Tuesday, 23 February 2010

WW2 Airborne Drop at Ayton Bridge.

We gathered at Hairy Dave's Musical Mansion for a WW2 game, ably planned and put on by Alex, using his Rommel's Battles Rules (Plug-Available from the DBN Site!) and 6mm H&R figures and vehicles. The game was played over three sessions, and was both a learning and enjoyable experience.
The basics were that there was a weak German Brigade billeted around the local town and area, enjoying the easy life in Occupied Ayton, with a pillbox on the bridge. Reinforcements were available but a distance off, and had to be diced for. They varied between militia Naval Btns, and Tiger tank Btns. The main battle front was miles away, and the Germans thought that they were going to have a quiet time of it.
The British Airborne had a plan though ... to land by Parachute and Glider, take the bridge, storm the town, eject the defenders and then await the relief column coming up the main road. The necessary supplies were brought in from all four corners of the nearby shops, and the game was afoot.

The British at the planning & briefing stage.. including a lesson in how to land Paras and Gliders (with the use of rulers and small pieces of paper- may sound odd, but it worked really well). They had to decide on flight path, height, and where to drop their various units. This all makes a realistic difference, as to casualties incurred and the "drop spread" of the units. Basically, the higher you drop, the less casualties you have, but they end up more spread out and more unformed.

The Germans, having already placed their initial meagre forces by map, went off to eat pizza and drink beer.

The initial set up, from the road to be used by the British relief column. Looks really peaceful doesn't it.

But all of a sudden, to the Germans surprise, whilst halfway through a crate of beer and with all the pizza eaten, the Brits landed, almost silently. The smaller paper represents Para Co's, and the larger represents the Gliders. All this happened without too much crashing into each other, but did cause a few casualties.

The paper drop comes off, to be replaced with the Glider models, which were pretty nice I have to say.

The Brits had decided on one massed Glider landing, which is initially dangerous due to overcrowding, but then good to have the troops all gathered together, and three separate Para drops. The drop nearest to the camera just happened to be in front of German MG's and a Tank Co, so got massacred, but the others did ok. The pillbox was taken out by a so very lucky shot from a 17pdr, and the Paras stormed over the Bridge, into the town from two directions, and quickly overwhelmed the over fed and half drunk German defenders.

The Brits were joined by young Jordan, who has an unnatural ability to throw 5's and 6's, (and is ALWAYS on the opposite side to myself). In my gaming frustration, at one stage I enquired of him," And just who invited you then eh!" To which, he replied," My Dad did." Well, you can't argue with that can you. Swapping his dice around made no difference either.
However, in the general chatter and and laughter we were able to sneak in a German spy, cunningly dressed in red, to listen over the British midway planning briefing, which was," Hold the Town and Bridge until relieved." So we didn't actually learn anything new there, and Doug got his butt verbally kicked for listening in. There was, at this stage, the chance of the Brits having a further drop of the Polish Brigade, but that would have meant they could only claim a draw for the game, so they decided to try and hold out without them.
For the Germans, the game was lost unless some decent Reinforcements appeared, the Naval infantry Btns etc having already appeared and been demolished by the Hard-As-Nails Paras.

Here was a funny-at one point, Alex the Umpire cried out,"Dave, throw one dice for your Artillery Comms" .... having two Dave's on the British side, they both duly obliged simultaneously and without conferring ... and both threw a One. It was the beginning of the turning of the tide..

The Germans finally got some decent stuff on the table, and after a prolonged bombardment of the Para Occupied Town, stormed in at close range with Tanks and Grenadiers. The Para Piat teams tried their best, but were overwhelmed. (They even had names, like Fearless Fred, Courageous Colin, and Runover Ryan). This was a game with a lot of humor and laughter in it. A serious game, seriously played, but as usual without the gamers taking themselves seriously.

The Paras had no choice but to leave the Town and retire over the Bridge, perhaps wishing they had called upon the Poles for assistance. Note the Casualty Station in the background, a nice touch which enabled the Brits to claim back some casualties overnight. The German one was miles away, so didn't count.

The German Armour had a right rampage through the town, flushing out any pockets of resistance from the brave Paras, but neatly avoided mixing it with that Gun on the Bridge. Well there's no point chucking in a winning hand is there, despite the Brit players taunts, cajoling and cries of "Bring it on then, take the Bridge if you're Tanks are good enough."
As the third session ended, it was a narrow win for the Germans, as the Brits had failed to hold the Bridge and Town for the required number of turns. They did still have the Bridge though, and had that relief column arrived..or the Poles..or had one Drop not been massacred at the beginning, it could all have been so different.
A valiant effort by the British Airborne, a decisive counter-attack by the Germans, and a damned good game all round. Well done Alex for the planning and putting it on, and thanks to the gamers Dave, Dave, Richie, Doug & Jordan.
Naturally, we were all a tad whacked after some prolonged and intense gaming, and so retired to the local Forge for refreshment and a good old witter.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

DBColonial Game at The Recon Show.

Well it is a tad late, but you know how things can be....
Our YCW gamers went along to The Recon Show at Pudsey, (Post Title is linked), on Dec 6th, and we put on a DBColonial game, being a British/Zulu bash. Recon is a smallish but really decent friendly show, free easy parking and the foods not bad either (pie & mushy peas, Heaven!). If you can, it's well worth a visit. It's good that we have enough gamers now so that whilst some do the game, others can wander, and then swap over. Best of both worlds really.
So, we used the newly released DBC rules, from our Alex's KISR Publications (shameless plug here, see the DBN Site in Links for info & to order), and our newly based and flocked up 1/72 plastics.

We used our newish TSS terrain boards and hills , quick and easy to lay out, and the game was on, with the British advancing in a large central column with flank supports. Part of the Zulu force awaited in front of their Kraal, whilst others were hidden, secretly and worryingly, off table, awaiting the War Chant and the best time to strike.

Regular British Infantry advanced in Line, supported by Artillery and Naval Division, with Natal levy at the rear. Most of these figures are Esci/Revell, some are Hat which IMO are really really good, all based on ERM bases. The mounted Officer was my first plastic conversion (an easy one) for about 25 years.

The Zulu, working themselves into a bit of a frenzy, get ready to take on the invading Brits. Note the "Hero" figure, individually mounted on a coin, mingling on the second from right base, waiting for a chance to spring out and do some hacking and stabbing.

The Artillery piece, (4 in a box for £6, can't complain at that), takes careful aim.

The Zulu Chief testoUmboogwah, directs his warriors.

The British left flank force forms Square, with Regular Line, Highlanders and Skirmishers, and their Hero figure, The Honourable Arbuthnot Pickwick-Jones, in the middle, malingering, by all accounts...

... and they formed Square because this lot suddenly appeared, which was quite worrying really. The Artillery turned to offer support. In the Centre, the Brits had the better of a brief skirmish with the Zulu.

A move later, and the British main force formed Square also, as the Zulu made to attack it on three sides. The General R.Frostington-Brahms and Baggage elements are inside the Square, and the Naval Gatling gun has been posted out, in an attempt to disperse a smaller Zulu threat.

In a classic move, the Zulu Chest and Horns closed in on the main force, having a serious poke & jab with their Assagis, which were well sharp, whilst the Brits replied with steady volley fire.

Oh Dear!! In the distance, the Gatling gun jammed and got into a melee, whilst at the main Square, the volleys weren't that steady after all, and the Zulu closed to melee, killing one base, flanking others, and causing general death destruction and confusion.

A British rally caused the Zulu to fall back momentarily, and the Gatling gun was unjammed and began pumping the bullets out again. Things were looking better..

Even the Artillery mixed it, and won.

But then, calamity! The Zulu got a hit, and rampaged on in there, attacking the rather weak Baggage base, consisting only of orderlies and wounded chaps. They fought well, but what can you do eh.

The Gatling went under, as did the Artillery, freeing up yet more Zulu to massacre the remnants of the main force, which in proper Victorian fashion, stood back to back and died to the last man.

Remember the flanking square? The Zulu bypassed them initially, but after the main massacre returned to them, as they bravely formed Line and attempted a fighting withdrawal. It was a courageous but doomed effort. That 'Hero' chap, Pickwick-Jones, was rather less than Honourable, and merely trotted about for a bit, then did a runner, galloping off as fast as he could, the utter Bounder. He has since been banned from all the best clubs in England, and was last heard of scraping a living somewhere in the Belgian Congo. Victoria herself was heard to say of him, "Good riddance too, what a tosser."

So it was a Zulu victory, and quite a comprehensive one too. The words Massacre and Slaughter come to mind! With these rules, if the British fail to stop them with Firing then the Zulu can get into close quarters where they have a definite advantage. Good game though, and much enjoyed by all. I went off for a wander (No, I was not sulking!), whilst others had the second game of the day.
A few pictures of the other games on, all of which were good to see and well played out.
This was a nice one, wonderful castle there, using 10mm Kallistra figures.
The BIGGEST model ship I've seen, in a VBCW game, (put on by GWP I think), which was on a huge table..
.. it had so much on it, it was almost like several games in one.
Next to us, was a tank game, I'm not sure now who it was, but the German tank is 15mm, just to show the size of the Russian one.
All in all, a grand day was had, some decent purchases made, and we all went away happy and contented. What more can you ask for eh!

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Blog Birthday!

Well by gum, it's one year old today, so Happy Birthday to me Blog! When I started this up, I wasn't at all sure how it would go, it all being new territory to me, but I have to say that I've thoroughly enjoyed it. It's been stress, hassle and pressure free, I've met up with some old friends, made some new chums along the way and found a whole new world of Wargame blogs, with all the quality and interesting posts on them, so Thanks to all you Bloggers, Followers and Posters alike for the extra interest, enjoyment and inspiration you've given me.

Gaming for me this year has been much more frequent, varied and enjoyable than in previous years, for which I'm grateful to my chums in our Yorkshire Coast Wargames group. We've gamed at least once most weeks, and sometimes more. Heck, we've done Napoleonics, ACW, Zulu, WW2, Medieval Fantasy, Futuristic, Ancients, Zombies, Space Marines, board games, computer games, attended several shows, putting games on at some and 'just visiting' others, both equally enjoyed, as well as had a few weekends away for specific large games. Our games are played in a pleasant amiable way, and have a good social side to them too, usually revolving around food, beer and gaming for the simple enjoyment of it. The next year should see some new games & periods added to our mixed inventory, as well as some new rules and terrain pieces.

So, it's been a thoroughly good gaming year, thanks to all, and I look forward to more of the same over the coming year. To finish, here's the cake that Junior & MiniPeeler made, as it's also my birthday too. Sorted!