Monday, September 30, 2013

The Battle of Lone Tree -- A Final Argument of Kings Battle Report

Time to go back to the Seven Years War.  It's been a while since our last foray into this period, so it was time to revisit it.  Todd, Andrew, Paul and I gathered in my basement earlier this month to pit Todd's and Paul's forces against one another.  Todd and Paul would ally Todd's Reicharmee with Paul's Austrians while Andrew and I would run Todd's Hannoverians.

Holding the Hillcrest Gap -- a Flames of War Battle Report

Last month a few of us gathered in my basement to play a big Flames of War scenario.  It had been a while since our last really big game, so I wanted to go all out this time.  Michael had recently finished painting up his Tiger platoon, so I wanted to feature it in the game.  A big game is the perfect time for this.  I settled on a breakout mission.  The Germans would begin greatly out numbered, but with better equipment and troop quality to show for it.  They would need to get a withdrawing force, which would fight at a penalty from one side of the table to the other.  Wanting a really pretty game, I pulled out the sculpted terrain boards we made for our 150th Gettysburg game and rearranged them a bit.  Then I laid out the forces.  Darrin and I would command the British, and Michael would run the Germans.

Engagement at Baraque de Fraiture -- A Flames of War Battle Report

Anyone that is active in the wider gaming community is more than likely aware of Battlefront's Flames of War rules set for World War 2 gaming.  One of the greatest criticisms these rules get is that they are too gamey.  I don't think anyone can or would deny that as a set of rules the design philosophy of Flames of War skews more toward the "game" end of the sliding scale between game and simulation.  As a challenge to the rules system, I decided we would try to play a historical scenario using Flames of War. I searched my library for something interesting that included a basic order of battle.  I settled on the engagement at Baraque de Fraiture as outlined in Osprey's Into the Reich compilation.  An American force during the Ardennes offensive is cut off and surrounded by  larger German force. Historically attempts to break through to the Americans failed, and they were forced to surrender.  I wanted something more of a balanced game, so I changed a few parameters.  In real life, a platoon of M10 tank destroyers attempted to get through to the surrounded battalion under cover of darkness.  They encountered  German infantry and were captured. In our scenario I decided to proceed as if two of them made it into the perimeter.  We gathered on a hot July afternoon at Fire for Effect games in Oshkosh, WI to test it out.

The American forces thus consisted of two infantry companies, a platoon of Shermans, a battery of 105s, a recon patrol, and a platoon of two TDs.  They were dug in in a perimeter around the town which was situated on a crossroad in the middle of a forest clearing.

Eastern Front Action -- A Command Decision: Test of Battle Report

Our group of local gamers has been playing a lot of Flame of War since I joined them a little over two years ago.  Recently Michael wanted to give a try to an old WW2 standby;  Command Decision: Test of Battle using his 6mm WW2 microarmor.  He set up a scenario for us. 

It is 1943 and the Russians are pushing the Germans hard.  A scratch German force including a company of STuGs, a company of engineers, a few AT guns, and some infantry, is tasked with defending a vital crossroads.  Opposing them are a Russian Tank brigade and a battery of SU-76 assault guns.

Skirmish at Heiligkirchen -- a Bolt Action Battle Report

While I was visiting my friend John back in May we played a game of Bolt Action.  We've been working through the scenarios in the book, and this time it was time for the standard meeting engagement between the German and Russian forces he's been working on.

The Battle of Creek Mill -- A Black Powder ACW Batrep

I recently visited my buddy John for a trial of Warlord Game's Back Powder rules for the ACW.  Here's a report of the action.

We started with one of the basic scenarios.  My Confederate Division of three brigades supported by a couple of batteries was tasked with taking three objectives within a close locale.  There was a mill, a small town and a Federal camp to be seized.  I would start with one brigade on the table and the other two would arrive as follow on forces based on random, though manageable rolls on the ensuing turns.  Opposing me were three federal brigades supported by a regiment of cavalry. The Yanks would be allowed to start with one regiment deployed as pickets and the rest would have to muster as I advanced.

 The initial deployments, showing my starting brigade deployed centrally on my table edge.  In the background the union forces await in the village and near the mill.  The federal camp is in the lower right, just out of the frame.

Somewhere Off Gibralter -- a Napoleonic Naval Engagement

Back in May several of us gathered at Gnome Games East in Green Bay for a little Napoleonic naval action.  The rules were Form Line of Battle.  We opted for a straight up fight between equal forces.  We formed into two teams.  The British side, commanded by myself and Michael, consisted of a single 100 gun SOL and three 76s in one squadron and a second squadron consisting of four captured 60 gunners.  The allied French/Spanish fleet commanded by Charles and Larry was identical.  The setup and die roll gave the Bristish fleet the weather gauge and so we set out to be aggressive.  Commanding the British flagship, Royal Sovereign, I endeavored to lead the attack "in the Nelson manner."

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Massacre at Zeta Epsilon- an ACTA: Starfleet Batrep

From an interview with Dr. Helen Hodges, Starfleet Science Command following repatriation at the end of hostilities.  Part of the War College's Study of The General War series.

Transript begins:

Examiner: Tell me Dr. Hodges in what capacity were you posted to Zeta Epsilon?

Hodges: That's classified.

Examiner: Dr. Hodges, I assure you I have the proper clearances.

Hodges: Very well.  My team was assigned to the "Wargod" project under the auspices of Starfleet Bureau of Ship Development.  We were assigned the task to study the feasibility of ships larger than the Federation Class.  It was becoming apparent as the war went on that light combatants while desirable for the day to day activities had an extremely short life expectancy in a fleet engagement.  A broad increase in tonnage was sought across all classes.  This can be seen in the move from frigates to destroyers and from the use of cruisers to war cruisers and BCHs by all the powers.  Project "Wargod" was the development of a true Battleship class for the Federation.