Friday, April 22, 2011

This week - WWII action

This weeks game that I played at the SESWC on Thursday evening was a 20mm World War II action using the Rapidfire rules.

Recce troops sweeping forward

Colin Jack and I provided the troops. Colin devised the scenario - a fictional action set in the early days of Operation White. A motorised German force advancing to cut the Polish corridor having to take a small Polish town. The German force consisted of an advance guard of a motorcycle battalion supported by 2 companies of armoured cars and a main body of a tank battalion with a motorised infantry battalion. The Polish defenders had an infantry battalion, 2 squadrons of cavalry, armoured support comprised a company of TKS tankettes and a company of 7TP tanks.

In the game Hugh Wilson and I commanded the attacking Germans whilst Colin Jack and Dave Pearson commanded the Polish defenders.The German objective was to clear the town and cut the Polish corridor.

The surprisingly resilient Polsi tankettes
The Germans attacked with their MC troops advancing straight down the road to the town led by their armoured cars. They gained an early success driving the Polish tankettes from their flanking position. Unfortunately the armoured cars then suffered return hits from the Polish defenders and both units retired to cover.

PZIIs and MC troops move to outflank the defences
The German then developed an armoured attack with a company of Panzer IIs and a company of  PZ 38Ts. They engaged the 7TPs with a marked lack of success the Panzer II unit routing after 2 vehicles suffered heavy damage and the PZ 38Ts also failed their morale and retired to cover. A surprise charge by the Polish cavalry on a deployed AT gun was beaten off - another rare German success.

PZ 38Ts advance past burning armoured cars
To add to their misery the German column then came under air attack from a Polish reconnaissance aircaft. Due to logistical problems the Luftwaffe did not put in an appearance. A company of Panzer IVs then drove down the road but also suffered from the Polish fire and retired to cover. With this latest morale failure - the German armour having tested 6 times and failing 5 of the tests - the German players called it a day and withdrew.
Bold Polish air attack on confused German column

Friday, April 15, 2011

This week's game....

This weeks game that I played at the SESWC on Thursday evening was a 20mm Spanish Civil War action using Chris Peers Contemptible Little Armies rules.  Apologies as I forgot to take my camera to the game.

Colin Jack and I provided the troops. I devised the scenario based on an action at the Somosierra Pass in the Sierra de Guadarrama on July 25, 1936. To spice up the game I added some more equipment to the forces giving the Nationalists armoured cars and the Republicans supporting FT17 tanks.

This important pass to the north of Madrid had changed hands several times already in the first days of the civil war. On July 21st, Republican troops had retaken the pass in a wild charge, throwing back a Nationalist counterattack with heavy losses. Frustrated in his attempt to capture Guadalajara, the Nationalist Colonel Garcia-Escámez was rerouted to the pass and ordered to lead his regular army troops, bolstered by Navarese Carlist Requetés and Falange volunteers to retake it from the Republic. If the pass could be taken, the stalemate at the pass of Alto de León would be broken and Madrid might fall.

In the game Hugh Wilson and Dave Cooper commanded the attacking Nationalists (rebels) whilst Colin Jack and I commanded the troops of the Republic (loyalists). The Nationalist objective was to clear the pass.

Anarchist poster

The Nationalists attacked with their regulars advancing in the centre supported by the armoured cars, their best troops the Carlists advancing on the right wing supported by the artillery battery moving onto the heights and the Falangists assaulting the major heights facing them on the right. The Republicans deployed with 4 companies in the front line supported closely by Mgs and their one artillery piece.

The Carlist attack faltered very quickly under effective mg fire but they managed to get the artillery battery into action on the heights were it inflicted heavy casualties on the militia facing them.

In the centre the Nationalist regulars became bogged own in a fight with the 5th Regt company holding a village. Even the republican airforce put in an appearance by straffing the regulars. Their supporting armoured cars advanced beyond the village but were quickly despatched by the republican FT17s which had crawled into the fight.

FT-17s in the SCW including without unditching tail
Only on their right did the Nationalists break through. There the Falangists scaled the heights
destroying the 5th Regt company guarding them and then swept on outflanking and overrunning the Republican artillery and Mg on the heights.

That success probably made the game a draw as everywhere else the Nationalists had suffered sufficient losses that we could bring on an additional 3 companies of reserves by recycling their casualties. Fun game with lots of moves but I think the game showed that we need to tailor the rules more for the SCW by adding some specific SCW factors into the morale system e.g. the morale effect on militia of being under artillery fire.

Republican poster

The order of battle is given belowNationalist Forces:Elements of the 6th División comprising:
Regular battalion of the 12th Brigada Montaña
3 coys of 16 figures
MMG & 3 crew

Battalion of Regimiento de América (Carlist Requetés) FEROCIOUS
2 coys of 16 figures
MG coy: MMG & 3 crew

Falangists battalion (POOR)
2 coys of 16 figures

Art Btn: 2 75mm FG ea 4 crew and limber
Armoured support: 2 armoured cars

Republican forces:Battalion of 5th Regiment
3 coys of 16 figures
MMG & 3 crew

Milicianos de Madrid (POOR)
6 coys of 18 figures
MMG & 3 crewSupport
artillery coy: 75mm FG
armour: 3 FT-17 Mg armed
air cover : chance of a D501 fighter.


The Somosierra Pass was also the scene of a battle in November 1808 in the Peninsular War, when a French army under Napoleon I forced a passage through the Sierra de Guadarrama shielding Madrid. It is famous for the charge of the Polish Light Horse against the Spanish artillery batteries.

Friday, April 8, 2011

This week.....something different

This week’s game at the SESWC was something different.  Pirates!

The game was a follow up to last week at the club which I missed being on holiday in Spain   Colin Jack provided the models and we used Angus Konstam’s sea mat on the table.  The rules were the Legends of the High Seas by Tim Kulinski  and Rick Priestley.
Closing on the island with fearsome crew
Dave Cooper and I played the rescue the prisoner scenario.  My band of 13 pirates – 3 male heroes leading 10 female pirates – had to rescue a prisoner from Dave’s huge band of 19 pirates.  Luckily Dave was forced to split his band in 2 locations with the prisoner hidden at one of them.  My band sailed to the central island and landed unopposed by Dave’s 9 pirates.  We then engaged in a desperate swordfight were I cut down 8 of Dave’s crew – the survivor swimming to the village on the next island under a hail of pistol shots.  I found to my chagrin that the prisoner on the island was a decoy and sailed in pursuit to the village.   As I came close the boat came under heavy musket and pistol fire from the village.  After several exchanges and some lucky dicing I dealt with 2 of the ambushers and Dave’s band broke and fled…the true prisoner was rescued.  I had lost 6 of my band including my mate and an unsung hero.  My captain was left commanding a crew of 6 women.

Olivier's Xebec at anchor
On the other half of the table Colin Jack and Olivier Lepreux played out the steal a ship scenario.  A lack of muskets forced Colin’s cutting out party to storm the ship along a narrow wharf defended by Olivier with muskets, blunderbuss and pistols.  It proved a disaster for Colin who lost in a very one sided struggle….

I am not convinced that the rules which are derived from  the Legends of the West gun fighting rules really work for Pirates who are largely hand to hand fighters.  But I enjoyed the game.

Next week - 20mm SCW - still working on the scenario...