Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Colonel Cavendish in Zanzibar : Part 3 : IHMN

From the weekend our latest Colonel Cavendish adventure, an utter disaster for our hero....the rescue mission just got a whole lot worse 😀




Monday, 20 March 2017

The Black Guard : Crecent and Cross

As well as a couple of games this weekend, will hopefully post Colonel Cavendish's most recent adventure soon, I managed to get a few figures painted up.
These have already seen service in our Zanzibar campaign, but are really for crescent and cross faction, they are Blacktree figures and the first to be completed from the large army I bought a while ago.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Snake Eyes in the land of the Grey Elves : Kings of War

As regular readers know the Dungeon sees quite a range of games on the principle that variety is the spice of life. So we put away my Brits and Germans (back soon) and played a game of Kings of War. The rule set is gradually replacing WHFB for us, it's not perfect but seems to give fun games. John brought his 'grey' elves again determined to seek revenge for the previous defeats at the hands of my ogre army. I never seem to get many photos of these battles, the grey elves being somewhat camera shy !

We rolled a random scenario with dominate being the objective for both sides, requiring us to get into the no mans land between forces and hold it to the end. The ogres with limited ranged weapons and lots of strength needed to get moving so pretty much rushed across the table whilst the elves held back pouring arrow fire and bolts at the oncoming horde. Only the Elven Lord came forward on his massive grey dragon, unfortunately having wiped out the ogre mammoth he strayed too far forward and was caught in the flank by a yeti giant who seized the opportunity for a good meal, I wonder what dragon actually tastes of ?
The bulk of the ogre horde rushing / thundering/ lumbering forward
A giant, a mammoth and a yeti all looking for a good meal, unfortunately the mammoth is eaten by the Elven dragon before the yeti can eat the dragon 😀
The grey horde await their doom
Ogre shooters wrestle to the ground some Kentucky fried chicken
Sadly not enough photos, but what, you ask is the reference to snake eyes all about, well the battle as usual ebbs and flows losing the mammoth early on looked bad for the ogres but then the dragon lord was also taken out. Things were reasonable balanced on the right wing but as we approached turn 6 a huge horde of grey elves charged the Abyssal Daemon in the wood, already heavily wounded 19 plus wounds, he completely failed his nerve test as expected....... but he has the inspiring special rule which means a failed nerve test can be rerolled......and would you believe it the only possible result to keep him on the table popped up out of the shaker.......whilst I deeply sympathise with Johns short lived disappointment I haven't laughed so much in ages 😀😀😀 we had lots of fun, which is what it is all about, and just to assure readers it was John who asked me to record the Snake eye event on the blog, he took it in great spirit. In recognition of their great feat I am determined to get the ogres bases finished off.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Albanich 2017 loot

A quiet week working and unpacking from the show, I have also managed to spend some time building Gebirgsjager, but I said I would blog the few bits I picked up at Albanich.

A very modest collection but I was after all running the game. Another unit of Gebirgsjager, a rowing boat for future Harbour scenarios, an excellent last of the Mohicans character set from Redoubt minatures and two small mountain guns to be used for Up and coming back of beyond games, quality not quantity 😀

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Albanich 2017 : The Battle for Lympne 1940

Those who follow will know we were at Albanich today. As part of the ongoing Operation Sealion campaign I ran a sizeable demo game. First my thanks need to go to Steve and Martin for helping me run the game, it must be very boring watching me fiddle about with terrain, setting up and sorting things out. But hopefully we were able to put on a good looking game that was also fun to play. Feedback was tremendously positive during the day so thank you to everybody who came across for a chat, your support is very welcome. I also apologise to other gamers at the show I literally didn't get a chance to have a proper look at anything else and I don't want anybody to think the show was just us, lots of other good looking stuff going on 🙂

So on to the game....in previous posts I have covered the background, suffice to say here a strong force of German Fallschirmjager backed up by Wehrmacht infantry and Panzers is seeking to take control of Lympne and the adjacent Airfield. The allies somewhat outgunned are looking to hold a defensive line as long as they can.
The whole battlefield looking from the west, Lympne Airfield on the left, looking towards Lympne itself and the Church of St Stephen, the local Home Guard have set up a rudimentary road block but it is unlikely they will be able to hold the Panzers with their shotguns and rifles, the Allies do have armour in the form of the Royal Tank Regiment and some artillery which is being brought up.
A closer look at the British tanks, pulling off the road to regroup before pushing forward towards Lympne, British regular infantry is moving through the fields towards the church.
The allies are supported by a spitfire from further inland, it is not clear at this stage what impact it can have on the ground battle. The Home guard can be seen manning the roadblock !
A rapid response force of Bren Gun carriers and a single 25 lb field gun are rushing across the Airfield to set up a defensive line.
A view from the NE, (for those interested the battlefield is 8' x 4'8")
Fallschirmjager have landed close to the outskirts of the village and are looking to rush through the houses to secure the Airfield 
Kradschutzen infantry and armoured cars speed down the main road whilst Panzers get into formation, the ominous sound of tanks warming their engines
A shot from the SE
St Stephen's Church, the Vicar is urging the church warden to prepare for the worst.
Whilst the spitfire strafes the road the Fallschirmjager push over the wooden fence into the village
The Germans call in air support in the form of Stuka bombers who attack the road block, where the Home guard despite their heroic stand they have no chance !
British infantry are setting up a defensive line close to the church, whilst the RTR looks to break through onto the road.
The Bren Gun carriers have broken down the fence at the far end of the Airfield and the anti tank gun is covering the road.
A period shot of the Airfield 😀
Matilda tanks during the early part of the war were know to be almost impenetrable..........so pushing out in front it has nothing to fear ! Except of course the German Panzerjager 1 which scores a direct hit with its 47mm gun. Kerboom !!!!!!
Luckily it is not long before the allies manage to knock out the Pz II which can be seen burning in the Main Street. Overhead the spitfire attacks the Panzerjager in a futile attempt to knock it out.
The British infantry now seem to have a really strong defensive position, but they have allowed the Germans to capture the church, overhead the Stuka waits to be called in as the German Air observer seems unable to identify a clear target in the heat of battle.
The Kradschutzen have literally raced into the village but become pinned down by the telephone box.
The pilot in the Hurricane desparately attempts to start the engine to no avail there is no getting away.
A lone Gloster gladiator sits on the Airfield surrounded by the battle, if only it could take off !
The Fallschirmjager are now well into the village whilst their advance being covered by mortar fire at long range, but  as usual this is pretty ineffective.
The Home guard have now sensibly abandoned the barricade....but the Germans seem to have lost a little of their impetus and are bogged down in the village or around the church
Another period shot of the battle, a second unit of Home guard who were previously hiding in the pub have crossed the road and are crammed into the pillbox, one can only imagine what that must feel like !
Coming under fire from german armour the Bren Gun carriers pull back slightly, whilst the artillery crew realises they should have done a lot more practice when they could, their rate of fire is fantastic but they simple can't hit anything !
Luckily the German artillery is also pretty useless!
.............but the allies are beginning to feel the pressure, repeated hand to hand fighting around the church has caused them to withdraw, undercover of the swirling smoke the Panzer IV supported by Fallschirmjager has made it to the barricade
At the Airfield a Panzer 38 which had been pinned in a narrow side street has also finally broken out into the open, its armour seems impervious to everything the British can throw at it. This is clearly the signal for the Fallschirmjager to rush forward at the run, the sight of these veterans causes panic in the allied lines.
Some of the infantry starts to pull back rather than be outflanked and the Home guard in the pillbox (and this actually occurred due to a random event) panic and flee at the run ! The British tanks on the road now appear helpless and outgunned !
Another period photo of the Stuka looking for more targets on the airfield whilst the spitfire heads for home ☹️️
The barricade is finally broken down and the Pz IV surges through.
Running low on fuel the spitfire turns for home, the pilot cursing at his inability to hit anything !
The german break through now appears complete, it has cost them both men and material to achieve the objective, but the allies are far from out of the war, they start to pull back onto and around the Airfield to regroup and muster a counter attack. The Battle for Lympne is over but the battle for the Airfield has only just begun ! As darkness falls Lympne is in German hands but they are reluctant to push onto the Airfield without further support.

A splendid day of gaming, it didn't look like the Germans had it in them to break through, but the British had some misfortune, on at least one occasion a random event caused a perfectly well dug in infantry unit to foresake its cover and rush headlong into the church only to be wiped out by the German occupiers ! True to history the allies simply don't have an answer to the better armoured german Panzers. They were unlucky to lose the Matilda early on but when they did the other more obsolete tanks were scarily ineffective.....they need to bring more artillery into play soon !

So a great day, I bought a few bits which I'll blog sometime.......we had fun and it was capped off to my slight embarrassment by our game being awarded for the second year in a row Best Game of the show 😀😀😀



Friday, 10 March 2017

Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah : Operation Sealion

If nothing else putting the demo game on this weekend has encouraged me to pull my finger out, there is always more that could be done but I guess that is for next time. Anyway the allies have finally managed to scramble a spitfire above the skies of Kent.
Not the best paint job, but the decals make it.....let's hope the pilot finds success on Saturday 😀

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Assault on Coastal Battery 338 : Operation Sealion

Amongst the painting and preparation for Albanich we managed to squeeze a game in at the weekend. With the helpful advice of Simon I have now purchased a copy of We Shall Fight Them by Ian Lofting a really excellent book on Operation Sealion full of detail about the Allied defence positions. A very good book for those looking at planning a Sealion campaign, although a few of the reviews say some the detail may be slightly dodgy. I have put a picture at the bottom of this post. Anyway I have only scratched the surface.......

With the newly completed gun emplacements we were able to set up an attack on Coastal Battery 338 one of the two situated close to Folkestone. With two 6" Guns the Germans have identified this as a key early morning objective if they wish to secure Folkestone Harbour. Clearly a task for Fallschirmjager from the 19th Paratroop Regiment. From a "time line" perspective we have moved back slightly to the early morning of S-day. The Fallschirmjager have been dropped by glider with the clear instruction to take the gun Battery to the East of Folkestone, destroy the guns and then move into the town to take a second Battery at East Cliff. (In real life the Battery's didn't quite look like these being more of the concrete block type but these will have to wait for another day).

Early morning on S day the DFS 230 Glider leading the advance unit of Fallschirmjager has reached its target breaching the perimeter fence. The first squad has set off at the run whilst a mortar is being set up to cover their advance.
Other glider troops have landed close to the road which runs around the promontory of Copt Point. They are making their way under the cover of darkness towards the two 6" gun battery's and the observation pillbox overlooking the cliffs. 
To represent the surprise nature of the landing the allies are not permitted to react or bring troops onto the battlefield until a specified time, as befits this 'coup de main' type attack the Germans are travelling very light with only Mortar and machine gun support
Finally the alarm is raised and the first British squad fall out of bed only to be hit by a hail of bullets from the rapidly advancing Fallschirmjager 
With the alarm raised the British can now mobilise their defensive force, infantry supported by medium arms, but nothing heavy, they have immediately called for reserves from the Folkestone garrison but it is not clear when they will arrive.
The Defenders come under heavy fire so try to get under cover, the question is can they hold the attackers back long enough ?
Luckily the Germans don't get it all their own way and the leading Fallschirmjager unit suffers a Fubar mis communication sending them backwards in the wrong direction towards the gate 🙂
Finally reserves start to arrive, a Home guard reserve unit arrives at the gate by truck, dismounting and attacking the paratroopers from behind......they don't like it up them apparently !
The defenders are also heartened to see a Bren Gun Carrier arrive along the road, whilst this immediately comes under fire from the German mortars, they are able to start firing their Bren guns into the enemy, at least the Germans know they won't get away lightly.
But the Germans are single minded in their resolve, they are paratroopers and used to being surrounded so they take no heed of the reserves on the road and push on. Their objective is the guns which must be knocked out to protect the troops landing in Sandgate and other seaborne troops looking to take Folkestone Harbour, Germans can be seen in the distance assaulting the far gun emplacement, knocking it out!
But what is this another twist.......the unlucky Germans suffer a second Fubar on the same unit causing them to run again, either communication is breaking down or they are not as tough as we thought...😬
The Home guard, looking to defend their homeland have wiped out the MG 34 machine gun, but have no obvious way to advance up to the guns without being cut down and they may already be too late.
The Germans at this northern side have also knocked out a machine gun which had them pinned down and are just about to take out the second gun, the remaining allies are concentrating around the observation pilllbox, intent on holding it to the last man
Smoke rising in the distance makes it clear where the guns have been destroyed, the Home guard can only look on from a distance.
The final shot of the battle, the British outgunned have dug in in the rough ground but have been forced away from the final objective which is now also burning, the Germans have paid a high price, but that was to be expected by High Command and the invasion planners. The key thing is the guns can no longer attack the german navy crossing the channel or defend Folkestone Harbour from attack from the sea. The remnants of the Fallschirmjager will now have to regroup and push on down the coast to the second Folkestone West battery. Once this in knocked out they are to move on the Harbour to link up with the assault squad there.

A really fun game, started thinking the Germans were really up against it but they used just the right amount of aggression to get to the guns, after all what are a few lives at this stage when the main invasion force is landing on the beaches nearby...😀

Here is a copy of the new book I got recommended for Sealion fans.