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Saturday, 23 March 2019

War off the coast

Today, we had a game of Coastal Forces (using my own rules) We were supposed to be 3 players against the solo system, but Phil was a bit unwell, so it was just Lawrence and I.

As usual we used a couple of S-Boats against a randomly generated Allied convoy off the English coast in 1942-3.

As a scenario, we decided to hunt a tanker, if one was with the convoy.


 Lawrence's boats were facing the centre of the convoy (at this stage just markers, as we hadn't spotted anything yet!) Our boats were moving slowly, on electric motors, to make us harder to acquire.
 I started near the front of the convoy.
 One of my boats almost immediately spotted trouble...
  ...an Algerine class minesweeper.
Her 20mm cannon could seriously hurt our boats
 Lawrence's boats were out of sight of the escort...
...and having more luck than me, spotted a 3,000 ton merchantman... 
...Rapidly seeing another behind it. 
 In all, there were 3 in column, none of them had seen the stealthy German boats...
...yet! 
My boats managed to spot the foremost 3,000 tonner, but also saw another escort, a Hunt type 2, bristling with guns! 
 At the rear of the convoy, Lawrence spotted an armed trawler. Not quite in the same league!!!!
 With a 3" gun and 20mm cannon, dangerous enough, but slow.
 My boats turned to bypass the two RN escorts...
...but as they did so...spotted the Tanker behind the 2 big escorts!  
A fourth 3,000 tonner was seen next, screened by the Isles trawler. 
Having spotted our primary target, I threw caution to the wind, and turned my boats to attack! 
If the Hunt saw me, this could end badly!  
 My boats fired their torpedoes (including several dummy markers to confuse the British lookouts)
 The Hunt heard the torpedoes on her hydrophones, and turned to attack (and comb the incoming fish!)
The Algerine, far ahead of the action, continued off the table. 
The Hunt, being aware of our attack gave the tanker a greater chance of spotting and evading my torpedoes. 
Her radar allowed the hunt to fire her guns, which straddled one of my boats. 
 I turned away to avoid the fire.
One of Lawrence's boats had fired its torpedoes too, and joined my boats in heading back to Cherbourg. 
 His other boat was still spotting for good targets.
 No longer on electric engines, his boat fairly sped down the line of the convoy!...it fired its last torpedo and departed soon after.
 My boats reached safety, having broken the Hunt's radar lock.
Lawrence's first boat escaped, having never been spotted. 
 My torpedoes bypassed the fast moving Hunt.
The Tanker saw them too late, and only slowly began to turn. 
My other torpedoes were heading for the foremost 3,000 tonner. 
 One of Lawrence's torpedoes hit a 3,000 tonner amidships, fatally holing her.
My first torpedo reached the tanker...but it was a dud!!!! 
 One of my other torpedoes neared the leading 3000 tonner... 
 ...but skimmed past the turning freighter's stern.
One of Lawrence's torpedoes also hit, but passed harmlessly under the same freighter. 
My second torpedo headed towards the tanker. 
 Success! 
The Tanker exploded in a ball of flame!
The last of Lawrence's torpedoes now reached a third 3000 tonner... 
 ...it exploded in the ship's wake, causing minor damage and flooding only.
The freighter continued on with her speed unaffected. 
And so the battle ended, I had got the tanker, and Lawrence a 3000 tonner, we had 3 duds or torpedoes passing under the ship results, and several misses. That was one tough convoy!!!

Saturday, 16 March 2019

A Return to the French and Indian wars

Today, we returned to the French and Indian wars, and a very tough little battle it was! We opted to be a mixed band of Rangers and Indians against a randomly generated and deployed French force, who would be defending a settlement.



The settlement - as seen from our entry points.
 The settlement controlled an important road.
Phil had a group of militia... 
..and a band of Rangers. 
 On the left of our line, a band of allied Iroquis, led by Lawrence. 
 In command, and in the centre, I had 2 bands of Dunn's Rangers.
 Phil, detailed with moving round the settlement before attacking in co-ordination with the rest of our forces, advanced through the woods.
(An overview, showing the layout of the game. )
 Lawrence's Indians followed the stream round the other side of the settlement.
My Rangers moved towards the corduroy bridge by the settlement. I would have to avoid detection till my allies were in position. 

 Phil was nearly through the woods.
His militia failed to get the message to advance, and stayed in their tree-line! 
Lawrences Indians were to scout a hill to their front, and eliminate any sentries there. 
My men hid in the edge of a wood, over-watching the bridge. 
I had detached a few men to guard my flank. 
Phil had reached the edge of the woods to my right, and his militia began advancing quickly to catch up. So much for stealth! 
Fortunately, there appeared to be no French watching! 
My men saw something! my officers had to keep strict discipline to prevent their giving away our position, fortunately, they did. 
A party of Courours de Bois were patrolling on the far side of the stream.
 They were checking all the fords and lookout positions.
Lawrences Indians were still advancing stealthily. 
 Phil's Rangers kept strict silence as they, too, spotted the French patrol. 
The French seemed to be in no hurry. 
They passed Phil's position, oblivious to his presence. 
 Behind the French, some of my men were watching the far side of the stream...
....they managed to determine the French were asleep! 
 Phil's Militia also determined there were no lookouts on the hill opposite.
Another dummy marker! 
 Lawrence reached the hill on the other side of the settlement.
This lookout position also appeared deserted. 
The only defences were the patrol, and they were heading round the far side of the settlement. 
I had some command difficulties, but managed to get some of my men to the stream edge. 
 Lawrence too was marshaling his Indians.
 We waited till the patrol was well beyond our lines of advance...
...and crossed the stream into the edges of the settlement. 
Some of my men were a bit nervous of crossing, and remained covering the bridge. 
Lawrence was crossing the stream too, by now. 
 They were covered by the rest of the war band.
Another dummy! 
 Where were the French? 
The Courours de Bois were still singing to themselves.
Suddenly, shouts from a farmhouse, as some Hurons spotted Phil's Rangers!
Phil's men advanced towards them, firing.
My men saw the Hurons, and engaged them from their rear. 
My other men, emboldened, jogged across the bridge in support. 
The Hurons seemed...confused, as several of them fell to musketry. 
 The Huron were in an invidious position, it seemed.
Some of them attacked the Rangers, 2 Rangers fell to their muskets. 
The Rangers fell back, one Huron wounded another Ranger with his Tomahawk. 
My men continued to shoot in support of Phil's Rangers. 
Some of the Hurons tried to outflank the Rangers, but Phil's militia engaged them from the lookout hill. 
One of the Hurons was shot, stopping the group. 
 Lawrence's Indians began a sweep into the Settlement.
Then they came under fire as some Hurons appeared on their flank!
 The Hurons charged in, getting the best of the first combats!
Despite losing several braves, Lawrence's Indians finally prevailed!
The Courours du Bois now appeared from the rear of the settlement, and began shooting at my Rangers.
My Rangers managed to shoot one of them, but that just made the mad! 
 The Courours charged my Rangers between volleys.
 Another band of Hurons moved up to join the Courours in their attack, but were fired on, taking several casualties...
 ...from my Rangers at the bridge!


Some Huron bowmen attacked Phil's militia... 
...who had been engaging the Hurons in the farm... 
...where Phil's Rangers finally won.
The Militia fired a crashing volley into the Archers. 
 The archers joined the Hurons from the farm in rout.
My Rangers were having great trouble fighting the tough Canadiennes.
In fact, despite their greater numbers, they were being driven back! 
 Phil's Militia were now engaged by a small group of Compagnie Franche.
 The Militia got off another great volley!
 ...The French were shattered!
The survivors fled!
My men at the bridge were skirmishing with the Hurons in the road.
My Rangers greater numbers had finally overcome Les Courours. 
My Rangers now combined in attacking the Hurons. 
The Hurons were better than my men! - I should have continued shooting them from long range! 
 The battle continued with both sides taking casualties, it was brutal! 
But finally, this last unit broke and ran, just as Lawrence and Phil's troops began to arrive! 
A victory, though we lost a lot of Rangers and Iroquis.

I am sure Les Fran├žaises will be back!