Copyright © 2017, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2017, Paul Scrivens-Smith

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the creator.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

First Few El Cid Spanish - Work in Progress

I've been working away at the Christian Spanish for the El Cid Campaign Day that Tom and I are running in October.

I've decided that the best way to get these done is to start off with a four-point Saga war-band and add figures from there.

The figures are all from the Perry Miniatures - First Crusade range. They are lovely figures, but I'm rather concerned that the bridles do not have a strap over the end of the horses nose. I've already started adding some green-stuff straps to the next lot that I am currently preparing.

So far I have an Infante and two sets of four Caballeros that just need some finishing off and the bases doing.

Infante

Infante

8 Caballeros
Some close-ups of the Caballeros:









Next up on the painting table, being base-coated are eight Peons.



As you can probably guess I'm trying to tie the force together with red and yellow shield designs.




Tuesday, 24 April 2012

El Cid Event - Maelstrom Games - 14th October

Following on from our earlier Age of Arthur event, Tom and I will be hosting a similar El Cid Event at Maelstrom Games on the 14th October 2012.

More details on Toms Blog: http://tomstoysoldiers.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/el-cid-event-141012.html

Friday, 20 April 2012

Starting my El Cid Christian Spanish

I have finally made a start on the Christian Spanish for El Cid. We are having another campaign day in October so it was about time I got cracking.

The figures are all from the fantastic Perry Miniatures First Crusade range.

Over the past few weeks, I have cleaned up all the figures and have added some green stuff 'accoutrements' such as turbans, tassled shields, spear pennants etc.

We are having a SAGA themed day in two weeks at the White Hart so I thought I should try to paint up enough figures to do a four point warband, so have sorted out the following:

Infante
8 Cabaleros
8 Peons
8 Crossbowmen

Lots of bare metal


I'll take these out and spray them later and hope to make a start on painting when I get back from visiting Dad in hospital.

Club Night - I Ain't Been Shot Mum, another go at Carentan

After the game on Tuesday where the Germans got shot to pieces in the open, I had another bash at the scenario at the White Hart with James and Mark.

As mentioned previously, this scenario was inspired by the episode of Band of Brothers where in the "Carentan" episode the US Airborne are defending one hedge-line and the Germans another until the Germans launch an attack across the field supported by armour.

The US forces remained unchanged from the earlier game:

US Airborne

Company HQ
Big Man #1 - Lvl 3
Big Man #2 - Lvl 3 
Rifle Platoon
Big Man #3 - Lvl 3
3 Rifle sections each of 8 men
60mm Mortar with 2 men
Bazooka with 2 crew
Rifle Platoon
Big Man #4 - Lvl 3
3 Rifle sections each of 8 men
60mm Mortar with 2 men
Bazooka with 2 crew
Machine-Gun Platoon
Big Man #5 - Level 2
2 MMG sections each of M1919 MMG with 5 crew
Bazooka with 2 crew

The US Airborne had the following cards added:
  • Dynamic Leader
  • Low on Ammo

The German forces were beefed up as follows:


German
Company HQ
Big Man #1 - Lvl 3
Big Man #2 - Lvl 1 
2 MG34 with 5 crew
Grenadier Platoon
Big Man #3 - Level 3
3 Grenadier sections each of 8 men
Grenadier Platoon
Big Man #4 - Level 2
3 Grenadier sections each of 8 men
Grenadier Platoon
Big Man #5 - Level 3
3 Grenadier sections each of 8 men
Grenadier Platoon
Big Man #6 - Level 3
3 Grenadier sections each of 8 men
Mortar Platoon
Forward Observer
4 80mm mortar sections each with 4 crew

Tank Platoon
Big Man #6 - Level 3
2 Tiger 1E

The Germans had the following cards added:
Machine Gun Bonus
Out of Fuel

The Germans also started the game with two stonks.

As previously, the table was set up with a hedge-line for the US Airborne to defend, the right flank was covered in light woodland, a road with ditches either side ran diagonally along the table and some enclosures and standing crops littered the middle of the table. The Tiger Platoon would arrive on the third turn of the blank card.

Mark would take the Germans, James the US Airborne and I would officiate and generally get in the way.

Initial US deployment

Initial German deployment
The pre-game stonk went quite well for the Germans, one M1919 MG section was on six shock, a 60mm mortar had one dead crew and two shock and two Airborne sections were each on six shock.

Mark had sent three platoons of Grenadiers down through the woods on his left flank. A single platoon and the two MG34 from the headquarters would draw the Americans on his right. This allowed Mark to pin the single US platoon on his right with these troops while the three platoons on his left would be able to try to overwhelm the single US platoon.



Up against the odds
The German platoon on the right, as could be expected  did suffer quite badly against the emplaced Americans, but they held in place and did prevent James from reinforcing his right flank.

The German mortars never successfully arrived, so we could not gauge their effect on the game. However, both Tigers did turn up and assisted in pinning the US Airborne left flank.

Tigers arrive to hold the right flank
We did not have time to play to a conclusion, but as we wrapped up we could see that the game was much more balanced than previously with two whole platoons on the far right lined up against a single section of paratroopers.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Club Night - I Ain't Been Shot Mum, getting it a bit wrong

Inspired by our previous games, Quinton and I had another game of I Ain't Been Shot Mum yesterday evening at Maelstrom Games.

Inspired by the episode of Band of Brothers where in the "Carentan" episode the US Airborne are defending one hedge-line and the Germans another until the Germans launch an attack across the field supported by armour I set up the following forces:

US Airborne

Company HQ
Big Man #1 - Lvl 3
Big Man #2 - Lvl 3 
Rifle Platoon
Big Man #3 - Lvl 3
3 Rifle sections each of 8 men
60mm Mortar with 2 men
Bazooka with 2 crew
Rifle Platoon
Big Man #4 - Lvl 3
3 Rifle sections each of 8 men
60mm Mortar with 2 men
Bazooka with 2 crew

Machine-Gun Platoon
Big Man #5 - Level 2
2 MMG sections each of M1919 MMG with 5 crew
Bazooka with 2 crew
US Forces
German
Company HQ
Big Man #1 - Lvl 3
Big Man #2 - Lvl 1 
2 MG34 with 5 crew
Grenadier Platoon
Big Man #3 - Level 3
3 Grenadier sections each of 8 men
Grenadier Platoon
Big Man #4 - Level 2
3 Grenadier sections each of 8 men
Grenadier Platoon
Big Man #5 - Level 3
3 Grenadier sections each of 8 men

Tank Platoon
Big Man #6 - Level 3
1 Tiger 1E

Some of the Germans

The table was set up with a hedge-line for the US Airborne to defend, the right flank was covered in light woodland, a road with ditches either side ran diagonally along the table and some enclosures and standing crops littered the middle of the table. The Tiger would arrive on the fourth turn of the blank card.


Initial deployments
 Quinton started well, advancing his blinds in a concentrated attack against my left flank. I moved a flanking section of airborne that I had placed to guard the wood land to out-flank him.

The Germans were soon spotted and most of their troops took cover in the fields and roadside ditches exchanging fire with the Americans. The MG34 teams managed to drive off one of the M-1919 but suffered badly from 60mm mortar fire.

The Tiger arrived and blasted the Airborne troops from a distance but with little effect.

Every time the German Grenadiers tried to advance though they were cut down in the open by sections that had kept their actions for over-watch fire.

At the end of the game, two sections of #1 platoon along with their 60mm mortar were still on a blind, only one section (in the woods) had been revealed. US losses were approximately 6 men, whereas the Grenadiers had three platoons very badly shot up. This scenario needs a re-think, I would make the following changes:

  1. Give the Germans three pre-game stonks.
  2. Give the Germans another Grenadier platoon.
  3. Give the Germans a battery of four 80mm mortars.
  4. Change the German Tiger for either two Tigers or a PzIVH and three PzIIIL 

I'll see if the chaps are up for trying this again tomorrow night.
Quinton prepares to remove his figures
I got a bit engrossed in playing and chatting and forgot to take any more pictures.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Club Night - a couple of games of Saga

Yesterday evening, John, Tom and myself enjoyed a couple of games of Saga at Maelstrom Games.

John had not played before, and although I had a few games under my belt I had not won a game of Saga before and Tom was to be our mentor, he's even had a Saga article published in a recent issue of Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy.

I had bought my very early Saxons with me that would do duty as Anglo-Danish, John had bought his recycled Vikings, these had been painted years ago and had been put away in a box for many a moon. John had dug them out this week and had re-based on round bases for the game.

As we were beginners, we opted for a four point war-band each. Both sides had a Warlord, two Hearth-guard and two Warriors.

All the scenery is from my collection.

Game 1

John and I took the first game. Basically we deployed opposite each other and just went for it.

The Hand of John and a large yellow tape
Two units of warriors contested a small village on my right, despite initial gains by the Ceorls they were eventually repulsed by the Viking Bondi.

Ceorls are repulse, or revolting, or something like that

On my left a unit of Hirdmen charged into my other Ceorl unit, but after some fluky dice rolling on my part they were beaten off with only one survivor.

The Hirdmen attempt to take on some Ceorls
My unit of Huscarles and Warlord soon saw the remaining Hirdman and also accounted for a unit of Bondi. Johjn retaliated by mopping up the Ceorls on my left and taking off my other unit of Huscarles, I picked off his last Hirdmen.

At the end of the game I had my Warlord, one Huscarl and three Ceorls left, John had his Warlord and two Bondi left. A small win to myself.


Game 2

This time it was Toms turn to use my Anglo-Danis against Johns Vikings


Tom and John prepare for battle
This time John fared much better, despite his Hirdmen on the right launching a similarly disastrous charge against a unit of Ceorls John was able to isolate the Anglo-Danish Warlord and cut him down.

More action in that village, this time the Vikings are victorious
John has borrowed my rules to have a read so that he can prepare for our up-coming Saga day at the White Hart on 3rd May.



Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Soviet Forces for I Ain't Been Shot Mum

Today we were playing an Eastern Front Game of IABSM, given that there are no IABSM3 supplements for the Eastern Front yet, I put together the following .

Organising Your Soviet Forces

Company Headquarters
One Big Man Level III or IV
One Big Man Level I or II
Three 50mm Mortars with 2 crew each
One PTRD Anti-tank rifle with 2 crew

First Rifle Platoon
One Big Man Level II or III
Three Rifle sections of 9 men


Second Rifle Platoon
One Big Man Level II or III
Three Rifle sections of 9 men



Third Rifle Platoon
One Big Man Level II or III
Three Rifle sections of 9 men



Machine Gun Platoon
One Big Man Level II or III
Three Maxim HMG with 5 crew each

Additional Big Men
Each Company HQ and each Platoon should roll a D6, on a 6 they should get an additional Level I Big Man.

Cards
A Soviet Rifle Company may have the following Bonus Cards:

  • TBD

Support Platoon Options

Machine Gun Platoon

One Big Man Level II or III
Three Maxim HMG with 5 crew each



Machine Gun Platoon

One Big Man Level II or Forward Observer
Six 82mm Mortar with 5 crew each


Anti-Tank Platoon (option 1)

One Big Man Level II or III
Six 45mm obr 1942 with 5 crew each


Anti-Tank Platoon (option 2)

One Big Man Level II or III
Four 57mm ZIS-2 with 5 crew each


Anti-Tank Platoon (option 3)

One Big Man Level II or III
Four 76mm ZIS-3 with 5 crew each

Tank Platoon (option 1)

One Big Man Level II or III
Five T-34 obr 1942




Tank Platoon (option 2)

One Big Man Level II or III
Seven T-70 obr 1943



Tank Platoon (option 3)

One Big Man Level II or III
Three KV-1e


Radio Net
None


Rating Your Soviet Forces



Infantry
Troops / Actions
0
1
2
3
4
Veteran Infantry
1,2,3
4
5
6,7,8
9
Regular Infantry
1,2,3,4
5
6,7
8,9

Poor Regular Infantry
1,2,3,4
5,6
7,8
9


Anti-Tank Weapons
Weapon
Weapon Strike
45mm obr 1942
6
57mm ZIS-2
7
76mm ZIS-3
9
Infantry Anti-tank Weapons
0-4”
4-8”
8-12”
12-16”
16-24”
Infantry Close Quarters
3
-
-
-
-
PTRD Anti-tank Rifle
4
4
4
3
3

Vehicles
AFV
Armour Value
Weapon Strike
Speed
Notes
T-70 obr 1943
4
5
Fast

T-34 obr 1942
6
8
Fast

KV-1e
10
8
Slow


Some German Vehicles for 1943
AFV
Armour Value
Weapon Strike
Speed
Notes
PzIIIL
6
7
Average

PzIVH
6
9
Average


Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Club Night - Belgorod-Kharkov Offensive Operation

Following their success at the Battle of Kursk, the Soviets followed up with the Belgorod-Kharkov Offensive, this is the report of an I Ain't Been Shot Mum scenario that I devised in a quick 'back of a fag packet' over lunch-time for playing this evening at Maelstrom Games.

This would be the biggest game of IABSM that we had tried so far and the first time that we had added both armour and artillery support.Quinton and I had played before, but this would be the first game if IABSM for both Steve and Kev.Quint and Steve would play the Germans while Kev and I would play the Soviets.

The figures were all from my collection, while the terrain was from the Maelstrom Games collection.

The Soviets would advance through the woodlands to take the German held crossroads while the Germans attempted to prevent them.

The forces were:

Soviet

Company HQ
Big Man #1 - Lvl 3
Big Man #2 - Lvl 2 
1 PTRD Anti-tank Rifle with 2 crew
1 50mm Mortar with 2 crew
Rifle Platoon
Big Man #3 - Level 3
3 Rifle sections each of 9 men
Rifle Platoon
Big Man #4 - Level 2
3 Rifle sections each of 9 men
Rifle Platoon
Big Man #5 - Level 2
3 Rifle sections each of 9 men
Machine-Gun Platoon
Big Man #6 - Level 3
3 MMG sections each of Maxim MMG with 5 crew
Tank Company
Big Man #7 - Level 2
5 T34 obr 1942



The Soviet forces

German

Company HQ
Big Man #1 - Lvl 3
Big Man #2 - Lvl 1 
1 Panzershrek with 2 crew
2 MG34 with 5 crew
Grenadier Platoon
Big Man #3 - Level 3
3 Grenadier sections each of 8 men with 1 PanzerFaust
Grenadier Platoon
Big Man #4 - Level 2
3 Grenadier sections each of 8 men with 1 PanzerFaust
Mortar Platoon
Forward Observer
4 sections each of  80mm mortar with 5 crew
Tank Platoon
Big Man #5 - Level 2
1 PzIVH
2 PzIIIL

The German forces
The German armour would start off table, these are reacting to the reports of the Soviet breakthrough, the remainder of the Germans were deployed within 6" of any building. Apart from the village and the roads, the entire table was open woodland. Troops in the woods were spotted on a slightly obstructed and would be subject to okay shots, the troops in the buildings would be spotted on badly obstructed and subject to poor shots, finally troops on the road were in the open for spotting and were shot at as good shots.

I had only done four blinds each, so the US Airborne markers that I made for last weeks game were pressed into service.

German initial positions

Soviet initial positions
The first four turns saw the Allied Blinds come up three times and the Axis Blinds not at all.

Soviet advance in turn one
 The unopposed Allied Blinds meant that the Soviets got very close to the village before any troops were revealed. Then all hell broke loose, a PanzerFaust from one of the hoses immediately accounted for a T34, but in retaliation a bit of superb Soviet shooting from another T-34 accounted for the PzIVH. The Soviet riflemen took four of the buildings at bayonet point dispersing the German defenders.

I counted that we played through ten Tea Breaks and by the end of the game each side had lost a single tank and the best part of a platoon of infantry each. The Soviets were holding one side of the crossroads and the Germans the other. If I am being honest I think we probably had rather too much stuff on the table for our level of experience with IABSM.

Here are a few shots of the game.


There they are.

The German defenders are revealed

Take them with the bayonet

Soviets take the first few buildings

L-R Kev, Steve, Quint

Monday, 9 April 2012

Back Powder Napoleonic Mini Tournament

Today Adie, Quint, James, Trev and myself had our Easter Monday Black Powder Napoleonic tournament at Maelstrom Games.

I took my standard Black Powder 500pt French 100 days list:
Divisional Commander - CV7
Brigade Commander - CV8
1 Line Infantry (elite 5+)
4 Line Infantry
1 Foot Battery
Brigade Commander - CV7
3 Line Infantry
Brigade Commander - CV8
1 Veteran Hussars (Reliable, +1 Attack)
1 Dragoons
1 Horse Battery


Quinton used his Austrians, Adie and Trev both took British lists and James also took a French list.

As there were an odd number, we each rolled a dice and the lowest scoring player would sit out that round, but no player would sit out more than one round. Adie would sit out the first round.

Round One

My first game was against Trevors Penninsular War British with Brunswick. His list was IIRC:
Divisional Commander - CV8
Brigade Commander - CV8
2 Line Infantry
1 Foot Battery
Brigade Commander - CV7
2 Line Infantry
Brigade Commander - CV7
3 Brunswick Line
1 tiny Jaegers
1 Battery
Brigade Commander - CV7
2 Light Dragoons

The scenario would be a pitched battle, a small town was in the center of the board and a waterway ran up the left hand side of the table.

My initial deployment

I elected to deploy everything on the right of the river, my small brigade would attempt to hold the right flank supported by the cavalry and the large brigade would take the town and hold the center. Trev deployed one brigade on the far side of the water way and everything else facing me on this side of the river.

Trevs initial deployment
 When rolling up the characteristics of the Generals my small brigade came out quite poor, but Trevor had some terrible dice, every brigade apart from the cavalry came out as Low Independence, fortunately as the terrain was quite tight this should not have too great an effect.

Trev took the first turn and advanced his horse. Then his CinC did a follow-me order and rushed an infantry battalion down the unoccupied side of the river, following the CinCs lead the brigade commander also did the same, my left flank would be quite vulnerable. Trev also attempted to get his Brunswickers into the town, but could not get far enough.

I retaliated by advancing my cavalry against his and deploying the horse guns to apply a whiff of grape to the Light Dragoons. My small infantry brigade moved up in support of the horse. My large infantry brigade moved a battalion and a battery to cover the river along with a batter of artillery and the rest of the  brigade surged ahead to take the town. My shooting was pretty desultory I only disordered a unit of Brunswickers.

Trev lined up against the town and did some devastating shooting, coupled with my poor saving throws -anything but a one!!!! - my occupiers were both shaken and disordered.

Trev pours his fire into the town
 On my right flank Trev charged his Light Dragoons into my Dragoons and Hussars, well, with the better cavalry and the supports going my way, you can likely guess what happened - both my cavalry were falling back shaken, the guns over-run into and destroyed and and infantry unit forced into square, to add insult, Trev only had one of his units shaken.


Hold fast - oh dear!!!
In my turn, I deployed my small brigade into line and drove off the Light Dragons with musketry, we both now had a shaken cavalry brigade. Not much else happened. In Trevs turn the Brunswickers stormed the shaken unit in the town, easily kicking them out. I immediately retaliated and put two battalions back into the town kicking him out.

My unit holding the river seemed to be permanently disordered, but I was able to shake and drive off the other unit in the brigade.

Battling over the river
 My small infantry brigade held the ground to the right of the river and had a stiff fight with the Brunswickers, but I came off work and this brigade was also broken.

The Brunswickers hold fast 
By the end of the game I was not in a good position, but neither was Trev, two of my brigades were broken, but in order to also brake Trevs army I needed to only inflict a few casualties. It started well, in the fire-fight over the river, I inflicted two casualties, my guns had two shots on 4+ if I got a casualty, this unit would be testing. I got a pair of ones. Next it was the Brunswickers turn, one unsaved wound would break them, nine shots later, Trev had saved every hit, bugger!

Final desperation
Totting up the points, I had destroyed more units of Trevs, but only broken the cavalry brigade, whereas I had my army broken, a 15-9 victory to Trev.

In the other first round game Quintons Austrians achieved a solid victory against James French

Round Two

We diced off and James would sit this one out. The next game was to be a 'capture the objective' game against Adies British. His list was IIRC:
Divisional Commander - CV8
Brigade Commander - CV8
2 Line Infantry
1 Foot Battery
Brigade Commander - CV7
2 Line Infantry
Brigade Commander - CV8
1 Light Infantry
1 Rifles
Brigade Commander - CV7
1 large Highlanders
1 large Line
Brigade Commander - CV7
2 Dragoons

A large ridge-line dominated the center of the table. Adie won the roll-off and made me move first. I did a fantastic set of orders and moved the large infantry brigade to the right of the ridge supported by the horse, the small brigade moved up to protect the flank. The majority of the British force was now facing nothing.

Echelon to the right
Adie attempted to break up the advance with his horse, forcing my front units into square, I countered with my cavalry and shook both units of the Union brigade and forced the Highlanders into square. Adie counter-charged in the middle with his large infantry unit but some nifty French bayonet work broke that unit and it's flanking unit also failed its break test. A large hole had developed in the British line. It did not go all my way though, on the left flank I charged into his line and in a reversal of the earlier combat my unit was broken. By the end of the game, my Dragoons had captured my objective and a unit from the Union Brigade had captured Adies objective. It was a victory to me, but Adie had also inflicted heavy damage on me - 28 - 17 to the French

Things go badly on my left.
In the other game this round Quinton inflicted a solid defeat on Trev.

Round Three

We rolled off and it would be my turn to sit a round out, I would get the average of my two earlier games. 

Steve and Kev turned up. Kev is over from Ireland and was keen to try out Black Powder so we set up a simple game, Steve and Kev would play the French, I would use some of Trevs spare figures and play with the British.

Beginners luck soon was in force, in their first turn the French brigade stormed up my left flank. In my turn, one of my units blundered and had to charge unsupported into the midst of the French. Combat went badly and I rolled a 3 for the break test - whoops. The French countered and launched another charge, a two this time for a break test and that was my left flank collapsed. It was now a case of mopping up my central brigade.

By the end of the game I had lost five infantry battalions and an artillery broken and had a single one shaken, in return I had shaken one French battalion, an humiliating defeat for the French.

With the British left flank gone the French can easily mop up.

Vive L' France
In the tournament games played this round James inflicted a massive lost on Trev and Quinton soundly beat Adie.

At the end of the event, the rankings were:
Quinton
James
Trevor
Myself 
Adie

Thanks to Adie for sorting it all out.

All in all, a great day, we are planning something similar, or a single large multi-player game on May Day.