Sunday 27 November 2022

Battleground, painting and bits and bobs

A bit of a general update this morning. Yesterday I went to the Battleground Show over in Stockton. This is a regular for us and I put on another small participation game. I tend to keep things simple and focussed mainly around younger players giving them an introduction to gaming and some fun. This year a Lord of the Rings battle between Gondor and Mordor Orcs.

Here is the game in situ, having put on similar quite often it is a fairly swift setup.
The scenario is for the Gondor forces led by both Boromir and Faramir to stop the Orcs getting across the table. The ‘player’ always takes the good guys.
Without giving too much away the scenario is designed to look really difficult from the start, how can such a small force defeat the horde of orcs coming from the dark woods ? however, the forces of good are much stronger and unless the player has some absolutely terrible dice rolling they should win…..making them feel like they have had a gaming challenge but won through 🙂
 I played through 4 or 5 times during the day, with each gaming 30-45 minutes it felt busy enough. As predicted the forces of good won out, although one young lad managed to get all the Gondor Knights killed off and one nearly got Faramir killed 🙂 everybody had fun ! Also spent a lot of time talking to people about the figures etc….. I did manage to whizz round to a couple of other games here were the pick for me
Wellington in India…….finding it hard not to start this as a new project and this didn’t help !
WW2 desert warfare
This massive game was at the last show I attended as well….it is very impressive but nothing much seems to happen ?
A beautiful ACW Vicksburg battle 
Of course a bit of shopping
Very unusual for me I pick up some painted figures from the bring and buy. As I am already working on a Celtic Dark age army I bought these cavalry. I wouldn’t normally pick these up but they were significantly under priced for metal figures. They need some rebasing and a little fiddling but they will be fit for battle very quickly.
A perfect book as I am looking at French forces for Norway and had actually been looking at the pictures from this book on the internet the evening before
Some mixed spruces which were literally a couple of pounds to lot
A couple of German transports
And some winter trees
After the Lillehammer battle I was putting away my German forces and decided to check how many squads I can now field, turns out five complete squads with a command figure and a half squad so as I had a few odd figures I have made them up to bring it to six.
I painted a few extra LMG
Separately I had a German Early war ATR team by Warlord so this can cause them as much frustration as the British now 🙂
Also completed a couple of German 15mm Nerbelwefer with a spotter
The last few metal Panzer Grenadiers I had, I do have some other German infantry but I’m not in a rush to complete them.
And finally some Jacobs sheep….well why not for a dark age village sometime

So lots going on, thanks for checking in

Matt 😀

Thursday 24 November 2022

Lillehammer : Gateway to the Valley April 1940

Some shuffling of battles at the weekend meant that a planned refight of the Battle of Plataea didn’t happen, only postponed though. Instead I set up a Norwegian 1940 scenario from Scott Fisher and Nathan Forney’s Skirmish Campaign book. As it happens George was also coming this week for a battle so rather than tidy stuff away we played the scenario a second time.

A very useful source for some smaller battles in Norway, providing excellent background information maps etc. 
In our scenario the Germans are attacking, across the stream, their objectives are to secure the two bridges (1 VP each) and if possible the cross roads (2VP) as well. The stream is only crossable on foot, the woods provide cover. They don’t really show in the snow but the two hills block line of sight.
To really bring the scenario to life the Norwegians can deploy a single roadblock effective against wheeled vehicles. All the Norwegian/allied units deploy in Ambush and are hidden form the Germans until they are activated, this provided a real sense of uncertainty for the Germans in both battles as they approached. We gave the Germans 10 turns to secure victory. I don’t get a wide shot from the second game but the above picture shows the hidden Norwegian deploy for battle one ? With me playing the Germans in battle one and a ‘bridge crossing’ scenario what could possibly go wrong ?

Battle One
German infantry advance on the left towards the stream looking to outflank the Norwegian position. For this first battle I had written orders as well for the Germans before knowing even where the enemy were located.
Medium mortar set up and ready to start laying down smoke
I chose to split the German armour a PzII leads the way with the armoured car and a single truck carried infantry squad
Turns out the Norwegians have left a unit of troops in the stream to act as a roadblock. The ski troops can move quicker than Normal troops in the snow and don’t suffer move/shoot penalty
From the trees a British ATR opens up catching the 222 in the rear and blowing it up 
Meanwhile the PzI has moved left to attempt the clear the woods on the Norwegian right.
My Germans on my left get pinned down when they cross the stream
Turns out there was a Norwegian sniper on the second hill who narrowly misses the German Captain
The Kubel wagon is then hit by a British Antitank gun from the back of the village, the Germans seek to mop up the Norwegians in the stream not wanting to have them in their rear
When the Germans turn back to the advance they are assaulted from the trees
and pushed back the Norwegian regroup
We also randomised which Norwegian units had antitank weapons. More ski troops heroically assault the PzI which was trying to wipe out the units in the woods
Norwegians are starting to fall back
An overview at this stage
Somehow the ski troops managed to blow the Pz
But as they regroup back down the hill a fresh German unit advances to the top of the hill
They are almost eliminated in a single volley
The PzII has tracked right through into the village but isn’t proving to be very  effective agains the infantry, and the Norwegians managed to get a grenade on the tank’s tracks and it is immobilised 
All looking good for the Germans and the Fubar the leading unit on the hill is forced to retreat
Things are very tight now the Norwegians are clinging on, but the Germans have few troops to drive for the cross roads
They are closing in, but the Norwegians fight a robust defense
The final turn/position, pretty much all the Norwegians have been killed and the cross roads is empty but the Germans can only manage to get their final squad upto the barn. Having secured the bridges we gave this as a draw, although the Germans were perhaps getting the better of it at the end.

Battle Two

So onto the second run through swapping sides I played Norwegians with George attacking. I missed taking a setup photo but the essential changes were, the sniper in the barn. I put the Antitank gun on my right in the woods. The roadblock was further back and manned this time.
The Germans advance again perhaps more cautious than before, notably the armour is held back slightly
A machine gun and antitank gun reveal themselves on the hill in the woods hoping to get effective side shots when the German armour crosses the stream
Sniper in the barn opens up as soon as the Germans hit the stone bridge, killing a LM gunner with first shot
The ATG immobilises the 222 but it can still fire
German infantry mass down the centre
But after focussing their long range fire at the sniper and Madsen Machine gun, the unit on their right flank are forced to break cover and move into an exposed position on the small hill. The dice gods are with me and the unit is almost wiped out in one volley.
The Pz II has now edged towards the bridge to support the advance
The Germans are still strong in the centre and with three or so turns they have a chance. They haven’t cleared the unit from the roadblock yet
Argh!!!!!! Almost in the same place the Germans Fubar and instead of running back, in the confusion they friendly fire on the unit in front of them killing about 4 of their comrades 
The German infantry is struggling now and Norwegian ski troops are moving in from their left. The German mortar manages to wipe out the defenders at the roadblock and the way is open
But they have run out of time
The lead Germans make it to almost the same position as the previous battle. Another draw but again the Germans probably have the advantage and are still going forward.

So two excellent battles, both very close right up to the final turn, almost all infantry units wiped out in both battles, the Germans have slightly move mobile armour int he second battle and at least their captain is still alive to reorder the advance. Thanks to both Jon and George for two excellent battles.

Finally I am putting on a small participation game at Battleground at the weekend. If you are visiting come and say hello. It will be a LOTR battle and I needed a different Boromir so he got painted up one evening.

Thanks as always for visiting and taking interest in what is going on in the dungeon.

Matt 👍