Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Last weeks WSS battle

As the post title suggests my dad and I had a WSS game last week using the very enjoyable rule set Volley and Bayonet, unfortunately I have been pre occupied and unable to blog the game before now so this post is only a brief of the game (still with plenty of pictures). Last time using this period I was victorious with the British so this time we changed roles so I was in command of the French and Austrains and Irish.

Our deployment revealed my Large Brigade of French cavalry opposite the British cavalry which would ensure a massive cavalry engagement.
I deployed two French brigades in the centre compromising of six regiments in each
The British centre looked strong with the Guard regiment positioned right in the centre
My Bavarians were tasked with holding the right flank and along with a brigade of French Dragoons and a nice 'block' of Bavarian Currasiers.
My dad grabbed the initive early in the game and managed to grab the defensive hedgerows across the centre of the table, my task was now very clear, I was going to have to take the attack to the British and hope that first volley or two didn't do to much damage to my troops.
The cavalry engagement was set underway as the British cavalry charged the first line of French cavalry. However the Two French guard cavalry units proved their status as elite cavalry and smashed the first wave of the Britsh cavalry attack.
The Austrian Currasiers move in support of the French right of centre as the 2nd French brigade starts to falter under the fire of the British.
My small Irish brigade surprised me in their performance as they attacked the British right flank, I had expected this brigade to become broken as they were outnumbered by the Britsh  facing them, however they were (just) to survive the game and after a couple of rounds of hard close quarter fighting they managed to help exhaust the British infantry brigade
The fighting in the centre wasn't going to well for my French, none more so than when I was a little over enthusiastic in the movement of a French regiment into short range of the British musket and canister of the artilley, one round of shooting saw the French quickly turn tail and RUN!!
However the same could not be said of the cavalry fight, my dad demonstrated on a number of occasions how not to roll melee dice as his cavalry brigades were broken almost by the 'exceptional' French Guard cavalry. The second line of French cavalry comfortably repelled the last desperate attack by the British cavalry, with all the the British cavalry exhausted my French cavalry now could turn onto the flank of the British centre.
Over on the French right flank my Dragoons were unopposed by any cavalry and quickly they were able to flank the Austrain infantry position. Although the Dragoons were all but exhausted by their repeated attacks against Austrain infantry, their persistent attacks payed dividend as the Austrain brigade was to be become exhausted before they could be re-enforced by the late arriving Austrain reserve Currasiers.
With the French Dragoons doing the donkey work the Bavarians pushed foward managed to drive the defending Austrians back exhausted, before reorganising to face the threat of the Austrain Currasiers whom had arrived from their position in reserve.
With both the flanks secured the remains of my French central brigades fall back away from musket fire range, however the British artillery still manages to cause enough casualties to exhaust the 1st infantry brigade, although I had taken quite a battering in the centre my two French brigades had just about held on long enough to allow the French cavalry to start to turn onto the British flank.
The French cavalry finally starts to attack the flank of the centre of the British centre sweeping away a couple of infantry regiments and exhausting the British brigade on the right centre, with this new threat now on their flank any advantage my dad had in the centre was now lost.
With time almost up my dad conceded defeat, ultimately the very poor showing from his cavalry brigade(s)had cost him dearly, and the fact that my cavalry remained almost unscathed from the cavalry combat was a bitter blow to my dads efforts. 
Another cracking game using volley and bayonet and if I'm not mistaken I have a 100% win ratio fighting WSS, maybe this is my lucky period 😉

Friday, 20 January 2017

The Red hammer pushes on..WW2 AAR

The battlefield is set in the outer regions of Germany 1944 as the Russians push towards Berlin, the radar station,ruined town houses and bombed factory across the middle of the table are the objectives, these will be needed to be claimed by the end of turn 7 to win the game with the possibility of a extra turn, if either side would reach 2/3rds of their Break point total they would be forced to retreat and the engagement would be lost 

As I stated in my last post we decided to have another game of Iron cross this week after we found ourselves rather rusty with the rules in our last game. This time out I decided to give the Russians a run out for the first time using these rules and my dad used the Germans. We used the 1944 lists and picked 700 points aside. I decided to go for Weight of numbers and brought plenty of T34/76 tanks (backed up by a couple of T34/85) which are inferior to the German armour but I was hoping the extra numbers would count. Supporting these tanks was a SU-76mm tank hunter and a T70 light tank and a 76mm A/T gun. My dad took a Tiger 1 backed up by some Panzer IV's and a 88mm just for good measure, we both had roughly the same amount of infantry squads and support teams although I had a extra flamethrower team and sniper, both sides had a quarter of their force off in reserve which could arrive from the start of turn 3.

Onto the action..........

T34/76. Tanks advance towards to town buildings objective supported by the infantry mounted in the transport trucks. I find that the the transport in Ironcross can be very useful for getting your infantry squads to objectives with speed, once you disembark you don't have to worry to much about having to get the transport off the table (wasting valuable command tokens) as they don't contribute to your Break point (BT). 
The German infantry squads take the inititive and take control of the ruined town houses early in the game
The Russian left flank was to see heavy fighting throughout the game, the 76mm A/T gun engages in a fire fight with the distant Panzer IV's, this fire fight was to last the entire game with both sides coming desperately close on a number of occasions to surpassing their morale limit, only for some timely company command orders/rolls to save them. The supporting Russian infantry engaged in a fire fight with the German infantry in the wood, eventual destroying the Germans.
The 88mm waits quietly in the wood for a target, naturally i was very reluctant to give it one, the tiger and infantry support the squads holding the town houses.
A Russian spotting plane on a recon mission surveys the German position (the model was only on for show and wasn't actually playing any part but you have to use as many of your miniatures/models as possible as, well it looks nice and adds to the visual effects of the game 😄
As the Russian tank column advances towards the town houses the tiger clunks into gear and moves from the concealment of the wood to meet the threat head on down the narrow road way
The sound of the tiger coming into view was enough to get my advance T34's attention and I tried to react to this with a reverse move ASAP, however it proved unsuccessful unlike the 88m shell from the tiger which found its target with a Kaboom result!
As my Russian armour advanced to take control of the radar station a sneaky German infantry squad tried for a flank position for a panzerfaust shot onto the unsuspecting Russian tanks. However I had support from a couple of squads of infantry and they advanced into the wood to pin the attack from happening. This was another fire fight which would continue throughout the game. It's very important in iron cross to keep your tanks supported by infantry as it gets hard to react to the enemy infantry with your tanks if you are not supported. I do like this rule as it gives your infantry a good role to play in supporting your armour in attacks,which I have not always found the Case in other rule sets where infantry would be at times neglected.
My flamethrower squad once in position quickly cleared out the German infantry from the town house objective, after this attack the flamethrower squad attracted a lot of German fire as a result of the effectiveness of the close range flame attack, the squad was eventually broken but it had cleared the way for my supporting Russian infantry to take the objective. 
As our reserves entered the table most of our armour was becoming involved in a long range fire fight on the Russian left flank around the factory objective. My poor Russian tank drivers were proving no match for the Panzer IV's as two quick reaction shots saw two T34's blow up, one with a Kaboom effect which saw the supporting infantry squads take morale damage. One of these squads I issued a fall back order as they had become the target of a 80mm mortar team and once these are ranged in they start to become dangerous as you don't get any benefit for cover and each mortar shot gets one easier on the dice to hit each time it fires, the down side to this with the mortars is it can eat into your command tokens quickly. I made a bad error around this time as I forgot to activate a transport truck carrying a infantry squad from reserve when they became available, this ment they had been lost on route to the battle, oops!
The Panzer IV's which accounted for the loss of my T34's arriving from reserve. However my dad was using a lot of command tokens to keep these tanks in the game as he was regularly having to take company command checks to rally hits from the morale, mostly these were been caused by tne 76mm anti tank gun defending the factory objective
The Russian infantry squads secure the radar station as the T34's engage the remains of the German infantry squads in the area.
A bitter fight had broke out over the ruined town houses but despite taking heavy fire the Russian infantry squad was hanging onto the objective, even trying a pot shot or two at the panzer III which had appeared out the wood from reserve with their PTRD which shock the morale of the German tank. All though I wasn't destroying the tank, the fact that I was inflicting morale hits ment the Panzer III was becoming hard to activate and when it did it was suffering penalties to its shooting.
After constantly targeting the 88 in the wood the Russian mortar team finally managed to destroy it, this opened the way for my T34's to adavance into the open central area of The table, a shot from one of these quickly destroyed the Panzer III
In reaction to my T34 advancing to shoot the panzer III, my dad reacted with a panzer IV which was lurking round the back of the house, it moved around the corner of the house as my T34 engaged the Panzer III, a flank shot saw the T34 destroyed (note to readers, when my dad rolls on the damage table  for a tank it's as rare as a Sunderland win that he rolls any other result than a destroyed one!)
The game was just about to enter turn 7 when we were coming towards the time limit for our game. My dad conceaded that he was only a few points shy from his force been broken where i was still 20+ points away, most likely I would have managed to break his Germans in the final turn. I was also holding the three objectives but only after some fierce fire fighting. Both the town houses and factory area had really been a hard fought to take and then hold.
The Russian command team was called upon late in the game to lend a hand to hold the factory objective, on a couple of occasions I was called upon using his  ability to reroll a failed activation roll to keep the anti tank gun firing.
My Russian tanks after securing the radar station start to advance onto the flank of The German position after clearing the area of German infantry 
The final position as the Russains gain a victory and another foothold into German territory 
These last couple of games using Ironcross rules has really set alight my passion for gaming world war 2 after a absence of over 5-6months. I really do like his these rules work as at all times during the game you get to be involved, it almost feels like your not actually playing turns. I love the rules for the sniper teams, definetly the best idea for them I have played, and the ease of tne transports is excellent.  I know the rules don't have aeroplane attacks and in game artillery bombardments but if does not suffer at all for this, actually both myself and my dad think it's better without them as in the past they have slowed the game down and proven to be a to much of a dominate force in a game. What I have learned so far in my games of iron cross is to be careful with your command tokens. It is so easy to just keep spending them activating or reacting that before you know if you have next to non left and your opponent has a handful. During this game my dad suffered from this when he failed 5-6 reaction rolls in a row to interrupt my move, meaning when I did pass the initiative back to him he was limited to what he could do. Also, although very important that they are, company command rolls can eat into your command tokens if your not careful, sometimes I think you just have to leave troops to there fate and concentrate your efforts elsewhere. Finding that balance between been aggressive with the initiative and been to passive and cautious is a fine line, I think I got it right during this game, on a couple of occasions I took the game to my dad by been very aggressive in attacking the objective inthe  ruined town houses area, using a fair amount of my command tokens but at the same time I was managing to draw my dad into trying to react to this expending his command tokens on actions he probably could have done without doing. If you haven't played Ironcross before they are definetly worth  having a go 👍
I have loads of models which had a purpose in my previous set of WW2 rules which I am now finding a new use for in Ironcross. My old communication truck base makes a nice place to put my discarded command tokens from company command rolls... (Any excuse to get these cool looking models onto the table 😀)

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

First Walkers for the Walking Dead game

Been a massive fan of the TV series, I decided Towards the end of the year to take the plunge and buy myself the miniatures game for the walking dead all out war which after a couple of trial games I pleased I did, the game and characters are based around the comic series which At Christmas I received the first omnibus of. I decided to paint the Walkers first, I have deliberately gone for bright colours as I wanted them to have a 'comic' feel about them, I have done the same with the scenery which was bought as part of the booster for the game. The models have been really well scuptured and once painted I think have come up very nice, they are definetly full of character. Once I finish my remaining walkers I will crack on with Rick Grimmes and co.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Some WW2 Action

After watching the movie A Bridge to far the other day it put me in the mood to want a WW2 game as it had been quite some months since we last had our WW2 armies on the table top. Last year had seen us move away from the battlegroup rules, replacing them with the Ironcross rule set, so we picked 600 points of Germans (me) and Americans (my dad)which give us a decent amount of troops and set about fighting a meeting engagement scenario .
German Stug's and infantry squads ready to advance
A Pak40 anti tank gun and infantry squads taking cover in the woods along with CnC
American GI's advance through the wooded area towards the German position
80mm mortar shells the Ametican positions 
American Infantry dig in around the ruins 
A 75mm Sherman advances and engages the German armour from a distance
A Stug tank becomes a casualty to the advancing Shermans as the Getman infantry move towards the ruined rail station objective
American infantry lay down defensive fire as a Sherman creeps through the woods to support the attack 
The German infantry continue to hold the ruined rail staion despite attracting a lot of American onto their position
The Bridge objective falls into the hands of the Americans as a Sherman is the first to move onto the Bridge crossing the river
More American infantry arrive from reserve late in the day
The German command centre desperately calls for reenforcements 
Three Stug's and a Hetzler are knocked out by the Dhermans having failed to cause any damage on the American Armour

Unfortunately the game ended before we could determine a winner,(the Americans were awarded a winning draw) this was mostly down to the fact that my dad and I were rusty on the rules after a long lay off from them, which led to us having a couple of lengthy stops rule checking during the game. This was a shame as I was really enjoy the game despite the fact I had managed to lose all my armour due to expert Marksmenship of the American Shermans but the stoppages proved worth while as we managed to 'iron out' a couple of rules we had been doing wrong up until now. We have decided to have have another WW2 game next week now that we have the rules fresh in our minds again, but this game definetly tweaked my interest again in WW2