Wednesday, 23 April 2014

AWI Pitzer's Ridge

Bank Holiday Monday afternoon we turned our attention to a Black Powder game and the American Revolution. We played a scenario based on command challenge Pitzer's Ridge using the forces my dad has in his AWI collection. The scenario requires the Americans to get as many wagons off the table along the road at the back of their deployment zone before the British can get hold of them and also to hold onto the Mill on the left flank. The wagons can move with a command value of 7. The Americans started with only one brigade on the table which can be deployed anywhere on the table, the rest of the brigades start to enter at the start of turn 3 from the rear end deployment zone. The British forces all arrive from their table edge on turn 1 with the objective to take the Mill and capture as many wagons as possible before the American reserves arrived.

The wagons are loaded with their cargo and ready to roll out of town

The forces consisted of 5 brigades aside. The Americans consisted of 3 Continentals & 2 Militia and the British had 3 British, 1 Hessian, 1 Loyalists and a unit of detached Dragoons. I took command of the Americans and deployed my brigade of continentals guarding the Mill behind the fencing and with 2 units positioned on the hill, the light infantry were deployed in the woods. The Loyalists, Hessians and a British brigade were deployed on their left flank along with the Dragoons who would ride forward ASAP to reach the wagons early with the other two brigades were tasked with capturing the mill.

The beginning of the game saw the British advance at a good pace and after only two turns they had managed to pass the flank of the continentals defending the Mill, the Dragoons raced ahead at good speed also.

The first brigade of British push forward to engage in a close range fire fight. One of the Continental units come under particular heavy fire and are forced to retreat from the hill. However the supporting British brigade failed to move after failing a couple of command rolls.

After making a forward move the Hessian leader then blunders in his next turn, the Hessian brigade retreats 3 moves back over! (The old nagging woman is the blunder marker) 

With the wagons finally on the move after a failed command roll or two from the General himself the American reinforcements start to arrive from reserve. The Dragoons didn't quite make it to the wagons in time.

The Maryland Militia enter from reserve running up the road to reinforce the Mill were the continental brigade is beginning to waver.

The British form a battle line ready to fire fight with the Virginia Militia as the second continental brigade runs up to get into the action.

The Continental brigade defending the Mill is broken and starts to withdraw leaving the British to push forward into the vacated position. The supporting brigade finally moves up in support too. However the Continenals had held the British up for long enough for the American reserves to get into a position to  launch a counter attack.

The battle in full flow

The supporting British brigade attacking the Mill remained behind the fence for much of the game, failing a number of command rolls.

The Militia and continentals open up on the loyalists, getting the better of the fire fight and breaking the loyalist brigade.

On the left flank the the continentals passed through the Militia to break the British brigade who start to fall back, the wagons now steadily moved along the road.

With the Americans now in position the British after a round or two of shooting charge into the Militia, the Hessians, who have made a late push back into the action try to stop the American counter attack in the center after the loyalists broke.

The British fix bayonets and charge into the Militia causing enough damage to break them, however a couple of British units are shaken in the process.

The British left flank retreats away to the table edge as the wagons finally start to reach the table edge. The British are fighting hard to hold onto the mill but the supporting brigade refuses to push forward in support, remaining behind the fence.

The Continentals and supporting Militia start to rally with the aid of the General after repelling the British attack on the wagons.

After the breaking of the Militia the supporting continentals take advantage by flanking the exposed British. The Continentals had not fired yet so using there first volley they inflicted 9 hits. My dad  managed to save 7 but it was not enough to stop the unit becoming shaken. This meant that a third British brigade was shattered meaning  the British army had lost 3 brigades and was now broken, handing victory to the Americans!

The final table.

The shattered British brigade starts to retreat away

A second British brigade retreating from the battlefield on the left flank. The British guards cover their retreat.

I really enjoyed the scenario/game and using the Blackpowder rule set as I've only had one or two games using this system. Also its a period I enjoyed playing in the past.
I just about managed to hang on and claim victory as i was Down two brigades and was close to losing a third. I had managed to save 5 hits out of 7 requiring 5+ in one of the melees which held my brigade from been shattered earlier which would probably have meant I would have broken first. However such fine lines win games and that particular Militia unit preformed beyond expectations when it was needed, for today at least. Also a turning point in the game was the failure of my dad to be able to move his supporting British brigade for the most part, meaning although the first brigade of British shattered two American brigades they suffered to many casualties to be able to hold with out support when confronted by a third fresh Continental brigade 
So the final outcome saw me win losing two to my dads three brigades, I also managed to safely get the wagons from the table but my Dad had gained control of the mill. American victory.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Defend the hill at all costs......

We returned to WW2 action at the weekend with a scenario from the BGO book called the Hill between a German Grenadier and American armoured force. The scenario is based around a large hill which is the main objective, the first force to break their opponents Break point would win the game.

                                                  The hill with German defences 

                  Civilians take to the roads as the American forces start to arrive

I took command of the Germans as the defender and picked a force of 500 pts. As the defender i was given access to a Trench line, HMG bunker and a minefield. the minefield i marked with three markers on the table top, two of these were dummy minefields, the trench line and HMG bunker i placed up on the hill. My force included a Panzer Grenadier platoon, HMG team, 80mm mortar with loading crew, Panzer IV platoon, 88mm with dugout, 2 x Snipers, Puma armoured vehicle and a HQ section. My dads attacking American force consisted of HQ, Platoon of Infantry in half tracks, 4 x M4 Sherman's, M10 tank hunter, Reece Jeep, A/T gun 6 pounder and a observer with 4.2 mortar battery of table with a target register point, which was placed bang on top of the hill in the centre of my defences. We allowed the Americans to have extra troops to the value of the German defences which was roughly 70 pts, so the American force was 570 pts approx.  before the game started we rolled a dice to see if the skies were clear but a roll of one meant that no air craft would be present in this game. Any air attack chits pulled would count as 1 in this game. (2 air attack chits were pulled during the game)

Grenadiers behind the hedgerow near one of the minefield markers.

American M3 Halftracks move up the road quickly to find the cover for their passengers to dismount and find cover in the ruined buildings.

Scanning for targets the dug in 88 awaits in ambush.

The hill takes a barrage from the Off field 4.2mm mortars who have a registered target point on the objective. Despite rolling a direct hit twice on the Platoon command squad, rolling 6 dice needing 4's to hit my Dad managed to miss both times!!.... 12 dice and no 4+ command squad breathed a big sigh of relief. The HMG bunker also remained unpinned.

The American Artillery observer looks for targets from the ruined house, while the GI's dismount from their half tracks.

German troops and 88mm remained on standby fire, waiting for the right moment to strike.

The British truck (objective marker) brews the teas for the HMG crew.

This M3 Halftrack is a tiger tank in disguise! Not only does it manage in the course of the game to destroy a Grenadier squad, LMG team and sniper team with MG fire, it survives a direct hit from a 88mm AP round at point blank range. I only required to roll 4 or more on 2 dice to destroy the Halftrack so I managed to roll double 1 only immobilising it, the Halftrack returned fire and killed my 88mm crew, the 88mm was no more and it was now turn 4 and all the American armour was due to arrive. arghhh!!! 

A German 80mm mortar fires supporting fire to hassle the American advance, I deployed it a little to close to the action and my dad managed to mg the crew down later in the game, oops!

The hill was hammered all game by mortar fire and eventually my dad killed 3men from the HQ squad and managed to pin the Bunker as well on a couple of occasions. However the HMG bunker when not pinned proved to be a real thorn in the American advance, accounting for a lot of the American casualties. 

M4 Sherman's and the Wolverine take cover in the hedgerows and become involved with a fire fight with a Panzer IV which took a direct hit and became immobilised (Double one rolled again for armour penetration) despite been immobilised the Panzer IV makes no mistake in destroying the Wolverine.

Another Sherman rolls down the road cautious of a potential minefield,  in front of it the Tiger, erm I mean M3 Half track goes up in flames thanks to a second Panzer IV arriving from reserve and wasting no time in targeting it.REVENGE.

On the left flank the final two Sherman's get into a duel with 2 Panzer IV's, after both sides struggled to spot their targets the Sherman's draw first blood.

The result of the fire fight, after first becoming immobilised (yes the 3rd time this game a double 1 was rolled for AP result) the second round sets the panzer on fire.

Turn 8 sees a German programmed artillery barrage hit the terraced house, the Americans still had 2 squads in the building and outside and both suffered direct hits, destroying one of the squads.

The American A/T gun fires rounds of HE to try and pin the HMG bunker. A second half track takes a direct hit from a mortar round and is destroyed.

The immobilised Panzer IV crew busy trying to repair their tank which remains in a fire fight with a Sherman across the hedgerows.

The final picture of the battlefield at the end of our allotted time.

A really hard fought game had seen me go in to the last turn sitting on my break point of 31. My dad managed to cause a casualty on a HMG team putting it down to one man, however my morale throw saw me roll a 6 and a beyond the call of duty meaning I escaped having to draw a chit which most likely would have seen me pass my break point, I had just by the skin of my teeth managed to hold onto the objectives, however my dad was 8 away from his break point of 32 meaning the Americans gain a technical win. 

With the sky due to clear in the morning, Opening the way for the American Airforce to take to the skies the German force having sustained heavy losses during the fight holding the hill during the American attack were to withdraw during the night abandoning the hill to reinforce their numbers and hopefully repair some of those immobilised Panzers ready to fight again further down the line.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Ireland 1690

1690 in the countryside of Ireland...........

Sunday evenings game saw me try my hand at a game of Pike & Shot using the armies of William of Orange and King James II. The period is completely new to me and for my first go I think I faired reasonably ok, well if you don't take into account that I managed to get William killed leading a rather rash cavarly charge! Midway through the game I was close to been over run and I was fortunate my Dad managed to roll a few poor command rolls halting his attack and allowing to get my reserves into a more solid defensive line. My cavalry to managed to redeem themselves after a poor start to the game, although they ended up broken, they managed to break James cavarly in return. My elite troops faired well and managed to rally their disorder off at the start of most of their turns unlike my dads elite troops who spent lot of the game disordered. For the best part my shooting was poor, especially my first volleys which I'm sure were fired with wet powder.
Playing Pike and Shot was very different tactically from Hail Ceaser which I'm am starting to get to grips with, however I few more games and ill start to get a better understanding of he rules and tactics.
Here are a few photos of he game,