Tally Ho!

Sunday 31 March 2024

Battle of Raab - sort of...

For this year's Easter game I decided to experiment and use AI (MS Co-pilot) to suggest a scenario for the French and Austrians. It spat-out a scenario I identified as the Battle of Raab (1809), which I reset for 1812 and added the Russians to reflect the figures available. 

In this game the French are on the attack. The Farm counts as hard cover with an additional -1 for the attackers in melee as it was fortified. Artillery can only cross the river on bridges and cavalry on the narrow section. The river is rough terrain and strips chargers of their bonus. We used a 5 foot deep table with the defenders up to half way (the river line) and the attackers 10" in.   

Both sides began with 3 Infantry Divisions (2 brigades) and 1 Cavalry Division (2 brigades) plus a few supporting units. About half the defenders were rated Inferior to represent the Landwehr (Russian figs). The attackers had a sprinkling of Veterans. We counted the village and cross roads as "2 skills" and the farm as "3 kills" for morale.      

The Allies deployed with both Russian divisions and the reserve artillery to the west of the farm. This left the Austrians more thinly spread as they covered the farm and the rest of the field. The French focused 2 Divisions at the farm with the third to their west covering the Russians, hoping they would be drawn into the centre and leave the village exposed. The French horse deployed opposite the Austrians.    

Russians in the west

Central Russian units 

Austrian horse

Austrians covering the farm

The farm

French 3rd division

French 2nd divsion

The French began the game by advancing towards the Farm with their flanks covered by the horse and third division. They opened up with the grand battery and began to wear down the Farm's defenders.   

French first division with bonus Swedes 

Swedes attack across the river

Seeing that the Austrian cavalry were not looking to block the river crossing, the French horse crossed on a turn the Austrians moved first. The heavies inspirational commander enabled them to cross and charge in a single turn, thus negating the disadvantage of the crossing. They ploughed into the Austrians and pushed them back across the line.    

Massed cavalry attack by the French

Centrally the Russians advanced to the river and with support from their guns did heavy damage to the French 2nd division. This was further compounded when some Russian Cuirassiers charged over the bridge and skittled through several units before being routed deep in enemy territory.      

Russians advance in the centre

French 3rd division makes it to the river

After lunch the French reinforcements arrived to stabilise 2nd Divisions position. By now the French cavalry had cleared their opponents and taken the crossroads in the east.  

French clear the farm's protection

The game ended in Turn 9 with the Allied forces hitting 50% after the sudden collapse of the Russian central position and attrition on the Austrians. We managed 9 turns of play over about 4.5 hours gaming with 7 players. The Farm remained in Austrian hands through-out the game.  

The French are close to victory


Friday 29 March 2024

D Day Campaign - Turn 4 and 5.

We managed three games this week - completion of the US attack on St Come du Mont in Turn 4 and the British attacking the Orne River at two points in Turn 5.

US at St Come Du Mont - Turn 4

The Germans deployed to protect the vital river crossings with roughly equal number of units well concealed in the hedges and villages.  

The US pushed forward, taking significant Armoured losses from accurate German fire. Holding their nerve the Americans kept going and the dice turned, giving them a few good rounds of shooting.

With the German AT threat reduced the GI's were deployed and powered heavy fire into defenders with supporting MG fire from their halftracks.  

The US plan worked, with the Germans eventually breaking on their 3rd morale test and fleeing the scene. 

Orne River bridge- Turn 5

It seems an age since the first British parachute attacks on the Orne Rover, but on Turn 5 they are back again with 7th Armoured trying to force their way across against 21st Panzer.  The British went for strong attack against the main bridge with ARKs on either side as supplementary crossings.  

The British armour and artillery proved effective at taking out the main German AT threats, leaving the infantry to try and hold the line.  

After only 5 turns the British were across the river at multiple points and the Germans had limited AT options to stop them. We failed to complete the game but a British victory looked inevitable.  

British at Blainville - Turn 5

This game continued from last weeks as it ended in an interesting position. The Brits began with some troops across the river  and the Germans were able to reset their defences.    

The Tommy's went for amassed armoured attack on the shoulder of the German position with infantry in close support.   

The narrow British attack allowed the Germans into a flanking position and their AT fire proved accurate and they quickly weakened the Sherman force. The Brits kept attacking with their infantry but could not break through the defenders.  

The Campaign Ends

After 5 turns we're ending the campaign with US forces getting to Carentan. We did nt play the US turn 5 but had thing gone to form a win there was likely in Turn 5 and highly likely in Turn 6. The British still had Ranville to capture before they could attack Caen in turns 7 or 8.

So the final result likely would be an Allied victory on the US axis and a draw on the British Axis.     


Sunday 24 March 2024

D Day Campaign turn 4, part 2 - Benoville and Blainville

 A shorter report this week as we were focusing on completing two games already half done. The British defending 21st Panzers counter attack at Benoville and also attacking at Blainville across the Orne canal.


The British continued their attack from the previous week with infantry pushing across the central bridge whilst the armour tried to mount a flanking attack through the woods. 

They caused significant damage to the German infantry but most of their AT assets were unaffected and so the attack was a cautious one.  The game ended drawn but in an interesting position so it was decided to carry the game into Turn 5 with a flank attack scenario. 


This was quite a tense affair with the British manoeuvring their tanks into the village so they could be protected from the flanks.  Things were on knife-edge as the Germans could only afford to lose a small number of infantry / weapons teams before they would need to roll for morale. 

Both sides suffered losses and so had to roll for morale, which they passed. The game ended with both objectives contested and so was a draw. With the counter attack bunted the British will be back on the attack next week as they try to cross the Orne river.

Sunday 17 March 2024

D Day Campaign - Turn 4 part 1; Benoville and Blainville

Both games this week were on the British axis of attack. The Brits are trying to outflank the Orne River Bridge by forcing a crossing at Blainville and 21st Panzer is counter attacking at Benoville. The US attack on St Come Du Mont was held over for more players being available. 

Blainville - British assault river crossing

For this battle the Brits received some additional equipment in the shape of two Churchill ARKs and extra smoke rounds to cover the attack.  

Churchill ARKs ready for action

Not being sighted on the British line of attack the Germans spread out across the rover bank with their main AT threats in the centre of the defences. 

The British staged their main assault in the east with smoke and Sherman fire being used to protect the precious ARKs. They also feinted on the small road bridge using Bren Carriers to draw enemy attention.  

The evening ended with about half the turns played and the Brits with some tanks across the river and the Germans trying to shell the ARKs to isolated those troops. 

Benoville - 21st Panzer counter attack

With plentiful light armour available, 21st Panzer spread about across the board looking to tie down the British whilst the heavier Panzer IVs attacked on the west side of the field. 

They advanced steadily in the east taking on then enemy infantry pushed forward to block the attack. In the east the Germans used their assault guns and artillery to attack Benoville but this proved relatively ineffective against the well dug-in Brits.  

With a few turns completed the British has lost their forward deployed units in the west be remained well entrenched around the village. 

The game ended well poised with the Germans in a good position in the west to capture one objective but the British sill having two Churchills intact to disrupt the attack. The game looked likely to turn on who used their tanks best in the next few turns.