Friday, October 28, 2011

Continuation War - Karelia 1941 near Viipuri

This weeks game that I played at the SESWC on Thursday evening was a 20mm World War II action using the Rapidfire rules.  Colin Jack and I provided the troops. I worked out a fictional scenario set in the Continuation War so that Colin could use his Finnish troops. Here is the player briefing and OB.
Soviet command watches the  impressive T28s roll forward

Northern column with the less impressive T26s
On 27 August as part of their offensive in Karelia Finish troops had cut the road and rail links between the city of Viipuri and Leningrad trapping 3 Soviet divisions in Viipuri. The Finish high command did not want to undertake a major struggle for Viipuri and diverted troops to move south towards the 1939 frontier. Sensing that the ring around Viipuri had been weakened on 29 August Leningrad Front launched a major counterattack to free the units units trapped in Viipuri.

Finish Objective is to prevent Soviet units exiting the table to the north.

Soviet Objective is to break thru the Finish defences and exit motorised units to Viipuri.

Finish OB
2 infantry battalions (veteran) on table deployed each:
HQ: 5 figures incl ATR
Coy: 8 figures
Coy: 8 figures
Coy: 8 figures
Supp: Mg, Mtr & 6 crew
AT coy: ATG & 3 crew

Tank battalion (regular) in reserve comprising
Coy: T28, T26, 6 Tonner
Coy: 3 T26

Finns have complete air superiority

Map of terrain and Soviet deployment - table was 8ft by 6ft
314th Motor Rifle Regt
3 Lorried Btns (regular) ea of:
HQ: 5 figures
Coy: 8 figures
Coy: 8 figures
Coy: 8 figures
Supp: Mg, Mtr & 6 crew

Plus regt support
Art coy: 76mm inf gun, 3 crew & tow
AT coy: 45mm at gun, 3 crew & tow
AA Coy: Qd AAMG truck

56th Provisional Tank Regt (poor)
Btn: 2 T28, T34
Btn: 3 T26B, BA10
Btn: 3 T37/38

Baltic Red Banner air fleet has promised to support this effort.

In the swampy terrain of Karelia all the vehicles are road bound except the Soviet’s T34 and T37/T38 amphibians. In addition the T37/38s could cross the swampy terrain as bad going. The T34 had to dice for breakdown each time it moved - on a 1 it would break down and be abandoned.

How the game played
In the game Colin Jack and Bart Zynda commanded the defending Finns whilst Hugh Wilson and Dougie Trail commanded the Soviet attackers. I umpired and acted as war photographer.

Main Soviet effort - first T28 suffers light damage 

The Soviets advanced with their T28/T34 Btn and an infantry battalion down the southern route with the T26 coy on the northern route each supported by a dismounted infantry battalion. The T37/T38s advanced in the swampy terrain on the far southern flank.

Unexpected - amphibious tanks take to the swamps

They Soviets came under fire from the hidden Finnish AT guns engaging them as they slowly moved forward. The Finns then committed their armour reserve - all the tanks in the Finnish Army - down both routes. Thus the game developed into a tank duel.

The Finnish T26 coy was quickly reduced to 1 runner under the fire of the T28s and T34. The T28s helped their supporting infantry unit occupy a small hamlet.

On the other flank the Finns bested the soviet T26s knocking out 3 of them but the unit held. In addition the Soviet infantry then came under strafing attack from a Finnish Brewster Buffalo. It caused casualties on the Soviet infantry but eventually it was driven of by the lorry mounted quad AA mg. The Red Banner Baltic Fleet airforce did not put in an appearance as I had left them at home.
Finnish airpower - below T26s burn on the highway

Captured T28 explodes

The T34 was moving to support the T26s when its gearbox failed and it had to be abandoned.

However the T28s knocked out the captured T28 and it’s loss caused that Finnish tank company to flee. With the T28s and their infantry doing well and the reserve motor battalion moving up in support it looked like a Soviet victory.

An enjoyable game.

Link to flickr photoset

Friday, October 7, 2011

Busy week - Gitschin 1866, AWI and SKELP 2011...

This week has been a busy time for games.

Patriot Continentals open fire...
 On Tuesday I played an 28mm Black Powder AWI game at home. The game was basically a reduced version of Camden played to introduce the rules to Dave Paterson and Mark Taylor. The British commanded by Dave had a regular brigade, loyalist brigade and a cavalry brigade of 2 small units of British legion cavalry. The Patriots commanded by Mark had a continental brigade, a militia brigade and small mixed brigade of riflemen and cavalry.
British regulars brek their opponents thru volley fire...
The Patriots took the offensive with their continentals and the mixed brigade but were worsted in a long struggle by the regulars and the legion cavalry. All 3 units of the continentals broke. However the militia defending a fence line got the better of the laylists breaking 1 unit and forcing the other to retire. At the end of the game only 2 of the surviving patriot units were not shaken. It was a rare British victory. As it was a starter game for Dave and mark we played the rules using the standard sequence of play not the revised one from & Blenheim I have used in recent games.

Austrian centre...
On Thursday at Hugh Wilson's I took part in a test game of Gerry Henry's latest large scale 1866 game. It was a refight of the Seven Weeks War Battle of Gitschin (or Jicin) with 10mm fgures played over a 10ft by 5 ft table. Gerry had once again produced very detailed contoured terrain. All the trees were individually inserted into the terrain so it took a lot of effort from Gerry to set up in advance. We were again testing the 1866 version of the Piquet rules. With the card driven initiative and order system you can get very variable levels of activity for each side. The Austrians got the run of the cards at the beginning and pounded the Prussians (mainly my command) with very effective fire. Later on we got the run of the cards and Colin Jack commanding the Prussian flank march made good use of the Schnellfeuer card! An enjoyable game and it looked great. My thanks to Gerry.

Prussian flank march unfolds...

Here is the link to Gitschin photos on my FlickR site

At last my command reaches the ridge..

Update - Photos from SKELP 2011 held this weekend in Forfar staged by Angus Wargames Club. Our Canadian Arctic 1944 game won best PP game and Best game with a Naval combined Ops theme!

Our Arctic PP game - crashed Nazi disk at this end...

Poster says it all......

RAF Leuchars Great Escape PP Game - with music....

Independent Wargamers Chinese Siege - great buildings..

Highest score of Penguins inspected by leader!!!!!

My last post for 2 weeks - my own great escape on vacation....