Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Just a few More Germans.....and Phoenix Show

I meant it, been too busy recently with work and nice weather means I have been out on my bike. But I have managed to finish just a few more Germans who were sat about waiting to join the Blitzkrieg.
A German supply wagon, eye candy or possibly an objective and a couple more Motorcyclists. One of my aims is to be able to field a full 12 unit recon force.
Think I forgot to blog my other loot from Carronade , what with being so excited with the trees, a mixture of terrain, some AWI figures dam it a new project and some other bits. The Warlord reinforcement is actually a Rad 8 to go in the recon force🤭
...and I picked up a nice little building, can’t go wrong as it can go straight on the table as is

As for Phoenix show at the end of June I have finally sorted out (a bit of spare time during latest hospital treatment for wife) an ACW Rebels and Patriots Scenario. We play tested the rules the other day and I will blog the result soonish.

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Shiloh : Confederate Onslaught : April 6th 1862

We played this game about two weeks ago and it was my first attempt at adapting one of the scenarios from Brad Butkovich’s excellent ‘This Bloody Field’ book for Shiloh. The first thing to say is the scenarios are really designed for a smaller scale than 28 mm or for people with absolutely massive collections and tables. So the first thing was to select only part of the scenario to play. Getting pretty much all my infantry on the table I could manage a reasonable chunk of the first scenario the Confederate Onslaught which sees the initial surprise attack of the mixed Divisions of the Army of Mississippi against the Fifth Division of the Union Army of Tennessee under BG Sherman.

The scenario includes a lot of excellent details about unit sizes, experience and overall orders of battle. I have taken these and simplified them where it felt appropriate to make our game manageable in terms of detail and timings. Those with a good memory will know that we played a larger battle from slightly later in the morning on the first day, with Sherman falling back to defend the Hamburg Purdy Road.

But this is very much the initial onslaught catching the Union troops in the morning 🙂

This was the section of the battle field I was able to squeeze onto my 8x4 table, Pond and Cleburne will start on the table but with Anderson, Trigg and Ruggles’ support entering after a couple of turns, McDowell, Buckland and Hildebrand are pretty much as shown with Sherman on the table close to Shiloh Church.
The battlefield squeezed in on the table, looking west. The Union camps on the right, the Confederate Onslaught from the south (left), this was played before I bought all those extra trees so will be interesting to compare games in the future ?
Sherman taking control of the Fifth Division from close to Shiloh Church Buckland’s Brigade beyond in the Union camp
McDowell’s Brigade on the extreme western flank
6th Mississippi and 23rd Tennessee pushing forward around the Rea Farm
Hildebrand doesn’t seem phased at all and sends the 57th Ohio forward to support the 53rd Ohio who are pulling back from a very exposed position beyond the creek
Sensing danger Sherman is quick to take up a centre command position
Urged on by Cleburne his Tennessee boys have pushed upto the field just south and west of Shiloh Church, but they start to exchange fire across the field rather than pushing forward !
The 24th Tennessee head slightly left to avoid the field, seeing the 40th Illinois exposed this might be an opportunity to break through in the centre ?
Thought I would just try a wide angle to see how it looked ?
On the left flank Pond is making slow progress (to represent the well documented command issues the confederates had at the battle we gave them less order dice than the units they had so not everything can be activated each turn, this is hard but a very effective and simple way of representing the problems they had)
Hildebrand has reformed his units around Shiloh Creek and taken up a strong defensive position
Union fire from across the Wheatfield has forced the initial assault back
.....but further west significant numbers of Rebels are pushing over the Creek
Tough fighting around Rea’s Farm but no break through 
The 23rd Tennessee charge forward to force the issue on the right
Limited Union reinforcements arrive (the scenario allows the 7th Illinois Cavalry to arrive from the Lost Field where they started)
Anderson’s Brigade arrives to bolster the centre, along with Polks Battery
Just in time as the central assault towards the Church is faltering 
The confederates just can’t quite make the break through they need
Hildebrand seems in control on the left
...but suddenly the centre starts to crumble ! The 70th Ohio finally start to fall back
McDowell is taking lots of punishment but is holding firm on the Union right
Still holding this Ohio Regiment is looking increasingly vulnerable as the confederate number start to count
Anderson’s Brigade in full advance but they are still only at the Creek !
Anderson Brigade forms up into line for the assault
But on the Rebel right the 23rd Tennessee have turned tail !!!!! Not good
Hildebrand against orders starts to advance rather than holding the defensive line, this is not how it is supposed to go ?
Anderson is struggling to make a difference in the centre
On the Rebel left a wild firefight with both sides taking casualties but no decisive break through
Hildebrand pushing forward around Rea’s Farm (this is the benefit of knowing that you can’t be attacked from the side, historically I don’t think he would have done this as the Confederates were advancing on both his flanks)
Anderson still bogged down in the centre
This was where we felt the battle had come to a natural conclusion (tea time) the confederates hampered by leadership issues and some woeful dice rolling by me had failed to break through, had they had more troops they might have made it, the Union troops were under pressure all along the line but held.
I missed a couple of photos as this end phase of the battle was accompanied by a large melee in the centre with several Regiments fighting hand to hand, despite inflicting massive casualties on the Union Forces they were able to hold but they have no reserves in this area left, if only the rebels could surge through the gap now !

A splendid game, the Rebel artillery just couldn’t hit a thing, they suffered a leadership challenge and as so often couldn’t push through quickly enough whilst the Union Forces just needed to hold on. The scenario whilst not strictly followed was a great starting point for the game and we will be setting another one up soon. Of course I do need to paint some more Confederate forces up !


Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Frustrating Blogging Problem

For some reason whilst I am able to blog and reply on my own blog the system doesn’t seem to let me comment on anybody else’s blog. Has anybody else had this problem ? When I am in my blog it shows my name and picture but in your blogs it appears blank ? Any ideas.
This is a completely unrelated picture but shows how nice the weather was in the Lake District this weekend 😀 answers on the technology problem would be much appreciated as I am struggling to sort it out ?

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Can’t see the wood for the trees 🌲

I managed to link visiting my father who lives in Edinburgh with a visit to the Carronade Wargame Show. I have been a couple of time before there are some nice games, an increasing number of participation games...lots of traders and an excellent Bring and Buy.

This will be the first of a couple of posts. But I wanted to share my bargain purchase of the day.....like a child I was just toooooo excited. On my purchase list I had thought if I saw any trees a couple might be a nice idea and then I spotted this box on the Bring and Buy full of trees.

When I enquired to the price I simple had to get them...
These are the larger 28 mm trees a recently completed German Motorcycle for scale
Here are the smaller 15mm and 10 mm trees, they would also work as a large Kentish orchard ?
And some smaller 6-10 mm trees
On mass they create a very pleasing wood and of course I do have quite a lot of other trees if I can’t contain my excitement I might have to get them all out to see the effect on the table.

So forgive me my childlike indulgence.........and what kind of bargain was it ? When I initially looked in the box I was thinking I might offer the guy a couple of pounds each just for the larger trees. But before I said anything he said £10 for the box !!!!!!!!!!!!! I didn’t try and bargain him down 🙂

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Wehrmacht Reinforcements

After our game last week I thought I would try and finish it off a few German reinforcements who had been partially painted. Essentially another squad with another Machine Gun Team.
All Warlord figures painted to match in with my other units.
So this means I probably have enough core German infantry !
Six x 8 man units, three MG34’s a small pioneer unit.

This means I am in the nice position of being able to field a reasonable German infantry force for our bolt action games. There are a few bits I could fill out with but I will probably only get them if I see them cheap at a show or something. The only infantry I have now left to paint for the Germans are some early SS, a couple of squads and a supporting Gun crew. 

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

June 1941: battle for Dünaburg Bridge

It has been a while since we visited our 1941 Barbarossa campaign. Essentially we are following Army Group North in its invasion of Latvia, Lithuania and into Russia. We’ll see how far we get towards the siege of Leningrad🤔

Previous battle https://wargamesinthedungeon.blogspot.com/2018/06/breakout-at-libau-barbarossa-june-1941.html  saw the Russians attempt to break out at Libau.

For this battle we have now reached Day 4 of the invasion 26th June, a key early objective overall for the invasion is to break across the Dvina-Dnepr River Line securing bridgeheads to enable the Blitzkrieg to force its way into Russia itself and the major cities of Leningrad and Moscow. Poor leadership by the Russians at this early opened gaps in their front and allowed General Von Manstein’s LVI Panzer Corps the opportunity of making a dash for the river Dvina crossings at Dünaburg founded by Teutonic Knights in 1278.

In a daring Blitzkrieg move a motorised infantry task force rushed for the bridges. Headed by Lt. Hans Wolfram Knaak two small units of Brandenburg Commandos in stolen Russian trucks raced to capture the main bridge, these were closely followed by the 29th Panzer Grenadiers, German Pioneers and eventually followed by the tanks of the 8th Panzer Division. The Russians counter-attacked with the 21st Mechanized Corps under Kuznetsov but the German Bridgehead held. A second battle took place at the bridge a few days later as retreating Russian forces attempted to break through in the same direction but this is for another day. Baring in mind the limitations of scale, time and collections we managed to get the key elements of the initial assault into a scenario.

The Brandenburgers rush along the Lithuanian roads in early dawn light according to the books I have read the drivers wore Stolen Russian uniforms !
They tricked the guards and made it to the Dünaburg Road bridge, the first vehicle getting right across before driving down and embankment, the second vehicle came under fire half way across but the troops managed to get out.
So this was our starting point, two Elite German unit on or just over the bridge, sleepy Soviet Guards no where to be seen, the follow up Germans will arrive in a phased sequence up the road. The defenders will subject to leadership roles enter from Dünaburg itself, the Germans will win if they can create any kind of bridgehead over the river.
The sleepy outskirts of Dünaburg
Brandenburgers rushing the bridge
Kuznetsov has ordered the 21st Mech Corps to close 
They have plenty of dismounted infantry
Backing up the German commandos is a unit of pioneers who are crossing the river by boat, they have a random arrival time and location diced for each turn
Wolfram Knaak leads the first unit forward to dig in
Turn two and the 29th Panzer Grenadiers arrived supported by Kradschützen motorcycle machine gun crews one attempts to cross the bridge the other deploys to give covering fire
Russian infantry deploy in the blow building overlooking the river bank
Just as a bit of a bottleneck occurs on the bridge a T34 rolls forward temporarily immobilising the front Hanomag, a lucky shot has also knocked out a german antitank gun which had looked to provide covering fire across the river (nothing much is going the way of the Germans today)
Grenadiers bale out and run forward to support the Brandenburgers who are pinned down in the nearest buildings, in the distance the first Panzer arrive. In the river the pioneers are still paddling against the current and haven’t made the other shore !
Russian infantry pour an enormous amount of firepower into the Brandenburgers who are pinned in the buildings 
The leading Grenadiers dash forward and dismount, but the german attack is uncoordinated due to the blockages/ delays on the bridge and they are being mopped up piecemeal
A Panzer II drives over the bridge but it’s path is blocked by a BT7 tank, it fires with its autocannon but the rounds just bounce off the Russian tank
A view west across the river, the leading Grenadiers are now taking fire and need to move quickly
The BT7 immediately returns fire on the PzII and yes it blows up first shot !
The smouldering Panzer blocking the bridge which is going to give some further challenges later, beyond the bridge you can see the pioneers have finally made it across the river and are advancing towards the town
....but it may be too late the Panzer Grenadiers have been wiped out and the remaining German commandos are pinned down in the building
In a last ditch attempt to force the bridgehead the Panzer IV rumbles onto the bridge but is unable to get a shot on target agains the T34 and in true style when it does hit the round bounces off
And then the inevitable happens it takes a direct hit from a Soviet AT gun and it immediately explodes in flames.......time to pull back I think for the germans
The Germans called it a day here, although a tiny number of Brandenburgers remain over the bridge they would be easily mopped up and captured. Everything else the Germans had is in flames !

A very enjoyable if tough game, for the Germans getting across the bridge was always going to be a tall order, the soviet commander barely rolled anything less than a 5 or 6 in the first few rounds and the loss of the anti-tank gun felt decisive, the Germans then allowed the bridge to get blocked up rather than driving forward. The Russians just dug in a gave them everything they had.

We’ll see where this campaign takes us next.......😀