Sunday, September 28, 2014

Arras 1940: Encounter 1 (The Patrol)

Encounter 1 (The Patrol) - south of Arras, May 1940
Force Morale = 11
Support = 0
Force Morale = 8
Support = 10 (1 x Dingo scout car; 1 x Universal Carrier team; 1 x regular British section)
Things started well for the Germans when a FM of 11 was rolled. Things began to unravel as soon as the Support roll was made. Zero for the Germans and 10 for Brits!! But the scenario was meant to model the surprise the British initially dumped on the Germans. The German platoon commander was also hampered by the fact that he could call on only three of his normal four sections for this encounter (although this proved to be of no real consequence). The campaign is (hopefully) set up to make it hard for the Germans in the first few encounters while allowing them to slowly get their act together and try to stop the British advance. Can't wait to see the 88mm Flak gun in Encounter 5 (if the Brits get that far).
Not much of an AAR for this game, I'm afraid. Vidal's Brits got a bit of a jump during the Patrol Phase and were able to get a Jump Off Point closer to the only building on the field (see below). Leutnant von Schoenenfeld quickly ordered forward a German section to monitor the British probes, under the watchful eye of his platoon 2IC, Feldwebel Josef Grabner. The Brits countered by dropping smoke from their 2" mortar and masking a move to the farmhouse. The Germans were powerless to oppose this move (they couldn't see it because of the smoke). To make matters worse, British armour appeared. Granted, it was a mere Dingo scout car and a Universal carrier (with Bren gun team) but the lack of any German AT abilities made this more of a problem than would seem at first glance. The Universal Carrier could sit a distance and plug away at any German infantry it might see, while remaining, for all intents, invulnerable. Small arms cannot affect armoured vehicles and the German platoon of 1940 has no integral AT weapons. Had the Germans had any support points, even a single AT rifle team might have altered the game. Alas, that was not possible.
Leutnant von Schoenenfeld, realizing his men had been caught by surprise, and without any way to counter the British armour (and with the expectation that heavier stuff was on its way), chose the prudent course and withdrew from the field.  Unfortunately, he was somewhat embarrassed by his lack of attention to enemy movements and the company commander was not particularly enamoured of his performance either. Not the best way to start, no doubt. A quick game but fun nonetheless!
  • voluntary withdrawal (loss)
  • CO's opinion - down 2 (new status = -1, no effect)
  • men's opinion - no change
  • platoon leader's outlook - down 1 (new status = retiring , -1 FM)
  • casualties - -1 rifleman for next encounter
  • victory
  • CO's opinion - up 1 (new status = +2)
  • men's opinion - up 1 (new status = +1)
  • platoon leader's outlook - up 1 (new status = affable, +1 FM)
  • casualties - -1 rifleman for next encounter

German JOPs in blue, British in red.

Civilians fleeing the German offensive.
The only German section to deploy on the table, using the woods as cover as they see how strong the British advance proves.
British scout car encounters some resistance on the road. This is Vidal's new addition to his forces, a Warlord Games Daimler scout car with crew. Very cool!
Radioing the German positions back to HQ.
The new Campaign Notebook, for in-game notes etc. Although I maintain the stats electronically for posting on the blog, it's still satisfying to use good ol' pen & paper.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

WWII additions...French & British supports

I finally couldn't keep my painting gear packed away for the impending house sale and move. I pulled out enough to work at a few things and I was able to finish up some additions to my WWII collection this week. These will give both campaigns (see pages above) some added variety for support choices.

The Tommies should benefit from the dual machine gun turrets on this Ork-ish looking tank, the A9 Cruiser from Warlord Games.

And for the French, the AMC Schneider P16 half-tack armoured car from Warlord Games.
Next up for armour support, but from the talented brush of Lieutenant Dan, will be the Char B1 for the French and a PzJgr I for the Germans (both from Warlord Games).

A Boering weekend

Spent the weekend in Trenton gaming with Michael and Daniel. The latter is in Kingston for a few weeks of training so we thought we'd take advantage of the proximity. Amongst our games was Daniel's Boer War set up. It's quite beautiful and apparently this is the first time he's played with this collection (figures and terrain) with a real live human being (canine opponents don't count!). We pulled out an old favourite, Piquet, and tried the Din of Battle 2nd ed. supplement. Some photos below.

Now, if I could just figure out how to post the video of Lieutenant Hoyt giving the briefing for the WWII micro armour game. "Pens down, eyes on me!"


Monday, September 15, 2014

CoC 1940 Campaign: British platoon ready to go

Vidal has completed the work-up of his British platoon. He has a couple of old-timers...the platoon commander and Two Section Corporal are both 33 years old. Apparently Corporal Everton has been busted down in grade, more than once. He seems to be a bit unaware of his own size and temperament (or is he?).

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Trenton gaming

Drove up to Trenton yesterday to check out Michael's new gaming emporium. He now has a 12'x6' table with his command center nearby providing tech support and music (reminds me of a gaming room I once had). He's built the table to kitchen counter height and surrounded it with foam floor mats, mitigating most back problems that arise from concrete floors and low tables.  Bravo!

We tried out the attack/defend scenario from Chain of Command with my French and German 1940 platoons. Michael chose an R-40 to support his poilus and I (sharing command with Melissa) chose a PzIVd and MMG for support. The game ended with a decisive German victory when the French Force Morale dropped fairly quickly from 11 to 2, while the German didn't budge from its original 11. This was in large part due to Michael's atrocious die rolling when checking for leader casualties. In all, he managed four light wounds on junior leaders (two light wounds on one junior leader forced him out of the game) and the death of his platoon sergeant (senior leader). Otherwise he suffered relatively light casualties but the loss of leadership apparently flustered his men to such a degree that sauve qui peut! was clearly heard a number of times. For the German part, Melissa's plan to try and flank the French worked quite well. At one point, we were able to deploy two full sections and a MMG together with a senior leader, all directing their fire onto the flank of the French deployment area. Kudos to Mel for the plan of action. My initial plan had been somewhat different and probably would not have worked as well. 

Some random pics of the game below (lighting was a of the overhead lamp sets was not working):

Overview of the table. A fairly innocuous portion of the French countryside. 

Another overview, with the necessary libation in the background. 

A German section sets up to provide a base of fire. 

PzIVd makes it's appearance. Very little happened with the vehicles this game other than to provide eye-candy. 

R-35 (using the shadows as cover?) backs up a French section in the woods. 

French infantry deploy from a Jump Off Point, seen in the right of the photo. 

Fun was had by all despite Michael's unintentional abuse of his NCO corps and was a good primer for me to start my campaign with Vidal (and I'm pretty sure the two bottles of wine had nothing to do with making the evening enjoyable).  I think I may spend some time putting together a campaign for us to play between Germans and French, using the basic templates I've already completed for the Arras 1940 endeavour.

Friday, September 12, 2014

CoC 1940 Campaign: German platoon ready to go

I've finished creating my German platoon for the campaign...

The platoon is headed by the very capable Luetnant Micahel von Schoenenfeld, a true German aristocrat. His family were ennobled back before the Old Fritz came along. After the humiliation of Weimar, he has returned to the colours to continue the family tradition of service to the Fatherland. Over promoted Austrian Corporals do not impress him when his name is preceded by the knightly “von”.
He is ably backed up by Feldwebel Joef Grabner, a rural farm boy who left the Hitler Jugend and joined the Army. He is a model citizen of the new Germany.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

CoC 1940 Campaign: new platoon tracker

I decided that it wasn't particularly efficient to use a platoon tracker and a leader tracker on separate sheets. So, I've combined the two into one tracking sheet. For the new file, check out the Arras 1940 page.

A teaser...

CoC 1940 Campaign: new British List

The updated British List with the Daimler Scout Car added. Better get painting Vidal!

Monday, September 8, 2014

CoC 1940 campaign: new leader & platoon tracking sheets

I've slightly redesigned the platoon tracking sheet and built another that calculates and tracks the leader characteristics from At The Sharp End. In the Excel version (the PDFs are linked here), the sheet automatically calculates the characteristics using random generators and the data tab. The end result is that you need only type in the leader names and the rest is done for you.

The result...the sheets for my 1940 German platoon.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

CoC 1940 Campaign: documents

I've finished my first pass at the required documents for our 1940 campaign. Click on the links below. There will undoubtedly be some amendments and additions. The platoon trackers require personalization (i.e. leader names and images). Vidal and I will go through the leader generation process in At The Sharp End and update the docs before starting. I'm not sure yet how I'll document the procession of the campaign but will at the very least post image AARs.

CoC 1940 campaign...teaser

Although I am unable to access most of my gaming materials (packed for an impending move), I have not been hobby-idle. Last time Vidal and I got together, we discussed a campaign using  Chain of Command and At the Sharp End. Seeing that I have a fully-realized 1940 German platoon and a ton of supports and that Vidal has a brand-spankin'-new British platoon (albeit for late war...but we're not that picky) what better way to move forward than to try out a 1940 campaign (oh, and with the French involved since I have them too). So, I've been beavering away at a campaign set-up based on the Arras counter-attack in May 1940.
I was inspired by this awesome campaign set-up: link
The organizer and blogger, Matt, has been helpful in supplying his templates and many thank-yous go out to him!
So, a teaser...

And the campaign map....

Much more to come before the opening moves.