Saturday, 15 June 2019

Always Above WW1 Air warfare rules.

We have been playtesting these combat rules for some time now and they are at the point where they give a very good feel to WW1 air combat.

We simply bolt them on to Wings of War flying system and use those models also. They will work well with other sets of flying rules also.

These games are based on Allied attempts to shoot down the highly important observation balloons used extensively on the Western front.

These were well protected by aircraft and ground batteries.

If bases overlap when aircraft are on the same level there is a risk of collision. 2 ten sided dice are thrown and if the scores match the planes collide and roll for damage.

If a collision occurs the players roll again and refer to the collision damage table.

No serious damage and the patrol continues.

The Allied plane armed with Le Prieur rockets.

2 aircraft fire at each other without effect.

A clear run to the balloon it seems.

but the second German aircraft lines up a shot.

The Nieuport streams smoke after an engine hit.

And dives into the ground resulting in a failed mission.

The second mission gets underway with players swapping sides.

The Germans head out on patrol with the Nieuport coming into view between the clouds.

A bit too close for comfort by the escort!

Both planes are quickly intercepted.

Both French aircraft are shot down and another mission failure.
Both of these games were fairly brief!

For the third game we added an extra aircraft to each side.

A combat quickly develops as one of the escorts is intercepted.

This rookie is quickly dispatched by his more experienced opponent.

The Le Prieur rocket armed Nieuport is targeted next.

The German, preoccupied with avoiding collision is unable to fire.

The Nieuport must now evade another enemy plane.

The Germans are concentrating on the dangerous Nieuport with its rockets.

The other German hunts down the last escort.

The Nieuport lines up the balloon.

No doubt the observer in the balloon has jumped by this point.

A 10 is a hit and the rockets are loosed off.

The balloon is destroyed...

The escort now has 2 Germans hunting him down.

while the 3rd German pilot enacts revenge on the Nieuport

Closing on each other the 2 fighters engage.

The German fighter is struck

While the Nieuport had little time to celebrate his victory.

Out of ammo the German runs for home.

A successful but costly mission but shooting down balloons was a risky business.

The rules can be purchased here-

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Waterloo-The Old Guard attacks scenario

We have been using General d' Armee rules at the club for some time now so the newly released scenario book was quickly called into play for inspiration. Our Chairman Chris selected the scenario and provided everything for the game.

An interesting feature of many of the scenarios is that several units start the game with casualties to reflect the beaten up state of the forces facing each other at this late stage of the battle.

Anglo Allied army (casualties in brackets)

1st (Guards) Brigade 
 2/1st Guards (2) Standard  Elite
3/1st Guards (2) Standard  Veteran
5th Brigade 
 2/30th/73rd(2)  Small   Line
 2/69th /2/33rd   Small  Line
3rd (Light) Brigade 
1/52nd Light (2)  Large   Veteran
2/95th Rifles (2) Standard   Veteran
 Brunswick Line (2)  2x Recruit  Standard
Nassau Line (2)  2x Recruit  Standard
RA 9lbr (2)  2 x Standard  Line
35th Dutch Jagers  Standard  Line
Off table reserve 
(turn 4) 2nd Dutch  Small  Reserve
Dutch Militia  2 x Standard  Recruit

French Army

Guard Grenadiers       2 x Standard   Elite
  Guard Chasseurs         2 x Standard   Elite
            Guard Chasseurs        Standard         Veteran
  Guard Chasseurs         2 x Standard   Elite
Reserve - Turn 3    
Guard Artillery 6pdr Horse (2 casualties)  Standard  Elite
      Guard Chasseurs a cheval (4 casualties)  Small - Battle  Elite
            5th Cuirassiers (4 casualties)  Small - Battle  Line
Brigade Donzelot 
       13th Light. (4 casualties)  Standard  Line
     17th Line (4 casualties)   2 x Small  Line
Brigade Husson 
         3rd Line (4 casualties) 2 x Small  Line
61st Line (4 casualties) Standard Line
Artillery 6pdr Foot Battery (4 casualties) Standard  Line
            12pdr Foot Battery (4 casualties) Standard  Line51

.  The French must Demoralise, (Disperse) or inflict a Retire or SauvĂ© qui Peut command roll result on four Allied brigades by the end of the game. (Inflicting a Retire or SauvĂ© qui Peut command roll result on the Foot Guards or Adam’s brigades counts as double.)

The allies must prevent this by turn 16.

The Allied left wing

French right centre

The Imperial Guard on the French left

A confidant looking Imperial Guard. Well as confidant looking as metal men can look anyway! (It's all in the paint job)

British skirmishers on the forward slope of the ridge.

The Guard advances.

The Brunswick and Nassau brigades facing some pretty battered French brigades.

A mysterious mist descends on the battlefield!

A battered French cavalry brigade approaches the Brunswick and Nassau positions.

The cavalry are supported by the infantry brigades.

One Brunswick battalion form square while the other remains in line as the cavalry charge the skirmish screen. Understandably the skirmishers leg it and the Guard Chasseurs a Cheval crash into the line, supporting and closing fire failing to stop the already battered French unit. It's amazing what a bonny looking uniform does for morale!

Skirmishers approach the Nassau brigade.

Further along the Imperial Guard approach the base of the ridge conveniently shielded from the battery above.

The Orange like error of leaving the 2nd unit of Brunswickers in line had predictable consequences! The Duke would be turning in his grave. Had he even been buried by now and would this error cost the Allies the battle? Who's the bloody idiot responsible too? Well i'm pleading the 5th on that one......

Sadly for the resplendently clad Chasseurs a Cheval they had taken too much of a battering and decided enough was enough leaving the Cuirassiers who were in support,to complete the destruction. Those paying attention may recognise this peace of real estate was formerly occupied by a brigade of Nassau infantry. The breakthrough charge having just failed to reach the newly arrived Dutch brigade now left the Cuirassiers exhausted. 

Meanwhile on the right a skirmisher battle was well under way.

The British guns have only long range  targets as most of the Guard cower at the base of the ridge. This battery had returned to the line after being forced back by some devastating counter battery fire from the French 12lbrs and were on -1 as a result.

The remaining Brunswick battalion assailed by French skirmishers.

Cuirassiers await the inevitable with artillery and infantry ready to finish them off.

The Imperial Guard are still desperately trying to warm up their feet!

In an attempt to save the remaining cavalry the skirmishers screen them.

Nice shelter there lads!

The skirmishers having been dealt with, the Cuirassiers are dispatched too.  A price well worth paying in what was effectively an infantry battle anyway. One and a half brigades for two knackered cavalry squadrons!

The Brunswickers can now concentrate on a small French battalion, the skirmishers having been pushed back.

On the right wing the Guard finally leave their shelter.

And very martial they look too!

Over on the left the French, despite a valiant effort, are starting to disintegrate. Perhaps the error with the Brunswickers will not be so costly after all,

A final brigade on the left crumbles. Will the loss of command dice for the French begin to tell?

An entire Dutch brigade now has the left virtually to itself.

Over on the right 2 Guard battalions having charged lose one of them. Have the dice Gods finally swung in favour of the Allies. It was turn 10 i think before the allies won initiative. The loss of command dice was now taking it's toll with broken brigades using up the ADCs while not having enough for re rolls. This left brigades faltering or hesitant with minuses on the initiative rolls.

One Guard battalion charge home but failed to break the 52nd forcing them only to retreat.

It's only a matter of time before the final French brigade on the left of the Allied line is overwhelmed.

The Guard finally come into view over the ridge.

With the final French brigade at breaking point on the Allied left the combined 30th/73rd can think about wheeling in support of  the 33rd/69th who are about to be assaulted by a battalion of the Chasseurs of the Guard.

However the RA 9lbr battery now has a nice target within canister range.

Assailed by the firepower of 2 British infantry battalions and the 9lbr guns, not to mention an unbelievable turnaround in dice throws at the 11th hour, the Chasseurs disintegrate.

At this point the French hoyed the towel in and, once again, 'La Garde recule'.

In writing this AAR i realised we missed a couple of things. This despite every participant having been given a copy of the scenario in advance!!!! Conclusive proof that people can't be arsed to read stuff... The Dutch in reserve come on in turn 4 but should have come on along the right hand half of the British line not the left.

The British should have had an extra 9lbr battery on the table from the start.

Overall everyone enjoyed the game which could have gone either way until the French right wing crumbled near the end leaving the Allies left  to come to the aid of the still outnumbered Right.

Despite terrible dice from some on the Allied side, the key issue was the failure of the Guard to get off Hesitant once they had reached the base of the ridge. Had they done so things would have been very different so i guess the French had some unlucky dice there.