at St Ambrose today.
In the first, Ross, representing the imaginatively titled Blue faction was playing against Bryan who assumed the role of the neutral commander. The sides were fairly evenly matched, the neutrals occupying a defensive position with a stream to their front and high ground to the rear. Ross confidently launched his attack, concentrating his efforts on the enemy right wing where the mounted forces were at their weakest. In short time he had crossed the water and was making significant inroads into the neutral army's regiments. The attack was supported all across the line and Bryan's position rapidly crumbled, leaving the Blue commander in complete control of the field.
In the second game, Andy W took the part of the leader of the other half of the Blue faction while Neil W was in control of the defending neutral army. The Blue force had an advantage in numbers over their opponents, chiefly in cavalry, many of the mounted units also being elite. The defenders held the high ground in the centre and placed their mounted units on both flanks. The battle began with the Blue commander launching a massed cavalry attack against the neutral's right wing, supported by infantry. After a spirited tussle the Blue horsemen were able to get round the back of the neutral's line and proceeded to cause havoc with the units facing them. Andy was able to roll up the enemy's right wing and the neutral general threw in the towel. The opposite wings of both sides did not get into combat.
So, a glorious day for the Blue armies left the neutral leaders licking their wounds and wondering who to call for help in getting these impudent invaders off their territory.
Blood and Valor in the First World War
Jon organised and supplied the resources for this 28mm First World War skirmish game in which the British took on the Germans again. It was great to see first time visitor Tom take part in the game where he came up against the legendary dice rolling skills of Billy. I am anxious to point out to Tom that there is a fine tradition of crap dice rolling on club Sundays which is rigorously upheld by the vast majority of members (at one time or another) and that the performance of Billy is the exception rather than the rule. We hope to see Tom at many more club events.
Chindit Patrols in the Jungle - WW2 'Home Brew'
Thanks to Andy S for the his report of a great looking 28mm game set, I am guessing, in the dark interior of Burma.
John put on an awesome Chindit patrol game for Daniel S, Howard and Andy as the Chindit patrols. John played the Japanese force. An impressive 6 x 6 table was put on with wooden boards complete with coastline and railway track. The table also featured a Japanese village, radio shack and fuel dump which the Chindits had orders to attack. There were also random jungle lanes which were allocated and other objectives as well. The rules were one page style and turns were card driven for distance and random events from map reading to recognition of aircraft
Kings of War 1
Another really attractive table with a wide variety of 28mm figure types was on display in this four player game. I am grateful to Dave K for the following account of the action.
Maurice and James shared 1500 points of his Imperial Army. Steve, using his 1980s GW Chaos forces allied with my Halflings to take them on. Peter loaned Steve one of his Varangur army lists which comprised two units of wild Clansmen, a troop of heavy cavalry, heroic leader, a mage and a coven of mages - the most spectacular artillery piece yet seen on one of our tables. Steve formed up opposite Maurice with his Royal Guard, Arquebusiers and a lot of artillery. I faced off against James who had three units of Knights and the army general.
The battle opened with an artillery, sniping and spellcasting duel that finally ended in our favour. My Halfling Spearmen managed to hold the first charge of the Knights, and my Grenadiers caused a little bit of confusion to before being ridden down like dogs. By that stage, Steve's Mounted Sons of Korgan had routed Maurice's WarBears, my Harvester had got into the fight and Steve's charging Clansmen had overwhelmed the Royal Guard.
We gradually picked off the Knights who suffered some unlucky wavers and that won us the game. After that I took on James in a smaller 750 point Ambush game. His Knights' initial charges blew away my Halfling infantry and the flying Grenadiers, but my Harvester and the Forest Trolls were able to swing the game in my favour.
Kings of War 2
The second game of Kings of War took place between Paul B and Pete. Paul has had a 28mm fantasy army stored in boxes for several years waiting for a suitable set of rules so it was nice to see it on the field at long last. It certainly looked impressive with, amongst other things, a diverse selection of dinosaurs and what looked like a pack of rabid dogs (I may be mistaken here). I think that this was Paul's first experience of the Kings of War rules so I hope Pete treated him gently.
Infamy! Infamy! in Atlantis
Ian adapted the well known Lardies rules to a mythical age of Ancient Greece and also wrote the following description, for which, many thanks. Dand and Andy R also took part.
I forgot to bring Trees, so our woods looked a bit bare!
Club Sunday 6th August 2023
Twenty gamers were present for this Sunday's proceedings and a total of six tables were in play. My thanks to the various participants, indicated below, who produced materail for the following reports: -
With Fire and Sword
My thanks to Nick who not only umpired and provided the resources for this 15mm game but also wrote the following detailed report: -
Our game was a fictional battle using the 'With Fire & Sword' supplement to the Divine Right rules. Andrew W was in command of a combined Polish, Cossack and Russian army. Facing him was Ross commanding an Ottoman with Crimean Khanate (Tatar) and other allies.
Hail Caesar at the Crusades
Following on from last month's contest, Bryan organised and umpired another round of Hail Caesar using his 10mm figures and terrain. This time Charles was in charge of a Crusader force while Neil W was the commander of an Ayyubid Arab army. The task of the Arab force was to rescue a princess held prisoner in the Crusader camp. In terms of numbers, the Arab army was approximately 20% larger than their opponents but the Crusaders had more heavy infantry and all their cavalry were fully armoured knights. The Arabs moved forward on both wings with all their cavalry massed on the right and it was not long before both flanks came into contact with the Crusader cataphracts. Despite harassing fire from the Arab light cavalry and foot archers, the knights smashed into the enemy line and routed unit after unit. The Arab division on the left was the first to crumble and the division on the opposite wing soon followed suit, which signalled the end of the battle. A comprehensive victory for Charles, achieved with remarkably few losses.
Kings of War
Once again I must thank Dave K for his vivid account of proceedings, although I must confess that my ignorance of the rules, coupled with fading intellectual capacity, make total comprehension of his report impossible.
We had four players turn up, and at Ian's and Tim's excellent suggestion, we played one big 1500 points per side doubles game. In a classic battle of Good against Evil, my Halflings and Maurice's Kingdoms of Men took on Ian's Ogres and Tim's Undead. I had some new units in the shape of Forest Trolls and the Harvester lawnmower to give my Halfling militia some punch. Maurice had two units of Knights, Royal Guard infantry, some Warbears and an Organ Gun. Ian had two Ogre hordes and some archers (carrying ballistae, it seemed) while Tim had masses of Zombies and Skeletons with units of Ghouls and Soul Reaver cavalry added for punch. I was lucky to get the first charges in (thanks to a rules misunderstanding) and along with some tremendous dice I was able to hold the Ogres back. My Trolls got smashed, but the Harvester survived with a Double One to break both the Ogre hordes. Tim managed the same with his Skelly Spearmen who held back the Knights and eventually routed them. Maurice's Volley Gun nixed the Soul Reavers while his Warbears went down under a tidal wave of Zombies & Ghouls. There was a lot to learn from this game and I look forward to the next one.
More trouble in Africa as internal political differences once more descend into armed conflict. Darren and Andy GPT, meeting to play this 15mm scale game for the first time at the club, were the leaders of WUNKERS and the Israeli-backed USSMO respectively. My thanks go to Darren for producing another issue of that respected source of impartial information, the Dark Continent Times, which you can read here.
DBMM Persians vs Greeks
Thank you to Harry for providing this report and also one of the accompanying photographs: -
Myself and Neil C had a very enjoyable first game of DBMM, only slightly interrupted by rules decipherment. In the centre, the elite Spartans charged over a hill and into the sun blackening arrows of the Sparabara but managed to get to grips after a few turns. They mostly got the best of the hand-to hand combat and the Sparabara was collapsing by the end of the game.
Infamy! Infamy! in the Orient
I am grateful to Andy S for the account that follows. As Andy does not mention Stuart S taking part in the action, I assume he was doing the umpiring.
Club Sunday 16th July 2023
Normal service resumed at the club as no less than eight games were enjoyed by twenty-two participants on this busy Sunday afternoon. Please read on for brief descriptions.
Chain of Command Eastern Front
Ian provided the equipment for this 28mm game, acted as umpire and also wrote the following report. I am grateful for his multi-tasking skills.
We played an early War Eastern Front game using Chain of Command. The German platoons under the leadership of Dan & Andy R were tasked with securing a rail depot, somewhere in Russia, as part of Operation Barbarossa. Naturally, the Russian platoons under Peet & Tim were going to try and spoil things.
The Germans quickly developed their attack, pushing their infantry through the woodland lining the roads. However, the bridges crossing the stream that traversed the terrain before them had been mined, limiting any chance of a quick breakthrough. For their part, the Russians were promptly deployed along the rail embankment on the far side of the stream, defying any further advance. One German squad did push across the waterway, but was butchered by SMG fire from the very Station House they were trying to take. However, good use of a supporting MMG and infantry gun by the Germans, slowly turned the tide of battle in their favour.
While casualties were mounting all around, the Russian right wing under Tim was particularly suffering. Eventually this wing collapsed (Force Morale reached zero) and the Russian defence line was broken. While the Germans had a couple of supporting tanks, they played little part in the battle. A definite win for the Germans. Barbarrossa rolls on!
Star Wars Legion
Andy T and Ian played this really nice looking science fiction game in 28mm. Based on the film series, Star Wars Legion "invites you to join the unsung battles of the Galactic Civil War as the commander of a unique army filled with troopers, powerful ground or repulsor vehicles, and iconic characters like Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker" (I am quoting from the website). There were certainly an impressive number of vehicles and figures on the table. I am unable to confirm the outcome of the game but, as no club members reported a great disturbance in the Force, I assume that the Jedi and their allies were victorious.
This was a game in 10mm scale with all the resources supplied by Bryan. Jon and Neil W jointly commanded a late Roman army which was facing a Sassanid force led by Neil C and Bryan. Both sides deployed in fairly conventional style with the Sassanids placing elephants on their left centre. These were promptly charged by Jon's heavy cavalry and were defeated in the ensuing combat. Neil C then rolled a one which meant that the temperamental creatures decided to stampede and thus rapidly fled the field.
The Sassanids never really recovered from this blow. The Romans flung their heavy infantry against the enemy centre and routed their opponents. Although the Sassanid forces were able to push back the enemy cavalry on their right and break a cavalry division on their left, they were in a precarious position by the time proceedings came to an end.
Charles and Wyn met again to continue their exploration of the Saga universe in 28mm scale. As usual, the game looked a treat, Wyn's sectional terrain pieces and figures to the fore. Saga is a skirmish game which allows the use of both historical and mythological figures but I think Charles and Wyn's game was solely concerned with human beings, albeit lead ones.
Bolt Action with a Modern Twist
This was a 6mm game which involved Paul B and Stuart S as the two commanders. The basic rules in use were Bolt Action but there were modifications in place to cater for post-war vehicles and formations - I am not sure if these amendments were the work of the gentlemen involved or had been produced by a third party. The table looked nice ( a vaguely north European setting) and there was an eclectic mix of vehicles and equipment in play.
This game was played using 28mm figures from each player's collection. Thanks to Harry for the report below.
Myself and Gordon played Dux Bellorum using a new scenario I adapted from one in Lion Rampant. As the Romans, I had to stage a rescue mission for one of my spies who had gotten himself trapped in Pictish territory.
Kings of War
Many thanks to Dave K for his description of the two games played in the courese of the afternoon.
Pete, Vlad and I had two 750 point games of Ambush today. Varangur Pete brought his newly painted Frostfang elite heavy cavalry to the fight along with two units of armoured Clansmen, some elite Archers, the Wizard, and his leader, Thrud. He took on Vlad's Goblins who had regiments each of Rabble, Spears, Archers and mounted Archers, Trolls, flying Wingit and his King. It started well for Pete - his Frostfangs smashed the regiment of Rabble, one regiment of Clansmen and Thrud routed the Spears (although the Clansmen were mauled in the process) and the Wizard and Archers wavered the Wingit. Then Vlad struck back. The King routed the depleted Clansmen regiment, the Trolls broke the Frostfangs and regenerated all their wounds, the mounted Archers broke the elite Archers and were hounding the Wizard, the Archers fended off a charge by the other Clansmen and the Wingit finally got some hits in on Thrud. The game ended with a narrow victory for the Varangur.
Then my Halflings battled Vlad's Goblins. The Wingit flew through a blizzard of AA fire and chewed up my Volleygun before finally succumbing, but he had soaked up a lot of my shooting. My Lancers charged down his mounted Archers and broke them but then were locked in a desperate battle with the Trolls. They nearly made it and would have routed the Trolls but for my first double one (? it certainly was the most memorable) and got ripped to bits. My Rifles and the Engineer had the worst of a shootout with the Goblin Archers and King. On the far flank my Spears and Braves matched off against his Spears and Rabble. His Mawbeast hounds would probably have swung the balance except for my supporting Sauceror and they edged it to give me a close win.
Chain of Command Pacific Theatre
I am much obliged to Andy S for the report that follows. This was a 28mm game with some nice jungle terrain and buildings.
Howard and Andy S played Chain of Command Pacific. The action took place on Guadalcanal in 1942 using a counterattack scenario from the Blitzkrieg book. Howard commanded a USMC platoon against Andy's IJA force. The kicker for Howard was that his reinforcements could not come on till turn two.
Andy's CHI HA tank was a wonder weapon that dominated the field, taking a jump off point. Then Andy rolled end of turn and Howard’s spirits lifted and his little M3 Stuart tank pinned the CHI HA tank in place. Whilst it was not destroyed, it took little part in the action for the rest of the game. A savage fire fight ensued. Eventually Howard took the day he was only two Force Morale points from folding himself. Great fun and a good game trying out our Pacific forces.
Club Sunday 2nd July 2023
Several club members were attending 'Joy of Six' in Sheffield this Sunday, so the number of games (three) and attendees (eleven) was smaller than usual. Nevertheless, there were some great games on show, as the following accounts demonstrate: -
Kings of War
Dave K provided the report below, for which many thanks. Ian was an interested spectator to this game but resisted the temptation to take part. The figure scale was 28mm.
Today I took on Pete's Varangur - Chaos Barbarian raiders from the icy north. We managed two games, the first at 750 points and the second at 1000. Twice my poor Halflings got chomped up by the brutal northmen (and their Jabberwock) well before second breakfast. In the first battle he had two regiments of Huscarls and the Jabberwock led by Lord Thrud. I had my usual mix of dog riders, Riflemen and Braves led by the Engineer, Sauceror & Sergeant. He just charged headlong & blew my poor lads and lasses away, showing that hard-hitting, well-armoured troops don't need no fancy footwork on a congested Ambush table. Then he replaced one unit of Huscarls with regiments of Clansmen medium infantry and the Mounted Sons of Khorgaan (even tougher knights) and a Sorceror. I had bigger unit of Rifles and some Ej Grenadier rocketmen. With a bigger battlefield, I was hoping I could do some manoeuvring but he out-deployed me and while I was redeploying he took the chance to quickly get up close & personal with the same devastating results. Credit, also, to his antiaircraft Sorceror who chased my Ej Grenadiers around the table & completely neutralised them. I hope Ian, who watched the games, at least learned something from them.
To the Strongest
Thanks to Harry for the following account and also for the photo that accompanies the report. Paul B was Harry's opponent in this 28mm game.
A grim, unforgiving slog between foot knights, billmen and archers characterised our Wars of the Roses refight. True to the period many soldiers on both sides were not particularly committed to the cause and seemed reluctant to get stuck in. I did send my cavalry in a flank march to surprise Paul on his left flank. While this was successfully executed they immediately proceeded to chase a unit of billmen into a spinney then failed to emerge from it for most of the rest of the game, either through treachery, incompetence, cowardice or tree roots.
Rorke's Drift 1879
This was a spectacular recreation of the famous engagement fought in January 1879, using John's superb figures and terrain. I am grateful to Andy S who produced the following report.
John laid on a great 28mm Anglo Zulu War Rorke's Drift, using fast play rules from a copy of Miniature Wargames from 1991. We had a monster table with a huge amount of Zulus being urged on, albeit using a random reinforcement schedule to replicate the Zulus' difficulty in organising their forces. Andy S, Stuart M and Billy were the Zulu players and Howard and his young Subaltern Daniel S were the loyal British subjects.
Club Sunday 18th June 2023
Even though our St Ambrose meeting coincided with Father's Day, we still managed to host nineteen players and six games. Here are the reports on the action: -
Chain of Command - late Eastern Front
This 28mm game, located close to the Russo-Polish border in 1944, was the 'delaying action' scenario from the Chain of Command rule book. Daniel M was the Russian commander with orders to drive the enemy from the field and Neil W was the defending German officer. Daniel chose as his supports a two-man mortar team, a three-man flamethrower team and a sniper team. Neil had only a 50mm mortar plus crew as his support.
The Russians deployed two squads on their right behind a group of wooden houses and barns and soon inflicted heavy casualties on the German squad opposing them. However, as more German troops entered the battlefield the weight of their fire caused serious attrition on the opposing infantry and two Russian squads were pinned. One German squad then attempted to out-flank the Russians on the left and, although it was able to knock out the flamethrower team before it could inflict serious damage, it was unable to make further progress due to the stubborn resistance of the last intact Russian squad. Neither side had achieved its victory conditions by the time darkness fell, so a hard-fought draw was an appropriate result.
Blood and Valor in the First World War
John provided the figures and scenery for this WW1 skirmish game between British and German forces. The other players were Jonathan and Neil C. Blood and Valor (rules which we have not previously seen played on a club Sunday) is published by Firelock games and features a phase in which players secretly and simultaneously bid points to decide who will act first in the turn. The composition of a force affects the number of points avaialble.
In the game itself, Neil C ran out the eventual winner. He attributed his success to the choice of a heavy machine gun as his support, which proved to be remarkably effective, whereas Jon's choice of a preliminary barrage proved less efficacious.
Since this account was written, Andy J has pointed out that he and Pete played a game with these rules back in August 2020, which had completely slipped my mind (looking back at the account it actually says his opponent was Jon). He also informs me that he has now acquired a tank and a trench system and is keen to get these resources onto a table soon. Any takers?
Lasalle 2 Napoleonic
Andy GPT, providing forces from his well painted Epic Napoleonic collection was joined by Carl and Andy T in a f continuation of their exploration of the Lasalle 2 rules they commenced at the club back in April. The massed columns of figures looked impressive and provided an impressive spectacle on a relatively small table.
Twilight of the Soldier Kings
This game was a refight of the Battle of Piancenza, 1746, in 15mm scale. I am grateful to Nick for the account that follows: -
The Battle of Piacenza was part of the War of Austrian Succession in the 1740's. The battle was fought in Italy and we used the Twilight of the Soldier Kings rules. In our version the Austrians were commanded by Dave B and Ross who were defending. They were attacked by Gordon leading a mainly French force and Darren with a mainly Spanish army.
The Gallispan army (the name of the French and Spanish) army was divided and advanced to attack the Austrians. Reacting to this Ross led his forces forward to confront the advancing Gallispan forces under Darren. On the other flank Dave B moved part of his forces forward to block Gordon's French while moving the rest of his forces to join Ross's in an attack on Darren's forces. This attack made some headway but meanwhile Dave's blocking force was being picked off by Gordon's forces as Gordon exploited his advantage. The game was a closely fought action and the battle is a good one to fight. We did not reach a conclusion but I think we will try to play it again as it is a good, balanced scenario.
Sharp Practice in Africa
My thanks to Andy S for his description of this 28mm game.
Report back from Zulu commander follows: -
Charles S and Wyn got together once again to indulge in some butchery in the Middle Ages. I think all the miniatures came from the hand of Wyn although it's possible that Charles also used pieces from his own collection. I any case, the game looked great. I cannot provide information, unfortunately, on the outcome of the battle.
Club Sunday 4th June 2023
Our first all-day event of 2023 was a great success with twenty members making use of the extra time to enjoy some really impressive games. There were six in total and brief accounts follow: -
Bolt Action on the Eastern Front
Thankyou Andy S for the following summary of the action: -
Howard and Andy S organised an old favourite a big game of vanilla unadulterated Bolt Action set in the early part of the Barbarossa campaign. A dug in platoon of beleaguered CSIR Italians with supports were defending a rail head with a river a fordable river as a barrier. The table was a 12x4 with the Italians at their end and coming in from the opposing end were two small platoons in lorries, with an armoured/mechanised support formation of 4 tanks and a pair of armoured cars providing the punchy part. In the middle towards the Italian end was a mixed bag of Russians comprising of a platoon of infantry, veteran SMG section and a load of toys like mortars snipers flamethrowers and the like. There was a mix of several lighter tanks and a armoured car topped off with a mighty KV2. Howard was holding off the Germans who were Andy S, Ian, Mike (who was replaced by Stuart S). Daniel was the other Russian commander whose job it was to crush the Italians who had Howard watching his back.
Et Sans Resultat - 1812 Napoleonic
Bryan provided all the resources for this impressive looking 10mm game and also acted as umpire. The scenario was set during the 1812 invasion of Russia and was an imaginary encounter between two Russian corps and attached cavalry (jointly commanded by Neil C and Neil W) and a French corps led by Gordon and Dave B. The right hand Russian corps (Neil W) attacked the opposing French division (Dave B) and although honours were fairly even, the Russians failed to make any serious inroads into the French position. On the left, Neil C mounted his assault but found that the enemy troops on this side of the field offered more serious resistance. They were able to repel the leading Russian division and eventually break it. The French were, therefore victorious.
The ESR rules have many novel features and show a lot of potential but are let down by being poorly set out and overly bureaucratic. A lot of time was spent in discussions about what the author actually intended which was somewhat frustrating and held up play. Gordon had a thorough re-read of the rules post battle and drew the players attention to what we got wrong so maybe another session will give better results.
Fire & Fury American Civil War
A magnificent display on the grand scale was put on by Wyn with this depiction of an ACW battle on a table that must have been at least fifteen feet long. He began painting his collection of 28mm Union and Confederate figures back in the 1990's and there were over 1500 of them in action for this game. The table itself was comprised of modular terrain boards which Wyn had constructed himself. Charles was in command of the Northern forces while Wyn was the Southern general. Because of the massive size of the scenario and the fact that there were only two playing, I am not altogether sure if they were able to bring it to a decisive conclusion. Nonetheless, it looked good
French Indian Wars
Another great display was once again provided by John, not once but twice. In this mid 18th century scenario set in the forests of North America there were in fact two tables used consecutively, the first in fairly open terrain, the second featuring a splendid scratch-built fort, the picture of which accompanies this report. The game was played using 28mm figures and John's opponent was Nick. They used a variant of the "Loose Files and American Scramble" rules by Andy Callan which can be found here. I am not sure whether it was the British forces or the French that triumphed in the end or what "assistance" they received from their Indian allies.
Kings of War
I am grateful to Dave K for providing the account that follows: -
Kingdoms of Men vs Halflings
Pete wrote the report below, for which many thanks: -
Harry and I played a mini WOTR campaign, using the Sword &Spear rules and the map and the rules framework from an Impetus supplement. I, as the King, set up in London with an ally, Lord Raby, in Shrewsbury and Harry, as the Pretender, landed on the South coast.
I abandoned London and set out for the Midlands to raise more troops and link up with the Allied army. In fact, the Midlands was an error, as several towns refused to help and Lord Raby showed signs of wavering. The Pretender marched towards the rebel towns and caught me just outside Derby before I could reach Raby.
Despite being the Attacker, the Pretender was caught with his army widely dispersed and despite outnumbering the Kings army was soundlybeaten, although the Pretender himself escaped. More manoeuvres followed as the Pretender withdrew towards London to rebuild his army while the King went South to recruit in Worcester, Swindon, Southampton and Portsmouth. About this time Lord Raby showed himself as a traitor and joined the Pretender.
Raby now headed South to join with the Pretender, but the King, having returned from recruiting on the South Coast, immediately attacked Raby just outside of Cirencester. An all day battle followed but by dusk there was no definite victory, so both armies withdrew with significant losses.
The campaign will resume at St Ambrose on the 18th
Club Sunday 21st May 2023
Numbers were down slightly this Sunday, probably due to the competing attractions of Partizan in Newark and fine weather generally. Even so we still had seventeen members playing six games. It was great to see the return of Graham after a long absence and hopefully we will be seeing much more of him in the coming months.
My thanks go to Nick for the following account of a game he played against Andy W: -
On Sunday the patriotic forces of freedom secured sweeping advances according to sources close to the Socialist Peoples Liberation Army of Tuttutandgo. Sources close to the S.P.L.A.T. politburo claim that they have liberated large areas of the western province from the evil grip of the W.A.S.T.A counter-revolutionary thugs. They state that counter-revolutionary activists, their family and their friends are, as I write, being 're-educated' and will be buried next week. Meanwhile the brave soldiers are 'redistributing' the valuables of the liberated area to the deserving members of the SPLAT forces.
The second AK47 game of the day was played between Darren and Neil C, this time using the later version of the rules. Darren has kindly produced another issue of the politically impartial newspaper of repute, the Dark Continent Times, and you can read a detailed report of the action within its august pages here. Thanks Darren.
Sails of Glory
Produced by the same outfit that is responsible for the very popular 'Wings of Glory' aerial wargame, this simulation of Napoleonic naval battles in the age of sail can be played straight out of the box. The four players involved were Stephen, Andy J, Tim and Graham, Stephen providing the equipment. I am grateful to Andy J for the following brief description: -
Four of us played “Sails of Glory”? and had a jolly good time. By the time the sun set over the yardarm the four French ships had sunk three of the British ships.
The game was really barely organised chaos as none of us really knew how to sail or fight the ships but it was great fun and we could probably do much better in a second game.
Thanks to Gareth for this account of the game he played against Billy. Kill Team is a Warhammer 40000 variant and Gareth provided the impressive terrain and figures on display.
We played Killteam, a commando raid game set in the 41st millennium. The games are short but we were novices to the game. So we played the same scenario, raiding a spaceship for supplies three times to get to grips with the rules and tactics. We each played the same team twice and then swapped teams for the final game. The Primaris marines proved to be the stronger squad in all three of the games.
Chain of Command
Andy S kindly wrote the following description of events in these early Second World War encounters, for which much thanks.
Andy S and John (BEF) took on Pete and Dan S (Howard's Germans) at Chain of command in an attack on Hedgewood wood. Howard sat out and umpired. This was a Too Fat Lardies Pint Sized Campaign Scenario from Caesar's camp.
Two games were played in the course of the afternoon. In the first a low force morale roll for the BEF (with a Daimler Armoured car which quickly ran off the table edge) halved the force morale in one hit. As a result of getting the BEF on the back foot the game collapsed like a paper bag in no time at all.
A quick restart was done and sides were swapped when Pete dished it up again. When I asked Pete if he liked playing Chain of Command it was like asking the Perrys if they like sculpting Napoleonics!
However great fun if comedic, yet learning took place.
Ewan, Ian and Andy GPT were the participants in this Cold War scenario, with Jon hovering in the background no doubt providing advice when needed. My gratitude goes to Ewan for providing the detailed report that follows: -
Leswell Gap, Northern Germany: 0447hrs
Club Sunday 7th May 2023
There were twenty-one gamers in attendance and seven games in play on this pleasant Spring day. Please read on for short game reports: -
Kings of War
I am grateful to Dave K for the following report on this 28mm fantasy game. Also taking part were Dante, Vlad and Maurice.
We had an enjoyable double game of Kings of War Ambush. We managed both games on one table using 3' x 3' battlefields at 750 points each. Maurice and his Kingdoms of Men - Knights, Halberdiers, Arquebusiers, Crossbowmen, and Mortar, led by their General faced off against Vlad's Goblin Raiders of Rabble, Spears, Archers and Dog-mounted Archers (?) backed up by Trolls and a beautifully painted Winggit flying contraption, all led by their King. They opened up with a storm of shooting. The Rabble took one hit from the Mortar & broke while the Halberdiers wilted under a rain of arows. The Knights scattered the Dog Archers but were stopped in their tracks by the Spears and flanked by the KIng. The Arquebusiers took a peppering from the Archers and were bombed by the Winggit before being hit by charging Trolls and the Archers. The Crossbows were next to go and then it was the Kights' turn as the Winggit piled into their rear to seal the victory.
I took on Dante's Dwarves - two regiments of Ironclad Infantry, a troop of Ironwatch Rifles, a Steel Juggernaut and swarms of Mastiff Hunting Packs on a very bucolic battlefield with wandering flocks of goats & herds of marauding pigs. I had single regiments of Braves, Lancers & Mounted Rifles and a troop of Foot Rifles supported by a mounted Sergeant, an Engineer and a Sauceror with her brews. Dante was plagued by poor dice in the first few turns which let me whittle down his Mastiffs, hit the flank of one Ironclad regiment with my Lancers and waver the other with shooting to keep it out of the fight [we forgot to roll for its Headstrong]. He did eventually break my Lancers with attacks from the Juggernaut and two units of Mastiffs, but I had been deep enough into his half by turn three and had scored enough casualty points to win our game.
Twilight of the Emperor
This game was another try-out of Nick's Napoleonic rules which are now almost ready for publication. The scenario was an imaginary encounter, using Stuart M's extensive collection of 6mm figures, featuring Gordon and Bryan who were commanding British and Austrian forces respectively and Stuart and Neil W each in charge of a French corps (Nick was the umpire). A stream conveniently placed down the centre of the field effectively divided the battle into two separate engagements with Gordon facing Stuart and Bryan matched against Neil. The onus was on the French to attack and both corps lost no time in moving swiftly against their opponents who were mostly occupying high ground. There was not enough time to reach a conclusion so the game was a technical draw but the rules played well and gave a realistic impression of Napoleonic battles on the grand scale.
Principles of War in Khartoum
Once again John produced an excellent table as he single-handedly recreated the siege of Khartoum (1884-85) in 28mm. I say single-handedly because, amazingly, he was unable to find an opponent for this fine looking game and so fought a solo battle. Tom Penn's Principles of War rules were in use and John assured me that he had an enjoyable time. I suppose that the advantage of fighting solo battles is that you can't lose.
Victoria Cross Rorke's Drift
Another colonial game but this time without figures. Billy and Jon played the board game version of this famous engagement of the Anglo-Zulu War which took place in January 1879 (the game includes counters and a map to re-fight the Battle of Isandlwana as well). Jon was the Zulu commander while Billy led the plucky British detachment. Billy had the misfortune of seeing Lieutenant Chard killed early on in the fighting but the Zulu warriors were unable to press home the advantage and the game ended with no decisive result.
Bolt Action in the Pacific Theatre
My thanks go to Andy J for the account below. The game used the second edition Bolt Action rules and the scale was 20mm.
Harry (Japanese) and myself (Americans) played a game of Bolt Action. The US troops managed to shoot the opposition up pretty badly until a light mortar got into position and did some damage to one US infantry group. By the time the US airstrike showed up (late, as usual) targets were getting pretty scarce, so a win for the US.
We both mis-read the lists but it was a good learning exercise.
Sharp Practice Napoleonic
Paul B provided all the resources for this 28mm game, including an excellent set of figures. I think I am right in saying that this the first time that the three other players - Andy S, Daniel and Howard - had played this particular set of rules. The scenario featured French infantry pitted against British Redcoats and 95th Rifles. As the game was very much a "training exercise" the actual result was not of any great significance but I trust the contestants all had an enjoyable time playing it.
Fire and Fury Medieval
Another fine looking game which utilised Wyn's collection of 28mm medieval figures. The rules in use were Fire and Fury with suitable modifications for the period. Wyn was the umpire, Charles was in charge of a force originating in Silesia and Neil C was the commander of a Polish army. At the end of the game Charles ruefully confessed that he had lost the battle because he had forgotten to order his men to charge at critical moments in the fighting. Neil, however, generously acknowledged that the result had, in fact, been a hard-fought draw. I forgot to ask for the umpire's opinion.
Club Sunday 16th April 2023
The number of gamers at our club days keeps going up - 25 players involved in seven games on this busy day. We welcomed back Neil C and Daniel M, who had not paid a visit for a while, and it was good to see Andy T and Carl make their first appearance at the club.
I apologise if some of the accounts below are shorter than usual. Some of my trusty correspondents are suffering from writer's cramp at the moment but I am hoping that they will recover in time for the next club Sunday.
Twilight of the Soldier Kings
A 15mm game that came from the collection of Nick, this encounter was a re-fight of the Battle of Fontenoy, 1745 in which the French, under the command of Marshall Saxe, defeated the Pragmatic Army led by the Duke of Cumberland. Along with Nick the other participants in the game were Darren, Ross and Neil C, who has returned back to the UK after a long sojourn in the Middle East. I left the hall before the game concluded so I am unable to declare the the final outcome.
Chain of Command DMZ
This game was the first try-out at the club of the Chain of Command 'unofficial' variant "DMZ", (second edition) designed by Jason Sendjirdjian. The scale was 10mm and all the figures and terrain were provided by Neil W. Vlad and Bryan were in joint charge of a US Army platoon with orders to clear a village of enemy troops. Wyn and Neil W were commanding a platoon of the North Vietnamese Army ready to repel the attack. The US forces commenced deployment in jungle locations and moved cautiously to the edge of the foliage, the NVA chose to deploy close to the forest perimeter (in hindsight, probably a hasty decision) and soon came under very heavy fire from automatic weapons. The NVA were forced back as a serious firefight developed and also had the misfortune of suffering two officer casualties in quick succession. In contrast the US platoon took remarkably few losses and, as the force morale of the NVA plummeted, were able to disperse the defenders without having to assault the village.
The players' consensus view was that the rules showed promise but needed a few in house tweaks to make them more realistic.
Lasalle 2 with Epic Napoleonic
A fine collection of Warlord Games' Epic Napoleonic figures were on the table in this game - I think the scale is around 12mm but I'm not absolutely certain. Sam Mustafa's Lasalle second edition rules were in play, Andy was in charge of a French Army and Andy T and Carl, members of the Stourbridge club, were his British adversaries. This was Andy and Carl's first visit to the club and we hope there will be many more. The game was a close run thing and I believe that an honourable draw was the eventual result.
Operation Exporter with Rapid Fire
Another spectacular 28mm display from John (I think this one occupied no fewer than five trestle tables) which depicted another episode from the Allied invasion of Syria and Lebanon in the summer of 1941. The other participants in the contest were Andy S, Billy, Dante, Daniel S and Stuart S. Rapid Fire first edition rules were in use and the terrain on the table-top featured lots of ancient ruins.
Strength and Honour
My thanks to Dan for the comprehensive account that follows. The game was played with 28mm 'flats' and they looked extremely effective
Over the day we managed to get 3 games in of strength and honour, they were all the same scenario the battle of the Sambre 57bc parts of Caesars gallic wars.
Sword and Spear
Harry was the umpire for this Ancient game and also provided all the resources. The scale was 15mm. It was good to see the return of Daniel M, playing the role of the Roman general up against Peet who was leading some Germanic tribe of barbarians. I think I am right in saying that none of the participants had had much prior exposure to the rules which must have made life difficult, especially for the umpire. The outcome was a victory for Rome.
Club Sunday 2nd April 2023
There was a packed house at Holt Heath in which 23 players enjoyed seven games. It was a pleasure to welcome Phil who was playing his first game at the club and we hope there will be many. I am deeply grateful to all those who contributed to the following reports: -
Bolt Action - Operation Exporter
A 28mm game which involved Andy S, Daniel S, Stuart S and Howard in which forces of the British Empire took on a Vichy French army. Thanks Stuart for the following AAR.
The first day of Operation Exporter 8th June 1941 – The coastal column attempts to push up towards Iskandaroun. They encountered tougher than expected opposition as the French had blown the road, immobilising a light tank and a pinch point between a high cliff face and the sea forced the Commonwealth forces led by the Australians to attack on foot.
Mad for War 17th Century Naval
The following report was provided by Andy J - thanks Andy. There were some fine model ships on display which I think were in 1:600 scale.
Nick Gordon, Stuart and I played c17th naval game from the start of the 1st Dutch war. It started with the British ship "James" shooting up a Dutch ship, these 2 sailed away in to the distance whilst both sides sent re-enforcements who all got into a lovely firefight. MVP here was the commonwealth ship "Victory" which raked and destroyed a Dutch ship with 7 hits from 8 dice but then moved on to rake another Dutch ship and threw 8 dice again, this time achieving no hits at all!!
Played under "Mad for War" rules the outnumbered commonwealth ships obtained a convincing victory (excuse the pun) forcing 2 Dutch ships to strike their colours and coming within a whisker of making a third strike as well, which would have resulted in the surrender of 1 of the 2 Dutch squadrons. Many thanks to Gordon for another great naval game.
O Group on the Eastern Front
I am grateful to Ian for the following account. This game was played in 15mm scale and also involved Andy R, Dave B and Phil, who was playing his first game at the club.
We played a very early WW2 Eastern Front game (using Pz III E & T26's!) in our continuing trial of the O Group rules. Playing on a large 6x6 table. The German attackers' objective was to seize the high ground that was firmly within the Russian defence zone.
While the Germans were doing well, they were a long way from achieving the objective after more than three hours of play. This only equated to three actual Game Turns in reality. While a better familiarity with the Rules will help in the long run, they are a complex set that seem to definitely not be in the "Fast Play" category. It isn't being helped by us perhaps pushing them outside of their "comfort zone" by including too much armour?
Still, it was an enjoyable game and put us further down the 'learning curve', which is what it was all about!
Sharp Practice Napoleonic
This 28mm contest was a scenario set during the 1814 campaign in which the Prussians, led by Charles and Neil had to hold on to a church occupied by two groups of musketeers and the French, commanded by Wyn and Bryan, had to capture the building while resisting any interventions by enemy forces coming to the rescue. In the game the Prussian soldiers holding the church were able to keep Wyn's light infantry at bay throughout play but on the other flank the French inflicted serious losses on the Prussian Fusiliers and Schutzen who were attempting to reach their comrades. In a brave attempt to regain the advantage, Charles ordered his Dragoons to charge the French six pounder and, although the assault routed the gun crew, the morale of the Dragoons failed. The Prussian generals decided to withdraw and the French held the field.
Seminole War 1837
My thanks go to John for the report that follows. This was a great looking game with 40mm figures in which John and Mike fought out a battle in a little known war of US history.
2nd Seminole War, Florida 1837.
Kings of War
Dave K produced the following report for which many thanks. The figures used were 28mm.
Maurice and I managed two games of Kings of War. We played in Ambush mode and our first game was at 1000 pts with my Halflings against his Kingdoms of Men. I was fortunate to take out his two cannons with my Rifles, Wild Runners and Engineer with his long rifle before they could start blowing me to bits. it was a good start for me until his Knights started charging. One was held up by my Spearspikes for pretty much the whole game but the other routed my Braves, took a charge from my Lancers and then beat them to a pulp. My airborne Ej Grenadiers had a fairly ineffectual attack on his Greatswords who defeated them and then charged down my Wild Runners. His Crossbowmen won the shooting duel against my Rifles. I was left with only my heroes on the field.
We then cut the points to 750 for the second game. Maurice was nicely set up to defend, except his Knights who rode through a very desultory peppering of fire from the Wild Runners, routed them, then rode down my Braves. My Lancers rooted his Crossbowmen out of the woods and then his Greatswords after they charged in, but couldn't cope with a charge by the triumphant Knights who were the MVP of the day. Once again, that left me with my Engineer and Sauceror as spectators to the demise of another Halfling army.
Seven Days to the River Rhine
Andy GPT and Pete played a game using rules not seen at the club before using 15mm figures and vehicles. Seven Days to the River Rhine, produced by Great Escape Games, is designed to simulate armoured combat in 1980's Europe when the Cold War was at its most intense. Rather than produce a battle report, Andy has chosen to write a review of 7dttrr and show how Team Yankee scenarios can be easily adapted to this set of rules. You can find it here. Many thanks, Andy.
Club Sunday 19th March 2023
Our best attendance so far this year - 21 players involved in six games. We said hello to Ewan, welcomed back Howard and managed to squeeze in a brief AGM, for which Wyn attended although he didn't throw any of his famous wooden dice in anger. Brief reports follow: -
French Revolutionary War with Sharp Practice
I am grateful to Andy J for his contribution to the account below: -
A 28mm which featured Gordon's newly painted French Revolutionary Wars armies - and very nice they looked. Gordon partnered Pete in command of the French force while Andy J and Dan were joint leaders of the Austrians. Andy's totally objective account of the action follows: -
"The game started with a rush for the building in the centre of the table. As it was nearer to the Austrians deployment this ended in tears for the French skirmishers. It also became clear at this point that Gordon was using loaded dice which produced about 50% “6’s” ! We all got into a nice big fire fight and the game ended in a bloody draw".
I think I am right in saying that this was also Gordon's first experience of the Sharp Practice rules. I hope he found it a rewarding experience.
Return to Barce
A repeat of the Rapid Fire game played at the club on 19th February (see below) using John's superb terrain, figures and models in 28mm. The scenario was a recreation of the Long Range Desert Group raid on Barce airfield in September 1942 (Operation Caravan). This time Jon was in charge of the plucky Brits, Paul J was the Italian commander and John was refereeing as usual. The British forces made it to the target but it took them some little time to destroy all the enemy aircraft stationed there, so the Italian defenders were able to inflict heavy losses on their opponents. Unfortunately, I had to leave before the climax of the game and I am unable to report how many of the British vehicles and their crews were able to make it back to base.
Since this account was written, John has very kindly submitted a more detailed account of this action and the full report can be found here. Thanks John.
Find, Fix and Strike
This game was a 1:3000 scale WW2 naval encounter set somewhere close to the Norwegian coast in which a powerful German raiding force, commanded by Bryan, was attempting to break out into the Atlantic to attack merchant shipping. Charles was the flag officer of the Royal Naval squadrons sent to intercept and destroy the enemy vessels. Neil W was the umpire and the models used came from his collection. Tactical manoeuvring was made more difficult by the presence of a couple of small, rocky islands but both sides lost no time in closing the range and exchanging fire. The British lost the cruiser HMS Suffolk early on but replied by sinking the Lutzow. The German and British heavy units remained relatively unscathed despite repeated torpedo attacks, in the course of which the destroyers of the Kriegsmarine suffered heavily and Admiral Bryan was ultimately persuaded to call off his sortie.
War of 1866 - Mit Blut und Eisen
'Mit Blut und Eisen' is a Fire and Fury variant devised by several members of the club many years ago (see here for more details). In this game, set in the Seven Weeks' War, Billy and Nick were in charge of two Prussian Corps, Andy W an Austrian Corps and Ross a Saxon Corps (all the 6mm figures were provided by Ross). Nick's command on the Prussian right had the better of it against Andy's Austrians despite the recklessly courageous behaviour of one of the Austrian units that caused the Prussians some consternation. On the Prussian left, however, General Billy came under pressure from the Saxons under Ross and had to fall back. A close run thing with no decisive result in sight as darkness fell (i.e. I went home).
Chain of Command 1 - Belgium 1940
A game notable for the return to the club after a long absence, of Howard, one of the very first members and also the very first game featuring new member Ewan. It was good to see them both. Andy S has very kindly provided the following details of the game: -
Stu and Howard as German commanders took on Andy S and Ewan as the French officers in the "Palm Off at Perbais" scenario from the Too Fat Lardies "Gembloux Gap" Pint Sized Campaign booklet. The French held the German advance at the expense of their own troops with both sides taking chunks out of each other.
Chain of Command 2 - Normandy 1944
My thanks to Ian for the comprehensive report that follows: -
Our game was the 4th scenario in the Chain of Command supplement, Kampfgruppe Von Luck, an attack on the Church at Ranville in the early hours of D Day. It was one we hadn't got to previously while playing the Campaign. In our recreation of these D Day events, the German attack had stalled before this point trying to secure the village itself. German casualties had become unsustainable following the real historical outcome.
Club Sunday 5th March 2023
Six games were enjoyed by seventeen players on another good day at Holt. Please read on for more details: -
Sword & Spear
I am grateful to Stephen (commander of the Britons) for the following account (and photo) of his battle against the Romans (led by Harry) in 28mm: -
Chieftain Tunnabrix leads his troops to repel a Roman landing.
More mechanised science fiction mayhem on the table-top as Vlad and Gareth resumed their acquaintance with Adeptus Titanicus, both fielding some striking and beautifully painted models. There are various types of robot that feature in the game (Warhounds, Warlords and Reavers to name but a few) but I was not aware (until Gareth explained) that the machines are actually crewed by living beings. The contest was clearly a bloody and protracted one as the guys were the last to pack up at the end of the afternoon.
War of the Worlds - Bolt Action With a Twist
Stuart was umpire for this game and also provided the equipment for this 15mm game. Andy S was the Martian general and Daniel S commanded the desperate human defenders. My thanks to Stuart for the brief description below and the photograph: -
The Battle of Winchester, Crown forces fail to hold back the Martian Tripods, the Royal Artillery, despite scoring several hits, failed to bring down any of the war machines. The mighty heat ray swept many of the infantry from the field as red weed crept across the land. The game was played with Bolt Action rules with several adjustments.
Chain of Command in Normandy
This WWII 28mm game featured an encounter between a British and a German platoon each with armoured support. Charles S was the British leader, Mike the German officer and Neil W was the umpire. The forces of the Third Reich had an early success by getting one squad to occupy a building and forcing a British section to retire. However, the British fought back, making good use of the H.E. capability of their Sherman to pound the German positions. Mike's platoon fought doggedly and heavy losses were suffered by both sides. Ultimately, as force morale fell and virtually all their units became pinned or broken, the Germans conceded the field to their adversaries.
Battle of Blenheim using Twilight of the Sun King
A large scale recreation of Marlborough's famous victory of August 1704, this 15mm game featured a large number of units, all supplied from the collection of Nick and, of course, used his own set of rules. Also taking part were Andy J, Gordon and Stuart M. The British and their allies were the eventual victors. Andy J's comment was "the British just ground the French down until we failed our army morale tests. I our defence I would also plead that Gordon’s dice were generally more helpful than ours!" To which Stuart M added "Quite, my first big attack he rolls a double 6 to avoid losing a brigade and in the penultimate turn I rolled three times 2 or less to fail to get a unit to charge to again pull off a heavy attack!"
Kings of War
Many thanks to Dave K for the following blow-by-blow account of this 28mm game: -
Maurice, Dante and I met up to play the Ambush mode, which is a fairly low point value, small table version of the game that otherwise uses nearly all the rules. It meant we could get into action very quickly and play two games during the course of the afternoon. Maurice used his GW Empire figures, Dante had his tough and heavily upgunned Dwarves, while I had my Halflings with their zippy cavalry, and extra characters for special effects. Dante and Maurice played the first game. Maurice's knights got in a first strike, riding through a hail of shot to blow away a regiment of Dwarven Riflemen but with cannon to the left of them and Sharpshooters to the right, they didn't last too long. In the centre Dante's infantry trudged up to Maurice's gun line, taking hits from cannon and crossbows. One unit of Ironclads got into a grinding fight with the Royal Guards. They should have won it, but the Guards rallied twice to hold their own. The other unit went chasing crossbows in the woods, giving us all a fright with their 'Throwing Mastiffs' (think Roman Legionary pila). But they couldn't close with them before cumulative casualties broke them.
Then it was my turn to field my Halflings against Dante's Dwarven Artillery variant of his army. I was super lucky that he missed most of his shots and my cavalry were able to dance around and cause mayhem until they finally succumbed to a firestorm of Mastiffs. I was greatly helped by the effects of my Sauceror's brews and my Engineer's sniping.
We had a great time and are looking forward to a second outing on the 2nd April.
Club Sunday 19th February 2023
Nineteen players were involved in seven games in the course of another full afternoon of gaming. There were visits from Dan and Wyn though not taking part in games and we also welcomed Phil to his first club meeting which will hopefully be followed by many more.
Long Range Desert Group using Rapid Fire
Another impressive looking game in 28mm from John's extensive collection. I would like to thank John and Stuart for their joint contribution below : -
Mad for War 17th Century Naval
Gordon provided all the equipment for this naval encounter, including some very nice 1:1200 models of fighting vessels. The rules used are by Barry Hilton and the author had also helpfully provided a scenario set during the War of the League of Augsburg featuring an engagement between Dutch and Swedish ships. Also taking part were Andy S and Jon and all the participants were playing the game for the first time. As this was a "suck it and see" exercise the end result was not important. However, it seems that first impressions were favourable and Gordon said that all the combatants had gained a good grasp of the rules by the time the game ended.
WWII Spearhead Operation Crusader
A large scale game in 6mm, this game was a refight of the Allied defence of the Sidi Rezegh airfield during Operation Crusader in North Africa in late 1941. Ross commanded two British Armoured Brigades and Ross was in charge of elements of the 21st Panzer Division. Despite the best efforts of the Germans, they were unable to dislodge their opponents from their positions.
Twilight of the Sun King, Battle of Gemauerthof
This 15mm scenario, designed and umpired by Nick , was a recreation of the Battle of Gemauerthof, fought in July 1705 between Swedish and Russian forces in the Great Northern War, which ended in a Swedish victory. Neil W commanded the Swedish army while Maurice and Billy were in joint control of the much larger Russian forces. Heavily outnumbered, the Swedes adopted a defensive posture with a stream protecting their left flank, the table edge protecting their right.
The Russian left flank cavalry made the first moves and a series of mounted charges and counter charges ensued. The Swedes suffered heavy losses but eventually forced the Russian wing to take a morale test which it immediately failed, which resulted in its exit from the table. On the Russian right, however, where the bulk of their cavalry were situated, heavy pressure began to tell on the Swedish units and their casualties mounted. The Swedes were unable to bring across their victorious forces on the right quickly enough and the Swedish general, facing repeated morale tests, threw in the towel.
Medieval Skirmish warfare was again on display as Charles and Paul B indulged themselves with an another episode of Barons' War in 28mm, Vlad also being initiated into the mysteries of this game. Paul had been busy painting new figures for his collection, the varnish hardly dry by the time they made their debut at the club. Unfortunately, some of Charles' figures suffered minor damage en route to the venue but nothing, I trust, that could not be quickly put right with a lick of paint and a dab of glue. Regrettably, I am unable to comment on the outcome of the battle because I forgot to ask.
Lord of the Rings
We don't see too many battles at the club that are set in Middle Earth for some reason but I am pleased to report that Daniel S and James have now corrected that omission. In this 28mm game, Daniel was the 'good guy', commanding a force comprised, as far as I could tell, chiefly of Elves, although there might have been a few humans as well. James took on the role of the Dark Lord and led a force made up of the usual dastardly collection of Orcs, Goblins and Trolls. Things were not going well for the free peoples of the west by the time I left and I can only assume that the powers of evil ultimately triumphed.
Pete and Harry had another go at the Xenos Rampant rules which made their first appearance at the club last month. the scale was 15mm and, as before, they managed two games in the afternoon. In the first contest, Pete played the role of a Martian general directing the manoeuvres of his fearsome Tripods and Harry commanded a group of Space Infantry. Pete scored a technical victory in this contest. In the second game, Pete deployed some Soviet Second World War kit, including a JS3 tank, to take on Harry's forces - which gives some indication of how versatile these rules are. Harry won the second game. He explained " this was possibly only because of the rather odd scenario in which Pete had to lure me into his half of the board, despite there being very little incentive for me to go there!" He also remarked that the rules were a little 'knotty' in places and it would take another game or two to get them sorted.
Club Sunday 5th February 2023
A busy day at Holt with twenty gamers present and seven tables in action. Unfortunately, I am able only to provide reports on six of the games as an information embargo has been placed on the 'Mit Blut und Eisen' battle. If this is lifted in the near future I will add it to the list below: -
Bolt Action in Early WWII
To The Strongest
A refight of the game played by Harry and Dave K in January (although Mike was involved for part of the time here). Thanks to Harry for photographs and text.
Today's game was a much improved version of our river Sambre scenario. It played out very much like the actual historical battle, until Mike, who joined us for the first half of the game, pulled off the incredible feat of despatching the mighty Julius Caesar. The Romans still won in the end, thanks to stirling defensive work by Labienus and stirling offensive work by Mark Anthony.
Sharp Practice Pirate Style
Chain of Command "Beginner's Luck"
Ian provided the kit and acted as umpire in the following 28mm game. He also wrote this report for which I am grateful.
This Game was an Introduction scenario, set in 1944 Normandy, pitching a British and German Infantry Platoon against each other. Young Dante took on the British in the attack role while Wayne had the defending Germans. Support points and choices were limited, but a roll of 10 secured the British with a couple of Armoured Cars and two Engineer Teams. This was a fortunate choice as the Germans used their 5 points on a couple of minefields, some barbed wire and a roadblock. The British deployed and pushed their attack forward whilst the Germans patiently waited (or tried to). Some very lucky rolls saw the little British mortar get its smoke bang on target nearly every time. The cover provided helped the Engineers in turn to partially remove the roadblock barring the way of the Armoured Cars up the road. Being unable to bring enough firepower to bear on the encroaching combined arms threat, the German commander was struggling as the combat progressed....but was holding on. Close range firefights can be brutal, and it didn't help that the German Panzerschreck team missed its opening shot against the British Staghound Armoured Car, only to be savagely wiped out by the return fire. The solitary German senior leader, needing to be everywhere as casualties mounted, was ending up nowhere.
Thanks to Andy R for the detailed report and comments below: -
We played a 4 player game using the 1st edition of the rules. There is a 2nd edition of the rules but I think 1st edition is more widely owned by club members. Andy R designed the scenario and provided the home-made terrain. The players (Maurice, Tim and Andy R’s two sons: Dan and Finn) cobbled together their own warbands from their own collections, or those of their Dad’s. I was a bit worried the game might be a little slow with 4 players but once everyone got the hang of the rules I think it went rather well. Everyone was successful in retrieving treasure from the Frozen City, which in a campaign setting would mean experience points and the opportunity to develop their wizards and warband. The youngest player, master Finn, secured a victory-point win with a late and daring dash to grab the central objectives. He just about hung on to them despite getting peppered by arrows from his vindictive elders!
A few people came over to have a look and many expressed an interest in giving the game a shot but some were reticent to commit to another project. I would like to reiterate that I already have plenty of terrain and would happily build some more. All the players need do, is whistle up a warband consisting of two wizards and a maximum of eight henchmen. You don’t even need the rules though if you do have a set you get to choose your own spells! On display for this game were various old Warhammer and LOTR models and a band of Footsore Saracens….I think we’ll probably do at least one more game, to which all are invited. Also it wouldn’t take much encouragement for me to set-up an adventure campaign of linked games in the future where people could dip in and out and they feel like it…
Club Sunday 22nd January 2023
Another good attendance at our meeting today with twenty players enjoying six games. It was great to see Dante take part in his first club game , I am sure there will be many more. Brief accounts follow: -
Chain of Command Eastern Front
My thanks to Ian for the report below. Other players involved were Vlad, Dante, Dave B, Andy and Andy R
The Beached Whale
John provided the terrain and figures for this fantastic looking game in 28mm. Paul J, Billy and Nick were the other participants and I am grateful to Nick for the following account: -
May 1944, Somewhere in Burma.
Fire and Fury Medieval
Charles and Wyn continued their series of medieval battles in central Europe (left off since the middle of last year) using a modified version of the Fire and Fury rules original designed to reproduce battles in the American Civil War. The game was in 28mm, using Wyn's finely painted collection of miniatures. Charles was the Silesian general while Wyn was the commander of the Polish forces. I think that Charles was the attacker in the scenario they played because when I asked Wyn at the end of the day what was the result, his pithy remark was that he had 'fought them off'. If Charles wishes to contest this interpretation, I am more than willing to hear his arguments.
Find, Fix and Strike WWII Naval
After the second appearance of Stuart M's Si Vis Pacem rules last month, the WWII version, written by Dave Manley, made its debut at the club. Bryan and Dan were the British Admirals and Andy W and Neil W their German counterparts. The game was played with 1:3000 scale models and the object of the scenario was for the British force to escort a group of merchant ships to the opposite table edge while fighting off German attempts to intercept and destroy them. The German destroyers, leading the line, moved to cut off the advance of the merchantmen, forcing them to turn away. An extensive gunnery and torpedo duel then commenced with many smaller ships on both sides being sunk and the Germans also losing the cruiser Lutzow. By the time the game ended the Royal Navy had sunk more German ships and inflicted damage on the enemy heavy units while their own capital ships were relatively unscathed.
Although the title suggests that this 15mm game was played using Sam Mustafa's well known set of rules, in fact it was one of Andy GPT's inventive adaptations of existing publications. For once, however, this did not involve the use of hexes (Andy explained that the movement rules were not really suitable for them). The scenario played was an 1814 encounter between the Old Guard, led by Gordon and the Austrians commanded by Andy and based on a historical battle which, I regret to admit, I have forgotten the name. The result was a victory to the Austrians. In due course I am hoping that Andy will once again, make his modifications available to visitors to this website.
Yet another set of rules making their first appearance at the club, Xenos Rampant is a science fiction version of the popular Lion Rampant rules published by Osprey. The beauty of these rules is that they are adaptable to numerous fantasy 'periods', any mixture of figures can be used and the combatants' imaginations can run wild with scratch built equipment and so on. Pete and Harry were the protagonists, Pete fielding lizard men and, of course, the ubiquitous dinosaur while Harry had Space Orks under his command. Two games were played in the afternoon, the first was a tactical draw but Harry won the second by controlling the board - his secret mission of capturing the enemy in close combat was foiled because he shot all the lizard men before they could get to grips.
Club Sunday 8th January 2023
An encouraging start for our first meeting of 2023. Seventeen players (our best attendance at Holt for almost a year) were involved in six games and we were joined by Mark who was making his first visit to the club - welcome Mark. There were also visits from non-playing members Paul J, Vlad and Andy GPT. Please read on for the usual reports: -
Barons' War Conquest
A set of rules which, to the best of my knowledge, have not been played at the club before, Barons' War covers the dynastic wars of the medieval period at a tactical level. The players (Charles, Stuart S and Paul B) were using the 'Conquest' supplement and for all of them it was the first try-out of the rules. The game was in 28mm scale and utilised figures from the collections of Paul and Charles. The consensus was that the game was a lot of fun though, of course, many questions were raised which have been forwarded to the relevant forum for clarification. The actual winner of the contest was Charles who was tickled pink by eliminating the enemy commander, firstly by softening up his retinue with crossbowmen and then finishing the job by sending in his knights.
My thanks to Andy J for the following blow-by-blow account of a 20mm WWII imaginary encounter between US and Soviet forces:-
Mark and I played a very casual "Learn the Rules" game of Bolt Action - early war US vs Russians ?
Turn 1. Both sides deployed and moved on table. US asked for an airstrike.
Turn 2. Both sides moved into cover to contest the mid-line of the table. No airstrike appeared.
Turn 3. Fire fights break out all along the table mid-line, Russians T34 is hit by US Sherman. No airstrike.
Turn 4. Russian heavy artillery and American airstrike destroy everything in the centre of the table! Flanking units continue to firefight.
Turn 5. The Russians (free) extra squad gives them the numerical edge as the game draws to a close.
All in all a useful run through the rules, Thanks Mark.
More internal conflict in the Dark Continent was evident as the second edition of the AK47 rules were in play once again in this 20mm game. Darren, who provided the figures, models and terrain, was leading the WUNKERS faction of desperate insurgents while Nick was in command of the SPLATT contingent of opportunistic chancers, both using a mixture of surplus WW2 stock and redundant Cold War kit. The gentlemen in charge took a little while to get going and evidently the combat was long and protracted as a result had not been reached by the time your correspondent left. Despite Darren expressing confidence that he had the upper hand, the final outcome remains shrouded in mystery.
Si Vis Pacem - First World War Naval
This game was a follow-on from the battle fought in December when the battlecruiser forces were in action - now, the battlefleets were engaged in the North Sea. Stuart M and Gordon were the Grand Fleet admirals and Andy W and Neil W were in charge of the German High Seas Fleet. The two forces were of roughly equal size, including light cruisers and destroyers, though the British also had a squadron of American dreadnoughts in their number. The US ships, steaming at the head of the line, came under heavy fire from the enemy battleships and were eventually forced to break off from the engagement. However, the accurate gunnery from the dreadnoughts of the Royal Navy began to take its toll and the leading German squadron was put out of action. By the end of the game the result was indecisive, though the High Seas Fleet had suffered more damage and the British held the advantage.
Blood and Plunder
A return to more "Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of rum" tomfoolery from Pete and John as they brought Blood and Plunder back to the club after an absence of over a year. In this 28mm scenario, set in the 17th century and located somewhere in the New World, Pete was the leader of a group of settlers and militia while John was the cut-throat commander of a band of ruthless buccaneers. I suspect that a chest of buried treasure was at the heart of the adventure; in any case the pirates emerged victors after a brutal contest in which no quarter was given
To The Strongest
I am grateful to Harry for the detailed report and comments below: -
Thanks to Andy and Daniel S for helping us suss out this scenario, an attempt to recreate an historical battle using the To the Strongest Rules and my grid terrain board. We were refighting the battle of the Sabis/Sambre from Caesar's Gallic wars. This was a pre-Vercingetorix revolt against Caesar's increasingly outrageous encroachments into Belgae territory in Northern Gaul. Historically the Gallic army surprised Caesar's army in the act of building a camp, charging out of a wooded chain of hills and across the river Sabis to do so. Initially taking heavy losses the Romans regrouped under Caesar's calm leadership and drove the Belgae off.