Sunday, 22 January 2017

Game 50 - Lingevres, Normandy, 1944 - Reliving the Past...!

Waaay back on June 24th, 2012, we posted details of our first game with Rapid Fire. So, for Game 50, what better way to celebrate than to re-fight it and see just what we've learned - straight from the mouths of a jaded Grognard, and an enthusiastic recruit into the chaos enjoyment that is wargaming...

In the intervening years, we've celebrated new rules, cheered at the nostalgia of old rules, set the world to rights in terms of how wargaming rules should work and laughed at the pretence of artificial complexity that is 'those games that were considered so bad as to not feature on the blog'...whose societal members shall of course remain nameless.

So, here we are. Unlike the first time around, this was very much a beer & pretzels (or tea and biscuits) style affair. We've both become less jaded, and learned a lot; all of these games occurring amidst the external influences between us of career change, the joys of publication, the lesser joys of legislation, teaching a new generation of management and chasing money in somewhat nefarious industries - and of course - being p*ssed off with Rogue One when no one else seems to realise how bad it was...*sigh*  On with the game...

The terrain has changed, but the song remains the same. Two battalions of British with armoured assets try to seize the village and crossroads from elite German units.

British units on the start line, hoping to spot German armour early on. They succeed, and the first Panther is taken out early with a shot from the Firefly...(with audible cries of dismay heard at the bottom of the street)...

 German units consolidate, with Panzerfaust ambushes finding their mark.

 British units get out of the open ground as quickly as they can - where German mortar fire was uncannily accurate.

 German units hug the cover, making a general nuisance of themselves, splitting the British attack into flank maneuvering, whilst the British infantry get bogged down.

 German units eventually moving back as the flanks become the axis of advance - allowing infantry free reign to rotate back to the town in significant numbers. This was a mistake on the part of the British...

By turn 8, there was a strong British armoured presence on either flank, but the second German Panther had arrived to ruin everyone's day.

 German infantry by now had become well ensconced in the town.

 As British ATGs get into position, looking for that lucky flank shot...
 ...the Firefly is looking for a more advantageous shot...right up the Panther's...

 ...As successive waves of British armour drift closer to their doom.

 By the game end, the Firefly flanked and killed the Panther, but it was too late. There wasn't enough British infantry capable of moving in to take the town, and time had run out.

'Can't you bloody well see that we're pinned down here man!'

As usual Rapid Fire is just that - rapid and easy on the mind. That's no bad thing, as we had a lot of catching up to do, and could chat freely as we played.

The Good
Rapid fire is quick and decisive. DON'T get caught in the open.
The charts are quick and easy - tank combat, infantry combat, morale, spotting HE and Arty - all very easy.

The Bad
It's still squads acting like companies in a convivial bathtub format.

The Ugly
It leaves out command, suppressive fire, unit ratings - but we didn't want that today anyway...

Rapid Fire still has its place, and we will come back to it. Next up, there might be some operational WWII or a shot at the new 'Combat HQ' which is a similar level at least to RF and Command Decision, and is crying out for a playtest...

...and hopefully we won't leave it so long this time :)

Friday, 30 December 2016

Sgt. Steiner's End of Year Bash...2016

As with last year's Marlburian epic, a report on another end of year special at chez Steiner, with the two Steves and Richard.

Now this time we had Canadians & Polish vs dug in Germans during Totalize II in 1944, with the excellent Field of Battle WWII. An epic two day battle (game time) against fanatics (I mean the German divisions of course, not the players...I think).

'Get on with it!'

So we had Polish and Canadian units straddling the main road to Falaise, with the objective of securing the road at the far end. It sounds easy doesn't it?

Truth be told, there were some significantly worrying pieces of armour  in the woods and dug in along the ridgeline.

'You do see the enemy tanks, don't you sir?'

 Poles on the startline.

Canadians on the right flank.

 Lines of nice armour are great, but there's an 88 !

 Jabos - fairly ineffective on the day. It must have been cloudy.

 Cratering  from a bombing raid. It was ineffective too... we were sensing a pattern from the dice :(

 On the morning of the second day, the Germans awoke to find an Allied attack on the way in.
These woods were meant to be our hold and delay action, but claimed more and more units in a pivotal battle within a larger action. the Canadians tried to turn the flank on the right and secure the road in the centre, but it was proving tougher than envisioned.

 Another afternoon of fighting, and the Canadians/Polish, despite having the edge on artillery and airpower, were finding the German dug in positions too tough to crack...and the operation was over as Allied morale dwindled and ebbed away.

'It's the Allied players on the phone. They're wondering if we can avoid rolling any dice this turn and let them win.'

Great game and hospitality as usual chez Steiner. Of course, the game has me thinking not only about more Field of Battle WWII, perhaps in 20mm again, but also how it might work for Cold War / WWIII ...