Saturday, December 22, 2018

Reconnoiter the Town

This isn't a battle report per se.

My friend Jim did the lay out it is as well as all the models, He  has been working on a set of WW2 miniature rules for his beautifully built 16' by 4' layout.

The rules are called THAB (To Hell and Back) from the movie starring Medal of Honor winner Audie Murphy.

The scale is 1\72 and the unit scale is flexible but usually go above the squad level. In this short introductory (to me) game the units would roughly equate to platoons and companies. The purpose of the game was to show me the mechanisms in anticipation for actual historical simulations in 2019 and to show off the 95% completed layout. I was impressed to say the least.

The basic idea was for a small American force to reconnoiter the town.

I took a few pictures trying to capture the scope of the layout but my iPhone 8 even with an attachment really could not capture the fill impact.

Below are the pics I took and I hope you all enjoy them as much as I did immersing myself in what Jim calls Grand Manner wargaming after the late Peter Gilder.

The Americans were to advance along the road on the left passing by the forested hill on their left.

The other side of the game board from the pic above. Note the dugout and tank obstacles. The section represents part of the West Wall in 1945.

A nice shot of a bombed out "kraut" city. GI lingo in WW2 would have used the "kraut" label quiet liberally. I know because my dad was an MP in early post-war Germany and he was still using the term well into the 1960s! Not very politically correct-ha.

West Wall pill box

A factory on the the outskirts of town. The building on the right has already been flattened by fighter bombers to deprive the defenders of a strong point.

More of the factory complex…I like the truck but somehow the Panzer Grenadiers must have missed it. It's 1945 after all and times are tough.

One of my favorite pictures. I cropped the original. The figures are Caesar Miniatures and have fantastic animation to them. The slight blurring gives the impression of movement. I wish I planned it that way.

The original for the picture above. US Armored Infantry led by an Easy Eight command unit.

Nicer closeup. I have a fondness for armored infantry and White halftracks.

A platoon of Shermans wisely gets off the road but must pass the wooded hill on their right. Are the "krauts" dug in on the hill. Maybe I should have sent the infantry to find out?

The other platoon of Shermans avoids the road as well and proceeds toward the river and the bridge that needs to be crossed.

Uh oh!

Big and bad and blocking the bridge. What will happen?

The Shermans continue to advance and and are not intimidated by the big bad Tiger I.

One of the Shermans is intimidated and is pinned down by the Tiger's 88mm. At this point they are lucky to be alive.

What could have possibly happened? The Shermans return fire managed to destroy the small unit of Tigers. In these rules, because they are units armor is not the major consideration. Results from fire can be pinned down like with the Sherman or a morale loss or in this case destroyed. Frankly, I rolled well and would have been thrilled had the Tiger merely retreated. As it is, KAPUT!

A nasty surprise emerges from the cover near the bridge-a kraut with a panzerfaust. My boys hate them and those who use them.

Uh oh, part of a Pak unit guarding the bridge. In this case a small unit of Pak 50's. Sherman HE fire would deal with them in a final way.

Oh oh! The half of the Pak unit and the big brother to the Pak 50-in this case a Pak 75. It would brew up a Sherman in our short training scenario.

Just another nice shot from a different angle.

The Pak 75mm unit scores. Bail out boys!

I just wanted to pose this picture.

Posed picture. Looks almost real. Maybe I'll convert a couple to B and W.

I just like them.

Another shot of the Pak 75mm unit. The infantry needs to get up there and dig them out because we don't any artillery in the scenario. The grunts are grumbling about that.

Another surprise emerges from cover and takes our 1\2 of the Sherman unit. Then the "kettle" wants to surrender to the infantry coming up. The infantry don't think so.

Not going to happen Fritz.

I want to be the guy in the track having lunch or something.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

I hope it's Eye Candy #1

I'm frustrated with Google+ which is going away anyway but also frustrated with Blogger. I haven't changed anything yet I cannot post my blog to Google+ in the usual way and the truth is I can't post it at all since the screen goes white and just hangs there. As a result I have to copy the address of my latest blog and then paste to my Google+ communities (which have been loads of fun).

To make matters worse all of sudden I can't respond to the kind comments people chose to leave on my blog. Hit reply and it looks like it will work but does not. As I said, I've changed nothing and not being a techie I'm finding Google+ and Blogger to be rather unfriendly. I'm seriously considering migrating to WordPress where I have two other blogs and to FB which has a number of gaming communities and a simple copy the dares and paste method to post a blog or pictures.

In the meantime I have games stacking up and reports to write and because of the Google problems have not bothered. Yet, I have some pictures to share but have forgotten much of the action attached to the pictures.

This group was taken for my DBA-BR game. It features an early Carthaginian Army versus a Syracuse type Greek Army. It was a lot of fun and the Carthaginians lost by a wide margin.

The Greeks are from my friend Mike S. As you can see they are superbly painted.

Monday, November 12, 2018

The Destruction of Pasha Hicks

Some weeks ago I posted teaser for an upcoming game. The post featured my The Men Who Would  Be Kings (TMWWBK) Egyptian Army. We use approximately a double list from the rules for our colonial games and I have a number of house rules that provide flavor.

We finally got around to doing the game after numerous cancellations. My friend Jim brought over his excellent collection of Mahdists and we were ready to go.

I was the game master as well as one of the Egyptian commanders.  My command would be all the mounted Egyptians while my friend Mike commanded the infantry and artillery. Mike and I played the part of Hicks and his staff of European officers. Mike was not all that keen on our "walk down the Nile" and I can't say I'd blame him given the numerous handicaps I had assigned to the Egyptian force. (They were not rated nearly as effective as they are in the TMWWBK lists.)

My friend Jim and my son Justin commanded the forces of the Mahdi with each of them having a Rub (pronounced Roob) each. The handicaps assigned to the Mahdists were variable leadership skills as the tactical level. (They had a number of units that turned out to be poorly led.) On a higher level the Mahdists only had two Rubs present at the start of the game while the other two had to be diced for. Since the remaining two were supposed to be deployed to the side of traveling Egyptian square the idea was to not make it too easy for all the Rubs to attack at once.

The Egyptian battle plan recognized that we had a little time so we elected to try and break through the Rub to our front before the other Rubs could effectively surround us.

In addition to having sub-standard firing factors the terrain hindered the Egyptian line of sight. Historically the Mahdists were able to get very close to the Egyptians. I reflected this advantage by making all the terrain of the type where it was difficult to sight the stealthy Mahdists.

Never-the-less, Mike and I thought we had a chance to bull our way through.

The pictures below are not in any particular order because it is hard to be a game master and take pictures and then get them in sequence with appropriate comments.

This pic gives a good view of the Egyptians trying to deploy to their front.The camel troops were supposed to outflank the Rub to their flank while the Bashi Bszouks (center of the picture) were to gain the other flank. Sadly, they failed to move in a timely manner and were destined to be destroyed by camel mounted Hadendowa. The two Krupp cannon were a mixed bag when firing. I made the rule where they had to dice to fire and half the time they failed (considered ineffective actually). When they did get to fire it was effective.

Close up of one of the flanking Rubs. Two of the three units are the nasty Beja Hadendowa.

Egyptian camelry, infantry and artillery approach the oasis held by the Black Flag Rub (pronounced Roob)

The Green Flag Roob advances!

Egyptian forces try to form a square. Pasha Hicks and his staff try to direct a defense but it does not look good.

Pinned Egyptian camelry is about to be charged by Arab camelry and die valiantly!

The empty space represents the space where Egyptian units perished.

The Blue Flag Rub comes in on the other flank. There is no way out!

The Black Flag Rub counter attacks against the rapidly crumbling Egyptian lines.

This will not go well for the fellahin!

It won't be long to complete the massacre.

Egyptian Gendarme lancers at the start of the game looking sharp but that won't save them.

Fellahin at the ready supported by the Khedive's Cuirassiers.

Tough Sudanese!

One of the Krupp breechloaders that would prove mostly ineffective.

Camel troops are usually mounted infantry in the rules.

A smoothbore artillery piece as an anchor.

Bashi Bazouks, bandits really. Probably just burned down a village.

Hicks and staff ready to die to a man and they would.

Khedive's Cuirassiers 

The Square

The Square

Nice close up of the Egyptian camel corps.

Fellahin close up

Sudanese close up