Game List - July to December, 2006
|Aug 5 - St. Hillare||Oct 28 - Battle of Stones River|
|Sep 2 - It's the Push Releif of Bastogne||Nov 17 - Command Con VII|
|Sep 16 - Fall Recruits||Nov 26 - Union Assault Part 1|
|Sep 30 - Chickamauga||Dec 9 - Union Assault Part 2|
|Oct 14- Battle of Bruner Island||Dec 30 - Two Games Today: Bombers and Vikings|
|Oct 28- Battle of santa Cruz||-|
August 5, 2006
We played our first game of Blitzkrieg Commander tonight. The scenario was an American river crossing assault on German held positions.
US forces were composed of a motorized infantry battalion, a company of M4 Shermans, a platoon of M10 TD and in support a battallion of 105mm SPA. The German forces were a battalion of infantry, a platoon of STGIII and Marders. In support was a battlaion of 10mm artillery. The German had to defend two river crossing and a town. The US objective was to take hold both bridges.
The game got off to terrible start for the American. The third turn scheduled artillery barrage only hurt a couple rabbits. The German never set anything up in the area of the planned barrage. Then a company ofg infantry was caought in the open still in their trucks. The concentration was about as close as you could be to hitting the bullseye. When the smoke cleared there were three trucks still left of the eleven the cmpany started with. A tank platoon got caught on the cross fire of the STGIII and the Marders. A couple missec command rolls and the American player was thing of tossing in the towel.
The missed command rolls were a hidden blessing. They created a gap in the line of trucks moving up to the battle. The gap of 12 inches (40cm) occurred at the rod junction. This happened just as the scheduled artillery barrage impacted at the very same place. A disaster was avoided.The American player used the cover of the hedge rows and woods to approach the right flank bridge. Serveral attacks through back the German infantry. The German failed a command roll for these infantry units on the turn following a artilery barrage supressed the entire company, the HQ and CO. The American player ahd an oppurtunity to break through and capture the bridge, but ill timed luck of missed command rolls stalled the advance. A counter attack by the German infantry threw the US unit back. At this point the Ameican player failed his break point and pulled back from the assault.
We had a pretty good game exciting in places with both players rolling double ones and double twelves, missed command rolls etc.
It's the Push
We play tested of a game I am preparing to GM at several upcoming conventions. "It's the Push" (I've got to come up with a better name) is the final advance by elements of Patton's 3RD Army into Bastonge. After steady fighting for ten days the 3RD Army was pretty worn down, CCR, among others, was down to twenty tanks and a mix of armored infantry. This game recreates the last four kilometer push of CCR through German lines to relieve the US forces besieged in Bastonge.
The US player had two companies of armor, ten tanks in each and two companies of armored infantry, each with ten squads and supports. In addition to this, was access to a battalion of SP 105mm Priests. An initial artillery bombardment added another two battalions of Priests and two battalions of 155mm. No smoke was available.
The German had a Volksgrenadier Company in the town of Assenios with a 75mm IG. In the woods behind the town a company of Falshrimjegers and two platoons of anti-tanks guns. The ATG were made up of two 75mm PAK40 and two 88mm PAK43. All of the German units were dug in.
The victory conditions for the American, was to occupy Assenios and exit three units off the map within ten turns. The German player needed to prevent the American completing his objectives to win.
The American player was supposed to split the forces evenly with one infantry and one armor company attacking the town and the others pushing through the German lines to Bastonge. This was not to be.
We used Blitzkrieg Commander for the game.
The game began with scheduled bombardments of the town and the edges of the woods behind the town. The American set up a concentration on the center of the town he was rolling twenty-nine d6's on each German unit under the bombardment. The stone buildings provided good cover and the German lost only two units to the American artillery, about half of the others were suppressed, and a couple got off with being hit at all. The barrage on the woods line suppressed one ATG and one infantry unit. This was the 97th Artillery battalion's bombardment.
The American moved on to the board but only got one company of Armor the first turn, all the others failing their command roll. A company of infantry came on the second turn the rest on the third turn The Germans took a couple long range ATG attacks at the armored infantry (AI) without doing more than suppressing one halftrack. The third turn the US moved the rest of the command on to the table. His strategy was to go around both sides of the town with the armor and assault the town with the infantry. One of the tank companies missed its command roll several times while the other went around the left flank of the town. They setup on a hill overlooking the German positions behind Assenios. The FAO accompanied the tanks to this hill.
When the Sherman's crested the hill the German ATG's began shooting, taking out one and suppressing another. Meanwhile the US infantry moved on the town and dismounted for an assault on Assenios. They took out a German unit that had set up on the edge of town. The Germans tried to defend the town, but they were out numbered two to one. The American charged several times pushing the German units out of the buildings they were defending. It was grinding work for the American player going house to house. The Germans tried to charge a US held building but it was thrown back suppressed. The loss of a MG set up by the church allowed the American to hold the whole west side, German right flank, of Assenios. Now the Germans faced American infantry to the front and their right. The American began to squeeze the Germans into smaller and smaller area of the town.
The German player was having better luck against the Sherman tanks on its right. The American moved off the hill after destroying a PAK40 ATG. The move brought the Shermans within half range of the 88mm PAK43's. The 88's were able to take out three of the Shermans in one turn and suppress a fourth. A failed command roll by the German player's ATG sealed the ATG's fate. The American rolled a double one and took out both 88's in one turn. Without any significant ATG opposition the remaining six tanks moved towards the gap in the trees and Bastonge beyond.On the German Left the tank company failed its command roll two turns in a row. A 75mm IG was placed between the town and the trees to the east of it held up the advance for a little while. The US Shermans took two turns to take of the IG and move on past the town. The German infantry, by focusing on the American infantry in Assenios, missed an opportunity to hit the passing tanks in the flank.
The Germans dug in around the farms houses along the road to Bastonge were hit by both tank companies on turns seven and eight. The attacks coming from the left and the right destroyed several Falschrimjeger units and a couple MG supports. It was in Turn Eight the German player exceeded his Breakpoint and had to roll for withdrawal. He rolled a double 12 and the game was over for the German at this point. The American player still needed to exit three units off the road to win a decisive victory. He did so by passing one command roll in turn nine and then another two in Turn ten exiting three tanks off the board toward Bastonge.
The 97th FA Battalion had no effect on the battle. Either FAO failed his command roll, the attack rolls were miserable or the accuracy of the attack was off by 12 to 18 centimeters. After about the 7 turn it became amazing how bad the artillery was doing. After the first turn artillery had no impact on the game.
An after game discussion ensued and we came up with a few minor changes. Change the German ATG to four 88's, and possibly keep the PAK40's, the American player must split his forces historically. Give each ATG platoon their own HQ. Allow the American player a free move onto the table, without making a command roll. Once on the table the units must make a command roll.
All in all it was a hard fought game and should with the minor adjustments be a good game for a convention.
Fall Recruits Lees Summit, MO September 16, 2006
I attended Fall Recruits Convention in Lees Summit MO on Sept. 16. We left at 5:00am from Papillion arriving at the convention site at 8:30 am. Recruits is sponsored by the History Club at Lees Summit High School. All student get into the convention for free everyone else is charged $3.00 for the day.
I hosted two games and played one game.
The morning game was "A Rude Awakening" the German dive bomber attack on the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious. The British had four fighters as air cover over the fleet of the CV HMS Illustrious, BB HMS Malaya and three destroyers. The German - Italian attackers consisted of four torpedo armed Italian SM71 bombers, eighteen JU87 Stuka dive bombers, 2 Ju88 bombers. The SM71's were escorted by two MC200 fighters.
The Italians were first to attack. The SM71 and escorts engaged in a running battle with two Sea Hurricanes. Both nations' fighters were equally matched. T The bombers were damaged by the fighters by with the exception of one plane that could not climb or dive the bomber got through unscathed. The bombers worked their way into range but failed to hit the carrier in all four attacks.
The dive bombers came on behind the SM71's. The eighteen Stukas were in two groups both attacking from on the starboard bow side of the HMS Illustrious. The bombers began their dive at the Fairy Fulmars fighters came in. The Fulmars were ineffective in their attacks only getting minor hits and only downing three planes in the two groups. An error in judgment on where to start the dives caused six of the nine planes in the first group to either abort their dives dropping their bombs in the water or crashing into the sea when they were unable to pull out of their dives. The second group had many of the same problems with two missing the ship because of a too early start on their dives. The reaming six JU87's did minor damage. The JU88's were the last to make the attacks. These were a modified glide bombing run. The first plane missed the HMS Illustrious. The second plane hit the target with all his bombs. As the Remaining German attackers left the HMS Illustrious was seen rolling over on it side as it slipped beneath the blue surface of the Mediterranean. It was clearly an Axis victory.
The Second game I hosted was "It's the Push". It recreates the last push by the 3rd Army in it relief of Bastonge.
The Americans attacked with two task forces each made up of a company of armored infantry and a company of tanks. The Tanks companies were a mix of 75mm, 76mm and Jumbo Shermans. One American group was to attack the town of Assenios and the other push onto Bastonge with all haste. They had ten turns to accomplish their objectives of capturing the town and moving off the board towards Bastonge.
The German defenders consisted of a company of Volksgrenadiers in the town of Assenios and a company of Falshrimjagers behind the town in the woods. They were supported by four 88mm PAK43 and two 75mm PAK40 anti tank guns.
The game began with an artillery attack on the town and the woods behind. The artillery took out a couple German squads and suppressed many others. The American moved on to the table after the barrage. It is here where the US players got into trouble. The move on to the table was free but the players failed most of their command rolls and the attack stalled. On the second turn the artillery accounted for more German losses in the town and left half of the remaining squads suppressed. But again the Americans failed to follow up by failing their command rolls again.
When the Americans finally made several command rolls they made a very large tactical mistake by attempting to go around the right side of the town. A second tactical error was made with the US armor got to close to the town and the Germans were able to destroy three of ten tanks and several half tracks. The UIS players pushed down several streets into the town. Meanwhile the force that was to got Bastonge reversed it course end tried to go around the left side of the town. The tanks and half tracks went between a hill and the edge of Assenios. The ATG's began to chew up the halftracks and some of the tanks. The American player hesitated a turn trying to destroy the ATG's. This put the force further behind its timetable to the objective. Concentrated tank fire destroyed the PAK43 anti-tank guns and the US tanks began to roll on to the objective.
The delays and the reverse of direction took too much time and the American failed to reach their objectives of Bastonge. The fight for Assenios continued but that to would result in an American failure to take the town. The German player was pulling back into the town trading space for time. The German's carried the battle; the 101st Division was not relieved on 26 Dec 1944. History was changed.
Fast Play Grand Armee'
I played a Napoleonic game using Fast Play Grand Armee' There were six players, three on each side. I was the French Commander. The opposing Austrians were holding a crossroads which was the objective. The French needed to capture and hold the crossroads.
We won the first turn inititive and advanced eschalon right. This placed a hill and lake area as an anchor on the French left and a wooded area on our right. The move also placed our three French divisions against two Austrian divisions. The thrid Austrian divison faced could not fit al its forces into the area left between the center Austrian Division and the lake. This was the key to the game, were able to place more forces against the Austrians than they us. The batlles in the center and right seesawed back and forth with the Austrians getting the worse for it. The Austrian divisoins on the French left piece mealed itself into the fight, while the Austrian center and right divisions bore the brunt of the French attack. In the end the Austrians lost too many brigades and retired from the field. Our Light Cavalry failed to press it pursuit.
Battle of Brumer Island
We played a new game tonight, Seekreig. A Japanese cruiser task force was operating as an advance attack force for the invasion transports approaching Pt Moresby. Am Allied cruiser force was sent to Pt. Moresby to counter any Japanese moves.
After a bit or searching Japanese and Allied DD's made contact with each other's TF. A turn was used to establish who and what the contacts were. The Japanese DD flotilla commander opened fire at ten to twelve thousand yards as did the American DD's. The Japanese Cruiser Commander had seen more than just Allied DD though and opened up on two Allied cruisers, the CA Australia and CA Chicago. Both of the Allied CA's took hits. Because they could not establish visual contact with the Japanese ships, the Allied CA's were prevented from returning fire for two turns. This was decisive because the Japanese CA's got in several more hits on both Allied cruisers.
Destroyers on both side spared exchanging fire. First to go was the USS Walke to the combined fire of two DD's and the CL Yubari. It sank quickly when a magazine exploded. Two Japanese DE's dropped torpedoes and turned around and left the area. These missed their intended targets the USS Blue and USS Worden. The Japanese DE Oite took several hits from the Blue and Wordon and the HMAS Hobart catching fire and slowing.
During this the Allied cruisers began concentrating in the cruiser Kinugasa. Kinugasa slowed and was on fire after taking several hits. It then exploded when one of its magazines exploded. Even with the loss of the Kinugasa the Japanese handed the Allies a defeat, as the Kinugasa sank both the Australia and Chicago were seen burning and men abandoning both ships.
Everyone had a lot of fun. The rules have a lot of detail but went quickly once we got used to the rules.
Battle of Santa Cruz
We played a mini campaign game tonight based on the WWII Battle of Santa Cruz. The battle occurred in late 1942 north of the Solomon Islands.
In the game the US player had two carrier task forces with the USS Hornet and USS Enterprise. The Japanese player had three task forces with four carriers, the Shokaku and Runjo in one task force and the Zuikaku and Junyo in the other two. All the task forces had cruisers and destroyers with the carriers.
The game consisted of strategic search and a tactical game based on the Midway campaign game rules listed elsewhere on this website. The players received their orders and began the game. The US player found the Japanese fleet right away. The Japanese player had little luck locating the US carriers. ON the second turn the US player again got a contact and the Japanese player got a contact too. The US player did not get the exact coordinates because his search plane was locked by the Japanese CAP and was shot down while sending the location.
With the an idea of the location the US player guessed rightly where the Japanese Task Forces was and launched strikes from both carriers. The strikes were not coordinated so there would be successive attacks on the Japanese carriers Shokaku and Runjo. First in the attack was the Enterprise strike. The Japanese had their CAP only at high altitude with none at water level. The American attack was split between 7 TBF Avenger torpedo bombers attacking with an escort of four Wildcats at wave top altitude. The SBD dive bombers came in at High 1 without escort.
The attack by the dive bombers was pretty well broken up by the Japanese CAP which had a field day shooting up the bomber formations. Nine SBD's were shot down out of fifteen attackers. The remaining flight of six made it through the Japanese AA but all their bombs missed the Shokako.
Meanwhile the US torpedo bombers attempted their runs at the task force without interference from Japanese fighters. The Japanese player did get to launch several fighters from the deck and attempted to intercept the Avengers. Japanese AA did take a toll on the attackers. Several TBF's were shot down or aborted their mission due to AA. All of the TBFs targeted the Shokako. All but one of the torps proved to be a dud or missed entirely. One errant torpedo though hit the Runjo with devastating results. The Carrier went up in flames from the hit. The remaining US planes flew off from the attack leaving one CVL in flames.
No sooner that had the Enterprise planes left than the Hornet's planes were spotted by Japanese lookouts. The Japanese CAP deployed at wave top altitude while the American escorts came in with the SBD's at high six. The TBF's took damage and several more aborted or were shot down by the Japanese Zeros. The AA damaged several more. Mean while the SBD's were setting up to begin their dives on the carrier.
The Avengers lined up and dropped their torps at the Shokaku. Two of the American torpedoes hit their intended target. The first left the Shokaku dead in the water; the second dealt the carrier a mortal blow. Meanwhile overhead the SBD pilots saw their intended target sink decided to drop their five-hindered pound bombs on the cruiser Moyko. The first two bombs hit the cruiser leaving it dead in the water too. Many of the following SBD's seeing the cruiser hit by bombs turned their attention towards the cruiser Aoba. Their bombs missed as did the three bombers that tried to finish off the Moyko.
It was decisive victory for the US Navy and a serious set back for the Japanese. Only one problem the American, misunderstanding the ranges of planes, launched at extreme range and none of his planes made it back to the Hornet or Enterprise.
Everyone had a good time and we finished up very late, but with the change back to standard time we had an extra hour of play or it seemed like that.
Battle of Stones River
"McGowan Shatters the Union Right" is a scenario from the Battle of Stones River (Murfreesboro). It is the opening attack of Gen. Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee against Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans's Union Army of the Cumberland on December 31, 1862.
Roscrans was preparing to attack Bragg's right while at the same time General Bragg planned to attack Roscrans' right flank. The Confederate attack began at 06:22 AM. McGowan's six brigades surprised the three brigades of Johnson's Union Division. The Confederate's drove back the Union right with its attack.
The scenario is designed to recreate the uncertainty of the battle by using hidden markers and limited intelligence of the opposing army's positions. The Confederates were given 10 extra hidden markers and the Unions players given fifteen extra markers. The CSA players had ten turns the USA right and exit units off the table to rear of the Union position. The USA player only has to avoid the Confederate victory conditions.
The game started slowly as the Confederates had to move up to the Union position. There was the added problem of low visibility the first three turns. All but two of the Union regiments were in the woods the remaining two were along the road. These two units were the first to be hit. One lost a stand in the first two turns. A CS artillery battery was moved up to flank a US regiment but a Confederate infantry regiment routed on his first casualty with battery being routed when the CS player rolled snake eyes. This was the lone Confederate battery in the game and it never really got back into the battle after its rout. The Union regiments pulled back into cover the next turn.
CS units moved up and both sides began to trade fire back and forth. While this was going on a confederate Brigade moved up to flank the Union Position. It began trading fire with units long the road. A Union SS regiment caused a lot of damage as it picked off regiments at long range. A Battery of 10# parrotts chimed in with hits on the approaching Confederates. The hits cause the Union Battery and SS caused two more Confederate regiments to route. The Confederate players continued to probe the Union line looking for openings and trading fire with the US units.
Two more CS brigades maneuvered to attack the Union Flank at the same time they pressed along the whole Union Line. When a Union regiment routed after failing a morale check a two CS regiments charges the opening in the US line. These charges broke part of the line, driving Union artillerymen off they guns. An attempt to close up the lines was too late the units were cut off from the hole created by the Confederate charges.
Two CS brigades that moved up on the flank charged the Union Line. A Union regiment attempting to catch the Rebels in a formation change charged too. The ensuing charges and counter charge resulted in a melee throwing back one confederate unit and the US regiment too. The charge the next turn by two Confederate regiments sealed the fate of the Union Right. A melee resulted in a captured Union regiment. The Confederate Regiments continued their charges and capture two more routed US regiments. After capturing the three regiments the Confederate moved off the table on the road. The game ended at this point. With a Confederate decisive victory.
Command Con VII
Convention report for Command Con VII 2006
Union Assault Part 1We are playing an ACW scenario which a Union Corps is attacking Confederate fortifications. The Confederates are defending three hills with a division of infantry and artillery. They built medium works on top of the hills and in the gap between the hills. As part of the defenders artillery they have four large caliber guns 30# Parrott guns and 24# howitzers. At the start there were two brigades of infantry. A third brigade entered on turn three. The Union attackers are made up of four divisions of infantry and artillery supported by three siege guns two 30#parrott guns and a 32# howitzer.
The Union deployed two divisions with the other two entering the table on turn two. The planned attack was to be on each flank. The Confederates deployed across the front with two siege guns on the middle hill and one each on the side hills.
The attack started on the Union Right. The First Division moved up and individual charges were made by the each of the three brigades in the division. Each charge was thrown back by the Rebels. The third Union attack did come close to dislodging the Confederates from their position on the small hill on the right, but a stubborn defense the Rebels were able to throw the Union regiment off the hill. The out come on the right was the First division was too weak to follow up its attacks and the commander waited the Second Division to deploy before making any further attacks. Several of the attacking regiments were completely destroyed by defending artillery canister.
On the Union Left the battle developed slowly as the commander deployed three brigades. While the infantry deployed Union artillery was able to destroy one of the Confederate siege guns on the small hill on the left. This was in exchange to a Union 24# howitzer that the Rebels destroyed earlier. As the Third Division deployed for it attack artillery of the Forth Division moved up and joined the artillery attack on the Confederate positions.
The Union Third Division charged the works in five separate charges. One brigade attacked the fortification between the Left and Center hills with two charges. These were thrown back with loses to all three regiments one of which routed away. The other two retired in good order one inch and remained in front of the Rebel fortification. The Confederates lost a gun which had run off as Union charges approached. The remaining two brigades, with seven regiments charged the Confederate hill on the left. These were all thrown back but all regiments remained in good morale at the base of the hill. We stopped the game at this point and will restart in two weeks time.