Monday, 16 October 2017

606 - Trying 'Battlegroup' in 15mm

(or, 'I Can't Believe It's Not Flames Of War')
"Achtung - Jabo!"

Hullo, All.

Last week I managed to secure a night's gaming, and as Guy wanted to introduce me to something new, we went for 'Battlegroup' in 15mm...which if nothing else would be vindication for me not selling off my Flames of War army!
11AD in 15mm. For those of you newer to the blog, this is
the older of my 'historical' forces, but it's a company-sized
facsimile of my platoon-scale 28mm Bolt Action force!
Hearty thanks to Justin for permitting me to use his pics.
Battlegroup is very specifically divided into separate sub-games for the different theatres, so we went for 'Battlegroup: Overlord' for some 1944 Brits Vs Germans action at 'platoon' level: we both had a platoon of troops, a squadron of tanks and assorted support units, which was a perfect level for an intro game...

...what we didn't have was the rules. 

- We had three different theatre supplements (including - thankfully - Overlord) but not the core rules, so we had to blag those from a mix of 90% stuff Guy mostly remembered and 10% stuff I'd briefly read about beforehand. 
25pdrs are reassuringly versatile in BG...
...and the rate of fire from these buggers
against ground targets is vicious!

To this end, I won't go mad on what exactly happened, but suffice it to say that we had a good clash. When we called time, I'd clearly won 2/3 objectives, but I'd also accumulated one more 'point' than Guy (this is a Bad Thing in Battlegroup) so it was a happy draw overall. 
My FOO team took their grass with them! 

Time for some more pics, then my reflections...
The central objective: burnt-out tank by the building

The Germans advance on the objective
My miniature gun-line
3RTR loses a Sherman to the Panzers
Highlight of the game: RAF to the rescue!
At the end of the game, Guy realised that we'd missed out some fairly fundamental stuff, which might've helped some things to make a bit more sense, but overall it didn't matter at all. 

As I suspected, I much preferred the game to Flames (which tends to slow right down to a grind mid-game), and I look forward to playing it again. "Once more with feeling!" ...or at least, with the rules! 


- D.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

605 - Desert Sikhs Vs the Italians

Evening, All!

A week and a half ago, I was lucky enough to get in an early-war game with Guy, who (a) prefers early war and (b) hadn't yet met my Desert Sikhs - needless to say it was a joy to accommodate him on both fronts!
Guy's Germans weren't quite finished, so he brought along some Italians - luckily (for me, at least!) we rolled the mission in which each side has to get into (or exit) the other's deployment zone, so he was denied his defensive special rules as there was no attacker/defender.
After a little confusion, we actually played 750pts rather than 1000, so I didn't get to use any of my newly painted toys, but I had my list from way back at 'UK Gathering II' so I was at least familiar with it. Here's a handful of generic family photos:
I can't easily edit picture captions whilst on my phone, so I'll try to keep it simple. In essence, the early deployment of Guy's M13/40 MMG-toting tank opposite my left flank forced me to deploy heavily on my right, essentially steering me toward a classic (not entirely planned!) 'refused flank' approach. 
The Italian view. I would be advancing from the far side, so the right of this image is my 'left' flank.
In the opening stages, I did... well, not very much... and had to watch in dull dismay as his medium mortar's first round landed plumb on my 25pdr and wiped it out. Boo. My sniper, at least, was uncharacteristically useful...
My centre, at deployment
General advance up the right

The Italians move to reinforce their centre
In turn 2, all of my reserves came on - which was great - but my Crusader got well pinned by Guy's medium howitzer firing HE direct, on ambush. Ouch! This caused me more problems actually, as the stricken tank started to create a bottleneck right in the centre of my main axis of advance. Rats.

Talking of 'Axis' though, things weren't going too well for Guy either, as none of his infantry squads - not even the more experienced ones - would come on from reserve: evidently they'd found a safe place behind the lines to get some nice, cold gelati!

On the left flank, my Boys AT rifle team ran on and into the isolated small building there - their plan was to distract the tank and force it to present its flank to at least one of my three AT weapons.

By turn three, my bottleneck of troops was easing, but the Italian medium howitzer sent it's last shell flying toward my poor truck, blowing it sky-high but mercifully only killing one of the riflemen within. 
My lorry's aflame, (left) but the Italian armoured car has been forced back (right)

A bit of rallying and my troops started at last to surge slowly forward; my Humber MK2 helped by pinning its Italian counterpart, which had to reverse away at high speed when it failed its next order test [insert joke here]. 

Around turn three and four, Guy's squads FINALLY started to arrive, but still not all of them, and it was too little, too late. By this point, my mortar had killed off the howitzer, I'd secured the right flank and the Crusader's main gun had silenced the armoured car. Phew!
On the left flank, meanwhile, my plucky Boys team had somehow managed to weather the storm of the M13/40 gunning the crap out of them, and even managed to pin it AND jam its turret with a lucky shot. Better still, it failed its order test to advance and instead reversed slowly away!

This put paid to the Italians' plans. They'd lost their flank to the Sikhs' advance, and on my left now, it was my dug-in AT team facing off against an officer and mortar team, who'd been reluctantly ordered to accompany him to secure my deployment zone. 

Worse still for the Italians, the Humber and my 1 Section had peeled off left in order to bring the fight to the centre and left flanks, where the only other competition was offered by the exposed remnants of a brave but inexperienced rifle squad. 

At this point, Guy gracefully conceded (and, I imagine, ordered the immediate arrest and execution of all his shirkers!).

Sikh victory. :D


This was a fun and very good looking battle - I'm annoyed I didn't get more photos - but it was (amusingly) frustrating for Guy. A lesser opponent might've jettisoned his toys from the pram, but Guy's very much in it for the pretty views and for the joy of the storytelling! Props to him.

Tactically I was lucky(!) but my approach was mostly sound. I was disproportionately afraid of the tank(!) and had I realised that it was (a) slow and (b) very vulnerable on the sides, I would've taken a more aggressive approach to it...but I didn't! The Boys team were without a doubt my Most Valuable team, and Guy's howitzer excelled itself.



- Drax