Saturday, 24 June 2017

Hawkinge Airfield Taken : Operation Sealion

Pretty exhausted now and back at home from today's show on the edge of the Lake District.The battle of Hawkinge seemed to go down well, I think I played through 6 times, the Germans winning every time. This is a feat of carefully planning, a bit of play testing and understanding what punters want. The format, developed from last year placed each participant as the German commander, with a single unit of eight Fallschirmjager who have landed on the edge of the Airfield. Their objective is to destroy  four key targets. Although nobody actually destroyed the Hurricane which was a tough ask, most blew up two, and most people were able to kill off the defenders.
The final set up at the start of the day, happy with the overall effect 
A couple of closer shots....Hawkinge village really just for show
The Eagle has landed...this is the starting place for the Fallschirmjager, Glider through the fence
The defenders starting from the other end of the Airfield by the Hurricane
A shot of the airfield
Game in play.....I managed six games I think and all participants seemed to have enjoyed it πŸ˜€ if you are reading this any feedback would be good as I am always looking to improve the experience ?
And in the occasional lull I did manage to pick up a few bits.....after all it wouldn't be a wargame show otherwise. Although I didn't really get to to see the bring and buy, I,m just glad I didn't get any more ACW figures πŸ™‚

Friday, 23 June 2017

Battle for Hawkinge : Pheonix Lakeland Wargames Show

Just finished packing for the show tomorrow. The game which is very much a participation game introducing gamers to Sealion and Bolt Action is focussed around the early morning paratrooper attack on Hawkinge Airfield. This is obviously an important target and the Fallschirmjager have been ordered to destroy key targets at the Airfield. High command are keen to keep the Airfield intact for later use so they have avoided pre invasion bombing.
I have also finished a couple of details off.....
Aircrew, Airfield Sign and I have added the details to the bus πŸ™‚
Out of interest I have also been thinking about terrain and base cloths for larger games, a bit more work to do but the cloth above definitely has promise.
Finally today, I am not letting my wife know just how many ACW figures I now have in the plastic mountain πŸ˜€

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

The Battle for Burmarsh : Operation Sealion

For our next battle we have moved back to the gradual inland movement of the main German forces the 109th Infantry Regiment in the area around Dymchurch. With the main beach landing area secured but the unloading of forces inevitably being disrupted, small ad hoc  Kampfgruppe  are being pushed forward to secure the route inland. One such group has been ordered to probe and secure the hamlet of Burmarsh just a mile or so inland from Dymchurch where fighting and resistance is still taking place.
 
The front line as it currently is since the landings early morning, previous battles marked in orange
German Infantry spread out across the fields, supported by a single Panzer II which is advancing towards the Church
German commander has jumped out of his Kubelwagon to watch the attack. Whilst the infantry have dragged forward a 75mm gun which they are preparing to fire
Infantry to the west of the road set up heavy support weapons and start to bombard British artillery on the other side of the pub
Looking down the road towards the church
On the allied side British infantry have arrived and are pushing forward through the church grounds
They have also set up a strong point at the road junction where they have pulled a 2lb antitank gun into position, they are also supported by two Vickers tanks, one of which can be seen heading towards the back of the pub
But for the British things go bad early......the Panzer II takes out their second Vickers as it pushes forward in front of the church, it can be seen burning above
The Germans continue to advance and are able to pin down the British defenders whose fires gradually slackens
One unit of the defenders has at least made it to the shelter at the back of the bus, hoping to rush down the road, but the machine guns of the Panzer turn towards them and without the covering fire of their Vickers Tank the infantry are doomed
The British antitank gun kept up a steady fire through out but pretty much to no effect, eventually though they managed to knock a track of the Panzer, it could still fire but was now immobilised unit the repair crew could be brought forward.
The german commander remained close to the road, a fierce fire fight takes place across the pub garden but the german eventually get the better of it
By the church the british have been gradually taking losses and are unable to make any significant impact on the advancing enemy
At this point after the allotted time it was a clear victory to the Germans, whilst only a few units had been completely knocked out the British units were close to collapse and they could hold the road junction no longer.

A very fun game, introducing a new player to bolt action within the context of my ongoing campaign πŸ˜€

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

The Battle for Scruton : VBCW

I was invited over to the Old Guard Wargamers club in Scruton to play a VBCW game at the weekend. You can see more detail on Martin's28mmheros and Dave's blog One man and his brushes I received a very warm welcome and we had a good time and whilst my small force of Cumberland Royalists didn't make many friends across the Pennines it was nice to play a game where laughter was in much evidence. Here are a few shots of the game. I hope to be back soon πŸ˜€
The lads from Cumberland arrive...looking for allies and the promised beer !
A mixed force of thirsty men !
A shot from behind Lord Scruton's position the objective, the pub is half way down the table beyond the terrace block
Advancing across the fields but coming under fire from a mixed force of cricketers and local sportsmen apparently unhappy that we might steal their beer !
Having built an alliance with Lord Scruton's local Facist force they go and double cross us a lucky shot taking out our armoured car 'Bessie'
No mans land is no place for a game of football despite the offer of the PortVale Football team !
Much fighting was going on around the whole table, mainly monks, postmen and a range of Communists
That ploughed field is where the Penrith Militia had once been ! Wiped out from behind by Lord Scruton......revenge will be had !
By the end the Cumberland forces were dwindling and although the mortar was very effective at hitting the pub it repeatedly failed to kill the occupants
The objective, being filmed during the battle ! Eventually the sportsmens wife's snatched the pub resumably Gin and tonics all round ?
We had a great time, Martin had pulled out all the stops to put on a great game........I will be returning across the Pennines later in the year πŸ˜€

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Pheonix Lakeland Wargame Exhibition : Operation Sealion

It is two weeks now till the Pheonix Wargame Show, this is the second year it has been run by gamers from the west of Cumbria, but as the show is little more than a couple of miles from my house it is a must for me. It is a small show but some good support from traders.
Last year I ran my Lord of the Rings Participation game...which found its way onto the flyer πŸ™‚ this year I wanted to do something slightly different so I am running an Operation Sealion Participation game. With the success of my previous game I have planned it to be a fast and furious game suitable for all ages. Linking into my campaign it is based around the initial attack on Hawkinge Airfield just north of Folkestone. The picture below shows the rough set up although I might change it slightly for the show.
The participant plays as a German squad of elite Fallschirmjager whose Glider has put them through the perimeter fence, they have a number of objectives to blow up but only limited time, although I am using bolt action each figure represents a unit, the first time we have used it like this and it seems to work ok...simple and easy which is the main thing.
We play tested it several times this weekend and it was fun which is the important thing. The game is designed to take no more than about 45 minutes So if you happen to be in an around Penrith in a couple of weeks come over and say hello πŸ˜€

The Battle for Maxton : Operation Sealion

It has been a couple of weeks since my last game, and it won't have gone without notice that the new Operation Sealion campaign book by Warlord has come out. I haven't rushed out (yet) and bought the new stuff but I am sure I will soon, I am especially keen on some of the New British support weapons. There is plenty to go at in the book for anybody interested in Sealion and needs a bit more detailed investigation. Anyway it is also includes a number of new scenarios so we took the opportunity for our next Sealion Battle to play one. The Roadblock.......
Continuing the fight for Dover the British success at Hougham was ultimately short lived, but the lads from the Royal West Kent have regrouped around the Pillbox on the A20 located to cover the road as it enters the outskirts of Dover it is an ideal place to build a Roadblock to hold the invaders back whilst fresh reserves are brought forward from the garrison. The pillbox is marked on the map below with a blue dot.
 
The german Mountain troops from the 143rd are supported by the 141st Mountain regiment who have captured the high ground and bluffs overlooking the A20, the first german armour is just managing to get through to the front and with the delays at Hougham high command are throwing everything to break into Dover from the West, at this stage it is not clear if the Paratroopers dropped to the north and east have made it into the town !
The quickly constructed roadblock using everything the troops could find at hand. The objective for both sides is to control this feature, the British have managed to bring up a 2lbr but it has a fairly limited field of view and unless the Germans come straight down the road they may not have much to shoot at !
German troops on the high ground of the Western Heights, this is an old military area, fenced off, with block houses and occasional pillboxes but as this is unmanned it is of little significance in taking the objective, the German Artillery has been dragged forward and starts to pound anything it can see.
Whilst the bulk of the troops are from the Royal West Kent Regiment they are supported by Home Guard troops form the West Dover and Tower Hamlets Home Guard, knowing the Area well they have taken up defensive positions in the gardens bordering the A20, they await the expected attack but are hoping for relief to arrive from the main Dover garrison.
The scene form the Western Heights, little activity on the main road, although a lone german machine gun has taken over the house on the left and started firing directly into the British lines.
The Tower Hamlets Home Guard keep their heads down, the British have set up their only machine gun in the pillbox, something akin to a forlorn hope as they are some way in front of the main defensive line
With only limited armour a wary of a frontal assault the german command choose to attempt to flank the road block On both sides
To the north Gerbesjager units look to use cover and mortar support to protect their advance, Much to the relief of the Home Guard support has arrived in the form of a Bren Gun Carrier, but despite their encouragement to "go and give it to them" it parks up appanrently under orders to hold this position.
Having briefly checked out the block house the german flanking movement to the south is gathering pace
German artillery continues to fire into the town but is General fairly ineffective
Hit repeatedly by mortar fire the Home guard heroically or foolishly pushed to the front are taking losses and gradually getting pinned down they won't take much more !
At the roadblock all is fairly quiet, but then mortars located to the north of the A20 start to find their mark and become increasingly damaging
The elite veteran Gebirgsjager have now pushed to within striking distance of an assault the Home guard are surely doomed, with a high morale and leadership the single pin the Germans have picked up isn't going to worry them..........
Unbelieavable ! The shop keepers and butchers of Dover shout and jeer as the elite Germans turn and run
But to the south the Panzer II having knocked out a second Bren Gun carrier out of shot has broken though the fences clearing a path for the remaining infantry to potentially charge through to the roadblock !
The second Home guard unit terrified by the tank lose their nerve and are keeping their heads
Powerless to stop them the Germans charge through behind the tank making for the roadblock, where accurate mortar fire has left the antitank gun and crew isolated and undefended, they won't survive a charge.
But what is this, from the gardens behind the final unit of British infantry, having spent the battle cleaning their weapons runs forward
The Germans can see the undefended roadblock tantalising close
But cometh the hour cometh the men, the West Kent lads are able to assault the advancing unit in the rear and after a tight fight where they lose a couple of their own men they are able to finish them off, the Home guard look on and cheer with relief. At this point the German commander high tailed it back up the road, pulling his remaining units back to regroup.

A thoroughly enjoyable game, the scenario was slightly tough for the Germans but they did make it hard for themselves by choosing very long flanking movesπŸ˜€