Monday 28 June 2021

Back to the Grindstone !

A general lack of blogging this last week as we have been away on holiday !!!!!! The first holiday for what feels like a very long time and the first family trip for over two years. The weather was good in Yorkshire and we were out and about a fair bit. I won’t bore you with the general family stuff but hey I am a wargamer first so needless to say this was squeezed in between the ice creams etc…. So in no particular order from the last week

Yep I do try to do some painting when on holiday another American General for AWI
The first of some Norwegians…….I have painted some more stuff but it didn’t quite get finished 
Roman mosaics in Aldborough 
Son was with us so I had taken C&C ancients, we managed three battles. First up Akragas Carthaginians vs Syracuse
A strong attack by the Syracusan forces on the Carthaginian left
We stagger back as our left flank becomes exposed and my light infantry is forced to pull back
Trying to balance things Carthaginians attack on the right
But the heavy chariots are difficult to manage and are pushed back
It is only a matter of time before the Carthaginians win 5 vs 3 but a fun battle
An afternoon stroll out to see a local Motte and Bailey castle, we weren’t able to access it directly as the farmer had locked it down
Our second battle Crimissos River, the challenge here is can the Carthaginians get their reinforcements across the river before the main force is wiped out
The Syracuse army charges forward before they are outnumbered 
Carthaginians cross the river but …..
It is too late and the battle is over
We had a trip to the heavily built over battlefield of Stamford Bridge, including the short walk from the River upto the scene of the main fighting
The tallest monolith in Britain near Bridlington
Kirkham priory a tranquil spot but slightly lacking in interesting history
Apparently used by the protist when training for d day ?
A trip to Bridlington to see an even rarer creature an official wargaming shop !
I felt obliged to spend a few quid in the shop even though I didn’t really want anything so I came away with some nice early war figures and paint brushes
Yorkshire air museum a nice afternoon, Apparently one of only three Halifax bombers still in existence ?
A replica ME109
Loads of other interesting stuff…
An anti invasion Allan Williams gun emplacement, yes they were a real thing ! And I will need to make one for our Sealion games.
Some bike riding 
The big one Trebbia
Things start well for Hannibal on the left
The Romans counter but the Carthaginian light infantry advance in the centre and take control
4 vs 2 and the Romans are on the ropes with several small units, out numbered and the Carthaginian reinforcements under Mago have not yet arrived
Then they arrive and the Romans are being squeezed
But the Carthaginians can’t get the order cards they need, having to focus on their light troops unable to get their heavy infantry or elephants into the battle
A very enjoyable and close battle, the Romans sneak a victory at the last moment 7 vs 6 banners. Where did it go wrong ? I have ringed the Carthaginian units and elephants which have effectively played no part in the battle, and yet the Romans have almost nothing left ! Hannibal needs to learn how to use the elephants
Some interesting Falconry 
and fish and chips by the seaside
Back to painting and more stufff to share soon 🤪

Tuesday 15 June 2021

Assault at Lodge House : Operation Sealion

After a long and difficult S-day the Wehrmacht having established a strong bridgehead are seeking to break out into the Kentish Countryside, blitzkrieg style. British forces have been busy over night and having advanced Northwest along the A20 the Germans have been halted. In this sector the German commander has swung the attack to the north to out flank the defended roadblock. His pioneer units have hastily constructed pontoon bridges across the streams which feed into the River Stour. In front of them the British have a thin defended line close to Lodge House. The Germans must break through to avoid further delays.

The main A20 road has been blocked at Smeeth the Germans have turned North to outflank the position
The battlefield, the objective for the Germans is to break through the defended line shown, vehicles can only cross the main river at the pontoon bridges. Lodge House to the bottom right, the British defenders (half their units) are at the blue locations. The red arrow shows the British unit who decided to turn tail and run due to the initial bombardment ! 
As we were playing the scenario straight from the rule book the Germans get the opportunity for an initial bombardment, this was duly rolled for and caused a number of minor pins on units already deployed. The British commander thought nothing of it until because of a single pin a morale check was required and Fubar the unit fled the field this left a massive hole in the defence line right from the start and was very concerning !
A view from the East side of the battlefield towards Lodge House itself
Not surprisingly the British have dug in here, the ambulance presumably indicating the House has been used as an aid station over night.
Having bridged the river the Germans begin their advance, supported by an Sd.kfz251 pioneer wagon armed with a light antitank gun. (Those with a very keen eye may spot the vehicle actually sports a panzerbusche 41 but…..)
They also have a new PzIII medium tank which is leading on their left supported by a pioneer unit.
The rest of the German infantry rush across the stream
The British antitank gun has no targets and the defence line in the distance is currently unmanned ! Hopefully the second wave will arrive soon
The Germans move slowly forward
British reinforcements all manage to arrive, a Vickers tank with 2pounder, infantry, home guard and a Bren Gun carrier
The German infantry’s supporting artillery opens up but has limited effect
The Germans focus on their left and the Bren gun carrier take repeated hits without blowing up
The British defence is looking a bit more organised, the Bren Carrier is taking a hull down supporting position in the small stream, but there is nothing on this side that will be able to spot the German armour if it charges forward
If it hadn’t been for the British having lost a unit in the first turn I might have felt sorry for the Germans at this point 😀
Random events caused liberal annoyance throughout the battle, here the Vickers has hit a land mine and is stalled for a turn
Things are hotting up and a decisive moment, against the odds the Vickers gets a shot off against the PzIII lucky or fate the shell hits home just below the turret and the tank is up in flames
This causes some dismay in the German ranks ! And you can see the German commanding officer rethinking his plans behind the SdKfz
British home guard from the Smeeth area have taken up a defensive position
But the rest of the defensive line is getting very thin and one good push and they may break through
The British defenders on their right have now been wiped out and the line is held only by the Vickers and the carrier, but the Germans are pinned down by the Hanomag
The British sailors stationed by the main house choose this opportunity (Random event ) to enter the house searching for alcohol. You will see the ambulance is now on fire again and earlier random event when a random bullet hit it causing it to explode killing a sialor in the process !
However, time has run out in this engagement for the Germans and with their infantry pinned down they can’t make headway
The British have little left and will have to fall back if the Germans regroup
The Vickers and the Bren carrier can pull back, leaving the PzIII in flames.

A slightly unexpected draw, the British have taken more casualties but the Germans haven’t broken through enough to claim a victory. I would like to say it was all due to the masterful organisation and strategy of the British but Phil managed to roll an unbelievable number of 1’s when rolling to hit with the PzIII and SdKfz. in fact with everything ! The Bren carrier by all rights should have been blown to pieces but somehow survived to the end battered but still able to withdraw hoorah !

Great fun to get back into the Sealion campaign more to come 👍