Sunday, 26 January 2014

A Tale of Two Bridges

I have recently played two versions of the Chain of Command 'probe' scenario using my VBCW set-up. In both cases the table was dominated by a river (more of a stream really) running across it with a bridge across; the river was though fordable as 'difficult terrain' throughout. In both cases the objective of the attackers was to get across the river and off the far end of the table;

Here's the table for the first game which I played solo. It's really quite open (though there are some folds in the ground so its wasn't entirely flat) . The attacking BUF had a Vickers MMG in support and upgraded one of their sections to army regulars (plus two of uniformed militia) while the Anglican defenders had two sections of un-uniformed militia (green), one of uniformed militia, a mortar and a sniper.

Here you can see the Anglican defense. One of their green sections has already suffered heavily and is being supported by their only uniformed section. Further back is their mortar, mainly used to drop smoke on the Vickers in a highly annoying fashion. Further on the right is another un-uniformed section who had been tricked into deploying too wide and were of little use.

A little later you can see that BUF have charged over the bridge and they will shortly kill the rest of that first green section by getting up close & personal. There was a second BUF section further back in support and in the background you can see the second Anglican green section who were not able to do very much at all.

Here its all over really. The second BUF section is about to cross the bridge to help the first section mop up the last of the Anglicans while the Vickers covers them. As for the sniper which the Anglicans had, he only got in one shot and that missed!

In truth this was a pretty one sided affair, so much so the BUF's third section of British regulars, seen here in the rear area, never had to get involved.

Here's the table for the second game; this time a multi-player affair (4 of us in all). You can see there is rather more cover with buildings & some newly completed Woodland Scenics trees (and a new bridge specially painted by Jackie, my wife). Again there are folds in the ground which are hard to see and you can see the river running across. This time the Anglicans with an upgraded regular section would be in attack and the BUF (with an extra senior leader) would be defending.

A shot from the patrol phase. The Anglicans chose to go with only 3 patrol markers, and were able to push well up onto the far side of the river (though their jump-off points mostly ended up on the near-side). The location of the last of the BUF's patrol markers is under discussion here.

The Anglicans, fearful of a run down the flank, opened up with an un-uniformed green section on the left. This was countered by one of the Anglican militia section who got the better of them (despite a lot of sticking by their Lewis gun). Things went from bad to worse as the BUF deployed their regular section to support them and capitalise on the Anglican's weakness (their Brenn gun did not stick!).

On the opposite flank the Anglicans showed great accuracy (OK luck) in taking out a BUF Lewis team on the first floor of one of those buildings. Downstairs the BUF riflemen  waited, but the Anglicans began to move to outflank them.

Once the green section on the right had been wiped out, things came to a head in the centre as the regulars moved to link up with the militia from the left. The BUF moved to counter them and it looked for a while as though everything was set for a party in the woods.

It didn't end well though for the BUF. Although they got the better of one of the Anglican sections in close combat, they were in the end overwhelmed and ended up on 0 morale.

My thanks to Derek, Roger & Chris for joining in with me. You can read more about this game & see more pictures on Roger's blog :

So two games of the probe scenario; both won by the attackers by means of simply killing the opposition rather than making a run for the line.Overall I think I slightly underestimated the forces needed to defend.

Next time something with some vehicles in it. But first, I need to do some more painting. Sadly so far this year I have a painted nothing at all! (But otoh the year has got off to an excellent start in terms of games played).

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year

It's been a while since I posted; I have been busy with various things, not least a business trip to the US (it's COLD in Wisconsin in December).

Anyway, it is traditional to review what you have been doing during the year.

In terms of games played, I have played almost exclusively TFL games: Le Feu Sacre and They Couldn't Hit an Elephant were both given a run out, but mostly I have been playing (or umpiring) Dux Britanniarum and most recently Chain of Command - using VBCW rather than WW2. Dux has been a great success (at least imo) and a lot of fun. Still early days for CoC as we've only managed one multiplayer game so far and that was a simple patrol with no supports. I hope to have a chance to organise another game or two soon. I also managed one highly memorable game of Sharp Practice and have flirted with Black Powder. In all I think I played just over a dozen games, which is not at all bad for me.

I have become increasingly fond of  Command & Colors: Napoleonics (a big improvement on the Ancients game). I also very recently have enjoyed the D&D board game, Lords of Waterdeep, a nice worker placement game which has the very rare feature, in my experience, of actually playing in the time it says on the box! (2 hours.)

On the painting front, I finished off an ACW project in the early part of the year and made inroads into my considerable backlog of Napoleonics (the backlog has since been replenished of course). I have also painted most of the forces I need for CoC - VBCW now (including my first tank!). I am now pretty much ready to roll with that though there are still a few supports not finished.

Probably the biggest step forward for me has been the acquisition of two 6' x 2' trestle tables thus giving me access to a 6' x 4' table which can be easily set up in my back room, well out of everyone else's way. Previously I was trying to 'bathtub' things onto our dining room table, sometimes with extensions added, with somewhat 'mixed' results, whereas now I am able to set up games like this:

Not exactly state of the art, but a big step forward 

Plans for next year? Well, the table above is not exactly awash with trees as you can see. Actually I have quite a respectable number of trees but most of them are pretty small; some larger trees are definitely needed. Apart from completing VBCW I do have a couple of other projects planned. Suddenly I am very interested in the Western Desert; as Richard Clarke recently said on Lard Island News: "One of the great joys of fighting in the desert is that you don't need a lot of terrain". I also have a hankering to do something with the Wars of the Roses (not to mention quite a few unpainted figures for that). Finally, I am looking forward to the release of the Chain of Command campaign supplement which I am hoping to make use of.

Happy New Year to anyone who is looking.

Tim D
(Just slightly hung over from last night's dinner party)