Club Sunday Games, 5th December 2021
The final club Sunday of 2021 saw eighteen gamers playing five games. It was a pity that Peet wasn't able to make it as I was looking forward to seeing his excellent Stalingrad terrain in action - another time, no doubt. It's been another difficult year for gamers, let's hope 2022 is an improvement.
Greek City States in Conflict using Hail Caesar Rules
Set around 500BC, this imaginary encounter was a battle between two warring Greek city states and used the popular 'Hail Caesar!' rules by Rick Priestly. Ian provided the 28mm figures and the two hoplite armies looked very impressive. Tim and Andy R were the generals for one Polis, Dan and Dave B were the captains of the opposing city state and Ian acted as umpire. An interesting feature of the deployment phase was the use of a physical partition down the centre of the table (see the Gallery) behind which each side set out their forces.
'O' Group in North West Europe
This was a battalion sized game set in the North West Europe Theatre of Operations in 1944, featuring an attacking British infantry force with tank support and a defending German unit, also with accompanying armour. The Brits were commanded by Graham, who had a number of games played with these rules under his belt, while the Germans were under the control of Charles, who was a first-time player. Neil supplied the figures and terrain and also provided advice on the rules to Charles. The attackers were set the objective of capturing one built-up area and getting at least one section to the river at the rear of the German positions. The defenders only lost one platoon in the opening barrage and Graham lost no time in launching his assault while the Germans sat back and waited for him to show his hand. The Brits concentrated their main effort on the German right but were unable to make significant progress, coming under heavy mortar and tank fire from the stubborn defenders. It must be said that Charles threw some remarkably high scores, a fact he attributed entirely to the dice tower he was using. The British suffered two FUBARS and were unable to inflict any losses on their opponents and Graham decided to call it a day.
Wild West - the Lawless Frontier
Tom put on a festive extravaganza with a fabulous depiction of a mid-nineteenth century American frontier town in 28mm, a mixture of MDF and resin buildings and all figures and scenery coming from his collection. He also provided his own set of rules which involved each major character in the game having his or own characteristics and game objectives. Tom acted as umpire, as usual, and Sue, Tom P and Paul were the players. The game included a large cast of dramatis personae, including gunfighters, Pinkerton agents, gamblers and ne'er-do-wells and I have no doubt that the occupants of Boot Hill Cemetery had increased substantially as the sun set on the game.
The Battle of Elchingen 1805 using Blucher Rules
This game was played using 6mm figures from the collection of Andy J. It was based on the the Battle of Elchingen, fought on 14th October 1805 in which a French force defeated an Austrian corps. Andy took the role of Marshall Ney while Nick was impersonating the Austrian General Riesch. The Austrians defended high ground between the two villages of Ober and Unter Elchingen and the French objective was to drive them from the field of battle. The historical result was a comfortable win for Ney's forces but I'm sure the Austrians put up a better fight in this reconstruction.
Britannia Board Game
Originally published by Avalon Hill in 1987, Britannia is a historical board game that broadly depicts the millennia-long struggle for control of England, Scotland, and Wales. The game begins with the Roman invasion of 43 A.D., continues through the many struggles between Angles, Saxons, Picts, Norsemen, Scots, Irish, and other tribes, and ends with the Norman invasion of 1066. The four players were Harry, Darren, Andy W and Gordon, each in charge of a variety of races and tribes. The game lasted all day and I am grateful to Harry for providing the final scores: -
Club Sunday Games 21st November 2021
A busy Sunday wargaming session in Kidderminster with twenty players involved in six contests. Your correspondent was not playing and only stayed for an hour, so I apologise if the following accounts appear more terse than usual: -
Blood and Plunder
Pete provided the 28mm figures and terrain for this seventeenth century piratical frolic in tropical climes, using the Blood and Thunder rules published by Firelock Games. Matt and Richard were the leaders of a combined English and Dutch group while Pete and Billy were the commanders of a Native and Spanish force. The action took place somewhere in the Caribbean and I have no doubt featured buried treasure, gallons of rum and the odd wooden leg.
Following their extensive deliberations last month about which set of medieval rules to try out (see below), Charles and Wynn played their first game of Tactica at the club. These rules originally came out in 1989 but the second edition is only a few years old. I'm not sure which set the guys were using. All the 28mm figures and terrain on the table was supplied by Wynn and looked great. The game was an imaginary scenario taking place in the mid-13th century. Charles, acting the part of the son of the Margrave of Brandenburg, commanded a German force while Wynn was in charge of a Polish army from the Voivode of Wroclaw (I hope I've got that right). Initial impressions of the rules were favourable.
Andy R introduced Ian to his first game of Oathmark, a set of rules that is rapidly becoming one of the most popular at the club. The game was in 28mm, Ian brought his own Roman army while Andy was commanding a Dwarven force. The game was loosely based around the novel The Misplaced Legion by Harry Turtledove, the first book in the Videssos series in which 'one of Julius Caesar's legions is transported to a world that resembles the then-future Byzantine Empire but with magic'. Good luck to them.
First of all, a very warm welcome to Gareth who was playing his first game at the club. He and Harry were playing the second Oathmark game of the day, also in 28mm. In this battle, Gareth was in control of a combined force of elves and humans and Harry led a combined force of orcs and humans, each player supplying his own figures.
Principles of War Napoleonic
Tom acted as umpire in this 15mm game of his own Napoleonic Principles of War rules and I believe he provided all the figures and scenery as well. Karl and Sue were the generals leading the French forces and Dave C and Graham were the joint commanders of the Austrian army.
Mit Blut und Eisen - Franco-Prussian War
This was an imaginary battle of the War of 1870, fought in 6mm using figures from Nick's collection. Ross was the umpire, Andy W the Prussian Commander-in-Chief and Nick played the part of the French general. The rules in use were the club's own Mit Blut and Eisen which were developed many years ago. For more information on these rules, please check out the page on this website here.
Club Sunday Games 7th November 2021
There were four games played and nine members engaged in friendly combat. Ian came by to take a look at the Oathmark game but didn't get actively involved. Here are brief summaries of the action: -
Andy R and Tom got together again to play another round in their ongoing Oathmark campaign game. Andy was commanding his Dwarven army and Tom his Necromancer horde and all the impressive looking and colourful figures were in 28mm. According to the Osprey website, Oathmark is a mass-battle fantasy wargame that puts you in command of the fantasy army you've always wanted. I make no comment. All I can tell you is that by the time I left the building, things were not going well for the Dwarven army so it looks as though the Necromancer has notched up another victory in this long and bloody saga.
A set of rules that doesn't make frequent appearances at the club (I checked and the last game was two years ago), Dux Bellorum made a welcome return this Sunday. This game, published by Osprey, is intended to reproduce combat in the period following the mid fourth century AD to the eighth. The battle was fought with 15mm figures, Dan was in charge of a Romano-British army while Harry was commanding an Irish force. When I first looked at the game I thought the guys were playing fighting a skirmish as there were comparatively few figures on the table but then it was explained to me that the bases each represented fifty men, so in fact it was a sizeable battle.
Twilight of the Emperor
Nick and Darren continued play-testing the latest set of 'Twilight' rules, covering the age of Napoleon. As the purpose of the scenario was mainly to refine game mechanics I do not think there was a competitive element involved. We await the published version with bated breath.
Chain of Command
This game was an encounter between British and German forces in NW Europe 1944 and was an attack/defend scenario. Dave B was the attacking British commander and Charles (playing the game for the first time) was the defending German officer. Each led a standard regular infantry platoon, the British supported by an M3 Stuart and a Bren carrier, the Germans with an Sd. Kfz 222 armoured car. Neil was the umpire and provided the resources for the game. Dave concentrated his infantry on the left while his vehicles made their way down the road on the British right. Charles swiftly deployed his troops into the buildings close to his table edge, where they soon came under heavy fire. The Brits scored major successes by knocking out the armoured car with a PIAT and breaking the German squad located in the house on the right. The Germans forced the Bren carrier to retreat and came very close to knocking out the Stuart but, with his armoured support destroyed and one of his squads in full flight, Charles wisely decided to make a tactical withdrawal.
Club Sunday Games 24th October 2021
It was good to see an increase in numbers at the club this Sunday, there were five games on offer, a "rules review" session and 17 members present. Brief summaries can be found below with links to more detailed reports for a couple of games (thanks Pete and Dave C): -
Furioso - a Renaissance battle
Two colourful and impressive looking 10mm sixteenth century armies took the field in the first 'De Bellis Furioso' game played at the club. The participants were Andy GPT, Andy J and Paul. Andy J's comment on the action was: -
The Furioso game was indecisive. The English had an early trench system in the middle of the table which my pikemen were attacking when we ran out of steam and time. The cavalry fight was a bit slow but I think I was winning. My skirmish horse was driven off by infantry on the other flank.
Shortly after the game, Andy GPT produced a produced a comprehensive summary of his impressions. His conclusion was that there are many contradictions and inconsistencies in the rules and sometimes the gameplay doesn't feel right but the potential is there if the aforementioned issues can be resolved.
Sword and Spear Ancients
Dan, Andy W and Ross were the players in this 1st Century CE battle which used the popular 'Sword and Spear' rules. The game was played with Peter Dennis 'flats' (I believe they came from the Roman Invasion publication) and they looked mightily effective. The figures had been mounted on plastic to give them additional depth and the bases had been designed by Dan and then custom made to his specifications by Warbases. The guys were sequestered in the back room and I neglected to obtain details of the game during the day but I am happy to provide an account if any of the players wants to fill my knowledge gap.
'O' Group in the Desert
Another WWII encounter in the desert in which Peet commanded a British battalion in a strong defensive position and Graham led an attacking Italian force including tanks and heavy weapon support. Dave C devised the scenario and umpired the game - he also produced a detailed account of the game which I have included in the 'After Action Reports' section of this website. You can find it here. Many thanks to Dave for producing this report.
Napoleonics 1 - Sharp Practice
This 28mm game featured a Prussian force of line infantry, Landwehr and dragoons matched against Polish skirmishers, line infantry and lancers. Each side mustered around 80 points and the scenario fought was the encounter battle described in the Lardies' rulebook. Neil and Billy were in command of the Prussians, Ian in charge of the Vistula Legion troops (which, incidentally, were kindly supplied by Andy J). The two sides entered the field at opposite corners of the table, the bulk of the French infantry concentrating on their right. They got involved in a prolonged firefight with Prussian musketeers, who suffered heavily but managed to maintain their morale throughout the game. The French skirmishers harassed the Landwehr in the centre until they were pushed back by Prussian fusiliers approaching from the French left. While this was going on, the two cavalry groups joined in combat, the French lancers being pushed back twice but refusing to break. Neither side had achieved a decisive advantage by the time play ended so the result was declared a draw.
Napoleonics 2 - Absolute Emperor
Another set of rules making a first appearance at a club event, Absolute Emperor is the latest offering from Osprey and is designed to reproduce Napoleonic warfare at the grand tactical level. Gordon, Pete and Vlad were the players taking part, the scale was 15mm and the scenario was a re-fight of the Battle of Busaco, 1810. I am indebted to Pete for writing a comprehensive report on the game which has been added to the AAR section of the site. Check it out here.
Medieval Rules Review
Charles and Wynn got together to chew the fat over a select bunch of medieval rules with a view to deciding which showed the most promise for future gaming. A few dice were thrown as various rule mechanisms were tried out but no actual game was played. Indeed, I rather suspect that the chief purpose of the exercise was to get Wynn's collection of beautiful 28mm medieval figures on the table just to show them off. I understand that a consensus was reached about which rules to go forward with so I look forward to a full scale battle taking place in the near future.
Club Sunday Game Reports 10th October 2021
Only two games on show at the club this weekend and only seven members involved in the action. although there were also flying visits from Dave C and Nick. There was also a game played by Andy R and Tom P at Andy's place and I am grateful to him for sending the detailed account that appears below: -
Sword and Spear Ancients
Harry and Andy GPT fought a battle set around 200 BCE using the well known and popular Sword and Spear rules. Andy commanded a Macedonian force and Harry was the general in charge of the Republican Romans. The Macedonians had the best of it in the early stages of the contest and, at one point, Harry despaired of turning things around. However, thanks to some brilliant generalship and skilful dice throws, he managed to retrieve the situation and emerged with an honourable draw.
Et Sans Resultat - a Napoleonic Reconstruction
A set of rules making their debut at the club, this battle was a recreation of the Battle of Vimeiro, 1808 in which Wellesley (later to become the Duke of Wellington) defeated the French under General Junot. Gordon organised the game, supplied all the 15/18mm figures from his own collection and also acted as umpire. Bryan and Charles were the joint French commanders and Billy and Neil were in charge of the British/Portuguese forces. None of the generals had any knowledge of the rules so progress was a little slow; nevertheless, once a few key principles had been grasped play became more fluid and the rules showed a lot of promise. The French had to take three built-up-areas to achieve their objectives but when play was brought to a halt because time had run out they had secured only one. There were only five moves left so it is debatable that the victory conditions could have been achieved, but declaring the result a draw seems a fair outcome for all.
I am grateful to Andy R for the excellent photographs and summary of the game that follow: -
This is the first game in a mini campaign where Andy R’s Dwarven Army is in a race with Tom P's Necromancer to secure the remote and mysterious Farseer Tower. The background to this initial encounter is that the two armies have become lost and disoriented in the misty hills before stumbling across each other.
The early stages of the game saw both players trying to make most their difficult positions to try and coordinate some kind of plan. Ultimately, the bulk of the Dwarven Army line-troops were cleverly marginalised by Tom on the right flank whereas his much more mobile collection of undead horrors were able to pick off the isolated units on the Dwarven left flank. Eventually the Dwarves were forced to concede the field to the Necromancer and his eldritch horrors.
We very much enjoyed the game, as we get to know Oathmark we are finding the ruleset simple and fast moving which allows us to concentrate on tactics and getting into the narrative behind our Armies. Tom’s army of powerful and horrific beasties are causing my slow moving dwarves a lot of problems but I am determined to regroup and find a way of stopping him!
Club Sunday Games 19th September 2021
Lots of our regular attendees were unable to get to this meeting but we still managed to hold five games. Tom P, Sue and Charles made non-playing appearances, David J and Daniel played their inaugural games at the club - welcome guys - and Jim returned after a long absence - welcome back Jim. Short descriptions of the action can be found below: -
In Her Majesty's Name
I am grateful to Stephen for the photograph that accompanies this account
More late Victorian mayhem was revisited this afternoon as the die-hard aficionados of 'In Her Majesty's Name' played another outlandish scenario in 28mm. The rules are intended to reproduce 'Victorian science fiction skirmish warfare' and include such delights as bizarre weapons, special powers and heroic figures. Ross, Matt, Stephen and Harry were the players and the game featured a beach landing, unicycling lancers (pictured opposite), armoured penny-farthings and what looked like a steam-powered helicopter. I am unable to give readers a sensible description of the action, nor can I inform you of the eventual outcome, but I doubt any of the gentlemen taking part could do that either.
Chain of Command - Soviets vs Germans
This was a game set on the Eastern Front during the Barbarossa campaign of 1941. Andy R and Daniel (playing, I believe, his first Chain of Command game) were in charge of a Wehrmacht platoon with limited support. They were attacking a similarly sized Soviet force commanded by Dave B. The scale was 28mm and, as usual, Ian acted as moderator and umpire. The Germans had distinctly the better of it as the game progressed, hardly suffering a dent to their Force Morale while the Russians' sank to a dangerously low level. However, Stalin's men were still clinging on grimly to the German objective by the time I left.
This game was the first scenario in a campaign game that Ian and Andy will be playing over the next few weeks and I look forward to regular updates on its progress in due course.
General Quarters WW II - action off the Norwegian coast
This set of naval rules goes all the way back to 1975, although significant updates have been made since then. The scenario was that Kriegsmarine admirals Wynn and Bryan were attempting to return the Scharnhorst and the heavy cruiser Lutzow (with destroyer escort) back to the safety of a fjord while Royal Navy top brass Billy and Doug, commanding the Hood, the cruiser Dorsetshire and destroyers, attempted to intercept. Neil W was the umpire as he was the only one who had read the rules (not very comprehensively as it turned out). The British were able to position their ships between the Germans and the mouth of the fjord but poor visibility meant that ships were engaging at close range. Both sides lost a destroyer and the heavy units on both sides started to take serious damage. However, German torpedo fire proved decisive. Hood was hit in the stern twice, reducing speed and manoeuvrability, and the coup-de-grace came when Dorsetshire was struck broadside-on by three torpedoes and quickly sank. Victory to the Germans.
This was an enjoyable game. The intention is to give the third edition rules a try-out in the near future.
Kings of War
A very nice looking table in 28mm featured a dwarf army led by Tom matched against a human force commanded by Dave J, playing his first game at the club. The figures came from the players own collections and they looked very impressive. The well known fantasy rules 'Kings of War' from Mantic Games are now in their third edition though I neglected to ask which version was being used in this game. After a keenly fought battle the human army came out on top - I am not sure if the height advantage played any part in the eventual outcome.
Lasalle - a Napoleonic encounter
Another fine display with some beautifully painted 28mm figures, this battle saw Andy GPT as the French general opposing an Austrian force led by Jim, who was making a welcome return to the club after a lengthy interval. We see a lot of Sam Mustafa's rules being used at the club (Blucher and Maurice being particularly popular) but 'Lasalle' only makes fleeting appearances. The scenario played was the 'starter' scenario from the rule book, the imaginary Battle of Eselbach, and featured three brigades per side. Things were pretty tight when I took my last look at the table but Andy had substantial reserves to deploy. Whether they were decisive in forcing the issue at the end I cannot say.
Club Sunday Games 5th September 2021
No less than eight games on display this Sunday, the hall was packed with tables and players and we had to press the back room into service to accommodate everybody. We also had the pleasure of welcoming Mike to the club for the first time and we hope to see much more of him in the future. Here are short accounts of what went on: -
Sword and Spear Ancients
In this 28mm game (one with some very fine figures on display), Stephen commanded an Imperial Roman Army and Andy GPT was in charge of a German warband. The rules were Sword and Spear 2nd Edition, first published in 2015 and this was the first time either general had used this particular set. In the course of the contest Roman artillery and archery did significant damage to the opposition and the barbarians lost two units in combat. The players commented favourably on the rules, particularly liking the command and control mechanism and ease of game play.
Chain of Command
The inevitable Chain of Command game took place, this Sunday featuring James in charge of a German platoon and Pete who commanded a similarly sized Dutch force. As this was obviously an early war engagement they were using the 1940 Blitzkrieg variant of the Lardies' rules. The scale was 28mm, both players supplying figures and vehicles from their own collections. No less than three games were completed during the course of the afternoon, James being victorious in the first two while Pete had the upper hand in the final encounter.
In yet another game in 28mm scale, with figures supplied by the contestants, Harry and Dan fought each other to a standstill in the Dark Ages using Gripping Beast's Saga rules. I am afraid the details I have on this engagement are not extensive, as far as I recall, Harry was leading an Irish warband and Dan a Welsh one and that Dan was the ultimate victor. If I have got this wrong, I will be happy to correct this description.
Tiller and Whipstaff - Naval Battles in the mid 17th Century
Gordon, eager to show off his newly acquired Barry Hilton range of 17th Century naval vessels (and why not, they do look rather lovely and he'd done a great job on the painting and rigging), challenged Admiral Paul to a game set in choppy northern waters. Gordon was in charge of the Dutch fleet while Paul commanded the Swedish navy. The rules used were Tiller and Whipstaff, originally published by Rod Langton around 2015. During the battle the Swedes lost a frigate and their large flagship took many hits but was able to survive. The result was inconclusive as the Swedish ships left the scene before a decisive blow could be struck by the Dutch. It was a first time try-out of the rules and the players thought that they were simple and effective and gave an excellent game.
Maurice, Seven Years War
Secreted away in the back room, Neil and Bryan indulged themselves with a quiet game of the ever popular Maurice by Sam Mustafa. It was an imaginary battle between a French army led by Neil and a British/Hanoverian force under Bryan's control. The scale was 10mm, all figures and terrain supplied by Neil. The British were attacking and their objective was to seize and hold a centrally positioned crossroads. However, the French took the initiative on their right, advancing towards the village and battering away at the garrison within to little effect. Meanwhile the British occupied the objective and managed to break two French regiments. It was the British who had the upper hand when the game came to an end without a result.
Oathmark Battles of the Lost Ages
Andy R and Tom P rekindled their rivalry in the world of goblins, elves and their like with another campaign game of Oathmark, Osprey's set of fantasy rules. Tom was the leader of an Undead army that consisted of the reanimated bodies of the fallen from the Battle of Bryn Glas (I'm sure I stayed at a guesthouse in north Wales with that name a few years ago). Andy R commanded a Dwarf army from the Kingdom of Morgydden. The very distinctive figures were in 28mm, each player supplying his own force. I will refrain from giving an account of the action as I'm sure my limited descriptive skills would fail to do it justice.
'O' Group in the Desert
Patrols in the Sudan
My thanks to Darren for providing information for the following account: -
Club Sunday Games 15th August 2021
A busy Sunday at St Ambrose Parish Hall saw 23 gamers playing seven games. There were new members, many old friends returning after a long absence and visits from Paul and Wynn just to say hello. Brief accounts of the action follow: -
18th Century Sharp Practice - the American War of Independence
A fine looking game in 28mm using Ian's figures and terrain featured Andy R and Tim jointly commanding the Redcoats and Andy J and Doug as the Rebel captains. Ian acted as umpire and devised the scenario, which involved the British force attempting to escort a pay-wagon from one end of the table to the other and also preventing the troublesome Yankees from helping themselves to the contents. The game seems to have been a fairly cautious affair with both sides content to stay at long range and inflict modest casualties on each other rather than employing reckless charges and indulging in Fisticuffs. The pay-wagon did not make much progress down the track but neither did the Rebels come close to capturing it.
Chain of Command in NW Europe
Another great table for this 15mm game with figures and scenery from Vlad's collection. Many of the buildings on display had been 3D printed and looked very impressive. The game itself saw Vlad in charge of a US rifle platoon with armoured support matched against a German Panzer Grenadier unit commanded by Mase. The object of the game was to capture and hold the crossroads in the centre of the battlefield but, because of Mase's relative inexperience with the rules, the contest was chiefly designed as a training/demonstration exercise. Vlad's self-confessed other motive was to convince his opponent that this scale was the way to go for Chain of Command, a task I am sure he performed with evangelical zeal.
AK47 (1) - somewhere in the Dark Continent
The first of two games of AK47 Republic played this afternoon, this one used the second edition of the rules, published in 2009. The rules cover warlord-led, third world conflicts from the 1950's to the 1980's, so there is plenty of scope for players to create their own factions, tribes and insurgencies. This game, played in 15mm scale saw Pete in command of a Malawian type faction battling against a group of right-wing, neo-Nazi extremists led by a charismatic Eugene Terre'Blanche like figure (Darren). Pete's forces had the better of it in the early and middle stages of the game and at one point expressed confidence that victory was within his grasp. However, there was a reversal of fortune towards the climax of the battle and Darren was able to equalise the position.
AK47 (2) - somewhere else in the Dark Continent
The second AK47 game used the first edition of the rules, this set being produced back in 2006. Here, Andy W played the role of the leader of a fanatical religious order (the religion was not specified) and Ross and Billy were joint commanders of an opposing tribal faction. Both sides were using Soviet equipment of varying vintages and the models and figures were all in 15mm. It appears that Billy's legendary dice-rolling abilities deserted him in this game and his force was given a thorough beating. Despite this, however, it was he and Ross who ran out the ultimate winners and Andy was forced to convert to the victorious tribe's preferred method of worship.
To The Strongest in 15mm
Harry's purpose built terrain board made another appearance at the club for this imaginary battle set in the period described by the Greek historian Polybius in his book "The Histories". Chas was the leader of a Roman Republican army while Harry was commanding troops mustered by the Late Seleucid Empire. The eastern army was comprised mainly of phalangites with supporting cavalry and elephants while the Romans deployed in their customary three line formation of hastati, principes and triarii. The battle was a closely fought engagement but it was the Seleucids that eventually emerged victorious, rather contrary to historical precedent.
Sci-Fi Action in Core Space
Tom's impressive Core Space set up was again on display as he and Matt (welcome back Matt) indulged in more futuristic fun in 28mm. An interesting feature of this game is that Tom and Matt were collaborating against an opponent that has its own "AI" built into the game. The enemy is known as The Purge, a name which always makes me wonder what would happen to an enemy that was unfortunate enough to fall into their hands. The object of the game was for Matt and Tom's intrepid band to make their way from one end of the complex to the other, where their vehicle was waiting for them (it's in the right-hand corner of the accompanying photograph). Unfortunately, I have no information on how many of them made it.
'O' Group in Northern France 1944
Graham acted as the referee for this encounter, set in the Normandy area, between an attacking British battalion with substantial armoured support pitted against a weaker force of German defenders. Dave C and Dave B were in charge of the Brits, Neil and Peet (playing his first game with these rules) were in joint command of the Germans. The scale was 10mm and Neil provided the figures and terrain. The Germans suffered the loss of one platoon after the initial British bombardment and also had their deployment restricted for three turns. An early German ambush caused some irritation to the advancing British but this was swiftly dealt with and the attack moved forward until coming up against increasing enemy resistance as more units were deployed on the table. Both sides inflicted one FUBAR but by the end of the afternoon the British had not been able to secure either of their objectives. Graham declared the result as a draw.
Club Sunday Games 1st August 2021
Five games were played and 13 members present at an open session in Holt Village Hall. My thanks to all those players who contributed to these reports, who I have credited below.
Roman Civil War with Hail Caesar rules
I am grateful to Stephen for the following account and also for the photograph that illustrates the action
The Roman forces of legate Stephanus faced the renegade Roman Harrius with his German allies using Hail Caesar rules and 28mm figures. Harrius fielded two divisions of veteran legionaries and a division of Germans. Stephanus had more but less elite Romans, and a smattering of Gallic and Numidian foederati (commanded by Tribune Billius).
The Battle of Raab, 14th June 1809 - a re-fight using Blucher
In this game in 6mm scale, Bryan was the Austrian commander (Archduke John) and Neil was the French general (Eugene de Beauharnais). The scenario came from the the excellent series of Blucher adaptations created by The Old Meldrum Wargames Group . The French, who were attacking, had a decided advantage in troop quantity and quality but the Austrians had a strong defensive position behind a stream and had garrisons in two built-up areas, both of which were French objectives.
Early French cavalry probes on the right were repulsed by the Austrian horse while the French and Italian infantry in the centre and on the left made a ponderous advance over difficult terrain. Little progress was made by the attackers but French reinforcements became available after eight turns and were thrown into the assault. Two Austrian brigades were broken but the garrisoned areas remained resolute and, as darkness fell, Eugene had failed to seize any of the objectives. A fine defence by the Austrians in a reversal of the actual historical result.
The Napoleonic Era - play-testing the latest set of "Twilight" rules
Andy W and Nick conducted a series of play-test games of Nick's Napoleonic rules (Twilight of the Emperor), which are currently in development. Three scenarios were attempted during the course of the afternoon, the results deemed immaterial due to the exploratory nature of the contests. We had also better draw a veil over the somewhat anachronistic nature of the figures used in the game. No date has yet been set for publication of the rules but hopefully they will become widely available in the not too distant future.
Infamy, Infamy! in 28mm
Ian provided the following account, for which many thanks
This game saw an Imperial Roman detachment seeking to 'torch' a local settlement somewhere in Germania. Initial Scouting by the Romans only had a limited success at negating the enemies potential Ambush Points. Still, the Legionnaires made steady progress towards their objective screened by their Auxiliaries & Cavalry.
'O' Group - 8th Army vs Afrika Korps
My thanks to Pete who provided the account below
Graham and I had an interesting game of O Group featuring an encounter battle between a Commonwealth battalion with some Stuart light tanks and AT guns and a German battalion with a couple of Pz IIIs.
Club Sunday Game Reports 25th July 2021
A welcome return of unrestricted gaming saw twenty members back at St Ambrose Parish Hall - our first such session since September last year. Five games were played, unfortunately I only have information on three of them. I am grateful to Stephen, Andy J, Vlad, Nick, Ian and Mase for the pictures and accounts that follow: -
Chain of Command 1 - the Spanish Civil War
Stephen, Gordon, Peet and Andy J clashed at SCW Chain of Command. Gordon being the evil Fascist Italian invaders, Peet his Carlist allies and Stephen and Andy J the noble Anarchist resistance (big Chain of Command with two platoons on each side).
The scenario was attack on a defended objective. The Italians took a flamethrowing tank as support, together with a high quality anti tank gun. The Carlists took a substantial artillery piece and a mortar bombardment. The Anarchists went for multiple antiquated heavy and medium machine guns that dated back to the Mexican Revolution, an armoured car and a bargain basement anti tank gun.
American Civil War with Fire and Fury Rules
The Battle of Saint Ambrose Road
The battle saw two Union Corps under Charles S and Vlad face a single Confederate Corps of 3 Divisions under Billy and the Wharton brothers - Andrew and Dan. The two sides had equal numbers but the Confederates had the edge in quality. Therefore the Union forces took up a defensive position to resist the anticipated onslaught. This was not long coming and fell heavily, particularly on the Union Left under Vlad. On the Union Right both sides had taken losses but Charles S had traded space for time and hung on. Unfortunately on the Union Left things were not going so well. The attacking Confederate forces had take a lot of losses but the Union Left couldn't exploit this and their situation rapidly deteriorated. General Vlad had by this time richly earned the sarcastic title of 'Lucky' Vlad as he rolled a succession of poor dice rolls. With the Union Left collapsing it was time for them to withdraw to fight another day. The Confederates were victorious but exhausted by the tough fight and were glad to let them go.
Many of the players were new to the rules or with limited previous experience. It was a great game using the original Fire & Fury rules and I think enjoyed by all. Even 'Lucky' Vlad whose dice only rolled high all day when he lent them to his opponent
Chain of Command 2 - Soviets vs Germans
In summary, this game saw Andy R and Mase attacking with Russians through a lightly wooded area to attack a farm held by the Germans under the Command of Dave B and Andras. Each player had their own platoon and armoured support was in the guise of a T34/85 and a Marder respectively. The Russian pre-game barrage seemed to have little effect on the Germans much to the former's chagrin!
However, after a very 'measured' attack approach (we decided that the platoon must have been the Moscow Chess Society membership), the T34 blew up the Marder in spectacular fashion and the fate of the Germans became sealed from that point. The Russians came out with a comfortable win, with the German Force Morale collapsing to a point where effective command and control became almost impossible.
Club Sunday Game Reports 18th July
There were games at Holt Heath and Neil's house this Sunday. I am grateful to Andy J for the account of the 'O' Group Western Desert game, regrettably there were no photographs taken. An Ancients game also took place at Holt but this is shrouded in such impenetrable secrecy that I have been unable to gather any details.
'O' Group 1 - NW Europe 1944
Played at Neil's house on a swelteringly hot afternoon, this game was set in North Europe 1944 and featured an attacking British battalion, commanded by Ian and Andy R, taking on German defenders led by Jon and Neil (10mm figures). The objectives for the attackers were to capture two built up areas and reach the river at the rear of the enemy positions. Both sides fielded a standard three-company infantry force, the Brits being supported by a three-troop Churchill squadron, the Wehrmacht a reduced strength platoon of Panzer IV's.
The Germans came out of the deployment phase very lightly, suffering no casualties and only being interdicted for one turn. The British attack began with early deployment of tanks but Andy was severely hampered by the tendency of his armoured recce troop to get bogged down in heavy ground. The major effort was made on the British left but the Germans proved to be resolute defenders and the attack soon ran out of steam. When time was called the British force had failed to secure any objectives and neither side had been able to inflict a FUBAR on the other.
All involved in this game had played at least once before and thus had familiarity with the basic concepts but there was still plenty of scope for discussion and confusion over the rules. Another feature of this game seems to be the virtual impossibility of bringing a scenario to a conclusion in an afternoon's play. Still, everybody enjoyed it and all thought that it was worth persevering with the rules as the potential for a good game is definitely there.
'O' Group 2 - the Western Desert 1942
Billy and Andy J played Afrika Korps against Dave C and Pete playing 8th Army in the desert in about 1942 in a 10mm game of "O Group". Each side had 21 points each - DAK used attached MMG's and A/T guns, 8th army had 2 light tanks and some kind of "technical" - a gun mounted on the back of a truck, and there were 4 companies of infantry on both sides.
The DAK forces got of to a very slow start after throwing 5 1's on their opening command dice (good job it wasn't attack vs defence, we would have lost quite a few bases to "interdiction"). Dave and Andy fought over fairly open terrain and Andy managed to destroy a couple of Dave's sections leaving Andy with 2 sections suppressed and 3 sections on 2 shock. Billy and Pete fought over a built up area with similar results, but Pete's men were pushed out of the Built Up Area and intermingled with their support units presenting a very juicy target for the British mortars.
The game had to stop at this stage as it was 18:00hrs. DAK had lost 5 bases but 8th Army were on 9 so it was thought that the British would probably reach 12 during the next turn, whilst the DAK would most likely have survived. Andy's conclusion was "...all agreed it was a great game, and the experience can only get better as we learn the rules and play more quickly. Playing in the desert meant lots of people got caught in the open, so the game probably went faster than with equivalent forces in "European" terrain - no bad thing when we're still a bit slow with the rules".
Club Games 11th July
Two locations were in play for this Sunday's contests, Holt Village Hall and Neil's house. My thanks go to Darren for the after-action report on the AK47 game and to Richard for the pictures and the text of the Holt Heath Chain of Command game.
Chain of Command - a delaying action on the Eastern Front
Jon and Neil met at the latter's house to play a 28mm skirmish game set on the Russian Front circa the spring of 1943. Neil commanded the Russian attackers and Jon led the German platoon entrusted with delaying the Soviet advance for as long as possible. Despite the Russians enjoying an advantage in men and material, the game was a very closely fought affair. The Germans were able to repulse consecutive close assaults by two Russian squads but failed to dispose of the armoured threat of a T34 despite making several attempts with hand-held anti-tank weapons. Heavy officer casualties saw both sides suffer significant reductions in Force Morale but it was the Red Army that ran out of steam first and retired to lick its wounds.
AK47 - the Battle of Mboto Gorge
This game was played at Holt Village Hall, the players were Andy W, Maurice, Nick and Darren and the rules used were AK47. As usual, Darren has produced a detailed and entertaining report, the account of which can be found here.
Chain of Command 2 - US vs Germans in the west
James and Richard (making his first visit to Holt Heath) indulged in a couple of games of Chain of Command.
Game one featured US infantry vs German Volksgrenadiers. A very fast paced attack from the Germans as they managed to have the lucky dice and getting 5 phases in a row and were able to quickly move into close range and target squads with full attacks, getting an average 10+ hits. This wiped out the squads and forced them back, taking NCO and senior leader wounds. And from there the morale dropped, jump off points were lost and forced the US morale down to zero.
Game two was the Germans trying to take control of the road.
Club Games 22nd-27th June
Neil was the host for the 'O' Group game, Tom's house was the venue for the AK47 and Chain of Command games. Tom provided the images and text for the two games he hosted, for which I send grateful thanks.
'O' Group in 10mm - another British offensive in Normandy
Hostilities recommenced at Neil's house with the British launching another attack against stubborn German adversaries. Dan and Terry were in charge of the British forces, Pete and Jon were the German commanders and Neil umpired the contest. The British infantry had the support of a three-troop heavy tank squadron (Churchills) and a tank reconnaissance unit, the Germans had a couple of Panzer IV sections to stiffen their defence. The British objective was to take at least two built-up areas and get a unit over the railway line that ran across the German baseline.
The Germans lost an infantry platoon in the pre-game bombardment and also had to endure restrictions on deployment for the first two turns. The British advanced briskly on both wings (two companies up) with armoured support on the right. Intense pressure was brought to bear on the three BUAs on the German left and the attackers inflicted heavy losses. However, as the Germans fed in reinforcements and deployed their armour, the situation stabilised (German mortar fire was particularly effective). The Brits also failed to make significant progress on the other flank. Both sides suffered two FUBARS and the result was in the balance when, alas, we again ran out of time. Nonetheless, it was an exciting, enjoyable game and we got closer to a decision than in any previous scenario.
AK47 - modern warfare in an unnamed colony
This AK47 game was played earlier in the week and, Tom and Karl were the opposing commanders.
Chain of Command - WWII Germans vs U.S.
There were two games played during the day, both featured Tom and Gary as the players. The first contest was Option 2 in the rule book – a probe with the Germans attacking.
20th June 2021
Two locations were in use for this Club Sunday, Holt Heath and Neil's house in Kidderminster.
Chain of Command - U.S. vs Germans in NW Europe
This game was held at Neil's house in Kidderminster. A U.S. platoon commanded by Terry had the objective of attacking German troops led by Neil and force them to retire from the field. The scale was 28mm and all figures and terrain were provided by the host. The Americans made a promising start, breaking one German squad and bringing on reinforcements to exploit their advantage. However, the remaining German infantry established themselves in strong defensive positions giving hard cover and the GI's were unable to shift them. Neither side achieved the required victory conditions by the end of the game.
American Civil War in 6mm
I am indebted in Nick for the following account. Unfortunately, I was unable to obtain photos of the actual game so I have been forced to use stock images.
This game was a game of 6mm ACW using the Fire & Fury rules. It was a fictional battle set a few days before the battle of Gettysburg 1863. So it featured 2 US Corps from that battle facing 1 much larger CS Corps. Gordon and Daniel commanded one of the US Corps each and Charles S commanded the CS Corps. 1/3rd of each of the Corps was arriving as reinforcements during the game and I (Nick) would command the CS reinforcements when they arrived.
The Union troops took up a defensive line blocking the Confederate advance towards Gettysburg. The Confederates sent two strong forces forward to attack the waiting Federal troops. On the Confederate left the troops facing Gordon's V Corps struggled to deploy and arrived piecemeal. Even worse they also faced a strong defensive line and they were soon in trouble. On the right the Confederates had more luck. They also faced a strong defensive position but they managed to dislodge a couple of Union units in the centre. Things were looking grim for Daniel who commanded XI Corps on this flank but his forces reorganised and fought on.
At this point the reinforcements arrived. The Confederate left was in a lot of trouble by now and the right was battered. The initial Union forces were also damaged but probably overall in a better state than their opponents. In the final stages of the game the Union forces rushed to support their weakened compatriots and arrived before the Confederate reinforcements could make their presence felt. This was the final straw for the Confederates and so it was time for them to withdraw, covered by their fresh troops. So a narrow victory for the Union but a great game which could have gone either way.
13th June 2021
We were unable to secure Holt Heath for the day (it was double-booked) so the only game to report on is the one that took place at Neil's house in Kidderminster.
'O' Group - a Normandy scenario in 10mm
This contest took place at Neil's house and featured Bryan and Terry as the attacking British commanders and Andy J and Neil as the German defenders. The scenario was loosely based on the opening day of Operation Epsom, June 1944, focusing on the assault made by 6th Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers against the 26th Panzer Grenadier Regiment occupying the adjacent villages of St Mauvieu and Le Perron. All the figures (10mm scale) and terrain were supplied by Neil.
The battle was a very cagey affair, the British attackers reluctant to deploy infantry onto the field until their patrol markers were in an advantageous position, the Germans content to drive off enemy patrols by fire. However, the British armoured component made its presence felt on the right and, although losing one Churchill section, were able to occupy one of the villages and the inflict one FUBAR on the Germans. However, after four hours of gaming there was no prospect of an imminent result and the game ended inconclusively. There was some discussion about whether this was because of the inexperience of the players or the complexity of the rules. Time will tell.
6th June 2021
Games took place in several locations over the weekend and I am grateful to Tom, Pete, Bill, Ian and Richard for the contributions below.
Dark Age combat using Saga rules
Holt Heath Village Hall was the venue for this Dark Ages game, Pete, Dan, Mase and Charles S were the players taking part. The well known SAGA rules were utilised and 28mm figures were in play on the battlefield. In terms of the forces involved it was a case of Vikings and Anglo-Danes facing Welsh and Anglo Saxons
The game began with the Welsh crowding the Vikings, the Anglo-Saxons advancing across the table and the Anglo-Danes shooting out of the woods.
The Vikings, unable to make any contact with mounted troops who could move, shoot and then evade without any restrictions or penalty, withdrew from the field.
Chain of Command 1, a battle in Normandy
This game took place at Neil's house. Terry was the British commander and new member Richard was in charge of the German forces. Neil umpired the game and provided guidance on the rules to Richard who was playing his first game of Chain of Command. The 28mm figures and terrain were provided by Neil. The scenario chosen was 'the Probe' and the British had the task of advancing, finding and destroying the opposition.
The contest was closely fought, the German troops resisting stoutly against more numerous Allied resources. Although possessing greater Force Morale points at the end of the game, the Germans had two sections pinned, were unable to offer serious resistance and so retired from the field.
Chain of Command 2, an Eastern Front skirmish
A game played at Holt Heath with 28mm figures in which James fielded a platoon of late war Volksgrenadiers, whereas Bill fielded a platoon of Russians (Soviet Naval Troops). The probe was conducted over the road from Minsk to Berlin, probably 1944 or later and the battle was fought over a rural terrain without roads or armour. There was very little hard cover and what there was became superfluous to the combat.
James had an adjutant and Bill had an explosive charge for support. The brief was ‘The Probe’ and James had better luck with the dice on Force Morale than Bill, the Germans achieving nine points, the Russians seven.
The game had to finish by 16:30 and within the restraint of the game neither side had won, or lost at the designated time. James had a higher FM than Bill at the end of the game, but neither of the sides had been pushed below FM3. It was a bloody game and many posthumous medals were awarded on both sides. It was, as they say ‘fast and furious’.
'O' Group in 15mm
Ian and Graham used the Club Day to play an 'O' Group game on Ian's wargames table. The game was played using 15mm figures and terrain from Ian's collection (actually part of his 1946 Project). It was more of a demonstration of the rule nuances by Graham than any competitive contest, so it is not possible to give a full after action report. Both players had a lot of fun though.
Ian expressed his enthusiasm for this very recently published set of rules, he is really starting to like them.
Wild West Gunfight
Tom and Karl fought this frontier town skirmish at Tom's place using his own figures and great-looking scenery. In Tom's words, this was a "highly amusing gunfight with two professional gunfighters quickly finishing off the plebs then spending several turns shooting at each other for several turns at close range without hitting anything".
30th May 2021
Two games were played at Holt and I am indebted to Darren for the account of the AWI tussle and to Steven for the Ancients game. One further game was played in Kidderminster at Neil's place where new member Mark fought his first table-top historical battle (don't worry, he survived). Please read on for more details.
Loose Files and American Scramble - an American War of Independence battle
Nick, Andy W, Darren and Charles M took part in this 18th Century encounter using Andy Callan's rules which first saw the light of day in Wargames Illustrated in 1987.
Darren was kind enough to provide a detailed account of the action which deserves to be placed in the After Action Reports section of this site, so I have done so - you can find it here.
Sharp Practice - a 28mm Napoleonic skirmish between Prussians and French
This game took place at Neil's house, Bryan commanding the French forces (the figures being from his own collection) and new member Mark, playing his first game, was the Prussian officer. A sixty point force for each side was agreed upon but when the forces were deployed it looked like the Frenchies had twice as many troops and twice as many leaders than the poor Prussians (memo to self - speak to Lardies about points values).
Nonetheless, the Prussians gave a spirited account of themselves and, although under severe pressure, all units were still on the table when the game ended. An honourable draw was a just result.
Roman vs Roman conflict using Tactica Rules
23rd May 2021
After a delay of just over six months, face to face gaming at last recommenced at two locations on an unseasonably wet and cold Sunday afternoon. Two games took place at Holt Village Hall and Neil hosted a game at his house in Kidderminster. Here are reports on two of the games, my thanks go to Harry for the account of his Ancients battle, and also for the images.
'O' Group - battalion sized action in late WWII Western Europe
This game took place at Neil's house in Kidderminster and featured Dan and Nick commanding the British force and Bryan and Andy J the German opposition. The scale was 10mm and we were playing (the majority for the first time) the new 'O' Group rules devised by Dave Brown and published by Reisswitz Press. Each side fielded an infantry battalion with armoured support and off-table mortars. The British were the attacking force but their pre-game bombardment failed to inflict any casualties on the enemy.
As all the players were largely unfamiliar with the rules, progress was slow and the game ended without a clear result. However, the Germans had had slightly the better of it, inflicting one "FUBAR" on the British and knocking out a Sherman. Everybody agreed that the rules worked well and gave an enjoyable game. I'm sure that we'll be seeing many more games of 'O' Group played at the club in the future.