Sunday, 18 March 2018

Bundeswehr is go!

So I've had my head down for a while trying to punch out Team Yankee forces for myself and Craig. but the first results are in and they are wunderbar!

The West Germans are my Team Yankee army. Ever since a kid growing up in the 80s I've had a weakness for Leopards, Gepards, Marders and Tornadoes (still to be bought unfortunately). And now here they are on the tabletop, 100 points of West German superiority preparing to blunt the Soviet invasion of 1985.

Anyway, enough talk - you want to see the models!
Compulsory family picture! Some of the Leopards don't want to be in the photo - just like all family portraits really.

My commander - leading the advance!

Leopard platoon - the most expensive tanks in Team Yankee. I can't wait to see if they are worth their price.

The infantry. A pitifully small group, but hopefully enough to have an influence

Gepards! And the PAHs. My box of Kamfgruppe Muller had no decals, so the helicopters are unadorned unfortunately.

Jaguars! I was a bit cold on these guys to begin with, but they really are great little models.

And the Luchs scout troop. At 100 points I can only take one of these, but I may eventually paint the other two when I get the Tornadoes and need to consider options.
With any luck, this time next week I'll have the last of Craig's Soviets finished and be able to put on another parade for you! I only have the heavy weapons team to paint, but this is still 54 figures, which is the equivalent of a DBA army. We'll see how we go...


Saturday, 10 March 2018

More fun for the Hun

After their disastrous showing in their first game I decided to take the Huns out for a second crack at the Eastern Patrician Romans last night. This time I was a little more thoughtful in my deployment, utilizing the lessons from the previous night.
The Hunnic hordes deploy facing the Romans.

First moves - light cavalry skirmish on the flank. And the first PIP dice sees the plough out of play again.

First blood goes once more to the Roman archers, taking down a Light Horse with a 6-1 opposed roll.

Mean while the Roman lines angle themselves to allow the general to enter the fray against the warbands

Closing the door on their left flank, the Huns take their first ever kill - a Roman Light Horse element.

In response the Clibinarii charge the offending Huns, but merely recoil them.

Warband clash with blades supported by Gepids, while the Hunnic left deploys for a telling overlap on the remaining Roman Light Horse.

Down goes the second Roman Light Horse, and on the other flank warband kill their blade targets. But elsewhere things are not as good. Blades manage to destroy the Gepid knights who end up overlapped on 2 sides. The resulting dice roll is once more a 6-1, and the Attila is forced to send his element into the gap. The Hun Psiloi is also destroyed by the Roman bows, again with a bad 5-1 roll. 
Having pursued through the Roman lines the Hunnic warband is exposed to a flanking and rear attack. 
There is only one outcome for this. The Huns lose their last elements and can-not make up the deficit elsewhere on the field. 
 Game over, but a much closer battle this time. To be fair, the Huns had some rotten luck with key dice rolls. Rolling 1s against 6s is never good. Had just one of those rolls gone the other way, who knows what may have happened.
One constant has been the very impressive shooting of the Roman bows. They have been a major contributor in both battles, taking out 2 Hunnic elements this game. Losing the psiloi also effectively isolated the warband and allowed it to be surrounded and destroyed.
I feel yet another game is needed.
The causalty list. The loss of the two warband elements at hte end of the game makes it look nowhere near as close as it was.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Being given the Hun-around.

Yesterday afternoon I completed the bases on my brand spanking new Hunnic DBA army, so last night I took the opportunity to take them out on the table against an Eastern Patrician Roman army. This list is Attila's army, and I have to confess, I'm not exactly sure how to approach an army with so much light horse in it.

Attila himself, and to his right, some Gepid knights for a bit of extra power hitting.

The Romans were defenders (only just though), and deployed first, with Auxilia in the woods, blade and bow in the centre, heavy knights and light horse on the flanks and knights in reserve. The Huns deployed in two groups, one with all of the warband and the other with all of the heavier mounted.

First PIP die is not a 1, so the ploughed fields are removed.

The Romans advance in an oblique manner while the Huns send forward their light troops on the right and their warband in the centre.

The Hunnic lights face off against the Auxilia and the newly advanced Roman line. They are in bow range but that shouldn't be a problem really.

Ooops. It appears that it is - the first Hun element is forced to flee, but can't pass through its supporting comrade and is destroyed (I think I've played this right). First blood to Rome.

The warband barrels into the blades hoping for a quick kill and supported by the Hun general, but it is a draw. The rest of the warband pulls back out of the Clibinarii Zone of Control (ZoC), and the light horse advance to create their own ZoC.

On the right the Hun Light Horse is recoiled shooting again.

Combats are happening all along the line now. The Gepids repositin themselves in the centre.

And now a knight battle extends the combat.

The Huns lose another Light Horse on the left.
Attila is pushed back, while the rest of the Roman line looks solid as a rock.

The door is closed on the Hunnic Psiloi as combat rages everywhere.
But while the psiloi win against the odds the supporting light cavalry are forced to flee.

Things are coming to a head - the Roman blades have killed a warband, and pursue into it's supporting element.

The Roman Auxilia advance and destroy the Hunnic psiloi, and with that the Huns are forced to abandon the field.

The Hunnic casualties from the game.
 I really hadn't expected Attila to be so soundly defeated. 4-0 is quite a drubbing, but I have to admit to not really knowing what to do with so many Light Horse against so many knights. And the Hun deployment wasn't good, because the Gepids soon realised that charging the bows opposite them was potentially suicidal. In the next game I will probably also split the warband apart from each other, as they ended up facing knights which wasn't a desirable outcome either.

Two questions arose for me around support. Does a supporting element die when it's friends to the front are destroyed, and does a fleeing element that can't interpenetrate explode if it has to flee through its supporters. Both questions for Fanaticus I think. I read the recoiling and fleeing rules and interpenetration rules a few times, and I think I have done it correctly.

The Hunnic army, smarting from its recent defeat.

The Patrician Romans, who are intended to be able to morph into Late Romans as well.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

First run of Team Yankee

In the middle of April we are planning to have a mini-tournament of Team Yankee with myself, Mike, John and Craig who will be coming up from Hastings. The plan is that our armies will be painted by then, fingers crossed, and we can really get to know the rules. In anticipation, Mike and I decided to play a small 'quick mission' with 60 points. I took the Soviets that I've painted for Craig, and Mike took his Brits in their 'night camouflage'.

Mike rolled up himself as the attacker and deployed in one corner. I lined the opposite edge.

A nifty line of T-72s supported by Shilkas and Carnations sat on the right flank.

Another group of four tanks was on the left flank. The objective can just be seen in the unoccupied quarter of the table.

Mike took advantage of the cover in his deployment zone

Which availed him naught when my Hinds turned up and got a clear shot. My T-72s on the right also did a good job of burning a Chieftain and killing some Scorpions.

In mike's turn the Chieftains advanced out of the smoke that the Carnations had laid, and took out one T-72 and the Battalion Commander's T-72. The only bright spot ws the 6 hits that the Rapiers got on the Hinds - they saved them all!

Then we did something wrong. Mike moved his Lynx helicopters and shot up the T-72s from the rear - except he can't move and fire with them in the same turn. They have to be halted to shoot. It probably did make some difference in the end, but it is all part of learning.

The next Soviet turn saw the Scorpions taken care of and one Lynx shot down by the Shilkas, but then Mike got his revenge with the Rapiers. If only I'd had the Hinds for one more turn... At least they managed to drop their infantry on the objective before being downed!

Mike starts moving his Chieftains to contest the objective, and there just aren't enough infantry to hold on.

The T-72s had manned the treeline with some good moments, but by this stage they were well and truly beaten. The infantry were destroyed by the Chieftains assaulting them and the Brits took the game.
It took 3 hours to play this 'quick' mission, but that involved pizza, rulebooks and banter, so it was OK to take it slowly. The rules proved to be bloody and enjoyable, and very simple, really. I think the only rules we got wrong was the use of the helicopters, but we know now and have a good idea of the Helicopter special rules. I'm looking forward to the next game - I might even have my Germans ready by then for a 'blue on blue' game!


Sunday, 4 March 2018

Giving Up...

No, not on wargaming, but on trying to make plans. After trying to launch project management last year I have seen some fellow bloggers able to stick very well to producing their long-term plans. But me, I'm just a butterfly. Let me explain.
This has lead to...

It began with painting some West German Leopards. I decided that it was time to really get into Team Yankee. At the same time I have been painting Craig's Soviets, and really enjoying this. So needless to say, the West German army has been expanded and is now my priority project as my small gaming circle gets more excited about playing Team Yankee.
...this, which in turn has lead to...
And, of course I won't ever just collect one side of a conflict, so have bought a Soviet army of my own to contest the West Germans.

Goodbye Frederick the Great, hello Wellington

At Christmas I began to consider that I wanted to play Napoleonics, particularly the Peninsular War. In order to make sure that all figures are the same company I like to try to buy big projects all at once. You never know when companies might go belly-up or the exchange rate drops suddenly. So to fund this I thought of selling the Seven Years War collection. Upon returning home from holiday I changed my mind, thinking that I'd put so much work into the 7YW collection that I really shouldn't part with it, even if there was another similar period that I liked better. Then I reappraised the situation a couple of weeks ago. I couldn't resist the call of the Peninsula any longer and to make a long story short have sold the 7 Years War collection and already reinvested in the Peninsula. All done, can't take it back now.
Who can resist gaming with Sharpe and the boys?
This of course means the end of the Seven Years War campaign and of the Zorndorf anniversary project. In its place? Well I doubt I'll get the Napoleonics finished by the end of the year. An ACW campaign, on the other hand, is a distinct possibility, and I might try and get more DBA armies painted. But no firm plans. That is what I'm giving up on. I'm just going to paint stuff when I feel like it, and not put any pressure on getting any particular thing completed. Of course, my Team Yankee West Germans are to be finished by the end of this month, so short term goals are all good.