Battle of Marengo – 14th June, 1800

Later this week the club will be refighting the Battle of Marengo using the excellent Napoleonic ruleset “Blucher” by Sam Mustafa.

These have been a club favourite since their release with the members putting on a well recieved “Quatre Bras”  scenario at both Kirrimuir in November 2015 & Falkirk in May 2016. Most of the club also played the Battle of Austerlitz scenario using Alister’s excellent custom built terrain boards over the Xmas period.

During his current exile in Paris, Ross has been busy producing the cards and scenario notes for a number of battles for the club to play. These include Austerlitz, Marengo, Lützen, Groß Beeren and Friedland. He is also in the process of creating the scenarion notes and cards for Boridino, Jena, Dennewitz, Bautzen and also for the Battles of Antietam and Gettysburg for the ACW as an experiment.

 

The files for the Battle of Marengo game can be found below:

 

https://oldmeldrumwargamesgroup.com/blucher-scenarios/battle-of-marengo-14th-june-1800/

 

Those attending the game on Thursday will take notes and some pictures of the game to post an After Action Report on the club website and onto the Blücher forum too.

 

We hope to see you all there.

OWG

 

After Action Report – 8th March, 2016

Zombiecide – Prison Escape!

words and pics by Mike Travis.

Beginning of the Game

 

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A simple task you may think. But those of you who have played the game know that the zombies spawn quickly and get more and more as you go on killing them!!

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The game is team based. So as a team we cleared one section of the prison area, managing to keep the really nasty Abomination zombies, on the right side of the metal doors. Once we had searched the prison, tooled up with various weaponry, and most importantly gained the Molotov cocktail, one of the few things that can kill an abomination zombie, we opened the doors. A mass of zombies came down the passage ways and we were confident the Molotov cocktail, which eliminates all in a zone, once thrown, would do the job. However we forgot about the two action rules for one of the abomination zombies, which meant that one of the characters was overrun. Taking one for the team the Molotov was thrown and all zombies in the zone, and the character, went to meet their maker.

 

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Come and get it!!!!

 

Not to worry though as, this being a more advanced game, the character became a friendly zombie with more “lives”. The game continued but had to be stopped due to time constraints.

Whilst we didn’t get to a conclusion it was a most enjoyable game and best played with a sense of humour.

After Action Report – 15th March, 2016

Action on the way to Canneloni

words and pictures by Stuart Insch

 

Last night we took the opportunity to kick off a new set of linked game  set around a narrative theme of the invasion of Campari (a sort of proxy for Savoy) by the armies of Naples, using Parma as their staging point and with the inability or unwillingness of the other Italian stages to get involved due to bankruptcy or tacit approval if not actual support.

 

Real details will be thin on the ground as this is just a narrative for the games to sit in. It gives us an excuse to fight battles on the tabletop and that’s all that matters for now.

 

The scenario was picked from One Hour Wargames by Neil Thomas, which as an excellent set of maps and army selector charts perfect for the size of game that fits our Tuesday evening slot and the rules which we have developed. This scenario involved the defence of a road which passed through a choke point between a wood and small lake. Defending this position was a small force from the Duke of Campari’s forces comprising two regiments of foot, a unit of skimishers and an artillery piece. Advancing up the road towards them were 3 regiments of Neapolitan foot, a unit of skirmishes and two regiments of horse, courtesy of the random army generator! The horse were useless for the battle but made perfect sense for an advance guard.

 

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On the left the battle got underway with the two units of skirmishes opening up a lively fire, while one of the cavalry regiments stood off to observe. In the center of the table two Neapolitan regiments advanced to try and batter their way through. On the right the third regiment tried to creep round the edge of the lake and outflank the position.

 

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The fire fight in the middle of the table was particularly ferocious and the Swiss took heavy casualties until the white coated regiment Italiano was able to draw level and add it’s musketry.
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On the right the La Reina regiment made it round the lake and deployed under canister fire then charged and took the gun. However this left it exposed to a flank attack from a Campari regiment and it gave way and flat back the way it came.
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However their mounted namesakes had drawn up behind the lake and prevented any exploitation of the gap. By now the Campari center was had collapsed and the remaining Swiss and Italians advanced, the latter taking some shots from the skimishers on their flank.

Campari’s men right had no option but to retire, abandoning their gun. The cavalry negotiated the path round the lake but the narrow terrain delayed them and allowed the infantry to escape and fight another day. A strategic victory for Naples, but at heavy cost.

After Action Report – 1st March, 2016

Guadalcanal for Bolt Action:

words and pictures by Stuart Insch.

 

We’ve been fans of Bolt Action for a while at the local club. It’s a nice simple set of rules which means it’s easy to play a pick up game. You need to be a little organised with your force and know what you have and how much points this is worth for a balanced game, but it doesn’t take much to chuck some scenery on the table and crack on.

 

Sometimes however you want a little more detail and depth. And so it was that we picked Guadalcanal as the setting for a series of linked game using our newly acquired Japanese and US Marines.

 

The Bolt Action source book “Empires in Flames” has an excellent level of introductory background detail for the whole of the war in Asia and some great scenarios. A few weeks back we played Alligator creek and the Japanese managed to sneak a squad across the river on the last turn to secure a marginal victory. Next time I will deploy my Marines on the river bank!!

 

Last nights game was a follow up action – The Raid on Tasimboko. After Alligator Creek the marines  sent a force by destroyer to raid a Japanese encampment and supply base. Initial reports suggested that large number of troops were deployed there but the marine CO chose to ignore this. Despite landing and passing signs of large numbers of enemy in the area the village was only lightly defended by a rearguard force. These guys still managed to hold up the raiders until they were flanked and gave them a scare by opening up with a 75mm howitzer over open sights. However the marines carried the day and secured some vital intelligence info which served them well later in the campaign.

 

Our game featured a scaled down version of the attack. In stead of the company level action we took down to a squad level game with two waves of two Marine raider squads attacking two Japanese squads. The Japanese defender had a number of support weapons but a limited number of personnel – crew for the weapons had to be told off from his rifle squads and counted as inexperienced when using the guns and MMG. This gave the defence a disorganised feel but didn’t cripple the Japanese player. The whole board was open jungle except for a strip down the table edge representing the beach and coast area.

 

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The marines moved up from the jungle in two waves, one to the front and the second arriving on turn 4 from the flank. Their rifle and BAR  fire managed to keep the defenders back and pinned down while they advanced. The marines were also able to call in support fire which whilst it did not kill any defenders made them duck back with several pin markers. The Japanese 75 opened up as did the MMG  and caused some light casualties which were swiftly attended to by the marine medic.

 

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The critical part of the game came when the crew of the Japanese 75 were driven off by a poor morale test and the marines were able to concentrate on knocking out the MMG. With that threat gone the closed to short range on both the front and flank.

 

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It didn’t go all their own way however – a last gasp banzai charge by the defenders took out a marine squad, but by this time the rest of the defenders were dead and three marine squads were at the edge of the village. The game was over.

 

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A fairly close result to the historical battle, even with the scaled back size of the game!

 

After Action Report – 19th January, 2016

1775: The American Revolution
words & pictures by Mike Travis

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The 1775 board game is from ACADEMY GAMES and can be played by up to four players. Sides are British Regular (Red) Tory Militia (Yellow) Continental (Blue) Continental Militia (White), French Regular (Purple) – allied to the Continentals, Hessians ( Orange) – allied to the British, Native Indians (Green) – see below for allegiance.

Once setup there are eight possible turns. Victory conditions are assessed at the end of each game, after turn two. The game can end earlier if any side plays their TRUCE cards. Victory conditions are simple, the person with the most COLONIES wins. There are sixteen colonies with varying amounts of areas to control. You gain control, and place a related flag token, when you occupy at least one area and there are no opposing factions in any of the remaining areas of the colony.

Note: Native Indians can be allied to both sides. If your faction moves in to an area which contains Native Indians then they then become allied and can move and fight with your army. If you leave them alone then they could become allied to whoever next comes in to their area. If not allied then they count against your faction controlling a colony.

Faction coloured dice are put into a bag and drawn. That drawn faction then goes. Each turn the faction colour gets four reinforcement’s and whatever is in the FLED UNIT  holding area. These must be place in a city, in a colony, you control. This makes for some interesting games as you cannot place them anywhere. You need to think and plan ahead of time and make sure you control colonies. Each player ( Red,Blue, Yellow, White) have eight movement cards and a number of event cards. A movement card is then played which indicates the amount of armies and areas you can move to. Up to two event cards can also be played during the factions turn. Although there are a few which can be played if you are attacked.

At the end of movement battle commences if different opposing factions are in the same area. Each faction has its own coloured dice which determines combat results. Possible results are Hit, Flee, or Miss leading to either Stay or Withdraw. The number of dice rolled is determined by the amount of blocks of each colour in a battle and allotted dice. i.e. the British regulars have a maximum three dice. If they have say five blocks then they can only throw a maximum of three dice per round. Battle continues until there is only one side left in the area.

That’s about it

So how did our game go?

The Continentals fared well around the central board, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, kicking the Brits out of Boston. The British gained control of the North and clung on to the South. However with the arrival of the French in the South the British and Tories were sent packing. This now meant that the British and Tories could now not reinforce the South.

With the South gone the British now made in-roads in to Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and retook Boston. There was plenty of back-and-forth fighting which saw, as with the British and Tories in the South, limited re-enforcing opportunities for the Continentals.

The game ended before turn eight as the Continentals played both their truce cards and made two sea born attacks from the South leading to Maryland and Rhode Island falling. This tipped the balance, five colonies to four, and the Continental Rebels won the day.

 

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After Action Report – 5th January, 2016

USAAF learn how to fly……

A “Bolt Action” scenario

Tuesday night saw a Bolt Action scenario – capture and take off the board secret documents hidden in a vehicle in the centre of the table – between USA forces ( Alistair and Mike T ) and a mixed force of Germans ( Rob and Tim ). NB with the amount of rain we’ve had lately we elected to use the club river sections as wet roads, it only seemed right.

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The German Assault troops took quick advantage of sluggish US movement and quickly closed on the prize, however at some cost as a US MMG caught them in the open…nasty!.

US troops started to envelope both wings. Their left coming up against stiff German resistance and they had to pull back with heavy losses. The US right was the opposite with the doctrine of move and fire showing itself to be quite useful! The Kriegsmarine unit were on the receiving end of this onslaught and quickly dissolved.

Whilst this was going on the captured secrets were making their way to the German edge of the board and victory. Time for the now notorious ill fated USAAF to make and appearance. However after failing to appear US heads started to drop, As with all other games we’ve had the USAAF showed themselves to be particularly adept at attacking their own troops, blue on blue style, so breaths were being held all round! The next turn however it appeared and decimated some German assault troops ( x11 hits!)…ouch!

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Not to be put off the Germans started to roll up their right wing, and, confidence increasing, made swift progress to the table edge with the booty.

Noting a potential defeat in the making US troop manoeuvred quickly and put to flight the group holding the prize.

Undeterred the prize was picked up by a German officer

The scenario ran for six turns with an option for more, dependant on die roll. We ended up with one more turn before scenario end. It was a case of which coloured die came out first……

It was German and with typical flair the officer sprinted for the table edge and off to collect his medal!

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A German victory and enjoyable game.

 

Words & pictures by Mike Travis

After Action Report – 12th January, 2016

The Battle of Santo Malanca

Taking advantage of cold weather but low snow levels the Austrians under Kollorfeldt launched a column with the objective of seizing the import town of Santo Malanca. However Kollorfeldt, presuming his opponent was unable to fight in the wintery conditions gives little thought to scouting or screening his flanks and allows his Croats to bring up the rear.

Unbeknownst to him, Campari’s General Avvio has not only managed to locate the Austrian column but is about to launch an attack on his line of March…….

With the town a little way up the valley, Kollorfeldt was sure that he would be able to seize it and it’s important bridge and settle down somewhere warm in time for supper. His reverie was disturbed when a trooper from the Dragoon regiment providing the advance guard rode up and told him the way was blocked by red coated infantry. He had little time to think before the sound of artillery came from his right flank and he knew he had blundered into a trap.

Kollorfeldt ordered his first two infantry units forward, together with the dragoons. He would lead an attempt to burst the through the blocking force. Order were sent to General Gummstiefel to turn the rearmost elements of the column to face the flank attack and to send the Croats round their flank to force them to disengage.

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The dragoon’s cantered up in the powdery snow and drew their swords their change was short, and already they could see that their own flank was in danger from Avvio’s cavalry. As they closed with their foe a strong volley of musketry rolled out and cleared many of the brave men from their saddles. The charge closed, but the horses wouldn’t press home against the line of steel. They recoiled and a second charge went in. More musketry and more saddles cleared. Madness perhaps, but success would clear they way for the infantry and open the road ahead for the column.

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Kollorfeldt cursed as he watched the dragoons fail to batter through the enemy infantry. As a young ensign he had charged with Eugene and against the Turks – cavalry was unstoppable then. He turned and ordered his men to deploy into line. He would have to shoot his way clear.

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At the rear Gummstiefel was in trouble. The Croats advance had forced the artillery to draw back but Kollorfeldt’s movement to the front had split the column in two and now he was flanked by Campari re was little he could but try and find space to fight so he ordered his regiment about and started to retire. He called for a messenger to pass a note to the Kollorfeldt – but he had scarcely time to dictate his message when the man when down in a hail of lead. A quarter of the regiment lay dead around him – Gummstiefel prayed for nightfall.

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Kollorfeldt’s advance had ground to a halt and now it was clear there was little he could do. All around him his men lay dying, cut down by the sabres of attacking cavalry or shot by heavy volleys of musketry. How would he survive the disgrace of this defeat? In the last rays of the winter sun he saw his chance – he ordered his staff to draw their swords and together they spurred their horses forward, galloping clear of the carnage the small band cut through the Campari ring and away form the battle. Someone had to bring the news to imperial headquarters – Gummstiefel was clearly to blame for losing contact with the rest of the column and had dragged the whole lot to destruction….yes..that would do….

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Some notes:
A scenario based on one from Neil Thomas’s One Hour Wargames and in turn based on Salamanca. Alistairs’s Austrians had two choices, stand and fight it out or try to cut their way clear. Andy’s Campari  army managed to defeat them in detail once the colon had broken up, but it could have been different had Alistairs dragoons cut their way through or Andy’s cavalry ran out of space then they galloped into the the gap between two Austrian regiments! A nice simple game, but a tough one.

Words & photos by Stuart Insch