Tally Ho!

Friday, 1 December 2017

Forward Victory is near - Week 5 battle 2

For the final game of the mini-campaign we decided to break out the Stalingrad terrain and have the Russians assaulting the Germans in the streets of a ruined city. The Russians went entirely for infantry reinforcements, loading-up on SMG squads, flame throwers, and scouts. The Germans deployed snipers and a Marder III

Town with the factory in the fore-ground 

The square in the centre of the table
The main terrain features were a ruined factory complex on the Russians left and a square in the centre of the German position. The rest was rubble filled streets and bombed-out buildings.

Russian hordes deploy on the right flank

Russians move ahead on the left flank

German flamethrower lays in wait
The Russians advanced rapidly from their initial positions seeking to get within assault range as rapidly as possible. The Germans pushed forward from their initial deployment occupying a building on the edge of the square and one end of the factory.

Russians in striking range of the square

Maxim gives covering fire 
The Marder deployed on one flank and was able to slow-down the Russian advance for a few moves, as was accurate German sniper fire.

The Marder opens-up on the Russians 

German bastion overlooking the square
As the game developed the Russian infantry hordes moved forward in preparation for the eventual assault, with supporting fire from several maxim teams deployed in the taller buildings on their side.  
Russians pinned-down by sniper fire 
The Soviets then launched a series of large attacks against the main German positions which eventually overwhelmed the German defenders and left the Russians in firm control of the town.  
Soviet assault on the bastion buidling

Russians attack in the factory ruins

Soviet scouts approach the German positions

Russians take the bastion

Russians assault and capture the final German position
The Russians decided to celebrate their great victory in the campaign with a small victory rally in which Commissar Bosski exhorted the troops to even greater efforts.

Stirring stuff from the Commissar

The troops applaud - well what else can they do! 
 In honour of the occasion we then drank a toast to the victories Red Army.
Victory is sweet

The End

So a solid victory for the Russians at the end of the campaign. We've tweaked the rules as we've played the 10 battles but the end results are decisive games rewarding fire-and-manoeuvre tactics.

Our next outing with WWII is likely to be the invasion of Crete, giving a chance for the German paratroopers to make a second appearance.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Kings of War campaign - game 3

This weekend saw me in Bristol for the third instalment of our Kings of War campaign, that features my Persian-themed army against the Dark elves (Kin). For this game the terrain was rolling grasslands with three powerful artefacts to capture.

I slightly misread the brief in two ways - firstly I thought the idea was to hold the most objectives by the end and second I had nt spotted you would retain the artefacts for the next game - d'ho. So my set-up was to challenge for only 2 of the 3 objectives, with a solid infantry core attacking the centre and a large mounted force looking to hook to my right. I massed my archery on the left to slow the enemy and deployed the Mamakil wide left to stop the elves from executing an easy flank attack of their own.

Persian left with the imposing Mamakil

Persian centre and right

The Kin had pretty much the same plan - a strong attack on their right with the small force on the left to delay me. The difference was Kin's left flank force was of lightly equipped flyers and was easily swept aside so caused no delay.

Kin's right and centre, with the flyers in the distance
I began the game with a rapid attack by all my cavalry on the right flank quickly capturing one of the artefacts and pushing past the flyers. I also attacked the scrub land in the centre with my heavy infantry.  

Persian cavalry with flying carpets in close support

Infantry advances
The Kin responded in kind with a rapid advance in the centre and a more cautious attack on their right flank led by a hero and lizard riders.

Kin's right on the attack 
The faster Elfish and Lycan units were able to secure the centre objective and I was forced to withstand a charge from them. the Elves dice were poor though and a desperate tussle developed in the scrub over the precious artefact.    
Scrap over the central artefact

The arm wrestle continues
On the right my mounted troops moved forward almost completely unhindered allowing me to threaten the Kin's centre and rear. With cavalry moving 18"-20" per turn the attack developed rapidly. On my left the Mamkil was assaulted by the elves and routed, but it bought me precious time for my own attack.
Flank attack pushed ahead with Flying carpets to the fore

The Kin clear the Mamakil
 In the end my superior numbers told and I was able to throw back the Lyans and break through the centre with an air elemental pushing into the Kin's massed archers to distract them
The centre falls 

Blow the man down!
The Kin's lizard riders made hay against the lightly armed human archers, again buying me 2 turns with their sacrifice.  By now most of the Kin's army was dead and the rest was pushed-back into a small corner to the table under attack from two sides.
Lizards assault the flank but too late 

Persians hold most of the table
So the game ended with 2 artefacts in the Persian's possession and most of the Kin routed. a good victory but definitely helped by some below average shooting dice from the Elves. As the games are strictly timed at 6 moves (we played this to conclusion in 5) I applied my Armati learnings about the importance of time over space.

For a Kin's eye view of the battle look here

Friday, 24 November 2017

Forward, Victory is near - WWII campaign, week 5 battle 1

With the Russians breaking-through in turn 4 we now enter the last round of regular battles for this mini-campaign. We see the Germans still hung-up on the start-line attacking the river crossing for a 4th time. As the attacker they received +4 points of reinforcements which they spent on 2 infantry squads, a StuG III, and a medium mortar. The Russians opted for 2 * AT guns, improvised AT weapons for 3 squads and a some scouts. Overall a decent advantage for the Germans given their Veteran status.
Table from the Russian left

Table from the Russian right 

The Russians retained their tried and trusted defence of clustering infantry near the victory markers and keeping the AT guns off table until the tanks appeared. The Scouts were placed forward in wood hoping to rely on their Veteran status and good use of cover hold-up the Germans
Russians on the left flank

Russian right flank

Scouts guard the centre
The Germans deployed across the board as they have done on several occasions, with attacks in the centre and on both flanks. This time the attacks were in greater force though due to the additional infantry reinforcements taken.

Germans deploy in the centre

German heavy weapons support an advance on the left
Sensing they were outnumbered the Russians laid-low as the Germans pushed forward across the river on left, right, and centre. With the game half way through loses were minimal on both sides as both manoeuvred for advantage.
Splish splash


The appearance of the STuG prompted the Russians to deploy their AT guns in the centre in a good position to cover the key approach routes for the assault gun. This caused caution in the STuG's crew who tried to lurk out of sight behind a wood and snipe away at long range. Safe, but of limited impact on the battle.
The AT guns deploy and send the STuG into hiding 

A classic camo tie 
As the end of the game approached the Germans launched a series of assaults with covering fire from their weapons teams and mortars. Accurate fire mauled the Russians in the centre forcing them to redeploy troops from their right to cover the gaps and secure the AT guns.

German forces build-up on the Russian right

Germans entre the wood - a standoff with the Scouts

Soviets holding the centre are blown-away

Russians redeploy to guard the guns
On the Russian left the assault quickly bogged down under heavy fire from Russian infantry and a maxim gun.  Crucially though this had drawn away precious units from the centre and right.
German attack on the left runs into trouble
On the Russian right the inevitable pressure told and the Germans were able to break through to secure 2 of the 3 victory objectives.

Germans push through the centre to victory
So after 4 tough battles the Germans had finally broken through their start-line and move into the Russian positions. The STuG even survived for once! the secret was likely the more aggressive use of the Germans to outmanoeuvre the Soviets rather than a slow grinding firefight that could not be resolved quickly enough to win.

German armour survives for once