Wargaming in Hertfordshire

Friday, 13 July 2018

Busy week at Black Wolf

A large turn out this week, with in the first corner, a 15mm WW2 1940 Operation Sealion game using the Great Escape Games "Iron Cross" rules.

Opposite we had a game of To the Strongest Ancients, this time in 6mm, looking nice, but testing the eyesight!

Next down the hall, Rob and Tony played a trial game of "Gangs of Rome" using Rob's shiny new stuff. By the end both players said it had been OK, with some mixed views emerging regarding the rules, but it looks like this will be coming back to the tables again.

Then we had, "Congo"!
20 months after Simon buying these rules at Warfare 2017, the "Force Publique" finally hit the tabletop. Despite losing, due to Chris being able to end the game before Simon's gallant lads could capture the giant gorilla, Simon said the rules were "alright" (such ringing endorsement is rare!). The rules were considered fairly simple but quite elegant and still challenging. A fun game of Colonial Exploration, not an accurate simulation of 19th century Sub-Saharan African Warfare. While not considered a staple wargaming diet, they were considered good for an occasional diversion into the days of Empire.

In the far corner we had a very nice looking, compact game of 'For King & Parliament', in 6mm. This game will also be appearing at "The Joy of Six" on Sunday.

In the back left corner Colin, Fred, Malcolm and Ian played an Impetus fantasy game, Lord of the Rings style.

The right wing of the forces of Isengard were rapidly ambushed by Elvish archers, destroying a unit of Warg light cavalry.  Meanwhile units of Trolls and Orc berserks blundered forward, the Trolls coming under telling fire from the elvish archers hiding in a wood. The trolls then broke and rampaged towards their rear, badly damaging a supporting deep orcish pike unit. The progress of the Orc pike block was then further impeded by their own berserks charging across the centre of the battlefield.

The Rohirrim launched a Cavalry charge from cover, destroying these berserks, while simultaneously infantry units rushed forward to protect the cavalry from immediate counterattack.
A bloody affair, the game being concluded with the both the Rohirrim and the Isengard orcs close to defeat.

Lastly we had a Too Fat Lardies, Dux Britaniarum game - Vikings vs Irish

This game saw Vikings (see TFL Special) vs Irish (from the Raiders supplement). The scenario was a Viking raiding party having found their way into Strangford Lough, intent on raiding the settlement at Newtownards (no we had no idea why either!).
The Vikings landed and split into two groups, the elites and warriors heading right to the front of the church and the levy to the left, to establish a secure perimeter for the withdrawal, behind the church.

The Irish however turned up from an unexpected direction and quickly descended on the Viking levy, before they managed to form shieldwall. While the Viking levy reeled backward, the Viking leader brought his elites and a group of warriors around the church the threaten the rear of the Irish line.

Faced with this double threat, the Irish lord split his force, sending one unit to hold off the remains of the levy, while two groups faced off with the Viking elites and warriors. But this did not go well for the Irish and quickly one group of Irish warriors, complete with their Lord, were in full flight, while the other remained embattled with the Vikings.

However, the Irish skirmishers emerged to encircle the Vikings and pelt them with spears, racking up shock points. Then the Irish bowmen crept out of the woods and slaughtered 3 elite warriors in a single turn (3 sixes on 4 dice!).

Against such demon archers and with the longship to Valhalla rapidly filling up, the Viking lord decided to call it a day and head home!

Friday, 6 July 2018

WW1 Chain of Command - Black Wolf 5th July

Last night saw several games played in a hot and humid Hitchin Scout Hut.

In one corner we had a very nice looking 6mm ECW “For King and Parliament” game.  Proof, if proof were needed that 6mm is the way to go!

Near the toilets we had a 15mm American War of Independence Black Powder game, which almost had as much fencing as one of Tony's games!

Behind them was another 15mm game……..Ancients using the Aurelian rules.

Craftily sited near the storage locker and open door for maximum breeze benefit were Messrs Banks and May, playing ACW “Sharpe Practice “. Nice looking terrain, even if one could not quite see the cloth underneath! From what I can deduce Chris’ Union troops got a beating at the hands of Tony’s Rebels.

We suspect that the morale of Chris’ Union troops was made more brittle by a lack of painting attention being lavished on them. There were claims by some that they had painted more colours on 6mm ACW figures!!!

The final game of the evening saw a CofC WW1 game courtesy of Phil….and Dave.  Dave and I took the Germans, Phil and Malcolm took the Canadians.

Set sometime in 1918, the game saw an A7V broken down in a ruined village between the two sets of rear area trenches .The mission for both sides was to secure the tank.

Despite a less than optimal patrol phase the Germans managed to infiltrate a section, including an LMG, into the village and hunker down among the ruins.  The Canadians managed to move two of their sections into a hand grenading position but suffered high casualties due to accurate German rifle fire. However, overall German progress was slow, due the barrage which prevented extra troops getting onto the table.
A grim war of attrition followed with fairly ineffectual Canadian grenade and rifle fire being met by a more effective German response.  An “end of turn” proved pretty decisive .Not only did it end the barrage, allowing unimpeded German entrance to the table, including the armoured car, but the “double turn” allowed even more lead to be poured into the Canadian positions. Ultimately the Canadians decided to charge the ruined building. Carnage! Both sections virtually wiped out……as was the Canadian morale!

The German Feldwebel ( Senior Leader) was awarded the Iron Cross 1st class both for his heroic leadership in taking over the 2nd section after its Gefreiter (Junior Leader) was cut down by Canadian fire, but he achieved his mission and recovered the A7V. This is quite valuable to the Germans as only 20 were produced.***

Friday, 29 June 2018

Operation Garden Panzer - Day 1

Black Wolf - Operation Market Panzer
The following short reports summarise the epic Black Wolf boys trip to the Panzer Museum in Munster, German. The trip covered 1375 miles, taking in the Market Garden corridor, the excellent Overloon museum, on to the Panzer museum in Munster, then back via the Mohne dam, to the fortress at Eben Emael and home via the Musée du Corps de Cavalerie in Jandrain-Jandrenouille in Belgium. 

Day 1: Market Garden Corridor: After a morning Eurotunnel crossing we drove up to the starting point of Market Garden, Joe’s bridge just North of Grote, then on toward Eindhoven, via the CWGC cemetery at Valkenswaard, then a swing around Eindhoven, through the 101st drop zone and back into Eindhoven.

Operation Garden Panzer - Day 2

Day 2: After a diversion to the really excellent museum at Overloon, it was up the 30 Corp corridor into Arnhem.

After a stop at Arnhem bridge, it was on to the Airborne museum at Hartenstein and the CWGC cemetery at Oosterbeek.

Then it was a 4.5 hour drive to Munster, before consuming 16 beers in the Grenadier Hotel honesty bar and bed!

Operation Market Panzer - Day 3

Day 3: A tour of the Panzer Museum at Munster. The museum is a bit like Bovington used to be like, before the revamp. However, it does have a really impressive collection of armour, particularly around post WW2 German army. The Panzer 38(T) and Panzer I tanks were a ‘must see’ and the full scale plastic Tiger 1, a really impressive replica.

After lunch in a café over the road, it was the epic drive back to Maastricht, but we decided to break the journey at the famous Mohne dam, of the dambuster fame.

Operation Market Panzer - Day 4

Day 4: Eben Emael: An excellent tour of the extensive underground of the Eben Emael fort, including a chilling view of just what a 50kg shaped charge can do!

A quick tour of the upper works and then it was on to Musée du Corps de Cavalerie in Jandrain-Jandrenouille, where Richard gave us a really good tour of this small, but well equipped museum about the little publicised 1940 tank battle at Hannut.

Finally it was home, but not before an exciting diversion via P&O ferries, after Eurotunnel decided to have a power cut!?

Friday, 15 June 2018

To the Strongest, Wars of the Roses Campaign, Northampton

To reflect history, the Lancastrians were on the defensive for this battle. After wandering in, sans army list, Warwick (Tony) eventually managed to assemble a "Yorkish"(sic) army, which was mostly in accordance with the army list and only a few points over the 210 point target! Pretty good for Aussie maths and organisation!
The Lancastrian force, -24 points for being on the defensive, but with a stream/ defensive ditch to defend, awaited. Buckingham (Simon) to the right, Shewsbury (Phil) to the left and Lord Grey (Greg) in the centre.

The Yorkist army had a cunning plan however!  While the Earl of March (Chris) provided a pinning/distraction on the left flank, Warwick's (Tony) force of bow and bills advanced on the right, as a covering force (to soak up the Lancastrian arrow storm!) and enable Fauconberg's (Dave) breakthrough force of foot knights, following close behind, to get into a position to assault the far left of the Lancastrian line.

Despite a slow start (a quick series of '1' activation chits), the Yorkist plan was starting to work and the Lancastrian forces were just not redeploying quickly enough to counter the threat. However, despite losing a couple of bow units, Shewsbury managed to get a couple of veteran bill units in to hold the line against the Yorkist foot knights and billmen, battling hard to cross the ditch. It looked as if the Lancastrian line might just hold long enough for reinforcements from the other flank to arrive, but suddenly disaster struck!

First a Yorkish Hoblier unit surged around the Lancastrian right and started to threaten Shewsbury's rear. Then a unit of Lancastrian bow simply withdrew from the defence line, allowing two units of Yorkist foot knights to cross the ditch. Dastardly treachery at work!

Lancastrian morale crashed, both on and off the table and the Yorkist leaders, gloating over a victory so cheaply and treacherously bought, rubbed thier hands in glea! Better luck for Lancaster in Wakefield.