Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Everything's FUBAR! - FoW Vietnam AAR

Once again, a group event was held at 7th Dimension Games. This time, Gary had brought out his FoW Vietnam collection, replete with fully painted models and excellent terrain. With four players, two were assigned to each side with myself taking control of two NVA infantry companies.

The mission was to rescue the crew of a downed helicopter. The Free World objective was located in the top left corner, between the small patch of woods on the right side of the river, and the larger half-circle of woods. The NVA objective was behind those woods.

The NVA force was an Infantry Battalion (Fearless Trained) which consisted off:
Battalion HQ
x2 Infantry companies (with B41 rpg upgrades)
Recoilless Gun company
Anti-Air company
Local Forces company
x2 HMG nests

The US force was a Rifle Company (Confident Trained) which consisted of:
Company HQ
x2 Rifle Platoons
Armored Cavalry Platoon with
-Command M113
-x2 Scout Sections
-x3 Sheridans
Tank Platoon
Aeroweapons Platoon

The game started with a bang when the local forces appeared in ambuscade and opened up on one of the two American platoons that had been on patrol, following the small stream. The Americans didn't take much damage (especially since each infantry stand can take two 'wounds' before being removed) and they fired back. Their return fire was near as ineffectual, and only removed a single stand.

The NVA came on in force. One of the infantry companies was placed just within the woods behind the American objective, safe from enemy fire in the cover of the trees. The two HMGs revealed their positions, hosing the Americans in a shower of hot lead. These nests would be critical to the NVA, keeping the Americans from advancing their infantry towards the objective.

The second NVA infantry company came in behind the Americans, and began to chase after them. Several assaults occurred, and while none where decisive, the Americans became trapped between the advancing NVA infantry and the HMG nests.

Of course, with the large amount of defensive fire the Americans could still put out, the NVA had to fall back. By this point the Americans were down to only 1 platoon at near full strength. The second platoon had been reduced to a single team, and the Company commander was safe after a couple close calls.

The 2iC was in a much worse position, however. His team advanced and attempted to put a LAW into one of the nests, but failed to hit. He was then butchered by the local forces, their black clothing wet with sweat and blood.

The situation on turn 4. Unfortunately, it came would be another two turns before any of the American reinforcements would arrive. 

Knowing that American reserves would be arriving regardless of what was rolled next turn, the NVA infantry stopped their pursuit of the Americans and turned to face the incoming armor. Unfortauntely, because they moved, they were unable to dig in. Fingers were crossed.

The American arrived, with the Armored Cavalry rolling onto the table in full force. The amount of fire the M113's alone could put out was disgusting, and the Sheridans added their Beehive ammo (basically turning their cannons into giant shotguns) into the mix.

The result was a decimated company. While they managed to pass their morale tests (thank goodness for Fearless infantry), the NVA plan was in tatters, so we decided to pull the infantry from the table. Another passed morale test, and Charlie melted away into the trees...

Only to reappear further away, and in greater numbers again. This heralded the end of the game - it would take too long for the American armor to get to the objective before the NVA could take it, and the infantry couldn't make it either. The main problem came from the lack of reserves on the American side - the tanks and helicopters never made it onto the table, and they could have reigned terror on the NVA forces. 

It was a fun game, however. And while I'm not so interested in Vietnam, this definitely gets me interested in FoW set in the Cold War, which the group agrees we have a fantastic resource for that!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Panzerkompanie vs. Armoured Company - FoW AAR

Finally, a battle report! Sorry about the lack of a post last week to anyone who may actually be reading this and isn't a referral site bot. 

I decided that we needed a game to get back into FoW after a long absence, and in my own humble opinion FoW's best with a mid-point tank battle between tanks that are actually capable of do damage to each other. As such, I created a couple of lists in Easy Army (using the new Overlord book for the Allies and the older Fortress Europe for the Germans). They were:

Armoured Squadron, 4th (Confident Veteran)
HQ - 2 Shermans
Armoured Platoon - 2 , 1 Firefly
Armoured Platoon - 2 Shermans, 1 Firefly
Armoured Platoon - 2 Shermans, 1 Firefly
Armoured Regimental Recce Platoon - 3 Stuart Vs
Armoured Recce Platoon - 3 Cromwells (Confident Trained)

Panzerkompanie (Confident Trained)
Panzerkompanie HG - 2 Panzer IV
Panzer Platoon - 3 Panzer IV
Panzer Platoon - 3 Panzer IV
Panzer Platoon - 3 Panzer IV
Assault Gun Platoon - 2 StuG IV
Panzerspäh Patrol - Sd Kfz 234/2 (Puma)

Just from the lists, you can tell I was going with a semi-vanilla feel to ease us back in. I was glad I did so, as it had been awhile since we played - but I can say that the game went off without a hitch, with only a few glances to the rulebook.

We rolled up Encounter as the mission, and Curt choose to attack.

The table. Curt futilely tries to get the attention of one of the dogs. 

As we both started with only two platoons on the table, our opening turns were a game of move and countermove.

My 2ic takes a gander down a long firing lane.

What's the only way to counter an attack from cover?

Get stuck up in 'em!

My 2ic snuck into the field in an attempt to flank the British tanks. Poor dice rolls on both sides meant no casualties for the first few turns.

My company commander also tried to sneak around the British flank.

One of the defending Shermans was hit and burst into flames - first blood to the Germans!

Curt started getting reinforcements on Turn 4, at the top right of the table.

The fighting intensified as reinforcements began to arrive for both sides.

The platoon commander for one of the Panzer IV platoons retreated off the table after the rest of his platoon was destroyed.

Thankfully, a trio of Pumas arrived to cover the vulnerable objective.

The 2ic, still moving around the side, suddenly found himself swarmed by Stuarts!

Even at close range, however, the Stuart's tiny gun couldn't damage the Panzer IV, and the 2ic moved to attack his British counterpart.

The real fighting was on the right. With three platoons lost over the course of the game, Curt was forced to make a Company morale check, which he failed. The British retreat!

It was a fun game. The Germans are one of my various projects to get painted up during the summer, right after my Saga and French-Indian War miniatures. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Go With the Flow - Beer and Pretzels Ironclads AAR

Having an interest in both ACW and naval warfare, I was definitely interested when Gary (one of the guys who frequents 7th Dimension Games) announced he would be running a game of Beer and Pretzels Ironclads. He and a few of the other guys were kind enough to provide the terrain, models, markers, game aids, and terrain, so a big thanks to them. 

The scenario was that a group of Union ironclads had to make their way downriver to try and meet up with a Union army. The Confederates (myself included) commanded two forts (Ridge and Thumb) and 4 Ironclads of their own in an attempt to keep the Union ships from passing.

The Table. Fort Ridge is the farther fort near the window, and Fort Thumb is on the peninsula.

The Union ships entered the table from the edge closest to Fort Ridge all at once, and opened fire on the Confederate ship that had been docked across the river.

Before the Confederate ship could move, she was given a merciless beating.

And as it turns out, wooden ship burn!

With the fire quickly contained, the Rebel ship made a run for freedom under covering fire from the fort. Complicating matters, however, was the damage the ship had taken to its rudder.

Other Confederate ironclads moved upstream to challenge their Union counterparts. 

But trying to get those slow ships moving against the current took too much time, and the wooden ship was sunk. 

Despite the long range, the Confederate ironclads opened fire.

"Look, either he's getting rammed, or I am. Let's hope you go first."

Guns blazed in every direction as my ship (the Arkansas, the one being t-boned at the top right) was rammed.

But with grapeshot and bayonets, I managed to capture the damnyankee ship. Which I was then stuck to for the next few turns.

With Fort Ridge out of range, the guns of Fort Thumb began to open on the escaping Union ships. The Arkansas was still stuck, and was mauled by the passing enemy force.

But she wasn't out of the fight just yet, even as another Confederate ship was sunk.

The Manassas and the Arkansas managed to corner the Union flagship while the rest of the flotilla escaped.

And the Union flagship went down - but it took the Arkansas with it!

So the Union players managed to get 4 ships downriver, while managing to destroy 3 Confederate ships and taking out the better part of Fort Ridge. Gary had mentioned that he had been worried that the forts would be too powerful (Ridge had done a number on the Union force in the beginning of the game) but the range and firing angles of the emplaced guns made it so that a ship was never in danger from them for too long.

It was a fun game and very rules light. I'd also imagine that the game will speed up - it took us three hours to finish - once we start playing more. If everything goes according to plan, BAPI games should happen once a month. I'm looking forward to my next game!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Painting Update - WWII, Saga

I'm baaaaa-aaaaaaack!

Having returned from Ireland (still semi-jetlagged and a bit heavy-hearted) I immediately got into the swing of things. Sitting down at my painting table/desk, I blew the thin lair of dust off the models that had been sitting their and got down to business. 

First is what appears to be only a small amount of WWII British vehicles in 15mm scale for Flames of War. And you'd be right. There's the last 3 Cromwells I need for my Cromwell-equipped tank company, and the last of the plastic Shermans that came in the new Open Fire! set. Also assembled are the four M5 halftracks I'll need to field a platoon of motor infantry to help augment any tank force with infantry that can keep up.

But here's the important bit - these are the very last of the unpainted miniatures I have for my Brits that I intend to use. While it's not the end of my collection, it will mark a point at which, some 4+ years after I started playing miniature wargames, that I'll have a completely painted force. 

I've also been working on my Vikings for Saga. They're assembled and equipped with both weapons and shields (except for Erik the Cowardly, hiding in the back right, who refused to even hold a spear, let alone 'wield' it in any sort of way). As you can see, I tested my normal method of hiding miniatures integral bases with Drydex, and I'd call the result completely satisfactory. I'll begin working on these guys as an interim between my FoW British and Germans. 

For future posts, expect an overview of the books I have for both wargaming and pen-and-paper role playing, as well as a review of the newly released Boss Monster board game that I helped to kickstart last year. There should also be a AAR or two coming up, and maybe even a Pathfinder RPG post or two if my plans work out and a group can be brought together for a campaign.