Wargaming in Hertfordshire

Saturday, 4 February 2017

2nd Feb 2017: Battlegroup 1973 Yom Kippur

This week saw the first try out of our Iron Fist Battlegroup 1973 Arab-Israeli war rules adaptations. The scenario involved an Egyptian force pushing out of the Gidi pass, attempting to capture the strategically important road junction of “Spotonmap”. Rapidly deploying into that same road junction was one platoon of Israeli M48 Magachs and one platoon of M51 Super Shermans, supported by a motorised platoon of infantry.

The Egyptians pushed forward a full company of T-55s, supported by infantry in BTR-50s on their right flank. The Israelis rapidly deployed the Super Shermans to the left of the village, while the Magachs pushed into the village, to take up obscured firing positions to cover the main axis of the Egyptian advance.

We had made the Israeli tank crews “panzer aces”, to reflect the superior IDF gunnery and the +1 really started to tell. Soon the 2 platoons of T-55s on the Egyptian left were burning. The remaining T-55 platoon in the Egyptian centre was doing better, but despite getting a few hits, the penetration rolls were incredibly unlucky.

The Egyptians did manage to deploy one Sagger team on the far right and this engaged the left-most Magach, managing to knock it out with its second missile. Simon (co-Egyptian commander) also managed to push a BTR-50 into the far right of the village, and under covering fire of a second deployed infantry section, managed to storm and eliminate a defending Israeli infantry section and also eliminate their supporting M113 with an RPG.

However, by this time, the last of the Egyptian 1st wave armour had now been eliminated and although a second wave of T-55 was now rolling forward, this time employing proper tactics of firing HE on the move to suppress the Israeli armour, they were not pinning the Israeli armour fast enough. So, the win went to Greg’s Israelis.

Overall the rule mods seemed to work and the result looked reasonable historical. Next round will be in the Golan heights, with the real stars of the show, the Shot Kal Centurions!

Models are mostly Battlefront, with some Khurasan, all in 15mm.
Elsewhere, there was an ACW skirmish, using Sharpe Practice 2 and a rather hectic game of pirates!


26th Jan 2017: To The Strongest: Perperna in Spain

Another great game of To The Strongest and the first outing of my Victrix Sertorian Roman / Spanish army. Perperna had four Roman legionary units and a selection of Lusitanian allies. Opposed to him was a Spanish / Celtiberian army.

Fred’s Spanish/Celtiberian army opened by trying to push both flanks of the Sertorian force, with some success. This drew troops from the Sertorian centre and started to stretch their line. At this point the ‘deep’ Celtiberian units launched forward. The Sertorian legionaries held for a while, but then one of the Celtiberian units broke through and the Sertorian line started to collapse. Next time Sertorius himself will have to lead his force!

Friday, 6 January 2017

1st New Year Games Night

Our first Black Wolf post New Year games night saw quite a diversity of games. Rob & I played X Wing (a new acquisition of mine). Played out between Rebel X Wings and some Slaver scum (2 Y Wings and a Firespray). This was played out on my new Artistic Impressions mat, amongst my home made asteroids.

Things were not looking good for the Rebels, who were quickly down on X Wing. However, Boda Fett was having a spot of trouble with asteroids, clipping most of them. Finally the remaining X Wing pair landed a couple of solid blows and the Slaver scum started to crumble.

Elsewhere Chris and Mal were playing Frostgrave (but we don't talk about that!). A group of stalwarts played ECW and in the opposite corner Colin was running another skirmish game of Song of Drums & Shakos.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

The Battle of Chalons

Thursday December 29th witnessed the much anticipated re-fight of Chalons (or Catalaunian Fields") from 451AD, fought between the forces of civilisation ( Roman & Visigothic) and the forces of barbarity ( Huns and their Germanic allies).

Miraculously everyone made it to the club by roughly the agreed start time despite some very late nights/early mornings.

The Roman line up saw Fred K as Aetius, assisted by Dave B as King Theodoric and Chris B as Prince Thorismund (these are the very happy chaps in the first picture!). Attila was appropriately played by Tony M with Greg H as Valarmir, King of the Ostrogoths and Eileen B as Ardaric, King of the Gepids (certain members of this line-up were too horrific to photograph!).

The battle saw Chris' Visigoths facing Eileen's Gepids on the Roman left flank. True to form the Romans let their allies bear the brunt of the fighting, as Chris laid into his wife (simulated on the table, of course!). This was never going to end well domestically, particularly as Chris was truly exultant every time he killed a unit of his wife's army! After an hour of solid beating it looked as if the Gepid flank would collapse, yet somehow it held.

That meant the Romans would have to fight after all; not in Fred's plan. Tony's Huns behaved in a truly Hunnic fashion but in reality made little impact on Dave's Roman/Visigothic command. Fred led his veteran Romans into an attritional battle in the centre and eventually the Romans ground-out a hard-fought victory.

The actual fighting took close to four hours so it was well worth making use of the all-day club game facility.

I think everyone enjoyed it to some extent, and once again "To the Strongest" game a very enjoyable game. There is no news yet of the post battle Visigoth /Gepid relations!

Friday, 4 November 2016

Battle of Dertosa 215BC: To The Strongest Ancients

Hannibal was kicking his heels in southern Italy, so the time had come for a Roman counter-attack in Spain.  A rapid Roman offensive across the Ebro caught Hasdrubal Barca off guard and now the glorious Roman army was besieging Dertosa. Hasdrubal rushed to relieve the siege and so the opportunity avenge the deaths of the elder Scipios 4 years earlier presents itself.

Well, as expected the Romans lost the scouting contest and so deployed the centre of the Roman triple line. The Carthaginian’s responded by deploying the massed citizen spear blocks, supported by Spanish infantry. Then it was down to just seeing how much overlap the Carthaginian’s managed to achieve around the outnumbered Roman cavalry.

Battle opened with the Carthaginian  left wing surging forward to try to envelop the Roman right, while their left wing had a bit of a false start and the citizen spear indulged in a half hearted shuffle forward.

The confident Roman legionaries marched forward to engage the Carthaginian centre, while the wings mounted a holding action. However, very quickly the numerous Carthaginian cavalry started to flank the hard pressed Roman cavalry.

No matter, thought the Roman commander, “we can still crush their centre, before our wings collapse”. But, no matter how hard the Roman Hastati tried, these Carthaginian citizen spear just would not die! Save after save was coming out of the bag and when hits were finally achieved, they were quickly rallied off.

Meanwhile the Roman left wing was starting to run into trouble, being out flanked by the Numibian light cavalry and the Roman right was being assailed almost in front of their own camp!

Then at the darkest hour one of the Carthaginian citizen spear blocks pushed its way through the Roman first line. Things were looking very bleak indeed!

But then the Romans found a weak spot, the Spanish infantry! They managed to break these allies.  Then quickly routing a supporting elephant unit, which fled through a group of slingers, squashing them into the turf.

Finally things were looking up for the Romans, but too late. God had called time and despite being less then enamoured with the beardy wonders on the Carthaginian side, was forced to grudgingly accept this as a marginal victory for Carthage. The beardy wonders immediately claimed an overwhelming victory, desperate for any popular acclaim, while the Romans were left to ponder their tactics!

Another fun game using the ‘To The Strongest’ rules, that remained ‘in the balance’ right until the end. What more can you ask of an evening’s gaming.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Bolt Action returns to Black Wolf

After the recent 'Weird War' appearance of Bolt Action at the club a couple of weeks ago, this latest game was rather more conventional. The game was a meeting engagement, with 3 US Shermans (Tony's models, carefully prepared by Fred) supported by 2 infantry squads vs a Panther and 3 German squads, plus a few extras.
The game opened with both sides bounding forward to cover near the centre of the table and then getting bogged down into a firefight stand off in the middle of the table.

The menacing Panther mowed down a US Bazooka crew who bravely attempted a frontal shot from the hedge line. However, as the Panther had used its 'Ambush' dice, the supporting US Sherman rushed up, on top of the fallen bodies of the bazooka crew, to have a pop at the Panther. These two tanks then proceeded to demonstrate their collective ability to miss the proverbial 'barn door' in a series of missed shot exchanges.

The right hand German infantry squad then attempted to storm the house at the far side of the village, only to get pinned down in the middle of the street.
The Yanks then attempted to flank the Panther to the right, while the left flank German infantry was redeploying to support the centre attack. However, the Germans weren't that easily fooled and rushed back, popping off both panzerfausts and brewing up the flanking Sherman.

Meanwhile, the 3rd Sherman snuck forward and managed to knock out the Panther, unseen from the central hedge line. But their celebrations were short lived as the German Panzershrek redeployed to the edge of the wood and flamed the offending Sherman.

So ended the game. A marginal victory to the Germans and a salutary lesson in not using armour in an OK Coral shoot out mode!

Personally, I prefer Chain of Command for this scale of game, as it offers mechanisms to break these firefight stand-offs and also a bit more period flavour, but each to their own.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Postcript to the Battle of Ludford Bridge

Following the break in the early string of Yorkist victories, with defeat at the battle of Ludford bridge, there are rumours of dissent within the Yorkist command. Edward claimed that Warwick had sent him out to die, after Warwick apparently ordered him to attack across the bridge, but then failed to fully support him (something about Warwick’s horse not being happy about being on bridges!).
After a furious row with Warwick, Edward stormed to his father’s sickbed, only to find his father dead and Elizabeth Woodville sobbing over the body, still clutching a bottle of Warwick Industries healing potion. “But he only had a bruise after being hit on the head with a longbow shaft”, exclaimed Edward. However, it was later claimed that the potion had somehow reacted with a cut inflicted by a fault in York’s Warwick Industries supplied suit of armour.
Investigations into the allegations of Warwick seeking to extend the war, in order to gain further orders for Warwick Industries, have faltered recently. The investigator was found at the bottom of Warwick castle moat, after apparently making use of the new Warwick Industries iron swim trainer ankle weight accessories unsupervised!

Upon the death of his father, Edward has now assumed the command of York’s Battle and relationships with Warwick were said to be ‘frosty’, especially after Warwick claimed to have found a new claimant to the throne, one apparently still able to ‘fit in his boots’!?