Wednesday, August 31, 2016

SYW - Combat at Reichenberg Refight with a Twist

On August 17th, a group of us refought the Combat at Reichenberg, but instead of Austrians and Prussians we used French (Austrian Proxy) vs. Allies (Hanover, Brunswick, and Hessians).

French Players: Jan, Phil, and Mike J.
Allied Players: Fred and Brian
Umpire: Eric
Rules: Piquet Cartouche 2nd Edition
Scale: 15mm

You can read about the battle on the Project SYW site

View from the French left flank. There are three ridges that cross the battlefield like fingers. They just effect LOS, and do not modify movement or combat results. The "entrenchments" are actually hastily made abatis walls. They are CLASS II cover for Piquet folks. Stream is CLASS II for moment. Town sections are CLASS II, while the woods on the left is CLASS III.

In this photo I have marked the 3 ridges, which are hard to see in photos due to my terrain. There is a small stream that flows behind the main French line. The town of Rosenthal is next to the main river.

On the far left flank of the French stand the pesky Volunteers de Clermont hoping to harass the Allied flank as they march by.

Good view of the entire battlefield from the Allied side.

These are Usborne models I made years ago. I love the water mill. I haven't finished the river terrain and the island cover.

Nice shot of the Hessian Mansbach Regiment

The Reichsarmee regiments take some solace in the abatis they are hiding behind.

The Allied plan was to push hard with the Hanoverians and Brunswickers on the left near Rosenthal, while the Hessians advanced to pin the French right. Combined Hanover\Brunswick assault on the left below.

Good view of the infantry wing advancing on the French lines. Taking heavy fire from the French guns on their way in.

Mike advances his French cavalry to threaten the Hessians

The next two photos show the Hanover wing hitting the French lines, just before opp fire was taken by the French.

One Hanoverian Grenadier battalion was destroyed (it was in the gap to the right of the Grenadiers pictured below) and another infantry unit lost 3 of 4 stands to French infantry and artillery fire. Morale was low among the Allied players.

The French infantry and Grenadiers go toe to toe with point blank fire. Eventually the Grenadiers got the upper hand and routed the French regiment.

Hanoverian infantry inflicting horrible casualties on the French guns (underneath the smoke!)

One Hanoverian and one Brunswick regiment attack the lone remaining French regiment to their front and drive them back. Swiss regiments are being pushed into the fray by the French.

On the left, the Hanoverians push the French out of the abatis.

Meanwhile on the Allied right flank Brian finally launches his assault against the French in echelon, with the cavalry brigade in reserve.

This poor Hessian unit was tasked with taking out the Volunteers de Clermont from their wooden hideaway, but were stopped dead in their tracks by accurate fire. This Hessian unit would be stuck here the rest of the game.

Hessians attack the French and slowly take some casualties from musket fire, but can't seem to dislodge the French behind the abatis.

French guns forgot to bring dry powder. Shot after shot misses the advancing Hessians. Phil was rolling D10s and missed nearly every shot and never actually inflicted a stand loss. The Hessian assault, plus the dire situation, forced the French to abandon the abatis.

The view of the overwhelming Hanoverian attack from the French position. Notice all the casualty figures laying around the abatis.

The French, hoping to stem the tide of the Hessian advance, move their cavalry into position to attack the flank of the Hessians close to the abatis. This aggressive move will be short lived.

Too late, the French pull their units out of the woods in a desperate attempt to force the Hessians to turn from their attack. Here is the Alsace Regiment trudging through the thick woods.

Reichsarmee infantry gets flanked by the Brunswickers and are routed (3 stands lost).

Hessian Garde Regiment advances on the flank of the French dragoons and destroy them with volley fire!

Hessian Grenadiers, just before the advanced and destroyed the Hollenzollern Cuirassier (in white to the right). This effectively ended the battle as the French started giving the Allies morale chips.

I use black casualty figures to show where each stand was lost in the battle. I find it looks cool and when the figures are cleaned off the table you can see where all the action took place. Eventually I'll paint these casualties, but not until my collection is done. Let me know if you like them. Here are photos looking left to right from the Allied side of the table.

Here is where the Hanoverians attacked.

In the middle where the Reichsarmee took a pounding

Right side of the abattis near the end of the battle

Far right were the French cavalry was destroyed. (there are four more French cavalry casualty figures just to the left of this photo) The French lost over 50% of their cavalry's combat effectiveness!

Overview from the French left flank looking back towards Reichenberg.

We had a great time with this alternative history, and we are continuing with the SYW in the coming weeks, but we will have the Prussians and Austrians on the table! Tally Ho!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Brothers in War - Pacific Theatre

We fought two more playtest games on my second set of Jungle terrain. Some of you may have seen this terrain when I brought it to Historicon in 2002. I won "Best of Show" for 2002, a very high honor for me and for Mal Wright (the guy that made this awesome terrain)! Back then we used Point of Attack: Blitzkrieg by Brent Oman.

This time around we are going to continue playtesting Brothers in War by Brent Oman of Piquet Inc. Think of Brothers in War as Squad Leader light, in that it is much easier to play and introduce to your group, yet still give you that low level tactical feel.

From the prior posts you can tell we are giving the rules a real workout in the Pacific Theatre!

Figures - 15mm Old Glory Command Decision, and some Quality Castings
Terrain - Home made by the great Mal Wright!

BATTLE #1 - Mindenao

Steve and Brian were USMC
Phil and Rob were Japanese
I setup the miniatures so we could start the game quickly.

Close look at the town, even has bird droppings on the statues!

Here you can see the 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, advancing behind a Sherman tank. We'll take any cover we can get! Notice the attached Bazooka team to the near squad.

USMC advance through the fields and jungle.

3rd Platoon, Bravo Company, advances with little or no cover near the farmstead.

Recon Platoon's advance through the river gorge would be costly.

Good shot of the town (Objective 1) for the Marines.

Every step you take in the gorge is perilous.

USMC uses their tanks as battering rams against the town.

We had Jap MG nests! This one opens up on the USMC at point blank range.

Ah! There it is!

What the Marines saw as they advanced!

USMC used the Shermans to clear out the Japanese from the town sections.

USMC squad pinned down by Japanese MG fire. Where the heck is the MG?

Holy crap! There it is!

We will teach them a lesson! Drop some off-board artillery on their ass!

Japanese squad on the right near the shell casing jumps on a USMC squad that walked by oblivious to their presence.

This was hilarious. The USMC squad nearly walks on top of a Japanese MG nest! Serious shock there! Japs managed to drive the Marines back, but the USMC eventually took out the MG.

USMC clearing out the last pockets of resistance in the gorge.

Rallied Japanese MG is annihilated by incoming 105mm artillery. This effectively ended the battle as the Japanese were out of Morale Points, and they had nobody left to defend one of the objectives.

USMC Corsair hits Japanese positions in the town just for good measure.

Phil and Rob showed a rare ability to roll 1s at the worst time in this game. Almost unbelievable. :-)

BATTLE #2 - Mindenao

Similar scenario, but this time we had three objectives (town, gorge, and cross roads). You will see these red stars throughout the photos, those are the objective points.

Japanese: Phil and Rob
USMC: Steve and Charles (Combat photographer)

Charles took most of the photos and loves getting close up action shots, hence he is my Combat Photographer.

Two USMC squads wade through the river gorge, making them attractive targets.

1st Platoon, Charlie Company, moves through the farmer's crops, with a Sherman providing some firepower.

This Japanese HMG will give the Marines in the gorge something to cry about.

USMC squad (with flamethrower) and HMG advance along the ridgeline. The river gorge is to their right.

The Jap HMG, top right of photo on the hill (see prior photo), unloads on this squad from the 2nd Platoon, Charlie Company, inflicting horrible casualties.

Tank in the lead, the squads of 1st Platoon Charlie Company advance.

Target acquired! Japanese waiting in the brush

In the center, Steve sends in the "armored fist" of two Shermans and one M10. Japs can't counter that firepower.

Japanese squad (near the red stone and behind the wall) is obliterated by HE from the tanks.

We thought this would be a great place to defend! Just didn't expect the entire armor force for the USMC to come stomp us.

USMC squad totally wiped out by Jap MGs. They are in the jungle in the top of the photo.

Sherman tries to soften up the Japs in the cover, but has little success. They are going to have to close assault the Japanese out of that position!

First USMC squad is repulsed and suppressed after the assault. The Marines send in another squad, this time armed with Bazookas (the flocked stand)

The assault is an overwhelming success, destroying the Japanese squad. Those Bazookas really come in handy!

Meanwhile in the gorge, a Japanese 70mm infantry gun is causing havoc on the USMC squads in the river and on the ridge.

Japanese squad lurking in the one of the dry gorges.

Seeing most of the USMC troops heading up the middle of the table to the cross roads objectives, the Japanese begin to move their forces to counterattack!

Must protect the "Nice Lady Gentlemens Club"!

This picture just looked so cool I had to add it to the report. Japs moving to reinforce the center

Overhead view from the Japanese perspective. This shows most of the USMC main attack in the middle. This is Bravo company (3 platoons) and armored support.

M10 advances and is engaged by Japanese Anti-Tank Rifle on the flank. The M10 is suppress by the unexpected attack and moves back. The ATR is the round base just above the house in the bottom left of the photo. You can also see a Japanese tank making an appearance.

The Shermans move up and toast the Jap tank! See burning in this photo.

Japanese HMG in the middle of the gorge. Shell casing indicates they have fired and need to "reload".

Tank, supported by infantry, makes their way through the soft swampy ground. The tank is going to have to pick more firm ground or risk getting bogged down.

Next, Charles rolls a 1 with his HMG against the Japanese 70mm gun. MISS!

2nd USMC squad gets hammered by Japanese MGs in the gorge. More UI (Unit Integrity lost!)

Meanwhile, on the Marine far left, they move against the town. This is squads from the 1st Platoon, Bravo Company.

Bravo leader directs the attacks against the town

What is that sound?!!?! Take Cover!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Japanese Zero shreds an USMC squad inflicting 2 UI loss! The Japanese planed returned to base for Sake after the attack and didn't return to the battle.

USMC squad with the flamethrower advances, only to be hit by a Japanese squad in the jungle below! They took severe casualties and become suppressed.

Japanese happened to have deployed in the two town buildings the 1st Platoon was advancing towards. They open up at point blank range and cause heavy casualties to one USMC squad, and hurt the Marine HMG.

Another view of the close in action

USMC second squad moves around to support the clearing of the buildings.

Japanese charge into the last remaining intact USMC squad near the river gorge and takes 2 UI losses and has to retreat 7 inches back suppressed!

We called the game at this point as the Japanese were down to 3 Morale Points (from 23), but the USMC was hit pretty hard in this game and was down to 9 Morale Points (from 29). We had a great time and will provide more feedback to Brent and hopefully the rules will come out sometime this year or early next year.

So, as many of you know, I'm pretty anal about my miniature collection so I decided to make these off board "fire bases" for this game. Here is the first prototype (unpainted)

The top area holds the miniatures, in the first case 81mm USMC mortars. The area in front of that and is the number of  "tubes" the asset can put on target. In this case six tubs represented by empty shell casings.

Here is the larger Japanese gun with 4 tubes available and 2 tubes "used" in the battle. I'm such a geek!