Richard put on a WWII game where we used the Battlegroup rules for the First time. The scenario was taken from their Normandy Book which Involved several platoons of Paras assaulting several platoons of German infantry holding the town during the night of the 12th June. The Paras were supported by a troop of Sherman tanks, whilst the Germans had a platoon of Marder S/P guns. Both sides had various levels of Artillery support. The Paras had to capture 3 buildings to win.
The German s deployed first digging in around the town and were allowed a number of ambush positions. All players were warned about how effective machine guns were in the rules. The Paras then deployed attacking with all of their forces along their right flank. Early blood went to the British with a keen eyed Sherman commander spotting a hidden Marder and destroyed it with their first shot. The German at the start of the game were being easily spotted thanks to some great spotting die rolling by Allan and Noel on the side of the Paras. They took their first objective unopposed.However the tide began to turn as the Germans started to spot the oncoming Paras. Their machine guns began to tell as warned.
With the German right flank completely open the Germans advanced (under Rob) a platoon of their infantry to outflank the Paras. This caused the Paras (under Noel and Jonathan) to react to this slowing down their advance and moving a platoon of infantry to counter the move. A vicious fire fight occurred as result with both sides bring down their artillery with the Paras unfortunately get the brunt of their own naval guns as a result of a special rule in the scenario. The Germans after taking heavy casualties however were forced to retire behind a hedge.On the German left flank the Paras orchestrated a series of bold advances, taking very heavy casualties from the dug in German troops (Under Simon and Pat) but the Paras with their Sherman tanks managed to clear the way to reach their 2nd objective. The Germans were hanging on by a morale thread when the game was drawn to a close as we ran out of time and although the Paras had sustained a large number of casualties they will still well above their morale threshold. A few more turns and we are sure the Paras would have run. The rules were good fun but need another outing to see what they are like in a daylight game!
We are still searching for a set of rules we all like to play ECW with. We decided to have another go at using Warlord’s Pike and Shotte. I put together a fairly balanced game set at the start of the war with the Royalist having better cavalry, offset by stronger parliamentarian infantry. I added in a few special rules for most units too like, tough fighters etc. Both sides had 6 regiments of Infantry and Cavalry along with a few guns, a storming party, 2 commanded shot units and a regiment of Dragoons.
Both sides deployed behind a screen to speed up deployment. The Royalist deployed all their cavalry on their right flank. Their left flank was screened by hedges lined by their dragoons and commanded shot. The infantry was placed in the centre which was split by a wood occupied by their storming party. The Parliamentarians deployed more conventionally with cavalry on both flanks and infantry in the centre. Their extreme right flank anchored by a wood which was occupied by their commanded shot.The Royalist Cavalry advanced quickly to take advantage of their weight in numbers whilst the Parliamentarian infantry tried to quickly engage the Royalist foot. The first move saw the Parliamentarian infantry advance a triple move much to the delight of their commander Richard. The Royalist Cavalry slightly hemmed by their numbers (under Simon) engaged their opposite number but came under fire from commanded shot and artillery. On the Parliamentarian left flank their cavalry commanded by Jonathan attempted to charge and rout the dragons lining the hedge but were halted by withering fire from the supporting commanded shot.
In the centre the Parliamentarian infantry halted under disorder from shotte and artillery fire, whilst on their left the Royalist Cavalry finally made their numbers tell. The game ended without a conclusion. The rules are good fun, but we found that foot units were too easily disordered and were not able to get to a push of the pike. We also found that if you are too liberal with special rules units can become too resilient. I am sure we will test some more rules soon.
Noel / Phil laid on a Napoleonic game using Phil's fantastic 15mm figures. A basic encounter game between two French Infantry and Cavalry Divisions against similar Spanish forces although the latter with stiffened by the presence of the Spanish Guard and their Cuirassiers. Myself, Patrick, Richard and Phil each took a French Division and we opposed Mike, Jonathan and Adam as the Spanish players. Noel was umpiring using his house rules based loosely on Shako. We deployed behind our usual estate agent board screen.
The Spanish forces deployed on a hill in a defensive arc with their flanks anchored on two woods. Their light cavalry was deployed in front of their infantry line hoping to catch the French Infantry deployed in column or line with their heavy cavalry division in reserve behind their main line. The French were deployed with their infantry divisions in the centre in column of attack with their light cavalry division protecting their left flank and their Dragoon Division protecting their right flank. The French advanced all their divisions towards the Spanish defensive line. The Spanish Light Cavalry Division advanced hoping to catch some French infantry in columns. Unfortunately with initiative in favour of the French their Division was intercepted by the French Light Cavalry division who slightly out numbered them. Some good dice rolling by Patrick who commanded the French Light Cavalry saw off the entire Spanish Light Cavalry division despite being under accurate Spanish artillery fire. The French Light cavalry with their tails up continued their charge into the Spanish line and were very fortunate to catch their line at the weakest part. The First French cavalry regiment was destroyed by steady musket firing of the Spanish line. However the follow up regiment smashed open the Spanish Line. In the meantime the far right French infantry Division was now engaging Spanish foot and taking some punishment from their artillery. The French Dragons on the extreme right were protecting their flank and watching the heavy Spanish Cavalry division who had moved from the Spanish centre to engage them. The hole in the Spanish line was exploited by the remainder of French Light Cavalry who then destroyed a regiment of Spanish Guard infantry. This had an impact on the infantry square behind who were also broken. The Spanish had now a huge hole in their line which could be rolled up the French Light Cavalry Unfortunately the Spanish Heavy cavalry Division was too far away on their left flank to help and were also being watched closely by the French Dragoon division. Patrick's French Light Cavalry Division undoubtedly won the day single handed.
Thanks to Jonathan here are more pictures of our re-fight.
For our next game in the War Room we returned to American Civil war and decided to look at one of the great battles in the West and decided to fight Chickamauga The Battle of Chickamauga, marked the end of a Union offensive in southeastern Tennessee and northwestern Georgia and was the most significant Union defeat in the Western Theater of the American Civil War and involved the second highest number of casualties in the war following the Battle of Gettysburg..
I set up the game the day before and as with many Western Theater battles the predominant terrain feature was woods. It took the players a bit of time to adjust to what they thoughts were woods on the table were actually open ground. The set up almost used all of my 15/20mm road terrain pieces which were essential to put on the board due the very heavily wooded terrain. The forces were allocated to players by Corps, 3 Union and 6 confederates. I can recall Francis, Brian and Noel taking the Union Corps with Patrick, Alan, Jonathan, Ross, Simon and Phil taking the Confederate Corps. The battle started at the Historical time of 11.00am and took into account the first few hours of fighting the real battle had. The Union forces were in a difficult place with a large number entrenched and many of their troops withdrawing across a mass of Confederate troops in particular Longstreet forces. The Confederate forces attacked at the vulnerable right flank of the Union but the sheer numbers of brigades seem to hamper their ability to get to grips with the Union forces who managed to get their forces in some order prior to the onslaught. On the Confederate right flank their cavalry and infantry tried to get behind and out flank large numbers of Union troops dug in front of their forces.
The Union players managed through the day to avoid their forces being outflanked the their left holding back the attacking Confederate Cavalry and Infantry and on their left also managed to hold up a huge number of Confederate forces from getting behind their right flank. Although we did not mange to complete all the game turns that were in the scenario we concluded that the Union players did enough to pull their troops out and avoid the defeat their historical counterparts had on the day. Another great day in the War Room.