Welcome to the Blog of a Skirmish wargamer! I hope you enjoy reading it!

All my rule sets are freely downloadable from our club website's Downloads page

If you need to contact me my E-Mail address is richardbradley5@gmail.com

Saturday 29 February 2020

Play test game: WW2 skirmish!

Today, my friends kindly agreed to help me test the newest version of my WW2 skirmish rules.
I had been asked (after introducing a new system for generating enemy forces in my Star Wars skirmish rules) to put the same system into my WW2 rules.
Easier said than done, I thought! - but after a lot of thought and fiddling, I produced a set to try.

The scenario would be a simple one, a British platoon in France 1944, detailed to take a farmhouse. I placed several randomised event markers and Portal markers strategically around the battlefield, and we were off!

I was randomly chosen to be the commander, with a PIAT team and a 2" mortar, Lawrence, Phil and Rhys took a section each. I decided the best way to attack would be to split in 2 and head down the road and track directly towards the farmhouse...

The table from the German side, the farmhouse is in the foreground.
The table from the side. 
 Lawrence led the way down the track...
...Phil advanced down the road, almost immediately ducking as a pair of mortar rounds whistled overhead (exploding off table) - had we been spotted? 
A good view of the counters, the square one is a random event, like a sniper, the black one is a value 2 Portal marker, the more of these that can see any of our troops, the greater likelihood of a German unit appearing at one of the Portals in LOS of our men.
Rhys now appeared, following Phil up the road. 
My command section followed Lawrence up the track. 
Lawrence's Bren team probed forward, but attracted no attention. 
 Phil split his section up, sending some men on a wide flank sweep.
 He kept a few men 'on mission' though!
Lawrence reached the curve in the track towards the road, where I had ordered our forces to meet before assaulting the farmhouse. 
Phil put his Bren team behind a wall far out on the right. 
 Rhys followed him up the road.
Lawrence suddenly cam under fire from a German patrol... 
...the Lance corporal of the Bren team was killed. 
The Bren returned fire, but failed to hit anything. 
 The rest of Lawrence's section took cover and opened a blistering fire into the hedge over the road...
...2 Germans were wounded and they all ducked back.
 A further German force now appeared to their left... 
... and opened up on Rhys' men.
 No hits were scored, but the Bren team was forced to hit the ground! 
 Rhys's other men and Phil's returned fire, killing a German.
 Lawrence had, meanwhile, completely suppressed the German patrol.
A new German force, supported by a tripod mounted MG34 now appeared on Phil's right. 
 They spotted the men on the road and opened up.
One of Phil's men was killed, the rest dived for cover.
Lawrence's men were held up finishing off the patrol, so couldn't help. 
Some of the Germans got so confident they advanced, covered by their LMG team. 
 Phil's men managed to kill one of the MG team, but thing were getting 'hairy'.
 Lawrence's Bren killed another of the German patrol, and wounded the last, but again, he passed his morale and stood his ground!!!
 The attacking Germans were halted by fire from all sides.
 Lawrence had brought up his riflemen on their flank, unseen.
 A German officer appeared at the farmhouse (a Portal response meant all bypassed Portal markers were moved back to better positions).
 The last man of the patrol fell, what a hero! 
 My 2" mortar laid smoke, to mask the value 3 Portal marker, so there was a lower total to dice against next turn!
 Lawrence tried to get his men up to assault the German patrol's right flank, under cover of my smoke, but 2 of his men were cut down...
...by that cursed Tripod MG34! 
The attacking Germans had fallen, Rhys and Phil's men had overwhelmed them. 
 My command section mortar was still stoking the cloud obscuring the 3 Portal!
 Lawrence's men advanced through it, eliminating the 3 Portal, which had nowhere it could move to out of sight of the Allies.
 He forced the survivor of the German platoon to surrender, I brought my men up in support.
 Rhys now entered the field with the Farm house in it, but one of his Bren team was killed...
...by a German sniper! 
 That was their last gasp though, Lawrence had driven most of the Portal markers out of sight of him, allowing me to move in and secure the objective!
I was delighted how well the in-grafted portal system seemed to work. Phil was lucky, though, 2 more sections with MGs had appeared on his right, but they never saw his men as Phil's men withdrew back towards the farmhouse!

The new version rules are on our club website now, if anyone wants to give them a try! or just e-mail me at the address on the Blog header, and I will send them on!

Monday 17 February 2020

Pattons of glory!?

Last Saturday, we had a trio of games of What a Tanker, using my Arab - Israeli wars variant rules.
Lawrence was off this week on family business (as I will next week! -sigh!)
--so it was just Phil, Rhys and I against the solo system!

Game 1:

We used my newly finished M48 tanks
The Syrians a T-55 and 2 StuG III's

The solo Syrians had the T-55 in the centre...
...supported by the 2 StuG IIIs on either side.

Phil's Patton got a good shot at a StuG across the table...
...severely knocking the Syrian crew about!
The damaged StuG managed to acquire back, but nothing else.
Phil moved forwards, to get a better shot.
The StuG finally got moving.
Phil came to a halt...

...exit one StuG!
Meanwhile, the T-55 was moving between the buildings.
Rhys was keeping out of sight of it.
He had managed to damage the other StuG though!
The StuG moved to cover.

It fired! and missed!

Phil got into a firing position...

The other StuG burst into flames.

My M48 had been slow to move, but got an acqusition...
The T-55 had rounded a building, looking for targets.

Rhys fired and watched as the shot bounced off the armour!
Phil, too, fired, but his fire was equally ineffective.

My M48, finally getting a few move dice, closed on the Syrian.
The big T-55 retreated into cover, firing at me...he missed!
It was,despite all the fire directed on it, still untouched!
Rhys had another shot...
...It missed too!
It returned fire, on me again!

I had to thank the wall for getting in the way!
I got a couple more move dice, and a shooting mix for the remainder, so I took my life in my hands and charged at the T-55!
My shot hit!
Round one to the Israelis!!!

Game 2:

We decided to use our favourite tanks this time...

The Syrians had a trio of T-62's.

I started off heading for a hill.
I missed the T-62 opposite, allowing it to get into cover.
The one facing Rhys climbed a hill overlooking his position.
Rhys moved to cover.
Phil advanced to cover behind a building.
The T-62 opposite him fired a shot...
The Syrian only got 2 hits...
Phil got 5 saves!- the shot bounced!

Phil moved forward confidently...
He acquired and fired!
His shot blew the enemy tank sky high!

I had got to the top of the hill...
I fired, but my electrics shorted!
Rhys was having a shooting match with his T-62.
His shot bounced off...
...but stunned the crew.
Phil was now moving to support me.
Rhys got another hit on the T-62 opposite...
...He got a hit on the turret....
...damaging the iffy optics further!
Rhys decided to move to cover, despite this success...he had been close to being hit on several occasions!
The Syrian was only too happy to let him go!
The tank facing me now tried a shot, but he too scored a double 1!
His tank came to a shuddering stop.
Phil spotted him and fired...
...a near miss stunned the crew.

My tank, up and running again, began firing...
...a close miss made the Syrian retreat, further into Phil's sights.
Phil's next shot damaged this tank's optics too!

The Syrian drove forward, trying to keep his thickest armour towards both of his assailants.
Another shot from me...
...and again the Syrian retreated!!!
Phil fired again...
...and killed the confused tank!
The poor crew didn't get out.
Phil moved towards the last remaining T-62...
...but it had had enough, and was retreating off table.
Rhys had now come out of cover, just in time to see.

The last Syrian tank burned!
That's 2 to the Israelis!

Game 3:

Back to '67 this time, we had M4A3E8's.

The Syrians had 3 T-34/85's

The first Syrian moved to engage Rhys.
His long range shot went wide...
Rhys moved to the top of a hill.
His shot bounced off the Russian tank.

Rhys reached the cover off some fields.
Phil was forging forwards again!
My tank saw a T-34, fired, and got another system failure!
In all we had 11 of these in the three games!!!!- unbelievable!
The T-34 facing Rhys managed to acquire and shoot...

...Rhys's Sherman was destroyed, though the crew escaped!

One of the other T-34s was sparring with me.
The other was searching for my tank.
He moved round the houses....
...and joined the one facing me.
Things were not looking good for me!
My tank tried to hold his ground.
I suffered several near misses, a couple of times only the 'Poor optics' of the T-34s saved me!
Eventually, a shot bounced off my armour...
...forcing me back from the wall i had been hiding behind.

I got a shot back, and one of the T-34's recoiled too!
The first one had one of the 11 power failures at this time, which helped me!
A good shot from the other T-34... 

...caused me to lose another 2 command dice.
At this point, Phil came to my rescue.
He bagan trading shots with the 2 enemy tanks...
...I had a another retreat result from a near miss.
I took the decision to retreat to cover to recover my command dice.

I quickly got 2 6's and got back two of them.
Phil was managing to fend off the T-34's
He even damaged one in the tracks.

I had continued to retreat slowly.
The third T-34 now arrived!
...this was too much even for Phil, and we decided to leave!
...leaving the victorious Syrians in charge of the village.
That was a very tiring day, but great fun!