Wargaming in Hertfordshire

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Rescue the Guvnor

A rescue mission was arranged after the Guvnor of the Isle of Buchansmay was captured and held for ransom. Captains Alderan and Landfill were given the task although Landfill was put out by having to share command with that guttersnipe Alderan. He would show the brass who was the better man by rescuing the Guvnor without Alderan’s help.

The forces of freedom were relaxing in the fort and the barracks as they were expecting a small landing party to negotiate the ransom of the Gunvor’s party. However Landfill and a large force of sailors disembarked the ship and headed towards the fort, looking very menacing.

Meanwhile, Alderan and his marines landed on the beach.

The alarm was up and the mobs headed out of the fort to teach the British a lesson.

The 95th rifles had made a quick dash for the nearest building to the fort and started a delusory fire into the mob, whilst covering the advance of the sailors.

In response the mob charged the riflemen who retired in good order but the mob sensing blood continued on into the sailors as they tried to outflank them and after a brief fisticuffs sent them back.

Not to be bested by a group of stick armed corn munchers, the second group of sailors counter charged and sent the mob packing. There was now a Mexican stand-off with the second mob manoeuvring to get in close to the British, whilst their comrades in the fort continued their sniping of the British.

Charge went the mob and the rifles tried to evade but failed and were cut to pieces.

Meanwhile on the other flank the marines had formed line and were trading shots with the militia. Although the militia held their ground this was not going to end well for them.

At this point the British retired to the ship as they were unlikely to gain access to the fort to rescue the Guvnor as their force was now running low on men.

Friday, 28 June 2019

Heavenfield 634

And so, the mighty army of Welsh scum crept from their sheep excrement filled lairs and came to fair Northumbria……

King Oswald’s vastly outnumbered met them on the field of Heavenfield, with Oswald on the right, briother Oswy holding the centre and Eanfrith the allegedly dead on the right. Something definitely didn’t look right with Eanfrith…..

All knew that this would be a hard battle of attrition, with the bulk of both armies being the hard-to-turn deep units of shieldwall and god knows what the Welsh were……warriors, spear or something else.  The liberal use of incorrect figures types was not helping…..

On the right Oswald’s cavalry seemed reluctant to do anything…..but then Saxons weren’t renowned for their use of cavalry. The Welsh sub-king code-named “Tony” manged to slip his light cavalry round the flank and even help kill a unit of Oswald’s cavalry. On the Northumbrian left Eanfrith “went defensive” whilst Oswy began to smite the Welsh centre commanded by Cadwallon. Light troops died but most deep units just absorbed their losses. Having slipped round Oswald’s flank Tony changed from his usual tactic of taking the camps to trying to attack in the rea. How Tony! How Welsh! I think he was scared of the Northumbrian peasants holding the camps.

Eventually deep units died on both sides, and Eanfrith was wounded. No problem for a semi-zombie. However the Welsh numbers began to tell. But as darkness began to fall the Welsh had not achieved their objective and they slunk off back to their dens of iniquity. Northumbria was saved and Oswald proved to be a mighty king!

Thanks to Phil for putting together an excellent historical scenario. It was nice to get my Saxons out on the table plus my Grand Manner hernia-inducing piece of terrain.

I am still highly dubious about the counters in play. It was appalling of Tony not to bring his sets so that we had to ask Colin to get his. And once again Tony had to borrow someone else’s fast play sheet!!!!

Friday, 14 June 2019

What a Tanker, France 1940

Well time for something a bit different! What a Tanker, France 1940. The line up being;

  • Mal - Char B
  • Chris - Renault R35 
  • Tony- Hotchkiss H39 

  • Eileen - Panzer II 
  • Dave - Panzer 38(t) 
  • Phil - Panzer III 

 The game was played across table corners. Game opened with Dave's Panzer 38 making a rapid dash for the bridge, backed up by Eileen's Panzer II, while Chris' R35 trundled up to oppose the attempted German bridge crossing.

On the French left flank, Tony's H39 and Phil's Panzer III advanced toward each other, the H39 banging off round after round, but unable to land a blow. The Panzer III cautiously advancing, but unable to locate and then hit the diminutive H39. At the bridge, the R35 went toe-to-toe with the Panzer 38, incredibly starting to getting the upper hand, when finally the Char B managed to rumble up in support. Dave's Panzer 38 was really under threat! Sensing victory, Tony's H39 attempted to swing around the right flank of the German tanks at the bridge, in the process unwisely exposing its flank to the Panzer III and sadly time was up for the plucky little H39, as the Panzer III landed a killing blow.

Back at the bridge, Eileen's Panzer II tried to take the pressure off Dave's Panzer 38, by flanking the French tanks, causing the Char B to reverse back down the road.

 By this time, the Panzer III had also crossed the stream and engaged the Char B head on, allowing Elieen's Panzer II to sandwich the little R35 on the bridge, but neither German tank could finish off the brave little R35. Finally, despairing of the 20mm autocannon's ability to finish the R35, Eileen decided to ram, but sadly, the little R35 was made of sterner stuff and the crew of the Panzer II were forced to bail out.

 So, victory went to the French, as they finished with more operational tanks within 12" of the bridge.

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Wolves Walk the Wall, 2019 - Diary

Day 1: Thursday, 30th May. Advance party arrives at Shellbraes Farm, Northumberland and for the rest of the afternoon / evening stragglers arrive. Tony & Christine arrive last, having foolishly relied on Chris for confirmation of travel dates (allegedly).

Day 2: Friday, 31st May. The big one! 9.5 mile walk from Steel Rigg to Gilsland. Some attrition on route, losing one at the Milecastle Inn and two at the Roman Army Museum. Survivors reach vehicle park at Gilsland and then reassemble at the Roman Army museum, to collect stragglers and head home for mammoth Indian take-away.

Day 3: Saturday 1st June: This was supposed to be a ‘rest day’, but the weather witches predicted bad weather for the Sunday, so Walk 2 was brought forward 24 hours. This leg was supposed to be 8 miles, out to Brocolitia, but somehow we end up at Birdoswald first, arguing with a group of Roman re-enactors! Some order restored, and with numbers slightly depleted (due to sickness), Eileen kindly agrees to relay the walkers up to Steel Rigg. Yesterday’s disagreements over the size and number of vertical ascents / descents was beginning to cause even more grumbling in the ranks, so planned march cut back to 5 miles. However, upon reaching Housesteads Fort (only 3 miles) morale really starting to flag, due to ‘gap’ fatigue. Finally the sight of the support vehicles down in the car park below causes a mass breaking of the ranks and a flocking to the cafĂ© / gift shop!? Treated to Australian lasagne in the evening!

Day 4: Sunday 2nd June: Open revolt! Break away group commandeers one vehicle and heads off for a ‘nice day’ looking round Cragside house / gardens and Belsay Hall. Two others barricade themselves in the house. However, the stalwarts assemble for duty and head off to Heavenfield Battlefield site (633/634) and then onto Corbridge Roman town. Eventually Mel is pulled away from the ruins (Roman, not Dave) and we head for Arbiea Roman Fort in South Shields, via Prudhoe Castle. The Roman garrison at Arbiea appears besieged by a local council estate, but the recreated gate is excellent. Visit, only slightly marred by some members “forgetting” to make a donation to this free museum. Team finally recovers back to base, via Aydon castle, for a feast of Tesco ‘yellow label’ pizzas, courtesy of Simon. Monday, 3rd June: Thoughts of travelling home restores morale and amazingly the team are ready to leave by 9am, but end up kicking heels until Vindolanda opened at 10am. A good look round and a quick raid of the museum and then home.

Overall a fine trip.

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Cherbourg Perimeter, 1940 (Battlegroup)

Simon kindly laid-on a Battlegroup game, set in 1940, portraying a British delaying action against the Germans on the Cherbourg perimeter. By way of trying to avoid the usual linear slugging match, Simon had arranged for the Germans to come on across one corner of the table, while the British held a line across the opposite corner. The objective was for the Germans to exit units from the British held baseline.

The Germans opening by pushing a group of Panzer IIs around the left flank, while the infantry sought to push the right flank and a group of Panzer 38(T)s pinned the centre. Sadly for the Germans, the British had a pre-arranged 18lb barrage that landed on the Panzer 38(T)s, leaving two of them burning.

The Panzer IIs fared better, supported by a Panzer IV. They started to envelop the British right flank, the Panzer IV knocking out an A13 that was threatening the right flank of the Panzer II force. However, two further A13s had swept around the British right, one quickly neutralising the right most Panzer II, while the other managed to knock-out the Panzer IV. The German fortunes were not going so well.

The German infantry had managed to secure a house at the extreme let of the British line, driving the British infantry from the field behind the house. Emboldened, the Germans pushed another infantry halftrack forward to assault the pinned British infantry, only to have it knocked out by a Boyes anti-tank rifle, hiding on the right flank of the British infantry section.

In the midst of all of this, to add insult to injury, a British Morris armoured car had pushed out from the British centre, weaving between the Panzer 38(T)s in the German centre, to take up a position to assail the rear of the German tanks with another anti-tank rifle! This was all too much for the Germans who then chose to pull back to re-group.

Friday, 21 December 2018

What a Tanker, Russian Front

After the successful Normandy WAT game in 15mm, we decided to try the Russian front this time. Greg also had a lovely collection of Russian front vehicles to show off and a nice looking Eastern front village, so why not?
Gone were the many hedge rows of Normandy. Instead the only cover was provided by some low hills and some small woods. Eight players lined up, three Germans and five Soviets. The Germans rolled well for starting vehicles, with two Tiger 1Es and a Panzer IVH. The Soviets started with more of a mixed bag, a T34/85, a T34/76, an SU-85, an SU-100 and Tony managed to score bottom points, claiming a tiny T70!
The aim of the game was for the Soviets to get vehicles onto the roads around the strategically vital village of "Wheresatagain". They would receive 2 points for each operational tank on a road at the end of each turn.
The Soviets started with a mad dash for the village, all accept for Tony in the diminutive T70, who decided it would be fun to park on top of a hill and lock horns with one of the Tigers, with the expected result! Never mind, maybe he would get a better replacement vehicle? Nope, rolled a 4, receiving another T70!

Overall, besides the T70, the Soviets lost a T34/85 and a T34/76, just getting to the village. Things were not looking great for the forces of Stalin. However, after some prolonged chipping away, by Greg's SU-85 and friends, the Tiger on the German right flank succumbed.

This left Dave in the second Tiger, playing big Cat and many mice, around the village, but after a couple of further Soviet losses, this Tiger too fell.

The German replacement rolls were not so good, yielding a Panther and  Stug III, but it wasn't too long before the Panther was embroiled in a melee to the right of the village, managing to despatch the long lived SU-85, before dashing into the heart of the village, to avoid the unwelcome attentions of an approaching IS-2. The highlight of this Panther scrap being the little T70 snapping at the Panther's heels!

Despite amassing 22 points for road occupation, the Soviets had lost 86 points of vehicles, compared to 55 points of losses for the Germans, so a slim net win by 9 points for the Germans. However, with the loss of two irreplaceable big cats, the Soviets were still in bullish mood.