Sunday, 27 December 2020
Saturday, 26 December 2020
the end of 2020 fast approaching, it is somewhat customary in many quarters to
take a look back at the past year year, which is quite an
interesting undertaking I find. So without further
Within a month of 'retiring' the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic hit and we went into a national lockdown here in the UK. For my family this meant social distancing within the house for the first 6 weeks, with no physical contact allowed due to our son being on the extremely clinically vulnerable list, with me sleeping downstairs on a camp bed. Queueing outside shops became the norm in the early morning, but at least because of our son we were able to be in the fast lanes at the supermarket, which helped a lot. We also has the good fortune to be blessed with wonderful weather.
Black Powder II
Platoon Forward by Too Fat Lardies
The Portable Colonial Wargame by Bob Cordery
Never Mind The Billhooks by Andy Callan
Gettysburg by Sears
Chancellorsville by Sears
The Peninsula Campaign by Sears
La Ultima Cruzada by Bob Cordery
Osprey Salerno 1943 (Father's Day gift)
Antietam by Sears (Father's Day gift)
Operation Sealion by P Fleming
Pendraken Napoleonic Peninsula War Spanish (kickstarter type)
Pendraken WWII Belgians
10mm Pendraken 19thC ImagiNations Grand Duchy of Ruthenia
Italian WWII tanks
British WWII tanks
ACW sweet corn fields
Scratch built hills
Commission Figurines trenches
Scratch built pillboxes
BKCII - 9
Ancient & Medieval Wargaming by Neil Thomas - 4
The Portable Wargame - 1
None due to the Covid restrictions closing most of the shows this year, which won't come as a complete surprise.
The size of my Armies will by and large reduce to around 12 units per side with some additional options thrown in for good measure. As most of my games are played on a 4' x 4' table or smaller, this size works perfectly for my normal mid-week games of solo outings. I've realised that I honestly don't need bigger Armies than these and the smaller forces are easier to focus upon when trying to paint them up. For me the games have become more important than the figures, which I still do enjoy painting when the muse is upon me. Maybe this is a reaction to some 33 years in the design industry as a modelmaker, as painting the figures could seem like a busmen's holiday at times.
This year has been very much one of focussing on core rulesets that I enjoy and that give me at least a good and challenging game. This also means that I've come to 'know' the rules very well and so can focus on the game itself and what I want to do. I suppose I used to try and find the perfect ruleset and this year with the time that lockdown has given me for reflection, I've realised that this will never happen. So for me Honours of War, Black Powder II and Blitzkreig Commander II tick all the boxes and will continue to do so.
Thursday, 24 December 2020
Advance Guard (Lt Col von Starkloff) - 2x INF, 1xCAV, 1xSK
Artillery (Major Krupp) - 3xART
Main Strike force (Lt Col von Reitzenstein) - 3xINF
- Advance Guard is to enter the board with CAV and INF pushing down the road. CAV screens INF advance fire from enemy hill positions. SK recce woods. Advance Guard to either interdict enemy reinforcements or support main assault against hill. If hard-pressed Advanced Guard CAV and SK to fall back to behind woods to uncover Blue guns and 2xINF to uncover guns by moving toward the hill in support of main assault.
- Artillery is to open up against enemy positions on hill on
first turn and continue firing. The main assault will not
attack until the enemy hill positions are either suppressed or
showing signs of suppression. Keep bombarding hill until main
assault is within assault distance. Keep bombarding hill
targets while attack goes in, if possible. If hill taken by
Blue, move 1xART onto hill while the other two guns fill the gap
between the east side of the hill and the woods.
- Main assault INF to attack enemy position on hill once enemy
suppressed by bombardment but begin advance no later than Turn
3. If successful in assault, take up defensive positions on
hill to secure objective.
|Von Starkloff's advanced guard.|
|Major Krupp's artillery.|
|Von Reitzenstein's main strike force.|
|Major von Puttendorf and his units on the hill awaiting the expected attack.|
|The end of Turn 1.|
|Von Starkloff's advanced guard in an excellent position already.|
|Major Krupp's artillery ready to bombard the hill.|
|The end of Turn 2.|
|De la Porte's force (top) arrive and deploy ready to engage von Starkloff's advanced guard.|
|Von Reden and Prinz von Anhalt march on to the sound of guns to re-inforce the positions on the hill.|
|One of von Puttendorf's infantry breaks after sustained artillery bombardment.|
|The end of Turn 3.|
|Von Reitzenstein's infantry move off to assault the hill.|
|Ineffective shooting from both sides leaves the positions largely unchanged.|
|Von Reden deploys along the fence (bottom) supported by the cavalry whilst Prinz von Anhalt and his reserves arrive but are still in column.|
|Lt Col de la Porte failure of nerve means he is unable to advance forward to put pressure on von Starkloff's advanced guard.|
|Lt Kuster and his cavalry charge in, with von Starkloff's infantry arriving on the hill as von Puttendorf's artillery are destroyed.|
|The end of Turn 4.|
|The battle for the hill is hotting up with troops and fighting raging on and around it.|
|De la Porte's artillery in the ploughed field move up to the wall to enfilade von Starkloff's troops, if all goes well that is.|
|The failure of von Reitzenstein's infantry to advance allows von Reden and Prinz von Anhalt to move troops onto the hill. An opportunity missed.|
|Von Starkloff's infantry on the road manage to avoid the effects of de la Porte's troops shooting.|
|Lt General von Hardenberg's looks on as his force manages to retake part of the hill.|
|Lt Brunisch's cavalry having retired to help protect the left flank of the hill.|
|The end of Turn 6.|
|Major Krupp's gun line have moved to gain a better field of fire.|
|De la Porte's infantry finally move and manage to cause hits and disorder on Von Starkloff's infantry.|
|The infantry have lined up and blazed away at each other, but to little effect.|
|A view along the line.|
|The end of Turn 7|
|Von Starkloff's troops once again dodge the bullets of de la Porte's infantry.|
|Both sides once again fail to cause any significant damage on the enemy.|
|The end of Turn 8.|
|Lt Brunisch's cavalry catch Major Krupp's gun in the open, leading to them being overrun and destroyed.|
|Von Starkloff's advanced guard manage to gain the upper hand against de la Porte's troops, but too late to affect the outcome of the game.|
|The battle for the hill rages, with neither side able to gain the upper hand.|
|Lt General von Hardenberg's troops have amaged to defend the hill, but have no real reserves left, except a shaken and disordered unit.|
|De la Porte's command at the end, that had been poorly led and largely ineffective throughout the game.|
- The scenario provided a much more challenging game than I thought it would, as on paper it looks deceptively simple. I think this was down to the orders from Norm and Jonathan that gave the game that extra edge.
- Major Krupp's guns gave the Blue force an excellent start and early on I thought it would be a walk over for them, but it shows you how wrong you can be and how games can ebb and flow over relatively few Turns.
- The Red troops stubborn resistance on the hill throughout certainly kept them in the game, as they did manage to save an awful lot of hits when it really mattered. A die roll differently here and there and they would have been blown away.
- I don't know what it is with me and skirmishers as, during most of my recent game, they have been largely ineffective on the shooting front, but in fairness have managed to secure flanks and tie down troops.
- Normally I don't expect much from the cavalry in this period (mid 19thC Europe) but in this game they certainly had their moments, with Lt Kuster's charge into the infantry column that could have changed the game, tthrough to Lt Brunisch's destruction of Lt Kuster's command and the final 'von Bredow's' type death ride at the end. Certainly cinematic and very memorable.
- Both sides shooting was ineffective for much of the game, leading to the lines of troops shooting it out for possession of the hill towards the end. There were opportunities throughout the game for one volley here or there to make a real difference. When it did happen, it seemed that the enemy was always able to make thos all important saves.
- At times both side suffered from poor command rolls, most notably Lt Col de la Porte, whose inactivity early on really hampered the Red forces ability to defend the hill. Also von Reitzenstein's failure to get an order through to his reserves in the last turn to protect his flank, allowed Lt Brunishc's charge to take place.
- I thought that BPII with the GH! supplement rules worked really well once again and i'm now very comfortable with these. Admittedly they are not everyones cup of tea, but I like them and their inherent command and control and the nuances they bring to the game.
- I'm really enjoying playing orders from other players as it brings another dimension to the game. At various points I might have done some things differently, but with orders to follow I stuck with them, which I found very enjoyable. I hope to carry on with this in 2021 and given our current lcokdown situation, I think this will carry on for quite sometime, subject to willing participants of course!