Thursday, June 25, 2009

Brimtok Campaign - Marines clobber Space Orks

Marines deployed in a central position with Terminators on a 2nd story platform and the Dreadnought in the middle.

Dave B and I played out one of the smaller skirmishes which take place as the Mantis Legion (or Mantis Warriors) makes landings on planet Brimtok. In the last skirmish, a 500-point marine force was destroyed. This time it was different. Taking place in city terrain at a location known as "Node 15" The Marines were trying to wipe out a small 700-point force of Orks gaurding an important warboss. 750 points of Mantis Warriors deployed in a central position ahead of the ork advance.

Orks advancing through the ruins of the bombarded city, which slowed them down tremendously, even with a "waaagh!" order. Note the warboss on a trukk on the flank.

Turn 1. Scout marines, infiltrating on a dangerous mission to assassinate the warboss, get a very lucky glancing hit on the trukk, which careens off the table edge and gets wiped out. The warboss is dead!

The scouts make a break for it, but the ork kommandos catch up.

Three Killa Kans burst through the ruins of the city's ruined sanctorium, and the farthest one gets hit by a plasma cannon blast from the marine dreadnought. Meanwhile, the main ork mob is having a few difficulties just trying to get through the rubble.

The kommandos wipe out the scouts in hand-to-hand combat. This game is an assassination mission, and the score know stands at 2-1 points in favor of the marines.

The terminators shift position on the platform and maul the remaining kommandos, killing all except their Nob- who promptly takes cover and prevents the marines from getting a victory point for wiping out a unit.

The main mob finally gets in position to charge the tactical squad. The killa kans are all immobilized or destroyed. All marine units begin firing on this mob.

The surviving mob charges! The nob charges the dreadnought with an amazing 7 attacks!

Everyone "piles in." The terminators and chaplain may make the difference as several tactical marines get crunched.

One by one the orks go down until the Nob is left, and surrounded by terminators, a chaplain, and the dreadnought. SPLAT! 

The Mantis Warriors win 3 points to 1. Node 15 victory gives the marines a force bonus. There is one more Turn Zero game to play before we actually get done with the initial landings and start the first turn!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

SNS June Games

Our Saturday Night official gathering featured two games this month: Field of Glory 15mm, and Blue Sky/Red Sun 1/300.On the Friday night following, a few of us got together to go through the rules of Flames of War again.

The Early Visigoth army prepares to advance.

Dominate period Late Imperial Romans advance the skirmishers.

Visigoth heavy cavalry covers their right wing.

Legionnaires stand fast as the wings advance.

Skirmishers clash. Roman light cav comes off worst.

Roman cataphracts move up to support retreating horse archers.

...and that's where it ended up when time was called. Late start=unfinished game. Of course the game was an introduction game to two new players. Favorable reviews from  participants. All figures prepainted from GAJO.

Meanwhile, in the Pacific, it's air combat between the US and the Empire of Japan.

Zeros are collecting a world of hurt. Russ put together all the nifty flight stands for his aircraft. I understand the Americans scored the victory.

One week later, Chris has set up another excellent table of the French countryside for Flames of War 15mm.

British infantry company starting positions. Support from a troop of Churchills and a troop of Shermans with a Firefly.

The British advance on the 2nd Panzer units defending a series of small hills bisected by the main road. There are already two burning armored cars on the British right flank. Curse those 88's.

2nd SS panzers moving up under cover of the flak batteries, which managed to knock out at least 5 Typhoons!

Close up of the 88's. Actually there was also a pair of 88's with the Jagdpanthers, and another pair of Pak43 88 AT guns. Figures painted by Gary Rhay, I'm told. British figures somewhat painted by me, I'm afraid. The game was called after 2 turns, as we had started very late. Lesson of the day - smaller forces are the rule for shorter battles.

Monday, June 8, 2009

D-Day Part 2

When the store opened on Saturday (June 6), the bigger part of the game got under way. Even more players arrived to play the beach defenses and the amphibious landing. I believe I heard Craig say that this was the largest attendance for a Saturday Mega-game that the store has ever seen. Fitting that it would be for D-Day. Turn four of the game began, it was dawn on the 6th of June (for game purposes - I slept in this morning).

6th Airborne takes Pegasus Bridge. 21st Panzer assembles off-table.

4th US Infantry Division starts its landings.

4th turn started with a pre-turn aerial bombardment and then the landing craft were placed on the table. Alas, this blog will mostly cover only my part in the battle, so waddle over to and wait for them to post a complete battle report. My concern was defending St. Mére-Église from the 82nd Airborne.

The MG42s are silenced. 91st Luftlande troops defend the HQ across the street from the church.

The 82nd commander, Wil, played a great game. The 82nd troops launched several assaults to consolidate their positions and remove the German fighting platoons. First, the 91st's AT platoon bogged down trying to remove their guns from the woods, and were wiped out by the 82nd's hardest-hit platoon. So, the woods were gone. Luckily I placed my remaining sniper well at the crossroads (oops, a mistake, as I wasn't supposed to place a sniper within 4 inches of friendly troops - sorry, Wil). The mortar platoon and the MG42s did sterling work holding off the final 82nd assault. 

The Church falls, HQ bugs out, leaving the sniper to cover the retreat.

Eventually Wil got his reinforcements. The 75mm pack howitzers landed a smoke barrage perfectly on the center of town and the 82nd's second platoon assaulted the MG and mortar platoons, wiping them out. As the US airborne consolidated, the German HQ began to retreat toward Carentan leaving the sniper to delay the American advance. Additionally, the remaining flak platoon would keep the airborne divisions from linking up.

The Fall of St. Mére-Église.

The sniper was never seen again, although small -arms fire was heard from the center of town. As the HQ retreated, the Flak platoon began raking the church tower with fire, knowing that the Americans would place observers there. No luck in stopping that, however. Soon the 82nd was raining mortar and artillery fire on anything wearing a feld-grau uniform. Unfortunately, the German defenders of Utah beach eventually caved under the weight of allied assaults and naval bombardments. Sherman tanks advancing from Utah finally linked up with the 82nd.
As the final paratrooper assault took out my flak platoon (leaving just the HQ survivors- and those at half strength), the security of Carentan was assured as the 101st ran out of assaulting platoons. In the end, the allies won the battle with 5 objectives captured to 4 objectives held. Not too dissimilar from the actual event. 

A photo was taken of most of the participants, and I'm told an article with photos will appear later in one of those great British wargaming magazines. Looking forward to that.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

D-Day 65th Anniversary

GAJO set up a massive Flames Of War battle to represent the actions surrounding D-Day in WW2. This was a tremendous effort put on by the GAJO staff and the many participants. Chris and Craig and the GAJO staff have been preparing terrain and figures for months, as have many of the game players. It's all coming about just great!

The scenario is of course, representative of the large battle since it's impossible to accurately portray all the units and actual terrain of the event. Model Railroaders call this sort of scaling down as "Selective Compression." The idea is to at least get a "Feel" of the action and the strategies involved. Chris and Craig definitely got the feel of the Normandy coast, even though for the game's sake they had to shorten the beaches and represent familiar landmarks with the buildings available. Still, it was nice to see touches such as sign posts correct for the towns and roads of the area. Pegasus bridge was nicely represented as well as Pointe-du-Hoc and other objectives. The players are all big WW2 history nuts. One participant even wore his WW2 re-enactor's uniform for the 82nd Airborne! Nice touch to the atmosphere of the game.

The game was set over a two day period. Last night, June 5th, we gamed the airborne landings. After three turns, a roll of the dice indicated dawn arrived on time (meaning weather was not so bad as to obscure the dawn light). Play was suspended until the store opens today, June 6, with the dawn turn and the commencement of the landings.

Defense of St.Mére-Église. Dice ready for action.

My focus for this blog are the actions I was involved in, the defense of St. Mére-Église. To defend against the U.S. airborne I shared the command of the 91st Luftlände troops. This was a unit of former Luftwaffe troops trained to be airlifted into emergency situations. The game started with the 91st already in the defensive areas of St. Mére-Église (facing the 82nd) and Carentan (facing the 101st). The American players had to set out pathfinder markers and roll to see which units arrived randomly among the pathfinders or marched in off-board. Differently than the actual event, platoons arrived intact but randomly placed for arrival. This made it very difficult for the German players at first.

The bad luck die rolls hit the 101st player. He only managed to get two platoons of airborne to advance towards Carentan. His first platoon managed to overrun the outer defense, but snipers managed to pin the unit before they could overrun a 105mm battery. Because night rules were in effect, by nearby 20mm Flak platoon was unable to see the Americans well enough to target them. The second platoon has moved on slowly and cautiously. The Germans in Carentan are able to adjust their defenses.

82nd attacks 91st. 82nd will take the building at high cost.

In the 82nd sector, the Americans got 3 infantry platoons to come on through the fields outside of St. Mére-Église. The 82nd went into assault attempts immediately, and it was a fierce fight for the woods outside of town center. One sniper team helped to pin a platoon and accurate mortar fire helped pin another. Nonetheless, by the end of the third turn I had lost my two grenadier platoons, my sniper, and the Americans held the road to Cherbourg and one third of the town. I am left with some MG42 teams, a mortar platoon, an anti-tank platoon, a flak platoon, and Company HQ.

Find the sniper team pinning down 2nd/82nd.

Dawn is breaking. There's a tremendous rumbling from the coast. While my position in St. Mere-Eglise is precarious, Carentan is held strong and a Fallschirmjager company will arrive next turn. Plus, the night rules are over, and I think my observer in the bell tower will be quite busy...

Remains of 82nd 1st and 2nd platoons hold the center building and part of the distant woods. In the church just to the right are the observer team and a small MG42 platoon. It will take careful coordination between remaining German teams to pin the 82nd until (hopefully) reinforcements can arrive. But the 82nd gets more reinforcements shortly...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Last Stand in the Brimtok Bush

Weird planets have weird forests. This time my Mantis Warriors had a 500 point patrol up against a 500 point force of rampaging Space Orks.  Annihilation mission, Spearhead setup. Played at GAJO. Dave Baker played the unstoppable Orks.

Main Mob advances while stormboys leapfrog past them.

Mantis Warriors use cover. Firelanes ready...

The Chaplain joined up with the tactical squad. The scouts tried to pick lines of fire on probable ork approaches. The attack bike squadron zoomed out to harass the mobs. My main idea was to try to lay out lines of fire to hose down the horde of greenies. It was not to be...

Wait - where's the Boss and the nobz goin'?

Throughout the game I rolled very poorly, and the attack bikers failed to slow anyone down. All they did was attract the attention of the biggest mob!

Suddenly the truck backs up and out spill the Nobz!

Stormboyz jump in just in time...

It's Whomping time!

Everybody Piles In. Most everyone dies.

I rolled bad for assaults, too. The marines were strong enough not to run away, so they died off in ones and twos. Or threes and fours. The Scouts rushed in to help the chaplain. The main mob, having finished off the attack bikes, rushed in after them. When it was all said and done, the marines had been wiped out and there were but few orks left.  

A chance for revenge will be coming soon...