Tally Ho!

Monday 21 September 2020

Lock-down Ancients

As we're unable to meet at the moment we tried an experiment this week using DBA and a gridded board. DBA should work ok on a grid as the game is all about lining-up and is very simple anyway. I found a set of very simple movement adaptations on line that we used.


The setup was a pretty simple one. I used my standard 40mm based ancients as the elements - since its grid-based the depth does nt matter unlike regular DBA. The board was carpet tile marked with tape and the terrain similar - greed for rough and red/brown for hills. I also have some streams.  

One camera/phone was setup on the board and a second was used for me to communicate with the remote players. I has to compromise visually to make the grid visible.  

We played through two games; Carthage vs Rome and Carthage vs Gallic. Both were done in about 30mins giving plenty of scope for a fast-moving campaign. The troops are ne always easy to make out but that can add to the fun and the umpire can always help.   

Our main refinement will be to buy some additional 30mm dice as regular ones are just too small to e visible. 

 All in all it worked pretty well and is certainly a viable option for online play. The next step will be to run two games at once, which will need an additional camera and umpire. Under current rules one person could visit and play the second table. 

Plan B could be a larger game with allied contingents  but it may be hard to see the whole table.  

Sunday 20 September 2020

The Roll-of-Six

This week we had what will be our last in person game at my house for a while - being a family of 5 I was able to accommodate Roy, but will not be able to host normal club games for a while. So we're looking at more on-line play, some 1-1 games where time allows and the option of playing some games at Roy's as he's a small house-hold. 

This is all contingent on any mixing being allowed, which feels more-and-more doubtful in the medium term. So more on-line will be the way to go.

Anyway, this week we did some WAT with Roy commanding two KV1 against two Hetzers. So scalpel vs hammer

We each managed an early kill and then played cat-and-mouse around the village. I managed to engineer a couple of rear shots but could not defeat the KV's thick armour.    

Eventually the Russian wore me down and I lost all command dice so was unable to escape.

Tuesday 15 September 2020

20mm Prussians

 Nigel has been beavering away on his 20mm painting and has sent me the pictures below.

Some pictures of my  20mm Prussian 1806 army that I have finally got around to finishing. All Hat Industrie figures, 10 battalions of musketeers, 2 of grenadiers, 2 of fusiliers, 2 of jaeger, 3 of cuirassier, 2 of dragoons and one of hussars with 8 artillery. Not 28mm but I like them!
And a picture of repainted Airfix marching infantry with mounted colonel. These must be nearly 50 years old but I stripped the old paint and varnish off. They survived that although I have the plastic rot syndrome on other figures; they broke off at the ankles.

Pre-18912 is a nice period for fans of exotic head-gear. Hopefully the use of more modern water-based paints is kinder on the plastic than the old enamels were.  


Sunday 13 September 2020

Zoomspiel Napoleonics - Game 3

This weekend we held our third game of Napoleonics via Zoom. This week's scenario included randomly allocated reinforcements.   

Both sides deployed to occupy the farms closest to them, with the French tight and the Allies a little wider, with guns on the hills looking to bombard the town. A good plan but a short-lived one as the French quickly silenced the Russian guns.     

The French Elite brigade pushed forward deep into the Allied position ready to threaten their farm but quickly found themselves surrounded and under attack from two sides. The French were reinforced  by a gun in their centre (Y) and cavalry on the left (X).  The Allies were reversed with a gun at (Z) and cavalry at X.  

With the destruction of their Elite brigade the French became more defensive - they threatened the Allied farm with their cavalry and sought to reinforce the farm they held. Both sides received a further cavalry brigade in the centre (Y). The infantry arrivals favoured the Allies as their's arrived centrally (Y) where as the French were on the wide right (X), essentially putting them out of the game.       

The outnumbered French take a beating  

The final two turns saw some repositioning from both sides as the Allies moved their Elite infantry to assault the French-held farm. In a last gasp attack they charged-in during turn 6. Casualties were heavy but the French were unable to prevent the Russians gaining a foothold.     

With one farm in allied hands and the second contested it was declared 1-0 to the Allies.

The contested farm

A fun game and nice to try unplanned reinforcements. We agreed though that the off table troops needed to arrive one turn earlier to really be able to have an effect, or perhaps the infantry should all have begun on table.

Thursday 10 September 2020

WAT week 6 already

We managed two games this week, so employed both rooms for the games. 

On table 1 we had the US vs Germans. The US had a Sherman 105 and Sherman Easy-8 with 76mm. They faced off against a Panzer IV and a StuG H42.   

The US acted aggressively and pushed forward against the Germans who sought to occupy the town.  

Olden times photo effect!

I was nt able to follow all the action but the result was the destruction of one Sherman and the other bailed-out. This result meant we had our first Ace of the campaign as Roy's StuG notched-up 5 kills without dying. 

Table 2 saw the Russians verses the Germans. The Germans went for StuG IV and a late model Panzer III. The Russians fielded the rugged KV1s and a late model T-34 (76mm). We had a slight false start with both Germans brewed-up by the end of turn 2 by some lucky Russian shooting.  So we reset.  

In the second game the Germans split-up while the Russians stayed tight. The soviets quickly surrounded the StuG and were able to finish it quickly before setting off after the Panzer III.      

This ducked and dived and was able to disable the T34 before being chased round the town by the KV. The Russian monster wore down the Panzer and eventually it has to bail out as it lost all its command dice. This left the KV commander on 4 kills - 1 short of being an Ace  

Saturday 5 September 2020

We're going on a bear hunt - WAT week 5

Just the one game this week due to illness and work patterns. This encounter was fought in a built-up area so was a close range affair. For this game we had two Hetzer tank destroyers against two KV1s.

A combination of being Fast and some lucky command dice meant the Hetzers were able to close quickly with the KVs and get into good firing positions. Ac combination of Heavy Armour and having a turret evened the odds though.   

After a game of kiss-chase the KVs had managed to chip way a little at the speedy Hetzers. The game3 was decided in the German's favour by a couple of really decisive shots - twice the Germans did average damage but the Russian's failed to save a singe one and so exploded, going from pristine to dead instantly. 

You may have noticed that at the centre of town was my version of the Hotel Hartenstien in Arnhem. About half the buildings used are some scratch-built ones I made about 20 years ago for use in a 15mm Arnhem campaign. There is currently an online campaign to save the hotel which is a museum as COVID has hit their income. 

Hotel Hartenstein in Oosterbeek, on the outskirts of Arnhem, 1945 | Online  Collection | National Army Museum, London